#ThoughtExperiment – ‘Intellectual Consumerism’ OR how being ‘well read’ doesn’t necessarily count for anything

Disclaimer: you are more than enough

One for my fellow bookworms and knowledge junkies…

Considering the times you live in
You’ve been able to take in far more, and far ‘better’ information than the likes of Marcus Aurelius, Jesus, Buddha, Pythagoras, Einstein (etc.)
You’ve been able to read more ‘great’ books
(…and maybe more ‘not great’ books)
You’ve been able to access nearly unlimited culture and art through the wonders of the information superhighway
Learn about almost anything you want
Look up more information than you could ever consume for your entire life.

Yet,
On an intellectual or philosophical level
You have not necessarily made ‘better use’ of this information than these people.
(…though I probably don’t know you and even if I did, this would *not* be a judgement on how you have chosen to spend your entirely unique existence).

Anyway
What I am getting at here is this:
Perhaps reading more is not the solution,
Nor reading better
(…both of which can be seen as a type of intellectual consumerism also predicated on the idea of you not being enough).

Perhaps the solution is what you make of this information
These books you read
Conversations you have
Artworks you scrutinise.

black and white art photo
Photo by BarbaraALane (Pixabay)

After all, what you think about
Will determine what you do
And thus the trajectory of your life.

So,
Could you find alleviation for the human condition
Standing in a check out line?
Or utter profundity in an episode of Jersey Shaw?
Maybe – I’m sure some people have
Was it Bodhidharma who found enlightenment staring at a wall?
(…no sacred books, 7 day meditation retreats, dogma, gurus or online bootcamps required).

Ensuring that you expose yourself to the ‘right’ stuff is relatively easy
So, I suppose the question is how do you make ‘more’ of what you are exposed to?
That I don’t know.
This is the big mystery.

Of course, it doesn’t matter anyway, unless you want it to.

#Idea – On people who try to convert others

Religious proselytism may come from a good place
In the sense that you believe you can help/save people by signing them up to your belief system
But at its core – it is fundamentally arrogant
To think that you have the answer to what is arguably the most important question
And that everybody else is wrong
That everybody needs your help

And, get this
Even if you don’t make a conscious effort to convert people
And you still hold this belief inside you
Well
This belief takes up space where some spiritual humility could be
Because, as with everything
You could be right, and you could be wrong…

 

Photo by zbigphotography (1M+ views)

#Idea – When Did Being Busy Become A Competition? / 29.03.16

Everybody is so busy.
Getting on with life.
Getting ahead
Getting somewhere
Just ‘Getting’.
Getting what?
Getting older, faster?
Maybe…
Occasionally
Instead of getting
Instead of racing the clock
Trying to do more things
Trying to do everything faster
You could
Make time for the experience of time itself
The experience of time passing
Or perhaps put another way
You could ‘make time for the timeless’
And perhaps
When you see how much time there is
(…it really is all you ever have)
Perhaps you could feel less stressed
About your perceived lack of time…
Because
How busy you are
Is not a marker of how well you are doing in your life
And that idea: ‘how well you are doing’
It can take you to dark, inhospitable places
Make you do bad things to yourself
…Status Anxiety
Burnout
And worse.
black and white depressed photo
Did you ever see a depressed cat? Photo by blhphotography
No
Life doesn’t have to be a competition
To see who can have the least free time
Or do the most things in a short space of time
Or be most tired
Work the longest hours
Be the most stressed
Suffer most thoroughly
Because
Time passes anyway
As do you
And
Everything tends to happen
‘In it’s own good time’
See…
Time is a perceptive phenomenon
And all you ever have
Still think you don’t have enough?
In one sense it is, literally all you have
Need I reiterate?
How can you not have enough of all you ever have?
Maybe this is greedy
Wanting more of a thing
That is impossible to attain more of.
Believe in time’s abundance
And that is how you will feel about time
Buy into the current paradigm
The ‘time famine’
And you will continue to fight a losing battle against the clock
Until you die
Now Is Forever

#Idea – Enlightenment Does Not Arrive Later / 12.01.15

To refer to enlightenment as something to be attained in the future ensures that it stays in the future.
And since the future never happens now…
Enlightenment can never happen now
It can only stay in this future that you have constructed
Thus, referring to enlightenment as a future occurrence ensures that enlightenment will never happen for you – not now, not ever.
And that’s not to say that it WILL happen now
Just that it CAN happen now
And that it can ONLY happen now

#Idea – ‘Goodbye’ / 16.07.14

Wish goodbye to your loved ones like it were the *last* goodbye you were able to give them and perhaps the meeting/parting will go some way to being more emotionally significant.

Often, we only fully appreciate things once they are no longer accessible to us – consider that expression: ‘to take for granted’.

This is an idea I have adapted from the Stoic practice of imagining the things you love being taken away from you. Or put another way: just because you don’t think about it, doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Plus, sometimes that goodbye *will* be your last and you might not know this at the time. So in a way, it’s a… precaution.

Many of those who I have loved are not around anymore and I do not feel I showed them that I cared enough when they were.

Even years later, this is not easy to deal with – as I’m sure you know.

As an agnostic I do not draw comfort from some afterlife that offers a second chance at reunion. All evidence I’ve turned up seems to suggest that when they’re gone, they’re gone.

And so I hope not to make the same mistake with those who I am privileged to still have around me today.

“When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as
the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.” ~ Khalil Gibran

black and white couple photo
Photo by Calvin Lee a.k.a calvin83