#Idea – Some Thoughts About Belonging / 17.01.13

Who relies on you?

Or needs you?
Or who finds you ‘useful’?
Do you know where you belong?

Belonging is a need, not a choice.

But what is belonging…?
A feeling of relevance, yes.
Fitting in seamlessly with your surroundings.
Like you should be there
Regardless of what your surroundings are like
Or how ‘bad’ you’ve got it in life.

Finding belonging and meaning is one of the most important things we can do for our own happiness…

Belonging to someone or something you love can make any situation tolerable.

People often seek belonging in a group in which they can make a meaningful contribution that others value. Be that in a job, a religious group or any other community, people will strive to find something to belong to.

black and white man pet photo
Photo by faith goble

‘Arriving at’ belonging often means that you have found the right place for you.

It’s why you can feel you belong in one place, but I might not.

It is one the most reasurring and rewarding feelings, and an excellent antidote to those deathly cold tendrils of loneliness, isolation and ‘the void’.

Afterall it’s easier to face that void with good people at your side, and having a meaningful significance to others can also validate your existence.

Because, big surprise, we’re not just here as selfish automatons.

We’re all having a collective experience. And collectively we can improve it.

This is one of the reasons I like to be helpful.

We need to remind others with our words and our actions that they belong too.

Because often they won’t tell us what they’re feeling.

And when we doubt ourselves or our sense of connection, we need others to do the same for us. We need to be clear if we’re starting to feel shitty and cut off. Because that can happen to anybody and we all know there are few things quite so bad as to suffer the feeling of being lonely or out of place.

Fuck that feeling.

I belong somewhere.

You belong somewhere.

Not necessarily in just the one place, and not necessarily in the same place.

And if you have yet to find it, you will spend the rest of your life seeking somewhere to belong, and something significant to belong to.

black and white love photo
Photo by pedrosimoes7

#Idea – Marketing: The Great Con / Wants vs Needs

You may, at one point, have used the word ‘want’ or ‘need’ and meant it as the same thing.

But it isn’t…

You have very simple needs
Food, shelter, love, etc (see Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for a pretty concise summary)
But, as long as there have been things to sell to other people
There has been an entire industry
That exists solely
To create the idea
That you should want so much
When you need so little

This industry will complicate things
Complicate your life
It will sell you the idea of happiness and fulfilment
Pictures of beautiful smiling people
Leading beautiful smiley lives
It will sell you the idea that
If you buy (into) these products and services
You can join the club
You can arrive
You too can be a beautiful smiley person
Living a beautiful smiley life
And perhaps live happily ever after

black and white happy rich people photo
Photo by Ctwirler12

Of course it never says this directly
Merely by implication
(and an unfathomably large budget)
All this is further reinforced by the unspoken,
(yet almost everpresent) culture that we are immersed in
It is a culture of expectations
Of ‘keeping up with the Jones’
People instagramming the highlights of their existence
And all your friends ‘getting on with life’

It’s hard to fight against this culture
Since you probably are this culture

But this culture is a distraction.

A while back, your reptilian brain was probably taught
To make a strong emotional association:
“fulfilling my wants will make me happy”
“the people who have x look happy”
“Everyone else is doing it, and look how happy they seem!”

And so
Every month
You get your money
You spend your money
In the hope
That you’ll get what you want
If you’re lucky
You have some money left over
And if you’re really lucky
You *actually* get what you want

You look back:
You got what you wanted
The high lasted a while
Why wasn’t it enough?
Soon you have more wants
And more money must be spent to reach them

consumerist black and white photo
Photo by frankieleon

And what, later still, may or may not come as a surprise:
It doesn’t matter how much money you make
Or how much you get
You will always want for more
The industry will see to that

And so,
You can quite easily spend your entire life
Trading all you really have
(which is your time)
For money (and by extension, the fulfilment of these wants)
And so
You quite suddenly
Find yourself on a fucking treadmill
With bills
A mortgage
Credit cards
And more

Is this adulthood?
And how did you get there?
Can you go back?
And do you still want all of this stuff?

What’s worse is that
You might get everything you ever wanted one day
Then what the fuck do you do?
Start again?
Come up with more wants
And keep going?

This process
Of trading your time for money
Wanting more,
Getting it
Then wanting more still
May very well distract you away
From the important things
The things that you may need to do with your life
The thing is
You can’t find out what these things are
Let alone do them
When you’re so busy making a living

consumerist black and white photo
Photo by frankieleon

And why are you so busy making a living?
Because you wanted so much
And maybe you still do
And so
There’s definitely something to that old saying
‘be careful what you wish for’

Remember that our current, culturally entrenched concept of ‘success’
Was, is, alarmingly
Influenced by people in marketing departments
And PR agencies
And banks
What you have been told to think ‘success’ is
Might not be what it actually is for you
You are not like everyone else
And neither is anyone else

And all this
Is why you can come so far
But feel so hollow inside

Don’t let people try to tell you
What to want
Nor let them imply
That the things they want you to have
Are the things that you actually need
And definitely don’t let them make you think:
That living someone else’s life
Will work for you

What you want right now
Might not be what you need
What do you need, really?
Nobody really knows that but you

TLDR: isn’t it time we stopped buying stupid shit?

billboards photo

#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

#Poem – 31.05.15 / There Is No Darkness To Dispel

There is no darkness to dispel
And there is nothing wrong in Creation
There is no dogma
In which it is worth trading
A miraculous present
For an unlikely future

This universe came from nothing
And will return to nothing in the end
As did you
As will you

Many things will happen here
During your
Relatively brief but exciting interval
As a thing that exists
As a ‘parentheses in eternity’

And so
There is no reason to be upset
And so
There is nothing to fear
And so
One day you will return
To where you came from
As natural as the sun setting

The darkness is your friend
And has always been
There is no darkness to dispel

black and white starry sky photo
Photo by Ihagee86


#Poem – 14.06.15

We did not come to this world to die
But perhaps
The ultimate outcome of this life
Is to leave this life complete

All possible futures
Finally condensed
Into a moment
Of perfect reminiscence
The past
The present
Joined in a second of finality
In the midst of the walls caving in
And the curtain falling

No home
No homesickness
No love
No heartbreak
No soul
No soul to sell
No truth
No truth to hide
No lies
No lies worth telling
No pain
No war
No hate
No sky
No water
No moon

And as the Last Act
Reverts back to
The Eternal Perfect Moment
Braced against eternity
As it rushes in
And it rushes on


goat black and white photo
Photo by Faisal Akram Ether


#Poem – 25.05.15

Advancing upwards:
You might see
An impasse
Of personal places
Encased in concrete.
Love and life
Nestled into the carapace of the superstructure.
The remaking,
The subdivision,
The vertical convergence
Of Humanity.

You could count them:
These people piled high,
Tenants in tenements
That stretch to the sky.
All of them reclaiming
Their god given birthright
To a sense of space
And a place
No matter how small
That they can call their own

black and white skyscraper windows photo
Photo by paologmb


#Poem – 19.09.15

One day
You will not be here
I will not be here
Everyone you love
Will not be here
The tenuous framework that holds us all together
Will have lost the war on entropy

But today we are
And so existence is
Cosmic joke
And short term reversal
In the cosmic short position

And you?

You exist as
A reminder
A big ‘fuck you’
To the heat death of the universe


black and white sky stars photo
Photo by ((brian))