Tuesday, December 20, 2016

ReCreating Life

The defining aspect of every life, is not what a person does for work, as much as what they do for recreation -- which as the word says, re-creates their lives.  Not surprisingly then, exercise frequently is a leading example of this recreational life -- and other activities one engages in -- not because somebody else pays or rewards them to, but because it is how an individual rewards themselves.  

For some, that would largely entail eating as their favorite pastime -- naturally resulting in their overweight or obese condition -- invariably and unmistakably the result of what they do -- as their favorite activity in life, just as the lean and fit exhibit their preoccupation.  And that word means as it says, "before all else."

Many others would claim they engage in no recreation or recreational activities -- because they are entirely preoccupied with making money -- in everything they do, and so have no such alternative universes to retreat to -- as that word implies, "take a break from."  Implied in this, is that they have no time for anything else -- no time to revive themselves, no time to recreate themselves, no space for reconsidering and rethinking everything they do in life -- including complaining about how out of control their lives have become -- rather than reflecting for a moment, that it doesn't have to be that way -- but they themselves make it so.

They could just as well do everything in their lives very differently -- and that feeling -- and control of their lives and outcomes, is what determines their quality of life, which is the summation of everything they do and are in their own life.  It's even difficult, for some people to realize that they "own" their own lives -- so much do they feel that they are merely pawns to everything, and everybody else -- which is the life in despair.

People get that way -- if they don't do anything else -- to re-create a different scenario and story of their lives.  For some, it is as easy as rewriting that script -- to a happy ending -- as their favorite recreational activity.  Nobody might pay them for such a work of literature -- but the great benefit is not that others pay them for it, as much as that is what the life they reward themselves with -- by envisioning and detailing it.

In this way, the distinctions of fiction and non-fiction comes to an end -- and one lives wholly and newly in the integrated world of their own making.  That is how reality comes into being -- rather than remaining the division and fragmentation most experience as their lives -- thinking that is the world for everybody else also.  Only if they think it so -- and their teachers might also, as what they were taught to -- by the many fragmented minds that is the only way reality can be.

Yet there have always been a few who have described a wholly other vision of life -- without the divisions and conflicts they engender -- as souls of these other planes of existence, that most feel they can merely admire -- but not live -- because they are living the lives they do live, with neither the time nor inclination for any other.

Some seasons of the year enforce a greater degree of inactivity that may allow this greater introspection of a less harried life of peace and contentment -- and the vow to do better at attaining it in the coming year.  Their resolve grows greater even as the days grow darker and shorter.  They promise to themselves to do anything -- if only the days will get brighter and longer again.

They've made it through one more cycle of their lives in that way -- but only in the survival mode.  The bigger picture -- is whether they go further and beyond that -- as the foundation for subsequent years, and not just repeating the same old cycles and rituals year after year with diminishing vigor and conviction.  That is obviously the "greater lives" the prophets and madmen speak of.  Surely, that is "not of this world."  Or could it be?

That is the question of our lives.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Learning All the Wrong Things

It's not so much that people never learn -- as much as it is that they learn all the wrong things, and are convinced (persuaded) that it doesn't make any difference -- as long as one is learning.  But usually, along with such "learning," is the resistance to learning the difference between the "right" thing, and the "wrong" thing -- for which the self-designated "teachers" insist, is never necessary because they'll do that for them -- rather than the most important thing to learn, and the whole point of learning.

Those who cannot make such distinctions (discriminations), are of course incapable of distinguishing right from wrong -- in virtually everything they do, and others have to do that for them -- often than not, forcefully and definitively.  Those who are uncertain, or incapable of making those distinctions themselves, invariably become drawn into the chaos and confusion of the utterly lost.

So one of the great achievements in every life, is this ability to distinguish right from wrong -- and not fall into the despair that nothing matters, and the spoils go to the most ruthless in taking them.  That is the most primitive understanding of things -- and proof of learning the wrong lessons.  It may seem to work initially, but soon, everyone catches on to that manner of being and doing, and learns to avoid them, thus such people, are always on the prowl for fresh victims -- who are not yet "on" to them.  Invariably, they are the easiest people to run into -- because they have to go through many to find the few who are worse than they do -- wreaking havoc and mischief in their wake.

That could range from domestic to international affairs and treaties.  What is common in every case and matter, is the belief that anything one can get another to believe, is reality -- and not that reality is not just their agreement to see whatever they want to.  Such like-minded people are capable of convincing themselves of anything -- until they run out of other people's money, patience and goodwill.  That is the world of delusion and wishful-thinking -- over the sorry truth.

So when things go wrong, they have no way of making them right, or even knowing something is wrong in the first place.  To them, that is just the way things work -- and not that it could ever be better.  That is particularly true with age -- and what they think is "normal."  There is simply nothing they can do to alter that fact -- and so they do nothing, despite the fact they have all the time in the world to do anything they really wanted to do.  Instead, they dwell and ruminate over all the things they cannot do -- as the only thing they do anymore.

Naturally, the world for such people, collapses and grows smaller with each passing day -- because they are not expanding that world, as every meaningful life has to do.  It doesn't matter what they did fifty years ago -- or even ten.  It's the same advice we give to the young, yet think somehow, the old are immune from it.  The whole trick to staying young, is not plastic surgery and other advanced procedures, but approaching each moment as though learning it for the first time, with no preconceived notions of the possible and impossible -- but just "finding out," never presuming to know.

The one who says, "I know," is invariably the person who has learned all the wrong things -- thinking it is everything there is to know.