On self-improvement

Who taught us to be displeased with ourselves?

Where did we get the idea that we have to better ourselves?

This drive within ourselves to overcome what we perceive of as inadequacies is the internal equivalent of the external reality of rape and pillage that we call capitalism.

On a lot of dating websites there’s a category that asks you whether or not you are ambitious. Everyone says they are.

Ambition is the ethic par excellence in our society.

What is ambition if not a dis-satisfaction with where-ever and what-ever you are now. That is to say that the driving ideal of the world civilisation is self-loathing!

We hate ourselves and because we hate ourselves we do violence to ourselves and others.

We seek to locate the flaw either within or without.

I truly think that the only way to be sane, to be at peace, to love yourself is to shed society.

This doesn’t mean don’t do things or don’t work. It means a fuck you to all ideals, to self-perfection, and to self-betterment.

Of course there is an irony here because in order to inhabit this state one must shed their socializations and this is a long, difficult process. It is a constant state of repentance, of turning away, of seeing that self-loathing within oneself which has been your mainstay throughout your life and saying “Fuck you” then turning away from it internally.

By ignoring it after a while – like the spoilt brat it is – it will just go away. Every now and then it will rear its ugly head and because after a while of doing this you begin to see it for the destructive son of a bitch it is you won’t be tempted to engage it anymore.

But it’s clever. With me for years it kept its spiteful talons in my flesh through making me feel bad about myself in comparison with others. Now it’s changed its tune. I compare myself with others and I come out smelling of roses; they’re all so stupid.

But I know it and it’s wily ways and it can fuck the fuck off!

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Mental Illness and the internal narrative

Most mental illness can be traced to narcissism.

Previously I said that mental illness is when the self society demands of an individual is something the individual cannot attain to. The conflict between the real self of the individual and the self society glorifies being mental illness.

Now this still holds but it doesn’t go deep enough.

Most people spend their whole lifes as if they are on stage; as if they are playing a role in a drama. Of course this role is the central role.

Just listen to the internal dialogue you have when you are feeling depressed, anxious or whatever.

“Poor me, why are they looking at me, what did I do to deserve this, why is this happening to me, they aren’t showing me enough appreciation…”

The problem with perceiving yourself in this way is that in any drama (or even comedy) there has to be suffering, conflict, and unattained desires.

Happy people have a different dialogue.

“My life is so good, everyone loves me, I’m so happy…”

Very happy and content people have no dialogue.

In a sense we construct a narrative about ourselves and then we project ourselves into that narrative. The problem here is that society doesn’t applaud positive narratives about the self.

Try telling people you think you are a genius and try telling people you think you are shit. Compare the results. I bet that you will be called names and put down if you declare a positive narrative concerning yourself but people will rally around you if you declare a negative narrative. Just look at Russell Brand and Kanye West.

What this essentially does is positively reinforce a negative opinion of yourself that few people are able to overcome or even realize as the cause of their suffering. Few people have access to a realm of knowledge that transcends the opinions of others.

No matter how much they may affirm that all because everyone says something is so doesn’t mean it is so they still cannot let go of popular opinion. They cannot let go of that crutch and learn to walk on their own.

There is a way out though but it is slow and gradual. There are no on and off switches, you are not a computer; you are a plant and plants grow slowly.

The way out is to recondition your mind to shut-up. Don’t try to replace the negative narrative with a positive narrative. Just practice shutting that voice in your nut up. This is the power of mindfulness and meditation.

Feelings and situations

First let me define some terms.

By external environment I mean our circumstance. This includes what we own, what is being done to us, and things like that.

By internal environment I mean how we feel, what we think and so on.

Of course both of these inter-mesh. For example you can have a feeling about a thought just as you can have a feeling about a situation. In fact you can have a feeling about a feeling.

This is because words are hazy and create distinctions that don’t really exist.

Most people believe that they are miserable because of a certain situation. In a basic sense this is true but it doesn’t take into account the whole of the matter.

Why do you feel how you feel about the situation?

The problem with seeing the problem at such a basic level is that most people will attempt to change the situation in order to feel good again. This just leaves you weak and susceptible to other situations. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave a chaotic and insufferable situation. You need a peaceful situation to start on the path to seeing the peace in any situation.

If you start watching yourself. Watching your thoughts, your feelings and your situation you soon see that your feelings are often independent of external stimuli. Sometimes an event can happen one day with no reaction but the next day there could be a reaction.

After a while the thought may occur “Why am I bothered by what I’m bothered by?”

I think the answer to this question is that our feelings concerning things are the result of our social conditioning and genetics.

Another funny thing I noticed is the similarity between the emotions. Anxiety before Christmas is called excitement.

So our feelings being negative or positive isn’t the result of the feeling itself but rather the result of the feeling in combination with the context within which it arises.

The divine conspiracy

There is a divine conspiracy afoot.

One of the ways to express this conspiracy is “nothing is as it seems”.

God has set the world up in such a way that that which is most valuable appears valueless and that which is valueless appears valuable.

When we are born, when we are young we are in love with the world. We are enraptured by it.

Just look at how wide a babies eyes are. What those eyes are saying is:

Wow look at this what the hell is this I don’t know I can’t even speak to myself but this, this colour is intoxicating and me breathing in and out fucking hell that feels good and what did I just do I shat myself god that feels soooo relieving.

People have the same realization when they are told death is imminent. Dostoyevsky in “The Idiot” has the protagonist talk about what he felt and thought when he thought he was going to be executed before the firing line.

He said that in that moment he saw how valuable life was, that he would have done anything to just go on living even if that meant living in a square metre of land. He talked about how the most trivial of experiences (the sun glinting of a church spire) was the most precious thing he could conceive of.

The divine conspiracy has set it up so that the baby doesn’t know what it knows and by the time it is capable of reflection this glory has faded, become mundane and been replaced by the trash of imitation that is media and the spectacular.

That is the divine conspiracy has us throwing in the bin the most valuable thing and we spend most of our lifes seeking this lost treasure but never look in the last place we think of: the bin.

Eventually this has us throwing ourselves in the bin because it has us on the hamster-wheel. The goodie is always over the next hill, just one more cycle on this wheel and I’ll be there and this must be the way to the goodie because it’s so much effort. The goodie is never here and now always there and then.

Of course we ourselves can’t be the goodie because we’re oh so familiar and for the same reason we throw our experience of breathing and shitting in the bin we throw ourselves in the bin.

But this is not as it seems. This seems bad but it’s good because the treasure is there in the bin. It is breathing, shitting, talking, sleeping and, yes, even suffering.

Most of us spend our lifes desperately struggling up the sides of the bin trying to get out but always falling back in. This is the struggle of Sisyphus.

Sadly it takes imminent death to take the blinkers off most people. The fear of losing the true goodie shows the true goodie to be the true goodie.

This is why people with suicidal tendencies also have a greater chance of realizing this because they are fixated on death.

Wisdom lies in the house of mourning.

And yes I love Epica 😛

Easy

I lived my life
Trying to control
But really

 
it wasn’t easy;
I struggled and strived
denied myself my…
Self. Tried to be…
someone else.

 
I didn’t know it
but the truth is
that laziness
is the way to
the truest self
expression.

 
The easiest path
is the easiest path
because
you want to walk it.

 
Everywhere
people strive
to be what they are not.

 
They live a lie of strife
a life of effort
for no reward.
No-one claps
there is no applause
and if there was
so what?

 
what can I do with applause?

 
This need we have
to convince people
to proove ourselves right
is nothing but a
struggle to hand over
our freedom to
come under
dominion.

 
See when you see
that seeing is a slow
slow journey to
clarity,

 
That
All people walk it
few of them know it
and eventually
everyone knows this.

 
If only for the moment
when your grandma dies
and leaves a wound and
you know, you
really know that
what matters doesn’t matter
that these standards
don’t matter!

 
That mattering can
smatter itself
scatologically
across the cistern.

 
That what “matters”
has placed a barrier
between me and you
between me and my family
because I fail
I try and I fail
To live up to the
Standard.

 
I feel guilt
that I’m not
what they admire
what they respect.

 
And this guilt
with downcast eyes
and stammering lips
weaves a disguise
before our very eyes
that hides from us both
the ones we want to know.

 
Not secretly
but openly
a family is fed upon
by a guilt
that restrains the lips
from uttering trivialities
and we watch
powerlessly
as our loved ones
disappear into
anonymity.

 
But death comes
and it shows us
through the tears
in the heart of the wound
that nothing matters
like we think it matters.

 
That my flaws are
just excuses for conversation
just things to say, admit
not to hide and justify.

 
That by being me
unabashedly
without restraint
is the way into the bosom of my family
because we’re all of one stock,
one blood, one lineage
let us compare notes
not give advice.

 
Let us come together
find what we have in common
uncover the stutters
and how we have dealt with them;
The social dis-ease
the low self-esteem
that doesn’t go
however we seem.

 
For me personally
it surrounds woman.
I hanker
for the female
anchor.

 
The feisty female
who
unbidden
solicits my advances;
but I stay back
because
In my eyes
I’m despised.

 
How could a woman
with hips and thighs
ever want to stare into these eyes?

 
I know,
I know,
I could wear a disguise
of adidas
and live a life
of work and strife
but that would
lead to a ball and chain
not a woman who’s mine
and who wants me.

 
Me!
Not some fiction
I create just to get
a whiff of fanny.

The sound a gull’s wings make.

Peace is the sound a gull’s wings make.

It’s not a sound that is heard with the ears;

it’s a sound that is seen with the eyes.

It’s difficult to sustain peace;

peace is not something that is sustained.

Peace is something that is unveiled.

It comes when you stop looking for it.

It is in the moment when you see light glint off the exhaust pipe of a dirty lorry.

It comes unbidden in the sound of children tantruming in public.

It glares off the bald pates of the OAP’s wandering the aisles of asda.

It lies embedded in the crease your jeans make when you sit down.

It’s in the sound of the words of a domestic argument.

It is the heart of anger and the sweetness of melancholy.

It is there when it seems it isn’t as well as when it seems it is.

It waits for you to rest, to sit down, to stand up.

It waits for you to see – to really see – with eyes that aren’t trying to see anything.

Peace is the sound a gull’s wings make.

Western Philosophy meets Eastern Philosophy through Heidegger Part. 2

The west has constructed the concept of “Truth” and has sought it through the internal dialogue.

Through this methodology the western philosophical tradition has turned everything into objective presence; it has split apart a holistic whole because the internal dialogue is logical and logic requires bits to put together and take apart.

Logic is the hidden presupposition upon which the concept that I am a separate subject from the “world” and other subjects is built.

Now we come to Heidegger.

After 2500 years of head-butting the wall logic puts before us (I think I described this wall in “Skittles”) Heidegger comes along and says apophantic statements are one mode of discourse amongst many others; all of which are based in the primordial features of Dasein as Being-In-The-World and Being-The-There.

Eckharte Tolle (a popularizer of the east to the west much like Alan Watts) says that we are like a room full of furniture. Most of us live under the delusion that we are the furniture but really we are the room (the space; the clearing; “The-There”) within which the furniture is.

To be continued

The Con of Control

The hiccups have stopped for a bit!

Maybe that’s the end of them.

They started yesterday afternoon. I was hiccupping all the way to work, at work, on the way back from work and up until now.

They don’t bother me.

I like seeing my body do things I don’t tell it to do

You know like when you get those little muscle spasms.

It reminds me that I’m not and cannot be in control and I find that comforting.

It’s funny; out of that letting go of the illusion of control comes motivation, creativity, action and all sorts of stuff.

The illusion of control makes us believe we can control how other people perceive us. So we try to get them to see us in a certain way.

We try to squeeze ourselves into a mould.

Ha ha ha: the illusion of control causes you to be controlled or rather controllable.

If you could discover how the deluded person wanted to be perceived you could make affirming expressions or sounds when they did what you wanted and the opposite when they didn’t do what you wanted.

Dorathy Macha (the character played by Ray liotta in “Revolver”) says that the most important question is “What’s in it for me?”.

This is one articulation of the delusion of control.

Just find out what he wants and voilà you have leverage.

Find out what his plans are to get what he wants and voilà you have leverage. You can make him feel angry or pleased and if you know him well enough you would know how he would act whilst under the sway of those emotions.

Such a man becomes controllable through his predictability.

By seeking to control you just put yourself into a Skinner box.

Here’s a funny one for you: the people who would take advantage of the situation I just described would also be in the Skinner box.

As Avi (the character played by Andre Benjamin from “Revolver”) says “where does it stop, where does this game stop?”

You can only anger a man who is deluded by the illusion of control.

That’s not to say you can’t fall back into the delusion from time to time.

But once you’ve seen that you’re not in control; that you’re just the universe hiccupping; you can never stay in the delusion for long.

Inevitably what you think you have control over will thwart you in your attempts to control it thus disillusioning the temporarily deluded person who has seen through the con of control.

As ever like and subscribe and like my facebook page because I’m just a monkey wrapped in suit begging for your approval 😛

Advice I gave to a Beautiful woman on how to Deal with Period Pains.

My advice to you is to lay in bed and focus on the pain.

If you’ve read my things on meditation you should get this.

Meditation is basically where you pay attention to something. When you realize that your attention has wandered; you just bring it back to what you have chosen to pay attention to.

Pain is awesome for this because it is such an intense feeling that it is easy to keep your attention on it.

At first the pain may intensify when you look at it. That is your ego throwing a tantrum because it uses pain as one of the ways to make you think that you are it.

You say things like “this is my pain” and thus the ego affirms itself as you.

You are the silent witness; like the screen onto which images are projected isn’t affected by those images but remains unchanged.

Pain is just one of those images.

Ask yourself the question:

What makes pain different to any other experience?”

“Because it hurts!” Is not an answer; it’s a tautology; hurt and pain are synonyms.

What makes pain different to other experiences is that you don’t like it.

Set a timer for 20 minutes and during that time pay attention to the pain and whenever your attention wanders and you realize it has wandered bring it back.

That’s what meditation is.

It isn’t not thinking; it’s just choosing to pay attention to something other than thought.

If you do this for 20 minutes you will have moments when you experience the pain as something happening outside of you.

You will see it has interesting qualities.

Maybe you’ll get a brief experience of enlightenment where all there will be is the pain; but there’ll be no-one there experiencing the pain to not like it.

The pain will become like a dance you are watching.

It’s one of whatever-it-is-that-controls-this-whole-shabang’s little tricks it plays to get you to realize your true nature: the silent witness.

The ego has tricked us into thinking that it’s the important thing. Once you realize you are not your ego then you can have fun with the ego.

You can play around by putting on different egos.

The ego is necessary to interact with other people; but the ego should not be in control.

It has tricked people into thinking it’s in control and this has caused the suffering which you’ll realize is an illusion once you realize you are not your ego but that the ego is your tool.

We have better things to learn from children than they from us!

Today at work, whilst I was cleaning the windows; there were a group of mothers with their children. The children were all toddlers.

They were running around trees in ecstasies of delight.

The children that is; not the adults. They were just stood with their prams and their touch-screen phones sedately discussing the weather (which was glorious).

As I listened I heard the mothers say things like “Yes! That’s a tree, dear!” as if by giving a word for the thing that the child was frolicking around was something marvellous.

The child already knew what a tree was! He didn’t care about its name; he was already using it; he was already enjoying it.

I realized we have a lot more important and valuable things to learn from children than children have to learn from us.

The one thing children have that we don’t need is the need for approval.

We’re all born “approval junkies” as the brilliant film “revolver” states.

The function of the desire for approval is to motivate the child to learn to function in the world. To give it the umph necessary to enter new realms of play.

But once this function is fulfilled the need for approval becomes a bane. It become The (with a capital T) curse that stops us playing, frolicking and using life for what life’s for: fun.

What we need to learn from the child is to be care-free; to play; to run around trees giggling in delight.

What we need to learn from children is that fun is free; play is the purpose of life; to laugh hysterically at apparently inconsequential things and to laugh at the stares!

And parents need to stop inculcating shame (a consequence of the need for approval) into their children. But I know, I know! You’re so caught up so much in the anxiety caused by your child acting out of the ordinary that you can’t help it.

Oh please like and subscribe. I’m still an approval junkie; a dog that wags its tail when you pat its head and tell it it’s been a good boy!