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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nothing changes until we do.

     I try to be honest, as much as one can; but Obviously I had ulterior motives for my first series of posts, my little treatise on the trans-formative and self-defined nature of the human condition. Though it's not as straight forward as forming a following, or generating ad revenue, nor was it an act of selflessness; but, thoughts like those aren't generally written down, or espoused to the masses without a purpose. My reasons for doing what I do, feeling what I feel, and thinking what I think, are both selfless and selfish; essentially,  the reason I try to point these things out, and engage in dialog about them... Is that literally nothing changes until we do.

     The world is habitual, systematic, things generally progress from one condition to another, if allowed to take their natural course. Without sentience, self-awareness, the chains of action and response proceed unbroken. Nuclear and chemical reactions proceed along relatively set paths with only statistical deviations from the norm; Prey graze, and in turn are fed upon by predators; Climates change, deserts expand, and deltas flood; The whole world moves inexorably along towards conclusions with only minor variance. There is a single force that changes this though; life, in particular, intelligent life. While sentient creatures are still bound by the laws of nature, they can more fully utilize the unharnessed potential of the systems they see around them. They make the possible, though improbable, less so by force of will alone.

     Sentient beings, can choose; or at least possess the illusion of choice; depending on who's perspective you take, or who's version of reality you subscribe too. We are still bound to, and by, the physical world; but, we can deviate from the scripted survivalistic patterns of behavior as dictated by instinct; But only if we choose too. By understanding the fact that we exist, by the virtue that we can define ourselves and our thoughts, emotions, and behavior; we give ourselves control over not only ourselves, but over our environment; and on a scale unprecedented in "nature." This isn't to say we aren't governed by nature, or are not a part of it; everything is "natural" in some sense, since the laws of nature allow anything one might observe to exist.

     But by recognizing the system, our part in it, and the rules by which it runs; we can direct, guide, improve, radically change, or even destroy. Such is the power of thought, it doesn't allow you to break the rules; but, it does allow you to realize that they're there in the first place. And even though it doesn't change the amount, or nature, of possible outcomes to any interaction; it does allow you to increase the amount of probable outcomes, and skew and manipulate the results to your desire. Self awareness is the power to discern yourself as part of, yet in some sense separate and independent of your surroundings. From a perspective of objective awareness; self awareness is the ability to determine the function of the parts of a system, and the effects its failure or optimization has on the system as a whole.

    Nothing changes until we do; because, the potential to assume more and more complex states inherent in life, due to its origin in self-organizing chemical properties, is the harbinger and engine of change. And when coupled with awareness and self awareness, it is the architect of change as well. Unfortunately this potential is more often than not wasted, and events are allowed to take their "natural" course. However, nature isn't benign, its blind; species come and go, death and pain are intimate and necessary parts of it. The natural course of our evolution might be a dead end, a long drawn out death to attrition, or even self destruction...

    The point is, we have the choice, and we can change things; but only if we ourselves change to better utilize our potential for the manipulation of "systems", including ourselves.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back, kinda.

   Well, I'm back; in some sense. I've been a bit busy since June, work picked up a bit more, but then I lost my job; however I've found a new one though, at least for now. I'm going to start updating my blog again; I'm not entirely sure as to what I'll be talking about this time, but I'll try to keep the updates as regular as I can. As stated before; I'm not entirely sure what I'll be writing about this time, so I'm going to give all of you an update on what's been going on with me, and a bit about my thoughts.

      I was laid off last month, and have been looking for a job, so far I've managed to land myself a job at a tech shop; though it's only part time. The work is enjoyable at least, and I have a lot of free time for various things. Unfortunately the money situation has stopped me from going on one of the two yearly trips I like to make. On the plus side a little bit of my creative muse has seemed to come back; I've been able to draw recently, and I've been working on a piece digitally. A lot of thinking as well, but not really anything all that productive.

     As for the moment all I'm really doing: is working what hours I can at my new job, talking with the various folks I tend to talk too, listening to tons of music, sketching occasionally, reading, and worrying about my friends and loved ones as I'm prone to doing. Despite the fact that things are out of sorts I'm relatively happy, things could be better but on the other hand things could definitely be worse. Hopefully the part time job will pan out, hours and income will increase; for myself and everyone else at the shop. I'm not entirely deadlocked into not being able to go on my trip either; I have quite a few friends that might be able to help, and I'm actually doing fairly well monetarily, perhaps the tax refund will help in this department.

     In upcoming posts, I'm likely too: share my artwork with my audience, discuss ideas I've had, or give a bit of background on events in my life.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

-The Right- Tenet 7

7. "Be who you are, not who people tell you that you are."

     Your sense of self is important, in fact, its more than likely one of the most important things any sentient creature can hold. It encompasses everything we've gone over up to this point. The stability, the defined properties of a willed creature. But its more than self image, more than who you are; Its how you think, what you do, and what you fail to do. It's in what you learn, and what you fail to learn; in why you love, and also why those that love you choose to do so. It contains every bit of value you have as an individual, as a member of a group, and as a member of a species. Everything you say about yourself, prove about yourself, and conversely all those things you fail to say and prove. Your sense of self is you; in all that information, interlinked and complex as any of the organic molecules that make up your physical form, more than any book could ever hold.

      This vast collection of information, this codex of self, along with awareness of our world in general [which many animals have]; it is what defines you as a living, breathing, entity, and more importantly transforms that living thing into a sapient, self aware, justified creature. One should exist that concept, and let it be the -only- concept. Other people can't tell you who and what you are; no one with any great deal of certainty will ever be able to define you any better than your own existence does. They can only experience and participate in it; don't waste those chances to express yourself and impact your surroundings. You, in your entirety, is the only “you” that can be, so don't try to conform yourself to any will but your own. That creative spark is the divine; or at least as close to this place's will to create and be that we may ever experience first hand.

      This doesn't mean to abandon all else, and pursue a life of hedonistic emotion, action and thought, since a complete self is only complete when it takes in, when it breathes, when it exists everything and everyone around it.

      So exist, exist to your fullest, exist for yourself, and for others; exist inside yourself and outside as well. But most importantly fulfill that purpose; existence for its own sake, growth for its own sake, being simply to be and let others be... is the thing we share with all others, the purest thing we can share in.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

-The Right- Tenet 6

6. “Everything is in your point.”

    This is not about egotism, or a view of the universe centric to your own opinions. However “Everything is in your point”; that is to say, every action taken, every word spoken, should have a purpose. This particular axiom has to do with intension; people have the ability to define their concept of self, and other's concepts of them though their actions and words. The closer that your internal concept of self, and the concepts of you that those around you hold; the more completely and truthfully you have communicated your concept of self out into the external world. You tend to generate less logical paradoxes concerning your perceived method of thought, your words, and your actions within those around you.

    It's a matter of truth, by keeping everything you have power over in line with how you see yourself. It prevents you from betraying yourself, and betraying others; by putting effort into developing habits that remain in line with whom you truly see yourself as, you avoid the pitfall of hypocrisy and all the negatives that come with it. You find more peace of mind in your self, less insecurities, since you know who you are, the confusion over the mater [after you have actually determined it of course] is lifted. Others also will also be able to recognize you for whom you are with consistent projection of self image. Trust can also be more easily built and maintained when we aren't constantly putting up a smokescreen of deception to convince one another that we're someone that we are not.

    Like tenet 2, this is about the correlation of internal self, and the self as perceived by others. This time, instead of truthfulness being the focus, consistency is... Even if you're trusted, if people know you not to lie; this is only so useful in helping to project your true inner self unless that inner self is stable. People tend not to identify with people who change, at their core, constantly; even if they are truthful. The honest truth of the matter is that unless you maintain a sense of consistency in whom you think you are, and who you appear to be; then any given “you” tends not to stay around long enough for form lasting allegiances and relationships with others.

Up to this moment, most of the points I try to make have been concerning the importance of learning, growing, the way we are all interconnected in concept and emotion, and most importantly, the way these things affect our concept of self, and the concept of self that others hold for us. The fact that “Everything is in your point” is equally important; because none of what has come before has any importance unless you allow a concept of self to stabilize.

As living things, we exist in time as well as space, we have to be able to maintain the store of second hand information and direct experience we gather; and their effects on us as people. Consistency in time is key to this.

[Obviously not too the point of dysfunction though :p]

Monday, April 18, 2011

-The Right- Tenet 5

5. "People should see you as valuable."

    This means exactly what it seems too; people should see you as valuable, as necessary, an integral component to people's live... Essentially, they should notice if you're missing. This isn't, however, about ego; people should see you as necessary, because you should make yourself necessary. It isn't about amassing prestige or respect, or about expecting reciprocation for your efforts. A portion of every single person's concept of self is tied up in the way that others perceive them, since our consciousnesses aren't isolated; but instead subject to the affects of our environment, and our peers [not everyone is as malleable in this respect as other, obviously.] By doing our best, or failing to do so, we not only reinforce our own internal self image; but the external image of ourselves of any who happen to be observing.

    People have a choice as to how to express themselves obviously, they can choose to act on, or not to act on potential. They can choose to act, to act half-heartedly, or not to act at all. And they have the choice of creative action, destructive action... and anything in-between. Personally, I believe humanity should forge forward; continue to evolve, move towards some sense of unity; if for no other reason than for each individual to aid all of the others in realizing their full potential. You enact your will, constructively, on the outside world; as to reinforce your conception of self, and to express it outwardly for others to see, and form in the portions of their memories that are you.

    Obviously, constructive manifestation of one's self concept isn't the only option... but more often than not the consequences of less altruistic paths can be disastrous. Complete Metaphysical Solipsism in and of itself isn't harmful, but when the “existent mind” ceases to see the others within its illusion as parts of itself; and becomes careless in their care, or worse yet adversarial to them. Nothing but harm comes to both the world outside the self, if in fact it does exist; and the symbols and metaphors that are the world within the Solipsist themselves. If nothing else; wanton negativity, destruction, and painful emotion does great harm to the one who feels them.

    On the converse, destruction itself isn't the enemy either. There are times when its necessary; for defense of the self and others, or the destruction of the old for the erection of the new. It is intention that counts; when one makes themselves useful, they should do what they see as needing to be done. Not only to benefit others, but themselves as well. There is no such thing as a “selfless act”, at least not within “sane” people; however, there are acts which are less selfish, egalitarian, and even perhaps while not “absolutely selfless”, strongly selfless indeed. We are rewarded for our good actions, even if those rewards are nothing else than a sense of satisfaction, and reinforcement of our selves.

    The final thing that most people miss however... is that while helping others, and receiving the help of others does strengthen you. To squander than strength in self obsession often harms the recipient of that boon, while continue to aid others would allow them to continue growing and progressing. We do our best to grow, thrive, and move forward; even “selfless” acts allow us opportunities for self indulgence. The level of interconnectedness that our psyche's have, the level of dependence many of us have on one another; no act, no matter how selfless or selfish really leaves others unaffected... and by proxy, the self unaffected.

Help yourself, help others; help others by helping yourself, and in helping yourself, help those around you. After all, you can't aid others if you render yourself helpless; and if you allow your sense of self, and consequently other's perceptions of you to reach a critical point, you yourself move beyond help.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

-The Right- Tenet 4

4. "Don't put too much stock into what people say, experience is the best teacher.”

    It's not to say there is no value to anyone's perspective than your own, in fact I am a huge supporter of “The Sciences” and all other forms of credible, transmitted wisdom. However the human capacity for language allows us to form an uncountable number of  thoughts, and express them as statements. For the most part aside from the wildly semantically indecipherable, we've all had this experience, the inability to express a thought with a satisfying level of clarity. Statements can also be context sensitive, or worst yet, completely subjective. Opinions are valid, but oftentimes only within the mind of their bearer, when called upon to justify them; it's likely we cannot at all. What passes for “wisdom", varies from one culture to the next, indeed from one -person- to the next.

    This must be accounted for.

    Instead, feel free to take the experience of others, along with their opinions, but always try to take into account how they relate to your current situation. Some of our greatest failing as a species, come from refusing to consider context while pouring over a piece of information we happen to revere. Although it should be a given, context is key, within the context of a statement lies all of its power... without its context statements are, often, quickly rendered meaningless... One should always consider the context with which a particular nugget of wisdom was formed.

    Take the experience of others; experience is just that, experience, so long as the source and information are reliable. Although people often take their opinions, dogmas, prejudices -way- too seriously, a tidbit of helpful information may be hidden within the semantic mire of any particular statement. But; always keep in mind what is best for you, those you concern yourself with, and the situation at hand. Many people will tell you to do something blindly, as divine providence, on their authority alone, or simply because they “say so”; without so much as a reason or explanation.

    The simple fact of the matter, is that human beings are opinionated... any living, thinking creature; with limited access to objective truth is... it's a simple fact of the matter. Our survival has always depended on taking the quickest route to an effective solution; and without the ability to see the whole picture, a good estimation is... good enough. This often causes people to offer help that helps them more than the person who's actually asking for the help; people almost always help themselves given the option, it's simply instinct. Obviously, if someone manages to offer a  bit of tested wisdom, and explain to you why they believe as they do; take that, learn from it, if it passes your own personal litmus test.

    However, if you take some “wisdom” into yourself, on blind faith or outside authority alone; you had best trust it's source an awful damn lot, or be prepared to be screwed, and face the consequences of your misplaced trust. Unfortunately, it's the way things are; the nature of our limited wisdom makes it so; and it happens a lot more than people realize. Both intentionally, or unintentionally; people seem to believe a lot of things they've likewise been taught, or told to believe, unconditionally.

    In the end, Dogma, Opinion, Bullshit, Superstition; they are worth no more than you allow them to be worth. Let your minds determine what is best for you; with a little bit of help from your heart, the things you know, and have come to see as true.


     Sorry about that folks, I didn't realize everyone was waiting for me to finish the whole thing to say a single word. You are all more than welcome to comment on any given tenet, without respect to the others...  I'm sorry I thought this was a given.
     I look forward to hearing your opinions... and obviously, we'll do a recap of the whole thing when its all done, and in context... but I like to think they stand fairly strongly on their own. I'll be releasing another one tonight by the way.
     Tenet 4,  "Don't put too much stock into what people say, experience is the best teacher."