This entry is discussion about euthanasia or assisted suicide. I will try to be balanced about the positives and negatives of this issue, while also presenting some of the evidence and my personal experiences.
A friend was telling me about his need to see people. And by people, I mean women. To look at them and actually see what they look like, specifically women he thought were attractive. At first it may not seem like anything out of the ordinary, certainly nothing to write on such an amazingly intellectual blog such as Thoughted. But what is there to actually gain from looking at women? Why do men do it? Read the rest of this entry »
To talk about the line distinguishing love and hate, I want to first tell you a personal story.
It takes place many years ago in New Zealand, when I was around 8 years old. Some days at school during lunch, i would exit the classroom doors and spot a bully heading straight for me, and I did what any 8 year old would do. I bolted. Running through the quad, into the oval I would pray to outrun the bully, but alas, at times they would catch me sometimes they would punch me and other times… they would kiss me. Yes thats right at 8, my biggest fear was being caught by my arch nemisis Amy. My dad had taught me I was not to hit girls or hurt them (much to the delight of my older sister), so I was at the mercy of this particularly strong young girl.
One day there was a school dance of which I ofcourse had to attend. When the partnered barn dance began, a tap on the shoulder was to turn me around to front the first time of many that I was to be uterly confused by the female species. It was Amy and she ordered me to the dance floor to clap hands and dance with her, in the way only Kiwis can. She used to torment me at lunch, and now she wanted to dance and be friends? Was this her way of torturing me further in front of friends? Maybe, or maybe she was finally ready to show me she wanted to be more than just enemies, she wanted to be lovers. Read the rest of this entry »
Ever feel like all countries are slowly (read:VERY slowly) heading in the same direction? Politics, what we consume, what we wear, how we talk etc… People are multiplying at a ridiculous rate, yet are actually becoming more similar to each other than ever before! One benchmark for this is Apple products. If you dont have one people look at you as if you are a non-human – ok ok I realise this is an exaggeration, but I am amazed when I think how fast the Apple i-everything phenomena has taken over the world. Read the rest of this entry »
I want to be happy. I want to be peaceful. I want to be loving. I want a lot and while I believe they are all things I can have right now, why haven’t I grasped them completely?
Recently I went on a journey to find happiness. Believe it or not I found it hard to find. I have read many books and articles on happiness, and they all tend to come to the same conclusion. Happiness is something that you create for yourself.
That is great, but why wasn’t it happening?
I told myself to be happy. I told myself to simply be my perception of happy and then I would be happy. It still didn’t work. What was broken so deep down inside of me that I could not allow myself to simply be happy?
That is when I really started to question the word happiness. Believe it or not I believed happiness to mean something to which it didn’t. Actually the dictionary defines happiness as “state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy” meaning that happiness itself has trouble being defined. It has a diverse range and Wikipedia expands on the list to add contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy, which doesn’t make the answer any easier.
How can you be something constantly if you have no idea what that something is? How can you be something that isn’t describable? How can you teach someone to be something that you cannot teach?
Like most things in life, it is based on an individuals perception. We walk through the city and look at all the faces that aren’t smiling and think “look at all the unhappy people”. With happiness being so diverse, how can you truly make that judgment? They might be looking at you thinking the same thing.
To me, I have labeled happiness as simply being contented inside of myself in every moment. It doesn’t make me want to smile and laugh constantly, but it does make me feel good inside.
What does happiness mean for you? No idea and I don’t think it is something I can teach you. Perhaps I am completely wrong, but I never took claim to being the master on the subject matter. I do believe that if you are searching for true happiness, forget the dictionary and the meanings that people constantly throw at you and discover it for yourself.
I am not going to lie, I use to think about death a lot. It was something that confused and scared me and I truly didn’t want it to happen. Things changed over time and I do have a better relationship with death and hopefully we can be good friends and try not to hurt each other any longer.
How did I create this unsavory relationship with death? Well, I have accepted death as a motivator instead of a limiter.
I had a friend who was married. He loved the women but he suffered from major depression. Any challenge would be enough to make him curl up in a ball and talk about suicide as it was the latest craze. Don’t get me wrong, suicide isn’t a nice subject at all, but to even contemplate it means that there is something seriously wrong. His wife eventually left him and he reached rock bottom (in his opinion). He decided he was going to do it; Finish the job off and finally be free from the burden that was his life. He worked out how he was going to do it and realized he wasn’t afraid. He was someone who was afraid of a lot of things, but all of a sudden it seemed that the final thing he would ever do wasn’t scary anymore.
What did it mean to him? It was absolute freedom. If you aren’t afraid of dying, then you aren’t afraid of living either. He decided to live more and to exist in a more fearless way. He took up a bunch of hobbies he was afraid of before. He experimented with things he was afraid to before. He trusted the world in a way he never trusted before, and all of a sudden his life was becoming greater.
What he did was make peace with the inevitability of death and therefore realised that living could be a lot less frightening.
I am not saying to go out and try and hurt yourself or that you need to experience a near death situation. The point is, is we are all going to die eventually. If you are going to die anyway, why not try abseiling? If you are going to die, why not try karaoke? If death is on your door step, why not try to be the greatest you can be?
It is still about being your authentic self and doing what you desire, but it is also about not making excuses to live now instead of putting it off in the future. Perhaps my friend wouldn’t have lost his marriage if he had sooner decided to start living and being fearless then when his whole world came crashing down on him.
Don’t be afraid of death as it will come when it is good and ready. Live life with the belief that every moment IS your last and only in your ultimate presence will you find absolute peace.
I was talking to a friend of mine a few months back (how these deep ideas usually start) and she told me about how she felt about the cycles we live in. I pondered the idea and agreed with her completely. At the time I had come to the same conclusion about mine own life and the cycles had been obvious.
What is a cycle? First I want to talk about the common cycle that we create, then I would like to talk about the much deeper cycle that we quite possibly live in.
The day to day cycles are obvious when you look for them. They start with the basic “I am not going to eat chocolate today” and then eating a belly full. While not a cycle yet, it will become one when you start repeating the same experience over and over again. It goes deeper into the jobs we choose, our relationships, the way we deal with pain and everything where our lives would be much easier if we just decided to fix the problem instead of ignoring it and hoping it will go away.
That is the common cycle and it takes a couple of components to really break it. Firstly you need to accept that you do it. Sure I love to eat chocolate even though it isn’t good for me. The next thing is to reflect on it. Why do I eat chocolate when I know it is bad for me? The last component is let it go. I will try harder next time not to eat chocolate. That is the technique I attempt to use when ever I feel like something is repeating itself.
The next type of cycle is the one that not many people care to think about and for good reason. It has many titles, but lets just call it the cycle of the universe. It the repeat of the big bang and the creation or evolution of man, and the constant replay of history. It is something that a lot of philosophers believe in (including Plato) and it is taught in some Yoga circles.
The basic concept is this. We will keep reliving this exact same life for eternity. We will repeat the same mistakes, make the same enermies, break the same hearts, ruin the same lives and eat the same amount of chocolate. Basically the decisions you make every moment will reflect the same decisions you will make the next time you come around and so on. Sure it sounds very fatalist, and it can’t be proven, but it is something worth reflecting on. If you had to relive this life again and again forever, what would you change now so that it would be better forever? Would you forgive someone? Would you love someone differently? Would you stop acting a particular way? Would you seek more help? Would you trust people more? The questions can go on forever, and for me I would like to change a lot of things now so that my future selves will be in a much better position.
My history can’t be changed, but what does it matter as long as I can create a happy ending for myself? It is time you really ask yourself this question. Are you living a life of the greatest potential? If you answer yes then congratulations your future selves will pat you on the back in appreciation. If no, how can you change it reach that place?
I have decided that I love myself too much to let myself repeat the same mistakes, not just in this life, but in all my existances.
I was hiking on the weekend and I met a young man who raised an interesting question. How do you grow without pain?
I can say that I have truly not grown without pain. My life has been pain after pain after pain and every time I learn amazing lessons, but why do I need pain to do that?
I have been told it is because of my desire not to grow up. It is possible that my wish to not HAVE to grow up causes me to grow up the harshest way possible.
I won’t delve to deep into why my life is painful and why everyone round me seems to be going through some sort of pain or suffering. I believe I may have something that might really help skip the pain and move straight to the lesson. I believe it is about appreciation. Not just saying thank you, but completely understanding why you need to be saying thank you.
I have a friend who was living at home with his parents when all of a sudden he met a woman. They had a child early and all of a sudden this man was forced to move out of home, buy a house, raise a child, support a family and be completely responsible. He did it but it was extremely hard for him, and he learned to really appreciate his parents through it. That wasn’t enough though.
Eventually this woman left him and he lost his child, his home, his way of life, the woman that he loved and a magnitude of things. What did he learn from all that? He learned that he had a lot to lose and that he truly didn’t appreciate what he had until it was no longer his. He felt a lot of regret for things he had always wanted to do with his family and would now quite possibly never get the opportunity to do it. It is a very sad story for this man, but we can learn a lot from it.
How do you appreciate something if you have never lived without it? If growth is about appreciating what you have right now and not what you will have in the future or the past, how do you appreciate it?
For me I feel it is really spending time being conscious with that thing. Just sitting and staring and really getting to know it at every opportunity. Otherwise you will only learn that you have something to lose after the fact you lose it.
I am sitting here right now and I am appreciating my life. I appreciate the fact I have a life. I appreciate my health and I appreciate my circurmstances. Hopefully the journey of pain I have had to experience to get to this point can now end and my future will be one of gentle lessons.
Today I will reflect on the things that I have lost and I will give them the appreciation I wished I had given them when they were once mine.
I over analyze things. I admit it. I like to think deep, and I have been told it isn’t healthy or good for me, but after over analyzing the question today, I disagree.
The human mind works like a computer. You give it information and it will compute it and give you an answer. Give it incomplete information and it will make assumptions. Give t0o much information and it will be overwhelmed. The point is, if you give it clear and complete information it is a fantastic tool for helping you grow.
I have friend who has currently gone through a lot of hardship. He is doing extremely well, but he has a lot of questions for which there are no answers. The truth is, that the more information people gave him about his situation, the more overwhelmed he became. Because the information was created out of judgment and their experiences the information came out full of assumption.
He was told to just accept and move on and stop thinking about it, but like me, his nature isn’t to give up so easily. How can I help someone who has a problem with no answer and doesn’t give up so easily?
You change the focus of the question. The best way to analyze is through reflection. Why did I react that way? How can I stop it from happening again? When you reflect upon yourself there is a good chance you have all the complete information ready to go.
He started to find lessons he needed to learn. He learned a great deal of wisdom about the situation and started working his way out of the rut. He didn’t simply accept what had happened and moved on, he isn’t the type of person who simply accepts. He reflected, found what he needed to grow and learned from the experience. His next important step was to let go, but that is another subject all together.
Of course you have to be reasonable when you reflect on a situation. Sometimes you simply don’t know yourself well enough and you have to start asking “how can you stop it from happening again?”
As one particular famous scientist once said “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Searching inside of yourself can be a great way of helping you let go of a situation and to learn a great deal about your nature, but remember everyone has their limits.
Keep reflecting and learning, and the same mistakes might not be made again. It is what Einstein would do.