February → April 2014
In this period I began meditating. I didn't notice it at the time, but meditation liberated some stored wisdom. I wrote some interesting aphorisms and thoughts:
We are constantly seeking the approval of our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. We tend to seek friendships who share these same values. One should seek friendships of all kinds and merge into their belief system as a method of exploring ways of living. One must recognize and admire all ways of authentic life, for living life is a trivial matter only when it's mechanic and unconscious.
What you have is who you are?
What you do is who you are?
What you think is who you are?
What you know is who you are?
Are you are only when there's another?
Our extremes are infinite (the cosmos and the self). One must be aware of both, but exclusive dedication to any one is a dangerous proposition. To understand both in one's lifetime is a gift of the universe, for it provides an overview of the vastness of knowledge, and deep humility in knowing that we will never understand everything, either on the inside or on the outside.
To live a truly authentic life one must live life as art. A profound enjoyment of any circumstance, a constant striving to make life more interesting, full of appropriate challenges to one's skills, in persistent pursuit of developing one's abilities to full capacity and inner tranquility.
The authentic life is initially challenging because one is accustomed to respond to the demands of others, but ignorant about how to respond to the demands of the true self. When one listens and responds to the voice of the true self, action becomes effortless. You possess limitless energy because you are doing what you're supposed to be doing. You are fulfilling your purpose in life.
Every thought can be translated into action. One's existence implies giving meaning and transforming reality into your ideal through action. Thoughts that do not have an outlet in action settle in the mind in the same way unused calories settle as fat in the body. Most of of us are fat in the mind.
Work in itself is purification, a meditative state in which we translate our values into action. Creative work is the most intimate expression of one's being and the most honest expression of one's philosophy.
When informed by our true inner self, will has a strong incentive to achieve our true nature. However, we might have unconscious blocks of the will. We use awareness and decision to remove these blocks in order for our will to act freely.
The soul is the user interface for the human psyche.
Forgiveness is always the best course of action, for unforgiven actions burden our existence. Who is more pleased with life, an old man who forgave everyone and everything, or an old man who exacted revenge on everything and everyone who damaged him?
The more time you spend procrastinating on something, the more difficult it is to do later. There is no better moment than now to transform thought into action.
Always help people in need, especially those in distress who don't ask for help, for they are the one that need help the most. Help should be lighthearted, compassionate, effortless and natural. Helping others is the biggest secret one should keep to oneself, for its healing effect on the soul of the giver is lost if he boasts about it.
If you try to kill idleness with vice, your troubles will double. The natural state of being is highly curious and engaged with the world around you. When idle do not reach immediately for passions or entertainment. Savor your boredness so it breeds motivation.
One should try to experience something new every day, for it widens your horizons and it lengthens your perception of life, for time flies when you repeat your days. Just talking to a stranger is a new experience.
Efficiency allows you to use your will smartly. You should not spend much time doing what you don't enjoy, thus one should put attention in how we can reduce the time doing it. Efficiency is a habit, and it manifests not only in work but in daily life.
If one is able to exercise the body into a much better shape than what you'd get with a sedentary life, it follows that one should be able to exercise the soul into a personality that is more open, friendly, diligent, responsible and wholesome. One should approach these virtues as if they where routines where one should seek challenges that are progressively more difficult.
We should never lose our appreciation of beauty, as wisdom begins in wonder. We don't acquire wisdom by automating our life, we get it by being marveled at things or circumstances.
Now, the prompts that arose from this reading:
- Write about how you feel while sleepy or hungry. Inspect the sensations.
- Condense an essay into an aphorism
- List things that would get you out of bed immediately
- When was the last time you cried? Why did you cry?
- Describe the guilt a dog feels after he ripped open the doggie bag without the permission of his owner.
- Write a letter of forgiveness (try to be honest)
- Accomplish silence, then write your stream of thought.
- Imagine yourself at your worst (angry, stressed, depressed, etc) and then have you at your best (happy, wholesome) soothe you.
- Write your stream of thought as soon as you wake up
- Write a dream as soon as you wake up, then store it. One week later rewrite the dream without looking at the original dream. Compare.
- Form a cast of archetypes so that you can use them in dialogue.
- Describe small tweaks that you think would lead to vast improvements in the life of a person close to you.
- Do you remember the last time you lied? Why did you lie?
- Trim, shape and reorganize a stream of thought.
- Find the oldest piece of substantial text you've written, and become your own editor. Improve your piece and write tips for your former self.
- Play out inner conflict through characters
- Play out inner reconciliation through characters
- What are you grateful about today?
- Show and tell: describe a personal object that carries personal significance.
- Write about the shadows of light and the light of shadows (find the bad in the good and the good in the bad).
- Describe an emotional state in metaphor.