How we sometimes get to where we are (or the well-traveled paths we cross)

In my last post I touched on my notion of (non-financial) poverty, how it connects to our behaviour and what understanding poverty in a slightly different alteration can do for us.

In this post I’ll pick up one of the keywords I postponed addressing in the last post: the concept of willingly doing something.

Or perhaps more concisely unwillingly doing something which is the fabric of being a slave.

Sidenote: I’m on a new medication which makes not only a lot of cognitive functions very costly and even inaccessible at times but also manipulates the comfortability and feelings associated with the cognitive functions. My expressiveness suffers quite a bit when translated from thoughts to written words. The medication also cause some angst and a feeling of physically being unwell that result in a much less elegant flow and more frequent, more fragmented leaps which I feel are evident in this post. I don’t intend to come back and change the material when/if I regain clarity because I respect all the parts that make up the sum that this post is. The context from which I wrote this are as much a part of the post as anything else.

In many people’s perception slavery is something which is part of history. It lies distantly in the past.

During anytime there will be some who are stubbornly blind to the existence of a powerful force – like fish can be unaware of the water that grants their existence.

I describe it as stubborn because it’s a choice made that consistently have the same outcome. Right till it doesn’t.

Also know that blindness is an active part of seeing. Our eyes only see a tiny slice of the electromagnetic radiation which we call visible light.

Slavery is a powerful force that bends anything it touches.

Your immediate reaction upon experiencing slavery might be that slavery is bad… which it is… But also be aware of the need to reflect upon what bad means in this context.

How does glass bend? It doesn’t, it shatters.

How does metal bend? Most metals will resist while applying force and then spring back, overshooting slightly till it returns to its equilibrium.

Metals wears out and gets fatigue when having bended too many times and eventually it will break.

Now, the above mentioned physical behaviours depends on the temperature in which these things take place. Molten glass will bend almost fluidly and the many different ways metals can behave depending on their environment has spawned its own spectrum of concepts and vocabulary.

How does gas bend? It doesn’t, it moves and gets out of the way.

Human cultures are environments that cause the same humanness to behave differently.

Experiencing powerful forces always demands action but within some environments the most common action is inaction. The response action will stubbornly be inaction – right till it break its mold and becomes something else.

By the numbers, there are more slaves today than ever before. There even is an online tool to test your behaviour to learn how many slaves work for you.

The nature of slavery is that it’s a forced stability and forced stability is bound to become unstable. Unstable conditions are not sustainable.

What are we if not slaves to this torment?

Is a quote by one of my favourite protagonists/antagonists, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.

Like any well-portrayed protagonist/antagonist she walks the very fine line that draws good from evil and vice-versa and her behaviour and expressions gives insights to the fluid state good and evil exists in.

This torment references the nature of existence. Ultimately we will always depend upon the rules that makes up our universe – till we figure out how to leave our universe.

Slaves to this torment touches on the nature of the unwillingness that comes with existence and the struggle it is existing.

If you place a thing in the center of your life that lacks the power to nourish it will eventually poison everything that you are and destroy you. As simple a thing as an idea or your perspective on yourself or the world. No-one can be the source of your contempt. It lies within, in the centre.

This quote is from the intro from the Faithless’ track Liontamer.

I have a few issue with this quote but mostly it has nothing to do with the quote but our common misconception of what simplicity is and what within means. Most of the quote speaks truth to me. I will dwell on simplicity another day.

Slavery at its heart is survival. It’s unwillingly doing something simply because it will prevent us from not existing.

  • Working exhaustively simply to maintain being alive which is to keep working exhaustively is a form of slavery.
  • Addiction is a form of slavery.
  • Being a prisoner of your own habits/thoughts is a form slavery.

You cannot arrest an idea.

There are people whose existence has transcended their physical being and they’ve become an idea because they refused to become slaves of dogma.

Far from everybody is meant to break the mold or transcend into an idea. Most are simply meant to exist for themselves and for those they care about. Nobody is meant to be everything for everyone. We all hold just a tiny piece of the puzzle.

So don’t feel too bad when you notice your own slavery and the prisons you exist in; or perhaps just know that feeling bad is okay.

You will come across things in life that are not what you want but what you need (SPOILER: don’t watch if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight and intend to watch it).

These things will test your willingness/unwillingness. Keep in mind they are two faces of the same coin that reflects living and survival.

In order to survive we also need to live.

To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.

To everyone who carry Kalaallit Nunaat (🇬🇱 Greenland) within their heart, happy national day. 🎉

The tags I append my posts are keywords that’ll help me find a post again. You’ll see Steve Jobs in the tags because I made a reference to his definition of dogma just like The Matrix is tagged because the last quote in the post I learned from the character Mouse in the popular movie The Matrix.

Why we do some of what we do (or some of the fallacies we all believe)

Please note that I will take some leaps due to the nature of how my mind works. I am aware of them but I’ll try tie them together in the process – and some of the leaps hopefully will need less and less explanation as the blog evolves and I evolve as a writer.

The first fallacy I’d like to start with is the word poor. We use it to describe people’s financial situation. In reality the word poor is much, much deeper and contains something very fundamental and intrinsically true about being a live:

Being poor is when you willingly give something up that has much more value in exchange for something of less value.

There are several keywords in that sentence and only some of them I will address in this post.

“Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”

People that have experienced financial trouble lasting long enough that it has tainted other aspects of their lives laugh at this saying much differently than those who get it purely on an intellectual level.

In many ways this saying is wrong – except in the ways it is actually right.

Almost all people care about other peoples financial struggles even if they have not experienced it themselves.

But at an abstract level most people don’t understand or care about poverty conceptually.

I sure as hell didn’t understand poverty in any shape till I got too sick to work and lost my job and it caused my financial economy to go into ruins.

That’s despite having experienced plenty of times in my life where I’ve had little-to-no income.

I purposefully say financial economy and financially poor because both economy and poverty are not concepts that are exclusively tied to finance.

Before I continue, know this: There is only one cure for poverty and that is generosity.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”

… Is a quote people accept when it comes to relationships, finance, spirituality, philosophy and many other types of contexts.

It’s physically true. If there is no content in a cup you can’t pour anything out of it.

What we collectively forget to talk about is what empty actually means in most cases.

Often after break ups others, and we to ourselves, will tell you that you need to learn to love yourself again before getting into a new relationship.

Which is a big fucking lie. You don’t ever need to love yourself before someone else can love you because no one is unlovable even if they don’t love themselves.

Most parents today don’t want to yell at their children. They don’t want to be perceived as a tough parent as they consider tough parents to be unemphatic because they believe that means unloving.

Which is sort of a paradox because simply knowing and caring about how their behaviour affect their children is the very definition of empathy.

But they are blind to one thing: they haven’t been empathic towards themselves.

And most people aren’t because it’s very challenging to be empathic to yourself… Empathy is about understanding someone. You know all the same as you know – so why would you even need to be empathic towards yourself? It sort of seems like you are self-empathic simply by being self-aware.

However, you are not your thoughts but your thinking deceives you into believing you are your thoughts.

You consists of your entirety: your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs, your decisions, your actions, your habits, your desires and goals, your relations… And the list goes on but I think you get the drift of it.

Your thoughts are only one layer of you but it’s where you experience yourself and the nature of thinking tricks you into thinking you are your thoughts.

Our thoughts are so very often so wrong.

A short sidenote about how I learned this:

Because of my brain illness I’ve had to question every thought I ever had because my illness affects the very way my thoughts work. Which is a weird way to say the place where I experience myself I have something which is external from me that makes me experience everything, including others and even myself, faulty and unreliable.

I probably will not know the true difference between my thoughts and my illness although I’ve grown quite experienced in navigating my thoughts.

I will admit that my brain illness most likely is the reason I am able to think about the extremely abstract while maintaining a connection to the practical and tangible which is something I am very grateful to be able to do.

But I could be wrong about all of this. After all, I often am wrong.

Back to the subject at hand:

Parents will yell at their kids at some point. It’s inevitable but there are factors that determines how often it will happen and how it will affect your children.

Both the frequency and the fall out will be different depending on the situation but the real issue isn’t even about how it happened but the conlussion one draws upon reflecting on it happening.

Most often parents yell at their kids because they are under pressure. That pressure can come from many places and sometimes it’s from within.

Thinking that the yelling was bad and that the way to avoid it is to get your shit together and stop doing it… Is sort of why it happens in the first place and adding more pressure will not allieviate the issue. Chances are it will strengthen the cause and it might become a negative spiral.

To be more self-empathic you need to understand yourself better without the context of your own thoughts. The easiest way I know to do that is to try and understand your parents.

Sidenote: Parents is a term I will always use losely. For many it’s the beings that brought them into existence but what a parent is requires and deserves a whole talk in itself.

To understand your parents you can try and talk to them. Ask them about anything that comes to your mind that you think you need to know in order to understand them better. If you don’t know what you need to know to understand them better then lead with that:

“Can we talk? I want to understand you better so I can understand myself better but I don’t know how to ask”.

They can often fill in a lot of blanks for you.

But your relationship with your parents can come with a lot of complexity and talking to them might not be viable. In that case I recommend learning about human behaviour in any subject that interests you using any method that fits your schedule and temper.

And understand that human behaviour is not at all that different from behaviour of any other living being.

Read any book, watch any documentary, take any course on psychology, behaviour economics, human behavioural biology… and reflect on the subject in the context of your parents.

If none of the subjects above interests you I suggest you reach out to me and we can find a subject that you’d like to explore that you can synthesise into a better understanding of human behaviour.

Many products of arts are also capable of increasing your understanding of human behaviour but it’s a deeper exploration process and you might need more time to see the relevancy to your life.

Your parents, regardless of your relationship with them and how they have or have not worked for you, have done the most generous thing for you in your lifetime: they have brought you here.

Bringing you here does not mean you owe them anything because that is not how generosity works.

Generosity is about everyone involved getting more out of it than they put into it.

And I swear: any parent, regardless of their capability to show it, have gotten far more than they put into it from you coming to existence – and so have you.

I am blessed with the quality of friends and family I have. Even at the times I’ve doubted any of them they do something that remind me why I am lucky to have them in my life.

Finally, a persistant fallacy is that charity is similar to or connected to generosity. It isn’t but I’ll save that for another day as I’ve already rambled on for far too long and I have a thousand more ideas for blog posts so I’ll just try to sum it up like this:

Time is our most valuable commodity.

We are only given so much of it and we never know when we will run out of it.

Be generous with you to those you meet, including to yourself – so you get the most out of your time.