Knowledge

Knowledge is a trap, and the greatest of its kind.

Knowledge prevents learning.  It lays down a certainty in a person’s future that dissolves wonderment and anticipation on contact.  If you know the answer to a question, what is the point in asking?  If you know sex will happen, where is the thrill of the hunt?  If you know a battle will be won, can it truly be called a victory?

Worst of all though, is that knowledge reinforces a false sense of security and finality.  We think a piece of knowledge can remain static, that we have gained something which cannot be lost.  In times of uncertainty, we bare this weakness to the world by clinging to certainty in desperation.  When a person’s religious beliefs are threatened to be torn asunder by attack, apathy or revelation, how do they react?  “But I know!  I know of something for certain!”  And when the scientist who spent his life researching man’s culpability in progressing global climate change is confronted with new and unforeseen data reducing his highest theories to confusion, does he react any differently?

We often think that love can only be possible with intimate knowledge of immutable qualities in someone else.  But what if the truth is as ironic as this: love exists only when someone both has knowledge of another person’s mind, and also knows it can change at any moment?

It is not that knowledge does not exist.  It is that knowledge exists in fluidity and malleability.  To attempt to attach an indestructible quality of indelibility to a piece of knowledge is to try to stand in the ocean.  This is destructive to your psyche.  Better to follow the waves and see what they make possible.

 

Love

There are things that are reality, and then there are things we need to believe to survive.  They don’t often coincide.  Sometimes one thing contains the illusion of another.

Any idea can be destroyed by too much analysis; this is the risk of breaking the boundaries within which the idea can live.  If you allow your focus to fall outside of these bounds you will lose the meaning of the idea.

Imagine a beautiful piece of art you could produce with your own hands, and then ask yourself, what meaning in it?  What is the point?  Naturally the point only exists within the context of the aesthetic experience and the fulfillment of great inspiration.  To complete it would be to accomplish a memorable and valuable thing.  But to ask what else it means is to rupture this context purposefully.  This is one of the more malicious thought patterns possible in humans.  It is a logically invalid question to break a context and then try to interpret meaning from within that context.  It is akin to saying “of all the colors possible to see, what is the number 7?”  “You own a cat; but can it drive a car across the country?”  “You ran 10 miles without stopping.  Too bad you can’t fly.”  These are all positions outside of their applicability.  Any context can be broken and those who exercise this ability delude themselves thinking they have some additional measure of insight.  The act of levity is very powerful and thus has all the pitfalls of being a great power, including temptation and corruption.

To take care of ourselves as human beings in all capacities including emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical, we need awareness of what contexts to break and what contexts to solidify.  That is the primary mechanism of coming to know yourself.  Identify the boundaries and in doing so identify where to find meaning and how to destroy it.  How powerful an ability, and what strength it takes to apply it appropriately!

A man practicing objectivity might say that he is fundamentally alone and unknowable to any other person.  In some context this might be true, but what is “alone”?  Isn’t this a relative word, dependent completely on the concept of “togetherness”?  Isn’t it like “courage”, which can’t be defined or in fact achieved without including fear?  And so many other notions relative to each other on their own sliding scales; light and dark, black and white, good and evil?  No man can be courageous without having fear, or else he is just an automaton.  Nothing could be defined as “dark” in a world where there is no light.  In other words, without the possibility of contrast, meaning is lost.  So I ask, is it possible to be “alone” in some sense where there is no possibility for some kind of “togetherness”?  isn’t it a waste of breath, a form of flagellation, to formulate such a destructive idea as “I will always be alone in some way”?  Better to avoid it entirely.

Do not think negatively on some part of you that has a kind of permanent distance from others.  Accept it, and embrace it.  Do not attempt to reach a “greater connection”.  You will only pursue a moving phantasm in perpetuity.  Allow yourself instead to stop running, stop pursuing, and to let time slow down and give you rest and peace.  Only then will you truly come to appreciate the few people in your life who can gift you with the sensation of being together on a deeper level than you can understand.  Only then will you occasionally get the most memorable and intimate sensation that someone else has, for a brief instant, penetrated your veil and “felt” you in a new light.  The context of being capable of love and of being loved is the most precious thing you will ever have.  Allow it to live and breath in its own life.  There is no need to prove it, question it, or analyse it.  Just enjoy it, and survive by it.

Habit

What is a habit?

A habit is an achievement of efficiency.  It uses the invisible learning process to solidify neuron connections in the brain along required pathways and to prevent complication or interference from other pathways.  In the mind as representation of behavior of the brain, this translates to a reduction in the amount of thought and focus necessary to complete a task.

Done being scientific.  What does this mean in human terms?  Habit and thought are antithetical.

The more you think about a thing, the less it can become habit.  The deeper a habit is ingrained, the less you think about it.  The way to make a habit is to engage in the act of doing a thing repetitively and to avoid thinking about it beyond what is necessary.  The way to unlearn a habit therefore, is to focus on it with all the awareness you can muster.  Find the reason for the habit, and stare at it mercilessly.  Keep your mental eyes on it and convince your mind that this is not an activity you will engage in without consideration and focus.  Eventually your mind will capitulate and will begin to disable the mechanism that keeps the process in question moving outside of your conscious control.

Consider as an example: the first time you learned to walk up stairs.  You were probably very young and probably needed a few tries to do it successfully, even if your legs were long enough to take it in strides and your muscles strong enough to propel you upward.  Eventually your body and mind habituated to it and you found yourself flying up and down stairs with ease.  But since then, have you ever tried focusing on climbing stairs?  Concentrating on what each muscle group in your legs were engaging in, where your eyes were looking, where your hands and arms were, your sense of balance, breathing, etc. all at one time?  What do you think would happen?  Undoubtedly you would flounder just as you did as the small child first confronted with a new method of crossing terrain.  The mind simply cannot handle so much focus and concentrated effort while also being efficient, which makes complete sense from a logical point of view, but the ramifications of which are too often lost.

Habits are very powerful, and like any power can be abused.  The habits we form at any time only become more difficult to observe as the years go on.  Eventually we forget the reasons why we set the habits in motion, and may find ourselves needing to revisit them.  But old habits die hard, as they say in common language, and knowing you have a bad habit many years old is sometimes not enough to unmake it.  There are times when very old memories need to be dredged up, painful as they are, and brought to the surface so we can see clearly where the habit started.  Habits like this cannot be fought directly; you cannot hope for victory by fighting a war inside your mind.  You must find a way to use your hidden ability to reverse a habit by focusing at its source, and staring long and hard enough at it to convince your mind this is not something it can hide anymore.  Keep it in the open sunlight and it will shrivel and die.  Then, you’ll have a clean slate upon which to rewrite the way you behave as a person in life.

Promises

Some people are very afraid to make promises.  Rationale usually involves pointing out that nothing can be guaranteed.  But what is a promise?

A promise is just a statement from a person.  When you make a promise you are saying “I feel strongly about this right now, and as far as I can see into the future, this is how I want it to be.”  Are you saying “I can guarantee a positive outcome in the future”?  Of course not.  A promise and a precognition of future events are two completely separate things.  Nothing in the future ever happens precisely the way it is predicted in totality; that’s the nature of the chaos system we live in.  Should we let knowledge of that reality prevent us from making the strongest statements of feelings we can toward each other?  If we’ll do that, might we not as well refuse to tell someone we love them, since we can’t know 100% of everything about them and it therefore it is somehow “false”?  This is clearly a bad line of reasoning.  There is validity and value in things that are not guaranteed!

Have courage to make your feelings clear.  Make promises you would intend to keep as you make them.  And for those of you who have received promises and later felt the hand of fate take something away from you, keep your chin up and never let fear stop you from asking for more.