Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Identity Compass

For anything to be considered of worthy value, it must be attained through a sufficient ordeal. Suffering is the true currency through which we gain the attention of souls.

Time is the only resource we truly own... we have only a finite amount to spend on ourself and others... and we will never have enough time to please everybody whose path we cross. Disappointment on both sides is inevitable.

"What do I want?"

Truth makes happen what needs to happen... and so when faced with a difficult choice, you can only refer to your personal compass to guide you towards the identity you are willing to bond with... for your truth is your identity, and there is no absolute truth as much as there is a truth that you choose to fall in love with for that time in your life.

To believe in something... to have a policy on your actions is to protect yourself from future regrets by staying true to the identity you have chosen for yourself. When faced with a difficult choice, then the path that coincides with who you want to be is the right path because the difficult choice itself is marked by suffering and, therefore, is a decision of worthy value that can define you, or at the very least, reinforce who you are.

Being who you are might mean hurting others, but it has to be that way because obligation at the sacrifice of identity is never a valid path to happiness.

You always have a choice on who you want to be.
You always have the option to just wake up one day and choose to be "that person".

"What is my identity?"

Sometimes, the situation is too chemically charged to see what you need to see. That is why we develop a relationship with "the other"... the friend, the confidant, the god, the goddess... "The other" is a sentient representation of the universe that we trust with our identity. The other can be a living human being, or it can be something more abstract. We keep a piece of our soul with the other so that if we ever lose ourself, we can simply refer to "the other" to be reminded of our own reflection.

"What do I want to become?"

Choices are an opportunity to expand the definition of who we are. Once defined in a new area, subsequent choices in the future can become more apparent.

My "other" would tell me this:
Let your intentions drive your reality instead of the other way around. Visualize the lego castle you wish to have... and one by one, those missing pieces will find their place because you will explore, and you will discover, build, and place them with your own hands. Define your target: Your self-intended identity, the reality you seek - That is your compass. Follow that, and all of your choices eventually become the choice you needed to make at the time to evolve the complex entity that is you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reality Bend Spell

Anger or sadness is your brain's way of telling you that something is wrong. You have a choice to either change the world, change yourself, or accept reality as it is. Each choice requires a form of sacrifice.

Hoping for others to change or letting the situation work itself out sacrifices your agency.

Casting a spell sacrifices the comfort and inertia of the now for the potential upheaval of an uncertain future that you are responsible for. Whatever happens will be caused by you, and it will be different from the now.

Be ready: Casting a spell must be done on purpose and with conviction.

1. The first phase of the spell requires giving form to the anatomy of the problem...
by assigning a shape and definition to that which seems formless, we provide an opportunity to affect that anatomy.

Vocabulary is a weapon. By giving form to the formless, we make the monster vulnerable to our intentions.


2. The second phase of the spell is definition of the desired form...
This is your target reality. At the end of the spell, your declaration will become true. Defining a target allows you to decide whether to continue or stop this process.

Setting a goal gives your will a tangible focus.

3. The third phase of the spell is the transformation...
It requires that you understand the movable parts of that tangible form to surgically alter its signature. No matter how difficult it may seem, You MUST MOVE parts of the monster's anatomy to see changes.

Meaningful actions bend reality.

4. The fourth and final phase is acknowledgment of the new reality...
This is confirmation that your spell is finished. By declaring that the spell is done, you allow your sense of agency to rest. Failure to complete this step will result in perpetual restlessness as the spell slowly consumes you from the inside out: living in the past or future, but never the present.

When the change becomes real, its effect becomes real. Acknowledge the outcome.

Friday, July 24, 2009


They say that misery is like an old childhood friend that validates our suffering like a badge of achievement. To survive is to live, prevailing over the machinations of a world that refuses to cooperate. We seek out this misery as if it were a missing piece of our very definition, and if we can't find it within ourselves, we end up seeking it in others. And if we can't find it in others, we make up our own misery in the form of a self-fulfilling prophecy... so that we may feel like a complete person content to embrace our woefully incomplete selves, misery and all.

There are those in power who understand this concept masterfully. They understand that you need something to believe in. They will give you something to be miserable about, and from that, they will provide a source of hope to believe in. You will be broken down and reformed to a citizen of their own creation... ready to fight and die for the values that they believe you should be fighting for.

We start out knowing nothing. Thrust into the fold whether we're ready or not, whether we choose to participate or not... we are in the game. We can refuse to believe in the game. We can choose not to participate, but then our world stagnates in a state of frustration as we become keenly aware of events taking place all around us but not with us. We can choose not to play, and we may find others who refuse to play as well... but it won't last... because patterns can't be avoided, and the game is a tapestry of patterns.

You start out knowing nothing, but eventually, you see the pattern. And as soon as a pattern becomes defined, then a metagame on top of the game becomes apparent. This is the set of rules that build on top of the established patterns in a context of continued discovery and progression. It is at this point that everything becomes an inside joke, and the language moves away from the mundane and becomes more abstract to outsiders. Entire monologues could be conveyed with a simple look. Conflicts can occur before they even start. The threat of permanence leads to a projection of the present into the one remaining unknown that is guaranteed to remain unknown... Amplifying the future and dampening the present.

The lesson I've learned from all this is that the direct path is never the successful path. When you yearn for something, it will elude you. When you embark on a seemingly random path, it will find you. It is the pattern that says that things must be attained through a sufficient ordeal in order to be considered a thing of value. The ordeal can be marked by either suffering or blind luck, but it must feel rare and special in order to be appreciated. Approach directly, and you will obviously be trying too hard. Approach from the side, and it will look like a chance occurrence. We give a piece of our lives to the things that we deem profound, and we demand a proportional ordeal in return for our precious mindshare. This is the nature of the metagame. Always bet on the lucky general.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Whatever It Takes

We are looking for context. Meaning. We want to know that the things we did do matter, that we matter... and that our suffering and efforts meant something - nothing wasted. The narrative has a happy ending when the random set of generic events come together in a system that makes sense to us... with every observable action having meaningful context. The entropy of the world makes sense when everything has a context... As if the universe were a living sentient entity that one could have a real two-way relationship with.

Every conversation we have, every movie we see, game we play, thing we read, in everything we do, we seek a context that promises the potential to affect our future thoughts in a never-ending drive to modify our own internal genetic algorithms. Anything without personal context ultimately renders the experience empty or irrelevant.

We try so very hard to seek that relationship with our universe. It is the only way we know how to interact with our world: as a relationship with a sentient "other". full of context. empathy. with likes and dislikes. To have a relationship with an entity is to have control over how that entity affects us. This control manifests as an identity: the labels that we allow ourselves to wear and the verbs implied by those labels.

We are not looking for truth. We never were. We never are. We are looking for what the truth would promise us: Meaning. Emotional Context. an Identity we can call our own. Understanding. Control. Peace with what we believe to be our own truths. Validation from an "other".

We seek out this context in the various forms of media and interactions that reflect back at us like a Looking Glass... mixing ourselves with ingredients to experience the alchemy that makes us... Gravitating towards the edges of silhouettes that belong to forms worthy of our recognition.

Our emotions, both good and bad, are driven by the context of our experiences.  Effort is the currency through which we acquire the validation of these experiences.