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Random Stuff, Venting and so forth.

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Ryu

Purpose and Meaning

We live in a society that thrives on the promotion of the idea that we all have a purpose in life; this concept is instilled into our heads at a early age via t.v show, books, games, movies as well as the people around us. It is presented in a manner that makes it seem like there is this special little nook just waiting or even seeking us; that somehow some mysterious person is going to follow us and at some point say something like "You passed our test..you have been chosen..." or something along that line.

We have basically been trained from childhood that we are supposed to spend our lives searching for this mystical purpose that will somehow make our entire lives make sense and that from that point onward we are just going to be this awesome hero or something.

But..that doesn't work, does it? I mean it sounds very encouraging and nice but the sad fact is that millions of us, including myself, have fallen into that psychological trap. To be short, I do not think we have any purpose whatsoever rather we end up fulfilling many daily purposes. For example I used to work for an elderly neighbor, I was there for the "purpose" of doing things she couldn't do for herself such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping and other tasks.  My "purpose" for that time, was to do specified tasks. Then I go home and I have other tasks to do. For example, if I am the only one home at the time, my "purpose" is to do a few things that might be needed.

What I am trying to convey is that the very idea of "purpose" is rather transitory and temporary. Purpose is not something grand or life-long but merely tasks that need to be done and if you happen to be around or, in many cases, hired to do that then -for that parcel of time- your "purpose" is to do whatever it is that needs to be done. In fact we have many "purposes" daily including parenting, yard work, pet care, student studies, etc.

I wasted much time being seduced by this erroneous lie that as I went along doing what I had to do that I would somehow discover or stumble upon something that told me "This is your destiny. This is the purpose for which you were personally born for". This is not to ever say that what you do is pointless, not at all, I am just saying that whatever you do is to fulfill a task, obligation or promise. If you happen to be around to do those things then that is what your "purpose" for the time being is, to do whatever you were told to do. Once that has been accomplished then you go on to other things that you need or wish to do.

This what I think kids should be taught in school, that the concept of "purpose" is nothing special or mystical, it simply means there are things to do and if you are willing, qualified and able to do them then go ahead and do them.  Forget the mysticism and fantasy, that is for movies and games, if you have that "to-do" list then your purpose for the day or at least the time being is to try to complete that list.

In short, purpose is a personal invention, a concept we attach to objects as well as to ourselves. It is not something that is waiting us or bestowed on us by some fairy or other-worldy thing, it is something we undertake and when that is done we go on to other things.

This is not to imply that what we do is unimportant, it just means we all do similar things, there are millions of people right now working in cubicles or behind desks, there are millions who are shuffling documents or giving shots to pets or serving meals in a cafe.....if you happen to be there and you are asked/told to do it then that is your purpose for the time being.

That's all there is to it. That is my view, nothing more.

Ryu

The Ego

It seems that the ego has become a rather popular topic these days. The ego is often portrayed as this evil thing inside us that just HAS to be utterly destroyed before we can be "happy". Really now?

Does anyone even know what the ego is and its functions? The ego is pretty much a blanket term that covers innumerable aspects of the human psyche from the instinct to avoid pain and conflict to knowing right from wrong as well as encompassing our psychological make-up which includes our emotions, proclivities, preferences, views, our sense of who we are and knowing that others outside ourselves are individuals as we are. In short the ego IS us.

Naturally some people can get carried away with their sense of worth and operate on the foundation that somehow they are more important than anyone else and often show no consideration for the feelings and value of others. Hence they are often referred to as "egotistical" or varying versions thereof.

The ego is not evil, it is not some separate little monster that we are born with. It is a function of what we call 'the mind", since it does not have a location in the brain and cannot be measured as of yet with our current technology we claim that it is not a function of the brain thus we create an intangible aspect of the brain called "the mind" and relegate all equally intangible aspects to that realm.

There are plenty of religions or belief systems that love to spout the idea that the only way to become "normal" or (my favorite mind job) "enlightened" is to kill off the ego. Have no likes, dislikes, preferences, emotions, no sense of ownership of yourself and so on. The problem with that is since the term "ego" refers to the mental and psychological aspects of the brain, eliminating it means to kill of yourself mentally in all aspects. I would even go so far as to say that human consciousness cannot even function properly if we snuff out everything that makes us "human". To kill off the ego is to destroy what we refer to as "humanity". I fail to see how that is healthy.

Naturally we still need to learn how to interact properly and recognize that the emotions and personalities of others is just as real as our own and therefore we need to learn to be responsible for our own conduct and be cognizant and considerate of others; to act like uncouth barbarians whose idea of diplomacy is to belch as loud as they can then swing a club while rampaging in a pottery shop.

In the end it is about co-existence and cooperation to whatever degree we can while recognizing  not just our needs and desires but that of others, it is what makes us human after all.

 

P.S: Just to add that I am not saying that other relatively higher life forms on this planet do not possess an ego but for most animals, daily survival takes front and center row so their consciousness is geared for that however you will sometimes find examples of compassion and consideration among many animals too.

Ryu

What do I feel, really?

In an earlier entry I mentioned that I am not actually "happy" and that society seems to interpret this as saying that I am a miserable person, which I am not.

In that light I also say the same about esteem; I do not have a "high" opinion of myself nor do I feel worthy/smart/capable or whatever the popular buzz-words are these days. I do not feel optimistic nor do I feel that I actually "matter" to anyone. That said it is natural that people in this society think that I must therefore be depressed and that I live a horrible life of endless despair.

Well, no, this is not true. I do not harbor the feelings of esteem that many kids and adults are told they must feel in order to be happy individuals. I do not feel important and I do not feel that the world improved or gained because of my birth into this world. I do not see myself as brimming with intelligence or proclivities and I certainly do not feel optimistic about my life.

So how DO I feel? The short answer simply is "I don't know.". Everything we are told we are supposed to feel is completely subjective, arbitrary and relative. I am not intelligent and I have no "gifts" or special abilities. I do stuff. Period. I do not feel the need to be unique or special because I am not, this statement is not meant to illicit feelings of pity or sorrow for my condition because none of it is needed or wanted.

For example, I like cats...so do millions of other people. I also love dragons as do millions of others. Sometimes I do some manga-style sketching as do millions of others. I am very skeptical of any claims of psychic abilities, contacts with aliens and spooks and any claims that rely, not on science or evidence, on blind belief in order to be thought of as valid. So do millions of others.

I am trying to learn another language...so are millions of others. There are even others who have my name and ,probably by some odd twist of coincidence, also have my last name too.  Do these facts bother me? Pfft! Of course not. Why would it? I am just one in 7+ billion people, the idea of uniqueness kinda became obsolete and irrelevant decades ago when I realized the mass-mind job that was being done to us kids in school.

 

Anyways...how do I feel about myself? I already know what society claims I should feel (this self esteem idea is not shared by all countries, you know) but what I do know is that I am just a person. Period. All that I am is based on what others tell me including my "skills", I am only considered "good at" something because the very concept relies entirely on the perceptions and judgements of others. I can prance around claiming I am "good" at sketching but if the input of others tells a vastly different story then maybe there is some truth to their claims.

Point is that I do not feel I am worthy or deserving of anything in particular; this is not to imply I won't necessarily say something if I was cheated out of something or accused of something I didn't do but at the same time I can only do what I can and if I don't succeed or get hired then I don't succeed or get hired.

Naturally we are expected to prop up ourselves and others because collectively we hate being seen as average; after all we have been told all through our growing years (most of us anyways) how wonderful and exceptional we are and that we are all supposed to think of ourselves as such. Sorry. Won't happen here. Not with me. No exceptionalism here. I fully acknowledge that there are millions who are tons better at everything than I am and this does not bother me one iota.

I am not an unhappy, miserable wretch. Just a human that refuses to think of oneself as special or unique and does what it can to get by. Nothing more. I do stuff and if I somehow manage to succeed then fine and if not then nothing is lost and that is just fine with me.

Ryu

Something seems off.

There is something wrong with our world yet I cannot put my finger on it exactly; most likely because there is no singular "thing" to locate but rather a whole multitude of things that seem a bit...amiss.

You know, when I was younger I, like many others I suspect, felt that I had a decent grip on the basics of how the world works but as I grew older and learned more I began to become more baffled at all the current developments.There is, of course, the issue of growing global hostilities that are not getting better because we insist on continually trying to remedy problems with the same mindsets that have been causing them for millennia yet no one seems to catch on to the repeated and dismal failures that we call "solutions".

We have social conditioning that is pushing us down a path that is going to cause even more social dysfunction and strife; we seems to have a society that is becoming increasing hostile to education and learning and actually seems to think that willful ignorance and stupidity is somehow a virtue. Corporations, rather than society, have a tremendous influence over the educational system which explains why so many kids who come out of school can name thousands of pokemon or identify members of a sports team but can't identify a single tree or even explain what a food chain is; some people don't even understand that our sun is just a star and we call it a "sun" because our solar system orbits it.

We have a society that values belief far more than it values thinking to the extent that anyone who is not a believer is viewed practically as an enemy.

We willfully, knowingly and deliberately pollute our air, water, soil, food and bodies all the while claiming we have the right to do so yet it is someone else's responsibility to take care of our health because of our consistently bad choices. I see people who exist on packaged foods, slurp on endless liter bottles of soda and walking down the hallway to the bathroom is their idea of physical activity but can't understand why their health is so poor and why they are gaining weight (by the way, diet soda won't make you lose weight)

This is not to say there are not good things happening nor am I trying to say all people are dolts either but what I am seeing right now is perplexing.  I don't expect people to be athletes either but I do find something wrong with seeing children who are not even ten years old who are so fat that their faces look swollen to the point that they can barely see and they can barely waddle from the car to the fast food place.

I don't know, when I think of a supposed developed civilization such as the type ours is supposed to be, I just expect a bit more than cities full of obese young adults who feel they just have to be offended when they hear someone speaking Spanish yet have no problem with screeching out loud with fake laughter like drunken banshees while in restaurants, disturbing other patrons mealtimes with their families then get offended when asked to tone it down.

I guess I am just ranting but I just expect better behavior out of people in general regardless of age. (babies are exempt of course :) )

But even at that, there is still something else wrong with our world, something subtle yet at the same time...almost in plain sight. It is hard to explain without sounding like ranting...like this blog post. :P

Ryu

Miconceptions about...introverts

When the word "introvert" is mentioned people will often think of some anti-social hermit who hates people and sneers in disgust if anyone so much as looks in their direction. This is somewhat an understandable assumption given that this is how society tends to portray them.

I, my self, am introverted; this does not mean I hate people or dislike interaction. On the contrary if I am with one or more people I am comfortable with then I can talk about subjects that we might be interested in. I can talk, laugh, joke, enjoy movies and all that jazz like anyone else. The only differences being that I do not require the same amount of interaction as others; I generally prefer to keep quiet and just listen and observe. If I am at someones home and it gets too chaotic for me then I generally excuse myself and retreat to the restroom to obtain a few moments peace to clear my head from all the mental chatter and slag.

For me quiet time means reading, watching a movie or tv, playing a video game or some other activity that doesn't require noise and interaction.  Granted I am not well informed about the latest movies or shows nor do I keep up on the latest music trends because it doesn't really pique my interest so I tend to avoid commenting on such topics; if one wants to truly talk of subjects that go beyond the mundane and superficial then you have my attention.

However there are those few who truly shun any sort of interaction and will go to great lengths to avoid it even if it means moving out into the country. Fortunately those types are pretty rare; but we do have a society that values mindless blathering over quietness and contemplation and those who prefer to be left alone and choose interaction on their own terms are often viewed as ill, anti-social or just down-right defects of society.

Like a online comic stated: I simply value silence in a world that never stops talking.

Ryu

No belief is practically a crime?

You know, I was casually musing to myself about what it is, exactly, that believers (for this example I will use Christianity) have against those of us that don't believe on command.

After all millions and millions of us human beings go about our daily lives trying to be the best we can. We work, we support our families, many of us try to donate to food shelves, we give help to our neighbors and many of us have never been arrested for law infractions or even had perking tickets.

Most of us never were in gangs, did or dealt drugs, skipped school, cheated on tests, beat up other students and so on. We all try to do good NOT because a book said so but because that is what we should be doing; it is just how we live regardless of whether or not we believe in a god or not.

But then it suddenly hit me, that is precisely what many believers have against us non-believers; we have the audacity to NOT believe. It doesn't matter that our character is good and sound, it doesn't matter that we think kindness and compassion should be the theme of our lives, it doesn't even matter whether or not we are basically good or bad; it is all about our free choice on what to believe. Nothing else.

Many "believers" can meet a person, get along great and all that jazz but when they find out their new friend is a non-believer then they run away acting like they just contracted a disease or met some sort of evil alien.

For example, I try hard to be decent; I never skipped, school, cheated on tests, did or sold drugs, I did not go around boinking anything that moved or had kids out of wedlock. I have no criminal history, never hurt others or wrote bad checks. I work, pay my taxes, try to donate to the food shelf and the humane society and look after my neighbors house and kitties is need be. I try to be kind and compassionate and not let myself sink into the morass of hate and bigotry.

While I do not necessarily subscribe to the idea of souls or reincarnation I still, nonetheless, feel that life is not some cheap commodity to be bought, sold, exploited then discarded whenever it is no longer of use to us. I abhor the idea of abortion yet equally abhor the idea of denying other the freedom to obtain birth control. The idea of hurting children and animals makes me sick to my stomach.

I am by no means perfect because no one is. Not because of some "original sin" but because perfection is a impossibility; it is subjective and arbitrary. I try to do good every day because that is who I am YET I am looked down on because of one thing, I refuse to believe on command. I refuse to believe in a god.

So basically the message is that I can be as good as I can be but I will go to hell for refusing to believe but on the other hand I could be a abuser, murderer, thief and all that bad stuff but as long as I believe in god then it is all good.

Basically it is a thought crime by many believers to choose to NOT believe and that is the single reason us non-believers are hated and looked down on.

In the end, if your belief system can compel you to look down on others, including your own family, simply for not believing on command or as demanded then I wonder what else you can be compelled to do.

Ryu

Being Happy?

I was reading a comic done by "The Oatmeal" (maybe you've been to is site) and this one was about being happy or in his case, NOT happy.

After reading it I realized that he, at least in part, described what I had been feeling for years. See, our society, as Oatmeal pointed out or at least alluded to, has a very limited view and perception of what "happy" is, that it somehow is a end result of something, a end goal to be reached. Happiness, like most other emotions, is transitory and simply fleeting. It changes from day to day, moment to moment.

I realized that this is how I really feel; not happy or unhappy really. I like things and I can appreciate certain activities but my reasons for doing them is not to be happy or because I have some sort of goal or because I want to illicit some sort of sensation. Perhaps I feel something in between, perhaps one of the million shades of grey that falls between "happy" and "not happy".

I am not sure how to describe it but after reading a seemingly silly comic I began to realize that it is society that creates this unhealthy mode of being by insinuating that you have to always maintain this mode of being no matter how tedious and tiring, that you can be just fine without the simpering grin or maniacal giggling. That you don't have to have this mindset all the time that is really not sustainable.

Actually I had been contemplating what "happy" was supposed to mean; what it was supposed to feel like and why people assume that if you aren't behaving a certain way then it must mean you are un-happy. I don't do things to make myself feel "happy" but simply because I like to. Nothing more. I play video games because they're fun, not because I want to be "happy".

I draw (when the mood moves me) because I wish to do so and if I am motivated enough I can work on something for a couple of hours. Not because I have a goal really or that I am out to create something; I just do so because it is what I wish to do at the moment. It's kind of hard to explain but I am beginning to realize why we have such problems in our society when it comes to emotional equilibrium and mostly it stems from our rigid and limited view of what we think and assume people are supposed to feel and we judge them for not fitting into our rigid paradigm that makes no real sense and just causes confusion for others.

So..am I happy? No, not really. Am I un-happy. No, not that either.

Content? I don't know, maybe. Neutral? I guess, for lack of a better word at the moment. Motivated? On occasion I suppose.

Like the Oatmeal, maybe I am wired differently, just like he is. Maybe I just don't get the same things out of existence like society thinks I should. But I am still alive, I really don't know what keeps me going every day because it certainly isn't because of any goals, desires or the hopes of being happy. I just exist. That should be enough for everyone.

For those who don't know what "The Oatmeal" is or the comic I refer to; here is the link to the comc that I was somewhat inspired by.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/unhappy

Ryu

Nothing comes easy

It has been my observation that nothing I have done in my life came easy or "naturally" to me.

Even in school I began to notice certain things such as tests, for example; I could study and memorize then when the time for the test came I oft times made the mistake of thinking I could pass the test because it seemed relatively easy. Stupid me, thinking that I was getting the answers right only to get the test back and discover I flunked it big time; it wasn't just once or twice but every single time.

The lesson I gleaned was that for me, all this nonsense about esteem and confidence was useless; unless I was second and third guessing my action, worrying about missing a step or basically sweating every step then I was doing something wrong.

So I learned as time went by to second guess myself with everything, whatever I did I had to try, I had to always double-check to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong or missing a step because if, at any time, it seemed to go easy and smoothly then I was definitely messing up big time.

It is not that I want to mess up nor am I anticipating something going wrong but the lesson has always been that if something seems easy then I am doing something wrong.

No action or skill ever really "flowed" for me, nothing came easy, readily or "naturally" so after a point I began to wonder what was worth doing if everything is a constant struggle. Even writing this is a struggle as I have to constantly delete and re-write things just to avoid mortally offending people or something.

Yes, I realize all skills take time and effort to develop and sometimes there are snags; I am not that ignorant or naive to think otherwise but there comes a time when it would be nice to have something come relatively easily, where something flows and seems "natural" thus making it more attractive and appealing to pursue.

Ryu

No direction

It's odd but for as long as I can recall I never had any goals, dreams or aspirations. I had no concept of what I wanted to do as an adult and still don't. I could never really see myself doing anything in particular either.

I have a job but not because I have some "goal" but rather it is a requirement to have money to pay for the high costs of being alive.     There have been many times where I contemplated this issue; trying to discern what proclivities or "natural" talents (gads I hate that term) but never came up with anything. With no lasting interests in anything I don't delve too deeply in anything in particular.  I am not successful as society defines it as the very concept is alien to me as is the concept of being "good" at something. Such a term is really subjective and relative anyways as it is others who decide and define whether you are "good" or not at something.

I have often chosen the path of least resistance because society has made it clear that the only thing you are here to do is be an employee, your identity and life meaning MUST come from a JOB. Quite depressing when society says that goals and aspirations are only valid if it involves a job/career.  I don't know, I was always kind of drifting through life because even now little of life makes sense to me, I feel as if I am still sputtering in the acceleration lane of life while others around me are just merging seamlessly into the highway of life, in seemingly mindless and/or obliviousness to life, happy with cheap sitcoms, mass media, sports and overall dullness of society.

But...if I haven't figured out what I am adept at and where my proclivities may lie then I will never know and I suppose it is not really important. Just work, pay bills and hope that one still has a job at the end of the day even though you tried your best.

Ryu

Explain something to me..

I have been hearing from various places, including from my own father, that supposedly all the worlds problems are caused by all the non-believers and if everyone was christian we wouldn't have these problems.

Quite an accusation, I think. Since I happen to be a member of this "sub-human" segment (many seem to think of us non-believers that way) I am rather puzzled by the very implications so let me ask a few questions.

It is no surprise that we, in the U.S, have a failing economy that is basically flat on its back and kicking weakly. Jobs are being out-sourced to other countries then the resulting products are then shipped back and sold to us at astronomical prices. Because of the economic disparities that are rapidly growing there is growing poverty and homelessness. So tell me...how is that my fault?

We have soldiers coming back from wars, some are so badly scarred from the experience that many go ballistic and kill themselves and/or their families. How is that my fault?

The U.S which loves to place itself on its own self-created high-horse of morality has started many wars meanwhile many of our congress people and so forth claiming that "god is on our side" while killing indiscriminately. How is that my fault?

In a structure in New York, a roof collapsed under the weight of snow and ice thus killing many people who sought shelter. Somehow my lack of belief caused that according to one person I seen at a church function.

We have police officers opening fire on dogs and cats as well as people of all ages thus creating a culture of mistrust of law officers. How is that my fault?

We have people who have been so bullied and hurt by others that some feel that suicide is the only way to stop the pain. How is that my fault?

There are priests who have enjoyed, as part of their high ranks, immunity as they molest children and adults. How is that my fault?

The woman who claimed god ordered her to murder each of her five children. How is that my fault?

What about the group of rabid christians who held a rather nasty and caustic demonstration outside of a funeral of a person who happened to be a homosexual? How was that my fault again?

My neighbors house burned down this past easter due to arson because of some disgruntled renters. How is that my fault?

The growing incidences of domestic and animal abuse...how is that my fault?

Before anyone rolls their eyes in exasperation claiming that they weren't referring to me specifically, this doesn't matter, to accuse one group of people, who simply choose not to be bullied into believing on command, for actions that other people consciously chose to do is simply short-sighted and ignorant.

Just because I do not believe in any god (or the christian god which people seem to think people should believe in) doesn't make me morally and ethically defective. Hiding behind a religion and using it as an excuse for ones behavior even though they really know better is nothing short of cowardice and abdication of personal responsibility.

Some seem to think that us lowly non-believers do nothing but think about committing crimes and think nothing of stealing or destroying things and if given the chance that this is what we'd do.

Strange..mostly I think about coffee, my kitty, video games and sometimes pokemon. (I'm 45 too :) )

and I bet most people just live their everyday lives without thinking about felonies or how to best cheat the neighbors.

Slapping a label on oneself does not automatically place them above anyone else nor do they automatically become perfect, infallible and pious individuals. We are all still humans and will do good or bad regardless of how many gods/goddesses we may believe in.

Before spewing hate and ignorance, claiming that one segment is causing all the problems, think about the times you may have hurt someone with your caustic words, callously told your spouse or child to "shut-up" or did something vindictive because you felt slighted by someone else.

I am not perfect and neither is anyone else because.....there is no such thing as perfection. It doesn't exist and cannot simply because its very nature is entirely subjective and relative.

If you are unable to really help anyone then at least make a conscious effort to strive to do as little harm as possible with your words and actions.

Ryu

No connections

For as long as I can recall I never really had any connections to anyone or anything.

Sure, I had playmates as a kid and I am somewhat close to my parents but I feel no real connection to any of my relatives or neighbors.

I feel no connection to any place, activity, idea, etc.

I have no photos of my parents or myself (why would I want photos of myself?) and have no desire to have any either. I have been to Europe twice yet I have no desire to look at any of the photos my father took.

Memories simply don't have much of an attraction for me, I just do not desire to have a library of photo albums.

When I graduated from senior high school I threw away my year book because it meant nothing to me; I had no friends and simply had no reason to look at images of people I didn't even know (which was basically everyone).

My father finds it odd that I am just not interested in our family genealogy; I just have no curiosity whatsoever as to who my great grandparents were or where anyone came from, my genetic history doesn't hold any interest or value in my mind.

Is it odd or wrong? I just don't see any compelling reason to pretend to want to know anything about my family tree and I fail to see why it would matter.

Just some aimless thoughts.....

Ryu

Jobs

All I "want" is a job. I don't really have any life goals nor am I interested in climbing a corporate ladder.

I don't really care where I see myself in five years as I am not interested in making my job the totality of my life nor is it going to be a concern 24/7. Just an adequate job that allows me to pay the utilities and salt away a few pennies and perhaps pick up a few skills along the way.

I am diligent, get to work on time, learn what I need to learn, do over-time if needed, get along with others and I stay out of the office politics and drama. I may not have the experience or all the skills but at least I will learn them if you take the time to show me.

Is that so horrible?

Ryu

The secret to life is....

The secret to life is..that there is no secret to life or the universe.

I was watching "Kung Fu Panda" and when Po's dad told him that the secret ingredient to his soup was that there was no secret ingredient made me think that the same thing applied to life and the cosmos.

We wander around hoping that there is this golden little box that contains some sort of esoteric secrets to everything yet when you look at it objectively, there simply is no secret to anything.

Everything simply "is". Nothing is here for our benefit; no destiny, no "purpose" no anything. Just plain existence.

It may seem odd to get insight from a silly CGI movie but in reality there were kernels of truth in there.

Just like when Po opened the dragon scroll, expecting to see some wondrous myteries finally revealed only to find nothing at all, just his reflection in the shiny interior.

In fact even Master Shifu was surprised when he too looked into the scroll only to find out, as well, that there was no secrets of the universe inside.

In essence it brings home the point that when we go around thinking we're going to find some super secret hidden in a cave, scroll or book somewhere, we end up being disappointed when we discover that there is no glowing lights, no magic, no booming voice telling us what our supposed destiny is. Movies, books and games like to use that theme of destiny, some person or group is selected for some special task and then told it is their "destiny" to do this or that. If only life was really like that, huh? Wouldn't it make things easier if we were told that we were destined to do this or that. To become something when in reality, we are not "destined for anything.

It's just us.

Kung Fu Panda has its morsels of wisdom.

Ryu

Sometimes I...

Sometimes I envy people who feel confident in their abilities. They know what they can do and sincerely feel they are "good" at what they do. But in this case I am not speaking of lip service where people put on an act but those who actually "believe" in their skills and abilities.

I never felt that way, I could never bring myself to say meaningless platitudes meant to condition myself, like Pavlov's dogs, to automatically feel or think a certain way. I never was able to actually think I could actually do anything; I just never could look at myself and say I was "good" at this or that because all I seen around me was people who were obviously better than me in any and every possible way.

I don't know..I guess it always seemed like a form of bragging to say "Yeah, I'm really good at this" or "I always had a talent for that". I just never could do that.

It just seemed like a form of arrogance to boast about whatever it is I thought I could do.

We live in a world where the life-sucking industry wants only the best of the best and I know I am not nor will I ever be even close to the so-called "best".

Of course the message in life is that this is what you live your life for, is for the industry. Everything you do is for the industry..your whole existence is for nothing except to impress the big-wigs in the industry.

Anyway, it would be nice to someday feel, truly and sincerely, that I am actually "good" at anything but....again it is a case of trying to find a skill to develop that is of actual use in life or rather, the industry and to be honest, that list is very limited.

There were things in the past I thought would be interesting to pursue but I soon realized that no matter what I came up with,none of it would be of any real value or use tome in real life so I just gave up on it. No point wasting energy on something I'll never use; personal interest is not really a legitimate factor.

I don't know....maybe if I had been raised in a more supportive and encouraging environment then perhaps things would be different.

I know..it's up to me and all that jazz but still...when you don't see any real reason to be confident, all the platitudes in the world won't do anything.

It has to be real, not some sort of conditioned response or reflex.

Ryu

Memories

Memories are a strange thing. People in general seem to want to preserve every memory they have, saving it for later and for others who might be interested.

It may be strange to some but..I don't preserve any memories, I have no photos of family or events.

I don't know why exactly but I suppose in many ways I just don't feel connected to anyone or to life in general so I don't feel the need or compulsion to save any memories.

Of course I also don't have any memories worth saving. Not graduation, parties or anything. It just doesn't mean anything to me.

It's not that I am heartless or don't "care" but...I guess the concept seems rather alien to me for some reason.

Maybe I just don't place the same importance on events as others do.

When my father got married last year and I was the "Maid of Honor" (in case no one knows by now..I am a female despite my avatar) I had no interest in looking at the videos or the photos. I only do so to appease my dad and his wife but overall it just didn't hold any meaning for me.

Don't misunderstand me, I am happy for my father and his wife but I have a very hard time even faking the feeling that it has meaning for me. I only was the maid of honor because I was asked but even as I was preparing, I felt no excitement nor any particular "honor" nor did I feel "special". I did what I needed to because I was asked. I am not even sure how I was supposed to feel.

Anyways memories can be so fleeting yet to amass books of photos to preserve memories..who is it really for anyways? My memories aren't going to mean anything for the next person because they can't relate as it was not their life so why should my memories be important enough to preserve?

Sure..I recall events like everyone else, it's just that once the event is over, it's over.

Maybe I am just heartless, maybe I am just not towing the cultural line like people think I should.

Ryu

Ok..so here's the deal. My father, I assumed, was pretty much an atheist. He held no alliance to any religious beliefs and felt, as I do, that prostrating yourself to a thing created by humanity was rather silly. The idea of teaching children that they are evil sinners seems so damaging.

Anyways...my father is also quite gullible and impressionable, he can read a book written by some musty old yogi and follow his blatherings as if it was gospel. He reads things from people like Zachary Sitchen and Von Daniken and feels they are telling the absolute and accurate truth.

He has a collection of books from some crackpot named "Ernest Norman" and belives the trash written in the books..same goes for the Jane Roberts books..she claims to be channeling some space spook called "Seth".

Anyways...dad gets married, right? His wife is a Lutheran and for a short while he attends church with her just to make her happy. Well..before I know it, he is jumping into Lutheranism with both feet and recently became a confirmed Lutheran and is now reading all sorts of lutheran based stuff.

He and I recently satin a cafeteria and had some lunch and he was explaining to me, albeit not too well, why he became a confirmed lutheran.

He then goes on to tell me about how he read all sorts of "goofy" stuff from other beliefs like Hinduism, Buddhism and so forth.

I almost felt like asking him how embracing lutheranism, which still promotes the idea that everyone is a sinner, is less "goofy" than the other stuff he read.

So far, from what little I read in beliefs like Buddhism, I never once read that people are automatically sinners just because they don't blindly believe and people aren't doomed to burn in a fictional place just because one chooses to think for themselves and question.

Anyways...I just wanted to rant. It is frustrating that my father chose to basically run with open arms back to the same he thing he fought to escape from.

I had my little stint with Wicca and although I did not really delve into it but just read stuff..I realized that religion never had anything for me and it doesn't matter what the belief system is.

Furthermore..my father made sure that I was given the choice of what, if any, religion to follow because he wasn't given that chance when he was a kid so it really baffles me that he basically regressing.

When you start praying and going to church just to please someone else then soon you end up actually believing it because you have become so surrounded by it.

I mean, it is his choice and freedom to do as he pleases, he is an adult after all. I think he was disappointed when I declined to go to bible classes with him, I think he was hoping I would become a lutheran just like him.

I wonder just how far he is planning to delve into this new religion of his, it doesn't matter if Lutheranism is more "liberal" than the other flavors of Christianity..the precepts are still the same. The worshiping, the prayers, the acceptance of a fictional deity as ones salvation.....

Oh well....just as long as he doesn't start trying to force me into attending church or anything 'cause if he does and if it gets bad enough then I may have no choice but to pack my stuff and leave.

Ryu

Neighborhood Blight

I just recently moved along with my father and his new wife to this nice colonial-style house. It's quite nice, just wish I could say the same for the neighborhood.

It's ok I guess but right next to us we have a neighbor who has a pile of old windows and sacks of garbage against his garage; it is apparent that it has been there for awhile too. Fortnately there is a nice hedge so when that leafs out, it will hide the blemishes.

See..this is how blight starts, when one person leaves a bag or two of trash, old windows, lumber, etc just sitting by the garage. The person decides to forget about it and soon the trash pile grows.

Then soon others follow suit, they let trash accumulate, let their homes fall into disrepair, start parking old cars all over..soon you have a trashy neighborhood.

I don't think the neighborhood I am in will denigrate to that point but I can see the decay and when you have people who don't care..that attitude spreads like a disease.

Now before anyone yells at me, I am full well aware that there are people who have little money but that is still no excuse to let trash accumulate, lowering not only their property value but that of everyone else's.

Sadly the blight becomes such a commonplace situation that everyone becomes immune to its presence and they ignore it, often out of necessity because neighbors aren't really able to do much to encourage clean up. After all you cannot just go onto anothers property with trash bags and start cleaning up..I guess there are a few laws regarding trespassing.

The entire "town" I live in isn't like that but there is plenty of decay that needs attention. There are even old business buildings that need to be torn down but according to the town leaders, it is an issue of money...as always so I guess they'd rather just let buildings deteriorate and further blemish the towns appearance.

I just wish that people would be more cognizant of what they do..they seem to think that because it is their property that they can do whatever they want but this is a fallacy.

When you live in a community you have certain responsibilities not just to yourself but to others.

Don't let trash accumulate,don't let repair jobs go undone so far that your home looks like it needs to be torched.

People need to realize that not everyone wants to sit outside and stare at someone elses decrepit property.

Ryu

Have you noticed lately...

Has anyone noticed that in the past few years, according to the so-called "experts", no matter what we do, we are always doing something wrong?

According tot he plethora of experts, we're eating wrong, drinking wrong, thinking wrong, feeling wrong. living wrong...everything we do is wrong according to "them" yet they claim to have all the answers.

Now I admit there are things we could improve upon, collectively speaking but gee whiz already..I think we can all live our lives without having some over educated nitwit telling us at every turn how to live our daily lives.

Yes, some of these people have good suggestions but we are all different too..society cannot be a "One size fits all" type thing.

Anyways..I was just reading stuff and was musing about a few things.

Ryu

Maybe something is wrong with me

I'll be honest..I am not interested in anything. That is to mean that I have no interests that compel me to pursue them in any meaningful or deep manner beyond the superficial.

I never really did...I'd read a bit on a particular topic, research it a bit then give up. It all seem so boring to me yet I am painfully aware of how stupid I really am.

I may as well be honest on that too..I'm stupid, I was never able to cite resources from which I made my comments not do I use complex language...I do not actually know anything in depth beyond what I have surmised from observation. The only thing I do know is that I know nothing.

It seems that no sooner do I embark on a particular direction then I quickly lose steam and any ambition I had and I just give up.

It has been that way all my life really. I start studying something but never in earnest. The one thought that always comes to the fore is that it doesn't matter what I do nor does what I happen to study seem to really have any real use to me.

Naturally I gave up studying any "pagan" related stuff because after a very short time I realized it was useless and pointless. A waste of time.

I studied, though halfheartedly, astronomy but just became bored with it. It was like I was reading basically the same stuff over and over again only in different wording each time so it sounded new but really wasn't.

I have a couple of books on herbal medicine and tried to research that but it seems that as soon as I embark on it..I lose steam and I am reminded how pointless my endeavor really is. When I consider the idea of spending thousands of dollars to become licensed in something that society has decided is pseudo-science, the pay off seems rather meager and to become the laughing stock of society doesn't sound to appealing.

So I drift along in my existence, not having any goals or aspirations..I see the long road ahead of me and I wonder what is really worth pursuing in life?

My recent pursuit was drawing..in fact many years ago I had the silly idea of becoming, perhaps, an assistant to a character designer for games, anime or something.

Problem is I needed talent, which I don't have.

I went to college and got a degree in Web Design and Multimedia but I was not really interested in that but I felt some of the knowledge might be useful.

So..I tried to find entry level work in something even vaguely related but the economy was already well into its decline.

Also the field of design in games and the like is highly competitive and I simply do not have what it takes. I am not ambitious or agressive enough to even be looked at.

So..I only draw as a mere hobby but I haven't done any in eight months..I had only recently started drawing again after several years..at that time I was stupid enough to think I might have talent but soon realized I didn't and after becoming rather discouraged and jaded I put the paper and pencil away and didn't touch it for eight years or so.

So by now you are probably thinking "Geez..quit feeling sorry for yourself" or "Just suck it up, loser!" or "Blah-blah-blah...just shut up and die already". Yes..I have been told all that in so many words but..they are not me and will never know just how I feel...my words do a poor job of expressing my thoughts.

Since nothing ever really came naturally for me, never felt that supposed "calling" or even a urge to do anything, what is the answer then?

Ryu

Looking for someone

Has anyone experienced this odd sensation that you are looking for someone..someone very important to you yet you don't know who they are?

For as long as I can recall I had this sense of..I don't know..a longing, to find a certain someone that I know intimately and deeply miss.

While I am on the fence with this whole past life thing, I still cannot shake the feeling that there is a certain someone that I need to find...yet I do not know if this someone was a spouse, a child or a very dear friend.

Maybe it is just a lifelong insanity....I see people every day and I know, to some small degree, a few of them yet I do not feel anything towards them, no closeness or desire to know more about them.

I became aware of this feeling when I was in grade school, I think and for awhile this longing grew in intensity then it subsided then fluctuated throughout my life.

I feel weird even as I write this because I am not sure whether what I feel is even real and legit or, like I said earlier, if it is simply some form of mental illness or dysfunction.

I don't think it is an illness but then again...even ill people can question whether or not they are ill.

I don't know....

Ryu

Lot's of flash but no substance

For the past many years I have felt kind of strange (actually all my life too). It is like there has been a lifelong feeling of being disconnected from everything.

I mean, I do stuff, talk to people and try to act as if I am engaged with what I am doing but..it's all an act because I just don't see the point.

The best way I have been able to explain it is by creating an analogy of my own; I arrive at a port and there is this big city/town. In this town is a huge carnival and fair which stretches as far as the eye can see. There are countless stands selling stuff, having demonstrations and all..there are countless food stands, music, lights and all manner of sounds and sights like fairs usually have.

I go and look around, sample a few foods, listen to some of the music and listen to some of the lectures. All very nice but..after a short time I get bored and I sense the overwhelming banality and emptiness of it all. Naturally the people tell me to just relax and try different stuff, mingle and all that so I try and I try but the more I mingle and try stuff, the more empty I feel and so I decide to look closely at the flashy stands and look behind the counters and behind the screens only to find absolutely nothing.

There is so much pomp and flash designed to make it look like it is really something when all it really is is a bunch of pretense and facade. The people around me tell me I am the one who is wrong for not "getting with the program" and is told that I am at fault for not enjoying things enough.

But since everyone I speak to seems to feel the same way it is not surprising that I begin to wonder if that is really true yet once I have seen a different side to all the flash it seems more strenuous to pretend that I am living life "to the fullest" which in essence really means that I am supposed to live the type of life they think I should be living and living it to the type of "fullest" that they deem to be "fullest".

Like I said..it's an analogy I made for myself yet even at that it really doesn't explain satisfactorily how I really feel.

So I end up feeling conflicted because the real world doesn't offer me much and living in the fantasy world I create in my mind is also wrong because what is in my mind is obviously not real no matter how much I wish it to be.

Part of me wants to go back to how things were years ago when I was more "fluffy" yet I also realize that this is not where I'd really want to b either.

I used to study a bit of paganism and in some ways I was happier but then I realized I am doing what so many people are already doing and that is seeking answers in belief systems that are built up around superstitions and myths.

I used to entertain the idea that maybe it was possible that the act of consecrating stones really meant something or that carrying around a certain stone would somehow help me but I realized, after some real study, that this was just not true so I abandoned it.

So what are my choices really? Delve into unscientific belief systems just because it is more comfortable or just live a bland life realizing that reality will never be what is portrayed in movies or games?

Ryu

Is this it?

I look out from behind these eyes and wonder if this is all there is?

I see people running around, blissfully happy as they rush around

working all day long then go home o eat dinner and go to bed only to

do it all over again the next day.

What were we taught in school? Certainly we were not taught to

aspire to anything better than to amass degrees and a high status job

just so one can sit at a desk and feel proud for climbing the corporate ladder.

What do people do during the day? Get up, eat breakfast, battle traffic to get to work then

do stuff under the pretense of being "productive" all the while hoping one don't get canned.

Then when it is all over one goes home, eats diner and putzes around for a bit, play with the kids

if one has a family then go to bed and do the same thing all over again the next day..for the next

40 to 60 years.

Most of our life is taken up being worried about finding a job that pays the high bills of life,

forced to compete, forced to worry about whether you will even have a job, forced to worry about being able to pay 700 dollars

for rent or mortgage.

I observed life and all that I have to "look forward" to and to be honest, I am not impressed. I am not filled with the desire to

"be all I can be" or to live up to my fullest "potential".

If there is any "meaning" to this life, it certainly cannot be to work ones life away and be a slave to economics, never being secure enough that

ones first and foremost concern is NOT whether you will still have a job or enough money to make your bills.

What do people aspire to in reality? To gain knowledge just for the sake of knowledge without feeling that it is only useful or worthwhile if you can make money off of it?

Is education or learning even valued beyond the workplace?

Is independent thinking even valued or is the status quo deemed to be a virtue?

I don't know.

Ryu

Mystery of cats

Cats have no belly buttons. Seriously, it's true. I searched my cat for one and couldn't find it at all then I began to wonder why that is?

I asked my cat but all I got was a hostile glare before she walked away.

I mean..they ARE in a placenta, right? So where's the belly button?

I guess the world may never know.

On another note, why is it that a cat will wander around the house at night meowing its fool head off even though it knows we are all upstairs?

Is it that much of a chore to go upstairs where we are?

Oh well....:cat:

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