Saturday, April 19, 2014

Some Big Fundamental Truths

It's been a while since I've posted, and I want to write something, but I don't have a prompt. So I'm going to just go ahead and spill the contents of my brain onto this blog post. Ready go.

  1. The reason the world is all fucked up is that we don't really value virtues like honesty and character. We glorify attributes like success regardless of its cost, which is often integrity. If people can get away with lying or bending the truth, they're encouraged. There's no real accountability, and no honesty. People fuck things up like the environment or an ecosystem, take as much as they can, and then ignore their conscience that says quietly "hey. shithead. don't do that. that's not right." Without that voice, people take all sorts of liberties, hurting others, lying, bending the truth, rigging systems, taking what hasn't been given to them, and generally causing imbalance and pain. It's not a failure of religion; it's a failure of society. 
  2. Part of the reason for the lack of virtues is that we don't have any allegiance to our communities--no pride. We don't feel responsible to be good people because we don't feel like anything bad will happen, and we don't feel guilty because we don't know the people we're fucking over. Our societies are overcrowded and we don't have ways to meet naturally in safe, wholesome environments. Our meeting places--bars, clubs--are too goal-oriented and the alcohol brings out people's sexual needs rather than their social needs. How many of us actually know our neighbors? How many people in your neighborhood have you eaten with? This isn't a failure of people; it's a failure of urban planning.
  3. Lots of us are single, and even people that aren't single are probably living like they are, in the sense of how alone they feel deep down. It's even worse when you're in a relationship and you feel lonely. As a therapist, I've run into a lot of clients who've shared the same story structure. Bad relationships all resemble each other because their architecture is fundamentally identical. The story is this: people are happy. They get into a relationship and it's exciting. Then they start to feel self-conscious. They try and bury it or ignore it, but deep down, it's there. It makes them unhappy, and they start to identify traits in their partner that they believe is triggering their unhappiness. It is triggering, but the unhappiness was already there. It's there because people think they're going to get kicked away when someone realizes they're not that great.

    The antidote is simple: kindness. Look at your experience carefully and you see that fear preys on desperation: a nervous and flighty mind. You can't have desperation where your heart is open. Your instinct is just to accept and help and stay calm. True kindness--when you're just helping without trying to get recognition--whether public or private--is the kind of action that opens hearts and changes the way you process the world.
That's all for now. Peace out. Write me a question if you've got one.


Monday, December 30, 2013

New Presentation: The Quotable Pope

I like this new Pope guy, so I created this presentations for fun, to spread some positive gossip about him. Enjoy!

Friday, December 27, 2013

When Life Doesn't Meet Your Expectations, also, Babies

Hi Edahn,

I found your blog just a few weeks ago and I find your humor and wisdom incredibly comforting. I'm hoping that you can help me with something.

Does anyone in a stable, heterosexual relationship on this site find it necessary to have the "what would you want if I were to get pregnant discussion?" I think it's an important discussion to have, and one I've had with two men in our late 20s who I have been in stable relationships with. They've both answered that they know for sure they would want an abortion since they're not ready to have kids until they're independently wealthy.

I'm firmly pro-choice, but I've always known that, for myself, at my age (28), I would want to keep the child. Hopefully I'm never faced with that choice, but emotionally and financially I know that keeping the child would feel right to me. However, knowing that child wouldn't be wanted by my partner puts a definite kink in things. I feel like I would be compelled to have an abortion if the child wasn't wanted by my partner as well.

I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that these men have no emotional attachment to pregnancy. To have their minds made up that an abortion would be their definite preference in any unplanned scenario just strikes me as a bit callous and extreme. I didn't realize there are so many men out there whose first instinct is actually abortion, even in a stable relationship with a partner they trust.

I can't help but take this all a bit personally. Any insight you can provide about what is going through a man's head when faced with this question? Are there any men out there who understand that pregnancy is a possible outcome from sex, even protected sex? And that abortion isn't just a given if that happens? 

A VERY WISE PERSON I know once told me that life doesn't always unfold according to your expectations. She was right, and she touched about a personality trait that, I think, lies at the bottom of your dilemma.

Some cultures (American, Canadian, British, German, Chinese, Eastern European) place a high premium on planning, strategy, and stability and eschew improvisation. Members of that culture are expected to carve out a path and walk it, carefully. When obstacles arise on the path, their habit is to remove them. Other cultures (French, Spanish, Latin, and Italian come to mind) are more comfortable with improvisation and creating new plans to replace old ones. 

I think what you're experiencing in these men is their commitment to their plans. In those plans, babies come after financial security is achieved (and probably marriage), so the pregnancy is out of order. Sounds pretty harsh, huh? They're less emotional about their decision because they haven't really embraced the emotional impact of bringing a baby into the world. It doesn't reach that point. 

The experience is very different from the person bearing the child, because (1) the alternative scenario is much more salient, due to the fact that you're the carrier, and (2) you've probably fantasized about the experience much more than any man you're dating, seeing as how bearing children is something that distinguishes you from half of the planet. Other factors are probably also at play, like your personality, your comfort with improvisation, and your own criteria for bearing children, which might be lower than your partners'.

So where does that leave you? On the one hand, you could try dating people who are more spontaneous and comfortable with changing plans, but I think the planning mentality is probably attractive to many people--men or women--because it signals security. I think you should talk about your thoughts with your partners. You might freak them the fuck out, but you might also encourage them to broaden their approach to life. As the Tao says, "To bend like the reed in the wind, that is the real strength."

Thanks for the great question. Keep working through it. I think it'll help you grow. I hope you find someone special to have those babies with. --ES

Who am I?

This came from a forum I used to post on. I really liked it. Happy New Year.

Who am I?Born as an infant I observed the world, without any sense of anything. I was the void. I was just an observer.But then the environment started affecting my mind, molding it, shaping it, and I turned to an extreme extravert. Highly energetic fearless and social. I danced on the stage when other kids didnt were shy and silent.But everything got reversed as I grew up like a magic.I became the introvert, anti-social, and others became extraverts. They teased they disturbed, I was not anti-social, I wanted to be social but I failed.God? Who is God? Who am I? Questions started appearing in my mind.Fear of death kept me in fear every second. Highly paranoid, I thought of every possible ways poop can happen.I changed from religion to religion.In dog I found peace. I felt I was not human. I am an alien. ET.I seeked enlightenment. Truth was the only thing I needed.I bought material things one after another, but none could fill the void within, instead made it expand.That is how I learned how peace can only be found within.I seeked , seeked seeked.I found the characteristics of indigo. So exciting moment for me. I was overwhelmed. I felt special. I learned more and more. But I didnt like the label.It made me feel special and unique. But I dont like feeling special. Being so egotistical.I seeked on and on, I wanted enlightenment. Soon I found, how deluded was everything related to indigo phenomenon.Who am I? Who am I?I was introduced with MBTI. Labels after labels, I got.INTP, add. Spd disorders and personalities. Labels of so many things.Masks after masks I wore, site after site I visited, got banned one after another.Walked on and on in search for enlightenment.
My mouse got broken and I retreated and thought for 2 days continously. And I gained madlightenment instead.I saw the truth. Nothing matters. That is the absolute truth. That is absolute freedom. I dont believe nothing matters. I know.
Then again I used one mask after another and interacted in different forums. But then I stopped.
Who am I?
I used so many masks, that now I dont remember my true self. 
I looked within. I am just an empty shell. The void itself. All there remains are the masks.Behind the mask, there is just other masks. And behind the innermost mask there is nothing.
Who am I?
I am the void.
But what is I?
Awareness. The simplest answer possible. Belief, thinking patter, faith, occupation are all changing factors. Even when the I remains they change, the only thing that remains as long as I remain is awareness. That is the only true answer.
But no no no. Degree of awareness changes. And what is awareness without the objects to be aware of? The objects to be aware of are eternally changing, so is the form of awareness. 
I am no one. I am nothing, I am impermanent. They is no permanent self. In each second I die. And I die permanently. And a new I gives birth. None can understand it better than me. I was born an extravert, turned into a overly sensitive and emotional introvert and then at-last to a sociopath. I have seen so many changes that only I can know that there is nothing permanence in this world except the impermanence itself. There is no soul. No self. Only void.I am imaginary.
But then I went beyond the I and looked with my eyes.
I saw the flow. The force. I saw the universe. From a tiny point it started from a big bang (or may be not. doesnt matter how it started) that tiny point expanded to give birth to me, this body, this place, this everything. I was born from a sperm, and now I have all these sperms within, and then I will die, and I will decompose ( I will be burned into nothing. that is how it is done in here). And I will merge with universe again. I will become the universe. Wait how am I separate now? I am the universe. The ever flowing change. I am the part of it. In one way or another I will live on and on. Effect is a form of cause.

This body, these all of these things are nothing, just one form of the All, just a temporary separate form, which will some day take a complete different form.I am beyond this body. I am beyond all of these yet I am all of these. 
There is the flow. The flow of life. I am the flow.I am that which cannot be named. I am that which cannot be seen. I am that which dont have any form. I am the force. I am the Void.
I am the incomprehensible one. So I never can know who I am. Can you eat your own head? Can your finger touch it's fingertip? 
I am that. I am the undeducible, never knowable.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This year I had trouble feeling gratitude. It's not that I'm not grateful...well, maybe I'm not. I don't feel grateful, though. I've had so many things to do that I really haven't had a chance to stop, purge myself of all the thinking and planning, and just feel good. That's not to say I feel bad--there're lots of feelings between good and bad--but I feel genuine gratitude the most when I feel calm and collected.

The thing I love about getting in touch with yourself is the paradox involved. I've always loved puzzles, and trying to feel is a great one for me because feeling is a non-cognitive exercise, while trying (to do anything) is a very cognitive exercise. Feeling happens in a place where words, narratives, definitions, and calculations don't take place. Feeling is the remainder when cognition comes to a screeching halt. It's always there, hiding behind your thoughts and inner dialogue. That's nice because you can never lose it. You can never really lose touch with yourself, your heart, and your inner-strength.

When you see your feelings, i.e., your body and its sensations, without any thought, you see how absolutely weird they are. They're not words, they're experiences, which really gives no additional clarity to what they really are. They're changing from second to second and they have certain properties, but beyond that, everything gets weird. Each sensation seems to blossom on its own in the field of your awareness, and then dissolve into nothingness, and you're sitting here, watching it all unfold like a windows screensaver.

Then the quiet sets in as the body calms down and the heart starts to open. Different feelings cascade through your body as gradually, you are reminded that everything is okay. There are no flaws, just things that haven't ripened yet. Everything is suspended in an ocean of pure compassion as you're reminded of your purpose in life: to spread peace using whatever talents, skills, and tools you have at your disposal.

Thanks everyone, for being on this great journey with me. Peace.