Posts tagged reality
Identity
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Have you ever spent time wondering who you are? What are the elements you use to contemplate your identity? Occupation? Family? Country? Interests? Self-image? It’s one question that sparks a hundred others. While meditating on the idea of ‘who I am’ the following come into my mind. When I get caught up in being all that I think I am, I find this useful:

  1. Imagine you are sitting on a small desert island surrounded by water. Contemplate the normal surroundings of your life that you have just stepped out of.
  2. A boat approaches. You place everything you own in the boat. Your, phone, your home, your bike, your car, your relationships…everything. It sails away. Contemplate all that you are without your possessions.
  3. Another boat approaches. You put everything from the 19th, 20th and 21st century into the boat. The Internet, computers, TV, radio, movies, literature, electricity, machinery and industry. The boat sails away. Contemplate all that you are without these things.
  4. Yet another boat arrives. Into this boat you put human history. All of it. Every book ever written, every word ever spoken, every social structure followed. It sails away. Contemplate all that you are without human society, without language.
  5. A new boat arrives. Place your body in the boat. Put in your ability to smell, taste, touch, see and feel. Put the island you are sitting on in the boat. Put the entire Earth in the boat. The boat sails away. Contemplate all that you are without your body and its senses. What is your identity now that it has no human frame work? Who are you now there is no ground to hold you?
  6. A final boat arrives. It has everything in it you’ve given away. Pick and choose what you want to take back. Rebuild yourself with what you value most. Leave what you don’t want in the boat and let it sail away.

Evan Shapiro www.amazon.com/author/evanshapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @ https://noexpertbut.wordpress.com

Chaos and Calm
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It’s a thin line between calm and chaos. I want to take that line and make it thick. Really really think. I want to make it so thick that chaos is held clearly and firmly on its side of the line. As I write this I’m aware that I’m talking about chaos. It’s not going to be contained by a line, real or imagined. By its nature chaos is going to do its best to destroy the very idea of a line. Even when we feel we may have created or discovered some degree of balance, chaos is lurking. It waits patiently for the façade of calm to crumble. Or is there a means to conquer it and remain calm in the face of inevitable chaos?

When I examine what I go through in my day I can see where the conflict between calm and chaos arises. On one side I have my plans, I have a clear idea of how I want to spend my time. There are deadlines to meet and goals to achieve. Chaos sits on the other side poised to thwart, metaphorical spanner in hand, ready to be thrown into my works. It's so simple for chaos to hinder my plans and by so doing unravel my calm. My calm is almost entirely based on my desire to achieve what I have told myself I need to do. Chaos is no more than the frustration of my desires not being met. And there is the solution lying at the crux of the problem. I am giving chaos all the power. The true chaos is the idea I have created in my mind, that if I don’t tick off my list today then I have failed, that my idea of what needs to be achieved is somehow so vitally important that if frustrated it will lead to calamitous retribution. Aiding chaos is the idea that when anything new comes along I immediately think I have to deal with it and drop what I think is truly important.

The answer to what has seemed like an endless riddle to me might be to alter my perception of emerging priorities and rationally address them for what they are rather than seeing them as obstacles to my calm. Applying reason, I can either give immediate attention to the interruption or triage it. I also have to look closely at the things on my to do list. Who said I had to do all these things? Who said I had to make them all happen today? Who said I had to do them all at once? Turns out I did! Why exactly I don’t know, but it’s clear that the malicious force I personify as ‘Chaos’ is only a figment of my over active human mind, so too is my seemingly endless list of desires. Perhaps the best way to create calm is to remove the line between calm and chaos entirely, remove the very idea of an internal world of opposing forces. With that perhaps I can take away the power they hold in my mind and the affect they have upon my thoughts and actions.

If you find this post a little chaotic, that's not my fault. That's chaos at work.

Evan Shapiro www.amazon.com/author/evanshapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @ https://noexpertbut.wordpress.com