Theory #6

Posted November 14, 2012 by Matt
Categories: philosophy, psychology, spirituality, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

We are fundamentally irrational beings.  All of our logic has its roots in emotions, and never vice versa.  Everything exists in feeling.  Logic is a tool that can be used for guidance, for self-defense, attack, and as an escape.

As a great man once said: “you can be subjectively objective, but not objectively subjective.”

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Theory #5

Posted October 26, 2012 by Matt
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , ,

To be non-judgmental is impossible.  Our goal should always be to judge better.  To see everything for its true value.

Theory #4

Posted October 23, 2012 by Matt
Categories: philosophy, psychology, spirituality

Tags: , , , , , ,

Nothing is neutral.  Everything we experience, everything we do,  every thought that we think, is either positive or negative to some degree.  With awareness we can detect this in each moment, and thereby guide and direct ourselves.

Be Self-Centered: needs and barriers part 2

Posted August 23, 2011 by Matt
Categories: Uncategorized

There is ultimately only one way to address our internal emptiness and the emotional neediness, insecurities and barriers they create. We have to develop the ability to be good to ourselves. This gives us the strength and courage to break out from being dependent on others, to face our negative emotions, and to start moving our lives in a positive direction.

Furthermore, we have to be good to ourselves for nobody else but ourselves, becoming totally self-centered. To do otherwise is selfish. Selfishly attempting to influence the external world. Controlling and manipulating others to please us. Or, controlling and manipulating ourselves to please others. What’s the difference?

Is it selfless and commendable to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others? By striving to please others we do all sorts of things that leave us more and more frustrated, stressed, and emotionally drained.

We pretend to be someone we’re not, acting how we think people want, taking on extra work, and doing things we don’t enjoy. Gradually forsaking our true self, even to the point of giving up on our wants and dreams. And for what? Fools gold.

By not giving to and fulfilling ourselves, we foster a need to seek fulfillment externally. Usually centered around the approval of others… and money, drugs, work, food (insert your coping mechanism here). We’re addicted to it.

Look at how much time and energy we put into things like social media, how we dress, or even dedicating years toward an education or job that we don’t really care for. The difference between us is only in who we’re trying to impress (parents, peers, potential mates, all of the above, etc.) and the extent we’re willing to go.

But if these people cared about us, then they would want us to pursue what was genuinely positive and fulfilling for us. And deep down, that’s what we all want for each other.

Why let the superficial attachments of others, born of their own needs and insecurities, make us miserable? Few would disagree that we should always pursue our dreams and strive to be more self-fulfilled.

Here’s the snag. Our true feelings and desires (which are real and positive) are often hidden. They are buried deep within us, covered up by the garbage we’ve bought into about who and what we are supposed to be (ideas we got by trying to please the external world). So even as we try to do what’s best for us, it ain’t necessarily so.

Nothing we do is good unless the motivation behind it is good. No matter how difficult some of our accomplishments may be (extreme exercise, years of advanced schooling, even “spiritual” things like serving on missions), chances are that we’re still secretly looking for that fix from the outside (approval, money, etc.).

The more difficult the accomplishments, the more we can rationalize how great we are. If we don’t feel great, well… that’s just negative thinking. Of course we feel great! We have to right? I mean, look at all the hard work and wonderful things we’ve done! But unfortunately we’re still playing the game of barriers, performing to get the results we think we want.

And what is the result? We truly reap what we sow, because the reward for external pursuits is external returns. Some form of external recognition. We can’t seem to impress ourselves, but we sure can impress others.

Which may seem exciting at first, but it’s like a picture of food for the starving. Unfulfilling. No good in the real world of our emotions. And the better we are at getting that reward, the more empty it all feels.

What then? Maybe we should be good to ourselves by accepting who and what we are, instead of trying to conform to some unrealistic idea of how we’re supposed to be. Without a doubt.

As long as it doesn’t leave us mired in complacency, “accepting” who we are to the point of making no effort at self-improvement. Sanctifying our less than good qualities with a “that’s just how I am.”

We probably don’t realize when we’re doing it, because it sounds positive to “accept oneself.” It is. But when that includes our unreal garbage, we end up rejecting the true self, and excluding happiness. Giving up on the hope of a truly fulfilling life, and instead waiting/seeking for something external to do it for us.

And self-acceptance takes more than some affirmations and good intentions. It is not being cheerful. It is not being comfortable. Your garbage will knock you down and drag you through the mud, over and over again. It’s a battle.

We have to fight with ourselves, for ourselves. Being determined to resolve the junk that is blocking us from experiencing our real self. Then, only as we come in touch with our real self can we begin to enjoy the peace of self-acceptance.

Sound easy? Remember, no matter what we do, whether it’s an attempt at self-improvement or accepting who we are, it always runs the risk of being yet another barrier, where we’re really just acting out the way we think we ought to be.

So how do we know? How do we navigate through all this to a positive path that is genuinely fulfilling?  

Theory #3

Posted June 7, 2011 by Matt
Categories: philosophy, psychology, spirituality

Everything we do should be done for nobody but ourselves.

The Pee Pee Dance

Posted May 13, 2011 by Matt
Categories: avoidance, procrastination, psychology

Hold it in.  Don’t let it out.  Because once it gets out, people will see it.  They’ll judge you.  You might even have to clean it up.  And we wouldn’t want that.

Frankly, you probably have no idea what to do with some of this stuff even if you did let it out.  Either way, it’s not fun.  Lets do something else instead.  Just let the garbage accumulate.

Sure, you’ll have to get more and more intense about your distractions.. I mean fun stuff.  But that’s do-able.  Right?

Listen to more music.  Read a book.  Go out drinking.  Buy some stuff.  Make a to do list.  Eat more.  Eat less.  Meditate.  Look at porn.  Get stoned.  Pray.  Whatever works for you.

Of course, as the crap piles up the pressure will eventually force you to contort in some funny ways in order to get a reprieve, no matter how brief.  And the longer you can last like this, the more desperate and out of moderation your little escapes will need to be.

So here you are, running in circles faster and faster, becoming more and more disturbed and unbalanced…  If only it were as simple as going to the bathroom.

Cheese Cracker Conflict

Posted May 13, 2011 by Matt
Categories: conflict, parenting, psychology

I was driving home from dropping the kids off at school.  I was hungry.  There were 2 packs of cheese crackers, and 1 pack of peanut butter crackers.  As I’m reaching for the cheese crackers I realize that maybe I’d better eat the peanut butter instead.  That way, when it comes time for their after school snack, my kids won’t fight over who gets the cheese or peanut butter.

So, I was about to suppress what I wanted in order to avoid the possibility of conflict between my kids.  And I was about to miss a potential opportunity to teach them how to work with conflict in a positive way.

After all, to avoid conflict is to be unprepared for the inevitable times when it cannot be avoided.  So instead, I’m going to see if I can draw it out a little bit.  If one says “I want cheese!,” I’ll say “Good choice, cheese is the best!  Sorry [other child], you’ll have to make do with peanut butter.”

This might sound cruel, and in the wrong hands, it would be.  But the more of an emotional event the situation becomes (without becoming negative), the more prepared they’ll be for conflicts with similarly high emotional stakes.

Then, when I can tell they’re about to cross that threshold into negativity (like yelling at each other), I’ll start redirecting things.  “Wait a minute guys.  Lets think about this.  What do you think is the fair thing to do here?”

But emotions can be unpredictable, even chaotic.  Especially with kids.  That’s what makes it exciting.  So if one of them becomes negative, like yelling or hitting before I redirect, then it becomes a discipline situation.

“Well that was easy.  I was going to have you guys share half of each, but now the cheese crackers will go to he who didn’t get angry/whiny/mean.  Remember, there’s no reason to get upset.”

And the key with discipline is to be assertive and firm, but not aggressive, angry, sarcastic or frustrated.  Even restrained undertones of negativity get transmitted and contaminate the whole interaction.  That’s why being prepared helps.

If anything, instead of dealing with conflict, I’ll just as likely have to deal with my son’s tendency toward avoidance and self-suppression.  If I detect him making a martyr of himself in order to avoid his sister’s aggression, then the question is how to draw him out.  Be creative.

“Hold on!  I just found another pack of the cheese crackers.  Would you like them instead?”  If he does, then I’ll say “so you do want cheese crackers.  I thought so.  I was lying about the extra pack.  But before you sacrifice yourself, lets see if we can figure out something you’ll both be happy with.”

All this because I was hungry and wanted to eat some cheese crackers.  Taking on conflict opens a whole can of worms, but it’s so much more exciting and positive than growth stunting self-suppression and avoidance.