Forgiveness

I haven’t done this in a while. My first reaction is to be self-deprecating, to rip on myself for “failing” my goal. But it would be nice to treat myself as a friend or lover, in how I would instead pay attention and listen and not even forgive, but just not care at all. Things happen, it’s not the end of the world, it doesn’t matter what mistakes you made, but how you choose to move forward, and whether you choose to learn and grow from this mistake.

Thing is I don’t know if I have the capacity to learn and grow from every mistake or missed goal. I set a lot of goals, there are a lot of things I try to accomplish, and a lot of the time I miss.

It’s crazy, the world is far too demanding nowadays. What the heck happened? It wasn’t so long ago I was a little kid, I’d often get lost in my own head, noodling around on thoughts and made-up stories. I’d often just doodle, or work with my hands, or even just look around and stare at things. There wasn’t such a pressure to do, do, do, to accomplish so much. To judge the quality of my own existence by how many things I check off a to-do list. There was simply the act of existing.

Ain’t no daily meditation going to fix that; that’s a lifestyle change, if I think that’s an important form of living that I’d like to return to.

It just feels impossible. Everything is forward, everything moves forward so quickly, at such a ridiculous pace, that if I don’t move forward there is a fear that I’ll be left behind.

The fear of being left behind… what even is that? It seems rooted in comparison. Is it too easy to compare nowadays? Life online is quickly becoming a series of binary decisions… I swipe right, I like that, I close that, I open that, I ignore that… there are SO many decisions of preference being made nowadays.

To not have preferences. As always, and obviously at least for me, that’s going to bring up Buddhist concepts of detachment and observation.

But still, I want to CARE. I want to have a massive capacity to care. I want to care about everything. To care is to feel so alive.

Is there a way to solve this paradox, between wanting to care yet not wanting to express a preference, immediately, regarding every single thing I encounter? Perhaps I should, in a very disciplined way, select only a subset of things to care about? No – that is in itself the expression of a preference.

The other way would be to love everything. To only have ONE expression of preference, which is to love, as default. I do not like or dislike your Instagram photo, because I love every photo. I love every piece of the life I get the gift of experiencing.

Then I get to care, and yet I never have to judge.

Outpour was a lifestyle, when I built it. I lived this life, where I got to care, and I got to only love. I wish there were a way for me to do this on a daily basis; to get to express love and joy in a small way, just so I could feel those feelings, the feeling of swelling love and joy in the body, leaving no room at all for hate, or judgement.

Meditation is the removal of the bad; it is cleansing. But we need something that grows the good, that blooms the flowers.

It often seems like the world is fracturing, but there are still opportunities to touch people in ways that bloom flowers, and I know that can heal the world.

For a while I felt like that was my life calling. Money, that most exalted and weird and fucked up and crazy philosophy of the world, halted that dream.

Today, altruism is like art; because it doesn’t necessarily have a capital return, it needs patrons – usually people who have built businesses or made money in ways that are on the opposite end of the spectrum of altruism of art.

That’s not the way it should work. That’s so messed up.

Everything we humans do is a choice. We’re on this earth and we have needs that take up resources. We also have resources that replenish. There’s got to be a way to find balance. Clearly we have too many humans and therefore we have resource constraints and therefore it is very logical to believe that technological and industrial progress is good, and capitalism has proven to be the best system to drive technological and industrial progress.

People need to have more of a choice about the way that they live. Right now there is no choice. You are born with no resources and you must acquire them, and there is not enough of the resources for you simply to have them.

Step 1, bloom the flowers. Step 2, give people the choice to plant their flowers in the garden of their choosing.

The digital world, perhaps that can be infinite. Perhaps those resources can be expansionary instead of shrink.

And again, as often happens, we end on the conclusion that the Matrix will be our reality.

 

Freestyle

Okay, so I think these are more useful if I just freestyle. It’s really a nice break from the other parts of my day, most of which are extremely structured. I run my life in a list, where I constantly add and reorder items and review and reorganize the list. Seriously; I spent more time looking at my to-do list than practically anything else. And it’s long as hell.

So it’s pretty clear, at least to myself, that what I’m seeking in this writing exercise and through a daily practice of meditation (which I have not been practicing at all, I did it for one day) is a sense of peace, found through separation from my day to day, which is governed by a list. I guess it is not very peaceful to be governed by a list that only grows and which constantly needs reassessment and reorganization. It is as if there is constant pressure to abide by the demands of the list. I apply constant pressure to myself by adhering to this list, enslaving myself to my to-dos. And this is clearly not a net negative thing, it helps me be extremely productive. On a day-to-day basis the amount of things I get done is pretty large, and I try to be good about doing very impactful things. Over the course of a year the amount of things I get done, or at least assess whether I should do or not, is extraordinarily high. Lists are my key to productivity.

But holy shit do they bring some noise. If, instead of a beautiful, calm, clear, silent mind, my mind is like a typewriter, clacking and printing line after line, going back in corrections, in this mode of constant production, line to line to line to line. If I’m not editing then I’m erasing, if I’m erasing then I’m adding, I’m always, always adding.

This writing is the time when I am not writing in a list. There is not something I am accomplishing. It’s as if I let the typewriter run free. It’s as if I turn off the list machine, and just brain dump all the ink from the typewriter out on the table. It’s a release, an unburdening, a freedom of space from the typewriter, which is an analogy for my mind.

I talk about this a lot, it’s actually maybe cheating, it’s a way for me to write without actually emptying out my mind. But then again, why create any more pressure for myself? That’s okay. I should just write about whatever, sometimes.

So what is on my mind? What have I been thinking about recently…?

I’m pretty content. I have minor complaints about lots of aspects of my life, but I completely recognize that these minor complaints only shine through because I have no major complaints. I am bound to find something to want to improve, as it’s in my nature, and honestly recently all the really major concerns are out of the way for now. So all these minor issues crop up – and damn, there really are a lot of them, and they bug me, but it’s also easy for me to at least intellectually understand I should just be grateful that they’re not major complaints. I’m talking about feeling sick, not having quite as much money as I wish I had, needing someone from someone else and not getting 100% of it, my knee got sprained and still hurts, I have too many things to do, I’m kind of trying to figure out my new set of roles and responsibilities at Compound, just on kind of a minute to minute basis in my life there are things that aren’t 100% optimal. My back hurts right now, I have to use the bathroom, I have to meet some friends at a bar later and I’m worried I’m drinking too much to be healthy (not really volume, but frequency just over the past week), my fantasy basketball team is losing, crypto investments are dying, etc.

But in reality I am grateful for the arc of my life, and I am especially grateful that I think I have a really powerful ability to be grateful. It’s really the key to so much of my personality, I feel like this innate sense of gratefulness that consistently anchors me in every situation, and intellectually I read about how important gratefulness is, and I definitely see how it negatively affects the lives of those who are not naturally grateful.

It may breed contentment in a way that could be viewed as negative, but on a day-to-day basis it’s something I’m very grateful that I possess.

I do, as always, still wish I had more purpose, had a mission that fit at the intersection of income-generating and socially-beneficial. Not a lot of people are able to achieve those two things at once, they generally seem to be mutually exclusive in time, but easily stacked or ordered in time. It’s kind of a holy grail for me. I think it’s why I have so much respect for artists, I feel like being an artist achieves this sort of holy balance where you can be self-interested (it seems like a lot of famous artists are obsessed with themselves) let deliver a ton of beauty and value to the world. Giving people a lot of meaning through admiring the beauty of the art, also in the pleasure of interpreting the art, and some people use art as a channel to better understand themselves and their view of the world and their place in the world. It’s really quite amazing the impact art can have, whether visual, verbal, other. Takes people to another place of experience/existence.

So anyways, right now I’m pretty much crunched at Compound, and I need to be focused here because I believe in the company and am excited about the career opportunities it affords me, and I have the ability to play a big role in the future of the company and I’m excited for the direction the company is going. So that’s basically a mandatory focus that takes a lot of time. And then it’s mandatory that I work on our wedding, which I’m excited about and will be awesome, through April. So I really don’t have time to be indulging (not really indulging but you know what I mean) these sort of more spiritually exploratory and unfulfilled parts of myself, outside of those parts I can fulfill on the jiu-jitsu mats. But after April is really the time I should re-focus because not doing a wedding will free me up a lot. So I guess it’s pretty obvious, for the next 3 months I am booked entirely, I should use my free time solely to find peace so that at least I have a glimmer of that amidst the madness of the lists that dominate my life, and then only in May can I sort of come back to the spiritual side of my life and try to find a path towards more fulfillment. It’s simply what’s necessary right now.

That means if I look to my to-do list and 2019 resolutions, it’s okay if I fail to design a project that really delivers social good or that brings in additional income, if it’s very effortful in the next 2-3 months. It’s okay if I don’t come up with an interesting side project and really begin to execute on it.

Ah and wow, reviewing the list, that’s the thing that I really want to spend time on that I’m not spending time on. I can dedicate time to thinking about that problem for fun, but I should not put any pressure on myself around solving the problem till May. I forgive myself in advance and that is how I will have no regrets. For now the focus is my wedding (entailing Melanie, family, and friends), Compound, and that’s really it. Some jiu-jitsu. And then finding peace through meditation, writing, volunteering. And some vague other odds and ends. But it’s impossible and in fact undesired to try to sink my teeth too much into anything else at this time.

I’m very happy to have emptied out the typewriter and discovered how to build a little space into my actual life, some forgiveness in advance. Grateful.

Idea 9

Alright, today random.org gave me #9, which is:

crypto customer service that owns customer relationship

I guess the idea is like, how do you have a crypto industry CRM. The analogue in the real world is call centers. Or maybe like Intercom or Zendesk. This is boring and realistically solvable in the same way as Web 2.0 companies. I’m going to skip it. Hitting Random.org again – 18!

Different realities

I gotta get these less abstract, haha. Gotta run for now anyway. I’ll be back – I have to be back!

All of Our Marbles

I saw Olafur Arnalds two nights ago, and man was it so incredibly beautiful. I only have a few minutes today, I have to run and get ready for my cousin’s wedding. But the beauty of those strings, pianos, bass really shook me up in a fantastic way. I left with this powerful sense of gratitude for everything that I have – to be alive, to have time to experience things, to have good friends and family, to be able to live with love and joy, and I left with a powerful sense of peace that I’ve been missing for a while, just because things are so hectic. It was truly wonderful, I can’t recommend it enough. And I suggest also that a microdose of LSD is probably the perfect way to experience it, but that’s best left as a story for another day!

Anyway, I had this idea while driving yesterday:

The key to the on demand economy (informational and material) is that people want to make as micro commitments as possible to exercise as much autonomy over their realities as possible. Extrapolating just a bit further, we can theorize that people want to inhabit as many realities as possible.

This is just a theory, but I think it’s a nice theory in that it explains a lot of how the world has changed, and specifically what types of gigantic businesses have been and are being built, and is still explanatory for the future, in that you could extrapolate from this to hypothesize about what are other things that would be successful businesses in the future. You see how the subscription model, the on-demand model, smartphones, news feeds, would all emerge or at least align with this theory. Storytelling, books, movies, entertainment. You break the information or material into the smallest possible pieces deliverable directly to the consumer at any moment that they request it.

And the last sentence is really looking into the future, you can see with VR, blockchain, etc. that people are going to be able to modularly exercise control over different components of their reality and I believe humanity’s experience will go that way – we’ll end up in the Matrix.

On the other hand, AI is interesting because it doesn’t fit the theory. Maybe the desires of corporations are different than those of individuals, as I think AI is an enterprise technology. It abstracts and hides away individual choice – it makes the choices it thinks are best, for you.