Come to Light

Sit back, relax, lose all focus of self.
Pixels mixing, forget borders existing.
Particles deconstructing, blending as one.
Flowing through space occupied by all.
Drifting upon warmth of light from golden hues.
Witnessing the illusion of a sparkling spectacle.
A sight that never was but always is — a fiction.
Embrace a show acted out by its audience.
Focusing on whatever pleases, ignoring the rest.
Striving to stay the path that excites delight.
Breathe away the solidity of self, in, out.
Revealing the truth of an existential funhouse.

Giving Thanks

Thank you life, I appreciate this gift. I understand that I must work on becoming a gracious guest and receive your hospitality with geniality and gratitude. I must strive to realize: whatever we seek, we find — and so I must search for the goodness in every situation, eschewing negativity lest I invite more to come. I must endeavor to select the lighthearted life, seeking smiles over sorrows, dismissing the dreary in favor of the delightful.

Return Trip

I’m back from my trip. About a month has passed. Our stays along the way down were pleasant and scenic — we primarily stayed by beaches overnight. What’s funny, is that I’m not sure why I even took this trip. Perhaps it’s to gain some perspective. In stories, characters are often developed through journeys. So perhaps me and my companions were due for some development.

I didn’t mind life on the road too much, although lengthy bouts within a compact car is a bit uncomfortable. It’s a little dull too, with pockets of civilization connected by lonely stretches of road. For various reasons, it’s difficult for me to consider commercial air travel as a viable means of transportation, so a car it was despite the discomfort. And it got hotter as we went, although after a long winter, the heat was not unwelcome.

When I leave New England I feel like a New Englander. When someone says “tree” I think maple not palm. When someone says “house” I think of a Cape Cod style in an ample yard. When someone says it’s hot, I think of 78F, not 96F. When entering other regions, the concentration of names change (people and stores) and things become slightly different yet not enough to be exotic.

What I imagine the point of the trip to be, is a demonstration of life’s goodness — and my acceptance of this fact — a reconciliation with life. Normally, I have an underlying feeling of imminent danger. It’s always been there yet nothing ever happens. I know someone that lacks this feeling and she’s much happier for it. My conclusion is that it’s a sensation that must be ignored.

It’s a bit of a burden to constantly ignore something so prevalent — yet much better than the alternative of bathing in anxiety. Remember though, boredom is our existential enemy, so we invite into our life whatever excites us. To leave anxiety behind, we need to embrace a new form of entertainment, engaging with life in an alternate way, lightheartedly.

That’s the secret to life you know: entertaining ourselves in a wholesome/nourishing way. It’s skipping the quick and easy scare, opting instead for activities that make us feel good about ourselves. We can chase boredom away in a few different ways, our job is to find and implement the most pleasing ways that align with our preferences.

I had no end-date set when I started the trip but I left when I felt like I was done. I experienced what I wanted and sensed it was time to go. Although, I think I stayed a little too long — but that’s good since it made me enthusiastic to get back on the road. I don’t feel particularly reconciled with life but I must admit that nothing horrible happened — the overall trip was pretty pleasant.

Yes there were some discomforts along the way but I should more likely blame myself for an eagerness to pick out what’s wrong with life. For me, this trip clearly serves as evidence of life’s benevolent nature. There were no dangers untold. Beauty abounded. There was childlike delight and fond remembrances of times not long ago.

Fun and Adventure

I have a lengthy journey coming up and my mind defaults to potential unpleasantries rather than all the good things. You could say I distrust life. I have a suspicion that all this Earth-stuff is an elaborate ruse to abuse me. It’s an odd perspective I know.

Instead of anticipating the adventure, I envision trials and tribulations that could occur along the way (like what befell cunning Odysseus on his travels home). There’s an onslaught of doom-filled thought.

But I’m hard at work putting out fires left and right to defuse any anxious feelings. And that gets the job done in a way, but I’d rather just feel excited. I suppose I’ll have to concoct something in my imagination to frame this journey as something enjoyable.

Game-day is approaching and these are probably just the pre-game jitters. When the time comes, not only will I lack fear, but I’ll find the fun. You wouldn’t think fun would be such serious business, but I take everything seriously — that’s part of my charm.

Underneath it all, I have no real worry though. It’s kinda like going through the motions of worrying, just a habit I’m attempting to break. I’m done with pessimism and I’m determined to have faith in the goodness of life.

P.S. I have not forgotten about the illusionary nature of reality. Any unpleasantries along the way will only serve as triggers reminding me to consider the fiction of my surroundings. But I’m guessing life will attempt to lull me into forgetting about virtuality by presenting the most pleasant adventure possible. Oh, life!

Virtuality Update

It’s been about 45 days since I started my virtuality experiment. It does feel a bit strange at times to consider that the world is an artificial construct. Existence isn’t a naturally occurring phenomenon? There’s an underlying narrative and artificiality that maintains it? The more I look, the more I see it too. As part of the experiment, I’m bathed in thoughts of virtuality so it’s self-reinforcing.

Ideally I suppose I want to set my life in the right direction, then forget about all this, then just carelessly play on the playground. By right direction, I mean a positive path filled with merriment. I’m kinda done with the whole pessimist lifestyle of gloom and doom — it just doesn’t match up with what I see anymore — but those default thoughts still linger.

Life hasn’t tried too hard to push me off this path either. But funny enough, ha, I might be going on a trip very soon. It’s a sudden change of plans. Or rather, I had no plans and now I unexpectedly do have plans. Perhaps life is back to its old tricks of attempting to captivate my attention? It does seem suspicious….

But even funnier, ha, is that life is directing me to go to my childhood happy-place. I was adamant about not going back there because I wasn’t pleased when I last left, nor was I interested in such a long journey — yet now I’m headed back there. My friend said, maybe life just wants me to love that place again — I thought that seemed like a reasonable explanation.

Party Time

When I was in school, one of my biggest worries was being called-on by the teacher. I was always one of the quietest students in class — and I preferred to keep it that way. I’ll pay attention, do the work, take the tests — but otherwise leave me alone. I much prefer passive-observation to audience-participation.

I suppose I’ve always felt like a spectator that fears he’ll be called upon to contribute. “Excuse me, sir! Yes you!” Gah…. And some people think they’re doing you a favor by being inclusive. Umm, NO THANKS! I suppose that’s a primary reason I tend to remain isolated, I don’t want outsiders encroaching on my personal space.

If I analyze it though, I can’t immediately recall any incidents where being called-on was brutally unpleasant. I guess it was mostly the annoyance of having my quietude interrupted. I think this probably lends evidence to the idea that I tend to take life way too seriously. How dare you disturb my stillness! No ripples!

But I think it also has to do with my intense focus. I can’t task-switch very efficiently, so if I’m focused on observing the circumstances of my surroundings, I’m doing that and only that. I do one thing at a time and only one thing. I can’t effectively examine and engage — that’s two things!

I suppose I must learn to appreciate the intrusions. After-all, no one likes to be invisible all of the time — not even me. And here’s life trying to include me in the fun but I’m too untrusting of its intentions. “No! You’re just trying to scare me, or hurt me, or make me look like an idiot!” Or I feel as though I’m not good enough to keep up. “No, I’m too awkward at that, you guys go ahead….”

Hmm those definitely sound like lame excuses. If life really wanted to hurt me, things could be a lot worse — and there’s really no place to hide. And not-trying tends to receive harsher judgement than trying-and-failing. I guess I shouldn’t be so suspicious and close-minded when it comes to life’s little stimuli.

I suppose life is like a big party with a generous host trying to make sure everyone’s entertained. And periodically throughout the evening there’ll be party games where everyone’s expected to join in. I should try to be a gracious and appreciative guest rather than a grump that feels victimized for being invited. I should lower my guard and resign myself to having fun. Yay…!?

Untainted by Paint

In the MMOFPS game I recently started playing, I regularly and purposefully select to be brutally murdered by a horde of unrepentant killers — and I enjoy it. I don’t enjoy brutality per se, I just like the tag-you’re-it, defend-the-base style of gameplay. Yet I do find the violent way in which it’s depicted a bit amusing, there’s a dark humor to it.

So it makes me think about this world, you know? If this world is just a simulation, then why wouldn’t the gameplay be similar? Some people are just gonna tear sh*t up, blastin’ with guns blazin’ — right? But the neat part of this world, I’m guessing, is that players are segregated into different themes of play. Some do relationship-drama, some peacefully farm, some strive for objectives, some holler an’ fight, and some spectate, watching it all go down (what good is a trick if no one sees you do it, right?).

There’s probably a bunch of categories that people are assigned to. And sometimes we worry we might cross into other categories, but I’m thinking we can’t. So if you’re on the peaceful track, then you’re good, no need to worry about violence. But since this world is virtual, I bet a lot more people than you’d think have the brutality option checked. After-all, it’s fun to experiment with video-game characters we control, pushing them to their limits, testing their mettle.

If people cared, the world would be a safer, less-savage place — yet we don’t care. We regularly ignore the ceaseless violence, recklessness, and abuse that goes on around us in order to focus on our mundane daily lives. Why is that? It must be that we’re not meant to care or interfere — we’re each having our own little dream, but our roommates just happen to be freaks (no judgement, they’re just into some really freaky stuff — macabre themes, sadomasochism, restraints, choking — all of it).

Some might see this viewpoint as a form of existential victim-blaming, which it is. It’s implying that individuals are experiencing the world exactly as they themselves intended, brutality and all. It’s as if at some point prior to existence, we each browsed a dossier of details and selected our character’s traits and the approximate path he’d take. But to keep it interesting, we signed-off on the introduction of unknown challenges and other surprises.

In the MMOFPS game I’ve been playing, I’ll often charge into a group of opponents, blasting away, not caring a whit whether I’ll survive because it just doesn’t matter. We’re all just pretending to be painted pixels. The underlying player remains untainted by the splattering paint of the virtual world. And that might be true of this world as well. Perhaps there’s an underlying player that remains untainted by the splatter, unrepentantly enjoying the spectacle of existence.