Wanting Lack

Dear Rich, if life is a virtual experience, why wouldn’t I simply wish everything I wanted into the world?

Let’s think about the game of Minecraft for a minute. If I’m in survival mode (with cheats enabled), I could use a slash-command to give myself 1000 blocks of iron and create all the iron tools I ever wanted — and while I’m at it, I might as well give myself 1000 blocks of wood planks. And you know what, instead of digging, I might as well use the fill command to excavate a huge cave for my new dwelling. Ooh, and I should give myself 1000 cakes too.

So in this scenario, I can type in a few commands and have everything at my finger tips. I probably wouldn’t bother to mine for resources or explore caves. This abundance might just rob me of a good time. Because, although we don’t think of it like this, we’re often entertained by limitations. Limits are what we go against whenever we challenge ourselves. Without finish-lines or structure, there’s no race to run, no feat to beat.

While it’s true that a virtual realm requires no true equilibrium, the players themselves require it. In other words, within a computer generated world, there is no real physical balance that must be maintained, yet participants must be provided fulfilling activities that evoke engagement. If everything is freely and easily obtained, activities might dissolve into pointlessness — and so, challenges and limitations are regularly introduced to stave-off boredom.

Therefore, it makes sense that a wizard-like being would purposely limit his power, preventing himself from magically fulfilling wishes. But, that’s only one side of the coin. In some scenarios, it does make sense to invoke near-limitless power. Let’s think about Minecraft again. If I’m in creative mode, where resources are unlimited, engagement through creativity can certainly serve as ample entertainment. The caveat being, that I must rely on my creativity to carry me through.

So dear reader, you should only wish into existence what you can handle. Lack is oftentimes captivating when we lack creativity.

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Lightly Vexed

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Daily Beacon.

Dear Rich, I’m slightly annoyed at life right now because I’m not getting what I want.

Dear Reader, that’s great! It means you’ve been enticed. You’re like a little fishy nibbling after a sparkling lure — life is attempting to capture your attention. But this is a condition to be celebrated, not lamented.

Imagine never wanting anything, what a dull life that’d be. You’d just kinda sit there, not doing much at all. You know those times when you’re bored and can’t think of anything to do? It’d be like that, but you’d be perpetually unable think of something to do because you never want anything.

Or think of it this way, imagine you receive everything you want immediately. You’d just keep on moving to the next want. Want after want after want after want. Seems pretty hectic doesn’t it? Fulfilling a want has never ultimately satisfied you, has it? No, after every achievement the process begins anew.

So life has done something nice and you don’t even appreciate it. Life provides you with something interesting to think about in the form of a pursuit. Then life is thoughtful enough to set a relaxed pace for attainment. What’s your rush? If efficiency was life’s goal, we’d simply expire the day we’re born.

So relax, take a deep breath, and settle in for the long haul. Realize that anticipation is a pleasant feeling — if done right, it’s the most enjoyable part of the pursuit — it’s the time when you’re most excited and optimistic. So for enjoyment’s sake, just believe with certainty you’ll get what you want — and let those happy feelings flow.

Perfect Practice

Perfection is only found in a static image. If there is movement, there is erosion and malfunction. Thus the nature of existence is imperfection — defects define life, so expect discordance. Yet orchestras can harmonize, order can be brought to the cacophony.

And although imperfectly implemented, the melody is often good enough. But oh so much practice to maintain the music as performers strive to achieve a state resembling perfection. The outside world rages but they focus on the fingering, the notes, the sounds, the silences.

What is your instrument? Do you practice? With whom do you play? Do you have a piece that you’re attempting to perfect? Do you drown out your surroundings as you focus on your part? Without a part to play, are you merely adding to the discordance within the world?

Some people simply smack spoons or even sing — the specific instrumentation does not matter. Birth is your invitation to life — welcome. But there is one requirement to remaining untroubled: play your instrument. Imagine perfection then practice.

Painted Dreams

Why should we abandon the notion of a naturally occurring world and adopt the idea of a dream-like world instead? The primary reason is happiness. A natural-world contains too many frightening concepts. There’s random chance, there’s perpetual pressure, there’s constant caution, there’s kill or be killed, there’s a whole host of anxiety inducing scenarios.

In a dream-like world, we have the option of self-determination. No longer is our life limited by forces beyond our control. And with this power we take a larger stake in our lives, our existence becomes a lump of clay we shape and mold into the ideal we imagine. Whereas in a natural world we’re limited, we’re merely a product of our environment.

But realize we don’t automatically get what we want. Our surroundings are formed by intermingling dreams. We’re constantly flicked with bits of sloppily sloshed on paint from our neighbors. If we wait patiently for outcomes to happen naturally we end up as a multi-colored mess with nothing to show for it.

No, we need to pick up our brush and apply paint to this world. And to have the freedom and confidence to do this, we need to believe in a world of dreams, no longer limiting ourselves to what we’ve already seen. We mustn’t let our creativity be capped by the imaginings of others. We must paint our own picture on the wall of the world.

Logical Limits

I tend to hold a Vulcan-like adherence to logic and reason. This influences the path I take through life because I will only follow what I believe to be the most logical course. But as ideals to govern one’s life by, logic and reason can be overly restrictive. And as expected, I do confine myself to a life ruled by self-imposed limitations.

Yet perhaps in a dream-like world, doing what’s logical is actually illogical. Logic and reason depend on available data. The information I use as the basis of logic and reason changes over time — so what’s logical one day isn’t necessarily logical the next. Therefore, within a world of illusion, rationality is a mirage.

Without a foundation of fact to build on, there can be no reason. Because the origin of everything is conjecture at best, we cannot know how anything comes to be. Is it not a childish act to pretend like we know? To move into maturity, mustn’t we stop the pretense and admit our ignorance?

It would be a mistake to ever criticize with confidence, there’s just no justification for it. The logical position to take in life is complete and utter open-mindedness. Our predictive abilities are far from flawless, and we’ve been wrong many times, therefore we can never know when we’re right about anything.

Our senses awoke into this world one day, to a land already humming along and brimming with life. We truly know nothing of what came before us, relying on mere fragments cobbled together from secondhand sources. Is it all just a dream? We don’t know what this is, but the melodrama and mysteriousness certainly seem suspicious.

If we are to follow a logical life, then rationality dictates we must abandon any reliance on unfathomable facts. The world sits atop belief, it’s opinions all the way down. Fear and worry are now worthless, as they relied on the certainty of doom. Impossibilities simply don’t exist. A few unsubstantiated data-points prove nothing.

Existence is open to exploration, so that is what we must do. The maps that have been drawn are meaningless, as truly uncharted territory is found in whatever direction we wander. We start with a blank page that’s ours to fill-in. And only when we cease setting up fences, can we reach the bountiful banquet life sets before us.

Defeating Fear

Fear is our foe, the enemy we must vanquish. An expiration is placed upon our existence, yet how shall we endure it? Shall we quiver the entirety of this ride? Nay, let us not shrink from the thrill of life. Let us go boldly through this funhouse, laughing at every shocking sight, appreciating the spectacle of flashing light before us.

Within ourself and surroundings, we must snuff out the flame of fear. But what of those things that harm? The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, let this be our mantra. Fear is no protector, but an inhibitor. Fear freezes our flow, with it we cannot thrive, only languish. Never can we allow fear to put limitations on life.

No anxiety induced precaution is worth the toxin fear inflicts. We must always live as if life is wholesome by nature. The good among us must battle to bring an end not to particulars but to the fear that drowns humanity. Whenever we sense a noxious narrative overtake our thoughts, we must crush it posthaste — always remembering that fear in no way promotes safety but does guarantee grief.

The devil in all his guises has ever taken the form of fear, attempting to separate man from the goodness of life. We must see past this wicked illusion, for everything we need has always been within our grasp — yet fear makes it appear remote. Shake loose this nightmarish vision and forever-after partake in the nourishment of life.

We exit existence either way, so let us not simply expire while cowering within a self-imposed pit. Nay, let us step lively into the sun. If our tendency is to create, then do so until the very last breath. Without fear, there are no limits but those we define. If our tendency is to fight, then fight fear, destroy it and disarm those that wield it as a weapon.

Let us not go gentle into that good night without squeezing every bit of fear from our mortal frame. Let us live without concern for what each moment may bring. Let us at all times remember the futility of fear and its fraudulent fiction. Gutless inaction is what defines one’s demise, so its very opposite is dauntless activity. Therefore let us leap through life with a smile upon our face and hopefulness within our heart.