There is no shortage of advice these days. On how to be:
A Success….or Happier……or more Productive……or Fulfilled….and on and on.
But it’s time ask yourself: What do *you* think is “the Answer”—and why that? Ya know, its kinda weird. For all the tons of books and advice out there, almost no one tells you to “trust your own judgement”. Everyone wants you to follow *them* (while they make more money). People are too dependent and reliant on what others tell them is the answer—to “get ahead”…to “find Bliss”…or whatever.
I was just recently in a Barnes and Noble Bookstore and there are lots of books on “Mindfulness”. It’s all the rage these days. And meditation. In the bookstores, On Youtube. But—the answer, keeps changing with time. As if they are fads that come and go.
Over the last 40 years, advice has been all over the map. But what do *you* think is best? Is it all about:
“letting go”…..or “taking responsibility”……or “getting in touch with your inner child”….or cutting out “toxic people”……or “getting more confidence”…..or “finding your passion”……or starting your own business…..or “forgiving yourself”…..or “being assertive”…..or labeling half the people in your life as “narcissists” and then ghosting them?…..or buying excersize equipment?….or being more “grounded” (How? what does that even mean?)….or “balancing your Chakras?”…..or “being more mindful” ?
Next year, when the bookstores have another new batch of advice-books, will you jump on the Bandwagon or whatever the next fad is? Even the “experts” keep changing. So! After all the books, and TedTalks, and Youtube videos, and therapists—-What do *you* think is best? and Why?
What makes you happy? How do you like to spend your free time? And what do you think that will be when you are 70?
Some people live very simple lives. Some others thrive on nearly constant activity and being productive. Both of these can be overdone. Simplicity might degenerate into a rut of monotony. Being productive can become an inability to relax.
Here’s a wild thought: Lets assume there really is some sort of Afterlife or Heaven.
In Heaven, people don’t get sick. At least I’ve never heard anyone say that we do. And I’ve never heard anyone be worried about getting a house in the Afterlife. Think of what this means. It means that even if you had a Prestige career-position here on earth as a Doctor, it won’t matter there, as people no longer get sick. If you were a brilliant construction worker or engineer and built a posh 30-story building or 2 story 4bedroom house, or designed a bridge, it won’t matter, cuz people don’t need a house or to have one designed or built. So what matters once you are there?
It might be said that here, is different than there, and so things that may not matter there, will matter here anyway. Ok. So lets keep it here and ask ourselves: Alright, your career here on earth is over and now—-you are Retired. Life is simpler. Or, is it? What will matter then? How will you spend your time? What will be fun? What will be important? Why?
When you were a senior in high school, chances are hardly anyone cared that you were very good at drawing with crayons in the 7th grade. By the time you were in your 3rd year of college, no one cares that you did well enough in sports to get a Letterman’s jacket in 11th grade. By the time you are 40, most people will be in a different job and won’t care about the one they had at 23. By the time you are 68, who will care that you were once in Management or the Administration? So then—
Will you, be able to adjust to a Simpler Life? How will you enjoy your time? What will be important? What will make you happy? And if you are 45 or 50 now, why aren’t you already enjoying those things? What is preventing you? The clock is ticking and we are all getting older. It can be insightful, and fun, to think about.
I do not always agree with Alan Watts. I enjoyed this particular thought-provoking short talk. Thanks, Youtube. Does Life have a purpose? If it doesn’t, why can’t Life still be good? What do you think?
Philosophy. What is The Good Life? Who was Aristotle? Who was Spinoza? Who was David Hume? Who was Rene Descartes?
What is Hedonism? Stoicism? Pragmatism? What is Epistemology?
What is the difference between Subjectivist and Objectivist Ethics? How can each of them be criticized?
Explore what many Philosophers have thought, in the book: Philosophy Made Simple by Richard H. Popkin and Avrum Stroll. It’s a fun read and you can learn alot.
People tell you to “think positive”. What could be wrong with that? Actually, quite a bit. More than you think. No, even more than that!
Does this mean we should think negatively? No. It doesn’t. But in her book “Bright-Sided”, author Barbara Ehrenreich shows us just how rampant and wide-spread and too-much-of-a-good-thing “being positive” has become. Read this book! After about pg. 30, it gets reeeeally eye-opening. Maybe even shocking. Most people have nnoooo idea how New Thought began, and how it got applied and over-used in so many different areas. This is an informative read. People need this info.
Alan Watts. Some of his talks are quite thought-provoking. I don’t always agree with him. Most of his other Zen talks bore me. When he talks about the Ego, the Self, and Oneness with everything and how you are “it”, etc. I think he is wrong. But some other talks I find really interesting! That does not mean they are true or the Answer. But for me, they are fun to think more about. Like this one, on Purposelessness.
#Religion #Philosophy #Meaning #Spirituality
The Occult. There, I said it. Does it sound a bit creepy?
The word Occult means “hidden”. Not generally known to the public.
Today when we hear occult, we often think of Magic or ESP. I don’t follow or practice the Occult much. But I want to know about it. What is it? What is the appeal? What good is it? Why study it at all? Luckily, there is the late Dion Fortune and her book: Sane Occultism.
The book is like a big sister or mentor showing you the way. Like having a conversation with her. She’s informative and explains it all quite well. A good read.
You are still free to practice, not practice, believe it or not believe it. But now you have a better understanding of how it works and what its about. That was the idea. And that’s enough.