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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Life’s a Long Song

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People say that life is too short but I disagree.  I was thinking about events in my life this week, and I was suddenly filled with the sense that I’ve lived several lifetimes already.  My childhood, high school, college, my time in Ohio and now in California.  They each feel like entirely differently lives.

Maybe that comes from my having moved around so much, in both location and employment.  Perhaps for people who have been married and/or in the same career for several decades, it just feels like one long stretch.  I’ve had friends and loves that have come and gone.  I can’t even remember some of my previous addresses.

Another reason may be my active participation in my own growth and development as a person.  I know I’m not the same person I was ten years ago and ten years ago, I was not the same person I was in my teens.  I feel differently about things.  I know more, or I know now that I didn’t know much about what I thought I knew back then.

If you think your life is too short, perhaps you’re doing it wrong.  Slow it down.  Really take in your surroundings and be absolutely present to whatever it is you’re currently doing.  Are you eating?  Savor each bite.  Are you working?  Really take the time to do whatever you’re doing to the best of your abilities.  Are you with friends and family?  Ask them questions and really listen to what they have to say.

If you feel like your life is whizzing by, it’s because you are letting it.  It’s your fault you have no time.  You agreed to give it up for what you’re getting in return.  If that’s the case, why not enjoy what you’re getting?  You asked for it.  You asked for the job, the spouse (or significant other), the kids, the house, etc.  Why aren’t you enjoying them?  Some people don’t have any of that.

If you still think life is too short, go ahead.  I have no interest in trying to convince anyone of anything ever again.  If anyone wants complain to me about anything, I’ll just smile.  If they choose to ask why I’m smiling, I’ll tell them that they are complaining about getting exactly what they wanted.  If you didn’t want life to happen to you, you wouldn’t choose to continue being alive.

Here’s some perspective:

Creature with the shortest lifespan is a mayfly which typically lives for a day.

One of the longest lifespans recorded belongs to a tortoise who lived 250 years.

You fall somewhere in between.

Regardless of how much time you actually get, that will be exactly how long your life will be.  Why waste any of it in a futile argument about not having been given more.


Opinions and Assholes

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For most of my life, I thought my surname was of a French/German origin.  Well, my family recently did some digging and discovered our ancestor came from a small village in Switzerland.  Hmmmm.  That explains a lot of things.  I am neutral to a fault.  I get into very few fights and disagreements.  I have an almost pathological need to see everyone’s point of view.  I also keep secrets like a Swiss bank.

I think it’s okay to be angry, but I try to make sure I’m angry about the right things.  Anger takes a lot of emotional energy and I’m usually exhausted after a good bout of it.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to be one of those people who seem pissed off all of the time about every stupid little thing.  No wonder so many people have health issues.

Emotions and opinions are not real, people.  They are momentary flashes in your body or mind in reaction to a situation and then, if allowed, they will dissipate.  You are a lightning rod for them but they are not you.  You are not your emotions or opinions.  You have emotions and opinions.

I watch so many people lose their shit when their feelings or thoughts are not given whatever proper respect they think is due.  If you’ve never seen this happen before, all you have to do is go on the comments section on ANY website and watch it play out.

I’ve learned how to talk to people with differing opinions and feelings about things.  I’ve also learned when to stop talking to these people.  When I know that the conversation is heading towards a positional stand-off, I shrug and walk away.  Let’s agree to disagree and move on with our lives.

This is what the world needs a little more of these days.  You see it in religion, in politics… hell, you see it in discussions about movies and books.  I constantly see people getting into violent arguments about things that are essentially their opinions.  For any confusion that might be occurring here, let’s define “opinion”:



1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.

4. Law . the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.

5. a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.: to forfeit someone’s good opinion.

Note that the words “truth” or “fact” do not appear in any of these entries.  Are you willing to die for something that “rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty”?  Many people have.  People kill each other over opinions.

Religion is just an opinion.  Political leanings are just opinions.  You don’t have to agree with me on those but if you don’t, I will direct you to the above definition (the first line).  The world is willing to self-implode for opinions.  Ain’t life grand?

Want to get off this crazy merry-go-round?  Stop identifying with your opinions or feelings.  Stop acting like they are real or have any value or merit.  You have an opinion and I have an opinion and the planet is round.  That’s all.

Or better yet, opinions are like assholes.  We all have one and they are all full of shit.


An Examined Life

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I’m sure you know the old Socrates quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  Or perhaps, “Know thyself.”

Most people neither want nor care to learn anything meaningful or useful about themselves.  They spend most of their schooling learning about other people, places and things.  In college and trade schools, they learn what to do with all of this knowledge of the outside world.  But they’ve missed out on the most amazing adventure of their lives – who am I?

If I told you I have a pretty good idea of who I actually am and even told you what I know, you really wouldn’t get it.  The point isn’t in the answer to that question, it’s in the experience of getting to it.  The experience of you getting to your answer to that question.  That’s the adventure.

Sometimes I wonder what kind of life I would be living if I was more caught up in temporal things like money, fame or success.  But alas, that life, at least this go around, was not meant for me.  I kept hearing the siren’s song of seeking Truth and was led down one dead-end after another.

It’s all relevant in the end, and completely and utterly pointless.  You just can’t see it from your side of things.  That’s why they call it the Gateless Gate.  It’s that door you think you can’t see beyond and that won’t open for you until one day it does and then you turn around to see how far you’ve come, and it was never there to begin with.

You are the gate.  There is no You.

I just made up my first Zen koan.  Chew on that.

At one point, I thought perhaps I would use this blog to write about my experiences seeking, but I find I have no predilection for teaching people.  However, I am happy to send you on your way.

If you’re ready to have your mind blown and your life blown up (and make no mistake, no one is ever ready for these things), then pick a starting point, any starting point.  Here are a few I can recommend.

Beyond Theology by Alan Watts

Ismael by Daniel Quinn

Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson

Breaking the Godspell: The Politics of Our Evolution by Neil Freer (Introduction by Zecharia Sitchin)

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing by Jed McKenna

Happy Trails to you.