The Friday Dose #27

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Enjoy.

Today’s Dose is all about the sort of conceptual art that bends your brain and really gets you to see the world in a new and different way. This is my favourite part about art—I love the way it can use its perspectives to allow us to see things we normally miss, but that the artist themselves do not. It’s almost as though they have magically slowed the world down so that we can see the everyday magic that they do.

437 Relax and Succeed - Slinkachu - Wet n Wild

This first piece is called the “Little People Project,” and these little dioramas are tiny pieces of street art intended to encourage city dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings, and of themselves. I like how they also make some social commentary, like the family who is so focused on living a life of luxury and enjoyment that they fail to notice that their financial future is heading right down the drain, or the smoker who must face how much he actually consumes in a lifetime. Good art makes you think and every Slinkachu piece challenges your beliefs about something you take for granted. And even if you aren’t one of the people represented, just imagine how you’d act if you knew this artist was working in your city. Wouldn’t you be walking around less in your own head and thoughts and more on an awareness of the outside of you? And even if this artist wasn’t working in your city, what kind of treasures might you find if your mind was less engaged with talking to itself about itself, and more engaged with noticing what’s going on around it:

Slinkachu – Little People

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437 Relax and Succeed - Giraffes by Jan Pelcman

This… this just makes you want to hug and cuddle:

Cute Animal Parenting

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This is, quite simply, an extremely clever use of light, shadow, music, dance and performance:

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The world is a fantastic, varied, wonderful and amazing place. If you’re spending too much time inside your own personal thinking, then maybe it’s time to get healthier by spending less time on trying to be healthy and more time on just engaging with your own interests and natural passions. Life is not for working hard, life is not about getting ahead. There is no getting ahead. I’ll tell you how this ends for sure: you die. So go live in the meantime. There’s too much life out there for you to spend your entire existence trapped inside your head bouncing around in between your own fearful or limiting thoughts. Live your life by exercising your freedom to choose the experiences which bring value to your life. This is the ultimate expression of your individuality. Enjoy.

peace. s

Being Human

More comment than question: I find it interesting that even if the question has no relationship to my life I still always learn something important in every one of your answers. It always seems like there’s at least one or two sentences where I think, ‘wow I never thought of seeing it that way.’ I just wanted to say thanks.

signed,
Grateful Reader

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much! What writer wouldn’t like a compliment like that? And if you don’t mind, I would like to use your comment-not-question as a jumping off point for a discussion about something important. Something you referred to when you noted that every blog—regardless of the relevance of the question—seems to be helpful to you. I hear that all the time. And it speaks to how much the same we all are.

422 Relax and Succeed - Your emotions shouldn't be dictatingPsychological understanding is based on the fact that each psyche will be logical. What’s different are its available routes of thought, which are dictated by experience, and included in that will be how bold or timid someone might be, how informed about relevant information, how well they might reason, and what they might value. But they will all process their information in the same way everyone else will. They will feel whatever they think and they will mistake their beliefs for universal truths just like the rest of us do when we’re in a state of ego. Despite our differences, we are all the same in how we create our egos.

The range of human feeling that we refer to as emotions are fabricated from language. Fear is primal—it keeps us alive. It is a feeling. Anger is fear turned aggressive and this is used to attack for defensive purposes and possibly for acquiring food. Love is what breeds compassion and care which leads to survival which leads to continuing this adventure which is, deep down, the point. But we share all of our feelings with most of the rest of the world, animals included. Emotions are distinctly human and they emerge from the complexities of language.

The very thing that we proudly display as what separates us from animals, is the same thing that makes the animals healthier than us. Because worrying that there might be a bear near where you’re hunting is one thing. But being afraid that your boss will yell at you because you were late because your daughter threw up on you just before you left for work—well that’s something entirely different. One is about literally not existing and the other is about clashing in imaginary psychological space. And yet language causes us to use the same neuro-chemicals for 422 Relax and Succeed - I am in charge of how I feelboth. One can kill us, the other is just something we imagine, and yet we walk around treating them equally simply because our biology hasn’t caught up to our ability to invent things like words, abstract concepts and languages.

We have to stop seeing ourselves and others as the individual thought patterns we were trained to be by experience. Yes, this sets your initial course. But as soon as you are actively conscious you can choose your direction. You can shape your personality. To surrender that idea as though it is impossible is to be like the guy who throws his frozen computer out the window, as though the hardware is the problem rather than the software. We can always introduce patches to the software. But we should look at other people as processors of information with filters made of belief systems, and because we ourselves are looking through a similar distorting lens, we find are left completely unable to find a fixed place to judge from, and so once we have that realization we can relax into simply being. There’s nothing wrong anymore. There is no way to judge. Things just are. It’s stunningly healthy.

I appreciate you sending in the generous compliment. But I also appreciate that it fed nicely into something I’ve been looking for a question on, because I think it’s an important principle worthy of everyone’s consideration: emotions confuse and misguide life, being guided by feeling leads to an authentic life. It’s worth being able to tell the difference.

Thanks again for the kind words.  Have yourself a wonderful day, week, month and year.

peace and love, s

The Friday Dose #9 – Brave New Worlds

It’s a cool week. I get to put a lot of really interesting stuff in the Dose each week. But I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited about a week. Because there’s a lot of people bitching and a lot of people lost and a lot of people hurting, but overall the world is moving in a wonderful, beautiful, marvellous direction. And today we’re looking at two signs of that progression. Isn’t it exciting to be living through a renaissance!

329 Relax and Succeed - In zen the important thingI’ll start off with an absolutely wonderful article from Psychology Tomorrow Magazine. In it the writer writes about a man whose life was very different from, and yet in many ways almost exactly the same as, my own. His route was extremely similar from an internal perspective, but I find it fascinating how he had virtually identical internal experiences and yet they were created by external circumstances that were remarkably different. Certainly every quote from him in the article is something I either have said or would feel entirely comfortable saying (although I actually can fill in some of the remaining blanks noted). I sometimes work with my friend Christina, and I can’t help but think that she has/will laugh when she reads it because his points sound so much like me. It’s a great article and it points to a brighter future for our world. Enjoy:

The Neuroscience of Suffering – And Its End

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You may have seen a recent Scientific American article talking about how we’re learning that elephants are much smarter than we realized. I can’t help but wonder if the elephants are learning we’re not as smart as they thought. 😉

329 Relax and Succeed - All animals deserve protectionWe have to change our ideas of Human Beings being masters of this Earth. There’s no reason for us to believe that except hubris. Because we can talk and manage energy to the point where we can overrun the planet does not mean that we own it. Who were we to put up fences? Who were we to invent the idea of property? Pretty bold. But we’re hitting a wall in numerous ways. And people can feel it. They’re looking for something real. Something intense and beautiful and unrecreatable. They want life to be more of a Mandala, where they can intricately build aspects of themselves and then destroy them in order to engage in the act of creating another. We’re getting less interested in things and status and more interested in experiences. This is a good thing.

As regards the video: I remember seeing this guy many years ago, before he’d learned as much as he knows now. By using his own experience rather than other people’s teaching, he found new ways to approach old ideas. In the end his discoveries seem inevitable. It would be counter-intuitive to even consider that he might be wrong. It just makes sense. And it makes you wonder what this world will look like if we all start raising all the world’s children to have this level of connection capability. It’s one of the best videos on the internet. Enjoy:

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Have yourself a wonderful weekend.

peace. s