Music as a Spiritual Metaphor

1035-relax-and-succeed-nice-people-dancingEssentially everyone likes at least some pop, that’s why it’s called popular music. At the same time, a lot of people find jazz’s unpredictability and flexibility to be frustrating and unpleasant. So it is with freedom. If you’re looking for me to pick favourites I don’t see the world that way. I like both genres, but this is a metaphor so don’t take offence to the surface details; focus on what it is I’m trying to convey about you relaxing more.

Pop’s danceability and group-shared head-bops and food-taps grow directly out of the fact that the genre asks all of the players to meet very often and very regularly. Every four beats to be specific. In this way Pop is like ego: to be acceptable, both the players and the dancers alike must agree to meet according to external rules mounted to an external framework.

There are genuine emotional rewards for pop’s kind of synchronisation and the dancing certainly makes more sense, but as satisfying as those group experiences can be they are not the same as the rewards received when experiencing the soul of jazz. In jazz people meet you because that’s what they chose to do, not because something outside of themselves instructed them to do so.

1035-relax-and-succeed-art-enables-us-to-find-ourselvesJazz is willing to go for many more beats before the musicians meet, with some forms seemingly never meeting. Even more uncertain is the fact that the musicians can each themselves impact the others through their choices, so in this way jazz is like causality. One musician makes no demands of the others; the others are still free, and yet it behooves them to find a way to cooperate. In that way it expands the space they all get to move around in.

The pop-like ego is focused on and is all about pattern-matching, whereas the soul of jazz is more like cooperative freedom. If pop is communism then jazz is tribal. Interestingly, pop can fit within jazz, it is however more difficult for jazz to fit within pop, precisely because it challenges the mass cooperation that pop requires on a regular basis.

You can have diversions of jazz within pop, but it must be framed within the tight constraints of pop or too much of it will take the pop apart. At the same time, a lot of pop within jazz makes jazz broader and more capable of plugging into other forms, although the pop aspect cannot go as far as including those cultures that naturally use larger scales than western civilisations. Jazz has more opportunities to incorporate those additional notes, whereas the more rigid form of pop simply cannot fully make use of all of those possibilities. This is how racism can exist in ego but not in our souls.

1035-relax-and-succeed-love-is-like-playing-the-pianoThere is nothing wrong with pop bands and dancing. These things have their place and are of great value to us. At the same time, having to tap your feet can get tiresome, and maybe you don’t want to dance or even sway. Maybe you want something surprising or unexpected or new. And when you’re ready to step out of the box of certain-acceptability, jazz–and your soul–are just waiting for you to give them the power of your consciousness.

There are times to dance and times to be free just as there are times to live James Carse’s  finite game in ego, and there are other times to live in what Carse calls the infinite game, where the point is nothing more than enjoying the act of playing the song at all. There are rewards for getting along with other souls and yet at the same time science has shown us that there is nothing more like the mind of an enlightened monk meditating than one of a jazz musician improvising.

Tap your feet when you feel like it. Be free when that’s your nature. Your freedom might feel problematic to people trying to maintain the certainty and predictability of four-four time, but that won’t make it wrong, because just as the pop people will find your freedom troublesome, the friends prepared to play jazz will be happy to have another friend joining them in their exploration of freedom.

A lot of your life and work are likely to be built around pop-like forms. Do not see this is a problem, for nothing ever prevents you from enjoyably using those sections of pop within the larger framework of the free creative space in which you live your personal jazz-like life.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

The Music of Your Life

Today could turn out to be a very good day for you. When you’ve been teaching this for a while it gets tough to come up with new metaphors and analogies to describe the very simple central truth that everyones seeking–the one that will bring them peace. But every now and then one of us stumbles into a new way of saying the oldest thing ever and this is one of those days.

822 Relax and Succeed - To play a wrong noteIt’s nice to see vinyl records making a comeback. I still remember walking into Mr. Sound and buying the entire Beatles collection of albums at once. I was a huge audiophile, reading Absolute Sound, buying handmade amplifiers by serial number because they were made by true genius electronics pioneers. They’re like the times you live in: they impact what your song sounds like in surprisingly dramatic ways.

I ran things like Linn Sondek turntables with an Infinity Widow arm holding a Grado Signature III. And at the end of that incredibly expensive cartridge was a tiny diamond. That diamond represents you. You’re so sure the way you are can’t be right. You must need to change. But maybe you’re just not relaxing into your own groove.

There are an infinite number of turntables. Our turntable is our world and its laws etc, and its spinning is time. The groove is your life–the people you meet, the experiences you have, your language, your schooling, where you live, how you were raised etc. Those things define the borders of your beliefs–the edges of the groove. And you bumping up against those things is what creates the music of your life.

The problem comes from your knowledge of other turntables, other records, other sounds. Your ego does this thing called comparison and you get the idea that your song can be wrong. The song can’t be wrong okay? No sounds are wrong. Just because your sound doesn’t mix well with someone else’s song doesn’t make yours or their songs wrong. They just don’t harmonize.

822 Relax and Succeed - When you playThe people playing hip hop will be friends, but that doesn’t mean that the people playing opera aren’t valid. There are people playing nature sounds and others playing documentaries. All are valid. The only problems come for us as individuals comes when we want out of our own groove and so we add resistance to our lives. We constantly lean against our groove in our attempt to force ourselves onto a different record, as though that was possible, when all it really does is make our own song sound unbalanced.

It is not the needle’s job to question the groove. The needle does not need to concern itself with what was previously played from the recording nor does it need to worry about or create expectations around the song further down the groove. Maybe the composer of the universe threw a weird bridge into the song. Just be in the moment you’re in and bounce through it naturally as you and it will all sound perfect. Perfectly you. That’s all we were ever looking for. Because that is the music of you.

As I often write, we all change numerous times in our lifetime. Don’t worry if you’re currently experiencing the bounces of a broken-hearted ballad. Time will ensure that a new song will arrive to you naturally. There is nothing you need to fix or do. Simply live and life will uncoil. Never fear. No matter which path you take, you’re always in your groove.

peace, s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Mood Music

I think this metaphor will really stick and be effective for a lot of readers.742 Relax and Succeed - You are wise

Lots of people will charge themselves up for a workout with music. They’ll plug in their earbuds and play their era’s version of Eye of the Tiger. The associations your brain makes to that music lead you to react chemically, which in turn gets you physically aroused and you feel stronger. You can choose music to stir an emotion but that system works both ways. That’s why Rene Zellweger is playing All By Myself at the start of Bridget Jones Diary. We can musically incite emotions or, emotions can incite our musical choices.

So if you’ve loaded some angry music up on your player it’s to match your tone. And that  holds for whether you feel happy, energetic, tired or contemplative. That’s why Songza is divided up by mood. So people are already sound-tracking their lives. And more and more that’s what they’re doing. They’re not listening to music as many will argue. They have morphed into sound-tracking their thoughts.

In a previous blog I mentioned a test where I pulled out a bunch of people’s earbuds as an experiment and I asked them each what they hearing. Shockingly few had any idea what song they were just listening to. They were lost in thought. So we gotta get you un-lost. That way you can enjoy life more fully by living it more consciously and deeply.

742 Relax and Succeed - How does one becomeThink of your emotions like you would think of listening to your song choice. You choose them from playlists of possible thoughts that fit into various genres. So you have happy songs or sad songs or angry songs or victim songs or worry songs or blame songs and you go through your day and you keep choosing a song for the current moment. You either say it to yourself or you say it to other people but unless you’ve practiced being internally quiet and open, you always have something playing on your emotional tuner. It’s only a matter of whether or not you’re aware of what kind of song you chose.

Fortunately you have the perfect feedback mechanism: you can check in with how you feel. Make that simple thing a habit: every 15 minutes check in with how you feel. Know that you chose that playlist out of countless. Yes, your boss or lover or whoever might have highlighted some tracks they strongly suggested you play, but that was then this is now. You’re an adult. You can run with scissors. You get to be truly powerful as a person when you know that the choice is always yours despite whatever apparent pressures appear to exist.742 Relax and Succeed - Be okay with where you are

Whether you pay attention to it or not you’re listening to music all day. You feel emotions all day. Stop putting more time into your musical choices than you do your emotional ones. Because you can blame others for how you feel. You can blame a situation, a diagnosis, a parent, a disease or any other thing and that’s fine for a time. But eventually you have to explain Stephen Hawking. You can use your personal thinking to crush yourself out of existence or you can expand yourself to the ends of the universe. The choice is yours.

You are the universe’s HP3 Player. The Human Potential Player. You sit in potentiality, with the world suggesting a song and you choosing one, the world suggesting one and you choosing one. And you cycle through life like that one moment, one song, one feeling at a time. You never have to worry about the future because you have all of those choices in between. And you can forget the past because those are songs already played. The band cannot take them back once they have graced your ears. You can play the same song again, but you can never hear it again for the first time.

If you pick some angry or sad music every now and then there is nothing wrong with that. But don’t dwell unnecessarily for too long in any emotional state you’re not finding genuinely rewarding. To surrender that choice is to deny the legitimacy of your own music, your own song. And that’s a big deal. Because the universe created you with no other purpose than to sing it. So go sing. Confidently and aware of your choices. You are loved.

peace. s

The Friday Dose #47

563 Relax and Succeed - Creativity is a drug

This week’s Friday Dose is all about stirring your insides. And to do that stirring I’ll use three different kinds of music with three different groups. It may not appeal to everyone but it should get your blood pumping for a good percentage of you. We’ll start off with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars doing Uptown Funk. I didn’t do some deep lyrical analysis on it, it’s just got a great beat and a very addictive bass line. In showing it to people I find it makes them happier as they watch the video and listen to the song so let’s hope that’s your experience too!

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Next we’ll jump to Nigel Stanford and Cymatics, where science and music meet in nature. It can be a bit mesmerizing to finally see sound waves made real through their effects in the material world. The longer the video goes the more dramatic the examples are until they eventually find themselves in Faraday Cage Suits. It truly is a great toe-tapping science experiment. Enjoy:

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And we’ll finish off with some class by including 2Cellos, featuring Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser. This Smooth Criminal—based Michael Jackson tribute is loaded with artistry and flair. Both men know how to work an audience and the director makes good use of that in this video, which features very simple but very evocative production design.

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And as a bonus, I’ll add another piece by Sulic and Hauser—this time we’ll listen to their version of AC/DC‘s Thunderstruck, and in this case their production design is decidedly not simple:

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You go have yourself a stupendous weekend. Big hugs.

peace. s

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. Focus on these and change your mind. Enjoy.

The Friday Dose #35

Winner: 2014’s Dose of the Year

485 Relax and Succeed - We are awakened by joy

Wow have I got some fun stuff for you. Life can be heavy. It’s good to buoy ourselves up on a routine basis. It should be an active part of your mental health regime to ensure that you ingest some enjoyable experiences during your day. Many of these will come from interactions with other people—your customers, co-workers or friends—but some will come from media as well. So encourage the sad people to join you because it will help make them happier, but choose friends who are good at being happy and then go do happy things. Play sports, run, play board games, converse, whatever. And if you’re going to take in any media, try to have it tip heavily towards positive things. You feel what your brain eats and digests. So be mindful of what you give it. I would recommend something along these lines. If you don’t think the world around you is conscious then maybe your thoughts just travel at the wrong speed. What if you sped the world around you up? Would it seem more intentional then?

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Next you’ll see the incredible artistry of Melody Yang, daughter of Fan Yang the renowned Canadian artist. There’s nothing I can really say here other than I’m confident you’ll be impressed by the mixture of art and science, she’s got some remarkable skills, and it’s easy to enjoy:

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And finally we’ll send you off by sending you around the world to a the sort of street artists you too-often walk past on your own streets. I remember hearing in an interview that Tom Petty and members of the Eagles used to busk on street corners and people had no idea who they were walking past. There are certainly some brilliant artists working on the street in my city and I’m sure there are in yours too. Pay more attention. It would be good for you and them. This really is very, very good. Enjoy. 😉

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That should have you feeling pretty good so carry that feeling forward. You’re an awesome person who has a lot to give. Feel your own wealth by sharing it with others. Go out and create a great day with positive vibes and patient, tolerant and helpful good deeds and that will be all we’ll need for the world to get better. Love you all.

peace. s

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

The Friday Dose #33

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.

473 Relax and Succeed - The art of being happy

We lost Robin Williams this week so we’re going to focus on regenerative thoughts. And oh it’s going to be so easy this week. Are you kidding? You barely have to move your eyeballs. This week’s Friday Dose is an all-video instalment and it’s cool and fascinating and profound. We’ll start off with some awesome breakdowns of everyday experiences that show how fascinating our everyday world truly is. Here’s the musical genius Chilly Gonzales explaining why you love the music you love and why simplicity is harder than you think:

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This second video, by Vsauce, challenges your belief about what you believe is real. Seeing might be believing, but that doesn’t make it the truth. There’s a lot of life you’ve never stopped to really ponder but, if you do, you realize that the most common things are thoroughly fascinating. Here’s an example—a discussion of the age-old question, do you see the same colours I see?

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The third video asks why you’re so hard on yourself. Seriously. I love you. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Sometimes life sucks. But it doesn’t stay that way if we just keep our eye open for opportunities for happiness. And you’d be surprised at how often you can be your own source of happiness. It’s virtually always:

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And why not add a fourth? In the opening piece, Chilly was describing the structure of a Pharrell Williams hit. I’ve posted Pharrell performing Happy in a previous Friday Dose, but here it is again, presented by one of my favourite groups, Walk Off The Earth. Enjoy.

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Let’s let the terrible tragedy of this week be a reminder for everyone to share our love with those around us. Share it clearly, share it openly and share it often. Do that and everyone wins. Love you.

peace. s

Disadvantaged Youth

452 Relax and Succeed - I am twoWhen parents talk about kids having it easy, they’re talking about the fact that they’re not dealing with either money or relationship issues. But to the child their challenges are very real and the emotions they face as a result are the exact same ones we face. This means terrible disappointment feels like terrible disappointment whether you’re broken up about a divorce, or broken up about the fact that you can’t play at your favourite friend’s house. Relatively speaking the disappointment is just as big and it’s felt just as strongly and we would do well to remember that.

Another thing worth remembering is the fact that kids are human. I see this all the time. A child is considered to have misbehaved every time they do something other than exactly what the parent wanted. They essentially get scolded for being their age. Kids learn through interaction. They learn through trial and error. To be scolded for that is to be scolded for being human.

So you didn’t love it when your kid dropped stuff off their high chair in their attempt to understand concepts like gravity or here and gone—but you put up with it because they were babies or toddlers. But as soon as they can talk they’re more like employees or soldiers. They’re simply supposed to do what they’re told and anything else is classified as misbehaving. And that is ridiculous and entirely unreasonable for the kid.

452 Relax and Succeed - So often children are punishedThere are days where you get a bad sleep. Maybe it was the way your body was positioned. Maybe it was the dreams you had. Or maybe you’re ill and don’t know it. But everyone’s woken up feeling less than ideal and it makes the day a lot harder. Diets can impact our moods as can the various bacteria and virii that compromise much of who we say is “us.” But adults can have bad days. Kids don’t get bad days. Kids are being bad when they’re disagreeable. They don’t have the luxury of a grumpy day. No one will give them that latitude.

Kids can’t want something different, they can’t need some time alone. Every disagreement is seen as bad behaviour rather than recognising that it’s very often just being created by the simple and very real differences between the parent’s personality and the kid’s. In short, your kid isn’t obstinate and difficult—they know who they are and they know what directions feel like theirs.

The fact that society makes demands on them that are unnatural doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the kid—the concept of society itself is just a subconscious agreement we all make to follow largely silly unnatural patterns. Just because some guy invents the concepts of a clock and a job doesn’t mean that an actual individual human being is wise to live their life according to those two things. (See: Intentional Being Video)

452 Relax and Succeed - Normal is getting dressed in clothesIf we want to be truly healthy we have to respect what we are in nature and stop forcing ourselves into the shapes that society demands for conformity. Kids are still wise enough to resist that pressure as unnatural. Adults get subdued into a state of mind where they just follow the patterns and lose all consciousness. And then they wonder why they barely laugh while kids laugh all day.

Stop expecting perfection from kids. Start to understand their behaviour not as something that’s not only relative to you and your rules, but as something unto itself. Because that’s what egos do—they assume everything has to do with them. So when their kid has a tantrum in a public place the kid is making the parent look bad, rather than the kid is having their own very distressing experience.

Do you think back in our tribal history that when we saw a kid freaking out that our reaction was to try to get them to conform so we would look good to our fellow tribesmen? Or do you think we would have watched them in an attempt to understand their actions. Might we then see that the kid is discovering how the world works, or maybe they’re actually noticing something valuable that you’re missing?

452 Relax and Succeed - Childhood is not a mental disorderYou will have conflict with your kid when you try to talk them out of a noisy instrument like drums in favour of some musical instrument they have zero interest in. If your kid loves drums and you buy them a guitar because it’s quieter, then your kid isn’t being difficult by not wanting to go to guitar lessons—he or she is just being a drummer.

Stop spending all of your time reciting complaints to your kids. Stop and actually ask if what they’re moving toward is really a problem, or are you creating one by wanting them to do what you expected rather than what was natural for them? For instance, some people are naturally nighthawks and some people are natural early-risers. An early-rising parent who forces a nighthawk awake is placing a greater value on society’s external rules than on nature. Even their love for and appreciation of the individual that is their child doesn’t overcome that. We may not find that fact convenient but it’s true.

Cities and nations etc. make us conform. We have to surrender who we are to some degree to function smoothly with others (i.e. traffic laws). But beyond that a lot of people will still demand changes just to suit them personally. You can’t blame kids for pushing back against any unnecessary restriction–because they’re right. It’s not them that’s wrong; we’re the ones who’ve been brainwashed and convinced to subjugate our natural impulses.

452 Relax and Succeed - Play is often talked aboutBe with your kids less as a corrections officer at a prison camp filled with rules, and more as a fellow human being who is co-discovering the world alongside them. Because in the jungle there are no bedtimes, no wake times, no school and no rules. There is the world and how it works and after that everyone’s allowed to be who they are. And it works, because that kid in the jungle will know and understand his world far better than any city kid who only sees the world as a set of pre-organized concepts that can only be manipulated in pre-decided ways, like life is a Transformer that can be this or that, rather than it being like Lego where it has the freedom to be anything.

Your kids are people first and your kids second. Respect them as individuals. Instead of telling them what to do try listening for who they are. What do they place a value on that you don’t? Maybe no one in your family plays an instrument but your kid sits at every piano he sees. Now that’s a kid you put in music lessons. Maybe you want them to sit still and they can’t. Well maybe they’re a kinetic kid who’s a dancer or an athlete. Maybe your kid likes to be off alone drawing or reading. That’s not antisocial, that’s a dedication to practising something.

Respect children. They do need your help establishing healthy limits. But don’t always assume you know best. Yes, for practical daily reasons sometimes they just have to water-ski along behind your day. Whenever possible, really try to see their behaviour as having less to do with you and life’s rules and more to do with their own individuality and how that meets this great big world. Because ultimately your job isn’t to teach them who to become—it’s to help them realise who they already are.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #22

407 Relax and Succeed - When someone is impatient

This week’s Friday Dose is a wildly mixed bag. We’ll start with this National Geographic study on what intermarriage will do to the human face over the next 35 years. I love this because racism disappears when you can’t look at someone and then jam them into a definition you already have. We’ll all be better off when everyone’s beige:

What the Human Face will look like in 2050

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I’ve travelled a lot and every time I return to North America I note how much it whines. How it is easily one of the richest places in the world and yet it seems like the richer we are, the weaker we get. We don’t need much to upset us. The rest of the world lives with much less and they are subsequently better at gratitude. Here’s an indication of how different things are depending on where you are:

16 Children’s Bedrooms from Around the World

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And we’ll close with a video from the show Q, on CBC One, where Chilly Gonzales (the musical genius) does a cool little piano lesson before playing his new song, Tarantula. If you want to jump right to the song you can head straight to about the 2:30 mark, but the little lesson’s pretty cool:

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Here’s to a wonderful weekend for you and all those you love.

peace. s

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. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy. And please let me know if you bump into any broken links. Thanks!

The Friday Dose #21

 

401 Relax and Succeed - You've gotta have a little fun

A reader recently pointed out to me that I had strayed from my original mission with The Friday Dose. What was supposed to be a store-house of cool mind-grabbing things that could be used to pull you away from painful thought patterns, instead became just an external link version of more of the blog. True dat. And so with Dose #21 I’m going back to the original mission. Yes, some of those posts might still be about what the blog’s about, but overall it’s going to be designed to be purely fascinating so that you can use it as a tool when you want to shift your thinking. Rather than stopping the pain better to be starting the enjoyment. The Friday Dose will be here for you, providing a source of go-to mind absorbing details about the universe. Enjoy.

Now I’m a drummer, so it makes sense that I would be biased, but at the very least I think you might enjoy one of the Phil Collins solos that’s included in this post. It discusses one point that I’ve often made with other drummers. I find there’s a slavish dedication to a strange thing called perfect time that’s seen by many as a pinnacle. I don’t “count” as a drummer, and matching an external human-invented device like a clock seems a very odd connection to make when playing music. Why would we think something that comes from our soul would need to be squeezed through a time processor like a clock? That literally makes no sense to me. What’s wrong with a song’s rhythm or beat shifting? I would suggest that the fractal that shows up in human heart-rates seashells and flower petals is also present in music and that a good drummer gets in tune with that:

Science Shows Drummers Have Different Brains

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Remember the lady who got millions suing McDonald’s because their coffee was hot? Remember how angry everyone was, and how much she was mocked? Well I want to use her here because here’s a great example of people passing around a myth and having strong and uniform judgments about it and yet virtually everyone is operating with nothing more than a smidgen of information about what actually happened. Well if you thought this lady won a frivolous suit, that’s because the news media thought the story would have more legs if they presented it in a way that upset you. That’s the stuff people talk about around the water cooler at work—and the news knows it. Because the real story was more complicated, and more interesting, and in it the little old lady was the most noble person in it:

The Real Lady Who Sued McDonald’s For Having Hot Coffee

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I know what I believe I know. But since tons of science is constantly proven incorrect, we cannot even claim science as some solid unmoving ground from which we can review the world. Even science itself proved this principle. As we all know, we’ve been told to eat eggs, not eat eggs, eat eggs, not eat eggs… fat’s good for you, sugar’s bad, then sugar’s bad and fat’s good. And on it goes. So why argue with anyone when we know that neither of us knows for sure and we could both have been misinformed—as in the previous case with the little old lady from McDonald’s. How many untrue things have you lived presuming they were true? I know when I looked I had tons and tons of them. My debating with others seems hilarious to me now. It’s much more fun living in uncertainty than certainty:

What Fake Things Do You Believe In?

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And let’s finish off with some Love. Some Mike Love. This doesn’t need words from me. It just needs your ears. This is some fine work. Enjoy:

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Have a great weekend!

peace. s

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. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy. And please let me know if you bump into any broken links. Thanks!

The Friday Dose #18 – Meaningless Joy

383 Relax and Succeed - How beautiful it is to do nothing

Last week I heard a story on the news that golf is dying because young people are too impatient for results and they don’t want to spend four hours relaxing in nature to see who won. They’re in so much of a hurry to get to the destination that they completely ignore the value of the journey. That’s sad, and that world was built and encouraged by my generation. I’m sorry about that. We were only trying to sell you more stuff so we could get more stuff. It’s not like many of us were very focused on the enjoyment of life. It was just a big race to collect what we were told to go get and we just kept adding to what everyone needed to collect. I’m hoping that the resulting emotional exhaustion is the straw that breaks this camel’s back.

Did it every occur to you that apparently useless activities could have value? It’s true. A friend of mine is a brilliant guy who’s ran several different kinds of businesses. He has a glider-flying game for his computer. Why? Because there’s no point. Because there’s no way to win. There’s no objective. You just go wherever you want to go. That’s a form of meditation. People used to sit around and stare at the fire. They still do if you give them the chance. But why? Because it doesn’t interrupt the quiet inside. It keeps you focused but it’s not demanding. You make your choices without tension because there is no price attached to the decision, unlike the rest of your life. That’s why it’s meaningful.

Here’s a meaningless little tool that you can have a lot of fun with. Play around with your choices. You have more of them that you immediately may realize:

Soundscape Manipulation

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Have you heard of the painter Jackson Pollock? He used the tensile strength of paint to help him create. There was a fluid unpredictability to his motions and it adds a quality to his works that I would call kinetic and graceful. This tool is also pretty useless at anything other than relaxing your mind by giving you something to do that you can’t fail at:

Jackson Pollock Fun

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And finally here’s one that’s a little more direct. Turn on your sound, crank up your volume and have some fun. Anyone can do it and it’s as fun as it is meaningless. And meaninglessness has real value in anyone’s life. Start investing more in it today:

A Beatbox For All Ages

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Make your enjoyment of life a bigger priority. Stop trying to get things done and start being present more often. Because you never have been a Human Doing. You always have been and always were intended to be, a Human Being. Now go Be. 😉

peace. s