God is a dream

In that state of not quite dreaming while still not yet awake there is a moment of clarity that quickly fades as the sobering reality of a new day dawns. Once awake the confusion sets in. My thoughts are bombarded with all the knowledge of what I don’t know or understand. The realization of my doubt reemerges.

What just moments ago seemed crystal clear now feels like a delusion. So what is real? Is there such thing as truth?

The answers, while so very simply, never seem to hold up to the light of day. It’s like trying to find God through science. Perhaps it can be done but that seems like going the long way around. If God is real, if God is truth then God is never that far away. There is no need to prove or disprove the existence of God because God just either is, or isn’t. It is a question which cannot be answered. For God to exist one must simply know it. If God does not exist, then all we have is questions.

As I pass around the corner leaving behind my twilight slumber to greet the cold morning air of this winter’s day I wonder; “Was that God, or was it a dream?”

Advertisements

a penny for your thoughts, a dollar to act them out

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. – Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia)

I’m going to try and make this a quick post. I’ve been looking forward to this day all summer and I really want to get on with it. I bought my ticket to see Gogol Bordello outdoors at the Cabooze the day they went on sale. I didn’t think they would sell out (and they haven’t); I didn’t know what the weather would be like (I feel like it was snowing when I bought the ticket), I just wanted to make sure that I put it in my calendar and committed to seeing this show. For the past five years I’ve seen them every time they were in town and it’s always an amazing experience.

I’m also just looking forward to getting out on my bike and having a lovely summer afternoon with nothing to do but ride and enjoy the day. A potential added bonus is that I may get to see one of my friends who needed to be removed from my life for a while. She contacted me Wednesday night wanting to know if I wanted to meet up. I’ve been waiting for that opportunity all summer as well. We’ll see how that goes.

So I’ve been doing some connecting the dots.

I heard recently on public radio that the government is changing the way that it calculates the Gross Domestic Product to include things like intellectual property that currently don’t have a clearly defined monetary value. I still think that we would be better off calculating Gross National Happiness but I this is a move in the right direction. Ideas have value and so why don’t we try to quantify it?

I’ve also been working on eliminated my possessions while maintaining my standard of living. I’ve become fascinated with the movement called Collaborative Consumption where instead of everyone having to own things that we don’t use 99% of the time, we share them so that we can reduce our individual consumption while still collectively increasing the benefit of those commodities.

I have a wealth of ideas but honestly I don’t have the time to use most of them. What if I could share them with people who had more time than ideas? Clearly, that is not an original idea. That is going on all the time, every day all over the internet. That is the driving principle behind conferences like TED Talks and the Aspen Ideas Festival. I’m convinced that collectively we have all the ideas we need to solve all the worlds problems. It’s just a matter of getting them into the heads of people that can actually do something with them.

So I have an idea that I want to share. It’s not going to save the world or anything but it’s a fun idea that I’m not going to be able actualize to it’s full potential. In my last blog post I introduced the words drunkonomics and drunkommunication. I feel like there is a book in there using the principles of alcohol and alcohol consumption to teach otherwise boring or confusing subjects. There could even be a chapter on drunkemistry. Alcohol is a solution after all. So feel free to run with that. Hopefully you will give me credit for the idea. Hopefully you will consult with me because I have many more thoughts on the idea. Actually what I want is a penny on the dollar so if you make a million dollars off my idea I want ten grand.

This life is for the birds

It’s five-thirty in the morning. The birds are are beginning to chirp. These are the same birds that earlier this week kept me awake as I was trying to get to sleep. Now my sleep schedule has completely turned around and I am trying to wake up. Still, I am unable to move. Words form in my head and I wonder if I will be able to deliver them safely to their home on the page before they are lost forever to the nether regions of my brain.

I have been struggling to write this post all week. It’s amazing how much can change in a matter of days. It’s amazing how many contradictory thoughts I can hold in my head at the same time. The challenges I faced at the beginning of the week seem completely contrary to the challenges I face today, yet for some reason they remain lodged in my perception.

Two versions of my reality stare each other down, each vying for control of my life yet locked in stalemate. One version is fueled by self-confidence, the hard won knowledge that I am doing the best that I can and that it is working. The other, fueled by depression, tells me that this is too hard, that I should give up, that there is no point to continuing, that everything I have tried so hard to build is built on sand and will fall to pieces under the slightest breeze.

The confidence is new to me, the depression is not although it has been some time since I have felt its presents so profoundly. Still, I recognize its signature traits. I know it is chemistry. For years I have fought back with chemicals; now I fight back with knowledge. Over time the chemicals have lost their potency but knowledge continues to gain strength. The knowledge most vital is that time is the only weapon that will defeat this adversary. It is this knowledge that keeps me hanging on in spite of everything which tells me to give up.

But knowledge is not enough. Of all the issues I face, depression is the most debilitating, challenging to overcome and the most deadly. Knowledge is enough to let me know that I can survive this. Knowledge is the reason why I have to survive this. Knowledge is the reason I keep doing the right thing even though my impulse is to completely lose it and tear everything apart.

It doesn’t seem fair. Why do I have to take responsibility for my demons when nobody else seems to? Why do I need to rise above it and be the better person? Why do I have to hold onto my pain?  Why can’t I just lash out at the world? Why can’t I fight back when I am under attack? Why do I get held to a higher standard? Why do I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold anyone else? Why do I have to be so understanding?

Oh yeah, because I know…

Life sucks… so what!

It’s all we’ve got so I might as well do what I can to make it suck a little bit less. No gain will be made by putting more pain into the world.

So here I go again… Off to do what I can to make the world a better place.

Without a doubt

I was called arrogant last night. I’ve been called arrogant before. It’s always confused me but I think that I am starting to understand. The ironic part is that I am most often called arrogant when I am feeling the most unsettled and unsure of myself.

This situation typically arises when I am sharing a new found thought, a revelation,  some truth that has presented itself to me. I’m not sharing it to be arrogant. I’m not seeking praise or admiration. Actually, what I am seeking is sympathy and understanding. I actually find these moments very unnerving and they make me feel insecure.

I know that most people hold fast to their personal truths. They give people comfort and a sense of stability. I get those feelings from doubt and uncertainty. For me, they are much more reliably sources. I take great comfort in the knowledge that I don’t know what is true, that I don’t know what is going to happen. Yeah, I’m really fucking arrogant!

However, sometimes I have these moments. Sometimes I make these connections, I put the pieces together and it all becomes clear. In that moment, the abstract becomes concrete in my brain. It’s quite an overwhelming experience and makes me feel really uncomfortable. It’s also exhausting. It takes a lot of brainpower and I’m not that smart a guy. Why do I see these things that no one else seems to see. If I didn’t know better, I would think that I was going crazy.

The fact is I don’t know. I might be going crazy. It certainly feels like what I would imagine going crazy would feel like. Not that I think being crazy is a bad thing. I know many people who experience delusions and some of them are the most brilliant people I know. They make connections that no one else would. But that is not the way my brain works. I may be crazy but I’m my own kind of crazy and I don’t think this experience is an indicator that anything is changing.

I was also told a truth last night. This also made me feel uneasy. Most people hearing this news would have been comforted. Part of me was comforted. Part of me really needed to hear it. It was good news but it also shook the foundation of my being. I mean if you knew that something was a “sure thing” why would you keep trying? What would be your motivation?

Perhaps I am over thinking all of this. Perhaps that’s just what I do. Perhaps that’s just who I am. Perhaps that’s why I’m so fucking exhausted today.

Everything I know

I just watched this tonight. I couldn’t do much else today but to be honest, if this was all I accomplished, it would be enough. My entire life I have been thinking, trying to figure out the world. To this date, the Movie The Matrix may summarize everything I have learned. Okay, maybe I have learned a thing or two more, but not much. When I first watched the movie I didn’t realize how much of my philosophical thought was contained within. If you want to know everything I know, watch this!

Knowledge is power but belief is action

Yesterday was my first day as a pedicab driver. Tomorrow will be my second day. Today is hell.

Every muscle in my body aches. Even my brain feels fried. The important thing is I survived and I’m sure it will get easier. I like this kind of pain because it means I’m getting stronger.

I was telling my mom about the new job at Easter brunch today. She seemed surprised that I was trying to do it, you know, considering my age and all.

“You’re really going to see if you can do this?” she ask.

“I think I just proved that I can,” I replied.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the age of Star Wars and those immortal words of Yoda still haunt me, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

I never try to do anything. If I have doubts, I will surely fail. I only set out to do something when I believe with all my heart that I can do it. Secretly, I believe I can do anything.

Sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes I do something and I fail. I’m okay with that. I know that I can’t do everything. I know that I have limits. But in order to do anything I need to believe that I can. It is important to distinguish between knowledge and belief. They are not the same thing but they both have purpose. To put this in figurative terms, beliefs are thoughts we keep in our hearts, away from our brains where they can be killed by facts and logic.

I also know that I make mistakes but I believe in making mistakes. Making mistakes is how I grow and thankfully making mistakes never completely shaken my belief in myself. My second to last fare of the evening last night, I knew was probably a mistake.

It was almost bar close and I was heading down to the nightclub district to position myself for the hoards or drunken people that were about to spill out onto the sidewalk. Instead I found this woman stumbling down the sidewalk, all alone, talking on her cell-phone, and appearing to not have a clue as to where she was going.

I asked her if she needed a ride and she climbed into my pedicab. Then she handed me her cell phone and told me to talk to her friend. I’ll call him Michael. He lived about a block from my old apartment. It was maybe two miles away, which is a pretty long pedicab ride but not too far. It also meant going up the biggest hill that I had tried to conquer with a pedicab but I believed I could do it. This woman was in my care and I wanted to make sure that she got where she was going.

I quoted Michael twenty dollars. A taxi ride would have cost maybe ten but at bar close there was no way she was going to get a taxi. Who in their right mind would pick up someone who didn’t know where they were going and didn’t have any money? Clearly I was not in my right mind. I was following my heart, not my head. I was doing what I believe in.

I did make it up that hill, by the way. Sure, it nearly killed me and my passenger kept kicking me in the ass telling me to go faster. I told her, “Keep it up, it think it’s working!” Michael did pay me the twenty dollars we agreed on. He could have screwed me and there would have been nothing I could have done about it but I believe that most people aren’t out to screw me. I’m a pretty nice guy and we all know, nice guys don’t get screwed. I also made it to the 19 bar for bar close where I picked up another short fare. It was actually another guy who never screwed me although I think he would have if I had played my cards right. All in all, it was the best hour of my night.

%d bloggers like this: