Boat Analogy in Pursuit of the Essence of Life and Reality

I am not a religious person in the traditional sense, meaning, in the sense that I don’t consider myself from any sect nor do I think one religion is IT.

It is my observation and feeling that the original intention of many religious and even philosophical frameworks — beyond their defined constitution, policy, and dogma — are tools to point us, or vehicles to get us to the essence of life and reality. Set aside what I think as “the essence of life and reality” for another day, let’s consider a boat analogy.

Various kinds of religions are different boats on a river. Let say we begin life on one side, and the other side is the land with the essence of life and reality.

My observation in present time is that…

Some people don’t see or simply ignore the boats.

Some people spend time just looking at the different boats and analyze the boats from the shore.

Some people got put on the boats.

Many people merely follow others onto the boats.

Many people feel the need to belong to a boat.

Majority of people think the boats are IT — the place to be.

Now, when people think their corresponding boat is IT, they just sit on the boat. They spend time remodeling, upgrading, making the boats more attractive for more people to hope on the boat because they believe the boat is the place to be, with well intention, I suppose.

But, there being so many boats (oh, so many ITs) that we are consciously or subconsciously all insecure and so then we get busy trying to convince each other that my boat is better than yours!

In worse case, we take the attitude that if you don’t agree and come on to our boat, we will F-in sink yours!

MEANWHILE, we forget that all boats share the same purpose and are truly useful in that they can carry you across the river… and only if you choose to use the boat for that intended purpose. (While I suppose we may lead an interesting discussion on how well each boat is made and whether they may sink… haha, anyways…)

As such, floating on this boat is never going to get us what we want when what we want is on the other side of the water. So we are eternally lost, forever dissatisfied, always feel like we are struggling and thus a need to fight. Doesn’t that describe how most people act and feel and how things are now?

Incidentally, unbeknownst to most, the meaning of “sin” from its Greek root is “to miss the point,” versus how we use it to mean violating some predefined moral conducts.

We seem to be missing the point of the boats.

Now, a great flaw lies within the boat analogy. The flaw in the analogy is the description of our life as a pursuit. The real pursuit when we finally get to the bottom of it, if one bothers to get to the bottom of it, is the opposite of pursuit.

To pursue is what we are taught and know and always do in life — which is an agenda mentality to move from point A to point B, whatever it takes.

The way I see is — peace, contentment, compassion, courage shall never bear fruits, except in pretense, in such pursuit.

Originally posted 2010-04-26 00:29:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

In praise of idleness

I keep seeing the occasional spike in the article that I had written awhile back – The Art of Doing Nothing so I feel like to add a few thoughts to that.

Productivity seems to have become the end-all-be-all goal in our current time. Driving up productivity is an unquestionable aspect in driving more values in business, at all cost.

The attitude from such execution results in the mentality that we have to be useful, productive ALWAYS into all aspects of our lives. Thus…

To be doing something useful is great!
To be idling is blasphemy!

I know we don’t really say things like that but when anyone says that he had done nothing over the weekend or something, he’s usually met with the reaction “oh… (maybe you should be doing something more useful, or be out doing something exciting).” Well, something along those line. In short, the reaction to an “idling answer” is always kind of awkward.

I find there is a lot be praised to be able to be idle — and that includes our physical and mental capacities. To be honest, we need to be able to be idle. Not always, but I think it’s necessary on intervals.

There is something rejuvenating about it.
A lot of creativity arises from moments of idleness.
Epiphany usually only happen when you can stop to be idle.
If we ignore all the above, we simply need a balance in life.

Idleness is the couter-balance of productivity.

Slightly different version of being idle is to be able to move/act at leisure.

But I think in our pursuit of growth and mostly only economically… sometimes also for fame and power, we give up this important concept. And we almost chastise each other for being anything other than productive.

I read something awhile back that I’ll always remember… You know what kind of people would not be hostile and try to always fight with others? People who can stop to look at and genuinely enjoy a beautiful scenery.

I enjoy being able to be idle and leisurely.

Maybe we need more people like that. Maybe we need to start teaching that.

I feel the reason behind our distaste against idleness has to do with our deep desire to control. We want things to happen our way instead of letting things happen by itself when in things, many things happen outside of our control. Sad to say, that is more healthy to let things take its course. To always control is a very short sighted perception due to insecurity.

It is also a fact that our brain does MUCH more than we are consciously aware of. Thus when we feel sleep/rest is wasteful, that is also completely wrong. Think of it as a digesting process when we let ourselves rest… of all the events that happen during the day, the stress, the hormone, and all the emotional wear and tear that occurred during everyday!

Originally posted 2012-09-26 22:28:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Questions for U.S. President George Bush Junior

I talked about reflecting on yourself to become a better “you” as everyday goes by.

I’m not a very political person, but I wonder if our president does any self-reflection.
I wonder if President George Bush Junior ever think to himself:

I’m already the president of U.S., the most powerful man in U.S. and possibly in the world, do I really need more power?
Maybe I should use my power more appropriately, for better cause, and not abuse the darn thing…

I (and my friends) have a crap load of money already, do I really have to help us obtain more?
Maybe we can use our time, money, and effort to help and advocate medical research or any kind of benefical social efforts.

I’m making more mistakes than I really want to when I speak in public…
Maybe I should work on my vocabulary and practice the presentation…

Had there been “a little” too many lives lost among all the wars I started here and there?
Maybe it’s time to find a way to stop them.

I have always been pushing democracy to the other parts of the world. Why don’t people understand?
Maybe they don’t understand the fundamentals of democracy. Wait, do I know the fundamentals of democracy? Is United States being a good example of democracy under my ruling?

Should I listen more to the opinions of the people I am supposed to be serving?
Maybe it’s time I listen to other perspectives.

Did I really change the government for the better?
Did I really make America a better place?
Have I contributed to the world positively?

And finally…
Am I being a good president? Am I being a good person?

Personally, I’m not sure if he can close his eyes and say with peace in his heart, “Yes”.
But that’s just me.

Do you have questions for our Mr. President?

Originally posted 2007-08-19 13:10:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How to Communicate – To Truly Connect

For work or personal relationship, we are presented with the questions:

What does it mean to communicate?
How can we do it well?
Or rather, how do you really listen to the other person?

So then quite frequently, we took classes and lesson. We studied some psychology and philosophy. We are taught tricks and techniques such as…
– say certain phrases
– ask certain questions
– use certain hand gestures
– mirror the other party’s movement and behaviors
– how to process the words coming out of the other person’s mouth

Well, those are all dandy and fine, but I find those can only be effective in so much depends on how well you know yourself (as I often say here) and ultimately, on the basis your realization that, we are all human beings.

The other person is a person, a human being. Just like yourself.

This basic realization is fundamental and consequential.

That is very important because we often let our own and the other person’s identities get in the way and thus lead to both parties being scared, intimidated, distant, defensive, offensive during conversation.

Bosses and employees.
Teachers and students.
Parents and children.
Husband and wife.

We must realize that we are not merely identities.

Part of being present in the moment is this realization. Not that we ignore people’s identities but to have a “non-grasping-ness” with the identities while knowing that are the same human beings as I am. We are fundamentally the same… human beings who are both rational and irrational, with both thinking minds and emotional hearts. We all have parents. We all thrive on a healthy Earth. We… well, you get the point.

A few other details on what not to do in order to allow true communication…

Not wondering about other things in your mind.
Not thinking or preparing what to say next.
And definitely, not lying and saying things to ONLY achieve a personal agenda.

On a last note, these ideas point out a few limitation of communication through the virtual world. In that, when we are not physically together, thus the Internet, our communication relies heavily on the identities we already know of the other people or identities that we claim and establish. In other words, through Internet and text exchanges, we can only see fragments of the other person… rather than truly connecting.

Yes, emails, text messages, and social networks are great convenient tools, but at the same time, I find us making the grave mistakes of over-using it to represent and communicate ourselves as if they can represent and communicate ourselves in totality. Perhaps this is why more people are feeling lonelier than ever? That more people feel isolated than ever? That there are more depressed people than ever?

Something for us to ponder…

This is not so far from us missing the point by mistaking our abstractions of reality as reality. But, this is a topic for another day.

Originally posted 2009-08-31 23:41:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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