‘I don’t believe life has a purpose. Life is a lot of protoplasm with an urge to reproduce and continue in being... but each incarnation, you might say, has a potentiality, and the mission of life is to live that potentiality.'
Joseph Campbell is an incredible storyteller, spiritual guru, philosopher, academic (comparative religion & comparative mythology), writer, etc etc. Another old dead guy with a wicked sense of humour that I'm sure I would have fallen for in his day.
So "How do Read more [...]
I drew this up flowchart / map of religious beliefs about three years ago. I agree with this quote in part. Thinking can be terrifying. At the time I drew up this map I was at the beginning of an emotional process of learning to think - discovering where the worldview of my upbringing fit with the worldview of other people's upbringing.
Can you see where your beliefs fit?
There seems to be an endless list of ism's. Have I missed yours? If I've missed any to do with key categories of beliefs Read more [...]
Why do you get up in the morning? Does an answer come into your mind straight away? It does for the people in Okinawa, and it thought to be one of the key factors in their longevity - estimated to lengthen the lives of the people by 7 years! Ikigai is kind of like the French raison d'etre - 'a reason for being'. It could be a creative passion, your relationships, your job... Everyone has a ikigai, even if you don't know it yet.
In Okinawa they do that thing they love until they die. Why do Read more [...]
Following a question from someone who came across this blog, I was inspired to revisit Resolution Theory - Gregory David Roberts' philosophical and cosmological model shared through Khader Bhai, the Mafia don, in Shantaram: The Novel.
“The whole universe is moving toward some ultimate complexity. This has been going on since the universe began, and physicists call it the tendency toward complexity. And… anything that kicks this along and helps it is good, and anything Read more [...]
"It's easier said than done." I think we all have discovered this at some point or another. A couple of weeks ago I was struggling with a few big decisions and I punched the following rant into my phone on my way to work. In short, I consider the relationship between money, stories, optimal-trajectories, and the dynamics involved in putting these into practice. It's not always easy to practice what you preach...
When you are happy, it's easy to say that if you're not happy you should change something. Read more [...]
''Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist... The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can't understand, or was it determined by a law of science?'' that you could meet, and ask questions.''  he [Hawkings] said. ''I believe the second. If you like, you can call the laws of science 'God', Read more [...]
"Camus said there is only really one serious philosophical question which is whether or not to commit suicide," said Alan Watts, quoting Albert Camus (going on to say he believes there are five serious philosophical questions... see audio book on you tube below)
It is a good question. If we are all going to die at one point or another, then why bother going on? Why not just do it now, get it over with?
What motivates you to get up in the morning, to do something rather than stay in bed Read more [...]
While in the past I've aspired to balance, I've come to embrace the imbalance, accepting that balance is found in the wholeness of all that exists, and over time - it doesn't have to exist in every moment I experience. The yin and yang - the mixture of cold and hot, of love and fear, of birth and death - provide a fertile ground for new ideas to be seeded and creative potentials to be discovered.
I see this dynamic in everything that surrounds me, in the death of stars above, and in the death Read more [...]
"India's chaos was bigger than your ego," said Farhad Azad. "You have to remember we are but drops in the ocean." He was right, India's incomprehensibility had put me back in my place. Somewhere along the line I came across this song, it's pretty funny. By Kimya Dawson:
I like it. "I am a speck of dust inside a giant's eye"
As you can see, over a few rounds of longneck Himalaya (Nepali beer) on two brief occasions, I learned a lot from Farhad. It's amazing how when you are open to Read more [...]
Whoever we are, and whatever what we have accomplished in our life, we all eventually face the same fears: fears of being old, ill, of being a burden to our families, fears of going insanity, of losing liberty, losing dignity, of being neglected in our old age, and last but not least, the fear of facing the biggest unknown in our lives, death. (Unless, of course, if scientists find a way to preserve our mind in artificial/cloned bodies... but let's ignore this scenario for now.)
With age we Read more [...]
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come Read more [...]
Once upon a time, in the land of Quantum Nothingness, there was a BIG BANG and an infinitesimally small something started to expand, possibly faster than the speed of light.
For some unknown but much talked about reason, matter in the form of quarks (the basic building blocks of protons and electrons) and dark matter (we don't actually know what this is) appeared, and with it came two forces: gravity (that draws everything together) and electromagnetism (that draws opposites together and pushes Read more [...]
I wish to share with you a story: The Story of the Universe. My Story. Your Story. A True Story – well as true as true can be. Our Story has gone through many filters: of limited human knowledge developed through our limited human senses, mental constructions, and even our “impressive” technologies. Our Story, as I tell it, will be filtered through my personal perspectives, which have developed through my own past experiences, my limited education, and the general time pressures I face in writing Read more [...]
Juan, my new friend on Galapagos islands saw the look of horror on my face when I saw the iguana carcass.
"It's part of life," he shrugged.
As time on the islands passed I would see many more examples of the cycle of life and death, from the crab shell above to baby birds, to the bones of a sea-lion below. What struck me more than the death was the life that these animals live.
On these magical islands, animals live their lives to their full potential - they live their lives without Read more [...]
Time is the most valuable asset we have. We count as weeks and years go by, as we get older and our borrowed energy starts to dwindle. There's not enough time in our day. Not enough time in our weeks. Not enough time in our lives. And yet there is, we just have to accept that there is a time for everything:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A Read more [...]
Have you read The Alchemist - by Paulo Coelho? The first time I picked it up it didn't grab me and I soon put it down. But the second time I picked it up, the simplistic beauty of the allegorical novel suddenly clicked. I'm going to share some of my favourite quotes over the next few weeks.
Paulo describes four obstacles to finding treasure:
“First we are told from childhood onwards that everything we want to do is impossible."
“The second obstacle: love. We know what we want to do, Read more [...]
So I (finally) finished reading Shantaram!!! It is a very long book, but well worth the time.
My favourite parts, besides Gregory David Robert's incredible use of adjectives, is the philosophy of life that Khader Bhai, the Mafia don, shares with Lin. Khader Bhai calls it Resolution Theory, and I think it's pretty similar to my own philosophy that I, for fun, labeled "Creativism". While Resolution Theory relates good and evil to the tendency toward or away from complexity, I like to think of Read more [...]
Ok so I'm laying in the water enjoying an early morning swim at a nearby harbour-pool when all these thoughts stream into my mind. A sign that my mind has had enough vacation? I'm not sure.. Narratives of Peace is a topic I'm looking at doing a research project on in the second half of this year...
We ALL have a Narrative Of Peace (NOP) - that is, a story we tell ourselves will bring us toward a more peaceful place.
Even suicide bombers have one – acting with the conviction that their Read more [...]
Today is 010110. Another year gone by, we farewell another decade. As a society following a human-made calendar we have reached our century's teenager years.
Time is ticking on, the completion of a rotation. I count my age, evaluate my place. I think about the future, scenarios I desire, those I hope to avoid. It’s a time to reflect. A time to resolve. A time to dream.
I ask myself where I see myself in ten years? Where will I be come 2020?
Will I be rich? Famous? Am I a writer? An Read more [...]
Potentialism: a philosophy for life
Discovering your ultimate creative potential: you as your individual conscious, you as your society and you as the universe – playing your role in the creation of a future reality you desire.
1. The purpose of life is to discover and fulfill your creative potential in a way that brings the most benefit to others.
This is the purpose of all life
This is “living God’s will”
This is expressing Who You Truly Are and Who Read more [...]
Yesterday at 5pm my Opa (that's dutch for grandfather), passed away at the ripe old age of 93. Born 20th February 1916 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Willem Frederik Van Leeuwen lived a long and inspiring life. He was a wonderful, caring father and grand-father. Me and my Opa were "house-mates" (as he used to say), and he was my very good friend.
My Opa changed my life. My Masters degree is his Masters degree. My book to soon be published is his book as much as mine. I couldn’t Read more [...]
Two entries in one day! Don't know what's gotten into me but I'll probably be scaring off any readers if I have any... it won't happen too often, I promise.
I just got home from Warringah Mall. I was standing in line waiting to return a digital frame to BigW (that said it played AVI files and MPEG4 files and after wasting much of my time creating such files decided it actually would not live up to its specifications) and I looked around to observe the commotion and busy lives of all the people Read more [...]
Something sure to come up a lot on this blog is the question of meaning - why the f**k are we here on this planet??? It is something I contemplate regularly.
The human condition is a strange one - born no different from other animals we are educated into languages, enculturated into structures of thinking, sets of values, morals, dreams. We grow up and play out our roles in society, dedicating our life to our relationships, our religions, our jobs, the building up materialistic goods, searching Read more [...]