Occupy Your Time and Space but Leave No Trace

It’s an indomitable task to imagine the quantity of events leading to the residing moment – billions of years of chaotic evolution resulting in the accretion of a living planet and the bipedal “Wise Man”. Everyone who has or will exist is only provided a single human experience to participate in and configure a perception of life. To exist means to live at the forefront of time, to be able to utilize the knowledge of previous eras to become The Contemporary Human.

The aphorism “Everyone dies but not everyone truly lives” is trite yet right, however what can be noted in those leading remarkable lives is their ability to be placed in diverse environments while keeping their composure and authenticity. If an individual is intent on improving elements in their life it is advised to consider the maxim, Occupy your time and space but leave no trace. In owning your position in the powerful play one has the best chance in contributing an eloquent verse.

Never Superficial

Have you ever witnessed someone doing their job with such enthusiasm and skill that it’s hard to take your eyes off them? What about a cheerful greeting from a bus driver or bouncer that you just weren’t expecting? These magnetic individuals display a central element of occupying one’s time and space – whether they are cognizant or not, they are surrounding themselves in a radius of joviality generating an attractive environment.

By becoming aware of the influence people can have over an atmosphere one can begin to see how they can positively alter a setting, changing an encounter’s trajectory and increasing satisfaction to all those involved. A prime example would be the simple acknowledgement of another’s existence; how different one feels at work if others ignore their presence and become only visible when needed. In engaging amicably with others we nurture our social side, boosting confidence and allowing connection to, not above or below, other humans.

Those who competently occupy their time and space don’t intend to dominate a situation, rather be a luminescent part of it. Consider a conversation where two people have differing views. One could take this as a chance to “win” an argument and confirm their perceived superiority, departing from the interaction with smugness or irritation. Conversely, if one is willing to listen to what the other has to say they create opportunity for genuine dialogue, increasing the chances of both parties leaving the encounter with additional knowledge and a cordial connection.

In Aldous Huxley’s Island, the Palanese refer to nearly any activity as “The Yoga Of …”, whether it be eating, climbing, adventuring, sex, singing, everything is done in a way so the participant is acutely aware of the surroundings and sensations. By training sensitivity to action and environment it becomes autonomous to the Palanese, their lives never superficial but profound and interconnected in everything they do.

Occupying your time and space has a residual affect when done properly – absence. If one is capable of owning their personal realm their absence will have a noticeable impact. Being missed by others for the person you are is a very admirable achievement, others may take your place but your essence loiters with veracity.


The pursuit of knowledge is something intellectually endogenous to our species. Tens of thousands of years of trail and error has concocted the “civilized” secular society where nothing is too distant, except a collective appreciation for the natural world (or a consensus reality).

There’s an old Greek proverb stating “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit”. Echoing eternally with authenticity, this is arguably more important at present than when it was composed.

The concept of leaving no trace means the indication of one’s person needn’t be left in this world for a lingering essence of their being – does it really matter who planted the trees or that some will benefit off another’s thoughtfulness? There is no need to stick your name on something when the action itself is most salient. If you able to positively effect change in the world let the residual effects build self-efficacy – a plaque may be worthy, but is it necessary? Excessive pride placed in action is a reputed segue to pretension.

Doing the “right thing” shouldn’t be overtly celebrated but seen as a resting mental state. One does the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not for reward or applaud but the benefit of one’s conscious and those operating in the space. Congealing one’s mind with this type of attitude grants better consideration of the impact our flesh puppets have on the planet, allowing individuals to be more observant of their trace left behind.

How often does one see someone finish a cigarette and instinctively cast without remorse? Is there any thought of where it may end up or the required effort to reach it? Doubtful, at best. In an age of excessive comfort the observation of our actions are often pixelated until the appropriate words or experiences provide transparency.

Leaving no trace means to respect the rights of others to enjoy what’ve enjoyed. Whether it be landscape, concert or exhibition, strive to not interfere. But if you must, at least don’t make it worse.

The concept of leaving no trace intends to induce reflection of us being nature’s temporary manifestation, to not avoid the thought of death but acknowledge its essential ubiquitousness. If life gets better because of you let your actions live on, the name is supplementary.

Action fades in time
A tree shades young minds
All is balanced

Ready For Anything

No matter who you are, we all have the ability to occupy our time and space by sharply observing the different circumstances we engage with. 

The initial step of occupying is becoming aware of your influence on reality – developing mindfulness of thought and behaviour by examining how you interact with others and the natural world. A great tool for enhancing perception is to retrace situations where you would advice your previous self of better action, genuinely talk to them and re-create the situation as you would like. This exercise increases attention to one’s actions and gives confidence that they can improve on their former selves. Taking full ownership of your behaviour enhances understanding of the importance of having thought behind your actions – you can only control yourself and it’s wise to do so pensively.

Throughout the day various environments are encountered requiring people to adjust their behaviour – with friends, family, at work, in public or private, we change to the complexion a situation requires.  Concurrently, we also have myriad versions of ourselves during the day – when we are hungry, sad, excited, tired, lazy, our internal sentiments are reflected in our external presentation. Due to continuous internal dialogue, those occupying their time and space understand the variations in their feelings and do not put on a character, but become a social chameleon fitting the essential self into the scene. People are liable to lose themselves if they repeatedly present an image for the benefit of others. The social chameleon owns their time and space by keeping onus on integrity.

Being raised in a society where the future is constantly of concern people being riddled with anxiety, so focused on impending events they ineptly appreciate the moment residing. Instead of living with anticipation of the future one can actively come towards it by working with the pieces they are currently provided, assembling a disposition ready for anything.

An essential component of occupying one’s time and space is to realize you are alive and living this moment. Even if it is just a smile to see a stranger’s frown turn upside down, the question is not “Can you effect reality?” but how?

As we spawn into the world we inhabit the time and space we live in, but inhabiting and occupying are differing styles of living. To occupy your time and space is to be aware of your influence on reality, to be mindful of your behaviour and to have no action without intent. This doesn’t dictate that individuals can’t have off days but to be more observant as to why they occur, to use previous conduct as templates for improving not belittling the self.  To occupy your time and space means to be curious about what is happening both inside and outside your jurisdiction, to gather knowledge from a variety of sources and construct your own interpretation of the human experience.

Occupy your time and space but leave no trace; at the core of this maxim is an all-encompassing effort to make yourself the person your essence urges you to be, to listen to the great voice inside and become an active creator in reality.

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Leave the World Better than When You Found It

During our final moments one can only wish to be surrounded by loved ones with a mind full of jovial memories. Approaching the final destination it seems inevitable to ponder our life, internal dialogue weighing positive action against disingenuous conduct. Individuals observing an immoral existence will often manifest delusions to erode responsibility, building a barrier between actual reality and the expiring entity’s quest for contentment. An individual may die deceiving themselves about their noble temperament, but their true worth will reside in their residual affect on others.

The meaning of life varies for all and we define our disposition by committing to an ideology or endeavour. Every individual creates their own purpose, yet if we want to live up to our name as nature temporary manifestation its auspicious to aim to leave the earth better than when we found it.

Impacting Reality

On the daily stroll towards Hades one must stop and comprehend how their life will be perceived after it ceases; will admiration stem from wealth or morality? Athleticism or integrity? Occupation or virtue? As vitality dissolves into the narrative of history how one will be remembered becomes the prodigious thought.

Falsehoods adorn people in the appearance of satisfaction, but true serenity loiters around individuals who are compelled to uphold and improve their environment. Living a life that improves the world doesn’t require an astonishing career or outstanding abilities, it is a person who accepts the hand dealt by cosmos and endeavours to live candidly, guided by sound connotation of morality and authenticity.

A fruitful way people observe their impact on reality comes from their offspring. Having a child is arguably one of the most detrimental decisions a person can make towards the planet, therefore it’s propitious, if not expected if entering into this arrangement the mind of the infant be sculpted with a critical and gracious chisel. Parents blessed with babies harness the capability to mould their morals, ethics and values according to what they consider conducive to a honourable existence. Giving their spawn every advantage to push past the horizon of their own life is a universal goal of parenting; commitment to the task isn’t taken lightly. 

A noble human sentiment, the capacity to dedicate one’s life to others is not only witnessed in parents but also teachers, coaches, nurses, volunteers, activists; it resides in everyone, although not all will seek light upon it. While actions may indicate selflessness there is a selfish tinge to helping others – it makes you feel good.

The Avaricious Household

Public figures concealing despicable natures before death have been scratched from history, a barrage of slander smearing every last ounce of dignity the name once possessed. Accolades and awards will be nothing more than identifiers of the past, our affect on those we leave behind will be our real legacy. Hear that Savile?

It cannot be stated that generating an inflated bank account to bequeath to one’s family isn’t honourable, but how the money was acquired and what time and experience were lost in its procurement is salient to meriting admiration. When meaning is derived from the acquisition of capital a person is susceptible to depravity, others becoming abstractions rather than people. Recurrently, the children of affluent individuals have insatiable approaches to living; in trying to engender a better life for their offspring they instead strip connection to reality and fellow humans, unless they occupy equal or higher social status.

The self-centred approach to life will provide some good moments, although they are like the decadence of eating obscene amounts of chocolate. Endorphins are activated as one shovels in more, yet when luxury turns to gluttony sickness always follows. The disease of avarice ensures deluded perception blinding avenues to true contentment – when someone is constantly craving enough will never suffice.

“Riches do not exhilarate us so much in their possession as they torment us with their loss.” Epicurus’ remark holds its veracity thousands of years on. The more one acquires the more one has to lose, skewing an unfavourable slant on outsiders. In pursuing greed people are destined to continually quest for more. Never satisfied with what they hold, they’re always envious of what’s in the palms of others.

Bystander to Active Force 

Oscar Wilde wrote, “Some cause happiness wherever they go, some whenever they go”; we must decide for ourselves which we would like to be. By the time the reaper rolls around, memories flood us with the water needed to grow an acute eye and inspect who we actually were.

During life many seldom reflect on what their future self would say about their course selection, overshadowed by the immediate impact their choices make on their reality. It is more frequently the little decisions made greatly shaping our disposition – it is how we arrive at our judgement not the judgment itself. If one loses sight of their place in earth’s orbit the mind begins to think the sun’s circling them.

With this indulgent attitude people neglect anything that doesn’t concern them, “Why focus on the them over there when it doesn’t affect me here?” a common thought accompanying the mentality. Unbeknownst to these people in helping others we actually helps ourselves. By enriching the lives of others one stops being a bystander and alters into an active force.

The happiness found in altruism is boundless; whether helping a grand parent with a smart phone, taking an eager dog for a walk, helping in a food kitchen or planning a surprise party, taking time and investing it into the lives of others nourishes the soul. Whilst material depreciates from the moment it is exists, altruism lingers in the cosmos’ ethos. 

Comparative philosopher Julian Baggini wrote, “ If you recognize yourself in another, treating the other as yourself becomes not an abstract duty but second nature.” This statement is also true with nature herself.

Everything living is Gaia’s temporary manifestation and allowing her process to flourish is essential to all existence. One can show nature gratitude and redeem humanity by picking up the decay caused by senseless individuals who believe it’s appropriate to litter her magnificence. With this type of behaviour we transform into active agents of change, our eyes attune to witness the interdependence of all and are humbled to be part of such an elaborate and intimate experience.

Everyone has the opportunity to become more than themselves by acting in the interest of the current and future inhabits of the planet. In this symbiotic reality, if one believes they don’t owe the world anything their vanity prevents them from attaining anything of substance.

As the reaper’s hand draws near those knowing their positive influence on others will welcome their conclusion with a cheerful temperament, the opposing individual shuttering in fear at losing everything they’ve exchanged life for.

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Put simply by The Beatles, it is what we give to life which we get back from it. By lightening the burden carried by others we deepen the soul and mature into truly sentient beings. 

Image Source: Feliks K

When You Trust The Cosmos, The Tao Helps You Out

During 6th century BCE in the Ancient capital of Luoyang, an imperial archives keeper saw sordid behaviour corroding the society’s morals and grew wary. Instead of retaining his profitable position he elected to leave the city and head West towards the boarder of the Chinese Empire. Upon reaching a mountain pass the man’s erudite reputation proceeded him and he was recognized by a gatekeeper, insisting that the traveller scribe the essence of his teachings. He did what was asked and left the gatekeeper with what became known as the Tao Te Ching.

With Lao Tsu’s wisdom as a cornerstone, Taoism is a naturalistic philosophy focusing on establishing connection with the Tao – a ubiquitous, perennial force facilitating the course of existence. Through awareness of mind and behaviour Taoism seeks to harmoniously unite individuals with the universe, to not fight against but learn how to flow with it. By following the Tao one puts faith in the operations of the cosmos, and when you trust the cosmos the Tao helps you out.

Passive Combat

The initial teaching of the Tao Te Ching speaks of the eternal nature of the Tao – it was born before heaven and earth and it has no concept of life, death or time, it is and has always been. Lao Tzu writes the Tao is the mother of 10,00 things, or, in other words, everything. As inscribed the Tao begot one, and then one begot two and two three, the path of generation continuing until now. While the Tao may sire existence it is not what it produces, it exists on a supreme paradigm all on its own.

Water is a salient concept in Taoism as a recurrent illustration of the Tao’s path – like a winding stream, energy drifts down the river until it returns to source. Throughout this sequence the water faces obstacles like boulders, trees, the bank, and must manoeuvre to reach its destination. Force cannot do this, what can is flowing with the current and passively combatting whatever is comforted. 

Passive combat may sound like an odd notion but it’s vital to the ancient tradition. Wu Wei is an essential concept of Taoism and translates to “Effortless Action”, dismantling adversity not via impulsive strength but placidity, patience and plasticity. A great example is the erosion of a cliff by the ocean – while the power of a single wave cannot decimate the precipice, the consistent repetition of energy can crumple what appears indomitable.

The Cosmos is impartial and sees the ten thousand things how they truly are. The Tao encourages correlation with the cosmos by discrediting individuals who attempt to conquer and improve the universe. The cosmos cannot be controlled, yet we can arrange action to flow with it. When one follows the path of the Tao they attain awareness of the enduring interrelatedness of everything. When one doesn’t hubris hones attention to the self.

Flowing Against

The Tao gives truth to life as it follows the process of nature, and when going against it we actively revolt against veracity. The Tao Te Ching explains that acquisition of harmony comes from virtuous action, enlightenment unseen in self-interest but conspicuous in the pursuit of moral decency.

The script highlights the delusion of those opposing the way of the Tao. When knowledge is neglected honesty becomes corrupt and ignorance reins supreme, and when ignorance reins supreme disorder is never too distant. Acts of violence are disdained by the Tao and Lao Tzu teaches those who are violent will have violent deaths. Conversely, the Tao bring tranquillity to those flowing with it and living a benevolent life increases the chances of having a congruent ending.

In seeking for more than what’s required people skew their understanding of the world and their relation to it, they begin to expect rather than appreciate. “He who knows enough is enough will always have enough.” Lao Tzu exhibits the perils of overindulgence – if one cannot be satisfied with a little, when given a lot their bound to the same perception. Without gratitude of what one has they’ll always be scrounging for more, a neurosis blocking the trail to the plateau of contentment.

When thought is incessantly concentrated on personal issues and community gossip we forget the enormous system we are living in. By not being engaged with nature one is sensationalized by modern society and connection to our humble origins deteriorate. In observing nature’s system one can salute the perennial structure we are imbedded within; without exposure, how can they gain familiarity?

“Because the wise always confront difficulties, they never experience them.” Without discomfort there can be no improvement. When we do not face up to adversity we don’t develop from it, anchoring us to it.

Flowing With

To flow with the Tao one must “accept misfortune as the human condition”, realizing that calamity only befalls the flesh. To “accept disgrace willingly” means acknowledging insignificance in the enormity of the cosmos, to not obsess over gains and losses but brew cognizance of the necessity of misfortune to learn and develop.

The Tao encourages peaceful living by avoiding extremes, excess and complacency. Achievement should be reached without immorality, including the glorifying of one’s actions. “Force is followed by loss of strength, this is not the Tao’s way”, no one of any worth needs to praise their own accomplishments, others will see and do this for them. To flow with the Tao is to honour the quest and not the result, for a quest done correctly always leads to right destination.

Lao Tzu understands humility as a source of strength. Truly good people are naïve to their goodness because for them doing the right thing is always the right thing to do. They don’t need admiration from others when they know they’ve acted according to their virtue. The urge to contest with others is depleted in these individuals as they know they are only in control of their actions, competition coming from the challenge to enhance the former self.

To find and feel our place in the Cosmos the Tao Te Ching encourages the observation and inculcation of the Tao’s flow. Mediation is a core element to the life of a practicing Taoist and the exercise takes on many forms. “Attain utmost emptiness, maintain utter stillness”, in temporarily dropping contemplation and turning inward one senses they are more than their mind and body and can appreciate just being.

Spending solitary time in nature is also central to the tradition. Nature allows us to observe in our world examples of the Cosmos’ interrelatedness and the flow of the Tao. Isolated in nature awareness of our position as Gaia’s temporary manifestation is regained. 

Lao Tzu culminates his work by drawing attention to an auspicious avenue towards contentment, altruism. Comparative philosopher Julian Baggini wrote, “If you recognize yourself in another, treating the other as yourself becomes not an abstract duty but second nature.” In following the Tao one grasps the interwoven connectivity of the cosmos and how helping others is really helping oneself.  

Following the Tao places one in synchronicity with the cosmos, the interconnected ever-expanding system of the universe. Taoism teaches people to be deeply observant of behaviour in both thought and action, to align themselves with what is conducive to flow of nature. The Tao Te Ching demonstrates the best way to gain control is not to force against a current but learning to flow with it, adapting oneself with effortless action to overcome whatever’s confronted.

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”. While the legitimacy of Lao Tzu as an individual is dubious, the work engendered in his name is as useful now as any time in human history.

Image Source: Cath Simard

Home is Anywhere One is Completely Comfortable Being Themselves

Throughout life we develop affinities with locations that induce a sense of security and contentment, safe havens where one has liberty to act as they please within certain guidelines. These sanctuaries materialize in a variety of places with our first exposure being the family home. No matter where one travels or what they experience an essence of home perennially lingers in the mind, a slice of consciousness attached to moments of serene childhood.

A home is more than a dwelling, it’s a canvas integral to trail, error and emergence of the self. The environment offers opportunity to sample a variety of paints to see which colours suit, those occupying the same space integral in influencing our living art. The majority of us will eventually loose the place we called home, yet the sensations encountered there never fully depart us – feelings of safety, freedom and complete comfort are not merely found in the walls of a house, but also within the composition we call ourselves.

An External Womb

While everyone has diverse anecdotes, there are certain properties found in family homes that give them poignancy; a space to eat and interact, a space to recline and contemplate and a space for individual expression. Nostalgia becomes palpable when a lot of time is spent in a location and it’s occupied by spectres of previous events, a glance around the room inducing reminiscence as picture frames tether the past to the present.

The initial formation of our being is established in the family home and, through the lessons of those older, commence brewing acquaintance with the world. Here one also begins developing knowledge of morals, ethics and values. Sculpted by parental advice, one learns to discern what is deemed acceptable and what is not. With maturation our earliest ideologies take on a personal touch and are transformed into perceptive.

A home provides a safe environment for an individual to be true to themselves without judgement or ridicule, a setting that allows internal sentiment to be expressed and appreciated. Since spawning into the world a yearning for nurture has pulsated, instinctively we crave embrace and our home morphs into an external womb for comfort, love and affection.

A sanctuary shaped by imagination and inspiration, our bedroom is the first area dedicated just to us and is where one can do and become whomever they want. This place is our safe space, our own private reality where we are the protagonist temporarily remove themselves from the expectations of the world. A valuable attribute of the bedroom is the solace it offers when tension runs high in the house. A refuge from turmoil, this chamber has cradled countless belittled souls.

Although the home provides comfort and support these aspects are not restricted to domestic walls, the feeling can be experienced at a variety of locations and with an assortment of people. The ease felt whilst hanging with friends, immersion into the mind when trekking through nature, the sense of community experienced at a festival – the family home may have allowed early access to these impressions, yet its true residence is intangible.

Internal Abode

There are many settings an individual can feel completely at home, yet for one to feel comfortable wherever they are they must establish a home within themselves. Humans consist of multitudes and different social environments require us to adorn different masks, however to reach genuine self-understanding one needs to engender an authentic relationship with consciousness.

In the contemporary world private reflection is constantly interfered by personalized tools attempting to captivate attention, drawing the mind away from itself and towards the lives of others. Independent rumination and internal discourse have become scarce because people elect easy stimuli over introspection, and when comparison is paramount internal peace depletes. Sartre knew the importance of having a robust relationship with one’s conscious, “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company”.

Confidence is built from the inside and its durability relies on action. It’s not enough to possess prudence and forethought if you don’t apply it in reality, for nothing comes to fruition tomorrow if the seed isn’t planted today. In building a healthy confidence one must refine friendship with the mind. Inside there is always an active piece of you willing to converse, by cultivating a relationship with it one feels at home in their thoughts.

The mind is an exceptionally important ally, but it is not our entirety. For an individual to operate optimally there needs to be cognizance of and cohesion between the mind, the body and the soul. There is a reason why every religion incorporates a ritual of silence in their practice; quieting the mind allows it to be heard, quieting the mind also allows one to grasp that they are more than it. The mind can be observed as our wakeful consciousness and the soul as our essence felt in the moment between breaths, the emptiness of exhaustion, the serenity in prayer.

In examining the three separate components one can engender strategies for harmonious coalesce, providing sturdy framework for building the internal home. While uniting the three is assisted by meditation, walking in nature, reading, the essential key to strong foundation is awareness.

By observing thoughts one learn to direct them with assertiveness. By inducing a degree of discomfort one truly feels their body and develops a deep appreciation of it. By practicing to quiet the mind one can attune their hearing to the cosmic voice inside. The proficiency of combining these aspects dictates the sense of home ones carries with them wherever they go.  

The enduring aphorism Home is where the heart is expresses the love we share with our first sanctuary, the heart always holds a piece wherever we go. The maxim also indicates the emotions attached to a sense of home are not reserved for a house, but can manifest organically inside an individual.

Becoming comfortable with ourselves allows one to create an internal abode to be carried wherever we roam, a sense of security escorting us into any endeavour. No matter where one is or what they are doing, if unity has been cultivated between the mind, body and soul, any environment will feel like home. 

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Once The Beacon of Curiosity is Lit it Can Never Be Extinguished

There are innumerable ways an individual can select to live their life. People, depending on their finances, nutrition, education, as well as cultural norms, can orientate endeavours to what they believe will provide a happy existence. For the majority life doesn’t automatically spark a yearning to investigate deeper than the surface, in the west particularly, citizens strive to attain a stable job to live a life of relative comfort. Unless outside factors are impeding, these individuals have little concern of what’s happening around them separating their existence to that of their neighbours.

Although one cannot completely denounce this way of living we must be aware that this is how society has been constructed, shallow thinking proletarians bolstering the system that anchors them down. One may be stuck in this monotonous cage for years until a flicker of profound rumination scorches the mind’s shackles; it may be a novel, song, public figure, artwork, travel, nature, but with the ignition of curiosity comes a guiding flame into insatiable, unexplored knowledge.


When kindling of inquisitiveness is lit it feels like a perennial secret has been whispered; a euphoric wave, equivalent to that of a religious revelation, is not uncommon. Novel luminosity shines light on our perception providing clarity and catalysing questions from a newfound intrigue of life’s intricacies. 

Humans all share the same origin story but our personal pathways are varied, we all have the capacity to engage deeply with life but due to differences in education discrepancies are inevitable. Socio-economical status and religious labels create a chasm between people, the information provided and cultural beliefs leave many insistent on concepts they’ve under examined. Those of academic proficiency may foster great intelligence, yet if their curiosity is underdeveloped they are ignorant to several fascinating components of life, viewing the human experience with a self-indulgent tinge where their existence is most salient.

As children this inquisitive spark burns bright and life is an enchanting place between reality and imagination, growing older the mist of wonder evaporates with enhancement of self-awareness. For some their knack for contemplation continues throughout their youthful years and the flame still flickers into adulthood, for others the fuse isn’t relit until the right ingredients can reproduce fire. The reignition of curiosity radiates the world once again, however there is no singular panacea for everyone to reclaim their awe. It requires a personal encounter with insight.

Many have found their spark in the philosophies of the East with acquaintance to the interrelatedness of the ten thousand things, that of the West have opened the doors of metaphysics to question what life is and how we mortals fit into the cosmic scheme. Travel is another opening to ignition by exposing oneself to the differences and similarities around the world; it also puts people into a position outside their norm to meet someone who may change their worldview. The arts are lucid displays of human emotion conveying so much more than the exhibited surface. With ample techniques of communication individuals can find themselves escorted into a new dimension of expression.

However one manages (if they are open to the change in perception) to rekindle curiosity becomes their personal avenue to advancement, yet once the flame begins burning it cannot be quelled without a depressing sacrifice of intellect.

The Battles Of The Pensive Mind

Although the reignition of inquisitiveness is of benefit to individuals it isn’t as easy as turning a light on and off, there is a certain amount of strain to shoulder if one is to become a deep thinker. When everything becomes a philosophical playground it spurs a child-like intrigue of life, however, after a while, a person may not operate to their fullest degree because thinking isn’t practical.

Jung supposed the idea within himself of the duality of souls – one, timeless and everlasting as found in moments of contemplation and with nature; the other, the social fragment required for functionality in day to day life. If the timeless aspect of oneself is dominant in social settings one is lead down the track of the misanthrope. When everything must have a greater consequence nothing can be without meaning and one finds themselves consistently at odds with their environment and those in it.

With this mindset worldviews ferment in hubris and instead of examining their surroundings to proficiently adjust to conditions, one rebukes from a high castle of judgement. People acting in this fashion habitually find themselves isolated and detested by others, even if they are a genius they’ll be known by those closest to them for their gauche demeanour.

Sometimes the newly illuminated curiosity can galvanize overthinking. This state of mind may usher in despair and even misery as they have not figured out how to calm their conscious. It isn’t uncommon for these individuals to wish they could revert back into the cave and allow their mind to be filled with nonsense not notions, yet in attempting they are unable to fully remove their contemplative nature and must numb themselves with external stimuli. 

In order to reconcile these two portions of the soul a great maxim from a 16th century mastermind speaks volumes, “Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest”.  Shakespeare’s words penetrate into what it truly means to be a ruminator, to have an abundance in the internal while not needing to flaunt it in the external. Observing this thought, the pensive mind can take solace in it’s own wealth and use the brewed confidence to apply it aptly in tangible reality. When one’s able to understand and appreciate the souls duality they can switch between the inner and outer world with quiet precision. It is the job of those carrying the intellectual flame to light portions of the path for those willing to transcend its depths.

In the 21st century there is a richness of technology customizing life, but all the tools engendered hitherto don’t hold a candle to the mother of mechanisms endogenous to all living creatures – consciousness. If the mind stays merely at it’s societal level one misses the nuanced colours of life, seeing main outcomes while missing the combinations of hues required for their composition. Having the torch of curiosity revived reacquaints people with the light, yet it also shows them how the construction of society leaves the majority in darkness.

As Plato’s allegory shows it’s not always easy to be in the sunshine while others linger in shadows, but if one is able to accept their auspicious burden as a right of passage their strain will build a bulbous muscle, an intellect pulsating with lust for life.

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Belittling Someone Will Only Result in A Misconstrued Version of Yourself

We all foster a desire to feel revered, to feel our life isn’t just a collection of memories and material but something worthy of acclaim. In attempting to assemble a meaningful existence a yearning for remembrance pulsates. One decides how to define their worldly worth whether it’s through the accumulation of possessions, time helping others, love from family or an acquired title, an individual’s attitude towards life will shape experience of it.

There is pride in achievement and when it’s scant there is often an urge to denote significance by degrading others – if they can’t feel prominent at least they can feel superior to another. Certain individuals find validation in belittling, neglecting personal faults their attention shifts towards the perceived shortcomings of others. This type of self-validation creates a misconstrued reality where one commands dominance through disparagement, the rational mind castrated by the ‘they may not like me but they will feel me’ mentality.


Of the many anti-social behaviours witnessed in the community the most widely seen is verbal abuse. When some individuals are disgruntled by another’s actions their first response is to throw a linguistic jab; with the ability to attack from distance, the instigator intends to galvanize an emotional response for enjoyment or perceived grievance.

In the age of Internet these distant attacks have become widespread – hiding behind a pseudonym and keyboard anybody can hurl insults at anyone. The Internet’s enormous reach means trolls can select a variety of victims (when one doesn’t bite they can switch to another) unwilling to leave the technology until they sense supposed dominance. Not being present when insults are inflicted means there is no true cognizance of the victim’s suffering, the only trace being obscenities slang back. This is ideal for some as satisfaction stems from assumed insolence, yet others are exhilarated by personal confrontation.

In nature animals compete in combat for control, announcing their superiority by enforcing themselves onto rivals. Examining human methods we are not too dissimilar, historically violence has been the salient method to brew conflict and gain control.

Some people find validation in displays of superlative strength – the untrained brut builds bravado every time they strike whether it’s fair or not. These people often create fallacies of grandeur through unwarranted value on dominance displays, reality skewing to see themselves as protagonists. However, others revel in being the antagonist.

Victim to Provocateur

Since the dawn of agriculture and economics humans have drifted into a materialistic driven world where authority, over not only oneself but others, has polluted the minds of the ruling class. Why do many individuals feel the impinging need to domineer their peers? The answer is not purely external.

It can be postulated that humans are not innately malevolent by examining domesticated dogs. People are predominantly influenced by their environment and experiences, yet, in rare cases, some are born with a chemical imbalance distorting their mind nefariously.

If one’s upbringing is difficult solace is often uncovered in depravity. As continual onslaughts erode self-esteem a defence is found in treating those they can analogously. The power felt in belittling another fills the void created by others imposing on them, disposition shifting from victim to provocateur.

Some people without purpose are bored and lack human connection and antagonizing to evoke a reaction allows them to feel like a main character rather than a footnote. In a friendship group people can often act sordidly not because they want to but to impress or retain status. These individuals are not independent thinkers and are greatly influenced by those they consider friends.

It cannot be disregarded that some people just want to be the alpha at all costs. With this ideology confrontation is necessary and a hankering for hostility lingers, a craving to be lured into action.

“And in the End”

For those who authenticate themselves on bestial behaviour there must be a genuine intention to change, strategies will only work with an honest alteration of thought.
An auspicious tactic is to visualize how one would like to be perceived by the world; sure, you may be successful and financially heavy, but if your conceited nature projects the image of an uncouth aristocrat people despise your presence.

Although there are various styles of management it can be suggested that workers are more efficient when rapport is held with bosses, working to please a comrade rather than a dictator. Others may argue the converse, yet work done in fear does not produce recurrent results; while the workers’ spirit progressively depreciates, so to the reliability of outcomes.

If an individual is a perpetual patroniser a sharp blow of truth can stun and elucidate ignorance, but for improvement on the self there must be willingness to acknowledge personal flaws and examine erroneous behaviour.

A fast track to modifying sordid conduct is to hear anecdotes of how one’s behaviour has affected others. This may not work for some and if an individual cannot see the affects of their immoral action it speaks volumes of their delusion. Previous actions cannot be altered. though contemplation and individual choice determines how one will behave in the future.

In the words of the Beatles “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”; it is those giving an abundance of love who will be surrounded by it, those hoarding starved of it.

Everyone is fighting to brighten inner darkness and belittling someone doesn’t provide more light, it blackens your own abyss. In continuing dissolute action one will eventually be found out; they may attain material wealth, but does this depict the individual’s authenticity or contentment? Our collective aim as humans should be to leave this planet better than when we arrived and in pursuit of depravity we deny ourselves of the ability to achieve this universal goal.

Image source: Pinterest

Nature Doesn’t Look Back in Melancholy

Human curiosity and technological advancement have provided scientists a plethora of information to deduct much about the development of the natural world. Across generations an intriguing propensity of the past sees it consistently repeating. Although never identical, events separated by decades, centuries or millennia have managed to transpire with analogous plotlines but a divergence in cast. Something as ubiquitous as the changing of seasons highlights the cyclical temperament of nature, a vivid display of its ability to replenish itself anew by abiding by the perennial succession of death and rebirth.

Nature has a perpetual allure to philosophers. In both the East and West thinkers have gravitated towards and intently watched her process, observing with reverence a glimpse into the cosmos’ operations. Life is flux and it cannot continue without the transient element of time locking moments into history and engendering those of novelty. By neglecting the necessity of change life threatens to become prosaic, without alteration of experience the world morphs into one dimension. 

The Continual Succession of Moments

It can be hard for people to remove a mind entrenched in the past and mould it into the present. For some it’s a place of solace gloated in happy memories, for others a tormenting sequence of dreary scenes, yet if too much time is spent ruminating on the past it negatively influences the present and taints the future.

Some events alter our vision of reality and attempting to accept and let go can be arduous. Without reconciling traumatic experiences people can foster a burden the entirety of their life, decaying intangible parts of the self. Darwin’s theory of evolution illuminates the importance of adaptation for a species survival; those with the most aptitude in adjustment enduring longer in ecosystems.

Living barricaded from nature people tend to neglect that we’re highly advanced animals, and like our wild counterparts we must change according to circumstance or have adversity incessantly encroach. Without alteration the settings around an individual will morph with their tactics will be out-dated, presenting a conspicuous gap in their quotidian armour. Life is consistently fluctuating and the harder one tries to push change away the intensity of obstruction will surge, hindering progression.

The present is all we have at our disposal and is ensured by the continual succession of moments each fading as fast as they arrived; holding onto the past means the time one has to enhance their future is instead used for melancholic recollection. Utilizing the present wisely means to take knowledge from the past and apply it in preparation for the future. If one holds rancour for life’s variations they will battle not only themselves, but also an indomitable aspect of existence. 

All Things Must Pass

Change is corollary of existence as without a new moment superseding the current nothing is able to continue – everything is in a state of transformation. The Greek term Anima Mundi refers to an ambiguous intrinsic connection felt between all living things. When one adapts their own flow to the process of nature they begin to observe interweaving cosmic sentience.

Change requires time to flourish and exhibit its full expression – just as a tree’s leaves don’t grow back a day after abscission, there is the necessity of time to quantify the outcome of change. Sometimes we expect immediate results and don’t allow the process to bloom, other times we observe the bloom and cultivate results whilst expecting more. Instead of expectation we need realization; there is indeed a time to act, though it should be done with prudence not impulsiveness.

The more often an individual leaves their comfort zone and challenges themselves they learn how to fail better. If people don’t learn how to fail in their youth it becomes difficult to objectively observe hardship when older. Without adjusting to current situations hypotheticals burrow deep into the consciousness, phantom images of what could have been tease individuals with false realities.  

In the words of wise ol’ Beatle, “All Things Must Pass” – it’s best to learn Mother Nature’s lessons by an appreciation for good times with knowledge of their transitory existence, accepting those dark with reverence to their ephemeral essence.

She also offers a calming observation of death as a necessity, something our technologically enhanced society has fought with Gilgameshic air to defeat. Without the looming presence of death, how can one truly be alive? Although the cosmos is impartial, in following the process of nature the contingency of it conspiring in one’s favour heightens.

Nature always has knowledge to bestow to those attentive of her teaching, and in order to learn one must first become cognizant of her lessons. The endless paths taken by water, the death and rebirth during the change of seasons, snowfall evaporating beaten tracks; when one examines these phenomena with natural curiosity they draw equanimity and wisdom to personal quests.

The transitory aspect of nature can stimulate individuals to fulfil their potential, however to improve there must be a willingness to confront adversity and adapt to circumstances. In understanding death’s role in life people can come to terms with its inevitability and make peace with the eventual halt on their unique composition, finding solace in loving their fate as nature’s temporary manifestation. 

Image Source: Gaia, Alex Gray, 1989

Is Being Mature Knowing When To Act Immaturely?

What does it mean to be mature? Across cultures specific traits have been attached to the idea of what becoming and being an adult is, some of these are more stark than others, yet all require individuals to follow customary action. The behaviour a person displays in their community frequently reflects their standing within it, and most often it’s those the society holds in high regard people intend to mirror. Since the development of agriculture and economics paragons held in greatest esteem were those with the most capital and/or power, operating with impunity as long as their material can stitch any inflicted gash.

As people have tried to emulate the wealthy integrity neglect is recurrent, the notion of maturity not centred on morality but the gravity invoked by acquisition. To combat this, a character inside is chanting a rectitude refresher – seeing the world with inquisitive eyes, our inner child veers towards curiosity and intuition, realigning us with our quieted youthful self.

Who’s Really Mature

What do children desire above all else? Becoming a “grown-up”. Even though majority of the day is taken up by play and everything is provided for them, this illustrious concept implants the idea of utter liberty – from being a firefighter to flying with superman, anything is possible. Unfortunately this childish propensity for imagination comes to a standstill as age ticks upward.

An individual must learn to operate in society and their family, friends, schooling, and experiences decipher this. Humans are social creatures and we look towards others for guidance, using reverenced advice and action as the blueprint for our own personal construction. There’s a reason why parent-teacher interviews always have a box questioning, “Does student ask for assistance when needed?”.

The most common traits of maturity as seen by contemporary society is someone who is employed and living out of their parents grasp with their own place, possessions and relationships. What’s rarely contemplated is these are merely signs of growing older and not of maturation, and in different communities there are better barometers of being a mature human.

One may have ample material and satisfies the societal notion of successful, but have they been able to cultivate self-control? Can they not stand the thought of spending any time alone? Do they need to gossip to make themselves feel adequate? Do they boast to others of their achievements? Can they take responsibility when choice is erroneous? What’s their age in emotional intelligence?

In communities people look towards the heroes celebrated by the collective, currently those hoarding the most have domineering clout and people strive to replicate tangible rewards at the unknown expense of actual maturation. Our societies have dispensed with the elderly and the only ones remaining loiter in positions of power looting whatever they can. They may look like old men yet these are no elders, they are adolescence in body suits.

Reigniting the Wonder of Existence

In order to learn from one’s past it cannot be forgotten, rather examined and taken onward as a backdrop for future endeavours. A lot of the idea of maturity in modern society means one is encouraged to drop all their tendencies toward behaviours considered childish, unless they are comparable to those auspicious for material acquisition such as greed and stubbornness.

Instead of buying into this banal version of an adult, perhaps the most mature among us are those who act immature when applicable and become astute when required. A human functioning this way exhibits unison between the inner-child and the adult self, the union reflected in a gregarious and capable disposition. No-one embodies this character more than Wim Hoff – the man teaches how to do incredible feats like his own, talks of psychology, Sharmans and the central nervous system, yet he is also the crazy guy playing tag with kids at birthday parties and howling at the moon at midnight.

What’s beautiful about acting appropriately immature is the impulse towards intuition, to feel and act on whims and let the thought and instinct of the inner world be performed outwardly. Take the example of people observing an adult climbing a tree – most will see this as an inappropriate and puerile activity but to the individual in the tree the experience is engaging, they are partaking in life and feel themselves literally intertwined with nature.

Being close with our inner child helps us grasp the times when we should lose ourselves to emotion and when to keep it together, it enables us to feel content about expressing sentiments rather than allowing them to fester our inner sanctum.

Without being in contact with the youthful self one’s emotional intelligence will remain underdeveloped. If they unable to recognize and get the inner child in check it will create capricious circumstances where control of the self is overridden by anger and despair. Emotional intelligence is crafted through tiring situations and observation – lessons are always present to those wanting to enhance themselves.

Being able to suitably flirt between maturity and immaturity invokes a sense of novelty to life, to see the world with the awe-inspired eyes of a child allows one to temporarily drop the intensity and expectation of adult life and reignite with wonder of existence. 

What really makes a capable “grown-up” in the modern world? Is it the job one has, the material they retain, the people they command? Or is it reaching an equanimous state of kinship with the inner child? Objection! Subjective! Fair fair, the question can only be answered from the angle of one’s attitude, however it is true that those stopping communication with the inner child lose a sense of marvel in the human experience.

As we age we adapt and change to the circumstances bestowed on our path, each new obstacle peeling away a layer of our personality giving us deeper observation of ourselves. Remembering the many layers of the former self retains recollection of how we’ve developed; understanding how we got to our current position is propitious to helping us arrive fittingly at our next. 

Image Source: Digital synopsis

The Illusion of The “I”

Endless perspectives peer into reality each with its own peculiar tints and hues, yet one wonders how many are attentive to the notion that a shared experience of the “I” binds us to all others? All sentient beings have some understanding of “I” – consciousness encapsulated in the body, mind and branded with a spectre of identity. When we say “I”, everyone’s mind gravitates towards the same phenomena – the first hand engagement with life perceived through the senses bestowed on a human being.

With many people completely immersed in their own version of “I” they neglect that everyone else is in fact “I” too, and although everyone is experiencing “I” individually it’s something ubiquitous. Despite the individual essence we believe our identity has, what the “I” actually refers to is the coalescing of atoms and sentience, experienced independently and registered as ourselves. It can be hard for people to imagine the “I” as a mental construct, however Eastern philosophy may provide a beacon for this intellectual exploration. 

What is the “I”?

When we say “I”, what are we actually referring to? Is it the body we’re given, the consciousness we cultivate or the experiences we’ve partaken in? If we believe it to be a composition of all these factors what about bacteria existing within us, like our microbiome, which has it own DNA? They influence our mood and create changes in our body, is this considered a part of the “I” or is it separate from us?

Arriving to the earth we are branded with titles such as name, nationality, religion, and with these stamps we develop a concept of self. Most establish identity around titles and their sense of I is reflected through them; like kudzu on a forest wall, the insidious labels permeate and smother the personal effigy manufactured for oneself. There’s an endless amalgamation of parts to engender any individual and it’s extremely hard to isolate the exact essence of “I”, especially as it can fluctuate according to temperament. Or, in the words of wise old Walt,
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes)”

Towards the tail end of the classic Steppenwolf, protagonist Harry arrives at the magic theatre and the mirror staring back at him shatters. In the scattered shards Harry sees countless images of himself displayed at all ages, events long gone and events yet to transpire. Hesse’s magic mirror has been instrumental in shifting many perspectives to see not merely the dualism existing within but the multitude of personalities abounding inside.

Who are we when we are tired, angry, scared, hungry, horny, happy? As Bittersweet Symphony hums “I’m a million different people from one day to the next”; acknowledging this is the original step towards intellectual understanding who we are. Appreciating the assembly of dispositions we can learn to observe how the “I” consistently alters. Those with Multiple Personality Disorder offer anecdotal advice of how it is to truly see the world through a different “I” than we usually prescribe to.

Emptiness and Interdependence

In the early stages of the Common Era, Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna crafted the doctrine of Emptiness. At the crux of his teaching the monk states that there is no individual essence of anything because everything is interwoven with other things. The doctrine of emptiness relies on interdependent origination, a concept denoting nothing can be insulated from other factors and everything existing is subject to the principle of cause and effect.

His contemplations lead him the conclusion there is no independent self, that the self is actually a combination of the interrelation between various factors; e.g. our family, friends, experiences, body, habitus. When these different factors merge a figure of the self forms, and although we accredit it to our being as “I”, it is only an illusion created by others and ourselves.

No other theory presented has been able to denounce Nagarjuna hypothesis – look around, everything you see is an amalgam of other components; that chair, that apple, that dog, that building, that human. The stance doesn’t dictate there is no self, rather that the true self is like an empty vessel which we fill up with attributes of titles, anecdotes, ideologies, ect.. The more we fill our vessel the harder it is to remember that at our core we are not the amassed liquid, but still the empty container.

This emptiness can be felt during meditation and in intimate moments with nature. Without decades of practice it’s near impossible to fully silence the mind whilst meditating, but in those instances between the breaths the emptiness can be felt –
no thought, no effort, no weight, just untainted transparency echoing through the mind.

When one is hiking to a beautiful lookout there is a transient moment upon arrival where we are immersed in our surroundings, exhaustion and beauty combining as the mind is emptied and the self is engulfed by intimate association with organic life.

Appreciate, but Don’t Pamper

Just because our essence is empty doesn’t mean the core of us need be shallow, we have the right to choose which substances we want sloshing around in our vessel. The “I” we have developed over numerous years deserves respect and appreciation, however excessive attention toward oneself is where the animal loses touch with their humble place in the grand scheme.

We are like stars, all independent yet encapsulated in the bowl of the universe. For us to comment and say the Sun is the best star in the universe is only due to the pleasures it provides us, the statement holds no legitimacy when you consider the billions of planets circling sun like stars. When the “I” overrides the rational mind vanity surfaces and we pamper the perception of ourselves.

If everything at its core is empty and the “I” doesn’t really exist, what optimism does that provide us? The question can be reframed in a despairing fashion,
“The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?”
Luckily, the man who wrote the line above also wrote the one below.
“That you are here—that life exists and identity,
The powerful play goes on, and we may contribute a verse”
This sage advice from Whitman exemplifies the beautiful and enigmatic nature of existence, our blessing not only to live in but influence reality. We may not revolutionize the universe but at least we can contribute a verse; unshackle expectation of changing the world and allow yourself to approach life with the intention of occupying and owning the time and space inhabited.

Being the commanders of our fate it’s strongly advised to search for what make life meaningful and not merely what satisfies the “I”. Pleasures are temporary where as acts of altruism linger in eternity. 

The human animal is a complex and fascinating creature. Being able to place ourselves in the past and future closely aligns our identity with the “I”, yet at its core there is no independent “I” other than a construct established by mind and environment.

Every human is afforded the “I” perspective, seeing the world through our unique composition it’s hard for many individuals to remove themselves from their lives and appreciate the wonder of sonder – the realization that everyone is living a life as complex and vivid as ones own. If one can conceptualize this they come closer to understanding that the “I” exists for everyone because it is empty.

Image Source: Cosmic Consciousness

The Mind And Time Distortion: Consciousness and The Enigmatic Dimension

To exist at this moment means to inhabit the forefront of linearity, however that moment has already perished and now you’re in this moment. Living in the contemporary world means existing at the transformational position of time, but it also means operating at the threshold of the past and future.

Once a moment is acknowledged it ceases to be the present, sliding to the top of one’s recent experiences and connecting the uninterrupted series of events binding history to novelty. Perhaps Chekov put it better, “The past… is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.’ Preceding events cannot be repeated but they can be moulded into memories, the mental chest of individual history becoming our gauge of time.

While time may be mathematically uniform consciousness is not and individual perception varies according to interest, enthusiasm and intent. Under the influence of fascination, elation or trepidation, it’s hard to know when the last moment ceased and its replacement arose.

Resounding since the industrial revolution, modern societies are bombarded by calls for increased individuality and autonomy with most witnessing life under the aspect of personal experience. However there is another alternative, one crafted centuries before the bourgeoise toppled the feudal hierarchy – Spinoza’s Sub Specie Aeternitatis (under the aspect of eternity). By examining the world with deeper attention to the cosmos’ perennial flow an endeavour to flow with it helps one to utilize their prescribed time better.

Alternate Perceptions

Just because humans have been able to quantify time doesn’t mean it’s perceived analogously or even that we explicitly know what it is. Instead of having a fixed disposition time appears to alter according to conscious interaction with stimulation integral to judgement.

Time is measured at the baseline reality where 60 seconds equal a minute and 60 minutes an hour, however has there not been occasions where it seems like this prescribed frame has elongated or accelerated? When your stomach is about to give way and home is still 7 minutes off, does that period linger longer than eternity? Does the golden trite aphorism “Time flies when you’re having fun” hold legitimacy?

The fixed variables for measuring time are rational and extremely pertinent for society’s operations, however they are impersonal and the devices fashioned for discernment do not consider the mind’s propensity for experiencing, absorbing and interpreting. As conscious beings we intellectually interact with our surroundings, therefore individual appreciation of events will vary according to levels of engagement with a particular environment.

An element adding complexity to time appreciation is memory, an amalgam of hazy screenshots displaying selected portions of what’s been seen. Peering into the chest of previous moments people often forget the mirage, the past not seen as it occurred but as consciousness reconstructed it. We use the present moment to recollect the past, projecting previous sequences and making it even more difficult to consider the length of time between then and now. 

When time is interpreted it tends to be from an independent and autonomous position, and what more personal than one’s perception of their age? Everyone at some point has uttered, “Where did the days go by?”, as if they’re standing at home plate, bat in hand, ball curving past them and they’ve no idea how they’ve got there. The longer we live the more memories amass in our chest to select, recollect and contrast. Because the chest is increasing every day like experiences coagulate and the reflection of yesterday could really be portions of yesterday and slices of yesteryear.

Time may operate on it’s own spectrum and facilitate life’s continuation, however it’s the mind’s engagement with time providing anecdotal evidence.

Absorbed in Experience

Life provides us with continual opportunities to engage with and develop large databases of relative circumstances, yet new encounters are rare when one is engrained into routine stretching their immediate experience of time. Without a regular dose of displacement individuals fall prey to rigidity, days lagging while the years waste away. This progressive degeneration of spirit occurs not because time is deceitful, rather due to inadequate awareness of occurring life.

In contemporary society an abundance of technology aims to your steal attention; as a result, consideration to the factors facilitating life decrease in favour of instantaneous stimuli. Everyone now has their own algorithmically tailored reality in their hands, one that intends to hook the user on to a dopamine drenched screen. In the attention economy your time evaporates, syphoned into packaged data for anyone’s purchase.

When an intention is set to acquire something out of a situation the ability to fully enjoy it is inhibited; when the mind is focused on personal desires it struggles to be completely present in the moment. Expectation is the curse of the optimist.

Time’s malleable character only becomes cognizant when one is absorbed in experience; for this, the ideal state to occupy is that of flow. Flow state is conceptual equilibrium where an individual is wholly immersed in a collection of actions, concentration honing in on an activity and blocking out the external world. Think about Kelly Slater cruising down Pipeline, Jimmy Page mid-Stairway or Bourdain slicing up pigs nuts – they’re not just present, they are optimally occupying that moment with limited thought. During these periods the conscious mind is clear as impulse and intuition guide the body, bequeathing individuals the superlative psychological state for creation.

It really goes without saying that meditation is a great assessor of time. The practice attempts to impede the influence of stimuli as it intertwines a sedative body, breathe work and mantras. Anyone who has sat in lotus understands how, like a ravenous squirrel, the mind will try to satiate attention by drawing things towards it. This is when the brunt of time is experienced as the amateur aims to sit for thirty-minutes but only musters eight. The longer a meditative prescriber sits and learns to lessen the volume of thought their perception of time will increase in opposition to the layman.

The most lucid example highlighting the plastic nature of time is psychedelics – a frequency providing a peephole into the complex nature of reality and it’s true state of constant flux. Under the influence of these enigmatic chemicals the world pulsates with animation, time an inscrutable element not conforming to its prescription at baseline reality. When the conventional attributes of time evaporate all that remains is the present moment. While the psychedelic circumstance cannot be sustained indefinitely, the experience belittles notions of uniformity and leaves a precocious opening in the mind for new, fertile thought.

Existing in this reality necessitates a basic concept of time and acknowledgement of the whims of its perpetuation. Being an ultimate common concept quantified and categorized many think they understand time, however how can one be comprehensive in their assessment when perception alters interpretation? To properly grasp time (or as close as a human can to doing so) the dimension needs to be recognized for its flexible malleability. Placing ourselves in states that question baseline view of time like flow, meditation and psychedelics allow for subjective observation of it’s shifting status.

As one develops their own concept of time there’s an extra incentive to not waste it. The facilitator of events may provide a platform for life to exist, but there is a major difference between existing and engrossing oneself in the art of living.

Image Source: The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali.