Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spiritual Awakening = Cognitive Lethargy

Hi again. Now I admit to being as much of a sucker for inspirational platitudes as the next guy but some people take this way too far. I'm referring of course to the dreaded 'X things to find/explain Y' internet list.

X is a number, usually ranging from 7-100 and Y is any number of problems or conditions inherent to the human condition that some kind soul is willing to caricature for you. Here's a list of common Y examples:

Artistry (creative isn't an ice cream flavor, you bastards)
Old Age
New Experience
Attitude (towards life)

One such list I stumbled upon recently. I linked to it in the first paragraph but here's another.

***Post Begins

30 Things I've learned in 30 years

Now I couldn't let such a thing slide so here's the list with added commentary to show what a bunch of nonsense this list (like so many others) really is.

  1. The Beatles were right, at our most fundamental level all we need is love. Wrong! At our most fundamental all we need is air, food, water, shelter, sleep, sex and social interaction.

  2. Fear is a big old illusion. What you fear is NEVER as bad as you imagine. Easily disproved. A few weeks ago I feared that I would be getting home late due to traffic. Then I got creamed on the highway and it delayed me 3 extra hours, wrecked my car and left me sore and disgruntled for a week.

  3. Everyone talks from their own limitations and beliefs, you do not have to take them on board. So you freely admit that accepting this list as nonsensical is ok because it draws from your limitations and beliefs? Done!

  4. Intuition is king, listen to it. Social commentary about obeying any king aside, intuition is not to be served without reason and rational discourse as garnish. Common sense and intuition play their role in daily life but should not frame our worldview or override empirical data that 'goes against common sense.'

  5. Playing it safe is anything but safe, you end up in constant fear of being unsafe. Depends on how far you take it I suppose. There's no reward without risk but that's no excuse to drive without a seatbelt or not wear a condom.

  6. Don’t compare yourself to others, everyone has their ups and downs. From a social psychology perspective this is impossible. If we do not compare ourselves to others by what standard are we supposed to aspire to? Without contemporary analogs how is anyone supposed to succeed or aspire to anything more than dragging around like a third- worlder with cable?

  7. Follow your dream no matter how unrealistic it may appear. You never know where it may take you. Now I'm not so cynical to just crap on this outright but certain people, no matter how determined or persevering will never achieve their dreams for two simple reasons. 1) Everyone has to deal with circumstances beyond their control. 2) Happiness is relative. I'll explain more in the next item.

  8. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a series of choices, and compromises and sacrifices. Material gain may provide temporary happiness but we all know how transient and fickle that can be. Likewise true happiness does not depend on attaining a set goal and then living with it but rather the pursuit of slightly better circumstances until death.

  9. Blaming is immature and soooo unattractive. Blaming who for what and in what context? Your education seems to have been awfully vague. Unwarranted blame might carry negative consequences but other people will screw you over at some point and that doesn't deserve tolerance.

  10. There is learning in absolutely everything. Except for this list! Ooh, better call the burn ward.

  11. Everything comes and goes so let it flow. Rivers can be diverted, dams can be built and when all else fails then rivet a bridge together and go about your way. How can a life coach advocate being subjected to the whims of the world when so often this leads to being smashed upon the rocks? It is human nature to break and blunt the fangs and crags of this planet. To do otherwise, well it wouldn't be civilized now would it?

  12. You can’t bury emotions forever. I actually agree with this. Huzzah!

  13. Accept your family and loved ones for who they are. I would agree with this but with a caveat: Accept your family except when it comes to compromising yourself or your convictions. If your family does not agree with you or your worldview don't hold it against them but don't cave for them either.

  14. Whatever you can’t stand in others you have within yourself. Everyone is human, statement contains no additional info.

  15. Whatever you admire in others you have within yourself. See #14.

  16. Your life is a sum of your thoughts and beliefs. Wrong! Your life is a thread on a tapestry that's been woven for 4 billion years. Everything you've every thought, said done or questioned is built upon the framework of your biological, psychological and genetic forbears. I'm not saying don't fight the tide but remember you're mostly water and bacteria and that should influence your decision making.

  17. Don’t underestimate the ripple effect. Your one good act can have a more far-reaching effect than you could ever imagine. I wonder if the opposite is true. If I accidentally drop a quarter could this neutral action lead to disasters of epic proportions?

  18. Allow people to grow and they will allow you too also. I'm not sure how to respond due to the ambiguity. However if you steal all their food you will grow bigger so it seems to be contradictory.

  19. Miracles happen everyday not just in the Bible. Sweet hashish-smoking Buddha that is wrong. Miracles happen NOWHERE except in human imagination. Not even in the bible or any other holy book. Statistical outliers and fantastic coincidence DO happen but calling them miracles leads nowhere but inanity.

  20. It’s pointless to waste energy whinging and moaning. I couldn't find the definition for whinging so I'll assume 'whining' was the intended word. While I agree that whining often just delays actually improving circumstances or solving a problem it does help to examine a problem by verbalizing. Then you still have to fix it.

  21. Stop defending your bad behaviour, you’re just lying to yourself. That should have been either two sentences or featured a colon. I'll forgive the British spelling of behavior (since the author was born in England) but the grammar is intolerable. I would assert that inflating the importance of our good behavior is just as dangerous. However if bad behavior involves pedophilia then by all means jump off a bridge. But are we to judge what we consider bad behavior ourselves or that which is ladled lovingly from our peers and parents?

  22. Some people mis-use the word love and these people could be the ones you love the most. Some people misuse the word 'misuse' but we forgive them and move on. Again, vague statements, are we to love people who like us but call it love or refuse to call it love or what?

  23. If you hear the same compliment repeatedly, there’s probably some truth to it. Or you are hanging around with a bunch of liars.

  24. There is a lot more in your control than you realise. What!? How do you know about my locus of control? Get out of my head. Get out!!

  25. One person changing can affect the dynamics of a relationship. I change my boxers every day (sometimes twice if it's a Taco Bell night) and this hasn't affected my marriage yet. While I can't disagree with this statement I also can't disagree with 'people are different' or 'fish live in the ocean.' More importantly sometimes when one person does NOT change it can affect the dynamics of a relationship. Have a kid to test this assertion if you don't believe me.

  26. Some people don’t like happy people simply because they are happy. Happiness is not the issue here. No one says "I hate Bill Gates because that MF'r is SO HAPPY! I can't stand how HAPPY he is compared to me." Try substituting the words rich, famous, successful for happy and you can see what people really hate.

  27. Judging says more about the person judging than it does about the ones being judged. Let me rephrase how I understand this item: Judgement reveals more about you than the person that you judge. Not so hard, right? I judge that you wrote this list in haste and without proper spell checking? Does that make me a bad person?

  28. There’s always another way. Unless you're dead.

  29. Don’t lose hope, even when you don’t know how it always works out. A noble sentiment, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

  30. The darkest part of night is just before dawn. Actually the darkest part of night depends on the position and phase of the moon. I get the metaphor but come on, a little science wouldn't kill you. I would prefer to say 'Even the darkest, emptiest part of the universe contains cosmic background radiation and therefore is not entirely empty.'

In love, light and abundance x x x

***Post Ends.

Well, there you have it. 30 mindless tidbits for the mindless readers in need of a mindless pick me up. I don't want to sound overly harsh but this is the sort of intellectual terpitude that people wallow around in their whole lives. Now I am going to commit a grievous act of character treason by providing a counter post. Look for it soon, title is tentatively:

26 Things I Have Discovered in 26.92 Local Solar Cycles

Here's a taste.

1) Sooner or later you are going to have to deal with assholes. This process begins early and will remain a struggle throughout your life. It's a condition that has plagued your ancestors and will continue to plague your descendants until the extinction of the human race. You cannot cure people of this condition. All you can hope to do is pick your battles and hope to take a few of them down before they get you.

2) It always pays to read the first letters in vertical lists. You might find a secret message tucked away in secret.

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