Tag Archives: Purpose

Just finished “The Book” by Alan Watts. I like it.

I have just finished reading The Book.. On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!  It comes as close as I can imagine to a book that helps its reader truly understand the concept of existence, our world, and our “purpose in it”.

The Book (cover)

I must admit that I have had an affair with such ideas and philosophies for a very long time – and this perhaps makes the content and context of the book easier for me to grok than it would others – but it is worth the effort.  If there is anything worth doing in this world, I would image that understanding who you are, and understanding why you have the experiences and knowledge that you do, in contrast to the experiences and knowledge of others around you, to be of utmost significance and importance.

I have written a few articles under various pseudonyms over the years that explore the very concepts explained in this book, but have never really come across a published work that summarized these thoughts as clearly and succinctly as I would have liked, until now.

If you have any capacity or motivation to understand the world you live in, and you are able to free yourself (your mind) from the conditioning of your environment and your up-bringing, even for a moment, then I suggest you take the time read this book.

If you are not very familiar with Eastern or Western philosophy to begin with, then the ideas in this book may be difficult to grasp.  Nevertheless, once you’ve had a chance to explore the basics of such ideas in other writings, you would do well to circle ’round and come back to this marvelous treasure.

An arbitrary thought

I’m sure that not everyone has this ability. It takes a sense of rhythm, the ability to identify and follow a pattern.  The ability, is that which allows you to listen to music and have it somehow tell an epic story in the depths of your imagination.  If you’ve ever done this, then you know precisely what I’m talking about.  I would argue that it is one of the most creative things a human being can do – create a visual story based on sound.  It’s like our ability to draw three dimensional objects on 2 dimensional surfaces, these are very special abilities – very rare gifts indeed.

Thoughts on Religion and The World Today

I’m starting to think that more and more people are falling back to religious beliefs and traditions because they begin to believe that once you become secular or atheist, that the world has no meaning, that things are as they are, and there is no mystical purpose to life or the universe, and this makes them feel uncomfortable.

I think it’s comforting to know that the universe, our galaxy, our solar system, our world, and yes, all of us are travelling down a singular path which we cannot break away from; that all events, actions, and reactions which take place in the physical world, that have taken place in history, are simply things that we must experience in order to move forward.

It is inevitable that we will all die one day, and that the generations that come after us will all make the same mistakes (not necessarily in the same way, but in the same vain). The World population is continually growing, and it is already way past Earth’s capacity to support human life without the assistance of war and fear (or so it would seem, the way our world leaders have been acting and reacting lately). These are all things people are starting to realize in this age of free information and global connectivity. The reason why the majority of the world cannot cope with this realization is that our actions are still heavily influenced by emotions, faith, and romanticism.

Although we have so much technology at our disposal, we are still not a species which allows logic and reason dictate our choices. Instead, emotions, faith, greed, and mis-information are still the primary movers of the world.

Likely we will one day become an enlightened species, and finally refer to ourselves as “the Human race” rather than as white or black, or by where we were born or raised.  Maybe one day we will become a single nation which finally takes direction from logic, reason, and innocent curiosity; but that time seems very far away, and it’s quite likely we will destroy ourselves before we ever get there.. but I guess it’s still a possibility that we will overcome all our hatred and prejudices, and finally become a peaceful and free world.   Likely you and I won’t be around to see that day, but you never know.  Have faith.

What Does It Take To Be A Teacher?

I’m sure that everyone at some point in their lives has had moments where they think about the goals they have accomplished, and what the future has in store for them. Taking that a step further – I’m sure many people also sit and think hard about “whats next”?

I’ve had those moments many times before, and I seem to be having one again. I am trying to figure out if IT and Programming is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I know I’m good at it, and I know that I still have moments where I’m “in the zone” – meaning that IT software development still holds an interest for me, somewhat.

Of course, having a birthday recently, and being in my late 20’s has caused me to re-evaluate the course of my life.

Of the alternatives I’ve considered to Programming, some of the more interesting ideas include teaching in a foreign country (Guyana, the birthplace of my mother and wife, came to mind). Teaching here in Canada also crossed my mind, along with Financial Planning, and helping people find jobs.

Continue reading What Does It Take To Be A Teacher?

Doing What You Want To Do

I just recently finished reading two articles by noted essayist Paul Graham

These two articles essentially discuss the idea of doing what you want to do in life, without feeling guilty.

I find that I can relate closely to the ideas presented in these articles, as I’m sure many people can. In many ways, these articles focus on the same idea from different angles.

There are two basic ideas outlined in these articles. The first is that your work should reflect what you like to do (what makes you truly happy) and vice versa. The second idea, is that you should not feel guilty for procrastinating, or putting off smaller or seemingly less important tasks in order to do what you really want to do.

Now I know what most of you may be thinking, that there are always things that have to be done, such as paying your bills, mowing the lawn, or taking out your garbage. What most people don’t realize, is that they have put themselves in a situation where mowing the lawn, or taking out the garbage is a bigger problem than it needs to be.

For instance, you would not have to mow your lawn if you lived in a condominium. However, many people “upgrade” their standard of living by moving to a house with a large lot, not realizing that they are essentially giving themselves more work that they don’t want to do! In the case of paying your bills, you know that the more you put it off, the worse it will get. The best way to resolve that problem is pay them right away (or automate them with pre-authorized payments :)

Usually the motivation for buying a new or bigger house, or nicer car is simply because of the prestige associated with it. Many people are quick to say things like “money isn’t everything”, or “an education is more important than anything else.” Yet, they don’t truly believe this themselves. To this type of person, education is a means to an end, and that end is simply to acquire more material wealth (more money).

However, the truth is that money never makes you happy. It is possible that what you do with your money can make you happy, but depending on what you do, that happiness may not last very long.

In any case, I don’t want to detract from the essence of these two beautiful articles, which I believe can change your life if you take the time to understand them.

Articles:
How to Do What You Love
Good and Bad Procrastination