Tuesday, April 17, 2012

200: The garden of earthly delights



This is my 200th post, and April 22nd marks a year of blogging.

The Then

Originally I was going to detail the past, but I've decided to keep this part brief.

I think the most important thing to come out of reading game and related blogs was that I found incentives to get off my ass and to try and change something. Meeting women was a great goal and target. As a man, it means a lot to be able to go after women you want rather than just daydream about it. My development and confidence with women would quickly spread to other areas. It was the spark that re-lit many flames that had been burning quietly in me for some time, and it quickly took over me. I was on my way to true change and development. Whatever people say about game, it is hard to ignore the positive catalyst that it can be, particularly with regards to inner game, and the development of a more positive personal psychology.

The Now, and the Way Forward

I have everything I've ever wanted to have, and I realize that now. I'm learning to better understand the times when I'm not fully appreciating what I have and acting like a brat. I've learned how to control myself in ways I never thought possible, and because of that control I've achieved things I never thought possible, including being in the best shape of my life, and learning how to distinguish a good woman from the hordes of draining succubi out there.

However, at times I stop and realize that I am craving something, that I want something on the horizon that I haven't attained. I'm being pulled about by these desires and by chasing phantoms. I have realized of late that I am the only one who can decide what I want and what I will spend my time on. Yet, it's so easy to be caught up in trying to do what others are doing. Should I be going after more and more women? Should I focus on a good woman that actually helps me to be a better person, and lead a better life? Can I have both? Do I want both? 

Am I really missing out by not having all of the fruits that I see before me? A closer look shows some of that fruit to be something other than what I am seeing at first glance. In some cases, it's unripe, and unfit for my consumption. Instead, I should shepherd that fruit. In some cases, it's unfit for my consumption because it's rotten inside. And sometimes, it's perfect for the picking, and wanting to be picked. You have to look deeper, and sometimes feel the fruit to learn this. But you can learn to do just this, and you should. Know what it is that you're looking at, and desiring, and why. I've come to realize that it only matters what I truly want, and no one else. Let others think of me what they will, it matters not.

There's more to life than chasing endless pleasures. Of course, there's nothing wrong with chasing after pleasures. This isn't some kind of moralistic sermon. Hopefully you will read between the lines. There's a difference between chasing after what you truly want and what others think you should want.

I crave a simple life, a quiet life, a life that is fulfilling. I now know what that is. It is beyond all of the brief pleasures that I've found chasing my own tail.

Some will say that you are missing out if you go after something that they define as "ordinary". Ask yourself:

  • Do you walk the earth in search of new adventures, and new conquests because you truly want them, or because you want to impress your peers? Insecurity

  • Do you feel uneasy being in one place for too long, because you might face the reality of an ordinary life, and you want to be an exception to the rule, to prove that you're special and different? Egoism

  • Do you look down on others whose lives are more simple? What sets you apart that you may mock their desires and "simpler" achievememts? Arrogance

Of course there are many reasons to take the actions we take, but if any of these resonate with you, look deeper. This may seem harsh, but I bring these up because I've been guilty of all three of them at one time or another.

When your desires constantly lead you, you do not lead yourself, and you are controlled by them. I learned this the hard way, and it cost me so much. So much time. So much energy. Time I'll never get back. Energy that could have been spent on other, better, and more fulfilling things. At some point you may realize how much your fears and desires have been controlling your every move. It is a challenge to control yourself, but if you want to be free, you must learn. In so many ways, self-control has been the key in turning my life around. With women, for example, I'd say 80% of my prior problems came from letting my bad impulses get the better of me (e.g., acting out of fear and a mentality of scarcity), whereas now I largely control those bad impulses and act in accordance with my better nature.

There is little worthwhile in living a long time if you have not lived each moment fully. And no life worth living should be untouched by troubles, they are what challenge us and make us grow. There are those that know a truth so simple and obvious that it eludes many of us our whole lives. I've been blessed to meet people who have cast a light on this truth. I'm trying to cast my own light on it for anyone reading. We live in the garden of earthly delights, do with it what you will.

I'll close with a quote.

"The whole race of man, both that which is and that which is to be, is condemned to die. Of all the cities that at any time have held sway over the world, and of all that have been the splendid ornaments of empires not their own, men shall some day ask where they were, and they shall be swept away by destructions of various kinds; some shall be ruined by wars, others shall be wasted away by inactivity and by the kind of peace which ends in sloth, or by that vice which is fraught with destruction even for mighty dynasties, - luxury. All these fertile plains shall be buried out of sight by a sudden overflowing of the sea, or a slipping of the soil, as it settles to lower levels, shall draw them suddenly into a yawning chasm. Why then should I be angry or feel sorrow, if I precede the general destruction by a tiny interval of time?" -Marcus Cato (quoted by Seneca)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birds



Standing by the window after a late weekend breakfast on Easter Sunday, I couldn't help but notice the small birds gathered outside my window. So busy, each one of them with some task at hand. In that moment I felt a stillness, the world stopped and everything snapped into focus. I've learned to recognize moments like these and to cherish them, to sink my teeth into them like a perfect rib eye, or strawberry freshly plucked; and to savor them.

I used to dislike birds, but I have come to admire them. After all, they fly.

Grounded, I stood there in silence, admiring their toil. A perfect moment uninterrupted by judgment or trying to capture it for eternity.

A blueprint for my life.