Titles are Optional

January 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm (Uncategorized)

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” – Robert Frost

 

I think one of the most fascinating things to learn about myself as I continue to get older is that I am never quite as smart as I thought I was. It’s not that I don’t think that I am a bright individual, but I think for many of us we believe that we are several standard deviations above the mean, and it isn’t so. I do believe that many of us spend our lives choosing to be the easiest version of ourselves–we don’t always strive to be the best selves we can be. I don’t mean any one particular definition of “best,” and I certainly am not referring to monetary or professional success. I refer instead to the people we can be as people. How you act, think, and live.

For many people the inspiration comes from God, or Jesus (we can discuss their respective sameness/difference another time), but for me it simply comes from a desire to find the truth. As in what is true, not Truth with a capital T, because that is a much more vexing question. Who is the “true” me? It’s a question that you can only partially answer, because people change. You are not the same person day to day, hour to hour, not completely, anyway. Your life experiences alter who you are and in fact your atoms are being replaced. You are literally not any bit the same person you were 7 years ago.

 

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

 

It’s a process–being the person you want to be. And I am not saying I have the answers, or am any good at it. I’m trying, though. I think a lot of people just live their lives and don’t bother to think about what they’re doing or why they’re doing the things they are. That is one thing I admire about Christianity–if you’re actually doing it there is a constant process in your life of reflection and betterment. There are also plenty of people who pay lip service to the concept and zone out for an hour every Sunday. You find that in all contexts of life, though.

I am at heart an agnostic; I have a hard time taking things as huge as the possibility of an afterlife and sins and moral codes on faith. I have a certain admiration for those who can, but that’s not how I am hardwired. I believe the Bible has a great deal to tell us about ourselves, I believe everyone should read it, try to understand it, and use it as a vehicle to move towards a deeper understanding of their lives and the universe. I also think they should read the Dhammpada, the Tao Te Ching, the Book of Mormon, and the Koran (full disclosure I have not read the entirety of the BoM or the Koran, only parts).

 

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

 

I don’t tend to care for viewpoints that suggest that a person can have the monopoly on the truth. As flawed individuals, we can’t possibly know everything there is to know. So you can believe that you are correct and I am wrong, or I can believe the opposite, but fundamentally truth is based on your experience, which is biased by a myriad of things. I could wake up tomorrow with a revelation that God is real and Jesus is His only son, but proof that relies on feelings is ultimately a personal issue.

 

I don’t really know where I was going with any of this, so there isn’t really any wrap up. Just some thoughts.

 

“The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

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