Archive for August, 2010

embrace the chaos


Life is suffering. Life is chaos.

If you don’t believe me, check the local headlines. Watch CNN. Drive through the bad part of town. Read a history book. Take a look at your 401k. You may currently be “happy” with your nuclear family, your pampered lifestyle or your 9-5 paycheck, but all it takes is one car accident, one phone call, one house fire or one person saying “I just want to be friends” to ruin all your best laid plans. And it all boils down to control.


Everybody wants to control their environments. We feel this burning need to have a direct impact on all of our immediate surroundings. We feel that control of our lives equals a measure of success, of esteem, of prestige. We get comfortable when we control things, when things work out as planned.

This is a flawed line of thinking.

Attempting to control our environment is the source of much of what is wrong with we humans as a species, with us as a civilization. We just can’t let go – and I mean really let go – of what we want to control, which is everything. We’re obsessed with status, with perception, with titles, with money, with politics, with the acquisition of knowledge, with Biggest Loser, with Ryan Seacrest, with our own selfish dreams. We’ve gravitated away from the natural order of things and created our own superficial reality that is anything but reality.

Why do you think we’ve had so many counter-cultural movements since the 50’s? A great starting point could be the Beat Generation, moving forward with the Hippies and now it’s moved onto us, the Gen X-ers and Y-ers. I often hear older folks saying “It’s a different generation” about us 20-somethings. (this quote normally takes place after commiserating over the supposed degradation of our morals and inhibitions in direct regard to sex, drugs and living with our parents long after our welcome has worn out). We don’t have any term or symbol to wholly personify our counter-culture and disillusion, except maybe Fight Club and a wide variety of contraceptives.

A big part of this disillusionment is education. As more and more people acquire a quality education from kindergarten through college, and as the world population continues to increase, AND as more conveniences and amenities arise to make our lives easier and us lazier, more people will begin to question the status quo. More people will realize that the way things are aren’t the way they should be.

As much as we may try, controlling our environments will never fully work, and people are slowly beginning to understand this. And so long as we try to wrestle control from unforeseen circumstances and various inevitabilities, we will never be truly happy. Control creates a false sense of security and blinds us to the world beyond that control. By letting go of what we expect to be there every day, we get a nice wide angle perspective on our surroundings. We’ll see things we’ve never seen. Experience things we’ve never experienced.

the first law of motion

The best martial artists will teach that you should never try to muscle your opponent, but rather use their movements against them. If they push, you pull, always using their own momentum against them. You never try to control your opponent, you let them defeat themselves by taking advantage of their inertia. Same goes for life. Don’t try to muscle it to your will. Roll with it 🙂

I feel as if Western civilization is rising toward a crescendo in its evolutionary process. We’ve become so materialistic, so disillusioned, so obsessed with the white-wedding concept of Western culture that we’ve lost our way, and we’re finally starting to realize it. A new counter-culture is starting to emerge, and I’m very excited to see what form it will take as it evolves and gains momentum.

So for now, live wild, live free, and stay imperfect.

And embrace the beautiful chaos that is life.


i want to be angry


I am amazed sometimes (many times) at the immorality and cruelty of people. When you have done nothing untoward to them, they still think it’s a fine idea to steal your debit card, credit card and all the cash in your wallet, then go ahead and spend $300 at Rite Aid. If you’re asking yourself, “Did this happen to this guy?” the answer is “Why yes. Yes it did.” And if you’re asking yourself, “How can someone spend $300 at Rite Aid?” well, I don’t have an answer for that.

I know exactly when it happened and exactly who it was (well, what they look like anyway), and my first thought after realizing what had happened was to find them and pummel them into a bloody heap, maybe breaking their jaw and hopefully both their arms, as well. My thoughts raced at the revenge I would exact upon them for the fiscal hurt they had inflicted upon me.

Then after a few minutes I came back to my senses and realized that what’s done is done, with my favorite phrase “It is what it is” repeating over and over in my mind. I steadied my breathing and felt my pulse start to slow down. I started to relax.

the change of heart

But then something didn’t feel quite…well, quite right. I realized I didn’t want to be calmed down. For probably the first time in my life I realized that I wanted to be pissed off. I wanted to punch that brick wall. I wanted to walk into my kitchen, shout and throw my hat against the wall. I wasn’t sure why, just that it felt right to be angry. Now keep in mind I didn’t make it a public scene – anger is one thing; letting the world see your anger firsthand quite another.

The way I look at it, anger is not a bad emotion – it inspires action. The blood pumping. The adrenaline racing. The senses heightened – that’s irreplaceable. Anger, so long as it’s under control, lets you experience things you would not have otherwise experienced, for good or for ill. And if it is “for ill,” then most likely it will be something from which you take a lesson or two.

The only trouble is that anger can be a crippling emotion, just like sadness. It can harm you as much as it harms the person at whom your anger is directed. So I’ve decided that if I let the anger come, embrace it with my full being, then let it go just as smoothly, I’m much better off in the end.

And I’ll be even better off when I find the punk that stole my money…