I just finished watching "Life After People", an amazing documentary courtesy of The History Channel. I must say, it certainly opened my eyes a little.
Even if all of the insights and explanations and prophecies are nothing but conjecture and educated guesswork, it is still amazing to think about what there will be left if we were to ever vanish from the planet. Cats becoming tyrants in the high rise decay of skyscrapers, zoo animals roaming the streets outside their former enclosures, seagulls and rats dying off by the tens of thousands due to the elimination of their primary food source (French fries, no less)...the list of changes goes on and on.
I did think it odd that those who made the show assumed that we would simply disappear from Earth, and not out of nuclear holocaust or disease. Still, it's kind of exciting to speculate and discuss the lives of those who come after us.
If anyone does.
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So I've been reading this amazing book titled "The Tao of Pooh", written by Benjamin Hoff. Basically, it's a systematic process of explaining how Winnie the Pooh is indeed one of the great Taoist philosophers, because of his ability to live in the Now, let life take its course and go along for the ride, free of frets and concerns.
Actually, I've taken a lot of this to heart. Back in October of last year, I had started having intense headaches that would not go away, no matter the amount of pain medication I took. I ended up with a prescription of 800mg Ibuprofen, and even three to four a day did nothing. It affected me at work, at home, and in school. I ended up on medical leave during the winter break, leaving me to sit at home and do nothing for days on end.
When i started reading the above mentioned book, I realised that I had been stressed beyond what I normally could handle, and I also realised that this just might have been the source of the headaches. That should be apparent; obviously, they were tension headaches, created by the high-stress environment of a holiday-Starbucks experience.
Once I realised this, however, and upon reading the book, I started to try and shift my focus in life, and just let the current flow, and sit back and enjoy wherever I went whilst riding it. I discovered that if I didn't stress about my job, things went smoothly; if I didn't try to force things to happen a certain way, such as try to make too many drinks at once, or if I didn't complain constantly and freak out over a high influx of customers in the drive-thru, then I suddenly had nothing to worry about, and lo and behold, my headaches vanished.
I also noticed that people seem to try and work too quickly, too much, and too often. People coming through in the mornings complained if they had to wait five minutes for their coffee. Why can't they see that, if they stopped trying to rush everywhere and would just sit still for five minutes and enjoy where they were NOW, they would be much better off?
I think mankind as a whole is starting to spiral out of control. Efficiency in our technology has vastly shortened our tolerance for having to wait to get something done or go somewhere we probably don't need to go to anyway. We're always trying to get tasks done ahead of time, always screaming at one another when something goes wrong, blaming everyone around us for the failure in the "flow" we've created around ourselves. The problem? This flow is cancerous; it isn't natural; it's nothing like the flow that Winnie the Pooh would show us, strolling through the forest, sitting by a brook and just taking in the scenery.
If we could just bring ourselves to stop and make small talk, and enjoy what's around us wherever we happen to be, I think we just might save ourselves. After all, I certainly have found that, even if my manager wants the times in drive-thru to be three minutes or less, it doesn't help to set yourself a restriction and the exhaust yourself trying to comply with that unsound goal.
Besides; I can make a good latte. If you have to wait four minutes and twenty six seconds for that double tall soy no-whip mocha, and smile once you take a sip, isn't the time spent watching the clouds roll by while you sit in your car listening to good music worth every second?
Find something good and enjoyable wherever you are. Take it easy. Smell the roses, if you so choose. It's a healthy way to live, when you're not living for the next deadline.
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I had a strange feeling today while at my day job. I happen to work alongside a friend of mine whom I was seeing in the past. However, things turned rocky, and we went our separate ways about two months ago. I hadn't been working since around the beginning of December, as I was placed on medical leave. Today was third day back, and the first day I've worked with Mandy (the aforementioned friend) since taking my leave.
Now, here is my question.
What is it in the brain that causes you to feel a certain way about someone, and bring old feelings and memories up to the surface when you really don't want them to be there?
I have spent weeks trying to force any sort of attraction toward her from my mind, and I thought I had been successful. I was able to work normally, and talk and laugh like I always have, in her presence. But—and here's where I'm confuses me—every once in a while for the six hours I was there, I would be working normally, and I would turn to ask her something about the drinks I was making (I'm a barista at Starbucks; laugh all you like), and I would suddenly remember something from when we were dating.
This didn't depress me; I simply would think, in the back of my mind, and question what it was that brought these feelings (not thoughts, but actually physical and emotional flashbacks) to the surface, when I would consciously try to rid myself of them?
If anyone has any thoughts, or similar experiences, feel free to speak up. I'm not so much worried about the problem itself, as much as I am curious as to why I (or anyone) operates this way.
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Wrote this back in my sophomore year. In gym class, no less.
My rendition of what it feels like to find someone, then lose them.
I stared into the abyss of your eyes
Trying to see past the pretty face
Into a world where parallel lines
Intersected into infinity, where the
The impossible being me meeting you.
And now we are doomed to travel together
Through Time forever soaring to heights of ecstasy and
Pure understanding as the pieces of the puzzle
Clicked together with a sound that split the
Uni-verse. All answers became ours, and
All the Uni-verse was our domain, from the
Farthest stars to the tiniest snowflake on
The windowsill. But space would no longer
be a black void; colour would surge forth,
Roiling the planets into an explosion inside
The kaleidoscope held by the sleeping
Child who dreams of peace.
...And suddenly, you are walking away. I find
myself, back on my own two feet, watching you
Walk away. The glass sphere that contained
My heart shattered, slicing me open to reveal a
Black hole of emotions, swallowing me whole as
I fell...down...down...down, until I had
No choice but t o fall up. The Uni-verse sank,
down into its original void. Colour drained from
The small, broken, plastic toy as the Child cried
For its Mother, who would never return from the
Parallel lines that forever contained her,
As yours had contained me.
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Ever hear of the ol' saying, "you can't set foot in the same river twice"? Well, the saying is indeed true; after all, you, and the river, change the instant after you pull your foot back out. Atoms have replaced themselves within both you and the water, along with the fact that the water you initially penetrated is now farther off down stream.
This ties into a little piece I wrote while trailing off in thought during my college philosophy class. Thought it sounded cool, and wanted to see what others thought.
"two variables to represent you:
x : you at 5
y : you at 20
x cannot equal y, because along with 'you', x and y are given temporal values, i.e. age. You are not the same person at twenty as you are at five, as you have grown physically, as well as mentally and emotionally. A better way to say you are the same, yet different, person at these two ages is to assign 'you' the variable 'z', and the temporal values x and y. z will represent 'you', as in your core essence. x and y will represent the temporal you, at two different points in time. Thus, your core essence will remain the same throughout time, while your temporal selves will change from one point to the next."
I have a bunch of other incidents jotted down, that I'll post later.
Anyone have thoughts on this matter?
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Ah yes, the soul. One of the most difficult aspects of the human being to be defined, and thus confined, into wording understandable by even the most prodigious scientists and philosophers. And yet, millions of people firmly believe in its existence, though there has been little proof in recorded history of empirical evidence suggesting its presence within us.
But, if we are to assume that this is indeed fact, and that the soul does exist, there are pressing questions that arise almost immediately upon this declaration of belief; questions such as "what does the soul look like?" and "where does the soul rest in the body?" and a plethora of other inquiries that would be made by anyone new to the idea.
I do not claim a doctorate degree on the matters of such things; however, I do believe that I have an idea worth mentioning about the soul. I ask only for ears to listen, and mouths to discuss what I have to say. I implore for anyone's reaction, debate, criticism, etc. I do not want this to remain a monologue; doing so would not bring the world any closer to finding a universal truth for the subject. So please, speak up after you see what I have to say. I'm sure I can rightly assume that there are differences of opinion, and it is these differences that will help carve out a decent, if not extraordinary, view of something that has eluded us for millennium.
So. The soul. What is it? Upon quiet reflection, I have come to see it as nothing more than a bundle of electrical phenomena that resides inside the brain. If you think about it, the brain is the center of the nervous system, and is responsible for keeping the body alive and nourished. The brain does this in many ways, from determining your heartbeat to your blood flow to your digestion to your muscular movement, along with many other functions. The brain is an extraordinary organ. But, it is just that: an organ, no different (other than function) from your heart, your pancreas, or your liver. So what is it about the brain and the spectacular operations it executes? As you may know, the brain is comprised neurons and cells of the like, and communicates with the rest of your body via electrical signals sent through cells in the central nervous system. Everything from writing with your hand to chewing with your mouth to walking with your feet to urinating from your bladder is controlled by your brain. So where does the cognitive thought manifest yourself? My idea is that the soul is this manifestation, and travels throughout your body while basing itself in your cranium.
Indeed, this seems a little odd, but if you think about it, if your soul is the electrical spark that flies through your brain, igniting receptors to bring up memories, to enable speech, and to solve your calculus homework, then the idea becomes plausible. It is apparent that you cannot live without your brain; doing so would require numerous medical machines to ensure that your body continues to nourish itself (something it still couldn't do without said machinery providing it with sustenance), and even then, you cease to be alive. After all, being alive requires being conscious, and having the ability to think and act and react within your surrounding environment. Without your brain, you are indeed non-living.
So this is where the soul comes in. Your brain needs electricity to function. After all, Doctor Frankenstein needed that electrical storm to bring his monster to life. It seems he had the right idea. Scientists have found that, indeed, the brain is reliant on electrical currents to stimulate its neurons and pass information to and from the various parts of your body. This electrical current, feasibly, would be you soul, traveling throughout your body to provide those messages from the brain to move muscles and tendon.
Of course, this still seems to put the brain as the center of the cognitive thought. And, this also where things become confusing. If the soul is merely the electrical current passing information around the body, then where does that information come from? The simplest answer I can find would be that it is indeed the very message itself, manifesting within your cranium and then traveling to different parts of your body to convey messages and instructions for every function you need to have in order to live and be productive in this world. Thus, the brain becomes the storage space for the soul, where the soul stores its experience and memories for convenient access.
This is all still conjecture; I do not expect any of it to be accurate or feasible. Thus, if someone has something to add or detract or debate or reconsider, please, step up. I would love to hear another side, a different perspective, or even just a casual "wow, that actually makes sense". This last reaction I expect least; but, if there happens to be one out there, I'd love to meet its originator.
Other than that, keeping thinking and dreaming.
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