Have a Good Failure Today

Every successful person and every success story features plenty of failure. Failure is so much a part of life and necessary for success. Yet we dread failure and find it shameful. I say not only is it unhealthy to be ashamed of failure, why not actually seek out the inevitable failures that we’ll meet along the way to our goals?

That’s the way I’m going to try looking at the overall sucess picture. And in order to endow these failures with growth and meaning potential I’m going to describe three criteria for every “good” failure.

1) It was well-planned. You actually put an effort into not making stupid mistakes or mistakes of any kind really. You’ve relied on your experience, knowledge, and logic to come up with the best plan that you could.

2) You tried with all your integrity to execute that plan for success. And the only thing which stood in the way of success were

3) Circumstances beyond your control prevented success. This includes but is certainly not limited to lack of cooperation from others, systems failures, accidents, mistakes in calculation (grey area).

I think the worst case scenario for going for a “good failure” is actually failing to fail. But then you’ve got success, right?

Namaste

Quai O.S.

I do realize of course, that I’m a high-order nerd as well as a philosopher. The reason I say this is because I realized tonight that I treat my life kind of like an operating system in which I have to set environment variables. 

Of course there are the physical world environment variables that we’re all trying to control, but in terms of my attitude towards my life or towards any given day, that tends to start with my laying out a foundation for myself in the form of stating what my assumptions are and what my attitude is to be. And I’m calling these my attitudinal environment variables.

Recently I made simple logical programming mistake with the way I set my environment in terms of attitude. The first variable was “Don’t try to control others’ opinions about you.” This one is very freeing, but I found out I have to include the empathy dll or I come off as an asshole. That’s because there’s a natural tendency to equate trying to control with caring. So if you’re not careful to reinforce the caring part with the empathy libraries at work, you can end up operating under “Don’t care about others’ opinions about you.” While this can operate for some time without a BSOD, one is waiting just around the corner when you realize in time or too late that you do care what your favorite loved one(s) think and how they feel about you.

I just wish I had more time for alpha testing…

Quai Franklin:

An interesting perspective on Earth and where we are as humans…

Originally posted on RenascentWoman:

This structure of dependence on technology and fossil fuel that the most “developed’ countries have created is simultaneously changing the game plan (think global warming) far far faster than we can possibly develop technology to respond with.

The Earth shakes, the sun spots become active, the glaciers become mobile, the water rises, the food dies, our skin bubbles cancer, and our life-lines to the world: our information and technology, just sputter out. There, and then gone.  We love coming up with movie scenarios about how easily our infrastructures could collapse.  But we don’t need to look far to see real examples of what happens when nature bites, or oil is spilled, or levies (politics) fail.  It’s some really scary shit.

You know that feeling you get when you lose internet for a night? Or lose power altogether? Imagine a total blackout.  Even for a day, a week, a month. It’s easy to…

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Spanking Aesthetics – How Much Do We Care?

In addition to some spanking stories that are in the works, I’m going to begin a new series of posts on establishing a formalized and intellectual discourse on the aesthetics of spanking entertainment and literature.

It occurred to me that while there are plenty of sites out there that review spanking videos, there is not (as far as I’ve seen) any language or expectations or guidelines particularly relevant to spanking art forms (other than the language of arts aesthetics in general). I’ve been interested in and refining my own view of spanking aesthetics ever since I first began doing Internet searches for spanking images and stories.

What I don’t know is whether others in the spanking or the wider kink community are interested in this subject area. It won’t keep me from pursuing it if no one other than me is interested, but I am curious. So please let me know if you’re interested in helping to create what might be a new intellectual and artistic discipline – spanking aesthetics.

My Creed – The Latest Version…

Here’s a summary of my beliefs about life and how to live it.

Life is Art

Manifest & Flow
Life is Art.
I trust the creator.
I am an instrument.
I am an artist.

Heart & Experience
It’s all about our hearts and our experience.
“The heart is the hub of all sacred spaces.”
Experience is the Art God is creating. “How do I feel about my experience?”
“Is this a dream or a nightmare at the moment?”

Love & Compassion
I love the art God creates and my attitude towards it is compassion, including towards myself.
We are all perfect works of art.
“Honor yourself. Worship yourself. Meditate on yourself, for God dwells within you as you.”
“See God in everyone.”

Gratitude & Now
I am grateful for my experience. It is an ever renewing gift from God; always fresh, unique and unpredictable.
“What does Now look like, feel like, taste like, smell like, sound like?”
Be mindful.
Only the quiet mind can truly be in the now.

Art Is Life
My purpose is to compassionately express who I am, using what I’m given as instruments and media.

Pain & Loss
Art includes pain and loss; otherwise, it wouldn’t be true art.
Life is not fair by our standard, but through Karma all is balanced. Therefore, I accept what has happened without judgment and move forward without attachments and in freedom.
Pain is a result of preference and desire and has duality at its root.

Forgiveness & Perfection
God forgives all and loves all creation without condition or exception.
This is the perfection of the Creator.
We live exactly the right amount of time in order to fulfill our purpose.
We’re given exactly what we need to fulfill our purpose.

Non-duality & Commection
Creator and created are one.
We are never alone.
I need not feel alienated towards others who do not understand this truth.

I am God.

Namaste.

New Directions, Revelations, and Attitudes

I’ve been quiet here lately and at my other blogs for the last several weeks. This silence is in part due to the business of life becoming a bit overwhelming, along with a few big personal challenges and opportunities. The irony of going through big challenges and overwhelming numbers of tasks to tend to, is that although it makes for great blogging material, it also stands in the way of actual blogging. And often I find myself trying to play “catch up” with journaling and processing after the fact.

This time it’s the same and also a bit different and, I think, better for me because the latest set of personal challenges helped me complete a personal transformation from being more of a fear-based personality to one who is more relaxed with a sense of adventure. How this happened is a fairly complex tail and I really want to plumb those depths with myself and with my readers. Suffice it to say that, just as addicts often need to hit rock bottom in order to receive the impetus to turn their lives around, I apparently needed to hit a different kind of rock bottom in order to final shake loose some key fears that have plagued me for most of my remembered life. Most of my fear was around two general kinds of potential happenings. One is that I had an obsessive-compulsion to ask and consider “what if” about every situation in my life and live out all the worst-case scenarios in my mind. I spent so much time going through “what if” scenarios and experiencing the imagined pain of them, that I was not able to actually be present for and experience some of the better or best case scenarios that actually occurred. The second is that I had a deep, paralyzing fear of disappointing others. I feared that, again ironically, so much that I often disappointed people as a result of that fear-based paralysis.

Recent events have now transpired where I realized I actually disappointed pretty much everyone that I care about. At the same time a worst-case scenario that I had feared played out in terms of a personal relationship that’s very important to me.

So there I was dealing with that, with being that guy that everyone is disappointed with and for whom a relationship was blowing apart and I had to re-examine who I learned to see myself as, versus who I actually am in terms of my actions and attitudes. Facing truth is rarely easy. It’s usually really difficult, especially if it is a hard truth about oneself. But I’ve always held onto the belief that truth is liberating and it always has turned out to be for me.

Fortunately, this set of circumstances occurred after a big revelation I had about conquering my own fear. In the pursuit of my spiritual path – based in Vedanta as well as quantum physics – I recently came to understand on a heart and mind level that the vibrating strings that form the basis of the atomic particles that make up the physical world we call reality are themselves based on consciousness, which is neither mass nor energy. This was a huge, life-changing shift in my understanding, because it means to me that there is no need to fear death or dying. Now I see how once the temporary physical bodies we inhabit as consciousness are no longer viable for life and they die, they don’t take our consciousness with them. There is only one consciousness really and that is what religions up to now have referred to as God. And for finite entities, such as humans, the part of consciousness experienced as that entity is appropriate to that entity, since consciousness is the groundwork of energy and mass and therefore, form. So consciousness being external to time is infinite and so life as consciousness experiences it is infinite.

So much of my anxieties fell away with this realization. From now on it just takes the mindfulness of the truth to not fall back into old, fear-based patterns. But because I was becoming more and more mindful, a different kind of uncomfortable feeling prevailed and was noticed by me. That feeling was the feeling one gets when being judged.

We judge ourselves and we judge one another often and in ways that we may not even be aware of. This is a result of the dualistic thinking that is an extension of our survival skills. When we’re trying to survive physically, we need to be able to determine what is a good berry and what’s a bad berry to eat. And so we learned various tests and criteria involving the senses and involving patterns to determine a berry’s worth or danger to us. Unfortunately, due to our fears, we’ve expanded the judging mentality to each other as humans, lumping one another into various categories and subcategories based on broadly drawn rules and assumptions we’ve “learned” along the way. And for most of us, we internalize those judgments as well and we’re constantly judging ourselves.

The reason judging persists too, besides the holdover from survival necessity, is that the process isn’t always painful. Often enough we judge ourselves and the people we care about in a positive light because their decisions and behavior match up well with our internal template of what one is “supposed” to do. Those times when judgments come up in our favor encourage the habit and justify it during those instances when we or loved ones fall short of the template.

When we fall short, this results in some combination of guilt, shame, disappointment, feeling inadequate or feeling defective. And this happens so often that I had to ask whether it’s necessary. I don’t think judging is necessary or helpful, because even when we pass the tests, shouldn’t we be asking how was I able to pass this test of judgment when others don’t or I don’t at other times?

I have asked myself in fact, and I keep coming up with the same answer. The tests and templates are arbitrary and are based on finite beings’ limited view of the universe. And if I pass it is because I somehow had whatever it takes to pass and that is always traceable to something I received as a gift that had nothing to do with my own actions or decisions. It might be a quality I was born with or some wisdom or information I was given and couldn’t possibly have given myself. In other words the Universe, God, whatever you want to call it provided the gifts that got us to the point where we passed some of the arbitrary tests we set for ourselves and each other.

So if you believe the Universe is perfect, and I have some difficult questions for you if you don’t believe it is, why would we not be perfect or play a necessary role in that perfection? And as such, what favors are we doing ourselves by creating these arbitrary templates to measure ourselves and others against? It seems like a huge waste of time and energy and joy to do this, so I’m committed to stopping it myself. I’m going to stop judging myself and others.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be behaviors that I don’t like in myself and others, that I will try to alter, but that’s part of the Universe and its perfection as well. Life is challenging and painful enough as it is without adding guilt, shame, and feeling defective to the mix. Let’s drop those from our repertoire shall we?

How The Mainstream Media Is Covering Up Mitt Romney’s 12 Million Jobs Debate Lie | Research | Media Matters for America

How The Mainstream Media Is Covering Up Mitt Romney’s 12 Million Jobs Debate Lie | Research | Media Matters for America.

via How The Mainstream Media Is Covering Up Mitt Romney’s 12 Million Jobs Debate Lie | Research | Media Matters for America.

Transcending Duality

I’m coming to understand much more about the powerful and whole-life effects of duality (dualistic thinking). I’ve been a bit “slow on the uptake” on this, thinking of the Yoda fear cycle (“Fear leads to anger, anger to hatred, and hatred to suffering/the dark side”) separately from the fact that duality is the foundation of fear. Duality is also the foundation of language, analysis, and the perception of forms (objects and systems), so perhaps I can be forgiven for not drawing the big important link with fear and how that then leads into the Yoda fear cycle.

The reason this connection is so important now, for me, is that I’ve been dealing with my own acceptance of my mortality. I assume that this is a fairly common aspect of the “mid-life crisis” most of us are familiar with. In fact, I’m theorizing at this point that our struggles with accepting mortality are the single root from which all emotions, decisions, and behaviors in the mid-life crisis arise. We’re suddenly hit in the face with “Yikes! In another X number of years, I won’t be in this life any more.” Whether you’re religious, spiritual, an atheist, or an agnostic, this is a big thing to deal with. In fact I suppose it is the biggest deal that we deal with in terms of the human condition.

Naturally as someone with a psychological and philosophical bent, I set about trying to tackle this with the idea that I could deal with this and hopefully help others deal with this acceptance in the most healthy and positive way possible. In the process of working on the problem, implications for life as a whole have emerged.

The main principle that has whole-life, whole-consciousness implications is the above mentioned logical connection between duality and fear. When I talk about duality, I’m talking about all manner of duality, but the first duality is that of finite consciousness. Once we’re born into this world in terms of consciousness, by definition we “become” finite. In other words, we perceive a self that’s separate from the rest of the Universe. Freud put it in terms of the infant being aware of separation from the mother – the first source of alienation and anxiety. The Christian Bible puts in human terms as a separation from God, occasioned by the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And what is evil, but that which has the intent to cause harm. And why is harm bad? Besides the fact that it hurts (feels bad), enough of it can result in death, which in terms of finite consciousness can be seen as a permanent separation from God.

Being intelligent creatures – utilizing logic and inferring patterns – we’ve built more and more complex and abstract mental constructs, the purpose of which is to protect us from death and to “expand” (however we define that word) life for ourselves. These constructs include the practical, like family, relationships, and community, as well as qualities such as courage, kindness, selfishness, and the principle-based ones, such as freedom, destiny, etc. In fact I think most of our experience is based in mental constructs. Those few experiences and needs that have to do just with our physical bodies are important and painful if ignored, but fulfilling them is not that complicated if we’re blessed to live near sources of food, water, and clean air. All the rest is what makes life complex and difficult to grasp and make decisions about. And the more complexly we layer our experiences, the richer those experiences can be as well as bringing in more and more opportunities for fear and fear-based thinking. I’m not saying that having a rich, complex experiential world is a bad thing. I’m simply saying there’s a yin /yang balance to be understood and considered.

My conclusion from realizing the connection between duality and fear and the role the Yoda fear cycle plays in our psychology and moral dealings, is that it can all be reduced to one fear – the fear of death. All our fears are one fear, really. And we all have the same fear. So dealing with our fears, any of them, in ourselves or in others, involves whatever it takes to restore the knowledge, understanding, and awareness that we are all born with, but lose to varying degrees and at various times along the way – the oneness of all existence.

Remember, there is no death in terms of experience.

If you’re atheist, then for you there is no death due to the straightforward logic that if you were to no longer have experiences, there would be no “you” to have experiences. You can’t experience death.

If you practice a spiritual path, then unless your path differs markedly from most of the main spiritual disciplines, it will provide the guidance that you either already are or can be connected with your God – the eternal.

If you’re agnostic, then you don’t know. But you know that either the atheist is correct or the spiritual practitioner is correct.

So that just leaves you with the life you have, right here and now. We’re all afraid from time to time and the reason is simple – the fear of death/separation. The antidote is universal – love – giving and receiving. Love – the intention that comes with an attitude of unity – is the only choice apart from fear. And love is always a choice you can make, no matter what.

Experientialism As Spiritual Path

Years ago I invented a metaphysical philosophy and spiritual path that I called “experientialism” because it centered around one’s experience as the root of all conceivable phenomena. It was therefore phenomenological (study of the structures of subjective experience and consciousness) and ontological (study of the nature of being, existence, or reality). It’s not that I’m asserting that our subjective phenomena represent all that is. It’s more to the point that our subjective phenomena are all we have to work with and thereby must be considered the central starting point of any analysis, opinion, or goal.

It’s also not that there are not objective facts or truths, but merely expresses an agnosticism about such entities due primarily to a lack of definition. How can we agree to what is objective when we’re all starting from our subjective experience? Logic, math, and empiricism (repeatable observations under like conditions) are our main tools for negotiating objectivity.

But clearly there are phenomena in our experience that are not “objective” and we have no need to treat them as such. Examples of these personal phenomena include spiritual experiences, dreams, memories, loves, likes, tastes, etc.

Once I appreciated the elegance and simplicity of this approach to experiential analysis, the question soon followed as to meaning. If being human is about experiencing and creating experiences, then what is the purpose and meaning behind why this is the case? At the time I began this philosophical path I was on the other side of coming away from the “traditional” Christian path and I felt like being specific on meaning and purpose risks the same trap that I believe most spiritual paths fall into – that of having no basis for which to form their conclusions other than the dreams, desires, and imaginations of their authors. However, I also felt within my own “soul” that the Universe is one and that there is a uniting energy and loving intelligence within all. So I couldn’t draw any other conclusion but that the purpose of the Universe would be to create all possibilities – all combinations of mass and energy. As for my own purpose and the meaning of my life, I could not ever fully “know” it and therefore it requires trust in the Universe.

I must trust the meaning of my experience to the Universe’s wisdom.

That last statement is my primary spiritual goal. It is a path of simplicity and great challenge. I find that when I trust the Universe with all of my experience, I am happy and relaxed and loving. When I create within my mind the false idea that I am somehow separate from the rest of the Universe or I somehow cannot trust what is happening in my experience to the Universe’s wisdom, I am distressed, angry, and may become depressed if I don’t turn back to the logical and heart-centered truth. I find it’s best when I love (not necessarily like) my experiences unconditionally.

Today I’ve added a deeper understanding of my goal in terms of stages.

At stage one, I love certain experiences, like certain experiences, dislike or hate other experiences. This is the default state for us all I think.

Stage two is taking the path of loving one’s experiences whether we like them or not. I distinguish love from like in that love is an attitude of unity and like is a state of admiration. For example, you might love your sibling (have an attitude of oneness with her, if she needs something you’d work day or night to get it for her, etc.) but not really like her (wouldn’t list her as someone you admire, gets on your nerves, is abrasive, etc.).

Stage three, is trusting the Universe at a level such that you no longer mind whether you have experiences or not. In other words, one no longer fears the possibility of death. I use the word “possibility” purposefully because in terms of experiential phenomenology there is no such thing. One can’t experience non-experience, so death is undefined. My intuition tells me there’s an even more elegant, beautiful and unknown truth in which the consciousness continues infinitely and in fact there is but one consciousness.

In the mean time, trust is the primary weapon against fear.