Life & Philosophy Psychology

A sober risk to deny reality

Alcohol and coffee are a study in consciousness — they both trigger experiences beyond the normal architecture of aliveness. 

Neither beverage medicates problems away. Rather, they open the door to other choices and chapters in life that we may not have otherwise made. That second beer gives us the courage to ask that girl to dance or that double espresso powers us through a tough or dull assignment. Conversely, both actions could also result in equally damaging results.

Stimulants and depressants aside, we’re better off starting before we’re ready because the tyranny of hesitation thwarts all possibilities. It takes courage to go out of our comfort zone and bomb.

Once stripped of the ideal results, we let go of perfection and embrace the positive psychology behind tiny actions, despite any failure. We quickly realize that reality is too sober and feel compelled to act.

“There is a positive correlation between the fear of death and the sense of unlived life,” writes Oliver Burkeman in The Antidote.

When it’s all said and done, we will have at least gained the satisfaction of trying. Because we already have everything we need to get going.

Life & Philosophy Poetry Psychology

Crossing to safety

gif by Wells Baum

Home is where the heart is, but it is not where we discover what the world is about.

All reality exists in the streets, behind the shadows of a passerby.

What is artificial is the parochial nature of home.

We are blind to what we can’t see, organizing our periphery to notice and absorb what is under our control.

What remains ensconced remains enclosed, behind a wall of shallowness. People often make the mistake of accepting the reality of the world presented.

We flinch at what we don’t know. Little do we know, that discomfort leads us to the other side.

When we strive to get outside the bubble, we may come out changed.


Recognize reality even when you don’t like it – especially when you don’t like it.

Charlie Munger
Life & Philosophy

A 90-year human life in months, years, days…

Yet another reminder that life is short and to avoid just checking off the boxes. Try to live in every moment, week, month, and year. Everybody gets the same amount of time.

(via waitbutwhy)


Dream to Read

What you read is as just as important as what you experience. Reading fiction permits the mind to let go of reality and envision fantasies. Reading non-fiction forces the mind to grapple with harsh realities.

The reading mind makes no difference between real world and the make-believe. Words create visualizations that the mind conceives as conscious dreams.

Reading inspires you to experience the real-world in order to validate what you read. But sometimes it’s better to live vicariously through the pages. Reading is an experience all by itself.


You Can Tell Everybody This Is Your Song

When all of our information — images, art, news, modes of communication — is mediated through the same screen, the notion of value, of what is important and unimportant, even in a subjective, personal sense, becomes murky. Births, deaths, celebrity mug shots, piano-playing kittens, children we don’t know engaging in wackiness, war, poverty, photos of salt shakers and table sets, tales of the mundane, puns: This is all funneled and flattened, much to our delight and convenience, of course. Everything is a headline, everything is front page

The mobile screen begs for quick attention. You could say the same for paper and countless other formats, but those we’re harder to flick away so we spent more time on them. Nowadays everything is just a swipe, the focus of a fish.


On the Inside Looking Out

People strive for certainty. Even when they don’t know, they form a picture in their head of what it may be. The imagination may be quick to eradicate ignorance but bias remains extant.

Truth gets certified with perceived knowledge. Everything you know today is based on subjective experience combined with what others tell you to be true. Rumors spread so quickly that even their sheer possibility becomes absolute fact.

Seeing the world through your phone is like driving through a dark tunnel, an experience containing half of reality. What the brain can’t hear, see, smell, touch or taste, the screen fills in with an image that creates a vicarious experience. The mind is a series of pictures, a movie in the making.


Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

— Lao Tzu

Does Everything Need a Name?

The first thing people do when encountering something new is seek identification. People are always on a need to know basis.

But as soon as people know, they just as quickly forget. We only remember that which is immediately useful; otherwise everything is just a generality (e.g. “That guy,” “it,” or “that thing”).

The mind requires that we call something, something; it doesn’t cope with uncertainty. If we really need to know but can’t come up with an identifier, we can just as easily use our imagination to make it up.

Names are just noises. We aren’t all what we hear, nor what we see. Everything still lies in question.


Why Americans Fetishize Paris

In any case, whether you’re a veteran expatriate of Paris, if you’ve only toyed with fantasies of skipping stones along the Canal St. Martin, or you’re Kanye West extolling the virtues of Paris’ apparent no bullshit culture, it’s important to realize that you’re fetishizing an unattainable dream. Downer? Perhaps. But it needn’t be. Sometimes dreams are just what we need. Reality can be a lovely place, but for some, and I count myself among them, a corrupted dream is better than no dream at all.

Paris, a place to dream false dreams.