I wanted to reboot everything

I wanted to reboot everything. I continually have to ask myself, what is important?

What is important?

Removing the crud before I die is important. Dying with dignity and little regret is important. Living with an urge or curiosity for what’s around the next corner. Accepting with graciousness who I am and who I’m not.

Is being well-connected or highly acclaimed among a peer group important? Is it important to try to remove the crud by continuing to pick away at the past? Are people I once held up in high regard, who never accepted me as an equal–are they important? I think not.

The inner life is now much more important. The inner life is where all the crud still resides.

I don’t need to elaborate what the crud is. We all have it. Mine is my own. My demons and my sick thoughts that appear in situations before I have a chance to swat them away. The anger, the sexual malaise. The self-deprecation when another cycle of attempting to socialize fails. Yada-ya.

The crud should all be taken together, and crumpled up into a tiny ball and shoved as far down as possible.

The me I’ve always sought to be should be imagined or projected into a higher place where he looks down upon the shallow, messy me with a king’s perspective.

A king that isn’t quick to wrath or judgment, but one that nevertheless steps in frequently to place a mighty foot down on the vermin entering the palace.

It’s important for me to stop placing certain kinds of people on higher levels than other kinds of people. Are the uberwealthy more worthy of my attention because they have carved out little heavenly nooks for themselves on earth, and are like models of who my own inner king should aspire to be? Or are the poor the better subjects to focus my love on, for they possess rich hearts and have beautiful souls that the materially wealthy could never even come close to emulating?

The answer, of course, is neither.

The twentysomethings with their energy and new ideas aren’t more worthy of attention than the sixtysomethings with their wisdom and experience. Both have something to offer, and both are lacking. Do women rule the world, or men? Neither. Each has its own powerful toolbox of strengths and weaknesses. When any given demographic knows their strengths and weaknesses well, and seeks out cooperation with other demographics in the areas they are lacking, then they will achieve true greatness. Or so I’d like to think, but then again, maybe that’s just a high-minded platitude.

If reincarnation is real, and there is another chance at another go-round, and the world hasn’t gone completely to shit when I die in a few decades–and, I get to choose who or what I want to be…

I think I’d rather not have to choose. There are some days when being born a Paris Hilton seems to be the only way to go. But then, there are those days when it seems like a Paris Hilton or Kate Middleton lives inside a kind of prison cell much smaller than any cell provided to a convicted criminal. Their roles are narrowly defined for them, or so they think, and they must always toe a certain kind of line. There are some days when being born a minority male or an individual with a disability seems better. Life should be a challenge, a thing that can only be properly enjoyed if a struggle is there.

But all of this is clearly bunk.

I would rather not have to choose, because I’d like to think that there is a guide or group of guides who help me decide, and look out for me, and sent me into this time and place and body, because it was the one I needed to be in the most to get better. To recover from whatever sicknesses of the soul I still had lurking in me when I left my last life.

I’d like to think this is the truth, because the truth of only living once, be it from a Christian or Atheist perspective, seems to me to be too unbearable and unthinkable.

I’d also like to think that every single soul upon this earth still holds a place in the heart where Love can penetrate. The most deranged, perverted being, locked away in isolation and awaiting the call to the gas chamber, is a being who may yet have a crack where light can make its way through. But, I don’t think that dwelling on these kinds of beings is especially fruitful, either. That’s an extreme.

I’d like to shift my focus over to what I think constitutes me and most people–the majority of us are more Love and Light than Evil and Darkness, but each of us has some percentage of Darkness lurking about inside.

That is the crud.

Not the misdeeds of the past, but the urges of the present.

Not the terrible things we might have said and did to others that we can only hope will be forgiven, but the present terrible things that rise up and grab us in present day situations, and make us immediately wonder if we’ve really progressed at all along our spiritual journeys.

Those are the vermin that the King needs to squash the minute that they slip inside his castle.

More focus needs to take place on the great sorrow that wells up and creates the furrow in my brow between my eyes. I hesitate to look people in the eye, anymore, because I can see my own deep scowl mirrored in their reactions to my face.

More effort needs to be made to appreciate the abundance that comes with living in this time and place, without taking it to the extreme of trying to take it all with me when I go.

No one in history before me has quite had abundance like this. The access I have to the world via Google Earth and Maps, and all of the scanned art museums and libraries, plus the knowledge of Wikipedia and open courseware. It’s incredible. I live like a glutton slug, getting fat and torpor off of a tiny little chunk of what I’m able to take in. I will probably drown in it, like a drunkard fly in a glass of beer. I try not to become a glutton, though. I try to be appreciative of the wealth that’s dropped onto my lap without pretending that I own it.

I can’t pretend that this world poses dangers to me and my descendants, either. But, sometimes these are incredibly hard to assess. Will my kids (and possibly myself) witness Chinese troops marching through our town? Will they experience unprecedented riots over food or water shortages? Will we witness the destruction of cash, and soon thereafter, credit cards as well? Will the U.S. see its first dictator, declaring martial law, suspending habeus corpus, and delivering malcontents to all-American gulags?

If the world from 2000 to 2100 were to change as rapidly as the world did in the previous 100 years, I should think that I’ll die a man stuck in a perpetual state of gaping shock.

But, if I were to spend all of my time living and preparing as if we were headed to a certain apocalypse of one form or another, then, I would be living and preparing as if I were already dead–a dead man, carefully preparing his own tomb.

Such as it were, I don’t particularly care to live that way. For anyone who claims to have the Christian faith, or any faith in a higher power at all, the prepper mentality seems to say you don’t have that much faith in your God at all.

…saying, “That’s just who I am and how I am.”

There are these days where your brain would like to know about everything and nothing all at the same time. You can’t quite seem to settle on one particular subject to pursue it diligently enough to become especially good at it. It is easy enough for you to trick the brain into thinking that this or that thing is the most important, valuable thing in the world, to be placed high above all other things in importance.

Then, it becomes a struggle to try to figure out what really does matter the most.

A voice inside your head urges you on, saying to you that no matter what particular grand idea you settle on, there is a universe of concepts much bigger beyond the one which you conceive in your head. There is a universe bigger than the one that the biggest dreamer has ever dreamed. The only way to gain access to it is to stop claiming ownership of this or that idea along the way. You are no more the owner of grand, big ideas than the man in the camo hat hopping on his Harley.

Which is not to say that you need to become a populist and forget about trying to access these ideas. It is simply to remind you that you don’t own an insight. You needn’t lay claim to it, stamp your name on it, and mail it off to the USPTO, plop it into a PPT and seek VC funding for it. Stop that kind of thinking before you turn yourself into the most uninteresting man who ever lived. You become the kind of fellow who shuffles through life making modifications to schematics for how to slightly adjust the springs on a mousetrap to make it snap the rodent’s neck 30% more efficiently.

Imagine for second, if you will, that when you die, you enter into this chamber where it is made manifestly clear to you that all of the thoughts you thought touched a grander, metauniverse that took into account all of your thoughts and the thoughts of others, and in many more ways than you could ever imagine, your thoughts–from the kind and most loving to the warped and most evil–made their impact upon others. You would work double time to clean up your thoughts if you knew that they mattered.

You know the sayings and the commandments, of both the worldly wise and God. There is no profit in being perverted, no joy in taking delight at the misfortune of others, no gain from dehumanizing a person or people for the sake of your own sick fantasies. Yet, there you are, gleefully romping about in Satan’s playground, a mischief-making clown not caring one whit how he hurts others. You can never achieve a perfect state of self control if you can’t describe perfectly where your self ends and all of these other entities begin.

Too many foxes have been let into your henhouse of identity. “That’s just who I am and how I am,” you say, “I can’t change.” And, once you believe such a thing with all of your heart, mind and soul, you are 100% correct, and you will never change. Of course, there is hope for everyone, even you. You could wake up one day, and say “That’s not how I am or who I am, I don’t know that person who wore my skinsuit yesterday, but he’s not me.”

…with a medicine head and rapidly fading memories.

Inside your mind, you find that you are still this unformed entity looking for touchpoints to anchor your identity. Should you continue to look back to the past for the scaffolding around which you rebuild yourself, or should you wipe it all completely, and attempt to build a completely new being out of random, found objects and words?

You flip on the television, and run the remote up and down the menu, looking for oversize personalities upon which you could model your own new self. The fat guy overeating in restaurants across the country is having a lot of fun, but he probably never reads a book. The faces on the news are all so serious, getting busy belaboring the fact that a politician lied at a press conference. As if that never happened before.

There’s a smiley guy on Sundays that everyone seems to enjoy, but you’ve never met another man that’s anything like him. All the men you know who are Jesus-y are pretty dour and serious about their states of being, out of fear of someone sensing that they might be less than men.

You like the British chap who goes around the world looking for giant, freshwater creatures with nothing more than a fishing rod. He seems like a pretty unpretentious fellow, but hasn’t let his being devolve into a state in which he can barely string two words together. The big game fisherman seems to be quite comfortable around the locals in these different areas. He doesn’t approach them as if he were a fully realized human being, and they were nothing more than half-formed humans–which is how so many journalists in developing countries seem to act. But then, he doesn’t have any sort of great agenda, other than to try to catch large underwater creatures and talk about it a bit for the camera.

You are tired of being pretentious and full of promises just to find another job.

They over-promise to you, and you over-promise to them, and in eight-nine months, everyone is completely miserable with each other. It’s ridiculous.

The conversation with the prospective employer should be much simpler: We want you to push buttons for us so we don’t have to, and you want to mindlessly push buttons and get paid for it, so you can spend your real brain efforts elsewhere.

Instead, there’s all this bullshit talk of having careers, and shaping strategies, and getting promotions and bonuses for achieving greatness. And, you have to act like you like it, or you’re considered to be fit only for the most remedial work there is.

The most wonderful thing about being alive has nothing to do with achieving anything at all. You will never obtain happiness from reaching some exulted stage of world-defined greatness. The world knows nothing about happiness, it only knows how to obey whatever master it has chosen to obey.