Friday, 24 February 2017

Dealing with myself

The biggest barrier to me living in a civilisation as a true human being is not government, banks, bosses, colleagues, customers, parents, friends, events, fate, luck, wealth, housing, pets, other people or aliens.

The biggest barrier, generally is me and more specifically my 'anger' response.

I was recently asked to solve a problem. I like solving problems. So far, so good. I became 'angry' or 'annoyed' when I could not locate a document. I then chose to 'invest' one hour of my time looking for a document that I wanted to see. My 'anger' was completely useless. My 'anger' didn't help find the document. My 'anger' blinded me to the fact that I didn't actually need to see the document. My 'anger' wasted one hour of my time and I was still agitated hours later.

I am not going to blame 'society' for conditioning this bizarre behaviour into me. Or my parents, who really mastered the art of being angry years ago. No, the blame lies entirely with me.

I must have been angry tens of thousands of times in my life. Not once realising, until recently, that this behaviour costs me time, money and my happiness.

To break this social conditioning simply requires me to decide to break this conditioning. There are two stages.

  1. Accept that becoming angry is something you no longer wish to do
  2. Notice when you have become angry
So, I spent two hours being angry and it took another two hours to calm down.
Perhaps, if I had noticed I was angry after just thirty seconds, I could have calmed down in another thirty seconds.

So, what made me angry? What wasted four hours of my life?
I EXPECTED to find a document within one minute of looking for it and I didn't.

Like I said, I really am the biggest obstacle to living in a civilisation as a human being.

Society installs within us the belief that being angry is something that is caused by other people. This is a lie. Being angry is a choice we make ourselves for ourselves. We then justify our anger by blaming whatever we like, except ourselves.

Society truly is bizarre and so are the members of society it creates.

Why not be something better?

I have written a very short book on becoming better, it is available now. It will be available for free download on February 28th 2017

Friday, 17 February 2017

Dealing with members of society

My mum, bless, is a member of society. I recently wrote a comment on a Facebook friends post, a particularly emotional post. I mentioned that she attempt unconditional love. My mum decided to comment on my comment as below.

Ann Watkinson

Your Mum has read this!
LikeMore15 January at 19:34

David Watkinson

Good. Try understanding it. See you in June.
LikeMore15 January at 20:13

Ann Watkinson

Remind me to ask you to explain when I see you in June xx
LikeMoreTuesday at 12:52

Why I need to know that she read my comment is not clear. The use of the exclamation mark is unknown too and never explained.

I state, 'try understanding it'. Which is either an order or suggestion depending upon how you interpret it. Regardless, she has a choice. She can either try or not try.

She goes with not trying. Which is fine. I fully accept that she has a choice to make. I accept whatever choice she makes. It is her choice.

Then she tells me to remind her. No choice given.

She places all responsibility for her 'understanding' on me. I am to explain it to her. Again, no choice given.

That is the difference between a member of society and a human being.

  • Choice
  • Free will
  • Acceptance
  • Accountability
  • Unconditional love
All things that are far easier in a civilisation than a society.

My initial comment was for my Facebook friend to read a Greg Baer book she likes the look of, read my critical thinking blog and this blog. My mother has decided not to bother reading any of my blogs or a Greg Baer book. This is fine, it is her choice how she spends her retirement. However, she 'expects'  me to spend my time working out how to explain unconditional love to her. Something that I have for everyone on the planet. Which I am practising daily. I do need the practice.

So, this is my attempt at explaining unconditional love to my mother. It is when you love someone without conditions. If that isn't clear enough read a Greg Baer book of your choosing and perhaps read this blog, to get an idea of how your eldest son's mind works. Or not. Again, this is entirely your choice.

I have chosen not to remind you. I have chosen not to explain myself (beyond this post) as I do not feel the need to satisfy your need for power over me. You demonstrate this need by the phrasing of your comments, your general attitude and tens of thousands of previous exchanges. I would use the word conversation but that would be asking the word to carry a far higher burden than it was designed for.

Dear mother, you will have plenty of reasons to hand, regarding why I am wrong. You will have a need to spin this, such that you 'prove' that I am not a nice person. That I am not a decent member of society.
You will be correct.

I am not a member of society, I am a flawed human being who is attempting / practicing living in an actual civilisation which essentially means unconditionally loving everyone.

You are more than welcome to join in. However, it is you who will have to put the effort into doing it. Being a member of society was easy, being part of a civilisation is far easier but only if you can break your conditioning. I simply do not have the right to break your conditioning. I can't even 'expect' you to try.

Anyway, you have either put the effort into understanding this post or you haven't.

That comment applies to my mother and everyone else on the planet.

So, how do you deal with members of society when you are not one?  Easy, treat them as if they are flawed human beings because we all are. Far more importantly, love them unconditionally. Some people will make this very challenging. I suggest you spend time with those who make it easy. Until you decide that you need a challenge.

I might be up for a challenge in June, or I might not. I have fully accepted that I am  flawed human being and so is everybody else including my mother. That is just the way it is. Perhaps the journey of life is to become aware of our flaws? To become enlightened beings. (Spoiler alert: it is)

As always you take care. When you have done that, sufficiently, take care of everybody else. Or not. Your choice.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Road incident

As a tax paying member of society, driving can be very stressful. Or rather, other motorists can be incredibly annoying.

That perception can change in a heart beat.

I recently lost control of my car. It started with some understeer, then it decided to oversteer. I know how to react to both individually but I truly wasn't expecting either event and control was lost.

I didn't actually crash but I certainly came close. What I did do was stop all traffic along a main road. Everybody, patiently waited (forty or more cars) whilst I repointed my car in the correct direction. I apologised in the direction of the motorist who actively steered his vehicle out of my way.

You may or may not find that interesting or extraordinary. The point is the gratitude I felt for all the motorists that I inconvenienced due to my lack of care, for their patience. The entire incident was solely my responsibility.

In summary, I behaved, reacted and felt as a human being would.

This contrasts sharply with what a member of society would have felt. They would have felt that their rear tyres were defective despite recent professional advice that they were not in need of replacement. That there must have been a diesel or oil spillage. That the shell grip road surface was worn. That the car was faulty despite recently passing its annual road worthy test. That the couple of month old front tyres were incorrectly specified. The list of excuses is limitless.

The police could say that I was driving without due care and attention. They would be correct. They could say that i failed to maintain control of my vehicle. They would be correct. I could say it was just an accident. I would be lying.

Are you a member of society or a human being?

Do you understand the distinction?

Friday, 3 February 2017

Online gaming

Over the last few years I have spent a great deal of time playing online games. Initially, the call of duty games and then star wars battlefront.

For me, the difference between playing as a member of society and as a human being is huge. Playing as a human being, I appreciate that others may not have the experience I have. They may be distracted by pets, children, wives, the postman or worried about their jobs or money. In other words, distracted and not playing their best game. All understandable and I can choose to support them in the game or play some other tac tics so that our team puts up a good fight and perhaps even wins.

I think most of us will agree that what I described is fair and reasonable and that is  how most of us would enjoy the shared experience of online gaming.

However, that isn't how most of us play. Most of us are no longer the human beings we were born as but are members of society. Whilst playing online we are inundated with idiots, noobs and show offs. We might simply shout at our televisions, perhaps slam down our controller in disgust, we might even shoot or otherwise inconvenience our team mates or just abandon the game. I have both sent and received messages which were aggressive, nasty and negative.

The gaming experience, when playing as a human being is a pleasant one. I have lots of choices about how best to support our team. How I can play to increase our chances of winning. To play the best game I can with the available resources. If we win we win. If we lose, could I have played differently or were we completely outclassed? In which case, what can I learn from our opponents? Now, I am not infuriated but actually learning. I am no longer repeating the same behaviour again and again. I am learning to be a better team player. Learning to be a better human being.

The gaming experience, when played as a member of society is, usually,  mostly annoying with a few pleasing outcomes that can keep us playing way past bedtime. :-)

Perhaps you are not an online gamer. I work in a small professional office. When working, as a human being, I have a really enjoyable tike. Working as a member of society is completely different. I encounter awkward customers, inconsiderate colleagues and clueless bosses.

The point I am clumsily attempting to make is vital. The people, customers and online gamers are not the ones who change. They don't create the environment I either enjoy or find annoying. The thing that creates the environment is me.

The members of a society, create the society. Just one person, behaving as a human being, creates a bubble of civilisation. This bubble is quite large. It can easily envelop a home or office. These pockets of civilisation actually grow when they encounter another bubble. The beauty of these bubbles, is that they grow increasingly stronger over time and become effortless to maintain.

So, society is rather easy to replace with a civilisation. You simply choose to become a human being and then practice being one. Currently, I am managing bursts of around an hour quite easily. At the time of writing, rather than publication, I managed to be a human being all Friday. This included a thirty minute commute to work in a fourteen year old car. Eight hours at work. Another thirty minute commute home in rush hour traffic and an evening in with my partner. It was a great day. I have spent most of the weekend thinking about that day and creating this sister blog to my critical thought blog. Monday might not be as great, after all human beings are not perfect. Human beings are flawed. A human being appreciates that everybodyelse is flawed too. Including Obama, Clinton, Trump, our bosses, colleagues, customers, clients, spouses, children and especially ourselves.

I hope you found this uplifting. At some stage, I could become inspirational. Better yet, you could!

Feel free to use any ideas I present here as foundation upon which to build your own.