Coloring Outside of the Lines and Other Good Life Lessons
The objectivity required to live a truly karmic zen life is staggering.
Take the idea of karma. I don’t believe in karma as being “what you do is what you get” as though for every good deed I do, one equally good deed comes back to me. I believe that for every good deed I do, well, that’s one more good deed for the world. By me doing my share of good deeds I can only hope that others will do theirs and then in the end there will be more good for everyone.
I don’t expect to get it back one for one, but I do sort of realize that by doing my part, I’m also helping myself a little. The true essence and spirit of karma isn’t in doing it because you’re helping yourself, but because it is right and just. I find that nearly impossible, seeing it from that angle anyway.
And then there’s zen, trying to achieve a perfect state of mind by rejecting wants and desires and living in some otherworldly place that exists above or beside or around normal consciousness. Well, the problem with that is that even if you’re trying to live without wants and desires, you still have the desire to live without desire.
Destroys the whole theory really. One of the main reasons why I could never fully appreciate Kerouac.
I find that in the normal course of my eternal life, the part of it I’m conscious of now, this exact life, I am constantly in an inner conflict between doing what I have been conditioned to believe is just and right and doing what would make me happy.
On the one hand, the world has taught me that I should look out for others, make sure that everyone around me is accommodated for and that they are comfortable. The world’s viewpoint is that by making everyone else around you happy, you will achieve happiness.
It came to me in the last few years that what a person really should do is look out for themselves. Don’t do anything to directly harm anyone else, but worry about making yourself happy and peaceful first, and then everyone around you will see that calming peace and be able to draw off of it. Those that don’t want to draw from it will not be able to see your allure and drift away from you.
It is then possible to take the first principle, the world’s view, and combine it with my own personal view. For example, you can first set up your own mind, soul and body to be happy, and then only surround yourself with people who find you interesting, therefore your simple presence will make them happy. You have taken care of them and yourself.
I also believe that by surrounding yourself with people who share similar views that you can then become slightly clingy and needing from eachother. You can all share off of eachother’s energy, and no one ever needs to get drained.
For example, I am very much dependent on people reassuring me that I’m “doing a good job.” Whether it be with regards to my art or my job or my friendship or my love, I need to be told that I’m pleasing them. A person like me can be extremely taxing on a friendship, if it weren’t for the fact that it takes only the smallest amount of reassurance from people to satisfy me, and in turn I provide my readers with wonderful stories, my employer with over the top notch performance, my friends with hilarious hijinks and weekend excursions, and my loves with amazing surprises and magick.
These are many of my theories, sort of “wrapped up.” I find them to be the basis for much of my own personal religion.
Of course, I also like to draw pentagrams and go around wearing t-shirts that say “Pagans have more fun.” So in the end, it’s anyone’s guess.
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