Archmaras' Training Journal

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Archmaras Tyden created the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

I've never really been one for journals or diaries, I always forget to update them or don't know what to say, but I've noticed something about myself. I am a judging type (Meyers Briggs) which means:

The following statements generally apply to me:
I like to have things decided.
I appear to be task oriented.
I like to make lists of things to do.
I like to get my work done before playing.
I plan work to avoid rushing just before a deadline.
Sometimes I focus so much on the goal that I miss new information.


The important ones being "I like to have things decided." and "Sometimes I focus so much on the goal that I miss new information." because it means that I am not as in the moment and present as I should be and am always off in my own headspace planning and making conclusions about new information instead of just letting it wash over me. I'm going to try something new where I attempt to not make conclusions until it is time to write things down in my journal after work or until I am asked to do so and we'll see how it goes. Will this be a help or a hindrance? Will it make me more aware or just more aloof? I have no idea, but it's better to try and know than to not know at all. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
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Archmaras Tyden replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

Lets Try typing all this again since I got logged out before it sent, and I lost it all.

I'm going short version this time though.
Yesterday was tough on all fronts. I bit off more than I can chew trying to stay in the moment all day, this is going to be a long process. I did notice that while I was in the moment solid judgements would pop into my head without thinking about them. This is strange for someone that overanalyzes everything to make sure a judgement is so. I also noticed that trying to stay in the moment was exhausting, I don't know if it's where I'm unused to it or if there was something unrelated causing the exhaustion, but I was twice as tired yesterday as I should have been. Thirdly, and I find this strange, while I typically use being in the moment and centering myself to alleviate my anger, I found that staying in the moment made it easier for my anger to spike in the first place. I'm not sure if my anger is a psychological issue or a physiological one, but I plan to see a doctor about it.

Also, while I couldn't keep my mind centered on the moment, partially due to anger, I did come up with some ideas that on a cursory examination seem sound, but I'm unsure how to implement them in a practical way. All emotional suffering comes from a desire to control, or a desire for freedom. When we desire to control anything right anyone instead of "communing" with it, it frustrates us when it doesn't do what we want. Someone makes you angry it's because you want to control them by placing your value system upon them. Don't cut people off on the road, say sorry if you run into someone, stop talking are all examples of trying to control what we cannot and we become frustrated and angry when we fail to. This may include our own minds or bodies, I'm unsure. I'm completely at a loss for what to do about the desire for freedom except a life of service freely given, but that brings up the question of who to serve when there is a conflict of interests, how to choose without self, and whether it is ok to serve self sometimes.

At the end of the night I had two coworkers arguing with me trying to convince me that "good" is a fictional idea based on genetic programming to preserve the species. One is a good man in a very dark place, and I'm trying to help him through it, but it's hard to help someone see hope when they've given up. The other man is so prejudiced against everything that is t him it's a miracle he can function in society.
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Archmaras Tyden replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

Today was an unmitigated failure. Every time I try to be in the moment I became so exhausted I could not function. I even tried meditating when I got home and kept falling asleep to the point where I could not even finish my meditation. I feel I need to get to the bottom of this.

Also I meant to add yesterday that I do not know how to answer their claims of "good" being a fictitious idea. I know their claims are false, but I do not know how to intellectually refute something so fundamental.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

Re: NOW situation
If you are not used to maintaining 'being in the NOW' or any other heightened state of Being / activity (physical, mental, or spiritual) then, it is no wonder you are having fatigue and 'failure to maintain'. As cool as the Dhali Lama is, he can't maintain his extremely high levels of DL-ness 24/7/365... after all, he IS human.

Someone asked Eckhart Tolle what is the secret to enlightenment. He said, “I don’t mind how things are.”

If you are having to 'work hard' to get into the NOW of things... then you are forcing... which means your personal energy flows get tangled up; your head spins about trying to 'control' the situation and *boom* before pea soup spews forth... you have lost any chance of being serene and calm and 'in the Moment'. And, like all good vicious circles, the more you stress over it; the worse it can get.

Let us face facts -- this whole enlightened / Jedi this is a game of effort. If you put a lifetime of effort into feeling miserable, you might have to put a lot of effort now into feeling better. No different if you spent years gaining weight. It does not 'go away' over a weekend. It takes time and effort and patience. Nice thing about NOW-ness, is you can do that now. You do not have to wait and it can start with a deep breath. You are experiencing life. You are living this beautiful existence you are sharing with us all.

Take another deep, slow breath. 5 seconds of calm and NOW-ness? Beats none at all. And, from 5 comes 6, then 10, then minutes and so on and so forth. Time and patience. Every second you aren't stressing out is a win, right?

* * *

Now, as I noted before -- even doing 'mental work' can actually be exhausting. When one focuses on something, one is making ones brain "work" the cells. And those cells are using more energy so, holding a single thought on something / meditating on 'nothingness' / holding to a NOW-state of mind can be quite hard on the brain and cause post exertional symptoms. Ain't being organic great!

If you are getting that wigged out, "get away from this" sensation from any activity (mental or physical), it is probably a good idea to back off from it. I know how much that stinks, but that sensation / fatigue usually ends up being a 'signal' that you are pushing into dangerous territory. (ie. either pushing too hard, taking on more than your system can handle at the time, etc.)

Just like physical muscles which need time to 'recover and repair' after a solid workout; your brain needs a similar 'down time' / recovery period. You may need to give your brain some time off to replenish it's stores. You may be able to meditate more naturally later on so long as you don't overdo it and give yourself more days off in between.

We talk about using our own energies to *do* these things. There is also drawing upon the environment and 'universal' sources of energies. Consider your body and mind as like a rechargeable battery. And just like a rechargeable battery, the illusion of having some charge again is not actually the same as being fully charged. When you try to jump back in too soon, your mental stamina drains away in a flash and you are left with a sad state of affairs. Fatigue, anxiety, and not being able to 'maintain' is all from a depleted battery level.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

Re: Good Argument...

The objective theory holds that the good is neither an attribute of “things in themselves” nor of man’s emotional states, but an evaluation of the facts of reality by man’s consciousness according to a rational standard of value. (Rational, in this context, means: derived from the facts of reality and validated by a process of reason.) The objective theory holds that the good is an aspect of reality in relation to man — and that it must be discovered, not invented, by man.

Fundamental to an objective theory of values is the question: Of value to whom and for what? An objective theory does not permit context-dropping or “concept-stealing”; it does not permit the separation of “value” from “purpose,” of the good from beneficiaries, and of man’s actions from reason - Ayn Rand

All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it is the evil. - Ayn Rand

Good and Evil are first and foremost evaluations of events, actions, people among other things. A thing is what it is. If it serves a beneficial purpose for the rational man, it is good; it does the opposite, it is evil.

A business man who takes enormous risks, develops and markets a new product that is liked and consumed by millions of customers whose life was made a little easier by that product is a Good man.

A business man, who borrows money from investors on one hand and pays out dividends to others from the same money; keeps the pyramid scheme going; thereby destroying wealth is an Evil man.

A group of people who come together and declare that man possess individual rights and is beholden to no other; and form a country on that notion are Good men.

A man who explicitly declares that the Aryan race is superior and should rule the planet and then proceeds to systematically kill people from other races is an Evil man.


Good and evil (as terms) are constructs of human intelligence and language. But it is not enough to simply say they are purely human. An alien visitor might also comprehend the terms -- which suggest they could have the capacity to exist independent of human thought. Equally, an advanced AI that developed its own morality (rather than having it programmed) might also comprehend the terms, either as facets of human behaviour or as a facet of its own behaviour.

As our ideas of good and evil behaviour seem strongly rooted in empathy, it might imply that any creature capable of empathy could have some rudimentary understanding of good and evil that coincides with ours. Lots of animals exhibit some signs of empathy towards others (and towards us) and I have no doubt they have some very basic ‘understanding of’, or capacity to at least recognize, the difference between what we might call a good person who treats other creatures well and an evil person who treats them badly.

Now, to get very fatalistic about it all...
'Good' and 'Bad' are purely a human constructs; they do not exist in the Universe and therefore have no meaning in nature. Nature's purpose on Earth is to ensure the continuation and preservation of life and as life is contained in (organic) organisms, the more varied it is, the better its chance of survival.

Nature's method of ensuring that life continues is by distributing and redistributing / cycling and recycling organic material -- ie. nutrients. That is why all living organisms live for a period and then die, so that the nutrients they ingested in order to grow and recreate (propagate in order to ensure the continuation of their particular kind) are broken down and "renewed" by other living organisms, by becoming part of the living organisms that ingest them.

How these nutrients are recycled is not the issue, as long as they are eventually recycled.

If life were to disappear from planet Earth, it would not impact upon the rest of the Universe in any way at all. The existence of life on Earth is neither good nor bad: it is simply another way of expressing energy and, as we know, energy can take on many forms, from the movement of microscopic particles to the unimaginably huge explosions that occur in space.

Man is simply another form of the expression of life (energy); just another link in the cycling and recycling of nutrients. What mankind does is thus of no import at all. If he manages to obliterate life on Earth, it will not matter in the least; energy will either express itself in another way or refashion life somewhere else.

* * *
Should we strive to be 'good'? Or push to be 'a decent person'?

Being genuinely “good” means that we do the nice things we do because we want to do them. Good Samaritans are known for doing remarkable acts of kindness in extraordinary situations, but the majority of our experiences are more personal and reserved. Some people in this world are truly altruistic and unfettered by unsatisfying reactions to their good deeds no matter the person. I am not always one of those people. So how far should we strive to be “good” people? Should we consider striving to be “decent” people instead?

If your personal philosophy involves striving for nothing short of excellence, “decent” sounds like a defeatist term that is very close to “average,” at best. When you think of someone who is “decent,” you’re thinking of someone who is simply a little more than tolerable. Decent people may or may not be genuinely “kind,” and they may or may not be the self-sacrificing Samaritans you look up to, either. In other words, “decent” people are fine, but they are not impacting.

BUT (heh... there is always a but lurking about...), there is a reason why I feel the same way when people say they are “good” people as I do when people describe themselves as “wise.” Such descriptions should speak for themselves, for one. My friends and family are good people, but whether or not I am a good person too depends on what someone else considers “good.” To some, I am. To others, I am not.

Most importantly, goodness never reaches a saturation point. Kind of the same way that learning and 'growing wiser' is a life-long process. We should always try to be as good as we can be, but we should also reflect with ourselves just why we want to do the things we do. Are we truly being nice, or are we trying to prove something to ourselves?

“Decency” acknowledges the merit of good deeds while also acknowledging the honesty of human behavior. It acknowledges that going out of your way for others is not always a route you should take for your own sanity and that some people are simply not worth it. “Decency” acknowledges that sometimes you are wrong about yourself, but you respect yourself enough to let it improve you instead of demote you as a person. You can be decent and still do great things for others, but humbling yourself allows you to do good things because they are good, not because you are good. Most of all, decency gives you the humility to know that you will never stop learning how to be an even better person than yesterday. “Good” is terminal, but “decent” allows growth.

Calling yourself a “good” person is not a bad thing.
Take time to search within yourself with what it means to be a 'good person'. Do not be afraid to admit to yourself that sometimes you want your kindness or altruism to reap a certain benefit. Similarly, do not feel obligated to be kind in situations that may hurt you in the long run. Be honest and open with your intentions and your personal desires, because sometimes you absolutely have to put yourself first. If you let your actions speak for you and you are true to who you are as a person, your decency will be more than “decent” in the eyes of those who count.

... guess that kind of takes away a reason to argue over 'good' or 'bad' as motivations for our actions?
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Archmaras Tyden replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

I want to post today's journal before I forget my points by reading your replies, but I will come back and respond. Thank you for your obviously detailed responses.
Today I didn't do much "in the now"ing as I spent a large portion of the day just playing videogames (something I rarely get to do anymore.) but I made sure to practice a little when I went out to get food and I feel I may have found the reason I was struggling. I have been consciously focusing on what is around me, trying to take in every detail instead of letting it pass through a natural filter. I thought I was doing this, but in retrospect I was simply trying too hard for the wrong halfway goal. Before I continue I want to explain a discovery(?) that I made while out and about.
There are three truths to the life around you:
What people want you to think,
what you want to think,
and what is.

What People Want You To Think
Take the image in front of you right now for example. This article is what people (more specifically I) want you to think. I'm not trying to be persuasive, controlling, or manipulative, but I wouldn't put the journal to the public if I didn't intend people to read and think about it. Therefore by putting it into public, I'm asking you to put your mental efforts into comprehending my meaning. This is constantly being asked of us in our age.

Some examples would be:
Social Media


Entertainment

and Advertising


These are all ideas put forward so that our attention may be devoted to them and they make up the majority of what the average person accepts into their thoughts. These things are not bad to have around, or even participate in. It can actually be harmful when you don't allow the ideas of others to scratch the surface.

What You Want To Think
I'm hungry. I'm sleepy. I don't like what she's wearing. I definitely like what she's wearing! I'm bored. I'm excited. I'm full. These are all thoughts that are generated by and within ourselves. When we focus too much on our own ideas we cannot take in new information, only build on the information we have. I would argue that contemplative meditation is just as powerful and important as passive receptive meditation, however when it is all we do we sacrifice our minds to a cycle of "How do I feel about this?" "How do I make this practical?" "What happened when I acted upon my thought?" "How do I feel about this?" and without new information from the other two truths we will never break the cycle, and without fuel for our minds, it atrophies into stubbornness at best and cold heartedness at worst.

What Is.
The truth of "What is." is observing your surroundings without judgement, just taking it all in. Not reaching to see everything at once, but just letting it come to you and letting it take up space in your thoughts. It is there to add fuel to the second truth without the bias of the first truth. There's not much to say on this part, other than that, because I don't fully understand this one yet and its implications. That's what this journal's primary focus is.

Conclusion
Be aware that while we focus on any one truth we are neglecting both of the other truths in that thought process. If you are constantly telling people how to live or what you think about a topic then you will neglect to take in new information from the "what is." and their points of view in "What they want you to see.", if you are constantly watching tv, or playing video games, looking at Facebook, or reading a newspaper you are neglecting the "What do I think" and the "What is." principles, and if you are constantly just taking in the world around you without acknowledging what you or someone else thinks about it then you are neglecting the first two truths. Temporarily neglecting a truth in a thought stream is not a bad thing, and in fact, it is necessary to function properly, but we must remember to revisit those truths later to have a balanced healthy mind.
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Archmaras Tyden replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

The Good Debate:
If you expect something personal from doing a good deed does that not make it selfishness disguised instead?
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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

A very good questions to which I can only come up with another questions:
“Is the deed defined by its action or by its purpose, its intent?”
For me a good deed can and still is a good deed doesn’t matter the intent, the purpose one had in mind when doing it. But, obviously, the other way around it doesn’t work.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "We cannot control our emotions, but we can decide how we go along with them."
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Archmaras Tyden replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

To me, a good deed is only a beneficial action if there are no good intentions behind it. Intention makes all the difference. If you feed the poor so you can get a photo op you're not doing a good deed, you're doing a deed that looks good for personal gain.
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Archmaras Tyden replied the topic: Archmaras' Training Journal

As a general expansion of this journal I'm going to begin talking about things I'm having trouble with in daily life in the hopes that someone may come in with an answer or that using the journal as a sounding board produces an answer.

My latest problem, and if I'm honest the same problem I've had my whole life, has become "How do I make people do what I want without using force?" Something like leaving me alone is the most usual necessity.
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