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Sunday, January 6, 2008 - 02:46 PM


Lisa Simpson- "Oh, we can take anything. We’re the MTV generation. We feel neither highs nor lows"

Homer-"How does that feel?"

Lisa (with an expression of boredom)- *shrugs* Eh

The joke in that brief aside from the Simpsons is the idea that to be "even" or balanced is a bad thing. The 'highs and lows' Lisa refers to seems to be something we all need to strive for. Well, I guess we all really strive for the 'highs' and then run like hell from the 'lows'. In fact, i think it would be safe to say that most peoples ideas of heaven are some form of feeling the highs with absolutely no risk of suffering the lows. We try to make ourselves feel good almost constantly, and if we cant feel good we at least want to avoid that most dreaded of states, being bored.

Being bored seems to be the worst thing that could ever happen to most people. They would much rather do something harmful to themselves (or others) than risk the dreaded state of boredom for even a moment! Sadly no one thing can ever fulfill that need constantly. Sure skydiving, getting high, or having crazy sex alleviates the boredom, but nothing ever seems to work for long. In fact, I would say that we spend far more time trying to reach that state of being 'entertained' than we do actually feeling it! Why cant we just feel good all the time!? Why can we just spring out of bed and be thrilled and enthralled by light on the wall or the sound of water dripping from our faucets? Why, now that were asking, do we want to be excited at all?

In nature excitement is frightening. An elk spends the vast majority of its time simply eating and relaxing, the most stressful times in its life are when it is fighting rivals, having baby elks, wooing mates, or fleeing predators. For those brief instances the elk (and all wild animals) are pretty much in hell. Their lives are disrupted, their world unsure and deadly and the longer it lasts the more distraught they become. Spooked horses have even been observed running themselves to death. Frankly, in nature, excitement sucks. So imagine how lucky we are that we can derive the sensations of a wild animal fearing for its life without even actually being in danger! In fact we spend a huge amount of time trying to simulate a condition that 99% of the creatures on this planet strive to avoid at all costs! WHY?

Well, in Buddhism there is a theory about why we seek to constantly ride an emotional roller-coaster. In very brief terms the idea is this; We all want to believe that there is a real thing we all call "Me". We want to believe that "Me" is the same today as it was yesterday and will be tommorrow. We need to believe in 'Me" so badly that the second we sit still and feel the world as it really is without all our fears, hopes, wants, dislikes, and desires we become terribly afraid! We fear that without that constant stimulus, that without the drama of survival that maybe. . . maybe. .we wont really exist anymore! Its so common that almost every person who begins meditation has a moment of fear, what if I stop being 'myself' we all wonder, what if I become so unattached that i cease to be who I think I really am!!! I did it, everyone I know who meditates regularly did it, if you begin meditation chances are you will have that fear at least once.

Our brains are wonderful things, but if there is a downside to being so smart its that we concieve of dangers that dont (and never will) exist. That fear of disappearing is one of them and our minds run from it like fearful animals fleeing a thunderclap.

When the buddha said that "all life is suffering" its important to note that he never said "life makes you suffer" because suffering isnt something that happens outside and then smacks you in the head. Suffering is what happens IN your head when the world isnt the way you want it to be. Being afraid of being bored is the same thing. No one has ever died of boredom while countless multitudes have died running from it. The sad thing is that that middle ground, that area with neither high nor low is actually the real world. Its the part that you wake up in, eat your cornflakes in, take a shit in, walk outside in, go to work in, and 99% of your life in! Whats pathetic is that THATS what were running from! The vast majority of our lives, our miraculous, unique, fleeting lives is that even keel and we WASTE so much of it running away! Wishing for it to be other than what it clearly, really, truly IS! How wonderful would it be if we could appreciate all those moments?

I dont mean wake up and brush your teeth with tears of joy running down your face, but why not appreciate that moment that allows you to brush your teeth? to appreciate the teeth, the brush, the hand holding it, the water you rinse with and the smoothness of your teeth when your done? Why not take a second to look at the neat way a tree is silhouetted against the sky or the interesting way that cat is chilling on a windowstill? Do you think those moments will ever occur again the same way? ever? Every second you live is the one second you have TO live. If you really really want to spend it watching TV or being drunk or wallowing in the drama of your lovelife then by all means enjoy, but I hate to burst your bubble, none of that stuff is going to keep you happy, content, or healthy.

Reality is all around you always. Its wonderful and amazing but to see it you need to turn off the false front we all throw up in front of it. I promise that your brain and personality wont go away at all, in fact you might just find that your real, true, original face is a damn sight more appealing than the one we put on all day trying to stave off *gasp* boredom!

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“Boring” Comments

murphyd70 said on Monday, January 7, 2008 - 07:34 AM

"Never take the simple things in life for granted."

This is a great place to start looking at the snow in the trees, the animals in the field on the side of the road, or the taste of a raspberry in January! Mindfulness rules!

As always, thank you for sharing Jason.

anthony01Artist said on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 06:58 PM

Somebody give Jason a "HELL YEAH"!!!!!

PDCastello said on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 11:34 AM

I think this might be the thing that I am right now and have been for some time. I used to look for the constant high of something more bigger and better. I did it trough religion. Nothing was ever good enough and I wanted something that was MORE, nothing satisfied me. Then I got burned out...

Now I really see the difference when I look at my friend who was with me on that quest. He still just wants something more all the time. I said to him that why dont we take a road trip to Denmark sometime because it could be cool. He didnt want to do it but wanted to go to India and climb some mountains! Or go exploring in the rain forest! Bull run in Pamplona! Or... You get the point.

And when looking this and thinking about tattooing, I guess Rus is right when he said that I dont need to understand those things. I guess im still the same searcher that wants to find more and more. Not that everything would be because of that, but partly. So maybe I dont have to REALLY know why tattoos are good in artists eyes, because im not a artist. I think its enough if I have some idea and just enjoy the ride. As I have done on so many other things.

Good blog Jason. Thanks.

PDCastello said on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 07:53 AM

And I can relate to not wanting to comment on things that much. I used to spend HOURS arguing on line about politics and stuff, but then I realised I havent actually DONE anything. So I cut it down like 95%. This quote from crimethinc article says it best.

Quote Crimethinc - Your Politics Are Boring As Fuck:
To make this concrete for a moment: an afternoon of collecting food from businesses that would have thrown it away and serving it to hungry people and people who are tired of working to pay for food—that is good political action, but only if you enjoy it. If you do it with your friends, if you meet new friends while you're doing it, if you fall in love or trade funny stories or just feel proud to have helped a woman by easing her financial needs, that's good political action. On the other hand, if you spend the afternoon typing an angry letter to an obscure leftist tabloid objecting to a columnist's use of the term "anarcho-syndicalist," that's not going to accomplish shit, and you know it.

PDCastello said on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 07:54 AM

Fuck!! I was suposed to that comment on the Vacations all i ever wanted blog :D

PDCastello said on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 03:38 PM

I read this again and showed it to my friend. Great stuff Jason.

PDCastello said on Thursday, July 17, 2008 - 02:36 PM

I read this, again...

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