It’s all about perspective.
The world and its forms are all illusions in the sense that there are so many worlds within this world. Reality changes depending on the perspective you are using to look at it from. The beach looks very different to an ant, a dog, and a human.
I’ll let you in on another secret: there are two of me. Probably many more depending on one’s perspective, but there are two of me that I deal with.
There is the me who, when left to his own devices, wanders off to dream worlds and who can build up rage and wrath to epic proportions without too much interference from others. And then, there’s the me who, when forced to talk, is only mean when taken by surprise – of course, the surprise is usually felt more by the other guy – and generally likes people – giving them the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many times they try to rip it from me.
One of me is a warrior and the other a teddy bear. For those who have only met one, they are often very surprised by the other. Of course my warrior may be another person’s good day.
When I first started working in an all women’s kitchen in India, they asked Amma if it was okay and she said, don’t worry, his mind doesn’t work like that. What? I thought, either Amma is just trying to make the ladies feel at ease, or the other guys have some seriously unimaginable issues. Later, I started to gather that Amma just knew that no matter how many desires might flow through me, I’m not one to act on them.
I love alone time, but I know that it’s better if that time is limited due to my over active imagination. If I’m busy, I’m pretty efficient. If I’m not, I can pull problems out of the ether. Last year, I had a couple of unexpected days off in a secluded spot away from prying voices, on tour in India. After years of refusing to put any games on my cellphone, I just needed something to pass the time, and so I added solitaire.
Of course, like any game that you have easy access to, it became a quick addiction. I often checked the stats to see how well I was doing and was surprised that I was only winning 43% of the time. It didn’t feel right. Slowly, after an intensive investigation, I discovered that the game was adding a loss every time I turned it off. If I didn’t hit the next game button and instead, checked my stats, a loss was added. If I won one game and then I stopped playing, it would record a win and a loss.
This has nothing to do with perspective. This is just facts. The game was made to be played by humans seeking to waste their time. There were rules to this thing. As you can see, this is the highly competitive, alone time, warrior me.
I can’t tell you how much joy this stats error took from me. Suddenly I couldn’t give myself as completely to the game as I did before. The stats, that nobody was ever going to see, were not keeping proper score of how I wasted my time. This was unacceptable.
Solitaire is the ultimate, waste your alone time game. You don’t get smarter from it. There are very few strategies that you can work out. It is just the luck of the draw. And yet, I was so upset by it not keeping an accurate score of my time that my joy was taken away.
I took about six months off from my blog because I’d realized that I was not gaining anything from it. Although it was just a hobby, I wanted a return on my time. I wanted people to read my stories and give loving and glowing feedback. When I realized that I had largely no connection with most of the people reading me, because I didn’t even know who they were, I just stopped.
Also, certain elected officials whose perspective I just couldn’t understand, were causing me to hate social media altogether. I would think of them as stupid and then realized that I was doing the same things myself, and so I just allowed it all to slip away. Actually, as most of it goes, I just pressed delete.
While we’re on the subject, and so technically not a digression, I wonder what perspective the leaders of the House and Senate are using that allows them to go from conservatives wanting to take us back 50 years in time, to radicals wanting to bring back to the middle ages. Could it be that this is the secret tactic being used to combat ISIS? You can only fight fire with fire? You can only fight warriors using a middle age ideology with another middle age ideology? Or perhaps it’s just the power perspective. Once you gain power, it doesn’t really matter what ideology you preached, your only mission becomes holding on to the power gained.
I have heard rumbles in my comment section about the lack of a Like Button. I nuked the button. I knew that many people simply like blogs in their WordPress Reader without actually ever reading the article and that annoyed me. But more than that, I don’t have any connection with random gravatars. I wanted to know who was reading. It is possible that people are actually reading this in their emails, but it’s a little hard for me to believe that it wouldn’t just go straight to spam after awhile. So the only people that I really feel any connection with are those who are leaving comments.
See, if I am left to my own devices, in the silence, I will nuke everything. The Like Button, My Facebook, and Twitter accounts, My Youtube and even My Blog. I will even nuke in person relationships, but then I see those people again and put the pieces back together. Because I have a few connections by way of the blog, I keep it going.
I’ve started writing again and it is mostly about perspective. That is what the Painting Our Illusions series means to me. You might notice that the header images are mostly random close ups. This is just to go along with the theme of looking at things in a different way.
Eight years ago, before I moved to India, I used to stare at the wall and think, is this all that life has to offer? Now, I never think is this all, but where is this headed? What is the difference between the ambitious person and the apathetic one? They both end up in the same place eventually. No one can hold on to power forever. Our bodies are fragile, feeble things and eventually it catches up with us all. I’m not sure what I expected to get out of life, but I do know that I have to stop keeping score. Death is coming for us all and when it comes for me, I’m pretty sure that my blog stats and how I raged against the machine will be irrelevant. Ultimately, we are remembered by how we affected others. And eventually we are all forgotten.
But, of course, after I die, I might realize just how limited my perspective was… or I’ll just fade to black, and that will be that.