Saturday, June 28, 2008

How is simple?

In recent times I've experienced uncertainty and random confusion. My objectives seem clear and unclear at the same time, which makes it difficult to cope with even the ordinary details of my everyday life. I find it hard to distinguish what matters and what doesn't in my life right now. How serious should I take life's constant way of throwing stones my way.
Well, then I heard that one of the best ways to cope with this moments is to make your everyday life as simple as possible. The possible benefit from this is supposed to help me not to feel overwhelmed with daily life.

So I gave this some thought and like a lot of times when we humans try to solve a problem, we tend to ask in this moment what is simple or what is simplicity?

Dictionaries, lexicas, and Wikipedia offer a few explanations, one of them is this:
  • "simplicity is the property of a domain which requires very little information to be exhaustively described. The opposite of simplicity is complexity." -- haha, thanks for the hint, asshole!
So far so good. Or not?! Because the real question, the real challenge is how is simple. How do you or I do simple.

Theory vs. action - the infinite challenge. I ask this because ultimately that's where the crux is in this matter. Understanding is one thing, theoretically being able to understand, but to really practice or perform the difference between theory and reality is to be able to distinguish in your actions and consequently in your thoughts, and your mind: "What is the next simple step in my life? How will it look like?" rather than pondering over a theoretical equasion that ultimately will stay a theoretical one unless it is transformed into the clear and into action.

To understand is not to change. To understand is to draw an inner map of the world, such as a real map is the blueprint of the shape of land and water. But it is not the land or the water itself. It is a picture, a cenceptual understanding of it. The map helps us as a device for orientation, but it is not the act of walking through the streets of New York City for example. Understanding obviously is beneficial in quite a lot of our situations in our lives, and in the way that our world is set up. But it can only help us so and so much, we still need to walk ourselves to get to the place we desire to be at.

Honestly though, I believe that sometimes the understanding of things can be in your way of actual change. You may wonder what I mean with this and I will try to explain. The world how we perceive it, appears to us in our mind through our thinking. It is a direct result of our thinking. Our thinking is shaped through our experiences throughout our life, our enculturization (a part of our ever ongoing process of socialization), and the things we say we know. But this knowledge inevitably at some points in our lives every once in a while may also stand in our way of seeing what really is. Behind our shaped concepts of postmodern and post-postmodern, or even our integral-transcendental views on life. Zen says, cut through the thinking-mind and your mind becomes clear like a mirror and you will see what is: a tree is a tree, the sky is blue.

Where does this take me: I don't know. I am thinking this probably might not the best time to make changes. But what do I do with the changes around me and in me? I don't know. I guess I'll just sit with it for a while.


John said...

Okay... From my view, you already have a simplified life.

There are definitely challenges you face (e.g., living in a new place and sharing a home with four other people), but there's also a level of simplicity that many of us don't have. You don't currently have to work a full-time job, for example. You don't have to pay a car payment, a mortgage, or homeowner's insurance, or the cable bill, the electric bill, or the other expenses that come with living in and maintaining a home.

This financial freedom gives you the opportunity to spend much more time on things like your education, personal growth, exercise, or any number of things that many people have little or no time to focus on on because they're spending so much time working just to pay the bills and break even.

That, my friend, is simplicity--and it's a position that very few people find themselves in. You should enjoy it and make the most of it, because it won't last forever!

i.Integral said...

I think I see where you come from John, but financial freedom is not what I was talking about specifically. I agree the circumstances you refer to in your comment may seem simple to you and they are to a certain extent, I have to agree.

Although if you think this a little further down the rabbit hole, it poses other limitations that might sound "cute" to someone "stuck" a world of "car payment, a mortgage, or homeowner's insurance, or the cable bill, the electric bill, et cetera", but there are limitations I am sure you can think of yourself too, considering I don't have the income of a full-time job and consequently and rely on others for my food. Just an example.