Thoughts on wisdom

  • Wisdom is happiness. 
  • YOLO is not. Don’t live life fast chasing fun will not lead to happiness. It will feel good, but the thrill is addicting, and mental addiction is the opposite of wisdom. 
  • The goal of wisdom – and the result, is everlasting mental, and spiritual freedom. 
  • To start, think about what makes you happy. Seek to understand that. 
  • But, go deeper than that. Seek to overcome the insecurities that are keeping you from being happy – why do you want what you want? 
  • Got to be confident to do that. So find something to be confident in. 
  • Build a skill. A sport, play an instrument, write or paint, box or wrestle. If you don’t know what to do, get good at lifting weights. 
  • If you do have a hobby and skill you work at, you should still lift weights. 
  • Be positive. 
  • You can always choose your attitude. Choosing to be angry toward others is a deadly sin – meaning it destroys the soul. 
  • The soul is your capacity to be happy. Don’t destroy it. 
  • Also, being positive is just fun. Other people appreciate it. 
  • Develop social skills. Learn to talk to strangers, flirt, speak. Practice. 
  • Social skills aren’t completely necessary to develop wisdom. But you need to have monk-like discipline if you plan to develop wisdom without social skill. These skills help with confidence, pressing others to learn from their wisdom and challenge your own, overcoming insecurities, and finding love. 
  • Social skills, like all skills, develop with repetition. 
  • But not mindless repetition. Old people hit the Elliptical machine all the time and don’t lose weight. People drive every day and remain awful drivers. 
  • Conscious thought needs to go into your reps. You get stronger at the gym by adding weight to the barbell. You become better at skills by thinking about your failures and doing it differently next time. 
  • Social skills, overcoming wants, everything I talk about here, requires work. Most of it is internal, rather than external. 
  • External work can take away from internal work that’s more important. Don’t let it. 
  • Don’t be slothful. 
  • John Milton said, “He who reigns within himself and rules passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.” 
  • Insecurities are fears. Am I good enough for him? Am I good enough for her? Don’t have any of these. 
  • It’s only after you overcome your insecurities that you know the “real you”. 
  • Don’t be arrogant, vain. While it is not weakness in ability, it presents a weakness of the mind, and the spirit. 
  • Be honest in all you do. 
  • That’s why “just act yourself” is poor advice, unless you’re so wise as to understand it means to act uninhibited, with virtue and courage. 
  • Virtue? How’s that fit in? 
  • The first part of John Milton’s speech – passions, desires. Money, fame, women, drugs, rock n roll, status. Power. These are all things we get passionate about, that instill desire. That desire seeks to have power over us. 
  • That desire – that temptation toward passion or things or feelings, in Christian terms, is demonic. The demon tempts. 
  • Christianity is true. 
  • When someone or something has power over us, we aren’t free to live how we want. 
  • Institutions, people, do not have your interest in mind. 
  • They are out to profit, to meet an admissions metric, and to look good for their boss. Mostly, they are out to make themselves look good to others so that they then feel good. 
  • The narcissist, the adolescent, does this. He puts on an external appearance to protect an inner ego. Without the good looks, the money, the status, the narcissist is alone. And the narcissist is not cool with that. 
  • Do not envy what others have. 
  • The wise man is happy alone. He is content with what he has, no matter how much or little. 
  • Material things – promiscuous sex, status, wealth – these are all advertised to us because they feel good. Because they make us feel good, when we are rewarded with these pleasures, it doesn’t make us not want them, it makes us want more. 
  • “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25
  • Do not be gluttonous. 
  • When something internal has power over us, we aren’t free to feel how we want. 
  • Our own psychology doesn’t have our interest in mind. I’m interested in happiness. Our own psychology drives us to survive and reproduce, not to be happy. 
  • Intimacy is a great thing. But it can distract from internal wisdom. Don’t let it. Enjoy your relationships, enjoy sex. But don’t be left wanting. 
  • Never want. Never lust. 
  • “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” – Matthew 7:13
  • Most of us work our whole lives at a corporation so we can retire in a modest home and live like bums – sleeping in, reading, writing, hanging with family, and fishing. You can do that now. 
  • There’s an old fable of an Indian Chief. “Indian Chief “Two Eagles was asked by a white U.S. government official, “You have observed the white man for 90 years.  You’ve seen his wars and his technological advances. You’ve seen his progess, and the damage he’s done.” 

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?”

The Chief stared at the government official then replied,

“When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water.  Women do all the work, medicine man free, Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing all night having sex.”

Then the Chief leaned back and smiled, “Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”

  • That’s how the proverb ends. I propose an addendum. 
  • “Then the white man leaned back and smiled, “Only Indian man dumb enough to think he could maintain a beautiful system like that without having to fight for it.” 
  • You can be happy by yourself, meditating and virtuous, but the system you create that allows for that can come under threat. You can be happy, but if you want more people to experience that happiness, you need to help them. 
  • Material power doesn’t bring freedom. 
  • “Thereupon many statesmen and philosophers came to Alexander with their congratulations, and he expected that Diogenes of Sinope also, who was tarrying in Corinth, would do likewise. But since that philosopher took not the slightest notice of Alexander, and continued to enjoy his leisure in the suburb Craneion, Alexander went in person to see him, and he found him lying in the sun. Diogenes raised himself up a little when he saw so many people coming towards him, and fixed his eyes upon Alexander. And when that monarch addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, “Yes,” said Diogenes, “stand a little out of my sun.” It is said that Alexander was so struck by this, and admired so much the haughtiness and grandeur of the man who had nothing but scorn for him, that he said to his followers, who were laughing and jesting about the philosopher as they went away, “But truly, if I were not Alexander, I wish I were Diogenes.” and Diogenes replied “If I wasn’t Diogenes, I would be wishing to be Diogenes too.” – Wikipedia
  • How do you remove the shackles of passion and desire? 
  • Don’t be greedy. Stop wanting things. 
  • How do you stop wanting things? 
  • The stoics said to practice discipline. The stoics were very smart. 
  • “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” – Seneca
  • Smart people, talented people, people with everything, have said to be virtuous. 
  • “Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience.” – Beethoven
  • Jesus, Christians, and other religious people have recommended virtue, which is the antithesis of vice. Many Christians were very smart. 
  • “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:38
  • Most of religion is exactly this. The scripture is a how-to guide on how to be happy. 
  • Being virtuous is hard. It takes practice. Religion gives us a helping hand. 
  • God gives us strength. We ask him for strength. He reminds us when we slip, and he’s there to reward us when we do the right thing. 
  • What’s the right thing? Being virtuous, following his commandments, not giving into vice. 
  • Be like Jesus. 
  • When we want to behave like Jesus, we want to be virtuous. 
  • When we want to be virtuous, we should try to act virtuous – like Jesus. 
  • When we act like Jesus, we do all the things that will keep us happy. 
  • Not just a momentary pleasure, but an unbreakable joy – that no one can take away from you. 
  • It’s everlasting joy. It’s heaven on Earth. And God is with you. 

Day 2 of the Quarantine

Yo! Today is day two of the stay-at-home-except-to-go-to-the-store quarantine. I’m loving it. I’ve got good books. My brothers are here to hang. I’ve got good food, and a lot of it. And I can write. And I’ve got some thoughts. 

With that, a poem: 

Plague

Corona virus is a terrible plague

Sent from God he’s no longer being vague

He wants you to denounce old sick ways

So that your moral soul will not decay

 

We are all materialistic slaves

But the road to riches is brightly paved

Not in gold or green but with virtue

Which we can celebrate under curfew

 

It’s this virtue that overcomes all wants

Want for wealth and sex will no longer haunt

Mind and body when you choose otherwise

Just follow the Lord, and life never dies

 

Fire and brimstone are being thrown at us

Read old books and celebrate Christmas!

 

 

Corona virus isn’t a terrible plague in the numbers it’s killing. It’s a bad illness as far as that goes. It’s a terrible plague because of what it’s doing to the financial markets. That’s a plague I can get on board with. 

Yeah, I’m rooting for destruction to the financial markets. Fuck your money. 

The financial markets have been ruining people for decades. The markets promised baby boomers hope as they worked for decades to make a strong retirement: images of beaches and fast cars and fine wine. These cars and wine were sold as happiness. Without these, there is no happiness. That’s how they were sold. 

The generation skipped morality and boosted divorce rates, single-parent homes, adultery, and time spent in the office. Morality, Chistian values couldn’t compete with the shiny television ads that targeted, with precision, the insecurities of these aging heathens. Their lust for power, status, and sex had been building along with an economy that depended on these lusts since their youth. It became louder with each new technology they saw introduced. 

Millennials are next. There’s some hope that our generation can turn away – we can drop our hope in the financial markets to save us. This is my call to action: stop depending on financial markets for your happiness. 

My call to action is easy. I’m just asking that you stop doing something. We’re all so lazy (I read Netflix-use statistics). You don’t need to do anything. Millennials have been brainwashed to lust after sex and status from the moment they were born into this world by indoctrinated parents. They have a lot of unlearning to do, but this financial destruction is good for our souls. 

What’s going to happen long term?

One of two things will happen. The markets will be flooded with cheap injections by the Federal Reserve and things will slowly ramp up to where they have been. That will only happen if enough money is injected and confidence is restored. I don’t think that will happen. I think most boomers will be too timid to inject money back into a system they know can take it all away in a moment. That’s a lot of money that won’t make its way back into the markets. Also, buyers would have to get back to buying, and buying everything. Jobs would have to rebound so people can spend. 

Another option, one I’m rooting for, is a revolution of sorts. I want people to see the follies of their trust in an external system. I want people to turn toward the values I recommend and Jesus practiced. 

If this happens, we would see smaller communities built on trust and helping each other. The building of small, self-sufficient economies that would survive a strong downturn. 

As far as the day-to-day, life is good. I’m excited to be “working from home” I mean working from home. I’ve got books to read, starting with Dune. Let me know what you’re reading. I’m barely talking to people so I’d like to hear from you 😉 

How do you have fun these days? 

The quarantine is an  opportunity. A long one, it turns out. Read, do pushups and sprints, get some sun, and write out your thoughts. Don’t write for attention, just write because it’s a healthy way to meditate and articulate your thoughts. And to synthesize thoughts from all the reading you’re doing, which should be a lot. Call your family and tell them you love them. Strengthen the relationships you do have. Hold everything you have close, and be grateful for it. 

Come out of this corona thing stronger than you were. Remember, it’s strength that allows you to endure pain, including tough times. Be strong mentally, physically, and emotionally, and you are king. Or queen. Ladies. 

I want revolution. I want the financial markets to be destroyed, along with trillions in retirement plans. And yet, I’m an optimist. 

More individuals will find happiness as they are shown the false promises of glory that are advertisements for material things and beautiful retirements. Don’t wait for retirement. Be happy now. Be happy by not wanting things. Stop depending on financial markets, and everything else external for your joy. Love yourself, Christ, and others.