"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." -Socrates

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Are We Slaves to the Future?

The weekend, retirement, vacation, completion of obligation. Armageddon, stock market crash, war, food shortage. When thinking about future events, we must realize that none of these things truly exist and are merely figments of our imagination. Proving a future event will occur is impossible, yet these illusions occupy so many of our thoughts. It's for this reason we are slaves to the future. How does this affect our daily lives? Do these anticipations benefit or hurt us?

Anticipating a future event for the sake of mentally traveling to another place in time to avoid the pain, monotony, anxiety, or boredom of the present is harmful. And, if we get in this habit, how easy it becomes to be in a time of leisure yet anticipating it's end, only to mentally project oneself forward to a time of obligation or duty. If we spend our time in this fashion, how can we experience any moment of life.?

However, these hopes for future events can be beneficial if their anticipation leads to a greater ability to experience them through planning and preparation.

These are somewhat basic concepts, but I wanted to write them as a reminder for myself and anyone else who desires a greater power over their mind.

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds."
-Bob Marley

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tolerance Levels of Living in the Moment

Why do some people feel a calling to travel and experience new and exciting things, while others are content with the same mediocre routines in which they’ve grown accustomed? Our past. Another way of wording the answer to this question would be our tolerance.

If you take drugs or alcohol, over time, your tolerance builds up and you need more drugs or alcohol to feel the same effects. This is the same as with life experiences. If you’ve lived your life without taking chances, entertained by technology with little or no effort, and are limited in what you’ve done in the past, you’re tolerance for pleasure, entertainment, and contentment would be relatively low next to someone who’s traveled to exotic destinations and had extraordinary experiences.

We all have a desire to appreciate every minute of every day and every second of every minute. But, as we all know, this is quite challenging. It’s for this reason we enjoy thrill rides, travel, and realistic video games. These things force us to concentrate solely on the moment without giving attention to the past or future. But, to live in the moment is more difficult to those who have built up their tolerance to life experiences.

So who’s better: A person enthralled by video games and television, or someone who requires travel and new and exhilarating things to get this feeling of living in the moment? I believe neither one of these is better or worse, though one is certainly easier. But, at the end of one’s life, will an easier past be viewed as ideal?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A World Without Money

Is it possible? What would it look like? Would a world without money be Communist? These are my thoughts.

We've all heard the saying, "money makes the world go 'round", and in today's modern world, that statement is pretty accurate. But this is not the case everywhere. I was just watching The Travel Channel last week that showed an African tribe living off the land by cooking Ostrich eggs in the sand, eating the anuses of pigs, and gathering berries from shrubs. It was by far the most primitive I could imagine any human being living, and it's happening right now. While hard for me to grasp, it's true. This tribe does not use money.

Primitive living was once commonplace, and tribes, groups, and families all rallied behind the idea of survival. As time was made available aside from hunting and gathering, some members started working to make life more enjoyable. Some began making better clothing and foot protection for warmth and comfort, some made musical instruments for entertainment, while others began using different ingredients and techniques for making their food taste better. And everyone shared. People played music while everyone ate around the fire with better tasting food and more comfortable clothing; and everyone benefited.

In the world in which we've been raised, to go back to this "sharing" would undoubtedly be labeled Communism. So, how does this work for the tribe in Africa and groups throughout history? It works because it is and was a matter of survival.

For many years, through groups like the United Nations and European Union, our world has been uniting to form a sort of world government . This scares many people who also say we are heading to a world currency. But while a piece of paper with a picture of a face or symbol printed by a banking institution and accepted worldwide may occur, a world currency will occur and is inevitable.

We live on a finite planet with finite resources. Currently, oil would be considered a world currency. But oil is somewhat of a newer thing relative to the history of our planet, and oil will go away. People survived without oil then; could we today? I don't' know, but either way, the world would look much different. However, one thing will never change; the need for food and water.

Every day I look over the ocean and see this,

the island of Kaho'olawe, and everyday it reminds me of how destructive we can be to our planet. Not long ago, this island was used as target practice for military bombing. It's believed this has broken the water table. What was once another inhabitable island is now merely a big rock.

There will be a world currency, and it will be food and water. The question is, when we as Humanity, (Muslims and Christians, Westerners and those in the Middle East, Capitalists and Socialists, labels A and labels B) are dependent on cooperation, will we be able to return to how we once lived by rallying around survival, or will it be too late? I hope for the former, and if we do survive I am certain of one thing- students, teachers, and historians will look back on this generation with astonishment and bewilderment of how people once lived so reckless.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Question for Christians

What do you believe?

85% of Americans and two billion people in the world claim to be Christians. Having spent nearly every day of my life in The United States, this question is for the 225 million self-proclaimed American Christians.

What do you believe?

Jesus says to love your neighbor as your self, and The Bible says thou shalt not murder. However, many Christians support war, send their children overseas to fight, and then repeatably say, "support our troops". Just what are the troops doing over there in Iraq and Afghanistan? One might argue that these soldiers are killing other people to defend the Homeland because terrorists attacked us on 9/11. But what about this scripture?
Luke 6:27-31 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."
So what do you believe?

The vast majority of America claims to be Christian, yet we consume to excess while more than 25,000 people die every day of starvation.

We spend billions of dollars to promote, watch, and participate in one, four-hour long football season finale, while millions of people go without clean water.

We spend money on new cars, home improvements, vacations, and optional surgeries to improve our self-esteem, while millions go without basic medicine.

Christian people claim to support life, yet vote for politicians who support abortion.

Christians in America say we shouldn't steal, yet we have tremendous wealth through the wrongful acquisition of slave labor and foreign natural resources.

The Bible states that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, yet we knowingly consume harmful toxins which lead to disease. We use harmful chemicals to make our selves look and smell better, without ever questioning the potential dangers to our "temples".

Christian American people claim to believe in freedom and human rights, yet buy products they don't need without researching the working conditions of the people making them. We buy crap without considering the harm to our planet, children, and future generations.

We attend churches that provide hot meals and hot coffee at buildings which remain vacant overnight while homeless people sleep on public sidewalks in the cold.

We let people die, despite the resources we have to keep them alive. And we know people die of starvation, sickness, and hypothermia, and know we could help, but we don't. One may call that inhumane, heartless, or barbaric, but certainly not Christ-like.

So Christians of America, what do you believe? As for me, a person raised as a Christian in this country and who claims to believe in the teachings of Christ, I'm not so sure I want to be labeled this way. And if I'm doubting and questioning the understanding of what many Christians claim to be Truth, how could anyone else be convinced? Many people view Christians as moronic hypocrites, and in viewing the facts, they're justified.

America, we hold the key and see the door. When are we going to open it? For in the game of Monopoly (the game that has been thrust upon us since birth), at the end, everything goes back in the box.

So really, what do you believe?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rich Dad, Poor Kid, Broke Earth

Ever since I watched the first half of this year's State of the Union Address, I've been thinking. Obama kept talking about the US economy and jobs, briefly addressing how technology is lowering the demand for people and raising unemployment levels. I don't have the exact quote, but he said how factories that used to require one hundred people now only need ten. He continued by saying we need to work harder through innovation to create jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs...he said that word a lot.

But here's my question- If we can get the same results with 90% less work, why do we need to work harder? Why do we need more jobs? If through technology we are able to yield the same production, what would happen if those one hundred employees all kept their jobs and were able to work 90% less hours?

I have to think that the answer is that people have always been inclined to innovate, create, and make better. Well, I suppose more jobs create more taxes, but without getting into politics, I want to look at humanity. With the Earth's natural resources being depleted through innovation, at what point will the enhancement to modern day living be declared destructive?

Today we have technology that couldn't be fathomed one hundred years ago, and Obama wasn't lying, this technology has greatly reduced the demand for physical labor. I also agree with him in that we need to focus more on renewable energy. That's the kind of innovation we need, but do we really need more jobs? Do we need to work harder, or could we work less by reducing our consumption, in turn, sanctifying the parts of the planet we haven't destroyed? Just a thought.

And these are my thoughts, that's all. I'm not saying I'm right and that others are wrong, but just imagine with me for one moment that Windows Seven is the last operating system and the iPhone 4 is the newest there ever will be. We stop building more houses and making more stuff. We have clean water and food, made easy to acquire through the technologies in place. We stop sitting in rush hour, because we don't need to work tens of miles away from our home. Through telecommuting and the internet, we eliminate the need. An average work week consists of twenty hours as opposed to forty plus, and there's no need for both parents to work. A place where money is no longer a commodity, but where time, relationships, family, passion, art, and love are what's viewed as successful and important.

Has there ever been a world like this? If so I have not seen it, though I do hope that at some point in my life I will. But I suppose we are the herd, and the century of the self is the time in which we live. I suppose clean food, clean air, clean water, and health are no longer all that we need.