A Gem Of Knowledge

I found a paper by Richard Carlson detailing happiness.
I found it very perceptive and enlightening.


May 31, 2010


The gentle flow caressing my heart
Carving it slowly into art.
The torrents, the stress
Can feel so powerless.
The senses, the touch
The feelings, the rush
So intricately carving all that I am.

Seeking meaning in the safety of control.
Doing the best to direct the soul.
The shimmers of beauty at first dawns light.
The storms of sorrow at midday's crest.
A glimmer of hope as day fades to night.
Calm and surrender creeping into sight.

The inner turmoil of my heart creating a story carved of experience and love,
And the storms of life sieging my soul.
In the rains a beauty unfolds.
The tears of life falling upon the heart.
Never lose hope for-
Within the surges, the fights, the turbulence, the forces of nature a subtle twist,
The feeling, the expression, the sensation, and the motivations uncover the mask of beauty within.

Behind this screen called life, a menagerie of actors hollow and clear.
Beauty of ambitious motivation, before tainted by the poison of doubt.
Actors affixed through a veil of atoms and molecules.
Transcending construction, a bridge of heart and love.
In the middle can be discovered bliss in happiness.
The bridge hopefully not destroyed by weapons of greed, jealousy, and lust.
Or weakened over time by boredoms rust.
Weathering life's storms;
And from the ravaging surge of it's banks, protection is found in the glimmering veils of hope and love.

May 30, 2010


I lie here looking at this screen.
Trying to express something I cannot quite conceptualize.
Words are so constraining, constricting.
I am looking for something.
I think it's serenity.
I have been lucky to be perfectly content as of late.
However, I have starved myself of feeling and expression.
This has happened before.
I become a little numb inside.
I lose sight and focus.
I am dancing around what I am trying to say.
The irony is I can't express what I want to say.
This is because what I want to say is what I feel.
Words are so cold and weak.
I am content, but something is missing.
Perhaps a run. A run to feel.

May 10, 2010


I think most of us have an aspect in ourselves to react emotionally to the things our world dishes out to us. I will talk of this from the context of myself. We all react to different things, and have different things we care about.

First I want to emphasize with Halo is that while it is a video game don't write it off. What I am saying here is able to be generalized to everything you care about in the slightest. Secondly I wish to emphasize that for the most part I take it pretty lightly and just play for fun, and don't care weather I win or lose. During competitive stints though I do take it a little more seriously, and losing is depressing. (Sounds like I am trying to convince myself here, eh?)

I get into Halo now and again for a few weeks every semester. I decide I want to be good, and work for that. Usually, however I end up quiting because I get nothing from it as far as general contentment of my life goes, and either I lose alot or win very easily.

When I play I notice subtle reactions in myself. My emotions affect my judgments and interactions. I get a little angry when other players do things that result in me losing badly, even when I would do the same thing in their shoes. My intellect tells me that it doesn't make sense for me to be angry at these people - for one it is only a game which is relatively inconsequential to my life in regard to winning or losing; and secondly them being good is no reason for me to dislike them. However, I do dislike them. I would even say "hate" would be a better word.

This hatred is an emotional reaction that conflicts with how I would like myself to react and behave. Now I can control myself, I don't have outbursts or anything like that. However, I still have this internal reaction going on that I would rather not exist at all. It clouds my judgement and pushes me to do things which are in no way constructive to myself or anyone else. It is a similar reaction you see in alot of modern arguments and events. People hate the others for thinking differently or doing things differently. They do destructive things, that help neither themselves or others.

The interesting thing is, with the awareness of this in myself. I also get a little saddened even when I win. I know that most other players probably feel similarly when they lose badly. When I can get 10 to 1 streaks, I know there is a high probability they are sad or angry. For anyone with any amount of empathy for others, this awareness with the knowledge of what they are experiencing is enough to make the win non-satisfying. There is the occasional "good game" where we are evenly matched and exchange places frequently. These are satisfying, and even the loser can walk away feeling good, but I think in the other cases the reactions reveal a subtle side of myself (and others) that we often forget about or that goes unnoticed. In the future I want to work to mute this negative response to loss. I want simply clarity. If I am to do well under pressure and in difficult times, I cannot be letting emotional reactions affect my actions and judgement.

This same concept carries for situations in everyday life. I am speaking in weak generalizations here, but one example from my experiences is "Liberals" seem to strongly dislike "Conservatives" and vice versa. There is a problem separating the individual person from the belief or idea in regard to emotional reactions. Often the topics are inconsequential. For example I tend to have a negative stance against religion. I very much was against it in my past years. However, what you choose to believe is usually (there are exceptions) of no consequence to me.

It should not matter to me if you want to think something different. The problem is it often does, and I care for the most part only to attempt to change your view, and if I cannot make progress I end up slightly hating you for the duration of the discussion of the topic. After the discussion I sweep it under the rug, and if we have other common ground, I will remember that you are a good person except when it comes to that topic. With no common ground, I may dislike you in general for the stance on the topic alone. These particular emotions and feelings corrupt our logic and humanity. I think the most important part is admitting these emotions are there, and becoming aware of them and then evaluating weather this is actually how we want to handle ourselves.

I believe myself much more neutral on religion in general now, partially in recognition of the above. I'd also like to add if the above is not something you believe you share, think about the things you really care about. Think what you think when others confront you on these things of importance; are you emotionally and judgmentally attached to these things to the point you ignore most of the influence of your human empathy and logic?

Apr 12, 2010


As I get older I find myself valuing and seeing things differently. In the last week I found myself no longer nervous or anxious to the idea of going over seas. Studying\traveling abroad is something I have always wanted to do. I am fascinated with culture, and experience. It is through the experience of new things that we live and that the fire in our hearts ignites in the brightest shades.

Ever since I have switched majors, I feel good. Life is wonderful. I see myself as a leader. I know what I am doing and what I have control of, and I am comfortable with the things I do not have control of. Mechanical Engineering consumed alot of me. I was in the major with friends. This held me back. Sometimes it is good to break from the pack where things are comfortable. My friends in a way were drowning me.

Older people say this all the time, but it's something you don't understand until you have the experience, the feelings, and the emotions to describe it. It's an abstraction that cannot be shown to another person who has not experienced it. There are words...."abstraction"....they carry a great value to me now. In prior parts of life there are words that were vague...words that did not carry weight or meaning in the same way they do now.

We convey conscious meaning with words. What these words mean to me are for the most part, from what I can perceive, the same words with the same meaning for you. However, as I get older I increasingly find there are some words....they do not mean the same for you as they do for me. They have attached to them a concept that is a greater abstraction than can be conveyed purely by other words or communication. It can be an experience, a feeling, an emotion or something the cannot be categorized. To a strict realist this may sound like subjective blasphemy, but alas it is a real as anything else for me.

I have had low spots over the last few years. Times when I felt like my brain and my soul were being slowly suffocated. I have had many internal battles in regard to religion, beliefs, ideas, and a foe much more powerful and greater than any of these. This foe, my nemesis, is myself. My doubts, my emotions, my feelings, my fights with my self. For the longest time...I just could not understand....

I will do my best to convey this, but as it something very internal to me it will be hard to properly convey the proper depth in these shallow words. The war going on in my head is something I have observed for a long time. This war is between my feelings, emotions, and what I will call me. When I say "me" I am referring to my soul, my consciousness, my current experience. Me as I am right now without the physical interactions of the world directly controlling me. I am strongly convinced emotions and feelings are physical factors we must all face. The simple fact that a simple thing like drugs can toy with emotions convinces me this is so.
I know what I want to do. I know what I must do to succeed. I know what I have to do to get anything I want. I know these things in the sense of the actions I must take to make things happen. However, this ranty writing as you already know is not without a counter force. While I know what I must do, all the time in my mind there is a force that exerts a very powerful motivation. Sometimes this motivation co aligns with what I want to do. Other times it does what it can to convince me to do things that destroy the means that I desire to create the ends I desire.

It's a common foe. It is the same foe that keeps the alcoholic coming back for one more drink. It's the same foe that keeps you from going to the gym daily. It's the same foe that makes you eat just one more chunk of goodness of that junk food. It's this foe that I have fought the past 3 years.

It will be my day of true enlightenment when my soul has complete freedom from direct influence of emotion. When I can make a decision and keep it. Set a goal and complete it. It should matter not what the goal or decision is.

It's an interesting thing I am experiencing right now. I am happy, ambitious and excited. I am doing what I like right now. Ahead of me is only adventure, and it is adventure that I embrace with open arms because to be blunt it looks fun. I don't have mastery over myself, however what my feelings, and emotions want are aligned well enough with what I really wish to do that things are going well.

Jan 9, 2010