Buy More Pointless Stuff

Automatic Reactions

Most people go through their lives like robots. Something happens, which they perceive to be good for them, in the short-term, and they have pleasant feelings. Is that happiness?

Conversely, something happens to them that they perceive to be bad, in the short- term, and they feel unpleasant feelings. Is that suffering?

Short-Term/Long-Term

But wait! It gets even more confusing, not everything that is bad for us in the short-term is bad for us in the long-term. Like the redundancy that leads to new opportunities, or the divorce that leads to new love. Conversely, not everything that seems good in the short-term is good for you in the long-term. Like that extra bit of cake or that extra bottle of wine.

Human PinballAre we on some kind of cosmic pinball machine being flipped by the accidents of life? Can anyone really explain the mechanism that creates human suffering and more importantly, the mechanism that creates happiness?

We betray our ignorance of our own inner life with the words we use to ask the question: “What MAKES you happy?” Can any ‘thing’ make us happy? Do ‘things’ come charged with happiness like some kind of electricity?

It follows that if we don’t understand the rules we are never going to be able to truly play the game.

HAPPINESS

Those of us born into the religion of materialism assume that the more stuff we get the happier we will be. Certainly anyone born after the mid-nineteen-fifties has been surrounded all of their lives with mass media telling them to consume more ‘stuff ’.

Pointless StuffIt is true that consumerism is the fuel that drives the engine of an industrialised nation but the question is, ‘will it make us happy and if so why’?

If ‘Natural Selection’ is the motor that drives evolution, we might speculate that happiness is a chemical-driven pleasure that rewards our urge to reproduce our unique DNA. Therefore, it would follow that, evolution might reward the most successful individuals with a feeling we call ‘happiness’.

How Many Children?

But in the modern world, in polite society, if a man says that he has a hundred children he would be considered a freak.

If he spent all day at the sperm bank making deposits in a desperate bid to comply with Darwin’s order to reproduce his DNA he would probably get arrested.

So for us in the West, we have substituted ‘stuff ’ for the children we no longer want. We now use ‘stuff’ as a token of our evolutionary success instead of children. We live our lives to collect as much ‘stuff ’ as possible as tokens of our evolutionary ‘fitness’.

Rich and Famous

If this worldview is correct, we should be able to assume that the people with all the ‘stuff ’, like the people with all the ‘self ’ are the happiest people on the planet. As we have already seen, the rich and the famous are more miserable than the rest of us but we’ve been trained not to see it. We never do the math!

Nobody says, ‘why am I killing myself to buy new stuff when these guys with all the stuff are more miserable than me’?

So like hamsters on a wheel we carry on running to nowhere: if we feel depressed we get a new job, car, house, partner, children and now we can even get a new gender. We are blinded to the truth because we assume that happiness is MADE by the things around us.

Fully chargedFully Charged

When a wife justifies leaving her husband by screaming, ‘You just don’t make me happy anymore!’ What she is actually saying is that she expected her husband to come fully charged with unlimited happiness and now she wants a refund. Obviously, her husband’s ‘happiness’ battery has run out and now she wants to replace him for one that’s full.

So she will find someone new that will ‘make’ her happy! Morning television audiences will clap and shout ‘You do you girl!’ and whoop like a bunch of demented Sioux warriors. But like a game of musical chairs, eventually, you can’t change anymore. You run out of tokens of your evolutionary success and eventually you have to sit in the seat life gave you and that can feel pretty uncomfortable.

Taken from the book – ‘Quantum Mechanics For Your Soul: How to Repair Yourself and Save the World at the Same Time

Quantum Mechanics For Your Soul

Quantum Mechanics For Your Soul

The ‘Self of Now’

What is the Self?

If I asked you to point to the part of your body where your ‘self ’ lives, which part would you point to?

So is your ‘self ’ in your brain? It has been shown that a human being can lose 95% of his brain and still have an IQ of 126 and a degree in mathematics. So if your ‘self ’ is not in your brain, where is it?

It used to be said that the ‘self ’ lived in the heart but we change those out every day. Just because you get a new heart, it doesn’t make you a new person.

Your arms and legs then? No! Sadly, people lose them every day and don’t lose themselves.

What about your memories? Scientists have not been able to find memories in the brain and people lose their memories for various reasons but they are still essentially the same person.

A few decades and many millions of dollars ago, scientists promised us that they would find the ‘self ’ in our DNA but that has proved to be a dead end. As it turns out DNA are just the building blocks of life. DNA does not contain the plan or the builder.

So where exactly is the ‘self ’? If you close your eyes and keep very quiet, you will observe some thoughts go past the window of your mind. Beneath those thoughts you will find emotions. Is that where the real ‘you’ lives?

In order to move forward with this investigation, let’s do a thought experiment.

Imagine this scenario (A):

You are supposed to go on a date with the most desirable person you can imagine. A limousine picks you up to take you to a quiet French restaurant where you have a private room booked. As you approach the room where you are to meet this person, you are told that you must be blindfolded.

As you are led into this room you feel a warm soft, slightly moist, touch on your cheek. Given the logic of the situation you imagine it to be a kiss. Your heart explodes with joy as your knees go weak with desire.

Now imagine a slightly different scenario that involves exactly the same physical stimulus:

Imagine this scenario (B):

The world has ended. The undead have taken over the world. You are starving. Armed with only an old flashlight and a plastic spork you have to descend into the cellar of an old building to find something to eat. You can hear the drip-drip of water and the echo as your foot crunches on the granite step. Near the bottom of the staircase you can see cobwebs and empty boxes. Your flashlight fails. You are frozen in fear. Something warm and slightly moist touches your cheek! What do you think your reaction would be?

In both of these scenarios the physical stimulus was the same: darkness and a warm, moist touch on your cheek. The only things that changed were our belief about the past and our expectation for the future.

It is evident then that our reactions are dependent not so much upon actual events but rather they are based on our beliefs and those beliefs are based on the sum of our past, how we feel about that past and our expectation for the future.

WHY THE SELF OF NOW?

These are the three bricks with which we build our ‘Self of Now’.

  • The sum of our past
  • How we feel about that past
  • Our expectations for our future

This idea of the ‘Self of Now’ has no inherent or independent reality. Change any one of those three things and your ‘idea’ of self will change.

The more we focus our mind and the power of our intention inward toward our core, it is as though a cloud begins to form within a cloudless sky.

This cloud slowly coagulates under the massive centripetal force of our intention into something almost solid.

Centripetal Self of Now

[Centripetal formation of the ‘Self of Now’.]

I use the term ‘Self of Now’ because this aspect of ourselves doesn’t care about us. The ‘Self of Now’ doesn’t care about the you in five minutes or the you of tomorrow. Your ‘Self of Now’ will always push you toward things that will satisfy it at the expense of everything you hold dear.

The extra cake, the next bottle of wine, the affair with the secretary, why is it that our addictions always seem to destroy us?

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some examples.

Greed:

Close your eyes and remember a time when you were carrying some plates of food to the table. Maybe you are carrying some cake! Maybe you are bringing cake for your children, your husband, maybe someone you love.

You glance down and realise that one plate has more or maybe it has something on it that you really want. It’s your favourite.

Do you remember that split second when you felt the urge to take the best plate for yourself?

There did that urge come from? Would you take the food out of your loved one’s mouth? Is that really the kind of person you are?

Anger:

Can you remember a time when you were really busy or stressed and someone needed your help? Maybe it was your children, maybe your dog, maybe someone at work?

Just for that second you felt the flash of anger. Maybe you did actually snap at little Johnny. Can you remember the hurt look on his face?

Did you kick the dog or did you throw something at the cat?

Is that anger really who you are? Where did it come from?

Anxiety:

To further clarify the arising of the ‘Self of Now’. Let’s look at how we deal with being in crowds.

It’s true that not many of us like to be in big crowds. Most of us get nervous and our behaviour changes.

In scenario A – we arrive at the check-in and there has been a computer glitch. The concourse is packed with people. We begin to feel the urge to panic. We want to run, our vision narrows. We become clumsy because we are shutting down our external sensors. We become agitated and aggressive. We react with anger if someone pushes in front of us.

In this scenario we are seeing the world entirely through our idea of the ‘Self of Now’. This creates a centripetal tension. This direction of intention further solidifies our sense of self and separation from the universe. Just as an apple falls when we drop it, so too is suffering the inevitable product when we direct our intention toward the ‘Self of Now’.

Now let’s look at scenario B – As you approach the airport arrivals concourse it is packed with the same people as in scenario A but only this time I give you a glimpse of everyone of your past lives since time began. In that split second of transcendental clarity you realise that every one of those people in the concourse had at sometime loved you and cared for you.

Can you imagine the urge to wave to the crowd and the feeling of belonging. You would want to touch the hands of all the people there.

In scenario B you would feel pleasure but in scenario A you would feel stress. Only the nature of the three bricks changed: the story of your past, how you feel about that past and your expectations for your future.

Unfortunately, most of us for most of the time become entirely hijacked by the flow of our thoughts and emotions to the point that we live our lives unconscious of the world around us. In many ways we live our lives like Zombies entirely controlled by the ‘Self of Now’.

Hijacked by the Self of Now

I’ve taken the day off and it’s a lovely spring afternoon. My thoughts emerge out of my emotions and float past my mind like twigs floating on the river.

As I cast my rod into the shade of a willow tree, I feel hungry. My mind follows the thought and I wonder what my wife packed for lunch.

Following that thought, I wonder what’s for supper tonight. I remember that my wife said that she had a vegetable curry in the freezer. I follow that thought as it flows past the thought of the vegetable curry. In my mind I am a long way now from the river where I’m standing. In seconds my mind has been hijacked by my ‘random’ thoughts. I’m existing now entirely in the ‘Self of Now’.

It occurs to me that the freezer is not working properly and it seems to be using a lot of electricity. It then occurs to me that our quarterly electricity bill is due and my pay check is going to be late. My stomach lurches with fear. I bite my lip.

From my fear, I begin to feel anger. I remember that my wife is shopping in the city with her mother today. I remember thinking that she is spending too much money on the children. I make a mental note to ask the bank for an overdraft.

At that moment, my mobile phone vibrates in my pocket. I answer my phone and it’s my wife who is really excited. She has managed to find a rare book on fly-fishing that I’ve wanted for years. She can hardly contain her happiness as she tells me that she got the book for five hundred dollars.

“You paid how much?” I scream down the phone. The line goes quiet.

“Take the bloody thing back”, I shout at the phone as I hold it in front of my face like a deadly snake I’d just caught in a mid-air attack.

“But it was for your birthday!” I hear my wife say through her tears.

“Why are you in such a bad mood? You’re out fishing! You should be happy!”

I don’t know what to say? I feel terrible for making my wife cry and I don’t know how we got from fishing to a big row about money but I can’t back down now. I hang up the phone and just about stop myself from throwing it at the willow tree.

You probably recognise something of yourself in those examples. Most of us are the victims of our own automatic reactions. We just shake our head and put it down to a moment of insanity.

We apologise eventually, but the truth is you can never unsay what has been said. You can never undo what has been done.

The Black Wolf

It is important to recognise that the ‘Self of Now’, the source of those thoughts, seems to have its own agenda. It behaves as if it was an individual in its own right.

Throughout history, different cultures have come up with stories and legends to account for the unpredictability and apparent independence of our automatic thoughts.

There is a Native American legend that explains that when we are born into this world we have two spirit guides, the Black Wolf and the White Wolf.

The Black Wolf is the ‘Self of Now’. Born into a body limited by our five senses, the Black Wolf believes that he is alone in this strange and hostile world. He has been driven mad by the isolation of his prison. Just as a wolf will bite his own foot off in order to escape a trap, the Black Wolf seeks to consume the world in order to be free of it.

The White Wolf is the ‘Self of Tomorrow’ but the wolf we live with is the one we feed.

Obviously, I’m not saying that there really are animal spirit guides living inside of us. I include the legend only to demonstrate that the ‘Self of Now’ is not a new idea.

Why Are Addictions Always Self-Destructive

Have you ever had that drink too many? Have you had that cigarette, that cake, that hit, that affair that destroyed your marriage?

Why is it that our greed, our addictions, only satisfy the ‘Self of Now’ and inevitably betrays the ‘Self of Tomorrow’?

Why is it that our automatic reactions are so rarely a force of good in our lives?

Have you ever woken up to the evidence of your own stupidity and said to yourself, ‘I don’t believe I did that!’ Have you ever looked around for someone else to blame? Why does the ‘Self of Now’ always ruin our life?

In the face of our own addictions we can’t help but feel ‘out of control’. Who is in charge? Why would we sabotage ourselves? Why do the urges, that push us toward immediate gratification, go against our long-term goals and ideals? In fact, why do they usually destroy everything we love and hold dear?

Our addictions are as varied as humans are inventive, but the one thing they all have in common is the fact that eventually all of them ruin your life.

There is an old Jewish saying, ‘We cling to the demons as they destroy us’.

An entire industry has been created just to sell people more ‘self ’ but is that really what they need?

We have seen from the above examples that most people don’t even understand what the ‘self ’ is?

I’m Offended!

The ‘Self of Now’ will build a fence around you and will tell you that you ‘HATE’ everything outside of it. You don’t like Republicans, you definitely hate Trump and you only like Vegans. Someone else will decide that they hate Blacks, Muslims and Jews.

It is in this way that the ‘Self of Now’ will destroy us all, if we let it.

If you feel the need to shut people up before they can even explain their ideas, there’s a good chance it’s not really you! It’s just the ‘Self of Now’ trying to stop you ever finding out that you are being controlled.

The new fashion for street protests is a great example of this. We chant mindless and childish rhymes and glory in being in a group of people who all have the same opinions as we do. This isn’t political action it’s self-approbation.

Destruction of the ‘other’ is heroin to the ‘Self of Now’. You only have to look at the faces of these people, as they shout their chants, they all have the same look of mindless ecstasy.

A Genie in a Bottle

Because the ‘Self of Now’ is fundamentally an illusion it cannot really provide happiness, or long-term fulfilment, in your life. Like some malevolent Arabian Jinn the ‘Self of Now’ promises to grant us our darkest wish but just as in Arab Folklore, the Jinn is always a liar. Whatever we wish for will result in our destruction.

We are always eventually destroyed by our own greed and our willingness to believe in the genie’s promises.

Harvey Weinstein’s ‘Self of Now’ told him that he could have any woman he wanted. We all know how that ended!

The ‘Self of Now’ is extremely limited in its view. It can only see two roads ahead, the external and internal route to happiness. As we have already discussed, both of those formulas have been proven to not work. Neither adding things to yourself nor changing things about your self will give you peace.

Will the Real ‘Me’ Please Stand Up!

Your happiness and your ability to deal with the problems in your life depend on you gaining the ability to notice where your urges, emotions and thoughts come from.

But don’t worry! There is a real you that exists underneath your ‘idea’ of you, beneath your ‘Self of Now’.

Think about it! If you can ‘observe’ your thoughts, emotions and urges, who is doing the ‘observing’?

The ‘Self of Now’ is an illusion! It is just the reflection of the accidents of our lives.

The QM4YS system will teach you how to be mindful of your inner life and experience directly the arising of the ‘Self of Now’.

It’s not easy! It takes work, practice, failure and then more practice but everyone can do it! All you have to do is really want to.

Taken from the book: ‘Quantum Mechanics For Your Soul – How to Repair Yourself and Save the World at the same time

Quantum Mechanics For Your Soul

Cult of Self

The Cult of Self: Failed

How many times have you found yourself, in an airport, scanning rows of brightly coloured ‘self-help’ books, all of which promise to give you the life of the man with a twenty-thousand dollar suit and a smile like a white picket fence? You know the books, they start with lines like, ‘Imagine that you’re as rich as me!’ or ‘I was flying my Jet helicopter to one of my talks’. Perhaps it’s because each of these books appear more banal and incoherent than the last, the writers now compete for your attention by using the word ‘F##K’ as many times as possible.

Waiting for a delayed flight, looking for some kind of hope, you scan the contents of these books and feel something, deep down inside of your soul, shrivel up and die. You know that you’re looking for something but you’re just not sure what; so you move on to the section marked ‘New Age & Spirituality’ in the faint hope that there might be something new. You sigh and quickly put the book down when you realise that yet another impossibly named author has rehashed the same Dr Feelgood BS we’ve been reading since 1968.

The subtext of these books is always the same, ‘you are not good enough’! ‘You need to be more like me’! ‘Buy my secret’! 

The formula is always: YOU + SOMETHING ELSE = HAPPINESS

 

MORE ‘SELF’ = GOOD!

They tell you that if only you had more ‘self ’, if only you had more ‘belief ’ then finally you would be ‘happy’. If only you could learn to NOT give a F##K about anyone but yourself, then you would be as free as they claim to be. If this were true then the people with all the ‘self’ should be the happiest people on the planet! Sadly, we only have to watch the TV or read the news to know that this proposition is just not true. We see the rich and the famous, we see the sexual abuse, the addictions, the smug hypocrisy, the divorces, the suicides and we can see that they are even more miserable than we are. So just having more ‘self ’ can’t be the answer we’re looking for!

 

A CORROSIVE WORLDVIEW

‘Materialism’ is the doctrine that only ‘matter’ is real. Towards the end of the twentieth century it became a religion and is now enforced with all the power of the state. For the last hundred years, in the name of progress, life has been systematically stripped of all its beauty.

Today, children are indoctrinated to believe that their life is an accident and has no purpose. According to the ‘experts’ the universe doesn’t give a F##K about us (to quote a recent guru’s words). This is the reason why one in five Americans are on some kind of prescribed psychotropic drug.

Anti-depressants are the reason that mass murder has become our latest spectator sport and materialism is the reason why suicide is the second biggest killer of young people; it has robbed them of all hope. There is nothing more damaging to the human psyche than the belief that their life is meaningless. The materialist worldview subliminally convinces us of three things:

  • We are alone
  • We are helpless 
  • We live in an indifferent universe.

If we feel unhappy we go shopping or change our job, car, house, partner, or children.

The materialist answer to suffering is always ME + Something else = Happiness. But that prescription is a little like taking a laxative to cure food poisoning. It kinda makes things worse!

So how did we come to believe something so obviously not true?” I can hear you ask.

The only way that the materialist worldview can be supported is if we all agree to ignore the world we see and feel around us. We have to ignore so much of human experience that it is literally driving our civilisation insane. “Why would we do such a thing!”

The answer is we were running from something even worse, or so we thought!

 

“IT’S RELIGION JIM BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT!”

All religions are based, more or less, on the same premise that only the spirit is real. Since the dawn of time, there has always been a man in a twenty-thousand dollar suit waiting to take advantage of your need to find meaning in your life. He might be a prophet or a priest. He might look like a millionaire or a tramp but whatever shape these shysters take, they all have the same answer: “There’s something wrong with you and only I have the cure!”

Self-improvement systems and all religions demand that you add whatever it is they’re selling to your ‘idea’ of you. Just like materialism, religions offer us the same formula with a different twist:

You – something else = salvation.

Inevitably, the guru or prophet has the secret, the power or the keys to the kingdom and they will give it to you in return for your faith and your money. None of these paradigms present a coherent model of reality that can be verified by you, through observation of the world around you; that’s why religions tend to kill people who ask questions. But just because they are not totally right, that doesn’t mean that they’re totally wrong.

 

UNIVERSAL AWARENESS OF INNER REALITY

At this point, you may sniff and say that spirituality is just for the weak minded and, indeed, that is the dogma of the materialist. You may argue, the opposite view, and insist that ‘god’ can only be found in a book and that is the position of most religions. The strange truth is that both of these, often argued, positions entirely ignore the possibility that we are already subconsciously plugged into a universal sub-atomic reality. Maybe that sub-atomic reality is something like gravity, easy to ignore until you fall over.

Maybe truth is already written on our very essence and books are only a distraction. It would seem that independent scientific evidence is pointing, very strongly, in that direction. As an example, you may have noticed that over the last twenty years a strange urban phenomenon has sprung up on our roads. Today, in most Western countries, you can’t seem to drive more than a few miles without seeing a sad and orphaned shrine of dying flowers and rotting cuddly toys left by the side of the road. These shrines seem to appear overnight, at the site of each car crash, as if by magic.

It is obvious that these bereaved and tormented people are expressing a connection to an inner reality that our strictly material society gives them no way to express or explore. It’s almost as though they are ashamed of their own inner reality.

Maybe we are like the three blind men cleaning an elephant. Asked to describe the elephant, the man who cleaned the tail would say that an elephant was something like a snake. The man who cleaned the leg would say that an elephant was like a tree and the man who cleaned the sides would say an elephant was like a wall.

None of them would be entirely wrong but neither would they be entirely right.

From Islam to Communism, Christianity to Atheism, underneath it all, what is it that we’re looking for? What inner vision is it that each of us seeks to validate?

For the first time in two thousand years, it might be time to talk about what connects us instead of what divides us. We’ve all been so busy fighting over our particular piece of the elephant that we refuse to talk about the elephant in the room: an inner reality that connects us all.

Maybe we are all connected to the same thing but we’ve just not cleaned enough parts to have an accurate picture yet?

This is the truth that the Jesus of History was trying to give us, that reality exists between the cracks and joints of the world that has been pulled over eyes to keep us from the truth: that we are eternal beings of light living within a sea of light.

To read more get a copy of my book “Quantum Mechanics for Your Soul”.