EppsNet Archive: Life

Notes on Existential Well-Being

I’m taking an online class on existential well-being . . . posting some notes and thoughts: Well-being implies physical health, comfort, pleasure. It is also essential for human beings to have relationships with other people and to have a place in society. We speak of personal well-being when a person is able to develop their talents and feel at peace with him or herself. Beauty, compassion, truth, love — these are experiences of the “life force” or the “spirit.” In these spiritual experiences we transcend our limited self. We become part of something bigger and participate in universal qualities that nourish and enhance life. We are conscious of the physical, the social, the personal and the spiritual dimensions of human experience. We make no hierarchy between these dimensions. We recognize that human life is also characterized by suffering, pain and many limitations. We acknowledge that because of limitations, we are… Read more →

All the Elements For Your Happiness Are Already Here

Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle. Just Be. — Thich Nhat Hanh Read more →

Crossing the Border

It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, conviction, faith, history. Human life — and herein lies its secret — takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, even in direct contact with it; it is not miles away, but a fraction of an inch. — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Read more →

Cross to Bear

We are nailed to ourselves. Each of us is our own cross to bear. Read more →

Tom Petty, 1950-2017

In December 2016, Tom Petty talked with Rolling Stone about his then-upcoming 2017 tour, which just ended last week at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles: I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. Sad, as President Trump would say. Big life events can kill you . . . RIP Tom Petty Read more →

10 Reasons That NY Times Chart Might Not Mean What You Think It Means

From the New York Times: Money is not the only metric for measuring life outcomes. Charts and articles like this seem to reflect an inappropriate obsession with narrowly materialist values. If you do want to measure your life with money, it looks like the 99th percentile is where you want to be. Why aren’t you there? Why aren’t you a CEO? Why aren’t you making a million a year? If you can’t figure out how to get there, don’t begrudge the people who did figure it out. If you don’t have the education, motivation, intelligence or skills to get there, don’t begrudge those who do. The amount of wealth is not a fixed amount. It’s not a zero-sum game. If it were, it would be concerning that a few people are very wealthy. But it isn’t. The distribution of income has to be skewed to the right because income is… Read more →

Cocaine, Heroin, Ecsatsy

In case you hadn’t noticed, being alive is difficult and probably overrated. Why not take all the drugs you can? Just playing devil’s advocate here . . . Read more →

The Blindness and the Wretchedness of Man

hen I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should awake without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me in conditions of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them, and seen… Read more →

Aside

I wore the mask as long as I could . . . I wanted to take it off but everyone thought it was my face.

Chuck Barris, 1929-2017

Chuck Barris was well ahead of his time in recognizing how many Americans are willing to make an ass of themselves on television. The quote below is from the movie based on his book Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I don’t know if the quote is actually in the book but I include it here nonetheless . . . When you are young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything, really. You might be Einstein. You might be DiMaggio. Then you get to an age where what you might be gives way to what you have been. You weren’t Einstein. You weren’t anything. That’s a bad moment. RIP Chuck Barris Read more →

Keep the Channel Open

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urge that motivates you. Keep the channel open. — Martha Graham Read more →

In a Flash

In a flash you could walk by your true love or miss your path in life, and you’d never have the chance to recover it . . . Read more →

Aside

What am I kidding myself about today? A lot of things, probably . . .

What is Life Telling Me Right Now?

“You married a crazy person, you got old, there are women out there hooking up with everybody and you missed it, you dumb fucker . . .” Read more →

You’re Funny

Yeah, I’m fucking hilarious . . . I’m not good at life, I’m completely alone in the world, but I’m pretty snappy with the jokes . . . Read more →

How Are You Doing?

I feel like I’m confronting the challenges of existence pretty effectively, with the following exceptions: the inevitability of death, freedom and its attendant responsibility, existential isolation, and meaninglessness. Read more →

Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink. — Shunryu Suzuki

 

Doors That Didn’t Necessarily Need to Be Closed

You know, you spend your childhood watching TV, assuming that a some point in the future everything you see there will one day happen to you: that you too will win a Formula One race, hop a train, foil a group of terrorists, tell someone ‘Give me the gun,’ etc. Then you start secondary school and suddenly everyone’s asking you about your career plans and your long-term goals, and by goals they don’t mean the kind you are planning to score in the FA Cup. Gradually the awful truth dawns on you: that Santa Claus was just the tip of the iceberg — that your future will not be the rollercoaster ride you’d imagined, that the world occupied by your parents, the world of washing the dishes, going to the dentist, weekend trips to the DIY superstore to buy floor tiles is actually largely what people mean when they speak… Read more →

Aside

I wonder what the world would be like if we all took responsibility for what we were contributing or not contributing to it.

An Inevitable and Perfect Future

I control the rhythm and length of my strides: a half second for each step, a step and a half for each yard, eighty yards a minute. Of my own free will I am walking toward an inevitable and perfect future. Read more →

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