Friday, April 3, 2020

You May Be Right (Even If You Think You’re Wrong)

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Have you ever said something only to soon regret it?

Sure, you have. We all have.

But in this case, I’m not referring to anything mean, embarrassing, or foolish as you’re probably thinking.

I’m instead referring to the times when we say something intending to help someone, at their request, only to part ways and think that we should have said something different. As if, although we’d meant well, what we’d said seems more or less half-baked and may have left the person dissatisfied.

What I’d like you to consider is that what you’d said may have been just fine, even if you think otherwise.

It’s about What’s Needed, Not What’s Wanted.

One time someone asked me if I knew anything about a certain powder-form, high-nutrient dietary supplement.

From what I recall, I told the person that I’d never heard of it, that a lot of such products may have some nutritional benefits but are usually marketing gimmicks, and then I recommended that he make sure to eat plenty of whole, nutrient-dense foods.

Later on I looked up the product info. Being that the questioner had diet-related health problems and the product might have been a help to him, I got thinking that maybe I should contact the guy and tell him that he might find it useful to give the supplement a try.

At first I’d felt kind of guilty as though I’d given a lousy answer, like I should have thought more deeply about the question and then responded differently.

I later came to realize, however, that, even though I’d initially felt as though I’d sort of screwed up, I hadn’t actually screwed up at all.

The thing is, knowing what the person’s diet was like, without realizing what I was doing, I told him exactly what he needed to hear at that time.

Yes, true, maybe the supplement he’d asked about could have been of benefit to him. But supplementation was really beside the point because what was vastly more important in his particular circumstance was that he begin focusing on eating plenty of whole foods.

You Can’t Hear What Others Are Saying When You’re Too Busy Thinking about What You Wish They Were Saying but Aren’t.

This next instance is similar but different. Although I wasn’t directly asked for help, help certainly could have been a natural consequence. What positive came out of this, I really can’t say.

One time I was talking with a few somewhat older women and telling them, at their inquiry, about dietary changes I’d recently made.

I said something to the effect that I’d been eating lots of whole foods and had taken all processed and sugary foods out of my diet.

I said that I’d begun noticing how my body has improved and changed in ways I’d never seen before—as though my body had always wanted to do certain things but wasn’t able to because I’d always somewhat undereaten as well as had eaten a lot of junk food. Specifically, I’d mentioned that changing to a healthier diet caused more hair to grow on my body.

As you can probably imagine, this didn’t go over very well. Telling an older woman, or perhaps any woman, that eating a wholesome diet can potentially cause them to grow more hair is not the best marketing tactic for healthy eating (unless they have hair-loss problems, of course).

After my conversation, I hadn’t mulled this one over as I had the instance regarding the powder supplement, but I did think that maybe I should’ve used a different example.

I came to realize, however, that how any of those people chose to interpret my words is not my business. Indirectly, I could have been interpreted as saying, Eat real food because it’s the only food that works to make you and keep you healthy, that allows your body to function according to the ideal template of “you” stored in your DNA.

If someone chooses to shallowly interpret my words through distorted lenses of fear or self-depreciation or the like, such is not my problem in instances like these.

I did my job: I answered the question in an informed, honest, friendly manner.

I said what people needed to hear—but if people actually heard what I said is up to them.

Our Job's Reach Is No Further than Halfway.

I share this with you because I want you to know that even though we sometimes think we’d said or done the “wrong” thing, that maybe we shouldn’t have been so spontaneous or impulsive, there are definitely cases where this is not so.

If we’d look deeper into why any others who we’re involved with might have needed the exact experience we’d shared with them, we might find that we’d actually said or done the right thing—or, at least, a better thing than if we had spent more time to think before speaking or acting.

All the while, it’s important that we lean toward judging these situations based on what we provide, rather than judging solely in terms of the reactions others have to us.

While it is always possible that we could have either flubbed or said or done better, the fact is that people react based on their conditioning 99.938% of the time; meaning, unless we’d have told them exactly what they’d wanted to hear—something they may not even know—it could be that all reactions would be less-than-positive.

It’s our job to respond reasonably to others' questions, needs, etc. in any given situation and to continue conversing/interacting with others in such a way, but it’s usually not in our place, unless requested, to tell others how they should react to or think about our responses to them; it’s not our job to fight to make sure that we’re understood by others in the same way we understand ourselves.

How others react and think is based on their conditioning (beliefs, fears, education, and so on), and this is not something that any of us can forcefully change.

Even the wisest human changes no one, for it is only the individual, by self-willingness, that can change his- or herself.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

"It's Only Going to Get Worse."

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



“It’s only going to get worse.”

Or, “It’s only going to get worse before it gets better.”

When?

Do you say these things?

Do you say them repeatedly, almost like a mantra, whenever societal hardship arises?

If so, I ask you: When does it end?

How awful does our world (or the latest pandemic, war, famine, political regime, etc.) have to get, by your reckoning, before it will cease to get any worse?

What point must we reach before you see it as acceptable either for a clear-cut end to occur or for things to at least turn around?

Can we turn around right now?

Could we have started turning around one year or three decades ago, but maybe it’s just hard for you to see because your fear- and belief-derived (-deranged) perceptions are unhealthy, and you believe the world, especially the media, as they forever reinforce their negative viewpoint into you?

Or can’t we turn things around until there’s a one world government and everybody is RFID-chipped and jacked up on GMO food and toxic vaccinations while living in slave camps?

Or does WWIII have to happen first, and, maybe, simultaneously, “The Elect” will be whisked into heaven while those who remain will have to fight to the death as the planet dies?

When is enough enough?

We, Creators

To this last question you may reply that it’s not up to you to decide when enough is enough.

How sure are you of this?

What if it is up to you?

People are so bent on avoiding their own thoughts as causes while blaming others for the injustices of the world, all while waiting for the world to get better by way of governments, gods, or guns.

Even for many of those who do acknowledge that personal responsibility is required, they still only take responsibility for themselves when that responsibility is convenient, when it doesn’t stir up too much repressed emotion, say, or when a favored “authority” figure advises it.

But isn’t it true that where we are right now is an accumulation of everything we’ve thought, said, and done in the past?

Yes.

There’s nowhere else to place the blame.

To change, then, to improve, it only makes sense that, individually and collectively, we have to think, speak, and act differently.

The Path Less Traveled

However awful this world may seem, things don’t have to turn out this way.

Or maybe they do, since these are the things that the majority of the population pours their energy into.

And what is attentive energy but the energy of creation?

For me, I choose to place my attention elsewhere.

This isn’t to say that I avert my eyes while standing cold and careless at a distance.

But for the most part, the things that so heavily trouble others and once troubled me have nothing to do with me now because they have nothing to do with the future I intend to create—one in which the world I live in is only going to get better.

I hope you’ll change your mind and come with me.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

I Call Your Bluff

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness


Dear You,

I love you. I love you so much.

But you have to convert to my religion or I’ll dump you. You have to convert to my religion because my religion demands it. And if you have your own religion—to hell with it.

You know, I’m not really even all that into my religion, and I know you’ll never quite accept mine—you may only say you accept it because you love me just as you think I love you (your non-conversion would separate us, of course)—but entertain me and learn about and pretend to believe in the doctrines and participate in the rituals anyway.

Do this for me because I’m too afraid to walk away from my religion because there’s too much familial and social pressure to uphold the status quo. I love you so very much, but, to be honest, I’m more seriously in love with my fear of authoritative disapproval, of abandonment, of losing familial affection.

Forever yours (unless…),

Me


Have you ever gotten married and converted religions to do so?

If you’ve answered yes, unless you’re one of what I imagine are only a few uncommon cases, I call your bluff.

I call your bluff that you actually believe in the religion you converted to.

The Paths of Most Believers

Most people believe in a given religion because they’d been raised in it from birth.

Since people tend to follow the herd and never ask their burning questions, say the uncomfortable things, and avoid walking their own path, being raised in a religion from birth can be compared to being in a culture where every child is raised by two parents: having two parents is so prevalent that people may not think otherwise or may avoid the notion of other possible paths as being taboo; cultures in which children are raised as members of a community (as with some indigenous cultures), for example, are given minimal-to-no attention. Peoples' respective religions are what they know, they're "how it is."

I would guess the next most likely reasons for religious belief are because, one, people think they have to have a religion and, two, religion just happened to show up at their door at a time in their religionless lives when things seemed particularly hopeless and in need of upliftment (i.e.: a “savior”).

Even in the most frequently occurring cases, belief isn’t actually as solid as it may appear.

I don’t mean this in the sense that people don’t cling strongly to their religions, but that whatever their religious beliefs are built on is quite fragile. (Hence, all the religious wars and segregation and the like—people are seriously scared that their faith and their God is false, and they fight and persecute “other” for the sake of self-protection.)

Moving away from the above cases, the strength of peoples’ religious beliefs increasingly wanes. People usually just don’t have enough knowledge, trust, awareness, interest, and so on to muster up the conviction to be true believers.

I can't help but think that most of those who convert religions for the sake of marriage come in somewhere fairly low on the list.

I Call Your Bluff

As regards these marriage-driven religious converts, when did the converts start caring about their new religions?

Months or years before they’d met the person of the religion they had to marry into? Gradually through the time they were dating? Or conveniently when the partner who demanded the religious conversion told the other partner to convert or leave?

And what does this say about the ones who've chosen to convert?

So the person falls in love with someone (or thinks they do) and maybe just dumps off their former religion because it doesn’t complement their new partner?

I’m certainly not going to tell people to put their religion before those they love if there’s a sharp contrast that can’t be accepted as is. This is, personally, because I very much dislike and disagree with religion. However, for supposed believers, it’s often their salvation that’s imagined to be on the line.

Isn't salvation seen as more important than a few fleeting years with a particular partner, or didn't they believe in or care much about the salvation claim to begin with, or what?

If they weren't really into it to begin with, what's with the weakness of not walking away sooner, and how does this weakness equate with joining some new religion not for one's self but as prodded by a claimed "necessity" of someone else?

Furthermore, of all the world’s religions and tens of thousands of smaller sects, what are the chances that a convert’s new religion really actually resonates with them? Does it resonate at all?

What about someone who converts, say, from Christianity to Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism, or the reverse?

In asking this question, I don't mean to imply that all these religions have rules denying marriage to those of differing religions; I simply ask the question in the sense of expressing the dramatic shift of direction potentially required for a person to go from one religion to another.

For as big of a deal as religion apparently is, to convert primarily or only because of marital demands seems highly suspect as to how much the convert even cares.

This is sort of like when people look for a new job, apply to 400 different places through an online job search database, and to every single company they write in their cover letters how they like what the company has to offer and what the company is about.

Are they being honest? Are they, really? In most cases, no, because such unwavering interest isn't reasonable. By and large, people are merely trying to sound appealing in order to acquire work to get paid so they don’t die.

Who honestly cares that much?

Again, I’ll give a couple people the benefit of the doubt. But I really don’t think it’s reasonable to believe that most people who convert religions for the sake of marriage are all that into it, no matter what they may show outwardly.



[Aside:] Why, Religion?

What’s with religions’ demands regarding forced conversion, anyway?

Are they just fooling themselves, or looking for new bodies as revenue streams? Is it a source of power and pride? Is it a black magic way of stealing new names and claiming ownership over souls?

Religions can’t vet every single one of their followers to see if they truly believe or not, and, as much as they often judge like crazy, religions aren’t set up in such a way as to kick out the “imperfect.”

But to make conversion demands, especially nowadays, knowing that either current followers may leave because they won’t put their future spouses through the conversion or they’ll pick up new converts that don’t truly believe seems irrational (at least to me) unless the reasons are selfish, if not conniving.

What are convert-or-be-gone religions looking to get?

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Living to Die: Culture-Assisted Suicide

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



I want to tell you about something.

You probably won’t like it and will think I’m going overboard by saying it.

After all, although it’s utterly insane, it’s also quite normal.

You therefore probably know it quite intimately, just as nearly every one of us do in one way or ten others.

It’s culture-assisted suicide.

Kino

I recently watched the anime Kino’s Journey (originally, Kino no Tabi). (2003 series: Kino’s Journey. 2017 series: Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series.) Kino is a traveler of an alternate world. She goes from country to country on her motorcycle Hermes and never spends more than three days in a given place.

What’s striking about each of Kino’s encounters is that the residents of each location always turn out to have one glaringly peculiar trait about them for which they, themselves, are completely oblivious to the glaringly peculiar nature of.

What’s so powerful about Kino’s Journey is that we, as viewers, are shown individual yet highly magnified slivers of our own societal problems.

Typically when we watch TV or a movie of a more or less contemporary setting, we’re given a real world atmosphere; said differently, the settings include all the wonders and woes within day-to-day living. In this way, we don’t necessarily see the backwardsness of our ways as the stories unfold because, mixed in with everything else, it looks normal. Nothing may seem particularly “off” about it unless it’s of primary importance to the plot of the story.

Kino’s Journey takes a different approach by using each country to express one major distortion, each a mirror of our real world experience, as the basis for the residents’ way of life. There's so little else included setting- and script-wise that it becomes impossible for a viewer to miss how backwards the ways of our real world actually are.

A Visit to the U.S.

If there were an episode about Kino visiting a place that mirrored the U.S., a sliver of glaring peculiarity we might learn of is culture-assisted suicide—something that’s horrific yet so commonplace and desirous to the residents that they can’t even see how horrific it is.

You see, in this country, we have a very strong tendency toward self-destructive behavior—people willfully imbibe in societally approved practices for long-term suicide.

Think, for example, of drinking alcohol.

People are forever finding reasons to justify their drinking problems—to hide the issues beneath them—and these justifications can be so foolish.

For instance, people go to work and get all stressed out (never mind that they don’t do anything to quell the stress in a healthy manner), and then they leave work and hit the bar for “Happy Hour.” Hmm. “Happy” is it? If it’s really happy hour, why are people getting intoxicated, for one thing—shouldn’t people be able to be happy without forcing their consciousness out of their bodies?—and, secondly, how can anyone really be happy when the price is the ingestion of a depressant?

And there’s no doubt that plenty of drinkers know they’re damaging their livers, know they won’t be able to function properly until the alcohol wears off, know they may black out and even die if they drink too much (college, anyone?), and so on. Yet they keep on with it.

Drinking alcohol offers the triple-threat of disease, sadness, and life removal. If every choice is a matter of life or death, of making or unmaking, alcohol consumption is definitely not on the constructive side.

Another example is unhealthy eating.

I would estimate that at least 80% of what is on the shelves of most grocery stores is garbage food. It’s laden with unhealthy fats and refined sugars, it’s “fortified” with vitamin and mineral substitutes that the body cannot even properly utilize, it’s got all sorts of unnatural colors and preservatives and the like, and the list goes on.

Even in terms of homemade baked goods, there are countless people who’ve little to no control when it comes to, say, eating a small desert after dinner and being done with it. And the truth is that these deserts are usually merely fancy-shaped and baked wads of refined fat and sugar—that is, edible diabetes.

No one in history has ever eaten so terribly as the people of the US and no one has ever been so sick. Yet we just continue running headlong into it. Even those who know better often continue on like Eh. Diabetes? Can’t happen to me.

And diabetes is the tip of the iceberg compared to all the possible long-term consequences and other havoc that high blood-sugar wreaks on the body—including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Can anyone honestly tell me that this isn’t some kind of death wish?

Unexpected Places

Sometimes causes of self-destruction can be found where we’d least expect it.

An example of this is excess running. Running can be a healthy part of anyone’s life. However, there are many people who are not running because they truly enjoy it or because it is in any way productive—although they may certainly think it to be so—but because they are, internally, running away from something.

This excess running as a metaphor for running away is unconsciously done, but this doesn’t make the truth of it any less real, nor the effects any less harmful. It has been shown that frequent fast-paced, long-distance running puts a great deal of stress on the heart and creates micro-tears and scarring that eventually lead to major heart complications and even death.

The heart is a metaphor for our capacity for and expression of love. Damaging the heart, even if unconsciously, is a sign of a lack of self-love. If the repressed mental-emotional issues that cause the damaging behavior were to be resolved, the damaging behavior would cease automatically. The behavior only exists as an effect of the programming.

At the end of the day, due to the conditions under which excessive running may occur, and does occur for many, running can be a form of slow-onset suicide.

To point out, I acknowledge that there are some people or groups of people who run excessively and are doing just fine. I don’t think this is at all a contradiction of supposed facts, and I can think of several reasons why these people are different from others.

The one reason I want to mention in particular is similar to what I’d just mentioned: the mental-emotional condition, both consciously and unconsciously, of any given runner.

It’s not just thoughts and behaviors that change when a person has mental-emotional burdens, even if repressed: the body changes also and, depending upon the issues, a given person may breathe differently, shift into an unnatural posture, experience hormonal and nutrient imbalances, and so forth.

Surely, these “invisible” alterations can have a significant impact on whether one is able to run faster and for greater distances (or do anything at all, really) with lesser to no harm to one’s self—and here in the US, people carry a lot of these “invisible” alterations.

The Code of Silence

The list of means of culture-assisted suicide is quite long. And why not? It’s effectively the bedrock of this country’s culture.

As far as I’m concerned, the list even includes items such as submittal to The Man.

At times, depending on a given person’s circumstances, standing up for what’s right isn’t worth, say, losing a job, going to prison, or being killed over. There’s a time and place for everything and everyone.

However, the vast majority of the time, whether citizens to their government, employees to their bosses, or children to their parents, people have not been acting when they would do well to act, and their lives have become increasingly more miserable in consequence.

People remain silent externally while their insides continue churning, Oh, I failed. Oh, I can’t speak up. I’m such a weak loser. I’m unworthy. It’s too dangerous.

This fear-focused, worthless, depressive, victim-mentality takes a serious toll on people. It causes them to gradually (and sometimes rapidly) self-destruct, whether through resultant harmful behaviors or the mind’s own power and diseased reflection on the physical body.

Each act withheld in regret, in self-denial and -degradation, becomes another strand in the invisible rope that eventually forms to become the noose that takes so very many lives.

Suicide is the ultimate escape (or so it would seem to the living, anyway). But since most people don’t have it in them to kill themselves right out and still have too many other worldly attachments, the escape becomes a very slow, painful one—one that nearly everyone accepts but only a few dare acknowledge.

Ignorance Is Bliss, Huh?

While it may sound over-the-top for me to be claiming the described behaviors as suicidal, I ask you, if they aren’t, what, then, are they?

No matter how pretty things may look in-the-moment, no matter how funny some of the stories of self-destructive acts may seem in hindsight (e.g.: “How ‘bout that time we got really drunk in college…”), no matter how normal circumstances may be, individual and collective perception doesn’t and can’t change the objective view that countless people are constantly seeking ways to snuff out their own lives in a culturally approved fashion.

And, yes, sure, many people are oblivious to the correlation between their harmful actions and the self-destructive effects—many don’t even know that their actions are harmful.

However, this doesn’t matter in the sense that the awareness of and action on what is right and good should intuitively come to us automatically because it’s the way of Life, because it’s naturally what happens when there are no unnatural blocks inhibiting Life’s flow.

Not knowing that eating sugar cereal, potato chips, and fast food all day will cause a person to get diabetes doesn’t do anything to prevent a person from getting diabetes. Even in ignorance, people act in accordance with their state of consciousness: whether this be of a higher and lighter orientation or of lower and darker, they will choose that of like resonance.

Our culture is one founded on drawn-out assisted suicide because that is what our collective consciousness has been resonating with.

Seeking Sanity

The fact of the matter is: happy, healthy, empowered, self-loving people simply don’t choose paths of self-destruction.

This is not to say that any such person will never have a drink or a smoke or run a marathon. This isn’t about periodically getting one’s toes wet or breaking through one’s seeming limitations if it truly feels right to them.

What this is about is a culture that is literally built on self-destructive behaviors—on living lives that are so problematic that people don’t even realize how problematic they are, while maintaining abundant resources, not for awareness and healing, but for the proliferation and endorsement of suicidal tendencies.

Remember Kino? Kino is a traveler who never spends more than three days in a given country. She says she does this because she feels that to stay a fourth day would make her want to settle down.

However, after seeing a bunch of the countries she’s visited and assuming that they accurately represent the whole, I can’t help but wonder if maybe there’s something about Kino’s three-day-stay rule that she never speaks: The people in nearly every country, though often seemingly decent at first, are, with very rare exception, quite insane, and so her best bet is to never stop moving.

Certainly, there are good parts in the U.S. as we know it. Yet, for most people, the culture-assisted suicide part is quite overwhelming—it’s the context in which most people live their day-to-day lives.

What visitor, who is truly sane and knows differently, would want to settle down in this place where the vast majority of people live in an effort to die?