Building a Narrative, Finding Salvation

Today, while I was talking to my barber, I told her about myself, and she used this word, “Ambitious.” to describe me. She only knows me through my presentation, yet she attempts to prescribe a narrative as to who I am.

When I think about people I admire, I think of the elements that I admire; Long-term planning/action, strength and control, insight, genuine relatability, and many more. Most of these, I lack. So it is no wonder, why I admire to these people.

Much like the barber, I think we are all desperate to create someone. Someone who is better than us, who has better abilities than us, who can complete us.

Most attempt to find completion in marriage. Others, search for a father figure or acceptance from a father figure.

Progressivism, Because Conservatism Failed

Recently I watched “The Two Popes” on Netflix. While it was refreshing to consume media with a spiritual wrapping, the underbelly of the movie seemed to say, “Progressivism is Enlightment”.

This is not an unpopular refrain, in fact, perhaps a bit tired one, to be frank. The idea that “Progressivism” will save us, shows up in social debates about gender, environmental concerns, and political expression.

I think the reason for this, is that conservatism has so deeply failed us.

We tried conservatism, in the form of the Drug War. We were fed that drugs (marijuana) would destroy families and homes. So, those that disobey must be punished. This was the African American communities, the addicts and anyone else who dared to disobey.

The result was nothing. We’ve gained nothing from the Drug War, except the idea that government enforced conservatism is failure.

We also tried conservative flavored war. Following the attacks of 9/11, the government decided that they need to know everything, so that they can protect us. The Patriot Act soon followed, with invasions into the Middle East.

No one knows why we are there. No one knows what we hope to accomplish. No one knows when we will accomplish it. We’ve eroded our own freedoms in the process. But, here we are.

Now, this isn’t a screed against conservatism. This isn’t a sermon praising Progressivism. Progressivism will soon fall, just like its father, Conservatism, as they both rely heavily on the greatest deception of all, Trust In Government.

Our belief in ourselves and the individuals around us, eroded sometime after our belief in God. Now the only thing that has power, seems to be the government, and so in it, we place all power.

Our church-led rituals and personal self-affirmations are replaced by voting and arguments over who the “chosen-one” is to lead (who we only choose through self-identity).

We believe these individuals, once properly ascended on-high, will be endued with power to set everything right, as it should be. We live vicariously through them, knowing that their victory, is our victory; their rule is our rule, only to be betrayed when we realize they are self-actualized beings, fallible in all manners.

The current system loves progressive narratives. We shouldn’t blame it. It used to love conservative narratives, until they failed us.

When progressivism fails, we will not re-examine ourselves. Instead, it will be time to embrace a new story, a new doctrine and a new savior.

Ephesians 4:14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Reject Status, Embrace Strangeness

The happiest and most fulfilled I ever felt, was working 20/hrs a week at a burrito stand and spending the rest of my time programming.

I would love a little bit of oppression, mixed with a carefree attitude to pursue what I want from life.

My job takes all my effort, all my focus, and all my energy. There is nothing left, after the week is finished.

I am so worn out and tired.

I’m torn about leaving though. There’s so much I like and so much I dislike.

Should I prioritize myself over my career? Should my future self, come before my present self?

I gain much in the future, from continuing in this job. I feel as if I lose myself, as I continue in this job.

The greatest gains I’ve had, have come through an embracement of counter-cultural ideals and beliefs. If I rub the lamp, will I find the genie again?

I am at war with myself. I am torn. What should I choose?

Please Oppress Me

Men need a master, and they choose it readily.

Many marry early, choosing a woman too quickly. Or they indulge themselves in a life of plenty, thinking little of the days ahead and consuming much now, only to be smacked later.

Others pick social status. They broadcast their identity throughout their life, easily and readily to anyone who will hear, oppressed by the idea of what others think of them and where they rank.

Few choose chastity, a lifelong devotion to God. Still, the man of God is oppressed by his sin and lack of devotion, as his focus is to remain upward.

Many more will choose ideology, reading and listening to their leaders and high priests, eagerly consuming the words from their gods mouths. “Look how well I listen”, they cry out.

The silliest of them all is the rebel, who is defined only by his environment. He is a boy, immaturely rejecting any embraced aspects of society, and running the other way. He exists only by the presence of others, a character with no identity outside of his habitat.

How do I escape this life? Must I choose an oppressor?

Childhood, Adulthood, The Loop

When you think about the contrast between childhood and adulthood, the most apparent one is the explicit memory of pure joy and the carefree nature you embodied as a kid.

What were your goals as a kid? If you had them, you were probably a bit non-traditional, and considered to have a “head-start” on life. If you were more carefree and less-forward thinking, you had a lot of great moments.

Standard adulthood seems to be straightforward and grueling. Pick your career. This has a high amount of influence on your general perception and linked to your status. You then work to gradually and slowly increase it (status), adding in responsibilities like marriage, kids, and a house while you are moving forward.

Adulthood seems grueling, but it comes with leverage – you are taken seriously and if you are bold enough, you can do anything you want.

Most people just sit back and let life come at them. This is very easy to do, and almost understandable. Work is tough and stressful. But if you never work hard, both on and off the clock, leverage whatever advantages you have, then you’ll always be on loop.

On The Loop

Your time on the loop is relative to the amount of status you’ve gathered in your circles and responsibilities you’ve acquired. If you have a very busy and demanding job, you are almost always on the loop.

Off The Loop

When you are able to do the things you truly want to do, create and produce whatever you truly desire. You’re driven by creativity, not deadlines.

The Problem with Scientificism

In college, I asked a professor if there was any way to improve the scientific method. She laughed and told me of course not.

Perhaps we should recognize that there are limits on this method, and that is this – you can only “know” things which you can observe. By nature, this leaves out a huge portion of reality.

By operating solely by this concept, we can realize that there is a huge portion of knowledge that cannot be attained, simply because we cannot observe it.

There are limits on the scientific method, by the very essence of it being a method. If it is all inclusive, there is no way to accurately evaluate knowledge or information. By placing a filter on it, we are able to accurately sift through a small portion of nature (like physics, mathematics, chemistry).

But, we cannot even begin to figure out extremely complicated systems, like psychology, philosophy or spiritual questions.

Do PhD’s erode knowledge?

With the replication crisis, maybe we should be asking if PhD’s actually erode knowledge? It seems that attaching status to the pursuit of knowledge, corrupts the end result, which is meaningful research.

With the publication of meaningless fluff, it serves to obfuscate the truth. The result in greater uncertainty, and less overall sure knowledge.

At least it appears that way to me.

Afraid of Dying?

Lately, I’ve been thinking of death, quite often. It seems closer than ever.

This time of year, it really likes to come around and poke me to see how I react. This is when I graduated from high school, 5 years ago.

My youth is slipping away. I’m still young. But I can see it go, bit by bit, every single day.

I see every stage in life, as a progression towards death. Dating, marriage, babies, or even graduations, holidays, birthdays. It is all leading somewhere.

I’m racing. Racing to matter. Death seems very close, and if I let him catch me before I figure out how to matter, then he wins.

What’s next?

Today at lunch, I was talking to my coworkers. I brought up the point, of how, at a certain age, there are no expectations for you at all.

You can’t rebel against zero expectations. You can’t go along with expectations, when there are none.

Then, what is the best course of action?

Someone once said, “You should always be working on your best idea.”. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on my best idea. I would love to work on it.

I’ve been focusing lately on maximizing my creativity output, and exploring creatively. This has been so relaxing and freeing, but I feel so compelled to create when I’m locked up at work.

I don’t think a traditional career is a good balance for what I want to do.

I think the best plan of action is to find a balance.

I have a highly desirable skill that I need to leverage.

If I leverage it, I can higher my pay rate, and then lessen the hours I work.

Then, in my extra time, I can pursue work on my best idea and create something worthwhile.

The Narrative Trap

We think of our life as a narrative. It’s easy to write a story about ourselves.

But our life is not a narrative.

When we get too committed to our narrative we make bad decisions, because we mistook our story for a fortune telling.

If you write a story with your life, you’re doing it wrong.

If you run after created narratives (think Steve Jobs), in order to become a hero, you’re doing it wrong.

Becoming your hero does not mean mindlessly copying them.

Your hero exists because what they do is a natural extension of themselves.

So, become like your hero.

Pursue the things you love. Pursue the things you are naturally attracted towards. If you are like your hero, you will excel and be deemed worthy of hero status.

The narrative trap is baited with delusion mixed with inspiration. It produces confusion with anyone it entraps.

Choose creation and self-expression. You’ll be much happier.