I've been having a long-standing argument with the boyf about assholes. I am sick of being civil, considerate, understanding to assholes. If someone is being an asshole, they've disqualified themself from being human. So why do I have to act considerate or nice or eat their shit?
Is there a good reason to be nice and considerate to people who are assholes? Cause I'm done with them.
"How were you able to make the shift to the slowness/awareness? Are you able to sustain it currently?"
Mkat, since I wrote this post, I have practiced and felt both the same and also fallen back into old ruts of rushing and competition with my fellow humans.
How does one make the shift to slowness/awareness? It is simply, taking the time to breathe. This is easier typed than done, because it takes discipline and self-remembering. Remembering what is important to you. Discipline to not get swept up under/into the influence of someone/trend/idea that you do not want to be in/that is not true for you. (e.g. The rat race, the 60 hour work week, the genius student, self-important, ego-centric, etc. etc.)
Spending time directly exposed to Nature (not watching discovery channel) can profoundly slow you. It can be sitting in your tiny backyard garden. Expose yourself to Nature. Do not DO anything in it. Just BE. If you can't directly experience Nature, find a picture you took of a beautiful natural place and remember your experience of being there hypno-visionary style.
Doing this can bring a sense of calm that continues when you go to engage with other beings and technological entities.
Are you able to sustain it currently? I must admit, I am currently having some trouble maintaining this relaxed connected calm. I am somewhat currently over-extended, what with my ~50 hour a week job and 2 graduate classes for my Master's degree. In addition, I can not help but continue to move forward slowly on my other projects, passions, research desires.
It is not that any of these activities is particularly hard, it is the time they require to be done well. I am able to get these done with a satisfactory ability, but it is not at my level of excellence. Knowing I am not producing my best work, but necessary to hit deadlines (or nearly hit them). Do I go with "Better Done than Half Begun?" worrying about Good killing Great? Or do I kill myself with perfection, pushing the deadline, never satisfied?
So the answer to that question, more recently, is no, I have not been able to sustain it. But there are times, like this morning, when the earth is fresh after a night of rain. The sun is out, it is cool, the sidewalks still moist as the dog clicks his nails on them. The wind blows freshness across my body and I feel rejuvenated. Enjoying my work at home day, I open all the windows and let the wind into the house, bringing it's crisp clean moist smell. And here, while I sit at my computer, I am connected again. To the earth and nature and even to you in answering your questions.
I could not resist the overnight in Moab, Utah on the return of my voyage to the edge of the great plains. I had spent the morning traversing the rockies, eyes taking their fill of the mountains of rock, the golden aspens streaking the sides of mountains and had descended into the great Utah plateau. Dry land expanded as far as my eyes could see, a plateaued mountain range off in the distance stood under a thin line of glass table top clouds. My road was a ribbon of black electrical tape, stretched across the land.
I turned south and in a short time, was surrounded by red rock cliffs, arches, gorgeous jagged plateaus bathed in the glow of late afternoon. My legs ached from driving, so I went in search of hiking and found it in the nearby National Park. As I drove that ribbon road, I was reminded of the first time I saw this land. Prehistoric. Unreal. It was just as gorgeous.
I found myself on a short hike through walls of rock. The ground was moist from the morning dew. The air still cool, and birds flitted and swooped. I stopped to watch one, perched in the top of a pine. His blue contrasted with the dark green tree and orange-red rocks. The bird was lean and perfectly proportioned. I thought of Wallstreet's greed. What would those people look like metaphorically transformed into a similar bird? I thought of something, a professor had said the previous day. About the end of the world, and resilience being more important than sustainability in the short run. He's right, of course. My mind wandered to alternate scenarios of the future riffing off one of my favorites: Logan's Run. (A financial logan's run, whereas after you have made $N (500k?) you must die.)
I'm worried for Americans. We do not seem to be as resilient as we used to be. But then I look at the world, the animals, people in third world developing nations, and that's where the resilience is. I have no fear for humanity, the earth. True, we are fragile. We have lived in harsher times, in harsher conditions. From those harsh mines, machines were forged, electricity discovered and an improved quality of life. But Americans have become like fat Gods. They/We/I have forgotten the harsh times, the hard labor and the difficulty of manifesting an idea in our world. This forgetting concerns me.
There is much much more to discover. To create. We must become like the learn bird and shed our fat indolence.