It’s (almost) all in our heads

Imagine living in a comic strip where every scene and character is in a separate box, with bubbles above everyone depicting and showing what everyone’s saying and thinking . What the reader would see in the pictures themselves is what is truly happening. What the reader reads inside each bubble above characters’ heads is what the character’s interpretation of what is happening . In other words, what’s inside their minds.

In their heads.

And this is exactly how we all live in our lives: inside of our heads.

Think about it. In your head. If you meet somebody and talk to them for a while and then walk away, you will still have the image of that person in your mind , but not the actual person. When you go to a restaurant and have the wrong plate served to you, you would have an unpleasant image of the restaurant in your mind for a while , but not the actual restaurant.

We fabricate what we decide to interpret in our heads, including people, places, things, and ideas. But we do it so automatically that we don’t notice it. So we live life constantly living and experiencing what our minds interpret, not what is truly out there.

We also create all these labels and ideas in our heads which helps us to identify with something. It could be gender , race, culture, religion, fashion, sports, or a combination of any of these .

It is the same as saying that we create our own realities. We assume that the ideas and images we have in our heads is really “out there.” But it’s not. It is in our minds. So we continue to live the delusions that our minds automatically create. And every time we encounter a new experience, either meeting a new friend, getting a new job, reading the news, or visiting another country , we process what we experience based on our delusions. We filter everything through our biased minds; through our preconceived notions.

It takes a large amount of courage and independent thinking to put our biased preconceived notions aside and experience life as it really is.

Mindfully.

When we meet someone with a different political or religious view, do we see them through our biased mind and delusion , and therefore, judge them as being wrong and delusional themselves? Or can we try to experience them with appreciation and unbiased acceptance ? We don’t have to agree, but we can certainly accept them as fellow human beings worth of respect.

I was seeing a video about a community that believes that the earth is not a globe, but rather a flat plane. My automatic preconceived respond would be to perceive them as ridiculous. But if I put my biased mind aside, I should be able to listen and accept their views even if they’re different than mine. And by doing so, I would be experiencing this moment in life outside of my mind; free from my own created delusions . Even though I still don’t agree with their views .

So stepping aside and experiencing every moment without biased is a difficult task; but it is essential

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We are owned

We think we are free entities.

We believe we have the freedom to choose what we want. We think we have free will and can make our own decisions.

But, we are wrong .

Think about this.

You believe you are an individual, unique person? In the United States (can’t speak for other countries) we are assigned a number when we are born. It is called the “social security number.”

You think you can independently identify yourself? We are also assigned to have a label, it is called “first and last name.”

You think you have freedom to choose your way of life ? Most families raise their children in a religious or cultural organized system and tell them what to believe. They are also taught how to view the world , and it becomes their reality.

You believe you can do whatever you want without restrictions in this society? In reality, we cannot do most things without the government’s permission.

We are not allowed to drive a car unless we have a government appointed license, which we physically have to carry with us every time we drive.

We cannot get an education unless we are assigned a school or a private certified teacher and a student number.

We obtain a job only if we have a government given identification card and ( you guessed it) a social security card.

We cannot get officially married unless the government gives us a marriage certificate. Or have and adopt children without the government forcing us to appoint them a birth certificate or permission ( and a fee) to adopt.

We cannot buy groceries unless we have a currency or food stamp card fabricated only by the government . Even if you go to a food bank, you have to present a government given identification.

We cannot even travel to other countries unless this government gives us the ok to do so through a passport .

Your fingerprints serve as further evidence that the government knows who you are.

We cannot vote for whoever runs in government without being registered by the government itself to vote.

We cannot fish, hunt, carry a weapon, own a farm , or climb a mountain without some sort of government intervention.

We have to dress up a certain way and refrain from being completely naked in public if we don’t want someone to report us to authorities .

We cannot even be homeless without worrying about a government official telling us where we cannot sleep or obtain food, which are basic needs.

Sounds extreme? I agree , but that’s the way it actually is in today’s society.

In summary , we are not free human beings after all.

We are basically owned by the government .

My “Near Death” Experience

Well, today I did something stupid .

I was waiting for our new dryer to be delivered all day. While I waited, I grabbed the new power cord I purchased the day before and tried to plug it in the wall socket to see if it would fit .

I then saw the heavens open in front of me. What I mean was that there was a spark coming out of the socket while trying to plug in the new cord. I jumped.

To my surprise, there was no damage to the wall or myself (that I know of) . I then noticed that the other end of the cord has three metal rings that (dumb me) were touching each other while attempting to plug the other end. They are not supposed to be touching while connecting it to a power source. Here is the result .

So, I read some You Tube videos about what causes sparks to occur while plugging in dryer cords. I then learned that this kind of electrical occurrence could have killed me.

Literally.

So I took a deep breath and counted my blessings.

I was then anxious the rest of the day because I wasn’t sure if the dryer was going to even work. Or if the wall socket was going to need replacement. The delivery guy finally came at the end of the day and I explained what happened. He must be an angel because he was nice enough to provide a new power cord and install it himself. For free.

I hooked up the dryer and, so far, it works.

Lesson learned.

Thanks for reading.

We can do better 

We humans constantly deceive ourselves with false ideas.  We trap ourselves with fabricated concepts about who we are and what we are supposed to be.  This existence we call “Life” is a great mystery that few of us consider exploring further than what our five senses allow us to .  

We complain of feeling depressed.  That’s simply our habit of focusing too much on the past that we regret. It is also our selfish way of thinking only about our perceived mysery which is masked by hopelessness.  We are basically trapped in our own living hell, refusing to look beyond ourselves. 

We miss the big picture . 

We complain of feeling anxious and nervous. That’s simply our habit of focusing  too much on an unfavorable  future which will never happen.  It is also our selfish way of thinking about our own perceived  vulnerability and limitations which is masked by helplessness and fear. It paralyzes us, so we make ourselves stagnated in our own ruminating thoughts.  We are basically trapped in our own living hell , refusing to look beyond ourselves. 

We miss the big picture. 

So we tend to create our own addictions to temporarily and superficially cope with the mysery. We become slaves of technology, slaves of substances , slaves of unhealthy relationships .  We fill our minds with more junk that come from the media, religion, and politics.  We dig a hole in the ground and stick our heads pretending we are okay when in reality we are drowning in our own created hell. 

We miss the big picture . 

But we have a choice. 

We can look beyond ourselves and start looking at the bigger picture.  We can start by accepting our mortality and be ok with it.  We can consider the fact that we are not alone in this existence and start helping each other instead . We can escape from our own selfish mysery. 

Donate . Volunteer .  Visit.  Assist.  Serve. 

Reach out to others in need and we will automatically be helping ourselves.  Like living cells that help each other to maintain the organism alive.  Our planet is the organism. 

When death comes, let’s mourn together. When hunger and disaster strike us, let’s assist each other . When blessings come, let’s celebrate together.  Let us embrace our humanness, including our  limitations along with our strengths. 

Not in our own selfish, individual mysery.  But collectively and selflessly in cooperation.  

Let us embrace our fellow human beings. 

Identifying with the self

What makes us who we are? How do we determine our personalities ? Does the self even exist ?

Identifying with the “self” is what determines our feelings and perceptions. If I identify with the concept of being a “husband” , and my wife leaves me, then I would feel distraught..   If I identify with the concept of being a “professional” -and somehow I lose my professional license , I would feel ashamed and sad.  If I identify with the idea of being an “American citizen” and a terrorist attach occurs in my country, I would feel anger and rebellious.  But only if I choose to identify myself with these entities.  But do these entities really exist ?

It’s like living a comic strip where the bubbles above our heads are our thoughts and perceptions which we believe to be true … and which we choose to identify with.  

I read a quote the other day that said:

“As soon as we are born, we are assigned a name , a nationality, a religion, a race , a sports team. We will spend the rest of our lives defending a false identity.”

This is so true.  We are given several identities , simply because we feel that we need to belong to a certain organization or group so that we don’t feel vulnerable .  We need to think that we are part of a whole so that we are not alone. So that we can distract ourselves from the inevitable destiny we call “death.” We decide to continue to live an illusion that keeps us in a dream like state and prevents us from experiencing confusion and chaos.

But we can’t escape it forever. We will eventually realize and accept the fact that our various identities ; our numerous fictitious entities that we desperately try to defend and justify, are meaningless and useless when we are facing our final days.

It bothers us when things end because  we don’t like to admit our mortality.  We feel  sad  when a vacation ends … We feel disappointed  when our favorite sport team loses.  We often experience sadness when a loved one moves away or decides not to be our friend anymore.  We rather want  the pleasurable experience to go on.  It is like going to the theatre and enjoying a movie even if it’s fictitious, and we don’t want the movie to end because that would mean exiting  the theatre and facing reality again.  We rather stay inside and continue to enjoy the fictitious movie. We prefer  to pretend to be immortal and prevent having to face the reality of our existence.

We prefer to stay inside the “womb” which keeps us warm and comfortable.

But the closer we get to our inevitable death, the more meaningless all the fictitious fabricated identities become.  And the more we are forced to accept our true identities.

Going back to the “bubbles” above our heads, which represents our thoughts, can illustrate how we live our lives. We mostly live inside our heads.  Inside our thoughts and perceptions. We rarely get out of our thoughts and face reality.  We don’t usually live in the present moment.

But we need to, if we want to live this life more fully.

And the question remains : what is outside of our heads? What is this so called “reality”? What would we be facing when we live in the present moment ?

Peace.  Serenity.   Freedom.  Acceptance.

I will continue on this topic at a later post .

Life lessons (so far)

In my forty two years of existence I have  learned to live one day at a time.  I have reached a moment of existential crisis where I have started to question the basic belief system I have taken for granted.  These are the lessons I have learned (so far) in this existence we call life:

Be yourself (without trying to please others )

Be compassionate

I came alone in this world so I’ll be leaving on my own as well

I don’t owe anybody anything

I dont own anything , not even the body I find myself in.

The self may not even exist or be real

Be patient

Technology is mostly a misused instrument

I don’t have to explain anything to anyone if I don’t want to

Religion is a hoax (So is politics )

Detaching myself from thoughts and beliefs  that trigger old feelings of fear and sadness is the key to peace and joy.

It’s basically all in me head.

We love life mostly by identifying with the fabricated ego.

We hate death mostly because it is the path to the unknown (and its inevitable)

Identifying with a false entity, either an upsetting memory of past event (abusive past), a particular ethnic group, a disease or illness, political view, a belief system, an organization, or a fashion (just to name a few)  is what determines most of our personality and attitude (ego)  and, therefore, our behaviors.

This false identify can be changed with practice.

I will keep you posted on any other lessons on life.. thanks for reading .  

Our Destiny

I wake up from a dream… or a comma. I am in a hospital bed. The room feels cold. There is a big window on my right. Sunlight is shinning and giving the room a peaceful atmosphere.
I noticed that the nurses and doctors around me look different… they don’t seem normal. I try to adjust my vision. Oh…wait! they are not even humans! They are actually machines. They look like humans. They move and walk like humans. I am scared! But at the same time I am curious. Another figure comes to the room. This one looks more real… more human.
“Hello… my name is Dr. Smith” she smiles. “How are you feeling?”
I stare at her… studying her face.
“Don’t worry, you are safe here.. ” the doctor assures. She looks young, maybe in her thirties. Long brown hair, and brown skin.
“Where am I..?” I ask puzzled, looking around at the standing machines that resemble humans.
“You are at the hospital…” answers the friendly doctor. “You suffered a car accident and went into a comma. ”
“For how long… I ask, not sure if I want to know the answer.
“Ten years…” answers the doctor with a more serious expression.
“You are kidding me… right?” I am petrified.
“We have been monitoring you all these years… and you finally came through.” answers the doctor. “We are excited that you recovered consciousness.!”
I look around again at the other standing figures. They look metallic, with wires coming in and out of their bodies. One of them has a flat screen, like a computer screen, for a head.
“These are our MAMMs... they are harmless…:” explains the doctor.
“MAMMs..?’ I ask.
Medical Assistant and Monitoring Machines … they help us with vital signs, transporting, and companionship,” the doctor continues to explain. “They are our latest technological advances in the medical field.
I notice that the doctor is wearing a strange looking headphone. He suddenly pulls a thin set of goggles from behind her head to her nose to see through them.
“Your blood pressure and sugar level look fine for now. We will continue to monitor them. You are feeling cold, though, so I will have the MAMMs adjust the room temperature. You also seem to be hungry, is that correct.?”
How did she know? I ask myself. The doctor then leaves the room and leaves me alone in my bed with these strange looking machines. They beep and have lights that flashes. One of them speaks.
“We will give you food in approximately ten minutes…” it sounded human. It was actually a nurse that appeared on the screen of one of the standing machines.
After the meal, I am escorted by one of the machines to the hospital patio on a power chair. The chair also seems to have its own “personality.” It has a small screen on one of the sides that continuously checks my pulse.  I finally breath fresh air.  It is a bright, crisp morning.
I look around and see both real people and MAMMs walking around. Some of the people are eating lunch at tables. Others are simply siting down. But they all are wearing the same kind of goggles that the doctor was wearing. They don’t seem to notice my presence. I don’t recognize any of them.  Some of them are talking, but they don’t seem to be talking to anyone.  They seem to be clueless of what is happening around them.

I finally leave the hospital premises and try to catch a taxi driver.  There are none in sight.  So I start walking. I don’t recall any of my family members.  So I don’t have a place to go.  There are people everywhere. And they are all wearing the same goggles.  There are some machines walking around as well.  Nobody talks or communicate to each other.  It is hard to even distinguish between the humans and the walking machines.  I decide to approach and ask one of the standing pedestrians about my location.

“Excuse me…!” the lady is startled.  She looks at me as if she is seeing a ghost. Then she looks away and continues to ignore me.  Her goggles are a metallic purplish color.

“Excuse me… may I ask you a question. Where is the nearest hotel?” I insist.

The lady looks at me puzzled. “Are you talking to me..?” she asks. She seems to be in her late forties, African American, professionally dressed. Her makeup is bright and excessive. She also seems to be uncomfortable with my presence.

“Well yes I am… can you tell me where is the nearest  hotel.?” I ask again, keeping my distance.

“Hold on!” she says with an attitude. She takes a real close look at me in amazement.  Then she looks away as if looking into space.  She puts her right hand to the side of her head, as if pressing her ear, and utters, “Nearest hotels…”  A few seconds pass, and then she looks back at me and says, “There are three hotels off of 3rd avenue down the road, about a couple of blocks away.  There are like five more on 5th avenue and two on Main street.” she points with her right index finger as she speaks.

“Thanks..” I respond. “How did you figure it out so quick?” I ask her.

“Well… my ‘Igles’, of course!,” answers the lady. She pronounced it, “eye-gls.”

Igles?…What is that?” I ask.

The lady laughs hysterically .  “Where have you been, young man?” asks the lady in a condescending tone of voice. “Have you been living in a cave or something ?” she asks cynically.

“I have been in a comma, ma’am..” I say.

She laughs again.  She does not believe me.  The lady then repeats again, “These are ‘Igles’.  Intelligent Goggles. Get it?” she continues her condescending tone of voice. “Any other questions..?” she asks.

“No …. thank you.”

She then walks away. I notice she puts her right hand on her ear, and  starts talking again, but there is no one around her. She begins a conversation… with nobody.  “You won’t believe who I just happen to meet on the street….!” I could hear her saying as she continues to walk away.

I look around me.  Everyone is doing the same thing.  Adults and children.   Even people driving in their cars are wearing the same goggles.  Did these goggles replace the cell phones?   I look up at some of the billboards that seem to be floating in the air next to the skyscrapers.  One of the billboards is advertising the next generation of communication technology: “I-lenses”.  Does that stand for “Intelligent lenses”?  They seem to be contact lenses that people can wear inside their eyes which can also be used to communicate with each other and browse the internet. There are other billboards announcing computer chips that can be inserted in people’s heads  to change their visions and hearing.

I ask myself: “What have we become…?” I am petrified.  I am lost.  People around me are browsing the internet, communicating to other people, using their goggles.  And there are advertising about moving this technology  further to the point of  interfering with our natural five senses! Nobody recognizes what is happening in front of them or around them.  They all seem to be living in their own world…..

Does this story seem unreal to you?  Just look around you.