Chapter 5, Part 6. If a tree fell in the woods and no one was around to hear it would it make a sound?

Okay, so there is no need to explain this question in much detail. The principle is simple. If no one is around the tree to hear it crash then does this mean that the sound ever existed?

Now in today’s age you will have to forget about sound waves from the sound which ripple onward through the world and beyond crashing into other soundwaves. And let’s also forget about the obvious bugs and microbes that would also be able to hear/feel the impact of the fall. Or… Do we forget?

This within itself is a wonderful insight to the fact that this world is more than just humans. It also contains living things so small that they can not be seen with the naked eye. In fact, in Quantum Mechanics life is particles, and therefore everything is life. We never truly die as we ourselves are made of particles and these particles don’t die just because our body breaks down. Particles go on and on. They are not fixed in time and they do not work to our laws of physics. The very thing that we are made of and that everything is made of is beyond our comprehension. Therefore, bringing it back to the tree, we must acknowledge that we are never truly alone when life is active 24/7, even if it is so small that we can’t even comprehend it. So, does that blow your mind? No! Okay, I’ll try harder.

The real point of this tree question is to get you to a point of true wonder, that moment of inspiration where pure insight smacks you across the face like a cold fish. I am sure you have had multiple of these moments across your life. You probably have received it by thinking about how small you are in the universe or possibly how you don’t have all the answers to life. Or maybe it’s not so bold, it’s possibly just a realisation of who you are or how you perceive a part of your reality. Maybe it’s a reflection of how short life is or how fast time fly’s by, but regardless,  it’s a moment when you have true insight and presence which makes you forget about everything else. It’s like the world just opened up to you for a split second which was enough time for you to get interested yet not enough time to hold onto. It’s an amazing experience.

Looking beyond our basic everyday perception is something that can be challenging to our psychology. This is why we hang out in similar groups and with others that agree with our belief systems. We are more comfortable having others reinforce that we are correct. Yet if we are willing to go beyond this, think a little bit harder and challenge the fundamentals of our core beliefs, well, then that is when true insight comes.

Knowing everything is knowing nothing. Whilst finding ourselves or following a spiritual path (or whatever it is that people decide to do) it is important to remain open minded. Our path is defined by our perception and our beliefs, therefore, the more walls you break down the more doors that open up. Spirituality leads this line of thought yet as already discussed above, science also follows the understanding that many things (at this stage in human evolution) are far beyond our comprehension.

So the point of this blog is this. If you are willing to do so it is great to play with your perception. Seeking unanswerable questions and then pondering on them is not a waste of time yet a learning lesson in life. The more eureka moments you have the more open you become and the more you expand past your own limitations. It’s basic growth of the mind. Putting up walls (Donald Trump might want to be aware of this) is nothing more than fearing truths that are beyond your own understanding. It takes true courage to embrace differences of opinion and perception rather than just preparing for your next argument about how you are right. There is no right or wrong in the end, there is just being open to the world or shutting it down.

Tree in the woods Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman.jpg

 

Chapter 5, Part 5. I think therefore I am or ‘Cogito ergo sum’ (no you don’t!)

Within the hippy field I heard a few people discuss the complexities of the saying ‘I think therefore I am’. The basic perception was that Descartes was alluding to the fact that only animals and humans think therefore nothing else is alive, cutting out the possibility of things such as trees and plants as being labelled living. Unfortunately, those having this discussion got it wrong. The saying was not alluding to this concept at all. In fact the argument regarding this saying is quite complex and very difficult to explain. Yet this is why I am here, so let’s see if I can dumb it down a little (for both of us).

Descartes had a philosophy (which was listed as radical thought at the time) that what we perceive or sense is not necessarily true. The only thing that is true is that our mind or consciousness may doubt or believe in its perception. Therefore the statement ‘I think therefore I am’ is actually not saying that just because I think I exist, it’s stating that because we think, we believe we exist.

From what I can comprehend the main issue that people debate is more to do with how you decide to read the above statement rather than the statement itself. To be truthful, it was hard reading highly educated philosophy students debate the finer lines between Descartes’s overall belief system and this specific saying. And although I have high respect for those that have chosen philosophy as a line of study I find the debate gets caught up in semantics rather than just taking this saying for what it is. But, as this saying is about perception I guess that was the point in the first place. Soooooooo, how do I break this down?

Philosophy – it’s dependent on how you want to interoperate the saying based on the knowledge of the philosophy of Descartes himself and reflective of your own or other philosophical beliefs.

Hippies – It’s true, just because we think it doesn’t put us above other life forms on this planet, yet, this is not exactly what the statement was meant to convey therefore you may want to re-read this chapter again.

Science Nerds – Quantum Mechanics shows that life is all around us and that light and energy is life. We are one with it as it is one with us. We are star stuff as popularly discussed. Therefore, because our human perception is so limited we actually have no idea what reality actually is.

Religion – You think because God told you to (if you are religious and read this blog I hope you have a great sense of humour).

Jo Blow – There are a lot of cool things that are out there that can make you question your reality. Try looking up black holes and quantum for instance. Reality is your perspective as I have repeated time and time again. Truth is a matter of what you believe in. The way that the human consciousness accepts reality is through an extremely small and limited viewpoint. And for this reason people somehow are able to believe that the world is flat, smart woman are witches, the dress was white and gold (not blue and black), lizard people run the world and of course, aliens abducted 50% of the population in the 80’s (they must of gotten tired of us after that). Anyway…

So there is a great chance I missed the point completely regarding ‘I think therefore I am’ in this blog, but, this is my perception and in many way’s that was the point… Right?… Yea, High five! Who’s with me?…. Ummmmm…… Anybody?….

I Think Therefore I Am Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman.jpg

Chapter 5, Part 4. Why is being present so important (continued even further)?

Let’s not stuff around any further, let’s answer this now.

When you are present you are not thinking about your past or future, nor living in the emotions that belong to anything else except for the present moment . And unless you are in immediate danger you are also not connected to your worries, doubts or fears. Mostly you just exist! And in many ways you are simply connected to the world around you.

So let’s imagine that you are safe and sitting down in a quiet park. There is nothing pressing occurring in your life that you need to worry about therefore you don’t need to think about anything at all. So, instead you just sit there appreciating your surroundings. There is nothing to make you upset, feel depressed, or a reason to hate existence. And Voila! That’s it! You did it! Kinda…

If you were to do the above (and you were in a perfect world) there should be little emotions or thoughts running through you. Your senses would be adaptive to your surroundings and there would be no heightened emotions either positive or negative.

Before we move forward please note that the above is not meditation. This being said the definition of meditation (as defined in the dictionary) is so interpretive that you can also reference it to a roller coaster ride. Yet it is important to note that we are simply talking about presence here. Meditation is a means to get to presence, it is not the only way to achieve it.

For fun, let’s use an animal example. Most animals are simply connected to the world around them, living off instinct and thinking moment to moment. That’s why you don’t see many lion’s smoking cigarettes or looking upset whilst waiting in the doll que nowadays.

An animal will eat when it feels like eating, it will void when it feels like voiding, it will mate when it feels like mating and it will sleep when it gets tired. A deer doesn’t stay up late, eliminating sleep to stay up watching Broad Church (although how awesome is it! Don’t tell me anything, I just started season 2) it goes to sleep when it needs to. And although some animals are traumatized due to circumstances when they are young (which can lead to anxiety when they get older) they still don’t reflect on their past and remember when and where it all went wrong. They instead move with their emotions in the present moment and don’t wallow on what could have been.

Being a human and having our beautiful juicy intellect is as amazing as it is a pain in the ass. The same capacity to philosophize ‘I think therefore I am’ (which is a discussion within itself by the way) is the same device that makes us over think and worry all the time. Hence the tightrope we need to walk in this life.

Now I am not saying that the animals have it right, nor am I saying that we should go back to being primitives with simple intellects, especially when part of the issue is society driven (I will go through this in a later chapter). But what I am suggesting is that our ability to think at the capacity that we do creates a world (within our own mind) that is more complicated than what is before our very eyes. Furthermore, this crazy, hectic, fast paced civilization doesn’t give us the time that our mind needs to catch up, analyse and reflect on what is most important.

Let me give you another example. Let’s replace your life with that of a Kangaroo. The Kangaroo does not wake up and worry about the death images on the news or which serials might be poisoned by activists. Instead it gets up, notices the weather and becomes attuned to its surroundings regardless of rain or shine. It does not get upset by the weather because it is not in control of the weather. If the Kangaroo accidentally jumped into the river in front of the other kangaroos yesterday it does not hold resentment to those that saw it, nor does it feel ashamed or angry. The river incident occurred yesterday and that has nothing to do with today. I mean sure, the kangaroo learned its lesson though now that it has done and dusted it has moved on and that’s the end of it. Life is not doom or gloom to a kangaroo. It’s just… life…

Being present will of course not make you happy. Buddhists state that it’s about contentment which of course is an enjoyable and peaceful mindset.  Some Buddhists dedicate their entire lives to being content and being present whilst meditating in a temple for large periods of time, yet, this is not necessary for most of us. Maybe one day if you choose to try and obtain enlightenment this may be your path, though until then these blogs are about keeping it simple and living within the 9 to 5 world. So let’s start with that then.

Animals Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman.jpg

Chapter 5, Part 3. Why is being present so important anyway? (continued)

Now if you want to be a pain in the ass you can argue that we are always present and that thinking about the future and past doesn’t change this. If these are your thoughts then good on you, give yourself a clap, now bugger off.

Let me be self-indulgent for a moment. After personally suffering from depression for over 22 years my mind used to take me to various dark places each day. Without knowing what I was doing or how it was occurring my focus would always lead me to the negative. Furthermore, a part of me was addicted to this focus and would chase down the pain. Over many years I tried resolving this issue consciously by asking positive questions and delving into my own psychology. At times this was successful as certain elements would last with me for (on rare occasions) years, though it would never last. This was because I never worked on the bigger picture nor did I know what the bigger picture was. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no, I am not alluding that there is one simple answer here.

It took a smack across the face of presence to begin the real change in my life. It allowed me to appreciate simple moments, basic concepts and what appeared to be meaningless chores. It was a form of acceptance regarding who I was. Although I was aware that many of the greatest speakers and psychologists had been writing about the importance of mindfulness for some time, I always saw it as a fad or something not for me. Yet no one could explain it to me in a way that I needed it conveyed. It was only after an awakening that I realised that I heard what people were saying yet in the end I missed the point completely.

So before I finish this blog and get right into exactly what presence is, I thought I would give you a quick example of it.

There is a reason why the greatest artists and minds of our time come up with their best ideas on the toilet. It’s hard not to be present whilst releasing baggage from your inner colon. And it is in that split second of complete presence that the mind resets. The funny thing is this. Because the pattern has been interrupted it’s now not as easy to get back to exactly where you were originally before you lost some weight. It’s like when someone interrupts your rant whilst you are in an intense conversation. The emotion and passion you had originally can be hard to re-obtain once again even though the topic of discussion meant EVERYTHING to you a few seconds earlier. This is a great example of presence. This is an example of looking from the outside in (like a third person perspective) and distancing yourself from your emotion which is tied to your ego. A better way of explaining it is this. You’re no longer directly controlled by the path you were on, but instead,  you’re now at witness to it.

So the next time you sit on the toilet please think of ‘The Lonel….’ Actually no, focus on something else. Yea, think of something else…

(I will continue this discussion in the next blog)

Mindful Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman.jpg

Chapter 5, Part 2. Why is being present so darn important anyway?

Four years ago if someone told me that my life would be better if I was just present and mindful I would have kicked them in the nuts. Of cause this speaks loudly to where I was at that period of time…

Although in previous chapters it was vital to write about the past and the future it has all been one big lead up to this important topic, presence. But why is it so important?

If you are a natural sceptic I completely understand your reluctance to jump into this new age fad. Yet as much as the western world has steered towards it recently, this simple principle has been a familiar message since before even budda was born in the 6th century B.C. In fact, the first writings about meditation (which is a basis of being present and mindful) were found in India during 1500BC. And although the message of being present appears simple, when you break down the layers of how and why practicing it is so important, the complexity behind doing this becomes apparent whilst the benefits towards your psychology is revealed.

Meditation is about stabilizing the mind. Psychologists have found that just 5 to 10 minutes of meditation calms down a part of your brain called the amygdala. Part of the amygdala works with emotions and when this area of your brain is in overload it is hard to concentrate, see past your own situation/trauma’s/depression, or be able to function well in the 9 to 5 world. For this reason calming this area of your brain and possibly training it to be consistently calm, although hard, can be an important thing to do. Some will say that you are ‘bringing yourself back to center’ but really you’re just slowing down the engine so you have more stability behind the wheel.

So yes, meditation is said to be important though it’s the end result of mediation that we are actually seeking. This is mostly referenced as mindfulness. This comes through acceptance of who and where you are now whilst masting the ability to calm the mind to a point where thoughts don’t trigger emotions. Fondly enough you can get similar benefits from a massage, a warm shower or what our age likes to do best, over eating. The key is to bring yourself back into the present moment and out of your thoughts of the past and future. This is to be done not through distraction (like watching TV) but through being aware of oneself without/despite distractions. I do have to agree that meditation is an easy way to do it, though if crossing your legs and sitting in front of a candle isn’t right for you there are other options available. I personally believe there is a form of mindfulness that suits each one of us, even if it is unconventional. And yes, I will be going through these in later blogs and podcasts.

(I will continue this discussion in the next blog)

 

the present jamie lee woodman a.k.a the lonely spaceman

Chapter 5, Part 1. The Present – Acknowledgement of how hard this can be

I will firstly begin to apologise for words that I have and probably will say in the future which may make things sound easy. When writing a blog, doing a podcast or video it’s hard to explain topics from everybody’s personal perceptions. And as much as I try to remain neutral and open minded to see things from others points of view it is quite impossible to speak to 7 billion people’s opinions, not that they all read this blog haha.

I am writing this blog and acknowledging people’s struggles because of the new age marketing which has businessman and egocentric entrepreneurs saying ‘you just need to be mindful’, ‘you just need to be present’, ’if your depressed watch this now’ and ‘if you do this you have mastered life’. Well, as you and I probably know (and I am assuming you do if you read blogs such as this) things are not that simple. And before I go off and try to explain some of these complex ideas whilst attempting to break the information down to its smallest and simplest form, I had to give some of the readers out there the acknowledgement they deserve.

About 4 years ago I had an awakening yet before I had this experience I would have told people recommended mindfulness to go F#$k themselves. And that’s putting it politely. The complexity is that you can’t tell someone with monkey brain who may have anxiety, depression, frustration or be suffering loss to simply be mindful. There is a ‘gap’ between these two states that most people often forget about, or possibly, the teachers out there have never been through it themselves. So what is the gap then?

The gap is the leap between A and B. It’s when you’re so submerged within your own pain, emotions and ego (this just means a reflection of your own state) that the idea of being present (or mindful) is a ludicrous suggestion. And due to saturated marketing from new age hippies doing 3 month yoga courses from Rishikesh or Mumbai in India, the actual positive aspects of being present are being mixed in with the lies that Coca Cola is good for you. Yet I digress.

Although it may sound like wisdom to advise people that are struggling to be mindful and present it really is of no use to someone who is not ready to hear it. In fact, it can be dangerous. Telling people it is simple and that results can follow straight away (although I know people are trying to help) can make the students feel like failures if they can’t achieve what others are saying is simple. This makes the student (who is already feeling bad or depressed) feel even worse. Therefore, my task during this chapter on ‘the present’ is to try to explain this topic scientifically, rationally and spiritually so that when and if people are ready they can understand this belief system from a perception best suited to them.

Before I get to that though, the reason of this blog is to say that I understand that none of this stuff is easy and sometimes we are just not ready for it. That is not to say that we will never be ready for it as you may be ready tomorrow, though it’s arrogant of me or anyone else for that matter to ram it down your throat if it’s not invited. I know about this because I’ve personally seen it from this point of view. Since then, I have tried my hardest to remember how lost I was in the past and to never say to people ‘if you just do this your life will be better’. Facebook is unfortunately swarming with motivational NLPer’s that make you and I, the reader, feel bad for not believing in their simple once off techniques. Even after all my own studies and beliefs I still get guilt tripped by some of these Guru’s at times. It’s what I get for being a massive introvert. Yet, I have found that ignorance and what can appear to be arrogance from the Facebook warriors is often nothing more than a lack of understanding. They have not been through what you are going through, no one has, we all walk our own personal journey. So I hear your frustration!

So, I’, hear to cut through all the s#$t. It’s also a personal challenge for myself to see how much I retained through my own studies. As always, progress takes time and patience which within itself can be difficult, but if you are doing this right now I applaud you and respect the steps you are taking in self-development and knowledge. It takes time though I believe that there are answers out there for all of us.

Therefore, if you permit me, let’s get right into it by asking the question, why is being present so darn important anyway?

mind the gap jamie lee woodman a.k.a the lonely spaceman

Interlude – The Lonely Christmas Song

I’m all for rejoicing in the idea of Christmas. Despite consumerism amongst bad traffic which coincides with long lines, horrible carols and stressed out shoppers, the idea of coming together over Santa is a beautiful thing… YOU heard!

Beyond the ownership that certain religions attempt to take of good old St Nick there were actually many different people in our history that did wonderful things who were referenced as being just like our good old Santa. Across the world there were multiple people that would give gifts to the poor, gave aid and some were just plan generous to say the least. And yes, it all got caught up in the Christmas Coca-Cola infomercials and promotions yet it’s worth remembering that St Nick was about kindness to others.

Now if you google ‘bad Santa’ I am sure you will find some horrible and possibly corrupt people as well, though this is expected and that there is always going to be ying and yang. In the end many of us are simply guided by our own perceptions to either take the Christmas spirit as being a corporate creation or alternatively to see it as a time to rejoice. Each to their own, and please feel free to have your own opinion, there is no judgement here.

In regards for the recent discussion about Santa being a woman, I am open to the idea. Let misses’ clause have a run. There have been many beautiful women that have done amazing and kind things throughout history so maybe it is time for a change. I’m not really weighing in on the argument as it is not the purpose of this blog though I thought it was worth noting.

So, today I am writing because, well, I like to write haha. I am also writing because about 3 years ago I wrote ‘The Lonely Christmas Song’. I am not expecting people to listen to it (although the link will be listed below) yet I did want to express something that I think is important.

There was one point in my life where I thought that I was facing my last Christmas. It was a dark time for multiple reasons, and, the reason I wrote the song in the first place. I was down, kicked in the guts and in a rut. It is also for this reason that having people shove Christmas down my throat every two seconds made me sick to my stomach. I was alone, freshly out of another breakup and things had fallen to crap. I am sure many of you can relate.

Despite my poor mindset during this Christmas I did do something interesting to compensate. As you know, I had written the Christmas song. What you don’t know is that I wrote it because I was sick of hearing carols and cheer about how wonderful life was, and therefore, I needed something I could sympathise with. And as was my stile at the time, I decided to create it myself.

The end result was that on Christmas day I put on my own song (yes pathetic I know) pored myself a scotch on the rocks, sat in a nice comfortable chair and raised a drink to myself. Beyond everything I had gone through that year I had survived. I took a deep breath, relaxed my shoulders and for the first time I felt a certain satisfaction.

I know that there are many others out there who are traveling, working, feeling isolated and so forth this Christmas. And therefore, I offer you an idea of lifting a glass (of whatever liquid you drink) up to the sky in a quiet toast to yourself. And if you feel, hold it up for all the others out there that may be feeling the same as you. Why? Because you did it! You got through some of the worst and most annoying repetitive tortuous music society has ever created. In fact, I am sure that in the future, Christmas music will be placed in torcher chambers around the world for the worst of our kind! It’s only fitting and would drive the strongest of us insane.

Anyway, all jokes aside, I am speaking openly so please do things as you see best. But, if I can offer some advice, don’t be harsh on yourself this Christmas. Acceptance is a beautiful thing, and as many shops and bars are closed on this day it’s a great opportunity to let your hair down and catch up on some of your favorite Netflix. You deserve it!

I wish you well this coming Christmas day. And if you feel like giving this song a crack, I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/lonely-spaceman

Take care,

The Lonely Spaceman

santaforce