Positive thinking

I carry a lot of anger with me; anger with those who disagree with/are different from me and anger with myself. However all this anger is paired with a great deal of hope and even love. I generally think of myself as an upbeat person, but the more I look back and reflect on my internal dialogues throughout life, the more I realize that I can be a very negative person. I really don’t like that about myself, and I am working on changing that. I want positive thoughts to trump negative ones and I think for this post I’m going to reflect on the various scales to which this kind of cognitive model can apply. I am starting where I have the most shameful negative thinking and working my way to more general and less invasive thoughts. Continue reading “Positive thinking”

Religion

rocketship fish car decal

I should probably wash my car

I am not religious. I feel happy, fulfilled, and enriched. I love my fellow man and strive every day to be a creature of compassion and to be giving and selfless. I want to change the world for the better.

You know the saying it’s not about the destination, but the journey? We all know of one thing for certain: each and every one of us will die. So then why are we here? That is the question that religion assumes an answer to. I believe we are not meant to know that answer yet, that’s why we have science. Science is the journey. Humanity’s never ending thirst for knowledge is proof to me, that we do not and cannot know. It’s like getting to know someone, you can read a paragraph about a person but do you truly know that person? Are you guaranteed that the paragraph is honest and truthful? Could you, yourself, completely introduce yourself, the complexities of your emotion, the pains and joys of your past, your insecurities and your pride, your knowledge, on paper? We don’t read manuals to gain friends; it’s a journey that takes place internally so we learn about ourselves. We shouldn’t be reading manuals to live life. Do you really believe that life is so small its whole purpose can be explained in a book? Continue reading “Religion”

Abstract Art

I remember back in college, in my contemporary art class, we learned about non-objective and abstract expressionism art. I remember learning about artists like Pollock and Rothko, and a class discussion on non-objective art. The teacher (her name escapes me at the moment) set up a debate on whether or not abstract impressionism was really “art.” She then divided the class into two opposing sides. Going into this, I didn’t have a lot of respect for what abstract expressionism truly was, and I was dealth the “for” abstract expressionism viewpoint. I had to defend abstract expressionism as art. Each side was given two essays to read, one for and one against, and then we had to make a case for our argument and defend it. Now, it is a personal philosophy of mine to keep my mind maleable and open to change, so as I started to shift perceptions for the sake of the exercise, I learned and I felt my opinions changing.

Before I continue I want to take a moment to ask you, the reader, “what is art?” We all know the superficial interpretation as paintings and sculptures and things that are generally aesthetically pleasing. We often define it from the perspective of consumer or audience. When you can only see art from this point of view it does become very difficult to comprehend non-objective art as something that has a lot of value, especially when compared to the works of a more traditional artist like Michelangelo. The way Michelangelo recreated the human form with such detail and emotion is indeed extremely impressive. Now when you compare one of Mark Rothko’s color fields to the Sistine Chapel you might find yourself wondering how any comparison can be made. Well, this all goes back to the question “what is art?” Continue reading “Abstract Art”

Creativity

Ah yes, creativity. A demon I’ve battled a lot in my life.

“I need to think of something.”

In modern society we are under a lot of pressure to produce. A problem I find with that is that when your mind is constantly chugging along focusing on an endless list of tasks you rob yourself of the true bliss in just dwelling on nothing in particular. “What do clouds taste like?” “What language do cats think in?” It is in these moments of vacation from the stressful assembly line thought process that creation is freed from the shackles of production. When I am having difficulty thinking of something, I try to think of nothing at all. Do you ever have a zillion thoughts flying around in your head at once? It can be extremely stressful and taxing to keep track of where all these little thoughts are whizzing to. One thing I’ve learned to do in these situations is stop. When I get overwhelmed I stop everything I am doing, turn away from the task at hand and stare off into space. Not exactly a model for productivity eh? I used to do this without reason, my brain just became overloaded until it would practically float away. Being aware of my apparent uselessness as a producer of whatever, it made me feel inadequate and only fueled the cycle of anxiety. Now, I have learned to grant myself permission to daydream.

I think of my mind as a bare white room, and throughout the day objects move in and out of it. Objects of different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. These are my thoughts. The thoughts or objects that are most useful or interesting or appealing, etc, I tend to keep in the room the longest. After a while I collect more and more objects until the room is so cluttered nothing else can come in. This is when productivity and creativity come to a screeching halt. Before I would open a window or move stuff around in the room so as not to stifle the completion of tasks. But now I completely release myself from the mental assembly line, guilt free. Why? Because meaningless daydreaming makes the clutter disappear. After no time at all, I have a clean bare room. Now fresh new objects are free to enter again.

The point? Doing nothing may not feed productivity, but it is the blank canvas of creativity. At the end of the day are you more fulfilled when you have produced what is expected or when you have created something truly your own that can be invested in?