Alignment – Joy In Adventure
The goal of society is in the action of getting somewhere, but to never arrive. When I live in a circle of everyday achievement my ordinary goal is to solve problems. I live for the friction in between “things” instead of for the steady flow of the river of life.
I live for walking, climbing and skinning up mountains and then getting down them, preferably on skis. In fact, it’s my job to do so: to solve problems, achieve goals, realize dreams and then communicate these actions.
There is just one catch. My job is not to get somewhere; it is to keep the enterprise rolling, just like the vast majority of the jobs out there.
Everyday life is just games within games, spectacles within spectacles that, if we win, will go on in infinity until we loose and finally quit trying to win. If we stop trying to win we’re ending the never-ending circle and maybe, we (I) could start just enjoying the ride.
The question I get to ask myself is: When I get to the top of that mountain, or achieve that goal, then what? There will always be another mountain to climb and another quest to fulfill, but if that is becoming my argument for not really dancing the dance, then I’m participating in a dangerous game.
As there are no ends, there are no means to them either, so if I can’t win with the style of joy, flow and a smile, then there is really no winning.
I get a good receipt on which path I’m on if, when I have accomplished a long fought goal, I’m full of joy or just plain emptiness. Looking back at the games I’ve played, those danced with good style, friendship, humbleness and joy bring out more of the same at the finishing lines. The ones fought with ego, anger and pride have usually been ending the party with a black hole.
Light bright more light and dark swallows that which shines.
I saw an old man in the lift the other day. White hair, bent by age, old ski clothes and skis, guides badge, wrinkles, worn by the years. But one thing made him stand out from the rest of us in the bin. His eyes were shining of life and I imagined them smiling at us with gentleness and understanding. He had no great goals to fulfill and nothing to prove. He was just going out there in to the mountains, enjoying the sun, the warmth, the beauty and the empty space high above the world. He seemed grateful, content and full of life.
What if we are able to let ourselves go out there and keep on aiming for the stars, but at the same time know in our heart that we are already exactly where we want to be next to our own sun. And whatever we might do, it make no sense what so ever, if it’s not filled with joy. Living that wisdom, that would be to live in alignment with life.
The risk of not risking is boredom
In our lives the thing we fear most is the uncertainty. Fear itself can be directly translated to that which is certain and in a plain way we can say that we fear being scared.
Fear have brought society to worship safety more than anything to a point where the general direction of humanity is to “live to survive” instead of “living for paying”.
Mallroy on Stortinden, Lyngen, Norway
This is leaving us with a huge problem. If we are able to obtain the perfectly safe world that society is moving towards, what will then the excitement of being alive be?
The reasons we play games is the excitement of uncertainty. When we, in the midst of a game, can see who the winner is going to be, then the thrill of the game, for this round, is terminated. Only the memory of excitement together with the prevision of delight in case of a possible return of the game remains.
One could of course ass well see the play of life as a dance and some would say that in dancing we don’t need to risk anything. Yes, it might not be the risk of loosing like in other games, but we still need to play the beautiful art of improvisation. And when improvising we are leaning in, thrusting, the uncertainty of this moment, and letting that which comes out from it be demonstrated as art.
The point is that, in any game worth playing, there need to be a certain mix of skill and uncertainty.
If we, by training, can obtain a level of skill that makes the outcome certain we have taken away the motivator behind playing, and boredom steps in through the door.
High up on the Orient Express, Denali, Alaska
Swedish alpine ski legend, Ingemar Stenmark were once heard saying: “the more I train, the more luck I seem to have”. He was playing by these rules, but anyone that has been a player, athlete or spectator of any sport or drama will remember the excitement and the feeling of freshness of life, the apparent meaning of this moment and the oblivion of time more from a game that was either won or lost by a tiny margin than a game with a grand margin.
Games that are way over our heads, where we have no chance what so ever to win, they will never be an exiting play either.
Of course I’m not advocating a dangerous society. But I do want to encourage the idea of people going out in nature or life in general and play with the uncertainty that is one of the cornerstones that a joyful life is built upon. There have to be a responsibility following the experienced freedom of playing with life, and that should be to not endanger others in our pursuit of glimpses of happiness.
Other than that, lets go out there, play, and chase even the tiniest fractions of boredom away from our doors of perception.
Ungraspable smoke – Or the girl named Meaning living in a world called Beauty
In a world of shadows I try to fetch something hard and tangible – something that will not move like smoke in the wind from my hand.
Life is a search for that which will stay, a lofty search for permanence some would say. One part of me have already lost the faith I though I had in grasping the secrets of life. How could we seize something we, ourselves, define as ungraspable?
Many are seeking for happiness, but have you ever heard anyone being able to truly put in to words what he´s searching for? Can it be that we are in love with the idea of finding that which cannot be found, and there for, if we find it – we will be touching the sublime?
How many layers of the onion do we have to peel of before we can see that there is no center of material truth? And if we are turning the world upside-down, well, then there is no space, no no-thing either.
Words and worlds fall a part in the same way, because in the end, they are but the same; ideas with value put upon each other in a wonderful peace of art.
What would the meaning of it all be, if not to exist in its own way only because that is the dance of every-thing and no-thing, space and no-space.
Shadows are dancing on the roofs tonight and smoke is falling from the sky like rain. The water is creeping up along the walls, because it is aiming for the stars. The moon is shining and giving light to a scene or characters that have run out of play. The play is used up, you see, and what composition can the universe serve up with then?
Empty hearts are beating of-rhythm because of-beat is the radest we can imagine of anything. No, is the other side of yes.
So will we find a world in the end built up out of one´s and zero´s like a giant matrix of black and white? Grey, you know, can be a mixture of black and white dots seen from a distance.
I´m back by the shore, under the moon with the stars somewhere high up above the clouds and I can hear the water breathing and hitting firmer ground. My body is pulsating and my feelings have power. I know nothing matters more than the value you choose to give it. But if we have that power, to give value, why not pour that everywhere we find beauty.
I’m doing my best to follow my thoughts and dreams to their ends, but then what? What is there behind the end? Some imagine a great treasure on the other side of a magical door by a mystical sea.
But what will I do with this treasure? Can it buy me anything I really don´t have right now?
Being brought up in the western world I have the means to create the funds to buy any thing or experience I can imagine I would want. A treasure of gold might entertain for a while, but then what?
Will there be sensual pleasures on the other side as some kind of reward? In my wildest fantasies I cannot imagine any sensation that would satisfy me more or differently than the ones I can experience in this reality. Then again, of course there is a risk I´m having a lack of imagination.
Or shall I be running for the reward of nothingness? Well, the next step from having is to not have, and in that case it´s where I´m going when I die anyways. Why should I either desire or not desire something that will be and when it becomes it will not be there, nor my feelings of craving, fear, pain or love. As you see, taking words to their endings always lead to the absurd.
However I turn my world in my palm I don’t see a reason why I should be afraid, nor do I see any reason why not to live this life in the most adventurous and wild way possible. Wild for me can be to party, train harder than ever, do the ski of my life, love the girl of my life as much as it can be sitting on a hard cushion in a monastery for ten years. None of these alternatives are square to me as long as there lays an inner desire behind them all.
The lowest benchmark I can imagine is living in a way that you don´t want to live. But that is not because I feel it´s worse than any of the above mentioned. It´s simply not a beautiful story to tell, and in that sense there is a girl named Meaning living in a world called Beauty.
Beauty held still in a clenched hand will not remain beautiful at a second glance. Permanence might be the grand illusion we all aim for but that no one would really want to have. Change is the bliss we all fight and are afraid of. So instead of running for the eternal rewards that we don´t want in the first place, lets enjoy the changing beauty of the dance that is happening around us. The sublime is already here, because we will never be able to explain anything of importance.
The world is changing back to its normal ways. Smoke is rising and the water dropping from the roofs in the small village. The sun is shining somewhere high above the grey clouds of this ordinary new day and everyone around is living their everyday games. It´s time to go out and touch the beauty of the ticking time and the change that´s slowly creeping upon this earth.
Winter white trees in a landscape of black and white in a place called home. Only the warmth shining from a house here and there is lighting up the countryside. This is a world without shadows. There are only contrasts from what’s here and there, nothing more, nothing less.