An Ocean of Sands

2 years, 6 months ago

I wrote this text yesterday about the recent state of mind I’ve achieved. I don’t usually post here, I’m one of those silent readers, but HighExistence has been a big impact – the articles, discussions, videos and mindset have shaped me and will continue to do so. I hope it will inspire my dear peers. And sorry for the long text ;)

An Ocean Of Sands

Lately I’ve been burnishing my perception of life, coveting a more poignant way of existence. A number of speeches and texts have enraptured me, pushing my consciousness towards the appreciation of the moment. The sentiment of simply being in the present is a most enlightening one and I seek to induct the philosophy behind it to you, dear reader.

The world has never been as openly available as it is today. We have access to the internet, which connects people from all across the world and we also have the privilege of free travel. I’m not meaning to say that every person has to travel, but rather that traveling and communicating internationally and seeing the diversity and fantastic wonders of Earth helps us get into a state of appreciation for all of life.
So taking that into consideration, we must resist insularity. We must recognize the abstractness of conservatism. People fear change, it’s instinctive, our habits make us feel safe. It’s the idea of “home” on a smaller scale. But let me ask this question: Earth is changing constantly, so why shouldn’t we? Why are we so set on keeping things as they are? The answer is simple: We’re afraid of the unknown.
This fear is imbued into our very bones, but how can we change that? We shouldn’t use the terms “stranger” and “unknown” negatively. A stranger is an opportunity to get to know someone, hear stories, share experiences. After all, all alien things can be familiar – you merely need time to make them so, and not even much of it. And as we meet new people and uncover new places, we will change with no effort put in. Our personality, our taste, our appearance, our senses, they will all evolve as new experiences are found and savored. Going through that process simply feels right. You are not the person you were a year ago, nor the person you will be in ten years. You are you, in this moment, everything that has happened so far led to you being you and only in the moment are we our true selves.

Don’t be prejudiced, be interested. You don’t want to assume, you want to find out. Be sincerely interested in others, crave their stories and share yours in return. This applies to life in general. Be interested in life. Find things fascinating. Don’t hold back emotions.
Just earlier today I had a great moment of appreciation. I was sitting on a bench and observing the surroundings. Dusty brick walls, crumbling slowly over time, but ever so staunch. Buildings arising, symbols of settlement, of familiarity. Cars driving by, accompanied by the intriguing, but still mellifluous sound of the Doppler Effect.
And then there was life. Birds cutting freely through the bright blue sky, roaming the world, witnessing the clouds. A cat lingering between bosky bushes, slender and elegant. Trees, the oldest of them all, directly connected to Earth, our planet, our shared unity. Plants, breathing passively, providing the most elemental requirement of life – air. I felt it around me and inside me, as it slid swiftly through my nostrils. And I savored all of life. I felt an utterly sense of belonging. This trueness had always been present, it just took an epiphany to realize it. We are but a grain in an ocean of sands. But we are part of this ocean, part of the wave, part of the universe. You as much as me and anybody else.
Life is not a gift, it’s a privilege. Think about the more than slim chances of being alive. Try to imagine how precious it is, how grateful we should be. We carry the responsibility to live fully and to passionately appreciate. For all we know, we might be the only beings in the universe that can.

So stop here and ask yourself: When was the last time that you were living in the moment? How long is it ago that you tasted water and your mind was free of anything else but the cool and refreshing taste of that sip? We tend to lock our thoughts into the past and the future, we actively try to remember things and actively think about what to do next. While that isn’t bad at all, the side effect is that you experience life passively.
Now the main argument that supports all this remembering and planning is structure. We think if we don’t skim through our memories, we will eventually forget and we think that if we don’t think about our next actions, something might go wrong.
We struggle to keep our minds off the future because we feel the need to know what to do next before we do it. My retort is a fairly simple fact: Most of our brain works subconsciously. Almost nine tenths of our pate labors in the subconscious. For me personally, a general plan is sufficient. When I go to a party, I don’t need a protocol of topics that I’m going to talk about. I’ll be in the moment and things will come out of me. It’s both simple and hard to do. The step to do it is to allow. Just let go and allow the moment to take you in. Yes, as I am typing this sentence, I’m consciously thinking about typing it. My subconscious takes care of all the rest. I’m pouring out all these words with ease, because if you think about it too hard what happens is writer’s block. I’ve been in this state for the past few months and it baffles me how most everything has worked out without any plans. And that’s the best part of it – an unexpected moment of joy is greatly superior to an expected one.

And memories, sweet memories. Forgetting is delusional. It is always nice to remember past events, that one summer, your first love or even playing in the grass as a child. Those are precious moments worth remembering, but it’s not necessary to do so. The reason for that is that there will be reminders. We encounter reminders all the time, links to our past that make us relive those moments. Now the big mistake is when people actually try to relive those them, try to remake it in the real world. That’s the start to routine, an incipient habit. Of course, they are undeniably part of us, but habituality can also be a trap. Mingling in the past can make us miss out on life. You don’t want to wake up one day and realize you’ve been doing the same things for the past decade. A day filled with adventure will be more memorable than a week spent in routine. Now comes the best part, the coalition of seeking the new and encountering reminders: As you make more and more memories each day, you will also find more reminders that give you an ephemeral dose of reminiscence, because there will be multiple more moments to remember, since you’re living out of the routine. And don’t worry about the brain capacity to store them – the subconscious is a more powerful tool than most people think.

I hope with all my heart that my message came across effortlessly. There will always be more to learn, to read, to experience, to taste, hear, see, touch, smell, feel and to say and that’s just beautiful. The world is infinite, but life is not, and that makes it all the more precious. Be a yes-person, don’t miss chances. Love the people around you. Think about the concept of hatred and you will realize that it makes no sense at all. Think about the trivial things that bother you and how they keep you from savoring everything else. Think about you, your lifespan, the time you’ve been given, the time you don’t want lost in misery. Don’t desire perfection – long for acceptance and appreciation.

August 18, 2012 at 1:17 am

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Profile photo of Matthew Matthew (@ojai) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

@kchen, Now, how did this go unanswered? This was great! You have said a lot of beautiful things in this post, plenty that made me smile. It is always comforting to read things such as this. All very well said, aswell.

Still taking the unanswered thread challenge (we all should, there’s some nifty things that go unnoticed) and saw this one, figured I’d bump it for ya. : ]

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Profile photo of Chang Chang (@kchen) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

@ojai, Thanks! I guess it’s a TL;DR situation here :P so thanks for taking the time to read through it. English isn’t my first language, so these compliments are nice to hear :D
I think the live-the-moment mindset should be spread, I actually sort of pity everyone who is caught in thoughts and miss the moment, it’s just such a great feeling.

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Profile photo of skylerpants skylerpants (@skylerpants) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

I’m really glad I took the time to search the word “ephemeral”, and stumble upon this post. I’ve been feeling emotionally overwhelmed by all of the possibilities and combinations that are available to us during our journey, while giving myself such little time to actually experience these moments. Reading this was very comforting, and I must say that after reading this, all of the noise in my head evaporated without a notice. Thank you very much for such inspiring words! (:

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Profile photo of Chang Chang (@kchen) 1 year, 2 months ago ago

@skylerpants
One year late, I skimmed this old post and saw your reply. I’m very glad that the text had a positive effect on you, Skyler!

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