Chaos.

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    May 01, 2008 5:44 PM GMT
    After reading forum after forum on here the last month I have begun to ask myself the same question.
    Why do so many people take responsibility for everything good that happens to them, but claim zero culpability for the bad?

    Life is little more than cause and effect.
    If you are responsible for the great things that happen, you must also claim ownership of the “chaos” or darkness that you have created in your own life and in the lives others.

    For example.
    “I am a great guy with my sh*t together but why can’t I meet anyone.”
    “his loss”
    "why does he take it so personally"
    “why are the good ones always taken?”
    “why do I attract assholes?”
    “why am I always betrayed by the ones I love?”
    “Austin is conceited and horrible and the people are awful”
    “should I tell the truth about this , that or the other?”
    Why is the wrong question, replace it with the word how and then you may actually figure it out.

    You are responsible for your life as it is now. It really isn’t an abstract idea. If you are wallowing in the mud, only you should get yourself out otherwise you will be surrounded by other people stuck in the mud. For example, fruitless relationships, a job you dislike, a city you dislike, friends you are tired of, etc. If you aren’t willing to work your ass of to make your life better, why have any expectations that it will happen by accident?
    If you are obsessed with your body, expect to attract people that will either love it or make you feel less for it. Chucky was a perfect exampls of this.
    Everything is this way... money, religion, monogamy, education, job, age etc. etc.

    It frustrates the hell out of me because physically, emotionaly and intellectually lazy people really do whine A LOT when they are the only ones who can actually fix it.

    True happiness is all about work. You have to put something equally good into motion for it to reverberate into the universe and manifest itself back as a positive feeling or action.
    You can’t create a perfect body, live in the perfect city and have a dream job with lots of money and honestly expect those things will make you happy.

    I think it is naive to approach life with simply a “go get em” attitude and expect great things to happen just because you have a good attitude or tell people that you are great.

    It would be like playing a baseball game without knowing the rules... a total mess would ensue.

    whew, I needed to get that off my chest.

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    May 01, 2008 5:45 PM GMT
    bravo!

    (you should now expect a wide variety of criticism for saying exactly what you think, some of which will be insightful, but most of which will be inciteful)

    go get 'em, tiger!





    alright...

    ready...

    set...

    go!
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    May 01, 2008 6:04 PM GMT
    This reminds of something I read about 20 years ago in the book "The Psychology of Everyday Things."

    The author, Donald A. Norman, made the observations that:

    If something bad happens to someone else, people tend to think that the person had it coming because he wasn't clever enough to see it coming and avoid it. Unlike one's self, who would have foreseen it and take appropriate action.

    If something bad happens to oneself, we can rattle off in an instance all the factors in the environment that made it unavoidable.

    If something good happens to someone else, it's just dumb luck and the person didn't deserve it.

    If something good happens to oneself, again we can rattle off all the actions that we took to position ourselves so we were in the right place for this fortunate occurrence. It wasn't luck really; we were on top of it all the time.
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    May 01, 2008 6:11 PM GMT
    wow, that's a very telling observation about human nature... what was the overarching point the book was making as a whole?
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    May 01, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidwow, that's a very telling observation about human nature... what was the overarching point the book was making as a whole?


    No, the book is about how to design things so that slip ups and mistakes in using them aren't likely to happen. It applies the principles of cognitive psychology to product design.

    I think the title of the book was changed somewhere along the way to "The Design of Everyday Things." I dont know if it is still in print or not.

    I just pulled my copy off of the shelf and it is still bristling with yellow post-its where I have marked things. That made me laugh. Yet for all the post-its, I couldn't find the passage I noted above. But it made such an impression on me, that I still remember it. ... icon_eek.gif
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    May 02, 2008 12:57 AM GMT
    Pierrecadot,I like your choice of screen name, Gift Peter. So with that said, life is a gift. It's amazing that any of us are here as a conscious entity in the universe.
    I suggest you start appreciating your gift of life. It isn't exactly what any of us want but it is what it is, so enjoy it.


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    May 02, 2008 1:08 AM GMT
    John43620 said
    I suggest you start appreciating your gift of life. It isn't exactly what any of us want but it is what it is, so enjoy it.




    Am I missing something?

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    May 02, 2008 1:10 AM GMT
    I hope not.
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    May 02, 2008 7:25 AM GMT
    Hmmmm, so, lately, I've had lots of kids bitch to me about their life. Usually it is "I'm pretty why am I single.

    My response is always "You must love yourself alone before you can love yourself with someone else. "

    That response basically answers the list of questions you have. As they are related to love.

    As for glitter. My answer is this.

    Glitter is glitter, sparkle or no. Sparkle just makes me look.
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    May 02, 2008 7:33 AM GMT
    I am!m not one of those so many people so do not include me as i take every day as it comes good and bad that is the wheel of life!
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    May 02, 2008 10:23 AM GMT
    It's called optimism... and then again there's whining. icon_wink.gif
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    May 02, 2008 2:25 PM GMT
    Matterych saidHmmmm, so, lately, I've had lots of kids bitch to me about their life. Usually it is "I'm pretty why am I single.

    My response is always "You must love yourself alone before you can love yourself with someone else. "

    That response basically answers the list of questions you have. As they are related to love.

    .


    THis is sort of my point. Loving yourself is a self help sort of slogan popularized in the 70's and 80's to sell books and get people to pay for workshops.
    Has society made any great strides because of this relatively recent realization?
    Love can actually make you do bad things to innocent people.

    Jesus wasn't a prophet because he loved himself. He was a prophet because he was active in showing people the importance of taking care of people who had nothing or were outcasts.
    Same with the intense discipline of Buddha and the Dalai lama.
    They aren't renowned for their "self love".

    I was referencing cause and effect. You can love yourself and cause chaos in the life of someone else and even your own. Everything you do has an effect. A lot of people seem unable to take responsibility for what they put out. Bad luck, good luck , karma, etc... All ways we describe it, but it is a lot simpler than that.
    Living your life requires a skill set beyond just the ability to love yourself.
    I think that is why people are so f*cking selfish. Causing a ripple and doing good things is an activity , not just a feeling of self worth. Being the man you want to date isn't going to land you a man or create a fulfilling relationship. Being in a relationship shows you who you really are. You can blame someone else for all of your bullshit or you can be conscious of what you are putting out there.

    If you don't have self love, do you find it in a book? On Oprah? of course not. All you have to do is go out and do something good for someone who needs you. That will show you what you are worth. This idea that we are born as unique as a snowflake has created a lot of selfish , lost people who will invest little more than 19.95 at Barnes and Noble to find out how they can find love.
    It is such a joke.


  • cacti

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    May 02, 2008 2:58 PM GMT
    Pc, I swear I'm not stalking you(I just emailed him), but I gotta say I wish more people thought like you.
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    May 02, 2008 3:07 PM GMT
    i agree with that completely- self love never accomplished anything meaningful in and of itself- but one has to remember that the heart chakra is set ABOVE manipura- one simply can't love others in the deep and unconditional and selfless way that is needed in the world without FIRST having a firm foundation of self confidence, acceptance, and love. so may people today are plagued with insecurities and self-doubts, even self-loathing that is in large part a product of our society/culture, and in equally large part, a piece of the human experience/condition. don't you think that the time spent by any of the spiritual masters you list on the development of the understanding and deep acceptance of the divinity within themselves BEFORE they returned to the world of men isn't as much a part of their model for success as what they pursued AFTER finding balance in themselves? Jesus in the wilderness, Buddha in the forest, Muhammad in the cave, Moses in the desert- they all needed time to find themselves, rise above their demons, and build that foundation before they could begin to externalize that love and project it outwards. i don't mean the self love of the therapy books in barns and noble here, i mean a deeper, metaphysical and mystical understanding of what and who you are is needed before you can abandon that addiction to 'self' and live for others. THAT's when the goodness comes full circle back to your self; that is, only after you relinquish your need for it.
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    May 02, 2008 3:34 PM GMT
    Of course. If you can't empathize with the object of your goodwill and know what it feels like or the salvation found within it, you would never understand it's importance.

    Too many people believe that loving yourself is the goal. It really is just the starting point .

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    May 02, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    I think loving yourself is something that falls into trusting yourself and being yourself. (those words are a series of a tattoo I want to get).

    There is a victim mentality a lot of people have. this is usually followed by a sense of entitlement. This evolves into a pass the buck mentality and then spirals downward. There are many things that you can not change or have no control of in life. They can be the cause of initial problems. But like a fire, this out side source is only the spark that causes a flame, which can be fueled or extinguished. That is where our own power comes.

    I agree with Pierre, but also have to be a voice of dissent; as icon_neutral.gifthere are forces that prevent us from seeing the positive and acting on our own behalf. Depression, addiction, low self esteem, denial, emotional stress, illness.... these are all strong forces that can interfere with loving yourself. Often you know something is not right in the universe and you seek an understanding to learn why this is. I think that the point of being able to share your fears, concerns and complaints are part of the growing process. I think its a little hard-edged to take a stop whining approach.

    Often people need an impetus to seek a journey that will get them closer to loving, trusting and being oneself. I recently ended a 9 year relationship to do just that. Up til recently I sought out millions of ways to feel better, find answers and love myself. I gave up sharing my life with the the love of my life in order to take one step towards finding myself. A self that had been damaged from alcoholic family situation, years of sexual abuse, warped self image, etc. I am only at the beginning of this journey, never realizing all of the obstacles that were facing me. Here I thought I was in control and the universe was against me.

    My point is this...

    You do need to take responsibility for your life. HOWEVER, you must accept and work through the things that you can't control; be willing to take the risks that it takes to get you to a place you can start to embark on a journey to love yourself; and take the time to fail, seek help and hurt. Being selfish is a good thing. Being selfish at the cost of others is not. Life is about cause and effect. You just need to figure out where you can be the cause and map to the effect.


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    May 02, 2008 7:01 PM GMT
    I agree as adults we do need to take responsibility for our lives. Unfortnately some people's life experiences when they are younger do not prepare them for the role of adult. Furthermore, terrible things do happen to some people that they have no control over. Each of us has to be honest about who we are and have been, and make changes to improve our lot in life.

    What puzzles me though are those people who think that everything good that happens to them is somehow due to their actions, and nothing to do with the good fortune they may have been blessed with.

    I personally feel I am luckier than the vast majority of men on this planet. I was born into an upper middle-class family in a well-off society (Canada), and I am white (unfortunately that is still important). I have had some challenges in life but compared to my peers in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tajikstan or Myanamar I am doing very well thank you.
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    May 02, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    Our views are completely divergent.
    Everything that happens to you is a result of someone's actions.
    Your birth in Canada to white parents is a result of two people having sex, not luck or blessings .
    Spiritual enlightenment has nothing do with luck or your lot in life. Cause and effect has nothing to do with being blessed. Your chances of finding happiness(aside from education and exposure) are just as likely if you are rich as if you are poor.
    There is a reason priests take a vow of poverty.
    THings are distracting. Look at any prophet and you will realize they had nothing and designed things that way.

    I would not look at someone with a pile of belongings and think that they are more blessed or luckier than someone who has nothing. Every life has burden and sadness just as every life has happiness and joy. It is assumptive to believe that just because you are white and middle class, that your understanding of "blessings and happiness" is more keen.

    One persons meal is another persons bentley. It is all relative.
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    May 03, 2008 8:29 AM GMT
    Hmmmm, I agree that having possessions or being well-off does not guarantee you happiness. I am puzzled though why you assumed that was the reason why I thought I was lucky. I am lucky because I have a roof over my head, enough food to eat and I have access to drugs that keep my HIV at bay. If I lived in many countries in the world I would be dead by now. I think if you asked the average 47 year old male in Zimbabwe whether they would rather be somewhere else, they would likely say yes.

    I agree that many things in life are a direct result of other's actions. However, a good number are a result of my actions or inactions. I chose what courses to take in university, I chose to study at 5 in the morning in order to get a higher mark, etc..

    As for spiritual enlightenment, well let us say I will leave that to others with different personalities and interests.

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    May 03, 2008 2:04 PM GMT
    Wysiwyg60 saidHmmmm, I agree that having possessions or being well-off does not guarantee you happiness. I am puzzled though why you assumed that was the reason why I thought I was lucky. I am lucky because I have a roof over my head, enough food to eat and I have access to drugs that keep my HIV at bay.



    You have just said you are puzzled why I assumed you considered yourself lucky because of possessions and things... then proceeded to make a list of Things that make you lucky...

    A roof, food, drugs... are all things. True happiness does not come from things. Otherwise most people in the third world would be unable to find joy and love and most Americans and Canadians would be euphoric.

    I think the whole "at least I am better off than this person" is a game we have all played. I am not sure what good comes from that. Should it takes someone else's suffering or lack of material things to make us realize you are blessed and happy or even worse, Lucky?

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    May 04, 2008 9:54 AM GMT
    Pierrecardot. I think I can sum up everything you said in one word:

    Empathy

    The world needs more! icon_razz.gif

    Because that's usually how I separate the good people from the bad people. Heh. Almost all the folks I don't like are those who are oblivious to the emotions of other people around them.

    The stuck up snobs, the bullies, the manipulative calculating liars, the traitorous cowards, the rude people, etc.

    I don't know if it's even a kind of sixth sense or something and I hope other people are like this too, but for me it comes naturally. It's so bad that I can't stand the sight of open wounds on other people because I can feel it myself. LOL. Or other people sad or angry because it makes me sad or angry too. I think first of how it would be like to be in the other person's shoes before I begin to judge, for example.

    e.g. I do not see a whore, I see a woman pushed to those circumstances. I do not see a thief, I see a young man driven to steal by hunger. Etc.

    And I can tell very easily the mood another person is in. I just wish other people did the same for me. icon_razz.gif

    I'm certainly not a saint, but I try to make other people happy the best way I can. Even if that means I get to be treated like a doormat sometimes. Heh. Or a clown. I don't mind.

    Love isn't the best emotion there is, since Love is basically just the counterbalance to Hatred, and more often than not they come hand in hand. Whenever you love, hate is not far behind. Not saying that Love isn't a good thing, but it's an emotion of passion and yearning, not contentment.

    It makes more sense to just care for everybody else around you, that's the road to happiness. And it would make a far better world certainly.

    If those Nazi sadists for example could actually feel what they are inflicting on their victims, I doubt the holocaust would have happened.

    P.S. I didn't sound like I was pimping myself, was I? LOL Coz I wasn't. icon_confused.gif
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    May 04, 2008 10:16 AM GMT
    Woot for Pierre.

    (Can you "woot" a philosopher? Discuss.)


    And Sed, for the first time, I'm going to disagree with you slightly (don't hit me!). While I agree with everything you say on the importance of empathy, I think the one word summary of Mr. Cadot's posts is more "Responsibility" than "Empathy." But I like empathy, and I think you do too. So please empathize with my need to deemphasize your empathy.

    Empathetically,

    K
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    May 04, 2008 10:22 AM GMT
    iguanaSF saidWoot for Pierre.

    (Can you "woot" a philosopher? Discuss.)


    And Sed, for the first time, I'm going to disagree with you slightly (don't hit me!). While I agree with everything you say on the importance of empathy, I think the one word summary of Mr. Cadot's posts is more "Responsibility" than "Empathy." But I like empathy, and I think you do to. So please empathize with my need to deemphasize your empathy.

    Empathetically,

    K


    icon_redface.gif

    *hits IguanaSF hard and drags the body behind the bushes*

    I focused on the self-love argument. Hehe My bad icon_wink.gif
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    May 04, 2008 12:09 PM GMT
    I think that this is a complex issue. My response may work for me or not. It also may not be appropriate for someone else.
    Everything that's happened to me is a result of 3 things,
    1. The actions I took whether conscious or unconscious.
    2. The actions of others.
    3. Environmental events.

    While I agree with Pierrecadot's statement, it is one aspect of the whole. People have a tendency to attribute things in their lives to one overriding 'thing.' What that 'thing' is varies depending on the individual. People rarely see the complexity of interactions that bring about any event. They choose to simplify it in order to make it more palatable or comprehendible.

    My approach is to determine the 'how.' as Pierrecadot has pointed out. I never assume that I am without responsibility. However, I've found it's really important to have a good solid set of reliable friends who can read me the riot act when appropriate. When 10 of my diverse group of friend's think one thing and I think something else, there's a real good chance I'm wrong and that's more often than not, the best course of action. Since I'm intensely involved in my own life, the decisions I make during difficult times may not be the best. Being emotionally heated will often instigate a primal response when a cool headed response is needed. Therefor, I use my friends as a sounding board. Simply blaming someone else for my bad situation is a good way to guarantee that I'll repeat the actions on my part that got me there to begin with. I used to blame myself for certain things in my life and blame others for other things in my life. Getting an outside perspective has started to steer me in the right direction. It's a learning process and not a 'one issue' problem.
    So far, so good.
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    May 04, 2008 12:15 PM GMT
    I'm a whore.