peace corps

Gazing Upon My Navel

I recently read two very good books, by two intelligent men who spend a considerate amount of time and energy waxing poetic about their problems, both real and imagined.

Don’t get the wrong idea, however. I don’t regret reading them, but books like these tend to make me wax poetic about my own issues. It’s something all people do in some way shape or form. I think it is often identified as venting. Unfortunately, when you’re in the type of mood that I am currently in,* you become annoyed by those flowery descriptions of how fucked up these people are. I suppose this is probably because you have somehow realized that you’re fucked up in the same ways and you are sick and tired of people holding the mirror up to your face.

I am becoming increasingly terrified because I cannot seem to figure out life. I don’t want to work and then die. I don’t want to live a selfish life either. I don’t want to waste time pursuing empty short-lived spans of joy. I guess I just want what every human being wants. Not fame. Not money. Not even contentment or happiness. Those are just the false names people give to what they’re really after.

I think we’re all just searching for meaning.

I believe that I am coming to the conclusion that all the volunteering in the world won’t help me find meaning. All of the philosophy books won’t help me find meaning. Neither will becoming rich, writing a book, moving to India, moving to New York, buying a house, having a family, becoming a movie star, eating only meat**, eating only vegetables, building a house that is completely and utterly “off the grid”,***

and I have even come to realize that G-d can’t even give this to me.****

It’s too esoteric for all that, isn’t it?

Somewhat like the idea of a soul. You can’t really say in man-made terms what a soul is because well . . . it’s not man-made.

I compare this to the search for the soul because essentially a search for meaning is a search for me.

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

*The type of mood I am in is probably very similar to the one these men were in when writing. Yes, I am aware that this exposes me as a hypocrite. I am past the days of claiming otherwise.

**Holly Brubach, former style editor for the NY Times wrote an article about some men who only ever eat meat, some taking it as far as only eating raw meat. Regrettably, I cannot seem to locate the article.

***This is a major dream of mine. However, it lives in my head more as a concept. Thus, I direct you to this website for more information.

****I include G-d, because I am running off of the premise that the way people think of G-d is (necessarily) a human concept and that it cannot be anything other than that. It is my belief that if I were to find several people of several faiths and asked them individually who or what G-d is I would get as many answers as I have people unless they were primed to say something precise . . . which would be quite insulting to G-d, I think.

[Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig are the books I read.]

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4 thoughts on “Gazing Upon My Navel

  1. Vickie (Bickie Bickie) says:

    “…but books like these tend to make me wax poetic about my own issues.”

    What does “wax poetic” mean? When I look it up I can only find it to mean like, actual wax itself…

    Along with that quote, it’s good that you realize after reading these things with that type of mood it puts you in the same mood as those things. It’s important to realize the practical aspect of wellness. If a book, movie, or whatever we bring into our life is depressing then that will also cause us to feel depressed. It sounds obvious, but I really think it can get out of hand…. people (I’m not really talking about you here) can get really depressed or agitated and wonder how to fix it and then take some prescription drug to fix them when all they need to do is cut out the depressing movies and books in their lives! Obviously I know that’s not the complete answer, just sayin it’s important to realize. In fact, any time I’m about to enter into a depressing movie or book, I consciously make myself aware of it and think about how I’m going to feel afterwards and then decide if I really want to enter into it or not. If so I try to grasp why I’m feeling down if I do feel down and aggravated after reading or watching something like that. So just sayin, since you are already under a lot of pressure these days you might want to be cautious and not get too wrapped up in it… maybe read a good joke?

    Yes the depressing things have their place. Just saying it’s important to realize that if you value your emotional wellness, sometimes it’s good to take a break from the disgruntled books and movies. But as I said, they have their place and are also important.

    Anyway…… that’s just me bein’ momma, I guess. I just don’t want you to get too depressed cuz I care about ya…. 😦

    After reading this post, I must say that this was a very Melancholy temperament post. πŸ™‚ You gotta read Personality Plus… the temperaments can be really enlightening. I don’t think one should put themselves into it like a box, but I definitely think it can bring understanding to how and why we respond the way we do to things. πŸ™‚ I love it. I’m mostly a melancholy temperament… with sanguine and phlegmatic tied after melancholy…

    Another thing to realize is while you are on this search you will come to answers that are important to realize, but sometimes as people who think a lot and get depressed about what they come to discover (I do that…. melancholies tend to do that) is that we have to not get too proud and arrogant (while it may not immediately seem that way during being disgruntled… The disgruntlement may stem from thinking, realizing things, and then being arrogantly dissatisfied…not saying that’s always the case and not saying it’s not important to think and realize depressing things and be dissatisfied with them (There are many times when it’s good and right!)… just saying it’s an aspect to realize, too)…..

    To go along with that, I think happiness is found in humility…. and happiness is important (yes we can go in circles about what people really desire, yadda yadda… but happiness is an important aspect of life to have, Brando. Yes there are seasons in life and yes life isn’t all about emotions etc, etc, but to be healthy you gotta have happiness most of the time too… and I hope you come back to it soon after this season of aggravated searching). (You can still be searching as a happy searcher too! …like an adventurer!)

    (However, I do approve of having this season of “down-ness” because often that’s when our best discoveries and enlightenment occur! Almost always, actually!)

    Love ya, kid!

  2. Vickie (Bickie Bickie) says:

    When I said, “Along with that quote, it’s good that you realize after reading these things with that type of mood it puts you in the same mood as those things.”

    It should say, “Along with that quote, it’s good that after reading these things you have a conscious realization that it puts you in the same mood as those writings.”

  3. brandonwantstochangetheworld says:

    Strange, I just looked Wax Poetic up on http://www.dictionary.com and found a link to a definition.

    Anyway, it just means to speak (or write) in a flowery or increasingly “poetic” manner. In other words, I state my problems in a more complicated manner than they really need to be communicated.

    Oh. And. Um.

    I’m not depressed actually. I understand why you would think that based on the post. I was and am just feeling very introspective at the moment. That’s all.

    And regarding happiness. Naturally, happiness is necessary and desirable. I am just saying that I don’t feel like it is the end all. I don’t necessarily feel fulfilled when I am feeling happy. I may be working hard and becoming very frustrated and would not describe myself as being happy. But I would say that I feel fulfilled. And that’s more important. And then the happiness will come later.

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