Become formless like water.
Become light as air.
The mind builds, but doubt always can destroy.
So root yourself not in things which can so easily be brushed aside. There is no idea which is true, or beyond doubt. If it can be doubted, it is an idea, and a mere object of contemplation to be sculpted or molded at whim. Associate yourself with it, become an idea, and look how others can do the same with you.
Ideas are merely creative frameworks used to see the world this or that particular way, or accomplish this or that task. But an idea says nothing about reality. It is a work of art. Look at ideas as you would a painting. Analyze them. Question them. Always be aware of your ideas. You must know exactly why you have built them up, and you must know exactly how they can be torn down.
Objectivity is subjective.
Pragmatism is idealism.
The truth lies.
Reality is not real.
Can you see how these are so?
Become a surgeon, the realm of ideas your object of study. Know how to pick them apart; know how to sew them back together. Confusion is your scalpel; questions the force and direction of your incisions.
As long as you have these things, you are invincible to the pull of ideas.
For no matter how compelling someone’s ideas may be, you will shout:
“Is that so?”
“How do you know this to be true?”
“Who has told that this is so?”
“You may speak of this all you like but leave me out of it! I know nothing of it!”
"Keep you opinions to yourself what use do I have for them!”
You will not be hypnotized. You will not be brainwashed. You will stand above theory, ideology, and logic. Everything that is built can be taken down. Observe yourself, learn the ins and outs of deconstruction.
As you do this, you become a master of the mind and all its going-ons. You will understand all your impulses, machinations, and plans. And you will be free to choose among them totally at your discretion. You will see the wheels spinning in others, and you will be free to entertain them or knock them down.
The realm of ideas is vast -- read next of all the things you will be free from if you can achieve such a state of mastery.
All of your problems are ideas.
All your worries are ideas.
All of your negative opinions of others; all of their negative opinions of you.
All of your theories, and the theories of science.
All ideas compelling you to do this or that.
All normatives -- that is, all beliefs of “should,” that one action or thought is preferable to another.
From all these things you will be free, standing above, outside of them. Able to entertain them, yet ready to knock them down at a moment’s notice should you be so inclined.
Paper tigers, hollow ringing, straw men -- so constitutes the majority of your existence.
Start looking. Start studying. Great strength is waiting for you.
Let me now at last tell you: there is one driving force behind all the activity of the mind, and it is fear.
All theories, ideas, and opinions -- are held by men who desire, like rats in a storm, to crawl back into their shelters. Children hold onto beliefs, create theories which fill this or that gaping hole in their souls.
If you would like to put behind you childhood and become an adult you must know virtue. And there is one true virtue: it is the willingness to look fear in the eye and understand what lays behind it.
In doing so, you can understand your mind and begin to live outside of it.
Here it is: a separation from ideas, from the mind… it is a separation from fear itself, which is a separation from every issue you have in your life.
That is not to say they disappear.
But no longer are they yours to trouble yourself with.
Like chains you have suddenly discovered were never bound at all; go now you are free.
For pray tell, where can I find a selfless man?
Is he in the community garden pulling weeds?
Is he at his parish soup kitchen dispensing food to the needy?
Is he teaching his children to do well in school and behave as well-mannered people?
All appear selfless in their deeds; none truly are. Not them, and not the saints nor the pope, not the nuns and monks, and not the martyrs nor disciples. All have their interests, their reasons, and their justifications.
He who pulls weeds loves the feeling of working outdoors; he who serves soup loves to think of himself as charitable; he teaches his children wishes to see his ideas and his beliefs carry on in the world when he is gone. All of them are concerned solely with what they want, and what they desire.
Pray tell, where is one who is selfless?
Where is one who considers not his needs, but those of others alone? He has been found, but he is no longer: selflessness is for the dead.
For how else can it be other than that you tend to your own needs alone? What other way is there to live? To your needs alone you have access, after all. Anything you have done, you have done for the needs you feel, and the wishes you have. Whether these wishes involve others, which we, in our ignorance, deem noble and charitable, or whether they involve only you does not matter, for the impulse to act comes entirely in an effort to please yourself. Either you please yourself through helping yourself or you please yourself through the pleasure you gain from pleasing others.
And my, how wicked is that man who is so charitable that he begins to see other people as mere objects to help and gain pleasure for himself, all while telling himself he is selfless.
I will tell you this: the self is all you have. If you act upon any thought or desire, you act upon the desires of the self. It cannot be any other way. He who has no concern for himself is either dead or asleep. He who acts without concern for himself is mentally idle.
You sin not in your selfishness, but only in your pretending there are selfish deeds and selfless ones.
God has made you in his image, he has fashioned you with the tools and feelings and ideas to help others and to do good to all men. When you reject your natural inclination to do the right thing, and decide you know best, that you should help others when truly you need to help yourself, or that you should help yourself when you feel the need to help others, then you have placed yourself above God and you have become lost.
Throw out your divisions!
Throw out your petty ideals, that some actions might be nobler than others!
Know yourself as you are known, and God will build you into a paragon of virtue,
as effortlessly as a tree growing from rain and shine.
Davy Jones was asking a good question, especially since in that movie he had some control over the afterlife.
Here in the real world, however, there is no need to ask that question since we all would say “yes”.
Get your life together, and stop fearing something that doesn’t exist.
*insert record scratch here*
“How can you tell me death doesn’t exist? My mother, father, sister, brother, pet guinea pig, has died, I’m going to die, you’re going to die…"
Oh sure, oh sure, keep wanting to die all you want, you sadist; and talk to me after you go to the swap meet and find a clue.
The reality of the situation is that death is the cessation of bodily functions and cognitive processes. To be clearer, death is the end of life. This might sound so mind-blowingly obvious, but if it is so obvious, why do you fear death?
You must not know what the end of life means; don’t worry, I’ll tell you. Then end of your life means the cessation of all your perceiving processes: your senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, on top of your sixth sense which is perception gained from thought.
All of these cease when you die, therefore, you will not be able to perceive your death.
...well...let’s talk about birth too. Likewise, you are obviously not able to perceive your birth. We all come into this self-consciousness of personhood certainly by the time we reach two years old and start forming complex (enough) words and sentences with our voices. By this time our brains have become sufficiently wired (smart enough) to “think” and therefore, to perceive.
Though it is interesting how the older we get, the fuzzier our earlier memories get. The shadow of our memories are right behind us as we step out the front door, but our shadow doesn’t stay on the stoop; it is always following us a few paces behind.
If this isn’t evidence for a completely organic consciousness, I don’t know what is. Our synapses create cognitive maps of everything around us; as we age, the earlier memories are getting less electric firepower (voltage potentials and all that, ya know?). Nothing was bestowed upon us from an outside entity.
Nothing is given to us unless we allow it. Don’t let fear, or anything, take hold within you without your permission.