Contradictions

Rule your mind or it will rule you.

Buddha

Have you ever thought about the old saying “Ignorance is bliss” and contrasted it with the ancient adage which quotes “knowledge is power”?

If you have, you’ll know that life is very, very paradoxical in nature.

In fact, the way it juxtaposes its contradictions to make philosophers seem like oxymorons is simply astounding.

If you haven’t then you must be living a very blissful life, where you don’t get to break your mind thinking about things you’d rather not know.

Either way, it doesn’t change the facts. That I’m happier not knowing I’ll be dying tomorrow.

Imagine all the sorrow that would bring me.

But then again wouldn’t it be better to know?
Wouldn’t it be better to  go into that good night, mentally and spiritually prepared to take on its terrors?

Would you rather the bucket just kicked you, without the possibility of your mind getting ready to weather and use the pain to make you stronger?

I don’t know…why life has to be so paradoxically contradictory.

Perhaps it leads to the telling of many an interesting story? About how we die, but are reborn, as stronger beings, higher in the pecking order of Godliness.

All I know is that the border between ignorance and knowledge is very much blurred. In fact I can’t quite see it clearly.

But I’ll try to make sure I don’t cross the line and step into the unreachable territory of God known as omniscience.

I’ll try to tip-toe my way towards the bliss of ignorance, whilst also making sure I remain a sucker for the expansion of my consciousness.

Balance. It’s what the sages of a thousand ages recommend. Who am I to go against their wise words? Simply a fool.

So I’ll listen and align myself to “Ignorance is bliss” and I’ll make my actions rhyme with “knowledge is power”.

I’ll be contradicting myself. But hey, life itself is paradoxical.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

I’ve been thinking a lot about them lately.

In fact, just this week alone, there have been at least a million questions Usain Bolting through my mind all hoping to win the race of demystifying thoughts.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

Where do they come from? And where do they go?
How do they affect me?
Why do I think? And is it even possible to stop thinking?

These are just some of the curious questions that have been wandering around in my mind, wondering if they will find the food which will satiate their hunger for answers.

Thoughts have always fascinated me, right from the moment I thought my first thought–I wonder what it was–to right now whilst writing to put my thoughts on digital paper.

In my quest to find answers, I’ve come across a few sources which claim that thoughts come from nowhere, yet also from everywhere. This may seem paradoxically contradictory, but it must be true considering that life itself is paradoxical.

If you think about it, you’ll realize that like something out of thin air thoughts just pop into our heads. We only detect them once they are already comfortable, at home in our heads. So subjectively speaking, where they come from is a complete mystery to us.

Objectively, according to cognitive psychologists, thoughts arise in the brain, when it takes in information through the senses. In this sense, thoughts come from everywhere, because our brain is constantly taking in information from our surroundings. This explains why seeing something can spark thoughts which either illuminate the dark, or add to its intensity.

It’s interesting to note that whether we know not where thoughts come from–nowhere or everywhere?–we still have the power to summon or banish them from our heads using our attention.

Thoughts, as we well know are a powerful force since they can seduce our emotions–which are what allows us to enjoy the beauty of life–into feeling a certain type of way.

If you don’t believe me puase for a few minutes and think of the last time you really enjoyed yourself.

How does doing this change how you feel?

Unless you are in a gloomy and perpetual state of chronic depression, you would’ve noticed that thinking about pleasant memories inspires your feelings to be pleasant in the present.
The opposite is also true, however, that reliving unpleasant memories results in you stirring up negative emotions in the pot of your psyche.

So as you can see–or feel–thoughts have an unbreakable relationship with our emotions. Therefore, as people always chasing after happiness, thoughts are actually our best friends–or our worst enemies.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

What type of relationship do you have with your thoughts?

Are they your enemy, invading the space within your face and conquering your sense of well-being?

Or are they your friend, entering your mind and inspiring your emotions to vibrate at the frequency of positivity?

Tale of the Academic Criminal

No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.

Buddha

Hi there, my friend and fellow colleague in the company where we walk the path of life.
Thank you for visiting my blog, I’m always glad to have you here.

For today I just wanted to ask ‘Have you ever committed academic dishonesty?’

Before you answer, let me tell you there’s no judge here–I’ve sentenced them all to life imprisonment in Alcatraz–so don’t be shy to speak freely. Of course we’re still talking about the highly frowned upon business of academic dishonesty created by “lazy students” and “broke nerds”, so I won’t hate you for lying in white. As long as your lies aren’t dyed in black, we’re good.

I hope my lecturers aren’t reading this–if they are I hope they understand a guys gotta make money, and a guys gotta pass a test–because I’m about to become cleaner than sanitized hands. No white lie,but I have–in fact I still do–occasionally sell my skills as an intellectual being with a not too shabby grasp of the ancient arts of reading, understanding, and writing to people who are in need of my very unique set of skills.

I’m not employed–in fact I long ago decided to shun a 9-5 job in favor of chasing not the rat race, but my dreams–and so I don’t have a consistent source of income. Neither do I receive an allowance from my parents, I’m not an expert trader or a professional swindler.

I’m just a student.

So where do I get money?

Most of it comes from my student loan which I’m very grateful for. Some of it from using my student status in the game of chess to teach other enthusiasts of the game. I write as a ghost here and there, but I won’t lie that sometimes, especially when my non-tuition fee is late to the party, and I can’t teach chess on account of self-isolation, I’m forced to become an academic criminal. And so I find myself committing the highly dishonest acts of doing someone else’s assignment, and writing someone else’s test–quite possible in this world of online learning.

As a student I’ve got my own assignments to write, tests to study for, and recommended books to read. But I like learning, and I love helping people–especially those in need–and so I’m usually hard-pressed to say ‘No’ to someone who is in need of my help to write their assignment–perhaps even pass their test.

I’m aware I shouldn’t be doing it. Do I hate myself for it? No. Doing other people’s assignments and preparing for their tests involves research that introduces me to concepts I may have never come across in my field of study. More than that, I get to help someone get closer to their degree–which will hopefully set them free–plus there’s money involved. A guys gotta eat, and drink, and do other things which make sure he not only continues surviving, but is instead thriving.

So in light of my dishonest behavior I wanted to know if you and I are perhaps partners in crime?  Yes? No? Maybe?

If not in this heinous crime of academic dishonesty, then perhaps there are other rules you broke? Like taking a stroll downtown in naked finery? Perhaps getting inspired by a marijuana joint?  Or covertly visiting websites not allowed in your country?

Whatever it is, feel free to share, confident in the knowledge there aren’t any judges here to judge and sentence you for your actions.

An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth

Each day you must choose, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

Eric Mangini

Have you ever heard of the old saying “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.”? 
Yes? No?

Maybe? 


It rhymes with the concept of fighting fire with fire, and I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot lately. 


Am I for it or against it?


If I’m against it, would that mean I promise not to steal your girl, even if you do the same to me? Would it mean I have to smile and congratulate you even as I watch you walk a mile down the aisle with the love of my life? Does it mean I won’t fight back after you hurt me or those I Iove? Does it mean I have to stand back and witness the chaos you bring to my order?


If I’m for it, that certainly means if you make me bleed I will definitely put you in a state where you need the doctor, if not worse–your maker.


Being against it sounds philosophically and ecologically viable, but not very emotionally rewarding since it doesn’t satiate my evolutionary desire to retaliate, and get that sweet, sweet revenge.


In my musings, I’ve been thinking of how an average guy like me can get to navigate these potentially rough waters? 


Do I simply surf the waves of philosophical reasoning, and try to be constructive in the face of waves which seek to drown me in the deep? Is this much easier said than done?


Or do I give in to the desires of my emotional and reptilian brains? 


I don’t know. 


I’m still thinking about it.


I guess only time will tell, if my actions rhyme with the saying “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.” aka fighting fire with fire. 


What about you?

Do you know how to tell someone is lying?

Sweat more in training so you’ll bleed less during the war.

The Spartan sages

Like a Lie detector do you know how to tell when someone is lying to you?

If yes, then most likely you are a very good psychologist or a highly skilled detective.

If no, then you are like me. Unless you are a close friend and I’m well attuned to your behavior – and even then -I fear I’ll be hard-pressed to detect the symptoms of a liar.

Perhaps I’m naive this way? But I like to believe people tell the truth. Atleast most of the time, anyways.

I’m no stranger to many a white lie, and so I won’t sigh in dissatisfaction if someone did the same.

The type of lies I’m talking about here, are the ones dyed in dangerous black and not harmless white. Lies that could mean the difference between life and death,or success and failure.

Psychologists and detectives say you’re more likely to detect these lies if you are on the look out for symptoms like sweating and fidgeting. You have to keep in mind, however, these are also the symptoms of being anxious.

Being anxious–although sometimes  a state exhibited by liars–is not only associated with lying. In fact, sometimes when I’m in the presence of beautiful intelligent women I find myself sweating and fidgeting like a liar indistress.

It’s also interesting to keep in mind that good liars do not exhibit these symptoms. Why? Because they are well practiced and are completely comfortable creating false realities. I read an insightfully fascinating article the other day and it claimed that criminals get better at lying the more they are interrogated. This is not hard to believe. It’s the law of Practice makes perfect in motion.

So what does all this mean for us? Does it mean we are simply at the mercy of black liars who are sure to leave our lives a mess? Are we all to become psychologists and detectives just so we can escape that ugly fate?

Not necessarily, because fortunately most people tell the truth and when they do tell a lie it’s in white.

Ofcoure philosophers and religious teachers will argue that lying is never good. That one should always tell the truth.

But like the ancient adage goes ‘The truth hurts.’ and most of us would rather not hurt anyone if we could.

Bite us if you must, but trust we have your well-being in mind.

When the time comes

You ain’t never gone be happy till you Love Yourz

J. Cole

There will come a time, in your life when the night will be so bright that the light of hope will be frightened to shine it’s glow.

A time when nightmares become the norm, and fears begin to take form in the shape of dreams that die, without even opening an eye to see the light of day.

A time when sorrow is all there is to know. And turmoil all there is to show for your efforts in taming the night.

When this time comes, just know that the Gods have heard your plight. And that they are ready, and willing to lend you their power – to create, and to destroy – so long as you are ready, and willing to tap into the ability that allows you to connect with them.

A letter to my 13 year old self

You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.

Joel Osteen

Hi there Laza, this is me, you actually from the future and I’m sure you are doing well wherever you are.

I am writing you this letter to encourage you to keep dreaming the dreams you dream.

I’m writing to let you know that you’ve carved out an amazing life for yourself.

At twenty-two, I, you, am doing quite well. In fact you can tell from the big smile on my face. This is all thanks to the actions you’ve taken to ensure I tread the path of life whilst looking through the lens of growth.

I know that at 13 you’re still just a boy, growing into a man. That you have not yet picked the pen as your passion, and poetry as the weapon you will wield to slay your demons.

And so I won’t burden you with the worries of life. Just know that your heart will show you the way, and that your mind will  show you how to find the way, to what it is you really want.

I want to thank you, for being you, and to ask you, to continue doing so. Continue being a curious cat. Never stop questioning,  your desire for answers will lead you on a journey of self-discovery, an Odyssey of self-mastery.

As a writer, I’d like to tell you to forget about being an engineer, but no, keep using it to motivate yourself, to perform at your brilliant best. There will be hardships that prevent you from being your best waiting for you in the future. But know you are strong enough to weather any storms that come your way.

There will especially come a time, when you will need to bleed in order to be freed from your prejudices. Don’t be scared of the pain, know that without it you will never gain the wisdom that you seek to gain.

Fear not to venture outside of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, believe you can overcome any discomfort.

Don’t forget to be grateful for all the good things in life. Be grateful for those you love, and thankful for those you don’t, those who serve as an example of what not to be.

Be grateful for what you have, and appreciative of what you don’t. Know that everything happens for a reason, that what did not happen, was not supposed to happen.

Realize that everything happens for your greater good. For your growth, as a spiritual being having a human experience.

But most of all, don’t dwell on the past, nor ponder too much about the future. Just be sure to enjoy every moment as it comes.

Be sure to be thankful for each day that comes your way.  Life is precious be careful not to let it pass you by.

Yours with much love and appreciation.
Lazarus Shatipamba

Dare to dream big

There are no boring moments in life. Only boring people.

Anonymous

Imagine a world where all your dreams can come true.

What would you do in a world like that?

Would you dream small? Or would you dream big?

These days, dreaming small is frowned upon by the most successful dreamers in the world. Not only does dreaming small sell short your Imaginations’ potential to dream bigger and better. It also keeps you from experiencing the true power you possess as a human being.

Regardless, it matters not how big or small you dream. All that matters is that you have the ability to make your dreams a reality, not in another world, but in this one.

This world, is the only place, where all your dreams can come true, but only if you believe, and dare to dream big.