A little bit of everything helps
I’ve just finished reading an essay about how Marxism and Buddhism complement each other and it really resonated with me, especially the part about the non-substance of everything, or everything as defined by its interconnectedness with everything else. I see existence1 as a web of entities, connected by threads of interaction, whether those be physical (electromagnetism, gravity), emotional (love, annoyance, fear), or metaphysical (meaning). I agree that things have no inherent “selfhood,” but rather are defined in their relations to the rest of existence. My conception of god2 is as a locus point of the web, the center, where maybe a spider would sit, were there a spider (there isn’t).
I used to say something in highschool: Everything is everything. I thought it was funny. It’s got a ridiculous, tautological humor to it, I guess, but I think it’s also true: every thing is defined by its relation to everything else in that “glittering web” of existence (to paraphrase the article linked above). Nothing has meaning without its interactions with all the other points in the web. I don’t really know what to do with this. I guess I should read more about Buddhism and Marxism.
Speaking of not knowing what to do with things, I’m not sure what to do with this post. It’s my twenty-ninth birthday, so I’m writing the twenty-ninth moon photo, and this title seemed to fit with what I was reading. So I wrote this, and I’m not sure where to take it.
Something I do like about this series is that it forces me to write something every day, and a lot of the time it’s not something I’d immediately think of, since the titles are (semi-) randomly chosen and generated by someone else. I’ve been trying to keep things interesting for myself by not only writing poems or cartoons or stories or any one type of thing, but there’s only so many types of things to do. I’m coming to the end of my first month at this, and I see the eleven months ahead as Frodo might’ve seen the plain before the Misty Mountains yawn before him.
I guess I should say, Expect more of this sort of thing in the future, but who am I talking to? I suppose myself, a few people who read this. I’m hoping that this year also makes me okay with that.
At the beginning of my thirtieth year, I’m setting the following goals:
- feel more fully the web of interactions that cradle me
- become comfortable in occupying my space in the web of life
- tend to the relationships that hold meaning and keep them strong
- practice compassion in order to hold others up, to cradle them as well
Something to remember is that, in the metaphysical, overarching realness of things, no one connection is more important than another. I have my own priorities – my relationships with R, my family, my community – but I should practice compassion with everyone, because I am deeply connected with them. I think of the Pattern, that has a sort of knowing through unknowing of what it is.
I don’t know where to end this. I guess here will do.
Actually, I want to add a little more: I read another article in Aeon, this one on [mindfulness] and its too-easy-ness. I’ve tried to meditate before, and it’s helped a bit, but I think I’ve been feeling shadows of what the author of this article is concerned about, as well, namely that my thoughts aren’t disconnected from me, that they are real to me, even if they’re somewhat harmful.
In fact, I’ve talked about this in therapy too: I’ve described a problem I’ve had, and the thoughts and emotions that I had, and through talking it out realized those were unhealthy, and then attempt to throw them away, or call them invalid somehow. But he’s said, “They’re still your thoughts and feelings. So they’re not invalid, but they can be wrong, or not indicative of the truth.” And I didn’t get that until reading this article, which coincidentally was published today, on my birthday.
I’m starting to think that maybe this was some little synchronicity for my birthday. I think that’s what my title, “A little bit of everything helps,” as well as my old proverb, “Everything is everything,” mean:3
Everything goes on all the time, which means that any problem or disaster that might happen has already happened, and will happen again; but this is not a reason for despair, because if it’s already happened and the world still turns, this calamity isn’t the end of everything, either. And, since everything’s always happening at the same time, the tools we need to solve our problems are always at hand: we need merely to reach for them and to wield them.
There’s probably some major faults to this argument, but I’m not going to interrogate them now. It’s my birthday, after all. I want to party.
I hesitate to say Universe, but that works too↩︎
which I don’t personally believe in, but if I did, would look like this↩︎
Am I jumping the gun by quoting myself here? Probably.↩︎