Friday Question: How Do You Deal With Your Ego?

Good Morning,

It’s Friday again, and as has become tradition, I will be posing a question for anyone to answer. But before I do that, I would just like to thank everyone that has commented and participated in responding on any of my pieces. Often, it is many of your astute opinions that have led me to broaden and expand my own personal perspective on things. More than that, I realize that I am connecting with people that are thinking critically and openly as well, and so I would just like to show my appreciation by thanking all that have shown their support. Thank you.

So it’s right to it then, I suppose: question time. How do you keep your ego in check?

This time, I’m targeting a more direct question to all of your readers. I see the ego as an obstacle that we all have to face if we want to live anything more than a shallow life. So I’m wondering how people overcome or at the very least deal with such a thing. How exactly do you move beyond the material desires that tease and tantalize us? The want for a certain image, to have certain things, to be a certain way.

I’ve come to see the ego as an invisible enemy of human beings, an obstacle we created for ourselves. We each have a different ego, but a similarity we all share is that we want. It is that desire that we all have, and I want to know how you handle your’s? What do you do when the ego gets a little too big?

Thanks again everyone, and I’m looking forward to some great conversations.

–mrprose

Friday Question: What is Authentic Art?

Hello everyone,

It’s Friday! Who doesn’t love a Friday? It’s a great day to ponder on meaningful questions, don’t you think? Well guess what, I have one.

I’m endlessly intrigued by how people view the world. I find it simply amazing that we can all have our own ideas and perspectives on the same thing. Who’s to say everyone’s perception of color, sense of hearing, or interpretation of smell is the same? Different people enjoy different genres of music, different styles of writing, different architecture. Our world is so diverse. The same goes for art.

Just like anything in history, art has progressed massively through the ages. The discoveries of man have always been reflected in the arts of every culture. We yearn to express ourselves.

Art

Are those art pieces? (Photo credit: A.Currell)

I cannot say that I am drawn to, or connect with all forms of art. There are songs I hear or paintings I see or poems I read that I simply dislike. I may not connect with the message, or maybe it has the feel of being sloppily made. Perhaps you get the impression that it’s an ordinary piece of ‘artwork’ that in itself has no uniqueness, or any sort of deeper message. I have commonly heard disgust directed toward modern works of art, because they do not follow traditional rules. The price-tag in particular can sometimes be cause enough for outrage.

So here’s my question for you, my readers: What do you think is authentic artwork? What holds meaning, has a powerful message, or is a true work of expression, in your opinion? What is worthy or being called ‘art’?

I’m excited to hear what all of you have to say… happy Friday!

–mrprose

The ‘I’ Is Constant

Hello again,

I must say, this was a difficult question that I posed for all of you on Friday. The struggle for me is how to answer this without going to a heady place. If I did that, I would not find an authentic answer. So here we go.

As can be read in the title, I believe that each and every person has a ‘higher self’, a part of themselves that transcends the physical. That soul, that spirit, or that ‘I’ as I like to call it, is unchanging, it is constant. Ultimately, I believe the I is never truly affected by the material world. You change forms – your physical body will not and cannot last forever – but your essence, your true self, is always there.

who am i?

Do our experiences make us who we are? (Photo credit: paurian)

So then there is the question of where experiences play their role, because life and everything that comes with it (the challenges, the comforts, the pains, the triumphs, etc.) does change you. It’s inevitable. It’s unavoidable.

I look at what exactly the ‘I’ is. What exactly is it that composes our essence? Can it even be defined?

I’ve often explored what the I is that I am. There are many definitions we can place on such a concept of life, and through our various experiences, we all most likely have different definitions. For myself, I see my soul, my I as being part of the greater energy that everything came from. It may seem like we live in a separated world full of isolations, and it may seem like we are two different people, you and I, that we share nothing in common. But we are all connected in ways we cannot yet comprehend. We are all from the same greater energy, and this is just the form we are taking right now.

I Am the Sea of Permutation

I am. (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

I see God living within me, as I see myself living within God. If I stripped myself of all my ego, of all my materialistic values, of all the things I identify myself with that create my identity, there is something still there. It is the true I that is beyond experiences. It is energy at it’s purest form. It is God.

So where do experiences play their part? They have their value too.

I can say with full honesty, that my experiences have completely changed me. Whether they occurred because of my choices or not, I am a different person from last year, last month, last week.

But maybe ‘change’ and ‘different’ aren’t the right words. Maybe my experiences aren’t so much changing me, as they are shaping me in this level of existence or consciousness. And maybe I’m not changing and becoming a different person, but rather I am discovering more of myself, and my experiences are leading me closer and closer to I.

Dean K. Miller commented something that stood out for me: “My experiences are just that….my experiences. I am not them, nor are they me. But they make up the framework of who I choose to be, moment by moment, lifetime after lifetime. The experiences come and go, here for a reason, recognized or not.”

I connected with those words – experience absolutely makes up the framework of who I am as a human being. It does shape me here on Earth. But saying that I am the sum of my experiences is to look only at one’s identity.

And you are much more than just your identity. You are something much, much more beautiful.

–mrprose

Friday Question: Are You Your Experiences?

Hello, it’s Friday. Need I say more?

I’ll just say that I hope you have an open mind this fine day, because I’ve got a whopper of a question for you.

I’ll be the first to say that this is not a typical question you think about, but it’s one I think needs to be considered more, because it’s kind of a big deal. It’s a big deal in that it’s how you choose to view yourself. And come on, how are you not a big deal in your own eyes?

Okay, so here is: are you your experience? Is the truest form of yourself changed or altered or affected by your experiences, the events and adventures that you embark on?

Are you your experiences? Until tomorrow.

–mrprose

No Reasoning Required

Hello,

turkey sandwich (with notes) from Thanksgiving...

Mmm, I’ll take one of those. (Photo credit: kthread)

So I realize that my question from yesterday is no simple, easy-answer question. I’m not asking about how to decide on which kind of sandwich to eat for lunch. That is a fairly emotionless decision that can be made with minimal if any consequences. If you’ve been reading my blog for even just a little while, you know that I have no interest in asking what I believe to be trifle questions. If you want that turkey-musturd combo, knock yourself out. You could read the rest of this piece while you’re eating.

I was really asking about what you do when two deeply emotional parts of yourself are conflicting. It’s not nearly as simple, in fact it’s not simple at all. Because even if one option outweighs the other, there can be massive consequences of all kinds. Can you really just pick one and forget about the other(s)?

Emotion just doesn’t work like that.

The left brain seems to better fit our society that the right brain. We are encouraged to think more than feel. It’s definitely more comfortable to think than to feel. I’m doing my best to change that about myself, to move beyond what feels safe and inviting. At the same time, I didn’t call my blog ‘Deep Feelings’ for a reason. It sounds cheesy, it’s sounds uncomfortable.

I just had a conversation with someone in which the person I was conversing with was explaining to me why art is useless, it has no purpose, and it isn’t really a safe form of income. That isn’t far from how many people think. We discount any sort of feeling involved, any sort of need for emotional release.

By nature we like to reason. We like to set out all of our options, examine them, and then pick the best one. Easy, right? I’ll just have the turkey mustard sandwich right now, and have a different kind tomorrow. It’s simple, and you can just move on.

It’s not at all the same way with emotionally involved decisions. Some are difficult even to

Compass

Our emotions do not lie. They point in the direction we should go. (Photo credit: Roland Urbanek)

explain to other people. These decisions take on a new level of intensity, a new level of importance. Look at your own life. Don’t tell me there aren’t things you wish you did, decisions you feel you should or shouldn’t have made. My guess is that you think about these things a lot. I sure do. Maybe there was a way I could have looked at it from another angle, choosing just a little more wisely….

But it’s not like that. Emotions are our internal compasses. When emotion or feeling is involved in anything, your higher self, your “I” is trying to tell you something. Reasoning is usually just looking at things from a materialistic point of view, the eyes of a human being. You can’t reason with emotion, because you can’t control your emotion! It’s futile to try.

Choices

You’ll find the answer by listening. (Photo credit: Sky Noir)

When one is stuck in a difficult place, crossroads, the course of action that should be taken is to first stop, then take a step back and just feel. Tap into the higher intelligence that exists beyond the material plane. Maybe for you, it’s God. Listen to what He has to say. Meditation is also fantastic, although it’s not the only method. You just have to slow down and listen.

It’s not easy. From experience struggling with this kind of thing, I know how easy it is to just let your head get in the way, choose for you. Its easier, it’s a natural tendency of humans. More than that, feeling for an answer takes far longer (at first) than thinking up an answer. It takes massive patience and determination to stop yourself and let the universe, God, tell you.

Despite how difficult it may be at first, it’s worth it. An answer you found through the universe is never wrong, and you will find comfort in knowing that you took the right path for yourself. But more than anything, you will grow closer, more connected, with God, with the universe, with life itself. You’ll realize you’re not alone, that there is always support somewhere. All you have to do is listen.

–mrprose

Friday Question: Conflicting Parts

It’s Friday, hooray!

For those that have been around for a while, you know the system – I ask a question of reasonable depth, and you, in turn, answer with your reply. I love hearing what you have to say, but I love even more when you discuss amongst yourselves. I want some debate, people!

So here’s the question: what do you do when parts of yourself are conflicting? Our lives

Torn logo

Torn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

are full of decisions, of choices that we have to make. Often times it’s one or the other. It’s this or that. You can’t do every career, specialize in every art form, every field of study. The world is just too big sometimes. Life can seem like a long hall-way full of doors and let’s face it, sometimes it’s difficult to pick one and follow through. You have to wonder what’s behind all those other doors you never took. But the next thing you know, the oppurtunity is gone.

What if you feel two things, perhaps two different religions resonate with you, or maybe your wants/desires cannot coexist with each other (I want to travel to two cities, but only have the money to go to one). What do you do then? What do you do when you feel split, when you’re internally torn?

I’ll be back tomorrow!

–mrprose

Finding The Right Structure

Hello again,

Yesterday I asked the Friday Question, Structure or No? I’m really glad I got some truly in-depth answers, because it really is a subject that demands a bit of thinking. Something basically everyone said was that structure is necessary for humans, if even just a little. We need some way to stay grounded, and although we’re an incredibly adaptable species, there is a limit to how far we can go.

English: Structure of sunflower's leaf. Česky:...

There is structure in much of life. Even the leaves are built in a certain way. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to say that I agree. I am a very artistic person, and I still need to set myself up with at least a skeleton of a schedule or a plan so that I am not completely lost. Nature set human beings up with natural structures of their own. An example would be the will to live or instincts like the drive to eat. As mishaburnett put it quite nicely in the comment section, “A baby crying to be fed is not unstructured–it is the infant responding to his or her internal structure.”

So we do need structure, and I believe to varying degrees – I think it all depends on on who we are and our past experiences/views on life. If I was kept on a three foot leash until age 16, I’m sure I would do anything for a bit of freedom. If I was more exposed to what it was like to be on my own, maybe I would be able to handle life with a more level head, with a more comfortable level of structure.

I should clarify what I said from yesterday. I do not believe all doctors and lawyers live orderly lives, nor do I believe all comedians and artists live disorganized lives. I recognize a career can be separated from personal life (sometimes), but as a whole, certain jobs do require more focus from the left-brain, more analytical thinking, more numbers and more studying, while others do not call for such things.

Cubicle

Ugh, it turns my stomach just thinking about working there. (Photo credit: yuan2003)

Here’s the thing, though: some say to balance work (being a lawyer for example) with art (being a comedian, say by night). My response to that is a bit more on the risky side. I do not believe that just doing a job and then focusing your art as a hobby always works for everyone. Perhaps it does for some, but certainly not all. Firstly, a great many people cannot handle certain atmospheres, no matter the pay. I know for sure that I will never be able to work in an office or at a desk unless they’re my writing office/desk. I simply do not have the capacity to do monotonous work. I know that I am just a kid, but I also know with all my being that I have passions that I want to explore, and so a cubicle is not an option for me.

That’s why I say that finding the perfect balance for yourself is to go for what you love, and then implement structure. Maybe you do need to work odd jobs for a while. Maybe you have to start off small, give yourself scheduled non-

English: In the Beginning

Art brings me closer to God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

structure. But I believe that lack of structure in some form is vital for human growth. If we stuck to the same system forever. We wouldn’t even be cavemen. Innovation is only possible when you break the rules sometimes.

The biggest thing is to let that artist within you to grow. It will feed you as a person, and bring you closer to God, to your own pure soul. I know that passionate artists are exploring, they’re discovering. They’re learning things about themselves and others. About God and about the universe. I think we need to structure our lives in a way that we can explore these extraordinary gifts that we have.

–mrprose