Enlightened Conflict

ignored truths for temporary happiness

March 13th, 2017

temporary fleeting g



“Who in the world am I?

Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”


Alice in Wonderland



  “We ignored truths for temporary happiness.



six word story



“Most people do not realize that thinking about something is inviting the essence of that something into their experience.”


Abraham Hicks



presentist 1Ok.


One of the most difficult things to figure out is what to do ‘now’ when given a choice … particularly if that ‘now decision’ would appear to provide some happiness.


I mean … WTF … who would pass on happiness?


We have a tendency to either not think long term when facing happiness … or maybe we weight happiness to such an extent it appears to have a higher value then it may actually have.


Fortunately for us … we actually have an inner scale.


This scale makes this decision a fairly easy one.  That inner scale is the “I know who in the world you are’ scale.


If you know that your happiness assessment glasses are clear, not smudgy and provide you at least fairly good vision … well … you have a better than even chance of actually figuring out whether it represents temporary happiness or ongoing happiness.




The desire or seeking of Happiness cloaks everything. Even truth. And maybe exponentially so for truth.truth people hate

Truth is tricky.


We confuse it with common sense, intuition & instinct.

All of which suggest the real truth about … well … truth without actually being true.

None of those things truly reflect truth … just a characteristic of truth.


The characteristic? Glimpses. Glimpses of truth are temporary. That isn’t to suggest truth is not everlasting or steadfast but rather our viewing of truth comes in glimpses.


That said … I will offer a word to everyone on temporary … a word, if you take some time and consider it a little, which partially explains ignoring truth – evanescent.


Evanescent refers to that which almost vanishes as soon as it appears, implying that a thing is ‘tenuous, delicate or unsubstantial ‘ as part of its nature <an evanescent glimpse of the truth>




“If you put your happiness in temporary things – your happiness will be temporary.



Nick Vujicic



last haven evanescent temporary glimpseI chose evanescent to make a point … I could have used momentary, passing or fleeing.

All synonyms of temporary.


I could have used transient or transitory … both of which stress brevity and impermanence and the fact it will not endure.

Both synonyms of temporary.


I could have even used ephemera which denotes that which changes aspect rapidly and continuously.

Another synonym of temporary.


I could have even focused on temporary which is a nice general term that implies measurable but of limited duration.


But I didn’t.

I didn’t because truth, more often than not, can vanish just as quickly as it appears.


Let me explain why.


Truth is rarely simple and is even more rarely a “it just is” factoid. Instead it is more likely represented in a disparate range of factoids and fragments. They all swirl around this truth and most often we, seeking simplicity & happiness, ignore all the fragments and put our arms around the easier happiness.


The danger in this is that we then have no depth of understanding. We are not forced to assess the fragments and think. We don’t because , in our heads, truth should be simple, clear and obvious <hence the reason we far too often confuse it with common sense>.


This is where evanescent comes back into the conversation.

As noted earlier truth is most often represented in a big blob of swirling disparate fragments … and, yet, on occasion if we look at just the right time all the fragments align … and truth appears.wow excited astonish no


Some may call this an “ah ha” moment. I would suggest t is simply a moment of clarity.


It is a moment in which you truly become a conduit of truth.


It is a moment where everything is aligned and Truth stands there … right in front of you … still amidst the swirl & chaos of Life.




“Liberty of thought is the life of the soul.”





Of course … you actually have to be paying attention.

Of course … you actually have to not be distracted by happiness.


Of course … you actually hate having to do both of what I just wrote.

I mean, c’mon, to have the opportunity to be wrapped in a nice cozy blanket of happiness for the rest of our existence <because that is what we hope every time happiness snuggles up against us … that this is the time it lasts forever>?




What a fucking fairy tale.

That is like basing truth & happiness on unicorn farts.


Here is what everyone needs to remember as they ponder ignoring truth for happiness.


Everlasting happiness is a myth.




Everlasting truth is a myth.


Whew. How ironic is that?



“I have lived with a sense of irony and cold curiosity.”



Friedrich Nietzsche




Two of the most valued things in Life are myths.




It sure sucks to think that.


bad decisions for temporary happiness



Here is the most basic truth of all <a non temporary truth but an everlasting one>.


Truth will always be truth … but it will never be easy … easy to gather, to understand and to believe.


And because it is not easy … and we would much prefer happiness <even temporary happiness> we will accept being right sometimes … wrong sometimes … and at all times believe things on insufficient evidence.



We should just face the fact that even on the things we believe, and claim we understand, we are doing so often in an incomplete way <even if we are correct>.


I believe my smartphone works … but I have no clue how.


I believe … well … full in your own “black box belief” here … things you just assume will work and assume we understand how to make it work but certainly do not understand the ins & outs of its workings.


This is the economy.

This is effective government.

This is climate change.

This is finance.


This is most of the big stuff in Life.


Which brings me to my conclusion … something little … evanescent.

The glimpse of truth.

The moment when all the disparate fragments align and truth stands in front of you.


It is the moment when … well … things are sufficient enough to understand and believe.


It is the moment we should not ignore truth for either temporary happiness or the temptation of what may appear to be everlasting happiness.


It is the moment when we have the opportunity to … well … “see who I am” and yes or no importanceplace an important piece of the puzzle in place.




That sounds like an important moment, doesn’t it?


You bet.

Pay attention for it.

Pay very very close attention.

Pay attention … because the glimpse of truth is evanescent.


Pay attention … because the last haven of truth often resides in the evanescent.

we do not deal well with emptiness

January 8th, 2017




“As humans, we don’t deal well with emptiness.

Any empty space must be filled.



The pain of emptiness is too strong. It compels the victim to fill that place. A single moment with that empty spot causes excruciating pain. That’s why we run from distraction to distraction – and from attachment to attachment.”



Yasmin Mogahed






I am fairly sure people have never, as in “since the dawn of time”, dealt well with emptiness in their lives.

fill-emptiness-empty-with-various-thingsEmptiness is … well … empty … less than … not full.


We put incredible energy into putting a person into an empty space left by the last person.


We put incredible energy overthinking shit if we find that we may be empty of some thought, i.e, we are ‘not thinking about something … anything for god’s sake is better than nothing!’.


We put incredible energy trying to figure out what to do, and sometimes actually doing it, when we find some empty time.




I would guess that in todays “if you are not doing a lot of something, you are a lazy, worthless slug” mentality world … emptiness has taken on a more miserable aspect. It is miserable because we are almost expected to not only be miserable if we have some ’empty’ <i.e., only losers have empty> but we are expected to figure out how to not be empty for any extended period of time.


What this translates into is … well … suffice it to say … more often than not we create our own emptiness with how we choose to live our Life and think our thoughts.


Boy oh boy.

There is a double whammy.


We do not deal well with emptiness and, yet, we almost always create our own emptiness.




So what happens if you decide to not accept the societal bullshit about empty?




You will be seen as an outcast.

That I can almost guarantee.


It is a societal thing.society blame responsibility


If society demands empty to be unacceptable then … well … dammit, we gonna hate them because they aren’t living Life they way they are supposed to live life <even if it looks fucking awesome to do if we actually did it>.




“Our culture has accepted two huge lies.


The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them.

The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.


Both are nonsense.

You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”



Rick Warren



I only bring up society not to suggest society is bullshit or that society is the root of all evil <and your personal problems> but to state that with regard to ‘empty’ there are two layers to our inability to deal well with ‘empty’ – ourselves and society.


Doesn’t mean you can’t establish your own rules & standards with ‘empty’ in your own Life … but it is tricky to do it in a way that doesn’t … well … make you crazy.


In the end you gotta look at your Life, what is empty & what is full, why things may be empty and why things may be full … and think about what the value is of the life we have decided to cling to.




ما قيمة هذه الدنيا التي تتعلقون بها ؟ ..


“What is the value of this world that you cling to?


(via idle-handss)



And I say ‘cling to’ because it is our choice.

the choice is yours life

Emptiness is our choice.


Fullness is our choice.



Here is what I know about empty.


It gives you room. It gives you space. And, yes, it gives you uncertainty.


But what it does do is it gives you certainty in freedom to move & do & explore the area between “I can’t” and “I can” … as well as … “what is” and “what could be.”



“I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy.

I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.”



Kristin Armstrong






Here is what I know about empty.


I once wrote Emptiness is a weight … heavier than you could ever imagine empty should ever be.

Emptiness is a burden if you fill it with the wrong things <hence the reason I tend to believe we rush to fill it with other things>.




“How can emptiness be so heavy?”



Six Word Story

———holes kids and thinking


It can become a hole filled with the remnants of everything left behind.

Let’s just say … all things gone but not forgotten.

This could include regrets, memories; past decisions … even people no longer there … as well as whatever else your thinking may fill it up with.


Ok. Let’s just say anything that has touched our lives will reside in this emptiness and their, oddly, the absence of what used to touch us carries a gravitas which becomes a relentless burden.


Here is what I know about empty.


It is not nothing. Empty is something. It is possible it could be a blank piece of paper waiting for you, or someone, to wrote something on it but I don’t like that metaphor.

I do not see empty as blank or blankness. I believe empty is a map … a map we just cannot puzzle out yet. It is something you do want to carry around with you all your Life and it is something you want to deal well with.




“I don’t want to be just a nothing, a sick blank, withdrawal into myself forever. I just want something, beside the emptiness I’ve carried around in me all my life.”


Allen Ginsberg



For if you accept empty as what I just suggested it can lead you to unknown places and meet as yet unknown faces and … well … its darkness is not empty of ran-my-fingers-on-edge-of-empty-within-selflight … it is a darkness awaiting light.


And maybe that is my point about empty.


Instead of trying to fill ‘empty’ with shit, with people, with doing … why don’t you stop for a second and trying filling it with … well … light.


Maybe if you do that you will see the map I believe that is there a little better and instead of filling the empty you travel someplace where your empty doesn’t feel as empty.




My heart yearns to fill its hollows with unknown places and unknown faces. It desires to be tainted by the warm rays of welcoming faces. It longs to feel nostalgic of the unknown places that reside within its darkness out of wanderlust.


Sandeep Sidhu




the weight of emptiness

November 3rd, 2014

Emptiness infinite



“How can emptiness be so heavy?”


Six Word Story







When I saw this ‘six word story’ I stopped.


It is one of those thoughts so incredibly obvious … yet so insightful … and so simple … you have to think.



How can something not there … emptiness or empty space … carry something tangible?


How can emptiness … nothing … be so much of a something?



question face



“We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”


Charles Bukowski


Emptiness is a burden.



A heavy burden.


It is a hole filled with the remnants of everything left behind.



Of all things gone but not forgotten.



This could include regrets, memories, past decisions … even people no longer there.


All the things that have touched our lives reside in this emptiness. Their absence may mean that their presence is gone … yet their weight … their gravitas … remains.




“Sometimes you can only feel something by its absence.

By the empty spaces it leaves behind. “

emptiness creative


Gayle Forman



I imagine I could offer up some flippant trite suggestions on how you can put your emptiness on a diet. Thoughts on ‘how to shed the unwanted weight.’



Or maybe suggest we think about all the silly things we do and feel which create the weight in things … that are frankly not really there.



I will not.



“You can decorate absence however you want ― but you’re still going to feel what’s missing.”


Siobhan Vivia




I will not because I tend to believe emptiness will always be heavy.


It will always be heavier than it should as well as heavier than we probably want.



I will only suggest that we become better at carrying that weight … that burden.


The emptiness will always remain <albeit we may fill it with some things which decorate the emptiness in things that make it a little less apparent> and we just learn to carry it better.



I apologize if that sounds ‘less than positive’ or not enough of a ‘here is how to shed emptiness’ type advice but, pragmatically, I tend to believe emptiness isn’t something that goes away.





If something has earned emptiness status … in that it was important enough that you felt its absence … I hesitate to believe it will magically waft away like smoke.




Emptiness is simply more substantial than smoke.






emptiness feel feelings

How can emptiness be so heavy?




Because that which makes up emptiness is something.



Typically a bunch of somethings that matter.


l’appel du vide

October 7th, 2014

void embrace the unknown


The compulsion to jump from high places is called “l’appel du vide” in French.




Some call it ‘the call of the void.’



I think it’s specific to that one instance … but I think it’s a cool phrase which creates great imagery.


I have read in a number of places that our growth in intelligence is situationally driven.


In other words we become smarter by assessing situations we face and contemplating alternatives.




This would presume all of us would be fucking geniuses because we think about what to do incessantly … in fact … at any given moment we are potentially viewing a lot of possible “alternate futures” in our minds.


Just to humor me … let’s call these alternatives … ‘edges.’




come to the edge frenchWell.




Frankly … it sounds more risky than ‘paths.’




Paths implies you can veer off at a leisurely pace … and retrace steps if needed and … well … even a nice bar with a cool cocktail so you can rest at some point.



But edges mean impact.



Impact as in ‘splat’ or impact as in ’that made a difference.’


Let’s face it … standing at the edge of a high place, staring into the void <or wide open spaces if you want to be poetically beautiful> … means one of those possible futures is “I step forward.”



However, since we know standing on the edge and doing so could bring highly unfavorable consequences, our internal censor whispers in our ear … “no … do not take the step … terrible things could happen.”void call of look


To be truthful.


Not many people are truly tempted to jump from the edge into a void.


Most of us just talk about it <and we like talking about it>.



But we are just talking … kind of fooling ourselves into ‘taking it into consideration’ thinking of it the way we do all our alternatives.


Unfortunately for us … voids are different.


Think of it this way.

For most of Life, and time, our minds are built to be flexible. We keep “jumping” from thought to thought … alternative to alternative … weighing opportunity <for happiness, success, improvement, pain, etc.>. We envision outcomes in these pondering moments.


But the void is different.


Or at least I think it is.


I don’t think it’s as straightforward as contemplation of the possible or assessing alternatives. Mainly because … well … it is difficult to assess outcomes because it is … uhm … a void.


In addition.

While there a shitload of choices and alternatives that appear before us … many with painful or grave possible consequences … these ‘this or that’ type of choices do not have a similar call of the void.


Perhaps it’s the contemplation of the possible with some added element of desire tinged with danger <risk> all centered around a big gaping ‘unknown’.


In our heart of hearts … we know that big risks are the things that reap big rewards.

But taking that step … oh boy .. tempting <but we hesitate>.


Ah. The temptation. The allure.


Why are we so apt to be attracted to the unknown and the unknowable? In general I believe most of us are hardwired to be curious and to learn.


There is an attraction to the unknown because we inherently want to learn and to know and to try to figure out shit which we do not understand.


And to discover new things.


You can almost see the void building before your eyes.

void fear curiosity

It gets created by things left unsaid and things said. A discomfort building between what you know and don’t know.



The void truly appears when you finish questioning faith … and it becomes decision time.


You go through the decisions … and the non-decisions … and it builds up to what amounts to a personal leap … a jump into the dark … into the void.


But here is the other truth.


Once you’ve fallen into the void and through it … you find yourself in the embrace of … well … what’s next. And after doing so you will rarely fear the void again.

You actually find … or believe you will find more … in the emptiness … in that void.


This means ‘Void answerers’ … or those who can see the void as something rather than nothingness … have the ability to see things where many people see nothing.


I believe they actually see vast opportunity.




There is some faith.



Some faith that at some point in the void you will blindly grasp something to hold on to … either mentally or physically … and you will stop the fall into nothingness and find something.


Something that will stop the fall into the void.


Well … at least that is the desire.


Not to endlessly drop but to find some plateau on which to see new things.


The call of the void.




Not everyone hears this call. And even then … not everyone who hears it … answers it.


I tend to believe the ones who answer the call would give you a 6 word answer:



“I wish I could be more.”


Six Word Story


It is easy for many of us to think of these ‘void answerers’ as crazy or void delicious ambiguityirresponsible risk takers or imprudent … but we need them.


They show us that the void isn’t empty but full of ‘somethings.’




In the end … I believe we need more people who answer the call of the void.


the sharp edge of truth

February 11th, 2010
Hugh's Missing the Point

Hugh’s Missing the Point

“truths are knives and we, all of us, are cut.”





I cannot remember which author wrote this (I scribble things down on occasion when I am reading books of written things I like).



I guess it doesn’t matter. It is an awesome quote that has so many meanings on so many levels it is frightful.


Truth hurts.

Truth is scary.

truth questTruth is tough.

And that is the truth.


But truth is also enlightening.

Truth is freedom.

Truth is life.


And that is also truth.


In the end you need to believe truth cuts out lies and doubts or all you do is let truth be a knife that never leaves the drawer and rusts in non use.

And I imagine that means truth is best when it is used often … it stays cleaner and sharper.




Great quote.

Enlightened Conflict