I ran into this video earlier and I could not get it off my mind. It's a great video on how our pride, our ego, our need for recognition, leads us away from the simple and quiet life, and into a life of stress and anxiety.
Here are some of my takeaways:
Trying to promote yourself or your work online only leads to more stress.
Chasing after accolades, recognition, views, likes, hearts means you're not free.
Jesus had the simple and quiet life because he was so humble and he had no pride. He rejected popularity.
You don't need to give up on your hobbies/activities to live a simple and quiet life. You just need to stop promoting yourself while engaging in said hobbies/activities.
Right off the bat, the analogy and parallels in The Rings of Power, to the theology and stories in the Bible had me really excited for this show. I watched the show because I'm a Lord of the Rings fan. I didn't expect to find a great discussion between good and evil sprinkled throughout the show. There is theology in here hidden in a high fantasy story.
It must be noted that there is a lot of hate for this show online. I'm not quite sure why though. Yeah there were some head-scratching moments, but none that were enough to deter me from finishing the whole season. My wife who is not a big Lord of the Rings fan like me, actually liked it and keeps asking when Season 2 is going to come out. So there's that.
Anyway, below are some of my thoughts and notes on the pilot episode. Maybe it will sway you one way or another to give the show a chance.
For this journal entry, I'm not going to reorder my thoughts/notes like I normally do. These were basically copied off my journal and pasted here in the order that they were written down. I think it's as close as you can get to actually reading my journal. But the main reason I'm doing this, is to lessen the amount of time it takes for me to publish a journal entry. So here goes...
“We lost!”, my son said as he finished 10th place in a Mario Kart race. He said this happily by the way, in a way that only a child could ever do. This is what we lost when we grew up. We lost that childlike innocence. We lost the ability to see the world through the eyes of a child. We lost the ability to be happy in any given moment like a child could.
I noticed that I write down notes with the expectation that I'll be publishing them in the future. This causes me to write longer, fuller sentences in an unconscious attempt to make my notes ready to be published with minimal editing.
I think this bogs down my note taking process. Instead of writing down notes for the purpose of referencing them in the future, I write down notes with the purpose of stringing them all together into a future blog post. I think that if I stop writing “ready to be published” notes and instead go back to writing notes just for myself, that will make my digital garden a lot easier and less exhausting to maintain.
A very interesting approach explaining why science and faith are not opposed to each other. In this video, they use the mystery of light — something that cannot be fully explained in a singular manner — as an analogy of how science and faith are two ways of understanding reality. You cannot fully explain what light is, by choosing one model over the other. And so it is with God, who as He claims in the Bible, is the light of the world.
The Three-City Problem of Modern Life — interesting read and social commentary about the lives we live today. We either live in the city of reason, of faith, or of technology. Living in one city isolates us from the rest of the world and that makes us feel incomplete.
^ This is probably only applicable to US readers, as a ROTH IRA is a specific tax-advantaged account offered by the government. But if your country has a similar offering, then some of the info might still be useful.
On Social Media
Social media is like a sandbox where you can observe mimetic theory and mimetic desires in full display.
Shortly after hearing about Mimetic Theory, which I mentioned in Journal Entry – 005, I happened to run into this podcast episode. I listened to it in the hopes that I would learn more about mimetic desire/theory, as well as find evidences of it in our modern world. This podcast episode did not disappoint.
Here are some of my takeaways after listening to the podcast:
One talking point in the podcast was René Girard's interpretation of the story of the adulterous woman brought before Jesus (John 8:1-11). This is the story where Jesus famously says, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Before he even utters that famous line though, the bible passages specifically says that Jesus looks down and writes on the sand, while the scribes and the Pharisees try to get a reaction out of him. By the law of Moses they said, a woman caught in the act of adultery will be stoned. Jesus averts his gaze and keeps writing on the sand.
So, how long does it take to form a new habit? Apparently, it takes an average of around 66 days, or 2 months, to form a new habit. That is way longer than what is normally mentioned in articles or magazines I’ve read. That means if you want to build a habit of doing pull-ups right after waking up, you need to consistently do it for 2 months straight.
After reading this essay, Peter Thiel's Religion, and finding out about the idea of mimetic theory, of us imitating others, my mind was opened up. I'm starting to see it around me. Most of everything we do is imitation. I don't quite know yet what to do with this new found information, but I'm excited to find out more about it.
This is perhaps the best sermon I've heard from Bishop Barron. In this sermon, he talks about how earthly goods and values keep us in an addictive pattern. To counter that, he talks about knowing how to “wear the goods of the world lightly.” It's an excellent sermon that ties in the first and second readings to the Gospel.
If you have an interest in minimalism, detaching from material possessions, finding joy and happiness with less, you might want to watch this. It's 14 minutes long, but well worth your time.
One good tip that was shared in that post is that a personal website/blog is the perfect place for you to experiment with your own ideas. Not everything will work out of course, but keep trying and some will.
This also tells me that if your personal website won't allow you to do that, then you probably have a professional website as opposed to a personal one.
Would you look at that. I managed to crank out a second journal entry in less than a year. With how things were going, I was certain I would only be able to write one per year. It actually took me months to write this single post. I spent maybe 10 minutes every week or so, adding stuff to this post as I go about processing my daily notes. Every little bit adds up. Similar to how reading for only fifteen minutes a day helped me finish books, working on this bit by bit every month, while really slow, was still enough to get another entry done. Anyway, here goes.
“We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”
Here we go again with an example of the same problem — distraction — but just in a different form back then.
There will always be distractions in life, especially when you’re working on something important. The question is, do you let yourself get distracted or do you get your work done?