Say Cheese

Short Diatribe on Life (Part 1)

"Life is pretty simple. It's only people that make it more complicated than it needs to be."

I said that today and upon further reflection, I'm sticking by that assertion. My friend, who is keen on meditation, completely disagrees with that idea, stating that life, consisting of everything that is going on in the universe at any given moment, is incredibly complex and that only people can simplify it through the choices they make.

She's right, but we were too ships passing in the night with our arguments. She looks at the world and sees all the details. When I look at the world, I work to pick out the abstract ideas underlying the details. When I talk about life, I'm really just talking about the process of living. That may be a lousy definition of life, but it's the one I'm going to stick with for the purposes of my diatribe.

So living in this world, as a human, is actually really simple, as I've said. You breathe in, you breathe out. You ingest sustenance in, and you then excrete it. You work to provide yourself with that sustenance. You mate to continue the species. You protect yourself from forces that would harm you. These are all very simple ideas and with the exception of the mating, are pretty universal. There are choices to be made to fulfill each one of those imperatives, but it's like the choice between Coke and Pepsi: it's still just carbonated soda.

So where does the complexity come in? It enters when we want something more than those simple imperatives. Upon further review, I think it comes from the need to nurture our emotions. When you need to feel valued or validated or loved or respected, that creates complexity in your life that gets you away from the simple idea of living. Those emotional needs create the drama.

I know I'm missing something here. I know I need to write more. But it's late and I'm tired, so off to bed I go. I'll continue this another time.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 09/09/2003

For the moment...

Book: Deep Blues, by Robert Palmer

CD: Brothers, by The Black Keys

Song: "Oh My God," by Ida Maria

Link: Shut Up & Sit Down

Ramble: Just An Idea