The hardest thing in the world

Cutting off your own leg? Climbing Mount Everest? No, the hardest thing in the world is to do nothing. If you don’t believe me just try not breathing for a few hours. ūüôā In every instant, we are always doing something we are always moving. We are not always¬†learning, but we are always moving.

Not only our body but also our minds constantly move. Anybody who has meditated will know that you do not have to force yourself to think. You need to use force to stop thinking. As a wild animal, you cannot afford to be still for very long or you will either be eaten or starve to death. Our instincts haven’t really changed a lot from our time in the wild. We all contain the drive to live and the drive to grow.

As a wild animal, you cannot afford to be still for very long or you will either be eaten or starve to death. Our instincts haven’t really changed a lot from our ¬†pre-historic starting point. We all contain the drive to life and the drive to grow. Living things that don’t grow soon die.

We don’t need to force ourselves to grow, it happens naturally and without strain. All we can really do is remove barriers that obscure our perfect nature.

Religions tell us that we are not perfect¬†and that only by supporting their parasitism can we become perfect. That if we did not force ourselves to be good “contrary to our nature” then we would all be destroyers and merciless killers. That our unaltered state is that of criminals and generally “bad people”.

Many facts disprove this conclusion. People are for the most part good and find joy not in taking from others but in contributing and helping other people. Left to their own devices people generally try to make the world a better place. All living beings and ultimately information create patterns. We lower randomness and entropy and create order. It is practically a law of the universe. From bacteria, to trees, to humans, we turn chaos into order.

We can mean us as individuals or us as a single organism called humanity. It really is a matter of preference where you draw the line between us and them. A company can decide to do something and then a lot of people work together for a common goal. You can want to do different things and then decide what to do. Then you use different parts like your legs and hands to work together for a common goal.

There are different degrees of control and synchronization between parts, but we all know that there are larger and smaller groups that we can connect or disconnect with. These change over time. At some point, all children were just a part of their parents, but now they are independent. You cannot control the individual beats of your heart, but do you doubt that it is part of you?

Sometimes a part must die for the whole to live, and sometimes the whole must divide to save the individual parts.

All living systems can adapt to compensate for missing or damaged parts. They do this with or without guidance from the intelligence on the next level. Your leg muscles automatically work harder if you injure the other leg. Older children take care of younger ones if parents are absent. By contrast, a machine with a missing part will simply not function.

Living systems also heal, grow, die, show emergent behavior ( that could not have been predicted from individual parts) and always keep changing. Change is the most defining feature of life and where change is absent for prolonged periods death is inevitable.

Each part has a certain amount of power. It can influence other organisms to a larger or smaller degree. It can influence those larger, smaller or roughly equal in size. All the different parts that push or pull in different directions cumulatively make up the collective movement.

When a part exerts a force (changes the momentum of) another part that part can either resist (push back), be neutral (allow itself to be changed) or enable movement (pull together). Most events are either pushing or pulling. Being neutral very rarely happens.

The metaphor of kinesthetic materials is very appropriate to living systems. Not only do structures bend or break when they get pulled or pushed, living systems also have elasticity. Components are flexible and stay in a state of dynamic tension, vibration or rhythmic oscillation. By applying force at the right moment you can either speed up, slow down or disrupt the other part’s rhythm. Even if you don’t disrupt the rhythm , you can still change the total energy flow to the point where it tips and transitions into a different pattern.

If something bends, it can either snap back or be permanently bent. We also do the same to each other. The way we treat someone can leave them changed forever. If something breaks, the internal organization of parts is completely disrupted. Not just modified, completely altered. If you push someone past their breaking point their internal harmonies become scrambled. Sometimes the push leads to a breakthrough, where they move to a different level or their patterns collapse.

A small force can be amplified into a massive wave, either by snowballing or being the last straw. A large force can be applied only to sink like a stone. Leaders are those that either amplify existing momentum or play a tune that others like dancing to. General trends can be predicted, but specific events cannot be predicted far in advance.

Either your internal rhythm or an external beat will lead you into action. Doing nothing is the hardest thing in the world.

To happiness, and beyond!



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