September October Goal Review

Do you read these intros? I’m not sure if they’re worth it. Let me know. In the meantime, business:

September Goal Review

    1. Update All BITS Guides
      1. Won. All guides are updated. BITS is a better roleplaying system than it has been before. Can I get some players? Maybe I just need to write more BITS games πŸ™‚
    2. 1-4 Page RPG
      1. Won. I made a game!! It is 10 pages of abbreviated action. However, writing the “Turn Example” to show what gameplay could be like, the game was not fun πŸ™ƒ But that’s still great!! That’s a first draft, right? Near complete trash?? πŸ”₯ Anyway, I ought also trim the sucker down to the 1-4 page-count promised, but that’s for another time.
    3. Move (Again)
      1. Won. I’ve a new destination in Vegas with pool, privacy, and a lovely location, not to mention some fantastic friends.
    4. Private
      1. Won. I can’t overstate how… happy I am. Things are turning out and pretty cool right now ~

October Goal Proposal

    1. Not a BIT, of Specialty
      1. The role-play ruleset BITS is “Body Interaction Thought Specialty.” Got to thinking in September, “can I make a game of only having advantage in things?” So I’ll write what I’m calling “Gunslinger,” a wild-west TTRPG where a player “levels-up” by gaining new specialties, thereby defining their trade.
    2. Play a TTRPG
      1. This one is a finky one – how do I gather people recreationally around a table during a pandemic? What RPG should be played, and for which adventure?? Am I the dungeon master / game moderator / guide, or a regular player??? Guess that’s part of the challenge of the goal (lucky I’m half-way decent problem-solver) 🎲🎲
    3. Outings
      1. It’s been years since I’ve used a firearm, so a refresher on safety and handling is in store. Also looking to schedule a cooking class, because that never hurts. Oh, and Halloween? Time to be spooky, methinks πŸ‘»πŸŽƒ
    4. Self-Improvement, Self-Care
      1. October is going to be a month of improving my conditioning and getting some needed appointments taken care of. Though I need to be scaling back on my physicality for some events upcoming in January, I can keep myself lean and mean, so I’m prioritizing doing what I can πŸ’ͺ😎

September was golden (even if not everything turned out 120%), and October looks to be a lot of fun. I like the idea of writing treatments for games and stories, so let’s see if September’s #2 and October’s #1 can happen more often.

For the last month of summer, what did you do? How are you spending your first month of autumn? Give me your inspiration, and we’ll meet back here in a month!

(Or sooner – let me know if you’d be interested in playing a table-top roleplaying game, something fantasy, sci-fi, or even horror.)

Lots to do! Cheers to you ~

August September Goal Review

A swell September to you!

August was a restart on doing goals. However, even the break in July wasn’t enough soul searching.

Now though? Now I think there’s a plan forward. Let’s discuss:

August Goal Review

  1. New York City
    1. Won. A wild time and a new favorite city (specifically Manhattan). Would definitely go again, and again a third time because of how much there was to do (safely, despite the pandemic!).
  2. Minnesota
    1. Won. Seeing family and remembering better times was well worth delaying other, far less important plans.
  3. Las Vegas
    1. Won. I write this during one of the busiest, most fun social calendars I’ve had in a very long time. Simply put, it’s great to be back in Sin City πŸ™‚ Let’s see how long I stay!
  4. Weekly BITS Revision
    1. Failed. Only two revisions were posted, and regardless of the excellent feedback, I failed to get more of it. However, I might redeem myself in September!

September Goal Proposal

    1. Update All BITS Guides
      1. Goal here is to create a September draft of all the different guides to the BITS roleplaying system. This tightens-up language and applies some of the feedback from August.
    2. 1-4 Page RPG
      1. Originally considering writing an RPG a week, I know I tend to aim a bit high on the creative front, so one table-top role-playing game in September will be enough πŸ™‚
    3. Move (Again)
      1. Decide how I’ll spend my time in Las Vegas at least through February of next year. I have Airbnbs, solo apartments, and apartments with roommates up for consideration here in the first few days of September.
    4. Private
      1. This goal is for me, defining how things will be done over the next six months. (Who knows, the next sixty years?) Anyway, trust that I’ll be honest in this regard when review-time hits in a month 😁

With a failure despite how easy August initially set out to be, I am humbled going into September. Nonetheless, I aim to live a little better and be truer to myself as it comes to creativity and my future.

How is your September shaping up? New horizons you are about to cross?

Sincerely looking for your inspiration. Until next week, cheers to you and yours!

What to Do?

What do you do when you’ve done the important things?

That’s not rhetorical, nor am I asking for a friend.

I’m asking for the person whose done the needful things and has a whole life ahead of them, the person with ambitions and skills and resources, the person who may need to learn to leverage any of it.

I ask you “what to do” for me.

The rest of this post may lack for any answers, any insights, but hey, why do this blog without benefit to the writer? If you go, OK – if you stay, thank you for exploring with me πŸ™‚

Let’s begin:

Deathwalks

I’ve mentioned “deathwalks” before (goals, full posts). These are the meditative exercises that work to reveal what’s important in life, the words and actions unsaid and undone, all that would consume the affairs of a last few months of life.

Many of the things uncovered on my first deathwalk years ago have been completed. I look at that list are secure for years to come! The skydiving, the letters written, the Last Will, the trips, the patterns explored

Yet, what does that leave a person, have they little left to prepare for when the time comes?

I can only liken it to a milestone on the horizon you walk towards for a long while. Once reached, though, the milestone is more petite than realized while the roads ahead are broad and many and long beyond sight. And nowhere seems the obvious convenience of a milestone showing “do this.”

So then, what is there left for a person to do if prepared for the final journey, the one hopefully decades or a century off? Where is the direction???

Living

Perhaps if “dying” is done, “living” is the next logical step.

Meditating on what makes a person “feel alive” is lauded in many circles as being a necessary and invaluable thing. Remembering joy and excitement and triumph, might those be milestones to strive for? Or even to build for ourselves? A live worth living?

But it might be hard to accept we might deserve “the good life.” The world delights in chaotic news, our neighbors seethe, and year-by-year even bodies betray themselves and the minds inside.

There is so much suffering, what hubris is it to seek and make pleasure?

Such judgements come awfully quick. But lest it’s forgotten, the only Good that may be said to exist is the net reduction of suffering. Does an individual’s suffering of indecision or lack of aim not qualify here?

Maybe that’s the Ego making itself heard.

“My experience makes me exceptional. I am entitled to feel this way, to be this.”

Now aren’t such regards the real acts of hubris?

That’s all that I have to say on that, all that comes to mind at this time.

I’ve a little while more to settle on September’s goals. If you’ve suggestions for a person to pivot from ends to beginnings, the comment section is below πŸ˜‰

Be well, friends. Cheers ~

July August Goal Review

This’ll be a quick one since I took July “off” to rediscover how I spend my time.

July Goal Review

Feeling rested, but anxious to plan and set about my future.

I spent my time with:

Without “goals” per say, I continued to increase my net worth towards FIRE while making friends, staying fit, and writing about games.

As I head into August with a few goals, these are kept light while remembering July for what might happen without the accountability of goals on this blog.

August Goal Proposal

It’s mainly all trips. August will have me living in three states:

    1. New York City
      1. My first time, so this will take a week out of August. Goal here is to have a great time, gathering experiences and perhaps attract a friend or few.
    2. Minnesota
      1. A somber family event. Won’t say more other than I’ll be outside Minneapolis for a week.
    3. Las Vegas
      1. Returning “home!” Getting the fiddly details figured out as I write, but I have confidence it’ll be a rockin’ good time to be back in the desert 🀘
    4. Weekly BITS Revision
      1. So I don’t spend all of August travelling, I want to keep up the effort to get BITS out and exposed to the world. BITS has been a goal many times, so maybe keeping it updated by the week for public consumption will evolve BITS to a new level.

Tada! July was decently chill, though plans changed in big, unexpected ways, both welcome and regrettable.

The bright side of August is now much newness is coming! If you live in Vegas, let’s make mask-safe plans 😁 If you live outside of Vegas, let’s make plans anyway! Life is shorter than can be imagined.

What are you hitting up in August? Staying cool, I hope! Do your duty and we’ll visit soon. Cheers ~

June July Goal Review

Not much to show, and a little to say:

June Review

    1. Family
      1. Won! Easy in theory, I write this being socially exhausted (my introverted side coming out). Will be on me to keep the spark alive of staying engaged and responsive while balancing my own needs.
    2. Playtest BITS
      1. Failed. I’ve come up with more for the system (posts coming in July), but travelling about, I’ve not focused on gathering folks to play. Until that happens, the system is just an idea of a ruleset vs. something tried and fired.
    3. Write, Record, Publish Voice Reel
      1. Failed. Didn’t approach this at all other than thinking I’m not getting to it fast enough. And now there’s no more time, so here we are 😦
    4. 8 AM Half-Hour Writing Habit Again!
      1. Failed. A change in sleep schedule blew out the letter-of-the-law for this goal, but travel and inconsistent night writing (like now) didn’t cut it in June. For shame! 

July Proposal

    1. Rest
    2. Re-Evaluate
    3. Reflect
    4. Ready-Up
      1. I can’t remember the last time I failed as hard as I did in June (75% failure!!). In response, I’m taking July on without requirement other than to being aware of my day-to-day.

        Once done, I ought to be properly equipped for charging into August with solid goals and projects to share.

As the proposal says, I failed. Hard.

Might be time to go a little softer. I jumped out of airplanes and visited with family and played games and made game designs… but I feel… Not much?

Maybe it’s because I noticed so few bugs on my windshield on a cross-country trip.

Hope you’ve had a better time of it. Enjoy what you may of your summer, K? Cheers.

It Is OK to Fail

Really, it is.

But failure snowballs into complete and utter debasement! Failing is a slippery slope to irrelevance.

Certainly don’t make a habit of easy failure. If failure must happen, make it hard-fought to get the most out of the slip.

If the failures are spectacular enough, the failure will be quite relevant! Regardless, the failure should be relevant at least to you to show what to do or not, in addition to being an example to other folks.

But failure is a sign of weakness! If I fail, I won’t be wanted, I’ll be scorned, and I’ll carry a Scarlet Letter forever.

While some folks may not want you over particular failures. And some truly severe Scarlet Letters are deserved so that others can be protected.

Yet you live only with yourself. Only you know the severity of guilt and the just penance. An so long as you are acting out the penance (even if it is only to not fail the same way twice), you are doing what is owed to the failure.

But failure can be tragic! It can scar and rend and kill and all horrible things.

That’s a fine point! Failure certainly can be immense in its consequences. But what are consequences worthy of worry?

As the saying goes, “any landing you can walk away from is a good one,” so the same applies to failure. Loss of money or time or knickknacks can be made up and should come with an adequate exchange of experience. Bruises heal and hurt feelings amended.

What can’t be put back together are the three serious scars that can remove opportunities for action or attraction:

    1. Mind – Being unable to think straight, fully, or at all is a terrible, terrible thing. Brain damage, addiction, and dogma make up this scar where healing is miraculous (but we can’t depend on miracles).
    2. Body – Being maimed, crippled, or made twisted changes the whole world. (Trust me, I know.) Losing limbs, suffering catastrophic nerve injuries, and physical scarring such as tattoos of hate signs make this scar horrific to live with.
    3. Society – Being vile, abhorrent, or too dangerous to others or the culture is the quickest way to be identified with this scar. Outward physical violence, harm towards children and other helpless, and upending public expectations will slam you with a modern, contextual Scarlet Letter.

So long as these three scars are avoided, your failures won’t stop you!

But failure isn’t stopping me! It’s my fear of failing anew…

And that’s where coming to peace with failure comes it. It is OK to fail.

One of the biggest obstacles to what we intend and our lives being lived is us, you and I. Our thoughts dwell on the ‘what if.’ Prior experience and imagination can be a real bane in this regard.

That is why forgiving ourselves is the first step to making failure OK.

We are the ones that can stop habitual failure.

We are the ones who are already suffering under guilt.

We are the ones who can avoid the three disastrous scars.

We are the ones who must forgive ourselves.

Simply put, forgive yourself. It is OK to fail.

Why I Wrote This

The fear of failure lies strong on my mind and always has. I’ve developed rules for myself so as to fail less:

Failures still happen despite it all. Like this month’s goals I’ll be reporting on in a week. (It’ll be bad.)

And that’s OK.

Now this may sound like I’m giving myself a pass on a failure by using flowery words – it’s not (sans the flowery words part).

I know I’ve lived my life. What’s left is my duty to ensure my future self can live without the baggage of guilt or regret going forward. Casting off such suffering seems like a decent goal.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Really looking forward to your feedback here.

Where have your failures been? How have you recovered? What are you still carrying around all this time since?

Here to talk to hear about what’s going on – drop me a line and we’ll get the convo going!

Until next week, go out to happen to the world knowing the failures you make along the way are OK. Cheers ~

May June Goal Review

I kept some appointments and lost some last chances (not really, but still…).

In non-goal news, I’m exploring what life might be like as a digital nomad right now and through next month. May share with you some stats later! On to the reviews:

May Goal Review

    1. Appointments
      1. Won! As much as a person can win keeping up with their health and social engagements can πŸ˜… Will aim to not include mundane tasks here in the ol’ goal post in the future.
    2. Last Chances
      1. Failed. Not going to give this to myself in the least. Some “wouldn’t this be cool” things are still on the backburner (looking at you, Jiu Jitsu), while others got delayed (like skydiving) or are MIA. Say it with me: “we’ll be dead soon!” I have to show some eagerness about this ego’s existence!
    3. Half-Hour Happy Habit
      1. Won! This was certainly aided by spending quality time with family over shared passions like games. I also enjoyed time reading and am picking back up some new Netflix series seasons!
    4. 8 AM Half-Hour Writing Habit
      1. Won! I have discovered 8 AM isΒ good. I sometimes start at 7, losing time until it’s suddenly 8! I tend to write now at night too, like this here line πŸ˜‰ I’m too afraid I’ll lose this if I don’t include it as a goal next month, so…

June Goal Proposal

    1. Family
      1. Heading out (vaxxed) to see my immediate family (also vaxxed)! Travelling overland, socially distanced, and working out of an Air BnB because why not leverage the benefits of remote thought work? Achievement here is to say “yes” to family gatherings and to party a bit as well as a socially isolated, responsibility-minded small group can πŸ˜‰
    2. Playtest BITS
      1. Remember BITS? It had some troubles, which made it easy for me to put it down for half a year. Now I have inspiration to fix the problem left in the system. With my daily writing habit, it’s about time I gain the courage to give the system a quality roll.
    3. Write, Record, Publish Voice Reel
      1. I used to do these posts vocally. I had a voice-acting goal a long time ago too. Not a week (OK, 2-3 since I’m hardly out!) goes by where some stranger doesn’t comment on my vocals. And 2021 had something to look forward to with getting my abilities out there. Now is the time to fear less and do more. Where’s it going to go? IDK yet, but I aim to share with you a link to listen to in a month!
    4. 8 AM Half-Hour Writing Habit Again!
      1. So good, I propose it twice 😁 I’ve written a bunch of blog posts with this and started on BITS again. Here’s to the second time bringing the same charm!

May was kinda lame getting to do what I felt ought to be done, so June aims to make up for the lapse. It’s going to be an aggressive next few weeks, so it’ll be up to me to stim and focus on the things that’ll make the biggest impacts!

Cheers, folks. Go conquer your intentions!

Post Vax Wishlist

After more than a year of global disaster, vaccines are finally being rolled-out en masse! And guess who’s just passed his second-shot two-week waiting period!? πŸ˜ƒ

I’ve compiled a quick list of the things I look forward to doing (safely) after becoming fully vaccinated and humanity maybe learning something from the wreck that has been the COVID response.

If you’ve plans for reintegrating into society, let me know! Always open to sincere suggestions for an experience πŸ˜‰

Jiu-Jitsu

Even as I write this, picking up one of the top martial arts may be a temporary thing. Despite it being a favorite of fighters such as former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink , it’s very high impact (duh). Later in 2021 I may be advised against more injury-prone training, so we’ll see if I can make and keep a commitment to get my skills honed 😎

Firearm Safety

Been ages since I’ve last shot a firearm, even longer since taking firearm safety training. How to properly handle and use weapons is knowledge I encourage anyone to respect – it’s about time I made sure I lived up to my own standards.

Fam

A fully-vaxxed family visit of all members! If a sense of mortality hasn’t struck you during the pandemic, seeing a psychologist is strongly recommended. Having a taste of my own death and the limited time left of others, this is quite an important task.

To make the trip, I’ll have a repeat of the drive in 2020, only without the two week quarantine after! Should be a good time ~

Friends

Like above, make time for some of the most quality individuals I’ve ever had the honor of meeting.

Whether the friends come to me, I to them, or new ones are made on the spot, why not spend more time with the best persons? Cali, Portland, Seattle, Utah, Vancouver, Europe, and elsewhere are on the shortlist 😁

(Might finally get to use my cancelled Europe airline tickets from May 2020!)

Restaurants

Sometimes, it’s the little things. Sometimes, those little things need to be put away to safeguard the social contract. And sometimes, the return of those little things can be some of the most cherished opportunities.

I won’t take restaurants for granted anytime again soon, making special patronage to some of my favorite places. If locations have closed, I can finally visit those ‘someday’ eateries to make new favorites!

Celebrations

Dancing! Pool parties! Festivals! Concerts! Competitions! So many things that, once denied, are sorely missed.

Where will I go dancing? Who’s hosting the parties? When are the festivals and concerts? How will I find competitions?

I don’t know how I will celebrate after getting vaccinated and the herd-immunity threshold is hit, but dang it – I won’t be saying “no” to a good time πŸ”₯

Just a few things to aim for, a bit of hedonism when austerity was the rule of the year. Whether or not they make it onto goal lists is another story, but that’s for another month.

Stay safe, y’all! We’re almost there! Get your shots πŸ’‰ See you out-n-about in the world sometime soon! Cheers.

Truth: Attractiveness

Be attractive.

Truth itself is an enigma. Truth might be known through its many faces, though not all faces are equal in their value to Truth. But attractiveness? Attractiveness seems to be side-by-side with what Truth is.

Whether as a material law (magnetic/electric/gravitational), physical trait (symmetry/garb/health-signaling/etc.), or mental characteristic (charisma/stability/respect/etc.), being attractive secures the resources of survival. Attractiveness is an objective and severe determiner of the consequences a thing receives in its lifetime.

The benefits are plenty: Ability to convince a person to do another’s work; Gather mates for raising offspring or protection; Decrease the likelihood to be neglected or killed (a reason baby animals are “cute”); et al.

Being attractive gives the edge to survival – as has been proposed by others, that which is Good is that which survives.

This principle extends beyond biological evolution too. Non-organic nature seeks to persist in its states forever and ever, from thermodynamics to motion. What persists the longest are those things with strong bonds and mass; i.e., matter in the universe that is “attractive” survives.

Planets – the tiniest fraction of the mass of the stars they orbit – only exist that way if not subsumed as moons of even larger planets. Suns live only so long as there’s fuel to burn, the more fuel, the longer life a star has. Galaxies outmatch any planet or star for lifetime, attracting billions of stars, yet they cease to exist as a whole after cataclysmic interactions with something of approximately equal attractive potential (i.e. other galaxies).

Therefore, being attractive is a necessity of the universe, as plasma, rock, or mammal. Further, there are tiers of attractiveness, differentials of both magnitude of attractiveness and type.

Just discussed has been material attractiveness of the gravitational type, with examples of planets being in their own tier, suns another, and galaxies encompassing them all. The same applies to biological life.

An attractive baby is not the same type of attractiveness as that of a sexually attractive mate (ruin to any that foul-up this distinction). Two babies also cannot be deemed to be equally attractive (e.g. as soon as a child receives more ‘resource’ than another, that first child is by definition more attractive), a concept that also applies to shallow comparisons between two job candidates.

Anything that confuses the type or magnitude of attractiveness does not survive. Planets burn away in stars, social aberrant behavior is mocked and condemned, inconvenient (i.e. unattractive) infants killed once upon a time today. Diverging from attractiveness is punished, thereby adding to the net suffering in existence.

If doing what is unattractive generates suffering and ends its existence faster, the contrast that does not create suffering and survives must be called Good. Being attractive is Good.

Bringing it back, attractiveness reinforces itself as being adjacent to Truth: Attractiveness is a universal quality across matter and time, nature tends toward attractiveness, and the pursuit and state of attractiveness reduces suffering.

How to Be Attractive

First, there is great advantage for a person to be born attractive. Natural symmetry, familiarity, secondary sex characteristics, easy display of health through skin, nails, hair, and teeth, and other traits greatly increase the survivability of both the individual and their genes.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Saint Ambrose

Regardless of birth, fit into physical and social environments. Being ‘average’ and ‘consistent’ for the surrounding context breeds familiarity which is attractive, as well as showing a healthy response to the external stimuli of a particular niche. Further, fitting in with others feeds into social affirmation, an attractive trait that signals others to act on and for one’s behalf.

Success in handling changes and challenges in the social intangibles and the physical resources for survival indicate two attractive qualities: Health in the now, and advantaged genes for later reproduction. Such accomplishment is part of seeming confident. Confidence itself is a sign of health, its natural assertiveness gaining resources for survival and protecting those resources.

There are other ways to express attractiveness; these assets are many and varied. Listening to the opinions of others and one’s self will determine what works best!

Attractiveness Elsewhere

Abraham Lincoln – “I have no other [ambition] so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.”

Sun Tzu – Appear as is best for your intentions with others. (Fake it to make it.)

Beauty – Attractive things exist so long as not too much is known about them at the time. (See: Knowledge is terrible.)

First Impressions – “If their initial impressions of the candidates are positive, employers show a higher tendency to ‘sell’ the job by providing information to the candidates about the job rather than gathering information from them.”

Live an attractive life as best you can. Cheers.

Truth: Suffering

Suffering is inevitable.

Truth can be debated endlessly. Look no further than the blind men and the elephant. Simply put, a singular Truth cannot be known πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

What can be understood are the collection of truisms close to Truth. Things that are agnostic to time, space, culture, and context are more true than dichotomies or idioms. Something that, once known, is of terrible power for its ability to inflict or relieve suffering in one and another. Yet, not knowing can lead to a suffering through ignorance!

So what is truthful?

All life seems to agree on this: Suffering is the only guaranteed experience.

Before you go, hear me out. Suffering is a cornerstone of existence if not the foundation of what it means to be alive.

It all starts at where all things do: at the beginning. First there is the suffering caused to mothers during pregnancy and labor. Second, babes wail at the shockingly cold, shockingly bright loss of everything they have ever known. Communities then suffer the child’s cries and inadequacies while their parents sweat and toil to keep the new human alive – and often that is beyond their abilities!

The baby born, that child will become self conscious. With that knowledge, the young person begins to doubt their own value. Their body morphs through puberty in unknowable, painful ways. Their minds become aware of themselves and other people, namely the failures of themselves and their society. A child is considered ‘mature’ when they lose the shield that was naivetΓ©. In a complete upending of the child’s reality, they come to understand they are betrayed by family, friends, society, and their own body.

That babe-turned-adult suffers once again as the incessant march of time grinds down thought and bones alike. If not outright crippled in mind and body, the ‘edge’ of peak performance experienced in late adolescence is dulled. A second revelation comes where the elder recognizes how much of their short life has been spent with little return. Existential nihilism or a living lie of denial sets in, killing the elder long before they are dead and buried. This is the elder’s only inheritance left to their next of kin, who in turn do not understand the trauma they’ve received. Thus the cycle of suffering, from birth to death, continues on into the next generation.

Matter – atoms and the like – too suffers in its creation, as understood through an empathetic anthropomorphism. All particles exploded into an inferno during the universe’s birth. All suns only formed after eons of atoms floating alone before being crushed and incinerated under their own weight. The universe itself may be convulsing in a cyclic version of Western Hell and has so done since the beginning of time.

Suffering is inherent in creation. Yet does it last?

Absolutely.

We see in the life of a person or a galaxy, suffering is the ever-constant companion throughout a singular existence. From start to finish, suffering is present and repeats its pattern infinitely.

Suffering persists. But what of the Good?

While there are absolutely may be moments of pleasure in one’s life, no two persons can agree on the specifics of such pleasures, or if the pleasure itself is a Good thing! (What is Good has been mentioned before, but a further exploration is later in this post.)

What used to be the common ground of Good was religion. But which religion? Which denomination of that religion? Can a history of stoning neighbors, burning knowledge, and the excruciation of the masses, justified in the many names of God, be considered Good? (Rhetorical questions all.)

When consuming certain mushrooms across the world, shamans and laypersons alike gain the satisfaction of meeting their own God without the need of religion. Perhaps this is a contributor as to why claims to be religious are becoming a minority. Regardless, religion seems to be unable to define a Good in the universe.

Hedonism gives many moments of pleasure. Eating, drinking, sex, and drugs all stimulate dopamine and other feel-good chemicals, these chemicals the only objective cause of pleasure in a person’s body. If pure pleasure is what Good is, the only Good activity in life is the pursuit of opiates until death arrives, the dead no longer suffering.

Sensual pleasure works as well as it does because of the erasure of self it causes. There is no person, there is only bliss. Should a person retain any amount of self-conscious ego, this pleasure is often found to be meaningless. (Not to mention that the individual hardly survives for long, which is not Good.)

The idea of ‘the nation‘ aims to give meaning with shared common purpose, that which the nation claims to be Good. Further, nations promise to carry the ideas and works and wishes of the citizen into the future, a survival-by-proxy. So which nation is Good? When? For whom? What consistently has been considered Good? Perhaps during the disenfranchisement of its women? The crucifixion of its minorities? The genocide of its enemies? The enslavement of the destitute?

The nation has many ideas of what Good is. No idea remains consistent, thereby a changing definition of what is Good. In the book The Rape of Nanking, it is come to be understood that nations will justify its actions without remorse, even glee, passing this ‘goodness’ into its citizens and collective actions. It is clear ‘the nation,’ despite giving meaning and surviving, cannot be Good.

If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.

George Orwell, 1984

In these ways, the Good is entirely subjective. What is Good for one cannot be guaranteed for another. The Confucian Golden Rule of “do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself” usurps its Western opposite of “do unto others what you would have them do to you.”

But Good may yet have something true about it. If suffering is the omnipresent woe, minimizing suffering may be a common agreed-upon Good. But remember that many things done with ‘Good’ intention (Western Golden Rule) cause suffering. Therefore, Goodness with the intent to reduce suffering seemingly is to act less on perceived suffering (the context others appear to be in) and more on actual suffering (the context a person finds themselves in, the only guarantee suffering is indeed occurring).

As Goodness with the minimal definition is an eternal endeavor since suffering persists, Good would need to accommodate failure and continue (i.e. survive). That still does not negate this narrow definition of Good as being subjective, only one in a crowd of other definitions that claim to be correct.

Simply put, a definition of Good may be “reduce net suffering to survive and survive to reduce net suffering.” This does not violate the subjectivity of Good, merely prescribes what the abstract concept is.

Good is subjective. So what is objective?

If any claim to objectivity is made, it seems to be made of suffering and surviving. A person cannot do a guaranteed Good. By the act of existing only, a person can participate in suffering.

You and I will experience suffering, will cause it. Much of it will happen and we won’t be aware of it. In our darkest times, we will seek it out.

Therein lies an objective truth: Suffering is inevitable. With that knowledge, preparing to suffer can be committed to and actions readied to reduce it. How suffering is perceived is variable, but thoughts about suffering tend to trend in two ways: Those that have the means to hypothetically bear great suffering are better; those that endure actual suffering not of their choosing are considered lesser.

Whether suffering is accepted or railed against, if a person finds that they are suffering, it may be a comfort to know suffering is natural and it too can pass. How to address suffering is another topic entirely, an important one to have when suffering is known to exist, persist, and permeate throughout the universe.

In these ways suffering conforms to a universal truth, a first-tier fact that better reveals Truth and hones other truths in their meaning and purpose.

Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.

George Orwell, 1984

Something I’ve pondered on and worth continuing to ponder. Cheers.