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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Are you Serious? (!)

Are you Serious?


Are you serious?!

What does it mean to be “serious”? Does it imply that a person must buckle down to business and simply solve a certain problem or absolve some type of conflict without having any type of jovial or positive emotion? When we think of someone being “serious”, does our attention go towards something that is more straightforward, dull and  constricting?

If we see a businessman talking numbers on the phone, do we see him as being serious? When someone tells us to take things “seriously”, does that mean putting on a mask of seriousness and focusing our minds on a certain thought(image) or scenario?

It is quite odd. In this modern society we like to compartmentalize and segment out different states of being for some type of means to an end. If we expected or told to be serious, we are essentially trying to fragment our perception into an illusory box dead set on not being jovial or compassionate to any degree. It all relates the context at play. Do you see?

When we will ourselves to try to be more “serious”, we are trying to direct our attention in a very direct and perverse way. We are acting out an ideological concept. What we think as being serious is a form of discipline for the mind. The controlling and manipulation of moods and emotions. It is a pigeonholing for the illusory sense of self. We can see that being serious requires the internal action of division and discrimination. Instead of being with what is, we use seriousness as an unconscious construct to mold what should be. To attain a certain goal or mood within ourselves of a setting. Maybe we become “serious” when we see perceive others as being serious. We do our best to not avoid conflict and just choose to conform with how we see the serious faces and bodies around us. Since seriousness is built on constraint and a presence of conflict, there will always be conflict and no sense of communion or relationship.

“ So why do we take ourselves so seriously? She asked. “
“ The answer that came wasn’t very serious at all.”

Being “serious” and faking being serious are essentially the same thing. Any time you are trying to manipulate your mindset or state of “being”, you are limiting your sense of awareness and vulnerability. If you want to be more of a serious person, you just have to puff yourself up be more of “that”, but by doing that you are just creating more conflict and escaping what is. It is the illusory act of “becoming”. It is the denial of self and reinforcement of the self. It is the mind taking control and boosting up the false sense of self.

The Mind:
“ I must get this thing done or I must strip away any sense of humor, vulnerability and emotional intelligence in order to achieve a certain state or goal.”

“ I must act this way to show my power and the weight of this situation. I must focus, be assertive and be attentive with the intent of displaying my unwillingness to be swayed by your non-serious dispositions.”

See the problems?

The mind is trying its best to escape the present and use the information it has to try to get to what it “should be”.

Seriousness comes from the conditioning our mind has endured. Does this concept of seriousness have an evolutionary advantage? Did we simply evolve to become more serious in order for the survival of our species? Did seriousness as we understand it today, come from a place of fear or a place of bonding? Can we be empathetic and compassionate while holding onto a serious disposition?

We tell ourselves that in order to get that promotion at work, we must buckle down and take it very seriously. We must IDENTIFY with what we want and do our best to make that happen no matter what cost or obstruction.

We take our jobs and career seriously.
We take some of our relationships seriously.
We take our insecurities very seriously.

What does this all mean?
What does it actually mean to take things seriously?

Does seriousness stem from our childhood?
Maybe we were scolded or punished for do something bad and we associated our parent’s tone with that of seriousness. It is the mean spirited authoritarian directive that was meant to control you! We can see it now more than ever since we have blossomed into adulthood. Seriousness is an implementation to try to manipulate a situation in a certain way whether physically through body language and tone or within the mind.

If there are things that we choose, whether consciously or unconsciously to take seriously, there are things that we don’t take seriously. These may be small menial and mundane things in our life that we are not passionate about. We shoo them to the side and procrastinate. It may be things that we think are more of obligations. We might not take making our bed or doing the dishes very seriously because it doesn’t give us much value or titillates us to the right degree. So then we align this sense of benign seriousness with what we see as important. The things that will benefit us or simply the things that we think we can control. That’s what is comes down to anyway. Control. The idea that we can control our routine and mundane life through the effort and will of seriousness.

We become terse, harsh and mechanical. Seriousness is very mechanical. It requires that we limit and restrain ourselves. It requires that we look at things in a stale and direct light without observing of what is really going on. Most of the times we think we are serious and some times we stray away from that idea. We exhaust ourselves and become complacent, complicit and nihilistic. We simple do not observe how we interact with ourselves and others at times. We fall into the false mantras of, “Be This”, “Do That”, and “Keep Going”. Keep on the right track they say!

Is seriousness the absence of humor? Do we need to put on a serious mask to look at things in a certain stern and fluorescent type of lighting?

Does seriousness have a spectrum? The spectrum from serious to not serious? The spectrum from serious to funny? If there is a spectrum, then the far end of the seriousness spectrum would imply that there would be no room for humor or enthusiasm, correct? Would it be totally devoid of any compassionate emotion or altruistic tendencies? If we are not “serious” in a “serious” situation so to speak, are we not in tune with our own human nature? Is seriousness a byproduct of unconsciousness and acting from a place of fear, anxiety and desensitized transactional interactions?

If seriousness doesn’t necessarily have a spectrum, it is fatally dualistic? A false duality? A false dichotomy, if you will. That duality would require the ability to analyze and break it up into a binary scenario devoid of any variation or permeability. Surely, one person could see one thing more serious than the other person. If that is the case, wouldn’t seriousness essentially be arbitrary and subjective? If a person chooses to be more open and calm and less serious and stern, does that change the seriousness of the situation at hand? This seems absurd since seriousness cannot be totally or absolutely defined or necessarily warrant in productive or positive results. If you act more serious, does it make the situation more tense or less? Think on it.

If we are more open and vulnerable to the challenges and situations that come our way, do we even need to be seriousness? If we attach ourselves to this concept of seriousness, don’t we set ourselves up for missing out on the totality of the experience? Are we so desensitized and detached from our awareness that we become very dull and mechanical? It’s easy for us to get use the habit and routine of these things we see as “serious” in our lives. We feel that we MUST do them the RIGHT way. That we must not “kid around” with these important obligations. God forbid we try to enjoy these “serious” scenarios and interactions. God forbid we totally immerse ourselves in every mundane and trivial experience to figure out WHY we are doing it in the first place! Do you understand?

Seriousness seems like such a lukewarm illusion. A ghost that throttles the mind and influences our decisions. Does a squirrel get serious? A squirrel surely doesn’t know what seriousness is. He or she has had not use for it. It lives its life in the moment and is attentive to its own survival. The squirrel has no need to worry about his job, his car or his wife. The squirrel has no need to segment his perceptions and emotions to try to achieve a certain goal or resolve a specialized conflict. Alas, we are humans. This concept of seriousness arose from thought. Arose from the conditioning brought on us by society and the people that helped raise us. We have been told what to feel during these tough and trying situations. We are told to simply obey, straighten up and focus on the future that seems to generate such perverse anxiety. Stay in line and take things seriously for the times that you need to take things seriously, they tell us. Work. Play. Work. Play. Buckle Down. Get back Up. Dust yourself off. Try Again. Keep Going. Focus on the positive. Get Well Soon. Be the Best you can be.

......And all these miserable platitudes.

Yet here we are. Always worrying. Fairly dull and mechanical. Our poor conditioned little minds. What happened to the Play? The childlike playfulness and exuberant curiosity?

Yes, that’s right! The curiosity! The ability to see anew. The ability to be attentive with what is. The ability to take risks and be flexible. The patience and attention for uncertainty. The compassionate embrace of our loved ones. The willingness to totally be with the experience. To not separate, over analyze, pick apart and intellectualize. The ability to freely and openly express our enthusiasm and frustrations. To not judge, criticize and collectivize the people around us. We got so use to that didn’t we? Isn’t it such a vibrant experience? To observe the mind? To totally immerse yourself in the fluidity and impermanence of living. Yes! Living! You forgot that you were living, didn’t you? To truly live. Whatever that means! Ha! To die to each fleeting moment. To accept the uncertainty and embrace the discomfort. The promise of nothing. The false clinging to security and comfort. The errors of expectations. The welcoming of unseen opportunities.

You mess up, but you learn. You celebrate your victories. You allow for life to flow through you without trying to tame it like a shrew or writhing weasel. You trip, you make up, you embrace the flooding of emotion and the futility of passing moods. ///////

This life. Not yours. Such abundance and unpredictability. The structure of beliefs. Your thoughts. Well, more of the thoughts in your head. This dance of living. The one you call “your” life. Come off of it. Is it yours? Do you take it seriously? Does that do you any good? So serious you are! But why? Do you see the conundrum. The misery you create by holding on to so many things. The suffering you endure. Yes, you endure. Enduring certainly is not living. Can we agree on that? How much more of this “so called” life can you endure? This is what happens when you take yourself and “your life” so seriously. What a waste of energy. What a vicious perpetuation of unconsciousness.

Here it is.
Serious or not.
Spectacular or not.
Satisfactory or not.

Here it is. Here you are.
What is your reaction?

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