Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Labyrinth of Suffering

“The internet is made of people. People matter. This includes you. Stop trying to sell everything about yourself to everyone. Don’t just hammer away and repeat and talk at people—talk TO people. It’s organic. Make stuff for the internet that matters to you, even if it seems stupid. Do it because it’s good and feels important. Put up more cat pictures. Make more songs. Show your doodles. Give things away and take things that are free. Look at what other people are doing, not to compete, imitate, or compare … but because you enjoy looking at the things other people make. Don’t shove yourself into that tiny, airless box called a brand—tiny, airless boxes are for trinkets and dead people.” - Maureen Johnson

A List of Things On My Mind Lately:

  • College. I've got a good bit of time left, but since a couple of the people on the Ellipsis staff are currently immersed in applications, plus those articles...
  • NaNoWriMo - how could I not be, with it taking up my entire life for the next 30 days as of Monday and my first, current, and only YouTube series based around it?
  • The "Labyrinth of Suffering" from Looking For Alaska
  • Halloween
Last night, there was an awesome thunderstorm here. There was a particularly huge thunderclap just before midnight, and at the exact moment it hit (I know this sounds melodramatic, but this really is how it happened), I had an epiphany about the Labyrinth. 
The question is the answer. Or, more accurately, the answer is the question. It goes along with the Allegory of the Cave, to some extent.
It's the first of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, after all: There is Suffering in the world.
So I'm aware that I'm in the Labyrinth of Suffering. How do I get out?
Step 1: Know that I'm there. Check.
Knowing precedes the search for the exit. If the question is the answer, searching for the exit causes the path to the exit appear.
However, I think what that path is varies from person to person. For Alaska, it was "Straight and Fast." The Colonel "chose the Labyrinth." While I like his answer, I'm more inclined to go with the final lines of Pudge's essay: "Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there.' I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful."

So basically, I believe there's a way out of this Labyrinth of Suffering. I don't believe in heaven, as you all probably know, however, which means I think there's probably a way out within this life. So I've just got to find it. (No, I'm not becoming Buddhist. There are many things I like about Buddhism, but there are still those I don't. Plus my whole issue with teachings, as covered in a previous post/quote.)

It's odd how all of this is coming together at once: me reading Looking for Alaska for fun while also reading Siddhartha for school, while it being the time of year when I always feel more spiritual than the rest of the time.

Hopefully that made sense.

As for Halloween, I wish I had a party to go to, but most of my friends who might otherwise be having a party are in marching band and are therefore INCREDIBLY busy this weekend since it's our school's home competition, which is also pretty much the biggest event of the year for the town, with maybe the exception of the massive craft fair a month or so ago. So I'm going trick-or-treating with my dad and sisters as always, which was never depressing until now.

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