American Trial Attorney, Arbitrator, Mediator and Author of "Dead Toad Scrolls"
Kilroy J. Oldster
American Trial Attorney, Arbitrator, Mediator and Author of "Dead Toad Scrolls"
There are many standards to measure if a person was successful including did they fill a niche role in society, invent something useful, attain professional distinction, or achieve great wealth. A person might also judge someone a success in life if they laughed frequently, were kind to children and animals, and were truthful, loved by their family, and respected by their friends.
Understanding what it means to die, to sever oneself of the foolish hope for immortality, is what allows human beings the capability to appreciate simple pleasures and endure whatever hardships living a full life requires. Eternity is beautiful whereas time is unredeemable and problematic. Our faith, our hopes, and our love exist only in points of time. We discover eternity by avoiding the snares of prejudice and mental delusion, using the memory of whole civilizations to understand the past, and employing human consciousness to transcend fluctuations in time.
We are what comes to us and by what we choose to fulfill. We learn love by experiencing other people loving us and by cultivating compassion for all humankind.
We discover truth by asking rapier-like questions that cut through the thick fog of doctrinarism. Artists and philosophers must be subversive: we need these rebellious cynics to ask questions, they must resist cultural norms; seek out truths that are not self-evident and challenge everything. Doubt, not blind belief, is essential for discovering truth.
We learn invaluable life lessons from people whom exhibit courage and grace under extraordinary circumstances.
We search our entire lives to create a genuine and reliable self that can relate with other people and faithfully express our artistic temperament. Our battle for personal authenticity requires us to penetrate layers of self-deception, conquer ego defense mechanism, and destroy a false self that is intent upon meeting other people?s expectations.
With endless pharmacological supplies at our fingertips, we do not need to penetrate the motives behind our actions, feelings, transgressions, dreams, and phobias. High on chemical substances we can remain stagnated in an infantile mental state. Without introspection, we foreclose ourselves from gaining the insight that allows us to navigate adulthood?s ceaseless demands.
Writing fiction or nonfiction is a lonely battle wrestling with sentences in an effort to put together an intelligible thought that speaks for the author.
It is foolishness to want what never was or will never will be, lament the passage of time, and live in fearfulness of an uncertain future. The moods generated by regret including depression and self-loathing congeal in our sentient consciousness creating the painful landscape of the self.
Life introduces us to the gentle, cosmic rhythms of an extraneous world. What is objective truth might exceed human capacity to ever fully perceive, comprehend, and explain.
Love and marriage represent the cumulative product of several judgments. Love is an instinctive human emotion that entails deliberation and reflection. The first decision is whether to love, then whom to love, and finally whether to pledge spending a lifetime together. Love is a feeling and similar to other strong feelings it might vanish. A person does not marry every time that they fall in love. Marriage requires a person to foresee that their love will endure the mutual wants and needs of both people.
Nature endowed human beings with two teleological components that define our essential humanity: consciousness and memory. Consciousness enables people to make decisions, and memory allows us to learn and share our accumulated knowledge. Cognitive endowments of consciousness and knowledge allow people to ascribe a meaning to existence, by establishing a direction and purpose to their life.
One redeeming feature of human beings is that we must work to sustain our survival. Working attaches people to reality; it creates a survival identity, and provides structure to our life. Work provides a person with a temporary purpose and an accompanying sense of security that there is a fitting place in this world for a person of their temperament and talent.
Our sacrosanct obligation is to tend to our own personal wounds and furiously love the entire world irrespective if the world loves us back.
Perception of a self is not simply about actuality. Human beings? identities are self-generating and people constantly revise and recreate the story of their being. Coming-into-being, not being, is the highest expression of reality. We only attain the fullest knowledge of a living thing including ourselves when we know what it was, understand what it now is, and understand what it can become. We do not know the truth of a living thing?s existence until we discern its entire history from development to demise.
Reading, writing, listening to music, skipping rope, flying kites, taking long walks along the sea, hiking in the crisp mountain air, all serve a joint purpose: these self-initiated acts free us from the drudgery of life. These forms of physical and mental exercises release the mind to roam uninhibited, such collaborative types of mind and body actions take people away from their physical pains and emotional grievances. A reprieve from the crippling grind of sameness allows personal imagination to soar. Imagination, a form of dreaming, is inherently pleasant and restorative. It is within these moments of personal introspection stolen from the industry of surviving that humankind touches upon the absolute truth of life: that there must be something more to living then merely getting by; the fundamental human condition thirsts for a way to improve upon the vestment that shelters our self-absorbed lives.
Self-questioning is bound to arise at the outset of any worthy quest attempting to gain self-knowledge, and this disconcerting sense of uneasiness will continue to surface akin to a petulant sea serpent until a person undertaking a vision quest either discovers a safe haven or perceptively changes the trajectory of their destructive life.
Storytelling still matters in the digital age, because commencing in adolescences and continuing through adulthood, people receive training in using stories to describe the human contestants, organize the facts, communicate the moral message behind the messy human conflict, evaluate competing ethical issues, and render a final value judgment.
The artistic creation of the poet, painter, photographer, and writer is a reflection of the artist?s inner world. The agenda of consciousness that spurs all forms of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but to portray its inward significance to the creator. A great poem, painting, photograph, and written composition fully express what the creator feels, in the deepest sense, about the distinctively depicted image that captured their imagination.
The grandest form of delusion is misconstruing the obvious. Persons with an open, inquisitive, and intuitive mind can detect hidden clues that aggressive, narrow-minded, and impatient rationalist fail to perceive.
The items people own reveal something about the owners. Every quaint item that a person selects to surround themselves with has a basic quiddity, the essence, or inherent nature of things. As a people, we assign a value meaning not only to the things that we presently possess, but also to the items destined for one generation to hand down to the next generation.
The principal advantage of narrative writing is that it assists us place our life experiences in a storytelling template. The act of strict examination forces us to select and organize our past. Narration provides an explanatory framework. Human beings often claim to understand events when they manage to formulate a coherent story or narrative explaining what factors caused a specific incident to occur. Stories assist the human mind to remember and make decisions based on informative stories. Narrative writing also prompts periods of intense reflection that leads to more writing that is ruminative. Contemplative actions call for us to track the conscious mind at work rendering an accounting of our weaknesses and our strengths, folly and wisdom.
There are times in life when the best part of our life and the worst part seemingly coincide, especially those periods that demark commencement of significant personal transformation.
Unless we understand how the twists and turns of life operate to make us, we cannot comprehend who and what we are. Without self-awareness, we are blind to registering the intertexture of other people?s inner life. Gracefully enduring personal hardships expands our minds to extend sympathy and empathy for other people. By casting our personal life experiences into a supple storytelling casing, we create the translucent membrane that quarters the fusion of our flesh, nerves, blood, and bones. Self-understanding is an essential step in loving the entire world.
We become the product of our recurrent thoughts. Writing is one method of explicating upon our thoughts, condensing multiple scenes, times, and ideas, and editing our fragmented beliefs.