November 4, 2011

Future Suffering Arithmetic

In today's installment of the Pious Hippie Life Saver Program I bring to you an ingenious way to reduce your future suffering.

That’s right.

I've finally worked out the formula to reduce future suffering.
Next on the agenda: a cure for balding.

Since the procedure is not completely tested, I would advise readers to avoid trying this at home. For now.
I have bravely volunteered to test this on myself- and take my place in the 'Anti Future Suffering Procedure Invention Hall of Fame'.

Below, I will proceed to lay down my discovery for the sake of documentation, should I fail to survive.

Like all things, this requires a lot of hard work but the solution is so logically sound- I had tears in my eyes when I came up with it.
And no, I was not chopping onions at that time.
Nor did a bee sting me in the eye.
And I was not playing 'Who blinks first' with my pet dog.
Not at the time, anyway.

The solution has it's roots in one of my previous posts: Broccoli sucks.
If you are also stunned by my prescient brilliance, join the club.
No seriously…. There's a club.
The Pious Hippie Prescient Brilliance Fan Club (PHPBFC).
I'm the only member so far… but I'm expecting a flood of membership applications very very soon.

Anyway, I had said way back then that:

Another part of Vipassna teachings was the belief that your good times and bad times are dictated by your life's karma.

Even if you've stopped sowing the seeds of bad karma, the results of your previous actions dictate your condition today.
That's right.
Wish you hadn't bullied the poor nerdy kid back in kindergarten now, don’t ya?

The more you suffer, the more bad karma you get out of the way.
The less there is left behind to make you suffer -later- in the future.
So the difficulty and the suffering is pumping away your bad karma… which means that they are actually reducing your future suffering.  

The diagram illustrating this concept is shown below.
Now I introduce some simple algebra to impart a sense of complicated math to the concept.
Because that makes me look smart.
And I've got free time.
And because I never get to show off my smartness to anyone.

Total bad karma=Suffering ( Current + Future )

Opening up the parentheses we get:
Total bad karma= Current Suffering + Future Suffering

Total bad karma - current suffering = Future suffering

Total bad karma is constant;
provided you don't do anything bad in the present or future.

Thus a 10% increase in current suffering = 10% decrease in future suffering

So by increasing current suffering over and above what is provided by God and the Universe, I can effectively reduce my future suffering.

It's just that simple.

Now we get to the more pertinent question:

How do I increase my current suffering?

I walk into walls on purpose.
And pierce my skin with needles.
And  stand on the highway with arms open and allow the suffering to hit me head on.
I'm just messing with you.

Don’t worry.
I know I have issues but not such big ones.

If you look at our suffering- the kind that is actually the hardest- you will see it's all in the head.
The brain.
The crux of all the problems of humanity.
The birthplace of all misery.
The Satan of all human organs.
I have major beef with my brain, if you haven't noticed, by the way.
I'd rather be a jellyfish than have a brain like mine.

So I have to increase my current suffering mentally.

Now obviously there are infinite ways to do this.
All forms of mental torture to the self will work.

The methods that are the easiest and come most readily to mind is deprivation in
I said food.

So starting tomorrow- I will stop consuming any food that makes me feel good.
Basically, I have to give up chocolate and coffee.
In any form.

I LOVE chocolate and coffee.
And NOT having chocolate and coffee will make me suffer.

I hate apples and bananas.
So I'm going to have two apples everyday.
And a banana.
Because every bite of an apple is like a trip to hell and back for me.
And every banana bite feels like I'm chewing on ear wax.

If I have to choose between two things- one of which I like more;
I will choose the one I like less.
Without cheating obviously.
That means I can't tell myself that I actually hate chocolate cupcakes so I'm going to pick that instead of the broccoli.
That would be a waste of time.
And completely useless.
And if you're wasting your time, you'd rather do something useful like… staring at the ceiling.
There are medical benefits of staring at the ceiling that doctors haven't discovered yet.

The harder procedures are much more difficult to follow- but again- the more you increase your current suffering- the less there is left over for the future.

The harder practices include:

NOT responding to an insult with an insult.
Which is going to be easy for me because my brain can't come up with a witty come back at short notice anyway.
I have spoken about my wit-less brain before.
Doing things for people even when I don't want to.
Basically doing anything that makes me unhappy.

It's mental torture.
And it sounds mental.

But the logic (and math) behind it is irrefutable.
It's simply beautiful.

Suffer your way to future happiness.

I'm on my way.

Please note: The extreme nature of mental torture means that this procedure will have best results only for those who have been suffering a great deal and nothing good has happened to them since time immemorial.
Or a very long time.

If good things have been happening to you…
Just get out of here.
Why are you even reading this stuff?
What is wrong with you?!?

I will notify you as soon as I empty out my bad karma reservoir and good things start happening to me.

Should I not survive this… I'd like to donate my almost non-existent savings to the promotion of my newly founded club.
You know.
The Pious Hippie Prescient Brilliance Fan Club (PHPBFC).
Let it encourage further research into stuff for the betterment of the human race.
And let that research be prescient.
And brilliant.

I fare thee well world.
I wish I could have been of more service to you.
But alas.
It may not to be.

I have goose bumps.

November 2, 2011

GPS: God's Purposeful Surveillance

So in case anyone was wondering… last month hasn't been the best I've had.
This is what's been happening to me.

So I haven't posted.
But that's just between us.

The official reason I haven't posted this month is that I've been doing some thinking.
Lot's of it.
So much that my head exploded… and then I had to glue the pieces back together.
Only officially though.

I'm not really sure ALL of the thinking has been fruitful.
But I'm going to lay it out for you anyway.
Because I'm a nice person.
And because you should know.
I don't know why.
But you should.

Here's what I've discovered after all the thinking:
  • We have no control over our brain.
I knew that already- but the last month really hit the point home.
You tell it to stop thinking about something- and that's the only thing it WILL think about.
It's the most annoying thing in the world.
If the brain wasn't so important- I'd just throw it out of my body.
Like the appendix.

The appendix isn't annoying- it's just useless.
I'd exchange my good-for nothing, punk brain for another appendix if I could.

  • The only way I can make my nose smaller- without going to a plastic surgeon is by losing weight.
I think my body stores all the extra weight on my nose.
Some bodies store it around the hips.
Some around the abdomen area.
Mine stores it on the nose.

  • God steers our lives using a technologically advanced thingamabob called the GPS.

Bullet point number 1- I have spoken about at length.
So I'm not going to go there.
I'm so livid with my brain- I'll start frothing at the mouth if I talk about it anymore.

I'll have more to say on bullet point number 2- after starving for three months and observing the results.
So watch this space for more.

Today I wanted to talk about bullet point number 3.

Since dazzlingly brilliant analogies to elucidate my theories is one of my most appreciated talents- I will use this method of instruction to illustrate my latest discovery.

I've known about this for sometime- but the last month has revealed the inner workings of this phenomenon to me. So brace yourself.

You are soon to come in possession of some extremely privy information.
You're welcome.

I’d like to call this theory 'Life's cupcake kitchen'.
I know the name's a little tacky- but it really fits the bill.
Hits the nail on the head.
Packs the punch.
Get's the job done.
You'll see why in a moment.

Now this can get a little complicated… so please pay close attention.

God steers our lives using his own GPS.
God's GPS is kind of similar to our regular GPSs in cars or on phones.
But not completely.

I made a little table so that it's easier for you to understand.
You're welcome.

So everyone has to reach somewhere in their life.
They want to do something that makes them happy.
They want to attain something.
Something else-wise.
I'll be stopping that now.

The only thing is- we don't exactly know what that is.
God knows.
But He won't tell.

Let's assume for the sake of simplicity that we want a cupcake.
That's our destination.
Our kitchen with a cream cheese frosted vanilla cupcake in our hands.

Our human GPS system would just give us the directions to the kitchen.
The shortest route to get there.

If God's GPS worked like that- we would end up in our kitchen- sure…
but we wouldn't really know what to do there.

Because we don't have a cupcake waiting for us on the kitchen platform or in the fridge.
We need to MAKE it.
You heard me.
We need to get our hands dirty, with the flour and the sugar and stuff and bake ourselves a cupcake.

For those of you who thought you could just go the fridge and find a cupcake in there…
You think we'd need a lifetime to get to the kitchen and open the fridge?
Coz life is just that easy?!?!

So you see how the complexity is built into the system?
We have a destination but we don’t know what it is.

We need to buy ingredients- but we don't know what they are.
And then we get to this mysterious destination and bake our cupcake.
Only we don't know it yet.

And we don't take the shortest route.
And we don't have clear instructions.

Doesn't that come close to describing your life??
It's definitely beginning to sound like mine.

So we go through life- sometimes taking turns (taking decisions to pursue one path or the other) using our brain and analyzing stuff.
Sometimes taking turns- based purely on our gut.

We stumble.
We trip and fall.
We get lost along the way.
We feel pain.
Crazy pain.
We face loss.
We stagnate.
We feel like we've reached perdition.

We start wondering if God even loves us.
If He even knows we exist.
We start looking up to the skies and screaming 'Why me??!?! WHY MEEEE?!?!'

You don't do that??

I don't either.

Some people do that.
Can you believe the losers!?!?!?

Each turn though- is planned.
We are being guided by God's GPS.
God's Purposeful Surveillance.

Each feeling we experience is an ingredient of the cupcake.

The pain, the despair, the hopelessness, the heartache, the disappointment.
All ingredients of the cupcake.
All make you a better cook and pave the way to a better cupcake.
I know.
I'm rolling my eyes too.
But it's the system.

I didn't invent it.
Don't shoot the messenger.

Imagine getting to your kitchen in the fag end of your life- ready to bake your cupcake- but you realize you forgot to buy the vanilla essence.

Your cupcake isn't going to smell very nice.
It's basically going to spoil everything.
It's not going to be the same without the heavenly smell of vanilla emanating from the oven.
That's right.
I know what emanate means.

The pain is supposed to teach you how to enjoy the … well… the non-pain.
The failure is supposed to teach you how to relish your success.
The heartache is supposed to teach you how to enjoy … love.
A bad relationship is supposed to teach you how to appreciate a good one.

I know.
I'm about to barf too.

But it's sort of true if you think about it.

You need to go through the bad stuff to appreciate the good stuff when it happens to you.
Otherwise you will have an essence-less cupcake.
In fact, even if you have the best cupcake in the world, you will NEVER realize it.

Don't get me wrong.
That doesn't make life any easier to bear.

I've known about this GPS gizmo all month now…
but it's not helping that 3 ton weight on my chest.
It's right there.
All the time.

No matter what I think about and how much I put my faith in God and imagine the cupcake … I feel it crushing my rib cage every second.

But I guess I'm trying to say that it's necessary.
It's necessary if you want that perfect cupcake at the end of your life.

It's what happiness costs.

Oh.. And one last thing.
The more turns you take, the more detours you have…
the better your cupcake is going to be.
At least that's what I'm told by that voice inside my head… every time I trip and fall and feel like God hates me.

If you haven't guessed… that voice is the principal source of communication between me and God and the Universe.
Kind of like conference calling.
They're quite technologically advanced up there.
If they have the GPS, they obviously have conference calling. 

Why, do more turns imply a better cupcake you ask me?!!
The system isn't simple or easy.
But it is brilliant.
Here's why.

If you just want a vanilla cupcake with frosting- you need, say, 12 ingredients.
Baking soda and eggs included.
Just making sure- that they're included.
You can leave the eggs out if you want eggless cupcakes.
But I'm not sure if they'll be soft and spongy then.
Not sure it's worth the risk.
I'm getting back to the point now.

If you stop at a number of places and you pick up sprinkles and nuts and some coffee, your cupcake is going to taste that much better.

So the summary of 'Life's Cupcake Kitchen' is this:

Whenever something inexplicable happens, something that you don't know the reason behind, something that hurts really bad and something that seems to have changed the course of your life, something that puts that three ton weight on your chest, something that leaves you lost and confused-

It's a pit-stop.
You are unconsciously picking up an ingredient.
Something that will help you appreciate the cupcake.

And when you look back, you'll realize that had you NOT experienced that- you would have never fully appreciated the life you've had.

And the reasons behind the events?!? The inexplicable turn your life took?!
The sudden turn into Sorrow  street?! Or down Depression Avenue?!
They will reveal themselves slowly in the due course of time.
It will all make sense one day.

There's this famous quote, which I think ties up very nicely with my theory:

"You see, the universe has a plan, kids. And that plan is always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings...and it starts to rain. It's a scary thought, but it's also kinda wonderful. All these little parts of a machine, constantly working, making sure you end up exactly where you're supposed to be, exactly when you're supposed to be there.
The right place at the right time."

I would have invited questions- if I was the inventor of the system.
But I'm not.
God kinda beat me to it.

I know what some of the questions are:

Why is the destination kept secret?
Is there a guarantee that I will get to the kitchen in time?
Or will I be left picking up 'Ingredients' all my life?
Why don't I just get a list of the ingredients- so I know what's happening?
How do I know the oven I'm using is of the good quality?
What if I don't have the cupcake recipe?
What happens if the cupcake doesn't rise?

I don't really know.
I'm gonna go with the explanation that God's just mean sometimes.

But if you can come up with a better life analogy than 'Life's Cupcake Kitchen', I'll stuff french fries up my nostrils and dance on a Moulin Rouge song on top of the Eiffel Tower.
In full view of the public.
The fries are on me.
But you're paying for my flight to Paris.
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The Pious Hippie by Ms. Pious Hippie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.