Waking up late. I want to shift my schedule back — daylight is more and more precious during winter here.
I gathered fruits for breakfast but chose to take a walk to the lake before eating.
I strolled through the forest and thought about fears. About being honest with oneself about everything one is afraid of. It’s a good practice to expose all fears for what they really are: only fiction, ideas made up by the mind about the future, none of which has happened yet.
I passed a mandala made out of pine cones, twigs, leaves and lichen:
I made another
As I reached the lake balanced on the stone table. This is much easier than it looks. Just properly fold the elbows in under the abdomen. It is more about awareness, symmetry and technique than strength.
Then I sat down on a rock and watched the water in stillness without thoughts. My attention was grabbed by the trees reflected in the water. My eyes were pulled there before the thought ‘here is how to paint this in your drawing’.
Later I thought: ‘How it would be to not belong to anyone or anything?’ I sensed relief in giving up all identity. To be completely open.
At home I struggled with what to choose for breakfast. I want to work during daytime. I like green tea but I took a bit of the coffee my father drinks. I diluted it with rose-nip juice and cacao since it makes me stressed and smell bad. Perhaps there is some other more beneficial type of bean and brand.
As I sat and ate I reflected on the past month and the day ahead. I made ambitious plans for scheduling my days but didn’t follow them through. From a productivity point of view, it seems I sometimes accomplish more without fixed schedules, just trying to do all I can all the time. But schedules can give confidence and momentum and also lead to flow, one of the most rewarding experiences to have.
I listed a few of the causes to my scheduling problems
- Considering things done before they are
- Forgetting priorities and values
- Self-sabotage by being affected by what others think of me.
- Fear and/or disregard for clocks and speaking and writing affirmative statements about the future.
The best solution I came up with was to do the things I felt the least like doing first, and to time myself.
I started with cleaning up my email. Why not see how fast I can do it?
Ecological Responsibility and Energy Conservation Online
I have a lot of email accounts. This is not a problem in itself, but I have a few which I used in the past but left behind without thinking deeper about the relation between internet use and its impact on the environment.
With such an efficiently designed information exchange network as internet is today it is easy to overlook the fact that emails use energy! It is so easy to subscribe to emails, especially since there are so many good mailing lists! And almost every site today offers you a subscription, somethings litterally in your face (pun intended). It can easily lead to an overflow of information.
But a lot of spam or unnecessary subscriptions is a waste. Not only do they use up energy of servers and routers and make other more important information travel slower, but they also take up space on server hard drives. It might seem that we have an abundance of storage space, but all the information has to be physically stored on a hard drive somewhere, and while it is there, the drive has to be plugged in to the electric grid.
With the subscription is often a registered user as well. Instead of registering several users, it is better to have one for each place.
I begin with the company email I had until 2016, which my friend and previous coworker there kindly gave me access to again.
I unsubscribe from two mailing list. Then I clear the trash folders with almost 100 emails. I remind myself that saving energy is more important the worrying about any information lost. Accounts are always possible to recover or recreate. I leave the account satisfyingly empty!
Next is my oldest gmail account. It is full of junk! I realize another important issue: Accounts
I spend a few hours managing old accounts. Redirecting Ultimate-Guitar.com to my music email. Cancelling my account at Chess.com.. Adding my new phone and email to my Apple-ID.
While doing this I have to log in to my other accounts. The one I use for administration coding and web-design is full of subscription emails and update notifications. I cancel perhaps ten, and remove maybe fifty emails.
Another great waste I am responsible for is not managing the backups to google photos properly. I started going through the photos, saving relevant ones to corresponding separate Google Drive accounts, bit by bit moving everything to trash. I probably won’t finish today, but at least I started it. Also, cropping images saves energy! I found a nice photo of my music instruments, and by cut it down to half the size.
Little by little I work through 11 accounts. Turned out it took the whole afternoon. But considering how many subscriptions were removed next time should be much easier. I will definitely be more frugal with subscribing to newsletters from now on.
Next I begin with papers on the desk. They have been there for way too long. Some have some interesting notes with words transcribed from sanskrit regarding the nature of existence and reality. I will share them with you here:
Anapura — Gradual successive realization
Sthaviravāda — Instant insight into the true nature of reality
विपश्यन or Vipassanā — Mindfulness of the breath
Sotāpanna — Free from rituals
Sahadāgāmi — Free from desire and ill-will
Anāgāmi — Nonreturning
Arahant — Enlightened being with Sthaviravada
Dinner and More Digital Cleanup
After dinner I get a friendly message from the support and administrator of an internet broadband service I used before I moved to Spain. I had set up a wiki-server with lyrics and tabulature for the songs of the band I played in with my siblings and a close friend from upper secondary school running which got hacked by spam-bots on it which was still running and sending emails to my first gmail account. No problem to shut it off!
The theme of the day appeared to be information channels.
First my personal digital information channels I’ve been cleaning up, (I wrote about it in the sections above)
Then we have channels in the body, sending information between organs. I remembered last year, when I had internal visions of both my hip area and my heart. Colorful vivid images in three dimensions were shown inside my head. It was my pineal gland coming online for brief moments. A brief second for someone who had an very strict vegan diet, fasted, meditated and exercised daily for months. Imagine then how little it is functioning in the average westerner, or easterner for that matter! I want to explore this connection further. Key is conscious breathing and focused awareness. It is as if the organs in the body can directly communicate to the conscious brain in visual form, a quite extraordinary dormant function I know next to nothing about. Could it be how the ancient yogis knew in exact integers the number of nadis in the body? What would they be in modern science? Anatomy is a field I have only briefly touched and I didn’t excel as well in biology and biochemistry as I did in mathematics and physics while in high school. There seems to be a lot left to learn, both by internal and external investigation. I am excited for what will happen with more and more people joining western material science with explorations of consciousness or yoga; the science of the self.
The next related topic was brought up thanks to my father talking about horses. Lack of horses was a problem around New York one hundred years ago. The solution then was cars! This made me ask, what is the large problem today? What do people really lack? Thinking more generally, the answer I came up with was distribution of resources. We lack a globally open shared information system tracking production, availability of distribution channels and demands for resources. A non-hierarchical unbiased system accessible to every person and organization to plug into, set up and keep updated with algorithms giving relevant information to optimally distribute produce. It could be well integrated with the internet of things and employ self-driving vehicles like flying drones. Imagine being able to get excess food items scanned and sent by and automatic system to a place where people really needed them across the globe in a few hours instead of having to throw them in the trash.
Ideas for Elon Musk
I heard from my father that Elon Musk is getting overworked. It doesn’t surprise me, if he, as is suggested in the biography I briefly browsed about him, has suffered a bit of paranoia. I didn’t feel like read more than perhaps twenty pages of the book. It seemed like such a negative spin. I prefer to believe in the innate goodness of every being. I hope Elon gets some new good ideas while taking a break. I would love to see him innovate on sea transport. Build something propeller-less and eco-friendly. How about using some type of bio-mimicry to get around. Both I and our friends the cetaceans would be thankful.
Thinking more about the future of logistics, the ideal would be to have something like the internet, but in physical form. Nodes in a network which, like data routers, don’t care about who has sent parcels and for what reason (this is customs today!), but only look for the most efficient route to the next node. The gains in time and energy efficiency are probably astronomical. With a network operated by robots and self-driving vehicles an enormous amount of people would be free to pursue other more fulfilling things.
Reading a bit of the user manual for my mothers piano in order to know how to record. I have the rhythm for the intro song made from two days ago stored on my music account. I download it to the telephone and play it in my ears while I lay down some strings. To transfer the recording to the laptop where I will mix the song I get a USB memory from my father. I format it and copy the audio.
After a few runs up and down the stairs between the piano and the laptop I learn how to properly start the recording and get a wav-file I can synchronize with the beat in Audacity. Here a sample from the mix with beat and strings
Tomorrow I’ll record the piano part and do the mix on Friday to be ready for the weekends episode.
Night and Tomorrow
Now it’s close to midnight and bedtime! Tomorrow I’ll travel to a small cottage by the lake Mälaren. My parents want to sell it and it has to be emptied of furniture. I’ll meet one of my uncles, bring the camera and take a few photos.
Good night dear universe and reader!