Fundamentals

Basic rules of my world

How do deaf people think?

Viljandi Folk Music Festival

My hometown Viljandi hosts an annual international folk music festival. Each year the population of 20000 people doubles for 4 days. The festival is a nice step away from our daily lives and gives a lovely opportunity to listen to unique music that you do not encounter in the mundane world. People get a chance to let loose and let the music carry them throughout the days. Look it up from Viljandi Folk Music Festival homepage.

My band Angus at the festival this year. That's me behind the congas. Picture by Madis Reimund.

My band Angus at the festival this year. That’s me behind the congas. Picture by Madis Reimund.

The quiet stare

During one concert, a young boy, I’d say 2 years old, was sitting in the midst of some dancing festival goers and with a wondering face, stared into nothingness. He seemed to be in a state that we all find ourselves from time to time – the quiet glare into a non-existing horizon, the  face giving away that the mind is only aware of it’s own thoughts at that moment. Everything surrounding you at that state doesn’t penetrate the focus of your mind. Often you find yourself in a fierce inner discussion, but as often the mind is completely empty, not registering anything but a beacon of a concious thought.

How does our inner voice work?

That blond-headed boy struck me with that stare. It seemed so pure. I can’t comprehend how the world appeared to him at that moment. What are you thinking at that moment, when your  personality hasn’t fully developed and the society hasn’t yet wrecked you with things you need to worry about? How do you think at the time, when you can’t even fully talk, yet? It could be that our inner voice develops faster than our skill to use that language verbally. Then it means that we start to talk with ourselves consideraby earlier than to others. Or it could be that the means we have to communicate with ourselves are the same that we are able to use to interact with others. Meaning that we use fragments of language, non-verbal noises, and body language until we are able to fully speak.

How do deaf people think?

It seems like I'm not the only one that has caught up on this one..

It seems like I’m not the only one that has caught up on this one..

The mystery of that blond boy lead me to another conundrum – how do deaf people think? How can they do it if they don’t have „the voice in their head”. Do they use language to make sense of their thoughts? They can’t do it like most of us can. The way they speak to themselves must then involve sign language. We can think auditorily or visually, but are they the only means to understand our thoughts? Is there a way to make sense of your inner world without translating it to a language or visual image? If there is, do you think „faster”. Is there a way to know the answer without a question being asked? Maybe what we experience as a voice in our head is not the best way to think and we are overly attached to it.

Theory of meditation

My theory is that we know the thought in our minds from the very first moment we start communicating it to ourselves. Language is meant for communicating with others, but only as a complementary tool when communincating with ourselves. We have grown too attached to it. With that, we have made us vulnerable to miscommunication and gradually lost touch with ourselves. That’s why I like meditation as an excercise. Take time to clear your mind and, for even a short period of time, try to not think of anything. When you think of something try not to use your voice, but visual images. As a result, you relax your brain and come out with better understanding of yourself. A daily or weekly routine gives wonderful results. Try it!

How to be a millionaire?

When to cash in on the premise of „YOLO“? When is the right time to act as if it is your prerogative to experience all that is chaotic and dangerous, because you will not get another chance to do so? I see it as a downward spiral. The instant you decide to go „YOLO“ mode, then all your life’s goals are meant to be set to the background, as your chances of achieving them will get smaller and smaller. If you do something rash for only the one moment you live in now, then you sacrifice potential to gain greater combined pleasure from higher levels of happiness you will have in the future.

Don’t think that you will achieve your goals. Try thinking you already have…in the future. I use a method, where I write down my yearly goals in a form that I have already achieved them. For example: „this year I wrote my first short movie script.“ I act as the future me, who documents the accomplishments of the past year. Try using the same method for your bucket list and your monthly, weekly, daily lists. The logic is that my goals are set to become true, if I know they have happened to a future version of me.

I am a millionaire, but nobody knows it. Even I.

I am a millionaire, but nobody knows it. Even I.

For a simple example, I am a millionaire. Not at this moment, but 25 years from now. My plan is to invest 1500€ a year, achieve 20% yearly growth and reinvest all gained interest. I set the goal, wrote it down and started executing it. From the moment I came up with the plan, made the first move to make it happen and until I don’t deviate from this road, I think of myself as a millionaire.

It’s easy to think of life in past, present and future forms, but it’s not the only way. One could also argue that there is only this moment. And in this moment there is encompassed every other moment. May it happen in the future, be happening now or happened in the past. Or maybe there even is no present. Or maybe your present is longer that this exact defined moment.

It’s the premise of how we understand time travel – as we change something in the past, it creates an alternative way of things to happen. The key is that those changes don’t take time to happen. They happen the instant the past is altered. I think the same way of the future. Right now, the future is happening at the same time as the present. It’s changing for me with every moment. The next word that I write will change the future the moment I write it, but until I do that, I am living a future without that word.

The point of it is in how should we think of our future? And according to me, it should not be: „fuck it, YOLO.“ Every decision you make is amplified, because you are taking care of yourself for the rest of your life in every moment. Each good decision affects the future yourselves the same way as the present you. So until you make a bad decision, all your versions live a life where that has not happened for them. So in fact, you are not living only in this moment, but in every other moment to come, also.

And the answer to the title. . Just make the first step.

How do you know, if you’re right?

A book is to a mind what a whetstone is to a sword – means to keep it sharp. For that reason, reading as a hobby should make up at least a small amount of time in all people’s schedules. I enjoy reading and out of all genres I like to read science fiction novels the most. A good science fiction novel encompasses in itself the most potential for provoking ponderous thoughts. Be it new inventions, philosophies, societal norms, political ideas, or even undiscovered ways of looking at our very own existence.

Time travel is a notoriously difficult subject in fiction as it’s very hard to keep logically consistent. When not contained, the implications of even one minor mistake in logic can ruin the entire book (movie, series, etc.). The ground rules must be solid. But if kept coherent, the maze of complex reasoning can truly inspire awe. And sometimes you read a few lines that just get you on the spot. Isaac Asimov’s „The End of Eternity“ got me with a little gem about his rule for time travel.

The book itself is set in a world where a secret group of people range through past and present Centuries, monitoring and, where necessary, altering time’s countless cause-and-effect relationships. A slight movement of a jar on a shelf can alternate and cumulate in effect until it a noticeable change materializes, like setting a car in an exact spot to take part in an accident, killing one man but delaying the invention of atomic bombs by a few centuries.

pi

Some scholars claim that humans are programmed to find patterns in the world because it’s the only way we can give meaning to the world and ourselves. Hence, the obsessive search to find patterns in π.

The protagonist in the book described the many changes in time he had engineered to have had a calculated effect on the future. With every change, the shift brings forth an alternate course of history and would modify the outlook of things to come. And although each alternate timeline had a unique history, there was one commonality – the rules of math. The history and logical system of math would always be the same.

Math isn’t just numerology. Math has a great influence on philosophy. Math is a way our minds make sense of the universe. We would perceive our surroundings quite differently, if we would not use our mathematical understanding to make sense. From physics and chemistry to music and drawing, we use our arithmetical and geometrical powers. And when it comes to decision making, we usually weigh our options and lean towards the one that adds up to bring in more profit. May the profit be financial, social, in the shape of knowledge or leisure time. That depends on each individual’s philosophies.

The point is that math represents a key monolith that you could hang on to get a grip on the surrounding reality and state of development in the society. Likewise, you should try to find out the key monoliths in your life that you could hang on to. Whether it be your relatives, your best friend, your dog, your birthplace, a lot of ease can come from acknowledging them. A good deal of complications can be avoided if you set perspectives in life and try to develop your personal code of ethics. You should not rely on those rocks to get you through life, but use them to gain a better ground in uncertain situations. In situations where you know that whatever happens, your monolith will be unshaken and you can use its shelter to regain your way.

How do you know you’re healthy?

I’ve been in the army for nearly 8 months now. The last two have had me training to be a paramedic. Not a fainthearted dirtbag anymore, but a soon to be savior of lives. I would say that previously I was a little bit afraid of blood and definitely would have frozen in case of an emergency accident. But this medical course has served its purpose and now I have the necessary reflexes, the knowhow and basic skills and to be useful to people in need of help. As a part of my training I get to work as an apprentice paramedic in the ambulance, which is awesome. This kind of work drains slightly from your pool of emotional empathy, but really makes you appreciate human life.

Contradictory to popular belief, I’d say 90% of the calls are actually unnecessary. Most of the calls are made by people who just fear for their lives too much or have nothing else to do than detect symptoms of diseases. They’re making up problems or thinking their condition is worse than it really is. And a lot of it is caused by minuscule knowledge of their physical condition and health in general. A frequently occurring mindset is: „I am sick. There is definitely something wrong with me. If the doctor says I’m well, then I don’t believe him. I have earned the right for a treatment and someone needs to take care of me this instant.“

It’s good to live in a welfare bubble, but what if it burst? Should you be ready? At a certain age you start to face your mortality, and it can be frightening. But it should not paralyze you or make you paranoid.  If you feel there is something wrong with you, but you are aware what’s going on around you, then firstly go see a general practitioner yourself. Force yourself to take the reins. All injuries and illnesses are not lethal and there is a lot you can do yourself to get back to a better state of wellbeing.

The emotional stress both from those avoidable calls and from calls with critical nature give way for the compassion fatigue to happen. On one hand, the calls for serious injuries(car accidents, heart attack etc.) are so intense that they are mentally tiresome. On the other hand, a throng of people complaining about their high blood pressure can be very wearisome, because realistically they are calling ambulance for no good reason. Many find it surprising to hear that their vitals are considered fine and that they are perfectly healthy. They just need some recurring comforting and insurance. This kind of thinking is ultimately a self-fulfilling prophecy that wastes the ambulances energy. Could  less stress from patients who take things to their own hands instead of calling the ambulance can have a positive effect on the chance of successful(on time) treatment of critical patients?

You can live longer by having more confidence in yourself. Take it from the ultimate authority - Stephen Colbert.

You can live longer by having more confidence in yourself. Take it from the ultimate authority – Stephen Colbert.

Life can be lived by being sure you have taken care of yourself well or by being reliant on a diagnosis. Are you well because the doctor says so or are you well because you feel so? Of course there are examples like the risk of cancer. Women over 30 should regularly go check themselves, but the statistics need only to draw your attention, not worry you. Knowing yourself and your body keeps you from being a victim because someone says you are.

The more you stay in touch with your health the better. Care, but do not worry. And follow through. Saving others’ lives may be important, but it all starts from people making steps to save their own.

What are feelings?

It’s time to enter the season that is spring. Getting rid of the darkness and stepping into the colorful light of blooming flowers. Hibernation has ended. Time to substitute alarm clocks with morning sunlight. Days are long again and the spirit of life resurfaces. As seen from my written posts, winter was a difficult time for me. But I’m back on track with my writing. I have even found inspiration to start a new paintings after about half a year. I guess I’m more of a summer person. . Spring is said to be the season of love and it seems appropriate then to write my thoughts about it.

My friend, who hasn’t been active on the romantic-, or even the social scene, recently found a girl he liked. He decided to act on it and consulted me for advice. I tried to give him my “love doctor” advice, but soon I discovered that the best I could do, was just to encourage him to act as he deems right. That’s because contrary to my advice to be patient, he just dived in and opened himself to her. And it paid off. The girl left her boyfriend and got together with my friend. 2 months later, they are living together. To my knowledge, that good friend of mine hadn’t even had romantic interests before. Quite astonishingly fast series of changes.

Now, my theory is that people know their mates (for lack of a better word) when they see one. And be it something supernatural or just chemistry, they can feel if the attraction is both ways. We all have the “spider-sense” of love. Having courage to act on that intuition is another matter, though. There’s just something about approaching others that people are afraid of. The moment you lose your confidence and start to sulk, you lose 50% of your chances of ever being with someone.

Why do you feel down, when you get turned down? Why do you feel bad, when something does not go according to the plan? I consider it interesting, when I’m turned down. It’s a challenge. And if you struggle through it, you will a) understand yourself better b) understand others better. I would imagine that a great many of us are chasing after the opposite sex, but when the prize is acquired, they don’t know what to do with it. What does that mean to you – having a partner? Is it something that makes you feel better or is it something that makes you feel better about yourself? There’s a difference, you know. One is about the joy of life while the other is about reinforcing an idea you have about how you are supposed to be.

Happens every year.

Happens every year.

So why should anyone be desperate to find someone? (I am of course talking from a perspective of a 23-year-old man and do not understand the urge when a women is nearing 40). Obsessions are bad, that I know. A relationship starts with patience. Patience to wait for the other. Because there may be a connection between you, but perhaps you are in different states of your lives. Let’s say that before you met, one of you had a partner or lost someone and just isn’t compatible yet etc. The connection can materialize, when you reach similar grounds with your minds. Sometimes it works right away, sometimes it takes longer. It just takes time and honesty to make things work. The bond between people gets stronger with each minute spent together and the more you open up to each other, the stronger the bond gets. And it is universal, it can happen with anyone. Best friends are often those, with whom you have spent the most time together.

Physical pull is something that you cannot control, it is just there. And that can be recognized. When using both – your intuition and your rational thinking, you can pretty easily calculate if you are on the positive or the negative side. You cannot work out, however, if it is going to work between you in the end or if you are even getting together to make something work. That thread has to develop itself. People are too different for figuring relationships out in 100% theoretical mode. And because of that, one has to act on hunches and not overthink it. If you cannot, then my very first post will describe a method of making things easier on the mental part: http://wp.me/p3fAW9-9.

We spend too much time being afraid of what the other one thinks, has thought or will think of us and not enough time getting to grips with our own thoughts of ourselves. The thing I suggest is to go for it no matter what you think. The biggest mistake of them all – letting a chance go past you. It’s comparable to my idea of chance – if you don’t buy a lottery ticket, then you have 0% chance of winning. If you buy 1 ticket, then your chances increase infinite times, because you now suddenly have odds of winning. How many times is 1 out of a million (or 0,1 or 5 or 900 or. .) better than zero? Yes, it’s infinite times – you can multiply 0 with anything you want, you won’t get a different number. Considering that usually sharing your feelings is free, then why not increase your chances of finding a partner by infinite times? The proof of the pudding lies in the eating.

Is love a chemical reaction? Certainly. But there is magic in it that I don’t want to forget. Be happy to share your life and experience.