When I lived with my parents in Chile, I used to watch lots of movies and TV shows with my dad. We saw some good and some very bad ones, but all made lovely memories.
Usually, during the movie, my dad would find lots of inconsistencies, mistakes or things that “are not like that in real world”, making him lose interest in what we were watching. Most of the time he was right, someone made a stupid decision, something that was physically impossible happened or it was just complete nonsense.
Of course there are terrible movies and those mistakes are just a small part of what makes them incredibly bad. But if we try to analyze every detail, look beyond the 3D animation, the actors and make-up, we will find something very disappointing… IT’S JUST A MOVIE! IT’S NOT REAL! Yes, everything is make-believe – it’s camera tricks, 3D animated characters, not historically accurate and perhaps not even based on “real life events”. At first, we can think that we’ve gained something with this knowledge, but perhaps we also feel like something was taken away from us.
It’s just like with magic, there is a big smoke screen and we think that by looking through it we will find the real secrets. That finally, we will feel satisfied, and complete. But most of the time we end up feeling disappointed, because maybe knowing the secret wasn’t what we were really looking for. Maybe we don’t need “just a trick” and the answer to “how do you do it?” don’t lead us to the real secrets of magic.
I think magic:
“offers the pleasure of something plain and ordinary, unexpectedly elevated to a marvel. It’s a redemptive feeling, a reminder of many potential wonders. When a magician places a coin in his hand and makes it disappear, it is a reminder that there’s something about coins and hands that we’ve failed to appreciate. Unlike a mere deception or a simple secret, which gives the impression that something’s been taken away, a great magician makes you feel like something’s been given to you.”*
Looking for answers, judging and categorizing things has helped human beings to discover amazing things. But, by labeling and judging everything, we could lose our ability to wonder and enjoy the simple things: good company, watching a movie, drinking hot chocolate, or just walking in the park.
I’m not suggesting that we need to throw our brains down the drain! We need them to be what we are, but sometimes, if we let our brain rule us, we lose the ability to feel and and truly enjoy experiences.
Thinking is an incredible tool, but we don’t need to think that we are happy to actually be happy. We don’t need to think about sounds to enjoy a song and, perhaps, we don’t need to peek behind the curtains to enjoy the show. Even though we see the smoke and mirrors, we can still enjoy the movie, not because we don’t see it, we know it’s there, but maybe, just for now, we can let it go, sit down and enjoy it for what it is, JUST A MOVIE!
At the end, even though my dad analyzed most of the movies, we still enjoyed a lot of incredibly stupid ones (like Underworld or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer, amazingly fun to watch!), because we knew that they were just stupid movies or maybe we just enjoyed each other’s company.
See you next time :)!
*Quote from: Hiding The Elephant, Jim Steinmeyer
Recommended book: The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley
Recommended video: Alan Watts, Let go of controlling everything
Eudemonia is a blog of ideas related to philosophy, magic, happiness, work, virtue, purpose and other thoughts.
“Eudemonia or Eudaimonia is often translated as “happiness,” but that’s a bit misleading. Eudaimonia in Greek:
Daimon: soul or “self.”
In Greek philosophy, Eudaimonia means achieving the best conditions possible for a human being, in every sense–not only happiness, but also virtue, morality, and a meaningful life. It was the ultimate goal of philosophy: to become better people—to fulfill our unique potential as human beings.”
A selfish one first haha, because i like the idea of it. I’m a strong believer that self-expression, reflection and introspection its a great tool to deal with anxieties and other difficulties.
And also, if there is someone who gets anything from an idea, book recommendation or thought etc I’ll be more than happy :).
First when people say or think about philosophy they think of thinking thoughts and just provoking new ideas (nothing practical). But Philosophy should and was (more than 2000 years ago) a big tool to think how to have better and happier lives “a life in eudemonia”.
A philosopher was not only the one who had thoughts about life but lived by example.
There is no single way of living, and everyone has his own path, but how can we expect to have an amazing life? if we don’t even think how should it look like?
My name is Thomas and rather than telling you what I do let me tell a bit of my history and background so you can understand me.
I graduated as a Electronic Engineer 3 years ago. And most of the things I’ve learned were precise, predictable and quantifiable, I was always looking for patterns and ways to control things.
Uncertainty, lack of control and negative emotions were my biggest enemy, I fought them in order to achieve a more secure and easier life.
I had a very secured life but not happier…
The lack of control gave me lots of anxiety and stress. I was always frustrated when things didn’t go according to plan and by avoiding negative emotions I ended up with obsessive thoughts and frustration. I was living in a zombie state mode, just breathing and getting good grades.
But during my path as an engineer student I stumbled across two of my current passions: Magic and Philosophy. A video of Alan Watts a Western Philosopher known for his Oriental Philosophy books, essays and audios (Taoism, Hinduism and Zen Buddhism). It was a completely new perspective. Some ideas like: “A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts, so he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions.” “Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone”.
As we know, we live in a society that promotes control and its always promising a better future (vacations, finishing a project, lots of goals). So we are never engaged in what we are doing now, we don’t enjoy things for themselves and we are afraid of trying new ideas.
The objective of Eudemonia is to challenge our beliefs and ideas. Never settle, think, reflect, practice, live and reflect again, and then again live, not just think, go and do stuff!
Jump and go deep down the rabbit hole, where life is surrounded by magic, everything is new and exciting. A life where work is play, meaningless things have a purpose and in order to get IT you have to let it go.
Join me in this journey,
And see you next next time 😀
“The purpose of life
Is a life of purpose.”
Video of Alan Watts – The Dream of Life – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU0PYcCsL6o&t=16s