This post is going to form the basis of a new category of posts here on The Refined Geek which I’m calling Ideals of Life. A couple years ago I made a habit of writing down one or two sentences that described a philosophical ideal that anyone could ascribe to every day just before I went to bed. These were often reflective of my mindset of the time and embodied one of the ideals that I unconsciously believed in. Writing them down reaffirmed my commitment to these ideas, and I’ll share one of them with you today.
Ever since I was a child I’ve been told that I was a dreamer. I can remember catching the hour long bus to my primary school and gazing out of the window endlessly contemplating the outside world. As I got older I never stopped doing this, I merely wondered more about specific topics, rather then having my mind wander aimlessly. During one of my nights of musing over my journal of thoughts I began to realise the importance of losing myself in something, whether it be gaming, thought or conversation. I summed it all up with this point
Let yourself get lost in something every so often. To experience life to the fullest, we must also escape from it.
It’s a twofold point deeply rooted in escapism. I’ve found that often get heavily focused on a few topics or activities at a time and that losing myself into something else from time to time gives me perspective on things that I might be missing. Initially this thought was confined to escaping through games as at the time I was playing through Dreamfall: The Longest Journey which dealt with ideals similar to this. However over time I found myself getting lost in other activities, such as research. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up one article on Wikipedia only to find myself still researching the topic hours later.
I’ve also begun to believe that this ideal also encourages passion in any endeavour you might undertake. You can find many examples of people who are so engrossed with something that they lose their identity when they become involved in it. This is an amazing characteristic and it’s something I note in the truly altruistic individuals that exist in this world. Whilst I can’t remember the real source for the following quote I can attribute its paraphrasing:
I have no need to defend my ideals, they defend themselves. – Eamon Logue on the topic of Buddhism
This I feel embodies the essence of losing yourself. Eamon was no longer a man defending a point or a belief, he was merely manifesting the ideals of Buddhism through himself.
So become passionate, lose yourself in something every so often and gain perspective on your life. Once you find something that you can truly lose yourself in, the rest of your life takes on a new level of meaning.
Every day we’re hit with bad news from all around the globe. It becomes especially hard when the news comes from somewhere close to you and your loved ones. Right now Australia is in the midst of two separate and devastating disasters, both of which concerned me deeply and my thoughts are with all of those affected.
So when you lose almost everything to unfathomably brutal fires or unrelenting floods what do you turn to? I consider myself as somewhat of an oddity. Religion doesn’t work for me (that’s not to say I’m not religous, it’s just….complicated ;)) and I tend to overthink things, following all my thoughts down a dark logical path. So what do I do? Pretty much what everyone else does: escape.
If you haven’t already guessed I’m an obessive gamer, and my games of choice are ones that focus deeply on immersion. When times are tough I usually find myself in front of a computer or console hammering away, whilst my problems play out in my subconcious. You know how somtimes you can’t think of an answer straight away and then you bolt upright at night shouting the answer? That’s how games work for me, my problems battle themselves out whilst I battle demons in a far off land.
So the question remains, what’s your rock?