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About GeorgeLawson

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  1. Still thinking about this issue, so I'm going to reply to myself, here: I think the best thing I can do is to keep integrating my songwriting into my current English teaching job as much as possible. Yes, I could quit my job and try to 'make it' in the music industry (whatever that means), but I still feel that I have a lot more skills to develop first, especially with regards to my guitar playing, singing and lyric writing. I think I need to become so good that they can't ignore me, then try to break in. I'm going to a poetry reading club this evening on Hong Kong island which should hopefully clear up a few things...
  2. Thanks for the support, Michael and Jacob. @Michael569 @Jacob Morres It's been a while since posting in this journal, but I want to keep it going as my curiosity is, after all, infinite. I did actually take the life purpose course when it first came out over five years ago. It was a hugely inspiring course when I took it and my life purpose statement came out follows: I write and perform songs which harmonise emotional suffering and teach life's deepest wisdom. Now, I have been doing this on and off throughout my 20s (I have a youtube channel with song videos I've written, performed, recorded and posted), but I often lose faith in this purpose because I'm not sure where to go from here. I also have deep-rooted doubts about whether or not I'd be able to make a living from something as 'crazy' as this. I'm currently 26, and to earn money I teach English to adults here in Hong Kong. I really enjoy my current job because it allows me to share my passion for language and writing, which in itself is related to songwriting. I also do a singing club at the school I work at which somewhat integrates my passion into my job. But I still feel there's so much more I could do to make this passion less abstract and more concretely manifested in reality. Any suggestions would be much appreciated
  3. I've decided to start this journal as a way to see where I am in my life and where I want to go next. Currently, at the age of 25, I feel quite depressed and confused about life, to be honest. I'm not sure what I'm doing, why I'm here, what my life purpose is, and how I'm ever going to truly live out my authentic self. I'm not expecting anyone to tell me what direction I should take, because I know that's ultimately up to me, but it is nice to get perspectives from other people on their journeys so I can see examples of how they got from A to B. But I suppose this journal is about me, so let's start with that topic and go from there. My name's George, I from the UK but currently working as an English teacher for adults in Hong Kong. I enjoy what I do, helping others to communicate, and I love languages, which is how I ended up in this job in the first place. I love poetry, rhyme, and lyrical music, and am fascinated by how to express the beauty of words in different languages. I do experience stress and burnout in my job though, and therefore wonder if it is the right career path for me. I suppose the only way to find out is to try out new things and see if I prefer doing them more than this. Whenever I think about quitting my job and trying out something else though, I do end up just feeling depressed and confused because I'm not sure what else I could do. Anyway, that's my musings for today. Perhaps the future will offer some fresh perspective on this matter.
  4. I feel the same with the sea air, too. It always has a healing, rejuvenating effect on my health and wellbeing. Thanks for sharing your dreams for the future.
  5. That's a good idea. I love the fine distinction between an A major and A minor chord. There's a subtle change in mood from happy to sad. Yes, I can imagine it's harder drawing distinctions whilst listening to music than eating apples because we have so many more pre-conceived notions about what the differences in music 'should' be. As you say, the mind plays an ACTIVE role in drawing distinctions, and so through experiencing the distinctions we can redefine the conceptual lines we draw based on the reality of what we actually hear. This allows us, as you describe, to appreciate music a lot more because we replace our pre-conceived distinctions with those drawn from direct experience. Well done! And oh, yeah... I found the apple mac had a dry yet streamlined sensation to it - much harder to digest than windows, though! @Forestluv @Leo Gura @Value Cheers!
  6. I've recently watched Leo's episode on Learning = Making Distinctions and thought that it was a very useful method to apply to anything new you want to learn about. Here's the link if you haven't seen it: I tried out the apple exercise he mentions in the video. There's a local supermarket where I live in Hong Kong which sells a variety of apples, which I think are mostly imported from New Zealand. I bought three different kinds from there, tried them and noted down my observations here: Normally I don't think about it very much when buying apples, but after trying this exercise I discovered a whole, diverse universe of sensations in the simple act of mindfully biting three different apples. Distinction-making is an extremely powerful tool, and one which has opened up my curiosity about life. Somehow life becomes a lot less boring and more diverse the more you appreciate its fine distinctions. How about you? What distinctions have you made recently?
  7. Thanks for your contributions, folks. I can see here this ambivalence between following mainstream media and alternative sources. I'd also mention and understanding truth comes from direct experience, as well as from secondary sources and any kind of media, be that mainstream or alternative. @Consept I like what you said about relative truth. Even though we can't 'know' absolute truth on a conceptual level, there are truths that are relative to us humans and the society in which we live, and this is where transparency of online information and media becomes really important.
  8. Yes, you could say that - technically youtube can do whatever it likes. The question is, if an organisation gets so large, such as youtube, google, twitter, etc., does its censorship need to be regulated by an unbiased third party? After all, it seems youtube has become the new TV now for a lot of people, so it is therefore likely to have power over people's perceptions. Then again, is there even such thing as an unbiased third party? Anyone who censors something will have motivation for doing so, be that 'good' or 'bad,' (and of course judging whether or not a decision is 'good' or 'bad' is motivated by the person holding the judgement). By censoring what youtube are or are not allowed to censor based on ideals of free speech or whatever, you're essentially taking the problem back a level. For example, who censors the censor who is censoring youtube? It just becomes a paradoxical chain with no resolution. Therefore the decision on whether to allow or ban a video has to lie with one person or organisation. And in this case, I agree with you, Space Coyote, it should probably be youtube's decision because it's their private platform. And as Leo just mentioned, leadership comes with great responsibility, and youtube has a great responsibility in today's media world. With all the God-knows-how-many videos uploaded every day, I certainly don't envy the careful balancing act youtube management have of sifting through each one, censoring the potentially harmful videos and allowing the videos which have a right to be there because of free speech. If you're going to be truly free, shouldn't youtube just allow every single video that gets uploaded? No, that would be a disaster! Like the video Leo shared earlier of the girl who got coronavirus after believing the narrative that it's not harmful when in truth it is, it's definitely possible for the spread of certain information to have a harmful effect on people's behaviour. Meanwhile, you have to maintain free speech as well, which is what I mean by it being a careful balancing act for the censors. Interestingly, I don't think youtube used to have such heavy censorship in its earlier days, but that was probably before it reached the popularity it enjoys today. I agree with you there - wisdom is not the same as freedom, and is, to me, more valuable than freedom. In fact, counter-intuitively feeling free doesn't come with having freedom, but having self-discipline, which itself stems from wisdom. Here's what I suggest: There's no reason why people should love anything. People love things regardless of the moral obligation to do so. As for your concerns about youtube's censorship, in the end, it doesn't matter. Even if youtube became some devilish propaganda machine, it's your responsibility, and the responsibility of every youtube viewer to determine for themselves what is true and false. If you allow youtube, or any media for that matter to shape your perceptions, then you're responsible for the behaviour that results from those perceptions. It's called critical thinking. The issue not with the information coming from the media, which may well be full of lies anyway; it's with whether or not you are lazy enough to believe what youtube and the media tell you, or whether you are open-minded enough to entertain a truth claim, and then test it in your own direct experience to see if it holds mustard.
  9. The word 'conspiracy' comes from the latin 'conspirare' which means 'to breathe together.' So all the word itself means is people working together towards a common purpose, whether you interpret that as evil or good. You could conspire with others to do something seen as good, like plant trees, or something seen as bad, like murder people. So I agree with the point made earlier that society itself is a conspiracy; it's people realising that it's better to conspire than to work things out on our own. There's nothing mysterious about that. Why do people believe in theories, be they true or false, about groups of people working towards a shared goal (in other words, conspiracy theories) ? The same reason people believe anything, I suppose; it supports their ego's survival. A more interesting question for me to contemplate, though is; "how can we as a society conspire towards greater consciousness?"
  10. As I'm sure many of you on this forum share, I have always been fascinated by the question; 'How do you discover what's true?' and yet am still unable to answer it. It appears that during the current virus lockdown we have had a lot more time than usual to self-reflect and contemplate what truth means to us. Then again, we've also had a lot more time to get dragged into conspiracy theories, because we have a fear of not knowing, and want to fabricate assumptions of what's true from the comfort of our own bedrooms and youtube videos. I don't know about you, but after everything, I've got to be completely honest with you all; I don't know. I never have and I don't know if I ever will. But I don't mind this. In fact, if I knew then there wouldn't be anything left to discover, learn or be curious about. The game would be over, so to speak. As Peter Ralston said in The Book of Not Knowing: 'Whenever you or I learn anything, “not-knowing” has occurred – whether we intend it, or we haven’t a clue that it is taking place. Even when we try sliding quickly through not knowing to get to knowing, somewhere in there not-knowing has occurred or learning didn’t happen.' Not knowing, then must be the foundation of discovering what's true. I can't begin with any truth claim, because that would bias my investigation - I'd much rather begin with a clean slate, and be prepared to clean off the slate all the bullshit that will undoubtedly worm its way onto there. The hypocrisy of conspiracy theories lies in their claim that authority systems such as governments get the people to believe their ideologies through fear. All the while, the conspiracy theories are guilty of the exact same mechanism - the spreading of fear in order to get people to buy into their ideologies. The etymology of the word 'conspiracy' originates from the Latin 'conspirare,' literally 'to breathe together.' A group of people could conspire together to do something either 'good' or 'bad,' whichever way you interpret it. You could conspire to murder someone, conspire to build a hospital or school, or even conspire to create a conspiracy theory. Either way, a conspiracy is simply a working together of people, by definition, be that for 'good' or 'evil.' Who do you trust to tell you the truth? Whoever you trust, you're delegating the responsibility of truth to an authority. That seems too lazy a solution for me. I would rather allow direct, first-hand experience to guide me. I went for a walk in the fields earlier, where there no people, (luckily), and the information I was receiving through my direct senses; the sight of bright yellow rapeseed scattering the fields, the sound of a bee buzzing by, the smell of the pines, the taste of fresh air, the feeling of the blades of grass in my hands... These experiences seemed to speak truth more genuinely to me than the bullshit we've been using to make sandcastles with online. So can we, the people of this forum, conspire together to discover what's true? I don't think so. That's what religion and science have been trying to do for a long time and their progress is questionable, to say the least. This is probably because truth-discovery is an individual, not a collective endeavour. What we can do, though, is share techniques and methods for discovering truth, and report to each other the effectiveness of these techniques after doing the hard of work of trying them out. So let's have it. What are your favourite truth-discovery techniques and why?
  11. I lived in China for two years and yes, you can access the forum, but none of the videos work. I tried using VPN but the connection was really unreliable so in the end, I downloaded the mp3 audios to the videos so I could listen to the content uninterrupted. I hope this helps - It can be frustrating trying to access high-consciousness resources like this in China.
  12. @Alex bAlex I'm not sure I can help with the psychedelics part, but going back to your original question; 'How do we develop creativity skills?' I have some advice: One of the main obstacles to creating works of art is resistance. No matter what you want to create, be it a book, painting, film, etc. there will always be a deep sense of fear about actually getting started, along with a plethora of potential distractions like social media or youtube that can take you away from your work because, to your resistance, those activities are so much easier than focusing on the task at hand. One way to overcome resistance, I suppose, would be to begin by noticing where it manifests in your life specifically, because it's different for different people. Finally, having overcome resistance, you can get started on actually creating the art you want to make, and you'll get more creative the more you practice overcoming resistance and getting on with the work.
  13. @John Lula Thanks for the advice. I'll try it out.
  14. About a year ago I downloaded microsoft onenote after Leo's advice in his episode on keeping a commonplace book. I think this is a fantastic idea and the commonplace book has been extremely useful in keeping all my self-help notes organised. The problem is is that it's now starting to freeze whenever I try to type something new and I have to keep restarting it. Could it be because I'm using a mac with this instead of a PC? Having a mac also means I can't save my notes locally, which is another issue. Does anyone have any advice on how to solve this problem? Has anyone experienced anything similar using onenote on mac? Any advise would be much appreciated. Thanks.