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What are some of the most difficult questions in life?

By Life, ThinkingNo Comments

most-difficult-questions-in-life

Here are some of the most difficult questions in life, along with my current partial answers to them. None of these complex questions have simple answers. If you have a better answer than the one I have, or would like to share your answer to these questions, please leave a comment below.

Who am I?

Who I am is fluid rather than fixed and changes constantly. It encompasses my thoughts, feelings, intentions, actions, omissions, behaviours and my soul. Who I am changes as quickly as each encompassed element can change.

What is consciousness?

Consciousness is a result of billions of neurons in the brain firing electrical signals to other neurons. Our body allows us to sense the world (through taste, sight, touch, smell, sound and psychic intuition) and then create thoughts and feelings based on the now, memory and past experiences, dreams and hopes for the future.

What’s the meaning of life?

I have no idea what the meaning of life is. But I’ve got a feeling that it’s different for every life. I do know that you should decide on the purpose or ideally purposes of your life.

Purposes may include: dedication to family/friends, goals/achievements of your own, contribution to the wellbeing of others, learning/studying/growth, to create or destroy, to consume and enjoy, to travel, to adventure and experience, to improve humanity, to love, the list goes on and on.

Where does creativity come from?

Perhaps the question should read: what inspires creativity? A large number of things can inspire creativity, including: nature, research, other people’s creative works (art, music, literature, sculpture, etc.), curiosity, questions, past experiences, daily life, failures, logic/illogic, other people’s ideas, emotions, procrastination, through play, again the list goes on and on.

Does God exist?

Pagans are polytheistic, meaning that they worship many Gods and Goddesses. I personally believe that these Gods and Goddesses represent humanistic aspects of a Divine Energy.

This Divine Energy is infinitely complex and incomprehensible by the limited human mind. This Divine Energy is within everything that ever was, is and will ever be. It is timeless, interconnects everything and keeps the universe in balance through constant creation, change and destruction.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

We all have a sense of fair play. When we see bad things happen to good people, we notice it as it feels unfair. We notice it more because the person is a good person. But life events are simply what they are.

Sometimes bad things appear at random and sometimes they are methodological. They can be difficult to accept and it is normal to feel a sense of injustice and unfairness.

Reframing your thoughts to acknowledge that bad things happen regardless of whether a person is good or not is a way to balance your thinking. It is also useful in breaking the association between behaviours (being a good person) and negative life events (the bad things).

What happens after we die?

The cells, tissues and organs in your body die (necrosis). Your body decays until the point that only your skeleton is left (skeletonisation).

But when most people ask this question, they are referring to what happens to the soul after death. Well most believe in heaven or an afterlife of some sort. Others believe in reincarnation (being reborn as another person, animal or plant).

I personally believe in both an afterlife and reincarnation. I think that your soul is energy and is released from your body on your death. It travels to another plane of existence (the astral plane).

The astral plane is like an afterlife but not like a traditional version of heaven. You are reunited with other souls that you have known (possibly over several lifetimes and the times in-between). You have the choice of if and when (although there is no concept of time in this place) you want to be reincarnated.

The purpose of being reincarnated is so that you can grow as a soul, but also so you can do some of the things that only physical entities can do (such as enjoy food, music, dance, sex).

What is love?

Poets, Writers, Musicians and Artists have all been exploring what love is and how it is expressed since humans were first able to feel and think. I think any type of love starts with vulnerability, connection and intimacy. From there it grows into trust, warmth and attachment.

For me there are different types of love:

  • Love shared with friends. Familiarity, shared interests, shared values and loyalty.
  • Love shared with family. Familiarity, growing together, mutual respect and unconditional acceptance.
  • Love shared with a lover. Romance, possibility, comfort, sensuality and sex. (I should note here that I am single.)
  • Unexpressed love. Fantasy, a crush, desire and longing.

Have I met Mr/Mrs Right?

How the heck should I know? But I would ask yourself: Does he/she make you laugh? Can you tell them anything? Does he/she build you up and support you? Does he/she add something to your life? Does he/she have their own life, with their own friends, dreams and ambitions? What do your friends and family honestly think about them and you as a couple?

Hopefully answering these questions will give you more insight.

Can love last a lifetime?

Yes. As long as both partners continue to grow independently as well as growing together. And as long as they continue to love one another. I believe love can last, not just a lifetime, but into the afterlife and beyond.

Write soon,

Antony

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1 Life Lesson I’ve Learned for Every Year of My Adult Life

By ThinkingNo Comments

Life is about growth through learning and experience. So here’s 1 lesson life has taught me for every year of my adult live:

Age 18 – The importance of good and lifelong friendships. What makes a good friend including care, kindness, a sense of humour and loyalty.

Age 19 – The importance of having joy in my life. Creating opportunities for joy, seeking it out and chasing it are all essential activities for me.

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Me on a thrown

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Me

Age 20 – That I’m never going to please everyone. Not everyone will like me or get me. That doesn’t mean I should stop trying. If I can make somebody laugh with a funny story or a joke, I’m going to do it. The smile or laughter is always worth it for me.

I just accept that not everyone is going to be pleased with what I do or don’t do. As long as I am happy with my intentions, actions and omissions, that’s good enough for me.

Age 21 – A diagnosis of a chronic illness (in my case type 1 diabetes) starts with grief. I mourned the loss of my working pancreas and cursed my faulty immune system.

Age 22 – Independence is extremely important to me. Getting my driving licence and being smothered in a relationship both helped me to realise this.

Age 23 – In the outside world many people are far to happy to psychologically tear strips off you. So inside your home should feel safe, full of compassion and be filled with a feeling of care. How I felt at home when I was younger and buying my own apartment helped me to realise this.

Age 24 – Sometimes I just have to do certain things, otherwise I’d always wonder What if?

Heartbreak sometimes heals with the passage of time. A lot of time. More than days, weeks or months. Years. Sometimes even longer than that.

Sometimes the heart doesn’t heal at all, it just scabs over like a scraped knee. Ready for you to pick at it or for something to come along and reopen the wound.

Age 25 – Not everyone gets to live a full and long life. This feels unfair. Life is precious.

The shock of an unexpected death is a thousand times worse than the grief of the loss. It is spiritually, mentally and emotionally exhausting. The disbelief that comes from the shock can last years and make it impossible to grief.

Age 26 – There’s something magic about new babies and they smell totally awesome.

Age 27 – The past is a nice place to visit, the future is a nice place to imagine, but you shouldn’t live in either of them. Live in the present.

Age 28 – The extreme highs and lows of mood I’ve had since my teenage years are not normal. Most people have a pretty stable mood.

Mood stabiliser and antidepressant medications saved more than just my mind, they saved my life.

Age 29 – Travel broadens my mind, fills my heart with goodness and strengthens my soul. If you have the opportunity to travel do. I learned this through visiting India, which has a special place in my heart.

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Me with the Taj Mahal in the background (2).

Age 30 – Creativity enriches every aspect of myself. Stories (written, films, etc.) ignite my imagination and develop my empathy. Art and sculptures help me appreciate the beauty that the creators saw in the world around them or in their mind. Music helps me to feel and gives me the opportunity to dance.

To create something, whatever it is, is a learning process. Sometimes creative projects go well, other times not. But I always learn things from them. The process of creating something makes me feel alive and all lit up – even if it’s just a blog post like this one.

To share something I’ve created with the world makes me super-anxious. But when somebody tells me that my creative project has had some sort emotional resonance with them it becomes a privilege.

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Soulmates (Short Story)

The Finished Product: My homemade candles look great (1).

The Finished Product: Just 1 of the 22 completed (unlit).

The Good Teen (Short Story)

Age 31 – When you do something you love for a job, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a vocation and a passion.

Write soon,

Antony

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Photos from Sheffield Botanical Gardens Yesterday

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Life, NatureNo Comments

Yesterday Simon and I went to the brilliantly beautiful and glorious Sheffield Botanical Gardens. The gardens have species of plants, flowers and trees from around the world. The weather was warm and dry and we even had considerable spells of sunshine.

Here are some photos from Sheffield Botanical Gardens:

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Sheffield Botanical Gardens Sign

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Sheffield Botanical Gardens – A place of Beauty.

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Most plants had a black and white signs identifying the species, like this one.

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A mulberry tree.

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One of the many different species of plant.

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There were many collections (like the above) that were filled with colour.

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A wooden structure. Close by was also a mental ant. Both works of art added to the Gardens, but my favourite has to be this one.

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A bright and beautiful yellow flowered plant, in the background are more of the same.

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A tree with the most interesting red bark.

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An inspiring and detailed statue at the centre of a rose garden.

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More plants and flowers, with the indoor botanical gardens in the background.

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Several of these flower beds (with plants of various colours) lined the entrance to the indoor botanical gardens.

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An entrance to the indoor botanical gardens.

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Indoors – Cacti (1).

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Indoors – Cacti (2).

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Photo of the glass roof, taken indoors.

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Indoors – Many plants.

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Indoors – One plant had leafs that were so ginormous, that they made my hand look tiny (see photo above).

Essential Info:

  • A beautiful botanical gardens, which include .
  • Highly recommended.
  • Admission Price: FREE.
  • Opening Times: Vary, see Opening Times here.
  • Parking: Limited. The gardens have no carpark and the streets close by are either Permit Holders Only or Pay and Display.
  • Toilets available.
  • Cafe and Toy Shop also on site.
  • Map:
    Sheffield-Botanical-Gardens-Map-August-17

    Map of Sheffield Botanical Gardens.
    Image from & Copyright © Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Book Review: Henry Darger, Throw Away Boy by Jim Elledge

By Amazon, Books & Authors, History, ReviewsNo Comments
henry-darger-throwaway-boy-jim-elledge-cover I’m going to admit that I’d never heard of Henry Darger before I read Henry Darger, Throw Away Boy.

Henry Darger (1904-1973) was an Chicago-based artist, who was completely unknown in his lifetime. He created pieces of art that depicted children. In some of the art children were innocently enjoying life and in others they were being horrifically tortured. Darger also completed two fantasy manuscripts entitled The Realms and Crazy House. Many critics dubbed Darger as a mentally unstable individual who may have thought about harming children.

But as Jim Elledge uncovers in Henry Darger, Throw Away Boy that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Elledge has spent a decade researching and writing this book which gives a comprehensive insight to the life of Darger. It is well researched, which is indicated by the extensive bibliography and notes sections.

The book starts by describing the poverty, dangerous street life and Darger’s lack of supportive loving parents. Darger’s mother died in childbirth and his father was an alcoholic. It is suspected that Darger was sexually abused on a number of occasions throughout his childhood. This commonplace abuse, did make uncomfortable reading at times. His behaviour, even as a young child was feral which is understandable given the emotional trauma he experienced. His bad behaviour led to his father putting him in a religious mission and later an asylum institution.

Darger escaped the institution and became a Janitor in a hospital. He began to create his art and write his manuscripts, as a way to fictionalise his traumatic childhood experiences. In his manuscripts he wrote about a number of secret societies, all that have one mission: to protect children. He fell in love with a man (Whillie) and continued to work tirelessly on his art over the decades that followed. But after some early criticism, he didn’t feel able to share his work with the world. It wasn’t until after his death that his landlord discovered the work.

Essentially Elledge tells the story of a gay man filled with fear and shame because of societies attitudes towards children, child abuse and gay people. Glossy pages show some of Darger’s work, but more would have been welcome.

Elledge brings Darger’s story to life through his engaging writing style. If you’re into gay art – in all it’s forms, you’ll love Henry Darger, Throw Away Boy which is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

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