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About The Blog

Josh Feingold | Mar 21, 2013

About The Blog This blog was a project that I worked on from August 2011 through March 2013, and consists of just over 300 posts about life.  My life, to be exact. Most of the posts, were written during a time of tremendous personal change, pain, and turmoil.  This upheaval lead to a deep questioning of all assumptions, extreme creativity, and ultimately, tremendous personal growth. For the reader, this means that you get an insight into struggling man, which I have left in the public domain for others to find solace from, should (a better word may be when) they find themselves in a similar life predicament.  Or perhaps, I leave it here for myself when the inevitable hard side of life rears its ugly head again. For the seeker of truth, I hope that you, like myself, will find that through honest questioning, life CAN provide complete answers. However, always remember that answers will only found by approaching the questions with a spirit of honesty. It is our task, should we accept the adventure of uncertainty, not to submit to easy answers, and carefully discern the truth that lies at the heart of each of the contradictions we see in life. And with this approach, I discovered the bare core of my reality: ‘I exist as a whole part of a world greater than myself.’ By understanding each aspect of this truth fully and clearly, everything else fell into place. Please know that typically I did not have time (more correct: didn’t want to take the time) to proofread my posts. Rather, this volume is my, hopefully, well thought out ramblings, and I pray that the core message in each idea floats to the top! About The Author Josh Feingold, an armchair ontolgist, lives in...

“We are all interconnected.”

Josh Feingold | Mar 20, 2013

I spent the weekend in Austin Texas, enjoying SXSW, crazy good food, and nature.* It had been a good weekend for thinking and self-exploration, and with that in mind, I really wanted to catch an early flight back to Atlanta.  When no flights were available, all I could do was laugh at the the fact that I bemoaned being “stuck” in Austin, and felt that the gardens might be a good place to settle for a  few hours of doing nothing. At the gardens, there was a gravel path through, well, pretty much through the dessert, and I decided to take a walk and get a little exercise.  Half way down, the path opened on a small grove of trees, with tree swings.  A family had taken most of the swings, so I sat myself down on a bench swing shared by a fellow journaler. On sitting, I asked her what she was writing about, and she told me she was learning lessons from the trees.  Of course,  I asked what she learned.  And she shared many important lessons.  But that’s not the point of this post. I then asked, what was the most impactful experience she ever had.  And so she shared with me her experience of experiencing connection with the world. Now, I have shared my own experience of connectedness** elsewhere in this blog, as well as those of others I have met along the way (of note Ireland, Portland, and perhaps Boston and Atlanta), but what she shared was the closest to my own experience that I have heard by far. Fast forward. One thing that I came to realize over the weekend was that with my recent focus on interconnectedness due to my personal experiences, I lost my focus on myself as an independant unit.  I further realized that I needed to change things to better focus in that direction. This blog comes from a personal desire to experience interconnectedness, either through self-expression, impactful ideas, or creating legacy, but does not support healthy independancy; being comfortable as a singular distinct man alone in the world. And it is time to focus on that aspect of myself for a while, and try to acheive a better balance. So with that in mind, it is time to take yet another break from this blog.   Until then, I wish you well.   * Side note, in all of my travels I have found locations that have two of the three things I really enjoy (live music, good food, and nature).  Austin offers all three in spades with great antiquing to boot! ** It’s funny, because, since my own experience, I have tried to get back to that place of connectedness, and as I type this post, am realizing that to a large extent my meeting with J* provided that same experience, just in a different manner than I had expected....

“What is love?”

Josh Feingold | Mar 18, 2013

We throw around the word love quite a bit.  But what does it mean, really? At a base level, it is something I have to offer, and hope that I will eventually find someone to reciprocate. The goal is to find someone whose presence I enjoy being around on a regular basis.  Someone I find fun and interesting. Someone I find attractive.  Once found, I can trade my love for theirs.  So from that perspective, love is almost tangilble, a commodity we can exchange. But what are the intangibles of love? At its core is mutual acceptance, that leads to a feeling that we belong and are safe.  At this level, love provides a foundation, an anchor, and an external validation that we exist and matter in this world. At another level, love provides an expression of unmet potential, which is demonstrated in the “opposites attract” phenominon. The problem with love, then, is that at it’s essence it is a crutch.  It is a band-aid that we run to instead of fixing the core issues of existance or unmet potential. Not very sexy. Similar to my post from Friday, however, this poing really is more academic than practical, because it is my belief that while these are the ideas behind love, our brain has trained itself through biochemical pain and pleasure to desire love.  So while love present itself through weakness, in the end, love conquers all.  In the end, we all give in. Like many things in life, though, knowing its essence enables better decisions, and in this case, by examining what we desire to gain from love, we can better learn those things that we need to fulfill ourself and insource, instead of outsourcing our needs.  ...

“Love vs. Loss”

Josh Feingold | Mar 15, 2013

I question if love is worth it. I thought about getting a dog the other day, but when I did, and thought about the pleasure I would get from it in my life, if I was willing to open my heart, my brain fast forwarded to that same dog in it’s old age dying, and the feeling of loss that would remain.  The pain from the loss outweighed the pleasure. So too, real life love, no matter how I imagine it, has a similar risk.  And I have found that it is hard for me to settle in love, when  I know the pain of love’s demise. Of course, there are those who through their hearts out into the world, living with the good feelings that come with connection and belonging, and not thinking about the future. Perhaps those people might have a higher pain tolerance, and honestly, that is a blessing, if that is the case.  They get all the benefits of love, but less of the pain. But I can’t get myself to let go so easily. At first I thought is was due to not wanting to make myself vulnerable.  But I realized that while I am uncomfortable with vulnerability, ultimately, that wasn’t the real issue as I have seen myself take plenty of emotional risks this past year. The real issue is that nothing can ever compare to the pain of true loss.   The wretching, gutteral pain that tears at your bones, and shreds your faith into parts so small they are hard to reassemble. And once experienced, pain brings love into a whole different light.   The naivity can never fade away, and love can be seen for what it really is in all of its glory. On the other hand, I believe that this lesson, this recognition of the other side of love, can impact me for the positive.  It can keep me alert for someone who understands this lesson as well, and can fully appreciate the power love – of connection.  Of course, it’s not all in our control, since typically, someone in a longstanding love relationships (and by definition they must all be longstanding) dies first, but other things are more in our control, and this lesson can keep me alert to those aspects. In truth, this is really just an academic discussion, since for me, I have a strong desire for love, and I constantly find myself holding the gift of love (and to feel loved!) in check, waiting for the person that I think could be a life partner.  Put another way, ultimately, I have decided that the rewards of love trump the risk of loss.  But the long-term value needs to be there to take the plunge....

“Take a moment, just to be nice.”

Josh Feingold | Mar 14, 2013

There I was, at the DMV, sitting before the bullet proof glass at the worker behind the window. It was a nice day, and I was in a good mood.  One of those world is my oyster perspective mornings, but realizing I was in a beurocractic environment, where the oyster may well be closed shut, with no tool in hand to open it with. So I glided past the greeter, smiling and chitter chatting with the workers in the office, until my name was called and I approached State Worker #5 to help me get my ad velorem taxes settled.  Boisterous as I am, in a environment where no one knows me (that is when I am truly comfortable in my own skin – no self-doubt), I had a nice and apparently loud conversation with Mr. #5. I say this because as I walked away, a lady stopped me, and said something to the effect of “Excuse me.  Do you mind if I ask what you do?  Because, if you don’t you should go into sales.  You would be really good at that.” Well, I asked myself if being called a salesman is a good thing or not, and decided that most likely, she wouldn’t have stopped me to insult me, so I said thanks, asked after her and what she did, and went on my merry way. After I left, I thought about it a little, and realized that the simple act of complementing me, really made my day, so I decided to pass it on.  Waiting in line at Lowe’s, I noticed a guys tattoos that were pretty nice, so I took a moment and said, “Nice tats” or something to that effect, and engaged him in tattoos, and how well the art was.  Who knows, perhaps he paid that forward too.  All because someone took the time to be present and put a positive spin on my actions. So I pledge the following.  To try my best at least once a day, to simply compliment someone, friend, family, or complete stranger.  It feels good when I do it, and I know the other person appreciates it as well.  Don’t we all? **** Having finsihed this post, I now realize that to some extent I started the circle when I was nice to the government employees that I interacted with.  Looking back, I said to myself, I bet people complain all day, and I’ll try to be “Nice guy Josh” and keep it positive.  So I guess to some extent, my own being nice, led to others being nice to me.  Which also adds to the overall value of this...

“Where are all the nice guys?”

Josh Feingold | Mar 13, 2013

I look back on the past 18 years as I have stepped into the “real world” and realize what I have lost from the perspective of just being a nice guy. I used to be a really nice guy. The kind of guy that would stand for anyone to let them have the last seat.  The kind of guy that would drop everything to help a stranger move.  That kind of guy.  I don’t think people really got pissed at me back then, other than that bitter feeling of “why is he such a nice guy, what’s wrong with him?” I’m not really that nice anymore, and I look back and bemoan what happened to me. When did I become so focused on the rat race, that I lost sight that the only place we are racing to is the grave? When did I lose focus on the fact that life was about relationships and not about money?  When did I start putting success on a petistal, and knock down niceness? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I can tell you that this topic is going to be a focus for me for the rest of the year, so I can get back on track. (Before I get a bunch of emails – well probably two, if history is any predictor – saying, “Josh you are such a nice guy, I don’t know what you are talking about.”  Please remember that this is all from my perspective, and knowledge of who I could be – and have been at times in my life.  The fact that I may – or may not be – nicer than the general population, doesn’t change my vision of my personal potential.  Plus I may just be nice to...