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24. Gotta Know What Counts Here Dude

From "Reasons to Stay Alive" by Matt Haig

If you haven't read the text in the above image, take a quick look.  There's the next part of the page further down, but before we get to that...


As an animal, mankind is mostly fucked up. 

Dudeism is like the big red button that starts the reset, but many of us are shit-scared to press it or don't even know there's a problem.

Where's the Money Lebowski?

Quick, take another look, and see if your life is down there in the pan.  Hopefully not, but even so, let Dudeism point you out of it.  You know how?  Because it tells you to underachieve.


Underachieving doesn't mean failing.  It means that we have stepped off the train of commercialism and materialism for a moment. 

When we do this, we begin to see that the "noise" of the world, as Haig is describing, is pointless.  It plays on our anxieties, and if we don't have any, then it tries to make us have them.

Calmer Than You Are

From "Reasons to Stay Alive" by Matt Haig

"To be happy with your non-upgraded existence," and "If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more?"  These quotes stood out for me amongst a lot of other great points.  We are alright as we are, with what we've got.  We don't need to be super-successful, we don't need to have anything that makes us look a success.  We don't need the latest gadget-thing, or Tesla on the drive to show how big our balls are.


You know what successful people hate, what they can't grab for themselves, and what they envy?  Seeing someone who doesn't want more.  And importantly, seeing someone who doesn't need what they've already got.


Seeing someone content with their lot, who isn't on the train of commercialism, or at least isn't using it to show the world how amazing they are.  The Dude doesn't care what the world thinks.


Let's say that again.


The Dude doesn't care what the world thinks.


Of course not.  Most of the world is in a state of anxiety.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't have some fears, or that to suffer from anxiety is a weakness.  I am talking about false anxiety; the angst that comes artificially, from advertising, from comparing ourselves to svelte-like yoga practitioners on YouTube so that we fear going to the yoga class because we have some flab.


Toe over the line, Dude.  "Life is what is left when you take all that crap away." Haig.  So, what does that make life?

Dumb Animals, or Dumb People?


I've said this before, we were given everything freely.  This is what I meant by "as an animal, mankind is mostly fucked up." All that we needed was provided for by Life.  It's only when anxiety took over that problems occurred.  What if we don't have enough?  What if we took some of this for ourselves so others couldn't have it? Then we had those who have and those who don't.  Then we have the need to protect what we have, and the need to fight to get it, and oh dear, blah blah blah.  We are where we are; a history of materialism that's brought us to where we are.


"Dedicate yourself to the pleasures and benefits of mediocrity." - Ray Bennett, The Underachievers Manifesto - get the book here.  Now Ray must be a Dude.  His little book is well worth a read.  It's the slackers' Holy Bible.  His book ends with a quote from Pablo Picasso:

"You must always work not just within, but below your means.  If you can handle three elements, handle only two.  If you can handle ten, then handle only five.  In that way, the ones you do handle, you will handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve." - Pablo Picasso, from The Underachievers Manifesto book (linked above).

This leads me to my next blog (as I don't think there's space here) where I explain what Dudeism means to me, and why I feel it is important, and why it wins against the Buddhism, Daoism, Druidry, and other stuff I've practised in my life.


So, let go of the need to be something, to be successful, and appear in a certain way.  Just be you.  Get off that train and look at Life.  And...


Fuck it man, let's go bowling.

Rev. Thomo


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