So, what is LiveReal?
Well, it started with a simple question.
“What’s a ‘good life’?”
At first, the answer seemed straightforward: just live well, avoid misery, and eat chocolate.
OK. But chocolate aside – how?
What does “the good life” really mean?
This led to more questions.
What is “the life well-lived,” exactly? What’s the alternative – the life that isn’t well-lived? How do you know you won’t come to the end of it all and say, “Boy, I really blew that!”? How can we even measure this kind of thing?
What’s life itself all about?
To answer those Big Questions, you need to answer other Big Questions.
What’s the point? Why are we here? We’re born, we live, we die – but why? Who am I? What am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? How can I become the person I know I can, should, want to be? What’s it all about? What the heck is going on?
It might seem a bit overwhelming.
Some folks surrender at this point and assume there are no solid answers to any of this. Life just makes no sense, they imagine – and so, our only choice during our brief time here is to grope around blindly in the dark.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
These kinds of questions aren’t like math problems.
They aren’t like 2+3=5. An arithmetic problem has a single, clear, correct answer that we can put into words. It’s contained. The answer is a single piece of information, a chunk of data.
But The Big Questions aren’t really like that.
These questions are messy.
They spill and slip all over the place. They’re also personal. They’ve woven into our lives. They seem to spark disagreements from the very start, on even the most basic things. Even when we find answers, it can be hard to put them into words. Sometimes even finding the right question can be tricky.
But ultimately, we have no choice.
When it comes to these questions, we can’t not answer them. We have no choice but to answer them one way or another – if not verbally, then through our decisions.
That’s the situation we seem to find ourselves in.
But here it can get even trickier.
Our worst enemy in all this is sometimes ourselves.
We’re the ones who are often trying to “fix” ourselves (or convince ourselves that we don’t need to be fixed).
But this means we’re both the patient and the doctor – both the detective and the criminal.
We study the universe with our minds, but rarely study our minds. We often look for love in all the wrong places, or seek happiness in ways that make it impossible to find. Even if our professional lives are in decent shape, our personal lives can be a mess. We can start out young, naïve, and full of hope, but wind up miserable and jaded. And something in all this seems pretty seriously off.
The crux of it seems to be a certain kind of knowledge that we’re missing – something that sheds light on all this.
But this “knowledge” isn’t just intellectual data or a pile of facts.
It’s something more connected to “psychological health.”
Another messy term.
On the one hand, “psychological health” seems straightforward. We all want strong minds and hearts, mental clarity and emotional strength, “inner health” and basic sanity, “happiness” and love, and so on. That seems fairly clear.
But despite floods of self-help books, clever advice, “experts” and gurus, there seems to be no shortage of anxiety, depression, stress, addictions, dysfunctional relationships, general misery, and so on.
The trick, then, is figuring out how to figure ourselves out.
All of this leads to a kind of “quest.”
But of course, the problem today isn’t really “finding answers.”
There are floods of “answers” these days.
The hard part is sorting through all the answers. There are mountains of “answers.” The real trick lies in navigating the confusion involved in finding the “right” answers – deciding which are medicines, which are poisons, which are chock-full of nutrition, and which are the philosophical equivalent of junk-food empty-calorie cotton-candy.
Today, the world’s spiritual and philosophical traditions lie nearly at our fingertips.
That can seem like a good thing, at first.
But that sword also cuts both ways. Information overload can be both illuminating and confusing. It can lead to enlightenment – or vertigo, the paralysis of analysis, or existential indigestion. Finding real clarity in this can be a steep climb over treacherous terrain.
Navigating through this is no small task.
The stakes are high.
If our answers to the Big Questions are off, everything else can easily go off-track as well.
A lot of us walk around pretending that the Crucial Questions have already been answered – that the Big Picture is already in focus, the Important Stuff has already been figured out, and all that’s left is sorting out plans for dinner and other details.
But plenty of us know that’s hardly the case.
We’re often focused on details without having taken care of the Important Stuff first. We’re measuring inches while being off by miles.
This isn’t necessarily our fault.
We’ve often been left completely unprepared for the challenges we face. Most of us have never been trained in these matters. We’re often taught more about dissecting frogs or diagramming sentences than answering the basic questions that govern our lives.
So, what can we do about all this?
How can we navigate these realms without becoming overwhelmed, paralyzed by confusion, or forced into making some random, senseless, arbitrary guess?
It might be time for a back-to-basics approach.
That’s what we’re doing here at LiveReal.
Our approach is commonsense, see-for-yourself, no-nonsense, non-dogmatic, open-minded yet tough-minded, take-what-you-like-and-leave-the-rest.
It aims to be both broad-minded and tough-minded.
It doesn’t start with an assumed allegiance to one particular, predetermined viewpoint or position.
It starts with basic questions.
From there, it seeks better answers.
But again, these kinds of things aren’t math problems. They’re personal.
That means the other key ingredient is good old-fashioned sanity.
These areas are often flooded with crazy. Crazy – especially when it comes from “experts” – isn’t helpful. These matters are sensitive and lie close to nerves. They can rattle us all and make even good, stout-hearted people jittery.
But there’s also more to it.
Success in this quest requires both clear thinking and guts. We need to be sane, or at least heading in that direction.
But that doesn’t come easy these days. In fact, the world today often seems quite determined to steer us in exactly the opposite direction. Issues like anxiety, depression, addictions, terrible ideas, and relentless distractions seem to conspire together to render us confused, disoriented, and impotent.
But we also can’t put off living until we answer everything. There is no existential pause button in life. We have relationships, bodies, “selves,” or souls that we’re in the thick of managing through it all.
And these are all connected.
This “quest,” then, involves really figuring ourselves out.
“Know thyself” says it pretty well in two words.
But there’s also an urgency in all this. These aren’t idle matters. Life is short. That means this isn’t about armchair philosophy or cappuccino navel-gazing. This road can be steep, the terrain can be rugged, and the fog can be thick. But every adventure has its trials and trolls. That’s what thickens the plot and makes the climactic ending that much sweeter.
For some of us, this stuff is pretty interesting.
This pursuit of better answers to Big Questions, in some way, seems to aim at the heart of life itself.
It’s even worth exploring, and spending time on. The hunt for nuggets of practical wisdom, around the globe and across centuries, is an adventure in itself.
At least, we sure think it is.
And others seem to as well.
This makes LiveReal a kind of headquarters for the spiritually homeless. It’s where religion and science meet common sense. It’s a kind of boot camp for the soul, where the aim and purpose is for us to get in shape on the inside – call it “psychological health” or “existential fitness” or something else. It’s a quest for clarity about the important things. The aim might be for something as simple as a little less confusion, a little more inner peace, a little more of becoming someone we respect. Or it could be for nothing less than solving the entire riddle of birth and death.
All of this might even point in the same direction.
So, if any of this sounds like you, then you’re probably, at least on some level, a “seeker.”
If so, then you’re among friends here.
Welcome to LiveReal.
So, where to go from here?
A few options: you could check out the blog, and explore whatever looks interesting.
Thanks. Hope you enjoy.