Who Is This For, & What's It All About?
Let's start this with a line and a story.
The line is from Fight Club.
"How embarrassing. A house full of condiments and no food."
It seems like a throwaway, unimportant line.
But maybe it gets to the core of the matter. For us, these days.
Maybe it's pointing to some basic idea that...something seems to be missing, or off, or wrong. Something. Some really important part of life that we've lost, or missed, or somehow forgotten.
In a lot of respects, we have the details perfect. But the important stuff is missing.
Maybe sometimes, we have tons of condiments, but no main course. In our lives.
OK, maybe that's a bit heavy to start things off with.
Sorry. This next part should lighten things up a bit.
It goes something like this.
A little old dude named Ryokan lived a simple life in a tiny little hut at the foot of a mountain.
One night a thief crept into his hut to steal his stuff.
But the thief was surprised to discover that there was nothing in it to steal.
Ryokan returned home and surprised the thief who was standing there in his hut. "You must have come such a long way to visit me," he said to him. "You should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift."
Bewildered, the thief took his clothes and slunk away.
Ryokan later sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow," he thought. "I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."
OK, so, the moral of that story is...umm, what are we talking about again?
Believe it or not, this isn't a site about living in tiny huts, giving your underwear away to strangers, or looking at the moon buck-naked.
(- although if you're into that kind of thing, well, tip o' the glass to ya.)
The way we read that story is that...well, when you dig down to the root of the matter, when you really get down to brass tacks...ultimately, "the important stuff in life" isn't anything you can steal.
It isn't anything that's "out there."
And if it's not "out there," then well, the only place left seems to be, well, "in here."
Meaning, "inside us."
Meaning, "inside you." And "inside me."
(OK, what we just said there might sound a little cheesy, but let's not unsleeve our crackers just yet.)
Whatever inner process or inner transformation he went through to become who he was...there seems to be something essential - something vital beyond all measure - that Ryoko understood about life. To try to state the obvious, he understood something the thief didn't understand. (After all, scientifically speaking, Ryoko and the thief could both look up and "see" the exact same moon. But their experience of it was dramatically different.)
Ryoko couldn't give that "something" to the thief. Even though he wanted to. Nobody, really, can really "give" that to anybody else. (At least, not as easily as you can "give" somebody a pair of crusty old underwear, as Ryoko apparently did.)
But just because it can't be given away doesn't mean we can't find it for ourselves.
This site - LiveReal - is is a place about finding that for ourselves.
Ryoko, by the way, was described as a Zen Master, and if that's the case, he apparently subjected himself to a deliberate search for that "something vital beyond all measure" that he eventually realized.
This site is roughly about that same search.
But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.
Let's put aside our Yodaesque cornball yarn-spinning stories about broke old dudes giving away their crusty underwear, take a step back, and take a clear and sober look around at our actual life situation that's happening right now.
Life is throwing Big Questions at us.
Who are you? Why are you here? What's your purpose? What's it all about? Where did you come from? Where are you going? What are you doing with your life? How should you live?
What the heck is going on?
Those are the kinds of questions life is pelting us with, every moment of every day, like we're the last kid left in a fierce game of dodgeball, whether we're aware of it or not.
We're tasked with "answering" these questions, one way or another, whether we like it or not, whether we accept that task or not, whether it's conscious or not.
And that's no easy task.
And we're almost never prepared for it. It's like being thrown in the middle of a movie and missing the first half. Being shoved out onto the playing field before we've learned the rules.
We mostly have to make it up as we go along. We do the best we can.
And by "answering," we aren't talking about some sweater-wearing, latte-sipping college professor-sounding merely intellectual exercise. (With a strong, biting emphasis there on the "merely.")
Our answers get expressed through the way we live our lives.
This site is about the quest for real, solid, quality answers to those Big Questions.
If we had to say it in just two words, we'd say "Know Yourself."
But if you're trying to figure that kind of stuff out, the standard approach doesn't really work. That's why our approach here is different.
OK, so then...what is our approach?
Well, it's not about just "giving answers."
It's not about "flip to the back of the book, here's your answer, now off you go! Good luck! Seeya!"
That doesn't work with this kind of stuff. Even if somebody "gives" you an answer, you still have to make it your own, at least if it's really going to work. (And obviously, different folks come up with different answers.)
Nobody can eat for you, sleep for you, drink for you, breathe for you, learn how to dance for you, take a bath for you, learn how to sing for you, learn how to play the tuba for you, etc.
Some things you truly have to do for yourself.
That includes answering "The Big Questions."
That said, that doesn't mean you're all alone in this.
The tips, advice, insights, the evidence you examine, the clues you investigate, the leads you follow...
- all that can make a world of difference when you're pursuing that "something vital beyond all measure."
Here at LiveReal, we're working to gather the best of modern science, ancient wisdom, and everything in between to help with that pursuit. It's "where religion and science meet common sense."
Our approach here is no-nonsense, practical, see-for-yourself, no fluff/BS/hoo-ha.
So, this is a place for folks who are interested in certain things:
- "Figuring yourself out."
- "Improving yourself," "personal evolution," "life upgrades," etc.
- Spiritual awakening or “enlightenment” or whatever you might call it.
- Inner strength, growth, or transformation.
- Modern contemplative spirituality as applied to real life: where rubber meets road, face meets pavement, lofty ideas meet brutal reality.
- Relationships that aren’t total disasters.
- Mental clarity and emotional strength.
- Authentic, meaningful happiness - antifragile happiness, even.
- The “life well-lived.” No regrets on your deathbed, or in the existential locker room after the Big Game, or wherever the Big Life Review That Counts might happen.
None of this should sound too weird or far-out or la-la.
It's pretty simple, really.
These basic ideas have been around for thousands of years. Socrates, Aristotle and other folks used words like “Eudaimonia” (the good life), “arête” (excellence of life and character), and “phronesis” (practical wisdom) to describe it. It’s a basic, fundamental, crucial part of life, really. Just one that much of modern life tends to crowd out, forget about, and ignore.
What’s different is our approach to all this.
So, what’s our approach to all this?
Glad you asked.
Our approach is no-nonsense, practical, see-for-yourself, sane, open-yet-tough-minded, take-what-you-like-and-leave-the-rest, (mostly) dogma-free, and no fluff/BS/weird hoo-ha. We aim to build our house right smack in the middle of the intersection where religion and science meet common sense, and where they all share one common purpose: the search for truth.
And we look anywhere. From the most cutting-edge science to ancient wisdom. From mainstream to fringe. From high academia to gutter smarts. From the safe and near-obvious to the foaming-at-the-mouth crazy.
We don’t care, frankly. We’ll take it from anywhere.
Then we go to work, digging out the best nuggets of wisdom from the avalanche of information overload, then sorting the good stuff from the bull, gathering it here, and talking about it.
Who is this for?
Maybe you're new to all this stuff. Or maybe you’ve already been doing this, intensely, full-time, for decades. Or somewhere in between.
However long you've been interested in this - minutes or decades - this can potentially be useful. This is a headquarters and gathering-point for anybody who is interested in this stuff.
The magic happens when two folks will encounter each other, chat a little, maybe have a conversation. Sometimes it's an old-timer talking with a newbie. Other times it's the opposite. And as a result of that, one or both of them wind up with a life that has been changed for the better.
That’s the kind of thing we try cultivate here.
And who are we?
We’re a merry little band of seekers, misfits and adventurers on a mission: find the meaning of life or die trying.
We're the LiveReal Agents.
This website is a chronicle of our adventures, and a headquarters for folks who are doing the same.
More about our story here.
So how does this work?
We explore dangerous realms.
We start with questions about life and ourselves. (Big ones.) We dig up leads, and follow them wherever they may lead.
And they usually lead us into pretty interesting territories.
Modern spirituality, for example. And psychology. And modern relationships. Realms like that.
It’s the Wild West out there.
Especially nowadays. These are times of both great opportunity and great peril.
Our objective is to help there be more “opportunity” and less “peril.”
It’s a heck of an adventure.
So if this sounds like the kind of thing you’re into too…
Great to hear. You’re among friendlies here.
Ready to start exploring now?
Let’s get cracking.
Enter your email below.
(By the way, we won’t spam you, and unsubscribe anytime if you want, hassle-free, etc.)
So, want to explore more stuff...like this?
“Life is one thing you don’t want to screw up.”
“The ‘Well-Lived Life’ vs ‘The Existential Faceplant.’”
“Life Is Like a Pop Quiz You Haven’t Studied For.”
“Your First Existential Crisis Was the Moment You Were Born.”
“The Big Questions You’re already Asking, Whether You’re Aware Of It Or Not”