Lessons for myself – understanding being


I’m not sure how this post will turn out to be but it is something that I would like my future self to reflect upon, when the right moment comes upon.

Just some background information, this had been a really heavy week for me, in terms of emotional thinking as I spent 4 days attending a course (deliberately not naming it so if you’re keen to find out more, just email me) which opens up many thought-provoking questions which transients between the spheres of psychology, sociology, philosophy; or perhaps along the lines of humanism – how to live your life better (or at peace).

There won’t be much structure to my post as I would be just writing about several concepts I’ve learned over the past few days. There are some learnings that I cannot understand at this point in my life but there might be a chance that I will need to re-look it in the future, either for myself or for me to provide advice/insights to the people around me. At the start of the course, I was skeptical (perhaps I still am) about its effectiveness as I thought that it would be catered towards individuals who have untied knots or unresolved issues. Attending such courses (which makes you question meaning and life) is kind of a first step you as an individual, take to build-up a certain self-awareness and it is the first step to open up the vulnerabilities. For myself, I spent the first 2-3 days thinking hard about what problems I could have been facing. It was a little uncomfortable at the beginning as I found myself going through my memories countless times, trying to search for these issues. Most of these issues that I forcefully tried to relate were things happening more than a year ago, before I went for a career break. As a result, I couldn’t really let myself be vulnerable as there was no pressing issue that I was bottling up inside (or perhaps this was what I want myself to believe) and it led me to doubt the learnings and effectiveness of the course. It was only on the third or fourth day, where I came to the realisation that I could take these learnings as future-proofing myself. Furthermore, I could share the learnings with the people around me and perhaps it would be useful to them in some way or another. It was only after that realisation, did I start to concentrate and pay more attention to class.

It’s gonna be messy (cause my emotions are still pretty much messed up from the course), but if you make it through the end, I’m pretty sure you can find some refreshing concepts that make you pause and think.


“Without distinctions, it is impossible to see.

We can only intervene when we can see.”

The clearer we are in distinction, the more precision we can have, the more efficiency we can create.

There are three data centers/systems within ourselves (an individual) and this can be related to Body (Intuitive), Emotions, and Language (Cognition). These systems are distinctive but interconnected and the center of it is coherence (logical and consistent/unified and whole).

There’s a lot of talking about Ontology (a word I had been unfamiliar prior to the course), the philosophical study of being. (further explanation from Google) Ontology deals with questions about what things exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped according to similarities and differences.

The world is made up of

Intrapersonal (Self) > Interpersonal (People-People) > Groups (Identification) > System (Organization) > Whole System (Society/Country)

There are four archetypes: Warrior, King, Lover, Jester – each ranges between the two functions of freedom-stability, openness-resolution. To be in the center, it means you’ve developed groundedness.

Although I find it weird that we can label one another into a certain stereotype but in the course of my learning, I realised that there’s a certain element of accuracy when it comes to identifying these characteristics across people. But of course, humans are the masters of flexibility and we have the ability to adapt to situations accordingly. What’s important is to build up the awareness and having the range to be a better human.

It is important to find the distinction between Assertion (a fact) and Assessment (an opinion) and to whom does the assessment belongs to. In reality, our words tend to consist of 95% opinions and only 5% facts but it is often very tough for our brain to differentiate fiction and reliability.

Someone will always pay a price for your learning.

Awkwardness is feedback on your boundaries. These are the emotions that happen when you don’t know who you are (outside of your comfort zone) and a way to make awkwardness disappear is to do (re)framing.

There are 4 core emotions – Fear, Anger, Sadness, Tenderness (Is this Joy?) (time to re-watch Disney’s Inside Out), and these runs on the axis of distance and tension. Also, the axis can also mean importance and resource (which includes not only tangible items but also trust and time)

Transparency is seeing things the way they are – and in the state of transparency – there are no questions and in this space, no one learns.

Cycle of Experience

(The usual flow) Sensation > Awareness > Mobilisation > Action > Contact > Satisfaction > Withdrawal

(The blockers) Desensitization > Deflection > Introjection > Projection > Retroflection > Egotism > Confluence

“You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest? … The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”

Love (and hate) is not an emotion, it is an identity that comes in many forms and states.

Ways people cope with emotions: Apathy, Indifference, Cynicism

Emotions are all structured and they have no morality. The older you grow, the more variations of emotions exist. Movies (and fiction) exists because there’s some sort of a structure that can bring out the types of emotion most people display.

Two very important questions (which is pretty much about everything): What do you want and Can you get there?

Know the difference between declarations (decision), requests, offers and promises.

To overcome the grieving process, you need to have the courage to accept, trust and forgive.

Understand the difference: Guilt vs Shame, Jealous vs Envy, Frustration vs Determination, Anxiety vs Dread, Regret vs Remorse

Every human being can be both an obstacle and a resource.

Knowing when to quit is a wisdom.

Trauma is an emotion that comes, but the body is not willing to take.

In Trust, there is sincerity, competence, reliability and care.

Pain will always create boundaries.

Suffering is the gap between ‘the way things are’ vs ‘the way things can/should be’.

The center of language is silence.

Sadness tends to be past-oriented; catering to emotions that have no place to go.


It is indeed a mess and perhaps a ‘vomit’ of quotes and concepts I believe I will be able to find some meaning someday. I’m purposefully vague as each sentence above can have multiple interpretations depending on your own state of mind at the point of reading. I do not wish to record or relate any experiences to it, so as to keep the energy and thoughts flowing through each time I re-read this post.

Thanks for reading till the end and I hope your mind ain’t too blown over yet. I hope you find something useful at your point in life, otherwise, you can always come back to this piece when you need it. Understanding being.

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  • I think all self-reflection is good, as it helps you to grow. I’ve read through many books explaining the meaning of life, but I’m sad to say I’ve found I haven’t progressed much. It’s amazing how tenaciously we cling to some things without really knowing the reason why. Oh well. It’s all our journey!

    • Have you tried reading this book – Love for imperfect things (https://www.amazon.sg/Love-Imperfect-Things-Yourself-Perfection/dp/0143132288)? I really enjoyed the teachings and I think you might like it too. The meaning of life is too tough for me and in recent years, I’m starting to have more thoughts on ‘acceptance’ and ‘just not thinking too much into things’ and just move on with life. Whenever I go into deep thinking, I always end up wasting a lot of time as there isn’t much conclusion to it.. Funny how life is as such..