Life Review

For pretty much the first quarter century of my life I've been focused more or less on (the joy of) understanding things and how they work.

Where exactly this direction of my curiosity resulted from isn't very clear to me.

Very often I had the urge to disassemble things to get a glimpse into their inside. When I won a doll at a raffle in kindergarten, I was curious how it automatically closed its eyes when oriented horizontally and how it made a sound when pressed on the belly.

In my teenage years, it was often my curiosity that drove me to disassemble something that was broken rather than the ability to fix it. However, my focus on the material world also led me into the worldview of materialistic determinism and nihilism, which sometimes felt very frustrating.

A big achievement in my mid-twenties was that I dared to leave the confining comfort of this worldview and eventually realized that mind and matter are two sides of one world and looking at both of them rather than just one of them makes a lot more sense.

Another big achievement was to get to the bottom of the scientific materialistic view and to gain better understanding of the physical structure of life and how the universe, the earth and life on it may have evolved.

While attempting to map out the entirety of the academic disciplines in a gigantic concept map inside a wiki, I found a major blind spot in our academic disciplines.

All of them were fundamentally looking outwards, at natural systems like the Earth, organisms, cells, molecules and atoms (Natural Sciences), at logical systems like Mathematics or computer programs (Formal Sciences), at human behaviour and societies (Social Sciences) and at our applications of for our knowledge, for example in Medicine and Engineering (Applied Sciences).

All of academic disciplines focus on things as objects of our perception, but none of them focus on the individual perceived inwardly.

This was a major epiphany to me, but it still took quite some time for me to process it. In the same year as I discovered this truth (2018) I fell in love with a woman who was insecure and unavailable – just like me – and I didn't recognize this truth until much later, after getting pretty hurt in the process.

In many areas of my life I still find comfort in the well-known process of understanding things outside of myself.

When I bought my car two years ago I read all the manuals I could get my hands on to understand the internal workings of all the hydraulics and mechanics. And the choice for exactly this car was also based on my fascination for exactly this.

Even in my work until today, I still use this drive of curiosity to understand a problem and find creative solutions.

Besides these external achievements – buying my first car and for the first time applying my strengths at work – I've had a few internal achievements that were pretty big.

In the last two years I managed to release emotions I had not allowed myself to feel for a long time. And I learned that feeling emotions and learning what they want to tell us is a lot healthier than avoiding feeling them in the first place.

I also, at least sometimes, found access to a very profound and unconditional joy, a feeling that left me feeling like I'm lacking nothing, and that everything is perfect in this moment just as it is.

From this place of perfect contentment I also realized how much love I have to give and that I would actually be okay with committing to a partner and sharing life in the long term. It was not easy to realize this at the same time as I had to let go of one potential long term partner.

It was almost equally challenging to then fully accept her when she came back to me. A year later I am very grateful that I managed to overcome all resistance that I was still holding against change, especially change that would lead to my life becoming entangled with that of someone else.

I can safely say that deciding to do so has only changed my life for the better and at this moment I am employed in a work that I enjoy and look forward to meet my partner again after being separated from her for almost a month.

In half a year we expect her to give birth to our child, which again, will impose a change to our lives that will challenge my own feelings regarding change, but also bring a whole bunch of new experiences into our lives.