Philosophy on Life
Did you know that people who volunteer are happier? It’s the worldwide philosophy, what comes around goes around. My philosophy is do what makes you happy. Lasting happiness comes from making others happy. When you throw a ball to someone, think about how it will come back to you. When you punch someone, think about how it will come back to you. When you are driving, it comes back you, you see other people doing the same. Instagram photos, think about it. Photos come back to you. Everything is energy. Be positive, it will come back to you! And think about this…
THOUSANDS OF CANDLES CAN BE LIT FROM A SINGLE ONE, AND ITS LIFE WILL NOT BE SHORTENED. HAPPINESS NEVER DECREASES BY BEING SHARED. \\\ BUDDHA
You can’t control where you are born, but you can choose where to go afterwards. Bhutan is one of the happiest places in the world. Partly because of intergenerational families, but also because of the ecological lifestyle of the people. You can’t control the sadness from a death in the family, but you can choose happiness. Everything you feel is a result of a choice you have made or circumstances beyond your control. You can’t change circumstance all the time, but have more control than you think. In the philosophy of buddhism or in the scientific world of medicine, if you want good karma, do good. Everything on earth is connected in some way. We breathe the same air, drink the same water. Our emotional interconnection is more hidden. True joy comes from bringing joy to the people around you!
Give happiness. Get happiness.
Think about your pleasures. The traps of boredom are everywhere. Drinking’s temporary comforts sacrifice health, but gifts create lasting happiness. Don’t buy blood chocolate and diamonds. It’s a simple cause and effect. Give your gold to ethical merchants! You will be happy for making the chocolatiers happy. All that chocolate Halloween candy? Indulging in it was pleasurable at the time, but did it bring lasting happiness? No, November was a boring month. Indulge in the pleasures of life, make sure they are not bringing anyone else agony. If they are, it will come back to you. By making mistakes, you will have fewer regrets, but by not making them, you will find happiness. To have good times, be good. So, next time you buy chocolate, choose Endangered Species Chocolate. Why? They help animals and people, so why not choose them? In the end, you are only helping yourself be joyful.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney
Think about educational reform. One of my regrets in life, is that institutionalized education is boring. Mandatory. No wonder, so many people turn to temporary escapes. Work hard, party hard, right? You can waste this once-in-a-lifetime life on earth, waiting for the next one. You can waste it partying hard too. Think about this anonymous quote. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius is that you? Enjoy creating! Enjoy your life! That’s the problem with the whole system. Work is boring. Partying hard will make life become boring. Hedonism isn’t happiness! In the moment it is, but it will only backfire. A moment of joy isn’t a lifetime of happiness. It has been proven scientifically, people who give gifts, and freely exchange what they have, are happier. Back to education… maybe it should be replaced with entertainment or pure experiences of the world itself like travel. Life is short, choose what interests you. In the words of Walt Disney, “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.”
For years, native Hawaiians, never learned to write. They danced. Do they look back on that with regret? It’s their life. If they regret their choices, that’s part of the learning experience! Maybe it’s not about being the most athletic, the richest, the best looking, or the smartest. Maybe it’s about creating the best memories you can, and making others happy by being happy yourself.
We live in an age when the freedom of choice should be king! Books might only have a single author, but at least reading them freely is entertaining! Required reading? Does anyone enjoy it? What is the value of skill at the expense of emotion? Entertainment is the new education. Entertainment does’t just teach, it can inspire you to be fun or create entertainment yourself.
From another perspective, a film professor can show a movie that thousands of people worked on. A good film professor gives a selection of movies to watch, of films they know to be entertaining and thought provoking. A world class film professor, demonstrates that life is movie, and the best way to create the films you love, is to research what they were doing, and do it yourself, with what you have. You might not have a large format film camera and three point fresnel lighting, but you can start with your phone, because that’s how all the film legends started, with what they had. At first all you have is your talent, and you don’t get talented overnight, you work for it!
Knowledge should be entertaining. If only because what we know changes with time. Imagine be forced to memorize that the earth is a square and being tested on it, knowing full well, that it is a cube with no bottom. That’s why there’s waterfalls at the edges of it. In spite of it all, our emotions act the same way. Emotionally, we want to be entertained, and should be. That way, at least if everything we learned was untrue, we enjoyed ourselves. As Calvin pointed out to Hobbes, “Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?”
“Nothing is ours, except time.” Seneca
TIME IS MONEY
“To have more we must first become more.” /// Jim Rohn
Wisdom is realizing that you don’t need more, you just need happiness and beauty in your life. Possessions eventually end up possessing you. A mountain is a mountain of work to maintain. Billionaires possess less than a millionth of the world, the world will never be yours. Paradoxically, the richest man in the world, the man who owns the most, never sees all of it, because of ownership. The world was given to us free, and we took it from ourselves with greed for more, and even the good cannot escape the evil of greed.
It’s funny, I have everything I need, but, now I want to go retro and travel the world. I’ve got a dozen websites to my name, countless photos, 100 songs, and about 50 drawings. I’ve got a thousand dollars in audio software, new clothes from Scotch & Soda, and Patagonia. A phone with an app that provides any music I can think of, at the touch of a button. Five film cameras, five guitars, two amps, and collection of vinyls. A fridge stocked with film. A collection of vintage Playboys. A sunroom full of tropical plants. Books from places around the world. And yet… it’d be nice to have a Leica III and Massimo Vitali’s view cameras. It’d be nice, to have a film developing lab in Venice with a Fuji scanner. It’d be nice, to work with Mac Demarco designing a loft recording studio. It’d be nice, to have a castle on a cliffside overlooking the sea with a botanical garden, and a beautiful wife residing with me in a world heritage site. It’d be nice, to throw it all away, take the cameras, wife and explore the world.
At what point is enough, enough? First I want a bicycle, then a Vespa, then a vintage Land Rover, a Ferrari that runs on air. When you are satisfied with what you have, boredom sets in. When you want more, it becomes greed. Maybe greed is good. If you have the best, you can give the best. You might start out with an apple seed and give it away, but who cares? Except you, because that’s all you had. If you work your way up to growing an apple orchard, and give away an entire estate filled with apple trees, that’s an impressive act of charity.
The world is so enormous that denying ourselves creature comforts, seems foolish. Denying others our wealth of creature comforts, seems outrageous. Nothing is free and time is valuable. By traveling, without possessions, except clothes and objects to create, you are able to spread the joys of your experience. Giving benefits everyone, while taking takes from everyone. That’s not to say, don’t take what you desire. It’s to say, take what you desire and share everything. Except your lover, of coarse! If you want a camera, buy it, share your photos freely! An orange tree? Get it! Share the fruits with the poor! The best we can do is share what we have with others.
Everything we create, everything our money can do, all of it has no value compared to time.
THINK FOR YOURSELF
Even though our understanding seems to come to us through the outside world…
Ultimately it comes to us through ourselves.
Everyone is a mirror of their experiences.
Be yourself and embrace good. One of the few international philosophies is to treat others as you wish to be treated.
WHY DOES LIFE EXIST?
Philosophy itself is the broadest of all the knowledges. The fundamental questions of life. What is the meaning of life? Why do birth and death exist? Where does knowledge come from? Did you know if you choose the first Wikipedia link on a page every time, it will eventually lead you to a dead page or philosophy?
“Be as you wish to seem.” Socrates
If you do the math, we are all meaningless, we are such a small fragment of life, that our only deeper meaning comes from the mysterious forces animating us.
In the end, we can only know what passes under our knowledge.
BE A LEGEND UNKNOWN
Since everyone has different views on what happens after this world, from the tribal nudists to the philosophers, maybe no one really knows. That being said, most of the world believes that good is rewarded and evil is punished, so think about this.
Think about leaving the world a better place.
In my view, nothing compares to photographing moments of fun, beauty and love, making the memories last a little longer.
As a kid, I loved playing sports with my friend across the street. We enjoyed everything by Disney and Warner Bros. and classic VHS movies like Back to the Future and Home Alone. As a teenager, I was interested the lives of the musicians Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison. The music by Sublime and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In college, Loveless and Dirty were my favorite albums, so, I experimented with drugs and played guitar. Like the ancient philosophers before me, I came to believe that virtue leads to happiness and vice does not. I think that’s why, so many of my idols weren’t happy. In my early twenties, I was playing new a song everyday. I wrote an album under the name Dazed and became interested in photography during my breaks from Berklee. During that time, I found a website called Ben Trovato, which no longer exists, and became interested in fashion photographers, and what they did to achieve the looks they present in photos. Now in my late twenties, I aspire to be a fine art film photographer.
Currently, I wonder about the personal lives of photographers who travel the world. I wish, I was embarking on an eco-friendly journey to photograph the Americas and Europe. I think that knowledge of photography is essential, but, subject matter, photographing “attractive people, doing attractive things, in attractive places” is the rest of it. That was Slim Aaron’s outlook and from my perspective, he’s right! I’m fascinated by people, the photographers, Christian Watson, Foster Huntington, James Barkman… That escaped the ordinary world, and ventured off the institutionalized grid. Now, they’re traveling and giving back through film photography.
My idols are world famous, or world famous and unknown outside of the photography circle. Gandhi, for leaving the military to make his own clothes, and start his own peace movement. Ferdinand Chevel, who kept his postman job, but also escaped it and built himself the ideal palace. He literally built his dream by hand. Jen Huang and Nastia Vesna for being the most perfect destination wedding photographers I know of.
Massimo Vitali to me, has been a great resource, because he has his own unique view of the world. He’s almost God-like, in that he’s photographed religious icons like Pope, as well as an entire culture of people on the beach from above. He’s at the top of the photography world, both metaphorically and literally.
Bharat Sikka also has an interesting life in that he photographs the contrast of elite fashion models mixed in with the masses of poverty in India. He does it beautifully, but also has a message, about the isolating nature of wealth vs. the uncleanliness of extreme poverty. As an upper middle class citizen, he bridges the gap between the two, but he also makes you wonder about your place in society, or what the best place in hierarchy of society is.
Mocafico interests me because he tries to freeze perfection in a photograph. All of his photographs are classic objects, roses, guns, money, on a pure black background. Now he uses the best cameras in the world to create photos of classical paintings.
Desert Island Photographers…
Top 3 Wedding Photographers
Top 3 Musicians
Note: Sometimes, you can learn about an entire way of life through an interview. I tend to find interviews themselves boring on the surface, but it’s the analysis of it that’s interesting. It’s what a person’s favorite color says about them (brown indicates they may be intelligent, the purity of white, the tranquilly of blue, the sophisticated nature of purple, etc. ) It’s what a person’s favorite activity or idol says about their dreams.
Desert Island Interview
Bubble tea /// Vivi’s Passion Fruit Boba
Vanilla cake with rainbow confetti
Milk and cookies
Momofuku Milk Bar
Desired place to visit for photos?
Myanmar or Morocco
A Light in the Attic
Ferrari or Vespa
If you could invent one thing?
Eliminate one thing?
Electricity or travel?
Ancient castle or WIFI?
Ancient castle with warm bath water.
Playing a version of kickball without all the rules with my neighbor.
Thinking of ways to live without money, surrounded by beauty nevertheless. Finding the highest possible enjoyment of our life on earth while keeping the infinite in mind. Doing this by living for myself in a way that benefits others.
Most embarrassing moment?
See my confessions.
Wisdom begins in wonder /// Socrates
Every journey begins with a single step /// Lao Tzu
If you wish to be a reader, read. A writer, write. /// Epictetus
Happiness dwells in the soul /// Democritus
Hope is a waking dream /// Aristotle
Fate will find a way /// Virgil
One man’s struggle to take it easy /// John Hughes
Reality continues to ruin my life /// Bill Watterson
I’ve been eating dog treats? Why the f*ck would you put them on the counter where the rest of the food is? F*ck it, they’re delicious. I will not be shamed by this. /// Justin Halpern
What material things you’d take if your house was burning down?
Camera, computer, guitar.
100 Desert Island Albums
(All are links to enjoy the music)
2 – MAC DEMARCO
Plajer & Franz