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  • Writer's pictureTerence Im

Harmonizing with the World Through Journaling

We live in an extremely complicated world. No doubt about that. There is friction between the inner and outer world for many of us, and it can be said that it is due to the profound vividness of our desires and imagination that at times, we feel as if the universe is continually trying to defeat us. Desire and ego seem to be at the root of this, and if we do not realize this, we may very well find ourselves at their whim and fail to integrate their better qualities through our conscious actions. In situations like these, our disappointments project out onto the world, and even the most minute troubles could cause for the sense that the universe is an oppressor.

Maybe it is, but I don't think so. If we are burdened by the desire to impose our will upon the cosmos, then perhaps it is our egos which are cause for the sense of friction with the world in the first place.

I believe that journaling can be an excellent means by which this sense of dissonance between the inner and outer world can be overcome. Rather than feel ourselves to be at the whims of our ego's continuous dissatisfaction with reality, we can channel our stream of consciousness into actions which allow us to temporarily numb our relationship with the outer world, or at least our projections of it. It is through this temporary numbing that we can feel loose and internally flexible so that we can slowly and patiently investigate the different aspects of our individual psychology and memories. At some point, we may even feel that we can bridge together our inner and outer worlds.

As a sci-fi fantasy writer and blogger, I must say that I find a profound distinction between writing fiction and reflecting on the world as it is. Writing fiction channels ALOT of visceral mental horsepower that takes its roots almost entirely from that part of the mind which is steeped in desire. If a fantasy writer wishes to create an entire kingdom's history in five pages, for five pages, the fantasy writer's mind may traverse an entire timeline spanning centuries of international multi-species activity that's led up to the present moment. But their mind and body might not be accustomed to the normal flow of time, that is, the pace of time which we are bound to in our own world. This might be why fiction writers and artists in general are commonly known to suffer depression.

However, the one who journals and reflects on the world as it is is different.

If one writes non-fiction essays on contemporary culture or a research paper on neuroscience, then one's mind is reflecting on the world as it is and perhaps even feels a sort of harmony with it. The beautiful thing about self-reflective writing is that one can write about anyone or anything that piques their interest: routine, career aspirations, memories with loved ones, troubles in a relationship, habits, hobbies and so on. This is why journaling is so profoundly important. We can use our creativity with words and heal our psychological patterns so as to transform our relationship with the world and realize harmony between the internal and external.

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Andy Russell
Andy Russell
Mar 06, 2023

Thanks for your thoughtful reflection, Terence. I have journaled for many for many years and find the practice to be essential for thinking people. Your view that we can harmonize with the world through journaling is interesting. I'm not sure if I have ever felt that way. I feel like journaling helps me harmonize with myself. This does tend to make me more harmonious in general, so perhaps harmonizing with ourselves helps us harmonize with the world, like a tuned violin playing its part in an orchestra. I suppose I'm still questioning whether I have ever connected with the world or if I have always been in my own little ego-dream.

Terence Im
Terence Im
Mar 10, 2023
Replying to

Hello Andy! Journalling is definitely more introspective and connects someone with his/her own thoughts more than the world itself usually. But I suppose if someone reflects on the world while journalling, then there's sort of a bridge between these two ways of thinking.

That's a great analogy with the violin! We're all like drops in a vast ocean, and it's difficult to feel at one with it all a lot of the times when we're so focused on our own individual issues and challenges. But I find that trying to feel connected with the ocean through certain hobbies helps a lot. For example, studying about psychology, history or outer space definitely broadens my heart. Books like Da Vinci's journal or…

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