The Five Buttresses of Jaminism
Jaminism is made up of five key principles which will be referred to as “Buttresses”. The five buttresses are: Journey, Perfection, Argumentation, Moral Growth, and Honesty. A buttress is a structure which exists to provide lateral support to a larger structure instead of requiring incredibly thick walls. Unlike a pillar, buttresses can be moved or even replaced after the structure has been completed without the entire structure collapsing. If you have been considering embracing the Jaminist way of life but are unable to accept one of the buttresses, that is completely acceptable. Just leave that bit out. You can replace it with something else if you like, but you are not obliged to, just make sure there is enough to stop it from falling over. For as big and impressive as a buttress may appear, you can put something else in it’s place that’ll do the job just as well.
The First Buttress is Journey
In the experience of life the greatest illusion is the construct of time. We spend the majority of it remembering the past and imagining the future, when the reality is that we will never truly experience either of these. The only position in time which exists in a way which can be experienced is right now. Our memories of the past are experienced right now. Our projections toward the future are experienced right now. In truth, Now is all there is. Right now is now and when twenty minutes have passed, do you know what time it will be? It will be now!
In the buttress of Journey, the Jaminist learns to understand that while we appear to be somewhere between Origin and Destination, we cannot ever truly know the nature of either of these and instead chooses to focus their interest on the space which exists between origin and destination which the Jaminist knows as the Journey.
Moving to the cosmological perspective of Destination, the Jaminist is indifferent. Concepts of Heaven and Hell, reincarnation, karma and any other promises or threats which a religion may invent to either bribe or threaten the faithful into obedience all take place in some abstract future which can never be known. The Jaminist finds no incentive to offer up the reality of the present moment in exchange for the illusion of threatened punishments or promised rewards of some mystical parental figure whose claims cannot be confirmed, let alone tested.
Instead, the Jaminist turns their attention to the Journey which is happening right now. Turning inward for guidance, the Jaminist does not ask “what was I created to do?” Nor “What should I do to have a favorable afterlife?” But instead asks “Do my actions right now align with my own understanding of myself?”
When you do not know who you are, you will act in accordance with that lack of knowledge and will not know that what you are doing is in line with your truth, because in not knowing who you are, you will act in accordance with that lack of knowledge and will not know that what you are doing is in line with your truth, because ignorance of your inner values is your truth. Even when you act against your own values to submit to the values of somebody else you are making the decision that their values are higher than your own and thus you are in fact living according to the belief that your values are lesser than those of another. Even in this case you are living according to your values. In truth, you never do anything else.
Yes, that’s right. You are always acting in accordance with yourself. You always do what you believe to be the right thing to do. If you didn’t, then you wouldn’t do it. There is no conflict in the present moment. Every one of us does what we believe is right. Sometimes we act in away which is not in line with what we think we should be based on our origin or our destination, but for who we are right now, every action is a perfect expression of who we are. We are always acting like ourselves, because there is no other person we could be acting more like than ourselves. That being said, we are not always acting in line with the person we want to be. One practical measure some Jaminists use to allow themselves to function in the state of Journey without having to constantly question the past and future is to establish personal rules which can be followed in the moment without needing to consider how the actions of the moment relate to future consequences. These rules are used as a shortcut to stay in the present and will be changed periodically. These rules could be as simple as “always keep $1000 in the small emergency account” or “only commit to do something in the future if you would be okay with doing it right now”. These rules serve as a handy guide to behaviour which is done in the moment without needing to step outside the moment to consider the future for every decision that comes up.
Now here is the secret of the Pillar of Journey. If you want to become something, then that which you have imagined is already true. You imagine a want and indeed you do want for that thing. Now you can always position yourself so that in your journey you are moving toward something, but in doing so the Jaminist acknowledges that even their goals for the future exist only in the present moment, and ultimately it is this present moment which they can impact with their actions. So acknowledge the past and plan for the future, but do so in acknowledgement that both of these activities happen in the present, which is also the time when the consequences of your decisions are felt. If you desire to have something you do not have, that is impossible. If you instead identify something which you desire and position yourself in the present so that your actions right now are moving you toward the experience to want, then you may focus on your actions and release those desires because if your journey is toward the outcome you desire then it is inevitable that you will have that experience at the exact moment when you cease to desire it… and that moment is the present.
Let’s put this in more concrete terms. Imagine you want to learn how to play the piano. I have some great news for you: you already know how to play the piano! Go ahead and hit the keys and look at that, you are playing the piano. Did you want to play the piano and have it sound good? Okay, try hitting the keys slightly differently. Does that sound better or worse? See how your knowledge of playing the piano is now the greatest it has ever been? Hit some more notes, make new choices, try new combinations. With every action your knowledge of the instrument grows even if the individual sounds you make fluctuate in their quality. Now this is not an efficient method of learning the piano but it is a fantastic place to start playing a piano. There are other people who currently have more knowledge about making pleasant sounds come from a piano than you have, so let’s say you have them observe what you are doing and provide suggestions for what you can do to become slightly better. Now you are on a journey. Becoming good at playing the piano may be the destination, but what you want to do right now is to play the piano badly, because playing the piano badly is an unavoidable step in the journey toward playing well. In fact, it is only the person who can experience the moment of playing the piano badly but slightly better than they could before who can ever become somebody who plays the piano well. And so it is with most things in life. Even the person who appears to be instantly good at a thing the first time they try follows this rule, except that for the person with an apparent natural talent it is often the reality that by watching somebody else or imagining the action in their mind they have in fact been practicing many times in preparation for the moment when they move into the physical and apply the knowledge they have already discovered in their mind.
A person who looks at the top of a mountain and thinks about how far they are from the top will only have the experience of being far from the top. A person who points themselves toward the top of a mountain and then becomes a person who is climbing and focusses on the moment may well find themselves standing with an entire mountain under them. This is the power of embracing the Journey rather than fixating on the destination. Now of course it is possible to climb a mountain while looking at the summit and imagining what it will be like to reach it, but in doing so you not only rob yourself of the experience of the journey, but when you finally reach the top, the view now has to compete with all of the views you imagined along the way to distract yourself from the experience of climbing. If you can simply embrace the experience of climbing without creating the need for a rewarding view at then end, then the view you receive is a bonus. If you have to constantly bribe yourself to keep going by telling yourself how great the view will be, then the view is almost guaranteed to disappoint you.
These are simplistic examples, but the principle of Journey can be applied to any manner of experience. Certainly, you will be well served to occasionally look ahead to map out an effective route, and also to look to where you have been in order to apply past experiences to whatever task is at hand, but once you have settled on what needs to be done in the moment, the best thing you can do is to become the experience of whatever activity you have chosen to engage with and be present in that experience. Do what you are doing because you are a person who is doing that thing. When thoughts come to pull you into questioning yourself and your choices, or ask if this is the best path toward your goal, or ask if you really want that goal badly enough to go through this, hear them out. Even write them down if you need to. Tell them you’ll come back to them later and then go back to what you are doing.
This is certainly easier for some people than for others. If you have ADHD for example, you may find that your journey tends to take a lot of detours. That’s fine. If you can set reminders for yourself to get back on track there is no reason you can’t set 25 different destinations and work toward all of them at once. Who knows? You may even reach some of them, or at least end up somewhere interesting. The journey isn’t really about the destination anyway, but when there are destinations you need to reach in order to have the experiences you want to have, set some markers to get yourself back on track after you get distracted. If you were washing the dishes and were struck by an overwhelming need to vacuum a patch of dirt on the floor, take a dirty pot with you and place it where the vacuum cleaner normally goes, that way, when you have finished vacuuming the house and go to put your vacuum cleaner away you’ll find a dirty pot that needs to go back to the kitchen and when you take it into the kitchen and discover the warm soapy water spilling out of the sink you’ll remember that you need to wash the dishes… right after you mop the floor. And while this particular experience may not be all that common for people who don’t have ADHD, the general principles still apply.
Sometimes you have set yourself a path towards some distant goal but life gets in the way and takes you off course and you find yourself a long way from where you thought you would be. That’s fine. Take a moment to reorient yourself with the direction you want to be moving and start your journey again. You don’t like the choices you’ve made in the past? That’s fine. Make better choices now.
Get yourself in alignment with your highest self and get moving.