I’m going to talk about SpongeBob. Forgive me.
There is a spectrum of SpongeBob - Squidward.
Squidward represents apathy. The mechanical man. Routine. Solemnity. Fear of the opinion of others. Self-rumination. Seriousness. ‘The world must conform to my will, otherwise misery’.
SpongeBob represents play. Flirting. Treading the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable. Humour. A lack of self consciousness. Presence. ‘Tao : flow with what arises’.
We vacillate between these two extremes. We don’t want either all the time. But as adults, I feel we need to spend more time in SpongeBob territory. Be more playful.
Tread the boundary of what is acceptable. All the fun in life comes from ‘playing’ with the rules, not breaking them, but testing them. This is what flirting is.
The pre-requisite for this involves paying close attention. To life and others around you. Letting go of any preconceived notions. Empty the cup.
Whatever arises, play with it
Seriousness/solemnity is going into something wanting a certain outcome.
Play is going into things with no expectation. Really no expectation. What arises- you play with it. Curiosity naturally emerges
When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills; when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two targets, and is out of his mind. His skill has not changed, but the prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power.
TLDR : Flirt with life