SillyPutty, An Introduction to

Of all the ways to describe reality and life, SillyPutty is my favourite. By far.

Now just in case that first sentence didn’t splat gooey memories across your face, and just in case you’re confused by the term “SillyPutty” and haven’t cheerfully ripped apart one of the 300 million small plastic eggs that have contained the mythical substance since its invention in the 1940s, I’m ‘a fly a quick whirl at describing what can only be respectfully described as putty that has gone thoroughly silly.

Putty is a soft dough-like squidgy smoosh that you can squeeze into different shapes and stretch and break apart into smaller bits. Think play-doh or Blu-Tack or bread dough.

That’s ordinary putty. But SillyPutty has a different drip of swagger altogether.

SillyPutty is what angel snot would be like if angels cried during romantic comedies.

SillyPutty is what snow would be like if it put on luminous lipstick laced with LSD and stopped believing its own publicity about each snowflake being unique.

SillyPutty is what bread dough would be like if it jumped into a vat of bubbling fairytales at the centre of a séance held by enlightened circus clowns.

SillyPutty is soft and gooey and smooth and mushy and you can press and pull it into any shape that you’re brave enough to imagine. You can break it into pieces and then smoosh it back together. It comes in many different colours. It smells of the pheromones of plastic kittens. It bounces if you drop it gently but splats and breaks if you throw it with a lot of force. If you press it onto a drawing or a newspaper, the image is imprinted on the surface of the SillyPutty and no matter what shape you form it into, over time it loses its shape and melts back into a blob. It’s a great stress-ball and was taken to the moon on Apollo 8 in 1968 where it was used to secure tools to stop them from swimming off on deep space adventures. It’s also flammable. And straight-up silly.

SillyPutty also metaphorically mimics your moment-to-moment experience of life.

Here’s how…

Massaging Your Reality

Everything that you experience shapes the way that you interact with life.

Your experiences – thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions, interactions, … – all shape how you feel as they happen. Your experiences also pinch and pull apart or smooth and make whole your overall reality from that point onwards, their effects lasting and shaping your reality long after the actual experience is over.

Different experiences, and more importantly the way in which you deal with and react to them, shape your reality in different ways.

When you get into a confrontation or a destructive mood, you heat up and pinch and pull apart your reality, making it sticky and fragmented and not fun to play with.

Similarly, when you notice the perfect yumness of reality beneath the experiences and melt into the oozingly juicy greatness of life, seeing the playful nature of everything that happens and handle situations constructively, laughing at the drama-soaked colours of life, you smooth and centre and massage your reality into a central mass of smooth playful gooey goodness.

No matter what happens, you can choose how to deal with it and how it shapes your life.

Like SillyPutty.

When you heat up SillyPutty, it becomes sticky and difficult to play with. When you pull it apart and let it get stuck to things in the environment, it becomes difficult to smoosh into the shape you want it to be and gets annoyingly stuck to everything around it.

The SillyPutty nature of your overall experience of life means that you shape your moment-to-moment reality (and consequently the way you feel, limitation or lack thereof you perceive and your overall feeling of yumness towards life.)

Your reality and your experience of life is being shaped in real-time and determines the way you feel and the way you approach things in the future. Momentum and Flow.

Being constructive makes your SillyPutty reality smooth and centred and at ease and you feel good. Being destructive makes it go all over the place and get sticky and yuck.

You shape your reality by the way that you live your life.

Wild Words About Silly Things

The wild thing about SillyPutty is that it isn’t a solid nor a liquid. It’s both.

SillyPutty displays what is termed “non-Newtonian flow” which means that it acts as an elastic solid in the short-term but as a viscous liquid in the long-term. That’s why you can make shapes out of SillyPutty but if you leave it and come back a few hours later, the SillyPutty castle you built earlier is now a blob of slishy goo.

How to factor this into SillyPutty as a metaphor for one’s moment-to-moment reality, if at all, is the same as deciding whether to wake up or carry on dreaming, or deciding whether to decide, depending on which side of the bed you sleep on.

Way I see it is that no matter how you shape your life – good or bad – and no matter what happens, you are always flowing towards wherever it is that life is flowing towards and ultimately, you can play with and shape your reality as much as you like, and playing with your reality is part of the fun, but in the end it doesn’t matter because life will flow to where it’s flowing anyway. Or so a naked Zen monk once said while watching butterflies breakdance in the wind on the outskirts of a secret village somewhere in the jungles of South-East India.

There’s a reason it’s not called SeriousPutty.

The only thing that doesn’t smoosh into the SillyPutty worldview is that SillyPutty is quantifiably limited – here is the SillyPutty (I have a handful), and there is the table – there is a start and end to it. Life – consciousness – YUM – doesn’t have a start and an end, it’s infinite. Infinite SillyPutty, imagine THAT!!

And SillyPutty can be (gulp!) destroyed.
The undiluted essence of life and who you are is indestructible.

But you can still shape your reality.

You shape it whether you like it or not.

How you shape it is up to you…

UnleashReality
Alex

59 Comments

  1. Infinite SillyPutty. You gotta love that analogy.

    I love this. It’s like my “God is Play Doh” post, but twice as good, cause I only rock half as much as you do.

    • Jay you LEGEND!!

      Almost used Play-Doh but then decided against it due to the fact that SillyPutty displays non-Newtonian flow and Play-Doh duddn’t :) SillyPutty is like the quantum-physics version. so 2000s.

      SillyPutty may just well be what scientists refer to as “dark matter” :D

      chchchecking out your play-doh post now. will comment that side.

      for anybody eavesdropping,
      it’s at http://porsidan.com/god-is-play-doh/

      :)

      hope all’s well mate.
      a

  2. Jen

    I just LOVE your posts Alex. They are always brilliant. I might have to write a post on my favourite quotes from your posts. :)
    Great and very true message. We are the silly putty sculptors of our experience.
    Jen x

    • Jenny BoooOOOooo!!

      you’re brilliant even without posts.

      quote me up jenny, just make sure you include “jen is a happiness vending machine soaked in love and things that purr in the night”

      :D

      keep it reals jenny boo
      a

  3. Very nice, Alex… it hustled and flowed beautifully. I love the way you’ve described silly putty, too, though I’ll never be able to look at it in quite the same way now. (Angel snot?!)

    There is this one part I’m not sure of, though:

    “Being constructive makes your SillyPutty reality smooth and centred and you feel good. Being destructive makes it go all over the place and get sticky and yuck.”

    Is it possible that it works the other way around? Some days I wake up feeling like my silly putty is smooth and centered, and on those days, I conquer the world with love and compassion.

    But other days, from the moment I open my eyes, before I’ve chosen anything at all, my silly putty is an icky mess. This used to make me do downright destructive things, now it just screws with my mind… makes me a little unproductive.

    I guess it’s a chicken and egg question… ironically, since this stuff comes in a plastic egg. Which comes first, the feeling (yum vs. yuck) or the behavior (constructive vs. destructive)?

    Maybe I’ll go spend some time with Hunter’s angel snot and see if I can find the answer. ;)

    • leeeee cease!!

      angel snot. true story. my cat told me so. she heard it from a butterfly who did a stint in Tijuana and, unrelated to the angel snot, told me to spread the word that he can organise you tiger sweat at a good price no prohllem make strong and potent eh!! not entirely sure what he meant by that but did promise to pass it on.

      Not sure about what you mean by it working the other way round. you mean that your world being out of shape leads to destructiveness and similarly for constructiveness? if so then yip on the rocks with a little umbrella swizzle stick and an extra shot of rum. something i tried to convey, but didnt’ want to spell out blatantly cos it’d trip up hustleflow, was that your reality is constantly being shaped and how you feel is the result of the shape it is in at that moment. What i mean by that is that if you’re destructive then the shape will be yuck and you’ll have a bigger tendency to be destructive given the yuck shape of your reality.

      your question is a really really good one. don’t have an answer at the moment but i will ’bout it.

      ask Hunter’s angel snot :)

      • Well, there you go… that butterfly cleared it right up for me. ;)

        Actually, I had a little chat with a couple of LSD-laced identical snowflakes today and we got it all sorted out. It’s official, the answer is 42.

        Mystery solved.

        • I heard it was V but they didn’t want everybody in on the secret.

          but we can play along if it helps :)

  4. Is that really true about Apollo 8?

    “There’s a reason it’s not called SeriousPutty.”
    Amen, brother.

    Maybe someday we can crash Lisis’ & Hunter’s pad and play with their angel snot.
    (Great writing, my friend.)
    ;)

    • Lori BOOoooOOo!!

      Yip. SillyPutty invented humans as a means of getting to the moon. i’m sure of it. wikipedia says so.

      Om Mani Padme Yum sista :P

      I’m not going anywhere near Lisis’ angel snot. She’s latina. you know what that means. And no, can’t elaborate – i’d have to put an age restriction notice on the home page and couldn’t check the “safe for work” box on stumbleupon anymore.

      :D

  5. I really wanna touch my sillyputty life right now, just because it feels so good when you stick your finger in it!

    • dude, that was way too dirty to not get picked up by my spamfilters.

      wtf?!

      :D

      • Hmm.. I meant that totally metaphorical, but when I read it now it does sounds kinda weird. Should proofread my comments!

        What I meant (not-obvious) is that when I look at my life, experience it, ‘touch’ it, it feels fantastic. Just like when you play with the putty, it just feels awesome!

        And not in any dirty way :)

        Good trick though to get accross your filters, gonna spam ya with dirty putty lines!

        • hahahaha

          whatever buddy :)

  6. Hey Alex! I really liked this post. Whenever I see your blog posts in my feed reader, I get really excited, because it’s always an exciting story or metaphor.
    Being in the moment and controlling your emotions reminds me a whole lot of a post I read yesterday on 4HWW
    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/04/13/stoicism-101-a-practical-guide-for-entrepreneurs/
    It’s interesting how sometimes you can put a name or description to a way of living life.
    Keep up the great posts! I love them :)

    • hey steven!!

      Whenever i see your gravatar on my comments page, i get really excited, because it always reminds me of what would have happened to tom hanks on castaway if the island he landed on was inhabited by 100 naked virgins instead of him having to make friends with a soccer ball (spalding) and go crazy. or summen like that :)

      not so sure if you CAN control your emotions. don’t think it’s really possible. you can decide to not let them control you. subtle diff but massive effect. trying to control your emotions is like trying to control how strangers react to you. you can’t. you can decide not to let other people’s responses to you not control you. if that makes any sense :)

      i remember reading that post ages back. i remember it cos it took me the better part of 3 hours :D was super money though.

      thanks so much for dropping by and commenting.

      keep it unreals mate
      a

  7. Brilliant as always Alex. I think I finally understand what are you talking about well enough to write an intelligent response in the comments. It’s amazing because we have the ability to shape things the way we see fit, but we chose not all too often. Today I was driving and the weather has been really bad here in LA and some guy in a BMW gave me the finger because I was going too slow. Right as I found myself about to get a bit of road rage I felt this sudden calm realizing that the reaction is a choice and an angry one won’t change a damn thing. Love the analogy and like I said before we should call you the James Joyce of the blogosphere :)

    • Srinilicious you superstar!!

      hahaha when i saw you left a comment, i was thinking “oh shit. once again srini is gonna say something completely unrelated to the post as though he hasn’t read it and i’mma have to be congenial and say thanks for commenting” but gladly surprised :)

      can def picture you as a slow driver :) my best way of dealing with that is just smile and wave at the guy who’s driving like an asshole then wind down the window and ask him if he’s feeling okay and if he needs anything like money or a hug or summen

      james joyce was a badass. i’ll take that :)

    • Nichole, I’m honored and fltteared that my business card with the picture of my husband’s great-aunt made was deemed treasure-worthy by Katie! I’m tickled and delighted!! xoxo, Jenn P.S. Sorry for the delayed visit and reply your email got stuck in my SPAM filter and I just found it today. I’ve junk-mail-proofed your email address, so it won’t happen again. Sorry ’bout that!

  8. “There’s a reason it’s not called SeriousPutty.”

    Yet another Alexism to add to the ol’ repertoire.

    I do need a bit to digest all the sage sprinkled throughout this well baked casserole of awesomeness.

    Oh, HA! I spelled repertoire and casserole without pissing off the spellchecker!

    Gooo George, it’s your birthday. Go Geeeoorge. (not really my birthday – I is being sillybuddy)

    Cheers

    • George you kilt-wearing sabre-tooth scottsman of glory!!!

      haha i’ve had a couple people tell me they have a file with unleashrealityisms / quotes :) inspired me to start putting out an “unleashrealityism” of the week starting with the next post. we’ll see how it goes :P

      what’s happening with your site – any big plans?

      i’ve got a project i’m busy throwing together where i write tandem posts. i write one line, you write one line, etc via instant messenger and we stop when something magic is done. you game?

      as srini would say – very james joyce :D

  9. Alex!
    A great post. The highlight for me was this statement:

    “No matter what happens, you can choose how to deal with it and how it shapes your life.”

    Not always easy and may not always seem so BUT i choose to believe that and honestly think the same.

    Thank you.

    • Christopher!!

      love how formal your comments are. reminds me of my school days. no hanky panky skullduggery permitted whatsoever else get a clip on the ear and no food (which, given the food we got, was more reward than punishment :) )

      def not easy all the time. but as long as it’s tingling in the back of your mind, sparkling beneath the layers of muck, then it’ll shine through.

      it’s just convincing yourself that you dont need the muck after that.

      keep it unreals man

  10. I seriously never thought I would see sillyputty compared to life…nice analogy

    • hey anthony you legend you.

      nevermind comparing – there’s a non-zero possibility that sillyputty IS life… that this is all one big ball of smoosh being swirled by a massive alien to whom the earth is nothing but a flea on a petri dish. every time i wash dishes and splash an ant, i can’t help but feeling how the ant must think it’s a tidal wave. same thing but now we’re the ant :)

      saw you commenting on glen’s viperchill site. you two mates?

      keep it unreals yo
      a

  11. Nice.

    MAN, this is so true.

    “Playing with your reality is part of the fun, but in the end it doesn’t matter because life will flow to where it’s flowing anyway.”

    The other day I felt KAK. The whole world was a dark and lonely place.My mind was CLOGGED with problems and my body was itching with anxiety.Everything seemed out of reach and I felt like a victim. The next day I woke up- wrote a cool song- and all was good. SUDDENLY all was good. everything seemed cool and my mind was light. and most importantly- i begun to lighten up and not take things seriousely.It’s a great thing when you TRULY realise that YOU ARE THE MAKER OF YOUR REALITY NO MATTER WHAT. Other people simply fit into your reality and not the other way around.It’s great because this was yet another reference experience- whereby the one day I’m feeling shit and convinced that I am incapable of anything and lacking braincells (this was at myers project btw) the next day SAME SITTUATION!!!!! and it’s completely different.I feel invincible. I am no longer looking for approval and as such it is not a factor.Pure reality turn-around. It really is a VERY liberating and empowering this when you internalise the fact that you are choosing your experience from moment to moment. Don’t know about you- but that makes me feel happy and not in the mood to be serious. afterall it’s all COMPLETELY RANDOM. And WONDERFUL,too…

    • Mikey G Star Deluxe!! aka the lord of the shack :P

      def agree. as you know :)

      glad you pulled through it all. even now, me replying a week or so after you left that, look at how you felt about german ali then versus now in hindsight given the events on the rooftop of shack :)

      hahaha sheer domination yo

      we’ll lord the night soon. busy taking over the world, you know….

      keep it unreals yo
      a

  12. This is a valuable lesson because we are all faced with circumstances in our lives which shape the way our world looks, but ultimately it is our choice to decide how we react to these changes in the external environment. For example, we are currently experiencing an economic recession which has, in my opinion, been over dramatized by the news stations in order to create a fear based society. With this being said, unemployment figures are indeed staggering, but at the same time the current landscape provides an array of endless opportunities. This is where the sillyputty comes into play because our environment has been stretched and pulled, but it is our choice as to how we will allow these circumstances to impact our lives. Those who are willing and able to look past the economic storm, to a bigger and brighter tomorrow, will find exactly what they are looking for whether it is a career path, start-up company, or some sillyputty that will bring a smile to their face and a twinkle to their eye because like you said…it is called SILLYputty for a reason!

    PS: I wrote an article about how to become bountifully employed that may resonate with your audience…ENJOY!

    http://www.jaredyellin.com/2010/01/bountifully-employed/

    • Jared you SUPERSTAR!!

      couldn’t agree more mate.

      will chchcheck out your article now.

      thanks for dropping by and leaving such a legend comment.

      keep it unreals
      a

  13. “…in the end it doesn’t matter because life will flow to where it’s flowing anyway.” MY POINT EXACTLY! You just keep writing it for me (in much more colorful terms than I could ever imagine). Love ya (even though it took me all this time to get where you are and you are the age of my grand children you little upstart).

    • okay so here’s the deal:

      i’ll write FOR you if you take care of food, tea, coffee, and hourly shoulder massages (incense et al) :D

      i ain’t no upstart, i’m a real boy :)

      • On October 3, thirty high sochol students from Mount Si’s Key Club visited the homes of two elderly folks in North Bend. Armed with gloves, garden tools, and determination ..they set out to offer assistance to these homeowners where the labor had simply become too big an obstacle. The students split and stacked firewood, trimmed overgrown bushes and hedges, brought garden beds back to objects of beauty, raked leaves, and filled an enormous trailer with discarded and rotting lumber that was taken to the dump. The best part of this endeavor was the smiles and hugs given by the homeowners to these high sochol Key Clubbers. That so many showed up at their homes to Pay it Forward was overwhelming and one of the most heart-warming experiences I have seen. Way to go Mount Si Key Club!

  14. Great metaphor Alex. I especially like the use of silly putty because it drives home the point that we are continuously shaping our lives. The shape is not permanent, given awareness, we have the capacity to change the shape. Here’s to silly putty shape-shifting bouyancy :)

    Cheers!

    • Sheila you lil fish of magic and love and light and magic :)

      glad it all made sense. often i have a weird feeling that people aren’t gonna get what i’m trying to say. specially when i start using things like silly putty and savage banshees. so glad it came accross. if only i knew how to draw fish and eggs :P

      here’s to fisheggs :)
      a

  15. Love how you’ve used SillyPutty as a metaphor in this post Alex, it all makes perfect sense, and never thought of life like that before, in that kind of perspective, but this post has helped me picture how things can be a little better.

    Thanks :D

    • HOWIE YOU LEGEND!!

      awwwsome to see you back ’round these parts.

      glad it made sense. every now ‘n then i get a feeling that nobody will understand a fvcking thing i’m rapping about. and glad it melted your perceptions a lil.

      keep it unreals yo
      a

  16. Alex, delicious dose of goodness there, my friend.

    We’re unstoppable once we accept tthat we are the shapers of our own SillyPutty.

    “…seance by enlightened circus clowns”
    “…pheromones of plastic kittens”

    Brought me much needed giggles galore. Thank you.

    • Belinda boooooooooooo!!

      good to see you flittering by ’round these parts again :)

      i’ll make you giggle anytime ;)

      :D

      haha

      keep it unreals belinda booo
      a

  17. Indeed Alex we can shape it as we choose, If i were to describe my silly putty life it would be in the shape of cute bunny version of the kung fu panda, not sure what it will be like in a years time though, how about you?

    • wow.

      wasn’t expecting an answer like that at all. haha. made me smile :D

      mine… man, it’s a tough one because it’s constantly changing. right now i feel like it’s shaping up like the rapper Drake if he wasn’t such a poser and could actually dance. or summen like that :)

      thanks for dropping by mate
      keep it unreals yo :)
      a

  18. Really interesting post. Great metaphor! Keep on rocking.

    • Bamboooozalicious :)

      you keep on rocking. rock that shit to the stoneage!!

      really love PI lately. usually just quicksquizz and bump elsewhere but i’ll drop a comment that side.

      thanks for dropping by.

      keep it unreals yo
      a

  19. Amazing post, I really enjoyed reading it. I love the metaphor, our lives are indeed like SillyPutty (and not only that, I now have the intense desire to go buy some and make creative shapes with it!!!).

    • always glad to inspire sillyputty mania :)

      thanks for chchchecking in Fiona!

      keep it unreals
      a

  20. “There’s a reason it’s not called SeriousPutty.”

    haha! thats awesome !

    • ROCKONOVA is awesome!

      put that shit on your CV. i’ll be your reference.

      ’nuff said :D

  21. A-team supreme

    K im gonna start off by saying its been a while since I read da silly putty article – bad mistake not replying while fresh in my mind.
    Having said that as far as I remember I think I had an issue with your analogy of the silly putty bein akin t’ur reality cos as you so explainded (which I had no idea bout btw) silly putty turns into a blob if left for a while.
    When readin the article I kept thinking to myself, so if I dont constantly mould and shape my reality will it regress into a bloba icky-chodeness, recycled six-times-on-carbon-paper, 4-year-old manky putty? It seemed like thats what your were alluding to, but never came out and said it?
    FINALLY done glory times baby – super keen to party n jam i’up
    keen for movie night too, hook me up with some details tho my man

    Keep it Unleashed

    J

    • J-star, come so far, kicking some ass, pimping them hoes… oh oh oh… :D

      Yeah. Much better to comment or make notes when summen’s fresh. UnleashReality is preservative free so stick it in the fridge :)

      Yezzir. That’s what i said. Neither good nor bad will persist forever and no matter what, you always flow toward being a blog in the long run anyway. It’s your attention and effort that keeps you in good or bad shapes, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter cos you’re blobbing out in the long run. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make nice shapes instead of bad ones, it just gives you an assurance that whatever you choose and whatever happens, it’s gonna be okay and you’ll flow back to normal sillyputty anyway.

      AWWWESOME that your’e done. we’ll def jam it up soon. just gimme a buzz when you’re in town and we’ll own the night.

      keep it unreals yo
      a

  22. Alex,

    Shoot! Sure, I’m all about the project. Count me in!

    I’ll put my left foot in
    I’ll take my left foot out
    I’ll put my left foot in
    and shake it all about!

    George

    • Rocken Non Stoppen.

      I’ll mail you to make a time.

      gonna be grand deluxe timezz :D

      Keep it unreals
      a

  23. Hahahaha this was a well fun, good value read. “SillyPutty is what snow would be like if it put on luminous lipstick laced with LSD and stopped believing its own publicity about each snowflake being unique.” what!!

    LOL!

    But jokes aside, I love it. I am definitely linking to this and telling my readers about this post. They simply must get to read it :)

    Awesome! Funny yet so comprehensive. And thank you.

    • David you LEGEND!! :)

      so awesome how your personality seeps through in your comments. so many people limit and tame themselves in their writing and just end up as robots. ack!

      Thank you so much for the pimpage. much ‘ppreciated.

      keep it unreals yo
      a

  24. «Я в модельном и кинобизнесе с 14 лет, так что можно сказать, что я на диете всю мою жизнь», – смеется над собой Лив Тайлер. Между тем она отмечает,
    Клиника НИИ питания РАМН – это эффективная диетология, подбор диеты квалифицированным диетологом.
    Для сравнения мы в течении месяца тестировали как влияет гречневая диета на женский и мужской организм, а также как влияет японская диета на организм
    23 фев 2010 Как специалистами, так и увлекающимися диетами дамами, гречневая диета признана.
    Как сделать красивую фигуру, не изнуряя себя диетами? Правильное, здоровое питание сможет создать эффект даже превосходящий, по сравнению с эффектом от

  25. Best. Post. Ever. Im really going to enjoy this (newfound) blog x

Links to this article from other sites

  1. The Harvard Psychedelic Club Blew My Mind | Quest for Balance
  2. The SillyPutty Nature of Life | Unleash Reality | A Happy Pocket Full of Money Practical Living Experience
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  5. The Relationship between Silly Putty and Reality | Smiling Thoughts

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