This Lovely, Sacred Road

Without faith,
We find ourselves
Again and again,
Always forgetting what’s mortal –
We living, breathing, hoping beings
Artists and lovers, who
Having examined the world,
Declared it gross, inhumane
Rather insane really –
All this chasing
Greed, separation, ego,
That veil of worth,
Hardly worth defending
Inane inward judgments, reflected back
And fear, because you can’t run a society unless the people in it are afraid
But we’d all love something unlike this society entirely –
Only, we’d never know what it is
So we call this fucking scummy, capitalistic shit happiness,
Each of us taking life on the chin,
Again and again,
Never really living
But dying all the time,
Treating one another with suspicion at best,
Few of us ever owning up to our lives,
Or the one side taking us over,
Light or Dark – but rarely whole
Shades of something,
But never committed,
That puer provisional life,
When,
If,
And of course, existential dread,
Because smart, and fucking A –
Have you seen Christian Middle America?
Seen some on Fox, at a neighbors,
And all over this fucking white mountain town,
Its residents, particularly the aged,
All so smug, so decided –
But that’s besides the point
I’m halfway through life – 31
And this shit has been for far too long,
Not fun,
And sometimes, really ugly –
That hole I punched in the door haunts,
And bill-collectors lurk, haunting too
But I DGAF because I can’t afford to –
And thus isn’t a declaration of anything,
A blame on relationship –
All women who have loved me deserve sainthood –
But, rather, this is just a human being,
And perhaps an intelligent one,
Declaring that I have too much soul for Atheism,
Too much destructive foolheartedness,
Too much childhood grief,
For disbelief
Because I need something to pray to,
An energy field to commune with,
Something to make me moral, good
Better, at least, than my sins
Those marks I miss,
The lowering of consciousness
The denial of my status as a mind
Because I am capable of breaking my own heart,
Letting myself down entirely
But that’s not all that’s inside of me
I just need the light to see
To be me,
In a world gone mad
Families all sad
Self-loathing moms and dads
Cads,
Players,
Runners,
Fakers – oh and of course “haters”
Because you are so, like, important bro
Yeah, fuck those haters
Fuck Bitches Get Money
And Cash me Oussside
That’s rich –
These fucking baboons: humans
Religions and wars and never really knowing anyone other than those who approve of you
And divorce too,
The new death and taxes
But she and I are just orphans,
Still fight like cats and dogs,
Still cogs, grinding and churning,
In the chaos of this violent, sick machine
All of us neglecting the human,
In favor of some invisible archetype that moves America –
Some fucking young, rich, white asshole couple,
Persons we wouldn’t like but want to be like
And I hated when my parents said we were rich,
But there exists no poverty in my soul other than want,
Comparison –
Whiter teeth, nicer muscles, fewer wrinkles,
Harder, bigger erections,
So we can fuck the illusion of who we are into someone else,
Look at my worth, oh fuck, I’m gonna cum
But even I jerked off to a young french maid today,
Had sex three times today,
Needed to cleanse my mind of all the dust –
Watching my neighbor die,
Pills and late stage alcoholism,
Grown children he doesn’t know,
And at the end of the month,
Out of meds, no more Norcos,
Forced to turn to street drugs –
No religion,
No love,
No warm, sticky, juicy ass –
Fuck me you little maid,
Smoothie shop girl,
Petshop girl,
Yeah, I have crushes
But then I don’t follow those illusions down
Because they are shattered –
I am such a fucking human,
I like to smoke pot
When I drink, I drink too much
Then we both wake up sorry –
But there are no kids yet –
I’m barely even a fit parent for my own inner child
Fucking A,
I never knew how hard it was,
Just to genuinely like yourself
Just for two people with genuine, abiding love for one another to make it work
To withdraw your projections,
And see through your own masks,
And to proclaim your sorrows, your sweet sorrows, pains, for all to see
Asking, society, please support me –
Wanting nothing but to be an artist,
In a day and age,
When part-time, minimum wages,
Aren’t even livable –
And fuck the working class anyway,
You secure, self-righteous assholes!
Conscripting us all to it
And I haven’t seen the inside of the best buy in eons
Could barely afford ikea food –
Excluded by virtue of poverty from a lot of even just like basic friendships –
And why? Because I am a motherfucking writer
But it’s not as simple as just:
Accept poverty, take stupid job, tiny apartment, write
Life is complex,
“My whole youth was sharper than cleats”
And
I’ve had three failed businesses in the last year
Life didn’t get easy,
But there is no escaping me
The fact that I cannot live without god
Am unable to even be a decent, functioning human
And it’s not for rules,
Guilt never worked on me –
I am entirely ineligible for the Judeo-Christian gods –
Fox news watchers,
The lot of them
But I believe in a sentient, conscious energy,
And just for fun,
Let’s throw in my DMT fairy godmother of the soul watching over me –
My religion
A Gay movie of the week (No prejudi)
And me, wanting to feel
FAB, great
or, at least, loved
By myself,
Those I admire,
Not forgotten by the universe,
The one soul,
Reduced to life as pleasure in a hell
All because we are too fucking scared,
Afraid to decide,
Once and For All
Who we are –
Our relation to the big bang
Accepting that the world will turn on,
Largely ignorant, perhaps forever
Because humans are intrinsically plugged in, connected
Not to one another but to this fairly shitty matrix,
The degrading, decaying pull of economic demands –
But who the fuck can own the energy,
The land,
The airwaves,
Your loyalty
Your days and your life,
Just to shit in a toilet everyone else shits on,
All shitting, corporate persons, millionaires too
Just on nicer toilets than you,
And perhaps, not having to hold it in,
While the next person, whom you do not like,
Shits
And is probably in an unsatisfying relationship,
Or just life as a whole;
Person, please rate your experience of life:
‘Um, well, it has its moments’
And tell us:
What do you do for fun on your planet:
‘Get drunk, fuck,’
‘Pretend we aren’t all shitting on the same toilet’
Or, you are likely completely content –
Your car,
House,
Clothes,
The person you fuck,
Toilet you shit on
All some extension and advertisement of your success;
For society loves nothing more than the smells of youth, and beauty,
Consumerist as fuck
And we’re all conscripted
Because we weren’t born in a village;
In the fucking US of A,
You better figure the fuck out what you’re gonna do,
Just to keep the lights on,
Human sustenance being the chief concern of our day,
Not art,
Not love,
Not the transcendent richness of inner landscape; soul
Nah fam: wifi
You gotta have wifi
How else to jerk off,
Be entertained;
Hell, the world will not even provide you with basic thermodynamic regulation;
Shelter is insanely fucking expensive;
Income despairity is real;
Life is an overgrown high school,
Our president a fucking jerk off, ass hat
Oh, and pardon me if you disagree with that,
Yeah, he is a real noble man, sure
And the most popular guy in highschool was a specimen of human dignity too;
But life is lived like that;
Even quantifiable in social capital,
Likes, follows
What the fuck is this world even;
Get me out of USA;
Great country but also really fucking fucked;
The American being firstly, king jerk off;
Because morals are dead but religion somehow still thrives;
Fucking gutless, poor following bastards;
But it’s all in the name of god lol
Spare me the rod of clergy,
The doctrine of judgment;
I’d prefer wholeness,
My own religion;
With some super dope, poly threesomes
And art, sex, music being the chief forms of worship;
For my religion offers no personal god;
Just the all;
The field;
And not that verbal taint cunt brand of:
“Pure Potentiality”;
But something like that of an ideal village;
Inclusive yet respectful of human folly;
Working to reduce suffering in each individual;
Having Com-Passion;
With pain,
Thinking about health, food, shelter,
Before national fervor;
I’ve nothing but pity for those immigrants;
Their countries more torn, ravaged by dogma than our own;
But it’s all wretch and no vomit;
Because culture is a machine
The grinding, gnashing teeth;
Obsession with celebrity over virtue;
Not morals but virtue;
The ironic confession of a hedonistic, repressive collective
Vegas, baby, Vegas
Life: Get fucked like you want while pretending you care about other things;
But I go all too easy to nihilism;
Man, that savage beast with a noble soul:
Least moral of all animals
Mortal and obsessed with trivialities;
Blind to all realities but our own;
When we just want what we want:
Universe: let me write
Girlfriend: be sweet, nurturing, love
Family: thanks for accepting me,
No thanks for having left me to break this chain on my own;
Life is tough, this we know;
And I want to feel connected to something outside of this carnal carnival;
Something beyond;
Love beauty truth;
For I have suffered too much in not following the dictates of the soul entirely;
Now it declares:
Feed thy spirit, most noble poet;
Taste the fruits – yet
Follow a code;
Live with dignity,
Coloring beyond the lines;
But walking one,
Not breaking rules,
No harm, no malice, no bad “isms”
Where is that universal moral code;
Ethics speak to this;
But ethicists know they only observe,
Witnessing the carnival:
And all I want is her love;
My love;
Health;
Writing;
Peace,
A calm, serene soul;
A life before I am old,
And something more to behold,
Than my lonely juxtaposition before this absurd, mad, lost world
In my next life,
I want to live in a universe of my own making;
A world that protects my illusions;
In this Maya, this curious, callous thing,
The one that ate my dad and is eating my neighbor;
The nightmare of a faithless life;
And not simply a yes answer to the question of a personal god
But a working relationship with a transformational energy,
With religion as the myth for interpreting this relationship,
Albeit gone terribly wrong;
For when the Curate does not curate,
The souls of the parish die on the vine;
And I can no longer live without the divine;
The ever present energy for good:
Love –
Only love requires faith, hope,
Charity even – the com-passion with suffering
For life is tough,
And the tangibles of this plane simply aren’t enough;
So let’s figure this out –
Our prime task as humans consisting in the discovery and founding of our own religions;
The inner myths we need to make sense of this thing;
For I am no king,
Just me,
Person who doesn’t want to suffer;
Person who loathes religion and needs god,
The divine substance,
Love;
For nothing else will ever make sense of this crazy, fucked up world;
So find your god,
And if she doesn’t exist:
Invent her;
Because you need the connection to a force;
Something greater than your own illusions of importance;
You ungrateful, scared little man;
Taking the love for granted you do;
You must plant that love;
Cultivate it;
And nurture the light;
For life is a difficult test;
But it needn’t all be a fight,
A struggle,
A long-road, running from loneliness;
That barren city in your soul,
Which begs for trust
Begs to be walked, hand in hand with your Beloved
The lonely shores of dreams,
Begging you to exit your head;
For they are all places in the heart,
Begging to be tread;
And yes, life is a scary, I know
But to live through the heart,
This is to know:
What you are;
Who you are;
And possibly, why you are here;
And the godless alternative is hell,
The separation from light;
The metaphor for that never ending noche negra de su alma,
Cuando todo esta mal y feo
Pero, you have this other option,
This lovely, sacred road
It only requires you think with heart and live with soul,
Releasing yourself from the prison of ego,
And living, Connected to the all, as much as anyone else,
And comforted by a field,
That is yourself,
Here and there too;
But never fearing,
For you are awake to all the divine in you,
And you can feel that life has meaning, purpose, sense, passion, love, spirit –
And no matter how far you feel from this,
You’re always right there,
Near it,
Centered,
Calm,
Serene,
Loved.

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Ranting on Those Bastard Collective Neurosis: Religion and Spirituality

I’m not going to lie: I have spent fifteen minutes attempting to open this entry. 

Here goes nothing world, Lawrence Black now contributes his metaphysical phislosophies to the pithy sum of all religious and spiritual thought. Godspeed, Sir Black. 

That, unfortunately, was the best I could do. It is difficult to write about your spirituality: in a sense, it is akin to explaining your very philosophy of life – like who can do that; I view both spirituality and religion to be a kind of neurotic thing best kept to oneself. 

It was Pablo Neruda who described religion as a “collective neurosis”, which I just loved, because, to me, religion is essentially a complex like any on this list. Perhaps even the most complex of all complexes; I mean, we aren’t just talking mere narccicism or incestual fantasy – to cite two common complexes – no, we are talking imaginary being in the sky who sees you masturbate.

Now, just calm the fuck down Murica – we know you love your Jesus and your Trump – I’m just saying, in my opinion, that religion shit is fucked up. 

How – I don’t know – try this: try and imagine you care about things like equality, reason, free will, and science. And if you don’t, well, then religion is perfect for you. 

Not that I don’t find moral, intellectual, and literary value in various world religions – I have a good two feet of bookcase occupied by them – they just aren’t valid philosophies of life for me; in short, the collective neurosis of religion is not my cuppa. This, however, does not mean I don’t think man has a soul, or that there isn’t more that just the physical universe;  I have, after all, smoked me some fucking DMT. 

#thatshitkray

Point being, there is definitely a spiritual aspect to my life – and by spiritual, I refer to pantheism, synchronicity, psychedelics, intuition, the unconscious, love, dreams, the imagination, mythology, and the bigger workings of my sense of destiny, which guides me; however, I try to stay as far from spirituality as possible, and by spirituality I mean that other collective neurosis that we call “New age”. 

You’ve know them: those annoying suburban-troglodytes who seem to live by the mantra of “See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil”; unless of course, the topic is GMOs or The Ego, which they, of course, themselves, do not have – on account of, you know, being so spiritual and shit. I am satirizing, but I really seriously hate these fuckers. Okay maybe not really, but I don’t like that spirituality has, in a sense, become just another religion, full of it’s own dogma, only, it’s not Jesus and God but consciousness and the divine.

Now, I realize that the entire point of spirituality is having your own experience; however, I see a lot of “spiritual people” having what seemingly amounts to the same experience. Hell, go to any Whole Foods and you’ll see many of those spiritual types practically have the same lives. 

I’m ranting; but, for me, what it boils down to, is that religion and spirituality ultimately provide limiting paradigms for my model of consciousness; for that is the only point of these things: models for life. Sure, Jesus is one – if you want to worship your Dad’s favorite son who died nailed to a cross because you are a born in sin piece of shit who wants to live in guilt before you burn forever or go to heaven, who knows. 

I’m entertaining myself, still ranting, but I have written this far because I want and deserve my own model, where I can live from my spirit and my soul without saying all is one, or even believing in an afterlife. 

I forgot who said it, but the quote goes something like, there ought to be as many religions as there are people. 

And I agree. Because if my God doesn’t exist, he should. 

What, you didn’t really think I was actually going to tell you what I believe, did you? Maybe in a part 2. 

Postscript:

I recognize I made a bit of a semantic argument about spirituality, without outlaying any actual ontological views, which is fine; however, I am really hoping after my next slumber, I awake inspired to map out something akin to my own spirituality – even if only as a record for myself as thirty-one years old. After all, my spiritually has evolved for as long as it has existed, and it will continue to for as long as I do. Just remember: the moment someone else has all the answers, you are the sucker. And I, for one, would rather risk manufacturing my own illusions, than to blindly follow another’s. 

Meditations Session Ten: Trusting Life and Going Into Fulfilment Through the Care of Mind, Body, and Soul for Happiness and Love

Preface

This week was trying on account of two factors. Firstly, I turned thirty-one. And, for me, birthdays always cause me to step back and evaluate my life in a very objective, measured way, which is something I typically don’t do in my day-to-day life; however, when you reach a milestone, such as a birthday, you are forced to say: “This is my life at thirty-one”. In short, my birthday arrived with a sobering tinge of inner melancholy – because hey, I’m not a billionaire yet and nor do I have my Nobel. A terrible shame, I know.

Secondly, Sarah left town for a week-long work trip, so I was faced with our first real separation, which was not unbearable; although, it had its moments.

So, I’m not crying woe is me or anything, but like any human, I live my life according to my hopes and dreams and fears.

As I said, it was a trying week – but the time alone was good, as this entry evidences.

What follows is a series of notes I took after meditating last night and choking down a small but vile dose of an ancient, sacred plant medicine.

Like all my meditations, these are verbatim, with any added notes in italics.


Meditations Session Ten: Trusting Life and Going into Fulfilment Through the Care of Mind, Body, and Soul For Happiness and Love

Note: I am not objective around others.

Just ask your authentic-self: is this healthy?

Forgive your mistakes, learn from pain; do the alchemy when your soul is in pain.

You need to learn from your pain, your mistakes, your habits.

Levels = evolution. Level up. Get comfortable.

Write the rules for your life.

Return to principles.

Life: likes vs. dislikes. As an activity to become more familiar with the self.

Keep life simple [Only the necessities.] This was inspired by the teachings of Epicurus, who advised his students to live life according only to the necessities of their well-being.

  1. Coffee
  2. Walk
  3. Breakfast
  4. Meditation
  5. Planning
  6. Work
  7. Lunch / Read
  8. Walk or Gym
  9. Work
  10. Dinner
  11. Walk
  12. Journal
  13. Read
  14. Meditation / Sleep

Sundays: Coffee shop / plan and review

Note: Withholding approval = power over others.

Don’t hold any thought the divine self doesn’t.

Think about how harshly you judge yourself (ego / judgements).

Practice non-judgement and loving-kindness on yourself.

Love is our highest word and the archetype for Love is God.

What we all need is Love, and most all of our problems arise from going about getting it in the wrong ways.

We have to embody our own God: to be the dad we didn’t get, the best friend we never had.

We have to be able to look to ourselves and trust ourselves.

All you need to be right now is the best 31 year old you. The rest will follow accordingly and work out too.

You have to not only trust in the future, but the past as well – [Honor Your Past]

If you’re gonna trust the future to deliver you from your past, you need to trust the past to deliver you to your future.

No one else can love you but you. They [people] make flattering mirrors, but ultimately we see only ourselves, our perspectives in them.

Quit looking in others for the mirror. For you can only see what’s already inside of you.

Reflect on the energy you want to feel in return.

You’re worthy of feeling great about yourself all the time.

If depressed, return to principles (Read your meditation notes).

Rest your mind, remain calm inside yourself.

Be calm: pure consciousness. Hold a calm, relaxed gaze, then follow your body’s physiology.

A spiritual life gives you the faith that your intention will manifest.

Faith = power of the Will.

Faith can only ever be in the self.

Confront fear and dispel it moment by moment, as it arises.

Ego is not an enemy of God / Spirit.

Ego is not an enemy to faith, only to reason [Which absolute faith requires]

Don’t monitor the conversation in your head so much as stop having one.

If a man is to know himself, to live an intelligent life of reason, he must be willing to deduce from his feelings his beliefs, and from his beliefs pure reason, so that his habits and actions will follow.

To trust yourself is to live your own truth. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius. – Emerson

To trust yourself is to trust the will of life.

To attune to your inner intuition is not just to know how you are feeling in a given moment, but why.

You’ve gotta like yourself in order to be happy.

But you’ve also gotta be happy in order to like yourself. Welcome to the paradox of life you have lived in. Now live happy.

Love is the key to happiness and happiness is the key to love.

So, self-esteem = Love? Self-esteem = trusting life. It has brought me this far, this close.

Trusting life = being fully in the present moment, without fear, without judgement.

Being in the present moment = being happy and grateful.

Happy and grateful come from living well. Think well. Be well.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

Think well and be well.

Beliefs.

Believe in yourself.

Pure rationality.

Believe

Believe in yourself.

If you don’t, life’s going to be very hard – as it was.

You don’t need a God to believe in yourself. You just need to trust life.

And to trust life you just need to believe in yourself.

Life’s very scary if you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t trust yourself. It’s terrible.

You have free will. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Because a belief in a God won’t save you, but a belief in yourself will.

Trust you are here for a reason, and that you are perfect for the reason you are here.

Trust you haven’t suffered in vain.

Trust in Love.

Believe in Love; that is God; not the religion; not the creator – but the reason.

You’re here to Love.

This is what you are made of. Love.

You are not God. You are Love. God is perfect (Divine) Love.

You’re here to learn that. To live that. To be that. (Divine Love).

You’re day-to-day life should be designed to maximize the love you experience.

To have loved is to have lived.

And you are entirely worthy of abundant love.

Live it. Give it.

The Universe sends the Love you give back to you as happiness.

So too, the Love you withhold comes back as fear.

Choose to love rather than fear yourself – your existence, for they are one in the same.

“Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irreprehensible, transcendental factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing. The synchronicity phenomena point, it seems to me, in this direction, for they show that the nonpsychic can behave like the psychic, and vice versa, without there being any causal connection between them. ~ Carl Jung, “On the Nature of the Psyche”

Also, this: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/07/your-thoughts-do-not-create-your-reality-stupid/

also, this: https://www.livealifeyoulove.com/buddha-knew-law-of-attraction/

Most people fear life because they don’t trust it, and we fear what we do not trust in.

Fear comes from not trusting in the eternity of the soul; fear comes from being attached, from the idea of loss.

And I don’t know what is next, but I know this life isn’t permanent, so there really is nothing to fear.

“I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.” – Ayn Rand, Anthem

And it’s our thoughts that shape our experience of reality, our highs and lows.

So we should think the thoughts of the reality we desire to experience.

I am calm. I am comfortable. I am at peace.

Because all we ever have is now to experience it.

So match the thought to the feeling, the feeling to the action, and the action to the desired feeling.

There is a reason humans have thoughts.

So we can feel our experience with them.

And if you don’t believe that you control your thoughts and feelings, then you don’t trust yourself.

So trust yourself. Trust your experience of reality, but also understand that you are the creator.

For if you didn’t believe your thoughts had any influence, you would’t listen to them.

So why do we listen to our own thoughts?

Well, some of them actually feel really good.

It’s the thoughts that don’t, which make us unhappy, that trouble us.

So why do we continue listening to the thoughts that trouble us?

Because the mind – the unconscious – where thought is processed and translated into feeling, this mind does not distinguish between good and bad thoughts, happy and sad feeling. It just feeds the thought into the unconscious to be processed.

The filter is the conscious mind. It’s where we have the ability to say yes or no.

And this filter follows the dictums of the soul, where the will resides.

However, we lose touch with our souls, our wills, and we become slaves living unconscious lives.

We must endeavor to live consciously, healthily.

We must care for our bodies and our souls if we are to have happy and healthy minds.

And that choice is ours.

So go to that yoga class together.

And if you don’t have someone, go alone, and you may meet someone.

That’s why we’re here after all: Love.

So why don’t we love our own minds, bodies, and souls more?

I suppose we don’t always make that a priority.

We don’t understand the mind, body, soul connection as the ancients did, that and or we don’t value our minds, bodies, and souls more.

Why? We value other shit.

Why? Because society has told us that feeling cool is more important than feeling good.

Why? Money. Pleasure, unlike fulfillment, is marketable. Because pleasure is instant, whereas fulfillment actually takes time.

But pain is here for many. And humans would rather feel good than bad.

So they make unhealthy decisions, whether it’s eating or drinking, and these things ultimately cost us our wellbeing.

So what must we do?

Love ourselves more. Care about other shit less. Or at least realize how important lifestyle is to happiness.

Because if we aren’t choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, we are screwing our happiness.

Which no rational person would do – were they not living in a society that places other things above happiness.

Because in the modern world we live in, you can buy pleasure but you cannot buy happiness, because happiness comes from the fulfillment of our thoughts (Into their physical reality).

And you can pay for some guru or life coach to tell you this OR you can just know it to be true in your heart.

But maybe your heart has been silenced by a mind and body too tired, too out of tune to connect to the soul and listen.

So RAISE YOUR VIBRATIONS !!

Maybe it’s surfing. Maybe it’s Yoga. Diet, water, exercise. Basically being a healthy human that gets into flow, that lives an actualized life.

Which, you haven’t been entirely… (Or much at all)

So step your game up.

Quit limiting yourself like a fucking retard idiot.

So choose to love yourself in your thoughts and resultant lifestyle choices.

Choose to trust that you’ll make it through not only without those unhealthy crutches, but because you went without, because you choose to nourish your mind, body, and soul out of love rather than fear.


Post Script

It’s only by the providence of synchronicity by which I have become the man I am today, and I have no doubt that at thirty one these lessons are precisely what I need to take my life to the next level.

Looking back, I see that when I lived in a manner that followed the habits of happy, healthy people, I too was happy and healthy. But, of course, our vices are a great comfort to us, whether it be junk food or junk substances, and, as I have outlined above, I think these things cause us to numb ourselves, and consequently numb our connection to our souls, our inner will, where the directng voice of consciousness resides.

It’s not by coincidence that spiritually actualized people live healthy lives and value their minds, bodies, and souls. Lord knows that someone who is relying on the comfort of their vices is by no means happy. They’re just afraid of losing that comforting crutch because they are in pain and they want a solution now, but it only makes it worse and actually perpetuates as addiction.

As the ancient maxim goes, the mind is a terrible master but an excellent slave; however, we must remain conscious in order to have mastery of our minds. We must be able to direct ourselves from that inner voice of the will.

I know after this experience that I absolutely must take care of my mind, body, and soul in a manner that allows me to remain connected to my inner voice.

And I know modern life doesn’t revolve around these things, but it’s your fucking life. Start living it rationally, for nothing is more important than your health and happiness.

As the ancient Stoics believed: virtue alone was sufficient for happiness. I finally understand this at a deep level. Lord knows, I already knew that vice alone was sufficient for misery.

In short, trust life. Trust yourself. Love yourself. And care for your soul. That means physical practices. You don’t want to live life like a lab rat, addicted to fats and other chemicals. That’s not wellbeing. That’s comforting your fear with pleasure, rather than trusting life and going into fulfillment.

To Thine Own Self

I recently heard a well intentioned, albeit misattributed quote in a film, about how families always rising and falling in America. 

Perhaps this was more true in the days of Natahanial Hawthorne, who wrote in The House of Seven Gables of the Maule family as:

“…generally poverty-stricken; always plebeian and obscure; working with unsuccessful diligence …”

So too is the fate of many who are born and die in my day – and if not poverty stricken then debt stricken, and most certainly plebeian and obscure in their unsuccessful diligence. 

The American Dream is the idea of rising up from obscurity – from plebe to proprietor. This is the theme of many a musical. How ironic that those who pretend to live in a casteless society dream of rising above their own. 

Of course, not everyone wants or even believes in such a story for themselves. Many simply want more than they grew up with, which, ironically again, is precisely what their parents wished for them: a better life. Now, whether better means having a different emblem on your automobile, or simply having enough every month, well, this is something that follows according to each individual’s family history. Funny how ambition so often works that way. 

For me, I would dare say I am not in contest with the past, for there is no contesting; we had nothing. My scorecard is thusly not against the past but against the time and pressure of those who I wish to have as peers (More on that [peers] in a moment).

Were I a different person I might find myself content to remain in my present station in life, as one who has the ability to successfully get by according to the American standard. But, thank Caesar, I am not; however, I cannot deny the difficulty of rising above ones station. People are like crabs in a bucket: eager to pull their own kind back in as soon as one attempts to make a way out. 

Emerson wrote, “A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.” How sadly true this is, as anyone knows who has ever lost friends according to growth. As water seeks its own level men seek their own kind; for man is, by and large, the average of his closest friends. So it is, our peers define us more than we know, and – for better or for worse – a man’s peers are his equals.  

And to what end this game amongst the choirs of our friends is played, well, this, my dear reader, is up to you. You may be a weekend warrior or your own hero. And you may moralize and rationalize your reasons all you wish, but beware you do not deceive yourself. There is not much satisfaction, in my experience, in living the kind of life in which one lives in secret discontent. It’s a kind of false life where nothing seems right. 

And maybe this is all arising because I am thirty, the age in which, in the words of Albert Camus, a man takes his place in time. 

Likewise and during every day of an unillustrious life, time carries us. But a moment always comes when we have to carry it. We live on the future: “tomorrow,” “later on,” “when you have made your way,” “you will understand when you are old enough.” Such irrelevancies are wonderful, for, after all, it’s a matter of dying. Yet a day comes when a man notices or says that he is thirty. Thus he asserts his youth. But simultaneously he situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it. That revolt of the flesh is the absurd. – Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

So it is, the fire beneath my balls, so to speak, has been lit. 

Emerson too writes of a similar realization, whence a man must take responsibility both for what he is and  who he wishes to be. 

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance: that imitation is suicide: that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion: that through the wide universe is full of good, no kernal of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. – Emerson, Self Reliance 

And here I sit, almost thirty one, knowing that what I am to be rests in my hands. 

Not the world, nor my family can ever – nor ever has – applied any pressure for me to be any certain thing. 

Besides, externals do not motivate me. After all, you may find amongst any number of successful men myriad reasons for their accomplishments in life – as you too may find excuses for failure as vast and varied amongst their counterparts. 

I can safely say that none of my known forebearers lived exceptionally successful, satisfying, nor contented lives. Why this is, well, it might have something to do with being Irish, but I would argue more it has something to do with the guilt and shame passed down upon the people by the church, which, in my opinion, was only ever established to produce and control obedient slaves. 

This may seem offhanded reasoning but I view consciousness as a sort of computer in which the highest commands are followed. Of course, I do not mean to say there don’t exist highly successful religious persons, but I neither suppose my ancestors were quite fervent in their beliefs – merely oppressed by them. 

It pains me we are not raised to be the heroes of our own stories but, rather, are raised to worship martyrs. 

Now, whether any of this makes a modicum of sense to anyone outside of myself or my Sarah, I care not. This blog is my blackboard and I shall do as a wordsmith does in formulating his own equations. 

Nothing against Jesus, I have no doubt he was the most awesome hippie of his day, but I was not born in sin, nor shall I die of it. 

As I recently read, religion is for those who believe in hell, spirituality is for those who have already been there. 

I’m just saying, you make your bets as your have and live your life as you will, but I will make my paradise on earth. 

And to that end, what motivates me?

The answer to this my friend, has nothing to do with good or bad, which, I suspect, is what stops many from ever following their bliss. All I know personally, is that they who live most truly in the shadow of guilt will never find their deliverance. Repression is the passage and pathway to hell. And no, I’m no hedonist – but I am far less of a Stoic than I have been in past years.

And this is merely called evolution. 

I will always be a Stoic, carrying forth the mental fortitude imparted to me by such philosophers as Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, but to allow a single school of thought to rule over you, be it Catholocism or Liberalism, this is a crime against your own mind. 

I was taught to be objective and to think for myself by a wonderful psych professor, and that torch was set ablaze and further carried forth by a book I read this past year. In The Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Garner tells the story of how he was invited by a friend to attend a seminar, in which he found the teachings both demeaning and manipulative [Read my other entry on the same anecdote, here].

As he [The author] goes on to say: “That little experiment proved to me that I didn’t need other doctrines to enlighten me. But Bill kept on searching.”

The author then tells how that same friend (Bill) went on to follow a charismatic leader to Jonestown, where eventually he and 900 other followers drank cyanide laced kool-aid in what is know today as the Jonestown Massacre. 

Not that your pursuit of enlightenment – be it in Yoga or Jesus or Buddah – will end as tragically, but what’s to say some don’t give their lives up to someone else’s teachings just the same. 

I recognize I have digressed a bit, but to return to my point, I will say that in a perfect world there will be as many religions as there are people, and I should hope they might find themselves as Gods – not to worship, but to believe in. 

If you are not the hero of your own story, after all, what the fuck are you?

What do you believe in? Goodness and beauty and truth? Welcome to the club, but I’m sorry, those are not absolutes.

Under those same auspices countless people are persecuted and killed, as they have been by churches, doctrines, and other crusaders for millennia. 

You must find your own way. 

To grow up and gemnate your own goodness, beauty, and truth, you must realize that no one has the answers but you. 

And do some need religions and doctrines and leaders as moral guides? Perhaps. The ruling class thought so for ages. 

Today I think that by the virtue of the Western justice system (Something that will continually improve as it has) and via the effectiveness of the collective consciousness via global media, people have found new guides, new benchmarks for behavior. These, of course, largely serve capitalism rather than the individual, but the point being, the old gods are dying. Now, sadly, also I also think the inroads to the soul are passing along with them, but for me this is where spirituality picks up the ashes of religion, and the individual can – in many ways for the first time – live as the only the individual ought: freely and happily. 

Everyone believes in something – everyone worships something. 

As David Foster Wallace said in his famous Kenyon College graduation speech, This is Water:

The only thing that is capital T true is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship…

Because here’s something else that’s true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship-be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles-is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things-if they are where you tap real meaning in life-then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already-it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power-you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart-you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.

Unfortunately, the speaker of these words had fought a decades long battle with depression, which ended when he hung himself, but he had a point. 

The problem is – I think – is that we worship what we are externally programmed to, rather than what we are internally aligned with. 

Personally, I worship experiences that either make my heart sing or my balls tingle a little bit. Things that make me happy. 

How this works out for me, history will tell, but I am happy and I am free. So, as it stands at thirty and 98% of thirty-one, I would say fabulously. 

And to close, I will honestly say that I have written this pretty much entirely for myself, but should it resonate with you, I implore you to find those things that make you happy, other opinions be damned. 

To thine own self be true.