Sometimes my joy is interrupted,
When I want to share it with someone.
Silly, happy things:
The gravity bong I made tonight –
So fucking ace.
I come here to do ‘word-processing’, to let my thoughts congeal into coherence – whereafter, I will feel I have achieved something important (For I will have); where I once journaled in lengthy prose, my notebooks these days are filled with jottings – mostly single ideas of varying yet significant importance. That said, the important stuff always goes here – and it’s not that I come here, to this space, with pre-formed ideas: I come here with a bug, an itch to write; for without writing, a mind like mine would go to waste: I need to dump the data somewhere.
I haven’t written prose style, like this, in awhile. But, in my experience, the longer it has been, the more personally significant my writing seems to be.
A lot has transpired; however, the details are not important – the exterior things were mere events; borrowing the stoic maxim, we can be reminded that, it is not things, but our opinion of them that matters.
I understand I possess a big future: I know this from my dreams and plans – what I call my ‘sense of destiny’.
So, here I am to claim it, to follow the dictates of a clean, bright soul, and in doing so, to release myself from the animalistic darkside I’ve so long been owned by.
As the former-slave philosopher Epictetus reminds us, “No man is free who is not master of himself.”
Only, my previous attempts at self-mastery were too small-minded – I didn’t possess the requisite conception of myself needed to level-up; frankly, I lacked an endgame big enough for me to get the balls rolling.
Now I know what I am, what I am to be. And it’s nothing shallow – it’s a real valid purpose for a valid life.
Those smaller end-games I played before were never meant to be won: they were just data, experiences I needed to live in order to aggregate understanding. As is said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
My teachers are those who show me how to care for myself, how to live in ways I never learned, how to love myself and others. And it’s working.
Before getting this far in life, I was closed – my brain, my emotions, my attitudes and judgements were all automatic: unconscious.
Through my recent experiences and interactions, I’ve gained the ability to truly look ahead – and not just three or five years, but fifteen and twenty.
But this is not as simple as just re-writing my instagram (@wolfwaldoblack) bio; as I have learned (and forgotten), the journey must be lived.
But what does it mean to “live the journey”?
Your mind, your heart, must be open. Trust you must (Yoda voice).
As Gary Vaynerchuck once said, “People are the people who are going to help you.”
It’s taken me thirty-two plus years to trust people – to not be blindly naive. For we must learn to be wise as serpents and innocent [harmless] as doves. This means listening to the heart’s intuitive intelligence (Thank you HeartMath Institute).
However, in order for us to be aligned within and without, we need to follow some guidelines:
- We must trust ourselves abidingly: Listen to your inner voice, no matter how faint it is.
- We must listen to our instincts about others – no matter how much we would like to believe otherwise. People, like life, are complex – don’t reduce them to simplicities.
- We must maintain health: without proper sleep, diet, self-care, and exercise / activity, we are not fully alive. These things connect us to ourselves as much as their absence disconnects us from ourselves. Live well to be well. Drink lots of water, eat real food, and get plenty of sun. Health is the greatest single investment you can make.
- We must live the journey: understanding is not something unlocked all at once and then laid to rest forever; it is our curiosities we must follow, trusting we have what it takes to get to the next level. Trust the journey, trust the process.
- We mustn’t let our fears impede or direct us – fear is often just the unknown; however, life is change. In the words of Heraclitus, “No man steps in the same river twice.” Be comfortable with change – nothing to fear in growth (Movement towards freedom).
- We mustn’t lose the plot – the story we have built around who we are. Know your worth, believe in yourself.
- We must surround ourselves with persons we would like to be like – not with those whom we break our own sacred trust in ourselves to be with. Get cliqued up. Build your team, no matter how slowly. Surround yourselves with those you can trust.
- We must be secure in ourselves – insecurity is a type of madness in which the human being is no longer on their own side. Feel good about who you are, and the life you are living.
- Appearances matter – do not be insecure but don’t be the Big Lebowski. Take care your appearance, take pride in your image – it’s the thing people who don’t know you will judge you on first.
- Have a routine: as much as you loathe this idea (Based on past “routines” – see Navy), you need to establish a routine in order to build habits. Habits are what are going to take you to the top. Design a routine around your goals.
- Set goals, from as near as today, through as far as you can envision. Your goals today should be taking you toward your goals for someday.
- Set your own limits. The system creates small minded thinkers, and most families unknowingly raise their children to be small minded. It’s a cycle you can break. Be determined to set your ow limits.
- Do not be an island. Do not isolate from the world. If you need help, get it. Count on those in whom your heart trusts to help you.
- Don’t accept bullshit. People will throw all kinds of shit your way, but only what you can take – the bullshit stops with healthy boundaries.
- Know your goodness. You were not born in sin, you were born a baby, then you were a child. Do not forget the goodness in your childlike heart – it’s still there.
- Be self-sufficient. It’s good to have a network, but do not expect other people to do your work for you – or even to show you how. You are capable. Do not ask of another what is yours to do. Be self-reliant.
- Be aware of what you feed your brain. There’s a reason it’s called television “programming”. Also, don’t watch the news – as Peter Diamandis taught me, the news is designed to activate the fear center of the brain – the amygdala – creating an addiction. Instead, follow the people / organizations that resonate with you. Or just live and don’t follow anything at all.
- Chill out / cut back on social media. Social media is the new collective consciousness. It worships shallow, vapid people, and it feeds into the cycle of insecurity so many people live in. Want fame on social media? Do shit. Write the books. As the ancient maxim goes, to be rather than to seem.
- Be there for your family. They need you and you need them more than you know.
- Be resilient: don’t let a long day or being tired drag you down into a funk.
- Be patient. Patience will get you there. Patience is like a wise oracle – it trusts what only the mind can see, for now.
- Have fun – this is maybe the most important one. In the words of Bob Marley, “Lively up yourself and don’t be no dread.” Never underestimate the power of positive emotions.
- And, lastly, follow your heart. Explore what you are called to. For me it was / is books. Everything else came from there.
This list is by no means exhaustive – but it’s what I need right now. I now rejoin life with a heart that’s a bit more free and pure. And with that increased freedom, my imagination will soar – and with it, myself.
Because the time is now. #ontrack
“I wake up every morning and check if I am in a state of grace,” a 31 year-old Leonard Cohen told an interviewer in 1965.
Every morning of your life, you choose whether your soul is in a state of grace or not. Now, whether or not this is a conscious choice is up to you.
For me, the grace of my soul requires no more than that I choose to live consciously: choosing to be happy – choosing to be excited about MY life – choosing to affirm the gratitude I have for the opportunities that are mine to seize TODAY.
In the words of a young Leonard Cohen: “There are dreams of glory whispering through the wires of my spine.”
I want this everyday.
This is called “a can’t lose attitude”.
Put simply: your wellbeing is your choice; you can have it everyday.
Happiness isn’t the result of a good life but the cause of one.
And while we live in a world of thermometers – people who reflect their environment – YOU CAN be a thermostat – controlling your own; for we are either kings or pawns in this life (Alexander Dumas).
As the ancient proverb reminds us: “The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.”
Remember this; wrap your mind around it; marinate on it.
As I have reinterpreted it: happiness isn’t the result of a good life but the cause of one.
And whether I know all this stuff already or not – and no matter how much I have written it – I will never stop reminding myself of the core tenets that comprise the bedrock of my life and my wellbeing.
If you don’t choose your beliefs about yourself – if you aren’t consciously choosing your beliefs about your relationship to today – they will exist independently of your own power.
And trust me, if you are relying on anything outside of yourself for your wellbeing, you are playing a risky game.
Last time I checked, this world was not exactly in a state of grace. And while that’s unfortunate, it is not in my power nor in my duty to control (Footnote 1/1).
What I know is that I can choose to live in a state of grace REGARDLESS of what happens or has happened in my life; for I rely on that impenetrable thing Emerson referred to as “self-reliance”.
And while it requires a bit more courage, life is far better lived from the saddle than in the carriage.
So giddyup and exercise your will, for that is what you are here to do.
From get up or get ye/thee up.
Footnote 1: There is absolutley nothing wrong with knowing in your heart of hearts that you are a bit better than this savage world you were born into: for it’s a Trump America and the inmates are officially running the asylum.
Four weeks and two days ago, I left the city that never loved me; for I had to leave: I had to fall deeper, further into love – and closer to a pattern of life befitting a serious writer.
Sarah, life partner and best friend she is, naturally loved the idea of living in the woods for a year with me. It was, after all, our idea.
But it wasn’t our first idea; we were planning to move to LA – only fate would have it otherwise, and our plans would change just a week before we were slated to take up residence in a cheap AirBNB in LA for two weeks (Giving us enough time to find a permanent residence).
It was a solid plan, but it just didn’t feel right.
So, sitting in bed together, as we are now, Sarah doing her thing, me mine, we began to discuss the idea of somewhere not LA.
Price was a big factor. Frankly, we wanted a home.
A day or two before, I had looked on Craigslist at homes in a handful of rural Midwest cities. The prices made me swoon; however – besides the fact I had already done the Midwest – I knew it wasn’t in the cards. Call it inner voice. As I said to Sarah last night, all my biggest mistakes have been the result of listening to other people. Today, I listen to me. Fuck you.
So we zoomed out on google maps in bed that evening: looking first in South LA, then east toward Nevada, then north to the Oregon border, until finally – after the longest thirty minutes of our life – we landed on a small Califonia mountain town, and then something magical happened: we got excited.
Why? I don’t know. It was just the right place. Something inside us felt calm. Just the way it feels to be here this evening, looking out our bedroom across the deck and onto the National Forest.
We came here from a small apartment where we had barely managed to stay together through the newness of our relationship. We truthfully were barely sure of what we were doing.
But we did it.
We drove up on a Friday to see the place, returning directly to pack our entire apartment on the following Saturday, and then, four Sundays ago, we towed our car behind a uhaul up here, which was an adventure in itself.
We blew a tire. We had to stop to load a double stainless fridge into the uhaul in 110 degree heat, and we had barely slept for two days.
Our relationship was road tested on the trip up. Lord knows it had been battle tested in the city where we met. In that tiny apartment. Those fucked up people. That city. San-dago: you fucking overhyped transplant filled millennial shithole.
Needless to say, we are happier here. Much.
Sarah quit her job. I got my writing room. And we both get to call the first true house we have ever lived in together, home.
It has been an incredible experience these four weeks, full of stories I will be sharing soon in the form of a collection of non-fiction episodes published here.
This weekend we will be hosting the first of a series of guests scheduled to visit us, and we look forward to firing up the BBQ, looking up at the stars, and thinking back on the darkest nights. Nights when moving to the woods to write novels was only a dream. Nights when we had nothing but each other and a dream.
And LA, it will still be there. Waiting for me to arrive. Waiting for my stories. Waiting on the day when we take up part time residence – our cabin here waiting for us. Because we live in the woods now. Because this is home.
Writer, Businessman, Poet, Lover, Man,
All that I ever was all along,
All that I feared I would never be
Funny how I ever thought I wouldn’t become me
Funny how the wild things, once teeming with wild dreams,
Now whisper their secrets to me –
What other myth could I live.
In my darkest days I slept till three.
What more need I say; I was very depressed.
Today, when I think about that period in my life, I recall Rollo May’s description of depression as: ” …the inability to see or construct a future.”
And I couldn’t. I couldn’t let. go. I couldn’t see myself outside of my first two loves; as Drake sings on Views: If I ever loved ya, I’ll always love ya. And that was terribly toxic for me, because I didn’t love myself. So, I spent a lot of time feeling essentially incomplete: as if I had failed to live up to my dreams, and all that was left was the past, which I ached for.
Thankfuck, time truly does heal all.
I just didn’t know it would take so many years, but it did; however, it wasn’t the past that healed: it was me. It was me letting the false parts of me suffer until I shed them, and it was gaining the crystal clear picture of my identity I have today.
And it took so many years for me to get here, because I had so much unpacking to do; I had so much grief to face. But in that grief, I fell into life and I found that I could be there for myself: even in my darkest hour in the smallest ways. And in learning to be there for myself, I got to discover who I was.
And the funny part is, that beneath all the fear of not becoming who I wanted to be, there was a person who just wanted to peacefully coexist with his dreams. That’s all. No trouble. No drama; I just wanted to make awesome things happen, but I was full of excuses to keep suffering instead.
I can finally see that, now that I am no longer living in the unconscious grip of the myth that things had been unfortunate for me. Today, I no longer feel sorry for myself. And now that I no longer pity myself, I no longer have to live with the pain of what felt like irreconcilable burden of sorrow.
It was my personal hell – my world of mirrors and fears – but I just didn’t know any better growing up. And I say growing up, because I was growing up the past few years, and in particular the past twelve months. Today, I’m still growing, but life has come full circle. I’m whole and growing. I’m upgraded; on a new level. The heroes journey has led me to the wilderness and back.
Today I know what lays within me may also lay before me, and I know who I am can never be taken away from me.
For not even the past is irreconcilable. After all, it is only in reconciling with future and past that we may find peace in our present lives. This is the power of personal mythology. When you change the way you see things, you change, you begin to grow. And when you take command of your story, it really begins.
So, I go: onward. And I’m excited about life, as I have never been, because in the sometimes apropos words of Kanye West: “My life is dope and I do dope shit.”
What other myth than that would you want to live. What other myth could you live than your own.
This is your life, so work with what you’ve got and control what you may, but give your all.
Believe in yourself.
Trust that life will get out of the way and allow your will to be done.
These are only a few of my truths, but they’re all I need. They’re all I need.
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.
- Lunch / Read
- Walk or Gym
- 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.
Believe in yourself.
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
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.
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.
I begin my thirty-first trip around the sun in seven days.
Trip being the key word.
Life is indeed – if you open to it – it’s a great trip. Fantastic, magical.
Never thought I would grow into something different than I was at twenty-two. I was so naive back then. But that’s how naivete works. No one knows they’re naive.
Back then and ever since I thought I was all I would be.
I was a guy who thought my story was over.
How wrong I was.
I would go on, as I predicted hopefully in my poems, to fall in love again.
This girl would be, is, the one.
The one who lets me be exactly who I am, who gave me that divine feminine allowing space to continue discovering myself.
I’m quieter now.
The things I want, I want more.
Anything standing in the way, I want less.
I trust in the things I have learned, preferring psychedelics to analgesics.
Pleasure to pain.
Solitude to society.
I’m confident, supremely.
And frankly, I don’t have much to say.
Just the steadfast things I believe in:
Trust in yourself.
Forgive – but also condemn those who have fucked you over – those who took advantage of your kindness and naivate.
Accept that you did not know any better and that the past could not have been any different.
Know and like yourself.
Spend time alone.
Let go of guilt.
Let old gods and myths die in favor of those you yourself build.
Design your own religion. Be faithful to something. Truth, beauty, goodness. Kindness.
Know that happiness is not the result of a good life – but the cause of one.
Just decide and make your life what you want.
Know thyself, trust thyself, respect thyself, honor thyself.
Be kind, be kind, be kind.
Appreciate your aesthetic merit.
Choose your own morals.
Have hot sex.
Take care of your body.
Know that the eyes are the window of the soul, and others will see you, will feel you in them – no matter how hard you try to mask your insecurities. They will see you. So get a firm hold on your own truths, and do not waver or doubt them. Know what is true for you in your heart of hearts. Decide your consciousness. Direct your thoughts.
Before I commence the purpose for which I have set to write upon tonight, I wish to offer a caveat; you see, I was recently told by a dear acquaintance that my writing was good,’…although I sometimes rambled.’ And while I call myself a writer, it is not under the banner of my blog that I do so. This blog is all a letter to myself, a journal, a message in a bottle to future self and progeny. And aside from occasional trysts with poetry, I do not pretend any of this is art – nor do I represent it as such; however, as someone who owns books containing the private letters of some of my favorite writers (Published postmortem), I know that a writer will be judged by his words as well as his works.
That said, I wish to be appraised as a writer upon my coming works of fiction, which, aside from my Love and my Family, my life is dedicated to.
So if I ramble, I make no apologies for it; for I think it the most natural thing in the world.
Vanities and insecurities aside, I am sitting down to write tonight to put the past where it belongs.
A few days ago, while laying in bed on a lazy Saturday day, I turned to Sarah, and asked her to look up the definition of “A sunk cost”. From whence this idea came, I knew not (At the time); however, in the particular state of consciousness I was in, I felt it pertinent to pay attention to what had arisen in my psyche from the depths within.
A sunk cost, we discovered, is a finance term denoting a cost, which, once incurred, is irrecoverable and therefore should not be considered when making future decisions.
I immediately connected the dots in my psyche to the past; for what is the past but something we cannot recover and therefore should not be considered when making future decisions.
For what is the past but something we cannot recover and therefore should not be considered when making future decisions.
A few days later, after coffee, conversation, and dessert, Sarah and I walked around the neighborhood where we had ventured to spend our evening, and I suddenly realized where I had come across the concept of a sunk cost.
In my favorite poem, Bygones, Marina Keegan wrote:
The middle of the universe is here, is tonight,
And everything behind is a sunk cost
Lost in our oceans and our oceans are deep.
We looked up the poem on the spot and the above verse confirmed the dots my unconscious mind had remembered – words, which until then had no conscious meaning to me.
Only before connecting these dots, I had no proper metaphor for letting bygones be bygones.
But once I did, I realized the past was all a sunk cost.
And, unlike Faulker wrote in Requiem For a Nun, of the past being “not even past”, I realized the past was dead, kept alive until then, until now, by the idea that it somehow could be recovered, ala Jay Gatz.
And now, I know that it is simply a sunk cost – and therefore should not be considered for future decision making.
How I wished I had learned this sooner. But, I did not.
So tomorrow I will awake knowing that today is a sunk cost.
Irrecoverable, but not lost. Forgotten perhaps, but not lost.
And there is nothing sad in this; for I am happy. Today and since quite long. But I know now that everything behind is a sunk cost.
So with that, I can let bygones be bygones.
What can I say: I’m good.
I used to write with another muse in mind – I used to live that way: constantly hoping to live up to some arbitrary measure; always insufficient for my estimations of myself, and always short of her’s.
Only, today, now, I dissappoint no one; for this is who I am, and I am loved for it – by myself and by the one I love in turn.
But it was not love that saved me, it was me – my desire for my own [love], which I earned, and which in turn earned me another’s.
But this is not a love song; this is my life.
The cowboy poet, finding his way home, dreaming of horses and a tree lined drive where I will lay me down beside the one I dream with.
This is our fairytale.
And we have fun in our happiness.
You see, neither of us pretend nor try to be anything we are not. In fact, I’d venture to say we like ourselves pretty damn genuinely.
We’ve been reading Ricketts’ and Steinbeck’s prosaic and philosophy laden Log From The Sea of Cortez together lately, and in it Ed Ricketts describes a donkey whom he discovers doesn’t directly dislike him so much as he [the donkey] suffers from “…a sour eye for the world”. And so it is, most opinions of us – including our own – stem from our sour eye for the world, and thus we are condemned by the very thing which might free us: our perception.
I think for a long time I felt that projection was always something that was inside out, meaning my perception of myself as something that reflected outward, but I don’t think so anymore. The donkey with the sour eye for the world has begged the question for me of whether the view of the self or the view of the world is a greater influence on ones perception – and I argue the latter, for it was only when I saw through the veil of perception that I was able to form a healthy inner reality (Or disposition if you will), and a true liking of myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to burn the world down and sow these wild oats from time to time, but greener pastures call.
And I’ve come a long way from sowing the seeds of my own destruction – from seeing through that sour eye I once thought normal.
But today I know that it takes a long time to become the one.
And I’m not trying to escape who I am any longer.
Took me thirty years to accept myself.
Wish that were a joke but I fear some never do: stuck behind sour eyes, few seem to see the sweetness of life.
And it is sweet.
So don’t be so sour.
For it’s all over one day.
And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll see that someday isn’t what it used to be.
And then, and only then, the sour will fade into the past, and the salty will be seen for what it is, and the sweet – oh the sweet – what it may be and what it is: only the heart knows these things.
Just remember that sour eyes, as the sweet do, have a way of meeting. And even the sweetest eyes can become sour in the eyes of the beholder. So look neither without nor within, but in your own heart. And perhaps it is then, that we may finally see into the heart of another.
I have things about me, qualities and characteristics, which others may perceive as flaws, but I am me, and I am perfect.
I never thought that I would become a man, but I am me, and I know who I am:
I am the programmer of the game called life.
And I do not take myself too seriously; for I am me, and I am light, and I am love, and I am happy; for I am.
And I have learned lessons from my past: living and loving and winning and losing has given me all I need to be in this evolving moment called time.
And the present really is a gift. And I share it with friends and family and the beautiful women woman I love; for I am me, and there is nothing better than being unique and owning who I am.
For I am me, and you are you, and we are us, and we exist for the sake of one another; for we are living and dying every day.
And there is nothing to fear; for at the end of the game all the pieces go back from whence they came.
And I know not and I care not about what is next, for I know what happiness is possible for me in this life.
So let’s savor these cold drinks, listen to Katy Perry, and have a threesome.
Returning to writing after spending the past few weeks living my life – in many ways as I never before have – feels faintly like an act of infedility against the one I love, whom I have been busy living with; however, this is no act of indescretion; this is what I do. I write.
Only, writing feels different now.
Despite the sweet sin of writing being recently displaced by another, sweeter sin, I still find a glorious joy in the act of composing my thoughts into prose. And perhaps it is the very act of enjoying a pleasure without the other true pleasure in my life, which causes me to draw such a foolish conclusion; however, there is no need for this man to feel he is missing the mark; for a mere twenty paces from this fairy-tale-lit-balcony, whereupon I am writing tonight under a string of lights near our garden, sleeps the woman I have chosen to spend forever with.
And, yes, my words are – to borrow lyrics from Jimi Hendrix – bold as love.
But at thirty, I know what love is.
And to borrow a page from Buddhist philosophy: love is wanting another to be happy.
And I am – as I never before have been capable of.
As I said to Sarah tonight: “I was prepared for failure, but I was planning for happiness.”
Yes: happiness has prevailed.
And I will be the first to tell you:
I deserve this.
I have been through the dark night of the soul, which my writing stands testament to, and I have done the inner work a man must do to face his inner depths, which again, my writing is a testimony of. And now, I expect the next six months of my writing to be a kind of letter from my soul to my ego, explaining how wilder dreams have come to be.
I would be lying if I said I ever could have imagined finding a woman who just got me. And I too would be lying if I said I don’t feel a haunting tinge of guilt at being this happy, this healthy, this free.
The onion peels yet further back; and this is why I write: to peel onions where tears do not flow – to heal the parts of me that have never before been this at home.
My life – our life – Sarah and I – we are a miracle.
And I pray on the off chance the priestesses – the past goddesses I have prayed to or upon alters I built – on the off chance you are reading this, I hope you are happy for me. If you are: you love me – as I you, as I would want for your happiness – and if you do not: then you do not, and I nonetheless wish you the best.
Period. Next paragraph.
It was Shakespeare, the great bard, who spoke of sweet sin in the tale of Romeo and Juliet, and who wrote that, the course of true love never did run smooth.
But I disagree; for I know better.
And, as my sister taught me, healthy relationships are. Not to say, exclusively, that in my decade plus of luck-in-love (AKA – being a good fucking person) that I have not had a healthy relationship, but, rather, that I have not been this healthy.
It takes a long time to become the one.
And all I know of God, and of Love – and of the Universe in myself – has taught me that, life contains lessons that must be learned for the sake of the soul.
Only, most of us are dead to our inner voices, which is why I write: to hear my own [inner voice], and to show others what a human life looks like, when lived with a measure of bravery.
Because I live and I love from the heart, and I know I have made mistakes – but I also know that I didn’t know any better, and neither did you.
Period. Next chapter.
Emerson once wrote:
“A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.”
What he meant was that, life is a layer cake son.
As one of my mentors taught me, a man is the average of his five closest friends.
No offense to some of the friends I grew up with but you are who you hang with, and I’m not interested in selling or doing drugs.
At thirty, I am excited about life, I’ve awoken to my potential, and I understand what Ayn Rand meant about being motivated by the desire to achieve:
“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”
And it is this desire to achieve that has prompted me to seek a chorus of friends with whom I can do it.
Some men are islands, but I want to be a mountain.
And it has only been by standing on the shoulders of giants that I have come this far. Now I want to take my place in the river of time, and trust in myself and in the universe; myself via my own potential, and the universe via the infallible law of cause and effect.
Or, as Vince Lombardi put it: “The man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”
And – unlike the men standing on actual mountains in hip stock photos – when I look to the men on the proverbial mountains they stand on, I see men who have followed the law of averages; however – unlike other men – they choose their own average.
I can admit today that I have sometimes made the wrong kind of friends – those interested in pleasure rather than fulfillment; however, I’ve also been the wrong kind of friend – short-sighted, selfish, and immature in my own ways.
That’s not who I am today.
I’ve grown and I need the kinds of friends whom I can continue to grow with.
In pragmatic terms, I cannot get to where I am going alone, and nor do I desire to be there by myself, so I am making a big push to invest in the right friendships. And tonight as I had dinner at a girlfriend’s, I talked to her about how I am going to do this.
In short, to borrow the words of Ben Franklin, I want to bring “…most of my ingenious acquaintance into a club of mutual improvement.”
Ben Franklin called his club the The Junto, and they met on Fridays to discuss the things that were important to them; for after all, what is friendship built on but shared values. And the things I value are the things the guys I want to surround myself with value: happiness, growth, success, wealth – all the stuff that dreams are made of.
Today, some of the most successful and powerful men in the world are members of private clubs – from old-guard private gentleman’s clubs, to the Bohemian Club – they have been welcomed to the layer cake.
And I’m not looking to end up at a Bilderberg group conference in 15 years, but I am looking to live my wildest fucking dreams. And to do this, I know I cannot be an island.
I need friends as hungry and excited about life as I am. As serious as I am about gettin it.
So if I’ve sent this to you then chances are we had coffee recently – or I invited you to grab coffee soon – and I already told you about this, but I wrote this because I wanted to explain the impetus for this group a bit more candidly.
At thirty, I tend to find myself working, hanging out with pretty women, and sleeping (In pretty much that exact order); however, every time I talk to a cool guy, I remember that I am missing out on what Cicero described in his essay, On Friendship:
“Friendships improves our happiness and abates our misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.”
You see, I believe you can eat your layer cake and have it too. And in Twenty Sixteen, I’ll only be in San Diego once or twice a month, but when I am there visiting friends and family, I want to meet with this group, and I want it to be fucking awesome.
I believe in my intuition, and my intuition told me this is the next step – and to invite you.
To be clear, I’m not just looking to form some fucking lame ass mastermind group or something you have to pay some coach in order to “get motivated”. This group is for people who already are motivated. And it’s not something you will ever get a Facebook invite for.
I’m talking about a private group of the coolest, most driven, hungry, smartest motherfuckers I know.
A group of men who want to climb their own mountains.
Because, as Kerouac wrote in Dharma Bums, “In the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”
Note: All further club business, including club mission, charter, guidelines, and monthly meeting notes – plus the requisite pictures of naked girls (jk) will be confidential, maintained on a club website (Live 12/15), behind a private encrypted login.
Just for fun, I created a poll of potential names for the Junto.
Anyone reading this is welcome to vote: