Throughout my lifetime I’ve held many very different ideas at many different times. At a certain point I was determined to make it big as a rapper, to tour the world as a superstar and make incredibly popular music. I had a belief that nobody could stop me if I really set my mind to it. I still believe this, yet in my younger days, way, way back in the day, there simply was no doubt in my mind about whether I was going to make it or not. I was going to make it, without a doubt, because I had to. I grew up in a very ethical household, my parents really taught me most of the positive values and habits that make me who I am today. I strayed from their teachings from years, and I still do in some ways, but nowhere nearly as much as I did before. In my adolescent mind, their entire worldview was simply wrong. I didn’t give it much though though, I just didn’t follow it. I followed my own rules, which often meant breaking many rules, both imposed by my parents and by the law. I had no idea about people who try to live a life of righteousness to the best of their ability, I gave no thought to the deeper side of life, to all suffering that surrounds us, to how we must all do our best to uplift each other and to ease each other’s suffering. I did acknowledge all the suffering and evil in the world, but I only used my music to lash out at society, to blame the government or whoever is really running things, or to promote myself and my own ideas about not trusting anyone, about keeping your circle small and keeping it real and not fucking around with me. I was busy causing suffering myself, by stealing, whether sweaters at the mall or candy at the dollar store, or by fighting in the street or at school, or arguing at home, or disobeying and disregarding my parents and the way they felt about things. I was so inconsiderate, and I see that it was due to my mindset which had become completely corrupt. I was attempting to recreate a mental image that I had of myself, or rather who I thought I was, and I was acting out in unnecessary ways, always wanting to be the craziest one, the one who does the craziest shit or gets the most fucked up. I tried so many different drugs back in those days. I can’t say I’m done with all of them, but at least I don’t do them indiscriminately anymore, in big quantities and doses, mixing different kinds of substances. I’ve always done my research on these things, and by learning and experience I’ve come to learn what the differences are between many different kinds of psychoactive effects, which substances can be positive and not harm one’s body or mind, and which are simply poison, including crack/cocaine as well as most pharmaceuticals. I can’t say I regret my past, as I have learned a lot, and I’ve had a lot of good times. Pain and suffering, even ignorance, are all part of one’s life, at some times more than others. We usually mature as we age, as we learn, as we live and grow. This has been true for me. Perhaps I still got a long way to go in the process, but at least I’ve come this far. I no longer make music without attempting to provide a solution to the problems I address, I know longer party or try to hook up with random girls, since I’m not married and also don’t drink, probably for about a hundred days now. I can save more money, I don’t have to act a fool on a regular basis, and I don’t have to have my sadhana constantly interrupted by periods of guilt, shame, disgust, plus a terrible hangover and all it includes. I feel that I’ve done quite enough drinking in my life, and at this point I only smoke chronic, plus indulge in a productive psychedelic trip once in a while, in the comfortable set and setting of my own home, with my wife accompanying me, or sometimes as she sleeps. One must respect these substances and understand that partaking in drugs, even psychedelics, is no game. Psychedelics are more unpredictable than other kinds of drugs, and the trip they take a person on highly depends on one’s mindset, and set and their setting, as well as one’s expectations and underlying beliefs about the nature of the psychedelic experience. One must be fully aware in order to become totally immersed in a mystical psychedelic experience and reap the benefits of it afterward, if determination is applied to the trip’s revelations. I guess I can say I’ve changed a lot, for the better, over the years, partly by naturally maturing, and by reconsidering some of my parent’s advice, partly understanding that we all are on a search for God, for transcendence, and some of these realizations have become deeply ingrained in my consciousness because of my psychedelic trips throughout the years. I now read more, I research, I try not to talk about much nonsense, or indulge in petty or destructive conversation. I try to be constructive with all I do, and sometimes I fail at it, as old habits prevent me from behaving in the best way I know. Self-mastery is a slow process, and it is no easy task, but it is worth it. When I realized, a few years back, the extent to which I had gone in causing my parents grief, and setting a bad example for my brothers, I felt deeply ashamed of myself for it. For a few years I was consumed by the idea of paying them back for all that had done for me, to make up for what I had not done for them, such as being a good son. In some ways I was though, and in some I wasn’t. I’m glad to say I don’t feel so guilty now, as I’ve grown and I’ve learned, my relationship with my parents has only continued to get better. I can’t wait to see them again when Maria and I fly back to Canada.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day 45.
~ Rebel Spirit