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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 81: Listening to Musicians’ Full Discographies.

I have a few different methods for listening to music which I use at different times in order to have different experiences. I really do love to listen to all kinds of music, or at least most, so what I do is try to listen the the greatest artists from each genre, in order to save everything into one library which I usually play on shuffle. The result is that it delivers a diversity of unique sounds of all kinds, always switching and bringing me something unpredictable. I usually blaze a nice joint which is sure to last for a while when I let my library go on shuffle. This way, I get to randomly listen through some of my favorite songs, as well as listen to songs which I might have only heard once and liked and saved onto my library, which helps to become more familiar with these songs, to turn them into new favorite songs as time passes. I used to just listen to the classic albums of each genre, but having already finished listening to pretty much all of them quite a while back, I decided to listen to some of my favorite artists’ full discographies. One of the first hip-hop discographies I listened through fully was none other than Nasty Nas’. He’s always been one of my top three favorite rappers, without a doubt, all the way from his debut classic ‘Illmatic’ all the way to the recent ‘Life Is Good’ or ‘Nasir.’ What I like most about Nas’ music is that he never fails to drop some knowledge or even wisdom in his lyrics, and always mentions certain experiences or ideas in a truthful light, without looking to glamorize a certain lifestyle. I have a one-eyed pyramid tattoo on my left arm with a Nas quote under it: “In the land of the blind the man with one eye is king.” I think that in a sad way it accurately describes society. Moving on to a different genre, one of the longest discographies I’ve completed to date has been that of Van the Man, or Van Morrison. I listened to something like forty studio albums during the course of a few months, finishing yesterday with ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’ and ‘The Prophet Speaks.’ The jazzy saxophone vibes and smooth vocals, especially on the latter, really went great with the good kush I was blazing with my buddy Danny. Van always delivered something new with each album, a new style and sound, but always fresh. What I do is that, I have maybe about four or five artists whose discography I’m listening to at any given time, and whenever one is completed its spot is replaced with a band that has a somewhat similar style or sound, and which I’ve probably been wanting to check out for quite a while. Since I heard the last two Morrison albums yesterday, I started with Bob Dylan’s first two today, along with the Stones’ ’12 x 5.’ I just started listening to the Rolling Stones’ discography about a week ago, after a long Grateful Dead binge that lasted a long time, maybe as long or even longer than Van Morrison did. On the newer side of rap I’ve heard Drake’s full discography, seeing as he’s so popular he’s gotta be doing something right. He’s definitely got an original sound, and although it’s not my main style of rap I can’t say I didn’t enjoy most of his albums. I’ve also heard Eminem completely. He’s always been one of my top three rappers along with Nas and Pac, but his last few albums don’t even come close to his old albums in any way. I can’t blame him, knowing how complicated his life has been, but we can’t deny the facts, it’s just not the same intensity or genius at all. I had already listened to all of Slim’s discography, of course, but I re-listened to every album again, and extremely enjoyed the old classics as always. When it came time to finally hear his new latest albums, which were the only ones I hadn’t heard yet, I was a bit disappointed, although there were some great songs still. If I remember correctly, the first ones I started with were Nas and Eminem, as well as Pink Floyd and The Beatles, my two favorite bands. Just like with Eminem’ music, I had pretty much listened to both of these amazing bands’ music, but I went through the discographies in chronological order once again, enjoying every second for sure. From Floyd and The Beatles I moved on to Led Zeppelin and was blown away. I was familiar with about two or three of their albums, but i discovered that I had been sleeping on some other amazing records for so long. I loved all of their albums if I’m not mistaken. Led Zeppelin IV has always been one of my favorite albums, both ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Going to California’ being two of my favorite songs. Led Zeppelin led to The Grateful Dead, as I mentioned. I can’t believe I hadn’t listened through their albums before, especially being so into psychedelics and the whole culture surrounding them. I have no clue why I hadn’t checked out the Dead before, but now a song by them is sure to come on whenever I shuffle my library, even though the list is a few thousand songs long. I enjoyed all of their albums, and listened to the main live ones along with the studio ones. My favorite of all was probably Skull and Roses, and I love its skeleton cover art. I know I haven’t mentioned many, or any, women up to this point, but I do love some food female singing for sure. My favorites are Sade, Norah Jones and Lana Del Rey, and I’ve heard all their albums so far. I’m hooked on the chill sound that they all incorporate into their music, but I have to find a new female musician’s albums to listen to now, I’m just not sure who it could be.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 81.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 80: Do We Really Believe in Equality?

Do we sincerely and honestly believe in equality, as more than a fantasy, as something that could one day actually be? Excuse me for asking, it’s just not easy to see. So many people have oppressed the rest throughout history, so they can feel above the rest, exterminate those who they didn’t regard equally, as the rest, as those considered to be pure, to be the best race, sex or nation, could be any kind of corrupt motivation. They say the apple don’t fall too far from the tree. So are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past generations, who condoned hatred to the point of total separation? Or can we learn from our mistakes and do better at last? Is it a real possibility to let the pain pass? Can we now keep calm and be patient for a better day, to resolve these tensions in a better way? Truthfully, as we teach the seeds so shall they grow to be, and by setting a good example then they’re sure to follow willingly, instead of wishing they would memorize and live by every word we say. For every decision made in life and every action taken there’s a price to pay. But each person must decide, to live life on either side, of the fence, only you can truly know what your life represents. Do we believe in every single person’s chance to be free? Or am I programmed to be controlled, electronically? Am I determined to make everybody like me? So that they can copy me and try to be like me? Is life some kind of popularity contest? Or a constant battle between nations, endless wars and conquest? Conflict, we can’t arrive at peace so we bomb shit. Then teach the children that killing is some wrong shit, and that violence ain’t the answer. The state of the system we live in has me feeling sick as cancer. It’s too bad that a lot of times this sick feeling just isn’t too strong, at least not strong enough to make us change when we’re in the wrong. We’ve become accustomed to the way things are, and we wish they would stay the same forever, but the fact is that the times change faster than the weather, and tomorrow we could be a much different person than we currently are. We all try to see things as we’d like them to be, but we can’t ’cause we all sing along to a different song, a different beat. We all have our own struggles, all have to stay strong, but in different ways, periods of pain can last long, when we feel the heat, can’t stand up from the hot seat. We can grow desperate and tired, we might try to manipulate others to fulfill our selfish desires. But why should they follow my rules? Why should we live by their laws? Who gets a say about what our kids learn in the schools? Who is eager to answer when death calls? Yet we all must die, we must die as others have passed. Are we just trying to stay alive? What’s the point of doing only that? Are we building a society that’s truly built to last? Or one which will crumble to ashes in a great rumble, or a World War. Are we raising kids who are way too interested in being stars? Do you know if you’re ready to ruin your life for fame? Is it a noble aim which will fulfill your soul when it’s finally attained? Will it take away the pain and the guilt and shame? Or would it be a way to feed your ego, to feel better about yourself, a way to finally put those insecurities up on the shelf? Will it ruin your family, will you still be able to discern your real from fake friends? Will it throw you in the pit of loneliness and cause you agony? You never know, but for the recognition you’re ready to blow. You’re ready to let your old life go, to be better than the rest, to be know as a celebrity, something to be celebrated, adored and elevated. If we are all equal then why are such people venerated? Why do we praise money and status and nice attire? When within ourselves we have all of the value we require? Our body and mind may grow old but our Spirit will never retire. That Spirit which is equal within us all, that living eternal fire, that conscience that strikes the liar, and the thief, the same that they ignore, which is the cause of their future grief. Ignorance, the cause of suffering. Aversion and attachment. Attachment to an image of our fragile body, which causes us to act in such ways that we feel will take us higher than we are, will elevate us to a new plateau. We wish to go beyond ourselves, beyond this worthless creature we seem to loathe, but which we still take care of, day by day, as if life was nothing more than a worthless and repetitive game we play. We don’t like equality as much as we claim. We want to be exalted beyond our petty personal name. We want to be the richest, the smartest or the wisest. In that desire to be what we’re not, that’s exactly where our demise is. Each of us is what he or she needs to be. All of us are where we are supposed to be as well. The thoughts we choose to cultivate can make this life a heaven or a hell. So see the world as your brothers and sisters, not as others, but as extensions of your own soul, there will be sacrifices you will have to make if true equality and selflessness unfold, within your heart and soul, and as they begin to branch out everyone will know that you are beginning to shine, like the most precious gold that could ever be found, a beautiful sight to behold.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 81.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 79: Placing Motivation in the Right Direction.

Motivation is essential if we wish to succeed at any task, without a doubt. However, if our motivation is applied towards the wrong things then we are doing nothing but wasting time of our precious lives, and exerting energy which we should be using for other more important things. Sometimes we wish to do something so badly that we fail to take the time we actually need in order to actually do it properly, or we fail to realize that we have no business doing it at all, which can end up much, much worse. We often get excited and we act on impulse because we have no self-control. We want things to work out now, without putting in the necessary work! We don’t want to even think about all that hard work, all the dedication and perseverance we’ll have to put in over a long period of time if we’re really serious about whatever our goal is. Sometimes when we’re in a desperate situation, we might have an idea which seems to shine so bright in our mind, which seems to be the answer to all our problems. It can be tempting to get started right away in order to escape as soon as possible from our current situation, but often in our excitement we overlook a lot of important details. Whether it’s a brilliant idea that just pops into your mind out of the blue, or a concept you’ve been wanting to explore for quite a while, self-control is absolutely necessary at all times, along with discernment. The mindset that we begin to cultivate when we constantly practice these two qualities, self-control and discernment, prevents us from taking action without thinking things through, before we’re fully ready to start the journey we plan to eventually embark on. Even if you have done everything correctly and at its proper time up to this point though, you can still fail if you are not careful to remain alert. Some things seem so tempting that we can forget about self-control in a second, even after working on strengthening it for a long period of time. Desire can blind a person in the blink of an eye. Don’t become overconfident in your ability to wait patiently. If we don’t remain aware at all times of why we do what we do when we do it, then we are bound to make countless mistakes until we finally learn, if we ever do. We will do things at the wrong time, or we will partner up with the wrong people or promote ourselves at the wrong places. We need to know what our motives are for why we do what we do, and then we have to reflect on the different possibilities which are available to us which can help us to achieve these motives. This is how motivation is applied in the right direction, each move carefully calculated. The word motive is the root of the word motivation. Sometimes we think we know what our motives are for everything we do, that we know what truly motivates us, when in reality we couldn’t be more mistaken. Asking ourselves what our motives are, and answering sincerely without holding back from ourselves, is the key to understanding how we can use our motivation effectively by placing it in the right direction. It can be devastating to find out that, after years of promoting a belief or an idea, or a product or brand, it was not really worth spending so much time and energy on after all. This can be avoided if we take the time to know ourselves and our true motives before we start planning any new project. Many people have various paths they could pursue in life, yet they can’t find the time to do all these things at once plus go to work on top of that. Desperation can arise in such cases if the we can’t find a way to connect our different motives, to synchronize them in order to create a lifestyle which includes them all, and which aims at fulfilling all our short-term and long-term goals. We need to examine our motives and the things we believe we want to achieve in life. Sometimes we might feel really motivated to become rich, or to become extremely popular. Such a person might think that they are interested in fashion or expensive jewelry because they simply like it, and they might make it their life mission to work with these things. Upon further examination of this motivation however, this person might find that their initial desire to be cooler, richer, more popular or more attractive, arose from their insecurity, from their need to feel better about themselves, to stop feeling inferior or uncool. If this person could let go of these emotions of inferiority, they might not even be interested in fancy designer clothes or jewelry anymore, since they will probably no longer feel the need to impress people everywhere they go. Obviously, I am not saying that everyone who is into fashion or bling is like this person, it is only an example is true of some people in real life. We have to examine our motives, our ambitions, our aspirations. We have to ask ourselves why we wish to accomplish such things. Is it so we can feel better about ourselves? If it is, then we know for sure that there is no need to feel motivated to do such a thing any longer. We don’t need to do anything in order to feel better about ourselves. We can only feel as good as we are. If we want to feel better about life then we just have to live life better. It’s as simple as that. There is nothing wrong with setting goals for ourselves, and celebrating when we achieve these goals. There is nothing wrong with being happy with the progress we’ve made at any specific goal, but we should only dedicate significant time and energy to the things which truly matter the most of us in life, not to things which we are only doing to impress others, or even to impress ourselves. In conclusion, motivation can be a great ally on our path to success, but only if it’s carefully handled and properly directed, and this can only be achieved if we work on getting to know ourselves and our true motives for living the way we wish to.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 80.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 78: Getting Checked.

Yesterday I posted about the random chest pain I started having last night, and also about the mental struggle that followed: In the face of pain and uncertainty, of fear of the unknown, I was hit by a severe lack of motivation to complete my daily goals. I also wrote about how I eventually found the motivation to persevere, and to finally succeed at completing my goals even though I was feeling terrible, and was extremely anxious about the possible cause of the pain. Once I regained my motivation by remembering that we must remain grounded in God in all situations, both good or bad, that everything is part of life and is meant to be, I did my goals and then started researching as much as I could about my symptoms. After researching a bit, I felt like I was able to rule out heart issues or some kind of cancer, since I’d probably have other more debilitating symptoms if either of these were the case. Most of my anxiety came from these terrifying possibilities, but from all the websites I read yesterday and today about my symptoms it seems like the issue might just be a torn muscle near the chest area, which is not too serious. This calmed me down quite a bit. Maria and I prayed together last night, and I also called my mom on Whatsapp video chat, since she studied medicine. We ended up speaking for hours, and she further confirmed that I probably don’t have a heart issue. My mom is back in Canada, so it’s been a while since we talked like that. It was nice. Even though I gained some understanding of my symptoms and was beginning to feel less anxious about the cause, I still couldn’t be too sure. Both my wife and I couldn’t stand the uncertainty any longer, so we decided to come to the clinic to do some check-ups. I’m currently sitting in the waiting room, waiting to hear my name get called out. I hate getting medical tests done, getting blood drawn and all of that, but it’s definitely necessary. I really can’t wait for the moment when they confirm the good news, that I just have a torn muscle and that it should fully heal in a few days or weeks. Anything will be alright just as long as it’s not a serious condition. I’m really praying to get some good news, and I feel really nervous about the outcome. At least they have free wi-fi here to keep me busy. Even though I’m writing about this exact issue, the act of writing in itself is an effective distraction from my nervousness. I just want to kill as much time as possible so that it won’t feel like I’m waiting for an eternity. It’s also great to have Maria by my side, always supporting me and simply being there for me. She is watching One Piece on her brother’s phone while I do my writing. Every few minutes she turns to me and gives me a kiss, telling me not to worry. I don’t know what I would do without her.

Second half of today’s post. In the end, I didn’t even need to take any tests. The doctor just checked on my breathing and chest and concluded that it’s not related to any heart or lung issue. What a relief that was. He said it’s most likely a muscle problem, as I suspected, and they gave me a muscle relaxant shot and some pain pills to take for the next few days. I also don’t have to go to work tomorrow, so I can get some extra rest in order to heal quicker. Everything turned out great and I feel as if a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. After such great news I unfortunately have some bad ones. As I was working on today’s post on my phone while at the clinic, I noticed that somehow, my post for Day 77, which was yesterday, reverted back to an old draft version I had saved on my phone. I have no idea how this happened, and now I don’t see the post in my list of posts. It really sucks since I felt that it was a very well-written one, not to mention one of the most liked ones. However, everything happens for a reason. I don’t know what the reason is but, although I lost some of my words which I worked so hard to put together while suffering from anxiety and fear, I can’t do anything about it other than move forward and keep on writing even better words, better posts. I can’t possibly be in a bad mood about this now that I know I don’t have some horrible, serious disease. I thank God for today;s outcome, and for everyone who helped me out at the clinic. It was a really easy process and everyone was really friendly. On our way back home we stopped to eat some baleadas and we all had a good time, a little celebration in a way. 

Everything worked out great, and I now see that I shouldn’t have worried so much. We always worry too much about all the bad things that can happen, and in reality it doesn’t help. Instead it makes matters worse, as anxiety and fear cloud our judgment and prevent us from being free to make good decisions. I will be taking better care of my health from now on, after yesterday’s scare, and I hope I can keep my commitment to the various lifestyle changes I’m looking to make. I feel like what happened last night was meant to scare me into making some changes I’ve been wanting to make for a long time now. Maybe that was the only way for me to feel really motivated to do what I have to do. God bless you all and may you live happy and healthy lives, free from worry and anxiety.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 79.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 76: Mistakes Are For Us to Learn From.

Life is the opposite of death, yet it includes it. The nighttime forms part of the day’s 24 hours, yet is the opposite of daytime. The best feeling of satisfaction contains the experience of all the suffering which preceded it, of all the past longing for it, without which it wouldn’t be half as profound or fulfilling. Every wonderful transformation would be impossible if the person who decided to change had never realized they had to, if they had never hit rock bottom before. Perhaps they finally arrived at that realization after enduring much trouble, after walking a very problematic road for a very long time. Every lesson ever learned was learned from a mistake, whether our own or another’s. We must look at our mistakes and understand their seriousness, yet we must not become disheartened, and discouraged from moving on. We must never beat ourselves up or become desperate for change. Complete change cannot happen just now, but it will surely happen at the right time, if we start to live differently now. If we are desperate, if we are feeling down about ourselves because we haven’t been able to change, then it will be more likely that we will slip into old patterns of behavior, into vices and addictions, or that we will search for constant distractions from our lack of self-esteem, from our regret for what we’ve done. There is no need for desperation for someone who understands that there is a reason for everything, and that everything passes, that everything can change for the better or for the worse, depending on how we live. We must keep calm, even when the times are tough, especially when times are tough, and we must understand, without a doubt, that the hardships of life are necessary so that we may change. We all make mistakes, not excluding a single person, and the mistakes we make affect not only us, but others as well. We think this is unfair, since the only way it would be fair is if we were all one person, paying for our own mistakes. What we don’t realize is that this is actually the case, that we are all one being, in essence. We should never feel like we are paying for other’s mistakes, or that life is ultimately unfair just because the evil actions of others have caused us harm. What is the use of spirituality, of a belief in a spiritual reality that transcends this physical one, of God within, if we become desperately preoccupied and anxious when things don’t go as we planned them, or if we are willing to hurt others in order to preserve our own well-being during desperate times of chaos? Don’t stress or worry, because everything comes at its time, to help us learn what we need to learn in this exact moment, and so the truth is that nothing can really harm us in the grand scheme of things. If we are suffering now then it is because we must suffer at this time. Is this unfair? Doesn’t everyone suffer or experience loss at some point during their lifetime? Don’t be angry at the transgressor, at the one who has wronged you, since he is God’s messenger to you. Thank him, be thankful for your problems, forgive him. Look within yourself, and ask yourself what you can learn from this new situation you find yourself in now. We may not like the learning process, but it is indeed necessary. Some would say that this philosophy is evil, that it places the blame on people who are born poor or disadvantaged, or sick, but is it better to assume that they were born into such a life simply for no reason at all, just because life is indifferent to them, or because some evil creator decided they should be born into pain? This is hardly a better view of life. None of us know why life exists, and we don’t know why we have free will, but the best attitude we can have is one of humility, one of being students, constantly learning from life, observing and seeking to understand without judgment, without thinking that life in itself is wrong. Is it likely that life was created by a sadistic spirit for the sole purpose of watching us suffer and kill each other just for fun? If our lives are nothing more than a cruel joke, entertainment for some cosmic terrorist somewhere out there, then what would be the point of even going on living? If life was completely random and evil, then how can there be such things as true, unconditional love? How can there be the love of a mother for her child, the willingness to sacrifice oneself for another? How can there be so much laughter and pleasure in this world if it is all evil? It cannot be evil, it simply cannot be all for nothing. Life is a constant war between good and evil, the world itself is flawed, but for some reason fate has dictated that we must live in this planet, at this time during which we are alive. Fate? Didn’t I say we have free will? Our free will is God’s command, it is intertwined with destiny and fate. This is why it is so important that we live righteous lives, because we will all suffer from our ignorant and evil actions. We cannot judge something we cannot understand, such as the universe, or God. I heard a Nina Simone song today, it came on while I listened to my Spotify library on shuffle, and it reminded me that there’s a time for everything under the sun. There’s a time to laugh and a time to mourn. Just because we don’t understand, because we don’t see the purpose in something, maybe in something like suffering, doesn’t mean there is none. Such a thing as a meaningless moment or an insignificant second is impossible. Everything is meant to be, there’s nothing that comes about as a mistake. We wish things were not as they are, we hope and we pray, but things are as they are. It is in the nature of everything to be as it is, and the more we wish things weren’t what they are, the more separated we become from them. If instead we practice gratitude, if we can remain calm in the face of adversity, this is a sign of true faith, this is sure to set us free from bondage, by showing us the true union which connects us to all that exists. What is there to fear if we see everything as part of God’s plan? Nowadays this is not a popular idea. How can evil be God’s plan? We all have free will, so let’s stop blaming God. Let’s assume responsibility for the life we have been given, and positive change is sure to come, both in our individual lives and in the world as a whole. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 77.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 75: Energy, Instinct and Intuition.

The whole of life is evidently all energy; hence we are all emanations of this energy. We have fair basis to believe that we are not separate from anything, as the whole of matter is energy as well. Energy is effort, a never-ending effort to elevate, the driver of all evolution. Energy is the source of time and space in this reality, but sadly time is often misused due to it being disregarded as if it’s no big deal. We love to say that time is an illusion and it’s all in the mind, that the clocks were all created by men, and that we live life on our own schedule. Although I agree wholeheartedly, and I acknowledge our innate desire and need to be free and to never feel bound by time, what good does it really do me to realize this if it still won’t set me free from my chains? What good comes from being aware of being a slave if I am, in the end, still a slave to schedules, to the chains of captivity, if I can’t escape my worst afflictions no matter what? Isn’t the person who realizes the problem, yet does nothing to stop it, ultimately in a worse position than the one who was never aware of the problem in the first place? Merely realizing that time is an illusion doesn’t free us from it if we can’t apply what we’ve learned to our real lives. As we go on living, we are all blessed with an endless amount of energy which we can use as we please. Everything we think and do becomes the cause to an effect, and it itself was an effect of a previous cause. This energy has existed for eternity and shall keep on existing, yet it manifests itself in this moment in time and space in your birth or mine, our lives themselves probably being effects of previous causes unknown to us. We must take a moment to see that for as long as we live in this physical world we will be bound by time and space, experiencing life in a seemingly linear fashion, and whether or not it is an illusion in the grand scheme of things matters little to the clock and to our day to day responsibilities, all of which revolve around seconds, minutes, and hours. So, what can we do to be truly free? It is not an option for us to bury our heads in the sand, and we cannot lie in bed all day enjoying the soft touch of blissful ignorance either. We need to use our time wisely, by reflecting on the seemingly random events which are taking place in our lives and in the world as a whole. Everything is simply saturated with meaning, but the question now is how to perceive it. We can begin to perceive all the significance in our lives by training our mind so that we can have it only focus on what matters. A distracted mind is easily led astray from its real goal by forces that wish to prevent it from reaching it. When we learn to pay attention to the things that really matter to us is when we start to free ourselves. We can now use our time wisely in order to progress in our goals instead of wasting it on meaningless fun. Not that there’s anything wrong with fun. The key word in the previous sentence is ‘meaningless’. We can all have fun with meaning, we can all enjoy life. After all we are all powered, so to speak, from the same source, the same source of all that has meaning. The energy which maintains our bodies, our minds, is the same energy that gives life to the plants and to the animals. Energy is transmitted back and forth by all living beings through action, through thought, through speech, through feeling. We forget that things do not have to be visible in order to be real. We forget that we can smell and that we can hear, yet that neither the odors we smell or the sounds we hear are visible to us. We forget that we can feel the air, and in fact rely on it, yet we can’t see it. We forget that, although we feel the light hitting our skin on a bright sunny day at the beach, we can’t see the rays extending down from the sun and hitting us. In much the same way, we emit subtle vibrations everywhere we go, and even when we don’t go anywhere. Every thought is a thing, and every feeling is a thing too, but the problem is that too often our thoughts and feelings seem to manifest on their own, without being called upon by us. That’s because, in fact, they weren’t called upon by us, but by the learned habits and preconceptions of the mind. Evil thoughts arise in a person’s mind, apparently out of the blue, because he or she has allowed it to consume too much garbage, too much negativity, and now it is seeing the world based on rotten thoughts, it is creating its own thoughts based on what it misinterprets. Sadly, thoughts which are completely perverse are sometimes seen as flashes of intuition, just as sometimes someone might attack or kill someone else and later claim that God told them to do so. People who experience such strong feelings often believe they are being called upon by their intuition, but they don’t realize what it really going on. Instinct is something different from intuition. Intuition arises from the divine wisdom which we know to be correct even beyond our desires and ambitions. Instinct arises from something we have consciously or subconsciously learned over time which has become deeply embedded in our mind. Something happens which reminds us of an old incident and we react in the same automatic way. This is a learned reaction, a habit. This is instinct, repetition, mindless action. Mindless action is also energy, but it is energy which has no purpose, no value. In order for this energy to become valuable to its beholder, he or she must learn how to control this energy. This person must learn to control what they pay attention to consciously as well as subconsciously or unconsciously in dreams. This person must learn not to fall prey to selfish desires or passions, they should not do anything which will harm others in any way, they must live with integrity. This will strengthen character, and it is a daily practice of divine intuition, the spark of God that dwells within us all. This is the conscious part of who we are, and the more we practice connecting with it, the more conscious we will be at all times. We will become aware of our passing thoughts, of our moods, of our reactions to petty situations as well as disasters. This sort of introspection will allow us to modify our reactions, to create new habits and to drop old ones, to spend time more wisely. In other words, connecting with this higher state within ourselves, the state of our true being and consciousness, allows us to control where our attention goes. Just as in meditation, focus is placed on the lack of sensory input and thought, but most importantly on consciousness, on awareness., on the energy of being simply being alive. The most important point to remember is that awareness of sensory input is not sensory input, and being conscious of thought doesn’t mean that one is thinking. Whether one is being conscious of breath or of thought or of sensory input, none of them require any action on our part. Breathing and thinking are automatic processes, and sensory input is external, coming from outside ourselves. So, as we relinquish control and we stop trying to think or to feel or to do anything, we come to a state of simply being, the state which is truly us, and which is constantly aware that we are thinking, feeling, doing what’s right, doing what’s wrong. It is often ignored, and when we ignore this consciousness within ourselves, we become unconscious to everything, and we engage in simple mindless action, purposeless action. This leads to people being unable to get along with each other because there is no value of energy, energy is wasted, as if we were to live forever on this physical plane. The obvious result of this waste is that, as we all remain unconscious of our waste of energy and time, and of our feelings and emotions and how they affect us collectively as a species and as a planet, the world gradually sinks into separation, into division, and therefore into further and further devastation and destruction, the product of all the evil energy circulating in our atmosphere.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 75. 

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 74: “The Trouble Is You Think You Have Time.”

Jack Kornfield said that “the trouble is you think you have time.” We all think we have enough time. We know that there are important things which have never been said up to this point, things which probably should have been done a long time ago. We know that we have to set things straight when it comes to a certain person or situation, that we have to confess the truth to them, but we are sure that doing so will result in a loss of pleasure to us, so we choose to hold on to a comfortable lie instead. Often times when we hurt others, we immediately realize, we come to know that we are in the wrong, yet we create the dumbest excuse to go on feeling offended and entitled, instead of owning up to our mistakes and apologizing. We are too scared to be vulnerable, too afraid of our own feelings to ever be able to analyze them properly, let alone those of others. We cannot apologize sincerely since we see it as a sign of weakness, of admitting that we are wrong, and therefore inferior somehow to the other person. Too many of us have killed our own inner child. We are afraid to live because we are scared to death of being less, being seen as less, of being seen as weak in this hostile world, of opening up to others and forming true connections. We have become so immersed in one thing or one kind of lifestyle, on our numerous distractions from our problems, that we fail to see the blessings all around us, and we fail to take action when it comes to things we know we should do or not do, things which we ignore for a while hoping they will go away. Soon enough we realize this approach just doesn’t work. Nothing ever goes away, we simply cannot run from ourselves, from the things that still haunt us, from the inner issues we need to resolve, as well as all the external ones. Owning up to his or her own mistakes is really a nightmare to someone who has adopted a victim mentality towards life and who has created the habit of complaining about the smallest misfortune, but to one who is connected to the deeper truths of life and what it means to be alive, this shouldn’t be a problem. When we are honest with ourselves and others, but especially with ourselves, about where we are going wrong, where we are doing the right thing and where we’re not, then we are truly starting our journey into self-developing. Nevertheless, it is only the start. Sometimes we can be brutally honest with ourselves about our shortcomings and errors, but due to our negative perspective which is so attached to physical reality we cannot make the necessary changes in order to truly resolve these issues. We let them linger on in our lives, affecting every new relationship or project, affecting all the thoughts that run through our minds every single day. We do not know how to tackle them, but since we think we have time, we do not even try, we just look the other way, we look for all kinds of distractions, hoping that we will eventually forget about the deepest truths of our lives. We cannot live in this way, fueled by ignorance and fear. We must understand and live by the fact that everything is cyclical and recurring, that there are patterns woven throughout the webs of history which connect the dots of human interaction in the most magical ways, completely unknown to our limited perceptions, and that the time to act is now, that we were born where and when we born to do things, to make our lives worth living and to fill them with meaning. We understand that all pain and pleasure will pass, and this is a constant reminder to us not to fall into desperation. Better days are ahead, but for now, there is simply no time to waste when it comes to the truly important things. Tell your mom and dad you love them today, make plans to spend more time with your siblings or with your friends you haven’t seen in a while. Get outside and meet new people, experience new cultures, don’t just spend the day looking at the same old screen inside the same stuffy room. Live! Get up and live! Lively yourself up, or “lively up yourself!” As the man Bob Marley would say. The world is devoid of honesty nowadays. We have all become addicted to our way of living and are afraid to give it up. We have adopted mainstream society’s shallow values, and if we haven’t, then at least we have learned how to pretend that we have. We have hardened our hearts and become cold to the love which is present within us all and which connects us on a spiritual level, on the deepest level of connection, if we would only choose to stop for a moment and pay attention to the now. Stop seeing others as separate from yourself and simply say what needs to be said. Stop seeing the future as a separate reality in which you will play a part. Your life could end at any second. Understand that the time to do what must be done is now. Do what you must do, and you will feel much better after! You will feel more confident for having spoken your mind, you will feel like a more open person, you will receive more respect and will be able to communicate clearly with the world. You will feel accomplished, and will be ready to take on an even more challenging task. You will be building your stamina and strength, your self-control and willpower. Don’t waste time. Don’t think that you will be able to do something only after you have done something else or become someone better. The time to take action is now. There will never be another time, since every moment is really Now. Tomorrow might never come and we might not wake from our dreams tonight. Life is uncertain, and things seem to happen randomly, but everything has deep significance. Have you thought about where you stand in this wonderful world, in the grand scheme of things, about who you are in this life? If not, then the time to start pondering these questions is now!

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 75.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 73: Use Your Talents to Shine A Light.

Life’s about sacrifice, you gotta put in work because people’s hearts have grown cold as ice. No one is obligated to lend a helping hand, so don’t expect anyone to understand. But the trick is to not grow bitter and cold, even as we constantly witness the wicked ways in which life in this world unfolds. The point is to take a true hold of your own soul, to put the mind under the Spirit’s authority. We have all been blessed with skills and talents, with intelligence and wisdom, which we can use to bless, others as well as ourselves, to exert the will to progress, but too many of us have our gifts sitting on the shelves. We all have the ability to think and then to express, creatively, whether in poetry, lyrics, music, art, spoken word, to be true to who we were meant to be, and nothing less. Speak your mind and stand for what’s right, though it might shake up your whole world, possibly overnight. Stand by your word. Be who and what you claim to be, always take the high road, up high as a kite, fly forever free. Have the courage to follow the highest vision you see, to create what you conceive. Be a beautiful light, shining bright for what you believe, the brightest star shining on this blessed summer night. It is said that those who wish to give light must first burn. Take up your cross and sacrifice your physical self on it. Kill your attachments to earthly pleasures, especially those which harm others and cause suffering in the world. The right thing won’t always be the easiest one, or the most pleasant one, but we can’t possibly ignore what’s right and expect a good outcome. Recognize the wrong way and turn around to run. I thank those who paved the way for me, and I hope to do the same for generations to follow me, for years, for decades and centuries on, the legacy of everything we do lives on, we live forever even after we’re gone. So know that this is not the end, this misery nor this joy. There is more significance in every second of every day than we care to realize. I don’t know which is the right religion, but I do know that all of us are battling a spiritual war, so we were born with a mission. We all are meant to be, essentially, an example of righteous living, of unconditional care, of charity and selfless giving. Stop all the hate, leave the past behind and recreate, forgive and forget, leave behind every grudge as well as every regret, love for love’s sake. Be thankful for every friend, and even every enemy you’ve ever met. There are no enemies, have no fear for real or fake. Life has placed these people on our path, so that we may come to know what it’s like, to experience hate, pain, separation, rage, wrath. We had to know these things to come to know that they are not us. We are the consciousness on which these emotions, these thoughts and feelings appear, quickly fading away like dust, remain calm and watch them disappear. Let your mind rest, feel at ease, peace of mind is like a soothing breeze, close your eyes and meditate, elevate, feel the unity between you and everything that’s ever been, yet know that the source of you is something so great, that the angels are your kin. How were you conceived and born? How can you speak and connect with others, how can you understand concepts such as love and mutual respect? Life is filled of meaning, but it’s up to us to detect. So leave behind any notions of insecurity, of not being or having enough, stand proud and erect, if you woke up today there’s no excuse to feel like a wreck. Whatever you did, leave it behind and give yourself a chance. Life is in constant movement, so we have to jump in and dance. Roll with the rhythm, with discernment, don’t worry about the past or the future, everything will pass, everything is temporary, and everything is just as necessary. Be humble, understand that God dwells within your brother, within all others, and we all will one day decompose in a cemetery. The heavenly and material aspects of our nature each go their own way once death arrives, each from where it came, each continuing in changing, in transforming, after having gone back to the source, ascending and descending, coming down after they rise. Therefore there is no death, be free of guilt, and understand you have a new birth, a new chance at life, with every breath. Ignorance is the problem, none of us know this. We desperately run around trying to get ahead, we think there will be nothing left of us once we’re dead. Worldly success means everything, we can’t wait to get a taste of the satisfaction the money and the fame will bring. And what if the dream doesn’t  true? It doesn’t happen for so many others so why should it work out for you? Will you cry and complain, will you wish you were never born, will you speak curses upon yourself, upon your life, or life in general, screaming in pain? Identify with the real inside of you. Be the Spirit, don’t rely on anything on this planet. Analyze the nature of things, understand and plan it. Whatever you’re doing, sacrifice what holds you back. You know what it is, and if you haven’t let it go yet, it’s because you’re hooked on it like crack. The real You needs nothing to survive, spiritually, it only needs to be aware in order to be alive. Adversity is nothing to the real Self, it thrives off of challenges, your talents are your tools, use them for the glory of what’s good, don’t follow the crowd like a fool. Life is a process of constant learning, but one day we’re all sure to graduate, just like from any other school.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 74.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 72: A Positive Attitude When Facing Trouble.

All we can do is try our best, to have the most positive attitude we can have when faced with whatever obstacle life throws our way. When this becomes a habit, we start to feel that life has much more meaning, we start to see the dots connect, we start to really sense the significance in every word and deed. When we understand and feel that life has intrinsic meaning, it becomes easier for us to make the right choices, whereas someone who is bitter towards life, believing that it is just an insignificant, random thing, and that the suffering it includes makes it not worth living, is sure to make more selfish choices, even if they negatively affect others or themselves. When we understand that everything we say and do has powerful consequences, that every action has a reaction, we will think twice before saying things that are unnecessary or harmful to others. We will also feel more inspired to say or do the right thing whenever a situation arises. This is easier said than done, since saying and doing the right thing often require much courage. When we shy away from perceiving life as the deeply significant phenomenon that it is, it is easy for us to slip into tedious routines, into bad habits which are quick to turn into comfortable addictions. Just because someone addicted to heroin or prescription pills suffers more than we do from our own addictions, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t addicted to TV, or to money or clothes or even Facebook likes. If we are not living a life of purpose then we are only wasting the days away, we are only going from one temporary pleasure to the next, and we are sure to become desperate if these things are taken away from us. Our constant need for pleasure and comfort have made it so that we can never dedicate ourselves to anything worthwhile, anything that requires time and effort. How can we do such a thing if our minds are constantly focused on feeling the next pleasure, on finding the next thrill? Our addictions are sure to interrupt us, and since we are anticipating that future pleasure, we don’t do as well in whatever we are currently engaged in, since our mind just isn’t in the moment. Our mind is elsewhere, in the future, trying to conjure up memories of what that wonderful feeling is like, impatiently waiting for that moment when we’ll feel it again. We were born into this world with nothing, all naked and with no possessions. So why do we need so many things now? Do we really need them or have we simply convinced ourselves that we need these things, that we need to feel certain feelings in order to be happy? We all have to do things which aren’t very interesting at some point in our lives, or which are completely uncomfortable for us. We all have to make sacrifices, starting from the day we set foot in school so that we may learn basic things like reading and writing. So why do we complain whenever an uncomfortable situation arises, whenever we have to really focus and work at something which perhaps isn’t our favorite activity? If we acknowledge that life isn’t all about doing everything we want one hundred percent of the time, and that doing some things which we don’t want is actually beneficial and even necessary for us, then there should be no need for us to complain about anything. Each and every situation we find ourselves in is the exact situation where we need to be at that moment. If we feel that we shouldn’t be where we are, then it is only because we have certain expectations about how life should be, and we feel that if life isn’t up to our expectations then we can just make a different life, often with no reflection into why we might be going through whatever we’re going through in the first place, why it could be essential to our life. Most of the time we only realize these things in retrospect, as we look back at past tribulations, we recognize the specific ways in which we have learned since then, due to those exact situations.  We need to be humble, we need to seek to understand, to listen more than we speak, to observe and to wonder, but no matter what, we always have to try our best, we always have to have the right attitude, to do what needs to be done. We all know what needs to be done in our individual lives. It all depends on what is going on in each person’s life, but we all know what we need to do. We all know where we are fucking up, as well as where we are succeeding. It is a dangerous thing to lie to ourselves even once, since we might repeat it, and then we might develop such a habit of lying to ourselves that we don’t even know that we’re lying anymore, and this is when it gets really hard to make the right decisions in life. As long as we don’t allow negativity to corrupt us, as long as we can do good and be good in this world, no matter what we may see others doing, then we will be well equipped to make the right decisions, even when we are facing the hardest of struggles. No matter how things may seem to be going for you right now, if you feel depressed or discouraged, if you feel that you aren’t where you would like to be in life, just remember that it’s all a process. Be thankful for what you’re facing, acknowledge that bad things happen to everybody, that it’s all part of life, for a deeper purpose which we can’t understand. Don’t become frustrated at this, but accept it. Accept life as it is, accept your current situation, and from this day forward, make it a habit to always be completely focused on doing your best, on giving your best no matter what. Watch life change as your mentality changes. It might take some time, but change is guaranteed in life. It is up to us if it will be positive or negative.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 73.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 71: Humility and Balance in Life and Spirituality.

What is addiction and what is recreation? Where is the line between harmless fun and reckless behavior? Are some addictions worse than others, and if one doesn’t mind being addicted, then is it a problem? Life is about balance, as I’m sure we’ve all heard or perhaps realized for ourselves, and Buddha suggested we follow the Middle Way. But what is too much of a good thing? Is there such a thing? What is not enough evil? Wouldn’t we all be free to finally feel at peace if all evil were eradicated? Would we though? Is duality necessary? If it is, why should it be so? Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to ask them, and I’m sure some good has to come of it. Some say we must have faith, and I agree, but faith in who or what? If evil is a part of life then, is this God’s perfect plan? Is there something wrong with it, or is it just that we are not at a level from which we can see what it all means, why it’s all necessary? Is life all a game, or is it extremely serious? At times we feel one way, at times we feel another. How can we find a balance between the two, and should we even attempt it? Some might blame God for having created such an evil world, but they don’t realize that their own use of their ability to express themselves is only possible because of their existence in the world. Evil is within us, just as it is outside of us, and we all have the potential to treat others in horrible ways in which we would never want to be treated ourselves. Should we despise our own existence and kill ourselves because we were born imperfect? Doesn’t it make more sense to try to understand why we were born this way? There must be some reason for it. Isn’t there any inspiration to be found in our lifelong struggle against our own evil, in persevering towards achieving a goal, towards setting our life straight, or a certain area of our life, and coming out successful in the end? What if there is a much deeper meaning to life than just seeking pleasure? Could this be the reason why some of the most damaging things in life, for human beings, are also the most pleasurable? Maybe the bitter aftertaste that follows certain forms of pleasure is there to help us, to guide us so that we may search for the truth, so that we don’t spend a lifetime chasing after alcohol, or drugs, or sex, or money. Some things are not evil in themselves. Sex is holy if it is treated with respect and used in its proper context, but it has been degraded to such an extent, that it is now one of the easiest ways to get lost in the petty search for pleasure. What turns good into evil, holy into blasphemous? A lack of balance does. Now, regarding the doubt as to whether this is God’s plan, whether he meant, if he did create the universe, to have evil be a part of life, I can’t say that I know, or that I’ve looked deeply into the subject. However, in the Bible, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden fruit before the snake had even appeared to them. If the forbidden fruit was what made them be aware of good and evil, being the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then how could they have committed evil deeds, such as disobeying God, before having eaten from the tree? Eating from the tree was an act of disobedience, but if they were created perfect, then why did they fall for the snake’s dirty trick? And where did the evil snake even come from anyway? If God made everything good, then how could an evil snake, a lying snake, come to speak to Adam and Eve, to tempt them into doing something wrong? Perhaps God meant for there to be temptation in this physical world, maybe so that we might learn to overcome it. Would there be any meaning in an action movie without a bad guy for the hero to take on? If there isn’t a bad guy then there’s some sort of conflict to resolve. I’m not saying that life is a Hollywood film, but life is sort of like a movie except that there is no guaranteed happy ending. Life depends on our choices, and even if some think that our fate is sealed, that history is already written and set in stone, it sure doesn’t feel that way. If we can’t feel like it is that way, then at least we should try to make our lives meaningful, even if it’s just for us. Take a second to sit back, relax, meditate, leave the stress behind just for a moment. Analyze every aspect of your life, and you are sure to find much meaning. Some you have always been aware of, some you have neglected for a long time and left to the side, and some might come in the form of a sudden, new realization, a surprising epiphany. Once you think about what is important in your life, about what is meaningful, you will see that, in order to progress in each and every one of these things, you will need to work at being much more balanced, and at having more self-control in general. This practice of cultivating self-control is actually the first step into a spiritual way of living. Self-control means that the real Self, the only Self, is controlling the illusory self, the physical and mental self, the physical and mental projections which are perceived by my mind in order to create an identity of who I am, along with the name given to me by my parents at birth. The more self-control we practice, the more we will live a balanced and healthy life, and the clearer we will think. We can’t have all the answers in life, but we shouldn’t become cynical because of the world’s apparently hostile nature. We should be humble, and we should seek to understand, for we are very small beings in a much, much greater universe, more meaningful than any of us could ever imagine.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 72.

~ Rebel Spirit