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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 48: Nothing Will Change By Wishing.

Heaven and hell, some believe are states of mind, that we can reach at any time. Some say we will reach them after we’ve finally left this world behind. We have the Light within ourselves yet we always try to shine, externally, to fulfill a longing that persists eternally, we’re on a constant quest to find, connection, first we need a bit of introspection, before the world we can dream to conquest. We need to do the necessary work with no exception, until we can rise again just like Jesus’ resurrection. To carry the cross to our own death, to leave the palace privileges behind like Buddha, in order to live among the people, the poor, with their many diseases and infections, to work on work of the breath, Pranayama, on concentration and whatever’s left, after feeling has vanished and thought has totally left. Who can find heaven on earth? Who has even a recollection, of his past life, who can remain loyal to God’s goodness as a faithful husband to his loving wife? Who has the most minimal clue of what life is actually worth? Have we found any true connection with the source, or affinity with the living and loving force which animates the bodies we inhabit? How many of us have taken the time to analyze and change our most familiar habits? The habits which we need to change, to take the time to rearrange, our life, at first it’s bound to seem so strange, but you’ll find another range, of vision now becomes clear, you feel you’re on a mission, fear begins to lessen, every obstacle becomes a lesson, which is in itself a blessing, of the highest degree. As we see the Self in others and ourselves, we become free. Free of doubt, truly understanding what the Soul’s about. Spirit, however you’d like to call it. A blessing so rich, wealth that can’t fit in a wallet, even if it’s in a bank card, beyond the thrill of an alcoholic, or an addict of drugs, the source of unlimited love, the light that shines in the heart of even the hardest thug. It cannot be extinguished for good, embrace it is exactly what we all should, and indeed need to do, if we wish to succeed. Is success heaven? Not material success? You could argue for the side of no, or either for the side of yes. Fame and money bring stress. Is this how you would define it? Success to you is all about shining, diamonds, fine and expensive attire, is this why you work so hard and can never retire? Is it the money you’re connected to, so mentally wired? Is that the highest reason that you have to get inspired? Don’t chase wealth, but take care of your health. Don’t chase paper, it comes and it goes. Time goes and never comes back, as far as anyone knows. To death and annihilation, we’re all at all times exposed. So we might as well do it on our own, and follow it as the path we chose. The path of doing what’s right, of shining a light, of being a blessing, a bright, and shining guide to the blind with no sight, to the dumb and deaf, understand their spirit never left. It’s been living through the centuries, and even milennia, through us all. Help your brother up when you see him fall, don’t laugh at him while he’s down and you stand tall. Heaven? Nirvana? Do you know if it’s now or then? Is it today or tomorrow, is it here or there? Who knows? But what we do know, is that life on this earth short, and we can’t go through it as if it’s a simple hobby, we need to pretend we’re professionals at our favorite sport. We need to take it seriously, to understand our situation. We can inspire an entire generation, with the words and deeds which we bring into formation. We can never escape duality, but we can play an immense part in creating our own reality, and thereby affecting those of those around us, so we can stop feeling so lost and finally see that it was God who found us. Stop thinking of the future, of the gift you will receive. Stop thinking of your own self being rewarded, feel the pain when others grieve. Treat the world as your own Spirit. Keep this realization in your mind like your favorite musical lyrics, keep it in your attention, can heaven escape you if you are at peace with who you are? Do you know how to be anything else? We have all made mistakes, and we are sure to make more. Life is very unpredictable still, we don’t know what’s in store. But we can make less mistakes, and ensure we will suffer less. Bad things will happen still, nevertheless. Yet we leave it in God’s hands, we never worry since it’s all in God’s plan. All we can do is find a way to portray what righteousness means to a world that has gone astray. Every religion or race can find wisdom, within their own religious and spiritual system. But the vast mass of world civilians, has no clue of their true nature, people in the millions. We feel trapped, under the stress of work and bills, under the fear of going out and being killed, due to the neighborhoods we live in, we are tempted by all forms of evil so we give in, and we participate, we descend lower and lower instead of elevate. We conform and we’re okay with being mediocre, but never great. We see life as a horrible fate, which we just can’t escape. We feel constant suffering, hunger. We feel the world on our shoulders, holding us down, keeping us under. Drugged and sedated, we love and we hate it, we endlessly cry, we look up and complain to the sky. Isn’t this pure hell? Ignorance of our true nature, giving in to such suffering, wailing and wishing that things wouldn’t be the way they are. Nothing can change by wishing, whether to God or on a star.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 49.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 26: The Universal Will.

The Universal Will is beyond pain and pleasure, and it is beyond any one human life. We are all instruments bringing reality together, essential parts of the time in history which we were born in, and each death is just as important and significant as each life. When we realize that death is such a great motivator for keeping us on track we can no longer despise it. When we no longer despise death we come to realize that death is precious. If we had no death we might fall into such deep meaninglessness that we can no longer summon the energy to do anything at all. This is not to meant we no longer suffer during death, this suffering is natural. But we must understand that beyond our sense of loss, our pain due to that part of our heart which is now missing, there is a greater plan, and that death is not annihilation, since there is an eternal godly spark within us that can never die. Humanity continues to search for cures for all kinds of diseases in order to prolong life, but it only really matters to us when it becomes a reality for us or those we love. As long as tragedy doesn’t affect us, we go on living as if it doesn’t exist at all anywhere else in the world. We complain that we are bored, that we have to spend time at school or at work, that we have to accompany our mother to the grocery store, that we have to help our younger siblings with their homework. Everything is a reason for complaint. Since we have nothing worthwhile to do with our time we simply spend it complaining, stressing ourselves out. Stress is a slow killer but a killer nonetheless. Complaining might seem like a form of venting and letting our frustration out, but it actually drags us further into misery and affects those who surround us as well. When death or disease strike we are all of a sudden so compelled to do whatever it takes to prolong the same existence we were just complaining about a moment ago. We have become ungrateful. What we need is to strengthen our core as human beings, by understanding that our mind and body are simply vehicles for a much higher power, an indestructible power. We cannot strengthen our willpower. Willpower comes from Spirit and it is always as strong as it can be. When I speak of willpower I speak of the Divine will which is inherent in man. Any desire which does not arise from this will does not arise from willpower at all, but from the animal instincts which man carries within himself, from the raw emotion and thought that binds us to a merely physical experience of pain and petty pleasures. We can chase pleasure to the farthest extremes of this earth and we will end up disappointed and disillusioned no matter how high we climb. Confusion will strike like that inflicted upon the builders of Babel as we are humbled for having attempted to reach God status by elevating ourselves and putting others down, by letting our worldly desires drag us through the mud, all the while in a state of pure ecstasy. After all, ignorance is bliss. Ignorance of our truly divine nature is the cause of all needless human suffering, so there’s no wonder there’s so much of both nowadays. We spend too much time in our comfort zones, chasing pleasure or avoiding all pain. We become attached to our own perceptions of who we are, which are also affected by others’ perceptions with who we are. After so many days of the same routine, the same things bothering us, the same things making us feel a bit satisfied with life, we think we know ourselves. We think we know what we really think about certain topics, we think we mean things which we don’t mean, we think we are a thousand things, when in reality, at the highest level, we are all one in being, all of us being, one being. This is why we know what is right and what is wrong, yet we try to remain in ignorance, because it feels great. We lie to ourselves, as if we could, and indeed we can. We can lie to our perceived self, our self-imposed identity of ourselves, but we can never, under any circumstances, succeed in lying to our higher Self, to God within us. The source of all love and wisdom knows nothing else, and when we act out of accordance with these attributes we face unnecessary suffering, self-inflicted suffering. This is because the real Self always knows where we are screwing up. It knows when we are not aligned with our true nature. That’s why so many of us chase the drink I think, because it allows us to be who we think we want to be without that voice of reason dragging us down. We want to experience all the things we know we shouldn’t, we just need to lower our sense of judgement in order to enjoy them for a sweet second, in order to avoid any reflection whatsoever about what we have in our our own minds, about how we can enrich them and use life as a blessing, to bless ourselves and many others. We all feel inspired by such an idea, and even great criminals have helped the needy. It’s obvious that, as the phrase goes, sharing is caring. This is part of the love and wisdom of God, yet some of us choose to ignore this, and instead we choose to nurture the rotten ideas of selfishness which we’ve slowly began developing in our brains. Explain it in whatever way, but selfishness needs to be forgotten if we are to follow a spiritual life. Jesus advised against considering any earthly thing as treasure, and recommended to focus on the treasures of the spirit instead, while the Buddha taught complete non-attachment to all worldly things, rooted in the reality beyond all suffering. He also preached balance, the middle way, something else which could be thought of as a divine attribute of the One Being.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 27.

~ Rebel Spirit 

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 25: “Do Not Recollect the Past, Nor Desire the Future.”

Learn to feel the blessing of being able to inhale and exhale. Don’t take a second for granted, instead take advantage of the health you have and the time that you have to experience life. It may be another hundred years, or it could be over in the next second. Civilization’s attempt to create a completely convenient society where nothing is out of our reach has turned us into entitled consuming machines who believe that, in order to stay relevant in today’s world, we need to be the first to buy the newest products which are released. We simply cannot let life pass us by, we cannot become outdated, our identity cannot become obsolete. In our minds, we must do everything within our power to be successful. Why is it that so many of us chase a success which leaves us utterly dissatisfied with our lives in the very end? It’s because we believe in society’s shallow definition of success. We believe that more is always better, so we go through life always looking for more. By becoming completely caught up in our desperate, never-ending quest for more we unconsciously decide to ignore the little things, all the special moments and connections which make up the magic of human life. I am forever thankful that I was blessed enough to be born to parents who value wisdom. My parents have always been representatives of righteousness to my brothers and myself. They never wasted time with useless things, and they always tried to convey a positive message in every sentence, sharing their years of wisdom. For a long time I didn’t want to be like them, seemingly simple people. However, now I understand that indeed I do need to simplify my life. So many of the things some of us spend a lifetime chasing may not even be what’s right for us, but yet we think we know. It isn’t until much later that we realize we’ve wasted years on something of little or no value, all the while neglecting the blessings all around us. Life has truly passed us by now, all because we didn’t want it to pass us by. I recently reading Aldous Huxley’s novel “Island.” Huxley’s always been one of my favorite authors, but the more I read the more I recognize his pure literary genius. He really has a way to make you feel the philosophical and spiritual concepts he is trying to touch upon within the lives and dialogues of a different characters. In ‘Island’, we find that the story’s main character is filled with a deep sense of regret since he feels he killed his wife. On the night he told her he no longer wanted her, that he wanted nothing more to do with her, she walked out the door with a final goodbye. And little did he know it was about to be final, since she was about to die in a crash in the heavy rain outside. Did he drive her to her premature? He rejected his wife since he was interested in someone else, someone sexier, someone much wilder. She was quick to do away with him after the wife’s death though. It’s not clear if Will would have chose to remain with Molly if he had the chance to do it all over again, but in the end he does learn that his attitude had been wrong all along, and that he had neglected the blessings of his past, he had preferred to remain somewhat detached, cynical, never surrendering to the beauty of life. Such is our condition way too often, and we don’t realize it until it’s too late. On a personal note on this, these past few days I’ve been really feeling some of the bliss of being in the moment, not complaining, which is my new goal, and simply allowing things to be, accepting, really being thankful for each small blessing. Today however, for some strange reason, I started having thoughts about my music, about why I don’t make as much music nowadays, why I barely ever write lyrics anymore. The spiritual outlook I’ve developed during the past few years have really took away some of my motivation to rap, for a lot of complicated reasons. The point is that today I was contemplating the past, wondering why my attitude changed towards my music, why I can barely get inspired nowadays. I know some of it has to do with not wanting to say too many stupid things anymore, limiting my music only to things I know will lift people up, rather than pushing them further down into a materialistic mindset , or worse, into totally destructive habits. Rappers nowadays think they made it out of the system, and they flaunt their cash in their music videos. They don’t realize that they’re simply promoting the same system that made them suffer as they grew up, a system which is willing to torture, to sacrifice its own people, for the sake of money, of power and status. This is what dealers of dangerous drugs are doing, both legal and illegal. Crack dealers, pharmaceutical companies, heroin smugglers. When we are willing to contribute to people being trapped in such detrimental slavery as drug addiction in order to get our pay, we are surely degenerating. Yet this is promoted and celebrated in hip-hop, anything to get your money, to survive, to not be another victim of the struggle. Animosity and paranoia is the fruit of holding such a view. The point is that, due to this and some other things, I no longer feel the same drive to rap, as I clearly see that bullshit sells. Artists are rewarded for promoting consumer culture and even evil. I was thinking of the past today, of how I used to have the same mentality of ‘money by any means.’ I was bound for success, there was no question about it. Now I feel a lack of certainty, like I won’t be able to make it if I never sell out, which I’m not willing to do. After worrying for a while though, I read my daily sutra, and I was reminded not to worry about it any longer, as I encountered this passage, which I believe I was meant to read exactly today, the only day of the week when worry about the past arose in me:

“Do not recollect the past, nor desire the future, The past is over, the future has not come.
These things of the present, see them with insight as they arise. Not faltering and not moved, think about them. Today itself-the dispelling should be done. Tomorrow death might come” ~ Ánandabhaddekarattasuttam Sutta

A clear reminder to leave the past in the past, and to work diligently towards the future, but without worry, and unattached to the possible fruits of my labor.

~ To be continued tomorrow, on Day 26.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 22: The Buddha’s First Noble Truth.

Courtesy is the key to compassion, to common understanding that we are all one, that we are all together in this life. I can’t stress enough how important it is that we each do the best we can at keeping calm even as we navigate through whatever storm we may be currently facing in the deep and devastating sea of sorrow which is reality. This is not pessimistic though, such was the Buddha’s teaching. One must fully acknowledge and accept life’s inherent yet impermanent suffering in order to stop creating more suffering during this life. We cannot lash out on others in order to feel better about our current situations, we cannot use aggression to vent our frustration. Yet so many of us react in such a way because we have been conditioned to never ask for help. In this cold and competitive world which we live in it is a crime to show vulnerability, to spill out your soul to somebody else, to fully trust someone and accept the suffering that might come as a side effect. Such behavior can ruin us, it can open a door for the wicked people to haunt us. At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. And in a way it’s true. But hiding away from all possible suffering shuts us down, and ultimately prevents us from living our lives freely. Consumer culture is surely succeeding at creating a materialistic society in which petty products are the ultimate symbols of status and success. Money and fame are flaunted in our faces to tempt us, to make us believe that we need to slave away to acquire these things, to be more popular, to be cooler, to be richer, to be more successful, to be who we always wanted to be, never having a moment of true peace to be happy with ourselves and the lives we’ve been so blessed with. All the rich and famous suicide victims could tell us that money doesn’t bring happiness. No one seemed to expect it, they were completely normal on the outside. Of course, we can’t actually ask them now whether they would back this claim up, but I have a feeling that if so much money could give a real sense of meaning to a person’s life, a sense of hope, they might still be alive today. The same script plays out over and over again, yet we still refuse to learn the obvious lessons which can be extracted from these people’s lives. Life is suffering, and suffering is life. All good contains some bad, all bad contains some good. The poor man complains because he lives in misery. The rich man lives in misery, in crippling fear of poverty. The man who is neither rich nor poor agonizes over the fact that his neighbor has a newer and nicer car than him. Such is the way of attachment, such is the product of the materialistic mentality we have developed. Attachment to wealth is the greatest delusion since it makes human hearts grow cold, leading us to refuse help and shelter to one another, to value a symbol of wealth rather than real wealth. When we place greater value on worthless pieces of paper than we do on other people’s lives then we are on the fast track to complete corruption, first of the individual and soon in a global scale. We will soon be able to commit any evil deed in order to get ahead. And this is the goal of the system. The goal is to separate us, the goal is to turn us all against one another, the goal is to make us covet our neighbor’s blessings, everything everyone else has, to desire more and more until the point where we feel so empty that there is only death left to desire – annihilation of such a seemingly meaningless and vain existence. Such is the way of the man who has corrupted his mind with materialistic desires, lust, greed, arrogance, hate, with paralyzing fear and doubt. We all love to complain about the corruption in the world, but we ignore it when we are the ones who act in a corrupt manner. Perhaps we are living in such ignorance that we fail to even notice our own corruption, but the real Self can never be fooled. We love to blame others for the state of the world, all the while ignoring what we could be doing to create a better world. We need to begin with the environment around us. As a matter of fact, we first need to understand that the essence of this world is duality. In this life there is pain and pleasure, and both are inevitable. Even worldly pleasure is not true pleasure, as it is a part of duality. We love and cherish our families and all the great memories we have of them, but the greater amount of memories we store of them in our minds the more we are likely to miss them when they depart – the more we will suffer, from the memories of wonderful days. The point is that, no matter how much we try to improve this planet, no matter how many pure people dedicate their lifetimes to the enlightenment of this world, suffering will always arise, it being an inevitable an essential part of life. This was Buddha’s first Noble Truth: Life is suffering. The suffering that we can avoid is the suffering that we ourselves create by reacting in the way we do to any given situation that life presents us with, to any obstacle it may throw our way. We need to connect with the Divine within us, with the stillness of the universal Spirit, an essence of godliness which can never be corrupted, and which is free to keep calm in any and every situation, as it exists in a dimension above duality. I refer to the oneness behind all life, behind the spinning energies of the yin and yang, the reason why all contradictions bring us to the same truth. It is the reason why death always follows life, and life begins after death, why we continue existing eternally.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 23.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 4: Morality, the Origins of Good and Evil.

Yesterday I brought up a conversation which I had with my grandparents the other day, which got me thinking about the nature of God and life, as well as death, and faith. They have faith in Jesus, they are devout Christians. I have faith in God, but I’m not sure who or what God is, and I have a great willingness to learn, and to go wherever the truth leads me. I think that, no matter what else we might believe about God, the one thing we can be sure about is that God represents good. The good that we feel within us is proof to me that there is a greater good which has created us, which dwells within us. Evil is simply the ignorance of this good within us, of our intuition. So where does the feeling of morality come from? We might steal every day, we might kill a a million men, but we will never escape from the knowledge that we are in the wrong, that we are not acting out of love but out of ruthless selfishness, and that therefore we are not living life right. We can indeed ignore this inner voice and convince ourselves that what we’re doing isn’t wrong, but it can never go away completely. The real Self within us knows the truth; it is that part of us which comes from, or is a part of, God. When we get really good at following our every desire on our search for pleasure, we might become confused and think that the voice of intuition has gone away, that we have escaped it, but we have just gotten better at drowning it out in all the accumulated noise in our heads, all the random garbage we’ve accumulated over time. Our conscience will haunt us non-stop if we choose to lead lives that go against it. I believe our intuition is divine. Again, I’m not exactly sure of who or what God is, but I believe that God exists, since I can feel love within me, and goodness. I have seen that love is what is needed in order for two people to connect in a relationship and then to procreate and raise their children in a proper manner. It is obvious that love leads to life, and that the act of sex, or making love, and of bearing children is a physical as well as spiritual representation of this. A physical body is produced and grows within the mother, and a soul inhabits it as it comes to life. The whole thing is too perfect to be a coincidence, in my honest opinion, too beautiful and too advanced to be a product of random mutations over millions of years. Good comes from God, life comes from the unity created by love, life therefore comes from God. It is almost completely clear for me. But what about evil? This has always bothered me. The duality of this life is the obvious answer to this. But why this dual nature in the first place? Is it as the Kabbalah teaches, that we were separated from God and this world was created out of that endless desire to reconnect with the Godhead? Is it the devil that’s at work in our planet? Is this a world of pain, is it a life of suffering as the Buddha taught? I would say that it is. It is obvious that, although there is abundant love in the world, there is also a tremendous amount of evil and suffering. I think it has something to do with the story of Adam and Eve, when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. It might mean they were not human, and that the fall represents a lowering of consciousness, the creation of this world, working the land, producing children in pain. I think that, although this duality is a part of life, good is ultimately higher than the good and bad of duality. The good of duality is not complete good, since there is always a little circle of evil within it. The same goes for evil, we often have sincere and honest reasons for doing evil, whether it is stealing so that our children can eat, or lying in order not to offend someone or break their heart. This is a world of duality, the Principle of Polarity is in effect, and everything is connected to its opposite, it is different only in degree. Above this, however, there is a greater good, a good untouched by ignorance and therefore uncontaminated by evil. I think this is the good that we connect with when we realize we are spiritual beings on this planet, that we have a higher nature, a divine nature that comes directly from God, an intuition which can lead the way through life. I think that Jesus’ death on the cross, assuming he is not God, is an amazing example for us all of how to live as human beings. It might have been that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, chosen by God for the specific mission of showing us in such an astonishing manner that we have to embrace all the suffering and the injustice of this life, including the inevitable fact of death, and that we have to transmute it into goodness. We have to accept the suffering that comes with doing the right thing, with fulfilling our mission on this planet. So many of us go through life ignoring our intuition, doing whatever pleases us the most at any given moment, never doing the right thing since it might affect our comfortable lifestyle. It may be true that what I’m saying is just another belief system, although most of the greatest mystical orders believe this as well, but even if it is just a belief system, it matters more than “knowing” who the absolute God is and attempting to impart that belief onto others. So many people are at war nowadays because of their belief in a specific religion, a specific God which they believe to be better than the rest. So many people have superiority complexes and look down upon everyone else, since they are not yet “saved” and are unaware that they will spend eternity in hell. So many people are so obsessed with a specific God and religion that they have no idea of the intuition which is within them. Is it more important to worship Jesus, or Buddha, or to follow in their examples, extending good to our fellow human beings wherever we may go, and sharing all the love and compassion available within us? I think the latter is something which cannot be ignored while we are on a search for life’s bigger meanings. Don’t get lost in a religion, or in an ideology, to the point where you feel higher than everyone else, where you only help because you feel pity for other people.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 5.

~ Rebel Spirit.

Living by the Light of Truth.

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All of us know what truth is, but do we really? The truth is often hard to accept, there’s no question about it. This is true because of another phrase which is also true: ignorance is bliss. This phrase itself is very superficial in its explanation however, and if we go just a bit deeper we will realize that the bliss referred to is not actual bliss but merely a fake and fabricated illusion of it. It is the illusory sense of euphoria felt by someone imagining big dreams blossoming in their own near future, completely unaware of an illness which will claim their life very soon and which is already growing inside their body, destined to eventually put an end to such dreams. The great feeling of attempting to live in a false future as we ignore the blessings which surround us in our current situation is definitely a curse as it hinders our progress and fills our time with idle daydreaming. Let’s not forget that any and every conception of the future is pure fantasy since it is only real in the thought realm within our own minds. Ignorance cannot be real bliss because, by definition, it includes not knowing. And we all know that we love to know things more than anything else. There is nothing that can be done without knowledge. After all, knowledge is power, right? So, can we be blissful without knowledge? Can we say that we are truly happy if our happiness is a product of not being fully aware of the full picture, of the true scope of what’s going on, of the true state of our lives? If knowledge is power, can we be blissful without any power at all? Without control of our minds and lives? 

Many people would respond affirmatively, but in reality, they would be completely crushed by a loss of even a minute amount of whatever power they currently hold over their own life and their perception of it. When one begins losing control over one’s thoughts and emotions to the point where one can no longer discern between reality and fantasy, one is diagnosed as a psychotic and possibly treated as a schizophrenic. Others, upon reaching old age, are afflicted by that horribly debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s. Not knowing is a curse. Ignorance is terrifying. Yet this sort of ignorant and completely carefree attitude towards life is promoted every day, all day, to everyone everywhere, as we are encouraged by others and by ourselves to lie to ourselves, to seek so-called happiness (which is most of the time just cheap pleasure, in the minds of the masses) over meaning, over a life purpose or a legacy to leave behind. The system which society is based upon is set up in such a way that it exploits the human need for meaning and purpose, our very will, the essential engine of the human spirit, reducing it to a tool within the physical body, redirected towards mere survival by a system of debt slavery, and although there are people behind this, we are the only ones to blame. “There is a path of joy and there is the path of pleasure. Pondering on them, the wise one chooses the path of joy; the fool takes the path of pleasure.” ~ Katha Upanishad 1:2:2

The more we choose to value petty pleasures over noble pursuits, the more ignorant we become to what is going on in our world and in our own lives, souls and minds as well as those of our fellow human beings. We are very quickly becoming detached and disconnected. The more we choose to live in blissful ignorance, without facing the terrible truths that keep us shackled, without searching for the deeper meaning which we know this life definitely has, without attempting to free ourselves of cultural and social conditioning, without coming to the realization that the truth is an imperative part of ourselves which cannot be neglected or ignored for long, the further away we will stray from truth, and we will surely become confused and corrupt. God is truth, everything that is true comes from God, and it has to be faced no matter what it may be. God dwells within us, so truth is what gives us life, it is our very spirit. We cannot exist without truth, and that is why we are on a never-ending quest for wisdom, because we feel a spark of this divine truth within us, we know that life is permeated by this truth, this magic, and we want to find out more about what it means. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”, said Jesus. Truth and life were synonymous to Jesus, and it is obvious that we cannot have life in the Father, in God the creator of the universe, the Almighty Power which maintains all else alive, which allows everything else to be for eternity, as long as we keep focusing our lives around illusions and ignoring reality.

Truth cannot be escaped. It must be embraced and used as the main tool in our quest to uncover deeper truth. The ocean of truth is vast, beyond our wildest dreams and imagination, it is unfathomable by the human mind and unseen to the naked eye. It cannot be described or perceived by the senses. Truth is intuition, and it is the entire basis for faith. There can be no faith without it. There can be no real progress without it. If intuition is not followed it will not dim its voice, but your mind will gradually become damaged, like a defective receiver which cannot pick up a signal for which there is no external interference – the problem is actually internal. There is no problem with the heavenly signal, yet the mind can be degraded in a number of ways, many of which we as a species practice religiously in modern times.

In the age of information, we have more access to truth than ever before, but we also have more access to lies. And because we have been conditioned to ignore the truth and to chase only pleasure, most people love to focus on lies which seem exciting and interesting, instead of on truth which compels them to make a change in their own lives or in the world as a whole, or both. We are afraid of change, just like we are afraid of the unknown. This fear is irrational and it needs to go. We need to use our resources now more than ever before, in order to uncover the divine truth hidden within all that exists. An unconditional and passionate love of truth is the key to unifying all people and evolving as a whole collective consciousness as we move into future times.“The Infinite is the source of joy. There is no joy in the finite. Ask to know the Infinite.” ~ Chandogya Upanishad 7.23

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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FREE E-BOOK: ‘SIDDHARTHA’ (1922), written by Hermann Hesse

SIDDARTHA
‘SIDDHARTHA’
Written by Hermann Hesse, originally in German.
Published in 1922.

‘Siddhartha’ is a simple story of a boy’s struggle and spiritual journey as he finds his way through a life of contemplation and contradiction. This boy, Siddhartha, lived in the time of the Buddha, Gautama himself, and at one point in the story, along Siddhartha’s journey, the two characters meet for a brief moment, and they exchange some words in conversation. Given his first chance to speak, Siddhartha makes sure that Gautama understands that, although he respects his teachings as a venerable master who has personally practiced what he preaches and experienced the ecstasy of enlightenment, he simply cannot be limited by following in any one man’s teaching, for true wisdom cannot be imparted in words, it absolutely must be experienced firsthand rather than expressed by a teacher and understood by a student. This Siddhartha knew without a doubt, and for this reason, he regretted to inform with all due respect that he could not follow in the Buddha’s footsteps along with the other disciples and monks, along with his long-time childhood friend Govinda, his best friend, who had now left him to pursue the monastic lifestyle. Throughout the novel, Siddhartha maintains this idea that it is a must for him to find truth in his own experience rather than in the scriptures and sermons of sages (a fundamental teaching of the Buddha), and this leads him through many experiences, each containing its own lesson for him.

Siddhartha started his life out as the son of a Brahmin, the highest caste in Hindu society, then left that life to wander in the desert with the samanas as an ascetic, alien to the world, trying to achieve complete abolishment of attachment. He eventually reached his goal, but as time passed however, he finally came to embrace the world instead, and somehow found himself immersed in the suffering of sansara. He gradually reached a breaking point which humbled him as he reflected on his whole journey through good and evil, now coming back around to repay him for every wrong and every right. In the end, Siddhartha comes to the realization that the Oneness of God is behind every physical form, and it shines through in absolutely everything, in any and every way imaginable, in every teacher and every teaching. As I read this book I wondered if Siddhartha and Gautama could be separate characters extracted from the Buddha’s identity because the writer intended to showcase a certain trait of the Buddha’s character, or a tenet of his teaching, or perhaps a specific side of human behavior in general, in each of these two characters. Perhaps they were meant to represent the yin and the yang, the light and the darkness, or maybe the passion and the logic, the magic and the monotony, the apparent contradictions which are present within one being – just a few of the many ideas this brilliant book made me think about during the course of reading it.

‘Siddhartha’ was written by German-born author and Nobel laureate in literature Hermann Hesse and published in 1922. A creative soul from the beginning of his life, Hesse was encouraged to read as much as possible by his maternal grandfather Hermann Gundert, a missionary, linguist and doctor of philosophy. His grandfather’s love of reading seems to have been a profound influence for young Hermann, whose focus growing up as a writer was on topics dealing with spirituality and the individual’s search for sanctity. Apart from working in a bookshop which allowed him access to a specialized collection on theology, Hesse’s grandfather also allowed him use of his personal library which contained a vast amount of world literature. Herman Hesse began to feel that he was a citizen of the world, fascinated with world culture, and he wrote and published Siddhartha after a long trip through Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Burma, which provided inspiration for the novel according to Hesse. He was very interested in both Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as other philosophical and spiritual systems, and spent most of his time with books rather than friends. 

There’s not a lot of action or too much adventure in this book, as is expected, seeing as it is more of a philosophical and thought-provoking novel, and at times it incites a surprisingly serene and peaceful mood with its poetically structured phrases and paragraphs. Everything is so thoroughly and delicately described as the author is a master at painting crystal-clear visions in one’s head. I enjoyed this book very much for the way it is able to blend various ideas from Buddhism and Hinduism into a simple but inspiring story of unity. Siddhartha realizes, after much suffering and grief, much joy and much pain, that there is no need to keep searching, as everything we will ever need is already present within us – the key to every locked door, the solution to every problem, the map to every maze we move through during our material existence. Definitely worth a read if you enjoy philosophical and thought-provoking literature. Siddhartha’s adventures conjure up many important ideas to consider about life and our purpose in it.

The original was published in German in 1922, and the English translation I read is by Gunther Olesch, Anke Dreher, Amy Coulter, Stefan Langer, and Semyon Chaichenets. I also read the book in Spanish with my wife, and thoroughly enjoyed it and understood it on a deeper level the second time. Comment if you’ve read it, and read it if you haven’t!

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~
“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” 
~ ‘Siddhartha‘ by Hermann Hesse.

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“WHERE THE LOVE AT” (produced by Shadowville)

“WHERE THE LOVE AT”

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Written and recorded by Rebel Spirit. Produced by Shadowville Productions. Mixed and mastered by Rebel Spirit. Cover art edited by Rebel Spirit. We all need to take a real honest look at ourselves and accept the amazing fact that we all come from the same essence. We can’t go on living in the same way we have for milennia while somehow avoiding worldwide chaos. Even with the heights of all our technological, social and medical advances, machines actually contribute to our alienation from society and our poor health, people still struggle all their lives through poverty and violence, and millions still die every day due to incurable illnesses. It’s definitely time we all stop and think about the message of Truth which can be found within us, the same message some enlightened beings have attempted shared with us since the beginning of time, regardless of being ridiculed and mocked, persecuted and crucified. They all tried to show us something so simple, yet so precious; something so full of goodness that it encompasses all that is good, from respect among all beings, to compassion for the less fortunate, to intrinsic, unconditional love for those we build a bond with throughout our lives. If we all look for this Truth within us, regardless of race, nationality, religion or belief system, we will clearly see that love is the answer very much needed to the uncertain questions we all face in today’s corrupted world. So I ask you, “Where the love at?!?”

~ God bless | ~ REBEL SPIRIT

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