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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 60: Look For the Answer Within Yourself.

Sometimes it feels like nothing makes sense. Sometimes we feel tired, or angry, and we don’t know why, we just feel like something’s wrong, and we wish we could find out exactly what the problem is. We try to pass the time, to think about other things, to stay busy, or to sleep. We try to distract ourselves by any means necessary since we can’t simply sit, alone with our discomfort, we can’t accept that it’s there for a reason, so that we can find out what that reason really is. In order to find out why we feel the discomfort we do, why we feel stressed or depressed or frustrated, we need to acknowledge that there’s a reason why we feel this way. Feelings don’t just come out of nowhere, and most of the time we are unconscious of the things that we do, or that happen in our lives, that cause us to feel certain emotions during the course of each day. We don’t observe our feelings, we simply feel bored so we find a way to kill time, or we feel stressed so we find some way to distract ourselves, to get caught up in the moment so that we don’t have to think. This may be the very root of our problem, the fact that we are not fully transparent to ourselves. We might think that we know ourselves, that we know what really makes us who we are, what we stand for, why we think or feel the way we do, but the truth is that we know very little about ourselves, about how our thoughts and emotions work or where they come from. It’s very easy to believe our own lies when they are comforting, when they prevent us from making the changes we need to be making in our lives. Usually we don’t even know that this is going on, since very few of us even take a few minutes of each day to sit in silence, to reflect. So many of us have unresolved issues which are subconsciously sabotaging our lives, issues which we are too afraid to face, which we have been too afraid to face for far too long, and which are now wreaking havoc in our lives without us being aware of it. We’ve ignored our problems for so long that we’ve finally forgotten that they are there. Forgetting about our problems won’t make them go away however, it will only make us unable to deal with them. What we need to do is to find time to go deep inside, to find time to simply be, to know the essence of what it means to be alive, to be ourselves, by ourselves, without any external influence, keeping our awareness away from desires and ambitions, from attachments and aversions, and focusing on that which we know is the highest truth, the highest good which exists. All of us have some form of understanding of this, it is an intuition which is within us. We need to stop ignoring our intuition, we need to find time to be alone with it, we need to pray, to meditate, to be at peace, to let go of any past evil which has been committed by us or against us, and to be at peace, just here and now, understanding that now is all that there is, and that we can only begin to live correctly now if we come to terms with the past, and if we can let go of our pain, of our hate, of our desire for things to be different, and to reach a point where we are now free to enjoy the blessings of each moment, without pressure. Problems often seem too big for us to overcome, but it’s often because we don’t even know where the problems stem from. We are under too much pressure, too much stress, we are not in a position to find out what the source of our problems are, let alone to get to work on fixing it. We have to stop looking for external solutions to problems which we can’t even pinpoint, and instead we need to focus completely on the inner, on slowing down and on analyzing our lives up until now, on bringing peace to our minds and lives. We need to stop frantically searching for an answer, and we need to simply stop ignoring that which we know to be right. The solution to our problems doesn’t have to be too complicated, but if we never bother to look in the right place, in that place within our very souls, then we will never find it no matter how far we may travel, no matter how dedicated we may be to our search. If we keep on ignoring those things which make us uncomfortable, if we keep on attempting to fill the void, to fill the silence, with all sorts of pointless noise, with useless and even harmful activities, we will never find the answer, we will never find true satisfaction. This is a message to everyone who is feeling completely frustrated by life and what it entails, by the feeling of something missing, of something being wrong even when nothing seems to be wrong externally, who suffer and struggle with these feelings but don’t know why. Don’t give in to boredom, don’t give in to restlessness. Calm down, calm your mind, see the blessings which surround you in your life, understand that everything is a process, that everything happens for a reason, that you are where you need to be. Stop desperately looking for the magic cure against all sorrow, instead embrace all your sorrow, embrace your pain, embrace life with all it includes, and simply seek to humbly understand yourself, to become better every day. Stop ignoring the truth, make the necessary changes and things will slowly get better. Don’t try to run before you can walk, make the changes that you need to make now so that you can be in a position to make much bigger changes in the future. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 61.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 49: Don’t Become Discouraged.

It’s easy to become discouraged, and to fall into a deeply depressive state, if we continually dwell upon all the death and destruction that takes place on daily basis, all around us at all times. There are many, many horrible deeds being consciously committed by many people, and there are also many small acts of ignorance which we all commit just as frequently, which cause a big impact on ourselves and on our planet in the long run, such as our extreme use of plastic, as well as our contribution to consumer culture. There is simply no escaping it, is how we often feel. We feel like there’s no way to go against the system, and that, if there’s no way of easing the people’s pain, or at least our own, then does life really have a point, does it hold any meaning? Is there any value in enjoying life while millions of others, human and non-human alike, suffer at the same time? Can we ever be free of fear in the face of a possible disease or an early and unexpected death? Must we be always alert, paranoid about whether death is just around the corner, constantly worried sick about the well-being of those we love, imagining the worst of possibilities whenever they come home a bit late or something like that? I never felt like this in Canada, but I often feel like this now, here in Honduras, when Maria goes to work in the mornings, since I join her there later in the day. I wonder if she’s okay all the way, and so I make sure I have her call me every day when she gets to work. We got another cell phone in order to make this happen, before we just had the one for both. But is this healthy? Is it good to be afraid of the world and of its unexpected dangers? Of car crashes or robberies and killings? Nowadays, thousands of people go watch a movie or attend a concert and they end up getting blasted on and killed by some psychopathic maniac. But is this an excuse to live in fear? Crime is very high here in Honduras, but I still don’t think it’s an excuse. One must have faith, in God is what I believe, but if you’re unsure of God as a concept at least you can have faith in the inherent goodness of the world, if you think of it reasonably. There is duality, yes, but the Spirit which inhabits our bodies is made up of all the attributes of the greatest good, and it cannot be shaken by duality. We can only believe ourselves defeated by life’s tragedies, if we are drowning in ignorance, leading us to forget our truly divine nature which is above such petty pleasures and pains. We shouldn’t focus on worry, on anxiety, on panic or frustration. We should focus on cultivating an unbreakable inner calm, a peace which is true and which pervades our entire life. We need to make this our priority, and we must come to love life, along with all its inescapable and painful situations, to be at peace with the process of life, and with everything it includes, to be grateful to be here, to be now, in this moment, to be alive. Once we truly feel this way, we will understand that, even with all the pain, even with all the evil we human beings are capable of, even with all the terrible crimes we’ve committed in the past, there is something within all of us which is beyond evil, which can break its chains, which can free us from bondage to our lower nature, to our sensual desires, to our lust and our greed and selfish satisfaction. We are trapped to these things, the great majority of us, yet we don’t try to break free. We are comfortable in our prison cells, and most of us have even decorated over the bars, we have become used to our posters, the decorations we’ve placed over the iron bars, and we’ve come to forget them. We don’t know we are locked up in physical existence, we don’t know that there’s more to us outside of this. We laugh at those who suggest this, we doubt the human spirit, we are quick to doubt ourselves, to harshly judge ourselves and others. Although we might not judge ourselves in front of others in order to pretend as if we have it all together, to keep our image, our identity, the real Self can never be lied to, and since within ourselves we know that we are wrong in whatever aspect of our lives, we judge ourselves and we feel guilty and ashamed. We become insecure, we develop and extreme mistrust for others, we become anti-social. We begin to project our fear onto everything, and all of a sudden life has become a great deception, something barely worth living, something we must simply endure, since we cannot take our own lives. We question existence, and just maybe it might be all completely random, totally pointless and stupid. We fail to understand that things are much deeper than what we perceive, and that we all suffer in this life, mostly because we wish things were different, we argue with life, we don’t look at things properly, we make the wrong decisions, we act impulsively, we do things for our own satisfaction, we give in to destructive vices and sacrifice our long-term health, sanity, and dignity. We all want to do everything we feel like, without knowing the impact it will have on ourselves and those around us, not to mention everyone else living life, since we are all one. Then we complain about the consequences, we act as if actions had no reactions, as if there were no principle of Cause and Effect. But this is something which is known since ancient times, and today, during the internet era, when we have access to so much information from so many different sources, ancient as well as contemporary, the fact that most of us don’t research this kind of information and take the time to learn from it is really great proof of our profound state of ignorance, which is the same exact cause as that of every single problem or disease which I mentioned during this post, and which most of us can see around us, which cause so much suffering for so many. What we need to do is to remain conscious of our true nature, and to focus on becoming free from the chains of ignorance.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 50.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 32: Your Body Is Your Portable Home!

Since ancient times we’ve been attempting to answer the mysteries of existence, the reason for it all and what everything means. We’ve observed and taken notes, we’ve wrote our hypotheses down for our descendants, we’ve put all our accumulated information, our knowledge, into books. Some of the information simply can’t be passed down in books, although most of it has. Many ideas are passed down, generation after generation, through the people who embody them, rather than on any piece of text. Most of us have many theories of reality, yet we’re all part of reality, we’re interwoven with it. Inseparable as we are from nature, from reality as we know it, we can’t examine it fully. We are what we eat, who we spend our time with, what we watch and hear and read, we are all of this. Beyond this we are something simple and infinite, but for the purposes of living here on this planet, during this incarnation, we basically are whatever we choose to absorb. We are the product of what we’ve chosen to consume, physically and mentally. We don’t know the details of what we eat, of what we drink. We know alcohol and cigarettes are slowly killing us, and that death might come severely and painfully, through disease. When I think back to the times when I still consumed both of these drugs, I know that I definitely didn’t have the same appreciation for life as I do now. I was an angry, rebellious teenager finding my way in the world. My reputation was important to me, and I had built it around being daring and down to do whatever, crazy. I was not truly thinking about myself, or about the people who love me, about what was best for me and the ways in which things like smoking could affect me and cause a lot of suffering to the most important people in my life down the road. My thinking was about the label that defined me, about who I thought I was, an aspiring rapper, cooler and crazier than any other. The arrogance which developed within me as I believed myself to be this character led to some really unfortunate situations. Thankfully I changed my ways before it had to come to something fatal, and I feel much more peaceful now that I’ve left that image and that whole lifestyle behind. We gain nothing from acting tough, we only close ourselves off from others, we reflect the hate and the indifference of the world, everything which is corrupting civilization. Since we can’t connect with ourselves or with others, we smoke our lives away, and we pick up a drink for the same reason, to socialize better, to lower our inhibitions. Why are we so afraid to speak our minds in the first place? Why do we need a stimulant every time we want to have a get-together with friends? Could it be that we can’t face them while sober, or that we can’t stand ourselves around them, or that we can’t stand the mere fact of being alive in this world and sharing an experience with a few other billion people? Things are too crazy to contemplate, so we smoke on, as we talk about the weather and complain about the calls during our 15-minute break? Are we all so unsatisfied that it’s too depressing to talk about what’s really on our minds? Is that why we’d rather chill with a cigarette instead, completely conscious of its contribution to our possible early death? Now that I understand how important life is, I understand that I need to take better care of my body. One’s body should never be neglected. If a so-called spiritual person neglects his body and calls it right then he is not honoring the fact, he is not appreciative of the fact, that he has a body, in order to live in this world. A home we can take with us wherever we go. If we can’t accept the now, this simple moment of just being alive, in this body, in this planet, if we can’t appreciate this and are trying to kill ourselves off in order to reach heaven or nirvana, then we have failed on our journey in the first place. We have disrespected a wonderful tool which we possess, yet without knowing who has given it to us, our body. I wonder if my lungs will have enough time to heal through the years, especially if I continue blazing, or has my previous cigarette addiction caused permanent damage? Only God knows, all I can do is hope. Time and time again, we are reminded of our inferiority, our seemingly hopeless state, lost with no clue where to go. Life feels like that sometimes, we all go through it. What happens is that we take our blessings for granted. We want things to be different in such and such way, we want to get this, or we want to avoid that. We want to control life, yet we put in no work in order to be able to do so, and even if we did it would not guarantee us that things would go according to our plans. Life is unpredictable, and it is this uncertainty which keeps us moving forward. We need to work on our attitudes in order to be ready to whether whatever storm comes our way, yet this doesn’t mean we should stop reflecting on our lives and making right decisions. We are responsible for clearing all the garbage we’ve already stored within, out of our minds. No one else will do it for us, and as long as we have so much trash in our minds, controlling us subconsciously, it will be extremely difficult for us to find the wisdom and mental clarity which are essential to living life right. None of us know anything, and life is better when we live it this way. We all specialize in one subject and we walk around as if we were the most intellectual people on the planet, we want to spread the message, to speak about what we are, the label we now identify with. What we need to do is to learn now about different ideas, to compare them to what we have learned on our own journey, to search for deeper understanding, both of similarities as well as differences. When we ignore one side of life, out of fear or aversion, we are living in ignorance. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 33.

~ Rebel Spirit

The Root of our Problems: Humanity Disconnected from its True Purpose.

dance

“The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance. Like music also, it is fulfilled in each moment of its course. You do not play a sonata in order to reach the final chord, and if the meaning of things were simply in ends, composers would write nothing but finales.”

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

~ Alan Watts (1915-1973)

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Two days ago, I posted about the harshness of truth, and how we should follow it regardless. Well, with something as true and as important as today’s subject I feel it’s best to get right to the point. Unfortunately, due to many complicated circumstances, many of them of our own creation, we have become a society devoid of meaning and significance, robbed of our true purpose. The extremely high levels of mental afflictions such as debilitating depression and anxiety which we see today are related to the lack of purpose we all feel inside, some of us more than others. We have become a society of people who only do things if there is a secondary purpose to doing them. Disconnected from our higher purpose, many lacking even a notion of such a thing, nothing that we do feels valuable or meaningful, and the days go by like autumn leaves down a river stream. By now it has become quite clear that the dehumanizing, robotic aspects of the kind of society the majority of us live in has completely stripped most of us of our passion to do anything, and sadly many people are just going along, struggling through life and hating every second of it, having nothing meaningful to pursue or to cherish. This is, of course, an illusion. If one can connect with one’s inner being one can always persevere, no matter the situation. But then again, the system which we live in makes even bare survival a tremendous struggle for a lot of people, and we all help it achieve its oppressive goals when we bury ourselves in debt because we cannot control our desires. They promote the products and we run to the store to buy them. We have become accomplices in their own scheme, and we are on the losing end of it. We have played ourselves and now we are paying the price. The point is that, for one reason or another, so many of us are now struggling to even find a purpose to live for. Truthfully, I wish we could all find something which we genuinely love to do and that we could do it for as long as we live with no financial worries. Work becomes play when you do what you love.

Me, I love to make music, among many other things, and when I get in the zone and I start recording my music, editing and replaying it again and again in order to perfect it, I become entranced. Time flies by and I don’t even feel it. I become completely immersed in the music and I become one with the process. I’m chilling in my own musical world, so to speak. No distractions come into my mind throughout the session and I am in an energetic state of flow. A lot of spiritual rituals involve music and dance, and I think the reason why is kind of obvious. I believe these activities are reminders to us that, in life, we do not always need to have such a specific purpose for doing some things. When we obsess over the destination we end up losing the joy which was meant to be part of our journey. We need to see that there is always a purpose behind the scenes, but we don’t need to always stress about it. I think of the concept of faith as being prepared for any opportunity, at the same time as trusting that there is a higher purpose for our lives, which we can connect with at all times. When we spend every second of our lives planning out a future achievement, we often ignore the best of God’s blessings which are right in front of us. Take the workaholic as an example, the one who is convinced that his rushed and busy lifestyle will secure financial stability for his family and take care of education fees down the road. He never considers that his child will also suffer greatly from his absence down the road, maybe even more than he most likely is already. Perhaps this father has vaguely thought through the consequences of his present actions, but yet he deems it definitely more important to secure his child’s financial future. Some people like these might not even be physically absent all the time, yet even when they are around their children, their mind is distant, far, far away, drifting from one work problem to the next, mentally shuffling through clients and contracts and such trivial nonsense.

In order to realize that we have become a society which has lost its sense of purpose, we need only notice how the most important thing on the planet is money. Literally speaking, money itself is simply a symbol for other things which we use, things which we believe have actual purpose. But money itself has no purpose or value at all, it is just a means to and end. Despite this, money has become our god, the highest achievable human goal, the thing that the majority of killers probably kill for, the thing that drives all corruption and injustice when it leads to greed. So, whether we want to accept it or not, the fact is that, these days, money really does make the world go around. We need to take a moment to stop and think about what this means and whether we want this to become our main purpose as well, or whether we want to follow another purpose, a higher purpose. What other purpose could there be to life? I’ll leave that up to you. Learning to accept life and its constant changes is no easy task. Some think that accepting means giving up and never trying to improve your situation in any way. This is not the case at all. In fact, accepting any problem is the first step to solving it, a necessary step no matter what the nature of your problem might be. Accepting means that you are not in denial of your situation, that you have decided to stop living in fear of your demons and devising escape tactics in order to avoid what you know is killing you from within. True acceptance means that you are now ready to do what is needed to change the problem.

An alcoholic who never accepts that he is an alcoholic might come to realize it many decades later once he has lost his family and his health, along with probably much, much more along the way. An alcoholic who accepts that he is alcoholic, however, can then take the necessary steps to free his or herself of such an afflictive addiction. Life is full of changes. Some we will like for sure, some not so much. We have to understand, however, that all change is necessary, and that what is bad to us might be the best news someone else has gotten in a while. There is no such thing as a good day or a bad day, because on the day that you celebrate the birth of your firstborn, another family has just realized that their own is no longer living among them. Can we say that this is really a good day overall? Both events took place within the same day. Can we call it a bad day? Of course, it is a good day. This good is above the duality of what we perceive as bad and good, though. Everything is the way it is meant to be, and when we face an obstacle which we think is too big for us, we need to think again (or stop thinking), and we need to remember (realize) that whatever obstacle we are facing is the exact obstacle we need to face at this moment in time, because we are who we are and we are living the life we are living. Life is alive everywhere, and everything affects everything. Regardless of how individual and separated from other people we may feel, the truth is that everything we do affects the lives of countless others, and everything everyone else does affects us in some way as well. We even affect ourselves in unknown and unexpected ways, both directly and indirectly, without ever having a clue. Nikola Tesla said “Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.”

We need to stop complaining and acting like victims. It is true that there are many people who are doing evil deeds daily, all throughout the world, and in no way am I defending some of the unspeakable practices some people engage in, nor am I say that what they do is correct or moral. What I am saying is that, although we have free will, everything eventually is arranged into what it needs to be, everything flows where it must no matter how many times we mess up. We cannot ruin God’s creation or throw it off balance, as it is perfect. Every evil and every kindness are surely to be repaid at some point. It might not be immediate but it will happen eventually. The world only seems imperfect to us due to our imperfect and partial view of it. Maya is illusion, it is not real, so it is not even evil as many portray it. We need to break through. Not through some kind of magic but through real life experiences, through ideas and thoughts that are manifested into the collective consciousness, through TV, radio, internet, through books. Books written thousands of years ago are still among the most influential ones today. Did the authors ever imagine they would influence such distant people, both in time and space? Time and space are non-existent, after all, in spirituality, in truth.

There are many avenues through which both good and evil can be repaid, such as some of those mentioned a moment ago. What we call “God’s mysterious ways” is karma, mysterious to us since it is unknown, containing the intersecting and invisible paths that lead to never-ending creation and manifestation. When we stop complaining and we start accepting life as it is and that we as a whole, we as humanity, have caused the problems which we are facing now, even our individual ones, we cannot be angry at God or the universe. We will realize that every experience is meant to help us progress in some way. Even our individual problems are created by our specific attitudes and worldviews, which have been affected by the environment we live in, which will depend not only on the family we are born into and the people who they grew to be through years of living their own lives, but also by the society we live in, which has also been influenced by countless teachers from the past, all of whom had their own teachers and so on. Life is a continuous cycle, and every change that takes place is a change we need to embrace. We need to jump into the dance of life, we need to forget about always having an alternative purpose for living. We need to remember that life is no more than the present moment, and we need to fill the present moment with things that truly matter to us, with thoughts and actions that are conscious and purposeful. We need to start living just to live.

~ Rebel Spirit ~

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