Featured

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 61: Let Go of What You’re Attached To.

Today’s my second day in a row without bud. In case you didn’t know, I’m a daily toker, I have been for many years now. In the past few years I’ve started experimenting with setting goals for myself, daily goals as well as long-term goals. One example is my goal with alcohol. Back in the days I used to drink way too much, and it was causing problems in my life, so I finally decided that something needed to be done. I didn’t want to stop, and every day it was so easy to just walk on over to the corner store and grab a six pack, especially in the infernal Honduras heat as we getting home from work, no longer in the comfort of the air conditioning. In the midst of a painful hangover, since they got worse and worse over the years, I’d always swear I’d never drink again. I had no need for it, I would say, I felt guilty or ashamed about possibly, very likely, having acted like an idiot the night before, and I didn’t want the situation to repeat itself. No more drinking, I’ll be a new man. These were my thoughts, but once the hangover went away, the cravings always came back. The problem is drinking to excess, but why not just have a beer or two? That refreshing cold taste, that initial euphoria and overall relaxed feeling, they were too nice to pass up, especially since everyone I know from work loves to drink. I don’t know many other people here, but wherever we find ourselves these days, usually most people love to drink anyway. It’s a socially acceptable destructive habit. I didn’t pay much attention to all my promises to stop drinking, but over time I did a lot of reflection, along with some powerful psychedelic trips which really showed me the desperate situation I was in, and so I built up the courage to get started on an abstinence goal. I started out with just five days, and I promised my wife Maria that I would stick to the five days no matter how I felt. She’s not a drinker at all, so she’s always been such great support and motivation for me on this particular goal, although she always supports me with all of the goals I set for myself. Sure enough, when I talked about forgetting the goal and having a beer she was there to remind me that I was the one who set the goal in the first place because I really thought I needed it, that I had been the one who asked her to support me with it even if I tried to back down, and that it would only be five days anyway, that I was strong enough to succeed. I did succeed, I didn’t drink for five days. Then I drank again, but this time I was ready, after a week or two of drinking, to do a ten day goal. I did it, and although I always did drink after the goal was over, I felt like each time I completed a goal, each time I stuck to the plan and practiced self-control instead of just giving in to temptation, I was getting a bit closer to freedom, I was leaving the need for alcohol behind. I no longer partied at this point, so I would just drink at home, waking up to a complete mess the next day. This went away, and the longer my no-drinking goal was, the longer I was able to spend uninterrupted peace of mind. My mind was much clearer, I didn’t have such negative thoughts floating around in my head, I felt less pains all throughout my body, less stomach problems, and I got to save up not only the money I used to spend on beers, but also the money I’d spend on all the dumb shit I’d buy after drinking beers. Fast forward to today, I’m three days away from reaching a hundred days, although the goal is two hundred. I previously completed a goal of a hundred days without drinking, it was my last goal. I drink when it ended, yes, but this time much more moderately than I used to. Now, halfway through my two hundred day goal, I honestly have days when I really feel like I could go on for the rest of my life without drinking, like I really don’t need to drink ever again, it just adds nothing to my life anymore. I really hope this mentality persists when I finish this goal, but I’ll probably do a bit of drinking before I start with the next goal. The good thing is that at least my attitude towards alcohol has drastically changed due to these experiments. As for the bud, which is what I started out by talking about, it’s a bit of a different story. Although smoking anything is harmful to the lungs in one way or another, weed is not really much of a problem, as far as cancer and things like that go. Either way though, I recently started using a vaporizer, but the real reason for me setting a goal of abstinence from cannabis for a while is due to my attitude towards it. Unlike alcohol, weed isn’t really a substance which I’m really looking to eventually remove from my life for good. On the contrary, I love bud and will probably use it until I grow old. The problem is not the weed, the problem is my attachment. It’s hard to admit at times, since we want to continue using or doing whatever we are attached to, but any kind of attachment is not healthy for us, and that truth cannot be escaped. Whether it’s weed, or money, or food, or whatever it is, if we are constantly in need of it and we don’t feel okay without it then we are attached. My goal with the bud is to cut down quite drastically for now, from blazing every day, to blazing only 15 days of each month, so basically half the month. This is the first month that I’m doing this experiment, and I blazed up until the tenth day of the month. I stopped on the eleventh and today, but when it gets to 12am I’ll blaze, and I can’t wait, only about fourteen minutes more until the new day. This weekend is directly leading up to my anniversary with Maria, our two year marriage anniversary, so we have to blaze this weekend for sure, and on Monday, which is the actual day. This will mean I’ll have gotten stoned for thirteen days of the month, leaving only two days for me to blaze, and about 15 days left of the month. I’m not looking forward to those five-day intervals without blazing, but the time has come to begin with this goal which I’ve been thinking of starting for quite a while. I already promised Maria anyway, and I can’t break that promise I made to her, so it helps to keep me accountable.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 62.

~ Rebel Spirit

Featured

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 59: Methods For Getting Stoned.

I grew up with joints, my favorite way to blaze for a long time. It was great, taking my time to grind the bud, to roll the joint, and finally to find a comfortable spot to chill and blaze it at. It was so relaxing, the way the high from a joint slowly starts to creep up on you until you can barely keep going by the time half of it is done. I always kept on going though, and by the time the J was finished I would just sit there, stoned out of my mind, and stare at whatever was in front of me for a few seconds, simply enjoying how faded I was. Then I’d go for a walk, not in a rush at all, but just enjoying every step as I walked to wherever I was supposed to go next. I’d put some music on, or rather it was already on and in my ears throughout the sesh, but as I’d start to walk, the music would synchronize with all the different patterns, all the different colors, the different people and the scenery I saw. I was in the world but just as an outside observer, looking outward from my own comfortable little world. My world was the high I was in, combined with whatever song was on, library on shuffle with the volume up to the loudest level. I was happy in my own consciousness, simply observing life happening, observing the music filling my head with amazing vibes. I have most of my music on Spotify these days, but back then I had a 160GB iPod classic which I had all my music stored on. I downloaded a lot of music in those days, albums and full discographies even, and I still have most of that saved on an external drive, so even if Spotify ever goes down or something, I’ll still have my music to listen to. I loved having such a diverse music collection, and having the kind of sounds and rhythms I was hearing constantly switching up on me every two or three minutes, along with the scenery which would change by the second. Those were great days, magical days, walking in whatever weather, even in the rain. I used to tell people here in Honduras, back in Vancouver you would never do anything if you always stayed home because of some rain. I would stand under something, huge joint in hand, music in my ears as always, and I would just inhale and exhale slowly, watching, listening, thinking, sheltered from the rain. Nowadays I spend more time at home, and I guess it had a lot to do with me finally getting a bong as soon as I got married and we moved into our own crib here. I couldn’t own a bong when I lived with my parents, so it forced me to actually go out. I’d spend most of my days outside, and joints were what everyone used to smoke anyway, so I got used to it over the years. Here, though, I rarely smoke joints, maybe once or twice a week, and instead I just hit the bong. It sure is convenient, but I don’t like the fact that I spend more time at home, since it’s so comfortable to just stay at home and chill and take some good bong rips. I kind of miss going out and blazing and looking at places as I mentioned before, or even toking up with friends when we meet up for whatever. It’s been about a year I guess, maybe a bit more, than I’ve been mainly just hitting the bong, but recently, just about a week ago actually, I went ahead and purchased a dry herb vaporizer, which I’m currently taking a nice hit of, by the way. I really think this will be my go-to method of getting baked from now on I think, to be honest. It provides a really smooth hit, and what I’m really loving is the fact that I can actually taste the bud when I take a hit, I can taste much more flavor, yet the heat to the throat is greatly diminished, it’s almost non-existent. In other words, with a dry herb vaporizer you can take a much smoother, cleaner hit, since it’s vapor, not smoke, and so it has much less toxins in it, and you can actually taste the bud you have, and the effect is always great as well. Another pro of using a vaporizer is that it doesn’t leave off much smell either, since the vapor doesn’t linger in the air for much time, in fact it completely disappears in just two seconds, maybe three depending on the size of the hit you take. I took it to Maria’s house this past weekend, since I can’t blaze there at her mom’s house, and was taking some hits in the room before sleeping, nobody knew a thing. Also, just yesterday, I took some hits from it at work while I was on the elevator, and the vapor was gone just in time for when the elevator doors opened on the third floor. It’s so convenient, I can’t lie, and the fact that it’s extremely portable as well means that it doesn’t pose the problem of the bong, of having to stay at home to use it. I mean, it would be ridiculous to carry a bong around in my hand all day, and putting it in my backpack would likely result in it breaking. I’m glad that, apart from convenience, I’m also using the safest option now, not smoking any longer, and I just recently found that I can use the already vaporized bud again, by making edibles with it. I just ate my first attempt at doing this about half an hour ago, a peanut butter and bud sandwich. It wasn’t bad at all, and we’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to know if it will really hit or not. I don’t feel much yet, but then again I’ve already been taking hits from the vape.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 60.

Featured

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 44: Mentality Matures as we Grow and Learn.

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 45.

~ Rebel Spirit

Featured

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 42: First DMT Trip, No Breakthrough.

I tried DMT today for the firs time. I had given a friend some cash the other day in order for him to get me four acid tabs. Today he came to my house, he bought some bud, we took some bong hits and chilled a bit as usual. Before that though, we quickly took a ride in his car of over to his other friend’s house, it was really close to mine. I went because it turned out that this dude had some DMT, a substance I’d always wanted to try but had never gotten a hold of, even back in Canada. Buddy gave me my four tabs and told me his friend had wanted to trade some DMT for a tab. I asked my friend some questions about how it looked and some other things, and I assumed it was the real deal since he told me it was a yellow powdery kind of crystal, a description which reminded me of the photo I’d seen on the erowid website before. I checked it out once again on my phone and decided to go for a ride. Initially I didn’t plan on taking the DMT at the guy’s house, the guy who had it. Instead, I planned on taking it home and planning a nice trip. Maybe if I had done it this way I would have had a breakthrough experience, and sadly I didn’t. Although the trip was way too short, which was expected, it did get a bit intense for a minute or two, sort of like the peak of an acid trip but a bit more animated even. When we first arrived at that guy’s house I was surprised to see that it wasn’t a party, it was just the dude there with a pipe, taking a few tokes, some open beer cans on the table. I don’t know much about DMT use, although I have used other psychedelics quite a lot. I trusted that he was telling the truth when he told me that the amount of DMT which he gave me was about the same amount’s worth as the blotter tab I gave him for it. My friend wanted to do it, and I offered him a hit for himself, since that way I could at least see how he tripped and know if it was good stuff or not. The other guy said it was better to put it in a joint with some bud, and although I remembered I had actually read online that the most effective method was a pipe, we ended up going ahead with the joint. We put the DMT around the center of it so the flame wouldn’t burn the crystals upon sparking the joint, I lit it and started taking fat hits, expecting to see spirits and kaleidoscopic patterns flooding my entire vision, expecting mystical unity with the universe, ego death, I inhaled as strong as I could and held the smoke as well. I passed to my friend who started taking fat tokes also. Instantly as soon as I lit it I started feeling an energy creeping up from my legs, from me extremities, towards my center, things started to have patterns flowing through them, colors, lines and shades, reflections all looked way more defined, the dude who traded it with me for the acid didn’t hit the joint at all, he was just telling us to stop talking and to let the experience flow. He didn’t need to tell me, I had my eyes closed, smile on my face, letting the trip take over at that point. My friend kept telling us how it was hitting him, how nice it was, a lot of things. A few minutes later everything was back to normal. The feeling was overwhelming in the beginning, and we felt that we were getting way too high, so we put out the joint. I think this might have been our main mistake, apart from smoking it in a joint in the first place. If we would have blazed that jay all the way to the dome, together, in one sitting, without putting it out, we probably could have had a breakthrough. I think I wasn’t ready for it though. Initially I had planned to just take it home, then I ended up deciding to let go into it, to do it and to just be in the moment, in the experience. I didn’t feel like waiting to try DMT for the first time, so we went ahead and did it. The second time we lit the joint, and finished it now, the DMT hit almost the same as when we smoked the first half, perhaps just a bit more lightly, since we knew what to expect at that point. Maybe I’ll get some more in the future, although I’m going to investigate a bit more first, to find out about what really contributes to whether one has a breakthrough experience or not. It seems that it would only be worth it if the experience could be that intense, seeing as acid or mushrooms last much longer. A lot of substances, mostly the psychedelic ones, can be used in a safe setting, without much risk of danger to one’s health or to those surrounding us. I’ve been using psychedelics, every few months usually, for many years, and I know there’s lots that can be learned from the trips they take us on, if we are in the right mood, at the right time in our lives, and if we can let go and stop trying to control the experience, in much the same way as we must stop our obsession with always trying to control the whole of life. Life is unexpected, just like a psychedelic trip, and the way in which we perceive it depends quite a great deal on our minds, in much the same way as a psychedelic trip as well. Do your research, learn what is needed before you even plan on indulging in any substance. Knowledge is power, education is key to correct use of these tools.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 43.

~ Rebel Spirit 

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 23: Habits, Self-Control, Spirituality, Attachment.

23 days into writing a thousand words. Writer’s block feeling is creeping up. Damn, I knew this day would come. Scratch that ‘damn’, I can’t complain. No, really, I can’t complain. I’m about a week into my new goal of catching myself whenever I complain, ideally before the words leave my mouth. A mental complaint isn’t as bad as an uttered one, at least it shows some self-control building up within if I can stop the complaint before I spew it out. This writing goal has definitely been helping in that aspect as well, of self-control, since on some days I don’t even feel like writing. I’d always thought about inspiration in the way that it is something which suddenly strikes, and which one has to be prepared at any moment to give artistic expression to. I’ve been realizing it isn’t much like that at all, though. It’s been great to come to know the truth, that one can summon inspiration, that one can produce a mental state which is optimal for creativity, for inspiration to strike and for magic to be manifested. When I don’t feel like writing I just push myself to write, in the moment, I realize the moment is all I have to put up with. One moment of boredom, of confusion, of indecision. But after that moment, as long as I was able to get one word down, every successive moment throws more words at me that I can connect with the previous ones I wrote. Often all that is needed is that we begin, and ultimately that’s the biggest gain from all these goals I’ve been setting: greater self-control, a determination to beat resistance and to never shy away from my goals, big or small. One of the most difficult goals for me to work with so far has been the chronic. This is a goal I’ve been thinking of setting for myself for quite a while now but neglecting. Since weed isn’t really all that harmful to one’s body or mind, I haven’t ever gotten serious enough about balancing that aspect of my life. The problem is that, after years of blazing, the high is no longer the same, especially when one is smoking various times a day, before meals, before sleeping, wake’n’bake every morning. The experience loses its value and begins to feel commonplace, dull, another motion in the everyday routine. If we let this happen, the outcome is that we become way too comfortable with being stoned to even think about extending our energies outward, into the world, and we become trapped in our own world, in our comfort zone. We might have great ideas yet we never bring them to life. I think this is a consequence of abusing an otherwise benevolent plant which ought to be respected and treated with restraint,, used with balance just as any other substance should. I’ll probably take my last big bong toke of the day right at 11:59 p.m., since I can’t blaze past midnight. I’m only supposed to blaze three days a week, since a few weeks back. If I’m honest, I’ve failed most weeks, yet I do feel I’m smoking a lot less now, each week getting closer to the actual three days, and I don’t feel as attached to the kush any more, to the need to have it. This is great progress, since I was used to having bud around at all times, during all activities. Although the weed wasn’t really harming my life in such a drastic way, I was confronted with the realization that if I’m serious about following the spiritual path in life, the path of discernment, of doing what is right, of living free, of feeling and being in touch with the real Self, then I cannot afford to be attached to any external substance, or anything else external for that matter. So now, whenever it’s time not to blaze, although temptation arises, I tend to sit and meditate and focus my attention fully to the present moment, realizing that God dwells within me, as in all of us, and that there is no need for me to crave for anything other than this everlasting love. This practice has become a great way to build spiritual stamina and to strengthen self-control. Also, I get to save a bit more money, which is great since I’m at a point in life now where I’ve really been thinking about simplifying my life, reducing pointless spending, and being free from most products, from money, and from the need to work. Not to an extreme, just trying to minimize and simplify. So, it’s good to work on my weed consumption from that point of view. I’m not saying that weed is addictive in itself however, and I do understand that it has many positives that go along with it. My point with this goal is not to quit blazing for good, since I think weed can be used in a very positive and even spiritual manner. Other substances I’ve cut out of my life for good, since it has become quite obvious to me that they serve no purpose in my life other than creating chaos where none needs to exist. I suspect this might be true of other people’s lives and experiences with such substances, yet they continue to ignorantly indulge. Sadly one can only lead by example, since people don’t like being told what to do. Personally though, I’m glad I’m completely off alcohol and cigarettes, two habits which I cherished and partook in heavily for almost a decade. They both started with small goals of a few days of abstinence, and now I feel zero to no craving for either one. Often I get frustrated with having to do these goals, with failing, with starting again, with failing and starting over yet once more, but this is how self-control and willpower are built, and we have to remind ourselves that true progress takes time, that success isn’t reached overnight. Failure is a part of success. My success in overcoming alcohol and cigarettes has also, apart from building up my self-control and willpower, contributed to the improvement of my overall health and mood and to a much clearer mental state, and it has allowed me to stop wasting money on things I used to compulsively buy when drunk, on junk food, and on things I have to replace when drunk me breaks them. Instead of hearing all the gossip that gets said at parties I stay home and read, or enjoy any other activities with my wife. I always love staying home and feasting on one of her delicious meals. Maria is a naturally gifted cook, and her meals always turn out delicious. I always remember to thank God for giving me such an amazing wife. As far as food goes, I’ve had to set some goals as well, such as not eating at all after midnight, and making sure to eat breakfast each morning. These have been easier to take on than the goals regarding substances, but in the end everything helps strengthen my self-control, as well as weaken my attachment to external conditions. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 24.

~ Rebel Spirit 

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 18: Hatred and Hip-Hop, Lessons Learned from Party Days.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been more or less aware of the unnatural state of the life we live, of the wicked way the world works, of the way the whole system runs. I was afflicted by the hatred and violence I would see on the news that my dad would watch every day, by the corruption and poverty, the incessant and unnecessary pain and suffering of so many, by the hypocrisy of the world. I would hear horrible stories of gruesome deaths taking place in my home country, gang members dismembering business owners for not being able to pay a monthly sum. I couldn’t imagine people living in such conditions of fear in the country I had been born in. Except it wasn’t only in Central America that this was going on. I often watched videos of another powerful, international gang, the police, attack people on video as well, tackling and killing unarmed civilians, and I was absorbing all this hatred and internalizing it subconsciously. I would show these videos to my mother, who always advised me not to let hatred affect me, that nothing good comes from witnessing injustice. I just kept making offensive remarks about the police officers, about how they should be severely punished, and that there should be no police at all, since all the officers are just as corrupt as any of us regular people without a badge. I was filled with a stupid, self-righteous hatred at all the injustice, I was becoming an extremist, not acknowledging that there are good and bad people in every profession. I knew that hip-hop was the perfect venue to express my hatred, hip-hop having been long associated with protesting and fighting the system, and also the police and the government, for a cause. Meanwhile as my hatred grew, I also absorbed lyrics which casually discussed guns and drugs on a daily basis, thinking I could just vibe along to the rhythm and the rhymes scheme, not internalizing what was being said. I was naïve and didn’t know at that age that our soul is always listening, paying attention behind the scenes. I hadn’t yet learned about the unconscious mind and how it registers everything and applies it in our daily life. Not surprisingly to my current self, I normalized these behaviors and overall lifestyle in my mind, and I started doing the same things that I listened to, since they naturally arose anyway when I entered high school. I’m not saying that I did anything I did directly influenced by music, but once certain ideas about life are normalized in a young person’s mind, it’s more likely that they will succumb to such behavior, especially when it presents itself as a great temptation. My group of friends consisted of a gang of crazy kids who were involved in fights, drugs and problems with police. Many came from broken homes and have parents who are in and out of jail, or came from families with serious financial problems, or substance abuse problems. I was raised in a different way than them, at least at home. My parents always taught me morals, which endure to this day, and those morals have kept me from going over the limit many times if I’m honest with myself and with you all. Maybe my friends’ decisions to live these kinds of lives were not influenced so much by music or the media, but by the people in their own lives who they saw as role models, as well as their peers, and who resembled those characters in their favorite songs. In my case, my parents could never have imagined that I would do some of the things I did, especially at such a young age, so they trusted I wasn’t doing anything wrong. They had done everything they could to prevent my brothers and I from being in the company of anyone they believed was living life wrong, who would influence us down the wrong path. Kids in Honduras don’t start getting fucked up with their friends at 13 or 14, leaving home, getting in street fights and getting arrested, unless they are already entering into the gang life, one which they will never escape from. My parents were used to a very conservative culture where children grow with their parents and family is always close together. This prevents any unprecedented danger since the family moves as a pack, and values are mutually agreed upon and enforced. My eyes were open to a whole new life, to what I thought was unlimited freedom. I spent the summer after the eighth grade getting extremely intoxicated on various substances and partying in many different places, with many different people, while my parents thought I was at the mall all day, or swimming, or at the beach. Not to say I wasn’t doing those things, or that I wasn’t at those places a lot of the times, but definitely not under the conditions they imagined, that’s for sure. Life was just too exciting to pass up, a daily adventure; drugs, booze, girls, friends. This brought along everything that usually comes with excessive drinking and too much partying with too many people; fights, lost items, broken items, police problems, and all kinds of other problems. Except to me they weren’t problems, because I simply didn’t care. I lived my life as a young adolescent based solely on pleasure, chasing thrills on the daily. My parents were the ones who suffered in the background, and this I couldn’t see, as I was clearly blinded by the thick veil of ignorance I had decided to cover my eyes with. What was my parents’ suffering at home, in such a distant place, when I was here now, in the moment, drugged up, tripping, feeling like I was part of a crew, part of the fun we were having, part of an unstoppable force, the unfiltered energy of youth? I realized that my music was shifting, it was no longer so much about solutions, the lyrics I was writing had ceased to be about finding a solution to the world’s problems. My rebel energy was being incorrectly applied, it was becoming confused and intertwined with this reckless and restless energy which surrounded me. I thought that we were going against the system, and my music was defiant, as if this was the life that truly free individuals were meant to live. I was so, so blind. I couldn’t see that my friends and I were simply victims of the system, rebellious kids full of anger and rage and the desire to let it out, full of dissatisfaction, drowning in alcohol and drugs, avoiding any real self-reflection. I felt like I was on top of the world, and it was only much later when I realized I had been living in a very low state for much too long.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 19.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 11: Productive Weed Highs.

So yesterday I wrote a bit about how, not wanting to quit smoking weed, I decided a few years back to try to spend most of my stoned time doing something creative, something productive. The reason I ended up writing about that yesterday was because I started by writing about the fact that, at least for me, weed shares one quality with psychedelics in that, in a very subtle way, it lets you be more in tune with what you know is the right thing. Things that I would ignore about my life would often become perfectly clear to me. One thing that became very clear was that I was spending too much of my stoned time just sitting back and listening to music. Now, don’t get me wrong, listening to music is quite possibly my favorite thing ever to do while I get stoned. But, you see, that’s exactly why I chose to cut down on that. I’m not suggesting that anyone should the the same, since there is nothing wrong with simply sitting back to relax to some trippy chill music when you’re taking flight! The thing about me is that, I really want to make certain things happen. I’ve always wanted to be a musician, and in fact I have a lot of albums recorded, some of which you can hear on this site by the way, but during that time I was no longer doing music. I was trying to find another outlet to express certain ideas about life and the world, since I was now expanding my horizons and beginning to learn a lot about spirituality, as well as living life in a much different way. I didn’t have many friends in Vancouver at this point, having been gone for so long, but I was enjoying this newfound peace of solitude. During the evenings and during my lunch breaks from work I would video chat with Maria who had stayed back in Honduras. We spoke pretty much every day, a few times a day. We couldn’t wait to be together again, and I was motivated to save money instead of blowing it all on drinking and all the bad decisions that come from that, so I was beginning to experiment with some solitude. The people in my life were my four co-workers at the immigration consulting firm, my parents back home, and my wife Maria on video chat (she was my fiance back then). I felt like I had a mission, I was a lot more mature now. So during those days of smoking at the New Amsterdam lounge, when instrumental tracks came on, by Ravi Shankar mostly, or some binaural beats which are said to be set at certain frequencies to relax the brain waves, I would think deeply, and it was during those moments that I began to notate my ideas on my cell phone notepad. I grew tired of this notepad since I had to press these small buttons and I couldn’t get my ideas down quick enough, and I also got tired of writing only when instrumental tracks came on during the general song library shuffle. So I started carrying my notebook with me to work and keeping it in my bad while I worked, and in the afternoon as I sat there, usually by the window, in peace, surrounded by other stoners, I began to write many thoughts down. Usually I would listen to “The Spirit of India”, the full album by Ravi Shankar, instrumental music, peaceful and serene. It got me in a relaxed mood every time, and I wrote all kinds of thoughts during those days. I wrote about my personal life and mind, I wrote thoughts on the world and life as a whole, thoughts on everything that came to mind, that captured my attention at that moment. I became fond of writing during those days, and I began writing a daily journal with diligence. I was determined to use my high times productively, to make the most of the creativity that the cannabis brought up from within me. It relaxed me and allowed me to write freely, about anything, whatever, just to write. It felt like the beginning of a new era for me, like something brand new, something fresh was beginning to blossom. Needless to say I’ve been writing in some way or another to this day. I simply can’t forget those days when I began this venture, the sitar sound in my ears, devoid of any words, the majestic melodies contained within Shankar’s masterpiece brought me to ecstasy as I inhaled huge puffs of chronic smoke, held them in for a few seconds, and then exhaled. I would feel my eyes close on themselves while I was only about halfway through the joint as I stared at it contemplating, asking myself “Damn, can even I finish this?” I finished every time, of course, but I can’t say it wasn’t always a challenge. In the end I always had a few pages written, and some ashes I’d have to brush off what I just wrote. The point had been to roll a joint that would be hard to finish, and that I had definitely done. This definitely allowed me to settle my thoughts and write with enough time not to feel rushed at all, the joint had to be just the perfect size, King Size, RAW. At a certain point the high and the music and my writing became completely merged and intertwined with each other, I felt the melody getting me higher and I couldn’t put the pen down! These kinds of experiences always put me in such an amazing mood. On sunny days I would look out the window at the park on Victory Square, at how the grass and the leaves shone brightly as yellow beams of light sparkling as if moved by the wind. On rainy days I would just watch the rain fall over the gray streets and that was satisfaction in itself. What I feel is good about such experiences is that they remind us of the beauty of life which is everywhere, in the seemingly simple things, the trees, the sun, the clouds, the rain. These beautiful things, God’s creation, constantly inspired me to write. It was like poetry was imparted to me by nature, in order to have it written in my journal. Maybe if I read back on that journal entry now I’d find myself in that timeless moment once again.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 12.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 10: Cannabis, Self-Reflection and Writing.

The culture here in Honduras is very different from the one I experienced and became a part of in Canada. Most of the experiences which have truly shaped my personality the most up to this point are those that I had in Canada after my parents decided to move there when I was ten, at least until recently when I returned here to be married to my beautiful wife Maria. I grew up in Vancouver, BC, more specifically in the Surrey area. Many things that I grew up seeing as totally normal were things that completely shocked and terrified my folks, such as my appreciation for cannabis which started at the young age of thirteen. My parents went through a lot of suffering due to my love for that sweet BC bud. I always had to, and did, keep in mind that my parents come from Latin American countries where illegal “drugs” are associated with tremendous levels of organized crime and violence; it is a business which is fully controlled by gangs. In Canada, on the other hand, everyone and their mom smokes bud, or even sells it. Seeing my mom suffer like she did when I was finally caught selling at school made me never sell weed again, at least as a job, even though I think the laws which make it illegal in the first place are completely bogus. I couldn’t be happier about the fact that cannabis is now legal in Canada, nationwide, since October 17th, 2018. This is necessary in order to break the stigma, in order to open the world’s eyes to the fact that cannabis is not a dangerous drug, but rather a powerful and potent plant in many respects. Just like everything in this planet, it can definitely be abused, so it must be used with moderation. Balance is something which needs to be applied to every area of our lives if we want peace of mind. My belief is that no substance in the world is completely bad or good. Some cause more suffering than the experience is worth, and some ease the suffering of many people as long as they’re used properly and treated with respect. It is all about the way anything is used, just like the internet, or the TV, or social media. Just because so many people feel empty and alone or misunderstood in this dull world so devoid of life to the point where they begin desperately abusing weed, or alcohol, or pharmaceuticals, or any other substance for that matter, is not a valid reason to label the substance itself as evil. And if this was the actual reason why a substance like weed was ever illegal then all pharmaceuticals would have been completely forgotten as soon as the dreaded opioid epidemic reached massive proportions. I’m sure glad the fight is over in Canada, but I’m also speaking for and to the rest of the world where people who just want to chill a bit, as well as people who really need their weed have their basic rights denied and as branded as criminals. In reality, most problems related to pot use are due to its illegal status, including my own problem with my school and even with my parents’ view of it. Apart from that some people say that weed makes you lazy. I’ve thought about this in depth and to explain I must tell a bit of my own story. Cannabis has been a trusted friend to me for a very long time. The effect one feels after consuming this plant can obviously vary immensely from person to person depending on mental state and many other factors, but its general effect is usually one of slight sedation as well as of comfort or relaxation. At times I’ve felt as if I were becoming completely immersed in a bunch of blankets, as if I were sinking into my warm bed or something as soft as clouds, as if I were fading away into a dream as I lie in under the stars, my eyelids slowly closing over my vision. Most of my most wonderful weed memories are from my earliest days with it.. One cool thing I notice is that although cannabis makes one feel so wonderfully comfortable, it does not blind one to the facts of life, and in a way it shares an important quality with all psychedelics: the ability to bring you into deeper contemplation of your own thoughts. Interesting ideas seem to envelop my attention to the exclusion of everything else around me. I started to figure this out for the most part after having the realization that I didn’t want to live a life of time-wasting any more. This realization hit me the most while high one day, when I realized that I was losing motivation to work towards my goals, and I couldn’t lie to myself about it. This thought made me evaluate my daily activities and be honest with myself about when I was wasting time. Then I would do something more productive during that time in order to improve at being productive. I realized that all the time I was spending on weed after work might be holding me back and preventing me from doing more important things ,along with time wasted scrolling on Facebook or partying with friends. After work I would walk two blocks from Homer Street over to West Hastings on the corner of Victory Square in Downtown Vancouver. After purchasing the product at the corner dispensary I would merely cross the street to the New Amsterdam Café, a lounge where anyone can come in, and for a five dollar fee, smoke freely in a comfortable and secure area with some trippy paintings on the walls. Music is always playing, munchies are for sale, and any smoking or vaping equipment is provided if needed. There are large spots with conjoined couches for big groups, and there are also individual couches for the more introspective stoners. I usually went alone since I went right after work, and plus I preferred to blaze alone in those days anyway my main reason for being back in Vancouver being to save up for my then upcoming wedding. I would walk in like I was home and remove my tedious tie and jacket with a sigh of sweet relief as I proceeded to plop down on one of the free couches. Then I would continue to unpack everything I needed: the weed came out of my pocket, the grinder and papers were in my bag along with the lighter, and I was already deciding what music I would listen to for the next little while om my 160GB iPod Classic. After deciding on an album or a playlist I would commence the rolling of the humongous joint which was about to be blazed up. Since I had been waiting all day to smoke (the job I was currently working allowed me no opportunity to wake ‘n bake), this session was always meant to take me all the way. I would properly pack up a full KingSize RAW paper and roll a fat joint longer than my index finger, ending it with a nice filter which I took my time to make with perfect precision. It was almost as if I were trying to last as long as possible without sparking the joint, as if the satisfaction were such that I just had to hold it off in order to feel it even more the second I lit it. It was during these relaxing times of stoned self-reflection that the idea of writing really began to take shape in my mind. More on this tomorrow though.

To be continue tomorrow, on Day 11.

~ Rebel Spirit

The brain as a filtering mechanism for reality.

14720514_1213380358682684_8851450793854764072_n

 

As individuals on this planet, we all experience reality from our own level of perception and understanding, and from this we conclude that reality is not a fixed truth, but rather subjective, depending on each person’s view on various aspects of existence. This means that two people standing side by side can be experiencing completely different worlds while standing no more than a meter away from each other. Indeed, this is so on a merely mental level, since the non-stop, limited thoughts and ideas of our egos prevent us from ever joining in unison as an entire species. However, this is not to say that we are each floating in our own bubble of reality and are completely separate from everyone and everything else either. There definitely is one Absolute Truth behind the universe, the world, and all that we call reality; and there is undoubtedly one single Divine energy, fragmented into endless bodily incarnations. By Divine, I mean that the energy which pervades everything that exists emanates from God himself.

Since we as spiritual beings have been placed in this material world for whatever reason, the fact is that we must survive; and so that we might survive in the face of destruction, which takes place every day in our planet, we have been gifted with a wonderful instrument called the brain. The brain, as great as it may be as a tool for physical survival, is actually a filter which prevents us from seeing every single perspective there really is to see when it comes to any given situation. We cannot perceive all these perspectives because their understanding lies in facts beyond what our brain perceives, both within and without us. This is, in fact, an incomplete version of complete reality.

huxley.jpgAldous Huxley proposed this fascinating idea in his book The Doors of Perception, suggesting that the brain is actually a filtering mechanism which decides what parts of complete reality are relevant to our current situation and needed for survival, and basically blinds us from everything else which does not fit this purpose. This means that the brain was primarily designed to deal with material existence, by processing complete reality, which cannot be seen through any one man’s personality or bias, and presenting us with an incomplete version of reality which only includes the details the brain deems necessary for our current, physical survival. This version of reality is the finished product, so to speak; the rendered version of reality that we see with our eyes. As has been scientifically observed, when one uses psychedelic drugs, there is actually less activity in the brain, as opposed to more. This is not what one might normally expect when one considers the overwhelming and even frightful images or dream-like thoughts that one experiences during a psychedelic trip. This peculiarity was precisely what led Huxley to his hypothesis of the brain being a filtering mechanism. How could the brain produce such an altered state of consciousness by using less of its own activity?

61ybO4ucZvL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, by Aldous Huxley

It is logical to assume that these realities which we experience when we relax the use of our brains do not come from the realm of mind at all, but from the spiritual dimensions which are all around us yet invisible to us. The idea is that psychedelic drugs, as well as other methods such as fasting and meditation, lead us to these mystical experiences since they temporarily weaken the filter, or brain, which prevents all these aspects of reality to be perceived during daily, sober existence. This does make a lot of sense to anyone who believes that there is some sort of spiritual reality beyond this material existence and our senses. If there is truly more to life than what we see with our eyes or hear with our ears, then perhaps the brain really is the thing that prevents us from seeing all there is to see, or hearing all there is to hear, and with good reason at that.

Although experiences such as occasional psychedelic trips and fasting can be extremely beneficial to spiritual awakening and complete consideration of the mystery of life, can you imagine living every day of your life in an acid trip? Comically, we might joke around about what bliss it would be if we could live free of responsibilities, wandering up and down the bright landscapes of such an altered dimension forever; but the fact is that we would not be able to lead so-called “normal” or productive lives, as I believe is something most experienced psychonauts can agree upon. Just contemplate how time and space are described by spiritual masters to be illusory aspects of the physical world. Is it a coincidence that a small dose of psychedelics can make us forget about our schedule, and a large dose has the miraculous ability to completely alter our sense of space, not to mention making time completely disappear as if it were such an irrelevant and insignificant thing?

Mystical experiences can give us a glimpse of divine gnosis, but eventually we must come back to our material reality and put what we have learned to use, finding creative ways in which we can contribute to the well-being of other sentient beings in any way we can. If we do not put acquired knowledge to good use, it is just that; knowledge, with no purpose. However, when we start to actively seek opportunities to use what we have learned in order to promote positivity in our environment, what we are doing is allowing ourselves to constantly surrender to wisdom, allowing it to speak from our true Self, the reflection of God, and to build strength of character within us. Such is the way in which Divine wisdom begins to show us the right path to walk, refining every aspect of our character. It is very true that knowledge is definitely important, and it is even synonymous with power according to the famous Albert Einstein quote, but ultimately it is wisdom which allows us to use the knowledge we have acquired in intelligent ways, ways that can inspire, build and contribute to civilization. Never stop learning, but never become so immersed in your learning that you overlook the wisdom you can build by applying your knowledge to reality.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

http://www.OfficialRebelSpirit.com