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

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 77.

~ Rebel Spirit

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

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 72.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 53: From Tired to Inspired.

Today was another day. I’m tired, but I have enough energy to learn, to read, to write. I’m faded, I ate some pizza so I feel a bit heavy, but I’m comfortable. Today I was thinking back on my fam, the ways in which they may have changed while I’ve been gone away, the way things used to be, how they will never be the same again. It’s not a sad thing, maybe nostalgic, but shocking as well. My youngest brother just finished the eleventh grade, only one left now to graduate from high school. Meanwhile I still feel like I just left high school, and I’m like eight years older than him. It’s hard sometimes, not to feel like you’re getting lost in the system, like you’re not really heading anywhere. It’s easy to judge ourselves based on external values, based on what society thinks about life and how it should be. Life is way too often referred to as a general idea. But life, as in the concept of being alive, and life meaning the time that a single individual has before death, are two different things. Life is something common to all, in the first sense, but in the second, life is very, very different to all individuals. We all experience and perceive things much differently than those around us. We might be more similar to some of our worst enemies than to those around us, because we are all born a certain way, and then we are further shaped in a certain way as we grow, and so many of the factors at play are simply out of our control, such as all of childhood before we can take care of ourselves as adolescents or adults. We don’t decide whether we are similar to others or not, in a way, our nature is embedded in us, and our karma is creating our life, so it is our duty, our dharma, to live, each one of us his or her individual life, to the fullest. We all can find more in common than we think we can with almost anyone we can imagine, just as we can find things about most people which are absolutely disgusting to us. We are all alike and yet very different, when we think of it in a context of duality, but beyond this we are similar in Spirit, in a dimension beyond all duality. So again, we shouldn’t judge ourselves based on external values which society believes are important, but instead we should understand that we are already special, that there is already a purpose to each and every one of us, including me, and including you as well. If we are born in the United States, or in Honduras, or Canada, or whether we are Asian or European or Middle Eastern, we are all born exactly where and when we are meant to be born, to the parents who we were meant to be born to. Whether we are meant to be male or female, all we have to do is to look at who are, who we were born as. There is a reason why we are who we are, why I am who I am, and why you are born are you, and he as he is, and she as she is. Everyone comes to life because of each parent’s decision to make love, to have sex. Beyond this, however, there are deeper reasons, reasons which we simply can’t understand, for why a new life is born at a certain time. It is not our place to take a life that God has chosen to bring into this world, especially if it has come about because of our own carelessness, because we want to party and be wild and free, free to exchange our sexual energy with whoever we please, without ever even attempting to understand its true power, or its connection with the divine force which is love, and how they are meant to be fused together in the harmony of a true and loving relationship. We have to face responsibility for our actions, otherwise we will never be truly free. The evil we commit today will haunt generations down the line for a long, long time, just as the sins of our ancestors have left us in the state we are in today. Changes take time, and things all have their effects. We live in a world of cause and effect, there is simply no denying it. Those who choose to live in denial of this basic truth of life are bound to face the consequences of their actions regardless, but these days they try not to be legally held accountable. We must understand that sex is sacred, that any new life is sacred, that a great Spirit lives in all of us, and is what gives life to any body. A body without Spirit would be nothing but meat and bones, just like the chicken or beef most of us eat. How can we ever understand the sanctity of life when we eat other species for mere convenience? I myself still haven’t stopped eating meat, so don’t think of this as an attack to you or anyone else, but we can’t stay in denial of the facts. If we acknowledge the truth, then we are bound to change sooner or later, we will be compelled to change, since the truth will set us free, it has to. If we stay in denial though, why would we ever attempt to change, to improve, if we can’t see what’s wrong in the way we behave? Time flies, life is sacred, and we need to figure out how to live smarter, how to really feel alive and really be alive during every second. I started out a bit tired, now I feel inspired, just like when I read some truth which resonates with me. Reading and writing are amazing tools, I can’t stress it enough, to get to know about thought around the world, through the ages and even now, as well as thoughts floating around up in your own head.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 54.

~ Rebel Spirit

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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

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 36: What Do Adam and Eve Stand For?

The Fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden makes me wonder about a lot of things. Of course, Christians claim it is simply a literal account of how the world was created by God. I don’t regard any belief as false, but I think it might just be possible that there’s much more to it than that. Why did women start giving labor in pain only after God cursed Eve for disobeying his commandment? Why was this also the point in the story when they were commanded to work the earth? Could it be that this was the time when “Adam and Eve” became incarnated beings, the time when time began, so to speak, when souls entered into male and female bodies and populated the earth? This is a similar concept to the Kabbalist idea of tzim-tzum, the big bang which took place due to God contracting his total goodness, thereby removing it from a certain place in time in space, creating the Earth, a world motivated by infinite desire, all beings feeling the emptiness of having lost God’s all-encompassing love. This is believed to be the reason why most of us experience a spiritual impulse at some point in our lives, why religion has arisen since the dawn of time and continues to pop up in every part of the planet, since we long to reconnect with God, with the creator. Could Adam and Eve also represent masculine and feminine forces, both which are found within each person, positive and negative, the yin and the yang? Could the story of the creation of Adam, and then Eve from his ribs, be a way of symbolizing the fact that both forces need to connect, that one can’t be without the other? After all, a man and a woman connect to create a new life on this planet. Nobody knows how this conjures up consciousness into a new body, nobody knows the complete process whereby a cranium is developed to hold that consciousness, or actually the brain that will receive, or perceive, that consciousness. It all just happens, a higher intelligence takes care of all we take for granted. All we need to do is get together and make love, ideally while we are in love. This disregard for connection, yet global obsession with sex at the same time, is creating a lot of problems as unexpected and often unwanted children are being born, and their parents either give them up for adoption, or much worse, go in for an abortion. If they choose to keep the child, he or she usually grows up in a tense environment, if the parents are teenagers there are usually lots of problems with parents and they end up separating. This ruins the experience of childhood for many kids, and it ruins many people’s adult lives as well, as experiences of fear or trauma or too much stress and disagreement in the air can cause psychological or emotional problems in young children’s minds. But of course, these parents never thought about the idea of truly connecting with someone else, in order to start a family and take care of a new life. All they did was let themselves go, into all kinds of pleasures, desensitized from all possible consequences, living as if life is nothing but a dream. If more people treated the subject of sex with respect, if they truly understood the sanctity of love and true connection between two people who support each other, then maybe people wouldn’t abuse it so much, and many of these problems could be avoided. Quick and stupid decisions have consequences that last for generations. I got a little bit off course there, but on another note about Adam and Eve, could they also signify the good and evil of life? We already wondered about the positive and negative poles. The Law of Polarity is one of the seven hermetic principles, as well as The Principle of Gender. Good and evil could be part of this as well, since no one really know what real good really is, the truest good which is beyond both the good and the evil of duality. This is a planet of polarity, and maybe we need to find balance between good and evil by understanding both pain and pleasure and becoming indifferent to them, understanding that there is a higher essence above them. Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so was there already good and evil, or did they begin when they ate from the fruit? Did they simply become aware of these concepts, of good and of evil, and that this knowledge came along with free will, with human life, with the life of suffering which we all live in, according to the Buddha? Why must the nature of life be one of suffering, why must no earthly good completely satisfy? There must have been some initial mistake, and Adam and Eve’s mistake seems to be one that impacted generations for millions, or possibly billions, of years? But how could they have chosen to disobey God in the first place and eat from the forbidden fruit, if they didn’t yet have free will? So, I don’t really know. Where these really human beings, or angels, or mythological characters, personifications of certain concepts? Could a happy marriage be the highest we can achieve in life? Could it be some kind of way for us to fully connect our opposite energies, if we do it in the spirit of true love, and to feel a connection that resembles the connection between Spirit and God, between the Atman and Brahman, the lover and the beloved? Could marriage, just as sex, be divine symbols for the connections that must be joined in balance, during this life, in order for us to live correctly, or of the physical body parts that must be joined in order for life to even continue? We can never know, but we can study and maybe one day we’ll come to a more complete conclusion.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 37.

~ Rebel Spirit

 

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 35: The Power of Change.

Changes. Life is made up of changes, yet it is a movie that plays on a screen, a screen which stands still like the ones at the movie theater do. All action takes place in peace, as peace is the underlying state of mind of humanity. We’ve created such a thing as anxiety, and we’ve come up with so many possible methods of attempting to get rid of perceived problems, many of them real threats, that we’re all tangled up, we don’t know what we’re really doing so we create even more problems, maybe two or three more as we struggle to solve one. Problems seem to multiply. The main problem is that we do too many things without any true reflection on the decisions we make before we act on them. Whenever we say or do something, we have no way of being sure what the exact consequences will be. Words and deeds can be perceived in various ways by all kinds of people, they can be interpreted differently and taken to mean the exact opposite of what they actually mean. We can take an educated guess of what will happen if we do certain things in life, but ultimately, things happen unexpectedly, and the most life-changing situations of connections happen at seemingly random times very often, in the least probable of all places. One thing we can be sure of though, is that whenever we say or do anything, we are causing things to change. The thoughts of a teacher will be absorbed into the minds of each student who is paying attention, yet the data which is being stored will connect differently with the data which is already present in the mind of each individual student, and each can react very differently to any new piece of information which is recently learned. Much of what shapes our decisions in life actually comes from our subconscious, and often it’s as if it knew what we needed and it found a way to provide it for us. So, everything we say is being registered, consciously or unconsciously, by those around us, and it is bound to change their thinking in some way, even if only for the next few seconds. A split second is all that is needed to radically alter a lifetime. Every thought we think is preventing other thoughts from coming to our attention, and so every thought, every perception, is causing a change in our life and mind forever. We must think about the consequences of our actions before we do anything, since change is sure to follow any action. Thoughts lead to actions, and actions, if repeated, lead to habits. We take everything for granted nowadays, and so it’s no wonder that we’ve forgotten about these truths. We’ve forgotten about our power to make positive change happen. We are so caught up in our own ideas and our own survival that we are unbelievably blind to our own inner power. If we only knew how much power we hold in our voice, just to what extent we can use our words to create reality, if we were only ready to take full responsibility for each thought and action, if we were prepared to come to grips with what we truly are, children of God, carrying the divine light everywhere we go, submitting to the divine will and allowing it to work through us as vessels of the One Spirit. We need to stop taking ourselves so seriously, in order that we shall once again be able to make clear-headed decisions, without the weight of either depression or doubt or anxiety holding us down. Yes, everything we do affects everything else. Everything you do affects everything else, and everything everyone does affects our lives and those of everybody else. We are all interconnected, all causing change to happen. If we treat others like trash, then we shouldn’t be surprised when the years go by and we start to really feel like trash ourselves. What goes around comes around, and everything that goes up must come down. Everything is repaid, there is no need for us to seek any sort of vengeance against another being. Vengeance is God’s, and justice, whatever it means. This doesn’t mean we should be happy because our enemy will eventually suffer either. Forgive as you have been forgiven. We have all been forgiven, for none of us are perfect. We forgive ourselves every time we promise that we will try again, that we will try harder, that it’ll be for real this time, without a doubt. We forgive ourselves as we rise every day, we accept the decisions we’ve made once their consequences become apparent in life’s continuous changes. One thing leads to another, or to many other things. Change is only a mental understanding of the concept of time, which is really only on our earthly plane. In truth, there is no change. Life is constantly recreating itself, yet it is always life, becoming manifest in everything that is good and pure. We do good and we do much evil, we change the course of destiny and we change millions of people’s hearts for generations to come, we change the way the people of the future will feel when they read of the past. In truth though, everything is what we choose to make it, and while we live on this planet we cannot ignore the fact that we must make changes in the world we’ve come to inhabit. So while we’re at it, we better make the right changes. We can achieve this only with true self-analysis, true reflection, in all honesty, hiding nothing from the true Self, the Spirit which dwells in the body as well as outside it, that knows all and can never be deceived or completely destroyed, without which there is no life. Understand that change is real to us in this dimension, yet all change is nothing but the now if it is understood as part of the process of enlightenment, necessary for us to properly follow our path.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 36.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 28: What Is Living In The Moment?

Regardless of all the talk about being in the moment and fully living that way, it’s essential to understand that this does not give us permission to live with no planning whatsoever. One can and should plan for the future, seeing as we all have free will in this world as well as the power to profoundly influence our own lives, and also those of many others. We simply can’t allow such a power to go to waste. This power, free will, is a right which comes with great responsibility, as we live in a world where cause and effect are basic principles of how things play out, and to ignore this truth is detrimental to life. We have been gifted with a wonderful mind which we can use to our advantage as long as we keep it under control of our higher nature. It sounds like a great idea, but we often find that in our modern society it is extremely difficult to put into practice, our minds seem to have a will of their own, which slowly becomes ours as we identify more and more with it. We are always being bombarded with certain ideas, most of them quite destructive to our mental sanity, negatively affecting our mental functions. It is right to have faith, to trust God or the universe in all circumstances, but this does not mean that we cannot create our circumstances. In fact, there is no one else who can do this for us, we must take control and do what needs to be done to create the life we wish to live. A problem often arises however, that what we believe to be the right actions in the now lead us very far away from the lives we thought we wanted. Sometimes the opposite might happen, we may indeed get whatever we wanted, only to find out that it isn’t right for us, it isn’t what we need. This can be the realization of a heavy drug addict coming face to face with their terrible affliction and its need to end, or of someone who has realized that any specific habit just isn’t serving them any longer, and that it needs to stop in order for him or her to move forward in life, on to better days. Just because the habit itself isn’t right for us though, and we realize that now, in a higher level it was right for us at the moment when we indulged in it. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t quit it, of course. What it does mean is that, no matter how much pain we may have caused for ourselves and others, there’s no going back, only the facts of the matter are left now, in memories of the past. In the present though, we have a different mentality, a more mature one, so we can choose to learn from the disaster we created, and the lesson we learn if we are honest with ourselves could just be the exact one which is needed to free us from further problems in our lives, since various problems in a person’s life often stem from the same source, from the same pain or anger or fear. This acceptance of our life, of our own responsibility for our life, is truly living in the moment, accepting it, and thereby accepting the past that brought us to such a present. Knowing we are fully responsible for every area of our lives makes us feel accountable for our destiny, and it makes it easier for us to make the right decisions. Living in the moment and letting go of all worry seem like wonderful ways to finally live freely, unburdened by stress and confusion. However, we all must do something in this life. We cannot simply watch the time go by as we do nothing at all, wasting the days away. We must reflect, and we must understand ourselves. In truly understanding ourselves we are getting to know God, as God is manifested in and through us. We can recognize the struggle between good and evil within us, between our higher and lower nature, between the will of God, and our own selfish will. Reflection is essential for a life lived correctly. So what about meditation? Meditation is considered the perfect example of simply being in the now, being comfortable with the present moment. Thoughts and emotions disappear as we drift into a pure state, beyond thought, time and space. One could ask if this is not the exact opposite of reflection? In a way, the answer is yes. This is not a loss to us though, since there is wisdom beyond thoughts and emotions, true wisdom which is not learned with words. This is the wisdom of peace, of reconnecting with our true essence. The meditative experience is a great tool which I’ve used for a few years now to develop more mindfulness, but even meditation is temporary, just as everything else in life is. A person who cannot appreciate every moment of life as it is will soon find that their life has passed them by, as they have always wished to live the next moment, the next best thing. Meditation is merely a doorway to a state of mind which is infinite, but it is still only a doorway. What is happening during true meditation is that we are becoming comfortable with who we are in essence, we are putting away all the baggage we carry on a daily basis, all the thoughts and emotions and opinions which we consider to be ourselves. This is what leads to blissful or even mystical experiences during meditation, but ultimately this wisdom needs to be applied to every second of our lives. In other words, our whole life must become a meditation in motion. We must find the inaction within action, and we must be at peace even as we navigate through the turbulent waters of life in this world. How can we be at peace in this way, at every moment of our lives? First of all, we need to come to an understanding that, although we are involved in life, and although it feels like we are our personalities, there is a deeper dimension to us, a Spirit without which life would not flow through our bodies. This spirit is our consciousness, the aforementioned higher nature which is in all of us, which we need to make our lower nature subservient to. Once we know that life is filled with meaning, and that destiny and free will are really two interrelated and interacting forces, we understand that our mind is simply the instrument with which the real Self, the Spirit, can live in this world of limited perceptions. We now feel as if every action of ours is of great significance, and the same goes for all other human beings. The difference is that now we are aware of this, and since we are now aware, we need to practice maintaining this awareness. It is easy to understand this intellectually, but as soon as we feel a strong emotion, all of our understanding goes out the door and we succumb to our lower nature in a flash, we let ourselves be used by our mental patterns, and we often end up acting in ways which we later terribly regret. Regret comes from making decisions which are not in alignment with our higher nature. It is useless to feel regret though, as it is only a cause for negative emotion and pointless suffering. What is needed is that we analyze, in the now, our past decisions and decide to do what’s right right now. We cannot fall victim to our emotions and allow them to drag us through the mud. We must be stronger than regret, we must be rooted in the spirit, in order to make better decisions in the present, or in the future. We need to feel, to really feel and witness, the connection between God and the Spirit within us to the point where we will no longer be able to live ignorant lives, because the knowledge of what’s right will punish us, it will not leave our conscience. At such a point, one can really begin to live in the moment, surrendering all to God. The problem is that too many people attempt to live in this way, to live “in the moment”, without ever growing in any other way, either mentally or spiritually, and usually without understanding even the basics of any of these concepts. The result is that people think “I only get one life, and I might as well live it to the fullest. I’m going to have as much fun as possible and live with no regrets, without listening to the opinions of others, I’m just going to do my own thing from now on, and whatever happens happens!” Since the people who have such ideas are usually not aware of their higher nature, and since they have not developed the least bit of self-control, they usually engage in destructive and reckless behavior, which leads to much suffering later on. They believe they are living in the moment, by simply acting without giving any thought at all to anything they do, each allowing himself to be used by his mind, much of which is hidden even to himsf, in the subconscious. Maybe such people are simply meant to learn to live life the hard way, but in the end, when the suffering comes, they will probably choose to dwell on their past mistakes, and on the negative emotions of regret or disillusionment which will accompany them, as well as many other negative emotions they might face due to the results of all their reckless decisions over the years. What we all need to do is to understand, to let go of emotion and blame, or regret and hate, or disappointment with life, and to understand that life is unpredictable but it is ultimately under our control if we can connect with the source of it. Living in the now doesn’t mean doing things without thinking or planning, it means being mindful of our thoughts and emotions, yet knowing a deeper reality within us at all times, all-knowing and without the ability to lie to itself, and following the wisdom it conveys to us, without exception, since the more we ignore this wisdom the further we stray from it, and the more we become entangled with the confused thoughts of our own minds, which have become so corrupted by society, and ultimately by ourselves, since we have allowed this to happen.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 29.

~ 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 7: Visionary Revelations of the Now.

Images flooding my mind, some familiar, some seemingly random. I close my eyes and patterns begin to form, geometric, kaleidoscopic, a tingling sensation running through my whole body, up my spine, into my cranium and brain. I recognize the truth of living in this moment, I feel it stronger than ever, the obvious truth. Different hues, beautiful details become apparent whereas before there was only one color on the wall, one that I easily overlooked. Trails follow my hands as I wave them before myself in awe, I begin to stretch out a bit on my thin red yoga mat, just like the big smile that begins to stretch across my face. It’s a mischievous grin, the grin of having “gotten it” once again. I’ve felt this feeling before. Ah, that feels nice. I sit down with my headphones on and get some relaxing music playing. Eyes closed, I begin to drift away into a dream, into a visionary land, yet as real as the waking world. These ideas that flood my brain, they come from within me. They jump up at me from the deepest parts of my subconscious. I don’t feel threatened or scared, just intrigued. I explore these feelings, these thoughts, I observe. I drink a whole lot of some deliciously refreshing water I had made sure to store in the fridge in advance a few hours ago. I feel it enter my throat and flow down into my stomach like a cool spring of pure life, I feel it cool up my body and soul, feeling like I just found water after many days wandering in the desert. I drink like I never want to let go of that bottle, and eventually I gotta take a leak so I walk to the washroom, and I seriously stare at myself in the mirror. I can’t keep a serious face! I smile, I laugh, giggle, I see every aspect or dimension of myself staring back at me, deforming and reforming time and time again, aging, stretching, shining, breathing. I see that it’s all just a game, that life is meant to be lived in the now, not taken too seriously but yet given its proper respect during each individual moment. I see how the person I’ve been I no longer am. I see how who I am will probably never be the same again after this exact second, after this trip, after this or that experience, yet I will always remain the same. I understand that we live in a dimension of time, but in the timeless dimension which I’m currently living in, in this moment which all the great mystics have mentioned, which is familiar to all artists and musicians capture in their legendary works of art, everyone I’ve ever been, even in this one lifetime, contributes to who I am as a complete person in the now. Even with this, who I AM will never change. I get it. This spirit within me is aware of being aware, it recognizes the truth within. I try to write it down, to get it down on paper, but the words just can’t do it justice. The truth must be experienced, it must be lived in the now. I laugh and yet I cry tears of joy from this simple wisdom, it all makes sense! The music hits my eardrums and every note of every melody is melting down inside my mind. As the notes get higher or lower, I ascend or descend with them also. I am one with the music, I see how music is an avenue into the divine. I see that music is an expression of the soul, and that to treat it as anything else is an injustice. I don’t take it too seriously though, I simply vibe to the rhythm and my mind creates the motion picture to accompany it. I see it all in my mind’s eye, everything coated in deep symbolism, everything emerging from under the chaotic waters of my mind, of our mind, of the collective unconscious. The chaos is the order though, and I know that everything has its lesson to teach, just like a trip, just like a high, or just like an all-time low, like a tragedy. In the timeless life of the Spirit it’s all happening now, there is no better moment to stop putting off life, to do what you know you were meant to do. I speak to myself, the higher nature within me, this blessing of God, tells me what I must do. I know this is happening, but how I don’t know. I mean I know the cause of the experience, but I don’t know why it’s laid out so clearly, and why I haven’t seen it before, why a substance is often needed to remind us of where we’ve been missing the mark, that it can reassure us of the right decision which we’ve been battling internally to make during a long mental conflict. It’s all been right in front of my eyes! I mean, I know it’s not the substance itself. Everything affects everyone differently depending on how any tool is used. Life is right in front of our eyes, in this moment, in the timeless now. I see that time is a reminder that this life is but a dream, an experience within the timeless now, but not all that there is. Time and death teach us to appreciate this life before we go on to the next, or before we disappear forever as the personalities we now are, know and cherish. All this wisdom hits my mind, and it’s not like I never knew it, but the important distinction is that it’s on thing to know it, and it’s another to feel it so intensely. There are many roads that can lead us to such a realization, but the simplest one to follow is the one of simply being in the now. Apart from these sorts of experiences which really show you the truth in an overwhelming manner, I know that the lifestyle changes I’ve made over the past few years and my decision to be more in the now at every single moment has definitely played a huge part in getting my life back in the right direction. Give living in the now a try sometime. If I didn’t feel like everything happens for a reason I would sure wish I gave it a try quite a while back.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 8.

~ Rebel Spirit