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

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 75.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 70: The Mysteries of Life and Writing.

70 days into this writing goal, every day writing a thousand words and posting them on here. I’m not sure of what my purpose for this goal actually is, but I’m glad it’s become a daily habit to write. I wish I enjoyed it more though, since sometimes it seems like just one more goal I have to complete before midnight. I think what might be missing still is organization. I have to find a way to organize my ideas, and to plan certain days to write about certain ideas. So far I’ve just been randomly writing every day, going off whatever comes to mind when I sit down to write. I have a feeling that, maybe if I just write enough, maybe if I write consistently, every day, eventually I might create a masterpiece, something which people might read and really feel inspired. I feel so much significance in life, things connect in my head and I am in awe at the way in which life interacts with life. Over the past few years it’s become really overwhelming, so I’ve started to try to get things written down, but for some reason so many things which I want to express are hard to get into words. I guess it’s expected when one is constantly learning about spirituality and philosophy, but I hope I can start to get my ideas across a bit clearer soon. The most important idea that I want to get across to people is that, even if we don’t know the answers to all of life’s mysteries, even if we feel that life is meaningless at times, or worse, that it’s evil and cruel, we are only a part of life, each one of us, so we are in no position to decipher what everything in life means. Do you consider yourself evil? No? What about perfect and good in every way? That’s not you either right? We are all making up life, life includes us, so we can’t separate ourselves from it in order to ever examine it properly. Life is what happens to us every day, but life is also everything that happens without us, far away from us, every single day. Since we are not God, and we are not the creators of life, we must assume a position of humility. Too many of us associate humility with weakness, with being soft and allowing others to walk all over us. Humility is an attitude towards life. Someone who is humble has no need to justify his or her belief or to have others believe it. We can all use our sense of discernment to find what works best for us in our lives, what is right and what is wrong conduct, but humility means that we shouldn’t attempt to force others to live as we do. We can offer wise advice when we see our friends and family struggling, but we must understand that we are all free to live the life we have been blessed with. The reason I want to get this message across through my writing is because, once we understand this, that we are interconnected with life and that it is much deeper than it often seems, then we will be more likely to try to come to a fuller understanding of it. The person who, in his or her arrogance, thinks that his belief system is all there is to know, and that he has figured it all out, that life can be fully explained by any one religion or philosophy, has closed himself off from ever reaching higher truth. Humility is the first step towards properly living life. Once we assume a humble attitude towards life, then we are free to live, to interact, to understand. This is why I write, because, even though I do not have all the answers to life, at least I accept and understand that. I can write without pretending to have it all figured out, as a real person with real thoughts, trying to live a real life. I don’t know what will happen with my writing. I don’t know who will read it, or why, or what thoughts will pop into each reader’s mind as they read this, but I write because I know that life is made of connections, and that we must do what we have to do, even as we face uncertainty. Should I stop writing because I don’t know what will ultimately come of it, or even why I’m doing it at times? Of course not. We have to keep on moving in the face of uncertainty, and we have to keep on learning, on wondering, on connecting the dots of life, even if we are facing adversity, even if it seems like it isn’t worth moving on. Life is mysterious, and knowing that, really feeling that mysterious quality of life within myself, all the unknown potential which lies within every human being, has really sparked a flame in me, to read, to write, to share information so that whoever may read it may be inspired in some positive way. I started out this post with no idea of what I would write, and I even started writing my own answers to my own question down. Why don’t I enjoy writing more? I answered that I had to have more organization. However, once I got to writing I had more and more ideas, and now I’m not sure how I even ended up on this sentence, writing about what I’m currently writing about, about how life is so wonderful and mysterious. The point is that it just happened somehow, that something real which was on my mind was successfully transmitted into words for you all, and that now there’s no going back, all because I decided to just give it a go. Things are bound to happen in life, no matter what, and if we try to live with humility, we can try to understand and learn more about the things that happen in life and why, and we can learn to use those things in order to have better things happen in the future. Everything’s a mystery, so we might as well try and figure it out. we never know where life will take us, but it is sure to take us somewhere. Stop pretending to know everything, stop pretending that you know where you’re going. Be humble, seek help from those who know, and try to learn and understand, and then to put into practice.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 71.

~ 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 49: Don’t Become Discouraged.

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 50.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 40: Stay Awake.

Stay awake until the final second, until my head falls and takes my body along with it, the movement waking me in mid-air just in time to save me from cracking my head on the floor or the edge of the table. Sometimes we stay up just to stay up, just to keep time ticking, to feel like it’s still going. We can’t simply call it a day and head to bed, or take twenty minutes to analyze our day and then head to sleep. We have time for everything other than order though. We fall asleep and we don’t remember what time we fell at sleep at, since we were already half asleep while we were still doing things, still surfing the net, nodding off. Why are we always searching for more? Why can’t we be at peace, even in our own rooms? A crazy, constant search for stimulation, a lack of appreciation of what we already have, an inability to slow down and enjoy the little things, to explore the wonders all around us. When I was younger and still living with my parents I would often come home and shut myself in my room, reading about all sorts of cool places and things to do around the world, wishing I could be somewhere else. Now, even though I absolutely love living with my wife and being independent from my parents, I do miss our moments together at my old home, all the great times we had growing up, and the great times that could have been, had I appreciated what I had. It’s sad to see it happen, yet it’s a common pattern of behavior, that as young children grow into adolescence, they become so caught up in social life, in peer pressure, in keeping up an image, in being with so-called friends at all times, always out and about, that they forget about their parents and how things used to be between them. Children’s impulsive behavior can lead them to act in risky ways, in ways that might make it seem like they don’t appreciate their parents’ dedication towards them, and it is precisely because they are growing up and feeling like they belong, like they are popular, or that their reputation is now at stake, depending on everything they do or don’t do, every event they attend or miss out on. In a teenager’s world, everyone wants to be in on everything, and it is also like this in the world of anyone who lives off of other’s impressions and ideas about them. Too many people live lives of fear, they require certain things, certain conditions to be met, during every interaction or social situation, in order to feel like they belong, in order to feel secure about who they are what they are trying to represent. People don’t know who they are, they know about their inner chaos very well, yet they haven’t taken the time to analyze it and to understand it, they haven’t done the work, and have preferred to run from it instead. Self-analysis is tough love, self-love, self-care to the highest degree. When we can be honest with ourselves, that means we have a loyal friend who we can probably trust, probably something like ninety-nine percent of the time (we all lie to ourselves sometimes, even in the smallest matters). If we can’t come to terms with all the aspects of who we are then we are forever destined to look for external meaning to no avail. Your life’s meaning can never, will never, be found externally, in some group or some organization, in becoming something new, in doing something new, in acquiring some new possession. Only you can do the necessary work, can go through the inner process, which will allow you to submit who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, to the divine will, and to trust and have faith in the process, doing your best and expecting the best out of every situation, especially every bad one. Only then will you find peace. Other than in this divine peace, there is nothing else which is peaceful outside of it. We are always searching for a high, for a thrill, for a stimulus to respond to. There is a space between stimulus and response, as Viktor Frankl stated, yet very few of us are familiar with it. In many cases we respond before the stimulus has even finished taking it effect on us. We always want more, we want to hear more, not necessarily to listen more, but then we want to talk even more, much more than we want to hear. We all believe in something, we all want others to believe in the same thing, so that others might be saved, so that others might come to know the truth, so that they may escape suffering. But we are all neurotic, we are all constantly on the move because we can’t really stand the truth, we can’t stand the silence, and the pain of solitude, we can’t stand being stripped away of all that makes our identity, of all that seems to make us who we are. We are not prepared to stand naked in the face of adversity, in the face of others, in the face of our own higher selves. We are all imperfect, sinners if that’s what we wish to call ourselves, we have missed the mark. We have all fallen victim to temptation, to the Satan within ourselves, to the little devil on our shoulder. We have all placed our own pleasure above whatever was the right thing to do at the time, we have all considered taking revenge, or have in fact taken revenge, against someone who has seemingly harmed us. Indeed, many can attempt to harm us, and it will seem as if they have succeeded. They can succeed in harming us, for we cannot control the actions of a criminal, or a murderer, yet whether they succeed in robbing us of our inner peace is completely up to us. For this reason, we must stay awake at all times, alert to what may possibly be the cause of our downfall, if left unchecked. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 41.

~ 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

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 34: Why Do You Write?

How can we speak our minds about the most important subjects affecting our world today? People seem to get offended by everything, everyone’s statements need to be politically correct. If you don’t agree with the majority then there’s something wrong with you, or you’re branded an enemy of society, of freedom, of equality. Sometimes we’re afraid to really get down to business, so we write about trivial things that barely matter in real life. We all look for distractions to help us escape the harsh reality of life on this planet, but should writers write in order to provide that distraction, or rather to wake their readers up and alert them that they better leave the distractions alone and see what’s really going on before it’s too late? Is it a writer’s responsibility to bring awareness to the issues that are affecting his world? I don’t necessarily think so. Everyone is free to choose what they really want from their life or career, and if people want to get lost in a book about distractions then there should be writers to provide them. Distractions will always be a necessity for people, to avoid facing the truth about certain issues, both in our personal lives and in our world as a whole. Writing, being a creative activity, can be used for many different things. A writer isn’t obligated to write about current events and problems, or about what we can do, or should do, to solve them, but even if we aren’t obligated to write about these things, we would really be elevating our art if we choose to do so. We shouldn’t do it in a cynical manner, or in a negative or offensive way, we should simply state the facts and offer a solution when one seems possible. Bringing awareness to only problems is doing nothing but making people angry, creating distrust among all people, tension and more disagreement. If we can offer a solution however, then we are really in a position to make big changes happen in society, if not now then maybe in the long run, at some point in the future. We can all do great things during our lifetime, yet we don’t all make the right decisions in order to make wonderful changes happen. Something we are all able to do though, at any point, is to write down our noblest thoughts and to share them with others. Ideas that are truly godly have a way of enduring, their very truth ensures that they will be passed on from generation to generation, and that they may even inspire entire movements of people to create organizations and institutions. Even if we don’t see things change much during our own lifetimes, the words we write down are able to transcend time and to create a real revolution in the future. We don’t need to be masters of the English language in order to get some ideas down on paper, or on a computer, or even on a cell phone. I bet that so many authors from the past had no clue that their work would still be studied today by thousands of people, even thousands of years after they wrote them. Marcus Aurelius’s ‘Meditations’, for example, was simply a collection of personal notes he had written to himself. These words were then found and published, and we have access to various different translations of them today. I myself have been inspired by so many ancient texts, and it’s incredible to think that there is real understanding between myself and someone who lived thousands of years before me, in a different culture at a different time in history, under much different conditions than my own. This shows me that truth and reason will never die, that the same truths that the ancients were well aware of are perceptible to us even today, and that it can and should be transmitted to the people of tomorrow, so that they may recognize truth as well when they read it, thereby becoming inspired to find the truth within themselves. The sayings of Buddha are so similar to those of Jesus, who lived about six hundred years earlier, and many of the great Greek philosophers wrote great passages which help us comprehend much of the philosophy we know today. Wisdom from the past has been essential to keeping truth alive in the hearts of many people, even in our modern day society which makes it so hard to connect with truth. We as writers have the power to inspire generations even thousands of years after we die. If we get no recognition for our great work during our earthly life then so be it, at least we will create a better world for the people of the future. We should let go of our attachment to the fruits of labor anyway and practice Karma Yoga, consecrating all our work, our writing, to God, to the greatest power in the universe, the source of it all. We can never go wrong when we do this, and understanding that we are working for the Supreme Being, we automatically feel the responsibility to convey truth in our work in any way we can. We know that words truly can create life or death, and we understand that the decision is ours. We have to remain rooted in that power which we write for, we need to disconnect from the fears and doubts of our petty personality, and we need to write what needs to be written, we need to speak what needs to be spoken. Truth is essential to life, for life without truth cannot truly be called life, it is the worse kind of death there can be, spiritual death. So I urge all of you writers, write about what you find interesting, about what you love, but always be on the look-out for ways in which you can incorporate truth into your material. Think of the thoughts that your words may conjure up in people’s minds, are they thoughts of life, or of death, of love or of hate, will they help to rebuild our planet, or are they words of destruction? The ability to write and effectively convey ideas is a divine gift, don’t waste it, use it to your maximum potential.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 34.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 20: Do What Needs to be Done NOW!

As a new month begins, as we gather our energies to begin a new, maybe there’s goals we wish to achieve, changes we’ve been looking to make in our lives. We’re determined that this will be the month of our success, this will be the time to start finally feeling free of compulsion, to start living the way we were meant to, the way we know we are meant to live. Although this excitement is often the result of great motivation, and often motivates us even more, we shouldn’t become too attached to the idea of a new month of change. A month consists normally of thirty days, and each one of those days is made up of 24 hours, each hour 60 minutes, each minute made up of seconds, small lapses of time which fade away as we start to speak about them. What is a second? It is the closest we ever get to the now, and every second we are alive we can make a difference, both in our lives and in the world as a whole. Whenever we make a positive change in our lives we are positively affecting the planet we all share, even if indirectly we are making things better for everyone else. Along with this excitement to change often comes a disappointment in ourselves for not having changed sooner. We reach a point of desperation for not having been able to achieve our daily goals, for not being able yet to cut out that toxic and destructive habit from our lives. All negatives have a positive side, being that they provide us with experiences we can learn from. It is good that past failures motivate us for future success. But it’s even better when past failures motivate us for present success. As we begin to plan a whole month of being aware, of being more conscious, we might become sure that this time we will not fail. We might feel a rush of euphoria as we are now embarking on this journey from which there is no backing down. The problem is that, in a few days, once the initial excitement passes, we might feel disappointed in ourselves for not keeping the momentum going, we might feel that we are losing that motivation. The problem is that we were focusing on the feeling of success since the beginning, we were focusing on how good it would feel to succeed, to take on a whole month of refusing temptation, of remaining calm and collected in every situation, of breaking old habits and finally being able to feel proud of ourselves. Although it serves to motivate us initially, this focusing on the outcome and on the positive feeling it will fill us with does not provide lasting motivation, because it still focuses on future satisfaction. What is needed is not a future goal in order to be able to feel accomplished at the end of a certain period. What we need to do is to remain completely focused at every moment. We need to plan a daily review of our goals and habits, we need to keep track at every moment, we need to remain grounded in the fact that this is a new person, this person here, now, living life differently. I won’t be a new person once I complete a certain goal for a specific amount of days. No, I’m already a new person, and if I intend to live life according to my values, if I know what those values are, then at any moment I can review these ideals, and I can get straight to work. Once you know that something is good for your life, that it will help to build your life up into something richer, there is no need to look for outside validation, or even to look for validation from ourselves. Our own mind might trick us a few days later, throwing temptation in our face, hoping that we break our goals, that we indulge in that harmful habit, that we fail and feel miserable again. We need to remember that we have already made the decision to go through with this, and that decision is true of right now, we absolutely must put it into practice Now. You see, there is nothing other than the now. Focus on the now, learn the teachings of Karma Yoga in order to understand this concept in a deeper way if you must. Don’t feel entitled to feeling good, don’t feel entitled to the fruits of your labor. Don’t worry about what others think, don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like the goal is bringing you to where you wanted. Give it some time, stick to the plan, to the decision which you had in that one moment of clarity, and apply it to the now. Let go of any doubt that arises from past conditioning, let go of paralyzing fear of the future. There is no past, there is no future. There is only now, this moment, this consciousness which allows us to experience the moment, and the all-pervading Spirit which provides us with our ability to do the right thing here and now. So, if you’re trying to break a habit that has you in its grip, don’t start thinking about all the times you’ve failed, don’t start by thinking about how horrible it will feel to be deprived of such pleasure for a whole week, or a whole month, or a year. Simply know in this moment that you are free, that you don’t need anything external, whatever it may be, and be at peace in this moment. Close your eyes and sit and do nothing if necessary, but just be in the moment until temptation passes. If you are trying to pick up a new habit, don’t think about all the extra work you need to put in now. Don’t stress about people liking what you write, about people buying your music, about people criticizing your art, about people looking at you weird for refusing to complain, or for changing your life, for giving up reckless partying and drug use for spirituality, for connecting with the Higher Self within us all, or for following the passion you know you were born to pursue. Pay no mind to these things, know there is an amazing force which is on your side at all times. You cannot fail now, you can only succeed at doing what needs to be done, or at not doing what doesn’t need to be done. Stop complicating yourself and your life, stop looking for gratification in time, stop looking for the feeling of being a better person, a more responsible or successful person, and accept yourself as you are now, be at peace with yourself and with God, and get down to business. You know what needs to be done, so do it NOW! You will never get another chance to do what you need to do now. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 21.

~ Rebel Spirit

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

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 5.

~ Rebel Spirit.

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 2

Now, as we discuss time as well as the timeless Now, let’s take a moment to discuss death. A conversation that I had with my grandparents yesterday brings death to my attention. Death hits us like a train when it comes, it crushes us when one of our loved ones disappears from our lives forever. What are we to do in the face of such horror? And the worst part of it is that, apart from never being able to see that person again, we don’t even know where they have gone. We all have our religious beliefs, and we might believe in heaven and hell or reincarnation or who knows what else, or we might simply believe that when life is over it’s just over for good. The undeniable fact is that none of us know for certain. Some claim they know, yet so many people claim so many things. We can’t ever trust them one hundred percent though. Why this depressing talk about death and the uncertainty of things anyway, do I really have to touch upon this? Well, why not? Death and life are inseparable. Life is impermanent. It is what we all choose to ignore. We would rather ignore that which makes us uncomfortable. And maybe I’m the wrong person to write this because most of my loved ones are still alive. Both parents, all three brothers, and my beautiful wife, as well as three grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles. I’m blessed since I’m not too familiar with death, I’ve only had a few friends that have passed away. What I have been familiar with for a long time is wasting time. Wasting time talking shit, wasting time getting wasted, getting high, wasting time chasing girls, wasting time partying, and wasting time unconsciously trying to kill my pain. Killing pain by killing time. What a stupid thing to do, to kill time. Who will want to kill time in their last moments? Although I’m only in my mid-twenties, I have wasted enough time wasting time to eventually begin to ponder the very nature of time. Time is something which is unique to this physical dimension. The spiritual plane is not bound by time and space, but the physical plane is. Therefore there must be a function to time while we are alive here. I think the role that time plays in our lives is that of a warning. Time is a constant warning that we need to seize the day; our bodies becoming wrinkled and our muscles feeling pain as we grow older are all warning signs that death is fast approaching, and that we need to live now, to be here now as Ram Dass put it, and to treat every moment of our lives as sacred, as a manifestation of the divine. What time is there to waste in a lifetime which is already too short as it is? At least it feels like it is. We only have so much time in this life, and we better make it count, because what we do is not meaningless. We only have the present moment. Every thought and every deed creates countless effects, only some of which we are aware, and everything is connected to everything else in the universe. What we do echoes in eternity, without a doubt. The Principle of Cause and Effect is one of the 7 Hermetic Principles and is also an important concept within the Kabbalah. It is also common sense, it is science. We cannot take a single breath without affecting our surroundings, both material and spiritual. We live in a world of duality, of cause and effect. We live in the yin and yang, we must connect with another human being of the opposite sex in order for a new life to come to this planet. Now that I found the wife that I love and that I’ve dedicated my life to I’ve come to personally experience the power of sex when intertwined with true love between two people, even without resulting in procreation. Before this, when I partied all the time and hooked up with any cute girl I could get into bed with me, all I ever knew was a reckless and meaningless search for pleasure on both parts, two people using each other to pass the time and escape the sadness, the loneliness, the dissatisfaction. Sex is used nowadays in much the same way as drugs, as alcohol, as partying too much, as causing trouble for no reason. Everyone knows this, and everyone feels the emptiness that stems from such a lifestyle, yet when there is minimal time for reflection between thrills, one can easily delude oneself often enough to keep the time going, to keep ignoring that inner intuition for just a little longer so that the party can continue. I’ve wasted enough time, and now I’m going to make every minute count. That’s exactly why I’m writing now. In this timeless inspiration which I feel to relate to you all the deepest thoughts that have been running ceaselessly through my mind for the last few days, months and even years, thoughts on life and death and God, I can’t be bothered by the past or the future. The now is all there is. The now is gone yet it instantly comes again. The now is here, endlessly living and dying and regenerating before it’s even done dying. After all, life and death are just two sides of the same coin. Life is no more than a moment, no more than now. The moment we are born is the second we begin the dying process. Later that night I had a life-changing trip which brought on a very mystical kind of awareness in which I could clearly see how I need to stop searching for some higher ideal which isn’t there for me to discover, and that instead I need to embrace and appreciate the inherent beauty which is to be found in my own life. We all have our own specific blessings, and they are given to us right at the perfect moment in our lives. We need to know when this happens so that we don’t rejects such gifts of Divine grace.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 3.

~ Rebel Spirit.