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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 56: Watch What You Say.

I hear people talk about so many useless and random things. I don’t criticize them on the spot, or behind their back to anyone, since I remember the days when I also used to speak just for the sake of speaking, just to be seen, just to be heard and acknowledged. I always had to make my opinion known, I always tried to have people see me in a certain light or think of me in some specific way, and so the things I said were just calls for attention, even when I myself didn’t see that at the time. I had to make my life into what I thought it should be, I had to make people know me, know who I am, what my beliefs were, how the system was wrong and I was right, and how my way of life was the only correct way to live life: recklessly, without a care in the world or a thought for the future. As I matured over the past few years, after living through the consequences of some of the bad decisions from my past, I’ve really stopped talking so much. I’d say I don’t even speak half as much as I used to. I try to practice discernment with all thoughts that come up in my mind, at least whenever I remember to do so, and I find that many of the things which I’m about to say can and should be discarded before they are even expressed. Nowadays I try not to talk so much, as I would much rather attempt to understand the things I observe, the things I see and hear, to relate them to my own experiences as well as what I’ve learned and continue learning. Most of the time we say things which we don’t know for sure, we make assumptions about others due to our limited knowledge of the situation they are facing, or of the life they have lived as a whole, or we offend others by only advising them from our own point of view, without ever taking a moment to place ourselves in their shoes. I try to give advice to my friends when they need it, though I don’t try to seem like I know everything, and I don’t go around telling people what they are doing wrong in their life, especially without providing any alternative to their current actions. All of us are struggling in this life, all of us are confused to a certain extent, all trying to do the best we can to stay sane and to survive, and maybe to transform our lives into great achievements, to make our dreams come true. This only seems to matter when it applies to ourselves though, but we are quick to kill the dreams of others, whether they are our friends or enemies, even if we think that words are pretty much harmless. Words are extremely powerful, and I’ve written on that subject before. So many of us are happy to see our friends remain where they are, never advancing or moving forwards, since they make us feel comfortable about who we are and where we’re at in life, so we only talk with them about trivial things, we never try to suggest any positive change or challenge, since the friendship might change for the worse or end if one of us gets higher up the ladder than the other. This is the way too many of us see things, yet the sentiment is often unconscious. We believe we want what’s best for our friends, yet we have no problem with letting them kill themselves with alcohol or cigarettes or drugs, so long as we are not the only ones doing it. We shouldn’t refrain from giving advice to those we care about, as it can be precisely what they need in order to move ahead and face whatever obstacle they may currently be facing, but we should always advise them in a humble manner. We always must keep in mind that we could have slipped just as easily as them, since we live in a world full of temptation and desire, our will is constantly being weakened, our minds attacked. We should never think of ourselves as higher than anyone else, as superior to anyone, just because they have done something which we consider horrible, which we believe we would never do ourselves. We don’t know what things can come to, we don’t know what everyone’s been through, and we don’t know why everyone does what they do. We can’t be the judges of humanity, we can only live our own lives. Only we have our own memories, our own aspirations, only we have our own ideas, our own I know that I know more about some things than others, though I don’t consider myself an expert in any specific subject, so I don’t pretend to be. Even so-called experts on any subject could benefit from thinking a bit less of themselves, leaving the arrogance behind, and admitting that there are many things, even about their special subject which they don’t fully understand. We learn during every day that we are alive, but it is our choice to learn the hard way, by arrogantly trying to mold life to our convenience, or to learn the easy way, by maintaining the attitude of a humble observer in this world. No matter how important we may think we are, whether we are the owner of the biggest organization on the planet, whether we are the most famous rock star or actor, whatever kind of celebrity, we all need to be humble enough to see ourselves as something else, something which we all have in common These days no one will take you seriously unless you’ve been to college or university, but I don’t think it’s necessary to Often times I’m too caught up in thought to say anything, I’m starting to let life happen more, without complaining, or without attempting to change the direction of things. I don’t know where I’m going with this, to be honest, but I have enough words and it’s time for me to meditate now, so off I go into a wordless space.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 57.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 55: The Lessons You’ve Taught Me.

You make me see that things are not always as they seem, you make me appreciate the power of love, something I never believe in before. You taught me compassion, communion, you helped me to see that so much of my confusion was only a choice. You made me realize that I had a choice, to be free or to keep on struggling in my mental prison, to let go and to allow myself to be loved, to let go of the past that was keeping me down, or to keep on holding on to an illusion of myself. I knew when I met you, that life was providing me with an opportunity which I couldn’t refuse, that God was granting me with a precious gift, one that I couldn’t completely understand at the time, but which I knew, without a doubt, came as a form of divine grace. Such love doesn’t just come unexpected, to someone who doesn’t even believe in the very idea of it. Perhaps deep within I always believed and wanted it, perhaps it was something which was attracted by an intense yet hidden desire. I always wanted a true companion, a woman to share my thoughts with, my ideas on life, to reflect and to build together, to help each other move along through the struggles of life, to listen to her and do support her. I do remember wanting that long ago, my parents were always an amazing example of this for me. As I began to grow, to date, I forgot about this idea, about love and romance, and I saw that people just wanted to party, both guys and girls wanted sex with no commitment. Unconsciously I developed a cynical view of life, since everything seemed so superficial, interactions between people I knew seemed so meaningless, so I decided to join the fun, to allow myself to become caught up in the drama, in the highs and lows of sensual living, I forgot all about ever finding a true life partner, since such an idea simply wasn’t cool. As I began to identify with certain ideas, different from my initial thoughts of love and companion, I began to believe I was an identity, I was a cool dude, I was not about to be chasing any girls down and I was not going to give in to them, I was going to keep it cool and fuck them and leave them, I thought I knew the game. There was no way I was allowing myself to be tied down, how could I if there were so many girls yet to meet, there was so much fun to have still? I never wanted to marry, I also began to take pride in having meaningless sex with as many attractive girls as I could, even when I knew, deep inside, that there was no merit in anything I was doing, that there was really nothing at all to be proud of. All along I craved that deeper connection, and then you came along into my life, completely out of the blue you appeared and stole my heart with your sweet voice. I see now that I was wrong about many things, your simple attitude towards life has convinced me that, even when everything is going wrong, even when everyone around us decides to do only what’s best for them, even then, we should mind our business, we should do our work, we should be ourselves, and we should always be happy about it, we should always do the best we can with the most positive attitude we can bring to the table. You’ve inspired me to become a fighter, before I didn’t see much of a purpose to fight for. I did see many things that were wrong with the world, but a part of me thought they were impossible to change, that life was meaningless because I couldn’t change all the things that were wrong with it. You’ve shown me greater depth than I could previously even imagine, and I thank you and I thank God for it every day, since I know there’s a profound reason for our coming together. I can’t wait to show you new places, which are old to me, and I’ve had a great time during these two years while meeting your family, immediate and extended. Life is great when we are together, you woke me up to the fact that even the most seemingly insignificant details are rich with meaning, that life is no further than here and now, and that we must never let anything get in the way of us being here for those we love and who love us, for being here and now, fully present for them whenever they may need us. You’ve taught me, and you continue teaching me, a lifelong lesson in sacrifice, in putting others before oneself, in working as a team, in making things work together, through proper and honest communication, through restraint on anger and on jumping to conclusions, through sincerity in all situations. You make me smile every day, it’s great to have a person I know I can trust, an embodiment of all that is good and true. You made me see that, before our time together, I had been chasing worthless thrills, I had been living life all wrong. You made me see that there is so much more good within us than we often want to accept, that we often can do much more for others than we wish to acknowledge, lest we feel obligated to do so. You don’t seem to realize it, but your personality has had such an impact on me, your kindness, your radiance and your happiness, they’ve really brightened up my life, I’m so happy to be with you and I can’t wait to see how these virtues continue to grow in you in the future. I wish you the best always, and I pray God blesses you forever, and that we may spend a long, long time together on Earth, and if possible then beyond as well.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 56.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 51: Working Back Home and Abroad.

I’m at work at the moment. Normally we don’t have internet connection here to access sites not related to the job itself, but I just randomly tried to get on WordPress today and it worked, and there’s a lot of free time in between calls, so it’s a perfect moment for me to get started with today’s writing goal. I got Maria (my wife) sitting right beside me, and in between getting these words down I’m also just joking and playing around with her. It’s great to be able to look at her throughout the day, as she expresses actual concern about whatever customer’s issue she’s dealing with at the moment, I can see it in her facial expressions and hand movements. She has a sweater on with the hoodie on her head, since it always gets a bit cold at the end of the day, when most people have gone home and the air conditioner is still cooling the place up. We assist commercial customers with their DirecTV accounts, so if you live in the States and you ever call DTV customer service for some billing or technical issues at your place of work, you might get me on the line, or my wife. We probably won’t be at this job for much longer though, maybe another few months, since Maria and I are waiting for her Canadian PR to be approved soon, so that we can travel back together. It’s a cool job for now, easy and relaxed. On my breaks I can usually go out for a joint, I just have to stay alert for the cops, because here they can take me to jail, not like in Canada. Weed wasn’t legal in Canada when I was growing up though, so I’m used to staying alert and watching my surroundings. It’s funny, I do my calls so well that the customers I attend probably have no clue that I’m in Central America, or that I’m faded as fuck. I like helping them out, though sometimes work is a bore and I wish I was doing something more interesting. No sense in wishing though, I have to remain in the now, and stay focused and working towards a better situation. It’s great that I have this available time now and that I can do my writing, since we’re planning on visiting my grandparents today when we get home. It’s been a while since we’ve went up to visit them, and they always feel real happy when we do. Maria and my grandma get along real well. So, doing my writing now will clear up some time at night, the time we need to visit them and to do other goals. It’s cool that people here in Honduras have an opportunity to practice their English by having real conversations with real people who are calling from the States. The conversations obviously center mostly around TV, around technical things, and around numbers when it comes to billing problems. It’s great that these call centers exist also because they provide jobs for many people here. The US companies hire the call centers since they obviously have to pay someone working in a call center in the States a lot more than they pay us over here. I don’t live for money though, otherwise I’d be back in Canada making much more right now. I couldn’t bear the thought of staying separated from Maria though, and throughout the whole time we’ve been waiting on her PR, I’ve been here in Honduras ever since I came back to get married with her. Our two year anniversary is coming up, in fact, on the fifteenth of this month. I’m super excited to celebrate that special day with my beautiful wife of two years, especially since it’s been a while since we hit the beach, and also since this will be the first celebration or beach day since I started my abstinence goal from alcohol. That means I’ll act like less of a fool, I’ll enjoy more, and I’ll be able to remember more of those wonderful moments. I’m excited to go back to Canada, but just as you make more money there from work, living is also much more expensive. Over here it almost feels like I’m on vacation, work is not much of a necessity, and life is a lot more relaxed. When I go back, I feel like it’s gonna be hard not to slip back into a meaningless routine, into a soul-sucking job which I will actually need in order to pay the rent, or mortgage, in order to buy food and groceries. I need to do all that here, but we always have enough, and the job is simple and relaxed. I’m not eager to take up some random job though, after the many I’ve already had already back, and to start waking up early and coming home late every day, working my ass off just to pay bills, with no time to spend with my wife or family. I’m excited because, in Canada, there’s a lot more opportunities for musicians and artists, for writers as well. But what good does it do me if I will have no time? I absolutely need to find a way to break free from the system, to be my own boss and to live more freely. That’s also kind of the point for taking this time off and staying here in Honduras. It’s great to see life from a totally different perspective, and to sometimes have a bit of an escape into a different culture, into something that sucks you out of your own life and environment and mindset back home. I’ve been thinking, brainstorming, planning as to what I will do in order to make things work when we go back to Vancouver, and I have a few ideas, one of the main ones being hard work and dedication to what I do. So, tomorrow the call center awaits again, and while it’s not so bad, and I’m thankful to God for having such a chill job at the moment, I truly wonder if the day will arrive when I’ll find myself waking up to do something much more meaningful than helping people watch TV. I’m sure many of us feel the say way.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 52.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 47: Where Can We Find Meaning?

Everyone’s faces show signs of severe stress, like life is a mess, completely meaningless. I believe it’s not, but some say yes. Either way we all wish and wish for more, but in the end it just feels like less. It often only feels like another loss, like another challenge, another test. We don’t know why we’re falling apart, still we seldom take time to sleep, to rest, to truly live life in the best, way we know how, and our attitude is can’t nobody tell me nothin’ like Kanye West, only getting high like Mount Everest. Some are searching in the East, some hold on to the West. Some aren’t searching at all, they don’t want to see the pain. For them, life is nothing but a silly game, and so it doesn’t matter anyhow, where we will eventually go and from where we came. We’re just killing time, waiting for the time to take a bow, and to finally leave, some are wishing that time was right now. Some make it happen, they say, Let our families grieve, the seasons pass like autumn leaves, we continually shut ourselves away because we dread the day we’ll be deceived. Let it end, let’s stop this false and pretend, let it end, let me go to where I don’t feel bad for having no friends. This mentality arises as we strive to live a lie. Only getting high, because we feel low, with nowhere to go, looking high and low, our accountability we deny. Life isn’t what we thought, it’s all show, but yet it’s all we got. We thought we knew, yet we don’t know a damn thing, have we forgot? Did we ever know at all? None of us can stop the clock. Time is ticking, people pass, always searching for greener grass. Never will they get the chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy at last. We all wish that we could ease the stress and sing, we wish to let ourselves go, and that we could fly but never fall, with a pair heavenly wings. We would love to lose ourselves in a trance, to feel free to forever dance, to indulge in the sins of this life, but that they didn’t have to sting. We want to soar the skies, we try to transform like caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. We’re tired of seeing sadness, and listening to lies, while the hatred all around the world seems to be on a constant rise. But we never change, we try to make a mental picture of the world, we attempt to rearrange, the facts and the lies, to fit our point of view. We complain and we point out all the evil all the others do. But there are no others, just sisters and brothers. We need to be the change we wish to see, to be the lovers, who can manifest this great force. We need to speak what’s real, and then to remain real, with no remorse. We need to connect to the source, but for that we need to stop trying, of course. We all want to be the man, like Van, but what we don’t understand, is that we can’t do the right thing unless we’re guided by God Almighty’s hand. Any other attempt is damned. Without this divine power we’ll never be strong enough to take a stand. But look back at the struggles you’ve survived, look at all the helping hands, look at your parents, cheering you on, your biggest fans. Keep on moving like Bob Marley, and don’t look back at how many miles you ran. Just continue living in love, all throughout your lifespan. and give thanks to God, within and above. Even when sometimes it feels like you’re stuck in a labyrinth like Pam. You have to take control, because in a way, no one really gives a damn. They would if they could, and it’s not clear if they should, yet we can’t moan about it, it’s good for this to be fully understood. We all have to take responsibility for our actions, until we find that, apart from God, there’s simply no sincere satisfaction. Then we will, give in to the divine will, then we will follow what we know to be right. Then we’ll be like eagles, soaring high, up in the sky in flight. We’ll shine like the sun in the day, with no fear of the night, we’ll remain at peace, even if life becomes a fight. We’ll live in the moment, we won’t wish for more. We won’t see life as a competition, we’ll stop keeping score. We won’t hold grudges, we’ll have our own system. We’ll talk a lot less, and we’ll simply sit and listen. We won’t be sucked in to the sorrows of the world. We’ll devote ourselves to loving our little boys and girls, to providing them with everything they need, not just to survive, but to thrive, to live with integrity, not only to stay alive. For what is life, for a new generation of slaves to greed? Are more selfish human beings really what this planet needs? Do we need more lust? Is more violence a must? Do we have to teach our children that it pays to be unjust? Smile, life is only here for a little while, my life isn’t mine, neither is my wife or my child. I thank God for everything he’s given, and I acknowledge that God I wouldn’t be living. I humbly seek to learn from my mistakes, so that I won’t repeat. For me the meaning of life is to grow, to seek to know when to be quiet and when to speak. Life is a fun adventure, but it can’t be denied that it’s deep. For those us trying to climb the corporate ladder, or to reach happiness through the path of wealth and fame, the climb is steep, and the ball will always roll them back down, never to finish. We need to reconnect with our love for life, so that its divinity will stop being diminished. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 48.

~ Rebel Spirit 

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 43: Maintaining A Happy Marriage.

Marriage can be something really special, if approached properly. The unification of two people as one, the commitment to make things work, to keep on moving through life’s hurdles together – these things are what create a truly unbreakable bond between two people. Before I got married, I did have some doubts about whether I would be making the right decision. I was only twenty-two, and many older people told me I was way too young, that I probably wasn’t seeing things in the proper light. I did take these comments into consideration, if only briefly, yet I didn’t let them faze me or cloud my judgment. I had to make this great decision on my own, I had an amazing girlfriend who was fully committed to me, who was down to earth and down to be there for me through thick and thin. I knew that it was time for me to return back home, and she didn’t have a visa to go with me. I knew that she was a decent girl in every sense, that her family would only really accept and respect me if we were married. Otherwise, there was no chance of her travelling anywhere with me. What could I do? I could appreciate this blessing and make things official after a period of working and saving u p some money, then returning to my birth country, or I could continue my life of partying and chasing thrills and girls in Vancouver, looking for wilder and wilder experiences, finding no true connection beyond the superficial. There was no doubt that we loved each other, just as we still do, whether married or not. The idea for the wedding so early in our relationship was really so that Maria could move back to Canada with me. We’re currently waiting on the paperwork to be processed, so in a couple more months, God willing, we should be catching a plane back to Vancouver. We aren’t intimidated by the changes that may come, even if my wife has never lived in cold weather. Honduras is known for its heat, so we will probably be getting her a lot of sweaters as soon as we arrive. I say that we aren’t intimidated by the changes that may come later in life since we are committed to each other and to always pushing through no matter what life may throw at us. In life, one always has a decision to make. Everything has a deeper dimension to it, every though, every idea, every connection, relationship, love. Everything can be approached in a superficial way, analyzed from a distance, from behind our twisted ways of perceiving all that we encounter, or it can be approached with respect, with a sincere attempt to fully understand, to become one with it, to really live each experience, and to fully live life as a whole. I knew that this was the time, I knew that she was the one. I knew that if I threw this away, then I would be throwing out something priceless, someone’s true love and affection, true commitment and connection, for random possibilities, for alcoholic hookups at clubs and house parties, for lonely nights surrounded by lots of shallow and empty-headed people. I knew that I had to make my life meaningful, that I had to honor the meaningful connection which had touched both our hearts and so greatly impacted both our lives during the time we spent together in Honduras. I can see now that U made the right decision, as following what we know is truly meaningful and worth pursuing can never steer us in the wrong direction. There’s less than a month left now until we celebrate our two year anniversary, so I know I have to think of something really special, not because of any obligation, but in order to show Maria how much I appreciate everything she means to me, everything she does as she keeps her part of the deal in this marriage game. Marriage is great for spiritual work as well, a firsthand experience of merging one’s life with someone else’s. The only way it can work is if each person sacrifices some things, sometimes, in order to be in agreement with the other. Each person should learn from one another, we should learn from our wife or husband’s strengths and weaknesses, just as we should learn from our own, and we should try to gently help each other out, so that we may cut some of the suffering of life from each other’s experience, as we share every tear and every laugh together, making tragedy more bearable, making love even more glorious. Random acts of kindness, always finding an opportunity to help, always telling each other how much you mean to each other, these are things that are needed to keep love flowing. Even after marriage, one should never become lazy and suddenly stop the old habits one previously had, habits which made both of you fall in love in the first place. If the love is true then even these issues can be worked out, yet much suffering is bound to arise in a marriage if either party is unable to properly show appreciation to other, to properly communicate his or her love and affection. Marriage provides an opportunity for us to become less selfish, to see another as my self, to learn what it means to care for another human being, to sacrifice our own petty pleasures at times, in order to satisfy someone else, to make them happy, to see them smile. These things create humility, they create more love where it already exists, they create a warm atmosphere where honest communication can take place. Marriage allows two people to learn how to fully accept another person, and also how to help them change for the better, if they want to change, without forcing any beliefs or any of our own values upon them, but rather trying to understand and to create connections, through compassion and through love and understanding, through acceptance and patience, through unconditional respect and support.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 44.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 38: Philosophy and The Meaning of Life.

Philosophy is great, but it can be dangerous. Everything is usually great and has the potential to be dangerous if used in the wrong ways, or by the wrong people at the wrong time. But we all must philosophize, at least personally, about our own lives, in order to create some kind of order. We all need to have a meaning in life, and simply living, loving our family and friends, and being the best we can be is possibly the greatest source of meaning we can find, other than sincerely searching for, and finally finding, God. How should we give meaning to our lives though? Some argue that life has no meaning, yet I notice that even these people try to improve their personalities in some way. If life was truly meaningless, then what would be the point of trying to better ourselves, to try to create order from chaos in our own lives. The only way we can come to this realization of order is by analyzing, by understanding the philosophies of the world and the ones we have subscribed to, unknowingly, over the years. Then what we need to do is to develop new habits, ones that will allow us to break free from an often nihilistic and depressing viewpoint of life, and to embrace the fact that, in reality, life has much more meaning than they were previously willing to admit. The mere system of union between a loving couple, of procreation and of life continuing in a family, of parents raising and unconditionally loving their children until they grow, instilling love into their children’s hearts with their very own actions. There is a flip side however, as there is to everything in this world of duality, as parents can impose their destructive beliefs onto their children, even without knowing it at times, by being bad examples when confronted with any given situation. The point is that, one cannot ignore the great significance of this unity between two people, to complement each other throughout their lives, to learn what it means to truly have to sacrifice yourself for someone at times, especially when children come along. Then these children take the best and the worst of both parents, plus a whole lot from its own unique environment as well, and blends all of it together to create a new person, who might very likely be a new family man or woman. And so life goes on, indefinitely. What for though? Are we free to assign meaning to anything and everything, just as we please, trusting everything we believe to be true? In a way, yes, we are all free to find meaning in our own lives, and we should definitely do this, we should never ignore or depreciate those blessings which have been ours all along, some of which we have actively neglected for so long. One example is when we try to act tough, so we try to stop being vulnerable, we try to stop connecting with people, we feel that there is no point to life, or to play the game of life with all these people around us. It’s tempting to feel like this sometimes, like a lone wolf, like it’s me against the world. I used to have this mentality back in the days a lot, I felt alone against forces which were beyond me. I’m glad I’ve overcome that now, for the most part, as I understand that life is, without a doubt, a collaborative experience, and that connections between people should be nurtured and appreciated, that for true communication to take place, we need to be true to ourselves and to those we interact with. If we play a part everywhere we go then no one will ever know the real you, they will only know fragments of you at each place, depending on how much of that true self you let show at each event. We need to come to terms with who we are, and what we are in this life. We need to understand that every human life matters equally, but that no one is superior to anybody else or matters more. We agree with this, yet we ignore the fact that, in any situation of danger, we would always look out for ourselves. We would attempt to save only those of our immediate family, our loved ones, precisely because of that, because we love them. Love compels us to go beyond our selfish self, beyond our personality and to connect, to truly feel a connection, between who we are, and who somebody else is. This love is usually complicated enough between two people, but if it’s true it will endure through the storms. What if an equally true love, but on a different scale, not in a romantic sense, but an even more complete love, a Divine love, existed and could be realized by all human beings if only we understood and truly felt a connection between our lives and those of other human beings, random people to us? After all, we are random people to them, and so are all the people we love. They would sacrifice all of us in the blink of an eye to save those they themselves love, should the tragic situation arise. We can never truly escape from this love of ourselves while we live in this world, or perhaps we can, but not living in this society. We must exchange love for the self, for love of the Self, and we must be the light that shines eternally everywhere we go, being an example of humility and love that people can feel the truth in, that people can feel inspired by. Philosophize and understand, realize that people have been attempting to figure out the meaning of life for millennia, and that philosophy and all the various religions are the result of this fact. We all feel that there’s something more to life, and that is why we try to life a meaningful life, or at least one that means something to us. Don’t give up on your life before you truly look at the value which is hidden in every crack, in every bad habit, in every problem you keep on facing, in every issue with a family member or friend, in every blessing and every love, in every enemy and friend. What does a friend mean to you, or an enemy? Is there such a thing? Reflect, philosophize, experiment, observe. Take your life in your hands, but remain humble, under the Higher Power which has given you the opportunity to live, and to even try to understand.

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

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 27.

~ Rebel Spirit 

Man’s Search for Meaning: The Space Between Stimulus and Response.

VIKTOR FRANKL (1905-1997)

One of the greatest victories we can achieve in life is the mental, emotional and spiritual victory over inevitable circumstances and the struggles they create. If someone like ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ author Viktor Frankl, who endured and overcame extreme tragedy and horror in his life, having lost most of his family in various concentration camps during World War II, can see the opportunity for growth that is dormant within pain and adversity, then none of us can really believe that we have any excuse to simply give up and allow life’s circumstances to get the best of us and bring us down. What I can understand to be the meaning of Frankl’s wonderful quote is that, between any given situation we face and our reaction to it, there is what he calls a ‘space’, a moment of introspection. When we enter this sacred space, it may feel as if time has stopped, as if we are suddenly struck by pure timeless realization. We are saved by a mere moment of contemplation, of profound meditation. Many of us have no idea what this space really means, but when one’s life is turned upside down and one is suddenly in a life or death situation from which there is no escape, cultivating this sacred space becomes essential, not only for survival, but for sanity’s sake as well. What this space signifies is nothing but the magical science of intuition. Through the wisdom of a second of silence we find that we are freed from unconscious bondage; we are no longer compelled to react based on raw animal instinct or habitual behavior patterns we have developed over time. Emotion is no longer our master, and we are now free to examine a situation with the light of pure consciousness, with the infallible wisdom of the spirit.

What we find is that this serene space, this intuition that we speak of, allows us to analyze any situation objectively from within the deepest and wisest part of our spirit, that part which is beyond all duality and contradiction and which is connected with God, with the oneness of it all, putting aside even the strongest of emotions and the subtlest yet most sinister sense of entitlement in order to perceive something as it truly is, to perceive it in all honesty and with painfully perfect purity. Purity is painful to those accustomed to the pursuit of pleasure, and at times our intuition will go against what our illusory self wants. It is imperative that we follow our deepest and noblest realizations, which will allow us to remain unshaken through the storms of life. Only then will we be prepared to react appropriately to any unpleasant situation which may arise, or to any confrontation against righteousness. We are not speaking of any superhuman ability,  but rather of the deepest part of our being as human beings. We can all learn to carefully control our reactions to external events, and in fact, our overall life satisfaction throughout our journey’s different stages and in general will depend a great deal upon this sole factor. Whether we are able to react calmly and sincerely to the obstacles of life, or whether we will be overcome and mercilessly consumed alive by emotions as destructive as lust and greed, being dragged around by our necks from here to there as unconscious slaves of our own uncontrolled passions.

We have all been guilty of trying to use our circumstances as excuses for why we have not gotten ahead in life and why we never will. We attempt to justify and normalize why we should and always will conform with living mediocre lives far from the true and meaningful works of art we know we were meant to mold our lives into. So many of us want to improve ourselves and the world as a whole, but a profound inability to take control of our own thoughts and actions unfortunately means that we probably will never give life to the creative projects floating around in our unique brains. The pressures of society make us feel that it we fail we will not only be forever labeled and rejected as failures, but that we will never be able to reintegrate into a mediocre life if we ever choose to return to it, having failed in the pursuit of the extraordinary life we always dreamed of. Mediocrity becomes  so comfortable because it allows us to go on reacting to things as we please, as we always have, without analyzing and correcting our own behavior, without taking responsibility for improving our lives. The real reason why we fail to get ahead, however, is because we are afraid of pain, we are terrified of struggle, and we lack purpose. The main point in Viktor Frankl’s life-changing book is this: We all need a purpose in order to move forward. Purpose can inspire one to persevere through pain of the worst kind, and even through persecution. 

Fear destroys ideas before they are even manifested outside of the thought realm. Too many people see adversity as something to be avoided at all costs, and they fear situations which will remind them of their weakness. They want to stay in mediocre situations that will not demand change of them. We all want to be heroes, but we often fail to see that usually the very same people who have been through and have eventually overcome nightmarish situations are the very same people who have also become some of the most successful and admirable people we know of, people who have made history and who have inspired millions simply by example. Viktor Frankl is someone who I personally admire very much and who I believe we can all learn much from. Again, Frankl lost pretty much his whole family who were executed in concentration camps by the Nazis. Viktor explains in his masterpiece book how he would often notice that whether or not a prisoner had hope of surviving the war or not greatly influenced how long they were able to endure cruel treatment and even live through disease.

We all need motivation in order to survive. We all have goals we want to achieve, projects we want to undertake. After some time living life it becomes clear that we will never be able to achieve these goals if we cannot stand adversity, if we break down in the face of the most insignificant inconvenience. In order to succeed we need to have a purpose. Once we have a purpose of which we are certain then it becomes much easier to avoid the distractions and to get right down to business. Acknowledging our obstacles, we accept what is. Only then can we plan out how we will overcome the obstacles. This gives us purpose, meaning. We can only find purpose if we stop following our own habitual ideas and take a moment to analyze each and every one of them, from the perspective of the spirit, from the serene space we are talking about.

None of us are perfect, and all of us know it. Yet, so many of us want to pretend that we are, even knowing that everyone else also knows we’re not. We want to keep up appearances so we never let anyone know about our creative projects, about the innovative experiences we are looking to have and create in this world. We have all become so consumed by the wanting to belong to the crowd that we ignore original ideas too often simply because they fall outside the box of social norms. Many of us know there are problems in our lives. Sometimes these problems might be dangerous and life-threatening, and imposed upon us by external forces such as in the case of Viktor Frankl and all people who were persecuted, imprisoned and murdered by Nazis and many other oppressive and corrupt groups of people throughout history. Other times our problems are not so life-threatening. In fact, since we lack wisdom due to never getting into that space of wisdom and intuition, we probably cannot even perceive that there is a problem at all, or we might know that there is a problem, but being so advanced in ignorance at this point, we succeed in completely banishing the troubling thought from our minds – for a while. Because of this reason, because the problems maybe appear minor, we choose to ignore them completely, since it is often much more comfortable to simply ignore problems than to work on them. After all, we have never had a glimpse of what our life could be like if we resolved our problems. 

We know that if we were to fix this specific problem our life would be better in this specific way. Yet we are comfortable with our dysfunction now that it has become a mental habit. We accept that we are mediocre, that life just sucks and there is not much magic to it, so we sit around and do nothing productive day in and day out, slowly adopting a cynical attitude towards life and the world, complaining that everything is a problem and nothing goes our way. Well, guess what? Your problems are the way you can get things to go your way if you simply choose to stop ignoring them. How do we learn math or science or any other subject in school? We are presented with problems which we must solve day after day until we become accustomed to solving such problems. We come to know that if we want to find the answer, a problem must first be solved. In life however, we refuse to see problems as growth opportunities, as obstacles we must rise above in order to strengthen our character – we fail to see that problem-solving gives life its meaning.

What we all need to do is to realize that we have within ourselves immense power, such as the power to survive a holocaust, to keep on living with purpose even after facing the death of all those we love, to forgive the killer of our child, like the video I saw the other day where a grieving mother hugs and forgives her child’s murderer in court. I personally don’t know if I would be able to do either of these things I have mentioned were I to act in the manner I have in the past, or were I to give in to my own habits and tendencies. The problem is not that human beings cannot do these things, they clearly can. The problem is that too many of us believe we can’t, and so we never try to become such people. As a limited human brain, I cannot do these things, but if I practice tuning into that space of intuition, then every step will become clear and I will overcome in the end. You see, these people like Viktor Frankl, or like the mother who forgave her son’s killer, have made an inner decision. Their determination didn’t overcome adversity and hatred because they were born different from us ordinary people, or because they have a purer spirit than ours. We are all children of God, whose infinite power dwells within us all as one pure and universal spirit. Our spirit cannot become more pure or impure. All that can change is the amount of negative and positive habits in our brains, which are the physical instruments which allow us to perceive reality, both physical and spiritual. 

This invincible and godly spirit is capable of rising above emotion, above thought, above comprehensible human logic, and it can make miracles happen. When we become painfully aware of this to the point that we cannot help but live in the holy manner the spirit requires of us, then we will be able to live not only with purpose, but with The Purpose. The highest and only Purpose, after all, is the divine will. Man makes his decisions freely, but all is directed to balance out in the end, all flows and transforms and God’s will is always achieved. Obstacles are God’s will and mercy. They are the consequences of our own evil actions, not as individuals but as humanity, for we are all surely one spirit, and God has embedded into these obstacles the opportunity for us to learn and thrive from them, to derive purpose in correcting these mistakes and finding unity behind duality, finding peace beyond the never-ending conflict on earth which we are all susceptible to, finding the space in which we can be with our spirit amidst all the trials and tribulations. 

Create a space. Meditate. Analyze your actions, evaluate your values. Correct your ways and see if your friends follow. If they don’t follow your path, then at least make sure they don’t try to lead you astray from it and if they do then stand firm in the spirit. Our culture has become one of mindless, unproductive desires being acted out in every selfish way imaginable with no regard for anyone else or for the environment which is being affected. We need to realize the importance of living with purpose again, of doing things with meaning. We need to take a moment to reflect on our thoughts and our emotions and to make sure we do not react by escaping from those we find unpleasant, but by facing them, by identifying the problem and by creating a solution. While creating said solution, we must stay present in the moment, and we must not make the process of creating a solution a burden. We must come to love the struggle, the urge to keep on improving; we must finally realize that life’s obstacles are its biggest blessings, since duality is only an illusion, and in the end, all is one, both the good and the bad. Once we realize this it will mean we have finally come to value purpose and meaning in the way we always should have.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

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