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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 81: Listening to Musicians’ Full Discographies.

I have a few different methods for listening to music which I use at different times in order to have different experiences. I really do love to listen to all kinds of music, or at least most, so what I do is try to listen the the greatest artists from each genre, in order to save everything into one library which I usually play on shuffle. The result is that it delivers a diversity of unique sounds of all kinds, always switching and bringing me something unpredictable. I usually blaze a nice joint which is sure to last for a while when I let my library go on shuffle. This way, I get to randomly listen through some of my favorite songs, as well as listen to songs which I might have only heard once and liked and saved onto my library, which helps to become more familiar with these songs, to turn them into new favorite songs as time passes. I used to just listen to the classic albums of each genre, but having already finished listening to pretty much all of them quite a while back, I decided to listen to some of my favorite artists’ full discographies. One of the first hip-hop discographies I listened through fully was none other than Nasty Nas’. He’s always been one of my top three favorite rappers, without a doubt, all the way from his debut classic ‘Illmatic’ all the way to the recent ‘Life Is Good’ or ‘Nasir.’ What I like most about Nas’ music is that he never fails to drop some knowledge or even wisdom in his lyrics, and always mentions certain experiences or ideas in a truthful light, without looking to glamorize a certain lifestyle. I have a one-eyed pyramid tattoo on my left arm with a Nas quote under it: “In the land of the blind the man with one eye is king.” I think that in a sad way it accurately describes society. Moving on to a different genre, one of the longest discographies I’ve completed to date has been that of Van the Man, or Van Morrison. I listened to something like forty studio albums during the course of a few months, finishing yesterday with ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’ and ‘The Prophet Speaks.’ The jazzy saxophone vibes and smooth vocals, especially on the latter, really went great with the good kush I was blazing with my buddy Danny. Van always delivered something new with each album, a new style and sound, but always fresh. What I do is that, I have maybe about four or five artists whose discography I’m listening to at any given time, and whenever one is completed its spot is replaced with a band that has a somewhat similar style or sound, and which I’ve probably been wanting to check out for quite a while. Since I heard the last two Morrison albums yesterday, I started with Bob Dylan’s first two today, along with the Stones’ ’12 x 5.’ I just started listening to the Rolling Stones’ discography about a week ago, after a long Grateful Dead binge that lasted a long time, maybe as long or even longer than Van Morrison did. On the newer side of rap I’ve heard Drake’s full discography, seeing as he’s so popular he’s gotta be doing something right. He’s definitely got an original sound, and although it’s not my main style of rap I can’t say I didn’t enjoy most of his albums. I’ve also heard Eminem completely. He’s always been one of my top three rappers along with Nas and Pac, but his last few albums don’t even come close to his old albums in any way. I can’t blame him, knowing how complicated his life has been, but we can’t deny the facts, it’s just not the same intensity or genius at all. I had already listened to all of Slim’s discography, of course, but I re-listened to every album again, and extremely enjoyed the old classics as always. When it came time to finally hear his new latest albums, which were the only ones I hadn’t heard yet, I was a bit disappointed, although there were some great songs still. If I remember correctly, the first ones I started with were Nas and Eminem, as well as Pink Floyd and The Beatles, my two favorite bands. Just like with Eminem’ music, I had pretty much listened to both of these amazing bands’ music, but I went through the discographies in chronological order once again, enjoying every second for sure. From Floyd and The Beatles I moved on to Led Zeppelin and was blown away. I was familiar with about two or three of their albums, but i discovered that I had been sleeping on some other amazing records for so long. I loved all of their albums if I’m not mistaken. Led Zeppelin IV has always been one of my favorite albums, both ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Going to California’ being two of my favorite songs. Led Zeppelin led to The Grateful Dead, as I mentioned. I can’t believe I hadn’t listened through their albums before, especially being so into psychedelics and the whole culture surrounding them. I have no clue why I hadn’t checked out the Dead before, but now a song by them is sure to come on whenever I shuffle my library, even though the list is a few thousand songs long. I enjoyed all of their albums, and listened to the main live ones along with the studio ones. My favorite of all was probably Skull and Roses, and I love its skeleton cover art. I know I haven’t mentioned many, or any, women up to this point, but I do love some food female singing for sure. My favorites are Sade, Norah Jones and Lana Del Rey, and I’ve heard all their albums so far. I’m hooked on the chill sound that they all incorporate into their music, but I have to find a new female musician’s albums to listen to now, I’m just not sure who it could be.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 81.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 73: Use Your Talents to Shine A Light.

Life’s about sacrifice, you gotta put in work because people’s hearts have grown cold as ice. No one is obligated to lend a helping hand, so don’t expect anyone to understand. But the trick is to not grow bitter and cold, even as we constantly witness the wicked ways in which life in this world unfolds. The point is to take a true hold of your own soul, to put the mind under the Spirit’s authority. We have all been blessed with skills and talents, with intelligence and wisdom, which we can use to bless, others as well as ourselves, to exert the will to progress, but too many of us have our gifts sitting on the shelves. We all have the ability to think and then to express, creatively, whether in poetry, lyrics, music, art, spoken word, to be true to who we were meant to be, and nothing less. Speak your mind and stand for what’s right, though it might shake up your whole world, possibly overnight. Stand by your word. Be who and what you claim to be, always take the high road, up high as a kite, fly forever free. Have the courage to follow the highest vision you see, to create what you conceive. Be a beautiful light, shining bright for what you believe, the brightest star shining on this blessed summer night. It is said that those who wish to give light must first burn. Take up your cross and sacrifice your physical self on it. Kill your attachments to earthly pleasures, especially those which harm others and cause suffering in the world. The right thing won’t always be the easiest one, or the most pleasant one, but we can’t possibly ignore what’s right and expect a good outcome. Recognize the wrong way and turn around to run. I thank those who paved the way for me, and I hope to do the same for generations to follow me, for years, for decades and centuries on, the legacy of everything we do lives on, we live forever even after we’re gone. So know that this is not the end, this misery nor this joy. There is more significance in every second of every day than we care to realize. I don’t know which is the right religion, but I do know that all of us are battling a spiritual war, so we were born with a mission. We all are meant to be, essentially, an example of righteous living, of unconditional care, of charity and selfless giving. Stop all the hate, leave the past behind and recreate, forgive and forget, leave behind every grudge as well as every regret, love for love’s sake. Be thankful for every friend, and even every enemy you’ve ever met. There are no enemies, have no fear for real or fake. Life has placed these people on our path, so that we may come to know what it’s like, to experience hate, pain, separation, rage, wrath. We had to know these things to come to know that they are not us. We are the consciousness on which these emotions, these thoughts and feelings appear, quickly fading away like dust, remain calm and watch them disappear. Let your mind rest, feel at ease, peace of mind is like a soothing breeze, close your eyes and meditate, elevate, feel the unity between you and everything that’s ever been, yet know that the source of you is something so great, that the angels are your kin. How were you conceived and born? How can you speak and connect with others, how can you understand concepts such as love and mutual respect? Life is filled of meaning, but it’s up to us to detect. So leave behind any notions of insecurity, of not being or having enough, stand proud and erect, if you woke up today there’s no excuse to feel like a wreck. Whatever you did, leave it behind and give yourself a chance. Life is in constant movement, so we have to jump in and dance. Roll with the rhythm, with discernment, don’t worry about the past or the future, everything will pass, everything is temporary, and everything is just as necessary. Be humble, understand that God dwells within your brother, within all others, and we all will one day decompose in a cemetery. The heavenly and material aspects of our nature each go their own way once death arrives, each from where it came, each continuing in changing, in transforming, after having gone back to the source, ascending and descending, coming down after they rise. Therefore there is no death, be free of guilt, and understand you have a new birth, a new chance at life, with every breath. Ignorance is the problem, none of us know this. We desperately run around trying to get ahead, we think there will be nothing left of us once we’re dead. Worldly success means everything, we can’t wait to get a taste of the satisfaction the money and the fame will bring. And what if the dream doesn’t  true? It doesn’t happen for so many others so why should it work out for you? Will you cry and complain, will you wish you were never born, will you speak curses upon yourself, upon your life, or life in general, screaming in pain? Identify with the real inside of you. Be the Spirit, don’t rely on anything on this planet. Analyze the nature of things, understand and plan it. Whatever you’re doing, sacrifice what holds you back. You know what it is, and if you haven’t let it go yet, it’s because you’re hooked on it like crack. The real You needs nothing to survive, spiritually, it only needs to be aware in order to be alive. Adversity is nothing to the real Self, it thrives off of challenges, your talents are your tools, use them for the glory of what’s good, don’t follow the crowd like a fool. Life is a process of constant learning, but one day we’re all sure to graduate, just like from any other school.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 74.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 63: You Are My Everything (Poem).

What a nice night, what a life, it just feel so right. What a day to rejoice, a divinely granted right, walking alongside my beautiful wife. What a sight to behold, what a wonderful choice, feeling higher than a child’s kite. Flying in the wind, as I spend my time with the one I love, in twenty-two minutes it’ll be two years, which we’ll celebrate, blowing clouds of chronic as we elevate, together as lovers, we hug and kiss each other, promise to be there forever, like I said in the song I dedicated to her, through whatever weather, I put nothing above her. When I’m feeling down, she makes me feel better. We never hide a thing from each other, never, ever. No secrets, and when we make a promise we’ll be sure to keep it. Pure sincerity, integrity, and loyalty, these are the keys, to the creation of commitment and trust, of communication, so that we can feel at ease, in each other’s presence, remaining fully focused on the present, contemplating on the shortness of life, but never letting our love lessen, even if some call it an illusion, and in fact there’s something higher, true love and companionship are the greatest things one can possibly acquire, on this Earth, above money and gold. I see the face of my beloved, a beautiful sight to behold, so nice, I have to state it twice, at least, but I tell her every second, a wonder to reckon, at every minute, true love is overwhelming when we’re in it. Constantly teaching me so many valuable lessons, nothing short of a blessing, bestowed from the heavens, I wish to be with my lady twenty-four seven. Connection is what we all crave, and my wish was granted, even when I never expressed it, even suppressed it, repressed it, I can’t understand it. I thought I was a lone wolf, alone against the world. I never had the thought of settling down with a girl. I thought I had no need, I thought I could get along in life simply by staying high on weed, higher than the rest, thought I don’t need the lies and the stress, the cheating, the breaking up and necessary memory deleting, that is bound to follow, the empty feeling, hollow, all the pain and sorrow. I’d rather spend it mastering my mind, meditating, reading, but you came through and showed me that there’s love within a soul, who lives in simplicity, you were like an angel sent to visit me, I still believe it’s possible, I thank God together we can conquer every obstacle, and fly to the moon and the planets, the stars, For you I’d trade the riches and the fame, being a star, being known, when I’m with you, wherever we go, I’m truly home, You softened up a heart that seemed to be hard as a stone, as a rock. As you rocked my world, delightful in every way, an exciting energy which I knew needed to stay, with me, to love and care for, now I’m carefree, taking up responsibility but still I’m feeling free. A challenge which I chose to take, I made no mistake since the reward is beyond great, I get to see your pretty face from the moment I awake, in life we give and we take, but I want to give you my all. It’s like we both heard the sound and didn’t hesitate to pick up love’s call, which united our paths, now these years have passed, filled with love, filled with laughs, hugging and kissing, before that we were far away, missing, each other’s touch, now we never have to go back to such, a situation, our unification’s a holy representation of the unity of polarity, selfless love, compassion and charity, forever giving, we ignite the flame in each other’s hearts that keeps us living, keeping it beating, keeping it strong, when you speak it seems to me like the most beautiful love song. So speak to me now, as we walk and we stroll, on the sidewalk, hand in hand, but connected even in soul, both of us hoping for eternity, but simply watching history unfold, as we provide each other with heat and cold, and support each other as we eventually grow old. Love is patient, kind and bold, we can help each other change, and grow, into who we were meant to be. I help you and you help me. True commitment and care, these are things we must appreciate and proactively share. We must cultivate the love and the trust in order to one day exterminate the hate for good, down to ashes and dust. I feel the love as we spend our days together, you and I, I wish everyone can have the chance to experience true love, what it is to be unified. I pray for this to God above, to bestow love upon all the earth’s people, so that we may all have something to live for, so we can all despise evil. How can we promote evil when it could affect those dear to us? How can we lie and cheat when we truly need somebody we can trust? I look at the rivers, the trees, look out at the vast blue seas, at the oceans, I think of society and all its chaos and commotion. I think, I think, I come to no conclusion. I only seem to come to confusion, stress and fatigue orchestrate a successful intrusion, into my consciousness, I start to think I’m only meant for less, as I’m overwhelmed by the world, it causes me fear and stress. But then I find myself at home, alone, with you beside me, a king in his throne, with my queen by my side, and everything is love, it’s where I reside. Everything disappears, the hate and the fear, and even when we’re far away I always long to hold you near. You are my biggest source of happiness, and one of the few reasons I’d ever shed tears. You are the reason I would scream, or the reason I could always sing. You are my life, my love, you are my everything.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 64.

~ EJASC

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 62: The Beast Within (Poem).

We look to the West as well as to the East, but like that line in Hotel California, we just can’t find or kill the beast. We have no choice but to look around at all the insanity, the inhumanity, we create behavior patterns to drown it out as we focus on nothing but vanity, never aware, to say the least. We speak for no real reason, insults, profanities, of every kind and meaning, with no other purpose but to be detrimentally demeaning, every day it seems like the destruction is increased, while instruction is decreased. Instead of being the prophets of purpose we choose to be the catalysts of calamity, it’s chaos in the streets, and within the home and family, within the church, the priests. Corruption in every corner of the known earth, we trade our integrity for petty pleasures, so far from acknowledging what life is really worth. We can’t practice restraint, the beast is within us but we just can’t recognize it, we can’t. It makes us act out of unconsciousness, as if we were to faint. We can’t spot it, but we know it’s there, never stopping, popping narcotics, feeling like we’ve gone psychotic even though we ain’t. The vices, on the TV, the internet, the nicest, cars, clothes, we have to look our best for God knows, who, we don’t even know why we even do what we do. We’re happy with the farce, too tired for whatever’s true. Since truth requires effort, or at least to look inside of you, within and yet beyond, feel this life to the fullest but understand and be humbled by the fact that soon you will be gone. Life is priceless, an opportunity to live and to grow, to compare and to know, to share and to give, once again, to simply live, to learn the balance between resisting the system and going with the flow. Why should we fail at the ultimate goal? Open your eyes to the beauty, behold! Only when you’ve entered the realms of the soul. Leave behind the negativity of mind, life isn’t a race so you can’t fall behind. Understand that in each way we all have to shine, like stars in the darkness, we’re each just a line, in the great universal song of love, God’s mantra, repeated at every second, giving birth to cells, to planets, to heavens and hells. While we study how sex sells, we’re in the market for the money. We don’t know a single thing about who or what we are, is it funny? Or is it sad? Is God my own Spirit, my true Self, or is he something more like my cosmic dad? Why don’t I try to connect with Him so that I can inquire? Or should I just stick to faith and forget the questions, lest I be burnt for eternity in the lake of fire? I’m glad I’ve started, I’d like to kill my ignorance before I myself have departed, before my earthly life has expired, before I leave this carnal world of desires, I’d like to slay the Beast, to feed my Spirit, not only my body, to push myself to excel at what I want to the least. To push past comfort, past the zone of no progression, to leave behind attachment to greed, and thereby to aggression. Slavery is the system of society, security must never become a reality lest we run out of things to sell. We thrive off the pain of others, we’re quick to backstab those we’ve called brothers, just for a few dollars and cents, then we wonder why life seems like hell, never making sense. We’ve created this mess, we never stop to truly question, honestly, why we can’t shake the stress. We see the lives of others and we think our lives are less, like the grass is always greener, so we see the world as enemies, as competition, and as our perception is gradually affected the world seems to get meaner and meaner, by the day, until we no longer want to see or say anything to anyone. Darkness covers our thoughts like we’ve covered the sun. Self-medication, blurry lines between that and fun, recreation, we’ll see our mistakes too late, the train has left the station. We spent a lifetime just dodging preoccupation, but amassing more, unconsciously, as if we’re filling up a store. Except we give everything back for free, the destruction, the toxicity, we spew it out to the planet, we just do it, we don’t have to plan it. We’re consumed by confusion, always feeling crazy, a feeling creeps up of lethargy, feeling lazy. Where’s the motivation, when life is so cruel? We’d rather spend a lifetime trying to be cool, to climb the corporate ladder, to jump from one distraction to the next, ignoring the things that truly matter. Can’t find concentration, our thoughts all scattered, trying to find satisfaction in repetitive and meaningless actions, in acquiring possessions, we try to control and mold the things around us with aggression, try to find a sense of meaning in starting a fight, since we’re facing inner demons that prevent us from seeing the light. Life is full of responsibility, although it’s a precious right. Don’t throw it away because years pass by in the blink of an eye as quick as a wild drunken night. So don’t ignore the blessings you’ve been granted, take nothing for granted and constantly water the seeds of love which you’ve already planted. Allow love to grow in your heart, love for God and for all creation, God’s masterpiece work of art. Life wouldn’t be the way it is if we weren’t equipped well enough to handle it, to deal with it. Life has its highs and lows, the pain comes and it goes, just like people, I know it’s rough but we’re being real with it. So don’t waste a second, be aware at all times. I just hope that I can properly channel this message through these rhymes.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 63.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 58: Culture Contrast, The Music Business.

I was born in the third world, right by the equator, in a country so hot and so violent you might think you’re in hell if you came to visit. If you looked a bit closer though, you might find that it is also a place of peaceful villages, a place of family harmony, a place of love for God and all his children. It’s a crazy contrast, to see all the messages about God everywhere, on the buses, on the buildings, banners, yet to hear of so much crime and death. Organized crime and gangs, as well as corrupt police and government, keep this country unsafe and unable to move ahead. For better or for worse, I was born in Honduras, and when my parents told me we’d be leaving to Canada, immigrating there, I threatened them by saying that I wouldn’t watch TV any longer when we arrived there, since it would all be in English, and I wasn’t about to watch TV shows I couldn’t understand. This was the most important thing for me, I was almost ten at the time, and I have a vague memory of that day when we said goodbye to my grandparents. We were at this very same property which I’m back in today, writing to you all from. I’m back at my birthplace, and over the past two years I’ve gotten used to the heat, to the bugs and the roaches and flies all over again, to the loud sounds and funny smells as well. Everything is hot and sweaty, everything is vibrant, like an endless summer. I’m back in Honduras, I came back to be reunited with my wife, or actually to make her my wife, who I met on a previous visit back here. It’s great to have different experiences, and to stop having some of the things I was previously so used to. I know I’ll experience some of those really great things again when I get back, such as readily available high grade chronic, or being able to hike up the beautiful B.C. mountains. I also hope my connect for shrooms can hook me up like he did in the past, I haven’t kept in touch with him these two years, and I’m looking forward to getting into the music scene again, giving it one more shot perhaps. I’m about to be twenty-five, and I might as well give music a shot again, since Vancouver provides a somewhat supportive environment for artists, and since I doubt things will be able to work after I’m thirty. At the same time, due to the spiritual path I feel I’ve embarked on recently, I’m in this whole thing about not letting expectations overwhelm me. I don’t want to set such high expectations about how things will be, I just want things to be as they are meant to, to ride the wave of life, and to thank God in every situation. The music business requires so much effort on a person’s part, to keep up with a certain image, to create and image for oneself and to make it into a brand, to commercialize it, to make it cool. How can I focus on that which has no image or form, when I am always supposed to be thinking about how to promote an image of myself, the brand or reputation I’ve created for myself? These are all things I think about, and sometimes I think it might be best to just leave the entertainment industry to the side, and to just focus on cultivating the right mentality in life and with finding the Spirit within us all. I wonder sometimes if it could all be a delusion though, and if I should really focus on becoming successful, and not so much on matters that are not of this world, in a sense. Could it be that life is passing me by and I just feel that I’m being spiritual now or living life better? I don’t want to fall into this trap, so this time that I’m back in Honduras has really been a time for me to reflect. I haven’t gotten to a final decision yet, but I’m thinking of giving the music a shot once I fly back, and attempting to include the concepts I’m learning about within my lyrics in more creative ways. I can’t give up my chance to do something I love for a living, especially in this internet age when it’s easier than ever to promote one’s music or literature, but I also can’t give up on my spiritual pursuit of the truth of life. I have to keep a third eye open, I know, if I wish to stay on the right path and to really try to get into the entertainment business, into the music business. One can’t avoid life however, and I was born with the talent I was born with for a reason, just as all of us are, so I can’t let it go to waste simply because of fear of stepping off the path, of falling into temptation. I feel that I’ve been working on self-control for quite a while now and that it’s finally starting to pay off in a big way, so I’m really conserving this motivation within me so that when I get back to Canada I can create content and constantly promote it. I moved to Canada at an early age, I learned English and I learned to rhyme, I took a break for some years since I had to clear my mind of such negative ideas I held before, and now I need to incorporate the new positive ideas I’ve been learning about for the past few years, into my music. To me it’s all meant to be, it’s all part of a process which is about to take new shape. Only a few months left and we will see, but for now I keep on managing my expectations, and taking it a day at a time while I’m here in Honduras. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 59.

~ 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 44: Mentality Matures as we Grow and Learn.

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 45.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 27: Great Albums, Full Albums vs. Single Songs.

I posted a summary, not really a review, more of just a personal opinion, today about Bob Marley and The Wailers’ album ‘African Herbsman.’ A classic that isn’t very well-known yet definitely deserves greater recognition. ‘m gonna start posting more music that I really enjoy on here, since I find that often the people I meet aren’t familiar with some of the greatest music in an artist’s catalogue. Most only know the popular tracks, but that’s only a few tracks, selected from various albums. The popular songs only reflect the catchiest or most radio-friendly songs on any album, but that isn’t always what makes a song great. Apart from that, I’ve noticed that most times listening to an album in its entirety provides an optimal musical experience, every song further shaping the direction in which the album is going. It becomes a journey in a way, since music allows you to simply let go and let the vibes take you away, no matter where you’re at at the moment. There have been a few albums that have become personal classics for me over the years, some being classics in general, such as ‘Sgt. Pepper’s.’ My list extends throughout most genres, and I love to let my library just play on shuffle sometimes as well, delivering whatever I’m meant to hear, becoming absorbed in the different moods each song invokes. My favorite bands overall are Pink Floyd, then The Beatles, followed by Led Zepplin, and I also have to include Bob Marley and The Wailers here. When it comes to rap 2Pac has always been the most inspiring to me, and Eminem and Nas are some of the best after Pac. Classic rock is amazing to me, hence my three top bands. As far as guitar solos go, I have to say that ‘Stairway to Heaven’ takes the top spot for me, closely followed, or maybe even tied to, Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb.’ The way each song slowly leads up to its respectivs electric guitar solo is absolutely perfect in both instances, producing goosebumps whenever I close my eyes and just vibe. Apart from crazy intense electric guitar, I find acoustic music to be extremely melodic and relaxing. Some of Led Zep’s songs, such as ‘Going to California’ and ‘The Rain Song’ portray this beautifully, or The Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). When it comes to Pink Floyd, just like Zeppelin, they have amazing songs on most of their albums, and although ‘Comfortably Numb’ is my favorite Floyd song, the album that I consider the best, the one that flows so effortlessly from start to finish, never losing the feeling, laced with various electric guitar riffs from the master, David Gilmour, is ‘The Division Bell’ which Pink Floyd released in 1994, the same year I was born. Pink Floyd’s music is generally very spaced out, and my interest in that kind of music orignally developed a long time ago when I first began tripping, and I’ grategul for that, since now I listen to classic rock whether I’m sober, stoned or tripping, and it always does the trick. The main reason why I had such a great interest in listening to music while I was tripping was that I had previously had such ecstatic and even somewhat psychedelic experiences with weed when I first started smoking, a more than mellow mood vibrating in my ears from the soft reggae melodies if The Wailers. My all time favorite song by them has always been ‘Is This Love’, and now that I dedicated it to my wife it just means that much more to me. That Bob was always at the peak of the greatest relaxation is something that really shows in his music, it transmits that divine peace and harmony which he always preached whenever possible. On the rap side, I honestly have to say I’ve been listening less now that I’ve started analyzing and attempting to simplify my life, and to minimize some of the negative influences to my life. However, hip-hop has played, and always will play I believe, an important role in my life, being a rapper myself. Some records truly are classics, and it can’t be denied. Usually these classics come from earlier times when rappers sometimes attempted to really include knowledge, or sometimes even wisdom, in their lyrics. Some don’t have much of either, yet are classics regarless due to the amazing flow or lyrical skill of the artist. Such is the case with Eminem’s music for me, my favorite album of his being ‘The Marshall Mathers LP.’ Eminem packs a punch with every rhymescheme, consistently rhyming multiple syllables in a clever word salad that no rapper could top. Unfortunately he doesn’t use his talent to promote much positivity, although we know Marshall Mathers is a pretty troubled dude. Another thing that makes his music great is that Slim Shady doesn’t shy away from expressing his troubles in his music, often probably exaggerating them, but he puts them there regardless, and the raw energy is evident apart from the savage lyricism. A different rap style which is equally great can be heard in Nas’ early breakthrough ‘Illmatic.’ Not much about emotions like the mentioned Eminem album, but a perfect story-telling flow over boom bap rap beats with great samples to complete the jam. ‘Illmatic’ has become a classic within hip-hop, and with good reason. Another amazing and refreshing album by nas is actually not one of his earliest ones, but a rather recent one, ‘Life is Good’. Nas has a lot of timeless albums though, such as ‘God’s Son’ and his collaboration album with Damian Marley, ‘Distant Relatives’, in which hip-hop and reggae are ingeniously blended to render a masterpiece. I haven’t mentioned many female musicians, I might have to write about them at another time. My favorites though are Lana Del Rey, Norah Jones and Sade. Norah- album ‘Come Away With Me’ has always been one of my favorite album, every song is beautifully written and recorded, and the total outcome is nothing short of a classic. Some of the most relaxing music I’ve ever heard for sure.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 28.

~ Rebel Spirit

‘AFRICAN HERBSMAN’ by Bob Marley and The Wailers.

african herbsman

AFRICAN HERBSMAN, by Bob Marley and The Wailers

Released in 1973, ‘African Herbsman’ is a must-listen for anyone looking to take a moment to relax with some great music, and although this is a compilation album it never loses the warm feeling it carries throughout. The reason why the songs flow so well together could also be since the compilation is made up mostly of songs from ‘Soul Revolution’, an earlier Jamaican release from two years earlier. The album also includes a few singles, like the opening classic ‘Lively Up Yourself’ and the beautifully melodic track ‘Small Axe.’ From an upbeat beginning the album mellows out more and more with each track, yet never loses its energy, you can hear it in Bob’s voice. The songs which I personally love the most on this album are ‘African Herbsman’ and ‘Keep On Moving’, the latter being such and inspirational song, yet keeping chill as if to say everything will be alright in the end. Bob Marley really knew how to get his message across through his music, as well as the mood he transmits through it even after his passing. The rough vocals on ‘African Herbsman’, the title track, really add to the rawness of the singing and the pure talent, the beauty of the song. Although it can be appreciated by anyone and everyone under any conditions, I just gotta say that if you enjoy the ganja as much as I do, you then you have to hear this if you haven’t yet. From the title track, to the weed song ‘Kaya’, to the super relaxing and uplifting ‘Sun Is Shining.’ Other Bob Marley albums have beautiful songs, don’t get me wrong, but this one really carries a completely chill vibe throughout. I have so many great memories blazing to most of these songs, so this album is one of my favorites, without a doubt. A message to all, check it out if you haven’t!

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 25: “Do Not Recollect the Past, Nor Desire the Future.”

Learn to feel the blessing of being able to inhale and exhale. Don’t take a second for granted, instead take advantage of the health you have and the time that you have to experience life. It may be another hundred years, or it could be over in the next second. Civilization’s attempt to create a completely convenient society where nothing is out of our reach has turned us into entitled consuming machines who believe that, in order to stay relevant in today’s world, we need to be the first to buy the newest products which are released. We simply cannot let life pass us by, we cannot become outdated, our identity cannot become obsolete. In our minds, we must do everything within our power to be successful. Why is it that so many of us chase a success which leaves us utterly dissatisfied with our lives in the very end? It’s because we believe in society’s shallow definition of success. We believe that more is always better, so we go through life always looking for more. By becoming completely caught up in our desperate, never-ending quest for more we unconsciously decide to ignore the little things, all the special moments and connections which make up the magic of human life. I am forever thankful that I was blessed enough to be born to parents who value wisdom. My parents have always been representatives of righteousness to my brothers and myself. They never wasted time with useless things, and they always tried to convey a positive message in every sentence, sharing their years of wisdom. For a long time I didn’t want to be like them, seemingly simple people. However, now I understand that indeed I do need to simplify my life. So many of the things some of us spend a lifetime chasing may not even be what’s right for us, but yet we think we know. It isn’t until much later that we realize we’ve wasted years on something of little or no value, all the while neglecting the blessings all around us. Life has truly passed us by now, all because we didn’t want it to pass us by. I recently reading Aldous Huxley’s novel “Island.” Huxley’s always been one of my favorite authors, but the more I read the more I recognize his pure literary genius. He really has a way to make you feel the philosophical and spiritual concepts he is trying to touch upon within the lives and dialogues of a different characters. In ‘Island’, we find that the story’s main character is filled with a deep sense of regret since he feels he killed his wife. On the night he told her he no longer wanted her, that he wanted nothing more to do with her, she walked out the door with a final goodbye. And little did he know it was about to be final, since she was about to die in a crash in the heavy rain outside. Did he drive her to her premature? He rejected his wife since he was interested in someone else, someone sexier, someone much wilder. She was quick to do away with him after the wife’s death though. It’s not clear if Will would have chose to remain with Molly if he had the chance to do it all over again, but in the end he does learn that his attitude had been wrong all along, and that he had neglected the blessings of his past, he had preferred to remain somewhat detached, cynical, never surrendering to the beauty of life. Such is our condition way too often, and we don’t realize it until it’s too late. On a personal note on this, these past few days I’ve been really feeling some of the bliss of being in the moment, not complaining, which is my new goal, and simply allowing things to be, accepting, really being thankful for each small blessing. Today however, for some strange reason, I started having thoughts about my music, about why I don’t make as much music nowadays, why I barely ever write lyrics anymore. The spiritual outlook I’ve developed during the past few years have really took away some of my motivation to rap, for a lot of complicated reasons. The point is that today I was contemplating the past, wondering why my attitude changed towards my music, why I can barely get inspired nowadays. I know some of it has to do with not wanting to say too many stupid things anymore, limiting my music only to things I know will lift people up, rather than pushing them further down into a materialistic mindset , or worse, into totally destructive habits. Rappers nowadays think they made it out of the system, and they flaunt their cash in their music videos. They don’t realize that they’re simply promoting the same system that made them suffer as they grew up, a system which is willing to torture, to sacrifice its own people, for the sake of money, of power and status. This is what dealers of dangerous drugs are doing, both legal and illegal. Crack dealers, pharmaceutical companies, heroin smugglers. When we are willing to contribute to people being trapped in such detrimental slavery as drug addiction in order to get our pay, we are surely degenerating. Yet this is promoted and celebrated in hip-hop, anything to get your money, to survive, to not be another victim of the struggle. Animosity and paranoia is the fruit of holding such a view. The point is that, due to this and some other things, I no longer feel the same drive to rap, as I clearly see that bullshit sells. Artists are rewarded for promoting consumer culture and even evil. I was thinking of the past today, of how I used to have the same mentality of ‘money by any means.’ I was bound for success, there was no question about it. Now I feel a lack of certainty, like I won’t be able to make it if I never sell out, which I’m not willing to do. After worrying for a while though, I read my daily sutra, and I was reminded not to worry about it any longer, as I encountered this passage, which I believe I was meant to read exactly today, the only day of the week when worry about the past arose in me:

“Do not recollect the past, nor desire the future, The past is over, the future has not come.
These things of the present, see them with insight as they arise. Not faltering and not moved, think about them. Today itself-the dispelling should be done. Tomorrow death might come” ~ Ánandabhaddekarattasuttam Sutta

A clear reminder to leave the past in the past, and to work diligently towards the future, but without worry, and unattached to the possible fruits of my labor.

~ To be continued tomorrow, on Day 26.

~ Rebel Spirit