1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 15: What’s the Point of It All?

Sometimes we wonder why we should even try, we awake with this doubt, with its accompanying thoughts and feelings, they hold us down to our comfortable beds, comfortably numb but held down by our own weight. The room’s a mess, the whole house even, for days and weeks on end, for months, time flies and nothing gets done, yet everything happens, every day and night — we just don’t seem to be in control of what happens. It reminds us of our own dissatisfaction with ourselves, with the daily routine, of the resistance within us, that seductive, deceiving demon who thrives off of shaming and ridiculing us for even dreaming of dreaming our dreams at all, not to mention really dreaming them, or drastically turning them into reality. Even if we can beat this devil and stroll triumphantly out of hell, succeeding in our primordial task of completely demolishing resistance and getting started with our sacred journey, even after this moment divine ecstasy of finally beginning, too often we come to find, after a rather short interval of time usually, that results rarely turn out the way we initially planned them, or worse, that things always go wrong! This could go for your day or for any long-term project. It can be applied to life in general, its unexpected and unprecedented. We complain, but that’s how we’ve come to like it, how things ought to be even. But forget it, things always seem to go wrong exclusively for us! We make a fuss, we kick and cuss at the sky, we ask why and we cry like cosmic babies to Father God, or to mother helplessness, but in a frenzy of agony and anger mixed together nonetheless, no matter who we’re kicking and yelling at. We’re really yelling at ourselves though. We recognize our enemy as ourselves, deep down inside all of us do, and this frustrates us more than anything because we’re in denial, we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone and start being who we are meant to be, whether this means a dramatic transformation, or just being in the now, enjoying the day without wishing we were elsewhere, or nowhere. Let’s take a moment to think back. Did we go all the way with it, really go all the way, or did we do things without applying the correct dose of concentration, or without adopting the correct attitude towards the matter? Ideas may float through our mental horizons ceaselessly, but they may not even turn out in any way at all in real life, seeing as how they never get started. Sometimes people are about to make great success in internally defeating resistance, yet outer circumstances may prevent them from making this final ascension. The tragedy of the human condition keeps us cynically inspired with lethargy, with hate and with an attitude of not being able to care less, but which really masks a deep care for the world and its inhabitants, along with a fear for yourself and for anyone you love, fear that they could ever experience such horrors. People are dying all around us, everyone pretending they can hold it together, everyone keeping busy, in a rush, chasing the next thrill, everyone addicted to a chemical, a pill. No one can stop for the moment and be free, without fidgeting with their phone or shaking their leg. Some part of us must remain busy, we must hold an appearance and we must never be vulnerable. We are trying to cover up the truth with massive amounts of lies, and it shows. But who cares if others can tell? Who really cares? They can’t even tell, they themselves being too busy digging into, or covering up, their own problematic psyches just like you are. Is there a meaning to life beyond a high, beyond a trip, beyond a mystical moment of oneness? Is there more to God than a vision of Jesus, or of Buddha, or of a prophet from ancient times? Is there more to life than a vision, more than the petty lies we tell ourselves and each other? Or are these produced in the mind? Could the people who hear voices telling them to kill their families be hearing the same voices that the ancients heard when they passed their sons through fire to please the gods? Could it even be the same voice that commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? Or could these be devils, while this was in fact, the divine voice of God? I don’t lean to either opinion, since I can’t speculate on the matter, but it is definitely strange and disturbing to think about.  We wonder what all this evil means, we might even accept that it’s all the suffering of the world comes down to our evil doing, our evil being which is inherent within us all, but we simply can’t accept all the seemingly meaningless cruelty of it all, we can’t come to grips with the bare facts of life. These thoughts can cripple us and resistance comes back in a big way, along with its brother fear and many more cousins who aren’t playing around with your sanity. These little troublemakers might have you questioning things like ‘what’s the use of enjoying our own lives as millions of others suffer?’ As we live, others die, often from unjust causes, from political corruption and murder, but more so from corruptions of the human mind, from a loss of control over one’s own genocidal emotions. One man without the proper restraint on his own destructive emotions is a potential danger to everyone around him and even for many generations to follow him. How are we not guaranteed not to go astray if we are influence by hatred and distrust for life? Self-control is key, both to fighting resistance, and to controlling what we create once we beat it. A word, a deed, a piece of art, or of literature — these are all realities which we bring to life from the creative and collective unconscious. We are all projecting our realities onto any and every external object we come into contact with, we see things and smell things and feel things according to our own specific reality throughout our lifespan on this earth, during this incarnation. We think we all share the same senses, and indeed we do, but truly there are never-ending sets of variations of these senses. But is there more to these senses that we believe we know and trust? I for one think we should all try to answer this question truthfully to ourselves, before we ever decide that life is completely senseless.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 16.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 6: Being Aware of Being Aware.

I had a really powerful experience a few months ago on an acid trip on one mere blotter tab. I’ve had higher dose trips, but the point was not to get insanely psychedelic that night, but to examine a bit of what is lurking just beneath my mind’s surface as I enter this technically new stage of life which I am just settling into. I couldn’t trip too hard in order to keep things as smooth as possible with my wife, who wasn’t tripping that night and never had before actually. We were alone and comfortable in our room and the outcome was a great trip in the end. I felt such a uniquely euphoric energy flowing all throughout my body and I couldn’t help but smile uncontrollably and laugh in a state of truly perfect bliss, that bliss which arises from first-hand experience of the fact that all is actually one – I just knew it right then and there. Then, since I’m currently making a lot of goals for myself to write and to even film my experiences in order to document my life for both personal as well as creative purposes, I began to write what I was feeling, about the immense joy and comfort in knowing that everything is one, and that no matter what we may see as good or bad, whatever pain and pleasure we may face as individuals, as races, as nations, or as an entire human species or planet, everything is happening in order to serve an ultimate purpose, a divine purpose in which nothing is ever a mistake, because every mistake is corrected as the polar and essential energies of life complement each other in what mystics call the cosmic dance. Duality can’t be ignored or demonized if one is to achieve the goal of Oneness. Oneness is the inclusion of both opposites, it is the realization that neither the feminine or the masculine can be disposed of if life on the planet is to survive. That is merely the physical manifestation of the Hermetic Principle of Gender, which is a universal principle known to be present throughout all that exists. Nothing can exist without its opposite, and we all must endure our share of pain without extended sorrow or complaint. We believe we know what is good for ourselves and for our families and for our countries and for the whole world, yet we struggle and eventually fail when faced with difficult and crucial decisions which can and will radically alter the course of our lives. Of course, it cannot be altered. We are all free to choose our actions, but the effects of our actions – of the causes we create – are all then used as the blessed ingredients of what will be the formula for our own empowerment. We can extract a valuable lesson from every single hardship, and often times all it takes is that we stop looking at the situation through the eyes of a victim, through the eyes of someone who feels entitled to have everything go their way every moment of every single day. Such selfish sentiments are predominant in our society today because we are all so caught up in ourselves. We are so caught up in what people will think of us that we begin to feel inferior. Because of this we often spend entire lifetimes unconsciously trying to feel superior, both to ourselves and to others. Such an attitude corrupts the whole of society as every interaction we take part in becomes poisoned with a tinge of distrust. Too many people feel offended about way too many petty things, and what they see as harmless remarks are statements filled with cynicism and self-loathing reflected outwards. These little remarks here and there are sure to turn into a vicious habit of cynicism. I set a goal for myself about a year ago to read at least one book every week. This week I finished reading Rupert Spira’s “Being Aware of Being Aware”, and it’s honestly a wonderful description of the non-dual Advaita Vedanta system of mysticism, explained in practical terms. I’ve been studying Vedanta philosophy in depth for the past few months but this book really delivers the message in a very efficient manner. What it all comes down to is being in the moment, in the awareness which is common to all of us, in the consciousness in which all experience takes place. There is nothing extraordinary about this. In fact, this dimension is what makes everyday ordinary experience possible. Consciousness is compared to a screen at a movie theater. While we all go through life as actors playing certain roles on the screen of consciousness, we forget that we are, in fact, just acting. That our personalities cannot affect the screen behind life’s movie, and that whatever happens in life, the screen behind our lives can never be affected. We often get so caught up in this terrestrial life of ours, in its trials and tribulations, and we become stressed, we cannot find a way out. We forget that there is an immortal, timeless awareness behind our everyday lives, the spirit that makes life possible and from which all life emanates. This spirit cannot be broken by the most devastating problems that life can throw our way, and it is our refuge when life seems overwhelming. It is a part of God within us, and so it cannot be affected by the duality of life, it is above the duality. It is our intuition. This concept is not exclusive to Vedanta. Although Abrahamic religions see God up in heaven, or far away from us, far removed from us, there is also the concept that the Holy Spirit dwells in our heart, and that the golden rule is the most important doctrine to follow. Why should this be so? It has to be because we are all equally divine. Once we can  learn to connect with this oneness, to be here now, to stop stressing about the future and start doing our best and giving our all in the Now, we are filled with peace. It is a heavenly peace that comes from the awareness that our nature, our true essence, is inseparable from God, and in fact is one with it. 

“There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor any of these kings. Nor is there any future in which we shall cease to be.” ~ Bhagavad Gita

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: forthe morrow shall take thought for the things ofitself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” ~ Jesus, Matthew 6:34 (KJV)

“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.” ~ Mesiter Eckhart

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 7.

~ Rebel Spirit.

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 2

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 3.

~ Rebel Spirit.

THE DANCE OF CONSTANCE CHANGE.

live now

Don’t be fooled by the apparent stillness of things, or the apparent feeling of being stuck in a specific life situation. Everything eventually passes, nothing is static. Even the globe that we live on is constantly spinning around the scorching sun turning day to night and night back to day, yet we walk about and even sleep soundly without perceiving this unceasingly swift motion which is at work providing life for our planet and people, this background process bestowing us with blessings. Everything changes, and with every new breath life is renewed, and we celebrate the arrival of a new Now. Life, after all, is no more the present moment. Nothing exists for more than a mere moment. As Marcus Aurelius pointed out in ‘Meditations’, that classic book on life from the perspective of (mostly Stoic) philosophy, death robs us of nothing more than the present moment, since all past is mere memory, stored in the brain for practical purposes. I like to think of it as the way in which our progress gets stored in a memory card, allowing us to wake up every day and begin the game of life from where we left off. The future is even less real since what we call the future is in fact illusion, it is a vain hope, a longing for something we have never known, it is nothing that is real in the Now. According to Marcus, “in the life of a man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his sense a dim rushlight.” We are only a point in the universe, a point where consciousness has met itself in divine awe and wonder in order to witness this time in history, to be present during this moment in awareness. The essential teaching is that reality is only Now, and when death comes for life it only robs its victim of one moment; it is the same for all who die, no matter whether one or one hundred years have passed in that lifetime, or whether another hundred years would have followed. They wouldn’t have followed anyway, since death always comes at its time, just like life does.

meditations cover gregory haysEven the most stable of things is constantly moving at the molecular level, rearranging itself in ways unimaginable to the mind and unseen by the naked eye. Nothing stays the same for more than a moment, just as every seven years we ourselves become completely new creatures, at least physically as our cells regenerate and we shed our skin like snakes. Death and life are one powerful and prominent example of the yin and yang, and they are forces to be reckoned and respected. All moments in life are special, and they all arrive at their time. The now is all that exists and we are experiencing it. Don’t let traumatic thoughts of past and future get to you or bring you down. Time is an illusion. If you don’t know what I mean by that then it’s likely you haven’t given much though to the Now and what it entails in its entirety, in its essence. All your past experiences, thoughts, feelings, ideas, all are now memories, and all have brought you to one reality, to the Now, to right Now. You are here for a reason, Now. What is that reason? Find out or it will find you. It may change depending on whether you set out to find it or not. If not, once fate finds you it might be a different one that it originally was. But that’s getting too far away from the topic. Tomorrow will never come, as tomorrow will also be “Now” when we experience it. The transitory nature of life is precisely what allows everything to be a tremendous treasure, as every moment is a whole new life, a whole new experience, a whole new lesson, a brand-new blessing. As the calendar counts, every day and week and month and year is a new chance to set a goal, to appreciate the power and the energy within, to be grateful for the fuel provided by failure, to begin paving the way towards a better day. This is the beauty of life amidst the apparently overwhelming conflict and chaos.

If everything that matters is the Now, and the Now always comes at its time, then that really redefines life in an extremely radical way, an exciting way. Finally, life can be lived with a deep sense of peace and wonder, a state of mind in which we see an opportunity in every obstacle, a clue in every challenge, leading up to our life purpose. Every situation we encounter can be embraced with a sense of gratitude, and self-realization can arise within a mindset which is determined to keep on learning constantly. Realize that change is the natural way of life, and everything changes no matter what we do, whether we like it or not. All we need to do as human beings is to ensure that we change positively, regardless of negative circumstances, – especially in negative circumstances! – something I like to term as mental or spiritual alchemy, respectively as we work with the mind and we administer with our spirit. This allows us to stop anticipating and longing for future events or painfully reviewing and regretting past failures. We can also stop dreading the future and resisting every type of change we are presented with, in the same way that we can now stop taking refuge in past glories in order to feed our damaged ego. We no longer need that, and what a relief it is to realize it. Once we perceive life as the amazing miracle which exists Now, we can stop procrastinating and start living life as if each second was our last, appreciating every act of kindness, every piece of advice, every strange coincidence, and every pure moment of joy without wasting half a second. If we live in the Now, then all that really matters is that we have what it takes to be happy Now, and we all have enough to be happy. We will be fine as long as we have what we need within ourselves, and I wholeheartedly believe all of us do.

the power of nowWe need to express our ideas without fear of ridicule and persecution, and live our lives evaluating every experience, emotion, thought or feeling, from a higher level of awareness, and allowing to flower only what our godly intuition deems fit for us. This does not give us an excuse to abuse others and forget about those who love us simply because we choose to ignore them and disappear into our own inner world of presence in which we function fully immersed in ourselves. Being fully immersed in and conscious of the Now involves being aware of all the blessings which have been granted to us individually, accepting and being grateful for them, but also acknowledging the fact that that the Now of other people who are alive is realer than the past in your memory, or the future in anyone’s imagination. We must feel who we are in the moment, as one with humanity, as a whole collective consciousness, as one people, regardless of differences, and be aware of why we are who we are. Feeling the deep bliss of being should fill us with joy and appreciation in everyday life, and an attitude of love towards anyone who has been involved in the miracle of our being. For example, let’s think of our parents. It is thanks to them that each and every one of us can even feel this deep sense of our being and appreciate it. The miracle of life is definitely something to be thankful for, as our parents give life to us and then grow old and we give life to their grandchildren. We see the change, over time, over generations – inevitable change. It is also thanks to any close siblings or great friends that a lot of us have received the proper encouragement we have needed along the way in order to carry on through difficult times, which have eventually led us up to today. Being aware of, and immersed in the now means acknowledging and expressing, truly experiencing the interconnectedness of life, not only on this planet, but in space, in the stars, in the sun and the moon, and even extending to the spiritual worlds and dimensions. You and I have the ability to be fully immersed in the present moment, whether it be filled with great pleasure or with great pain, and to accept it and transmute it into strength, by being thankful for it and digging deep for the lesson contained within. Digging deep consists of being in the Now. Even the great reformers of the past lived in the Now, and that is why their achievements have inspired millions of people up until today, thousands of years after their physical presence departed.

Bible-KJV-King-James-VersionOnce we are able to grasp this state of being which is always within ourselves, we will feel compelled to spread love and awareness to our loved ones and beyond, in order to free humanity from the chains of fear and anxiety which we have so willingly trapped ourselves in. The greatest of (inevitable) challenges can (and is meant to) be mentally re-framed by the mind and perceived in such a way that it motivates and inspires action. When I refer to action I refer to true action; action done without regard for the outcome, even action consecrated to God. This type of action is infused with a deep kind of concentration which ensures one’s consciousness, or real self, is fully experiencing the present moment and providing his or her full energy to it. It is what is referred to as Karma Yoga in the Hindu scriptures, and it involves taking full control over our minds, focusing on the present moment above all else, driven by a deep conviction that the Now is truly all that ever is to us. Even the Bible mentions working for God and offering your action as a sacrifice to the Most High, suggesting in Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Be fully immersed in the moment, in other words, walking in faith, trusting in eternal progress. Next time you are sitting at work, hating every second, watching the clock wishing it would speed up so you can leave, just remember this lesson, and try to accept the now and immerse yourself in it somehow. Find something to do. Take action! There is a reason why time seems to disappear when we are in meditation for a while, when we are enjoying a great evening with friends, when one embarks on a visionary trip, when one indulges in creative passion.

If you would like to read more regarding this philosophy about living in the Now, about the constant change of the universe, about the perfection and the plan of life, consider reading ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, an awesome book which I will soon write a summary on, and ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

~ Alan Watts