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

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 21.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 12: Impermanence of Life, Strength of Spirit.

Life flows from one moment to the next, from pleasure to pain, non-stop. We wonder what it all means, what is the right way to live, or the wrong way. We wonder if the things that happen are meant to be, if the lives we live mean anything at all or if everything is random. Are we living out our best potential? Is there even such a thing, or were we destined from the very beginning to be none other than who we are? We ask ourselves these questions, sometimes voluntarily, other times we are forced to meditate on these things. We search for answers with a reckless sense of excitement, or we drown ourselves in massive amounts of anything that kills the pressure of not knowing, the pounding, beating presence of uncertainty, of the anxiety that comes with the human condition, calling out from within us, demanding to be at least acknowledged, if not respected. Pain is nothing to run from, and neither is confusion. Few of us choose to analyze our confusion, but when we do, we see connections in the most bizarre circumstances, we see how events from the past have taught us valuable lessons for the now. We see that confusion is unnecessary. If we are to be like children, like God’s children, if we are to be pure like children, unprejudiced and ready to open our hearts to life just like children are, then we must have a sense of wonder like that which children possess. We wonder why good and bad have to exist, but it makes sense in any movie we watch. Life is a movie too, changing pictures on the screen of awareness, the spirit that animates, that emanates its living light into everything that is. We all know this, but we take it for granted. We understand the concept, but we don’t think it realer than the situations of our daily social lives. This spirit is not afraid, it has never become corrupted by anything that has happened in anyone’s life. A divine spark cannot be damaged, it can only be forgotten by the very being which it gives life to. Where does our life come from, or the energy which keeps our hearts beating, or the planets rotating around the sun, or our lungs breathing air? It is all a mystery, something which we humans have not manufactured. How many of us can honestly say we are dedicated to studying this mystery of life to the best of our abilities? I am not talking about an obsession with everything that comes along in our lives, I mean a committed mentality of making the best of every situation we face, analyzing everything completely honestly, and learning life’s lessons as sincerely as possible as we go along, making the necessary changes at every stage of life depending on the lessons we learn? We’re all capable of this, but we don’t give this innate ability of ours the respect it deserves, nor the proper use. How deep do we want to dive into our insecurities, into our inferiority or superiority complexes, into our toxic traits and the vicious habits which keep us trapped with no conceivable way of breaking free? Are we willing to radically alter our lives whenever we know it’s needed, or will we keep on living life as if we will live forever, as if there is no possible way in which we could live life other than the way we are living it now? Overworking, not sleeping enough, not eating right, neglecting health for the chase of money and status, rejecting even the possibility of love for cheap thrills all while avoiding any real commitment in life? Are we afraid to utterly fuck up if we commit to a relationship with that decent girl who cares for us, or to that plan of quitting that harmful habit we engage in, or to that vision of chasing our dreams and making them come true no matter what? Are we too afraid to live life? Again, things come and go, we are born and then we die, we win some, we lose some. Everything is yin and yang, black and white, but the more we connect with our Spirit, that part of us which is godly and beyond all knowledge of duality, the more we can be free of attachment and aversion, and the easier it will become to endure life’s blows and tragedies, as well as its senseless pleasures and temptations into evil. I’ve been meditating for a while now, and I think that, if mediation is getting in touch with the silence and peace that come with our inner Spirit, our innermost, realest Self, then prayer could be something which might be very beneficial to engage in before meditation. Prayer is sort of speaking to God or the universe, while meditation is listening. So maybe an answer can come somehow. I don’t know for sure who or what God is, if he is a personal being we can relate to, or if he is an energy which pervades everything there is, or maybe somehow both in one. But that shouldn’t stop me from praying to God, at least to be thankful for every blessing in my life, to acknowledge that I have a lot to learn and much to change in myself, and committing myself to the highest power in the universe, most likely the creator of all we know, and even that we have no explanation for, to do my best and to do what I know is right. I think a spiritual connection to life is needed in order to survive the hardships of life with a sane mind, or if not spiritual, at least a sense of a higher meaning or purpose to life, which I don’t as something which could be viewed other than spiritually, but then again we are all different and have all kinds of ideas. I’ll just keep on working on connecting more with that innermost part of myself, that part which always knows what is right, and I know that life, although it may not be easy, will always be more and more meaningful to me.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 13.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 7: Visionary Revelations of the Now.

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 8.

~ Rebel Spirit 

STRENGTHENING CHARACTER: FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION!

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It is a fact that we all possess the power within ourselves to do what is right, to act with integrity in every situation we may find ourselves in. For those of us who believe this truth and are prepared to begin the work of consciously putting it into practice in our lives, it is essential that we start by becoming completely conscious of our behavior at every moment possible, by becoming aware of our thought processes and our emotional tendencies – only then can we begin to see real progress in the path of strengthening our character. We absolutely must practice our awareness as the basis of the rest of this work, we must take control of our minds instead of allowing our minds to control us. Manly P. Hall spoke of this more in depth in one of his many mind-expanding lectures, which you can listen to here on YouTube, and hopefully it will inspire you as much as it has me.

The concept is that the mind is a tool given to you from birth – to the real You, to your Spirit. Once you accept this and this becomes your reality then the whole idea of will-power becomes a bit silly. You realize that all you – the real You – need to do is to use the tool you have in your head instead of allowing it to use you. You would never consciously decide to sit and watch TV all day as you ignore ad forget about your family and friends and you get fired from your job, would you? No, you won’t do that because you are well aware that the TV is a tool, a tool which is useful for entertainment or information.

Similarly, our mind is a much more important tool to us which can also be used for entertainment or information, yet instead of using it to its maximum extent, we allow it to use us in any and every way possible, as if we were the tools which was created for our minds’ use. We spend hours and days and months and years stuck in our own minds and we allow them to create negative ideas, toxic ideas about ourselves and others, about the world. We allow our minds to separate us from those we love, and from the rest of the world, and we forget about the immortal Spirit we really are. Instead we begin to think of ourselves in terms of ideologies and labels. We must become fully conscious of this, always, in order to avoid falling into mental slavery, or slavery to the mind.

For those of us looking to develop our inner strength in order to delve deeper into universal truths – for the mystics, the philosophers, free-thinkers and the Rebels to the insanity of the world – we must understand that basic morality is always the first step before any progress can be made spiritually. This is mentioned by eminent philosopher and esotericist Rudolf Steiner in his book “How to Know Higher Worlds” and is the reason why the Hindu philosophical and spiritual system of Raja Yoga consists of all the basic elements of ethics and morality, the first step being self-control (Yama), followed by discipline (Niyama). This is the path that eventually leads one up to complete concentration, or realization, Samadhi. The full method is eloquently explained by Swami Vivekananda in his book, also titled “Raja Yoga”. No progress can be made if one does not strive for integrity and righteousness in every area of one’s life.

You may argue that I am no expert in any field, that I never got a university degree, and that for those reasons what I say is something baseless, without evidence, devoid of meaning – a merely personal opinion which can be accepted or rejected. After all, how can I possibly state such bold claims regarding morality and justice? You can definitely choose whether to accept or reject what I say about the real Self and the integrity within us all, and I am well aware that some argue that basic human nature is naturally evil. Many people have endured enormous amounts of severe and senseless pain which has been inflicted on them by other humans, often by people they deeply cared for and trusted, which makes them feel this way. I am aware of the excruciating pain that goes on in the world daily, and yet I am willing to state my belief in God. We must see and understand that pain is inevitable. It has been going on forever and will forever go on because we have decided to disconnect from our basic sense of righteousness, the simple topic of this whole post.

We claim to believe in integrity and justice, but we only enforce it when it benefits us or at least when it doesn’t harm us. Similarly, we employ injustice whenever we see it will be beneficial, and it will be possible to escape unperceived. This is the reason why there is, has always been, and will always be, pain on earth. This is unfortunate reason why Buddha taught us that life is suffering. So yes, I acknowledge that I never graduated from any university, only from high school. I still have time to do it and I just might in the near or distant future, but I sure don’t have any valid reason to delay my spiritual, moral or literary work for lack of a degree, especially if I can shed some light on the path for others in the process. We often judge ourselves and others based on degrees, on papers, on credentials, on status and power and money. I am definitely blessed to say that I have now trained my mind to the point where I don’t look for any of those things previously mentioned in people, and instead I love finding what is truly inside each person’s soul, as it is another manifestation of the Divine Spirit incarnated on Earth.

Like I stated a few moments ago, we all have the power within us to do what is right in each and every situation. We don’t need to study or learn, we just need to be. Books can only guide us so far, they remind us of the simple truth that is. Once we recognize and remember that simple truth, we must move forward by looking within, at our intuition, at that spiritual power which allows us to live for God, to live righteously with both meaning and purpose. Since the time I graduated from high school I have learned about many subjects for hours on my own time, as I had an idea a few years back of developing my own kind of school for myself, to learn about subjects which I am actually interested in in my free time. Spirituality and comparative religion is one of these subjects, one of the main ones, and upon studying various religious, philosophical and mystical systems and their core texts and ideas, I came to the conclusion that what they all teach is essentially the same, and it has been artistically wrapped in myth and metaphor in different ways by and for different people and cultures throughout history.

All of these systems teach that belief in God or Spirit comes from this intuition within, and that we all have God living within us, the Atman reflecting the Brahman, dwelling within the temple of God. Often times however, the God within has been ignored and corrupted as hateful agendas have been disguised behind costumes of spiritual values by people who were motivated by evils such as greed and lust, and when this happened things such as crusades, inquisitions, and more recently, suicide bomber and terrorist attacks were the eventual results. So, for me, what I speak of is just part of what I’ve come to realize during my time on this conscious journey of self-inquiry and self-improvement, as well as from observing and analyzing what is going on and has been going on around the world throughout history. All religious labels are meant to divide, and the mystics of all religions recognize that God is universal and can be known by all, regardless of religion or creed.

I don’t claim to be an expert here, teaching about some advanced occult knowledge, asking you to believe my theory of God or the universe. However, the way I see it, it is clear that if we believe in humanity’s natural and essential good then we must believe in God, and like Buddha, I am not aiming to argue about what God or which God the real God is, since God is only one, only God, and any name given to God is something created by human beings for division’s sake. God is all-pervading, the reason for our being, and our Spirit is God’s life in us. Somehow still, there are those who believe in morality without God, often using all the evil and pain in the world as justification for their belief. They say that morality is enforced by us if we wish to enforce it, and that there is no real force of good in the universe except that which we choose to create, only if we choose to do so. It is unfortunate that people cannot recognize where their own Spirit comes from, but as the physician, alchemist and astrologer Paracelsus stated:

“There is an earthly sun, which is the cause of all heat, and all who are able to see may see the sun; and those who are blind and cannot see him may feel his heat. There is an Eternal Sun, which is the source of all wisdom, and those whose spiritual senses have awakened to life will see that sun and be conscious of His existence; but those who have not attained spiritual consciousness may yet feel His power by an inner faculty which is called Intuition.” ~ Paracelsus (1493-1541)

I believe that you know in the deepest part of your soul, in fact I am certain that you know, that what I say is a simple truth that can be fathomed by all. If we put prideful intellect aside for just one second, if we take the mind off its pedestal for a mere moment of spiritual awareness, all of us can recognize something within us which is much realer than the petty pleasures and pains which we allow to enslave us on a daily basis, and we know that we have the power to be happy and fulfilled. We don’t need to be mystics or occultists, or monks or nuns to realize that within us is something much deeper. We can choose to ignore it for some time if we wish, but it will not go away no matter what we do. The very reason why and for which I live will never depart from me, lest there cease to be a me, and I do not mean that in a physical sense. My physical body will definitely come to its end, as do all earthly things. This is why Jesus taught us not to make treasures for ourselves in this world, and why Buddha preached non-attachment to the world, why devout followers of God might often retreat from the world for the most part in order to follow a life of piety as monks, as disciples of Divinity, dead to desire.

This truth about the real Self is a truth so true that it has been taken for granted by humanity for so long, and this has caused it to become invisible to us. We have become blind to this magic which is all around us and in fact within us, so we can’t help but fail to realize its full potential in our lives. Whether or not we can come back to a state of awareness in which we can perceive this magic once again all depends on how conscious and aware we are of our mental processes and behavior patterns on a moment-to-moment basis. Often when we make a grave mistake, we later come to realize that we did it following our immediate instinct, the immediate emotion or desire, the impulse which led us to act. We followed this impulse without any prior examination of the consequences, or more importantly, of whether this is truly an action of our real Self. Sometimes we lie, we steal, we cheat, and we even kill for personal convenience, and we do so because we have become trapped in a perpetual state of ignorance.

We continuously ignore such basic universal laws which have been taught to us by the facts of history as well as by the greatest philosophers, artists and mystics of the past. For those of us on the path of awakening and living life the way it is meant to be lived, let us remember at all times that, although facing life realistically as well as positively can be an extremely difficult challenge, we always have the ability to train our consciousness in order to fixate it on the present moment in order to know what is right and wrong in the current situation. We all possess the Spirit of intuition, which is not instinct but quite the opposite. Instinct is the acquired nature of the mind, while intuition is the knowledge that shines through from beyond our mind. If we don’t follow our intuition of what is right and wrong, soon we will become desensitized to evil completely, and at that point we are steady on the road to perdition. On the other hand, the more we practice listening to our intuition in our daily lives, the more integrity and strength of character we will cultivate.

We must also believe that we have this power within us, since it is true that faith can move mountains. I for one believe that it would not be undoubtedly impossible for us to be able to physically move mountains with faith, were it not for the fact that even a most pious person who claims to have faith that he will move a mountain will at the same time have a thought cross his feeble mind made of matter, a thought that tells him that he obviously cannot move a mountain with his mind, that tells him he’s going crazy. We all must have some doubt to begin with, since we don’t know exactly why or how we came to be on this earth as a species. Our mind is not a flawless thing, it is a product of duality, and it has a left and right brain. The price for sin is confusion according to the Bible, and I’m sure no one is willing to disagree that we live in a world of total confusion these days.

Eckhart Tolle says in his wonderful book ‘A New Earth’ that “sin” really means missing the mark of our purpose on this planet, and that the word’s terrifying connotations must be removed so that we may work on our pains as a people. Eckhart claims that the word was translated wrongly from the Greek Biblical text. I for one have not investigated this myself, although I know that many mistranslations of the Bible are indeed real. Regardless, one thing that cannot be denied is that we have definitely missed the mark as a species. We have missed the purpose for which we came to be on this planet. The clearest idea of our life purpose that we can all conceive is love. Love contains within many attributes which are discussed by various religions. All can agree on the nature of love, and we all know it as the greatest good.

The Beatles sang to the world during a time in which young people began to open their minds and break socially engineered mentalities, began fighting for peace and prosperity for the world as a whole. What was their advice? “All you need is Love. Love is all you need.” My dear brothers and sisters, let us not pretend that we do not know what is right. Let us not feel entitled to cuss and complain about our brothers, friends or co-workers because they did something we didn’t like, or about strangers because they cut in front of us at the parking lot. We all know that things are as they must be, and we all know that complaining achieves nothing but misery, a melancholic misery which can quickly turn into a life-consuming sense of constant crisis, a label to identify with. Leave aside all that you know to be harmful to your inner Being. Remove all the nonsense, and you will find the wisdom which is already within you, all the strength of character you will ever need.

~ REBEL SPIRIT

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