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DAY 6: Cutting down on weed after more than a decade (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

Day 6, I hope everyone who reads this is having an amazing day! Today is a sober day for me. I’ve been trying to cut down on weed for quite a while now, trying different methods, but haven’t had much success. I’m not blaming cannabis itself in any way, the issue is personal. I’ve been blazing since I was like twelve or thirteen, and even though at the beginning I smoked with my friends and just talked and laughed about random things, as time went on I started feeling less and less interested in hanging out and smoking with friends. I started mostly blazing alone, and eventually decided it was something I enjoyed enough to indulge in every day. Music was better, and since I always loved listening to music this was a big deal for me. I could blaze and listen to some beautiful music, some Bob Marley or Pink Floyd, and just look out at the sunrays shining through the leaves of the trees, and that in itself was just such a beautiful moment. I would walk around the streets and listen to music and just feel alive, as if there was this whole world out there, and I was just an observer, observing and taking it all in from the comfort of my own little world within. The people on the street didn’t know I was high. They didn’t know what music I was listening to, and they didn’t know that the combination of these two things was creating a whole landscape of ideas in my mind. Sometimes these moments would inspire me to write, whether ideas or possible lyrics for future songs, so I always kept a pen and notebook handy as well. I’ve always been super interested in spiritual or mystical experiences, and I believe these experiences were definitely mystical for me, they made me see life in a way I never had before and allowed me to just enjoy the moment. Unfortunately, as many stoners can probably relate, over time the magic faded, and it became just something to do to feel chill, eventually just to feel normal. I knew this wasn’t the right way to consume weed, but honestly I didn’t really mind, because I still enjoyed life a lot more while stoned, and I could still function pretty well, was still making music, still going to school and work and doing everything I was supposed to do. I feel like, in a way, this is where weed can get tricky. For example, an alcoholic or a heroin addict might feel the need to quit more intensely than a stoner, precisely because of the fact that the damage being caused in the alcoholic or the heroin addict’s life is obvious and hard to ignore, often they lose their families, their health, everything they have in life, to satisfy these vices, until maybe one day they feel absolutely compelled to quit. I haven’t ever gotten to that extreme, but at a certain point in my life, when I was feeling really negative and cynical, I was drinking heavily for long periods of time, and it quickly started to spiral out of control. So far I’ve gone this whole year without drinking even a beer, and I intend to finish the year in this way, and might even keep it up after the year is over. Alcohol just makes life a mess, no matter how fun it might be when you’re drunk. Weed, on the other hand, seems harmless, in the sense that we feel as if it doesn’t interfere with our ability to live life, maybe it even enhances life. It also doesn’t make us act in violent ways like alcohol does, and it doesn’t create a physical dependency either. What’s the problem with adding some extra spice to life then? Well, weed can definitely bring some things out which might not be expressed if one just goes through life sober forever, for example sometimes I’m more creative in the moment, it’s easier to focus on something which I really like, like making a beat and just jamming until it’s perfect, I know the effects of weed can be beneficial in many different settings. However, when I’m high I neglect other aspects of things, such as the marketing and promoting aspects of the music business. After all, no matter how much I may hate it, it’s still a business just like everything else in this world is. The boring stuff I never want to do just never gets done when I’m stoned. Why would I want to get stoned and try to reach out and market to people, to plan out marketing strategies and budgets, to look into this and that? I wanna get stoned and make music, or learn more about making even more kinds of music! Or draw or something. When I’m not doing anything creative I can also just get stoned and read some philosophic or spiritual books and my mind just travels to faraway places, my curiosity and imagination make it fun for me to just sit there and think. Without weed that just isn’t the same. What I’ve come to realize is something super basic – just like everything in life, balance is the key. As I mentioned, weed can be beneficial, it can help you bring creative ideas to life, to provide a different perspective on things, to stimulate the imagination, and it’s good for many other things. However, at least for me, it doesn’t make me wanna go out into the world and network, and make things happen. Instead, I tend to enjoy doing things alone when I’m stoned, or just hanging out with my wife at home. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, of course, but it all depends on what you want out of life. Personally, I’ve realized it’s time to step out of the comfortable bubble I’ve been living in for over a decade. I know that if I continue in the same way I’ve been living up until now, my dreams run the risk of never coming to fruition, and that’s too high a price to pay for just getting stoned. Don’t get me wrong though, my intention is not to quit completely, by any means. Weed has become a big part of my life, for better or for worse, and nowadays I mainly just eat edibles rather than smoking. Yeah they get me higher for longer, which I really enjoy, but the main reason I switched to edibles is because of my lung health. I know it’s not cancerous like cigarettes or whatever, but no smoke can be healthy for our lungs at the end of the day. I still smoke a joint occasionally, and I find that’s much more enjoyable than smoking every day, multiple times a day. Anyway, it’s tough for me to write about this, I feel like an addict coming clean to you all about my addiction, and I guess that’s really what this is. Anyway, I hope this can maybe help some of you who might be in the same situation. Analyze your goals, think deeply about what you want out of life, and balance your weed use so that it doesn’t interfere with what you really want to achieve!

Much love

~ rebel eye

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 71: Humility and Balance in Life and Spirituality.

What is addiction and what is recreation? Where is the line between harmless fun and reckless behavior? Are some addictions worse than others, and if one doesn’t mind being addicted, then is it a problem? Life is about balance, as I’m sure we’ve all heard or perhaps realized for ourselves, and Buddha suggested we follow the Middle Way. But what is too much of a good thing? Is there such a thing? What is not enough evil? Wouldn’t we all be free to finally feel at peace if all evil were eradicated? Would we though? Is duality necessary? If it is, why should it be so? Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to ask them, and I’m sure some good has to come of it. Some say we must have faith, and I agree, but faith in who or what? If evil is a part of life then, is this God’s perfect plan? Is there something wrong with it, or is it just that we are not at a level from which we can see what it all means, why it’s all necessary? Is life all a game, or is it extremely serious? At times we feel one way, at times we feel another. How can we find a balance between the two, and should we even attempt it? Some might blame God for having created such an evil world, but they don’t realize that their own use of their ability to express themselves is only possible because of their existence in the world. Evil is within us, just as it is outside of us, and we all have the potential to treat others in horrible ways in which we would never want to be treated ourselves. Should we despise our own existence and kill ourselves because we were born imperfect? Doesn’t it make more sense to try to understand why we were born this way? There must be some reason for it. Isn’t there any inspiration to be found in our lifelong struggle against our own evil, in persevering towards achieving a goal, towards setting our life straight, or a certain area of our life, and coming out successful in the end? What if there is a much deeper meaning to life than just seeking pleasure? Could this be the reason why some of the most damaging things in life, for human beings, are also the most pleasurable? Maybe the bitter aftertaste that follows certain forms of pleasure is there to help us, to guide us so that we may search for the truth, so that we don’t spend a lifetime chasing after alcohol, or drugs, or sex, or money. Some things are not evil in themselves. Sex is holy if it is treated with respect and used in its proper context, but it has been degraded to such an extent, that it is now one of the easiest ways to get lost in the petty search for pleasure. What turns good into evil, holy into blasphemous? A lack of balance does. Now, regarding the doubt as to whether this is God’s plan, whether he meant, if he did create the universe, to have evil be a part of life, I can’t say that I know, or that I’ve looked deeply into the subject. However, in the Bible, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden fruit before the snake had even appeared to them. If the forbidden fruit was what made them be aware of good and evil, being the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then how could they have committed evil deeds, such as disobeying God, before having eaten from the tree? Eating from the tree was an act of disobedience, but if they were created perfect, then why did they fall for the snake’s dirty trick? And where did the evil snake even come from anyway? If God made everything good, then how could an evil snake, a lying snake, come to speak to Adam and Eve, to tempt them into doing something wrong? Perhaps God meant for there to be temptation in this physical world, maybe so that we might learn to overcome it. Would there be any meaning in an action movie without a bad guy for the hero to take on? If there isn’t a bad guy then there’s some sort of conflict to resolve. I’m not saying that life is a Hollywood film, but life is sort of like a movie except that there is no guaranteed happy ending. Life depends on our choices, and even if some think that our fate is sealed, that history is already written and set in stone, it sure doesn’t feel that way. If we can’t feel like it is that way, then at least we should try to make our lives meaningful, even if it’s just for us. Take a second to sit back, relax, meditate, leave the stress behind just for a moment. Analyze every aspect of your life, and you are sure to find much meaning. Some you have always been aware of, some you have neglected for a long time and left to the side, and some might come in the form of a sudden, new realization, a surprising epiphany. Once you think about what is important in your life, about what is meaningful, you will see that, in order to progress in each and every one of these things, you will need to work at being much more balanced, and at having more self-control in general. This practice of cultivating self-control is actually the first step into a spiritual way of living. Self-control means that the real Self, the only Self, is controlling the illusory self, the physical and mental self, the physical and mental projections which are perceived by my mind in order to create an identity of who I am, along with the name given to me by my parents at birth. The more self-control we practice, the more we will live a balanced and healthy life, and the clearer we will think. We can’t have all the answers in life, but we shouldn’t become cynical because of the world’s apparently hostile nature. We should be humble, and we should seek to understand, for we are very small beings in a much, much greater universe, more meaningful than any of us could ever imagine.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 72.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 65: All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy.

Sometimes we think we’re the only ones who know how to really live life. We laugh at others who spend time thinking about or working on other things, things we personally could care less about. But we all have things we are interested in, and we all like to spend our time differently. We are free to do as we wish, all of us, and it is only natural that all of us would like to spend our time differently, seeing as how we are all very different and unique people. It’s true that some things are more productive than others, but who says that all activities have to be productive anyway? Some activities are done just to have fun, such as most games for example. Some games teach things as well, but the main idea behind a game is just to have fun. Some games allow us to win, or to lose, while some games are endless, they can’t be beat, and some are for one player, while some are for multiple players, so we see that the main purpose of a game is not always competition, it is simply to allow a person to have fun. Is there anything wrong with games because they are not leading up to anything productive? Are they simply a childish distraction from life? Not at all. We all love games, from small children all the way to elderly people. Babies are basically born playing, and whenever I visit my grandparents they’re diligently trying to fill in all the blanks of the newspaper’s Sudoku or crossword puzzle. Games like these are actually quite productive, since they allow us to exercise our thinking, as well our problem-solving abilities. It was actually a game of Sudoku which I played today, a game I’ve never seriously played before, which got me thinking about writing about this today. It was challenging, and I really had to use my brain. It took me quite a long time to fill in all the blanks. If we make a habit of doing such an activity every day then we will be sharpening our minds without a doubt. But apart from these productive games, there are many other games which, as we’ve mentioned, are not so productive. Should the playing of such games be avoided or kept to a minimum? In a way yes, but in a way no. I was never much of a gamer, but my youngest brother David really loves video games, and has a number of different consoles with different kinds of games for each one. My dad is always nagging him about reading a book, and sometimes I jump in as well and mention the fact that reading is a great way to learn about life and the world, but I feel bad because I don’t want to make it seem like gaming is an inferior activity, like he’s wasting his time by having fun. It’s true that we can become addicted to video games, that we can dedicate way more time than necessary to our progress in any game, but the games themselves cannot be blamed. We need to look at the attitude of the player. Everything in life requires balance, so it’s not good to do nothing but play. But the opposite is also true, since people who avoid all kinds of fun and games and are completely obsessed with study, or philosophy, or religion, or with any other scholarly subject, are often missing out on a lot of joy in life. Such people are usually attempting to cut fun out of their lives since they feel that it is a necessary sacrifice, one which they are willing to make in order to finally achieve that great success they are dreaming about. Not everyone can reach the greatest heights however. Many people go through life despising all the good things they’ve been blessed with. They can’t stop to play with their children, they can’t have a fun moment with their wife or husband, and they can’t let their children be children either, since they are always trying to get them to grow up. Other parents never teach their kids responsibility, and this is a great mistake, but to teach nothing but discipline with no time for fun is not good at all either. When I decided to stop drinking and smoking excessively, to start reading philosophical and spiritual books, to start meditating and trying to live life right, I unfortunately became a bit obsessed for a time. I was sick of my old life, and I knew that I needed to make radical changes in my life in order for me to really be able to change, in order to see some real results. The discipline was definitely needed, but one thing which I regret is having been so uptight about it in the beginning. I desperately wanted to change, and so I hoped to spend every second of the day meditating, reading, learning, watching documentaries, etc, and I started to look down at the world, as if everyone everywhere is always wasting time, as if people are simply passing the time without doing anything productive. I felt like this had been my life up until then, drinking and partying and wasting time, so I saw nothing but that in people’s lives. I was bothering my wife about playing too many games on the iPad, I was complaining to her, asking why she doesn’t like to read more, or isn’t more interested in spiritual or philosophical subjects. Everyone has their path to walk, and learning to live life right should not cause us to become more serious than it is good to be, it shouldn’t turn life into one long sacrifice, and it should not cause us to look down at other people simply because they don’t choose to spend their time in the same way as us. Sometimes all we need to do is to stop worrying, to sit back and relax, and to play a game and forget about the stress.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 66.