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DAY 35 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

Yesterday I wrote about my fascination with learning about spiritual ideas from different religions and trying to learn if there’s any common origin between them. Today I think I’ll write about another fascination of mine, which might not be as intense anymore, but is still a part of my life, and was definitely a huge deal for me when I was a bit younger. It might not be the healthiest thing to be obsessed with, but I gotta tell the truth. If you’ve read some of my earlier posts in this series of a thousand daily words then you might be aware of how I’m just recently starting to cut down on weed after about 15 years of daily use. These days that’s a big deal for me because weed has always been something which I thought I’d never really need to cut down on, but what you might not know is that weed is far from the only drug I’ve used throughout my life. In fact, my unhealthy fascination I mentioned at the beginning of this post is drugs. Yes, drugs in general have always been extremely interesting to me, and I feel like that is very intimately tied with my love for spirituality, philosophy and all things weird. I’ve always loved learning and researching (about things that actually interest me), and I knew that drugs were dangerous, so even though I was in the eight grade and still very young, I knew that I had a lot of research to do if I was going to embark on this path of experimenting with psychoactive substances, but I was determined to do it so I learned as much as I could. Weed was my first high, and at first I hadn’t decided to make it an everyday habit, but I was completely interested and started learning about it’s effects and even history. Since I had no tolerance at all, weed was super psychedelic for me, something that has never been the same after years of heavy use. I liked how it made me more aware of my thoughts, how everything i thought seemed interesting and meaningful, and as I started learning online about other drugs I naturally gravitated towards substances that offered the same kind of trippy, introspective effects, more specifically psychedelics. I became fascinated with mushrooms and LSD, and I don’t remember whether my interest in psychedelics or my interest in hippie culture came first, or if they both sort of grew together and eventually inspired me to try to live a spiritual or philosophical life. I’ve always thought of the world as extremely unjust as well, and I guess it was the whole anti-establishment thing which made me really like hippies, as well as their use of psychedelic drugs as some sort of sacrament to look within themselves and see what they could find. That life seemed a lot more meaningful to me than working for money my entire life, chasing more power and status. So I started reading countless trip reports on Erwoid, from first trips to heroic doses, to all sorts of combinations, so I was learning about more substances as I learned about mushrooms and acid. The trips were so insane, the visions people spoke of and the feelings they described were so interesting to me, and so I started asking people if they knew anyone with shrooms or acid I could buy. I didn’t have much luck at school at first, but I eventually met this kid, I don’t really remember how, who sold me some acid. I mean, he was a nerdy looking kid from my school, but I don’t remember how I knew to ask him or how our meeting came about. Anyway, I had some crazy acid trips, and from then on I decided to try all psychedelics. Although a lot of it was curiosity, I know that deep down I was never using these substances for the sake of “having fun.” I’ve always had a huge desire to search for truth, to find some truth that will help me live life in the most meaningful way possible, and I was always looking to have mystical experiences that I could learn from, maybe learn something that could change my life, and I can’t say that I didn’t find exactly that. I really think that tripping so many times since a very young age has a lot to do with who I am today and who I grew to be. When I started getting into drugs and drinking, outwardly I was trying to fit in. I was rapping about nothing, about being cool or whatever else I thought would impress people, trying to rock fake designer clothes and smoking cigarettes just to look cool, looking for fights. I don’t want to blame hip-hop because ultimately I was the one who was trying to copy a culture, and a pretty toxic one at that, but it’s obvious that the way I dressed and the way I acted in those days was was inspired by hip-hop. Who didn’t want to have nice cars and clothes and to have any girl you wanted? Tripping made me see the deeper meaning of life though, and eventually I stopped writing those types of raps because I started to see it as an art form, as poetry, in the way that even 2Pac saw it. I also stopped trying to rock designer clothes because I started to loathe materialism and completely rejected being someone who is constantly trying to impress others with meaningless things such as the amount of money or luxury items I have. Tripping hard really let me see that life is way to deep not to take responsibility for my life, to waste it on meaningless things. I started reading a lot of philosophical and spiritual books, such as Aldous Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception” where he talks about the similarities between reported visions of psychedelic experienced and the art and mythology of ancient religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, and this inspired me to learn even more. I’m at the end of this post and I really only got to touch on my relationship with psychedelics, which is one of my more positive experiences with drugs. Other drugs, like alcohol, I haven’t had the easiest relationship with, but that’s a topic for another day.

much love

~ rebel eye

DAY 34 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

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One of the biggest fascinations of my life has been with the root of spiritual truth. I always wonder where the great spiritual traditions stemmed from, because they all seem to share a lot of similarities yet they seem very difficult to reconcile if we get into the fine details. Jesus said “I and the Father are One,” and this is the main idea in Hinduism, that we are all one with the Godhead, and that God is always creating, manifesting everything that we see in the world. A quote by Meister Eckhart expresses this same sentiment: “The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye is one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one love.” Swami Vivekananda, who was one of the most important Hindu monks when it comes to bringing Hinduism to the USA and to North America in general. He said that when he started his journey as a monk the two books he had with him were the Bhagavad Gita and The Imitation of Christ. It makes sense that he would take the Gita with him since it’s a Hindu holy book, but why The Imitation of Christ? It’s because Vivekananda could see the same truth in Jesus’ words and life as he knew from his own life as a Hindu monk. That reminds me of another great quote by Meister Eckhart, “Theologians may quarrel but the mystics of the world speak the same language.” It seems to me that this is correct. If you study the mystical or esoteric side of most religions, there are a lot of concepts which are the same, and it makes me think that these are universal truths that will always remain true until the end of time, and which have been known since the beginning of time and passed down through the ages. One thing which always seems strange to me is how the Old and New Testament are considered two parts of the same book which make up a whole, but there are so many differences between the commandments of the Old Testament and what Jesus stood for and lived by. For example, in the Old Testament Jehovah orders Moses to stone people for all kinds of things, then Jesus comes up to a group of people who are about to stone an adulterous woman and tells them that only he who is free of sin should throw the first stone, obviously meaning that no stone should be thrown since we are all sinners. In another story Jesus tells some people that they should heal the sick even though it was the Sabbath, which I take to mean that people’s lives are more important than following some rule. So why are there these contradictions? Why is Jesus the second coming of the same God of the Old Testament? In a way it makes much more sense that he was a spiritual man who saw the evils of the society he lived in and decided to stand up for what he felt to be correct, things I’m pretty sure most of us would agree with him on, like how ridiculous it is to stone a person even because of something like adultery. Jesus was a rebel in my eyes, and if he was a man then that’s a huge inspiration for us to aspire to live in such a way. if he was God, on the other hand, the same God of the Hebrews from long ago, then why was he so different? There are many thoughts about the God of the Old Testament, the Gnositcs even went as far as to refer to it as the demiurge. Now, I haven’t gotten too deep into Gnosticism, so I have no opinion on that matter as of yet, but I know that things may not be as clear as Christianity makes them out to be. if Jesus was really a mystical man, a spiritual and philosophical person, then maybe the concepts he was learning and teaching about were those of the Kabbalah, which is the mystical tradition of Judaism. The crazy thing about the Kabbalah is that it refers to things such as reincarnation, which makes it more similar to Hinduism in that regard than to Christianity. The Kabbalistic concept of the big bang, or the tzim-tzum as they call it, is that of bread of shame. This concept basically means that, at the beginning of creation, all souls were one, and they all received constant energy from the Godhead, but somehow these souls, since they were all part of the Godhead and filled with its energy, became conscious enough to want to transmit energy themselves, rather than just receive. It’s as if you got something for free and so you feel shame about it, because you couldn’t get it on your own. God, or the supreme consciousness that was at the beginning of time, granted the wish and put all these souls into bodies, creating this physical world, a world where we could exercise our free will to give, not only to receive. The problem that arose was that, the souls felt that something was missing, since they were not fully receiving the divine energy which they were receiving at one point, and this created unlimited desires. Now we desire everything, and we desire things non-stop, and we are doomed to always feel desires we can never fully satisfy, until we finally come to understand that all of these desires are just masking the true desire within, the true desire of all humanity, which is to reconnect with the Godhead, to feel that completely satisfying energy once again. The Kabbalah has a concept of emanations, meaning that the divine energy is filtered many times before arriving at our world. I’m not an expert so I can’t go into the specifics of it, but the main idea is that there are many realms of reality, each more material then the next, and every dimension mirrors, in a way, the dimension above it. Things in the higher planes make things happen in the lower planes, and vice-versa. This seems very similar to the Hermetic concept of “As above, so below.” Hermeticism is another very deep science, and it is said that it comes from Ancient Egypt. Isn’t it strange that there is a very close connection between the Ancient Hebrews and the Ancient Egyptians? I wonder how exactly the wisdom of the Kabbalah and the wisdom of Hermeticism are interconnected. I wanted this to be a post about the main spiritual ideas and how they all seem to connect, in my eyes, but I see I’ve gotten to the thousand words and have only rambled randomly! I can’t help it though because these ideas bring up crazy trains of thought in my mind, and everything seems to connect in some form or another. At times I feel what Buddha meant when he said that he would rather focus on the practical aspects of spirituality rather than wondering about God or Gods. Anyway, I just have to keep learning, and I’ll probably continue these ideas in some future posts. Blessings to you all.

much love

~ rebel eye

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DAY 27 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

Not sure what to write about tonight, really. I guess I’ll just write about everything going on right now. I’m uploading daily beats, I’m writing my daily words, I’m trying to exercise every second day, whether jogging or doing yoga. It feels weird doing everything sober though, since I’m so used to being stoned all the time. I’ve been feeling weird sensations in my chest when I move, as well as a general shortness of breath, nothing extreme but just annoying. At first it was making me go crazy with anxiety, but after researching for a bit I’ve become convinced that it has to do with me cutting down on weed since I see a lot of posts from ex-smokers of many years who share similar stories. It makes sense also because the discomfort started pretty much a few weeks after I first started my goal of cutting down on bud. I’ve been smoking weed since I was basically twelve, and I’m 27 now, so I have a lot of readjusting to do. I’ve learned some new things from my research, such as the fact that THC is a bronchodilator, meaning that it expands the airways in the lungs or something like that (I’m not the best at explaining medical terms) so quitting quickly can have the opposite effect on the lungs and cause bronchospasms. I haven’t smoked weed in about a month now, but my idea wasn’t to completely quit, just to switch to edibles and to cut down on my consumption in general. I guess what I’m experiencing is a combination of my lungs starting to heal from all the constant smoking over the years, as well as me feeling the effect of no longer having the bronchodilator effect of THC so often. It should pass with time from what I’ve read, but I’m definitely never going back to smoking the same way as I did before. In fact, I’ll only smoke once a month or something, if even that, and just eat way smaller doses of edibles, maybe just 2 days a week. It’s crazy, I never even knew this kind of thing could happen from quitting weed, and although I’m not blaming weed in any way, it just goes to show how nothing is meant to be abused, and everything has to be done or used in moderation. I was definitely abusing weed for so many years, it was good for everything and wasn’t harmful like other drugs. It made everything way more interesting and chill, so I just rolled with it. Ever since I’ve gotten really into spirituality, years ago, I’ve been planning on cutting down just because I realize that we have all we need within us, and that attachments are what cause suffering in life. A classic example is how a drug addict feels shitty I’d they can’t have their drug of choice, which in my case is weed. I now have to readjust to real life, and get back out into the world, leaving my peaceful inner world on the side for some time. This is actually why I finally made the decision to cut down, because I was planning to go hard with my music and to finally get serious about it make the dream happen. I for sure didn’t expect to have this kind of reaction though. Anyway, I’m not trying to complain, I just think that too many people, assuming that weed is all good and can cause no issues because it’s natural and relatively safe for recreational use, don’t bother to do any research, and end up abusing it in order to mask their real feelings and escape from uncomfortable realities that may cause anxiety of depression. As I’ve been learning from Carl Jung, anxiety is with us for a reason, so that we may analyze the way we are living and make a change, but if we just mask our anxiety and never face it, then what will happen when we finally decided to put that mask away? Will we be able to deal with all the unacknowledged anxiety that has been building within us? Well, it’s tough but I know I can do it, I know I got this. I just have to keep focusing on what I’m doing, creating dope music and expressing my deepest ideas and feelings through my lyrics, which is what I’ve always been inspired to do with my raps. I have a beautiful loving wife who supports me through all of life’s ups and downs, and I have a good family I can count on as well. I’m still healthy, thank God, apart from the aforementioned issues, so I gotta focus on exercising as often as I can and eating healthier as well. I know that everything will be okay in the end. Other than that, I’m just really excited about life and where this music thing will take me. I’m almost done my next album, Rebel Spirit, which will be released on all streaming platforms, and I’m really feeling how all the tracks are sounding so far. Oh, something else I’ve noticed during my sober days is that I’m getting really tired and sleepy at times. When I used to get high all the time I would sometimes stay up until 3 or 4am, just fascinated by whatever ideas I was learning or whatever music I was creating. Now I actually feel tired, as I do right now while I yawn, and I know that means it’s time to go to sleep. I guess it’s because things don’t seem so interesting anymore, even things I love with a passion, like philosophy and music, but I know this will pass with time, it’s just part of withdrawal from being used to constant weed stimulation. I’m not sure what else to write for now, but I suspect I’m close to finishing today’s thousand words, so I’ll just end this on a positive note. I wish everyone out there the best in life, stay balanced and healthy, and I pray you have the power to break any chains and attachments you feel you need to grow from. It’s not easy, but moving on to a new stage of life often requires painful sacrifices, leaving behind some of the things that we strongly identified with in the past. It’s time to grow, to become new, stronger, wiser people.

much love

~ rebel eye

DAY 17 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

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It’s time to take control of your life and be who you were meant to be. It’s time to let go of old attachments, to let go of all insecurities and doubts; life is simply too short to spend it crying over spilled milk. What’s done is done, it is what it is. I have to remind myself of that every so often, even if I did rap that song back in 2012, ten years ago now. The time is now, there is no other time. The past has gone and it’ll never return. It exists only in our minds, only for us to learn from it, so we can outgrow it. Every day the memory becomes more blurry though, our own stories slowly start fading away as we fill our minds with so many other things, whether we like it or not, all kinds of things we really don’t need. Does the mind have a limit? Does it start deleting files as new ones are saved into it? I’m sure science has some kind of answer for that, or thinks it does, yet I won’t be bothered to look it up right now. I steered away from my original train of thought, so let me get back on track. What I was about to say was that, every day our memories become blurrier, we forget little details about the past, about ourselves. Therefore, it seems to me like the longer we spend analyzing the past, the more likely it is for us to look at it in error, since all the small details are blurred out. We might even start adding in details that weren’t even there. We can’t learn correctly from a distorted image of the past, so it’s just not worth analyzing for too long. At some point we need to accept the lesson we’ve learned and continue moving forward. It can be difficult because, if we don’t accept the lesson, we keep trying to think our way around it to find something else, and we never move past that. Living in the past is a recipe for depression. Consumed by the could haves, the would and should haves, we regret everything that we’ve done, as well as everything we haven’t done. We fail to see that it was all meant to be, for it all shaped who we are today. Whether we’re good or bad today, just that lesson in itself is powerful enough, because it lets us see that, we can take control of our lives once again, we can start manifesting a better life into existence at this exact moment, by visualizing what we want, putting the work in and staying consistent. There’s no use in holding on to past mistakes as if they should prevent us from succeeding today. There’s no use in holding on to shame and guilt, to fear and hate, because we are what we think. As above, so below, as within so without. The true essence of what is within us manifests into our outer reality, so if we’re always thinking about negative things from the past because we can’t break free, then we’ll keep on running into the same scenarios. A simple example is that if we’re in a bad mood, we’re more likely to have people treat us badly. If we’re in a happy, cheerful mood then most others will reciprocate that energy as well. I know this from many years of call center experience… Unfortunately one can’t always be super cheerful sounding, but I do try to at least be polite and try to help as much as possible, exactly because of this, because energy is contagious. We never know how much a bit of positive energy might influence someone else’s life, therefore impacting whoever they interact with in their own lives. It’s a snowball effect, and I’m not claiming I’m perfect in the least, because sometimes I do fail at transmitting the exact energy I wish I always could, so for sure it’s easier said than done, but at least I’m aware of it and of the things that prevent me from being the best I can be, so that I can get to work on those things. Knowledge of self is the key, and the fact is that if we want to make a change in the world we need to start with changing ourselves. Even the best of us have things we need to work on, to improve on. Life is a constant learning experience, and as soon as we think we have it all figured out something happens to make us aware that we don’t. So again, it’s time to take control of your life and do what needs to be done. No more time for hesitating or procrastinating, it’s time to act. This is basically a letter to myself, to be honest, but I share it with the world because I know that the same applies to all of us. We all hold infinite potential within, to better ourselves as well as the world we live in, we just need to realize that, then to make a plan and to act on it, to stay consistent. This will also keep us from dwelling on the past, since we simply won’t have time. We’ll be more productive and likely to accomplish something, instead of spending time reliving the past in our minds, overanalyzing all kinds of situations. Presence is a skill everyone should practice. After all, we are not our thoughts, but rather the consciousness that thinks them, just as we are not our feelings or emotions either. If we can control our awareness and prevent it from becoming distracted with whatever new thing that comes up, that’s how we know we’re truly in control of ourselves, and of our lives. Having a set goal as well as discipline and consistency goes a long way in helping us achieve this. I haven’t always been great at this, but that’s exactly why I know how important it is to be present. It’s definitely something I’m trying to practice in daily life as much as I can, because I know how much stress I can save myself if I stick it out, and because I know it’s the right thing in the end.

much love

~ rebel eye

DAY 8 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

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Time flies, and I’m often torn apart by indecision, since everything is a possibility, yet there’s not enough time for everything to be done correctly, or even at all. A person might struggle along one specific path throughout an entire lifetime, but does he or she finally know whether they’ve succeeded, once the moment of death arrives? Can we ever know for certain that we have lived in the right way? If there is really a right way to live, then it’s terrifying to think that we might convince ourselves into living a certain lifestyle, only to find out once it’s too late that that wasn’t really what we should have done with our lives. Would this regret even be valid though? It’s easy to wish we had done something different, once time has passed and we didn’t do it. Another story is whether we would really do it if given the chance, if we could somehow magically go back to that moment. The past is the past, and we didn’t know back then what we know now, so perhaps we would have done the exact same thing we already did, if we were ever given the chance to go back and relive, or redo, certain moments of our lives. It’s crazy to think that we might never really know whether we’re living correctly or not, we just have to trust our decisions and stick with them. There’s no trial period for the consequences of our actions and beliefs, or our lack of actions or beliefs. Certain things need to be done for other things to happen, certain sacrifices need to be made for certain doors to open. Certain beliefs lead us to act in certain ways, or to refrain from behaving in certain ways, but how can we be sure that our beliefs are the right ones when almost absolutely everyone seems to be one hundred percent positive of their own beliefs? If our beliefs are wrong then doesn’t that mean that all of our actions will be wrong from the very start, that all our dreams are doomed to failure? The scariest thing is that, to succeed at most endeavors we have to spend years and years perfecting our skills, learning, practicing, networking, diving deeper into whatever we are pursuing, whether we’re talking about personal or business endeavors. Who’s to say that, after so many years of working hard at something, we won’t be unfulfilled and left wishing we would have done something different? Maybe we’ll only realize that because of the life experience we’ve gained from whatever it is we ventured into, which we are now thinking was a mistake. But was it really a mistake? How could you have learned this lesson if you hadn’t lived your life in the specific way you have up until now? But then again, what’s the point of this lesson now when it would have helped me out much more so many years ago, when I actually had the time and energy to invest into whatever it is that I now consider what should have been my actual pursuit? Mind games, leading to regret and dissatisfaction. Buddhism would emphasize the need to live in the present, to minimize attachment to what would have or could have been, and to just be happy in the moment, to be present and not to wish for anything to have been different. Sure, this could definitely be the healthiest and most practical approach to life, maybe even the correct approach to life (again, could be, but not sure, just like any other approach to life), but that doesn’t really mean that it isn’t valid to say that maybe we would have been more successful or happier if we had done something else, if we had turned our lives into something different. The point though, as I see it, is that whatever we have gone through was our own experience, it is specifically ours so that we may grow from it by relating to it in our own specific ways, dependent on everything else we’ve experience during our lives. Maybe everything really is meant to be in such a way, and then again, maybe nothing is meant to be, which would mean that all of our experiences, all of our pain and our struggles, our joy, the love we feel our friends and family, would all be random and trivial in the grand scheme of things. It’s true that I’m not a hundred percent sure about anything at the end of the day, if I can be completely honest, but I sincerely doubt that idea, that everything we experience is trivial and that there is no deeper meaning to any of it. As we learn if we study Hermeticism, “As above, so below; as within, so without.” Everything goes way deeper than we could ever know, all of our decisions and experiences, all of our thoughts, our feelings and emotions all stem from farther away, from deeper than we could ever imagine. Well, again, that’s just kind of what I feel to be the truth, no guarantees! I know that someone has the best chance of succeeding if they focus all of their time and energy, or at least as much of them as possible, into one thing and one thing only. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to settle for one thing. I love making music because so much music inspires me, and I love writing because so many great books have inspired me as well. I love rapping because that’s what I started with, that’s what I’m best at when it comes to music, but I hate so much of what makes up hip-hop culture these days. It’s never been the healthiest culture, understandably, but I think any fan of hip-hop knows what I’m talking about when I say that things are much worse now, and it’s gone downhill in a really sad way. Another path for me could be beats, since I love producing beats as well, and I’m getting into it just now like never before, taking my beat game up to the next level, so we’ll see where this takes me with time, I pray to God I make the right decisions, and I have to work at keeping my mind clear and free from stress and distractions.

much love

~ rebel eye

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 76: Mistakes Are For Us to Learn From.

Life is the opposite of death, yet it includes it. The nighttime forms part of the day’s 24 hours, yet is the opposite of daytime. The best feeling of satisfaction contains the experience of all the suffering which preceded it, of all the past longing for it, without which it wouldn’t be half as profound or fulfilling. Every wonderful transformation would be impossible if the person who decided to change had never realized they had to, if they had never hit rock bottom before. Perhaps they finally arrived at that realization after enduring much trouble, after walking a very problematic road for a very long time. Every lesson ever learned was learned from a mistake, whether our own or another’s. We must look at our mistakes and understand their seriousness, yet we must not become disheartened, and discouraged from moving on. We must never beat ourselves up or become desperate for change. Complete change cannot happen just now, but it will surely happen at the right time, if we start to live differently now. If we are desperate, if we are feeling down about ourselves because we haven’t been able to change, then it will be more likely that we will slip into old patterns of behavior, into vices and addictions, or that we will search for constant distractions from our lack of self-esteem, from our regret for what we’ve done. There is no need for desperation for someone who understands that there is a reason for everything, and that everything passes, that everything can change for the better or for the worse, depending on how we live. We must keep calm, even when the times are tough, especially when times are tough, and we must understand, without a doubt, that the hardships of life are necessary so that we may change. We all make mistakes, not excluding a single person, and the mistakes we make affect not only us, but others as well. We think this is unfair, since the only way it would be fair is if we were all one person, paying for our own mistakes. What we don’t realize is that this is actually the case, that we are all one being, in essence. We should never feel like we are paying for other’s mistakes, or that life is ultimately unfair just because the evil actions of others have caused us harm. What is the use of spirituality, of a belief in a spiritual reality that transcends this physical one, of God within, if we become desperately preoccupied and anxious when things don’t go as we planned them, or if we are willing to hurt others in order to preserve our own well-being during desperate times of chaos? Don’t stress or worry, because everything comes at its time, to help us learn what we need to learn in this exact moment, and so the truth is that nothing can really harm us in the grand scheme of things. If we are suffering now then it is because we must suffer at this time. Is this unfair? Doesn’t everyone suffer or experience loss at some point during their lifetime? Don’t be angry at the transgressor, at the one who has wronged you, since he is God’s messenger to you. Thank him, be thankful for your problems, forgive him. Look within yourself, and ask yourself what you can learn from this new situation you find yourself in now. We may not like the learning process, but it is indeed necessary. Some would say that this philosophy is evil, that it places the blame on people who are born poor or disadvantaged, or sick, but is it better to assume that they were born into such a life simply for no reason at all, just because life is indifferent to them, or because some evil creator decided they should be born into pain? This is hardly a better view of life. None of us know why life exists, and we don’t know why we have free will, but the best attitude we can have is one of humility, one of being students, constantly learning from life, observing and seeking to understand without judgment, without thinking that life in itself is wrong. Is it likely that life was created by a sadistic spirit for the sole purpose of watching us suffer and kill each other just for fun? If our lives are nothing more than a cruel joke, entertainment for some cosmic terrorist somewhere out there, then what would be the point of even going on living? If life was completely random and evil, then how can there be such things as true, unconditional love? How can there be the love of a mother for her child, the willingness to sacrifice oneself for another? How can there be so much laughter and pleasure in this world if it is all evil? It cannot be evil, it simply cannot be all for nothing. Life is a constant war between good and evil, the world itself is flawed, but for some reason fate has dictated that we must live in this planet, at this time during which we are alive. Fate? Didn’t I say we have free will? Our free will is God’s command, it is intertwined with destiny and fate. This is why it is so important that we live righteous lives, because we will all suffer from our ignorant and evil actions. We cannot judge something we cannot understand, such as the universe, or God. I heard a Nina Simone song today, it came on while I listened to my Spotify library on shuffle, and it reminded me that there’s a time for everything under the sun. There’s a time to laugh and a time to mourn. Just because we don’t understand, because we don’t see the purpose in something, maybe in something like suffering, doesn’t mean there is none. Such a thing as a meaningless moment or an insignificant second is impossible. Everything is meant to be, there’s nothing that comes about as a mistake. We wish things were not as they are, we hope and we pray, but things are as they are. It is in the nature of everything to be as it is, and the more we wish things weren’t what they are, the more separated we become from them. If instead we practice gratitude, if we can remain calm in the face of adversity, this is a sign of true faith, this is sure to set us free from bondage, by showing us the true union which connects us to all that exists. What is there to fear if we see everything as part of God’s plan? Nowadays this is not a popular idea. How can evil be God’s plan? We all have free will, so let’s stop blaming God. Let’s assume responsibility for the life we have been given, and positive change is sure to come, both in our individual lives and in the world as a whole. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 77.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 74: “The Trouble Is You Think You Have Time.”

Jack Kornfield said that “the trouble is you think you have time.” We all think we have enough time. We know that there are important things which have never been said up to this point, things which probably should have been done a long time ago. We know that we have to set things straight when it comes to a certain person or situation, that we have to confess the truth to them, but we are sure that doing so will result in a loss of pleasure to us, so we choose to hold on to a comfortable lie instead. Often times when we hurt others, we immediately realize, we come to know that we are in the wrong, yet we create the dumbest excuse to go on feeling offended and entitled, instead of owning up to our mistakes and apologizing. We are too scared to be vulnerable, too afraid of our own feelings to ever be able to analyze them properly, let alone those of others. We cannot apologize sincerely since we see it as a sign of weakness, of admitting that we are wrong, and therefore inferior somehow to the other person. Too many of us have killed our own inner child. We are afraid to live because we are scared to death of being less, being seen as less, of being seen as weak in this hostile world, of opening up to others and forming true connections. We have become so immersed in one thing or one kind of lifestyle, on our numerous distractions from our problems, that we fail to see the blessings all around us, and we fail to take action when it comes to things we know we should do or not do, things which we ignore for a while hoping they will go away. Soon enough we realize this approach just doesn’t work. Nothing ever goes away, we simply cannot run from ourselves, from the things that still haunt us, from the inner issues we need to resolve, as well as all the external ones. Owning up to his or her own mistakes is really a nightmare to someone who has adopted a victim mentality towards life and who has created the habit of complaining about the smallest misfortune, but to one who is connected to the deeper truths of life and what it means to be alive, this shouldn’t be a problem. When we are honest with ourselves and others, but especially with ourselves, about where we are going wrong, where we are doing the right thing and where we’re not, then we are truly starting our journey into self-developing. Nevertheless, it is only the start. Sometimes we can be brutally honest with ourselves about our shortcomings and errors, but due to our negative perspective which is so attached to physical reality we cannot make the necessary changes in order to truly resolve these issues. We let them linger on in our lives, affecting every new relationship or project, affecting all the thoughts that run through our minds every single day. We do not know how to tackle them, but since we think we have time, we do not even try, we just look the other way, we look for all kinds of distractions, hoping that we will eventually forget about the deepest truths of our lives. We cannot live in this way, fueled by ignorance and fear. We must understand and live by the fact that everything is cyclical and recurring, that there are patterns woven throughout the webs of history which connect the dots of human interaction in the most magical ways, completely unknown to our limited perceptions, and that the time to act is now, that we were born where and when we born to do things, to make our lives worth living and to fill them with meaning. We understand that all pain and pleasure will pass, and this is a constant reminder to us not to fall into desperation. Better days are ahead, but for now, there is simply no time to waste when it comes to the truly important things. Tell your mom and dad you love them today, make plans to spend more time with your siblings or with your friends you haven’t seen in a while. Get outside and meet new people, experience new cultures, don’t just spend the day looking at the same old screen inside the same stuffy room. Live! Get up and live! Lively yourself up, or “lively up yourself!” As the man Bob Marley would say. The world is devoid of honesty nowadays. We have all become addicted to our way of living and are afraid to give it up. We have adopted mainstream society’s shallow values, and if we haven’t, then at least we have learned how to pretend that we have. We have hardened our hearts and become cold to the love which is present within us all and which connects us on a spiritual level, on the deepest level of connection, if we would only choose to stop for a moment and pay attention to the now. Stop seeing others as separate from yourself and simply say what needs to be said. Stop seeing the future as a separate reality in which you will play a part. Your life could end at any second. Understand that the time to do what must be done is now. Do what you must do, and you will feel much better after! You will feel more confident for having spoken your mind, you will feel like a more open person, you will receive more respect and will be able to communicate clearly with the world. You will feel accomplished, and will be ready to take on an even more challenging task. You will be building your stamina and strength, your self-control and willpower. Don’t waste time. Don’t think that you will be able to do something only after you have done something else or become someone better. The time to take action is now. There will never be another time, since every moment is really Now. Tomorrow might never come and we might not wake from our dreams tonight. Life is uncertain, and things seem to happen randomly, but everything has deep significance. Have you thought about where you stand in this wonderful world, in the grand scheme of things, about who you are in this life? If not, then the time to start pondering these questions is now!

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 75.

~ Rebel Spirit

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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 61: Let Go of What You’re Attached To.

Today’s my second day in a row without bud. In case you didn’t know, I’m a daily toker, I have been for many years now. In the past few years I’ve started experimenting with setting goals for myself, daily goals as well as long-term goals. One example is my goal with alcohol. Back in the days I used to drink way too much, and it was causing problems in my life, so I finally decided that something needed to be done. I didn’t want to stop, and every day it was so easy to just walk on over to the corner store and grab a six pack, especially in the infernal Honduras heat as we getting home from work, no longer in the comfort of the air conditioning. In the midst of a painful hangover, since they got worse and worse over the years, I’d always swear I’d never drink again. I had no need for it, I would say, I felt guilty or ashamed about possibly, very likely, having acted like an idiot the night before, and I didn’t want the situation to repeat itself. No more drinking, I’ll be a new man. These were my thoughts, but once the hangover went away, the cravings always came back. The problem is drinking to excess, but why not just have a beer or two? That refreshing cold taste, that initial euphoria and overall relaxed feeling, they were too nice to pass up, especially since everyone I know from work loves to drink. I don’t know many other people here, but wherever we find ourselves these days, usually most people love to drink anyway. It’s a socially acceptable destructive habit. I didn’t pay much attention to all my promises to stop drinking, but over time I did a lot of reflection, along with some powerful psychedelic trips which really showed me the desperate situation I was in, and so I built up the courage to get started on an abstinence goal. I started out with just five days, and I promised my wife Maria that I would stick to the five days no matter how I felt. She’s not a drinker at all, so she’s always been such great support and motivation for me on this particular goal, although she always supports me with all of the goals I set for myself. Sure enough, when I talked about forgetting the goal and having a beer she was there to remind me that I was the one who set the goal in the first place because I really thought I needed it, that I had been the one who asked her to support me with it even if I tried to back down, and that it would only be five days anyway, that I was strong enough to succeed. I did succeed, I didn’t drink for five days. Then I drank again, but this time I was ready, after a week or two of drinking, to do a ten day goal. I did it, and although I always did drink after the goal was over, I felt like each time I completed a goal, each time I stuck to the plan and practiced self-control instead of just giving in to temptation, I was getting a bit closer to freedom, I was leaving the need for alcohol behind. I no longer partied at this point, so I would just drink at home, waking up to a complete mess the next day. This went away, and the longer my no-drinking goal was, the longer I was able to spend uninterrupted peace of mind. My mind was much clearer, I didn’t have such negative thoughts floating around in my head, I felt less pains all throughout my body, less stomach problems, and I got to save up not only the money I used to spend on beers, but also the money I’d spend on all the dumb shit I’d buy after drinking beers. Fast forward to today, I’m three days away from reaching a hundred days, although the goal is two hundred. I previously completed a goal of a hundred days without drinking, it was my last goal. I drink when it ended, yes, but this time much more moderately than I used to. Now, halfway through my two hundred day goal, I honestly have days when I really feel like I could go on for the rest of my life without drinking, like I really don’t need to drink ever again, it just adds nothing to my life anymore. I really hope this mentality persists when I finish this goal, but I’ll probably do a bit of drinking before I start with the next goal. The good thing is that at least my attitude towards alcohol has drastically changed due to these experiments. As for the bud, which is what I started out by talking about, it’s a bit of a different story. Although smoking anything is harmful to the lungs in one way or another, weed is not really much of a problem, as far as cancer and things like that go. Either way though, I recently started using a vaporizer, but the real reason for me setting a goal of abstinence from cannabis for a while is due to my attitude towards it. Unlike alcohol, weed isn’t really a substance which I’m really looking to eventually remove from my life for good. On the contrary, I love bud and will probably use it until I grow old. The problem is not the weed, the problem is my attachment. It’s hard to admit at times, since we want to continue using or doing whatever we are attached to, but any kind of attachment is not healthy for us, and that truth cannot be escaped. Whether it’s weed, or money, or food, or whatever it is, if we are constantly in need of it and we don’t feel okay without it then we are attached. My goal with the bud is to cut down quite drastically for now, from blazing every day, to blazing only 15 days of each month, so basically half the month. This is the first month that I’m doing this experiment, and I blazed up until the tenth day of the month. I stopped on the eleventh and today, but when it gets to 12am I’ll blaze, and I can’t wait, only about fourteen minutes more until the new day. This weekend is directly leading up to my anniversary with Maria, our two year marriage anniversary, so we have to blaze this weekend for sure, and on Monday, which is the actual day. This will mean I’ll have gotten stoned for thirteen days of the month, leaving only two days for me to blaze, and about 15 days left of the month. I’m not looking forward to those five-day intervals without blazing, but the time has come to begin with this goal which I’ve been thinking of starting for quite a while. I already promised Maria anyway, and I can’t break that promise I made to her, so it helps to keep me accountable.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 62.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 35: The Power of Change.

Changes. Life is made up of changes, yet it is a movie that plays on a screen, a screen which stands still like the ones at the movie theater do. All action takes place in peace, as peace is the underlying state of mind of humanity. We’ve created such a thing as anxiety, and we’ve come up with so many possible methods of attempting to get rid of perceived problems, many of them real threats, that we’re all tangled up, we don’t know what we’re really doing so we create even more problems, maybe two or three more as we struggle to solve one. Problems seem to multiply. The main problem is that we do too many things without any true reflection on the decisions we make before we act on them. Whenever we say or do something, we have no way of being sure what the exact consequences will be. Words and deeds can be perceived in various ways by all kinds of people, they can be interpreted differently and taken to mean the exact opposite of what they actually mean. We can take an educated guess of what will happen if we do certain things in life, but ultimately, things happen unexpectedly, and the most life-changing situations of connections happen at seemingly random times very often, in the least probable of all places. One thing we can be sure of though, is that whenever we say or do anything, we are causing things to change. The thoughts of a teacher will be absorbed into the minds of each student who is paying attention, yet the data which is being stored will connect differently with the data which is already present in the mind of each individual student, and each can react very differently to any new piece of information which is recently learned. Much of what shapes our decisions in life actually comes from our subconscious, and often it’s as if it knew what we needed and it found a way to provide it for us. So, everything we say is being registered, consciously or unconsciously, by those around us, and it is bound to change their thinking in some way, even if only for the next few seconds. A split second is all that is needed to radically alter a lifetime. Every thought we think is preventing other thoughts from coming to our attention, and so every thought, every perception, is causing a change in our life and mind forever. We must think about the consequences of our actions before we do anything, since change is sure to follow any action. Thoughts lead to actions, and actions, if repeated, lead to habits. We take everything for granted nowadays, and so it’s no wonder that we’ve forgotten about these truths. We’ve forgotten about our power to make positive change happen. We are so caught up in our own ideas and our own survival that we are unbelievably blind to our own inner power. If we only knew how much power we hold in our voice, just to what extent we can use our words to create reality, if we were only ready to take full responsibility for each thought and action, if we were prepared to come to grips with what we truly are, children of God, carrying the divine light everywhere we go, submitting to the divine will and allowing it to work through us as vessels of the One Spirit. We need to stop taking ourselves so seriously, in order that we shall once again be able to make clear-headed decisions, without the weight of either depression or doubt or anxiety holding us down. Yes, everything we do affects everything else. Everything you do affects everything else, and everything everyone does affects our lives and those of everybody else. We are all interconnected, all causing change to happen. If we treat others like trash, then we shouldn’t be surprised when the years go by and we start to really feel like trash ourselves. What goes around comes around, and everything that goes up must come down. Everything is repaid, there is no need for us to seek any sort of vengeance against another being. Vengeance is God’s, and justice, whatever it means. This doesn’t mean we should be happy because our enemy will eventually suffer either. Forgive as you have been forgiven. We have all been forgiven, for none of us are perfect. We forgive ourselves every time we promise that we will try again, that we will try harder, that it’ll be for real this time, without a doubt. We forgive ourselves as we rise every day, we accept the decisions we’ve made once their consequences become apparent in life’s continuous changes. One thing leads to another, or to many other things. Change is only a mental understanding of the concept of time, which is really only on our earthly plane. In truth, there is no change. Life is constantly recreating itself, yet it is always life, becoming manifest in everything that is good and pure. We do good and we do much evil, we change the course of destiny and we change millions of people’s hearts for generations to come, we change the way the people of the future will feel when they read of the past. In truth though, everything is what we choose to make it, and while we live on this planet we cannot ignore the fact that we must make changes in the world we’ve come to inhabit. So while we’re at it, we better make the right changes. We can achieve this only with true self-analysis, true reflection, in all honesty, hiding nothing from the true Self, the Spirit which dwells in the body as well as outside it, that knows all and can never be deceived or completely destroyed, without which there is no life. Understand that change is real to us in this dimension, yet all change is nothing but the now if it is understood as part of the process of enlightenment, necessary for us to properly follow our path.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 36.

~ Rebel Spirit