1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 44: Mentality Matures as we Grow and Learn.

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 45.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 8: Your Mind is Programmable.

Your mind is programmable, and if you are not the one programming it then best believe someone else will do it for you. As I was growing up I felt so free while I chased a reckless sense of pleasure which I hoped would never end. I chased one thrill after another until I grew weary of thrill-seeking. Even though I often felt much freedom, I realize now that I was deluding myself. I was being programmed by the thoughts and ideas of those I looked up to, and I didn’t even know why I looked up to them. I wanted to fit in, to belong. I thought I didn’t but I see that I did. I didn’t choose not to fit in, at least in my younger days. I just didn’t fit in. I felt that I was cursed, like I could never truly connect with anyone on an intimate level. I felt like there was something wrong with me, like I was just inherently worse than everyone else, different, an alien creature to be tolerated. I don’t remember when I first had this idea, but it has always been with me to some degree. I watched rappers in music videos playing around with huge stacks of money, surrounded by supermodels and shiny new sports cars, not to mention all the jewelry and expensive attire. I believed that the system was holding me back from reaching that goal which I desired so much, to be a famous writer and rapper, and to travel the world basking in the glory of my international fame. Foolish dreams, I see now. Fame is a monster which can consume one and trouble one to the core. I think I can do without fame. As for money? It is natural to live and breathe for money, to chase and to cherish it when one has no interests beyond the worldly, beyond the temporary, beyond the transient. As I’ve gradually awoken from the illusion, I find myself losing interest in money. I no longer care about it, and the thought of it incites boredom and monotony. There is no substance, no meaning, to money, yet we are constantly programmed to chase it and value it above all. The media fills us with images of what we supposedly need to look like if we are to be popular, of the things we need to have if we are to call ourselves ‘successful’. These are all lies, and no matter how well we may understand this, our mind picks up these lies and stores them in our subconscious. If a lie is listened to enough times it begins to be believed by the listener. The masters of mass advertising study the many subtle methods which can be used in order to manipulate the minds of the masses, to subconsciously suggest a product or an idea, to create the feeling for a need which was never even considered before. The media plays on our insecurities, it tells us that we need this to be cool, that we need this to be healthier, that we need this to be skinnier, that we need such a thing to be more muscular. There are masters in the field of advertising nowadays who are professionals at exploiting our desires, even the pettiest ones, and creating a market from this newly created need. What to many of us is life, what we obsess over and cry and struggle for, what we work and save up for, all that we spend the majority of our lives chasing. All of these things are just numbers, are just dollars, are simple figures to those who manufacture them. There is no difference in the way they see those who create the products, the workers, and those who consume and use the products, the general population. The corrupt system which we live in has reduced us all to figures, to numbers, to indispensable zombies to conduct their experiments on. Because we are comfortable, and because we do not want to have a nervous breakdown, we ignore this wicked state of things. We are okay with it because we do not know exactly what we are missing out on. We don’t see that the system uses its many tools to keep us confused and complacent, to keep us taking one step forward and two steps back. It does this through mental manipulation, through advertising, through product placing in TV and movies, through music and music videos, through social norms, and even through foods and products which cause lethargy and even serious health conditions. We all claim to distrust each other, and we see the rest of humanity as competitors in the game of life, we believe that we need to outsmart them in order to move forward, in order to see any progress in our lives. We are so blind that we can’t see that this is exactly the aim of those in control, of those who we really should distrust yet we blindly trust. We trust what the government approves, we trust what the doctor tell us, we trust what we see on the news, but why? Why, if we are so quick to distrust those we encounter throughout our days, are we so quick to trust those who we do not know? Why don’t we begin paying closer attention to what we are watching, to what we are listening to, to what we allow to be on around us? We must do this if we wish to be free, since no matter how sincere our intentions may be, we can never change if we continue filling our minds with garbage. The spirit is superior to the mind, but once it has a good understanding of what is beneficial and what is detrimental for the mind, it must begin the process of holding the mind subject to the necessary changes. The mind will struggle to change, and it will follow its oldest and most undesirable habits, especially if they help us cope with pain and stress. Often these habits are the very ones we wish to change in ourselves, yet the need to change stresses us our to the point that we can not control ourselves from following these destructive habits. We need to be painfully aware of the divine Spirit which we are, and the more we practice doing this the more we will be able to program our minds with positive ideas, even when surrounded by people who speak pure stupidity and ignorance. We must make our highest ideals habits within our minds, we must create healthy habits that will allow us a better quality of life in the future. When one is not sure what one stands for, one is easy to manipulate. It is then extremely easy to fall prey to whatever propaganda is stuffed into our brain, since we do not know who we are or what we are here for. The end result is that we do whatever it takes to maximize pleasure and to minimize pain, and this becomes the most dangerous habit of all. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 9.

~ Rebel Spirit