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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 79: Placing Motivation in the Right Direction.

Motivation is essential if we wish to succeed at any task, without a doubt. However, if our motivation is applied towards the wrong things then we are doing nothing but wasting time of our precious lives, and exerting energy which we should be using for other more important things. Sometimes we wish to do something so badly that we fail to take the time we actually need in order to actually do it properly, or we fail to realize that we have no business doing it at all, which can end up much, much worse. We often get excited and we act on impulse because we have no self-control. We want things to work out now, without putting in the necessary work! We don’t want to even think about all that hard work, all the dedication and perseverance we’ll have to put in over a long period of time if we’re really serious about whatever our goal is. Sometimes when we’re in a desperate situation, we might have an idea which seems to shine so bright in our mind, which seems to be the answer to all our problems. It can be tempting to get started right away in order to escape as soon as possible from our current situation, but often in our excitement we overlook a lot of important details. Whether it’s a brilliant idea that just pops into your mind out of the blue, or a concept you’ve been wanting to explore for quite a while, self-control is absolutely necessary at all times, along with discernment. The mindset that we begin to cultivate when we constantly practice these two qualities, self-control and discernment, prevents us from taking action without thinking things through, before we’re fully ready to start the journey we plan to eventually embark on. Even if you have done everything correctly and at its proper time up to this point though, you can still fail if you are not careful to remain alert. Some things seem so tempting that we can forget about self-control in a second, even after working on strengthening it for a long period of time. Desire can blind a person in the blink of an eye. Don’t become overconfident in your ability to wait patiently. If we don’t remain aware at all times of why we do what we do when we do it, then we are bound to make countless mistakes until we finally learn, if we ever do. We will do things at the wrong time, or we will partner up with the wrong people or promote ourselves at the wrong places. We need to know what our motives are for why we do what we do, and then we have to reflect on the different possibilities which are available to us which can help us to achieve these motives. This is how motivation is applied in the right direction, each move carefully calculated. The word motive is the root of the word motivation. Sometimes we think we know what our motives are for everything we do, that we know what truly motivates us, when in reality we couldn’t be more mistaken. Asking ourselves what our motives are, and answering sincerely without holding back from ourselves, is the key to understanding how we can use our motivation effectively by placing it in the right direction. It can be devastating to find out that, after years of promoting a belief or an idea, or a product or brand, it was not really worth spending so much time and energy on after all. This can be avoided if we take the time to know ourselves and our true motives before we start planning any new project. Many people have various paths they could pursue in life, yet they can’t find the time to do all these things at once plus go to work on top of that. Desperation can arise in such cases if the we can’t find a way to connect our different motives, to synchronize them in order to create a lifestyle which includes them all, and which aims at fulfilling all our short-term and long-term goals. We need to examine our motives and the things we believe we want to achieve in life. Sometimes we might feel really motivated to become rich, or to become extremely popular. Such a person might think that they are interested in fashion or expensive jewelry because they simply like it, and they might make it their life mission to work with these things. Upon further examination of this motivation however, this person might find that their initial desire to be cooler, richer, more popular or more attractive, arose from their insecurity, from their need to feel better about themselves, to stop feeling inferior or uncool. If this person could let go of these emotions of inferiority, they might not even be interested in fancy designer clothes or jewelry anymore, since they will probably no longer feel the need to impress people everywhere they go. Obviously, I am not saying that everyone who is into fashion or bling is like this person, it is only an example is true of some people in real life. We have to examine our motives, our ambitions, our aspirations. We have to ask ourselves why we wish to accomplish such things. Is it so we can feel better about ourselves? If it is, then we know for sure that there is no need to feel motivated to do such a thing any longer. We don’t need to do anything in order to feel better about ourselves. We can only feel as good as we are. If we want to feel better about life then we just have to live life better. It’s as simple as that. There is nothing wrong with setting goals for ourselves, and celebrating when we achieve these goals. There is nothing wrong with being happy with the progress we’ve made at any specific goal, but we should only dedicate significant time and energy to the things which truly matter the most of us in life, not to things which we are only doing to impress others, or even to impress ourselves. In conclusion, motivation can be a great ally on our path to success, but only if it’s carefully handled and properly directed, and this can only be achieved if we work on getting to know ourselves and our true motives for living the way we wish to.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 80.

~ Rebel Spirit

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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 75: Energy, Instinct and Intuition.

The whole of life is evidently all energy; hence we are all emanations of this energy. We have fair basis to believe that we are not separate from anything, as the whole of matter is energy as well. Energy is effort, a never-ending effort to elevate, the driver of all evolution. Energy is the source of time and space in this reality, but sadly time is often misused due to it being disregarded as if it’s no big deal. We love to say that time is an illusion and it’s all in the mind, that the clocks were all created by men, and that we live life on our own schedule. Although I agree wholeheartedly, and I acknowledge our innate desire and need to be free and to never feel bound by time, what good does it really do me to realize this if it still won’t set me free from my chains? What good comes from being aware of being a slave if I am, in the end, still a slave to schedules, to the chains of captivity, if I can’t escape my worst afflictions no matter what? Isn’t the person who realizes the problem, yet does nothing to stop it, ultimately in a worse position than the one who was never aware of the problem in the first place? Merely realizing that time is an illusion doesn’t free us from it if we can’t apply what we’ve learned to our real lives. As we go on living, we are all blessed with an endless amount of energy which we can use as we please. Everything we think and do becomes the cause to an effect, and it itself was an effect of a previous cause. This energy has existed for eternity and shall keep on existing, yet it manifests itself in this moment in time and space in your birth or mine, our lives themselves probably being effects of previous causes unknown to us. We must take a moment to see that for as long as we live in this physical world we will be bound by time and space, experiencing life in a seemingly linear fashion, and whether or not it is an illusion in the grand scheme of things matters little to the clock and to our day to day responsibilities, all of which revolve around seconds, minutes, and hours. So, what can we do to be truly free? It is not an option for us to bury our heads in the sand, and we cannot lie in bed all day enjoying the soft touch of blissful ignorance either. We need to use our time wisely, by reflecting on the seemingly random events which are taking place in our lives and in the world as a whole. Everything is simply saturated with meaning, but the question now is how to perceive it. We can begin to perceive all the significance in our lives by training our mind so that we can have it only focus on what matters. A distracted mind is easily led astray from its real goal by forces that wish to prevent it from reaching it. When we learn to pay attention to the things that really matter to us is when we start to free ourselves. We can now use our time wisely in order to progress in our goals instead of wasting it on meaningless fun. Not that there’s anything wrong with fun. The key word in the previous sentence is ‘meaningless’. We can all have fun with meaning, we can all enjoy life. After all we are all powered, so to speak, from the same source, the same source of all that has meaning. The energy which maintains our bodies, our minds, is the same energy that gives life to the plants and to the animals. Energy is transmitted back and forth by all living beings through action, through thought, through speech, through feeling. We forget that things do not have to be visible in order to be real. We forget that we can smell and that we can hear, yet that neither the odors we smell or the sounds we hear are visible to us. We forget that we can feel the air, and in fact rely on it, yet we can’t see it. We forget that, although we feel the light hitting our skin on a bright sunny day at the beach, we can’t see the rays extending down from the sun and hitting us. In much the same way, we emit subtle vibrations everywhere we go, and even when we don’t go anywhere. Every thought is a thing, and every feeling is a thing too, but the problem is that too often our thoughts and feelings seem to manifest on their own, without being called upon by us. That’s because, in fact, they weren’t called upon by us, but by the learned habits and preconceptions of the mind. Evil thoughts arise in a person’s mind, apparently out of the blue, because he or she has allowed it to consume too much garbage, too much negativity, and now it is seeing the world based on rotten thoughts, it is creating its own thoughts based on what it misinterprets. Sadly, thoughts which are completely perverse are sometimes seen as flashes of intuition, just as sometimes someone might attack or kill someone else and later claim that God told them to do so. People who experience such strong feelings often believe they are being called upon by their intuition, but they don’t realize what it really going on. Instinct is something different from intuition. Intuition arises from the divine wisdom which we know to be correct even beyond our desires and ambitions. Instinct arises from something we have consciously or subconsciously learned over time which has become deeply embedded in our mind. Something happens which reminds us of an old incident and we react in the same automatic way. This is a learned reaction, a habit. This is instinct, repetition, mindless action. Mindless action is also energy, but it is energy which has no purpose, no value. In order for this energy to become valuable to its beholder, he or she must learn how to control this energy. This person must learn to control what they pay attention to consciously as well as subconsciously or unconsciously in dreams. This person must learn not to fall prey to selfish desires or passions, they should not do anything which will harm others in any way, they must live with integrity. This will strengthen character, and it is a daily practice of divine intuition, the spark of God that dwells within us all. This is the conscious part of who we are, and the more we practice connecting with it, the more conscious we will be at all times. We will become aware of our passing thoughts, of our moods, of our reactions to petty situations as well as disasters. This sort of introspection will allow us to modify our reactions, to create new habits and to drop old ones, to spend time more wisely. In other words, connecting with this higher state within ourselves, the state of our true being and consciousness, allows us to control where our attention goes. Just as in meditation, focus is placed on the lack of sensory input and thought, but most importantly on consciousness, on awareness., on the energy of being simply being alive. The most important point to remember is that awareness of sensory input is not sensory input, and being conscious of thought doesn’t mean that one is thinking. Whether one is being conscious of breath or of thought or of sensory input, none of them require any action on our part. Breathing and thinking are automatic processes, and sensory input is external, coming from outside ourselves. So, as we relinquish control and we stop trying to think or to feel or to do anything, we come to a state of simply being, the state which is truly us, and which is constantly aware that we are thinking, feeling, doing what’s right, doing what’s wrong. It is often ignored, and when we ignore this consciousness within ourselves, we become unconscious to everything, and we engage in simple mindless action, purposeless action. This leads to people being unable to get along with each other because there is no value of energy, energy is wasted, as if we were to live forever on this physical plane. The obvious result of this waste is that, as we all remain unconscious of our waste of energy and time, and of our feelings and emotions and how they affect us collectively as a species and as a planet, the world gradually sinks into separation, into division, and therefore into further and further devastation and destruction, the product of all the evil energy circulating in our atmosphere.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 75. 

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 2

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

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 3.

~ Rebel Spirit.