These days it seems like mental health is being acknowledged and discussed more than ever before. It’s good in a way because we are getting more open to sharing our vulnerabilities, and we are becoming more open to understanding other people’s struggles. Is this because we are becoming more caring and understanding, or could it also be because more people than ever before are experiencing symptoms of mental afflictions? We are living in a time where people are isolating themselves in fear, fear of disease, fear of the government, fear of unprovoked evil. The world, in general, seems to be getting a lot more restless, and we are seeing hate and violence all around us, so it is natural for many people to retreat from life, in a way, to shut themselves in their minds, in their own little world with the people they love. Although mental health is being acknowledged, it is seen as something evil, even as a mental illness, when in reality this is not exactly the case. When we get physically hurt, the pain we feel is our body telling us that something is wrong, and according to Carl Jung, neurotic conditions such as anxiety and depression are also messages we are trying to convey to ourselves, messages not just from what’s hidden deep in our own minds, in our subconscious, but from what Jung called the collective unconscious. Jung’s famous idea of archetypes was something he arrived at by analyzing a lot of his patients’ dreams, as well as the different stories found in the books of the world’s different religions and mythologies. The main idea is that we all share a collective consciousness which is hidden from our day-to-day consciousness, much like our own subconscious is. Like the subconscious, the collective unconscious can also trigger strong impulses within us, the difference being that our own subconscious is made up of subliminal images and ideas that have stuck with us because of our own life experiences, whereas the collective unconscious holds images and ideas that are with us because we are part of a collective whole. According to Jung these ideas, or archetypes, come from the evolution of consciousness that mankind has lived through for who knows how many years. These strong values which have always been present in humanity don’t just disappear because we change the way in which outward society functions, they are still there within our psyche, influencing our personalities. These archetypes, such as building a good social structure or becoming mentally independent from our parents, are ingrained into us, and they make us feel as if there’s certain things in life that we absolutely must accomplish. Jung’s theory was that if we try to fight against these ingrained ideas, which can be referred to as the tasks of life which we all feel compelled to complete, then we will run into mental problems because we are choosing to live in a way which is contrary to what we are hardwired to become. It is true that we have free will, yet that doesn’t mean that all of our impulses will lead to our well-being. In this way of seeing neurotic disorders, we can perceive them as signs that we are not living correctly, that we are fighting against our true nature and our true calling. Often times this is because we are afraid of facing up to the tasks of life, and we try to deceive ourselves into thinking that we don’t need to achieve anything. We might convince ourselves of this by telling ourselves that the issues does not lie within us, that the issue is external, and therefore, since it can’t be fixed, we are doing the right thing by not getting involved. One of my favorite writers, Charles Bukowski, said “I don’t have any politics. I’m an observer.” In a way, I really liked it when I read that quote, because I’ve always felt this way myself. Bukowski was also an alcoholic, and analyzing that quote, along with his life, makes me wonder if he maybe had some demons of his own which he was too afraid to face. I can tell this is the case in my own life, when I analyze it through Jung’s theory. For years I’ve been getting stoned, simply because weed can make ideas a lot more interesting, it can make the inner world of my mind appear fresh and limitless, with everything the mind can conceive of and create. It also makes music and philosophy more interesting, my two favorite things to consume. I told myself that the world is fucked up, and that I didn’t need to complicate my life with it. I have my wife and I enjoy music and philosophy, so there’s not much else in the world for me other than possible trouble. Maybe I’ve really been hiding away from the world because of fear, fear of losing the foundation which I already have, or fear of unexpected trouble that could come my way in a world that’s growing increasingly turbulent. Carl Jung explains how, at the beginning of a neurotic disorder, the neurotic person might not feel too inconvenienced by avoiding life situations which may trigger anxiety, and in fact will feel some comfort in it, yet over time, as his or her life becomes routine, the person notices that something is wrong, because life has become restricted and closed off from the world. Because of the archetype which drives us to create social bonds and connections, the neurotic can’t help but feel distressed because, deep inside, from the collective unconscious, stems this feeling that they are not fulfilling something important which is imperative to their happiness as human beings. Being super interested in philosophy, psychology and spirituality, I’ve always known about and been a fan of Carl Jung, yet his body of work is so extensive and his ideas are so deep that they must be analyzed time and time again, and I had never really went too deep into what I’m discussing in this post today. However, as I research more into it, I have to admit that I do see myself in the image he paints of the neurotic person. This isn’t a reason to panic though, because again, anxiety is just a sign that change is needed, and that means there is hope for change.
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
Yesterday I posted about the random chest pain I started having last night, and also about the mental struggle that followed: In the face of pain and uncertainty, of fear of the unknown, I was hit by a severe lack of motivation to complete my daily goals. I also wrote about how I eventually found the motivation to persevere, and to finally succeed at completing my goals even though I was feeling terrible, and was extremely anxious about the possible cause of the pain. Once I regained my motivation by remembering that we must remain grounded in God in all situations, both good or bad, that everything is part of life and is meant to be, I did my goals and then started researching as much as I could about my symptoms. After researching a bit, I felt like I was able to rule out heart issues or some kind of cancer, since I’d probably have other more debilitating symptoms if either of these were the case. Most of my anxiety came from these terrifying possibilities, but from all the websites I read yesterday and today about my symptoms it seems like the issue might just be a torn muscle near the chest area, which is not too serious. This calmed me down quite a bit. Maria and I prayed together last night, and I also called my mom on Whatsapp video chat, since she studied medicine. We ended up speaking for hours, and she further confirmed that I probably don’t have a heart issue. My mom is back in Canada, so it’s been a while since we talked like that. It was nice. Even though I gained some understanding of my symptoms and was beginning to feel less anxious about the cause, I still couldn’t be too sure. Both my wife and I couldn’t stand the uncertainty any longer, so we decided to come to the clinic to do some check-ups. I’m currently sitting in the waiting room, waiting to hear my name get called out. I hate getting medical tests done, getting blood drawn and all of that, but it’s definitely necessary. I really can’t wait for the moment when they confirm the good news, that I just have a torn muscle and that it should fully heal in a few days or weeks. Anything will be alright just as long as it’s not a serious condition. I’m really praying to get some good news, and I feel really nervous about the outcome. At least they have free wi-fi here to keep me busy. Even though I’m writing about this exact issue, the act of writing in itself is an effective distraction from my nervousness. I just want to kill as much time as possible so that it won’t feel like I’m waiting for an eternity. It’s also great to have Maria by my side, always supporting me and simply being there for me. She is watching One Piece on her brother’s phone while I do my writing. Every few minutes she turns to me and gives me a kiss, telling me not to worry. I don’t know what I would do without her.
Second half of today’s post. In the end, I didn’t even need to take any tests. The doctor just checked on my breathing and chest and concluded that it’s not related to any heart or lung issue. What a relief that was. He said it’s most likely a muscle problem, as I suspected, and they gave me a muscle relaxant shot and some pain pills to take for the next few days. I also don’t have to go to work tomorrow, so I can get some extra rest in order to heal quicker. Everything turned out great and I feel as if a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. After such great news I unfortunately have some bad ones. As I was working on today’s post on my phone while at the clinic, I noticed that somehow, my post for Day 77, which was yesterday, reverted back to an old draft version I had saved on my phone. I have no idea how this happened, and now I don’t see the post in my list of posts. It really sucks since I felt that it was a very well-written one, not to mention one of the most liked ones. However, everything happens for a reason. I don’t know what the reason is but, although I lost some of my words which I worked so hard to put together while suffering from anxiety and fear, I can’t do anything about it other than move forward and keep on writing even better words, better posts. I can’t possibly be in a bad mood about this now that I know I don’t have some horrible, serious disease. I thank God for today;s outcome, and for everyone who helped me out at the clinic. It was a really easy process and everyone was really friendly. On our way back home we stopped to eat some baleadas and we all had a good time, a little celebration in a way.
Everything worked out great, and I now see that I shouldn’t have worried so much. We always worry too much about all the bad things that can happen, and in reality it doesn’t help. Instead it makes matters worse, as anxiety and fear cloud our judgment and prevent us from being free to make good decisions. I will be taking better care of my health from now on, after yesterday’s scare, and I hope I can keep my commitment to the various lifestyle changes I’m looking to make. I feel like what happened last night was meant to scare me into making some changes I’ve been wanting to make for a long time now. Maybe that was the only way for me to feel really motivated to do what I have to do. God bless you all and may you live happy and healthy lives, free from worry and anxiety.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day 79.
~ Rebel Spirit
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
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
Life’s about sacrifice, you gotta put in work because people’s hearts have grown cold as ice. No one is obligated to lend a helping hand, so don’t expect anyone to understand. But the trick is to not grow bitter and cold, even as we constantly witness the wicked ways in which life in this world unfolds. The point is to take a true hold of your own soul, to put the mind under the Spirit’s authority. We have all been blessed with skills and talents, with intelligence and wisdom, which we can use to bless, others as well as ourselves, to exert the will to progress, but too many of us have our gifts sitting on the shelves. We all have the ability to think and then to express, creatively, whether in poetry, lyrics, music, art, spoken word, to be true to who we were meant to be, and nothing less. Speak your mind and stand for what’s right, though it might shake up your whole world, possibly overnight. Stand by your word. Be who and what you claim to be, always take the high road, up high as a kite, fly forever free. Have the courage to follow the highest vision you see, to create what you conceive. Be a beautiful light, shining bright for what you believe, the brightest star shining on this blessed summer night. It is said that those who wish to give light must first burn. Take up your cross and sacrifice your physical self on it. Kill your attachments to earthly pleasures, especially those which harm others and cause suffering in the world. The right thing won’t always be the easiest one, or the most pleasant one, but we can’t possibly ignore what’s right and expect a good outcome. Recognize the wrong way and turn around to run. I thank those who paved the way for me, and I hope to do the same for generations to follow me, for years, for decades and centuries on, the legacy of everything we do lives on, we live forever even after we’re gone. So know that this is not the end, this misery nor this joy. There is more significance in every second of every day than we care to realize. I don’t know which is the right religion, but I do know that all of us are battling a spiritual war, so we were born with a mission. We all are meant to be, essentially, an example of righteous living, of unconditional care, of charity and selfless giving. Stop all the hate, leave the past behind and recreate, forgive and forget, leave behind every grudge as well as every regret, love for love’s sake. Be thankful for every friend, and even every enemy you’ve ever met. There are no enemies, have no fear for real or fake. Life has placed these people on our path, so that we may come to know what it’s like, to experience hate, pain, separation, rage, wrath. We had to know these things to come to know that they are not us. We are the consciousness on which these emotions, these thoughts and feelings appear, quickly fading away like dust, remain calm and watch them disappear. Let your mind rest, feel at ease, peace of mind is like a soothing breeze, close your eyes and meditate, elevate, feel the unity between you and everything that’s ever been, yet know that the source of you is something so great, that the angels are your kin. How were you conceived and born? How can you speak and connect with others, how can you understand concepts such as love and mutual respect? Life is filled of meaning, but it’s up to us to detect. So leave behind any notions of insecurity, of not being or having enough, stand proud and erect, if you woke up today there’s no excuse to feel like a wreck. Whatever you did, leave it behind and give yourself a chance. Life is in constant movement, so we have to jump in and dance. Roll with the rhythm, with discernment, don’t worry about the past or the future, everything will pass, everything is temporary, and everything is just as necessary. Be humble, understand that God dwells within your brother, within all others, and we all will one day decompose in a cemetery. The heavenly and material aspects of our nature each go their own way once death arrives, each from where it came, each continuing in changing, in transforming, after having gone back to the source, ascending and descending, coming down after they rise. Therefore there is no death, be free of guilt, and understand you have a new birth, a new chance at life, with every breath. Ignorance is the problem, none of us know this. We desperately run around trying to get ahead, we think there will be nothing left of us once we’re dead. Worldly success means everything, we can’t wait to get a taste of the satisfaction the money and the fame will bring. And what if the dream doesn’t true? It doesn’t happen for so many others so why should it work out for you? Will you cry and complain, will you wish you were never born, will you speak curses upon yourself, upon your life, or life in general, screaming in pain? Identify with the real inside of you. Be the Spirit, don’t rely on anything on this planet. Analyze the nature of things, understand and plan it. Whatever you’re doing, sacrifice what holds you back. You know what it is, and if you haven’t let it go yet, it’s because you’re hooked on it like crack. The real You needs nothing to survive, spiritually, it only needs to be aware in order to be alive. Adversity is nothing to the real Self, it thrives off of challenges, your talents are your tools, use them for the glory of what’s good, don’t follow the crowd like a fool. Life is a process of constant learning, but one day we’re all sure to graduate, just like from any other school.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day 74.
~ Rebel Spirit
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
70 days into this writing goal, every day writing a thousand words and posting them on here. I’m not sure of what my purpose for this goal actually is, but I’m glad it’s become a daily habit to write. I wish I enjoyed it more though, since sometimes it seems like just one more goal I have to complete before midnight. I think what might be missing still is organization. I have to find a way to organize my ideas, and to plan certain days to write about certain ideas. So far I’ve just been randomly writing every day, going off whatever comes to mind when I sit down to write. I have a feeling that, maybe if I just write enough, maybe if I write consistently, every day, eventually I might create a masterpiece, something which people might read and really feel inspired. I feel so much significance in life, things connect in my head and I am in awe at the way in which life interacts with life. Over the past few years it’s become really overwhelming, so I’ve started to try to get things written down, but for some reason so many things which I want to express are hard to get into words. I guess it’s expected when one is constantly learning about spirituality and philosophy, but I hope I can start to get my ideas across a bit clearer soon. The most important idea that I want to get across to people is that, even if we don’t know the answers to all of life’s mysteries, even if we feel that life is meaningless at times, or worse, that it’s evil and cruel, we are only a part of life, each one of us, so we are in no position to decipher what everything in life means. Do you consider yourself evil? No? What about perfect and good in every way? That’s not you either right? We are all making up life, life includes us, so we can’t separate ourselves from it in order to ever examine it properly. Life is what happens to us every day, but life is also everything that happens without us, far away from us, every single day. Since we are not God, and we are not the creators of life, we must assume a position of humility. Too many of us associate humility with weakness, with being soft and allowing others to walk all over us. Humility is an attitude towards life. Someone who is humble has no need to justify his or her belief or to have others believe it. We can all use our sense of discernment to find what works best for us in our lives, what is right and what is wrong conduct, but humility means that we shouldn’t attempt to force others to live as we do. We can offer wise advice when we see our friends and family struggling, but we must understand that we are all free to live the life we have been blessed with. The reason I want to get this message across through my writing is because, once we understand this, that we are interconnected with life and that it is much deeper than it often seems, then we will be more likely to try to come to a fuller understanding of it. The person who, in his or her arrogance, thinks that his belief system is all there is to know, and that he has figured it all out, that life can be fully explained by any one religion or philosophy, has closed himself off from ever reaching higher truth. Humility is the first step towards properly living life. Once we assume a humble attitude towards life, then we are free to live, to interact, to understand. This is why I write, because, even though I do not have all the answers to life, at least I accept and understand that. I can write without pretending to have it all figured out, as a real person with real thoughts, trying to live a real life. I don’t know what will happen with my writing. I don’t know who will read it, or why, or what thoughts will pop into each reader’s mind as they read this, but I write because I know that life is made of connections, and that we must do what we have to do, even as we face uncertainty. Should I stop writing because I don’t know what will ultimately come of it, or even why I’m doing it at times? Of course not. We have to keep on moving in the face of uncertainty, and we have to keep on learning, on wondering, on connecting the dots of life, even if we are facing adversity, even if it seems like it isn’t worth moving on. Life is mysterious, and knowing that, really feeling that mysterious quality of life within myself, all the unknown potential which lies within every human being, has really sparked a flame in me, to read, to write, to share information so that whoever may read it may be inspired in some positive way. I started out this post with no idea of what I would write, and I even started writing my own answers to my own question down. Why don’t I enjoy writing more? I answered that I had to have more organization. However, once I got to writing I had more and more ideas, and now I’m not sure how I even ended up on this sentence, writing about what I’m currently writing about, about how life is so wonderful and mysterious. The point is that it just happened somehow, that something real which was on my mind was successfully transmitted into words for you all, and that now there’s no going back, all because I decided to just give it a go. Things are bound to happen in life, no matter what, and if we try to live with humility, we can try to understand and learn more about the things that happen in life and why, and we can learn to use those things in order to have better things happen in the future. Everything’s a mystery, so we might as well try and figure it out. we never know where life will take us, but it is sure to take us somewhere. Stop pretending to know everything, stop pretending that you know where you’re going. Be humble, seek help from those who know, and try to learn and understand, and then to put into practice.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day 71.
~ Rebel Spirit
Times are always hard for many people around the globe. If things are going well for one person, someone else’s world appears to be crumbling down. We all can be sure that, if we are not struggling now, we will have to struggle at some point in the future. We will be afflicted by numerous struggles throughout our lives, but we mustn’t allow our anxiety to take control. We have to stand firm and face the reality we find ourselves in, even when suffering seems totally meaningless, existence nothing more than a cruel cosmic joke we find ourselves trapped in. We wish that the existential enemy we face would just vanish in a second like a cloud of smoke floating away with the breeze, when we need to accept it instead, to witness it without fear, with a calm and collected mind, and to dive deep into it in order to understand it. We have to learn not only to live with uncertainty, but to love it, to thrive in the face of adversity, prepared to stand firm before any possibilities, to have the attitude and the strength which are essential in order to overcome any obstacles in our way. As we sit and worry about the future or cry about the past, we waste precious time, we complain instead of finding a way to change, to make a change in the areas of our life which need changing. We sit around, miserable, consuming carcinogenic chemicals, smoking and drinking, doing hard drugs, disease and death slowly entering our system, then we blame the world, or God, for all sorts of illnesses. We’re slowly committing suicide to show those who don’t care to listen to our problems just how angry we are, we seek attention but we never ask for help, yet we can’t stand still without attempting to annihilate ourselves in some slow way. Life seems unfair to us, and we begin to drown in our own distorted mentality, our thoughts become the voice of anxiety, constantly haunting us, even in our sleep, in dreams. We have to stay busy since we’ve created a constant cloud of stress in our minds, so we can’t be at rest even when we lie in bed at the end of the day. We can’t sit in silence, no matter what we do, we can’t find peace since the noise is all inside our heads, it follows us around everywhere we go. We are only harming ourselves in the end, not the society we try to pin the blame on. No one is responsible for your life, no one can steer it in the right direction or make the changes you need to make for yourself. You whine that life is too hard, that the system is corrupt, that you were born into poverty or dealt a shit hand from the beginning. These are all excuses, your life is no harder than it’s meant to be. If you are facing some problem then it’s because you have the power within yourself to persevere and to push through that problem. Anger and discontent with life have us unconsciously seeking to take revenge on society, yet succeeding at harming no one more than ourselves. Why worry about death if we feel we’re already in hell? But we fail to see the blessing, the option to learn a lesson from everything we experience. In the pessimist’s eyes, everything is void, empty with no meaning, but that’s exactly why you must give meaning to your own life, by taking responsibility for it. The ultimate meaning of life? Don’t waste the days away wondering about absolute truth, the truth is in every task you haven’t completed, or in every rhyme you haven’t laid down in the booth, if I’m speaking to myself, in every thought I haven’t gotten down on this page just yet. Do what needs to be done, and stop wishing for another task. If you want a better future, you should have lived a different past. But alas, nothing lasts. Is it too painful to bear? Or is this the greatest, most liberating truth that we could ever share? Everything is nothing, nothing is all. Goodness is all that exists, the image of God is the human blueprint. God dwells in the temple, all we need to do is enter the holy vessel we’ve been blessed with from birth. We shouldn’t ignore it, or neglect it, we should value it for what it’ worth. Look at the truth in front of your eyes! Love your wife, hug your mother, bless your brother, be there for one another, respect and learn from your father. Even if they’re not the best of parents, we all can learn a lesson from the family we enter the world into. A lot of us are born into first hand experience of why we shouldn’t do some of the horrible things we shouldn’t do. Why do you suffer and not I? Why do I suffer and not you now? It is irrelevant, since we are all bound to suffer during this human lifetime. We are all one, we are all laughing in the now, just as we are all crying in agony. Everything present, we are being born and dying. Nothing lasts forever, except the One Spirit which returns to the source. Call it what you like, but it’s attributes are love and wisdom. Seek affinity with this higher power and you cannot be led astray. Do what you know to be right, and cherish every single day, live it to the fullest. Because nothing lasts forever, seasons change with the weather. Life stages, each is a flip through our lifetime’s pages. We grow old and get sick and wonder what age is. But don’t be dragged down with your body, remain grounded, courage is contagious. Face the pain, face the tragedy with all the strength within you, and it just might become a comedy. Trust in the highest power within you, yet be humble and have faith, and the pain will pass. Pleasure passes, pain passes, but what is eternal, everlasting within each of us, will endure forever.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day
Life is a constant learning process. The ups and downs, trials and tribulations, the highs and lows that make up our lives, they can all be looked at and appreciated, if we can achieve such a state of mind, as the necessary pieces of the puzzle which makes us who we are. Life is about putting all the pieces together, about connecting all the dots in the right order, in order to see the bigger picture eventually. Life is really about trial and error, although we can learn beforehand about the things we consciously choose to become involved in. Some things just happen though, or at least we have no clue why they’re happening. Sometimes we have no way to prepare for such a situation, and in these cases learning happens on the spot. We have no choice but to learn. In reality, we learn from everything we experience, consciously and subconsciously, we are always learning, always changing into something new. We are never the same person, every passing second changes us in a profound way, even if we don’t experience the change in progress. Small changes that take a second give way to big changes that happen throughout a lifetime. Pain comes and passes, we curse and we cry, joy comes and we rejoice, but we cry when it leaves. We are relieved when the pain passes, and we appreciate life a little more, but for how long? Is it only a temporary feeling? Too often this is the case. We often overlook all the blessings in our lives by being too caught up in complaining. By focusing on the negative aspect of everything, we fail to be thankful for, or to even acknowledge, all the wonderful things in our lives, and we also fail to see how any positive result could come from the things that seem like total tragedies to us. The biggest problems in our lives are the ones that we could learn the most from, but too many of us are too afraid to do this, and we are also too afraid to even acknowledge our own cowardice. If we could dive deep into our despair, if we could stare sorrow in the face and smile at it, if we could master our emotions and all the thoughts that run daily through our minds, we could probably do a lot more learning, and a lot less complaining than we currently do. We could dig for gold in our problems if only we changed our attitude. We could trace the cause of every problem we face, and we would see that it starts with us, and that a change must therefore start with us as well, with nobody else. If we refuse to learn, if we run from distraction to distraction, hoping to avoid looking at the truth of our lives, we still will not be able to avoid learning completely. We can choose not to learn now, by discernment, but we will surely learn our lesson later, only we will have to learn it the hard way, probably not under very pleasurable circumstances. Life has a way of catching up to us, and there’s no escape from fate. We have free will to create our lives, but if we act out of ignorance, if we don’t know what knowledge even means, then are we really making conscious decisions, are we really free men and women? We talk way too much, and we all think we have the answer, we are all self-righteous in some way, and I’m not excluding myself. We all have to fight a constant battle, one that’s even more important, more intense, than any battle against external forces. We are all facing an inner battle against demonic forces, evils such as lust, greed, hate, jealousy, ambition beyond any reason. These are all things that are bound to lead to catastrophe if they are not placed under the power of the Spirit, or at least under the power of reason or common sense, which might not be enough. If we are not aware of this, then how can we even think of starting to learn about how to be free? How can we try to learn to live life if we think it is meaningless, if we think that nothing really matters and that life is just a constant quest for the most pleasurable feeling, for the highest high or the craziest thrill? We must do away with these ignorant notions. Life is meaningful beyond human comprehension, and we can learn something from everything. We can learn from good and from evil, we can learn from the kind and we can learn from the wicked, we can learn what is right and what is not right, we can learn from our parents, we can learn from priests or from politicians, we can learn from books or from crooks. Who we learn from often plays a big role in who we become in life, but the wisest teacher of them all is life itself. No matter who we choose to learn from in life, be it professionally or just in general, about life, no one can teach us like life can. Life is the master of life, it knows all there is to know about it, because it is life itself. The more we understand the deep significance of life, the more we try to connect with it, to really live and to feel it, to feel fully alive, the easier it becomes to understand life, to understand how to incorporate everything, the good and the bad, into our lives, how to keep calm and continue to move forward, how to trust in God, in life, and how to leave worry behind. We were not meant to live in fear or worry, so we must focus on living our lives as best as possible and on learning the most we can from every day we are blessed to live through. The first step is to humble ourselves and to accept that we don’t know much at all, that we are the humble students of life from now on.
To be continued tomorrow, on Day 67.
~ Rebel Spirit