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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 50: 50 Days Writing! Goals Review.

Half a hundred days of writing and posting a thousand words. I’ve failed at some other goals during this time, and I’ve restarted them right back for another attempt, but I’m especially happy that I’ve been able to stay on track with this particular goal. I was just letting my wife know about it. It’s great to have people all over the world have access to what you write, and to actually have people read it, even if it’s just a few people sometimes. It’s one of the truly wonderful about the internet age which we live in. It’s a great privilege which requires great responsibility on a writer’s part, so I try to keep my mind as clear as possible when I write these things, free of all negativity and frustration. I don’t drink anymore, which is great, since it would have been such a hindrance to staying on track with my daily writing goal, both because I’d obviously going out more, and because I’d feel totally destroyed the day after getting wasted. It didn’t feel so bad when I was younger, and I know for sure I drank a lot more back then, so I knew my body was now beginning to tell me that it was time to take it easy. I’m super glad about this goal as well, I haven’t drank a drop of alcohol in almost a hundred days now, so I gotta a hundred and a few more to go on my current challenge of two hundred days. Sometimes I feel I might just lay off the booze for good, even after I finish my two hundred day goal. I don’t crave it anymore and I feel totally fine without it, and it feels like I got my shit together, like I got things a bit more under control. Life isn’t always about being in control of everything, but completely losing control of oneself can be dangerous, and it’s certainly something that alcohol intoxication can lead to, and does lead to a lot of the time. Life feels good without it, but then I think that, if I can manage to keep it under control and moderation, then a beer or two here and there won’t do much harm, and will make me enjoy any nice day or night out. The problem is that I can’t ever stop at two, so I think I just might try to lay off the booze completely for as long as possible. Either way, I’ve been doing some experiments with psychedelics, in the past mostly shrooms, but now I have a connect for some good acid, and since I don’t party anymore, I’ve been just tripping alone at home (since Maria usually falls asleep), and concentrating on peace, meditating, reflecting having deeply profound experiences of psychological and spiritual growth. New thoughts come to me, and things which I know deep inside, which I’ve even forgotten from so much neglect, from being ignored for so long, from not wanting to deal with them, start to make themselves known to me, their significance becomes inescapable and I know without a doubt that, what matters most in life, is to love others, to love and care for one’s family and friends, to make connections, to always keep a good vibe following you wherever you go, a contagious feeling that will inspire others to live in the same way. I’ve been tripping on two or three tabs at a time, a few months at a time, two or three maybe, and reflecting on my progress with my goals as well. So what do I need alcohol for, that dulling sensation of the mind, that lustful appetite and aggressive behavior? Sometimes I feel frustrated with my goals, but I cannot abandon my sadhana. I have also been working on keeping lust off my mind, inspired by various books, mostly by Hindu Swamis, on the power of Brahmacharya. The concept of Brahmacharya provides, in my opinion, a better explanation of what I had read before in Mantak Chia’s book, regarding the same concept but from the Taoist perspective. Abstaining from all lustful thoughts and looks, ideas, only making love with my wife every few days, meditating and reading daily, the Bible and the Sutras, abstaining from alcohol, writing every day to keep my creative side alive. I wish I was making music, but for some reason, I find I don’t have much inspiration for that at this moment in life, but it comes and it goes I believe. Some other things I feel I need to do are to start focusing more on my health. I was already exercising every day as a goal, but I stopped about a month and a half back since I got sick with a random and mysterious fever. It would hit me every single day, for about a week and a half or two weeks. I had to gather my strength after those two weeks, so I’ve been eating better, thinking that not eating enough might have something to do with me being weak and therefore susceptible to such fevers. I still haven’t started exercising, but I need to, and I will do so any day now, I’ll start again with my weights and pushups, yoga and jogging around the baseball field which is a block away. Exercise makes you feel energetic, alive, and it keeps us healthy. We all need to exercise a healthy habit of daily exercise! There’s no denying its benefits. And the hardest goal of all, I made a promise to Maria that I would start this month, that I would only smoke weed fifteen days of the month. I didn’t promise this to her because of any pressure on her part, but instead because I knew I’d have to honor my promise to her no matter what, so this would be the perfect way for me to keep feeling accountable for completing this new goal. I’m not taking on this weed goal because I think it’s harmful, but because I feel I’m too attached to staying faded. Nothing should become an attachment in our lives, and if we see that something has, then we need to deal with it, then we can partake in it again in a healthy way. Wish me luck so I can smoke only half the month this month of July (usually I blaze every day)!

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 51.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 30: Hope It’ll All Be Fine.

I’m a bit sick with some kind of mild fever and a jittery feeling of every movement being extra sharp when I turn to a different direction. I had it for a whole week already, about two weeks ago. I don’t know what it could be but I’m thinking I might go see a doctor. At least I’m home and I have my beautiful wife with me. Tomorrow’s her day off, thank God. I also got the last of some real good chronic in a tray, so I’m relaxed, I’m not stressing the sickness for now. I’ve been drinking these pills for it anyway, they really help, but I ran out. Maybe I’ll grab a few packs tomorrow if I still feel shitty. Maria’s cooking up something delicious as always; I don’t know what it is but I know it’ll be good. I need to start eating a lot more because I’ve gotten so skinny that I can’t lift the weights I used to anymore. I guess that week-long fever and excessive sweating had something to do with it. I was waking up in puddles of the stuff. I’m blessed to be feeling much better now to be honest. Health is something one should cherish. I take a hit of the bong, I was reading ‘The Perennial Philosophy’ by Aldous Huxley just now, before I decided to start with my daily writing. I gotta read 17 pages a day at least, of a total of 365, in order to complete the book in three weeks. I’m only up to 150 now, but I’m not far behind. Interesting and inspirational read so far, about halfway through. This morning was great. I had time to pray in the morning, to do my twenty-minute meditation, focusing on breathing or simply being, then I had a good meal with some rice and meat. Sometimes I don’t get so hungry, even with the bud, but I’m gonna start eating more without a doubt, since I definitely need to exercise, and I need to eat good if I want to get fit. I mean, I eat three meals a day, but I guess I walk too much under the sun, as I walk daily to work for about an hour. Maybe my fever issues are related to this. Wondering what to write, I look around and take a huge sip of the big red water bottle beside me, then I close the lid. Water is refreshing, especially when cold. I look the other way, pictures of Maria and I on our wedding day. I think we really lucked out and found the right partner for each other, a great blessing came both our ways for some strange reason, and I had to come back to Honduras to receive it. I look at the time, 10:57 p.m. I should try to live life without looking at the time so much, unattached to schedules and time, yet I have just an hour left to write my daily words, eat, and read a Bible chapter with Maria. I hate to be rigid sometimes, but I really have to work on my self-control. No eating after midnight for me, and I have to do the goals today, not past midnight, entering into the next. Right at the end of the sentence Maria called out to me. In a flash I got to rearranging everything on the table and went to the kitchen to help her bring the plates. We ate a delicious pasta  with chicken and ham in it as well as various vegetables. She made quite a lot of food for both of us, since I’ve mentioned my intentions to eat more and regain my strength to her. I was not so skinny when we met, yet I’ve never been chubby or big. I just gotta get back to base, I guess. I’m really feeling like the time is coming up for me to make music again, to create an album like I used to before. I remember how cool it felt, thinking of the album name and cover, how it would all match with the feel and lyrical content of each of the songs, how they would all flow together. This made me feel alive before, but now it seems harder to write music. I’ve been slowly breaking that barrier down though, in part by taking on this thousand-words-a-day goal. Sometimes I feel a great motivation but then I come down, but I hope this isn’t the case this time. I feel like now is the time to really get back on track. I texted my mom today, who is in Canada, and she told me she would be leaving for the vet shortly, as our pet bird Chico, back at their home, is breathing heavily and not really chirping at all anymore, as if he was depressed. I really hope everything will be alright. There’s another bird who’s in a second cage right beside Chico. Her name is Yellow, and originally we received her, from previous owners, along with Blue. Blue got sick and died a few years after. My mom has a big heart, and it would really hurt if something would happen to Chico. I was fond of those cheerful little birds as well, and of their singing, while I was back at my parents’ home. I hope everything will be alright and that the little bird can heal. I wonder what it could be like if we could speak with the birds, with the animals, if we could understand them and communicate them, would we find ways to enslave them in our wicked system, just as we have done to ourselves, or would we find ways to learn from different species, to co-exist in peace and harmony? Just a thought that crossed my mind, we might be able to ask Chico what exactly he feels, so that we may know if his issue is truly a medical one, or if it is instead a psychological one. What goes on in a bird’s mind, if anything at all?

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 31.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 9: Reading is a Great Hobby.

For the last year and a half I’ve kept up a goal of reading a book every week, or every two weeks, or occasionally a month, depending on how many pages the book has, but usually it takes me a week to read a book of around 150-200 pages. I can honestly say that this long-term goal has greatly impacted me, even in such a short time. Reading is really an amazing thing. The more I read, the more I learn, the more I understand that I barely know anything at all. Before I started this goal, I thought reading was not that useful, that it was better just to live in the moment all the time and learn from experience. Although this is true to a certain extent, everything in life requires balance, and too many people live their lives completely ignorant of many important things that could greatly enrich their life experience. The more books I read, the more topics I want to research, the more books are added on to my list of books yet to read. So far most of my reading has been restricted to the areas of philosophy and spirituality. I do plan to read on many different topics, more secular topics, eventually, but I started out just reading what interests me the most, which is understanding the spiritual nature of the universe, of the world, of life. I haven’t read the Bhagavad Gita, yet a few years ago before I even began this reading goal I did listen to an audio version of ‘The Bhagavad Gita: As It Is.’ The profound wisdom I was able to recognize in it really inspired me to investigate more into Eastern beliefs. I have studied quite a bit about Hinduism and Buddhism, more specifically Advaita Vedanta, and am currently on page 656 of the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda as a result of my initial encounter with The Gita. The works of Swami Vivekananda are a continuous reading for me, along with the Bible and all the Buddhist sutras as well. Vedanta philosophy details very clearly our intimate connection with God and with the whole world, it reminds us that God is the very life within us. I’m not anywhere near ready to settle into any religion or tradition however, and am more interested in investigating the different ways in which the true mystics of all religions really stressed the same message of harmony. Some great books I’ve read regarding this are Nisargadatta Maharaj’s ‘I Am That’, and Rupert Spira’s ‘Being Aware of Being Awareg Aware of Being Aware’. Some other very insightful texts I’ve read are The Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of The Buddha, and the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu’s classic work on Taoism. This is another interesting area of study, and some interesting books on Taoism are Richard Wilhelm’s translation of The Secret of The Golden Flower, with commentary by Jung, and also Mantak Chia’s “Cultivating Male Sexual Energy.” There is another book by Chia which deals specifically with cultivating female sexual energy. I haven’t read it yet but will do so for sure, since the male book definitely opened my mind to a brand new concept. The book talks about how the male sperm, holding life within it in some sense, contains so many things which are beneficial to our physical and mental health, and it also has a spiritual dimension. The energy from the sperm, according to Chia, can be transmuted and guided upwards through the different energy centers of the body. He mentions that this can lead to mystical experiences of unity, as well as intense pleasure for both parties involved, after a prolonged period of love-making without ejaculation. This book has definitely added some extra motivation for me to completely quit watching porn and masturbating. It’s been quite a while since I engaged in either, and I’m super happy to say that, since now sex is something which focuses solely and completely on my wife. Now, speaking of Jung, I haven’t read much of his work, although I do want to get into it. The only book I read from him was ‘Man and His Symbols’, a look at the symbols and the archetypal patterns which rule our subconscious mind, and which are manifested within dreams, and beneath the surface of our everyday lives, in our decisions, in our preferences. This learning definitely put into perspective for me just how much of what we think, say, or do, could be unconscious. We don’t even know the next thought we will think. I feel like psychedelics are a great tool to connect with one’s subconscious, and some great books I’d recommend anyone to read before embarking on their first psychedelic voyage are James Fadiman’s ‘The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide’, Albert Hofmann’s ‘LSD: My Problem Child’, Aldous Huxley’s ‘The Doors of Perception’, and Ram Dass’ ‘Be Here Now.’ The first three books I mentioned are exclusively on psychedelics, but ‘Be Here Now’ is one man’s journey from Harvard psychologist Richard Alpert, to psychedelic pioneer, to spiritual guru who would go on to give thousands of lectures around the work as well as to write many more books. ‘Be Here Now’ is a gem, an honest look into one person’s life, and into questions which we all ask ourselves. A recommended read for anyone, in my opinion. Apart from this, one audio book which I really enjoy by Ram Dass, recorded in his own calm and soothing voice, is ‘The Journey of Awakening.’ Every once in a while I listen to this audio, especially when I’m tripping. It does a great job of guiding one to a state of pure awareness, seeing all of one’s thoughts and emotions as separate, as if they will not break us, because they cannot shake what we truly are. There are too many great books I’ve read recently to mention all of them on this one post, but I just thought I’d mention a few here in case anyone is interested in reading some new books. Currently I’m reading Aldous Huxley’s ‘Island’. I’m only about 30 pages in but I’m enjoying it so far for sure, just as I enjoyed ‘Brave New World.’ I haven’t read any other books by Huxley, apart from the aforementioned ‘The Doors of Perception’, but I do plan to continue reading his books since his literary genius has become obvious to me even from the few books I’ve read by him. Soon I’ll be putting up reviews, or just summaries, or personal thoughts on a lot of the books I’ve been reading, for those who are interested. Until then, stay positive, friends! Find something to read, learn something new or just get lost in an exciting and thought-provoking story in a distant universe! There’s a lot to gain and nothing to lose from it.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 9.

~ Rebel Spirit

FREE E-BOOK: ‘SIDDHARTHA’ (1922), written by Hermann Hesse

SIDDARTHA
‘SIDDHARTHA’
Written by Hermann Hesse, originally in German.
Published in 1922.

‘Siddhartha’ is a simple story of a boy’s struggle and spiritual journey as he finds his way through a life of contemplation and contradiction. This boy, Siddhartha, lived in the time of the Buddha, Gautama himself, and at one point in the story, along Siddhartha’s journey, the two characters meet for a brief moment, and they exchange some words in conversation. Given his first chance to speak, Siddhartha makes sure that Gautama understands that, although he respects his teachings as a venerable master who has personally practiced what he preaches and experienced the ecstasy of enlightenment, he simply cannot be limited by following in any one man’s teaching, for true wisdom cannot be imparted in words, it absolutely must be experienced firsthand rather than expressed by a teacher and understood by a student. This Siddhartha knew without a doubt, and for this reason, he regretted to inform with all due respect that he could not follow in the Buddha’s footsteps along with the other disciples and monks, along with his long-time childhood friend Govinda, his best friend, who had now left him to pursue the monastic lifestyle. Throughout the novel, Siddhartha maintains this idea that it is a must for him to find truth in his own experience rather than in the scriptures and sermons of sages (a fundamental teaching of the Buddha), and this leads him through many experiences, each containing its own lesson for him.

Siddhartha started his life out as the son of a Brahmin, the highest caste in Hindu society, then left that life to wander in the desert with the samanas as an ascetic, alien to the world, trying to achieve complete abolishment of attachment. He eventually reached his goal, but as time passed however, he finally came to embrace the world instead, and somehow found himself immersed in the suffering of sansara. He gradually reached a breaking point which humbled him as he reflected on his whole journey through good and evil, now coming back around to repay him for every wrong and every right. In the end, Siddhartha comes to the realization that the Oneness of God is behind every physical form, and it shines through in absolutely everything, in any and every way imaginable, in every teacher and every teaching. As I read this book I wondered if Siddhartha and Gautama could be separate characters extracted from the Buddha’s identity because the writer intended to showcase a certain trait of the Buddha’s character, or a tenet of his teaching, or perhaps a specific side of human behavior in general, in each of these two characters. Perhaps they were meant to represent the yin and the yang, the light and the darkness, or maybe the passion and the logic, the magic and the monotony, the apparent contradictions which are present within one being – just a few of the many ideas this brilliant book made me think about during the course of reading it.

‘Siddhartha’ was written by German-born author and Nobel laureate in literature Hermann Hesse and published in 1922. A creative soul from the beginning of his life, Hesse was encouraged to read as much as possible by his maternal grandfather Hermann Gundert, a missionary, linguist and doctor of philosophy. His grandfather’s love of reading seems to have been a profound influence for young Hermann, whose focus growing up as a writer was on topics dealing with spirituality and the individual’s search for sanctity. Apart from working in a bookshop which allowed him access to a specialized collection on theology, Hesse’s grandfather also allowed him use of his personal library which contained a vast amount of world literature. Herman Hesse began to feel that he was a citizen of the world, fascinated with world culture, and he wrote and published Siddhartha after a long trip through Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Burma, which provided inspiration for the novel according to Hesse. He was very interested in both Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as other philosophical and spiritual systems, and spent most of his time with books rather than friends. 

There’s not a lot of action or too much adventure in this book, as is expected, seeing as it is more of a philosophical and thought-provoking novel, and at times it incites a surprisingly serene and peaceful mood with its poetically structured phrases and paragraphs. Everything is so thoroughly and delicately described as the author is a master at painting crystal-clear visions in one’s head. I enjoyed this book very much for the way it is able to blend various ideas from Buddhism and Hinduism into a simple but inspiring story of unity. Siddhartha realizes, after much suffering and grief, much joy and much pain, that there is no need to keep searching, as everything we will ever need is already present within us – the key to every locked door, the solution to every problem, the map to every maze we move through during our material existence. Definitely worth a read if you enjoy philosophical and thought-provoking literature. Siddhartha’s adventures conjure up many important ideas to consider about life and our purpose in it.

The original was published in German in 1922, and the English translation I read is by Gunther Olesch, Anke Dreher, Amy Coulter, Stefan Langer, and Semyon Chaichenets. I also read the book in Spanish with my wife, and thoroughly enjoyed it and understood it on a deeper level the second time. Comment if you’ve read it, and read it if you haven’t!

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~
“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” 
~ ‘Siddhartha‘ by Hermann Hesse.

* FREE EBOOK DOWNLOAD HEREHERMANN HESSE – SIDDHARTHA (1922) – WWW.OFFICIALREBELSPIRIT.COM

This Ebook forms part of Project Gutenberg and is in the public domain.