Sunday, February 25, 2018

Finding Balance in an Egoic World

OK. Finally back to “reality,” although I’m not sure it’s the best place to be. Last night was the first time I missed the sunset in a week. Instead, I watched Netflix and ate cheese. This morning was the first time I missed the sunrise in a week. Instead, I woke up in a box blocking out song and sky. As I used the toilet, bathed in a steamy shower, heated the teakettle for coffee, and scrambled some eggs, I couldn’t help but reflect on the differences of day-to-day living between society and its counterpart.

Is life too simplified for us in America? On my adventure, I was able to understand and see clearly that the world is always balanced. This is a fundamental law of reality. Creating simplicity means that we are creating complexity. When we create such ease in one aspect of life, the scales tip in another. While this contrast may be more apparent in other parts of the world, it is important to understand that everything we have means the exact opposite for someone else. The world is balanced, but humanity exists on opposite sides of the spectrum. As this revelation unfolded, the universe led me to a hidden gem existing separate but within the United States. While this was a place that was far from perfect, it was a glimpse of how the middle of this spectrum might be found.

Slab City, the last lawless place in America, is literally without government control or authority. People live where they want and do what they want all the time. If you’re looking for land, then build a tin can perimeter and call it yours. If you want to teach or entertain others, then take the stage. If you want to do drugs openly, then do them and share. You can shoot off guns, read a book, build a house, build art out of trash, or do nothing at all. It’s the Wild West, the sheriff has gone missing, and the people have taken over. The only thing you can’t do is encroach on another person’s property; not because it’s a rule, but because they might get revenge…

With no police or government control comes a sense of community that we don’t find in typical society. Everyone knows each other and each other’s business, and works together to ensure some state of stability throughout the land. Most people who live there are retirees and Leary’s dropouts with no money, no one, and no desire to live in a typically functioning society. This, however, does not mean they are without ambition. Just because they live differently, doesn’t mean they aren’t successful. Just because they don’t have much, doesn’t mean they aren’t happy.

We are told to go to school, get degrees, get a job, buy a car, buy a house, get married, have children, retire, enjoy retirement (if we can), and then have enough financial security to bury ourselves. Obviously this is an extremely generalized thought, a bit pessimistic, and has a wide range of exceptions to each point. Yet, it does seem to be the universal script we read from in the United States. Although these sentiments have been spoken-of before by many, the striking contrast between nature and society is currently on the forefront of my mind. How long will this understanding last? How quickly will I be brainwashed by media and lavish comforts, and join the ranks of marching cogs in the machine? I fear this clarity will become muddied very soon, and when it happens I will probably forget to care.

There is something to be said about living simply and freely. Priorities shift and the pace of the race slows down. Natural problems like where to defecate, how to bathe, where to sleep, and the search for food and water become more important than anything else. With no electricity or media outlet, reality is what is in front of your face. No one has the energy to tell you what to think or how to feel, but if those kinds of topics do arise, it’s an actual conversation rather than a one-way stream of information pouring out of a screen. EVERYTHING is appreciated; from a shredded tire to a free fruit, these are treasures of the triumphant each and every day.

People listen more than they speak. When they do talk, it’s less about the world and more about the moment. Even though healthy food is rare, no one is sick. They are like animals. Everyone is strong enough to endure the elements, strong enough to speak their mind, and strong enough to provide for themselves. If they need money, they trade stuff, recycle cans/scrap metal, or sell art. Everyone is happy and content. No one apologizes or regrets their choices. There is little to no desire for more of anything. And while many people may argue that the renegades are lost, it’s these defectors who have finally found peace.

Coming back, it feels like society is poison for the soul. Everyone seems drained of life and vibrancy. No one seems truly happy. People are blocked from each other, both physically and mentally. A crime happens and people turn away (but then talk about how they could fix it later). People are scared of each other. People judge each other. There are few eyes that meet and smile with ease. There are few hugs with laughter in the streets. And when someone does help another person out, it is so rare that they feel great about themselves for days after. People are wasteful and unappreciative. We expect things from others whom we do not know or care to know. And while we are told which problems to focus on through the media, this poison burns deeper into our minds--dumbing us down--and deeper into our hearts--numbing us up.

I left San Jose in the wake of a terrible school shooting, and have returned to news about arming teachers. At first I thought it was a joke, but quickly realized this is actually what people are talking about. I’m guessing that most people who are advocating this have no idea what its like to be a teacher. Guns are not a solution, but rather reveal the psychology of fear. And fear is not conducive to receiving a proper education.

Whatever. I’m not here to debate such spoon-fed topics. Instead, I’d like to point out the poison that is stifling society and true progress. We are being divided from each other and ourselves. Our innate sense of well-being and power are being stripped. Fear is forcing us inside, into artificial realities, instead of outside with other people and nature. Screens and iconic people are limiting our ability to think about topics other than those we are told to think about. People are supporting people and outlets that spread division, hatred, and lies. People are arguing about things they don’t actually understand until they become too tired or bored to find a solution to the problem. People are working too hard for ends that they don’t understand or care about. We are living in hindsight and failing to act in the moment. When people are this disconnected from themselves, how can we expect them to connect with others?

We are turning our attention away from people in need so that we can focus on conversations about how to help people in need. We are on an ego trip, and our ego is wrecking the rest of the world. When will America slow down and solve the problems at hand before attempting true progress? Likely never. That’s why this issue needs to be tackled every single second by you and me. We need to marginalize the extremes of the spectrum and focus on what’s in front of our faces. There will always be balance, but this doesn’t mean that all the weight can’t rest in the middle, together, and in harmony.

We are told to work toward a better future while those in power line their pockets by raping the land. We are told to help others while those in power turn their backs on people and places in need of real help. We are told to educate ourselves while those in power work to limit our perspectives. When will the people of the United States wake up and stop looking to others to solve the problems we are told we have? When will we start working like a community rather than giving away our power to governments who only want control and money?

Maybe we should slow down and focus on improving what we already have instead of finding fault with ideas that keep us distracted. Maybe we should spend more time in the reality that rests before our eyes before taking on the rest of the world. The pressure of the future is overwhelming. What if it never comes? Maybe our answers can be found in the present, which is why they are doing their darnedest to get us to look anywhere else.

I'm not saying to stop debating and arguing. I'm not saying to overthrow any form of power or control. I'm not saying to disconnect completely. I'm not suggesting any change at all, because if you did everything would still find a balance. I think ALL of it is important and needs to be recognized as such. However, I think that people need to spend more time focusing on the reality in front of them, practice appreciation for all that we have in life, and help those around them before they begin to tackle larger issues that seem to revolve on an unending carousel ride throughout the ages.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Eminent Essay

Have we met?

I'll make you sweat
with heart beating to exhaustion

and you, throwing caution
to the wind...

Did you intend
to prolong our fate?

Increasing self loathing and hate,
I am always on the tip of your mind.

Before long, you find
that you can wait no longer.

In this moment, I'll make you stronger
than you've ever been before.

Dig deep into your core
and know that I am ready.

So write me steady,
across the page,

releasing me from my cage,
into the world, clean or messy--

I am your eminent essay.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Recurring Motifs Surrounding Solar and Lunar Eclipses

This article discusses motifs and themes surrounding solar and lunar eclipses from around the world. The format is designed like a worksheet to help students better understand and follow the material.

Throughout history, eclipses have been a time for reflection.  Use this event as a way of better understanding your place in the cosmos.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dead Banana Bread

My wife said she’d make me banana bread,
so I got it in my head that soon I’d be fed,
but I was misled.

Now, I dread that this newly wed,
has bred false hope, and instead
the idea is in the red.

I pled with my coed,
“You made your bed! Now bake my bread!”
but she fled.

Alas, the last thread of buttery spread,
embedded in my brain has been shredded.
The idea is dead.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dividing Differences

If you're looking for differences, I've got a few.
But to what degree is up to you.
We're all different, so we're the same.
A different name playing a different game.
You, me, we are parts to a whole;
a total much greater than ourselves. 
Yet, I see you where you stand, because here I am.

Down and up, lost and found, and everything in between
are the differences that teach us lessons
and provide purpose in the unknowable experience (experiment?) called life.
Experienced experimenters navigate the oceans consciously.
They see the surface, but know its depths.
Beware of monsters.

Early in the morning, a man rises and prepares for his day.
Later that evening, he goes to bed a completely different person.
At night, he disappears into abstract realms he’ll never remember.
Tomorrow, he’ll try to become something other than he is,
unknowingly creating struggles that will ultimately lead
to greater truths for his life and many others to follow.
Then he dies.

Yesterday, was good. Never forget it,
but do not let it lead you astray today.
Be. Here. Now. This very moment.
Slow down. Breathe. In. Out.
This has never happened before
and it will never happen again.
Let it go and find the next bit of beauty.

"The World is on Fire" -- Mt. Shasta Camping, Hiking, and Meditation

In this video and poem, I share several clips and pictures of my 2017 vacation to Northern California, Mount Shasta Wildlife Reserve.  While there, I went hiking, swimming, and camping around the summits and base of the mountain.  These lyrics are a mix of reflections from several of my meditations.

The world is on fire,
burning with desire
taking humans higher
and ensuring nothing ever stays the same.

Past, future
delusions of the mind,
trapping us in time
and the lower realms of Set;
begetting distractions
which take us out of the now
and puts us into a play,
the game called life.

Knife through the veil
and impale the expectations
of society
with a sobriety of mindfulness
and zen-like focus.

Hocus pocus and magic all around
lucid breeze, earth, and ground
see the dream for what its worth,
but recognizing that birth and death
are but a flash in our soul’s existence
and soon you will become awakened and see
that the world is on fire--
inspiring perpetual change,
and a shattering of concepts
to those who choose to burst into flames.

Self and its shell 
our earthly vehicle
so the Merkaba of light,
soul’s interdimensional flight
can be experienced once again.

Until then,
the dark night of our soul’s journey
through the cosmos
and all planes of existence,
the upward spiraling experience
is YOU!
You rainbow warrior of light
hanging out in the badass sector
of the Milky Way at night.

Saying no to evolution,
as visionaries who see the simulation,
and carefully inspire the matrix.

A planet of listless zombies,
the lost and blind,
fueled by Hunger Games
and the norms and forms
of economies
which create skull drudgeries
and monotonous routines
making life seem stale.
But, in reality, the Holy Grail,
is here,
the promise of immortality,
is now,
is in the moment,
for the totality of creation
is happening all around,
pouring forth from source
into your heart, a part of it all.

Like a cascade of currents
washing downstream
and over the slick surface
of sanded stone
we are one in the river
and one again after the fall.
Serj Tankian calls it home.

You, me, we.
Him, her, us, them, it.
Source it’s all.

For a moment,
our decent is silent
as we explore withdrawal,
but life is short
and we will merge as one
in a new world
promised to humanity
that is coming very, very soon.

Until then, tune into the perfume of here,
whether we’re on a mountain
or near a fountain,
in a stream or in a dream,
hiding away in a nook
or absorbed in a book,
enlightenment is found all around.

A zen master once said that
there are no enlightened beings,
only enlightened actions.

A master’s practice is rapturous
every day, from dawn til dusk
and beyond
until the world dissolves
and all evolve.

So, let’s dance,
like flames that rise and fall,
spark up and douse out,
igniting what once was,
shedding light on the now,
and creating space for the future
because of one word and one word only:

the reason for this slow burn
that takes billions of years
is a series of lessons
guiding us toward divinity,
and impermanence.

It helps us understand
the meaning of life,
it’s why we exist,
it’s where we came from
and where we are going:

Unconditional LOVE.
God’s way
to nurture us during our metamorphosis
amidst Genesis and Tribulations,
until we are ready to come home
and create something similar
as adults,
children of God,
and creators of the Universe.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pink Pillars

What do we find when we look deep in our mind?
Reality is a vibrational and energetic relationship
that allows us to slip into subconscious dreamscapes
so that we can play out the lives of teens and tots,
moms and lots of cool cats that know this and that.
Let go your focus, and see the pink pillars permeating space.