Wednesday, November 30, 2016
While I don't believe the same things that she does, I understand her perspective. Discussing this with my partner, she seemed shocked that people really hold onto the concept of heaven. "Yeah, it's basically a scheme where you live this narrow life and most likely suffer in trade for your wildest dreams. Or something like that" I replied. After a pause she mused "it's like they want to have the same life forever". That's when the lightening struck.
"God graciously granted you life" so you feel like it's right to fight for life because "that's what god wants you to do". Essentially it's giving survival instinct a story to feel good about fighting to keep the ego intact. That of course is taken to the max with the idea of Heaven because that's eternal life and you can't get any better than infinity right? So they plod on in the course that feels like they are punishing themselves enough for "God" to approve. Our upbringing determines much of our view of god leading some people to much more extreme interpretations of the "word of god". What does this all have to do with ego?
Ego is the concept of one's self and literally is Latin for "I" - our personality, bodies, family etcetera etcetera. Religion states that we are separated from god and are his creations, each one unique. It's this uniqueness and separateness that empowers belief systems like Christianity. When everything is connected and you believe that consciousness is god, matter, the universe, an illusion as some philosophies teach -then you lose the need for all the things that religion promises. If you are already eternal as conscious energy then there really is no reason to get attached to a form because you are constantly growing and evolving as nature does. The interconnectedness of things also removes the need for strict moral codes because any violence committed is ultimately against ones self. Heaven and the "narrow path that leads to life and few there be that find it" becomes useless with only a shift in perspective to acknowledging that you are not your ego. At that point you don't need to hold onto it because who cares?
What happens when we die? I couldn't tell you for certain nor do I care any more. I told my children this past weekend that I could prove to them with their Bible that an eternal hell is a contradiction because no child should have that shit crammed into their head! If sin is what separates you from "God" and "love covers all sins" according to Proverbs 10:12, then how can any reasonable person argue that hell could be eternally separated from god? It's asinine but it give the ego something to cling to because that's what the ego does - tries to survive usually revved up by the perpetual fear of the unknown. If your ego is steering the ship and it doesn't feel safe you aren't going to sleep too well until you find something that sets your mind at ease.
I was astonished at how it had been staring me in the face this whole time and I didn't realize it - the difference between religion and spirituality really is ego or no ego.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Friday, November 4, 2016
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
"Perfect love has no fear, because fear has torment" 1st John 4:18
Yeah, sometimes I quote scriptures in the raps that I spit - I've got a proclivity to use any source of wisdom but only if the context is like good sex, a perfect fit.
Don't be embarrassed, it's how we all got here - Song of Solomon "her breasts are like pomegranates" - bet that book you steer clear. / "Steers and queers" probably the only things Texans fear (that and Mexicans of course) - bible in one hand, assault rifle on the other, cocked - pumped, ready to fuck you up - no homo of course.
Hell, I don't mean to offend, I'll try to hardly curse in what I've got to say about love in the upcoming verses / versus offending your sensibilities with words you consider sin, easily penetrating insecurity's thin skin / walls up, shut down obliterating potential - growth splattered on a flexible shield of comfortable denial - misconception like a magnum - converting live rounds into blanks - aborting the future, baby thrown out with the bath water - Westborough shark tank.
Before you shut me off, let me pregunta you a bit my friend - why does my perspective on a bunch of words get you so easily offend-ed? / Is god so small that it needs you to come to its defense? "I am a jealous God" had no problem directly slaying "his enemies" - swallowing them inside a trench. - Numbers 16
My choices are not a personal attack against you, unless you've chosen to look at everything slightly skewed - intentions misconstrued. Does fear creeps in when encountering things that counter your beliefs, ask yourself where is the love - it's not there banishing fear so by the standard of your own bible, you're not measuring up - cup half empty - even when it overruns it's not enough.
Reacting in hatred, anger and rage - the demon fear's supporting actors tormenting the stage / lashing out out of doubt, warped minds / feeling justified in judging "evil rappers disrespecting what's sacred in every one of their rhymes".
Planking - like hatred an idiotic fad / unless you're Plank lengthing - experimenting with laser beams / get the beam out of your eye and you'll see those motes you judged in others eyes were always a reflection of the log protruding from you - believed lies.
Quit judging, love yourself, leave the fear behind - "he who is without sin, may cast stones from behind this line" / stop thinking, just listen, to these words not of my mind - from my heart, to the lungs, vocal chords and finally tongue - speaking my truth one beat at a time.
"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" - Luke 6:45
I know you tune out, turn down, skip town when I let loose a string of f-bombs that seem indiscriminately thrown around - dropped like a moose munching in your zen garden while dropping a fucking deuce. / oops, another one slipped - did it burn down you're World? Nuke all the living? force the rapture, "split the sky like a scroll?" - impossible! Remember "no man knows the day or the hour"? / Know man, know woman - those bombs are just duds, sabots for whatever payload you concoct up. / That's Spanish for "with cock" - just kidding, just another chance to take a stab, bare knuckled jab - don't start bawling, I ain't brawling - nothing personal it's just my nature, a mindless baller, living in change forgetting the paper, - believing in love that it never fails - it's nature.
Thanks for your patience, if you're still with me, patience is part of love, a characteristic of this trans dimensional being, trans-porting like a trans am - sexy, I am not trans-sexual but why do you care what I am? Bless me / None of us stay in the same body, change shoes / experiencing different perspectives - transubstantiation, change views - death a fitting fitting room, tie a tie around your neck, hang up the old you /
"kindness, gentleness, not easily provoked", not trying to make you mad, just going with the flow / egos like soap bubbles, fragile as they float - uncomfortable words easily shatter just takes a poke - really, it's not that serious, I bet by now even Jesus has laughed at a few crucifixion jokes.
Stigmata, means nada - genuinely hoaxing life / an oxymoron unwittingly demonstrating the power of the mind / nailed through the hands? close but no cigar - affixed through the wrists - historically proved sincere beliefs - fraud / artistic license with the facts - fictitious portrayals of their lord accepted as authentic, genuinely infallible divine design / swallowing the bullshit whole, baby teeth can't chew - choking on the truth - hack it up or it hacks you / impressing suggestible minds like wax - mastering the narrative, spinning them up, creating reality with each stroke, the stylus struck, stuck - in a groove, Groundhog Day, a sample life - playing a programmed loop.
"As a man thinks in his heart, so he is" - Proverbs 23:7
Trapped by the pursuit of making a name, looking to others to validate - valedictorian, feels great. But for how long? Dead space.
Dispel insecurities - fuck the fame / don't want fans fanning the flames, stoking an ego I'm working to change.
Idolizing figures, is a disservice at best - at worst you're like Stan - driving off a bridge, Eminem tattooed on his chest.
Statues don't grow, only weather with age, a figment of the past, captured but never accurate today.
Charity seeks not its own, it already found it's self, tapped into the internal well of will - artesian, love automatically pours out.
But that doesn't mean you become their supply, gotta "work out your own salvation" - you have the power, can't hurt trying to fly - throw yourself at the ground and miss - quoting a more modern scripture, wisdom from a Galactic Hitchhiker.
Extract the truth, take apart the defense - like unethical council exposed - the cage disbarred - cleared of all offense. / Quit prosecuting yourself for what you did in the past, love who you are - where you are dictated now by conscious vibration relative to how fast the others pass. / it's all relative - that's the ultimate truth, there is no "one way" except to accept we are all one - same crew.
Rough love - ain't the same as tough love -just another angle of - perspective, on infinity. / what boundaries you put up, to be respected of, enforcing with no gloves, gotta quit pulling punches. / you get beat up to learn, you got a lot to learn - it's not sadistic uh - just the evolutionary process of becoming better beings.
Take my friend named Charity, she ain't a charity - she's such a rarity - only reflecting me - she never failing me.
"Charity never fails, whether there be prophecies - they will fail / whether there be tongues - they will cease / whether there be knowledge - it will vanish away. For we know in part and prophesy in part but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away". - 1 Corinthians 13:8
Prophecies fail, knowledge might cease - that means what you believe might could be wrong or outdated at the least - the only thing to which you can solidly count on - love and peace. / I love shaking things up, challenging myself to grow the pluck up, start writing shit down, help spread the love around.
Addicted to my diction, words give my soul shoes, walking around making tracks, you can follow for a spell if you choose. / please keep in mind as I wind down this rhyme, that you can never indefinitely follow another person - your sitting idling time / no growth just a fan blade spinning around a fixed point developing only a whine - wearing out over overtime.
Be fresh, like "steadfast love" brand new every morning - find acceptance in the air you inhale then exhale, pass it on.
Deaglan Forrest Quinn, I'm stepping out / the collective consciousness has no name - I AM, present - infinity the present we all live out.
I thought about how I eat - mostly like a Mike Mulligan's steam shovel Mary Anne. There is little enjoyment of what I am ingesting and any gratefulness is perfunctory. Scientific studies have shown that plants actually do have consciousness to some degree or another and react to threats or violence to themselves or other life. Supposedly if you thank your food for its sacrifice (like many native cultures do) the nourishment accept it's fate with something akin to peace. Call this hippy bullshit but isn't appreciation actualized through respect as you take the time to soak in all the elements of life that came together for you to enjoy something?
At work there is an entire department devoted to keeping a table stocked with various snacks all day. I've noticed that when I am bored or stressed, I mindlessly scarf down all kinds of food. My belly gets full but my mind only temporarily is satiated. I've found that as I slow down and actually chew my food, I can take the time to appreciate and be grateful for all that was necessary for me to have this experience. The incredible miracle that life is, the labor, knowledge, machinery etc required to bring these things to me - it's incredible if you stop to think about it. When we feel lacking in some way, we try to fill ourselves up. It's like a car with a broken gas gauge, stuck on empty, hard not to overflow when filled up.
This applies not just to food but to all of life. Are you thinking about the future trying to rush through daily interactions such as conversing with other humans so that you can get to what you "really enjoy" and then rush through that? We need to savor everything, even pain, because otherwise we're missing the point of life. Stop for a minute and close your eyes (after you've read this section) and allow yourself to accept that you are everything you need. Love yourself and the life you are living - it's a choice. Everything can change as you accept that anything is possible. Take in a deep breath and then slowly exhale. As you draw in air realize you are literally filling up with energy provided by the universe. Then as you exhale, release the vision of how you see yourself through your breath, not as you are now but as you can be. Now you can close your eyes and try.
Each respiration is a victory - another moment that you have been a part of. Slowing down and thoroughly chewing the little morsels life provides, we can extract much more joy and peace than was previously realized. It's all right there, you just have to tune in. There is no more over indulging in an attempt to drown out that aching need and fear. You are enough and everything else is a bonus that should be shown it's proper respect.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
I told my children that I was going to be in Peru for six weeks and they didn't say much. Later that week I was informed that they had been reading the story of Paddington Bear and when he said he came from the "deepest, darkest Peru" they all found quite it amusing. "That's where Daddy is going". While I was gone a dear friend emailed to say he was praying for me because Peru had much spiritual darkness. Apparently Peru has a wrap that I was unaware of but I would love to share my experience with you of something different - possibly proof that experience is what you make of it.
From a physical standpoint, the jungle is very dark. The Andes mountains blots out the sun as it sets in the west causing night to set in around 6:30. This coupled with the prolific canopy creates a pitch blackness on nights when the moon is hidden or obscured by clouds. Despite these facts, the forest is teeming with life and there is a great sense of peace.
*the following descriptions of people are purposefully vague so as to protect their privacy.*
How Did This Happen? - New Year
I like to think of myself as cautiously wild - meaning I love to discover new things after doing my due diligence, researching to determine the risk factor. Like Niki Lauda in the movie Rush, I find it stupid to take over a certain factor of risk but also am totally willing to do what many people deem "crazy". The night in the desert was magical in every way possible and at one point I had a sense for the first time that there was my consciousness and then there was my mind. They were not one and the same. Due to the proximity I had allowed through years of ignorance, it was like those little toys people keep on their desks with all the ball bearings hung from wires demonstrating transfer of energy. I realized that all I needed to do was find some separation from what my mind was perceiving so that my heart wouldn't be constantly beaten up. This was much easier conceptualized than done but it gave me a glimmer of a better life - one of peace.
Before I dive into the rest of this I want to make a statement: numerous people who heard about where I was going commented on how lucky I was and how they wished they could do that. I hadn't left yet but as it got closer to being a reality, I realized how easy the whole thing actually had been. When people would make these comments I started wanting to say "you can", but I hadn't actually proven it to myself yet. I don't mean this is a cocky way just matter of fact - you totally can do anything if you have a clear vision and proper frame of mind. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and the entire thing seemed like a distant dream that was impossible. I kept having to release the understanding of how it was all going to work out, while learning to just do my best and trust. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of the potential for life but I want to assure you that what you think is impossible is only impossible because you believe it to be.
Initially I had planned to hang out in the Lima airport for twelve hours till my connecting flight to Puerto Maldonado but after going through customs I realized that was probably a stupid idea if not impossible. The airport gave me ten minutes of free WiFi allowing me to check in with my partner and ask if she could locate a hostel nearby. She sent a screen shot of one a mile or so away and then the connection promptly terminated. As I stepped out onto the curb into a completely foreign world I was overwhelmed. Taxi drivers began an overwhelming chorus of shouting trying to solicit me which is something I cannot stand. My instinctive defense is to just said "no" then ignore / put distance between me and the peddlers. Not only does if give me space to think for a minute, it also sets up the idea that I'm not going to be pushed around by them. I began trying to figure out how to walk out of the airport and let me just make an observation: airports seem to be designed to discourage pedestrian traffic probably because most of them are in shitty parts of town. My frugality and lack of comfortability in the world had gotten the better of me a few times and that was the night to learn to let it go.
Hostel Hostel, Where Are You?
I stayed outside on the curb and began smoking a cigarette. First class flight to this cluster fuck. I am out of my depth. My thoughts were interrupted when a man who had been sitting in the lobby came outside and started talking to me. I guess because he seemed to have pretty good English I was more than happy to talk to him. He asked a few questions and then got down to business "do you like marijuana?" Uhhh, WTF? "How much is it" I asked, curious. "You can smoke in your room" he said not wanting to have the conversation out on the sidewalk "come on, lets go up there". I should have just ended it right there and gone to bed but for the longest time I was living under the delusion that I was being polite when I was just lacking a spine. Up I'm the room he began listing prices. "That sounds expensive, no thanks". I begin looking for an exit strategy. "What about coke? I can get you coke and there is a very beautiful woman in the next room". OK, so now within five minutes I suddenly am being offered the entire playground. I've never been "wild" would it really matter to just do it once? For a second I visualized it and was totally turned off by the prospect. The whole point of the trip was to grow not muddle my mind with self gratification. "No thanks!" I said as firmly as possible. "I can have the coke and weed here by 8 tomorrow" he pressed. "I'm good. Not interested". He looked annoyed and left the room. I figured that was the last of it and went to bed.
Arriving In the Jungle - Not Close to Arrived
My short time in PM revealed that my Spanish really sucked and what is considered passable food is generally pretty awful. By the time we got to the retreat center (an additional 45 minute - 1 hour trek through the jungle after the boat ride, carrying my severely over packed army duffel bag) I was quite dehydrated and very hungry. That coupled with some anxiety of spending the next month with people I didn't know and in a strange environment threw me for a bit of a loop. For the next few days while we set up I felt like my brain was in a fog. While attempting to hang up a hammock with a knot I use nearly every day at work, I found myself standing there just staring at the rope dumbfounded. One foot in front of the other and don't think about the whole journey was my motto. Eventually I remembered how to tie the knot.
You might be wondering why I'm giving all of the details that seem to be ancillary to the journey with Ayahuasca in the jungle. As I've come to accept, everything is an opportunity to learn and grow if we maintain a conscious awareness of the "coincidences" in life's daily events. It's not just about ingesting something to alter your state of consciousness. One of the retreat staff members reminded me when I made a comment about the "upcoming first ceremony" - she said "your ceremony has been going on since you got here", and it was true. I only told few people the complete nature of my trip because I didn't feel like dealing with negativity. A couple said "so you're going to do drugs in the jungle? Call it what it is man." While another friend felt that Ayahuasca was a short cut, the lazy man's road to spirituality (if there is such a thing). Everyone is entitled to their opinions but I assure you, if you look at it as medicine instead of "getting fucked up" or "tripping your balls off" in a recreational sense, your intentions will be met. These ceremonies aren't for everyone but it is work and the medicine reciprocates your intentions. It's not just about the moments you drink a cup of nasty tasting sludge but bringing the rest of your life into a different light.
- Be Impeccable With Your Words - Recognize the power of your words. Meaning what you say. Saying what you mean. When you don't make other people have to guess, or outright lie - you start to accept who you are because you are being honest with yourself when you are honest with the world. Reality is a mirror of what we put out there to it. If you want to grow, it will show you how to deal with your problems but you have to accept they are there before you can grow into a better version of yourself. Dishonesty stunts and protracts our growth.
- Don't Take Anything Personally - Everyone has shit they are dealing with and assuming that you are somehow that important to someone else's universe or conversely say that their opinion should bear weight in your life is either very arrogant or very unempowering. Obviously this isn't saying that you don't have empathy for someone being upset with you if you do something injurious to them - that's how we grow, from the feedback. It's just helping you realize where the lines should be drawn by doing unto others as you would have them do to you. Instead of taking a negative view of yourself and everyone else, with the positive perspective - you are taking the feedback and growing as you quit looking at other people with judgement and anger because you know that as you respect yourself, you automatically respect others. Self respect is different from narcissism because it is based in not requiring fulfillment from others having tapped into it depth within. Narcissism is based out of a vortex void spun up by insecurity sucking all of the energy out of everyone around them. *This of course should only be construed as my interpretation and lessons learned from the book and should not be misconstrued as the author's point of view or sentiments. It's a fantastic book that you should read for yourself.*
- Don't Make Assumptions - This agreement helps you put the second one into action. When you don't make assumptions, you short circuit the programming of your past. Living in your past, as a book I will mention later - You Are the Placebo - says, is what ultimately keeps us bound, from evolving - transforming. Living in the moment, being aware of the past but not living in it knowing you have the power to make choices in your life - allows other people to grow as you do because you are now getting an accurate reflection. Most of what we feel from other people, we actually hold against ourselves which empowers the hurt "from the outside". Having a direct line into the past creates a port for negativity to dock and download an entire shit storm on you that may be completely in your own mind. When you quit assuming what other people mean and instead share how you feel and ask if it's accurate, it shines a light on the true state of affairs.
- Always Do Your Best - For those people worried that this is a book to spawn sociopaths, the last agreement puts that in check through admonishing to "always do your best". Best meaning in the pursuit of the most self sustaining version of yourself which precludes doing harm to others.
A universal consensus on anything is going to be essentially impossible to find. You can't please everyone and usually when you try, you just piss off the lot. So who's opinion should be valid on what is good enough from you? Your's alone should be simply because you have to live with the consequences.
Another volunteer showed up the second week to offer her training in Chinese medicine to the staff members as her service. I had only experienced acupuncture once before but was looking forward to seeing what would happen. In the intake I was asked numerous questions including if I was feeling any of the emotions listed. Sadness popped out so I mentioned it and was told that I would receive a needle to help release that. Not knowing what to expect, I just laid there quietly after all the needles were installed and the woman left the room. The next thing I knew, I felt tears welling up in my eyes and was a little embarrassed but since I was alone, I let a few slip. After about 20 minutes she returned to check on me and I mentioned about the tears trying to be nonchalant. "Oh I forgot to mention that might happen. It's totally normal and okay" she assured and then left the room again. The words felt like a permission to let it out and as soon as I was alone, I felt like sobbing but nothing came out. My chest was quivering and I was breathing short sharp breaths. I would later discover that even my breathing, a subconscious act, was being stifled and controlled by my past.
Many different purges are available through natural medicines but I had the pleasure of experiencing Wancahuisacha. Google it, I doubt you'll come up with anything. Which isn't too say "ooh, look how hipster" but to point out that these people know things that most people have no clue about. My roommate and I both drank a tea cup full of liquid sitting in the Maloka and then waited for 20 minutes. After the time for metabolizing was past, we began to methodically drink cups of water giving our empty stomachs something to expel and I presume, dilute the acid. It took me forever to vomit anything up but when I did, it was a lot. Honestly, I don't know what it did for me except further reveal my resolve to heal and go forward on this path.
All that I had seen and learned from the first two ceremonies rather filled me up and while I totally didn't think I had arrived, I wasn't sure where to go from there with my intentions. I felt much more at peace and extraordinarily grateful so I asked one of the organizers if it was okay to just have an intention of "being open to whatever else I may need to learn right now?" "That's totally fine" I was assured so I went into the third ceremony simply to just be there and see what would happen.
After the last ceremony where I sat crosslegged for 6+ hours, I decided to cut myself a little slack an hour or so in and laid down since I wasn't seeing anything anyway and just rest in the moment as it was. Maybe I had been pushing my personal work too hard and I shouldn't run myself ragged - I reasoned. The truth was this also served as a defense mechanism against being frustrated that other people seemed to have these crazy experiences during ceremony and I felt shut out somehow. Several hours in I felt prompted to sit up. Once I did a thought came - maybe you just have to try to see. Kind of like opening your eye lids. Well it was worth a shot, so I focused my energy on mentally looking. Lots of faint images started flashing by but too dark and too fast to understand. Despite trying to avoid it, I began felling incredibly frustrated and started to question. Was there something wrong with me? Did the universe have something against me?
Suddenly I noticed green on the other side of the filter that obscured my mental imagery. While I couldn't make out any clear details, I had a strong impression that it was the Mother Ayahuasca I'd heard people talk about. As I tried to find more definition and ask why I only hear silence, and see things dimly, I noticed that there was unfiltered light spilling in as if under a door and around the edges from gaps in the door frame. In an instant, I realized that I was living inside immense walls that I had constructed to keep parts of myself safe even from myself. She wasn't going to beat down my doors, she was waiting to be let in. I felt the respect that real love gives instead of trying to force it's own agenda. There wasn't a rush to perfection, there is no such thing - only growth. True love doesn't force itself on you because it knows you will get it eventually: love is patient, love is kind, love is not proud... finally made a lot more sense to me.
That was pretty much the entire message of the ceremony for me until I sat there for a few hours and wrote a piece called Consciousness Revoluting. Just knowing that I don't have to be afraid of being overrun, used and manipulated helped calm down my mind and heart a lot setting the groundwork to receive more in the future. I was being shown the love that was there for me but was refusing to receive for myself from myself.
You Are the Placebo
Somewhere around this time (09/29/16), I began reading You Are the Placebo and became engrossed. If I wasn't working, I was probably reading that book. Growing up in a quasi-penticostal household, I had been told that God did miracles, but the specifics were a bit fuzzy and though I heard "eye witness reports" of such miracles, I never had seen one for myself. There have been some events in my life that I couldn't explain except to dismiss it as a coincidence, but never anything like bones growing back. The book cites study after study where the power of the placebo effect is demonstrated, and then draws parallels between the technique and how believers of different faiths do "super human feats".
The crux of what I have been learning recently is that we have more power than we want to accept because it makes us responsible. If we accept authority for our lives it seems to open the door to hate ourselves more if we fail when going against the tide. At least before you could blame it on something else - other people being shitty, "it's just the way life is" etc. Taking responsibility is the first step to looking in the mirror because you have to be willing to face yourself completely. After you've quit fearing the reflection and realize the opportunity for growth and change, you can start to making different decisions with confidence because your beliefs have shifted as your source of contentment has moved back inside yourself.
When you go to a strange environment, with people you don't know - there is a tangible atmosphere of everyone sizing up their companions right off the bad. Some kind of Lord of the Flies type shit - but on purpose - maybe we get off on it, who knows. This human propensity to analyze and categorize each other is what reality TV uses as the clay to form a story from. As soon as we got on the boat I was scanning, and I think it's a safe bet to say everyone else was as well. In fact four weeks in, my roommate read what he had written about his initial impression of me. Things like "stoic, guarded, controlled" are the impression I gave off which is more or less what I've tried to be in the past.
It came up in conversation because I was putting into practice not being aloof and guarded as much and had initiated a dialogue in the kitchen during a rain storm. Your posture signals a lot about you as a person but most people seem to over look that. On the boat that first day, and then every day since then, I had noticed his exceptional posture as part of my daily tickertape personality analysis of everyone - but it was also inspiring. Growing up with former military parents, I was ragged on a lot about my posture but when I tried, it physically hurt to stand up straight. Recently I've come to see how my body and mind / heart are a reflection of each other and sometimes the change needs to be fought for on the outside before the inside accepts it. My outside was just reflecting my mental perception of me and now that my perspective has changed, my body needs to be brought into alignment with that. How would someone who had nothing to hide or be ashamed of - who accepts themselves and is kind, how would they cary themselves? I have a picture in my mind and it's one that I have to practice everyday till it becomes natural.
Changing how you stand, changes how you see the world. Think about this, why do photographers go to extreme angles, or vary the height period? It's to say something different, "put it in a different light". I was told a while back by someone who loves me very much and I couldn't get offended by - that I looked like a velociraptor with my big head hung out on my long neck. Not painting a very attractive picture. As I found what it felt like to change how I carried myself, I realized that it made me look at life more straight on instead of with my head hung down peering up at it. The pain in my neck was from the stress of being afraid to look life in the eye - fear and avoidance of mental pain manifested a physical pain. Pain is simply a signal that gets your attention to further your growth as you leave attachments to things that never remain behind.
My buddy had stated at one point that he felt like he didn't have much to offer as far as talents - to which I could relate. Hell, in the first week when they asked if we had any skills that we would want to teach a class on, my mind was a gaping blank spot. What could I teach anyone? Ironically after not being able to remember how to tie a knot the first days in camp, I eventually taught a class on five different knots. It went quite well and was fun! While the rain poured down that afternoon, sitting in the kitchen, I shared that I had been inspired by his example of good posture and that some times it's the simple things that can have a profound impact. There really is a lot that can be said for leading by example. You don't have to force anything on anyone, in fact that's never going to work, the best thing is get your own house in order and let that cast whatever influence it may.
I don't mean to wax long about posture but it really struck me how profound something so simple as someones persistent posture can say and potentially inspire. I used to be so spun up on having to "change the world" because religion doesn't accept it's own self. Now I've seen how just being me, constantly refining and growing is the best thing I can do for myself and my world. I am way more conscious of my own posture and in turn my body which I felt completely uncomfortable in for years.
My intention for this ceremony was to step out of the walls I had seen the green light on the other side of. I wanted to experience this presence I had heard others describe as pure love. Sounds nice right? Instead what I got hit once again with was a barrage of visions where the programmed subconscious past was fighting to remain alive. To have a lasting help beyond a fish for a day, I needed to learn how to fish for myself. It's really not so much like fishing but more like target practice.
The bible teaches that "the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked..." and I was taught to doubt my own heart / intuition leading to a shut down of the ability to trust myself and make a decision. For the past few years as I've read about unattachment and discovered that if you focus on growth it negates the fear of doing evil because it's counter productive. Part of the lesson in growing is that what you need should come from inside of you. Looking for fulfillment from others creates imbalance because it creates a giving / taking relationship that can flip flop back and forth instead of a giving / giving relationship where there is no neediness. My intention to have an experience even wanting to heal was a bit of a weak desire because I still wasn't willing to give to myself what I wanted from another. I don't get any easy road - that was the message. Instead of being annoyed, I'm grateful because I know that the harder the lesson, the more valuable the experience.
Fifth Ceremony - Facilitating
Having done a ceremony only a couple of days before, I was surprised by the opportunity coming available for me to participate in that evening's ceremony. I elected to maintain space and drink symbolically as an effort to facilitate the experience for others. The secondary intention was to send love and forgiveness to my mother. She had been on my mind a bit that day and it just felt like what I should do. Only drinking a tiny amount, I wasn't sure if there were going to be any effects so I just sat there meditating on my intention, attempting to visualize it. I saw my mother as a vehicle for my consciousness to have another go around at this life. She is another portion of consciousness who is just growing as best they know how. Suddenly I had compassion and felt like chains were melting off with the realization of the break in her power over me. It's like being an elephant restrained by a very small rope through programming but eventually realizing that rope is like wax.
Facilitating provided some unique opportunities to learn more about not taking things personally (getting shot as a messenger), but also how better to handle interpersonal conflicts. When you realize that life wants to build you up, it changes your perspective on conflicts or "difficult" experiences.
The Celestine Prophecy
You Are the Placebo finished, I had time left to read one more book before heading home. Two recommendations for The Celestine Prophecy from different people made me take notice. Being fiction it won out as something fun to read instead of lots of scientific or spiritual mumbo jumbo like what I had been reading. The trip was winding down and despite feeling like we had been there forever and longing for home, it also felt like it had somehow flown by. I wanted to maximize the last week and reading something light helped in many ways.
The book was apparently all the rage in the 90s but I'd never heard of it. You go on an adventure with the protagonist who is introduced "by chance" to the first part of a nine part Mayan prophecy, heads to Peru to try and find out more. Each section of the prophecy that is found and discussed throughout the book is summarized for the readers. The more I read, the more surprised I became at how amazingly well this whole trip and life, really, had gone - this book was putting lots of pieces together for me.
With each successive book, I was introduced to ideas in new ways, ways I was able to finally accept. They all laid a foundation for a framing crew to spring forward on. The Celestine Prophecy was speaking loudly and clearly to my process right up till the end of my time...as in forever. I'm not going to discuss what is in the book because if you are interested, you can read it for yourself. I've had books come my way at just the right moment so I trust that the universe can do the same for you.
During the staff meeting at the beginning of the last week, the opportunity for ceremony participation was discussed because space was somewhat limited. I had already decided that I was willing to do one more (preferably the last one before heading out) but was okay if there weren't any more opportunities - I had received a lot already. Without having to say anything it all fell together where I was assigned to the last ceremony of the season. Several books had impressed on me the importance of meditation and I felt like I needed to meditate on what I had learned for the week before my last ceremony. Each day felt special as I now watched for the reflections and lessons, seeing perfection in the natural unfolding.
The afternoon of that last day, we had a group acupuncture session with ear needles. If you think acupuncture is weird, you should check it out - super fascinating. Essentially the ear is viewed as an inverted fetus and there are points in your ear that correspond to what they are on the small scale version. The Holographic Universe talks about it some as part of the fractal nature of holographs. Once the needles were installed, we sat in silence meditating for about twenty-five minutes. I'll spare you the sequence of thoughts that led me to the realization, but as I sat there with needles in my ears, it dawned on me how much I have to accept myself. This might sound like a broken record but it's more like it's a message that keeps playing and is gradually becoming much more clear. Until I get it, I'm not moving on to the next thing. What I focus on and how I view myself is how my reality operates and I have the ability to change that by changing my mind and finding the energy and love I need inside of myself. Any time you start looking for it from outside of you, that's when "evil" starts happening. This message was being drilled into me.
In the very first ceremony I ever participated in I had a vision where all the evil that humanity does comes from not feeling whole as you are and that need for external filling creates a vacuum pulling in the knowledge of good and evil. If you believe in reincarnation, you know that the concept is that we experiences all positions on the wheel of life. But why do we do this to ourselves? Seems like torture. Christians talk about a "god shaped hole" in your heart which is why you "feel empty inside". The problem is that this god usually takes on someone else's voice and opinion through wholehearted assertion on what the proper interpretation of "the scripture" is. How would you know if you met the "one, true god"? Would you just accept the words of something, even if it "magically" appeared to you without any kind of proof? I mean I would sit up and take notice but just because something spectacular and "inexplicable" occurs, that doesn't mean it's correct. Many native people took whites for gods when they arrived on their shores only to find out that god was a lust filled, insecure man lacking in empathy. Gods rise and fall based on your knowledge and experience. Who is god in my life? I am but with the understanding that so are you, and so are we all. The only thing bigger than each of us is all of us. Externalizing god makes it something distant and subjectively attainable. It's easy to tell someone god doesn't approve of them when god is a figment of their imagination. If we are part of the whole then anything we do has an effect on everything else and what we do to others we do to ourselves. That's why I keep mentioning reflections. You may choose to not believe it but the Universe serves up what your mind wholeheartedly believes. Eventually though I think everyone sees things differently and grows never leaving things without hope. It's not a one shot deal like Christianity would have you believe.
As I focused my intention on completely accepting myself in ceremony, I was once again confronted with segments of my past trying to sit there feeling sorry for themselves. A couple of times I started to get dragged into it but remembered the opportune words spoken to me just before ceremony - "don't dig in the past. That can be an addiction". I realized that the whining and poor me bullshit was actually just a control drama to avoid having to take responsibility. Battling these visions, I realized how much of a disservice it was to be stuck in the past and that there was no time to be sorry for myself any more. I have accepted that I may have chosen this life to learn something. It's like taking a really tough college class and then having your memory totally wiped. I don't think that everything is planned out but is based on what we believe moment to moment and no matter what the circumstances, there is always room to grow and evolve.
This last ceremony was like a perfecting garnish on the time in the jungle, tying up many questions and revealing new paths. It was bitter sweet to pack up and go hike that 5k to the river but to everything there is a season, and growth cannot happen being stuck in the same place forever so leaving to go home was also part of the journey.
What am I doing for three days???
For some reason when I booked my return tickets, I allowed a few days in Puerto Maldonado before heading to Lima. In the last week and a half, before returning to town I had been kicking myself for not "getting the heck out of there" ASAFP! Instead of getting in a rush I began putting to practice what I had been learning and focused on just being in the moment and seeing what happened. What happened were some wonderful experiences that I would have missed out on otherwise.
After spending more time in the Puerto Maldonado, I found or was introduced to some spots that helped keep me alive. Three that really deserve a shout out are Gustitos, Copasu and El Hornito.
Some photos were snapped, a few comments exchanged, mostly human silence enjoying the crashing waves with the faint addition of light guitar and steel drum from some buskers across the park. We were about to go when I spotted something and thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. "Did you see that?" I asked excitedly. "Look there" I pointed seeing it again. The waves were lighting up in some spots as plankton luminesced. It was quite spectacular and magical in it's own way. We stayed just looking for more to show up saying "just one more" and then staying for another one, two, four...
Sleeping in a shared dorm with four beds, I didn't want to be loud coming in at 12:30 am so I just took my shoes off and crashed out fully clothed on top of my bed waking up six hours later to get my tattoo. The art work wasn't complicated but I was a bit concerned about somehow missing my taxi or what have you. All unwarranted though as everything clicked perfectly and the next thing I knew I was in Fort Lauderdale with a five hour layover where interesting coincidences continued to abound.
Sure was looking forward to getting home and seeing my partner and our puppy again. Due to her work schedule and the fact that I got in a 2:30 am on a Monday, it was no surprise that no one was super jazzed to see me. Part of me, an old part, was a little disappointed but then I remembered - don't take anything personally. In fact that has been ringing in my ears all week. Tuesday I hopped right back into work doing a job I've dreaded in the past. Part of the dread has been because I feel condescended to many times by the other people that job makes me work with. The new part of me looked forward to what I would learn from the day. There's no sense in worrying about life when you realize it's a perpetual growth plan and trust that as you work at it, you will improve. The only way to not improve is to not try. I had been learning to stand up for myself to my own self and others so maybe I would be tested on that again.
Day one back to work, it happened. This guy seems to be copping a bit of attitude about something his department did. I'm not sure specifically what he wants so I ask a question ready to help but in need of clarification. His response answered the question not directly but in what seemed like the form of a put down. I've never liked it when people ask a question when they have an answer in mind but it's almost like they want you to guess what they are thinking. It's always come across to me as passive aggressive and so I reacted slightly in my head. "Ok," I responded reaching to make the change "it's not like I put it there" I said in the next breath. As he put the camera down, he said "I wasn't trying to lay blame just making a statement about what we were doing. Catholic guilt huh?" My next thought was fuck this guy. Then he asked me "were you raised catholic?" I said no, because I was a little irritated and it wasn't a lie though what he had poked at was spot on.
Irritated because I don't want to be an asshole fighting everything but also don't want to be weak again and let people run over me. The doubt was assailing again. As the night progressed, I realized maybe he hadn't meant things the way I had interpreted them. The next morning I watched a video about quantum entanglement. In it I learned that when the particles are entangled and spinning, until measured they are theoretically spinning in not only in every possible axis direction simultaneously but also opposite from each other. As soon as you make a measurement of one particle, you automatically set it's spin axis angle because it matches your angle of measurement. This also effect the axis angle for the other linked particle who also, though previously unobserved, maintains the measurement axis angle. I realized that this growing has many layers and you can't hold onto things too tightly. Lessons learned aren't necessarily meant to be taken out and used every day.
Standing up for myself is an important thing but shouldn't need to be in the daily repertoire unless I'm still taking things personally. When you stop thinking things are about you, you have way less to fight because you have way less to be upset about. With self acceptance, you find that it is proportional to how much you are tied to other people's opinions. What I've viewed as speaking up for myself made sense and was probably necessary in the reality I was living in then. Now I seek to remove the prejudices, axis of measurement if you will, and let things be more natural and authentic. I don't know where I will go from here but I have realized that it doesn't really matter. Success is a hard thing to define unless you turn it upside down and say that "failure is when you don't learn anything or give up". There is no perfection in a living piece of art save for the experience of the ongoing evolution.
The big question many people seem to have about the present and future is "will I be able to handle it?" As a species, we doubt ourselves immensely and then some people don't doubt themselves at all and run for president as illustrated by Donald Trump. People like him because Donald doesn't give a fuck and more people wish they could do that as well. Do they agree with much of what the man thinks? Who knows, does anyone really know what Trump thinks? We are so sick of doubting ourselves and being confined that we want to raise our middle finger to what we feel is holding us back. That's the first step of getting free is finding your power. The problem is that unless the personal judgements and filters don't get out of the way, your power doesn't come from within and things will only get worse. We all need a change of perspective to begin to heal ourselves and in turn, the world.
As I waited in the small Puerto Maldonado airport, I was fully present and aware standing in line trying to take in every moment. There was only one counter with a couple attendants. The line was barely moving and the temperature was rising. Very few places have AC in that region so ceiling fans were the best you could hope for to relieve the oppressive jungle heat. After 45 minutes, I had finally made it to the start of the squiggly section that subconsciously lies "your getting close". There I could feel the slight breeze from the ceiling fans and none too soon as a bead of sweat rolled suddenly down my back. Despite the horrific squeaking of the imbalanced fans, I was thankful for their service. My thoughts were interrupted by another thought - I wish I could hold onto this experience and revisit it. Maybe I'll take a video? I almost pulled out my phone but then realized that so much would have been left out unless I narrated everything. That's why writing is so powerful. You can capture and relay almost anything with the right words transporting your experience to someone else. That's exactly what life is, really, a way of having these experiences ourselves instead of just reading about them. We are the camera to our own life story experiencing this character as we actively select the plot choices.
Back to the question - "do I have what it takes?" Yeah, you do, it just matters how narrowly you want to define happiness, success, perfection etc. If you start walking in a direction, you're bound to get somewhere and if that direction is towards honesty and wholeness, you don't have to worry anymore because what is there to judge? I'm not what I was and I'm not what I will be - In this moment I simply am and will always be.
It's been really odd to have a set of keys again which made me think back to one of my first posts on this site when I moved into my car several years ago. Back then you probably will find posts from a different perspective because this site is a journal of my attempt to understand myself and life better. One of the things that was impressed upon me during the trip was that there is no one perfect way, there is only being and growing. Despite the "darkness" of the jungle, I found tremendous light and it was coming from inside of myself but also the jungle. Neither height, nor depth...can separate you from love - if you have it inside of you. I certainly don't claim to have my shit together but I also know that that concept is a bit over rated. There were glimpses of the me who I've felt was in there become manifested right in front of my eyes. It's not a race and there is nothing to fear so while I don't know where the future will lead, I'm finally excited to be living in the moment right before the future.