We are the Lost Ones.

We are the Lost Ones.

I am so confused. I really am. The fact that I am no longer studying philosophy and that I am currently working a lot of jobs, allowing me less time to actually think all of these life-altering questions through, frustrates me and makes me feel even more confused. Even when I was studying philosophy I was confused. In fact, it confused me more than anything else, but at least the confusion was slightly more informed. They should rename philosophy degrees, ‘A-study-in-highly-informed-confusion-and -hair-pulling theories-also-after-you-read-Heidegger-the-word-Being-will-forever-leave-you-traumatized. ‘ Or we can do what the German philosophers did and just condense one long-ass concept into a strange one-word but not one-word linguistic torture device ie: Debt-building-bullshit-eist. That should satisfy some of the skeptics.

Back to my point: I know that whatever ideas I come up with now pale in comparison to the ideas I came up with whilst studying the greats and literally having days on end to ponder these deeper questions.

So yes, I am lost. I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about half the time. I worry that I get sucked into new age bullshit because let’s be honest, I have. On the other hand,  I worry that I get too close-minded and simply jump to the perhaps too-obvious conclusion of atheism and the more I think about it, the more lost I get, but I can’t seem to stop.

However, I need to remember that this is okay. I don’t know why we are so afraid to be lost. It’s okay to not have the answers. In fact, you should be more worried if you think you have all the answers. It’s boring. It’s boring to speak to people who think they have all the answers. Whether they’re atheists, spiritual or religiously inclined. Whether the topic is surrounding politics, music or if 9/11 was a US conspiracy. Is there even a conversation to be had with these kinds of stuck-in-the-mud people?

Have your opinions by all means and I’m not denying the existence of theories that are so well proven that they are thereby facts as we know them now. However, once I can see a person is taking their stance too seriously, I sort of assume they have not realised how complex this whole thing is. This leads me to assume, although my assumption could be wrong,  that their intellectual arrogance stems from the fact that they have not had their outlooks or belief  systems crushed enough to realise their that their insignificant minds cannot surely have all the answers or that they have the inability to change their minds based on new evidence or a more logically coherent argument. I’m not saying I haven’t been this person, but I try my best not to be.

If you really think that you have all the answers in any area of life, I implore you to look throughout history and ask yourself if even the well-known geniuses from generations past had all the answers. No, they didn’t, and if you think they did, well then you may just have a dogma or ideology on your hand. Good luck waving around that dangerous weapon.

This life has proven to be a wonderful maze; changing my viewpoint every five minutes has become the norm. It’s exhausting and exhilarating. For some reason, I enjoy confusing myself into oblivion. The magnitude of how little I know is at the very least what inspires me to keep moving-whether or not it’s all atoms (forgive my scientific ignorance-I’m a philosophy graduate), whether or not its all made out of love or whether or not God exists or doesn’t exist. Curiosity has become my religion. Exploration, internal and external, has become what I live for and beyond that, trying to leave the world a little less fucked up when I’m gone has become my purpose, although this is a lot harder than it seems.

I don’t know if it matters. I don’t know why I can’t let it go. Maybe that’s a new avenue for internal exploration.

What I do know is that it’s fascinating. I wake up everyday thinking, ‘What is going on???? Seriously what is happening??’ The absurdity of it all astounds me to the point of miraculousness. A miraculousness that doesn’t need spiritual doctrines. An astonishment that can lift me out of any sort of existential depression, because let me tell you, those are not fun.

We are the lost ones. Our tenacious curiosity is simultaneously our torture and our greatest pleasure. Why pretend to know it all? It’s obvious that you don’t and that’s okay. There’s really nothing to be afraid of (well except maybe constant existential grappling). However, if you do for whatsoever reason think you have all the answers, then to be blatantly honest, you may be the most lost of us all.

The Difference Between Faith and Belief (And Why It’s Important)

The Difference Between Faith and Belief (And Why It’s Important)

For a while, the word ‘faith’ sent uncomfortable chills down my spine. For someone that saw themselves as ‘spiritual’, religious words like ‘faith’ could make me want to scream into a pillow, that is until I read this quote:

“Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.”-Elizabeth Gilbert; Eat, Pray, Love

This quote made me rethink my conception of faith. Maybe faith wasn’t what I thought it was. Maybe I got it confused with something else; belief.

A belief is a construct. An idea or collection of thoughts you created in your head that satisfies some image you may have of God, life or anything really. Faith, on the other hand, is letting go of the constructs, of falling into the flow and grace of life and this where I was wrong about faith; it is in fact about courage and not cowardice.

You see, growing up Catholic, I eventually developed a distaste for the church; something that I have since reconciled ( at least for the most part) although I highly doubt I will find myself praying amongst the pews anytime soon. This distaste led me to become a reactionary atheist; ragingly discontent with any religious “slur” that unfortunately for it, came across my path. I, as Nietzche claims one does, became the monster I was fighting. I came up with a blanket theory of religion and generalized all those who were slightly religious as fundamentalist and cowardly bigots. After what I can only explain as a spiritually enlightening experience that blew these tight constructs of my mind open, I relaxed on the whole atheist-materialist-religious-people-are-all-cray-cray vibe. I began walking the weird and wonderful path of spirituality and yet, certain words like ‘faith’ still rubbed me the wrong way as I associated them with ignorance, arrogance, and cowardice but, once I understood that faith is the opposite, that it is about diving into the dark, I began to see this concept as well as my previously atheistic self differently.

You see, for all the finger pointing at religion, my atheism, as I see in many individuals, just served as another place for my scared ego to wrap itself up. Facts, hard logic and world-is-all-there-is thinking made the world less unknown. What I thought was a courageous act was simply a jump towards another belief system.

Now, of course, science is a bit more than a belief system. In fact, there is nothing really to believe in. It’s all there, laid out, logical and easy to comprehend but, although it may all be empirically validated, it still creates a comfort zone for those to scared to venture outside of their minds; to go to a place beyond thought.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately in some respects, this is not something I can explain intellectually. That is the point it goes beyond intellect. It is a leap of faith. It is a jump into the heart space. It is an invitation to go beyond this dream, and what I believe, real faith is about. What would be the point of faith if the intellect could explain it or empirically justify it? It would then just contradict itself.

Constructs, ideas, opinions, and science are all incredibly important and they do serve a purpose but just because something does not require imagination, does not mean it can not be turned into some type of all-seeing God that blocks individuals from seeing beyond their theories and ideas.

At the end of the day, I will not lie to you. This is not an opinion. This is rather an invitation, to, as Adyashanti says,

“Jump now into the space
between thoughts
and exit this dream
before I burn the damn place down.”

 

Nothing and I Mean Nothing, Will Make You Happy.

Nothing and I Mean Nothing, Will Make You Happy.

Happiness. What an elusive little concept. At the core of all our endless nights staying up to work, traveling and making time for the important people in our lives this is all we are trying to achieve. At least for me its been a very important motivator in terms of setting my goals, deciding how to spend my time, choosing friends and the list goes on. What I found very interesting after a long while is that although I was doing well in all of these areas, there was still something missing. After numerous and exhaustive attempts at trying to find happiness outside of myself, the realization came to me that none of it would ever satisfy the emptiness inside of me. In the beginning, this was extremely depressing but after a while, it became liberating as I felt into this nothingness, found my divinity in there and realized that nothing in my life situation can control or define me as we are all beyond our situational boundaries.

We are all overly familiar with the usual trope of ‘money can’t make you happy’ or something along the lines of ‘you can’t take gold to heaven’ and so forth but what if I told you that beyond possessions, nothing and I mean nothing at all will ever make you happy? I am talking about relationships, travel and perhaps even the most utmost and profound spiritual experience of your life. Yes, of course for a while these can all leave you feeling quite excited, fulfilled and all fuzzy on the inside but when the moment wears off and when you take a moment to look deep within yourself, you will find that there is a deep emptiness waiting for you.

This ’emptiness’ or ‘nothingness’ is what we all run away from sometimes through drugs and sometimes through distracting ourselves through a good laugh with friends. Now there is nothing wrong with a good laugh but lets really take a look at what is going on here.

“Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very, very hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being — as if some dreadful fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of truth and lay bare our fearful clinging to illusion.”-Adyashanti

Life in and of itself is a very peculiar sort of happening. We don’t really know how to make sense of it and so we ignore this existential dread by distracting ourselves with daily life and menial activities. What we should rather do is face it head on and I don’t mean in some sort of intellectual sense but rather through awareness and being.

You see, once you allow yourself to sit with that emptiness, to accept it and embrace it, a new kind of contentment arises. One that isn’t attached to the conditions of your life but that is just okay with ‘being’ and being okay with ‘being’; that’s where unconditional love, happiness, and joy lies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagination: Your Biggest Portal to Anxiety or Your Greatest Source of Power.

Imagination: Your Biggest Portal to Anxiety or Your Greatest Source of Power.

As a writer, escapism has always been the deal of the day. It’s most likely the reason I became a writer. My imagination was my hiding place as a child. A space I could go into when the world got a little too much for me. A good book could make it all go away. Whilst this definitely helped me develop a strong imagination coupled with a deep call for adventure and exploration it also left me with heavy anxiety and an escapism that I used to run away from any type of responsibility that I thought for some reason, I could not handle.

Imagination is an incredibly powerful tool. The world as we know it today would not exist. It is the birthplace of all human physical manifestation from the greatest atrocities to the most astounding inventions. With such a powerful tool it becomes imperative that we manage to use it and not allow it to use us. When we allow our imaginations to use us it becomes a form of escapism or deep anxiety. These days some of us don’t even need to use our own imaginations to escape. We simply click a button and delve into the unreal or in some cases ‘real’ worlds of other minds.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”-Albert Einstein

The question then becomes, why escape? Ninety-nine percent of the time if you can imagine it in your head, you can turn it into a reality. Ninety-nine percent of the time if you can worry about a subject, you can use your mind to think of everything concerning that subject that could go right. We walk around with powerhouses in our minds, waiting for outside resources to compensate whilst wasting this endless source of creative power on creating situations that make those resources even more scarce. If you have time to escape and worry, you most certainly have the time to imagine, create and appreciate. As I read somewhere, worry is just a prayer the things you don’t want. We fret about our abundance when the source of it lies in our heads, completely free and ready to take you on an adventure of a lifetime.

Now I can hear you all sighing. Law of attraction huh? How original. The question I want to ask you is, do you think that any successful individual got where they were without a strong vision in their minds? JK Rowling? Steve Jobs? Any person to do anything mildly successful ever? No. They had a vision they wanted to bring to life. A new world. Of course, they had to get off their… uh tooshes… and do something about it but that doing would have been fruitless if they were just fumbling around on a keyboard or computer.

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”-Dan Zudra

Looking beyond the secret, Abraham Hicks and all the up in the air ideas of Law of Attraction, there is a real basis for the power of our imaginations

Using your Imagination to Scientifically Reprogramme Your Brain

Reticular Activating System. That’s right. I said Reticular Activating System. Sexy, right? But, what in fresh hell is this? Your Reticular Activating System is almost like an inbuilt type of filter for the world around you. Due to the magnitude of information around us, the RAS will only welcome in what it sees to be most significant. The great thing is that this importance is based on what you choose to put your attention on the most.

This means that when you use your imagination to create a compelling vision that inspires you, your brain will naturally begin to look for opportunities, come up with relevant ideas and pathways you may have not seen before.

” Your hands are tied in action, but your hands are not tied in imagination-and everything springs forth from the imagination-everything.” -Abraham Hicks

Your brain literally can not tell the difference from imagination and reality, so when you use your imagination to create an emotionally fused vision on a constant basis, your brain is almost forced to make that vision come true because it already believes it is.

Synchronicity or Science? You decide. Whatsoever path you choose to go, remember your imagination is always there, powerful and ready to pull you towards your dreams.

 

 

Bringing Back Community: The Lack and Importance of Human Connection

Bringing Back Community: The Lack and Importance of Human Connection

Intense individualism and isolation seem to be the deal of the day in our current society. We are so focused on ourselves and creating some perfect image of our world through our screens that the type of connections we make in the real world seem far and few between. This coupled along with the fact that many of us tend to come from broken or dysfunctional families, the fact that neighbors don’t really talk to one another, our increasingly busy lives as well as the capitalistic focus on the individual, leads for a very lonely existence.

This, as all societal ailments in the middle of their socially normalized processes, do, may not seem like too much of a bad thing. It may seem normal. Although, as human beings, we are naturally social and the majority of us at least, deep down inside, crave that feeling of being a part of a tribe.  A group of people that are there to support, accept and love us unconditionally.

This unsatisfied craving in my estimation leads to many addictions from social media, where the combination of a sense of community and the ability to construct a perfect and easy-to-love image of ourselves becomes a heaven for the isolated soul, to drug abuse, alcoholism and so the list continues on. I would even take a leap as to say that by a large, some of those who find themselves to be depressed, could be suffering from a contextual disconnection. This, on top of the fact that collective trauma, which perhaps can only be healed by a community, is playing such a role in the political sphere right now, leads to a society of lost and destructive individuals.

Coupled with this sense of isolation and self-focus, the fear of being vulnerable strikes true in many of us. We are so concerned about making our lives look perfect, about winning some strange societal competition that society set up for us from the moment we started getting gold stars and beating each other in races, that we forgot to show each other our scars and to reach out a hand when someone else is in need.

This is perhaps why people are flocking towards plant medicines and therapeutic practices; not simply because they are in need of healing but because these healing modalities provide that which is missing; intimacy, vulnerability, connection and community with other loving and accepting individuals.

The need for love and intimacy is a fundamental human need, as primal as the need for food, water, and air.” Dean Ornish

Now I am under no illusion or really qualified to give any substantive opinion about the role of capitalism and how it plays into this issue. I am not calling for some type of revolution. I am simply asking you to be the brave ones, to be the vulnerable ones and to reach out a hand. You may be surprised at how many will reach back.

 

 

Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet: Yes, I am a Dirty Hippie.

Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet: Yes, I am a Dirty Hippie.

Dear ladies, gents, gender-benders, creatures-alike and the local librarian who always used to ask me if I have come once again to explore the “woo-woo” section

It is no secret that I am spiritual. In fact, sometimes I worry that I make this too well-known to the point where people feel like I am shoving some cliche-all-loving-energy worldview down their throats. If I have done this to you, I must apologize. I do not believe in shoving beliefs down peoples throats. Although, I know some of you enjoy that type of thing.

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That being said, I have to warn you, if the words ‘Namaste’, ‘chakras’ or ‘meditation’ send shivers down your rationality-loving spine, then you better close this page because it’s about to get Ultra-Spiritual in this joint.

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This is because, to a certain degree, I feel as though I have been watering myself down with self-deprecating statements and trying to make my spirituality seem logical when, let’ face it,  a lot of it’s not.  A lot of these things I enjoy and prescribe to simply based on intuition. So here we go. I am officially coming out of the closet. I am a dirty hippie. In fact, this an official list of all the “dirty hippie” things I subscribe to:

  1. The source of everything is pure loving energy.

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2.  Chakras are a real thing.

Image result for when your chakras are aligned af3.  The power of crystals is a real thing. I felt it once when I was doing mushrooms at a festival okay??

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4.I have tried to vegan a few times. I have failed to vegan a few times. I’m still confused about veganism.

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  • Meditation. Meditation. Meditation.

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  • Maybe some of them conspiracy theories are true. Maybe. I’m not sure.

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  • The Law of Attraction works (combined with inspired action and hard work)Image result for positive thinking funny gif
  • Plant medicines=a wonderful and healing tool

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  • Yoga.

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  • Mermaids, faeries, ghosts? Well, let me put it this way-I once spent a day mermaid hunting and I have actually seen faeries with a friend of mine. Real faeries. No, I was not high. Yes, maybe I am mentally insane.

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  • Aliens. Starseeds. Plaedians. Grays. Reptillians. Yes to all that shit. Yes. Yes. Yes.

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  • The main reason we suffer is that we think we are separate and we identify with our egos.
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I’m doing this because I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling awkward about being who I am and feeling like people are just going to assume I am some idiot who likes ‘woo-woo’ stuff.

You, of course,  have the freedom to think I’m crazy, or stupid. You have the total right to. In fact, there are times when I think I am crazy.  I could be.

All I know is that if I don’t fully walk down this path, if I don’t fully embrace who I am and what calls to me without hiding it for fear of people thinking I’m some airy-fairy hippie, I am going to regret it forever.

I might wake up one day as some full-blown atheist thinking, ‘What an idiot,’ and you know what? That’s okay.

I can not live in these stringent lines drawn by my mind anymore. My intuition and inner being are screaming for freedom and so here I am; a crystal-loving, tripping, nature-loving, tree-hugging hippie.

So…I guess all I have left to say is: Love and light motherfuck-aaahs.

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The Power of Adaption: Letting Go Of The One-Size-Fits-All Sales Pitch.

The Power of Adaption: Letting Go Of The One-Size-Fits-All Sales Pitch.

Life is a series of paradoxes. Even when you think about it philosophically you find out that there’s not really one truth but a variety of opposing and seemingly contradictory truths.

This may seem frustrating-especially for those of us on some inner quest for THE truth. Yes, finding THe truth would be amazing because it would be sort of like an all-in-one -solution to everything, right?Having a mid-life crisis? Just look to THE truth! Putting on some weight? THE truth will sort you out!

The problem is that when what we see as the answer to everything, the thing that gives our life its meaning stops working, we can start to get pretty discouraged and sometimes depressed. Attaching yourself to one truth is like running out of a battle with a sword (let’s pretend we still fight with swords just because its cool) and thinking it’s going to fix your relationships or help you lose weight.No. Don’t be that guy.

Different parts of your life require different approaches-there is no one size fits all answer to every situation-this is why I don’t trust books that have all the answers or ‘the secret’.  Yes,  it may work for a certain time but not always. When people ask me-should we live this way or that way? I say- it depends on the situation.

If I were to claim that there was something even close to one simple solution, although, as established, there is not, I would say it is to be adaptive and open. Realize that some strategies may work for one time of your life but leave you with a disadvantage in another time. Realize that what may work for your relationships does not necessarily work for your career or that one strategy may work with one relationship but turn another one into a complete disaster.

You need to be open, to be constantly learning and to understand that you can take advantage of these paradoxes by not using a hammer to build the whole house, pool, and garden. I mean, if anything has proven to push evolution along it is adaption, right? What’s great is that as humans we have the ability to use our minds to adapt at a rate that is faster than any ‘accidental’ evolutionary process will allow.

And please if you come across some speaker, writer, guru, trinket whisperer, elephant jumper-whoever, that claims that they have THE answer to all your problems, take it with a large pinch, or maybe I should say handful, of salt.

There is no one answer. There never will be and that does not have to be a bad thing. Change your perspective on it. View it as an adventure. Try new approaches. You may surprise yourself.