I was visited today by some Jehovahs Wittnesses and it helped to stir up some old thoughts about religion and what its like to deal with the topic and the issues surrounding it. In this video I discuss my stance on religious zealots and then get into my own individual stance on religion, philosophy and spirituality.
I have always found it peculiar, the way certain personality types manage their money. Have you ever noticed that there is this reactionary “feast or famine” personality type, who has very poor understanding of economics and poor planning abilities; when they have extra money, be it a little or alot, they blow it on bullshit and don’t save.
The flip side is, when they fall on hard times, they have nothing to fall back on, because they’ve spent it all. What’s worse, is they get a bunch of unnecessary recurring expenses which compound the problem.
To further compound the problem, the “reactionary” side of their personality causes them to overreact to problems when they occur, so they then waste time and resources that need not be wasted to “over-solve” a problem. In the process of all this, they’ve been so distracted by their volatile reactionary nature, that new problems have cropped up unbeknownst to them.
Rich or poor, doesn’t matter in this case. The rich guy just takes vacations overseas, buys himself fancy cars and has more epic overreactions. The poor guy just does it on a smaller scale. Its not necessarily about the amount of resources you have, its about how you use them.
Still, I wouldn’t expect someone who is wealthy, who does this, to keep much of that wealth. They feasted when times were good; but had nothing left over for bad times. Tough shit for them, eh?
Since the beginning of the month of March, I’ve been working on an in-depth cleanse. This cleanse started with a detox diet for the first two weeks, consisting of loads of organic vegetables as soups and stir fries as well as nuts, fruit and dried fruit. This was followed by a week of juice fasting, consisting of fresh raw fruit and vegetable juice diluted 50% with water; this is the stage I am at now. A water-only fast will be beginning this weekend and should last for at least one week, perhaps longer if things work out well.
So far this week, I’ve primarily been drinking juices with some combination of the following (citrus is always taken separately as the guidelines of trophology suggest):
- bok choy
- italian parsley
So-far, I’m feeling good, I have loads of energy and I don’t feel much in the way of withdrawal symptoms from coffee, dairy, bread, etc. In the past I had a hard time getting through the day without a few coffees, it was quite an addiction. Now I am able to get through the day without feeling the need for coffee. I’ll still have some caffiene in the form of a green tea, perhaps, but the overall dosage is much lower than before.
I’ve been able to go about my life with more sustainable energy than before and aside from missing out on the enjoyment of food, I am feeling better than ever. I think this opportunity I’m giving my body to really rest and repair, is really helping a great deal. So I’ll keep a good attitude, which has a huge influence on the results of this kind of endeavor, I’ll be mindful of the effects of whatever I am engaged in and I’ll push forth doing my best to maintain and improve my life as I go.
I went to a Yoga class followed by a Tai Chi class on Tuesday, which turned out to be an above average class in terms of difficulty. Despite having less energy to burn, I did well and I pushed myself in ways that I had not previously pushed myself. I was able to hold difficult poses like scale pose for 30 seconds on each side, which is a record for me and I was able to do poses like half bound lotus forward bend with less difficulty. Overall, I was stronger, more flexible, more disciplined and motivated than I had been in previous experiences.
One of the great things about these kinds of experiences, is they help you to apply the discipline that it takes to engage in fasting/detox, to other parts of your life. It really gets you thinking and introspecting, so you have the potential to really weed out toxic habits and motivational issues that you might have otherwise been complacent with, had you not done a fast/detox.
I did an hour long video podcast, which goes off on alot of tangents; but touches many areas that I felt inspired to discuss. I hope those of you who have the time will check it out and share your thoughts if you are so inclined.
This is my first video podcast in quite some time, only the second overall. I decided to record some thoughts about “freedom” and just see what comes out. Various ideas about freedom were covered, there will be more in-depth explorations of this and various sub-topics when time permits.
“A world that is Free is not United, A World that is United is not Free”. It will take some work and resources on your behalf and work to educate yourself and understand what is happening. The Controllers that run the world want to take away your national boundaries and make a world culture inside your borders. This means no homeland for any culture or nationality.
–Anthony J. Hilder
Today I want to discuss a set of transformative experiences I had around the year 2003, as well as a few of the individuals who helped me to see a new path. This transformation has as much relevance today as it did during that time, nearly 10 years ago, it echoed and amplified similar transformations I’d had in the previous decade, when I was gaining independence from religion. The years which followed this transformation have served me well as further refinement.
It was during this 2003 time-frame that I really started branching out and looking for answers; I was looking for these answers on various fronts.
- The nature of the body’s health and vitality and how to attain true health and wellness.
- The nature of the paranormal, particularly psychic phenomena.
- The nature of government and power in society.
It was at this time that I started reading more about Edgar Cayce, on the advice of a good friend. The part I found particularly interesting were the health readings and the dietary recommendation. I decided, what could it hurt, why not try some of the dietary recommendations? So I tried it out and was I ever blown away by the effect it had on me overall. It was like wiping clean the dirty lens that was my consciousness, a lens that I did not realize was filthy.
This was only the beginning of a journey towards health and wellness, which was greater than I had ever realized possible. It was only after this that I tried acupuncture, juicing, fasting, etc. I was emboldened to try truly radical approaches to change myself and I was most certainly not disappointed with the results.
I also started more vigorously studying the paranormal and realizing that there might just be a bit more to reality than I had been lead to believe. The work of Cayce provided many avenues down which to travel and I also explored other areas as I became aware of them. This left me with, not only a completely revitalized view of my self; but also a completely revitalized view of existence.
Another path I ventured down, was the path of questioning authority in a deeper way than I had previously known. I started to entertain ideas about conspiracies. I opened my mind to the possibility, in the hope that I might find a greater truth and have answered some of the questions that are never answered by the conventional dialog.
One of the first conspiracy-related lectures I ever watched online, was introduced by Anthony J. Hilder and given by Jordan Maxwell. It was somewhat of a pivotal moment in my life, where I decided to walk, even further, down that different path I was on, into the thick of it. This is when I decided to turn away from the herd mentality and walk to the beat of a different drum. I had heard this drumbeat at times in years previous; but this time I felt the urge to be swept up in the new rhythm.
The first in-depth lecture was called Inner World of the Occult and it featured lecturer/researcher Jordan Maxwell. This event opened up my mind to alternative possibilities and alternative ways of seeing the world, which I had previously not considered in depth. It shed light on so many new possibilities in meticulous detail, that it was an adventure to take it all in.
Now, whether or not I understand or agree with the finer points of what Jordan and Anthony say, at this point, is irrelevant. I think it is pretty clear that they were on the right track, if you’ll just look at the events of the past 11 years outside of the storybook narrative of the government and the media. The details are not the point of what I’m saying here anyways.
The important thing, is that my understanding has gone beyond anything said by any group or individual, it has detached from experiencing reality vicariously through others, or through institutions. Having radically different information at my disposal, caused me to question what I’ve been told all my life, in a very substantial way. I learned to question absolutely everything I had been told and take nothing at face value.
Like Anthony said, “a world that is free is not united, a world that is united is not free”, this is true for our own individual freedom, our own individual world. Truth and freedom must be realized at an individual level, or not at all; because there is no way to attain these things in a top-down fashion; as that would merely be an illusion.
Nobody but yourself can make you free. No government, no institution, no religion, no guru; you are the one who realizes the greater freedom within yourself and expands the possibilities; you have to genuinely want it in order to realize it.
This can be done by learning how to explore ideas, explore the world around us and boldly challenging our boundaries and our fears, in ways that might make us uncomfortable at times, in ways that may make us feel vulnerable to change.
So often, we are taught to fear being different, to fear what others will think, venturing out and remaking our self anew. We certainly don’t know for certain, what will be on the other side of the event horizon, when we engage in these kinds of transformative processes.
The world I found when I polished the lens of my own consciousness, wasn’t the world I was told was there, absolutely not. It was a completely different world that you’ve got to experience to its fullest to understand. Latching onto ideals and trying to stay within the realm of socially acceptable experience of reality, is not going to bring you to the truth; it will only distance you from the truth and lock you in a pattern that will be progressively more difficult to break from.
To be truly free, you’ve got to be willing to venture where others are unwilling to go. You’ve got to be fearless, where others are timid. You’ve got to be bold and action oriented, where others are lethargic and aimless. You’ve got to have the courage to stand up, step away from the mechanisms of your control and take matters into your own hands.
Sure, you’ll be wrong at times. You’ll make yourself look like a fool or an ass. You’ll hit dead ends and roadblocks; but by and large, you will be far closer to the truth than those who choose never to venture out of their box. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not trying. If you’re not willing to admit you’ve made mistakes, you will never better yourself.
All I can hope to do is share my experiences, of how I continuously strive to realize greater freedom and independence, in the hope that it will inspire you to realize a greater awareness in yourself. I’m not trying to tell you what to think; but I am merely trying to get you to look at what is in front of you from a fresh perspective, so that you may rediscover it.
This is something I recently wrote, in response to an acquaintance’s open ended question: “God exists? Prove it.”
I would certainly like to build on it with a deeper exploration some time in the future; but it is a good summary of the first stages of my journey.
Before getting into this, I’d like to note that I have nothing against any particular religion per se; but am merely referring to the experience of various religious groups and individuals I had during that time in my life. To me, it’s not a person’s religion that matters, it is their character that is important.
I’ve met many people of religion who use the religion to mask and legitimize a violent and oppressive nature, while I’ve met people with no religion at all who are compassionate and wonderful people and vice versa. Religion has nothing to do with it, so we have to see beyond the labels we ascribe to ourselves, if we really want to get to know one another.
When I was early in my search for answers, I used to be very concerned with its existence or lack thereof, of this entity called God. I was originally raised as a Christian, which seems to be the default in this part of the world.
I realized after awhile, however, that most of the claims of the adherents of this religion, seemed to be founded on circular reasoning referencing the Bible. I found that whenever I inquired for more information or questioned events, I was strongly discouraged and often separated from the other kids at Sunday school and reprimanded.
It was always puzzling to me, why they did not have answers, beyond merely what was written, to back up their claims. Their lack of curiosity, to know more about their own religion which they claim to value so highly, was also perplexing.
I investigated the Bible only to find myself disappointed, when I found that the Christians I knew at the time knew virtually nothing of its origin. The sources I read indicated that there was more information about the origin; but even this additional information wasn’t very compelling to establish the authority of the bible. The disappointment only grew when I realized that it had been tampered with by various governments and appeared to be a tool to control people’s behavior.
My knee jerk response was to become an Athiest, then after reading a compelling piece called “Why I am Agnostic” by Robert Ingersoll, I then became an agnostic for several years.
I realized after awhile that I was letting the modern conceptions of religion define my own spirituality, limiting my experience and awareness. I was letting the fact that I was *not* something, cause me to be the “other side of the coin,” so to speak. To where I was defining my relationship to the deeper and more mysterious aspects of reality, still in terms of a religion that I did not believe in, when it really should have no relevance at all.
I had a number of experiences, particularly a very powerful out of body trip on Ayahuasca, in which I realized that my materialistic atheistic/agnostic approach was deeply flawed. As is common during DMT experiences, I experienced extreme time dilation and a number of other phenomena, in which I became privy to experience and information that is impossible under normal circumstances. To me, this experience was highly profound and cannot be attributed to mere biochemical interactions and nerve firings.
I could go on in great length about the particulars of the experience and would be happy to share more sometime; but suffice it to say, I realized that our “alert problem solving reality” is far from all there is; that there is a much deeper and more sophisticated reality underlying the phenomena we see on a daily basis, which is responsible for consciousness itself.
Now, I believe that conscious awareness and the intricate and infinitely scalable structure thereof, is the cause of our shared physical reality and not that our physical reality is the cause of consciousness.
This notion of God or Godlessness, religion or a-religion seems to color our experience; but it seems unnecessary. It’s typically an attachment to a belief that is not rooted in actual experience. At this point in my life, I feel that the nebulous concept of “God” doesn’t really matter; but what does matter is that we become conscious and aware of our own experiential reality, so we can become more aware of the deeper facets of conscious existence.
So often our ego gets in the way of really being there for our fellow man when it counts; truly being our brother’s keeper. We’re often so concerned with being the one who’s right or being superior, that these concerns often lead to hiding information to get the upper hand or turning a blind eye, when we could use our skills to help someone in a meaningful way.
Now there’s nothing wrong with being your best, per se; but it’s when we intentionally do things to aggrandize our selves at the expense of others, that we should really take pause. If we really are so great, then we shouldn’t need to hide things and screw over others to let the world know this. Simply acting with great awareness and equanimity, drawing on our abilities and our intellect; this will be all that needs to be done.
Its easy to forget, in a competitive civilization such as ours, that ultimately we are in this together. If we all become better, then everyone enjoys the benefits!
Even though we compete with each other in so many ways, the goal of this competition is to encourage each of us to become better; well, at it’s best, that is what competition does. At its worst, competition encourages us to push our fellow man down to get the upper hand, to hide information, to plot and scheme for unfair advantages.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to take a break from your own idea of personal advancement, to express care and compassion. Ultimately, your true advancement is bolstered by being able to help others along the same lines, because it teaches you, makes you better and makes you more fulfilled.
“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
It has always baffled me, how certain people are periodically nudging me to “hang out with them” or “see them more often”; but when I actually do make it out, they don’t really want to talk about anything other than what they are into. In fact, I have some friends, who I’ve known over the years, who ridicule me when I talk about my interests and only support talking about their own interests. This is not a very balanced equation, nor is it very pleasing to take part in.
Indeed, this is not what real friendship is about. A friend is not there just to be seen and not heard or to only speak when spoken to. A real friend should accept and appreciate your uniqueness, even if they don’t agree with all you say. They should feel free to discuss and debate matters of importance instead of trying to change the subject and bury the matter altogether.
Unfortunately, I do not know many of these real friends; but the ones I do know are always there to enjoy a nice in-depth conversation. I could go for months without seeing one of my real friends and still feel the warmth and acceptance as if we had been together only yesterday.
This notion of popularity, so often sought, has never been important to me; primarily because of the shallow nature of such friendships. I’d rather have fewer friends and maybe even considered an outcast by some, than to suppress who I really am to gain acceptance by the many. I don’t care if I rock the boat from time to time; it’s healthy to stir up some shit and unhealthy to simply suppress things and let them fester.
Never suppress who you are to please others. If they can’t handle you being exactly who you are, then who needs ’em.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Practiced the Tai Chi long form by candlelight tonight, with Egyptian Musk incense burning and relaxing music in the background. I know of few activities more beneficial or engaging than this. It exercises the body, circulates the chi and sharpens the awareness like none other.
Now that I’ve been doing Yoga and Tai Chi classes regularly again, I’m really starting to feel the Chi as it flows through my sinews. Its like a sort of quasi-biological field, that the mind can control and manifest consciously in various parts of the body.
This better understanding of chi, in combination with the incremental increases in core strength from practice, also make Yoga poses that were nearly impossible a few months ago quite easy; as the understanding of the chi and allowing it to flow freely provides much of the strength and balance that the body needs to achieve difficult poses.
I’d like to take you on a journey through my past and into the realm where no time or space exists. Lets visit a realm of energy, music and passion. This is the realm I go to when I visit the land of the Swans. It is a dark realm in each of us; you can only visit it, if you are willing to face yourself, face me and see the dark and the light without prejudice and with overall equanimity.
I want to show you the very beginnings of my journey into the music of Michael Gira and the Swans. I want to share some of my first pivotal experiences and explain what revelations this brought about.
I started listening to the Swans at around the age of 19. I was exploring some old interviews with Maynard James Keenan from Tool; when I found an interview on JJJ Australian radio. This was an interview where they explore the songs which the particular artist found inspiration. Two of the songs were from the Swans: Time is Money (bastard) and Coward.
I found both of these songs stirred deep dark feelings inside me. They were unlike anything I had ever experienced before. My first inclination was to dislike it, because it wasn’t what I was used to thinking of as music and it scared me; but I became intensely curious, so I decided to buy every album of the Swans I could find, so I could explore this all in much greater depth.
When I got ahold of the albums, my exploration first gravitated towards their compilation album called Various Failures. The songs on this album were more melodic and upbeat, which I found easier to enjoy and relate to, since I had not yet developed my taste for their more exotic work from the earlier, darker, years. At that time period, playing the older, more dark and depressing albums, was like opening pandora’s box to me. I seldom did it for very long and when I would listen to a full album with my full attention, I would inevitably have an enlightening experience.
The first such experience I can remember, is while I was still living at home. I was probably around 18-19 years old at the time. I was at that point in my life where the lie that everything is, started to be made manifest in my perception. I started to realize that the world we are in today, tends to transform everything and everyone into meaningless corporatized crap. Even the so-called alternatives were often as meaningless as that which they purport to replace.
Having this reality dawn upon me was most unsettling indeed, as I had spent years thinking that things were, not necessarily great, but well enough in the world. I was beginning to realize what a tub of filth the world had become over the preceding decades. This was the rotten, empty, forsaken world I was emerging into, in which I would spend the rest of my life.
During one evening, when I was at home alone and had a particularly depressed feeling come over me, I decided to play a live album called The Swans are Dead and take a nice long bath. Little did I know that this experience would be remembered years down the road as a turning point in my relation to this world.
I turned on the music and I just let go, as much as I was capable at the time. I let the emotions it would evoke in me flow as I gave it the full attention of virtually every aspect of my being. The performance started with the song Feel Happiness, which was slow and then gradually layered on this new reality, adding layer upon layer as the moments progressed. I still remember the first lyrics of the performance and how it reverberated in me.
I’m truly sorry,
for what I never did,
but I forgive you, too;
for your indifference.
You’re a lonely child,
laid open to the world,
and when I looked in your eyes
I saw myself there too,
So please forgive me now,
for what we never had,
Although its useless to say,
I wish you happiness.
I wish you happiness,
I wish you happiness,
I felt as if it said everything my soul was yearning to say; but had kept bottled up inside for so long, unable to express, unable to really understand or acknowledge. It is difficult to describe with words how powerful that was, especially in the context of experiences I was having. In fact, words and descriptive language could not do it justice; it simply must be fully experienced in ones own life, to be understood.
Even to this day, almost 10 years later, I still find this song and the album in which it is contained, to be one of the most powerful tools for understanding and accepting the great depths of emotions I often feel, deep underneath it all; beneath the facade of personality I must wear each day in order to make my way in this godforsaken world.
After I got a couple of songs into the album, I found myself surrendering completely. I simply gave in and let the music carry me to realms I had never visited. It was a tour de force of everything I was needing to face in my life and in my very being.
It’s was kind of like sex in a way; but it lasted much longer, involved my entire being through and through, and didn’t end in an energy drain. More specifically, I’d say it is like tantric sex with a partner who really knows themselves, the kind of sex where you savor the experience and are truly present at every moment; not letting it drain you by letting go to a climax.
This kind of experience is like a transfer of energy and awareness and since it doesn’t happen in a blip, like a climactic experience, it is able to transfer much more for a sustained period of time.
When the album was all over, I felt like I had really connected with something mysterious and amazing. I felt the deepest depths of depression, met with my shadow self, gained a renewed understanding and learned something of who I really am underneath it all. After all of this, I felt a great elation. I was now far more aware of aspects of myself that I had little experience in knowing and understanding.
I realized that, while this is a dark and distorted world and I live a dark and distorted life, it isn’t something to be afraid of or upset about; nor is it something to avoid. No, it is something to relish and experience to the fullest; because life can teach us many things, whether those lessons are from the dark or light aspects of our being.
If there is darkness, it is there for a reason; it isn’t just happenstance that things are the way they are. If we let ourselves have those experiences and don’t avoid them, despite the fact that they may not be pleasant, we will ennoble ourselves on a very deep level indeed. It is often the darker lessons, involving our shadow selves, that teaches us the most and helps us to make greatest leaps in our edification.
Even if you are a relatively unevolved life form, living in a primitive society like the western world of today, populated by spiritually blind — though technologically savvy — imbeciles, your life can still be just as rich, interesting and enlightening as if you lived in Shangri-La. Your life will just be enlightening in a different way; because there are different sets of lessons to learn in each kind of world. One advantage of living in a dark, unevolved world, such as ours, is that the potential for growth is truly remarkable.
When, when we were young
We had no history
So nothing to lose
Meant we could choose
Choose what we wanted then
Without any fear
Or thought of revenge
But then you grew old
And I lost my ambition
So I gained an addiction
To drink and depression
(They are mine
My only true friends
And I’ll keep them with me
Until the very end)
I’d choose not to remember
But I miss your arrogance
And I need your intelligence
And your hate for authority
But now you’re gone
I read it today
They found you in Spain
Face down in the Street
With a bottle in your hand
And a wild smile on your face
And a knife in your back
You died in a foreign land
And they found my letter
Rolled up in your pocket
Where I said I’d kill myself
If she left me again
So now she’s gone
And you’re both in my mind
I’ve got one thing to say
Before I am drunk again:
God damn the sun
God damn the sun
God damn anyone
That says a kind word
God damn the sun
God damn the sun
God damn the light it shines
And this world it shows
God damn the sun
Some of the greatest beauty you will ever experience in this life is bittersweet. It is sorrow coupled with understanding and acceptance of who you really are at this stage in your evolution. It is the source of all good art, music and poetry.