Search

Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

Tag

consciousness

Reflecting… Out Loud

Who has the answers?
Is it you — girl in the corner twirling a charcoal pencil between your fingers, arched over the sketches of portraits in your high waist jeans and blue 1970’s vest draped over a loosely fitted, eggshell button down shirt?

I woke up from a different version of a dream I had during my childhood:
Jesus comes back and I am left behind.

I see an expansive white light cutting through the fabric of space revealing light shaped figures of men in horses. In the moment it was clear what was separate from the light. And I, left behind, on the other side of the light, suddenly struggled with the realization that I was wrong. I chose wrong. As I frantically fought my way through unfamiliar people and objects in attempt to approach the light to plead that “I didn’t know any better,” my awareness beyond the dream state chimed in saying, “This can’t be right. This has to be a dream.”

WTF…

This week I’ve been contemplating “what’s the point?”

Well. That’s actually a common contemplation of mine.

But it’s more often been in the forefront of my mind the question of “What truly is the point of all this and what is the right answer?” If there is no “right” answer, how do I really know that’s true? How much more right is it to say “There is a right answer” vs. “There is no right answer?” when we don’t have ultimate proof of either.

Sigh.

Let’s talk about psychedelic experiences for a moment. 
Are they real? Or are they simply your brain responding to powerful chemicals? Nothing truly mystical or magical here – only your brain having a response to a disruption in its normal neural circuitry which manifests itself in symptoms like disassociation, distorted vision, distorted sense of time,  blended perception of senses, (seeing colors, tasting sounds), visual hallucinations, among others.  
When we have a psychedelic experience are we tapping into some real, alternate realm? Is there REALLY AND TRULY some other dimension where there are beings of forms beyond the earth existing?
Or is it just your brain making these things up in response to a drug and then people come out of it thinking it’s real when it’s just as fake as a Hollywood movie?

What do you make of the works by Alex Grey?

What is true about the nature of reality?
Do the people who promote the law attraction have it right?
Are we really just energy and we can manifest anything we want into our life simply by becoming a vibrational match?
Sometimes these thoughts scare me. Because if this is true, I am fucked. My thoughts can go to some pretty dark places and the last thing I need is to manifest them into reality.

Co-relation does not mean causation.  

Who really knows whats going on here?
Is it the Scientists? The Christians? The Buddhists? The Quantum Physicists?
Can someone please tell me – why? For what am I here? 
Why is there something rather than nothing?

Does this all truly matter in the end? Or is it truly meaningless? 
Which is it?
What even is “the end?” Is there life beyond this?

If I knew, would I be satisfied with the answer? 
How would I know that I know?

How can I truly know something?

I have my basic senses to guide me. But they’re not enough. There is so much that they do not detect. And my intellect is that of a mere, average human. 

Maybe I’ll never know. What if this “I’ll never know” attitude is what stops me from ever digging to find out? 

Why do I even care?

I wish I didn’t.

I wish I was someone who didn’t care.
Someone who could just live their life in peace. Not feeling the need to seek anything. To know anything. 

Someone like the girl in the corner twirling the charcoal pencil between her fingers.

 

 

Advertisements

Lost and Found

Some days it feels like nothing goes my way. My jacket zipper gets stuck. I miss the train by seconds. I travel far for a project that doesn’t pan out. My hair gets brutally tangled in my necklace. I glance at the clock and suddenly I’m running late. I blindly sit on someone’s spilled coffee. A stranger’s bad breath poorly concealed by minty gum is blown towards my face. It takes the cashier 5 painful minutes to return me my change.

Is the world against me? Or am I moving too quickly and have missed the lesson here?

I watch other people pass me by and wonder if their life is easier. Maybe their zippers never get stuck.

I start thinking that if maybe I was someone else then misfortune would somehow escape me.

I know it’s ridiculous to think this – but I do it anyway. Then I come here and write about it.

Then I get over it and come back to the moment.

I play tug of war with the now and my rambling mind. The endless commentary in my head seems to win most of the battles. Yet even in the chaos of my inner world I arrive at luxurious moments of peace.
Then it’s lost again.
Then found.
Then lost.
Then found.

I realize it’s not about how many times I fall but how quickly I get up, beat the thick brown dust off my warrior body and keep on truckin’.

Truck, truck, truckin’.
Truckin’, truckin’.
Truck, truck, truckin’.

Just never gonna stop.

Rumination

Rumination, (thinking deeply about the same thing over and over again) is helpful in the sense that it reminds you of some unresolved issue. However, rumination can be detrimental to your wellbeing because it inhibits you from letting go and healing. Picking at the same old wound will never allow it to heal. Replaying the same old story in your head will keep you stuck like a CD with a scratch on it. You can’t move forward and grow if your mind is stuck on what happened two years ago. Letting go of the story in your head will allow you to begin to unburden yourself and become free of limiting thoughts that keep causing you pain in the present moment.

It can be hard to let go of the story in our head when we have become so identified with it. It is like a little piece of us. We think something like, “I will never forget the mean comment Jane made about me.” And then you keep thinking about Jane and her comment over and over again because you have chosen to commit to the thought that “I will never forget the mean comment Jane made about me.”

Holding on to the mean comment Jane made about you is not in any way serving you in a positive manner. What good is it doing to your mind, body, heart and overall wellbeing? None.

Let go.

So how do we let go of our limiting thoughts?

Practice non-attachment. When a repetitive thought comes to your mind, don’t feed the thought. Don’t become identified with it. Allow it to just pass through you. The thought will die if you do not feed it further energy. If you let the thought pass through you like a cloud or the wind, it’ll just pass without affecting you. Recognize that you are not your thoughts – you have thoughts, but you are not the thoughts. You are the awareness of your thoughts. Use your awareness to shine light on repetitive thoughts and realize “Oh, hey, there goes that bad thought again. I will just let it pass because this thought is not who I am.”

You can also practice meditation, which is getting the mind to become totally still. It quiets the analytical voice that is always playing in your head. You don’t have to meditate for long periods at a time. Even 10 seconds can help you become still. Start small. Focus on your breath. Breathing deeply calms your heart rate and brings your body to a state of relaxation. You can do this anywhere at any time. We all have at least 10 seconds to dedicate to our wellbeing.

Practice affirming rituals that remind you of who you are. When repetitive thoughts arise, interrupt them with affirming thoughts like:

I am consciousness.
I am in control of my thoughts.
I let go of old limiting thoughts.
I let go of painful memories.
I release all that does not serve me.
I am free.

You can repeat that to yourself like a mantra as many times as necessary until your mind becomes refocused on the truth of who you really are! You are life itself. You are not a scratched CD. You are not a song on replay. You are not your memories. You have memories, but underneath those memories you are pure consciousness first.
May you find peace in letting go.

Whether Here or There, I Am Still Me

“Wherever you go, there you are”  – Jon Kabat-Zinn

I realize more clearly that no matter where I go, I will follow. And what I mean by this is that I can’t run away from myself. I can change my environment, move away, change jobs, change friends, change partners – but I will still be the same consciousness dealing with the same issues no matter what new circumstance I am in. I can’t run away from myself simply by changing the external world. I must change my internal world first; I must face myself, not run away. If I change myself from the inside, then it will not matter where I am because I will be just fine.

For instance, sometimes I am shy to express myself and I think that if I move where no one knows me, then maybe I can feel less shy to express myself. But then I find myself visiting new places only to find the shyness still present.

Or sometimes I feel awkward about how I look in a bathing suit so I think that maybe if there were less people at the beach I will feel more comfortable. Yet even with very little people at the beach, I still feel awkward.

See? I am externalizing an internal issue. I keep saying things like “When I move, I will feel better” or “When people grow nicer, I will think the world is a better place.” But the more I meditate and experience life, I see that I need to work on my internal issue, not the external world. Sure, having the external conform to my ideals help, but so long as I still have an internal conflict, no matter how perfect everything in the outside world is, my experience will still be distorted by my warped perspective. But better yet, if I build a strong, loving, and accepting internal world for myself, then no matter what is going on in the outside world I will still be peachy! Change, my friends, happens from the inside out.

I need to look in myself and see what is it in ME that I am projecting out into the world – and start by fixing that. One step at a time.
It’s a journey! And even though it may hurt sometimes, the process is so rewarding.

The “Word” of God is Not Limited to The Bible

Disclaimer: Dear reader, this post is coming from the most genuine place of my heart and has zero intention of denying anyone’s knowledge, but rather including everyone’s knowledge to produce harmony by way of unity.

Believing that the Bible is the full and complete word of God is very limiting. First, because the word of God is so infinitely and immeasurably grand that a book is insufficient to contain it. Secondly, because words are extremely limiting and not adequate basis with which to measure the fullness of God.

Everything that IS, is the “word” of God.
The “word” of God isn’t even words to begin with, though it may in part be experienced through words.

To conceive of God through the notions of one book alone means to limit God. To understand more of God we must be able to allow ALL forms of information and knowledge to pass through our consciousness.

When we open a Biology book and we begin to learn about cells, organisms, life, the human body, among other biological aspects, for instance, we are coming into contact with more of the word of God. When we read a chemistry book and we learn about molecules, atoms, elements, chemicals – we are learning more of the word of God.

How do you know when the water has boiled and at what temperature? The Bible does not tell us – but a science book does. And a science book, too, is the word of God.

When we learn about technology and how planes fly, how cars move, how our cellphones operate – the Bible will not tell us this – but a mechanics, physics, and technology book can.  And this too, is the word of God.

How does the optometrist know how to perform laser surgery to restore eye sight? Does he read the Bible to figure it out? No. He reads books on the subject matter of eye surgery. This, too, is the word of God.

When you put together your Ikea furniture, do you read the Bible or the manual? You read the manual. This, too, is the word of God.

ALL information – past, present, future is the word of God. There is nothing that exists outside of the “word” of God. ALL THAT IS IS THE WORD OF GOD.

We must not exclude anything because to exclude any one thing is to limit the unlimited. The unlimited contains EVERYTHING. So to take only one tiny book and claim that it alone is the word of God is EXTREMELY limiting and I urge you to open your understanding and come to see that God is not limited by books. God is not limited by words.

Words are just sounds we make with our mouths as so to communicate ideas which we have formulated by way of experience. We must use the words as pointers for our expansion, not limits that constrain our growth and hinder our full understanding of the universe.

THE PROCESS OF BECOMING

Who are you?
Answer: ___________________________

You might answer this question by telling me your name. Your age, cultural background, your social security number, and yada, yada, yada.

But see – that’s not really who you are. That’s information you have acquired from what the external world has determined for you.
You are the awareness of these things.
You are not your name, you are the awareness of your name.
You are not your age, you are the awareness of your age.
You are not your cultural background, you are the awareness of your cultural background.

Get the drift? I hope so.

“So what? So what if I am the awareness of that stuff?”

YAY! Great news, my friend!
Being awareness means that you get to choose your own reality!
It is up to YOU to decide what to accept or reject into your field of awareness.

So the process of becoming is simply asking yourself what are you aware of.
What thoughts are you aware of? Your own? Those imposed on you by others? A little bit of both?

If you realize that you have adopted the thoughts of others rather than your own, this isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t a good thing either. It just IS. This is how we grow – by exchanging ideas with one another.

Things are what they are – things ARE. PERIOD. Whether something is good or bad depends on the preference of the aware being.

So, for instance, the experience of eating chocolate ice cream may be good for me because to my awareness I experience something good from eating it. Someone else, however, may be eating from my chocolate ice cream cup yet have a distasteful experience because to their awareness they experience something bad from eating chocolate ice cream. There is nothing in the particles of chocolate ice cream itself that is coded with “goodness” or “badness” – these types of labeling are judgements of the experiencer based on the effect a particular thing has in combination to their particular being – to their awareness.

So what am I ultimately saying?
– Become YOU.

Do you like chocolate ice cream because YOU like chocolate ice cream or have you come to like chocolate ice cream because people might think you are cool if you eat chocolate ice cream?

Or fill it in this blank:
Do you like ___________ because YOU like _________ or do you like___________ because you believe X person(s) want you to like ___________?

Are you YOU because YOU take pleasure in who you are or are you YOU because of what you believe other people want you to be?
And maybe it’s a combination of both.
It isn’t bad to tag along with what others think is cool – that’s fine – we have words for that: admiration, inspiration, sharing, absorption, learning.
It only becomes a problem when you are not happy with yourself because you are not being true to who you are but are living a life that is decorated by what others want you to be.

When we seek to be what others want us to be, we are seeking approval.
We are seeking approval from others because we have failed to approve of ourselves just as we are. Somewhere along the way we adopted the awareness that “the way I am, as I am, is not good enough.”

Not good enough to whose awareness?

See, as long as to YOUR awareness you are enough, then no matter who tells you “YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH,” this statement will fall flat on its feet – it will have no power over you. It would be the same as a person telling me over and over “chocolate ice cream sucks.” This statement has no power over me because to MY awareness – CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM FUCKING ROCKS!

Be YOU Because YOU like it – whatever it is that you are. And if others like you too – AWESOME – if not, who cares? NOT YOU is all that matters. It is not for their awareness to decide what YOUR AWARENESS KNOWS TO BE TRUE FOR YOU.

YOUR AWARENESS IS ALL THE MATTERS.

Become YOU.
🙂 ❤

A Few Words on Conditioning

And so you’re born. Welcome.

You are given a name.
You are placed in the care of people.
These people also have names. They have beliefs, ideas, language, culture, tradition, a level of education, possessions, habits, behaviors and their interpretation of the world.
They teach you the world as it is known to them.
They will teach you how to use your mouth to refer to objects.

Say, “Mama.” 
-Mama
Say, “Dada.”
-Dada.
Say, “Cup”
-Cup.

Next thing you know you can use your biologically developed vocal chords to produce sounds to represent externally perceived objects.
As you age your concepts become more complex.
“My mama is in the market.”
“My dada is reading the newspaper.”
“The cup is on the table.”

You are taught the ideas of the people raising you.
“No! It’s not nice to use your hands to eat. Use the spoon.”
“You have to pray before eating your food, God is watching you.”

You begin to be shaped by the information given to you by those who raised you.

Then you go out into the world. You perceive new people. New places.
These new people have different ideas from those who have raised you.
“What do you mean you have to pray before you eat? There is no such thing as God!”
“Yes there is. My moma and dada told me there is so. I believe them. They wouldn’t lie to me.”

Now you have conflicting ideas.
You are exposed to more modes of thinking. You are exposed to new experiences which you never thought possible.

Everything you engage with at any time is molding you. Changing you. Making you.

Then you realize that you are more than your experiences.
“My mama told me that I am Tom. But is that really who I am?”

You might have a name that was given to you. But that’s just a sound. A sound in which we use to communicate among ourselves in order to reference points in space.
You are not your name.
You are not your beliefs.
You are not the voices in your head.
You are not a label.

You are life.
You are breath.
You are consciousness.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑