Categories
Life Novel Philosophy Religion Science

Why the Waking Dream?

DevlinI get asked on many occasions why I’ve spent so much time working on this series before I wrote the book.  Part of it was procrastination, but the biggest reason was the allegory behind the Waking Dream.

When I was a kid, I was very much enamored by H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.  The idea of a writer creating a framework for other writers to contribute to was fascinating to me.  And since the story “The Call of Cthulhu” was released in 1926, scores of renowned authors have taken their turn to try to rouse the Ancient Ones from their slumber.

I initially came up with the idea for the Waking Dream in 1995 as a Dungeons and Dragons style role-playing game.  It was first premiered on Internet Relay Chat, where I had over 100 people playing at any given time.  But as I began to write these elaborate story lines for others to interact with, it occurred to me that it would be more useful to write stories and novels, rather than a bunch of rules and dice play.  The Waking Dream began to evolve.

I stepped away from the online role-play world and began to do serious research on how to make the Waking Dream a framework.  But along the way, it started to become something much more than that.  It started to become a philosophical debate on the nature of existence – a subject that has haunted me my entire adult life.  I have for a long time stopped reading fiction, and jumped headlong into physics, cosmology, religion, philosophy, mathematics and metaphysics.  And along the way, I created an entire universe populated by Dreamers, Sleepers and Immortals and solved — in my mind — the answers to our universe.

It does not matter really what comprises the universe, how it came to be, or where it will go from here.  What does matter is the voyage and exploration of the self and understanding that we are all connected at a fundamental level, and the universe is our playground.  We have gone about our search for the answer in the wrong way.  Rather than trying to understand our consciousness and our spirit, we’ve leaped into the abyss, searching for answers in the stars — but the answer is in each and every one of us.

The Waking Dream books and stories and framework are to give us a way to be children again, when we looked at everything with wonder. Magic and Monsters are everywhere, we’ve just chosen not to see them in the same way we once did.  We’ve allowed what we call the “common reality” — what the majority believes to be true — to make us blind to the true nature of the universe and thus, ourselves.

For me, the Waking Dream is not about making money, it’s about throwing a new idea out on the table for everyone to see.  And in turn, I expect others to take up the mantle and submit their own stories about the Waking Dream.  Because, in the Waking Dream anything is possible.  And if we all take a moment to realize the Dream as something wonderful, it will be wonderful.  But at the moment, we are creating a nightmare.

Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many novels to come.  If you are looking to escape for just a little while, and you believe in any of the things I have said, I believe you will enjoy walking with me in the Waking Dream.

Categories
Life Novel Philosophy

Waking Dream (Part 5)

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

My last post was about the Weird and Weirdness.  Today we will delve into the three distinct realms that make up the Waking Dream Universe.  But before I get into that, I’d like to discuss the fabric of our known universe, as it is defined today.

Let’s begin.

Physicists and cosmologists have been trying to define our universe and its structure for many years.  The only thing they have theorized at this point is that the universe is composed of three things: 73% dark energy, 23% dark matter and 4% ordinary matter. And, though this theory is there, there is no concrete explanation for dark energy or dark matter.  It’s dark because its beyond our ability to see.  Which I have interpreted that dark matter and dark energy exist in a different “dimensions” if you will.  While it is theorized that dark energy is expanding our universe, which is explained as all the galaxies are moving away from one another.  I do not subscribe to this theory, as proposed by Edwin Hubble for three reasons.  A) We cannot make assumptions about the expanding universe based on less than a hundred years of observation on a universe that is 13+ billion years old, B) astronomers Alexander Kashlinsky, F. Atrio-Barandela, D. Kocevski and H. Ebeling have provided a compelling argument that shows that there are galaxies moving in a “dark flow” to some unseen “great attractor” and C) Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy are going to have a head on collision in about 4 billion years (But don’t worry, our sun will have exploded by then).  Now let’s move on to the Waking Dream view of the universe.

The Three Realms

The Waking Dream

The Waking Dream is the physical reality in which all ordinary matter exists.  This is the realm of the Dreamers.  The Waking Dream is, in essence, the playground of the soul where the world can be molded and shaped by the will of the soul, which manifests itself in the form of Weirdness.  The Waking Dream is every changing and is constantly subjected to transformations.  There are two types, a Minor Transformation, and a Great Transformation.  A Minor Transformation can take any form that shifts the dream in a different direction.  Such as the Renaissance, or the Age of Reason.  A Great Transformation completely and utterly changes the course of the Dream to the point where all Dreamers and Immortals begin again from scratch and the world is transformed to something new and different.

The Spaces Between

As discussed in previous posts, the Spaces Between is the realm from which all consciousness and creative force emanates.  This is the realm of the Weird and it is where all life begins.  The structure of the Spaces Between resembles an interconnected web of glowing cobalt blue strands, representing the movements, memories and experiences of all those in the Waking Dream.   This is where all knowledge is collected and used by the Dreamers and Immortals to mold the Waking Dream with their respective Weirdness abilities.

The Spaces Between is not a docile place, such as the depictions of heaven.  It is a tumultuous storm of thought, energy and creatures.  The creatures that inhabit the Spaces Between occasionally gain access to our world through portals, and this is where the notion of “monster” comes from. Some creatures prey on weak or newly formed Dreamers.

Newly formed Dreamers find the Spaces Between to be terrifying, because they do not possess the inherent understanding of their purpose.  It is through finding other experienced Dreamers that they learn how chose their Sleeper vessel and enter the Waking Dream for the first time.

The Sleeping Dream

The consciousness/mind is never idle.  The brain regulates all of the internal systems of the body while it sleeps.  All bodies require regeneration and rest, but the consciousness does not.  This is the purpose of the Sleeping Dream.

The Sleeping Dream is a solipsistic realm where the only consciousness that exists therein is the Dreamer who is sleeping.  It is here that the Dreamer can hone their abilities without affecting the Waking Dream.  They can re-live experiences in their current existence, or if they are Immortal, they can re-live experiences from all their incarnations.  Some have even created entire worlds to inhabit and have a dream within a dream.  Dreamers have complete control while they are in the Sleeping Dream, and the more experience they have, the more they can control the aspects of the Sleeping Dream.  They have limitless power within the Sleeping Dream, yet, this is only after they have accepted that they can do anything that they cannot readily do within the Waking Dream.  The Sleeping Dream for every Dreamer exists within the confines of their bodies.

Sleepers do not have the same abilities in the Sleeping Dream.  They are only able to process their current thoughts.  The Sleeping Dream, for a Sleeper, exposes their mind to the Spaces Between to allow incorporeal Dreamers to see into their lives to decide whether they want to inhabit a particular Sleeper, or enter the Waking Dream and observe the Sleeper before making their decision to possess the Sleeper.

Conclusion

This final part concludes, for now, the exploration of the Waking Dream.  These five posts have been structured to give you a glimpse of things to come, as well as understand the mythos behind the series.  As future books in the series are released, I will start a new line of blog postings to explain things as we move forward.  To expose anything further would be a spoiler for those who have not already read the first edition of Waking Dream: Devlin.

More information, that does not have spoilers, can be found at http://wayoftheweird.com/

Remember, Waking Dream: Devlin Book I in the Transformation Series will be released this Sunday through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all the major eBook services.  The Trade Paperback is $15.95 (USD) and eBook is $7.99 (USD).  Part of the proceeds from my book sales will go towards a scholarship fund for local High School students, and another portion will be donated to Anti-Bullying Campaigns.

Let’s change the world together.

Categories
Life Novel Philosophy Science

Waking Dream (Part 1)

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I start a new series of posts describing the philosophy behind my upcoming novel, Waking Dream: Devlin Book I. The book will be going on sale on September 22, 2013 — The first day of Autumn.  As an side note, all dates in the book and the actual release dates all play into the overall mystery of the series.

Let’s Begin!

At the basis of it all, the concept of the Waking Dream stems from my own personal studies in a variety of areas.  Its more than just a series of fiction novels, it is an interwoven collection of things I have come to understand to be plausible with reference to the nature of our universe, the formation of life, the human soul and consciousness.  I assert that our present scientific endeavors are looking for the wrong things and that some of the things presented as fact are indeed quite wrong.  There are far too many unknowns, and most of all, we cannot understand nor explain the most fundamental aspect of our universe, Gravity.  In addition, there is this lack of unifying the physics of the big things in our universe (stars, galaxies, planets, life) and the physics of the very small, quantum level (atoms, electrons, singularities).  Even though there has been significant effort in this area, we are still no closer to a true Theory of Everything — well, not an accepted theory that is.  At the end of this post I will list some of the books that have helped shape my understanding of the universe.

The Story of Creation

I began with the Unmoved Mover principle posited by Aristotle in his work Metaphysics. I had been struggling with my own agnosticism at the time, and had been reading the works of St. Thomas Aquinas as a part of my theology curriculum.  After much study in this area, I determined that I had become more of a Deist and that we are responsible for how our lives unfold.  The essence of Free Will.  If the Creator is intervening in our lives, then we do not truly have Free Will.  And I think this is personified even in the bible as “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) [“God helps those who helps themselves” is an ancient Greek derivative of this, yet not found in the bible thusly quoted]

In the Waking Dream, the Creator set the parameters for the universe, then moved on to other places, perhaps checking in on us from time to time out of curiosity.  I have always found it quite paradoxical to think that an all supreme being would need us to worship him.  We have created a God to worship for a variety of reasons — mostly to explain the things we cannot explain.  But as time moves forward, we will require God less and less.  This is the fundamental aspect of my philosophy behind the Waking Dream.  Once we realize we are all One being, with each of us a facet of that one being, we will no longer need to rely on a God because we will realize that we are all God and One.

In the beginning, there was One — the first Immortal.  It is he who set into motion the creation of the stars, galaxies, planets.  And through this, other consciousnesses began to form in a place called The Spaces Between, the source of all the energy necessary for matter to exist.  Souls/Spirits coalesce much in the same way stars do, swirling thoughts that accreted from this primordial energy.

One is just the first, and not God.  And through him, the other Celestial Immortals were created through a predefined equation.  From his essence, the Magician and the High Priestess came into being.  They are the ones who created the parameters by which the incorporeal enter the physical realm of the Waking Dream. They also are the ones that defined the ability to affect the Waking Dream, known as Weirdness, my form of magic.

From the Magician and High Priestess, came the last of the Celestial Immortals, the Triad.  They are the Dexter who governs Order, the Sinister who governs Chaos, and the Charnel One who governs death and reincarnation.  And through the Triad the shells that our souls inhabit in the Waking Dream were created, the Sleepers.

All souls, or Dreamers and Immortals, must inhabit a body in the physical world to exist.  Once they have done so, they live out their lives and eventually Awaken to understand that the universe is a Waking Dream.  From this point, they are able to use the inherent Weirdness within all Dreamers to subtly affect the Waking Dream, making the world as it is today.  And when they die, they return to the Spaces Between to begin all over again.  A Dreamer does not consciously remember their former life, except through the phenomenon of Deja Vu.  But when they return to the Spaces Between they retain all of the knowledge of their multitude of lives.  This continues until they reach the state of Immortality, the goal of every Dreamer.

The next part in this series will explore Immortality and the differences between the Celestial Immortals and the Planet Bound Immortals.

List of References I’ve used to create the series:

Categories
Life

Blood Dolls are Now on Sale!

MeresinI am happy to announce that the limited run of Blood Dolls, hand crafted by Southern Gothica, are now on sale.  Please visit the following link for ordering information!

Only 55 will be made this run!  The next run will be available before Christmas, so if you don’t get one this time, you’ll be placed on the waiting list.

http://wp.me/P2KZ0f-hW

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion Science

Connections

neural network rotatorGreetings, Dreamers!

I apologize for the hiatus on something meaningful and thought-provoking, but the common reality has a way of getting in the way of what I wish to explore.

Today, I am going to discuss connections, for I feel that there is a need to further explore how we are all One, and how this is possible.  The more we can accept this simple truth the more chance we have of saving ourselves — and yes, it is a truth that I firmly and staunchly believe.

“Things fall apart — the center cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere. The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” – The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats

This was the first poem I ever read when I started my English degree.  The class was British Modern Age Literature and this poem, of all the wonderful poems in Yeats’ body of work, has haunted me for my entire adult life.  But to put it in context of how it relates to our world is that We are all the center that cannot hold because we have lost our connections to the hub that is our Oneness — the singularity that binds us, yet allows us to explore our universe from different perspectives while sharing our observations.

My day job is filled with data analysis and I use artificial intelligences, namely neural networks, to process data.  But, coding these automatons requires a deeper understanding of the biological construct which inspired them — the human brain.  In the figure pictured above, you see how the billions of neurons in your brain are connected.  When the mind is thinking, it is a storm of electrical surges that ripple like lightning over a rain filled thundercloud.  Each neuron is connected, directly or indirectly to the whole through cause and effect.  Each neuron processes a bit of information, and signals other connected neurons to fire and assist in the deduction of the appropriate response.  For instance, when you see an apple, neurons fire that process color (red), shape (apple), ontology (fruit), context (edible) and spacial (distance).  All happening at the speed of light, to deduce that what you are seeing is in fact an apple.  But this does not happen without learning — i.e. positive and negative reinforcement.

An artificial intelligence is like a child.  It must be trained and given experience.  We train it by giving it known things.  Such as, if we want a neural network to be able to recognize faces, we given it pictures and have it find them.  When it is right, we “reward” it by telling it that it answered correctly.  When it is wrong, we “scold” it.  This process continues until we feel that the AI has a good grasp on what the general shape of a face is, but we do not over teach it, because we know that not all faces are created equal.  Also, if we are processing photos, lighting, age, weight and other obstructions, can be hard to distinguish.  We want the AI to be able to come to a conclusion on its own, with our gentle nudging in the right direction.

Simple ANNThis is a typical layout for a very simple AI.  We have three inputs, which are the variables or traits we know.  The hidden layer connects all of the input neurons to the output neurons, and acts as the “memory” of known answers.  This memory is all governed by very simple equations that strengthen or weaken connections between certain neurons.  The stronger the connections, the more likely they will fire and produce the correct answer.

Now, you may be asking, why do I care about any of this?  It’s very simple.  If you look at the world, with every living organism as a neuron, we have connections.  And, when we work in tandem, we produce an outcome.  Sometimes we stay “wired” to one another, and produce a similar outcome, other times, we drift apart and make different connections, different outcomes.  I have observed people in different settings.  In one setting they will come up with different outcomes to the same inputs, depending on who they are with.  As an example, you what to go to a movie.  If you go with Group A, you will probably see a Romantic Comedy.  If you go with Group B, you will probably go see a Horror film.  The outcome is governed by the collective behavior and connections within that group.  And if you decide you don’t want to see Romantic Comedies any longer, you will drift further from Group A when it comes to movie going, until the connection is weakened and possibly lost.

The point of this particular rambling is to punctuate that we as living organisms, not just humans, but all living things, function as a global mind.  It is a very difficult concept to accept for many because it infringes on the “self”.  However, every neuron in your brain is an individual, yet it must have input and connections to the rest of the brain to be of use.  If it is not being used, it simply dies.

This is just another example of how we are all connected.  Our global mind produces the outcomes that we experience in day-to-day life.  And if the outcomes are not what we want, we must relearn, retrain ourselves, until we can achieve what it is we want.  “Things fall apart”, yes, they have and do.  But it within our power to make amends before the “rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born”.

This is my hypothesis on Oneness, and I am opening the floor to be challenged on the validity of my analogy as I formulate a cogent theory of Oneness and Global Consciousness.

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion Science

The Universe (Part 3)

enlightenmentGreetings Dreamers!

Initially, I was going to write about gravity as my next foray into exploring our universe.  But over the last few days I’ve had some very interesting conversations and read some interesting material that has changed my mind.

Today I want to discuss the only way we can truly understand the universe — Enlightenment.

This has been something that I have been struggling with since first I heard the term, then understood the process.  However, I am not talking about Buddhist enlightenment, where by attaining enlightenment frees us from rebirth.  I am talking about enlightenment in the sense that the universe reveals itself to you, thereby revealing you to yourself.

We have spent a great deal of time and energy to measure, quantify and categorize all the things that make up the universe.  We done a bang up job at this.  We’ve discovered elementary particles quarks, electrons, neutrons, protons and muons, to name a few.  We’ve discovered black holes, quasars, neutron stars, gamma ray bursts and planets far beyond our tiny little solar system.  We have discovered limitations, rules, equations and barriers.  We have sent ourselves and objects hurtling into the jungle beyond, crying out for someone else in the darkness.  And what has this produced?  Just more questions.  There will always be questions, and they will never end until we know everything. But what’s the point of existing if you know everything.

I have had some moments where I can see lucidly, beyond my own human flaws, fears and insecurities.  Moments where you can connect with someone on an indescribably level, or moments when the answer just falls out of the sky and begs me to accept it.  So my most recent, yet fleeting moment of enlightenment was actually a proper definition of what enlightenment really is.

Enlightenment is accepting the simple fact that we are the universe.  All of these little particles and atoms we are made of were created out of necessity for us to explore the physical universe, which is only 4% of the entire universe.  And that 4% is unimaginably massive.  We can’t even see the entire universe with our telescopes, we can only see as far as the light reaching us originate from, so no one really knows how far it goes.  It is the greatest mystery, and the greatest adventure.  And we create these mysteries for ourselves, to entertain ourselves, just like the games we invent, or the books we write. Life is the same, we live a time as someone or something, then we move on to experience something new.  Understanding the universe will begin when we truly understand ourselves.

I believe there are two ways that we can explore the universe.  The first is rebirth.  We move from body to body, world to world, exploring, living, enjoying.  We are constantly being reborn, and it doesn’t have to be here on this planet.  There are more planets than stars in the universe, and there is most definitely life on these other planets.  I do not know this, I feel this — if we are all the universe, then we are connected to life forms on every planet that does or had existed.  In this life I am Michael, in a previous life I could have been a flapper in the 1920’s, or a scientist on a far distant planet that has sent my own message to find life elsewhere.

We are not limited to these bodies, nor must we die to explore because the second way is through transcendence and allowing our souls to detach from our machine and roam freely, knowing that we can return at anytime.  Life when you sleep, where do you truly go?  Have you ever been someplace in a dream that you’ve never been, then at a later date, you visit and have an overwhelming sense of deja vu?  This is transcendence, we do it all the time, we just don’t remember it completely because our brain returns our focus to the waking state, and slowly forgets the dream because it doesn’t pertain to the here and now.

The creator and god are not the same, in my opinion.  I posit that the creator was the architect, and god was the engineer.  And since we engineer our reality, we must be god.  We have gotten so wrapped around the axle about god and who created the universe, and we’ve forgotten how powerful we truly are – how powerful all life is.  An ant can carry 50 times its weight.  Humpback whales have a language of song.  We humans have awareness.  And awareness allows us to explore the aspects of enlightenment.

I’m beginning to feel as if I am approaching this enlightenment.  Petty things that once mattered to me have fallen by the wayside.  I seldom sit in front of the computer or TV anymore — I work I’m outside, engage in conversation with someone, or listen to the thrushes that live in my garage.  I have lain on the grass in my back yard, and stared up at Jupiter and felt its pull on me.  This is how it all begins.  Just letting your mind free from the taught reality.  Let your mind wander into your own reality — it is what makes life so interesting, makes each moment wonderful.

So I will end today’s post with a simple question:  Have you ever felt one with the universe?

 

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion Science

The Universe (Part 2)

OneGreetings Dreamers!

Continuing with our exploration of the universe, and all its glory, I want to talk about Oneness.  Now you may think that this is not something related to the existence of the universe, but it is its most fundamental aspect.

The universe is an isolated system.  Which means all of the energy — and subsequently matter — is finite.  Which means, no new energy can enter or leave the universe.  It can only change forms, and it constantly does.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Oneness, let us talk about the fundamentals.  Every atom in your body was created by a star. From the carbon that forms all the molecules that make up your cells, to the iron in your blood, to the hydrogen and oxygen that make up the water, to the gold in your wedding band.  Every bit of it was created by a star.  This means, that we are literally made up from the cinders of burning stars.

We gain our energy from sunlight.  All of the energy that drives us in one form or another is derived by the sun directly or indirectly.  We consume plants and animals that are nourished by the sun.  And when they die or we die, we give up that energy for new life to be reborn, and the cycle continues until this planet is no more.  We cannot escape this.  And to think that any one of us is any better than another is plainly and simply wrong.  We all come from the same thing — no matter how much money you have, or what color your skin, or what religion you believe.  We are all connected physically this way.

But now, let us move onto the spiritual or energetic relationship we share.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I believe that all the knowledge and experience we create is shared amongst ourselves.  We are all teachers and students.  We thrive when we are learning from one another and sharing what we know.  This extends far into the past, as we learn from our collective histories, and into the future as we know what is to come.  It is only when we recognize that we are all connected that we can truly shed our differences and embrace each other as kin.

In my last post, I mentioned the existence of a creator, and I wanted to take a moment to discuss that, because our individual perceptions of a creator are as varied as there are people on the planet.  Since I cannot prove nor disprove God, I would never make a statement that there is no God.  I spent most of my life as an application programmer and architect. I know that an application does not write itself, nor can a house design itself.  The variables that define the universe are so exquisitely defined that if just one of them were changed infinitesimally, the universe would not exist at all.  If gravity were just a little strong or a little weaker, nothing would be as it is now.  All our atoms would fly apart, or the universe would crush in on itself.  So, being a programmer, I am willing to say that in the beginning there was an architect, but I cannot tell you whether he is within or without of our system.

But now that the universe exists, and it has balance.  We have become the stewards.  There really is no need for a God figure because we have been given everything we need to exist. And now we all are collectively God, because we are in control of our reality whether we accept the responsibility or not.  Accepting this responsibility is the most difficult thing we humans struggle with.  Some of us accept it openly, while others want to believe that they need guidance by a supernatural entity.  That is not necessary, because we have one another to admonish ourselves when we are wrong, and praise ourselves when we do amazing things.

The glue that makes us One, is that we are connected through a complex web of inter-relations, vis-a-vis, love, compassion.  When we make a friendship, we become connected to the friends of our friends, ad infinitum.  Social Media can show us that we all are connected at nth degrees of separation.  And though I’m not a fan of Facebook, it has shown me that you can follow a trail from one of your friends to just about anyone else on the planet.  It has exposed that we are all truly connected either directly or indirectly.  But I will take a leap and say that we are connected a much more fundamental levels.

Last night, a friend of mine posted this reply in response to my last post.  It is one of the most poignant observations I’ve read and I wanted to share it with you all.

It’s hard for Me – that is, everyone that I am, anyone that I am – to come to terms with being God…but once I know Myself, well, then, I know I am old and young, good and evil, man and woman, sick and healthy, straight and gay, and so on – how could I not have compassion, acceptance, love, and understanding of Myself? – Dr. Erik Andrulis

I urge you to check his blog, because he is on the same path as I am.  And his insights might give you further food for thought.

So today, I will end this post with another question, and I ask you to step out of yourself before answering.  Look at your friendships, your relationships, your family: Do you believe that every human on this planet is connected at a spiritual level or are we just islands in the sea?

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion

Exploring Humanity (Part 5)

Compassion-3Greetings Dreamers!

I wanted to end this series with a positive message, and discuss the only thing that will fix our world, truly — Love and Compassion.

We all talk about love and compassion. Love is a word that is often thrown around with little earnestness.  Do we do it because we feel obligated because someone else has said it? Do we actually really mean it?  We should mean it, or not say it at all, because it can give the wrong impression, or make us appear as if we are just parrots.

How about compassion?  Do we really empathize with others and show them compassion?  In today’s world, so many people are hurting.  This is just the reality we live in right now.  For instance, here are many more homeless people in the world as a result of all the financial strife our country is facing. I see at least 10 of them every day.  It’s hard to know which one’s are for real and which ones are just looking for drug money, or are scammers.  This is where you have to listen to your inner self.  It is a very difficult thing to learn how to tell those who are earnest, from those who are not.  But if you have spare change, perhaps you should just give it away, no matter what.  In the end, it’s not our place to judge one another.  We must judge ourselves by our own actions. It really doesn’t matter if you give money to someone who doesn’t really need it, because it grows us all as people.  We shed this judgmental aspect of our being, and foster compassion in our hearts.

I don’t want to talk about all the bad things going on in the world — you don’t need me to remind you of that.  My simple message today is that we have to learn to be more compassionate and understanding to those around us.  I know that we are all individuals, but as I’ve said we are all One.  And when one of us is hurting, sometimes it just takes a kind word or gesture to completely change someone’s mood.  And it also means we have to pay attention to our fellow humans.  Some people hide their hurt deep inside.  I personally am very observant of the people close to me — family, friends, co-workers.  It doesn’t help to pry.  But it does help to just show the person you care, and be earnest about it.  When you say you are sorry to someone because they are hurting,grieving, or depressed, say it because you mean it, because they can tell by the tone of your voice whether you are earnest.  If you can’t be earnest, don’t say anything at all, because that will just make things worse.  Trust me, I know how I feel when someone says, “Aww…I’m so sorry.”  But i can tell they don’t mean it, and that just makes me feel more alone and hurt.

So I am ending this series on Exploring Humanity, and next week I intend to move onto a less serious topic — The Universe.  Feel free to suggest something to me.  I’m always open to exploring new ideas.

But before I go, I just wanted to sum this series up by saying that the only true way we can change our world, is by first changing ourselves.  These short essays were not intended to lecture you, or admonish you.  There are many good people in the world, and everyone has good in them — we must believe that though finding the good may take more digging in some, than in others.  Reach out to one another, befriend people and get out of your house.  Enjoy this wonderful world.  Revel in the company of friends and family.  Find happiness in each and every day, even if it’s just for a moment.  It has been a very rough ride for everyone on the planet for the last decade.  But we can change it.  I believe this and I hope you do too.  If we can truly love one another, then we can accomplish anything.

So I leave you with this final question:  Have you reached out and told someone you care about them today — and meant it?

 

Categories
Life Philosophy

Exploring Humanity (Part 4)

selfGreetings, Dreamers!

A friend pointed out to me that I haven’t really given you much to help you explore these topics inwardly.  The purpose of this particular series is to get us all to look at ourselves, because we cannot change the world unless we start with ourselves, because we are all collectively a part of the problem. To today I will discuss self-reflection.

It is very hard to look within ourselves and see what is wrong with us, if anything.  But I know that I personally have things to work on with my own self, and I suspect there are many others like me who do.  There are so many people out there trying to sell books to tell you how to help yourself, but the simple answer is that the only one who can help you is you.  When we look at the world, it is a reflection of all of us, each and every one.  And it will take all of us to change the world to be a better place — no poverty, no violence, no fear, no greed, leaving nothing but hope, peace, love and compassion.

There are much more personalized ways to explore yourself, uncover the things that you don’t like and change them.  The first step is to recognize your problem areas.  Once you’ve recognized them, you can find ways to deal with it.  There is always hope, and no problem is insurmountable if there is a will to do something. Everything begins with the realization that there is something you want to change.  That’s actually the easy part, because deep down inside you know the things that you want to change about yourself.  The hard part is the discipline to fix it.  Nothing is easy, and changing things about yourself requires training and perseverance.

I have spent a great deal of time working with meditation and a form of assisted meditation, known as hemi-sync.  I am fortunate that I live close to the Monroe Institute, here in Virginia, who have been the pioneers in binaural beats.  They sell audio files, both music and self-paced instruction, to teach you how to meditate and explore the depths of your psyche and how to find inner peace.  Their Gateway Series is the best place to begin, and it is reasonably priced.  But there are other ways to explore yourself.  I find that I learn more about myself through my creative outlets, something we all have, and through my works, the things that make you unique will expose themselves over time.

When I find something that I want to change about myself,  I create a little rhyme, poem or mantra that I tell myself whenever I find myself falling into an old, unwanted pattern.  Living with OCD has helped me in this case.  I tend to be attracted to shiny things — I’m probably a raven in disguise.  When I am at the store, and I want to purchase something, I think about it over and over, telling myself “Do I really need this? Or am I going to use it for a few months then toss it to the side?”  I say this over and over until I have either listed enough logical arguments that I need it, or I come to the conclusion that it is just the raven in me that wants it.

I do not have the answers, and though there are many people who will tell you they have the answers, the only person who knows you is YOU.  It’s okay to ask for help, but you’re the one that has to decide what it is that you want to change about you.  It is up to you to take personal responsibility for your actions, and the direction of your life.  We all have things that have happened in our pasts, but we also are the one defining our futures.  No one is directing you or controlling you.  If you feel that way, you simply say no, I’m not going to allow this to happen anymore.  It really is that simple, and I’m not trying to sell you a self-help book.  It’s all about realizing you are the captain of your vessel.  And once you have accepted this, you can change yourself for the better, and thus we can change the world for the better.

I’ve said this throughout these posts.  To create a utopian society, which I firmly believe can exist, it must begin within each and every one of us.  Even tough we have all these terrible things in the world that I’ve mentioned before, there is hope, the future does not need to be grim.  Our planet is beautiful and amazing.  Each of us is beautiful and amazing.  We all have dreams, we all have thoughts, and we all want to be heard.  Life is an amazing gift. On twitter, I posted this today

Take a moment to see some of the responses that people left. There are always positive things about yourself and our world.  We are so mired down in the negative, because that is all we are fed, day in and day out.  So when you look inside yourself, also look around you.  See the good and bad in you, see the good and bad in our world.  The answers to fixing both ourselves and the world will be similar.

So today I will leave you with this question, which you do not have to post or answer for me:  Look inside yourself and find is there something you really need or want to change, and how can you achieve it?

Categories
Life

Exploring Humanity (Part 3)

violenceGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I am going to explore a very difficult subject — Violence.  Our world has always been filled with violence.  Some people think things are getting worse, and they are.  It’s also much more visible than it ever has been before due to the media and the internet.  And, sadly enough, violence sells.

One night I did a little experiment.  I sat down and turned on CNN Headline News for about 3 hours.  During the time, I made a little mark in a note-book for every violent and non-violent story I saw.  It was not surprising to me that over 60% of the stories that I saw were violent related.  Why is this? Because we enjoy violence.  It’s not to say that we are bad because of this.  Like Fear, Violence is an instinct and a reaction for survival.  We kill animals because we are omnivores.  We kill each other out of a variety of reasons — religion, race, greed, envy, apathy, righteousness, and most of all, stupidity.

Killing is the most dire of all violence, but we perpetrate other forms of violence as well, the lesser violences.  Spousal abuse, child abuse, verbal abuse, bullying, road rage, vandalism, and sadly, in self-defense.  It is perplexing that we’ve not learned to overcome this.  It is another sickness that plagues our society.  One violent act begets another violent act, a vicious cycle, a butterfly effect.  It is even more upsetting that we commit violent acts completely unprovoked.

We were originally violent by design, but we are supposed to evolve intelligently.  The violence always comes back to fears and greed.  We commit violence in the name of God — which is so beyond my comprehension I don’t even know where to begin with that topic.  We commit violence over ideals, which again makes no sense — gay bashing, bullying, politics, entitlement issues and lack of understanding each others views.  We commit violence over difference of opinions — who is to say who is truly right?

I could go on, but all of you know these things happen.  And we all have at one point or another committed an act of violence — even as simple as biting a sibling over a favorite toy or the last cookie.  It is ingrained in our psyche that violence is the last resort, the last answer, when in reality, it is the one thing we should strive the most to overcome.  It is only then that we can focus on changing the world.  But instead, we allow our governments to wage war on one another over silly things.  Every culture on this planet is beautiful in its own way, it is what makes us unique.  It is usually a handful of people who end up defining an entire culture.  We generalize entirely too much, and we hold grudges entirely too long.  Things happen — we should learn from our mistakes and move on, but we have not.

Wars are still happening.  People are still killing, stabbing and maiming one another.  We hate for no good reason.  Everyone has their opinions on how to stop violence.  So lets explore a couple of those.

Gun control, that will solve nothing because if someone wants a gun, they will get a gun, or a sword or a crossbow.  The only way to stop people using guns is to stop having guns produced at all.  But we know that’s impractical.  Sure we can make it harder for people to get guns, but we all know where there is a will there is a way.  Look how well the War on Drugs has worked.  People still use drugs.

Sanctions against countries who are threats.  Well that doesn’t work because it just makes them more determined to have their weapons of mass destruction.  As much as I love this country, it is highly hypocritical to say that one country can have nuclear weapons, and another cannot.  We did drop the first nuclear weapons, but on the other hand we’re saying no one else can have them?  Who are we to say this?  This has only made us a greater target because our involvement in other country affairs makes them hate us all the more.

Religion is absolutely not the way to stop violence, because all the major religions have teachings against violence, yet they have all been involved in acts of violence.  The Crusades, Radical Islamists, The Inquisition, The Salem Witch Trials, The Holocaust — the list goes on.  All these religions believe they are right, and they are entitled to their opinions, but, not one of them can prove that they are right.  Not one.

There is only one way to stop violence forever — each of us must make a conscious decision to not commit an act of violence.  And through this our children will learn that it is emphatically wrong to kill or harm anyone.  Period. No exceptions.  It is only through love that violence will be eradicated, and we will talk about that tomorrow.

So I leave you with this question:  What is one thing you believe we, the human race, can do to end the violence in our world?