The Apollyon Letter

WhiteMaskedFigureI initially received  this photo via email.  It had gone to spam, since the address seemed a bit dodgy, and over the top in its attempt to scare me into clicking the photo — awarningtoall@gmail.com.  Since there was no message, I simply deleted it, figuring it was some sort of mal-ware despite its unnerving appearance.  However, a few days later, I received it again and it contained the following message:

Your world is distorted and spiraling ever further into chaos. This is by your design. You have failed to understand the purpose of your existence, and it is not for me to explain. It was your responsibility to evolve into something more than an all-consuming swarm of self-absorbed locusts. That is at an end now. I have worked silently, detected, yet unknown, hidden in plain sight and murdering benevolently. I gain no solace from my work, nevertheless, I must continue before you commit suicide, collectively and completely.

Before I continue with this first letter – the first of many to come – I want you to be clear on a few simple points. There is no point in trying to ascertain my identity or find me in any way. You will waste your time, because you cannot find me with the limited capabilities of your feeble minds. In addition, those of you who are unfortunate enough to be on my list, you cannot hide from me. You make my work easy through your insipid need to be noticed – tweeting, status updates, checking in, photos, blogging, and “selfies”. I can pluck you off the streets or out of your bed in the dead of night and there is no stopping me. My experience is vast in the art of observation and extermination. My purpose is very clear and I have no doubts about my mission. Doubt is a human characteristic. I am more than human. I know you because I began just as you do, wandering listlessly through existence without the faintest of ideas on purpose. Knowledge comes through experience, trial and error. Now, I can see things you are unable to see. I can see things you don’t want others to see – things you don’t want me to see.

You think your darkest deeds, secrets and wishes stay hidden within the thin space between your ears, yet it is recorded on the fabric of space and time for all eternity. Once something is known, it cannot be unknown. This is a fundamental law of the universe, just as I now embody one of its laws – all things must die. I can see the thoughts on the record of the cosmos, then follow the trail of putrid breadcrumbs that lead to those who most deserve punishment. The only law constraining me is that my punishment must be equal to the deed for which I will punish you. I am not the cruel one, I merely a product of your actions. Since the dawn of humanity, I have been among you. I chose to reveal myself now because your world is ending. Many will die, and not just by my hands. I watch your news and see that you are quite astute in the art of killing. The pity is that you kill at all. The evil ones kill on a whim as by-standers look on like soulless zombies, recording the atrocious acts on their electronic devices, for the same selfish reasons you do anything else in your empty lives – to attain a fleeting moment of notoriety on the internet or the evening news. This is the very reason your world will end, more rapidly than you can imagine. I have written this in the hopes that perhaps knowing these facts will change your ways, though I remain skeptical.

People from every aspect of your failed society litter my list, which I prioritized by the severity your immoral acts. Crimes against the pure and innocent I deal with swiftly and innocuously. I used to empathize with your race, but that has left me now – all that is left is pity. The more I observe, the more I find that single smudge of black floating in your soul, a scar of the deed you committed against another. These shards of darkness sing to me across time and space. Eventually, I will come for you unless you find a way to expunge it from your being, and make an act of true contrition. However, I must warn you that the only god that can save you is the god within yourself, which you refuse to see. You look to the heavens with empty eyes and hearts, begging for forgiveness from an entity who has long since ignored your disingenuous atonement. From this lack of hope, I am born.

There is no heaven or hell. Life is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth. When the end does come, some will survive to rebuild. It will be their responsibility to learn from your mistakes, and perhaps I will slumber once more — but humanity has not allowed me to do so in a very long time. There are those among you who ensure that I have a constant supply of letches to eradicate from this world. You stray from the simple path easily, and you willingly destroy yourselves every moment of the day. You have unwittingly created the weapon of your mass destruction, and you are too blind to see it, even as you read this with skepticism and contempt in your heart. Your arrogance, your technology and your belief systems have brought us to this brief moment in the history of existence where the world will face its ultimate demise.

Why do I continue my work if the world is truly ending? The answer is very simple, even for you. I will pave the way for those who have remained true to themselves and realize their purpose. There are fewer and fewer of you left. You allow the licentiousness, debauchery and narcissism of others to dirty your souls, and only you can purge this from your being.

Those of you who have received or read this missive are targets for my list. As I said, I do have pity, for those who deserve it. It is through these series of letters that I will assist you in cleansing the darkness from the depths of your heart.  You can begin by looking into the mirror. Stare into your eyes and see your soul as I see it. There, the deed will reveal itself, if you truly wish to see it – however, most of you will dismiss this. Once you stare into the darkness in your soul, you will see me staring back at you. It is at that moment that either your mind will accept this and make amends or you will punish yourself by retreating into the waiting arms of madness, imprisoned within your mind.

Spread this message, or do not. My job will continue. Now that you know I exist, you may think twice before evoking further maliciousness against others. If you do not, you should not be surprised when a stranger approaches you from the shadows to force your atonement, and witness the cruelty of which I am capable.

Apollyon

Has anyone else received this email? Seems like some sort of creepypasta to me. I haven’t emailed the person back because it could just be some marketing scheme, or a nutjob looking to find someone to mess with. But, if you have received it, please put a comment below.

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Blog Tour: Great Minds

sleep-tight_826049Greetings, Dreamers!

Mark Meier, a fellow writer, asked me to join a blog tour last week.  I am very grateful to be recognized by my colleagues and be asked to join in the fun!

Before I answer the questions for the tour, I’d like to introduce another blogger/writer with amazing insight and ability, Victoria Craven.  Victoria runs the blog, The Autodidact in the Attic, which focuses on the macabre, horror and a wide variety of intellectual stimulus.  Here is her bio:

V.L. Craven lives with her husband and pets. She writes fiction—both short and long—and reviews of books, films & art, as well as essays, articles and interviews with all sorts of interesting people.

She’s always appreciated the darker side of life, which is the focus of her blog The Autodidact in the Attic, (see also its Facebook page). TAitA has reviews of books, films, art, apps and games (and interviews with creators of those things) that will appeal to people with an interest in the macabre or gothic.

Other Ways to Interact with Her:
On Twitter: @vlcraven
On Tumblr: vlcraven.tumblr.com
On Goodreads: V. L. Craven

She will be posting her answers to the blog tour questions next Monday, so do yourself a favor and check out her amazing site.

Now on to my answers:

1) What am I working on?

I am always working on a variety of projects simultaneously,  that’s just how my brain works.  Right now,  I am doing a serial short story on this blog, writing Book II in the Waking Dream Series — The Unkindness — and I am involved in a collaborative series with two other authors (details to come later this year).  My Waking Dream Series is the primary focus and I am always doing research as the it covers alternate history, philosophy, and science.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write novels and short stories.  My short stories tend to be very dark.  My favorite short stories are the ones I write in Lovecraftian style.  I am no Lovecraft, mind you, however I have enormous respect for his creations and imagination.

The Waking Dream series is really a mixture of many genres, so it is very hard to put it in any one box — I am not a fan of being pigeonholed.  The Waking Dream Series is an attempt to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.  Much of the subject matter is based on years of research.  I have always been fascinated with the paranormal and the supernatural — specifically the potential of the human mind.  The Waking Dream is my attempt to present a plausible framework for readers to suspend their disbelief and explore their own lives.  Life is a dream, if you really think about it.  We always have control over how our lives go, no matter the situation.  And once you believe that, you can do anything.

The Waking Dream series has elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, romance, dystopia, apocalyptic events and fantasy.  It is very dark.  One of my fans put it, “It’s the Matrix meets The Stand”.  The first book is my Fellowship of the Ring. It is the twilight before the sun sets on our world. The subsequent books will descend further into the darkness of reality and the human mind.

One final note, there are many things hidden within the stories and novels, tying them together as well as giving avid readers something to discover within the text.  Everything in the Waking Dream Series is carefully calculated.  What have you found hidden within the story?

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love to create worlds.  The Waking Dream is, as I mentioned, an attempt to impart all I’ve learned about the human condition and get the reader to explore and create their own dream.  The world seems to be at an impasse, and we are not moving forward as we should from a philosophical sense.  While the Waking Dream is fiction, there are elements of truth in ever sentence I write — the things I believe to be true.

I write the Lovecraftian stories because I want his legacy to continue, as well as many other authors.  Being able to create a story that emulates the master gives me a sense of humility.  Many writers have walked in his footsteps, but his personal commitment to his craft is something to be admired, respected and remembered for all time.

4) How does my writing process work?

I don’t have a specific process for writing.  When I feel like writing, I write.  And because I have a wide variety of projects I am working on at any given time, I choose the project to work on that most suits my particular mood.  I believe that an author needs to be prolific to be successful.  Very few authors become successful with one book, or even their first book.  The more work you have out, you have a better chance of being discovered by new readers.  It is a snowball effect.

One thing I do tend to stick to in any project is that I usually begin with an illustration.  Next to writing, illustrating is one of my favorite hobbies.  I have over 50 illustrations for the Waking Dream,  as well as maps.  I want the Waking Dream to be similar to the Cthulhu Mythos so that other authors can contribute their own stories to the ever-growing Waking Dream Universe.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little excursion into my writing career.  Perhaps you’ll be interested in reading my work, which is listed on the right side bar.  Please be sure to check out Victoria Craven’s answers next Monday on her blog.

Happy Monday!

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So You Want to Be A Dreamer?

OneGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I wanted to tell you about  a new project I am working on.  This is something that I have given a great deal of thought to, and I have been asked by my friends and fans to discuss the philosophy behind my Waking Dream series.

The philosophy behind the Waking Dream is much more than a simple dark fantasy adventure story.  I truly believe that we all have the ability to change the course of our reality.  Dreamers are the ones who have that ability, and anyone can become a Dreamer, you just have to learn how to do so.

So, in response to all these questions from interviews, friends and fans, I am beginning a new project to be released at about the same time as the next book in the series, The Unkindness.  This book will be called The Little Book of Dreams – Libellus Somnium, and it will be a non-fiction view of a new philosophy I have formulated called Mism, the Merger of all Isms.  (Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Communism, you get the idea).  You can read the abstract at this link, and my view on creation.  This is only the beginning.

The book is targeted to those who want to lead a more peaceful and meaningful existence.  This is not to say that I have perfected my implementation of Mism in my life, but that is because we are not, and cannot, be perfect.  Perfection is a myth, and a fruitless pursuit.  We will always be learning, experiencing and evolving.  But, I can say with profound certainty that we are eternal spirits.  The body you inhabit now is just a vehicle.  It allows you to experience the world, and experience the universe.  When it is broken, you fix it.  When it completely fails, you abandon it and get a new one to continue your journey.

Many people believe that there must be some specific purpose to life.  There is and there isn’t. You create your purpose based on what you want to experience.  The only innate purpose to life is to live and create the universe.  We are all responsible for taking care of ourselves and one another, because we share a Oneness with each other.  We all affect one another, therefore we are inexorably linked.  My action causes your reaction.  Reading this article will invoke thought, negative or positive, and that demonstrates the connection between us.

I always start off my blog posts calling you Dreamers, because those who read my blog are Dreamers, or want to be.  And the more people I draw in, the more we can share intellectual discourse on how best to reshape our world.  So writing The Little Book of Dreams will simply be a compilation of all that I have learned and infused into my life, as well as the stories and novels that make up the Waking Dream Universe.

I also believe in the Weirdness.  That may sound strange to you, because it is just my word for magic.  Do I believe that magic exists?  Not in the Tolkien way, such as fireballs, wizards and dragons.  I believe that each of us possesses an inherent ability that super-cedes conventional physics and what we perceive as impossible.  I have seen and experienced many of these abilities in other people.  Nothing is impossible — somethings just may not be probable, as we have learned through quantum mechanics.

At the core of Mism, we must understand that to completely understand ourselves and the universe, we must merge all of our disparate ideas into a cohesive framework that allows science and religion to coexist and explain each other.  We would remove the distinction between the two and label it a philosophy of life.  A Philosophy of Everything, if you will.

Now, you are probably asking yourself, who is this guy to tell me anything?  The answer to that is very simple, I am the sum of everything everyone living and dead has taught me.  And you are the sum of the same.  I did not create this by myself, all of you have contributed to this idea, in one way or another.

Finally, you are probably asking, why would I bother to write this all down.  And you are free to agree or disagree with me.  But I am writing this down, because it takes just one thought to make a change.  Look around you, look at the state of the world.  Is this the ideal world you want to live in? Do you feel that the right decisions are being made?  Do you have fear for the future?  Are you concerned about what we are leaving our children?  Have you lost your way?  Do you know what you want out of your life?

I am going to give you my perspective on what truly matters, and hopefully in the process, I will learn more about you, so that I can improve myself as a person, and in turn make the world a better place for us all.

Have a wonderful day, and I thank you for listening to me babble, as always.

Michael

New Review for Devlin!

DevlinGreetings, Dreamers!

I have a few bits of information today.

First, I just received an awesome review from Victoria Craven of Autodidact in the Attic — an amazing writer in her own right.

You can read the full review at Waking Dream: Devlin Book I by Michael Hibbard.

She absolutely got what I was trying to relay in my work, and that gives me hope that the book will start to catch on.  Yes, it is a quick read.  I wanted to introduce the world before getting into the details.  This first book is meant to tease you, because I am going to perform a trick on you, the reader.  I say to you that I am going to make a rabbit vanish into the hat, but at the end, I’ll do much more than make him return again.  Your mind will be left wondering, forced to look into yourself and find your own magic.

Here is an excerpt:

“There’s a bit of Poe and quite a bit of Lovecraft about the thing. A compelling plot, multiple inventive characters and situations and some rather gross moments (in a good way) made this one a winner. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of dark fantasy.

Devlin itself put me in mind of a grown up version of Hogsmeade. Just because you didn’t get your letter from Hogwarts doesn’t mean you can’t be Awakened to your particular ability–that can happen at any time in your life. So take heart!

The events of the book take place in the autumn and there’s magic and the lifting of the veil in a very big way so it’s the perfect book for this time of year.” – V.L. Craven

But wait, there’s more!  Starting next week, I will start posting a series of articles about the philosophy behind the Waking Dream, but it much more than that.  I am going to create a framework that will merge science and religion, creating a new philosophical framework, and drawing from the work of Dr. Erik Andrulis‘, of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, scientifically irrefutable “Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life” — which I urge you to read, both his theory and his blog.  I have entitled this new philosophy as Mism, the Merging of all isms.

And just one more thing, my book will be reviewed and I will be interviewed on Elaine Charles’ radio show about the Waking Dream and Devlin the weekend of October 27.  Details will come as to times and what local station you can hear it, and links to the podcast.

Thank you all for helping me write this book, and make the Waking Dream a success.  It is for you, because we need a little magic and hope in this world gone awry.

Waking Dream (Part 3)

WeirdnessGreetings, Dreamers!

In my last post we discussed the concepts of Immortality in the Waking Dream Universe.  Today we are going to discuss the two other types of beings in the Waking Dream Universe — Dreamers and Sleepers.

But before we begin, I wanted to clarify that a Planet-Bound Immortal was once a Dreamer, and it is through the process of Awakening and Enlightenment that a Dreamer becomes an Immortal.

There is a two tiered allegorical argument when we speak of Dreamers and Sleepers.  Dreamers, and Immortals, are the Architects of the Waking Dream.  They are also those who will not sit idly by and allow their lives to be affected by others.  They are people from all walks of life, from white-collar to blue-collar.  Sleepers on the other hand, are the engineers or worker bees.  They are people who do not accept that they have control over their life and look to the Dreamers to lead them.  This is not meant as a derogatory statement, it is a simple observation.  In one sense, Dreamers are the observer, collectively, in a solipsistic world, where the Sleepers do not really exist other than to be actors in the Dreamer/Immortal play.

Of Sleepers and Dreamers

Sleepers

In the Waking Dream, Sleepers can best be thought of as automatons, or robots.  They are the vessel through which Dreamers can occupy the Waking Dream.  They are born, live their lives according to the design of the Dreamers and Immortals.  They are a function of the grand algorithm created at the beginning of the universe, as designed by the Creator.  Their main purposes are to make the world for the Dreamers to live in, and serve as bodies for the Dreamers to interact with the physical reality. As mentioned in my first post in the series, when a Dreamer dies, they return to the Spaces Between, which can be compared to the Afterlife, or what I like to call, the InBetweenLife.  It is the realm of the Weird, and it is from there that all consciousness emanates.

One point that needs to be made is that any living thing is a Dreamer, so it is not limited to humans.  It may be the desire of a Dreamer to inhabit an animal, or a tree, because the Waking Dream is about experiencing the universe.  We created the Waking Dream to explore every aspect of the universe, because it is a gift to have consciousness, and a gift to have such an amazingly diverse reality to explore.

Dreamers

Dreamers, at the base level, are pure consciousness.  When they are not inhabiting a Sleeper and affecting the Waking Dream, they can peer into the life of any Sleeper and determine whether they wish to inhabit them.  They also, for a limited time, can enter the Waking Dream, in an incorporeal form.  Both Sleepers and corporeal Dreamers, can sometimes see them in these ghostly forms, which is where ghost sightings come from.  Sometimes, they do forget that they are not in a body, and will return to a place they died again and again, depending on the manner of their death.  Particularly violent deaths can cause a Dreamer to temporarily get stuck in a pattern, and this is what constitutes a haunting.

When a Dreamer enters the body of a Sleeper, at any stage of the Sleeper’s life, they take on the memories and persona of that Dreamer, much like when one chooses a character in a game.  They forget all their past lives and memories, and the fact that they are a Dreamer.  This is when they begin the quest to Awaken and use their Weirdness to affect the Waking Dream.  One can think of this as learning how to operate a new vehicle.  Once the Dreamer has full control of the vehicle, and knows its limitations, both physically, mentally and socially, the Dreamer can then undergo the process of Awakening, which happens differently for everyone.  It is usually brought on by trauma of some variety, like someone slapping you in the face saying “Wake up!”.

Dreamers are connected to the Spaces Between by the Somnambula, or what used to be called the Silver Cord.  This is how they are able to channel the energy, or Weirdness, to affect the Waking Dream.  This also accounts for why Dreamers experience deja vu, as sometimes a location, conversation or experience, triggers a memory stored in the Weird.

All Dreamers exert their will on the Waking Dream in different ways, but they are usually subtle, as it takes a great deal of energy to create more dramatic effects, such as throwing a fireball at someone, which is possible, but usually only by Immortals who have a greater command of their Weirdness.  Dreamers usually exert their Weirdness through either mundane abilities such as charisma to become a leader, or extraordinary creative abilities such as musicians, artists or writers.  The more famous a Dreamer is usually tied to their Weirdness.

Other Dreamers exert their will in supernatural ways, such as practicing ritualistic magic, such as alchemy, Wicca, witchcraft or illusions.  Others have abilities such as empathy, telepathy, telekinesis, or second sight.  But there are many more ways in which Dreamers can exert their Weirdness.

Conclusion

In closing, I would like to propose to you a personal experiment.  While I am presenting these ideas of the Waking Dream as fiction, there are some truths woven within this view of the universe as a Waking Dream.  I tend to think that the only people who read my blog are Dreamers.  They are people seeking others to share their thoughts, and learn from one another.  They want to believe that they have greater control of their life and environment, yet they lack the solidarity from others with the same thoughts.  This can be seen with the development of religion.  Each religion has common beliefs among all of its members so that their beliefs become more real to the collective.

Take a look at your life, and see if you have your own Weirdness.  Is it possible that all of the universe is really not what we think it is?  Is it possible we are responsible for everything that happens on our planet on every level?  The universe is inherently weird in the way that it operates.  We still have not come to any conclusive evidence than anything we see is actually there.  There is no way to know, and that, my friends, makes life all the more mysterious, wonderful and exciting to explore.  If we have limits, it is because we have imposed those limits upon ourselves.

Next time, we will discuss Weird and Weirdness in the Waking Dream.

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.

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?

 

Happy Last New Year!

Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper.  We’ll be able to fly. – BOC

Many apologies to my regular readers for my recent extended absence.  The holidays are one of the few times of year I actually take a long vacation and today is my first day back into the work week.  I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a great new year, this being 2012 — the end of the world countdown beginning. 

Seriously though, having watched “Apocalypse Week” on History Channel 2, it has given me some interesting insights into just how pervasive this idea of apocalypse actually is.  It is astonishing that there are so many people following this as if there is actually a countdown to December.  I have talked to people who are seriously worried about this, and are wondering what they should be doing.  There really is nothing one can do to avoid an apocalypse, especially when you don’t know what the apocalypse entails.  So what could actually be occurring?  There are so many opinions on this, as varied as there are people in the world.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Galactic Alignment:  Around this time, though this is highly debated, the earth, sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy will cause havoc on the earth.  While it is well-known that alignments do cause a gravitational anomalies, it is not known whether the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way would have any significant effect on anything, let alone destroy the earth.
  2. Solar Maximum:  This is a very realistic, though not necessarily catastrophic theory.  The sun does go through a cycle of activity that lasts roughly 10 to 12 years — not a 20 year Mayan cycle.  That being said, 2012 thru 2013 is the most activity the sun has been in a few decades, and we have been seeing a great deal of solar flares and CMEs from the sun.  We also know that a solar flare can cripple electronics, as it did in 1859 with the telegraph services and in 1989 with the ‘Quebec Blackout’. 
  3. Pole Shifts:  The Earth periodically shifts its magnetic poles, which is a function of the dynamo at the center of the planet.  This can, theoretically, be caused by a solar flare, or other anomaly.  We have not ever experienced a pole shift, so we have no data on how that could actually happen.  While we know that the poles will shift at some point, and it will cause serious issues for life on the planet, it is not at all cyclical, and is not something that starts on one day and ends on another.  Pole shifts take thousands of years to complete.
  4. Planet X:  This theory is preposterous.  It states that there is a planet on a collision course with the earth that will destroy us all, similar to the idea of Wormwood falling from the sky.  However, any object as large as a planet would already be visible in the night sky.  It would have to be moving at superluminal speeds to suddenly appear this year and destroy us all. 
  5. Nemesis Star: This is one of the more interesting theories I’ve read.  It states that there is a brown dwarf star which is the binary twin of our star.  This is very plausible, and worthwhile to investigate for many reasons.  The first is that brown dwarf stars are very dim and hard to detect against the full backdrop of other farther yet brighter stars.  The second is that the majority of stars in the universe are indeed binary stars, meaning there are two for every solar system.  I find this even more interesting because if there is indeed a binary star, and if its orbit is highly eccentric or elliptical, it could indeed swing in closely to us, causing gravitational disruptions, or cause other objects to be deterred from their normal course. 
  6. Enlightenment:  As I try to be more Zen, I think its important to mention the idea that 2012 will usher in a period of enlightenment, though there is no scientific evidence to suggest such a thing has ever happened.  But, what makes this interesting is the growth of our current global network.  Could our interconnectedness through vessels such as Facebook and Twitter assist us in finally overcoming our differences, and have an ‘A-ha!’ moment as to how we all need to live in peace and harmony?  It would be nice, wouldn’t it?  But it’s probably not very likely.

These are all very interesting things to consider, but why are we considering them at all? There are so many other civilizations that were just as advanced as the Maya, yet we do not collectively spend nearly as much time obsessing over their doomsday predictions.  And having said that, the Maya didn’t really say it was a doomsday, but a time of great change.  We follow their doomsday prediction because they were amazingly astute in their understanding of astronomy, able to achieve amazingly accurate calculations with very primitive devices, compared to what we have today.  But we must also remember that at night, they did not have TV, computers, phones or even books.  All they had was their eyes, the campfire, and hours of laying on their backs gazing up at the stars.  We have polluted our skies with light to the point that we only see a few of the stars and planets with the naked eye – but if you’ve ever been to a place far away from any city or town, you know that the skies are filled with them and they are absolutely beautiful and worthy of reverence.

So, today I’ll end by saying this – there really is nothing more or less you can really do about a nebulous prediction about the end of the world.  But you can live this year better than any other you have in the past.  Live like the end is near by cherishing those around you.

Happy New Year!