Categories
Life Philosophy Religion Science

How to Change the World (Part 5)

By Haveaniceday91Greetings Dreamers!

This is the last of this series, but don’t fret, I’m sure I’ll come up with something else to babble about by next week.

Before I begin, I wanted to explain the particular pictures I chose.  You’ll notice that I’ve chosen an image of someone holding the concept or thing that represents the focus of the blog.  I’ve chosen hands specifically, because I think they are the physical way we manipulate our world.  But we forget about the non-physical ways we can manipulate the world.  We all have amazing abilities, trapped within us.  Only a few have learned to use them.  Our hands are just the beginning.  And the other reason I chose hands is because everything I’ve said in this series is always within our grasp.  We just need to learn how to use harness the potential, together.

Today I wanted to sum everything up by taking a look at our wonderful and awe-inspiring universe.  Our bubble floating in the molasses of time, among a multitude of other universes in the endless sea of existence.  Most people do not take the time to really appreciate a very simple fact — the universe shouldn’t even exist.  Try as we might, we have not come to a consensus on how it was created, or even why? But the fact of the matter is that the universe exists because we are here to observe it.  Otherwise, there would be no point.  Everything that is not alive exists for a purpose.  And we give purpose to the universe.  This is of course my opinion, but it’s what I believe.  I believe wholeheartedly that the universe is not a random event.  I believe that there was some force at work that made it for us to explore and admire.  But, by the same token, I do not believe we are pawns on a cosmic chess board.  We are all responsible for our own actions, and we are all continuing to improve our tiny section of this unimaginably large thing that we inhabit.  There are more stars than we can count, and more being born every day.  But that is not what we should concern ourselves with.

The universe is the system in which we live.  We are conscious, thinking, feeling, dreaming beings.  We are not just candles that will extinguish and be no more.  We are immortal souls that are inexorably entwined in the fabric of the universe, and because information can never be lost– what is known cannot be un-known (not unknown, but cannot be forgotten once it is known).  We all know these things subconsciously, but through conditioning, we have limited ourselves.  The universe is inherently weird.  There are amazingly strange things that exist all over our universe, even within our own solar system, and on our beautiful blue planet.

The universe supplies us with endless imagination, and a place to explore between lives and in our current lives.  We spend time worrying about dying when that isn’t serving any purpose.  We will all die, because all things must live their life and be reborn.  Our sun will die, and its remains will make other stars and give elements for other things to live.  The universe is a cycle, no different from the ebb and tide of the seas with each passing day.  I say this because there is a pattern to everything, a cycle.  And this cycle is governed by very simple laws, the act in the absence of will.  We don’t understand gravity, but if you think about it, it only acts when something is not resisting it.  It is most important aspect of our universe, but it is also the weakest of all the forces.  We can and do defy gravity.  This makes all live extraordinary, because all life defies gravity.

Science is an attempt to outline the parameters of the universe, but it is quickly becoming a matter of philosophical thought.  Eventually, we will have discovered all we can about the universe.  We will continue down this long corridor, with many doors, peeking behind each one to see what secret is hidden within.  But eventually, we will come to a door we cannot pass, or even fathom what lies beneath.

One of the most fascinating things about our universe is the most simple particle/wave in our universe, the electron.  Electrons make up all of the things we call matter.  And they whizz around a nucleus, making all the different elements we see.  But, they are not there all the time, and they are not always where we thing they should be.  Sometimes, they simply vanish and re-appear.  We don’t know where they go when they are not here.  But we know that when they need to be here they are.  Yes, that is very weird.  In addition to that sort of Weirdness, they also can be ANYWHERE in the universe at any given time.  This is because they do not have a 0 percent chance of being anywhere in the universe, because they have to be able to be anywhere for reasons we don’t quite understand.  So that means, in my opinion, if a simple electron can be anywhere it wants, no matter how improbable, we can be anywhere we want — we just have to figure out how to be an electron.  This relates back to our imagination.

So how does this relate to changing our world?  It relates to the simple fact that our universe holds a great deal of secrets.  And before we can truly begin to explore our universe, which we are meant to do, we must prepare our people, our planet so that we have the ability to do so.  We can learn by observing the universe, see the beauty that arises from destructive forces, and learn how to turn disaster into something wonderful.  We have already had enough wars, now we should learn from them and move on.  An exploding star creates gold and silver and platinum, and most importantly, the carbon that makes life on earth possible.  Our wars have just begotten more wars and hatred.  Though some good has come out of our wars, it has clearly not been enough.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL”.  I am saying to the people of every country on the planet, “Leaders of the world, TEAR DOWN THESE BORDERS!”  Let us be one people, and maybe we will find a way to explore this amazing universe of ours, because wonders and inspiration await, just beyond our grasp.

I leave you with this question:  Do you believe in reincarnation and an eternal spirit?

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion Science

How to Change the World (Part 4)

Brain-in-handGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I am going to introduce you to the most powerful super-computer on the planet, the human mind.

As I am not a best-selling author, yet, I am a programmer and data analyst by day.  I have worked extensively with artificial intelligence and computers for most of my life — having received my first computer when I was 8 in 1978.  Understanding how to code and build programs to perform simple tasks, naturally forced me to explore the human mind and its own potential.  My personal exploration has been mind-blowing, if you will pardon the pun.

The human mind can process things at an alarming rate.  The simple act of typing this blog is amazing in itself as each finger is finding the keys on the keyboard at the speed of light, triggered by millions of tiny neurons in your brain telling the nervous system to do what it wants.  We often forget how amazing it really is, and we take it for granted.  Changing the world, begins with a single thought, or dream.

We have been lulled into believing that we are limited, but we are not.  There are certainly limitations in what we can do because there are laws that govern any isolated system.  But the more we explore our universe, and ourselves, we find that we really have everything we need right between our ears.  Long ago, before we had things to acquire, we would spend our days gathering food and surviving.  At night we would gather as a community and tell stories, play music and laugh together as a tribe or family.  We have slowly moved away from this.  Even though we have more interconnectedness through the internet and the news.  We’ve allowed others to think for us, and that is a bad thing.

I’m not going to bore you with the faults of our global political systems. We all know that world politics is broken, and a handful of people make decisions on our behalf that are absolutely wrong.  However, we must take responsibility for this, because we have allowed this to happen.  We outnumber them, but we continue to allow them to lie to us — and believe you me, they are lying.  They are motivated by power and money.  The two most useless things on the planet.  If we used our own wonderful brains, we would realize that these things do not matter. It is the memories, the experiences, the personal connections, the stories and our imagination that are important.  The only thing you can take from one life to the next are your thoughts — the only thing you truly own which no one can take from you unless you allow it.

Changing the world requires us to use our minds and imagination.  Uncover the things that truly matter, and share these ideas with one another.  It only takes a single spark to light a fire.  I have learned that buying things does not matter.  It was a long journey, and it is not over for me.  I had sequestered myself away from the world for a long time, because I simply do not understand why we have become so angry at one another.  Why do we have violence, war and hate?  There’s simply no reason for it.  But, it persists because we’re not truly thinking.  We are not animals anymore, so we must stop succumbing to our instincts without using our minds to think things through.

Now using our imagination, what do we need to change?  How can we make the world a better place, before it’s too late?  We have to discover our own unique ability, because we all have them.  No one should feel marginalized or outcast.  We are all family, we are all one.  We were all born from the same cosmic dust that was at one point the beginning of it all — whether it be god, or the big bang or a simple thought whispered in the darkness before time.  We must shed our petty differences and look forward to a new world, while not forgetting to live in the moment, as my previous post discussed.

Our “races” do not define us.  The color of one’s skin is simply a function of where that person was born and the amount of sunlight they were exposed to as their culture flourished.  We are one race, the human race.  And if you feel that you are superior to someone else, then you have not learned anything.  Our religious and philosophical beliefs are our own personal explorations.  No religion or philosophy is right or wrong when it comes to understanding the nature of our existence, because we have not come to a common belief system, and no one has provided evidence.  We should understand that everyone has a path unique to themselves, and though we may walk the path together sometimes, its okay to follow a different path.  We should stop imposing our beliefs on one another.  We can talk about our beliefs, we can share our beliefs, and we can, in a friendly manner, debate our beliefs.  But to suggest that you are right and I am wrong without proof, makes you all the more wrong.

I have seen a great many things in my short time here on planet earth.  I believe that the universe was created by a force I cannot understand, which I label the Creator — being a programmer taught me this lesson.  I believe that the human spirit is eternal, because it is an energy unto itself, and energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms — physics taught me this lesson.  I believe that we are capable of amazing things, even magick feats constrained to the laws of the universe — belief and experience has taught me this lesson.  I believe we are not alone in the universe — common sense taught me this lesson because the universe is too vast for it to be mostly uninhabited.

I could go on and on about the things I believe we are capable of, and the things that we tend to ignore.  The paranormal and the supernatural are functions of the universe, and the mind only sees what it wants to believe — this is a proven fact.

So today, I will leave you with a thought and a question.  Open your mind and imagination to things you had not previously believed in or agreed with.  Explore your dreams, your aspirations, your world, the universe.

Using the power of belief and imagination tell me one thing you think needs to be changed in the world and how you would go about doing it?

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion

How to Change the World (Part 3)

The Sun in my HandGreetings, Dreamers!

Today, I’d like to continue our series on how we can change the world by introducing you to the source of our life on our great planet, Sol, our beautiful sun.

Every day, I visit a wonderful website called SpaceWeather.Com.  I do this because it has all the information we need to know on the health, and temperament of our sun on any given day.  Many of you may not know that 2013 is the year of the Solar Maximum, which marks the peak of a 12 year cycle our sun experiences.  This solar cycle is explained as the intensity of electromagnetic activity on the surface of the sun.  It is measure by many key factors: number of sunspots, number of solar flares, number of coronal mass ejections. This year has been a very active year, as we have seen many flares and CMEs hit the Earth.  These flares and CMEs can disrupt satellites, radio signals, cause amazing Aurora in the north and south pole, and if strong enough, it can wipe out every electronic instrument on the planet.  Every second, the sun puts our more energy than we have used over the course of human history.  Humbling isn’t it?

Regardless of your religion or creed, for all intents and purposes the sun is what keeps us alive — without it our planet would be cold, lifeless and barren.  We are fortunate enough to have a young sun, which is relatively calm, and provides us with more energy than we could ever consume.  So, the real question is, why aren’t we moving towards complete and total dependence on the sun?  There are several varied answers to that — big oil, the coal industry, the natural gas industry, lobbyists, politics, but most of all, fear of change.

No matter what you hear on the television, or read online, or in the papers, our fossil fuel supply is vanishing at an alarming rate.  We will not survive if we do not start harnessing the power of this magnificent source of energy — the same energy that all life thrives on. So changing our world is going to involve our sun, rather than trying to escape the inevitable.  We already have the greatest nuclear power planet available to us.  Why would we attempt to duplicate what the universe has already perfected and given to us for free?

This brings me to my next point about the sun.  We were not meant to hide all day in the house, we were born under the stars, and our bodies require sunlight. Besides the mental benefits of being among nature and out in the sun, we also require sunlight to produce vitamin D.  Most people do not know this until they get their check up and find that they have low levels of Vitamin D, which has many benefits to our health.

Today is summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere.  Today is the perfect day to step out into the sunlight and bask in the healing light.  We are tilted closest to the sun today, and its the perfect opportunity to receive a warm kiss from our life-giving friend.  Time to get our from behind that computer, step outside and just live in today’s moment.

I will leave you with this question today:  How do you plan to celebrate the sun today?

Categories
Life Philosophy Politics Religion Science

How to Change the World (Part 1)

Our Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

I want to introduce you to a very special thing — Our World.  As a part of this series, we’re going to explore our wonderful world together, and figure out how we can change it — changing ourselves in the process.

You may ask why I feel the world needs changing — but I think everyone who bothers to read this post already knows the answer.  We are on a collision course with disaster — it is almost inevitable, almost.

I chose the picture above for many reasons.  First, because we are the stewards of this glorious jewel in the crown of Sol, our Sun.  We should always hold it with care, and ensure that our children and children’s children have something to look forward to as the centuries roll on. But we must be the example of how best to care for our planet.  Second, I chose this picture to demonstrate that there are no boundaries other than the ever shifting continents.  We have created these imaginary lines, which have become a means to needlessly segregate our countries, cities, towns and neighborhoods.  We are better than that, and we know that we do not need to be separate.  A thinking person knows that we must have one world, unified for all humankind.  This is a fact, and not speculation.  We will never overcome our problems as long as these lines remain.

Now, how do we begin changing the world?  It is really quite simple, it begins in your own heart and mind.  It must begin with each of us looking within and seeing the things that are wrong with ourselves, rather than pointing out to others what is wrong with them.  Life is a journey, there is no destination other than the place we go when we give up our last breath, our last heartbeat, and venture into the unexplored realm of Death.  We all will die one day, and that is the only inevitability we cannot change — though we may try with science and medicine — we must give up our bodies at some point so that others may live and enjoy this wonderful world of ours.

At this point, you may ask who makes you the authority on this?  I’m no more an authority than any of you.  Even the most educated people on our planet have no more answers than you will find within yourself.  The most simple answer to beginning this change is to learn to shed your fears.  Until you have shed your fears, you cannot begin to live.  Fear is what drives all of our actions.

Fear of not having the best material things.
Fear of dying.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of not being correct in your belief system.
Fear of being harmed.
Fear of not being loved.
Fear of being an outsider.
Fear of not being recognized.

The list can go on forever.  And it is fear the drives all of the horrible things that happen in our world.  We fight over plots of land that we are merely temporary occupants.  The Earth is the owner of all the lands and the seas. She merely lets us lie our heads upon her lap, while she slowly rocks us to sleep each night.  We should break down these barriers and exist together, work together, change the world together.  This is not to say that we should lose our own personal identities — we are all Dreamers in this world.  We all have things that we wish to pursue, all we need remember is that our dreams and goals should not harm or interrupt the dreams and goals of others.  It’s very simple — yet we cannot accept this.  We think that if someone does not believe the same thing as we do, that they are wrong.  We think that if someone does not do what we feel is right, they are wrong. We are all wrong and correct, and the cycle ebbs and flows like the tides of the sea.  We will all be correct and wrong through the course of our existence — it is how we learn, share and grow.

We should gently, carefully, admonish one another when we are clearly doing something that harms our collective existence — lying, cheating, stealing, killing.  We all know this, it’s very apparent and we know when we do wrong, but we are mostly unwilling to take responsibility for these things we do.  That again is because of the fear we harbor in our hearts — fear that at one time served a purpose for our primitive ancestors to survive, but we should now evolve.

We are all friends and family.  We are all related at some branch in the tree of life.  It all began with One, and that One is whatever you want it to be — God, The Big Bang, The Earth, the Self.  But it is not our place to define the One for anyone else but ourselves.  Each of us is entitled to our beliefs, but we are not entitled to impose our beliefs on others, unless we are cautioning others of their harmful ways.

Today I end with this simple message: Reach out to those around you, whether they be friends or not.  We all want to be heard, loved, appreciated, and nurtured.  It’s amazing how quickly we can change the world with a smile and a wave to everyone and anyone we see during the day.

Reach out to my lovely friends on twitter, and they will bring you into their circle: @gongleshanks @anmarie63 @grimnian @HelgaVonClapp @mrsnickih @KaraJarina @MortonBalthus

Now I lay me down to sleep, I beseech the earth my soul to keep.  And if I die before I wake, I entreat the earth my body to take.

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion Science

Intelligent Design, Evolution and Creation

I have been researching world religions for most of my life.  A great deal of it is to understand myself, but also understand the rest of the world.  We have so much discord over religion, it requires a lifetime to understand from where it sprang to where it will go.

There is only one answer — and each religion has pieces to the larger spiritual puzzle.

So today I felt that I would discuss why Intelligent Design and Evolution can exist — which is the basis for the Waking Dream Mythos — the Way of the Weird.

First, we must remember that we have free will, so we shouldn’t be concerned about fate and “god’s path”.  We should be concerned with the path we create for ourselves, each and every day.  I liken the idea of being “fated” or “destined” to be someone disheartening.  I don’t want my life to have been scripted by someone I can’t see or understand.  I want to be the captain of my own ship and sail where I please.  If I am not in control, then what is the point?

Second, why don’t we entertain the idea that the Creator or Intelligent Designer, simply wrote the rules for the universe to be structured.  Say for a moment that the Creator was a game designer and he simply created the framework for us to play in.  I think Richard Back said it best when he said, “We are the otters of the universe.”  The Creator doesn’t need to be a chess player.  He can simply be interested in creating a world and seeing how it unfolds according to his design — his equation.

I have played far too many MMORPGs and if you spend time in them enough, you can see how they ultimately model our world, and how they evolve without the intervention of the players.  Players form guilds, create an economy, form relationships and ultimately mold the game to their will.  This is also evident that when subsequent versions of the game come out, they always incorporate the wishes of the gamers, and not necessarily the wishes of the programmer.

Evolution does not need to be mutually exclusive with Creationism — this is the simple untruth we’ve been fed.  They can exist in harmony, in the same way that science and religion can co-exist.  The purpose of science is to discover the rules of the game (and in gamer terms the “easter eggs”). Religion teaches us how to play the game together in harmony and peace — because if we cannot attain peace and harmony, we will always be a scourge on this planet.

I personally believe that there is a Creator, though I am unable by design to understand its will — I believe this is because we don’t need to know its will.  And all of our religions have professed to understand the will of the Creator, yet none of them can come to common ground.  It is saddening to see people killing in the name of the Creator, when just about every religion expressly forbids this.  What does it gain us?

The true evil in the world is the notion that we must attain things, and if someone has more than someone else, this is somehow unfair.  And that may be rightly so.  But instead of getting angry that someone has more than you from a materialistic perspective, why not look at what you do have — and not as an exercise in trying to best someone else.  I am not rich, but I don’t hate rich people.  I don’t live in a mansion, but I don’t begrudge someone who does.  If I can’t buy something the moment I want it, due to financial restriction or other, I analyze if I really need it, and if I want it, I simply wait until I can have it.  Patience is not a virtue, it is a necessary aspect of life, because time only moves as fast as it moves and we cannot quicken time, no matter how we try.

The human race has become obsessed with shiny things — just as Ravens are — which means we are an ever growing Unkindness of Ravens, fluttering from store to store and hoarding these meaningless shiny objects.  What we have forgotten is that its not the things, but the people in our lives that make life wonderful.  Its the journey, not the destination.  Each moment has its wonders, if we shed our fears and just look around.  Some days, I take a moment and look up at the sky, because it is wonderful.  And I am able to shed all those stupid thoughts that we all have, and just be for a moment.

I mean, no matter how rich or poor you are, you can find that one thing that makes you happy each  and every day.  A cup of coffee.  A hug from your child.  A kiss from your spouse.  That first sip of wine in the evening with a wonderful meal.  Some of these things you simply cannot buy, no matter how much money you have.

So did the Creator design this wonderful universe so that we can sit around playing with shiny objects?  Or did was it created so that we could mold it and enjoy it — together as one people, one world, one galaxy and one universe?  I think we all know the answers, but fear is what stops us from being a truly wonderful world-wide civilization.

 

Categories
Immortal Memories Novel Stories

Added to AuthorDB and New Amazon Review for My Books

I have been added to the AuthorsDB.com where I have listed many of the reviews for my book. You can also see a full listing of my reviews on Amazon, with my average rating being 5 stars at this link.

Amazon Reviews for Michael Hibbard

Immortal Memories: Volume I
Waking Dream: Devlin

Categories
Immortal Memories Novel Stories

Making the Waking Dream

As my editor checks my grammar and continuity, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the Waking Dream.  It is not something that is solely mine.  It is a realization that the lines between reality and fantasy, fiction and non-fiction have become blurred.

I am trying to explain the way to a better place.  The tales are parables.  The lessons are my experience with which I am sharing with you.  The universe is unimaginable.  It is wonderful, it is beautiful, and it is full of the Creator.  We can be anything we want to be, and we should never let someone tell us we are anything less than we want to be.  You are the captain of your ship.  You control your dream.

The first book, Waking Dream: Devlin follows our hero, Auber Weir, as he realizes that he is in control of his life.  And at the end, will you be a sleeper, a dreamer or obtain immortality.  It’s up to you to decide which you will be.

The struggle for control of our reality begins now.

Categories
Book of One Life Philosophy Religion Science

Weirdness

Where’s your will to be weird? – Jim Morrison

Previously, I hinted at a concept I like to call “Weirdness”.  It is one of the foundations of my entire philosophy, because all of the things I have studied in my life always have a certain aspect of weirdness.  There are so many concepts that align with my view of Weirdness, but each of them has a slightly different slant to its meaning.  I’ve tried to take all that I know about these other concepts and synthesize it into a lucid and intuitive concept. 

Beginning with Einstein who coined the phrase “spooky action at a distance” because of the concept of Quantum Weirdness.  Quantum Weirdness, in its most simple definition, is the fact that when we try to apply the physics of the macro world to the subatomic world, all the assumptions break down.  This can be illustrated by a rudimentary understanding of atomic structure.  An atom is made up of nucleus, which is orbited by n-number of electrons which inhabit various “valances” of the atom.  They are constantly moving from one orbit to the next, either closer or further away from the nucleus.  This is weird because it basically “teleports” from one orbit to the next, without traversing the space between.  Imagine driving your car in a three lane highway and you want to change lanes.  Instead of putting on your blinker and gently drifting into the next lane, then the next, you put your blinker on and you are suddenly in the far lane.  Your car appears to vanish then reappear.  This is where reality breaks down.  And if we can’t apply the laws of physics evenly to all aspects of reality, what does that say about our understanding of reality? 

But Weirdness is something more than just inexplicable actions happening at the quantum state.  We must define it as something more attainable and understandable.  So the next stop on our journey is Tao.  Anyone who has studied Tao knows that it cannot be classically defined.  It is the eternal force that binds the universe with order.  But, that is not its only definition — it is an abstract view of the force that allows for existence.  To my mind, I equate this with Weirdness because it is the foundation for reality, similar to the Quantum Realm which defines all of the fundamental objects from which our universe is created.  Tao is also the path, or way — but not to suggest that there is a prescribed path, it is the path you create for yourself.  We can also describe Tao with other abstract concepts we’ve seen in both theological, philosophical and fictional writings — the Force, the Field, Dark Energy, the Holy Spirit, Karma, Chi and God.  We all sense in some way the existence of a fundamental force or energy that powers all of creation, or enables creation and existence.  All of these concepts relate in a similar fashion.

And now on to Weirdness as I’ve defined it — our innate ability to impose our will on the fabric of the universe and manipulate reality.  More simply, it is raw “possibility”, because at the most fundamental level, anything is possible.  And when I say “anything is possible” that does not mean that “anything is probable”.  It is only when we exert our inherent Weirdness that the probability increases allowing something to become manifested.  We can see this at work every single moment of my life.  Who would have thought 100 years ago we would be typing on a machine and sending our thoughts directly from our brain across the world instantaneously for everyone to see?  Who would have thought 100 years ago that we would be planning trips to Mars for settlement?  And who would have thought 100 years ago that we would be able to emulate the power of the sun in the form of a bomb?  All these things would have been considered impossible, but through years of research and exertion of human will, they have come to pass.  The ability for our consciousness to conceive of things that have not existed before is one of the most fundamental displays of our Weirdness.  Our ability to dream and make our dreams reality.  Projecting our inner minds on the world around us.

Weirdness doesn’t just end with our manipulation of the physical world.  True, it is amazing that our brain can communicate, at the speed of light, with all our limbs — our fingers to move effortlessly to our will to type on the computer or play a guitar — but what else have we not unlocked in our own potential?  We can leap beyond the realm of common reality and try to hone our skill of Weirdness to accomplish things we’ve not truly realized.  We have collectively decided what is normal and what is weird or strange — through centuries of self-imposed oppression.  We have imposed rules about what is acceptable thought or practice — such as abandoning magic and alchemy and paganism.  We have created the devil to keep our unconscious minds in check, and disbelieve things that do not fall into dogmatic doctrine.  If someone exhibited a “weird” ability, such as telepathy or telekinesis, we labeled them as a witch or possessed by the devil.  We have actively oppressed our frontier of possibility, and we are not quite sure why.

So the term Weirdness is that inherent strangeness to existence, the things we do not readily understand about our universe and ourselves.  It is Weird to us, so we cannot accept it as a part of daily life.  But this weirdness exists in us all, but it is a skill that must be practiced.  There are many ways to achieve this, and the answer is rolled up in many different manifestations of the same concept — Meditation.  When we enter our dream state, we are in form of meditation, where our mind is free to think and explore what it wishes, unhindered by the eternal influences, the common reality.  It is the dream state that empowers Weirdness on a subconscious level.  But in order to fully realize the power of the Weirdness, we must learn to draw it out of our dreams and apply it to the world around us.

I have witnessed some many inexplicable things in my lifetime, that I must believe that we are capable of much more than this empty existence of working, acquiring, sleeping and dying.  We should not need a sack full of cash to enjoy the splendors of life.  We should be able to just be wherever we want to be, and see whatever we want to see using only our will.  There are people who can leave their bodies and visit far-away places.  There are people who can see things that the rest of us cannot see.  There are people who can read thoughts.  There are people who can move things with their minds.  And these are small feats in comparison to what we could truly achieve if we unlocked the flow of our own Weirdness, unabashedly and confidently. 

All of us have a Weirdness within us, most of us oppress it or never talk about it.  Only you can know for sure, though because we are all One, if One of us is Weird, we are all Weird.

So I leave you with this question:  What is your Weirdness?

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion

God Told Me To Do It

Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?  ~Sylvia Plath

Yes, I know this is not my normal type of blog posting, but I felt it was important to elaborate a recent experience, because I’m not quite sure what it means, or where it will go.

A friend of mine is very ill with lung cancer and emphysema.  His lung capacity is very low, and it is a struggle for him to even walk across the room without gasping for air. Recently, he had been in the hospital with a collapsed lung that miraculously was able to be fixed, though it has not restored is lung capacity.  As it happens, I was not alerted when he was in the hospital, so when I finally found out that he was home, I asked if I could come visit.  After several tries at scheduling, we finally decided on having dinner this week. But rather than me going to him, he decided he wanted to drive to my home, despite his oxygen tank and the general weakness he experiences from his constant struggle to breathe.  But being the person he is, he wasn’t going to let anything keep him down.  He’d spent so much time in his home, it was the first time he’d been out of the hospital, which was over three months ago. 

I cannot explain why I had such an urgency to see him, because I had not seen him in some time, as life tends to keep us all running around an infinite maze of chores.  However, the day I was supposed to see him, I had a particularly busy day, and as it grew close to quitting time, I was beset with an unnatural weariness.  It was strange, because I usually have a great deal of energy, especially as it gets closer to going home for the day, but this particular day I just felt world-weary.  So,  I considered rescheduling the evening until I felt more festive.  But as I thought about rescheduling, something inside me said, “Don’t cancel.”  It wasn’t some booming voice from an unearthly source, nor was it some sort of schizophrenic phantasm.  It was a subtle voice, perhaps my own, telling me it was important for me to see my friend.  And I decided to listen to it, and I am glad I did.

As I mentioned, I had not seen him in a while, and the last I remember seeing him he was in great health, having successfully beat throat cancer.  He is much older than me, more of an uncle than a friend, someone I’ve always enjoyed being around.  Seeing him weighed heavy on me; he had changed so much in such a short period of time.  He’d been cooped up in his home for such a long time, as well as his extended stay in the hospital, that he was very pale and frail.  But despite all of that, he was the same funny, insightful person I’d befriended so many years ago. 

So he and I sat at my kitchen table, sipping a glass of wine, while he talked and I listened.  It was obvious that he needed someone to just see him as a friend, and not as someone with a debilitating disease.  He didn’t want, nor accept sympathy.  He wanted to be a friend.  It was an amazing conversation, where he was able to share his experiences in life; fun-times, sad-times, stressful-times.  All of which put a perspective on my own life, that I tend to forget, or take for granted.  It’s amazing how quickly one’s life can change course in the blink of an eye.  It reminds me that I have to stop worrying about tomorrow and just live today.

After he left, he was visibly better, at least in spirit, that he and I had time to talk and reminisce about his life.  And it was apparent to me that I also felt better, the world-weariness had left me, and I ended up staying up very late that night, contemplating what it all means.  I have spent a great deal of my life examining the existence of God, either through theology or through science — because as I’ve stated before the must co-exist.  This experience, though seemingly innocuous, had a much greater impact on my own personal explorations than I would have possibly imagined.  I did not know if I was helping him, or if he was helping me, or if it was meant to help us both, which I think it did.  It leaves me wondering how many times have I ignored this little voice in my head trying to lead me to a better place in my own life, or to help those around me who truly deserve it.  My friend deserved as much of time as I could give, because he has sacrificed his own life for so many people.  Few people have as big a heart as he does, always has a smile and a joke for those around him.  He doesn’t blame anyone else but himself for his current condition, especially not God. 

Today I feel much better, better than I have in quite sometime about the world around me, and the people I interact with.  In a world full of such horrible things, seemingly on a downward spiral into the abyss, it is amazing to me that light always finds a way to reveal a path.  And this experience has. 

So what is god or my conscience?  Are they one and the same?  Does it really matter? All I know is that it is a memory I will keep with me the rest of my days, and probably wonder about it when days seem particularly hard.  Perhaps I’ll remember that night and know that things could be a lot worse.

If you would, take a moment and think about my friend, because he could use all the positive thoughts we can give.  Get well, Frank!

Categories
Life Philosophy Religion

The Need for Zen

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes. – Alan Watts

Being Zen is probably the hardest and easiest thing one can do.  It is hard because we live in a world full of distractions;  we are distracted by people, gadgets, news, wants, needs and general chaos around us.  It is easy because Zen means just to be; don’t think about it, contemplate it, analyze it, or decompose it.  And Zen can just a moment, or your entire life.  It’s really up to you but its easy to just set aside a single moment a day to experience it.  Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to do it all the time. 

I have a few moments a day of Zen that I have now become accustomed to.  I’ve incorporated it into my day ritualistically, but not in a meaningless way.  Each day at around 4:45 I make dinner, I have always loved to cook, and it is dramatically different from what I am doing most of the day, which usually involves technology to some extent. 

Before I begin, I go to the grocery store and start at the produce aisle, looking for vegetables that look particularly appealing that day.  I especially like looking at the peppers because the shapes and colors are pleasing and soothing — bright reds, deep oranges or soothing greens.  Next, I head to the meat aisle, looking for what I’ve not had in a few days, what’s on sale.  I usually choose meat that goes with the day of the week.  Early week is chicken, mid-week is usually pork of some variety, and the weekend, especially Friday is steak day — though this is subject to change.

After I’ve chosen my meat, then the next crucial aspect of the meal is the wine selection.  I reserve my wine selection for the type of meat and spices I’ll be using that evening.  Since I am not at all fond of white wines, I choose among the reds: Pinot Noir for chicken, Old Vine Zin or Malbec for Pork and a Cabernet class for beef.  Again, this is subject to change depending on my mood.

Once I am back in the kitchen, the first thing I do is open the bottle of wine and pour it violently into a decanter so that it oxygenates quicker and let it set while I get the rest of the ingredients together.  I really enjoy choosing the herbs I want to use, usually fresh or recently dehydrated.  Prep work usually takes me about 20 minutes and once that is done, I have that first glass of wine and the cooking commences.  I usually have the pans going on the stove, and more often than not, the meat is cooked on my grill which I run all through the year.  Grilled meat as such amazing flavor and it is hard to get the same flavor from fried meats, depending on the recipe.  I spend my time just stirring, flipping and spicing, not really thinking about what I am doing, letting the food taste the way it wants to taste, with my gentle nudges in the right direction.

Then of course, the last part of the ritual is to finally eat what I prepared with my family, and watch their expressions as they taste what I’ve made, take feedback on what they do and do not like, and work to improve it.  There is nothing more satisfying that people enjoying what I have made, not from a sense of pride, but from the fact that I’ve shared my Zen moment with someone else, and in effect have given them their own Zen moment.  Cause and effect.

What is important to remember is that Zen is about you.  You cannot truly make someone Zen, they must want to be Zen.  Zen is not a lesson, it is an experience.  You can no more push Zen on someone than you can force them to remember something. It is something one attains through their own actions or non-action.  Zen is Zen.  But what does that mean exactly?  I find that my excursions into a Zen state of mind are usually not known to me until they have passed. While I am in a state of Zen, the last thing I am thinking about is “Hey! I’m Zen!”, it doesn’t work that way at all.

Zen is not a religion, it is the act of being.  It is that state your mind enters, where you are focused only on the task at hand and you are simply experiencing it, feeling it, enjoying it, living it.  It is a state where all the other cares of the world leave you, allowing you to shrug the weight of the world, if only for a brief moment, and allow your soul to do what it enjoys doing. 

My hypothesis has always been that if everyone could find and recognize just one Zen activity that they enjoy, the world would be less stressed.  So many people I know are always on the go, and rarely find time to enjoy their lives. I know so many people who are always doing, but never experiencing what they are doing, more concerned with what other people think, what they do not have, what others have, their jobs and their wants.  We pile this stress upon ourselves, with little to no release until eventually everything explodes into something dreadful.  My Zen cooking each day allows me to shrug off the stress of my day, things that may have upset me on the ride home, and/or things I have to deal with in my personal life, such as home, finances, health and family.  My Zen moment is for me, my little gift to myself each day, reminding me there is more to my life than petty worries. 

Life is a struggle, there is no way around it.  If you have no money, you struggle to get more. If you have lots of money, you struggle to keep it.  If you are sick, you struggle to get well and if you are well, you struggle not to get sick.  This is what drives us to experience the world.  If life were not a struggle, we would all sit blissfully in a field staring at the sky wondering what the purpose is.  The purpose of life is to live.

So when your day seems particularly rough, and you go home at night, think to yourself what will take your mind off of it.  We as a race need Zen more now than ever before, but it does not need to be all-consuming in your life, or cause you to stop doing other things.  Zen is so elegant because it can be incorporated into any type of life and religion.

Zen is Zen.  And You are You.