Tag: philosophy

The Wheel of Samsara

The people need their fix
gotta get up to the tower’s rent
the perfect people
that’s what I want!
take this pain, dissatisfaction
replace it with
a blissful reaction
I’ll sell my soul to pharma’s lore
that all my problems
will one day bore me
it’s the end
the judgment’s here!
A pill a day
will make me clear

But it’s just a fool’s parade
phony props and cellophane
smiling, photoshopped creations utter
on TV like horrid clutter
There is no left great white hope
there is only stolen makeup
plastered onto meth burnt bones
ya know
I never liked this show
please change it

Life will always burn
will always be too cold
or too blazing hot
the table’s always tilting
sending scrambling gentries galloping gaily
at some new white windmill in the sky
you’ll be back here when you die
you’ll be back here when you die

So I sit and stare
out the window with no glare
counting beads to win a dare
that a sloth could beat the hare

The Quiet Mystery

Sing with me eons
we’ve gone dead
the purpose dreamed
inside my head
says Yes!
this strange
theophany’s old stew
is due
to rampant drug use
or some hue
like that
the fat
young analyst proclaims
this book, the DSM
intones
that you are histrionic
dew
of God
no, wait
it says you’re lost
and need this med
to calm those voices
in your head

So like old William Blake
I’m toast
I guess I’ll write a few more
ghosts
called poems, stories, myths, or
dreams

I turned up Jupiter this morn
the laughing man has made me cold
a pale cadaver to this world
I see most peons plopping by
with some dead economist’s reply
they sigh
that all is gross
but they don’t see
that peace is free
sing loud the quiet mystery
with
me

We’re All Enrolled in The School of Life

I used to be a very “troubled” person. From the time I was 15 until about 36 years old, I had a consistent “mental health problem.” In January of 2016, I found my answer, and it was the culmination of a good deal of study, practice, and opening up. I found my peace, and I think that others can find that same peace, although it might require losing something to gain it.

My peace came by letting go of a “perfect life” or “perfect health.” I had to let go of my expectations and truly accept what was happening in my life.  I have not just “given up” if that’s what you are inferring. I am still striving for my goals, but when things don’t go as planned, it’s not really my fault, and I don’t beat myself up. The universe seems to be hard on purpose, and although I sometimes feel anxiety or anger, I am learning to have peace with this reality.

If you go to the gym, and you leave feeling sore, you don’t see that soreness as a failure. That was the whole point of going. Likewise, with your life, if you get beat up, that’s the point. This life is training or school for some higher place. We enter as little children, and through our struggle and adversity, we become spiritual adults. If you went to the gym and your trainer only put the tiniest weights on the machine, and you never broke a sweat, you’d want your money back. But when life makes us sweat, we cry that it’s totally unfair!

In modern society, we are obsessed with perfection, usually material perfection. We have created multi-billion dollar industries to give us the illusion of perfection on giant screens. But also, we seem to be constantly let down by that perfection. There is an everpresent juxtaposition of both the attempt at perfection and the revelation of human fallibility. It seems that the more “perfect” some person seems, the more jarring it is when they are revealed to be a human with flaws like everyone else.

I am not sure that everyone is capable of undergoing the spiritual evolution and rebirth that I did. To be honest, events in my life were so bad that I was forced to go deep and cut out parts of my psyche in a valiant attempt at regaining sanity. Being transgender confronted me with a ton of rejection, and so it was easy for me to cut out institutions and modes of thought that were outdated. They kicked me out, so I had to find new answers.

I could go through a “Top Ten Ways I Found Spiritual Fulfillment!!” clickbait style list, but I won’t here. The path that can be described is not the true path. Everyone has their own path for their own starting point on the giant spiral staircase of life. The one key that is utterly important is spiritual hunger. This is why Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” In other words, if you are hungry for spiritual philosophy, you will find your rebirth and see peace.

We all have to make basic assumptions about life and reality. Most of us in the Western world assume that life can be perfected here on Earth with enough technology and smart intellectuals telling us what to do. I’m not saying that technology and intellectuals are bad, but I do not assume that we can perfect this world. I believe that there is some chaotic constant that continually throws a wrench into whatever we’re doing so that we can be challenged. I see life, not as some playground for humanity but more of a boot camp for humanity before we graduate into the “real world” on the higher plane.

I am not exempt from this challenging force that I call the chaotic constant. Even though I have had certain experiences that have freed me from many of the anxieties and neuroses of my youth, I will continue to grow as long as I’m in this world. I’ve just found how to let go and be accepting of what happens. This required a LOT of training mostly in the form of meditation but also finding the right psychedelic medications. Meditation is the practice of ignoring your brain. You sit and your brain yells “Do What I Tell You!” and you ignore it. Slowly, that voice learns that you won’t be pushed around, and it calms down, but this takes time. Psychedelics show you perspectives that are hard to get in the everyday world so that you can check yourself.

May you find the small measure of peace that I have found in my heart. If you are interested in additional information in this respect, leave me a comment, and we can dialogue about it. I learn by teaching, so I would love to work with you.

To close, think about what you expect out of your life. Is it a realistic expectation? How does it make you feel if you think about not getting what you expect out of life? Does it trouble you? If you can handle “failing” in this life, you might just lose that persistent anxiety that walks around with you. If we love what we get instead of get angry about what we don’t get, we might live lives of gratitude instead of resentment, peace instead of self-loathing.

Are we living in a simulation? Here is my model for a simulated existence.

I dashed out the below philosophical model a few months ago, and then I was just interviewed for a documentary about Simulation Theory (the idea that we are living in a computer simulation). So I guess I ought to make this draft public here:

  1. Reality is best understood to be a simulation
  2. A human can be understood using the metaphor of an eye that stares at a screen composed of a number of pixels.
  3. Those pixels can modulate to create the images that we perceive and the sensations that we feel.
  4. This collective modulation of pixels creates waves of disturbance that we recognize as “objects.”
  5. These objects are not objects per se, but are waves in a medium of the field of pixels. Imagine that you are a baseball player looking at the fans in their seats doing “the wave.” You perceive the individual fans, but you also see a distinct wave moving through them.
  6. This is akin to a whirlpool that forms in a river. A whirlpool is a distinct structure within the water of a river, but it is not separate from the river, it is merely a configuration of the medium of the river.
  7. When one stares at a television with a movie playing on it, the pixels are in effect “collapsing” into either red, green, or blue.
  8. Modern physicists mistakenly believe that there is a distinction between perceiver and “objects” in reality, but this is an illusion. There is the underlying “screen” of reality, but it is a lower dimensional projection that imitates higher dimensions of reality.
  9. There are “objects” in that we are humans, and we need to eat and drink to “survive,” but this is akin to a video game, it is not “real” reality.
  10. The simulation is teleological in that we are “trapped” in this simulation in order to learn some truth or grow into some new form.
  11. We are like plants in a greenhouse. A greenhouse is not a real atmosphere, it is a simulated atmosphere. Once we grow into a form that can live in the “real” atmosphere, we will be planted in that atmosphere.
  12. New humans are planted into our simulation every day, but we do not know how long a human has been in the simulation.
  13. Some humans are older and more developed than other humans because they have been through more trials than other humans.
  14. Eventually, when spiritual attainment has been achieved, you exit the simulation and go to live in the higher plane of existence, which is really just outside of the data center that you are in at present.
  15. One day, we will be able to create our own simulation, and we will be able to mature our young people in this simulation just as we are matured in the macrocosmic simulation.
  16. The issue of “evil” is really just beings who are new to the simulation. As beings progress through the simulation, they gradually become less “evil.”
  17. Death within the simulation is not really death, but as in a video game, it is just a “reset.” If you die in a video game, you do not gnash your teeth and moan at the horror of it because you know that it is not real. In this way, reality is not real, and when you die, you either exit the simulation or just reset in a new form with new challenges.
  18. Our bodies are akin to remote-controlled drones. We must care for them as they are the conduit and eyes into this world. We exist remotely, but we are dependent on these bodies to live here.
  19. There are “gods” in this simulation, but they are merely system administrators. Their job is to ensure that you are progressing and growing along certain guidelines. They are like gardeners in the greenhouse. We know that if you want a plant to grow better, it needs to be trimmed occasionally. When one goes through struggle, it is merely a “trimming of your branches” so that you will grow in a better configuration.
  20. The gods are best to be thought of as athletic “coaches.” When one goes to the gym and is coached by a personal trainer, the job of the coach is to stress you and make you uncomfortable in order that you grow better. In this way, the gods stress you through forces, in reality, to ensure that you mature.

How can we give advice in a world of confusion? How can we guide others when we respect the limits of our own knowing?

I’ve learned that ignoring people who annoy me is far superior to publicly chastising them. But, this is not always an easy thing to do…I feel as though that paternalistic, soapbox mentality is very American. “Let me tell you how everyone is doing it wrong!” I do my best to spend my time finding positive and constructive solutions to problems instead of engaging in tabloid/reality TV-style drama mining to get likes online. Don’t get me wrong, I used to do that aplenty, but I found that it came from an inner sense of insecurity and fear.
Honestly, I don’t really believe in saving the world anymore. I think that if you act out of what you see as virtuous on the microcosm level, the macrocosm/society level situation will manifest as an emergent property/system. I’ve probably read the Tao Te Ching too much, but I don’t have much faith in top-down, contrived systems that are more focused on achieving ends than finding good means of being.
Working with the void has been helpful. Seeing how there is intelligence in letting go and acting in a receptive manner has enlightened me with darkness. Life seems to be a concert between me, a person on an inner-tube, arms flailing, and the river in which I move. There is no either/or when it comes to concepts of control or power. When two people dance, who is in control? Obviously, they both are. So I try not to obsess about “am I in control?!” I know I am and I am not. Language is inherently reductionistic and binary, and so there are limits to describing true reality with a tool that is probably better designed to questions of “where is the food?” and “where is the bathroom?”
The more that I’ve looked for deep meaning in life and tried to capture it like a firefly in a jar the less I’ve been successful. I want to be someone that gives people tools for transcending the mundane aspects of reality, but I also know the limits of prescriptions and commandments. I can see the irony in me saying that I can’t figure out how to tell others how to improve their lives while writing a blog post obliquely focused on a similar intent. I get it. But I don’t get it.|
Do you?

What Mercury retrograde means for you

According to astrological lore, when a planet goes retrograde, it slips into its shadow side. Mercury is going retrograde right now, and for the next few weeks it will be going “backwards” in the sky. Retrograde motion is really just an illusion. No planets go backwards. But there does seem to be something there in regards to astrology.

So for the next few weeks try and operate from your heart-centered place. Know that your needs and wants might be screaming at a higher volume. I’ve already made a few mistakes this retrograde and said things that were immature. The purpose of retrograde motion is to challenge us to do better and slough off patterns that no longer serve us.

Imagine that you are sailing a boat down a river. When a planet goes retrograde it’s as if the water level drops on the river, and thus, the rocks on the bed of the river are more exposed. You no longer have the ease of sailing on a high level of water, so you have to pay better attention for a while. This sharpens your ability to communicate.

You can always do nothing and let your boat scrape on the metaphorical rocks and be far worse off. Those rocks might show up as assuming a me versus them mentality and saying things from a defensive standpoint instead of a confident, heart-centered position.

Be well my friends. I know not everyone believes in astrology, but these suggestions work if you don’t believe as well. And lastly Mars is retrograde too in Aquarius using the tropical system. There’s a lot of challenge going on. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and get bumps and bruises. The important part is that we get up and get back on the wheel of that boat sailing down the river of life.

Imagine, America

Imagine an America where we honored the law and gave attention to individual misfortune.

Imagine an America where masculine and feminine energies were equal and integrated, like two sides to one golden coin.

Imagine an America where history was taught from an objective and subjective perspective, honoring the need for solid institutions but also respecting their fallibility and need for improvement.

Imagine an America where politicians were not rich and could not be bought by corporations more powerful than many countries.

Imagine an America where children were taught self-respect and compassion, honoring personal agency and selflessness.

Imagine an America where intellectuals were respected and listened to as valuable beacons of knowledge.

Imagine an America where true science was honored and diverse spiritual paths were also championed and encouraged.

Imagine an America where one didn’t have to go bankrupt to survive cancer.

Imagine an America where every child was taught critical thinking skills so they could truly question what they were consuming.

Imagine an America where labor unions were supported and cheered as vehicles of equality.

Imagine an America where we respected each other’s differences and made sure to care for strangers.

Imagine an America beyond patriarchy and beyond matriarchy.

Imagine an America where fear still existed but was overshadowed by love, community, joy, and reason.

Imagine an America.

That’s your job. We must be imaginative to survive. Be bold. Be strident. Be optimistic. Be real. Be exposed. Be revolutionary. Lay your fear on the altar of bravery and persist with joyous creativity.

Imagine, America

Don’t fear the bullies like Trump. Laugh at them instead.

Don’t be destabilized by the news. That’s the aim. It is informational terrorism and bullying. Find your center and know what is right. Show no fear to the bullies, and they will run. We have a vision for a bright future, and Trump & Co. are trying to piss on that vision, but if we hold fast to that vision of inclusion, openness, and true American values, it will manifest. They might hit us, but we are beings of light inside these vulnerable bodies. The body might be damaged, but our spirits remain luminous and solar. There is no need for faith if you don’t have fear, and if you don’t fear death, you will have no existential fear. You might have small fears concerning your day to day survival, but you will be like a stone, immutable.

I was bullied from age 6. I know what it’s like to live in terror, but now I’ve learned that they are like the Wizard of OZ: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” The technological explosion of tools of illusion has given the bullies the ability to create big and scary Wizards of OZ, but they are just that little man behind the curtain.

We are the strength. Because you have love, you are the power. To quote Chogyam Trungpa “laugh at your fears!” Laugh at the bullies. America is in a cold civil war, so the material consequences of what is going on are real, but you are not just the material. Know that material goods come and go like the tides. Detach from them and be strong.

Smile my fellow lunatics! They’ve come to take our joy, but they can take my belly laughs out of my cold, dead body. Haha 🌞

A deluge of data and flood of fake news is coming. Exercise your critical thinking muscles to survive it.

A hugely important if not most important skill is critical thinking. Now that our machines have become masters of illusion, only those who exercise their critical ability will not be sung to the rocks by the fake news sirens. In this new digital jungle, an appropriate detachment is maybe the only thing that can save you. I’m definitely not innocent of being fooled in my life, trust me, but I think we know that our technology is rapidly becoming very deceptive, and those who have not worked out their discretionary muscles will be the first to be sucked down the drain of Neptunian confusion.

Even those “scientists” who have memorized books and books of dictums will be easily swallowed up. Memorization is not logic. One can exercise the scientific method, an invaluable tool, and not be a “scientist” as is properly understood by the masses. You can be properly scientific about your own internal mechanisms and emotions, something very difficult to test and therefore largely ignored by the scientific establishment. You can be properly scientific and detached about mysticism, synchronicity, magick, and many other verboten subjects.

In Astrology, we are entering the “Aquarian Age” for reasons I won’t explain here. The interesting thing about the sign of Aquarius is that it is represented by a young androgynous boy pouring water out of a jar. Also the name Aquarius means water quite obviously. But the sign is actually an air sign, as all astrological signs have a corresponding classical element (fire, water, air, earth). The element of air symbolizes the intellect, data, communication, and change. Might we be witnessing the deluge of data? The flood of communication?

What will be the ark on which one will rise above this coming wave? I would say that it would be individual discernment and critical thinking with a heavy dose of listening to one’s own heart as well.

We need to stop with this left right nonsense. Everyone is both left and right in some measure. Find the middle.

You gotta be half severe as Stalin and half merciful as Mother Theresa. Yes, there are leftists who cling to and identify with victimization and in so doing try to escape from their own fears and inadequacies. There are fascists who cling to and identify with extreme judgmentalism as a salve for whatever trauma they suffered and can’t move past. We need to stop with this left right nonsense. Life is a balance between opposites. On one side is complete, loving union; on the other is stark separation. Every human organism must dialecticaly move between opposites to survive. Be male and female. Be left and right. Be ego and total spiritual dissolution. Strength lies in balance.

So who cares about this Jordan Peterson motherfucker? He’s not saying crazy things. He might be a little too severe for some or even me, but everyone has their overt and covert severity. Spamming memes instead of arguing is so 3rd grade.

I used to be really into Ayn Rand, like really into her. I went to the Objectivist speeches and read all of her books. But later I came to see her metaphysics as far too materialistic and severe and really just ignorant in many ways. However, I can still appreciate some of what she was saying about asserting yourself and being a radical individual. I mention that I used to be into Ayn Rand to some lefty types, and they sneer with dismissive derision. I had to explore the severe and later the merciful and find a balance.

America is like a brain without a corpus callosum, the structure which links the left and right hemispheres. We are like a person whose right hand is attacking their left and vice versa. Sadly, as many a wise person has uttered throughout history the answer will come in the middle. However, these days centrists are largely reviled. It’s much easier however to be totally reductive to one side of the spectrum because then you can just parrot slogans instead of alchemically balancing opposing sides to find a synthesis.

Will we elevate through the middle pillar to a beautiful balance? It’s going to happen on an individual level if anything. The reformation and revolution has to occur in individual hearts and minds. Then some good and novel synthetic balance might flower.

What I’ve Learned from Living with Chronic Illness

Antibiotics are chemotherapy. The word antibiotic means anti life. I have to take some antibiotics right now, and the side-effects are really heavy. I’m feeling very low and drained. But I think it’s the right decision, because I have prostatitis which is related to my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS). I usually just kind of live with it and focus on the positive to not lose my personal power, but right now, the bombs have to be dropped to see if it helps. It sucks, but I’ll get through it.

Honestly, I’ve been thinking pretty heavily about my chronic illness. When I first got sick in my early twenties, I got a lot of resistance from the medical establishment and loved ones. I learned to sort of put it in my private life and not really share it. It’s a very difficult psychological balance to live in a fast world with a “hidden” disability. Our medical tests at present are very poor with detecting what’s going on in lots of chronically ill people, so often the medical establishment just defaults to the “it’s all in your head, take an anti-depressant, and deal with it” approach.

I deal with a ton of symptoms including: cognitive impairment, confusion, deep muscle and joint pain, intense fatigue, depression, anxiety, sensitivity, insomnia, and others. They seem to follow a very irregular pattern and always pop up at the seemingly worst time. It’s something I’ve had to shoulder silently for decades now, and I did reach a point two years ago where I was completely overwhelmed with my health and various other difficulties. But I reached my bottom, and I gave up. I acknowledged my powerlessness, and said “OK, I don’t have control of this situation, but I’m going to keep climbing no matter what. I’m listening and open to learning.”

Dealing with chronic health issues is a very complicated thing because often the best drug is optimism. When you have a poor self-image, a victim mentality, and a “the world is all against me” thought process, it can make you sick. I honestly believe, and the data backs this up, that a lot of my chronic health issues are due to a childhood of trauma and disempowerment. That’s not to say that there are not real, material things at work in my body, but the two factors go together.

My diseases and queerness and losing my children and everything else really broke me, and now I’m happier or more at peace. I don’t care about small things. I’m human, and they bother me, but I soldier on with an understanding that life is pain. I feel disabled in some way, and I have to do a complex set of daily adaptations to handle my various disablements, but that’s ok.

So, I’ve decided that my five year plan is to go back to school to get a Masters in Counseling in some capacity with a focus on the Psychology of Chronic Illness and start working in that field. I think I can help others find balance in a very confusing and overwhelming circumstance, and I feel a real calling to do so. Ultimately, I want to work outside of the medical establishment and integrate my alternative beliefs like the power of ritual and empathic therapy into my practice. But I need the paper to be a “real therapist.” 

There are often not any easy solutions in situations like mine. There is just work and balance. Maybe providence will smile on me, but it’s ok if it doesn’t. I know what it’s like to feel crucified here on Earth, and there is transcendence in letting go and accepting our limitations. There is a tarot card that keeps popping up for me lately: The Hanged Man. In most decks it shows a man hanging upside down, completely suspended and powerless. He has lost all of his earthly power, but in so doing, he sees the world upside down, and he has total spiritual clarity. Life picks us up and turns our lives upside down, and although I’ve seen great loss, pain, and trauma, I’ve grown to see divinity and feel a joy that never dies, even in extreme darkness.

Rambling stream of consciousness thoughts on life Entry 1

Most people don’t understand why they’re stressed out. This thing called the 9-5 work week is eating at them and they don’t know why. Like a good fish we’ve each gone along with the school as it has moved in its increasingly strange undulations; the dance called cultural progress moves on. But we have radically altered so many of our personal environments that we don’t really know what we are anymore. Your life would be completely alien to someone born just two hundred years ago. It’s not a matter of “where are the aliens?” We are the aliens. We are achieving liftoff and distancing ourselves from our life mates here on planet Earth.
What does that mean? I don’t know, but it’s true. We are getting so remarkably good at automating our mundane tasks that our brains don’t know what to do with the free time. So we are creating conflict around us to try and keep the inner wheels spinning. But what is the purpose of all of this? What is the meaning behind this big abstract thing called culture and history and language. I’ve found amazing things in silence that cannot be communicated because they operate on the level of the heart. When I first started to really get that there were things and values that were hidden away from words, I was troubled. I thought that these things must be spoken about! But of course I missed the point then. Silence is lovely, especially when it’s internal silence. And words are gaudy neon signs on top of the true existential majesty of reality.
My personal meaning for life is to grow as much as I can spiritually, and that requires me to feed all of the other things that support that pursuit. I have to watch my health and try and stay moderate. My being is an ever changing and evolving jalopy that requires I be both a mechanic and friend to myself. I have learned to manage my vices so that they don’t drive me over the edge. I’m happy that I’m getting old. It’s like I’m getting the keys to a new luxury automobile. I learned what doesn’t work for me, and that’s invaluable.
I know I can be meandering and all faddish and all over the place. It’s my own personal style I suppose. I’ve found ways of understanding it through astrology and religion, but it’s just me. And I’m pretty happy with this jalopy of a person called that is doing its best to survive.
I’m most happy that I have learned that life is about having a good time. I’ve had some “Grade A” psychedelic/psychotic/paranormal/perplexing experiences which defy language or that I don’t have words to express. I’ve been able to discern a little bit out of the torrent of strange, and I have my personal philosophy and mythology.
I think one of the most important things I ever learned was nothing. Nothing is amazing! Sometimes I just go duhh… and that’s the best place to be. I used to think that I had to be thinking all the time in order to be a “valuable member of society.” But I like being a zero. If only for a while. Compulsive thought is my cross to bear in this existence. I’m learning to let it go and just be zero.