Who Are We?

   I cleaned out from under my bed today. Everything under there was from elementary school (somehow, at age 22). It seems as though I was quick to throw away middle school, but not so much my elementary years. I can recall having a fulfilling 5th grade. I had 3 best friends, one of which was in my class. Even though life got strange at times, I felt capable despite insecurities and obstacles. Right after that, all three friends moved, my muse died (I was a creative kid), and I distinctly remember going into every department store and finding nothing that would fit me, a metaphor for the times.

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I was a better artist at 10 than I am now apparently.

   Despite having a fond recollection, I look back and I feel detached from this person. I cannot connect to the photos or memories, although they are still strong and clear in my mind. I’ve never been one to dwell on the past, “It distracts from the now” as Edna from The Incredibles famously stated.

   Several weeks before this mass removal of childhood paraphernalia, I found myself dwelling on the little known fact that all the atoms in our body are recycled every 7 years or so. It was a topic I naturally gravitated towards given my recent checkpoint in life. We are not made up of the same composition we had when we were born. Everything was replaced, and deposited somewhere to maintain a general form. In this sense, we do not have the same exact makeup when we were seven either, or during our favorite adolescent memories compared to now. Even the expression of our DNA can alter slightly when environmental cues turn certain genes on and off  (This is called epigenetics in science. In a spiritual sense of ascension, it is called DNA activation).

   For me, there is this disconnect, and relation existing simultaneously. It’s as if it is already a past life, with a line of consciousness connecting all physical states of being, holding them together. Coincidentally, my Uncle sent me a quote from James Gleick he thought I’d like that pertains to all of this. It states “Mind must be a sort of dynamical pattern, not so much founded in a neurological substrate as floating above it, independent of it.”

Perhaps past lives are like that when we die and finally remember what we are. Although these past character states used to be our most recent self at one point, we moved on and no longer associate it with our compete identity. Perhaps our identity is more of what we are now and where we are going than what has happened to us and what we previously experienced.

Who are we, or perhaps, what are we? Just a thought…

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Facing the Blind Deaf Stone Alone

“…the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…” – Primo Levi


Let me just say, I hate this sculpture.

I don’t know where it came from or why it’s there. All I know is that I’ve had to look at it almost every morning for three years. Three years and thankfully not four, as I spent one year in California, which only seems like a dream now.

It is displayed up on a hill that the express bus passes on its run from the South parking lot to campus. Every morning I saw this wretched thing and questioned what it’s supposed to mean. What’s the point of a concrete swing frozen in time? Why is it pale yellow? I don’t know what the actual intentions are for it, but to me it symbolized something very cynical, dark even. Like a warning sign to anyone entering campus, there’s a subliminal message of fruitless efforts, inhibition of joy, and an overall sense of hopelessness. Fruitless efforts for when you’re on a swing but the chains are fixed. Joy of a favorite pastime activity taken away. Knowing that even if the thing were to come to life, you’d only go back and forth indefinitely, until you got off. As of 5/20/16, I got off this swing and walked away.

It must be very hard for others to understand, with the great reputation for “higher education”. I understand this, and I also understand that this is my journey and you have your journey, and there aren’t going to be equivalencies at ever turn. But I mean every word when I say this was the hardest part of my life. To me, this was a time when I was thrown into a dark room with no light and no exit point. It was like being stuck on a road that never ends. I strapped myself into some sort of machine that looked like Kerry, but was not Kerry, and went about my life in the way that was asked of me. I didn’t feel like my life was my own. All efforts I put forth were washed down the drain so consistently that it brought me to the point where I even questioned if there was some divine intervention putting all it’s strength into sabotaging my plans and putting me on an entirely different route. It put a veil between me and the rest of world so that when I went to push, nothing moved. Every visualization of of trying to become something was squandered, and no one who knew me saw it. I don’t know how they could. When you’re moving through a similar medium, and people experience something entirely different from what you are, it is almost impossible for them to put themselves in your shoes, and so on top of everything also came isolation and loneliness.

Thankfully, when I turned away form the world and went inside, I found something. It was Metanoia, a light in the dark, something with potential disguised as something small and ambiguous. It was a seed, and it’s this seed that I’m going to water and nurture from now on.

The human race is dissonance, a cacophony of emptiness. People castrate their consciousness with alcohol, drugs, sex, money, and comfortable routine. Being even just a little disconnected from that in developing years allowed for an authentic emanation of self. This sets me apart more than anything else from my peers. It just may be the disruption in the pattern that made my efforts ineffective here. I found essence, and thats all I want to experience now, untainted by the vibrational garbage drowning it out and forcing it under. I look around to see that family and friends have not been as lucky to have a center. Or am I the unlucky one? Facing the blind deaf stone alone, it sometimes feels like I was placed in some sort of solitary confinement born out of the collective unconsciousness. When you enter, you begin to live another life entirely. Facing the blind deaf stone alone, I’m not accompanied with anyone who has the capacity to see me, or know what it is I’m trying to achieve here. I’m up against so much right now. I’m up against my unconscious peers when I seek enlightenment. I’m up against my genetics which was born out of generations of people who were afraid to take risks and lived comfortably numb, asleep at the wheel as my brother likes to put it. I have no role models, or examples to follow. I have no way of navigation. I have no finances. I only have a vague sense of the home that lies somewhere on the other side of this, far, far away. I desperately want to get there. I am uncertain, but determined, and maybe I needed Stony Brook University for this reason, to be plunged into darkness so that I would no longer tolerate anything but light, and everything that comes with it.

To all those listening, thank you, and I love you.

 

Artwork credited to Niken Anindita

Perpetual Moment

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Heaven is not so much a place as it is a perpetual moment.

The air is somehow both cool and warm as I breathe the saline scent of ocean air into my lungs. There’s no one in sight when I scan the horizon, but I do not feel alone. In fact, I feel more accompanied than I ever have been. The sunrise is welcomed, casting slightly different shades of orange and gold than it did when it left the day before. I drift off into contemplation…

I’ve learned at a very young age that people can be an unreliable source of love. It’s not necessarily their fault, we are only human. Families move. People lose interest, find a new person, or new group to associate with. In the worst cases, some will even be subjected to their own mortality early on. It’s not complicated. Others are not always going to be there for you, whether they can help it or not.

I’ve also come to find that everyone has a different idea of loyalty, and that others won’t always try to see from different perspectives in the way I do. I’ve become accustomed to the fickleness of human beings, even learned to anticipate it.

However, it is true what they say: when one door closes, another one opens, and sometimes for a good reason.

I had a unique childhood, cast away on barrier islands on the south shore of Long Island. I was able to find love in the extraordinary, beyond flesh and bone, and I am thankful for it. I found love in the persistent undulation of the Atlantic. I found love not just in the heart of others, but in the heart of nature. I found solace in the relentless way waves crash and recede. I found it in the micro and macro cosmos of all things, both living and seemingly inert. I found it in the potential of a drop of salt water. I developed a deeper appreciation for the physical properties and processes that govern our world. I began to associate love with what was raw, and unseen, as I knew there was more than what my eyes informed me.

I’ve learned almost everything I need to carry on with life in the temple of nature, a perpetual moment of love.

Is It Too Early for a Cover Reveal?

   In times when I cannot devote all of my attention to writing, my mind still likes to dream and wander through my creations. Recently I have attempted to take some of these visuals out of my mind and make them real.

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   This painting is the image that will be on the cover of my work. Of course, when it is ready to be brought into the public, someone who is much more capable will create the image and format it, but I couldn’t ignore the urge to try and extract it from my mind and bring it to life. This painting illustrates the idea of souls condensing and gathering like a cloud, and its natural tendency to precipitate back into life, back into the various experiences among the cosmos. As the story shows, the cycle continues, as does the ascension of the soul in this process.

   I’ve also recently created a Facebook page, which I am grateful for having, as I’ve been able to take a more spiritual approach to it that I felt I could not do on WordPress given the audience, and the kind of posts I wanted to write here. If this is something you might be interested in, please like and share: https://www.facebook.com/Metanoiasouls/  

The Freedom to Choose

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Hello to all my loyal followers, and hello to any newcomers.

   Now that the spring semester has begun, most of my time and energy will be funneled into school, especially since I am trying to secure my graduation for May. This unfortunately means less  posts, and allotting any free time I have to writing my novel, so I apologize for the lack of posts over the next few months.

   I’m finding that this is a very unnerving time in my life where there is much uncertainty for the future, and fear of this unknown. It is not so much the typical scenario for all youth where there is a dilemma in not knowing ones purpose or passion. Its more of an anxiety brought on by the apparent lack of opportunity after a life of trying to produce just the opposite. This discomfort brings me to what I wish to talk about today.

   I see it in others and I see it in myself. Very often we believe that we are stuck in life. We don’t think we can get out of our career choice, our job, our relationship, our geography, our finances, or anything at all. Perhaps the mindset comes from knowing that these situations were completely circumstantial, which often is the main factor controlling where we end up in life at some point, despite our best efforts, and despite what we’re told about things like hard work and perseverance. But recently I was reminded of something, and it prompted me to take my own advice.

 

   I’ve seen horrific things that people must endure on this plane of existence, things I will not go into detail. I’ve been fortunate enough, and thankful for having a life in which I did not have to go through these things, and yet still be able to learn something from being a bystander. What I’ve learned from these people is that there always is a choice, no matter what. There really are no excuses.

   I must convey what making a choice actually entails here. When you are depressed for example, you do not simply decide to start feeling better and make it so the day after. This is what many people mistakenly say to others, especially those who have never been through great hardship (or for those who have and see this as a way to avoid their baggage rather than working with it and truly moving on). Change doesn’t work like that here. For some, it takes an entire lifetime to bring forth some manifestation, or a change in destiny. For these people, it was between that and never breaking free, and they chose freedom. With this, you are presented with the option to let life happen to you, or to gather up some courage for the long haul. I suppose everyone is different, but I  would rather have a life trying to get somewhere. I would not want to give my power over to circumstance. I do not believe thats what I, or any of us were meant to do. As the saying goes, “After all, none of us are getting out alive anyway”. In the end it didn’t matter what occurred for the people who took control of their destiny. What mattered was that they acknowledged their position, had a conversation with themselves, and started looking for a way to make a change. They evaluated what was worth taking and what was worth leaving behind.

   I have no idea if this will strike a chord with any of you at this time. Perhaps it does for some time in your past, or perhaps it will somewhere down the line in your future. Either way, I felt compelled to say something about this.

   For me personally, there is this feeling of being lost, but not in life, in another way entirely. I recently heard someone present the question “Where is my Joy?”. Yes, where is my joy? Where is that old friend? For me, it is misplaced in the distractions and the checklists and the obligations. I warn myself not to disconnect from the path that leads me to my bliss, because when I do, I could temporarily lose my way back to that. This is where I find myself now. Overcoming this may be the way to dislodge myself from the clingy sap of self doubt, mistrust, and disappointment.

   Perhaps getting back to oneself in this way is not as complicated as it feels. There’s a song by my favorite artist Aurora I wish to share that resonates with this.

   In her song, it is extremely frank, and yet so eloquently put.

   “I know I can. Thats why I do it.”

 

Featured image credited to Folkert Gorter

Embracing the Intellect of the Heart

   In our society, there is an enigmatic taboo that leads many to distrust what they’re instincts tell them to do, where to look, how to be, etc. Sometimes for good reason, but sometimes in excess. From a very young age, all we want is to be accepted, or perhaps to at least be considered “acceptable” in some way if you were not someone who cared what others thought. Either way, we have all struggled to meet a standard at some point in our lives. This is how we’re guided to follow the grain from square one, until we come to a point in our maturity where we completely forget we are following something external at all and are tricked into thinking everything we want and strive for is related to our authentic selves, or true purpose. It is because of this that we sometimes stray away from what we are intuitively pulled towards by the heart, and replace it with our mental constructs and external ideas.

Over time, I’ve been lead to the idea that the heart has an intellect that either no one knows or no one acknowledges. To many, this statement might be very confusing because we’ve made the very definition of the word ‘heart’ to serve as an antonym for the word ‘intellect’. Perhaps this is a symptom of living in separation of the two: “Use your head” or “Follow your heart” we say. We seem to use one or the other depending on the situation. But what if we merged these two concepts together, and used them at the same time? What happens then?

   Personally, I have found that I’ve used my heart to figure out where my mind is supposed to go, upon which my mind takes over and synthesizes what its given. Then, it would be my heart’s duty to feel out the conclusions I’ve drawn, and so on. It goes back and forth in an ebb and flow continuously. In rare instances, I find the two coalesce, like two bodies in space that circle around one another until gravity finally leads them to join in an epic blaze of light and color. They become the same thing essentially, that is what I meant by there being “an intellect to the heart”, which opposes the separation the two concepts.

Two white dwarf stars orbiting each other every 5 minutes.

Photograph courtesy NASA/Tod Strohmayer (GSFC)/Dana Berry (Chandra X-Ray Observatory)

 

The result of this has always been interesting. I’ve come up with my best ideas and produced my best work in these states. But for whatever reason, I see many people not trusting the way they feel, and rely on what they see, or vice versa. I can’t help but notice that we as a society live in a sort of disconnect that keeps us from reaching our full potential, truthfully in many ways apart from what I’ve even discussed so far.

But allow me to diverge for a moment, because I have something I wish to convey.

   I truly believe that certain instances call for you to act on your instinct rather than what is customary. The right thing to do just might be the opposite of what your mind advises. For example, life-changing inventions and problem solving skills generally require an “out of the box” method of approach, as we like to call it. Well, what is this vague “out of the box” thing people speak of? I am no expert but logic would lead me to believe that it involves avoiding the perception that is no longer providing any solutions to the problem, and what most likely lead to the problem in the first place (a rewording of the well known quote by Albert Einstein “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”).

   Sometimes we seem to think that something needs a lot of thought and intellectualization, which is likely a product of our education. However, you may inadvertently think yourself into a box that will not lead you anywhere beyond what you can see. A problem may call for a solution that requires a completely different angle of approach. I have found a method that works for me to avoid this trap. It is one simple statement: ‘I know that I don’t know’. It is known as the Socratic Paradox, where one knows that they know nothing. It is possible to have conclusions come out of this approach that are not entirely accurate, but at least it comes from an honest place that lacks any bias that may steer me away from the truth. It’s a good start is all I’m saying. And truth is so subjective that I really can’t ever say anything with complete certainty as we all have our own truth, with threads of validity woven through it all. But when I am listening to someone preach something or share their opinion, I now always ask myself this:  “Where did they begin with the creation of that belief?”

In starting with “I know that I don’t know”, I’m choosing to be careful about contaminating my own understanding with someone or something else’s (which is probably already riddled with mistruths because I’ve never known anyone to approach life in such a clean-slate way).

I can hear everyone’s thoughts right not at this point. They say “But Kerry, what does this even have to do with what you were saying in the beginning with the heart nonsense?”

Calm down, I’m bringing it home.

   Perhaps for some of history’s game changers, the “out of the box” notion is disguised as this moment where the idea of the head and the heart connects, creating the capacity to reach conclusions that could not be made otherwise. Its a sort of reaching out of the five senses, with knowledge previously gained guiding the way, and the willingness connect to something greater than yourself or what you already know.

   If we are to be guided by a true purpose, or wish to live a life of authenticity, we must challenge preconceived notions, understand where it is that they come from, and in doing so, open up to the intellect of the heart.

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Featured image credited to Jacob Jugashvili 

“The Science Delusion”

 

   As I promised in my previous post The Hidden Dogma in Science, I am dedicating this post towards sharing The Science Delusion, by Rupert Sheldrake. This video is known as a “banned” TED Talk that identifies and addresses ten dogmas in science, with the intention of questioning their validity rather than blindly accepting them as fact like much of the science community currently does.

   Overall, it is apparent that Sheldrake is simply calling for an honest exploration of what we call life, the universe, and everything (a subtle science fiction reference there, if anyone catches it). Dogma doesn’t belong in science, as it is the very foundation, or “life blood” of science itself to be open and question what we automatically assume is the truth.

I hope you enjoy this witty exposition. The incongruity that he chooses to expose is surprisingly humorous.