In a World of Soldiers, Be a Warrior

   You may know the famous lyrics “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” in the song All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers. I’m here to say that’s right Brandon Flowers, although I would extend that to say if you have “soul”, or character, that is actually what sets you apart from being a soldier. Having soul does not make you a soldier, it makes you a warrior.

We’ve all heard the term “soldier on” when we perceive a need to put our thoughts, feelings and inclinations aside just to get through the day, the week, the month, or even the years. But I am here to propose something different, and to suggest that this might not be the best attitude to have.

Perhaps it is the mental space we get in when we are looking for determination. We know that determination and will is the key to weathering any storm or overcoming any challenge. However, what are you conquering if you’ve turned off parts of yourself? A part of life perhaps, but not all of it. Soldiering on is not a way to be alive. It is damaging, not only to ourselves but to our surroundings.

The difference between a warrior and a soldier is that a soldier soldiers on while the warrior transcends its path. The soldier mindlessly pursues duty, without plugging into any higher, deeper purpose or meaning. The warrior is mindful of each step that it takes upon the Earth, lighting him or herself on fire to serve as a guidepost for anyone lost in their travels. The warrior walks an illumined path of sovereignty. The soldier is unconscious to what he or she is manifesting, taking orders from an external authority or an external standard.

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What is the point of moving forward when your footsteps are not created with purpose? It is in this way that there is little use for the soldier in this world, if only to service the current paradigm. That’s why I say, in a world of soldiers, be a warrior.

This is where the message turns to metaphor, so bear with me here in this next part.

The tricky element is that to be a warrior requires one to be okay with not being okay. If you are lost in the context of your surroundings, it asks that you be okay with not having a path to follow, because when you begin your journey on fresh ground, you’ll fall into a place of belonging through conscious will. The best part of making your own path is that limitations are no longer an issue, with no marching bodies in front or behind, and no line to tell you where to confine yourself. When you lift your head from the dirt and trail of the other that was showing you where to go, suddenly a new world becomes apparent to you. There are landscapes you’ve never seen, obstacles you’ve never faced, but all the while in awe at what would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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So what do you do? You wander a bit. It gets interesting here because you may start to question where it was you were even trying to go, or what you were trying to achieve in the first place. What was it that you were servicing? Certainly not yourself, and certainly not the people, which are still in need of assistance in a world hurtling towards self destruction, all while the world persists in their hypnotic, militant trance. It all comes apparent, one way or another, and that is when you receive the call to service, true service. It is the path that embodies service to others rather than service to self.

It is in this way that service comes in many different forms. Service is not always direct, like volunteering at a soup kitchen or buying meals for the homeless. These acts, I will ask you to consider, can be more of a symptom of service rather than the service itself in this specific framework we’re talking about. There is a service to walking to the beat of your own drum, to allowing your own unique expression to shine through and be shared with others rather than conforming and editing parts of yourself to fit into a regime. The concept that this is a form of service is not so far fetched when you consider the fact that you are the only you in the world. There can be no other, and will be no other in the history of Earth than the you that is you at this exact moment. Therefore, what you bring to the world cannot be replicated, and cannot be replaced. In conclusion, you have a duty to be yourself, to walk your own sovereign path, and shine your light in the world.

To be yourself in a world that wants nothing but to put a reign on individuality, to put people in boxes of gender, sexuality, political association, race, and so on, rather than let you identify and walk as a human on the Earth, requires the strength of a warrior. As a warrior, do not let anything happen other than what your soul is naturally inclined to do, to be of service to humanity in the awakening realization that we do not stand alone but together, and that because we are all sharing the same air on this brief dance on a speck of dust floating through space, we’re not going to make it unless we call ourselves what we are, humans, and accept that we’re all connected in this way.

So with that I bid you farewell. Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you like my work and would like to support what I do here at Metanoia, please visit my Patreon page. I offer services for self discovery, promotion, mindfulness, and book lovers.

Also, thank you Marci Brockmann, Joe Milians, and Jen Dougherty for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

Featured image by RHADS

The Dreaded “I Love You”

Why is this phrase taken so seriously? It’s not scary for me to love pizza, but it’s scary to tell your friend that you love them (particularly if they’re the opposite sex, or same sex if they’re male). I’m not someone to say “I love you” often as I personally believe that not handing it out aimlessly gives it more meaning. But after a good day spent with a friend, or a meaningful conversation on the phone with a family member, why is it oddly uncomfortable for some people?

Perhaps a part of the discomfort is owed to our flawed language. As many of you probably already know,  english seems to use the word love for everything while other languages have words for love that pertain to different things. For example, there are several greek words for love, which include love of the self, lust, a deep friendship, etc.

In english there is a staggering, and even offensive generalization for the word love that other languages would be appalled to discover as there are so many different kinds of love, and pertaining to different kinds of relationships.

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Deformities aside, language itself operates through our own personal associations. When we are learning the meaning of the word, we often have our own unique experiences shaping the definition of that word. It is as if each word has one standard definition that is very loose and malleable, with several subdivisions within it depending on the circumstance, and depending on a person’s history with that word. For example: “I have a barrel of oranges” means different things to different people. For the blue collar worker, it is “Oh no, thats another barrel of oranges that I have to process.” For Stacey, a nutritionist, that is a lot of vitamin C. For Bob the business man, that is $0.20 per orange, 300 oranges per barrel, 300($0.20)= 1/12  month’s rent. For Cindy who is allergic to citrus, it is a trip to the hospital. To Jerry the fashion designer, it is a barrel of oranges. It goes on. There is an emotional sheath coating each word that we’re not always aware of.

I love words, and I love language. I write because I do not have the artistic skill to create certain things otherwise. I cannot paint or draw the images that haunt me, so I craft a story that I can insert them into. I can’t always photograph a feeling or thought that I’ve had. So I use words, which gives me an infinite pallet immediately at my disposal. Despite this, words fail me all too often. Words sacrifice accuracy in expression for instantaneous communication. This is how words can separate us even further.

I do not have the psychic capacity to know what “I love you” means to all of you, but I can identify what it means for me personally. To me, the phrase “I love you” is often a reflex of having someone in my presence who did or said something so hilarious that it returned me to the moment and made me feel joy. It means I value your position and involvement in my life, whatever that may be. Lastly, In a very unique way, to say “I love you” is as if my heart is saying thank you.

Don’t be afraid to express your appreciation to your friends and family for the holidays this year. It may take time to find the right words and the right setting, but don’t blame that on yourself. Blame it on the limitations we’ve cultivated in our modern language.

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Thank you Marci Stern for becoming a patron for Metanoia! Please check out her beautiful artwork and publications (can be found on her contact page).

If you like my work and would like to support my endeavors, please visit my Patreon page.

Featured photo from lleana Skakun

Medicine of the Earth

Although it is not apparent in this blog, I’ve made it a point in my life to study alternative medicine, the chemicals in our food, the pharmaceutical industry, and the detriment that our overall modern lifestyles have.

The body that you’re in is not disposable. It is your most valued real estate, and yet almost nothing we’ve cultivated into habits serves its wellbeing. In my two years of searching I’ve learned a lot, and have wondered if I’d ever try to write a post about it. So many questions and obstacles have interfered with my ability to even start making one. There is just too much information, too much that has to be learned and explained. I thought it wouldn’t be worth it. I wouldn’t be able to explain the full magnitude, and I was right. I can’t. However, what I did with this post is try to hit a few major points, and tried to explain some things from a viewpoint that you may not have thought of or seen yet. I’ve also listed many of the resources I’ve used over the years to come to my understanding at the end, and you can use them or not use them to the extent that you’re comfortable with.

I finally felt compelled to write this post after I wrote “The Illusion of Separation“. In this post, I explained the false perception that the environment is something outside of ourselves. I spoke of how it is an extension of our bodies instead. It is of the Earth, and therefore of the same governing elements. We are very much at the mercy of the environment, our bodies in a constant mutual exchange that blurs the line between ‘I’, and ‘Us’, going beyond other individuals and encompassing the entire planet and all of its systems. This is an important detail to focus on because it provides leverage for the simple idea that medicinal plants and other homeopathic remedies can have efficacy on the ailments of our bodies. With this, I will begin.

1. The History of Modern Medicine

“You come out of this analysis and all this history with the realization that the medical profession is really like a lap dog of the pharmaceutical industry.”

– G. Edward Griffin from The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest

Contrary to what we’re conditioned to believe, synthetic drugs did not become the preferred method of treatment because it was more effective. This statement is not an opinion, or an inference, but a historical fact.

 It’s true that the pharmaceutical industry took prevalence and outcompeted plant-based remedies, but this is only because it was funded by big business, making it nearly impossible for any competitors to practice. In the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds, homeopathy and other natural methods of treatment had a stake in medical schools. It wasn’t until The Flexner Report of 1910 established by the Carnegie Foundation and J.D. Rockefeller reformed medical education in America. This movement prohibited the practice of medicine without a license from their school. Viable medicine took on a new definition, no longer encompassing natural alternatives, and completely embraced synthetic patented chemicals. A doctor who was not indoctrinated on this form of medicine was no longer allowed to practice their tried and tested methods.

After The Flexner Report, the use and investigation of natural medications became a crime, and that is why 100 years later alternative medicine is considered a fad more than a legitimate treatment. Again, this is not a conspiracy theory, it’s history.

To this day, there are recent accounts of sabotage.

“On May 6th 1992, they raided our clinic, with guns drawn. They told the King County Sherif that we were selling drugs (because remember they call vitamins a drug and anything used as a treatment is a drug). So the King County’s sherif’s office was expecting drug dealers. They raided with guns… kicking the doors in, gathered all the employees into the corner and proceeded to start seizing equipment, medical records, payroll records, banking records, and everything.”

-Dr. Jonathon V. Wright, M.D. from The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest

(After this event, Dr. Wright found out the case was closed from the newspapers, having not been convicted of a crime, with all of his records never to be returned.)

How could alternative medicine be fairly tested and compared with current treatments if this is how the government reacts to new clinics? This is obviously an inflated reaction to something that shouldn’t pose such a threat, which begs the question as to why these doctors are so aggressively attacked by society and their government.

As I’ve discussed in The Hidden Dogma in Science, when money is thrown on a study or preferred method of practice, it tends to reflect the interests of the foundation that provided the funding. This brings attention to the scary truth that we must face. We may not be able to fully rely on most of our current scientific studies, especially those within the medical field.

2. How Pharmaceutical Drugs are Dangerous and Why They Aren’t a Viable Solution

Ironically, many patented chemicals that our doctors prescribe with good intentions are chemical compounds that mimic those found in nature. You may be wondering why we aren’t advised to just use the plants themselves. Plants are difficult to make money off of. You cannot regulate a plant, unless you make it illegal like the federal government has done with cannabis. You are much less likely to find a lab in someone’s home than a garden, and so this is how patented chemicals are more of a viable business.   

These chemical compounds are similar enough to natural compounds, which are originally compatible with our biology and chemistry, to have an impact on our ailment. However, they are also different enough to leave a trail of destruction in the body, thus creating the long list of side effects that appear on the bottle and at the end of advertisements. I have often heard the statement “The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t create cures. It creates customers.” This is inherently true, as those who take one treatment need to take several other medications just to handle the side effects of the treatment. In this way, our ailments become a means to be dependent on a system that makes money off of our health.

Despite the fact that doctors are well aware of the negative side effects of their mediations, they prescribe them anyway. This is something that they were taught to do, and see it as the only feasible solution based on their education, which comprised mostly of how to prescribe pills and almost nothing about nutrition, or anything else for that matter. This is one of the most shocking and frustrating aspects to modern medicine in my eyes. A solution that causes a long list of other complications is not a solution at all. This is logic that even a child could understand, yet doctors cannot see beyond their training and perception to understand that this is unworkable. It can’t go on like this anymore, and denial that any alternatives are viable is pure dogma given the way history has panned out and given the trove of scientific papers supporting alternatives that they weren’t advised to study in med school.

In addition to poor side effects, most of the treatments recommended are not cures to what is causing the symptom in the first place. All medications do is mask a problem rather than address the root cause. In contrast, alternative medicine is a holistic approach. It treats the problem for what it is. To the body, a migraine is not a migraine. A migraine is dehydration, stress, or some sort of imbalance in the body. But in modern medicine, the problem is the aliment. To doctors, cancer is an accumulation of mutated cells. In alternative medicine, cancer is a compromised immune system that left a part of the body unchecked and is now manifesting in a certain way. Cancer is a body that has lost its ability to make viable cells, and when not addressed, takes over all bodily systems. When you are depressed, a friend doesn’t suggest that you to stop being sad. The depression is a symptom to a larger issue, and so that is why you seek therapy to identify the cause and how to approach it. With modern medicine, we take pills that sever our connection to the body. It can no longer tell us what is happening and why something is wrong. Imagine if you had the flu and didn’t know it. You would continue to run around like a chicken with its head cut off like we normally do in our hectic lives, and eventually the body would shut down without warning, no longer able to cope with the sickness that has overtaken all functions. The cure to any ailment lies in the cause.

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Western medicine’s picture of health

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Alternative medicine’s picture of health

3. Our Food Is Slowly Killing Us.

In refraining from turning this post into a novel, I cannot cover all there is to be known on this topic. Instead, I’ll go over a few major points. With this standpoint represented in The Illusion of Separation, the saying “you are what you eat” becomes a very literal truth. You are what you eat, and so it comes down to one of two choices: Do you want to be a manifestation of light, or do you want to be a stressed animal sent to the slaughterhouse? Do you want to be a body that is balanced and nourished or do you want the illusion of being nourished and a body that is made on and run by processed chemicals? The ramifications are surprisingly extensive, much more so than what we’ve delved into in health class. If a synthetic hormone has an impact on the health of the consumer, it goes without saying that natural hormones will as well. When we eat meat, we’re consuming the chemicals that were produced from the horror that was that life. An article in The Atlantic discusses this:

Studies on human consumption of artificial growth hormones, which are believed by many to affect our reproductive systems and other bodily processes, have already resulted in policy changes in many countries, including those that make up the E.U. Attention is now turning to these naturally occurring fear-induced hormones as scientists worry that their consumption causes similar problems.”

Aside from this, meat consumption is another cause for cancer. This is especially true for processed meats such as salami and pepperoni, as their nitrates are known carcinogens.

So perhaps you take this to heart and decide to become a vegetarian, vegan, or make a pact to eat less meat. There is now the predicament of GMO’s, pesticides, and other issues that come out of food that is anything but farm to table. Although washing fruits and vegetables helps take off these chemicals, there is no way to completely rid our food of it. It is in this way that carcinogenic substances can accumulate in our bodies, as they come from many different sources and have daily exposure. It also does not require a lot of scientific proof to support the extent of the danger that pesticides create. A pesticide is “any substance or mixture of substances meant for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.” In other words, its purpose is to be toxic to living organisms.

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Another major contributor to increasing rates of cancer and our poor health is refined sugar. The case with sugar is particularly tricky because it is in nearly everything we eat, and so wanting an occasional sweet or latte puts us way over recommended daily intakes. The daily recommended daily intake is about 27 grams of sugar per day. While people obsess over calorie count, sometimes they’ll fail to see the grams of sugar that are in one serving of what they’re eating. Processed sugar is particularly unhealthy because the natural benefits that it is found with in nature is taken out during refinement. Also, recent studies have revealed that sugar consumption not just feeds, but leads cancer.

4. Where Do We Go From Here?

With all of this against us, it’s easy to feel like there is nothing we can do to prevent ourselves from becoming a victim of humanity’s preference for money over life. However, this is far from the truth. There are several things that we can do starting today, but it takes time and conscious effort. Like anything in life, the results you seek will only come from the amount of time that you put into an endeavor. It will take much more than reading this article, or any other piece on health. It starts with a lot of research, with looking into everything you buy. Research is also required on what things you can be consuming and practicing in order to prevent yourself from becoming immunocompromised. This, at least, will help your body rid the toxins and screen for cells that are abnormal, as it is doing as you sit here reading this.

Above all, you vote with your money. There is no form of legislation that can control the corporatocracy that has become of our world. When you buy anything that is organic, or anything that expresses concern for the consumer’s health, you are doing more than just helping that business. You are sending a message to the marketing industry that you are an informed consumer and are not interested in their cancer-causing products. This, more than anything, will force change. We have to send a message to these careless industries that we’re not buying what they’re selling, and if they want to survive, they will have to adopt sound practices that serve humanity, not just themselves.

The best source I’ve come across that has compiled various treatments and wellness techniques can be found in the docu-series I’ve mentioned, The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest. In total, it’s a nine hour event, and for good reason. The amount of material out there on alternatives is staggering. Here are just a few papers I could easily find on google that investigate the healing efficacy of plants such as frankincense essential oil, essiac tea, pomegranate, and sandalwood essential oil:

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/12/253/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874105006239

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874106004570

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711312001250

I can’t know which practices are best for you, as I don’t know your preference and ailments. But here is a list of  focal points that I’ve come to learn and plan on integrating into my life.

1. Nutrition: There is a call for a shift in the way we perceive food. The function of food is far from the simple breakdown of compounds that can be used for energy to uphold bodily functions. That is what we’re taught, and it is true, but it’s the smallest portion of the picture. In order to overcome modern obstacles in health, one must develop a habit of seeing every morsel of food as an opportunity for the body to be able to heal itself. Every bite is either contributing to healthy functions, or taking away from healthy functions. I have a kiwi in the morning because it has 5 times the amount of vitamin c as an orange and will help keep me from getting sick. I put flax seed oil in my avocado mayo for its cancer prevention and heart-healthy qualities. Having green tea in my nightly routine will boost the amount of antioxidants in my system. These are just a few examples to slowly build upon. You start small, buying some things and not others, until one day everything in your cabinet is there to improve your health, not just fill your stomach.

2. Essential Oils: I had only just begun this journey into alternative medicine and holistic healing when my friend Janice invited me to a Young Living essential oils gathering. I had no money and no plans on buying anything, but went home that night with a lot of knowledge on the subject, and even more questions. All of a sudden I began to run into articles about essential oils from unexpected places and when I wasn’t looking for information. I found that I had in fact not gotten sick that semester while I was using a blend to improve immunity that I made while I was there. I was more alert and focused with another soothing mixture I had put together. What I’ve taken away from the importance and utility of essential oils is that they are perhaps the most human practice that a person can cultivate, and it all contributes to a healthier body as a whole. We spend most of our lives cooped up indoors in stale, dusty air. Essential oils brings the smells we’d get on vacation, or in the garden, and all around the world into the home. It is in this way that essential oils have an enormous impact on our mental health. However, essential oils have volatile organic compounds that have multipurpose benefits for the body. They enter into the bloodstream upon topical application, inhalation, or ingestion. These molecules are even small enough to pass through the blood brain barrier, making them an excellent treatment option for neurological issues and brain tumors. In The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest, a woman is interviewed who was able to get rid of a tumor that was growing on her brain stem (This interview can be found here at 59:06, but I recommend watching the entire episode). With these oils, not only have I been able to help relieve stress and help symptoms of illness, but I am getting sick less often and for shorter periods of time, have less head aches, and less insomnia. This is the whole goal to alternative medicine, as its use is meant to reduce the need for medications in the first place, allowing an actual healing to occur.

4. Emotional Well-being: To everyone, this means more sleep, more mindfulness, and more calm. To me personally, it means more time outside. However, there is nothing more human than spending time in nature, so I highly recommend it for everyone, even for those who merely consider the great outdoors as a luxury and not a necessity. When I spend time outside, I become grounded and am reminded of how small human issues are in the totality of life and this world. With this attitude, you can overcome any obstacle in life.

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Thank you Marci Stern for becoming a patron for Metanoia! Please check out her beautiful artwork and publications (can be found on her contact page).

If you would like to support me or have your name and link sponsored on my blog, please see my Patreon page.

References:

1. Article from The Atlantic: How Animal Welfare Leads to Better Meat: A Lesson From Spain

2. The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest (A 9 episode Docu-series available online). In it a man travels the world interviewing doctors, cancer survivors, and other people who have dedicated themselves to studying the field of alternative medicine.

3.The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest – Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK_sX5ko8SE

4. WHO report says eating processed meat is carcinogenic: Understanding the findings: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/11/03/report-says-eating-processed-meat-is-carcinogenic-understanding-the-findings/

5.  Sugar promotes cancer: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/research-reveals-how-sugar-causes-cancer?page=1

Kindness From a Stranger

It’s the season for random acts of kindness, and this month I have a small, but beautiful experience to share with you that happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

Last month I practically lived at Starbucks in order to complete my writing goals. Sometimes with friends, and sometimes alone, I always try to sit by the window. The view, no matter how abysmal, always gives my gaze and mind freedom to explore something larger than the room I’m sitting in.

One November evening, I was sitting alongside the window by myself when the sun was setting, the clouds a brilliant orange, a unique beauty to be had for where I live. As much as I complain about my geography, there have been quite a few show stopping sunsets to behold. I’m naturally someone who gets energy from the sun, so when it goes down, I’m immediately tired. Likewise, when it comes up, I find it hard to sleep, as if caffeine could be transferable through light and the moment it beams into the room, I’m suddenly lighter, energized, and happy. So I tried to get work done, but in this few passing moments where the setting sun was changing in such divine ways, I made sure to look up every few minutes to integrate with this beauty. One never knows when the sun will come out again here at this time of year. I looked straight at it, imagining the light passing through my skin and becoming a part of me, a keeper of the light.

It turned out that someone noticed my attempt to become one with the sunset. Shortly after the sun went down, I packed up and headed out the door. Someone politely stopped me from behind when I got outside.

“Excuse me, this is very awkward for me, but I just wanted to give you this.” said a middle aged man with a foreign accent that I couldn’t identify. He handed me a folded up napkin. Confused and curious, I said some surprised and enthusiastic exclamation of “okay” and went to my car to read it. Here is what it said:

   My favorite thing about this is that this person did not leave their number. They wanted no involvement, nothing to gain from the interaction. They simply had the pure intention of recognizing the beauty in another person and wanting to make sure they knew that. As someone with little faith in humanity, this touched my heart on such a deep level, and for the first time in a long time, I had some hope for the kind of people that are out there. I felt like there must be people who see each other for more than just objects, and more than what they want them to be for their own interests. There are truly those who are able to recognize a genuine moment, or characteristic in a person, and leave it at that appreciation.

   But the thing is, this experience did not end there. Shortly after that, I found myself back at the same Starbucks where the tables had turned, and I felt compelled to do something kind for someone else. It was night this time, and a boy and his mother sat at the table across from me. I’m usually very caught up in my work, but something about this boy’s stature and expression screamed at me. With no life in his face, he looked out the window as his mom spoke at him, occasionally getting caught up in whatever he had on his lap top. I felt like no part of him wanted to be there, and I wondered how this could be, until someone else joined them and I realized what was happening. They were there to meet with someone who could help him apply to colleges. Instantly I understood this boy’s dread, and went back to my work with the case solved. Some time afterward, I heard the guest get a bit louder and frantic in his speech, so I looked up. The poor boy was crying, and in his eyes I saw myself. It was a person who had completely lost hope. He did not believe that his efforts were good enough, whether they were or not, who knows, but in this day and age when immense pressure is put on youth to get high scores and do every extracurricular activity known to youth, it can be unbearable. I had the same feeling, the same reality, both in high school and into college. I started to hear more of what this guest was saying.

“You have a score of _____… What this college wants is ____…I’ve known people with ______ get into _______… I think you have a great chance with _____… You do sports, you do everything. That’s going to make you more sellable… Do you do varsity? Mention _____ and it will be a great essay… What’s a good attribute to describe yourself? Like, would you say that you’re the life of the party? People always say they’re going to get good grades but what are you going to offer to the university?”

I was ready to vomit just listening to this. Since when did people become numbers and a sales pitch? Immediately, I ripped out a piece of paper from my sketch book and started writing.

   In my note to him, I was quite frank. I made it very honest, and made it clear that it was from a perspective that had been through it all. I gave it a sense that although this feels like the end of the world, it is all a lot of hype and unnecessary stress (I believe I specifically chose the word ‘bullshit’ as my adjective. It has been my favorite adjective as of late). I told him that future me would want my past self to know that my dreams are valid and worthwhile, but that they’re going to change. They are not fixed. That’s a part of life. So if everything is constantly changing anyway, there’s no use in having so much turmoil over what will or will not be. I told him that he was not a number, or a sellable commodity, that he had something to offer no matter what the school boards wanted. I told him that life was short, and to be truly fulfilled is to find what your authentic self has to offer, and provide that. I told him that in the end it was all going to work out, which is needed to be heard after putting so much hard work and stress into something of this magnitude. Although it was incredibly awkward, like it was for that guy who saw my face looking into the sun, the kindness that I was given gave me the courage to stop him on the way out the door and give him my note.

You never know what people are going through. You never know what is happening in a person’s life, or inner world. This is why kindness, and most of all speaking up when no one else will, is so important. I don’t have to go into rates of suicide or how stressful modern day life can be. Anyone reading this will know and can relate in their own way. So please, if you see someone struggling, do something small for that person. If you notice something beautiful in a stranger, compliment them, or simply tell them what you see. It’s the time of the year when everyone needs it, and when the spirit of the holidays makes it viable.

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Kerry Jane

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The Illusion of Separation

   As someone who has a background in biology and chemistry, I’ve had the opportunity to come to a fundamental understanding of our living world. Depending on the person, this can lead to an increased awareness of self, and awareness of their actions for those who are willing to fully grasp the meaning behind the facts. Suddenly, there are greater implications with nutrition, for what we put into our bodies to generate our physical makeup. Some also become more aware of the extent to which their actions effect the world around them. The concept of what it means to be connected to the environment becomes intensified, and one comes to understand that the “connection” science mentions penetrates far deeper than the thin, branching lines of a phylogenetic tree.

   Let me take a moment to explain who I am. I am a person who believes that we live in a divine cosmos. I believe that the human race has amnesia, and that someone or something is taking advantage of that for profit and power. I’ve made a choice to be here as a participant in the rise of consciousness, the volunteer souls who came to be apart of the journey and assist in our human ascension. What I want to ultimately convey here is the true concept of interconnectedness. It is not that you are connected to the plants, animals, and rocks, it is that you are the plants, animals, and rocks expressed in a different, unique way. We are all different expressions of organized matter, the same matter, either through  physical laws of chemistry, or through the detailed recipe book of DNA. It is in this complex, yet simple manner that everything you see or touch is your brother or sister.

As scientists, and a newly educated public, we know this, but have we fully grasped the implications of it?

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One important distinction that may take some initial mental dexterity is that “the environment”, the thing we’ve externalized and identified as something that operates as a closed system outside of ourselves, includes your very own flesh and bone. Your body is the environment. You, your consciousness, is merely borrowing it for a short while. The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat eventually becomes the building blocks of your body in a continual exchange of atoms. Every atom comes from Earth, and from the cosmos. This connection is not merely a thin string that ties you to something, it is the inherent design which reveals that all separation is an illusion.

For a passerby taking a minute to read about this concept, it is extremely easy to go back to living in the disconnected life we’ve made for ourselves. The illusion of separation is enhanced by the thin walls of our dwelling. It’s enhanced by 7 billion other people who are convinced in the illusion and uphold it. It is true that we’re all experiencing individuality, and there is a deep lesson to be had in that. Individuality is not a bad thing. The problem only occurs when the reality of our union becomes obscured and we become apathetic and disconnected. Perhaps the lesson lies in learning how to not subject power on one another once in a convincing state of separation.

 I long for humanity to redefine “human” as an intrinsic aspect of planet Earth, and not some deity free from the natural cycles or from the consequences of their choices.

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   This post has the potential to develop into a series encompassing several branching tangents of thought. There are so many avenues that can be explored with this rudimentary concept. Some of these ideas that I’m thinking about delving into include the efficacy of herbal medicine/holistic lifestyle, why or how humans have severed their connection with one another and the Earth, and our society’s reluctance to say “I love you”.

Share your input, questions, and thoughts with me! The right comment might just help me develop the next train of thought.

Kerry Jane is now on Instagram!

Featured image credited to Lauralai

Waiting For Now

A dull neutrality can be born out of the ups and downs of life. The inertia of this middle ground is likened to quicksand, where any movement or struggle just sends you down further into the muck. You don’t move an inch and you don’t dare to take a breath of hope in fear that it’ll make the situation worse. The possibility of never breaking free from that moment arises, but panicking would only quicken the descent. Blindness to the predicament doesn’t do a service either. You may forget about your impediment and make a fatal move. So you numbly surrender to the outcome, to the molasses that is the present.

Is this the true essence of now? Is this what the spirit of the present feels like? No, I’d say the real present is something much more joyful. It is freedom, love, purity of sheer existence. It is much like the literal representation in The Muppet Christmas Carol where a jovial red headed muppet sings a song for Scrooge to teach him a lesson about the magic of now. It is what we always expectantly project into the future, either just beyond the horizon, or much farther. It’s hard to live in the moment when it does not feel worthy of living in. I currently have not come to a conclusion, or have found any answer that gives guidance to this at this juncture of my life. I’ve even thrown around the idea of trying to write a short story about this in an attempt to find the answer. I would title it, like I have in this post, ‘Waiting For Now’.

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When what we want is in the distance, we attach that spirit of joy of the present along with it. I guess this is why many “new agers” talk so much about trying to attain abundance by already feeling like you have what you want. Time is, after all, only linear within the confines of our human perception. It is this idea that pushes me to imagine that I am in fact not sitting in a Starbucks on Long Island, but a privately owned cafe in California as I write this. I have already written Metanoia, and it is providing a second income so that I don’t have to work 40+ hour weeks to survive, so that I can explore other passions and ways of making money. I imagine the world going to shit, but that it doesn’t matter because the world I created for myself is safe and abundant with people and situations I’m meant to be around and encounter.

But my imagination can only take me so far in time and space. No matter how much I day dream, the reality is that I will wake up in the same bed tomorrow. Despite how ever introspective and insightful my followers might think I am, I do not know how to deal with this unfortunate reality, especially after trying so hard to change it. Where is the proverbial now, and how do I get there when traditional human customs do not bring me joy?

Right now I look outside and I see flowers bloomed in a summer that I waited so long for. If I had to guess I would say that it is the very nature of our lifestyles that makes it so impossible for us to be happy enough with the mere sight of this bloomed flower, and nothing else. Our lifestyles do not allow for a moment to fully enjoy the flower, the trip to the beach, or the camping trip. Have you ever felt an overwhelming sense of desperation while watching a sunset or playing a fun game, and then become confused about this sensation that came on so suddenly? I do almost ever week, and when it comes I don’t even feel like it is my own.

 In these moments I am uncontrollably mourning the death of the divine colors cast by the setting sun before it’s even over. I am lamenting over the fact that precious moments come in crumbs rather than wholesome meals.  I feel desperate to lose that moment because I’m allotted so few of them in a summer that becomes winter with the blink of an eye. I feel desperate to lose it because it is the only thing I truly value in this world, over anything that I can buy, or any lame social interaction that is to be had in this materialistic world. I value these crumbs more than the industry and the regimented lifestyle that consume every person. I don’t know when the next instance of oneness and belonging will come and when the sunset is gone, I feel like I have to part with my soul indefinitely. I have to go back to the quicksand, to the muck and the mud of a false present. I don’t want to be left alone with that fabrication any longer. That is how and why I find myself waiting for now, and I wonder if there is anyone waiting along with me.

Virtual Reality Earth

Recently I read an article about how Pokemon Go is helping people with depression. As everyone knows, the major difficulty with depression is that it makes it nearly impossible to simply get out of bed in the morning and begin. Pokemon Go can trick people into lessening the burden of going outside, exercising, and interacting with strangers.

While this is appreciable, it also makes me think how unfortunate it is that we need to create a virtual reality that reminds us of the adventure, wonder and discovery that there is to be had in the world.  When asked if I play video games, I often say “No, I’m too busy playing in this virtual reality.” If you logged into your Sims game, you wouldn’t immediately move your Sim over to the TV and start playing video games. That’s pointless, and reveals the loss in awareness of your higher self, the real self that lives beyond this simulated world and logged onto Earth to complete some assignment. We are, I suppose, lost in the game of life, impeded by amnesia, and convinced by the illusion.

We have lost the magic that there is to be had in the “real world”, whatever that term means. Do remember that there is surmounting evidence that this reality is a hologram. Quantum physicist Leonard Susskind is the leading mind of this new theory, whose mathematics reveal that there is an equivalency between our projected image, and the self that exists beyond this boundary:

“We are actually projections of equivalent versions of ourselves that live on the outer surface of the universe”

In a sense, your body is an avatar and you are a co-creater of the universe, of your life. If you knew this world wasn’t the only reality, would you be more courageous with your life?  Would you take risks and pursue your true purpose? Above all, there is much more than meets the eye, and embracing the unreal world will help us live fuller lives that we could not attain through escapism. I urge everyone to go out on quests, pursue challenges, power up, and live the lucid dream.

Featured image by Corina Chirila

Contact

A few nights ago, I awoke at two in the morning covered in sweat. Uncomfortable enough to do something about it, I went upstairs to turn on the AC and stumbled down the hallway, the urge to get back into my bed overwhelming as always. But this time, as I walked past the back door, I was abruptly drawn to go outside and look at the stars.

Despite the strong pull, I had to stop for a moment. Was it safe out there when I was home alone? It is easy for me to feel alone in the middle of the night, even with someone sleeping close by. What was lurking in the dark? Ever since a nightmare I had years ago of a mysterious, malicious man coming at me in the night towards my house, it was difficult to not be scared of being in that doorway, let alone walk through it.

Once I shook myself out of the dazed sleepwalk, I quickly became aware of how silly this was. It was a beautiful, clear night and I’d be a fool to not enjoy it, if only for a moment.

I sat on the deck stairs, the air soft from land that emitted heat of the summer sun. I live right behind a highway, and it had never felt as still and quiet as it did then. I could feel the world sleep, and for the first time it brought peace instead of loneliness.

Suddenly something caught my attention, a flash of light in my left field of vision. I turned towards it, thinking it was a shooting star that I had missed, and I saw it again, this time as just a flash. “Hi!” I called out happily. Right then, a huge meteor flew across the sky. I laughed with a giddy lightness, and smiled at the thought of a small, grey alien with those giant characteristic eyes casting a stone across the waters of Earth’s sky to meet my salutation. It felt a lot like Interstellar, when Cooper tries to deliver a message to his daughter across time and space through a medium that surpasses all realms of our current understanding. Whatever was out there, I felt warmth and company in the light-polluted dampness of night.

  Upon reflection of the moment, the feeling of soft support and company was strange, given that it was scary to go outside alone in the dark in the first place. Once coming back inside, I realized my basement was more spooky than my backyard. The yard had a horizon that I forgot about, a backdrop with pinholes of light from other worlds calling out. It was a cramped space that I hid in that made me feel safe. Outside, I felt love and wonder. I questioned if people would change if they were forced to sleep under the night sky again. It’s strange to think that although we’re afraid to go out there due to exposure, it is actually more embracing and kind than the box we keep ourselves locked up in for comfort.

Contact with boundaries internal and external are necessary, breaching thresholds that harbor love and wonder, the sky a symbol of the frontiers of our minds, our psyche. External boundaries may even mirror internal ones, and so crossing one reciprocates the other. As they say “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”  –Hermes Trismegistus 

It is not just about putting ourselves out there just so we don’t excessively shelter ourselves. It is about making contact with the divine, whatever that may be for each of us. It’s about looking out and wondering what is looking back, and what they see. It is about feeling the softness of our frontiers, not just their occasional harsh, unforgiving nature. Despite whatever lies in their crossing, the ultimate is love and compassion.

I walked back down stairs to my bed, forgetting to turn on the light to the staircase, holding on tightly to the railing when I judged the last step. When I got to the bottom, I felt it level, and walked off onto trustworthy ground.

Life as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

I wince at the roar of machines churning, the walls of my basement shaking. Others are numb to it, but to me this defilement of the environment is likened to a dentist drilling into someone’s gums, the churning teeth and veins the same as butchered wood and roots. It is all a bloody, gory mess either way. For me, this is what it means to be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

For those who consider themselves a HSP, loud noises and large crowds are a common deterrence, but for someone who is spiritually and emotionally connected to the Earth like me, the abuse the environment takes every day is a particular nuisance. It’s not easy being a HSP and living where I live. Now that it’s summer, someone in the neighborhood is always cutting down a tree, pounding down into the earth to get rid of it’s roots for some project out of self service. As if they don’t have enough non-indigenous plants that require loads of chemicals and water rather than using the space and resources to feed themselves, Earth’s ultimate gift to humanity. I’ve always said that humans are a species that rake up leaves so that they can put down fertilizer. Everything we do is backwards and without consideration.

Where I live, the population is 7.6 million, higher than the country of Norway, on a piece of land that spans 118 miles. It wears on someone like me, and there is not a passing moment where I am desperate to leave the bickering, angry people who do not even realize just how unhappy they are, that life is not a fixed state but something ever-changing and separate from their perceived reality. It is the collective unconscious that I seek to escape, the people who do not want to ask questions, who do not work on themselves and merely exist for empty pleasures.

On a side note, I’m here because there’s no longer a place in the country where a recent college graduate can live off of minimum wage while looking for a job in their field (if you know of a place near the coast, let me know).

Most are numbed, and raised to accept the desecration of nature. They are completely disconnected in their minds and hearts, although not in their physicality as science refutes this. Atoms in your body are derived from the universe, with our planet being our closest relative. Everything is recycled and necessary for a healthy biome, and since humans live here and were created here, they are not above this.

As a HSP, I feel this without a choice, and I walk around with a wall around me just so that I don’t get sick, but this is no way to live. I sometimes wonder if I don’t know who I truly am, as I’ve never been able to live in a constant outward expression of authenticity, although I’ve been doing the best I can to slowly put pieces of myself together to see the whole picture. Walls make it difficult to reach out to anything, to open up and experience what is left, or meant to be experienced.

Perhaps what is worse about everything is that us highly sensitive people are also expected to not be bothered by these things amidst a world of desensitized zombies. It is not normal to be on edge, to be tired, to not want to go out into loud clamoring nonsense. I hear the voice of the collective unconscious, the voice we’ve created, it says “Now go behave and party your evenings away until you no longer have the capacity to think or feel. You do not need real relationships, only people to pass the time with. Also, make sure you have a job that supports this habit, and don’t forget the gym membership. Running on a treadmill for 2 hours burns more calories than a stroll through nature. You’ll need that from all the drinking.” Now, I never partake in this atmosphere because it is in complete dissonance to my being, but it’s a constant roar that can be heard in the background, a thriving culture for much of the human population.

If by any chance you are a HSP and have a blog, I challenge you to write a post about what it’s like for you. Include whatever you want in it, whether it’s a focus on what deters you the most, or additional thoughts on the matter. Tag me in the post or let me know so that I see what your input is. If you don’t have a blog, let me know by leaving a comment.

Featured image by Ryan Wilson 

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