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

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 Hidden Dogma in Science

   I was an extremely good student in high school. I did everything I was supposed to, taking on as many extracurriculars as I possibly could, while still getting good grades and taking charge of all my responsibilities. I played the flute and made it into our school’s wind ensemble. I was a girl scout and a member of the national honor society, as well as other honor societies. I took on literary clubs and was extremely involved with the community. I also took a great liking to science, particularly biology, and english (depending on my teacher, shout out to Ms. Stern). I like to forget that high school happened sometimes, but I was coerced into thinking about everything despite this when I ran into my 11th grade AP bio teacher as I was writing Metanoia in a nearby Starbucks.

   What can I say about the difference between then and now? Well, I’ve learned that I’m actually a terrible student. But how (after I just explained everything) you might ask? Five years ago, and to this day, I took an interest in science because there wasn’t dogma, and a type of thinking that was open to many possibilities. I liked it because it was a way to test the unknown, and come up with explanations that lacked bias and opinion, unlike  many areas of society (I could name quite a few). After I worked so hard at trying to secure my future and bring myself to a place where I had several options for college, my financial status and life circumstance eventually brought me right into my own backyard at a local SUNY school. This is where my perception changed.

   More and more, I began to see several things that people rarely acknowledge about the academic world, one of which is how biased science could actually be. Everything in this world is driven by money, including the types of studies and experiments that are performed by experts in the field. Thankfully, there can be important discoveries made that are unrelated to the question at hand despite the reason behind funding. However, it can still be very biased.

   The second thing I noticed can be explained through something that I heard from a youtube channel I subscribe to called Ascension Pioneers. The woman said something I have come to find on my own. She said “It doesn’t have to be religious to be dogmatic”. Dogmatic meaning not being able to see the light of a new opening, not being able to accept any other possibility other than the idea, or way of thinking, that you currently have. I’ve seen this methodology leak into every facet of society. It is just so ironic in this case, as science claims itself to be different from religion in that its separated from opinion, from the interests, motives, and beliefs, in an attempt reach an honest conclusion. But even now, it has fallen victim to these human idiosyncrasies. (On a side note, I really do believe scientists have good intentions when entering their field, but like most they get sucked into beliefs and ways of thinking that act as a hindrance to our development).

    I am not a good student because my natural tendencies goes against this. The current system favors obedience. I go about my studies very differently. I ask questions that aren’t deemed important, and my process has too much sentiment (Its also because I’m terrible at multiple choice questions that have two right answers, but thats besides the point). Later on, I am going to write another blog post relating to this, but lets stay on topic for now. School no longer feels like learning to me, it feels like a task that earns a right of passage. It feels like something I have to complete so that I have time later to do my own tests and address my own questions.

   So ironically, while I went into a science field because it is proclaimed to be an honest quest for truth, I have seen little of this. Instead, I’ve seen people who are happily pigeonholed in their career, biased from all the papers they’ve read and specialists they’ve interacted with, who are no longer able to approach an issue (say and environmental one for example, since that is my major) from a different perspective. I think that very often, if a problem still exists after a long period of time of trying to come up with solutions, it is because the people involved with it are not looking at it correctly. The truth in this lies in a quote from Albert Einstein that states “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.  And yet not many people dare to try things differently. In fact, depending on the environment you’re in, many scientists are criticized, and their work attacked if they stray too far away from the norm. This is an environment that works against innovation, and puts the ultimate development of our civilization at risk.

    It seems now that almost anywhere I turn, there are people who are so set in their ways and will not budge. It inhibits development and growth in both their personal lives, and advancements in our society. “The only constant is change”. That is how our world operates, we are meant to have an ever evolving view of what we believe to be true. The discoveries of the future are meant to show us something completely different from the way we look at life now. That is human, that is part of the reason why we are here.

Perhaps one possible explanation as to why it has gotten to this point is that the current strict system was designed so that we could have reliable information in the first place. In a way, I am happy that things are the way they are right now. It is definitely an improvement from the distant past, when information was largely hearsay and invalid. Im glad that I can at least say a few things with certainty as a result of this academic standard. But something tells me that Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and the Wright Brothers didn’t spend a lot of time making sure their knowledge was up to par with academic/scholarly standards. 

These are strange times we’re living in. Beautiful and unique and momentous, but strange times nonetheless.

   In upcoming posts, I will be discussing things very similar to this topic. Some of which include the role that the heart may play in the midst of our intellectualization. Also, I want to share a TED Talk called “The Science Delusion” by Rupert Sheldrake. It goes further into the truth about our process in science, and how human nature can tamper with the accuracy of our conclusions. Until next time, shoot me a message, comment below, let me know what you think! 

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Featured image credited to Kevin Bourland

The Concept of Iridescence

People often ask me where the name of my website “iridescent souls” comes from. It is not something that I chose simply because I like the way it sounded or for the unique ring it has. It is actually an intrinsic part of Metanoia, the novel I have been writing.

Something drew me to the concept of iridescence long before I began writing Metanoia in 2013. For reasons unknown, I found the word strolling through my mind without cause. I suppose some writers have a fondness for certain words as a result of their love for the craft, but this didn’t provide a full explanation for me. I felt close to it. Something about it resonated with an unseeable chord. Perhaps it was because I thought it was beautiful, or intriguing, or maybe both. Recently, I had tried to put it into words in the journal I use for novel/blog synthesis:

“It’s this scattered, multifaceted energy that I experience in moments of clarity (ironically). One day I feel as though I could collaborate with graphic artists to make some of my ideas for illustrations and music videos a reality. Another day, something at school inspires me, and I want to apply for a grant to investigate environmentally friendly bottom paint for boats. Another day I am daydreaming about Metanoia, or numerology, or quantum physics and the holographic universe. But as I go from one moment to the next, it is not just the thoughts that shift and flicker, but also a state of being that transitions. It’s almost as if I tapped into some sort of frequency that has several different hats, all of which lead to a creation. Each phase resonates a different wavelength, but comes from the same source, like a rock that is fragmented and cleaved to sparkle with several different colors, depending on how you look at it.”

 

Is this a personality disorder, or a symptom of the path I’ve taken in 2013, which is open to a limitless potential, pursuing the goal of a personal ascension?

When the story came to me in a huge rush from beginning to end, with the intricate overlying concept weaved through it all, iridescence found a place in the scheme. In Metanoia, iridescence has its own unique place in a  categorical system of souls. It is described as the medium that exists between two worlds: that of the angelic realm, and what I call the ‘soul collective’, which includes nearly everyone. This space is an area where the soul has no specific role, and sort of drifts through existence in an uncharacterized way. When the soul incarnates, they can’t help but find themselves outside of the norm, either by choice or physical circumstance. They float around in this in-between reality in which theres no true label to cling to, or no one designation to belong in. They simply be. As a result of this, their perspective exceeds that of the interpersonal, day-to-day existence. They’re pushed into a standpoint that encompasses the bigger picture, becoming a bystander that watches from the outside, and experiences a completely different truth as a result. It is no better or worse really, just different.

I suppose this creation of mine is a projection of how I understand the concept of iridescence. It’s a word that doesn’t get a lot of attention despite its potential to invoke interesting imagery and feelings.

This all may sound confusing to some of you out there. I still feel as though there is a part to all of this that is uncommunicable. However, I did the best I could. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to pin it down more into something easier to understand.

As always, thank you for reading and joining me through all of this. If this was interesting to you, or you have something you’d like to share, don’t refrain from doing so. I wish everyone a lovely week, and don’t forget to embrace your own unique iridescence.

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Blogger Integrity: Writing for Yourself and Not for Attention

We hear about journalistic integrity, but what is blogger, or blogging integrity? Does it have a place in the online community?

In the age of internet and technology, everyone is fighting to be seen.

   I’m still new to the blogging arena. I’ve only been posting since January, still going strong with a few breaks every now and then, and in that time I’ve noticed something that goes completely unacknowledged by most. I’m talking about how often the success of a blog is defined, and exclusively defined, by the amount of viewers and followers it pulls in.

It’s possible that I’m not the only one, but I appear to go about my definition of success very differently. Yes, views and followers is ultimately the main goal, as it is for everyone. But I seem to have naturally avoided this common idea of success that pushes everyone to write more, and do more, for the approval of others and the goal to reach a wide audience. Instead, here is a list of things, a rubric of sorts, that I’ve caught myself judging success by:

1. Integrity. This is the biggest factor. I will not write something to get attention, or to get more followers. I only post something if I feel it is important, and if it resonates with a core truth. I state in my About Page that the goal of my blog is to be a pillar of authenticity amidst the shallowness portrayed by the media, and our every day lives. And that is what I’ll do. With this particular goal, I am very stubborn. I will die without admiration, or without a pile of worthless money, if it means I still have my integrity.

2. Commitment. Sure, every post is not perfect, or as good as the other, but I made an effort and have stuck with it for almost a year now. I think thats a good indication that I will in the foreseeable future as well.

3. Self improvement.  I’m not just talking about my writing. I’m talking about my confidence, and my creativity, which are unknowingly linked. I don’t often share what’s in my head. To most, my thoughts are foreign. They’re strange ideas that have no relation to a typical life. I go on philosophical rants, and have bouts of spiritual truths on a daily basis, probably more in one day than the standard person goes through for an entire year. For some, an entire lifetime. I can’t help it. Its who I am, and its my reality. Ive always kept these things inside trying to avoid being that person who thinks too deeply into things.

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 In a way, blogging has freed me. I don’t care about what others think anymore. If someone doesn’t like what I share, thats fine. They click onto the next thing, and thats the end of it. I’ve realized that even if someone were to attack me for my thoughts, its not worth placing limitations on myself, limitations that could severely sabotage my next idea or my next beautiful creation. Its not worth the risk, and I urge you, whoever is reading, to see it this way as well.

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 Even though I feel bombarded with blogs and other internet paraphernalia that is clearly meant for attention and appreciation alone, I still find many blogs with amazing insights, positive messages, and unique depth. There are blogs and media outlets that I follow with topics that I’m not even interested in, but because they are different and create what they want without caring how it looks, I am motivated and inspired by them.

Please let me know what you think! I am eager to hear what others have to say on this topic.

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Misguided Advice: An Experience With Undergraduate Advising

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”

-EE Cummings

I’ve recently read the novel The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Although it is a little long for my taste, it’s extremely well written, with several brilliant take away messages. There is only one brief observation Tartt made in her work that I wish to focus on. It is how she describes college from a young Theo Decker, who applies to the University early due to circumstance.

Tartt chose to write about Theo’s perspective of his college professors. All of a sudden, you see that every adult in his life is certain about his interests, and think they know him and what he needs. The Philosophy teacher sees that he is obviously a philosopher who should get involved in their events outside of class. The English professor sees a paper he has written, and believes he must be dedicated to the topic he wrote about, as does all his other professors, who urge him to come to their club meetings and be involved with their pursuits. It reminds me of the expression “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”.

These people take what they know best, and project it onto youth as if it should be their truth as well, the only truth, rather than taking themselves out of their limited perspective and placing it in other positions. With good intentions, its all they know how to do, as that is how they became the people they are in the first place, seeing it as the best method.

   Ive experienced this as well. Everyone thinks they know what you need, and who you are. So much so that they are comfortable with defining you without close inspection, asking broad questions that, at best, link your identity to how you want to make money rather than your character or integrity. It is a fad carried by a world that doesn’t think for themselves, and believes whatever they are told growing up and into adulthood from people in seemingly (and I stress the word seemingly) higher positions than their own. They follow blindly without really asking any questions and assuming their given role indifferently. There are little opportunities, all which mask individuality and demand that you look like everyone else.

At my University, I learned that advisors don’t like it when they ask you what your goals are, and you inform them that there is nothing quite specific in mind, but rather a desire to be involved in something that has a positive impact. That is the answer I gave my undergraduate advisor, that I wasn’t certain exactly where I wanted to end up after this last year of college and beyond that. As long as it felt constructive and that I was doing something meaningful, it didn’t matter to me.

This answer went over her head, and she supplied a response that completely missed the point, blatantly ignoring my expressed desires, with the simple advice to research what employers want, take actions to become exactly what that is (like I couldn’t come up with this obvious plan on my own at this point in my life), and that perhaps I should look into sales (mind you, I have an Environmental Studies major).

I have to admit this pained me quite a bit. I patiently listened to her rant, politely nodding my head in between sentences and quietly giving her a restrained approval at each point made. “Your help is not helpful” I wanted to say. I shook her hand, and left her office feeling alone with my thoughts, sadly without much surprise either, filled with the helplessness of not knowing if there was anyone in this world I could approach who saw things differently. I knew in my core that what she said was so inconsequential to myself and my purpose, so useless that it hurt to think I was expected to adhere to people like her. Certainly I was not the only person who felt this way, (although I don’t know where to find these kindred souls), but was there even any other options to begin with? Did she give this response because there really is no way to make a difference and support oneself simultaneously? Are there no openings for improving the environment despite everything thats wrong with the world?

Many thoughts came to me as I left south campus and drove home. How she was just doing her job, and her advice is a product of the corporate world that we live in, which wasn’t wrong, but not necessarily right either. Where people, as I just explained, only have what they’ve pursued. They’ve followed what they were told to do out of fear of not being able to have the success others defined for them, not driven by integrity, but by what everyone else is doing. It seems that anyone who strays slightly from this line will either be excluded, or take on the allegedly difficult task of creating a place for themselves out of nothing.

“What am I going to do when I know I don’t belong in this world?”, I thought.

I didn’t know, still don’t know a week deep into my last year of college, and probably never will until everything is said in done in the next chapter of my life.

Unlike most of my posts, I didn’t write about this to prove something or produce some kind of conclusion, but rather draw attention to this. The lack of integrity. The scorn for being unconventional. Schools that aren’t focused on preparing youth for our broken world, but rather for the promise of a paycheck. No one asking the true state of things, or challenging what they’re given. Has anyone else noticed?

Thanks University, and thanks society, but I think I’ll be much better off without your ill-advised guidance.

What Is Nothing?

The following excerpt is taken out of The Convoluted Universe by Dolores Cannon. As an investigative hypnotherapist, Cannon made it her life’s purpose to explore the unusual information she encountered regularly during her therapy sessions. This particular quote came from a section called “The Void”.  The woman who sought out her counseling wanted to know more about an experience she had during meditation, where she found herself in a dark, shapeless emptiness. From her account, it was not scary, but still left her with many questions. Amid the explanation she gave while in trance, the subconscious provided this:

“The real reality is the consciousness and is the base of the consciousness, the pure emptiness, the nothingness, from which all consciousness stems… It is the darkness from which the light comes. It is beyond the light … And from the light comes differentiation that we call the somethingness”

Quite a mind bender. Although it resonated as soon as I read it, I had to go over it a few times to let the meaning seep in.

Modern science tells us that everything came from nothing, but this leads me to suspect that we don’t truly understand what “nothing” is. My simple explanation for understanding the “nothing” they speak of has always been this: Nothing is actually something, and this “somethingness” can be anything.

Still, this is only a philosophical understanding. It seems that only spirituality has confidently filled in these blanks with the idea of consciousness, and with that, revealing it’s relationship to light. It is written (or verbalized, I should say) so plainly in this book, and I am always taken aback with its matter-of-fact assertions, considering the depth of whats being said. It is that from consciousness, and from darkness, there is light, and that light provides the medium we understand as ourselves, our lives, and our universe.

So, what is nothing?

According to these sources, nothing can be everything.

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Back to Me

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When I was 9, I would write stories about magical rings that washed ashore on beaches, unleashing unknown truths of magic onto the right person who found it. When I was 12, I wrote a story called Tetris, which was about how issues we come across in life sometimes do not fall in the most convenient way with their varying shapes and placements, creating a wall of clutter we thought could be avoided, but had little control over. When high school came there was no time for inspiration or creativity. The world of exams and applications meant there was one right answer and one wrong, and being wrong was the worst thing possible. I took to understanding the world instead, becoming very interested in sciences like biology, which satisfied my need to know how and why life is the way it is.

When I made it to 19, I was distraught from not ending up where I wanted to be despite my hard work and cooperation. School no longer satisfied my questions and tests brought more lies into my life. I began to retreat into my old self, which never really got turned off, but only turned down to a lower volume so that I could carry out what was asked of me.

I realized recently that my fourth-grade self was a lot braver than I am now, who used to read what she created to the class. I could never do anything like that today. Reluctantly, but self-willed, I would get up in front of the room after the encouragement from my beloved friend, Sam. I remember the rough illustrations of a far reaching imagination that littered the margins of my work. Even though I was uneasy, I knew my stories were interesting for a nine-year-old. They held the attention of a group of other nine-year-olds, which was an accomplishment worth noting. My teacher said something I never forgot, that everyone in the class should look for my name on books when we are adults, because I would probably publish some day. So despite my apprehensiveness, I felt good.

Now I am 21, and I want to feel good about the things that I do again. While I’m trying to focus on work and be productive, I find myself falling into random lapses of nostalgia in which I used to make jewelry and sell them at the beach. I fall back on pleasant memories of not just writing, but painting seashells, taking pictures, and fishing. I think this happens to everyone at some point in their life, but for someone who does not like to dwell on the past, it means something. It has been long enough that life’s obligations has pulled me away from this natural self, and I am making it a point to try and get back to it once this semester is over. I encourage anyone who has felt the same to make time for who we used to be before life told us what that was.

Lost

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“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.” -Wendell Berry

This quote came to me at the right time of my life through a book I’m reading called “Small Victories” by Anne Lamott. Life is feeling strange, not that thats new. Its not because of my own inability to recognize my surroundings, or a lack of understanding of the world. Its not because I don’t know myself or who I am.

Its because I don’t know how to recognize myself in the context of my surroundings.

Ive determined that this is what it means to be lost. And I am writing about it now.

A girl is born on a different world, facing a unique societal structure that is different, but not so different, from our own.  Everyone born in this world has a one track existence that is determined by certain biological characteristics. In this way, each individual serves the greater good of the whole. They operate quite happily, and quite smoothly in this way and have done so for thousands of years. But like what happens to us, genetic mutations occur, and Xenia is one of the people born with an abnormality that makes her purpose unclear.

And so this girl goes about her life realizing that to be lost is not necessarily the inability to recognize your surroundings. Its to not know what it means to be you, or how to be you, when your environment is not giving you any clues, and seems to always go against the grain of your own instincts.

My particular problem is that I can’t do anything unless its genuine, but is that really a problem? Yes. Let me tell you why.

I refuse to listen to what I should want and what my interests should be. I don’t think people realize just how heavily their interests are influenced by the people they are around. Just living here can make you into something you’re not as the entire world is constantly trying to convince you that you need what they’re selling.

You need this education, with this means of transportation and this technology, these clothes, this appearance, this lifestyle, these things. All day every day since you were born, you are bombarded and become a product of the corporate world, and there is not much that can be done about it.  All that can be done is to go with the flow, and do the best you can with what you have (which is a lot, I am not being a glass half empty kind of person, I am merely pointing out what goes unnoticed most of the time).

Living in a world like this as a person that does not naturally go with the flow of his or her surroundings creates a sense of this lost feeling I’m talking about. There is constant questioning of how any part of the self can exist here successfully, and what parts of the self are the right ones to apply.

Making connections with others becomes increasingly difficult, as you drift away from the crowds that want and enjoy things that just aren’t fulfilling to you. There is a constant feeling that you’re not sure if you’re doing the right thing, and constant worry about making it look like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Where you are going and where you want to go becomes your identity by the time you get to your junior year of high school, and into college. It is like the world I created in my story, where your purpose is defined by the tasks you perform.

I don’t know how to end this thought, as this is an early point in my journey and haven’t had the time to digest these feelings. I suppose the best way to conclude this is with the quote I started with. I don’t know what I’m doing, but perhaps thats just a necessary part of the initiation.

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