Friday, August 19, 2011

My Kids

I see in their eyes a side of myself and
though a little scary, this is my
contribution to our world.  Vibrant
and full of energy, they definitely
have one up on the childhood I
survived.  I'm glad I can make it so.
There's plenty they don't know which
I do intend to share, but for now
their innocence shall remain.  Perhaps
I've expected too much of my boy, and
try to hold my daughter too close.  I
assure you, however, both are done with
the utmost of love in mind.  No matter
how hard my day, walking in the door
to shouts of "dada" and a high five
from the boy, make all of that dissolve
instantly.  The moments I've shared with
my daughter after a midnight shift, when
we are the only ones up, I'll never forget.
I have those memories with my son as
well, although now he's sleeping in and
wants to watch cartoons in the a.m.  While
I'm not sure if they'll ever remember, I know
I'll never forget.  Some things they'll never
know in the first place.  I see the child
in them and it gives back some of the
child in me that I really never had.  The
stability I can create for them is the stability
I never had.  It's not a perfect world we
live in, but I am as close to it as one
can get.  I have two wonderful kids that
I love and I only hope they know it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Philosophy of Life

It's been a while. Inspired by a friend to get back at it, here I am. I am going to cheat a bit and use my answers to a few essay questions for my philosophy class as my latest post. I think it's important as my philosophies have changed quite a bit from what is already here on this blog. I don't want to rid myself of what I've got already, and I may add a new blog here in the near future to mirror where I'm at in life now. But for now, this is what I've got.

What do you most value in life? Why?

On a personal level, I very much value my ability to think and look at things in life objectively. I have spent, and still do, a lot of time with myself and there is nothing quite like being able to make constructive use of that time. Not only have I used this ability in entertaining myself, but I have had many discussions with friends and family that have only benefited from remaining open minded and asking endless questions in the process of thought.

I spent three years in the Army and basic training was one of the toughest things I had ever done. One sort of goes into shock both physically and mentally, so to have a place to remain rooted proved to be useful. We would go on what seemed to be endless road marches and you essentially have nothing but time to think. Focusing on being physically and mentally tired isn’t the best place to go. I would spend that time thinking about my place in the world and where I wanted to go. It passed the time and I got to know myself as well as what I was made of in the process.

Today I run a crane for a living and spend long hours alone while working, anywhere from 8 to 16 hours at times. Being aware of the conversations I have with myself really helps in making use of the thinking that goes on. The ability to think and be conscious of it is a great asset as far as I’m concerned. I can tell you, though, that I am excited to now be in an environment where all of this thinking can be put to use.

What moral beliefs influence your choices and your behavior toward others? How do you determine the “right” thing to do?

I can’t exactly say that I live by any specific moral beliefs. I suppose my behavior toward others would depend on the situation and what I’m looking to gain, if anything, from it. That doesn’t mean everything I do is based on gaining something, but most of the time the things I do are dictated by an expectation of some sort. Usually there is a result in mind when acting on something. Often times, I’m afraid, things are done without any thought whatsoever.

As far as doing the “right” thing, I’m not even really sure what that means. What I see as the right thing, others may not. A lot of times I notice either negative or positive emotions attached to making a decision. Sometimes I can’t go by that alone. I may have a negative feeling about something but “know” that it’s what I need to do. There are a whole lot of things involved in making a decision and not necessarily just asking myself if it’s right or wrong. Being conscious of what you’re thinking and feeling when making a decision helps, but it’s not always easy to do. That being said, I sometimes make decisions out of habit formed by things outside of myself. All of the things I’ve been taught or all of the things that we are often told is the “right” thing to do often play a part in the decisions I make.

What role do religious beliefs play in your life? Do you believe in God? Why or why not? Is there an afterlife? If so, what is the path to it?

I think I first need to answer the second question because the reason is in the answer to the first question. I do not believe in God, nor do I believe there is an afterlife. While I do not hold any religious beliefs of my own, some of the religious beliefs that are out there have played a huge role in my life. I always joke in saying that for someone who doesn’t believe in God I sure do think about God an awful lot.

The question of whether or not God is real has been a huge factor in my life. I was raised Catholic and even at the young age of about 8 or 9 I can remember sitting in church and asking myself what the point was to all of the stuff that went on there. I went to a Catholic school up until 5th grade where I had a daily religion class. I recall asking questions to which I received short answers that amounted to “just because”. For the most part I accepted those answers until somewhere in high school, though I never stopped asking questions.

Through hardships and downfalls in high school I began to really question the purpose of life altogether. I thought I would find all the answers I ever needed in my search for God. I read the bible multiple times trying to gain an understanding of Him, thus an understanding of my place in life. I grew more frustrated and confused because I could pray and ask for help yet nothing changed and I still had no answers. There came a point where I became angry with God, and even though I was angry I still wanted to believe. I went through the worst part of this inner turmoil for at least five years, seeking answers even through other religions, never finding the answers I needed.

As time went on, staying open minded, I continued to read everything I could get my hands on searching for answers. I got into some of the Eastern religions which seemed to bring a bit of peace, as they themselves were more peaceful. They allowed more room for people to be human, so it seemed. Their “rules” didn’t appear so impossible to follow and this began to empower me in the process. The more I began to see that I, in fact, was responsible for what happened to me the more I began to take responsibility for my actions, and the less I looked for a God to fix all that was wrong in the world as well as myself.

My ideas of God and religion continued to change and have brought me to where I am today. The further that I got from those concepts the more at peace I have become with myself. It has evolved to the point where I no longer believe in God. It would appear to me that there is more proof that God doesn’t exist than God does exist. If at some point in the future somebody can show me hard evidence that there is a God, I am yet again open to change. As you can see, religion has played a huge role in my life even though I no longer try to live by it.

What gives your life meaning? What is the purpose of your life? What do you hope to achieve in your life?

Today my meaning and purpose in life is raising my children. My goal is to teach them how to think for themselves and to be the best they can be. I didn’t have much guidance growing up and it has been my mission to make sure that I break the chain as far as that goes. It is my experience, with my own kids, that they are eager to learn and know things and I think that’s awesome. I would be doing them, and society, an injustice to neglect that. I simply want to know that I’ve done the best I could by them. I’m not sure what I hope to achieve in my life, but I do know that whatever it is I am working on it right now.

How do we find truth? How do you know when you “know” something is true? What is an example of something you know to be true?

We find truth by looking, I suppose. Taking things at face value is not always the best way to find truth. There are some things that can be proven true and some things that can’t. The things that can be proven true speak for themselves. The things that can’t, well, all we can do is make the best of it. There are many things in life that we’ll never know the absolute truth of, and I can accept that. Although, it doesn’t mean I won’t look. I find it interesting to look and come up with my own ideas, true or not.

The sun rises and the sun sets, that I know to be true. I can see it happen. God is real. Is that a true statement? It may or may not be. I have my own set of ideas surrounding that which, today, I can live with.

Do you believe that your choices are free? Do you hold yourself responsible for your choices?

Anymore I try not to concern myself with questions about whether or not my choices are free. There are a lot of situations where I “have to” do certain things to have certain outcomes. For example, if I want to feed my family I have to work. Now, I don’t have to work, but unless I want to starve or live on the street I have to do that. I am free to make either choice I want, but if I want a specific outcome chances are I have to make a specific choice, and I do hold myself responsible for that choice. It would be self-defeating to label my choices as free or not. It’s just a word and doesn’t hold much weight in the grand scheme of things. Whether or not I can live with the results of my actions is what matters.

What do you consider to be “beautiful”? Why? What is the function of art? Should “extreme” forms of artistic expression be censored? Why or why not?

There are many things that I consider to be beautiful. My children, the night sky, classical music. They are appealing to the eyes, or ears, or simply just moving. What I perceive as beautiful strikes me in some way whether it is physical, mental, or emotional. Essentially that is the function of art. It can be a release to the person creating it or a motion of some sort to the person taking it in.

As for extreme forms of artistic expression being censored, I think it depends on who it is being censored from. Of course I am not going to let my young children watch a gory movie with foul language. Should a song with foul language be censored from me? I don’t think so. If I don’t want to hear I don’t have to listen. It comes down to perception, I suppose. What is offensive to me may not be offensive to you, but we as adults are capable of making the decision to be offended in the first place.

Are all people entitled to basic human rights? Why? What is justice?

All people should be entitled to basic human rights, though we know that’s not the way it goes in most of the world. I think there are enough of those basic things to go around to everyone. Because we are capable of thinking and figuring out ways to make that happen then we should. Unfortunately not everyone thinks that way so it’ll probably never happen. That doesn’t stop me from doing what I can do to share what I have with others when I have something to share.

Without looking up the word, I’d have to say justice is doing “right” by other people. There’s that vague word again. If you’re speaking of justice as far as law, then I guess it’s a set of rules the majority has said are right. Is it an injustice for a child to starve? Yes, I think so, but apparently not everyone does. There are scenarios that are allowed to be played out which make these types of things happen. Justice is a concept that we can only strive to obtain. I don’t think it can be fully realized.

What are other important beliefs in your life?

I try not to stand on beliefs, only ideas. Ideas are easier to change. Beliefs only seem to get people in trouble. That is, unless it is something that is provable. I have taken a lot of flack from people for expressing this, but it doesn’t matter. A lot of times it seems that people need to have something to believe in simply because they have nothing else. Also, people appear to thrive on conflict, another outcome of having beliefs. I can accept having only ideas. Ideas are forever changing and growing into something else. I am basing this on my own experience so I don’t expect anyone else to abide by it. At this stage it works for me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Soul Nation

It's a one soul nation/folks of a higher elevation/I'd say its been a rude awakenin'/everyday wakin'/my alarm clock sayin'/one, one, and then another one and another one/ at first it was a lonesome hum/am I the only one?/and a search had begun/numbers on the run.......

There's a rude vibration/like this beat turned spirit automation/i been given information/out of nowhere it came with no explanation/until the day I came upon the one soul nation/in the form of a forum and its blue screen captivation/exasperated by my search/I began questioning with a lurch/drunken with elation/to have finally unearthed/the one soul nation/and its people on the verge........

Now it gets deep/the numbers are our commonality/our differences many/our purpose is plenty-full/we come from every direction/we each add a piece to the eleven/our ideas are the extension/to the other eleven/bridging a gap between many generations/raw determination/I'm tellin you, it's a mass elevation......of the one soul nation


Monday, October 27, 2008

What Is Enlightenment?

Well, it is defined as a "state of being", a spiritual life. This, I think, is very misleading. Enlightenment, I think, is the awareness one thing and one thing only. Enlightenment is the awareness of Self.

Now, one could say that self can be defined in many ways........but can it really? When it comes down to it, self is not all these things we relate to in life. All of the things that I might say that "I am", are things outside of myself. Therefore, those things I am not. Self is not all of the things around me, but the One thing inside of me.

I have not yet been able to define what that One thing is. I search, and I look, but to no avail. I have recently come to the realization that searching and seeking is not the way. Searching and seeking is a way for the mind to please itself, thus being a means to satisfy the ego. The ego being that part of us that has been a lifetime creation in the making........the sum of our experiences. That piece that needs the outside world to thrive and continue, to carry on.

Back to the topic at hand.....enlightenment. I have come to a conclusion, for now. Enlightenment is not something to be obtained, or a goal or destination to be reached. It is a lack of all these things. It is the letting go of thoughts and ideas. The release of everything we have thought we understood, or have figured out. I'd say it's a hard thing to grasp, when in reality there is nothing to grasp in the first place. It is almost so simple that it becomes complicated.......but again, that's the mind trying to find a way to control the circumstances. It cannot stand that this is a scenario that cannot be controlled when there is nothing to control in the first place.

It is my feeling that enlightenment isn't a place we can maintain. It is something we can periodically least in this form we cal human. There are many things we must do to get along in this world that go against the nothingness that enlightenment requires. I briefly experienced it when this whole realization settled in, but then it quickly left when my mind began to try and figure it out.

The only thing I can do is maintain an awareness about myself, without judgement. This is the only way to see when your moment of enlightenment has fallen upon you. Perhaps it something that can grow, and last for longer stretches. I wouldn't know. And I wouldn't even sit here and try to act like I know, or throw out theories about it. That's more of my mind getting in the way. So, with all these sentences I have written, all these words I have said, I walk away with One thing. That being "nothing".

Friday, July 18, 2008

Everyone Is Thinking It, But Nobody Is Saying It.

Wow, it's been a long time. I didn't even think I'd be able to log in again. But I did, and here I am. Lucky you, person sitting there reading this. I had a recent rant inspired by another one of those "lets make jokes of serious shit" emails. You know, the ones referring to politics and such. I sent this one as a reply and asked that it be forwarded to all those that recieved the original. And it was sent. Anyway, here it is.

I am afraid that if something isn't done here in the United States we are going to be abandoned by these big corporations. We have built up and expanded and they have made their money.(I don't use the words "we" or "they" lightly. "We" have built it up, and "they" have profited.) Now they'll go to China, and such, to build there and make more money. There are big problems ahead if something doesn't change.

I propose something to all of you. I propose that we all start taking a look at ourselves first. We can sit all day and cry and moan about what is being done to us. But that fact is, they are not doing anything to us that we aren't letting them do. And not only that, there are a lot of things in our personal lives that we are doing to ourselves which is compounding the situation.

We take time to read these emails, and somebody out there is taking the time to write them. I don't think it's a joke at all. Ask yourself what you could be doing with this time that would better your life or that of someone else. Oh, wait, there's another issue there. Doing for someone else. Half of us could give a shit less what's going on in somebodies life. If we stopped worrying about the latest fad in clothing or music videos and begun using that time to do something for someone else, don't you think this would be a better world? How much better would the world be if everyone took just 10 minutes out of there day to help another person?

Look, I am just as guilty as anyone else of being lazy when it comes to most of these facts. I spend more time complaining about politicians than I do implementing a change. I laugh at the jokes about how we're being screwed by the government. And I could stop on the side of the road to help someone broke down, but choose not to because I am running late. I don't put the blame anywhere that I wouldn't put on myself as well. But something needs to change. I feel as though I am getting close to a breaking point? How do you feel? And don't be discouraged because "there's nothing we can do". We can do a whole lot. I alone cannot do what millions together can. And we do have a right to do that.

At least for today I can say that I have done something. I didn't just forward an email containing facts or jokes about the state of the world. How close are you to your breaking point? When will you have had enough? It doesn't take much effort to make your voice heard. We all need to speak up.

Well, that's all I've got. It is quite possible that I will return to post more. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Philosophically Speaking

During a recent conversation with a friend, I said something that made us both speachless. We were talking about the beliefs that others hold about the Absolute, religion, and just life in general. Most of us think we know something of the Absolute. We think the religion we follow is the complete truth. How could this be? How could we, just a small fragment of the Absolute, claim to know that which the Absolute is? This idea, to me, is the definition of ignorance.

Everything that we as human being know, everything we are, is not that which is the Absolute. We are a piece of that Absolute, therefore we have within us that which is Absolute. This word may become repetitive, but there is a reason for that. It is the only word within this work that has any True meaning. In it lies the only truth of reality. Being a human creation, it still does no justice to that which is Truth.

Back to the conversation. In the heat of our discussion I blurted something out. Something I felt right before it actually occured, yet there was no premeditation to this statement. Basically, in the moments right before, during and after I felt this did not come from me. It came from my lips, yet I, my person, did not create it. The both of us felt it within our innermost reality, more so than we understood.

My statement: "What is the one thing that is not human? The one thing that lacks creation? The one thing that takes no thought, nor effort? One thing that is Truth, and cannot be distorted in any way? The one thing that just is? Nothingness. Bend your mind around that one." That last part was me having heard what just came out of my mouth, knowing it wasn't of my own accord. I was making a joke of our humanness.

Nothingness. You can't bend your mind around it. There isn't anything there to bend your mind around. This is why it cannot be distorted. Cannot be altered. Actually, the more you try to think about it, the less potential you will have to be it. We can hold no ideas about nothingness. The more I try to understand things, the more confused and frustrated I become. Take all of this away, and what do you have?

The Absolute is simplicity. We are flesh and bone, yes. But break us down to our simplest form and we are merely energy. Are thoughts are energy. I am not saying the Absolute is nothingness, not at all. In fact, the Absolute is a huge something. What I am saying is that it takes nothingness for us to come as close to the truth as one can come. Take all of our ideas and beliefs, everything we thought we ever knew, and we are left with nothing. It is pure ignorance for us to claim that we know the Truth. And since that is so, take it all away. If our minds take as far from the truth as possible, logic tells us the exact opposite would take us as close to it as one can come.

Think what you will of this. But, truth is Truth. Nothingness, stillness, quiet...........depletion of all thought does not lie. The more I write about this, the more my human mind wants to get in the way. There is nothing else to say. Bend your mind around that one.

Friday, August 04, 2006

From The Deep

This will probably just be a rant session, but it's been a while and I need it. So many things in life that I wish to do, or plan to someday do, but really feel that I cannot. I want to write a book. I know I have much to write about, I just keep putting it off. It's always "you're you, you have time to write the book" or "nobody will pick it up, so what's the point?". What's the point........? I don't know, maybe by the end of this I'll have a better clearer picture.

There are things we wish for and desire, and there are things deep down that we just know were meant to be. Writing that book is a deep down knowing. Along with a few other things, I know this is supposed to happen. Don't ask me how I know, because I couldn't tell you. If you have any type of self-awareness, then you know what I'm saying.

Another, and possibly more important, is spiritual enlightenment. Actually, that book is probably connected, and one of the pathways along that journey. I feel that it's mean for me to end my life cycles here, once and for all. I have an understanding of many things, and wonder why this come so natural. I can see myself in the shoes of all walks of life. Maybe that means I've been there. I can tell you this, through this lifetime I have not firsthandedly experienced most of these things. Yet I have an understanding.

I go through many phases, only to come full circle back to this. There is a greater meaning for my being here. I shall find it. The last step is to accept myself as a spiritual being, and let that out. So often I spend my days trying to supress it, my human urges winning out. Often feeling as if I have no heart. I get knocked down, and stay there. Yet, that spiritual being is quite patient, and very persistent.

My human aspect tries to subdue this other being. Thinking itself successful, I go on a rampage of self destruction. Only to break down, with the spirit in me waiting patiently. If that isn't God working in me, then God does not exist. Nothing else would explain this phenomena. God is the spirit in me. The spirit is getting stronger, making these cycles circle around quicker. The spirit is growing ever closer to be what I am here to be.

Ranting or not, this has helped. I needed to gather my thoughts, look at them in black and white, and come to my own conclusions. Which, I have done. This is a main part of why I write. It's hard to bullshit myself under these circumstances. My writing, to me, is like a mirror. Some people get up every morning and look themselves in the mirror to see who stares back at them. I write, and do the very same thing.

Ah, thankyou for this release. Thankyou, anyone, for listening. And if at some point I look back and realize that I've gotten nothing out of my writings here, hopefully you have.