Who am I? Besides consciousness, which we are all an expression of, this form known as ‘Ivor’ or ‘Brian’, has been on an evolutionary journey (as we all have). For decades I made my living. I went through the motions of daily business running, sometimes working hard if not always smart. I was mostly on auto-pilot doing my part in what I thought we were supposed to do – make some money, pay the bills, accumulate stuff. For me, the real dream, was way off in the future. The back of the mind scenarios where I would be self-actualized and feel worthy. Eventually, in mornings before work (see Coffeehouse Philosopher) I started thinking about more than working and paying bills. I wondered as I rambled about why the human world is as it is and not better for all people and all life. Visits to the Amazon helped me crystallize my desire to make a positive impact on conservation of natural areas and also to help, move us collectively towards a more just, kind and sustainable future
* * * *
That sounds highfalutin but I am referring to incremental contributions on our journey along a good path—for all people—the natural world—the Earth and beyond. I found there are others who feel in a similar way. I discovered there are organizations who will indulge or tolerate a crazy dreamer, amateur explorer and wannabe scientist.
* * * *
Related to decades of existing under mainstream society’s norms, sometimes I realize I’ve spent an hour unconsciously at some activity. We have finite time in physical form—limited time to do things we feel are worthwhile. When I am doing something, I now ask myself, “what prompted this action or behavior—consciousness, or the ego?” I use the term, ‘ego’ the same way spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle does. We all have one. It is the mind-made self we use for convenience in dealing with the physical world. However, many times it takes on a life of its own and we become ‘unconscious’ in our behaviors. I have found it is good to step back and observe what I am doing presently, and then decide consciously, “Do I want to continue this action or behavior?”
* * * *
Here’s to a happy, healthy, one-world, positive, just, kind, sustainable and green 2021!
Bathroom, 4:38am and the thought of another day of teeth brushing, hair grooming, falling asleep trying to meditate, followed by porridge making and trying to pick the lock to success, prompts another thought:
Beyond satisfying biological drives and pinging emotions, “Is life worth living?”
Sadness-by-thought—self-created. But, it seems so real.
Morning ablutions complete, cats fed, meditation attempted, coffee brewed and sips taken—the veil partially lifts. One can reject humanity’s serial emotion pinging and seek their own meaning:
Is not spending one’s days, a conduit for Universal truth (or believing they are) enough?
Six o’clock. In the black of eyes closed, pre-dawn meditation I notice a Chinese character. CGI perfect, orange, with no flourish in the font. No movement, no sparkle. It morphs slightly—larger and more complex now. If the first one meant ‘house’, maybe this version is ‘country house’. I wonder, is this is an aura? No, there’s no twinkle, no shimmer. Morphs again—now a maze of pathways. Again—now taking up a quarter of my dark lids with convolutions, twists and turns. Movement, shimmer—I knew it. Mr. Migraine has arisen. I didn’t know he was Chinese.
John Lee Hooker plays on Pandora while I attempt to create something positive for the world with the keyboard. I’m cutting a pastry when it hits—the geometric, angular shapes of electric colors signaling the funk which will come shortly, the second in two days. Weeks ago, I wrote a poem poking fun at Christians, “God is not testing you with adversity—it-just-is.” Well, I’ve changed my mind slightly—the Universe seems to be testing me—or trying to get something out of me.
She had her tortured geniuses—those who went insane, jumped the bridge, ‘faced’ the shotgun, knifed the wife. Would they have been as brilliant without their tormenter? The Universe may be going about it all wrong in my case. I can’t save the fucking world if I can’t think. ‘Neurological Even,’(see, I left the ‘t’ off, ‘event’). One time I made a whole pour-over coffee one migraine-morning—with cold water—didn’t realize it while doing. And trying to talk, make a point with folks—the words don’t come. Sort of a portent(had to look that up, had the verb form at first) to my first stroke maybe ten future years from now. Well, at least I have that go’in for me.
I think I’m going to dump my shit and go to a shack in the forest. Don’ care which forest, could be a mountain in Japan or a tropical rainforest. Eating is the problem. I don’t want to kill stuff. Maybe I’ll pull and eat wild carrots and mushrooms (if I can figure out which ones won’ kill me). Maybe a kindly farmer will share some tofu and farmhouse sake or saison. Maybe a feral poet squatting on your property is good luck. I’d certainly keep illegal loggers away, if not the evil spirits.
(& just as I’m about to hit ‘Publish’ number 3 in 3 days hits . . . Thank you UniversE!)
My idea of being ‘conscious’, as Eckhart Tolle describes it, is to live aware. Aware of our animal impulses, our thoughts, emotions, perceptions, our made-up stories of ‘reality’, even our made up ‘self’. Once conscious, we can resist the collective human, made-up and currently dysfunctional way of being. If for instance we witness the unsustainable consumption of resources, we can as an example to others, live our life sustainably.
We can even choose to which degree, for practical purposes, we superficially act to ‘fit in’ (many folks we encounter daily are not ready for a fully conscious being—best to only shake their world in stages).
I’ll close with a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi,
“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”
Is it possible to witness melancholy from afar?
From the perspective of what Eastern philosophers call ‘the silent witness’, ‘the true Self’, that self shared with all creation, Universe, ‘God’ to some, what never changes and is infinite—even if this may be no more than a construct of the mind—is that not better than a pill? If a construct of the mind gets one through life and kills the gloom without suicide or having your plans and action sucked away* by the feel-good, ‘everything’s okay’ of alcohol—is that not a superior path through this physical life?
Our moods swing to the mix of our brain chemicals, and this, orchestrated by that evil, spiral molecule who thinks he has our best interest in mind, so what, if to a degree, we can short circuit him and feel okay for a change?
*Not pointing fingers—two-drinks-a-day got me through many a rough patch (one twenty years long) but read what Nietzsche had to say about alcohol or watch the movie “The Iceman Cometh” for a different perspective.
Photo – Yakusugiland, Yakushima, Japan
In the process of actualization of desires and drives, a calm, accepting state is of higher order and more desirous than actual goal achievement. The paradox is that in accepting the present moment and one’s limitations, one lays the foundation for achievement—since, if one is in anguish or constantly ruminating on their troubles and lack of progress, one has not the time, energy or creativity needed to succeed.
Feeling Bad—the concept struck me as odd yesterday (a migraine day). An unfortunate external event is one thing, but feeling bad over it is our own act. We whip our minds in an endless frenzy of directionally unique judgments. There is a reason the enlightened ones suggest staying present and accepting without judgement.
This dis-ease which we feel from time to time (most of the time for some of us) is a fraudulent manufacture of our minds—an evolutionary mechanism gone rouge and for some, the neurological pathways are well-traveled—out of habit. Let go and be in the present moment—without judgment.
Until we . . .
evolve beyond our competition-based society
circumvent biology’s depression-inducing reward-mechanism
blend with machines or upgrade the one in our heads
upload our consciousnesses to explore other dimensions and worlds,
We might meld the philosophies of Siddhartha Gautama and Nietzsche to . . .
express our Will without attachment to outcomes
fully accept the present moment
be mindful of the mind-sullying whispers of DNA’s anger merchants
When acts of Will don’t produce the desired result
Accept that and craft plans new
Rather than crushing Will’s desire
Consider desire worthy of action
Not worthy of attachment
Not worthy of pain
By Ivor Peter Brians