Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sitting on a Fence

Do you ever shift back and forth between moral views? Even just the understanding of both sides can confuse you more than you can even fathom. What happens when you begin seeing the positive side of something negative? What is negative anyway? What constitutes a "wrong" desire? I suppose something you've experienced first hand that has caused wretched repercussions in a personal view would suffice for not having irresistible urges towards certain things.

Certain energies gravitate entities to certain things. Putting yourself in a situation that will hold something you're attempting to avoid will inevitably induce feelings of desire towards it. Where do you draw the line between forces? How do we determine pros and cons? There are so many good aspects to specific situations and so many life scattering ones; how do we weigh it all out? Even regarding people that influence you in a way you wish not to gravitate, is it possible to attempt to highlight the progressively positive things about them and not shed energy on the bad parts so you can regulate their influence upon you?

If there is a possibility of engaging in activities that are not right in your mind, it is the wisest decision to avoid any chance of said situation. As righteous as some people are, it can be imperative to distance yourself from some in order to achieve your goal. Do what you must with what you have when you can and you will prosper greatly from it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shifting The Present

Why is it that we try to heavily to create something of ourselves but refuse to destroy the things around us that are no longer necessary? Growth is a vital aspect of existence; destruction is a puzzle piece in which seems so negative yet does so much good. One cannot add to themselves without removing something in return. It can seem so melancholia to rid oneself of things that remind them of the good times that've occurred but those things also constrict one to the things that are gone. Life is a process of change, a series of events that are contingent upon one another but once they've past and brought one to their current state the only reminder one can need is that of their existence and growth. Don't grasp onto things that are no longer there, it'll distract you from what you are capable of. Throw away what you have and it'll clear your mind and allow you to move towards something that you've always wanted.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Altered States

There are piles of various ways people can expand their mind further than their own looking glasses. These include, but are most certainly not limited to, sensory deprivation, meditation, pain induction, and substance consumption - there are quite a pocketful of differentiations of which as well, from amphetamines to stress relievers to psychedelics. Everyone has a frame of mind contingent upon what they have been subjected to throughout their life and it is often limited to personal views and biases sprinkled about, usually not realizing their mental restrictions. It can be difficult to perceive things objectively, whether involved or not.

Some people exercise their minds through deep thought and concentration, affecting their nervous system if done properly. Others may take things that make them more capable of completing tasks that aid in productivity and efficiency, also causing them to feel what they are doing more intimately, making them more passionate about what they are doing thus weaving in more ingenuity. There are also rituals that cause deep relaxation and a more open mind with whatever happens. Various practices aid in expanding the mind, sometimes allowing one to get a completely different spin on things. There are doors that can be opened in the mind that can only be found with certain rituals, causing a flood of new insight and rapture for existence. If one chooses to carry out certain things to better oneself then I cannot see any problem with doing so. It merely depends on the purpose of the entity for doing such things. Moderation and intention makes the difference in the outcomes. Take control and allow your mind to reach its highest capacity. Dig through it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Personalizing This Vessel of Ours

One of the most important things on people's minds, it seems, is to be self expressive. Of all the things we have to work with the body seems to be the most thought of. Some people build their muscles, others create holes for ornaments in various places, many have a design permanently etched in their flesh, and plenty try to emphasize features with cosmetics. This is just a small taste of the countless methods of diversity people use all over the world. The problem is that although our intention is to give ourselves character, we are primarily feeding our ego when we resort to these actions, and all of these actions morph into habits, all of which consume us and become our life. Aside from that, it's a rough way to treat this body that already has to deal with toxins, processed foods that we aren't meant to be metabolizing, everyday stress, any chemical that people may use to get by (pain relievers, tobacco, caffeine, etc.), and of course the odd cravings that so many humans possess to be rough with their pleasures.

Unfortunately, many folk these days resort to these once thought of as creative forms of releasing inner art merely for the appearance of it. Some do it to release endorphins, which was the basis of its attraction to me for so many years, but why get myself off for a puncture wound or continuous jab of a needle when I can go up a notch and create art with pencils and paints, or better yet, transcend that flowing energy through a musical instrument to get my kicks. I've noticed that since people have so many loop holes to get off without having to do much of anything, they simply do not opt to do nearly as many things to feel accomplished and elevated.

So what's the most intensely passionate way to transcend our creative messages? Body modification is beautiful, but many circumstances make them represent negative energies. To be honest, the most powerful way to release that inner soul is to spread it all around by emitting your waves of energy. Action is the most efficient way to expand the mind, the soul, the world - every entity is affected. It's breathtaking the impact every action has. I believe that the strongest, purest way to go about self expression is to carry things out that will contribute to the beauty of the world. If you can't find any beauty, put some in on your own. Maintain your body properly, it'll function much better, and allow it to speak for itself. You don't need to cover it with distractions to get your beauty across.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Control Your Perceptions

I was reading a book by Richard Carlson, PH.D. called Don't Sweat The Small Stuff...and It's All Small Stuff and came across a brief story that caught my interest:

Two workers were approached by a child. The child asked the first worker, "What are you doing?" His response was to complain that he was virtually a slave, an underpaid bricklayer who spent his days wasting his time, placing bricks on top of one another. The child asked the second worker the same question. His response, however, was quite different. "I'm the luckiest person in the world," he began. "I get to be a part of important and beautiful pieces of architecture. I help turn simple pieces of brick into exquisite masterpieces."
They were both right.

All that you feel is a product of your own thoughts. You completely control everything that goes on inside your head. When you allow yourself to dwell on how mundane the world can be then it will be just that, but if you look at the beauty and wonder from everyday situations you're life will be filled with happiness and contentment. As the author put it, "This bricklayer sees cathedrals within pieces of brick...Can you see the extraordinary synchronicity that exists in our world; the extraordinary beauty of nature; the incredible miracle of human life?" A simple shift in your mental attitude can create vastly different meanings for the everyday things, making your world look a little brighter. Never underestimate the impact of a mental shift.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Resolute to Not Substitute: Just Be

Everyone's heard the saying, "old habits die hard." When it comes to breaking habits most people tend to find a replacement. That sounds like a very intelligent, reasonable solution, and it does work, but what do we do when we want to quit our replacement? When it comes to substance addictions we are generally under the impression that consuming will stimulate our brains and give us joy and contentment. Why does it have to be that we must ingest to enjoy? Why is that always the path we go down? It's just going to cause discomfort. The point of putting anything into the body is to sustain our lives and nourish our bodies. Once we've gotten ourselves to cease the consumption of chemicals, what do we do about the urge to fill ourselves to the brim with as much as I can get? Only when we come to the realization that more isn't better will be begin to break these habits and allow ourselves to feel content simply by being conscious and able.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Brain That Fools Itself

People do things because their brains come up with logical reasons to, but what happens when a layer of the mind gets greedy and tricks itself? We all have a weakness that can set us back. Most people can generally acknowledge which tendencies they have that are destructive and which are beneficial, but what happens when the brain has been without something for so long it actually starts shelling out reasons why it's absolutely necessary that you do it? It may not even come across to you as an addictive, impulsive thought either. The scary thing is that it usually sounds very logical in your head. Sometimes even after looking at all the angles it still sounds like the thing to do. The brain is so incredible that it actually knows how to fool its own team, although that doesn't sound too far off from any other company. There's always a few workers that need to fuck something up and do bad things for fun. Unfortunately even trying to discuss these thoughts with others probably won't make much difference because with any idea you bring to the surface it will be perceived by many as wonderful and many as sheer insanity. You have to decide on your own. It's not all bad though. Many times the brain will trick itself into doing good things, that is once you've trained it to do so. I guess we have to just take the good with the bad, pay very close attention to our tendencies, and keep thinking the thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. Namaste.

Monday, December 15, 2008


"I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can't afford a front yard full of old cars.

It wasn't always this way. Stuff used to be rare and valuable. You can still see evidence of that if you look for it. For example, in my house in Cambridge, which was built in 1876, the bedrooms don't have closets. In those days people's stuff fit in a chest of drawers. Even as recently as a few decades ago there was a lot less stuff. When I look back at photos from the 1970s, I'm surprised how empty houses look. As a kid I had what I thought was a huge fleet of toy cars, but they'd be dwarfed by the number of toys my nephews have. All together my Matchboxes and Corgis took up about a third of the surface of my bed. In my nephews' rooms the bed is the only clear space.

Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes toward it haven't changed correspondingly. We overvalue stuff.

That was a big problem for me when I had no money. I felt poor, and stuff seemed valuable, so almost instinctively I accumulated it. Friends would leave something behind when they moved, or I'd see something as I was walking down the street on trash night (beware of anything you find yourself describing as "perfectly good"), or I'd find something in almost new condition for a tenth its retail price at a garage sale. And pow, more stuff.

In fact these free or nearly free things weren't bargains, because they were worth even less than they cost. Most of the stuff I accumulated was worthless, because I didn't need it.

What I didn't understand was that the value of some new acquisition wasn't the difference between its retail price and what I paid for it. It was the value I derived from it. Stuff is an extremely illiquid asset. Unless you have some plan for selling that valuable thing you got so cheaply, what difference does it make what it's "worth?" The only way you're ever going to extract any value from it is to use it. And if you don't have any immediate use for it, you probably never will.

Companies that sell stuff have spent huge sums training us to think stuff is still valuable. But it would be closer to the truth to treat stuff as worthless.

In fact, worse than worthless, because once you've accumulated a certain amount of stuff, it starts to own you rather than the other way around. I know of one couple who couldn't retire to the town they preferred because they couldn't afford a place there big enough for all their stuff. Their house isn't theirs; it's their stuff's.

And unless you're extremely organized, a house full of stuff can be very depressing. A cluttered room saps one's spirits. One reason, obviously, is that there's less room for people in a room full of stuff. But there's more going on than that. I think humans constantly scan their environment to build a mental model of what's around them. And the harder a scene is to parse, the less energy you have left for conscious thoughts. A cluttered room is literally exhausting.

(This could explain why clutter doesn't seem to bother kids as much as adults. Kids are less perceptive. They build a coarser model of their surroundings, and this consumes less energy.)

I first realized the worthlessness of stuff when I lived in Italy for a year. All I took with me was one large backpack of stuff. The rest of my stuff I left in my landlady's attic back in the US. And you know what? All I missed were some of the books. By the end of the year I couldn't even remember what else I had stored in that attic.

And yet when I got back I didn't discard so much as a box of it. Throw away a perfectly good rotary telephone? I might need that one day.

The really painful thing to recall is not just that I accumulated all this useless stuff, but that I often spent money I desperately needed on stuff that I didn't.

Why would I do that? Because the people whose job is to sell you stuff are really, really good at it. The average 25 year old is no match for companies that have spent years figuring out how to get you to spend money on stuff. They make the experience of buying stuff so pleasant that "shopping" becomes a leisure activity.

How do you protect yourself from these people? It can't be easy. I'm a fairly skeptical person, and their tricks worked on me well into my thirties. But one thing that might work is to ask yourself, before buying something, "is this going to make my life noticeably better?"

A friend of mine cured herself of a clothes buying habit by asking herself before she bought anything "Am I going to wear this all the time?" If she couldn't convince herself that something she was thinking of buying would become one of those few things she wore all the time, she wouldn't buy it. I think that would work for any kind of purchase. Before you buy anything, ask yourself: will this be something I use constantly? Or is it just something nice? Or worse still, a mere bargain?

The worst stuff in this respect may be stuff you don't use much because it's too good. Nothing owns you like fragile stuff. For example, the "good china" so many households have, and whose defining quality is not so much that it's fun to use, but that one must be especially careful not to break it.

Another way to resist acquiring stuff is to think of the overall cost of owning it. The purchase price is just the beginning. You're going to have to think about that thing for years—perhaps for the rest of your life. Every thing you own takes energy away from you. Some give more than they take. Those are the only things worth having.

I've now stopped accumulating stuff. Except books—but books are different. Books are more like a fluid than individual objects. It's not especially inconvenient to own several thousand books, whereas if you owned several thousand random possessions you'd be a local celebrity. But except for books, I now actively avoid stuff. If I want to spend money on some kind of treat, I'll take services over goods any day.

I'm not claiming this is because I've achieved some kind of zenlike detachment from material things. I'm talking about something more mundane. A historical change has taken place, and I've now realized it. Stuff used to be valuable, and now it's not.

In industrialized countries the same thing happened with food in the middle of the twentieth century. As food got cheaper (or we got richer; they're indistinguishable), eating too much started to be a bigger danger than eating too little. We've now reached that point with stuff. For most people, rich or poor, stuff has become a burden.

The good news is, if you're carrying a burden without knowing it, your life could be better than you realize. Imagine walking around for years with five pound ankle weights, then suddenly having them removed."

Written by Paul Graham

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Art of Dance

An incredible endorphin high is known to come from physical exertion. An excellent example is dancing. A personal favorite of mine is electronica/techno/liquid dance because of the incredible flow that's displayed making it amazing to perform and radical to witness. Though, all forms of dance have much in common as it is the movement of the body to musical rhythm. It can be an act of spirituality, self-expression, social interaction, competition, erotica, ritual, or anything else you'd like to express through the art of dance. The feeling of the music vibrating through the body in conjunction with the electric pulses in the limbs is like an ecstatic trance; it's mind tingling to say the least.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Endorphin Rush

Endorphins are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus during strenuous exercise, excitement, stress, pain, and orgasm. They may also be released during consumption of certain foods such as hot peppers or cocoa. This euphoric feeling induced by endorphins may last up to 12 hours for some people. They have analgesic properties, similar to opiates. Pain relieving drugs act like endorphins by stimulating opiate receptors in the brain. Endorphins will induce a sense of power and control over someone whom has just sustained an injury, which may cause someone to persist with certain harmful activities. This certainly sheds light upon the masochist.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Before Personal Corruption

There was a time when we were young that things were so satisfying. I'm not saying that there was no pain; no matter how young a person is there will be pain. But before we stretched ourselves so thin and destroyed so much of our brain and body, there was something else. Things from a child's view can be so new and bright and psychedelic, but time goes by and things get old. What are we to do?

Why not refresh our minds by visualizing things from a stranger's point of view. Allow everything to fall where it will and just sit in time for a bit while we contemplate the beauty of it all. Letting the world seep in is very easy during a brief yoga session as you stretch out and feel your body change shape. If that's too mellow there's always rock climbing, skateboarding, basketball, dancing, or any of the other hundreds of activities that have been thought up specifically for entertainment and enrichment. Even after it's been done the lingering effects are incredible. As time goes on it gets better.

Some people tend to try to get that beauty back with hallucinogens, depressants, stimulants, and anything else they can get their hands on. Then comes the time when they can feel the damage they've done. Oh what one wouldn't do to just go back to before all of it. Why can't we go back? We have our memories; we can mentally go back to before we did drugs. The power of the brain is incredible. The damage to the brain can indeed be mended over time as long as the brain is properly exercised and nutritionally nourished. As for our bodies, a healthy diet along with proper sleep and regular exercise can repair a lot of the damage.

So what's the problem? Oh yeah, that whole addiction thing. No matter how much logic we swallow, we'll still have those, "just once more then I'm done," "I don't do it that often," "I know people that do it a lot more than me," and "It's a special occasion," followed by the, "it's too good to live without" "it's the only thing that helps," and "It's all I know." Instead of focusing on such things, why not focus on how our life, from an objective viewpoint, was altered negatively because of certain things. The divine thing about the brain is that we can control it. If we focus on why we don't want to do something, chances are, we won't do it. But if we say we don't want something and let our minds drift back to the basis of its appeal, then we're going to find a reason to do it.

The fun was experienced and the memories are ours, but continued use will become severely detrimental in many aspects. This goes for a broad spectrum of things. Be careful what price you pay to get your kicks. There are too many electrifying thrills on this earth that are more spine-tingling than any drug when you weigh it all out to waste yourself on such fabricated feelings. The body will shoot you up with vitalizing chemicals on its own if you let it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trick or Treat

nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, thc, cocaine, acid, ecstasy, amphetamines, heroin and all those other drugs sure are handy for escaping what is really happening in reality; to trick oneself into being alert, calm, oblivious, happy, turned on, euphoric, or sensationally orgasmic. There's a drug to mimic almost anything really. After so many years of bombarding the pleasure sensors of my brain with synthetic stimuli and just stopping it's a bit more than unnerving. Now my brain only releases dopamine and serotonin when I earn it. At least now my being actually benefits when it feels like it has. The only thing that I still consume that arouses those parts of my brain is food.

Aside from the unnecessary chemicals that destroy the body, there are certain things that feel just as intensely rapturous as drowning one self's senses in drugs. Pain seems to sometimes get mixed in with pleasure. Pain and pleasure are located right next to each other in the brain and can easily soak together. In addition, when the body is in pain the brain's natural mechanism is to create its own chemicals to ease that pain. Sadomasochism isn't anything new with tattoos, piercings, certain sexual tendencies, rituals, and the wonderfully delicious life of self-destruction Americans so roughly embrace. Just don't take pity on people when they try to sell you their version of The Great American Sob Story of how they had something, got fucked up, lost it, and are trying to cope. Life is unfair; kill yourself or get over it.