Friday, January 24, 2014

I Am a Self and a Mind

It's been a while since I've had a social life worth mentioning, but a friend of mine told me recently that we were long overdue to hang out. At the sheer prospect of a social engagement, I cleared my schedule and decided that I ought to draft an outline for the conversation that might ensue.

You read that right--I drafted an outline. The E.C. Glass high school English department would be proud. And I was only about halfway through it when I started having this dialogue with myself that began along the lines of, "Why are you making an outline for a social engagement with a dear friend? Seriously, what's going on in my head?"

Anyway, it turned into the kind of blathering I normally do here, so--


I don’t really feel like the “myself” that I used to feel semi-confident about in high school. The hesitant, innocent John has left the building and the man that remains is somehow different. As if I’ve suffered some kind of injury, or mild amnesia—my life is not at all what I would have pictured, and all of a sudden I’ve “woken up” and am this new being. 10 years ago I wanted to be a veterinarian because I liked animals. Now, I’ve almost graduated with a degree in Spanish (I’m proud, but whatever) and I’m working a minimum wage job, waiting to pay back student loans. Not a whole lot is “going on right now,” but that’s semi-all right with me. That’s what I want to talk about.

John: Look at this outline. Who drafts an outline for a friendly catch-up and a movie? Shouldn’t these things come naturally? Why are you thinking so hard?

Other John: They do come naturally, I don't know!

John: Then why are we sitting here having this conversation?

Other John: Because it’s important to me. Somehow, this interaction between friends is so dear to my experience that I want to make sure that not a second of it goes to waste. I don’t want someone whose time and presence I value so highly to feel like I am not invested in them, in their experience. I want to make sure I am as fully present as possible, and outlining what I want to discuss and ask her about is a great way of making sure I don’t leave out anything important or worth mentioning.

John: Why do you feel so strongly about this?

Other John: Because I no longer align with the set of values and understandings that I once held as a naive young teenager with dreams of securing financial wealth and the confidence that comes with having a beautiful wife and family. It’s not at all that I resent those things; in fact I DO want those things. But the difference is that, now, I better understand that the processes of obtaining and maintaining material wealth and comfort are far more deplorable (in most cases) than I had ever imagined. It’s like I went to college, found out I was really interested in MORE than making money or being recognized for something—I wanted fulfillment and satisfaction in my heart, in the most basic way. Something about my experience was all of a sudden so fundamentally different from what I had imagined, it made me depressed. Where was the love? I could hardly contain my disappointment. I became cynical. I started to feel like I didn’t want to be a part of “the world” because it was all so fucked and dead anyway. The way people with money and power played the world, meddling in wars, politics, economics—the fabric of our lives—the whole world! It just made me sick to “grow up” a little bit and realize that everything I had been waiting to take part in and enjoy was actually a greasy, lopsided struggle for temporary gratification. And if you wanted long-term success or wealth or whatever, you have to pay for it with your life—time away from loved ones, friends and yourself, your spiritual self—your fucking LIFE. I don’t know—I guess I just got really disillusioned with the way things were and it messed me up psychologically. I felt like I couldn’t be who I wanted to be any more. I had to change my wasteful, greedy ways of living. It made me realize I was taking everything important for granted and worrying about the most trivial aspects of life. So I start investigating spirituality, consciousness, science, humanity, and truth …blah blah blah—

Fast forward to now. I am this totally different human being that is hell-bent on being spiritually/ecologically/economically/sociologically/physically/politically mindful in a way that will benefit everyone with whom I come into contact, and aid in the evolution of humanity’s consciousness. I want to progress the way people think and relate to their lives—it really is MIND over MATTER. Quantum physics and consciousness are already introducing radical changes in perspectives on consciousness and life in our universe; it’s only a matter of time before human consciousness reaches the “next level.”

But these are the things that have consumed my hours, days, months, years even—science, spirituality, consciousness, other universes/dimensions, the “inner space” of the mind—

And somehow I’m trying to bridge the gap from 18-year-old John who just got to college and is disappointed because his experience wasn’t what he expected. The realities were harsher than he anticipated. And that’s ok—that’s all a part of learning. And not all of his life after that moment was bad; it just meant that innocent John had to think differently about a lot of new things now.  22 year old newly “conscious” John wants a simple life in which he doesn’t have to worry about debt, his kids getting a shitty education, or some kind of radiation/chemical poison rotting my pineal gland so that I don’t get to experience the afterlife of oneness.

These are some juxtaposing ideas—“wants afterlife of oneness with the energy of consciousness that binds the universe together, but fears the powerlessness and hopelessness of being JUST a human being in a society of human beings in which the wealthy elite rule the globe, and the rest are expendable guinea pig worker bees." Not exactly the best metaphor, but you get the idea. Anyway, my outlook on life is not actually this bleak… I have hope for the future because I know that things will change—I’m going to be instrumental in the success of this change—the evolution of human consciousness. We all will. This spirituality that has sort of spawned from my obsession with uncovering the truth has altered my perspective. I’m not a super depressed person anymore because I realize that my own mind and my own thoughts are directly responsible for what I experience. But that’s also kind of isolating.

Because I’m trying to live this life of INTENT—love, purpose, direction, progress, change, evolution, peace, harmony, nature, beauty, abundance, nirvana, oneness with all things—I sometimes feel like in order for me to be successful at achieving what I want for myself, I have to disconnect from the world that is more concerned with themselves than they are evolving themselves. So, because I feel this way often, I find myself feeling separate from others, separate from the world that I live in. And that’s the opposite of what I want! That’s the illusion with which I was disillusioned—SEPARATENESS. I want others to know my love, and I want others to feel inspired to share their love! Not because of me, but for themselves, and therefore me, also! It’s fucking crazy, I get it. Trust me, I ‘m a fucking lunatic by most people’s standards… But that’s exactly my point. I let myself not care. I let myself get away with what I do (and think) because it’s myself, and I don't want to be anything else.

WHY FIGHT IT? I’m a great guy. I’m genuinely concerned with the way our planet and its people are being treated. We’re all in this together. It’s cliché, but if someone doesn’t say it, we’re all gonna be dead. There is more to living than having a “successful life” – what the fuck does that even mean? That you have money? That you have status? AND IT’S FINE IF THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS—as long as that’s what it means For You.

People (in America, I guess) are far too concerned with making sure they can afford everything they want to make their lives comfortable. Beyond that, their worries are varied… but that’s the biggest one right now--money! That’s because there exists this entire organization (called our culture, society, way of life—the pre-existing notions that make up the infrastructure for this bogus imposition of a socio-cultural like-mindedness perpetuated by a group of people that is content with letting the rest of us rot) that more or less—(more)—pressures you into homogenizing with the rest of the “melting pot” so that we all come out this grey, slightly overweight, slightly-educated, psychological mess of a person (because of the ADD/ADHD meds, among other things: food/diet/lack of exercise/no value placed on development of self/sense of self/self-confidence/self-ANYTHING) ------ and then we expect to live a healthy, meaningful life.

Many of us do, but this particular plan doesn’t appeal to me. I want to do something bigger. I have delved into my mind and pondered my heart, and what I found after all of this digging is that I care so deeply about our humanity, at such a spiritual and basic level—because I see myself in others—because I see all of us in myself—I want better for all of us. I know that we have plenty of money and resources to make things different, but for some reason we lack the presence of mind. We lack the confidence—we lack the KNOWLEDGE that we are the most capable beings, that WE GOT THE POWER. We are the instruments of our own experience—when we marvel at the world, we marvel at ourselves. It is our own Selves that we do not understand; it is our conscious mind and CONSCIOUS COSMIC IDENTITY that needs work.

This is why I feel that, sometimes, I wish I were separate from the world. I feel that if I were fortunate enough ONCE to be placed in such a high place of power and responsibility, I certainly would not perpetuate a national/global debt that cannot be paid back—an eternal slavery that is separate from the power of the law. I would not fabricate a system that operates based on privilege and exploitation. I would not deny the world a sense of love, peace, justice and balance. And yet, that is the world we live in—one that is deprived of true peace, true abundance, true love. These things exist naturally; but a select few prohibit the rest from experiencing them. 

ANYWAY, because I spend so much time pondering these life-truths, theories, ideas, spiritualities, realities, sciences, conspiracies—I have these “Walter Mitty” kind of moments where I catch myself in a state of semi- or extra-consciousness—I’m just kind of disconnected. And when I “wake” back up and find myself doing something or going somewhere, I have to ask myself what I was doing. REALITY CHECK!

This sounds so crazy, I’m sure, but I don’t know how to explain it simply. I am (trying to be) so involved in the conscious creation of my own spirituality/mental-state/reality that I feel weird about my “public” or “HUMAN” self—you know, the “me” that everyone else experiences. I think about being social like I normally would, and all of a sudden it’s different. I’m still peppy, easy-going, friendly John, just like anyone would remember… But MENTALLY I’m so far from the same. It leaves me feeling like I have to explain something, like I’m some alien being that’s covering up that he’s a goddamn alien. And maybe it has something to do with being back in the same town, trying to fit into a context that doesn’t really match who I am any more. It’s like there’s this expectation that I’m going to be like the old me—the “happy” me, as I would say—and I can’t meet that expectation. WHICH IS ALSO OK… It’s not even an explicit expectation—it’s just that I feel like the ghost of the old John is still here; now that I’ve changed it’s like there are two personalities that inhabit this space and I am expressing the current one. The other is in my head, making me feel guilty because I’m not the hopeful, innocent John that the world was going to love back in 2009. I feel like, “Why am I not that person? Wouldn’t being that person be better?” Not really. That person didn’t know a whole lot. Now I still don’t know a whole lot, but I know a little more about myself

I guess that’s really it—this insane mental distance between the “real” me and the world that I experience. I don’t know why I feel that way. Maybe because if there’s more distance between myself and the (aspects of) society that I don’t want to be a part of, there’s less of a chance of me feeling like I had to experience something I didn’t want. It’s a shell, really, if I’m honest (which I am). I’m trying to let myself see the world as something to which I am intimately connected and dependent upon. The Earth and all of the lives contained within it are a part of my experience, and for that I am grateful. But I’ve made it my life’s purpose to bring out the better versions of our Selves, the enlightened selves that exist at the core of our consciousness. We’re all good people, but we have to remind ourselves of our own power—the power of the mind not only to communicate and understand, but also to deceive and allow ourselves to be and feel manipulated—hopeless. I have felt depressed, manipulated, victimized and hopeless. I am also realizing that I have great power to affect change and therefore great responsibility to affect change… but I can’t do it by myself, and I don’t want to. The evolution of consciousness is perpetual, so I trust that my satisfaction and fulfillment in it will come. BUT THE SOONER THE BETTER AM I RIGHT?! The reality that I choose to experience is my own, and sometimes it makes me feel lonely, separate in a way that I only understand in the fabric of my own mind. But I know that if I am honest with myself, let myself be, express myself and live in a peaceful and loving mindset, there is nothing that I will not be able to experience if I wish it so.

At least I think so. I hope so.

So it’s so.

TLDR-- "I didn't own slaves, but I'm a WEIRDO!" -Patrice O'neal on white people