THINK IMAGINATION

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Image Copyright Jim Warren

There are certain schools of esoteric thought that suggest that as man became more capable of independent thought, the trade-off was that our lifespan decreased, as this thinking process took vital energy.  This suggests that thinking was perhaps something intended to be used with focused intent and precision rather than something to be done haphazardly and non-stop.  Various spiritual traditions focus on training and quieting the mind in meditation, etc., with the goal of living our day-to-day in this state of quiet or even silent mind.

So, what is the point of it, this thinking business- particularly if we are of the perspective that things like belief systems and worldviews, which are byproducts of thinking, are ultimately unproductive?  I was asking that as I was walking outdoors the other night.  The answer that almost immediately came to me was one word- imagination.  Imagination is the ability to create with the mind.  Nothing human beings bring into the world (outside perhaps of procreation and other bodily things) can be made manifest without it first existing in the mind through active imagination.  The more vivid and focused the imagination, the greater potential for creation.  This is what I and many others understand being made in the image of the Creator means.

However, imagination is a tool, and can be used in constructive or destructive manners.  It can be used to create beauty and life, or ugliness and death.  As an artist, I cannot help but think of visual art, and the various trends that have happened throughout its history, and the state of “high art” now, which has become increasingly focused on the grotesque. Our world of modernity with all of its creations of degeneracy and death is the canvas many are now observing with a critical eye.

We are constantly receiving input into our senses and into our minds.  These things all have the potential to be used as elements in our creations.  This is perhaps where things like discernment and logic come in, where we validate whether what we are taking in is something that we need to or should use as elements in our creation.  All of this takes vigilance and mindfulness.

Often, many of us simply find ourselves reacting in the moment to what we take in through the senses.  Quick reaction is appropriate when we need to respond to actual physical danger, but most of the time, this is not happening.  We are reacting to what someone else has created rather than creating for ourselves.  It is through discipline and focus, which is most effectively attained by being “plugged in” to Source, is how I believe we can learn to align our imagination and will to create that which is aligned with Light, Life, and Love.  This is how we can create the New Heaven and the New Earth.

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THE CURE FOR AN ISOLATED WORLD

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’”
– Gospel of Matthew 22:39

Things-About-Homeless-PeoplePhoto Courtesy of Lifehack.org

One of the more depressing side effects of living in an urban environment is a sort of desensitization to your environment and the people in it.  In reaction to this overwhelming stimulus, we often identify and relate to other human beings with the same sort of indifference as we do the buildings that surround them, or in the case of certain sects of the population, a sort of annoyed discomfort.  How many of us have walked or driven past a homeless man or woman begging for money and averted our eyes in attempts to not get their attention.  How many times have we walked past homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk and secretly wished they weren’t there.

Amidst all of the talk about “privilege” and “equality” in the socio-political sphere, discussion of the homeless epidemic in America that crosses all ages, races and ethnicities (including white people), seems to be almost non-existent.  If anything, it is reduced to a fundamentally utilitarian issue, as it has been here in the city of Portland.  Here, we see the city looking to put “these people” somewhere out of the way.  That’s really what it boils down to.  The government isn’t looking to address any of the fundamental issues of homelessness because at the end of the day, it can’t.  The homelessness epidemic won’t be solved by putting people away somewhere, just like drug and alcohol addiction won’t be solved by locking people up in prison- and the two are most certainly linked.  This is not to say that ALL homeless people are alcoholics or drug addicts, but absolute despair will seek relief, and for many, there is no other anecdote in sight.

Of course, beggars have always been a part of human urban society for most of recorded history, but things have changed dramatically in the last century, especially in the western urbanized/industrialized nations.  This coincided with the industrial revolution and the development of the urban megacities that we see today.  In the 19th century, farmers living in rural areas were moved en masse into the industrial centers to work in factories.  With that alcohol use among these populations skyrocketed.  Similar occurrences happened after the urban factories began to shut down in the latter part of the 20th century.  I have seen firsthand the effects of a former “mill town” turning into a meth/heroin town.

It was long thought that the addiction epidemics among the increasingly urbanized populations were due to the drugs themselves.  A study where one rat in a cage was given a bottle of regular water and a bottle of water laced with cocaine was used to support this thesis. In the study, the rat in the cage chose the cocaine water to excess until it overdosed itself.  The study was “conclusive” drugs are the cause of addiction and the resulting destruction of life that happens as a result.  However, in the 1970s, Professor Bruce Alexander looked into this study and redid it with a different approach.  He noticed that the rat in the cage was just a solitary rat surrounded by cold steel bars.  So he decided to build a “rat city” for his experiment, with bright colors, obstacles and tunnels for activity, plenty of cheese, and a group of rats that could commune and procreate with one another as opposed to just one rat living in isolation.  The result? The cocaine water was barely touched by any of the rats.

The effect of life in the “concrete jungle” created a sense of isolation and despair among those who were forced to move there for various reasons. Cut off from the natural world and organic community, other things filled the void.  Then when the factories that built these cities in the first place were shipped elsewhere, any sense of fulfillment and purpose that had developed as the people adapted to this sort of living, was gone, and in its place was more despair and seemingly even less hope.

Baltimore is an example of this– a city that seems to have been lost to hopeless despair and the crime-ridden chaos that comes to fill the vacuum.  A little less than a year ago, that city was in flames.  We all remember the riots and fires that occurred last year.  Likewise, many are aware of the assaults, murders, rapes and various other types of crime that continues to occur in that city.  The popular diagnosis is that this “acting out” was/is because of the actions of white police.  But the truth is that what has happened and what has continued to happen in Baltimore isn’t about the police.  It isn’t about drugs.  It isn’t even about the drug war (although it plays a supporting role).  It isn’t even about an unruly subset of the population or the mass-media promotion of “crime culture“(although it also plays a supporting role).  It is about people living in a completely unnatural environment where they are cut off from nature and true community.  It is about the urban landscape creating a place where one feels alone amongst a population of thousands; a place where you feel like little more than a living ghost, who desperately reaches for that immediate gratification, (be it drugs, booze, sex or violence) because it is the only thing that makes you feel alive.

But amidst the bitter resentment and hopeless despair that comes from living in such a cold, and inhospitable environment, we see an image like this:

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A Baltimore police officer named Eric Gaines took this photo, and then shared it on social media.  What is happening here?  Officer Gaines explains what he saw:

I watched as this young kid was walking pass, stopped and walked over to this sleeping homeless man; touched him and began praying over him…”

Gaines believed the young man, probably around 15 or 16 to have been internally prompted to do what he did as he “almost missed his bus while he was praying for the guy, which confirmed that he did it for no other reason than to pray for him.”

The photo has gone viral, which has delighted Gaines who states with great enthusiasm:

This was an amazing sight! I pray this kid becomes a leader amongst his peers, and continues on this path!! Not all Baltimore youth are lost!!”

Officer Gaines went on to say that “people have preconceived notion of young men… Not all are lost. Some are doing wonderful things in the neighborhood and community and it’s not getting the same publicity in the media.”  (And the same could be said of police officers as well)

This is a beautiful moment frozen in time.  What we have here is the equivalent of the beautiful flower that grows in the middle of a landfill.  It shows us how despite being seemingly imprisoned in a desolate world of hopeless isolation and despair, Light, Life and Love still finds a way.  A moment of tenderness in a harsh concrete prison cell of modern “Saṃsāra, where one young man extended himself in an act of service to another human being.

The most immediate cure for the diseases of isolation and loneliness is not imprisonment or even “sobriety”; it is fellowship and community; it is connection.  Sometimes all it takes a stranger who seems to come out of nowhere to show just one small act of compassion to turn someone’s life around.  All the government legislation, mandates and programs in the world will never be able to fill the role of a single caring individual who acts out of the motivation of his or her own heart and nothing more (or less), regardless of how “small” this action may seem on the surface.

Jesus said “Man cannot live on bread alone”, and I dare say this is, at least in part, what he was referring to.  This idea that even more than physical sustenance, we need the touch and compassion of another human being in order to survive.  The truth of this is so palpable for me and has proven so true for me in my own life I cannot even begin to fully articulate. I know the immense pain of isolation and living in separation from others and the desire to numb yourself from that.  Conversely, I know the joy and fulfillment of connection and fellowship, and how that can change your life.

Perhaps one day, we will opt for a new way of living and being in the world; a way that allows us to not only survive, but thrive.  Perhaps we will one day build a civilization that is aligned with the Laws of Nature and Creation- a civilization that truly nurtures us and the world around us; a civilization at harmony with the essence of our being.  Perhaps one day we will build this civilization, but when we do, it won’t come as a result of government or other cold and impersonal mechanisms; it will come from the warmth of our hearts and through the use of our own free will to take meaningful actions in our own lives towards others.  It all begins by reaching out to a fellow in need and doing something, even if it’s no more than lending a listening ear or a compassionate prayer.

In closing, for those who feel moved to get involved and make a difference here in the Portland area, two great places to give or better yet, volunteer are The Portland Rescue Mission and Operation Nightwatch, whom I have worked with in the past.  If you aren’t local to Portland, I strongly urge you to get involved in your own community.  It is in your own local area where you can actually touch someone in the sort of way that allows for the true connectedness that we are so desperately lacking in our modern world of isolation.

Jesus said to “love thy neighbor“.  A neighbor is someone who lives in close physical proximity to someone else, not an unknown person in a far off land.  There is so much focus on helping people in the most remote parts of the world, when what is really needed is for us extend ourselves locally and help our fellow brothers and sisters who live right here alongside of us; who share living space with us; because it is in the close and intimate where we truly have the greatest ability to be of service to others.

Namaste and God Bless.

SMASHING BARRELS

“The masses of people are carried along, obedient to environment; the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves; heredity; suggestion; and other outward causes moving them about like pawns on the Chessboard of Life. But the Masters, rising to the plane above, dominate their moods, characters, qualities, and powers, as well as the environment surrounding them, and become Movers instead of pawns. They help to PLAY THE GAME OF LIFE, instead of being played and moved about by other wills and environment.

– The Three Hermetic Initiates speaking in “The Kybalion”
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All images of Donkey Kong, Mario, Pauline and "Donkey Kong" game copyright Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Over the past year or so I have spent a good deal of time writing about modern history, politics and current events with the expressed purpose of shining a light on how the narratives around these things are turned into belief systems that ultimately impede the spiritual growth and development of the general public. When we are working to dismantle a belief system, it is crucial that we have a full and clear understanding of what that belief system is, how it operates and how it works on our psyche. When working with personal belief systems and the behaviors that stem from them, it is imperative to know where the belief came from, who aided us in creating it (parents, relatives, teachers, peers, ex-girlfriends, etc.). Once we come to a full recognition and understanding of the belief system and its root causal factors, we can set about dismantling them and stepping into a truer version of reality and of ourselves.

The same holds true for working with institutionalized belief systems, as the processes on the individual level are reflected on the collective level- “As above, so below. As within, so without” This is why I have spent the time I have pointing out many of the various factions and components of the global power structure; naming names and at times pointing fingers. Just as it is important for the individual victim of molestation to accept that it was their father that abused them, it is important for the collective victims of abuse to accept that it is a combine spearheaded by Judeo-Zionist, Anglo-American and European elitists, their cronies and their institutions that have raped and pillaged their minds (and wallets) and poisoned their bodies. These are men and women that sit in the highest places in government, finance, business, religion, media, academia, medicine, etc. In either case, these are people we have entrusted with our safety and protection, and to admit we have been manipulated and betrayed can be hard on one’s psyche, but without accepting truth, wounds cannot rightly heal and we cannot move into our true fullness as individuals or as a group. We cannot live in truth while living in denial.

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http://www.wakingtimes.com/2015/06/17/synchronicity-myth-and-the-new-world-order/

Now with all that being said, once we have fully accepted the truth of the what, who, why and how of these belief systems we need to begin the process of moving on past them. To again use the case of the victim of childhood abuse, once they realize and accept their father has abused them, and allow themselves to fully process the emotions that stem from that realization, they need to then move forward in creatively and productively releasing that trauma and utilizing the raw energy as something productive. However, if the person sits in the realization stage for too long, they will simply turn their emotions into resentment and blame the father for every problem that occurs in the individual’s life when it is the adult individual who is first and foremost responsible for their lives.

Once again, all of these individual psychological truths can and should be transferred over onto the level of the collective. If once we find out, for example, that the “Holocaust” was not what we have been told it was and that the narrative built around it has been used to extort vast sums of money, establish socio-political favoritism and destroy free speech while imposing an oftentimes overwhelming sense of pity, guilt and self-loathing on members of European and Western society, we may feel angry and bitter about being lied to, manipulated and psychologically traumatized to one extent or another. I will admit that I felt a little bit of this myself. However, this becomes unproductive when we do not move past these feelings and emotions. This can put us in the mindset that I see many in the European Identity movement falling into where they simply sit around blame the Jews for every problem that exists in their lives, while doing little more than trolling the internet.  They throw their hands up in the air and say: “I can’t get ahead in the world because it’s run by Jews and the Jews rigged everything.”

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Substitute the Jews for any other group or cabal- the Freemasons/Illuminati, the Vatican, the White Patriarchy, the Archons, Satan and his demons- it does not matter, because at the end of the day, blaming anyone else for why we can’t get ahead in life is a cop out and it just creates weakness and self-pity. Yes, the economic system is rigged. Yes, the political system is a sham. Yes the government is robbing us and lying about it. Yes, the medical system is killing us. Yes the air, food and water is being poised. Yes, academia and the media are filling our minds full of bullshit. So, what are we doing about that? We’re bitching and complaining about how no one can ever get a leg up no matter what because “the Man” will forever hold us down. We make these unbeatable, monolithic monsters out of these things and by doing so, we give them power we should be using for ourselves.

I was recently listening to “The Pressure Project”- a weekly podcast that speaks particularly to “men’s issues” such as masculinity and male strength, but also expands into other more universal topics such as family, tribe, race, politics and philosophy- when the host, Justin “Master Chim” Garcia (a New York based MMA instructor) shared a wonderful metaphor that I immediately felt compelled to share and expound upon. I feel this metaphor provides a great perspective for what I have been fleshing out here so far.

Back in the early 1980s when I was maybe 3 or 4 years old, I used to love to go to the arcade room in the local drug store and play “Donkey Kong” (even though I was terrible at it). Now this isn’t the Donkey Kong most Millennials will be familiar with, but rather the game that started the whole Mario/Donkey Kong franchise. For those who are not familiar with or have never played the original “Donkey Kong”, the goal of each level is to move Mario up each platform of the construction site until he reaches the top where Donkey Kong is holding Mario’s girlfriend, Pauline, hostage. However, Donkey Kong isn’t just going to let Mario walk up and take her (that wouldn’t be much of a game). Donkey Kong is going to continuously hurl what seems to be an endless supply of wooden barrels at Mario in order to “keep him down”. When confronted by these barrels, Mario has two options: he can either try to jump over them or he can use the hammer that is periodically available, and smash them. This is the hammer he uses to topple Donkey Kong’s platform in the last level. It is interesting to note that Mario doesn’t kill or destroy Donkey Kong, but rather just dumps him on his head, while he rescues the girl.

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So back to Master Chim’s metaphor- we have Donkey Kong, which can be seen as any of the aforementioned groups or cabals, hurling a seemingly unending supply of barrels at us constantly. The barrels are all of the obstacles and roadblocks that exist in our lives. These can be any or all of the institutional and personal belief system constructs that I have mentioned here or in any of my previous writings. These barrels could be anything from the machinations of government, the economic system, and modern “culture” right on down to our own personal belief systems. The barrels are anything that creates an obstacle to us realizing and exercising true freedom and coming to a place of Self Mastery.

So, like the game, we can either jump over these “barrels” or we can find the hammer and smash them. So how does one do this? Let’s use the modern mainline healthcare system as an example. With a few notable exceptions like emergency trauma surgery and things of that nature, the modern healthcare system is essentially designed to make us sick, keep us sick and financially bleed us dry until we die in one of their hospitals. The cradle-to-grave healthcare system and the belief in it can be seen as a series of “barrels”. So we can jump over these barrels by doing things like avoiding the vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs that the healthcare system tries to fool us into thinking we “need” in order to survive. Then we can smash the barrels by doing our research, finding natural remedies for ailments, finding good “alternative” health practitioners and telling others about the steps we took to achieve success so we can empower them as well. This weakens the belief system that keeps this healthcare paradigm alive.

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This also works for the whole education/occupation paradigm, i.e. “the rat race”. Most people are told and believe that in order to be successful and “well-integrated” you need to go to a government-subsidized school and go to a government-subsidized college so you can get a job or “career” working for someone else that has good benefits, so you can get a good retirement package so you can be comfortable when you die. There are a great many people who have proven this paradigm is completely false. These are people who may have been home schooled or not gone to college and then went on to become wildly successful entrepreneurs who blazed their own path and learned how money and business works from a real-world model not based in academic “theory”. They jumped the barrels by way of correct knowledge, courage and believing in their own potential. They smashed the barrel through their success and imparting the keys to that success to others.

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In the game, every time Mario smashes a barrel, he receives an increased number of points. Every time we smash a barrel with our hammer- our hammer being the personal power we receive through taking right action that is aligned with our thoughts and feelings- we receive personal “points”. These “points” equate to strength, be it mental, physical, emotional, psychic or spiritual (although it is technically ALL spiritual). We can then use this strength to acquire more “hammers” and other tools and forms of assistance throughout our life “game”.

In the game it is really the barrels, not the ape hurling the barrels that need to be the immediate concern of the player as he or she moves up the ladders and levels. If you are playing “Donkey Kong”, and you are just focusing on Donkey Kong himself and not on the barrels, you will not be very successful. Likewise, if we are primarily focused on whatever cabal or group we understand to be setting up the obstacles to hold humanity back, rather than actually dealing with the obstacles themselves so we can continue to move forward toward our end goal, we will not be very successful. Likewise, we will miss out on opportunities to build internal strength by way of pushing through the resistance provided by “outside” forces.

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Now, the primary objective at the end of the game is to rescue the girl, not to kill Donkey Kong. I might suggest in this context that the “Girl” represents Self Mastery and true freedom in an overarching perspective, but at this point, let the Girl represent for you whatever “Holy Grail” you understand to be necessary in your own life- your great Light at the end of the long tunnel. Our primary objective should be rescuing the Grail, not destroying whatever monster we see that is keeping it from us. But before we get to the point we can rescue the Girl/Grail, there are many, many, many barrels to jump over and smash, and many, many, many levels to ascend and move upward from. I want to say there’s like 30 levels in “Donkey Kong” as you move further and further up the construction site. Maybe it’s more like a hundred, I can’t remember, but hopefully you get the point I’m making.

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Perspective makes reality. We can see this world as a prison where we have to scrape and do whatever we can to either survive unnoticed by the prison guards or perhaps get ahead by getting in good with them. We can see it as some cosmic tragedy that has a morose sense of humor and continually beats up on the little guy. We can see it as a series of random events that mean nothing. Or we could see it as a game- a challenging game; a virtual reality simulation that we have collectively designed for ourselves to serve our own spiritual growth and development. A game we designed in a time and place outside of time and space. Perhaps all of the obstacles and “villains” of our lives have been strategically placed here for us, by us to aid us in individual and collective growth. Perhaps this “video game programmer” resides in a point of consciousness that exists far beyond the illusion that is death and suffering. Perhaps this is the true nature of the “matrix”. Now we won’t win every level or every round of the game right away, we need to develop our skills, which takes practice and it takes time. But when you’re dealing with the immortal Self, you are dealing with the “timeless“.

Namaste and God Bless.

SELF Reflections II

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See and encourage the true potential of others.  Be consistent.  Create beauty and share it with the world.  Speak words of empowerment and upliftment.  Be ever mindful of your thoughts, words and actions; no matter how seemingly trivial, they affect more than you could possibly imagine.  Work to maintain a place of balance in yourself: so you think, so you feel, so you do.  Laugh often and see the humor in life; especially when it’s hard.  Express your love to others; especially those who may not know how you feel.  Build new relationships, while being sure to nurture the ones you already have.  Let go of the “wrongs” of the past; whether they were done by yourself or others.  Love EVERY PART of yourself; especially those parts you might see as ugly or scary.  Be kind to your body; show it love and care for it as you would a beloved pet.

SELF Reflections I

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Do the right thing; especially when the “wrong” thing happens.  Love, respect and honor ALL life.  Be courageous when you feel cowardly.  Speak the truth; especially when everyone else is satisfied with a lie.  Seek truth from ALL places, in ALL places.  Strive always for internal mastery and external freedom.  Do whatever you can to nurture and protect the free will of others.  Be grateful for ALL people and ALL things that come into your life; even if they don’t seem all that great at the time.  Help others; especially if it isn’t convenient.  Be spontaneous.  Partake in random acts of kindness; especially towards total strangers.  See the wonder in the world as a small child would.