Sunday, September 19, 2010


I've found a piece of the puzzle.

this is a short post. I'm going to sleep soon.

I am depressed. I found a book about depression and a natural program to deal with it, more effectively than with drugs. And it also has a lot of info about depression on it. Which is how I realized this is something that I've had to struggle with on and off, mostly on, for most of my life. The nice thing about that I it allows me to forgive myself for being who I am. I always berated myself for not being as dynamic and successful as other people. When you understand depression, you don't feel like, "those people are just being lazy." You understand it's a disease, with physical and psychological causes, that make doing a lot of things way more difficult. It's a way I've found some forgiveness for myself.

It's also a way I've found some hope. When you don't know what the problem is, it's very hard to find the cure. But I've found a big part of the problem, and also am discovering some parts of the cure. It's nice. And I'm not settling for feeling horrible most of the time. It's in my hands now. The truth will set you free.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

what moves me?

Friday, September 10, 2010

a shorter post.

maybe I can write a short post if I do it in poetry.

It's a dark night and a glaring fluorescent light
daemons clutch at my throat and heart
and dark whispers of my insufficiency make my body heavy as lead
it's hard to move

But I move.
It gets easier once I start.
Facing the feelings of sadness and fear in my heart
It's almost enough to exalt. It's more than enough
and I dance in the harsh darkness of my midnight
and I dance with my hatred, tearing at my weak body
I am morning the death of myself and everything I wanted to be.
I love screaming in pain because I've got so much pain to scream
Like a baby, but the crying is the milk. My tears fill my soul as I dance to the rhythm of a bleeding heart
Call me emo and go fuck yourself, I rest from my daemon dance in euphoria. There's no daemon here but me and he stops being a daemon as soon as the duck tape is ripped off his mouth and he is allowed to sing his truth.

I'm panting. It's done, the dark tattered robes dissolve and with a white sound of wings he's gone. The next one in line steps up.

Never look at how long the line is. Never look down when climbing a cliff. Never think of the future when your being tortured. Never look at another woman when your dancing with one.

This moment, I am ok. I can do this. I always have, I always will. But only this moment.

I am proud of myself. Face the next challenge. Learn the next lesson, take the next step. No hero, no matter how big or small, can ask for more.

It's been a long time for me, but for this moment, I remember what it feels like to love the universe, exactly as it is.

thank you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I can't seem to write short posts these days. I keep trying.

You know what's interesting? How much it hurts when I confuse my feelings with my thoughts/stories.

This is a very interesting dynamic I've noticed. Here's how to see it for yourself:
When you are going through a rough time emotionally, pay attention to what your body feels like. Is there a tightness in your chest, a pressure in your forehead, a constriction in your thought? What does that actually feel like? Without all the thoughts about what's wrong and how your dieing and life is horrible. Just the literal sensation.

When I do that, I realize first hand: this is really not so bad. This is not very painful, physically. It's usually no worse than slightly uncomfortable. When it's by itself.

There is something that happens, when thoughts link up with physical sensations. It kind of looks like two crystals linked together by some sticky goo, maybe a green color, spinning around in space.
erm, I'm not sure that's really relevant. Anyhoo, when there is a thought that says something, like the thought, "something is wrong with me." and it is attached to a feeling, maybe a tightness in the chest, then it suddenly becomes this thing that we are really scared to face, that we are willing to do almost anything to try and escape from, and that we seem powerless to be able to control or understand.

I think this is because when this happens, we are dealing with something that doesn't actually exist. There isn't actually a connection between the mental auditory phenomena we call "thought" and the tactile internal phenomena we call "feelings." But we use one as proof of the other. For some reason, we assume that because our chest feels tight and our temples are throbbing, that means the thought that is going through our head about being a failure is true.

Once that imaginary connection between the two is snipped via direct perception (aka, looking at it, perhaps via the questions: what am I feeling in the body right now, and then, what am I thinking.) For some reason, for me, they loose there power. The situation is seen for what it is: some sensations, and some talking going on in my head. Vs. actually believing the story that the voice is telling me.

As far as I can tell, all suffering comes from these weird entity's I'm calling beliefs. We take these individual experiences, these crystals, and we try to link them together in weird ways, make up stories about them. Sometimes the stories are fine, or even nice. But often they are nightmares, or turn into nightmares, and then is when it's nice to know the dis-assembly instructions.

I've tried to just stop believing beliefs, but that doesn't seem to work at all. You cant' stop believing, as the song goes. But you can look for truth. If you look close enough at beliefs, with the intention of finding the truth of them, they dissolve. That is my experience. So far, the process of learning how this works has been both simple and complex. The actual process, when it works, is simple. You see how what you were believing isn't necessarily true, and you can no longer believe it is true. In practice, it's taken a long time, and I'm still learning, because a lot of the minds job seems to be erecting and maintaining defenses around your beliefs, and these are as complex and confusing as the mind can get. And for someone with a mind like mine, that gets pretty fucking labyrinthine.

What amazes me is that the mind can create the elaborate and ingenious defenses that it does, without even being conscious it's doing it. If I were to do what I love for a live, I suppose I would be a dream mechanic. I would use my belief engineering skills (almost entirely demolition based ;) to help people who's dreams had become nightmares. I would help them dismantle the beliefs that cause them pain, that make there life hell.

Fuck, that's an awesome job. I should create that. Heh. Just as soon as I'm done with the prototype (me).

Anyways, lesson out of my engineering scrapbook:
Figure 72.
a) Belief, Front View: "I'm not good enough"
i) I'm doing something wrong
ii) I'm a failure
iii) I need to do something different than I'm doing
notes: this is one of my core belies. It hurts like a mother fucker out of hell and makes everything not fun. Saps my desire to do anything (why bother, if I just keep telling myself I'm doing it wrong) It's one of the most resistant to dismantling I've ever come across. This is because of the much lesser known:

b) Supporting belief, side view: "This belief is true and if I stop believing it I will become an even bigger failure"

notes: The reason a) remains in place inspite of all my attempts to reverse engineer it is simple.

I don't want to stop believing it.

This is an important, very important lesson for anyone engaging in dream mechanics. You need to be coming from a desire for Truth. If you are instead coming from a desire to have a tighter butt, or more money, or a girlfriend, etc., then the belief will remain in place. It will remain in place because you have decided to hold onto the desire for a "thing" rather than trust that the truth will give you what you really want. Maybe I think I want a girlfriend. So I do the work (belief engineering) to try and get one. If I was able to approach that issue from the motive of truth instead, then I may or may not get a girlfriend, but I would have access to the love, acceptance, worthiness, and joy, that I was trying to get, by obtaining a girlfriend. From there, everything else is icing on the cake.

It's like the monkey traps they have in India: there's some fruit placed into a jar with a small mouth. The monkey's hand can fit in, to grab the fruit, but once wrapped around the fruit, the monkeys fist is too big to come out again. And the monkey refuses to let go of the fruit, thus remaining trapped.

So too, by holding onto our desires, we are trapped in suffering. Byron Katie, a belief engineer par excellence, suggests that, if there is some belief that you can't come at with the motive of truth, then work on another belief instead. Something smaller, because it's hopeless to confront the one you're not willing to look at for the sake of truth. There are always plenty of others.
[end of scrapbook section]

I should mention that you're not going to understand this from reading it alone. You have to get your hands dirty, to get the experience that will make this make sense.

Anyways, that is where I am right now: poised on the brink of the belief, "I'm not good enough. I'm not a success. I need to do more than I am doing." asking myself the question: "are you willing to be no more than exactly what you are right now?"
Of course, if I was happy and skipping, I'd say, "hell no. I want to be super awesome, if I can." But right now, the pain of that thought has become so great that just being who I am, without that thought, is starting to look like a better option.

The bottom line is I'm going to be that anyways. I can be miserable about it and fighting it every moment. Or I can be happy about it.

"I'm not enough."
is it true?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Coming back to Myself

first, a Porno Title: "Pounding Square Pegs into Round Holes"
I figure it would be an interracial piece.

Anyways, a realization I had about two weeks ago: When I was feeling lonely, it was because I had left myself. My locus of awareness was no longer in my body, but in someone else, or in a beautiful mountain sticking out above the clouds from an airplane window. And I could return myself to me, and I would stop feeling lonely. It was kind of like keeping a friend company, except that friend was me.

I noticed this from an exercises I was doing about relationships. I was just noticing how I tried to manipulate people. Nothing horrible, just the normal stuff most of us do; acting a certain way so that people will like us. Trying to get love and appreciation. Anyways, what I noticed, when I was in the middle of a conversation with someone who I cared about the opinion of, and who didn't already like me, and I tried to bring my awareness to the ways I was violating my own integrity in an effort to get them to like me, was a shift.

The best way I can describe it is it felt/looked energetically like I was drawing an amorphous, hazy mass of soft light out of there body, back into mine, and then a single shining star of light, from them back to the center of my heart. And then I was aware of how I was trying to control what they though of me, and then I mostly relaxed from doing that, and felt much better, more in integrity. And I could observe and laugh at all the silliness that went on within me in the hopeless pursuit of winning other people's approval.

What I didn't expect at all, was it's effect on my loneliness. And how it worked with inanimate objects or people who weren't even there. What I realized, and quickly had words for, because I'd read of this before, was what it meant to leave myself. To be lonely because I was with someone else, and nobody was with me.

In effect I realized that the personality of Isaac is a separate entity from me, and it can keep me company just like any other person can. Maybe not as well as some of my closer friends, who I like better than Isaac, but still, it has the effect of being with someone. Which is to get rid of the feeling of being alone.

I want someone to care for me, and I've found someone, one person, who will always be with me. I know it sounds cliche, but that person is me. Kind of. It's mine, anyways. Like my body, it will follow me around my whole life, except even further than my body, my mind will follow me even into dreams.

This is not an automatic thing. This requires, at least for now, my conscious attention and intention to return to myself. And remembering that I can do that, and that I've left myself, whenever I'm feeling lonely.

The really interesting part is getting to meet this person who I've spent my whole live with. I don't really know him very well. He's got a strength I never new of, since I never let him take care of me before. I tried to go it alone. without even myself coming for the ride.

It's still a bit confusing. I'm not sure exactly what it is that happens, when I do the thing where I return to myself. It's awareness focused back onto me, but it's also me giving the care and support I normally give to friends, to myself. To do that, I kind of need to create an image or a voice that's semi-separate, so I can be told what I need to hear.

In other news:

I remember a time, not too long ago, when dan was still alive, when I was happy. Really ecstatic about life. I can't remember it clearly, I can't picture what it felt like, why I felt that way. I'm wondering if maybe I'm depressed since his suicide. It's hard to compare, because of the lack of clear, emotionally vivid memory of that time. But my reason tells me it was so. Which makes me think it likely that my current state is not normal base-line. Which is good to know. It means I'm not stuck this way forever, and it means I need to keep moving, because there's a better way to live.

I'm trying to find it. The better way of being. A life that's deeply satisfying and full of joy. I feel like life should be that way. It's a dream worth realizing. And if I can get there, then I have some wisdom of utmost value. Not to mention a life of great value.

Part of that is for sure realizing the good that is already within me and around me. I have a belief that some things are better than other things. I don't know why I have this belief, because... No I guess I can think of reasons. They are my false idols, my fake religions. I was thinking about this as I walked through the old growth forest this last weekend. How much more important and impressive these giant thousand year old trees were, compared to a single little ground cover plant. It seems obvious that a millennium old cedar is more important than a little weed, but I couldn't actually find a reason. Each reason just lead to another question.

Like this: Well, the cedar is bigger. It provides more raw material, for other plants, more niches for eco-systems. The forest will miss a tree more than it will miss a weed. If one weed is missing, another will take it's place almost immediately. It will take a thousand years for nature to replace that tree. That's more important. So other people or things rely on it more. does that really make it more important?

As I apply that to my life, I think: well, here are all these people I look up to. They are obviously more important than me, because they are stronger smarter kinder more active. They help more people, they do more good. If one of them goes missing, it's a big loss. If someone who does nothing, or mainly bad, goes missing, there's nobody there who will miss them. some might even be happy they're gone, if they've been doing bad. I do good. There would be people who miss me. But I don't do much good, as far as I can tell. I'm pretty neutral. People would be sad that I'm gone if I went, but if I had never been born, the world wouldn't be that much poorer.

I'm not a failure, but I'm not much of a success. I'm a pretty small plant.

I asked myself how I measured success. Here's what I came up with:
Ability to help people.
Ability to get what you want.
How much power and grace are given you by God.

That's my list. That's my set of beliefs whereby I measure myself against others. I'm not doing horrible, but I'm not doing very well. Especially considering the potential of a human being demonstrated by some of the shining examples.

This has always been my thought: that I'm supposed to be something good, or great, and that if I don't look like my images of success, then I'm doing something wrong. It hurts.

I've got a new thought. Maybe I'm not supposed to be anything. Maybe that's just a belief without inherent truth to it. It feels more free to not believe that I'm supposed to be something I've imagined or seen.

But it's a big thought, with deep roots, and it may take a while to get it out of my subconscious. And I'm not sure my definitions of success are wrong. I still seem to believe them too.

And I watch myself, ignoring the voice inside of me that is telling me the right thing to do. My voice of integrity. I am sitting in my head, aware that I am being given clear directions, what I should do, and am willfully ignoring them, doing something else, for some reason trying to ignore them as hard as I can. I think maybe I'm afraid. Afraid of the pain of all that bottled up emotion and raw fear I'll have to feel if I don't keep distracting myself. I'm scared of sitting with those thoughts. Thoughts of being worthless, of not doing enough, not doing the right thing, not being good. Scared of what I really am.

I'm trying to get in touch with my desire, my passion. So I can have force behind my action. So I can get in touch with my motivation. But I think I'm scared of what I really am. I'm afraid it's wrong, and not good enough, and I'm afraid to meet it. To see it. And I'm ashamed because I keep losing to that fear. That's some of the worst of it. Feeling integrity and seeing myself helpless to act in it. Or worse, choosing to not act in it. I don't know which it is. Both are painful thoughts.

I want God to let me know that I'm doing good, all things considering. That hey, maybe I don't look like superman, but considering all the hurdles I have to overcome, I am superman for my life. That I'm doing a very good job, with what I've been given. And what I'm afraid of, is having that conversation with God, and having him say that I've been really lazy, that, given most other souls in this predicament, I should be way ahead of where I am, and that I have been acting in a way, making choices, that don't deserve the resources I've been given. That I've been doing a bad job at life.

I'm afraid that's true. I'm not sure I'll ever have a satisfactory answer.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A long time ago, in a michael far, far away

I was going to do a charecter sketch of Michael Cook, a friend of mine, many months ago. I asked permission and everything. Well, now I'm doing it.

Michael Cook is one of the people I turn to when I want to feel bad about myself.

I turn to him, internally, and think about him, who he is, what he has accomplished and is accomplishing, and then feel very, very bad about how little I've done and am in comparison.

Phyisicaly and in demeanor, he is unassuming. Brown curly hair, usually short, thin, average hight, soft spoken and humble.

He's also one of the funniest people I've ever met. Genuinely funny, not forced. Maybe it just matches my sense of humor, but something about his demeanor, mixed with his creative mind makes me laugh as much as anyone I've ever met.

I only know this from hearsay, not being a part of the program called Destination Imagination, which is a kind of competitive problem solving contest, mostly for highschoolers I think, but apparently Michael was awe inspiring to watch at work. Of course this is from his girlfriend, now wife, who also did DI, so it's a little biased but it's easy to believe, interacting with him. She knows how to speak and write elven, is extremely smart and sweet and as cool as you would expect someone who knows elven to be.

The impression I have of Michael is someone who is always doing something new, creative, exciting and well done. He's got so much danm enthusiasim in all that he's doing. He's so excited about it, so passionate. He's working for a city repair group, bringing community back to the fractured and isolated suburbia and city-scapes. He's single handedly invigorating the program, creating his own projects and pushing the already existent projects further than they were.

Last I heard, he's doing this all for no pay, using his ingenuity and the goodwill he genrates in people to live. That's tough. Hell, all of what he's doing sounds tough. Tough and amazing. I already told you, he's who I turn to when I want to beat myself up. Because he's doing so much good. As far as I'm concerned he's living the dream. Not nessisarily an easy dream, but an adventursome dream, a meaningful dream, a life that he can be happy to have lived.

Passion. Mike has passion. He has this bright shining enthusiasm for life that makes you feel confident whatever he decides to do, he's going to do very well. And he is dynamic. He doesn't sit around and talk and think about what to do without moving forward. Mike is always dynamic, doing something. Working on his delightful, whismical illistrations, designing and creating videogames, improving, gardening, learning, community making, street running...

I wanted to do this charecter sketch, incompleate and vauge as it is, to illustrate part of a point I want to make.

The point runns something like this: "I really wish I was more like _____" where the blank is the charecter traits I'm trying to describe in this wonderful Michael person. He is a real person, I assure you. So being like that is possible. I'm not sure his reaction to to this, probubly embaressment. He is a human to, of course, he's not a plastic perfection. But that enthusiasm and dynamic action, that willingness pursue his passion, that bravery to pursue his dream...
Those are great qualities, qualites I wish dearly that I had, and that I constenly try to figure out how to get.

That's what I'm trying to figure out right now. Well, a part of that, anyways. I'm serching for my passion. I'm searching for passion in general.

This is one of those phrases, like "self love" that, when I sit down to think about, I realize I actualy have no idea what that phrase is reffering to. Sure I could give you a dictionary definition, like anyone else, or even a pretty philisophical explenation, which would satisfy those looking for something more complex. But I fundementaly do not have a connection between an experience that lives within me and the phrase, "live with passion." And so it is meaningless. Just as the phrase, "self love" is just meaningless sound until I find the living exprience that correlates with what I am looking for in that phrase.

To get to either of these, we need to go behond the catch-phrase and get to the operational meaning. What does the phrase, "self love" mean, in the senes you are using it? Insead of "self love" we can just say "X", which is as good a name, for now. So, what I am looking for, in that case, is a way of being where I feel the appreciation, intimacy, and confidence that I get when I feel really loved by someone. "X" is when I have that feeling in some fundemental way, all the time, without reliance on changing circumstances/apperences.

"live with passion" refferes to a way of being that is highly internaly motivated to action in a positive way. That is, motivated by strong positive emotioins. Really enjoying doing something, or doing it for a reason that feels very meaninful or worthwile. Or both. Also, it should be the most effective form of motivation, creating results that are far more powerful, than any other form of motivation, because this method of motivation generates more engergy, rather than takig away energy or keeping it the same, and generates the greatest focus, becuse what is being focused on is inherently very enjoyable, or very meaninful and applicable to some goal that is very importaint to you.

I have on occasioin lived this way. The main block I see to living this way is my extream discomfort at not achieving my goals. When I am passionate about something, and it doesnt' happen, I am crushed.