Sunday, November 28, 2010

journaling belifes

There are only a few ways I can produce voluminous content, but there are a few ways. Journaling is one. It is easy for me to free-write, as it is generally easy for me to create art: I'm good at separating my judgment from the art and just enjoying the process, entertaining myself with the art and not requiring it do more that entertain me. If it entertains others, that is also delightful, and more often than not it does, because the fun I have making it shows through. No tortured artist here.

I have been journaling beliefs hard core. At the core of them is something vaguely like, "I need a girlfriend." It is surprising how much charge this has, when something comparatively more important, like death, doesn't seem to have much charge. But it's possible, quite possible, that this is more immediate a threat, and thus is being triggered. This attachment, when triggered by, say, a pretty and cool girl I have a crush on who has at least a possibility of liking me too, unleashes so much energy. It's difficult even to meditate without having my overactive imagination whisking me off on imaginary journeys of romance. Cheesy, ridiculous perhaps. But screw off, mysterious detractors of my subconscious. I am as I am.

I am trying though, to seek truth through this. It is a challenge, of being willing to let go. My theme song lately is "Let Go" by Frou Frou. Let go of my attachment to having a girlfriend, let go of my attachment to girls liking me, let go of my desire not to end up a balding emotionally numb and sexually predatory old man who's dieing inside of loneliness while pretending to be spiritual.

Letting go of being something other than what I am. Horn-dog, devoted to truth, terrified of rejection, lost in fantasy, bursting with creativity, full of love, scared to death of being alone.
If something is really frightening to me, like telling a girl I like her, I am sucked into my avoidance, paralysis, fantasy pattern.
If I find a better way of living, I adopt it.
If something is in my way, I plow through or patiently chip away as long as it takes. I am a slow but unstoppable machine. And every step takes me further, makes me lighter, faster.

This is all open to all of you. This is your nature, this is your birthright, you cannot discard this, cannot get rid of it. You can only forget that you have this power. Any power. Jesus said, "this too you shall do, and more." He wasn't talking shit, he wasn't being flowery. He was being plain and simple and true.

Beliefs to be broken with the light of awareness/truth:
-I'm not doing the right thing. (get a job, make lots of money, start a company, be a hero.)
-I am alone. I am unlovable (I will only be loved when I have a girlfriend. I will only be ok when I'm with friends.)

remember: thoughts are not the problem. Believing your thoughts is the problem.
Also remember: becoming free of beliefs doesn't make you a potato. You are free to dream and move in the direction of that dream. The idea that holding onto your suffering inducing beliefs will make you more likely to get what you are attached to, is usually totally false. And always false, in terms of the basic satisfaction you are hoping these attachments will give you.

It's not that the joys of the world are bad. It's just that they are the icing on the cake. If you are relying on them for your happiness, you're going to be very sad sometimes when they're not there. As the relative world does, sometimes.

[thoughts from the future: funnily enough, all that time I was telling myself that having a relationship wouldn't give me what I really wanted or what I thought it would give me, were wrong. It is deeply satisfying in all the ways I thought it would be. And, now on my second relationship already, it's clear that the thing that was holding me back from having a relationship was not 'attachment to having a relationship' or some kind of spiritual block, but a rather simple belief that, once realized to be possibly false, resulted almost instantly in finding a significant other. I'd tell you what it is, but I should probably write a crappy self-help book and take 259 pages to tell you a paragraph's worth of information and make a bunch of money. More importantly, I don't know if the information will be used for evil, or even works for other people universally. If you really want to know, go for a walk with me and we'll chat.]

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The only time

When something hurts, it's me holding onto some attachment. And then I turn and see the attachment, and usually let go, after seeing that it brings me only suffering. Sometimes, it's hard to see that it only brings pain.

For instance, by belief and attachment to having a romantic partner. I believe it will make me happier, more fulfilled, stronger. I am attached to having that. The attachment to having that at some point in the future causes me pain now. I see that clearly. However, I also believe that if I let go of the attachment, I will not have the motive energy to make it happen, in the future.

What is lacking is basic trust, that I will preform to the best of my abilities, to fulfill my desires, even without the scourge of negative future centered beliefs.

Without attachments to specific outcomes, there is just action in the moment....
where is the cut-off line? Between planning and acting to achieve that plan, and being so attached to the outcome that it interferes with the action of the present.

I also have to figure out what I want in a woman.

I want her beautiful. she should be beautiful in my eyes.
and she should be interested in sex.
she should match with my personality well enough to enjoy long conversations. That means having a spiritual bent, and a good mind.
We should click very well, there should be mutual appreciation.
There should be similar, though not identical interests. Nature, sustainability, spirit. At least openness to primitive skills.
I hope that she motivates me. Not like a coach, but like a muse. Someone who inspires me with her appreciation and beauty.
We should have good sexual and sexual-spiritual chemistry.
I would like someone kind and joyful.
I would like someone with skills that balance out my own. We compliment each other. Perhaps she is a front and center gal.

I want, for myself, to be more........

AH HA! remembered it:

aaaand forgot it. shit.

What I want, and what is comfortable, are two different things. Sometimes, what I really want to do, is so uncomfortable to do (like just walking out in a social situation) that it's less uncomfortable to just ignore my desire and go with my fear of discomfort and screwing things up.

So I should practice just listening to my honest desires, and doing them, and then processing through all the negative feelings they bring up. Perfect opportunity to do Malcolm's homework on judgments and emotions. And if I can't bring myself to do that which I desire, I can at least remain aware, of the desire, the fear, and the feelings.


that was my big point. re read it tomorrow.

[it's now April, 2012. And it is rather satisfying to note that I have a girlfriend who, amazingly, somehow meets all my criteria for a good girlfriend I listed here. I must say I was hoping but not really expecting it. Not so quickly. This shit is why I can't help but feel deeply humbled in gratitude whenever I think on my life, despite the vast shit-storm I've endured.]

Distributed processing and Drugs

Realized my brain is functioning sometimes in a distributed processing kind of way. For a while I was trying to squeeze down into a yes or no what felt in my mind like a mixture of yes's and no's. A kind of spread out quantum probability field. Just recently I realized this was not a bad thing, it was just the way the universe thought, and since I was/am starting to share in that thinking, I have to learn to readjust. Which really just means not trying to make a cat bark, or more literally, not trying to get a straight yes or no when the universe hasn't finished deciding. Which happens when you think about the future.

Finished my scientific and philosophic survey of Drugs. I needed something from every category, and I am experienced to my satisfaction. Some of you may say, dammit Isaac, don't do drugs, drugs are bad. Well, to that I say, how do you know? Have you tried it for yourself, or are you just going on hearsay? Drugs are a very charged topic, and I would guess that most people are heavily biased about them, and not trustworthy to give objective information. Adults who care about your well-being or else were subject to governmental misinformation may be strongly biased against them, thus giving incorrect, boogy-monster information in an attempt to scare you away from them. People who use them a lot, abuse them, or sell them have motives for making you more prone to try drugs, and keep trying them. Either for profit, self-validation, or company.

So I decided I had to see for myself. Because even if you do get someone who is genuinely neutral, there is no substitute for experience. I'll give you an example of my findings.

Alcohol: In vino, veritas?

conclusion: no. and yes, sometimes.

experiment: It had been a long time since I'd been drunk, back when I was maybe twelve years old, off cheap Manishevitz wine at Passover. (The rule is you're supposed to drink for cups of wine by the end of the Seder, a requirement that is waved for the underage, but still many of the kids get fairly drunk, running around, sneaking drinks from half empty glasses of drunk and tired adults. Mainly because we weren't supposed to.) I couldn't remember clearly what that experience was like, except that I got loud and obnoxious, demanding that the leader of the prayers hurry up so we could eat. Most of my peers drink, and I really didn't understand why. I had my preconceived notions, imprinted onto me by my holier-than-thou spiritual upbringing, but I hated that snobbery, and wanted to be able to see things from the other perspective as well. So, I had dinner with a friend, and over some nice venison he'd caught, we had margaritas and then a few shots of tequila.

findings: there are at least two stages of drunk. First is the more common and more functional, "buzzed." This is a pleasant state of relaxation and lowering of inhibitions. It is easier in this state for uptight people who are afraid of what other people think of them, to just let go and express what's inside of them, and connect on a heart level. There is also an impairment in mental functioning, though not serious, and something that I was particularly interested in, an inability to shift into higher brain functioning. Transcendence as my peep's call it, Alpha, in neuroscience terms. The second stake is drunk. Here, there is less inhibition, and even stronger emotions (which can be nice if they are emotions of love and intimacy) mental functioning is way, way reduced. You're not really good for anything high order at this point. Physically your uncoordinated, and mentally your... it's hard to describe exactly (thus the experience) but your brain is definitely shut down to a large degree. I found this unpleasant. I like being able to think clearly. My intellect is my friend. It steers me towards the right direction. Without it, I feel defenseless. Drunk was fun in the same way that spinning around until I'm dizzy, in that it's fun to watch my brain be confused. Overall though, it's unpleasantness as regards not being able to think outweighed the positive lack of inhibitions. Buzzed on the other had, I can definitely understand. Most people are self-conscious and inhibited, and it is a blessing to have that removed.

Conclusions: It's good to understand where people are coming from. I finally at least understand why so many people drink. As for my personal conclusion, I'll stick with not drinking. I don't like the health effects, for one. Killing brain cells, degrading the liver, empty calories. I try not to dabble in addictive things, since I've got enough addictions. And my clarity and awareness are what opens up the incredible beauty of the world to me. I realize that if I don't do drugs I probably won't get laid for a while and that makes me cry tears of blood, but I'll just have to deal.

That, however is the one great lesson this has taught me. It showed me the difference between me and me without my inhibitions. Good God, that is a big difference. And frankly, that aspect of me is a lot better on drugs. Sorry, anti-drug people, but that is the veritas in vino. And in all the other drugs I've experienced. I'm reminded of the ethnobotany lesson on Kava, a mild drug in drink form that was passed around before tribal meetings. It put everyone in an open, happy mood, thought it was mild and didn't inhibit thinking. And that made meetings go much smoother. Smart people.

In my final analysis, I understand people who use drugs for fun, for social lubrication, even for spirituality. It's equally clear to me, that drugs are not a final solution. They cost money, they have limited time duration, they can have negative health effects, some have questionable legality, and they often impair mental clarity. (I'd like to add here, that if you've got an addiction, you've got an addiction and shame isn't going to help you get over that addiction, it will only feed it further. Find a twelve step or something that's proven itself universally helpful.)

The best answer I have, is to find something that will transform me permanently in the way drugs have transformed me temporarily. Minus the brain malfunctioning. What that basically means is overcoming my self-consciousness, my fear of what other people think of me, and my need for there affection, approval, and love. These fears and desires make me betray myself, keep me from being carefree and open and joyful. I'm too busy worrying what other people think of me, or how I need to act to get them to give me what I need, or how I'm going to fail. Drugs temporarily shut down those parts of the brain. I want to permanently rewire them.

I want all the benefits of drugs, with none of the repercussions. What that means is I get the benefits 24-7, free, legal, and healthful. What I give up is novelty (since the experience will become my normal, plus I don't think some of the more flashy trimmings of drugs can be permanently maintained.) and instant gratification. Since to culture this, what I need is patience. Changing the base state of the body-mind takes time, just like working out to create a bodacious bod takes time. The things I have going for me are
a) I already have experience with this base state change, so I know it is possible.
b) I've got all the time in the world, since I'm not dyeing when my body does.
c) I strongly suspect that fundamental changes in character carry over to future stories (lives), which means I've got additional incentive, because every step forward is the last time I'll have to take that step.
d) I am uncomfortable. As long as I'm uncomfortable, I'll keep moving.

Perhaps you don't believe me? I never asked you to. However, I now ask you to consider the possibility, at least of this first point; that you can change yourself, permanently, for the better. If you don't already know it's true, test it out for yourself.

One final note. I realize now, that if I had just trusted myself, and my own intuition and common sense, that I would have come to the same conclusion about drugs in a fraction the time. Though I wouldn't have had the compassion and understanding for those that are using drugs to try and grasp at that intuitively felt grace that we all know exists but can't quite seem to find.

So ultimately, the lesson I have learned is this:
Trust Yourself.
Never Judge Others. Have compassion , realizing that everyone is doing the best they can.
Try really hard to get the stick up your butt, out. Because if you don't it might drive you to drink. Also, because you would be fucking awesome, sans stick.

(for anyone not familiar with the expression "they've got a stick up there butt" it is a colorful expression referring to someone who is uptight, tense, uncomfortable in there own skin.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Old New Year

Blogging while offline

January 3rd. 2009.

I like irony, even when it is happening in my own life. I would be very unhappy if I wasn’t able to laugh at the joke my life often is. Not a mean joke, in my opinion. Though I have the opinion that all is always for the greatest good. But only cus’ it’s true. Either I look back and am awed at how perfectly and wonderfully my life has unfolded, even and especially the parts that were the least savory while unfolding, or I look back, and I see a piece of the puzzle that has not yet fallen into place.

Let’s start with the Biltmore.

The Biltmore is a very, very nice hotel in Miami. One of the scenes from “Bad Boys” (2? 3?) was filmed in the Al Capone suit, and around the hotel. The Lobby and surrounding areas have soaring pillars leading to ceilings at least three floors high, if there are ceilings at all, and not just open courtyards, all surrounded by equally high pillars and centered around huge fountains. There is a feeling of decadence and easiness about the place. The staff are smart, helpful, and nice. Everything bespeaks opulence. The beds are large, the pillows soft, and everything is wood or stone. The windows are taller than you are. It feels like some fantasy land, where you want to take your wife and have passionate, languid honeymoon sex, interspersed with high quality rooms service, and perhaps the occasional venture to the pool to wash off sweat and saliva. The pool is enormous, literally hundreds of feet long, with a coffee shop that has a waterfall/aqueducts spilling out over the awning, into the pool. And private cabanas, leading to the pool, created out of exotic greenery that kept me busy for an entire afternoon, admiring the diversity and beauty of the plants. It must take an army of gardeners to maintain the overflowing greenery surrounding and within everything. In fact, all aspects of the hotel seem like they must require a full time maintenance staff of hundreds, constantly keeping up appearances. Lord only knows when they did their work, because I rarely saw them. They must have lived in the walls or something.

In the front entrance, were two huge bird cages, mostly covered with cloth, but with windows in so people could look at the beautiful, exotic birds. It made me a little sad, as I watched them and thought about the nature of captivity. Perhaps this hotel Paradise was itself a beautiful prison.

The culminating moment of the stay was new-years eve. I had returned from a good french restaurant, and was up in my Grandfather’s suite, up in the tower area of the hotel. I had come up before the rest of the family, and I opened the windows, and before me was the city lights, swirling in the city heat like a sea of stars, and above, the actual stars, and on the horizon, the crescent moon, just setting, a red crescent falling quickly into the city haze, right next to a red blinking tower. And as the moon set, all around me, fireworks started going off. The sea of stars was exploding, and here I was, high above the city, seeing in all directions, from my warm, safe world of hand carved wood embellishments where every need was catered too before you even thought of it.

Later on, the rest of the family came up to grandfathers room and we played a light game of texas hold em, until midnight, when we put down what was going to be the last hand, and watched the fireworks come back on full blast. It was gorgeous. I felt like the whole world was celebrating me, saying “Congratulations! Well done on 23 years!” Leaning against the old, tall glass window pane, gazing out, I felt like I should be in that position with a soft, flawless, fair skinned woman, naked except for the cold sparkle of diamond jewelry, pressed between me and the window as we gazed out at the metaphor of our lovemaking exploding before us.

Then, when the fireworks slowed down (they kept going for hours afterwards, just less frequent) I sat back down to the table, got a straight on the draw, bet everything, and won the night.

Of course it was magical, and I wish I had a diamond lady to share it with, but more remarkable even was the communication. You see, I talk with the universe, and the universe talks back. Not in the queen’s english, but in physical metaphor. That is, life is a communication. The patterns, the symbology, are a very rich communication. It’s like talking with vision and touch and emotion and everything, all together. In that way, you could say the universe is a book. Though sometimes it feels more like a chat-room. In any case, the whole night was a powerful communication, which is not yet complete. But the importance of the message has been underlined by the power of it’s delivery.

Now, the Sea Pine Inn.

Here we have a second part to the communication. The image/phrase that comes to mind is “tempering.” That’s where you take something like a sword, and strengthen it by first making it really hot, then really cold, then repeating. Well, I went to Florida, and got warmed up, and then came here, to Newark, and got chilled again. More important, I went on vacation, and got pampered, and now I am on assignment, and am being terrified and disgusted.

Let’s talk about the Sea Pine. It is a ‘Motor Inn.’ I don’t know what that means, except that you have to put down your address and license plate number if you drove here. Tracker students often stay here because it is the only hotel right next to the pick up point for the Tracker School. So if you don’t have a car and you want to arrive a day early, this is the place.

As far as I can tell, the only other use for this place is sex. And not the clean, luxurious sex of the Biltmore. No, this is the kind of sex that will turn you celibate. I walked through the sketch run-down half-empty plaza that was adjunct to the Pine, caring my wheely suitcases, and made it in without being mugged. Which I know is unlikely but can’t help worrying about anyways. Two men hanging out in back of the plaza probably weren't doing anything illegal, but could have been robbing the stores or receiving payment for sexual favors or drugs, or just having a smoke break out back. I’ll never know. The receptionist was pleasant. She seemed nice, overworked, probably happy to see from my beard and suitcases that I wasn’t going to fornicate on the key or computer cable which each required a deposit (cash only) to be refunded upon return of the key and ethernet cable (which, by the way, didn’t end up being used anyway, since the internet outlet was broken. I am typing this up on open office.)

I should probably mention, since it would be unfortunate to wait till it was over to comment, and miss the opportunity of being able to say, that, as I type these words, I can distinctly hear the thumping, fake moaning, and, unexpectedly, laughter, of some people having sex in some adjacent room. I can’t tell whether it’s above, below (in some secret basement dungeon... but that doesn’t keep with the theme of blatantly obvious, and if it was a dungeon there probably wouldn’t be laughing (which is sad)) Welp, looks like he finished. The thumping and fake moaning has stopped, as quickly as it started, and has been replaced with the original sounds of television. I’ve got to say, when I heard the sex start, I was kind of happy. I knew it was just a matter of time, but I was afraid they would wait till it was bedtime to start and be loud and obnoxious and keep me up all night. I guess they’ve got kids to get back to or something. I just hope the shmuck doesn’t feel empty and depressed and stay up all night watching tv. Soundproofing is one of the few things you’d think they’d do. But no, I guess it’s part of the ambiance.

Back to my description; when I entered the room, I locked the flimsy push knob door and hooked the chain lock into place, still worried from the disclaimer I had to sign, about the hotel not being responsible if any of my property is broken or stolen, or I am somehow injured here at the fine Sea Pine Motor Inn, Waretown Plaza, Tom’s River New Jersy. Unfortunately, when I turned around, I found...astonished horror: another door! Leading right the fuck outside. I put the flimsy dead bold in place and contemplated taking out my knife and hiding under the bed, but decided I didn’t want to be down there, after discovering an opened condom wrapper shining underneath the bed.

The red led clock is flashing at 12:00. I'm sure it was 12:00, and probably always will be, at 12:00 (am, I assume) because no one gives a flying pinwheel what time it is or what the alarm is set to because they are not here to go to sleep and wake up the next morning they are here to have a quicky with a hooker or mistress or perhaps even with a partner, away from the kids. The table is covered in splotches of what is probably not seamen, but so help me I can’t think of what else it would be, and even worse, I accidentally touched it and now have a greater than zero chance of having some sexually transmitted disease.

Let’s look at some other fine details. You know, the See Pine Inn really caters to it’s customers just as thoughtfully as the Biltmore: there is a microwave on top of the tv cabinet, perhaps for warming up prosthetic sexual appendages, lube, or after-orgasm burritos. There are two boxes of cleanex on the mysterious sticky substance stained table and in the bathroom (which is useful because the toilet paper holder is directly behind the toilet and a foot from the ground) and at least half of one working power outlet, the other socket of the pair being blown out or melted or kicked in or something. The phone by the bed has the number for the Sea Pine Inn Restaurant taped onto it, perhaps for post coitus microwave dinners.

The shower looks dirtier than me, and the energy-saving bathroom timer-light-switch has the knob removed, so there is effectively no light in the bathroom. Just a fan. Which perhaps I should use, since something about the room's smell is making me nauseous. Or perhaps it’s talking about it that's bringing bile up my throat. I don’t think so; writing doesn’t generally do that to me. Oh, the toilet has a nice paper strip over the top that says “sanitized for your protection.” which is quite thoughtful and practical, really. Even if all they do is put a new one of the paper strips on the toilet each time a customer breaks it, without actually touching the toilet themselves it still confers a (false) sense of safety, that, at least you won't get herpes/aids/genital warts from using the toilet, which is otherwise a serious concern.

A few more little gems: The lampshades are covered in plastic, and with good reason: they are filthy. There are large mirrors all over the place, including right over the bed. That’s right, on the ceiling. I think that could only have one purpose, aside from freaking the hell out of people who wake up at night and see a face staring down at them.

Last but not least, there is a little pink envelope, with the Words: “THANK YOU FOR STAYING WITH US! Your Housekeeper has been ___________. We hope that everything done for you has met with your satisfaction. Your Housekeeper has tried to make your stay with us as pleasant as possible. If there is anything we can do to make your stay even more pleasant, please let us know.

If you wish to leave anything for your Housekeeper’s effort, we are providing this envelope. Please come back and stay with us again soon. It has been our pleasure to have you as our guest. -The Management.” And yes, after picking it up, my finger tips felt greasy and defiled, and I searched for something I could wipe them on before typing any further, that I did not own and would never touch again.

Well, now you’ve got a little taste of the ritziest and the sketchiest hotels you’re likely to find. I think I may not be back to the sea pine any time soon. I hope.

On an interesting note, the fact that the Biltmore was one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at, and at the Sea Pine Inn I am sleeping on top of the bed covers, in my sleeping bag, doesn't really matter. Not even the fact that I was pampered and comforted by everything around me and huge amounts of expensive food, vs. having a splitting headache from traveling and going from warm to freezing, and not eating anything because I’m afraid to go outside with the sun down and money on me. Frankly, I am alive, well, and entertained. Life is amazing, funny, always new and growing, and beautiful. Always beautiful. And you KNOW that word “beautiful” means something more, because we are currently talking about a place that’s atmosphere is best described as, “inundated with stale seamen and the cigaret smoke of decades.”

trying not to vomit, cus it’s bad for my teeth enamel


Nov 17th, 2010

This entry is much later than the other two, but I am finaly coalating and editing this for publication on my glamorous and highly paid blog.

Tying into the end of the previous post, I vomited this morning, for the first time in many, many years. I was lieing on the floor, practicing an Alexander technique exercise, and I suddenly started feeling incredibly nauseous. I was confused, since all I'd eaten was a vitamin supplement and an amrit tablet. I figured I'd just lie down, skip breakfast, and wait it out. Probably take a dump later on as my body tried to quickly evacuate whatever it was that shouldn't be there. Just then, a friend called me about our lunch date. I explained that I had a really bad stomach ache, and then realized that it was feeling so bad I might have to hang up the phone suddenly to vomit, which I explained. “um, so, no lunch date then?” hold on... just sec, call you back.” beep. GLAAARGLGLARGBLAGGGgggluh... There was nothing to throw up except something that I assume is spit or stomach mucus, and a bright orange half dissolved vitamin gelcap. Well. At least I know without a doubt that I really shouldn't be taking that vitamin.

I'm kind of afraid of vomiting. I think about it and draw up pictures of hurling so hard and nonstop that I can't breath, hideous stenches coming out of my mouth, burning sensations, and feelings of trying to breath in while stomach contents are coming out and choking. But this was really very gentile. I just relaxed and let the gag reflex get something out of my stomach that the incredible intelligence of my body had determined was very bad for me.

That reminds me: if anyone wants most of a bottle of high quality multi-vitamins, I've got some for you. They probably won't make you vomit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

One more crush

I've got a crush on a crazy girl.
No more crazy than me though.
She dislikes herself more than I dislike myself.
But I like her more than she likes me.
So I guess it evens out.

will anything come of it?
will I even be able to tell her I like her?
now taking bets on my love life.

[update about a year or two later: I never told her directly but I'm pretty sure she knew. Nothing came of it. Too bad for her ;) . Call in your bets]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beliefs that hurt.

am I doing a good enough job?

my heart aches. I step back, I feel it, without judgments. I step back. It's still there.
I step forward. I listen to it. "Isaac. You're lonely. and a failure. and you're sad." Over and over the question has echoed through my life, "will this ever be over? With the torment end? For good?" Is that too much to ask? I'm not being rhetorical. Is that too much to ask? Should I aim lower? If it's too much to ask, to expect to eventually be happy and feel good about myself most of the time, that would be nice to know. I could devote my time to something else. At least I could do something useful and be of service to other people. Something to make my life useful. To make the world better, less painful, for my having been born.

Talking like that hurts people who care about me, perhaps. I don't want to do that. Worse though is holding it in. Keeping my pain to myself, because I'm afraid my friends can't handle it. That is a poor opinion of my friends. They're stronger than that. People are resilient. I'm proof of that. Even if I do feel like damaged goods some of the time.

I'm really good at bullshitting. At making stuff up. At making random meaningless stuff seem like it means something that I already believe. I believe I'm damaged goods, and I'm really good and looking at life and seeing proof of that, though there is no real proof.

"Look, I'm unmotivated. Look, I'm unhappy, Look, I'm undisciplined. Look, I can't get a girlfriend." And on and on, with specifics of any event or action I feel bad about.

Belifes seem to be living things. Like trees that have been growing for a long time, they are strong, resilent to chopping. They have deep roots that keep them from being pulled out easily, and that draw nutrients to sustain and grow them, from their surrounding enviroment. Belifes that are deeply rooted begin to feed themselfs, outside your conscious controle, and grow bigger and bigger. Hell, Inception, the movie, is a perfect illustration of what I'm talking about. We've all had those kind of belifes implanted in us from a young age. They look silly, when seen plainly. nonetheless, they are there, and they aren't budging. Do you know what yours are? you might want to. Here's a list of some of mine, off the top of my head.

I'm a bad person.
I'm a failure at life.
I will never be able to change being a failure.
Sex is wrong.
I'm doomed in sexual/romantic relationships.
I will never be able to make a significant contribution to society.
I will never be successful financially on my own.

If your going to say, "oh Isaac, that's not true." I ask you to keep those thoughts to yourself. I've asked myself "is this true?" about all these beliefs, and the bottom line is my mind says, "I don't know" and my heart says, "Yes." But my mind also has the belief that is your voice, saying, "you shouldn't belief negative things about yourself."

Well guess what? I do believe negative things about myself. fuck pretending to be spiritually enlightened.
I'd rather be honest.

I'm working on finding a way to honestly not believe these things about myself, I work on that daily. but until I change, that's how I feel. Saying thats not how I feel is lying, and I'm not about to do that for myself, since I always know when I'm lying, and I'm getting tired of doing it for other people.

Here's another good one:
"What other people think about me matters."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

subscribe to Meeeeee! validate Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I just published a bunch of posts that had been sitting in my drafts folder. some of them are even good. But they get published in the order the were written, no the order they are published, so some of them are squeezed back in-between others. If you had subscribed to this blog, you'd just have links to them in your inbox now. But you don't, so now you're fucked.

I'm probably going to keep doing that, over the next week-ish, if I remember to.

an email from my archives

(note: in the previous email I mentioned a story from "Autobiography of a Yogi" where a guy climbed up a perilous mountain, which he had been exploring for a while, to meed the immortal yogi often known as "Baba-ji". Upon reaching Baba-ji, the man said, "accept me as your disciple or I have no reason to live and will jump off this cliff and kill myself right now. Baba-ji said, "then jump." And the man without hesitation jumped to his death, to the astonishment and perhaps fear, of Baba-ji's small group of followers (one of which told this story). Baba-ji then walked down to the bottom of the cliff and resurrected the guy on the spot, saying, "I could not accept you with the body you had, but now you are welcome to join us." And so he did. (this is from my memory of what I read.))

Subject line: Re: Man who jumps from cliff in Himalayas
-name withheld- June 17

Dear Isaac,

I just reread this email of yours. I think you should keep it and reread it after a while. It is really powerful and good.-rest of email deleted for relevancy-

-name withheld for blog-

On Jun 12, 2010, at 4:58 PM, Isaac ---- wrote:

you're processing this in an interesting way...
in any case, I had no intention of saying what dan was doing was the same as what that guy was doing, though frankly there are some definite similarities as far as I can see. thought there are also differences. Dan was trying to escape pain, I think, while this guy was... well, in whatever sense enlightenment is an escape, that's what he was trying to do as well. I would guess they were in much different places though. dan seemed to be in a place of stagnation, while this other guy was in a place of dynamic action.

my point was mainly just this: we have all these opinions about what is right and what is wrong, but you can never prove them beyond a shadow of a doubt, and lots of them you can easily disprove as not being universal truths, simply by looking to other cultures with opposing world views. one of the uses of being a citizen of the world, perhaps.

what doesn't make sense about suicide is the people it hurts who are alive and attached to you, and the belief I have that it's not, in most situations, an effective escape. once again, I say in most situations, because the world is too big for a totalitarian viewpoint. people who are old and have to choose between a life of being fed through tubes and doped up on drugs, or a quick death, are choosing to let themselves die. Rama's grandfather, in the Ramayana, chose to let himself die of starvation on the river bank, because he was so in grief about his wife dieing that he took the vow of not eating, so he could be with her.

for god's sake don't read into that the wrong thing and start worrying I'm going to off myself because dan died and I can't go on. I can. It's just a difficult time. and people worrying about that isn't really helpful to me at all. it's just kind of irritating. though I'm also just kind of irritable, among other things.

I think it's kind of funny, people come to me or talk to me, ostensibly to 'comfort' me, but what they are doing really seems rather selfish: they just want to be comforted themselves, to have the whole thing explained to them, because it scares them and they're not comfortable not knowing and they are afraid there kids are going to die and then they will be really unhappy.

(for the most part, as is part of my personality, as was/is part of dan's, I like to help people in whatever way I can, so I'm happy to help people who are having problems dealing. however, I'm also having problems dealing, so my ability to help is somewhat diminished.)

If someone is suffering a lot, and they want to end it, and you won't let them, because you'd miss them, how is that anything but utterly selfish? "no, you can't die, even though you hurt so much that you want to, despite how scary going into the unknown of death is. even despite that, I want you to stick around, going through extreme pain, just so I can enjoy having you around to talk to sometimes"

this is disregarding the belief I have that dieing doesn't give you a free pass on your emotional issues. that's a whole other point. however, that's not a big reason not to do it, it's just a lack of reason to do it. the positive reason not to do it is the sadness left behind.

in any case, this is just mental screaming at the wind; does nothing for me, maybe does something for you. the only thing that does anything for me with this process is getting in touch with my feelings and processing them, which is a very visceral and not very intellectual process. Still, my core understanding that the universe is a creation of flawless beauty and benevolence is unmoved. does not negate the ability to feel deep sorrow, get pissed of, or worry that I'm going to be a homeless bum because I never figure out a profession I want to do that's going to make money. Reality is big enough to hold all things within it, as is love. if enlightenment isn't, then enlightenment is too small for me and I don't care for it any more. (in my opinion it isn't too small, but my previous definitions of it were.)

i out

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Choices and weapons

There is no failure unless you don't learn from it.

Another warriors tool. When you feel like you have failed, realize that failure is always a choice: do I learn from this situation, this action and reaction, or do I fall into despair and ruminate on how awful I've been.

Small pieces of my life

Last night.

Finally took myself out for a walk and was struck dumb by the blazing sunset I just barley managed to catch. Ran and jumped through a vast field, intermittently dispersed will huge rolles of hay, and dreamed of staging epic foam sword battles there. Practiced chi-running, or something similar. Spooked some dear. discovered a hidden vedic mansion, way back in the interior of Vedic City.

On my way back, I slowed down near the end, trying to see if I could sense the presence of life moving around me, specifically deer, before they sensed me. I was stunned by how successful I was, and waves of gratitude washed over me, and I again and again felt presences and then later confirmed them by hearing the dear crash around or seeing there silhouette against the deep blue but still glowing sky. These senses, they are not mine. They are a gift, they belong to something greater and bigger than any one person. And yet, to connect to that something, requires something from the side of the one person.

I wandered off to dinner in town and a friend wandered in there at the same time, and informed me of a traveling theater show that was in town just for this one night.

My life feels like a vortex of improbability these days. Once again, not something small me is responsible for, directly. Though perhaps indirectly, through my actions and my heart, nature has decided it's ok to get a little more magical.

Still trying to break through this wall of habit, the fear I had when I was heading back to my old stomping grownds. I at least now have a spider sense that lets me know when I'm out of integrity. It just feels wrong. But I'm still responsible, every moment for making the choice for or against a life worth living. A life in flow. One of the few things I most strongly disagree with in the teachings of my childhood teacher is the idea of effortlessly being in flow, in tune with nature. That is flat out not my experience. Effortlessly is a poor word choice, because it requires, at least for now, a distinct effort to remain aware, and an even bigger effort sometimes, to move in the direction of flow, because that movement brings me up against such a massive array of fears, discomforts, and resistances. The only stance that holds me steady through this is that of the warrior, all willpower and determination, struggling for each step.

Sometimes it's easy and free flowing, and there's no good reason for me to go against flow, because going against flow feels bad and going with it feels good. I don't need any stance at all for those times. But the fight is not over, and so it would be foolish to drop my sword of will and discrimination. Though I've learned to wield it better, over the years. Even in battle, there are things that you cannot controle. Surrender does not contradict will. Surrender is the ultimate act of will. Surrender, in a real sense, means surrendering to what must be done, regardless of the repercussions or discomfort. And that is a matter of trust. Trust in the universe, and trust in yourself.

Monday, November 8, 2010

That's a good idea

I realize another bit of homework I need to do, about undertsanding the story of my life is interesting.

Today (Nov. 8th) I: entered the secret room of my shared studio and tried to figure out what the blinking box surrounded by massive quantities of ethernet cable did (it was a router.) Harassed an insurance agent in his office. Sat, lay down, and stood while tripping out on the intense feeling of silence, and later, on the constant, normally unnoticed ringing in my ears. Sat out in a juniper patch watching the stars and thinking about a cute girl and meditating until I thought I heard a coyote growling and stalking up on me. (on further investigation, the sound appeared to be some man made source. Probably) Cursed at the trees and the sky and the ground at my bafflement about what I am supposed to be doing, and how crappy and flat I was feeling. And got the beginning of an answer. Ate a horrible, cheap pizza by myself at a pizza joint I will never go to again, and failed to eat the whole thing, or even a significant portion of it. While waiting inordinate amount of time for the pizza, I stared off into space as I tried to deprogram myself from my explosive and highly out of character rage at the slander of a particular person.

The perfect swell of the upper left hip of the fire goddess

It's been a while. I've done a lot. Much has changed. Much has grown. And now back in fairfield, I feel the familiar pull, back below water. Back to drowning. Falling into routine. It feels like death, or more accurately, it feels like not living. Like I've been covered in plastic, like our grandparents couches. Preserved for ever, enjoyed never. When I play it safe, I get to be safe, but I don't get to experience things. It's more energy to try to live deeply, but it is worth the investment.

Right now, it is difficult to get in touch with my desires. They are confused. I think maybe some of my desires are hiding because they are afraid, if they express themselves, if they try and get fulfilled, something bad will happen. So they're so suppressed I can't even find them.

that's my big homework for now: get in touch with my desire-body.

It's difficult. I'm in a dark, cold cave. deep, silent pools of water and a steady rhythmic dropping of water from stalactites punctuates the silence, tapping out the hundred thousand year old duet of water and stone shaping each other. I'm wandering through these dark tunnels alone, searching for another person there she is, pale and fiery, reflection from the pool she's at the edge of doubling her. There is the hint of warmth from here, but there is still the large, cold pool to cross, and her light and heat are diminished by this cold place and her long solitude. Somehow I must help her go from the only lukewarm body in a world of cool, into a burning inferno of a goddess that has the earth erupting above us and the cave filled with bubbling pools and steam. I am completely unsure of what my next step must be, but I begin swimming across the pool of water towards her.


It's been a while.

Things in my Brown Shopping Bag:

-A note pad (blank)
-Miniature laptop
-Worn notebook full of passionate, childish judgments and demands
-Skull/forest spirit mask made of paper, twigs and leaves
-Herbal pills for acid reflux (not mine)
-Organic vanilla extract (all mine)
-A condolence card about my friends death, with words cut and crossed out
-The miniature laptop's power cable
-A bottle of cloves
-A small piece of paper with notes about how my desire's are like Dumbo.
-Black hair clip
-Electric toothbrush charger.
-Smooth rounded, slightly pitted stone, still sticky from sea salt, which fits perfectly in my palm
-Dandelion root tea
-A single black wool sock
-Pepper and salt grinders
-Half broken mettle button for one of my pant's flys
-Almost empty bottle of conditioner
-Bread baking pan
-Heavy duty electric beard and hair trimmer
-Small plastic container, open and empty