To begin this post with a common cliche such as ” These are trying times in which we live.“, it might appear as if I only had something repetitive to say as this has been spoken so many times throughout the years. Therefore I will refrain from the use of such terms which we find to be often over-used in the sometimes misleading context in which they are conveyed. The subject I intend to focus upon here is in fact relevant to our changing times yes, but is intended to point out a few of the more subtle characteristics of change that are not often discussed in detail. It is my hope that these writings will penetrate to a place deep within you the reader, in an attempt to assist us all in the sometimes daunting task of looking within in order to bring about true heartfelt and beneficial change for ourselves, our species and this mythical thing which we call our world. So let’s begin!
Our ever changing world is first and foremost an amazing and wonderful thing to behold if we are brave enough to see this process occurring around us on a constant basis. Quite often through human eyes there can be a great resistance to change. This resistance can be caused by many things. One example could be the influence of the culture into which we were born. Often times cultural values consist of much more narrow views of what is acceptable potential for change within that society. These ideologies generally run in tandem with the current laws of that particular place and have a profound effect on the human ability to utilize critical thinking. No one of us are exempt from being taunted by sociological control systems that sometimes seem to be so firmly in place, as if it were some unmovable juggernaut that must be obeyed, whose will has the final say in all matters and whose judgement should never be questioned.. Here the use of the words juggernaut and obey may at first glance seem a bit dramatic and exaggerated, but I assure you there is no drama here. Sometimes a descriptive emphasis is required to shake the foundations of the topics which so many people have become numb to or just plainly choose to ignore. We can call that blind ignorance. As I stated earlier, “if we are brave enough“ and are able to quiet the mind long enough, then we can begin to see certain temporary truths about the world around us and the ways we each perceive them both good and bad. This is the essential process which precedes the ability to think critically about our own personal world views and it allows for the serious contemplation of change that may be needed both within and outside of ourselves.. Okay back to the cultural impact on the individual. Now here I feel it is needed to point out that the design structures and laws of our cultures are inherently responsible for a large part of how we have seen ourselves most of our lives. We have all been influenced since childhood, only to be told since our birth exactly what is expected of us in order to be considered as a non-resistant and conformist member of our society. The wording exception here is that you are never actually told directly to not resist and to conform because this would seem kind of harsh, so culture masks those expressions by telling you to be Responsible and Patriotic. Sound familiar? It’s no wonder that after so many years of keeping a silent trudging pace through the world which our cultures have laid out for us, that we sometimes feel that we have left something behind. That in some way or another the generic rat race of financial gain and studious citizenship has not delivered as promised the acquirement of happiness at long last! Yet hope for this is not ever lost – for during the years of our mundane routines, if we were lucky, were able to occasionally immerse ourselves in those experiences which we store away and recall as being “the good times”. Usually these are memories of a variety of situations which we hold dear in one way or another and this is fine, but there is an element which is far more important that ties all of these memories together in some synchronized manner. The ingredient I am speaking of might be called ” self-chosen happiness“.
If you would, read the next paragraph as you speaking to yourself. A few times if you must, but try to see the message here in this example of exercised thought then we will continue on a bit more.
Self-chosen happiness: ” Within all of the most heartfelt and special loving memories that I as an individual hold so dear, exists the realization that those wonderful experiences occur due to the fact that I allow them to. During those memorable moments in my life’s experience, I choose to push aside the everyday worries of how I might pay the bills, of what might become of my health or of how I fear the world might see at me. Within those joyful moments of my memories, there is always the immediacy of felt presence, the existence of love and the arrival of long pursued happiness. After all is said and done I have come to realize that with each and every memorable event which I can recall, there is always the previously un-noticed presence of peace which somehow finds it’s way and sits down beside me.“
There is a particular reason for the way by which the statement above is written in the first person perspective. Simply put, it is done to give example to the effect of language and how it is used by all of us each day. Many times, especially when talking about something so vital as our memories, we have a tendency to refer to them as things of the past so we use past tense language to describe them. Now I am not arguing the fact that memories are events that have already occurred that is not the direction of where I am taking this at all. The idea that I feel deserves expressing here is that by thinking of our memories as being somehow magically stuck in a previous time, they tend to become solidified, unreachable and not subject to being revisited in some new way later on in our lives for the purpose of learning deeper lessons than we may have previously been prepared to see. Of course this is also true of the “bad memories” and maybe even more so, since we are so critical about those things that had done us wrong at one time or another. During deep introspection we can all see that nothing has really “done” anything to us. It was merely our chosen association to the event and what type of information we chose to extract from it. Yes, some things classify as painful and to be repetitive I do not condemn any individuals point of view or personal experiences as there is some appalling human behavior which can sometimes occur, however in order to awaken to the idea of a changing world and to start noticing structures within our culture that may desperately need updating or revamping, we must start within ourselves to learn how change can come about consciously. The most direct way to start the discovery of this process is to use our memories as examples. To be brave enough and open minded enough to decide if the ideas that we have carried for so many years still hold water or are still valid to who you are now, today, right at this moment… Not to remain stuck in a version of who you were back then when this happened – and that! But to consciously choose a re-visitation of foundational ideas which make up a part of who you are while occupying that flesh suit that you are wearing for a little while.
Let me break away from the subtleties for awhile as I don’t want to disgust you in one fell swoop. I am aware that considering these things which I have written, can be quite emotionally heavy in many ways when we are beginning to look into our behaviors. So please allow me to change tone for a moment and express an explanation of what has motivated me to orchestrate this article of thought.
In order to avoid any chaotic tangents, which I am quite capable of from time to time, I will try to remain short winded in expressing my reason for these writings.. I have always been a person who liked to analyze things just a little deeper than what I was ever taught in schools or by my parents while growing up. Our common educational systems don’t give hint to any true critical thinking or questioning. Schools of most any variety are like pie factories. Throw a little dough in the pan, bake it for a bit and then ship it out the door. No time for Mommy’s special touch here, we’ve got more crust to burn! NEXT!…. To me there were always more questions that needed to be resolved in order for my world to make better sense both logically and emotionally, therefore I took it upon myself to try and understand things in a way that I felt was palatable to who I was at any given time. Now I was not always conscious of the fact that I had felt this way. This is an understanding that I have come to realize about my life story by way of revisiting it in my mind time and time again. This is where the lesson above comes into play for me. At some point, about five or six years ago, I arrived at a breaking point in my life where the emotional turmoil of my world view had become too much to bear any longer. After immersing myself within the information of the human world, the fuse was lit and the countdown had begun for me to face the need to revisit and change my perspective of not only myself and the world around me, but also to discover how I could fit into this mad human world at all. This is something that to this day still remains as a task in front of me, to feel my way to a place within our world where I can truly feel that I fit and am needed. The beginning of discovering this has shown itself to me in the form of speaking with other humans and sharing conversation. It is to this day the most fulfilling thing for me and at least for now, I must follow it’s trail. Many other “things” I have been. A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker and so on and so on. (Bit of humor). Most every occupation I have ever held was done so with what I would call great ethical achievement, although a few things exist in my story that did not include integrity or ethics. I’ll save that for another topic someday called “Dumb Things to Do”. So here I find myself reaching out to all of you and my request is simple. Now that you know a bit of who I currently am, I am requesting openly and publicly to know the current you that you are. I have little to no interest in how many ” Likes” my facebook page can produce. Nor do I care how the Red Sox and Yankees are doing, what the president said, when the end of the world is coming, how cool jay-z’s new album is, how we must walk to cure cancer or any other things which have not been thought through with some actual introspection and contemplation that goes beyond what the global media tells you. That is a frail world, although albeit a necessary one in order to be able to see the deeper connectivity of all things.. It is a valid starting point and sometimes quite hard to face, but this is after all, what we must do in order to discover and preserve our humanity. To realize a broader view of our connection to all things, far more than we have ever allowed ourselves before. The world is changing and that includes all life that resides upon it. Nothing stays the same. It never has and hopefully it never will. I mean how boring would that be?
It is You that I wish to know because in knowing you, I come to better know myself.. And for that I am eternally grateful….
If you made it all the way through this, there is only one thing left to say.
If your alarm clock has started ringing,
and you’re ready to sit by the fire then,
WAKE UP!!!!!! We need you…..
Big Peace, Steve.