I Don’t Want To Believe

“If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to man as it is
– infinite.”

― William Blake

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Out of the eternal mouth
we arrive.

Who are we?
Who are you?

How much of your mind do you own?

Have you ever sat alone in the dark,
devoid and unplugged from the web
of constant stimulation & cheap
distractions that eat up so much
of your time, and really
thought about what
you believe in?

What if your beliefs
were shoved into your
head at a very early
age in an attempt to
prevent you from
becoming your
true self?

As the Jesuits proclaimed
many years ago, give us
your child for the first
7 years, and we’ll have
them for life.

And it’s true.

Since my high-chair days
it’s been pounded in my head
to believe, just believe,
believe, believe.

In Sunday school, with my vulnerable
mind in the hands of the devout, I
was taught that I only had to
believe in a particular story
of the past and I’d ride life
straight to immortality.

BELIEVE
or die.
BELIEVE
or die.
BELIEVE
or die.

No need to fear death, they
told me, all you have to do
is believe.

No need to think or doubt or
question. Just believe.

Believe – after many years
of unlearning and relearning,
I just couldn’t help but ask
what does it actually mean
to believe?

Does it mean to assume the improbable
in the face of contrary evidence?

Does it mean not wanting to know
what is true?

Can we define it as an “assumed truth”
to help gratify our yearning for an
afterlife, or immortality, or heaven?

The truth is — I don’t want to believe.

I want to know.

And if it’s unknowable,
I want to roam, like a
demented nomad, in the
foreign fields of its mystery,
exploring all theories,
possibilities, concepts,
and ideas that might
reveal a hint of
the sublime.

I don’t like the idea of belief
because with every belief
comes a disbelief
in some greater aspect
of existence.

If you’re tightly wound-up
in a religious belief, a belief
usually born out of the geographical
area you were randomly born
in, all the big questions are pretty
much answered, and you tend to stop
thinking and dreaming and pondering
about the enchanted wonder of this
13.8 billion year old universe
we know nothing about.

I don’t want to become trapped
in the graveyard of certainty
and spurious conclusions, sitting
comfortably numb in the dark,
forever cut off from opposing
and conflicting concepts.

I don’t want to condense our infinite
universe into the rigid confines
of an ancient belief system.

I don’t want to get sucked into the
dead world of duality where we
erect walls of our own prison
to keep out the “others”.

It’s all wrong. This isn’t how it’s
supposed to be. It’s just another
cultural trap I want no part in.

I want to be free to expand
my own consciousness without the
condemning eye of ancient creeds
and pissed-off gods.

I want the freedom to explore my own soul
and to possibly discover the endless and
wondrous treasures gifted to us by
an ever expanding universe.

I don’t want to be shackled
to the past in exchange for a
naive belief in afterlife rewards.

We’ve been accustomed to look at ourselves
as fallen creatures, exiled from paradise,
in need of redemption. And we look to the
outside for a savior instead of where
it truly resides- the kingdom within.

That’s the problem with the world.

We’re too afraid or too taught
to think beyond good and evil –
beyond what we’ve swallowed
as reality, as moral truths.

We’re conditioned to readily
hurl ourselves into the cold
dark cellar of belief
without a slither
of doubt.

It’s all wrong.

I want to live wildly
and exotically
with free-flying souls
in great meadows
of the unknown.

That’s where it’s at.

Can’t you see that the only reality
is the one contained within us?

The divine lives with you.
The divine lives in you.

This is the secret the great
sages have tried to teach us.

But we’ve misread them. We’ve poisoned
the great myths of life and love
by literally perceiving the
metaphors and allegories as
facts and actualities.

We’ve externalized what was meant
to be internalized, diminishing
the profound message
that was meant to help us
flourish
during our brief
time here.

Instead, we’ve used our
religious beliefs to divide,
to war, to kill, to hate,
to suppress our desires
and to dwindle our lives
in the here and now.

This is death.
This is hell.

But it’s not too late
to rethink what you
think you know.

There’s freedom just beyond
our self-imposed
limitations.

As Proust reminds us,
“the real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new
landscapes, but in having
new eyes.”

So close your eyes and descend,
and let the sacred plants
of the earth help you
get far enough in.

Find that cosmic silence.

Then listen, listen carefully
so you can hear that solemn
whisper of the unconscious.

If you’re willing, it will
guide you out of the
cultural snare
and onto the steep
front steps of the
golden door.

It’s then, and only then,
you will have unlearned
enough to finally discover
that temple of truth
that lies on the
other side.

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You’re a Poet

1

You know the taste of your own blood,
therefore, you know the taste of
the blood that flows through all
the rivers of this mad world. You
know the midnight that overwhelms
your inner light
and you know the moonlight
that illuminates your
dark night.

You know what you’ve experienced
and you know how these unique experiences
have either heightened or diminished
the person you are today.

Or both in some ways. Continue reading

You and I

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You know the type.

Always sick and always injured
because their soul is sick and
their mind is injured.

They always have headaches and backaches
and joint pain. They complain about
the weather, the pollen, the lack
of funds to cure them of their
self-inflicted ailments.

They don’t want to be healed.

And they lack the imagination
or the courage to
end it all.

So they watch TV constantly and complain
endlessly about their lot in life. They
survive solely off of disability checks
and cigarettes on the back porches
of this mad world.

Their only victory.

Some people are thrown into this world
only to suffer.

And they fall in love
with their suffering, and use it as
a crutch to limp thru their
wretchedly dull,
unlived lives.

But not us.
You and I.

We realized early on that most of
life was a lie, so instead
we sip wine at sunrise
and laugh and get high
to disguise our sad eyes
so full of love and dread.

You and I.

We fall blindly into the future
fueled by our sketchy past,
livin’ each and every day
like it was our last.

You and I.

Damsel in Distress

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She loved me early on because
of the mystery and the potential
she thought she saw in me.

She liked the edgy words I wrote,
she liked the art, and the way
I carried myself. She fell for
those worn-out Red Wing boots
and that leather flask of soul
forever placed in the ass pocket
of my stained jeans.

She was curious over that
battered old rucksack
stuffed with poetry and pain
that hung heavily from
my shoulders.

She was enthralled by the allegory
in the tattoos and the hardback
vintage books of Montaigne, Emerson,
and Poe I carried to that dingy
dive bar at the edge of town.

She said it did something to her,
I was dark but pure, she saw it in
the language of my eyes. I was
unlike the others she said, I
didn’t give a damn about
what most cared for.

She liked that.

I never understood who she thought
I was. I tried to warn her but she
just clung tighter to the man
she thought she knew.

My intense hunger for solitude started
to take its toll on her. She hated that
the art was a priority and she refused
to reckon with that ragged old shadow
that engulfs the core of who I am.

It pissed her off when I skipped out
on the cocktail parties, the beach trips,
and all the other festivals of her life.

For her, it was impossible to fathom
how a man could dwell so comfortably alone
in the back alleys of the endless night.

Now she throws ashtrays at my head
when I come home at 3am,
and she
takes a knife to the art,
and laughs
at the poetry
as mascara tears
stream down her
pretty little face.

I tried to warn the little
high-heeled damsel
before the distress
inevitably
took her to that
crazy place
they all
go.

Once again,
she ignored my pleas.

Sublimation

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if you take a minute to unplug from the white noise
you can see it plain as day

we’ve been programmed by the programmed —
teachers, priests, parents, politicians,
corporations, like always,
have passed down their ideals,
their demands, their laws, their
rigid rules, and expect us
to take them on without
too many questions

and we do

we’ve been lured away from
ourselves
which is why most of us
never become
who we are

we live out our lives in a dull
comatose state with a constant crave
for security and cheap entertainment

our beliefs are born out of an unthinking
acceptance of what is

as Schopenhauer saw all too clearly
over a century ago, “the majority of men…
are not capable of thinking, but only
of believing, and… are not accessible
to reason, but only to authority”

I don’t like it

I don’t want to live how they live.
I don’t want to succumb to what they’ve
been succumbed by

I want to wage war on their empty peace,
on their blind acceptance of it all, on
their pledges of allegiances, on their
duplicated morality, on their
unread minds

I don’t like it…

the obvious
the mundane
the predictable

I don’t like the cost it has taken
I don’t like the souls it has taken

I don’t like the 9-5
or the faceless faces within those hours,
or the empty smiles and polite gestures,
or the meaningless work we’re duped into doing
to support a stagnant lifestyle we despise

I don’t like the news or what goes on day to day

I don’t like the fashion or the trends or the politics
that the people invest so much of their
fleeting time into

I don’t like their recycled viewpoints
their virtue signaling vanities
their soulless conversations
their coffee shop sentimentality

I don’t like it

the ladies medicate their loneliness
through endless social media scrolling,
the suburban men pop pills & watch football
to dilute the agony of an unlived life,
the old folks, mutilated by inflation
and boredom, wear it on their faces

I don’t like it

the most comfortable are the most defeated,
nothing to struggle against
they become flabby
physically
mentally
and spiritually
and they lose
themselves in the wastelands
of meaningless

everybody watches the same things
everybody complains about the same things
everybody buys the same things
everybody is the same

give me something outlandish,
something that has a little fire,
a little gamble. give me the deviants,
the outcasts, give me Mack
and the boys of Cannery Row,
give me Jack Kerouac slobbering
drunk spitting haiku poems on
MacDougal Street on the edge
of dawn, give me Jim Morrison
on that Miami stage, give me
2pac with his middle finger
raised to the skies after being
shot 5 times, give me
Jesus Christ lookin’ deep
into the eyes of his executioner…
“My kingdom is not of this world”

I need unthinkable thoughts
mystically erupting from
tattered minds on the verge of
the madhouse. I need guts,
and bleeding hearts who see the
world as a magnificent lie, as
Emerson knew

those who don’t have the same
worn-out ideals as everyone else.
those who understand
that it’s not meant to be understood
the free-thinkers
the classic literature readers
the troubled poets
the daytime whiskey dreamers
the back-alley wanderers
the Nietzsche ponderers

I’m tired of loud spectators,
give me the doers. give me those
with a little skin in the game

give me the fresh vitality of a liberated prisoner,
the perceptive ears of a Bob Dylan listener

give me those who refuse to splash
around on the surface of a dying world,
give me honest eyes that never lie to me,
give me those who rage under fiery stars,
unchained from the domestic bars
that tame the many

give me something

I Walk Alone

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I walk alone under cloudless skies
willfully desperate but alive,
I walk alone in the night
after the pink misty light
has seeped down behind
the glittering sea
and the daydreamers fall asleep
leaving me free to be,
free to flee
as I trek alone
upon the wastelands
of destiny.

I’ve been around and seen some things
bathed my soul in the cosmic springs
been down some paths, stained my wings
shed some blood in the sad streams
of tears that flood the dreams
of the hopeless; I’ve sheltered
down in the cold thick mud
under ancient oaks in the
ghostly wilderness of
the mystic flood.

It is then,
an undetermined hour,
when the agony
arrives again
that my tale will be told
before the years unfold,
and it has all
died within.

You’d Be an Illegal Immigrant, Too (If You Had the Guts)

 

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Mexico for the most part is
beautiful and safe. A lot
of Americans retire and
move there. In a lot of
ways it’s a considerably
freer place to live than
the US. But near the border
it’s a living hell, due mostly
to the drug cartel, which,
unfortunately,
is aided by the
US’s policies on
the so-called
“war on drugs.”

If I had a family and lived
in a wasteland, and a portion
of my community had been killed
off by the drug cartel, and I saw
no hope on the horizon, I too
would break a man-made law and
cross and an imaginary line
if it led to safer grounds.
I’d take the risk. For my family.
You likely would too. If you had
the guts. And if I got caught
I’d hope the
badged bureaucrats
would show a little
empathetic mercy
to my
desperate
predicament.