I Don’t Want To Believe

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

― William Blake

4.awakening2

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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Cross Creek: A Journey back to Old Florida

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“I do not understand how anyone can live
without some small place of enchantment to turn to.”
― Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


Cross Creek is a tiny community in Florida lodged deep in the woods on the banks of a short stream that connects two beautiful lakes — Orange and Lochloosa.

A couple of weeks ago I made my way up to Cross Creek to visit the old home of Pulitzer-prize winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

Rawlings was one of Florida’s most gifted writers, largely known for her 1938 book — “The Yearling.”   Continue reading

Prove You’re Alive

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I do a lot of solo traveling during my time off from work. When you travel by yourself and you’re able to forgo certain comforts & luxuries of modern day life, you can travel very inexpensively.

Everyone should do it every now and then. It’s healthy, revitalizing, and you feel this deep sense of freedom like no other. I think it’s the best type of therapy in a world gone mad.

Anyways, for me, I like to fill up a backpack once in a while, grab my camera, buy a plane ticket, and just go. I like facing the unknown. This is how I beat death in life. Continue reading

24 Brief Pieces of Advice for High School Graduates

1. Staying out of debt & learning a trade is more advantageous than obtaining a college degree in most cases.

2. Travel and learn a little about the world you live in before the University attempts to shape your worldview.

3. Start a blog and write often. Even if no one reads it.

4. Be creative. Create something every day. As Nietzsche understood, “Art is the supreme task and the truly metaphysical activity in this life.”

5. Invest money as early as you can. Find a low-cost Index Fund and throw at least 10% of what you earn in it. No matter what. The earlier the better.

6. Never have a car payment. Ever.

7. Read. Read often. Read the greats. Start with the great works of Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Steinbeck.

8. Speak precisely, never exaggerate.

9. Do the things you’re most uncomfortable doing.

10. Don’t workout to look good. Workout to be strong. Focus on the main lifts — Squats, Deadlift, and Press.

11. Sprinting is more beneficial than jogging.

12. Eat meats, fats, fruits, nuts, and greens. Leave everything else alone.

13. Only put out quality content on Social Media. Or don’t have an account.

14. Merely showing up on time and being polite puts you ahead of the curve.

15. Surround yourself with respectable people who are smarter than you.

16. No job is “beneath” you. No matter your skill level or education.

17. Travel to places that scare you.

18. Learn to embrace solitude. Learn to be by yourself often.

19. The integrity of the individual is the most important thing in the world. Be self-aware, know yourself, know what you’re about, and don’t succumb to the herd-mentality.

20. To be alive is to suffer. Life’s hard, tragic and beautiful at the same time. Embrace the suffering, and never run from what you must deal with. Great humans are born out of suffering.

21. No one cares what you do as much as you think they do.

22. Take full responsibility for your life. If you fail to do this you’ll live out your days full of resentment which will inevitably lead to a very bad place.

23. Always move. Move far. Move hard. Move in the direction of your dreams. Or around the block. Just move everyday.

24. Spend your money on experiences rather than on things. Own very little. Excessive “stuff” weighs you down, causes you to become stagnant, weak, and chained up. As the L.A. poet, Charles Bukowski, recognized, “the less I needed the better I felt.”

23 Brilliant Mark Twain Quotes on his Birthday

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William Faulkner christened Mark Twain, “The Father of American Literature.”

The great Hemingway claimed that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

America’s finest writer was born on this day 182 years ago. So it’s fitting to bring to light 23 of Mark Twain’s many brilliant quotes that show us his unrivaled witticism and piercing insights on human nature. Continue reading

Tragedy of Man

The most dangerous thing
to any society is a man
brimming with emptiness.
And it’s rampant, man,
you see it everywhere.
Empty men, too comfortable,
too stagnant, drive gone.
Unable to create, unable to
grow, these men lose the guts
to command their own lives.

They become resentful
and fall deeply into a
vicious type of despair.

I think we’ve all been there
a time or two but this particular
man gets stuck in it. He gives up
wanting and feeling, thinks it’s
all futile. His boredom eventually
yields to a fetish to destroy all
life around him, including his own.

Mass shootings, murder-suicides,
and snuggling up to warped ideologies
divulge
the sad finale
to all these men’s
sick stories.

you’re not gonna change it, darlin’

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the world is in disarray, darlin’,
and that’s the way it always has been
and always will be. this is its normal state,
it’s tragic and fascinating at the same time.

the vast fields of gold & honey
are encircled by raging rivers
of blood and tears.

you’re not going to change it, darlin’.

I know your college professors have
plagued your mind with subversive ideas
of change; change at a cost of yielding
your essence to the false idol of “equality”,
but’s it’s a lie, darlin’, I promise you…
the unintended consequences will be far worse
than the evils you’re trying to eradicate.

you have animosity & rage
building up within you,
you’re becoming corrupted by your beliefs,
this sometimes happens
when a belief system is in doubt,
can’t you see it, darlin’?

can’t you see what you’re becoming?

instead of listening and pondering the rationale
of opposing voices, you want them silenced.
you routinely inject a dose of ad hominem
as a scapegoat to divert attention away
from the debate, you erect a strawman, lumping
your opponents into detestable groups
to muddy up their character instead of
dealing face to face with the argument.

this is what you’ve become.

they’ve molded you into an instrument
in someone else’s symphony. a pawn in
someone else’s game. refuse, darlin’
don’t lose yourself to some odious ideology
that breeds resentment towards the
hierarchical structure you find yourself in,
it’s a no-win situation.

I promise you, darlin’
you’re not going to smash the system
you’re not going to alter it
you’re not going to level it out.
your time & energy are too precious
to waste on such a futile endeavor.

because in truth, we’re all just thrown
into this chaotic catastrophe as lost
transients who take on a few
decades of its infinite expansion.

endless suffering, prejudices,
and inequity are part of the game
darlin’, they’re inescapable
in a world of duplicitous hearts,
where that fine line rifts between
good and evil.

so go ahead, clamor for more laws,
shun your neighbors and cling tighter
to your predictable politics, give up
a little more in exchange for the illusion
of security, write your congressman,
join the trendy campaign, hashtag
your way straight to utopia, darlin’

sermonize to us all on social media
like you do so well

keep it up

tell us the way of the world,
tell us what the philosophers
neglected to inform us
tell us our proper role
on this unforgiving planet
tell us your bland ideas
tell us your irrational fears
tell us your cunning pleas

however, darlin’, you’re not going
to change it, your groupthink,
herd-minded viewpoints are voiced
loud and clear, but it means nothing.

your resentment of the flourishing
makes you a victim of a deep-seated
nihilistic despair, and instead of trying
to rise through the muck, you yearn to bring
everyone down to your pathetic level.

you were taught this to be virtuous, noble,
you’ve come to despise the individual,
you’ve come to hate him, which is
why you mimic the masses and castoff
responsibility for your own miserable life.

you’ve been caught up in the cobwebs
of your culture, darlin’. you’re too weak
to push through. they’ve got you.

this is why you’re bitter and saturated
with an anti-realist belief system.
the way you perceive outer reality
is just a reflection of your inner world.

the only REAL thing you can do
is change who you are.

behave in little ways
to make yourself a
healthier, wiser
more creative
person.

you have to go at it alone, though.
the majority, the crowd, is never right.

think bigger, reflect deeper, speak truthfully,
take on a bigger load, put some skin
in the game. find out who you are,
fix your unlived, broken self
first, before you attempt
in some vain way
to save the
world.

it’s the only way.