Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Whereabouts of Soul: Brightness

“What is brightness? What is light? What does it mean when a person shines brightly?”

       “When a light shines bright, a candle burns brightly, a flame roars in its serene original existence; the other lights, candles and flames think that the brighter one is going to kill them. But I have observed that this is a very limiting thing to think and to feel. And I have also learned that when you are a brightly-shining candle, your every smile and movement and thought and action is magnified— not because you magnify it and not because you are loud— but only because what is bright will be bright. And that’s it. You have to realise your brightness, because it is when you lose sight of how much you shine, that you will begin to hurt others with your light! You don’t realise the impact that you have, because you’re thinking lower of yourself. You see, sometimes humility is actually the act of the acceptance of your greatness! You reach a point where it dawns on you, that you have to stop saying, “I’m not good enough, I’m not this or that enough, I’m just like this” and you need to stand up straight into your full figure, into your full height, accept your stature, and that is actually an act of humility. It is humble to accept that you don’t have control over how much light you were meant to shine into this world, and that if you are meant to be a gigantic Roman Candle, then so be it! I have seen those who have stood up into their full statures, into their full heights, and they appear as though they could break down a tree with a single glance! But all they’ve really done is accepted... And it is important to know that brightness is not there to kill everything else around it! Brightness is not something that we need to compete for or that we need to chase after! But when one is bright and light, may we all stop for a minute to worship!”

— Excerpt from my upcoming book, Whereabouts of Soul, sequel to, The Conversation of Merachefet.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Whereabouts of Soul

“What is your religion?”

“This is a funny question to ask me!”

“Yes, it is! But, what is your religion?”

“My religion is Beauty. Have you heard them all say that their religion is kindness? Well, my religion is Beauty.”

“What does that mean? What does it mean when one says that her religion is Beauty?”

       “When I say my religion is Beauty, I am saying that I am an advocate of the process of things becoming beautiful, becoming more; of things and of people that add joyful, pleasing, peaceful, gentle, harmless, worthwhile objects, creeds, and experiences, to their communities, and collectively to the rest of the world. I am faithful to the beautiful roses, I am faithful to the beautiful wildflowers in the fields, I am faithful to the Dawn and to the Dusk. I am faithful to the harp, to the music that it brings to my ears, I am faithful to joyous laughter and I am faithful to good and pleasing food! I am faithful to the faithful lover, to the lover who makes a house into a home; I’m faithful to the innocent child, to the child who makes a home into a sanctuary; I am faithful to the trees that give us homes to live in and bridges to cross. I am faithful to happy memories and to gentleness. I am faithful to the absence of hostility, to the absence of death. I am faithful to bliss.
       I am a believer in sublimity; in paintings and in sculptures. I am a believer in marble angels and in stone gargoyles. I am a believer in the strokes of the paintbrush that can be found nestled on the surface of oil paintings, I am a believer in the freedom of the flowers, the way that colors roam our Earth, I am a believer in form and in flow. I believe in the way the Moonlight makes me feel and I believe in the way that the Sunlight can soothe my Soul. I believe in the soft breaths that escape my lips during intimate moments, the touch of another’s skin on my skin, the rubbing of another’s Soul upon the membranes of my own Soul! I believe in the movement of dance and in the music that makes us want to do it. I believe in the sanctity of intimacy and in the songs that we sing. I put my faith in myths, legends and forgotten writings. I put my faith in the consciousness of stones and in the tales of the waters. I trust in the small animals that I feed, and in the people who understand them. I trust in metamorphosis, in growth, in the way that the seed turns into a fruit tree! I trust in my dreams at night, they are more than just dreams. I am a friend to bliss, to delight, and to those who make things beautiful and who create beautiful things. Michelangelo is my Priest. Donatello is my Saint. I worship those who can take a stone and turn that stone into a chapel.
       I am the enemy of things and of people that would deceive and divide, I am enemy of corrosion and erosion, I am enemy of disease and malfunction, I am enemy of lies and of manipulations, I am the enemy of lack, of want, of need and of envy. I am the enemy of the carcass, of the rot, and of loss. I am enemy to all things that would cause ugliness and struggle in a life and in a world. I cannot be friends with those who are the cause of decay in others. Don’t make me dance with someone that is envious, don’t make me sit and eat with someone who stabs another in the back. This is my Creed, this is my Religion.

— An excerpt from my upcoming book, entitled,  Whereabouts of Soul, which is a sequel to The Conversation of Merachefet.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What Is A Divergent?

       Since I oftentimes make reference to the word "Divergent" when I write things, I think I ought to explain what that means, in context. The term (in context), comes from the dystopian novel series by Veronica Roth. In her novels, we live in a future dystopian society where all people are segregated according to factions, that being, according to exactly how people are wired to function. That way, everyone can understand exactly how everyone else (and they themselves) ought to react to situations, ought to behave, ought to think and ought to choose, so on and so forth. It's actually very applicable to our world, today. In fact, I think that Veronica Roth's novels have captured exactly what it is like, in the world, today; the difference being that she has taken raw truth and made it into literal, simplified formulas, that really do spell out how it is for us all, in our societies, right now. We are already living in that dystopian society in our minds. Her novels (and the movies adapted from her novels), play out the physical, obvious aspect of how it already goes on, on the mental landscape of collective society.
       There are five factions: Dauntless (The Brave), Amity (The Peaceful), Candor (The Honest), Abnegation (The Selfless), and Erudite (The Intellectual). All children go through a serum-induced psychological test, to determine how their brains respond to a variety of situations. Typically, they are induced into hallucinations and their reactions to situations are monitored on-screen. Depending on how they save themselves in certain situations, how they deal with what's presented to them— they are then placed into whichever faction they belong to. Now, Divergents are the ones who break all the known ways of handling the tests. Divergents are all five of the factions put together, and they are considered outcasts, they are considered as threats, and are hunted down for the kill. A Divergent knows when to be brave, when to be peaceful, when to be honest, when to be selfless, and when to exercise intelligence. Albeit, they may struggle with exactly when each quality is needed, but then that's all just a part of growing up and becoming! The bottom line is that, all of their faculties are fully-functioning and they are not circumnavigated by any single one of those faculties. They are not limited or bound by their selflessness because they also know when to fight back; they are not limited by their urges to fight because they also know how to be peaceful; they are not duped by their own honesty because they have the intellect enough to know when to hold their tongues, and so on and so forth. When put in a situation where the only obvious choices would be to either die or to fight back, a Divergent could easily take an alternative path, for example, jump into the canal and swim to safety, to avoid both death and fighting (fighting would result in major injuries). And that's just one small example of how a Divergent would deal with a scenario. In other words, a Divergent would be able to pull upon other faculties outside his/her own expected "faction" of behaviour, in order to apply the most applicable action, to garner the most beneficial and favourable outcome.
       When I watched the movies, I knew I was Divergent! And I know that every single person who watched the movies and reads the novels thinks that about themselves, but I really do know what I'm saying. People want to belong and people need to belong. Some just don't belong because they can't belong, because their brains want to pull on many faculties, in order to choose the most favourable outcomes.
       I wish there were more Divergents. Divergents could really push humankind forward! Imagine, we all want to have compassionate leaders; however, when push comes to shove, those very same leaders need to be able to make decisions to protect their own people, and not the rest of the world! So where are they supposed to draw the line of compassion? Because they need to draw it somewhere. On the other hand, we need leaders who know how to go to war; nonetheless, we can't have total war freaks who do nothing but spend all the nation's money on weapons and plots! We need Divergent leaders, leaders who can't be lumped into one faction and predicted according to the qualities of that faction! We need leaders who are capable of immediately pulling onto needed faculties that are applicable to given situations! But how is this ever going to happen, when the political parties, themselves, are factions in and of themselves! And I don't think I even have to explain that, do I? You have left and right and up and down and whatever! Those are all just factions. But how will that ever work? For example, you have a Presidential candidate on the right, who is 100% against abortion. I am against abortion in most cases; however, in the case that a nine year old girl is raped by her father or her brother or her cousin— or any man— and gets pregnant by that, I am in favour of abortion. It's a case-to-case basis! You need to know when to pull on a different inherent quality, to apply to a different outward situation! Meanwhile, we have Presidential candidates on the left who are always for abortion, no matter what, so as a result we have irresponsible grown ass women who get abortion after abortion after abortion, just because they don't feel like using condoms or taking birth control pills! And that's something that has to stop, because that is irresponsible and shameful! So as you can see, Divergents need to now arise to leader positions in the world, because without Divergents, the future of humanity is really going nowhere.
       I hope you now will all have a firm grasp on what I am referring to when I use the term "Divergent." And better yet, I hope this article has got you thinking more about what it means for the future of our species. Thank you for reading, and have a joy-filled day! :)

This Is How I Am Divergent

       I remember that day in Florence (Firenze), I was standing there on the sidewalk next to a gelateria, all alone. I was traveling all alone to begin with, and that day I wasn't spending with newfound Florentine friends, either. There was an old lady in a wheelchair out on the street, surrounded by about a dozen suitcases, out in the heat, all alone, and she started calling out to me! Immediately, I assessed the situation— she was old, in a wheelchair, and left with a dozen suitcases in the middle of the street, it was terribly hot— the whole scenario was very unlikely; and yet, there it was, before my eyes! And she was calling out to me! I walked out to her and she spoke to me in Italian, holding out some money in her hand, asking me to buy her some gelato from the gelateria at the corner where I was standing at before she called me out onto the street.
       I know that I am a compassionate person. And I know that I am highly empathic and sensitive. But I am also analytical and I am not stupid and I am not easily played. Though I saw that the old lady was in a wheelchair and it was very hot and she needed some gelato, I could not bring myself to take the money from her hand and go and do as she was asking me to! The scenario was too unlikely. First of all, nobody in their right mind, in Italy, leaves their great grandmother stranded on a hot day, in the street, surrounded by a dozen suitcases! Secondly, why wasn't she asking that I buy her water? Why ask for gelato? In a scenario like that, you don't ask for ice cream, but you ask for water! It was very, very hot! I could put together the rest of the probable puzzle from there— she, having been able to gauge my levels of sympathy/compassion, would then make a bigger request— that I assist her in bringing her luggage somewhere (God knows where)! And then from there I could make out that she was probably not really alone, at all. I mean, why would she be alone? How did all that luggage get there, in the first place? Did she tag them along behind her in her wheelchair? Of course not! And, you know, Florence is full of Mafia, who knows if the whole thing was a set up and who knows what was in those many, many suitcases! I could have easily been framed for pushing drugs, locked up in Florence, and detained until a court hearing! A never-ending nightmare!
       I could have helped the old lady and gained favour in the eyes of all the onlookers (there were plenty), risking my own safety and going against my better judgment; or, I could call the bunch of other travelers over there, who were traveling in a group, and ask if they could assist her, because a group of travelers would be a more unlikely target for any shadowy plans like the ones I had analysed to be possible. So, I did the latter. I walked up to the group of travelers a meter away, and I asked them if they would not help her. I explained what she wanted, and explained why I felt I shouldn't do it. They agreed that if they were in my position, they would have done the same as me, and then they proceeded to helping her. That way, if she was legitimately looking for help in the form of a simple cup of gelato, then she would get her needed help, and it didn't matter to me if I looked like a bad person or not. She would have gotten her help, that's what was important! And, if the actual scenario was as how I had analysed it to possibly be, then I had just saved myself from ruining my future!
       The moral of this very true story, that occurred in Summer of 2010, is that empathy is compassion with intelligence, and that our compassion should never become a tool by which we may be used by others as a means to their own ends that may be harmful to us. We should not sacrifice our intelligence for appearances. If you indeed want to help, there is another way to help that might not make you look like a good person, but the outcome for the one in need would be exactly the same! And that's how true empathy is measured, I believe. If I had to do it all over again, I would do the same exact thing! And I teach my son the same, as well. I hope you've enjoyed my short lecture for today, may joy be with you! Run along now, run along! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

pocket gardens and world events

       Over at my FB Page, I had recent discussions about how I am considering to be a non-participant in the passions of the world events which cause so much mental and emotional burden. It's happened again and again— I am busy roaming around in my "pocket garden", tending to my roses and wading in my streams— when something happens in the world to shake my passions and I lunge outside of my own oasis to take up arms and war with external forces. It is the one thing that has power over me and after this recent lapse that I had over the Syrian refugee crisis, I have seriously considered to tackle this animal and to tame it.
       In the teachings of Rosicrucian Mysticism, the only true religion that exists, is the Religion of Beauty. To make yourself and the things around you beautiful, to create and to plant and to flourish Beauty in your Soul and breathe it out into your surroundings— that is True Religion! Anything that will cause the decay of beauty inside yourself or outside in your surroundings, is the enemy of your Salvation, and should be simply avoided.
       It's been written in various archaic accounts, that the Elementals once interacted with humans on a regular, almost daily basis, until the angst and cruelty of the human world caused them to recline back into their unseen world and to prefer staying there. In the Rosicrucian accounts, there are documented encounters between Bishops, Saints and Elementals such as Fawns and Satyrs. Of course, these accounts are vaulted up and locked away, only revealed through diligent exploration of old writings.
       There is one dream in particular that I had, where I was walking through the war-torn world, when my attention was drawn to a forest filled with lavender fields, so I walked through the war-torn world and then took the turn into the fields of lavender within the thick forest. The place was filled with all manner of Elemental, there they danced and laughed and were completely free of the darkness that raged just outside, with the humans. I talked to them and asked them why they chose to stay far away, and they said, that they did not understand the hostility of the humans.
       I feel that I was born a warrior, a vanguard of people. When there are catastrophic events in the world, or happenings that can shake the inner soul, instead of feeling powerless; I feel empowered! Instead of feeling helpless, I feel the most passionate and the most knowledgeable, at those same exact times. I don't feel like I must retreat; instead, I feel as though I should lunge forward! I grab my arms and I lose all fear! But then that is when I am pulled into the angst and into the coldness! I am pulled out of my "pocket garden" of roses and streams, and I feel like I could guard and lead a billion people! So for me to choose to stay in my garden, is a choice that comes with a great amount of true restraint. And I do it for myself. But then it is not only for myself, it is also for my followers who would rather enter into the garden instead of run out into a battle.
       Perhaps there is a way to lead an army and to retreat into the fields of lavender, at the same time. Or maybe there is no way to do both, and it is all a choice between the two! Nevertheless, hopefully I will be able to restrain my passions, and practice my own Religion of Beauty.

Envy And Narcissism As Explained In The Eighteen Hundreds

       Kierkegaard, the Danish writer and thinker of hundreds of years ago, is celebrated as the first true existentialist philosopher. And apparently, an avid diary-keeper who wrote his thoughts down so uninhibitedly and so unapologetically, that some of those same thoughts written in the eighteen hundreds, which I'm sharing with you here, are now very relevant, current, and applicable insights into our situations and our needs circa 2015!
       In this particular bit of journaling, he expresses so prolifically a very common human trait, which is envy, and studies and expounds upon the results of envy, which are actions that are meant to demean, to lessen, to detract from, the object of envy. Of course, the worst thing to say to an envious person, is, "you are just envious", because then all hell will break loose, especially if you are dealing with a narcissist who actually wants to make it appear to others like you are the one who is envious or you are perhaps just flawed in character or in mind!
       Kierkegaard goes on to discuss the symptoms associated with this condition, as well as the treatments of it (the treatments that he applied to those who felt insecure around him). His methods of treatment are different from my own, as I would simply ignore an envious person to death, even go so far as to acting like they are not even there! Of course, my "treatment" only exacerbates their condition. But K has listed down a treatment that is a bit more cunning in nature, which involves actually giving the envious person what they really want (or at least, they think it's what you are giving to them). Overall, this is a very valuable collection of thoughts, containing a wealth of insight that I believe everyone should read and really understand! His words here that stand out to me the most, are the following: “Showing that they don’t care about me, or caring that I should know they don’t care about me, still denotes dependence.” I think that we can all immediately identify what he means by this, as all of us have either been the victim of this type of treatment, or, you who are reading this right now may be a perpetrator of this type of treatment towards others! Actions like these are of course becoming more prevalent and more easy to carry out these days, thanks to social media platforms! Narcissistic tactics such as gaslighting, stonewalling, and baiting and bashing are all too easy to carry out on others, thanks to how smaller the world has become as a result of "global shrinking" in the light of all our social media platforms and tools. When you feel like you are purposely being shunned or overlooked— the key word there is purposely! There is a real intent being given in order to shun you, to make you feel unwanted and left out, etc. Which of course just means that there is a great amount of purpose being placed upon your existence! Which I will leave to Kierkegaard now to explain. I hope you enjoy the read and find it helpful, thank you for being here today! :)