C. JoyBell C. Conclave

In lieu of my vanishing FB Page, as promised, I have put up a FB Group in its place. Together, we can rebuild what has been lost. 18,900 organically grown followers lost overnight; but we can grow that to an even greater number! You and me together! Please go look up C. JoyBell C. Conclave in FB Groups and rejoin our home! Then invite your friends and share the posts that matter. Interact, make friends, share, bring people home with you. Please get the word out! And thank you. ❤


This Is Why You Can't Find Me on Facebook Anymore

     On Tuesday morning, I received a casual notification on Facebook, there it was amongst the normal notifications (comment alerts, friend requests, somebody liked my photo, etc.) But it was the equivalent of finding a decapitated human head in the grocery aisle on a seemingly normal afternoon: "Your page, "C. JoyBell C. - Writer, has been unpublished". Oh my god. I read it again to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. But it still said the same thing the second time I read it, and the third time, and the fourth time, and the fifth time... then I realised that my worst nightmare was actually materializing in front of my eyes and I began to panic. I sent in an appeal to FB so they'd reconsider what they'd done and take a look back into it. Then I stormed chat rooms and help sections of every blog, everywhere, in hopes of finding a magical cure for this black plague that had found its way at my doorstep!


     I have since tried every quack doctor's recommendation, as well as all of my friends' recommendations, as well as all of Facebook's half assed recommendations, to get my page back. Afterall, I have been there for TEN YEARS, replying to messages daily, FOR A DECADE NOW, building a digital structure where people can freely read what I have to say and receive food for their souls and guidance in real time, FOR A DECADE ALREADY. And I never paid for an add. All 18,900 followers were organically collected. And I know that's not a lot, but, it's a lot when it is entirely built from word-of-mouth.


     Countless souls have told me, through my page, that being there daily had literally saved their lives. Countless souls, countless people. All the time. Now it's gone. It's gone as casually as a nicely poisoned cup of coffee in the morning and you drop dead unexpectedly. The vilest sort of evil.
     The question on everyone's minds has been, "Why? What did you do to deserve it?" Well, the answer to that seems to be the last message I saw sent to me through my page: a message from a guy seeking advice on publishing his own book. I had already replied to him with words of encouragement, but I could no longer reply to him acting like Google. Hey, when I was starting out writing and publishing my own books, I would spend up to eight hours a day on Google, just researching HOW to do what I needed to do. I didn't ask for anyone to sit down and tell me what to do. I researched it. Because other people have lives, that's why. But it's not even that I didn't want to help this person; it's just that it was not physically possible to do so. I don't just have "a life", I have a very occupied life, wherein I have many things to do! I have so many emails to answer! Many of them are critical, I NEED to answer them! So I stopped replying to this person and then he started sending messages asking "where is the real C. JoyBell C." then a few days later-- BAM -- my page has evaporated into thin air! The only direction that Facebook is now pointing me into, is the direction of "WE DO NOT ALLOW IMPOSTOR PAGES ON FACEBOOK." So apparently I am suspect of being an impostor of myself. Great. Now FB wants to give me impostor syndrome just in time for World Mental Health Awareness Day! And right after my provocative post regarding depression, too!


     Ten years and it took one guy accusing me of not being me, who apparently reported me to "the authorities" and all my work is gone, my connections are gone, I can't even let the 18,900 people know what's going on, what happened... are you guys looking for me right now, wondering why you can't message my anymore? Wondering where I've gone? I HAVE NOT ABANDONED YOU! And I AM SO, SO SORRY! I am still in shock, to be honest with you. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, that this has actually really happened!
     I plan to wait a few more days for the results of the appeal I put in, but if the results are negative, I am going to restart our community, over again, in the form of a FACEBOOK GROUP. I believe a group will be healthier for everyone involved. Healthier for myself (I don't need to feel pressure for the count of followers to climb higher, I don't need to feel inadequate for not being given "the verified blue checkmark" beside my name, and etc.); a FB Group would be a round table, a gathering place, people feel they have been invited to dinner rather than been invited to be a spectator. And I believe this feeling of hearth an warmness will greatly reduce the likelihood of people fucking around with me and my work in the future! Hopefully. Dammit, hopefully!
     Dear wonderfuls, we have been through so much over the past TEN YEARS, please do not let go of me now! I really need you right now, as this event has really shaken me more than I know what to do with. I can only hope that this turn of events is something that we, together, will be able to turn into a curb that leads to a better path going forward. Better for C. JoyBell C., better for me as a person, and better for each one of you! Together, our journey moves forward. Hold my hands.


I Really, Really Want To Talk To You About Depression

     I recently had a depressive suicidal episode, during which time, I reached out to my IG followers. It lasted a day and now I want to talk about it because I feel that I have reaped lessons about depression which could help other people reading this.
     I can count on my one hand the episodes of suicidal depression I have experienced in my lifetime thus far. I have always had anxiety, I remember having it as a child. I was a very serene and glowingly peaceful child, but that didn't mean that I was not living alongside anxiety. I wrote the passage: "I must be a creature, for I have two hearts: one is always broken, other is always whole" and these words of mine allude to this fact about me.  I believe that anxiety as a permanent mental condition is something that haunts people who feel and sense a lot more than what the general population of people feel and sense. If you see and understand deeply the conditions surrounding you, it is simply impossible not to develop anxiety, because there are so many people hurting in this world, there is so much uncertainty in our existence, in our futures, so on and so forth. Anxiety is something I lived with even back when I was too short to ride the gigantic swinging contraption at the county fair back in Florida. I was serene, I was constantly peaceful, but then there would be this sinking feeling in my stomach, it would make me throw up.


     But anxiety does not always lead to depression, in my life. It rarely does, and like I said, I can count on one hand the suicidal episodes I have had in my life. The most startling thing about this, is that, they were all during significantly different times in my life that are so unrelated to each other. I had one of these when I was in Florence, Italy. The beautiful Florence in Italy! I was having the time of my life, I was free, I was loaded, I had a luggage dedicated just for me to carry around my shoes! I had expensive perfume, my hair was down to my waist... I was at an all-time high! And then-- BOOM! I wanted to die! A stranger who was staying in the same hotel as myself noticed this and asked if I was okay, and sat there while I cried, she talked me into believing in staying alive (thank you, stranger!)
     Another time I had one of these was when I was thirteen years old and everything just hurt all over. I prayed to the Angel of Death to take me in my sleep. Instead, as I slept, a beautiful Angel came to me on top of a cathedral tower and gave me a gift in a wooden box.
     I've had these when I was supposedly in a steady marriage with a man who took care of my every whim. I saw no hope for life and the inside of me was an "open empty". The kind of horrible open empty that echoes back to you when you say something in the dark.


     I have had suicidal bouts of depression at times so unique in themselves and so different and set apart one from another, which drives home the realization that what we feel on the inside is not always brought about by what is going on around us, on the outside. Sure, there is a trigger point at which we break, but that tipping point is only the top of the iceberg. The rest of the iceberg is a collection of battle scars and artillery we have taken into our wars. We fight for a long, long time. We demand for our right to exist, for our right to be loved, for our right to wake up the next morning. Then one day we ask ourselves, "Is my right to exist worth fighting for? Isn't it simply a waste of everyone else's time?" And then "it" happens. We err on the side of not being around anymore, of no longer existing. In our minds, we give up that right. People can ask, "What started it", but that's just not the question to ask. It starts months ago, years ago. It's a war, it's a world war. It's a war between your inner nations.


     Something very significant which I have learned from this most recent experience, which I hope psychotherapists will take serious notice of, is that depression is at its worst when your outer world appears to be at its most peaceful. Read that again. And again. You see a person walking into a room with a sad face, a depressed look, tired skin... the depression is at the surface. Compare that to a person who walks into the room serene, glowing, joyful-- that kind of depression has sunken so deep inside that it can no longer be detected at the surface level! That's the deep level whereat illustrious personalities we so love and admire suddenly take their own lives to the shock of every one of us! They are filming a cooking show one minute, and peacefully committing suicide in their trailer the next minute. They are joyfully slipping from this life into the afterlife! No crying episodes, no outbursts... the depression has sunken into a level so deep in the middle of the chest, that it is no longer expressible, no longer detectable. This is the part where you need to get scared.
     I work with people who are depressed, suicidal, anxious, addicted to drugs, and etc. I know when to get scared. And because I am self-aware, I knew that I needed to get scared at this point. The signs were showing (at least to me), I was becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin but at the same time I was having more and more sinking feelings in my stomach. I couldn't even look at my own cat because I felt like I wasn't good enough for him. "My cat is too good for me, he needs someone so much better than me who can give him so much more than I can." And this was not just a passing feeling nor a passing thought; it was so real that I actually considered hiding from him when I'd see him! That's when I caught myself and said to myself, "Hey, this is not normal."


     It's a culmination of months or weeks or years of battle scars, but the episodes usually last just a day for me (I am a lucky one, or, maybe I am just more equipped than many others, thankfully). Coming out of this one, I am alive (and thank you, thank you), and I feel like the soil of my soul has been tilled and ready for good seeds to be planted. I do not want to romanticize depression; nevertheless, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I feel like when it serves its purpose, it can help you to form yourself into a more evolved person. It whacks at the dry dirt of your soul and leaves behind moistly tilled, garden-ready soil. There is a new depth, a new understanding, a renewed calm. Personally, I even go so far as to say that when I'm entering a suicidal depressive state, it is because I am just about to disrupt my state of existence with a new paradigm, I am about to tear through the fabric of spacetime and become something so much better than I ever was before; the depressive episode is a chemical result of that upcoming disruption that, on a quantum level, sends ripples all throughout the quantum plain of my existence. I really believe this. You don't have to, but I do.


     You can get so closed down inside of yourself, while fighting your inner world wars, that you get cut off! You can't feel, you can't touch... it's like your sense for life energy just shuts down. The movement of warm blood through your veins just freezes in the pangs of your struggles to grasp for, and hold onto, your right to exist. And what do these struggles look like? It looks like swearing (I keep myself alive and well through swearing), it looks like sarcasm, it looks like hitting the gym seven times a week to numb out the silence in your head (or the noise in your mind). It looks like hooking up for comfort, it looks like bursts of anger, it looks like begging to be taken seriously, to be given affection, to be seen, heard, loved. It looks like so many things for so many different people. But we all are asking for the same thing: we are all asking that you please stop and be still for once and stop trying to protect yourself, for once, for just as long a time it would take for you to recognize what's going on, and say, "Hey, do you want to sit with me right now?" Or, "I got nothing to do, wanna go for a walk?"
     But you can become so frozen from your struggles and your fights, that the suicidal depressive episode acts as a restart button, giving you a newborn chance at life (if you make it to the other side, of course). It's kinda like how the Earth has reset herself so many times before in the history of our planet, which was always "the end of the world" but simultaneously was "the beginning of a new one".


     A suicidal depressive mode is like your continents shifting poles and moving all around and the inner planet that is you just crumbles, rearranges, nothing is held together! Your mind is all over the place! But if you make it to the other side (please do), you'll have a new world with new air and a new sky and new trees and mountains and flowers. I can't promise this, but, this is what happens to me. Maybe it's what happens to you, too, if you just stop to take notice of it.
     Please don't try to remind a suicidal person of all the great things he/she has got going for them. We already know the amazing, fantastic things we've got going on in our lives. But that's the very same thing as saying to a not-so-fabulous individual: "You shouldn't be happy right now because you don't have a job, you're ugly, you're unhealthy, and you basically don't have anything going for you. Why are you still smiling?" Depression does not come about as a result of the lack of awareness of good things going on. Or good things happening. That's why Kate Spade killed herself. That's why Anthony Bourdain killed himself. These people knew what they had going for them; they didn't think they were losers. Knowing good things about yourself doesn't fix yourself on the inside.
     I want you to know that you can talk to me, because I understand. I want psychotherapists and healers to take note of this (everything I have written here), because I believe it will prove very helpful. I want to thank you all, for writing love letters to me over the years, because those are the words that knock at the walls of my mind when I cannot even hear the sound of my own existence, and they remind me (you remind me) that maybe I should stick around. I have so much love in my heart for all of you, thank you.

The Actual Evil

The issue here is that we tend to believe that darkness is the enemy in this world. It's not. The enemy in this world is that extremely blinding light that says, "You are flawed, you have dark patches on your face, you have cuts on your fingers, you have scars on your feet, and look, everyone can see all of that here in this light! There's nowhere to hide any of that here! Everyone can see it! You don't belong here!" A blinding light where there is no place for people to hide. That's the great evil in this world. A useless light, one that does not know that light is only useful when it is placed in the darkness! It's not darkness that is the enemy. We have vilified people's scars, people's wounds, and people's hiding places and we have told them that they don't belong "out here like that." Instead of going in there where they are, lighting a candle, and saying, "thanks for letting me inside".

No More Silver Linings

There is an untapped beauty which lies just below the surface of the face of the ability to strip oneself of all of the veils that one covers himself/herself in before looking into the mirror. I wrote something many years ago, which has to do with the mermaid speaking to the white witch: "I am a mermaid and I know what I am but you are a white witch draped in silver robes"... it was about how people lie to themselves about who they are. They cover themselves in silver linings, in silver veils, in silver robes, while the cauldron they stir comes from hell! This piece that I wrote has since become exceedingly popular and exaggeratedly quoted. But even when we are mermaids, we still need to stop and look into the mirror and remove the silver lining we outline ourselves in, so that we can see who we really are, practice what we really are, thus becoming authentic through-and-through. Because this is the only way that we can reach our full capacities to enliven what we are capable of becoming and being. We often believe that silver linings are what enables us; nevertheless, silver linings often hold us down. Silver is heavy metal. Imagine all you could be, if you could be YOUR ACTUAL SELF. Who are you without your silver paint and paintbrush? It is a very liberating practice, a practice I am most eager to continue cultivating within me. Who are you without all of the adjectives you add to your existence? How do you move? What is that look in your eyes? Does your heartbeat match the pulses of the Sun? You'll never know until you put down your paintbrush.

A Very Real Question

   
We can learn a lot about ourselves from the reasons that make us feel envious. What makes you feel the emotions of envy? Be real and answer the question because the answers to that question will reveal to you the most about yourself while other people's answers to this question will show you who they truly are. It is also a very liberating question to answer. So, what makes you feel the emotions of envy? I am envious of freedoms and liberties: some have more of these than others. I am envious of those who were born with more liberties of the mind and of the will, than I was born into. And what I strive to cultivate in myself is a mindset of liberty. Not the false kinds of liberties that make people think they're "free"; but the authentic liberties that are not just deceptive new slave masters, enslaving you to your own ego (many are slaves to their egos while believing they are practicing freedoms!) What I envy the most is genuine freedom and authentic liberty. Secondly, I envy the kinds of loves that are not for show: the kinds of loves that they feel in their bones and in their veins. Not love stories. But love beings.  Lots of loves are staring together at their stories; not at their beings. But a few rare ones are inside of each others' bones, swimming in each others' veins. They are love beings. Not love stories. I envy that, though I think I have never really seen that yet. I guess one or two in my lifetime. That's a reason to be, right there. And I envy those who do not need to  strive to free themselves from excessive moral virtues. My moral virtues haunt me. My demons are angels of light; not angels of darkness. Every day I attempt to escape them. Some people don't have to do that and I envy that. And you? What are your answers to this question?

It's Almost The End of the World

     In our world we value strength. Everybody must be strong. You, me, everyone. If someone is not strong, they're the runt of humanity! The tiny little piggy who cried "wee wee wee" all the way home. I have been wondering why we value strength so much, as a human race. Maybe it's because we equate it with health. And health is always attractive and desired (of course). But what about strength of mind? What is it about strength of mind that makes it one of the most valuable attributes of being alive?
     In our times, the most valuable assets are those on the inside of a person: kindness, grace, softness, strength... how can one be both soft and strong? But my real question, which I have been asking myself, is, "Why is it that strength is so very needed in the world that we live in? I wonder, if there are other civilizations on other planets, is strength a desirable trait for them? Is it still needed? Do they need so much to be strong in mind, heart and body, like we do? Or have they transcended this? Or perhaps they never had to go through this?
     Why do we need so much strength of mind, heart and body to live on the planet Earth? Why? Well, because if we don't have it, we lose our minds! And losing our minds leads to rash behaviours, which lead to us being placed at the lower ends of society. And if we don't have strength of heart, how will we get past things like heartbreak, treachery, loneliness, unkindness, rejection? And if we're not strong in our bodies, then how can we fight off sickness and disease? It seems to me like we live in a habitat which is hostile to our species and that with every breath we take, we are learning how to survive it and striving to overcome these hostilities we are born into.
     But is it our planet itself that is hostile? I don't think so... our planet in fact is providing us with remedies to cure all diseases, to nourish our bodies and our minds! It is only us who have stepped back away so far from our Mother Earth, to form societies wherein we fight to survive hostilities of the mind, the heart and the body. Hostilities that we ourselves have created as a species.
     So, we need to be strong, in so many ways, because we have detached ourselves from our planet and its natural beauty and provisions, and because we have detached ourselves from each other, and from our own selves. Our minds do not understand what our hearts feel; our bodies do not understand what our souls want; our souls do not hear the needs of our bodies... we cannot hear our own selves, how can we expect to here and to feel each other? And so we have to be strong, we must be strong, we must survive, we must struggle... almost everything just hurts at some point.
    I don't see myself as a strong person, I don't think about myself that way. In fact, I seem to have the inner constitution of an infant: my voice shakes, I want to be held, I want to hear soft voices, I don't want anybody to fight, I don't want to fight anybody, my skin trembles, my bones tremble... I feel as though every day I have to "overcome myself" in order to survive in the world that I live in. Because I am an infant and everything hurts but I have to get up in the morning and function. It's not easy. I don't think I'm strong, I think I am a frail person who is constantly, consistently put onto the forefront of life and expected to do things that I can't do but I end up doing, anyway. It's like being given a gun and told to shoot it but I don't know how to shoot it! It's like being pushed onto the helm of a ship and being expected to captain it, but I have never been on a helm before! The powers that be, expect so much from me, that is what I know now for certain.
     The ideal existence is to live in a habitat where the need for strength is long forgotten! Because the planet cares for us, because we care for each other, because we care for ourselves, and nothing hurts because we are so much in harmony with ourselves, others and our habitat, that there is nothing that needs to be fought away! Not in our minds, not in our hearts, not in our bodies. A healing that happens even before a wound has occurred; a healing that takes place even before a disease is formed; a healing that flourishes even before pain has taken root: radical healing! Radical healing.
     We need to be strong, we strive to be strong, we struggle to show that we are strong, because we have not mastered healing. Instead of struggling to master healing, we would rather struggle to build walls, we instead struggle to take up arms, we instead struggle to protect ourselves from everything around us including our own selves. But how can we achieve and cultivate radical healing? A healing so radical that it has already begun to work even before we have begun to experience the symptoms of a heartbreak or a disease or a loneliness. How can we plant healing, and cultivate it, in such a way that it banishes the roots of what we need to be strong about?
     In our films we often like to depict alien races so advanced that they don't even have knowledge or memory of what it is like to inflict pain, or to receive it. Alien races so advanced and so pure that they make us look like a bunch of vermin cockroaches. If we are able to put this into our films, this means that somewhere in our collective consciousness there exists a knowledge of it, an awareness of it, an acknowledgement that it is indeed attainable.
     How old were you when you first realised how important it was to be strong? Was it when your parents divorced? Was it when nobody in your classroom wanted to be your friend? Was it when you got really sick and needed to be in the hospital? At what point in your life did you develop the awareness that strength would have to be your best friend in this world? It was probably too early. It was probably before you even had enough time to come into the awareness of how much you were loved, how much you were wanted, how much you were a gift to life itself, just the way you are. It was probably too soon.
     Are any of us truly strong? Or are we all infants who have simply discovered unique ways to cover ourselves beneath protective barriers? Or behind closed doors? Have we all just found, are we all just finding, our own ways to not feel hurt? There are so many people around us... how many do we actually connect with? There are so many places around us... how many actually make us feel safe? There are so many plans, so many things to be bought, so many ideas to be brought to the table... how many of these make us feel like we're home? I want us to look for connection; I want us to look for safety, I want us to look for home.

The Entirety of Everything

It is like this: Some people care deeply but they don't know how to say it; then some people say words to make it seem like they care deeply, but in reality they don't. Some people care deeply only in the moment, like seeds which last in the soil for three days until dying out; and others can't see the moments, but their roots do run deep. Some people can imitate what it looks like to care deeply and they can fabricate that for a while though they never did feel anything on the inside of them; while others are incapable of showing outwardly how they feel on the inside, it is a monster they struggle with, their feelings so strong they cannot even let those beasts out of their cages, they fear their own creatures! Some people care deeply here, and over there, and all over the place, you never really know where they belong because they seem to belong to everyone and to everything; while others don't care about anybody but you can see where they belong, who they belong to, there is always this one person or those two people and small places. Some people belong to themselves only and if you want to be a part of their lives, you'll have to become a part of them and after you do, they will never leave you because you are inside of their bones now; while others don't even know who they are or where they're going and if you belong to someone like that, you could be here today and gone tomorrow! Some people don't care and don't act like they care and we don't believe them until they make us believe them; while others care and they act like they care and we don't believe them until it's too late. We are often wounded and torn, because we never know which kind of a person they are until we are either wounded and torn, or until we have found a home. It's either or, always either or, and neither of these outcomes are easy ones because either one will change your life.

I Understand What Life Is

     I've come to an understanding of what life is. This is a short sentence to write, and yet, it means too much, more than what can be expressed in one setting. We're all standing at the railway, but it's not actually about getting onto the trains that come by and that stop and go. It's not about that. What it is about, is the people that we see while we stand there and the people that arrive at each stop of the train and the ones that leave. Sometimes, we are those people getting off and getting on; but most of the time, we are standing there: feeling, seeing, being, wanting, needing, saying hello, saying goodbye. The point of understanding what life is, happens when we have that realisation of our place in spacetime; our realisation of the fact that we are standing there and what is actually going on all around us and inside us.
   
     You're going to meet a person and think that they're going to stand there with you and get on and get off the trains with you and many Moons will pass and many Suns will rise and set and they'll still be by your side... but then that doesn't happen. Instead, they get on the next train and they leave you there by the tracks. Then the train moves on, it keeps on moving, you will never really see them again; I mean, if you do see them again, they're not really the same person anymore. And maybe you aren't either. They'll get off a different train and they'll bump into you standing at a different rail track. It's still you, it's still them, but, then it isn't! And sometimes, that can happen while they're still there! They'll stay, but then they don't really stay, because they change and you change, so you're not with the same person anymore: until you both realise you need to take different trains at the next stop, because, it's just not going to work! Life is amazing like that. You can believe with all of your mind and all of your heart that nothing will ever change but then everything does! Everything and everyone changes in ways you couldn't have even imagined! Then you're standing again: looking, feeling, waiting, being, wanting, needing, saying hello, saying goodbye.
     You're going to meet people that say things so fast, making you feel things, making you think things, then just as fast as the words came out of their mouths, they walk on by... this wasn't their stop, they realised. Or maybe the aromas from the hotcake stand further ahead caught their fixation. So they head on.
     Everything passes you by at some point: The Moonrise, the Sunset, the trains, the people, the aromas. You never knew before, that every single thing has wings growing out of its back! You never knew it until now! They fly fast. You could try to catch them, and you've already done that countless times; you could try to catch the ideas and the aromas and what you see; you can try to fly after them like you have three thousand times before; but then when you find yourself standing again at a rail track, you won't know where you are anymore. Because you've been chasing other people. You've been chasing words, you've been chasing promises, you've been chasing smells and smiles and stuff that made you feel things. So, the next time you stop to stand there, you won't know where you are anymore. And that could be a good thing, but then you look to your left and to your right and you don't see anybody standing with you, nobody is with you, not really. So what was all the chasing for?
     You could turn yourself into that person who says to herself, "I'm damn well standing here alone and I love it!" but then those would just be words, wouldn't it? You'd never really turn into that person, would you?
     What makes time stop? I know what. It's when you meet someone and they stay with you and you stay with them. You stay with each other. You start smelling the same aromas with someone else, you start saying hello and saying goodbye with someone else, you stand there, together: wanting and waiting and feeling and being. Breathing. And you're not alone anymore. This makes time stop, because everything around you doesn't fly anymore; it stays inside of that other person and when you look at him/her, it happens all over again, forever!
     The problem is that this doesn't just happen easy. Why? Because people have wings and they fly fast because they're chasing things, just like you have done eleven thousand times before; they don't know what makes time stop, they don't know yet. So off they fly. But one day you'll be standing there, feeling everything, and a person will come by: they're going to know what I already know right now (and what you know now too) and they're going to say hi. And you're going to stay together. Because you're time stoppers. And because this is the only thing that's real.

The Nature of Government and the People

     The civil rights of citizens of any nation, should never be dictated or curtailed by any religion. By any religion at all. While a religion is a personal path in life that is dictated by one's own personal choice (that is absolutely how it should be); the liberties allocated by a government for her people are not personal paths determined by personal choices! A government exists for all people in that nation, regardless of their personal paths in life! Therefore, personal beliefs cannot and should not ever dictate the social civil freedoms of any citizen of any nation. Period. It does not matter if I do not agree with what my neighbor is doing; nevertheless I must agree that they have the right to do what is in their own best interest to do (to marry someone of the same sex, or to get a divorce, or to remarry after a divorce, etc.) A personal sentiment should never attempt to dictate what citizens of various belief systems are allowed have and not have. Government should always be neutral on religion and spirituality and these things should not reflect upon the justices and the freedoms given to the people.
     I don't think there are many acts more selfish, than the act of a citizen of a nation demanding that his/her own personal religious and spiritual views be implemented by the government of a country, on all the citizens of that entire nation! You are basically just saying, "Because this is what I believe, this should be implemented by the government on everybody else in this country, regardless of their needs and their beliefs." Every country should have a government entirely separated from religious and spiritual views, to focus entirely on civil justice and civil freedoms, provided equally to every single person.

Are You The Prettier Pig?

       The real, prevalent conundrum having to do with people who are trying to be "right", is the fact that much of the time, their perception of the right that needs to be done, is based upon the wrong that they perceive in others. The "right" or the "better" choice has become the polar opposite of the "wrong" or the "lesser" that other people are choosing. The existence of the "better" is entirely dependent upon the existence of the "lesser" as perceived through the eyes of judgmentalism. The fact that this is the case, eradicates the solidity of the uprightness that is being performed. If the existence of righteousness depends upon the existence of unrighteousness, this means that righteousness is weaker. This whole internal ecosystem people have, is forfeiting the nature of righteousness, entirely.
     We have all of these habitats within this particular ecosystem, which are all based off of the same system. Let's name some of the few and more common ones: "I am a truer person because I post less photos on social media, as compared to those friends I have over there who post too many selfies"; "I am a truer person because I don't eat meat, as opposed to most of my friends who talk about loving animals but they're hypocrites because they eat animals"; "I am a truer person because I post on social media about God every day, so much more than the majority of my friends who post worthless memes from morning to night"; "I am a truer person right now, because I have core moral values, unlike my friends who have obviously made lesser choices in life when they got divorced"; "We are truer people right now, because we have successfully covered up our dirty laundry, putting it all in the basement, unlike all of our friends who have their laundry hanging on the clothesline, how shameful of them"; "I am a truer person right now, because I am following the rules of God, unlike those people over there who are not following the rules of God."; "I am a truer person because my presidential candidate stands for all of the better qualities of humanity, unlike the people on my friends list who support a candidate who stands for everything wrong in this world." So on and so forth.
       When the foundation of righteousness is the existence of perceived unrighteousness, guess what's left when the towers fall down? The foundation is left. 
       The foundation of perceived righteous actions should have only one gauge: LOVE! "I am a true person because I love." When you say this, all the other declarations of righteousness simply vanish into thin air. The judgmentalism, all the comparison-- all gone! Whom do you love? What do you love? How do you love? How much kindness do you have to give? How much space do you make within yourself to make room for another to find a home within your being? How much space do you make within yourself to give room for people to find your light? How much space do you make within yourself to accept and to keep joy? Righteousness founded upon the energy and the actions of LOVE is really the only type of righteousness that can be called righteousness. On the contrary, righteousness founded upon the perceived wrongdoings of others, is simply the flip side of that same wrong coin! You are the other face of that same coin that you so detest! And so, we will have many people coming to God one day and saying, "How can you not know me? I did everything right, I did everything you said I should do!" but then God will say, "Depart from me, I have never known you." God will be like, "You're the prettier face on that same double-headed pig."
   
       Judgmentalism is not justice and justice is not judgmentalism. Justice requires blindfolded eyes while judgmentalism relies on what is perceived by the eyes. We may feel that justice sees all; on the contrary, justice feels all! Judgmentalism sees too much and forms these judgments based upon what it sees, what its friends see, what it thinks God sees, so on and so forth. Then of course, the judgments will always be in favour of its own perceptions, those perceptions being based upon external understanding gleaned by the eyes! 
       Leave people alone. When you go onto social media every day, when you encounter people every day, leave them alone! Let them enjoy things! Let them be happy, let them have joy! Make space within yourself for people to enter into and find light, love, acceptance, joy! Yes, you may have your own opinions of what you do want and what you don't want; ultimately, it is this which steers us into distinct directions. But do not allow those opinions to become the building blocks of your foundation upon which you raise up the structure of yourself. Don't be just the other face on the other side of the same coin. Don't be the prettier pig. Oink.

Looking At Myself Through My Own Eyes

       So, basically, we live in this place where the native species (humans) are entirely obsessed with appearances. And by "appearances" I do not mean the physical body. I mean the appearance of being good; the appearance of being upright; the appearance of having a perfect family; a perfect childhood, a perfect marriage, a perfect background; the appearance of being deep and thoughtful; the appearance of being caring; essentially, every appearance of being that will make them look better than the person standing next to them. And they don't recognise this as vanity. They think taking too many selfies is vanity. I take too many selfies, because, I basically don't care who thinks I'm vain or not! I don't spend my days with this thought crossing my mind: "Oh if I take too many pictures of myself, people will think I'm shallow". And the reason why I don't spend my days thinking that, is because, that is exactly an incredibly shallow thing to think about! About appearing to be shallow!
Why would it even matter if everyone around me perceived me as shallow? When I know I am not? Do you see what I am saying here? We reside on a planet where the inhabitants of this planet exist by looking at themselves through their neighbors' eyes, instead of looking at themselves through their own eyes! Why should the opinion of my neighbor have more weight upon me, than my own opinion of myself? When I am the one who has to live with me, every waking hour and every sleeping moment? And so, in reality, the majority of this population is living through a reverse and chronically advanced version of vanity! One that roots itself in the human need of redemption, in the human need for elevation of soul. But the means they are reaching for to achieve this elevation, this redemption, will never work, never has worked, and does not right now work; alas, I go through my days practically as happy as a puppy, while others wither under the weight of worrying if they're using too much ungodly makeup or taking too many sinful, vain photos. Or if they proved in some way to be of more intrinsic value to this world than someone else standing next to them.
       I have said many times before, that it is my goal not for the world to revolve around me (which is based upon caring what the world thinks of me); rather, it is my goal to revolve around the world (which is based upon an active pursuit of life). Nobody can be in active pursuit of life, whilst living through the eyes and the opinions of others. There is nothing vain about the latter, while everything about the prior is the very definition of vanity. In your pursuit to eliminate vanity, you have instead epitomized it. Indeed, if someone were to say that I am a bad person, I would tell them, that there are even worse things about me that they have yet to discover! We do not become better people by trying to appear as better people; we become better people by finding more opportune ways to experience what it means to be alive. And darling, if a selfie helps you to see yourself better through your own eyes, then please take that selfie!
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