Category Archives: Human nature

Handling Escapism

I would wager that just about everyone has some form of escapism that they engage in on the daily. A fraction of these people recognize the opportunities that are missed because of the time that is spent on something that is not in direct attainment of life’s goals. For me, its most obvious in the urge to play video games comes because I have shortcomings in other parts of my life. In order to change my focus to something that I am competent in, I turn to video games to get a sense of gratification that I am not getting in the real world. It can be extremely challenging to keep from turning to these types of escapism when faced with overwhelming obstacles. In order to get at the root of escapism I have a few penetrating questions. Where do these negative emotions come from? Why is it that I am unable to control myself when confronted with these emotions? What could be some possible solutions for living a better life?

Firstly, defining what constitutes a negative emotion that then turns me to escapism. From the position that I sit in now it seems entirely irrational to do anything but build myself to overcome in the face of adversity, but this is not the case. One instance of a source of these negative emotions comes from going out at night in order to have fun and meet new people. Not all the time but often enough these events can cascade downward so that when I am leaving the bar I feel alone in that I was unable to make a solid connection with anyone that I met that night. This does not happen often but when it does it can be hard to deal with. Other things that can be hard to deal with are things like shortcomings at work, run-ins with the bad side of the law, and arguments between friends. These are the type of things that cause negative emotions and thus give rise to the will to escape from it all.

The ideal version of myself grows stronger when faced with adversity and at times I have experienced such a thing. A willpower arise that detaches emotionally in order to achieve the desired outcome. Other times a weakness that desires to neglect the reality of the situation in favor of something lazy and shameful wins. I can only understand the ebb and flow of these two internal drives as a necessity of life and therefor I must prepare for both.

Building a life that is full of positive emotions so that one would never even be tempted by escapism sounds disagreeable. This is not to say that I would do anything but pursue my dream of dreams, it’s just that I feel that anything worth doing should be challenging and therefore will include trying situations. For me, it’s not about finding the path free of road bumps but more so about strengthening the self in order to handle any road bump that might occur; and so I turn my attention to the weakest version of myself and ask: What’s wrong? Why are you unable to do what you know to be right? Is it a lack of courage or maybe you just don’t want it bad enough? From the heightened perspective of where I sit now I can offer few words that might help. Remember that life is short and that greatness can only be achieved by those who work for it. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, so take your time and start small. Just remember to keep moving forward. Like the butterfly that created the hurricane, a small step in the right direction could be the first step to shift the minds of millions. Without the first step, there is nothing.

So yeah. Writing is where I do my most precise introspective work and by publishing this online I hope that it may help anyone that stumbles upon my work. If you thought about anything at all while reading please leave a comment. I love to hear other perspectives and to build a community is some of the greatest thing we do as humans and I am looking forward to all of it.

Hail Storm-

We had all been dreaming about the day that hail storm would come. When it actually hit, I remember expecting to wake up from a dream. In an area that has just been clobbered by hail it feels like an emp just went off or something. Everything is quiet save the scattered people in their yards that are in dismay over all the destruction that has happened to their material possessions. The hail that we were dealing with got to baseball size in some areas and I heard stories of people inside their cars, terrified as the hail slowly beat through their windshields and they would have to hold the glass up as a sort of shield to protect them from the weather. It’s ironic that the same event that causes so much horror to some can cause joy for others. As I canvassed neighborhoods that had be wrecked by hail just hours before, did I realize how much of a blessing this hailstorm was for a guy like me.

I moved to Denver about a month before the storm. I was just coming from working as a lift operator over the winter and has very litter money and much more debt. My plan was to work in Colorado to pay off my debt and save for my trip to Australia. Quickly I found 4 jobs and steadily did I start chipping away. I remember thinking about making a grand in a week and constantly setting my sights on that goal but never quite getting there. Money can slip away so easily if you’re not sticky disciplined with it. At this point in my life I was in lockdown mode spending maybe 100 a week and saving the other eight. It took going through more than a few of my major demons but after a month in CO I had my work ethic down to a science and I was on track to becoming what I wanted to create out of myself.

I had worked out a nice schedule working with the two brothers from Altitude. The way we had it worked out is that I would get 50 bucks every time I got a guy on the roof. Every time I cleared into a new tier I would get a $25 bonus on every lead that I had generated that week. The tiers where set to increments of 10 making it a $250 bonus. The first week I hit 4 leads, the second 7, and the third 10. I was feeling good about my progress and ready to keep building.

It was Monday afternoon when the hailstorm struck. I was just getting off from one of my other jobs as a delivery driver for a catering company. I was riding the bus near cores field when we were pelted with hail the size of grapes. I got a text from the guy that pays me with a picture of him holding three softball size hail in his hand. I met up with this guy and we ride out to an area that has just been destroyed by the storm. This is where I get let loose. The third house I knock the lady is outside looking in dismay at what is left of her car. We schedule a quick appointment for the next day. The next people I talk to schedule appointments for three different houses all owned by them only after showing me the hail they have collected in their kitchen freezer. The next three houses in a row all sign up. I’m texting Kyle their information. We getting backed up already. Over the following two hours I was able to knock out 19 new leads. By the end of the night I was still questioning if I might be dreaming.

The next day was big. I woke up early and got out and up in the hood early. People were everywhere all clearing out from the damage of the storm and I was able to talk with all of them about the catastrophe the happened the day before. I didn’t eat lunch that day. I just worked. I remember take short moments for a reality check throughout the day to find that I had forgotten where I was. By the end of the day I had generated 30 additional leads. Financially, that was the best day of my life and I can now see why there are storm chaser across the country.

Now its two weeks after the storm. Thing have slowed down quite a bit but I am still out there punching away. I got my own business title last week- VentureExpansions and we have moved into the tree timing business and I have already sold three different tree projects to two different tree trimming companies. Three people have worked with me on sales projects, one of which I owe a small amount of money. Tomorrow I will meet with three grounds men who are looking to work for pay and learn the art of trimming a tree from the tree trimming guy that I met today. I am aware of how fast I am moving. The thought that this could derail at any time keeps me vigilant. The amount of damage that this could do is an exciting. Only time will tell how this little venture will affect the greater narrative.

Dream Voyagers

One of my first lucid dream memories comes from when I was about the age of ten and living in the farm land of Minnesota. In my dreamscape, I wondered the wheat fields of MN that I knew so well. Nothing out of the ordinary was happening but all of a sudden I realized that the experience before me was but a dream and that by the power of thought I could invent whatever I desired. Being ten I began to summon armies of ninja warriors to fight. I would leap over the heads of my enemies slashing down thousands of soldiers until eventually I became bored. Standing alone in the middle of my war-torn wheat field I looked across the blank horizon and attempted to summon a simple tree. To my frustration, I found that I could not keep the tree in my dream and found that the harder I tried the more it would slip away. In much the same way that it is almost impossible to not think of pink elephants when confronted with the idea of pink elephants, I found that I could not keep the tree in the mind’s eye of my dream.

I first started actively attempting to attain lucidity near the end of my high school years. I became obsessed and would perform reality checks multiple times throughout the day so that it only took me about a week before I had my first intentional lucid dream. I was in my mother’s house when I realized that I was actually in a dream version of my mother’s house. I was startled and amazed with my discovery of the dream but to my later dismay I did nothing with this realization and instead chose to act out the dream exactly how it would have gone with or without my realization.

A few weeks later I had my next experience of an intentional lucid dream. In this dream, I was wondering the tunnels of the Morlocks. This was a particularly frightening dream that I have had a few times ever sense seeing the Wish Bone rendition of George Orwell’s The Time Machine from my younger years of watching PBS television. As the dream progressed I began running through tunnels being chased by monsters. The fear must have been what shocked me into the realization of the dream. With the realization came a massive amount of confidence that erased the fear and I began lighting torches and tossing light into side tunnels filled with hordes of Morlocks to watch them scatter in fear of the light. As the dream rose to a climax everything began to fad and I could not remain in my dream state. To my dismay, I woke to find myself in my abnormally boring bedroom and unable to reconnect with the adventure that I had experienced moments before

Later in my career I became connected with a community of lucid dreamers to find that these are common problems faced by many dream voyagers. The solution to these challenges are found in the discipline of the mind and in future posts I mean to disclose the meditative and imaginative practices that can help with these types of experiences. Things like dream reinforcement and the active practice of not think of pink elephants. If you have other dream challenges please comment below as I would love to expand my research and expand the community of people I communicate with on this topic.

Love y’all

-Cheers

The Mindset of a lucid dreamer

The hunt for lucidity has been taking place for about a week now I am remembering my dreams on a nightly basis and every day I am studying the strategy of what it takes to have a lucid dream. Just last night a good friend and I were exploring an abandon mansion from my childhood. Today I found out that I was in his dream as well but not in a mansion. Coincides; who can say? Here are some basic tricks for becoming lucid while dreaming coming from a beginner going through all of this stuff for the first time.

When it comes to dreaming lucidly what I am coming to find out is that lucidity is something that happens to degrees. You have your basic dream like state which counts more or less as a zero on the awareness level. Sure, maybe you have some subconscious idea that pink elephants don’t have a good reason to dance around your bedroom but you go dreaming anyways and then wake up to discover that it wasn’t “real”. The sense that we have for the real is what’s really interesting. What is this sense that dictates what we consider as real and what we take to be illusion.

In my experience through Zen practice, reality is something that goes without saying. It’s just something that is and when we put words or images to it what we are doing is creating a narrative to explain the reality of our experience. The narrative and stories that we tell are important because it allows us to cross examine our experience with the experience of other people to see if anyone is experiencing the same thing. The first words that any form of life would have been able to produce would have been no more than a similar sounding moans created by two autonomous individuals in a simple way to express the sensation of the moment. To be placed in a universe that is so uncertain and then to find something that gives the slightest assurance to even the most trivial aspects of existence would be like finding a spec of light in a place that before was nothing but darkness. The question of the real within the sphere of communication is that spec of light.

There seems to be an intuitive grasp of what is dream and what is not. Perhaps we cannot say that we are not currently dreaming, but we can at least say “I woke up from that dream.” The reason that we have this sense is because we are the surviving linage of the most real persons to have ever walked the earth. Life is striving for reality. Even through self-deception is life striving for reality. Cultivating this sense for reality by simple awareness checks is what we hope to learn and accomplish in this project.

Here are a few basic checks to implement into your day.

#1- Keep a dream journal

The first step is that you need to start remembering your dreams. The simplest way to do this is start a dream journal and make an entry every time you remember your dreams i.e. right when you wake up. I have been experimenting with film and so started a dream video journal. There are certainly advantages to writing that are not captured in film but personally I like how quick I can speak to my video camera in order to get the dream out of my head.

#2- Reality checks

Usually it’s enough to ask yourself “am I dreaming?” Do it now. How do you know if your dreaming or not? If you are dreaming, and I am an invention of your dream, then you might be able to sniff it out with this simple reality check. Personally, I have been tricked by my dream back into thinking that it wasn’t a dream when it was a dream the entire time, so here are some more detailed reality check that you could implement so that you can out smart yourself. Look at the time. Look at some text, look away and then look back again. Getting into the habit of making these reality checks throughout the day (every 2 hours) can help get in the habit so that you make the check when your dreaming.

#3- Set the intention each night before bed.

This is the most important task. Each night, right before falling asleep make sure to remember that you want to lucid dream. If you want it enough then this will be the only thing that you need to do in order to have a lucid dream. The art of a burning desire is something I have written about before and I would recommend more research and then some deep meditation on the object of desire.

#4- Consider setting an alarm for an odd hour of the night.

One idea is to go back to sleep right after you wake up. At this point of going back to sleep you have a good chance to realized that your dreaming. Just try not to wake up too much to your alarm and instead turn it off quick and let sleep take you again.

#5- Get the app

There are more than a few apps that a designed specifically for lucid dreaming. Some of the apps have a subtle alarm that can be set for the middle of the night, others track your brain waves over the course of the night, and others emit video light as another method to trigger lucidity. Check it out at the app store.

Those are my 5 tips for beginners who want to get into lucid dreaming. Check it out and be sure to write a reply in the comment section below as I love all things dream.

Here are some links to some helpful lucid dreaming stuff

http://amzn.to/2q2dKwo

 

Impermanence

The winter season is coming to an end. The snow feels like rubber and the lifties and disappearing in droves. I recently learned that there is a bonus for lifties that stay until the end of the season which is only weeks away. This has changed my mind and now I want to stay so that I can collect this bonus. There are many more perks about staying right up until the end but this is the main thing that would give me a little boost to get to the next place.

The main point of this paper is about a girl that I met about half way through the season. Early this morning I told her that I loved her. She told me that I shouldn’t say that and that its probably only infatuation. I disagreed. What’s great about this type of interaction is that I don’t care that she didn’t say it back. The fact that I said it in the first place was enough for me. I don’t need it back, I just want to give. It was difficult to make those simple words come out of my mouth. I have not told anyone besides my mother these words for longer than I can remember. It felt so good to get out and now it’s all about action. I will not press this further as she is clearly not ready to move forward with these types of emotions and so I will wait. I will keep on kissing her and taking her out to magical places. I will continue to sex her so good that she will not want to go anywhere else.

Now I feel great about the relationship that we have though I do get nervous about what will happen later. Presently I don’t mind if there are other men involved so long as I hold my own. It’s something of a challenge to keep a solid frame of mind despite these shadows lurking in darker places of my brain. It’s something of a primal instinct to protect the things that you desire. Rationally I can say that I believe in freedom and will never make a demand on another to save themselves for me. It may drive me insane but I will never flinch; so says the mind to the self as the self-chuckles with the wisdom of imperfection.

Getting kicked out of my house was a setback that has made life a bit more difficult but a lot more fun. Instead of spending my nights reading on the futon near a fire, I instead am thrust back into the furnace of the city without a place to go but never searching for a place to be. For now, I am content. I can read and I can write and while it is raining outside currently I am not afraid of where I will go. At any time, I could take off on my journey to the next place but instead I feel a sense of wanting to complete what my current situation is missing. My season at powder mountain and the girl that has done more than any have done for so long.

As the snow melts I find myself more deeply committed to my position in this world. I love what I am doing and yet I know that it can’t last. This is something that I have learned from traveling in the way that I go from place to place with much more thought put to the future than the past. There is an insatiable need to explore the world that drives me away from each ecosystem I create. Like the heartbreak that comes with finishing a great book and a beautiful looking back at what was accomplished. This is just the way things are, impermanent, which then causes me to contemplate the feeling. It’s as if there is a portion of love that comes from the yearning to keep what passes. After this discomfort passes a certain thresh hold we call it love. 

It seems to be less painful to be detached from the past but then there is something so melancholic and satisfying about having moments to cling on to. My past experiences are a source of fulfillment and a way to find meaning in this onslaught of sensory bombardment we refer to as the experience of life. Through pain we grow, and through the willful acceptance of pain do we grow strong. The real currency of this world is the experiences that we carry with us. How we feel these experiences add up into a human being is what give meaning. While it’s sad that these things come to an end I can’t say I would change it for anything.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. There is still at least two weeks left in the season and no way am I about to let this time go by without burning a fire so bright that it will sear a hole so deep into my mental retina that I will be plagued with the greatness of this time for the rest of my life.

Pan and the modern world

There is a thing called character and it would seem that we are born with it. The character is something that continues to develops through the actions that are learnt from parents, friends, and peers. The path of the strong is to take control of this process and escape the limitations placed upon the development of character by society. To remake oneself can be one of the greatest and most pleasurable tasks in life. An artist of artists molding a persona as if it were mud or clay. For most of history only kings had access to the self-consciousness necessary to make these kinds of changes. Gradually the task of self-creation has pervaded many layers of society and now most have been given this responsibility of consciousness. Where we take the ability of self-creation is up to everyone individually and in this paper, I lay out what I feel captures an essential part of what humanity must become and in so doing give the individual an additional tool for the creation of the self.

The Greek god Pan was born of the union between the trickster god Hermes and a wood nymph. At seeing the half man, half goat creator his mother fled back into the forest out of fear. Pan was then brought to Mount Olympus where the gods were delighted by his outrageous form and charming laughter. Pan lords over the mountains, the woodland forests, the gently-flowing streams, and the open pastures of the countryside and in this way, stands in opposition to developed society. His paradoxical nature of being a fierce hunter along with a gifted musician and nimble dancer add to his charm and seductive power.

One of the few gods to die, his death is associated in time with the death and rebirth of Christ. In this sense the death of Pan implies the rejoicing of the greater light of Christianity and the mourning of the passing and separation from societies of more primal instincts. Ultimately Pan became associated with the image of Satan with his semi-bestial appearance, unabashed sexuality, and profound relationship to the world of nature and animal instinctually. Representing a fear of a primal way of life, Pan was demonized and a connection with the grace of nature was forgotten.

The natural world is something of great power that man has feared and fought throughout existence. Today it seems that we have almost won the war for total domination over the environment but in so doing we have lost the way. Focused intently on victory it seems that we have overlooked many of the consequences and now find ourselves naked once again in spite of our garments and articles of clothing.

To revel again in Dionysian ecstasy at the coming of spring. To re-learn the inborn sensitivity to ecosystem that surrounds us. Now is time for the rebirth of Pan and a reunion of the old values in rustic innocence and our most deeply felt passions in the natural world. We need Pan now more than ever. To some this will look like the coming of the Anti-Christ and great societal challenges await his rebirth, but the magic of Pan is that he does not walk where society has set its roads. His way is near the outskirts in the trees and rivers where no set paths have yet been laid. To create from the spirit of dance something alluring with such strength as to sway the foundations of the modern mechanical way of life. What he urges is for us to fully reawaken to the animate qualities of the natural world, thereby reestablishing our relatedness to both nature and our instinctual soul. Pan is far from dead for he keeps on being reborn in all kinds of strange ways.

Reconnecting with nature

I have wondered why people find it so interesting to go to scenic places in nature. The connection to the earth doesn’t seem to get to me in the way that others have explained it and the prestige that comes with the pictures doesn’t make sense in and of itself. The only way to give meaning to finding scenic views is the exercise to get there and the possibly the people that join you on the journey. The group can have a quasi meaningful mission that can work as a bonding experience and productive and this gives meaning over something that is meaningless in and of itself. 

Perhaps people, and a deep level understand that these places will not be around for much longer. What we are actually doing is saying our last words to a dying friend and that this is what it really means to connect with nature. To stand in realization to the impermanence of beauty and almost mournfully watch the moments destroy themselves for the creating of the new. 

The past is beautiful and it is something to be missed. No one knows what the future will bring but we can say that it will look different than now. For better or worse it doesn’t really matter. All we are is a striving for a more complete perspective.