Category Archives: Philosophy

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.

Brothers Fight

Men have a different way of going through life than women. We could say that biologically men’s lives are less valuable than women’s in that it only take one man to carry on the population while it would take many women to have many many children. When we look at the lives of men we see that men die more often by risky behavior like stunts and car crashes pointing to the idea that men have a biology that is designed differently with things like social power in leadership and prestige being valued as much more important. This is not to say that women do not have such a thing in their lives it’s just that with women the nurturing instinct is much more developed and for the good reason of the children and the family.

Often times men will grow up in a patriarchal family where, from the time of Cain and Able it has been observed that the son will have the desire to overthrow the patriarch, the father. You can see this with kings of the past going on for centuries. In many cultures the transfer of power was almost always violent. With the king at the top it often times was up to one of his sons to replace him. Which son was to replace him was the question that provided the tension between brothers.

Growing up outside of royalty, my brother and I had a more civil relationship though not without conflict. Looking back I can see the harm that I did to him and the recoil from this harm and how this has effected me. Brothers fight in the sense of wrestling and other games where we would both try and get the best of each other. Being the older brother I would almost always win and would then make it a point to show how much better I was than him in additional displays of strength. This eventually backfired as my brother stopped wanting to play any more games with me. He could not get away with playing no games with me however as we had many of the same friends and groups of friend play games with each other inevitably.

To this day my brother and I seldom talk and despite my best efforts I get a call from him maybe a handful of times per year. When I think about what has brought us to this point in our relationship, besides all the times that I would not allow him to play his choice of video game or not use the TV, there are a few key instances that come to mind. There was the time that we convinced him that by strapping him into a dog harness that we could then hoist him up into a tree and thus climb any tree we wanted. After getting him 30 feet in the air my friend and I tied our end to a different tree leaving him suspended while we left to eat lunch. We were not gone that long but when we got back he was distraught. Another time we mummified him in duct tape to the point where he was unable to moved. These are the things that make me laugh about my childhood and I look back at with fond memories. There are darker parts of our past however that are harder to get into.

My brother left for the military shortly after college. After returning from basic training he came home with confidence that we had not seen in him before. It was great for the entire family, but when it came time to choose which video game to play it was bad for both him and I. I had been at my own school and was currently in my third year and so my brother and I had not been spending much time in the same location. I believe it was Christmas break for both of us and spending time together was something we were both not used to. When the video games came into conflict violence broke out immediately. In a way similar to WWII this was the last time my brother and I got into any type of physical fight. It was the most violent fight either of us had ever been in and ended with a black eye for me and getting kicked out of the house for him. We have not been the same since that point. It would be nice to have a brother that is confident about his ability to handle the world but I could not let this confidence tread in an area that I felt was mine. I can imagine it would have been a blow to his ego to learn that his military training still could not take down the enemy of a brother that he had at that moment and must have changed something in him to avoid rather than confront.

I still believe that later in life we will both become closer to one another. Maybe it will take a colossal event like both of us having kids, but someday in the future my brother and I will be on a similar level. It’s impossible that we stop being brothers and so no matter how much we hate one another we will always be in each others lives. The fight between brothers has been going on for so long that it’s built into all of our minds. We know how brothers act and to learn about myself in this way I can learn about everyone, because everyone knows that brothers fight.

Reasons to learn lucid dreaming

A lucid dream in a direct encounter with the subconscious that can cause greater knowledge of the self. In a lucid dream, you are surrounded with imagery that is invented within the mind. By looking at the symbolism of these images and figuring out the meaning under the surface, the dreamer is allowed access into the psyche at a level that may not be able to be experienced in waking life. By understanding these aspects of the subconscious, the conscious mind has the opportunities to understand and mend injuries that may have been held within the body for years. Learn to lucid dream.

Lucid dreaming offers endless creativity and escapism. Is this not the reason that all of us dream other than to find ourselves in a world that would not otherwise be possible. To be able to speak to your dead idol, or to spend some time with the otherwise extinct dinosaurs. All of these things become possible in a lucid dream, where the limits of the world become the limits of imagination rather than the limits of physics or money. Lucid dreaming allows anyone to experience anything they can create.

This can work as an exercise for your imagination as well. As you experience more profound realities within the dream world you then get an idea of what you can conjure up inside your head and all of a sudden you notice yourself become more daring within your waking world. Social situations become expanded as you play within your world with a greater understanding of where things have the potential to go. You become braver in creating fantasies that previously you would have never thought of. Lucid dreaming is an expansion of the mind that improves more than just the world of sleep.

When experiencing the first lucid dreams, questions of consciousness often arise. What is the nature of consciousness and what is the nature control. By experimenting with these questions one gets a greater understanding of the true nature of things like consciousness and control. Greater understanding of these things pervades all of waking experience and allows one to live a life that has greater clarity and direction. As you start to question things like the nature of reality you get a greater understanding for what is real which then translates into more accurate goal attainment as you can now sort out what your are fantasizing about, and what you are able to control.

Science has shown that you become better at things that you dream about. This means that lucid dreams get to choose what they want to get better at, and that they can use lucid dreaming as a training ground for whatever they want. Beginning lucid dreamers will often do things like talk to lots of women or focus on getting money. Later in their career they can focus on things like living in the world of the forums and experiencing reality on deeper levels, all of which act like training helping them get better at life.

Throughout the course of life, we experience setbacks that can be hard to get over. The death of a loved one for example, can be relived within the dream. Lucid dreamers have the option of speaking with the loved one and asking them questions they wished they had voiced while the loved one was still alive. Nothing can ever replace the real thing, but through dreams we can often find solace in death and can greave easier when we have access to our memories within a dream.

Lucid dreaming is fun as shit. Just imagine that when you go to sleep you could be fighting armies of ninja warriors, or blasting through space in a rocket shit you invented with your mind. You could be having sex with thousands of women or maybe you are the king of nations. You can do anything you want and for that reason lucid dreaming is an incredibly empowering activity that everyone should take the time to learn.

Next week’s post will be the specifics of how to lucid dream and the challenges that first time lucid dreamer often face. Personally, I am going through all of these challenges now and would love to help others get through to the other side of lucid dreaming. Until next time.

-Pan

 

 

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

 

Music Vid w/ High Rez and Upgrades to the Personal Operating System

This is a transition story of coming from one way of life and entering another. There are forces of this world that clearly demonstrate the definition of power. Always there’s truth to the level of insanity. Its in finding the flow that allows one to predict the future. As I sit and write this story I think of many different ways of life and how they move through the stream of communication, passed down through more channels than any single person could dream about, all coming together to create the grand narrative of life. Sometimes I wonder if my being is not entirely made up of these forces, that the thing that I call I does not even exist, and that introspection is nothing but a trick invented by the mind long ago. Who can say other than impassioned individuals that seam to have an intuitive grasp and yet when asked to describe such a thing all words escape them? We can look and see what we find but in the end this is just a simple story.

Salt Lake City is what it looks and feels like. From the feeling you get when you catch another persons eye, to the type of cars people drive, Utah is a Mormon state. The beer has less alcohol, on Sunday they swarm the streets, and roads are named things like Temple. There is a cute little countercultural movement against Mormonism going on when I was there but that was not yet able to separate itself from the mainstream and attain autonomy making it so that the only types of people in Utah are Mormons and reactionary Mormons (A generalization of generalizations to be sure).

Anyways, I get a call from my friend Brock who says he wants to go to Colorado to shoot a music video. It takes me less than an hour to pack my hiking pack, Brock comes at 9am and we are off. I meet the other guy who is to be part of the music video and he reminds me of my old friend Gabe. The band is called The Dope Hippy Tribe and the three of us are off to spread the message that a hippie doesn’t need to have to enjoy the smell of flowers, or love hugging trees, and that maybe its just someone that has a deep fondness for life. With lyrics that sport boxing metaphors while aiming for the most uplifting and positive message possible, The Dope Hippy Tribe brings a new message to both the world of hip-hop and the hippie subculture. Through our initial talks I can feel myself awakening from a haze. Almost like there is a fog that is leaving the inside of my eyeballs letting me focus on the things that I feel are important. The more I ride and talk, the more thankful to have these two new companions.

(This is the part where I tell about some dope place to check out if you, reader, are ever in the area)

The idea of taking drugs is brought up. My friends are down but they are not sure what to get or where to get it. I tell them that if we go to Owsley’s Golden Road in Boulder that the chances that we pick LSD are close to 100. They ask me how I can be so certain and I tell them the story of Owsley quick: Owsley was a guy that worked as The Grateful Dead’s sound guy. When The Dead discovered LSD Owsley was one of the first to manufacture it on a large scale and was said to have produced more ten million hits of acid over the span of his life. When we arrived in Boulder and the three of us walked in to Owsley’s Bar, we talk to a grand total of two people before we find exactly what we were looking for. The guy that gave it to us didn’t even ask for a price and we ended up paying what we thought was fair. It felt right to attain LSD in this way.

Brock goes to sleep early. It’s just my new friend and I all night. It was on this night that I learned about learning. When we were both trippin my new friend got into his music. He would go so hard that I felt that he was an incarnate of some ghoulish entity that I had direct access to and was beaming me information from the nether world strait to my cranium. When I look back upon this situation rationally, that is exactly what happened. Throughout the night we talked through the eons and I was able to learn what makes this man the way he is. There was something hellish that drove his bones to action and over the night I could feel myself changing into something new that was now capable of supporting this new information and way of life. It was a nice upgrade to my personal operating system. The way of the skull hippy.

We did not sleep that night and as the morning rolled in and our friend Brock woke up we prepared for our big day; or we attempted and failed at a preparation more like. We neglected to charge our cell and couldn’t seem to follow the simple instructions of google maps and so missed out on many opportunities. When it was time for the music video we were all nervous that we would continue to miss out and therefore miss our biggest opportunity of the day.

At the time of first meeting the rapper Hi Rex I felt that his presence was lack luster but looking back I think he matched the emotion of the atmosphere and then did the part of the musician that he was, and the musician that he was was all about the money. The more I think about it the more respect I have for the guy. I mean, he is a sell out of an artist but owning the sell out title so well that he breaks through the idea of selling out and creates an artistic image of his own right. Praise to the dollar.

The man that really caught my attention was his producer. First impression of this guy was that he was full of himself. Muscle shirt, gold chains, and some sort of punk ass sunglasses on. I played his game to find wisdom it would have otherwise taken me years to find. His message was simple and emphasized hard work. We were able to shoot a short video for my youtube series- “bang stories” which he turned into a life lesson rather than some story of having sex with a girl. He told me of his affiliation with sales star Grant Cardone and of his books that’s scheduled to be published next month. It was more learning and more upgrades all day from these guys.

The camera we rented was a Cannon 6d. I had never even held one in my hand before. It was a magnificent piece of equipment. Like a beautiful woman; nothing ever needed to be forced when it comes to these guys. I loved using the camera and while we were shooting the video I got creative as possible. After we were done shooting I could feel a huge sense of relief come over Brock who praised me time and again for taking charge during the shooting. There was a moment in the sunlight on the streets of Denver where Brock looked into my eyes and he was able to show me how happy he was. The great part for me was that I was able to empathize with him all the way up. It feels good to serve and provide value to other people. In the end its all selfish and I really only do it for me, and that’s exactly why it feel so good to serve other people.

On our way back to Boulder, and to my new life, we stopped at Red Rocks amphitheatre to take one final shot of Brock dropping a prophetic verse on the main stage. Who knows what is to come in the future. As far as I’m concerned we could all die tomorrow be perfectly all right.

Peace out Utah. I’m here now instead. I’m still a little sore from the ass kicking I got from Powder Mountain this year but learned a valuable lesson of discernment between the people that work for an entity and the the entity itself. So grateful to everyone I was able to meet at a personal level and hope that they do their best to keep the thoughts of the corporate beast out of their heads and remember that people are people and should be treated in much the same way. This Colorado thing is feeling more right than anything ever has in my life. I have a few things to take care of before I can really start to expand but if there ever was a place to do it that place is here, and of course if there ever was a time, its tomorrow cause I’m going to bed! Lol.

Hunting Lucidity

While brain storming with a friend we stumbled across the idea of lucid dreaming and thought that it would be awesome if we could get an in depth view on how to become lucid while dreaming. I thought that it would be a great idea to film the progression towards lucidity with nightly films that document my attempts at becoming lucid. Turns out this quest lines up nicely with another venture that I will be undertaking and that is a hardcore hitchhiking trip from Salt Lake City to Boulder Colorado. The purpose of this paper is to outline a strategy to best gets my brain to a lucid state as well as outline the soul of my video to better communicate and teach an audience of YouTube viewers on the ways of lucidity.

My first step to lucid dreaming will be to keep a dream journal and make sure to think about my dreams every time I wake up. I can then write/explain my dreams in order to progress to the next step. The qualifications for progressing to the next step is that I am able to remember a nights worth of dreams for three nights in a row. After this point I should be ready to make the jump into allowing my awareness to flow into my dreams.

Paul Tholey (oneirologist) lays out the levels of lucid dreaming which look like this.

  1. Awareness of the dream state (orientation)
  2. Awareness of the capacity to make decisions
  3. Awareness of memory functions
  4. Awareness of self
  5. Awareness of the dream environment
  6. Awareness of the meaning of the dream
  7. Awareness of concentration and focus (the subjective clarity of that state).

Like the many monks and philosophers before me I will progress down this path and into the world of the dream.

At the same time I will be exploring the Rocky Mountains and want a concept of how this journey will pay out. There will be a beginning, a middle, a climax, and an end. The beginning could be a remake of this paper. I could be sitting in front of all the things that I have packed and explain what I plan to do on my trip and with what resources I will use in order to do the doing. The middle could be composed of the long hours spent on the road along with all the different posts I make night by night explaining my progress when it comes to lucid dreaming. I could also interview people I meet on the road about dreaming and what their thoughts on dreams are. Ideally I climax by having an amazing lucid dream on top of a mountain, although this could be just part of the journey as it seems that the ability to lucid dream is a skill that one could continue to master for the rest of their lives. In the end I will arrive to my good friends in Boulder Colorado and will get to do a wrap up bit about the new life that I will be living in a new part of the world. Maybe some thoughts on what I would do differently if I were to do it all again and some tips for anyone that wants to do something of the same.

This is the outline for my journey to come. Any insights as to what this venture could use would be great. Please leave a comment at the bottom.

-Cheers

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.