Death is the open window in which I allow the breeze to swim inside my room of life and challenge the comfort of my skin. I tried to close the window many times, only to find that there was no glass. Eternity is a weight that no person was meant to bear, and the lifespan is an eternity unto itself.
The lovely babyknitter has tagged me with a series of questions, thus shaking me out of a 6 month hiatus from this blog. I just spent two hours and one coffee on this post. It was fun, and now I am inspired to write more. Thank you!
What conversation are you dreading MOST about having to have with your kid?
I don’t necessarily dread having any conversations with Lilah, but there are going to be a few that will be difficult. There are some topics that even as grown adults, we just don’t have answers for them. Death is one of those topics. How do you explain to a child that someone is gone forever? As an adult it is also difficult to comprehend that fully, but we feel the weight of it as we grieve. Where do people go when they die? Who knows. We will never know. I would be surprised if the answer is ever fully revealed, because to me it seems like one of those permanent mysteries. However, the idea of reincarnation is prevalent. It makes sense because our bodies are biodegradable and are nutrients for the earth to keep growing. Who is to say that consciousness isn’t also reincarnated in some way? Nature is very efficient at recycling everything.
What is your favorite holiday to spend with your kid and why?
Thanksgiving. I might end up gaining 10 pounds from food in one day, but I also gain 10 pounds of love from all of my family getting together under one roof. Lilah is also the center of attention during this event, and I love seeing people dote on her.
What food do you wish more than anything your kid would eat?
Lilah eats pretty much anything. She even loves broccoli. I have not run into this issue yet, but I will say that there are food items she probably shouldn’t like as much as she does: crackers and cookies. I have to spell out certain food words now, because if you say them out loud she will perk up and ask for them.
If you could go back to school for anything at all, A) would you want to, and B) what would you study?
Funny you ask, because I actually did go back to school last fall. I started going to college five years after graduating high school, and I am very glad that I decided to wait. Being a student again made me realize that I can do anything I set my mind to. I am currently going for a Bachelor of Arts degree, and I love the classes I have been taking so far. I do have a soft spot for my drawing classes. They are very challenging and I feel like my art has evolved a lot from them.
You have won a fabulous prize of a one week’s vacation to your dream destination – anywhere in the world. The only catch is you have to go alone (no spouse/kids). Where does your ticket take you and do you go?
This question is very difficult to answer, because there are a lot of places I would like to go. However, you mention the aspect that I have to go alone, so that would leave Japan and Amsterdam out of the question. I would have to say Peru. It would be scary to go alone, and I also don’t know the native language so that would also pose a challenge. That in and of itself would be a very beneficial learning experience. I pick Peru because of its history with the medicinal plant brew called ayahuasca.
You have 1 paragraph to describe your neighbors. Do it.
I hardly know my neighbors. I live in a duplex, however, and the older couple that live next to us are our landlords. As far as I know, they are nice people, but they do not support the smoking of medicinal herbs.
What do you do when someone gives you or your kid a Xmas gift that you just fundamentally HATE?
I open up the fireplace conveniently placed next to me, and chuck the gift into the fire while laughing maniacally! In all seriousness, I have never gotten a gift that I hate, and Lilah doesn’t seem to hate any of her gifts. I will mention for ‘reasons’ that I have no interest in receiving beauty products, *cough* bath sets *cough*, or watches.
If you could drastically make-over one thing about yourself, what would it be? Answers do not have to be merely physical attributes.
Drastically make-over something about myself? Well, I’ve been a very shy person most of my life. Speaking to strangers used to be such a fear to me, but since I started going to college last fall I have come out of my shell a lot. I can now force myself to speak to people I don’t know without much hassle, and every time I feel a little tiny percent more comfortable too. In a way, I have already made over part of my personality, but I still worry too much what other people think of me to a degree. It isn’t paralyzing, but I still think about it. I hope that over time I can gain more confidence, and I feel like I can if I stay on this path. Having a few close friends helps a lot.
If you could bring back to life one dead famous person as an attempt to impact the world today, who would it be and why?
Terence McKenna. He isn’t exactly a household name, but he was helping make progress for the psychedelic community before he passed away in April 2000. What made him different from all the other people who were delving into the intricacies of the psychedelic experience, was that he was a very well spoken and eloquent with his words. He was obviously a very smart person with a lot of life experience that helped form his opinions. Some people thought he was a kook, but he was just willing to let his mind analyze all sorts of possibilities, leaving no stone unturned. He published several books on the subjects of psychedelics and promoted the theory of mushroom panspermia, the stoned ape theory (in a nutshell: humans evolved language and intelligence by consuming psilocybin mushrooms when foraging for food), and the novelty theory. I could go on about it more, but that should be for another post entirely. If he were still alive today, he would still be coming up with new and interesting ways of looking at reality, and would surely still be making headway for the psychedelic community. I realize how taboo that subject must be for a lot of people, but he was helping to eradicate the taboo status.
What’s your dream superpower to have as a parent?
This doesn’t count as a superpower, but if anyone has seen the film The Dark Crystal they will probably remember how the skeksis had camera bat creatures flying around everywhere, keeping an eye on the gelflings during their journey to restore the dark crystal. If I had some sort of technology like that, I would use it to check up on my daughter when she is not with me. Creepiness factor while utilizing the bat droids? Hopefully not as high as the skeksis themselves…
What’s the strangest example you’ve personally experienced of “multi-tasking?”
I do have an answer for this one, and the answer is so TMI that I think people would cry from the mental image. I will give a hint, however. It involves keeping a newborn Lilah from crying… and me having to go to the bathroom… oh I have already said too much.
Or… why I will not let my daughter grow up watching cable television. A lot of people do this and see no problem with it, my mom certainly did. While I was growing up and being placated by TV, I certainly saw no problem with it, either.
Ever since I graduated high school and started to live out in the “real world” (dumb thing to call it, more like sick world), I decided not to go to college right away, and instead just work odd jobs, because I had all the time in the world, and no instant plans. I just wanted to see what it was like to be out of school for a while, to live my own life. Part of this included not being able to pay for being able to watch TV like I used to. In fact, it wasn’t even on my list of things I cared about having or even obtaining. Who needed TV when there was internet, and I have been addicted to the internet for years?
I have been without cable TV or even satellite TV where I live for about three and a half years. Let me tell you, it’s very refreshing. Commercials, when I see them now at other people’s homes, look like elaborate scheming jokes on our intelligence. “BUY THIS, YOU NEED THIS, YOUR MONEY IS WORTH SPENDING HERE!” is the mantra of commercials, and I get a little bit of vomit in the back of my throat just thinking about how people can sit there (how I used to sit there as well) and just take it up the rear-end like it’s not a big deal. I mean, it’s our choice if we want to buy something right? Well, when we are adults of course we can tell these things apart, but watching these commercials is downright dangerous to children.
When I was little, these toy commercials on cartoon channels were like heroin. I absorbed each product like it was a revelation. My mom told me that I was start saying “Coming to a theater near you!” after talking about movies I saw in the previews. When we are this young, we can’t properly tell the difference between show and commercial, and it all sort of blends together in this mess that causes our IQ to plummet exponentially over the course of many years of repeat behavior.
Also, cartoons for little kids were a lot more creative and even risque in a multitude of ways. Now everything is so dumb, not even supporting any kind of individual thought. It’s been better for decades to just read books to your children than to let them watch garbage. Of course a lot of people KNOW this, but not enough PRACTICE this behavior.
Three weeks away from my due date, and topics like this come to mind. I want my daughter to be a free-thinker, to not be confined by current ideals in society. Part of what shuts off our brains to being able to access new knowledge and information is using our eyes too much, and our minds too little. Where are all the television shows that consistently challenge our knowledge of what we know reality to be today? Where is the mind expansion? This is why psychedelic substances are illegal, because if they were legal and did not have bad press, most of which is and has been made up for years, then no one would be $8 to go see a movie, and we would definitely not be glued to our televisions. We would be seeing reality expanded, and coming ever closer to truths that we will know to be truths because they just feel right. What part about working a boring job, paying bills, and watching endless hours of mindless entertainment feels right?
Besides, can’t we all agree that we could get so much more done if we weren’t watching things all the time to entertain ourselves? It’s amazing that there are so many people out there that choose to do hobbies that are creative, and try to expand their minds as much as possible. That still doesn’t change the fact that the majority of people out there are not seeking to expand their creativity. This is truly sad, considering that human are spiritual and creative beings.
NOTE: Writing this post totally boggled my mind and I think I tried to tackle too many things at once. (ADD much?) I had to step away from it then come back to try to see if it made any sense. @_@
What is life? Certainly not what it has come to be. It can be hard to step outside our ways of being in this day and age, and in this society. I can only speak from the perspective of an american, and will not begin to make a generalization about every single culture in the world, when I have never even left the country before.
Having listened to many Terence McKenna lectures, one thing that gets brought up repeatedly is how our minds are culturally programmed. We get up, go to work, get our money, buy, repeat. There is little time left to do what human beings are made for: to create. Of course this does not mean that creating is impossible with what little time we have for our days, especially if we work one or two jobs, and have children to support and take care of. Creativity can be included with all of these tasks, no doubt. However, if all our time were just spent how we would want to… in a world in which the great distraction called television didn’t exist, how much more alive would our minds become?
I have nothing against movies or good shows, but I can see how it has become a habit for people to sit in front of a screen and go into vegetative mode for long periods of time without going through some sort of creative process. In my opinion, the purpose of human beings is creation, and not only through re-producing. There is a reason why we are special, and if we were bestowed with this gift or not is irrelevant. Of course this creative intent that comes naturally to all of us in different forms has been used for good and for bad. Polarities exist in this world, and for what reason I do not know, but there has been a world history of good versus evil. To conquer evil with good. Currently the world story is that we are trying to conquer our own evil intent of domination over the planet, when we could be coming up with intricately more creative ways to make sure that we are more in a symbiotic relationship with the planet, and less of a parasitic one.
Ever wonder why people get depressed so easily in this day and age? I believe that the majority of depression is born because we were not meant to be worker bees for big companies, and government is not supposed to rule our lives. It can certainly be depressing when there are so many laws to obey, and no one can rely on goodwill or common sense. Some people have a much stronger internal struggle going on between good and evil than others. Some would murder if they had to, or rape, or steal, or lie. No one can just trust each other fully, because no one knows what anyone is truly capable of. Each individual is full of endless possibilities, and we are all capable of both extremely good acts, and extremely evil ones. Having trust in someone, especially a stranger, is a very strong act of faith that I believe is admirable. Some would call having this trust a stupid thing, but it is better to trust others, or else nothing would ever get done.
I myself am not Wiccan, but I do admire that the religion only has one rule, “An ye harm none, do what ye will.” It is so simple, and if the whole world abided by this one rule, what would happen then? You can do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t bring harm to other other people and harm to the planet. It sounds so easy, yet everything about how the world works today is exactly the opposite. There are tons of harmful chemicals in our food, fluoride in water supplies, those who would capture women for sexual slavery so they can make lots of money, those who would drug up children and use them to fight in an army, those who would make sure that we are as dumbed down as possible so that way we do not realize how much everything is going to hell around us.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and this topic I chose to write about is indeed endless and requires further exploration down the path of each point I brought up. I am only one person, and it is frustrating that I as one can not make a visible change to this society on a grand scale. I know there are a lot of others who feel the same, and it can be a difficult task to gather all the people who feel the exact same together, to drop everything and focus on just one task at hand… to help the world mind in order to help the people around us, and to help the earth. We are born from this earth, she is our mother.
There is something else in life that makes it hard to step away, to just drop everything in life for this cause, and that is family. I will be a mother very soon now, and I want to cherish and raise my daughter to become a wonderful person who understands that she is full of limitless possibilities. It is because of this grand love for others that all we want to do is just care for those around us, those closest to us. It can certainly be an overwhelming task to take loving every individual person on this planet, good or evil. I may not be Christian, but I found this to be an admirable task when it came to the explanation of Jesus Christ’s ways.
For thousands of years we were used to the simple mindset of hunting and gathering to collect the food, to keep warm, and to survive. There were no governments. That is why we do the same thing to this day, but in a very different manner. Now that the planet is being polluted, the story is much different at this point in the history of the world. It is too much of a burden for one person’s shoulders to change the world, and our ancestors certainly did not have to worry about the planet being destroyed at an increasingly faster rate. That is why we go back to our jobs, collect our money, and support our family to make them happy.
As far as I am concerned, no one gives dreaming enough credit. For as long as I can remember, dreams have always been important to me, and I feel like I have to talk about them, to get them out of me, to ponder them. I believe that this has a lot to do with the realness of the dreaming experience. There is a theory that DMT, a very powerful hallucinogen, which is already present in our brains in small doses, secretes while we are in REM sleep. If you have ever read about a DMT experience in which it is smoked, or had the experience yourself, then you would know that it is described as feeling “more real than real”, and there is a fast transition from being in this reality, in which the person experiencing it feels like they are being pulled out of their bodies.
The thing about hallucinogens, is that I do not believe they trick the mind. Some people think of hallucinating as something fake, as an experience that is not a real or valid one. I heavily disagree with this. The mind perceives an extraordinary event through the application of a substance that alters the brain chemistry temporarily. How can this be a fake experience? This is definitely a part of a valid experience of reality.
Dreaming, you could say, is like having a psychedelic experience, and because it happens everyday, it’s novelty can wear off, and a person can easily begin to dismiss their dreams. I believe that whatever happens in dreams is just as valid as being awake.
Ever have one of those dreams that you just can’t shake as soon as you wake up? I’ve experienced that a lot. I will wake up crying sometimes, or in shock at the contents and the feels of the dream I had been having. I will quickly go write these dreams down, because I believe that whatever I was made to feel, was for a purpose. I try to decode my dream experiences, to understand why it happened as it did.
Of course there are dreams that I have that appear to have no valid narrative, that seem to be a string of randomness sewed together. Then there are dreams that have a lot to do with my awake reality. I’ve had dreams in which I took a shower multiple times, because before I fell asleep it really bothered me that my hair was so oily.
Who can say that what we experience when we dream is not valid enough to be looked at as seriously as we look at our own lives while we are awake. If it is a natural state that occurs, then it has a purpose.
I used to be an atheist, and while I was, I was extremely depressed. I convinced myself that the concept of god is a delusion. I was very depressed and would have panic attacks, all because when I closed my eyes, I could only see darkness, because I could not see purpose to this life when there was no spirit for me to acknowledge.
Then I had an experience, one with DMT, in the form of a brew called Ayahuasca (this word means “vine of the soul”). It is a much less powerful, but longer-lasting version of smoking DMT. Ayahuasca has been brewed and drunk in South American for a long time, and it is used by shamans to cure disease of the soul, or of the mind.
In my experience, I felt as if I was seeing myself for the very first time. I examined my self, my actions, my thoughts, my whole life, and I could see all the mistakes that I had made. How hating myself for most of my life caused me so much harm, and I hated myself for what? What reason did I have to cause myself so much pain?
It was like years and years of self-therapy in one night. After my experience, I felt a glow, like I could understand so much more about my experience of reality, like a gloom was wiped away. I listened for what felt like the first time, really listened to what people around me had to say. Most importantly, I felt like there was a life about everything, every moment, every tree, every thought, every person, every object, everything. I could sense the energy of the earth, and it is a lot less hard to do than you could imagine. I could see how everything was inter-connected, and how no one is alone. What a wonderful revelation, to finally know that I am not alone, when I had made myself alone, told myself I was alone for so many years of my life.
I could see that “god” was not what I thought it was. God is all that is, all that is to become, and all that ever was. We are a part of god, and god is a part of us. God is not a man, nor a woman. God is much more than we can perceive, and it is the mystery. God is not limited to one religious view, and god has no rules. God is love, understanding, and creativity. God is meaning.
I do not align myself to any one religion, but I feel more attuned to this basic truth: Reality is not cut from a simple shape. Reality is in the eye of every person, and every person sees reality in their own way. Therefore, alternate realities co-exist in almost seven billion different ways. We all have our life narrative, we are all striving for a purpose. There is something very special about this, and to simply be materialistic, and base all of reality simply on what we see, and less with what we feel, is like being asleep.
This is why I see dreams as so important to our functioning. This daily experience, lucid as it is, becomes concrete through our emotions. If one were to pay more attention to their dreams, what would they end up learning? I am very curious to find out.