25 April 2012


Pending my completion of Island, there has been much consideration on my behalf towards the notions of how one grows. Divided into three primary phases of life, these are distinctly not correlated with the concept of time, but rather with experience. One may not reach phase 2 ever within the confines of their lifeline. On the contrary, a rare individual may reach phase 3 from a very young age. These phases are dynamic and often very layered. The folds of these layers may convince an individual that they've achieved the next level, only to realize that the intricacies of the phases presented the next level in the direct line of sight, only to drop back down into a trough. Oftentimes it is the case that these phases are not defined by age-based experience, but rather the quality of the experience. Some monumental change may trigger a phase shift and push an individual to the next level. The endgame is the liberation of the consciousness. The benefits of achieving a phase 3 mentality is the ability to really focus on community and the human experience. By refocusing the lens that is humanity, individuals within society can rework the norms that act to confine and order into a more natural order of success and growth as a collective.

Phase 1 - Youthful Cartographer

The phase in which all enter the world, this is a phase of great curiosity. Many years are spent in an attempt to map the landscape in which they are existing. Trying to locate the what's what. This is the phase where most are conditioned by the norms of society. It is a very promising and transcendental phase. There exists the possibility for one to grow comfortable enough in this phase to live in a state of enamored servitude. The important take away from this phase is the ability to remain curious, to look for correct explanations, rather than theories of best fit. The Youthful Cartographer draws out the mental map for which the the rest of his life may be shaped by. It is important to, as earnestly as possible, draw forth unbiased conclusions and to think freely and independently. This phase is oftentimes colored by the words of elders, some providing valuable insight and other times subduing the passion which drives this individual. This phase oftentimes, but is not exclusive, to the first decade of life, as the Ego is still undeveloped and allows for unbiased conclusions to be drawn. That said, the Ego is an instrumental part of growth, and like all things, will reach its eventual demise, but not a second before one is ready to let go of that proverbial security blanket. It is at the end of this phase when Western society is so strongly conditioned by the notion that Progress drives all forward. The curious thing about progress is that it is nonlinear. That is to say, one can make progress in the wrong direction if the foundational blocks aren't properly calibrated. Likewise, one can continue to build a house on a faulty foundation, and the house may stand on its own, but eventually, that foundation will lead to the demise of that house. A flawed foundation is temporal in this regard, and when the house starts sinking, it can undermine those invested in that construct.

Phase 2 - You're a Nobody

Phase 2 is arguably the most important phase, and also the most difficult to achieve. Attaining this level requires a total breakdown of self. Ego Death. One must come to the realization that they're not important in order to more visibly see the scope of the iceberg that is the universal conscious. It can occur for a number of reasons. One may reach rock bottom, only to have a moment of true Realization and understand that there is no lower they can sink. Others still may gain this insight through lengthy endeavors of the mind--meditation, meaningful discussion, humbling moments of grandeur in the natural world, and so on. Some may achieve this notion through the use of entheogenic drugs. These drugs provide a shortcut to these notions of unlearning. However, none of these means of achieving nobody status are guaranteed to be pleasant. The Ego is a force to be reckoned with, and is often the case the greatest foe one will meet within their lifetime. Crafty and appealing, the Ego works to keep individuals in their respective place, craving power and wanting nothing more to reach the top. Because of this, some will attempt to reach phase 3 without any concept of what they're truly doing, only to miserably fail. Be forewarned that the Ego can allow for growth only so far. Once liberated from it, the individual is capable of infinitely more growth as a human being. Their respective powers of observation that originated in phase 1 will be again the focus of the individual as they seek to again grow, this time under refined conditions without the hampering spirit of the Ego. Again to the analogy of the house, the sinking or destruction of the house in phase 1 is when progress is made. First it is made in returning to the origin, the foundation. At that point, one can understand the flaws that exist within the foundation and adjust. That is the beauty of the beginning. It is minimal and obvious what needs to be done to adjust. There is less relying on said foundation, which means that the stakes are much lower. Only once the foundation has been properly setup can the structures on which the foundation is built support itself and prosper as an independent and significant institution.

Phase 3 - Moksha

Phase 3 is the final extrication of the soul. To achieve Moksha, one is stepping beyond the bounds of Samsara and experiencing life in the fullest extent of its meaning. Observing the universe for the sake of observing. This phase of life is the most important in terms of making an impact, as one reaches a Full Realization. This realization is pivotal for the individual to best understand the world and universe in which they inhabit. It acts to enable a planetary consciousness whereby humans exist together as humans in the natural world, finding the balance and moderation in seemingly uncertain times. Reaching phase three allows one to fully grasp the notion of a society which can combine intellect, reason and non-conceptual awareness. Combining these three things and embodying these notions, while promoting them simultaneously works to better the world, even in some modicum. Phase 3 is a true awakening from the slumber of a subservient life, one where the individual either conforms or seeks to worship a higher power. It is the trainee becoming the trainer, the student becoming the teacher, or the puppet becoming the puppeteer. One no longer acts as the inanimate object, but rather having a sense of mastery over the concepts of space, time, life and so forth. That is not to say that these people will be prominent scientists and astrophysicists, but rather possess the ability to seek out whichever truths they desire to know more. They are enabled with the renewed passion of their youth to understand, while considering the mysteries that exist behind the formal sciences. This is the true foundational block of a prosperous society. This is progress in the corrected form and the next evolution of humankind. It is about finding the balance and looking at all things from an infinite degree of angles. With the achieving of Moksha, one can absolve their pains and exorcise their proverbial demons. Having this sort of knowledge can be a dangerous thing, as it tends to lead to a life leaning more towards that of mental solitude. The best one can do in phase 3 is make the best of their own corner of the world, their mind. Any who are different from the norm will always find themselves lonely, but with the bolstered strength achieved in phase 2, one can find the reward in living the best life they are capable of, regardless of if they are a game changer in the schema of humanity. If they do end up enabling change, then their hard work has paid off, and the purest form of progress transpires. This is the aspiration of all who are Fully Realized.

These are my initial thoughts since my completion of Huxley's opus. I'm pleased with the takeaways I've gotten from this paramount text. I strongly recommend it to anybody looking to further their own existence and I'm pleased engage any faithful readers or anybody who shares strong passions or opinions about my words or Huxley's in a conversation about it. Finally, I wish you all the best, thanks for taking the time to read. I certainly feel better having put it into words after a few strange days of thinking much on the topic.

18 April 2012


I've spent considerable time of late on the notion of how ideas are transmitted. Humans spend much time on attempting to communicate ideas with one another, only to realize the frustrations that exist in transmitting ideas. To each person and each idea, the threshold of effectiveness is going to be different. I prefer written word, though I understand that it is limited in scope by the limitation of the words which comprise my ideas. Hence the challenge and, thereby, my passion for the written word. It isn't the easiest means, but because I strive to convey my ideas, I choose this medium often for getting my ideas pushed out there to the masses.

It really got me thinking though: is writing the overall most effective means of transmitting ideas. Part of the problem I encountered is the idea that the content of writing is often intangible. It provides a means for an individual to parse over the data and process it themselves, but what if they lack imagination or otherwise aren't as intuitive as the intended audience of the author? Furthermore, authors are limited by their vocabulary, rhetoric and ability to convey emotion and experience. Words are cold and dead by default, only to be pumped with life by one who can carefully craft them in a proper sequence.

The next step up in terms of what I deem potential effectiveness comes from the oral transmission of ideas. While it still has many of the shortcomings of writing, it avoids the distance between the origin and the intended receiver of the idea. This, however, is a catch-22. The benefit of a conversation is that it is more dynamic than written word. A writer must put forth much more consideration for the development of the idea, and therefore, is bound to be didactic in some regard. A conversation can evolve on the spot, but requires a quick mind by the owner of the idea. In that respect, conversation is more fluid in terms of conveying an idea. There is, however, a short-coming with this notion. People are often driven by the notion of their Ego, and will avoid at all costs being told what to think. One runs the risk in direct conversation of feeling imposed upon by this new notion and may safeguard their mind rather than being considerate. That is one advantage that writing has, in that the intended audience has optionally chosen to pick up the book. At that point, the author has a 1-up on the conversationalist in that the reader is more akin to pick up on ideas of the author that he or she may be defensive about in raw conversation.

This train-of-thought led me to a third, more promising notion. The idea of leading by example. I thought of the old cliche, "actions speak louder than words." Now maybe volume doesn't correlate to effectiveness and maybe it does, but that is not what I am debating here. Rather, I came to the notion that living your life by the ideas you want others to exhibit is the most promising of all methods for effective idea transmission. If you embody the ideas which you wish to convey in another, they not only resonate stronger with the degree to which you take it seriously and believe it yourself, but also allow others to passively observe those ideas, actionable or subtle. As I was talking about before, people inherently want to derive ideas and notions for themselves, rather than be instructed on how to think or act. Therefore, embodying an idea that another observes proves to be the most effective means of getting that notion implemented. It acts on a contagious and subconscious level. Once the subconscious subverts the Ego, there is a direct correlation to the propensity for integration of that idea.

Obviously this is not intended as the be-all end-all best-of-the-best means for transmitting ideas, but rather what I find it to be the most effective if applicable. Leading by example allows one to realize and prioritize what ideas and values are really worth promoting. The rest will fall by the wayside, arising as necessary. Additionally, people are curious creatures. One is bound to be observed in a social situation acting or rather, being who they are. Observable ideas therefore are important to consider. Children especially pay close attention to what is going on in this otherwise chaotic and confusing world, as they attempt to piece together a means for successful living. This is why the youth are more impressionable. They are not set in there ways and they spend much time observing those around them. They pick up on tendencies, beliefs, and habits very quickly as they see repeated occurrences of such.

It brings me back to the quote I started my previous post with, which I will re-iterate here:

"I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”
Aldous Huxley - Point Counter Point

This is the perfect example of how I believe to best implement ideas, and thereby, change. Work on finding what you value, what you believe in. Live by those ideals, promote them, but know that people are more likely to follow in your proverbial footsteps by watching you exemplify those notions, rather than preach them.

09 April 2012

Ripple Reflections

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” 
― Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point

An issue I've recently grappled with an immense deal, I find my thoughts in limbo as I grow to understand the conditions and pre-requisites to produce change. Change is not dictated upon or controlled, but rather is activated. None of the great game changers of history seemed to set out with the goal of changing the world. Rather, these intellectual ancestors found a focus and a passion, something they could latch onto and believe in as individuals. With that passion and that enthusiasm, they gained momentum in the form of others. The goal isn't to understand society, and it isn't to implement change. Rather, it becomes an issue of understanding oneself. Making your sliver of the world the best it can be.

One of the most effective ways I can see that come to fruition is through my writing. I find myself writing here today not for calibre or quality, but rather to put forth my unbalanced thoughts. I do not know if this piece will yield any success or results other than to my own intrinsic value. What I do know is that I'm seeing a transition in my belief system. Where I once found myself unsettled and disturbed with the state of the world, ready to call to action an uprising and change, I knew not the difficulties that would ensue. Most notably the idea that I would have to change the minds of men and women who abhor the notion of change. Fear dictates much more ruthlessly and unforgivingly than that of hope and optimism. Yet, progress come from the latter and not the former.

I once found myself at odds with a very trusted and dear friend of mine. The argument fell on the exact notion which has become the topic of this piece. While I exclaimed the flaws of the world and how they must be revised, he calmly enforced his beliefs that our own corner is all that we can be responsible for. While I initially took that as his sparking of enlightenment happening after he had been too conditioned by the very society I sought to modify, I've come to realize the credibility of his notions. More importantly, he hadn't imposed his own beliefs on me, but respected where I was coming from. I now assume that he silently accepted my beliefs and attributed them to my own quest towards wisdom. I know that now and respect him all the more for his patience with me.

I know that the best medium that I can elicit any change is indirect. That is to say, I must convey my beliefs via the limitations of written word, as difficult as it may be. I often tease myself with the idea of censoring or revising my writing, not for mass appeal, but for my own sanity. On the contrary, I have in recent time, come to realize the err of my ways and since stuck to the firm notion that my best and worst writing will come from heartfelt writing, not safe writing. The benefits are a ripple effect, resonating heavily with myself and my own agendas, then spreading wider to the eyes of the reader. In that respect, writing is a selfish endeavor, with altruistic ulterior motivations. Few would see it in such direct contrast due to the positive gains to be made by both parties, yet it is what it is. 

I seek out the beauty of words for their complexity and simultaneous limitation. It is a frustrating endeavor and one of self-motivation and great grief. I often find great difficulty in composing passages or making realizations, no matter how cryptic I allow my prose to become. The important thing I keep in mind is letting the prose become, rather than imposing my "I" upon it. The Ego is many a great foe to the mind of man. Much like what I believe to be a fundamental point of raising a child, one cannot impose themselves too much upon their child, literal or metaphorical. The result of such processes will yield only disdain and remorse; an uninspired and conditioned believer who yields to the norms because they know no other way. Or even worse, one may find themselves in a coup de'tat, their hard work turning against them. I believe this to happen in many households, the parental delusion being that one must force norms and the values that one holds upon their kin. Complacency is stagnant. One must work to progress themselves and lead by example, not by an iron-clad fist. Experience dictates values, not the other way around.

I leave you today with one final notion, and that is one of tremendous graciousness. Taking the time to read anything created by the mind of another demonstrates a capacity to grow and progress. It shows determination to make oneself a better human being, if only taking away one facet of knowledge or one particularly resonating sentence. Never stop reading. Never stop learning. Take the advice of Huxley and use it to make others enthusiastic about something. Anything. Enthusiasm promotes change. 

03 April 2012

The Generation of Wills

How do you stop the perpetual motion machine that is man?
To service the engine? Creaks, clinks, clunks.
Let us lube it up with the polished minds we've purchased.
The problem? None of us know how the machine works.
They won't let us try, they won't let us learn their devices.
We're just supposed to toss in the coal and not ask questions,
and it's killing us slowly. We know there are cleaner ways,
better ways, and it has been said, in many ways, the dead horse Beat,
you can't teach the old maestro a new tune, the dog new tricks.
We can't conduct ourselves, not according to them.
What do they know, though? We are inheriting stacked band-aids.
The commodity now is originality, vitality, perspective.
We seek the truth, they seek our information, they can't handle the truth,
not first-hand, trickle-down this and that, anonymity thinly veiled,
responsibility pushed around, hot potato, catch-phrase.
Soundbytes, reality bites, bulldoze it away, out of sight out of mind,
and they don't mind, so we're left to clean it up,
Manifested destiny to force upon us the manual labor,
cleaning the streets of their messes,
taxing work, or so they want, and so we know.
The generation of wills, promises of what will be,
Due tomorrow, do tomorrow, manana, manana, manana,
until all that's left is the irony of their empty wills,
and our veiled wills,
to thrive at last, free from the old ways. The machine back in motion,
forward and onward, willing the now.

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