The Identity Trap

The Identity TrapIn the beginning, God makes man and woman. Allowing them to hang out in the garden and experience life without knowledge of themselves. Once this plan fails, a surprising common occurrence considering he already knows everything, God changes the future of his freshly crafted biology with more than a little anger in his message and punishments for disobedience: Read More »

There is No Such Thing as Straight

CoverIn the gulf of dark times it is ever increasingly important to be the light for one another. As culture increases in complexity, the very dangers of claiming a culture become more numerous, and it seems to this humble author that it is about to tear two of the fundamental philosophies of the modern era into shreds—what dangers lie in feminism and equality’s future? Read More »

Morning Meditations #127: You Like Mean Girls

MM 127
These have really added to my home. They were such a generous gift from a loving person. Behold the beauty and contradiction of today’s blog subject.

About six months ago someone said one of the most profound things anyone has ever said to me. The force with which this rocked me cannot be overstated. I mean, think around it. What could you say to someone when they notice that, “You like mean girls.”Read More »

Morning Meditations #126: More Mirrors

mm-126I see again, the power of mirrors. This MM comes, once again, from a place of sadness. Sadness comes. Sadness goes.   The reason for my sadness is a relationship ending. Not a particularly long one. A powerful one though. I suppose all the good ones will seem to be. I know many likely feel a sense of satisfaction, an “I knew she was crazy, told you so,” will be unavoidable in more than a couple of minds. That’s an easy feeling to justify. I sacrificed a few things, not too many, but a few. Anyone caught up in that mess may have their satisfaction, because she left more than a bruised ego and broken heart for me.  The power of mirrors brings a deep solace, and when I am wrong, amazing things happen.Read More »

This Is a Call To My Christian Cohort

a-call-to-my-christian-cohort
See, I’m not scared to quote this book.  This is a great passage for the times from the second most famous book in the Pentateuch.

I am an openly antitheistic person.  This means my writings and social media agenda is to bring data and evidence to reveal the superstitions we call religions, are likely harmful.  It is also the stance theology isn’t a science, rather it seems to be propaganda through rationalization.  I will debate and expose, research and write about this mission until my mind and fingers cease. 

Yet, I beg, “Parlay!”  Read More »

Morning Meditations #125: Into the Limelight, Again

mm-125Hello again.

This is one of the longest writing breaks I’ve taken in several years.  A number of reasons could be given: finishing up the last semester, a new relationship, and the holidays are all potential reasons.  Maybe I’ve also been blocked.  But, as I haven’t really sought a writing outlet recently, I don’t think the term blocked applies.  Perhaps there has been a lack of inspiration.  It seems unlikely.  There was this whole presidential election thing and now, with tons of moral issues that could be addressed, I might ought to be very vocal concerning the new president-elect and his coming moves.  I mean, I think it’s silly, Donald Trump as prez, but I admit that isn’t enough, in and of itself, to drive me to the keyboard daily.  Read More »

Morning Meditations #124: The Society of Anxiety

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A little section of my walking meditation path in the back yard.

No better time than the present to begin a meditation practice.  All the misguided thoughts and feelings perpetuated by an unhealthy system has now bled into leadership in the most overt way anyone will witness.  It isn’t just about the president-elect.

Well, I guess it kinda is, but I believe this is evidence of a far greater problem that carries beyond just race and extremism, elections and corruption.  This is about a society of anxiety.  Trump is only and expression of such a society.  The numbers don’t lie.  More people voted to prevent a president from happening, a process of elimination rather than a process of selection.  Not new information, but the cause is based in fear and loathing.  It isn’t just about the voters either.

The candidates from Jill Stein to Donald Trump were disliked by the clear majority.  Not a single candidate trusted.  This is true for me.  I voted blue to prevent a Trump presidency.  I wouldn’t have voted for any of the third-party candidates presented either.  Like most, I was a Bernie voter.  And would have been a proud American for the only time in my life other than a few Olympic moments and maybe while watching Deadwood (for the quality, not the history).  This reveals an anxious government too.  One that isn’t willing to break from the molds they’ve (we’ve?) made, which, from the evolutionary standpoint, will threaten via extinction event at some point.  From the psychological perspective, a mentality unwilling to adapt to change will quickly loop-up with anxiety, making bad choices for sustainable living or making no choices at all.  How could we not fall into this progress trap?

As a result, we flailed about and then acted out.  We elected a cartoon character with an Ayatollah running mate. 

Yes, things will change.  But, our change is symptomatic.  We have looped up and are now enacting a type of societal self-mutilation.  We found the worst possible way to behave, and we are now in a process of doing it over and over and over again.  We must stop.

I invite anybody that is now freaking out to do something about it.  I don’t mean the typical taking to the streets in protest (we should be doing that to).  Before even doing that, I believe we must first do by non-doing.  When our minds are in a panic, choices like this get made.  It becomes impossible to organize ourselves, never mind organizing with one another.  When we obtain moments of inner silence, we are able to listen to ourselves.

We open communication lines for listening to our whole selves.  Physically, emotionally, and intellectually.  Choices can be made that more clearly resemble our true hopes and goals.

Those of you that have never meditated or those who have tried but find it difficult, I will help if I can.  But, I would love nothing more than to teach others how to give themselves the gift of clarity, the gift of self-love, the gift of self-forgiveness.  I understand being hesitant.

It is scary and will seem silly at times.  The monkey mind will be chattering away, and may even start criticizing the very act of meditation while you are practicing.  Yet, mindful meditation will allow you to hear the mind, feel the body, and then come back to silence, letting all that distraction go.  You will get to practice this dozens of times in only a short meditation.  There are literally hundreds of ways to find these spaces in a day.  It won’t take all of that though.  It’ll be tough, but not hundreds of times a day tough.

We’ll also be able to hear each other better from this state of mind, as powerful of a feature as listening to yourself.  Meditation is doing through non-doing.

Nothing will be solved or healed during meditation.  

Meditation will not fix anything.  

Ever.  

It only allows us to be more aware. 

We’re going to have to live with our acting out.  The Trump is on the wall now and not everything is going to be okay; we have to be aware of and accept the reality.  It’ll take time to repair and paint over.  But, as Mr. Miyagi taught us years ago, painting can be meditative as well.

Out the Other Side

why-1
Many will recognize one of the sculpture from the castle at Wilson Park here in F-town. For those that don’t, this is one of the places I grew up seeing. Also helped make me who I am today.

“What am I writing for?”  I spent a few moments before I began writing this.  These moments were spent trying to think about what I am actually writing about.  Or, as the title would suggest, what is my purpose for writing?  See, I’ve taken the last few months off of writing for An Arkansas Atheist and The Free Thinking Press, and freely admitting, it’s been due to a bit of a writing crisis.  Perhaps more than that too.  Maybe a creative crisis.  Maybe a lifestyle crisis.  There is little to no way of really knowing, I could have any or all of those going on right now, but ninety counselors would see ninety different Rances on any given day.  It isn’t the subject matter either.

Even though a novel will bear my name sooner than later, my focus subjects are still the ones most passionately followed; religion is still foolishness.

The mind-brain connection remains a great mystery and must be better understood for quality of life to be maximized on this planet.  As well, I still am loving wholeheartedly despite taking a recent haymaker.  Determinism makes the most sense to me of all the philosophies, and my struggles with mental health are still a point of strength within my life.  So what’s been missing?

Yoga and meditation also stopped when my writing stopped.  Health has been less of a focus lately.   And I have been on FB 10 times in a more than a month.  Strange.  I am not sure what is more important to what anymore.  It seems more than silly to write an MM when I am not in fact meditating.  I have been rather busy living “The Story of An Arkansas Atheist,” which explains why I am not trying to compose those entries right now.  My FB page had been understandably devoid of quotes via The Bible, so haven’t had a lot of fodder there (although last night somebody through one right at my face).  Blog numbers were down anyway, this being an election year means people’s attempts to alleviate concerns regarding fulfilled living and self-forgiveness will be searched for at the polling stations and during presidential debates.  Funny how so many turn from the mirror to watch the a spectacle.  Only to realize that since they last looked in the mirror, they have changed.  Not me.  I turned from the ruckus to stare into the mirror, and have been more than pleased with the changes felt, noticed, and witnessed.

why-2By giving voice to these newly observed states of self, the products of a year of change can now really be seen.  Oh, there have been setbacks, heartbreak, and anger, but by giving all these life situations a safe space within myself, I don’t feel the rage and fear like I used to, or if I do, they don’t affect me with so much suffering.  Yet, in some ways this goodness has been a badness.

There is less of my classic motivators, rage and pain, giving me less to write about.  By calm and steady progress, I am back on some type of academic track.  My academic form is rusty, but it has been a great experience except for a few failures.

As well, my creative side has found many outlets considering Capture Crew videos are coming out as well as The Songwriters Circle’s videos.

why-34I composed most of this in Peenemunde, my home away from home.  I consider that place my savior.  I’ve had a few great friends through all of this, but nothing does for me what my sanctuary can do.

Ivy is cruising through 1st grade with smiles and energy.  Life has thrown some crazy shit at me, but I have chucked it right back.  So much beauty and creativity has been present in my life over the last couple of months, it has been a lot to lose, but even the hard to accept and painful seem less excruciating to overcome.

While there are some things in this existence that cannot be sorted out with a few tears and a few reasons to smile, I hope to have a life populated with ones that can.  So far, for now, I am getting that done.  And it makes me proud to be me.

Morning Meditations #123: Tomato-basil-parmasan-eggplant Ice Cream on Your Tofu Steak

MM 123I don’t know what to write about today. I just know that I want to write. It is just one of those mornings when I don’t feel inspired by any of my activities. Maybe it’s just the college and elementary school schedules settling in, slowly incubating into mundane, daily events— the quotidian. Although, as Richard Dawkins once pointed out, “mundane” derives from the Latin “mundus,” meaning of the world or world (apparently, is also used for “clean” in the language), and the process of being a part of the world is anything but mundane. Read More »