I write my best songs when I’m feeling frustrated.
When I’m feeling low-down or pissed off and I can find a way to transmute that negative emotion into a song, those tend to be my favorite.
To me, this is amazing.
It means that I never REALLY have to feel all that bad about an obstacle in my path.
Because, when I’m feeling well, then great.
And when I’m feeling depressed or anxious, I can transmute that energy into “gold” as well.
In the back of mind, even at the height of rage, I can smile knowing that I can use the “negative” emotions for something positive.
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
― Marcus Aurelius
Last night, I was reading from a book called, “The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” by Donald Robertson. I came something profound that I decided to share with you.
This is, ‘Seneca’s Model of Cognitive Mediation’:
A. The Raw Affect
This is an involuntary emotional reaction (usual also physical) in response to a shock. i.e. Jerking your head back when being poked in the eye.
This is a reaction we can’t totally control.
B. The Irrational Judgement
An irrational judgement is made which adds to the raw affect.
i.e. “I ought to be avenged for having been poked in the eye.” or, “That man ought to be punished for poking me in the eye.”
C. The Consequence
The raw affect, now kicked a level deeper by the irrational judgement, grows in strength and overwhelms the mind resulting in temporary loss of reason.
This series of events happens so fast that most of us don’t notice that it happens.
We go our whole lives thinking that “A” causes “C” because “C” seems to show up almost immediately after “A” does. We don’t realize that “A” X “B” = “C”.
Our irrational judgement has at least as much to do with our emotional troubles as the raw affect does.
It’s not that you go to practice everyday, that separates you from the competition.
It’s the little things you do during practice…
Taking care to have slightly better footwork, slightly better body positioning just before receiving the ball, paying attention to your breathing, etc.
These seemingly small things add up to a huge gap between you and the other players.
It’s not the record deal, the number one chart position on Billboard Hot 100, or the headlining show at Red Rocks that you finally booked that you will remember, lucidly and fondly, in the final moments of your life.
It’s the little things…
Holding your lovers hand and laughing on a day you thought you’d forgotten, cooking dinner with her, and goofing off.
The days you let pass by while you had your mind set on some end goal, the days you thought that nothing in particular happened… Those days were everything.
I just wanted to share with you my 10 favorite books of all time. These are all books I’ve felt compelled to read multiple times and have had a lasting impact on me:
1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
2. I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
3. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
4. The Way of Zen by Alan Watts
5. The ALchemist by Paulo Coelho
6. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
7. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
8. If You Meet Buddah on the Road, Kill Him! by Sheldon B. Kopp
9. DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman
10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Live by your own code.
William Blake sums it up best when he says:
“…every man must create his own system, or be enslaved by another… my business is to create…”
And, Bruce Lee…
“Research your own experience, absorb what is useful, reject what is not. Add what is essentially your own.”
No one really knows anything.
Everyone is an idiot genius.
This is exceedingly great news because it means that you’re free.
Creating your own system empowers you and gives you a sense of agency in this unfathomable and infinite world we live in rather than just a blind follower of someone else’s made up system.
“In a word, man must create his own essence: it is in throwing himself into the world, suffering there, struggling there, that he gradually defines himself.” ― Jean Paul Sartre
Even Jesus Christ stumbled (more than once) while carrying his cross to Calvary.
Even the very best of us meet obstacles along the path, relapse, and, become susceptible to melancholy.
The single determining factor between the ultimate success of the few and the failure of the many is this;
If you want to write, write.
If you want to become stronger, go exercise.
You will meet with resistance. Especially at first.
You’ll fall off the wagon.
You’ll be humbled.
To this I say, “Good”.
Get back on the fucking horse.
As above, so below.
I believe life is a game that we chose to play.
I believe we came here because we thought it’d be fun, for a brief moment in time, to NOT know that we’re the whole thing.
We thought it’d be fun to be unsure if the rustle in the bushes was a beast that has come to end us for good.
Here is why I think this.
“As above, so below.”
Our finger prints are the same shape as our galaxy. The micro mirrors the macro. The infinitesimal mirrors the infinite.
The bible puts it like this: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”- 1 Corinthians 15:49
So, it makes sense to me that what we would do here on this lower level of being, is probably very similar to what we would do on a higher level of being.
So, then… what ARE we doing?
Well, one thing were doing is we’re working day and night to create a fully immersive virtual reality gaming system.
One day we will create a game that’s so real that we forget it’s even a game.
Let’s imagine for a moment what this process might look like.
It’s the year 2350 and we’re super familiar with fully immersive virtual reality gaming systems.
Not only that, but let’s say we’ve also cracked the code on how to extend the life of our physical bodies to hundreds of years. Hell, we might’ve even figured out how to upload our consciousness into computer bodies..
At this point, simply playing the VR game while knowing you’re not actually the character in the game is starting to become boring.
So, we find out how to create a game where, once we enter the game, we forget it’s a game altogether.
We limit our intelligence. We play at being smaller, dumber, than our true selves outside the game. We believe that danger is real. We pretend to not know whether there’s life after death.
What if we’ve done this an infinite number of times already?
If you really think about it, this is in line with what the sages of every religion have believed for thousands of year, only with a technological bent.
What if death is nothing to fear?
We go around worried that we may meet death today, or something that leads to it.
What if this is an ignorant view?
We have no way of knowing for sure if death is something to fear or look forward to.
But, given the choice between between chronic fear or eternal optimism, I choose optimism.
If I am correct in assuming that death is actually going to be beautiful, then I get to live a better life than most men in my days, and I get to meet some new and mysterious beauty at the end.
If I’m incorrect, then I still lived a better life.
I thought I’d share a few realizations that I’ve consistently “come back” with from my experiences with magic mushrooms.
There are higher realizations that one can have but those can’t really be expressed with words.
These are the more manageable, “bite-sized” take aways that have proved useful to me:
1. Be an Empty Slate. Be a nameless Child. Be more of an observer, and less of an expressor. You don’t always have to be the “front man” in every social situation. When you control the words that you speak from your mouth, you’ll be amazed at the words that you say to yourself in your mind.
2. Don’t forget to enjoy all of this. Remember to live and create in a spirit of playfulness.
3. You have access to infinite intelligence. You’re powerful beyond measure. This doesn’t mean that you have to express that power, verbally. The power that can be seen, can be seen even more clearly when you’re not trying to put it on display.
4. Be non-judgemental of other people. Everyone else’s power is equally unique and beautiful.
5. Get out into nature more frequently. Eat less, and less often. Experiment with occasional fasting.
6. Realize and truly appreciate the beauty of your physical body. (Stop judging yourself so harshly.)
7. We only seem to be living in a linear stream of time. In reality, all times are happening around us in the infinite moment of “now”.
8. The wisest thing you can be is to be totally stupid. Mindless.
The universe is infinite.
It’s an infinite universe inside of an infinite multiverse.
At night, when you dream, you’re inside one of these infinite realities.
One of the conclusions you could draw from this is… “There’s neither good, nor bad except that thinking makes it so.”
There are an unlimited number of worlds where things can go “wrong”, and an equal number of worlds where things can go “right”.
And, it all hinges on your choice.
At the end of the day, we’re all going to come together and have a good laugh about the whole thing. So, don’t worry yourself too much about it.
But, for now, the question is…
In this particular reality we find ourselves in:
Would you like to swim against the current in the stream of life?
Would you like to learn how to let it carry you, artfully?