[skipped the first page because it’s a lot of overlap from my last post]
Now onto death. Death brings up a whole mess of preconceived motions and understandings, and they are typically tainted with fear. To keep ourselves clear-headed and as objective as possible, let’s really spell out exactly what death is. If one is alive, one cannot be dead. What is it to be alive? This we know with relative certainty. To be alive is to perceive. To hear, to feel, to smell, to love, to cry, etc. Death and life are mutually exclusive. So to be dead is to not perceive. Death is the state of consciousness that we all had prior to life, and we will all have again after life: simply, to be incapable of perception. Is that really so scary? We’ve all been dead before and we will all be dead again.
From here we will get quite a bit more controversial, but these are the best analogies I’ve come up with in my life so far to help illustrate the issues at hand. Think of mycellium and mushrooms. When we see a mushroom above the ground, we see an individual organism, a “fruit” of the mycellia. What many people don’t realize is that under that mushroom, often times expanding for many miles (the biggest living organism on Earth is in fact a single colony of mycellium), is a huge interconnected network of being. This is very comparable to the internet. What becomes known to one mushroom becomes known to all the mushrooms within that mycellium, whether it be how to combat a disease, how to utilize a new food source, etc. Try to think of consciousness as mycellium. We are all interconnected beings, connected to the whole. To harm one of us is to harm all of us, although the harm is greatly minimized as distance from this person is increased (the harm will embody through negativity, anger, hate, etc. which is carried from the victim to their next social interactions. Even worse is when this is amplified by people self-creating their own hell—”just my luck”, “of course this would happen to me”, “this always happens”. Realize that this kind of thinking perpetuates itself and you will become delusional, tainting all interactions through the lens of “bad luck”. Even in the face of good luck, you will do everything you can to find something wrong with it. And you will find it, even if you must create it yourself). Now as we are all connected, we are simultaneously individuals, just as the mushrooms are. Each individual mushroom lives it’s own life, just as each individual human, house cat, fly, manta ray, and coconut tree lives their respective lives. Now imagine death under this framework of existence. It’s not so much that you are “losing your life”. When a mushroom is picked or “dies”, the mycellium lives on. The mycellium can regenerate a mushroom at a later time in the same place, creating a new life form. What has merely happened to the mycellium is that it has retreated out of the body (mushroom) that once housed it. It still exists in all the other living mushrooms of this particular colony, and it will continue to exist in new embodiments as the fungi sprout anew. Animal and plant consciousness is no different. We feel the illusion of having our own “lives” independent of all others. This is simply not true. All of us are connected. Fortunate are those that have experienced this and re-entered the shared consciousness stream through meditation, near death experience, entheogens (hallucinogenic drugs), etc. More fortunate yet are those that believe this through faith without ever having experienced it first [faith is not necessarily a bad thing. In this case, faith that this is true makes you think it is true, and you now manifest the fruits of creation everywhere you go as one who is in touch with life. You no longer harm, because you see yourself in others. You are now a beacon of light and creation, bringing harmony and a quiet tranquility everywhere you go].
That’s the big puzzle, through my understanding and my best ability to give appropriate metaphors and similes. When one dies, the light of consciousness [awareness, perception, pick the word that makes you best understand] simply retreats out of their body. An extension is lost; the being lives on. When you die you simply become food for the other life—for other potential yous. Death is nothing to fear, and is as equally beautiful as life.
You’ve probably heard the idea that we are all god. I believe this to be true. “God” is a very loaded term, full of preconceptions. By god I simply mean that which experiences everything. Surely many of you have discovered by now that past and future are illusions. You can verify this easily by realizing that “clock time” is just different nows. Everything you did in the past happened at that now, and everything you’ll do in the future will happen in that now. NOW is the only moment you’ve ever had. It is ALWAYS now o’clock. Think of what this means. Everything that has ever and will ever be experienced is happening right now. What’s the point of being god if you already know and have felt everything? Now imagine that god were to constantly put its attention away from the mycellium, or the net of all beings, and instead into the individual mushrooms. Now the universe has become an incredible playground, able to be experienced anew and differently for all of eternity.
I don’t know about you guys, but that’s a fuckign astonishingly beautiful reality that we live in. It’s easy to get caught up in the individual human’s perspective of life. But try to remain true to what we all actually are—we are literally the universe experiencing itself. We are all god.
I hope this has helped ToTs. Tl;dr to die is to change forms, although you will virtually never be aware of it. Only through completed spiritual enlightenment can your awareness persist and transcend through death, and that’s just my assumption. If I obtain enlightenment I will let you guys know the verdict.
Are you awake and conscious right now? Are you aware of the fundamental assumptions you might be making and what their logical conclusions entail?
Many spiritual scholars, shamans, gurus, and students have come to understand that virtually all of our problems [climate change, war, child abuse, sexual abuse, theft, enslavement, etc] as a society boil down to deep unconsciousness. What I mean by unconsciousness is simply denial of the present moment. Similar to somebody who has been knocked out, one who is unconscious is not feeling their breathing; they are not observing their senses—they are not seeing the birds and trees and fellow humans that walk by them; they do not hear the breeze or the sounds of a lively urban environment; and they do not even feel their feet hitting the pavement. Unconsciousness of this kind if a severe numbing of the senses. The most common ways one goes unconscious is through their past or their future. One might lock themselves in their mind and remember a time in their life where they labeled themselves as weak, or stupid, or fat, or greedy, anything that brings them shame. They might look into their future and think about how if they could just accomplish these goals or acquire these things, their suffering would end and *finally* they could begin enjoying their life and become content. No longer is a person in this state of mind conscious and alive; they are emotional and lost. They find identity in their life through their past, and project it into their future. They continue doing the same things that create their discontent, label themselves as “flawed” and perpetuate their own cycle of unhappiness. If you prefer a different outcome or trait or hobby or circumstance in your life, then visualize where you want to be and begin taking actions towards that goal. Now let’s look at what you might see as “obstacles” to your happiness and alignment with your highest possible self. Is there a really annoying person in your life that you’ve labeled as an “enemy” that you think about all the time? They can only bother you if you allow them to. When they do whatever it is that you dislike so much, or attack you with words, they’re simply projecting to you their world view: you’re a piece of shit, and we don’t get along. But the ONLY way that you can reciprocate that negativity and get angry is to accept their proposed premises of your life. You must literally project back to them the same energy. Now you two have come to a conclusion, and your “life story” is in place. But labels are never suited for your life. When you start to say “I am…” it must simply cease there. YOU ARE. That is correct—if you are alive, then you ARE. Period. What happens next is entirely up to you. Take responsibility for your life. When you have no enemies, no scape goats, nobody to blame, you reclaim your power. We are all capable of incredible transformation at any time, and we are all infinitely powerful. We quite literally ARE the universe. To be alive and conscious is to be one with the flow of everything. When you’ve tapped into this universal energy, you begin to vibrate closer and closer to your highest self.
Now let’s take a look at assumptions you might be making about life. I’ll cover some very common ones and talk about what happens when you base your life on these thoughts and labels. The problem with labeling something as “good” or “bad” is that it can never break that title TO YOU. You impose your will upon this object or being or action or state of affairs and it can never be anything else until you allow it to. To call somebody “your enemy” or “evil” is to rob them of their freedom as a living being and to enslave them into your label. Think back to a time where somebody has an opinion about you that you know is not true, and no matter what you do you can’t seem to change their mind. It’s no different when you do it to others—what you think becomes what you see, and these quickly turn into how you act, and the cycle perpetuates itself. Think about those you might know who say “just my luck” or “of COURSE this would happen to me, just like always.” These thoughts perpetuate themselves. How could anything else happen when you are labeling events like this? Take, for example, just barely missing a bus. You might yell “FUCK” and be really pissed, and then think or even say out loud “as usual, the world’s trying to shit on me. I’m such a helpless victim. Everything is so awful.” Now you’re stuck in the past and your thoughts are manifesting themselves into your reality. No longer is your life titled as “I am”, full of potential and beauty—it’s now “I’m ANGRY” or I’m FUCKED” or “I’m a VICTIM”. You’ve taken away your own power and you’re stuck int he past. You will begin missing everything that’s happening right in front of you. Supposed instead of being angry that you missed your bus, you simply said “oh well” and started walking 5-6 blocks forwards to catch the next bus at a further ahead stop. What can happen in that time when you have an open mind and are centered within yourself? You might meet a new lover; you could see some beautiful birds you might have missed, etc. ANYTHING could happen. When you see something as “bad luck” it can never be good luck, and you’ve shut down any opportunities that might happen from this original “bad” experience, as you saw it.
These assumptions permeate your life, when left to the sub- and un-conscious, and they take away your potential. Think about one of the most pervasive assumptions in American society, particularly Christianity: humans are born sinners; we have ORIGINAL sin, we are born FLAWED, and there is no redemption in life. Life, in fact, isn’t important. It’s shitty and full of evil—that’s why we pray and squeak by until we can have paradise, where nothing goes wrong: heaven. This, of course, cannot exist on this shitty planet we call Earth. Things here are flawed and evil; perfection exists only in heaven. It is now definitionally IMPOSSIBLE to have goodness on Earth. It’s all in heaven. The assumption that “human nature is bad”, “we are original sinners”, etc. creates the REALITY of hell on Earth. Of course there’s so much war, poverty, murder, rape, and of COURSE we’re killing our planet. What else can we do? We’re merely flawed humans. We are slaves to our worthlessness and the best we can do is hope to god that he [god, being the perfect being, is a white male] will pity us and save our soul after death. The capacity to do evil is now present, and in fact you will always justify it somehow. When you commit sexual abuse, or violence, you are unconscious. You are living in the labels in your mind about the imperfections in the world. How else could you do such travesty to other living beings? How could you consciously kill something? Murder is a “crime of passion”. It is not done by people who are conscious; they are blinded by rage. How could you EVER deal with the screams of agony of a dying chicken before you eat it if you were there, fully present, smelling the blood, really feeling the screams, and watching it squirm as you decapitate it? I don’t think that anybody ever could. You simply cannot be fully present and exploit.
Here’s another classic example. “Of course we need government—without laws we would all kill each other and take everything. We cannot have a society without rulers.” The assumptions behind this assertion can be many: (1) Humans are fundamentally evil and need punishments and fear to stop them from doing committing atrocities to each other. (2) Not ALL humans are evil, some humans are great, we’ll call them “politicians.” Politicians know right and wrong and can protect us from ourselves. They’re not normal humans [under the same “humans are evil” assumptions]. There might be more assumptions here, but these two are the important ones for the scope of what I’m trying to illustrate. Think about what you’re claiming when you say we need government. Would you REALLY go on a killing spree and take out all those people you don’t like if it were legal and you didn’t face punishment? Do you think you would begin raping all those hot girls/guys you see on the streets if it became legal? Which brings up another good point: although it’s easy to blame politics for our collective problems, they are not your enemies. The abusers of power are merely doing what we are telling them to do. These positions would not exist if we did not find them necessary. Realize the absurdity of government: “we’re going to give the government a monopoly on force and kidnapping. Only the government can legally kidnap and imprison people, torture them, and kill them.” Why are they allowed to murder and rape and torture and steal? “To stop us from murdering and raping and tor….wut”
Try to really flush out your fundamental assumptions of “human nature”, yourself, the world, etc. See how you act out these thoughts and labels and make them a reality. Now do you see your power? We’re all capable of immense beauty, art, and creation. We’re literally creation machines. We create constantly, through thought, action, and language. It’s all we’re able to do. Are you content with what you’re creating?
I don’t know how I can even attempt to explain what happened to me, but I will do my best. But first I’ll go into some detail of my past.
I have been, for the past 5-7 years, something that I can best describe as “irrationally happy”. I am virtually never angry; I am understanding, patient, and nurturing in my human interaction, even with strangers; I eat a strictly compassionate diet; and so on. However, while this side of me has been growing and producing exponentially more satisfaction to be alive, another part of me has grown with it. My anxiety (fear) has always been a stowaway in my mind. Although I am never angry, I am constantly fearful. I also have a bit of shame and guilt, thinking about my past mistakes and how I am never living up to my potential, despite doing far more for my growth than I perceive others doing for themselves. This has led me to a few suicidal spirals in the past year, as this stress has compounded, and has led me to seriously question my sanity. Ultimately, my moods hit extremes (in a non-bipolar manner)—I will be overwhelmed by beauty and find myself sobbing in pleasure; or I will be surrounded by darkness and find myself wanting to end all of my suffering through death, as it seems to be the only permanent release.
Yesterday, however, something occurred that was very psychedelic in nature. Substance wise, I had been smoking marijuana, but the experience was on par with some of my most intense psychedelic episodes. I was reading “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart Tolle (pick up this book!!), and I had been reading about how anxiety is actually fear of the future. I read about all the ways that my ego’s manifestation as a “self” creates time gaps that can be reconciled only through suffering and denial of the present moment. Then, an inexplicable realization hit me, as this text was talking about ending the concept of time within yourself: if there was EVER going to be a time where I’m satisfied with my fitness, my life, my diet, my skills, my hobbies, and my emotional state, how come it be any time other than right now? I’m constantly thinking about how *later* my life will be so much better and eventually I will find this salvation in the future to save me from the suffering in my now. How ridiculous!! The only moment I’ve ever had in my life has been right now. And although I can’t instantly change all the things that I perceive as bad in my life, I can change my attitude about them. And my attitude has always been the problem, not my life itself. In fact, why even have an attitude? I don’t need to access my brain to observe my breathing, my surroundings, and to be immersed in the present. I only need my mind to solve actual problems that inhibit where I’m going at this moment. Since the only time I can ever stop suffering is *NOW*, the answer cannot possibly be found in future. I must bring my fears and my guilt into the present and deal with it now. What’s missing from this present moment? If I’m not present now, when will I be?
At this point I am hallucinating. The text I am trying to read is dancing vividly and bouncing and bending all sorts of directions. When I close my eyes, I see intense visuals of never-ending bonds between energy, creating a perfectly symmetrical pattern that can be zoomed into infinitely to find deeper complexity. I have seen this before and it’s only what I can explain as “the universe”, because it holds within it every possible happening while maintaining the size and form of…well, every *thing*. I notice that I am overwhelmed with happiness. My back doesn’t hurt anymore. And I start laughing to myself—how simple this was. How INCREDIBLY EASY the solution to all my problems have been. I have a very powerful mind, and I have spent my life thinking that I will achieve greatness and be a savior of the planet by curing the cancer that is the human mind. I have been trying to think my way out of thinking.
so sick of hearing about how important gay marriage and legalizing marijuana are. Obviously these things should have happened a long time ago, but none of this shit matters. Boston marathon bombing—tragedy, sure. Increasingly huge prison populations—I agree, it’s a shame and it’s a disaster. International bankers financially enslaving the world’s peoples? I sure hate that too.
How are we supposed to find the HUMANITY in humans when we are still ignoring the amount of devastation we subject our planet to? The earth won’t last another generation of humans living like this. We’re so caught up in materialism and our everyday lives and our “careers” that we can’t see the transient nature of the universe. Everything is fleeting. There’s going to be a serious drop in human population when the planet’s ecosystem bears the changes our pollution is forcing. All of our huge personal problems and ambitions won’t matter than, they will fade to dust, just as the collapsing stars that created us did billions of years ago.
If we think there’s a single cause more important than environmental sustainability, we’re disastrously mistaken. I’m not saying these other causes aren’t important…it pains me more than many can imagine thinking about the global rape of women and how much exploitation there is. I am a womanist, after all.
But the fact is if you’re not focused on the environment, then you’re focused on lesser issues that will be meaningless when our biosphere transforms to one that can’t support humans.
Oh, and by the way, if you consider yourself an environmentalist and you aren’t a vegan, then you’re lying to yourself. The biggest change you can make for the environment, as one person, is to stop supporting animal farming.
You CANNOT be an environmentalist and a meat eater. Break the meat addiction and free your mind while living a life of compassion and caring.
— Muhammad Yunus (via thepeoplesrecord)