Purpose

I have made such a big deal of this thing called purpose. Feeling it’s absence in my life, or simply having forgotten it, or having suppressed it – whatever the case may be – has left me feeling like something was missing in my life. That there was something wrong with me.

I defined purpose, when I started to look for one, as that thing I came to this world to do or to learn. But I am beginning to suspect I have bought into yet another illusion. Yet another belief structure of humanity and society.

If I do not believe in fate or destiny, what room could there be for a purpose? If I would not want to be confined to fate or destiny, why would I allow myself to wear the shackles of purpose? What if there is no purpose? No fate, no destiny – nothing.

Or what if the reason I am here, call it destiny, fate or purpose, is beyond physical understanding? Something I can only translate into insufficient physical terms, like Christians trying to define God, trying to stuff the creator of the entire fucking Universe into a box. Futile, pointless and potentially harmful. Certainly shortsighted.

Eckhart Tolle teaches me that this thing called purpose only exists in the future. It is a favorite ego fantasy. That my purpose is whatever I am doing in this moment, now. To put all my attention and awareness into whatever I am doing.

I just finished Millman’s “Peaceful Warrior.” The main character in that story learns a lesson so hard it literally kills him. Not sure how that works, the mind can not distinguish between an image it holds or something the physical body sees. He has a vision of his own death. Only I think it was more than  that. But ultimately, even that character found a purpose, to be a Warrior, a Teacher.

I am troubled by this, because if I go by what Tolle says, my purpose is to be here, living with my parents in their motorhome. To have no money, nobody to share my life with. To ultimately have no future. I see nothing on this path that leads me to believe it will carry me to a life I actually want to live. And I am to embrace this, accept it, and live each moment of this life as if whatever I am doing in that moment is my purpose.

Am I not allowed to define my life for myself? To choose a purpose the appeals to me and live that? Must I just accept things as they are, whether I like them or not? On the other hand, what good does it do me to complain, fight and struggle? To, as the Bible says,  “Kick against the goads?”

If I can not embrace my life as it is in this moment, if I can not accept it as it is, then I will suffer. Do I really want to add more suffering to a life that I consider to be far less than I want? No. So I will practice this, embracing each moment, accepting it, not wanting it to change or be anything else. I will continue to train myself through ACIM so that I may see things as they are. I will accept them a they are and see them as they are. This is my intention.

I am not sure if I believe this yet, but I will state it as fact and let it be weighed on the scales of personal experience. When you were born, it was without destiny, fate, karma or even purpose. Nobody was born to be a dancer, painter, teacher, or even a Warrior. You come into the world not only naked physically but also naked in every other aspect.

Does that mean your life is meaningless? Does your life have to have meaning? It seems to me that this is heavy burden to carry. If you have not found any meaning in your life, you will feel somehow lacking or missing something. I am not so sure things have to have meaning, and whatever meaning we assign them is a limited definition at best.

You were not born with a meaning, any more than you were born with clothes, or a destiny, fate, karma, purpose or sin. Yet you were born complete and perfect. Whatever your physical condition, you came into the world complete. It may not look that way on the surface, but every human comes into the world a complete package, lacking nothing and yet having nothing more than a physical body and that energy that gives it life, call it what you will.

Maybe this is a tough pill to swallow. But I am right there with you, trying to choke it down. Because I have come to understand that of all the things I understand, I know little, and all the things I know I understand little. But I am learning and coming to know these things that have, so far, remained merely intellectual constructs.

Embrace Uncertainty, Question Everything.

 

The Cage of Judgement

Since my return many things, including myself, have changed. I remember how I complained, how I looked down on my little room in what I thought of as Grandma’s Attic. I even wrote a short horror story inspired by it.

But since then I have come to understand how valuable space really is. The real estate market, at least here in Washington, has it all wrong. It is not the house that adds value to a property. I would rather live in a tiny cabin on an acre of land than in a mansion jammed in with other fancy houses, with only a strip of grass between each place.

Here, temporarily in my parent’s RV, I have no space, or rather shared space, and its probably smaller than my old bedroom where I lived for the last 8 years. I have few of the things I had then, and I no longer have piles of books I never seem to finish stacked by my bed.

Instead I have a few books that I read daily, and these are currently A Course In Miracles, Dan Millman’s, “The Peaceful Warrior” David Swartz’s, “The Magic of Thinking Big” and a big book of Kahlil Gibran’s poetry. I have a couple Seth books, two books of Japanese poetry, Shatki Gawain’s, “Creative Visualization” and “Psycho Cybernetics”, both of which I have barely cracked. I also have two fiction stories I am struggling with reading. Also Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.”

For the rest of this month I will be drawing primarily from ACIM and Peaceful Warrior. It is from ACIM I have learned about the Cage of Judgment most of us are trapped in, and it is from “Peaceful Warrior” I have just learned I need something I can immerse myself in to the point of Satori. This is the same space every artist or athlete enters where the “I” or sense of self fades, if not completely disappears, and there is art being created, or movements being performed.

I am in a bit of a quandary when it comes to that thing I can do that would bring me to Satori. Writing should be that for me, but some part of me would prefer to do something visual, like paint. Photography is my next best option, I think that is what Zen Photography may be all about. I don’t know how to deal with this schism in me, so I will pursue painting if I can, and gently, ever so gently, try to do the same with painting.

The Cage of Judgement is much harder to address. It influences the world we see and the reality we experience. To free ourselves of it is to take whatever happens as it is. I think this is what the Advaitist’s  refer to when they say becoming the ocean. It occurred to me that the waves are local, confined to a location and direction. But the ocean is everywhere, all at once. Fear and our judgements act like flotation devices that keep us on top of the water, tossed about by the waves. Releasing judgement means a release of fear, and a sinking into the ocean, to become one with it.

I guess this is what enlightenment must be. Be coming filled with light, free of judgments, able to experience the world as it is, not as it is believed to be. But I ask myself, what about personal preference? For example, will I really be happier seeing a skinny attractive or overweight ugly potential mate the same? Will I really be happier seeing a nice bed in a hotel or another icy cold night in a church side lot the same? There are things I do not understand, and could not understand, until I am in that state. But this is a case of jumping in and hoping there is water, because there is no going back once you have taken that leap.

My last journal entry may have left some of you concerned. But I am not finished yet! Working on getting a job, getting my own space, and if I can’t do that, better equipping myself and heading down the coast. I just hope to have a solid handle on what I want to do, that I have untangled some of the things that made my last trip so unenjoyable. But at the very least I understand some of the things I need to address at this point on my life.

The Road Ahead

I wake up, stiff and sore,
It is on days like this I ask myself,
Are you sure you can handle this?
Of course I have no answer,
Just as I feel I have no choice.

I am good at manual labor,
I excel at writing,
I have creative aspirations,
Yet little real skill,
Why am I not as good at,
The things I would like to do?

I am burnt out, tired of this work,
Tired of this life where it seems I have little choice,
But to continue living as I have, in worse conditions,
Or hit the road where anything can happen,
Or just put an end to my miserable life.

With these as my choices,
What real choice do I have?

Outside, the sun is shining,
The world continues to move and breathe,
The trees are not worried about their fate,
The flowers continue to bloom,
Even where they may never be seen,

I wish I had the faith of a flower!
I wish I was a fearless as a tree!
I want to be as warm and inviting as that sun,
But I fear all anyone would care about,
Are my supposedly harmful rays!

Why is it we fear those things,
That give us and our world life?
What happened to make “modern” man,
So superstitiously afraid of his world?
Why is it others can continually fuck everything up,
For the rest of us and get away with it?

I wish I could express how I really feel,
To these people around me I call family,
And to those others I interact with regularly,
But they wouldn’t be able to hear me,
And even if they did, they wouldn’t understand.

Such a heavy burden to bear!
No wonder I wake up like this,
I chose this hell I get to live in,
That may be anothers heaven,
I created the reality I get to experience,
The responsibility for my life rests solely with me.

I know biking around as I plan to do,
With no real budget, plan or preparation,
Is stupid by anyone elses definition,
But for me I have to try something,
Anything at all to change the course of my life.

I have to try so that, should I fail,
I can honestly say I tried, that I did everything I could,
That I have set out and experienced the world,
That I gave life a chance to show me another way,
To lead me to my tribe, my people,
Those who love and support me,
That place I can call home,
Where I find my passion,
Where I find someone to share my life with,
I have to swim upstream, even if t kills me,
Even if I find nobody there when I arrive,
Because only after doing so can I legitimately,
Claim there is nothing in this world for me,
Leaving me to leave it freely, with a clear conscience.

Why does that scare so many people?
Why is this so hard for others to understand?
You would think I was committing the worst act possible,
The most heinous crime anyone could commit,
But it is my life, my choice to loose or keep it!

So I am not prepared and I may not make it,
I could get mugged or killed, anything bad can happen,
But lets not forget that anything good can happen too,
And that it is up to me to define what happens,
As either bad or good. It is no business of yours!

I am choosing to take responsibility for my life,
I am choosing the best path I can see open to me,
I am choosing to experience the world for myself,
I am choosing to live my own life and walk my own path,
I am choosing to see the wold differently than you.
All I ask is that you accept my choice and support it if you can.

I have been living like this for most of these 40 years,
I can’t live like this any longer, and I choose not to.
Just as I choose to embrace that sun outside my window,
The breeze caressing my skin, and the hidden flowers,
That so few people see. Just as I choose to listen to the trees.

My aspirations are set so high,
They are like stars in the night sky,
I fear I shall never reach them!

Pedaling to Passion

I have started a GoFundMe campaign! For more information, or if you would like to help out, please click on the link below:
http://www.gofundme.com/pedalingtopassion

Thank you!

P.S. I have added a GoFundMe badge to a new sidebar, and moved my links section there as well. Please let me know what you think about these changes. Your opinion is very important to me.

My only other option would be to move the badge to the bottom of the screen, where, like the link to my DeviantArt gallery, it may be ignored. I am torn here between doing what I need to do to raise the money I would like to raise and providing a distraction-free reading experience to all of my followers.

So if it bothers you, just comment or reply here, and I will make any needed changes.

Passion VS Why

So I just spent a few hours looking for books or videos that would tell me how to find or restore my passion for writing. Also developing or finding passion in general. One of the last things I ran across was this inspiration video about finding your why. The video bugs me, let me explain.

In it you see people you are supposed to label as having it hard or tough. Learning how to walk, in wheelchairs. The speaker is really good, but the video is so fake, so phony. You are supposed to come away feeling guilty, because here are these poor souls struggling to even get on their feet, so what’s your excuse?

The assumption is that somehow their suffering is somehow more than yours. What right have you to complain about your life when that guy over there had his legs blown off by a landmine, and here you are, fully functional, able to walk around, yet you are sitting on your increasingly fat ass just watching TV? Look at them trying to learn how to walk in those prosthetic legs while you just sit there! Shame on you!

For the record this is not my opinion at all. I call bullshit. Some pain and suffering is obvious. If it is physical, viewable on the outside, that is obvious. But the real pain, the pain that makes you want to sit on that couch and is causing me to consider that maybe I am better off dead, that pain is deep inside. It is emotional, mental and spiritual. You may look 100% OK on the outside, yet inside you are struggling just as hard as that guy getting up out of his wheelchair. Everyday you go through a struggle just as intense, deep inside of you.

That’s why I call bullshit, why I say that video is fake. That’s why you and I both are struggling to get up out of our lives as they are now. It is easier to stick with the known, there is nothing that terrifies every human being, on some level, without exception, than the unknown.

Your why is something that you know. Your passion is something that you feel. Your why requires a reason. It is itself a reason. But your passion requires no reason. By nature it is free of intellectual entanglements. You do something for the sheer love of doing it! Your why may be a part of your passion, the two might end up getting blended together. But with your why you follow your head, and with your passion you follow your heart.

It is the feelings that are the most powerful, and least honored in modern society. If given a choice between knowing and feeling, choose feeling every time. Knowing can lead you astray. It can talk you out of things. For example, it can tell you that your passion for dancing is ridiculous, you weigh nearly 270 pounds and you don’t have years of training. All valid arguments, all will keep you from dancing.

But your feeling will lead you into expressing yourself with your body through movement, learning to trust it, and even though accidents and injuries happen, that ecstasy, that joy and happiness you feel while you are in movement is priceless, and you will miss out if you listen to your head, all those whys, instead of your heart, with its singular passion.

I would rather die in my passion than in my why.