You might want to get a cup of coffee for today’s ramble. I have no idea what is going to come out, other than I am going to talk about the variations of the aforementioned topics and how man is trying to evolve himself using the various techniques.
I used to think man could come up with some interesting technologies or drugs to enhance and speed up the process of wisdom in his life. What gets confusing is that many times we mistake wisdom for knowledge and forget about the bias that exist the world of spiritualism versus pure science. One requires faith in the unseen; the other requires hard factual data to support a belief that changed through time.
One of mans problems is that he is alive for what is a blink of an eye in what we know as our current measure of time.
The current state of psychotropic’s can be summed up with my one drug enforcement friend, “30 years ago, people were ingesting drugs for recreation and fun. Today, people are simply ingesting to forget.” While it might be a gross generalization, what I am seeing in my mind is the S. American huffer or sniffer kids we would see on the way to arenas, who would live under the bridges who had a thick layer of glue and dirt around their mouths and a lunch bag filled with glue or whatever substance they had to get a buzz.
Then I think a corporate executive dropping acid at burningman is that arrive in a million dollar RV and have Sherpa’s to guide them through an experience that is supposed to be about sharing and no corporate greed. Then I think of officials we put in power with a rock of cocaine sticking out their nose at a press conference, sniffing away, “I have a cold.”
When I hear that magic mushrooms are trying to be used to bring a cure to PTSD, I just have to shake my head. “Will it provide relief? Sure thing! Will it provide a cure? Uhm…who is kidding who?”
What I fear happening with the advancement of technology, and the ability to fabricate and engineer almost anything at the genetic and cellular level. You see a plethora of drugs and medicines coming out to help with illnesses and diseases. These are great things, yet, it seems that current day medicine is about looks, aesthetics, no one feeling pain – basically legalized narco trafficking of sorts where one needs to define why a person is not the perfect "norm" and then have a “cure” in the form of a drug where it is simply a way to control the effect, usually by dumbing the brain into a stupor, and rationalizing, “he is cured!” (think of the amount of ritalen and ambien consumed in the USA)
Are we looking to actually cure the wounds inside us, heal them? Or are we simply looking for a way to cope and get by in life. I was astounded at how much the relatively small percentage of overall society with addictions consumes as well as costs the overall group.
Meditation and Qi I will do a faux pas and lump into one group. Not that I want to, but if I talked about drugs for a page, I don’t think you want to read a copy of war and peace today.
Meditation, transcendental meditation, and the oriental world of Qi or life energy, have been things I have looked at and studied. Perhaps it started when I was a little boy in church and I asked, “What is this holy spirit we hear about?” and I was met with, “shhh, you can’t ask questions about it….”
Yeah, I thought, “wtf? We pray and read about it, but no one wants to talk about it? I remember my friend Donna’s dad having to phonetically write out the epistle for me to read on Pentecost Sunday…Phrygia, Phoenicia. Thank god for father lee, who knows where I would have ended up if he weren’t there to try to guide a wild horse that asked “why” all the time?
I wanted to study martial arts and learn qi. There was a trend in the west started by ed parkers karate studios that merit was about getting belts and being able to fight more than the ultimate power I heard of, which was to have Qi and the ability to win a fight, without ever having to fight. When I lived in Washington, dc area, there was a fighter that would come to the gym and we would have coffee and talk about marital arts. One day I asked, “what is Qi? How can I learn it?”
I remember he took a breath, smiled, and realized I was more interested in what was behind all the amazing feats I had seen Karate, Kung fu and Tae Kwon do masters do.
“To learn that, get on a plan and go to Japan, Korea, or china and spend 10 years learning.”
“Ten years?” I asked. He could see in my eyes, that 10 years seemed like a really long time to me.
“Yes, that will give you a basic knowledge. You probably will not find many in the USA that will teach the deeper meanings, it is not profitable enough for most dojo owners.”
Thus, I continued on my path to meditate and still myself, sometimes using technology, other times nothing but myself. I would come to various levels or states, but always had a seeming barrier or level I could never break through. Call it some sort of ceiling that I simply never spent enough time working on how to break through that level, or simply was too attached to the comforts and luxuries of the world around me, I was guilty of wanting a quick fix to achieve the long term benefits.
It wasn’t until 2005 when I met a man in the dessert who forever changed my life. The previous 5 years I seemed to wander all the denominations of the Christian religion seeking. You have to understand, my own denomination has a joke, and “how many orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?”
The answer is, “change? What is that?”
So yes, I went through a myriad of churches, seeking, searching, looking and one day, I met this old man who started out on Mt. Athos in Greece and for all I know has been praying most of his life, living as an ancient desert father. They got out of the cities and the world to live in nature away from the world, so they could work on the inner world inside themselves and pray for the world.
I still remember this man looking in my eyes. He saw everything that was broken or wrong in me from the perspective of gods love, and yet, his heart generated love to me in a form that I guess whenever we are fortunate and we meet god, one will see the same love, as if to say, “hey, you are human. It’s ok. The choice you get to make is do you want to change and get better? Or keep trying the same thing you have been doing and think you will get a different result?”
So for the next few meetings, I was there with sketchbooks and awaiting some list of things to do to work on and make things. Yet, the old man simply said, “repeat this prayer over and over.”
“That’s it?” I asked, my brain thinking that there had to be a lot more to all this spiritual quest. there had to be a formula or a how to rule book to clock chip the process of spirituality!"
“Yes, that is it.” Was the man of few words advise. (Notice that to a western overachieving person with a truckload of pride, I probably looked incredulous, “what do you mean, just do this? That’s all?”)
It took 9 months to get a slight glimmer of what the man was teaching me. Progress was slow, and the closeness, distance, or intimacy that came when in the past I brushed up against that ceiling or membrane I mentioned with artificial ways to get “spiritual” started to somehow make sense.
Fast-forward to almost 10 years later, I am still struggling to get a grasp of a simple one-line prayer. Some days it works, others it feels like I am all-alone. What I notice is that the world we live in and how we live – really doesn’t seem to have any allure of fun for me anymore. Perhaps I am just old? Or perhaps my path of being the prodigal son and going out an experiencing the world left me to come to the same conclusion that was written years ago with Solomon’s wisdom, “it is all vanity.”
What I do know, and probably what I worry a lot about with man thinking they are seeing and hearing from god – is that for the majority of us, it is our minds or the influence of what is not god working inside us.
This is why I get a bit concerned with Augmanity and all the future technologies that are going to be available to humanity in 30 -50 years.
“What exactly is man going to do then?” is a question i ponder each day. Now is the time to think about such issues, not when machines have the ability to teach themselves.
That is a question, I am actually grateful, I probably will not be breathing air on this planet to live to see what will become of man.
What I see is man is looking for shortcuts to get gains for a few in the short term that will actually hurt many in the long term. While it is nothing new with how man has worked through history. It still has me wonder why humanity hasn’t evolved more.
Then again, I look at myself after 10 years of trying to grow on a path. I have to ask, “Did you grow at all?”
You realize that the path is not a short, quick fix, get healed and you are all better path. i am guessing the process simply takes more time and effort than most of us are willing to put in. why spend years to see tiny gains in a world that likes to say you can have it all, exactly the way you want it, today.
but then again, inside the united states, the amount of drugs being used on children and adults to help them "cope" or "heal" is a staggering amount in percentage of the population and economics. it is actually rather scary.
but people don't want to do the common sense thing, eat moderate portions, exercise each day, get good sleep - actually take care of yourself. (i still am hearing an obese man in a hospital asking a doctor for a pill he saw to loose weight on tv - and the incredulous look on the doctors face as he listened to the patient.)
I don’t know how much time I have left on this planet, but each day I get up and try. I read and hear about the ideal of what type of person I am supposed to live like, yet, the reality is that I am a far cry. I am but a human and I struggle most days to make some gains in changing the habits and behaviors I was either born with or learned. What has changed, is that I know this process will transpire each day, until the one I die. I have to keep trying and walk forth no matter how many times or mistakes I make in hurting my fellow man, while inside my heart, I simply really want everyone to be at peace and love.
Perhaps that is why when you strip off all the distraction of the world, you will come to a place where you realize how little the item, titles, plaques and stuff you acquire on the journey really mean.
Suddenly, you find yourself stopping to try to create a life where you insulate yourself so think you can control “change” and have a nice static space and somehow live in it – despite the reality that the world and universe is very dynamic, and alive.
Do you live to die? Or die to live? It is a choice, and the beauty of free will we all get to make in our lives.
Who knows what came out, but hopefully it might help someone? I need another cup of coffee – how about you?