Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Self Reliance

I recently was reading a great story in MH magazine about comebacks and how people change in an effort to reclaim something they once had, something that defined a period. I’m attracted to this concept because of its storybook veneer and its ambition towards a blissful conclusion. There is only but admiration in such stories. The idea that change can happen through sheer vision, will, and discipline is provoking. Quite honestly, I am in awe at the idea. It delivers hope where cynicism and doubt once grew. It is refreshing. It is also irony. The catalyst for change is you. In a world where we sprint towards the next product, pill, or person that promises change it is both timorous and stimulating to know that all we are and can be is already in us.

So, if all the answers are innately invested in our DNA, then why do so many of us act out a slow suicide by echoing disdain, derision, and self contempt for our responsibility to ourselves? How is this process, hardwired in our biology, so contradictory to our survival? What is it about our myopic and disillusioned perspectives that drive us to apathy and denial? Our behaviors are on autopilot and our consciousness has checked out of reality. We allow our brains to wither, to erode, and to foster reduction of thought. We are on a collision course with ourselves. Sure, we, in a superficial fashion, strive for greatness but only to do so with a sort of crutch or dependency on something likely only an extension of our warped and illegitimate reality. We blame others. We curse, spit, and take swings at the external world as if we are auditioning for a play and for a role that is antagonistic to ourselves. The anger, strive, and humiliation are all directed at ourselves. This is undoubtedly uncomfortable for some to grapple with, but the external world only serves as a mirror for self examination. It is not real unless you choose for it to exist.

I think back about fifteen years and am in awe at how angry I was and how my misdirected actions almost besieged me. They took me to a place, a dark spot on humanity, and once that line is crossed your world changes. The way you look and polarize the world is forever altered. I have awoken on streets with strangers searching for change in my pockets; I have come close to death on more than one occasion only to hope for another encounter; I have hurt and been hurt in ways that have left permanent scars. The memories are always with me. They scream, bellow, and throw themselves at you when self doubt creeps up on you unexpectedly. They shadow you and belittle your self confidence just when you need it the most. Before you sleep they stare you down and before you drift away they leave the last impression of the day. You can’t hide, you can’t erase or rid yourself of these scars; they are undying fixtures. The only way out is forgiveness and acceptance.

Acceptance is the catalyst for change and acceptance is the first step when engineering a comeback. Experience, good or bad, frightens us because it holds the potential to conflict with our “ideal” self. It is as if a stranger is living within you inconveniencing your thoughts, actions, and drive. When you want to sleep it wants to run, when you want to think it wants to sleep. It opposes you at every turn. Well, a comeback requires that you extend an open invitation, a permanent truce, and welcome yourself home. Welcome and forgive yourself by understanding that the past does not define the future and the only thing influx is the beating heart that pushes you onward. Secondly, it is also important to realize that stationary actions further perpetuate self contemplation, which will set the strongest man on fire with self contempt. Actions create further memories and those will soon dilute and adulterate the past. The parts become solvent and the consciousness can once again mature. The cycle continues and the sun rises again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Toaster Oven Theology

Toaster Oven Theology

I have long argued that fear is the square root of all emotions. Why do we love? We love for fear of being alone. Why do we fear being alone? We fear being alone for fear of having no meaning. Why do we fear having no meaning? We fear having no meaning so as to avoid human extinction. Biology has hardwired us to strive toward meaning and purpose to keep our species orderly, forward thinking, and allow safety for procreation. Theology is not the end but the vehicle. Theology is a component or derivative of evolutionary biology used to inject hope, goodwill, and purpose into our lives and create an environment for growth and further evolutionary exploits. This is evidenced by the anthropomorphic characteristics intrinsic to every human religion and the overwhelming popularity of said religions. Our superhuman comics are undoubtedly analogous with the fantastic tales of religion and in today’s 24/7 cartoon network world it is quite appealing. Churches now exist with virtual fast-food drive through windows, five minute power prayers, and the Bible study in only two minutes a day! God is now condensed into pop-cultures “quickie” wake and it appears God doesn’t mind. From holy temples to daily calendar quotations and shopping mall convenience, it appears the God brand has cheapened. It is no longer the Lexus brand but the dollar store equivalent. This is true because God is shares of equity; Bought and sold and subject to supply and demand. To remain competitive the product must evolve and capture the consumers’ attention.

The airways are filled with empty promises on how to seek higher levels of consciousness, be granted access to heavens or hells for the fortunate and unfortunate, educate one’s self on purpose, meaning, life, death, etc. In regards to intellectual nourishment, this is a Pop Tart. It’s sweet, appealing, quick to eat, and provides nothing for a better self. With all these promises the outcomes would seem to be disappointing, but the opposite is true. How can this be? The synergy of this marketing plan is fantastic. It erects walls where mirrors once hung; it erases drive for gluttony and imposes false order in a chaotic world. To those authors of said plan, I am in awe at the strategy, implementation, and subsequent profits. For those who thought capitalism an economic instrument are suddenly dumbfounded it was a ploy for theological monopoly which in itself is not the end objective. Please know there is no God in the business of God. The shareholders of this corporation seek power, prestige and profits more than servitude to an omnipotent being. The fact that these profit seekers refer to themselves as servants is at the core the greatest example of irony ever recorded in literature. Economics, politics, and power are intertwined in the collective intellects of the pious. They beg for it. They thirst for a drink of that “God-like” serum to bless themselves not with higher thinking or moral supremacy but for a network or cooperative of profit racketeering.

If God is sacred than it would suggest he would be immune to these cultural trends, immune from human superficiality, and sought only in full context by his followers. Like a piece of history dug up from the ground, it would be recognized for what it is throughout time; Sought after for its antiquity. This would suggest humankind was made in God’s image; however, the opposite appears true. God was made in the image of humankind. He will be held sacred when man wishes to elevate theological conquests and “dumbed” down when man does not have the time or luxury to pursue his teaching in full context. For sacred things retain value, retain definition, and retain meaning throughout time. They do not change or evolve to become more convenient. They do not lower their premiums to attract new membership. Sacredness is priceless. Unfortunately, religion is not sacred and God is only illusionary. He is a product bought and sold for the price listed on the exchange. The Marketers of God understand its product is in the maturity stage identified in the product life cycle. Marketers must look at new ways to reinvent the product to attract or maintain consumers. At this stage competition is fierce and decline is inevitable. Until such time when religions’ profits erodes and membership drift downwards, I’m excited to learn of the new CRM techniques God will undoubtedly implement and what the new face of theology will reveal. Where will the brand go from here?

Friday, October 9, 2009

35 Years Fixed: An essay on failure, strife, and audacity

35 Years Fixed: An essay on failure, strife, and audacity

35 years fixed: An essay on failure, strife, and audacity
I have been fired from my job. My academic pursuits to this point have been failures. Life at this juncture has been speeding in a 59” Edsel trying to catch up with my cohorts. Rejection is inevitable, but I keep racing for something I can’t understand and at times I snub. My breathing is relaxed and shallow and the race is a marathon. I won’t cross the line. Winning is not in my personal paradigm. It is not that I don’t drive to win, but winning is like the first taste of blood for a newborn carnivore. Once achieved it becomes adrenalin, an opiate overcoming everything with intimacy. This taste is unfamiliar. I have not sipped from this glass. Don’t kid yourself, however, I am drunk but without intimacy. A callused tree in the cold of winter, I am still and alive.

The economy has downsized and my share of the pie has been taken from me in the night. This undoubtedly compounds my disposition. A virus spreads via contact and I have been touched by something uninvited. While the vaccine is available, I am scared. I am terrified. Frozen in spite of movement, I can’t push myself free. Tied up in a wicked intersection of the past, future, and present, I cry and rant, and squirm and piss. Nothing changes. Negative attraction swings the pendulum inverse to reality and counter to what is accepted. It is here where I rest and here where I interact with comfort, with solace.

Goodbye is profound, but separation is suicide. I struggle with severance and pursue deference. Obsequiousness is the mark and I will surely fall short. The marriage of sane and insane cannot divorce. This is optimism. This is something I can mold, play, and build. Like a child looking to the stars, I can relax my brain in numbing intellectualism. The clouds have broken and I must awake with an understanding that the race, the victory is illusionary. It is not real. It is dead. The awakening is the deep sleep on a Saturday morning. The geometric fit is only what it isn’t and our conditioning is wrong. The problem is mathematical but the answer is neurological and the path is spiritual. My perspective, synonymous with my world, drives for change and I now understand that it is close. I can hear the beating heart, the sniffling nose. It is close.

With this break, I can breathe. With this break, more is broken but it does not belong to me. It is foreign and unknown begging me to feel nothing. Altruism can only exist with apathy. The relationship cannot be broken, but it can be seen differently. A needle has been placed in my consciousness and what is removed is nothing, but what is injected is an anesthetic. Starvation will pursue fruition in the desert of my brain. I am free. Free from fixation, free from time. Glowing lights and fluid clowns dancing, singing, and rejoicing. The child is free from maturation and free from blame. Free to flourish. The race is no longer about victory. It is without consequence. Once again I return to severance and perpetuate forgiveness. I forgive. I forgive. I forgive. Those words are painful and scorn my being with confirmation of the past. To confirm is to recognize and to recognize is to charge the engine into overdrive. The race is won. It was always won. There is no appropriate metaphor but to suggest that at 35 I will rest is false. I will perceiver. I am awake. 35 years fixed to the past will be reborn.