Power is the ability to choose how you respond.

There are many ways to see things
Your perspective determines which and how much you will suffer

The quality of your consciousness is the quality of your life:
We are our thoughts – but more importantly, we must live with the feelings our thoughts create

We’re touching the surface now,
Joseph Campbell told us how:

“All the gods and all the devils and all the heavens and all the hells are within you.”
The gavel is yours, a double-edged sword only you wield

How often a sour eye for the world poisons a whole family’s hope –
Only now you’re an adult, and so must own the world you live in

But unless you accept that you have created the life you have,
You’ll never have the power to create the life you want

Because power is the ability to choose how you respond,
And we have always had it, whether we were consciously aware of it or not

This is no heavy weight; you are not here to “take” responsibility,
You are here to take it back

Because only you giveth and taketh away,
For your entire adult life it’s been that way

But now you’re safe, knowing if you didn’t consciously chooose a response,
Its just a reaction anyway

The patient wisdom of the space between stimulus and response, is your coup de grace,
By which you dead all automatic reactions, seperating danger from fear

So develop control of the avatar (response ability) or allow your body to ride you like a horse unto the grave (reactivity)…

Which will it be?

A Timely Read: Graham Greene’s ‘The End of The Affair’

Picked out Graham Greene’s acclaimed 1951 novel ‘The End of The Affair’ from my bookshelf and did not put it down until it was over. It felt very timely – as most significant reads somehow do. And I’m still thinking of it… rather tenderly.

A few passages in particular caught me in the throat:

“More than anything in the world I wanted to hurt Sarah. I wanted to take a woman back with me and lie with her upon the same bed in which I made love to Sarah; it was as though I knew that the only way to hurt her was to hurt myself.”

“Looking at her over my whiskey I thought how odd it was that I felt no desire for her at all. It was as if quite suddenly after all the promiscuous years I had grown up. My passion for Sarah had killed simple lust for ever. Never again would I be able to enjoy a woman without love.”

“I remembered how Sarah had prayed to the God she didn’t believe in, and now I spoke to the Sarah I didn’t believe in. I said: You sacrificed both of us once to bring me back to life, but what sort of a life is this without you?”

And poor, dear Perkis… how he “…had not heard that” about Lancelot. What a zinger!

There is, however – to my mild chagrin – a “surprise” twist of sorts, at the end, at which point the book’s acclaim as a ‘Catholic novel’ becomes clear. Points of faith aside, my jaw is still floored on the whole – even with the ending; although, at the end of my affair, with my Sarah, I stand indifferent to a God; however, this only proves the author’s point that we only hate what we love.

Had a Dream About Her

The dream:

I was waiting for her to return home from a night out – and so was in the bedroom, where I fell asleep to awake the next morning, alone, where I called her to ask why she never returned… but she told me she never went out… that she never left our home.

Dreams about exes are jarring. And the above dream has a particular ‘haunted by her ghost’ quality to it, which really gets my goat….

It’s like, okay, I’ve already dealt with the reality of being totally fucking disowned and ignored / rejected by my former love and “best friend” (Let me wipe my ass with these cheap words) – oh, and I have been living alone in the mountains the past year.

Like, wtf, has my sub-conscious not gotten the fucking measage!!?? You’re fucking less than dead to her bro. Have been. She doesn’t give a shit about you bud. Take it to heart. Deeply.

I was left twisting in the wind by my own romantic idealization of her – got it – but do I have to have a fucking dream to remind me that the dream isn’t even nearly as fucking sad as the reality.

She slow ghosted me over months – while repeatedly giving me faith we could and would be friends. She even hung out with my sister right before my visit for the holidays, which ended with her not wanting to see me and myself checking into the hospital. The pain caused a lot of self-abuse, even after that.

But has my subconscious not gotten the message after all of this. Four months sober on top of it. Like, am I a fucking joke to myself, just living my life like a dream where I am waiting for her to return, to be gaslit by her when she tells me she never left.

No, she left a long time ago – long before I knew it. I was just willing to believe. But no longer. The goddamn plane has crashed into the mountain!

So dear subconscious, please get the memo. Hopefully that was the point of the dream.

Psychomagic Spell #1: Message from Protectress

Guiding goddess, protectress, giver of boon,
I stand face to face with you,
The utmost respect for thee,
Trusting you know what is true for me…

So it was, to the above spell cast, that her gifts unto me flowed, from eternal psychic past

Dear boy, being, mother nature’s own
I hope you understand,
You are a single organism, a key function, in a greater thing,
And it needs you –
So heed my words when I tell you to follow your heart,
That sum center of self, home to shadow, anima, inner-child too,
Who all need a vote, on what’s best for you
For a heart-centered self-governence,
Which need fear neither rebuke nor error:
For it is the kingdom,
To which you are heir –
So check in with your heart,
And live what you find there.

Re-Accessing The Guardian: Inner Child Mind-Dump Vol 1 🙇🏻‍♂️🧠💩

I did not receive the programming for peace early on,
Which means neither did my parents, so the cycle went on

Now I’m finally giving me,
What I wanted all along:
The self-esteem and inner-security, oft accordingly passed on,
Based upon the family, into which you were born
And perhaps like me,
You were similarly forlorn,
In not being destined
To be enpowered as something handed down

For we learn young,
Our adult disposition formed earlier than we know,
Out of the impressioned youth,
Into which we grow
“Give me a child till the age of seven, and I will show you the man”, goes the Jesuit maxim,
Spoken by thise who understand,
A way of thinking that’s taught,
Learned secondhand

Scared nervous people,
Raise scared nervous kids,
Lacking the psychological security,
The ‘fortunate’ give theirs
Yes, it’s a class issue,
The socioeconomic status of those from whom you receive your DNA
But birth is not a fair lottery,
And it’s always been that way

Until we can time travel,
We will never have a say,
In the life we were given to,
And what led us to today
So reject the fatalistic resignation,
Which the victim always sees at play
And nurture your nature,
With what you think and say

And neither be afraid to ponder,
The past and the role it played,
Because we have to understand,
Or we make the same mistakes again and again
Yes, I’ll be 35 in a year,
And I’m just now here:
Seeing why I am the way I am,
And how I can change my thinking, to change the way I live

And I know it all goes back to the start,
Inner child, sometimes without dinner child
Whose magical consciousness is full of gifts to give – inner truths
Yet eterneally vulnerable,
To how you feel and live:
Needing the ever present safety and security, like you needed as a child – but from you,
To express through you –
Given that, just imagine,
What the two of you could do:

If you could give him,
The worth he’d want to give to you
For there are no time machines,
But there are centers, containers of consciousness, called archetypes –
Through which we can reprogram the inner you –
And the inner-child, most deserving and pure (Does not mean non-sexual – love, sex, between adults can also be pure :)
Warrants nothing less than a seat at the table, replete with a voice
For he has much to bequeathe unto you, deserves your heart and the power of choice

And we ourselves most should invest here;
For inner child wants the best for us,
Just to share,
In the dreams he can conjure, and the desire to get there;
We ought give the reigns to inner child
– As is their proper inheritence –
But this is not to give license to the puer,
The eternal child, who likes too much to be master of his lair:
Think Peter Pan: he’s rather Lizard brained,
Whereas inner child is now wisened, with access to his guardian and not control over him

It’s a choice distinction,
Between the two
For we want to open to life,
Not be swallowed by its shadow
For that’s what this is about:
Re-accessing the truest part of you,
Who is always there, though sometimes long unbeknownst to you,
For inner child often goes “underground” to protect itself:

As is the case, when we have not made inner child feel safe
And silenced the vulnerability,
Refused our softest-self space
Yes, even inner-child hides in the shadow,
Repressed
In the unconscious,
Without the means to express
For if we don’t listen to our little self, we’ll have neither the wings nor the breath:

To reconnect with us,
And work together on what’s ahead
Focusing on the future,
And not living in the past,
But never forgetting, the rawness of our path:
But what breaks my heart most, is that my inner child is older than I,
Had to face all that without so much as a ‘Self’ – much less a persona to chill behind
Dearest inner child!,
Greatest hero of mine!

Tell me where you want to go,
And I’ll take you to the stars!!
We know I’m sorry, for all those nights spent in bars,
Or behind them,
Once or thrice
You suffered most, through all my vice (fear and self-pity greatest among them)
Betrayed my very heart, and put you in the dark –
Had no time for something I didn’t know held my brightest spark

Till I re-membered you,
Put you back together, and me too,
With compassion for what I never could forget:
The childhood we endured –
You without my strength around,
For so mang years,
When it felt natural to be down
Oh man oh man, we finally made it out – what a mindfuck that was

Till together again at last, a second childhood of sorts,
Me like your adopted dad,
Reunited with my boyhood self –
And I could not be more glad

Nor more surpised to find myself a solid man,
Who knows that without the boy, I could never create such rich, exciting plans 🥰⛵️

Prince Victorious 888

I Am Wolf Waldo Black,
Count of Monte Cristo in-fact

I am a rock, I am an island,
Forged in the Château d’If from coal to a diamond

Prince Victorious 888
I won’t be waiting at the gate

I’ll never be late,
Everything right on time

Momma, we’re gonna be fine,
Never shall these lips let pass any wine

Or despair, that blind pit
I fell like saber-tooth… archaic beast I was

Hunted my own heart,
Savage selfish fear birthed my art

All because there is a plot –
No conspiracy: Nature is with me

Mr. and Mrs. non-binary
Heiros Gamos, in the mirror, playing dirty-beautiful in my skirt

One day gonna skrrrt in my p car
Into Malibu nights– no boo at nobu, I’ve come far

From alcoholic chthonic attachments
Calling on the wise-old-man, put down the chronic, not a has been

Masculine fire,
Dragon fights for my desire

I am a will be,
As in, you will be regretting not betting on me

But I can see a lack of love from a hundred leagues – matrix dodge
There’s LEVELS, and I am wise as a serpent, innocent as a dove

This some G-shit you wanna take part in,
And if not, then I’ll gladly beg your pardon

I got heroes from Wiz to Schopenhauer,
Child of Jung, Gnostic Jesus, and Emerson

I am sexual, Walt Whitman,
There’s DMT in those blades of phalaris

If it ain’t a tryptamine or phenethylamine, it ain’t for me,
Lemon tek my shrooms, 4-ACO-DMT

Psychedelics and heartache made me,
Plus a childhood from Hades

But I don’t believe in hell,
I’m free from the terror of god, thank my Satyr heart – bless beezlebub

Smash the patriarchy, Goddess Gaia got my back
I’m not playing, I’m re-mortal like that

Maturity is the ability to discern reality from dogma,
Faux foes from my good hoes

We don’t slut shame,
I got lovers player, I design my own game

Architect the freedom and the fame,
Call me grandiose, I got no woes

Accepted death and there’s no more fear left,
I am a human animal, as inevitable as the sun

I know I’ll come back around,
Thirty four summers to return to the golden door, escaped a mental Brazen Bull

The fire is inside,
But the wolf never dies, never hide, royal we firm and strong

This poetry en-lightens my mind,
Sharpens my tongue

See, my secret is I have fun,
Even in pain, I piss in the rain

“Is that all you got!”
Lieutenant Dan

If DNAIELLA read this she would cry,
Know I’m back

Ten years with three in the mountains will do that,
Brave boy, won my own respect

Now my life smooth,
Like Pyramids from 4:27 on

But I’d rather fuck slow and firm to Pink Matter,
Though at 34, more than pink matters

Lust over her for life –
I already had her

Flowing like a mad hatter,
But I ain’t mad at her

I had gems for stepping stones,
Nature knows I never need another one

From Eve, to Helen, to Mary, to Sophia,
I know that moneydon’tfixlonely

So I milked my pain before I got the cream,
Lived the nightmare before the dream

Vanilla Sky, I’m David Aames with the fucked up face,
They love the chase bc I’m ugly-hot

She was a Lena Dunham thot,
Now I am over her hating me, I’ll take my shots

Ungrateful, infinity-faced bitter brat,
We could have made it through all that

But she never grew,
Couldn’t go where the pain is

Persona papier-mâché thick
And I’ll still always love that bish

This just me healthily processing it,
Sober – I took an organic shit

The past, I’ll never chase it,
Never mentally erase it, never hate it – amor fati…

She was 23, juicy and working,
But broke the rules for me

The most delicious memories are only for LVB –
Morality got no control over me

I’m an ethical non-monagamist,
I’ll never make a fucking promise

WYSIWYG,
So I evolve fast as AI

Just embrace pain and you too can fly
Finally got the courage to be I

34 is my best year ever,
And I got early adopters, babes and Heathers

Exes dropped the stock too soon,
But I got more love than ever for all of you

But I lost some respect,
I see how they abandoned me like a shipwreck, but I was a real shit-wreck

Still, they could have forgiven me for having the DNA of a Vleck
Like, what the heck: dead for life – that’s a hell of a sentence

Though it gets easier in time,
Wise women like Kelly by my side

I’m scaring Little Wolf off with my love, ha
Good, let nature attract and repel as per Her will

My courage comes from my trust in life,
Plus my anima is my wife – aye!

What fear I,
Only not being happy through all my moods, deep inside, inner-child light

Sleep with my teddy bear at night,
Funny how much Kitty and I used to fight – yeah, it was all me {eyeroll}

Guess that’s just how I roll now,
Life casts the die but I’m in control now

Decision, perception, choice,
Breathe like a yogi and curate your inner voice

I got brujas, faeries, and atlantean healers pulling for me
Karina and Michelle casting spells on my behalf:

“When this is released/passes you will receive the most beautiful peace and space of clarity you have had yet”
Bet 🙏🏼

True-True

I remain unknown,
But I am finally known to myself
The pearl of great price at the bottom of my sea took me thirty-four years to reach,
And I grasp the meaning of life in the baby oak leaf fallen on the stoop this morning: tempus aeternum
I am realised, released:
My id no longer riding me like a horse;
My libido, the dragon, now in service of my anima, my heart
Oh how it has broken
These queen pieces on my chess board, all fallen
I could name them – and I used to – but they all know I love them, and no one cares
For what can I, the bard, offer but the intangible, which is always fungible to any but the rarest seer – who is both mythical and mystical –
The she-wolf to this sea-wolf
But my animus incarnation is deceased to many and dying to some,
How slow and painfilled have I wilted on the vine for them
Sour grapes, the lot of lost love…
Yet in others I am sweetness, still ripening – or yet born
And for Dr. Mia GoWell, I am stillborn, D.O.A, R.I.P, nulled
One day she will reverse-moby me,
Say, “I dated him”
And I’ll yawn…
Because through all of this, I trust nature,
Knowing She knows All, timing and purpose too
You see, I’ve been through these cycles, these seasons before,
Ends of chapters and of books in the tome of my life
Cities and loves and always the quiet lonely ends
Only time is easier now
In the midsummer of my life
But I don’t want Fall,
I want Autumn, auctus
Not Summer,
But sagma, to pack and leave
And I soon think I will,
Escape the belly of this whale
Take Blackie to LA
Simplify, succeed,
Need no more succor
Care no more about her everlasting rancor
Be at peace, anchored to the microbiome in my core
Intel-inside, I’ve nothing left to hide
Nature boy, the human satyr,
I’m a lover, the world will see Me later,
Until then, I’ll close my eyes for five or ten,
Just to die and wake again
My Self, My Truest Friend,
Whom I’ll remain faithful to, till the end
Until trillions of years from now, when the Universe and we are born again

How to Survive Vol 1: Self-Love is Our Panacea

Strong enough, you are
To ride the wave of Your Motherf’n Life

Many anxious, lonely, sad peoples…
Much depression in world; great fear, uncertainty, and doubt

But there do be a boss way to move,
Empowered by a self-love that’s more powerful than fear (hadouken!)

Love > Fear

Yet we all fall into the self-doubting insecurity of the LVL 1 crook

When, really, there does exist the strength in you for all of this
And the purpose too

You just don’t know why you’re still struggling,
Why your life isn’t this yet:

But it will be,
Whatever you commit it to being

And oneday, your heart will break for how hard it was on you,
How scared you were

And the sooner the better;
For self-love is our panacea

𓂀 signal vs. noise

The Goddesses and the Gods sing my song
(La la la la la, La la la la la la, La la la la la, La la la la)
Sirens and The Princes sing my song and they love me;
For when vibrations resonate with their own frequencies,
There is (always) harmony:
It’s how friends, lovers, scoundrels, and fools fall thick as theives

Conversely,
When the energies, archetypes, and their consciousnesses are not aligned and do not resonate, vibrate, or match,
Then there is dissonance,
And things are (always) inharmonious,
Their presence grating on us like a loud motorbike,
And not the calming eye of the gods and goddesses
𓂀;
People are energetic mirrors,
Reflecting and communicating,
From their surfaces and their depths
Back to our own conscious and unconscious minds,
Creating space
Where something is shared:
The transference of meaning:
The truth of inner and outer sight,
So that from the goddess there emerges the god,
And in the intellect of another, we find our own intelligence,
Which wants no mask,
(tired as it is of not being seen and thus being masked)
For others reflect back their counterparts in us,
And we see ourselves in them
And the stage is set for the players to begin and end

Voice Memos: Your New Best Friend

The word ‘habit’ typically isn’t something I go gaga for, but when you integrate the right habits – from Latin habere, to have – into your life, you get the benefits of them. And sometimes in life we discover habits whose rewards are so enriching that it changes the game, leveling us up. Just as the wrong habits level us down.

I’ve recently begun a new habit that is so potent, so enriching, so rewarding and fulfilling, that I have to share it. Every single person I’ve mentioned it to seems to get it, and you’d think more people did this. And I think in the future more people will.

Frankly, we didn’t have the technology for it until rather recently. You carry the technology in your pocket or perhaps on your wrist, if you wear an iWatch. But if you’re like me, you never used your phone for this purpose before. Now that I have, it’s my favorite habit. Close to yoga. Invaluable.

If you’d like to try it, you only need the Voice Memos app, which comes bundled with your iPhone. If you’re an Android user, the Play store carries many free Voice Memo apps.

To try it yourself, open Voice Memos, press the red record button, and begin speaking – to yourself.

It might seem anticlimactic or appear mundane on the surface, to suggest you begin talking to yourself and recording it, but it’s far from purposeless. It is for me, the most purposeful thing I do. I’m over the moon for it.

It is, in short, Self Talk.

If you’re a regular or longtime reader of mine, you’ll recognize this term [self-talk] from my writings on the Navy Seals and self-talk, here, and here. Self-talk is no small thing. It’s the conversation we have with ourselves, in our heads, and the quality of our consciousness, our life, our happiness and wellbeing, depend on it – entirely. And the crazy thing is, most people live in their heads in a very passive, reactive relationship to themselves and their thoughts. You want to change your life? You want to get on track? You want growth? Start talking to yourself.

Now, before I did this, I would journal. But the problem with journaling is similar to the problem of typing: it’s very slow. We think faster than we can write. But we can typically speak at pace with our thoughts. Eventually, via something like Elon Musk’s Neuralink, we’ll be bionic cyborgs who don’t even need the phone. We’ll be able to google at the speed of thought and we’ll truly be connected to the internet. We will even be able to selectively communicate telepathically. But until then, we’re using two thumbs or a pen and it’s very slow. Voice Memos don’t have this problem. They allow us to think data and to dump it – and it becomes a conversation with our Self. And the more I do it, the more natural it becomes. It’s enjoyable. I get in the car and record hands-free voice memos while I’m driving alone. Basically it’s like having your best friend with you all the time. And they can always listen and they even speak back.

Now I understand some people might feel like it’s not normal to talk to yourself. And they’re right. It’s not normal. It’s extraordinary. Normal people are stuck in their heads. I know. I used to be one. My thoughts rising like a tide, me listening to them without ever really responding. Then getting so tired of my amygdala barking all day that I’d dump alcohol into myself to shut ‘er down. Yeah, that didn’t work for me.

In retrospect, I also notice that before I began this habit of self-talk via voice memos, I felt like I was missing that someone to listen to me (Dearest apologies to my ex-girlfriends and therapists and the blurred line between them). But now, I don’t feel that void. I don’t feel alone anymore. And both the quality of my consciousness and the capabilities of it have grown from using it actively in this fashion.

What do I talk about? Well, everything. Whatever I feel like. I just open voice memos and press record. It’s usually brief but sometimes it’s 20 mins or an hour. And I usually don’t listen to them, but sometimes I do – particularly if they were “inspired”. On that note, for anyone who uses plant medicines or entheogens, I can say that non-normal states of consciousness lend themselves to speech in this manner much more than journaling. The first time I ever did this was in-fact in a non-normal state of waking. And I knew after the first time that I had discovered something.

It’s a Yoga to me, a way, a path. And I’ll do it as long as I LIVE. I’m sorry, but it beats conventional thinking in the echo chamber of your head. Particularly for emotions, feelings, relationships, stresses, goals, anything of personal concern to you. It’s every single outer space movie ever where the person is alone and dialoging into a recording device…. “Day 735..”.

The night before I began this habit, I watched an old Twilight Zone episode about an astronaut stranded on a planet alone. He spoke aloud to himself almost the entire episode, usually into a recorder.

So perhaps that was the seed for the idea, but despite my living alone in the mountains, I had never done it before. As I said, I journaled. Now my main notebook is my daily to-do list, but my journaling has become entirely self-narrated into Voice Memos. But this wasn’t just a change in medium – it was a change in consciousness. From passive to active thinking. From being alone to having myself to face everything with – consciously.

Because that’s the big shift. From the unconscious – the sub-conscious – to the conscious. From thinking to doing: speaking. And by doing this, by speaking, by bringing our thoughts into being, we’re making the unconscious conscious.

As Jung says, “Until you make the unconscious conscious it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

In the words of Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD:

“The subconscious mind is learned habits. The conscious mind is creative programming. When you are conscious you can rewrite the instincts, and when you become conscious, you can rewrite the experience of your life. So that it is important to recognize that what we are not using enough of is consciousness.”

And having this practice of self-dialogue, of self-talk available to me and having found so much fulfillment in it, I have experienced the benefits of a boost in consciousness quite rapidly. It calms me down. It turns off my sympathetic nervous system and it turns on the parasympathetic nervous system. I can feel it. It grounds me in myself, and it allows me to tap into that part of me, the highest, the authentic self, where I have the resources available to me to handle any given situation.

As an added benefit, I’ve also experienced an improvement in two huge areas of my life. 1. My self-image and self-esteem – and 2. My relationship to myself.

When I speak aloud to myself, I become an active participant in my thinking. When I hear myself say something limiting or beneath my authentic self, I catch myself and I correct it. The quality of my thinking has gone way up. I’m no longer a prisoner of my thoughts. I’m the steward of them. The keeper of myself. And it’s helped me get to know myself better, and I’ve learned that I can count on myself, that I’m there for myself and will always be. As Nathaniel Branden writes, “Self-esteem is our reputation with ourselves.” By engaging in high-quality, conscious conversations with myself, my reputation with myself has improved drastically. It’s created accountability within myself. As I said (to myself) on one of my audios tonight, “I can’t get rid of my self-image: it’s who I am, and I have to live up to it.”

With that improved reputation with myself, my self-image has risen to the level of the Self, of authentic. It matches who I am. The inner and the outer of me have been joined into a unified whole. I’m no longer caught in the struggle of inner-self versus outer-self. Of unconscious versus conscious. It’s very liberating.

Whenever we bring the unconscious into consciousness, it frees us from the grip of the shadow, the repressed self. This weakens the psychic energy by removing repression from my being. The outer me is very interested in how the inner me feels, and I’m no longer bottling up my feelings inside myself.

How many of us long for a therapist? How many of us don’t have the access to that we would like? Having some experience with therapy and being on this side of 34, I can say that the therapist has no magic. It’s the talking – the talking cure.

I’m writing to tell you it works. And you may feel eccentric doing it, but you are worth your conscious attention. This is like being able to re-parent your inner child. And you can certainly talk to the other parts of yourself. You could, theoretically engage in dialogue specifically with say, the ego, the inner-child, the shadow, the anima – any archetype within you.

Consciousness has long been described as being like a computer. The word computer comes from the Latin “putare”, which means both to think and to prune. This is what I do in my audio logs. I think and I prune – cutting away what is not beneficial for me by way of choosing better thoughts and improving the conversation in my head – down to the subconscious. This is the brain folks. It’s your computer. Your duty to yourself is to program your computer to optimize your health, wellbeing, and success. By listening to your own voice. By making the inner voice the outer voice.

As the Gnostic text The Gospel of Thomas tells us:

“When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom].”

It might sound cryptic but it’s the ancient philosopher’s stone of “As above so below, as within so without.”

These are metaphors for integration, to achieve wholeness. To reclaim who we are. Children talk to themselves. Adults stop. And I find it sad. Especially knowing the value of it now. I wish I had started this ten years ago.

Not only has it given me a better relationship to myself and a healthier psyche, I also have much more access to myself; I can query myself like a database, asking myself important questions. I’m no longer living in the vacuum of mind.

It is interpersonal communication. Animals do it. Watch a gorilla documentary. They are vocal animals. Silence in nature means danger. The wikipedia for interpersonal communication gives an interesting theory for this:

Joseph Jordania suggested that talking to oneself can be used to avoid silence. According to him, the ancestors of humans, like many other social animals, used contact calls to maintain constant contact with the members of the group,and a signal of danger was communicated through becoming silent and freezing. Because of the human evolutionary history, prolonged silence is perceived as a sign of danger and triggers a feeling of uneasiness and fear. According to Jordania, talking to oneself is only one of the ways to fill in prolonged gaps of silence in humans. Other ways of filling in prolonged silence are humming, whistling, finger drumming, or having TV, radio or music on all the time.

And how many people do you know who always have the TV on? Or music? I have found silence to be much more profound now that I’ve broken the taboo on talking to myself. I no longer need the energy from external sources. I have riches and love within me. Here for me. From me.

Negative self-talk, negative thinking will ruin your life. The science backs it up:

Negative self-talk has been implicated in contributing to psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, and bulimia nervosa.

The truth is, you need yourself. That’s what this has given me. Full access to myself.

Read about the benefits of private speech. I find it telling that our communication with ourselves in the form of private speech “goes underground” when we begin school.

It’s sad that society holds a stereotype that people who talk to themselves are “crazy”. I think this adult notion prevents many people from doing what all children do.

It’s not crazy. It’s very sane, from Latin sanus, meaning healthy.

Don’t live your life like a closed book, an enigma, a mystery to yourself. You deserve your own company and your own conversation. It’s been life changing for me. Liberating. Empowering. Beautiful.

I hope this compels others who read this to start recording their own private voice memos, to start engaging in their own private discussions. I think it’s something we can all benefit from. And I didn’t know until I began to do it myself just how lacking my life was without it.

So make voice memos your new best friend and make you your new best friend.

Exploring Eternal Recurrence: Some Big Heckin’ Philosophy

As I get older my philosophies become less hypothetical and more palpable. So instead of asking myself, “What if this were true?”, I’m asking: “Since I believe this to be true, what are the implications?” Inquiries of this nature can hit pretty hard because mentally it’s no longer a drill, it’s the real thing – life – and you have to decide how you’re going to live it given what you believe. This is why philosophy is so weighty: because it’s the recognition that beliefs have massive implications for our existence. And the philosophy I’m writing on has greater implications for me than anything I’ve ever encountered or written about before. I know I have to write this, to lay this all out before me, to even move forward. It’s that heavy. I’ve never faced anything like this. For me, it supersedes the question of whether there is a god because it answers the question of what happens after death.

The philosophy is known as “Eternal Return” or “Eternal Recurrence”. In short, it’s the idea time is a flat circle and life is a wheel, going round and round, repeating itself, forever and ever. This may not sound compelling yet, but as I explain it further, I think you may find it is one of the most compelling arguments you’ve ever encountered. It’s certainly nothing new, as many ancient cultures, from the Egyptians, to the Hindus, to the Buddhists, to the Aztecs, all believed in some version of this. It wasn’t until Christianity that we moved away from this idea, but before I get into the ancient origins of Eternal Recurrence and why Christianity moved us away from it, allow me to explain it from my modern viewpoint.

13.7 billion years ago, the big bang happened – the sudden appearance of everything from nothing, from a single point, an initial singularity, wherein everything was compressed into a single mass without any laws of physics, which scientists estimate to have been somewhere between the size of a soccer ball and a skyscraper-filled city block. Since we know the speed of light, we can measure how far away everything in the observable universe is, and we can see that it has been expanding since the big bang. Based on that expansion, many scientists believe the universe will eventually reach a point where the gravitational pull of things will cause the universe to collapse onto itself. This is known as the big crunch. Together, the big bang and the big crunch form the big bounce, which is a cyclic model of the universe that states we could be living “at any point in an infinite sequence of universes, or conversely the current universe could be the very first iteration.”

The big crunch is just one cyclic or oscillating model of the universe. Einstein theorized “a universe following an eternal series of oscillations, each beginning with a big bang and ending with a big crunch; in the interim, the universe would expand for a period of time before the gravitational attraction of matter causes it to collapse back in and undergo a bounce.” The first photo of a black hole, produced by Katie Bouman’s team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the MIT Haystack Observatory, is an image of light from 55 million light years away, meaning, we are looking at that specific black hole 55 million years ago, since that’s how long the light took to reach us. This photo proves Einstein’s century old theory about black holes and how light would behave around them. As Space.com says, “Don’t bet against Einstein.” I bring this up to make this point. What I’m telling you is not pie in the sky stuff. It’s very likely the big bang is neither the first nor the last.

From my own first-principles thinking, the mere appearance of anything means it is possible, and in the words of Elon Musk: “The first step is to establish that something is possible then probability will occur.” So, if it’s possible to have a big bang, then it’s probable to have another. What that probability looks like is relatively unknown, but physicists Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University estimate that each cycle of the universe lasts a trillion years.

“Once the universe is emptied out, a weak attractive force brings our universe’s two branes together in a cosmic collision. Each collision is essentially a new Big Bang that infuses the aging universe with new matter and energy.”

An alternate study from theoretical physicists Andrei Linde and Renata Kallosh at Stanford university estimates that the universe could collapse in a “mere” 10-20 billion years.

Billions of years or a trillion years, you say, well, how irrelevant to me… only, if that multi-billion year or trillion year cycle passes while you are dead, you have no awareness of it. So if you die and trillions of years later, there is another big bang, then the next thing you know, you are born again. Of course, who is to say that the next big bang will produce the same conditions and the same DNA that led to you being born; however, if we zoom out further, on infinite big bangs, then just as the possibility of a big bang establishes probability of it happening again, so too does the possibility of you being born. So maybe it’s trillions of big bangs later. It doesn’t matter: you still come into existence again – and since the time between existences is passed in death or non-existence, then to you, subjectively, there is no gap between them.

This likelihood obviously poses some questions.

As Neitzche writes of the eternal recurrence in his book ‘The Gay Science’, under the heading “The heaviest weight”:

“What if some day or night a demon were to steal into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it you will have to live once again and innumerable times again; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unspeakably small or great in your life must return to you, all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!’ Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god, and never have I heard anything more divine.’ If this thought gained power over you, as you are it would transform and possibly crush you; the question in each and every thing, ‘Do you want this again and innumerable times again?’ would lie on your actions as the heaviest weight! Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to long for nothing more fervently than for this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?”

There’s a passage in psychologist Irvin D. Yalom’s novel, ‘When Nietzsche Wept’, where a patient, Dr. Breuer, is in therapy with “Nietzsche”, who encourages him to reflect upon the possibility of eternal recurrence:

Breuer: You suggest, that every action I make, every pain I experience, will be experienced through all infinity?

Nietzsche: Yes, eternal recurrence means that every time you choose an action you must be willing to choose it for all eternity. And it is the same for every action not made, every stillborn thought, every choice avoided. And all unlived life will remain bulging inside you, unlived through all eternity. And the unheeded voice of your conscience will cry out to you forever.”

What the author is conveying is that by making choices, we are establishing probability for their recurrence. So if one believes in the eternal return or eternal recurrence, then we must be aware that everything we do – that our life, as we live it now – we must be willing to choose for all of eternity.

As the Wikipedia for Eternal Return tells us, “If the probability of a world coming into existence exactly like our own is nonzero. If space and time are infinite, then it follows logically that our existence must recur an infinite number of times.”

I’ve provided a scientific model above for it based on the big bang. It most certainly “follows logically”. And I’m not writing this as a sci-fi thought experiment, but as a model for what I believe; however, long before we had a scientific model for an expanding and contracting universe, humans believed in Eternal Return. In ancient Egypt, the symbols of the snake eating its tail (The Ouroboros) and the scarab (dung beetle), both represented the concept of eternal return. The Aztec and Mayan calendar wheels represent this. The ancient greeks called it Palingenesis (From palin, again, and genesis, birth). The ancient hindus called it Reincarnation. The Buddhists called it Samsara. So what happened to this timeless idea?

Enter Christianity. A new myth is formed that says Jesus came down from heaven and saved humanity. Well, if you save humanity it doesn’t need to happen again. So, eternal return was done away with. While pre New Testament texts like Ecclesiastes tell us, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”, giving us something that seems like it could hint at eternal return; only a few verses earlier, we read that “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.” (Something science tells us will not be true, for the sun will run out of hydrogen and die a heat death in 5 billion years, and the universe will collapse long after). I feel like I’m pandering to religious people by even mentioning these things, but my point is not to establish what the bible says as evidence for anything other than what it represents, and the Judeo-Christian myths do not give any validity to the idea of eternal return. If god created the world, he doesn’t need to do it again and he certainly didn’t create it to be mortal like us, which science tells us it is; however, the importance is not the difference between religion and science but the impact of religion on the collective consciousness of belief. For it wasn’t until Nietzsche that the idea of eternal return came into widespread discussion in the West again. Following Nietzsche, Albert Camus resurrected the ancient Greek myth of sisyphus in his philosophical essay of the same title, telling us the story of a man who is fated to push a rock up a mountain only to have it roll down again, for all of eternity.

Camus writes:

“If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious.”

So, is it a tragic fate, to know, to be conscious, that you might repeat everything forever?

As Camus concludes his essay:

“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” What a sentiment. It’s certainly heroic.

Nietzsche similarly adopts a heroic attitude in ‘The Gay Science’:

“I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that by my love henceforth!”

And in his last book ‘ Ecce Homo’, Nietzsche writes:

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

Amor fati is a Latin phrase that means “Love of one’s fate”. As Wikipedia explains:

“Amor fati (lit. “love of fate”) is a Latin phrase that may be translated as “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good or, at the very least, necessary, in that they are among the facts of one’s life and existence, so they are always necessarily there whether one likes them or not. Moreover, amor fati is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one’s life.

This acceptance does not necessarily preclude an attempt at change or improvement, but rather, it can be seen to be along the lines of what Friedrich Nietzsche apparently means by the concept of “eternal recurrence”: a sense of contentment with one’s life and an acceptance of it, such that one could live exactly the same life, in all its minute details, over and over for all eternity.”

I find it telling that Camus also adopted a love of fate as a solution to life, writing in his journals:

“There is thus a will to live without rejecting anything of life, which is the virtue I honor most in this world.”

For to reject anything is to establish the probability to reject it forever and ever.

I don’t necessarily subscribe to predeterminism but I think if we believe in eternal recurrence, we have to accept that it is we who are establishing anything that will occur again. So we must choose our actions and choices as if we are to live with their occurrence and their consequences forever.

So I suppose the jaw-dropping shock of this leads me to conclude that I will write this again, maybe in billions or trillions of years. And I sit here thinking what I did last night, which is that if I am fated to live this life again and again, I want to do everything I can to decrease my suffering and to help others decrease theirs. For if I don’t manifest my gifts, which is to say, if I don’t utilize the unique talents that I have, then I will neither decrease my suffering nor that of others. But if I do, then I will forever and ever. And thus nothing is of more paramount importance than that – than contributing what I am able to contribute to improve life for myself and others on as large of a scale as is possible.

Postscript: It should be noted that within my philosophy, I currently have a few potential models of reality, which I wrote on here. The idea of eternal recurrence; however, has so far only existed in my ‘base-reality’ option; for if we are living in a simulation run by AI or a training program, then the arguments of the big bang etc, don’t have the same validity; although, it could be argued that even in a simulation, eternal recurrence will lead to the existence of the simulation again, so I guess it does hold for each of my theories. I think the neatest thing about this idea is that we are essentially immortal, but it’s entirely up to us how we are to spend our cycles of eternity. And even then, having written this, I’m still processing and digesting this big heckin’ philosophy in a meaningful way that I believe will bring me increased peace, acceptance, and drive for the life I am here to live.

Footnote: Eternal Return and Eternal Recurrence are the same, but I prefer the word ‘recurrence’ as it has a more specific, programmatic meaning for me.

Beauty and The Beast (A Sad Love Story)

Beauty and the beast
I made a pauper of a princess

I was beneath the animals,
Under a mountain of fear;
I wasn’t nearly good enough,
To escape the shame I deserved –
The shame I needed,
So I’m sorry and grateful:
Reconciling these two only humbles me more
But I was never humble before,
So the beauty only ever got the beast,
And not the prince she made me

I told you it was a sad love story
But it’s my favorite, so I’ll keep telling it.