Loomings: My Life and Dreams

I come here for pharmakon, the healing act of writing: I need it as I’m rediscovering myself as an adult, seeing my light and dark in their full brilliance. And, really, I just want to trust myself, that I will follow my inner voice.

Fear can make people do funny things. It’s made me forget myself, shy from deepest dreams, and do things I hate – for far. too. long.

This is the beauty of being overwhelmed. This is the beauty of feeling like you don’t want to carry on in this way. This is the call to go into the wild again; for, often, in our quest to stay within our comfort zones, we end up massively, painfully uncomfortable.

Anyone who has worked hard to pay their bills month in and month out, and has woken up miserable one day, and asked themselves, ‘Why the fuck am I doing this?’, knows exactly what I am talking about.

I am reminded of the opening to Moby Dick, in the appropriately titled first chapter, ‘Loomings’:

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago–never mind how long precisely –having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off–then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

It is a damp, drizzly November in my soul.

And though I ran off “to sea” after high school by joining the Navy, it is surprising I – who loved ships and men and sailing as a child – ended up a fucking pale computer nerd rather than a salt-tanned sailor. But there is still time. I’m just ready to get out of my “comfort zone” – or perhaps it’s just changing. But this is no longer comfortable.

I have made myriad mistakes in life. In-fact, I have gotten very few things right.

Books. Writing. The Ocean. These are my original loves. These are the places where I am my own again. Where I am whole and home.

Frankly, the most challenging thing about these 2.5 years I’ve spent in the mountains has not been the isolation, but the people.

As a non-binary liberal, I’m just not in a place where I am very accepted, much less all that welcome.

Yet here I am. In my house full of books. Alone. And it almost works. But it doesn’t.

Perhaps if I didn’t work. If I were only writing. That would work. Only, I work – a ton – and way too hard, for way too little.

I ended up in the same trade as my father: building websites. And I fucking hate it. Firstly, spending an obscene amount of time hunched over a screen is not natural.

In the words of Mystic Mac (Connor McGregor), “Machines don’t use machines.”

He is speaking about the naturalness of using body weight or free weight exercises, which have made him a “machine”, like a Jaguar, lean and powerful, as opposed to the unnatural nature of using “machines” in the gym, which will never turn one into a true machine. So, “machines don’t use machines.”

And I think about that. How much I would love if the only time I sat at my desk was to write. Rather than the up till now arrangement where I spent long, unrewarding workdays staring at a screen, punching keys. It’s very 1984.

Society is, after all, an incredibly shrewd machine, designed to spit out the lowest paying work for you – and in exchange for all of your time, society gives you the bare basics: a roof, food. We: the grinding gears of capitalism. Ground up and spit out.

It’s called a “rat race” as a takeaway from a laboratory experiment, in which two rats race each other for a piece of cheese. But they have used so much energy, the cheese isn’t even really worth its calories.

Sound familiar?

Life can really be like this. How the fuck do we work for years sometimes with nothing to show for it? Bad decisions. Maybe. But it’s also just the system. You are racing against all the other rats for the same cheese.

And if you are, say, an artist, cheese may not even be your goal. Your art is. So, now you have another problem: time.

Only, the time equation is compounded with another: stress, discontentment; any artist not practicing their craft knows the reality of these feelings.

So, now you’re basically living a life that is very ill-suited to your nature, your temperament, and your talent. It may even be contrary to those things.

It hurts. Trust me.

And so, here we are.

I’ve wanted to just work through it. I’ve wanted to “beat this level,” so to speak.

And I still feel like I have to.

The New York Times has an interesting piece about escaping the office for hands on work, and one of the most interesting lines is this:

Matthew Crawford, a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia and the author of the 2015 book “The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction,” sees good sense at work among those who leave office jobs for something more concrete-seeming. The reason? Much white-collar work has become similar to assembly-line work, comprising a series of mindless tasks.

Ding ding! Bingo.

The mindlessness of programming along with the mental bandwidth required simply just aren’t worth it. Then where is left my energy to write? I’m brain dead after. Forget time to read….

As was said of one person in the article above, who left graphic design for stone masonry, as he was being “driven mad by the monotony of moving fonts around on a screen and designing restaurant menus.”

“I was giving myself up all those years to this idea that graphic design was my only choice,” Mr. Kelley said. “I went to college for it. And it really emotionally brought me down.”

Brother, I get it. I suspect many people in desk jobs get it. I don’t want to escape a desk job, I want to escape the “oppressive computermatron.” I want to spend my time writing prose, not code.

I’m reminded of Jack London’s wonderful novel, Martin Eden, in which Martin, trying to become a writer, gets a job at a high volume laundry:

But there was little time in which to marvel.  All Martin’s consciousness was concentrated in the work.  Ceaselessly active, head and hand, an intelligent machine, all that constituted him a man was devoted to furnishing that intelligence.  There was no room in his brain for the universe and its mighty problems.  All the broad and spacious corridors of his mind were closed and hermetically sealed. 

Here, the main character faces the same problem I now have.

But it was only at rare moments that Martin was able to think.  The house of thought was closed, its windows boarded up, and he was its shadowy caretaker.  He was a shadow. 

As his boss tells him:

“Rest.  You don’t know how tired you are.  Why, I’m that tired Sunday I can’t even read the papers.  I was sick once—typhoid.  In the hospital two months an’ a half.  Didn’t do a tap of work all that time.  It was beautiful.”

“It was beautiful,” he repeated dreamily, a minute later.

Oh, how I can relate. My own Yung Lean style breakdown early this year afforded me a similar escape from work.

But Martin Eden gets no escape, so he drinks:

He forgot, and lived again, and, living, he saw, in clear illumination, the beast he was making of himself—not by the drink, but by the work.  The drink was an effect, not a cause.  It followed inevitably upon the work, as the night follows upon the day.  Not by becoming a toil-beast could he win to the heights, was the message the whiskey whispered to him, and he nodded approbation.  The whiskey was wise.  It told secrets on itself.

And finally, he decides to chuck it in:

By God, I think you’re right!  Better a hobo than a beast of toil.  Why, man, you’ll live.  And that’s more than you ever did before.”

And he quits, resolved to go to sea:

At first, Martin had done nothing but rest.  He had slept a great deal, and spent long hours musing and thinking and doing nothing.  He was like one recovering from some terrible bout of hardship.  The first signs of reawakening came when he discovered more than languid interest in the daily paper.  Then he began to read again—light novels, and poetry; and after several days more he was head over heels in his long-neglected Fiske.  His splendid body and health made new vitality, and he possessed all the resiliency and rebound of youth.

Ruth showed her disappointment plainly when he announced that he was going to sea for another voyage as soon as he was well rested.

“Why do you want to do that?” she asked.

“Money,” was the answer.  “I’ll have to lay in a supply for my next attack on the editors.  Money is the sinews of war, in my case—money and patience.”

“But if all you wanted was money, why didn’t you stay in the laundry?”

“Because the laundry was making a beast of me.  Too much work of that sort drives to drink.”

She stared at him with horror in her eyes.

“Do you mean—?” she quavered.

It would have been easy for him to get out of it; but his natural impulse was for frankness, and he remembered his old resolve to be frank, no matter what happened.

“Yes,” he answered.  “Just that.  Several times.”

She shivered and drew away from him.

“No man that I have ever known did that—ever did that.”

“Then they never worked in the laundry at Shelly Hot Springs,” he laughed bitterly.  “Toil is a good thing.  It is necessary for human health, so all the preachers say, and Heaven knows I’ve never been afraid of it.  But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and the laundry up there is one of them.  And that’s why I’m going to sea one more voyage.  It will be my last, I think, for when I come back, I shall break into the magazines.  I am certain of it.”

She was silent, unsympathetic, and he watched her moodily, realizing how impossible it was for her to understand what he had been through.

“Some day I shall write it up—‘The Degradation of Toil’ or the ‘Psychology of Drink in the Working-class,’ or something like that for a title.”

Oh, yes, Jack London, I understand your Martin Eden well. Too well.

So, my desk job, programming, is my laundry, and the degradation of toil has taken its toll on me.

Only, I don’t see myself running off to sea. I moved here, to the mountains, to write. Only, two years supporting us before we broke up, and I worked a lot and wrote little. Now I have been alone four months, and there has been no big magic. Just more toil. More degradation.

But, alas, wherever you go there you are.

I have never lived anywhere two and a half years as an adult. And I don’t just want to run away; although, I miss my family deeply, having come to realize recently that I have not been there for them: the most important people in my life.

So, here I am. And it’s very uncomfortable.

I’m 33 and still figuring out how to make it work.

As part of my personal mythology, I have come to view technology as a kind of enslavement. An uncaring machine focused only on your output. As a futurist, I lean towards neo-Luddite views.

The Luddites arose in response to the rise of machines in factories in the early 19th century. Eccentric weaver Ned Ludd smashed his loom and became a folk hero. Other workers rose up, calling themselves “Luddites.” And soon factory owners were having Luddites shot, and military force finally stopped the movement.

So, a neo-Luddite, is one who is opposed to technology on moral grounds.

As someone who has wasted years of my life writing code, with nothing to show for my work, no freedom, I can’t help but feel pulled toward wanting to smash my own machines (When I had my breakdown, I did, in-fact, smash my laptop).

But the house of cards rose up again, and I am yet hounded via email and text, by my clients 7 days a week.

And I thought I could balance it. Thought I could just work hard, wake early, and write.

After having revisited Martin Eden, I feel like this goal of intellectual work / writing duality and balance is less and less realistic.

I only have so much bandwidth and the toil takes its toll. So, what am I to do?

Well, I’m here tonight, spending my Saturday night on this. This entry is an alchemical effort for me to see what I need to see.

It’s just so difficult to escape our own matrices. I thought I could gain healthy self-esteem by paying my bills. I thought I would gain my own respect and feel solid. But I feel like Bukowski, after ten arduous, soul-crushing years in the post office:

“I have one of two choices—stay in the post office and go crazy . . . or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.”

I think there is something noble in that.

Of course, I have already starved. And it wasn’t easy, but I wasn’t losing my shit and smashing my laptop.

Of course, there is the question of living. I don’t think I want to go sleep on a park bench. That’s not what my soul needs.

But I need to do something to escape the laundry, the toil and the toll.

If I were less of an introvert, I would have taken up roommates long ago. I have a 3 bedroom and live alone, but I am not much for living with others. Especially having lived with others so much in my 20s.

Taking back the means of production by building a business makes sense, only, my last two business did not succeed – despite how much I believed in them and the countless hours I put into them. So, I returned to building websites. Only, you suddenly become an employee with multiple bosses. Pulled apart in all sorts of directions, with a 24 hour workload that never actually ends. There is no, “Okay boss, we completed the tile job.” No, websites are never done.

I do have a business I want to build, and perhaps this is my last chance to try and regain control of the machine. As one youtuber said, “You have to sacrifice to regain the means of production.”

Starting a business qualifies. Also, writing books. Only, there is no promise of recompense with books. Only a firm sense of destiny. Although, there is neither promise of success with a business.

My plan has been to build this business as a means to “own my time”.

And maybe I just need to go once more into the fray. Frankly, I’m not sure I have it in me. I have been basically building websites now for the last nine years.

And I’ve had my stories ready to write for the last six. And I only nearly have one finished. And there are far bigger, more exciting stories I have to tell.

So, what am I to do? Let it all fall down around me? I have done that. Seems to be a pattern after each of my breakups. I am not interested in repeating the past any further. I get it: I need to be by myself.

I’m just in pain over my work. The stress of it. Clients expecting me to jump on the phone and spend my Saturday working. Total bullshit. And I did it to myself. Because I wanted to pay my goddamn bills.

And really, money is the root of it. I have to work in accordance to my demands. And, as I have already said, I moved here to lower them. Only, it didn’t work. I couldn’t support S and the dogs by myself. But god did I try. She knows how hard I worked.

Only, I struggled. And struggle will end most modern relationships. It’s simply too easy to find someone else. And the world is larger than ever before. If we only had 10% of the current world’s population on earth today, we would still have more people on earth than we did in the 1700s. What I’m saying is: in three-hundred years, the world’s population has exploded tenfold.

So, I think that, existentially, we live in an incredibly challenging time of rapid change. Humans never had these problems. And change is so rapid today, that we cannot even imagine the world five-hundred years from now, or even fifty years from now. I grew up before cell-phones. Soon, the phone will dematerialize into the user, as the UI becomes a part of us. And inequality will only get worse. But the system seems to work. Give them cell-phones, cars, Netflix, legal weed, Amazon / Wal-Mart, and in exchange, they’ll give you most of their waking hours. This is most of us. And if you think you’re special or somehow outside of this, you may have had some advantages…

Where we are born and who our parents are determines much of our trajectory in life. I was born to poor parents and in no way intend to continue that cycle with my own potential children. But a lot of people do, they have kids in lives they don’t like, and they essentially relegate their offspring to similar fates.

If you think I’m being too fatalistic, I recommend you take a good hard look at the world and the different class strata. People are simply born on different levels. Not to say you can’t “rise” – you can, and you can certainly “fall,” but it takes much more work to rise than to fall.

To rise, we need to establish a few things:

1. You will die, so don’t fear taking chances.

2. The means of production must be taken back from the masters (Meaning, you have to start a business or a means to produce something you can sell, rather than selling yourself or your time).

3. Your means must passively cover your expenses in order to free up your time to do what you love.

Imagine how many successes there are because select people were free to do what they loved… look at the bios of your favorite artistic heroes, there is even a classist ceiling there. The point isn’t that life is unfair, but that you need to give yourself the opportunity to succeed.

Look at my situation, I have tried and failed to give myself the opportunity to succeed as a writer. I’m still seeking out the opportunity. As any wage slave knows, you rent yourself out and do not own your own time, meaning, you don’t really own yourself. Hence, you have ‘masters’ (“clients” / “supervisors” ) and are not the master of yourself.

If you love what you are doing, this is not necessarily a problem. But if you loathe what you do, oh boy, you’re in some deep shit. And this is not a good place to be, because our time here is limited. The clock is running.

So, this the perfect time to think long and hard about dying:

Imagine you know you are dying. What do you want to do? Probably sure as shit not what you’re doing. You probably want to be with family, friends, lovers. Now imagine you’re dying and you never changed, never did what you loved. How much do you regret it, now that your time is up? ‘Immensely’ wouldn’t even begin to describe it. And if you could go back and change your life, you would.

But you can. There is yet still time.

So, what are you going to do Lawrence?

Well, once more into the fray.

I’ll put my heart and soul into the two difficult projects I have on my plate now and finish up with them (November)

I’ll beef up my portfolio and sell 2-3 large projects. (Dec-Feb).

I’ll then use a month to build the means of production to reclaim my time (AI based lead gen).

Provided this last step works, I’ll own my time.

From here, I need to decide where I am moving – the mountains are serving their purpose but it has been a self-imposed exile of sorts, and I miss my family.

I had been planning to move to LA, which I think will suit me, but I know it will only suit me provided I spend some time each month in San Diego as well.

This is big stuff but I have to see it in my mind’s eye. The third eye.

Where romantic love was once the impetus of my actions in life, those emotions have since been blunted in the face of knowing that no one can love me more than I love myself. And getting the relationship right with me will pave the way for any future romantic journeys.

My family is really important to me. And right now, I hear Churchill’s words:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

A younger me would cast off the lines and “go to sea”, so to speak, but I owe myself my most dogged determination toward my vision. What I laid out above is not a new plan. It’s my vision, and I think it will work.

It just seems to me that there is something to being closer than you think.

There are going to be obstacles. There are still unknowns that need to be resolved.

There could be a setback or two. But I can’t throw in the towel. My first tattoo was ‘n.g.u.’: never give up. I can’t think that is without significant meaning. If I gave up on my vision, who would I be: I wouldn’t be me.

But I’ll be damned if I pass the time idly and am still a servant to the oppressive computermatron a year from now. I’m too damn old and life’s too damn short.

I just watched ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ again, a movie that is deep to my personal myth, as significant as is ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’.

One of the functions of myth is to teach us to survive, and how to live a life, and what to expect.

To me, the most poignant part of Benjamin Button is this scene:

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.

And I want to live a life I am proud of.

And if I find that I’m not, I want to have the courage to start all over again.

I know the big goals I have for my fiction. Those will not change. How I get there, however, may.

Devotion: An Inner Child Healing, Awakening, and Rebirth. 

What follows is a very personal, free-flow experience I had this morning, written under a tree (which I later came back and climbed). And as much as I don’t want to share this out of the sanctity of it, I am compelled to by virtue of the fact I know it will help someone. – LB

I am the god of my childhood, here to take care of me, answer all my prayers, love me unconditionally.

It’s like Intersteller. 25 – 33 years later. I hear them all now.

It was hell. Alone.

But now I love nothing more,
Because I can be there solely for myself, entirely devoted.

To the child god. He was praying to me. And now I will worship him; Give him all my love and attention, my total care and affection.

But most importantly I will listen to him now. At 33 he is reborn in me. A figure I can love for more than any Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, or collective field.

No one and nothing needs me more than him.

And now he’s back. He knows it’s safe to come out. I’m no longer looking for a mommy for him, someone who could never know, never love him like me, who was there with him, in unconscious instinct, keeping him alive. Climbing up on the counter, for another spoonful of sugar, for his hunger.

Then I could only feed his body.

Now I can feed his soul. Feed his spirit. Now we’re going to make everything count. Cash in on the pain. Because he just wanted to be older. Just wanted to be me.

And my anima is his mother. Always was. But we were only able to feed him then. Just keeping self alive, as children and living beings are wont to do.

…. We made it.

And this only the beginning boy. But we need your help to design this life. To tell us exactly how you want it. And we will make it so.

Welcome home, Son, brother.

It starts with one.

There are still a lot of kids and adults who aren’t home.

But you have to show them, you can be remembered, recovered. Whole. Happy. Safe. Secure. Playful. Joyous. Free.

Tell us how to live. How to be. Live in flow with us. You are The Inner Child. You get to take the reigns now. You are Krishna. Driving the chariot. I AM Arjuna, the archer, the vehicle, the body, and she (Anima) is the goddess, the mother, the gateway to the unconscious and the heavens.

Together we are the holy trinity. Jesus spoke in The Thomas Gospel: “Those who become like children will enter the kingdom.”

Today, we have entered.

You are unconscious like an animal (and you know we say that with reverence), but now you will love consciously, in our hearts forever. Always in our thoughts, always helping us. Always well.

When you were little, you loved pirates. Now your pain shall be your treasure. The key to your glory.

You want a Porsche? Let’s get it. You want to be the captain of your own pirate ship, let’s get it (Wally or Perini navi, but Moody or Amel to start).

Tell us what you want. Show us our true will, as only you can unlock the gates.

We love to be alone now. To give you all our attention and care. You are the heart of the self. All chakras were born in you.

And you will be in every tree we climb and every rock we throw, and in every bath and time on the water. In everything. Here now, to awaken us to what IS.

And we love you with all our being. Show us the way. We await your commands with loving omnipotent devotion, and we will listen to that song by Ellie Goulding [devotion] and be there for you, over and over and over again. We will never leave you. We are here because of you. And you are who we truly are.

Drive the avatar. Fly the planes. Sail the boats. Let the best women chase you.

We will do all for you. But most importantly, we will listen to you. In your godlike wisdom. For you are a god, like your mother, Anima. And your father, Ego / self. (Ego in positive, Ayn Rand sense). We three are the self, supreme being. Show us the way, young grasshopper. This is a choose your own adventure story. The story of a life. And you don’t have to be the hero because you are. The true hero.

Because the secret is. All your suffering so early and so long is what made you, made us, what we are. And what we are is incredible.

You were forged in fire. Trained in the toughest dojo – life. Without defense. Without comfort. Without nutrition. Without love. And you survived. But you’re more than a survivor, because you only survived for a reason.

And you are that reason. Now we enter the kingdom, and you are brought back to play, after so many years, knowing it wasn’t safe to come out yet. But it is now. And you are now reborn into that safety. Come down like a god into the avatar. Born again. The natural man. The most free, loving, kind, smart, compassionate capable being ever.

Show us how to play the game again. You will never lose us to the maya of another’s love ever again. For there is no other you.

You are the one. And this is only level one, where we start. But we’ve already won. Because you are back now. Home free.

We await your command young grasshopper.

And you’ll never go to bed sad again.

It’s all in the Thomas Gospel:

When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.

Jesus said, “I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.

Jesus said, “When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid.”

Jesus said, “When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say,Mountain, move from here!’ it will move.”

But I have said that whoever among you becomes a child will recognize the (Father’s) kingdom and will become greater than John.

Devotion, Ellie Goulding

&

‘In My Head

&

‘High School’

PostScript: From the links above you can see I am in a musical mood tonight, but I just had a peak moment while watching the video below. I was completely engrossed in the incredible visuals (and sound), when suddenly it occurred to me that the three characters in the video represented – to me – ego, anima, and inner child. Ego is naturally meditating on a cloud, Anima is, of course, dancing on the roof, doing witch things, and inner Child is – what else – driving:

About a Boy

Took a long walk through the woods yesterday and for no particular reason other than perhaps wanting to see a bit more life, I decided to walk back through the neighborhood. I had my walking stick and was doing my hippie thing. 

At one small corner, I came upon a house that I always notice, for this house is a ghastly house. It’s a wreck, a mess. I can only imagine the inside. 

It is a fact I live in a small mountain community at the top of the woods, where things are cheaper, and people are poor. 

So I was not surprised at the house. But it’s always drawn my attention. 

On this day, a young boy stood out front of the house, his strawberry blonde hair a mess, his clothes rumpled and dirty, and his hands on his hips. He just stood there, looking at the house. But it was the look on his face. 

He had the look of worry. The countenance of a fifty-four year old. His face was soured in angst. Almost as if his face said, “Why, why do you do this to me.”

And I was soon passing him. He took a glance at me. My long hair. My Peter Pan pants. My flannel. My walking stick.  I gave him a closed mouth smile of compassion. And then he simply looked away from me, dropped his hands from his hips and trudged inside, head down.  

Oh how this affected me. How this affected me! If only this boy of nine or ten could see into my heart, my mind. If only he knew what the sight of this wretched boy did to me. What he afforded me. How he opened me up to myself, my own past. When I was but a little wretch too. 

It was a ten second experience I can not forget. The look on his face. 

And I don’t pray often – as I prefer intent, Will – but I will pray for him. And I hope he hears his own prayers someday and answers them. 

He certainly helped me hear mine. 

But I can’t help but think that he will grow up and repeat the cycle. Nature and nurture. But for most people it’s only nature – meaning, they never learn to nurture, heal, and love themselves. 

And that’s the saddest fucking thing. Because I see it. All the time. And I had it cushy compared to many. 

I really won the lottery. In being myself and in everything I ever went through. 

Because I didn’t know it then, but one day, it would all make sense, it would all be okay. But for that boy, and more human children and adults than you can count – in the hundreds of millions, billions – it is not okay. It does not make sense. And they depart this world empty, leaving behind their link in a long chain of suffering.  

What more can I say. This was just a story about a boy, but it’s a story about life. The suffering and what goes on on this planet, and the bullshit, is unfathomable. Right now there are so many families struggling. 

And there always have been, but the disparity today is what makes it so bad. “The heaven of the rich is built on the hell of the poor.”

But we don’t care. The poor have their own neighborhoods. And one day they’ll ride the hyperloop from ghettoes in the Southwest into LA for work, where the rich will live and play. The city state will return. And the peasant, will simply be a poor person. And as Donald Trump said, “Not even poor people want to be around other poor people.”

Ironic they voted for him. He is their oppressor. Period. This is a billionaires cabinet. No healthcare and giant corporate tax breaks. But, they live in the Matrix. Fox News, and fear and stress and insecurity like you can’t fucking imagine – don’t even know how a corporation works, that it’s just a plantation, a rich man’s machine designed to leverage their income or their labor: their time. Because in their nightmare, there’s no time, none for pleasure. None for peace. And certainly none for the little boy. And it’s his nightmare too. And odds are he will not escape. Maybe into a bottle, maybe into pills. His life is just survival. 

And the worst part is the mental and emotional conditions that come out of this and that perpetuate it. 

Anyway, I could go on forever about a boy. But this is all I can write on it for now.  Because it’s just sometimes too much. But it reminds me that heaven and hell are on here on earth. And they are within us, but not all good people go to heaven on earth. Only in our society we equate success with virtue, so, they feel not only worthless but less than. Makes you wonder why some poor people can sometimes be racists. They need someone below them. They can’t be at the bottom… So their want for virtue stains their very character and allies them with a political party that is in policy against them. And having no future, they long for a golden past. But it’s a lie, like the biblical Heaven. But they like the odds, so they buy lotto tickets. And there is no fulfillment so they suffer in desire of fleeting pleasure. Opiates. Amphetamines. Alcoholism. Self-abuse. And the boy grows up in it. 

Where All Boys’ Dreams Begin 

Motherfvckin-go-in on-this-poem like-a-koan,
I’m a pure Brahmin spirit, ya I know-em,
I could clone-em:
Take in the yin and the yang,
Fire and the rain,
The Masculine and The Feminine,
And you heal all the pain;
All the sacred texts say it again and again:
You put the jewel in the lotus – om-mani-padma-hum – and again and again, a god you become –
Welcome to the truth,
It’s the sage’s only friend
Cause she’s alchemic, shamanic, hermetic, daemonic –
Hindu Kush is my favorite, oh Poet Vyasa that’s ironic –
Now I’m at the temple door and my desire is chthonic,
So I bring the dark to light,
Dakini goddess of the night;
Inner insight, my anima restored inside:
Two in one together, own the things I used to hide
Like the Thomas Gospel,
I am not Here to divide –
So people they meet me and they can’t even decide,
Is he a demon or a god?
You don’t know, but you like it;
He and Her makes Aman-Ra;
Even the Egyptians didn’t hide it;
So when we get naked, I’ll worship her as the highest;
For what the fuck else does a god look to, but a motherfvcking goddess –
So come with me, and return to yourself again;
And return me, to where all boys’ dreams begin.

Her, Him, She, We / Like Magnets / More Than You Ever Dreamed

“I want to swim away but don’t know how.”
Jesus fuck I love Blue October
Love her,
Love my pain
This stoned, emotionally overwhelmed feeling
Just how many poems can I write to say your’s was a heart I never fully entered
But I hope my pain left you a key, as your’s was to me
Because I am open now: I am in my own heart as I’ve never been before,
And there’s no more sitting outside on the stoop, smoking cigarettes,
No more pouring poison down my throat because I can’t get in;
No more abandoning myself;
No more needing protection in another;
Finally, having awakened to the duality of my inner and outer, male and female consciousness:
Yes, complex people have complex identities and require solutions more complex than in your books –
And I think about her, and my Anima, and how she wasn’t who I tried to project my inner, feminine self onto,
And I think about how I too am dead to her, in that she knows I am also not the inner masculine she projected onto me,
And I know we are both freed
For, I know Her now: She is in Me
And I hope she knows Him, or finds him in someone else…
But it can be HELL trying to find yourself in another
And you could get lucky, but you better hope to fucking god you are simple in your heart,
You better pray to be a basic #happilyeverafter bitch,
Because you’re probably not
I looked for myself for 15 years in other women, relationships,
Other as in separate from Self
And my heart was mechanically separated, like a chicken on the factory line, every fucking time
That was the price
But in seeking, we find ourselves – the gold in the pain, real treasure: Jules; Althaea;
Parts of Her were found in her, and in her, and in her, and in her, and in her
I could describe my inner feminine self using a portmanteau of my exes;
Their best traits are all in me, living, present, graceful, alive, in this room with me tonight
And She’ll keep expanding outward, in twin flames and in soulmates and flings, and friends, and they’ll hate us for Our security, sincerity
Because We’ll never confuse her for Her again,
Alas, the anima gets no other avatar than the Self –
But this is a gift once you realize
Literally, your Other half, which you found in your other other halves,
Goddesses born and dead,
We find ourselves in other people,
This is how it works, like magnets attracting and repelling.
But god it hurts. Until She or He emerges in you.
Then you’re whole. Then you can look outside, complete within.
No longer afraid She is Medusa or Grendel. Or your exes. ;)
But You. More than you ever dreamed.

Thank Gawd We Only Give a Shit About Ourselves So We Can All Stay Fucked (These Days)

Days like this,
When I am working like my Dad,
He hated what he did – Rest in Peace
His son still hasn’t defeated the oppressive computermatron,
So I’m in SQL (Sequel) hell – database slave, level -32

Days like this,
When my dreams don’t budge an inch –
But still, something moves, the pain in me
It pushes me,
Says, ‘Fuck this’…

Days like this,
When I look back on all the love I had, lost;
The wreck I was
Dread Pirate Roberts –
But I turned from my nefarious clients, ran from the dark web

But I’m still slutting it up for a check,
A pay for play hoe,
Like all of us – pimped out by the system…
We have to be, it’s the FREEDOM of capitalism, in this fucked Darwinian system of uber competition and commoditization of the worker, till we are all living the lowest common denominator life, only enough to get by… and Trump, the fucking dream daddy of ‘Murica, gave the corporations billions in tax cuts…

FREEDUMB.

And the Communist Manifesto, which the title alone makes those fortunate boomers in the winter of their lives piss themselves – the Communist Manifesto spells out the glaring truth, plain as day:

“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.”

And we are the 9/10ths, the 99% – we vote for this SHIT.

For days like this,
When I am just shouldering the roof over my head,
The sink full, the laundry bin overflowing
No control, limited power, all advantages and disadvantages made plain,
Life reduced to a birth lottery

For some are bred and some are born,
Into these days.

Young Prince

I’m letting go of her,
Committing to myself, my plans,
To being secure in myself;
Maybe 5 years single,
If need be:
I’m Walt Grace and Walter Mitty:
I have my dreams;
Secure in my loyalty to them
I’m laying in bed all day,
A black robe open, stoned
Cookie dough and colby jack for snacks
Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’ (Live) on repeat,
Reading Carlyle’s ‘On Heroes, Hero Worship, And The Heroic in History’
My great-grandmother’s copy
A singular hand me down,
But a treasure, a key in itself,
For her great grandson, whom she never met, would be pondering the divinity in humanity, himself,
92 years after she wrote her name inside the cover 
Talk about a relic (Ready Player One),
A story that had me in its destiny long before I – 
And within it, ideas I hope to enlarge in my own life, wonder 
And Sunday night now upon me, I say Assuredly 
Unto myself eternally:
Relax and trust, young Prince,
Relax and trust… young Prince. 

Kindling The Light

My neighbor, a Vietnam vet, yelling at his dog,
Who only gets more anxious –
I tell him,
He disagrees
I pet the dog,
Calm him,
Both our hearts race

The Vietnam vet, boiling my blood pressure as my father did countless,
On childhood days when I did not understand my biology was being twisted,
Like the poor, anxious dog, who barks wildly after I leave, to more yelling

So I’ll take him out again soon for another hike,
Where I’ll talk to him,
Stop and pet him, hug him

Cooling our hot blood,
Soothing our nerves
Nature, in its moments, gives us a purpose, together and alone
Something other than life to focus on, outdoors

A place where no one yells at you
Where you are equal to every living thing
Where you can just be,
Thinking what comes most naturally because you are free

For, as the book I now read tells me:

“You are like everyone else, “an infant crying in the night” – something trying to be made whole, something with a deep yearning for security, a deep and unspeakable longing for love, for protection, and for peace.”

But here’s the sad irony:

My neightbor yells at dog because he is anxious
His dog barks and whines – an anxious response
This is energy
It does not always bolster – it stings, burns, scars

Sometimes it twists like missing someone,
Sometimes it scares, like yelling,
Sometimes it hurts, like hitting –
And sometimes it still does,
When it’s over and it’s dark and night, and quiet

When it should be peaceful,
It remains caustic inside –

And love is the answer,
Convince me otherwise
Only, the dog doesn’t know how to love his hurt,
The child doesn’t know how to love her hurt

And the adult still sometimes doesn’t know how
After decades on earth
And the offspring are nervous
And the cycle continues

For what?
Survival…
Because our human hardware is one-hundred-thousand-years-old
And the amygdala, in the dog and the human,
The mirror of emotional learning,
Responds, making us want the love more, anxiously

But the whining dog, like the needy human, who needs it most, wants it most,
Is often rebuffed

And rarely in it’s existence
– fuck, he’s barking in the distance as I write this poem –
Rarely in her existence does the nervous, scared child ever know The Calm
Because for as great as this world is, it’s not that loving

Look at what we love, we vote with our dollars
While our families, our friends, our kids, our pets, ourselves
We all shudder inside, for want of love, which is The Calm
And there is only one among a thousand and two among ten thousand who know it,
Who can generate it,
Share it, kindle it,
In poems and letters, in the everlasting word, in the bravery of their love,
Which they can give away freely, posessing it wholly – as few do,
Even though they sometimes still feel it, when it’s dark and night and it’s quiet
They kindle it again

We call these people poets, mystics, shamans, teachers, empaths, healers –
And if we are one it is because we were the scared child,
Who kindled our light in the dark,
And in saving ourselves, brightened the world we touched
And brought to light,
All the fear, which still haunts billions – withough repreive

So, if you have light – I say to you:

Do your duty – share it
The world needs you, more than you can ever know

For it is you who are the illuminati,
The illuminated ones, the brights,
Up by the full of the moon,
Kindling the light

To a Lost City.

I am myself,
And you are the past
Yet, there are nights when I cry in a rain-filled mudhole,
Wildly calling out,
For the two we were –
Four with the dogs –
For they don’t make ’em better than us four,
I’ll tell you that

If only you or I could have accepted our small, struggling life –
A life of nothing promised –
How hard that is,
It decided our seemingly little fates

As for me, I got the dream writing life, in the mountains
It fell in my lap –
And you were gone
The four, now one

But I can’t shake it,
The lifetime we lived,
It was mine, it was real
And I’ll always be wildly missing it,
Carrying it with me

Our map back to the great lost city,
Of Lawrence and Sarah

Avatar Master

There are two main pieces of me:
The boy, a child-god, who lives on the inside
And the man, an animal, who lives on the outside;
The boy, omnipotent yet a god, imaginary…
The man, capable yet a man, flesh…
The age old question:
How to reconcile these opposites (The magical and the rational), which often pull us apart, unhealthily, for years,
Lifetimes…
I think it starts with consciously integrating these archetypes into our self – as our poles:
The Anakin and the Obi Wan,
The puer (or puella) and the senex:
The eternal boy and the wise old man (or woman) –
The two opposing modes of self, which, if left unconscious, inevitably live at odds,
And are then felt only in the quiet pain of unspoken misery…
These two sets of energies express (In opposite directions or as a split within us) whether we are aware of their existence and influence or not…
To bring them into consciousness, to open the possibility for a truly symbiotic, regenerative dynamic of self,
This is the begenning of something mystical, healing
Like the power-filled magical interplay of male and female selves made conscious…
Puer and senex are not mere metaphors to understand but deep-seated truths [realities] to be lived,
Powers to be used,
Life forces to be loved, felt, expressed, and cared for, in the sum we call “I” – But united, whole, and undividedly honest;
For the boy deserves a real life and the man deserves outer security,
And so they must exist consciously with one another,
In the service of the living one,
Who, slave no more,
Becomes their diety,
Avatar and master.

For Money We Do.

I burned all my walking sticks tonight, like old crutches

And I burned a book called The Veneral Game too
This, also, literally
It sells for $187 on amazon
Value is subjective, truly
I found the book not worth the paper it was on
And I’m glad I burned it,
Because, had I known what it sold for, I would have sold it

A betrayal of values
But for money, we do

LMFAO.

Journal: A Chance to Live True to Yourself

In the bath, listening to Nickel Creek. It’s music I’ve listened to since I was a teenager. As is Fiona Apple ‘s ‘Tidal’ – my favorite album – another classic for bath tunes. Last night I listened to Les Miserable, RENT, and the Hamilton soundtrack. Smoking my bong, singing along, splashing in the bath. These are things you do when you live alone in the mountains and you’re me. Long hair don’t give a fuck; I am a transient coyote.

And although we mistrust the loner – unsure whether he’s a beast or a god – we know there is something authentic in him. The deep strength cultivated in elective solitude is apparent in the independent person – as is their character. They cannot hide themselves. But ‘in the end, of course, you end up becoming yourself’. I just wish someone would have told me that it would happen. That I would arrive to selfhood not only intact but stronger than most people, different in good, uncommon ways.

If you want to accuse me of egoism, go ahead. So many worse things than self-love – no matter how much of a sin they made it. I’d rather be in love with myself than not. But there are, of course, different ways to love oneself. There is a puffed-up love of self and then there is a real romance, a real appreciation of You – the person you are.

There’s a fantastic quote attributed directly to Jesus, from the Thomas Gospel that inspires pure, healthy self-love in me:

“Seek the living one while you are alive, lest you die and are unable to see him.”

And the living one is me. The living one is you. The living one is the being we have incarnated as. And the only time we have with ourselves in this form is in this life.

So, yes, I seek the living one. That’s what solitude gives you, time with yourself. As I said to Sarah, “If we ever moved back in together, we would need our own ‘wings’ of the house.”

I am proud of myself. It’s almost a miracle to be living by oneself at thirty-three – at least for me.

It’s just me and the next ten years. Me and my dreams. Naked and unafraid – touching myself, thinking of no one. Knowing that what most people care about is stupid.

The Tao is alive in me. The feminine-senex energy there is so wise and non-combative.

As the Tao says, “Stop thinking and end your problems.”

There’s a point that suffering is transcended. It’s when we realize that it is elective. That we can choose instead to feel good is not an insignificant fact.

I am a composting vegetarian. People change. Particularly those who find the suffering intolerable – these are the people who truly suffer. The melodramatic is in a far deeper level of hell than the Stoic.

But, ultimately, responsibility affords us power, which brings freedom. I am responsible for how I feel, so what others think or do is unimportant outside of what it teaches me about people. And there are all kinds of people in this world. There is, in-fact, every kind of person in this world.

But life has never been much different anthropologically for me than high school. Same people. And I’m the same person. There’s a dye that colors the fibers of people. The tiger cannot change his stripes. But as some ancient once quipped, “A bad man is nothing more than a good man’s job.” There are sides in this empire. Cheers to former CIA Director Brennan, and all others on the right side of history. America, what the actual Nixonian fuck. But people have always loved bad leaders. That’s what happens when the shadow isn’t confronted, it comes to the light where history must then reconcile with it.

And besides some very vapid, manipulative, ugly persons, the rest is really just ignorance. That and mental health. The collective neurosis that is religion. Christ, how many children did the Catholic Church molest and rape in Pennsylvania… This is the shadow. This is the problem with “goodness” over wholeness. Why do you think these Cosby, 7th Heaven Dad types turn out to be the opposite? Because that guy doesn’t exist. He’s a liability to himself. The church created these monsters. I would not go to a Christian Church to find good, whole people. It’s actually typically a warning to me that the person might be really full of shit. And I recognize these are not mild, correct, diplomatic positions to take, but I can not take any other. In good conscience, I am here to tell you that man should have never been an archetype for god, but, rather, god should be an archetype for man. He / She / They / Them / Us, were all created in our image rather than us in theirs.

The whole paradigm of the creator-god makes us, to me, almost sub-human. As a species, we should look to reason, to empirical evidence, and we should see that we are the epoch of the universe, the vanguard, the echo of the big bang. We are the universe – along with every other living thing. We evolved from fish, from the ocean – one bone, two bones, many bones – our tetrapod limbs evidence this.

We are animals. Like dolphins or James Cameron’s Na’avi people, in Avatar.

Now, as to the nature of life – whether it’s a simulation – I am outgrowing that model. I’m more of the mind of Joseph Campbell, who believed that “Energy and consciousness are the same thing, somehow.”

It is our minds that run the simulation. Our thoughts that inform our programs, our cultures that inform our software. So, to me, the value in the simulation paradigm is in the subjectivity of it. Heaven or hell are in the dreamer.

Of course, reality is very thick and it’s not easy to outgrow our situations, ourselves, but discontent does its magic work. You learn to take control of the Vanilla-Sky-esque dream again – but only after the nightmare has gotten bad enough to wake you. How I pity and love my younger self. I was such a poor, impoverished bastard. The song ‘Happy’ by Marina and The Diamonds tells the story of going from the sadness of the nightmare to the freedom of the dream.

“I found what I’ve been looking for in myself.”

That’s it.

That’s the godhead. That’s the completeness of a happy child.

Security in oneself – without comparison. As the Tao says, “By making some things beautiful we make other things ugly.” So too in making some things desirable we make other things undesirable. In this way, our values can completely rob us of what is. Gratitude is wealth experienced subjectively. The problem arises when what is beautiful, when what is desirable, is outside of us. Then we are impoverished.

To love life as it is and nothing more. Is this not bliss.

To want everything to be different is to be as unhappy as an angsty teenager again. It is only when we start to grow into ourselves that we can begin to appreciate what is. It is at this point when we start to appreciate ourselves, our lives – for better or for worse, that we stop wishing for it all to change.

Not to say we stop dreaming or become holy wanderers, but we take our place in time – as present in our lives, neither wishing for the past nor longing for the future. Like, I am here. And I’m here to follow my purpose and live my dreams, but the dream is just that – a chance to live true to yourself.