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It was early morning before the sunrise,
Before the dissipation of the darkness and with it the quiet peace
And reflection that reigned supreme
Over the earth, and as the birds were starting to wake,
Their lazy chirps waiting to greet the dawn,
          I was still watching,

Watching the stars glimmer and hide behind the stark white clouds
Against the backdrop of the night sky
Thinking how extraordinary the world moved through its cycles of birth,
And life, and death,
And how each mechanism
Whether it be physical, spiritual, or emotional
          Moved

In a continuous figure eight,
Stretching out to infinity and coming back to meet itself once again,
A never ending pattern of extraordinary occurrences,
Seeming random at times, but serving some great purpose
Unknown to the players involved in the journey
–   With only glimpses of synchronicity and serendipity to assure them
That reality existed under the pretense of
          Stability and order,

That the great plan of the universe would unfold
Like the thousand petal lotus that blooms in the summer heat,
Its flushed petals radiating peaceful waves of creation
          As it awakens, –

Thinking that if their prayers were fervent enough,
They would witness the mysteries and miracles of the world
Reflected around them through the rays of the glorious Sun,

And while the morning didn’t wait for me
To finish my contemplations
I had one simple but striking moment,
Suspended in the thralls of time,
Before the busy city streets filled with people who would
Scatter across the pavement,
Some thought, desire, or need propelling them forward into their
          Self-proclaimed futures.

– Anastasiya Maslova

 

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Just a little piece I thought would be fun to post. It’s an exercise writing a short story all in questions, assuming that there is someone answering them. How would you guys answer these questions?

What is life? Do you think we come from darkness and end in darkness and the life we lead in between is the only light? Don’t you think that beyond this illusion we call reality there is a place that we go back to and call home? What is home? Is it a place or a feeling? Does it depend on the time spent there or the people who wait for you by the window? Does it carry memories from your childhood, or simply hold the things you once loved? Do you think you can recreate your life in a new place? Why not?

Are you afraid of change? Don’t you think that change is what moves us forward? Isn’t it a natural part of this earthly experience? We age every day, don’t we? Is there really such a difference between drastic change and one that is so subtle you don’t notice until years later? You would rather not notice? But isn’t it the point of life to notice the things around you? To enjoy and cherish them? To evolve your perspective and your understanding of the universe around you? We both know that perspective comes from experience right? So are your experiences static? Do you believe that no matter what you do, your life will continue on a straight trajectory? Do you think the years you have in this life are your only ones?

Is there a true end? Or is this just one of the many lives you will have? Will you not find peace and content throughout this journey? What will make you happy? Is it the things you buy? Or the things you give? Or the things you know? Does your knowledge come from abstract ideas or the details in your life? How can you truly ever know if this is all there is? Doesn’t logic deem that life is not the only light, but there is a beyond? Do you wonder? Do you ask the universe? What if she answers?

Love is…

the reason we’re here on earth.

#57 (1995)

We can begin by describing love as a state of being – a feeling that is tangible yet not quite physical. It can also be considered an idea or an inherent universal truth. For humans it is the most intense and powerful emotion that controls all of our actions. It is the point from which all things come from and the point all things strive to get back to. Love is a kind of energy that reigns supreme within the universe. We can not only feel it, but see it reflected in our action and even in the action of others. To understand and live in love is the purpose of every lifetime, of every soul’s journey. Love has no limitations because it can be felt by everyone. It can also be experienced by multiple people towards many other people. It is everywhere, all the time, and there can always be more of it. It’s something that can never be destroyed within the world, but can be moved from one place to another in each person’s life – intensified and lessened as the person chooses. Yet at the same time, it controls us in a way that is magical and good and just, and helps us live our life to the fullest.

There are different kinds of love!

  1. Above all is the love that God has for us. He is our immaterial Father, our Creator, and the Source of this powerful feeling. The question “what would it feel to be loved by Love itself?” comes to mind and that is truly how God “acts” towards us. His love is unconditional for He Himself is unconditional.God, unlike us, creates for the sake of creating. We may believe that we are capable of doing the same, but when we create something, such as write a book or any other kind of document we’re doing it for reasons that revolve around ourselves. It may be to earn money, to become famous, to have our thoughts written down so we don’t forget them, to learn how to explain something properly. We also sometimes love for different reasons. We may love people because they do us good, because we feel like we have to, because we need them. It doesn’t mean that this kind of love is bad, because love by definition cannot be bad. It just means that we use this feeling for our own unique purposes to enrich our lives in one way or another. The amazing thing is that we are capable of loving unconditionally, just like God, although most of the time we choose not to. We have the ability to look at another person, an animal or just nature itself and feel love for them just because they exists, as they are – faults and everything. Read the rest of this entry »

I though this would be the appropriate time to post my favorite What is…? It was difficult to articulate exactly how I understand God to be, and some of the most simple phrases I used actually came from my Father. He has a true gift of storytelling and teaching and can make the most complicated idea become the easiest thing to understand. This isn’t to say that this is exactly what he thinks, or that everything in this post came from him, but he did help me put some of my beliefs into words.

What is God?

Our faith in God is constantly tested throughout each lifetime. This doubt is a product of free will – the ability to think for ourselves and explore all the possibilities of the universe. I was only tested once in my short twenty-two years. This test came in the form of a written idea from a man named Robert Monroe. His first book Journeys Out of the Body is about his personal out-of-body experiences, written in a scientifically inclined way (although there is little science that connects to this phenomenon.) Monroe found a way to approach it by using the scientific method, conducting surveys, and even testing physical responses in a lab. His skepticism, awe, and uncertainty really made this mystical phenomenon seem logical and above all, believable. His second book Far Journeys, which was written fifty years after he discovered his new ‘talent’, has a very different approach.

No longer a skeptic, Monroe’s experiences border science fiction and even I had trouble discerning whether his experiences were true or made up. Yet with the solid foundation he built in his first book I had to believe he wasn’t crazy, which is where my test of faith came in. The basic event that he documents in his book was the interaction with a being that was outside of our planet, an “alien” who happened to have visited Earth on a certain “field trip,” and that outsider perspective brought the knowledge that life on Earth was created by some super being who needed to somehow come up with a way to cultivate more love to sustain the universe. It degraded the human existence to an experiment in which some greater puppeteer created people to be unsuspecting ants, naïve of our true purpose and how little we really meant on our insignificant planet. It was such a simple and ordinary way to describe our existence that it made me question whether our God, my God, was actually a “god” at all.

From the human, “internal” perspective we have of course retained the ethnocentric view that we are these special being that God took billions of years to create. In Christianity, we view His relationship with Adam and Even as that of a father and his children. We believe that God is this supreme, pure being that took great care to place us in a paradise on Earth, although our two main ancestors destroyed that pretty quickly. Yet all those religious texts still talk about God speaking to ordinary humans, commanding them to obey his wishes, easing their pain and suffering, teaching them about love. So is God really just some humanoid that can be measured and seen by other energy forms in the spirit world beyond our solar system?

I struggled with this new concept for months before I realized how this personified “God” fit into the universe. We are born to understand certain hierarchies to help us put things and beings in place. The head of the table, the chief executive in a company, the president of a country, the Pope in the Catholic Church are all within our grasp of understanding who is in charge of what. This “God” that wasn’t a God, but a sort of scientist who needed a place to create a substance (love) was in fact portrayed as the guy above us who was “in charge.”

The realization that has been brought to my attention, albeit Monroe’s encounter with this information was real and true or not, is that despite my every attempt to not bring God down to our human level, I still could not fully grasp what or who he is. It is possible that we weren’t directly created by the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God who is the true Source and Creator, but the main point is that God, the True God, is all those things.

God is outside of the reasonable and logical creationism that is often assigned to Him. People need to measure things to fully understand them yet God’s purpose is not to be understood. He is outside of the realms of our universe, mainly because he is the one who created it. Just like there may be some “scientist” or spiritual entity or Angel that created human beings, there is someone who created that Angel and then someone or something that created that creator. The logical inference then is that there is some all-powerful being that has created everything. God is the ultimate Creator – the Source of all that is, but he is not confined to that hierarchical system that we seem to assign everything to. He is outside and within everything. He simply is. He did not come from anything or anywhere yet He stretches across everywhere, every-when, and everything. He is not actually a “he” or “she” or “it.” We use those terms due to language constraints only.

It is impossible to explain God. He is immaterial while we are material. It is impossible for the material to understand the immaterial. He is the ultimate Creator, outside the framework and structure of existence and although we feel His presence and see His traits throughout our system, we cannot explain Him. It is important to note that being outside the “system,” God is also outside of space and time. The constraints that are put upon human kind and even the rest of the universes do not apply to God. Time is only a characteristic of matter – it is the speed of one piece of matter relative to another and without time there is no Space, because there is no measurable distinction between one place and another. So if God is outside of this sphere of reality, how do we know He exists or what He is?

God created us in his likeness meaning that along with free will he gave us the power to create. This creativity is a trait that we can attribute to God that helps us grasp a small inference about who and what He is. Yet just as we create a painting, the characters that we paint on the canvas cannot understand us (presuming they have thoughts.) We are not within the painting yet we are its creators. The interesting part about this painting though, is that our essence, characteristics, and traits can still be shown: our use of color, brush strokes, placement of details all reflect who we are – our identity. God is reflected in our life through his traits and characteristics too. He shows himself in love, forgiveness, empathy. He shows himself through our jealousies and our conscience. We can see hints of him only through reflections like glimpses of light in a house of mirrors.

Our souls are the material counterparts that help us to communicate with Him. The soul is not physical, but it is still matter. We cannot touch the codes within a computer system, but we know they’re there whizzing through cyberspace. Like a computer code our soul is a piece of our solar system’s information field. The Akashi Records are considered to be the spiritual library where every soul’s actions, words, thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. are stored (before, during, and after what we might consider the human experience or maybe even the periods before birth and death.) Our soul obviously carries our identity within itself and is our connection to the Holy Spirit and to the Almighty God. God is all-knowing and all-powerful and infinite and because of those traits he can and does communicate with us on a personal level. Each of us have our own personal “God” who is personified to suite our needs. In those ways he is our true Father and to some, the religious figure that they rely on.

Another example of this personification is Jesus Christ. How can the immaterial ever truly connect with the material as to be understood and grasped, like a flat, two-dimensional square can understand a three-dimensional sphere without leaving its two-dimensional world? God took the human likeness of Christ so that he could show people how to live in his likeness. Although free will is something that lets us have our own opinions (even towards or against our own Father), it is still within His world that we have this. It brings up a question of whether free will is truly free, if it was always within God’s plan for us to have it. Yet in his likeness in Christ he gave us a chance to understand more of his traits and characteristics. Christ, like any human being could not explain God or show us the true nature of God, but he did show that reflection of how we can better live in our Creator’s likeness. It does not mean that our “bad” choices are actually bad and that Adam and Eve’s original sin was evil or wrong, but the path of love that Jesus showed humanity is one worth pursuing.

In the end, God is love and love is God. Monroe’s encounter with information that came from outside of our solar system may have undermined the magnificent story of planet Earth and we really are just producers of “love” like bees producing honey. But to bees, isn’t honey the most amazing thing? And it’s hard to argue that for humanity, love is anything but the most amazing thing. The way love makes us feel, how it binds us together and brings joy to all those around us is truly a magical phenomenon. Its existence and lack of existence within our lives drives and motivates us towards our actions. When we are in love, it makes us want to do more great things, to give back, to forgive more easily. When we’re missing love it makes us sad, angry, jealous, and it can lead us to things that are inhumane and evil. All we need to take away from our meager recognition of God is that love is the most powerful and intense state of mind that humanity can experience. Despite our belief or non-belief in God we all know that love does exist because every person feels it in some way or form. Love is the part of God that is fully embedded within our system, while everything else about Him is outside of it.

One of my favorite topics ever! I discovered in my class that most people believe that “reality” must be experienced through the 5 senses and must be shared between at least 2 people. That’s the only way an experience can actually be “real.” I wonder what they think of shared dreams…

Reality can be understood in many ways.  The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the state or quality of having existence or substance.”  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says it is “something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily.” In short, reality is the simple state of existence – if it exists, it is real.

This brings up the question of what it really means to exist. Existence can only be measured by someone or something who/that has the ability to measure and by that I of course mean a human being. In my opinion, anything that we are aware of exists and therefore is real. This includes material things, thoughts, ideas, dreams, wishes, illusions, hallucinations, etc. Everything that anyone has ever thought of is in some sense real.  Creation, even if it is nonphysical, still brings something into existence and so brings it into reality. Reality is present in the past, present, and future so to correct my previous statement: everything that anyone has ever thought of, is thinking of, and will think of is real. Creation breeds existence and existence creates reality.

To us, reality has a sort of subjective feature. The human view of reality is in some ways limited compared to the reality that beings who are greater than us see and understand. There is a true, ultimate reality that we, as human beings, can never know or grasp. This reality is objective and cannot be viewed from any perspective: it cannot be explained. So that leaves us to ponder our reality which is still vast as it includes all physical and non-physical things, material and non material. These distinctions create different levels of reality. Each one has a different value to human kind as a whole as well as to every individual consciousness. When I say that anything and everything is real I am maintaining that existence is pure Being; it simply IS. A dream IS as real as the bed that we have it in.

Physical reality is probably the easiest type of reality to explain. Through science, we know that we see and perceive things because of neurological relationships within our physical brain. We can see, feel, smell, and taste physical objects that are around us. We can even hear music, which lets us believe that music is in fact something that is real. The laws of nature create our outer world. Everything outside of our physical bodies has a state – things move, make noise, ARE. Chairs, tables, apples, dogs, trees, and other people: these are all physical things that make up our physical reality.

Yet we can also see dreams and visions. In them, we still feel emotions and the touch of other objects or people. We still hear conversations and other sounds. Sometimes if the dream is really vivid, we can smell the scent of flowers or other aromas. When we wake up though we know that we dreamed all those things and they are not physically part of our outside world.

This level of reality is the non material one. It influences us in ways just like physical experiences do. It has self impact on the inside and also impacts the outside world we live in to some extent.  Just last night I had a dream that I got into a fight with my boyfriend’s ex. Jolted awake at 3AM I was bitter, pissed off, and annoyed. While I’ve never met the girl in person, I saw her vividly as though I have actually seen her before. It was a construct of her image from pictures of her face, descriptions of her body type, and stories of her usual behavior. The fight was real on the level of the dream plane: it happened to me as a consciousness living in this lifetime. My nonphysical experience still influenced my existence. I might have worked out anger on insecurities that I had on the subconscious level, or it might have been a stress reliever in some sense since in the physical reality, I am not a violent person. Either way, I have learned something and grown as a person from this type of reality.

Another degree of reality is fantasy. Over time people have created many thought forms that have become universal. Unicorns, vampires, werewolves, fairies and leprechauns are universally accepted through common description. Everyone knows what a unicorn is and how it looks even though we don’t see them grazing in the fields of rural farmland in Alabama. Stories of vampires have been passed down through generations and though the idea of how it all started is unknown (maybe people over time combined real physical diseases like aversion to sunlight and a body’s need for more iron,) we can all agree that these imaginings are real on the fantastical level. We relate to these objects. When they are personified in novels and movies, we accept them, understand them, and even have feelings towards them as the pre-teen girls around the world have proved through their undying love for vampire Edward from the Twilight Sega. There have also been many sightings of ghosts reported throughout history and while some people say they are “real” others think they are “delusions” or “fantasies.” Ghosts have substance and exist necessarily even if it is just in the minds of humans which in my opinion makes them a reality.

One of the most interesting forms of reality is the one people experience through astral projection. Astral projection is when our consciousness (some say soul, some think perception) separates from the physical body by using an astral, non material, maybe even energetic vehicle to travel around a reality that is quite different from the one we experience physically. Robert Monroe has an amazing account of his own out-of-body experiences in his books Journeys Out of the Body and Far Journeys. Some people may question how real these experiences are, but they happened to him whether we believe it or not. This is why reality can be so subjective at times. Monroe’s perception of the nonphysical experiences he goes through outside of his body creates a different reality than the one he experiences when within the physical world. There are many other accounts that relate to this phenomenon, namely the near-death experience that prompted Monroe’s research. There are accounts of people dying, as measured by medical instruments, and then coming back to life and describing meetings with a white light, a spiritual being, or loved ones who have already passed away. It opens up the question of how far reality reaches. Some people may believe that once we die that is the ultimate end – the physical is the only reality there is. Yet these accounts prompt us to think that beyond our brain shutting down and our heart no longer moving and pumping blood there is a certain other reality that is still just as real as physical life, but very different in its properties.

 

A 5th Dimension Cube

This is a model of what a Cube would look like in the 5th dimension… As in Flatland it is possible, even probable, that another universe exists. Is it not real because we don’t live in it?

 

Finally, since space and time are eternal in the sense that everything has existed, exists, and will exist in some way or another (or maybe even both or neither,) reality does not just include the things that we know and understand in the “now.” It encompasses everything at once, in the same place and at the same time – there is no true distinction between space and time. In a sort of other dimension or even in multiple universes actions that propel Being either forward or backwards are “reality.” Anything that is any form of change – from nothing to something – is real.

 

So what do you guys think? Is reality really limited to our physical senses and shared experiences, or are the endless possibilities we can choose create alternate realities through space and time that are just as real as our own here on Earth in 2010?

Identity is a specific, unique, fundamental essence of an existing consciousness or thing. It is important to note that the ‘identity’ of a living organism, whether in the physical plane or other, is a lot more complex than the ‘identity’ of an inanimate object. Objects and things have identities that are quite similar to each other: the distinction between an eraser, this eraser, or that eraser is subtle and is limited to characteristics such as shape, size, color, etc., as well as the things it has erased over the period of its existence. Each eraser’s identity is still the fact that it erases things. We can say that its purpose is nearly the same as its identity. Each eraser is unique yet still plainly identified.

Identity of objects also relies heavily on human perception of those objects. We perceive and eraser to look like an eraser just as we perceive a bicycle to look like a bicycle, to act and perform like a bicycle, and to essentially be a bicycle as we have created it to be. Without us, would a bicycle exist and if it existed, would its identity be the same as it is now?

To figure out the identity of living beings, in particular humans, we have to go more in-depth. We can start by stating that an identity of a human being (or human-realm entities such as ghosts, angles, and fantastical creatures) is the absolute essence of that being. It is the whole “I am” of a specific person. “I am” encompasses every natural and basic extract of a consciousness which means it extends beyond just one lifetime, one soul journey, one time and space constraint, etc. The theory of reincarnation suggests that each lifetime is only part of who we truly are. It implies that each of our lifetimes is a journey on which we learn lessons that, after physical death we absorb into our true spiritual form. This means that our identity is “assigned” to us even before we are born and is an innate part of our pure and true self. While we may forget the details of past lives, knowledge of where we come from, and experiences we already learned from, we still keep that initial core somewhere within ourselves – perhaps in our subconscious. This identity is what makes us the unique people that we are, because each identity is only identical to itself and can always only be itself.

The fundamental values and morals that we carry throughout our life, the basic “nature” that affects our decisions and leads us along our individual paths is our identity. Over our lifetime, we are exposed to experiences that may or may not be new to our individual identities. The characteristics that we pick up on the way, such as extreme friendliness, strong discipline, wittiness, or great sense of humor are all part of our personality. Some people are driven by emotions such as love, greed, guilt, anger, or desire to give back. Some are driven by past experiences such as childhood abuse or a lifetime of financial security, which are closely tied to emotions and personality traits. These are all part of our personhood, because these qualities are always changing. Our beliefs also change throughout our lifetimes and people who were raised atheist may come to find God while those raised through religion may come to denounce Him. When I refer to ‘values’ and ‘morals’ as our fundamental identity, I don’t mean the everyday choices we make between good and bad. Those concepts change with time and experiences just as our material likes and dislikes do. What I’m talking about is a more elemental principle of our pure selves: the central, pre-programmed thread that is the essential “I.” Aristotle makes this distinction through “accidental” and “essential” changes. The way I perceive it is those personality traits that we pick up in this lifetime (and possibly others) are precisely the “accidental” changes that he was talking about, while identity is the “essential” part we were first created with, or ‘became’.

We only glimpse our absolute, real identity (not a reflection) when our full being, our consciousness and soul, come together to make serious, sometimes life-altering decisions. When faced with challenging situations our identity springs to the surface to deal with the problems. Often people call this a test of your true character. We don’t know how we will react in some situations until we are faced with them, like having to choose between our life and the life of someone we love, or making a decision that may hurt a stranger over sacrificing something we want. Our core is the rudimentary drive that guides us through our lessons even when we are not fully aware of it.

Across the infinite number of multi-verses and infinite possibilities of identities each person has his/her own unique self, made possible by the free will we posses from Source (Creator, God). The characteristics that we pick up during our lifetime are only the human qualities that are subject to change with each new lifetime or even just new experience or situation. We can choose what traits to pick up in order to experience physical life to the fullest, but our innate self remains the same through all of space and time.

This past term I took a Metaphysics 101 class. Best decision I have made in my college career! The thing is, because I have basically 2 majors and a minor I technically don’t have any free electives left, but the opportunity was just too good to pass up. I had two hours to spare in between classes every Tuesday and Thursday and this class was just perfect to fill that time. Anyway, our teacher wanted us to write a 2-3 page essay on different metaphysics topics. What is reality? What is time? What is God? Etc. We had to do 5, but I’m thinking I might actually expand on all the other ones as well. Either way, I’d like to start this little collection and see where it leads.

Here is my first one: What is Freedom?

“Freedom” is a word that is acknowledged as some idealistic free-for-all where people can do anything they want despite morals, societal laws, or physics. They believe that to be “free,” we essentially should not have any restrictions – to never be told “NO.” With this definition freedom is not something that exists in our world.

Our physical body is the main limitation that cuts off our freedom to do certain things. Out in the spirit world this limitation does not exist. People who have had out-of-body experiences and even just lucid dreams can see how strong the limitations of having to eat to stay alive, be subject to the power of gravity, and communication through language are. Yet we are constricted to walking on land, loosing otherwise productive hours to sleep, limiting our experiences to the geographical areas of the world that we have the opportunity to visit.

We are also limited by our society. People, no matter how sinister their desires or how honorable their intentions, can’t act impulsively and commit whatever action they think off without facing the consequences. Governments set laws, rules, and regulations that we must follow or risk losing our basic freedoms like having a home, a job, going to school, being able to go outside in general  – the things we couldn’t do in jail. This “freedom” that many of us have is a privilege in our society since it can be taken away even if we are innocent which means it’s not actually freedom at all. It’s a choice is limited by the justice system that we, as human beings, have boxed ourselves in. Sometimes governments use their laws and regulations to keep the masses from raising their standards of living or evolving spiritually like in totalitarian regimes, or by banning media and the freedom of speech or religion. Most of this system comes from the fact that human nature tends to come with “baggage” which sets greed, power, and corruption as the top priorities for some humans. To counter these things, we must set laws for ourselves so that our human rights aren’t violated and so we do not live in fear of being murdered or have our hard earned possessions stolen from us. It is the main reason for the governments that we have created.

The idea of freedom is very broad and it stems from our insatiable desires. We always want more of everything and the biggest problem is that sometimes our desires overlap. Two people may want the same thing and the progress we have made through industry allows us to produce things so that everyone can have one. But no matter how hard you try two people can’t have the same person, or the same house, or the same job. And therefore complete freedom is unattainable because many of us believe that if we have the ability to get everything we want and do everything we want then we are truly free.

Humans do have a certain special kind of freedom – we have free will. Whether you believe it comes from God or is an inherent part of our nature, we have the freedom to choose. It might not be the freedom to choose to fly or breathe under water because those are limited by physical constraints, but we have the freedom to choose to want to do those things. It would be difficult to imagine not knowing that those options existed or that they existed, but we had no ability to think about them or argue over them or desire to somehow accomplish them despite the physical limitations. We have opportunities to choose where to go to school, or which country to live in. Even if we are from a low-income nation where the opportunities are scarce, we still have the option to choose one thing over another and hopefully what we choose will make us better off than before.

Free will ties closely to our only uninhibited freedom – thinking. Our free will is when we act on which choice with think is better, but of course those choices are limited by the outer world. Thoughts, ideas, wishes, and opinions are entirely our own, as individuals. We have no limit to what we can create within our own minds. The power of imagination and creativity is limitless and therefore completely free. It is something that cannot be taken away by anyone, even after death. It is what makes us such unique creatures in our own world (I can’t speak for the whole universe.)

Compared to us for example, animals are limited in what they can think. As far as we know, wolves do not invent new technologies or paint fantastical landscapes. Chimps do not write books about wizards and goblins. From their perspective though, their own thoughts might present limitless possibilities, but that is mainly because when you do not know what you’re missing you can’t actually miss it. For humans, the world within our minds is limitless. We have the ability to learn new things and remember them. To imagine beautiful places that may not actually exist on our planet. We even have the ability to control our moods if we train our mind enough. And the most important thing is that we can sit and ponder about the world, the universe, God, or other philosophies without having to pick up a single book. Yes, learning a language is necessary to communicate with others and we often think through language in our own heads. Yet I believe that even if we are not taught those things we can still use our mind in other ways because we were created with the capacity to use it to its full potential. And since its full potential is limitless and we can always learn more, create more, think more, it is truly free. Even people with mental disorders still think and to them their world is limitless even if to the healthy people it seems to lack something.

Just like all the other topics in philosophy, freedom is a subjective ideal. Some people may think that freedom means financial stability and a limitless supply of material objects. Yet for some people, freedom is the hope to finally be released from prison whether they got there by committing a crime or are victims of wars and oppression. And yet others believe that freedom lies beyond society, in remote jungles and mountains where they can live peacefully off the land. The truth is that all of these are degrees of freedom, but not true freedom at all. That lies beyond this life, beyond the physical and societal limits that we cannot escape.

My friends, and notorious party crew, playfully hit me upside my head last week and said:

“Really? You’re gonna go home and read books for a month?”

Six days. Two books. Not my greatest record, but I haven’t done this in a while. My “party crew” had to drag me out of a Barnes & Noble before I left because I spent 2 hours in there, picking out my favorite drug: books. And when I say dragged me out, I mean they called me to see where I was and I practically cried for them to save me from spending the money I didn’t have. They came, but I still walked away with four brand new novels.

One of these turned out to be an absolute goldmine. “Farm City” by Novella Carpenter. – The education of an urban farmer – It’s a national bestseller, so apparently I’m not the only one who thinks it’s grand. Anyway, this little 270 page book is Novella’s account of keeping a farm in the middle of the city of Oakland, California. Yep, in the ghetto; on a dead end street. It’s  a beautiful memoir about the struggles and rewards of growing your own food. The bad vegetable harvests, the turkeys and geese slain by stray dogs and opossums, the honey collecting, the amount of garbage it takes to feed two pigs. Yeah! Pigs… in the city!

It really makes you think how corrupt our society has become. How far we have fallen from our natural ways. Novella is right. How many of us would really eat meat, if we had to kill it ourselves? Now, I know I would. My father  killed enough animals in front of me and my sister when we were little for me to appreciate that a sacred life left the earth to feed me. I know I would have no qualms killing a cute little rabbit if I needed to eat. It’s the way the world works (my favorite phrase). I don’t have to understand how or why it works the way it does, I just accept that it does. Circle of life, blah, blah, blah. Yet people have forgotten this fact: ‘We’re not savages to raise “pets” in our backyard and then slit their throats and bleed them just so we can feed our kids.’ ‘There’s grocery stores for that… and paying jobs at the slaughter houses.’

Well, sorry to break it to ya, but savages we are. Animal instinct is hard to beat and we are animals at heart. Maybe individually we don’t hunt our own food anymore or raise beef on a farm, but we show our cruelty through the mass slaughter of chickens in warehouses (while the public slyly looks the other way). We watch neighborhood kids throw stones at homeless cats and dogs. We throw bombs on defenseless cities filled with civillians! Come’on!

To get back on topic, Novella also reminded me of the joy that growing your own food brings. It connects you with mother nature – God. It’s a peaceful and natural process, based on hard work and patience, that in the end sustains our life and makes us appreciate that small act of eating that our existence relies upon.  I think we sometimes forget, especially those of us that live in cities, that there is nothing more beautiful that the lush green fields and forests that used to cover the planet.

I’m a huge fan of traveling. I love other cultures and always want to explore the beautiful cities of the world. When I was younger and told my dad of my plans to live in a different city every 6 months, he looked at me and said:

“All cities are alike. All of them look the same with their gray buildings and smog-filled streets. Their trash filled garbage cans and the dirty homeless people that sit on street corners. No matter what city you go to, in the end each one is going to look exactly the same as the last one.” He would know, he’s traveled to plenty of them. But it’s the next part that stuck with me even though I still don’t fully agree with his ‘all cities are the same’ theory….

“Now go out into nature… walk into a forest or stand on a river bank or climb a mountain. You will never find a place that looks like another. No waterfall will cascade down exactly like its neighbor. No field will have the same assortment of flowers. No cave with hide the same kinds of animals.”

It’s the beauty of those places that keeps us mesmerized by the world we live in. As I grow older and see more places, yes, I’m absolutely astonished by the architecture, the amount of manpower and ingenuity and passion that went into some of our most gorgeous cities. I know – I walk the Red Square every chance I get and on my tour of London, I saw the massive and gorgeous castles of English royalty. Yet still, the sight that took my breath away was the rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands. The small wooden cabin in Northern Russia that stands between a pine forest and a small stream. When the air is crisp and you can’t hear the sirens blare by, that’s when you understand the world and how it works.

When your fingers dig into the soil and you see the first stem of your tomato plant sprout from the ground. When a tiny little chicken grows into a hen and you grab that first egg from its coop. That’s the real world. I think Novella really captured it and I’m so glad that I happened to pick up her book and say “Hey, this looks cool. I want to read this.”

And it’s relative because… well, we humans created it. We took a perfectly well structured universe that has continued on for billions of years using its own special order for certain events and decided that we’d rather deal with the tedious minute to minute things instead of the big picture of life. Then we became obsessed with our version of time.

We deem people inadequate if they show up to a job interview at 2:01 instead of 1:55. Judge those who wake up at noon and go to bed at 3:00am. Impose weekly and monthly deadlines on artists and writers whose muses sit in shock while their pupils throw away their dreams for short-lived pop-culture sensations. Students rush to finish their Bachelor’s degrees in 3, sometimes even 2 years, cramming for exams and choosing a 4.0 GPA over sleep.

What is 2 years in the sense of the world? Our small planet revolves twice around a lone star in one of the infinite amount of galaxies across the universe. Yet we focus all our attention on the 24 hours we’ve allocated to each day. When did 21 become synonymous with “old” and “midlife crisis” became mandatory to get through your 40’s? When did our desire to meet deadlines trump our desire to relax and enjoy life?

With the knowledge and technology we have today living to 100 isn’t just a possibility, it’s pretty much a guarantee. Of course there are things we choose to do to shorten our life – smoke, drink, tan – but for every one of them we have cures – diets, rehab programs, doctors… Still, I find many people dreaming about how they’ll die in their 50’s after the kids are off to college and they’ve collected their early retirement money. Where are we all rushing too?

This is the way I’ve always seen it, yet still sometimes forget as the whirlwind of our society engulfs me: We are given this one life to live in our physical body. (Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, no life is the same either way) We are all born to look different, given different parents, homes, cultures… different minds. No human being is the same as another. No one thinks the same or acts the same. We’re all on this path to grow our souls and understand a little bit more about God and the wonderful world he has created. It’s long and somewhat difficult, but we have enough time to make our mistakes, to learn from them, and to move beyond the mundane material things; beyond the time restraints that we have created for ourselves.

So this is where Day 4 of my self-induced rehab has brought me. At 21, being able to out-drink most girls and even some guy-friends twice my size every night of the week doesn’t make me an alcoholic. Trying most mainstream drugs at least twice, or eight times – weed, coke, boomers, X, acid, even K – doesn’t make me a drug addict. Surviving a whole semester of school on adderral with a B average and no sleep hasn’t made me crazy. (At least not more crazy than I already was.)

Yet since I’ve had my mini-nervous breakdown, dropped out of classes for the rest of summer (with every intention to come back for the fall semester), and decided to sober up cold-turkey, the world has once again become an open book. It’s slowed down drastically. My dreams are more vivid than they’ve ever been and you know dreams tell a lot about life. They show you what you truly want, help you make important decisions, alleviate your fears and sometimes create new ones. And the philosophical, spiritual, big picture outlook on life has come back while disgusting cigarette smoking habits fell away. The future looks bright with the light of wisdom and joy, and really that’s what all of us are looking for when we get lost in the labyrinth of illusions which our cultural poisons leads us into.

There’s this wonderful person that I recently got to know on a very intimate and spiritual level. He told me that I was the most intriguing person he’s ever met. He thinks I’m insightful and open minded and weird. He told me I speak of things that others are afraid to even think about. That I see the world the way he does and that I realize how much more there is to life while the masses run from job to job, bar to bar, watching God’s wonders pass them by.

I’m always told I that I can’t take a compliment, and true to my nature I’m incapable of accepting this one. I know what I am and I know what I’m not and I know that there are dozens of people like me out there: those who think about the same things I do. Some know more, some know less. The longer I am on this path, the more of them I meet, my friend not being my first or last.

So here comes the part I’ve been dreading all day. They say that to write a blog, you should choose what you’re most passionate about; the topic you understand the best. Some say that the best way to start a blog is to pick a project and record its progress daily while strangers read about your struggles and successes. I can’t really pin point what my material passion is and definitely can’t think of anything I’m exceptionally good at. I love reading, writing, discovering. I love philosophy and spirituality. Sometimes I love watching the news and sometimes I hate it. I don’t know much about car engines or tech gadgets or celebrity gossip or cooking recipes. I major in business, but that doesn’t make me an expert.

I love talking about what I’ve learned though, and love giving people advice. I love showing my friends or even just random strangers life from a different, sometimes bizarre, perspective. I love hearing other people’s views. See where they’ve been in life and where they are now. I like to help people. Sometimes I lead people to fix their life. Sometimes I fail and they walk away barely remembering my name. This new friend of mine has finally pushed me to stop and think – why can’t my obscure opinions and outlooks be used by others. Maybe I can inspire someone I’ve never met. Maybe someone out here in the world wide web will find my crazy disorganized train of thought useful. He has.

– Ms. CleverClocks

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Hi, I’m Anastasiya

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I'm so glad that you've stumbled upon (pun intended) my little blog-slice of heaven. I hope you stay a while and discover the ideas and beliefs I hold close to my heart. (we might have the same ones!)

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