Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Tag: Spirituality

Accidental Saint

Accidental Saint.

I lost myself.
I lost my mind.

I lost my past.
I lost my future.

I lost my pain.
I lost my hate.

I got drunk on being.

I discovered god,
I gained eternity,
I found bliss.

I have peace.
I have joy.
I have love.

I whisper prayers, and silent blessings.

May all beings know peace.
May all beings have joy
May all beings find love.

May all beings awaken.

Practice Notes on Authenticity: Little White Lies

The next time a little white lie comes to your lips, pause and look at it. Question it. Who are you protecting; your ego, or that of another? Is your integrity worth protecting the lies we tell about ourselves? Is a relationship with yourself or another built on illusions worth protecting? Perhaps you will conclude it is better in this situation to cultivate humility instead of vanity, and honesty instead of deceit.

Foregoing one little white lie at a time, you will find humility and honesty are preferable to vanity and deceit. When you stop protecting illusions, you make room for authenticity, and authenticity is the foundation of open hearted communication and understanding.  Just as vanity and deceit are the foundation of all conflict.

Don’t Be Clever

“So, whenever there is a negativity in you, if you can be aware at that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose, you are becoming aware of the ego directly. The moment this happens, your identity has shifted from ego to awareness. This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing. Having realized: “At this moment I am creating suffering for myself”, it will be enough to raise one above the limitations of conditioned egoic states and reactions. It will open up infinite possibilities which come to you when there is awareness—-other vastly more intelligent ways of dealing with any situation. You will be free to let go of your unhappiness the moment you recognize it as unintelligent. Negativity is not intelligent. It is always of the ego. The ego may be clever, but it is not intelligent. Cleverness pursues its own little aims. Intelligence sees the larger whole in which all things are connected. Cleverness is motivated by self-interest, and it is extremely short-sighted. Whatever is attained through cleverness is short-lived and always turns out to be eventually self-defeating. Cleverness divides; intelligence includes.” – Eckhart Tolle, “A New Earth”

Simply Be

You are not the role of your circumstances or birth. You are the experiencer. You are the watcher of your thoughts, that exists outside of time and space. Wear your masks lightly. Play your roles with a secret smile. When possible, forget the story you tell about yourself, and simply be.

Heart Beats

Ceasing hearts.
Ceaseless minds.

Heart beats,
Beating in a maelstrom.

Sustaining,
Unbidden,
Restless minds.

Heart beats,
Wandering.

Seeking,
Hearts,
Minds.

Heart beats,
Pumping.

Pushing,
Onward,
Ceaseless minds.

Worlds Within Me

I have things to say,
Which words cannot convey.

Worlds within me,
Dancing,
Needing life,
I cannot breathe.

Life as it would be,
Could be,
Should be.

If I can but speak the words,
That embody the ideals,
Then I’ll save the world.

I need a mystic chant,
An alchemy of nouns,
Pronouns,
And agitating adjectives.

They found me,
I found them.

We need a rhythm,
A rhyme,
Something that sways.

A hypnotic chant,
A rousing speech,
A argument that cannot be denied.

I have things to say,
Which words cannot convey.

Worlds within me,
Dancing,
Needing life,
I cannot breathe.

Envy the Truly Young

Envy the Truly Young

Envy their follies,
Vanities,
And innocent naiveté.

Envy the freshness of their experience,
Sorrow,
And uncontrived pain.

Envy the Truly Young

For they know not what they do,
Say,
Or feel.

Pity the Old Soul

Pity their games,
Vanities,
And contrived ignorance.

Pity the irony of their experience,
Sorrow,
And self-pitying pain.

Pity the Old Soul

For they know not what they do,
Say,
Or feel.

I Pray the World Out Lives Me

I pray the world out lives me, and strive to make it a place worth living if it does. I was born before the wall fell, when Great Powers threatened mutual destruction. I survived the apocalypse, though I only learned about it in school.  I grew up with terrorists, first domestic then foreign. All trying to kill me, all punishing my government and hating my liberty. I survived the terrorists, though I had to learn about them on the news. Then as a young man, I was assaulted by poison in food and water, overpopulation, a kleptocratic oligarchy, global warming, and ancient aliens if what some say is true. I survived these things, though I had to learn about them in somber documentaries and videos on youtube.

My life is lived on the cusp of destruction, but I die from squinting at screens, poking at keys, shuffling papers, and listening half heartedly to the chattering of strangers. I die every moment of every day, as the present becomes the past or is lost to abstractions about a future I may never see.

I survived the apocalypse, only to die of decay.

A Fearful Journey

What follows is an account of my fearful journey, which in patchwork fashion can be found in the posts of this blog. For better or worse I am a political creature. I feel compelled to play a part, no matter how small, in the conversations and policies that shape our world. So I read avidly, share and post excessively on social media, and participate as much as I can in party politics and campaigns.

I have always been socially progressive, and registered as a Democrat when I turned 18 due to my disgust with the Bush administration and the wars – but I didn’t have any strong convictions about economic policy. While in college I found myself drawn to philosophical materialism, which lead me to a rather libertarian, survival of the fittest, economic philosophy. But I remained somewhat muddled through law school, still a Democrat because I believed in science, reason, and human rights – but increasingly seduced by the libertarian Republican movement lead by Ron and Rand Paul.

Fast forward to graduation, and my first job out of law school was representing the business of a former RNC chairmen. He made it clear when I accepted the job that I needed to be involved in Republican politics. I needed a job and was economically conservative, so I registered and became active in the party. Not long after that I had a rather abrupt spiritual awakening that is documented in this blog, which lead me to a panpsychic/pantheist view of the world, and ultimately to Buddhism. Since that time my economic libertarian leanings have been under constant assault. First transforming into a more moderate position, and ultimately to my current full flown progressive/democratic socialist philosophy. Economic libertarianism is incompatible with a moral philosophy that cultivates empathy and postulates that harm to others is harm to self.

Throughout these spiritual, moral, and philosophical transformations I remained active in the Republican party, in part because of professional/career pressures, but also because I naively or arrogantly thought I might serve as a voice of reason. Then this election cycle started and the procession of clowns running for President took stage and a tea party darling won the Republican bid for Governor. At that point I knew I was not a voice of reason, I was a whisper in a caucus of fools, and had become complicit in their hateful, ignorant, and misguided ideology.

So I went back to the Democratic party, knowing the futility of third party movements, now a fully formed progressive in every sense. As I become active in the party I see some of the things I disliked about the Republicans. I see some conservatives, some cynics and careerists, but I also see the burning light of people truly dedicated to progressive values and a better world. For me that is enough reason to stand and fight with them.

So I continue my journey, perhaps a bit less fearful than before, still striving to live a life of fearless reason.

A False Dichotomy

Our paradigm determines what is possible. I spent most of my life as a hardboiled materialist. I was enough of a philosopher to temper that view with the acknowledgement that I could not know for sure, but I was Agnostic only in name. I felt certain the world of my five senses was all that there was, and that if there was more, I had no way of knowing.

I would describe this period in my life as the Age of the Machine. My worldview was mechanistic, so I viewed life as just another sort of machine – sometimes beautiful, sometimes tragic, but always blindly acting on programming.

Atheism did not make me immoral. Even with the view that humans are no more than biological machines I adhered to high levels of ethical and moral behavior. Even machines must observe rules for optimal functionality.

It was only after a rather spontaneous spiritual awakening that I came to realize my paradigm of materialism had made my world small and grey. The religion of materialism is internally logical and self-reinforcing. When we view ourselves as machines, we become machines. If the world of the five senses is all you acknowledge as real, then that is all you will perceive. The world of the five senses comes at us in a barrage that will not be ignored. You must either face the onslaught, or become its victim. The forces of physical violence and necessity do not require your belief.

Conversely, matters of the spirit and mind are far more subtle. One can neglect and ignore both for a lifetime, and never comprehend the consequences. However, to flourish and grow the mind and soul require our belief and devoted attention. Even as I have moved into the Age of Spirit, the senses remain a siren in the night, driving me to distraction on their rocky shores.

In all, I prefer life as a man rather than a machine. I prefer a world of infinite possibility to one of finite cause and effect. I prefer the subtle energies of spirit to the course lure of the world that cannot be ignored.

Even as I write this, I am struck by the false duality of my statement. I fully reject Cartesian dualism, and embrace a pantheistic view of the universe. Yet spirit and everyday life often seem irreconcilable.

I believe this conflict to be a result of the Cartesian dualism that has so permeated modern society, rather than any innate tension. Dualism posits that the world of the flesh and the world of the spirit and mind are fundamentally separate. You must choose to live the life of flesh, or chose the spirit and retreat to a monastery away from its temptations and distractions; a false dichotomy that splits men in two.