Half of A Second Late

It takes half of a second for our visual cortex to process information. Essentially, these words were written a half second before I saw them appear on the page. Right? So, basically we’re always living in the past. Or so it may not seem. The processing is so fluid that was it not for modern neuroscience, we would never know. What does this mean for our lives? Does it have an impact on our free will? Or does it prove that we are hardwired for a destiny that we cannot escape?

I like to think that we are part of a biotechnological simulation which is run continuously and eventually repeatedly. We are synchronized with a program in which our experience elevates us to higher and higher levels of consciousness. Our next experience is bound to be a more peaceful and enjoyable existence because of the lessons and experience we have gained in our previous life. Or maybe doomed to repeat or regress if we fail to learn. Sounds far fetched…but would be so cool. Right? Maybe it’s just me.

The simulation argument is nothing new. Math is found in nature and in the cosmos and even our DNA. The further we explore space, the more it expands. The closer we look at atoms, they eventually disappear. Our reality is not within our grasp of understanding. We are either biologically incapable of doing so, or we are not meant to. I am unsure of which. Perhaps it was designed for both to be true. It is a perfect construct in which everything transpires as it is supposed to. The universe doesn’t make mistakes.

Again?

Every time I click the “write” button on this site, I am transported to an altered state of consciousness. My fingers tap out sentence after sentence in an almost trance-like state. I’m not sure how or why, but I almost instantaneously achieve a “flow” state of mind. Why? Why am I like this? Why not instruments or painting or singing? Maybe I just haven’t spent enough time on anything else. However, this is what I enjoy doing and I’m going to continue to do it to the best of my ability.

So, here I am again-tapping out sentences and wondering where the stream of consciousness is coming from. Should I be spending eight hours a day writing? I’m not sure. I write when I feel the spark of creativity surge within me. Recently, I have struggled with conceptualizing long pieces. There is a lack of deep interest. I’m not going to force the issue. I’m just going to continue to write as it comes to me. Or maybe not.

I’m thinking about beginning a new book on October 1st, and finishing it by the new year. What it will be about, I am unsure. Something will come to me, and I’m going to run with it. I have already decided. Will it be forcing the issue? Perhaps. Will the book be terrible or a complete bore? Maybe. But, I will be getting back into the groove of writing. That’s the key-writing every day. I have been on a good streak recently in terms of blogging, but I have yet to begin a long work since the completion of my first novella. I am going to try again on October 1st. The flow state will give me everything I need. I hope…

Self-Awareness: Gift or Curse?

I continually feel as if I am floating above myself-as if I am watching myself from outside of my body. Is this normal? Is it healthy? There are times that I feel as if this level of self-awareness is a curse. How sweet it would be to be on autopilot; completely within the realm of the unconscious. Do most people experience the world on autopilot? Or are all of us predisposed to an experience that requires us to be permanently conscious actors? Are we in control? Or are we at the mercy of our subconscious?

I know that the unconscious mind is a determining factor in our daily lives. I know our conscious mind plays a role in that experience as well. But, to what degree? Are we conscious actors determining our fates with every “choice” that we make? Or are we destined for the hard-wiring of our brains? Is it free will? Or is it destiny?

I come back to that question time and time again. No matter how much philosophizing I take part in, that remains the fundamental question. Am I choosing to press these keys as I write? Or is my subconscious merely playing itself out in a predetermined algorithmic fashion? I like to think that I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul…but so much of my life has come to pass without my choosing.

Maybe it is just part of the human condition. Maybe we are meant to have an idea of both free will and destiny because we are not meant to know. Maybe we are supposed to continually question the meaning of our existence, and the conundrum keeps us in the present. Isn’t that where we are supposed to be? Aren’t we supposed to be in the here and now? We can’t relive the past, and we have not yet experienced the future…the present is all we truly have.

I walk, I talk, I breathe, I eat, I sleep, I experience the world around me through a narrow bandwidth of sensations. Am I experiencing reality? Or am I reality experiencing itself? Who am I? Where am I? What am I? Why am I here? Will we ever know the answers to these questions? Am I merely an intelligent ape on a watery rock cursed to a short, brutish, and finite life? Or am I an infinite spirit having a human experience to further my consciousness, in order to resonate at a higher vibration, so that I may experience a more supreme level of reality? I like to tell myself the latter, but at this rate, either one could be true. Am I choosing my reality, or is my reality choosing me? No answers. Only questions.

Why Do I Write?

I write for many reasons. The main reason is to put my thoughts down on paper. I know that may seem simplistic, but it’s true. I have so many things going on upstairs that it feels good to get them out. I guess I may be a little crazy in that respect…but aren’t all writers? Without a steady flow of ideas, it would be almost impossible to write effectively.

I write to express myself. I write about things that I would never or could never have conversations about with other people. It allows me the freedom to fully express ideas, stories, and information that I would otherwise never divulge. Writing is an invaluable outlet of creativity which I have yet to find a substitute for.

I write for the enjoyment of others. As of now, I write only for my friends, family, and a small following on this blog. I suppose I also write for all of the global explorers who come across my writing as an open forum. But, I’m not looking for fame or fortune, I just want people to enjoy it, and hopefully better themselves along the way.

I write because I enjoy it. It is pleasant to create, and more pleasant to share. I do keep some things to myself, but I am largely an open book for the globe. People either enjoy my writing, or they don’t. I am open to criticisms, and I have received my fair share. It is all part of the process of becoming a better writer, and I am enjoying every second of it.

I am thankful that I live in a country where I am free to express myself. I can’t imagine being persecuted for sharing my thoughts. We are lucky to have the freedom to create, share, and discuss freely all matters in this life. While this is still a reality, I plan on writing as much as possible. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy it.

Meditation

Meditation. Seems foreign, crunchy, or even like new age hippy bullshit to most Americans. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It was not until I started practicing it myself that I understood why. It is the most powerful tool I have ever utilized.

There are too many benefits of meditation to name in this blog post, but I will name a few. Clarity. Meditation helps to clear out the cobwebs in your mental space. It organizes the clutter. You open your eyes after twenty minutes of focusing on your breath, and the world looks as if it is in high definition.

Relaxation. The practice also helps you to relax. It makes you realize that the stress you are experiencing may not be necessary. Meditation is proven to lower your heart rate and even your blood pressure. You should come out of your practice with an experience of peace and calm.

Focus. Meditation helps you to focus on what actually matters. It strips away trivial matters and allows you to maintain clear vision on what is actually important. If I told you that you could achieve clarity, relaxation, and focus in just twenty minutes a day, would you believe me? I can promise you that beginning a meditation practice will do just that.

Find a comfortable position sitting or laying down. Close your eyes. Let your thoughts come and go, but always return to the inhale and exhale of your own breath. It is that simple. It seems easy, but just starting out, you may struggle to sit with your thoughts for even five minutes. Start small and work your way up to longer periods, but the key is to start. It will change your life.

Human…All Too Human

I spent my childhood in Catholic school. Actually, I spent kindergarten through twelfth grade in Catholic school. This upbringing distorted my view of reality. It presented me with the illusion that humans were somehow outside of mother nature-that we were demigods among beasts.

It took thirty years for the laws of nature to put me in my place. Our species does not fall outside of the rules and regulations that guide our animal cousins. I am not a God among beasts. I am not a demigod among other humans. I am human…all too human.

This fall from grace was fast and coupled with an extremely hard landing. I found myself with no foundation, no basis, and no belief system. I felt so lost. I felt ill. What saved me from this existential crisis? Accepting my place in the universe as a homo sapien among my fellow sapiens and animal brethren. It was and has been the most humbling experience of my life.

It may seem silly, and it may seem stupid. “How could you not realize this sooner?” I’m not sure. We find answers exactly when we are supposed to, and I guess I just had not been ready to find out this ultimate truth. I always thought I was above the rules, above the regulations, and better than others. My egocentric view has crumbled and I am forced to plow forward without my heavenly foundations.

It has not been all bad I suppose. I have a renewed sense of respect for God/the universe and all of creation. I appreciate every day as a gift instead of a given. We are so lucky to be alive. We are so lucky to have each other. The world and life would be a tremendous bore without other lifeforms. I have developed a deeper love for my family and friends, and I cherish the time I get to spend with them. This humbling experience has forced me to become earthly, and find solace in my place in the universe. I’m going to use this tremendous gift of life to better myself and those around me as best as I can. Isn’t that the name of the game? It certainly seems like the only answer to me. Stay human, my friends.

Oh The Humanity…

We’ve come to dominate this planet. Our species numbers almost eight billion in number. 8 BILLION. I can’t wrap my mind around it. Our takeover has seen us wipe out countless species of our animal cousins, while destroying much of our planetary ecosystem. How much more can we take? How much more can we demolish? How much time do we have left?

Our economies thrive, while our ecosystems languish. We spend far more money on defense spending than we do on conservation efforts. We have made a mess of our atmosphere, our oceans, and our forests. Plastic floods our waters while chainsaws mow down our rain forests. All in the name of “progress.”

The developed world lives in the most comfortable time period in human history. Technology has allowed us to attain an unbelievable level of connectivity, freedom, and comfort. We have running water, affordable heating and air conditioning, affordable transportation, and wireless internet available conveniently. But have we truly harnessed this technology for the greater good?

Some may say so. Others may not. We have bought comfort at the expense of mother nature. Commercial farming, commercial fishing, and robotics have turned a cooperation into a conglomeration. It is a closed system in which the “family farm” is dying off as fast as cities are spreading out. The suburban sprawl is becoming more and more like the extension of city life. Will our rural and suburban areas cease to exist? How much larger can our population possibly become?

I don’t have the answers to these questions. I just know that the system is broken and drastic changes need to be made. What can we do? We can start by using as little as possible and inspiring others to do the same. We can reuse and recycle as much as possible. We can grow fruits and vegetables at home if possible. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but if the majority of people are doing it, it can have a massive impact on the status of our planet.

30 Years Old

I’m thirty years old. Half way to thirty one actually. Where did the time go? Eighteen to twenty five is a complete blur. Not really sure where I went wrong. Did I go wrong? The universe doesn’t make mistakes, so I must have experienced exactly what I was supposed to.

In thirty years I have completed high school, college, and half of a master’s degree. I attended a service academy and in doing so, spent over three years in the military. I played lacrosse at the division 1 and division 3 levels. I have coached youth, high school, junior college and college lacrosse. Looking back, most of my life has been spent in or around the game of lacrosse. I honestly don’t think I would ever trade the experiences.

I do wish that I had broadened my horizons and spent more time on my academics. But, so it goes. When you’ve delved into an arena, it is hard to see over the walls. I wish I had attended a small, liberal arts college from the beginning. I wish I had developed my writing ability and become a writer or a journalist from the start. I wish.

The good news is that I hopefully have so much more time to develop my writing ability. I am currently in a period of stagnation in terms of creativity. No story lines are coming to mind. It is both frustrating and liberating. There is no pressure to produce pages. I have already completed a full manuscript. Vanity publishing only feels so satisfying. I am hoping to send it out to publishers over the course of the next few years.

Over the course of thirty years, I have most importantly become a husband and a father. In doing so, I have the responsibility of passing on my limited knowledge and experiences onto the next generation of my family. I am so blessed to have the opportunity. The pressure is immense, but it will all work out. Part of me wishes to be young again, but, I am exactly where I am supposed to be. The sky is the limit and I need to make the most of the next 30 years. Onward and upward.

End of The Tunnel

I’ve finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel. After four months in a deep depression, I am finally returning to normal. I had not been to the gym since May. I had not contacted my friends since June. I have not written a blog post since July. An entire summer flew by. I still cannot wrap my mind around it.

The good news is that my family and friends have stayed by my side and have been fully supportive of my journey. It feels as if a thick fog has lifted. Melancholy and suicidal thoughts have been replaced with normalcy and hope. I have walked down the hardest road I have ever had to traverse, and I have finally come to a clearing in the wood.

The question is where do I go from here? Currently I am a stay-at-home-dad. I am doing my best to support my wife as she builds an online business. This means doing laundry and dishes. This means watching our toddler for a few hours solo. This means providing her with the time and space that she needs to work. It has been an adjustment to say the least.

I keep reverting back to looking for jobs or re-enlisting. Those things just aren’t in the cards for me anymore. My place is at home and our future is her business. I have full faith in her capabilities and given enough time, I believe that she will become much more successful than I could be in any conventional job.

I have had to train my mind, rewire my thought process, and overhaul old patterns. It has been easier said than done. I find myself experiencing multiple ego deaths as I commit to a life as a helper and a homemaker. It is for the best, and I am getting more and more used to it as the days go by. I am excited for our future and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make things work.