Currently, there are no rungs and no ladders. People cannot climb or pull themselves up in any sort of significant way. My current employer has gotten on a kick that “perception is reality” and therefore whatever conclusion someone comes to, regardless of its accuracy, it must be handled as if it’s the truth. That means that if someone doesnt think you’re working, you arent, and regardless of the proof contrary, you will be “counseled” or “coached” (corporate terms for written punishment) as if it were.

So, if perception IS reality, then whose perception is real? Obviously this seems a green meme (as wilber would call it) fallacy because not all perceptions are equal. So what the company, which is not alone in its new initiatives, is saying is that “any accusation of negativity against you is an immediate sentencing of guilt with no recourse for you”. In other words, what they’re really saying is “everyone elses perceptions OF you is who we take you to be”. Now, where is the gain for a company to be a dick like that?

Well, I can only assume it’s really a further extension of “the customer is always right” with a new age spin on it. This means that the customer gets retribution or justice from the corporation and the individual bad apple is removed from the group, therefore strengthening the batch in the observers eyes.

Unfortunately for myself, this was what life was growing up in my household. My parents were infallible and anything they even suspected of happening must therefore be happening and you were punished for it. I could write many pages of examples of this but I’ll give a very small one for understanding:

Being a picked on nerd in school meant that bad shit happened to me and kids messed with me a lot in my earlier years. In one school in particular, we were required to put our backpacks under our desk while in class and werent allowed to go into them at all. I always sat in front of a kid who didnt like me, and most days they would slide my backpack from under my desk with their feet and open it up without the teacher noticing and either pull things out or put things into it. Many times my backpack and its contents were on the other side of the classroom by the class’ end and I’d have to scoop it all up quickly and run to my next class.

So, one day, I had done that and when I got home, my parents had received a low scoring report card so, in typical fashion I was to clean out my backpack and they were to search its contents entirely. They looked for homework incomplete, tests that were not high scoring, notes to or from people, and when they got desperate for something to blame my low scores on, they’d look for doodles in the margines of papers or simple disorganization of my work as evidence of my lack of focus or care or want to succeed.

So, in my hurry earlier that day, I’d scooped up or maybe had placed into my bag (not uncommon at all) a note from a girl. This note was not to me at all, was addressed to someone else, and talked about the “great night” they’d had with the addressee. At 10 years old, I never went anywhere without my parents but down the road on my bike if I was lucky. But they were certain at that moment that the name mentioned was simply a code name to throw them off and leave me blameless, and that I was in fact having sex and probably doing drugs or drinking, all of which was the proof they needed as to why my grades were poor. The next few weeks I was forced to read, see and recite facts about every STD, drug addiction, and vehicular accidents by DUI that my parents could find on the internet. One morning shortly later I woke my mother up on the weekend and the first thing she said when looking at me was “do you know what a cold sore is? Do you??? thats mouth herpes! You get it from sucking face with slutty girls.”

At the time, it was still another 3 years before I’d get my first kiss, and another 6 before I had any sexual interaction with a girl or consume alcohol and drugs. At the time, other than at a dance two years earlier, I’d not ever been within even physical closeness with a member of the opposite sex.

So, regarding my job this is a prevalent atmosphere, one of which I am quite familiar. At almost 24 years old and having not been in that kind of environment for more than six years, it’s quite startling to see it thriving and making a CEO quite rich. I had always thought my parents an anomoly, but maybe it’s actually something more generational as the “perception is reality” is coming from the administration that is exactly the same age as my parents.

I might not know a lot about business, but I do know a lot about power. Power comes from control, and with such an overarching ideology of never being wrong prevailing one’s every thought and action, it’s clear that my generations parents were power hungry bastards. Which allows me to assume that their parents, the pervious generation, were more than likely a simply dominating group. They probably used physical punishment more and didnt want to see or hear their children, and when asked for an explaination for any action, they would likely only ever respond with “because I told you so” or “because I’m your mother/father”.

Being able to look back and see and guess that, what does that say for my generation? More than likely we’re thinkers and recluses, we dont want to harm or dominate anyone, we simply want to do the best we can and move on. There are likely a large portion who will repeat the pattern of dominating the world that their parents did and unfortunately that means that mentality will still be around for a few more generations. However many will just completely withdraw from society seeing it as alien and oppressive, hoping to forge our own meek existence in solidarity. Sounds about right for the World of Warcraft, technological generation.

So what can we divine of our own children from that generation? Well the future is uncertain and I am an idealist, but I think it is the first generation not to be assholes, for the most part. Spoiled maybe, priviledged or self-entitled even, but I think that they may be one of the first generations to care. Their parents having not wanted to pass on the negative traits will try and instill love instead of fear. This is probably why there are so many bratty kids when one goes out and about, whose parents will say no a dozen times to a request and then finally give in. We’re a rather broken generation, but I feel that maybe in our defeat, our kids will have a better chance at making a positive change in the world, even if only in their treatment of others.

This goes back to my previous blog on parenting and is a great place for me to say why I wont be a parent. I’ve never seen or been exposed to enough of what I’d call good parenting, and I know how broken and deficient I am from my upbringing and I refuse to pass on that broken to the next generation. Granted there are many others who would be far worse parents I’m sure, but there are many more (I hope) who would be far better.


Philosophers and Revolitionaries

I think that whether it’s my best friend, or a charlatain on the internet, when it comes to listening to talk within academia, I find my mind wandering as I wade through the nearly self aware pretentiousness of it all. Can they hear themselves or are they just high on their own juices they hopped themselves on whilst exploring the imagination?

I think that though that sounds abit harsh, it really comes for a simplistic bias that I have: they’re not here to help. These people are smart and charismatic and they can be very informative at times, but they are no further able to help society’s worries than a talk show host is. They are not artists, they are not philosophers as, for the most part, their theories are self contained and self referential and cannot easily be built upon by other thinkers.

The problem that I have with the academics like Ken Wilber, and countless others, and probably every philosopher (self proclaimed or externally labeled as such) is that their message is one of freedom, independence, and even the best of all: salvation ahem I mean enlightenment…

Enlightenment is the new salvation to the religious, enlightenment has become the catch all for the woes of the personal and the interpersonal. But at the end of the day, none of them have any practical guides on how to do any of it, much like the rant I posted days ago about parenting. These people are taking a personal journey into unexplored territory, and describing it, and expecting others to be able to take that journey too and explore those territories.

But regardless of how much they try, their success is limited and eventually they fizzle out, are forgotten, or are never paid attention to at all to begin with. And why is that? In this amazing age of digital technology and being smarter than we’ve ever been, why does it seem that less and less people are interested in what these people have to say?

I think it’s fairly clear: they’re not here to help. They do not help you with your job, or your bills, your marriage, your goals in life, parenting, taxes, political understandings, or practical knowledge seeking. In this day and age, everything we’re connected to and into is directly related by how it makes us feel or helps us (entertainment aside of course). Our twitter feeds and facebook follows, our favorite websites, blogrolls, rss feeds, all of these things are all us reaching out into the here and now for information and help regarding our life as it is right now.

In a way, I think that technology has allowed us to do during the day what scientists say we do at night: come up with and prepare scenarios that we may face or encounter in waking life. Except we’re trying to actively seek this kind of information and feedback as immediately as we see the need for it. It’s the perfect place for the worry warts and hypochondriacs of the world, but it’s ultimately giving us more tools to be able to better handle our day to day lives.

How does this relate to philosophers? Well I think that they dont entertain, they dont really help us practically, and they dont seem to really be able to prove any of what they’re talking about so the return on any investment into any modern philospher is slim to none and at best likely to be boiled down to a single quote on someone’s cubicle wall, or in the signature area of their personal email.

The fundamental important piece to realize is that everyone everywhere is very lost right now and very worried, if not outright screwed and aware of it. This fundamental understanding of the layman’s mentality lends itself to the importance of why it is that those not here to help are passed over quickly.

Politics, pensions, shrinking middle class, layoffs, fear of death, this is the average person’s day to day life these days. So strange to hear and see these things still being so prevalent in the common consciousness in such an advanced day and age. But really, we’re no more advanced now than we were a hundred or more years ago as far as the common concern is concerned. No philosopher has ever reformed a nation, given hope to a people, granted freedom to those enslaved. And yet every philosopher talks as if their theories on how and why things are the way they are seems to take a pride that is only really ever seen in the biblical texts regarding moses.

As socialism become increasingly more and more likely to be the best way for the masses and the people to continue on and prosper, everyone is slowly starting to think about others and not themselves in small ways. However, as much academic yammering as can be heard through daily podcasts, recorded phone conversations, or lectures from philosophers comes out every day, in spite of the words the message is clear “I’ve figured it out, just follow me and read my books. The answers are there” This is clearly self serving as a philosopher, and yes, every philosopher must eat, but we give out degrees in, basically, critical imagination and call them degrees in philosophy. There is nothing wrong with such a degree, but it is guaranteed that while the thought and things you come up with are for the masses you pretend to understand, at the end of the day, most of your time is spent in your own head, talking to yourself.

The introvert and thinker has no place in a society that moves quickly and as the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, if your ideas require a catalogue of books, an entrance fee, a paywall to view, you will be quickly and swiftly swept under the rug by those who are simply waiting for their own personal ghost of che guevara to ride into town, being just idealistic enough and mostly courageous enough, and practically world smart enough to actually try and make a change for everyone. Talk is cheap, and in a world of billions of text and voices flying all over every second, talking is given little credence unless you’ve got the balls and the strategy to actually do something worthwhile, or do you simply hope for a series of good web chats with others, and a good book tour? If so, stay in your ivory tower when you finally notice that the world is on fire around you. We will do the hard work and maybe you’ll get lucky and the people will rally around to save your tower so you may live to think another day. Maybe not.

Philosophers today are speaking as if to an intelligencia that doesnt exist. They’re talking to the plebians and the poor, the disheartened, and the pissed off. The philosopher that does it right will do it quickly, for free, and be on the lips of everyone before they even realize what they’re saying. That philosopher will be a real activist, because now we’re all moving towards being ubermen (and women) the real renaissance people. Learning and doing just a bit of everything. The time for philosophers is over, those who want to survive will become revolutionaries or be forgotten about. This is not a relaxed time, this is the moment just before the fall of the roman empire. Stop talking, we dont care. Do something, because thats what we’re all waiting for, the moment to act. And until then, put your brain on moment to moment and day to day issues that people will need and be able to use while they wait for the rallying cry.

Writing about writing

I am going to put my fingers to keyboard now and I dont know what is to come out. I have a lifetime of interesting events with twists and turns and even though I know it all and have written much, I am nearly paralized when it comes to getting it out. I think that its so much information that I feel that if it all isnt in chronological order and it has too much artistic license to it that it wont come out correctly. That when I go to edit it and have to choose parts to cut, ill feel like I am deleting those moments that I remember from having ever existed.

So I am wondering if, like everything else in my life, im overthinking it all. But then again ive been plagued by many bad decisions that werent thought out at all, only further reinforcing my want to think further and longer and harder about everything else to come as well.

Already this damned autocomplete keeps giving me the option to add in “everything” to any word I type starting with an “e”, which means ive already used that damnned word too many times in just this short document. Note to self: turn off fucking autocomplete when writing. It’s such a nag, wanting me to change and have to think when im trying to get into the stream of writing. What a bitch it can be.

I have to come to terms that what happens on paper, digital or otherwise, and what happens in the minds and hearts of the reader is neither indicative of how what happened nor an invalidation of what ive gone through. I suppose just like any creative person, criticism hits home hard when youve poured in your lifes blood. I think what makes it worse is that this isnt simply some story ive created with characters that are mine, but they’re real people, and the events are all real. This shit really did happen and it really happened to me.

Now here I am, having broken what I can only describe as the cursing bubble. It’s the point in any written work where the artist sets the tone of how much they’re going to have cursing in the piece. Somehow as soon as I start I hear a critic somewhere, usually with the disembodied voice of a disapproving relative telling me that cursing makes one seem unintelligent. I see a column somewhere saying that the book would have been better if written by someone older or more mature who wouldnt curse too much. The word “gratuitous” comes to mind and I suddenly try and avoid cursing for as long as I can.

However ive never written childrens books or even young adult books, but for some reason I worry about the prudish adults, who, while not really my targeted demographic, will certainly not be won over to continue on reading what I have to say. And then thinking that makes me wonder as to why the hell I think my story is good enough or worthy of being read by a wide range of people. More than likely it wont be published, more than likely even if it is, it wont be read by many people at all, and if it does get big, I shouldnt give a shit about those who didnt read it, because fuck them that’s why. Their loss, right? Right?

I think that I want to be like achilles where everyone remebers me above all else. I think that the story that im writing is my own Illiad. Its not really epic at all and certainly isnt an adventure in any way, but it’s quite a journey I suppose. But it’s really just one man’s journey which The Illiad wasnt really just about achilles. Ok, so, what im writing isnt anything like The Illiad but it’s going to be pretty tragic at times! More like a train wreck of one thing after the other that you cant help but watch in awe of the carnage. I think ive put way too much emphasis on the “tragedy” part of “greek tragedy” when I think of these two stories being analagous.

To be honest it’s more like Curb Your Enthusiasm than it is like anything else. A much more awkward and sort of less funny Curb. Alright so it’s not really like Curb at all either but it will be funny at time. A nervous kind of funny like when a couple is having you over for dinner and they start fightingthrough gritted teeth about something right at the table while trying to keep up appearances.

So here’s what ive written after a half an hour, just over a page’s worth. If I want my novel to be written that calculated to roughly 75 hours of writing. Holy shit that’s just about 2 weeks of a full time job. Ugh, this thing will never get written. I’m actually planning on starting with what of it I’ve written but then I realize that I am horrible at editing and all of them being at different times, voices and perspectives, it’d be an editing nightmare and I really may as well just start all over. Fuck. I just want to see the page counter read a number 150 or above and me type the words “the end”. But actually thats not true at all, I just want to get this whole fucking thing out of my brain. I can stop having it looming, hovering, taunting.

So what have I written here? Looks like a stream of conscious writing on how much I am not writing. Wow, that wasnt productive at all.

Parenting and Decentralisation of Schooling

A generation of parents who have no idea how to parent. That’s the current landscape. Unfortunately for the young of the society, as struggles got harder for women, all they could imagine themselves accomplishing well is as is a parent. Men unwilling to have children are demonized as not wanting to pass on their lineage or legacy, but our fathers mostly abandoned us. Whether it was actually or emotionally, we’re all Lost Boys in a world that didn’t want to give us any tools to handle it, with parents who wanted to keep us as far from capable of doing so, so much so that they’d gladly omit, hide, and outright lie to those us our whole lives.

Then the inevitable happens: failure. We were never put in a position to succeed nor actually able to, but we somehow managed to scrape by, by the skin of our teeth. Our parents see our early teenage fortes into the adult world as blunders and we see them as adventures. But at some point we really fail badly and they see that as a reflection of their parenting. Unwilling or unable to accept that they screwed up in preparing their kid for the world, usually, they will simply look down on you as throwing away the gift they gave you, which to them is something other than just life. You were their legacy, as their parents taught them they were, and those grandparents who were terrible people that our parents vowed never to be, they failed to pass on any success as they’d never seen it to emulate.

So we just don’t want to procreate. We’re just another life and one whose worth and merit is small compared to the characters we read and the news reports we hear. Where many saw their only good in life would be making another human whose potential might be better than anything they ever did, we see the failure rates and the stress of such a notion and just opt out. We have nothing worth passing on and are just selfish enough to want everything that we have or will have to ourselves (and the women we will certainly be divorced from in the future)

While much of this may seem like pessimism, its actually pure realism. We want what we want and we know we aren’t prepared to do what it takes to be parents, and maybe, just maybe, there’s something genetically or psychologically wrong with our lineage that is probably best left ending its reign in the genepool with us.
But moreso than that, we can only be good at what we see or hear of. Our parents were surely nothing to copy or embody as far as parenting goes and more than likely the only others we who parent are the unlucky bastards who knock a girl up on accident before they’re legally an adult. Spending five minutes with a teenage parent shows just how tragic that life will be for the child. This isn’t to dismiss all teenage parents any more than saying that the majority of republicans are seriously delusional and in need of fact checking. It’s very simple: if you’ve never touched a stove or cooked in anything but a microwave, and suddenly are tasked with preparing a multiple course feast for dozens of award winning chefs, how well do you suspect you’re to do?

One might argue that parenting can only be learned by being a parent, however, using the cooking analogy, yes, the final products you’ll never know without the actual act of cooking, however, knowing recipes, what foods others have prepared, how and when to use which pans with different foods, and how to work a knife are all nearly crucial even before any food gets on the burner.

Just the same, what positive and negative attributes you have in yourself, how your patience or temper works, what your habits and routines are, and making those the best you can are all crucial even before one decides to get reproduce.

However, most people see the ease of the act of procreation as indicative of the ease of nurturing human life and consciousness. Everyone can fuck therefore everyone should be capable of raising children. If you take that mentality and apply it in any other aspect of life, or learning, you’ll immediately see how unreasonable the thought it. But too many people figure they can just wing it and be good. And even go as far as to tell those without children that there’s no reason or need to prepare as the only way to learn it is by fucking it up with your own kid.

But how rudimentary is that? We’ve arguably been raising children for as long as we’ve been a specie, and yet, we’ve not really gotten any better than just winging it. Though there are books upon books on parenting, the only ones worth their weight are usually focused specifically on the more understandable psychological and physical aspects. All of the rest of the books are people writing about how well they winged parenting and at best are people with degrees that think not only were they clearly lucky enough to have raised their kids properly, but they’re so well versed in it that they have surefire methods to help you raise your children. But really, at best, how many children do those people raise in their lifetime? 1? 2? Maybe 3 at best. More children than that are born every second, but clearly your sample size of 3 out of millions is indicative of success.

So what is it exactly that bothers me about all of this? I guess it’s the charlatain nature of it, coming from every parent and expert on the subject (and now by this nonparent). Everyone who says they know don’t know anything besides whats worked for them. So I have sort of talked out of both sides of my mouth here saying that theres too many people winging it and too many saying they’ve got the answers. However I posit that they’re actually both in the same category: just guessing and hoping it works. Obviously the latter believe they’re so successful as to be able to pass that wisdom on to others but one method of throwing spaghetti at the wall is ultimately as successful as the other.

So, what I am trying to get at is simply that we need to come up with something far more universal than that, something we all agree upon as very necessary and important building blocks of human consciousness. We’re obviously not too averse to the idea of this as we come up with 12 years of classes we feel all children should know, though, we do seem rather averse to actually updating those things or teaching them anything practically useful in day to day life.

Simply put, I could list a million things that all people should know, but most of them will be misperceived as teaching or indoctrinating morality, which every parent will rally against. But what truly everyone should be able to agree upon is that everyone should know how to learn. You could never learn everything that there is to know, every equation, important historical date, or scientific theorem, but you can certainly find where it is to be located if you find a need for it.

Before the last decade such a thing was hardly very easy or possible and even still everyone doesn’t have a computer or internet, but, more people than ever do and more information than ever is instantly accessible. Schools should decentralize what is taught into what can be found. Only through personal discovery can interest can real learning occur. Imagine the majority of schooling consisting of teachers asking students random questions such as the mass of Jupiter, the grandmother of napoleon, the fiftieth digit in pi. This would be how learning would occur. One who never heard of Jupiter, napoleon, or pi, would have to read all about those things in search for their answer. The test would always be essays on what you learned in class. Homework would not be compulsory but would instead be automatic, learning would not end in the classroom because you’re not teaching children things you’re teaching children how to learn.

The #1 Reason Getting A Personal Blog Noticed Is So Hard…

One word: trolls

I speak from only a little experience here. I have been blogging for years. First on Fictionpress, then on Myspace, later on Blogger, and recently on WordPress.

The fact is that when you submit a blog to any open source site (like Reddit, for example) you start out with +1. This means that if the first person who comes along to read your submission, doesn’t like it, and they down-vote it, you may as well resubmit some time later and hope that a few people will actually read the blog and either upvote, or leave it alone.

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but my understanding of the up-vote/down-vote system is that if you like something, you up-vote, and if you do not, you leave it alone. As far as I have understood, the down-vote is specifically there for unrelated content (links in the wrong subreddit) or inappropriate content (rickrolls, or something that is clearly an advertisement). Maybe I’m wrong about that.

Anyone who has ever submitted content to a open-source type site, knows that its entirely hit-or-miss. You may see a spike in your views, which you are greatful for, but, mostly, you just hope that you get upvoted more than you get downvoted. Unfortunately, unless you’ve established yourself as an official blogger, and have a large following, you aren’t likely to get far.

So this blog is to all the other bloggers out there. Keep trying, the more we submit, the more we are likely to get people to enjoy our work.

And the following is to the trolls: Please stop downvoting things you just don’t like. Case and point: I submitted a link to the Philosophy Sub-Reddit and it had 11 Up-votes very quickly. I was elated. Suddenly, the Troll-Patrol must have finally made their way to the Philosophy Reddit, because one terrific individual posted “wow, this is shit.” and clearly downvoted me. At first i read that as “wow, this is the shit.” only to continue reading his incomprehensible rant and realize that wasn’t the case. I replied to his comment as nicely as I could, asking him to explain his reasoning further, but it was too late, the Troll Patrol had already struck and I was downvoted to the bottom of the page. And one terrific individual even commented simply “Lack of analytic rigor: downvote.”

The life-expectancy of a submitted link to a personal blog is probably anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour. Thankfully my submission lasted almost 2 before it was overrun.

In conclusion of this blog (I fully expect this to be instantly downvoted and nobody will see it) I would like to place myself in the shoes of a troll for a moment….


… thanks for your time.

A Soul’s Twin

The following is a slightly fictionalized retelling of a specific point in my life. Contains some bad language, and a little teen-angsty, but that’s how I wanted to write it, to capture the time. Note: Its pretty long, so, I dont expect everyone to read the entire thing.

Chapter 1: Introductions

Unfortunately, I was never lucky enough to have learned anything easily. I learned from the world around me; my friends, my family, books, video games, TV and the internet raised me. I watched and learned from my friends and family and began to develop my own personal moral compass. It all went horribly wrong one day, however.

“Hey man, you want to come over tonight?” My friend Michael asked over the phone.
“Yeah, it’s cool, I don’t work tomorrow.” I responded

A couple hours later he came by my house to pick me up. He was quite excited because his girlfriend had spoken to him all day long, and they had caught up on things. She lived one town away, and so they rarely got to go anywhere together, but their relationship was more than a year old and going well.

My friend Michael and I were work buddies, and he had just moved into town a few months earlier. He used to live in the same town as his girlfriend, but now that he was farther away, most of the time he had an air of depression about him.

We drove down the road and he talked more and more about his girlfriend. I had been in quite a few relationships, but this guy seemed really stuck on this girl. “Must be quite a gal in the sack” I thought to myself. Almost as if he read my mind, he started to talk about his sex life with her. Nothing unusual for two guys to do, and I knew, just like every other guy’s story about their sex life, it was way exaggerated.

We got closer to his house and I pulled out my newly purchased copy of Constantine on DVD. I grabbed my clothes filled bag out of his backseat and exited the car. It was weird because, the only things he was saying was about how intimate and close they got, but nothing sexual. I figured he was just wasnt the kinda guy to kiss-and-tell.

We got in his house, and the whole place was to ourselves. I put in the DVD and we cranked up his sound system. A little way through the movie, we paused for a break to get some sodas and other junk food from his fridge. He started talking about his girlfriend again, and I casually tuned out his ramblings. It wasnt that I am not a good friend, I had just been hearing about it all day and was tired of it by then.

He started talking about how alike his girlfriend and I were, and how the three of us should hang out sometime. I agreed and continued watching the movie. Half way through the movie and his phone rang, and he turned down the sound so I could barely hear the movie. I began to try and lose myself in my thoughts but he was talking on his phone quite loudly.

My attention was grabbed when I heard my name mentioned. Now his conversation interested me. He was talking about me and saying he was going to give the phone to me. I was already putting on my goofy-friend persona, because thats what guys do when they are forced to talk to people they dont want to.

“Hello?” The voice on the phone said with a slight giggle
“Yeah? Whats up? Me and your boyfriend were just talking about how hot you are, and he was telling me all the juicy details of your sex life.”
A laugh, then “Okaaaaay..”

I bullshitted for a few moments and then passed the phone back to my friend. He played the movie and headed into his bedroom to talk to her some more. Now I felt isolated. Alone.

I tried to get into my movie, but I was no longer interested in it. Working in a movie theatre and seeing all the movies you want for free as many times as you can kinda puts a damper on the excitement of the DVD release. After the movie concluded, he left his room.

“Hey man, should I give her your number? I think you two would be great friends.”
I figured I had enough friends as it was, but I shrugged and nodded in agreement.

The rest of the night was pretty boring, we hung out and talked more guy-shit. Then we woke up the next morning, and he took me home. After most of the day playing video games, the phone rang. A strange phone number that I didnt recognize.

“Hi, who is this?” I asked.
“It’s Carrie. Michael’s girlfriend. Is this Mike?”

Yeah, my friend and I had the same first name.

“Yeah, what’s up?”
“Oh, not much, how about you?”
I wanted to scold her for disturbing me in the middle of a marathon of video game playing. Instead I said “Just playing games.”

I didn’t talk a whole lot, because I was more focused on my game than the phone. But she began to tell me about how she was currently visting a local college for a few days, and all the things she did there. It interested me slightly, as not many people near where I lived went to college. So, I figured she had to be smart. Always a good thing in someone who is to get along with me.

A few days later, my nihilism towards her had subsided and we were talking on the phone nightly. She was very smart, and we were able to talk about anything and everything. Soon we had talked about our pasts and present lives. She was into the same things I was.

It turned out that she hadnt been popular in her younger years due to a birth defect that wasnt removed from her face until she was almost a teenager. By then, everyone in the small town had already made the friends they wanted to. She wasnt a nerd, or a geek, just an outcast, left alone. I had always bordered between mildly well known and geek my whole life. I didnt much care though.

We decided to make a meeting time for when she got back from her trip to the college. She was going to bring along a friend along that she had met at the college. The next day, I woke up, got dressed and showered, and headed out of the house and down the street. I walked everywhere I went, because very few of my friends had a car. So, I went to the designated spot and waited around.

She and her friend showed up after a half hour or so. Carrie wasn’t extremely hot or good looking, but she was far from ugly. Her face looked like a blank canvas with eyes. Plain, but unique in her plainness. I walked with her and her friend down the road to the local gas station. Her friend was of american indian descent, and she was overweight with glasses. Naturally, I never listened enough to remember her name and spent the rest of the day trying to hide that fact.

A few hours later, and I invited Carrie and her friend to my house. I had no idea what we were gonna do, and I was nervous my mom was going to come home and kill me for having two girls over. So, we headed upstairs and Carrie’s friend picked up my newly purchased guitar and started playing with it. Carrie and I layed on our stomachs on my bed, side by side, looking at the various posters in my room. Suddenly, I looked at her, and there was that ‘spark’. That sudden connection you feel to someone only seconds before you are about to kiss them, yeah, that one.

Being a young, testosterone-filled male, I didn’t think about the fact that this girl was dating my friend, or that her friend was just a few feet away from us, and even though she lived a town away it was possible for it to get back to my town. Nope, I didnt think about any of that, and luckily, neither did Carrie.

Either her friend wasn’t paying attention or she didnt care to, Carrie and I kissed for a few minutes, before I realized the gravity of the situation. I don’t remember whether I asked her friend to chill out downstairs so we could make out more, or if that was where it ended for the day, but, either way, the day ended, and she and her friend went home.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuuuuuuuck!” I couldn’t believe what had happened. I couldnt tell whether I was shocked that she and I had such a connection, or shocked that it never should have happened and should never happen again. I paced around my house for at least a half hour. What the hell was I thinking??? Why did that happen???

Towards the end of the night, she called. I had been hoping the whole day that the damned phone would never ring again, and that I could forget about the whole thing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the connection we had, and how much in common we had with each other.

At this point, I believe some backstory is required to proceed. First off, I want to say that I was socially retarded in my younger years. I thought it a cool and good thing to tell people that I had special powers and abilities to fly, read minds, and other such fantastical things. Since nobody could disprove it, most people were just agnostic about it, or thought I was nuts and never talked to me again. This time that didn’t happen.

I decided to tell her this lie that I had told so many times I almost believed it myself. She didn’t blow me off, or just leave it alone and not talk about it. She believed it. With her whole heart. I was incensed, like a cult leader with his first real follower. Usually, I told this story to help weed out people who werent open minded, so I figured that it was a fifty-fifty shot that she would freak out and never talk to me again, and therefore the whole thing would be over with. It went a whole new direction.

She was curious, like her eyes had been opened to a whole new world. We talked for hours and she asked questions and I gave her answers. Along with this lie, I always mentioned that there was a propehecized soul-mate for me and I would know it when I met them, and they would know it. I did not think of the rammifications of telling that portion to someone so willing and accepting to it. Maybe I had charisma, or maybe I was a good storyteller, or maybe she just trusted me enough not to lie to her, whatever the reason was, within a few days she was convinced that I had these abilities, and that she was possibly my soulmate. And within that same amount of time, I had clung to that lie because it helped to justify the fact that I had made out with one of my friend’s girlfriends.

Chapter 2: The Rollercoaster Begins

We thought we were in love. Yeah, that shit. We were batty for each other. But we got along so well. She lived so far away that we didnt often see each other often, but that seemed to reduce the amount of worries we had and drama in the small town. At least, it did for a time. She began to talk to me about my friend and talk about how much of a weird guy he was, and kind of a dick. I chose to believe it, because, even though it was none of my business, it helped to justify our weekly, clandestine rendezvous. A shock came a little while later when my friend let me in on the fact that, though he had been dating Carrie for some time, they had never slept together.

Almost every week she came over to my house and by the second time she was over we were sleeping with each other. A shock came a little while later when my friend let me in on the fact that, though he had been dating Carrie for some time, they had never slept together, and he was, in fact a virgin. That didnt make me feel very good for banging his long-time girlfriend before he did. She was lying to her mom to get her to my house, I was lying to my friend about why I couldnt hang out with him. It was a horrible situation to be in, and yet poetic, very Romeo and Juliette. Surrounded by opposition, we found each other.

Things had remained well under wraps, and no complications seemed to have come up, or would. When one of us got worried that what we were doing was wrong, the other would assure that what we had was real love, and it was destiny, and it was right, and we were just doing what we had to.

The local town fair was about to come around again that year, and I had gone the year before with my big brother. I decided that this would be the one place that Carrie and I could lose ourselves in the crowd, and not be noticed, and yet be out of the house, and in the town. The first complication arose when I spoke to Michael and found out that he was going to be going to the fair with his girlfriend. I hadnt heard Carrie mention this before, and she had already made plans with me days before to go with her. Trouble.

I really wanted to go, and so did Carrie, so we decided to just go about it in a sneaky way. She and I would go to the fair early, spend time together there, then, later in the afternoon and towards nighttime, we would both spend time with Michael and the friends he was bringing along. And then the next night, we would enjoy the nighttime events at the fair together that we had missed the previous night.

I had told Carrie that it was no longer cool with me that she was still dating my friend, and sleeping with me. It had just become too much. She told me that she would break up with him on the night of the fair, since that was when she would next see him.

She showed up at my house that morning. We had sex, and went to the fair. We went back to my house to have sex again around noon. I remember her drinking a huge glass of water very quickly. We laughed at each other. We were care-free for once, and it seemed like a good thing. I felt like it was the beginning of us really dating, a glimpse of the future. It was liberating, until, in the middle of having sex, Michael’s friend called Carrie. We had ditched him to go back to my place. Then, Michael started calling, and we were trying to ignore it and continue on. Finally, we were done and we started walking back to the fair, hand-in-hand, and suddenly from the bushes separating us and the street, Michael’s friends came out.

“Hey, we been looking for you two everywhere!” We let go of each other’s hand and distanced ourselves from each other casually. Nobody saw. Then, Michael came over. He had on the face he wore when he was in public, which can only be described as “i look badass, right?”. He took Carrie by the hand immediately and began to walk ahead. It was an absolutely shocking sight. I was not prepared for it, and had to remind myself that he was there first.

Jealousy. A feeling I had not experienced in a long time. I just kept back, and acted like I didn’t know Carrie that well, and felt comforted that by the end of the night she would be my girlfriend and all these problems would be done with.

We all rode some rides and I tried to hide my discomfort of the summer heat and the situation. When they kissed, I cringed, when he held her hand, I scowled, when they hugged, I looked away. I decided that I had to find my other friends and hang out with them. So, I did, and kept away from Michael and Carrie for a few hours.

Towards the end of the night, Carrie tracked me down, sitting on a bench alone. She apologized for the days events, and told me that tomorrow would be different, and that in just a few hours she was going to break it off with Michael.

So, I hung out with Michael, Carrie, and Michael’s friends, and suddenly Carrie and Michael had disappeared. Me and Michael’s friend decided that they had gone back to Michael’s car. We went there, and we could see the shadows of the two of them in the back seat of the car. The windows were fogged up. And I could see that Carrie had her head in Michael’s lap.

I was enfuriated. She was blowing him instead of breaking up with him! What the hell?! Fucking great. I couldnt take it and left. An hour or more later I came back to the car and they were still there. Another hour passed and I returned. They had gotten out, and Michael’s friend was telling them how we had thought they were having sex. They assured both of us that they were just talking. I had had enough of emotions and drama for the day. I said goodbye and started walking away. Carrie caught up with me and I asked her if she had been having sex with him. She told me they hadnt. So, I asked if she had broken up with him, and she said that she had, and that Michael thought it was just a ‘break’. It did help to make the day a little brighter.

The next day we spent the whole time at the fair again. We were just with each other, and didnt worry. Nothing mattered. We were kissing gently in the middle of the fair, when, I looked behind Carrie and saw Michael’s whole family. All of whom knew both me, and Carrie. I just hoped they hadnt seen us. They didnt mention anything weird when we spoke to them, and we went on our way. We went to eat some food at the McDonalds to get away from the fair. I was still shaking.

Carrie told me that it didnt matter because Michael and her werent currently dating, but i told her that it didnt matter much, because, Michael would find out that she and I were now dating. Not good either.

We went back to the fair, and we had a romantic time on the Ferris Wheel. Unlike all my other girlfriends, we didnt have to constantly hold hands, hug, or kiss. We just felt each other, and that was enough to satisfy. We saw the fireworks go off, and the night concluded perfectly. It was everything I had hoped for with her the night before.

Chapter 3: The Lies

And this is where the whole thing gets turned upside down. Carrie came over a week or so later, and she and I hadnt been spending much time on the phone anymore. It was weird, and I figured that she had just become disenchanted. This whole time I had a girl on the side I had been dating for some time off and on, but she and I rarely saw each other, and we hadnt had sex yet, so I didnt think much about the fact that I, too, was cheating on someone.

Carrie finally tells me, as we had spent the day together watching movies and sleeping together, that she had been spending all the last couple weeks with Michael. And that she had not really broken up with him. Greeeeeeeat.

My phone rings and it’s Michael.

“Listen Mike, I just called Carrie’s house, her mom told me she was over at your house. I’m on my way over, and I’ll be on your doorstep in less than a minute.”

We threw on our clothes, folded in the fold-out couch, and pretended like nothing was wrong. I told Carrie to answer my door. From upstairs I hear her scream, and I hear loud stomps up the stairs to my room. My room smelled like sex. Thank god he was a virgin and therefore unfamiliar with the scent. He was holding a BB pistol, and Carrie ran up the stair screaming “Dont hurt him!”

“What’s going on Mike? What’s my girlfriend doing over here?”

“We just been hanging out and watching movies. What’s up with the BB gun?”

“It’s yours, just wanted to return it.”

It was minutes before my mom was coming home. I had to get them out of there quickly. I made excuses that they had to leave, and it seemed that Michael was suspicious. My mom pulled into the driveway just as Carrie and Michael disappeared around the corner. Barely made it. Michael called me from inside his car. “Listen Mike, the three of us need to talk and get things straightened out. Somethings going on and I wanna find out what.”

I left my house, and joined them. We drove in silence to a nearby park. I was panicking. I didnt know what Michael did and didnt know. And I didnt wanna tell him something he didnt know already.

Standing in the park, Carrie and I lied. I told Michael the same story about my ‘abilities’ that I had told Carrie. I told him that, friend-wise, Carrie was my soul-mate, but not that we were in love, or anything else. And that was why we had been so secretive. He half bought it. He took me home.

Carrie called.

“Listen, I’m tired of this, I’m telling him everything. You and I arent meant to be together. I love him, and I see a future with him, not with you.”

Brutal. She gave me one more chance to prove that we were meant to be together. She had purchased a replica sword and told me to use my powers to take it, and give it back to her at a later date. Since I had no real powers, the sword went nowhere, which must have solidified to her that either I was lying, or that she didnt mean enough to me for me to prove I have abilities to her.

I told her that she was just running towards a fake ideal of a white picket fence. She was too head strong and strong willed to be a stay at home mom, and too adventerous to marry a guy who wasnt going to travel anywhere. I told her goodbye, and to enjoy her white picket fence, and hung up.

A few days later, I went outside to ride my bike to a friend’s house, and found a video game I had let Michael borrow, on top of my bicycle. A note inside the user booklet said “Today, 3:00pm, Be Here”. The shit must have hit the fan. And promptly at 3:00, Michael showed up. He told me to get into his car. I agreed, but I kept a hold of the knife in my pocket. He had some randomly violent tendencies, and I really didnt wanna get killed.

He told me that Carrie had informed him that she and I had been sleeping together for a long time, and that I had pretty much been trying to convince her to break up with Michael, and she didnt want to, but I wouldnt stop, or let her go, and I was obsessed with her. Terrific, she threw me under the bus to save her own ass, shoulda seen it coming.

I agreed to the truth of things, but I told him that it was her who was the agressor. I didnt tell him of how many times we had slept together, or anything. But by the end of the night, he seemed cool and we seemed able to stay friends.

Days later, my girlfriend called.

“What the hell, who is Carrie? I just got a call from Michael saying that you been banging his girlfriend.” Fuck… I’m the odd man out. Apparently it was too much for Michael to just let it go. He had to try and destroy the other relationship I had. I was good at denying things, and the whole thing blew over pretty quickly. Word spread through the town quickly, and I went suddenly from nerd/geek most of the town only knew of, to well known, and well hated, cheating guy/manwhore.

Chapter 4: The Separation and Reuniting

A few months later, I moved out to another state. My girlfriend and I had started getting kinda serious. By my current standards it wasnt at all serious, but at the time I believed it was. I was living out of state and checking my myspace one day, and Carrie had messaged me. She had said that her and Michael had split because he got freaky and abusive. She and I started talking on the phone again, our awesome long conversations.

It always amazed us how well we got along. And how well and easily we could just pick up where we had left off from our last talk, even though months had passed. I was moving back into town temporarily for a month or so to help my brother and I move to California. I was going to be living with my best friend in town as I was no longer in contact with my mother.

While I was gone from the town I was able to reevaluate the things I never got to do, and specifically the girls I was never able to sleep with. And since Carrie and I were back in touch, and she was away from Michael, it seemed appropriate that she and I would be able to spend lots of time together.

When I got into town, I spent the first week or so with my girlfriend practically living with me. Then Carrie said to me over the phone that she and I could hook up. I promptly made a fake excuse of needing a break to my girlfriend, and the next day Carrie was spending the night. It was something she and I had always wanted to do.

My best friend, whom I was living with, and his girlfriend kept commenting about how cute we were together. But, for me, something was missing. The sex wasnt as magical. I didnt have the feeling behind it that I once did when I said I loved her. After only a few days straight of her spending all her time with me, I could practically taste this void between us. She seemed to love me more than ever, more honest than ever, but I never felt farther from her.

We still had awesome conversations, and we still slept together, but it now seemed like the sex was just something to get out of the way. Something we just did, and then would continue talking. I felt closer to her as a person, but I suddenly realized that she was too insecure, and deceitful, and not traveled enough for me to be able to ever date again. I suddenly realized that what she and I were was an ideal that had shattered a half year earlier.

It soon turned out that she and Michael were living together, and that she had been sneaking over to my friend’s place. It was too much drama again. I thought she had grown up, moved on, but she hadnt. Maybe that was the distance I was feeling, I dont know. So I split things with her and mended things with my girlfriend. Carrie and I kept in touch on occassion while I was in California for the next few months. She sent me some letters, and they were nice to read.

After only a few months my brother and I moved back into town with my grandmother, until we could find an apartment. Carrie and I saw each other once, and I think we made out for a moment, but again, the spark was gone, it seemed a chore, or courtesy.

Just after my brother and I got our apartment, my old girlfriend and I split for good because she moved to California and left me for a black guy. It ended roughly. Carrie and I kept in touch more and more, and she decided to come over for guitar lessons from me. She was in a new relationship now, with some new guy. And I was dating an old friend from High School. Carrie and I reminisced about the old days, but I kept my distance from her, emotionally. I enjoyed our common interests, and the special feeling and connection we had, but it now had a title, a place, a name. I realized I loved her now, like a sister. Someone who had a lot to learn, and hurt me unintentionally, but still, hurt me. We were close in age, but in maturity, I was leaps and bounds ahead and because of that, she would never be on the same level as me.

I realized that we were twins. We werent ex’s. Our soul’s were identical, but everything else didnt match. She was a best friend, and would always be, just like any of my best friends I had kept in contact with.

My new girlfriend Kristen slept over one night. I tried to have sex with her, but she wasnt ready. After that she called less, until suddenly, every time we made plans to hang out, she was out snowboarding with a friend. She bought me some christmas presents. Said she loved me. One day she somehow found out that Carrie and I were talking, which she didnt like, because she and the rest of the town knew about our past. She was really just a fling, a way to get over my ex. Then suddenly I asked her who she had been spending all her time with. She had been spending all her time with Michael. They had been snowboarding together, and suddenly I realized what was happening.

Michael was pissed that ever since me and Carrie had our fling together, it ruined their future. So, he found out from friends of the town that Kristen and I were dating, and decided to steal her from me. Try and get revenge on me. Kristen was a virgin, and hadnt been ready. Kristen told me one day that she was leaving me for Michael. She said she could see a future with him, that he had direction. I told her to enjoy her white picket fence.

Months later she texted me thanking me for not taking her virginity, she wasnt ready, even when Michael took it. She thanked me for respecting her.

Carrie and I had more guitar lessons together, but things had changed, and we acknowledged that fact. I had found a new girlfriend and she and I were very serious, and I really did love her, and Carrie said she had found the same thing in someone too. It was always depressing when she came over, it was a haunting reminder of a shitty part of the past I had, and it seemed that Carrie was wanting, and aching for me to just tell her I loved her. She didnt say it or hint at it, but it seemed that in the negative spaces of what wasnt being said was her yearning for me to tell her to be with me. She was with a guy she liked, maybe even love, but the guy didnt like me, and didnt want her talking to me. And he had no direction for leaving the state, or getting a college education. He wanted her to be a stay at home mom.

Thats just not Carrie. Its not how she is, but she is torn. She loves him, and she holds me in a special place in her soul, as I do with her, but she has to choose between guys she loves, and being in touch with me. It must be tough for her. I feel bad, really.

Last time I saw her, she came into my work and told me she was engaged. She showed me the ring. All I could think of to say is “enjoy your white picket fence”. It sounds antagonizing, but its not. She has to either force herself to really want to be a dependent, stay at home mom, and just learn to live like that, or she has to learn that that isnt who she is or what she wants, and find a way to change things.

Anyway, that last time I saw her was probably close to a year ago give or take a few months. I miss our old talks, and it’s been too long that we have been in contact with each other. I hope she is okay, and happy. Even if she doesnt get back in touch with me because she loves some guy who doesnt want us talking, thats fine. I love her enough to let her create her own identity separate of me. I have certainly found my own identity, and figured out what kind of connection she and I have. She is my soul’s twin. But I found my soul’s mate. I hope she can do the same, and she and I can return to our great and long talks. I miss those talks and discussions terribly, and despite everything, I am not mad at her. In fact I understand her. We make mistakes. That was more than three years ago, the Fair. She and I were 17 years old. We are almost 21 now. I hope that we can get back in touch and never lose touch again.

She and I used to always say that we were the kind of people who could go months or even years without contact, and then get back in touch, and pick right back up where we left off. I am ready to pick back up with our friendship, and I hope she is too. If not, then I will wait patiently until the day she does.

Vertical Consciousness

The scariest thing about vertical growth of consciousness is a hands-off understanding and growth of it, at least directly hands-off. The thing that I myself have a hard time getting past is that through meditation and self understanding you will grow. You may never reach the ultimate constant witnessing of a peak experience, but you must enjoy the occassional samsara.

The hard thing to grasp is that growth of consciousness will come naturally, like a plant, given the right conditions. However you must make sure that you are at the most optimum condititions to recieve that seed’s growth. The soil, the basis for the seed’s life, must be nutrient rich. Keep learning and understanding to enrich your consciousness’ soil. The seed will need sunlight to be able to feed itself. Keep meditating to ensure that your consciousness can sustain itself without your direct interferance. Keeping all your conditions optimum means that eventually the seed will grow, your consciousness will expand and you will flex/flow. But, like the soil and the sun, it doesn’t wait for the seed. It doesnt need the seed to benefit all the other seeds and life.

That is the hard part, keeping yourself at optimum conditions and not yearning or waiting for the seed to arrive. I happen to be very goal-oriented, and when I want to accomplish something, I get it done. However, I’ve come to realize that this driving mechanism for my existence up until now, is tethering me to lower-consciousness. This striving for learning and understanding has gotten me this far, and I now realize that it too must be let go of.

I currently dangle over the cliff’s edge. I’m surrounded and can peer into the hyperspace of open consciousness. However i’m dangling off the cliff’s edge, tethered to it by the things i’ve used to get me to the cliff and finally to jump. The jump wasnt hard. I wanted it, and I wanted to understand it. I wanted to be immersed in it. That is the cord that keeps me attached to the cliff. I am so close to hyperspace, I can see it, but I’m not free of the cliff enough to explore and understand it.

That’s when it happened. My dreams seem, for me, to be the ultimate gateway into understanding. In a dream, you are aware of this new world, and you completely accept and understand it with no need to explore it as a new whole, because it is a part of you. The lucid dream, though paramount, is hard to achieve. You must break free of the blind acceptance of the dream, but you must do it gently as to not shock yourself awake. The integral balance lies within the lucid dream.

Understanding lucid dreams made me understand something else. If a dream is the usual, the normal, the accepted, and the lucid dream is seeing all and understanding all in the dream without exploring or needing to research, then so is the relation to everyday life and mass consciousness. Not many people lucid dream, and even fewer remember it if they do. There are many techniques to make yourself likely to attain such a dream, but there are no guarantees. You just have to do what you can and be prepared for the moment when it arrives.

I’ve realized that today. I need to learn and explore and grow within my world. However, there are so many books, and maps, and understandings of the world. There are even books and techniques to achieve the hyperspace of consciousness. But there are no books on what that consciousness is, or how to guarantee its attainment, or the personal changes you have to make or un-make to be apart of it. That’s because, “the limits of my language are the limits of my world”. We do not yet have enough understanding to put it into words, and there are so many unknown variables that a how-to guide can only be vague at best.

And it has suddenly ‘clicked’. I was trying to know and understand this hyperspace, and get there already. I made the jump but I was still attached to the cliff.

There is no jumping. You don’t jump off the cliff at all. You stand at its edge and step off the edge. Once off it’s edge you disintegrate as your former sense of one goes away and you become a part of that consciousness. You do not seek to understand it, because you are it.

With this new understanding I awoke this morning feeling euphoric and in a creative meditative state. Yesterday I was dangling from the cliff, attached by unknown and unseen cords and tethers. I now am floating off the cliff’s edge. Still attached to the cliff, but understanding that I am. Knowing that I am attached to it, but in knowing that, I am far better off than I was before. I am ensuring that my soil and sun are at the optimum conditions. I no longer need to dangle, by dangling, the tethers become my focus, another thing to understand and learn and try and sever, instead of allowing myself to just be.