Life: Eat Sand With Me.
I think about how different life is today compared to a random day growing up. I don’t remember individual events of growing up, but I sensibly know I “grew up” from one age to another and here we are. I also remember glimpses of events confirming a “growing up” phase. A confirmation of prior existence. The prior living that precede my more recent memories.
What was different growing up — when viewed from my understanding of the world, based on subsequent biases I’ve picked up along the road — and held on to strongly, for better or worse?
We all begin with a blank slate, then expectations lead us astray. We all want to do good for the world, then we grow up and have to differentiate a good time to do good for the world, from a time to do good for yourself. As a child, it seem one and the same. As an adult, it’s night and day. But then what constitutes “the world”? is it you and I? or me and the pretty lady 10,000 miles away? or is it the gap between me and the child whose hungry photo has yet to be placed on a TV commercial asking me to donate?
Love your neighbor as you love yourself, was taught to me as a child. I grew up with that job requirement, only to find out it’s important to add my own clause to it. It’s important to add an “as long as. .” to it. We start off blank, then expectations of others, parents, teachers, society, becomes our default. You walk this way, talk this way, think this way. And as we get older, we begin to edit some of those defaults to enable us survive as sensible humans or as self-sabotaging fleshy entities.
What was the expectation of the child? This I strive to be (re)made familiar with. How did the child see the world? before the edits that had to be made to “survive” the plans and wishes others have for you, both good and horrible. And, believe me, one of the key moments of adulting is to become painfully or rudely introduced to the plans and wishes others have for you.
Everyone has a plan or wish for you.
The most common ones are: “to go back where you came from”, “to serve their pleasure”, “to be less than they are”, “to reduce your morals so they feel better about their low morals, which is much easier than them improving their morals”, “to spend, work, spend”, “to be hypnotized and immobile”, “to smile, love and be happy”, “to graduate”, “to marry”, “to remember to eat”, “to say hello frequently”, “to be a good human”, “to smell better”, “to cut your hair”. The list goes on, everyone you cross paths with have a plan or wish for you, both good and terrible. It can be so bombarding, you fail to identify the plans you have for you amidst the bombardment of plans others have for you. Even more unsettling is realizing, maybe you actually do not have plans for you and have only echoed the plans and expectations other have of you.
I’m not saying be weary of the next person, maybe you should be, what I am saying is to love the next person as you love yourself despite their plans and wishes for you, though that might seem incredibly illogical at the time. I don’t do this (just yet), but I should begin. Tracing our steps back to the innocent child’s perception of the world has to begin at some point.
What else is different — knowing about the dangers of the world and realizing there is no borough in all of this huge big world where “only good people” resides. The concert of existence is mixed with the good and the terrible, some you can sniff out right away, others you never really know their flavor until you add some hot water.
A child knows it all. An adult knows nothing. A child is scared occasionally, an adult is scared all the time. A child is playful all the time, an adult cannot indulge in the silliness called play, far too busy for that ish. Unfortunately. . .This is the truth: unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
It’s like the older we get the further away we get from “heaven”. A place I imagined to be much more fun than all the fun I was having as a kid. And since adults have less fun than kids, imagine how many multiplication of fun heaven would be compared to the daily maneuvering of adulting.
With the small talk out of the way, this is what I really want to share with you, here we are. Ready yourself.
What I want to share with you is the path for your life. Just as it is the path for my life. Prepare yourself.
From the day we were born till a few minutes ago, all our days have been infused with learning one thing after another. Life is the acquisition of knowledge. To be alive is to be in constant stream of knowledge. Seclusion does not exempt you from knowledge, instead it centers the learning stream. The art of breathing is almost simultaneous with the unrequested responsibility to consume knowledge. You will be faced with some type of knowledge until you pass away, even that would be a form of knowledge.
Are you understanding how many times I’ve mentioned “Knowledge”? That’s because you can only understand your reason for being and know to navigate the days of your life once you grasp the obvious yet hidden, the constant yet oblivious principle of being alive.
Let’s get started.
We are familiar with the concept of the “Tree of Life”, the “Stream of consciousness”, “Circle of Life” and other empowering three word description of this journey.
Today, we will together learn about the Circle of Knowledge. Hold on tightly to your seat.
Think of a circle, not one you can put something inside but one a teacher draws on a board. Better still, grab a paper, draw a circle. Next, draw a line across the middle of the circle as though you were trying to slice it in half. Good job, nice drawing.
While there is a line across the circle, the rotation of the circle is unbroken. The circle is the world, which is divine, but the line across it is man made. While on your piece of paper your eyes tell that the line and the circle both touch. In real life, they do not. The circle is unbroken but the line is present. The same way a blind fold can cover the sun but does not remove the sun. They both exist simultaneously, regardless of their attempt to “change” the other.
On your piece of art, the circle that is, we can see there are two parts, a top half and a lower half. Life can be lived on full steam. You launch from one half, go 360, well 359 degrees all the way through. This is what you should not do. Read that again. In fact, here it is — This Is What You Should Not DO! Pardon my french. You are not to know all the knowledge of life. You are not to go 359 degrees, I mean you could if you want to, but if a good life is what you seek, then there are many things in this world you are better off not participating in and not knowing about. You’d have to take my word for it, or go find out for yourself.
Knowledge is neither good or bad. Knowledge just is. Now, in school knowledge is portrayed as a good thing, and bad knowledge is portrayed as misbehaving or bad decisions, I’m here to tell you, it’s the same thing. Knowledge is neither good or bad. You can however be incredibly selective of what you allow yourself to know. That goes by degrees on the circle you drew.
The “live life to the fullest” is (better yet, can be) a dumb, ruin you where you’re standing mantra if you do not first understand what “life” is — once you have “life” figured out for yourself then yes the mantra can be an inspiring reminder to enjoy while you have. But first you have to understand life is not the 360 degree race, that would ruin you. Life is instead, a good life that is, is to carve out a portion of the circle to dwell in, never going beyond. Hold on, don’t pass out, we’re getting somewhere.
On that circle you drew, one half is the good, healing, grace side. And, the other is the dark, painful, thieving side. While a life of only imminent bliss is practically impossible though almost achievable, the second best option is to add a new line to the circle. Not a straight line this time but an identifiable line, almost like a block that goes from the top (good) half to just a few ways into the beginning of the other half.
Actually, here. This would help much better.
You want to live in the green.
You want just enough knowledge to know the world is not always roses and peaches, life would teach you that. Awful people would remind you of it. However, do your very best to not launch too deeply into the knowledge of hurt. Having no knowledge of deep hurt is much easier and tolerable than recovering from awful pains.
Also, with all of your strength, make sure to never allow someone else drag you into the hurtful life. Be good, not so much so that you only dwell in the upper circle, “good all the time”, but accumulate, feed on and surround yourself with the knowledge of good.
What does good knowledge look like? I’d share the little that I know. But there’s an endless list of good things a person can engage in.
- Kind acts (without exposing yourself to pain, ruin or discomfort)
- Pleasantries (genuine, free acknowledgment of another human being that does not have to be reciprocated, hence free)
- Good wishes to those you cross paths with
- Self care (shower, brush, shave, smile, eat, sleep, care for at least one other good and kind human apart from yourself)
- Have a “good news only” time of day/week/month. For me this is year round. I don’t watch the news and I survive just fine, with my peace of mind.
- Be incredibly selective of what and who is in your ears.
- Do not watch anything traumatizing, no matter the “storyline” behind it. You do not forget what you see. It’s not history, it’s not art, it’s not science, it’s human nature. Whatever your eyes take in is incredibly tough for your psyche to wash away. Nod to those who live on scary movies. The sole engine of suggestive programming — which by the way is optional programming, meaning you can opt out, meaning you can choose to not be influenced, the sole engine of suggestive programming is visual imaging. It works. Tomorrow, count how many billboards, stickers, TShirt verbiage, alerts and signs you come across. You will tire out in the first fifteen minutes, but your eyes continuously collect those information everyday in the tens of thousands every day. Add the “streaming” hours to it and you begin to understand how your life is shaped not by who you are but who you are becomes who you’ve been suggested to be.
- Find the good. Before I deleted Netflix, I had to place viewing restrictions on my account. I appreciate Netflix’s library, this is not a knock on their service. What I am sharing with you is that there is good information out there, just as there is shitty information out there, pardon my spelling. You have to go digging. You have to put in effort to stop a movie once you begin to sense the dive into shitty knowledge — my grammar is off today, pardon. I couldn’t tell you how many shows I’ve had to pause and delete from “list” because the good script started to turn. This is tougher the more invested you are in the story line but at the end of the day, the movie Producer would move on with their lives and I would be stuck with the shitty image or messaging replaying in my oblongata. I’m done cursing, let’s move on. Oh, and pardon — in my french accent.
Personally, I add being outdoors, hiking, walking, get togethers. And being active, which for me means some type of sport.
Dance. Do what kids do. For a while there, I only watched shows that were appropriate for kids. Don’t be too grown to eat sand — whatever “sand” meant for you as a kid. For me, it was actual sand because I played outside, with other kids. We were brave to jump, strong to fall, adventurous to try new things, like you know, eating sand, and silly enough to not make a big deal out of it. These days, I pay more attention to stepping on sand than I do diving into sand. Be a kid. They’re much more smarter than the smart adults give them credit for.
Where does all of this information leave us?
Something changes going from no care in the world, everyone just get along, my mom would twist my ears if I said that or smack my behind if I did this, something chances from that era to the era of fcuk you pay me (oops sorry), dont tell me what to do, do you know who I am?, I don’t want to do what you want to do I want to do what I want to do and I want you to forget what you want to do and do what I want to do with me.
But you have the circle. We didn’t cover what hurtful knowledge is but I can deduce you have an idea or two. People can be evil, incredibly hurtful with zero care or concern if you’d survive their turmoil. People can also be incredible, humble, helpful, respectful, caring and loyal. First figure out where you stand, work your way back to the green line then believe your senses when you meet someone good or someone to flush down the toilet. And more importantly, make sure to act accordingly, feelings be damned.
You’re not going to be good all the time, that is to dwell only on the top half circle, but make sure not to dive too deep the other way, because many never make their way back and you’re no more special than they are.
The knowledge of something horrible is not better than the lack of knowledge. Simply to say, somethings are better unknown and unlearned. Guard what you watch. Be careful of recurring habits. Stay the heck away from drugs of any kind (both hard drugs and “soft” — sugar can be tough but it’s doable). Identify what you cannot live with and gradually reduce the list. Then, Identify what you cannot live without and gradually reduce that list. Be foolish sometimes, forgive yourself the pressure to be perfect and smart all the time. Eat sand, there’s wisdom in the research. Do not live life to the fullest, those who go 359 degrees, we never hear from them again — because they never return. Find the side of the circle that means life to you and live within those restrictions.
Restriction is the only determinant to a good life. If you live unrestricted, you will. . please don’t live unrestricted. Have strong like chains restriction on your life. Things you have to do everyday. Things you cannot say. Things you have to repeat to yourself like a chant everyday.
No knowledge (of the bad stuff) is good knowledge. The social programming is you are X Y and Z (more desirable, expected to be, fun, lively, alive, awesome) when you’re bad. If you believe that, then you are definitely overdue to eat some sand. You’re better off being good and desirable, actually alive and desirable, un-tormented and desirable. Limit your exposure to bad knowledge. Your life depends on it.
It’s 4:30 in the morning, on a special day, and I bid you a good morning because that’s what good people do. We share good wishes and free pleasantries.
Your life is what you make it and no matter where your green markers rest, you can always begin to redirect and readjust. You know where my green markers are, find your boundaries and die before you break them.
On that note, this is my birthday gift to you.
Happy Birthday to me.