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I have realized the power of accessing the realization of choice. We all always have the choice to cause certain outcomes. For a LONG period of time I have been trying to make people aware of their limiting belief systems. I would try to be a "Tony Robbins" or some motivational coach that I wasn't. I would provoke people and respond in ways they weren't used to be having people respond. When a security officer would tell me to leave, I would say I would prefer to stay where I was. I would be obdurate obstinate, non-compliant, but never attacking. This shocked some people who were so programmed and patterned into having people respond a certain way because it zapped their life methodology -- their proclivities and tendencies in life. I would basically get people to an aggressive point from which they would try to attack me or bully me. An example is that at a party, I called one kid a pizza face, a dapper dresser, and porcupine head. He didn't even acknowledge the last two things I was saying, but became enraged, saying I didn't respect him, waving his hands and getting viscerally upset about the first observation. I told him that we all have our minds to observe and speak. That's exactly what we must do. We shouldn't hold back our observations -- we have such observations for the purpose of sharing them. However I shared them in ways that got me thrown off a ship, booted off a basketball court, forced to leave a coaching seminar, kicked out of an improv class, booted from a car while driving from Denver to Colorado Springs, the list goes on. The point is that I had such a fervently strong conviction to change people's limiting beliefs that I'd do anything. This was not operating from a safe atmosphere because it created outcomes that I sincerely did not want. I did not want to have an egg on my head after getting punched. I did not want to be put into a cop car. I did not want any of those painful reactions to occur. I realize now my goal is to protect myself, be compliant with people, but be much much much more responsive to their boundaries and to read when they are getting pissed to a limit. I still have a strong desire to have people remove their limiting beliefs (and for me to remove my own limiting beliefs) but to do so in a milieu of compassion, exchange, certainty, safety, and grace instead of just raw effort in challenging belief. Love life to the fullest.


The Cyberpunk Genre

Cyberpunk is defined as a mix of hackers, mega-corporations, and artificial intelligence. Cyberpunk themes arise in many films and books, especially science fiction works. In the Matrix there are
· Hackers (Neo, Morpheus, the Resistance)
· Mega-corporations (Agents, Smith, the programming code of the Matrix) and
· Artificial intelligence (Sentinels, adapting skills of agents, realism of the matrix program).
Always, it is the artificial intelligence that causes the mega-corporations to spawn to dangerously controlling levels, threatening the role of humanity, which is defended by the hackers. In other words, mega-corporations attack humanity, hackers protect humanity, and artificial intelligence allows the mega-corporations to bleed into humanity, making mega-corporations a threat. Without Artificial Intelligence, the mega-corporations would never be adaptive enough to fully adapt and evolve quickly enough to penetrate and threaten mankind. Without hackers, mankind would lack means of responding to the threatening combination of mega-corporation and artificial intelligence.

Other examples of cyberpunk themes in:
George Orwell’s 1984
· Hackers (Winston Smith; Emmanuel Goldstein)
· Mega-Corporations (The Party, Big Brother)
· Artificial Intelligence (Ingsoc, Newspeak)
Although Ingsoc and Newspeak aren’t exactly hardware devices, they are a type of linguistic technology that dangerously perpetuates the Big Brother’s influence. The slogans “war is peace; freedom is slavery; and ignorance is strength” are brainwashing technologies. You can mix and match those combinations, for example, “peace is slavery; war is strength; ignorance is freedom” and create various associations that could be valid in various contexts. If someone is being given cruel and unusual punishment, warring against that could be a form of peace; if freedom is nothing to do, being bound into a slavish regimen could be more productive and, thus, a warped kind of freedom; ignorance of atrocities could be a way of making you stronger, but usually it just debilitates or you could say that ignorance allows less information to clog your natural intuition, resulting in more freedom” etc. The first sentence of the book, “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” alludes to the bizarre, warped nature of the book, but simultaneous acceptance of it (Orwell 1). Any of those cases can be logically made, with the right linguistic spin and contextual connections. The “hackers” of 1984 must not only understand the technologies of the mega-corporations, but they must manufacture certainty in dissolving it and using it against them. The best trick someone from the hacker allegiance can do is to use the A.I. technologies to their advantage.

The trick about the Matrix is that it is a spiritual battle, not a physical, one necessarily. Some Hindus believe that no one should be trained in everything, which is a waste of time. You can do the jack-of-all-trades and/or the gung fu route, but all knowledge is interesting and good because it can help create freedom.

Albert Camus’s The Plague
· Hackers (Father Paneloux, Dr. Rieux)
· Mega-Corporations (The Plague)
· Artificial Intelligence (The virus itself and indifference)
In a VERY abstract sense, French writer, Albert Camus’s THE PLAGUE could be considered something of the cyberpunk genre, although this is certainly not the typical classification, but an example illustrating how the Hacker-Metacarpi-A.I trifurcation can be stretched to a broad range of genres with a lively enough of an imagination. The “hackers” are simply surgeons, doctors, and people of faith fighting the disease. The mega-corporation isn’t a physical body, here, but the plague represents what most mega-corporations do in the typical cyberpunk novel – they infect. Finally, the indifference to the virus is “artificial intelligence” used in the novel. Again, this is an incredibly abstract connection, but the doctors, the plague, and the virus operate with the same methodology as the typical cyberpunk thriller.

Matrix as a Cyberpunk Parable
Lots of connections to the bible that are not cheesy references. The three types of maladaptive people are those
· Oblivious -- oblivious to the matrix
· Bored -- bored with freedom (Cypher)
· Tempted -- tempted by the matrix (mouse and the red dress, people who eat lots of candy, people who are tempted by pornography, and “comforts” that make you situated and numb (TV chair holders for all of your TV remotes)
Or, if you are neither of those people, then your aligned:
· Successful – is excited about the challenges of freedom, and continues on connecting with more people on a human level.

These three types of deviations from the Matrix are actually found in the 13th chapter of the Biblical book of Matthew from the New Testament in the “parable of the seeds”. The parable of the seeds discusses the four outcomes from when a sower scatters seeds on the ground. There are the seeds that:

  • Do not take root. These seeds drift away in the winds, or are scattered by birds; they are oblivious and never root.
  • Take shallow roots. These are the seeds that take root in concrete cement, so their rooting is shallow; they are bored and are uprooted easily.
  • Get tangled in thorns. These are the seeds that take root, but then get entangled in the temptation of thorns; they are tempted and uproot because of that distraction.
  • The seed takes root. These seeds persevere but are victorious in the end. In the Matrix (Neo, Morpheus, Trinity), in The Plague (Dr. Rieux and Father Paneleux), and in Hackers (Dade Murphy and the other hackers), these people endure pain, but are victorious in the end.

Orwell, George. 1984. England: Penguin Books, 1947.
Tavris, Carol and Wade, Carole. Invitation to Psychology. New York: Longman Publishers, 1999.

Buddhist Sangha -- Road to Enlightenment

Religion is just a web of terms concealing nothing. In Buddhism bodhicitta is the “altruistic mind that aspires enlightenment to help others find happiness”. A bodhisattva is someone who has generated bodhicitta, and is already on the path to enlightenment.

How is enlightenment attained?
By knowing and understanding the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Buddha is the enlightened being, which is explaining what medicine is by saying it’s medicine, so this doesn’t help. Dharma is Buddha’s teachings, or enlightenment teaching, so this is saying enlightenment is attained from teachings of enlightenment, which, again, doesn’t help. Finally, Sangha means our spiritual friends -- the monks and nuns of a spiritual community. If we could identify our Sangha, we really would be getting somewhere, at least, outside redundant, recursive answers because attaining enlightenment with a spiritual community is doable. The first two Jewels said to attain enlightenment by knowing enlightenment and teachings of enlightenment, which is at the least unhelpful, but more equivocating if anything.
Those three Jewels (or 1 Jewel Diamond and 2 redundant Jewels, or pieces of coal) are supposedly all you need to know and take refuge in to reach enlightenment. So, according to these Three Jewels – keystones of Buddhism --we only need to know and take refuge in our spiritual community.

However, another implicit method of attaining enlightenment could be knowing the Ultimate Truth, which is “the way things really are…empty of being...interdependent upon their constituent parts and environment”. Sunyata means emptiness or voidness, how everything is empty of existence, cannot exist alone, and truly is dependent upon each other, so Sunyata is basically the Ultimate Truth because all the Ultimate truth describes is Sunyata. So by knowing the meaning of the synonyms Sunyata and Ultimate Truth we can get closer to enlightenment. But what does Sunyata/Ultimate Truth imply? Outside of all the different mediums of delivering words – Mo (divination prayers), stupas (religious monuments), sutra scriptures, sadhana religious texts, and the like (all which are different ways of delivering a message of enlightenment) -- it implies that, again, this enlightenment is acquired from the spiritual community. We must go to our spiritual community upon which we interdependently need for existence because we do not exist alone. Again, the message is in the Sangha. We are void and existence-less, so we must connect with our Sangha. Clearly, from the Ultimate Truth perspective or the Three Jewel perspective the equation for enlightenment points to Sangha.

Tantra, meaning “continuity”, encourages the practice of developing body, speech, and mind into that of a Buddha. So Tantra encourages achieving enlightened through something similar to Buddha mimicry. But we have no role model to base this mimicry on, so the task is aimed at becoming like Buddha, or becoming enlightenment. Again, the only tangible thing that leads to this area is our Sangha.

Clearly, our Sangha – from the Tantric view, the Three Jewels view, or the Ultimate Truth/Sunyata view – is vital, if not the only method, to achieving enlightenment. Obviously, important questions arise about the nature of this Sangha.

How do we identify our Sangha?
Is it our family? Is it our hometown? The city in which we work? People who randomly share a cab? How big is it? How small? How sentient? Does it last only a few hours and then shift? If we are at a concert with 25,000 other people are we all in the same Sangha? Or are people in the same row in the Sangha? Does it rely on political boundaries for definition? Are Americans in the same Sangha? Or is it that North Americans are in one Sangha and South Americans in another? Or is it hemispheres? Maybe our spiritual friends are in the western hemisphere and another Sangha exists in the eastern hemisphere? Why couldn’t our Sangha be the entire globe or total universe? Clearly, because all those answers seem somewhat ridiculous, or all completely okay, one’s Sangha is not geographically or spatially defined.

If it is not geographically defined, how is our Sangha defined?
Could Sangha be defined by emotions? Sangha could most likely defined with emotional reaction. Emotions are what cannot betray us, but frequently differ from what is going on, but our emotions are signals to action; cries for help, exclamations of joy – they keep us alive. The people we emotionally connect with, are drawn to, are repelled from, are magnetized towards, or that make us feel genuine, ultimately create and shape our spiritual community. But we can be attracted and drawn to negative people, negative temptations, that would certainly not be a spiritual community. And sometimes people that are spiritually not good for us repulse us. So relying on emotional reaction doesn’t seem to work any better than geographical definition.

Sangha is a spiritual community so wouldn’t it have to be defined by how we spiritually connect with people? Wouldn’t Sangha be defined by what our personal spiritual intuition defines as our spiritual community? This makes sense, but, now, of course the question arises, how do we access our spiritual intuition that can select or recognize people in our spiritual community. It seems like the best answer to this is practice. The more practice we get interacting with members of the earth – the grand Sangha – we become more and more aware of how to treat certain people with varying degrees of openness, protection, aggression, generosity, miserliness, and the like. So again, our Sangha is the key to enlightenment and we define and craft our Sangha through practice of interacting with our people, with the grand Sangha, the human community. In short, if you want enlightenment, learn how to live joyously with people.
How can you live joyously with people? First off, you mustn’t act joyous when you are not. Everyone operates in different ways, finds joys through different methods and places, and connects with different locations different. I find joy surfing; others could find joy driving in cars. Driving in cars would not create joy for me, just like surfing may not create joy for another person. So living joyously with people is the key to enlightenment and happiness and living joyously is all about developing your personal relationship with your own tendencies, behaviors, personal likes and dislikes, and things that give your life a boost.
Why is it being attained?
The goal of enlightenment is compassion to free al beings from their suffering.

“Refrain from reading attacks upon yourself so you won’t be provoked” (Philips 75). Knowing this gives us the power to get provoked or to not be provoked. Getting provoked is good if we want to come alive and stir things up and speak our mind, but if we are in a more docile mood and don’t want to go crazy, we simply choose read all attacks as problems the person has with themselves (some inadequacy they are compensating for). This gives us total control if we are being berated to have insults repel off us innocuously and to be provoked by them if we choose.
Philips, Donald. T. Lincoln on Leadership. New York: Warner Books, 1993.

In the Buddhist scriptures it is said, “Because there is this, that ensues. Because this came into being, that came into being. Because there is fundamental ignorance, volitional acts come into being.” (Lama 65). This is referring to the causal nature of karma. I figure this to mean that if some event occurs, it can generate future events to occur if that has potentiality to it. The “Condition of Potentiality” states, “it is not the case that everything can produce everything or anything” (Lama 69). Instead, there has to be some kind of “natural correlation between a cause and its effect” (Lama 69). Dr. Phil writes, you cannot change what you cannot acknowledge, meaning that acknowledge is the key to change and continuing to make correlations between past events creates future acknowledgements, which integrates the past with the present, to be aware of the future, so you can live with the greatest amount of happiness.

Lama, Dalai. A Simple Path. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997.

A Compassionate Correlation

One thing I've noticed is that, the more I converse with any given person, the more compassion I develop for them. The time spent in a dialogue is directly proportional to the expediency of reaching a tipping point where the tendency to overlook flaws and examine strengths becomes greater than the proclivity to zero-in on problems with the person. That says, therefore, that we must engage in dialogues of more thoroughness and of greater duration...increasing the propensity for compassion.


Lennon was not a Sculptor

Sinead O’Connor says “We all loved John Lennon better for all the mad things he did – the way he was interested in just tearing open the sky. He was definitely the sexiest of the Beatles because he was angry and edgy. And look at what he did with his fame. He didn’t use it to suck [up] and get more money and be liked by everybody. In fact, that’s the powe rof John Lennon to me: he was real. Even in the songs, he was never afraid to show that he was a bit of a bastard, that he had a nasty side to him like the rest of us do. He stood up and showed that, no matter what, you’ve got to be your frickin’ self” (Giles 64).

Some say that "the beatles split when Yoko sunk her claws into John. Most of his post-beatles work was crap. It was diabolical" (Giles 64). Or that "Ono is commonly accused of having sabotaged her husband's gifts; how she worked her black magic on McCartney is unclear" (Giles 68). But what is more realistic? Lennon's wife was some black sorceress witch doctor woman intent on defiling his music to make him less successful, or he simply had a slump and his fans where to fanatical to admit that it was of his own doing? Ono could have certainly have had a bad impact on Lennon, maybe even done some things to purposefully derail if wicked run of generation-defining music, but it's not too far-fetched to say he drifted a bit on his own, too. The point is that he made great music that perpetuates; it was great then, is great now, and will be great later on.

It’s important to note that singers like Mick Jagger painted an even more rebellious “bad boy” image than Lennon. Compared to Mick, Lennon was a momma’s boy. But this is not a rebellion contest. The point is that Mick, Lennon, Springstein and many other successful musicians weren’t trying to be bad boys. They weren’t out there trying to sculpt themselves into an image of rebel with plaster and a societal chisel. No, instead they just laid it on the line. They spoke their voice and made sure it was heard regardless of whether or not people would accept their message, kill their message, rejoice because of their message. They were masters of authenticity because they didn’t try to sculpt. Society sculpted them into how we describe them today, but their level of authenticity demands so much more attention because of the level of certainty it creates.

Giles, Jeff. “Lennon Lives” Time. November, 2006.


The Harmony of Cognitive Disonance

Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person "holds two cognitions (beliefs, thoughts, or attitudes) that are psychological incsonsitent or...incongruent with their behavior" (Tarvis 200). You can use cognitive dissonance to end nasty habits. For example, smoking a pack of cigarettes and hearing that smoking causes your lungs to turn into "blackened swiss-cheese sacs" from the sulfur dioxides, tar, and toxins creates cognitive dissonane with smoking. You can continue smoking but that behavior will not have "consonance" or harmony with one's actions.

Another psychological tendency that arises is "hindsight bias". Hindsight bias is when we say "I knew that was the answer" when we are watching Jeopardy and here the answer read out loud. Hindsight bias distorts the facts of what happened by knowing in hindsight what did happen.

Many times hindsight biases clash with what other people say. For example, hindsight bias can distort the driver of the car to say that the cat stood in the driveway before he turned, while a bystander could say that he swerved into the cat. The contradictory stories create cognitive disonance of that situation. This type of cognitive dissonance can be, fortunately, avoided when people examine reality, abandon (but never deny the powerful impact of)subjecive interpreations, and move towards a harmonious whole. Alternatively, one could recognize that all situations inevitable have alternate perspective realities, so everything is in cognitive disonance, but knowledge of that somewhat chaotic state "in hindsight" creates a kind of prescient consonance...and my brain just short-circuited.

It's great to know about the combination of different realities and how they can interact and potentially dance with each other.

Twelve-Stepping Goddess Energy to Kundalini and Individuation

Gopi Krishna writes on the topic of Chakras saying, “the description of charkas and lotuses, of supernatural signs and omens accompanying success in the practice, of the miraculous powers attainable, the genesis of the system and the origin of the various methods are so overdone and full of exaggeration that to the uninitiated the whole conception embodied in the ancient literature on the subject appears incredible if not preposterous” (Krishna 104). Indeed the lore of the energizing force of Kundalini is quite extensive. Even outside Hinduism, Kundalini is associated with sexual energy, or even in some cultures and mythologies a “Goddess energy”.

New Age Goddesses refer to goddess spirituality, but the goddess force can be associated with a variety of stances from conservative, to male or female dominance, to empire building, to equality. Goddess worship is usually common in Pagan and Neopagan religions and denominations. It’s difficult to assess from whence goddess worship originated, but many consider it to be from prehistoric times, where the “Venus of Willendorf” (a Paleolithic statuette found in Austria in `908) may represent the fertility goddess. Mythologically, the concept of Goddess ranges from war to fertility connotations. In Sumerian mythology, Inanna is oldest known goddess, dating back to a very late date.

Because the concept covers the full “love and war” spectrum it is difficult to associated the idea of goddess with anything more than what they frequently represent. The goddess most frequently symbolizes fertility – watching over, promoting, and taking care of fertility, pregnancy, and birth. . The fertility goddess is the most frequent representation with the Greek Aphrodite, the Egyptian Hathor and Isis, and in Norse mythology, Freya, are all goddesses of fertility. In Celtic mythology, Morrigan is the goddess of war. In almost all polytheistic cultures, some kind of fertility god or goddess, in sense, a “Cupid God” is in charge of promoting sex and fertility. At parties I definitely have the tendency to observe attractions and to try to spark some engagement between the disparate, but magnetic groups. Any matchmaker aims to play the fertility god or goddess role, but, usually never understands the complexity of the chemistry.

Sexual energy has provoked some of the most far-fetched theories, wildest projections, and is claimed to be the most creative form energy. Almost every civilization for every generation has a different interpretation of sexual energy – but each culture has something entirely unique to say about it.

In ancient Aramaic, the Semitic language spoken along with Arabic and Hebrew, which voiced some of the greatest biblical stories, discussed how sexual energy is a creative and healing force, and the ancient connotation of “church” is the flesh, which could be connected to a sexual force. The ancient, Minoan, Celtic, and Sumerian civilization referred to the sexual energies as the powerful, commanding Goddess force, which was to be worshipped. The Chinese had a much more docile relationship to the life force, calling it Chi. A German view of sexual energy, put forth by Wilhelm Reich, was an Odic force called orgonic energy, which was considered to be in all matter, trees, meteorological patterns, orgasms, and the cosmos. There is the Freudian concept of Libido, and the list goes on. Ancient civilizations had goddess force; the Chinese centered on Chi; Reich called upon the orgonic force; Freud psychologically scrutinized libido; and the Hindus believed in Kundalini, one of the most powerful interpretations of sexual energy possible. All those interpretations of life force have similarities, but the Hindu variations are the most captivating because the raw, carnal, evolutionary power associated with Kundalini.

In Sanskrit, Kundalini means, literally, “coiled up” or “coiling snake” it is a serpent power. The Bible recommends that we “have the mind of a serpent and a heart of a dove”. Accessing Kundalini energy is vital to being strong in mind while compassionate in heart. With only the serpent mind, we would be caustic and manipulative; with only the compassionate heart, our gentleness would be trampled on. By access the Kundalini energy, we can create a healthy, resilient, intelligent interface for our compassion – ensuring that it is not discombobulated but expressed with vehemence and sincerity, and protected around malign.

Anatomically, the Kundalini energy is in the root chakra of the body, located curled around the sacrum. Hindus believe in the presence of 7 bodily charkas, each possessing certain characteristics. Each chakra:

  • Revolves at a different spin
  • Corresponds to a specific element
  • Causes a certain effect
  • Possesses a unique color
  • Is located in a certain place
  • Is associated with certain qualities of being.

The highest chakra, for example, the crown chakra revolves clockwise in men, corresponds to all elements, causes one to overcome self-limitations, is purple, located at the crown of the skull, and is associated with divine forces of the universe and cosmic energies. The lowest Chakra, the root chakra, is where we find the Kundalini force. The root chakra spins clockwise in men, is red, found in the lower pelvis, and is associated with the individual and physical world, embracing aspects such as “self-expression, ambition, consistency, desire for security, and self-survival. While the root chakra is associated with calming, tension-dissolving the effects, the Kundalini force generates quite the opposite sensation, generating a very raw and energizing power.

But Kundalini is associated with more than just a viciously energizing momentum; iconographically, it has been equated to the Greek Caduceus, shown here:

Symbolizing the Greek messenger God, Hermes, the Caduceus has two snakes coiling around a heralding stuff, making it a powerful symbol of the Greek God, Hermes, as a messenger, astrologer, healer, and creator and magical incantations that Hermes is associated with. Astrology, magical incantations, messages, healing all are connected with Hermes, which are symbolized in Kundalini.

To many Yogis, Kundalini was almost a deity in itself, symbolizing yogic awakening and spiritual energy. The rarity of Kundalini originates from the small number of ways it can be awakened. It is so special and unique because it is usually only brought on by:

  • A near-death experience (like a near-death car crash)
  • Sparked by meditation
  • Triggered by a blow to the head that initiates the body's reactionary system
  • Psychedelic drugs (or very intense sports which produce extreme physiological effects)
  • Committed types of intense yogic meditation and stretching.

Regardless of its onset, Kundalini is not an “altered state of consciousness”, but rather, the most natural state of consciousness imaginable. In other words, the Kundalini awakening embodies such a high level of unaltered consciousness that it appears like a mind-altered state. It operates only through a natural awakening of the intrinsic divine energy of the body. In other words, its one of the most awakening experiences your body can accomplish.

Altered states of conversation occur in a variety of circumstances including dreams, sleep, through drugs, meditation, or hypnosis. Kundalini is the only form of “altered state” of consciousness that is truly intrinsically natural. Dreams are natural but incredibly vague. The Greeks attribute one of three Gods to a certain dream. The dream gods are Morpheus, Phobetor, Phantasos.

  • Morpheus (aka “Sandman”)is the God of ultra-realistic dreams. There is a poem that goes, “I met at eve the Prince of Sleep, his was a still and smiling face”. The tone of that poem because of the location of adjectives before the nouns and the order of the imagery produces a very dream-like depiction.
  • Phantasos is the god of surrealistic dreams, from which the word fantasy is derived. If you dream of flying over fields of custard with giraffes mowing the lawn, you are experiencing the highly symbolic dream of Phantasos.
  • Phobetor is the god of nightmares from which the word “phobia” is derived. His dreams are of demons, ghosts, fear and fright.

All of these are valid dream associations, though, and psychologically a dream state is considered to be an altered state of consciousness.
Drugs are perhaps the least effective, most destructive, and outrageously stupid method of experiencing states of altered consciousness because of the addiction, the diverse mental and emotional side effects, the negative effects on the user’s mood and the like.

Meditation and Kundalini remain the most authentic and the most genuine methods are always the most potent. But the purpose with practitioners of Kundalini isn’t to access wild, psychedelic states of consciousness, but to unify their perceptions into harmonious whole that, through its synergy, appears mind-altered, but, in reality is authentic. When we experience humdrum perception fields, and “normal days”, with vapid colors we are, then, in a state of altered consciousness. Our authentic realm of sensual alertness explodes with colors and meaning. Therefore, accessing the so-called “altered state of consciousness” through natural means is simply re-accessing our “normal self”, and that unaltered normal self is remarkably illuminating and incredibly not original and bland.

Many religions access this the “authentic, unaltered, altered state of conscience” self through worship. The role of the Goddess especially has strong connections with Kundalini force. Goddess energy is frequently described as the sex appeal in women to which men succumb. When anyone succumbs to sex appeal the “fail to resist a typically negative, pressuring, or tempting force”. The question arises is sex appeal a negative force? Not really in the biological sense because anatomically, are DNA programs us to procreate; we are designed to reproduce, to pass on genes. However, the concept of dropping to the level of worshipping a fellow human being because of sex appeal not only relegates yourself, but it destroys the integrity of the human spirit.

For the longest time there has been the tendency to make a false dichotomy of classifying people into two categories. Although these stereotypes do not deliberately refer to women, they do occur that way:

  1. Heavy, husky, and unattractive BUT nice, low maintenance kind, authentic, “repentant, loving, subservient, reformed person” (Gilda 7)
  2. Slim, attractive, sexy BUT manipulative, high maintenance, up on a pedestal, superficial, “alluring, unbridled temptress”

Regardless of being gender-specific, that is an erroneous bifurcation because there just as easily are heavy-set people that are manipulative and slim, attractive people who are kind and warm. Somatype, body frame, poundage does not determine personality! Body size can have an impact, but it does not ultimately define one’s disposition and motivating agenda.

The deification of sex appeal more frequently arises in men, than from women, resulting in the “sex goddess” syndrome. The extremely desirable actresses, singers, sportswomen, or other lady celebrities (examples are Elle McPherson, Marilyn Monroe, Anna Kournikova, and the like) not only are treated as Goddess, but they create a social normal for attraction. “If you don’t find those societal goddesses attractive you are a homosexual or wired wrong” has become the warped and invalid cultural cliché. The dehumanization of this operates on a two-fold level. First, the goddess is objectified. Roseanne Burr coined the phrase “domestic goddess” in the 1980s, which simply meant housewife. Secondly, it manufactures a dangerous cultural groove (or for women in regards to “sex gods”) that “creates a disservice to women – one that interferes with the realities of normal male-female relationships” (Gilda 2). In other words, both women and men get trapped into either having their worship of the opposite sex interfere with authentic intimacy or they find themselves loving the façade, a deified image, and neglecting the warm, core individual.

Another problem with sex goddess fantasies is that aforementioned false bifurcation is created. Not only are their more classifications of those extremes, but each extreme is incredibly unrealistic. A living Barbie doll would be anatomically impossible. This is what a huge majority of women grew up idolizing, an image so warped and inhumanly realistic that it is physically impossible to attain. The “real Barbie”, calculated with the same real-world proportions would be like an alien species: given that the real-life Barbie is 6 feet tall, with an appropriate scale ratio factor, her “bust, waist, and hip measurements would be 33, 20.75, and 30.5 inches, respectively” (Europa 7). Anexoria, anemia, circulation problems would not doubt be plaguing the real-life version of this cultural, gender icon. But the power of role models is different from that of god or goddess images. You aim to become the role model, while the god or goddess is simply considered to be “too ideal; too magnificent; too great” to even bother trying to emulate. My question is why the emulation? Why the mimicry? Everyone has splinters of successful people unnaturally weaved into their disposition, congesting the vitality of their spirit. Hairstyles of famous people, facial gestures of celebrities, mannerisms and knick-knacks from the affluent and prestigious – such emulation does not brew success, but simply confusion. Successful people are successful not because they have imagery, but because they cultivate an original interface for interacting with the world aligned with their essence.

If you visit a jungle territory, you could find the repenitent, subservient people. If you visit a nunnery or convent, there will certainly be some people of the unbridled, type. Therefore, environment does not create these roles, ill-defined cultural standards, however, do.

However, this false dichotomy is much more outdated.
Carl Jung was convinced that Kundalini was symbolic of "the process of individuation", which he discussed at the Psychological Club in Zurich. While I disagree with many of Freud’s theories, I do believe in Jung’s interpretation of individuation and concur that Kundalini would be a very transformative force in the process of individuation. Individuating is where an undifferentiated person becomes or develops individual characteristics that make that person a more indivisible whole. The process of individuation is divided into two parts. Half is saying things you like; the other half alludes to things you dislike, in very low-level psychological terms. You are identifying your individuality, what makes you who you are, why you don’t like broccoli, and do like Brussels sprouts, and the like. The three main outcomes that arise from this process are egotism, self-depreciation, or successful individuation. The first two outcomes are negative. If you only recognize your strengths you undergo egotism; and if you only examine your weaknesses and flaws you self-depreciate. Successful individuation is successfully honoring your strengths and weaknesses giving you a realistically aware viewpoint of yourself. The great thing about Kundalini force is that tidal wave of intention that surges in you because of it, makes individuation – regardless of it being deliberate or unintentional recognition of strengths and weaknesses – naturally occur.

Because individuation involves, more or less, being somewhat of a rebel, few people individuate these days. Far more than majority, about 80% of people attempt individuation, even fewer successfully individuate. Most people are throngs in the status quo. Those who have successfully individuated shine. They stand out. Usually they are successful athletes, politicians, writers, musicians, artists – anyone who stands out has successfully indivuated. Success is a myth. What success really is, us thorough individuation. Becoming into one’s own generates a concrete embodiment that sets trends, goes faster, has more dynamism, more awareness, and more maneuvers because it is not glued into the slow technology of the clunky, undifferentiated whole. The individuated soul becomes an integrated being, aware of its talents.

Now individuation is related to, but slightly different from identity formation. When one experiences an identity crisis, whether it be “mid-life” after getting fired from one’s job in your mid-40s, at old age, or in early adolescence, four possible outcomes arise:

  • Successful Identity formation. Exploration of other identities occurred and a formal identity created.
  • Premature Identity formation. Exploration of other identities failed to occur, but a pseudo-identity façade was prematurely created.
  • Meandering Identity Formation. Exploration of other identities occurred, but failed to cease, so no constant identity façade was ever created.
  • Anesthetized Identity Formation. Exploration of other identities failed to occur, nor did a constant identity emerge.

The fourth outcome from the identity crisis represents lack of any effort in resolve. The first scenario, successful identity formation, symbolizes the individual who intrepidly tried on different identity guises, explored, and created a solid, personalized personality. The irony about “personality” is that its root word is “person” but it, unfortunately, rarely reflects the person itself. Personality should embody the essence of one’s identity.

Whether you call it esprit, loosh, prana, elan vital, or bio-electricity, Kundalini is an incredibly potent force catalyzing individuation, but also embodying raw vitality. The condensed, compact energy of the Kundalini is like a nuclear reactor. A Sufi mystic, Rumi, wrote about it, saying, "You have the energy of the sun in you, but keep knotting it up at the base of your spine." True, some scientists investigated the cellular energy potential of the human body estimating it to be equivalent of multiple atom bombs. When you hit your funny bone and experience an internal electric zap of the body’s nervous system, you are dabbling with the body’s electric potential.

Because of the incredible amount of momentum Kundalini creates, one should not attempt to open this thrust of energy if one is not in a balanced psychologically. This is not for those with manic depression or bi-polar disorder. You have to be extremely psychologically clear and stable because the journey of Kundalini will take you extraordinary places that press psychological buttons, but it is the journey of myriad lifetimes and copious generations because it is a unifying occurrence. One common misinterpretation of this force is lack of control. People believe that Kundalini is a Pandora’s box that, once opened, causes chaos to reign and choice of destiny to falter.

My junior year in high school, I really felt like I experienced a Kundalini rising. I started investigating Chakras, reading Hindu scriptures, painting furniture, and experienced a wide range of visual color changes. Westerners would say I was just trying to comprehend the whooshing and radical changes of puberty, but easterners could say I was experiencing a Kundalini rising.

Kundalini arising, apparently, can be ridiculously trippy and hallucinogenic: “the usual character common to dreams…they often lacked coherence and continuity…I was transported to a glittering fairyland, where garbed in luster I glided from place to place” (Krishna 148). Some of this sounds incredibly cheesy and absurd, but the emphasis on the dream-like sensation of a Kundalini awakening is a very common description.

Kundalini most certainly generated individuation, but there are other methods that almost inevitable create internal realizations associated with individuation. Take the 12-step program for recovering addicts. This program -- while for recovering drug, alcohol, and sex addicts among others – actually creates an authentic relationship with one’s self, engendering individuation and even possibly accessing I am a 12-stepper. Here’s the list of the basic twelve steps. All twelve-steppers have:

  1. Admitted their powerlessness over their addiction (alcohol, drugs, whatever) and recognized their lives as unmanageable.

    1. This first step dissolves denial that causes addictive behavior to perpetuate.

  2. Believe that a greater power than themselves could restore sanity.
    1. This addresses the power of faith, but one should never abandon the power of one’s own individuation, which is ultimately what is cultivated. Addictions arise because of the absence of identity and successful indivuation. There are always addictions. The key is to be addicted to successful habits. Michael Jordan was addicted to winning, you could say. Charles Dickens, addicted writing poignant novels. But in the presence of individuation, the only “addiction” is successful, joyful living. Clearly, Kundalini, 12 step, and individuation are all intertwined.

  3. Made a decision to turn their will and lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

    1. This personal relationship with God is vital to successful faith and the essence of individuation. Everyone has a distinct and different definition of God and relationship to God. Even if you take two identical twins, raised Roman Catholic ministers, who have memorized all 39 books of the Old Testament and all 27 books of the New Testament, they will have different interpretations and relationships with God. How you understand god is as distinct as your DNA. Each strand of DNA “comprises some 3.2 billion letters of coding, enough to provide 10^3,480,000,000 possible combinations” (Bryson 399). That’s 10 followed by 3.48 billion zeros of combinations! In short, everyone has a unique DNA sequence, just like everyoen has their own distinct, perspective of god. Everyone has their own reality of the universe and of God. It’s important to recognize that distinctiveness to cultivate your own enrichign reality.

  4. Fearlessly seek and create a moral inventory of ourselves.

    1. This is the essence of individuation. Calculating strengths and weaknesses equally – avoiding egotism and self-depreciation and taking the middle road of individuation.

  5. Admitted to God, your self, and another human being the exact detailed nature of wrongs.

    1. Steps 5-7 are all about confessing -- pinpointing qualities you dislike, asking for help with that, and then readying for the removal of those all those instances.

  6. Readied ourself for god to remove the defects we confessed.
  7. Embraced humility, asking God to remove these defects and shortcomings.

    1. This step, like most of these steps, I don’t aggree with in the conventional sense becaue “shortcomings” can quickly become strengths given the write context. In the military, always wanting to paint would be a shortcoming, but in Renaissance Italy, wanting to obsessively paint the ceiling of the Sistine chapel -- like Michaelangelo did with Sistine Chapel for Pope Sixtus IV, making it one of the most famous cathedrals in the world with frescoes of Christ’s Temptation, The Last Judgment, The Creation of Adam, and the like – is a mark of a deviant, successful prodigy. “Shortcomings”, therefore, are contextual – inappropriate deviations in one environment, insurpassable ingenuity in another context. Accessing your own shortcomings in a proactive context is better than “overcoming them”; it’s utilizing them.

  8. Listed all the persons harmed and committed to willingly making amends.

    1. Steps 8-9 are all about making amends – listing the amends and then making them.

  9. Actually directed those amends to all people, unless it would harm or injure them.
  10. Continue to make personal inventory and admit wrongs.

    1. Steps 10-12 are sustaining steps – aimed to continue eradicating flaws, confessing them, praying for knowledge and ability to carry out our will, and continuity of spiritual awakenings.

  11. Used prayer and meditation to connect with God, via our understanding of Him – praying for knowledge of God’s will for us and power to carry that out

    1. Step 11 I have another problem with. You define your own agenda, intertwined with God’s because you are a manifestation of God. This is not abonding free choice, just doing a “maintenace check” on will and focus.

  12. Pass on the steps and continue having spiritual awakenings.

The 12-step could really be 5-Step with:
  1. Transforming Powerlessness to Faithful Empowerment (1-3)

    1. Identify Powerlessness
    2. Believe in higher power
    3. Turn life over to that higher power

  2. Personal Inventory for Individuation (4)
  3. Confessions (5-7)
  4. Making Amends (8-9)
  5. Sustaining Progress through Prayer, Meditation, and Realizations (10-12)

We don’t subscribe to any religion, but, taking an agnostic placement, appreciate the openness of god. The reality is continuing to individuate by accessing one’s shortcomings in a nourishing environment and to create certainty in that process, which accesses Kundalini. One’s method of understanding God could very easily be vis-à-vis Kundalini, if you believe in that form of energy. Discovering what you believe in -- even if that is aetheism or agnosticism -- is a different hue of creating faith.

Gilda. 2006.
Krishna, Gopi. Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man. Boston:
Shambala, 1997.


How Soap Does its Thing

Water molecules are attracted to each other by means of the very subtle, but certainly existest, Van der Waals force. In a normal body of water, water molecules are equally pulling on each other, except at the surface of the water. There, the water molecules pull together creating a dome shape. This "surface tension" is what causes water bead and to almost encapsulate itself. This surface tension is great if you are an insect floating on water (the surface of water is actually more resilient because of this tension) or if you are drying off anything (the water will collect into beads). This surface tension is a problem if you really want something to get wet -- clothing, stains, things that need cleaning -- because the water will attract more to itself than to other people. This is where soap comes in.

Soap works because its a surface-acting agent, or surfactant. Surfactants break up the surface tension on water. With the surface tension broken up, water will "melt" into any substance and becomes more "porous", if you will, to things it contacts. Surfactants work because they have molecules with hydrophillic (attracted to H20 molecules) and hydrophobic (repelled by water) ends. The hydrophillic end binds to the water while the other hydrophobic or lipophillic (attracted to lipids, namely the debris of stains or dirt). Therefore, the surfactants kind of become miniature links between H20 and debris, thus allowing water to bring the dirt with it as it is washed away.

The Vitality of Argument

It is SO incredibly vital to argue -- debate, dialectic, argument, negotiation. Through argument, you become more aware of your opinions, your stance on life, the ideology that compose your unique person. it is the most personal form of learning. You can absorb information through exchange, etc. If someone presents a view and you don't argue with it, you are saying to yourself that maybe I am not so certain of my view. Through argument you develop dialectic and tremendous knowledge by hearing both sides of the argument.

Chemistry Flashback: The Oxidation-Reduction Reaction

Oxidation-Reduction reactions are fascinating. Something is oxidized if an electron is removed from it. This is based the fact that oxygen is the most frequent acceptor electrons in a biological system so oxygen frequently oxidizes electrons off of molecules and reduces them into the atmosphere.
Something is reduced if it acquires an electron so oxidation always has to occur with a reduction. The electron moved -- the oxidized electron -- always has to be added somewhere, or reduced, so these two reactions are in equilibrium with each other!
The Law of Thermodynamics states that all chemical systems are proceeding toward a state of maximum disorder and minimum free energy. the reactions that have products with less energy than the original compounds lose energy and are called exergonic reactions. The reactions that do not occur spontaneously and acquire energy (the products have more energy than the original reactants) go against the law of Thermodynamics and are called endergonic reactions. These reactions defy the law of thermodynamics, which is why the do not occur spontaneously. When things simply go with the flow, they go with the laws of nature. More specifically, they go with the law of Thermodynamics, which means the reactions lose free energy, instead of store it, and become more chaotic.
Endergonic reactions are great. Examples of them are running, writing, anything that is planning ahead and storing instead of acting on impulse. My junior year in high school I ceased all of these endergonic (energy creating) reactions and just lived by spontaneous impulse so that the majority of the reactions I had were exergonic. Consequentially, I quickly lost free energy and awareness and created more disorder and chaos. An activity like running is highly endergonic and stores and builds products that are highly energized because it cultivates so much fitness and health. An exercise like eating has a lethargic effect if it is junk food so that behavior would be extremely exergonic. Watching TV is spontaneous, but loses energy while increasing chaos, making it exergonic. Clearly, a high degree of endergonic behavior gives one freedom, clarity and space through order and planning and storing energy. While exergonic behavior loses order and chaos and produces incredible disorder and lack of freedom. Therefore, freedom is most directly acquired through behavior that is endergonic, that results in more energy, more order. However, what seems to lose energy -- like running -- really builds it. Eating, one would think, would produce energy, but in terms of behavior, unless the food was highly nutritious, it can quickly lose energy. Find out what you feel energized after -- endergonic reactions -- and pursue those for their liberty!
Activation Energy is the energy needed to start a reaction, usually so that the reaction produces even more energy. Gasoline has a ton of potential energy but needs activation energy to get it going.
A catalyst is a reaction that influences and impacts chemical bonds so less activation energy is needed. In other words, if a system is really wound up and needs a high amount of activation energy, a catalyst kind of coaxes the bonds, loosens them up, so they go into energy state. An example is if you're trying to seduce a date who is really wound up, and, therefore, you need a high activation energy to her "turned on". A catalyst, like a couple of drinks, loosens those chemical bonds of intimacy so much less activation energy is needed for a reaction to take place.
Because the rate of a reaction depends on the amount of activation energy needed, catalysts incredibly speed up the rate of the reaction. Catalysts are remarkable alleviation to reactions that are stagnant, slow or stymied. In a political situation, in trying to resolve the Middle East, for example, giving up a piece of land would be a great catalyst that would lower activation energy, which could spark a peaceful compromising “reaction”, or treaty.

Nerve Impulses : Now THAT’s Energy!

Within the realm of nerve is the typical neuron, composed of Schwann cells sheathed in an insulating myelin sheath membrane and connected by nodes of Ranvier.

The operation of neurons – how they are activated to move muscles or respond to other neurons – is based primarily on electrical charges. Depolarization, when the interior of a neuron becomes less negative, quickly activates sodium (Na+) channels, which inactivate spontaneously, and gradually activates potassium (K+) channels, which do not inactivate.
It’s fascinating to realize that your emotional responses, like the actor who is not merely being natural but making his material entirely real through method, are simply nerves and these should be expressed in the moment. That is, after why you are feeling them. If the purpose of feeling your nerves and impulses was to suppress them, why would you feel them? It is simply illogical to think that nerves should be denied and buried. Would your your nerves – the excitatory synapses the depolarization of sodium and potassium ions, nodes of Ranvier, myelin sheath, and neurotransmitters – all operate and go through complexity of firing responses and activation's so you can then deny those impulses? No, the nervous system is designed to be denied,to be accessed and to spark and activate potential and exuberant strength.
Understanding how a neuron fires is based on comprehending electrolyte solutions and how the gated ion channels on the nerve membrane. When NaCl is placed in water, Na+ and Cl- separate, creating an electrolyte solution that as a whole is neutral, but the distribution of positive ions (cations) or negative ions (anions) is affected by a concentration gradient, which is stored potential energy (increasing voltage which increase current), for a particular ion, like K+, or by difference in permeability (increasing current), that could allow K+ or only Na+ ot permeate a membrane in the gated ion channels. When the channels open or close, they selectively let specifically Na+ and/or K+ in or out, and this inward or outward flow changes the movement of ions across the nerve membrane.
The Voltage is the measurement of the electrical driving force and it causes ions to move. The movement of the electrical ions is current and current increases when voltage increases (the propulsion for ions to move) or the when a membrane is made more permeable.
The resting state, resting potential, of the negative, interior cell, -70 to -80 mV, is polarized to the positively charged exterior. When the interior of the cell becomes less negative (more positively charged) it undergoes depolarization, and the opposite of depolarization, making something more negatively charged (less positively charged) is hyperpolarization. During a depolarization of the cell, Na+ quickly flows in and if all the Na+ gates are open, the depolarization could be so affective that the polarity of the cell is flipped – the interior becomes more positively charged than the exterior (the opposite condition from the resting potential state, which has the cell’s interior more positively charged). When the polarity of the cell’s interior and exterior flip, action potential has been reached. In a cells save hearth and some smooth muscle, the action potential is a few milliseconds. Immediately after the action potential, the Na+ channels close, are inactivated, and K+ channels open for rapid hyperpolarization.
The neuron cell has three different phases in terms of being able to fire an action potential – impossible to fire, difficult to fire, normal to fire. During the short time that the cell is “resetting” it is in its absolute refractory period, during which another action potential cannot be fired. After that is a longer relative refractory period, where the action potential can fire, but only with a stronger stimulus. Finally, the normal resting potential calls for the normal stimulus. The sequence of the cell firing once the threshold has been reached is similar to a fixed action pattern in a species, which is a sequence of complex movements (like a goose egg-retrieving or a frog using complex musculature to catch an insect after seeing it, or a certain fish that attacks red-underbellied fish), that fired one a sign stimulus occurs.
Hormones are so useful because from a single source, base station, by simply releasing different hormones, the body can control many secretions of different chemicals that come from different sources. Secretin (the first hormone discovered in 1902) is released in the duodenum, but causes the pancreas to release a bicarbonate to protect the stomach lining. Also released from the dudenum is the cholecystokinin hormone that causes gallbladder contractions. The pyloric area of the stomach releases gatrin which causes HCl to be secreted when food enters the stomach. So chewing gum releases the gastrin hormone, causing your stomach to secrete HCl acid!
So with hormones, the duodenum, just with the very few examples above, can control the gallbladder’s bile secretions and the stomach’s insulation. Could nerves have been used instead to activate these things? Yes, but continually firing the nerve all throughout digestion would be fatiguing and a waste of energy, which is why hormones are the most efficient usage of activation by a stimulus in digestion. Could you imagine constantly firing the bladder muscle, instead of releasing ADH, when you didn’t need to pee! It would be exhausting. Hormones are tremendously efficient!

Connecting to the Intrinsic Spirit

“One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead.” says Oscar Wilde. In other words, the life we program by schedules and agendas is the life we lead, but the essence of that has it's own current and flow that cannot be lead, but is inspired. A surfing saying is "you ride the wave or the wave rides you". Your real life is neither leading the wave, nor being lead by it, but flowing and adapting and dancing with its momentum. Most importantly it is having gratitude for one's place and accomplishments. Tennessee William's writes "Ambition is the last refuge of failure", meaning that aspiring is trying to hide that you've failed. This is partially true because it's important to acknowledge a failure. However, it's even more vital to recognize a failure not as an event symbolizing inadequacy, but as a learning lesson, didactically pointing us towards things we could improve to ensure more success.

Napoleon Dynamite always does precisely whatever he wants, that is what we must realize we have the capacity to do. Also, if people demand something of us, we don't have to necessarily answer it at all.

There are no failures when we are charged to examine every occurrence as didactic experiences.

We must continue to do things out of our own volition, for our own mind. Creating our own experience and shaping the perception of our own universe and NOT conforming to other's perspectives is the pathway to "experiencing one's real life" and riding the wave; crafting our personalized interface, perception, and contact with the world is one of the most important things possible.

We do that be doing things because we get a deep intrinsic, intuitive urge to do that. We mustn't follow the crowd, unless the crowd happens to blend with our path -- if it happens to be headed in the same direction we are. That is a recipe for happiness.

Visualizing the Intrinsic Spirit

Making connections with people. I frequently recognize connections with other people so that I can visibly see the Universal spirit. When I had to stay with a host family in Costa Rica, I recognized similarities in the house owner to my father and the local Costa Ricans, or Ticos, to my elementary school friends. Eventually, through the process of enormously interconnected travel, every person we interact with -- whether it be a close family member like a parent or brother or a complete stranger you meet on the airplane -- will embody and resemble a close friend we have related to. The world doesn't become our Oyster, every person becomes the pearl.

Exertion for its Own Sake

Runners, Bikers, Swimmers -- we work for the sake of work. Work is our payment. The action of work is more important than any payment. When I move to Chicago after graduation college. I immediately joined a club, started running on trails, and started doing very intense work at a community service shelter. My entire life style was a full-time job basically, but without pay. I knew money would come if I needed it. The vital essentiality to my life was ensuring that I had that opportunity for work in my life. Loving the exertion not as toil and drudgery, but as a faithful and fulfilling profession of itself. So many people define profession as work and effort with a monetary outcome. Not so, profession should be purely work that is so powerfully meaningful and interactively poignant that its essence alone is the critical reward. We should stop placing acclaim on the paycheck as the sole means of evaluating worthwhile work. Truly awesome work is done with grace, certainty, conviction, truth, and joy. Expanding our minds to not only comprehend, but live, by exerting ourselves creates incredible certainty. Just like they say eat to live, don't live to eat. Don't work for the paycheck; work for the joy of it and the paycheck is an irrelevant (possibly and unexpected) bonus. This is incredibly counterintuitive to mainstream America, but incredibly vital.

Can You Catch the Jungle?

Why write about the "loopholes and bureaucratic wrinkles and Catch-22s that trap, stunt and sour life for modern Americans, modern Chicagoans" (Reardon 6). Why not focus on the glorious city of chicago -- Wrigley, Sears, some great architecture, cool pier, lakeside landscapes. It's no paradise. I've been to Costa Rica, so I know authentic paradise, but Chicago is a city that sparkles in rain, sleet, snow, grit or grime. And that resilient glory of the city, in a way, makes it one of the most unique places.

In the "Jungle", Upton Sinclair doesn't point fingers at those overpowering, but also at those overpowered. He "calls the powerless to task for permitting themselves to become victims" (Reardon 6). The oppressor and the victim (for playing that victimized role) create the two-pronged problem. After all, remember, that Foucault said power is always based on reciprocity, relationships and resistance. The victim and the oppressor are in that relationship together and their reciprocity revolves around one choosing to be overpowered, the other, to overbear. We should stop playing this counter-cooperative roles and just surf more.

The icy winter chill in Chicago, Sinclair describes, got so deadly "one bitter morning in February...the little boy who worked at the lard machine with Stanislovas came home an hour late, screaming in pain" (Reardon 6). It turned out that when, "they unwrapped him, and a man began vigorously rubbing his ears; and as they were frozen stiff, it took only two or three rubs to break them short off" (Reardon). Now that is a cold chill. Chicago is "windy" because of its politics, but that icy wind, is brutal.

Upton writes of the problems faced by Jurgis, the everyday man. He faces "death, seduction, betrayal, injury, hunger, disfigurement, bankruptcy, deception, illness, terror, abandonment" (Reardon 6). Great, who cares? Who wants to read about all the qualms and quagmires of some fictional bloke? Tell me about an extraordinary life not because of its dilemmas and disturbing grotesqueness, but because of its exhilaration and joy. Their has GOT to be more stories about some cutback someone just did on the perfect face of a wave. That's what I want to be reading about. I could care less about how some fictional Jurgis suffers. That makes the reader suffer. I don't want to waste my time with that. And I don't care if it is in the must-read genre of "classical literature". Fathoming hardship in small dosages is great for creating appreciation of joy, but reading about it nonstop in “The Jungle” is merely a waste of time. The only thing that is certain about it, is its "classic drab, blandness that makes you neglect the important things in life". The important things are surfing. Recognize the unique grit and flavorful urban character Chicago possesses. Keep catching the wave.

Reardon. “Chicago Journal: Perspective.” The Chicago Tribune. Feb 26, 2006.

Chronicle out Loud

Ideas get old fast. Putting your ideas in a book and publishing it is a great way to etch some of those mental connections on paper. But because the writing, editing, publishing, and distributing process is anything but instantaneous, many of the ideas or outdated, compared to the everchanging contemporary zeitgeist. The most effective way to provide to that ceasely transforming collective spirit is through voice and communication. But chronicling your knowledge and experiences certainly never can hurt and naturally creates a foundation of stability.

“Parents exist to be grown out of,” writes John Wolfenden. Make sure we grow out of ourselves by learning about our personality traits with our certainty.

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