The story we weave

If you read my post “i am alien” and have your head screwed on straight you will have noticed the childish nature of that post. So much so, i’m embarrassed to leave it up, but it genuinely reflected how i felt in the moment as it’s a feeling that reemerges in my mind and it just happened to land again when i was at the keyboard. It’s a dumb and immature feeling but a keyhole into a the part of me, albeit mostly illusory.

We all tell ourselves a story. It’s the story of “me.” And it’s almost always formed through trial and tribulation. Even if you were born a prince, with all manner of privilege and accolade laid at your feet, that prince will have a story about their struggle through life. It would be about how princehood brings with it all manner of struggle and that it’s all because he was born a prince, in a specific place, in a specific time. We all have our victimhood story and we are constantly seeking to confirm it through the events in our life. So much so, that those that invest too much emotional energy into it, will only see the aspect of their life that confirm it to be true and will find ways of shaping their life around it.

The “story” is often characterized by how life has inflicted upon us a series of events and circumstances that we have no control over. This ranges from your ethnicity, economic status, your parents, family members, etc. Those are all things you have absolutely NO control over, and they are almost ALWAYS the key anchors to your story arc. And the reason for this, i believe, is because we have a victim gene (read my victim gene post for more on this). It’s such a powerful aspect of what it means to be human, that it’s fundamentally what inspires much of our actual storytelling, in movies, books, comics, etc.

The oppressor and the oppressed – that pretty much sums up our story as humans. It’s pitiful, and we each need to work hard to shake it. We are living in the freeest time in human history and we will take ourselves right back to serfdom if we don’t rid ourselves of these ghosts that echo in our brian. Again, even if you were borne a privileged prince, you’d wallow in tears because of how mean your daddy (the king) was by spending so much time at work and not with you. Grow the fuck up you pitiful little child! Grow a pair and fucking blaze your own trail. And don’t do it by fucking people over like you so adamantly have convinced yourself to be the victim of. It’s your own fucking story that is bringing about trauma in others and furthering it in yourself.

Let it go, and shake it off! If you won’t listen to me, then at least listen to your pop stars. They are your new royalty after all.

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The cycles of trauma

Your trauma wants to stay alive and if it has to, it will kill you trying.

A traumatic moment, be it corporeal, sexual or verbal is often characterized by a truncated moment in time. In other words, the abuse is often characterized by an action that didn’t have the proper preamble or closure in order for it to either be expected or resolved. Rape, for instance, from an alien’s perspective might look like rough sex or bondage, but once the knowledge is there that one of the parties didn’t consent, it becomes a hideous and traumatic act for the victim.

There are times when anger and yelling may be warranted, but if the speaker is raising their voice and using words that are not at all warranted by the situation, it’s a form of verbal assault or verbal abuse. If on the other hand, a piano fell on a mover’s toes, he could yell and cuss as much as he would like and everyone around him would understand. Granted, once the pain subsided, it would be expected for him to extend an apology to those around him so that the moment had the proper closure and resolution. When either the lead up or the conclusion to the event are missing, there is likely going to be trauma, in particular if that moment is hurtful or aggressive in some way.

In that sense, trauma is an irresolute moment seared, as if branded, in one’s brain. And to get rid of the trauma you either need to learn and understand what lead up to that moment, or someone (perhaps yourself) needs to give you a sense of closure from it. If you can’t do this, your trauma will continue to find ways of rearing its ugly little head, be it in the form of sudden bursts of anger, blinding fear, and all manner of irrational behavior. This is often the case for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for whom something as inoccuouse as a loud noise (like fireworks) could be all it takes to trigger the individual into an emotional episode.

This condition can be profoundly difficult to live with as these individuals will often reflect their traumas on those closest to them and may often ruin friendships, family ties and loving relationships with significant others. This will only serve to aggravate their condition further as they will inevitably find themselves gravitating toward people and situations that are likely to bring them into contact with new assailants similar to those that inflicted the original trauma to begin with. The trauma is seeking itself. Its mind is bent upon seeing its own reflection. It’s almost as if there is a subconscious desire, on the part of the mind, to replay the event. But why!?

Whenever I try to untangle biological problems such as this, i always turn to evolution.  But what could be the evolutionary advantage of PTSD? Why not select out the behavior? I mean, just imagine how much more traumatic life was for humans when dealing with protecting our children from lions, tigers and bears. So clearly there must be an evolutionary advantage to having these symptoms to trauma.

The most common symptom to trauma is memory loss. The mind simly wipes the event from memory. Here we clearly see evolution working its magic.  So sure,  it’s quite possible, that trauma is the result of only a partially erased moment. And perhaps why it’s so incomplete. But still, there must be an evolutionary correction that lead to its cyclical nature. My theory is that trauma is behaving like a broken record that keeps repeating itself in the hopes that a resolution may be arrived at. Perhaps an awakening to the memories that preceded the event or figuring out how to bring closure to it. Like a ghost, coming back for unfinished business.

Perhaps it’s not so much that your trauma wants to keep re-emerging, it’s merely a fractured moment that needs to be un-severed. The mind has an event with a gap in it, and you need to complete it, in order for the healing to take place.

If you can’t, you’ll probably just kill yourself or find ways of recreating moments that lead to that traumatic incident and find someone else to “select” you out of the herd in the process.

Another solution is isolation in a safe space or environment where none of the triggers are ever likely to be stimulated. You may recall the precogs in Minority Report whom, at the end of the movie, had to be relocated away in a dreamy log cabin up in the mountains to finally find peace from all the trauma they were subjected to. But very few ever have the luxury for such a move.

So in the absence of this, what can one do? How does one resolve the trauma amidst a world that presents a plethora of opportunities to keep the events freshly preserved in our minds? Be it fireworks on 4th of july, police sirens, train horns or even he mood swings of those closest to us? Not to mention the stresses of having bills to pay, mouths to feed, etc?

The answer, i believe, is “completion” and “closure.”  The victim must understand what lead up to the moment and also how to resolve it. A very special confidant can assist. Be it a counselor or a close friend, but these individuals need to know how profoundly difficult their role is going to be and must be able to endure the suffering that will likely come of it by being able to compartmentalize their role in those moments of profound rejection when they are, in fact, needed the most. The one suffering from the trauma must also learn how to compartmentalize and be willing to not fall prey to the comforting embrace of the familiar tune that is this broken record and try their hardest not to turn those that help them into assailants.

Finish your trauma, and it will stop repeating itself. But if you continue finding comfort by falling into its clutches, the cycles will perpetuate until something even more terrible happens.

The moment I was enlightened

The moment I was enlightened was the moment I was sent into darkness.

Many years ago I was forced to let go of my home and after it had all been vacated I walked in one last time to say goodbye.

I stood in the sun room where my office used to be. I stood in the middle of it when a single moth emerged out of nowhere and flew around me in one big circle a little over an arm’s length away.

I turned with it as it revolved around me and sat down from the dizzyness.

I fell into a deep meditation and asked God for a sign because my faith was shaken.

It was then that the entire floor crackled in a spider-web-like pattern with me at its epicenter.

It shook my soul and my eyes couldn’t stay shut any longer.

With eyes wide open I felt suddenly empowered with faith renewed. And just then, as my faith was basking in its renewal, I realized that the creaking sounds of the ground were merely unresolved pressures being displaced from the sudden lack of furniture in the room with me being the only weight standing at its center.

In that instant, my sharp reason took its blade and severed my faith at its upstanding head.

My faith went from shaken, to lost. And lost forever.

I went into darkness for many days following. Feeling the waste that was my life. The spiritual currencies I had amassed for decades had suddenly turned into worthless paper.

At first I missed the angels.

And this was met with profound sadness.

But then I missed the demons.

And this was met with joy.

And it was from this period of naught that I began to see.
It was in this state of nothingness, of void, of coldness that I felt myself sitting naked on a rock in the middle of an icy creek.

I was nothingness. I was empty. I was void. I was alone. I was cold. I was desolate. I was empty handed. I was empty. Empty of thoughts, ideas and preconceptions.

And it was in this moment of absolute surrender that I finally began to see.

I began to see the beauty in all things.
I saw the beauty of a fallen leaf.
I saw the beauty of flowing water.
I saw the beauty of a passing cloud and a dancing tree.
I saw the beauty of mountains and valleys.
I saw the beauty in all of creation and all of its wonders. And I felt connected to it all. I felt one with it. I felt beautiful because I was one with the beauty I witnessed around me.

And it was in this moment, that I began, for the first time in my life, to know myself and doing so through creation. I was no longer alone. I was in the company of all that was around me. Even if it were an empty chair, I could sense its companionship and the hands of its maker.  A new faith emerged within me. One that could not be shaken. One built from tangible experience and not from vapid imagination. One built with my senses and not with stories. One built for me and not by me.

This was true faith. This was the beginning of enlightenment and it all began with darkness. Maybe I’ll go back into darkness and see what else there is to find. Wish me luck, lest I get trapped in its clutches and not come out.

Stop being a phoney

What is a phoney?

A phoney is a lost creature. At first it may seem to be beheaded but if you look closely enough you’ll notice the head is still attached just folded over like an inverted “L”. A phoney tends to stare aimlessly at its palms which often speak back instructions on where to roam. The palms of a phoney glow blue and in the dead of night, you can see their pale downward-facing faces illuminated by them. They tap and scroll and quest every hour for validation with a form of crypto-currency called a notification. A red coin that falls into the empty chamber that once contained their soul; the red emblem of communism reminding them of the blood that must be spilled to power their devices. “Spill it!” they secretly yearn in their morbid hearts.

A phoney gladly gives up any freedoms it may posses for free goods; and will always find beauty in ugliness in order to justify its own unkempt appearance and environment. This is also why a phoney venerates the downtrodden instead of heroes and takes pride in failure over successes. A phoney willingly ignores and forgets that what is free and unlabored, by definition, has no value. And what value it has is merely illusory like the empty pride they carry on their bent backs as they stare aimlessly at their battery powered hands. But when their battery dies, so does their sense of purpose, until they find their purpose renewed when seeking to find an outlet.

But there truly are no outlets. None of the ones they really need. No outlets for love and affection, no outlets for purpose and pride. No outlets for anything that is remotely related to being sentient. Because the phoney refuses real intimacy with others and turns to hedonism instead. A phoney refuses deep and meaningful conversation and turns to gossip through status updates and private chat groups instead. The phoney never seeks truth, especially when it hurts. Instead the phoney is ever questing to find those truths that confirm their own biases and sense of self hurt. A phoney always seeks to feel better about their own imperfections by finding faults in others, especially among those that are admired. The phoney also seeks that which fuels their indignation with the world so they can remain ever disengaged with it and justify their perpetual addiction to their grievances.

When virtues are up for sale, phoneys gladly give theirs away in exchange for the right to feel generous without the inconvenience of being so. So a phoney will march, will chant will vote other people’s money into any group that claims to do the “good” works. Then they broadcasts their donations for all other phoneys to admire. “ding-ding-ding!” goes their red notification making the phoney smile.

Don’t be a phoney!
Be a huemen!

A huemen must look up in order to see the path that lies ahead. A huemen stands erect with its head up tall atop a foundation of principles. A huemen judges life only through its own perceptions and not through the perceptions of others. A huemen seeks to enhance its own senses and not dumb them down. A huemen seeks clarity and sobriety but never intoxication or numbness. A huemen seeks engagement and not avoidance.

A huemen has a profound dislike for gossip and stands clear from labels and ideologies. A huemen uses imagination, only as a source of inspiration, but never as the destination. A huemen admires beauty and applauds bravery. A huemen finds pride in their own accomplishments, and those of others, however small and however large.

A huemen takes what the earth has given them and transforms it into something of value to others. A huemen builds and serves its fellows. Even if it means making phones for phoneys.

So the choice is yours: I say, be a huemen.

 

The Victim Gene

For the past ten or so years I’ve been at once fascinated and yet alarmed by the toxic veneration people have for victims in society. Other critics on the topic have coined terms such as “victim-classes” or “victimhood Olympics” when debating the subject. I’ve also focused a lot of mental cycles in trying to decrypt where this human tendency comes from as I’ve even noticed it in myself. Especially in sports where I’ll find myself always rooting for the losing team and can find myself hating both teams throughout the course of a single game depending on who’s losing. It goes to show victim-veneration is an unprincipled stance which will inevitably lead to inconsistent behaviors and outcomes.  I’ve wondered if there is a victimhood gene in humans due to historical oppression EVERYONE has gone through at some time or another throughout “civilized” history. This notion of “freedom” that we have in the United States is only a recent historical phenomena in human affairs and perhaps only a momentary experimental blip in history. Because sadly, we are quickly eroding our way back to serfdom with “social justice” warriors at the helm.

I am convinced that it must be so (having a victimhood gene) because I also see evidence of other correlating human behaviors. For instance: the tendency people have to remain silent when an authority figure is being a bully. Just think of it. If a King did something you objected too, would you stand up in the town square and complain about it loudly? No, because your survival instincts (or memories passed on through your genetics) have trained you to remain quiet so that you don’t get guillotined, or ostracized and exiled by your tribe. This is fundamentally why one of the innovative rights that was outlined in the constitution is that of the freedom of assembly. Because if people aren’t given the freedom to voice their grievances to each other they will go on quietly thinking it is only they themselves that notice the infraction and choose to remain silent rather than risk voicing themselves in solitude. Recent leftists terminologies like “hate speech” have been weaponized to silence people and to limit people’s right of assembly which is a horrid step in the opposite direction.

I recall in my own life falling prey to the victimhood gene. For instance, I did terribly with tests in school. And when I failed I would always blame the fact that the test was written in such a way that I didn’t ever understand the question clearly. Or that the questions being asked were “unfair.” If an art teacher gave me a poor score, I’d blame it on the fact that she just “didn’t like me” or “had something against me.” In effect, I would never take personal responsibility. This is typical of children. Catch a child eating out of the cookie jar, and the child with its mouth full will instinctively deny the accusation (as crumbs pour out the corners of her mouth) or point at a sibling for putting her up to it. Outsourcing responsibility is classic child-like behavior. But what is alarming is the fact that today’s generation carries on this tendency long into adulthood. And I mean, long into their thirties and forties. It’s quite disturbing actually. It might be why this generation is eager to fight causes on behalf of other people as it is easier to complain on behalf of others rather than instilling real change in one’s own life.

I used to teach at a couple art colleges. And I did so from the year 2004-2015. A solid decade of teaching and dealing with the pre to post millennial generation. I actually witnessed the change with my own eyes. And I mean REALLY witnessed the change in attitude among students over the course of that time period. One of the things I noticed was that good teachers were gradually “weeded” out of their profession. Sort of an inverse-selection process. Like the opposite of evolution. And the reason, as far as I could tell, was due to schools giving students the power to select their teachers by reviews, complaints, student governing bodies, etc. I think it’s the same reason “journalists” in mainstream media are all lame vanilla talking heads. Because anybody that tried to do actual journalism was asked to resign. It’s a sort of negative selection process. This is fundamentally what happened to me in 2015. With a decade of experience, I had never been so good at teaching as I was that year. I was really feeling like those 10,000 hours had finally kicked in. And BAM, a millennial feminist in the class didn’t like my high expectations, sabotaged me by collecting grievances from all those that were failing my class (she was getting straight A’s mind you) and filed repeated formal complaints, bypassing protocol and going directly to the dean. I had no idea she had any grievances as she never voiced them to me directly.

Now if we analyze this, we could go back in time and see that in fact there are other factors at play. Most of these kids were statistically raised by a single parent. I was also blown away, by how many of them were on prescribed medication or had notes from doctors regarding this or that learning disability or mental health condition. If we track all this back further we see that the welfare state has played a big role by essentially paying mothers to divorce their husbands and finally see how government involvement screwed things up further by freely giving out student loans, which bloated schools with students that had no aptitude or drive to study what they were enrolled in until standards were lowered to crap levels, leaving us with students that trigger easily and need safe spaces.

 

In the end, what this country has been left with is a “failed to launch” generation that sees little value in the notion of earning a living but rather feels entitled to privileges just for being a semi-sentient biped. It’s no wonder companies like Amazon and Microsoft are hiring people from India in droves. And construction companies are hiring battalions of Mexican construction workers, brick layers, craftsmen and makers. Massage, beauty salons and spas are being taken care of by South Koreans and Chinese immigrants while tech manufacturing is largely already taken care of in Japan. Consequently the wealthiest Americans in the US are now Asians (which includes Indians). So much for systemic racism. Incidentally Asians are the most underrepresented racial group in US politics, so there goes the theory that oppression is inversely related to political representation.

But why are Asians the most wealthy? Because they thrive at the most intellectually rigorous jobs (programming, tech, sciences, business) and as basic economics teaches us, the harder it is to find someone to do a particular job, the higher that job will pay. In essence, they dominate the business and STEM fields. And guess what, their public education system doesn’t have electronic smart white boards with a computer for every child. But what do Americans do? They complain about systemic oppression in the United States as the root cause and pour more money into its failed public education system to grow the cancer that has gotten us to where we are today.  It’s like a doctor prescribing a cream for your rash, only to then increase the dose if the rash got worse after applying it. Maybe instead, they should take a look at India and find out why people there are able to do jobs at Microsoft here, when they are among the most impoverished nations on planet earth.

 

But let me be clear. Victims do exist in society and we should always be on the alert should individuals or groups of people be oppressed or bullied. But the prevalent fixation most people have these days on, they themselves, being victims (especially adults living in the freest and wealthiest nation on Earth) has gotten out of hand. Especially when children are to this day the greatest victims of all and yet remain perpetually ignored.  Why? Because children don’t vote, that’s why!  Grievance seeking, the liberal favorite pass-time, is the primary way by which they fuel government growth. And as such, the focus will always be those groups that can be capitalized on in some way.    And yet to this day, young boys and girls are beaten and sexually assaulted daily. These are the real victims of society. And I have news for you, the children being victimized aren’t being hurt because of their race, gender, political ideology, sex or otherwise. They are merely being oppressed because they’re small and helpless and they’re unattended to because they can’t serve to grow government or line the pockets of politicians.

The liberal message is always “you are oppressed but I’m here to save you.” And so like all human appetites, there is always going to be a business there emerging to capitalize on said grievances. Lately, government has been the greatest profiteer of human grievances through liberalism which I would loosely define as a movement that has as its aim to always have a grievance by which to justify the growth of government as its only solving agent.

But focusing on one’s own grievances is not enough for the millenial generation. They must build up a false sense of greatness within themselves by fighting on behalf of others being oppressed in society. The ability to morally posture your objection via social media, shows everyone in your social circle that you are a warrior for justice, without even needing to lift a finger or get off your chair. You can earn ethics and morality points by typing a status update on twitter and moments later go back to finding pokemon in your livingroom and feel like you’ve made a change in the world.  Americans have become so morally bankrupt, they will gladly jump at any opportunity to present themselves otherwise, even if it involves spending money on another charity that capitalizes on people’s problems.

It’s no surprise underemployment and homelessness are on the rise, while the US continues to brain-drain other nations around the world from their human resources. Perhaps India wouldn’t be so impoverished, if their smartest people didn’t move to the US. And actually, it won’t be long before that happens. The US is riding a wave of wealth that was generated by hard working Americans from the late 19th century and early 20th century when the industrial revolution began. Once that wealth wave is over (and it’s coming quickly), nations around the world will be offering jobs to their own intelligent and hard working citizens while the US will be left with safe spaces and social justice warriors turning to cannibalism.

Unless people start taking personal responsibility, the future for the United States looks abysismlly dim. Stop it with your veneration of victims and focus on yourself for a change. Get your act together and prosper. The opportunities have never been greater and your competition has never been weaker. Go out and get what you want. People are flying, sailing and illegally climbing over walls to take what is there readily available next door to you. Don’t be a fool and miss this opportunity!

Grow up millennials!