Consuming Fear

“You travelled for 9 months with THAT?!”  That’s what I hear sometimes when I show up with a little black backpack and a guitar.

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This fits my DSLR camera (3 years without a case or problems), my MacBook Air, my tablet, and some clothes and books.  I always seem to end up with a guitar.  This one was just sitting on the boat, slowly getting moldy, so Steve suggested I take her to a dryer climate where she can get some lovin’. 

Fingernail clipper and toothbrush ride with my passport and a piece of amethyst given to me by my good friend Melissa.

Besides chargers and headphones, that’s really all I need.  I can buy soap or baking powder if it’s cheaper.  (Your armpits stink because of bacteria that only survives in acidic environments.)  Apple cider vinegar is a great conditioner, fabric softener (no, you won’t smell like vinegar), and good for stomach bacteria.

If you think you need more clothes, you’re terrified of what other people think and stuck in routines that never get questioned.  Get a few shirts you really like, one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, and a swim suit.  Wash clothes once a week.  Hand washing is a great meditation. Have a couple pairs of socks and running shoes.  I like to be barefoot as much as possible, but that’s just me.  I like to feel the city and the dirt and do some auto-acupuncture-grounding stuff.  We have electrical currents that need to get out.  The fleece lined jacket is for cold buses & airports.

If you don’t want to have an awkwardly huge backpack and bang into everyone on the bus then don’t.  Don’t be tired from lugging 50 pounds from hostel to hostel.  Don’t dread packing up because you have too much stuff.  Just make a decision and stop looking like such a tourist.  It also keeps me from being a target, in case you like using fear to motivate your lifestyle changes.

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“I cannot conceptualize or put into words what fear is.  I can describe various forms and details and events, but not the base fear from which all of its infinite manifestations flow.” -JK Freedom From the Known

But, I can feel it.  

I can detect it and either make my decision based on fear or not based on fear.

 Death is inseparable from life.  The fear of death, repeating the past, and any unknown outcome is part of how we think.  As long as we have thoughts, we will have fear.  Life uses fear to avoid death.  You can’t have life without fear, so don’t worry about it.

Thanks Cori Carlo and Krishnamurti for helping me get over this.  I was really stuck on trying to figure out how to eliminate something that I can’t live without.

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We are called Homo Sapien Sapiens because we are self aware.  When we look at our reaction to fear, we think we are separate from the fear, that we can get rid of it or overcome it.  But if you realize that you are observing YOU, and that the fear you are observing is also you, than you realize that you are fear.  You really can’t live without it.  Then you can get on with life and spend your time thinking about something more productive. pg 48

I’ve always heard: Enjoy your life.  I don’t remember hearing: Enjoy Life.  There are many forms of life.

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There was a little boy crying in the coffee shop this morning.  I think his sister may have taken a bite of his chocolate frosted donut. He might have been 5 years.  I realized and told the couple sitting nearest the coffee machine, “It just goes to show that life was never easy.”  We want to look back and say it was all gravy when we were kids because we had no responsibilities, but it was just as emotionally exhausting as it is today.  I also said, “Remember the next time you are having a tough day, how silly your problems are.”

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Getting settled meant getting a new phone and then a haircut.  During the haircut the girl and I talked about styling my short hair.  At that time I had no apps installed on my brand new phone.  After the haircut, I pulled out my new phone and went to YouTube.  It was the second time I used the phone and the first time on the internet.  The top ad was a video titled “How To Style Short Hair.”

Fear in the U.S. is amusing, but sad and equally threatening.  It infiltrates every aspect of life in the first world.  Half of the customers at the donut shop are terrified of trying a new donut. They look round-eyed at the bacon maple bourbon donut and laugh that nervous, uncomfortable laugh because they know they don’t deserve to do what they really want in this life.  Out of guilt and paranoia, they choose the safe option of chocolate frosted.  So instead of 375 calories, they order the much healthier 350 calorie option.

As silly as most of us know organized religion is in this day and age, it is still a major part of politics.  Every U.S. president has an affiliation to show their allegiance.  I find it interesting that in 2016 anno Domino (in the year of our lord) there still is no separation of church and state.

“You are always translating the new in terms of the old and therefore you are everlastingly in conflict.” – JK

20160318_120532— we all love a good swindle

You are a product of everything you observe.  Some things you accept as good and others you reject, but they all have influence on you.  You treat them as separate from you, but that’s where you came from, what you’re made from—your observations, judgments, and conclusions.  You influence your environment, but are also a product.

We judge the world as if it never changes and we never change, neither of which is true.

Books and quotes teach us to live in the present, but by the exact nature of the lesson, only have a temporary effect.  Like will power, we have to constantly seek inspiration and motivation.

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I judge people who are wasteful, closed-minded, uneducated about the world, are not thoughtful of others, and who think they are above other humans.  So, I feel like I’m above them, I’m not sensitive to the way they live, where they are on their journey through life, and I scold them for not knowing the implications of their ignorance.  A better option would be to ask questions about the way they see the world and ask them if they ever consider the source of their thoughts or how they live.

I was scared to come back to the U.S. because I knew it would unavoidably turn me into a slightly fearful shithead.  I know this.  Guatemala was turning me into having low standards and making me lazy.  I find it important to soak up the best features a place has to offer and accept that every yang has its yin.

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When the observer realizes that he IS THAT which he observes, there is no like or dislike and conflict ceases.-JK (this only happened to me once in Antigua)

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The moment you try to force something, you are creating violence.  I’m not talking about violence as in a video game or movie or in your neighbor’s house.  Those are forms of violence, too.  I’m talking about the very nature of violence.  Have you ever tried to look past the discussion, past the visual forms, past the churning of your gut feelings, and tried to figure out what is the root of violence?  Where does it come from?  What does it require?  If you are interested in learning how you and other humans operate, take a minute and go into your mind and figure it out.  Don’t assume you can’t.  You can.  I know because I did it and it was surprisingly easy.  Go ahead, I’ll wait (smiley face).

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This is what I came up with: We are violent because we want to control our existence.  But our existence (the instance of existing) is out of our control.  We had no choice in our birth and we cannot decide that we’d rather not die.  Only once we realize that we have no control, do we cease to follow our violent predisposition.

“Principles, beliefs and ideals must inevitably lead to hypocrisy and a dishonest life.”

Rules aren’t meant to be broken.  That’s not why we make them.  We make them because we are pleased with past results and plan to receive a similar pleasure if we follow the rules.  Pleasure is different from joy.  Joy happens in the moment, being pleased is dependent upon expectations.

Your pace

When you feel that flash of violence and are about to rush a task (answering a question, handing something over, walking) especially when it involves someone else, make sure you are acting at YOUR speed.  This may seem selfish, but I think it’s best for everyone’s vibe.  Pause for a moment and then move or speak as if you are focused on the smoothness of the execution.  This allows you to deliver the world an unspoiled movement.  You are at once deliberate and graceful.   You are then moving with confidence, alongside but independent of fear, handling the present circumstance with the gloves of your true character.

We learn the difference between need and want when we are uncomfortable.  To go without air conditioning for months teaches you, after returning to A/C, how much your body really dislikes it.  Once you have no money to spend, wasting it sickens you.  At work I watch people pay 6 dollars for a newspaper and $2.75 for a bottle of Smart Water.  The news is online free of cost.  Water is the single most abundant resource on the surface of our planet.  The United States has potable water everywhere.  You can drink from the sink.  Filter it if you like.

“So we have discovered a fundamental truth, which is that a mind that is seeking, craving, for wider and deeper experience is a very shallow and dull mind because it lives always with its memories.”

Thanks JK for making me question the last 5 years.