Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Pains of Awakening

I have found that, in seeing the world in all of its misery, one can tend to lose track of 'the bright side'. As one awakens to this 'life' that we are all engaged in, we are reminded constantly of the negative aspects of our existence.

The news flashes, entertainment, advertising, education, employment and peers all 'nudge' us into thinking and reacting in a certain way. When one begins to see the mechanisms and the affects in their own judgments and beliefs, one tends to close down and focus on the mechanisms and the flashes of enlightenment rather than the goal.

One sees the wars, famines, specism, disease, competition and inequality in different ways. We see the possible scenarios, causes and effects of these flashes along with their 'actors' and benefactors. All that comes into our vision seems to be negative and wears on us.

As I am breaking through the programming that 'society' has instilled, I broke apart myself. I found myself drifting away from the only 'society' I had known but I still wanted to fit in; a wife, a good job, a house, friends, I still wanted the 'dream'. Slowly these dreams seemed to fade away until I was not sure of who or what was left.

A belief that I may have had, a mannerism, in which I used to find humor, a thought in which I used to have solace, a place which I used to hold dear all had skewed views. No matter what these were, they all seemed to be a part of me. I held on to them so tight until I realized that I was no longer moving forward. I was holding onto the 'measure' of my ego.

Could it be that these beliefs, which I thought defined me, were actually just mere distractions, created to soothe me into 'accepting my place in the world'? Could it be that all these ideals that I have learned throughout my life are to make me resistant to real 'change' and thought through denial and fear? Could it be that how others judge me, really doesn't matter? These were all difficult questions for someone who thrived on attention. There were moments when the madness nearly consumed me but it helped me to break through and see my ego for what it was.

When I say "break the ego", I don't mean that I rid myself of me. We have all heard that 'we should not change for anybody', 'we should be true to ourselves' or that 'a leopard does not change his spots'; what do these mean?

Take the first one 'change for another'- does a person not change the second that they open to another, let alone love another? Isn't change the natural evolution of life? 'True to ourselves' - do we not become untrue to ourselves the second that we give ourselves blindly to the collective? And the 'leopard changing its spots' - are we to go through life branding people by their mistakes as not being capable of learning or progressing past them? The irony of this is that President Obama won on 'change'.

The society that I see about me would like to believe in a 'complaint free world'. I have heard things such as "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" or "why do you always focus on the negative". I still see the beauty but no longer ignore the injustices. I have found that by identifying the wrongs I chip away at my armor of lies which I have come to believe as the essence of 'me'. I view it as finding rather than losing myself.

We must all see the beauty in love, family, community, discovery or a fresh snowfall without judgments in order to truly accept who we are. We must see the bad with the good in order to determine what our limits are and move forward; this is not an easy task.

I have seen those that have progressed but only to certain points. There is a point which I have been to and continue to battle with, where I think "Is it worth it?" and "Why does it have to be so hard?; I still have no answers. I did let it consume me and drag me back to 'reality' but it was short lived. 'Reality' for me has changed. I still face the fears everyday, different ones, old ones, new ones; they help me to realize that fear is what controlled me.

We must overcome the competition and jealousy that keeps us at bay from one another and come together as an awakened mass that sees the future not only as bright but also as fair. Right now there is love throughout the world and as we work together to achieve a higher awareness, that love shall flourish and grow. When we allow the love embrace ourselves, without judgment, then, the world will be ready for change.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Where do my thoughts come from?
Are they mine or another's?
Are they sole or collective?
I know not from whence they come but I question them everyday

Where do my fears come from?
Are they genuine or perceived?
Are they life or apathy?
Should I be frightened that they may not be real?

Where do my beliefs come from?
Are they natural or forced?
Are they taught or experienced?
Without beliefs I may lose my way

Where do my morals come from?
Are they punished and rewarded?
Are they humanistic or contrived?
If I open open up, what will happen?

Where do my feelings come from?
Are they from the head or the heart?
Are they pain or joy?
What am I feeling as I write this?

Is this what defines me?
Do I take that chance?
Am I a sum total?
Or am I yet to be defined?

I am not a duality
I will not be classified
I am who I am
And strive to be better with each passing moment

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Job Seeking

After reading about the job losses globally, I began to think of the job seekers and their plight. I have always said that looking for a job is the worst part of 'life'. We are dictated by the 'free market' and narrowed choices (therefore not really a choice) of 'jobs', (livelihoods) to become a slave in order to 'live'. We are taught at an early age the importance of jobs and money. Twelve year olds in Montreal get babysitter certificates and little business cards in order to instill 'business' into their pliable minds.

If you have lived in the last 40 years or so, then you may have noticed how 'education / training' (and I use this because of a Canadian government ad that stated it this way) has changed over the decades. Education used to mean the ability to adapt, to change to learn and to move forward; in a way, to evolve. Now it is the almighty dollar which dictates the professions, therefore the lives of the society through memorize and regurgitate' certifications. Masses 'become' whatever the society needs of them and whatever is profitable. One can specialize in anything these days with certification courses coming out of every orifice of the capitalistic classification system. In Ontario, one needs a certificate to operate a man-lift but not to operate an excavator; does this make sense?

“You're not qualified”, “you're over qualified”, “where were you for this time?”, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, “what did you do for work during this time?”, “what are your certifications?”; they want to know everything about you. The questions are designed to 'characterize' you within a few minutes; are you honest, will you leave or stay, will you steal from the company, will you flip out and go on a killing spree. They already think the worst of you, now you have to prove them wrong. What a way to live. And we smile through it with combed hair, clean shaved and freshly showered faces politely responding, all the while nodding and smiling and spouting whatever the interviewer may want to hear. We accept that this is the way it is and go on from one job interview to the other.

The public seem to become pilots, nurses, doctors, police persons, builders, engineers and so on, seemingly at whim. “There are shortages” for these professions I have heard and all seemed to have rushed to colleges and technical schools in order to fill these positions. The people then await, with baited breath, on what the next shortage would be in order to 'move up' in life for we wanted to 'do better' than our parents. We all wanted to 'specialize' and make the big bucks. We seemed to 'focus' on the prize and adapted by sending ourselves and our children through school (not to learn; to be trained). Teachers are taught to train their students to pass tests or are hired on a 'performance' basis. This 'trained' generation goes to work and Office 2007 comes out, leaving them staring blankly at a new interface and need re-training; they have forgotten how to explore and learn.

That 'trained' mentality did not stop with our 'specialized' education; it trickled into our very beings. We seemed to live and drink work, training and 'the law', all the while reveling in the material goods, popularity and comfort that it seemed to bring with it. We were intoxicated. We created competitions with our neighbors, our families and our friends and reverted our lives to 'specializing' around us and a select few others. We closed ourselves off from new 'real' experiences.

While this was going on, the experience and ability to 'survive' has also been lost. Were something to happen in this day and age, there would be widespread panic and chaos. Cities are the deathtraps with dependence on the basics such as food and water. Think about the city that you live in right now and how many people live there. Now picture those millions of people in an emergency situation (what ever the cause) without access to food and water. Where do they go, what do they do? Is that 72 hour survival pack going to carry you through? Is that certification going to help you?

We have been collectively taught to survive by being retrained, by learning a trade, by making our hobbies pay off; by adapting to the environment that is manufactured. We have been indoctrinated to believe that any job is better than no job; we have learned to compete, beg and grovel. All this is for the almighty dollar, something that has no value and comes with debt attached to it.

Those that do find jobs are constantly stressed by fears of losing the job, of not performing up to standards, of being replaced by younger hires or technology, of being out-sourced or that the company will go under. They give us yearly 'evaluations' which wave expectations and meager increases in front of us, raising the levels of fear by intimidation. They kill off the unions and instead hire through 'placement' agencies to which I refer to as the 'Professional Pimps'; feeding off of the desperation of others. The fears permeate through our entire lives and act as a 'policing' element for the society. The feeling of 'always being watched' turns into reality and we blindly accept them in our daily lives as 'security' devices.

In the end all these 'job seekers' will be filling out so many forms and providing so much data in the upcoming years that it will allow the system to better 'classify' them and determine strategies. As the unemployment benefits run out, the unions die and the system collapses even more, at least the databases will be able to identify the victims of capitalism.