Walking Backwards

I have been spending a good amount of my time walking backwards. It began a few weeks ago when I was watching a program on television about habits. The show talked about humans as creatures of habit. We are carved from habits that have been conditioned into us since a very young age. These habits are what allow governments, corporations, parents, bosses and various other institutional constructs to control us, manipulate us and influence us. This idea sent chills down my spine. I had to open a bottle of wine to calm my nerves. So this is what is going on, I thought to myself. I learned that there are huge organizations created to study human habits and how to create and control these habits. Immediately I stood up, turned off my television and put it into the closet. I took a deep breath. Was I having an Orwellian nightmare or was I awake? I went outside and took some more deep breaths. I turned off my iphone. I sat down on my front door step and stared into the nights sky. All I could do was sit there.

Over the course of the next few days I thought about starting a revolution. But who would it be against? I wanted my autonomy back but I have never been much of a revolutionary. I am not the kind of guy who throws stones for political reasons. I want to be but political causes just do not interest me that much. So what could I do to combat the forces that have created my habits and now manipulate and control me? I could drink, have fun, be silly and act out in ways that are not considered normal. I do this already and it only gets me so far. I could spend my days in silent meditation but I can barley concentrate long enough to sit in meditation for fifteen minutes straight. I thought and thought about what I could do to oppose the forces of habit and then it happened. One day on a walk I just started to walk backwards.

It was not a preconceived idea. I was walking forwards and as quickly as wind changes directions- I started to walk backwards. Immediately I felt a shower of relief pour over me. For the first ten minutes of walking backwards I tripped and felt the muscles in the back of my legs tightened up. I had no experience in walking backwards and the only way that I could learn to do it was to continue moving backwards despite how many times I almost fell. After the first ten minutes of walking backwards- it felt more natural. I was less clumsy, tripped less and the muscles in the back of my legs calmed down. I was simply able to enjoy the pleasure of creating a new habit. An abnormal habit. A habit that no one else would be able to control but me.

When we reverse habits we re-wire the mechanisms in our brain. It is like charting out new neural pathways that have not been traversed before. We actually end up rewriting the brain, expanding it beyond the daily, conditioned pathways that we are so used to walking down. I assumed that the more I walked backwards the more I would create new pathways in my brain that had not be preconceived or designed by parents, schools, corporations, governments. Maybe, I thought, the more I walked backwards- the more autonomy I would get back. So for the past two weeks I have been walking backwards as much as I can. I walk backwards almost everywhere I go. At the market, the gas station, restaurants, bars and even at work (when I can). People stare at me and call me a freak, which is only natural since I am stepping out of the conditioned societal way of doing things. My boss has become frustrated by my need to walk backwards, my wife has trouble being in public with me (although we are starting to walk backwards more and more together) and it is difficult to drink my daily bottle of red wine and then walk backwards without falling- but these are minor bumps in the road. What I believe I will obtain as a result of my walking backwards far out weighs what I will lose.

I have learned to enjoy seeing things as I walk away from them rather than always walking towards things. Walking backwards gives one a new psychological framework through which to perceive reality. I value the things that I have more now whereas I used to think more about things that I needed to get, places I needed to go. Walking forwards keeps one stuck in the future, always moving along with the forces of entropy. Walking backwards opposes the forces of entropy, slows time down and allows me to focus more on enjoying the things I have without needing to go forwards and get more. I would not be exaggerating if I said that when I walk backwards I feel liberated.

My boss has threatened to fire me if I keep walking backwards at work. I do not have much money in my savings and I do not know what I would do if I lost my job- but I am not going to stop walking backwards. It is more important to me that I live my life and discover my own autonomy. I need to feel like I have distinguished myself from the self that has been programmed and conditioned by an apparatus that is beyond my control. Advertisers, politicians, teachers, bosses, bureaucrats, police officers are all apart of a societal nexus that has been set in place to keep us in our habitual ways of being and thinking. They keep us preprogrammed and detached from who we really are. If it means that I have to walk backwards for the rest of my life to find out who it is I really am- then I am willing to do this, one step at a time.

Stuck In High School!

After 37 years, I am still in high school. It is a mystery to me how this has become my life. After all I do not know if being stuck in high school is the epitome of the American dream or a nightmare. Maybe I am repaying a karmic debt from a past life or maybe I am paying penance for the things I have done in this life- what ever the case may be, I am still stuck in high school.

I am currently sitting in a history class while students are taking a written examination that I designed with the intention of making test taking entertaining. Occasionally I hear small explosions of laughter as students read some of the more comical questions that I have inserted in between the more serious ones- “how many times a day did Abe Lincoln masturbate?” For the most part the room is so silent that I can hear the hum of the freeway which sits just behind the school. I am the Teacher of these students but at the moment I feel like them- stuck in a place that I do not belong. I am always perplexed by the similarities that I find between myself and my 15 and 16 year old students. It is true- I am twenty years older than most of my students but like them I am still pre-occupied with sex and what I am going to do with my life. It is as if a large part of me is yet to grow into this thing I often hear referred to as maturity. I feel as if I have never left high school, my body has aged but my spirit or soul is still stuck at 16. It is a difficult phenomena to explain- but as I sit here writing in my notebook and my students are taking their examination- I feel strangly equal to them. It is as if we should all just be friends and ditch school.

When I was in high school, the first time, I was an apparition. You could see my physical body but my soul was some place else. I was stoned most of the time and Teachers only knew my name because I was the tall lanky guy in the back who never spoke and was seen by all as being weird. At school dances I would get drunk on liquor that I stole from my fathers bar and stand in a corner trying to spy on couples who were making out. Sometimes I could be found lying in the school hallways, broken down into an agitated state of tears crying out “get me out of here!” I did not read a single book nor did I do more than was asked of me. I was preoccupied with blow jobs and death and not once did I get a grade that was higher than a C. My father had to pay off the principle to let me graduate after 6 years of high school.

Now some 20 years later I am still stuck in high school. Somehow the fury of the fates or divine consciousness has managed to transform me into a Teacher. It is like a great magic trick that has been performed in front of my eyes. The trick is on me and I stand there trying to figure out how the magician has created the desired effect. I am perplexed and can not seem to come up with an answer. I am in a state  of absolute dis-belief. How did they do it? It just makes no sense.

Squeezed.

I am a man who is being squeezed from the inside out or maybe the outside in. I do not know which comes first- the outside pressure or the inside pressure, but if Karl Marx was right when he said that society determines the behavior and health of man/woman kind- then it is the the world that is squeezing me. Between the pressure that the earth is placing upon human beings to change or be eliminated and the pressure that government is placing up the individual to pay up or go broke- the outside is squeezing me like a balloon which might just burst. Between rising gas prices, food shortages, recessions, depressions, wars, deficits, unequal distribution of wealth, rising costs and poor environmental conditions, my chest feels as if there is a large leather belt buckled tight around it. My fingers and and toes pulsate and I have noticed that my face has grown pale. My vision is clouded and I can constantly feel my heart beating. The stress of the world seems to have nested upon my skinny left shoulder.

I have noticed that I am not alone. I have noticed many suffering from similar ailments and running around desperately searching for relief (yoga, meditation, eating, drinking, consuming). People do not seem to be getting along, wherever I look another relationship has ended, another person is struggling to survive and another person is experiencing some kind of transformational event that is threatening the sanity they seem to be slowly loosing. All around me people seem squeezed. I can see it in their eyes. I can hear it in their voices and I can certainly feel it in my gut. Human beings are fighting for their lives.

I have heard it said that 2012 marks a monumental time in the history of our planet. Thousands of years ago Mayans have predicted that this will be a time of great transformation that will result in change that our human minds can not currently fathom. Physics believes that the closer time gets to an end the faster it gets- time speeds up. Along with the sppeed up of time comes a kind of constriction and anxiety within all those who are subject to this elevated blood pressure of time. Animals (humans) become more frantic and stressed, things start to break down and people feel squeezed. Like there is not enough minutes in the day. Chaos can ensue.

It is my belief that the earth is experiencing symptoms of this larger breakdown. The sky is literaly falling and some see it and others have managed to distract themselves enough so as not to have to deal with it (but they still feel it). Others feel the squeeze. There is a pressure upon us that seems to be forcing us into submission, to the transformation that needs to occur within ourselves and upon this planet. Maybe being squeezed is not so bad. Maybe I can look upon my pulsating toes and finger tips as a gift from the universe in which I have accidentally found myself living. Maybe I am being forced to awaken to what is going on around me, outside of me- and change what is taking place within me. After all, physics tells me that I am just a microcosmic reflection of a larger macrocosm…if I can un-squeeze myself- than maybe I can un-squeeze the world.

The Cricket Who Talks To God

2066_1.jpg What is it that I can do that can help raise the consciousness of humanity? How can I- an underpaid high school teacher who suffers from anxiety and various health ailments participate in the evolution of human kind on earth? I realize that these may be big questions but I also realize that they need to be asked, now. I have often heard it said that humanity is at a vital turning point in our history upon this earth. Many of my high school students justify not coming to class or doing their homework by saying that the world is going to end soon anyways, so why worry about school? Sometimes I find it difficult to argue with a perspective that I find may be true- but I try to keep my mind upon transformation rather than liquidation. If I only had some version of an answer then I could cleanse and heal my mind by writing a book and traveling around the world doing consciousness workshops- but I am afraid that there maybe no answers, only cricket’s who talk to God.

There is a cricket that sits upon my deck day upon day as if it is in a deep state of blissful meditation. I am convinced that this cricket is praying to God. It seems to be that the cricket is channeling some kind of divine energy for the sake of all life uponn earth. I have tried to communicate with this cricket in various ways, but each time I get close to connecting I am met by a strange energy which feels like an electric shock. So I keep my distance and pray along with this cricket at certain times during the day.

The cricket seems to be staring at the sun with its eyes wide open. Be it that I can not stare at the sun I keep my eyes shut and do what certain Harri Krishna’s refer to as sun divining (it is when you stare at the sun with your eyes close and feel the heat against your closed eye lids). I ask the cricket if he/she/it can take a moment and listen to my prayers and then relay them to God. There never seems to be any form of communication that suggests the cricket is unwilling to do so, rather I feel like he/she/it is saying “okay go ahead, lets hear it:”

I feel so blessed to be alive, to be breathing and free from a hospital bed or jail cell. I feel so blessed to have all of my family alive and well at the moment because I know that at any moment this will change. We never know which time the phone will ring and bring news that will forever alter our lives. We never know when our own lives will be altered in the blink of an eye. Everything is always changing and it is this movement that keeps human beings terrified- living in constant fear. How is it that we can be free from this fear, let go of our constriction and tension so that we can live with and in the chaos without terror…with peace and health and wealth? How can I participate in giving something to humanity that will help us evolve out from our fear and into a state of connection to gratitude and love? How can this be done? Fear is destroying us and the natural world- quicker than I could ever imagine….what is the answer. I am asking for an answer that is greater than just recycling, going to protest marches and workshops on weekends and doing Yoga. If you tell me I promise to give free lectures around the world. I will spread this answer like a wild fire. There is no greed here, just my will to save myself, the earth and all those who live upon it. Thank you for listening and considering my prayer, peace…Amen…well maybe there is a little greed.

When I am finished with my long winded prayer the cricket is in the very same position that he was prior to my prayer. I do not know if he received and relayed it to the appropriate authority, but I suppose this is where the power of faith comes in. I offer the cricket some water or wine and when I get no reply I leave it alone in what looks like a state of divine rapture. This is a cricket without fear…and I want some of what he’s got.

This evening I went outside to see if the cricket who talks to God would not be interested in relaying another prayer for me. I opened my front door and noticed the cricket was not in his same spot. I felt a sadness come over me that I had not felt in some time but then I remembered that nothing lasts forever. I looked up at the moon and took a deep breath and then went back inside. I decided that I would make a nice dinner for my wife and I- and as I took out the fish from the refrigerator the phone rang. It was a trauma nurse in Los Angeles telling me that my mother in law is in the intensive care unit and in critical condition. The doctors were awaiting the results of a Ct Scan that would show if there was internal bleeding, hemorrhaging and a broken or fractured spinal column. A speeding car cut her off while driving on the freeway and she lost control of her automobile and ran into a tree. When I got off the phone I put the fish back into the refrigerator and went outside to search for the cricket before giving my wife the news.

I’m Searching For A Cure.

I have a new perspective I would like to share. It may change the world- and your life. It is a rather simple perspective and will take only a brief time to apply to your life. We can all learn how to build upon this perspective to create a better life for ourselves and our family (if we still have one). My perspective is rather unique. It is based upon years of struggle and unfulfilled potential. It has been cultivated like a fine wine through the several circular evolutions that have gotten me to where I am today. It is a perspective that is based upon not just love but also hate, not just right but also wrong, not just you but also me. It is a perspective that comes from my heart and I would like to share it with you.

What exactly this perspective is I am uncertain at the moment. I am patiently awaiting its arrival and the moment I receive it I shall let you know. It would be nice if this perspective was something that you could use to transform your own existence into that which you most desire. If you could use this perspective to free yourselves from poverty, pain, debt, illness and addiction than my expectations will be fulfilled. I know that this perspective can somehow change the world and save it from collapsing in upon itself- but I just need to find it. Time is of the essence. As a species we are struggling to survive and I feel the great burden of being able to come up with a solution sooner than later.

I spent the afternoon in the library searching stacks of books for this perspective. I found tidbits of wisdom such as “learn to identify a good feeling from a bad feeling,” or “we create our reality by feeling not thought.” I tried to incorporate these ideas into my own experience but all that happened was I became hungry and wanted a beer. I searched on the internet for various perspectives that could somehow provide the solution- but nothing appeared upon my screen that seemed to be adequate, other than Oprah’s recent interviews with Eckhart Tolle and a few things by Deepok Chopra. Today I will search no more because if a perspective is to take form in my mind- I feel like it will happen without the involvement of my own will.

It is terribly important to me that I offer you a perspective that will change your mind, give you hope, reunite you with your soul and start you off upon a path that will fill your life with meaning and purpose (this is ultimately the revolution that I would like to wage). I want for this perspective to do the same for me as well, but I am willing to sacrifice myself for other peoples enlightenment. As soon as this perspective come to me I will write a blog entry entitled, Perspective Found, but for the time being, while I wait I am going to go sit in the sun.

Stop Telling Me What To DO!

People are always telling me what to do. Do not do this, do not do that or it would be better if you did this or why not like that? It is getting tiring and I get it from all sides: wife, parents, sister, boss, government, police and in-laws. It seems as if I may be incapable of making decisions on my own without first being told what to do. In fact, I am so habituated to being told what to do that I believe that I have become fearful of thinking for myself, because I am afraid I may fuck up. After a lifetime of being told how and what to do I have reached a point in my adult life where I have no idea what to do anymore. Instead of doing something I have resigned myself to a life filled with doing very little– in the hopes that I can avoid having people tell me what to do. I have become what my mother feared would happen to me- a passive participant in the days of my life.

My father is infamous for his need to control. It is impossible for a person to go to the bathroom without my father telling them how this should be done. My father’s intentions are good but his words have hurt more people than a burning building. Growing up under his tyranny has caused what is a fatal blockage in my own decision making process. All of my life, and still to this very day- I am a grown man who is a little more than a reaction to being told what to do. If you ask me what we should have for dinner, I will reply- “I don’t know. You decide.”

Most lessons in life seem to be hard to learn. We have to err, to mess up, to fail in order to slowly understand how to get it right for ourselves. This is what I call the process of education (far more important than anything we learn in school). When we are always being told what to do (because someone wants to control our behavior) the process of education is stunted- blocked. What you get instead is an individual afraid to think for him/herself, to mess up on her/his own- to find his/her own way. This is what I call conformity, and these sorts of individuals become loyal corporate executives, lawyers, doctors, politicians, employees- you and I.

As a result of a lifetime of being told what to do I have become a stubborn non-conformist. I have fulfilled no ones expectations of me and am afraid of the idea of doing so. I have worked in offices, restaurants, mortuaries, shoe stores, record stores, schools- trying to hide from the shackles of a career and going through jobs quicker than the time it takes most people to eat lunch. I do not pay parking tickets, I do not respond to creditors, I do not listen to the police, I do not pay my taxes (especially when the money is being used to fight a war) nor do I do anything else that I am told to do. Instead I do nothing. I eat, sleep, write, paint, go to work at a job that I am soon to quit (because they will not stop telling me what to do). Even though my wife, father, sister, mother and society all still try to tell me what to do- I have learned how to shake my head, smile, say “okay” and then proceed to do nothing at all.