I mostly had lost patience with the saliva dripping onto my neck. The serpents smoked cigars, and the cigars gave off a thick smoke. Everything felt thick because of it. It was a warm thickness, and the wetness of the saliva created a feeling I no longer desired to sit with. It seemed funny now, but desire was the thing which led me to this seat to begin with.
I pushed my chips outward towards the dealer, just like the start of any other hand, except I pushed out all of the chips I had remaining. There weren’t many left. There weren’t few either. There were enough that it was more than a typical hand, but not so many that the action felt flashy or “High Roller-ish.”
As I stood up, the dealer asked, “Cashing out?”
“No,” I replied. “Just let it ride.”
“You’re leaving?” he asked.
“I’ll be around. Keep dealing me in.” This may have not made complete sense in retrospect, but his silence denoted acceptance of my request.
Perfect. The chips would hold a place for me. I needed to stretch out a bit. I needed to get out of this place. Pushing through the smoke, I wiped away the wetness from my neck.
If the picture isn’t clear, at this point, I am moving towards the exit of some cramped, stale, smoke filled casino in some desert somewhere. Leather skinned serpents move throughout doing serpent things: grunting, shuffling, sipping, smoking, laughing. I overhear conversations. They’re the typical serpent kinds. All parties are given ample time to speak, though no one listens. That’s the things with these types, an agreeable detachment.
On my way to the exit, I pass a washroom. I choose to step inside. I could probably use a bit of a wash so a washroom is the perfect place.
After immediately splashing a few handfuls of water against my face, I catch a glimpse of my own reflection in the mirror and laugh out loud. More times than not, I forget who I am. Surrounded by serpents and the casualness of it all, it is easy to do.
Breathing smoke and drenched in mouth droppings, it is easy to do. I don’t know if it is the typical experience of others, but the lack of acknowledgement of my presence, or at least my presence as an outsider, adds to my temporary amnesia.
Sometimes I’ll smoke their smoke. I have drank their drinks. I’ve even mindlessly listened to their ramblings and had a chuckle while sharing a story of my own. Maybe we’re not that different. Maybe that’s why they barely acknowledge the difference. What is the difference anyways?
I am able to avoid this question. I’m familiar with the thought, and I know it has led to quite the existential crisis in the past. No time for that. Not now.
I look in the mirror once again, as I thank it for the reminder. “Now straight to the exit,” I tell myself. I know there is a portal near, and I know I plan to find it.
Let’s play a game.
Yes, a game.
It’s called Imagine.
Now imagine: you are not the same.
You’re not the same.
You’re not the same.
Now imagine: you are not the same.
Somewhere in a field,
I am a unicorn running.
I’m running and I’m running,
And it feels like something’s coming.
Footsteps coming; they are coming,
It is coming; it is chasing me.
I need safety please,
I’ve waited patiently.
I hear the iron of the giant,
Now I’m flying.
I escaped; I escaped,
Now I’m flying.
I look around; I look around,
Everything I’m seeing,
Seeing is believing.
Live a fantasy believe it.
The mind is full thoughts,
I don’t wanna leave it.
Take it easy,
It’s really not that hard.
Everything will heal,
Once you let go of the scars.
Let’s play a game.
Yes, a game.
It’s called Imagine.
Now imagine: you are not the same.
You’re not the same.
You’re not the same.
Now imagine: you are not the same.
I was born to this species. They told me, “You are Human.” They told me to “Be.” I was allowed to grow and mature.
A set of circumstances: location, technological innovation, career, friends and experiences would mold me. I would become a Good Human.
I was Good at Being Human.
I was a Good Human Being.
Something happened. Having volunteered for societal programing on more than one occasion, at times moving locations and voluntarily receiving courses designed to reprogram, sometimes for months or years at a time, I noticed something. What I thought was growth and progression was simply the winding of the mechanical gear that controls this shell of a body. What I thought was, “A New Life Path,” was actually just a new track to be placed on. The mechanisms turned. My mind turned. The shell turned. The earth turn. Nothing changed.
The world would get louder. I would become frustrated. Every indicator was that any variance in my path, any variance from the track I was placed upon, would result in complete and utter chaos, most likely resulting in death.
Fear is the biggest motivator, especially in today’s society. Death our biggest fear. All of our fears are ultimately born deep within, mostly from some sort of fear of The Great Unknown: Death.
Fear is a great control technique because the only way to overcome is through complete acceptance of the unknown, a process requiring lifetimes of deprogramming to master, or a full on confrontation of the fear. A decision to experience the terrifying in order to gain the truth. Is this not why death is The Great Controller? How do we push past that fear and confront The Otherside?
Just past fear is freedom. The portal between: Truth. The greatest fear: Death.
I believe we must evolve or dissolve. In an increasingly polarized world, as a human collective, I believe both are occurring. An increase in interconnectedness, technological advances and the desire by many to sacrifice free thought for temporary comfort, emotional protection and material excess will lead a portion of society to spiritual dissolution, a complete loss of individual identity and an immersion in the systems, dogma and structure of the Mainstream Conscious Collective.
A second group will evolve. In order to evolve, this group must push past all barriers of fear, ultimately conquering the greatest societal dictator of our time: DEATH.
How must one conquer the fear of death? By pushing past it. By experiencing it. Is this our purpose? To stop “Being” and to go beyond.
So, is my goal to die? No. I already did that.
In order to understand death, we must explore it. We must, “Know our opponent.” Art, theology, philosophy and psychology are great places to start, so I read the wisest. I attended religious ceremonies. I attended religious schools. Years of schooling. I listened to the greats. I listened to their questions around life and death. I listened to the answers the gurus gave to those questions. I listened to those choosing to define themselves as, “The Common Man,” and I posed the same questions I had heard the greats ask and the gurus answer.
I experienced death through others. I spent many years in a career field that not only normalized death as a daily occurrence; it also let me sit with the fellow. I watched humans as they slipped from this earth. I watched others fight, death prying their finger tips as they clung to their existence. I told children their mother had died. I told mothers their children had died. I watched those same mothers die before me, as the shell they once occupied continued to be.
I have pulled people from depths of death so dark, that return should have never been an option, and I have cast others in the same direction, their fate death’s decision.
Prayer. Study. Meditation. Psychedelics. All have played the roll of “Instrument” in my journey. My Exploration.
I have written albums, books and journals. I have recorded songs, poems and rants.
All of this to answer the question…
How do we overcome the fear of death?
How do we gain the knowledge and the truth that lie just beyond death?
How Do We Die? This question was the turning point.
Flow chart after flow chart. Convo after convo. Smoke after smoke. Book after book. “How do we die?”
How Do We Die?
So how do we die? This question, seemingly simple in length, can quickly become quite incomprehensible in discussion, so I will keep it short, as that appears the key to simplicity.
Death: Definition: The action or fact of dying or being killed; The end of the life of a person or organism.
For simplistic purposes, “The action or fact of dying or being killed,” simply exists in the definition to tell people that death is a noun. This implies that it is a state one may be in. It is the state that is created as a result of dying or being killed.
The second half of the definition goes on to further define the state of Death as, “The end of the life of another person or organism.”
Life: Definition: “The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity and continual change preceding death.”
Ultimately then, death is a state in which an organism experiences the end of the condition that includes the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity and continual change. To avoid complexities like philosophy, religion, etc, for the purpose of this discussion, every religion and philosophy I have encountered acknowledges more than one level of, “Self.” Some include: Higher Self, Subconscious, Ego, Shadow, Spirit, Soul, Conscious, Inner Child, etc. In death, we believe some of these things will depart and others will remain. How many, their roles, etc, defined by each given discipline or philosophy.
Continuing, let’s look at rejection, or, more specifically, the experience of rejection. Many people fear rejection in a similar way that many fear death. In order to push past the fear of rejection, we must not push past that fear in all aspects of life. We must start with one area and push past the fear. After the first time, it is easier. After the third time, it is kind of fun. After the tenth, we understand the process. We’ve probably been rejected enough that we know it doesn’t matter, and we have also had enough positive outcomes that our confidence has grown.
We understand the process and the role that rejection plays. We also gain an appreciation, maybe even a liking for it. It makes acceptance sweeter. It poses the, “No,” that we must search through to find the, “Yes,” that turns a word to a reward.
IF we must experience our fears in order to overcome them, IF Death is the ultimate fear, then… How Do We Experience Death?
We experience it ever day.
Death is the systematic lifestyle I described. Death is the stagnation. Death is the failure to realize our potential. Death is, “I can’t.” Death is life without growth. Life with no change. Habit and routine, ultimately, a form of death.
I have died many times. There have been points in my existence so devoid of life that I have seen a zombie when I looked in the mirror. This is an experience that I believe has become an essential and all too quickly normalized part of the, “Human Experience.”
Think about it. Not every human can describe the last time that they were truly free. Hair blowing in the wind. Alive. I would hypothesize that every human can tell you about the time that the promotion or upgrade in their current circumstances was so close that they could touch it, but a thought caused a hesitation response just long enough that it all passed them by. We all die. We don’t all live.
What does that mean?
What it means is that we have all experienced death. What happens when we experience death? Nothing. Death happens. The thing, being, idea that was once labeled, “Alive,” is then labeled as, “Dead.” That is death. A change in state. Hot to cold.
What happens exactly at the same time though? As one thing is being labeled, “Dead,” another is being labeled alive. Death is a change in state. To die is to live. To embrace death is to embrace life.
So, if death is a constant presence, what is there to be afraid of? If pushing past the fear of death has already been done, what is left?
Now we must live.
This is The Evolution.
I died years ago. I was murdered in a sense. I just don’t know which one.
I was sitting at home on my couch indulging, or binging, when someone killed me. I think I knew the person. I think I knew them very well. Strangely, I didn’t realize it was them when it happened. It didn’t feel, look, sound, smell or taste like them, but it was them in a sense. Again, I just don’t know which sense it was. Clearly not one of the standard 5 I had been taught in school if that makes sense.
Anyways, they entered through the front door. Why it was open, I don’t know. In hindsight it doesn’t make sense but neither does a closed door. So, as I mentioned, they entered the home through the front door. Gun in hand.
Rather silently with no resistance and no emotion by anyone involved, the barrel was pressed against my temple pushing in with enough force to cause a pressure canyon to form in my skin, before slightly tilting my head to the side, bending at the neck. Click. I felt the explosion in the chamber of the weapon. The deceptively clever design of the firearm (genius level engineering in truth) coupled with that exact explosion propelled the projectile through the floor of the skin canyon.
As mentioned, this was unexpected. Not in the sense that I didn’t know it was going to happen, but in the sense that even my soul didn’t know it was going to happen. I’m not aware if god even knew it would happen. Regardless, both my body and my soul, we were not prepared. So, just as the unexpected arrival of hot metal energy in the previously fully occupied space of my skull caused a spontaneous eruption, pushing a shock wave of a ripple through and a white and pink speckled explosion of red out, my soul was thrust from my body, unusually exiting in the same direction as the red mist. Sideways.
Unbound by reality, it hurled itself through the wall, the same wall the blood like matter stopped at, sprawling itself across the canvas of bare suburban eggshell white before posing for a photograph; the type of photograph that would later claim motive was evident beyond any type of reasonable doubt.
Enough with photos and the physical. As the soul that had either once been mine or was now finally becoming mine, emerged from the wall on the other side, it looked to the door. It was closed after all. Always had been. Had this been an inside job?
This is where the story begins. Think of that as the melodic interlude. Contributing in its presents. Forgotten in its absence. It’s own story when presented that way.
The story begins just after, on the other side of the wall. The previous story becomes a past event with significance so minimal I couldn’t even tell you what city I was in. So we begin. Right here. Right now. Making this story: The Present.
You may unwrap.
A Poem Extracted From The Portal.
When I set out on the journey
Everything was blurry
Whispers in my ears
Kept telling me to hurry
But what about the...
It responded do not worry
The answer it replied
Will be here in the morning
The devil licks his lips
Sellin ye get rich
See potential in a pencil
See potential in a witch
Ridin with the truth
It’s a stick it’s a switch
Ridin down the middle
And the foxhole is a ditch
Try and shoot miss
Roll it up twist
When the devil licks his lips
Ask who is gettin rich
In The Beginning,
War used to be much more personal. Warriors fight to survive.
“Defend The City.”
In war driven societies, people needed to undergo deep thought programming. Become one and kill.
Advanced weaponry. Depersonalized tactics. Understanding the reasons we must kill, less necessary. A deep transformation before the killing, less necessary. Destruction.
The Soul Suffers.
Warriors Deceived To Believe
“We Are Defending The City”
The Truth: They Are Driving The War.
The morning air was thick with fog. I could smell the odors that would typically be absent in their rise or fall as they hung in the wetness. Neither good nor bad, they were just present. The sun had began to rise. Blocked by the surrounding steel structures, it was only made evident in the peaking rays of light that began converting total darkness to scattered shadows.
Today, the world looked different. Fresh. Crisp. Clean. I had an appreciation for things that before would have probably gone unnoticed. I walked through the city with absolutely no destination. Enjoying the journey.
Focused on the moment, I knew where I was. “I’m right here.” By any standard definition of the word “where,” I had no clue. I had never seen this city before. At least not from this angle.
I had woke in a house full of things. My house, I guessed. When I went to the dresser in the corner of the room, I found an identification card. “CITIZEN,” it read in bold letters across the top. I looked in the mirror and then looked at the card. “That looks like me,” I thought.
I could read all of the information on the card, yet it seemed foreign. The language was mine. I could understand that. The collection of names, numbers and locations printed on the card had no significance to me though. No attachment whatsoever. I left it on the dresser and took to the street.
As I continued my walk, I noticed a park about a block down the road. Lush trees, green grass and a small pond, it was an oasis in an otherwise manufactured city. As I made my way into the park, the sun had begun slicing through shadows, illuminating the world more and more, little by little. The fog was still thick though, so it was difficult to fully grasp the vastness of the park. Sun, fog and shadows dancing in unison in the mystic wooded wonderland, all in the heart of the concrete jungle. It was quite the scene.
After about ten minutes of strolling and absorbing, I came across a garden. Unlike the standard urban garden: tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, parsley all laid out in meticulously over planned orderly rows, this garden looked to have been designed by nature. Rather than the human imposed segregation design, which I’ve always found to be humorously similar to the grouped and sorted aisles of a grocery store, or of anything human for that matter, this garden appeared to be growing in harmony.
Tall trees with gorgeous yellow fruit, so bright they appeared glowing, grew small branches out of their trunks, which served as a trellis for berry baring vines. Leafy lettuce like plants surrounded the trees base, all composed of various rainbow like colors. Small sprouts stuck out of the ground, so young and fresh that dirt still lay on their leaves from their recent push through the soil. Surrounding these fletching plants were the most vibrant and thriving rose bushes I had ever seen. We all know about the thorny nature of rose bushes, but these were different. The thorns were more than ten times larger than any thorn I had ever seen on any plant. They all pointed outwards, in what appeared to be an effort to protect the still young plants from any type of creature anxious to try a bite before the fruitful future.
The vibrant forest garden spoke, “Feed yourself.”
“Are you sure?” I questioned
“We’re here for you. For your nourishment. One yellow fruit is all you need. Don’t take more than you need and for you we will be forever abundant.”
“Thank you,” I whispered as I so gently plucked the fruit. At the same time, the tree let out a slight exhale signifying the sacrifice it had made.
Eyes closed, I pushed my teeth through the fibrous flesh of the fruit. A spritz of the most magical juice landed on my tongue.
The fruit fell to the ground.
“What are you doing man?” A voice gasped. I looked to my right to see a man. Blue polo, khaki pants, brown shoes, leather belt, glasses, white skin, brown hair, not in shape, not out of shape, 40 in human years maybe.
“Huh?” I had a hard time focusing on him initially as my mind transformed from blissful peace to a state of confused disturbance.
“What are you doing? You some type of crazy guy?” His tone seemed alarmed and concerned.
“What?” I responded.
“Are you ok man? Look at you. You must be starving. What’s going on?” He nodded his head towards my feet. In my blissful engagement, I had slipped off my shoes. I was standing in a garden oasis in the park shoeless eating a piece of fruit. Other than my shoeless feet, I was fully clothed and appeared tidy and well kept by any standard I was aware of.
“I was just eating a piece of fruit. The tree said it was ok.” In my confusion, my statement trailed off as if I was asking a question.
“O no man. That trees wild. You can’t eat that.”
“Why not? What is it?”
“I don’t know man. Do you just go around eating things in the wild?
“I. I don’t know.” One of us was absolutely mad. I knew this but which one.
I observed the man. Finger tip to brim of glasses. Adjustment. Nose wiggle like a rabbit. Little click chirp gesture with mouth. Head shake. “Ok. It’s him. He’s snapped out of it.” I thought.
“We need to get you some help guy,” he said. His sound of genuine concern was now an overly friendly tone. Like I was a child.
Thoughts formulated again, “He HAS NOT snapped out of it. What is going on?” I stood in silence.
“You must be in rough shape to be out here like this.” He dug his hand around in his pocket before pulling out a crumbled wad of dollars and loose change. “There’s a convenience store down on the corner. Go get yourself a donut. A candy bar maybe.” Still fidgeting he pulled out another dollar. “Here you go pal. Get yourself a soda too. You can’t be doing this. Out here in the wild eating stuff. It’s crazy.”
He handed me the money. Caught off guard by the unexpected show of generosity, coupled with my realization that, at the very least, to him I was the mad one, I extended my hand to shake his. “Thank you,” I said.
“O. Uh. Yeah. Ha. Ha,” He nervously uttered while waving his hands in front of his chest as if trying to decode what to do with my extended hand before choosing to ever so gently and quickly pat me on my shoulder with the tips of his middle three fingers.
“You just take care of yourself guy. Ok? It’ll be ok,” he remarked as he slowly backed away from me, creating enough distance to assure himself I wouldn’t attack, then turning and walking into the mist.
I glanced down at the fruit and kicked it towards the rose bush and out of sight. I glanced up at the tree. It let out a long, heavy, sorrowful sigh much more pained than when I had plucked the fruit from its body.
I turned and left the park.
Black boots hit the floor. I wasn’t sure how I felt. The truth: I didn’t.
Plop plop plop. Ink gushed from every lace hole and missing stitch.
If Jesus were to come back, he’d be born into an upper middle class family: not enough money to seem falsely godlike and just enough that every accomplishment would be doubted. It is always the nature of the masses to doubt the truth and the nature of doubt to poison the blessing.
As the black poured, I allowed. I had spent at least 7 years in the complete darkness. The small light that burns within nearly suffocated in every moment. Leeches hung from the body, and they sucked the light, the oxygen and the energy. They looted my temple. Pick axes plunged into the walls, tearing and searching for every last bit hidden inside the reservoirs within. Treasures from every life time taken. The wind smashing against my face. Never was I certain: was I falling or rising? I still do not know.
Everything I had now given. What to do with this shell? Had I purged or had I been robbed. Was this complete victory or ultimate defeat. How do we know. Full of energy and exhausted, I would wait.
It is gorgeous, how a soul can look like Black Paint Drippin. Clinging in the air. Mercury in time. Marvelous.