I Have

I have ridden a tornado in Oklahoma.
I have seen the Grand Canyon, the Great Sequoias, the Great Plains, ancient Yellowstone, the Black Hills, the Rockies, the Appalachians.
I have seen fireworks on a July night in Washington DC.
I have fished the Great Lakes.
I have shopped in New York.
I have gambled in Las Vegas.
I have cleared trees for farming, island bush for gardens.
I have marched hundreds of miles with the Army, walked countless more on my own.
I have climbed mountains, crossed valleys, swam rivers.
I have danced salsa in Mexico.
I have felt the cold salt winds of the North Atlantic on my face.
I have ridden trains across England, France, Belgium, Spain, Romania, Slovakia.
I have bathed under a waterfall.
I have known the secrets on a nation.
I have tasted crab cakes in Maryland.
I have bartered in an ancient market.
I have camped on beaches in the Caribbean.
I have heard the first call to prayer on an Afghan winters morning.
I have sat on the bottom of a Mexican cenote.
I have surfed, skied, climbed cliffs just to jump off them.
I have traversed Dracula’s castle on a Halloween night.
I have hitchhiked from Rossaveel to Galway, from Hull Bay to Redhook.
I have walked on frozen lakes and desert sands.
I have swam the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean.
I have crossed a Scottish loch.
I have slept under a bridge.
I have ridden horses, driven cattle, bailed hay
I have felt the energy, the power of a unified crowd.
I have napped in the Dead Sea.
I have labored in the sun.
I have relaxed in Montana’s hot springs.
I have swam with sharks, rays, and with turtles.
I have boxed in a Mexican gym.
I have chanted in a Kirtan circle.
I have seen Petra, the Colosseum, ancient, modern, natural wonders the world over.
I have prayed in the Bible Belt.
I have seen the Sahara Dust.
I have seen coral reefs.
I have been shown the psychedelic wisdoms.
I have felt Hedone’s touch.
I have been lost in the deserts of Jordan.
I have cheered in massive stadiums.
I have seen poverty and wealth.
I have listened to sailors tell stories in a Caribbean bar.
I have tasted beer made by Belgian monks.
I have been to concerts, festivals, and fairs.
I have partied in Rome, in Brussels, in Amsterdam, in Ibiza.
I have quarantined in a hostel.
I have seen the snow fall on a medieval German village.
I have eaten desserts made for European royalty.
I have seen history’s great works of art.
I have listened to gab in an Irish pub.
I have tasted sangria on the beaches of Spain.
I have believed and rejected.
I have cried in grief, in joy, in a holding cell, in clarity.
I have made mistakes.
I have made friends.
I have loved.
I have followed orders.
I have taken charge.
I have saved and squandered.
I have seen more countries than years.
I have even lost an arm-wrestling match to an Irishman at a yacht club in Ibiza, while his Russian girlfriend watched.
I have lived a life beyond what I ever thought possible, for which I am incredibly thankful, but…

I Have Just Begun.

A Question: How do you define reality?

This has been a reoccurring topic in my life of late; so, let’s have a conversation, shall we? Do you believe in an objective, or personal reality? That is, do you believe we’re simply witnessing a series of events external to our own consciousness? These events, the “physical” goings on of the universe, all being indifferent to the conscious observer? Meaning reality exists regardless of being observed. Reality remains fixed no matter how perception warps its translation within a conscious mind.  

Or maybe, you believe in a personal reality, wherein consciousness creates its own reality. Any physical phenomena are given life and sequentially perceived by consciousness. ie, nothing truly exists, except what is currently being manifested within you. Even if external matter did exist, it wouldn’t matter (so to speak) until given space within your consciousness. Could then, a quasi-controlled lunacy be the key to controlling one’s personal reality?

I like to think of reality as the proverbial sum total of individual physical phenomena, total observing consciousness, and the collective interactions between the two? Each simultaneously existing co/in-dependently. Assuming this were true, one could factor in the senses, or lenses rather, through which the physical and ethereal communicate. One can then see how things like language or light are direct influences on the observers perception of a physical phenomenon. These effects reach the physical realm as well, as the changes in each will continue to reflect off each other, redefining the whole.

Ok, I’m done now. Tell me what you think?

-Tyler

Ignorance and Volume

A THOUGHT: You cannot fix ignorance with volume; not by any meaning of the word. Real change is not brought about via bullhorn. That millionth share means nothing. A chant will unite & excite, a shared article will inform, but only the likeminded, those predisposed to the idea. To those opposed, it comes off as a threat. If we want real change; I’m talking a change of the heart and mind, then we need a more subtle tool. Patience. Please, be tolerant to the perceived ignorance of your brothers and sisters. Be understanding. Be compassionate. Reach out with open arms, not clinched fists. Social media can organize a movement like no tool ever could. The crowds and marches are perfect for exacting symbolic change. Politicians fear the mob, some may even genuinely care about their constituents. Yes, volume may change things on paper, but we’ve a more difficult task. Education, for a people made just and kind by its laws alone are neither. So how to change the character of a species? How to direct its moral compass? My theory; soft, slow, genuine conversation. Stop the shouting. Let go of your aggressive undertones. Stop dismissing. Stop minimizing. Stop dehumanizing. Stop reducing those you disagree with to a faceless mass. We are more than flags and movements. Humanity is vastly more complicated than that. Humanity deserves more respect than that. Let us start the change together, one person at a time.

I challenge you to find one person with whom your perspective clashes. Invite them out. Talk about anything but the issues. Find common ground, a mutual respect. Family, friends, hobbies, dreams. Know each other’s perspective before you debate. Ask them: When you’re old and grey, what will you consider a good life? I think you’ll find that most of us have the same dream in our hearts. Be ready to be the one changing your mind. Start there, and remember, the people around you are friends to be made, not enemies to be conquered.