The Golden Traveler

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Prologue: The End

Over a year and a half later, it’s time for me to look back and say that this is the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Since posting my last several entries, as with anyone else’s life, events have transpired, lessons have been learned, mistakes made, experiences accumulated, and wisdom and maturity both lead to insight.

In short, I recall the advice of Mr. Brett McKay of one of my favorite sites, The Art of Manliness: “Beware the too compelling narrative“. Alongside the heartfelt wisdom of Jack Kornfield in his podcast on heart wisdom, Episode 5, Trauma and Freedom, telling our story helps attend to the trauma we carry so that it eventually loses its hold over us. The synthesis of these two ideas I have spent much time reflecting on leads me to conclude that I have told my story finally instead of hiding it within, and it no longer holds power on me. At the same time, I have looked over how I have told this story, and found the problem of too compelling a narrative.

Yes, this blog has been characterized by its complete openness so that others may see me as I am. I do not hide myself, and I have been accused of being a victim, or complaining too much about my life when everyone has their own suffering, even dismissing my homelessness, my sexual assault, the loss of friends to terrorism, and trauma of life in 13 countries from loss to disillusion.

The problem with their view is that while I use this to share myself and be present to my emotions, they are criticizing me and trying to prevent me from healing. While I can appreciate their concern, it’s one thing to say, “Hey, you’re a victim, get over it, stop complaining”, it’s another thing to listen to someone, say, “I hear you, I’m here for you” and then when the time is right, help someone through their process when the time is right. Only an unawakened and insensitive individual believes that bullying and dismissing someone is helpful. Interestingly enough, I find that the least compassionate were the so-called “Titanium People”, those who recover and create a narrative of a rise and fall and rise again for themselves, and are impatient towards others who are not rising as fast as they have, which is detailed in all its nuances here: http://lifehacker.com/walking-in-someone-else-s-shoes-actually-makes-you-less-1738178741.

So when I say that this is the end, I mean that it’s the end of this narrative that has been created between the context and subtext of my words. I’ve gone from being slave to my emotions to being witness to my emotions as I have embraced a side of myself I’ve found to have been hiding, even when sharing this narrative of myself.

Before anyone else reads further, I implore you to read those two articles and spend time listening to the Jack Kornfield podcast episode for informed insight, especially before you make any judgments or comments.

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My Family, My Enemy, Part 3

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Prologue: Friends Are Either God’s Way of Apologizing to You For Your Family, or Proof That There is No God

“Your friends are your family” a woman once told me in response to my situation. I suppose that a caveat there that many people miss is to consider what their definition and criteria for what makes someone a friend is, and it’s a life-long process of culling people until I find the right ones. Another view I’ve heard is that the definition of Hell is Other People.

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My Family, My Enemy, Part 2

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Going into the unknown temple of my soul

Prologue: Standing in the Sunset Glow

I once read an interpretation of an old Japanese television series I watched about child soldiers, and one of the main themes was that you could subject children to extreme brutality and hardship, but for some reason, something in each individual’s inner nature causes them to become different people. Some were honorable warriors, others were bloodthirsty savages. A very big metaphor for the nature versus nurture argument. In my view, nurturing people is what brings out something within them and triggers who they naturally are, which is why the extremes of hardship and privilege will tell you enough about someone.

Another quote I heard best summarizes this:

Two things determine your character: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.

The one argument people in my family use to dismiss the complexities of my life is to point at my younger sister. What they do not realize is their assumptions tell me more about them and what lies my father told them about our life; that people truly did believe we were extremely privileged people. The problem is, they didn’t know my father, and my father didn’t want them to know either.

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My Family, My Enemy

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Orestes, torn between mother and father: his suffering caused by his family

Introduction: This Boy’s Life

It’s hard to talk about my past and discover where the divergence in problems begins, for my family has historically been downright abusive, neglectful, and toxic. My childhood is full of moments of abandonment, lies, and scapegoating, and as a result of the disease of life, I was eventually made into a Third Culture Kid, dragged around the world with no end in sight and the belief I’d eventually return to the childhood friends and home I was taken from a delusion I held onto for sanity. Consequently, by becoming the Third Culture Kid I am, it created an even deeper divide between my family and I.

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“Thou Art That”: Traversing the Portals of Reality

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Prologue: Returning to the Cave After Awakening from Dreams/Reality Bites.

The cave allegory of Plato best conveys the frustration I have with my inability to explain what makes perfect sense to me to others caught in the mundane world. What I have learned in my travels and spiritual revelations (both related to each other–the more I travel, the more spiritual I become, and the more spiritual I become, the more I travel) is that this is very much like speaking to cave dwellers as Plato describes it (abbreviated here for concision):

Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to designate names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.

But the problem is, when you return to the cave and tell people what is reality, they look at you and think you are a mad man. And indeed: most people dismiss me as crazy.

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An Invisible Boy on The Pale Blue Dot

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Part I: Dreams…When Being and Consciousness Actually Make Sense

When I dream these days, I do not find myself haunted, tormented, torn, longing, or searching. I find myself bearing witness to life around me, all the possibilities of what could have been and what will be. Earlier this month, I dreamed of Yesl giving me a power symbol t-shirt and my mother and father, in some manor in the foggy English countryside. Crashing through the hedge maze and exiting the car to enter the manor, a portrait of my father looks ogrish and sinister, and I become consciously aware that that is within me too, and I resist, because I refuse to lose who I have shaped myself into Being.

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A Savage Chronicle

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True words do not sound beautiful;
beautiful sounding words are not true.
Wise men don’t need to debate;
men who need to debate are not wise.
Wise men are not scholars,
and scholars are not wise.

The Sage desires no possessions.
Since the things he does are for the people,
he has more than he needs.
The more he gives to others,
the more he has for himself.

The Way of Heaven nourishes by not forcing.
The Way of the Sage acts by not competing.

– Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching, 81 (道德經)

Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds sufficiency too little. – Epicurus

I began writing these thoughts on 8th of June 2014 thinking about what topics I will inevitably write on the matters of repatriation, philanthropy, synchronicity and spirituality, and this strange moment in time where I currently have most of my conscious thoughts gathered together.

As the days go by and more time for reflection rather than rumination allow me to process life the past several weeks, I’m at another crossroads in life. Each time I try to sit down and write, I’m instead instinctively drawn to distract myself or focus on tasks that would be more noble to talk about when my mother or stepfather ask what I have been doing.

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