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Reality & Consciousness

“R

eality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality…

…No matter how complex our instruments may be, no matter how sophisticated and subtle our theories and calculations, it’s still our consciousness that finally interprets our observations. And it does so according to its knowledge and conception of the event under consideration. It’s impossible to separate the way consciousness works from the conclusions it makes about an observation. The various aspects that we make out in a phenomenon are determined not only by how we observe, but also by the concepts that we project onto the phenomenon in question.” – David Bohm

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On Presence & Self-Love.

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f “How to be Present” were the title of this season in my life, then “Learning to Love Myself” would be its subheading. Sometimes I attempt to figuratively swap title-placement, until those moments arrive when I *can’t* Love Myself. Then the only thing left to do is again be Present with the fraud who I often feel myself to be.

This high form of Presence offers a blunt confirmation of this truth: there exists no plateau to which I can climb that will bear the fruit of my everlasting-contentment. (And to think I’d been holding my breath all this time).

This whole thing is a wave. To even try and reduce life to a hackable, knowable “thing” is deserving of an earnest and maniacal belly laugh. I *don’t have to love it to ride it, but I *do* have to *want to ride it to learn how to love it. It’s in this greater sense that choosing love in our every action is at once the choice of the idealist and the cynic. For the idealist, we choose love because it’s what we aspire to. For the cynic, we choose love because, against all odds, it’s revealed as the only course to progress.

In spite of our defense’s best efforts to convince us otherwise, a withholding of love in any context cannot be part of a rational argument for or against anything. Our barrier against love, across the board, is a powerful storm of branded fear, grief and anger spilling out only where the contours of our personalities will allow. It’s at this stage where we employ our intellect to construct “reasons” for “feelings” that were never designed to be at the behest of logic to begin with.

Incredibly, as it turns out, when we give ourselves and each other permission to express our deepest vulnerabilities—when we wear this as a kind of invitation on our sleeves—all energies can be harnessed for the purposes of love. It’s only then when we’ll create the world that we otherwise busy ourselves with lamenting we aren’t powerful enough to create. Oh but we ARE <3

– Danny/TL&TW/December 17, 2015

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Performing vs. Sharing

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realized this past week that although I’m naturally animated, I’ve been hiding from “performing” for most of my life because the word activates my own ego, fear, and judgment. A call for me to make a subtle shift from the act of “performing” to “sharing” is already proving to be a powerful lesson to internalize.

Sharing, no matter the stage, means opening ourselves to our deep well of authenticity that’s spoken from our own special corner in the collective unconscious. We *all* have a unique, valuable perspective by mere virtue of the fact that we’re all individuals playing in this larger field. It’s a matter of our choosing and learning how to tap into what it is our soul longs to say—and discovering through what medium our heart aches to be expressed.

Sharing—in contrast to the connotations of performing—carries with it no hint of judgment lest we actively choose to attach one. Sharing elicits in our spirits the imperative to shine in the crisp air of openness and inclusivity. Sharing is how you can tell the difference between a poor actor and a brilliant one: one’s bluffing and the other is experiencing.

If we’re going to heal our world, which I’d wager we are all working to do in our own ways, perhaps it can help us to see ourselves not as performers but as worthy spokespeople for our own unique and valuable experiences. The moment you hint to someone in any context that there’s no place for their voice, you’re perpetuating the very violence that you might presume to be abating.

Yes, let us encourage sharing even of the “morons.” Because when the “morons” share, they reflect back to us our own arrogance and penchant for shallowness that we implicitly pretend has a place in progress. Healing will come by the price of our own surrender to not knowing. Healing will come by seeing our own fear and rage in the fear and rage of others, and then by asking, and then by sharing. And round ‘n round we go. Did I mention love in this? That’ll have to be a sequel.

– Danny/TL&TW/December 4, 2015

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An Introduction to The Light & The Weight.

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had a dream wherein I was both spectator and participant in a great race at a Roman-times track. These were elite athletes, the stakes were high, and the crowd was spilling with anticipation—having poured the fears and hopes of a whole city’s identity onto these few, obvious heroes.

It was then, mid-way through one-way around the track, when a great disruption occurred: a colored man, frayed and embodying the archetype of the oppressed, stumbled right in front of the athletes as he hurried, confusedly, to find his post. The race and ritual had come to a screaming halt, and players and spectators alike were quick to project their anger onto the man that clearly had no respect for the sport. What gall, and what right did this man have?

For the crowd, it was reality to see how this brainless agitator had ruined the cultural event of the year and doused the expectant prospects of a society. And yet as clearly as they would justify its punishment of the man, the crowd was blind to the real injustice hidden and disguised in its shadow projection. This man—the agitator, the simpleton—was a captive in his own existence by the same legal order that now wished to find a way to expel him still further to the fringes.

As I reflect on this dream a few hours later, my eyes fill with tears as I see this myth’s endurance in the world we act to desperately guard today. What’s percolating in our collective unconscious—the injuries of the global refugee crisis, Black Lives Matter, mass incarceration, income inequality, indigenous-, women’s-, and LGBT rights, down to the plight of Ahmed Mohamed—this is our proverbial moment when we transform our throwing of the spear into the recognition of its destruction within ourselves.

The identity crisis that the sovereign crowd experiences when its ritual is collapsed (the crumbling of corporatism, the end-rule of the ruling elite, the nature-drained/oil-fueled built environment, the defenseless exposure of American exceptionalism)…it pales in comparison to the identity theft of oppressed minorities—as they are denied the very basis for ritual as a way of life. But both identity crises are real, and both can only be healed when shared power and inclusivity are valued more highly than the pitting of dual realities.

My true story and yours aren’t the only ones.

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