Essays

Various essays that dance around the psyche & spirituality:

The Mind Heals —2 Oct 2011—

  • The main difference between the mind and the body is that we don’t know how to let the mind heal. Instead of giving these wounds a clean bandage we pick at them. I know that’s a nasty image, but seriously: when we fret and worry, when we dwell in guilt or shame… doesn’t the analogy hold.

 

The Mind has Parts—16 Sept 2011—

  • These parts are like a group of friends. Each one has different desires, goals and fears. Most of them talk to each other and have agreed about most of these things. Others are anti-social. It is these outcasts that are truly fascinating.

 

Indoctrination—10 Sept 2011—

  • Irony is an institution devoted to knowledge that worships the belief: “we don’t know anything.”

 

The Monk Mystique—25 August 2011—

  • The monks do not fit my standard. I did not find the type of holiness I wanted. Instead I found a transparency that challenges my idea of perfection.

 

The Movement—10 July 2011—

  • I’m fascinated by movement because our times feel like acceleration. I’m also fascinated because if all I find is movement, where do I get this curious desire for stillness? Is that an impossible hope?

 

Kurt Gödel—27 June 2011—

  • People talk about working within the system to change it: young teachers fight to become a wrench instead of a cog; lawyers know they will stand for the little guy; we all do this to keep our dignity. Gödel should be our patron saint.

 

Building a Bridge —11 June 2011—

  • It’s strange that memory can do this to experience. It smoothes over bug bites and bad moods. It lets the fleeting things flit away and grasps onto the substance.

 

Desirable Desire —4 June 2011—

  • Instead of giving up bad things I believe in wanting the best things. Those are different for each of us and the voice that wants them is subtle; much more subtle than the gregarious desire for salty, sugary, sexy.


Becoming a Cannibal —22 May 2011—

  • The pivotal moments are really just the crest of a thousand moments before them. By then the momentum is too much to stop. It’d just be way too awkward.


A Thought Experiment —15 May 2011—

  • I’ve been talking all this noise about Harriet Tubman and searching for the mental Mason-Dixon line. But I’m at risk of becoming the armchair explorer who spends more time imploring then exploring.


Harriet Tubman —9 May 2011—

  • There is a reason why we quicken when Bob Marley exhorts us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. Sometimes it takes every external option being laid before us to reveal the true nature of our slavery, the real direction of liberation.


Duplicity —1 May 2011—

  • Or- “Jonny goes to the Salon.”


The Shaman —10 April 2011—

  • I was grasping at straws as it became clear that the problem wasn’t my Spanish. After a donkey ride, snorting sugarcane moonshine and the shaman spitting perfume on me the fantasy fully crumbled.

 

Culture Shock —27 March 2011—

  • It’s strange to experience culture shock without leaving the US. Yet going from Montana to the Bronx left me reeling. I felt like a fish plucked from a lake and dropped into Niagara falls.

 

Bullies and Belief —20 March 2011—

  • In middle school there was Troy. Troy was big. Troy was erratic. Troy had goals that I couldn’t quite figure out. He was like reality. And the best way to survive around him was to be afraid.

 

Border Crossing —13 March 2011—

  • A couple of other guys got in and we eased through the crowd and onto the road.  Plywood shacks and bright blue drink carts passed by.  Then the border station also whizzed past…  Shit.

 

Expanding Consciousness —25 Feb 2011—

  • I wish this idea hadn’t become such a fuzzy piece of new-age parlance.  It loses power when it’s tossed around carelessly.  But that’s just my own lingering beef from growing up in Asheville.  I’ll get over it.

 

Gold —14 Feb 2011—

  • The characteristics that we want for money are determined by the purpose of money.  If we didn’t want something capable of exchange and holding value then it wouldn’t matter how rare or stable the material was.  Could it be that the characteristics favored by evolution are also purposeful?

 

Persona Confessions —5 Feb 2011—

  • That’s the tricky part of the persona.  The fear that others will reject us is disguised as love and concern for the other.  But truly it just wants other’s acceptance, not what is best for them.

 

Plan B —22 Jan 2011—

  • I thought having no goals would take me into the metaphorical sea of possibility.  This was a misinformed reaction to bad goals.  What if the goal is something bigger than the consumer dream?
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