Is Being Mature Knowing When To Act Immaturely?

What does it mean to be mature? Across cultures specific traits have been attached to the idea of what becoming and being an adult is, some of these are more stark than others, yet all require individuals to follow customary action. The behaviour a person displays in their community frequently reflects their standing within it, and most often it’s those the society holds in high regard people intend to mirror. Since the development of agriculture and economics paragons held in greatest esteem were those with the most capital and/or power, operating with impunity as long as their material can stitch any inflicted gash.

As people have tried to emulate the wealthy integrity neglect is recurrent, the notion of maturity not centred on morality but the gravity invoked by acquisition. To combat this, a character inside is chanting a rectitude refresher – seeing the world with inquisitive eyes, our inner child veers towards curiosity and intuition, realigning us with our quieted youthful self.

Who’s Really Mature

What do children desire above all else? Becoming a “grown-up”. Even though majority of the day is taken up by play and everything is provided for them, this illustrious concept implants the idea of utter liberty – from being a firefighter to flying with superman, anything is possible. Unfortunately this childish propensity for imagination comes to a standstill as age ticks upward.

An individual must learn to operate in society and their family, friends, schooling, and experiences decipher this. Humans are social creatures and we look towards others for guidance, using reverenced advice and action as the blueprint for our own personal construction. There’s a reason why parent-teacher interviews always have a box questioning, “Does student ask for assistance when needed?”.

The most common traits of maturity as seen by contemporary society is someone who is employed and living out of their parents grasp with their own place, possessions and relationships. What’s rarely contemplated is these are merely signs of growing older and not of maturation, and in different communities there are better barometers of being a mature human.

One may have ample material and satisfies the societal notion of successful, but have they been able to cultivate self-control? Can they not stand the thought of spending any time alone? Do they need to gossip to make themselves feel adequate? Do they boast to others of their achievements? Can they take responsibility when choice is erroneous? What’s their age in emotional intelligence?

In communities people look towards the heroes celebrated by the collective, currently those hoarding the most have domineering clout and people strive to replicate tangible rewards at the unknown expense of actual maturation. Our societies have dispensed with the elderly and the only ones remaining loiter in positions of power looting whatever they can. They may look like old men yet these are no elders, they are adolescence in body suits.

Reigniting the Wonder of Existence

In order to learn from one’s past it cannot be forgotten, rather examined and taken onward as a backdrop for future endeavours. A lot of the idea of maturity in modern society means one is encouraged to drop all their tendencies toward behaviours considered childish, unless they are comparable to those auspicious for material acquisition such as greed and stubbornness.

Instead of buying into this banal version of an adult, perhaps the most mature among us are those who act immature when applicable and become astute when required. A human functioning this way exhibits unison between the inner-child and the adult self, the union reflected in a gregarious and capable disposition. No-one embodies this character more than Wim Hoff – the man teaches how to do incredible feats like his own, talks of psychology, Sharmans and the central nervous system, yet he is also the crazy guy playing tag with kids at birthday parties and howling at the moon at midnight.

What’s beautiful about acting appropriately immature is the impulse towards intuition, to feel and act on whims and let the thought and instinct of the inner world be performed outwardly. Take the example of people observing an adult climbing a tree – most will see this as an inappropriate and puerile activity but to the individual in the tree the experience is engaging, they are partaking in life and feel themselves literally intertwined with nature.

Being close with our inner child helps us grasp the times when we should lose ourselves to emotion and when to keep it together, it enables us to feel content about expressing sentiments rather than allowing them to fester our inner sanctum.

Without being in contact with the youthful self one’s emotional intelligence will remain underdeveloped. If they unable to recognize and get the inner child in check it will create capricious circumstances where control of the self is overridden by anger and despair. Emotional intelligence is crafted through tiring situations and observation – lessons are always present to those wanting to enhance themselves.

Being able to suitably flirt between maturity and immaturity invokes a sense of novelty to life, to see the world with the awe-inspired eyes of a child allows one to temporarily drop the intensity and expectation of adult life and reignite with wonder of existence. 

What really makes a capable “grown-up” in the modern world? Is it the job one has, the material they retain, the people they command? Or is it reaching an equanimous state of kinship with the inner child? Objection! Subjective! Fair fair, the question can only be answered from the angle of one’s attitude, however it is true that those stopping communication with the inner child lose a sense of marvel in the human experience.

As we age we adapt and change to the circumstances bestowed on our path, each new obstacle peeling away a layer of our personality giving us deeper observation of ourselves. Remembering the many layers of the former self retains recollection of how we’ve developed; understanding how we got to our current position is propitious to helping us arrive fittingly at our next. 

Image Source: Digital synopsis

The Illusion of The “I”

Endless perspectives peer into reality each with its own peculiar tints and hues, yet one wonders how many are attentive to the notion that a shared experience of the “I” binds us to all others? All sentient beings have some understanding of “I” – consciousness encapsulated in the body, mind and branded with a spectre of identity. When we say “I”, everyone’s mind gravitates towards the same phenomena – the first hand engagement with life perceived through the senses bestowed on a human being.

With many people completely immersed in their own version of “I” they neglect that everyone else is in fact “I” too, and although everyone is experiencing “I” individually it’s something ubiquitous. Despite the individual essence we believe our identity has, what the “I” actually refers to is the coalescing of atoms and sentience, experienced independently and registered as ourselves. It can be hard for people to imagine the “I” as a mental construct, however Eastern philosophy may provide a beacon for this intellectual exploration. 

What is the “I”?

When we say “I”, what are we actually referring to? Is it the body we’re given, the consciousness we cultivate or the experiences we’ve partaken in? If we believe it to be a composition of all these factors what about bacteria existing within us, like our microbiome, which has it own DNA? They influence our mood and create changes in our body, is this considered a part of the “I” or is it separate from us?

Arriving to the earth we are branded with titles such as name, nationality, religion, and with these stamps we develop a concept of self. Most establish identity around titles and their sense of I is reflected through them; like kudzu on a forest wall, the insidious labels permeate and smother the personal effigy manufactured for oneself. There’s an endless amalgamation of parts to engender any individual and it’s extremely hard to isolate the exact essence of “I”, especially as it can fluctuate according to temperament. Or, in the words of wise old Walt,
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes)”

Towards the tail end of the classic Steppenwolf, protagonist Harry arrives at the magic theatre and the mirror staring back at him shatters. In the scattered shards Harry sees countless images of himself displayed at all ages, events long gone and events yet to transpire. Hesse’s magic mirror has been instrumental in shifting many perspectives to see not merely the dualism existing within but the multitude of personalities abounding inside.

Who are we when we are tired, angry, scared, hungry, horny, happy? As Bittersweet Symphony hums “I’m a million different people from one day to the next”; acknowledging this is the original step towards intellectual understanding who we are. Appreciating the assembly of dispositions we can learn to observe how the “I” consistently alters. Those with Multiple Personality Disorder offer anecdotal advice of how it is to truly see the world through a different “I” than we usually prescribe to.

Emptiness and Interdependence

In the early stages of the Common Era, Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna crafted the doctrine of Emptiness. At the crux of his teaching the monk states that there is no individual essence of anything because everything is interwoven with other things. The doctrine of emptiness relies on interdependent origination, a concept denoting nothing can be insulated from other factors and everything existing is subject to the principle of cause and effect.

His contemplations lead him the conclusion there is no independent self, that the self is actually a combination of the interrelation between various factors; e.g. our family, friends, experiences, body, habitus. When these different factors merge a figure of the self forms, and although we accredit it to our being as “I”, it is only an illusion created by others and ourselves.

No other theory presented has been able to denounce Nagarjuna hypothesis – look around, everything you see is an amalgam of other components; that chair, that apple, that dog, that building, that human. The stance doesn’t dictate there is no self, rather that the true self is like an empty vessel which we fill up with attributes of titles, anecdotes, ideologies, ect.. The more we fill our vessel the harder it is to remember that at our core we are not the amassed liquid, but still the empty container.

This emptiness can be felt during meditation and in intimate moments with nature. Without decades of practice it’s near impossible to fully silence the mind whilst meditating, but in those instances between the breaths the emptiness can be felt –
no thought, no effort, no weight, just untainted transparency echoing through the mind.

When one is hiking to a beautiful lookout there is a transient moment upon arrival where we are immersed in our surroundings, exhaustion and beauty combining as the mind is emptied and the self is engulfed by intimate association with organic life.

Appreciate, but Don’t Pamper

Just because our essence is empty doesn’t mean the core of us need be shallow, we have the right to choose which substances we want sloshing around in our vessel. The “I” we have developed over numerous years deserves respect and appreciation, however excessive attention toward oneself is where the animal loses touch with their humble place in the grand scheme.

We are like stars, all independent yet encapsulated in the bowl of the universe. For us to comment and say the Sun is the best star in the universe is only due to the pleasures it provides us, the statement holds no legitimacy when you consider the billions of planets circling sun like stars. When the “I” overrides the rational mind vanity surfaces and we pamper the perception of ourselves.

If everything at its core is empty and the “I” doesn’t really exist, what optimism does that provide us? The question can be reframed in a despairing fashion,
“The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?”
Luckily, the man who wrote the line above also wrote the one below.
“That you are here—that life exists and identity,
The powerful play goes on, and we may contribute a verse”
This sage advice from Whitman exemplifies the beautiful and enigmatic nature of existence, our blessing not only to live in but influence reality. We may not revolutionize the universe but at least we can contribute a verse; unshackle expectation of changing the world and allow yourself to approach life with the intention of occupying and owning the time and space inhabited.

Being the commanders of our fate it’s strongly advised to search for what make life meaningful and not merely what satisfies the “I”. Pleasures are temporary where as acts of altruism linger in eternity. 

The human animal is a complex and fascinating creature. Being able to place ourselves in the past and future closely aligns our identity with the “I”, yet at its core there is no independent “I” other than a construct established by mind and environment.

Every human is afforded the “I” perspective, seeing the world through our unique composition it’s hard for many individuals to remove themselves from their lives and appreciate the wonder of sonder – the realization that everyone is living a life as complex and vivid as ones own. If one can conceptualize this they come closer to understanding that the “I” exists for everyone because it is empty.

Image Source: Cosmic Consciousness

The Mind And Time Distortion: Consciousness and The Enigmatic Dimension

To exist at this moment means to inhabit the forefront of linearity, however that moment has already perished and now you’re in this moment. Living in the contemporary world means existing at the transformational position of time, but it also means operating at the threshold of the past and future.

Once a moment is acknowledged it ceases to be the present, sliding to the top of one’s recent experiences and connecting the uninterrupted series of events binding history to novelty. Perhaps Chekov put it better, “The past… is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.’ Preceding events cannot be repeated but they can be moulded into memories, the mental chest of individual history becoming our gauge of time.

While time may be mathematically uniform consciousness is not and individual perception varies according to interest, enthusiasm and intent. Under the influence of fascination, elation or trepidation, it’s hard to know when the last moment ceased and its replacement arose.

Resounding since the industrial revolution, modern societies are bombarded by calls for increased individuality and autonomy with most witnessing life under the aspect of personal experience. However there is another alternative, one crafted centuries before the bourgeoise toppled the feudal hierarchy – Spinoza’s Sub Specie Aeternitatis (under the aspect of eternity). By examining the world with deeper attention to the cosmos’ perennial flow an endeavour to flow with it helps one to utilize their prescribed time better.

Alternate Perceptions

Just because humans have been able to quantify time doesn’t mean it’s perceived analogously or even that we explicitly know what it is. Instead of having a fixed disposition time appears to alter according to conscious interaction with stimulation integral to judgement.

Time is measured at the baseline reality where 60 seconds equal a minute and 60 minutes an hour, however has there not been occasions where it seems like this prescribed frame has elongated or accelerated? When your stomach is about to give way and home is still 7 minutes off, does that period linger longer than eternity? Does the golden trite aphorism “Time flies when you’re having fun” hold legitimacy?

The fixed variables for measuring time are rational and extremely pertinent for society’s operations, however they are impersonal and the devices fashioned for discernment do not consider the mind’s propensity for experiencing, absorbing and interpreting. As conscious beings we intellectually interact with our surroundings, therefore individual appreciation of events will vary according to levels of engagement with a particular environment.

An element adding complexity to time appreciation is memory, an amalgam of hazy screenshots displaying selected portions of what’s been seen. Peering into the chest of previous moments people often forget the mirage, the past not seen as it occurred but as consciousness reconstructed it. We use the present moment to recollect the past, projecting previous sequences and making it even more difficult to consider the length of time between then and now. 

When time is interpreted it tends to be from an independent and autonomous position, and what more personal than one’s perception of their age? Everyone at some point has uttered, “Where did the days go by?”, as if they’re standing at home plate, bat in hand, ball curving past them and they’ve no idea how they’ve got there. The longer we live the more memories amass in our chest to select, recollect and contrast. Because the chest is increasing every day like experiences coagulate and the reflection of yesterday could really be portions of yesterday and slices of yesteryear.

Time may operate on it’s own spectrum and facilitate life’s continuation, however it’s the mind’s engagement with time providing anecdotal evidence.

Absorbed in Experience

Life provides us with continual opportunities to engage with and develop large databases of relative circumstances, yet new encounters are rare when one is engrained into routine stretching their immediate experience of time. Without a regular dose of displacement individuals fall prey to rigidity, days lagging while the years waste away. This progressive degeneration of spirit occurs not because time is deceitful, rather due to inadequate awareness of occurring life.

In contemporary society an abundance of technology aims to your steal attention; as a result, consideration to the factors facilitating life decrease in favour of instantaneous stimuli. Everyone now has their own algorithmically tailored reality in their hands, one that intends to hook the user on to a dopamine drenched screen. In the attention economy your time evaporates, syphoned into packaged data for anyone’s purchase.

When an intention is set to acquire something out of a situation the ability to fully enjoy it is inhibited; when the mind is focused on personal desires it struggles to be completely present in the moment. Expectation is the curse of the optimist.

Time’s malleable character only becomes cognizant when one is absorbed in experience; for this, the ideal state to occupy is that of flow. Flow state is conceptual equilibrium where an individual is wholly immersed in a collection of actions, concentration honing in on an activity and blocking out the external world. Think about Kelly Slater cruising down Pipeline, Jimmy Page mid-Stairway or Bourdain slicing up pigs nuts – they’re not just present, they are optimally occupying that moment with limited thought. During these periods the conscious mind is clear as impulse and intuition guide the body, bequeathing individuals the superlative psychological state for creation.

It really goes without saying that meditation is a great assessor of time. The practice attempts to impede the influence of stimuli as it intertwines a sedative body, breathe work and mantras. Anyone who has sat in lotus understands how, like a ravenous squirrel, the mind will try to satiate attention by drawing things towards it. This is when the brunt of time is experienced as the amateur aims to sit for thirty-minutes but only musters eight. The longer a meditative prescriber sits and learns to lessen the volume of thought their perception of time will increase in opposition to the layman.

The most lucid example highlighting the plastic nature of time is psychedelics – a frequency providing a peephole into the complex nature of reality and it’s true state of constant flux. Under the influence of these enigmatic chemicals the world pulsates with animation, time an inscrutable element not conforming to its prescription at baseline reality. When the conventional attributes of time evaporate all that remains is the present moment. While the psychedelic circumstance cannot be sustained indefinitely, the experience belittles notions of uniformity and leaves a precocious opening in the mind for new, fertile thought.

Existing in this reality necessitates a basic concept of time and acknowledgement of the whims of its perpetuation. Being an ultimate common concept quantified and categorized many think they understand time, however how can one be comprehensive in their assessment when perception alters interpretation? To properly grasp time (or as close as a human can to doing so) the dimension needs to be recognized for its flexible malleability. Placing ourselves in states that question baseline view of time like flow, meditation and psychedelics allow for subjective observation of it’s shifting status.

As one develops their own concept of time there’s an extra incentive to not waste it. The facilitator of events may provide a platform for life to exist, but there is a major difference between existing and engrossing oneself in the art of living.

Image Source: The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali.

We Will Appear to Future Generations as Those Previous Appear to Us

Being at the forefront of time means being gifted the benefit of hindsight, and frequently people cast their eyes back to the almost laughable incompetence of our out-dated ancestors. What is not often deliberated is just as those of previous eras are inept in many fields, we too will be considered crass by the society of the future. The vast knowledge base we utilize today has been established through experimentation. No cheat sheet was handed to humans, at the cornerstone of our development is trail and error.

George Orwell wrote, ”Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it”. Hubris is a common denominator throughout civilization and has fuelled the saliency current generations feel over those previous. If the world of the future was available for observation, what could be the matters being selectively ignored which make our supreme generation look puerile to forthcoming societies? Before stepping forward, its always auspicious to look back.

A Distorted Timeline

History chronicles the development of civilization and is indispensable in conceptualizing humanity. The current timeline has been pieced together from material scattered across the globe, refined by specialists and sanctioned as truth. Yet, what if we are missing integral portions of information and our chronology is faulty?

In Fingerprints of the Gods, Grahame Hancock inquires into the potentially of a missing scene in the human story where a great civilization once existed and was destroyed by a cataclysmic event around 12,000 years ago, the end of the last ice age. Geologist Robet M. Shoch first arrived in Egypt in 1990 and his trained eye gravitated to some intriguing marks along the base of The Sphinx. Knowing them to be caused by water erosion, he estimated the marks to only be present if the structure existed at least 5000 BCE, almost double the estimate provided by Egyptologists. Both individuals faced severe criticism for showcasing their information, yet it wasn’t until the discovery of Gobekli Tepe did their theories have unequivocal proof of prospective legitimacy. Dating back to over 12,000 years the imposing structures required advanced engineering to be erected, something thought impossible by the apparent hunter-gathers living in the area at that eon.

In 2019, Greece discovered it was the home of the oldest human fossils in Europe. The Apidema skull fragment is dated at 210,000 years old, the find meaning some modern humans must have left Africa at least 50,000-70,000 years prior to the sanctioned narrative. Whatever supposed date our ancestors left Africa doesn’t change the fact that at the time the world’s geology was different, in particularly the coastline around the Middle East and Europe was over 200ft back from where it sits today. All the data from tribes hugging the coastline, the most logical route, have been lost and we are left to extrapolate about this epoch’s humans from fragments of hill tribe sapiens, small pieces of evidence constructing prodigious theory.

Everyone is privy to the existence of Neanderthals but hardly anyone knows of the new subgroup of the homo genus found in Russia. How does the Homo denosovian fit into the certified human story? With the assistance of novel utensils information continues to surface challenging the authorized account of us. To believe our pedestaled timeline will be the gold standard in 1000, let alone 100 years is utterly farcical.

The Prohibited Medicines

The West has been indoctrinated into the concept of progress and its unquestionable advantages to human life. This mindset has led to the dismantling of culture and the gutting of communities, natives taking the brunt of force. Indigenous cultures have an innate connection to Gaia and adhere to her demands. Their relationship with the flora and fauna is not one of abuse, rather reverence and admiration. Some of these plants, particularly throughout the Americas and Asia, deliver a psychedelic effect modifying the participant’s perception of reality. In presence of a Sharman, these ceremonies are integral to the wholesome maturation of a community and its members.

In our civilized, progressive, liberal societies, with very few exceptions, one is not legally allowed to choose whether they want to engage with the “Spirit Realm”, meaning recreational use far surpasses transcendental. Psychedelics are not like other chemicals, they provide an alternate view of reality and, according to Sharman teaching, give lessons essential to grasping both the material and spiritual aspects of life.

These chemicals were not only ingested in native land, but also at the birthplace of democracy. The Eleusinian mysteries were an initiation every Hellenic citizen had the right to attend once in their life. At the festival participants drank a brew called Kykeon containing barley with the psychoactive agent ergot (the same fungus used to synthesise LSD).  After thousands of years of operation the mysteries fell out of favour from the ruling Roman Empire, the tradition lost as the last Pagan Emperor died and the Goths laid waste to the sacred sites.

It’s clear humans have been using mind-altering substances for millennia, however since the sweeping war on drugs the public have been deprived of temporarily modifying their reality with “illegal” substances. Although we are currently constrained there is hope, and potentially we’re at the start of the transition from being juveniles to adults in the eyes of our descendants.

MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) work with Veterans to help them overcome PTSD. With the use of MDMA, Psilocybin (psychoactive component in psychedelic mushrooms) and empathetic counselling there has been an 80% success rate with patients, five times above the average clinical trail success rate. The AIMS Institute also use psilocybin to assist those with terminal illnesses in coming to terms with corporal demise, helping them not only live better but, following a core aspect of philosophy, die well. 

When the future inhabitants of earth look back on history possibly this is an important moment where psychedelic studies are recommenced, and as the world falls into chaos these substances could coalesce it back together.

The Inevitable Threshold Breach

Did you know that militaries don’t have to lodge their carbon footprint? Did you know when commercial tankers are in international waters they have the same deal? Did you see the recent Climate Summit in Scotland where all the leaders flew in on private jets? The real reason why the climate is such a mess is not them, but because of you and your flight to Barcelona.

The world is at crisis levels and maybe it’s time to consider, or even accept that we will go over the 2°C limit and implement action for damage mitigation rather than decades-late prevention. Major factors to consider are the continual rising population, the vast disparity of wealth and the insatiable appetite and power held by oligarchs.

Last year alone saw a net increase of nearly 92 million people into the world, a 1.22% surge on the 7.5 billion the earth must already feed. Again, the engrained idea of progress makes society see this beneficially as they’re more players to join in the game, but if a very large country is joining the world every year huge amounts of additional resources are required to provide the necessities of life.

The rising population is greatly influenced by the inequality of wealth rampant throughout the globe. Starved of education, medicine and opportunity, citizens of the developing world recurrently have multiple children to help with the demands of living and ensure care as they grow older.

Even if we are able to curtail population with methods like a living wage and birth control, what makes us believe the powers at be will happily lose revenue for the sake of the environment? The more people we have the more energy is required, and even if we switch to renewable energy it won’t stop resources being mined because the pool of energy expands as demand dictates. Why do you think nearly all the major oil companies are investing in renewable energy? It’s not from love of planet but power. The wealth disparity also isolates those fortunate from life on the ground where the real effects of climate change are and will be felt.

It’s crazy this issue has become a political debate rather than objective truth, but it’s not so difficult to see the benefits in doubling down on an opinion, although against scientific proof, one’s team supports. When speaking of damage mitigation it doesn’t mean to stop our preventive research and give up, rather shift portions of focus onto issues which will be overwhelming in the coming years like refugees, malnutrition and disease.

After the recent Climate Action Summits it’s clear there’s not going to be immediate action, therefore research should be commenced into the likely catastrophes and their global affects. Ideally we wouldn’t be too late but, if we haven’t severely reduced our trauma on the earth by now, what are the chances of us doing so in the prescribed 12 years until the event horizon?

Each generation looks at itself with glee at the marvels of modern society yet, just as the Romans thought the Goths were heathens for wearing pants, we too will find our ideas laughed and jeered at. There are really an innumerable amount of prospective areas we are overlooking, and the hindsight we currently enjoy is what the future will judge us off. It appears clear we are living in a time of great change and the foundations of society could very well be shattered within the coming centuries, if not decades.

The development of agriculture began the snowball of civilization and progress and we may not be able to stop it, however we can do our best to orientate it to a more native direction. As Daniel Quinn wrote, ““Indigenous people believe that Man belongs to the World; civilized people believe that the World belongs to Man.”

If we choose not to domineer but live with the planet future generations will see us as competent occupants of this benevolent ecosystem.

Image Source: Pinterest

What Engenders An “Old Soul”?

For millennia philosophers have contemplated the enigmatic figure of the soul and its purpose to human life. While some believe it to be an important and eternal aspect of lived existence, others have been convinced of its superlative propensity to escort travellers into the afterlife. Whether it be significant or trifling, the notion of an “Old Soul” has sustained curiosity in both Eastern and Western tradition. 

The idea of an Old Soul may be a human construction, however what if there is something behind the idea providing insight into the soul’s origin? Individuals regarding themselves as Old Souls are consistently found indifferent to their epoch, often manifesting precocious conceptions of life without direct assistance from others; are these ideas naturally concomitant or are they innately present in the psyche?  Is there a lingering presence within the soul manipulating conscious thought? To investigate the old soul we must consider the characteristics, postulations of its immortality and it’s confluence with consciousness.

The Old Soul

A prominent feature of an Old Soul is a drive to not just comprehend who and what, but also interpret the why. The desire for understanding endorses an aversion to plain responses, imbibing material their acumen is sharpened and they humbly accept what they don’t know, seeing potential as someday being what they do. Through recurrent internal discourse these individuals merge deeply with their conscious and individual council provides solace and direction, yet with this close connection can create difficulties in adapting to the reality in which their body located.

Being cast into the modern world can be tough for the Old Soul and (whether conscious or unconscious of it or not), the surfacing of multiple dispositions often follows. One attached to occupational activities, another to the engaging with youths, another to converse with maturity and another dominating thinking when alone,
producing questions unpalatable to many contemporaries. As their interests go beyond what is typical for their age they find amicability with those older. Less intent on proselytizing about their shrewdness they seek knowledge from those who have truly experienced life, holding tremendous gratitude to anyone willing to teach personally or, as is the case with most old souls, by proxy through their work.

There is an essence of prudence within the Old Soul. As they become increasingly connected to their conscious acting on reflex tends to be scarce, installing pragmatic thought as an anchor of their actions. This sense of practicality increases earnestness towards personal responsibility and intent on persisting through endeavours. Grasping their influence on events and surroundings blame is seldom angled at others for personal shortcomings; when wrong the old soul presents their knuckles, takes the cane across them and attempts to be better the next time. During solitary moments with nature the Old Soul is at peace, their innate love for the natural world provides grace and serenity where the overactive mind can rest and purely be.

A Lingering Essence

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, the immortal psychoanalyst Carl Jung discusses his engagement with the duality dwelling within him. Jung noticed at an adolescent age that there were at least two distinct entities echoing inside him, simultaneously existing yet in somewhat disharmony with each other. One he regarded as his eternal soul, the one that forgets the existence of others when in nature or shoots off into metaphysical delight when alone; the other he specified as the social soul, the one required for him to function correctly in the community without seeming deranged or raving. Although the latter manages control of external efforts he was nevertheless convinced that his old soul laid the framework for the formers construction. In his opinion people are “the victims and promoters of a collective spirit whose years are counted in centuries”.

While all of us have our own personal lives we are representations of an essence that has subsisted since the beginning of man. Although we live in this moment today, there is energy within us that has existed for eons and will continue after corporal demise. The energy may share recurrent characteristics across the time and globe, but how it integrates with an individual is completely unique. This enduring essence can be imagined like wind – we may be able to see the affects, yet it is impossible to trace when it began and where it will end.

In Phaedo, Socrates’ grief stricken companions query him about the soul’s eternal nature. One theory the death-row philosopher offered to his friends was The Cyclical Argument, stating that death is actually a state of life and elucidating this with reference to sleep – in order for one to sleep they must first be awake, in order to be awake one must first sleep. When a new baby is born they awaken into this world, however if they are to awake they must have first been asleep somewhere else, no?

According to Plato a soul is not created anew but galvanized from a dormant into an active state, yet as the soul becomes forged to novel flesh the conscious renders it implicitly new and traces of the past evaporate. Could his theory expound why some people feel their soul has once inhabited actuality?

The Recycling of Energy

Traits of an Old Soul can be observed and theories as to why can be concocted, however the question remains as to what makes an individual feel they are an old soul? Perhaps science at the subatomic realm can help shed some light.

Microtubules are a structural component of cells producing their shape and forming part of the cytoskeleton. It was discovered through the research of Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose that within the microtubules there is information stored at a subatomic level. Their studies left them with the impression that consciousness, rather than being about the brain, could be stored in cells all over the body providing an access and information link to the quantum realm.

The information stored in the microtubules does not disappear with one’s heartbeat, instead the material gradually dissipates to point of imperceptibility. There is sound thought to postulate the harboured energy’s potential to be released or returned to the quantum realm. In other words these particles, at least intimately aligned but potentially being consciousness, go back into the omnipotent cosmic sauce of the universe.

As nothing can come from or go back to nothing perhaps energy is recycled from previous existences, and possibly particles of former souls converge and compose of those new. If this is true some individuals may have higher amounts of recycled energy in their microtubules, engendering a disposition with traits of someone who has lived before because their inherent energy has had a previous existence, and it’s slowly coming to realize the flesh puppets have changed.

As individuals receiving the recycled energy are not aware of their quantum composition they will sense a variance between them and their contemporary world without knowing the cause. There is endless debate on the relationship between the consciousness (unconsciousness/subconscious) and the soul. Whether they be one of the same or different doesn’t alter the inherit link they foster and the potentiality of them inhabiting the same realm.

With no irrefutable method to examine the phenomenon the notion of the old soul will remain inscrutable, however the theory provided may offer some food if thought intends to adventure into the soul’s realm. If nature incessantly recycles its elements to continue life, would it be so outlandish to suggest portions of reused energy enable new life?

Image source: Ali Noureldine

Do Psychedelics Attune Adventurers to an Alternate Frequency of Reality?

The psychedelic experience is one of the most lucid encounters anyone can participate in colouring life in a hue that challenges objectivity. Those previously acquainted with psychedelics have little doubt of their animated nature, life pulsating with earthy electricity zapping consciousness to cosmic heights.

Research has found when psychoactive chemicals are ingested the brain’s Default Mode Network (a system concerned with thoughts of self, personal memories and reflection) shuts off and the world begins to morph. These trips induce intense encounters testing the bounds of fiction, everything is seen with ripe curiosity as psychedelic compounds catalyse a sense of novelty .

If animals sense life differently (heightened hearing of dogs, magnetic sense in birds, etc.) does that make their experience any less real? If we encounter unique sensations whilst under the influence of psychedelics what’s to say they aren’t real?

Altering Reality

The end of the 60’s saw the Controlled Substances Act halt all research into psychedelics, prodding famed scientists like Timothy Leary and Richard Albert (later Ram Dass) away from an extremely encouraging field. Paradoxically, when something is made illegal it sometimes becomes even easier to find.

Without previously being under the influence of psychedelics it’s hard to comprehend the modification of reality and how it attunes our receptors to a different frequency. The most common avenues, LSD and psilocybin, share similarities in their trip yet offer distinctive adventures.

Mushrooms morph the world. It appears like nothing is capable of staying in a fixed position and boundaries are constantly colliding. The environment oozes with a ceaseless flux of shapes and colours, inviting individuals to engage with their surroundings and test what the eyes are seeing. It cuddles the adventurer and, with the right dose, offers a tranquil sense of (om).

Acid allows observation of the earth’s vibration. While the participant mat be scattered as their mind spins a thousand notions in three seconds, everything feels at a peculiar uniformity and a perennial pulse communicates to people. Nature lures attention and draws us closer for deeper inspection – On LSD, something as trivial as a tree becomes insight into atomic intricacies.

These mind-expanding experiences encourage engagement with life, yet dissonance often arises afterwards between what’s seen while tripping and what’s witnessed at baseline reality. Anyone with psychedelic experience cannot deny questioning their eyes during an encounter – with imagination operating at full capacity a vault of imagery, thought and ideas unleash.

These mind manifestations can be nurturing or foreboding, however selecting the right environment is essential to a positive trip. Psychedelics aren’t meant to be used recreationally and people should prepare themselves for the occasion by treating the chemicals with reverence. As the experts out in this field say, “It’s all about (mind)set and setting”.

Intensifying Insight

When an individual ingests psychoactive substances the Default Mode Network (DMN) is deplenished releasing the mind from typical thought patterns. Researchers have found a congruence between the DMN and the ego*. Their work indicates that when psychedelics exhaust the DMN it loosens the sense of self attached to the ego, spawning a more authentic, present version of ourselves.

Those who’s minds work well with these chemicals become freer and increasingly spirited, integrating themselves with life and enhancing their interest in it. Hallucinogens are able to pierce the bubble surrounding the illusionary framework of society. When your reality is questioned it’s natural to inquire into the structures supporting its legitimacy, and who’s profiting from it.

The realm a trip opens has been broadly considered false by the establishment, yet who can indisputably say that someone else’s experiences aren’t real? Potentially, what one observe is an alternate frequency on the cosmic broadcast. At baseline reality much of the earth is solid or still, under the influence of psychedelics nature throbs and matter distorts offering possible insights into fundamental atom behaviour.

If the settings established by the DMN are switched off does it perhaps unveil a version the brain has suppressed? The network could have evolved to help humans cope with their incessantly changing environment and, as the development of agriculture and the state made people more uniform and individualistic, we lost the esoteric knowledge cultivated by indigenous culture. This could be the true purpose for these chemical existing in nature, to allow humans to vividly see they are apart the cosmos’ omnipotent, everlasting system.

Allowing the conscious to periodically roam these realities can alleviate new questions indispensable to human advancement. From the Eleusinian mysteries to Steve Jobs, psychedelics have helped shape the world and to still, even at this so-called height of progress, have them suppressed impedes on freedom of thought. Education and unstigmatized investigation can grant knowledge required for individuals to decide whether or not they want to engage respectfully with the psychedelic realm.

Investigation into psychedelics bloomed in the 50’s and 60’s but was stoped dead by political agenda. It was a major derailment for knowledge progression, but as contemporary interest in these chemicals elongate more and more are questioning their service to the human experience. Life is a snafu woven in simplicity, for its full examination one must pull the thread and unweave the mysteries entangled throughout. This may mean confronting ignorance about the fluctuating states of reality.

*Carhart-Harris, R.L. and Friston, K.J., 2010. The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain133(4), pp.1265-1283.

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Does Life’s Meaning Reside in Discovering Our Own Purpose?

What does it mean to be human? Yes, there are easily identifiable answers such as being mammal, bipedal, social, creative, emotional, rational, yet the truly unique feature is the mind and, in particularly, the distinct Homo sapiens sapiens trait of questioning our own existence. Endowed with the highest degree of consciousness known (Aliens pending), it’s only fitting we be curious creatures and seek to understand ourselves in relation to our environment.

A major part of placing ourselves with the sphere of existence is to ponder the timeless question, “What is the meaning of life?”. Kings and peasants alike have muddle over the notion to no definitive response. A thousand-thousand religions have claimed to have found the answer, however in our secular world the supposed solution is hardly digestible. Perhaps we have been looking at the question all wrong, maybe the wording has ushered humanity down a narrow path of inquiry. If we consider all humans to be individuals, is it possible life’s universal meaning is to uncover our own unique purpose?

“Condemned to Be Free”

According to Jean-Paul Sartre human life is encapsulated by anguish because we are “condemned to be free”, that our existence is defined by the decisions we make and, once acutely aware of this, anxiety spies the jugular. He believed observation of the world was tainted to the degree of one’s reckoning, proclaiming life to have no inherit meaning or value other than what we choose to colour it with. This view is compatible with the scientific community, understanding human existence to be a contingent concatenation of events leading to the evolution of our invasive species.

Although religious followers consider their view unquestionable, they are a vivid example of how life is moulded by imposed meaning. Denoting one deity or prophet more significant than another is no less subjective than one’s choice in sporting team, or even fantasy squad. “Moses’ waterwall commands the back-half, but Marx manufactures a feeding factory at centre-mid, and Lao Tsu curves the ball in on a whisper… Tough choice.”

The unknown can be frightening and being offered an all-encompassing solution is comforting, but it also limits idiosyncratic thought. It may be daunting to contemplate our onus to individually define our existence, however isn’t more alarming to believe we all must live according to the same objective? Or that the chance to improve your life is going begging because you avoid being turned on to alternate thought?
Different strokes people, different stokes.

The notion since the dawn of our species every human has been allotted the same life meaning is as easy to defend as the assertion, “There aren’t any other forms of life in the universe”. There are approximately 300 million habitable planets in our solar system, and at least 100 billion galaxies in our universe….

The Significance of Meaning

If the meaning of life is individually defined how important is it to engrain oneself with purpose? Is there a flame one feels within when our life has meaning? Can meaning be found anywhere? There’s no better man to explore these questions with than the humble Dr. Viktor Frankl.

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl recounts his time as a holocaust prisoner and his psychological work with other survivors in the war’s aftermath. What he noticed about those lighting their final cigarette (a poignant sign of loss of hope) and those persevering through egregious brutality was a conscious intent towards something to live for. Whether it was due to their family, religion, life’s work, desire to outlast the Nazi’s, those who enforced meaning on their existence dealt better with serve adversity. Frankl and fellow survivors exemplified Nietzsche’s famed words
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”.
In the grand scheme of humanity there is no innate meaning for the atrocities of the holocaust, yet prisoners who choice to define their existence become the conquerors of subjugated fate.

Frankl went on to develop his own branch of psychotherapy, Logotherapy, based on his concept that the salient feature in one’s life is the will to discover meaning. An integral aspect of his work stressed the importance of our ability to select the outlook of any situation, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances”.

His views interrelate with Sartre’s idea of being condemned to be free, although altering its perception to view existential choice as the most significant instrument we have to define not only ourselves, but also our happiness.

Living Purposefully

So, how can we make our lives meaningful? Unfortunately, like the question of meaning itself, there is no definitive answer. Jung supposed, “As far as we can discern, the whole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being”. One can interpret this as fuelling our own perception with knowledge, yet another can hear a call to burn brightly so others can share luminosity. It doesn’t have to be either/or when there’s always an option for and/or.

Although a subjective assumption, if there were one aim every human should strive towards it is to leave the world better than when it was found. This aim can be approached from two angles – to make life better for oneself or to improve the quality of life of others.

The former self-satisfying approach may make one’s life more comfortable, but if one’s value is based on acquiring wealth their essence is no deeper than a frantic squirrel hiding nuts. With the latter it not about how many nuts they can hoard, but how many trees can grow from the seeds.

Making the world a better place doesn’t mean one has to change it, rather to become a positive influence within. By nature we are egalitarian creatures and our deepest sense of meaning comes from being validated within our tribe, authentication coming from acting for the group’s benefit and not merely oneself.

In our individualistic society it can be hard not to put self interest first, yet in offering time to another, one will come to realize that helping others is really helping oneself.

Milan Kundera wrote, “A question is like a knife which slices through the stage backdrop and gives us a look at what lies hidden behind it”. When peering through the slit opened by “What is the meaning of life”, one will come to realize there is no universal meaning, and that our purpose is derived from what we inscribe into life. Without having meaning in our lives we are prone to fall into the existential vacuum, seeping into the void of nothingness. But how to cultivate meaning? It’s something that sprouts organically and cannot be forced, however a sure-fire way to feel purposeful is to offer one’s time to another.

Image source: Mercatornet, Michael Cook

A Society Equating Wealth to Assets Has a Contaminated Conscious

The most important feature of any capitalist society is growth, without growth the wheels of governance come to a standstill and the entire community feels the brunt. In a society where new is always better, people believe the more stuff they have the better their life will be. In a society where new is always better, people compete with their neighbours to show they have the best stuff. In a society where new is always better, people spend their lives working and head to the grave with a mountain of stuff they’ve exchanged for the most valuable of all assets – time.

If a drug is something changing your state of being, what does that make money?  We live in a world where the most addictive substance isn’t a narcotic. People spend their entire lives chasing the materialist dragon, the supposed “winners” of society no more dependant than the “junkies” they step over. At the end of life is one really more satisfied if they’ve collected a lot of stuff?

Consuming Wealth

Money doesn’t buy happiness. This may be true, yet let’s not be naïve and say it can’t be an avenue towards it. What the real issue with wealth is, like a drug, it drags people into a perilous slope towards a craving for more with view of other humans as collateral damage.

When there is a continual desire for more people are less likely to appreciate what they already have. One’s bed may not be as comfortable as they’d like, but after an evening on the floor they definitely see the value. A person’s worth is measured not in what they can hoard, but by how they chose of accept life.

Contemporary society is a feeding ground for mental illness. Neurosis persists on either side of the spectrum; those atop the hierarchy shovelling material down their gullet with no sensation of being full, those below staring at them and thinking “Wow, they must be so happy”. Advertising is the salient propagator of this message and shows you just how good your life can be, if you only come back to this page five times a week; to try attain samples of the “illusive” perfect life this is exactly what the masses do. If the gloss was wiped away from advertising all one would find is a florescent sign flashing, “CONSUME, CONSUME, CONSUME”.

The more stuff one has the more they have to loose, therefore constant guard must be undertook to protect their plunder. In society we have come to weigh one’s wealth in material when it is the shallowest of substances, as empirical Kant wrote, “We are not rich by what we posses but by what we can do without”; or, in Thoreau’s Transcendentalist tongue, “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

“I’ve Got the Best Stuff”

As we drift further and further away from our egalitarian origins the desire to exhibit one’s worth by sharing is all but depleted, most would would rather highlight importance (or should I say, insecurity) by the age old art of flaunting. Thorstein Veblen had an eloquent term for this relating to the new money of the 19th century, Conspicuous Consumption.

In the never-ending tit-for-tat game of “Who’s got the best stuff?”, players incessantly squabble over unnecessary items to the benefit of the game’s manufactures, and you too can join in the fun! This toxic culture has decreased the durability and perception of goods, a possession only worthwhile until the latest upgrade is available. With an automatic impulse to upgrade how sturdy is the tether to society’s past and our previous selves? 

As frugality becomes unfashionable people cannot help but compete against others for the latest stuff. And as everyone is out squabbling it may be of benefit to pick up Chuck Palahniuk’s classic and let Tyler Durden’s philosophy sink in,
“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need….
We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact.
And we’re very, very pissed off.”

In saying this, however, one can’t deny that nice things are nice, of course they are, but if you base yourself on your possessions what does this say about your person? Are you really acting for yourself if the first thought coming to mind after buying something is you can’t wait to show so and so? And the real question is, does it really make us happy when we do? Sure, for a moment, but the quick spike of delight plummets back down to an all-new unsatisfied equilibrium.

The Trading of Assets

In order to buy stuff we must work, and work means one must trade their time and effort for money, and once that money is used we need to work again to get more money to buy more stuff – the process repeats ad infinitum. 

There is no shame in people who work to survive or who find joy and satisfaction in their occupation, however if they are exchanging most of their life in the pursuit of material are they really living purposefully? On their deathbed will they be happy surrounded by all the stuff they’ve traded their most valuable asset for?  In the worlds of the brilliant George Carlin,
“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body”.
Buying things may temporarily fill the void inside, but it also has the potential to infect.

Western society has been moulded to see those with the expensive items and obese bank accounts as the “winners”. We are more accustomed to ask “How much are they worth” instead of “How happy are they?”. Steve Jobs was no doubt a revolutionary mind who changed the face of humanity, yet his personal life was a disaster and, by all accounts, the man was quite an asshole – was he really a winner? If he could, do you think he would have traded his fortune for extra time to mend the family fractures he caused?

Money can be remade but time never rewound.

The idea of a societal “winner” should not be allocated to those who have slaved the hardest and hoarded the most, real “winners” are those investing time to develop genuine relationships, improve the lives of others and die with their integrity in tact.

Money may buy comfort, however happiness will always be illusive to those who require more to feel comfortable.
The more you have the more demanding your life becomes.
The more you have the more your desire to compete with others.
The more you have doesn’t mean anything if you’ve traded all your time for it.
The sun is gradually sinking on all our existences – wouldn’t it best to slow down, immerse yourself in sunlight and enjoy the warmth with those you love?

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The Sweet Irony of Life – We All Live to Die

Life and death share a perennial congruence for if life is to shine it’s shadowed must be death. The classic Grim Reaper, dark, enigmatic, incongruously timed, indicates the association imprinted on Western society by death. In nearly every religious tradition the concept of an afterlife is an integral part of doctrine, suggesting an enduring desire to make sense of the inscrutable and believe our existence will extend past it’s corporal demise.

Within Western societies a disassociation with death has encircled it with fear. Mortality is obscured in hospitals, farms and factories, and our comfortable reality often cultivates a juvenile mentality towards life’s transience. Humans, like all creatures, are nature’s temporary manifestation and must inevitably die to keep the process flowing, but is there an essence within us continuing after the body has disintegrated? Does our entity return to the pre-birth realm?

Remember your Fate

As we are consummated our DNA signs a contract, ‘In order for this being to have life, they must inevitably be sacrificed in death’. Although there are severe implications termed in the contract, it can also be helpful to appreciate life’s brevity and commit to making it more than bourgeois.

The cosmos is kept eternally fresh through the commencing and ceasing of cycles, time the catalyst ushering novel moments into reality. By developing an understanding of these cycles (human life cycle, 7-year cycle, seasonal cycle) and the different phases they function within one can grasp their transitory position in the human experience. 

With death seen as life’s grave dissenter the reverence towards one’s fate has slowly faded in the West. In neglecting the necessity of death individuals have also become indignant towards misfortune befalling their daily routine. To help realign with the reality of life two admirable maxims should be contemplated: Amor Fati and Memento Mori.

Amor Fati, love of fate, promotes the acceptance of whatever occurs in our lives as essential to our being; whether good or bad, every encounter is necessary to define the person we will become. Amor Fati highlights how everything befalling our path is meant to be there, believing nothing is without purpose because everything will shape the totality of life’s experience.

Memento Mori, remember you will die, implores us to consider the fleetingness of all worldly pursuits and our impermanence, acting towards the benefit of the immortal soul. In appreciating the fate of all beings we can learn to graciously confront the eventual termination of our earthly state.

To Not Merely Live

If we’re all destined to die would it not be auspicious to live in authenticity and attempt discovery your true being?  Socrates famously stated, “The unexamined life is a life not worth living”, the soul has been granted a flesh puppet and it would be wise to not merely live but explore existence. Change is what keeps the cycles in motion and electing not to rotate will see one increasingly at odds with nature, this planet’s reflection of the cosmos. With insufficient change thoughts become stagnated, accumulating algae the mind’s waters pollute and reality’s observation turns murky.

With limited rumination of death people often cast aside morality in the purist of material, hoarding excessively to exhibit primacy in the tangible world. Possessions will ultimately be stripped away, yet acts of altruism barrow deep into the soul and remain long after the body decays. As Marcus Aurelius spoke, “The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.”

For all humans the aim of existence should be to leave the earth better than when they arrived. In doing so one will be ready to welcome death as an old friend, if not they will fear mortality and clutch to anything denoting permanence to their fading composition.

The cycle of the soul proceeding death is an impenetrable mystery, however in examining the body’s decomposition one may postulate the soul to act somewhat analogously, slowly returning to its prebiotic state and coalescing with the cosmos in its original and ultimate form.

The sweet irony of life is that we all live to die, be it atom, plant, animal or person, every organism arriving on earth is destined to walk through the valley of death. Accepting one’s fate is essential to living a meaningful life and in pondering Memento Mori we attain cognizance to act for the soul and not purely for bodily desires. From the uniqueness of individuality, perhaps everyone will transcend into the ubiquitous all, suspended in dormancy and existing in intangible life.

Image Source: Volcom, 2001

By Introducing Novelties to Existence Everyday People Change Reality

Within all humans lies a yearning to create, to craft something of substance denoting their existence in the world. The apatite for creation hungers to express thought, imagination and opinion, presented in a format worthy of recognition. Art enables us to dictate without words and learn without lessons; in attempt to showcase their perspective of reality, the artist delves into their conscious and materializes a vision.

Whether it be a blueprint, lyric, portrait, when pen hits paper inspiration flows and thoughts can be altered into actuality. One of the most auspicious tools at human disposal, imagination envisions what has not yet been seen, empowering sight past the horizon painted by society. Art’s craft doesn’t reside purely in a brush stroke or sonorous note, but an apt for animating both the existent and non-existent; by introducing novelties to the world everyday people can change reality.

Art: A Lucid Display of Imagination

Since culture began to develop art has accompanied it. The ideologies established by our earliest ancestors are lucid displays of imagination and the mind’s attempt to make sense of the inscrutable, belief expressed artistically through stories, song, dance and paintings. Art is the foremost expression of human emotion, some things cannot be communicated purely with language and illustration aids in their illumination.

Art’s versatility grants people various tools to create; in painting, acting, dancing, sculpting, one gets to experience emotion in multiple forms, engaging them and providing a lens to alternatively observe life. The grace and wisdom in art allows conveying of the complex simply, even in the uniform chaos of surrealism, messages are laid out waiting to be deciphered.

Society’s structure keeps the masses sedated through a systemized pattern of thinking, art is the adrenaline needle needed to pierce the mind and destabilize established ideas of what constitutes right and wrong, real and fiction. As the famed composer Richard Wager spoke, “Imagination creates reality”, by removing the shackles on imagination we can develop our own understanding of reality, creating not what is expected but what we envision.

By letting the mind float freely the unconscious is able to surface and impose itself onto one’s thoughts, art providing the canvas for brainchildren to spawn.

‘You Cannot Paint’

Art’s aptitude for morphing imagination into reality is a shining light on the human experience; if artists can engender their imagination, why can’t one create the life they imagine? Art endorses extension past the norm, by removing oneself from the institutionalized box a perspective contrary to the status quo can manifest.

If something can be envisioned then it can be created, yet, the salient feature in extracting ideas is action; in order to achieve one must do. Sometimes artists allow their inspiration to roam and cover the canvas, whilst for others meticulous preparation is required to ensure the best quality of work. For whatever intends to be done a process is needed to keep orientation forward.

When one sets about a quest there are many testing times, however, Van Gogh had some advice, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘You cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”. Everyone fosters doubts about their endeavours, but what separates the ordinary from extraordinary is perseverance in the face of adversity.

The mind often plays devils advocate and attempts to persuade us to drop taxing efforts, yet, if the body persists, the mind will arouse at sight of what has been engendered under duress. Although thoughts drift incessantly through our minds there are particular notions deserving to be pursued; intuition pulsates when a great idea arises, but one must be prepared to put paint to canvas.

Imagination ignites the mind offering a flame for a quest into the unknown. Art offers insight into the mind’s immensity; mirrored in a format compatible to the senses, it’s a reflection of human emotion. Art breaks down the barriers skirting society and provides free speech at the highest decibel, expressing the yearnings of the psyche in an immensely cathartic experience. Art allows imagination to influence reality, unveiling a path for us to discover who we truly are.

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