Monday, October 30, 2017

Homeless

"When yesterdays tomorrow is long overdue,
And Autumn's renewal turns to blue.

When abysmal tears lose their voice,
And staying sober is no longer a choice.

When delusion prevails becoming norm,
And you can't find the dry eye within the Storm.

When I see you suffer silently alone,
And we whisper of freedom in a hushed undertone.

If you ever feel like all hope is gone,
I implore of you to carry-on.

Fight to Survive, Valiantly Re-do,
Stay Sane for me - As I do for you."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Contact

We all have lost a loved one
We all have lost ourselves
We all believed in a North Pole
Filled with Santas and Elves



We all dream for a better tomorrow
Live in a perennial past
We all exist together
Yet I remain - outcast


Singular in motion
Solid in form
A unique snowflake
Lost in a snow storm


Endless in Spirit
Empty in Speech
Grasping for contact
Just out of reach


Past the convention
The shame and the fear
We stare out in space
Is anyone else here?"

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ayekah



Losing faith in rapid succession
Ominous forecasts of a Great Depression
We all need something to believe in.


Crying out to open skies
Downing cocktails of truths and lies
I dream in a city that never sleeps


Man-made or made for Man
Perverted Scam or Divine Plan
O' God where art thou


Does good and evil really exist
Or is it just a game we choose to insist
Because everyone loves a happy ending.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Carnival

I have a million souls
Not just one or two
The fortuitous spoils of a Wandering Jew

You see:
A piece died the first time I heard my mother cry.
But another grew,                      
When I learnt that God does too.

I broke a piece when I let love go
But I begot another
When love no longer needed an Other.

I lost a piece when I abandoned God
But I found in that space
Myself - Falling into place.

Another faded when I exposed that my parents were human.
But I eventually gained
Realizing myself also human - unrestrained, self-contained.

Burdened by the Lows
Dazed by the Highs
What I ultimately found,                      
That all this - Is a Merry-Go-Round.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"Untitled"

Trials and errors
Gamblers and beggars,
Sisyphus relived.

Between bumper cars
And battle scars,
Even angels cry sometimes.

Reborn from the ashes,
Dressed up in Gashes,
We learn to love again.

Survival of the Freeist
Persisting to exist,
I live another day.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alone

I see that you're broken
Tired and cold.
I know that you're lonely,
Unconsoled, and only eleven years old.

No place to call home,
No space to breathe,
No one to speak to,
In nothing to believe.

I can't fix the past,
Can't heal the pain.
I can't carry your burden,
Can't justify, nor explain.

But I offer my heart,
An open ear, a gentle touch.
I can keep you company,
When the loneliness is too much.

So let me sit by you
To share our hopes and fears.
Let me cry for you
When you've run out of tears.

For I know the sound of a broken heart,
The tedious timbre of regret.
But even the saddest song,
Sounds better in a duet.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Breathe

I want to ask you a favor
And to try something out with me
Make yourself comfortable in your seats
And breathe in and out soberly

Feel the lungs as they rise and fall
Feel the present
Is it morning, evening, or nightfall?

You see,
There are many theories out there for why it all exists?
Supreme Being, a Big Bang, the Cosmic Catalyst

But what if we were led on a giant goose chase
Our Search for a Truth,
A coup de grace

What if we may never really know

What really goes on, beyond or below,
What if that could be the greatest thought of all
That we are just a part of it all, neither big nor small

What if the point of life is just to be alive, to thrive, to survive, to grow, to bestow
We are all actors, and this is the Show

And we are already doing it
Feel your heartbeat
We’re already completely incomplete

Right now we exist
Right now we reminisce
Right now we choose to insist

And I wonder what the world could look like
We all quit our jobs, go on strike
We’re going on vacation, going on a hike, with mike, he’s got a cool bike

I wonder what it would mean to just be
Without needing to be a cog in some factory
A man without a function
Just breathing is not a malfunction

I want to ask you a favor
And to try something out with me
Make yourself comfortable in your seats
And breathe in and out soberly

I don’t know what is out there
And I don’t know what will be
But I do know that right now
There is you, and there is me












Monday, May 1, 2017

Three Wishes



What is eternity worth
When I can not live today?

What hope can revelation offer
When I've forgotten how to pray?

What can a fortune buy
When a penny has no use?

What solace can fame provide
When life is spent as a recluse?

How long does a moment last
Out of context, out of frame?

Why run towards completion
When you realize it's a game?

I have no use for three wishes
Barely have use for one.

Why focus on the end
When I have only just begun?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Revelations

I have been at Mt Sinai
I have eaten the fruit,
The Known and the Knower
Masked in a suit.

I am walking on water
Healing the blind,
I am released from Samara
Free from ego, spirit, and mind.

I am the universe
Engaged in a selfie,
An eternal Now
Wondering what could be.



I have visited Zion
Atlantis and Mars,
Seen multiple dimensions
Swam through the stars.

I am crying in Heaven
Laughing in Hell,
I am raptured by riddles
Blinded by your spell.

I have bowled with Ghandi
Had Tea Time with Kant,
Tripped on Watts
Surfed with Ulysses S. Grant.

I've done all this traveling
Without even putting on socks,
I have seen it all
From within my cardboard box.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Soliloquy

O’ how grand would it be
For me to have my own soliloquy?

To stay restless all through the night
Pondering the mysteries of my plight?

As a hermit runs to his cave
Deeper and deeper digging his grave?

For is it better to know?
                Or better to be?
                Better to have?
                Or better to be free?

Better to peak over to the abyss
Or to cling to the rock of endless-less?



To reign the domain of life as King
The crown jewel – To be Nothing?

For if I am as I think to be
My life will stay as a mystery.

Is it nobler to think?
                Nobler to be?
                Nobler to live?
                Nobler to be free?

Aghast what thoughts my brain doth leap

As I turn myself over to go back to sleep.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Emotional Detachment

(1)The Four Noble Truths comprise the essence of the Buddha's teaching, a cornerstone of Buddhist ideology(2). They address the innate nature of the world and the human condition. That the cause of suffering(3) is due to attachment, and as such salvation comes through detachment. Many have been enchanted by such a possibility that they have embraced Buddhist teachings to free them from their own ego, the incessant insecurity of an ever-meandering mind, and their self-sabotaging obsessiveness with pertinence.




However, my personal involvement with Buddhism(4) has been an anomalous experiment. Unlike many who suffer from an overly-attached nature, I struggle with a primarily disassociated existence, I naturally detach. I am not troubled by my emotions overpowering me, nor do I feel overly reliant on others. Quite the contrary, too often I find myself lacking an emotional reaction. I too easily find myself returning to the safety of isolationism. I have no issue with the acceptance of death.

“A massive tree whose branches carry fruits & leaves,
with trunks & roots & an abundance of fruits

There the birds find rest.
In that delightful sphere they make their home.
Those seeking shade come to the shade,
those seeking fruit find fruit to eat.
So with the person consummate

in virtue & conviction,humble, sensitive, gentle, delightful, & mild:
To him come those without effluent,
free from passion,
free from aversion,
free from delusion:
the field of merit for the world.
They teach him the Dhamma
that dispels all stress.
And when he understands,
he is freed from effluents, totally unbound.
(5)
There was a period of time when I confused my indifference with a form of enlightenment. I felt that I wasn't fooled by the illusion of a self-absorbed reality. That I had already found myself not tied down or dependent on anything outside of myself.

A cause of this misinterpretation is a translation error. The term attachment in Western culture is predominately directed towards the relation between a person and the world around them: be that other people, objects, or expectations(6). As such, there is significant stress placed on finding “happiness within” or self-sufficiency(8). Therefore, the understanding of Buddhist detachment is confused with self-reliance. In order to properly integrate these ideals, one cannot approach them with preordained demands and expectations(9).

The distinction can be best understood through an example. We all suffer from anxiety and exaggerated uncomfortableness due to fear. Fear of the unknown, of insecurity, of not being in control. A lot of us turn to outside stimulants to manage the fear. We turn to food, to drugs, to sexuality. But we also turn to power or to something to give us an identity and ground us, whether that be nationality, sports team, job position, or even religion. 

One familiar with the idea of detachment will realize the foolish nature of this endeavor. All those "escapes" never really address the fear, they just cover up the pothole with a thin wooden board of mediocre contentment. They therefore decide that the proper and real solution to fear is to battle it internally. That a significant change is when one finds salvation from within. Instead of attending bars and clubs, they start doing yoga and going to meditation classes. They dress themselves up in free flowing clothing, and greet everyone with "Namaste".  

If the Buddha was around and saw this behavior I believe he would ask, "why are you trying to run away from fear?" The reason we run away from fear is because we are afraid of it.(10) Regardless if its an external of internal influence, we are not running towards but running away. Fear can never cure fear. Ego can never cure Ego.

The Buddha’s intention to not have attachments doesn’t simply translate into being an ascetic(11). Not being attached doesn’t mean you don’t have emotions, it means you allow the emotions to be themselves. To observe them without judging them. To truly love oneself and accept what we really are; a deeply delicate and emotional roller-coaster of an organism.
“And this, monks is the noble truth of the origination of dukkha(12): the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.”(13)

Buddhism attempts to tackle our very notion of reality. Many try to prioritize and/or categorize what is important in life in a model similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs(14). Working one’s way through the labyrinth of societies rat race, every turn fervently hoping to reach the goal – self-actualization. That the layers of ego and identity are concealing the true nature of oneself, the super-ego.

Continuing with the Maslow analogy, in his later years, Abraham Maslow amended his model, placing self-transcendence as a motivational step beyond self-actualization(15). The pyramid transforms into a sphere, where the highest actualization of self is the realization of the lack of self. No one can take themselves too seriously anymore, for there is no one to take seriously. To react to reality, is to stop trying to change reality. Even the attempt to “become enlightened” is like mining for pyrite, who is trying to be enlightened?

In Buddhism one does not try to become but to awake(16). The ego is not a wild beast that must be domesticated, it is a venial illusion generated by fear that should be sympathized.



It is through this understanding of the nature of reality that I realized that my lack of attachment was my attachment. I clung onto the notion of aloofness, the sanctity of abstractness. I associated myself with this perception of self, ultimately clinging onto one concept of the ego while disregarding any other. Comically enough, as I work towards detaching myself from my view of detachment, I find myself more connected to the world. My emotions are more accessible and penetrable. The less I try to cling, the more I have to appreciate.  


1.      I am by no means trying to give an official explanation on Buddhism or any of it’s tenants. As in any form of knowledge, greater understanding of a concept redefines it’s core concepts. To such an extent that one looks back at their previous understanding amusingly, indubitably aware of the inaccuracies. I am sharing my current understanding of certain ideas and my experience with them and am very open to hearing critique and corrections.
2.      Different Buddhist traditions emphasize the Truths at varying levels of importance.
3.      Also called Dukkha, see footnote 12.
4.      Primarily within Zen-Buddhism.
5.      Tipitake, Anguttara Nikaya, Fives, Saddha Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.038.than.html
6.      As in the attachment theory (Bowlby). This parallels the geo-centric/ego-centric/ceramic(7) model  of the universe that dominates western thinking.
7.      For a further explanation of the ceramic model see ‘Myth and Religion’ by Alan Watts.
8.      The presupposition being that a human being has the potential to be fully autonomous, and absolute self-actualization is when that potential is fully realized. However, our understanding of the human condition, from a biological, chemical, and anthropological perspective is that we are, by very definition, social creatures. We can not exist independent of the world around us. It is not only a misunderstanding of Buddhist ideas, but a lifestyle that is ultimately unattainable.
9.      We approach Eastern Philosophy with an upbringing and confidence in Western ideology, essentially trying to fill in the cracks of a crumbling dogma with an adhesive of whatever we can find that will fit.
10.   “Running away from fear is fear; fighting pain is pain; trying to be brave is being scared.” - Alan Watts
11.  Or the Jewish equivalence – a Porush.
12.  The classic interpretation from the Pali Canon is that Dukkha means suffering, but as referenced in the Dhammapada, “all conditioned things are Dukkha”, suffering isn’t supposed to be taken as a literal definition either.
13.  Tipitaka, Samyutta Nikaya, SN 56: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.011.than.html
14.   “Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid with the largest, most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom and the need for self-actualization and self-transcendence at the top.”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs
15.  Rediscovering the Later Version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Self-Transcendence and Opportunities for Theory, Research, and Unification  -Mark E. Koltko-Rivera.
16.  The definition of Buddha is literally ‘The Awakened One’.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Snow Globe

Broken Pedestal
Collecting dust
Oh, the little Snow Globe rusts.

Tells a tale,
Great punchline
Alas, not one of mine.

Origin? A blur.
History? Unsure.
No one really asks anymore.

Relic of Once
Filling up space
What if nothing takes its place?

Morpheus Blue
Trying to awake
From seeing sounds for sights sake.

Crash Shattered Glass,
Disgruntled sigh,
Another Snow Globe?! What?When?Why?

Went 720°
Freudian slipped
Woke up still on Theseus' ship

Back seat driver
Took shotgun
Pistol popped; didn't run.

Picking up the pieces
What a sight to see
A million little Snow Globes cradled under me.

Walked 500 miles,
Walked 500 more,
To misquote the Raven: "forevermore"

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Void

Huddled Masses
Peeking Beyond
A white reflection, from within the Koi pond.

Went Sun starring
Gazed too long
The wax wings, were not very strong.

Down the rabbit hole
Pitch black
The Rat Race has a crack.

Free Faller
Space Traveler
Down is but a direction.

A crisp breath
A broken heart
Bittersweet; a tad tart.

The endless tomorrow
The starry sky
All because I just asked why.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Several of my FB posts from the past little while

If I may make this observation:
There are some of us who think we were made from the dirt of the earth, and some of us who think we were made from stardust.
The goal of the former is to realize that the dirt is also really the dust, and the latter to realize that the dust is also really the dirt.

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I think an important point to remember is that Gd created you to live. It's important to try and work on yourself, to have more kavana, to be a better person. But Gd also wants you to be present, to enjoy living, and to enjoy the world that He created. Remember that being a good Jew and enjoying the present aren't exclusive.

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Religious people are like Batman, and atheists are like Joker.
Here me out:
The difference between Batman and the Joker isn't essentially a rational disagreement, but one of personal comfort. Both of them had that one day where their lives spiraled out of control. Batman reconciled his tragedy by clinging onto the notion of Justice - there is an order to this world and it's his obligation to defend it. The joker however embraced the absurdity and chaos that he feels is rightly representative of the actual state of existence.
The important part to remember though is that they need each other. There is no Batman without the Joker and visa versa.
Likewise, one can't be fighting for Justice and absolutism without the possibility of absurdity.
So what we're ultimately left with is prickly goo and gooey prickles to quote Alan Watts.
One system can not exist without the other, and ultimately they both exist together.
Or both don't exist, you decide.

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I feel like a lot us (myself included) are somewhat detached from what actually is, sheltering ourselves in the fantasy of what we would like it to actually be.
With the rampant use of "I am allowed to believe in what I want", and the lack of requirements to what constitutes a valid "belief system", we are encouraging people to be their own creators of reality.
People are substituting what they want to be true, with what they believe to be true. Just because I would feel better in a world where reincarnation existed, does not demand that it does.
(For clarity: this isn't to attack anyone who does believe in reincarnation. Believe in whatever you want to believe - just ask yourself why do you believe in it. The same thing applies to our life choices, our relationships, and anytime we take a stance on any opinion.)
I wonder what the world would look like if we candidly approached reality with what is actually going on, rather that what we hoped went on.

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When I was a child, I remember learning that the way to find out if an inclination is from the Yetzer Tov is if it changes your action for the better.
That idea never resonated with me, it seemed to over simplify a person's feelings for Gdliness, disregard the complexity of a relationship.
But as I look back at it now; it's truth rests deep within.
The world is complicated, our hearts even more so - and on most days even the hope for clarity seems fanciful. But we are granted a marker: when examining a feeling or experience, ask yourself if this is leading you to be a better person. Not if you feel more clarity, not if it grants you solace from suffering; does it make a positive change in the world?