Consistently rising tides breach the banks of destitution, freeing a spirit from being engrossed in depths of total darkness; as if a storm surge of clarity finally saturates a consciousness deserted – delivered from unabridged ignorance and robustly thrust into a thriving enthusiasm to embody virtue; to actively hunt what is honorable and heed what is noble whether or not that lies in the face of adversity – disseminating the region masterfully concealed within where brute, unrefined strength of character is essentially derived from; to finally comprehend and pledge adherence to respect these convictions of the heart – the most grueling but scrupulous means of gaining entry into the expanse of genuine inner peace; to unleash an authenticity that has been extinct since undergoing the digressive transformation which paved a course for total corruption; existing solely in the duplicitous – to commit premeditated murder on the complete and comprehensive interest to satisfy self alone.
If nothing changes – nothing changes; I trust there is general agreement that insanity can be defined as repeatedly behaving in the same, old fashion, but expecting a different result each time; when priorities waiver off course, the fundamental motivations for seeking self-transformation will find themselves floundering – lost again in the shadows; misaligned with the objectives and misdirected away from original intentions – intentions to ultimately lead a fulfilling, purposeful and, at the very least, manageable life – in every accord; substituting one unhealthy escape for another unavoidably mutates into the solution – what holds value in the heart or the mind inevitably takes charge and transcends to rule as a life’s higher power – whether or not this is deliberately calculated; sooner or later these seemingly harmless coveted comforts convert into law of the land, all the while sinking sturdy, deep roots in the process and re-emerging with force as the newest form of chains binding the soul, resigning peace and tranquility to serve as no more than ideals to be desired yet again. There is no shortage of stories, including my own, where people abstaining from the use of substances are still finding conclusion in angst, torment or flat out misery.
Who or what is coveted and sought after for influence over our personal lives sheds light on an enormous treasure trove of information, pin-pointing the current residence on our respective spiritual journeys – or lack thereof – it’s knowledge just waiting for harvest, if we tend to the field; if we consciously make the decision to incorporate practices of self-awareness into daily living. As substances are wiped out from the canvas of our being, we are undeniably left to sort through the rubble and sift through the remnants of a storm that ravaged the landscape – we are chartered with the task to rebuild; how well we reconstruct and fortify our defenses will fundamentally measure how well we are able to weather the next one – so on and so forth. Are we striving to stand up and be an example of what we feel the core of our being instinctually believes to be right? Staying true to ourselves? More often than not, do we give in and go along with the antics of the crowd because that overwhelming threat of fear or disapproval sinks in, that we will not be understood or accepted? That we will be labeled as different? Do we engage against our better judgement and adopt ideals in calculated cruelty, deliberate dishonesty and voluntary vileness if that’s what is required for us to fit in or fly under the radar? Are we going to remain firmly planted or are we going to crumble and falter under the raw power and the sheer strength the next storm manifests?
I feel for the sad state of our culture where a steadily increasing amount of folks are so morally and spiritually bankrupt; where insecurity and disconnection run rampant; where flaunting arrogance or cultivating money and power as a frontline defense suffices, all the while deriving any semblance of invalid self-worth by ensuring others feel less than; where disrespect for people, places and things has become par for the course – where we can just use or abuse each other as if the human race as a whole has digressed merely into disposable objects to be tossed aside after ultimately deceiving ourselves into believing we have been satisfied. If we truly desire change in our life, simply taking drugs or alcohol out of the equation is not enough – continuing to exist as undesirable miscreants that perpetually deplete healthy resources rather than replenish them, or each other for that matter, is unacceptable; if the spiritual malady or characteristics of irritability and discontentment cease to depart our disposition, we might as well sustain the fraudulent solution found in mind-altering substances and preserve their pre-established position, allowing them pass to remain flowing freely through the dead, arctic veins of our spiritless corpse.
There is a favorable medium in all of this; an even balance to be found – we can sing along to the lyrics of our favorite music without the words necessarily reflecting our personal views – a song cannot persuade us, nor be used as an excuse, to objectify women or shoot up a school; the reverberations of pleasurable sound can simply be a powerful tool to embody the upward flow of spirit; we can enjoy the creative craft of film or television shows without having to impersonate the characters we identify with and behave in a way that disrespects the world around us – we cannot rob a bank or go on a killing spree because Hollywood’s influence has glorified violence; there is a time and place to joke around with our friends, just as there is a time to be aware of our surroundings and act as a responsible, respectable member or society. We were entrusted with the gift of freewill, it is our responsibility as individuals to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
Whether or not we find it advantageous, human beings as a whole have evolved into a civilized entity over the ages. Civilization demands law and order in spite of feeling these strong pulls or natural effects of the animalistic instincts ingrained deep within us; but there is some method to the madness as to why we have these instinctual necessities directly wired in – we need to feed, rest and procreate as a means to continue on as a species. However, we do not need to participate in any of these inherent tendencies at the expense of our neighbor – sadly, more times than not, that appears to be the case; there is no shortage of testimony related to the crown prominently worn by the seven deadly sins. Still, we don’t have to wait for the scales to tip in the other direction – some of the largest, most influential trends throughout time have begun with the actions of few. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi