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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Continuing in the Face of Failure



   I'll be the first to admit that I've failed many times so far in my life. I've failed to maintained relationships I cared about, unnecessarily failed classes in school, failed to think about my actions effecting those around me, failed at starting certain businesses for a plethora of reasons, failed to achieve many of my childhood goals, failed to be the good person my family knew I could be for a long time, failed to ever get on the good side of “luck”, and so far I've failed to find what people describe as true love. Fortunately, as sad and depressing as that all sounds, even with all these failures piled up from the past all it takes is one characteristic to outweigh and surpass them all.... Perseverance.

   I think we'd all like to be able to go back and do things over from time to time but we also know thats just not possible (outside of dreams). We all have to live with the saddled failures, losses, and regrets from the past. Unfortunately, because we are all human there will most likely be more of these in the future as well. For many of us every day brings new challenges that can leave you scratching your head wondering how to put it all together. We learn lessons the hard way, get stabbed in the back, make mistakes, say things we don't mean, and fall in love so fast sometimes it hurts. All of these things can drain you and leave you weary of wading through the incessant stream of problems. The catch 22 is, we have to keep moving or we can easily get swept away in it all. That's where perseverance comes into play and separates who makes it and who doesn't.

   In the memoirs of many successful businesspeople one can find a common trend. Many of them didn't always get it right the first time around! Most of the highly successful self-made people in the world have struggled through many trials and tribulations in their ascension, similar to those that you and I face everyday. They key amongst all of these people is that they didn't give up when they were told that they were crazy, it couldn't be done, or that no one would care if it was. When they failed or faced a setback they scrambled to overcome it and try again. It's the spirit of those people that were discouraged and downtrodden by their peers that allowed them to keep on going and eventually build our society and the world as we know it today.

   The future is impossible to foretell but one thing is guaranteed, it hasn't happened yet. Things may be tough right now but that doesn't mean they are going to stay that way forever. It also doesn't mean that they will automatically get better on their own. Contrary to popular media darlings like “The Secret” and “What the *bleep* do we know?” you can't just wish really hard for good things and then expect them to happen. Seriously, without the inhospitality of rain we couldn't enjoy the tranquility and beauty of flowers right? Well, like many things in nature, it's the same principle in life. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that everything I struggle for and believe in comes at the price of the struggle itself.

   If we want good things in life we have to fight for them. We have to suffer through bad days to get to the ones that make us realize how much life is really worth. We have to make mistakes to find out what the right answers really were. Our trust must be broken to find out how much it really means to us before we give it out freely again. And sadly, sometimes we also have to lose someone we love to realize how precious the others in our life are.

   These are not easy lessons to learn and anyone who tries to sell you happiness based on the fact that they are is simply lying to your face. The easy road to the top is reserved for a select few and the rest of us must work diligently to get there. The most important part in succeeding is that we continue on and keep persevering despite how we feel about it right now. Many of these lessons won't be useful right away and you may not see the bright side but somewhere down the road have faith that you will indeed find it. I can look back throughout my life now and pinpoint exact times, places, experiences, and people that have taught me incredibly valuable lessons at a painful price. When I was in the moment of feeling that pain I was confused and scared and acted accordingly which often leads to failure. These confused actions and failures are my building blocks for what not to do today.

   As I grow older I seem to get a little more rational and a little less reactionary to failure and bad situations. I attempt to understand it for what it is, try to accept it, and look for ways to learn from it and move forward. That doesn't mean that problems don't add up and weigh heavily on me at times. Thats why I write articles like this as a personal outlet. To not only work it out internally and encourage myself, but to relay it to others with the hope that maybe it sheds a little clarity on their own situations or helps them get by with just enough hope. Maybe it's also a little selfish instant gratification of seeing a bright light on a dim day but when someone emails me or messages me and tells me that my words of encouragement helped them to get through their own dark period, it makes it all worth it for me. Not only that, but it motivates me to find the meaning and purpose in my current struggles which is a key part to surviving the onslaught of life with your sanity intact. Dealing with a bunch of meaningless setbacks and failures can be incredibly disheartening and drive you crazy by asking the infamous “Why me?!” question. I've found that in the end, it all means something. The answer to why me is; it's always you because you're the one experiencing it.

   Good, bad, or indifferent our struggles and hardships in life give us the character that makes us unique. Finding a reason to continue to fight these battles is imperative if your goal is to better yourself and make it through life stronger and wiser than those around you. Purpose and meaning in life can come in any shape or form. Love, relationships, children, animals, music, art, hobbies, learning, reading, writing, and (if you're careful) your career or company, can all hold meaning and purpose. Just remember, rarely are you truly alone in your struggle and it could always be worse. No matter how desperate times may seem, or how much you fail, you can always make it better with perseverance and by dedicating yourself to what you love and care about. The pain and heartache IS worth it in the long run, you just gotta hold on and ride out the storm! Don't be afraid of life, embrace every aspect of it! After all is said and done, we're only privileged to experience any given moment once...

         John

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lonely Girl

She sits alone; a breeze twists briskly by softly caressing her sullen face...
Inadvertently it chills the slick tears she tried to quickly wipe from their place…
It took every bit of strength to keep her lips from quivering and hold her head with grace…
She slyly blots her eye and looks around before sinking back into thought, fingers interlaced…

Salty prisoners caught running from the dreams played out on the backs of her tired eyelids...
Feeling trapped in a nightmare... shocking images of a shattered past littered with lonely silence...
Something’s just not right there, maybe she was cheated on or the victim of domestic violence…
Desperately wishing that just one of these assholes would show her some compassion or kindness...

But here she sits on a bench stomaching the thought of being alone to face the world herself...
Its a bitter taste that doesn't age well unlike the fine wines she keeps for relief on the shelf…
She’ll take a couple sips and feel the hate swell, jealousy perched on her shoulder like a devilish elf...
Whispering doubt til she really believes it with every cell, feeling like she can trust NO man for help...

The familiar thoughts creep through the back of her head like silent thieves...
As she weeps they swipe the hope right from the air she desperately gasps to breathe…
Every breath alone makes the pain, hurt, and emotions grasp at her heart and seethe...
Her body’s tired from the sobbing reluctantly causing her stomach and chest to heave...

“Am I destined to be alone forever?”
“Will I ever find a man that isn't trash, but treasure?”

Her girlfriends try to help but sometimes she doesn't like to let herself believe them…
Cause at the end of the night she sleeps alone while they're with their husband sleepin...

She convinces herself the man of her dreams must not love her or that he simply doesn’t exist...
But that couldn’t be further from the truth, he IS real… he just doesn't know where she is…




Note: This was inspired by the lonely girl I saw at the bus stop today.. You'll probably never read this but I hope it all works out for you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Embracing Pain

Sometimes I wish I could talk about the pain an hurt that I hold inside..
I guess it’s just a matter of maintaining self worth and emboldened pride…
That, and I hate revealing the scars and wounds I take time to carefully hide…
 Because I’m pretty sure that’s not a look of empathy I’m seein there in your eye…

See, I’m usually the last man in the line lookin for a handout or pity…
And sometimes I’d rather stroll at night alone and get swallowed up by the city,
than go out thinking about how I’m feelin hollow an still tryin to act witty..
But it’s a good thing I got drive to get past it and I thank my father that he instilled it in me..

See I grew up a good kid on the wrong side of the tracks, just a half a block past hope..
Had a childish dream of bein a politician or a lawyer but here I am, still ass broke...
That life was stolen when the last bit of air was gasped from my fathers throat..
It wasn't his fault he passed away that night, I just never learned to cope..
Instead I went out an found another life, I stayed hustlin an lightin up dope..
Constantly lookin at my morals dying through a smokey sniper scope...
A shell casing of self loathing almost destroyed the work of my loving folks..

Still through it all my mom an sis never gave up on me though..
Matter of fact, they fought harder for me at times than I did, that's the love I know!
Real talk, my big sister probably saved the life of her little kid bro..
That day she dragged my ass to college, pointed me forward, and told me to go!

I didn’t change overnight though an I’m still walkin forward on that road..
Yea, I’ve stumbled to the point that all I got left now is bloody nubs for toes..
But one foot keeps falling diligently a step ahead of where the other goes..
An aching reminder in every stride that pain and I are forever juxtaposed…

Burned into my consciousness, it’s seared deep with a long list of heartbreaks and R I P’s...
Coupled with the dull ache of lonely nights, lost love, and shattered beliefs…
These thoughts clatter around in my head whether I’m awake or asleep..
But with twin sides to every dagger, it also keeps me sharp on my feet..
Cause I don’t think there’s a heaven with angels pluckin harp strings on a golden street..
It sounds too good to be true… when it ends, I think we just skid to a stop, a whole six feet deep…

To me, there ain’t nothin heavenly about a grave, no matter how elaborate the headstone…
I know from experience that cross displayed won’t ever give you a hug or a friendly welcome home..
Even so, I still persuade myself to open my heart an truly love my fam, now I never fear the unknown..
In order to cope I’m self taught, my lesson plan to shed words instead of tears, formed into a poem..

So I live with the pain inside and hurt that glows deep in my bones and I’m learnin to happily explore it..
Call me a masochist, but I figure if I gotta suffer a beautiful life on earth, I might as well be smiling for it..


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recognizing Your Accomplishments


I’m the type of person that will have a conversation with anyone. I like to get to know people because they motivate and inspire me. Movies tell stories of glory, triumph, and heartache but never with the reality and conviction of looking into someone’s eyes and seeing determination and heartfelt passion about something in life. The struggles, the success, the failures, and the lessons learned from them, all culminate to make us who we are and everyone has a unique story. All the time I hear of people surviving horrible conditions, heart wrenching stories of loss, and incredible hardships while smiling and persevering for a bigger cause.

                The story varies from person to person but the feeling of noble accomplishment is the same when you achieve a personal triumph or goal. Take a minute to think about something in your past that moves you deeply that you have accepted and/or overcome. Embrace that feeling of breathing free knowing you did what you set out to do, despite what the world told you or how it tried to stop you. Your accomplishments and aspirations represent the best of who you are. Remind yourself of these personal triumphs at every tough point in the road. Whether you think you’re at a low or not, whatever you’re dealing with, it can be conquered and can become another building block in the person you wish to be. If you don’t believe me think about what you’ve already done.

                Maybe you grew up with nothing and have built yourself into something you always wanted to be. Maybe you’re a single parent raising the most amazing kids in the world when people told you that you’d never make a good mother or father. Maybe you beat alcoholism or drug addiction when the people around you told you it couldn’t be done and you shouldn’t even bother trying. Maybe you finally got the courage to leave an abusive or unworthy lover you felt stuck with for whatever reason. Maybe you had to raise brothers or sisters cause you’re parents couldn’t, shouldn’t, or wouldn’t. Maybe you went from homeless to buying a new home. Maybe life blindsides you with every sucker punch from every direction in the book but you still keep waking up everyday ready to take it. Whatever your story is, look at your accomplishment(s)!

                The scars of days past and internal tears seem to pale in comparison to the feeling of pride deep down inside for what you do, what you’ve done, or who you are. Everything that defines the best of your character comes from the moments when you push yourself past your comfort threshold to do something significant in your life. When you’re faced with a challenge you’re intimidated by, think back to your accomplishments of the past. You were just as nervous, just as scared, just as excited then. Nothing has changed! Never doubt yourself, because you still have the power to do everything you ever did and more. You just have to look back and remind yourself of the mountains you’ve climbed to get where you are, and when you look back at what’s in front of you, it becomes a relative mole hill. All it takes many times in simply to have faith in yourself and what you believe in. Believe that you can get what you dream about. Believe there is love out there for you. Believe that there is hope left to be found. Believe that there are people out there that care, or will care!

Think of life like a roller coaster, not for the ups and downs, but for the anticipation and anguish you feel in line while you contemplate what’s ahead with mixed feelings. Those feelings melt into sheer exhilaration and excitement once you step on and go. The ride is amazing and then feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and elevation from conquering your silly fears arrive when it’s all over. Looking back, it’s not a problem to get in line again and give it a shot because you know you can do it and you know how rewarding it was. It’s the same principle with taking action in life. Use your triumphs to not only define your character, but to spur yourself to take action and be whatever you want to be. Live your dream, confess your love, play it safe or take a chance. It doesn’t matter just believe in yourself every second of the way. Don’t forget how far you’ve come! Give yourself some credit and be brave about whatever you’re facing! You’ll look back on it someday and wonder why you were ever worried!

Hope it helps and I hope you all enjoy the Blogger Picture! Don’t forget to hit the like button, give a thumbs up on your stumbleupon bar, or share the blog with your friends! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding Love while Single

Finding Love While Single

   Being single has its benefits and drawbacks, just ask anyone who is. At first they may beam about how its great not to have to check in with anyone or the freedom to act on whim but there is always a downside too. Being single can leave out one of the most important human factors in this world, Love. It has been shown that without some form of love and compassion humans and many animals would not be able to survive life on earth. There is something about sharing existence with someone and having faith that you aren’t alone that eases ones external fears. Also, caring about someone else often times forces us to care about ourselves so that we are able to be who we need to be and do what we need to do to protect the person we love, if called upon to do so. Being single can be fun and exciting but sometimes this need for love, connection, and a deeper purpose can leave one feeling empty and unsatisfied with their life.

   That brings the question, where and how do we find love when we are single? The general trend of humans is to become closer to family and friends to fulfill this void of purpose and interaction. While this can satisfy our need for interaction, communication, and physical touch in the form of hugs, handshakes, and other non-sexual activities it does not address some of our internal needs. For the purpose of this article I won’t go into sexual needs as much as the need to love or to be loved in the sense of feeling a positive emotional bond or connection at the deepest level.

   What many people fail to observe is that “love” is a mysterious emotion, which can manifest in many ways and can be directed like any emotion for good or bad purposes. Humans crave love and attention and we do extraordinary things to feel the emotion and experience the joy and happiness associated with it. We look for it constantly and are told by society and Disney from a young age that it is, in fact, a “thing” that will be perfect and magical and everything ends happily when you find it. While this may or may not be the case it has indoctrinated people about what “love” is and where they look for it. The one problem with being single is many people think that love is something that occurs between a man and a woman (or whatever floats your boat) and without the other half of their equation they are unable to share their love with the world. This can lead people down a mental spiral of anguish, heartache, loneliness, and fear when they don’t find it right away or go through a ton of people looking for it. By thinking that love is waiting for the “right” person to come along they inadvertently tend to look too hard, since they are desperate to find it. This can lead to people jumping at any opportunity and calling it “love”. This flaw in the perception of what love is, or what people wish it was, can be one the building blocks for poor relationships. So how do we avoid this?

   We must first understand what love is before we can find it. In my experience and opinion Love is an emotion that occurs within each one of us. Love does not absolutely require another party to be involved, it just happens to manifest in a big way when there is a special one (if that makes sense). Love can also be embraced and accepted when dealing with all sorts of things. I guarantee whoever is reading this has at least one or two things that they “love” to do. Immediately your subconscious says “well, yeah but it’s not the same thing”. I beg to differ. When you “love” something you experience a strong positive reaction to it emotionally. While replacing love for humans with love for objects, nature, animals, music, art, and other forms of beauty is not ideal, it can however serve a purpose to aide a person’s overall happiness and quality of life. The strength of the emotion can vary depending on circumstances and past influences but at its core, love for anything is the same emotion you feel when you stare into the eyes of the person you love and care deeply about. Although we tend to associate the feeling with love because when looking in the eyes of your soul mate, the feeling is more intensified than the one you get as you take the first bite of your favorite food when you’re starving. While we don’t normally see these situations as the same thing, they actually are similar. If we change how we perceive love and realize that we encounter this emotion daily we can take the mystification out of the relationship aspect of it. The weight of love can essentially be lifted so that you can see it for what it is and you can actually enjoy it. Now I’m not saying by any means that you can replace your girlfriend/boyfriend with your favorite pizza but what you can do is enjoy your pizza more when you don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend. Let me explain.

   By experiencing pleasant emotions we feed our brains with the pleasure chemicals responsible for us liking what we like. When you are single and don’t have someone to love or to love you back our brains produce and receive less of these chemicals. This resulting experience can be one of depression, loneliness, and self loathing. To interrupt this process we can learn to feed our brains with the same chemicals from other sources. While it is no replacement for a deep meaningful relationship with someone who makes your stomach tingle, it can help us to avoid irrational choices while chasing happiness. If we can learn to draw positivity from other sources to supplement our need for love we can sustain a healthy and happy life until we find our soul mate or better half. Like anything worthwhile, this is much easier said than done but let’s discusses how to approach life from this angle.

   The question is how do we replace “love” in our life with objects or experiences and still be happy? The answer is to figure out what moves you, and experience it passionately. Draw the most out of every situation and everything that makes you happy. In order to accomplish this task it takes being mindful of your emotions when you experience something that gives you a positive feeling. Say for example you love music and a song comes on that feels like it touches your soul and takes the words right out of your heart. For that 3:30, exist to be in love with that song. Feel every cord, sail with the high notes and cry with the low. Share its existence. Examine the happiness that it’s bringing you, close your eyes, and be a part of the experience instead of being a spectator. Let yourself be drawn into that feeling of love and feel it’s warmth as it lifts the stress of the day away higher and higher with every note. Too often we find our self enjoying something but not fully experiencing it because we are self conscious about who is watching or we are reserved in our emotions. To experience life fully we must actually allow ourselves to truly enjoy it. After all, life is only the experience of our consciousness. It is up to you to embrace the emotions you choose to keep and discard the negativity you wish to eliminate.

   What about the purpose and meaning a relationship brings to your life? Well this can be sustained by other methods just like satisfying the feeling of love. When we are in a relationship we tend to take purpose, and pride, in making sure our loved one has safety, food, shelter, love, and all the basic human needs met. This caring and nurturing attitude is ingrained in many people, especially women, and can actually be a big part of what provides satisfaction in a relationship. It’s not so much the act of taking care of things but the overall purpose it gives our life. We need a purpose in life just as much as we need air, food, water, shelter, and love. Often times when this is not available via a healthy relationship members of our modern society revert to work to provide meaning for their existence. While this can be done, it usually drags the stress of your job into your personal life and that can be just as damaging psychologically as being miserable.

   So what to do? Find purpose in the things that define what makes you happy. If you love to take pictures plan a trip just for photography. If you love music, plan to go see a band you’ve always wished you could see and never got around to. It doesn’t matter what you’re into you can find a way to draw purpose from it. Maybe you just want to brighten somebody’s day or make people happy. If that’s the case, help a friend, visit a nursing home or children’s hospital, and really try to make someone genuinely happy that you care that much about them. Again, while it may not replace love, the look in the eyes of someone who is genuinely grateful to you for taking the time to care about them when most people don’t is priceless. Purpose will vary by the person and you have to find what works for you. It can be something simple or outlandish. All that matters is that it gives you something to look forward to, to care deeply about, and it makes you feel good.

   Ok, so again, just to reiterate I’m not suggesting that being single is good, bad or indifferent, I am just suggesting that you don’t have to be miserable and lonely if you’re alone. The human mind is an incredibly powerful tool and can be harnessed by the consciousness experiencing it. While the draw to a loving relationship is incredibly powerful bear in mind that it’s not a requirement for happiness. Don’t chase poor relationships, fit a round peg in a square hole, or settle for anything just because you are alone and want to be happy! I understand very well that you may be incredulous about this fact, as I have been in the past, and you may not agree with me. Hell, I might not have agreed with me 5 years ago, but, I have come to learn a lot after extensive soul searching in the last few years. I’ve spent the majority of the last year alone and single, mostly by choice, to try and really analyze what I value and what I am looking for. It has given me clarity in the fact I am now beginning to understand that happiness and sadness lie within. In this simple understanding I have gained the confidence to face the world alone and succeed where many other may fail. By understanding the fact that I can be happy alone, it has given me the courage to know that whatever life may bring in terms of love, I am capable and able to accept it for what it is. I am ready to accept love in whatever form it finds me. Not only does this knowledge comfort me in times of loneliness and self doubt but it strengthens my resolve to live life unafraid of commitment and heartbreak. While love can sting as much as it can heal, knowing this and preparing for it at a fundamental level will help you navigate the world of emotion safely. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s always easy because it’s not. There are times I lie awake at night and wish for nothing more than a beautiful girl to hold me, to kiss me, to tell me everything’s gonna be alright, and that she loves me. There is not a human alive that wouldn’t feel the same at some point, but the strength in knowing that it’s alright whether she’s there or not has given me all the motivation in the world to ensure I stay positive and happy until I find her. I don’t need to rush towards it, or find something that’s close but not quite it. I know I can sustain my spirit and happiness until that day arrives. This is what gives me comfort when I feel that loneliness creep in. I just focus on something that makes me happy or find a purpose and a reason to be happy. While I concede that having a lover to truly care about and having someone who cares about you is much more comforting than substitutes, I am convinced that single people don’t necessarily need to be unhappy people.

   In conclusion this theory may be idealistic and does not address the constant pounding life can give us in our journeys of love and adventure but it is meant to open your eyes and your heart to more possibilities than you think you might have. Learn to leave the negative aspects of situations on the table and take only the positive things in life to heart. Love deeply in anything you do, care about people, and focus on positively affecting peoples’ lives. Don’t underestimate the power of your consciousness and it’s ability to change your outlook for the better. Viewing life in this manner isn’t an interchangeable replacement for love but it can allow you to experience a whole different form of love. Sometimes, this can be just enough of a push to get you through a lonely and rough period without losing hope. So don’t lament single people! Go out and find something you love today and really LOVE it! Experience life as it is and don’t focus on how you wish it to be. That day will come if you keep working towards it but for now embrace what you have and make the best of it. Remember you can only live each day once and tomorrow may not come for some of us. Find happiness now and share it with those around you. You’ll be surprised at just how much more you love your life! Good Luck!

      John

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finding Meaning in Life

  For thousands of years humans have looked around and wondered why they exist and what the meaning of their life is. They ponder Gods and big bang theories. They discuss cavemen and evolution from primordial slime. They theorize about spirits and higher dimensions of existence. But to date the whole of humanity still can’t agree on any specific over all meaning. There’s a simple reason for this. There isn’t one! It isn’t about the meaning of life, past, present, or future, it’s about the meaning of YOUR life as you live it.


  People can place values on things in life and subjectively give them any meaning they choose. As I have discussed before consciousness is a perception of your surroundings and it only exists within you. When you meet people who appear to have found the meaning of life, they most likely have… for them. What means the most to them may not hold the same value for you. It’s here that people get disconnected from each other when they speak of “the meaning of life”. Since every man, woman, and animals consciousness is independent so too is their perceived value of meaningfulness. Since we only know what we are told many times people are led to believe that happiness and meaningfulness come from certain aspects of life or certain interactions. Since not everyone is the same, people who find these things meaningless end up unhappy and disillusioned. This is where we can step in and intervene in the process by simply discovering what is meaningful to each one of us may differ. Instead of chasing someone elses' happiness or chasing a meaningless “perfect” life we should analyze what makes our individual conscious respond positively. As usual, when it comes too building and developing a connection with your inner self and your consciousness, this can be easier said than done.


  The first step is to slow yourself down a little bit. So many people are forced to rush through their day from task to task and they don’t get a chance to pay attention to the little things that make them happy. We give it a brief second of indulgence and then it passes like a warm summer nights breeze. In order to really enjoy life we must accept and respond to all emotions, both good and bad, and figure out where they stem from, how it affects us, and what we can do about it. Too often we harbor negative emotions and focus on the really big bad important stuff in our life and only stop briefly to enjoy the mini-pleasures of the day. These little luxuries make up for bearing the frequent negativity of the chaotic world we exist within. Our task at hand is to focus harder on these positive moments and make more out of our experience. Instead of shirking them off for thoughts of bills, lovers quarrels, or the injustices of life embrace every second and every aspect of it. It can be something as simple as walking down the street and smelling something that brings back a good memory from childhood. Instead of hurrying on worried about being 30 seconds or a minute later to where you are heading, stop! Take it in, breath deep and capture the essence. Let the images of childhood flood in, hear the sounds of laughter or familiar voices, smell it like you were there again, in a place you were told you could never be again. Yet, there you are standing in the street, far away from that time, living the moment twice through the power of human consciousness. When you’re really, really, comfortable in bed and you’re so happy you want just one more minute, take it! Don’t focus on the seconds passing by but instead wrap yourself in the emotional warmth and happiness of the moment. For that minute nothing else matters, it’s your life, your minute, your deep down happiness! Taking that minute won’t matter at 3:34 that afternoon or 7:52 that night or any other time for that matter. The happiness and joy and the smile it spread across your face is a new moment you can go back to when in a bad place. Capture it to enjoy it all over again. But in order to do that you need to know everything about it to begin with. Let the essence of every second permeate your entire being. Every smell, taste, sight, sound, and touch makes you who you are and what you know. If these experiences are all viewed through a negative perspective it becomes who you are. If you view every moment for what it is and truly embrace and cherish life you will lead a fuller existence then the richest man filled with hatred. Toys, women, money, cars, and everything else are all just aspects of the moment. Happiness can be found in either in their presence or in their absence and they are most certainly not a prerequisite to finding it. It can be found in the smell of rose petals, the spray of an oceans wave, the glint in a lover’s eye or smell of their hair, the perfect meal or drink, or even amidst a baron wasteland within one’s conscious self.


  Happiness is anywhere and everywhere if we are able to harness the moments in which it has come to us in the past. As we pay attention to the things that make us happy we learn instinctively to repeat those actions and begin to make a habit out of being happy and enjoying happy moments. Unfortunately, due to the chaotic nature of life there are moments which are just simply sad as well. But even these heart wrenching and tear jerking experiences can be used to remind us of times that were worse. In that fact alone it’s possible to find happiness within your current situation. For me personally, I just look back upon my teenage years when I was angry at the world and at “god” for taking so many of my family and friends from me too soon. I lived in anger and with a rage I couldn’t explain. As I get older I have begun to understand that this anger came from not understanding and accepting why life is as challenging as it is. Why do these things happen, why is life the way it is, and why do I need to be proactive about changing it? I have come to understand that life is just a reaction of all things to their environment. It the same for energy, particles, people, concepts, and the answer to “why?” it all is the way it is. We are simply individual consciousness bound together by interaction and destined to a chaotic ballet of impeccably random perfection for eternity. We are the masters of our own emotions and also highly influential on the people around us. When we input negativity into situations people take negativity out of them and react to them just as they would anything else bad, with fear, anger, violence, or rejection. When we input positivity into situations people tend to notice and return some form of positivity as a reaction.


  Simply put, changing an interaction and the outcome from it starts with you and the consciousness of who you are experiencing the interaction with. If even one or ideally both parties focus on positively interacting the chance of a good outcome is much greater. Essentially you can be the catalyst that changes a situation from bad to good! Be the trendsetter amongst your friends. Set an example and do good things for people without expecting a return just because it makes both of you feel good. Tell someone something positive that you think or feel about them. React with patience and kindness instead when you catch yourself getting angry or upset with someone or something. It’s amazing how this simple fundamental transformation of your conscious perception can allow you to experience life and reality with a whole different outlook. It can really let you analyze the things that are meaningful to you which are what create happiness. Find those things and embrace them, share them with the people you love and support them as they discover their own form of happiness. Remember their idea of happiness can be independent of yours but acknowledging this can allow you to both experience your own version of being happy without feeling like the other person is missing out and needs to know what you’ve found. Pushing your own happiness on others will seldom get the job done unless it really works for them on whatever level they choose to be conscious at.
The best bet for making your world a better place is to do it yourself and be the better person you wish everyone to be. It can be hard because so many people just don’t care but that makes it all that much more important why those of us who do care should make a difference. So what if other people can’t see the things that mean the most in life are not always tangible goods but the moments that can only be taken away by the loss of our precious consciousness? We can embrace this fact and cherish life for its good and bad days alike. Feel the rain, soak in the sun, learn the sting of goodbye as well as the kiss of hello, find meaning in actions, and mean everything you do. Act with your whole heart and change how the game is played. Not only will you feel better about life but those around you will feel better about sharing life with you. Happiness is contagious. Try laughing wholeheartedly out loud in a crowded quite room. I guarantee others will follow! Sure, they may be laughing at you making a fool of yourself but in reality you’re simply providing a happy moment that person can embrace and brighten up their day with. Where is the harm in that? So live carefree, be happy whenever possible, and try to help those who need a hand. Remember, those who don’t ask for it usually need it the most. It’s also those people who you will make the biggest impression on when you do help them to find a moment of happiness. I hope this rant helps one or two people look at things a little differently and enjoy what’s there for the taking. Happiness is an individual quality within yourself and it’s manifested through meaningful positive interactions! Find out what makes “you” tick and live to that beat! Although I should give you a fair warning, you may not be happy that you didn’t realize it all a little bit sooner! :)


    John

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lines in the Mirror

There’s a new line in the mirror and it lies on an old, worn, and hollow face..

Another year disappears like a sunken ship swallowed up in a rogue wave..

No modern medicines can heal each wound time carves out with its thin blade..

Then with selfish futility we look at the depressions made in our skin with rage..

We use silly creams and injections in an attempt to hide the blessing of old age..

But in reality, the most scarred old life soldiers comprise the heart of our brigade..

They’ve loved and suffered to see mother nature give birth to the sun every single day..

The fabric of history written in flesh, their story told as old cells mingle and decay..

An earned human portrait of existence itself written in the universal language of DNA..

I’ve learned to accept my lines in the mirror as time molds my body like wet pliable clay..

I stared at the reflection that appeared and defined the fear as watching hours sliding away..

But once I acknowledged their importance the hours didn’t seem like a loss, but instead a gain..

Because every hour conquered and wrapped in chains makes the next lesson in line that much more pleasurable to attain!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vibrations and Consciousness

What is consciousness? What is sound, sight, touch, smell, and experience? What is interaction? Some may answer with factually correct, simple, straightforward, answers but other may offer a different idea as to what constitutes our existence. Along with many other philosophers, theorists, and wandering ponderers, I hope to offer you a different view on life and reality as you know it. My tale is of vibrating energy, human strings, and a grand consciousness available for our individual participation. Now hold on, before you sign me off as crazy hear me out!

I believe that all consciousness is the individual and/or collective perceptions of the vibrations of the universe. Let me explain what I mean by starting with the physical things around us that we consider tangible. The most basic interactions of life take place in the form of the 5 human senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. I purpose that each and all of these senses are the result of the interaction of vibrations of energy and electromagnetism at the most basic quantum level. Let’s look at the things we know and feel to be unquestionably real.

What is sound? Sound is the perception of vibrations in air created from your vocal cords or anything else that vibrates. This vibration begins in your esophagus and enters the atmosphere around you which disturbs the molecular field producing sound waves. These vibrations in your voice box and the air around us don’t actually make any noise, they are simply movements. Sound does not exist until our eardrums vibrate and the cilia in our ear produce electromagnetic responses out brain compiles into auditory sounds. So where is the sound? Sound actually only exists in our consciousness. Maybe this will give you a new perspective on the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and nothing is around to hear it does it makes a sound?”. We might rephrase this to be “does anything make a sound at all or does it exist solely within the consciousness of the living”. Intriguing thought, but let’s move on!

What is color? Color is constructed at the sub atomic level in everything. It is a manifestation of particle spin and electromagnetic disturbance. Humans interpret the effect on color and light spectrums and code them to create the range of relatable visual images we think of as colors. But where do the colors exist? Is the petal of a rose really red at a microscopic level? Is the ocean really the blue color you see when you look at it or would a single glass of it’s water be a different color? My point is that color is a perception that occurs only in our shared consciousness’. There is no being that exists solely as “red” or “blue” or “green”, just conscious acknowledgments of electromagnetic disturbance.

What about smell, taste, and texture? These are all the exact same principle as color and sound. We perceive chemicals in the air that are made of certain particles and charges as smells, and taste different arrangements of molecules as individual flavors but where do all these things exist? Only as an activity within the consciousness of the person or people that are experiencing them. Externally they are all just vibrations of energy, nerves, matter, and particles that compile to form our bubble of reality. How something feels, looks, smells, tastes, or sounds is entirely up to your conscious perception of it. That’s why our tastes, likes, dis-likes, and attitudes change, because of conscious or unconscious shifts in our perception of the vibrations. Whether it’s vibrating muscle tissue sending signals of pleasure or pain, or nerves vibrating to tell you it tastes good or bad it’s all relative to its own perceived vibration.

So, what does it all mean? Everything in existence large or small is an interaction of our consciousness with the vibrations of existence. I don’t mean like the hippy “vibes” of the 60’s and 70’s pop culture or any other light hearted reference. I’m referring to the vibrations of every particle, mass, being, or energy force combining to produce reality as we know and comprehend it. To understand every facet of these interactions is beyond the scope of human comprehension, especially when you get into entanglement, observer paradox, and quantum symmetry. As humans we must start in a realm we can understand and interpret. Let us discuss how our conscious interacts with the vibrations of the universe.

In my last article, “The Human Equation”, I spoke of how we are all independent integers that the larger equation of existence relies upon to function properly and give us the experience of reality as we know it. This is a similar thesis but we will look closer at the quantum relations of individuals that take place to produce life as we know and understand it. I relate these interactions to what many scientists and particle physicists refer to as string theory or m-theory. Except I propose we look at existence from the point of view that maybe humans are the strings of energy that interact and make up our collective consciousness and how we perceive life. It’s a very different thought, so we’ll label it “H-theory”. Let me go back quickly and elaborate on what proponents of particle string theory propose is happening at the basic level of existence before we begin on human string theory for those who are unfamiliar. Essentially string theorists suggest that everything we know of in the universe is made up of incredibly teeny, tiny strings of vibrating energy that vibrate in different patterns to create different elements and particles that make up everything we observe. That’s the incredibly long story short. There is a lot more to it and I suggest if you have some time you look into it because it is a fascinating field of study. Anyway, my theory states that just as strings interact to produce the elements of matter and electricity so do humans to produce the experience of reality as we know it. It’s sort of complicated so let me elaborate a little bit.

Since we’ve established that all things are just an interpretation of vibrating energies it begs the question, “Ok then, what exactly “IS” reality?”. What really “IS”, if everything is subject to our independent interpretation? What reality “is”, in my opinion, is a collection of interactive consciousness’ defined on a whole by every aspect of their collective composite. Simply put, reality is overall exactly what each of us inputs into it. Our own “vibration” or “integer value” is our own aspect of the collective reality and it defines our physical existence in time and space as we know it. So that brings another question. How or what determines or defines your input into reality? This is where things become much more complicated. Essentially your input is an aggregate of how you view and respond to the vibrations of others that compile your reality. Your interpretation of reality determines how you respond to situations, which in turn, is your effect on the consciousness of others. As you can see if you focus on this paradox, this means that our consciousness’ are completely intertwined and entangled with each other. This is the web of human interactions that forms our societies, cultures, and human bonds. These interactions simultaneously construct what “is” and everything that is relevant to life as we know it. It is interesting to see that accepted reality among humans is based upon itself for both content and context. Differences in these interactions and vibrations among humans can be seen in the form of various culturally accepted traditions. Things accepted and promoted in one culture may be shunned and demonized in another. Examples can be found in foods, clothing, sexuality, religion, and more. These cultural actions no matter what they represent are composed of the same fundamental vibrations that give them the “reality” that we consider tangible. This reality is no different on one side of the world from another. The only difference is the perceptions of these vibrations of sight, sound, and senses by the people experiencing them. The people collectively determine if they feel the action to be “right” or “wrong” and that becomes its reality, to those people. This perception of right or wrong, love or hate, ugly or beautiful, joy or fear, good or bad, or anything else lies solely within the perception of the consciousness that is experiencing it. This can be applied universally to any question of reality.

Ok, so this is pretty simple to understand but what does it all mean for us? It means that if we can understand and control consciousness, we can control how we view reality itself. I don’t mean with superpowers or levitation or anything cool like that but I do honestly think you can control how you view and respond to the inputs of reality. The most important thing is taking the mystery out of it. There is no magic, there is no secret, there is no single formula to happiness. Happiness lives within your interpretation of the vibrations you experience. Now, if that’s the case, how do we edit these perceptions and put them through a “reality check” so to speak? There is no easy answer here but I can guide you to the right path. It simply starts with the understanding of what consciousness “is” and what you are really perceiving throughout your life. If you become aware of your consciousness as an entity within itself you begin to realize all the things you “think” and “know” are actually susceptible to our own human filter which is capable of significant errors and achievements alike. These thoughts are entirely creations of your mind/spirit/energy in reflection of the vibrations around you. We may not be able to change all of these perceptions because some may be hardwired within our “self”, but we can accept them for their flaws and adjust the emotional weight we put on them accordingly. This in itself does not guarantee happiness or enlightenment but it does allow for a more peaceful internal existence. At the end of the day that’s all that really exists anyway, is our own internal “self” or consciousness.

To practice working on yourself at this level of consciousness you must first become mindful of your existence and the existence of every vibration around you, be it human, or otherwise. Being mindful is simply being fully aware of the inputs you are receiving from the world and your relation to them. It can be as simple as being mindful of each muscle used in every step you take, to as complex as understanding where the food you eat comes from, it’s process of growth, everything it took to get it to your hands, and the life energy it contains all at once. Being mindful comes in many forms. Read Thich Nhat Hanh or any of the other eastern teachers of mindfulness for more tips on being mindful and experiencing everything for its essence of existence. I will try to write more on this later but it is an incredibly in-depth topic within itself so I will move on for now.
Once you have begun to experience every interaction mindfully and you understand things for what they are you can begin to adjust your reactions to each event or vibration. Remember, they all exist solely within our own consciousness! This is where the real change takes place. One can also begin to understand that the actions and vibrations of others can be acknowledged and effected in the same manner as our own actions. If we truly understand that we exist purely in our own consciousness then we understand that others must exist only in our own consciousness as well. Ultimately it is you who controls others effects on yourself and your vibration or your “being” by how you react to them. They may make you sad, angry, happy, disappointed, whatever, but it is only within your own consciousness where this emotion occurs.

So, take a hold of your reality! Vibrate at your own frequency! The most important aspect of becoming mindful of consciousness lies in knowing that your higher existence can be independent from our physical perceptions of reality. Essentially speaking, while it may not be possible to shift the locations of mountains it is feasible to shift how you feel about where the mountain is located right? Consciousness is our only way to perceive time, space, matter, and interactions. But it is shifts in consciousness that alter HOW we perceive these things like “spacetime” and “life” and what our meaning is amongst it all. Like I have said before, there is no secret formula to manipulate the basics of existence but just being aware of it, can be a powerful enough shift in your general perception to make a difference.

There is so much more to this on the human interaction end that I could literally right a book fleshing out my H-theory. For now I just wanted to introduce a new view of consciousness for people and make you question what you consider “real”. My main hope for this is that people can take away a sense of control amidst the chaos of existence. Life really is what you make of it because it only exists within you. Your unique view of the world is only ever experienced by you, once. If you don’t like it, recognize that like anything else it can be changed, shifted, or altered for better or for worse. The only person that can truly alter it is you though! Other people can influence you with their vibration but it is you who chooses how you react to that input and respond with your feedback. This action and reaction is the simple substance of existence.

So essentially, life is the dancing of human strings in the poetic ballet of existence. We act, we interact, and it all happens on one huge cosmic stage. We come together here in a collection of consciousness’ with no purpose other than to interact with one another and the universe around us. Let us embrace the reality of life in its larger form instead on getting consumed by the minor details that distract us from beauty. This rich, rhythmic vibration of souls we experience is boundless when viewed at large. Embrace it, be it, dance along, but don’t forget to really experience and enjoy it along the way! After all, our consciousness is only available to us for a limited period of time. Make the best out of every second and consciously choose to make it what you wish! You own your reality!

John Thomas

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Human Equation

The Human Equation

People throughout history have debated our existence with vigor and passion championing one definition or the other. With all the words spoken and books written only one thing is for sure. After thousands of years debating the same topic we have finally gathered enough data to realize that the statistical chance of humans actually agreeing on something of that nature is near impossible. What the data and arguments have shown us is that it’s not about the broader picture but in fact about the lowly human equation. I’m not the first person to use this term and probably not the first person to define things this way but I have recently come to an understanding. Life, love, hate, passion, existence, and everything we know boils down to individual interactions (equations) between humans (integers). This in itself is no secret and a very simple concept to grasp. That’s exactly why we normally don’t give it a second thought, especially when times are hard. In fact many times we only choose to view negative interactions or the plight of the bigger picture and give them more weight when life is extra stressful. Here’s a concept to think about when you sit at your computer pondering your purpose and wondering if it any of it means anything whatsoever.

YOU are a factor in countless human equations! Ok then, that’s basic enough and I’m really not much of a mathematics person but let me elaborate. Every interaction you are a part of whether it is with friends, family, lovers, or strangers, has one constant factor…. You! Many of these interactions whether you like it or not are completely dependent on you being there to perform your operation in the equation. It can be to love/hate, laugh/cry, encourage/discourage, or simply just to smile at a stranger but it still takes “you”. Now this obviously isn’t an answer to quantum mysteries or a sighting of Mohammed or Jesus but if you really examine these individual equations you begin to see a different picture of the world. If you’ve ever had feelings of inadequacy and thought your life served no purpose then this is mathematical proof that’s you’re flat wrong! Everybody has questioned their value at times and wondered why they go through the motions they do. There may or may not be reasons for why you do what you do but the simple fact is that “you” matter! Without your integer in these equations they don’t exist or end up corrupted. Now again this isn’t the meaning of life in itself but let me elaborate a little more.

Your presence in people’s lives is irreplaceable whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that some of you instinctively might have read that and said “well I got stuck with bad or indifferent”. In fact, the good news is that you can set your own value in these interactions and effectively change the outcome to positive. On the other hand, you can also change it to a negative outcome with a negative input or do nothing by being neutral and resisting change. By simply trying to focus on offering a positive input into each individual equation you can in fact make the outcome better. Sometimes all it takes to get ahead is caring more, loving more, meaning more, doing more, and helping more. When you feel like your value is the equation has gotten so low it’s not worth doing anymore, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up, it means it’s time to move up. And anybody that’s been down can tell you there is no one single step to success! The real “Secret” like in that positive thought book/movie is the actual intention. There is no mystical power that grants you something when you wish really hard for it. That’s YOU…….. DOING IT! See “it” isn’t the result; it’s your value in the equation. The result of these equations is essentially reality as we know it! It is the culmination of human events that form our consciousness. There is no mysticism surrounding this rooting to ancient people or a god above although faith is a great mechanism for coping. It takes the outcome off your shoulders and rests it on an arbitrary being for safe keeping. Whether you choose religion or not has minimal effect on your ultimate value in equations. Look at the holy wars of today and throughout history. The reason societies never gets ahead is because it is all a culmination of negative inputs from opposing views. I wish this could be conveyed simply enough so that people on a larger level would take a hold of their identity and their value as an individual integer in this crazy equation of existence. Your value can be good and have positive consequences like love, hope, success, and leading a rich conscious life. Or it can be negative, and create problems for the equation that disturb other people and your own internal self. In addition to the simple good and bad just like in real life math there are the people who just wing it and give things fun names and call them “constants” or explain something with “that’s just the way it is” when they don’t make sense in the standard way. This is indifference for the most part. Just kind of coasting, reacting, and being shuffled around the equation so to speak. If this “coasting” of societal trends leads in a positive direction it can be a great thing but if it leads towards negativity it can be devastating overall. All it takes is a collective understanding of its value to be address properly. I think this is how we need to view things from time to time to stay in check on a larger level.

So in summation this brings me back to my point of adjusting your own values and setting your own parameters in life. Just like in math a lot of times there is no clear or simple answer to how to do thing and work with operations and functions. Sometimes people get tricky and try to make things work. It’s the same in life but we have to understand that we can edit the context of each individual value instead of changing the whole equation to fit each others needs. The meat and potatoes of what the individual human symbols represent is who and what we do. This value cannot be taken away by anything but yourself giving it up. It is absolutely imperative that if you are not happy with yourself or your value in life that you must start from within yourself and change your interactions with people on a basic level. Figure out what you dislike, or who, and address it! To start, care more about people that care a lot about you. Look at who gives a large portion of their life to you and do something good for them. Hell, just go out and do something good for a random stranger. These good interactions will, over time, build your overall value and character and make you a solidly better person. For the selfish folks reading this, there is even the instant gratification of helping people when you see the look of genuine thanks and surprise in their eyes. It really is irreplaceable! It can really be as simple as stopping to check on a car broken down on the side of the road or buying a panhandler lunch and dropping it in their hat without saying a word. So if you really want to change your life then change the individual actions you take part in. On a whole this will change “you” and how your value is interpreted by other people. Don’t be na├»ve and think there won’t be people who wish to use you for your value without offering anything but indifference or negativity in return. Understand that these people have a right to exist, respect them for who they are and their individual value no matter what it is, but steer as far away from them as possible. That is the downside to unconditionally giving the good within yourself and the plight of the “nice guy” who finishes last. If you can master the ability to give wholeheartedly and be strong enough to refuse to interact negatively you have achieved the ideal human existence. Yes, this is much easier said than done. This article is not meant to be an all inclusive solution just a window into the basic interaction of our world. I feel that knowledge is power, and the powerless sometimes just need to know that they have a value and by the simple act of understanding this value, they gain power. It’s kind of a roundabout concept but very compelling nonetheless.

So I leave you with these thoughts today and encourage you to take control of you value in the human equation. Whether you were aware of it or not you are a powerful tool for creating life as many people know it. When you’re gone people’s lives will be changed forever. Make the best memories, live the fullest life you can, and care with every ounce of your being. Even if people can’t or won’t find the words to tell you to your face, you DO make a difference! Your difference! Embrace it!


John Thomas

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dreams

Like a leaf falling unknowingly towards a blade of grass…
I impacted at dawn with the sound of a faded smash…
Invaded by reality, my brain whipped up a list of tasks..
But I quickly yawned it off in favor of dreams from the past…

How nice is it to retire to a place of wonder and passion…
When your days are filled with pondering your squandered rations…
A place away from heartache in a land of exotic fashions…
Strange tales of horror mixed with erotic interactions..

What a world it is that our dreams create…
Even giving glimpses of a future face..
Or maybe a real story from a future place..
Of guts and glory from earth or space…

They open Pandora’s box of ideas and images..
But unlike life, the dream diminishes…
Like the feeling of love lost with sleepy grimaces..
And the attack on your foe that’s lost it’s viciousness..

The ability to be in one place then instantly in the next…
The thought of how you got there never leaves you perplexed…
It just is what it is like the characters in this text…
Images of prisoners that your subconscious collects…

Lined up next to each other, depicting events…
Comedies, dramas, love stories, and suspense…
The feeling of realism is just so intense…
The horror is horrifying and the fortunes are immense…

That’s why I love these stories my brain invents…
So now I’m off to catch tonight’s main events…


By John Thomas

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Mistress Mountain





I sit electrified and bathe in the earthly hum of the mistress mountain..
My hair caressed by the wind and showered from a sunlight fountain..

I fill my lungs slowly with her beauty as I embrace and cherish the scent..
The clouds chase the sun and grin sheepishly with no fear or cares to lament..

This is truly a feeling of freedom in every glorious aspect of the term..
In love with mother nature as I touch her rock hard body and yearn..

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Semmelweis Reflex

The Semmelweis Reflex is essentially defined as the automatic rejection of an factual and/or obviously truthful statement with no logical grounds for dismissal other than the fact that the idea is contrary to a widely held popular belief. Long story short, sometimes people don't believe the truth even if it's staring them in the face. In the following article I'll briefly explain the phenomenon and examine it's effect on society.

Very few people have ever heard of Ignaz Semmelweis or the societal reflex named after him. Ignaz was born on July 1, 1818 in Hungary to a prosperous family and ended up becoming a renowned physician. By 1847 he was earning himself the admiration of his patients and the title "savior of mothers" due to a groundbreaking technique he had discovered. He was able to reduce then current mortality rates of puerperal (childbirth) fever from as high as 18% to less than 1% by simply washing his hands in a chlorinated lime solution before working with the patient. Oddly enough the medical community thoroughly rejected Semmelweis' claims and publications regarding this discovery as "unscientific" and "lacking in reasoning". His critics claimed that there was no direct cause and effect between handling corpses, decaying matter, and other nasty infected tissue then wiping off your hands and giving birth only to watch the patient die of infection 10-35% of the time. Semmelweis died in 1865 in a asylum after suffering a nervous breakdown at the age of 47 upon failing to convince people his technique saved lives. A few years later Louis Pasteur and a few other scientists finally convinced the medical community of the "germ theory" of disease which proved what Semmelweis was talking about all along. To even a modern child this seems like simple logic and common sense but it turns out that the rejection effect Semmelweis experienced from his educated peers is a common human trait developed by our society.

Sometimes it's manifested in small day to day interactions and other times it can have a larger effect. From ancient philosopher spurning ideas of a spherical earth until Pythagoras and Aristotle argued otherwise to the churches resistance of Copernican heliocentric theory championed by Galileo, we have seen great truths blatantly denied by the masses. These theories and the brave revolutionary men who defied the status quo to share them should be not only an inspiration but a reminder to constantly re-evaluate our perception of reality. Especially in this social networking era when things can become clouded with so many options and ideals floating around. Theories abound and truths are becoming far stranger than fiction. It seems it's becoming more and more difficult to differentiate the forest from the trees as the old proverb says. To weed out all the "spam" we've set our neurological filters to a higher security level so to speak. As a natural defense to unwelcome chance we have become increasingly more critical and doubtful of one another in general. As this shift occurs we can see more and more instances of the Semmelweis Reflex on all levels of society.

I'm not worried so much about the small denials in life such as rejecting a certain brand of car, clothing, or any other merchandise with no real intrinsic purpose. For an example of this ask any "Chevy guy" about Fords or vice versa. In this example the reality is both vehicles will perform the desired purpose of 95% of their users but some feel that one is worthless while the other sets a standard for them. Why? No apparent reason other then they are a "Chevy guy" or a "Ford guy", and usually have been for some time. I have no problem with this even though I find it to be a worthless argument. I feel the problem lies in other forms that are more influential to society and those that can be outright dangerous both psychologically and physically if controlled by a nefarious third party. Enter the realm of politics, religion, and finance. The three dirty dinner table words!

The scariest applications of the Semmelweis Reflex are those that are contrived and designed for a specific outcome. This inherent human need to follow the pack even at the expense of others is a powerful tool to control societal sentiment. To keep this article relevant I will stick to examples found within the last decade or so but if one looks back this has been repeated throughout history en mass. It's almost hard to figure out where to start but i would say the biggest single event in many of our lifetimes was September 11th, 2001. We all know that day well and it will go down in history as a beginning of a new era but to this day there seems to be a heated debate as to the specifics of that day and what actually happened. The government has one version, foreign media has another version, and people from the 9/11 truth movement have yet another. All politics aside there are some facts that independent scientists and experts can agree on such as melting points of steel and how hot jet fuel burns. There are many controlled demo experts across the world who would have been proud if they had managed to take down 3 buildings so neatly within their own footprint in a crowded metropolitan area. Yet, when confronted with hard fact and empirical data people who wish to believe one story or the other vehemently do so and urge you to see it their way. Their acceptance has been conditioned by their chosen brand of media which is the largest direct channel to the people available besides the internet. By sheer volume if a populous is convinced that something is a truth they will embrace it and decry the minority who resist it, even if the resistance is morally correct or is based upon factual information. For chilling examples of this look back to the horrors of Nazi Germany.

We can see this manifested in election politics all the time as well. People making wildly false claims from either the extreme left or the extreme right are backed immediately by people who identify with their political party even though what they say may not even be in their own best interest. Countless people vote every year for this or that based solely upon republican or democratic affiliation regardless of the beliefs of their candidate or what they have to offer. These rejections are a dangerous trend in politics. By not voting based upon merit and action we are essentially destroying the democracy we love to talk so honorably about.

And finally, perhaps the greatest battle of them all when it comes to unfounded rejections ala Semmelweis, we have religion. Religion is the most necessary and beneficial evil man has ever been blessed to be cursed with. How contradictory of a statement but how deeply true it is. I will use the christian church as an example since I was raised by a pastor in a very christian household until my early teenage years and so I am familiar with many aspects of the faith. Let me briefly explain what I mean by a necessary evil then I will elaborate on how I believe religion to be the largest mass example of the Semmelweis Reflex known to man. Throughout history we can find examples of higher faith dating back to the beginning of modern human civilization. Many of these faiths instructed their followers to live lives of meaning and love. To have compassion for their fellow man, treat each other with kindness, and give thanks to the higher power that gave them life on this beautiful planet. These are all inherently good things and having a purpose to life and a higher meaning can give humans the necessary strength and motivation to accomplish things which still to this day amaze us. Being able to believe that if they strive to be a good person they will be rewarded with the riches of heaven is essential for motivation while here on earth. Subsequently they are kept in line with the promise of a painful fiery hell if they do not live according to the standards of the religion. This is the classic carrot in front of the donkey cart that parades the leaders of the church around while they relay the word of god to the wretched masses. By repeating this story and set of guidelines for hundreds and hundreds of generations on end the populous accepts it as a natural fact of the universe. When it is questioned, as it has been by many brilliant minds throughout history (and made to look like foolish nonsense), it becomes the natural response of the congregation to get angry at the heretic and immediate deny any claims that are in opposition to "the word of god". As discussed before briefly Galileo and other scientists such as Giordano Bruno, Cecco D’Ascoli, Roger Bacon, and more, met varying degrees of fate from imprisonment to death for suggesting the factually inaccurate claims of the church at the time were, well... dead wrong! Today the fight between science and religion continues as heated as always. Sadly, a correlated result (as it has been for ages) is the capitalization of this passion people have for higher understanding for benefit of one man over the other. Whether it be tithe plates, selling books on scientology, or promoting one big bang book over another it all boils down to control of the consumer and ultimately their wallet.

In conclusion, I dind't write this to bash religion or politics specifically. Nor did I write it because I was dying to tell you who Ignaz Semmelweis was and how his paradox came to be. I wrote it because I felt the need to show people the forest hidden amongst the trees. I felt the need to challenge peoples unwavering gut reaction to new information. The next time you find yourself dismissing something too wild to be true or something you were told not to agree with, take a second to really look at it. Examine the proverbial bark of the tree so to speak. How does this person know what they are telling you? Why are they telling you? What do you or them stand to benefit from knowing or sharing the information? And finally, what is the FACT of the matter, or the bigger picture so to speak? As often as I can, I try to pause my instinct to wave off new ideas or try not to be cynical about something I can't agree upon. In practicing this I have caught myself actively engaging my own Semmelweis reflex. The difference is now that I understand the phenomenon I can begin to take steps to ensure it has less of an effect on me. I concede that the nature of the reflex infers that there very well could be even larger concepts we are missing due to our inability to comprehend them and are therefore stuck with the limited knowledge our brains are capable of processing. On the largest end of the scale, again, I am ok with this. In summation, the macro and micro levels of the Semmelweis reflex are generally less harmful that the middle spectrum that comprises daily life for us humans. By understanding the forces we face within ourselves we can work towards taking the next step forward as a civilization. We must realize that in order to progress change needs to occur and we must be brave enough to stand in defiance of what the masses say to be right when we know the truth is otherwise. So take that with you today friends and make your decisions wisely. Fight for what you know is right and don't quit just because someone told you that you're wrong or crazy. Otherwise we'd all still be living on a flat germ infested splotch of purgatory!

John Thomas



NOTE: This is not an attempt to discredit anyone's belief and is solely an opinion I hold dearly. Please direct hate mail to the people responsible for the degradation of your chosen institutions. Thanks!