We hiked in a 108 degree Utah sun. The journey itself a sort of tribute to 2 sandstone sentinels of the desert. But what is heat to 65 million years of stratified rock? To Earthen towers whittled into brittled brilliance by erosion, by wind & rain?
Quick Blog Entry! We hiked in a 108 degree Utah sun. The journey itself a sort of tribute to 2 sandstone sentinels of the desert. But what is heat to 65 million years of stratified rock? To Earthen towers whittled into brittled brilliance by erosion, by wind & rain?
You have to be patient with this part of the continent. In silence, in arches, the desert secrets reveal themselves to you.
Nature revels in taking various physical forms. Earth bares her soul through expanses of sand and scrub trees.
The significance of duality hidden in her barren places. The moral of rom-coms and confidence- the edifice of true beauty will always remain.
In turn we also bare ourselves before her. Why else would we come if not to offer a salute, an homage, to honor two sienna colored outcroppings?
Do we see ourselves, our collective future, mirrored in these lone survivors of an evaporated sea?
I am coming to know the desert as a subtle teacher. She left us Earthen statues as reminders of our temporal existence. The stubborn ingenuity of land which is shaped by elements, tools on a planetary workbench.
We are also clay upon the potter’s wheel. We are being guided to new revelations of understanding of how humans fit into the convoluted Cosmos.
Earth isn’t dying, but the ecological effects on the planet are a result of humankind’s selfish and disconnected behaviors.
Were we to raise our collective vibrations we would change our behaviors on a global scale. The Earth would no longer need to force homeostasis upon us. Once we bring ourselves into submission the natural order will return as well.
Dust be dust but we are towers rising from ochre ashes. Monuments hedging their bets; living on edges of the human spirit. Steadfast warriors guarding the vast sand-baked sinews of our souls.
This is just one interpretation extrapolated from a Universe, a planet, a human race arching out in constant fluxes of creation.
We exist beyond gutters and starlight. And I’m aching to know it all.
Hikers used the chain at Angel’s Landing because it was a 1,488-foot fall to the ground, but also because the chain existed. Simply looking at the chain caused many people to become fearful. For inexperienced climbers- having a “safety net” of sorts was important.
Of course I went off leash most of the time. Not for a contrary purpose. I just didn’t need the chains to guide me. I barely have a grip on this version of reality, but I have a grip on nature & treading where angels dare to go.
We often hold to the things we’ve outgrown out of duty and familial obligation or material security. It’s okay and important that chain, the religion, the support exists. Sometimes we need that validation and security these things offer.
Still when we are attached to our expectations, relationships, professions- anything outside of us we can become chained in forms of mental and emotional slavery.
These sentences of servitude are subtle and reflect enculturation of societal norms. They are not easily broken and often take years of meditation, therapy, and re-education. Just desiring liberation is one of the most important part of “the work.”
There is more knowledge readily available to humans now than there has been in any other time in recorded history. Yet our cultures are not up to speed with the technological breakthroughs which have come at such an advanced pace. The proliferation of hints about misinformation are almost worse than the actual misinformation itself.
Propaganda from all sides keep pointing out false ideologies. Take your pick of soups and conspiracy theories du jour. But there is no inherent sense of fascism in this type of soup nazi. A problem with taking in so much information is that we don’t know where all to put it. That at the end of the day- people are forced into camps and baskets of good and bad.
We praise logic and lucidity when it matches up with the general consensus of the day. Scientists and theologians start out with the intent to discover something new or to come to greater understanding of their chosen discipline. Yet many observers, of both spiritual and scientific leanings, tend to maintain the status quo- to becoming maintainers of the knowledge instead of advancing it further.
It’s been proven throughout all of history that those in power attempt to maintain that power by adhering to the science and religion that best benefits the perpetuation of that culture’s ideals and motivations.
In his famous allegory, The Cave, Plato presents several chained prisoners who are forced to look at a fire casting shadows/images reflected on the back of a cave wall. He said, “On the walls of the cave, only shadows are truth.” We see mere reflections of the Forms- beauty, truth, life but do not actually ever see “Truth,” “Love,” “Mercy,” as they exist on their own. Everything is just a reflection of an ideal and we cast our own assumptions, experiences, desires and label it good, love, bad.
Objectivity of the material world becomes more apparent in nature. The riddle of “if a tree falls in a forest” becomes more clear when you’re the only one in the forest to hear its silence.
Almost all of us live this way to some extent. Not asking questions which would shake the foundations of our societies, are homes, relationships, and selves. I’ve literally known self-actualized people who said they don’t want to ask the hard questions because they don’t want to know “the answer.“
Often I wish the desire to ask these questions did not burn within my heart because life would be a lot easier to take at face value. But to stay in this false safety net would be boring, predictable, and antithetical to the propagation of life on this planet.
We spend half of our lives deprogramming ourselves from the bogus agendas of lack based mentalities that were socialized into us. But now that we know this- we have a chance to create the life which works for us and for the greater part of human civilization.
I used to think I was in the craggy places because of judgment and worthlessness. I was too precious to be planted in a garden but my heart would not be content alone in the alpines. Hearts have a way of wandering around until they find each other.
Brave hearts are not made for fences, chains, or cages. When we become less dependent on the chains we have grown accustomed to we move into bolder power.
We have the freedom to taking art, thought, life farther than it has been before. Keep following the freedom which is calling within you.
Unchain yourself from relationships, expectations, governments, and jobs which do not serve you. For each step forwards expands creation farther than it has been before and closer to where you want to go.
I was at Mt. Shasta writing about one of the most surreally difficult nights of my life, right before another strange event occurred on this mountain. Truth can be a stranger dance than any of our fictions.
You see, I slipped through the trapdoor of my mind after a BLM celebration, on the night of Juneteenth 2020. Transported through ethers after being intentionally drugged, without my consent or awareness.
Two days prior I had spoken out against local Proud Boys who had intimated protestors, and which I had also experienced firsthand. Now here I was getting dosed and later threatened, in my home, by several gay men who refused to denounce white supremacy- one of whom I had briefly dated.
A Fuckboi’s still a fuckboi- even if you’re locked together during quarantine.
I quickly learned a few things things that blurry night.
1. Racism can surprising extend past the reaches of sexual orientation into White superiority & Proud Boy territory.
2. Being dosed was not as fun as I used to hypothetically inappropriately joke about.
3. Feeling unsafe in your own home is a different level of fear. One which I had seen clients deal with as a social worker, but now it was happening to me while in duress. I didn’t know who to trust.
After three weeks of protesting & defunding the Portland Police by $15 million, the Black community threw a celebration and commemoration of Black freedom on Juneteenth 2020.
It was also the first day the Covid restrictions had been lifted. I decided to throw a small gathering because there had been much to celebrate that day. Whatever merriment was to be had quickly turned into a nightmare I could not get out of.
During that dosing I felt rippled through multiple timelines. Awake, slightly out of body, and far away from those moments. Wavering in and out of my present consciousness and through to possible past lives.
I could see myself and the other people I was talking to from above my own body. It sounds so strange but the words being said and emotions being felt were not mine alone for a few hours.
I still replay that evening’s events trying to understand what happened during that state of altered consciousness. For several months afterward, I came back a different soul briefly transported to another dimensional plane.
Was this all just a side effect of being in an altered state of consciousness? Did I have a shamanic experience that night or was it a brief psychosis triggered by a series of recently traumatic experiences?
Are these all just intriguing scenarios to explain the earthly and devastating reality of what happened during and after this night took place?
Returning to the present moment, I was witness to a surreal experience at Mount Shasta. Was this strange calling to follow the mysterious woman on the trail actually real or just the product of an overactive slightly stoned interpretation?
Were these true mystical experiences or do I just want them to be? Aren’t we all just seeking answers somewhere between reality and just beyond the veil?
I was over this Lemony Snicketts existence. The joke of reliving certain patterns and unexplainable circumstances, and bearing the weight of consequences that just took different forms in intricate and complicated ways.
To what purposes do signs show themselves to give only half of an answer? We are the faulty transmitters of subjective experiences. We bring all of our past programming along with us. And also our new understandings if we open ourselves to other possibilities.
During this mountain hike, I asked the Universe for a sign. Then a sudden awareness came into being.
Perhaps we are all living through multiple realities and passing though unseen dimensions in every moment.
The skeptic in me found this premise difficult to deny as the next mystical journey began to subtly unravel on Mt. Shasta & before my very eyes. I’m still on the quest to untangle these and many other mysteries in my life, Earth, & the Universe.
This year of chosen solitude has been a solace- a beautiful clearing in the wake of abandoning attachments. To walk in mountains is to walk in part of your soul. Returning to your breath is a returning to your life in this present moment. Everything else is an adornment distracting us from the real essence of life.
Time spent in Nature brings you into connection with Earth which helps you connect with your own self. You realize all creatures, plants, humanity are having a tangible experience with and on a living planet. You begin finding life can be lived in harmony even if weekend wanderings are few and the work week, the day to day drudgery, the bills are coming to kick your ass. You start bringing mindfulness into your every day life.
Nature is the Great Soul Kitchen where I have become more unconditional, steadfast, trusting in my approach to life than ever before.
You realize this moment is not locking you down, nothing is holding you captive. You hold no one accountable for your emotions. You stop looking for others for validation. You stop needing to be all things for a given period of time. You become content to be here now, be present, to see how things go without attaching immediate judgment to our fleeting thoughts. That’s how life is supposed to be.
Cubicle walls may contain you from 9-5, but a backpacker’s soul, like Nature, is eternal.
To sit alone with Nature is also to sit with your own self. You eventually come to find a deeper love and acceptance for yourself. you see the beauty in the craggy lone wolf places in your heart. You become broken down to love or else your screwed into hanging out 24-7 with someone you don’t even like or want to be around.
You learn to become your own best friend and it’s this surreal process of being muddled and molded in big secret gulps.
Nature offers one the vantage point of interacting purely with your environment. Being part of the land makes one feel in touch with all of life. Scientifically speaking we are biologically hardwired to live in union with our Earth.
Nature isn’t the escape. The escape was moving to the cities and deciding to erect stone walls. The disconnect from nature is what also stonewalled the collective human heart. Returning to Earth melts the Western illusion of segmented life experiences. It’s a return to the heart of all creation.
I’ve begun hiking trails with the intent to love everyone in my heart as they walk by. Sometimes this translate with me saying hello and a smile.
Even if there’s no reply I felt lighter in my heart just giving love without the expectation of return. I realized how quickly we start to seek others to fill that void and become mad at others when they don’t close the a gap we find within ourselves.
I found to be thankful for whatever is in the present moment is the secret to becoming unconditional which in itself is the ability to love freely and without needing the conditions to change to feel love. It is the holding each other responsible for how we feel how they made us feel how they’re supposed to make us feel that we become resentful and can no longer tolerate the people who meant the most to us.
A life of attachment to people, possessions, money, and conditions will be a life of constant lack, reaction, non-fulfillment, and blaming others for our unhappiness.
I still don’t always greet everyone with love in my heart. At times I forget as this rambling mind would would begin to think about other things and kind of tune other people out. But Nature is the great soul kitchen place for solitude for contemplation for peace. It also brings out the best in each other. Hiking outdoors is one place where we meet each other no matter our class or cast for the most part when you see her you’re on the same level ground.
You begin treating others better as you intentionally take time to connect to this alive, beautiful, sprawling Earth. Hiking and being in nature feels more than an addiction it has become a way of life. Nature can be volatile, unpredictable, dangerous but those fears lessen as you discover each one of us is part of this grand creation.
This great separateness is a societal illusion which will continue to be perpetuated until humanity collectively reconciles the Otherness within our own selves.
Can you love all sides of yourself? Without judging your faults without conditions to make loving yourself easier? If the answer to that question is not yes- you’re not going to find love from another person to fill the places you can’t even love.
Humanity will collectively find peace only when we stop looking outwards for people to change. Self acceptance brings inner-peace which is reflected outwards. Choosing to love when it’s not warranted elevates consciousness which changes your life and affects all those you touch.
It’s an ongoing process we must be consciously aware of but not attached to. it’s easy to get caught up in the flight of thoughts and day to day circumstances that need our immediate attention. Coming back to the breath to the now several times a day will begin to open you to allowing yourself to see the bigger picture the greater whole. This state of grace allows us to live our true potential and serve as reminders when we feel like failures and have hurt one’s we love. As important it is to extend an olive branch to others how much more we must first extend unconditional love to ourselves.