The Evolution of a Slyman

Posts tagged “jason sorrell

Where Do You Live?

A cornerstone of the Darkhorse philosophy, at least as I understand it, is Influence. We recognize that we are either influencing events around us, or being influenced. We are either active, or passive. In this, we are also one or the other to a particular degree. The word “superficial” means “being at, or near, the surface”, and while it is commonly used as an insult, it simply suggests having a focus on the external or most immediate events, impressions, or influences in our lives. The superficial is where most of us place our focus, it is where we have been trained to exist, where our society directs our attention, and where it appears that most activity occurs in our culture. All seems to be artifice.

And for most, this is true.

The Darkhorse recognizes this, and uses this to his advantage. In order to do so, however, he must first recognize it and be on guard against it within himself. He must recognize the difference between external and internal influences, understand how those agents operate, and cultivate a strong sense of his true relationship with those agents. This requires observation and intentional effort.

The model describing these relationships is surprisingly simple, often overstated, and easy to misunderstand. We each have a physical body, and we have been trained to consider this physical form as “I”. Your internal dialogue does not issue from the totality of your body, however. You do not hear your voice in your toes. Instead, your internal dialogue emanates from a place between your ears and behind your eyes, often slightly to the right or left depending on how your brain has developed. Your body is a vehicle and tool for your mind, a means for the mental you to interact with the environment. If you loose a finger or toe, the vehicle is diminished, but the mind remains intact.

The mind, however, is not “I”, just as the body is not “I”. You “hear” your internal dialogue in the space I described because that is where the speech-centers and audio-centers of the brain are located. Your brain is simply mimicking the function of your audio sense sans actual input from the environment. That should give one pause. We take this for granted, but this is an example of the mind creating its own reality. The argument of whether or not reality is a consistent and external event or an almost exclusive product of the mind creating it will have to rage on for the moment, but suffice it to say that the mind is as capable of creating a reality as it is of observing and reacting to a reality. In fact, there are numerous instances where the mind cannot distinguish between the two, because ultimately both are interpretations of influence, either external or internal. The medium of interpretation is the same, regardless of the source.

Like the body, the brain and the mind are themselves a vehicle for something else. If damaged, the function of the brain may be diminished, but there remains something consistent in the person which can be observed by others. The being continues to be, continues to have distinct and observable characteristics. It is this other, this seemingly ambiguous self, neither mind nor body, which a Darkhorse recognizes as the True-Self, the core being.

In most, this self is woefully underdeveloped. The mind is like a computer-system (a fair analogy, since computers are designed to mimic the function of the mind). Imagine building a computer to supplement your own functions. Your computer, or mind, has some base-routines to maintain your autonomous systems; breathing, digestion, circulation, etc. It has information gathering nodes, input-output ports, and programs for organizing and interpreting data. As your computer/mind becomes more developed and complex, you begin adding subroutines for handling and interpreting the data with predetermined responses. You don’t need to actively involve yourself in responding to the dangers of a hot cooking element, for example. Experience has lead you to create a program which avoids contact with such a danger with no real thought or attention applied.

These pre-programmed responses are learned from those you observe or your own experiences, and your begin making your computer/mind more sophisticated at an early age. By five or six years old, you have a very good mechanism for observing, sampling, and mimicking the behaviors of others. Coincidentally, this is also about the time our society drops you into the meat-grinder to receive new and socially approved programming for alignment with all the other computer/minds. More and more functions are added, subroutines are written, programs for managing programs, until the mind becomes so complex that the operator need not participate in the activity. Our institutions are designed to create this kind of mind, one that operates within parameters defined not by the self, but by the needs of the society which has honed it. Self-development and self-interest are not a part of the equation.

The Darkhorse recognizes this, and understands that everything emanates from their own center. The reality may be that reality and everything in it is itself consistent and distinct from the observer, but the observer lacks the faculty to make that distinction in any meaningful way. For most people, the idea of self is abstract. The Darkhorse strives to make that idea, at least in his own mind, concrete. Self-preservation and development hinges on the ability to influence, rather than being influenced. This process begins with recognizing that the most immediate tool, the mind, is not your own. Its design has been co-opted and subverted by external influences. It must be studied, carefully deconstructed and re-constructed for the benefit of the self. Some of the programs and subroutines will be deleted outright, while others will be re-written or just re-directed to serve the self, rather than define the self.

The mind is far more sophisticated than the average computer, and re-writing the superfluous programming that has been built up over the many years we have been alive is not as simple as “copy, paste, and delete”. It requires an effort to remember as consistently as possible that there is an operator behind even your “own” thoughts who must evaluate whether or not these thoughts, feelings, and responses are originated internally or the reactions of a predefined and externally applied program. When we recognize a programmed response, we can then make an effort to resist it. Re-writing such programs requires continuous resistance and alternative behaviors, leading eventually to our own self-determined sub-routines. The mind that has been sufficiently evaluated and re-written internally brings us closer to an Awakened state.

While time and effort are required to achieve lasting results, the benefits from under-going this self-initiated process come more quickly. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. We are all walking in a predetermined line. Most simply shuffle along their preset course, oblivious to all else. What power does a person have who can step out of line at will, who can reverse course, who can even take steps to influence the course of others, simply because he is aware of the line while others are not? This is the power of the Darkhorse, the ability to see the system and be distinct from it, and from this position take action which creates change. We are all set to receive transmissions, to obey instructions. The person who has defined the self becomes a transmitter, exuding influence, to which those trained to receive and obey are susceptible.

To some, the suggestion of using a relatively greater level of awareness to influence and control others may seem immoral. The effort to influence made by the Self-Aware is anything but immoral… in fact it is an absolute necessity. In an Awakened Being, the observation of self and the environment are continuous. As we influence in our own self-interest, we observe and come to a particular conclusion based on observation. It is a conclusion which has been taught to us since ancient times, one which the system has tried to either deny or to corrupt in order to keep us dormant. Influence can only happen if you are connected in some manner to the thing you would manipulate. The mind is a vehicle for the self, the body a vehicle for the mind… and reality a vehicle for the body. If you live in your head and call your mind “I”, and your mind in your body is “I”, then your environment, even your reality, and everything in it, is “I”. Regardless of whether or not the source of an emanation you encounter is external and distinct, you interpret it internally. It is therefore more you than anything outside of you.

This would suggest that every emanation, opinion, perspective, quirk, person, is ourselves. Like the programming of our minds which had to be resolved, each iteration of reality is simply a part of the overall program which we must either accept or resolve. We encounter other minds, but rarely do we have exchanges with other Beings. Every mind we encounter is simply our interpretation of a part of the over-all program. Another Being, however, is able to express its own distinctiveness and assert its own definition in the mind of any it encounters. When we manipulate the minds of others and influence reality, we are making changes in our own Being. When we encounter other Beings, we will find that since they are distinct from us, they cannot be manipulated.

Furthermore, the State of Being is like an infectious virus. When a mind encounters a Being, or the work of a Being, the internal and often dormant spark of self within begins to stir. With sufficient and repeated encounters, the Being within begins to try to assert itself. That person becomes infected with the idea of Self. It begins to question, just as we question, and to struggle to discover the truth. Encountering a Being is like seeing the slight split in the curtain and catching a glimpse of the man beyond manipulating the levers and pulleys. Once we see it, the illusion will never hold us in thrall as it once had. Thus, it is necessary for us to engage and manipulate those who are less aware. Our example will begin to stir others. As more Beings stir, the artificial system will begin to diminish, its power weakened by each Being who is able to resist the program through self-definition. Those who succumb to the program and deny themselves are lost. Those of us who choose to resist, to define ourselves and through that definition the reality around us… they have a chance.

So, ask yourself; where do you live? Do you live within the artifice and external influences of the system, or do you live inside your head, a psychonautic Darkhorse exploring and defining reality?


Temet Nosce or Life Is a Book of Lies

“I’m fine.”

“Really I am.”

“Nothing is wrong.”

“I have a good excuse.”

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

“It’s good enough.”

“I’m happy.”

“It doesn’t bother me.”

“I can’t do anything about it.”

“I deserve it.”

“It is the best I can do.”

“It is your fault.”

“You don’t understand.”

“It wasn’t me.”

“It isn’t fair.”

To the would-be Masters of the Universe, how are we to begin to control anything if we have no control of ourselves? How can we control ourselves if we have next-to-no idea who we are? How can we know who we are if we allow ourselves to be constantly changed by the winds of influence?

“Not me”, you say? Think your in control? I won’t argue with you, or even try to prove you wrong. Your fine just as you are. Better you remain the master of dreams.

To the rest that have the awareness of Socrates, who know that we do not know, how do we change?

We are living a lie, generally speaking. We are animals that have evolved to a point were we have relative mastery of our environment. The natural environment no longer defines us. Instead, we define it. We have been raised in an artificial environment, an artifice that goes beyond merely lights in the deepest night and cool breezes on the hottest summer day. Our mental idea of our environment, our world, our society and culture, is based not on observation and experience, but on what we have been told it should be. As animals, it is only natural that we have adapted to that environment, and the result is that we are artificial people.

As artificial people, we are not “Human” as I recognize the term, but something else. Perhaps we are like machines wearing human masks. What does a machine do? A machine follows a predetermined pattern. A machine follows an established program. A machine performs a preset function when it is activated externally, or when conditions merits action. The action of a machine is neither right nor wrong. The action of a machine is either appropriate to the situation or it is not. Happenstance, or luck, is the only difference between action that fits the situation and action that is inappropriate.

One of the most important functions of these machines, a function that is key to their programing, is the ability to lie. The lies they tell that matter are to themselves, lies about what they “know”, or what is right or wrong. More over, the lies we as machines tell ourselves are cumulative. The more we tell them, the more we believe them. The more lies told, the more convincing the body of lies we create. Our lies support the lies of others, ensuring the safe and proper function of the system. To stop lying, and to stop tolerating the lies of others, is anathema to that system. The machines respond harshly to having their masks revealed. The artifice of self is a reflection of the artifice of the system. To have the lie revealed is to take responsibility for what is wrong with both the self and the world we are in.

Most have been programed not to want that kind of responsibility.

Based on my observation of these kinds of machines, I think for most the mask of lies does not fit. The few I have met who’s mask fit well I have felt a momentary sympathy for. They are truly trapped, cogs in the system that will probably grind them down to dust. Most masks do not fit, and when we sense it, we begin to wonder what is wrong with us, what is wrong with our world. Usually, we are distracted by something… our function as machines is activated by external forces, or someone comes along and helps adjust our mask and briefly relieves the feeling of discomfort our slipping mask causes. For some, the sensation of the mask slipping is enough to make us aware of it. We feel that something is wrong, and we become focused on that sensation. Our discomfort becomes enough that we can resist the distractions and the urges to conform from our peers.

We risk ostracism, but chance gaining real power and maybe even freedom.

The first step in avoiding a trap is knowing of its existence. The lie of the system is a trap. It is a mire that sucks the actual Self deeper and deeper into darkness, leaving only the machine in our place. In order to begin to deny the artifice of the system, we must start with denying the lies we tell ourselves. In esoteric circles, this process is often referred to as “the third-eye turned inward” or “the perspective of Baphomet”. It is nothing more than a sincere, objective, and deliberate observation and study of the self. While this may sound simple, truly achieving an objective and honest perspective of the self takes immense effort. The lie is initially far more comfortable than the truth. We all want to believe that we are better than we really are. The system encourages this kind of lie. We are fully invested in our masks, preferring to believe that the artifice is who we really are; we are our social status, our Facebook account, our job, rather than being something unique, independent, and consistent. Excising the lies about ourselves requires an intentional destruction of our false sense of self that we are invested in.

If we have a hope of even beginning this struggle, then we begin with a marginal sense of who or what we may be. Our goal is to know, not to guess, assume, or pretend that we have qualities we do not. We must stop dreaming of being Human, and begin to wake to being. Our program has internal fail-safes against the thoughts that suggest real independence, real observation, and real self-assessment. External processes also exist to encourage us to accept the lie, to doubt the truth, and to respond violently to those who try to reach too far too quickly. It is a dangerous process.

In observing the lies we live, one of the first things that will become apparent is how much of our time is engaged in activities that we find distasteful. Where is our zest for life? Where is the passion for those things we pursue? For so many of us, our lives are simply one compromise after another, one accommodation after another, settling for what is easily within reach rather than striving to fulfill our desires (if and when we know enough about ourselves to know our own desires and not chase what we have been told is worthy of our pursuit!). We do things we hate, and in turn learn to hate ourselves. A self loathing person is easier to control. If you are never good enough, never complete, never content, and you never know what any of those things mean, then any commercial that promised ambiguous fulfillment generates from you a mechanical response.

If this is true on the most superficial level, how much more deeply are we influenced? How much longer will we allow ourselves to be told that the missing piece to our lives is in our next purchase, cause, or political effort, instead of seeking to find it in ourselves?

We must stop being machines, easily manipulated through our programming by other machines. We must stop dreaming that we are Human. The lies we tell ourselves must end. Once we are each secure in our own truth, we find ourselves in a fortress that cannot be shaken. Mastery of the self is Mastery of the Universe.


Intentions of an Eminent Mind

What are we trying to accomplish here?  What is our purpose in presenting the Darkhorse Ideology and our thoughts about life, the social order, and what it is to be human?  People have read this blog and asked if we are forming a new organization.  Are we trying to form and lead a movement, a new school, or even an army?  Do we think that we have the answers that other people need, or the truth that others seek?

To these questions, I would respond “no”.  It is not our intent to lead a mass of people, to cultivate a following, or anything so altruistic or trivial.  In my previous dealings with other organizations, I argued against the betterment of man for man’s sake.  I opposed the idea of offering our example as a charity or kindness to those around us.  “Leave the dead to the dead”, I said, “and let sleeping lions lie.”  Trying to lead for the sake of leadership, for the power-trip of being a leader, teacher, master, or whatever other nonsense one might choose to indulge in, is ultimately self defeating.  I have no interest in giving anyone anything, or being the lead dog on someone’s personal sled.

Everything we do here, I believe, is purely to serve ourselves.  I am not an altruist.  I am a pragmatist.

The only leader worth following is one who leads by example, and then it must be an example you yourself would wish to set.  Leaders do what they do, not to be leaders, but because it is in their nature to act.  A leader would take the same action even if no one else were there to follow the example.  A leader does not concern himself with titles or the recognition for his efforts.  A leader focuses on the goal.

My goals are simple.  I am a Darkhorse.  I wish to cultivate and develop my powers and slip unseen from the reigns of this world.  I seek the truth of myself, and the freedom I am convinced will result.  I am unequivocally selfish in this pursuit.  I don’t care if anyone else gets there, I am only concerned for myself.  If you are in my way, I will remove you.  If you run with me but are a risk to my goals, I will trip you and let whatever might be chasing us have you.

We cannot be concerned about the well being of others.  Time is too short.

I do, however, recognize fellow Darkhorses.  I recognize my peers who are strong in mind and spirit, clear in vision, and absolutely committed to their own pursuit.  We all share them same wolfish grin and hungry glint in the eye.  I watch for them, because what one might do in a year, two might do in eight months.  Five might do the same in four months.  Time is short.

I watch for you, because I know that as I succeed, I will come under the scrutiny and attack of others.  There are those who prefer to sleep, and those who would prefer that we remain asleep, and both are fearful of the noise that I make and the nightmares my example no doubt causes in the placid minds of the dead.  My example exclaims that they fail at life.  My example points to their hypocrisy.  As such, my example is one that they cannot tolerate.

Fear the power of sleeping people in mass!

One Darkhorse can be overwhelmed by five, maybe ten sleepers.  Two will hold there own against 20.  A dozen can handle hundreds with ease.  There is strength in numbers, but only when one is aware that each becomes as weak as the weakest among them.  The wise, therefore, seek only their equal as companions and compatriots.  Loyal, yes.  Supportive, absolutely.  But also ever vigilant for weakness, sloth, decent, and treachery, as any who recognizes that they began alone and will end alone must be.

You are ultimately responsible for yourself.  Live your life for yourself and no other, and expect no other to live their life for your sake.


The Relative Nature of the Concept “Freedom”

“slave screams he thinks he knows what he wants
slave screams thinks he has something to say
slave screams he hears but doesn’t want to listen
slave screams he’s being beat into submission

“don’t open your eyes you won’t like what you see
the devils of truth steal the souls of the free
don’t open your eyes take it from me
I have found
you can find
happiness in slavery

“slave screams he spends his life learning conformity
slave screams he claims he has his own identity
slave screams he’s going to cause the system to fall
slave screams but he’s glad to be chained to that wall

“don’t open your eyes you won’t like what you see
the blind have been blessed with security
don’t open your eyes take it from me
I have found
you can find
happiness in slavery

“I don’t know what I am I don’t know where I’ve been
human junk just words and so much skin
stick my hands through the cage of this endless routine
just some flesh caught in this big broken machine.”

~”Happiness in Slavery” Nine Inch Nails

In another post, I discussed how “freedom” is subjective… it is a relative state of mind. There is no such thing as “freedom”, no absolute that you can describe, nothing you can point to as freedom, nothing you can hold in your hand. “Freedom” means something different to everyone, and generally we tend to focus not on the relative “freedom” we have, instead we focus on the freedom we lack.

 GI Gurdjieff, a Russian mystic and philosopher, suggests that we all exist in a kind of prison. As the character Morpheus describes this prison, it is a “prison for your mind”. We sense the restrictions placed upon us, we experience the limitations both within ourselves and externally built around us. But, since it is a prison for your mind… since it is a prison largely dependent on your own feeling of being limited, is it a place you need to be?

“Need” is yet another subjective term, though less subjective than “freedom”. Abraham Maslow was a psychologist made famous for his theory regarding need; the Hierarchy of Need. Maslow’s Hierarchy breaks the human condition into several basic categories of need which man strives to fulfill. He also suggests that these needs must be prioritized and met moving from one successive tier to the next. With the fulfillment of one tier, other tiers become easier to fulfill.

The lowest rung on Maslow’s Hierarchy is Physiological; the basic things our bodies require to remain functional: food, water, air, sex (the physical act of), sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. This is common-sense… if you are unable to fulfill many of these basic needs, you die. If you are dead, then the pursuit of all other needs is moot. In regard to “freedom”, these basic needs represent fundamental limitations that are a part of our condition… we cannot be free of them and remain “human” in the manner we are most familiar with.

These basic needs are, under what I would consider normal conditions, relatively easy to fulfill and free to all. While the limitations discussed above represent “real” restrictions, there are another set of restrictions related to this tier. Artificial restrictions are those restrictions we either place upon ourselves, or are placed upon us by society (which we have a hand in to one extent or another). Food, for example, is used as a means of social control. First, a value system is established limiting what qualifies as food to a very narrow part of the over-all edible possibilities. Then, the means of producing or acquiring the “acceptable” food sources are regulated and limited, requiring us to engage in the system in order to eat.

People often forget that “freedom” includes not only the pursuit of one’s bliss, but also the possibility of starvation.

The next tier on Maslow’s Hierarchy is Safety; security of the body, security of resources (often through employment), the security of laws and rules, of health and welfare, of the family, and of personal property. “Freedom” in this regard is a two-way street. If you are restricted by government, it means that certain obligations must be met in order to be considered under that governments protection; you must obey the rules and meet minimum requirements. While restrictive, it also means (generally) that you are less apt to have someone of sounder mind or body take from you any of the things on this tier for fear of repercussions from the authority to which you are beholden.

“Freedom” from government means freedom to have whatever you consider yours taken from you by force from whoever has the means and desire to do so. There is nothing civil about civilization. Despite our assumed higher-culture, without the threat of repercussions from a superior force, the only thing between yourself and someone who wants what you have would be your wits and physical prowess.

And, there is always someone bigger and smarter than you ready to take what you cannot defend.

When that tier is fulfilled, Maslow suggests that we can then work toward fulfilling a Sense of Belonging; family, friends, romantic relationships, etc. This tier is more defined by cultural value structures than the previous two. Certain social standards exist which define a “family” and how a family is supposed to interact. The same is true in regards to friends and relationships. These value structures are semi-fluid, changing with time becoming either more or less inclusive. 50 years ago, a “family” was one man, one woman, and a 2.3 children. 30 years prior to that, the number of children in an average family was significantly higher, largely owing to the expectation that children were a method to fulfilling the first two tiers. Today, a family unit can consist of any number of parents regardless of gender combinations. Non-traditional families are not yet fully embraced by the culture, but the shift is in place. The definition of acceptable friends and relationships are also in transition.

Due to their transitional nature, the value structures applicable to this tier are used as a lever to guide the masses into the parameters set by the society for greater control. When the traditional values were the norm, living outside of that value structure openly made you a social pariah, subject to the derision and disdain of your peers and potentially the loss of rights because of your “perverted lifestyle”. Today, failure to recognize and embrace the changes in our value structure achieves relatively the same result, suggesting that you are biased, antiquated in your thinking, negating your opinion and voice in the public forum.

In either case, you only have the freedom to live as you see fit within the established acceptable parameters. Choosing to live outside those parameters means accepting the pariah-status and the consequences involved; predominantly continuous pressure to conform. A relatively greater freedom would be not only to live in the manner and by the values that you see fit, but the inherent ability to allow others to do the same, even if you disagree with the values they live by. The social enforcement of a value structure is the primary method for artificial restrictions of freedom, allowing for the restrictions placed in the lower, or more basic, tiers.

Esteem is the next tier; including self-esteem, confidence, a sense of achievement or the ability to achieve and progress, the respect and admiration of others, and the ability to respect and admire others. Like “freedom”, these are largely relative and internal concepts, but are artificially influenced by external pressures. You are encouraged to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments, but only within a narrow-band of acceptable achievements. What is worthy of pride should be self-determined, instead it is determined by others. The paradox in this is that while you may experience a sense of accomplishment and self-worth in any endeavor, we are taught that when others do not share in our assessments, the value of our achievements is diminished. Thus, we learn to chase external validation and shackle ourselves by the chain of public admiration.

This does not mean, however, that social acceptance is not rewarding. Indeed, social acceptability can be very fulfilling, but it must be understood for what it is; fleeting and secondary to your own personal sense of accomplishment. Again, this requires a shift in our personal value structures. Externally, we are encouraged to chase the validation of others, the proverbial carrot tied to the end of a stick.

The risk of not chasing the carrot is getting nothing but stick.

The final tier in Maslow’s Hierarchy is Self-Actualization. Here is where we develop our morality, our ability to accept the facts of our condition, where we develop the expression of our creativity, and so-on. These higher aspirations are almost entirely internal, and thus have been perverted into either something artificially external (such as morality), or largely dissuaded by external pressures (creativity and acknowledgements of facts). The limitation we experience relative to this tier is in its de-prioritization. Morality is either an absolute externally enforced or is to be ignored completely; a naturally evolved morality is shunned or considered naive. Creativity and an acceptance of facts are devalued, with those energies directed toward frivolity.

Indeed, this tier is largely ignored altogether, leading to a failure to complete Maslow’s progression and what he would views as stunted development in most people. Our external and artificial value system has lead to the priority being given in our society to the Esteem tier; we chase after validation to the near exclusion of all else; family, friends, relationships… even personal health and welfare.

When we are internally directionless, we are given direction by others.

“Freedom”, being relative, is a matter of personal value structure, either self-determined or determined by others. This represents a scale; your value structure is either more self-determined or more determined by others. “Freedom” is the internal sense that your value structure is self-determined, even if by way of self-determination you choose the same values as would have been given to you if determined by external pressures… it is purely a matter of personal perspective. “Freedom” is also the inherent ease by which a value structure can be pursued; a self-determined value structure that is outside the acceptable parameters established by the herd meets with friction… what we call “oppression”. Just like “freedom”, “oppression” is simply a matter of perspective; we either experience it based on our value structures or we do not.

The system either works for you, or you work for it.

At least, this seems to be the way of the world. We seem, however, to be discovering a third option; the route of the Slyman. The Slyman recognizes precisely what we have been discussing here; “freedom” is relative, based on your own perceptions and your value structures. These things are self-determined, unless you lack personal direction, in which case they are then determined for you. Most people are not aware of there even being an option for self-determination, so the vast majority feel “oppression” in a very general way, and tend to favor their “minimal oppression” to the greater risk of “freedom”. The system which governs these people is itself restricted by a particular set of parameters and works through a particular set of processes which are in slow but continuous transition. The greater your opposition to that system, the greater the external pressure to conform.

If those parameters and processes are understood, and the transitions predicted, the system can be used by the Slyman to make his existence outside those parameters easier, reducing the “oppression” he experiences in his pursuits and increasing his relative sense of “freedom”. Through comprehension and awareness of the system, that system can be manipulated for our own benefit… even changed.

Happiness can be found in slavery. The Slyman understands this, which is why he prefers to let those who’s eyes are closed remain closed. He lives by a self-determined value structure… his eyes are open. His task now is comprehension. Can he continue his self-determination while understanding the nuances of the system that seeks to consume him? Can he safely navigate the thin line between pariah and slave, not only in open view of the forces that demand conformity but also within his own mind? Does he have the awareness to recognize that the parameters set about him are in his mind, are his to manipulate, and can either act as a cage keeping him in, or a barrier to keep others out?

If we are aware… if our eyes are open, our first step is rightly defined by Mr. TC Downey. To resist the pressures and currents that ebb and flow about us, we must develop a self-determined direction; what he describes as a “Calling“. We must live deliberately. In that deliberate effort, we must recognize that if we are oppressed, it is because we choose in our minds to be oppressed. If we are to be free, we must convince ourselves of our freedom.


Illumination

So many of us are seeking answers.  We turn to science, religion, philosophy, and our own experiences for some kind of understanding or comfort.  We seek an explanation, a foundation to build our world-view upon, a paradigm or system with which to navigate reality.  Answers are what we are after, and answers are what are offered in abundance by both the well-meaning and well-informed as well as the clueless or hucksters of the world.

  I wonder, if instead of answers, we should seek questions.  I wonder if we are asking the right questions.
  We call the achievement of discovery or knowledge “enlightenment”.  We become more “brilliant”, and display our “brilliance” when we apply our knowledge in some manner.  Those in the know are considered “illuminated”.  That sounds like a worth-while goal, to be “illuminated”… to be more “luminous”.  When I observe the objects in nature that are luminous, they appear to be their own source of illumination.  Their brilliance comes from within.  The Sun is the most luminous object in our sky, and is most certainly its own source of light.  The Moon, by comparison, reflects this illumination.  It is reliant on the Sun for its brilliance.
 This is how I see the process of seeking answers.  It is seeking to be like the Moon, reflecting the brilliance of other, more luminous objects we are close to.  Seeking answers means that we lack our own brilliance, our own illumination.  It seems to me that our effort lies beyond merely seeking answers, but rather in formulating the right questions… and then developing those answers for ourselves.  Self-Evolution must involve some manner of developing our own brilliance, of becoming luminous rather than merely enlightened.
 We speak also of paths, referring to a philosophical route to enlightenment of some sort.  A path leads us somewhere, at least in theory.  That is key, that any path only leads the person “walking” it to a place in theory.  Who’s theory is it?  It is the theory of those who have walked the path before, who are illuminating that path for others.  However, can we really walk the same path?  A path is a natural, organic thing.  It changes with time, and is unique to each person upon it.  Each person brings with them their own illumination, distorting the path itself according to their own Individual quirks and perspectives.  Each step they take along the path is unique to them.
 While a person may be shown a path, and even guided on a path, to walk the path blindly… blinded by the brilliance of another rather than seeing with your own illumination, profits the seeker nothing.  The path must be walked with intent, and must be illuminated by one’s own brilliance.  The illuminated on the path become points of light in the distance, guiding those behind with their brilliance while also serving as an example of the illumination required to truly make that philosophical journey.
 What then, are some questions we might ask?  These are some of mine.
 Who am I?
 No, really who am I?
 Does my behavior support my definition of self?
 Am I me, or someone else’s definition of me?
 Am I consistent in who I am?
 Do I do anything?
 What do I want to do?
 How do I do it?
 Why do I do it?
 Is this “real”?
 If it is not “real”, what can it be?
 What is “real”?
 Why?
 Ultimately, illumination is relative.  There are those who are not illuminated.  Worse, there are those so dim that they do not even reflect the brilliance around them, they draw it in and dim others.  Those that make the choice to recognize are slightly more illuminated.  Those that engage in the Process of being illuminated are even more so.  From there, illumination grows.
 I strive to ask the right questions.  I strive to be illuminating.