Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Minimalism Schminimalism

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



I worked for a menial’s hire
Only to learn, dismayed
That any wage I asked of Life
Life would have willingly paid.
--Anonymous

“Unto those that have, more shall be given,
and they shall have abundance;
but from those who have not,
even what they do have shall be taken away.”
--Matthew 25:29

Weight, Unseen

Do you pay much attention to the words you use?

For example, the word for the things a person has: possessions.

Yes, we possess what we have. But in this world in which we so often attach to, define ourselves by, and worry unnecessarily about losing what we have, couldn’t it be said that these same things possess us?

Sure… Though whether we actually notice our attachments and fears or not is another story.

While this is largely due to the fact that people tend to do anything and everything to avoid facing their inner discomforts, another significant reason we hardly notice is due to the constancy of our inner discomforts’ weight.

Sometimes I hear the question, “Oh, gosh! That person weighs 437 pounds. How can they not be so uncomfortable that they do something to lose weight?”

The answer I’ve come up with is this (to the exclusion of psycho-emotional problems):

The human body is not meant to carry huge amounts of fat on it. Therefore, the heavier a person becomes, the unhealthier and more uncomfortable they will be.

But, it may only be, say, the most recently added 20 pounds that bothers a person consciously. If the average person hits 200 pounds (we’ll assume the person doesn’t exercise, so all excess weight is fat), they’ll naturally feel some discomfort because they’ve got excess fat. But they keep pounding down the soda, and their weight goes up to 220 pounds. Having added more weight, they’ve become acclimated to the 200-pound discomfort. When they hit 240 pounds, their body and senses reacclimate to 220 pounds. And this goes on, all the way up to 437 pounds.

The weight never disappears, nor is it even constant—it increases. Yet, the conscious mind works such that it sort of numbs out what is “old news.”

The connection between people and their belongings is typically quite similar:

People are very physically oriented, and as such, they almost cannot help but be attached to what they have. In unawareness, however, they don’t really grasp what their having of things implies. Hence, it could effectively be said that that which people believe they possess actually possesses them.

If the obese person were to quickly drop 50, 100, or 200 pounds, the relief they’d feel would be amazing. So it is with the release of one’s belongings, for it’s not just the release of physical objects, but also of the psycho-emotional and other energetic content we’ve attached to them and carried for ages.

A Crisis of Self

There’s a pleasant lightness in letting go, but like anything that feels good, it’s easy to get attached.

For while we might let go with good intentions and pleasant feelings, there are other potential issues that we could use the act of minimizing to hide from.

I felt strongly drawn to get rid of many of my belongings soon after having a spiritual awakening in 2009.

At first glance, shifting from a spiritually indifferent and materialistic mindset to one of spirituality and minimalism would seem like a good thing. And in some ways it was. It was a spiritual awakening, after all, and to start anew, one has to first let go of the old.

The problem, though, is that having a very weak sense of self, I unwittingly attached to an I’m-a-spiritual-person-and-being-spiritual-means-being-a-minimalist identity... an identity readily fueled by my unconscious and thus unresolved programming of poverty, scarcity, and unworthiness.

Minimalism Schmininalism

Over a decade has now passed since I first woke up, and I see the predicament I was in. My sense of self has since become much stronger, and I’ve made significant strides in the direction of having.

What I’ve come to realize is this:

If minimalism truly works for someone—great! If it doesn’t—great! But nowadays, to me, minimalism is largely irrelevant and often even foolish.

On one hand, I wish I could do with less just because, well, why not? Surely, there are a lot of benefits to living a very simple life.

On the other hand, having left behind so much of the I’m-a-spiritual-person-who’s-a-minimalist-with-poverty-scarcity-and-unworthiness-programming, I’m coming to see that I want stuff.

I want as much as I want and need (without stocking up on a bunch of shit that’s just going to sit around, that doesn’t actually appeal to me, or that other people imagine I need).

Having stuff is my truth. Being surrounded by prosperity and abundance is my truth—it’s what is true for me whether or not it’s true for anyone else.

Plentitude is the nature of the universe. Acknowledging and aligning with this plentitude and using it to make our lives more exciting and enjoyable—without unhealthy attachment—is one of the greatest things we can do.

If done for the wrong reasons, minimalism is no better than hoarding—they’re opposing dualistic poles.

Speaking of minimalism done for the wrong reasons…

Is the Trash Inside or Outside?

Many people buy into the trashy idea of: Minimalism for sake of the planet.

This one sounds nice on paper, but you know what? It’s usually a heap of horse manure.

By all means, respect this beautiful, amazing Earth! But being a minimalist for the sake of this planet means just about nothing if individual and/or collective consciousness isn’t rising.

If I’m living my life as a-spiritual-person-who’s-a-minimalist-with-poverty-scarcity-and-unworthiness-programming, the simple fact of the matter is, I ain’t helping anyone.

My level of consciousness is down in the dumps of guilt, shame, inferiority, and so on. No matter what I could do physically, it’s my energetic vibration that speaks the loudest, and, well, I’m only really resonant with things like war, waste, and sewage.

Like the brilliant and wise Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael, says, the people and politicians could come up with all sorts of programs, but they’re inevitably bound for failure because the people and politicians themselves don’t change—old minds invariably create old programs. What is needed are new minds to create new programs.

Recycling Is Kind of a Joke

So, did you hear about that time the EPA created rules, regulations, and programs to help protect the planet in such a way that served to reduce toxicity in one area without sneakily creating it somewhere else for the sake of securing huge profits in the present and future?

Yeah... I didn't hear about it either.

Have you ever really thought about what we call “recycling”?

Are you aware that massive amounts of what is “recycled” still gets thrown in a landfill? Are you aware that we could basically erase the entire bazillion-dollar oil-dependent plastics industry with the use of hemp and its derivatives? Are you aware that the recycling industry still uses enormous amounts of energy to operate and that the use of “recycled” items is dependent on market value and need (for example, fewer bottles will be recycled if there are fewer manufacturers wanting to make plastic park benches).

Recycle, recycle, recycle! Protect the creatures of the land and sea by recycling those plastic bottles into fleece jackets! So instead of there being larger bottles floating around in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or squashed in a greenhouse gas-producing landfill somewhere, now there are 492 trillion, billion, God-only-knows-how-many-exponential-gazillion micro plastic fibers and particulates floating around and getting into the food, water, air, and bodies of every creature on this Earth.

Then there’s the thing with recycling plastic bags. I’ll do that to some extent; I’ll collect the clean grocery bags (that I don’t use as garbage bags) and then take them back to the store and throw them in the bin.

But do you know what I don’t do? When I buy new 100% organic cotton clothing and everything comes individually packaged in recyclable plastic, the bags go right into the garbage. I don’t waste my life away cutting out all the damn stickers and pieces of tape in order correctly recycle the plastic. (And what happens with all those smaller pieces of plastic that I’d be creating, anyway?)

I care more about humanity, plants and animals, having a clean planet, and so on than I ever did before. But the simple fact is, we’ve been living in a royally fucked up world, and it’s not my job to hold all of its weight on my shoulders. Action based on guilt and false responsibility solves nothing.

We can do all sorts of things “out there,” but what we all really need to change is what’s inside. If consciousness doesn’t change, regardless of what programs we put in place, the end result can only be equal to or worse than where we’d been just prior.

Throwing plastic in the garbage is unsettling to me, to be sure. But I can promise you that if that’s the temporary price of living a life of prosperity, abundance, and worthiness while raising my consciousness and helping others to raise theirs, then it’s a price I’m willing to pay.

Letting Go of You So That I Can Be Me

As I said parenthetically before, I want what I want and need—but without stocking up on a bunch of shit that’s just going to sit around, that doesn’t appeal to me, or that other people imagine I need.

For someone who wants to share in Life’s abundance without going overboard, this is where aspects of minimalism shine.

I have a box that’s more for awards and things of that nature. When I was going through it some years ago, I had to deal with the unresolved internal pressure of how I felt people would react if they’d known I’d thrown certain things away.

I’d felt that throwing them away would be for the best, that they’d otherwise just stay untouched in the same box for the rest of my life, but what would people think if they knew? Oh, but this is from So-and-So. But that’s official and authoritative. But blah-blah-blah.

That kind of stuff is so unsettling to me: when people want me to have things, when they want me to either keep things or accept things from them, for the sake of their own “happiness.” Like my happiness, my thoughts and my feelings, doesn’t matter.

As time marches on I become more and more self-confident and self-expressive, and my need to connect with what’s personally resonant only increases. I find it harder to deal with the material attachment issues that other people have and sometimes try (usually inadvertently) to dump on me.

Gifting

As for receiving gifts we don’t want, need, or like, this is kind of a rough area. A little bit can be said about it, but I think it’s more of something we each have to figure out how to resolve on our own—it’s more action than theory.

The simple fact is, unless we were living in a world where we either didn’t give gifts or gifting was all done intuitively, people will continue to be given gifts that they don’t want, need, or like.

Balancing the Outer and Inner

A while back I wrote a piece called, “Why I Stopped Playing the Lottery.” I don’t take back anything I said, but I have been playing scratch-off lottery tickets around once per month. I never buy the tickets myself, but people I know give them out, and they insist I take them.

I’d bought them myself and scratched them for years, but a point came where an evolving me just didn’t want to support such a corrupt program anymore. I thus manned up and started telling people that I didn’t want the tickets and why; I turned tickets down as they were being handed to me.

Much to people’s displeasure, they said okay… at least for a little while. And then they insisted. And they insisted. And the insistence was persistent enough that I stopped bothering to say no.

This circumstance became one of those things that when set on the balancing scale of “What Burns More Energy Unnecessarily?” the weight of “Arguing about Something Important to Me but Fairly Minor” was definitely heavier.

How many times can one tell something to another, something the other may even acknowledge the truth in, but they refuse to fully accept the person’s choices or to fully make that new truth their own because it’s inconvenient?

It’s not as though I am being hurt by playing the lottery here and there. It’s a corrupt government-run program that feeds on people with poverty and scarcity mentalities and deceptively allocates profits—I don’t want to support that crap. At the same time, I’m not the one buying the tickets, and I win sometimes, so for now I just accept it as-is.

Setting Boundaries and Gratitude

If they were actual physical objects I was being given, I can’t really say how I would handle such a situation since any item could be so different from any other.

In many ways I’m a picky and particular person, and I have a terrible fake face, so receiving gifts can sometimes be tough for me.

Do I really need, want, or like what someone has given me? Am I going to post the item on eBay in the first spare moment I have? Maybe the answers are no, no, no, and yes.

Also, there’s always the need to have and enforce boundaries when necessary. If, say, someone were repeatedly buying me things because “I just couldn’t help it, it was so cool,” or because “I saw this and thought, ‘It’s so you,’ so I bought it,” or because “I’m unhappy but thought I could get happy if I gave you this thing that I thought would make you smile which would make me smile and then I’d be happy,” well, it would be high time to put my foot down.

However, for as far as its value reaches, it’s important to acknowledge that most people have good intentions. For those that don’t go to excess and excluding gifts that repulse us and we simply cannot accept, I think a smile and thank-you if only for the sake of gratitude-of-giving is reasonable. That is to say, focus is placed on the act rather than the object.

There’s Plenty for All

What I’m finding for myself more and more, and what should be so obvious to everyone but doesn’t seem to be to most people, is that it’s vitally important that we each live a life that’s true to our personal, inner needs.

The world tells us of the supposed awesomeness of excess, while religion and spirituality (and the EPA) tout the supposed necessity of minimalism. The problem is, both are man-made psychological mechanisms designed to keep people enslaved in duality and misery; or at least this is the result even if some of the pushers are unaware of the true nature of their causes.

For me, before I woke up I was living in the wretchedness of psychological poverty, scarcity, and unworthiness with a physical experience that aligned accordingly.

There were a few things that had slipped through the cracks. For example, I had no qualms about spending ~$27,000 on a new 2007 Subaru Legacy. However, I had still purchased cheap clothing, at restaurants I’d buy the $11 meal but never the $14 one, and so on.

During the few years after awakening, I still lived in the wretchedness of psychological poverty, scarcity, and unworthiness, but now I was the “spiritual” person who “liked minimalism.”

Following some transition years which was sort of a ho-hum period of struggle, release, and reorientation, my outlook has become so drastically different concerning what I want, what I need, what I deserve, and so on.

There’s an ages-old idea that it’s “unspiritual” to want stuff, like getting what we want when it’s neither necessity nor spiritually oriented is enough to “lower one’s vibration” or to cause St. Peter to assign us a seat toward the back of heaven’s assembly hall.

The fake me of not so long ago used to buy into all that cow flop.

Again, by all means, each of us needs to be true to ourselves—if minimalism or even asceticism is truly someone’s thing, then that’s where they’ll be happiest. Have at it!

But people need to understand that there’s no One Right Way to live—even on the spiritual path.

How much and what people—even very awakened, very spiritual people—can have without it necessarily hindering them is enormously diverse. The very openness to buying, receiving, and having can be a means of spiritual development.

Telling ourselves that “I can’t have this because my want is desire and desire is suffering” is, in my estimation, a load of dump for most people. Heck, that very belief causes more suffering than anything!

Even worse is when people deliberately choose hardship over ease as a sneaky egoic way of saying, “Do you see me, God? Do you see my holiness? (I look forward to my reward in heaven.)

What makes me happy through the satiation of my deeper needs? What makes you happy through the satiation of your deeper needs? Is it self-induced poverty, scarcity, and unworthiness? Is it minimalism under the belief that God’s going to bestow enlightenment upon us sooner or give us a front row seat in heaven?

I Am Me

This is just me, but I’ll tell you what.

Although I use the word for functional purposes, I don’t even think of things (myself included) as “spiritual” anymore. The spiritual is not all that different from the physical, mental, or emotional—it’s a different level, a different order. So often we talk about “the spiritual” like it’s some far-off, enchanted thing; yet, it’s always just right here, right now—we’ve simply ignored it for a really long time.

Also, while having the “I’m spiritual” identity crisis, I blindly followed all the talk of “enlightenment”; I got hooked on the idea. Nowadays, I kind of don’t even care. I look forward to the day I self-realize (or whatever the heck it is exactly), but it’s kind of a trivial point to me. It was such an energy burn, and it left me wanting and unfulfilled—i.e.: in a state of suffering due to desire.

So, here’s what I’m going to do:

Ahm jus gonna be me.

A living creature who’s trying to integrate the various layers of himself while enjoying his life as much as he can in the process.

And I’m going to desire things. And I’m going to accept my desire. I may challenge it at times, and rightfully so—I don’t intend to be a spiritual slob. But I will also joyfully and gratefully follow my desires to create a life for myself of prosperity and abundance.

I pray that you find what’s true for you as I’ve found what’s true for me.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Maturity: The Lies of Age And Adulthood

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Let me ask you something…

What is “adulthood” and when does it begin?

I think the average person would define “adulthood” as something roughly like, “the age at which a society deems people mature and self-responsible.” If one lives in a location such as the US, the given age would probably be 18.

I disagree with this perspective.

While the term “adulthood” is generally understood and used by people to define a singular thing (at least it’s always seemed so to me), there are actually a few differing types of adulthood.

“Social adulthood” is the age at which a society deems a person fit for self-sufficiency, self-responsibility, etc., and depending upon one’s place of residence, the age ranges anywhere from 15 to 21. There is also “biological adulthood” which begins around age 11 at the onset of puberty. Somewhat more recently, research has suggested that key areas of brain development (such as that needed to inhibit impulses and to make smarter decisions) aren’t even completed until age 25, and so what we think of as full adulthood should perhaps be delayed. The age of adulthood may vary as well in places where religious law is effect, for example, Judaism places it at age 13.

Furthermore, generalizing “adulthood” is simplistic considering that, again depending upon one’s place of residence, “adulthood” may or may not include being of age to consent to sex, to drink alcohol, to vote, to marry, to buy porn, and to do a number of other things.

So then, What is “adulthood” and when does it begin?

I don’t know. It seems to be a fairly arbitrary thing. Does “adulthood” really exist?

Even if everyone on this planet agreed that age 18 would be the defining time for a “minor” to lawfully become an “adult” and be given any and all rights they’ve yet to receive, well, quite frankly, I think that would be stupid. I think how we do it now is stupid, and I think however we might do it without burning down the old and building something entirely new would most likely be stupid, too.

The law isn’t wholly without value, but to basically drop millions or billions of people living under the law into the same basket is very unreasonable.

It’s Pretty Meaningless

To live in our society and be an “adult” doesn’t actually mean all that much.

Let’s use the example of citizens being allowed to get a driver’s license at 16 years of age. No one exactly equates being a driver with being an adult (at least not in the US), but since so many people drive and so many people have to drive, it could be seen as a significant step in growing up.

I’ve had a driver’s license for the last 20 years and have never been in a car crash. Yes, there have been close calls in which I would have been responsible, but I’ve still never been in one.

Maybe I’ve just got good driving karma, but there’s also the fact that, for the most part, I’m an observant driver who has good spatial perception, awareness of vehicle size, and ability to maneuver. Moreover, I’m not someone who’s afraid to drive, can’t see over the steering wheel, aggressive, and/or tries to drive, eat lunch, and send text messages all at the same time.

But there are people whose minds are permanently in LaLaLand, are afraid to drive, can’t see over the steering wheel, drive too aggressively, try to drive, eat a burger, and send text messages all at the same time, and/or God only knows what else. And these people, as long as they pass a driving test (usually at age 16), are allowed to drive freely until the day they die, go blind, or lose all four limbs.

They may be in their “driver adulthood,” but do you know what they’re not? They’re not mature drivers. They could be 66 years old and have 50 years of driving experience, but their being on the road has been a danger to themselves and others from the start.

Maturity Is Key

I’m not the kind of person who wants to have people’s rights taken from them unjustly. And I certainly don’t agree with the way the government does it: revoking the inalienable rights people were born with only to give or sell them back at a later date (if ever) as if people should feel privileged to have them at all.

But there is something to be said about merely being an “adult” versus actually being mature.

What “adulthood” is for our society is merely an age marker within the manmade structural confines laid out by so-called “authority.” It has little-to-nothing to do with having reached some reasonably elevated level of smarts, intelligence, wisdom, physical growth, emotional peace, sexual balance, and/or spiritual openness. “Adulthood” is, as stated a second ago, a lawful marker before and after which unalienable rights are stolen and given or sold back.

People have been programmed to believe that “social adulthood,” which is the main form of adulthood that everyone clings to, is more or less synonymous with “maturity,” yet this is hardly the case at all.

I realize that if people we’re asked to differentiate between people who are “mature” and people who are “adults,” those in the “mature” category would have the upper hand regarding positive traits. Nevertheless, “adulthood” when viewed alone certainly carries strong connotations of maturity.

Aging as a Continuum

The law (in the US) draws the line of “adulthood,” including the age of consent, at age 18. There are some exceptions, but let’s not get too particular.

If there arises an intimate relationship in which one person is older than 18 and one is younger, things can get hairy—people start freaking out and the law may force its way in. Obviously, the consequences of familial shaming or civil punishment or otherwise can be severe and amazingly uncomfortable.

On one hand, the way these societal norms and legal rulings work is great because they help to keep the pedophiles in check.

On the other hand, they completely ignore the fact that aging doesn’t happen like the ticking of clock but on a continuum—one in which the people of any given age may share similarities but also many differences, such as in the rates of maturation in different areas (mental, emotional, etc.).

Have you ever had someone ask you on your birthday if you feel any older? Unless you’ve got some distorted attachment to age, of course you would say no. To think anyone would notice a difference just by going to sleep 17 and waking up 18 is absurd. “Adulthood” arriving on the dot at 12:00am at age 18 doesn’t in any way make sense by the natural unfoldment of Nature.

Suppose, for example, a 16-year-old wants to date a 20-year old (and vice versa, it’s totally consenting). We’ll even go so far as to say that these two people have been lifelong friends, so they know each other very well.

Is this really such a tragedy? Many people would say it is. I mean, that’s a sophomore in high school dating a sophomore in college, and one is a minor and one is an adult. That’s weird. And pedo-ish, too.

Is it? From what standpoint? From who’s point of view?

If these two people were 22 and 26, no one would care. Shift the age back by a few years and people start gagging.

This reaction is not innate to the body due to a repulsion of Nature (such as the Yuck! Reflex is to incest). It is a programmed reaction.

We have such an overly structured and stratified, and thus highly restrictive, society that we do not allow people to be their natural selves.

If we were to contrast schools, those in which 99.9% of people go to (i.e.: the ever-degrading mandated/forced education of rote memorization, most information of which people soon forget) versus those in which the students of various ages are all thrown together and given freedom to learn at their own pace, we’d see that the students in the latter group are vastly more respectful, balanced, self- and other-validating, creative, cooperative, and so on.

In the latter group, a kid who is 13 doesn’t look down on another kid who is 10 simply because the kid who is 10 is younger than him. Everyone goes at their own pace, so kids learn and retain plenty without the inherently artificial, competitive social divisiveness of traditional education. Students behave based on what they feel rather than what “authority” demands that they feel; they’re not forced to repress their truths and needs only for them to result as negative behavior patterns.

This kind of schooling offers a great real-life example of how children mature quite naturally when in a holistically nourishing environment.

It also offers a great real-life example of aging as a continuum. When people aren’t conditioned into the all-pervasive, artificial strictures of our society, they simply don’t acquire the programming to falsely perceive and judge each other and life circumstances like the rest of us do.

Maturity Is Not Asexual

A major thing that far too many people do not understand or accept is that, contrary to what is commonly the case with “adults,” maturity is not resistive to sexuality. In order to be a mature human being, one must accept the totality of their inherent human sexual nature.

Whether one is a monk who’s never had sex or masturbated in his life, or an average person who has average sex on an average basis, or a sex-enthusiast who is into some kinky, off-the-wall behaviors, true maturity demands the acceptance of whatever is uniquely sexually true to a given person—absent all repression.

Imagine if the Earth created a law that said clouds could no longer form or precipitate over landmasses, and all the waters of the Earth submissively obeyed…!

Changing the scale but of no less value: What difference is there when men and women are born with genitals and the drive to have sex but “authorities” such as the Catholic Church demand that unless one is intent on having a child no one should dare so much as even think about their genitals or sex—just push them away completely, dammit!—and if they do think about or dare touch them in enjoyment, they will be tormented with untold levels of shame and guilt and the unbound Wrath of God for Eternity. And all this while people are constantly forced to witness the pleasure of sexual expression, both overtly and subliminally, in movies, on TV, in advertisements, in clothing design, and so on.

What makes matters worse is that sexual expression is directly tied to emotional function and creativity. No matter how “adult” one may seem, no matter how well a person of 18 years of age or older may fit into society, the simple fact is that sexuality, emotional balance and flow, and creative expression all improve together and decline together. All three are critical aspects of true maturity, yet also aspects that for many people continue to seriously suffer.

“Sex Education”

When you’re able to grasp how crucial sexuality, emotion, and creativity are to the well-being and maturity of a human, it’s easy to see how “authority” has, for eons, forcefully, but usually very deceptively, used the repression of these forms of human expression to harm us.

Let me tell you a little about my life experience prior to ten years ago…

When I was growing up, I hardly heard a peep about sex. No matter where I was, there was an unspoken rule that you just don’t speak or ask anything about anything about anything about sex or the erect penis or masturbation or anything. Ever.

My early sex education consisted of one, 45 minute class in a Catholic school in 5th grade at age 11. The guys and the girls went into separate classrooms, and the guys listened to the gym teacher talk about the fact that we were at an age when we’ll start sweating and smelling more, we’ll grow pubic hair, and we’ll experience nocturnal emissions. Then when it was over we were all given a sample stick of Old Spice.

So I guess it was more of a puberty talk than a sex talk, huh? Oh, right… But in religion class, we did watch a documentary. I think it was called, “The Miracle of Life”—and the teacher fast-forwarded through the sex part… “They were just dancing.”

In my freshman year of Catholic high schooling at age 15, I had one more sex education class which replaced a single day’s religion class. We were taught by a really unhappy, lifelong priest. Somebody… please tell me… How does a man who, theoretically, has not touched his dick for 45 years and has probably never had sex have any right to teach me or anyone else anything about sex!?

I don’t remember the discussion other than that, surprisingly to all of us Catholic kids, the priest said the Catholic Church says anything is allowed during sex as long the penis ejaculates inside the vagina. One kid even asked, “So it’s okay to stick it in her pooper?” and the priest said, “Anything, as long as…” …Well, for whatever it’s worth. I never heard that anywhere else, and any faithful Catholic I’d ever met to that point seemed way too repressive to even think to do something like that.

And that was it. What do female genitals look like? What are the names and functions of the various parts of male and female genitals? What if I rub my penis while I’m in the shower? What changes take place to a woman’s body when she’s pregnant? Why do I get random boners every day in English class? (Is it a foreshadowing that I’m going to be a writer?) How can one prevent premature ejaculation? Do women’s breasts really feel like sandbags? What’s that clear, sticky, slippery stuff that slowly leaks out once I get excited?

What anything, anything at all!? Just somebody please tell me something practical! And if you’re not going to tell me about it, if it’s all truly that bad, can you at least freakin’ tell me how to deal with my sexual desires and frustrations in a healthy way? Cut it out with the “just don’t do it” and “pray about it” shit. For what human being have such suggestions and demands ever worked (for longer than three hours, without laying on heavy guilt, and without compensating for unfulfilled desire by nomming down cake and potato chips)!?

How can educators teach for countless thousands of hours on the topics of math, science, religion, history, and so much more, but no one dares make more than a quick, muffled whisper about genitals, sex, and the subject of procreation?

Even as I got older, any talk of sex-related topics was 98% of the time just toilet humor or guy friends saying things like, “I’d do her,” or, “I got a glimpse of Marie’s panties the other day.” Any meaningful conversation was extremely rare.

Folks, this is what’s called an environment of sexual hyper-repression. It is incredibly unnatural and unhealthy. I’ve carried a lot of other baggage that has influenced my thoughts and behaviors for the negative, but this environment of sexual denial had a majorly negative impact on me.

My Unhappy Life

I’ve spent the “better” part of my life largely paralyzed when it comes to women and in fantastical shame and guilt when “handling my business.” Due my profound naiveté, ignorance, guilt, and fear, high school was a super uncomfortable time for me, college was a nightmare, and the few years to follow were basically an awkward void.

There were so many good experiences I could have had, but they either ended quickly and with difficulty or I’d avoided them altogether. On a scale of 1 to 10 my openness to activities such as dancing and singing has been somewhere around a 0.6, and socially I’ve been the person who stands there like a statue because he’s so inept.

Ten years ago my life completely fell apart, so I can’t say much for this past decade; it’s been nothing but rebuilding. While my approach to personal sexuality, self-acceptance, etc. has dramatically improved, any desire for a relationship or sexual intimacy has been entirely irrelevant. (I thank the heavens for fap material… No, not that, you pervert… It’s material for academic purposes. It’s been very educational…)

Folks, I took a hit, and I took a hit hard. I’m not entirely sure why, but nearly everyone I’ve ever known has to a greater or lesser degree been able to socialize, emote, and express themselves sexually in ways I could only imagine.

Maybe I’m extra sensitive, maybe I was too naive and misplaced my trust as a child, maybe I was too fearful of being punished for not accepting the word of “authority,” or maybe in a previous life I was a raging sexaholic with a harem of delicious women and my karma thus far has been to suffer as lonely little boy…

Whatever the case might be, I’m still a product of the environment I grew up in. Necessarily, my distorted, immature disposition reflects the distorted, immature nature of the people, circumstances, and structures of that environment. No child who is born innocent and unaware could ever dream of or create such a fucked up world on his or her own.

Censorship

Consider this:

When you look at ratings of movies, games, etc., there’s always an information box that tells you the general rating as well as particular features. While exact ratings may vary depending upon location, the ratings generally run from the mild, “G” for “General Audiences,” with features listed such as “comic mischief,” to the heavy, “AO” for “Adult’s Only,” with features listed such as, you know, stuff and things…

When it comes to products in a store or going to the movies, the products and tickets are not allowed to be sold to people who fall into age categories below the ones listed. When it comes to watching TV, it’s more a matter of people needing to be honest about their age.

Obviously, I think designating exact age groups is stupid, but I don’t think the basic usage of ratings is unreasonable. If I’m looking around in Blockbuster for a random movie to watch, it’s nice to know whether or not it’s for children or if it’s hyper-violent. The problem I see is that things are still manipulated and controlled excessively.

Consider American TV programming. It’s deplorable, I know, but if you can bear with me for a moment…

When was the last time you saw a set of bare boobs on a regular TV show?

Strange, isn’t it? You may well have seen heavily implied sex, lots of kissy-feely, and barely dressed women with nipples trying to poke through their shirts, but unless you’ve watched documentaries about the indigenous tribes of Africa, chances are extremely high that you’ve never seen a boob on TV. I bet, however, that you’ve seen intense violence and gore, alcoholism, and drug use, and I’ve bet you’ve heard explicit language.

Maybe two years ago, I watched an episode of Manifest on NBC after which the news came on. I rarely watch cable TV to begin with and watch mainstream news even less, but it happened that I watched some of the news that night—and was, seemingly, physically pained.

One of the anchors told about how in downtown Philadelphia some hoodlums broke into a house, lined up all the occupants kneeling on the basement floor, and shot them all in the head execution-style. This is not a quote, but it’s really damn close. Over the course of a single minute, the newswoman literally repeated that same progression of events with the same words about five times.

I can’t adequately explain the pain I felt as I listened to her. I’ve experienced a lot of different pains in my life in a lot of different intensities, but I don’t remember ever feeling what I felt as she told that story. (Not knowing how else to put it or if this is even accurate to say:) It was as though her words were a psychic attack that had a physical component to them.

How is it that there can be scenes on TV that can churn any reasonable person’s stomach, that we can have unrated news broadcasts that inflict tremendous fear and heartache, but a little extra flesh is treated like it would corrupt people beyond repair?

How is it that TV shows have a rating system to note age ranges and specific features, but with the dumpster fires of modern programming they have yet to create a rating category of “NFAE,” for “Not For Anyone Ever,” that would note features such as “IQ depleting” and “excessive disinformation”?

I’d ask how we’re supposed to grow up and mature sexually when society treats people like a bunch of babies, but that’s likely a misplaced question since babies get more boob time than grown-ups do. Otherwise, all the violence and gore and the like simply makes us numb—they stunt our maturation processes.

But, I don’t know, I do wonder sometimes if my perspective is wrong…

Maybe God was right to throw Adam and Eve out of Paradise. Maybe they could have stayed, but Eve kept flashing her tits at Adam, Adam couldn’t control his serpent, and, well, here we are…

(Dys-)Education

Since our world is so hell-bent on intellectuality, another huge misconception that’s arisen is that being educated makes people more mature.

Really, though, all this does is make them more lopsided.

Consider the fact that most people go to school for around 18 of the first 25 years of their lives but hardly learn anything practical: cooking, personal care, house maintenance, financial management, what to do in case of an emergency, raising children, gardening, and so on. Likewise, classes in creativity are woefully absent.

Folks, think about what you were forced to learn in high school. Now…

If you’re not a chemist, when was the last time you needed to know the molar weight of C6H12O6?

If you’re not a mathematician or engineer, when was the last time you had to use functional analysis to calculate an oblique asymptote?

If you’re not a historian, when was the last time you had to know the origins of the people of Bolivia?

Right. But I bet for the vast majority of you who are out of school, you have to cook, you have to do house maintenance, you have to manage finances, you may have planted a garden, and so on. There’s a good chance, whether professionally or as a hobby, you’ve wanted to expand yourself creatively perhaps through artwork or music. These are vital life skills and forms of self-expression that work us holistically in body, mind, emotion, and spirit.

But, yeah, I know, meaningful education doesn’t do much to stimulate the economy while producing massive debt slavery.

And that depresses me, so I’m going to go hit the bar for some suppression medication. Because I’m over 21, so I do have that final adult privilege of being able to consume alcohol. I’ll go exercise my right to choose maturely by drinking a strongly endorsed, legalized substance that with every added drop further reduces my ability to choose maturely.

Don’t judge. I’m an adult.

Empty Vessels

In closing, I’d like to leave you with this thought:

When we’re born, we’re empty.

Some people might argue that we’re probably carrying negative karma from past lives or whatever, but the simple fact is that a just-born child, absent womb or birthing trauma, is basically an empty vessel waiting to be filled.

Even if it’s true that a child were carrying past-life trauma, if it were born into a happy, healthy, kind, abundant, safe environment, the child would not have that past trauma triggered repeatedly and have it continually compounded. The child would still have to heal it at some point, but the child wouldn’t be defined by it.

Similar could be said of the opposite: If a child with past lives of peace and joy were born into a nightmare, that child would still take on heavy trauma and exhibit negative behaviors accordingly.

Now… Whatever is part of Nature—as human beings are—has an innate capability to live effortlessly within Nature, as cohesive cells within the body of Creation.

When Nature is allowed to do its thing unhindered, there exists no knowledge of any such thing as “adulthood.” Furthermore, “age” is not so much a thing since any given point in the future from “now” is just a progressed moment in the flow of time. And it is within this unending flow of time in which the thing we call “maturity” happens quite automatically.

But if you look at our society which has been in endless planning, forced forward, and thrust upon us for eons by “authorities” such as government and religion, you would notice that our collective maturation has nearly ground to a halt.

That the whole cosmos exists and has not yet self-destructed is proof that Nature worksamazingly well. It is also proof that, as an inseparable part of Nature, we have been doing something terribly wrong.

To be our fake selves as we’ve been since time immemorial, we must be thoroughly conditioned, and this programming must be reinforced over and over and over again.

To be our true selves, all we need to do is, well, nothing.

Why? Because Nature never ceases to break down what is unnatural in order to return it to itself. Our society is one of endless reinforcement because it is not true, it is not natural.

We could be anything. We could be absolutely anything. It all depends on the composition of the substances that fill the empty vessels. It all depends on whether or not we’re willing to empty the toxified vessels we’ve become and refill them with what is natural, what is pure.

“Adulthood” is a fluffy word to please ignorant, artificial egos.

Maturation is what happens when people are real.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Only Thing You Ever Truly Have

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



There’s something that’s been bugging me for quite a while now, and I can tell you that it is neither Donald Trump nor COVID-19. In fact, those two things have long been the least of my concern.

What bugs me is that ever since Trump had announced his run for presidency and the mainstream media (MSM) and far left began hating on him to an extreme, and even more so ever since this coronavirus debacle began with the MSM, politicians, and health officials pushing an obviously corrupt agenda of control and disinformation, I keep hearing people say, “I don’t know who to believe anymore.”

All the while, they continue seeking out their information from the very sources that leave them feeling so uncertain.

Even when a rare voice of reason comes along and offers them commentary and evidence to point out specifically where the errors are in the official narrative, they still insist on throwing up their “I don’t know, I don’t get it” hands and burying their heads right back into the same heap of confusion from which they had just partially pulled out of.

It never seems to occur to these people for a single moment,
What if I make myself the authority of my life and of what is true and false rather than giving all of my power away to others and letting them dictate what they want the truth to be?
It never seems to occur to these people that they have the power to think for themselves.

It never seems to occur to these people that they can proceed through life without requiring some so-called “authority” to tell them everything they should think.

It never seems to occur to these people that, when they hear 400 different perspectives about a given topic from their coworkers, their family, the MSM, and politicians, they don’t have to hold onto every single perspective as having the same validity, especially giving more weight to the latter.

It never seems to occur to these people that when someone bears the title of “authority,” whether (seemingly) by law (e.g.: politicians) or merely by conventional thinking (e.g.: the media), it has absolutely no bearing on whether such a person is honest or dishonest.


Which bring us to the point of cognitive dissonance.

Because there are a lot of people (the same ones as discussed above) who actually do recognize that the vast majority of politicians, MSM reporters, big business leaders, and so on are dishonest. Nevertheless, these people still adamantly refuse to release their ancient beliefs that “authority is authority, and authority is infallible and unchallengeable.”

There is an ever-raging battle going on in peoples’ minds between their own suppressed awareness of what is true, right, and good, on one side, and their overbearing need to trust in and comply with those they perceive to be their “superiors,” even though wrong, false, and bad, on the other.

People know they’re being lied to, yet they insistently choose to believe these lies, as though “authoritative” lies are inherently more valid that self-realized truths and common sense.


A lot of people right now are saying, “This country is in jeopardy,” and, “The Constitution is being torn to pieces.”

While this may be accurate, it also completely misses a much greater point:

The country and the Constitution are absolutely meaningless without people who cannot think for themselves, without people who realize themselves as their own authority.

Without free thinkers who believe in their own innate power to discern the truth, this country becomes a borderless piece of earth-space with herds of humans living on it; the Constitution becomes nothing but a wisely written document for a people and a country that might have been.

What is in jeopardy, right now, what is being torn to shreds, right now, is peoples’ ability to think freely and confidently.

Without free, self-empowered thinking there is nothing.

When we lose that, we lose everything.


The truth is very selfish, because the truth doesn’t care what you or I believe, nor does it care if it makes you feel comfortable or not—it simply tells itself like it is 100% of the time.

Will you accept this truth, a truth you already know deep within you?

Or will you throw away completely the only thing you ever really have—your capacity to think for yourself—and, in consequence, the truth itself?

The country and Constitution are a few grains of sand on a beach compared to what is really at stake.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Abortion Is an Unalienable Right

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Yes, this is a self-help and spirituality blog, and, no, there are no typos in the title.

What's more, I'm not Pro-Choice.

As I’ve thoroughly explained/alluded to before (“To Abort or Not To Abort? That Is the Question.”), I’m neither Pro-Life nor Pro-Choice. That is to say, I choose a stance outside of the black-or-white, yes-or-no nature of duality.

This may sound ridiculous since, well, if one doesn’t opt for Life, mustn't they opt for Death, or, Choice? How could one opt for choice but not be Pro-Choice?

I can do this because I acknowledge that Life isn’t about absolutes and extremes; it’s not about adamantly identifying with one particular viewpoint as “The One Right Way” and then trying to force everyone else to follow suit. Life is not black and white nor even gray—it’s rainbow-colored. To place such a huge topic into two little boxes is foolish.

There are a lot of things I don’t agree with regarding abortion, but I can also think of reasons why abortion isn’t always, in 100% of cases the worst possible thing.

Make Her Shoes Your Shoes

For example:

Suppose a low-income woman got pregnant, her boyfriend promptly left her, and then the she found out that her child would likely have severe deformities, would need attention 24/7, would cost 4x more than the average child, and would probably live for only about 3 years in chronic pain and suffering before dying.

Would choosing abortion truly be that hellish of a thing?

To be clear, in using this example, I’m not trying to suggest exactly what I would do or what anyone else should do. This kind of choice is a now-moment decision that factors in personal feelings, intuitive guidance, medical testing results, financial capacity, care availability, and so much more—any given situation of which is unique to any other.

I mean only to offer a scenario that prompts you, the reader, to look beyond any always-never boxes that may be installed in your mind; to see that the topic of abortion isn’t some cut-and-dried thing.

And while the scenario may seem extreme, one, for some people it may not be, and, two, I need to go to an extreme in an attempt to point out to those who are adamantly Pro-Life and who try to forcefully take away people’s rights that there are potentials you may not think about (or may even try to avoid thinking about).

Put yourself in the shoes of the woman just mentioned. Put yourself into her whole life scenario.

Would you like to be her? Are you willing to be her? If she decided to give birth to this baby and then put it up for adoption, would you be the one to adopt this severely mutated child?

Please think deeply about your beliefs. Are they really as healthy, as righteous, as error-proof, as you’d like to believe they are? By what power do you know the exact choice that every pregnant woman should make?

Pro-Life ?=? Compassion

I’m sure a great many people who’re Pro-Life believe that their Pro-Life-ness automatically means they’re compassionate.

However, a truly compassionate person will end a life if ending a life is what is called for in any given now-moment. A truly compassionate person will acknowledge the full picture; they will see, the best they can, how current and/or potential pain and suffering may vastly outweigh the mere egoic satisfaction of a “win” of another cancelled abortion.

When I was in high school, a Catholic one, for a few of those years our principle was an emotionally and sexually repressive, over-reactive, tight-ass, I’m-never-wrong priest.

One day we had an assembly in which he told us that if any female student became pregnant he would stop at nothing to protect that baby’s life if the girl couldn’t do it herself. He then said he would send the school into bankruptcy if that’s what it took for the child to live.

I doubt the principle’s power extended this far, and I’m sure people would’ve been in a mighty big uproar if he’d attempted it. Nevertheless, the fact that he’d said this so openly and vehemently did say something about this particular brand of Pro-Life mindset: It’s not compassion—it’s insanity.

Let’s save a single child uncertain of how its life will turn out, but the definite cost is bankrupting an entire school and leaving thousands of current and future students without an education.

A true visionary!

Taking a different approach…

For the sake of consistency since abortion is interpreted synonymously with “murder,” let’s consider self-defense.

If someone broke into your house and tried to beat and rape you but you knew self-defense or had a weapon nearby, would you just sit there and accept being utterly violated, mutilated, and traumatized even if the opportunity arose to protect yourself, even if protection necessitated killing the intruder?

Or consider pet ownership. People may dearly love their animal friends/family, but how many people eventually put their pets down because they become unwell and can’t be healed, because they perceive that their pet’s death outweighs the pain and suffering of it remaining alive?

And what of war and other lesser-yet-serious military operations? How many Pro-Lifers, I wonder, adamantly reject abortion but accept war. No, before a child lives its life, no one knows how that life will unfold. All the while, how is it wrong to kill a fetus in the womb—under all circumstances—but it’s okay to let millions of people live their lives freely for 18 years only to proudly send them off to foreign lands to kill or be killed?

Whatever the life may be, if everything is hunky-dory, then great—the thought of taking a life needn’t even cross our minds. But when we’re given clear indication that something is seriously wrong (if under no other circumstance), regardless of what stage of life a being may be in, sometimes choosing death is the appropriate way to go.

Make no mistake. Whether abortion, life-or-death self-defense, or putting down a pet, there’s no question that these are uncomfortable things. I don’t mean to deny this.

Yet this is the way Life is: it can be really, really beautiful, and it can be really, really horrible. Sometimes Life places burdens on us that are more or less unbearable.

The Victim’s Path

Some people (e.g.: Catholics, who often carry an unbelievable glut of guilt) might even go so far as to say that abortion is an absolute no-go and having an endlessly suffering child that’s a massive hardship to raise is “what God wants.”

Folks, God does not drive suffering. Even if God leads us to hardship, this hardship is for the sake of inner growth. We find ourselves in a crisis, and what God gives us is choice.

What are we going to do with the circumstances we’re in? Create more pain and suffering, or find a way out?

If it were any other thing, if we became homeless, if we totaled our car, if we came down with a serious disease, we would likewise have the choice to pick ourselves off the street, to buy a new car, to seek healing—or to mope about in depression while doing nothing to help ourselves and telling everyone that “it’s just my lot in life,” or, “I deserve this punishment. It’s my penance.”

God gives us choices. It’s up to us whether or not we will create more pain and suffering while layering it with all kinds of ridiculous stories/rationalizations about why we shouldn’t or don’t deserve to choose otherwise.

One Soul, One Body, Death Forever

Let’s now take a more spiritual perspective and consider potential implications regarding bodies and souls.

To do this, we’ll continue with the example scenario of a child that would be deformed and is estimated to live, in constant pain and suffering, for only about 3 years.

From a religious perspective—and I’m going to take a Roman Catholic perspective since it’s the one I’d spent so many years of my life looking through (and still hear about)—there is one soul per one body, and at the time of death a soul goes to heaven or hell permanently (ignoring purgatory); there is no such thing as reincarnation; and there is no such thing as soul choice, meaning, you get the life that God gives you—period.

If you hold a view anything like the one just described, I want to offer you a different way of looking at things.

The view above is limited in its scope because it’s based in dogma, something you’re to take at face value and not question the authority of.

While this is problematic in and of itself, it’s also problematic because there are many other views that the Church completely ignores and/or rejects (for instance, the many people from all walks of life who have had near-death experiences and the like and have claimed the complete opposite).

Consider for a few moments that these teachings about life and death are wrong.

What if life isn’t of one soul to one body and then eternal death, but instead of reincarnation? And what if souls choose where they want to go, who they want to be with, and what they wish to come here for?

Do you know if or what your soul, much less anyone else’s soul, chooses, if said choices are made, prior to incarnation or even during?

One Soul, Many Lives

Imagine this:

Imagine that life is not one body, one soul, and then death forever.

Imagine that reincarnation is real and that one soul can live in many bodies in many different times and places.

Imagine that there is a pregnant woman who finds out that, should she have her child, it will have severe defects and will be a tremendous burden until it dies a few years later.

Now imagine that this woman has an abortion, becomes pregnant a few years later, and gives birth to a happy, healthy child with the exact same soul that had only briefly occupied the fetus she had aborted.

What if this were so?

By all means, to any even half-reasonable person, an abortion has to be an awful thing to go through, especially the nearer to a full term one is.

Nevertheless, what if a person listened very closely to their heart and looked at the facts and best medical estimates, but paid little if any mind to all the dogma, stigma, shame, fear, and guilt of society, family, and religion?

When we really analyze all that latter stuff, well, how negative is it? How fake is it? How uncertain is it? How heavy is it?

Especially something such as dogma wherein the religion basically says, “This is the way it is. Period. And you’d better not doubt the authoritative validity of it. If you have any other questions, ask us because we’re the only ones with The Right Answers.”

This is the kind of dogmatic mindset, when accepted by countless millions of people, that results in stigma, shame, fear, and guilt that’s utterly overwhelming yet completely unfounded.

Now, is my suggestion of the way things could work really the way things work? Is any of this true?

Find out for yourself. What do you actually know?

People put such a huge amount of energy into their beliefs and the actions that result of them, but how reasonable are they, really?

Even if my suggestion is completely wrong, there’s nothing at all to say that the religious dogma isn’t completely wrong as well—except for an “authoritative” claim and its acceptance as such by so many people.

Abortion may always be a heavy topic to deal with, but with an open mind, things become significantly lighter.

Abortion and Racism: Two Peas in a Pod

The last point I want to make pertains to the segment of abortions that occur toward the negative end of the spectrum.

Even if every Pro-Lifer in the world read this blog post and decided to take my perspective on as their own, what wouldn’t change in the slightest is the Pro-Lifer's desire to stop the women who have abortions for very selfish reasons.

An example of such a reason could be that there's no real problem with fetal formation, finances, or whatever, but a woman is just careless when having sex and has abortions as mindlessly as she eats lunch.

That these kinds of things would still happen is something that people would remain up in arms about and still want laws changed because of.

What has to be understood is that changing laws, seeking to control other people, is amazingly ineffective.

Think about it...

  • Did the prohibition work?
  • Do the 10 Commandments work (even for Christians)?
  • Have laws ever stopped whole societies from smoking weed?
  • Has eye-for-an-eye crime and punishment ever ended evil actions?

Look at what’s been happening lately.

People all over the place are freaking out about racism this and racism that. They go wild and start demanding, most notably, that police forces be defunded.

I’ve got a lot of reasons to not like the way police forces operate, but I’ve also got a lot of reasons why they’re just fine and we need them dearly. To get rid of all police forces everywhere is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard.

Racism is not the police force; the police force is not racism. A police force is an occupation, whereas racism is an ideology. While racism may be concentrated in certain areas for whatever reasons, racism is a belief structure.

Racism is a lot more obvious when it’s acted out by police officers caught on bystander cameras, but guess what? Racism, because it’s an ideology, is everywhere.

  • That smiley preacher who lives across the street could be a racist.
  • Your Uncle Dan could be a racist.
  • The cashier who checked you out the last time you went to the store could be a racist.
  • The homeless woman who stands at the light at the freeway off-ramp that you gave $20 to a few days ago could be a racist.

The point is, racism is a way of viewing life. This whole world could cut out every last security-type job and laws could be enacted to make racism illegal (and… uhhh… who’s going to enforce them…?), but it would do absolutely nothing to curb racism.

Because racism is held internally.

So, too, is it with abortion.

Even if abortion were made illegal, all that would do is change visible, outward circumstances. There would still be a black market for it, and the beliefs and desires would continue to linger. Plus, gross as it may be, if desperation called for it, some people would resort to woefully crude means to get the job done.

Sure, the numbers might decrease, but by how much, really? How many would go unaccounted for?

Again, think of the prohibition—people were still drinking all the time—and the government and police were totally in on it!

Think about the 10 Commandments—everybody’s going to hell!

And illegal marijuana—ha!—how about the story that came out just the other day saying that Ronald Reagan’s son smoked weed on the rooftop of the White House with Willie Nelson!

Whether abortion or anything else external, to make true, lasting changes, what is inside must be changed, first.

Perhaps the most fundamental problem, with all destructive behaviors, is that people lack connection and meaning. They can neither feel nor do they see themselves as having any value or purpose; their life experience is basically a void.

To change this,

  • the poverty and victim mentalities must be removed,
  • empowerment and a strong self-worth must be instilled,
  • people must be reeducated based on teaching methods that actually work by people who have experience and success in what they teach, and
  • people must be given the space and access to the resources to do whatever it is that makes them feel truly alive.

Even if abortion were never to disappear completely, the fact is that the abortion rate can still drop significantly.

To do this, the true problem must be faced, and that problem is an internal one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

"It Could Be Worse."

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



“It could be worse,” they tell you.

And you know what?

It’s true.

Because if, say, you broke a toe, well, the potential reality in this universe of infinite possibilities is that at the exact moment you broke your toe Earth’s crust could have rent wide open and your body could have fallen at terminal velocity two-thousand feet down into the Earth right into a scorching magma flow.

When It’s Cool

I think there are times when it’s reasonable to use the “it could be worse” phrase toward someone who tells us of their troubles.

For example, if someone’s complaining as they always do like a “poor me” victim, they may well deserve to get this kind of unsympathetic kickback.

Maybe a coworker is complaining for the fortieth time in the last two hours that the boss is a jerk for the new uniform policies he’d enacted. Although the policies may make the job less enjoyable, not only are they probably not as awful as the complainer believes, but the complainer complains about everything all the time without ever actually trying to make his or her self or situation better.

Rather than getting caught up in the complainer’s negativity, why not make a silly comment to make light of the situation? “Well, yeah, the new uniforms really don’t feel that comfortable, but it could be worse. Imagine if we had to make our deliveries wearing fake beards and top hats, too…” (Assuming, of course, those aren’t the very uniform changes the boss had made.)

When It’s Not Cool

Where I see a problem is when someone isn’t merely being whiny but is genuinely reaching out for a helping hand or a listening ear but gets shutdown with an “it could be worse” reply.

The person is going through a painful experience and seeking empathy, yet those who are being reached out to don’t have empathy to offer because their emotions are too far repressed.

Suppose someone carries the “all is beautiful” mindset. This type of person refuses to think about or feel anything other than “what is good” and therefore cannot accept that sometimes life sucks.

Should someone bring an uncomfortable personal issue to them, they might use a phrase such as “it could be worse” in attempt to evade whatever they perceive to be “not good.” Completely oblivious to what the other person is feeling and what their needs are, they choose to deny what is for the sake of psycho-emotional self-protection.

“It could be worse” is a phrase that devalues what is happening circumstantially; it negates a person’s thoughts and feelings; it avoids the deeper nature of whatever is going on.

Closed Doors

Imagine, for example, a female in high school who was walking down the hall when some random dude suddenly reached out and groped her boobs while making lewd comments.

When she reported the incident to the school’s administration, they said they weren’t going to do anything about it. Then upon arriving at home, in angry tears she told her parents what had happened, and they replied to her with, “Well, kid, look at the bright side—it could have been worse. It’s not like he raped you in the back stairs, right?”

What an overwhelming sense of sadness, of powerlessness, the girl must have felt. In a different way, perhaps as bad as or worse than the initial incident.

In significant inner turmoil, she went to those she believed could and would help her—two of them being people she loves and believes love her—but they just lightly rolled away her distress and cries for help like rain off an umbrella.

Awful though the incident was, what’s more important to the parents and the school’s administration is remaining numb.

They’ve all spent a lifetime hiding their feelings from themselves.

Perhaps the greatest reason we (as a whole) hide from our feelings is because, were we to allow them to flow freely, we would be forced into action.

Taking action beyond what we know and what our loved ones and peers approve of is incredibly uncomfortable to most people. So uncomfortable, in fact, that parents regularly put their children through all kinds of hell, not because the children are in error, but because the parents aren’t willing to admit that they, themselves, are in error.

The kind of person who can nonchalantly tell their daughter who was just molested that “it could be worse” is in no way ready, willing, or wanting to take necessary action (cry, challenge authority, press charges, etc.).

As for the school’s administration, they have the same kinds of internal issues as any other numb individuals, but they also have potential publicity concerns to deal with.

If they think they can avoid the issue and that the girl will shut up, they could choose the “do nothing” option for fear of the school’s image being tarnished in the media and in people’s minds; they could lose power, they could lose students and financial profits, and their own repressed emotions could get in a wildly uncomfortable tangle.

To anyone with even the least ability to feel, the obvious choice would be the “do something” option. Even if there's publicity, at least everyone knows that action was taken immediately and nothing is being covered up. However, for the those who are the numbest, self-image and self-protection nearly always come first, and so the unkind way appears the best way.

Having now described things in this way, to say “it could be worse” sounds ridiculous. No, thank God the girl wasn’t raped in the back stairs. But by looking at even a small portion of the negativity that underlies and surrounds the initial circumstance, things are actually in really bad shape.

It’s Personal

To describe the girl’s inner turmoil, I used the word “significant.”

“Significant” is not to be interpreted on an absolute scale. This is to say, what you or I or the next person perceives to be “significant” could be very different from the next person. Regardless of a given circumstance’s appearance, a person’s psycho-emotional state must be considered above everything else.

Although the girl in the example above was deeply hurt, maybe some other girl would have quickly grabbed the guy’s hand and broken it backwards, kneed him in the stomach, and then walked away having let go, this latter girl never even mentioning the incident to anyone again.

Significance depends on the experiencer’s perspective.

This—subjective perception—is the very thing that must be taken into account when dealing with someone who’s reaching out for empathy.

To anyone with a reasonable capacity for feeling, this would come more or less naturally, as would they be capable of discerning whether someone is genuinely asking for help or just seeking attention.

There Are Others

“It could be worse” is comparable to other phrases that can be and are commonly used at completely inappropriate times.

One of them is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Again, it’s relative. I’ve no doubt there are people out there who could unexpectedly lose their houses in monstrous sinkholes and tell their sobbing families not to sweat the small stuff. In this case, the usage of this phrase has nothing to do with at least having one’s life or seeing that material possessions are transitory: it’s simply an unwillingness to feel. Everything is made “small” in order to repress emotion and hide from reality.

Another is, “You worry too much.”

Yes, most people do in fact worry way too much, way too often. However, this is a phrase people like to use when then don’t know how to deal with what others tell them. Maybe they feel like they should give advice but don’t know what to say. This is because they have no access to the inner empathetic space that would provide it. Saying “You worry too much” ends up being just another way of telling a person, “I don’t like the feelings that you’re stirring up inside me. They make me uncomfortable, so please stop talking.”

See also: Childhood Trauma: Name-Calling

Helpless Help

Whatever phrases may be used, they all boil down to an unwillingness to feel and a consequent inability to offer empathy or lasting help—if any at all.

The simple fact of the matter is, a person can’t truly help another if they are at that same level or lower.

It’s like if someone is depressed and they ask a depressed friend for consolation. Maybe some smiles and laughter arise when they’re together, and maybe some seemingly good advice is offered.

But by the nature of life, it’s simply not possible for someone who is, say, at level 3 (0 being listless; 10 being blissful) to raise another up even so much as to a level 3.1 beyond the very short-term. A person cannot give what they don’t have; they cannot take a person beyond where they are themselves.

In some situations, the state of so-called “help” is at its worst when the ones who genuinely seek empathy and help may actually be seeking these things from people who reside at a level lower than they are.

How You Can Help

What about you?

Do you use phrases such as “It could be worse” at inappropriate times while thinking that you’re doing something good?

Again, there are times when these kinds of phrases fit just fine.

But when they don’t fit fine and we don’t realize that they don’t fit fine, we can put a great deal more hurt on people than they’re already in.

So, pay more attention to what you’re really feeling—and open yourself up to feeling it. This will allow you to be more aware of what others are feeling and to respond to them more wisely.

Being a feeling being is the only way to truly be of positive service.




That’s all for the main topic, but I see a need to further address an issue I’d mentioned above in greater detail.

Helpless Help: An Expanded View

To those whom it applies:

Feel. Stop hiding, and feel.

I said above that if we’re at, say, a level 3, we cannot raise anyone above a level 3.

What came to mind when saying this is the way soooo many people, who are at a level 3, or 1 or 2 or 6 or whatever fairly low number, tell themselves and others day in and day out, “I’m happy,” and “Everything’s great,” and so on, and then expend massive amounts of energy to act out the same false role.

This matters because, obviously, such an act is a big lie.

What matters about this even more is that the lower a person is (that is, the more psycho-emotional pain and suffering they are in, if largely subconscious), the more likely they are to seek help from someone who is as low as they are (and thus can’t actually provide help).

Since this is a matter of vibrational resonance, the attraction is subconscious. The person imagines that they’re reaching out for help, but they have no conscious awareness of who (or what) they’re actually reaching out to.

If someone’s feeling mega depressed and wants to feel uplifted, they’re less likely to call over their friend who’s also always visibly mega depressed. Who they’re more likely to call over, due to the urging of subconscious resonance, is the friend who is also mega depressed but forces his- or herself to constantly wear a facade of “happiness.”

In these low level states (with uncommon exception), a person cannot see beyond appearances. They live in a cloud, and so their vision, their perception, is always in a fog. To them, perceptual appearances, which are based on relevant prior held beliefs and fears, are factual.

Kayla’s conscious mind is saying, I feel like total shit. But, hey, Jane is happy all the time, so I’ll ask her if she can talk for a little bit. She can probably give me a boost.

Simultaneously, Kayla’s subconscious mind is saying, Kayla is consciously unaware that I’m in charge, here. I’m super perceptive, and I’m choosing to call on Jane because I recognize that Jane’s “happiness” is super fake—she’s actually depressed, and that resonates with me.

What Kayla’s subconscious mind is also saying is, I'm choosing Jane because I’m depressed as shit and not yet ready to be truly happy. I know Dave is truly happy, and I know he could probably help me. But I’m not going to ask Dave for help because, like I said, I’m not really ready to change yet.

For people in Kayla’s position, the only way out is to really, truly, deeply want an end to the suffering. It’s the only way to resonate with true help.

A Victim Is as a Victim Does

There are two paths to look at at this point:
  1. the person receiving help, and
  2. the person giving help.
If you’re the person receiving help, you have to question if you really want it or if maybe you’re just looking to play the victim card and get attention or some other selfish thing.

If you’re in the described position, you may take great offense to this suggestion. How dare I suggest that you would use other people as unwitting puppets to actively maintain your own misery?

Well, you might. People do it all the time, and I did it for no less than two decades myself. I know it all too well from experience, and I can see it’s workings clearly in others.

If, say, for some reason (probably during your childhood) you’d decided that your best bet for getting attention is to be mega unhappy, you would have needed a psychological mechanism to accomplish this. The victim mentality and its associated subtle-control-oriented behavior is the perfect thing.

You need to acknowledge this or you will never heal, you will never be happy, you will forever selfishly suck the energy of others who imagine they’re helping you but who’re actually doing nothing both because they’re incapable and because you don’t truly want to heal—you just want to be an energy vampire.

On the other hand, if you’re the person giving help, or, well, what you and the other imagine to be help, it’s critical that you drop your facade and begin accepting your feelings.

Since you are lying to yourself, you are automatically hurting others by pulling them into your subconscious game. You are hurting people while telling yourself that you are doing something good. You appear to be helping other people in “kindness,” yet what you’re really doing is using such circumstances to bolster your ego’s desired self-perception of being “okay.”

Someone might ask you for help, and you might say a few things that make the person smile, but because you have your own facade of smileyness up to cover your inner pain, you can’t clearly see the true depth of pain lingering beyond the other person’s smile.

You think, perhaps, “They’re smiling. That means I helped. Things will get better.” But really you’ve done little to nothing. Their smile is no more than a shadow, and their misery will return as heavy as ever.

If you truly want to help someone, you must clear out your own pain first. Pain cannot heal pain.

It’s Awful

I can tell you from first-hand experience that in the past I’d been in the shoes of the helper—often referred to as the “savior”—far too much.

In one extended incident, I’d spent basically every day for a year in the position of imaginary savior for the same person. This one year was one of the worst years of my life.

There were plenty of other hardships I’d experienced during this time that also pulled me down, but trying to help someone who didn’t truly want to be helped left me chronically stressed, depressed, worried, and just all around miserable—every aspect of my life was affected adversely because of it.

The other person sucked me right in to her wretched, self-inflicted victimhood, yet I kept on upholding a victimhood of my own.

Fake helpers are merely self-inflicted victims who use “saving others” to try to prove to themselves that they’re not actually wounded. I was a fake helper, as fake as they come, and at the time I had no clue of it. Like any other, I was blinded by my belief that my perspective was the correct perspective and the ambition that if only I said and did enough then everything would clear up and we’d live happily ever after.

She gave me the proverbial time of day over and over again, and by outward appearances we looked like close friends. But by the end of the year, we basically walked away from each other as strangers. Not because we’d had a fight or anything, but because we were never really friends to begin with: we were a victim-savior pair—nothing more and nothing less.

The pay-off (at least until I got my ass in gear some years later and started self-helping and learning from the experience), was only heartache.

It was an awful experience, and I don’t recommend it to anybody. Being a helper or savior is always a no-win situation.

If any of this resonates with you as an issue you have to deal with, even just a little bit, I can’t encourage you enough to look into it, to look into yourself, and see what’s really going on.

Don’t put yourself through the suffering, and don’t drag other people along with you.

It’s lousy thing to do, and it’s never worth the effort.

Monday, June 22, 2020

"It's What They Say, So It Must Be True."

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



If you cut yourself to relieve stress, they call you mentally disturbed.

If you kill someone you hate, they call you a murderer.

If you kill someone you hate in war, they call you a hero.

If you go into 40-year debt by taking out $500,000 in loans in order to go to college, buy a house, buy a car, and get married, they call you financially responsible.

If you go to college for 4+ years and learn a bunch of information you will mostly forget and never use, they call you intelligent.

If you are a clergy member, even if you’re a known pedophile, alcoholic, and/or glutton, they call you wise.

If you regularly get drunk and you’re less-than-motivated, they call you an alcoholic.

If you regularly get drunk but graduated from college, took out $500,000 in loans, and have a good job, they call you a responsible adult who likes to have fun.

If you complain all the time and do nothing to help yourself, they call you an unfortunate victim of a cruel world.

If you have significant external problems which your loved ones refuse to consciously acknowledge stem from your significant internal problems, they call you family.


I suppose this list is long enough to make my point.

Obviously, none of the above statements are absolutes. Yet they cannot be interpreted too loosely because they hold quite a bit of truth as they are:

Our society has a seriously fucked up sense for what is good and bad and right and wrong.

People are constantly attacking themselves (and often others); people are constantly, if unwittingly, bringing great hardship upon themselves and even digging themselves an early grave. Yet, though all these paths are ones of destruction, some paths are deemed wrong and bad while others are deemed right and good—honorable, even.

How bizarre.


I wish to call this out for what it is:

Insanity.

The vast majority of people are insane.

You are very most likely one of these people.


“It’s what they say, so it must be true.”

Folks…

“It” might be what “they” say, but that sure as hell doesn’t make “it” true. All “it” makes is “comfortable discomfort” for those who believe “it.” “It” makes the deeper truths so much easier to rationalize avoiding.

And insanity.

“It” also makes living insanely so normal and acceptable that people hardly even know they’re doing it.



One of man’s most serious problems in his insanity is that he is constantly justifying to himself and others something like:

“It’s just the way it is.”

For example, when people—and not just a few, but the vast majority—have to take out major loans to purchase anything significant, they may bitch about it, but mostly they don’t do anything meaningful to understand their situation or resolve it.

Why? Because “it’s just the way it is.”

I’m sure there are at least a few people getting their nose hairs in a twist right now because they’re thinking about how they’ve spent years or decades learning about the financial system, about investing, about taxes and inflation and the creation of money and all that. How dare I suggest that their finance-related learnings haven't been meaningful; that “how we've always done things” (often like, “how ‘the authorities’ want things to be done”) is not the way it has to be.

Know this: However much time someone has put into a thing—any thing—may not matter at all if they’re looking in the wrong direction.

Belief is what creates each of our perceptual filters as individuals. I don’t want to go through this again since I’ve gone through it so many times before. But suffice it to say that we cannot clearly perceive what we are not mentally/psychologically open to.

Humanity is enslaved to ultra-huge debt (in part) because the vast majority of humanity carries a belief that says something like, “It’s just the way it is.”

This belief is incredibly superficial. But to man’s conscious perception the seeming factuality of this belief is very real and it acts as a wall of security against his deep subconscious awareness that something is seriously fubar; that things can be different—far better, even—but he is being majorly taken advantage of by his beloved “authorities” and so he is the one who has to stand up and take action.


Whatever you imagine to be “just the way it is,” release that belief.

I don’t care what it is, do yourself the great service of dropping your imagining that something is the way it is simply because that’s the way it seems to you (and maybe 8 billion other people), and then give Life the opportunity to show you whether you’d been right or not.

Most likely, you’ll be proven wrong.

Very wrong.

But you will also learn much deeper truths about yourself and Life in this way.

The world will also improve as a result.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

It Ain't What It Looks Like If It Ain't What It Looks Like

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



I was once given a most outstanding piece of advice:
Realize that the limit of your perception is hardly the limit of all there is to perceive.

Insensibly Incest

One time a guy told me about how his divorced aunt got remarried and her new husband had a teenage daughter.

The guy, also in his teens, and his aunt’s now-step-daughter came to have mutual feelings of like-edging-toward-intimacy toward each other. When the girl’s mother noticed this, she freaked out saying it was gross because “you’re family.”

Although the girl’s perspective didn’t change, the guy was shaken and feared familial rejection, enough so to put some distance between him and the girl. His decision upset the girl, and their friendship has since remained distant.

Overreactivity. For What?

The reactivity that the guy and girl were victim to stems from two main problems. They are:
  1. the law
  2. taboos
Regarding incest law, it varies significantly by jurisdiction. Using a summarized reference, one can get an idea of who is legally allowed or not allowed to do what with who.

In the case of the guy and the girl above, their circumstance had no place under the law. Unquestioned appearances might say otherwise, but, at least in this case, such imaginings are completely inaccurate.

Even if the law were against the could-have-been couple, regardless of how the law views it, biologically speaking—wherein, we might say, biology is the very law of Life itself and is vastly wiser than any law of man—the guy and the girl had no blood connection. For a law of man to pretend that there is a connection is to simultaneously admit its own erroneousness.

Secondly is the huge taboo about being incestuous.

Here’s the thing about taboos:

People could theoretically create a taboo against eating baked beans on a Tuesday. Back in the day some folks threw a community party on a Tuesday, they we’re cooking baked beans when the kitchen tent caught fire and killed 55 people, and everyone became traumatized and came to believe in a superstition against making baked beans on a Tuesday.

Taboos are a form of insanity. They’re [usually stupid] ideas that nobody wants to question because they’re uncomfortable and nobody else is questioning them. They’re all just part of a big fear game the ego plays.

To be clear, I’m not trying to argue that incest poses no problems. For example, there are plenty of older perverted family members who would do obscene things with their younger siblings and kids if it weren’t for the law, and there exists a very high likelihood of serious genetic mutations when incestuous couples have kids.

With taboo, however, it often seems people would rather have the plague than face within themselves and then, if necessary, openly talk about whatever brings them discomfort.

When situations arise that involve, or seem to involve, both the law and taboo—look out. Reactivity is compounded.

Lies Are Truths to the Minds That Make Them So

Even though the guy and the girl mentioned above had no similarity in bloodline and the guy's aunt and the girl's father decided to marry long after their nephew and daughter, respectively, had already been born, they all still fell victim to the hogwash mentality that relationships between non-blood-related family members is incest.

Maybe the law says they’re now some shade of cousins, but for all anybody knows, their closest blood relatives could be Adam and Eve. The rationale, here, is irrational.

Under everyday circumstances, when two people get married, the law says they’re now family. But the law most definitely does not say that if this newlywed couple engages in romantic/sexual acts that they are being incestuous. Why? Because incest requires relationships within a bloodline.

What is basically the same circumstance is being bent toward two different lines of reasoning—one that helps and one that hinders.

If both the guy and the girl in question had met in a grocery store and began a relationship prior to the guy’s aunt and the girl’s father meeting, not a single person on this planet would argue that their situation falls into the category of incest.

Taking this a step further, if the guy and girl were in a relationship, but then their respective single parents met and got married, would the guy and the girl suddenly be committing incest? No. It’s ridiculous to think it so. Yet, happening in reverse, somehow it’s not perceived as ridiculous at all.

Even if they were, by label of the law, not some shade of step-cousins, but step-siblings, they would still have no blood relationship for there to be incest. Man can’t just pull laws out of his ass and override the nature of life itself.

Why Am I Telling You This Story?

I present this story because I want you to see both the situation and clear-headed, non-reactive thinking simultaneously.

Life doesn’t usually play out for us this way.

There’s typically a situation perceived to be crazy, and there are the experiencers and/or onlookers thinking and behaving crazily in reaction, and then, maybe, in some distant future, any given person who’d been involved might end up having a change of heart.

By all means, if you disagree with incest, that’s totally fine, and I won’t argue with you. You have countless reasons on your side as to why incest is a serious problem.

However, as with the case above, incest is not even related to the events that had taken place. People had interpreted events that looked somewhat similar to incest and falsely made the claim that it was incest itself.

What I encourage you to do, using the above story and explanation as a kind of template, is to consider the situations in your life (whether they directly involve you or you just find yourself as a bystander and in judgment of others) from a more open-minded and grounded perspective.

Through everything I’ve said, you’ll notice I never resorted to any kind of spiritual argument (e.g.: “maybe incest is chosen by a soul to learn about itself”) or comprehensive legalese or anything particularly “out there” or deep. In regard to the law and taboo, I acknowledged them, but I never invested myself in them.

I simply looked at the situation between the guy and the girl and their respective families with, as suggested, an open-minded and grounded perspective.

It’s for this reason that when the guy originally told me this story, specifically because I had no impulsive, negative, judgmental reaction, I immediately recognized that the accusations against him were utterly empty.

People had gotten their panties in a wad over nothing and had then taken their discomfort out on those who’d triggered it.

Just a Little Bit Is All It Takes

There’s a saying something like, Life isn’t inherently difficult; it’s people that make it so.

This is definitely true—but it’s only true to an extent.

We’ve been programmed to perceive life in a certain way and thus automatically react negatively to every circumstance that doesn’t align with our programming.

What hardly anyone knows or tells us is that we can change this programming; we can release it altogether.

Life isn’t inherently difficult, and people don’t have to make it that way.

All that’s required is a little bit of conscious effort.

By all means, a lot of people carry a lot of heavy programming (e.g.: trauma) that probably won’t fall away easily. However, everyone also has a lot of programming that is much lighter and will fall away with ease.

One of the greatest inhibitors people have to clarity and sanity is the unwillingness to look; to say, “I might be wrong about this. Is there a higher perspective?”

So I’ll close this now with that question as a small yet significant bit for you to take with you as you leave.

Life needn’t be difficult. Just give a little bit of effort toward maintaining conscious awareness throughout your daily lives, and then let it grow naturally.

Whenever you find yourself (because you will inevitably get lost over and over again), acknowledge that you might be wrong, and then ask:

“Is there a higher perspective?”