Driving Towards The End Of The World

Introduction  – The Ongoing Documentation Of Life

For over 30 years I’ve been consciously saving little souvenirs of my journey through life – stuff to help document the adventure. I don’t know why this is so important to me, but it is, and it affects much of the way I approach life.

Writing has played a huge part of the documentation process – years and years of filling up journals, writing and editing stories posted on the internet and numerous short essays that I’ve never published. Millions of words just trying to capture the experience of one human being during this pilgrimage here on planet Earth.

Here is the latest installment in the story reflecting on the year I had in 2012 – it’s called “Driving Towards The End Of The World”. I choose that title because, you know, the world was supposed to end last year, which it didn’t 🙂

So before I jump into writing about some really nice changes that have happened since the end of the world I thought I should post something to document 2012 from this one human being’s perspective…

After The End Of The World, Part One

jon-2012December 21, 2012 – a.k.a. “the end of the world” – was quite a good day for me. Probably one of the best days I’d had in weeks, and definitely one of my top ten best days of 2012.

Maybe I was just glad we had reached that date we had all been speculating about for years, or maybe the day really did have some special cosmic alignment I was feeling. Maybe it was because my wife and best friend, Tania, had the day off and it was a wonderful happy morning around the homestead… whatever the cause, it was a day where the burdens of the world slipped from my shoulders for a moment, and the depression, which this year had been the worst it has ever been for me, was pushed back for a moment.

Now that the end of the world was behind us I could feel like something else might happen. Like we had passed a giant border sign while driving through a long desert, “Welcome to the State of Now”. At first nothing seems different, but when you stop for gas at the first town across the border you realize you truly are in a different state, and all that entails…

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The Turning – Helter Skelter

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The Dream of the Two-Headed Dragon

I remember the comfort… spread out like a blanket in the quiet dreams, and rest, and wisdom, and communion, everywhere, nowhere – the only existence.

I remember when I was the universe, before the journey that crossed your path – when all of time was one instant, one symphony.

It was you that woke me, it was your story that called me across the ages. You were my gravity. You were my reason to wake…

Your story came to me on a wave, on a memory, on the resonating notes of a string pluck so long ago… A string that resonated and hummed to life sending out ripples and waves, that sent out a song that woke all the strings within me that had gone quiet… and they started to hum with your song.

I had told you long ago we would never be apart, and at the edge of never, your song, your gravity called me back...

The Building Blocks of Life

There are many people that can tell you how the world is seen and known, but this story is about the unseen and the unknown and the pieces that have come together to form the small symphony of waves, sounds, connections, systems, worlds and galaxies that move around with me.

What is a human being? I wonder if we even know…

Biologically, I’m a union of billions of individual cells that form a manifestation of personal intelligence which creates what you see as my body.

My body is really borrowed organic material that will someday return to the stream of earth life, while life, the person I know as myself, will grow and evolve into… what?

The organic material that feeds my little personal galaxy was created from the death of stars, the death of plants, the death of billions of organic creatures that came before me. I was formed in the womb of death and destruction and it has given birth to life and creation.

But this story of life is not about the natural cycle of organic life and death, but about the life which is something more, something much bigger.

Life is not something you can own – it’s a story that has been given to you, it is your sparking moment to be born, your moment in eternity to come alive, to form as a soul, to become a flame that burns on and on.

From the moment of my birth the chains of civilization were wrapped around me. I was stamped with the mark. With punishments and rewards I learned to ignore the nourishment of my soul and to cage it in a box of fears and anxieties. Unless I wore the mark and conformed to the civilization I was born into, I could not earn my daily bread and water needed to continue my organic life.

Everyone of us is born a slave into the world system, and none can escape it unless their spark becomes a flame, unless they become a soul that is alive, unless they sacrifice their organic life for that something “other” – that other kind of life.

How Did I Get Here?

Do you wonder if your time here is a accident of the great cosmic comedy?

Did you know it took years of genetic work, generations actually, to create you?

Has anyone told you that your time was appointed; as were your talents, skills, hungers, desires, strengths and weaknesses, so that you could accomplish the dream inside you?

Has anyone told you that the dream you keep burying inside yourself is your spark and the voice of the story that has been given you, and what’s going on around you is mostly illusions and distractions?

Helter Skelter  – or  – Riding The Bipolar Coaster

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When I was very young I used to dream of being able to ride endlessly on a roller coaster. I loved roller coasters, the ups and downs and all the funny ways it made my body feel. I felt alive on a roller coaster.

I would imagine in my dream that I had won some kind of prize that allowed me to ride the roller coaster over and over again, just waved on through each time the ride came to an end and back out onto the track, around and around, up and down, up and down.

Now, at age 45, and after 10 years of battling the symptoms of bipolar disorder with endless pharmaceutical drugs, I wonder if the dream I had as a child was a glimpse into my future, the place I am now. Now I ride a bipolar coaster, like I’m strapped in and I can’t get off of this ride – it never stops – I just go round and round again.

At age five it was a dream that has become twisted over the last forty years into an illness… a mental illness. Is it a prize and a dream or is it a mental illness? Have I been missing out on something amazing about myself or am I really just broken machinery?

End of Helter Skelter – Part One

To be continued…

Click Here For More Information about The Turning – A Serial


Tracking The Storm on Facebook

I had a pretty bad depression storm move in this last week, and I’ve been tracking it by making daily posts on Facebook. Tonight I thought I’d try to elaborate a little on those postings…

Day 1 – Wednesday

This storm started on Wednesday morning, the 22nd – I could feel the storm coming and I tried to hang on to the positive mindset I woke up with, only to have it slip away as the morning wore on… that night on Facebook I wrote:

Facebook Posting: Wednesday, July 22nd 10:56pm

Heavy and dark depression today – tired of the mantras of stupidity and failure endlessly repeating themselves in my head, for hours, all day long…

Mantras or looping tapes – don’t know what to really call them – just the endless repeating of crap – STUPID STUPID STUPID SHITHEAD FAILURE… (that and worse) over and over all day long… it really does gets a little tiring and if you had to live through it (and many people do) you’d quickly understand why people turn to alcohol and drugs to numb their poor, tortured soul.

Day 2 – Thursday

I was hoping this storm would just be a quick, little, one day event, but no, it continued on into Thursday – and I woke up to those same crappy tapes playing in my head  – the same as when I went to bed – damn. Just relentless from the word go…

Later on, I ended up watching an interesting documentary on the Catholic Channel on TV (who knew we had a Catholic Channel?!?) about a priest named Father Solanus Casey. I’ll write more on Father Solanus in a future post.

Facebook Posting: Thursday, July 23rd 10:47 am

Another heavy and dark day – Slowly posting a retrospective of my paintings – So far – Line Abstracts from the mid 1990’s – http://onehumanbeing.com/blog/resources/art-works-a-retropective/line-abstracts/

I’ll let people know when more work is posted…

I thought I’d do my best to work through the storm, but I didn’t get very far and spent most of the rest of the Thursday sleeping.

Day 3 – Friday

Facebook Posting: Friday, July 24th 4:41 pm

Depression – Day Three – Yet one more time down this road… Today the depression moved on to the physical part – like having the flu – sort of. Hopefully that means this storm will move out in a day or so. I’ve been here many times before…

In my opinion, depression is a physical illness that affects your thinking and thought processes. As a bout of depression runs it course, I have days where it’s mostly a physical experience – tired, nauseous, achy, irritable and uncomfortable in my own skin – very much like how the flu feels.

This phase can mean this bout is nearly over, or it’s just warming up for round two… I just have to wait and see.

There’s a line in a song by The Verve that runs through my head on these days “Just tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end…” It helps keep me alive.

On Friday evening I went with Tania to Friday Night Happy Hour, a weekly tradition with our friends, which I’ve been skipping out on lately because of depression-related issues, and did my best to be present. Our friends and the co-founders of our little Happy Hour group are leaving this next week on amazing new adventures – and I couldn’t miss their last Happy Hour with us.

Day 4 – Saturday

Facebook Posting: Saturday, July 25th 1:14 pm

Depression Day Four – 15% better – Took photos at AAC this morning of Pure Kush, The Purps and Razzle Berry – beautiful herbs! Will be posted on the AAC menu later today (this is my volunteer work that keeps me going) http://aacollective.com/inside/menu/

On Saturday morning I was determined to start turning this around – wake up – go take photos – come home and spend the afternoon processing photos – go, go, go and out-run the tape loops… on sugar and fake energy, anxiety and frustration – doesn’t work for long and I end up just drained before the day is nearly half over.

Day 5 – Sunday

Sunday – is it Sunday? No, just Fogday in my head and I can’t shake it… sometimes the clouds seem like they’re going to clear, but no, just a false hope and more gray fog thickly and slowly oozing through my day and into the evening…

Facebook Posting: Sunday, July 26th 11:04 pm

Depression Day 5 – gray fog and heavy clouds – now it’s just settled in, thick with slow motion… an endless day with tiny, quickly evaporating breaks in the mental weather.

Tough storm so far, but you never know… tomorrow could be the day I wake and the sun will be shining on my eyelids and whispering appreciations and hopes that blow away the looping tapes and make this just a memory and a story.

Thoughts From The Day… on Suffering

“it is through our suffering that we are refined and defined…”

Jon, onehumanbeing

Sometimes life is like the hammer coming down on the chisel, or that is how it seems to me as I go through the ups and down of living with bipolar disorder, not to mention the regular daily struggles…

To enlarge this thought I’m going to have to jump to another idea first:

The way I see things starts with my belief in God. I believe in a God who is larger that the Universe, larger than any number of Universes that can exist, larger than the Big Bang and evolution and not opposed to them as methods of creation and change. I believe God is way bigger than what I can conceive.

To give you the basic outline – I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and I believe that the hope of Israel already lives, and is the ascended Messiah, Jesus.

I grew up as the son of a theologian and minister/teacher… I lived church from a very young age, and have many, many years of walking with this God I believe in – so to begin to know me you must know this is where everything begins…

And what does this have to do with that quote up at the top of this post? Just background material to give you an idea of how I think.

I listened to Gang of Four today while driving over to the MMJ dispensary to take photos and the lyrics to one of the songs said “How you think changes how you act” which is true in my opinion. How I think is built on my faith, which is built on my God, and changes how I act…

Suffering… How many people wish they could be God for a day and eliminate all the suffering in the world? No one likes it, it’s painful, and it has no point.

My worldview makes me see things very different. Though I do not desire suffering for myself or anyone else, it’s still going to happen. It’s pretty inevitable in a world of over 6 billion people all running on their own agenda. Some toes are gonna get stepped on, people are gonna get hurt, it’s just going to happen. Jesus said it would. He said in the gospel of John that “in this life you will have troubles…” but our troubles, our sufferings, don’t have to destroy us… they don’t have to be just pointless pain.

And to go back to where I started – what may look like suffering is just the fall of the hammer on the chisel, the strike of the master artist at work preparing His creation for it’s work. I believe in something after this life, and that the same detailed artist that created everything spent the same attention in creating me.

I don’t just think this as a nice religious thought that doesn’t have anything to do with reality… I’ve been actively watching the process for the last ten years at work in my life and have become spectacularly amazed at the ways in which God can and will work.

Ten years ago I was nothing more than a large block of stone in the workshop. Quarried and dragged to the master’s studio over the years. Then one day in early 1998 the hammer came down against the chisel, and this small, barely noticeable situation that always benefited me as an artist in the past, exploded into a large depression and a seemingly endless ride on the bipolarcoaster.

Ten years of sculpting. Finished yet? Not even close, but some much closer than ten years ago. Do I wish I could get off this ride? All the time. But I also want to stick around and see how this turns out, and what gets made from all this hammering…

To be continued…