I turned 23 last week and I wanted to write a post titled 23 lessons at 23, but I already wrote a post like that last year, plus there is stuff Will Smith taught me…so there’s no point to that. Also, I really don’t like prescribing things to people unless asked. So I’ll just write about ideas and thoughts that have passed through my mind over the past year, some profound, some trivial and some mundane.
I realised this after speaking to an old mentor of mine after months of silence, frameworks are everything. By frameworks, I mean the general matrix of our beliefs, values, and methods of approaching the world, the universe, people, and our lives within it. It’s very abstract stuff, but over the past few months I’ve assembled a loose framework consisting of ideas from many sources. It’s empowering, it allows me to be myself, whatever I am at the moment, good and loving or dark and sinister. I can manipulate my reality, my experience, attract whatever I want and live an interesting life. Everyone has their frameworks, rooted in beliefs, religious doctrine, personal experience, etc…and that is perfectly fine. I wondered about the possibility of integrating aspects of my old framework to this new one, but that just thrust me into ‘the negative zone’ a space of nothingness. So it’s all good, my framework works for me, I continue walking this road I’m on.
2. The angst inherent in our humanity
Sometimes being human is a wretched thing. To be suspended in the middle of the sublime and the debased. To possess the capacity for the highest good and also the lowest evil. It is annoying to say the least. I know that when I gaze in my inner self upon my highest possible self, that my darkness, my flesh, my carnality is also lurking, tempting and beckoning on me. I cannot attempt to fly to the highest peak without the possibility of crashing into the lowest valleys. Such is the misery of life, to gaze upon heaven and not be able to reach it, to seek the darkness and not be able to surrender to it. Just stuck in the middle, vascillating between the two.
3. The Mind
The mind is incredibly powerful. I like to think I’m quite intelligent, and I love to think. I think all the time. I love to dive into rabbit holes and explore ideas, perspectives and all. This is also very dangerous. In the end, as with all things, knowledge is vanity. Intellectualising is fun, the same way masturbation is fun, it’s pleasurable, but it’s not gonna create anything. Seeking new knowledge gets addictive, I envy those who do not contemplate a lot, and are content to just live and let be. They have their little ducks all in a row. Me, am addicted to thinking, to reading, to learning, piling together inconsequential and useful information until it just becomes a jumbled mass of thoughts. I think and think and think and then end in that place where life seems ultimately meaningless and bleak. My antidote: think less.
4. Being human
In thinking a lot, I stray into domains beyond this one. I venture off into alternate universes, various levels of consciousness, worlds beyond and below the one we inhabit. I start detesting being human, being limited. I want to go beyond, I want to be more, know more, experience more. Being human gets frustrating then. But this is our lot, to live encased in dust bodies for a few decades. To be immersed in societies and communities, to chase dreams, build towers, play games, perpetuate life until we die. I’ve come to accept it, surrender to it and focus on enjoying the ride.
5. Doctor Faustus
I don’t know how I even bumped into this on the internet, but it’s a play from the Victorian era about a man who sells his soul to the devil in the quest for more knowledge and power. He is an accomplished and respected academic who becomes frustrated with the limitations of human knowledge and seeks more. So he invokes a demon, negotiates a contract with Lucifer and so on and so forth. He eventually lives a life of sensuality and decadence until he is carted away to hell after the expired 24 years. Interesting to me because I know a little bit about the thirst for knowledge, the dark places it can take you. Knowledge isn’t bad, or good for that matter. But it does matter the state your soul is in. A Light worker will take knowledge and use it for good, to uplift himself and the world around him. A Dark worker will use same knowledge to enrich and ultimately destroy himself and the world around him.
6. Evil People
In the core of my soul, regardless of all my flaws and imperfections, misdemeanours and mistakes, I am good. I believe in the good in people, I want to help them, I want us to live in love and peace and harmony, etc. I was raised to be idealistic, and sometimes that translates as naïveté. It is what it is. But I cannot escape the fact that in this life, there are intrigues. People who will stab you in the back, lie to you and outright take advantage of you. There are people who have been so touched by the darkness in the world that they have become darkened in their hearts and all they do is polluted with it. Evil people live in the world out there. I accept that fact, and deal with them appropriately.
7. Lupe Fiasco
I love this man…no homo. I’m forever grateful to my boy ‘Khums’ for introducing me to Lupe’s music in 2006. If there was an artist who touches the chords of my soul, the ideas, the thoughts, the darkness, the rage against the machine, the search for the authentic, the constant striving to progress in art in creativity, the search for truth and relevance…it’s Lupe. I just picked up my copy of XXL with him on the cover and checked out his spread. Its fresh, its cool, its honest, its real, its intelligent. It’s everything I’m passionate about – art, design, truth, progression, rebellion, activism, etc. He just really inspires me.
8. Being vs Doing
It’s not so much about what you are doing, but more about WHO you are BEing while you are DOing what you are doing. Let things flow from the inside out. Live authentic. Let your true self unfold as your days roll by.