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Weak Men

Friends,

Everything is relative, and in my experience, nowhere is this more true than in the realm of male-male friendships. There is something of a classic model of male relationships which classes men as either the Alpha or the Beta. Whatever you may think of this model and its applicability, I am going to be building upon it here.

You’ve been warned.

In theory, the Alpha-Beta (AB) model manifests in all male friend groups, even a group of two, and it is the group of two I want to focus on. Because I/we can be part of many two person friendships, and our status as Alpha or Beta is subject to change depending on the friend we are hanging out with, and to a lesser extent, the specific circumstance we find ourselves in.

I have spent the last two months living with my friend, Archie, and I am the Alpha in the relationship…by a large margin. I want to focus less on why this is and the specific details of our friendship, and more on how it (frustratingly) manifests.

Before continuing, it must be said that my expertise derives from the fact that I have been both Alpha and Beta at various times, and I have been Beta by the same wide, crippling, pathetic margin (relative to more Alpha friends) that Archie currently is relative to me. I see now how I must have been a chore for my indulgent friends to deal with.

Scarcity Mentality

I have had and lost many women….definitely more of the latter. I don’t care. That’s the point. Stop caring! Archie cares too goddamn much. He tells me so. He wants to claim women, regardless of who they are more interested in. Lately he won’t go to a local coffee shop with me anymore because I flirt with the barista and she flirts back. He admits this but justifies it by saying that he is worried about it getting awkward and not being able to go there again. I asked him if he had designs on her. He said he didn’t know, but that since I started flirting with her I didn’t give him a chance to decide.
Here’s the thing: I would love for him to make a bold move with her and catch her interest. Play on, Playa! That’s my mentality; pure abundance But he doesn’t want to do that because then he would have to reciprocate my magnanimity. And he doesn’t want to do that because of Jenny.

Jenny
Jenny is….was Archie’s friend and I met her once in passing over a year ago in Berlin outside a bar I was at with Archie. They were talking. Jenny and I shared a look and a rapport, and when you know, you just know. But alas, I had a fiance (and so did Archie) and so nothing never happened [sic].  Fast forward a year to now and I have moved back to Berlin into a spare room in Archoie’s flat for a temporary stay. Being newly-single, I asked Archie early on about Jenny. He clammed up and expressed doubt that I had this connection (yeah, okay…), then came out with the truth that he was into her. Recently divorced, he had designs on her and was being territorial.

Well, I had no access to her aside from him connecting us, and I didn’t even remember her name. These two facts coupled with the literal millions of fish in the sea gave me a play on, playa outlook on the whole situation, even though I was dubious about his ability to make it work.

So a few nights ago he gives me an update on Jenny (whose name I had forgotten again…which he took as further evidence of the absence of connection). He tells me he “fired her as a friend” (his exact words) due to numerous scheduling snafus (her blowing him off). He had reached a critical threshold I guess and told her he didn’t want to be her friend and then blocked her. He Scorched the Earth! He fucked it up and if he couldn’t have her, noone could (at least noone who would need him to make the introduction). I felt anger well up inside me (not sure yet if the anger is justifiable or not) but all I said was, “And nothing of value was lost.” He enthusiastically, unironically agreed.

Liat

Same aforementioned coffee shop. Last week we go out to the back patio for our (at that point, at least) daily coffee and smoke. I walked out there first and saw a cute girl, Liat, sitting with a friend. We made eye contact and when you know, you just know. Archie joined me shorly after at our table and I initiated conversation with Liat and her friend as they were seated next to us. She was really bubbly  and regaled us with a story about her broken arm and the cast she was currently wearing. Liat’s friend left, then Archie left, and Liat and I walked out of the coffee shop together (which visibly intrigued and upset aforementioned barista). We walked back to mine and started playing some music in my room. Archie joined and we had a jam and sing-along. I eventually went back to Liat’s place nearby and we spent the afternoon together and made love.

Later I found out that Archie was a bit resentful about this because I had moved so quick that he hadn’t had a chance to decide of he was interested. This was doubly frustrating because the very next day he had some chick over whom I assume he didn’t introduce me to because he was worried I would, I don’t know –steal her or something.

Which brings me to Lana…

Lana

A couple nights later, me, George, Archie, and Archie’s black friend, Lana, all headed out to a local bar that had a weekly open jam. Lana seemed cold to me at first, which Archie later suggested was a possible result of my surplus multi-cam jacket with velcro flashers on the sleeves from my time in Afghanistan. In retrospect, I suspect that perhaps he had also told her unflattering things about me being a prejudiced person (more on that in the next section). In any event, I care a lot less these days about what a rando feels about me and so I just went back in the bar content to watch the jam without playing. In the dearth of a vocalist, Archie got on the mic and asked if I wanted to come up and freestyle. I enthusiastically obliged and proceeded to lyrically assassinate, dropping my trademark, “Rest in Peace, Tupac Shakur” at the end.

Lana gave me props when I rejoined them on the couch and seemed to have warmed up to me. Classic!

On the walk home, I ushered George away toward our direction to give Archie a chance to close with Lana. He did not and instead rejoined me and George. Soon after George split off in his direction and me and Archie headed back the flat we were sharing. I asked him, “So what’s the deal with you and Lana?” Big mistake.

“What do you mean by that?” he asked, suspiciously.

“Um, are into her? How’s it going?”

“Damn, man, do I gotta worry that you’re trying to go after her?”

Jesus Christ! This is the kind of insecurity I live with. I explained that I wasn’t interested, but the damage was already done.

Ugh, it makes me mad just remembering it.

Racism/Sexism/Homophobia

I don’t know if I’m racist. I don’t know if Archie is. All I know is that if I say a slur, I’ll say it with deliberate intention or not at all. If I say a slur, there will be an elaborate, oblique set-up, well-wrought build, and an emphatic delivery for the purpose of shock and humour. Otherwise there is no point and I feel like a dishonest coward. My whole thing goes back to the Patrice O’Neal school of “Say it with belief!”
Archie does not subscribe to this school of thought and say slurs frivolously because he feels he can vent his latent racism to me while maintaining the outward appearance of being progressive. He has admittedly gotten better about this (saying things with belief or not at all), but at the outset…Jesus Christ. He would say some slur and then immediately laugh and show his teeth nervously to gauge my response. I felt put upon to laugh or respond in a very awkward cringey way.
At one point early on in our two months of living together I called him out for this, encouraging him to make offensive jokes, but to mean it. He got so offended and said some shit like “I thought I could make jokes with you without you getting offended” (which is more fucked up the more you think about it), and I simply explained that I wasn’t offended, but I felt embarrassed for him.
Looking back, this conversation was a line in the sand that I drew early on, and I feel like I have been paying for it ever since. Thankfully, all things come to an end.

****************

Thanks for indulging my venting. Since writing this post a few weeks ago I have moved on to Portugal and found a happy place. My closest male friend here is a young kid from the UK named Charlie. With him, its how it should be: we big each other up and don’t let trifling shit like women get between us. Ditto for my other close male friend here Ricardo, but he’s a big, gay Portuguese body-builder so competition for women really isn’t so much of a thing. I was very frustrated when I wrote this post, and looking back brough up some of the old feelings, but the further it is in my rear-view, ther easier it gets.

Best,
-Dre

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Practice Makes Perfect

Friends,

Let me tell you a story:

Practice Makes Perfect

Early September 2009, I was a few months back from deploying to Afghanistan and was living in Hamilton. I had dropped out of McMaster University three years prior and in that three-year span I had partied, traveled and done aforementioned deployment. I had been scared to depoly, thinking I was going to die. I hadn’t died though. And now, on this overscast Sepetember morning, I walked back to school and tears came to me. I had made it. I had gone through hell (more emotional than physical) and was now returning to the promised land with the adventures I had sought now under my belt. Those last two years of my undergrad were not golden and idyllic like living in residence first year had been, nor fucking mental like getting a house with the bros in second year had been, but they were still better: I got more involved in the school, applied myself more to the work, met the love of my life, and learned from professors who would make a great impact on my life.

Now, ten years later, I am poised to undertake another academic adventure and I am optimistic; I am capable at this juncture of not only integrating and incorportating everything I learned/did in the second half of my undergrad, but also incorportating/integraring everything I learned since in my years traveling working as an actor, etc.

This school doesn’t know what’s gonna hit it.

I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: doing the the same thing over and over until I get it right.

Practicing Without Expectation

It doesn’t always work out well though, and when it doesn’t, it’s my fault:

February/March 2016 was one of the best months of my life. I fell in love with the love of my life (I fall fast and I fall hard), Marijo at Carpe Diem Eco Project (CDEP) in Nicaragua. Those nights on the beach, lying under the stars, making love as the moon rose over the trees, were sublime and left an indelible impression on my psyche. The following yesr (January 2017) meeting back there, I tried to force things to be how they were the previous year. It was hell. We were on different pages and “the past I was trying to relive” was not the “experience I should have been doing over.”  Let me explain:

It would have been fine for me to approach my time at CDEP in 2017 with a similar openness, enthusiasm and vigor to the previous year -but those qualities were tainted by an expectation of recrearting the past perfectly -this kind of expectation had absent from my 2009 return to school, where I had been truly open-minded.

During my 2017 return to CDEP I assumed I knew better than reality and reality humbled me.

This past year (2019) I returned to CDEP. Marijo wasn’t there, and I was a lot wiser and more open (for the most part). I ended up having an amazing, transformative time by allowing reality to dictate the terms. It wasn’t sublime the way my first time there had been, but that’s not important –sublimity will come when its ready to if I stay open to it and accept the reality as it is. This is the act of faith that all men, religious or not, must make. I never expected to find Marijo, so why should I expect anything else sublime?

I remember sitting on the beach one evening with my peoples this past year and wandering off to listen to mine and Marijo’s song, WIcked Game by Chris Isaak, and laughing at how I’d been pining in futility for a fluke month instead of fully utilizing the opportunities in front of me. Silly silly silly…

Openness to Submission: Do-Overs Done Right

I went back to Berlin this year. I re-experienced some things. Experienced them better this time now that I was there of my own accord and with the freedom of a young-ish bachelor and not stuck in a relationship where someone else was subtly dictating my terms for existence. I did it better. I was more open.

My 2016/2017 travel documantary through Arizona, Nicaragua and Honduras, #worldwasonfire, was better than the previous year’s pilgrimage through Latin America for ayahuasca, #justmightbeok too; Even though the former was more painful for the reasons mentioned above, I wasn’t married to the idea of filming a documentary in the traditional sense. Instead I used the tools I was more comfortable with (instwagram, youtube) and everything just flowed better. It was more fun and more honest.

Subsequent adventures such as #pimpingbutterflies, #livinginmydreams and the short-lived and misbegotten #migrantcrisis were more focused as a result, although it should be said that they had a less grand ambition.

This #prettycorpseblues thing though….it sounded pretentious to me when I first said it. Even now, it sounds weird to me. But it also sounds more right. It speaks to the resignation I feel regarding submitting to the universe. I NEED to submit to something and my own longevity seems a good a thing as any. Needless to say, I am not posting as frequently on instagram as I did during the #worldwasonfire days (hitch-hiking and youthful recklessness just make for more things to post about), but this is also a longer-term project (namely, the rest of my life), and will be full of my largest under-takings yet, so there is no rush to punctuate it with small bursts.

Do it. Fail Spectacularly. Do it Better. Fail More Spectacularly. Repeat.

Openness to Submission: One Final, Lifelong Do-Over

There are people in my life who I have strained relationships with. There are people whom I haven’t met yet who are destined to have a great impact oin my life. These are repeating constants;universal ones even. To the family and friends who I have hurt, I will make good on the hurt I caused even if it is the next person and not you who receives the direct benefit of wisdom gleaned form my indisrections. Also, for those who have wronged me, I will refuse to hate you; I will take as much responsibility for not being better to you in your time of weakness.
To those I have yet to meet, destined to become friends and girlfriends: I will deal with you squarely and keep the focus on me, never basing my sense of worth and fulfilment on you. I have fucked up before in these regards. I have done okay before in these regards. I have excelled before in these regards. Either way, the future will be the best yet.

I am getting better, and I can prove it.

I love you all. Never be a afraid of a re-do. Never feel like you are stuck at a place you were in the past. “Do-over” is another name for “practice” and that’s how we get good. Sometimes I look at my life and see train-wreck; a culmination of unpulled triggers and impetuous, ill-advised actions. This is a truthful analysis, but there is a level of life mastery I aspire to, a highest ideal, and when I ballpark out how one might reach that ideal, I can’t see a way to it that looks appreciably different from my life thus far.

Looking back on yesterday and correcting for today and tomorrow is not mutually exclusive from being on track. Take it on faith

I have.

Best,
-Dre

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Recepticons…TERRORIZE!!

Friends,

I’m working at a hostel on the coast just west of Lisbon. I like hostel work and while I have to keep my head down the next two years and hit the books to become a massage therapist, I don’t intend to take my eyes off of the prize -I like this life and I want to do more in this domain.

That said, tonight has been….hilarious. I don’t know of a more diplomatic way to refer to a frustrating night full of guests who make me wonder how they are able to tie their own shoes, let alone book rooms online. Timothee for example and his compatriot called up unable to find their hostel building. Since I’m managing from offsite and a foreigner to boot, I was at a bit of a loss to navigate him to the location in Lisbon. More frustratingly, he wouldn’t listen. The whole exchange would have taken half the time if I could have had him shut-up and listen to my questions, but he was so flustered -THEY were so flustered- it was like being on the phone with two little French girls whose croissants had been taken away.

Frustration

I kept them on the line and got on my personal phone with my supervisor, Ricardo, a muscly, beautiful gay Portuguese man who unironically uses the term of endearment, bros when referring to me and Charlie. So I had two phones up to my ear, Ricardo on speaker, and I was trying to relay the information back and forth but whenever I said something to one phone, the other phone piped up. Ricardo for all his good qualities can be a bit of a prattler himself and he was already frustrated with these dudes because they hadn’t been reading the emails all week leading up to their booking which told them that the hostel was self-check in and that we couldn’t give them their room codes until they provided us with credit card info.

Resignation

At length, I had Ricardo call them and they later got back to me with their CC and I gave them room codes. They had me stay on the line until they were past the vestibule and then abruptly hung up on me….wankers.

I was happy with myself that I managed to take it all in stride. A younger, dumber me might have been a little averse to this flaccid abuse, but honestly, it starts to wear less on you the more you remember that you are dealing with small children, small, adult-sized children.

Fuck it, having a smoke!

Who am I kidding, Timothee and his friend are French, so they’re probably Napoleon-sized.

Best,
@dreguan

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Thinking on my Sins

I quit smoking. I left Berlin, hotbed for smoking anywhere and everywhere that it is. I came to Lisboa to finish my third and final month before submitting….succumbing to the yoke.

I will get myself clean before going back to Canada. I will get myself clean before putting my head down and shutting up. I will get myself clean before I go pay back all that good karma of living so recklessly and “finding myself” these last post-Chelsea years.

And that’s what it is -post-Chelsea, not post-Marijo. Not post-Anne. I lost Chelsea, the last person who loved me unconditionally. I have been so fixated on Marijo but she never loved me unconditionally. Marijo was too wise for that, even though she got start-struck by me and my sole purpose and intentional focus. She wised up real quick when that focus and drive she fell in love with became disproportionately fixated on her.

God how I sinned against her.

And then spurned by her I attached myself to Anne like a parasite. A weak man attaching himself to a strong woman’s vain twilight hopes of having a family. I look back at my weakness and willingness to use those weaker than me and I feel disgust. I never want to be so weak again.

Buuuuut….

I think I am still willing to use people again if need be. I just want to make sure I use that malevolence and ….charm, in a more intentional way. I don’t want to use it against women. Or men. I want to sue it against people who know we are in contest. And then only as a last resort. I don’t want cunning to be how I make my way in the world, I want competence to be how I make my way in the world. I want my artifice and wiles to be the fruits reaped by contenders who will appreciate the artfulness and not be left stunned and in disarray at how their best –their pearls– were spit upon for selfish egoistic self advancement.

I look back and see human wreckage. I’ve taken what I want from women. From those women gullible, naive and/or idealistic enough to be duped at least.

No more. I will make sure their eyes are open. If I can’t open them then I will walk away.

And of course I realize wryly that it’s all well and good for me to repent and rehabilitate now that my ‘victims’ have endured/are enduring the brunt of wasted hopes and wasted years. I used to take pride at how I was on good terms with all of my exes. I can’t do that anymore. I look at the last few women in my life and its indifference/going on with life at best, and….something else at worst.

I sinned against Marijo. I have known this for a long time. A spiritual sin against someone so perfectly matched to my soul that I felt I might have to pay penance for several lifetimes before I might have her essence welcome me again.

And if that weren’t bad enough, my penance to her was at the “altar” of my relationship with Anne. I saw Anne as the fitting punishment for earlier transgressions. I spent a year self-flagellating with her, trying to conform my heart and soul to a new life that wasn’t my own and my health suffered. I felt like I couldn’t even stand up straight and I was scared that I was going to cripple myself by continuing down this road.

And then there’s the elephant in the room, Annie.

Annie, who loved me so purely and so dearly while I pined after Marijo, missing her with the vain goal of co-mingling my weakness and inadequacy with her optimism and idealism. I haven’t even addressed Annie. I have kept her compartmentalized out of a sense of respect. She loved me so dearly, so purely, and all I could think about was another woman.

Marijo. Annie. Anne. They all have names. They are all lives touched by my brutish, unrefined demands. Sodomized by my insecurities, they allowed themselves to be victimized by my emotional rapefulness (sic.) because they didn’t know better; because as they were struggling to keep their own heads above water they only saw the polished tip of my iceberg and not what floated me -not the generational pain, narcissism, hurt and legacy of past impetuous, rash and calculated actions.

There’s an idea that I don’t like per se, but which is nonetheless salvational: “None of us get away with anything.”

I realized this when I cheated on Anne. Even though we might lay cuddled, there was always something between our tightly intertwined bodies which prevented ultimate closeness, and the only thing which ameliorated that distance was coming clean about my infidelity. Poor girl. Poor lovely, unassuming young girl who was five years my senior. She wanted so badly to believe that her investment in me would pay off that she forgave me.

No. That’s not true. Forgiveness implies an even playing field. She was DESPERATE. I knew this. I knew I could act a fool and get away with it. And still, when I came clean it was only because I found my conscience -atrophied, jelly-like invalid that it was- irksome. I wanted to hold her closer and for my own selfish indulgence and the last good thing in me was screaming at me in its weakened state, “NO!”

I told her. She forgave me…not like she had a choice and my cuddles were as close after that as I needed them to be, no longer impeded mythat thing I had been neglecting to feed and nurture.

If we can shut a yappy creature up and get ourself some respite, very often we will settle for that instead of a proper solution.

What a horrible state of affairs if that yappy creature we wish to toss only the merest sustenance to is our conscience.

Oh ladies who have loved me, I am so so sorry. I have wronged you so egregiously. I took what you freely gave at your most idealistic and demanded more with no recompense. I am disgusted with myself.

I am haunted too. I am haunted by a selfish thought. The thought that is haunting me is this idea of 3. Three. Three women in your life. Three loves. That’s all you get. That’s all anyone gets. I look back on the women in my life trying to piece together who I loved and who I didn’t actually love, but who I just saw as an idealized projection of what I wanted. I hope to God the count is less than three. I hope I meet the love that will be so redefining in its depth that it will shift the goal-post and make me realize that everything I experienced before was just a shadow of the immaculate now where I find myself in union with a naive feminine sweetness that loves me like Chelsea loved me, unconditionally.

That future is uncertain. I have thought about becoming a priest or coming out as gay over the last year because honestly, what do I have to offer the women I want; the sweet young women that I want, aside from rapaciousness and plunder.

And so I have become a man of faith. Perhaps all men of faith are motivated by a self-awareness of the transcendental nature of their erring. I see my transgressions -for better or worse- as arithmetic figures to be punched into the perpetually tabulating equation of human suffering and misery. My act of faith is not to absorb as much of that suffering as I can without letting it pass to the weaker around me who fall in love with me because of token, gestural demonstrations of strength and poise.

No, from now on I shoulder the burden, not because anyone is watching and I am trying to get laid, but because I have learned experientially that the only way to redeem my suffering, to redeem the hurt I have inherited, is to minimize the suffering around me. And I so dearly need that respite so that I can become.

And here is the faith: If I do this, I trust that whatever happens will be the right thing. If it turns out that it is three strikes and I am out for women to love me, then I will take satisfaction that this is but one life and there will be another to get where I’m going.

If it turns out -God willing- that it has only been two, then I swear by everything that is holy that I will have the wide open eyes to recognize that beauty and not take it for granted like I was wont to do in the past. I won’t coast on it but will work every day to make it better until it kills me.

If it is three I have already had then there might be another way…

My wandering vagabond lifestyle up to this point has been a blessing and a curse, but whatever I can say about it it has made me choosy and refined in how I go about suffering. I want so badly to suffer for something with my enlightened perspective of how deeply meaningful suffering can be and how to shoulder it for the benefit of myself and everyone around me. I want to have my back against the wall and have people depend on me.

And I will get it…if I’m meant to in this life.

Again, faith.

I have difficult years ahead of me. Lots of credit I have been living on that has to be paid back. I am going to pay it back with a smile on my face. And if I have to buy a pack of tobacco to bolster me now and then, then I burn away my health and beauty gladly.

#prettycorpseblues

Best,
-dreguan

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Evolution, Serotonin and the Future of Posture

Friends,

This is a message was sent to a friend, but you guys can read it too:

This is long. Read as much or as little as you like or skip right to the questions at the end. As long as I value your thoughts and opinions I may be inclined to periodically share ideas with you and some other people whose thoughts and opinions I value also. But I do it with no expectation of a response of similar length or by a certain time. People like you already help me by being a sounding board to write and vocalize complex ideas and I am grateful.

We get serotonin by dominance
But not dominance precisely -we get it by carving out a space -geographic/social/professional- which we defend and improve.
The serotonin we get inflates us, puffs us up, makes us stand taller. If we back down from a dominance display/not maintain our space/get encroached upon, we will have a relative deficit of serotonin and deflate.
When we inflate we rise up taller, walk more confidently and lift our shoulders and gaze.
When we deflate, we are scurrilous, scared and guarded.
Our early hominid ancestors walked on all fours and engaged in dominance displays (as did our much earlier crustacean and reptile ancestors). When they won they would make big puffed-up gestures and occupy more space.
Those big puffed-up gestures were the first fumbling overtures toward walking upright.
In very general terms, we can say that there is a correlation between standing upright and reproduction: the winners got the serotonin rush and also reproductive rights after all, and both flowed from the same cause: successfully occupying space, or ‘dominance’ if you prefer.
As the less dominant died off, the standards changed: the winners perpetually, habitually stood more upright more frequently, because statistically, a recent win will give you a courage advantage in the next stand-of.
Standing more and more upright even began to become a useful default posture because as we became more deadly and became hunters of animals, we also became hunters of each other, and one of the best ways to mitigate the problem of being hunted by other tribe is to not present yourself as a “target of opportunity” -walk upright so they know when they see you that you’re coming off of many battles and that they don’t want this problems. This marks when the standards began to change again: you can still win a dominance challenge with violence and threats but you can also broadcast that you’re not to be trifled with, avoid the acute challenge, and still win. This is a viable evolutionary strategy -think bright colouring on poisonous fish.
(*it’s important to note that broadcasting how much you’re not to be trifled with should be done in a similar manner as the poisonous fish 1) The fish can actually back up his claim 2) The fish isn’t aggressive because he trusts that you’re not that stupid -the result: calm cool, dominant coexistence)
Back to viable evolutionary strategy: as standing more and more upright became the norm for the pragmatic reason of warding off predators, the inevitable dominance challenges which still did present themselves would, when won, cause even greater upright posture, which over generations and a gradual cultural shift, created even more upright baseline standard for our ancestors.
***
At this moment, we are at a critical juncture: In an evolutionary history characterized by greater and greater ‘uprightness’ we are perpendicular to the land we stand upon. 90 degrees, the beginning of a square,
At least we should be. We look around the world and so many of our brothers and sisters walk like our earliest hominid ancestors, some even prefer to walk or crawl on all fours but are stopped from “bottoming out” evolutionarily by social norms. (Crawling and humiliation are fetishes which I think speak to a generalized fear of striving upward -but my views on sexuality are not as sophisticated as I’d like them to be so please take that example with a grain of salt.
(Note: I advocate quadrupedal movement for exercise and athletic purposes; not for insulating oneself against the challenges and dangers that the world will throw at us.)

So we see a world around us of bad posture, people slouching under the weight of a heavy world. What do?
Certainly, being the upright man in a world of slouchers would have an analagous benefit to being the “one eyed man in the land of the blind”. The same benefit actually: vision. Greater vision is now an even more effective way than fighting, threatening displays and a rough demeanour. If you have vision and a cultivated voice to communicate what you see you can look at the world around you see problems that will evolve into dominance challenges, threat displays and even violence while they’re still baby dragons. Then you can act accordingly and with much greater economy to squash those baby dragons and focus on higher order problems. The man with vision can much more economically and assuredly deal with threats to the space he is occupying and the people he loves within it, than can the brute with just fists. And the man with fists and vision? Nevermind…

Maybe this point about fists and vision is a good place to begin dovetailing into something approximating an elegant close: What I want I want to ask you (now that you understand how I formulated the idea) is this:

1)Do you think “upright” is the physical / postural limit of our evolution, or do you perhaps think as I do, based on everything talked about thus far, that our posture, better yet, “the lengthening and straightening of our spinal columns as a result of serotonin being released as a reward for successfully occupying space in the world” will continue to evolve? For example, will the open heart chakra position be the postural norm, where we incline our chins upward to survey the heavens and the man of greatest vision is the man who sees the threats and responds to the challenges of a larger multi-dimensional, multi-universe reality?

2) Do you think we can precipitate this evolution by “kick-starting it at the lower order and even younger level by correcting children (and adults) with a how and why for comporting themselves more upright (and beyond).

3) Do you think a critical threshold is necessary for this kind of evolution? Like if 500 million of 9 billion on the planet are walking upright and 8.5 billion are looking at their feet, I think makes it more difficult for the few to evolve to even further heights because so many people aren’t doing their duty and “occupying their space” as they should. We need the feedback of closely-matched people to contend with so we stay sharp. I think you are living this idea whether you know it or not -you’re someone who goes out in a incredibly focused manner searching for a “better set of problems to have”. I really respect that about you. You WANT to stay sharp. So yeah, what are your thoughts on a critical thresholds for evolution?

4) Hearkening back to fists and vision, do you think upright is the perfect equilibrium between the two? If we crouch too far forward in survival mode we miss the whole magical universe and perhaps more importantly, the dangers which aren’t immediate but are on the horizon and imminent?
If we exaggerate the strengthening / lengthening of the spine and focus our gaze upward toward the heavens only, perhaps only taking up abstract causes like ” saving the planet”, are we perhaps turning too much finite attention away from the world, and the comparatively small problems (which we are able to more efficiently and economically solve than the people whose “job” we feel it is to do so). Small problems which, if left unsolved, aggregate into huge problems which we can’t economically solve. I think something is lost here, even if we knowingly make a commitment to be a cloistered monk and focus solely on the abstract. Maybe the solution is as simple as “there’s a time to be more evolved and a time to be less evolved”? -I suspect the answer lies somewhere there, although at this juncture in human existence (as in all of them) I think we always want to keep “upward pressure” and so its not a 50/50 split. What say you?

5) If we can accept the idea that the man of vision:
a)sees problems while they are still small and distant (vision)
b)speaks the problems to the people who need to hear it (truth) c)wilfully takes on as much responsibility for the problem as he can bear (action)
d)is rewarded for his vision, speech and action by the tribe (serotonin)
e) inflates somewhat, stands more upright, becomes either more aware of higher order threats or able to see more distantly in the future how problems may develop (i dont know yet the actual mechanism by which his vision might improve beyond the fact that he sees something the rest of his tribe doesn’t -like a prophet or a seer)
f) this is what we want from everyone (shared ideal)
…we can undertake the solving of the problems in earnest.

This is what has occupied my mind as of late. I am doing so much healing. I am burning away so much of what is unnecessary. I see more clearly now and I’m excited to gain more clarity yet.

Best,

–Dre

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Got tired of writing…

…so I’m writing this instead. Straight from the hip, cut to the chase. I am going to be asking for a big favour soon and I feel good about that. I think I have a good shot of it being granted and I think I am wise enough to express myself truly and without artifice. As far as goal-setting goes, I said something today: I want to work so hard and so smartly and so successfully that when this favour is granted it will be irrelevant. HIgher things will have availed themselves to me. That’s a tall order but its puts this favour in proper context as one step in a staircase. The better a stairclimber I am, the less relevant one missing step is going to be in my progression upward.

Its gonna take time and attention; the two spiritual commodities. I can work and apply myself so hard and so diligently in the direction of mastery in one domain that proximal domains become lower rungs, helpful, but not necessary.

I can do this. I am as good as I have ever been. I can do anything. Mine is the drill that will pierce the heavens. #prettycorpseblues I gotta say it more because its my life. Its what I do. It’s who I am. Its the delicate balance of submitting to the universe but keeping a rebellious spark in my open, watchful eyes. If I keep my gaze trained on reality, it will eventually blink and then all bets are off.

But until it blinks, I watch it and outwardly submit to it. Learn its rules, play its game, biding my time like Nat Turner.

Reality is like a rude bitch; she wants to be taken by a man who knows when and how to strike and cow her. To fuck her?….forcefully? Maybe…

Hatefully? Definitely!

Reality wants you to put her in her place.

*Read this in Patrice O”Neal’s voice*

“Listen you, you…goofy bitch. I know what you’re tryina do. You tryna pimp me -And I AM gon’ LET you. You wanna come out at me callin’ me limp dick this or pathetic failure that? That’s cool, baby! I ain’t gon’ in’errupt you. But pretty soon you gonna run out of dumb shit to say, and plates to throw at me, and you just gonna stand there looking retarded….looking at everything YOU DESTROYED…and I. Am. Going. To. Simply smile. And hug you and you will feel like the idiot dum-dum you are and can’t help being and you will. Want. To. Fuck. Me. Then. And your dumbass is gonna feel guilty for your performance earlier and you will beg me to punish you. And because I am a man and I love I will. And then when we are done and you walkin’ stupid like a chicken, you are going to go into the kitchen and get me something to eat.”

Patrice didn’t say that, but I feel its a fairly faithful recreation os something he might say if he was talking to a woman…or reality.

Sleep now.
-Dre

RIP Patrice O’Neal

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Pyramid of Truth

Friends,

When it comes to human perception and comprehension, I think absolute truth is mostly unknowable. We tend to float around the truth with approximations of it shaded by our own biases, perspective and rigor in pursuing knowledge on that tack. If there is a fixed, universal truth, we may as well consider it an unreachable, imperceptible ideal which we strive toward in what is essentially an act of faith. We simply don’t have the faculties to perceive/comprehend it, though we can get closer and infinitely closer approximations of it.

Honestly though, we could almost consider this inability to reach/perceive/comprehend truth a mercy, for imagine how much difficulty we would have if, grasping the complete truth we tried to communicate it to our fellows. Rare is the individual who can communicate the truth of something without bias and rarer still the one who can listen and hear without objection.

Instead, I think that human perceptions of truth in any realm are like looking up at the top of a pyramid -where you stand around the base might give you a view of the north, south, east and west-facing aspects of the top (and that might be considered your politics/religion/school of thought/prejudices on that issue). But the higher you advance upward from that position at the base, in that linear mindset? Your view of the truth/tip stays the same (though maybe the fine details get clearer)

Think about it; the only way to gain a more complete view of the tip is to walk around the base. To carry the analogy further, this is akin to holding, and perhaps even arguing, different positions to experientially understand their truth. A simple example, might be a lifelong Marxist vs. an someone who became Marxist after spending most of their life as a Rational Choice Individualist: in this scenario, who might be said to have a more complete view of the truth? I would say the latter. It matters little how you move from position and stance throughout your life, what matters instead is how much work and effort you put into understanding each position as you adhere to it.

If you think about each position, you walk around the base.

If you talk about each position, you walk around the mid-portion of the pyramid.

If you do/live/act each position, you traipse about the upper portion with a closer view of each side of the tip.

And whether circling the pyramid at the bottom, middle or top, what happens when you see the pinnacle, the ideal, the tip from all directions? Well, if you can remember accurately how it looked from each perspective you can put together in your mind’s eye a composite image of the entire tip -something that can only be seen in real-time from above as if you were aloft above the pyramid looking down at it. And knowing what the entire tip/truth looks like is at least as good as, if not better than, seeing it.

Isn’t this a transcendence of that particular issue/question/pyramid/hierarchy?

I would say yes.

What I said earlier about the absolute truth being unknowable notwithstanding, there are many microcosmic domains whose pyramids of truth we have ascended and transcended in our individual lives. These are the domains where we might be said to have achieved mastery, or at least something functionally close to it. And even if the idea of inequality implied by ascending the pyramid troubles you due to a commitment to social justice, you can’t deny that as we build up our skills and aptitudes and knowledge, it certainly feels like we are ascending above others.

***********************************************

The pyramid never ceases to amaze me and enlighten me as a a conceptual tool for understanding the world and complex ideas. If only ancient people had erected pyramids everywhere on the planet to signify how key they were to understanding universal truth.

Best,
-Dre

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