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The Two Spiritual Commodities

Friends,

At the close of 2016 I was living in essentially two places: In Arizona nestled between the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Coyote Mountain Wilderness Area and the Mexican border…

…and in the spirit realm.

I was working with a shaman named Tim, a self-professed far-east, spaced-out cowboy, and on top of introducing me to the Hermetic Philosophy as revealed through The Kybalion, he also guided me through my first Amanita Muscaria trip.

Tim had a lot of wise things to say and he was fortunately open to letting me film his inspired stream-of-consciousness. There was a way in which Tim could deftly pull apart reality, making a profusion of connections, seeing parallels and finding correspondence everywhere. To say Tim has influenced the way I see the world would be an understatement; he is right up there with Tupac, Jordan Peterson, Peter Joseph, and Dr. Michael Egan.

One of the more memorable things Tim said was this:

“You have two spiritual commodities: Time and Attention; you spend time and you pay attention.

Simple and profound. Time & Attention (TNA) are a currency. They are in fact, all we truly have to give. Even money itself is a derivative of these two commodities as it is (typically) generated by TNA  and/or can be invested in lieu of TNA. Forget the gold standard*, the TNA standard is what truly gives money value. In fact, to the extent that fiat currencies can be said to based on faith (I would say 100%), they are based on TNA -at it’s most abstract, the global economy runs on time and attention.

As to whether or not abstraction, esotericism and entheogen-fuelled speculation from the fringes of civilization have any bearing upon economic discussions, we should remember two things:

1) Most of your money doesn’t exist physically, but only as an accounting abstraction –it’s still real, though.
2) No less than Adam Smith postulated an invisible hand.

Who knows, maybe Adam Smith had some space cowboy in him as well.

Best,
-Dre

*Yes, I realize the gold standard has been mostly abolished.

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A Blog Well Typed

Friends,

As I continually intensify and improve my mastery of my craft, it occurs to me that it might do to improve my writing at the most mechanical level: typing. I’m regrettably still largely a two-finger typer, and although I have moments of inspiration where I can finish off entire words without looking at the keyboard,  I still struggle when I need to transcribe from a screen. Also, even though my current two-finger speed greatly outpaces my “proper technique speed,” I know that there is a much lower top end speed on the former, and this is unacceptable.

Any idea how long it took to write that last sentence? Too long. Yet I nonetheless notice improvement since I first began this endeavour this morning. Two-finger typing technique notwithstanding, I do essentially know where all the keys are, so now it’s just a matter of re-training the individual fingers and developing muscle memory. Incidentally this finger-training isn’t as novel an endeavour as I initially felt it to be as I slowly slogged through a list of SEO keywords this morning; I have been playing guitar for two years now and over the past couple of weeks I have really been devoting myself to sophisticated finger-picking techniques. First was On my One by Jake Bugg (which I’m actually listening to on repeat right now), then House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, and today was Grandma’s Hands by Bill Withers. What’s great about the latter in particular is that it’s also the melody from No Diggity, and as I have been endeavouring to work on my ‘rapping while singing’ faculties I’m essentially getting two birds stoned at once.

I really think intelligence is closely tied to finger dexterity -this was one of the reasons I enrolled in massage therapy- and so I see it as imperative to develop said dexterity in order to embrace that latent intelligence which currently exists in my brain only as an unlockable. It’s actually a little funny, but as I have been entertaining the idea of switching my major to paralegal and even taking the LSAT, these overtures toward masterful typing make me think that I could have a calling in the exciting world of court stenography. Imagine me being he who is tasked with transcribing the goings-on of the courtroom –so much potential for hilarity.

Well that about does it for typing practice tonight. See you in the funny papers!

Best,
-Dre

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The Marriage Within

Friends,

For about five years I have thought seriously about myself and the world in terms of Masculine and Feminine energies existing in a state of dynamic tension. It started when Chelsea and I parted ways 5 years ago and I retreated into myself. Was I depressed? Perhaps a little. The onset of a long Canadian winter and the attendant darkness didn’t help much either. But in that withdrawal I became remarkably creative; writing comedy, performing regularly, acting in numerous film projects, and smoking a lot of marijuana throughout. I was embracing inner beauty which I’d never embraced before in such a wholesale way.

Something shifted in me after about 9 months though. I had been healing…softening… for too long and at a conscious level I was worried that I was beginning to self-censor because I didn’t wish to hurt or offend people. Also, spring was coming and I had a couple more film projects on the docket then I wanted out; it had been years since my last adventure and I could feel the call of the open road. What I later realized was that the shift I felt was my Masculine energy beginning to bubble.

While Feminine Andre lived comfortably in Kelly’s basement, did odd-jobs for the people in the neighbourhood and struggled to be normal around women, Masculine Andre boldly walked through Latin America like a conquistador and had no compunction about talking to any woman he saw. In most cases he got what and whom he wanted because he spoke up first and loudest.

Looking back on discrete stages in my life its easy to view Masculine and Feminine as adding up to 100% and being composed of varying proportions. In fairness, that is actually not a totally unsophisticated view of things and it has the benefit of being palatable to females who narrowly and incorrectly assume Feminine = Female and Masculine = Male. Since they (women) can typically recognize their own Masculine traits and behaviours, they usually accept the idea of a balance, especially if you emphasize the beauty and importance of Feminine traits.

But here’s what I learned: The nice 100% model of Masculinity and Femininity described above, where we try and maintain a balance of 50-50 in spite of fluctuations, is obsolete. It comes from a well-intentioned place, but it makes the same narrow assumptions about Femininity and Masculinity being equivalent to Female and Male respectively.

So what is the optimal relationship between Masculine and Feminine? As controversial as it sounds, Femininity needs to be bound by Masculinity. Think about it: If you’re a woman –especially if you’re a woman– you need to keep a wall up around you day to day.

Do you hate when men say, “Hey babe, why don’t you smile more?” Of course you do and its because they’re trying to coax out your Femininity, the most beautiful parts of you, for nothing.

Have you ever had to put up boundaries in your life with toxic people? We all have. Guess what? Those boundaries are built with bricks of Masculinity and they protect our most beautiful and vulnerable parts from being mistreated by vandals.

Interestingly there is a historical and etymological antecedent for this idea in the concept of paradise. The word evolved into its common iteration from the old Persian phrase for “walled garden.” Why is a walled garden a paradise? Well because its a little bit of unsullied beauty protected for your own personal enjoyment. In paradise you don’t have to worry about other people littering, or finding a secluded spot to lay your blanket. You have a discrete, finite area which is yours, which you can manicure and care-take. A place of verdant, fertile beauty, kept in bounds.

Going forward I am going to avoid the bi-polar trap of thinking in terms of Masculine-Feminine spiking -I don’t want that volatility anymore. I visualize myself now as a walled enclosure, and the wall has many gates and ports of entry. There is potential to let a lot of things in and a lot of things out –but only with my discernment. And let’s be honest about what this means: it means protecting your beauty from ill-intentioned interlopers, and protecting it with your life if necessary.

This is not gonna sound palatable to some but Man the Fuck Up! –Men and Women alike! Cultivate a strong Masculinity that isn’t hopelessly rigid but which will protects your beautiful Femininity nonetheless.

Best,
-Dre

 

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