January 7th, 2017

 

That’s what I have been living in the majority of my life, not the/this, illusional “real world”, but rather my own little world in my mind, where everything is all as I like and want it, where I am who I am, doing the things, living the life, that I only do within the confines of my head.

I think my really doing so in earnest, began a quarter century ago when I was living in Phoenix.  PHellOnEarthNIX, as I endearingly came to refer to it as, has come to mind a bit as of late.  Reason being, as that was where my days, pretty much, were spent in what I am looking and trying to do here now – immerse myself in deep, introspective thought.

Back then in Phoenix, it was what I did.  Of course, I was young and spry back then, the mind, spirit, and soul, all primed to start out in this here life, to tackle it… and where, and when, I found out that this life/world was not like how it was in my own little world that I had always only known in my sheltered, innocent and naive years up till then… and how my own little world’s walls of that time, came crumbling down in shatters around me.

So, I think it was there, in survival mode, that from the shambles of that earlier lived in little world o’ mine, was pieced together, along with what I came to learn, grow, and understand in those three years in Phoenix, into the my own little world that I still maintain in trying to … – find, live in… ?  Just knew that it was better than this life/world that was around me.

It was also there in Phoenix where Catholicism (what I had been born, raised, and schooled in), and religion as a whole, heck even God, came to be questioned, tested, and eventually abandoned, and replaced with what it was that I deep down, personally believed and felt to be, and still do to this day.

It’s funny, before I went on this little here journey o’ mine, last Summer, I went through and reread all those handwritten journals that I have spoken of occasionally… to see if something in them, of me(s) gone by, might provide some insight into what, and where, to do, go.

In reading them, was surprised to find that I had held on to my Catholic faith longer than I had remembered… It was pretty much around twenty-three years of age, after I had left and moved away (again) from Phoenix… when I was remembering it being a couple years earlier, at around twenty-one, and still being in Phoenix.  But, no, was still clinging and holding on to that which I was brought up to then, to only believe in and know, otherwise burn in the fiery pits of hell.  Even after I seriously considered entering the priesthood and becoming a Catholic Priest… even going as far to visit a priest who taught me in high school, telling him about it, and him giving me a bible, that I still have to this day.

What led to Catholicism, and eventually all religion, and even pretty much god’s downfall with me?  Well, with the Church itself, it was a couple small things really, that over time just more and more…

I remember even in high school, I was questioning the whole Jesus Christ / Son Of God thing… I even used to consider myself a Catholic Jew in that sense.  I mean, I do believe that there was a Jesus Christ, anyone who has read the bible, cover to cover, and how the old ways of the Old Testament, and then all of the sudden, this hippie like, peace, and love, love thy brother and sister, man comes about talking the way that he is, there’s no way he was made up, and that this great, loving man of peace did grace this life/world, and so believed in what he did, that he died for what he believed in… I mean, total props and respect for the man.

Him being the divine God himself, sent here to earth in human form to save us all from our sins?  No.  He is no more a son of god then we all are sons and daughters of god… God, whom I still believed in, and had a very close, personal, and spiritual relationship with, until my early twenties.

Other things with the Church, I just did not buy into the whole ceremonial, ritualistic, aspect of it all.  Really?  This all powerful, knowing, loving God, needs to know that we believe, love, obey, and respect him, by going to a mass and like programmed sheep, go through all these motions, say all these prayers…  really need the pomp and circumstance?

Which used to get my goat, because the prayers, and everything, everyone said in mass, were so programmed and instilled in our minds, most of us, from pretty much birth, twelve years of schooling, and countless church services doing that time, that the words just drone out in the exact same tone, manner, inflections, pauses, prayer after prayer, mass after mass… and when I was Joe Catholic, that would eat at me, because were they even listening or thinking about what it is they are praying and saying?!  And was one of the things I told myself when I became a Priest, well my church and congregation, I would lead them in the prayers so that they didn’t just baa them out like sheep in the same monotone way, but said them with thought as to what they were saying.

Anyway… and other little things, like when I was living in Wyoming, and this was during the Persian Gulf War (you remember, the first war with Iraq started by a Bush President… not to be confused with the second one, started years later by his son, to finish what daddy started), and in the church I would go to, they had an American flag hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the church, and a sign saying “Support Our Troops”.

Really?  Not even mentioning the separation of church and state… but, really?!  I’m sorry, but I thought that man, whom you got in statue form right behind, and above the altar, preached and spoke of love and peace… and that his Father, gave unto Moses something called the Ten Commandments, which I do believe numero five is – “Thou shalt not kill”.  And here you got Ol’ Glory, Stars And Stripes, hanging from a House of God, along with a sign saying to support trained murderers, as they go and kill others?!

Eventually, Catholicism, and religion in general, just ended up flittering away from me, when I just came to see it as really being simply a right-brained form of governance, and way to have control and power over the people.

You know, there is left-brained, where most of the analytical, and logical processing of the mind is involved and takes place… and the right, is where is said the creative and imaginative aspects and processes of the mind take place.  And thus, to my way of thinking, the creation of church and state.

State – created by the left-brained, with generally understood societal laws and rules for all to abide by and follow, being natural as sentient creatures as is man.  If not, and laws and rules broken, then a system of punishments, fitting the severity of the law or rule not followed, to be implemented.  And thus a way to keep control over the people from just running amuck.

Religion – just took it a creative step different… okay, yes, certain laws and rules to be had and obeyed, and who is it that made these rules, not man, but some higher diety, a god, who set forth all these rules for all to follow, and the punishment, may not be now, or swift, but come in the judgement and wrath of this god(s) upon those who do not follow these gods’ rules.  And thus, just a more creative way to keep control over the people from just running amuck.

Anyway… just seeing religion as just this, man created thing (like, money, the two things that I see are the root of all evil in this here life/world), really was not hard at all to completely dismiss it, personally.

God, well that came simply from the simplest change of thought.

See, God, even when I wasn’t down with the whole Jesus, Catholic, thing, I was tight with the Big Man Upstairs… and was the impetus to my wanting to become a priest, in just thanks to Him, for all that He had been and done for me… I wanted to devote my life to spreading his love to all, in appreciation fro all, and what he had been and done for me.

What I saw as God having been there for me, was in that half decade, to decade prior to my abandoning it all, which was a very trying time, that was hard on me, and about ended me in more ways than one, more times than one, for those years straight.  And I attributed my only doing so, to God being there with me through it all, helping me, being a friend to me, which is how I referred to God, as Godsy, my buddy ol’ pal and friend.  That there was no way that I could have lived and made it through without His presence, and helping me do so.

Which, when I reread those earlier handwritten Journal entries last Summer before I left, it was that relationship with God, that was still intact, and continuing on longer than when the Church and religion, had already begun to fall away… that my and God friendship though, no relinquishing that… I mean, how could I?!  If it wasn’t for Him, I wouldn’t even be here right now still!

What changed it?  One simple, tiniest little question (yes, and we know how the Church and religion despises those, and those who think of them!  The answer is unknown, my son… who are we, as mere mortals, and sinners, to understand the complexities, meanings, and purposes of the gods, and to why things happen, or are?  Just have ye faith!) and change of thought:  All those years of pain and turmoil, hurt and anguish, when I thought I would end my life, or that it would do it on it’s own just as well, thank you very much, and the consecutive years where I was certain I would not see the next year… if God hadn’t, wasn’t there to have gotten me through – who was it that did?

Me.

It was me.  Simply by removing God from the equation, the answer was clear and simple – I did.  I made it through.  Me.  Myself.  I did it.

Thus began fully my belief in the power of the self.  God?  I am god.  I am the one who makes or breaks my world.  Who creates and makes everything in my life.  Not nobody, certainly not some made up deity, who is supposedly all powerful, all knowing, all loving, that knows things that we cannot even begin to grasp to know and understand, but yet, is subject to the pettiest of human emotions!  Who if you don’t follow, he will think you do not love him… if you do not serve him, he will become angry and punish thee… a god with behavior traits of a petulant child – you don’t do it my way, well then you can’t come to my house!

For I know, there are those, even close to me, who are deeply religious, who will never come right out and say it, but am certain behind my back to themselves, say that the reason I am so lost, is because I turned my back upon the Church, and God, and if only I come back to the Church, will I see my life turn around, will God then again look upon me, and my life, with favor.  Heck, even look at Job, who reverently followed the law and words of God, and just for the fuckin’ fun of it, God made his life a miserable hell to just merely test that endearing faith and love, just to make sure it was genuine… because, you know, He’s just an all knowing and all loving God…  I mean, really?!

I remember one lady I used to work with, and we got along great, did a photo shoot for her daughter… anyway, one day we were laughing it up, and or just talking, and she just stopped, looked at me, and straight faced, dead serious said to me with a twinge of sadness, that I am such a great and nice guy, and it’s too bad that my soul will spend an eternity in the fires of damnation, because I hadn’t excepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.

Wow.  Okay.

Anyway, abandoning it all was really a no-brainer.

Again though, this is just for, and to, me.  I have (unlike some back in return) utmost respect for people and their religious beliefs and faith – if they deep down, whole heartedly believe in it all, truly, themselves, then who the hell am I to judge, and/or say different?!  Good for you!  I am genuinely happy for you!  And may your god bless you!  Just please, respect the fact that I may not believe in what it is that you believe.  That’s all.  Peace and love to you, and to all.

And that is what I believe in at the core – love.  That’s it.  Love.  Just simply, love.

Anyway…

After going off on that tangent track train of thought…!

Yeah, my own little world of idealistic, peaceful, love, that I live in my mind, where no man has to toil in servitude to either some god or religion, nor to some vile concoction such is money… which is the one root of all evil in my mind, that I haven’t been able to figure out how to drop like a bad habit, as I did religion decades ago, and of which I still struggle to figure out a way I can live in this here life/world where money is king (or now, President-Elect)…

And being here on this second part of this here journey o’ mine, out here in the desert of southern Cal, little to no progress has been made in figuring any of it out.

My time as of late has been spent working on this oddball photo series project, that I came up with, out of the blue… really, I don’t know where the idea for it came from… but am two-thirds of the way through it, with my thinking I need two shots (maybe just one) more, and it will be complete.

And I think about this photo project – is it just another distraction I just came up with to preoccupy and fill my time, to keep me from the duty and work at hand, for which I am out here for?  But, then I think about the photo project, and even though it is completely out there, and really has been not an easy thing to shoot, I am doing what it is I like and want to be doing.  I enjoy the fun, creative aspect of doing the project… something that doesn’t come along too often, so when it does, I grasp tightly onto it.

And I counter that argument of it being just merely a distraction to me, in it keeping me from this all encompassing quest to figure out me and my life, with like I have already said before – it all is not a new subject to me, that I have not pondered endless over my entire fucking life!  As I’ve said, there is hardly a rock that has not already been overturned in my thinking upon this all, the majority of my adult fuckin’ life!  What more, or new, can I think of that I already haven’t a hundred times over?  Me being out here living in the middle of no man’s land, for the sole purpose of trying to figure this all out, what is it accomplishing?  I could have done this in an actual home, with amenities, like electricity, running water, etc., and not living under an already weather worn canopy, in a van, out in the middle of nowhere…

So, no… doing this photo project is me doing something I want, and like to be doing, in the middle of me doing something that, for all intents and purposes, is yielding absolutely no results.  Yeah sure, in a short time, the well is going to run dry, and will have absolutely no precious money to my name, and not the slightest clue of what, or where, to do and go then, and whatever it may be, most likely will not be pleasant… but, that’s a few weeks into the future… right now is right now, and that is all I have control over.  And as long as I fill right now with what it is that is right to me …

So, yeah…  just another update of me off living in my own little world.

As always, here’s hoping you, in your own little world, are doing well, and things are going well for, and with you, in everything with it.  Remember, we create and make our own little world, our own little life, into a reality, each and every day, as we choose it… here’s to not letting our choices be by default, but by our conscious, heartfelt decision to do so.

All the best to you, my friends and fellow travelers.

For those of us who live in our own little world, below, what one sees as they leave Slab City –

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  • PaulJanuary 7th, 2017 - 5:33 pm

    Maybe you will figure everything out and there is some huge reveal awaiting you, some awesome and grand purpose, but your words about your recent photo project pretty much summed up what I’ve discovered, and am still discovering, for myself.

    That I want to occupy my time with things I enjoy and things that are creative, where I can truly be myself and explore my creativity.

    That’s what I need to enjoy my life and feel fulfilled and, dare I say, happy.

    I don’t need, nor believe, that there is anything more to this life than everything that is right here in front of us, and I’ll be ecstatic and content to live out my life doing the creative things of my choosing, quietly and for myself.

    I may at one time have thought about such things as a distraction but I discovered recently that I was wrong: that is not the sideshow for me, it’s the main event.

    That suits me just fine, and now hopefully I can finally, much belatedly, get down to the business of living a life.

    Some people pursue money and status. Good for them if it pleases them. I could be rich and famous and I would still be miserable if I was not being creative. And not just creative, but authentically creative. Being creative and following my own inner voice and desires, unswayed by others, and seeing where it leads. And by leads, I don’t mean to some external reward, I mean to where it leads on my own creative, internal, journey. That’s the greatest disadvantage of being creative and famous, I would imagine, it would make it more of a challenge to be authentic, too much attention, too much internal and external pressure to keep doing the same thing, to keep doing whatever it is that pleased the most people (unless you are uniquely self-assured and strong, as many a great artist and many an unknown artist has been before us an will be after us). Those are the distractions, as far as I’m concerned.  They’re like the chime of an incoming email or text … little bursts of dopamine or whatever that keeps us distracted from what we really know we should be doing, whatever that may be for each one of us. The quick and easy fix.

    Don’t know if that last part, especially, makes any sense to you.ReplyCancel

    • JPHJanuary 8th, 2017 - 11:06 am

      Nope, all made perfect sense to me, Paul.

      I am glad and happy for you, that you have come to your realization for yourself, that is awesome!

      And I understand your “belatedly” part and thinking, but only slightly have to disagree with you… in that, as I think I have written before, it is all a part of life, the process, all that leading up to this point for you… it may not have been the living, perceived moving forward, progressing living, that we feel would rather have wanted, but feel is, and was, when we recognize that those low times need to be taken in order to go up… if that makes any sense.

      I guess, I am just a stickler to everything happens for a reason, that everything happens when it is meant to happen – when we arrive at that point for it to… and how we get there, is by truly doing that of which we feel is the most good, honest, right thing to do at any, and every given moment. How do we know if what we choose and decide to do is the most good, honest, right thing for us to do? Trusting, and having faith in ourselves, in that our being honest, with what ever feels like will be the best, right thing – is and will be. And if turns out to not be, then learning and seeing why, and moving on from there.

      Just a constant thing of that – growing, and moving forward and on… consistently adapting and adjusting to the change(s) each and every day… and doing what needs to be done.

      Maybe I should listen to myself!

      I really am a simple man… honest and truly, deep down to the core, I feel, and know, that the best things, and that most things, when broken, deconstructed down to their basic elements, are really just the simplest of things.

      Yet, I just have this penchant for complicating the fuck out of things! Making things out to be more complex than what they are, or need to be. I really am weird in that way… and maybe the trick to me and my life, is finding a way to, simply, not do that.

      Who knows… will see.

      As always, thank you very much for stopping by, Paul, and not only that, but actually engaging in discussion, it seriously is appreciated and welcomed! All the best to you, and again, congratulations, and good for you, in coming to some sense of balance and solace for yourself, and your your life! Rock on, man!ReplyCancel