Thursday, October 27, 2011

Animal spirits

Many people have totem animals that they identify with. There are various traits that an animal possesses that can be identified with humans. In this case, mine is a falcon. Falcons are known for being quick, protective, and intuitive. My mother identifies with the camel, which is known for resourcefulness and surviving in harsh situations. My father relates to the mole, since he is introverted and keeps to himself, all the while sensitive to light and dark.

A good friend of mine and fellow poet, Jackie Cassen, passed away last year. A medium told me that I should look out for the image of a peacock, since this was her sign to me and most likely her animal spirit. Peacocks represent immortality, beauty, and psychic powers.

Some people take on the traits of multiple animals. One friend of mine is a panther/firefly/skylark. This is quite a variety. I myself, as well as falcons, also relate to owls. In order to find out what your animal spirit is, there are certain meditations that can be done. During your visualizations, stay aware of your surroundings and you will get closer to which animal you relate to.

Another route is to take this quiz. It immediately recognized me as an owl, so that's pretty accurate.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prophets on profits

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." -1 Timothy 6:10

While I am not a literati of all aspects of the Bible, I can hold my own in a religious discussion. I can say with the utmost certainty that men like Moses and Jesus Christ would endorse Occupy Wall Street. After all, Moses is the original revolutionary against systemic oppression. Having led the Israelites out of Egypt with the help of God, I would certainly hope that if Moses were alive today, he'd be able to shed some insight as to how we can alleviate ourselves of the societal ills we face now. Jesus would encourage us to stay peaceful while standing up for what we believe in. I am not a Christian, but Jesus, in essence, was a cool guy. You could say that he was one of the original hippies. Though many have taken his message and interpreted the scriptures as a means of carrying out the hatred of God (Fred Phelps and The Westboro Baptist Church), most Christians who have love in their soul know that Jesus would never condemn anybody. A quote about casting the first stone comes to mind. Also, as the quote states above, Jesus would not have sold his soul for money by backstabbing coworkers while wearing a suit and a saccharine smile. WWJD? Certainly not endorse taxpayers to bail out corporations. That is for certain.

Having gone to Occupy Wall Street earlier this week, I saw a wide variety of people protesting. Though many of my beliefs stem from a socialistic mindset, I do not believe that organized religion is "the opiate of the masses." For starters, all the major religions share the same positive message in different words. We share a lot of the same traditions and structures. If you get past the dogma regarding certain rituals, know that you can fill the void in your soul with a healthy dose of inspiration from a holy text. Bibliomancy is a common practice in this regard. I recommend thinking about what you want to get out of your life through religion. Open up a holy book. Any one will do. When you crack open the book to a random page, look towards where either one of your thumbs are placed and read the scripture. Miraculously, you will get an answer you did not expect. But I digress.

Services have been held at Occupy Wall Street, because there are strong spiritual ties that the protesters have to one another and to their respective deities. Spirit links more than it divides. It is my belief that love will prevail amongst the chaos and the ruin. I still stand in solidarity and might make another trip down there soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

In this picture, you will see a photo of my first iPod. It was bought on Christmas of 2004 by my mother, who did not realize that this was a U2 Special Edition iPod. Needless to say, I am a big fan of U2, so this was a great gift. After that iPod went kaput, I eventually bought an iPod Classic Black and later on purchased an iPad and an iPhone 3GS. When I was studying graphic design in college, I worked with the Apple iMac G3 and G4 respectively. Eventually, I will work my way up to purchasing a MacBook Pro when it becomes economically feasible. I was even alive when the Apple II computer came out. One girlfriend I had still had her Apple IIe and it still functioned. Oh, the joys of playing Where In The USA Is Carmen Sandiego. I have a great relationship with Apple products and have found them to be quite useful in my day-to-day life.

Say what you will about Steve Jobs, but there are certain things that nobody can deny. He was an amazing inventor, had a great marketing savvy, and most importantly, had a vision. Amid all of the protests on Wall Street and representing the 99%, let us also realize that many people in our generation have been cradled by the comfort of modern technology. This is not a bad thing by any means, Steve Jobs has put forth some of the most user-friendly inventions known to the modern man and woman. There's no denying the fact that he was a venture capitalist, but I would be also if I had half the ideas he had. Protesting the 1% definitely should not apply to a CEO who actually made a difference in this society and not head a think tank of ways to destroy other countries, disenfranchise the poor, and pollute our already fragile environment. Steve Jobs was never the enemy here. In fact, as a means of showing how brilliant this man was, let me share with you a quote that was used in a television commercial for Apple, followed by the video:

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - Steve Jobs

"In order of appearance they were: Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso. The commercial ends with an image of a young girl (identified as Shaan Sahota) opening her closed eyes, as if to see the possibilities before her."

L'shana tova

In light of the Jewish high holy days, I will post a blog about Judaism. I have identified with the Jewish faith my entire life and hope to stay inscribed in the book of life. Of course, we as humans are not infallible, so the repentance for our sins is important for us. To ask for forgiveness is paramount, but it is even more important to forgive and release. When you aspire to let your ego settle down, you are in turn releasing a burden from your soul.

I know that this Yom Kippur, I have some things that I have done that I am not proud of. I know that I need to use my judgment to see whom I must ask for forgiveness. Honestly, sometimes the best type of forgiveness is to let go of destructive forces in your life: people, places, and things. Specifically, all of these things pertained to my last job at South Beach Psychiatric Center. To be diplomatic about my experience there was difficult, but I will try. I encountered people who were not compassionate individuals. They were people who even demanded that everybody else be compassionate to them, but no reciprocity existed when the tables turned. My mission for this Yom Kippur is to release these bitter feelings I have possessed for the past five months. It has eaten away at me for quite some time.

To anybody who happens upon this blog and is going to be fasting tonight and tomorrow, please have a blessed Yom Kippur, and may all of us be inscribed in the Book of Life this year.