Highly holy Love: How I was introduced to Neil Diamond and the Power of Music

When I was 15 or so, my Dad and I were driving to some far-away destination (perhaps the Bangor airport) and a particular song came over the radio, which had been playing a steady stream of inane, familiar classic rock. My Dad (who had heard the song before) exclaimed, “Neil Diamond!” and excitedly turned up the radio.

This event was unusual for a number of contextual reasons. First, my father was (and perhaps shall always be) of a somewhat somber sort. In particular, during that period in our lives, we were dealing with a number of familial crises including financial strife and drug addiction, and although Da and I shared a bit of comfort in each other’s stalwart company, we were both pretty depressed at the time.

Second, the only music I had ever actually witnessed Da enjoying was classical or Indian music, and this was most certainly neither of those.

Suddenly we snapped out of our driving din and were paying rapt attention to ourselves and to each other. As the music swelled, a long-quiet emotion rose up in me to meet it: Joy. And with it, hope. Though I can’t remember the particular song (probably Sweet Caroline), the upbeat rhythm, melody, and heartfelt vocals caught my ear, and Da’s response caught my interest. I was immediately compelled to hear more.

Not long after that, I listened to several albums, and found that Neil Diamond’s ability to resonantly channel emotional comfort was one of the most effective cures I’d found for lifting my own mood.

Years later, having begun to study for myself the nature of resonance and psychology, I am reminded profoundly of that moment when I was introduced to the emotional influence of music. Though I had always enjoyed music (having been a devout fan of Ma and Da’s record player and selection of records, ranging from Johnny Horton to Van Morrison to Harry Belafonte to the aforementioned Indian musicals), I had not realized its ability to affect the psyche until that point in time.

Now, as I sit here contemplating writing (and even singing) my own songs, I do so with the benefit of Neil Diamond in my reflecting pool. The harmony of music enables words to resonate, and together, they can produce Truth.

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To Master Technology: the necessity of our human empowerment

Technology is a tool. 

Let’s consider the hatchet, one of our earlier pieces of technology. A hatchet is helpful if used properly– it can help you do something that would otherwise take a while, or even be impossible. It can also be unhelpful or harmful if you don’t know how to use it, or aren’t paying full attention to its dangers (which may be unique or unprecedented in experience).

This is true whether we’re talking about farm equipment, nuclear fission, or the internet. We alone are the ones that decide when we are ready to use it. We alone bear responsibility for our usage of it. That is your human power.

I’m not anti-technology– I don’t know how well I would have made it through my teenage years without being able to submerse myself in Civilization or Baldur’s Gate. There are times when its usage enables us to live more fulfilling lives. It’s simply important that we don’t blindly trust that that is always the case, else we lose track of what it is that we’re working to enrich.

Thinking of You, Ladies: from a recovering tomboy

I know what it’s like to want to be one of the guys. I was a tomboy for all of my youth and into early adulthood.

In my case, I became one to become closer to my father, who had always wanted a son. Before I’d hit 12, I was outdoorsy and rugged, and had learned how to pitch a baseball (overhand), shoot hoops, and box. In school I was always more comfortable with guys, feeling I had little in common with other girls.

In retrospect, I’ve come to realize how harmful tomboys are in the quest for equality, however. By working so hard to be accepted into a male group, we inherently adopt male mindsets and are much less likely to defend the value of the female gender (which is widely under “passive” attack in casual culture). We are simply not in a strong enough position to do so, having effectively assumed the position of imposter males.

By allowing any gender-based stereotypes or slang to persist in our presence, we allow the perception of the division to continue.

As I grew out of my tomboy phase, I thought I had reached a point of acceptance of myself as a female. In fact, I had merely managed to overlook that fact, and consider myself as human. It is not good enough to be unisex, omnisex, or asexual because the male “half” is so abundantly dominant at this time.

We must become the female half to speak with a voice that carries the strength and commitment needed to regrow this society. We must continue to empower ourselves and the females and female aspects of those around us.

Remember: “When she wins, you win.” -Gail Kelly

Chronomancy and its Importance

It is true that one of the most important masteries we can strive for is that of time “control”. (Remember: you control your perception.)

We should therefore attempt to understand two things:

  • Time does not exist. We can experience all points of time at once with extrasensory expansion. Emotions are not bound by time. As an example, consider this scenario: Your beloved has left on a trip. You may feel loss and longing. However, when time is removed from perception, she has already returned to you, and you can draw strength from that moment (as all moments exist at once).
  • We can suspend “time”. We can stay in the “present” moment by enacting a state of perpetual meditative thinking. By doing so in all moments, all moments are accessible for reflection. This can be accomplished not by withdrawing into one’s mind, but by releasing the restrictions your active mind inadvertently sets into place (by wondering about bills, or what’s on the TV, or what’s for dinner). Instead, put your entire focus into only that which you can sense in your immediate surroundings, be it your bedroom, your office, or the bus. Listen. Look.

This is your time.

melting-time

Age does not define adulthood

Different people experience and assimilate reality at different paces. This is one step in the understanding of the illusory allure of “time”.

An extreme example of this is someone that enters a coma in their youth and reawakens when they are 30. They have had much fewer experiences than the average 30 year old, let alone the opportunity to reflect and adapt to those experiences.

Rates of assimilation are based on reflection of self and environment. As our rate of reflection decreases (negatively correlated with our media consumption), our experiences become more meaningless and our opportunities for refining our thought patterns (gaining wisdom) are lost. We perpetually reset into the last “solid” mental framework we had– typically the early adolescent, where development of self is too frequently hijacked by media obsession.

Growing in your strength and fiber as a person does not stop at any point. Trees do not halt their growth. They continually reinforce their trunks and roots, all while reaching for the stars.