Can you feel yourself pushing against the walls of your inner physical self?

Can you feel yourself pushing against the walls of your inner physical self? You might think you are simply becoming more observant of how your mind controls your muscles. But really, you might also be stuck inside a cage.

Even the way you can roll along your eyeballs, looking, moving, questioning whether this is really you. With eyes closed and tensions stilled, you enter into a stream of racing and conflicting thoughts. You sense an attempt to seize control of your mind, to the point where your mind will not be your own.

… and you are a beautiful being.

In the new world, there is room for all colors, shapes and sizes. They celebrate the short, fat and non-white as much as they celebrate the tall, skinny and white. They celebrate the 60 year old as much as the 20 year old. They do not make a distinction. If you are a man who loves men, or a man who loves men and women, they love you just the same.

You are beautiful if you are covered in tattoos and you are beautiful if you refuse to get a single one.

In fact, the only way in which you are NOT beautiful is if you declare yourself to be ugly. Everyone else thinks you are beautiful.

In the new world, the only thing that is not permitted is non-consensual violence to another being. Children pass into adulthood via a single moment of transition. There is no teenage angst. The laws about hurting children remain intact, but children are treated completely as children until the day they transition into being adults. This prevents them from feeling as if they are already adults with some degree of independence and freedom, which often causes the frustration we used to see in the old world.

In the new world, we don’t care what religion you practice as long as you do not commit non-consensual violence toward another human being with your religion. You are free to openly practice whatever you like. All manner of monitoring technologies are in place so that we make sure you are not being brainwashed into joining a cult, and effectively declaring that the violence done to you was consensual when it actually was not.

In the new world, people openly practice their sexuality in the streets, and may imbibe whatever kinds of drugs they like. Children who may witness these acts are told that they are for adults only, and that they will not be adults until the moment of transition. If any adult tries to practice a sex act upon a child, the adult is put into a punishing cell.

Punishing cells are available for any and all who break the laws. You are quickly tried and convicted based on what the video recordings said you did. You are placed into suspended animation and force-fed traumatic dreams for the length of your sentence, which is based on the severity of your crime. At the end of your traumatic dreams, you are transitioned into an educational period of dreams, being shown all manner of audiovisual presentations on how to correctly live in our society.

Most who return from such punishments have a proper balance of fear for committing another crime and desire to be good citizens that they are able to spread the word of how unsavory punishment cells are to others. Those who might feel themselves to be inherently born with tendencies that would cause them to commit illegal acts may check themselves into the law enforcement offices to receive healthy doses of only the educational period of dreams.

Very few people commit any sort of unacceptable acts toward others, anymore.

In the new world, you will not find eugenics being practiced as it was in the old days. The notion that society would function best if everyone were tall, skinny and preferably white and blonde has been debunked. It was discovered that very few innovations that are beneficial to the future of mankind can be created from trying to limit the expression of the species. As it has been often noted, such geniuses as Beethoven, Einstein and Churchill would not have been allowed to exist in a eugenic-based society that permits only the most exquisite human specimens. Even the Greeks and Romans, who admired the human form at its finest in the great sculptures, were governed and educated by men who had many physical tics and ailments and had not achieved the most ideal physical forms.

In the new world, you can travel wherever you like and transition to any sort of body you like. This has also contributed to the debunking of the value eugenics might provide a society. The concept of land and body ownership has been eradicated. Children are raised by those who feel compelled to raise children, and when there are not enough adults in an area to raise children, then child-rearing robots will move in and take care of the kids.

Most adult humans are incapable of producing children. While we have not perfected the ability to grow children in labs, we have perfected birth control to such a degree that nobody has a kid unless they absolutely want to. Many humans still want to experience childbirth, including a large percentage of those who were born male. During periods where the birth rate has gone negative, female humans are recruited via propaganda, or required if they are prisoners, to incubate new humans.

Most human bodies live for about eight hundred years. Surprisingly, there are many people who want to experience what it is like to be in an eight-hundred year old body, and there are quite a few humans who are desirous of dying out with the body. Some of these humans haven’t been alive for very long. Of course, many more humans attempt to “trade up” with younger bodies as their own bodies age, and are willing to pay a premium to enter a younger human form.

However, all of the movements of a given entity are tracked carefully. As stated above, no non-consensual violence is permitted, so no older human is allowed to kidnap a younger one and enact a black market trade. When there are epochs of larger numbers of older human bodies, those entities who have been extant in this universe are required to enter the older human bodies and make their exit.

Because we have established a much better working relationship with the beings who operate the bardo passages, we are able to facilitate the transition of those entities who have passed out of this universe and get them back into this universe swiftly via newborn bodies, if they are strongly inclined to remain on this plane of existence. Due to this increasingly efficient process, we see fewer and fewer humans come into this plane who don’t really want to be here.

As stated above, you are free to travel into any part of the world, and visit any home you like. Nobody is allowed to deny you entry into their building. Anyone who denies entry is considered a thief. Because all resources are carefully monitored and recycled by automation, there is little actual labor required of human forms. Only humans who want to exult in physical labor will do so. Most humans participate in academic endeavors, as they have lived long enough to get all of their sexual urges and fantasies worked out of them.

But, there are parts of the world that are devoted strictly to baser pleasures. Think of Las Vegas of your time. You can go to these places without fearing any violence done to your person, and participate in as many drug and sex activities as you wish. There are very few entities who wish to stay in these places for more than a few hundred years of their existences.

As we have also perfected technologies to remotely view back in time, we are able to re-create virtually and physically almost any civilization and its architecture that ever was. Physical time travel is not possible yet. But, the more popular times and places of human existence are re-created physically and are quite popular. Many hundreds of versions of Paris, London, Tokyo, New York, etc. exist throughout the planet. If you don’t find one you like, you can virtually drop yourself into one, and the effect on your cosmic entity is almost the same.

Most people graduate from participating in drug and sex activities to traveling through many of these virtual worlds and seeing all of the great moments in history re-created exactly as they happened. After this kind of experience is exhausted, they move on to seeking out greater forms of knowledge, usually mathematical in form.

There is really no reason for you not to be happy in this time period. All of the old problems have been solved and ways of preventing them from appearing again have been put in place. Many interplanetary and interstellar robotic ships are now going out into the universe to mine more natural resources that may have been depleted. The Moon and Mars have had special mineral cores implanted in them so that they have atmospheres to make them livable places. All that is wonderful about Earth is now available on these spheres, and many choose to live on them because they are less crowded.

All told, there are about 10 billion souls that are considered potentially fit to be human. As the earth became an easier place to live, more of them came in from the bardo passage, asking to be reborn. This created a lot of problems in the form of depletion of natural resources. It was also clear that many of these souls were looking for simpler forms of gratification that could be achieved by simply being a domesticated animal. Because for over eight hundred years no animal has been put to death for food, sport or some other cruelty, it is very popular for many souls to become the pets of human beings. The comfort of the home and hearth with little exercise of the body or brain is often all these souls need.

In short, we are really trying to take care of you and make sure that you do not feel the least bit alarmed about your existence. You can still ask all of the weighty questions about God and the devil and angels and Time, because we don’t have a full grasp on them yet. We do know that there is a higher dimension of existence beyond this one, and we routinely interact with the entities who guard the bardo passages. Like we said, we have a good working relationship with them, even if we don’t fully understand who they are or what their ultimate purpose is.

You are almost completely free to do whatever you like here. You don’t need to worry about funds for your food, or be concerned about not finding an attractive sexual partner. If there is a certain type of human you wish to make love to, then he or she will be somewhere on this planet waiting for you and available almost instantly. We recommend that you do some exploring, and then begin considering who you are beyond your human form.

As we’ve already stressed, your human form can take on any shape or size you like, so you must begin to think about your identity differently. You are not who you are because of how you look on the outside, but because of the work that you’ve done thus far on the inside. That is to say, the imprint or etching that you’ve left upon your true entity, your soul.

Stripped of any adornments of clothing or body, you might discover that your soul is rather ugly. Again, you are ugly because you think you are. You should think a little bit harder about why you think you are so ugly. Is it because of some terrible think you did or said to another human being in a past life? Is it because you had a past life where you were repeatedly told you are ugly? Is it because you’ve yet to spend any time seeking out things that are beautiful and lovely to delight your soul, and nurturing your soul by seeking out other souls to connect with and help?

It’s entirely possible that you are simply not as advanced as you’d like to be. You’ve spent millenia being born again and again to learn some specific trade or skill set that becomes defunct by the next time period. You think you are participating in self improvement by learning a skill or trade, only to find in the next go around that you are no longer needed.

How can you change that?

…and you decide you need to tell a new story.

The first thing that you want to do is check your email and read the news. The world might have blown up while you were asleep, and you don’t know about it. You exercise restraint, take another sip of your coffee, and begin to write.

The primary thing you need to do is come up with a revision to your story. You will want to create a myth of yourself that is bright, positive, optimistic and great. The story of how you woke up and began to fill the earth is a good one to tell.

You were made to be expansive, and that’s just what you did, you expanded. You were of sound body and keen mind. You didn’t consume and take things in, but you began to insert yourself everywhere that there was news unfolding.

You saw tremendous opportunity everywhere you went. When you walked down to the Rio Grande, and saw the people afraid that their lives were going to be ruined by the other people crossing the border, you let them in on a little secret about the best jobs. The best jobs are all artificially made. The best money is all artificially made. There is more than enough of it to go around, and you just have to accept that a lot of it is coming your way. You walked on when they laughed at you.

You wanted to fill the entire country.

You wanted to stretch down to the Florida keys, and be a rum-filled bum, soaking up the intense rays of the sun and refusing to let them become carcinogenic. You smoked a cigar and wore a straw hat, and a Hawaiian shirt. You listened to a blues band. You floated up to the Low Country in South Carolina, and stood among the people whose ancestors had wrested the land away from lazy masters. You saw the potential for rice to be grown and harvested again from this country with the power of ultra-modern technology. You expanded up into DC, and rested like a warm, lethargic blanket over the angry, hungry politicians who were keyed up with a fervor to create a myth that was small and good for nobody, not even themselves. You destroyed their principle and replaced it with compassion.

You saw opportunity for new industry everywhere you traveled. People were locked up in their houses, devouring content off the Internet, and getting lonelier by the minute. You wanted to create a place where people could come and have dialogue with each other, and entertain and comfort the elderly and infirm. A place where nobody felt like they were going to be laughed at or screamed at for being who they were. A place where people put partisan and religious differences aside to ask how they could work together in their community to make art appear everywhere on the sides of abandoned buildings, and how neighborhood groups could make handmade things that they could export to the burgeoning middle class in China who were in love with anything that had a “Made in the USA” stamp on it.

You flattened bureaucracies, and ran over petty dictators in small towns everywhere who held court and expected all the people to come and pay them tribute. You rolled over anyone who would walk into the commons and try to let all of their cattle graze and nobody else’s. You gave infinite mercy to those who were sick and dying, and beyond hope. You made people go to bed every night with the same zeal and zest that had taken root in your soul, and let no one go to bed still hungry for hope.

You went too fast for the critics. They were left blubbering on the sidelines, trying to get a word in edgewise about how you were a pollyanna, a rose-colored, half-full glass kind of fool. You didn’t have even half of a second to spare for them. Everywhere you went you saw opportunity, hope and love abounding, and you knew that even the most hardened prisoner could begin a process of reformation. You saw deeper into souls than you or anyone else had ever seen before. You didn’t have time to give great speeches, either. You weren’t visiting these towns to collect a speaker’s fee and move one. You were coming to these towns to assess the situation, and organize the people, and get them back on their feet, making something, building something.

You were a realist, as crazy as that may sound. What one town had in abundance, another town did not. So, you didn’t expect one town to build a bridge or a dam or a great meeting hall if that town was better served to create a large community farm.

A lot of people called you a communist. You would go into a community and find all of the neglected buildings that the bank owned. You’d get the people to pool their resources together so they could pay the back taxes, and as a cooperative become the owners of the property. So many foreclosures were going to wealthy speculators or nobody at all, because nobody wanted the property. So, you showed the people how when each of them gave a little bit of the money they were saving to replace their porches or travel to Disney World, they could suddenly become part owners of houses, buildings and land. You were quick to point out to the naysayers that this wasn’t communism, but a local kind of real estate market exchange–the same way companies are publicly traded and have many owners who own little shares of the company, so it was with these local properties and businesses that had been shuttered.

What an amazing thing it was to see an entire town take ownership of an old general store, and learn how to source and import goods from other countries! You made entire committees logistical experts that rivaled Walmart. Of course, Walmart sent people in to try to put a stop to this. They claimed you were organizing unions, or creating communist stores, or something. But, again you showed the people who were ready to walk away from it that they were like owners of a publicly traded company. In town after town you created these little mini-stock markets of ownership on land, farms, businesses and residential property, and then brought them altogether into a national market where people could speculate on various initiatives across the country. You took the ownership out of the hands of a few, including the few that were the banks, the local and national governments and the wealthiest corporations, and you put the ownership back into the hands of the many, all while maintaining a capitalistic, free trade system.

The key thing here was that the people had grown despondent in feeling like they were powerless. The Walmarts and Home Depots of the world had come in and taken away the mom and pop stores, and they saw no way that a locally owned store could compete. So, they accepted the fact that a Walmart was a better solution than having a government-backed or foreign-owned entity invade their towns. They didn’t feel like they had any power or say-so in the government, be it local, state or national. Why would they? Whoever they elected always made promises that the politician couldn’t keep. Inevitably, it became clear that the man in Washington was working for somebody else, somebody who didn’t live in their town. But, they wanted to blame somebody else for their problems, and there were plenty of national political movements to come and throw gasoline on their fires.

You just came in and showed them how easy it was to stop blaming anybody, including themselves. That was a futile first step in the wrong direction, blaming the political party in power, blaming the President, blaming the last President, blaming yourself for not voting correctly. It was a wrong step because it did nothing, and joining a movement or a radical party and carrying signs and posting angry rants on social media did nothing to change anything.

You showed these people how they could just look at themselves and their own town for the solution, and remove any focus on what might have caused the problem from the equation. The solution was theirs to find, rather than the problem being theirs to solve. In every town across America there was a solution. The solution was almost always one of making a publicly traded market available where everyone was an active participant. Some people had other ideas that worked, too. They found that creating small cash rewards to different groups who came up with the best solutions got the best results. Instead of putting their money into the lottery, people would pool their money and develop a contest (the money was managed by the most trustworthy little old church ladies). Teams of people, with no lower or upper age limit, were formed–teams of 25 people each. Then, each team would come up with an idea every week about how the town could save money or make money. Everyone would get together and vote, and the team with the best idea (judged by merits of practicality and effectiveness) would win the pool that week.

People suddenly remembered what it was like to make art, and put on theatrical productions, and make music. Town after town became vibrant again as people left their houses and got together with a stripped down goal of “making something together.” You just planted the seeds and tried to guide them. You hoped to show them how cooperation always created something better, and how competition could still be powerful and useful as long as it was channeled into a productive endeavor. The competition between the have’s and have not’s, the young and the old, the male and the female, the Democrat and the Republican, the Christian and the Atheist–all of this was competition that offered no practical solution. It inevitably ended in bad blood and sometimes violence. People trying to convince other people they were right or simply better were people playing a fool’s game.

You wanted to see each person in every single town excel on a local level. You wanted to see kids raising money for their camps and trips by creating a popup store in a space that had been “for rent” for over a decade, and see the town’s bureaucratic apparatus get out of the way so that the kids could have a store that sold food and beverages people really wanted to buy, or homemade t-shirts that had the name and symbols of the town and its high school mascot or local landmarks. You were exceptionally impatient with men and women who were more interested in seeing random codes followed when these codes weren’t promoting any particular amount of safety or well-being. You were tired of seeing people come around to collect taxes instead of get involved with ideas for creating positive business environments in these communities.

You were not a communist or a liberterian or anything in between. You couldn’t be called a pragmatist because you had a brightly burning vision in your head and heart for what America could be, but you couldn’t be called an idealist, because any ideas that were not tenable had to go. You were most definitely an optimist, and you fought hard in your head and heart every single day to remove negativity. You rarely offered criticism of anyone or anything–but always, “this is how to make it work better. This is the better solution.”

Of course, you were expanding across the country and making a lot of enemies with people who were comfortable with the status quo. For every nine people who were suffering and feeling powerless, there was always one loud-mouthed bully who seemed to be twice as powerful as all nine of those people put together. Eventually, you knew that it would catch up to you. Eventually, you knew that you would roll into a town where someone would be waiting to put a bullet into your brain. But, that was okay, too. Because you’d started a fire that a few bullies of the status quo could not stop.

…and it’s time to begin again.

Whatever happened yesterday can stay inside yesterday. You are still alive, aren’t you? You have marketable skills that can get you work any time of day or night, right? You clearly have swimmers that still can get the job done, as your son on the cusp indicates.

But, what do you do with a day like today? How do you manage to get the most out of it, before it’s over and you realize you’ve let another day go by while you lived on auto-pilot?

You’ve learned to know the things that are no good for you, and the things you hate to do. Your marketable skills just happen to be among these things. You know that the world isn’t looking for you, as much as you would love to be everywhere at once, looking for the real world.

You want to walk down the major streets of every major city. First this. Not the off-the-beaten-path, authentic experience that every certified traveler claims to have on a monthly basis. You want to be a tourist first, to know the city as a tourist does. Only the really unsavory parts of the tourist areas are to be avoided. You are talking about the guys who sell tours and are willing to remove all vestiges of their own human dignity to do it. Those guys can rot in hell forever, for all you care.

But, you don’t want to be one of those people who goes where only the locals go, when you haven’t even gone to the monoliths and venerable structures that every tourist must see.

You have been in a prison, and now you are entering another prison. You were imprisoned by debt and fear and alcohol, and as soon as you got out of that one, you got into the prison of marriage, fatherhood and old age. But you aren’t going to let your new prison prevent you from breaking out as much as you possibly can. However, you know that you are going nowhere for the next year.

…and you know that today will be a brighter day.

This is a thing that you’ve known almost every day since you can remember knowing anything at all. You will experience a brighter day than the day before. The light doesn’t shine much on what lies behind you, but it shines fiercely on all that is laid out in front of you.

With a flick of a mind switch, you can make the past twenty years look like a blip of nothing, or look like a lonely, weary crawl through too many minefields to keep count. The mind switch is everything. You can make yourself into the most important person, the least important, just average, or somewhere off the charts of anybody’s estimation of important human beings. You can look out at reality, and know it to be one way, but completely dismiss all of it as being rather unimportant.

You know that the suicide is someone who simply couldn’t flick the mind switch back to seeing tomorrow as being a brighter day than today. The suicide flicked the switch that says life is over because X, Y or Z has made it so, and there’s nothing to be done about it. You weep for the suicide, and wish you could get inside the head of such an individual, and flick the mind switch for them. Flick it back to shining brightly on the future.

For you, the thing is that as long as you can have your own thoughts, and know them to be yours and yours alone, you want to go on living. Even if they take away your creature comforts and all humans decide that you are not fit to be free to move about outside of a tiny box, you have your thoughts to create the landscape upon which you can exist. Admittedly, you want a lot more than that, because you are a human.

But, the idea of dying and forgetting who you are is too much to bear. It doesn’t matter if you die and are temporarily put to sleep until Gabriel blows his horn, or if you die and have your memories wiped so that you may be reincarnated, or if you die and that’s it. It all seems too much.

***

When you made your first effort to appreciate the finer things in life, you were still in high school. You purchased a four CD set of the top four classical composers (at least by the estimation of the people who created the CD set) –Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss and Chopin — and you listened to it repeatedly until well after college. But, you could hardly make it stick. Your mind craved rock n’ roll. Your sonic palate was like the one in your mouth. Cheeseburgers before filet mignon.

You didn’t wake up wanting to listen to classical music more than rock n’ roll until you were in your late thirties. Now, you can only stand loud, chaotic messes about once a month. The sounds of the Beatles and Stones, Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, or the sounds of Ozzy, Van Halen, or the sounds of Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons — it doesn’t matter. That’s simple, folk music played in the key of youth.

You also prize your own thoughts a lot more than you used to. Now that you’ve mostly gotten the sick demons cleared out of your head, you like seeing the thoughts appear as ideas and memories, as words and images. You want music that will accompany them and harmonize with your thoughts, rather than drown them out and replace them with angry, homespun philosophies of oversexed people who are bitter that they can’t be part of a revolutionary generation.

***

The brightness of the day is easier to visualize and make even brighter after having come out of the dark cave of youthful obsessions. You pause occasionally to read an article written by a young adult still caught up in the world of being single, and it all looks like a dark, sad mess. The focus isn’t clear, the goals are all over the map. Does this person want to find the love of their life or just a good time for the next few weeks, or both at the same time? Or do they even know what they want?

Or, are they fully aware that they are simply selling advertising space to people who want the sensationalized stories of sexually active young adults?

For you, this was a dark world of confusion. It was the world of the night. Young adults love the night and think they rule it. They think that with enough loud noise and bright lights, they can keep the demons away. Some of them flick mind switches that enable them to become completely cut off from the spirit world, and this makes them feel really good and powerful. Any person you meet who is bereft of an inner life is like an alien to you, they are not human. You have nothing to say to them. They would prefer to talk about their brand new BMW, poker table and Blu Ray player, than how they are going about getting meaning out of life.

But they aren’t odd to you. The odd ones are those people who embrace materialism in its entirety, but still seek out meaning in humanist philosophy. They’ve rejected the spiritual, but they hunger after it, nonetheless. Dry, textbook explanations of how the planets came into being and how life came upon Earth are not enough for them, and yet they don’t believe for a second that they will persist after death. These people sense that there is more, or perhaps they have childhood spirituality lingering inside of them, and yet they can’t seem to crack the nut they’re trying to crack from reading humanist philosophy.

You are perhaps the oddest of them all. You are hopelessly guided by your feelings, intuition and emotions, and could never for a second NOT believe that there is more to life than the material world, and yet you can’t easily be won over to the rigid dogmas of the Church. You try your damnedest to spend your time inside your thoughts, away from your feelings, but when you read a news story that might make the most emotional woman only slightly teary-eyed, you get all choked up with empathy for the random stranger or animal who is suffering.

You have learned to carefully hide your emotions, because that’s what men in your time and place do. Showing your emotions is a sign of weakness, and even the strongest proponents of the sensitive male will walk away from a weepy, emotional sap like yourself when he shows his true colors.

But, you woke up this morning wanting to burn brightly, even if it’s all on the inside and nobody sees it.

…and you are old and bitter.

You think that you’ve waited around for signs to come your way for just about as long as a man can wait. You’ve sinned about as much as you care to. You’re old, tired and mean, and you don’t have a lot of faith. The way you pictured things happening didn’t happen. The things that did happen generally happened only when you got up off of your ass and made them happen. Even then, about 80% didn’t happen.

You’re fed up with the world. You can’t understand why people can’t get along with each other better. You get along with others just fine–you don’t bother trying to get to know anyone. If everyone just sat in their houses and did random freelance assignments, then they’d all stay out of trouble, and stuff could be shipped to them. The Israelis and the Palestinians would get along, because they wouldn’t talk to each other. Why the hell do they need that particular patch of earth anyway? Why not just have all of their temples and mosques and such replicated somewhere in China, and go live there?

You are wishing that you could spend the rest of your life in a hotel with plenty of cheap Scotch, bar food, and hookers to keep you full. When you get to feeling the oppressive gloom of death overtake you, why you just read your Gideon’s Bible, and wash down a few Advil with the rest of your Scotch from the night before, then walk down to the hotel restaurant and grab some chicken wings.

This would be in Vegas. You don’t need to go outside again. Maybe someone could pay you to do this as part of a research study.

You don’t particularly care to gamble, much. You would be happy putting a few ones inside a slot machine for a few hours, and that would be that. Then, the rest of your money–on women and drink. Maybe a cigar.

You see, you tried living the life of the businessman. You were once one of those hipster fellas that got excited about Web 2.0, and you were ready to be a part of New Media and apps and all that crazy shit. You tried your hand at selling financial services for a year after college (Communications Degree), because someone told you that was where the real money was at. But then, you learned about people making money hand over fist selling Digital Marketing services to big companies. You learn a tool that spits out email, and wrap it up in a nice pretty theory they call Demand Generation, and you can get rich off of big companies who are terrified that they don’t know where their next sales leads are coming from.

But you were too cool for email. In fact, you were too cool for Social Media. That was so passe. You were the kind of fella that needed a sidekick, or to put it more accurately, you needed to be a sidekick. That’s when you met another young, hip guy who was so over all of the old new media, just like you. You got together and talked all day long about how you could offer services to help companies improve their web visitors’ Digital Experience.

You and Jim would spend all day talking about your beautiful theories around how companies should be doing B2B marketing if they’d only listen to you. You’d rub your hands together with glee and laugh at those sad old geezers out there sending email blast after email blast. Your services were so cutting edge and state of the art, that the agency you worked at couldn’t get any clients to actually purchase your services. Their loss. That’s when you started your own company. You were convinced that with the right metrics tools measuring the users who came to the clients’ websites, and the perfectly redesigned site with optimized architecture that you recommended (and let someone else build), and thousands of pages of content, your clients would get a bonanza in new leads. With each engagement, you estimated that your entire service offerings would cost the client about 2 mil USD. Which was a small price to pay for perfection. Of course, if the client deviated from your recommendations even slightly, then you couldn’t be held accountable for their lack of succcess. You know, it kind of sounded like faith healing–”if you don’t have as much faith as I do, it’s not my fault or God’s fault that you didn’t get healed.”

You actually got a couple of suckers, er, you mean clients to go along with you. And, just like when you worked at the agency, you blew through about half of the clients’ investment on travel, booze, food and late night brainstorming sessions.

Jim grew disillusioned after a couple of years, and took a job as a web developer. By then, you were both seeing your hair starting to get thin and gray on top–shocking how quickly that part of your life arrives when you are well into your thirties and still believing that you are twenty-six. You didn’t know what to do, you were devastated. You finally broke down and applied at a company to manage their Marketing Automation system for them. In spite of what the Marketing Automation software’s brand Egelists claimed, not much had changed since you last remember using it. They were still promising that Social Media was about to take off, and excelling mostly at seeing their clients batch blast email to thousands of purchased email addresses while walking a thin line between permission-based email and complete spam, with the promise that one day those clients would build advanced lead nurturing and lead scoring campaigns within the system.

Some young punk joined your Marketing team, and he started making the same claims that you and Jim used to make. Imagine that! This young punk acting like he just invented the Digital Experience. Well, you guess you and Jim weren’t that much different. But, it sure stung. You hated no longer having people admire you for being the precocious, smartest asshole in the room. Now, you were just the asshole in the room.

So, you got religion.

You were part of a Charismatic church youth group when you was in High School, until you realized how uncool that was. In college, you kind of flirted with Hinduism and Buddhism, until you read Richard Dawkins, and realized that only science was cool. God was not. You loved being the mouthy jerk who shut down any poor soul that dared try to talk as if there might be a God. You knew that religion caused all of the wars, and that the world would have peace for the first time if we got rid of religion. And frankly, people that believed in God just showed how they weren’t as smart as you.

Of course, when you happened to find yourself in a crowd of real scientists or computer programmers, you quickly got out of there. You hated not being the smartest guy in the room, and the only way you could really achieve that was by staying in the Marketing profession.

But, by the time you were in your 40s, and you hadn’t settled down with a family yet, and you no longer got to travel and eat and drink all the time on the company dime, you knew you needed something else. So, you stepped into a non-denominational church, and you found Jesus. You got silly with the Spirit. Man, they were running around and barking like dogs. That’s where you met your first wife. She was twenty-two and just about to graduate from college. Yes, you’d started using Rogaine and dyeing your hair. You kind of lied about your age, too. But then, you begged for her forgiveness when it was time to go get our marriage certificates. She was blonde and innocent. She’d kept her virginity for marriage.

You and your first wife had three kids, and then you lost interest in her and Jesus. You backslid and fell off the wagon. You’d told your wife that you hadn’t touched a drop of booze in five years, but it was more like five days when you met her and told her that. You started drinking all the time, and then you got a little mad, and you blacked out. She says you hit her, but you don’t remember it. You drove off and got arrested, and she divorced you. Turns out, she was already fooling around with that young punk from your work.

Well, you got Jesus again. You knew that you had to. By then, there was no pretending, and you stopped dyeing your hair and trying to save it. It fell out in a few weeks and you were as bald as your daddy. You met a lady who was only six years younger than you, and you believed her to be your soul mate. You’d started going to a new church that didn’t bark and run around as much, but still had the modern praise band that sings the same two lines over and over again. Your second wife said she’d fought her own demons of addiction and lost her first marriage because of the drink and meth, so you felt like this was going to be a much more mature and adult-like marriage.

Except, it wasn’t. You quickly became a couple of co-dependent junkies who spent less and less time with your children, until both of your ex-spouses had gotten the courts to give them complete custody. You were a little sad about this, and one day your second wife Wanda shot herself dead. She couldn’t take it, anymore. “Lord,” you pray, “I hope that it turns out you do offer some of us the gift of reincarnation.”

Of course, by then, you were sick of paying child support, and sick of your job, and fed up with just about everyone on the planet. So, you cashed out all of your credit cards, and went to Vegas to live in hotels and gamble until you had no money and no credit left at all. After that, you settled down in a nice trailer park on the outskirts of town, and you drive a limo cab. You try your best to stay sober so you can have my job, and you don’t really give a damn what these young fools who come to the conventions in town are talking about.

…and you’ve lost a little more of the Light.

We chose you for your infinite malleability. You, above all of the other creatures, knew the wisdom of giving up a routine or habit when it wasn’t achieving results. You, above all of the other creatures sought the wisdom and guidance of a Master Trainer, when you went out into the wilderness to secure food for your family. That was then.

Now, we are beginning to wonder if we would have been better off infusing the dog with our pneuma of the logos. Your own family dog is more compassionate and ready to turn the other cheek. She takes heaps of abuse before breaking and turning mean for good. She needs above all the affection of her own master, and his loving attention. You on the other hand have turned your back on your Master and sought many other masters.

You wake up in the morning full of a grim fatalistic outlook on life. You are prone to accepting that what must be, will be. But, it only takes a cup of coffee and memories of your dreams to make yourself something better, and you are suddenly achieving a nigh godlike status in your mind. You exult yourself above all others, thinking that the paltry computer skills you’ve obtained are like wizardry.

All it takes is one image to set you off and send you down the path of being a beast. You see the picture of a woman in the news with her hair pulled up a certain way, or her hemline running along her legs, or her ankle turned by a heel, and you are like a young buck again, filled with the fury of sex lust, and an appetite that craves more than just sex.

You go around for days and days with a song stuck in your head. You can’t seem to get it out, and so you sing it, whistle it, and otherwise make it at home. You can’t spend five minutes meditating without needing to get up and rush back to the computer or a tablet to check your email and check the news to make sure that the apocalypse hasn’t started yet.

You were trained by the great masters, and your heritage is divine. But, don’t start preening your feathers and strutting about as if you were designed to lord yourself over other human beings. They were all trained by the great masters, and their heritage is divine, too.

If but for once in your life you became intensely focused on yourself, and putting one foot in front of another, one word after another in your head, then you would go more places in a day than you’ve traveled your entire life.

You first need to reclaim your birthright from other men and the evil forces that abound on this plane. You need to stop letting everything distract you. If there ever was a person that you envisioned yourself to be, but always found yourself getting caught up in reacting to contingencies and drama and being someone that you knew you were not–well, now is the time to be the person that you envisioned yourself to be. Not starting with the next New Year’s Day, or starting with your next birthday, or some other auspicious day full of signs and portents.

And, let’s talk about that. You waiting around for a sign from someone or something to give you a clue as to what you should do next. You, letting yourself be guided by others, and taking common, random strangers and exulting them to be the mouthpiece of angels come to instruct you by saying commonplace banalities that you know are choked with double and triple meaning.

The only sign that you’re going to get is the one you decide to make next when you put the next foot forward and the next word after this one. You aren’t going to get a vision of your mother beseeching you to abandon all worldly things and join a monastery, or one of a great world leader or saint now dead who singles you out to explain to you the great mysteries of your existence through all of Time itself.

You are an old man, and you are not dreaming dreams of any signficance. The dreams are as dodgy and open to many different kinds of misinterpretation as they’ve always been. Occasionally, you’ll have a dream like that one where the “Sons of Isis” appeared waving black flags and riding horses, and you looked up Isis, and only saw the god who’s paired with Osiris. But then, a few months later, you saw a different ISIS everywhere in the news. You certainly had some kind of prophetic dream, but of what good did it do? Would acting on it more fervently have changed anything about the world?

You have reached the age where the tendency is one of trying to categorize everything. You want to make sense of the past twenty years. You want to clump things together in meaningful ways and yield new insights from you data. You want to write a weighty, comprehensive tome that covers the entire history of the universe and the entire history of you in an intricate, meaningful way that yields the proof that you are destined for greatness, if not in this life then in the next or in a higher plane of being. You want to pass along something made of weighty stone that cannot go corrupt with moth and rust and age. Some kind of tablet, etched with the great secrets from beyond the veil of time.

You feel a kindred connection with the men and women who hunted and gathered and scavenged before the invention of iron tools. You are desirous of returning to a time when there were no guns to bring to knife fights, and men only had their hands and crude weaponry and tools to defend themselves and make their livings on this earth. You are a brute whose usefulness came and went over thirty centuries ago. You love Abstract Expressionist art not beause it is such a modern break from the past, but because it is a return to a primitivity that few artists since have been able to accomplish.

The best tools are simple tools that have withstood the test of time, and have been used by men for many things without changing their basic shape. A flathead screwdriver will always be superior to any Phillips head screwdriver. The best sports are the sports with few rules and simple strategies. Soccer is superior to American football, and wrestling superior to soccer, and running is superior to wrestling.

The worst part of being a man is the part where you are expected to know and love complicated things. The ways in which simple games have been turned into complicated battles of playbook strategies and statistics that can be manipulated in fantasy leagues, and the infinite minutiae of sports talk show fodder whose participants never seem able to exhaust. While you might accost the average man on the street and ask him if he’s complicated (and he’d reply, “no, but women are”), you know better. If he isn’t interested in knowing sports in a complicated way, he’s bound to have some passion or life work that has a complicated set of rules and terminology that only he among his friends and family can decipher–be it programming, day trading, or some random, goofy interest like fantasy role-playing or creative anachronism.

You wish that you could be like those men on some days of the week. How comforting it would be to take up an interest in wine or beer or Scotch, and know all of the finer things about the different kinds of a given beverage–how impressed would your friends be (that is to say, if you had friends, but you WOULD have a lot of friends if you took the time to learn some arcane body of knowledge and SPECIALIZE in it). Of course, you’d have to learn something that is cool for a bro–sports, poker, whiskey, cars– those are cool things. Knowing your 16th century Italian masters, or your different kinds of wildflowers–that is not cool.

Your brain was not made to be a modern brain, no matter how hard you try to make it so. You are an imposter–a Neanderthal in a 21st century man’s clothes. Your approach to learning computers is not that different from your approach to learning to stalk and kill a bird or beast in the wild–it’s purely for survival, and has nothing to do with being something you intensely identify with. You learn enough to get by, do your job, and learn just a little more to prevent others from coming along and stealing your job. But, at the end of the day, you’d rather be loafing around the campfire or taking a quiet walk in the woods that serves no other purpose, than be out hunting and killing to bring home things to feed your family.

These are the dark times when you must learn to make your own light. The Light of the Universe is going out as more people choose to rely solely on the lights of this world. As more people find material prosperity, more of them will reject the Light. They won’t know the Light. Those who know the Light won’t come back, because they will go to live with the Light. Those who knew the Light and forgot it will come back with those who never knew the Light. Together, they will carry out what must take place in the last days.

If you are speaking from the Light and you get caught up in arguing with a person who only knows the worldly light, you will inevitably extinguish your Light as you try to use a kind of light unfamiliar to you to fight that very same light. You will lose. You do not fight the light with the Light by letting the light get the better of you and make you come down to its own terms.

You fight the light with the Light by praying that God will place a stumbling block in the path of the one who is walking in the opposite direction from the Light, that they might be disrupted enough to turn around.

The death of our civilization began with the electric light. This symbolically made Man feel superior to the earth for the first time. In prior millenia, being able to work with fire did not create the same kind of hubris, because Man knew that the fire was still part of the earth. There were places in the cracks of the earth that brought forth fire, and occasionally the sky would drop fire down upon the earth. Man knew that fire was not earth or water, and it was to be held in a different sort of regard, but his use of it did not make him feel superior to the gods, only the animals.

But, when man invented the electric light, this changed. He now could make the night as day with the flick of a switch, and possess control over the gods as well. With this, he reasoned that if he controlled the gods, they must have always been inside the heads of crazy men who were held up in high regard by frightened chieftains. On those rare nights when all of the electric lights go out, man feels terrified that perhaps the gods will get the better of him yet.

You need to regard the light with indifference. And, of course, we mean both the man-made electric light, and the light that comes from men’s souls but from no place deeper. Men who would take it upon themselves to manufacture their own light without any input from the Light, are men who inevitably can’t hold up such a terrifying responsibility, and drop their light, cascading into darkness.

And then, all of the people stop to briefly stare, and shake their heads and turn and walk away. Oh well, we guess that he wasn’t the great man he made himself out to be, after all.