The Most Powerful Weapon

The Most Powerful Weapon
Photo: MAD Hippies Life – Street Art: David Choe

What is the most powerful weapon known to humanity, the mind of man. For it is his mind that creates, devises and unleashes the nightmares we have endured throughout the ages.

We stand on crowded trains looking around at everyone, judging them the best we can with what we think we know and leave knowing less. Did we even bother to ask, to understand, to even care that they, too, live in their own hell? We’re so consumed with knowing [about] everyone else we forget who we are, we forget to become ourselves. The question begs to be asked, what is the most powerful weapon known to humanity?

Try as we may, no one will ever know the secret world that lives on within each man, woman and child. We share, we expound and we allow ourselves to be known as we so choose. Doubtful though, anyone will ever really know the entirety of an individual’s life, the intricate details of their experiences. Much less how they were affected by others, and to the extent that others would even consider their own impact on someone else.

How deep do we go? What depth of life do we strive for? To what end do we allow ourselves the freedom to live within? What outer influences hold us at bay? Are we a shipwreck to the rest of the world, all the while a succession of creative thought to ourselves? Or, to the contrary, a shipwreck on the inside all the while an upright citizen to the masses?

Who really knows us? Who would really want to? Do we know ourselves? To what end are we under the scope of those wanting to know us, using as it were, patterns of human behavior to assume our reactions to any given situation? Who of us would know the difference? How deep do we allow ourselves to be?

Are we programmed from birth? Are we programmed in our learning institutions? Are we allowed freedom of thought? Do we have such? Labeled as rebellious we defend our desire to question, while others succumb, accept and live out what they are told. Choose freedom of speech or contend to be silenced by those who disagree.

Just what are we? Physical, spiritual, a dream? Do we even exist at all? Is everything on the outside of our mind an illusion? Where in time, where in the cosmos, where in the fabric of our existence are we? How have we evolved into the here and now? To what end will we go forward knowing we are killing ourselves, physically, spiritually and emotionally? Are we at liberty to question G-d?

Are we content with our knowledge? Are we accepting of what we think we know? Is our understanding biased by memes? Do we know anything at all? Do we judge another without ever knowing them… how could we ever really know them at all? Are we just judging what we’ve been allowed to know?

Trust is lost, empathy abandoned, relationships disintegrated…humanity replaced by generic memes driving economic growth. Religion and Politics have replaced G-d while philosophy and art are manipulated to be weapons to drive man into a self-induced lobotomy. Nothing is original except the weapon used to manipulate man. The original sin of man is his inability to own his own mind.

What is the most powerful weapon known to humanity, the mind of man. For it is his mind that creates, devises and unleashes the nightmares we have endured throughout the ages. Equally so, man creates good. Knowing what is good and what is evil is an age old question, a personal dilemma with global ramifications.



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Know the Rest of the Story

Know the Rest of the Story

Know the Rest of the StoryPeople don’t bother to know the rest of the story. They don’t care about the details. The impact. The loss. The pain. The very reason why we are who we are. The reason we find ourselves in the places we are in and how we got there.

When we were young, much younger, teenagers at that, we often would sit together on the weekend and listen to Paul Harvey. Most kids at the time were still asleep, and, for all practical purposes, would not have bothered to sit in the quiet of the early morning, hands knotted together, leg over leg, to listen to Paul Harvey and just be together in the moment.

What a wonderful time it was. Not ever wanting to be apart, ever. We were content to just be together, there needn’t be an activity nor an event. We were happy just sitting there listening to a radio show about real stories, about life, about substance, about waiting for that one line, “and now you know the rest of the story, good day.”

That memory we both cherish so much has resonated with us throughout our marriage. We were both so young, so damaged, and yet together, we were free. We both brought our own baggage to the table and accepted each other openly. Everyone has a story, and those stories need to be heard.

Are you looking at the outward appearance of a man? If so, what do you see?

Are you looking at him with your eyes, your mind or your soul? Are you looking at him with your criticism, your arrogance, your religion and your ignorance?

Have you bothered to know him? Do you care about his story? Do you know where he came from and how he got there? Is he just filth attracting flies in your manicured life?

What would it be to you to reach out your hand and let him know you’re both human? Are you him in someone else’s eyes?

Is your G-d you?

Who grants authority? Who has the right of empowerment over men to enslave them in their own thinking?

This is nothing short of the marrow of man’s spiritual self, not religious self, spiritual self. What is real in a world full of illusion?

People don’t bother to know the rest of the story. They don’t care about the details. The impact. The loss. The pain. The very reason why we are who we are. The reason we find ourselves in the places we are in and how we got there.

How do you want to be treated? How do you want to be seen? We’re all involved in this thing called life, it is the fabric of time and energy. It is the essence of each soul. It is the emotional soup that we float in each day as we strive to open our minds to what was, what is and what will be.

Know the rest of the story and you will not only discover the reality of someone else’s life, but your own.



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Life is Full of Curve Balls, Coping With The Death of a Child, Stillborn

I am the Father of a Stillborn

Life is Full of Curve Balls, Coping With The Death of a Child, StillbornI am the Father of a stillborn. There are times when we are powerless in our situations and find ourselves losing it, falling deeper and deeper into an abyss where there is little light and the feeling of being alone is quite overwhelming.

I am the father of three beautiful daughters, one of which was born still when we were mere teenagers. It has taken me 33 years to allow myself to even remotely think about dealing with it. Anger, frustration and the emptiness of not being able to at least hold her has haunted me for years. I suppose people move on, but the pain never goes away.

I grew up in a broken home. With no male figure to show me the ropes, I learned what I could from what limited exposure I had to my grandfather. The rest came from reading the encyclopedia, disassembling electronic components to see what made them tick, reassembling [some] of those parts to make new inventions of my own and lastly hanging out at the local natural science museum where I would find a passion for not only nature itself, but the details of what makes the cosmos go round.

Thank G-d for the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, NASA and an early appreciation for music.

Never being much for crowds, I was somewhat of a loner. Not necessarily an outcast, but perhaps by choice. I just didn’t feel comfortable around a lot of people. I didn’t get them and felt they didn’t get me. Though perhaps in their defense, I didn’t get me. I had no “group” to fit into and for the most part dissociated with society in general.

I never put much faith in political, business and religious leaders, much less anyone else in an authoritative role. Not as to be rebellious, I just saw contradiction everywhere.

Trust in humanity was not there for me. I watched, from a distance, and was confused at how people treated each other. To me, the world seemed a cruel and unjust place. I sunk further into my personal self and focused on the natural world. Animals, weather and the universe at large made more sense to me than the typical household union.

I saw patterns in everything from seashells to the planetary orbits and became intrigued by the notion that there was much more to life than what meets the eye.

I spent most of my early childhood this way. Doubtful most people who knew me even remotely knew the personal hell I lived with daily. I learned not to ask questions simply because I never received an answer.

By the time high school came around, I was a complete wreck. I was just sick and tired of society and was becoming more angry all the time. Nothing, if anything, gave me solace. What, if any, real relationships I had with people just seemed awkward. Spending any time in nature, even if that meant climbing a tree in my yard, was good. Music became my outlet and as soon as I could get a pair of headphones on my head I could just close my eyes and slip into a world of musical mystery. I learned the songs and replayed them time and time again, picking out an instrument to listen to at times, and at other times I just focused on the meaning of the song.

Indeed, between the melodramatic sounds of certain bands and the depth of the lyrics that seemed to ask the same questions I had, I had found a place where I could be alone in my thoughts and feel comfortable.

What came next would rock my world to its very core. I felt cold most of the time, emotionally. But when I first laid eyes on my future wife my heart and mind fought an overwhelming battle of wills. I didn’t want a relationship. But little, if any, resistance could be conjured up within me. It was if I had no choice in the matter. Once we talked, I knew we would never part. She was, in a sense, the female me.

Years later I wrote her a letter and said, “You were hauntingly familiar to me when we met. The closer we became the more I felt the sensation that this was not the first time. You were exotic, cosmic and strange, though somehow familiar as your soul, my soul, our soul, was reunited.”

However, as we would both would soon find out, life is full of curve balls. There are times when we are powerless in our situations and find ourselves losing it, falling deeper and deeper into an abyss where there is little light and the feeling of being alone is quite overwhelming. For reasons beyond our control, my wife [then girlfriend] was sent to live with her father out of state. Not long after, she called me and told me she was pregnant.

We knew what we wanted to do, but, being powerless teenagers we were told different. She was kept out of state, and I was told to stay away. I was 16, immature, clueless as what to do, felt I had no rights and certainly without support. She was in similar fashion. Nights and days went by and the walls began to slowly cave in on us both. If that weren’t enough, long into the pregnancy I received a call from her…our baby doesn’t have a heartbeat. It was born still.

To me that was the last link I would have. Somehow I just thought to myself, our baby was the only link we could ever possibly have, and now she is gone. We are gone. I am gone.

There are wounds so deep that forgiveness could never come.

I don’t recall much after that. Time came and went. Days, weeks, months passed as I sought further to dull the pain. I had turned to drugs and allowed myself to sink deep into an awakened coma. Lifeless, angry, numb and without any determination to care if the next day ever arrived, I maintained a very self-destructive pattern. I just didn’t care.

Did I do things I’m not proud of? Unfortunately. Would I go back and change some things? Who wouldn’t. I was young, immature and out of my mind.

The abyss I had sunk into was bottomless, dark and empty.

Every fear and concern that I had growing up for humanity had expressed itself in the most horrific way. I had nowhere to turn and no one to turn to. The only person I had ever given my heart and mind to was taken from me and our child had died. To this day I am jealous of my wife, if for one simple reason, at the very least she was able to feel our baby move within her, something I would never have the pleasure to know or see. Damn humanity for that, and for treating my wife in such a way.

I’m not quite sure how it even happened, but in time she did return and we did, somehow, get back together. We were both an intense train wreck of emotions, trauma and full of anger, pain and emptiness. 33 years later we’re still working on it. The pain never goes away, the intense feelings are still there as if it were yesterday.

We named our baby girl Shira, which basically means [having a voice], something she was never given for the cruelty of man and their madness. To this day we have no reason for her passing. Being the father of a stillborn hurts, I mean it hurts bad. Being helpless is tough, being helpless as a teenage father is tougher. Being the father of a stillborn and watching your wife suffer emotionally is impossible…there are no words.

My wife and I have each other, we love deeply, have had two more daughters, have become grandparents and live out our lives as if there is no tomorrow. Some days are better than others, but the emptiness remains, it will always remain and our questions will never be answered.

I’ve been told talking about our daughter will help. Thus far it hasn’t, doubtful it will. That empty feeling will never go away, I am the father of a stillborn. It’s something I’ve learned to live with, and [slowly] talk about. One thing is for certain, we have given her a voice and her story, our story, will be heard.

I often wonder if she follows us around, walking the trails with us, holding our hands and lying next us at night.



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Independence Is Not a Gift

Ladybug, Insect, Flowers, wildflowers, MAD Hippies Life, IndependenceIndependence is not a gift, it’s earned. Everyone, at some point, will fight something bigger than themselves and stand a bit taller and stronger in the aftermath.

Stand strong in that independence and live like you’ve never lived before!

All of our struggles are unique to our own personal situations, and while those struggles can come through similar troubles, not one of us will engage them the same way. We’re all affected differently, our lives interrupted in so many countless ways, and on so many levels.

We all share in the fact that indeed we are human and spiritual. We all awake slowly in life to a bigger us, a stronger us and much more refined us. Albeit a long term endeavor or a more concentrated short term fight, the unavoidable date with our own humanity finds us at some point and tries us to the nth degree of our being.

Mental, spiritual and physical battle scars are the badge of courage we carry over into the future. Smarter, stronger and more capable of handling life’s curve balls we emerge with more appreciation for life. Life that is not taken for granted and seen more as a precious gift than something to be disregarded and held disruptively.

In our youth we are invincible. As we age we begin to see the fallacies of what the so called powers that be tell us. Through our struggles we find solace in our own thinking, indeed, we discover independence is not a gift, it’s earned.

As another Independence Day comes and goes, take time not to get caught up in mindless celebrations, but rather in the notion of independence. Independence on a grand scale down to a personal one. We fight together at times for freedom from things larger than ourselves, and at other times in our own personal lives.

Life and love are fragile, though larger than we truly know. Embrace the simple and open your eyes to a more complex you and see your own independence open the way before you.



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