QOTD Jon Krakauer

Into The Wild

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Award of a Different Kind . . . The Versatile Blogger Award

versatile blogger nominations Actually, it was back on February 24, 2013 that Dr. Juanita Lewis presented this award to NIKOtheOrb. I have been on a bit of a hiatus throughout that time (but have been, of late, contributing to EXPLORINGtheLATERAL, if you’d like to see some of what we’ve been up to).

My apologies for taking some months to thank The Metaphysician (a great blog, by the way, and if I could, I’d add her to the list of 15 blogs the rules require I appoint). In reading through your blog, the list of other appointed blogs to whom you bestowed this (well-deserved for them all, if you ask me) award, and the many comments and compliments you received, I am humbled to be among such great company.

And now for the rules: 1. Post a logo of the award received. [check]; 2. link back to the person who presented the award. [check — see above paragraphs and just for good measure, here you go]; 3. appoint 15 other bloggers for the award. [this will not be difficult as that includes just about everyone I follow at WP. For the list, see below]; and 4. tell 7 things about yourself [without running the risk (and lazy thing to do) of repeating myself with the 5 things I listed when the wonderful Kozo presented this blog with a Very Inspiring Blogger Award, I will do my best to give 7 new things about myself, as best as I can. No promises, though. :-D]

15 Well-Deserved Blogs and Bloggers to whom this Award is appointed and no words could accurately capture the greatness of their blogs:

1. Everyday GurusEveryday, Everywhere We Are Guided Towards Happiness
2. The Liberated WayLiberty, Wisdom, Creativity (love the look of the new site!)
3. Carla R. Herrera(some of the best creative writing on WP)
4. Holistic WordsInspirational Words for the Holistic Mind
5. physics4me“Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler”, Albert Einstein
6. Riding effortlessly on a large green turtleTall Tales of Travel, Spirit, Love, and Poetry
7. RD ReviloConscious Thought: Driven by Intelligent Awareness
8. bodhisattvaintraininginner workings of an untamed mind
9. Walking No Line-Wandering here and there, wondering at this and that, trying to find my Way.
10. Utopia or Dystopiawhere past meets future
11. TreeYo PermacultureSustainability Education and Ecological Design
12. rarasaur. . .frightfully wonderous things happen here.
13. EXPLORINGtheLATERALWe live in the forest and all of our possessions fit in our backpacks [shameless plug]
14. Mind HacksNeuroscience and psychology tricks to find out what’s going on inside your brain.
15. h-madnessThis blog follows the history of psychiatry

7 Things About Me:

1. I live with SchizoAffective Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
2. I spend nearly everyday in the woods, walking barefoot, breathing in the trees and the soil. It’s how I keep my sanity.
3. I don’t know the names of many of the animals and insects I see in the woods, but I know much of their behavior and habits.
4. I produce and edit a nature show on YouTube (and EXPLORINGtheLATERAL) exploring our adventures in the forests, particularly hard to witness activity with birds, insects, chipmunks, snakes, turtles, and the like. We’re  right down on the ground with the animals.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             5. My favorite number is the Fibonacci Sequence.
6. I love to watch old science fiction films like Metropolis and THX 1138.
7. I am fortunate enough to spend every moment of everyday with my boyfriend, just hanging out.

Take A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

For about 7 months, my boyfriend and I lived outside in the woods. We slept on the ground, watched the daily runs of the animals each day rather than television, we slipped gently into sleep each night beneath a starscape, conversing on consciousness and what it meant to be alive as a conscious human being. We professed dreams and lived them; we undertook a journey of mental acuity and adeptness, while learning the potential aptitudes inherent in humanity. We thought that we possessed a nature lifestyle and that nature should be our home for the rest of our days. We thought only in the embrace of nature could we enjoy meandering through the timeless channels of higher consciousness . . . we were mistaken. Although, nature had become our mountain, like Zarathustra we had never left it.

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In the wonderful words of Mr. Feynman, we decided to find out whether city living was as oppressive as we supposed it to be. We chose our next adventure to take a bite out of the Big Apple (what better atmosphere of City can there be on the East Coast, pray tell). We landed at K-Pax’s surprising arrival point on a tachyon beam after a 3 hour train ride, and exited quickly for the streets. Punched full in the face by the pace of the city and the volume of human bodies moving uniformly, like some kind of concrete ballet, in both directions (was this some sort of nondualistic play?), it was easy to slip into the stream and ride the current from one point to the next. We walked to Times Square (a place so vivid it seemed constructed using CGI), and suddenly I understood the sheer magnitude and bravery the director of Vanilla Sky demonstrated in this famous scene. There were people occupying every square footage it seemed, somehow innately aware of their space and the space of others. I only saw people bump into each other once or twice, as the idea of congestion simply did not exist here. Only motion, sheer motion, wave after wave of people, moving as one undulating body. To see truly this phenomenon we had to find higher ground.

After purchasing Metro Cards, we rode the subway to Union Square,

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where we emerged from the tunnels directly into an open air Farmer’s Market. The fragrances of free wine-tasting, colorful fruits and vegetables, and bouquets of spices, herbs and roots swept us into the flow of the Market. Around the corner, a chocolate restaurant titillated us with their cocoa aromas. Once around the Market and adjacent Park, and a brief chat with an Australian, we were pointed in the direction of The High Line. Stopping briefly to admire what sounded like rain dropping on a wind chime emitting from a fellow playing a hang drum (one of my favorite scenes of the adventure), we continued along the Line. From this vantage point, the full aspects of this city could be gleaned.

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As in nature where the animals have their daily runs, a well-worn path taken each day to their preferred spots of food and water from their homes, as it is in a city. Humans leave their homes and meander through the concrete paths towards clothing and food, or social habitat. Rather than trees, there are buildings and in them house living beings. Around every corner and down every street, there is an adventure to be had, a sense to be expanded. In one direction from the Line sat the Bay, the Hudson and the Statue of Liberty, in the other shops, cars, and buildings as far as I could see, as if they disappeared at the horizon, like I was a star on the Truman Show. There was a network here, a living organism reciprocating with one another. I had never seen such efficiency, the same as nature. I wished I could have stayed longer.

Our trip ended with a small amount of time seated on a bench in

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Battery Park (where a bird so tamed by humans’ hand-feeding, sat beside me and waited for its treat), talking about what we’d seen. The subway rides, the food, the perfumes, the interesting characters and caricatures of people, the subtleties of life . . . we marinated in it. This was an adventure wanting repeated . . .and we are eager to give in. It wasn’t until this moment, that I realized I do not have a specific city or nature lifestyle; I go with the flow of things, for I am a flexible being. Adventure can be found wherever I roam, as adventure is housed not at the place but in the spirit of humans. Whosoever has the notion for the wild life (and by wild that can be anything adventure-some or just out of the ordinary, or the ability to see uniqueness in the mundane or not being bored because one is always looking for opportunity to be bewildered…to see life as a playground) will find adventure.

Whosoever is willing to step off the precipice wearing a wingsuit will fly.

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The Spirit of Chaos

“Take one of those individual threads in the fiber that seems to be so chaotic and go into the constitution of that, and again you will find fantastic order, you’ll find the most gorgeous designs of molecules.” ~Alan Watts, The Web of Life

Why is it that we think we must depend upon our brains to lead us through life?

It is not the brain that experiences (the brain is more like a recording apparatus) but our minds, our consciousness experiences and perceives and conceives our environment (environment here does not necessarily exclude an urban or suburban environment). Since our minds experience, by what process do we undertake this experimental existence? Intuition. We feel, we sense what surrounds us, because we ARE our environment.

Intuition is that part of us, as conscious beings, that processes those constant changes within our environment, which can be aware of those incalculable factors. What’s more can interpret, assess, and comprehend those factors, like a kind of calculation (albeit, one that does not involve counting). Intuition can do this faster than the mind can think, and even more rapid than logic can compute. Why then should we depend upon the brain and its logic? Why should we use it, rather than or as substitute for intuition? Logic is limited, therefore, finite. More, it is flawed, because it can only compute either/or, it cannot perceive a dynamo of information (i.e., factors and variables) simultaneously, all extending from separate directions, chaotic stillness. Logic, that is to say linear systems, regulates an environment, and in that regulation transforms that environment into a static environment, the reduction of infinity to the finite. Our intuition, on the other hand, embraces chaos and randomness without fear of punishment or failure, because our intuition knows that in chaos there is order. The brain and its logic attempts to order chaos. So, we as intuitive beings choose life and health, imagination, our wild nature, exploration, and experience to be more alive, to evolve. For this, we as intuitive beings are uncontrollable, incorrigible, impossible to regulate, and non-linear. If intuition is the spirit of chaos, then life be the canvas.

Through an intuitive, fully open, wide-eyed, sensual and honest experience of existence, it is possible to transcend hopelessness, pessimism, disbelief, etc. by living in the moment and accepting things as they come. To really enjoy living and look at life as an adventure, we open our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits to our natural intuitive state of being. In this way, we can enjoy every moment of discovery in the world…and we can become like children on a playground. Now, this does not imply that we possess knowledge, intelligence or wisdom to be absolutely sure about anything, however, it does mean that we are free to change our minds quite often, because the more things we experience, the more our perception changes, and the more we grow and evolve as human beings.

We are not meant to be miserable beings…we are meant to be vibrant, fully open, playful, sensual, universal beings. We are more than we can become, because each of us is a fractal of light…and we are all connected.

“Light, here, means awareness  to be aware of life, of experience as it is at this moment, without any judgement or ideas about it. In other words, you have to see and feel what you are experiencing as it is. And not as it is named. This very simple “opening of the eyes” brings about the most extraordinary transformation of understanding and living, and shows that many of our most baffling problems are pure illusion.” ~Alan Watts