Can you make fire from ice?

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What we imagine, is a tiny glimpse of possibility. Sometimes, we imagine something which we want to see, or see something which is not really there. Just a figment of imagination. Sometimes, our minds take us places which our bodies might never get to experience. Other times, our bodies experience what our minds cannot comprehend. How does one reconcile? How can you make someting which you think, become?

Since the first generations of wise apes (Homo Sapiens – animal belonging to the genus called Homo; sapiens = latin for wise) one fundamentally important characteristic made us stand out from all other animals. Our ability to imagine. The ability of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before seen or perceived in reality. This is our absolute advantage which brought us dominium over this planet. Sure, the ability to use tools or to communicate are also important fundamentals. But these traits are not unique to us. Many other species use tools, like apes or birds. Same goes for basic communication. Leaving aside body language, different combinations of sounds make up for basic communication for some apes for example. However, what complemented these abilities and took them to the next level was our ability to imagine.

There are many interesting theories (or hypothesis) of how we might have struck this evolutionary jackpot. One of my personal favorites is the stoned ape theoryHowever, in reality no one really knows for sure. Imagination is responsible for remarkable evolutionary advantages. It complemented our ability to make tools, to form spoken language, to plan and of course later on to invent writing etcetera etcetera. As evolutionary building blocks go, one complements the other and in order to grow tall you have to stack up these magical abilities which I believe derive from one another.

To become the amazing civilization which we are today, another key fundamental is cooperation. Sure, many species cooperate. But they always fail at scaling up. Animals are usually organized in small packs, bands or groups. They come together and from intimate relations which help them thrive. Their cooperation can help overcome many survival obstacles. In the end everyone follows their own personal interest. Although some animals are social, they do that as means of survival. The basic ingredient for this organised cooperation is mutual trust. In the animal reign trust is gained by forming intimate relations with all the members in a particular band. Studies have shown that there are clear limitations to the size of a particular band. Sapiens groups larger than 150 individuals cannot form intimate relationships with each member of the group.

Belief took imagination and cooperation to the next level. Imagination gave birth to myths which were shared by members of a particular tribe. If a story is particularly good and compelling it has the power to transcend and break barriers. From small tribes to great civilizations, all find root in myths wich are shared in the collective imagination of the individuals. Belief is the glue which keeps it all together. Religion is the most basic example of something imagined which brings mass collective cooperation which can prove to be productive or destructive. Money is another important invention of the mind. One must be naive to really believe that the colourful paper bills or the more recent digital bits on a server (which account for the money in your bank account) are an actual manifestation of value. The value is stored in our collective imagination. Money represents just a mere token of value which has changed and continues to change over time. It has evolved from material tokens such as grains, salt, coins, bills to even more abstract elements such as numbers on a ledger which was physical in the old days and digital today. Only (approx.) 10% of the total amount of money in the world are physical, all the rest are just numbers on a server.

Con you make something, out of nothing?

Can you make fire, from ice?

Imagination, cooperation and belief (or similar, trust) are the magical ingredients of alchemy. As above so below. Both on a macro level, building great pyramids or empires as well as on a micro level, a friendship or an everlasting marriage, we must combine these elements to succeed. The feelings and emotions which sprout from these mental faculties make the fire which causes us to burn with desire and motivation. If the stories we tell each other are powerful enough and are matched by our devoted belief we can make something out of nothing. We can make fire from ice.

Looking back, I learn

Looking forward, I imagine

I dream big

I listen to my mind and my heart

* final note is inpired by one of my favorite yoga teachers

kimberry cake

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i will make a cake, it’s imaginary

temporary, as my thoughts may be

my recipee, is visionary

chery, berry and a bit of raspberry

add some crushed crampberry

a little strawberry and mix them gently,

no sugar, it’s not necessary

trust me, it will be extraordinary

I’m and artist of the culinary

X-VI-MMXVIII

one taste turns your senses primary

second makes you drunk and your vision blurry

heaven, hell and purgatory

every state is transitory

but this high is not momentary

in your heart my love, you’ll carry

you’ll feel out of the ordinary

as my love is legendary

every day a romance story

will be written in your memory

 

Today you smile

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Today you took a feather form your hair,

from your book an empty page,

and wrapped them together with care.

Today you gave me a stage,

so I can sing for you when I’m not there,

so I can show how much I care.

Today I’ll wite a ballad,

written with my blood,

to heal your heart malade.

Today you’ll listen to the words I sing,

wrapped together on a string,

around your fingers in a ring.

Today you’ll smile,

with tears your eyes will flood,

and from your sorrow mud,

you’ll sprout a white lotus bud.

 

 

Gratitude of the spoiled kids

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For the past month or so I’ve been having some money troubles. I got here as a result of overspending on things I wanted, but did not actually need. It finally got to me and sooner rather than later I had too much month at the end of my salary. It’s nothing serious, nothing wich deserves too much thought or worry.

So here I was eating out with a good friend of mine, confessing and complaining about how broke I am. She’s one of my best friends and as all good friends do, she called me on my bullshit. She argued that if I buy $300 headphones, I should not complain. And there it was, my reality check moment.

Some of us have it so good that sometimes we forget how it is to live in the real world. More often than not we secretly decide to close our eyes, as empathy makes us feel guilty. And of course, we don’t want to feel guilty, we want to feel good and special. We blindly indulge in mindless materialistic desires which have an ever declining satisfaction span. Every time we buy something new we devalue the other things we previously bought, eventually rendering them as meaningless. Like any junkie we want more. There’s never enough. There’s always something better arround the corner. Wink-wink, buy me.

Basic commodities like clean water, food, shelter, comfort are taken for granted. We don’t even conceive that some day we might lack these. We all secretly know that in some places these are recurring struggles of every day life. But we’re special.

Coincidentally, I came across this website. It’s called Dollar Street and is a collection of pictures from different families of different incomes across the globe. Ranging from monthly incomes of $27 dollars to $15k you can see how life is for others. What surprised me the most was the fact that I thought I would be somewhere in the middle of the scale. It turns out, I am actually in the wealthy side of the scale and browsing through pictures, I realize that my home looks actually a lot better even that homes in my own range. I suddenly stopped feeling broke and begun feeling… like such a douche.

Life isn’t fair sometimes. Some of us start with so little that they have no clue even what a good life means in other parts of the world. Others are dealt better cards in life and because they have it so good, not being able to afford the new iPhone makes them sad.

But let’s be grateful for a moment. We balloted this reality into manifestation. Innocently showing our compassion to gain social gratification, while secretly indulging in our materialistic sins. Unnecessary high-end electronics every few months, low-cost luxury vacations in underdeveloped countries, some guy’s name on our clothes, dozen pair of snickers, pre-cut, pre-cooked, pre-packaged foods, cheaper products, cheaper labor, faster delivery, more screen time, less human interaction, ever connected to the online but increasingly disconnected to humanity. If it’s shiny and others like it, we don’t care what it takes to own it.

FUCK SOCIETY said the spoiled kid as he was closing off his article, written from his MacBook for which he didn’t pay.

The hypocrite

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Yesterday I saw a guy riding his bike while sipping from a soda. At one point during his trajectory I see him emptying the liquid in the bottle, doing like a pendulum movement with his hand. His bike had a grocery basked attached in front so I figured “Oh such a nice guy, he’s emptying the bottle so he can save it in his basked for recycling or whatever”. While I was thinking that, he does another pendulum movement with his hand, this time with more intensity and smashes the bottle to the ground. At which point I thought “What a piece of shit… what a fucking piece of shit”. I literally thought that. What a piece of shit that guy must be, for smashing that bottle to the ground.

While judging this guy, a weird memory comes to surface. When I was in my teens, I used to visit my cousins from the countryside. One of our friend’s father owned a small egg incubation facility. People in the village who grew chickens could bring their eggs for incubation in a controlled environment. Here the rate of succesful hatching is higher than in natural conditions, especially during the cold season.

Although the rate of hatching is higher, that doesn’t mean all eggs hatch. As you can imagine a lot of eggs need to be thrown away. So, our friend tells us that he has to do this nasty thing his father made him do. He was supposed to take all the rotten eggs to the village landfill. All the eggs were loaded in a carriage, pulled by his father’s horse. We never saw so many eggs in one place in our life. The carriage was completely full. It was one of those childhood awe moments. And we were in charge of the whole opperation.

We jump into the carriage and we are on our way. We’re not rolling fast, we’re rolling steady, as we are carrying a full load of stinky eggs on a country road. At some point along the way, as I get bored I get the idea of egging houses. Of course my friends thought it was a pretty sweet idea too, so we egged all the houses in our path. We egged them with rotten stinky eggs. We trew so many eggs. Oh man, it was so disgusting. Now that I look back, I still think it’s a funny story… but not as funny as before.

Everyone got grounded like forever and had to do a million chores, except me. I got to go home the next day and my parents only found out after the initial tension was gone. I didn’t tell them. Although I was just a kid at that time and even if I don’t exhibit this type of behaviour anymore, because I know a bit better, what a hypocrite was I to judge that guy… What a hypocrite, what a fucking hypocrite.

But still, I think this comes to show that while some people change incredibly after a certain age, others only double or triple-down on what they already were. As long as they receive ample social reinforcement for the role they are playing in society, they will continue to spiral down. Sometimes a “smack on the head” is what it takes for people to wake up and “man up” and be responsible. Other times it comes naturally, enforced by one’s environment and social situation.

People need a call for adventure to grow up, they need responsibility in their lives. To be “in charge” of something. Even if it’s as small as ensuring their own decent living. Some don’t even manage that. Responsibility brings meaning to our lives. In contrast many people seem to avoid responsibility, they just want to “be in charge” because they feel entitled.

Anyway, it’s just a rant.

Something wicked comes your way

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My demons, although quietly dwelling beneath the surface are an equal part of me. Same as light reveals the beautiful features of my face, shadows outline all that is rotten inside. Calm as they may be, they lurk patiently, biding their time, looking for a reason to wake…

I’ve unleashed it. The thing that’s going to remove you from myself. It’s on its way and it’s not going to stop until I’m clean again. It’s irreversible, I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. It’s done. There’s no turning back now. No one can undo it. Prepare.

From the darkest corner of my soul, I have summoned your doom. It’s an embodiment of all that’s wicked and twisted within me. All my demons, all my bad thoughts and primal impulses are bottled up in this potent essence of evil. The beast within is thirsty for you.

My maze, the place which was once your playground is now going to become an altar of sacrifice. The walls wich you gently brushed with the tip of your fingers while your were roaming arround are going to narrow down on you. It’s getting colder and darker in here.

Soon all you held dear inside of me is going to get corrupted and turn away from you. Soon it will all become a tenebrous scene of a nightmare we’ve dreamt together. Soon it will find you.

Will your love roar louder than my demons?

Will you tame the beast I have become?

Will you survive?

 

Game theory of life

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I wonder, I wonder… What if life is just a game? What if I am part of a very elaborate simulation? Let’s imagine for a second that consciousness is separate from the body. The body is just a vessel, carrying the being inside of it. Consciousness is energy and energy is a property of matter, which in this case is your body.

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”

― Albert Einstein

Same as you would control a character in a game, imagine that your consciousness controls your body and governs your decisions. The body is just the hardware of your consciousness. I did not say consciousness like software, as in this analogy consciousness does not behave as software. In the sense that if the hardware were to be destroyed,  consciousness will still continue to exist or manifest, but in another form.

So, you are “assigned” a vessel, with a blank memory and some pre-defined strengths and weaknesses. You manifest in a physical form and start to evolve. You grow tall and strong and your mind is mature enough to make conscious decisions based on autonomy and free will.

Life is the master game, the experience which encapsulates all. You are in the center of that experience. Within the master game, there are smaller sets of games. Some more important than others. Some more complex than others. Some longer in duration than others. Some useful for your evolution, some not. An inception of games.

You are the main player in your storyline. But your storyline is not the only storyline. The game world is big, with many players. Same as you, each other player has its own storyline and has the potential to influence, alter or change other storylines. Including your own.

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As a kid, you know how to play naturally. You play with other kids, which also do it instinctively. As you get older, you learn to play by the rules. You figure out the basic rules as you grow and mature. However, because everything is a game, within a game… go for a walk… within a game, during the course of your experience you have to understand many different rules in order to adapt to the many different games you will be playing during your life. You have the freedom to choose the sagas you prefer the most, but each saga comes with its own unique experience. Ever changing and always dynamic, based on how you play the game. Your experience is in direct connection to your reaction to the game.

As you mature if you’re wise enough, you might get to make the rules for everyone. And when I say “make” I don’t mean that you invent the rules yourself. No, that’s not how it works. The rules are already there. You’re just the clever ape who stopped for a second and observed the natural order of things. By observation, you can present the rules of the game to everyone else. They’ve been doing this all along, just unknowingly. That’s why the rules work, because everyone was playing by the rules all along. It will never work if you present something that isn’t already there. No one would buy into your game. Using that as a base you may be able to alter some storylines, by chnaging the existing rules in very subtle ways.

Life is not just a game. Life is a set of games, which act as a unity to your story line. Whatever you do, never sacrifice victory across a set of games for victory in one game. Never sacrifice your character for wining a game. You can only win if you are invited to play. The more you play the higher chance of success you have. That’s why it’s important to be a fair player. That’s why it’s important to stick to your core values. This makes the difference between a villain and a hero. Both play an equal part, but only one gets to triumph.

Tango of the sinners

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Immoral, injust

Sin and lust

Fire of desire

Engage, commit, conspire…

I see two shades dancing with impunity

Two empty bodies, becomming unity

With no concern about tomorrow

One drop of extacy for an ocean full of sorrow

Why should we reason our destiny

If the drop is deeper than eternity

Why should we deny this chapter

Let’s live for now and agonize after

Let’s sway to the rythim of disaster

For this is our Dance Macabre

It was all so divine

But we ran out of time

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Disgustingly delicious

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When I was eleven, I had my first taste of Jamon Serrano. My mother had brought from Spain an entire Jamon which she placed on a special support (soporte jamonero) just like you see in typical Spanish Tapas places. Back then I had a very big appetite for meat, especially red meat. I am also the type of person who is keen on trying new experiences. Seeing the Jamon, nicely placed on its support, I was practically drawling.

Because we were having company over, I was supposed to wait until dinner was served so I don’t spoil my appetite. My expectations grew so much and I was so eager to taste it, that I was the first one who took a seat at the dinner table. I even asked for extra slices as I was super sure that this new food was going to rock my world.

Haha (still funny now)… I was never so wrong. It smelled just like my football socks used to smell after an entire day of kicking the ball. Oh man, I was so disgusted by it that my mother saw it on my face and started laughing about it.

Four years later I moved to Spain. More often than not, there was a Jamon in the kitchen, with a Jamonero (a special knife for cutting thin slices) placed beside it. At first, I was just ignoring it, seeing it more like a pile of dirty socks than a gourmet food.

At some point, I don’t remember exactly how it happened I started tasting it again. I had small bites from time to time, until this very disgusting food started to grow on me. I still thought it’s super grose, but somehow delicious. It did not take too long until this disgustingly delicious food became one of my favourites, especially Pan Tumaca.

Only after clearing my expectations, but even more importantly, my prejudice I was able to really taste and enjoy this food. Before tasting it, I placed it on a golden throne, on top of all the food I tasted before. A completely non-rational decision, more like a chemical reaction. The closest I got to the “love at first sight” feeling.

After I had a first bite, I was so quick to dismiss it, that I did not even conceive giving something so disgusting another bite. How could I eat this smelly dry meat covered in weird looking fat, bleah. How can so many people eat this crap. It took me a while until I opened my mind and decided to give it another chance.

A fresh mindset opens new doors, doors which were once locked. Arriving at a different answer to a question you’ve answered before is a peculiar feeling. One that enlightens us. We all have our own version of the Jamon story. Could be smelly cheese, could be some other part of life, not related to food. Some of us manage to get to the delicious part, others just spit it out in disgust the first time they try it. They do not dare to taste it again, one mouthfull of digusting is enough.

Although I stopped eating meat all together, this story stuck with me. It taught me a valuable lesson and it especially resonates with me now. I never felt so disgusted about something which was once so delicious… and at the same time, something so disgusting never felt so delicious before.