The Thought I Woke Up With #27

Sleeping pills

Amazing what one finds out when one needs to. Between wake-up and now (now being time of writing this, which is about twelve hours) I’ve learnt that the sleeping pill market is a huge business. And I mean huge.

More than that I’ve discovered there is what’s called “The Sleep Market,” of which the sleeping pills are a part, and it’s worth billions of dollars; over 23 billion dollars in the US alone.

This market includes sleeping pills, specialty matrasses, specialty pillows, aromatic compounds and all manner of other mood altering potions.

The sleeping pills however, are the jewel in the crown, reportedly grossing around 9 billion dollars alone. This kind of money means competition amongst drug companies. And like all grabs for as much cash as you can get your hands on, there are some things these companies do that should, shall we say, be done better.

One of the major issues seems to be that these companies need to be pushed to disclose the addictive nature and potential side effects of their products.

There is a well know Aussie Olympic swimmer who wandered through a casino foyer semi naked, then spent 35 days at The Meadows in Arizona, an exclusive rehab facility that specialises in 30 types of addiction, including drugs.

The swimmer admitted using Stilnox on the night of his casino incident and being addicted to it.

Sleeping pills have side effects and anyone taking them should be made aware before they do take them.

These side effects are: Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, fatigue, worsened insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations, agitation, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, infections of the nose, throat and chest amongst others.

Billions of dollars shelled out by people desperately trying to get a good nights rest only to, in far too many cases, get those kinds of unpleasant and dangerous things happen to them.

If only a fraction of those billions of dollars was spent on helping people discover remedies and relaxation techniques within themselves, how much better, happier and healthier the world would be?

But, as everyone knows it isn’t that kind of planet. They don’t want you to get better on your own. They want you; indeed encourage you to become dependent on the system and its drugs. It’s not only guns and bars that keep people prisoner.

Not ever having taken a sleeping pill I’m hardly one to offer advice on sleeping pills. I will however say this to anyone reading this who does take them.

Speak to your medical practitioner. Do your own research. Find out what the side effects are. Find out what you can do for yourself before reaching for the pills. Observe what the triggers that don’t allow you to sleep are. Can you address those and do something to help yourself?

Do not simply go for the pills because they seem to be the easiest option both for you and for whoever is advising you.

Ask questions, seek second opinions. Be no one’s experiment or cash cow.

With love …

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #27

The Thought I Woke Up With #26

Spirituality for Grown-ups

Alright folks, alright. Listen up. This is the one. This is the missive you’ve been waiting for. The information your heart and soul have been seeking, even if you didn’t know it. That’s right you don’t know the half of it. Good thing I’m here to help you.

Right here, right now is that moment in a life. The decisive moment. The miracle moment. I have for you THE SECRET to health, wealth and happiness. I am about to disclose to you a MIRACLE. An opportunity of a lifetime. This ladies and gentlemen is a LIFE CHANGER. Don’t you look away, walk away or get distracted. Concentrate and give me your attention.

It doesn’t matter if you got a broken bicycle, broken car, broken mind, broken bank account or a broken heart. It don’t matter. If it’s broken this will fix it! It’ll make the sun shine on any rainy day. It’ll help you make French fries, natural dyes, bake cakes, mow lawns and wash your pet. It’ll cure headaches and lameness and lumbago. Make rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, toothache, sprains, rains and weight gains a thing of the past. This is the cure all.

Snake oil salesmen used to flog their product with outrages claims and take peoples money for product that did almost next to nothing.

Today we have numerous spiritual and religious sales people doing likewise. They trot out things like this.

And when you give your tithe! When you give your 10% of gross! You are giving god your faith. Give the Lord a little and I believe you are going to open up the windows of heaven. I believe god going to rebuke and devour on your behalf. I believe he going to protect your stuff. I believe he going to take a risk with you. He going to help you win at the track, on the roulette wheel and at the blackjack table.

So why are you sweating over it? Why are you so possessed by money that you will not part with 10%? He gives you a 100% and you sweat and fret and begrudge offering him 10% of his own back? Shame on you. Being stingy with the Lord. Be stingy with the Lord and the Lord give you nothing!

Fleecing the flock it’s called. Yessir, take ’em for all you can.

It’s like god is sitting up there somewhere, on his splendid throne, like some kind of godfather, dispensing favours to those that please him and all he wants in return is little slice of the action; a taste; a small VIG for his troubles.

Then we have the self-help gurus who talk about attracting everything you ever wanted. Decide what you want, get it out there, don’t doubt yourself and Hey Presto! The universe provides! Everything is yours. Yep, and pigs fly every second Sunday.

Here is one of the favorites they all trot-out in some form or another:

When you’re down in the dumps think yourself happy. Be positive.

These people cause more harm than you can imagine, simply because their jingoistic crud doesn’t work. That’s not entirely true; the crud works insofar as it makes them a lot of money. Which is sure fire sign of how deluded they are. It’s all about money.

Most of them are at best entertainers, except their entertainment is another’s downfall. Wen a person tries this junk, and it doesn’t work, the person can actually compound their issue because they feel incompetent. ‘This stuff sounds so easy, why can’t I do it? I must be dumb’ they think.

Researches Say:

Research shows that when we’re anxious or stressed — in other words, exactly when we need a mood boost — our minds become unable to provide one. That’s because we’re so preoccupied with our troubles that we don’t have enough brainpower left over to suppress negative thoughts. And when we try to distract ourselves, pessimistic notions are the only ones that come to mind. “If you’re really under stress, putting yourself in a good mood by thinking positive thoughts becomes not only difficult — in fact it backfires, and you get the opposite of what you want,” says Daniel Wegner, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Virginia.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: “You have to enlist the help of other people,” Wegner says. “Talk to friends or relatives or clergy or a therapist, or anyone else who might be able to help you think about other things.” Or go to a place where people are enjoying themselves, like a party or the park or the mall, and you’ll soon feel your spirits lift. Finally, if you know in advance that you’re going to be upset or anxious about something, make a list of positive things that you can refer to when you need it most: your five favourite memories say, or three occasions to look forward to.

Spirituality for grown-ups is spirituality that doesn’t employ tricks or short term feel good fixes. Spirituality for grown-ups deals with truth and reality, both of which are often far from what the peddlers of falsity would have you believe.

If it was possible to say a prayer and make the pain disappear, or attract enlightenment and happiness simply by wishing it, there would be no problems. We’d all be out of pain and misery already.

Just have a look at the men and women, past and present, who teach and preach about the realities of life and how to heal the human race, one soul at a time, and NOT ONE teaches quick fix techniques. If ever you wanted proof there it is right there.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #26

The Thought I Woke Up With #25

Worshipers

Hey John, how you doing?

Doin’ good man. Doin’ great. Sold that car of mine finally.

Oh good.

Yeah, better than good. Got this buyer … guy had no clue, got twice as much than I expected. Screwed that fool real good.

Oh …

Yeah. Just hoped the brakes didn’t give out before he and that pregnant wife of his got out of the driveway, hahahaha …

Right. Where you off to now?

Church. Always go to church.

Before I go any further, I am fully aware that not all religious people are like that. Many folks find genuine comfort and relief in their religion. Great. Believe whatever you want to. It’s an awesome and powerful thing to be able to do so.

For many however religion is no more than a pin to stick on the lapel. To be seen as some kind of a good person while at the same time cheating and lying and warmongering. For a whole host of humans it’s like — screw them before they screw you Monday to Friday. Do your chores and laundry on Saturday. Go to church Sunday. Send a card on Mother’s day.

It’s like a politician who goes to church with the missus and the kiddies, making sure the cameras are there to record his unreserved fidelity to his faith, then returns to parliament mercilessly sticking knives into his leaders back, (metaphorically speaking) feathering his own nest and satisfying the thirst for power. That same freak then expounds the virtues of honesty, truth and justice to anyone who cares to listen.

Or how about the Isis people, pray five times a day and behead folks in between prayers.

Is it any wonder religion is seen as putrefying by so many?

If you ever want to ask yourself a truly serious question, dear reader, ask yourself this. What does anyone know about God? Really?

Honest answer … not so much.

Next to nothing actually.

And those preachers that shout the most know the least. As for the ones who ask followers to do harm to others in the name of god, these are the truly evil that walk amongst us.

Evil isn’t what the evil-preachers would have you believe. Some nasty thing that awaits after you die. No, no, no. Evil is them. Right there. In your face. Hiding in the open, preaching, all day long, all night long, preaching, teaching about a god that will devour you if you do not follow. A god that hates all Christians and those of your own faith who aren’t as pure and as hardline. Evil preys with you, reads with you and breaks bread with you. Evil is right here and right now.

Author Dean Koontz described it nicely:

“Evil is no faceless stranger, living in a distant neighborhood. Evil has a wholesome, hometown face, with merry eyes and an open smile. Evil walks among us, wearing a mask which looks like all our faces.”

When I ask, what do we know about God, I mean the Creator. Not the ridiculous man-made caricatures they preach about, the ones appearing in their so-called holy books.

These are the cartoonish parodies whose advice they want you to take on child upbringing. Like the god who drowned his own kids. Groovy, now there’s the dude I want advice from.

It has been said the Creator isn’t even aware of this ego state of nonsense existing. That you and I have created this state of illusory existence in a moment of carelessness. An instant in which a child of Creation erred and created for itself a nightmare which will, like all dreams and nightmares be over soon enough.

We cannot destroy the ego because to destroy the ego would be to destroy a part of Self. That isn’t possible. The Self, self-harming? The very notion of such is insane.

The part of mind occupied by ego will be cleansed. Little by little, day by day, until the whole of mind is healed and reunited with Self.

Self does not hate the ego. There is nothing to hate. Do you wake from a bad dream and declare war upon that dream? Silly right?

Night doesn’t hate the day nor does the light hate the dark, you don’t see the two arguing and trying to kill one another, they simply cannot be as one. Exactly the same applies to ego and Self / Creation.

So relax with it all dear reader, try and be aware of who you listen to and follow. Be aware of false prophets. Worship no one. The Creator in particular does not want, or need, your worship. The Creator hasn’t got inadequacy or self esteem issues. He is not a professional wrestler or a movie star craving idolization.

Listen to those who talk about Love and Freedom. Take what makes sense and discard what doesn’t. Ultimately you will get your own answers.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #25

The Thought I Woke Up With #24

What’s on your mind?

Bruce Lee and Buddha were on the same page when they stated a variation of the following: As you think so shall you become, and The mind is everything, what you think you become.

Lao Tzu reportedly put it another way: Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

Another way was presented in an ancient scripture: Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.

Yet another adaptation is: Watch your thoughts for they become your world.

There would be countless other variations of the same saying and for that there is an excellent reason— Anyone who has actively sought out of the ego and into the state of enlightenment soon realises that everything happens in the mind. I like to think of it as:

Your mind is the home you live in.

Many would have you believe mind works in mysterious ways. No it doesn’t. Any time you want to know what is on someone’s mind have a look at his or her life.

Thoughts trigger all actions. All actions have consequences.

Life therefore can be summed up like this; Think. Act. Boom-there it is, consequence.

Ever wondered how humans came to be? Pretty simple really. There was no great or noble reasoning or purpose behind it. It was as simple and as meaningless as this:

At some point, somewhere, an inconceivably powerful creative being decided to experience something other than what it was experiencing. So, there was a thought, followed by an action (the big bang, the separation, the great fall or whatever other label makes you feel good) and here we are, stuck with the consequence.

The consequence is whatever you happen to be living day-to-day.

This so called separation from the greater self is replicated within every fiber of ego state. Take the Earth itself for example. Look at it from space and it looks like a blue ball.

Come closer and you start seeing different shapes, outlines and colors. Come closer still and you see beaches, oceans and forests.

As you descend closer still you note the forests have almost countless trees and the beaches are made up of uncountable number of sand granules.

Humans are likewise, different color skin, different shapes and sizes. Different religions, values and ideas.

All this disunity stems from the one original split, the split from Self. The split from Self is no more than part of mind devoting itself to feverish dreams and frightening illusions, the ego part.

For sake of simplicity let’s call the ego part, the illusory part, of mind Midnight and the part still steeped in reality, Sunshine.

Healing the mind means turning all of it back into Sunshine. That of course means removing Midnight.

Ego is terrified of that because it sees it as its death. And we know how ego feels about death.

And that is why– Ego loves oneness like an eye loves an onion.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #24

The Thought I Woke Up With #23

The house is flowing?

I found this morning’s thought a little bizarre. And as a follow-up admit to thinking, what am I going to write about here? I quickly reminded myself however that the answer would come, it always does.

Sure enough around mid-morning an old memory returned. A bittersweet memory. Sweet because it involved my grandmother whom I loved very, very much and bitter because the incident in question was distressing, she was crying. No. Not crying, it was more like full-on wailing. I was no more than five years old at the time but still remember the weeping and the words accompanying it.

My grandmother was a remarkable woman. In this lifetime I have met, associated with, worked with and known numerous women but never have I met one like her. This lady was out of the box as they say.

During World War II she lost a son, her husband, her home and just about all earthly possessions. What is more she was left with four young children and no support of any kind. Not only did she survive, she rebuilt, kept the family together and ended up achieving more than most families that were left in tact.

It must be said that life didn’t leave her unscarred. Life isn’t that kind. But she wore her scars well.

“Don’t you cry,” she would tell me as a little kid. “Don’t you cry, son, everything will be alright. God will provide.” It may have been way back then, when I was way too young to understand things about god or religion that I started resenting both. What kind of god could be such a non-caring piece of shit as to make someone I loved with all my heart so unhappy and heap so much misery upon her.

Back to the memory however. The day in question was sunny and balmy. She was looking after me like she did most of the time during my early childhood, as mum was working.

We were visiting the site of grandmothers home before the war. The ruins that is. And that’s when she started weeping and crying out for Nikola. I just remember the terrible howls and the most lamentable words, Oh my Nikola. Oh my Nikola, Why? WHY? Nikola was my granddad. I was named after him.

In the fullness of time, and based on the way she always talked about him, together with the fact that she never remarried or had a man after his death, I now know that what I was witnessing that day was the kind of sadness only those who have known true love can feel.

That understanding now makes me happy because despite her burdens my grandmother knew the kind of love the majority of people only dream about.

Those who have lived that kind of a love story have no need to read about it.

The Thought I Woke Up With Today was personal and as it turns out a part of my own mind-clearing / Undoing process. I’m glad to be able to share some of my housekeeping with you dear reader. I trust it helps in some way. We are all in this together after all.

Today’s thought also brought with it a gift. A gift of understanding and clarity in one simple sentence / question:

The house is flowing?

It means that our minds are our homes and we need to work on the flow. A kind of Feng Shui for the mind.

Is the mind flowing freely, filled with positive energy, controlled by you? OR does it sit, fester and stagnate with pseudo circular thoughts of unhappiness, anxiety, anger and catastrophes.

An analogy is that if you were to stand upon a bridge and watch a river flow underneath you would see that there is no stagnant water. The water flows, the river flows, freely and happily. Likewise it should be with mind.

I ask you, my dear reader, how is your house flowing?

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #23

The Thought I Woke Up With #22

Drone

Used to be the word drone meant a male bee, honeybee in particular, that is typically stingless, does no work and produces no honey.

This male honeybee’s only job is to mate with the queen bee. I don’t know about you dear reader, but I hazard to guess there’d be more than a few blokes who’d love to get into that job description type of work.

Drone also traditionally meant a lazy, shiftless person who lives off others, a slacker in other words. Or even a conformer, society’s slave; one who follows what’s “In” so as to try and fit in and get a life– a puppet to the cool kids on the block.

The word has morphed however to cover UAV’s (Unmanned Arial Vehicles) used for all kinds of things. The military and the CIA use them with great efficiency. They give them cool names like Predator and Reaper.

The reason UAV’s are becoming so popular is they are remotely controlled, extremely precise and deadly when it comes to hitting and destroying targets.

Several days prior to this writing a Reaper was used to kill the Taliban leader in Pakistan. To say it did a fair job on him and his car would be an understatement.

These unmanned dispensers of death are extremely accurate and systematically efficient. President Obama gave the okay. The military put up the drone and hey presto, no more Mullah Akhtar Mansour. Gone are the days of snipers crawling under the cloak of darkness, lying in wait, sometimes for days, waiting for the shot.

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The destroyed vehicle in which Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour was traveling in Credit: AP Photo/Abdul Salam Khan

Not all drones are are used for military, spying and killing purposes. They come in all shapes and sizes and have numerous uses. Some of the uses are, farming, film making, photography, inspecting hard to get to equipment like oil rigs, observing animal species in danger of becoming extinct, firefighting, news coverage, lifesaving, disaster relief, crime fighting, sports coverage and even home deliveries.

It needs to be noted that not all drone uses are positive and well-intended. Neighbours have reported drones being used to spy on them. One such incident was a widely reported “drone shooting” in the US where a drone was shotgunned out of the air because a homeowner thought he was being spied upon.

Now you might think that using a shotgun to drop a drone out of the air is a touch drastic, and you may well be right, however, ask yourself, if someone was perving on you, your kids and or family, in your own backyard how would you feel?

Perhaps an even better question is what kind of person would do that? But those kinds of people are out there. It’s a strange and not so healthy world we live in, dear reader. It’s all well and good to believe that we’re all gods kiddies and deserve nothing but love, goodwill and kindness but never forget the ego environment is an insane environment. Live in love but recognize reality of the situation.

It’s a world the Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s also share and their agenda is to destroy everything that doesn’t fit their version of the ideal paradigm.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #22

The Thought I Woke Up With #21

That Young Fella

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

Who would you guess said that? A parent unhappy with their young one’s attitude and time spent on the computer? A politician? A juvenile court Judge? Perhaps a fed-up social worker or policeman talking about unruly youngsters these days?

Actually it was Socrates, the Greek / Athenian philosopher 469 / 399 BC. That’s a long time ago and not much has changed about the average assessment of young people.

For those of us who can honestly remember their own youth that Socrates statement may well and truly apply. It does for me.

I certainly did my fair share of boneheaded, and at times dangerous things. Drove my mother nuts at times. Was at other times rude and was never very good at taking orders for the sake of taking orders. Responded well to those who treated me with a little respect and courtesy but not to people or decrees just because it was expected.

Tremble and obey was never a perspective I took to, and neither do most young people.

As we grow older we tend to distance ourselves from the freshness and idealism of youth. We grow older, and as is often said, wiser. Or do we, most of us, simply grow old and give up?

Do we become a bunch of tremblers and obeyers? Not necessarily out of fear but simply and squarely because we couldn’t be bothered?

Does the path of least resistance become the preferred option for no other reason than it’s easy? It almost becomes a cloak of invisibility. If I don’t make waves they’ll leave me alone, life will be kind, peaceful and gentle?

Is it like the people who work hard all their lives, do well, kick goals and achieve then retire and soon after die? No reason to live.

Or is it just a feeble way out because life wears us out? Ego wins. We die before we get buried? Traipsing around some golf course, dragging a caravan up and down the highway aimlessly, mumbling wisdom’s like, Why bother. What can you do? It is what it is. And a myriad of other excuses we talk ourselves into.

Eventually, as mind dulls and softens we begin to regress, ending up in some retirement home waiting for death. Ain’t salvation grand!

American author and poet put the regression thing beautifully when he wrote:

“The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean,” said the little old man.”

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #21