Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Something I Can Never Have, Or...?

Last night (Monday, July 23) I had an interesting dream. In this dream, there was this boy in a black T-shirt (that's the only detail I could remember about his appearance) who gave me, of all things, a king cobra. As in a live king cobra snake. This apparently was no ordinary king cobra, though, as it behaved very unusually for its species: it slithered up to me and appeared to want to...snuggle, for lack of a better term. It was downright friendly and looked at me with an expression that should've been on a puppy for how affectionate it was. I was justifiably afraid of this king cobra, as I would be if I encountered a real king cobra, but this king cobra continued its affection.

Now I know this is not how snakes behave in real life. I'm no expert on snake behavior, but I'm guessing if I encountered a king cobra in real life it would not only have no interest in snuggling, but it would try to scare me away (and definitely succeed). Still, despite this being a dream, I still feel it carries some significance.

From what I understand, going on what I remember from one of the satsangs of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living, dreams aren't prophetic or psychic or anything mystical or supernatural, but rather a way for the human mind to process the reality it experiences. Dreams could be unconscious desires, impressions of the world around you, interpretations of memories, or maybe all of the above. I think the aforementioned dream I had falls under the unconscious desire category. But what sort of unconscious desire?

I think it's a desire for the extraordinary, in my case. Something fantastical or mystical to happen in my life, a miracle of some kind that would finally prove to me that I have a place in this world, that I am special and extraordinary. In other words, something I could never have, and by that I mean something that happened that would be considered a miracle that would be a positive experience for me.

I know that would never happen, at least the way I would want it to. I know the only way I can feel happy, special, and extraordinary, to feel I have a place in the world, is to dig deep inside myself for those feelings, then live my life in this world. And there's nothing wrong with that fact. The Gods don't have to prove that to me; rather, I have to prove it for myself.

There might be one other explanation for the dream I had: if I remember correctly, yesterday in India was the holiday of Nag Panchami, a religious holiday centered around snakes. Perhaps my dream was simply a reminder of it. Maybe this dream was a combination of both theories I proposed here: my mind wants a miracle to happen, and maybe a king cobra (symbolic of Nag Panchami) liking me was the symbol of such a miracle I would want to happen.

Regardless of what this dream may or may not signify, I'm not taking it as some sign of prophecy or some other ridiculous interpretation. Rather, I'm just curious to know if it was truly a window into my soul and its desires. If you readers want to weigh in, feel free.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fragile: Handle With Care

Recently I've been questioning if my life is of any value to the universe.

Let me get it out of the way right now that I am NOT suicidal. At least not at this moment. I know life is a gift, and I don't intend to send it back. But I've realized something about myself that I find so disturbing that I honestly question whether or not my existence is worthwhile.

That fact is that my soul, my spirit, is so fragile, so delicate, so spineless that when it comes to facing the truths of my life I fall apart and shatter like glass. Yeah, I know the truths I am about to mention are hard for everyone...but for me they're so hard I have no defense.

What I eat encourages cruelty, towards both animals and people. What I use in my life, that requires consumption of electricity, negatively impacts the environment and the air we breathe. What taxes I pay encourage war, death and destruction, and the erosion of liberty. These are truths that I know would be hard for anyone in my situation to take.

But even their mere hinting causes me to fall apart. I cry profusely. I become lethargic, unable to do anything but sob. I emotionally disintegrate. And when I fall apart, no one wants to be around me or help me. I don't blame them, since I become a beacon of negativity.

The problem is, even though I do meditation and Sudarshan Kriya, they seem to have only treated the symptoms. They only offer a temporary boost in happiness. I know the disease lies in my inability to stand up and do the right thing. Make the right choices. Forgo and turn away from those things I enjoy that hurt the planet. It seems like doing the right thing would mean taking all the joy out of my life.

However, I know - and fear - that the day will come when I will have to choose between my pleasures, and my moral standing as a human being. Or maybe even between these pleasures and my life, with the environmental damage finally starting to catch up to all of us humans.

When - not if, but when - that day comes...I don't know if I'll survive.

I'm too fragile...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Is There a Bright Side to Commercialization?

I know a lot of my posts here in Light Club can be filed under the "fluff" category, not having very much substance to them. I've made some posts on here that I consider to be substantial, but I admit it's not much. Well, I aim to increase the substance-filled posts in this blog by one post today, but...it will involve me saying something that some people might consider controversial.

What could I say that would be of a controversial nature on this blog, that might actually add to this blog's quality and usefulness? Well, how about this: I personally believe that commercialization has, in some ways, been of benefit to yoga and Hinduism.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking: how could I as a white American and a semi-outsider to Hinduism have any right to say that? I ask that you hear me out for just a few paragraphs so I can clarify that statement. I also ask that you keep in mind that I'm not endorsing or condoning the commercialization of yoga and Hinduism, but rather that I'm pointing out that there is a silver lining to it.

What is this supposed silver lining to the commercialization of yoga and Hinduism that has so rightly been criticized as having done damage to the core beliefs of this faith? It's one that many in their rush to criticize can easily overlook: it's exposed more Westerners to the faith than ever before. Yes, it's exposed Westerners to a shallow version, but with the amount of Westerners that have been exposed via commercialization, there are an increased amount of Westerners who are willing to look beyond the commercial version and actually do some research on the real version.

It's a simple law of averages: the more people you expose, the more you'll find who are genuinely interested. But while for every Westerner with a genuine interest there are probably two pop-star singers with false intentions (I'm looking at you, Madonna and Alanis Morisette), there are still seeds planted - seeds which foster more respect for the culture of origin. I know these seeds of more respect don't take root in the aforementioned people with false intentions - it just mutates their disrespect and ignorance - but they do take root in the form of those with genuine interest wanting to spread their genuine respect and interest to those who have their deluded perceptions.

Perhaps the best thing that commercialization does for Hinduism and yoga is that it opens a door for dialogue. Sure, it's a dialogue saying how many Westerners who embrace the commercialized form of Hinduism and yoga have cheapened the faith and perverted it, but that's only the start of dialogue, and it can go from there to genuine healing and education.

I don't know if I was clear with this post...hopefully I'm clear enough that I won't be flamed off the Internet. But if you have questions, objections, constructive criticism or whatever, you know what to do. :-)

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Wish Ganesha Used Twitter or Facebook

So I found an interesting study about Twitter and Facebook, on Facebook of all places. What the study concludes is a very accurate description of myself: that Twitter and Facebook users have increased anxiety and self-esteem problems. (You can find the study here at
http://mashable.com/2012/07/08/social-media-anxiety-study/ )

This is a fact I should have seen coming, as it's often posts I find on Twitter and/or Facebook that can rile my emotions. Unfortunately, being an aspiring writer means my usage of Twitter and Facebook is a necessary evil. This is why I titled this blog post the way I did: I wish if I got too disturbed by a Twitter or Facebook post that Lord Ganesha would tweet or message me reminding me that it most likely won't affect my immediate real life and to calm down. Or slap me upside the head, whatever works.

Maybe if I knew more people who shared my faith on Twitter or Facebook that could talk to me regularly I wouldn't be so volatile? I'd like to know if anyone who reads my blog would like to keep in touch that way (who doesn't already). I could always use a cooler head to talk to.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Just Don't Know How to Deal With Evil

First of all, to my readers, I apologize for yesterday's post; not for what I said, though (what happened in that article I linked to is pretty evil), but for the hyperbole I used, and the fact that it wasn't...directly related to the usual contents of this blog.

It sort of goes to show that when I am confronted with societal evil...that I just don't know how to react or confront it. Sure, when it comes to something like sexism amongst gamer culture, the solution is obvious: don't perpetuate it for starters, educate where possible, and stand up for the persecuted when it comes time to. But instead of keeping in mind this logical, rational response, my brain automatically goes into the hyper emotional zone. Like Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, when it comes time to do what needs to be done, I initially panic and choke. For me it comes out as hyperbole as I get full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Sure, there are times when emotional responses are justified, but my emotional responses don't go anywhere other than on deaf ears most of the time. It's why I practice yoga and Hinduism, to try to counter those emotional lows I experience in times like this. It's been working, but as the last post shows, I still have a lot to learn.

I still intend to stay on the path, as it works for me. But it looks like I still have far to go. Maybe I need to go a step further, but I don't know where that step is...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Feeling Betrayed

I don't know how well any of you know me, but I like video games. A lot. Or at least until now. Let me just say recent events make me want to throw up, and possibly burn my gaming equipment.

Events like these: http://sodisarmingdarling.tumblr.com/post/26700327003/man-disagrees-with-woman-makes-game-about-punching

I used to be proud of being a gamer. Now I can't look at a controller without thinking that I'm a misogynist, sexist asshole for even associating myself with these people.

You gamers have betrayed me. I used to think you were cool, that the games you've made were cool. Now I realize they've addicted me and corrupted my mind. You suckered me in with your promises of fun and escapism. Instead you've made me feel more guilty and evil than I have been in my life.

The problem is, I can't even find the strength to dissociate myself from gaming. I'll probably play some video game to calm me down after I post this. And that is why I'm so upset, betrayed, confused, enraged, you name it.

I can't take this anymore...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ganesha, and My Creative Process

I've discovered something about my writing process that makes me feel a bit disappointed in my own writing ability: when it comes to creating wholly original content (in this case something fictional), I kind of suck at it. If I try to write fiction, even the most rudimentary of ideas seem to escape me. I can't seem to come up with any ideas I can stick with long enough to actually produce something good. Most of the time I can't even come up with an idea that motivates me.

I guess that's why I find blogging and writing articles for publications so much easier, because at least I know what I'm writing about. That sort of reminds me of that one story of Ganesha writing the Mahabharata: the sage Vyasa wanted Ganesha to write the epic as he dictated, on the condition that Ganesha understood what He was writing down. It's one instance where Ganesha loses one of His tusks, due to His pen breaking; rather than stop completely He broke off one of His tusks to use as a pen and continue.

Thinking about that story gives me inspiration when it comes to my writing, now that I think about it. It seems as if even Ganesha needed the prompting of others to write things down. Perhaps it indicates my future writing path, and that rather than lamenting on the inability to come up with my own stories, I can tell the stories of others to inspire others still. Or even my own story.

The one downside of that, is that I don't see it making me rich or even famous...but perhaps it's because I don't know how to use this sort of talent to make myself that way yet. Not that I want to become ultra-rich, but I want my writing to be read! I want to bring joy to and inspire others with my writing. I just don't know how...it makes me wish I knew a sage to tell me an epic.

Well, I guess until then I have this blog. If only more people read it...