As a white male, I've grown up with a level of priveledge and entitlement in this world which had led me to rarely question my advantages, but worse, sometimes question the plight of those who mostly experience disadvantage and discrimination -- the total opposite of privilege and entitlement. As a person who, above all, strives to serve the greatest good of others and the greatest good of all, this is an unacceptable state. Fortunately, after being in a long-term relationship with a person of color, I've had the blessing to be able to gain a better understanding of how the dichotomy of skin color separates us in subtle ways, and how we still to this day create unfair advantages for ourselves, even in states of ignorance when we are trying to help. In this blog, I explore various ways that we, as white people, create these disadvantages, as well as how we can transcend beyond the lip service we give to people of color as we all try to erase separation and truly treat each other as equals.
This was a great question asked in The Law of One series. Here's Ra's take...
Questioner: Can you expand on the concept which is that it is necessary for an entity, during incarnation in the physical as we know it, to become polarized or interact properly with other entities and why this isn’t possible in between incarnations when the entity is aware of what he wants to do. Why must he come into an incarnation and lose conscious memory of what he wants to do and then act in a way in which he hopes to act?
Living in this world as an individual whose life is a set of linear experiences over time, we may fall into the trap of seeing things only from our own point of view, unable to see the other side of an argument because of our own lack of experience. This is compounded when we surround ourselves with others who have only had similar life experiences, resulting in an echo chamber that amplifies our own beliefs and reassures us that our positions are the correct ones.
A simple example of this can be shown any given day on social media, where we argue about concepts that have been neatly placed into dichotomies that force us to “pick a side.” Without a variety of life experiences, it becomes easy to pick one of the sides and then get swept into an argument where we disregard the experience of others, which may be different than our own.
My New Book, Spin the World Around, is available now on Amazon
At the end of my trip around the world through 24 countries, I found myself with a 750,000-word draft “travel book.” It was gargantuan. After months of editing, I realized I needed to split it into two books, and of course, continue editing. The first book was a guide for someone to travel deeply and cheaply entitled How to Spin the World Around. Now, I present a nonfiction narrative entitled Spin the World Around, in which the protagonist (me) essentially discovers the methodology of travel later outlined in the first book.
The experience of writing a memoir has been a time-consuming process, and it taught me about how we can play with time. Just the other day, I was cleaning out my garage and I found a journal in a filing cabinet. I opened it to an entry I had written when I was in high school, and it was about the desire to travel the world for adventure. “I’m not afraid of death,” was one of the lines written in the journal entry. I hadn’t read this entry probably in decades, but I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the same line written in my high school journal was later said during a key moment by a person I met years later in this book I’m about to release – about my world travel adventure. Be careful what you wish for; I’m glad that’s behind me. Then, I realize that this book I’m about to release actually ended about 3 years ago, and the protagonist was not only growing and changing over the course of the book, but once the book ended, I continued to grow and and change. I realize and accept that I am no longer the person I was in this book, just as a river is ever-changing and never the same moment to moment. That said, capturing the river in a given moment with a photograph or a story is a worthwhile creative endeavor. Learning to look back at our past selves with compassion is also worth it.
A certain amount of time was needed between the completion of the events and the manifesting of storyline omniscience. This allowed me to write a nonfiction narrative instead of just regurgitate a slew of chronological journal entries. Editing became key, as well as generating a story arc and developing a writing style. I worked with several editors and learned something from each of them. Before I even split to two books, I was encouraged to focus on action-based parts from the first editor. “More Action! Action! Action!” she’d write in the margins. The second editor was actually a writer who I paid up front through a proxy, but they never got back to me after they got paid. One guy offered to edit, but after reading the first chapter, he claimed to already know how it ended, so I knew I was in for another re-write. The editor I ended up crediting on the title page spent the most time with me and made the most impact on the writing style. The entire process helped make me a better writer… and editor. The good editors would generate writing assignments for more writing to be further edited. This process could go on for infinity, but eventually I needed to let it go. I encourage everyone to write their own memoir, if only to learn about oneself through creating it and become a better writer (and editor). In the mean time, I hope you enjoy my story and find my message valuable.
With that, I present to you – Spin the World Around. Available now.
I've had my kundalini awakened by a Siddha Yogi in India, visited ma ayahuasca with shamans, participated in white tantric yoga, become certified in reikki and breathwork, worked with the akashic records, practiced guided and silent meditation for years, experienced lucid dreaming and out of body experiences, and even once spent a night in jail, but nothing could quite prepare me for my recent 10-day vipassana seminar near Dallas, Texas hosted by dhamma.org.
I have to say first-hand that it was a life-changing experience, and in great alignment with my philosophical beliefs. The retreat taught me a new way of meditating that has made it a great pleasure to meditate for long periods of time while sitting still; witnessing sensations arise and pass with objective equanimity has also led me to approach the world in a different way.
Since being back (it's been two weeks as I write this), I've been meditating twice a day, averaging at least 90 minutes of meditation per day, and in those times, really getting to know my body, mind, and senses, inside and out. This practice is one that I can see carrying on for a long time because it is so empowering, and it allows me to journey within myself for the answers by exploring sensations arising from within. As I continue to meditate daily, I can literally feel physical healing, and I am more able to connect with others to "be there" with an few extra moments to listen before letting my thoughts and sensations lead me to a hasty response. I've also totally lost interest in facebook debates, politics, and other argumentative divisive activities disguised as worthy philosophical discussion. In fact, reading some of my older posts on this site yesterday, I can see a growth in my thought processes. Certain things, which used to sometimes consume me, have just become irrelevant, and I don't even need to try to explain anymore. "Change starts from within" has a more genuine meaning to me now. I see a vibration shift, and I can see how this helps me focus on giving more time to positive contributions. The work continues, but it's been a great start.
Here is a blog I wrote about the retreat on my Guided Meditation Treks site with more details. I highly recommend that ANYONE gather the motivation, strength, and courage to take a 10-day retreat with Goenka. It will change your life... actually YOU will change your life! - READ MORE
My first smartphone apps were these basic tools to allow users to create their own binaural beats. The app was called Binaural, and this past December, I made both the iOS and Android versions free for anyone to download and use. Now, I've decided to take this a step further and make the core of these apps open source! This means that you can go to my github page and download fully working sample apps that generate binaural beats and isochronic pulses. Then, you can use these algorithms in your own apps. If you find any of this useful, I'd appreciate you give me shout, and perhaps I'll feature your app on my Guided Meditation Treks blog!
Here's the source code for iOS.
Here's the source code for Android.
Or you can just download the app and not worry about how it works!
I've been doing software development for a long time, and recently, I've been working on some newer stuff with my startup, Synervoz. We are creating cutting-edge technology to bridge gaps in the realms of music and talking with our app TurnMeUp. For example, how many times have you been listening to music with earbuds or headphones when someone in the room is trying to talk to you? Our app lets you hear them without taking off your headphones. Not only that, but our technology lets people not in the room to talk to you in real-time without making you answer a phone call or interrupt that important Jamiroquai song you are listening to in the moment. Here is an outline of some of the technologies I've worked with on this project (and otherwise), which I find to be some of the most relevant technologies in the 2010's, yet they didn't even exist ten years ago!
My good friend told me to create an account on steemit and start posting some stories, so here is my first one. It's about the ideas and concepts behind burn events like Burning Man and how we can incorporate the good parts into our daily lives without having to go into the desert.
Why I stopped going to Burn Events, But Still Live the Good Parts
I recently rewatched the cult classic movie They Live, and I was reminded how poignant this movie from 1988 remains to this day. Starring former professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, the movie is about a global conspiracy of intergalactic beings who have infiltrated Earth to use humans as their slaves, all while giving them the illusion of happiness under the guise of consumption. After Piper's character begins to "see" what's really going on, he tries in earnest to wake up other humans, but so many times in the movie, the humans try their hardest to stay asleep, culminating in an overly drawn-out wrestling throwdown in a back alley with one of the other main characters. When interviewed once by a radio host, Piper said that the movie was actually a documentary, not fiction.
Through human history, our perception of reality has undergone drastic changes, but only after accepted paradigms were shattered. Unfortunately, it's not easy to shatter patterns that have served us in the past.
I originally published this article with Austin Daze back in 2013, but I've been seeing the images disappear on my original article, so I wanted to reprint the article here for eternity! Rumor has it, Jamiroquai is about to release a new album in 2016. This month marks the 3-year anniversary of their Latin America tour. Back in February of 2013, Jamiroquai played a show in Monterrey, Mexico. Local Austinites took a trip to give you this report:
Usually, when I travel, the first thing that people say when I tell them where I’m going is, “Wow, that’s going to be awesome!” When I said we were going to Mexico to see Jamiroquai, the response was, “Be careful.”
Knowing that attitude is everything, my buddy JB and I figured embracing every moment with positive intentions and no fear would result in a great trip, and we’d be totally safe the entire time. With that, we drove to Laredo and ditched JB's car at Wal-Mart so we could take a cab to the bus station. By the border in downtown Laredo, bus companies abound, and each bus leaves at a different time. We meandered for 15 minutes, missing each by 5 minutes until we found one. We boarded it 3-hours direct to Monterrey. Though we saw a beater of a bus at the border that was worse, Greyhound was definitely not the nicest bus option. Ours was a luxury coach with only 2 other passengers, and the trip was only $25 each.
Copyright (c) 2015 Russell Eric Dobda