In the bowels of my despair
I reach out to touch anything
That will bring me relief
Too long I've suffered
Only to find my hope is an illusion
A non-entity entity that exists
Solely in the minds of those
Surrounding me on all sides
In the real world
And in the imagination
They prick my conscious pain
With every consolation
Pride. Motivation. Fire.
To depths of a measure
No man can evoke
Whether through intense scrutiny
Or hard labor
It swells beyond madness
And I find myself
Wondering where the bottom begins.
I am the echo of my doing.
When there is only doing and no echo
There is no me.
When there is ceaseless echo
There is too much me.
Is doing and not knowing I am doing it
Worth doing at all?
Is hearing nothing but the echo of doing
Worth doing at all.
When I speak
It is silent.
When I am silent
I am the reflection on the glass
When looking at the world
Through the window.
When I see the world
I don't see me.
And when I see me
I don't see the world.
When I see
I see it.
When it sees
It sees me.
This is my favorite depiction and pose of the Buddha.
The story surrounding it is akin to Christ's temptation in the wilderness by Satan. Swap Siddhartha Gautama for Jesus and Mara for Satan and it's basically the same'ish story with a very important difference.
In the biblical story, Jesus is tempted for forty days and nights by the most evil being in existence; doing its damnedest to convince Jesus to renounce his throne and bow down to Satan and all the world will be his. Juxtaposed to the Buddha story we have Siddhartha – a prince himself like Jesus – sitting under a tree meditating, with Mara – a 'demon' (not the monster Hellraiser kind) who guards the proverbial door to the wheel of existence – doing its damnedest to tempt, scare and just overall distract the Buddha.
Satan – a real entity in the story – is trying to tempt Jesus in order to rule over the cosmos and finally become higher than Jehovah / Yahweh / God / Whatever. And with each temptation Jesus counters him with scriptural wisdom; eventually overcoming the Devil; having gone into the desert Jesus of Nazareth and leaving it Jesus the Christ.
In Gautama's story, Mara throws everything at him: women, wine, a demon army with fiery arrows, etc. (I highly recommend reading it if you get a chance). But in this story, the demon Mara is revealed to be just what he is: imagination. This particular depiction of the Buddha has him in the lotus position with one of his hands touching the earth so as to ground himself in reality. After all of his temptation and fear tactics, Gautama looks at Mara, touches the earth, and says something to this effect: "Lord Mara, you have no power over me, for you are not even real."
Wow!!! This is the moment Siddhartha Gautama becomes the Buddha just as we all can. By realizing the truth, that every temptation, every fear, every desire, every everything comes from within and projected out into the world. Your ego – for lack of a better word – is what keeps you suffering and it's not even a real thing.
It says things such as: I'm such an idiot! I am way too fat. What kind of coffee table defines me? I need to make more money! That person's car is way better than mine. I can't wear Adidas shoes with a Nike shirt! and on and on and on....none of it real. None of it.
Of course there are real things to fear and justifiably so. If you're being chased by a pack of wild dogs for example, your primitive fear can help to enable you to run; but it can also disable you into freezing.
Why? Because fear is not something outside of us, but something that comes from us.
Was there really a person named Siddhartha Gautama that actually went through all these things?
Don't know. Don't care.
It doesn't matter. It's the story and the lessons within it that do.
Some scholars claim or theorize Socrates wasn't real but instead a character created to convey ideas. However, it doesn't make one difference if it's true or not because it is the ideas that matter.
So, the next time you find yourself upset, scared, or perhaps smack dab in the midst of some sort of 'temptation', take a moment to ground yourself in reality and realize the truth: There is no ego inside of you. There is ONLY you.
Escape the suffering that is inherent to dualism by looking your ego in the eyes and telling it to fuck off, that it has no power over you, because it's not even real.
Then what is real?
Touch the ground in front of you.
That is now.
That is real.
I don't think I'll be an artist anymore.
I like to think I don't need anything these days besides food, water, rest, and love.
But I kind of feel like I NEED this shirt.
- Listening to: Incubus
- Reading: Star Wars: Darth Plagueis
- Watching: YouTube shit
- Playing: Batman: Akrham Origins
- Eating: Raspberries
- Drinking: Venti Black Eye (dark roast + two shots espresso
The sponge is an amazing tool for soaking things up. It seems to be able to soak and soak soak, but there is a limit.
At some point you have to let the sponge dry out so it can return to it's most functional state.
Similarly, the brain is constantly soaking up information. Especially when it's conscious, it is soaking up every bit of information it's sensing.
The sounds it's hearing, the movements it's seeing, the odors it's smelling, the objects it's touching, and even the taste(s) in it's mouth at a given moment, the brain is absorbing with intense soaking power.
But the brain has a limit too, and needs time to "dry out" and return to it's best state of soaking power.
That is what zazen does for me.
One of the greatest lessons about the nature of the universe I learned playing video games.
For as long as I can remember, when I played a game I always set it to 'Casual/Easy' mode. There was never any challenge. I seemed to be playing simply to finish the game not realizing that playing the game was supposed to be fun, and that the fun is in the challenge.
Life on 'casual/easy' mode is, in a word, boring.
Racing through each moment only to get to the next moment where, following the pattern of behavior, I simply was trying to get to the next moment; all the while never actually being in the present moment.
Playing the game of life is not about winning, losing, and certainly not about finishing.
Now I'm just playing, and it's fantastic.
Just found this on Vimeo. Something I did about five years ago.
The Internet. There's something here for everyone.
For the second time in two weeks, Drew Karpyshyn, author of 'The Chaos Born' trilogy has graciously shared my fan art of scenes from both book one, 'Children of Fire', and book two, 'The Scorched Earth' on his twitter feed; book three will be available in July!
Facebook? More like FascistBook.
Banned from posting for an additional 48 hours because a christian wet the bed after seeing the profile pic on God Swill Ministries—another page I admin on facesuck—and so now I'm forced to realize how shitty life is sometimes. '
I did not participate in Christmas last year at all. This year I will happily attend family get-togethers and holiday events. However, I will NOT model for my little girl the behavior of shopping, spending, and going in to debt out of societal obligation.
This holiday is a farce.Once it was some heathen or pagan practice, hijacked by Romans to become Saturnalia, then hijacked by Christians to become Christmas, now hijacked by strict ultra-Capitalists to become the bullshit it is today.
Spend! Spend! Spend!It's torn families apart; pitted cousin against cousin in my own, all because of differences in how to exchange gifts. Money. That's all this "holy day" is about. I wish it were more like Thanksgiving where people come together to enjoy one another's company, but even that day has now been hijacked by Black Friday to become Black Thursday Evening.
Fuck you, Santa Claus.On Christmas morning, somewhere a pissant greedy little prick will wake up to mountains of presents from Santa despite him or her being the perfect example of who should be on the "Naughty List". Simultaneously, another little boy or girl who has been good and nice and met all of Santa's requirements for staying on his good side will wake up to absolutely nothing.
It's a sham.Family members of mine will drill deeper into debt this December due to this fucked up obligation to spend money they absolutely do not have. It sickens me. I'm not better than anyone. I'm simply not impressed by materialism or its excesses.
What does impress me personally are those who can live on less and simply be content; wanting what they've already got rather than getting everything they want.
It's an empty, Wall Street-driven event that imposes guilt and shame on the less fortunate for not being able to buy more, if anything at all. And two months later, we're all expected to buy more shit for the next farce called Valentine's Day.
Welcome to America.
Just got a part-time design job that I'll be doing right here at my home desk.
Three days a week I'll be designer, and the other two I get to be home with baby girl.
Life is good at the moment.
- Listening to: 311
- Reading: Waking Up by Sam Harris
- Playing: Mass Effect 2
- Drinking: Coffee
CHECK IT OUT!!! My friend Joey Lee Kirkman, author of Bedtime Bible Stories - Explicit, was on Episode 5 of the Ra-Men Podcast. He gives me a shout out at the 3:45 marker for illustrating the podcast's banner and for being one of his latest illustrators! Thanks brother! MADE MY DAY!!!
Listen here: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ra…
Watch here: youtu.be/Zu8mO1cXQC4
Listen here: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ra…
Watch here: youtu.be/Zu8mO1cXQC4
Happiness is based on what's happening. Joy is what you experience despite, or perhaps even in spite of what's happening. Happiness is getting what you want. Joy is wanting whatever you've got.