Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Today there is a booming discontent industry. Consisting of entrepreneurs who cash in on your misery by selling you products that describe and decry it, thus the exchange economy finds a place even for its enemies: perpetuating both industry and discontent. As we struggle to fight them, we keep the wheels turning by selling more merchandise. And as in every other aspect of your lives, your real desires to make something happen are channelled into consuming- your abilities and potential are displaced, projected onto the “revolutionary” items you purchase.
Think about your direct bodily experience of life. No one can lie to you about that! How many hours a day do you spend in front of a television screen? A computer screen? Behind the windscreen of your car? All three screens combined?
What are you being screened from?
How much of your life comes at you through a screen, Vicariously?
Is watching things as exciting as doing things? Do you have enough time to do all the things that you want to do? Do you even have the energy required to do the things you want to do?
And how many hours per day do you sleep? How are you affected by standardized, institutionalized time, designed for the sole purpose of synchronizing your movements with those of millions of other people? How long do you ever go without knowing what time it is? Who or what controls your minutes and hours? The same minutes and hours that constitute your life!
Can you assign value to a beautiful, bright, fresh, and sunny day, when the birds are chirping and people are spending time together? Tell me, how many dollars an hour does it take to pay you to stay inside and sell things or file papers? What will you obtain with those dollars that could ever make up for this wonderous day of your life? How are you affected by being in a crowd, by being surrounded by human beings you do not know? Do you find yourself blocking your emotional responses to these people? Do you see them as people, or walking bags of germs, ready to infect you and your children with deadly viruses?
And who prepares your meals? How much do you know about what you are eating and where it comes from? How much do you trust it?
What do we deprive ourselves of, by the use of these never-ending labour-saving devices? By the thought saving devices? How are you affected by the requirements of efficiency, which place value on the product rather than the process, on the future rather than the present, the present moment that is getting shorter and shorter as we speed ever faster and faster into a digital, machine-like future? What exactly are we hurling ourselves toward?
Are we saving time? Saving it for what?
How are you being affected by being moved around in prescribed paths, in elevators, buses, subways, escalators, on highways, and sidewalks? By moving, working, and living in two- and three-dimensional grids? How are you affected by being organized, immobilized and scheduled by people who care nothing for your innermost needs and desires, instead of wandering, roaming freely and spontaneously? How much freedom of movement do you have, freedom to move through space, to move as far as you want, in new and unexplored directions? Are you free to think whatever you like, to use your universe-given imagination, or are you only free to think about topics and subjects selected for you, by people you didn’t even know existed?
How are you affected by holding back your desires? By sexual repression, by the delay or complete denial of pleasure. starting in childhood, along with the suppression of everything in you that is spontaneous, everything that evidences your wild nature, your connection to the animal kingdom?
Is pleasure dangerous? Could danger be a natural, joyous part of human existence? Do you ever need to see the sky? Can you see stars in it anymore? Do you ever need to see water, leaves, foliage, animals? Glinting, glimmering, and moving? Is that why you have a pet, an aquarium, houseplants? Or are television and video your glinting, glimmering, moving?
How much of your life comes at you through a screen, vicariously?
Do videotapes and pictures of yourself and your friends fascinate you, as if you are somehow more real in the image than in life? If your life was made into a movie, would it be worth watching? And how do you feel in situations of enforced passivity? How are you affected by a non-stop assault of symbolic communication- audio, visual, print, billboard, computer, video, radio, robotic voices-as you wander through the jungle of signs? What are they urging upon you, what values and beliefs are they forcing you to swallow and live by?
Do you ever need solitude, quiet, contemplation? Do you remember it? Thinking on your own, rather than reacting to stimuli? Is it hard to look away?
Is looking away the very thing that is not permitted?
Where can you go to find silence and solitude? Not white noise, but pure silence? Not loneliness, but gentle, peaceful, soothing solitude?
How often have you stopped to ask yourself questions like these?
Do you find yourself committing acts of symbolic violence?
Do you ever feel lonely in a way that words cannot ever express?
I have asked you to ask yourself some very deep, perplexing, and challenging questions. I can hazard a guess at what is going on in your mind. “For fuck sake, we just got to this site looking for a bit of enlightenment, a bit of time away from the mainstream and I need to give it ten minutes before there will be new content on Facebook to scrawl through until I’m numb enough to sleep. I’m not here to get this deep and philosophical, Nick.”
Well, Let’s not fuck around here. If you are in the least bit interested in moving forward, away from a prescribed life of misery, constant competition, and continued dissatisfaction, then let’s face it, these questions are both pivotal and unavoidable. I believe that the largest majority of people end up in shitty lives that they secretly detest because of a failure to question both themselves and the world around them. You go along with the herd, adhere to the mainstream narrative, and don’t make waves within your social or work life. Everything looks good on paper: you have 2.0 kids, a husband, a house, a mortgage, and more stuff in storage than Ikea. But on the inside, you are screaming, or at least ought to be, if there is still a bit of inner you left. I’m going to bank on there still being some soul and fight left in you, otherwise, you would not be here at wake-up world looking to change shit up.
These questions are a vital part of becoming who you truly are and will bring you to the bottom of a mountain to be climbed. This mountain is called spirituality and enlightenment. Just like enlightenment these questions are tough and savage and will require a new and profound level of honesty and integrity. You may find that after answering them you feel a deep sense of anger, frustration, and resentment. both towards yourself and me. But stick with that feeling long enough and soon it will give way to something new and beautiful. That something is called curiosity. Curiosity is essentially the state of being in constant, unhindered question, inquiry, and wonder. Discussions around the psychological benefits of curiosity indicate that not only is it key to creating lasting happiness, it also has the power to change your life and the world around you. Even Einstein, one of the greatest minds of our time, credited his curiosity above his talent or intellect.
Answering these questions my friends, will bring you face to face with the cold, hard, and ugly truth of your situation. And here already you are on the path to salvation and a better life. For the truth is light and light is love. When you see your situation for what it is, when you stop pretending that everything is alright and you can truly recognize that you are unhappy and are participating in someone else’s dream, which has inadvertently turned into your nightmare, then you are now free to chart a different course through the sea of life and existence. We cannot begin to move toward what we want if we are unwilling to admit that we have landed somewhere we do not want to be. So ask yourself these questions and then answer them with one hundred percent honesty, integrity, and determination. And then at the end of it, when you find yourself angry with the current system, corrupt governments, and with your own shite life, remember one thing: ANGER GETS SHIT DONE!
Now go after your happiness and your dreams with everything you have. Do not settle for anything less than one hundred percent autonomy and live your own authentic life.
About the author:
Nick Wolanski is thirty-five years old and despite his longing to identify as an avocado in these gender unsure times, still considers himself to be wholeheartedly male in every which way possible. Born in Scotland to a drunkard of a Scottish father and a most wonderfully beautiful half Italian, half Polish mother. Nick was studying software engineering at Stirling University, content in his looking forward to designing computer games for a career when a heroic dose of magic mushrooms tore him away from life as he knew it and thrust him into an unimaginable life of curiosity, wonder, fun, music, sex, and travel.
Nick moved from his sleepy little village in Scotland to the Jungles of Los Angeles California where he became a male model, working in the field of sport, erotica, glamour, and editorial. Alongside his modeling career, Nick became an international DJ and music producer after falling in love with the underground rave culture that was just kicking off in LA at the time. He had an obsession for exploring his mind and consciousness which naturally led him to study and take copious amounts of psychedelic drugs including LSD, DMT, MESCALINE, AND 2CB. A truly unique, pioneering, and fearless human being with many loves and passions including but not limited to: life, art, science, his mom, his sister, techno, trance, good food, beaches, drugs, literature, quantum physics, chemistry, and beautiful women; (sorry guys).
He now wishes to share his story, “uh hu” moments, truths, trials, and tribulations with the world to help people evolve into healthy, happy, and sovereign human beings so that we have a fighting chance of reclaiming our humanity, spirituality, and healing the planet. Nick now runs a health consultancy business whilst writing articles and books, alongside a thriving career as a private chef and life coach.