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Everything has been figured out, except how to live

Most of us never become who we are.
We’re strangers to our own existence.

Like you, I am born into a highly politicized
society that “educates” me and molds me
and forces narratives upon me
and tells me who I’m supposed to be
and what is good and what is bad
and what is expected of me.

Most of my desires are manufactured
by people who greatly benefit
from my attempt to
satisfy them.

I follow the rules and dictates of this society
because that’s all I know and I’m told
that trouble and derision awaits
if I waver from these ideals
set for me.

An obedient citizen I become.
And I’m proud of this.
And the people wave flags
in celebration of the
illusion of their freedom.
And they sing national anthems
as a way to infuse their life
with value and to transcend
their sense of tininess.
And their hate is disguised as love.
And they preach peace as they
sit as undisturbed bystanders
of violence. And they preach unity
as they flock to their own.
And they fight against
anything and everything
they know nothing about.

Their lives are stagnant
and restrained
and their vision
narrow
and their days
consumed
with soul-sucking activities
in an attempt to prove their worth
to neighbors they
barely know.

Most of us are dead before we die.
And our deaths come in the form
of blind certainty and
unconditional
obedience.

Most of us never become who we are.
We’re strangers to our own existence.

We become subservient to the society
and the institutional systems
we live under — we become
well-adjusted disciples
of the status quo.

As Rousseau understood,
“Man is born free and
everywhere he is
in chains.”

And we are sick
because of this.
And we know it.

We’ve lost touch with our ‘inner being’,
our instinctive depths, and find
ourselves caged in a world of
everyday consciousness,
or, “in the world
of other people.”

This is by design.

Most of us never become who we are.
We’re strangers to our own existence.

This is where poetry, psychedelics, and
voluntary solitude comes in to play –
the three pillars of self-discovery.

(I know, I know — the word “psychedelic”,
which actually means “mind-revealing”,
scares the living hell out of you. It’s a
conditioned fear, tho. An irrational fear.
A taught fear, like most fears, which is
utterly crippling your life.)

They are the contradiction to the everyday life —
poetry, psychedelics, and voluntary solitude —
which is why they’re stigmatized
and feared and unheeded.

To experience the pillars of self-discovery
is to see the other side, the beyond, the
hidden place of true harmony.

Society doesn’t want you to find the other side,
of course, it wants you to remain a faceless cog
in the wheel “on this side” that doesn’t ask
too many questions.

And you do it
because
you’re a good
citizen.

And you’re proud of this.

Most of us never become who we are.
We’re strangers to our own existence.

Poetry, psychedelics, and voluntary solitude
carries you to the vast fields of contemplation
and you’ll reconsider the old values and traditions
that’s been force-fed to you since birth,
and you’ll discover a whole civilization within
that’s been buried under the heavy muck
of cultural decrees and dictates
for far too long.

Poetry, psychedelics, and voluntary solitude
aren’t used to escape reality, but to create
our own reality and to discover realities
beyond the reach of our normal senses.
They tend to disarm our ego which allows us
to melt into our unconscious and tap
into that mysterious but intense
power that lies within.

Poetry, psychedelics, and voluntary solitude
shatters the distorted glass
that lies between your inner reality
and the outside world
and you’ll discover patterns unfolding
and you’ll realize that life
is part of an infinite mosaic
and the world of “time and space”
is just a tiny facet
to our cosmic existence
and you’ll feel love love love —
that all-encompassing life energy
pour from your spirit into
every fiber and cell of your body
and the cherubim will smile and
finally lower their flaming swords
and you’ll be free free free
to return from that ancient exile,
and pass, once again,
thru the gates of
paradise.

Author – Erik Rittenberry

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