Friday, 29 June 2012

You have the freedom to speak, not the obligation.

Everyone has an opinion. About anything at all, every single person on earth capable of thought will have an opinion.
And that's great, it really is. And I think no one should ever try to impose their opinion on another person, or try to manipulate or coerce or whatever, someone else's opinion. 

And you have every right in the world to express your opinion at any given moment, about any given subject.
But you also have a sort of responsibility over your opinion. Like every responsibility in life, you can choose to take it or not, and that decision determines your character and who you are as a person.

Especially when it comes to the things you say.

Yeah, you CAN say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to. And there's definitely a lot of truth to the power of silence.

I think we should all live a logical life, and go by what isn't, for lack of a better word, bullshit. I think we should approach a bit of utilitarianism in our lives, and base our decisions on whether the good of the outcome outweighs the bad.

Criticism can be very helpful. A lot of times, hearing someone else's honest opinion about us can give us a new perspective of ourselves and can help us learn and grow. 
In these situations, it makes sense to speak up. It's helpful.

But there's times when people express their opinions about a person, and these opinions are neither constructive, nor helpful. These opinions may not even be based on facts, which makes them a simple opinion.
In these situations, I think people should choose to keep their opinions to themselves. What good will come from what you think might be true based on nothing other than your opinion?

There's people in the world who have their freedom of speech threatened or outright negated every single day of their lives. People fight and die for it, because they know how powerful speech can be.
I think as people we need to learn to use our powers for the good, and not just to harm others.

If your opinion's sole outcome will be upsetting or hurting someone, why are you saying it? Why is it so important for you to "express" yourself, that you think it justifies someone's pain?
We need to learn to take the responsibilities as well as the rights.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Learning in perspective.

I'm currently studying my seventh language, and so far I can only say that this is probably the easiest language I've ever learned. Perhaps because by now I can find similarities between this language and the ones I already know, or perhaps because I've figured out the most efficient way for me to learn new languages.

But all things considered, learning a new language literally means learning to speak all over again.
It's starting as if you were a baby, having to memorize which sound corresponds with which letter (if your new language has its own alphabet- and this is the 3rd one of mine that does), and then which words correspond with which objects or concepts.
It means your brain has to create some form of compartmentalization, which allows for translation between the languages while keeping the words from one language separate from the others. Otherwise, I would find myself unable to write a coherent sentence in English.

For me, this means I'm learning how to speak for the seventh time. I'm learning cultural references, sayings and common phrases. I'm learning which words are exceptional in their pronunciation or spelling. I'm learning which words have bad connotations, and I'm learning to intonate and to accentuate.
Like being a newborn again. For the seventh time.

We're never too old to learn anything, and our brain will never be full. At least mine isn't, yet.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Are you truly awake or is your mind blinded by your ego?

This is a great time for humanity. Because of the cosmic alignments, or because of our cultural achievements, this is a time where many people are making enormous advances in their spiritual path.
There's a downside to all this awareness, I'm afraid. The downside is of course, the hype. Not everyone is awake simultaneously, but there's enough people waking up for there to be a hype.

Those considered more "awake" have become some sort of upperclass of humanity, which if you've been doing some work on yourself, by now you will appreciate, is deeply ironic.
Anyway, these upper-classpeople go around telling people how they've "realized" (rationalized?) the "truth". And then of course they go on a series of "advice" phrases which is nothing but them telling you what you have to do.

Ask them how they know what you should do, and they accuse you of becoming defensive and aid themselves with Freudisms.
What these rationalized egotists fail to see is the limit of their awareness. What they have "realized" is merely the adoption of a new idea through rationalization, and they call it the truth, because they fail to see the bias of their own reason.

Let me ask you this directly, "awakelings" (rationalized egotists): Why are there so many people here on earth? We've all come here to personally experience the human condition. The only "truth" is the accumulation of all those personal experiences. If only your experience mattered, why is it necessary for more people to go through this experience?

It's great that you've rationalized your own condition. But you need to stop trying to impose your experience on other people. They also have their own experiences to live and their own realizations to make. You trying to hinder or control their experiences should be a clue as to how much you've yet to realize.
We are here to help each other, but you can't help anyone much until you've mastered yourself. Until you've truly awaken, you don't know what other people need to do or live through or experience or realize. How could -you- know what is best for anyone? You can only know things from your own perspective and experience. It's a whole other dimension when it's someone else.

Being the center of attention is quite a rush, but having more knowledge than someone else is even better, isn't it?

The clock's still ticking.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Stop dismissing my humanity.

On the issue of illegal downloading.

I suppose when talking about these things one must always begin with a disclaimer. It is often with controversial topics that people jump into the debate with their mind already made up about what they want to say, eager to reply even when they haven't finished reading what you're going to say. Disclaimers are the way to get those eager commenters out of the way, so here's mine: I'm not going to defend illegal downloading (I also won't be against it). Throughout my life, I've purchased hundreds of cds. I buy music from amazon (because I don't like iTunes), I max out on free downloads from legitimate sources such as signing up for artist mailing lists and those promotional free songs. I'm one of those few weird people who still buy actual physical copies of albums. I love music, and I respect the craft. 

I think people should buy music always. I understand that if we're going to live in a society where you pay for someone to put the word 'Kobe' in front of your (otherwise normal) steak, then we should definitely pay for  the masterpiece beauty of a song.
I think if you read this article, you will also agree.

There is also something to be said about the positives of illegal downloading, amongst them the most quoted fact that those who download the must music illegally, also purchase the most music legally.

But here's the thing that bothers me.
When everyone talks about illegal downloading, it's always about the artists, about the record labels and radio stations, about advertising, corporations, streaming sites. And of course about people wanting to get things for free, and the fact that nothing is for free so if you're not paying for it, someone else is.
But the most important factor always gets ignored.

We are HUMAN BEINGS. We are social, we are loving and we are creatures who love to share. 

We love to share food, toys, clothes, ideas and what have you, but most of all we simply love to share experiences.
We share experiences because it helps get to know ourselves and each other. It's an important part of how we socialize and how we live, and it's part of our humanity and wellbeing.

Music is undoubtedly one of the most important cultural celebrations for a lot of people, like me.
Most of us have a song or a band that "changed our life". 
When we love a song, the thing we want to do the most is share it with those we love.
Hence why the mixtape became one of the ultimate gestures of friendship and romance. A mixtape was nothing but a collection of songs "pirated" from the radio, obviously paying for nothing other than the recorder and the tape (and maybe the arts and crafts supplies to decorate, if one was so inclined).

In the era of cds we shared them too. I remember borrowing countless cds from my friends because they were rare to find or expensive. I remember letting friends borrow countless cds because my mom had bought them for me overseas. It's part of how we experience music: we want to share.

I'm not saying the only reason we all illegally download music is because we're loving hippies who simply want to share. I'm just saying that while before you could let your friend take your cd and bring it back, you can't let your friend take your iTunes download and bring it back. If you have an obscure song you love, you know your friend can't go buy it anywhere so there goes the discography in a USB for them. There goes a file in their email. On msn. On their phone. 
Are we all trying to get something for nothing? I really don't think that's what we're doing.
I think we're just being human. Human like when one person in the group has something, it gets divided amongst the rest of the group.  

I'm not religious but there's biblical piracy in the story of Jesus and the bread and the fish. The fisherman and the baker would surely have a lawsuit in their hands.

My point is simply that at the end of the day, the reason why all these talks about music piracy and all those "you wouldn't steal a purse" commercials don't get through is because we're not talking about the same experience, and we're not on the same level. Until the music industry, the artists, and everyone in our society starts remembering that we are having a human experience and take that into account, there wont be any progress in this debate.

It's NOT an isolated issue, it's embedded into the greater discontent we all have with the economic system. There's a lot more going on behind the main arguments you hear all the time. Arguments that don't get taken into account and get dismissed because constantly everyone sees a person as a corporation, as a business, and we're not all here to be businessmen and traders, we're here to have a human experience.

I find it sort of sad that the abovementioned article itself fell short on one of it's own points: it tells us how corporations and businesses are trying to get us to compromise our ethics and morality for their convenience. While this acknowledges how the system is not adequate for our human condition,  it fails to see how that is one of the roots of the issue.
Instead of creating more situations and more laws that ask us to compromise and even negate our human state, we must begin adapting our systems to allow a full, unobstructed human experience. 

If we had such systems in place, the fact that people want to share music wouldn't be a problem at all.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Do What Thou Wilt.

But you're still just one piece of the puzzle. Don't worship the clock's handles because they can't tell you anything about time.


If you don't know the ultimate answer, all preliminary answers are worthless.

Choose either option.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Do you want to know what I was thinking?

I was thinking about that phrase, "in the end, justice always prevails" and all its many versions. I used to believe it, I mean it seems so in the general sense of the history of the world. Or maybe I was just a lot more naive than you, if you already don't believe the phrase to be true.

I was thinking that maybe justice only prevails thanks to another phrase, "history is written by the winners". History, official history, is indeed written exclusively by whoever won the argument/war.
I think not one person would ever consider themselves unjustified, or that they are the "bad guys" that should lose. If someone does, please write to me because I would love to talk to you.
Anyway, so basically, -we- are always the "good guys" and -they- are always the "bad guys". When we win, the good guys win. Then, we the rightful winners go ahead and write our story, our history.

In the winner's history, justice always does prevail.

(Nikola Tesla)


I started this blog because I wanted to share my personal perspective with others. I think that all of our views on life and eternity and everything that is are of equal value, since they all are interpretations of our personal experiences. I figured by sharing my thoughts, I could start a discourse, that I could get a perspective in return. It seems the only perspective I'll ever have is my own. Even so, I thought, so many other people have a voice and a say in many things, so maybe my ideas and thoughts could spark something else in people, an interest, if anything. But it's honestly so discouraging.

As the days go by and the posts go unnoticed, I wonder if this isn't just another version of a dear diary. If no one listens to what I'm saying, do I even have a voice?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Idea vs. Truth

Here's an idea. Imagine an island in the Caribbean. It's small, has nice weather 300 days a year, white sandy beaches and crystalline waters. Do you want to live there? I don't know your answer but I'm willing to bet that whatever you were going to say was not going to answer my question. Because what you're thinking about is not living on the island, but the idea of living on the island. The idea is like a pretty picture, probably a stencil where you just inject yourself into. It presents blue skies and lots of sunshine, fresh ocean water and white sandy beaches, everyone smiling in the warm sun and the gentle, refreshing breeze.

Unfortunately, I lived in the Caribbean for almost a decade, and the reality of it is quite different.The reality is that you have to go to school and sit in a classroom for many hours and some of the classrooms don't have air conditioning, so you're just sitting there sweating in 36°C weather, wearing a lot more than just a bikini. It's a "tourist paradise", which means that the only industry there is catered for the tourists.If you wan't to be, say, an anthropologist, there probably won't be a job there. And if you're willing to work a lame job for the payoff of living on paradise island, I have bad news again. I worked as a waitress and earned about $2.50 an hour and didn't get to keep the tips. Also, we had to wear trousers at work. In 36°C weather.

However, despite what I just told you, a lot of people I know who moved away still think about moving back. And when they do, they can't wait to move out again. Why? Because no one likes living on an island in the Caribbean. (Okay, people do, but follow me here because this is just an example and I'm trying to make a point.)

So why do people do it? Because we've been sold by society and advertising that succeeding in the physical representation of an idea means we're having fun, means we're happy. Even when we really aren't.
I think a lot of people would actually enjoy more staying at home scrolling through tumblr than going to parties, but they like the idea of going to parties better than the idea of sitting at home. This is why people only post pictures of parties on facebook and such, even though that's not what most people really like.

But I wonder, is it really that satisfying to achieve the idea? I'm asking you, because I gave up on ideas a long time ago and now live my life as a weirdo but I really don't care, I'm happy doing what I really want to do. Don't worry about me, then.

So, people of the world, I ask you: Are picnics with the bugs and the itchy grass really that fun? Is waking up with a hangover actually a source of joy and contentment? Are harem pants really a good look?
And as such, my dare to you is this: for 24 hours, choose only the truth. Don't give in to ideas, think each action through and choose the truth. Believe me, it's fun.

Friday, 1 June 2012

You don't go to school to get an education.

    "que DIOS siga bendiciendo a los hijos de dona martita y don carlos ya fallecidos, personas que cuando mi mama y     yo llegamos a la capital nos trataron como parte de la familia no como la servidumbre, siempre los llevo en mi mente y mi corazon con mucho agradecimiento por su calidad de personas, lastima que no todas las trabajadoras domenticas tienen la misma bendicion de conocer personas asi e visto de todo y a veces las empleadoras son buenas y las empleadas malas o viceversa, debemos hacer conciencia que todos tenemos los mismos derechos y obligaciones, que la diferencia solo la hace el estudio.dinero,posision social color de piel etc,etc. por que al final, cuando morimos nos descomponemos igual, aunque nos entierren con los mejores servicios funerarios si no estamos a cuentas con DIOS de nada sirve."

I was reading an article about house servants in Guatemala. The situation for them is dire, and if you can read Spanish then I suggest you read it. Unbelievably, house servants are not protected under Guatemalan constitutional employment laws, so house servants are not paid minimum wage, have no right to holidays, and more often than not are kept locked in like slaves.
A lot, if not all of them, never went to school and some are illiterate. 

Yet, as I was browsing the comments, I found the one above. Words of wisdom that show how you can't keep the truth from people. Here's a translation (by me, sorry):
"May God continue blessing the children of Mrs Martita and Mr Carlos deceased, people who when my mother and I arrived to the city treated us as part of the family, not as servants. I always keep them in my mind and in my heart with great gratitude for the quality of people that they were. It's a shame that not all domestic workers are blessed to know people like them. I have seen it all and sometimes the employers are good and the employees bad and vice versa.  We must become aware that we all have the same rights and obligations, the only difference is made by education, money, social position, skin color, etc etc. Because in the end, when we die, we all rot the same. Even if we're buried with the best Funerary services, if we're not good with God, it's all for nothing."