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Posts tagged ‘Consciousness’

My addiction to television

I moved to Johannesburg in February 2014 for an internship. I got the job and have since moved home to Cape Town. I have a television set in my room, yet I’ve only turned the dastardly thing on once to try and connect the dvd player to it. I failed.

And I’ve had no desire since to use it otherwise.

My name is Jerome Cornelius, also known as JAW, and I’ve been clean for fourteen months. Well, mostly.

When I moved I had been watching many tv shows. Many. American Horror Story: Coven, Grey’s Anatomy, The Walking Dead, among others and endless hours of news channels and their related shows. I was a consumer, and eventual addict.

This was nothing new. I had been watching tv for as long as I could remember.

These days, my consumption is limited to the tv set at work, to my right with a slight turn of the head (always tuned to a news channel or sport, because men) and an Indian telenovella, because that’s a real thing.

I suppose it is not as inspirational as other addictions (insert facetious inverted commas at your own sarcastic discretion, you bitches. Urgh, I hate you all) but I felt like I kicked a veritable habit.

And cold turkey, no less.

But here’s the difference: I had no choice. I had not quite hit rock bottom, as is the parlance, but I had no other way to go. The one time I watched tv was when I slept over at a friend’s place. I don’t always do well with sleep, so while the boys did that, I pigged out on Oprah and Friends.

My problem before was that I would zone out and watch for hours on end, with nary a thought about what I was doing. I always thought I was quite conscious, even before I knew what consciousness was. I remember a lot of what I watched and tried my best to balance out the fluff with news and educational programmes.

Do I miss it? Sometimes. Had you asked me a year ago I would have curled up into a ball, naked and held myself for hours on end, shivering.

But now I have more time for books and other wordy things. I have more time to think and to annoy all of you with blog posts. I can chat on my phone without keeping an eye on what’s playing in front of me. But mostly it made me aware of exactly how much time I had been keeping an eye on that screen in front of me.

The lesson? And this is not a sub-blog to my drinking friends, although maybe it should be, but whatever you do, do it with a focused mind.

I miss the mindlessness. I miss the entertainment. I miss logging out of life and leaving it all at the door, along with my pants and forgetting the world. But at least I know I don’t need it anymore.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

On Friendship, Family and how to avoid loss

Everyone goes through heartbreak and betrayal, and whether you’re talking about a family member or a friend, it is essentially the same feeling. Even a death can seem to many as a betrayal. And in the case of a breakup, or a feud, when you just know that you have lost what you had with someone, you realise that there is no greater pain than losing someone who is still alive. (Although I respect the opinion that death is also a great loss to many)

This is my way to avoid this feeling, which is essentially a consolation. Think of a field – it could be football (American, or soccer) but the concept is the same. It is rectangle in shape with a half-way line. The line is the important part. Now think of yourself on one side, and the person on the other, except you are both on the same team. This might confuse people who are so geared towards society’s obsession with competition. On this field, however, you can only go as far as the middle line. The only point in which you are face to face is at the half-way line.

We all want the best for the people in our lives. In my case this translates to me being too pushy and driving them away. Dammit. But we can, and should, only go as far as the half-way line, and then be content with that.

The Messiah complex is absolutely detrimental to a relationship. You cannot save someone. It is as simple as that. I’ve always loved this quote from Kahlil Gibran, on children, who says:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

This, I believe, can be applied to relationships to all people in our lives.

I use something on Twitter that I call #ProbablyPlagiarised, although in this instance I know that I have heard various versions of this saying. Life is essentially a series of moments. People come in and out of our lives all the time. You holding on to a time that has passed is not being true to you current self, state and situation(s) and those around you with whom you are meant to be exchanging energies. .

If you think of your journey as a series of highways, with each of us inevitably intersecting at some point, would you not rather ride alongside others and arrive at your respective destinations safely, or would you want to crash? Unfortunately for many people, this analogy is all too real and the crash is sometimes quite literal.

Remember, you can’t save them. You shouldn’t have to. Their failure is not your failure. Give your love, then be content that you gave it. That’s all that you really can do.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Help or hurt? – The spirit voice

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something like this, and I had a spark of a thought that got me back here. I recently hosted a vegan lunch. Four of the eight guests were vegans, so I thought it easier to just go that route, plus it would have been a real challenge.

The reviews were good! Mostly positive. I did a potluck-style lunch with things to pick at. It made me wonder why I don’t eat (mostly) healthy more often…

“If you aren’t helping, you’re hurting” – I recently said this to someone with a very dense ego. I’ve noticed it for a while, because I saw parts of my personality in his. Ironically enough, we share a star sign.

But now, back to the food. Two years ago at my friend’s 21st birthday dinner, he made the best spread imaginable – chunky humus with preserved red bell pepper for starters, then roasted lamb and potatoes and brinjal atchar (I think. After a few bites of something tasty I tend to not care what I consume), with chocolate mousse for dessert. I was in heaven, and of course went for seconds, and then thirds.

The next day I went to a gardening place with a friend, and had no idea that the restaurant served a huge seafood platter that we just couldn’t resist. While everyone else at our table ate something of a decent size, he and I shared this fishy platter and I unfortunately lived to regret it.

The point of all this? It’s coming.  I couldn’t move. Ok, that’s a little dramatic. I went home and was in bed for a bit. THEN I couldn’t move. I was up all night, not sleeping at all, trying to find a comfortable position to digest all the food. You see, I didn’t need to eat breakfast that morning after my lamb and roast potatoes binge. I didn’t need to eat the seafood platter. I could have opted for something smaller and would not have been in pain because my digestive tract was at capacity.

The problem is that I knew all this, and then still chose to ignore it. A friend who was hurt very badly by someone tweeted yesterday that he called his ex and then realised why they broke up in the first place. Point is he KNEW what the outcome would be, yet he still went ahead and did it anyway, knowing it would hurt. In his case, it wasn’t hurt as much as an annoying reminder.

The symptom known as hope is the leading cause of the human condition. It is what makes us unique in the animal kingdom, but also what makes us weak and so vulnerable.

We know what’s bad for us and what feels good, at that moment, are completely synchronous. Whether it’s heartache, or heartburn, the feeling is often the same – lingering, painful and always preventable. Remember, either it does or it doesn’t. Whether it’s what you do with your body, or what you put in it, always listen to the voice within, and rather help yourself, than hurt.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Consciousness: a reminder

The best intentions are sometimes not enough for us to lose our way. I speak of reminders to maintain consciousness, because in a modern world of distractions, this can be hard to accomplish.

JAW has not been well lately. By that I mean emotionally, especially since he is once again referring to himself in the third person. Ok, enough of that.

I opened my cupboard and saw this

Affirmations

Affirmations

My daily affirmations which have always been there, written in January 2011 and recently forgotten. They read:

  • I am an academic rockstar (arrogant, but true)
  • I am love (came true… twice!!)
  • I am a writer (still riding this one for as long as I can)
  • I am the best version of who I want to be (ahem. Thanks a lot Deepsmack Chop-ram. Many would probably disagree with this. It comes and goes, but read on, it will make sense)
  • I am success (debatable, but I’m going with YES)
  • I am the light (totes new age, right?)

 And this was my reminder: what you are need not be aspired to, because it lives within you. All it needs is some encouragement to grow.

I had another moment of re-revelation recently. I was in a taxi on the way home. This is an extract from my journal:

I forgot to write about this the other day, but strangely enough, the feeling has remained. I was in the taxi on the way home on Friday. The interview went well, I felt well, the weather was well. Well, I had the beginnings of a headache, but it was as if nothing had happened before. The past seemed to fade away, and content and peace filtered in. I was happy, and content and at peace and I was completely aware of it. Nothing else mattered but being there, squashed between two large women, listening to the melodious tune of Xhosa, no one angry or hurt or disappointed, just eager to get home. In that moment, that was where I was meant to be.

The lesson here was another reminder. What we have is what we have. Dare I speak that recent overused adage of the unimaginative: It is what it is? But it is, unfortunately, true. All we need is all we have, because it is what we have. And that is enough. This, of course, goes against the capitalist manifestos of more more more, yet one could ask, where does that stop? Growth never stops. It’s up to you to choose which one, spiritual or material.

Something I’ve been saying of late, which goes against what I believe and is in keeping with how I’ve been feeling, is “I feel ok, for now. Not sure how it will be tomorrow but…” and on and on I go. This was the usual response when friends enquired about me. But why anticipate a time that has yet to arrive?

I am ok now, and that is enough.

  <p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Fists and concrete blocks (key to consciousness)

Those who know me (and readers of this blog, come to think of it) know that I have been on this spirituality buzz for a while now. I’ve blabbed on about A New Earth and in keeping with that, I had this fleeting thought that, I hope, will be substantial enough to form a short post.

I’ve only ever heard and read segments of The Secret, which I believe is similar. But the other day as I told my friend this analogy, she said that I am basically reading from The Secret. When it is there all along but you have to open your eyes to see it; that, dear Readers, my Floor Jawers, is consciousness.

Something similar happened to a friend of mine three years ago. I told him about A New Earth. He had a really dense ego and kept fighting me on whether he should read it or not. So one day I got to him and he said he would think about it.

Get this: he said that when he went home, the book was in his room. He asked his sister why she put it there. She told him that she had read it and put it in his room weeks ago. It was there, but he did not see it. He was not open to receive it at the time.

But I digress.

The analogy deals with this idea of density. I heard someone referring to someone else as a concrete block. I laughed uncomfortably because this was unfortunately true. This was another person with a dense ego and pain body.

It made me think about my own body and how unaware I am of it most of the time. Like I’ve said before, to remain conscious and present can be hard work.

This reminded me of the time I went to the dentist and as she was injecting me with the anaesthetic, she told me to relax my shoulders. I told her that I was relaxed and she repeated herself. I had not even realised that I was still hunching them in anticipation.

How often do we lose control of our bodies? I don’t mean this in the incontinent way. That’s between you and your bartender.

Raised eyebrows, hunched shoulders, sore backs, tense muscles and (here’s the analogy) clenched fists.

Our hands are indicative of our spirits and consciousness’s. When we are angry, how many of us walk away and say “I am free and shall do this in a calm way la di da”? I don’t.

Fists are a sign of fighting, resistance. When we clench up, we become concrete blocks that deflect any words and attempts at breaking through the emotional wall. Doing my daily affirmations the other day, I didn’t even realise that I had a few negative words in there.

Don’t say don’t, say do.

On the other… hand, when you attempt to remain calm, still and present, you become translucent, able to let negativity pass right through you and filter words and thoughts that are being directed at you. This is not the same as transparent, where you lose yourself, disappear and become a virtual ghost.

So keep those hands open as we keep the spirit open and embrace all that comes your way. And don’t shut out people who care about you.

* A later conversation with a friend, before I posted this, made me aware that I was indirectly also addressing “The Serenity Prayer.” This was, I must make clear, not intentional and any plagiarism was accidental.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Gallery

The New Secret Earth to Happiness* (reading this will change your life)

So I’ve been trying this positive thinking and laws of attraction thing.

I have spoken a bit about my love for my lover Eckhart Tolle and his genius that is A New Earth. I’ve only read that one about 16, 000 times, but with this particular mood that I’m in, well, I’m in no mood.

You see, I have friends who are really cynical. They think that all this new age philosophy stuff is bullshit. “It just preaches things you already know!” said a fat boy whose body I love, yet who pisses me off most days. At the time I disagreed with him.

The cynic in me (who is for once, not an actual person who is cynical, but the cynical part of me) detests the work that goes with this way of living. Both A New Earth as well as that other gem The Secret requires awareness, presence and consciousness to get to this place of awakened doing. My problem is that I don’t often have what it takes to get to the place where I can practise these things in the first place to get to that place of awakened whatever…

Askies if this appears that I am going on a Mad King George raging rant, but really now, why is it so hard? This is a question which I usually ask with a straightish face on the set of the small budget “films” that I frequent. However this is serious.

The other day I woke up and forgot to chant “I am happy I am happy I am happy” before I brushed my teeth. As a result when I was introduced to someone, I said “Hi, I am not Happy”, fell to the ground and broke down as I held on to their knees. This left a sour taste in my mouth and slimy snail trail on the ground where I was dragged from the scene.

 You see what happens when you don’t stay conscious, awake, present in the moment and conscious? DO YOU SEE PEOPLE? No really, do you see? I just fell asleep. Darn it, I missed out again!

I’m sure there is relevance and significance in this method, but right now I think I’m too much of a fuddy duddy to do it. There’s that saying about rock bottom being the spring board to kick yourself back up to the top. But the brilliant mind that came up with that one obviously doesn’t have my weak legs and was not wearing hooker heels when he fell in the pool.

But don’t mind me, once I am done spewing I shall get right back to it. This post was a good reminder that no matter how exhausting, we must always remind ourselves to get to a place of stillness; and silliness. That way you can listen to all the voices in your head and they can converse with others. How else do you think I met my other personalities?

*warning: extreme sarcasm can lead to partial blindness and mental impotence.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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