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The climax of the song Creature Comfort by rock band Arcade Fire is so electric I couldn’t help but jump as high as I could off the ground. My launchpad was a former deli on Hamilton’s east end that now belongs to a friend who transformed it into, as irony would have it, a vegan household. The time: a trifle after midnight, new year’s eve. Despite disinterest taking hold of me in times of prescribed roman festivity, I jumped… and I fucking loved it. Then I dashed to the deli door of the house. I shoved it open and cried, “Way to go everyone, keep up the good work!”
It became clear to me; I had every reason to celebrate.

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Warmth. Sustenance. Satyagraha. In love am I with the world and a woman! I’m practically a mortgage-free landowner before 30. My knowledge is my wealth. My skillset, blossoming. I am designing a home to build with my love(r), an awakening dream I have held close to my heart for the better part of a decade. I love my path. I have felt vulnerable this year, and I trust my path. My toughness has been tested (and will continue to be tested), but I trust my path. I hope you trust yours, or learn to trust yourself.

I land on my feet to the sound of the lyrics creature comfort, make it painless! The stereo volume is so high I worry the speakers might blow out. Of course, I think to myself, there is no volume the tao can’t endure.
Three cheers for the new solar year.
Three cheers for the lunisolar year.
May you foster peace to be kind.
May you have the courage to appear unkind.
Let go, see what stays.

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photo cred to jem deguire

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Away we go

The written word has deviled me lately. I don’t know why. It would be dishonest of me to say I don’t care––I want to know why the Words don’t surge forth like they once did. I keep thinking of Bukowski: If the words don’t bleed out of you, then don’t do it. All things considered, I’m tired of dead authors telling me what to do.

I’m alive. This entry is not reserved for a Writer’s Woes (I’ve written enough of those in the history of When If Not Now). This entry is about a vision. Not as an author or a misfit. It’s about the vision of a living man. A living man in an age of Decay, and in an age of Bloom. A living man finding the others, as Leary once put it. A vision that has taken much of my twenties to mature. This entry is meant to capture a gust from the catapult of said vision. Woosh.

A hardy buzz echoed off my eardrum. My attention fled from Roger Zelazny’s Hugo Award winner Lord of Light to the source of the sound––a robust black insect latched onto the upper corner of page 214. The bug was beetle like, and its antennae were like two black lightning rods. My momentary sense of aversion (“GASP, BUG”) was eclipsed by a habituated sense of curiosity. I watched this godless arthropod for about thirty seconds. To my surprise it had wings. With those wings it vaulted from page 214 to the green leaf of a distant shrub twenty feet away. That focused flight took place at eye-level. I saw it happen! That bug knew exactly where it was going. I could relate in a sense. I was in the raw. I was in the sun. I was afternooning in the yard of a palatial straw bale home that was mine to mind while the owners vacationed elsewhere. ‘Where was I going? What was I doing?’ A question I’ve explored for much of my twenties only to be lately revised: ‘How was I going? How was I doing?’

“A happy life is one which is accordance with its own nature.”
–– Seneca

Anicca (change) has been a strong theme of summer for me. Quit my job as a baker. Moved out of an apartment I shared with my partner who went up north to midwife in Salluit while I took my bones on a bicycle tour from Ottawa to Montreal. One month later her and I reunited to say adios to our kith and kin before embarking once again. Got the truck packed then headed out here to the province of New Brunswick to begin our investment of time in a community of our choice, an exceptionally rural one on the path to wiser living.

Already in a span of three weeks I’ve done many new things in this here community. I’ve met neighbours, taken care of chickens and a cow, and built things (a large food prep table, a stand-alone kitchen sink pedestal, a large tent platform). The Learning is Endless. The potential, astonishing. Like life, this is only the beginning. To me the path is known. It dwells deep in my heart. Has for years. Could the path change? Maybe. The footsteps left upon my soul now lay underfoot. This is what it’s like for me to tease a dream from dreamtime.

“Live the questions now.”
––Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve taken a larger leap than ever before in the spirit of my vision. I suggest you follow yours and wrestle it from the gods (unless of course your vision includes self destruction, mammon worship, consumer fetishism, or the abuse of your human and nonhuman family. Then I suggest you drop your fucking vision. Quit now. Quit your cult before it consumes you and everything you love on this planet). Do what you know is right. Trust this life. Be honest with yourself! Respond. Step into your power and develop a truthful cosmogony because the world as you know it is being exposed for what it is: a dead end with a whole lot of promise.

Know Love. Know Fear. Then make a choice.

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
–– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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vernal

Put symbols together. See what happens. Communicate, meaning to make common. To relate over green tea. See what it’s like to break bread over ramen. Put symbols together to stop the closure of the commons of the mind. Why write when one can rhyme? Why sprite when one can lime? Play Flume Monday, you’ll be fine. Bloom. Go to sleep with the divine. Wake up to little white lines in the sky. Marry em before you get d’barium. Life, a solarium without the glass. Quit your job and make it last. Pick your love and make it first.

Never before have I witnessed such an eventful season. The Spring has gone streaking through the corridors of our collective consciousness. Through the quad and into the gymnasium. What I mean is this: Numerous folks in my life are being tickled by the prevailing winds of change. Some are being blown around by these winds. Others are harnessing its force. Altogether, this observation has brought me great joy. I love being alive to see the ways in which people I care for navigate change in the face of FUD (fear -uncertainty-doubt).

As I commune with these freshened souls who bear new shoots in the spirit of springtime, my intention is to build the strength of water, to learn more from birds, and to confidently approach changes in my own life with equipoise and playfulness. To actualize what was once a pipe-dream is an electrifying blessing from cumulus to cattail.

We know very well these times are strange. Carry a compass. Foster an open mind, and an open heart. Keep the quiver close. I have so much to say, but I remain too content to elaborate. This season has been an enchanting one. May your summer be bountiful. Lay beneath the honey locust of your gratitude and bask in the shade of your imagination.

 

 

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knowlesville

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No witty quote will be used to begin this entry.
It’s been months since I last blogged.
I’m practicing pithiness.
To keep things curt. Not brusque. But concise. Sometimes frank. Mostly succinct.
The kitchen sink that is my life contains few dirty dishes. The kitchen sink is a metaphor for my conscience. The drain is not clogged. Good pressure from the faucet. I am done with this metaphor. It’s not fluid enough.

Alright look. Me and my favourite lady went out to British Columbia and New Brunswick to see a total of four communities. Which of these four communities was the best place to call home? The one in New Brunnie took the cake. Colourful people. A Common Cause. 88 acres held in trust and shared among those who delight in living on the land and refuse to adhere to the failings of a disgraceful culture. A blossoming community awaits. TJ and the author will be there by the end of this summer season to begin our self-appointment process (i.e. one year spent in the area before being given 2.5 acres of land).

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What a time to be alive.

Nearly six years (!) spent smattering my soul about this blog I call When If Not Now. It began as a travel blog. I thought it had transformed into something more domestic, but I’m afraid I’ve continued to travel––emotionally, mindfully, physically and metaphysically. HC SVNT DRACONES. Built a castle in the sky. Beneath it goes the foundation.

Although my body has begun to sense the creeping influence of the aging process, my mind and spirit continue to grow in a protean way.

My writing too. This past Winter I put together a booklet-zine-pamphlet thing called The Altered State of Legalism. I ran a small print of 50 copies. It’s about law, but it’s really about contemporary bondage. Now I have two publications. One ebook, another in print. Now I’ve made The Altered State of Legalism available in digital format for free. It’s an exposé. I invite you to read it thoughtfully. It may be the only occasion I ever write something I consider, philanthropic.

My novel, The Leukocytians, has finally been transcribed to my computer from the raw typewritten manuscript I wrote over a year ago. Still a lot of work to be done. I’m happy for the passing Winter season and the Springtime moxie before us. Let us be thankful for what we have. Deprive fear of life-force. Foster love. Harbour courage. Honk twice if you enjoy satori.

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Epiblog

I have some real shit to say.

Last night much of the downtown core experienced a power outage.

I explored the urban darkness and found a pita place to eat at. Inside the employee draws attention to the stillness outside. “It’s the colour of the universe,” he says aloud.

Hip hop fills the whole place. I ask him if he’s heard the new Joey Bada$$ album. He hadn’t. But he ‘fucks with him.’ He likes Joey because he speaks the truth and that no one does that anymore.

“I like telling people that their slaves,” he says to me.

“I do too, but it’s difficult,” I say to him and smile.

He starts going off. Talking about metaphysics and the New Proverbs. The omnipotence of Sound and Truth. I dig it all. Right there with him. I told the dude I’d return Tuesday to drop some literature off (see: The Altered State of Legalism above).

The moral of the story is this. 1. Take chances when interacting with people. You might learn a lot. It is not that hard to amaze and be amazed by our fellow earthlings. 2. Power outages are exactly what this civilization needs. After all, one day the power will turn off and never turn on again! “The cracks is how the light gets in.”

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Thanks for reading. It’s yours.

P.S. If you’re a hip hop phile like myself, I strongly recommend three new albums. Damn by Kendrick Lamar. Amerikkkan Badass by Joey Bada$$. And Bucket List Project by Saba.

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Make One With.

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Allow me to Elucidate:
1. Nearly every human in the western world registers and numbers oneself.
1. Nearly every human in the western world personifies oneself, meaning, they incorporate oneself.
2. Numbered or personified humans are identified as humans in search of benefits.
3. Benefits are provided by humans who organize around what is known as the State, a fictitious faith-based entity with personhood.
3. Those in need of benefits lack the skills required to maintain their own wellbeing.
4. Numbered humans must relinquish certain powers in exchange for said benefits.
5. The modern industrial lifestyle is arranged for the well-numbered human beneficiary.

In case the subject of this entry eludes you, it’s about “identification” as it is commonly and uncommonly understood, and how I’ve gone without this contrivance for nearly two years now.

From Oxford’s Etymology Dictionary:

identification n. 1640’s
“treating of a thing as the same as another.”

identify v. 1640’s
“make one (with), associate (oneself)”

It is important to note that when we commonly use the noun identification, we mean only one thing: a card that includes your information and perhaps a listless photo of you, issued by humans who act as agents for an organization called the Government of Whatever. A pretty severe distortion of the truth.

In reality these “pieces of identification” denote two things:
1. Proof of agreement and,
2. Performance of agency.

So I haven’t had valid identification for almost two years now save for a birth certificate. Sometimes I choose to share this information with people. Most times I don’t. When I do, the response is predictable: “How do you … do things?”
I don’t ! I cry. I just sit there !

No health card.
No driver’s license.
No SIN card (I have a SIN #).
No credit card.
No passport.

In my ID-less two years I’ve managed to …

… secure medical attention without healthcare.
… get behind the wheel without a license.
… use prepaid credit cards and reimburse friends and family for the use of theirs.
… be employed hassle-free.

It’s important to realize that membership cards (i.e. identification, identity documentation, proof of agency) and the benefit programs that underpin them allow us certain privileges, but of course––as indicated by people’s incredulous response to my not having “ID”––virtually all of us confuse privilege with necessity. To associate or contract with the Government of Whatever is not required by law, nor is it required to prosper. I repeat, to associate or contract with the Government of Whatever is not required by law, nor is it required to prosper!

Sobering, evidence-based reality checks, Saaaa-WOOSH:

Health care is not a necessity, it is a service.
A driver’s license is not required by law to put a private automobile in motion on public roads unless one is engaged in commercial activity.
A SIN number is not required by law to secure gainful employment.
Credit is make-believe and typically predicated on fraud.
A passport is for neutral vessels only, not for travellers.

Given that we are well into the throes of a creeping totalitarian power-grab predicament, my feelings and actions toward a renunciation of statist memberships seem natural if not sensible.

I renew my identity once in a while, but that’s on my own terms. In my own company. No one will compel me to do it. I encourage you to identify yourself too.

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entactogens and you

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”
T. Mckenna

This entry has been rewritten three times. Three is a pretty good number. But good is not a very good word. Let’s try a word that rhymes with good. How about misunderstood. To rewrite this entry three times is to banish misunderstanding, hopefully. Sanguine. It means to be optimistic in a difficult situation. It rhymes with ergotamine. An ergotamine is an alkaloid present in ergot, ergot being a fungal disease of the rye grain, alkaloid being an organic compound having a physiological impact on us humans. Grain rhymes with brain and some people have found a way to transform ergot into lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD, which has been shown to enliven the human brain in a curious way.

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A typical square of LSD is 100 micrograms. The first time I tried it I took 25 micrograms by myself – what’s called a microdose (albeit a larger dose than what’s touted by progressive editorials as being micro). Things happened, notable things. The end result was that my physical and mental relationship to cold temperatures were strengthened (long story). For me that was a direct result of LSD metabolism. I had only taken a fraction of a standard dose. I’m still perplexed. Why is this noteworthy? Why did I want to include a personal experience in the final edition of this entry? Because the sharing of personal experience is propaganda’s kryptonite.

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This won’t be a lengthy entry. The volume of psychoactive literature out there is voluminous. Anyone can find it (particularly in the science fiction section). If theory is what you’re after, I suggest you visit MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies). What I will do is summarize a few things:

  1. The reason why psychedelics are experiencing a surge in attention is because many people are finding they’ve exhausted the problem-centric attitude taught to us by corporate media and a western upbringing. Psychedelics, when used in earnest, can be helpful for those of us who are intent on transitioning from a problem-oriented attitude to a solution-centric attitude.
  2. Consumer culture has created a climate of spiritual poverty. Entheogens (e.g. ibogaine, ayahuasca) and psychedelics have shown time and again to put people in touch with something deeply profound and transcendent, something culture has all but eradicated.
  3. The psychedelic movement’s strongest persuasion appears to lay in its medicinal value. Studies I’ve come across of LSD, MDMA, Ibogaine, and DMT-assisted therapy enforce the idea that these compounds can improve our mental health tremendously.
  4. Prisons are essentially holding cells for drug-related offenders. They should be burnt to the fucking ground along with all the legislation that is responsible for such prosecutions.
  5. Us humans tend to admire creativity, wonder, and bravery. These are just some of the qualities that embody the psychedelic experience.
  6. If you have not experimented personally with any of these riveting psychoactive substances, I recommend you do.
  7. If you have not experimented personally with any of these riveting psychoactive substances and you judge those who do as inferior or “______,” or you sow a climate of fear, doubt, or prejudice based on what corporate information agencies (“news”) broadcast, then I’m afraid you are in breach of human evolution.
  8. hicks_drugs

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