Saturday, October 17, 2015

Waking Up


I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but there was a moment sometime in May when the universe seemed to align and something clicked within me. Here, on this isolated piece of beautiful farmland, I’ve spent countless hours alone. I sometimes go weeks without hardly talking to another soul. I’ve been listening to podcasts and stories and reading books and writing almost every day as I sip my morning coffee. I’ve listened to the sounds of the forest and the fields as they change-  from season to season, day to night, and from dry to wet. The earth is so alive, and I have felt myself come alive with it.

Solitude is an interesting thing. It is perceived to be one of the worst kinds of punishment, as in solitary confinement, and yet it is also spoken of as the gate to enlightenment. Monks and various religious figures speak of time in the wilderness, cut off from the world, with a sense of reverence and awe. We typically busy ourselves every waking hour almost so as not to have to be alone with ourselves. Perhaps it is because we know deep down that if we were to be still and allow our senses to be directed inward, we’d enter into a state of desperate loneliness as we became increasingly aware that we have become estranged from our true self- the one that exists underneath all the noise. But, I believe that if we embrace that silence and face ourselves- we can unlock something incredible within us and that loneliness would be eradicated forever.

From the moment we are born, we begin learning from the world around us, adopting the various creeds of men. Children believe their parents to be Gods- all knowing, all-powerful. Perfect. As we grow and become adults we realize that it is an absurd assumption, but children don’t know any better. Their parents are the light, the way, and the truth. They brought them life. The life-experience of these adults seems a lifetime in the eyes of a child who cannot even properly comprehend the length of a lifetime. As children, we simply accept the world we are born into as “the way things are.” We inherit a narrative the moment we breathe our first breath and have no reason to think that it could possibly be wrong- it simply, is.

Everything that I’ve believed about myself, about life, and about the world was an illusion constructed by generations of men before me. It wasn’t until enough of these narratives failed me and I found myself on stage without a script that I realized that I had no idea who I really was underneath all that scaffolding or what it was that I actually wanted out of life. It wasn’t just the religious narrative that didn’t seem to be quite right. It was every part of the world I found myself in. What it meant to be successful or beautiful or educated or wealthy or happy. My view of love and relationships. How political and economic systems function and operate. In an instant, none of it made any sense.

The only thing that made sense, in fact, was that I was alive. And so was the tiny red mite running across the sidewalk. And so was the bird flying playfully in the breeze. And the grass. And the bee. And that somehow, all of this was connected- That I was a part of the earth and the earth was part of me. And that we were all experiencing what it meant to live right then in that one profound and joyful moment. Nothing else mattered. We were what it was to alive- and it was beautiful, and wondrous, and exciting.

It was the beginning of several months of contemplation and study which helped me start to unlearn the things I had previously accepted without protest- things the world at large simply accepts. What I learned in the process was so much more simple and simultaneously more profound than the things I had once believed before.


My experience over these last months has confirmed these words over and over, and I'm no Einstein, but I think it goes further than this. I think that a more complete idea would be to say, “we shall require a substantially new manner of being if mankind is to live.” Though they effect how we see and experience the world,  we are not our thoughts. And the concept of survival is bleak- it could just as well mean keeping the machines on which pump our hearts and fill our lungs with air, but offer no substance to our existence. We require a whole new way of being if we are to really grasp and appreciate what it is to live.


Over these past quiet months, I’ve found myself struggling to know how to face the world again and take my place on it’s stage. What part will I play? I’ve been expanding ideas and developing exciting plans, but found that they always seemed out of reach. I imagined obstacles which prevented me from bringing these ideas to life. The main one being money. 

I decided that I wanted to help facilitate the shift into this new way of being, but I was approaching that goal with the same capitalist start-up business mindset that we have accepted as the way, the truth and the light. Thinking of it this way was a serious impediment to the creativity required to imagine a new reality.

So, I have a new plan. I am simply going to start doing it. I will not be waiting for money. I will not put it off until I have a perfect business model. I am not even going to do it in order to make a living. I am going to do it because it makes me feel alive and because it sparks passion within me and because I believe in it and because it feels authentic.

My plan is to launch my new website at the start of 2016. Everything I create will be housed in that central location, including my blog. But I’m going to commit to working on this project daily and I am not going to wait to start putting that work out. In January, visitors will be redirected to www.awaywego.life for my hard-launch and much of this content will be repopulated there. In the meantime, consider yourselves beta users.

I’d love feedback on what things resonate with you, why they resonate with you, what I do well, and what I should work on. I’m excited to embark on this new endeavor and hope that it is something that brings value to the lives of my readers. Thank you to those who have reached out and urged me to keep writing.

-Jonathan

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this and much success with your project!

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  2. I feel you are a kindred spirit, but a whole generation behind me. I wish I had met a man like you when I was younger. I thought I had, but it turned out to be a relationship that would not survive the vicissitudes of life and the long term challenges of which you speak so eloquently. All my best to you.

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  3. I feel you are a kindred spirit, but a whole generation behind me. I wish I had met a man like you when I was younger. I thought I had, but it turned out to be a relationship that would not survive the vicissitudes of life and the long term challenges of which you speak so eloquently. All my best to you.

    ReplyDelete

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I'm a filmmaker a blogger and hundreds of other things. Life is full of possibilities, twists, and turns and I don't pretend to know exactly where the road will lead. However, I do intend to share the journey.