Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Identity, Labels and the Search for No Self

Someone was telling me about how their new psychologist talked to their kid. She asked him how he identifies himself. The child didn't know what the psychologist was talking about so she asked him what race he identified himself with.
I marveled at our obsession, here in the U.S,. to create an identity for one's self. I once read that it has to do with the evolution of the economy. If you live in a society where most people are getting enough food and shelter, the only way to get them to spend more and stimulate the economy is to create an economy of identity. People who identify themselves as Star Wars lovers will buy more Star Wars toys. Those who identify themselves as dog lovers, will buy more dog paraphernalia and so on and so forth. In fact, marketing experts specifically count on us to have an identity. They create demographics such as "working mom over the age of 40" and make ads geared specifically to that.

There has been so much talk of identity lately and its seeped into our politics. I wonder if it is a subconscious reaction to all of the identity based marketing that has been geared to us and all the child pscyologists who have insisted that children figure out what they identify with. 

We are almost forgetting that there is more to life than having an identity. The Buddhists spend their lives practicing what is known as the art of "no self." Their whole philopshy is based on relinquishing identity. I onced asked a friend of mine who is a Buddhist monk why Buddhists don't believe in identity or a self and he said that believing in this holds us back. Having a self puts boundaries on what we could learn or what more we could be. You can't be enlightened if you are attached to the notion of having to find a self. I always marvel at how Buddhism became the "religion of no religion," and even if I studied Buddhism extensively, I could never call myself a Buddhist because to do so would be to identify with something. This just goes to show how difficult it is to relinquish one's identity. Famous motivational speaker Anthony Robbins is always talking about how you have to change your identity. He says that if you see yourself as a helpless victim, you always will be. 

Beyond that, I can't help thinking that there is so much more to us than our demographic. I'm not just a working mother over the age of forty. I'm more than a writer. I'm more than my hobbies, my political or cultural affiliations etc. The other day, I was looking through my social networking stream and thought, There are an awful lot of memes and posts that are anti something or another. I've seen posts that are anti Israel, anti Palestine, anti liberal, anti conservative, anti Clinton, anti Trump, anti religion, anti atheist, anti science, etc. etc. These anti statements tend to come with very generalizing and often fallacious stereotypes.

In the 70s there was a huge anti disco movement on the part of those who loved heavy metal. It became cool to identify with heavy metal but only if you hated on disco. Lord forbid someone loved both styes of music. It became very apparent to me that finding one's identity can be dangerously polarizing. If I am this way, I am separate from anyone who isn't this way as well. We box ourselves into our own little groups and push away those who "don't get it." 

We see this in the publishing business as well. You're book must identify with a genre because we have to make sure that the public is getting what they want. All romances must have a happy ending. Lord forbid we surprise anyone and make them question their identity. Screw all the great artists and writers who thought this was the goal of literature and art. In our effort to categorize our literature, we have suppressed people from writing something truly original. 

We forget that most spiritual philosophies think that the highest state of awareness is to connect, not to polarized, to love, not to hate. Finding one's identity is an act of desperation, a way of finding a place to belong in a lonely world. But the search for no self, is an act of pure humility. It also takes courage to let go of the security that clinging to an identity can have. As I have demonstrated in my novel, "The Enlightened Ones," sometimes we wake up and realize that everything we have clung to was wrong. Our identities give us a sense of security, but often its a false sense of security, one we're willing to kill for. This is why the art of no self takes courage. It means that we have to look outside of who we think we are and see who we really are. It means we have to shatter down the walls of our own perception and accept the fact that we could be wrong. It might even mean relinquishing the stubbornness of war for the humility of peace. 

The other day, a friend of mine posted the song "Imagine" by John Lennon. He wrote something about how more veterans agree with the song than we may care to think. In the song, John Lennon sings, Imagine there's no countries, religion, possessions, etc. He said there would be nothing to fight for, nothing to live or die for, nothing to hunger for etc. Some might listen to this song and think that Lennon is being intolorent of religion or patriotism. Perhaps he's putting down our materialistic economy. But perhaps what my friend was hinting at was that after being in a war and watching people fight and kill over their country, religion, stuff, or identity, you realize how silly it all was in the end. You wonder how important it was for us to cling to an identity as if any threat to it is worth killing for. Is it really worth killing for? How important is identity, really? I will have to ask my friend to elaborate.

So what if we do stop identifying? What if we put our strong held beliefs aside and say, I'll listen because I'm not so scared that what you have to say will change me. What if we embrace other groups and cultures? What if we stop trying to find a national cultural identity and instead ask ourselves what is the best choice for all of the country in today's ever changing world? Wouldn't that open us up to more solutions and resources? What if we stepped back and started accepting everyone, not just those who we identify with? What if we saw all life as equally important? It would shatter our shields. It would make us stop fighting for what is best for us and start sharing with others. It would evolve us from being two year olds in the "mine" stage to being something truly transcendent. 

Of course, many have told me that they're not ready for that kind of higher thinking. John Lennon said, "you may say I'm a dreamer." Many would say that he is because he did have a lot of material possessions and he wasn't exactly the best father. We're all hypocrites. We're all flawed, and we have to accept that and question ourselves always. Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves that there's so much more to the universe than our identity.

So, I'll leave with this thought. Why is it that the greatest love stories consist of lovers who fall in love with someone who's supposed to be an enemy or someone from the other side of the tracks? Perhaps something deep inside us does want to transcend above the boundaries of our identity or we wouldn't love these stories. Although we are so obsessed with finding our identity, there may just be something else deep within us that wishes to seek love somewhere beyond it. Perhaps all of this seeking to belong has just made us feel more trapped by the conventions of such belonging.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Why Discrimination is a Big Deal

When I was attending a conservatory in New York, I was so busy working to pay my way through school that I barely had time to socialize. I also lived an hour and a half away from the city, but one day, my roommates and I decided to join the regulars at their regular bar. 
It didn't really work out because they wouldn't serve my two roommates. There were all kinds of issues, but in the end, we concluded that it was because they were black. I left with them but everyone else stayed. Our other white roommate didn't see what the big deal was. She said it was the only chance she had to hang out with them. That was more important to her. I understand that discrimination isn't as important of an issue to some as it is for me but the thought of patronizing that bar sickened me.

When I worked as an office manager at a recruiting firm, I remember recruiter's straight say to me, "my client won't hire that person because he doesn't like blacks or middle easterners." This happened often. Even though it goes against the 14th amendment, it still happened and no one batted an eye. Yet, being one of those people who despise racism, I held my tongue and took my anger out on a log of "office racism" which is stored in some floppy drive somewhere. I don't work there anymore. I may post this log one day, if I ever get to finding it.

Recently, the issue of race relations, discrimination against women and negative stereotyping against Latin American and Muslim immigrants and even any immigrant not of European decent has been brought up. There have also been a handful of bloggers who have said, "what's the big deal? Its not that bad." I've heard this many times in my life from people who have accepted that discrimination is a fact of life. There are always those who will try to segregate, insult and keep down anyone who is different. So what's wrong with me? I had to look at myself and ask, "am I wrong to think that discrimination is wrong? Is it a big deal?"

I'm reminded of a passage I once read in Ghandi's autobiography where he was segregated from being able to ride in the nicer part of a ship because he was dark skinned. This was when he was in South Africa. He was so appalled by this and ended up doing a lot of work in South Africa to help end segregation. However, the first reaction his friends had was, "its okay. That's the way things are here. Its their culture. What's the big deal?" Still, Ghandi didn't back down. He started huge social movements to end inequality and is credited with freeing India from England without having to go into war. 

When Rosa Parks refused to sit in the colored part of the bus because she was black, everyone kept telling her, "What's the big deal? Why don't you just accept your place and sit where you belong?" The thing is, sometimes it is a big deal. There will always be a tipping point where people who are oppressed just because they look different will rise up. History has proven this time and again. Had Martin Luther King Jr. not started a civil rights movement, very similar to what he learned from Ghandi, a civil war between blacks and whites in the United States was eminent. Already, riots were breaking out all over the country over civil rights and the war. Members of other black organizations such as The Black Panthers were gearing up for all out war. White supremacists such as the KKK were doing the same thing from their side. But MLK's movement, like Ghandi's movement  managed to overturn segregation without starting a civil war which would have devastated this nation.

Yet, what if civil war didn't break out? Overtime creating a culture of hate towards a particular race, whether they rise up or not will lead to no peace. Look at the Holocaust and the atrocities enacted by German Nazis when Hitler declared that the Jews were no good. He appealed to the country's suspicions against the religious minority who immigrated to Germany, looking for peace. This focus on hating who is different lead to a great war to wipe out Jews and anyone who was "not like them." The most destructive and horrific  world war in history got started because a man who's slogan was "Make Germany great again" decided to lead a country by focusing on people's natural fear and hatred of those who were different.

When the founding fathers of this country decided to withdraw from English rule, they wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The founding fathers made equality and fairness the main function of our government and ingeniously set it up in order to make America safe from laws and leaders that would pass laws which favor inequality.

The sad thing is that many laws that go against this fairness and against our very Bill of Rights and Constitution have been voted in by the people. This is no surprise as discrimination is not uncommon. If it weren't part of human nature, it wouldn't exist but over time, many of these laws have been shut down by the supreme court due to them being unconstitutional and dangerous to everyone's equal right to the pursuit of happiness. 

One of these laws was the search and seizure law which was passed in New York after 9/11, making it okay to do random searches on anyone without a warrant. While some people felt the law kept them safe, what it did was target innocent Blacks and Latinos. 
Also, this law goes against the sixth article of the our county's Bill of Rights:
The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 

Eventually, the law was put down by the courts, but this didn't stop Donald Trump for stating that this law is what we need to enforce on the inner cities when asked, during the debate, how he would improve race relations. Already, relations with cops in the inner cities are mired due to unreasonable searches and excessive force. Riots and shootings have already broken out because of it. How would passing this law, which goes against our bill of rights and constitution, help create peace? It would only increase the civil unrest that is already happening. It's a discriminatory law that will hurt this country. 

When I moved this country, I was put in public schools or the first time. I was in Catholic school up until then. I was very surprised to learn that there were other religions and I was honored to go to school with people who shared different cultures. I had so many questions for the Jews, Muslims, Protestants etc. I was open and wanted to learn. I made friends with people of many religion and ethnic diversities. My parents are not white but they are citizens of this country and are college educated. My father is a true American who always talks about and believes in the precepts of this country. He carries a pocket copy of the constitution with him at all times. Both my parents pay their taxes and have been very active in their community as I have as well. 

When I read blogs from people and read tweets by Donald Trump saying things like ALL immigrants are morally debase, rapists, criminals or whore out their daughters, I'm appalled. My Dad didn't even let me date till I was eighteen. People always say, "oh no, I wasn't talking about you." But they were. I'm an immigrant and they said ALL immigrants. 

Trump has tweeted that most criminals are Black or Hispanic. This is not true. I have so many good friends who are black and Latino who have never broken the law. I know people who are not black and Latino that have been in jail for criminal activity. Similarly, there are many blacks and Latinos who have been falsely put in jail just because of the color of their skin. Can we please look past our superficial need to profile and stereotype people and give everyone their constitutional right to pursue life, liberty and happiness and to remain innocent until proven guilty?

To quote the constitution:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I know that discrimination is popular, that many laws have been voted in by the people that do discriminate. The Gay Marriage law is one of them and I spoke out against the law. In fact, after I released my blog opposing the law (which also got me kicked off Facebook) it was taken to court and deemed unconstitutional. You can read the blog here:

Why Same Sex Marriage is a Civil Right

By speaking out, I'm protecting my little utopia. I live in a city where people of all ethnicity's get along. I'm often invited to events in other churches, temples and mosques. I once had a cab driver tell me how weird and wonderful it is that he is best friends with someone who should be his enemy if he were back in his old country. When people speak foul towards gays, women, immigrants, blacks or other religions, they're speaking foul about my friends and family. Such talk spews hate, hurt feelings, thoughts of war and violence where there was once love, openness and solidarity. 

Discrimination is a big deal, because war and hatred is a big deal. Preventing laws that go against our inalienable rights is our way of keeping peace in our world before things get out of hand.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Odds of Finding True Love

My mum once told me that finding a good husband is like winning the lotto. I started breaking down the odds in my head and she's pretty much right.

The first thing you have to sort out is if you are attracted to someone who is also attracted to you. 90% of the time you like him more than she likes you or vice versa. Then when you do find that 10% who feel the same way, you have to sort through other factors. You may be attracted to each other but do your personalities get along? Is that person already taken? Are they trustworthy?

You might find some amazing attraction to a very magnetic serial killer. Ted Bundy was a very attractive man who could get any woman he wanted. I know many women who thought they found their dream man, but after marrying him, they realized they entered into an abusive relationship and vice versa.

If you do find someone who isn't already spoken for, who is just as attracted to you as you are to him and she is trustworthy, you have to see if he actually satisfies you in bed.

And after you finally found all of these things in a person, there's the whole commitment thing, which I guess boils down to her feeling the same way about relationships as you. If you're polyamorous and he's monogamous it won't work out. If you want ten kids and she doesn't want any, it won't work out. Then you have to wonder if he can even live with you because you can be very attracted to someone, have great chemistry with her, want the same things out of life, and have great sex and still have days when you just can't stand to live with each other for some reason or another. Maybe you're OCD and he's a hoarder. The odds just get slimmer and slimmer.

But here's the thing: if you do find someone who matches all of the above, you're a fool if you don't hold on to her and never let him go. So many things can still get in the way, like our own insecurities, doubts or faults. If this is so, you better get yourself to a therapist and work that stuff out. Don't let the way you feel about your mother or father or whoever else in your past get in the way of something as rare as true love. But that's just something else that gets in the way of it all, ourselves.

The odds are so astronomical.

I suppose this is why so many relationships don't last. Its so easy to ruin a good thing and so hard to find it in the first place.

Looking on the bright side, I guess many do find true love despite the odds, which is a miracle in itself.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Who am I to Beleive I Can See Outside The Realms of my Limited Perception?

I was taking a nice, calm ride in my car on a Sunday morning and I started pondering the limits of our senses. I was looking at some optical illusions earlier and it amazed me how some shading and other tricks can make us see things that aren't there or completely miss things that are. Plus there are many studies show that if we are likely to completely ignore certain visual cues if not introduced to us at certain developmental stages of our childhood. We are so limited to our experiences and therefore, in our thinking and philosophy.

Then I started thinking that maybe everything I experience in the outside world is all just a part of me, much like what seems real in a dream is just our imagination running wild in our sleep. I was thinking all the people I know are just extension of my own psyche and it occurred to me that even those who have treated me wrongly are only parts of my psyche I haven't comes to terms with yet.

It make sound like a self centered theory, to think that the whole universe revolves around me and after all my blogging about how we're not the center of the universe. But what's so selfless about thinking that we're separate from each other? I think I'm more likely to act with compassion towards others and the environment if I think of everyone and everything as a part of myself. I can comprehend it being differently but truly, my mind isn't capable of seeing passed that. All my experiences are just limited sensory responses occurring within the boundaries of my mind's operating system.

Random Deep Thoughts on Humanity, Cruelty and Humility

I was riding in the car, trying to find some music to listen to and it occurred to me how strange it is that we have this need to listen to patterns and rhythms and how this seems to be an innate human condition. Then I recalled the fact that birds also make beautiful music. Then I recalled a study that found that plants grow better when played soothing music too and realized that plants too have this innate need. If our need for music is a recognition of patterns and mathematics, I suppose it is a sign of our ability to think logically. Yet if birds and plants also recognize such patterns, they too must be highly logical. In fact birds such as crows and ravens have a rich vocabulary of their own. So how foolish is any human to assume that we are the only sentient beings on earth just because we don't understand the language of other animals? The more we learn about our universe, the more we realize that we are not in the center of it.

So I was listening to an anthropologist explain why he sided with the theory that humans killed all of the large ice age animals. After all, they died out after the great migrations, after humans came to their lands, and their fossil remains have spears in their ribs. Plus, those animals survived many other ice ages where the temperatures changed drastically. (Yes I'm a nerd) Basically most animals were quite tame then. If you go to the Galapagos islands, you'll see just how tame animals were in an island where no humans existed. You can walk right up to them and they won't run or scatter. We basically killed all tame animals. If not, we made them into farm animals. To this day, we're still making animals extinct. We are not only the top of the food chain, we are the most savage beast that ever lived. We have wiped out thousands or more species of animals and plants since we appeared on this earth. Yet we have the gall to call someone who we think is a brute, an animal? We are the true savages.

With all this talk about how children are innocent and have to be taught hatred, I happen to know that there is a natural part of many of us that is vengeful, dominating and determined to survive even if that means destruction of something else. We are capable of great sympathy and also great cruelty and the only thing that can stop us from allowing the cruelty to take over is to admit that we are capable of it. Often the cruelest sects of humanity are the ones that judge others for their cruelty and refuse to admit that they too can be cruel. I think this is why I tend towards philosophy. A person who thinks knows that they can be wrong. One who is dedicated to learning and mental growth is not set in the idea of always being right and trying to dominate all who are "wrong." Learning has taught me to question my current belief and compassion has made me realize that I too am capable of hurting others. We all need to take pause if we are to stop ourselves from destroying ourselves

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Point of No Return

This subject came to mind after reading some posts, the subject of the point of no return. This was a concept that was first introduced by General Sun Tzu in "The Art of War." The idea is how to get human troops to make the ultimate sacrifice without retreat. He said to lead them so far into battle that to retreat would take as much or more energy than to move on and fight. I've used this in my life a few times, mostly in my youth like when I left home to go find myself. I burned my bridges and made it harder to go back than to go forward. This helped me become a new person and tear myself away from psychological fears that kept me back.
Though these days, I find I always have something to fall back on. Adulthood and parenting makes us crave security and our fears become our armor. After all, those who retreat are more likely to survive, just not likely to feel any glory or greatness. Still, as much as advise people not to burn their bridges, there is a distinct advantage to doing so.

Sometimes you have to quit that job and even tell your boss to fuck off so you know you'll never fall back on it. I've seen some people always go back to their old safety nets, making it a great excuse to give up attempts to go elsewhere; but if you cut that net, you just can't do that. You have to keep moving forward. There's also a strange lift, like another option you don't have to stress over, another burden or life you don't have to be anymore.

You'll hear stories of people selling their souls, musicians who signed contracts they never should have, losing money and having the nerve to move on. Yet if they didn't make that first sacrifice, that all or nothing deal, they would still be home, living a cushiony life, their dreams far off in the distance. That five year contract you sign may seem like forever, but once you've served your time, you have the world at your feet. You'll know things you would never had known if you had a loop hole of escape. But you have to commit to this new life and that's the bottom line. Change is hard and even though we want to, many of us won't change unless we absolutely have to. We'll stay in unhappy jobs and marriages. We'll watch our dreams disappear into the distance while we hang on to our life rafts but we won't burn our bridges. We'll always go back to the cushion of our past, no matter how disfunctional it might be, its home. 

When the thought of staying the same overcomes the fear of change, we light that fire and watch the past crumble away. Sometimes our minds regret it but our gut emotions are too strong. We have to grow, we have to let go, we have to look forward to who we'll become. And sometimes, after the battle has been won or lost, we find that somewhere in those burnt ashes of the past--after the new vines grow over the old ruins--there is something left for us to go back to after all, but when we do, we know ourselves just a little bit better.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Writing Cure

I finally started reading the book, "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman after hearing it being referenced to so many times. I was moved by studies that showed that writing down traumatic events can cure PTSD. At first we might write some horribly negative stuff, but after some time, we start to rationalize it and work through it. This made me look back at my own life and the traumas and challenges I have suffered in the past. With all the negative things that could have messed me up, I was lucky to have parents who encouraged the love of reading and who let me read whatever I wanted. This love of reading anything, be they horror stories, banned books, comic books or classics fostered an enjoyment for literature and an enjoyment for the act of writing. So when the shit hit the fan, when I had to move several times, deal with abuse, puberty, poverty and many other things I don't feel comfortable going into detail about; my main way of dealing with it was to write.

While my friends did drugs, to self medicate, I wrote. Looking back, I remember feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and hopelessness but instead of self destruction or medication, I always turned to writing and I do believe that is what has saved my life. I wrote poems, plays and stories. I told my diary she was my best friend and used to miss her terribly if I didn't get to confide in her. She was something I could trust, something that would never judge me harshly. Through her, I could vent my anger, be nostalgic and throw out ideas good or bad. I could create worlds of escape, find solutions no one else could think of, and move through trains of thought that led me back to sanity. I could scribble till my mind went numb, write down affirmations or shout out prayers in capital letters. I could set goals, make wishes, weave dreams and learn to forgive and love myself.

My advice to anyone who wants to take up writing is to write anything, anything at all. Don't censor yourself. Let your writing be unconditional and if you know someone who is a writer, respect their boundaries. Don't be jealous of their diaries and don't read them. You wouldn't force their therapist to tell you things that was meant to be held in confidence. If you don't like what they write, understand that you will never understand some things. They might write something overtly sexual to help deal with issues of sexuality they have. They might write something disturbingly scary to help deal with a traumatic event they witnessed when they were young. They may write about an ex lover to help themselves figure out how to be a better lover  in the present or future. They may write about politics or religion to help deal with their own confusion about society or metaphysics. You can never know why they write, if its made up, an exaggeration or satire. They may write whole novels that completely befuddle you but it helped them let go of something.

There are billions of books, stories, poems, plays and all of them came from a great mind just trying to find sanity. Hopefully, as we share our creations, we'll help others find theirs.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Time Travel and Transcending Time and Space with the Mind

Black holes have been a fascination for me since I was a little girl, enjoying books such as Samuel DeLany's "Nova" and movies such as "Event Horizon." The movie "Interstellar" really blew my mind, employing the latest optimistic ideas of black holes as proposed by expansive modern cosmologists.
Its actually the notion of time travel, alternate universes and relativity that fascinates me, having had some vivid and specific dreams come true, I've had an dark obsession with the idea. 
I believe there are universes in our minds, black holes and singularities in our psyche where all known rules don't apply. There are quantum particles, radiation, imaginary time, relative time and places where the past, present and future happen all at once.

Recently, I think I've come to terms with my musings on time travel, realizing that time is just an illusion and the present moment is all that matters and all that really exists.  I've also come to the conclusion that anything could happen and if the future is uncertain and we are jumping from one probabilistic future after another, grace can only be obtained by finding ease in every situation and not by testing our power to see what we can and can't change. No matter what paralell universe I'm in, the real question should be, did I live it to the fullest or did I spend all my time wishing I was in another parallel universe?

If I ended up with someone else fifteen years ago, would life be better? Would I have different children or would I be alone? Would I love them as much as I do the ones I have now? Of course I would. I wouldn't know about the alternate reality I am in right now. What if I chose a different career path? Who knows where I'd be now. 
This is when knowing about every choice and every probability that could ever exist in our lives can lead to nothing but drama and suffering. I'm starting to realize that true maturity comes from learning to be happy with whatever choice I make and whatever time and space I happen to encapsulate.
Once we realize that time is an illusion and that the present is the only moment that exists, the idea of changing the past and future becomes absurd. When one realizes this, one is enlightened. 

Only someone who has great control of their mental faculties could possibly use his/her mind to time travel. By then it wouldn't matter because what does changing the past or future matter to one who is already enlightened and one with everything? The only reason we want to change the past or future is because we have attachments, egos and other such issues. An enlightened being has no issues. Someone who is ruled by the ego might want the power and glory of time travel. Someone with emotional attachments may want to go back in time and right a wrong or change something they are resentful about. 
One who is enlightened doesn't have to worry about any of these things because in order to obtain great spiritual and mental strength, he/she must let go of the ego and of emotional attachments. Therefore, if learning to transcend time and space requires complete control and mastery over one's mental and spiritual faculties, the whole striving towards wanting this power comes to a halt once we have it. We no longer want to use it.

This is how I came to terms with realizing I could dream the future as a little girl. I wanted to see if I could control my visions and figure out if I could truly know which dreams were of the future or if they were just dreams. What if all my dreams were just alternative realities, portals to lives I would have lived if a I made a different choice? I used to go crazy trying to figure it all out. Then I realized, I could just let it go and enjoy the adventure.