On Taking Action

    All things in Nature are inclined to follow the path of least resistance(POLR).  Humans are not free of this inclination, even if they are citizens of a great nation that preaches great ideals and ethics.  The dropping of a pen or the grabbing of a phone in the pursuit of remedying some injustice, appears to be second nature when addressing issues.  It is here that we enter into the shadowy realm of diffused social responsibility.

    The battle -as I will call it- shifts from (The Problem Itself) to (Who Needs/Should Fix The Problem?)  Often times the (POLR) will influence the majority down a train of thought that stops at a place called, "Another Person Will Handle It Junction."  The problem with boarding this particular train of thought is that this juncture many of us intersect -on a day to day basis- has many passengers traveling by it, yet very few disembarking at it's platform.  Therefore, -more times than not- the majority of observers of a particular problem in society, become onlookers -and whiners- but nothing more.  They are aware of a particular problem but believe that it is not their battle, it is not their responsibility to take the appropriate actions to neutralize or address an issue that they themselves recognize as harmful or contrary to the positive progression of society.  The truth is, if you do not march out onto this platform yourself, no one else will.
It is here that each of us is given an oppurtuntiy to move out of our limited perspectives of:(Mine) v. (Theirs), (Not My Problem) v. (Their Problem) and instead choose to look at problems, time, and the country as: (Ours For Now.)  "Ours For Now," endows each of us with a higher level of ownership over each other and ourselves and should beckon us to stand up for what is right, when we know that it is right or kneel down to pluck out weeds, when we see that they are affecting the "community garden."  

    If we do not conduct ourselves with reason, forethought, and proactivity, we will pave a road that leads to an expansive city, marred by endless laws that take away the very freedom they profess to protect.  Under this "blanket" of protection, we will be warm throughout the night but we will suffocate under it's immense weight and at a certain point, -deep down- we will be happy that it is finally over.  I'm confident that no one wants this to be the destiny we create for ourselves but I hope that as we grow, our reach does not exceed our grasp on our own potential for good and evil and that our ability to fall victim to sensationalism or hasty and reactive emotion does not ensnare our abilities.  Godspeed.  

V.M. Castrejon 
By strangerinthestrangestland

Off to Europe

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So here’s the bag. Its a Deuter 65 liter bag and it’s going to be my mobile base camp for the next two months. I’ll be leaving San Francisco for Barcelona in two days to start the only backpacking trip through Europe that I will ever take, as a 24 year old… It’s really exciting but at the same time actually, it’s really scary too.

To think that you only live once. You’re only young like this once and then it’s over.  But it’s not lights out no more pain, no more toil…  It’s more along the lines of, “Go grind it out from right now until whenever you meet your end, but here, bring along a few of your hazy, fleeting memories.  Memories forged back from a time when the world before you was raw and wide open with potential, back from when you, were swarming with potential.”

With that in mind, I’m really going to take advantage of this trip. Yes fearful not to enrage an older version of myself to the point where he might want to beat the life out of today’s version.

By the way, I’m using this post as a test to get a feel for how all of the travel posts will turn out after being uploaded from an iPhone. Thanks for reading, don’t let the world close in on you too much.

Vic

By strangerinthestrangestland

On the Nature of Money as an Evil

What is money?  What is evil?  I heard someone say -perhaps out of confusion- that money itself is actually the root of all evil.  You yourself may have heard this from someone at sometime in your life.  It would seem that many people generally like to agree that money leads to character flaws and the dereliction of morally favorable behavior.  But how does this idea explain all the people in the world who have attained large sums of money, yet behave perfectly fine?  Going even further, how does this idea explain anyone with wealth who instead does good things for other people? Does coming in contact with millions of dollars immediately transform you into some sort of vampiric creature only out to quench your thirst for more?  Is this where evil is birthed, in the perpetual quest for more and more?  If you ask a millionaire for a dollar and they refuse, you might not entertain admirable ideas about them but does that make them evil?  Do you give homeless beggars the left over change in your pocket?  Does refraining from sharing and preserving ones’ own money make someone evil only under the pretenses that someone else is in dire need?

While reading Atlas Shrugged, I came upon a passage where one of my favorite characters from the book gives a speech about money.  Francisco D’Anconia is an outstanding character and if I speak with any honesty, his character traits are ones that I seek in my own life.  He’s by far one of the most dynamic characters out of a long list of “larger than life” characters from a truly epic novel.  The concept presented in the book about money can be summed up this way, “Money is a tool or vehicle of exchange between individuals who produce various items or services in the real world and more importantly, it is utilized by those who wish to deal and exchange those items or services with one another.” (I’ll include a link for the speech below.)  

After reading the speech given through Francisco D’Anconia, by Ayn Rand, I began to look at money -in the D’Anconia sense- as in fact just a tool.  If we examine what a tool is, first we would agree that a tool is a material object that when wielded by a user, enables the user to better and more effectively achieve his goal, material or otherwise..  A mechanic might have to pick a particular wrench to achieve a specific goal, say replacing an old cars’ leaking intake manifold gasket.  We choose tools constantly in life to further our own agendas, whatever or however they may be.  There are simple tools in nature and now, there are ingenious tools here as well.  Tools build upon themselves, they grow more complex and hopefully more useful the longer we humans inhabit the  planet.  Eventually, tools in the future will be more incredible than anything we can imagine right now.

To date, one of the most advanced tools is money.  We might not recognize it as such but please do no be fooled about what it is or what it can do for you.  If we adhere money to the confines above, we can see that it exhibits the same characteristics of a wrench or hammer in the sense that it aids a user in advancing through his agenda or endeavor.

The question of money being the root of all evil becomes absurd under such a definition.  We now can see that money in a vacuum, can bear no connotation, neither positive or negative.  Money is as the hammer.  It can be used to repair a broken roof and in doing so, protect a family from the crueller side of nature.  Most would agree this is a positive thing.  This same hammer however can be used to smash in the skull and kill one’s enemy, but even more disturbing to note, one’s family member or loved one during a swell of drunken rage or emotional panic.

Money is the same as the hammer, inasmuch as it is subject to the will of the user.  Pay special attention to a fellow user who insists that “money” itself is the root of all evil, for it is that person that can rationalize terrible things while using this very elaborate, all be it false scape goat.

As the last of the Five Great Emperors of Rome, Marcus Aurelius once wrote, “Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.”  Money is not evil, just as the world is not.  The world is a stage for good and/or evil and money is a tool for doing the same.  There are no evil things, just evil people, evil thoughts.  One must realize this and become aware of how they themselves are while on stage.  Good day.

http://www.dailypaul.com/133313/francisco-d-anconias-ayn-rands-money-speech-in-atlas-shrugged

Song of the Day: The Flys – Got You Where I Want You  (Katie Holmes was so damn hot in that video!!!)

By strangerinthestrangestland

On My New Blog and Blogging

Hello WordPress people and anyone -actually- who happens to be here. This will be my first real attempt at creating a blog that is at all worth while.  I hope to become a better writer through doing this and hopefully share really funny and interesting video and webpage links as well.  Along with the interesting yet random uploads, I will also aim to share information about nutrition, life, and philosophy… There will be on occasion direct thought uploads right out of my world and into the WP digital realm for you to gawk at with either terror, humor or deep reflection. Hopefully, there will be concepts presented here that some of you can extract and apply to your own lives.

A friend once called me “granola” (PLEASE LOOK UP DEFINITION) to describe and classify who I am -as I am a person who is concerned with not falling victim to the treachery of big business food like products- but she quickly corrected herself with, “Well…you’re kinda granola…”  I didn’t have an understanding of the term at the time but then when she described it for me I was somewhat offended. However, after I thought about it, I realized I do indeed have granola like tendencies in regards to food.  I am however -I would like to think- not a pansy or pussy, which exonerates me from the full extremes of that caste of people. After I thought about it a little more though, I believe that the “granola” approach to food is actually quite smart and beneficial to just about anyone in this modern age, however stupid it sounds to be called a “granola…”

This is beginning to look like a health food blog post and yet I’ll try my best to keep it from becoming that completely.  As this is “my” blog, I feel it is my duty to share with you whatever “I” feel is of worth. You will, in reading my posts get a good idea of what I attach true value to.  That is really the only way to effectively understand someone, how they are will bleed through in their actions and those actions stem from their thoughts.  It would happen that a conversation took place between me and an acquaintance of mine on the subject of health food and it fits what I would consider “worthwhile.”  The acquaintance will remain nameless but I assure you she is a real person and has a fairly reliable perspective on the issue of overall good health.  She worked in the surgical field of medicine for many years and is now semi-retired making “healthy eating” and hence “healthy living” a high priority in her personal life.

The conversation started with me asking her the simple question, “Do you ever drink ‘green’ smoothies?”  By the look on her face it was apparent that she did not.  Quickly though she became enchanted with the idea of the health benefits of such a concept, as -for someone with her grasp on overall health- it is easy to draw conclusions about all the benefits rendered to the human body from such a food item.  As I began to describe to her what I have been consuming everyday ((Kale, Spinach, Celery, Bosch Pears, Cucumbers, Trader Joe’s Green Powder, Trader Joe’s Vanilla Hemp Protein, Ginger, Peanut or Almond Butter, and finally Bananas)(Shout out to Joe Rogan!))  we began to talk about other easy and applicable health practices.

We were into this conversation a few minutes when she then passed on the “real” information.  The way that something is said can make or break how it can ever be received and often times it takes good analogy to really do an alien concept justice in the mind of the receiver.  But I digress, my friend said to me really simply, “The human body is the most advanced vehicle for moving around on Earth and hence most advanced machine.” Indeed it is, when you need a vehicle to maneuver and navigate this 3d plane we collectively call Earth, we would agree -by default- that the human body is the tool most paramount in shaping our world Earth, and protecting the human consciousness and it’s continuity.  It is totally capable in it’s objective. She went further to say that, “If you owned a Ferrari, you would not put the wrong type of fuel in the Italian wonders’ fuel tank! You would put the highest grade gasoline in the car and make sure all the other fluids and lubricants were filled with precision.”  She then said, “Most people would do this for the expensive and impressive Italian sports car, but many would not do the same for their own human body, which you only get one of.”  An old friend of mine once told me that, “Food is like the gas you put in your car and water the oil.”  I can’t say why I had forgotten that adage but it was resurrected through this new conversation.  My old friend by the way lived 83 long years but more importantly he lived 81 fully capable years, even paying the gym 4 visits a week that late in life. Though I would like to think life is never late…

After hearing -in those terms- the approach most people take towards the maintenance of their own physical bodies, I decided I was going to make a few changes with how I approach this task.  I drew the conclusion that indeed healthy living is a task, a chore, something to be mindful of constantly. The act of doing this renders the mind peace in the future, for, as much as I like to live everyday as though it might be my last, there is the terror that life goes on for long, cold, decrepit stretches.  The exchange of healthy eating for the sake of being alive in old age is a hard exchange to negotiate, but it is not one to be avoided. One must be ready and prepared for a certain type of hell in the future and meet it on two feet, capable in both mind and body for battle against whatever unfathomable treachery old age brings.

Good day Word Press.

Song of the day -or moment really- : Safri Duo – Apollo

Shout out and big thanks to my good friend Richard Styrsky for encouraging this Blog.  Thanks bro!

By strangerinthestrangestland