Neuron Symphony

 

Each night I play inside my dream.

I wake up somewhere in midstream.

I hear the music calling me.

Performed by a neuron symphony.

 

The ground is pulled from under my feet.

I land on a familiar city street.

A mystic realm where spirits roam free.

Performed by a neuron symphony.

 

Familiar faces shadow each day.

The remnants of a past today.

No hiding from this ghostly spree.

Performed by a neuron symphony.

 

Existing somewhere between two scenes.

My past projected on multiple screens.

Ending with a reborn version of me.

Performed by a neuron symphony.

 

©2013 Eleni Papanou

 

Spiritual Objectivism – Part 3

In my last post, I formed a connection between spirituality and objectivism linked together by morality that’s natural to humans. And I want to focus this post on the aspect of reality as my take on it permeates in all my writing.

 “Reality exists as an objective absolute. That man’s mind reason is his means of perceiving it. And that man needs a rational morality.” Ayn Rand

 This is where I slightly splinter off with Rand. I hold a view similar to Robert Anton Wilson:

“Humans live through their myths and only endure their realities.”

When I first read Robert Anton Wilson, I resonated with his writing, but I was still tethered to my self-perceived reality…although I wasn’t aware of it at the time. After I detached from the collectively agreed upon notion of reality, I resonated to the truth behind his words. I don’t view reality as an absolute. I see it as highly subjective. What we all see and experience collectively is the reality we’ve all agreed upon. That doesn’t make it true. Therefore, I don’t view perceived reality as absolute, and I don’t make absolute judgements based on that which isn’t absolute.

“We did not fall because of a moral error; we fell because of an intellectual error: that of taking the phenomenal world as real.” Phillip K. Dick

All my stories are written from a non-absolutist stance. I’m about as non-absolutist as they come! While plots resolve, I find there’s always an unidentifiable beyond. I suppose I’m fascinated with storytelling because I see so many potentials, and writing fiction is my way of discovering one possibility at a time. Life has certainly become more interesting after I detached from ideology.

Mix Ayn Rand with Socrates and what do you get?

Ayn rand stated that the base of knowledge stems from three axioms:

1. We exist

2. We are conscious

3. Identity

I veer off at number three, which isn’t surprising as Ayn Rand was an atheist, and I’m not. Atheism is as absolute a term to me as believers of any religion.

“There is no complete theory of anything.” Robert Anton Wilson 

Total knowledge is impossible. Socrates realized the only advantage he had over most people was that he was aware of his own ignorance. And that’s immediately what I thought of when the following message came to me while meditating:

“It’s not about being right or wrong.  It’s all about the experience.”

I’ve previously mentioned the above message in posts. But this one simple phrase is what made me detach from all forms of ideology. What I view as existence is going through life experiencing it through the senses. Labels and identities can limit our experiences when we attach to what the identity represents. This was demonstrated by Ayn Rand who was a victim of her own philosophy when she became a cult-like figure. That was bound to happen because of her attachment to her own identity. Still, her philosophy is conducive to a free society where people are free to express themselves as individuals.

“Groups are grammatical fictions; only individuals exist, and each individual is different.” Robert Anton Wilson

Objectivism stands the test of time and should be taught in school, but society today shuns individualism in favor of the collective. We’re turning into the Borg, and I don’t say that to be funny. In order to grow, we must be able to think for ourselves and not be dictated to by bureaucracies and despots.

 There is no absolute knowing in an observable reality. I can only go by experiences as they occur. And since experiences aren’t static, it doesn’t make sense to me to attach to an ideology. Circumstances change, events happen, and opinions shift, especially when we gain knowledge. This is all very positive to me as I’ve been more creative since detaching from all forms of ideology. There’s no belief system within me that I must defend or argue over, so I find I’m more open to differing opinions I would have either tuned out or refused to hear. I could’ve never written Unison with any residual dogma as I held nothing sacred. I see the Spheral Series as my personal evolution. My protagonists tend to evolve to a higher level than me. I suppose that’s my way of challenging myself to keep growing.

Tune in next week for my next installment on a subject that’s taking on a life of its own.

Love and light,

Eleni

Part 1  Part 2  

Spiritual Objectivism – Part 2

Last week, I began a series on Spiritual Objectivism. The subject ties into my writing, and why I’m more motivated and inspired than ever to be an author. This was all brought about by my recent discovery of Libertarian science fiction, which I never knew existed as a genre. These two subjects evolved into a series of posts. If you haven’t read part one, click here.

I never conceptualized the spiritual connection to objectivism until I let go of my belief systems and understood what it meant to be the most authentic person I could be. It wasn’t easy. Between my kundalini awakening and the present day, I’ve experienced many traumas and almost lost the relationship with my mother because her belief system clashed with mine. A few years ago, I would’ve brought up how she was in a cult and that she was brainwashed, but I don’t anymore. My shift in mindset happened when I realized almost everyone is brainwashed to some extent. And the first person I pointed my finger to was myself.

We’re a herd species. We form groups around politics, nationality, religion, race, culture, sexual preferences, etc. A select few serve as the spokespeople who are followed by the group. Join any group, and there will be some sort of dogma presented. If you stray away from what is deemed acceptable, you’ll be shunned, unless you outshine the leaders and take their place. You might also get shunned if you’re not in the group or challenge their worldview. The accepted leaders establish themselves as experts who are deemed wiser than everyone. Amazingly, most people don’t bother to question whether or not that’s true. Robert Anton Wilson humorously touches upon these themes in the Illuminatus Trilogy and his non-fiction book, Cosmic Trigger. All hail Discordia!

On my own spiritual journey, I eventually trashed everything I held sacred and emerged an ideological atheist. Since then, I’ve been happier than I ever have been in my life, and my relationship with my mother grew stronger. It also gave me excellent fodder for my novels. The less dogmatic I became, the more risks I was willing to take with my writing. I now write for the sake of the story, not whether someone will or won’t like the book. This shift gave me an authentic voice, which was important to me. It also made me fall in love with the craft of writing. When  I was writing only screenplays, I was told how even a great manuscript often ends up getting rewritten. That’s how things work in Hollywood unless you’re George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. Compromising on a vision may work for some writers, but not for me. I was uninspired and knew the only way I could get my story out my way was by writing a novel, which I was reluctant to do because of my short attention span. But once I started, I was hooked because I was able to write according to my own personal vision. Now that I’ve done that, I don’t mind pitching my books as movies because I already got the story out my way.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy managed to survive my massive ideological data dump because there are certain truths to it, which are undeniable to me. On a personal level, it champions the importance of creating something from within ourselves as individuals, without compromise. That’s true art. On a societal level, I see objectivism not only as an effective blueprint to a free society where creativity is free to flourish, but also as an ideal way to embark on a spiritual path!

Before I continue, I should probably explain how I can call myself an ideological atheist while I’m promoting objectivism.  The explanation is simple. I don’t view objectivism as my personal religion. It isn’t something I follow blindly or build my worldview around. I do have my own opinions that contradict the philosophy, which aren’t fixed either. I have no intention of forming any new belief systems!

Natural Morality

Ayn Rand’s view on morality is where I first spotted the connection between spirituality and objectivism. She postured that morality was natural to humans for the very fact that our survival depends on it. When a government attempts to force morality on us, that’s when we all start to lose. What has surprised me within this last decade is I’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people who identify governmental institutions as the arbiters of morality and compassion, but it’s an impossible ideal.  Compassionate acts come only from us as individuals and morality cannot be forced. Some of my favorite science fiction books and movies also touch upon this theme. A Clockwork Orange depicts a society that used mind programming to cure criminals. Who can forget Alex’s signature smile at the end of the movie, which demonstrated that while his behavior was successfully controlled, he didn’t change.

 A limited government is ideal at our current level of societal evolution because people are free to develop morality and compassion as individuals. I touch upon this theme in Unison. It cannot be done by force, and when a government tries to coerce people into compliance, the society ceases to evolve.

I don’t view government as a static entity. It’s forever evolving and always a reflection of who we are as a people. This is a major reason why friends won’t hear me whining and complaining about government. I’ll put up posts in my Facebook page about causes I find important to our personal freedoms, which are under severe attack now. It’s up to us, not the government, to ensure that we’re a free people. The government is a mirror of who we are. If we want an honest and compassionate government, a higher number of us need to evolve towards being honest and compassionate individuals. And that isn’t an impossible ideal because:

Morality is natural to the human condition

“A morality not based on faith, not on arbitrary whim, not on emotion, not on arbitrary edict, mystical or social, but on reason. And morality, which can be demonstrated to be true and necessary.” Ayn Rand

The above quote I internalized when I detached from religion and belief. I  felt more connected to all of humanity. This demonstrated to me on a personal level that morality is, in fact, natural to us as a means to our survival as a species. It’s all the conditionings we place on ourselves that separate us. Therefore, it is true and necessary!  I’m sure many of you aren’t surprised by this, but I find it remarkable that a self-proclaimed atheist like Ayn Rand can come off sounding spiritual. Additionally, this serves as further proof that there is an underlying basis of wisdom that connects all of us, irrespective of belief or lack thereof.  We may be different in some respects, but deep down, we draw from the same fountain of inspiration.

So we are a naturally moral species and that’s something to celebrate. We only have to trust in ourselves more to bring it out.

Click here for part 3 where I’ll explain where I veer off of objectivism.

Love and light,

Eleni

Spiritual Objectivism Series – Part 1

When I found visionary fiction, I felt as if I had come home. My stories fit the genre perfectly. Nevertheless, it encompasses many sub-genres. For a robust discussion on visionary fiction, please click here. It demonstrates the dynamics of the genre and the challenges it faces.

Unison, Book One of the Spheral Series, is science fiction in tone and style, but I wanted to see if I could narrow it down even more, so I could connect to the type of readers who would appreciate my book. I recently discovered Libertarian science fiction, and I knew I found another genre that would also fit my series, in particular.

For a recent bloghops, I was asked to compare my book to other books, and that took a lot of thought. I finally came up with the following:


Imagine Atlas Shrugged that champions the individual’s mind and all it can achieve when unbound; the Stand, that promotes strength of faith and will, and A Brave New World, where the individual is controlled by drugs and distraction. Throw them all together and you have Unison!  

Whoa! How do I market that? Although the theme of the series is spiritual and deals with the evolution of human consciousness, the characters embrace the importance of individualism and how they can only find the truth if they champion who they are as individuals and not by giving themselves over to anyone else’s authority.

The setting begins in Unity, an oppressive government run by the Corporate Hierarchy that tries to control everyone. Damon, the protagonist, seeks to become a  leader and spends most of his efforts trying to make a name for himself. During his ascent, he has precognitive visions of his friend’s death and of a woman who leaves him cryptic messages. It may seem like a Dystopian tale, but I don’t consider it that as it’s not the main aspect of the story. It’s about the quest for liberation on an individual and spiritual level and most of the journey takes place out of Unity.

Many Libertarians embrace Objectivism philosophy. I was first introduced to it by Ayn Rand and was captivated by her novella, Anthem. I also read Atlas Shrugged in three days! That was over twenty years ago, and since then I’ve noticed a synergistic connection between Objectivism and spiritual evolution. And I’m not the only one to find this connection. That didn’t surprise me because Objectivism allows the individual the freedom to  unmask his or her uniqueness. It’s an under-appreciated philosophy due to Ayn Rand’s use of the word selfish. It doesn’t help that money manipulators such as Alan Greenspan cite her as an influence. If she truly was his influence, he completely misunderstood her. Greenspan supports a corrupt system  whereas Rand’s protagonists abhor  corruption. They’re driven by the need to turn their inner-visions into a reality, irrespective of whether they’ll become rich or famous. Take Howard Rourk, from The Fountainhead. He was willing to have someone else take credit for his work just so he could see the building he designed come to life. He only asked that it be built exactly to his specifications. For Rourk, it was about seeing his vision realized, not about money or fame, which is what the person who took credit for Rourk’s work strived for. As a creative person, I can understand Rourk’s drive. If I couldn’t publish my book because I lived in a society that shunned individuality, I would probably do the same.

The selfishness of which Ayn Rand speaks of is not about making money or stepping on other people; it’s about valuing yourself and not sacrificing yourself to the will of others; to live out your dreams and not sacrifice them for others. She took issue with the idea of stripping away your own rights to prop others up. I completely agree with that sentiment because it makes sense. If we don’t treat ourselves as though we’re worthy of happiness and self-fulfillment, how can we desire it for others?

Rand often stated that our highest achievement is happiness. She insisted that self-sacrifice makes us sacrificial objects and believed we were all entitled to be happy but that we must achieve it for ourselves. In other words, we shouldn’t force others to give up their happiness to make us happy. We also  shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice ourselves for the happiness of others. Makes sense to me. What type of person would be happy if I had to sacrifice my own happiness to make him or her happy?

One thing I learned on my spiritual journey is that happiness must come from within me. To rely on others for my personal happiness doesn’t make sense to me anymore. People aren’t perfect. They will do things to hurt you, either intentionally or unintentionally. It’s during these times where having inner peace, joy and happiness keeps you from sinking.

This topic resonated strongly with me, and I had to break it into four posts. Clickhere for part two where I discuss how I connect spirituality to objectivism.

Click here for part 2.

Love and light,

Eleni