Monday, 30 December 2019

What it feels like to let Jesus into your heart: An esoteric observation...

Though I now question my adherence to Christianity from time to time, I do not question my relationship with Jesus.  As I have mentioned many times, I see him as a sacred power, an avatar, who works with many, not just followers of the Christian faith.  For me, Jesus has been a power that has opened doors of possibility in my life for progress as a developing soul, for recovery from evil, and He has healed me from illness.  He also acts as an influencing guide in my channeling, and has made it slightly easier to see.  He is a friend who works with me, but I see many influences I work with, so am I Christian?  I am not sure if I can identify as that specifically anymore.  I see no problem in having many gods to turn to.

When I first received Jesus into my heart, it was during a period of ongoing darkness, where I felt a despair, as though I was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off and die.  The sensation, upon the invocation, of my heart centre opening up to something gentle, was what I felt, followed by tingling in my limbs, similar to what I had felt in Sedona, Arizona.  Then, my finger began to draw a heart with a cross in it, which I now think simply is a reminder of His presence in me.  The sensation of glowing love encompassed the heart, almost like a loving warmth, and that creeping anxiety I had lived with from childhood of my beating heart and the fear of it suddenly stopping its pulse, forcing me to consider how to lie in bed while trying to sleep, was taken away, and replaced with a comforting security that all would be fine, no matter what.  This was a knowing of God's presence that was a kind of sight I had never felt before, a knowing that I can only compare to the kind of knowing in the heart one has when they fall in love - one knows when they are in love, and one knows when Christ is in the heart.  Both are love, yet this is a different kind of love.  Suddenly, I kind of got why Jesus freaks act like they do.

I don't consider myself one of these types at all - I see Christ as a power that works with anyone who needs Him, not just "good Christians", and for many reasons, and I don't see Christians as understanding their own god very well.  But I get the obsession, having been saved from certain sufferings with His aid.  Various prayers have helped me to align and grow with Him, and free my soul from despair, and He made sure I would overcome my pain with the demon.  So He is a saviour to me, though I don't believe I was destined for Hell or anything if I had not found Him... just that I needed Him for certain tasks to be completed successfully.

I have trouble seeing some I am estranged from as being compassionate towards me, for a spirit of hatred had filled my soul for many years, warping my mind, my heart, and my understanding of why humanity is as it is, and why things happened as they did with others.  Please understand that when I discuss this demon, it is NOT a psychotic delusion as one would assume... it was a real spiritual presence, and it sought to destroy me.  Demons are real, whatever they are, and the modern age does not interpret them well when they happen to hurt people, which is not that often.  The lore exists for a reason in horror films, and other societies other than Western nations understand them better than we do.  Spirits are real, and some are not pleasant.  This spirit of hate destroyed a trust I had in humanity, and when things went sour between me and others, I ceased to trust I was cared about by certain people.  Not being able to remedy certain connections right now, be it due to fear or other factors, I simply cannot know as a worldly mind how some people feel about me.  I have phenomena of the soul, through channel, urging me to trust in the kindness of others, but without conversation, and knowing my channel isn't always perfect, it is hard to trust this phenomena alone.  My mind wrestles with my soul on a daily basis over this.

I am certain Christ has a hand in urging me to reconsider my understanding of how others perceive me, yet it is hard to trust even God right now.  The demon simply was that vicious, and in me for so long, that I am still trying to rebuild a trust that others are kinder than I came to understand them.  All I can do now is pray, channel, and hope to have a psychological breakthrough in how I interpret the meaning behind events of the past that I have yet to let go of.  It's very hard, coming out of this kind of abuse... an abuse that most don't even believe was real.  I have displacement issues with my anger, not knowing how to overcome it fully, not knowing where to put it and what to do with it, so it's projected onto many things and people while I try to shed it entirely, which is very hard, having been through many terrible events. 

Maybe one day I can know the truth in a more mental, worldly sense, trusting the soul is being honest with me.


Saturday, 28 December 2019

My spiritual goals...

I have been asked what my personal goals are for myself spiritually, ultimately.  There are many, but perhaps the main one is reaching as high a level of "enlightenment" or spiritual growth as possible, that's obvious.  I want to reach a place where life is effortless, everything rolls off my back, and things happen with ease.  I also want to see where I can go with my spiritual abilities - I guess I will bypass some after a certain level and become something more, if that's to happen, so for now I just play with what I have to see where it takes me.  Ever since experimenting with the prayer pipe, a new chapter opened up and things cooled down a bit for me, so I think that recently I turned a major initiatory corner.

A large part of me wants to be a spirituality writer, but of what I'm not even sure.  This blog I guess kind of achieves that, but is more exploratory than it is any real authority to pay attention to, I would say.  If I was to be a prominent spiritual thinker and writer, I would want to come at it at a relaxed, artistic angle, and also be a humorist, for that is my style - I am bored with the pretentiousness and the conservatism of guru culture.  I think there is still an artist in me, and I want to explore my spirituality with that, but in what way I do not know yet.  Probably more painting, at least.  I have no desire to make a tarot deck or anything like that... it seems like every art chick does that eventually, we don't need another deck out there.  I guess when the art bug bites again, I'll come up with some other major project.

If I were to become some relevant spiritual authority, I would never want a stupid cult - no Costa Rica compound for me.  I find that gross as all hell.  To have followers of my work is one thing, to be some tacky grand poobah is ludicrous.  When I think of these types I think of weirdos like Osho and his awful cult - it amazes me how he was able to repackage himself and move on, with the scandal that erupted.  So, no guru cults.  Yuck.

I joke that I fantasize about being canonized (haha), and that joke helped me to create the ending of Asylum Squad - it's mostly because of the idea of having a line of merchandise, and being rendered an icon in such a powerful institution.  I think a lot of Catholics salivate over that idea - the saints are cool.  But in reality, the church wouldn't like me, I am too rebellious, and even though most, upon talking to me, would realize that I am indeed a quality woman, they would see my presentation as the kind of woman they frown upon, and they wouldn't like many of my ideas.  So yeah, the Catholic saint thing is a joke that I like to play up with Sister Penance, don't take that part of me too seriously, sinners.  (Being a "folk saint" in the art world might be fun, though.)

I am not sure where all of this is headed, but I got off to a good start with my spiritual growth when it all began in my 20s, so at 37 I am doing quite well in that regard.  I can see in how others treat me as of late that I have turned a corner - now, even random strangers make more chit chat with me, saying "hey - you look like a cool chick", which wasn't always the way before.  So that's a sign that I am in a positive place, when humanity acts that way with me.  I may write again later about further goals as I come to understand them.  Right now a large part of me is still trying to figure myself out.  I am learning I am not even the nicest person... I am a very good person, but I am more about justice and what's important than being sugary sweet all the time.  But I still want to be as kind as possible, where it's relevant, and I don't like having enemies.


Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Seasons Beatings, sinners!

Happy holidays from my convent to yours!  I had some good spanky pics with Santa here, but they included black PVC panty shots and I don't need that kind of imagery of me out there on the web.

From not putting money in the collection plate to taking Catholic communion as a mere Anglican, I have been a terrible sinner this year... how about you?

All the best for 2020!


Sunday, 22 December 2019

My brief out of body experience...

One thing that happened back in 2007 that was very strange was something I forgot about until yesterday, but I think it was the real deal.  I had a very brief out of body experience, but I was so freaked by it that it didn't last, and I wasn't sure about what to make of it.  So I'll discuss that now:

I was lodging in a friend's house at the time, dealing with my problems with the demon, and at one point, I was waking from what felt like a nap, only that when I sat up in bed, part of me was still lying down.  I didn't turn to see my body or anything, only that I sensed that the part of me that was truly real was the part of me that was sitting up, while something that felt more like a shell was lying in the bed.  I was addled mentally at the time, and I couldn't truly understand what was going on, but as I pondered it yesterday during some downtime at work, I concluded that it was the real deal - I had a legitimate out of body experience, and it was Spirit showing me that I am not my body, my body is an illusion.

I wondered, sort of, when it happened, if I was literally "scared out of my skin" from the demon, but now I think it was initiatory, so I could fear death less.  I will say, it was like shedding something, or leaving something behind, and it was rather ethereal feeling.  So if this is what people experience when they die, I can tell you, death is nothing - it's sitting up and realizing your body wasn't really you.  It's rad and bizarre, but not terribly disturbing... it wasn't awful for me, at least.

Right now I am trying to realize more and more that my brain, my body... they do not exist - I am not my brain, I am a soul and my brain is the idea that allows me to experience this world with the mind, that's it.  Too bad psychiatry hasn't caught up to what the ancients already knew, to what other sciences are suggesting.  Believing you are a brain and nothing more is a bad idea for mental health, and keeps people neurotic.  I am also trying to see myself as already enlightened, but barriers in the mind prevent me from being realized in my awareness to move past that right now.  I guess I need to just keep praying away these barriers as I come to understand them.  I know for sure I have really transformed as a mind, and with every breakthrough there is a shift in my way of perceiving and my personality, as I grow closer and closer to being the real me.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes in my life, considering I am only 37 years old right now.


Wednesday, 18 December 2019

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir...

So I decided to make the trek out to BAPS today, to check out the mandir.  It was quite a long TTC ride, but I'm glad that I went.

There isn't as much to browse in the available spaces to the public as I had hoped for, but the intricate marble carvings are so magnificent in the area of worship that it is very worth the journey.  It's like stepping into a space in ancient India - it's absolutely breathtaking in the mandir.

Also, there is a gift shop with books and bhakti items, a small cafeteria for food (though no place to sit and eat indoors, sadly - I had to take my lassi and pastry puff outside to eat, and it was COLD!) and a small museum which cost $5 for an adult to browse.  The museum isn't much, but it was nice to go about it and learn a bit more about Hinduism.

Once inside, there is a place to store your shoes and hang your coats - being sock footed is mandatory in the mandir.  The staff were quite friendly, and though it was a quiet day there, other visitors were browsing as well.  I had felt the urge to go to this place today, so I decided I would finally venture out there, this having been on my Toronto bucket list of places I keep meaning to visit.

I am not sure when I will be back again, but perhaps if there is some important spiritual event, I will return for that.  I am glad I did go - it was worth it to see that marble work in person.


Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Christ minus Christianity: Re-exploring my ideas...

I have stated on here many times that I identify as a "folk Catholic", but I have also had days where I wonder strongly about that, and today is one of those days.  I understand it is true for many seekers to try many things along the path to self-actualization, and once again I am exploring the possibility that I am not truly Christian after all.  Here we go:

I know that Christ is a power I work with, but I just can't shake the idea that I see him more as an avatar, like Krishna or Rama, rather than seeing him through the Christian lens as the one and only "Son of God".  I just like Indian spiritual ideas better... always have.  I also like the idea that the real Jesus was the prophet Isa, there was no ascension, and that he was buried in Kashmir, India.  Knowing what I know the church would want me to believe, I am questioning my ability to conform to a Christian set of beliefs, because my ideas aren't on board with many of theirs.  So why was I falling in love with Catholicism in the first place, especially considering my politics, and my rebellious nature?

I love the Christian saints, many anyway, and I have had several accounts of powerful Christian mystical experiences, such as the levitating rosary, the transmuted rosary, religious ecstasy, and successes with using Catholic objects in fighting my demon.  Also, because there was a sinister demon inside of me, and I think many others would think this as well, what else to do but turn to Christianity - Roman Catholicism to the rescue, right?  Because of how powerful these things were to me, this became a strong draw to devote attention to this faith, at least on some level, because it seemed to be calling to me.  I love cathedrals, not just because of the art, but some feelings I get being in them.  Coming from a Christian upbringing, what's a white girl to do but assume I have a calling?  Yet, I can't shake that I prefer eastern religious ideas in some ways, and I know that indigenous spirituality has also really helped - the Four Sacred Medicines were important to my growth and healing.  So, I guess I just have a calling in spirituality, not necessarily religion... that is my conclusion today.

I think I needed a religious phase to get to a certain level, but beyond this, I don't see religion serving me much further.  My fear was that if I said "I am spiritual, not religious" I will look like just another boring white person with flakey ideas.  I thought, in my mind, that calling myself religious implied a higher level of devotion and commitment, and that calling myself "merely spiritual" seemed to shy away from this.  But now, I want to branch out again, and become spiritually exploratory, taking what I learned from religious practice and using it in a more experimental way than perhaps religion would want me to.  So, I think religion served me well to learn things, but now I am probably good to graduate beyond it.  Sort of like training wheels, to get me going... they might be coming off now.

So yes, I am a friend of Jesus, I will still pray to Him, but to others as well... I love many aspects of the Divine, I can't just love one.  I will still go to churches, I will still practice religious ceremonies, but I want to keep exploring... religion may restrict me if I conform too much.

I might head to BAPS tomorrow, which is the big Hindu temple near the airport.  I want to re-examine Indian spirituality again. I have never been to this temple, it is absolutely breathtaking, and I need to go at least once.  Not going to try Hinduism on again, but it's worth exploring practice from it, and knowledge is always good.


Saturday, 14 December 2019

Relating to the world around me: Signs of progress...

Lately, I have taken to studying my interactions with the world and its inhabitants, taking note of the tone and relationships I have formed, and how they may be suggesting to me my progress as a soul.  This article will go into detail about my feelings about this:

When I was first under spiritual assault, it was as though my world was crumbling.  The most foul, lecherous men would pursue me, I was assaulted.  Everyone, even friends, began to act weird or turn on me - the world showed me no mercy, and it was up to me to fend for myself, without help, and navigate that reality in the hopes that something would turn around one day.  Whatever my demon was, he had a means to turn things against me, and anything that could go wrong did go wrong.

Once I invoked St. Jude and assistance that followed, there was still a tone of horror to everything, but also a glimmer of hope, and soon I was able to reestablish friendships and move ahead in life, after the bumps along the way.  Divinity was more active in my life to guide me through the storm.

Now that I am free of the demon, there is a kind of peace upon me, a stillness I have never known, a love and appreciation of simplicity, and a desire for a quiet life... not much is needed for me to feel satisfaction.  Though certain wounds have yet to heal, I have more friends now than ever, quality people in my life, few problems surface - and when they inevitably do, they seem pretty small time and easy to solve.  At the very least, I find it in me to proceed without too much worry, while in the past I might have fallen to my knees.

It has been suggested that misery can be self generated, if one concentrates too heavily on it - hence why I am wary of pathologizing mental distress, finding that "mental illness" became more of a problem when I gave it a name and believed it to be something I just had to live with forever.  I notice some of the most negative minds in my life seem to draw the most problems to themselves, sometimes out of nowhere.  While it's true that bad things happen to good people as well, I have noticed that it's even worse for someone who complains about things all the time.  That's the way it was for me when I was negative.  When things are right between the Spirit and a person, the world often can turn around in many ways.  Of course, this also comes down to one's karma - maybe certain things are bound to happen, but one can ease the pain enough with the right conduct and the right attitude.  Here is where I am a fan of some Buddhist ideas, and I put them to practice where I can.

Most days I have are lovely, even if not much happens, because I have (mostly) tamed that part of the mind that would complicate things.  My mind is transitioning from one stage to the next, I have had odd phenomena, but that monkey mind we all live with at times has calmed down, which means greater patience and a way of perceiving the world that is much healthier.  I am trying to work on heartbreak issues, but I feel that this is not exactly the same area of psychology as the part of me that simply wasn't still.  Hopefully, in time, those heart issues will be resolved as well.

A nice little thing that happened at the cathedral today - I was listening to the organist, and as he paused in between songs, I wished he'd play Widor's Toccata.  Sure enough, that was the next song he played!  How lovely.


Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Fucked up Vishuddhi?

I might have come to an understanding today as to why so much of my psychic input is strange, conflicting, and requires that I (temporarily) take antipsychotic medication.  It might also explain my weak thyroid and strange chest problems that doctors can't seem to find the cause of, and why I had an understanding of there being a "field".  My Vishuddhi, or throat chakra, is messed up from the spiritual assault.

I had some understanding of there being Ajna (brow chakra) problems, but I wasn't sure about the throat.  At one point, many years ago, it was so hard to speak that people assumed I had intellectual problems, and everyone treated me like shit.  Seeing as this is the centre of speech and communication, among other things, it would make sense that there might still be issues there, especially considering other medical issues.  There was also a surreal incident in 2007 where I felt an orb of heat rise up into my mouth, and then go back down into my throat, and many months later, the sensation of what felt like a balloon expelling air happening in me.  Very strange things have happened to me in this region.

Today, while in contemplation, I called upon Metatron with my sweetgrass braid and asked that he enter into me to heal this chakra, as well as the brow chakra, if it needed further healing.  I also used the prayer pipe again, hoping that it could add to it.  I shall have to see if communication improves with the spirit world, and if my readings get cleaner and more consistent.  Vishuddhi is a major psychic chakra for insight and communication so if this is off, chances are it doesn't matter how healthy the higher centres are - I am still going to be a wonky channel.  Good to know, if this turns around due to work I did today.

I keep getting a premonition that Christmas is supposed to be really good for me spiritually.  If this proves to be true, I shall have to report what happened.


PS: I am seeing my psychiatrist for the first time in many months, at her new office.  I am going to chat about going down to 40 mg, since I believe I can handle it... it was a dose I was able to handle before, and I only had to go up, in the past, because of the spiritual assault, which is now over.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

"The Two Popes": A papacy buddy movie...

Today I saw this in the theatre with a friend of mine - it was one I had been looking forward to for quite some time.  Though I quite enjoyed it, the tone was not what I expected at all.  I thought from the trailer that this was going to be a serious period piece, but it in fact turned out to be a bit of a dramedy.  That in mind, I still felt it (mostly) worked.

Though a great deal of artistic license was taken in the story, this is based on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and his relationship to Jorge Bergoglio, the cardinal that would be Pope Francis.  Beautifully shot and expertly cast, the look does not disappoint.  It starts to get really quirky, however, when a rendition of "Dancing Queen" by ABBA plays while the cardinals are entering their chambers to cast ballots for the new Pope - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  If you can't handle quirkiness in a historical religious movie, you will not like this film.  Sometimes the choices raised even my eyebrows, but in a way I liked how the tone could be rather silly - it was not without a sense of humour, and usually the humour worked.

This is kind of a story about a conservative curmudgeon and a progressive freethinker initially being at odds with one another, ultimately coming to be good friends - so yes, I think of this as a buddy movie.  There are some powerful scenes, though, including flashbacks to Bergoglio's youth, so not all of it is comedy.  It could also be very moving.

I can't for the life of me figure out what the church is going to think of this one - they may like the relaxed tone here because it makes the papacy look slightly friendlier in some ways, or they may find it annoying.  I had to warn my mother, who also wants to see it, to be prepared for the feel not being what the trailer presents, but I think she will still enjoy it.

If anything else, it's something different, and quite entertaining.  Recommended.


Friday, 6 December 2019

Let's talk about: Toxic Femininity...

The Sixth Sense - Videotape scene

With all the talk about "toxic masculinity" that is popular right now, I find it frustrating that no one seems to be discussing the feminine equivalent.  As someone who has been harmed by men, I understand the need for the discussion of how toxic masculinity must be stamped out - however, bad feminine traits also exist, and I want to discuss those a bit, as this is a conversation I have had a couple of times with others, where we tried to figure out qualities that could be filed under the negative feminine.

The most classic example of this that I can think of (and probably one of the worst) is the Munchausen syndrome by proxy person, which is demonstrated well in this scene from "The Sixth Sense" by N. Night Shyamalan (back when he could make a film I could stomach).  The Munchausen syndrome by proxy means a parent or caregiver, often a mother, hurts their child or patient to keep them ill, often to promote the need for medical attention, or to simply cause harm - it's a strange kind of poisonous motherly quality that often is seen in old age homes and hospices, especially.  I file this under "toxic femininity" because of the role of being in charge of someone's care being of the more feminine qualities, and it is not restricted to just women, of course... only that it seems women engage in it more than men.  Not as common as most examples of toxic masculinity, but definitely worth discussing.

A more common example of the toxic feminine would be the partner who presents with a gentle facade of sweetness, but underneath this, uses manipulative emotional tactics to get their spouse to do exactly what they want, controlling the situation and hiding behind excuses like, for example, common mental health disorders or addictions, things that would not hold up as an excuse in court if there was a trial for something serious.  Mental disorders such as schizophrenia and sometimes an acute bipolar manic episode mean people who have committed crimes while not well have been legally freed of doing jail time (though not necessarily mental hospital time), and can be excused for certain behaviours, the person not being of a sound enough mind to be criminally responsible.  However, things like certain personality disorders and most mood and anxiety disorders mean the person has enough wherewithal as a mind to control themselves enough not to cross the line, and most never will.  It is a person's responsibility to better oneself mental health wise, despite a diagnosis, and I am tired of the idea of people identifying heavily with psychiatric labelling - not everyone does this of course, but some use mental illness labels as excuses for poor behaviour.  I consider this, also, a form of toxic femininity that any gender can be responsible for, and it seems to be growing in the populous.

These are just two examples, one severe, and one milder and more common, that I can think of when I think of toxic femininity.  I wonder if this subject has or will be discussed at large... I have endured a bit of this sort of energy in my life myself, so I wanted to discuss it here.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Focusing on Native American spiritual practice, and why I am not so keen on certain cultural appropriation arguments...

So now that I have worked extensively on my growth with the more esoteric Catholic kind of devotion, I am exploring tobacco and other plant medicines, as I have discussed recently.  My spirituality is a bit of a hodge podge, and though I do have a tendency to want to label myself (as is human nature) I sometimes need to focus on components of other paths that have worked for me as well.

This book, "Dancing with the Wheel" by Sun Bear, is a wonderful guide on how to pursue practice in Indigenous based spirituality.  I had a copy, but lost it, and had to get another copy a couple years back.  Now that things are moving forward with usage of tobacco for prayer, I am once again turning to this book for ceremonial use of this plant.  There is quite a bit of information about plant medicine and other methods of practice and tools, and I have not read this cover to cover, but I refer to it on and off, more so as of late.  Using tobacco, I am focusing on opening more to the Creator, and in working with the spirit keepers of the Four Directions, because of their attributes and how they might aid me in healing and growth.  Eagle was showing up a lot as a vision, I came to assume it indicated a need to work with the Eastern spirit keeper, so I began with that, and today I started to consider the other directions.  I used tobacco as an offering on a burning charcoal and made requests based on the attributes these keepers might be able to help me with.  Now I wait to see how things move forward.  Just an update.

I wanted to briefly discuss the concept of cultural appropriation on here, something I assume I am bound to be accused of again and again because of my interest and workings with this branch of spirituality.  First off, I want to mention that every elder I have talked to encourages my exploration of indigenous spiritual practice, and none have deemed me using smudge or tobacco the way I have offensive or appropriative.  Maybe I was appropriating tobacco when I was smoking it recreationally, but not anymore.  Secondly, this medicine has made a significant change in my health (sweetgrass and tobacco, mainly), I know it has worked, so this is not for some angry "activist" to decide whether or not I should use it, this is something the gods want me to use.  I do have a bit of ancestry that is native on my Mom's side (I think it's Cree), not strong enough for me to be considered Metis, but that's really not the point.  If this kind of spirituality is not some fad for me, if it serves a purpose and fulfills a need, is this truly worth criticizing simply because I am (mostly) white?  I kind of feel that cultural appropriation becomes a problem when it does harm, and when there is ill intent involved, but if something is done in a positive manner, I don't see it as particularly offensive.  Perhaps there are other components to consider, and I can't speak on a native person's behalf, only that the First Nations people I talk to see no problem with my approach when they understand it.  I don't even see the German obsession with native culture as harmful, even if they look funny about it.  They love it so much they want to experience it, and though they don't get it quite right, I have heard that a lot of elders have smiled at how they want to explore it, and often fall short.  (BTW, Germans are often to Native American spirituality as the Japanese are to "Anne of Green Gables", if you want some idea of this obsession.)

So I get that it's a touchy subject, but I also, as a person with an intense call to explore several components of spirituality (and a need to do so), feel I should be allowed to practice without criticism, and it shouldn't ever come down to race, no matter what race it is.  I hope to one day meet an elder / medicine person who might be a close guide... I know some, but I don't have a regular teacher in that regard as of yet.


UPDATE: I am gathering that I am meant to focus on the Eastern spirit keeper, that the others won't necessarily work with me.  So Eagle shall be my focus from this point on in this respect.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

My desire to be Holy -or- "It's not a PHASE, Mom and Dad!"...

Since developing spiritually after what came of me with my religious problems, after reaching a certain level of growth, I have a driving urge to pursue the holy life, but perhaps in a way that works for my character, the personality of an alternative art chick.  As I have mentioned before, I am likely not suited for the monastic life, though I like to stay in convents from time to time to take in the atmosphere... I still desire to see the world through the eyes of a saint.  I am not calling myself a saint right now, only that I aspire to be one, or to get as close to saintliness as possible.  I want their joys, their religious highs, their insights, their power... I want to see goodness where others can't, I want to be at peace with the way things are, no matter how hard things get.

I saw in 2006 a damned world approaching, or at least a troubled one, and I knew that at the level I was at during that time, I would not survive as a mind.  Pursuing the typical western capitalist thing just didn't seem as appealing a lifestyle as it might have at one time... my old pursuits seemed hollow and dissatisfying, and any art I could create wouldn't mean much in the grand scheme of things without the self awareness I would need to make it strong.  Clearly, I needed to grow, and this became extremely evident as soon as I was spiritually attacked.  So, it wasn't mere desire, but also the necessity that I commit to a kind of holy life, where I could put my relationship with Divinity at the forefront of my pursuits, making the strengthening of that my main goal.

Most, I don't think, understand this kind of drive - some may be curious, but they don't give it enough attention, others try to force it but feel nothing in the process.  The drive has led to me almost obsessing, but I feel this is an example of good obsession.  My analyst often says obsession that is positive is actually a good thing - a surgeon who obsesses about details is infinitely better than one who skirts them during a procedure, for example.  I take great pleasure in my work with Spirit, it is a joy and a simple & inexpensive pastime that leads to healthy results in my character building and personal strength.  I now suffer extremely well in life, so as a result, I suffer much less when I must face suffering.  Complaining about pain does not take it away, it may be validating for a while, but it does nothing to remove it.  So, I choose to find ways to adapt and grow from the suffrage, so I don't experience it the same way anymore.

This is not to say I don't have weak moments, only that I have learned when to have them, and I do so behind closed doors, away from others.  I feel that sharing these moments alone with the Spirit means I don't regret the outbursts as much as I would among my peers, plus I can receive guidance out of my negativity from the Spirit.  I am not slamming others for sharing their pains online or in public, only that I have come to learn that in myself I no longer wish to do this... I feel more comfortable expressing these pains alone, or perhaps with my therapist, or maybe a close family member once in a while.  I do sometimes discuss issues with a close friend, but I always try to be constructive in the conversation, and lessen negativity where I can.  Better conduct in my relations lessens my anxiety and frustrations, and it really dropped after I refused to give online arguments my attention.

I have come to learn to hold my tongue where I might not have in the past, especially when it comes to opinions about certain things, even if I have some kind of authority based on my experiences.  Many things are for people to come to understand on their own, and that is up to them to figure out in a way that suits them.  So, it is best that I be supportive, not preachy - if someone desires my opinion, I may suggest things, but I do not have the right to force ideas on others, and I find some attitudes that are common on the web rather frustrating when this sort of thing happens.  I can set a good example and focus on being a positive presence in the world... if I move people in the process, that's wonderful, but my journey is not their journey, and they, ultimately, are their own journey's authority.

I suppose that after a certain point, in any seeker's life, this kind of drive comes with ease.  It's rather like how making graphic novels became easier after a certain page count - it becomes sort of second nature.  Like anything in life, it just takes devotion.


Monday, 2 December 2019

Reasons I am still finding it hard to make art...

Finishing "Asylum Squad" was a bit of a struggle for me.  It shouldn't have been, once I was in the homestretch I was amazed at how hard it was to complete the damn thing.  But I finally did - actually, I just reread the entire plot the other day, and I think it reads well straight through.  I am satisfied I made this comic, but I am not sure I can do another series yet... any art at all seems a struggle.  I made that Hallowe'en costume, but that was for a special occasion, and Hallowe'en always gets me excited about costuming.  Yet even painting has been something I haven't been able to get back into, even though I want to paint Tommy Wiseau as a patron saint.  So why the dry spell?

One reason is because, after a project of the size that "Asylum Squad" was, I need a hiatus, even if it's going to last indefinitely.  I just don't have any projects inspiring enough to start anything new, and I don't even want to do commissions for anyone.  Going to the Toronto Comic Jam has been less desirable, and I barely pick up a pen except to make note of something, or do spirit writing.  If I have any career in art at all, it's on hold, and I am focusing more on the possibility of becoming a professional psychic.  Some have suggested I design my own deck of tarot cards, but that seems like such an art school student cliche... plus, I am graduating from using tarot and oracle decks when I read.  So no... I doubt I will do that.  It's been done to death, my deck would just get lost in a sea of other decks.

The other reason, perhaps the main (and more tragic) reason is because of the impact of my father's death.  My Dad had some rather unfortunate "words of wisdom" about quitting comics for me back when I was working on "The Psychosis Diaries" - he saw that book as "self indulgent" and told me to quit this form of art because he said I had yet to succeed in what I was doing, so it was bound to fail.  He was a man who only liked cartoons in "The New Yorker", but hated all other cartoons, and would often, though not always, talk down to the idea of me being a cartoonist.  I am not so much miffed that he said these things as I am affected by his words, and now I don't find cartooning fun anymore.  Kind of like a "you were right, Dad" kind of thing... I just don't get the same level of joy from drawing and cartooning that I once did, which set in around the time he was in palliative care.  I kind of think the only thing that could bring my lost love of art back would be a major career opportunity... otherwise, I might be a hobbyist who does this sort of thing once in a while from now on, and nothing more.  It's possible a renewed love could come, but it's been two and a half years since Dad died, and I am still completely bankrupt in this respect.

Though I don't feel like I can do much in the way of art right now, I do have a drive to write - hence this blog.  I want to tell my real story, I want to explore who I am and what I am becoming.  I may take this writing down one day when I am done, but for now I want to see how things develop, and explore that.  I am not sure what people think of this page, but I feel the need to keep working on it regardless.

I keep getting a premonition (that I hope isn't just psychic nonsense) of a golden, 10 of Pentacles opportunity on the horizon.  Not sure what to make of it, only that it has come through quite a few times.  In the meantime, I shall aspire to think like St. Francis of Assisi and try to love lady poverty... it seems easier than making it as an artist in the big leagues in this city.

Speaking of St. Francis, seeing as Christmas is approaching, here's a fun fact: he invented the Nativity Scene, which makes perfect sense considering the animals surrounding the manger, St. Francis being a mighty animal lover.  I didn't know this until recent times.


Sunday, 1 December 2019

"In Solidarity" inks...

So here are the inks for the next cover - the collected book is to be called "Asylum Squad: (The Complete!) In Solidarity", or perhaps I will just call it "Asylum Squad: In Solidarity", as there will only be one book of this portion of the story.  I am going to likely get around to colouring this cover on my computer soon, and I will then proceed with all the inner workings for the graphic design before putting the files together to get to my printers.  They graciously do all the In Design work for me, as I don't know how to do that, so it takes time for that to get done.  So I expect a spring release book launch for this novel.

For this cover, I decided on a montage of characters from this part of the story.  Trish Adams and Josh Lyon made the cut, as did our protagonist Liz Madder (of course), the other members of Squad, and Armananstantanu.  I did not include Anaya Gupta on here because she's kind of a spoiler - the Squad isn't, because it's presumed that they get back together anyway, because of how the story is structured.  The tower of St. Dymphna's Psychiatric Hospital is also here, to suggest a return.  I think I will have a kind of evening lighting to this cover, and I want the moon visible at the top, which I will add later.

Often my comic is compared to that Zach Snyder film, "Sucker Punch", which makes my eyes roll back in my head so far I can see my brain stem.  That movie was basically a music video trying to be a video game, and I was stunned that something so over the top and pretty could be so dull.  Yes, there are some mild similarities, but I actually think that parts of my comic in some ways are more like "Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors", a much more fun piece of camp.  Also, those elements of the comic came before "Sucker Punch", so it's not ripping that movie off, and I must have unconsciously included like elements of the latter film because I didn't even see that until after "The Jung Ones" arc was completed.  I like to think of it as its own thing - certainly it has elements that are similar to other pieces in it, but it's like those elements were mixed in a blender to create a new flavour.  There are enough mental health related comics out there, but very few talk back to the status quo of how we frame what we call mental illness, and about how messed up the psychiatric system is right now.

Maybe "Asylum Squad" came out at a time when people were not ready for these kinds of ideas... maybe I am ahead of my time, I am not sure.  It would be cool if it had been a bigger hit... then again, I shy away from promoting myself, I feel arrogant in doing so.  Fame is also rather daunting when it goes sour.