A Day Mirrors a Life: Use This Life for a Better “Tomorrow”

Many things mirror each other. A brain cell looks curiously similar to the universe, and atoms look like they belong magnified floating in space alongside solar systems. So wouldn’t it make sense if other things mirrored large events on a small scale?

I am talking about a day. We wake up groggy, sometimes forgetting where we are or what we have to do, confused by our fleeting dreams. But energy soon returns, we gain focus, and set out with purpose to conquer the day’s activities. Sometimes it is a good day, sometimes bad, sometimes boring, sometimes exciting! Hopefully we don’t waste too much time, but still have fun! It is good to accomplish some goals, but not be too stressed out or uptight. You have to enjoy the present, but not to the extent that it makes tomorrow harder. And then each night we start to grow tired again, we realize there is only so much more we can do with the time we have, and eventually we go to sleep.

In a life, we are born confused and crying. There is no recollection before birth, except for a few special people here and there that seem to remember details of a past life. As our lives go on, we grow, gain focus on what we want to do with that life. We have ups and downs, as every life has, and some lives could be categorized as overall good, or overall bad, overall mundane, or overall stimulating. We have goals large and small that we attempt to accomplish, and some people get caught up in planning for the future without really enjoying the moments of their lives. Others fulfill momentary hedonistic urges, which puts their future happiness in jeopardy. In the end it comes to a close, the sun begins to set, and our energy fades. We die and go to sleep.

But when we sleep we wake again. And where we wake up depends entirely on where we went to sleep the night before. The obstacles facing us the next day could have been increased by the previous days activities, or eased. Sometimes we wake up hungover, and what we did yesterday makes the entire new day more difficult. Sometimes we drank a glass of water before bed, said our prayers or meditated, and wake up refreshed, ready to start the day off with an energizing run, or watch the sun rise with a cup of coffee.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead attempts to help people transition from earth to the in-between and then back to earth again, unless ultimate enlightenment is achieved. What you do in one life effects where you will start the next life. I don’t personally know what type of life will put you where, but using the microcosm of a day, I think it is a safe bet to say living a good day makes a better tomorrow that much more likely. Therefore living a better life will make the next life that much better.

In a lifetime, I would imagine the ultimate goal is to die happy, surrounded by those you love, at peace. This could be compared to ultimate enlightenment. Did you improve others’ lives? Did you help create and grow healthy humans who will radiate their energy positively towards others? Did you bring people joy, help people grow, and increase the combined positive energy of the world or environment you inhabited?

Tibetan Buddhism even suggests practicing the transition from the earth self to the in between self by attempting to remain cognizant while falling asleep, and lucid while dreaming. This mirrors what will happen when we die, so it is a way to practice. It is a way to carry all the positive energy from one life into the next, the way we are able (though we don’t always do it) to carry positive energy from one day to the next.

And this all means we should live each day like a mini lifetime. After all, each day, all combined, is what will make up our life. Each atom, all combined, is what makes up the universe. Perhaps each lifetime, all combined, will determine the ultimate health and state of our souls.


What if Life is Just our Souls Playing a Video Game?

boatHuman beings lack perspective, literally, as in, we only view the world from our eyes. I’m not trying to be all high and mighty; we can look at pictures and videos from other perspectives, but we are still doing that with just our eyes and other senses, mostly based out of our heads. Then we process that with our brains which are pretty much basing the new material off of old stuff we processed and inventoried before. It works for us on earth, but it does make me wonder why there is such a willingness to say we know what happens after earth. There is only so much information we have to go off of, so to say there is nothing, or to say there is something quite specific confuses me… I’ve always been a skeptic, which I think is a healthy way to not be hoodwinked.

So the idea I’m about to present also lacks perspective I realize, but it takes that lack of perspective into account. Have you ever played video games for a long time, and then perhaps you got busted in Grand Theft Auto so you snap out of it, look around and are like, “Woah I’ve been playing video games for like 5 hours”? What if earth is just our souls playing a video game?

Maybe its a coming of age type thing for our souls to spend a lifetime on earth, and see what we can get out of it. Or maybe there is no limit to how many earth lives you can live, and you got to keep going around until you finally get it right. The other souls will laugh, “Ha, it took you 230 lifetimes to move beyond earth! I did it in 46”.

And as soon as we die we look around and are like, “Damn, how did I forget I was playing a video game that whole time?” And then all the souls sit around and have a beer (or whatever body-less souls drink for a good time, because I don’t want to imagine an eternity without a good beverage) and talk about what they learned on earth.

“Can you believe I beat that old lady and stole her wallet, just to buy some vodka?” What a silly thing for a soul to do, but the person was coming from a very particular perspective of being a poor drunk who’s past stimuli didn’t teach him that he shouldn’t beat old ladies and take their money. (For the record I am anti-old-lady-beating, don’t use your infinite soul as an excuse!)

Could that be it? That we are put into a simulator and forget about what happened before life, and have no idea what will happen after? Coming into this world was pretty dream like: you just wake up all of the sudden—can’t even really pinpoint when and where—and you’re here, without any perspective on where you came from, and just have to be like, “Okay, lets see what happens”. But in a dream you completely forget that you were ever awake. It feels so different, dreams and reality, yet from the perspective of a dream, it seems like that is all there is. It’s a dream within a dream! Maybe Inception was onto something.

The perspective is much more omniscient from the soul. Imagine entire ideas and feelings transferred in a fraction of a second, with no room for confusion. And I feel quite limited, like I can see so little from inside my skull, and have to express all my brain-stuffs in words—which is so primitive. I have to look in one direction, and can only look at one place at each time. How limited 5 senses are! There should be infinite stimuli that we process in a vacuum (think of all the wavelengths we just recently, or have yet to discover), not just a few, that get mixed up with so much emotion in there! But we are after all still humans, and have got to learn these things.

What if I totally just cut down the amount of human lives you have to live before you move on, awaken from this coming of age test, and join the universe as one once more? Now you don’t have to die on the battlefield of WWIII in your next life, because you can use this life to finish up your earthly, coming of soul age lessons! Okay, now I’m getting cocky… I don’t want to set myself back ten lifetimes.

The Shortest Friendship of My Life

Do what makes you happy today (assuming you’re not a serial killer or something) because you never know if you will be here tomorrow. Yes, I am trying to be all bright and happy, but everyone gets a reminder of their mortality from time to time. My most recent reminder happens to be linked to the very event that sparked this blog, and this attempt to enjoy every second of life. It makes it all the more important to love life, enjoy yourself, and cherish the time you have with friends and loved ones.

I went to something called the Porcupine Freedom Festival the last week in June. It is about politics to some degree, but the community at this week long event is really where the fun comes in. I left having made new friends, spent one of the best weeks of my life with them, and adopted this positive attitude to bring back to my everyday life, in order to have fun with the otherwise mundane.

Unfortunately upon returning home, last Monday I found out that a new friend of mine who had attended the event for 3 days and sang for a half hour slot on that Wednesday, had died in a car accident on that Friday, once back home in Wisconsin. His name was Drew, and he was 20 years old, and truly one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. He was into music, had a great indie style, made some of his own songs, and covered others—I liked a cover he did of Lady Gaga. We hung out by the campfire for two nights with a few other new friends, and caught up after his set on Wednesday before he headed back home with his dad.

It was the shortest friendship I’ve ever had in my life, and I fully expected to see him again. He was talking about coming back to the coast within a few months and attending PorcFest again in 2015. I intended to keep up with his music; already I was encouraging him to do some open mic nights in Milwaukee, maybe throw another Lady Gaga cover in there, and keep practicing his unique style. It was such a shock, and a very strange feeling to hear that he died just two days after I had last saw, just 5 days after first meeting him. I didn’t know him extremely well or very long—there was simply not enough time, but there was something very pointed about the situation.

I don’t want to make someone’s death all about me, but I want to explain the impact Drew had on me in the short time I knew him. Here was an event we attended, that had such a positive impact on me, influenced me to create a new blog, and take home a whole new enthusiastic attitude on life, partly because of Drew and people like him who I had become friends with at the festival. And then, one of those very people I became close with, part of what made the festival so great, who was inextricably linked to that week, and the impact it had on me, died immediately following the event. There was a piece of that week that I was not going to be reacquainted with, a piece that I couldn’t experience again, that I would never have back, no matter what situation I found myself in.

It was as devastating as it was symbolic. It serves as a reminder, and an influence as I start on this new journey (with this blog as my breadcrumbs) to have a positive attitude, and enjoy every moment in life. I’m so glad I spent those hours with Drew, and was able to have him in my life for what little time was possible. You never know when you, or someone you love, will leave this world; don’t spend the time you have second guessing yourself, or sulking. Drew didn’t: he drove from Milwaukee to play his homemade music in front of strangers, some of whom, like myself, were lucky enough to become his friends. He took a chance, he did what he loved, he put himself out there, he emanated radiant vibes, and he had fun doing it.

I am so grateful I got to meet Drew before he died, and spend some of his last days on earth with him. He may be gone as a person, but the influence he had on me in the very short time I knew him will not fade, and will live on as a piece of me. The positive, funny, warm hearted person that I knew him as would be proud at the opportunity to help others realize their potential, step out of their comfort zones, and live their lives chalk full of energy and passion. Be like Drew, and do this life for you, enjoying every second of it; you may never know how far the ripples you create in this world will spread. Drew jumped into the pool of life doing a cannonball.