As a newcomer to Wyoming from the East Coast, it’s been kind of eye-opeing to see just how real and ubiquitous rodeo life is in Wyoming, or “rodeoin’” as they say. I thought it was just something a few cowboys still did for tourists, but boy was I wrong. It seems to be just what ranch kids do for fun and sport, in place of local organized sports like soccer and little league that kids do back East. I’m sure they do all that out here too, but rodeoing seems to be more common and the activity in which kids can most distinguish themselves, and it’s one of this culture’s way of instilling values and developing character. Perhaps it’s the Western way of “keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble”. It’s not just kids who rodeo of course, but it’s pretty safe to say that most older competing rodeo folks grew up in it since youth. All them boots, buckles, and cowboy hats aren’t just a look. They’re real and practical things out here. Pointy boots slide into stirrups well, a good wide brimmed hat will keep the sun off your back while doing ranch work, and the buckles are the trophies you win at the rodeo, big and shiny, to be displayed with pride.
When I first moved here I was excited to see that Sundance has it’s own rodeo ring in the fairgrounds. I thought this was mostly a tourist feature, an attraction. But it’s more akin to a highschool football field, or a regional park back East full of baseball and soccer fields to host all the community teams and games. The rodeo ring is more of a practical thing than the tourist attraction I thought it was. It’s just where all the local teams compete, and most towns seem to have one. That’s how ubiquitous rodeo is out here. It’s boys and girls, men and women. Rodeo life is a real, integrated, part of Wyoming life, not just some niche, nostalgic, tourist attraction that I thought it was. Hats off to you Wyoming! You got a good thing going out here, and I hope all the political refugees coming out from the East Coast, like myself I must confess, don’t spoil it all. Hee haw!
Since my last entry, I’ve finally settled into a deep, relaxed, vacation mode. It always takes nearly a week to be able to fully shift gears from our more purposeful and trying regular life to the full, relaxed swagger of island time, at least for me. Then suddenly it hits you and you know you’re there as you find yourself cruising down some palm-lilned causeway on your motorcycle with the sea breaze whipping your hair and wide grin growing on your face, and deep down in your soul you feel a cosmic “Ahhh…” of relief that has been trapped inside of you for too long waiting for expression.
Once that feeling hits, time starts to fade away, plans cease to be made, and you just ride through the cycles of the tides, sun, and moon as blissful and carefree as the tropical songbirds that serenade from dawn to dusk from swaying limbs of strangler figs and from nests within the ever whispering stands of palm and yucca.
In typical contradictory Piscean fashion I’ve been balancing the purifying devotions of twice daily yoga and meditation with the sporadically intoxifying indulgences of tobacco and cannabis blended cigarettes, a nip of tequila here and there, fried fish, and the occasional hard seltzer. With a mind as fluffy and dispersed as the clouds above from such alchemy and a body primed by yoga, I’ve been drifting through my days fishing, playing my hindu flute and drum, exploring the jungle backcountry on motorcyle and foot, enjoying antics with alligators, snapping pictures, chatting with fellow campers, and flipping the pages of my Edward Abbey book over coffee, sometimes laughing out loud in sheer delight from his curmudgeony wit.
On one of my walks I was in a reverie listening to an audiobook while gliding barefoot along a swamp trail when I almost stepped on a very large, full-sized, granddaddy alligator. I immediately leapt back with an audible gasp and retreated several feet to safety. The path was only four foot wide and flanked on both sides by impassable swamp and thickets, with the alligator lying lengthwise along the right edge. That’s not quite enough distance to safely squeeze by this fellow and it didn’t help that the gator was arched inward facing the path, in perfect position to pounce. And yet, I didn’t have the heart to do the sensible thing and chuck a branch at it or poke it with a long stick to goad it back into the swamp. Call me a bleeding heart hippy, but he was there first, peacefully enjoying his afternoon sunbath until I came along. My instincts told me that he was only slightly annoyed that I didn’t just go on already and walk by. He wasn’t threatened or menacing, and he knew that he was along a pedestrian path, having acted out this scenerio nearly every day with timid tourists or aggressive alpha dads since much of his existence. I felt he preferred that I don’t turn this into some “thing” but just carry on by. And so I did, really fucking cautiously, hugging the outer edge of the trail, ready at any moment to leap and run like hell. Once I got to center mass of the parallel reptile, I did indeed leap forward and run past anyhow to assure my safe escape. Unfortunately my leap did startle the alligator and he erupted in a spasmadic fury of tail and limb, leaping up and back partially into the pond and then pausing, still again but for a hiss coming through his exposed and menacing teeth. I got away and we both went about our day.
I had a chance to redeem myself with the gator community the next afternoon. I was playing my Indian bansuri flute in the delightful little nook behind my camper on the ponds edge. It was that sublime time of day, perhaps ninety minutes before the sunset. I stood there improvising on my flute, playing along with the chorus of sounds around me: the rustling of the palms, the steady squeak and squak of birds, even distant laughter and the drone of a far off plane. Once again, the vibrations of the flute drew the interest of the resident alligator of this pond, a sinister looking one-eyed gator who would instill more fear if only he were a few feet longer. At his length of only five feet, mostly tail, he could at best rip off a hand or foot if he got a good clench on it. He approached the past two days as well when I was playing at the waters edge. Alligators are very sensitive to vibrations, so are the fish who visibly hover by the shore, and a full-sized, bamboo bansuri flute makes powerful yet sweet resonances. Whether he’s just curious or pleased, he finds it worth his time to come have a listen. As he slowly approached, hovering in the water with his limbs and claws extended, gently propelled by the serpentine motion of his tail, I slowly moved right to the waters edge and sat down cross legged. I have a lot of experience with gators and know that they are much more complex and communicative than most would give them credit for. I rank them up there with dogs in theie ability relate to man. I intended this gesture of sitting at the waters edge to be welcoming. I wanted to show both a lack of fear and aggression, an acceptance. I believe my gesture was taken as intended.
Between the solid edge and the open water where the gator approached, there was a border of about four feet of thick vegetation. Approaching directly on, the gator floated right onto this vegetation and came to a stop, suspended in the pond grasses as if in a hammock. The tip of his nose was only about three feet from the tip of my own. There is undoubtedly a mystic power in holding the intimate gaze of a wild creature. You become fully present and the mind becomes silent. A tangibly felt transmission occurs. Hypnotized by the moment such, I proceeded to play my flute. I simply played from my heart, playing the melodies that arose in my imagination, and tried to keep the tone sweet, each note intentional, while holding focus on the gator. I played like this for about five minutes. The music was deep and haunting and like all natural things, it resolved its expression naturally before disappearing again into the silence it arose from. The gator and I sat in silence for a moment. Then he back paddled and floated away.
When I stowed my flute and returned to my van, two different campers sought me out to express their appreciation for the beautiful flute playing. At the risk of sounding conceited, I’ll confess I get that a lot when I play my bansuri in public. But I don’t take credit for it. I don’t believe my playing is the real essence of the beauty, but the tone of this ancient and finely crafted instrument, as well as the emotive power of the timeless and sacred ragas I play. My guru Karunamayi says that the bamboo flute is the only instrument of all earthly instruments that can directly heal and activate the chakras. No other instrument can do that she says. So there’s a reason people are drawn to the mystical sound of the hindu flute, and it is the same reason the alligator was drawn.
I have been writing fiction by the way, and I’m actually quite happy with the modest progress thus far. Only I’m finding that fiction is more time consuming and tedious than journaling, so posting daily fiction worth anyone’s time is probably out of reach for me. But I’ll post a few things I’m working on before I return north. In the meantime, I’m gonna just keep doing what I do, chasing this bliss, and see if any more contemplations of worth find their way to my fingertips over joints and coffee.
I’ll be honest about this “writing project”. Even I’m boring myself with these journal entries so far and I don’t really enjoy being the main character of my musings. I’m as human as anyone else. I have my highs and lows, my hopes and struggles. If there is anything unique about my journey, it might be my authentic and ever evolving to spiritual devotion/seeking, even in spite of all my vices and the occassional reckless outbursts of ego. That aspect of my life may have once been but a juvenile identity I latched onto so I could feel special and self important, but truly over the years through the time I’ve been able to spend with her holiness Amma Sri Karunamayi, through my empassioned study of Hindu scriptures, and through the continued practice of meditation and yoga for three decades, my identity as a devoted and practicing Hindu has evolved from youthful vanity to seasoned reality. But to be honest, there’s not much to write about in that regard, and I don’t really care to sensationalize what is in essence, the quest for the complete cessation of all thought and worldy ambition. What does a himalayan yogi have to write about from his cave? “Today I listened to moisture drip as I centered my mind, brought all mental restlessness to quiescence, and dissolved all sense of separate self into the totality of being”. Even a yogi’s perceptions as he wanders through the world are rather grim: “Amongst the crowds today I saw countless people chasing vain illusions of happiness, as if on autopilot, caught in the nauseating and ceaseless narratives of an ego doing everything it can to avoid the realization of its fundamental error and non-existence as it circles the abyss. I felt I was the only one even partially awake amidst legions of somnabulists trapped in an exponentially complexifying nightmare.”
So why do I even speak of or express an interest in writing? As much as I believe in the magic and power of music, I also believe in the magic and power of literature, and as deeply as my life has been touched by the former, it has also been shaped by the latter. And all my life I’ve had this nagging feeling that writing is part of my destiny and that my life’s work will not be complete until I offer some works of literary relevance. The problem is, I haven’t written shit thus far other than poems, songs, social media rants, and a couple controversial blog posts, and that just won’t fulfill this inner calling. I want to write fiction. I feel I have the innate capacity, but like anything, it takes years of practice and honing the craft, and I just can’t seem to get started. I challenge myself to these little writing projects in hopes that they will magically gestate the beginnings of my literary journey, but so far I haven’t been able to unstuck from basic journaling and social commentary. So it’s time to get creative and just push myself off from shore and see what happens. From here forward while I’m in Florida, I hope to shift things up a little. Instead of journal entries, I want to focus on little vignettes, slices of my experienece, fictionalizing and romanticizing the things I see and finding little backstories and conflicts for, say, the campers across from me, the waitress at the crab shack, or the family staying at the beach resort. I may just set a scene but not provide any action. One way or another, I have to shift the focus off myself and onto CHARACTERS and storylines.
Doing so might be a little embarrasing. I feel like a music lover sitting at a piano, with zero experience of actually playing the damn thing. Yet I yearn to make music, and I feel the only way I’m ever gonna do it, is if I just put myself out there, toss myself in the deep water, and hope to God I find a way to swim. Excuse the mixed metaphor. As I just confessed, I have plenty of work to do in becoming a good writer. But at least I’ll find the courage and discipline to try. I feel an inner calling that I just can’t deny.
For whatever it’s worth, Edward Abbey is my current totem for excellence in fiction. He’s my inspiration/hero. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the Edward Abbey that wrote the eco-conscious, nonfiction work, “Desert Solitaire”. I’m talking about the other side of the self-same man, the Edward Abbey that wrote “The Monkey Wrench Gang”, “Heyduke Lives”, “The Fools Progress”, “The Brave Cowboy”, and “Black Sun”. I adore the honesty, insight, and fearlessness of his prose. He would ABSOLUTELY be cancelled if he was still around today. He pulls no punches and is not shy to offend, yet his work is still full of lightness, love, humor, humanity despite his natural cynicism. He paints a world that I love to inhabit. It’s a honest world, more real to me than so called “reality”. If I could only offer the something similar to humankind, I feel would life would be complete.
Yesterday afternoon, after my morning adventure to Marco Island, I headed back to my camground in the swamps and decided to spend the mid afternoon bass fishing the canals that cut through the glades. There’s little else I enjoy more. It’s so quiet and mysterious back there, the senses are constantly delighted by the sights and sounds of the vibrant ecosystem. Tropical birds, lizards, snakes, turtles, and gators are my constant companions.
This was my first time picking up the fishing pole since winter put a damper on the trout fishing out in the Black Hills. I was amazed at how quickly my fisherman’s instincts took over, how naturally my mind became quiet and my focus intense. My first catch took a little skill and instantly boosted my enthusiasm. The bass had lightly scooped my plastic worm off the bottom and started to run with it. I didn’t feel any strike, but I saw the line start to drift to the right. Without hesitation I yanked up the rod to set the hook and the water exploded with the wrath of an angry bass fighting for its life. It was a smaller bass, so its life was spared. After changing locations to deeper in the swamp, I caught three medium sized bass and two panfish. I was tempted to keep each bass, but I ended up releasing them in hopes of catching a bigger fish to be the entre of my birthday dinner. After about ten more minutes of fishing with no luck, I started to regret throwing back my earlier catches. Two of them would have made a great meal, but now I was empty handed.
Not wanting to feel bummed out on my birthday, I just accepted the fact that tonight I would be eating potatoes and then strapped my rod to my dirtbike and headed back. Just before reemerging back onto the paved main road, I stopped by one more fishing hole that I had never tried before. A few casts in, I got what I was looking for. Again, the bass struck the line lightly, and I had to intuit he was there, whipping the rod tip up to set the hook. Instantly I felt the heavy resistance and I knew I had hooked a big one. He put up a good fight but I managed to flop him up onto the bank. I got my birthday bass.
Knowing I was done fishing, I didn’t bother putting him on a stringer, but instead pulled out my fishing pliers and gave the fish a violent smack right between the eyes to kill it. The bass immediately went into convulsions in my hand, and I hit it a few more times just to make sure I had done the job. I wrapped him in a zip-lock bag, strapped him to my bike, and motored the few miles back up the Tamiami Trail to camp.
Entering camp I felt so proud with my rod and catch displayed on the back of my bike rack. I’m sure no one noticed or cared, but in my mind I was a hero, a man who went out into the swamps to catch dinner, now returning triumphantly to enjoy his birthday feast complete with joints and tequila.
Yet before preparing dinner, I took the time to do a thorough session of yogic breathing exercises followed by meditation. I actually had an uncharacteristically deep meditation where I simply dissolved into the tranquil evening around me. I couldn’t tell the difference between myself and the sounds of the insects and frogs in the pond, the whisper of the wind, or the occasional splashes of swamp creatures on the hunt. Everything was clarity and bliss.
In such a mood, I took my time and made a delicious dinner of rice, sauteed veggies, and two ample bass filets. Then I blended up some hash, cannabis flower, and tobacco into a perfect cone joint and headed down the road to a quiter place to walk along the canals, contemplate, and smoke in peace. I had a birthday talk with God out there, expressing gratitude for all my blessings, and asking for continued guidance and blessings so that I can make the most out of this life and serve God and humanity at my greatest capacity. And of course I prayed for the wellbeing of my parents and the healing of the world.
I ended the night a tall glass of tequila and an episode of Rockford Files in the van on the pond edge. It was a happy birthday.
It’s my birthday. I went to bed early last night and woke up before dawn this morning, wanting to start the day out on the right foot. After a brief sink bath and a cup of coffee, I got right to my breathing exercises and meditation. Again, my meditation was quite potent and effortless. I don’t think there’s any more accurate indicator of one’s overall state of wellbeing than meditation. When there is trouble in the body, mind, or heart, it’s hard to focus and easy to get restless. But when you have a degree of contentment, acceptance, and an integrated sense of harmony within and without, it becomes much more natural to simply fall into blissful and empty inner states. Seasons of good meditation come and go. I’ve been making a lot of effort late to nurture the right conditions for inner peace. It seems to working. Then again, I always feel pretty positive and content around my birthday. All in all, I like life, I enjoy it, I think it’s neat, and I have many reasons to feel blessed and grateful.
I’ve had a bit of change of plans on my birthday activities. I decided to treat myself to a proper brunch on Marco Island at a popular little spot I enjoy, Doreen’s Cup of Joe. I enjoyed a crab benedict, one mimosa, and three cups of coffee while people watching, checking out the pretty tourists girls, most of them on vacation with their fiances or boyfriends. I never really envy guys with pretty girls. I’m experienced enough to know that women generally take a lot of upkeep, a lot of money and energy spent keeping them happy. As a lifelong, freewheeling kind of guy, I usually just get my loving on the run. It comes and goes. There are seasons for everything. Nothing makes me happier than independence, spontaneity, feeling close to God and Nature. I’ve never yet had a partner who ultimately doesn’t distract from that. Sometimes I welcome that distraction, but not currently.
After breakfast, I felt the urge to do a little writing and update this blog. I walked into a fancy resort hotel right on the beach, and bluffed my way to their beautifully landscaped pool and patio, and managed to get on their wifi as well. In a minute here I’m gonna strap on headphones and go longboard cruising around the island. Marco really is beautiful. I just love all the tropical landscaping, palms and flowers everywhere. Combined with the bright sun and sea breeze, it’s pretty hard not to feel happy here. I plan to stop by the various boat marinas. I like watching the pelicans and the fish that hangout looking for a free meal from the fishermen.
I won’t hang out on Marco all day though. My birthday wouldn’t be complete without a long solitary walk in the wilderness, sinking my toes in the sand, listening to all the songbirds, keeping my eyes peeled for snakes, gators and panthers. That’s how I like to spend my time.
I’m content with being alone on my birthday, and I’m content with turning 48. My outer quest for happiness is mostly winding down, while my inner quest ramps up to new levels of devotion. True happiness isn’t dependent on any outer circumstances; it only comes from Self knowledge, harmony with one’s own being. Every outer pleasure sacrificed makes room for inner riches that can never be lost or taken away. The world is quickly spiraling into insanity and violence, which makes the quest for inner peace and spiritual liberation all the more urgent.
Yesterday I woke up at the Georgia/Florida state line, having slept in a Walmart parking lot in Kingsland GA. I was happy that the day’s drive began and ended in Florida, and that I would get to see the state in the full light of day, hoping to arrive at my campground in the Everglades by the late afternoon.
The drive was pleasant apart from the handful of insane drivers on 95. I like Florida. I’ve been coming down here for years. The sunshine always lifts my spirits. I love the sea air, the tropical foliage, the spanish architecture, and the general good cheer of the retirees and snowbirds. People come down to Florida to relax and have a good time, and they do it well.
I arrived at my campsite around 5pm, pretty worn out and hazy from the drive and a few road sodas and edibles. I didn’t feel I had to charisma and mojo at the moment to somehow finagle my way into the same camp spot I had last year, but I lucked out and scored just the spot I wanted. The host was super easy going and casual about things, which is typical of this backwaters campground. That’s exactly why I like it… that, and all the gator ponds full of fish and tropical birds, and all the beautiful greenery. And it’s cheap.
I achieved little last night but the dissappearance of a few drinks, followed by the dissappearance of consciousness, falling asleep in my clothes, not under the blankets. Nevertheless I woke up in good health and spirits, except for a low-level malaise that wore off during my vitalizing morning rituals. I had ample coffee, grabbed a shower that I finished with several minutes of cold water only, did twelve sun-salutations by the pond, did my Wim Hoff breathing followed by two other yogic breathing exercises, and then proceeded to enjoy a rather serene and empty-headed meditation. I followed all that with a light breakfast of peanut butter toast, a banana, and a hash and flower mixed joint.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I hope to be in optimum health and spirits to really enjoy an adventure. So today I plan to mostly lay low by the pond, do another round of yoga, breathing, and meditation, and eat some wholesome food. I just want to flush out the past few days of mild excess and start off this adventure on the right foot, not wasting any more days to haze and malaise!
As for my birthday tomorrow, so far I’m leaning towards a thirteen mile loop walk through the swamps in the heart of panther country. I’ll mostly go slow and barefoot, just enjoying the quiet and beauty of the wilderness, stopping from time to time to play my hindu flute to the forest. I’ve always been a fan of really long day hikes. You only get tired at the very end, but throughout most of the walk you fall into a rhythmic trance where the mind becomes very clear. Plus, you’re bound to encounter all sorts of creatures and sublime forest nooks. I usually spend my birthdays alone. It’s always been a sacred day to me, a day to walk and talk with God and to bathe in the bliss of Nature.
Once again, I find myself in route to Florida to flee the last cold weeks of winter, and to get a head start on Spring and rejuvenation. I haven’t been living in my van since I bought my ranch in August, but have been quite stationary staying put in Sundance rennovating the home. I am very happy to be back out on the road and headed to the tropics for another open-ended south Florida adventure.
To start my adventure I have a two week reservation at a somewhat podunk but tranquil campground in the swamps about thirty minutes inland from Marco Island. I have deep love for the Everglades and the Big Cypress National Forest and spend more of my time inland in swamp country than I do soaking up sun and waves and checking out pretty tourist girls at the beach. I go on all day long exploratory hikes through the backcountry photographing wildlife and just appreciating the diverse fauna and flora of the glades. The Everglades are absolutely teeming with life and one is never alone in these forests and marshes. Anywhere you glance your eye will find a creature watching you, whether it’s a lizard sharing the bench, a bird on a branch, gator eyes protruding from dark depths, or a silent panther stalking from behind. To me it is an Eden, and time spent in these forests is like sitting at a guru’s feet. Nature is alive here, and she has lessons and insights to teach to those willing to wander and wonder this vast and mysterious jungle.
My intention for this trip is really to just get out of my head, relax, and spend nearly all my time in nature fishing, exploring, making music, meditating, etc. Although I don’t intend to behave like a puritan down here, I do want to prioritize exercise, eating well, and clean living within reason. I want to take advantage of the strong sunshine, the vitalizing sea air, and the shimmering strength of Life in the swamps, to purify and prepare myself for the summer ahead. I feel driven and purposeful lately. I want to avoid getting caught in ruts and find a real, positive, stride.
So that’s basically where my head is at as I start this adventure. If it’s any sign, my first evening on the road last night was quite special. I visited some friends on a farm outside of Asheville, a little fortress in the mountains, abundant with all sorts of animals and hippies. Anyone who knows me, knows how deeply I love bonding with animals and observing wildlife. Well, upon entering the house I was greeted by my friend’s real wolf. I’ve known this majestic and daunting creature for probably five years now, and the dog has never let me get near him. He has bright, powerful eyes and a deep and intimidating growl. Compared to ordinary domestic dogs, his sense of strength and sovereignty just shines. He has a magical, intimidating presence. For the first time ever, last night he walked right up to me and leaned into me, nuzzling me with his head, and warmly welcoming and enjoying my pets. Then, when we all sat at the table for drinks, joints, and chats, my friend’s parrot jumped up on my shoulder and started nuzzling its head into my beard while making sweet little noises. He stayed there for more than half an hour and we sweetly bonded. To top it all off, the real icing on the cake, when I retired to my van to sleep, I invited to the two giant, white, Great Pyrenees, farm dogs into my van. These enormous dogs live outside all the time and have been trained to guard all the other farm animals from foxes, coyotes, cougars and such. They cautiously came into the van to scope it out. Then they hopped up on the bed and discovered it was really warm and comfortable. Then they didn’t want to leave and I didn’t want them to either. We all fell asleep together on the narrow bed and slept blissfully in a dogpile well into the morning. They were very sweet and affectionate, and loved to cuddle. It was a perfect start to my adventure.
Tomorrow I have about six hours to drive left before arriving at my campground in Big Cypress. My 48th birthday is Friday. Stay tuned!
I made this recording of the sacred Mrityunjaya healing mantra in my van last summer, and set it too some footage of me goofing around with horses and feeding them apples. This is my life now in Wyoming. The land in the video is my own, my home. The prairie brings me much peace and for that I am grateful.
Find my new Rumble Channel here, and PLEASE subscribe!
This above video is my last post on YouTube, and my last interaction with the Google/Youtube corporation. I will no longer tolerate YouTube’s brazen suppression of free expression and manipulation of information, motivated by it’s extreme political bias and the role it plays in innovating the infrastructure of the fastly encroaching technocratic and tyrannical New World Order of which China is the testing ground and guiding model. Even if these grave faults weren’t enough to drive me away in protest and disgust, several months ago they quietly changed their policy and decided to monetize all content without permission of the content creators themselves, profiting off the content we create while only giving a pittance share to those with massive viewership who qualify for their monetization program. In other words, YouTube places advertisements on all my videos now to eke a profit out of them and I don’t see single cent. It is we the creators who lend this platform its value, and YouTube seems intent on abusing us in any way it can for it’s own gain and deceptive, malevolent purposes. It is said that America is no longer a Constitutional Republic nor a representative Democracy, but a Corporate Oligarchy. You can be sure that the Google/YouTube corporation is among the chief corporate oligarchs who seek to undermine the American mission of Liberty to usher in a “new normal” of global authoritarian control, securing their place in this budding tyrannical regime. The corporation is traitorous to the values of this great country in which it was founded and enriched itself, and is an enemy to all freedom loving people. I can no longer in good faith support this platform or mislead my fans to participate in that seditious site.
Therefore I have deleted all my creative content, many hours of original music, live performances, nature footage, and poetry, and I have moved it all to my new Mateo Monk Music channel on Rumble.com, hoping they will live up to their avowed commitment to free expression and fair monetization. I thank you all for your support and viewership over the years, and I earnestly encourage all of you to subscribe to my new Rumble channel and to abandon all association with the Google/YouTube company. Google has one of the worst reputations in the tech industry for abuse of privacy and the manipulation/suppression of information. Do not use their search engine and cancel your gmail accounts. I recommend Duck Duck Go for a search engine and Proton Mail for an email host. All my life I’ve heard that we should vote with our dollar. Let us vote Google out of power and out of business. We the people will not surrender our freedom without a fight (or ever!), and we will hold our abusers accountable for their crimes against humanity. If you think I sound a little crazy or that I am blowing things out of proportion, I would counter that you aren’t paying enough attention and need to stop having your worldview dictated to you by the blatantly corrupt mainstream media. The only way to end this nightmare into which the entire world is rapidly sinking is to WAKE UP. World War III started long ago while we were all distracted arguing on Facebook. There is no backing out now. The only choices are to fight for freedom or to succumb to global tyranny. As I’ve said often before, “You may mock me now, but you’ll remember me later.”
Lastly, I just wanted to share a recent article (only a few days old) as an example of Google’s transparent corruption and brazen manipulation of information. It’s about how Google rapidly moved to manipulate their search engine results for “Mass Formation Psychosis”, after the very relevant term was placed into public consciousness by Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA technology on which these toxic and ineffective “vaccines” were based, during an interview with Joe Rogan… which of course the YouTube “Ministry Of Truth” quickly deleted. This is just to give you an idea of the corrupt behemoth we are dealing with. The article:
I will leave the above single video up for the next several months to guide people to my new Rumble channel and to inspire others to participate in the mass exodus, and then I will delete my YouTube account altogether and having nothing more to do with Google/YouTube. If YouTube decides to delete it before then, I would take that as a badge of honor. The can silence my voice like so many others, but the truth will be heard and justice will prevail. See you on the other side. Stay free, stay vigilant. Love and blessings,
Again, here is the link to my new Rumble Channel. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!!!
The Mahabharata is without question the most moving, enlightening, mystifying, and compelling book I have ever read. I truly believe it is a gift to humanity and should be read by all people who yearn to understand the riddle of Life more deeply, by all seekers of Truth. Yet the Mahabharata is anything but a dry and tedious scripture. It is a heroic epic, the tale of the five Pandava princes and the great dharma yuddha (war) at the crack of the ages between the dvapara and kali yugas. It is a page turner of a book, and touches on every possible human emotion and conflict.
The Mahabharata was written by the immortal sage Vyasa. So many times we wonder “What is life? What is the lesson that life teaches? What is the meaning of the bedazzling and wondrous mystery?” I feel that, being an immortal, Vyasa had seen and known the entire arc of Life’s story, and in the Mahabharata he set forth to encapsulate and illustrate the entire scope, meaning, and purpose of Life for us mortals of limited perspective and experience. It’s all in there. Vyasa’s lens leaves nothing unexplored. He lays out the entire map. I know some people call the Bible the Greatest Story Ever Told. As one who holds deep reverance for the New Testament, I personally believe that honor goes to the Mahabharata.
This is my second reading of the Mahabharata this year. It is an incredibly long story but has not lost my interest for a second. There are only two or three unabridged translations that I know of in the English language, one of which will provide for my third reading of the epic. The two I have read were tasteful retellings as opposed to translations. The first was by William Buck. I loved his retelling of the Ramayana, however I discovered that his version of the Mahabharata was far too truncated, leaving out too many important aspects of the story. Nevertheless I found it compelling and deeply moving; the source material is simply that good that it’s light shines through. The second retelling of the Mahabharata I read was by Ramesh Menon and it came in a two volume set totalling 1564 pages. His version is very thorough and true to the original, and I was floored to discover just how much greater depth, detail, and nuance his version contained compared to Buck’s. I do highly recommend his version. The unabridged translations are a bit tedious for the modern ear, nevertheless I will read Bibrek Debroy’s unabridged translation next.
I took the above picture not so much for my few readers on this blog, but more for my own memories. This period of my Life has been incredibly pivotal and the study of the Mahabharata has much to do with that. During my reading of this text I have bought my dream ranch in Wyoming, worked for several months rennovating my new home while adapting to the new area, and I suffered through not one but two bouts with Covid, and still suffer from frustrating long haul symptoms that just won’t go away. I took the picture to memorialize this time in my life. Reading the Mahabharata is a true landmark in my life, and one of the greatest pleasures I’ve ever enjoyed. As you can see by the open book in the picture, I’m actually still not finished with my second reading, but today I did read the pivotal chapters where the anti-hero Karna is slain, which is perhaps the climax of the story. I’m writing this now rather than when I finish because it’s the journey I want to remember.
I wanted to briefly mention the character Karna. His entire life was tragic and full of suffering and misfortune, and even though he fought in the war on the side of evil for the wicked prince Duryodhana, that didn’t diminish his status as the greatest archer to ever live and one of the noblest humans to ever walk the Earth. I know that sounds strange to hear, but the book is very clear about that, even Lord Krishna himself extols Karna’s skill and virtue over the story’s true hero, Arjuna. You’ll have to read it to understand. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ve ever been so deeply moved by a single character’s plight in any film or literature I’ve ever absorbed. I have cried for Karna many times. Tears well up in my eyes as I write this. So heart wrenching. At one point during my reading I said to myself, “If I ever had a son, I might name him Karna, or perhaps I’ll name my next dog Karna.” And then shortly after, I read a passage that said something to the effect of: “Karna’s fame will be known around the world throughout the ages, and men in the far distant Kali Yuga will name their sons after him.” That’s how deeply moving and affecting his story is.
God bless Vyasa for gifting this work to humanity, and God bless Ramesh Menon for his faithful and beautiful retelling. One aspect of William Buck’s translation deeply moved me and is found on the very first page of his rendition: “Vyasa the poet tells you, Oh beware, beware of Reality, beware of Justice, enough of waiting and waiting, you are in danger. Once hearing the Bharata, who can bear listening to other stories, which sound like the braying of an ass?” And so it is. I will soon begin my third reading of the Mahabharata, and perhaps I will read it for the rest of my life. I have never been more moved by any other work of art I have ever encountered during my 47 years on Earth. The Mahabharata is Life, and I am deeply grateful for it.