Dear David,

In the last few weeks, I have done absolutely nothing at work. Besides the usual rush of afternoon classes with the kids and everything that comes with that (giving out snacks, mopping up puke, talking to parents, unlocking doors, locking doors, finding lost children, giving them permission to go to the bathroom, directing volunteers, telling staff to stay on task, etc.), my mornings have been spent guiltily surfing the web for anything of interest.

Last night I spent some time reading an old book about Rasta that I’ve had for a long time. One of the key things that have always drawn me to Rastafarianism is that Rasta’s do not preach. A true Rasta, as opposed to a “brejdren” with dreads, lives a simple life that attracts others by its peacefulness. In this way Rasta spreads its roots. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been impressed by the simplicity in which they live and the little talking that they engage in.

Lately I am sick and tired of hearing myself talk and I feel like action is lacking. What good is talk but to brag to our peers about how much we know?

One of the Rasta’s interviewed in the book says that men from Babylon love to be intellectual and are not lead by spirit (or intuition or whatever you wanna call it). While Rasta’s have a natural tendency to be led by spirit, otherwise known as Jah to them, hence they have an innate ability for rhythm, poetry, etc.

A while ago I decided that I didn’t want to read philosophy anymore because I realized that all of the abstract ideas coming into my head were cool but useless. In other words, nothing brought me closer to a feeling of peace or understanding of myself or my surroundings. I never could swallow religion either. But now I am getting closer to some kind of understanding which is derived, or rather a part of, everything I’ve learned.

Most all religions or ideologies strive. And in their striving there are moral truths like not killing and stealing and the sort. Not all encompass the idea of guilt for sins but all have some way of determining good vs. not so-good. For me it has been a search for peace, as in not having anxiety. Moreover, my anxiety feeds by a general feeling of not so-good for the way I am living my life.

I think that what has made me feel good in life is when I am in control of my emotions and actions; when I am in tune with myself and able to make clear and good choices; when I am not bound by things or vices tugging on my will power for control.

When I got tattoos, I really put a lot of thought into their meanings. And even now I have forgotten them as they have become part of me like an ear or a finger that you don’t notice ‘cause it’s always there. But the message of “will power transcends fear” is still clear in the writing. The Hindus have a term called “Maya” which means illusion. They believe that things on earth that cause us to feel desires are simply Maya and that they do not fulfill us.

All I really want to be is in control of me most of the time, to control my emotions, my actions, my whims and cravings, but not in a militant and totalitarian way. The ideal would be to have control of myself in a peaceful and loving way that does not negatively impact the people around me but instead radiates a positive image much in the same way that a Rasta would be intriguing to a ghetto youth looking for hope.

Does any of this make any sense? I have been churning ideas in my head lately and they all involve liberation of self in both a spiritual and physical form. I want to create my own life as well as have a moral and spiritual fortitude that is not swayed by either peer pressure or my whims.



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