As I continue moving forward on several old projects and a few quite interesting new ones I feel it must be time to express a bit of my vision for this work and where I hope it will take me. Such a task seems quite easy in concept although it can be incredibly difficult in practice so please forgive me if I fall painfully short this time around. The challenge of accurately conveying my deepest thoughts and feelings into human language continues to surpass my abilities even to this day. So in that light, please bear with me as I do my best to express myself in these most interesting of human times…
A vision must naturally begin with a dream. Our dreams allow us to leave the world we perceive around us and visit our ultimate imaginative manifestation of what it could be. All of us were born to be dreamers and our dreams are as unique as the individuals creating them. We dream of things like a good and purposeful career, a warm and loving family, a stable and safe environment to raise our children, and sometimes a way to change the world. Our dreams are colored by our experiences and created by our imaginations. They are powerful things and can lead us through love to the greatest good or, if treated carelessly with too much attachment, to our ultimate psychological ruin.
My dreams for this world have always been bold. I see our multitude of complex problems in these times and dream of a world where we learn to make them irrelevant, only a small facet of our much greater unified human experience. As a soldier, I have spent my life investigating, understanding, and practicing the art of war, and yet I dream every day of a world free of this most destructive of human tragedies. I dream of a time when war is so far outside of our human consciousness that its very concept is almost incomprehensible and its stories are relegated solely to the pages of our history books. I dream of one day raising a family into a world where my children can grow in love and understanding of the infinite possibilities available to the human race in a time where the universe is once again full of wonder amazing realities. I dream of a society where learning, growth, and love are valued above and beyond the accumulation of wealth, power, celebrity, and the darker yearnings of the human ego. And I dream of playing a major role in turning these dreams into reality.
In order to develop our dreams into anything more than mere fantasies of our consciousness we need to take the time to develop knowledge. We begin by learning to know ourselves. We set a reference point where we can fully understand who we are and what we have experienced. My entire adolescent life I knew that I would become a soldier. And my entire adult life has been spent manifesting that reality. I came of age in the time of America’s endless war. I have seen my closest friends scattered across all corners of the globe. I have paid my dues in long hours and longer weeks preparing for and going to war. And I have seen first-hand the systems and structures perpetuating this era of endless human conflict. Yet I have also spent time in the company of some of the brightest and most powerful minds and hearts of my generation, and through this I have caught glimpses of our truly unlimited human potential. Though I have been through and experienced every dark corner of my soul, I can still feel the light lying just beneath the surface.
Knowledge of yourself is only half the task however. You cannot know one completely without knowing the other. Therefore, the next aspect of knowledge involves taking the time to see and understand the world as it is. There is no easy way of doing this and unfortunately I know of no short cuts at this time. You must do your research, challenge your assumptions, and shake your most deeply held beliefs. You must follow every rabbit hole, investigate every lead, and remove yourself from the crippling grip of fear. Some places you will go are quite dark. Some aspects of our human reality are not very kind. And so you must develop the maturity to investigate without attachment, to witness them without becoming a part of them.
I have spent a considerable amount of time digging through the darker rabbit holes of our human reality. I have spent many a long night trapped in humanity’s cave of shadows, and there I have found the very worst of our human possibilities. Yet I have also found an almost unimaginable degree of hope. Even in the darkest alleys of our experience I have found the prevalence of human good. And I deeply feel that I am on the verge of finding a true roadmap to making my dreams a reality. The path has not been easy as no quest for knowledge can be. Yet I now understand that love and unity are truly the resonant frequencies of our experience and there no limit to our potential as we learn to harness their power.
The final aspect of vision is turning knowledge into wisdom. Human wisdom is simply knowledge at practice and therefore it involves operationalizing your understanding and putting it into action. I honestly have not gone far enough into this stage yet. Though my head is full of knowledge, my heart still lacks the wisdom to bring it completely into experience. Yet I feel on some deeper level that I am both in the right place and headed in the right direction whatever that may be. While I have no idea how long I will continue to wear this uniform or call myself a soldier, I know at least that I am spending my days with good people and continuing to build strong relationships both on the job and away from it. My external connections continue expanding and I can feel many of the seeds I have planted long ago just beginning to spout and seek the light of day. And I have begun to feel the incredible power of love for all my fellow human beings as it manifests with in my heart. I understand that the key to ending our endless wars is found only when we begin to feel true peace in our own hearts. Before we change the world, we have to learn to change ourselves, and from there, the rest appears quite simple.
My life has been a constant struggle towards realizing my dreams while vanquishing my inner and outer demons. Though this experience is far from over I can finally see many of the pieces beginning to fit together. The journey has been a wild and interesting one and I am truly thankful for every experience and every relationship I have shared along the way. To develop a vision you need to start with a dream. It must be built on a foundation of knowledge and operationalized through the practice of wisdom. From there, it’s time to get to work. “Peux ce que veux. Allons-y!” (Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Let’s go!). In Love and In La’kesh.
16 NOV 2013, 0030(L), Raeford, NC, USA