Gooooood Morning SuperForest!
I am having an amazing and thrilling year so far! How about you? You having fun? I do hope so…
In the past few months a lot of changes have taken place in my life. Changes that thrill me, scare me, and provoke me into action, reflection, and growth.
In the past few months, I have:
Gone on food stamps. (part One, part Two)
Suggested that SuperForest should be declared a religion.
Helped kill, butcher, cook, and eat a pig.
In short, it would seem that I have lost my mind.
The relative silence of the majority of the writers on SuperForest speaks, I believe, of a sensitivity to the choices that I have made, and the ideas that I’ve injected into the zeitgeist.
I totally get it.
Here’s what happened.
I moved to Kauai last April to begin the Zero One permaculture node. Because of the incredible generosity of my patron and dear friend, SuperForester Jesse, I have been able to spend a great deal of my time here tending the land.
One of permacultures main ideas is PATO, or “protracted and thoughtful observation.” Engaging in PATO at Zero One meant a lot of sitting and observing the land. Getting to know the energies that flowed through our two acres. The wind energy, the sun energy, the bird energy. The trees, the flowers, the “is-ness” of Zero One.
Because my job was now to get to intimately know the land, I spent a lot of time looking at the things around me, walking around barefoot, doing some weeding, picking fruit from the trees, listening. It was a life full of input, yet free of the distractions that had cornered my thinking when I lived in New York. I didn’t watch TV. I didn’t get the internet hooked up. I stopped reading the news and magazines. I saw no billboards. I heard no music that I hadn’t specifically chosen. No advertising trickled into my ears. I done fell off pop culture, son!
It felt fantastic! And what happened was that by observing the land and the cycles all around me, I slowly got to understand that there was a landscape and energetic cycles within me.
Free of distractions, my attention span began to change. Free of much noise, my hearing also began to change. I noticed voices and thoughts and feelings inside of me. It felt like something within me was being reborn, simply because I was paying attention to it.
(image via Melissa Snyder)
There was a garden inside of me, and this garden was a mysterious and over-grown place that I hadn’t ever explored. I had the time to PATO two landscapes! One external, and one internal, and BOTH my environment.
In my internal garden, I found that much junk had piled up. There were rusty old hub caps, tires, plastic bottles. All were ideas and conditioning that had been handed down to me. I was able to observe these things and in paying attention to them, speaking about them to the people around me, I was able to process them out of my system. I started to work at clearing my inner garden of much junk and many weeds.
This process is ongoing, and will continue forever, I hope.
What I came down to is this:
I had a lot of judgments inside myself.
I was very afraid.
And what I judged the most, and was the most afraid of was…
My ideas, my passions, my moods, me. The me that was actually ME, and not the conditioned me, not the “molded by my society and class and education” me. The me that was full of love, aloha, and was not afraid to try and try again. The me of the heart, and not of the head.
I was straight up afraid of that me. What would happen if I actually said and did what I was thinking? What if I was free to express myself, and make choices, all without any fear of judgment? What would my friends and peers think if I really started playing with ideas and language and thought patterns the way I had always wanted to?
I had to know.
And so I got to work on freeing myself from judgment. It has been hard and interesting work, and I’ve found thoughts inside my brain that totally astounded me. But the work is addictive! What else am I taking for granted that is taking away from my truth? There is much exploration yet to do, and I am so thrilled to be able to do it.
I have found a happiness and a level of self expression that I never dreamed possible. I live in a paradise surrounded by beautiful people, and I get to spend my days creating art. My art is thought. I create ideas.
I believe that all humans consciously manipulate the world around them to achieve self-set goals. Forgive me for my bluntness about engaging in this game called life. I thank you for playing alongside me!
My name is Jackson Nash. I am an artist. My medium is thought. I create fun and interesting ideas, and I share them free of charge with you. Because in my heart, I feel a great love and admiration for my fellow human beings. I want you to be happy, as happy as I am. I want you to feel free, as free as I feel. And I feel like if I am happy and sharing ideas, then the part of me that is you will be happy and sharing ideas.
And so, you are.
We are all doing an amazing job being ourselves. Each of us is exactly in the very best spot possible, calculated for maximum personal growth. When I stopped judging myself, I stopped judging others. This leveled the playing field in my mind. Now, instead of a hierarchy, with me “above” or “below” other beings, I was on a lateral equal level with everyone.
With this new equality in mind, I found that when people reacted to my posts about food stamps, or religions, or any number of things I have said and done that could have caused offense, I was firstly very happy to have found a receptive audience for my ideas, and secondly able to take nothing personally. I didn’t mind at all how people reacted to my ideas, I was thrilled that they had reacted at all. The reactions caused me to think and consider, but did not cause any offense.
Not that I don’t care what my friends and family think, or how they are affected by my choices. Indeed, I have ended my participation in Kauai’s food stamps program, in part because of the negative effect it had in the minds of the people I love. But love is love, and fear is fear, and I am finding it very easy to differentiate between the two voices. If the people around me react with love, then love is the truth, if they react with fear, and fear’s little friend anger, then that is the truth.
Much of the choices and thoughts I have previously made and considered were dictated by fear and anger. Jealousy, resentment, and separation all working hand in hand. When my people react to the news of my being on food stamps with fear and anger, do I try to help them see that they are viewing the world through this fearful and angry state? Or do I bend and capitulate.
In this case, I bend and capitulate. And slowly, with love, and maximum aloha, I try to fix the part of myself that created these reactions. For when I fix faulty lines of code in my Operating System, the world around me gets better and brighter and truer.
In my new mind state, I am working on becoming un-offendable. To achieve a heartspace where there is literally nothing that any other human being could say or do to me that would cause me emotional distress that I didn’t choose to experience. I want to be so centered in my truth, that even If someone decided to kill me, I could view it in the moment as an interesting ending to this already amazing life. What impact would my murder have on SuperForest? On the world around me?
I’m not saying that I want to be killed. I’m saying that I know for certain that one day I will die, and I’ll be gosh-darned if I’m going to spend my time living in fear and judgment of my fellow human beings, which boils down to living in fear and judgment of myself.
When I was able to re-direct the energy that had formerly gone into judging myself and judging the world around me, I found a new fountain of inspiration. And this new inspiration lead me to make some very interesting choices.
I have never been happier, and never felt more grounded in the truth of the love and aloha that I am. I am having so much fun.
And what really tickles my tightrope is that I get to have these experiences, and think these thoughts, and reach these conclusions, and then I get to share them with you. And then my ideas stick in your brain. :)
I will make you a deal. When I am living a life of effortless perfection, subjugating no one, harming nothing, in perfect harmony with my ecosystem and actively creating a brighter future for my children, when I achieve that state, I will do you the honor of sharing with you my judgments of you and your life, but only if you ask me to. Until then, I have much work to do on myself.
I am full of hypocrisy, contradictions, silliness, weakness, fear, bullshit. And I am also full of fun, wonderfulness, compassion, love, joy, and expression. And so are you. We are all in this together. Let’s treat each other nicey nice.
Don’t be afraid to share.
(Top and bottom images courtesy of Casey Brooks!)