A Love Letter to the Mad Ones

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The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

A Love Letter to the Mad Ones A Life of Virtue: Philosophy as a Way of Life

An audio rendition of my poem, "A Love Letter to the Mad Ones" 
I turn my heart towards the mad ones, 
those who reject the temptations of conformity and the allure of sameness. 
 
They venture into the wild and carve their own path. 
They walk into and embrace the darkness, without any direction home. 
They follow the burning light inside of them, their torch ablaze, 
illuminating the cave to new ways of being. 

'Zombies, zombies everywhere!' they whisper in my ear with caution.
Nothing terrifies them more than the 'cult of normal', they tell me.  
These humans, they say, are pre-programmed with a similar code, 
with identical thoughts, goals and aspirations. 
They are stamped, dated, and come off the assembly line in a timely manner. 
One after the other after the other.   
 
Mass production.
Cookie-cutter hearts, 
Cookie-cutter minds, 
Cookie-cutter souls. 

Let us not forget that the trailblazers throughout history, from Socrates, Jesus, the Buddha and Gandhi, were all initially dismissed by the conformists, the dogmatic masses. 
We laughed, scolded and persecuted them with our childish arrogance.  
It is only in retrospect in which we fully appreciate their greatness. 

Blessed are the weird ones!
Let us turn our hearts to those who have no shame in living out their authentic selves.

So I tell you, dear reader,  
throw away the script, 
corrupt the code, 
follow Truth, Beauty and Goodness wherever it may lead you.  

Embody courage, 
Live as a free-spirit, 
But more importantly, be human - all too human.  


Source Image: Pexels Free Photos

Ramblings on Personal Sovereignty

I aspire to be an independent thinker. One who adheres to a clear set of authentic principles, and can hold their own against the tyranny of the majority.

I long to be free from ideology and dogma, free from the imaginary boundaries and limitations of this group or that group in the time of the culture wars.       

Why should I pursue endeavours purely to appease others or act in a way contradictory to my nature?

A term I feel particularly drawn to during this time of chaos is personal sovereignty. As Jordan Hall describes it,

Sovereignty is the capacity to take responsibility. It is the ability to be present to the world and to respond to the world — rather than to be overwhelmed or merely reactive. Sovereignty is to be a conscious agent.

To me, being a sovereign individual entails being in the driver’s seat – being in control.

It means having the awareness and insight to be able to cut through the noise and find the truth in a world that is increasingly politicized and divisive. 

That is not to say, I must reject conformity or social norms at all costs. Rather it is to use discernment and reason to act on the most logical course of action.

This has become increasingly difficult in a time where corporations, the media and politicians are constantly fighting for your attention, dollars and votes.  

Who to believe?

Who to trust?

Where can truth be found?

My hope is that the practice of mindfulness and Stoicism will allow me to see things more clearly, as they are – from an objective standpoint. To not be thrown around emotionally by the headlines, but have greater control and autonomy over my reactions to external events.

It is difficult to flow against the grain, to risk being wrongly accused and be viewed as an outcast. However, this is what a commitment to Truth requires. As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us,

Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance