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
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.  


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2021: A Life of Virtue’s Greatest Hits

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I started this blog in 2019 as a way to explore topics and ideas that interested me. It was my attempt to search for meaning, and to connect ideas of philosophy, spirituality and psychology to the issues that we face in the modern world.

Connecting with readers and engaging in discussions with the readers and fellow writers I met along the way is the icing on the cake.

If you attempt to discuss deep philosophical ideas with family or friends, at a party per say, people will usually think that your a bit odd or peculiar. Some will laugh with bewilderment, thinking that you are just trying to ‘pull their leg.’ Others will usually try to change the topic of conversation or quietly escort themselves to the bar.

After all, what can be better than a strong drink to take your mind of the existential predicament of human existence? Make that a double shot of whiskey please.

So, I am grateful to you dear reader for taking the time to read my articles. You make writing these articles a whole lot more enjoyable.


Here are my top 5 most read articles in 2021 based on viewership:

1. Expanding Circles: Spiritual Exercises as a Bridge Towards Cosmopolitanism: A reflection on the interconnectedness of life on earth.

2. The Polarization Series: A Look at our Moral Foundations A look at how to have more constructive dialogues with those who you disagree with.

3. WonderA poem I wrote on awe and wonder I find in the natural world.

4. Lessons from Taoism: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times – Key themes and lessons from the ancient philosophy of Taoism- naively summed up in one sentence “just go with the flow.”

5. Hope – A poem on what keeps me grateful and optimistic in times of uncertainty.


Have a happy and healthy new year. Here’s to a 2022 filled with mindful reflections and engaging discussions.

Best Regards,

Andrew


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The Web of Love

A reading of my poem, The Web of Love
The shell of my selfish egotism begins to crack 
What emerges is vulnerability, tenderness and openness -
The possibilities for self-actualization

I enter into a real, an authentic relationship, with the world
I give my gift with gratitude, opening the gates to joy and to bliss

The path to aliveness, the road to true love, presents itself

The "I", the self, slowly vanishes as 
I join with all beings 
in the web of life

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