I Fell In Love Once and Once Was All I Needed
By: Francisco Dosal
He drove down to the lake like every other Sunday. No longer for a swim or to talk to the locals who, after Sunday mass, loved taking out the grill and drinking down some “cold ones.” Instead, he now drove his truck around the lake watching the sun slowly disappear until, after growing sick of driving in infinite circles, he stopped and lit a cigarettes as he stared at people grilling or at whoever was swimming in the lake. A smile would sneak its way in and he thought about jumping in the lake or joining the local grillers like he once did. But he caught himself and dismissed the ideas. He could not return to that lake. He had too many memories there. He felt as if he returned alone, he was accepting something but not knowing what that something was bothered him.
He remembered coming to the lake. Waving at everyone as they returned from Sunday mass. He could smell the charcoal as it traveled up his nostrils, it always made his stomach growl with hunger and after laying their blue blanket under the green summer grass a small mist would emerge. Their mouths would water as the aroma of BBQ travelled in every direction. They would always swim for a short time and would walk over to however invited them to eat. After eating they always left, and she would always forget her sandals somewhere near the lake. It was not until he was ready to pull in her street when she would remember.
“I fell in love once and once is all you need right?” he thought as the sun started to sink underneath the Earth.
His cigarette was near its end. Flicking it out into the pavement he lit another. Someone yelled in excitement as they cannon balled into the lake. He remembered jumping in that very same spot as he held her hand.
“I don’t’ want to move on,” he thought as he exhaled the smoke. “If I do. I will probably grow to love her as well but than what is the point of love? If I can grow to love anyone than love does not exist. Then I never loved her. Meaning it was a lie. Meaning love is a lie. Than what is love?” His mind raced with thoughts and ideas, hoping he could answer that question but nothing ever came to mind. He finished his second cigarette as a couple stepped out the lake. He did not know if it was disgust or jealousy but his stomach flipped up-side down.
He drove around for another lap than broke away from the infinite circle. Driving down the road, he could almost hear her giggling and the smell of her coconut conditioner, which he loved so much. He looked over and hoped his eyes would play a trick on him. He hoped he would see her for just a second. Sadly, he saw an empty spot in his truck. He sighed as his throat tightened up. He felt regret inside. He wished he was braver against love. He wished he would go back in time but he could not. He would have to redeem himself in some other way.
Entering the main road, he grew agitating and furious at his cowardly character. He was scared, scared because he knew that the love he had for her would now eventually disappear and he would date another and all this would be another memory. He now wanted to love once and only once.
It was all this useless thinking that had ruined his relationship and here it was again ruining him like it always did. His mind continued to race and without noticing, he was slowly pressing down on the gas and accelerating his speed.
The road was dark and misty but he could see the street that still belonged to her. He grew angrier because now he would be passing the street light that lit green.
“Babe, I forgot my sandals,” he heard a ghostly voice whisper. He was going 85mph when he made a sharp U-turn.
An ambulance showed up to a wrecked truck. It was so demolished they could not make out the exact year or model. Two men rushed to the scene. A body was found inside. He was faintly breathing but breathing nonetheless. Managing to pull the individual out without doing any harm they saw a bloody face and his torn shirt.
“No,” the body said painfully but neither of them could hear his weak voice.
He didn’t want to be taken anywhere because he felt that he was ready for whatever came after life. He had loved and been loved. What greater joy could this world give him. He faintly smiled knowing he would die side by side this love and not watch it faintly disappear and be replaced by regret, hate, and pain.. If only he understood this earlier. Understood that she was his first love and that letting her go because of fear was a horrible mistake.
“Liz,” he said. They heard him.
“Don’t worry well contact her now,” one if them said.
He awoke days later in a hospital bed to the familiar scent of coconut. Looking over he saw Liz sitting next to him.
I’m no valley girl or someone who can not live without a phone but I saw something poet and artistic as I stared at my now broken phone and wondered why I did not want it replaced.
I think everyone agrees that their phone describes them or that a phone can say a little bit about a person. and if someone’s looking to add more of who they are to their phone, they can buy designer, colored, and or whatever kind of protector case. (I’ve even seen a cow case). Your phone is your medium. Just as the canvas is to a painter.
I have left my phone without a case for some time now. I want to say because I wear my heart upon my sleeve. subsequently it eventually fell and the screen cracked horrifically. I thought about replacing it, since I have insurance, but for the first time my broken phone reflected me a bit. I don’t’ know if its emotionally, spiritually, or something else but I always have felt broken. Running my finger across my phone screen. I can feel the sharpness of the glass and it describes how I refuse the affection of others. Perhaps this is why may leaves their phone damaged. So, I like my phone more than I did before and with its broken screen I think it makes a good rebel and fashion statement.
At the age of twelve, I smoked my first cigarette, drank my first alcoholic beverage, and was associated with gang-affiliated individuals, an easy lifestyle. That same year my mother told me, “Las puertas pal dismadre siempre estan abiertas.” At the time I had no idea what she meant, “The doors to chaos are always open.” That same year my family and I crossed the border into The United States. Hungry and having drank all the water, the sentence played over and over as I walked endlessly.
As I lay on the ground one cold night, the wind no longer blew against me. It blew through me. The ground’s vibration no longer tickled my back. I now shook with the world. I found myself between life and death. One understands a lot more when ready to cross over. Ironic, is it not? But I lived, and crossing into The United States I said I would create something out of noting. I did not want to be the next rapper, singer, entrepreneur, or the next star. I would go to college, join the army, or just simply join the labor force.
That is what most young immigrants dream of. Sadly, in the end, it is nearly impossible. Politicians believe we are convicts transporting drugs for cartels. What better life would I have if I worked for a cartel? What is better than respect, money, and power? An honest life! So, rather than a dishonest and chaotic life, let us join an honest nation and contribute to society and become honest men through education, fraternity, and/or through the labor force. Yet again, we are stopped by schools we cannot attend because we lack the money and political support. We are not born citizens so we cannot join the military. All we can do is work and try to do the best we can to make something out of nothing while others claim their jobs were stolen.
Preventing young immigrants from further education and, despite the fact that we have loyalty to no other country, forbidding us from joining the military leaves us cornered, defenseless. Without the options or possibility of living an honest and better life, we are left but to live as criminals whether we want to or not. Working under a false SSN is a felony and driving without a license is a crime. The basic tools for living are luxuries to us. Every step we take is a crime as we are undocumented immigrants. Some will turn to crime as the doors to chaos welcomes them with loving open arms. Others continue the struggle to justify their existence. I am not asking for immediate immigration reform, but when innocent eight-year-old children are crossing the border alone for a better life, something must be done. Pave the road ahead and guide them away from the wicked. Ignore young immigrants and those with horrible intentions will adopt them. The children come because they need help. If young immigrants continue being ignored, or worse, attacked by angry mobs, the doors to chaos will engulf them.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. The more I say it, the more it loses it’s value. Basic economics. Quality over quantity is always better. I think, a man should say it once (I’m no woman so I can not speak for them) and that’s when he realizes it. So, anyone can say “I love you,” but not everyone can turn love, a word, into action and into existence. And true love, in my opinion, cannot be found. Instead, it is something created as partners walk side by side, till the end. The irony, you won’t know if it was true love untill the end.
Nativism: Ideas Within
By: Francisco Dosal
An individual is taught how to communicate, how to calculate mathematical equations to predict outcomes, and through the practice of a religion is taught how to worship a higher being. But what if these very teachings of communication, mathematics, and the belief of a higher being are actually preexisting ideas that all human beings possess during birth without the need of any foreign influences? The philosophical theory nativism suggests that even without any form of teaching an individual is born with innate ideas. A definition for nativism is as followed: “the belief that the human brain is capable of spontaneous or innate ideas that are not derived from external sources” “nativism.” Nativism explains an individual’s mind is capable of producing subconscious thoughts and ideas without the influences of others, as opposed to empiricism that suggests all ideas, knowledge, and facts derive from external experience and foreign influences. Nativism suggests that ideas are within an individual from birth and claims that regardless of foreign influences or external experiences; an individual will produce innate ideas and gain knowledge. In Charles Seife, Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, he explains what sounds similar to nativism: “Not even knowledge can be created out of nothing, which means that all ideas- all philosophies, all notions, all future discoveries- already exist in people’s brains when they are born” (Seife 95). An individual cannot be taught to think, thinking for any human beings comes naturally, and although every human being is not born with the same ideas, all individuals do possess the innate idea to communicate, innately create a system to organize and group individuals and objects, and the idea of a higher being.
To this day much there is much speculation of how the human race obtained the ability to create a system to communicate. All human beings are born with the innate idea to communicate with one another. Oral languages, sign language, and body language are different patterns of the innate idea to communicate with another human being. The idea to establish or create a form of communication is innate for every human being. It is vital for survival. Therefore, regardless of an individual learning a proper language or not one will create a form of communication due to the innate idea. The human brain has a section in the left or right hemisphere, depending whether an individual is left or right handed, where communication data is stored. Having a proper station in the brain where communication data can be stored proves that the human brain has the potential, or rather a preexisting purpose, to create or learn a form of communication regardless of being exposed to external influences like English, body gestures, or the American Sign Language (ASL). Take for example: during the time a child is inside the womb of a mother; the child cannot be taught how to communicate before it is exposed to a form of communication. Although, the child cannot speak a language until it is out the womb and taught a form of communication; the child in fact communicates with the mother by using verbal noises and hand gestures. The child’s crying may be attempting to explain to the mother it is hungry or needs a diaper change. As for a hand gesture like opening and closing its fists indicates it wants to hold someone or something. The child is born with the innate idea to communicate in whatever fashion and the mother simply guesses what the child is trying to say. It is not till later the child is taught a proper language or a form of communication that properly explains it needs and wants. All individuals during their few months into the world have the innate idea to communicate with others. Regardless of being taught a form of communication an individual will create some form of communication. Just an individual regardless of being taught calculus could potentially learn it.
Without being taught, an individual’s mind innately arranges data and groups objects and individuals. This ability cannot be taught, it is simply done. An individual is not taught to group objects together, one’s mind does it on its own without noticing. In Charles Seife’s, The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, he explains that prehistoric human beings would count into groups such as binary and quinary groups. He explains, “From theses fragments, researchers discovered that Stone Age mathematics were a bit more rugged than modern ones. Instead of blackboards, they used wolves” (Seife 6). He continued to explain “Archaeologist Karl Absolom, sifting through Czechoslovakian dirt, uncovered a 30,000-year-old wolf bone with a series of notching carved into it” (Seife 6). It is not clear whether the carving indicated the days or the amount of kills the prehistoric man committed. But, it is clear that mathematics was and still is within an individual’s mind without the need of teaching. If one is asked, “what kind of car would you like to own?” The mind automatically precedes data that are relevant to the question, such as: types, models, and years of a specific kind of vehicle. The mind does not proceed with useless data, such as: kinds of desktop computers, locations, or what he/she is going to eat later on the day. This ability to group objects and individuals eventually evolves into mathematics. One may state that mathematics is not innate but is an ability taught from teacher to student in a mathematics class. If this was true, than who taught the first human being to add and subtract? The simplest form of math is when the mind arranges objects and individuals into categories adding individuals into categories or subtracting objects. As this system becomes more complex than just grouping two objects together; mathematics, geometry, and calculus arises from the simplest innate idea of grouping and processing data. Complexity starts with simplicity, one cannot start calculus without understand addition and subtraction and as a child and through adulthood, an individual will forever encounter numbers and learns that nature itself is governed by numbers. For example the golden ration is the blueprint for all of nature’s aesthetic creations. The idea of arranging information like a database cannot be taught; an individual does it every day without realizing it and when an individual encounters a question that logic and reason cannot answer; the innate idea of a higher being becomes the answer.
Christianity, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, and others have been established in attempts to rightfully worship a higher being and or beings. Some suggest that the word of mouth has brought the teachings of religion into today’s society, but who is responsible for the idea of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion? Who was the one to open their mouth first? As a child, and into adulthood, the wonders and beauty of the universe have encouraged an individual to ask himself, “Who is responsible for such creation?” The universe is not able to teach nor could it force an individual into worshiping a creator. And without any external influences, an individual naturally worships a higher being. In G. W. Leibniz, New Essay’s on Human Understanding, a character Theophilus debates with Philalethes that the human mind possesses the innate idea of a higher being; he explains, “God came in that way from a very old and very widespread word-of-mouth process; But it seems that nature has helped to bring men to it without anyone teaching them: the wonders of the universe have made them think of a higher power” (Leibniz 16). It seems to be the desire for an individual to worship a higher being for bringing forth the universes existence and even life itself. For example, some early civilizations, like the Egyptians, worshiped the sun as their higher being. As opposed to the darkness and cold conditions of the dark; the sun provided them and the rest of the world with a sense of security, warmth, and the possibility of life. Eventually the sun was made into stories and began to symbolize a higher being and even symbolized as hope. An individual is not taught the idea of hope although it is done naturally. Hope is a form of faith and faith is the belief and complete trust in someone or something. Whether it is the sun or another idea of higher being, the idea of a higher being is an uncontrolled ability, taught or not, and individual practices it. Whether one accepts or denies the idea, it is completely upon the individual.
An individual’s ability to communicate with another, the skill to establish a system of organizing data, and the idea to worship a higher being are in fact preexisting ideas inside the mind of an individual. Regardless of being exposed to foreign influences or external experiences an individual possess this knowledge. Some may state that nature teaches or experiences give the human mind the knowledge, but it is one’s personal interpretations of one’s nature and experiences that uncover inner knowledge. Without these and others basic innate ideas the possibilities of bringing forth future ideas become impossible to reach. By denying simplistic innate ideas one denies the stepping stone into complex thoughts and ideas. Complexity starts with simplicity just as the first stone eventually became the Great Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China. One has the answers to the universe within without even knowing. All the knowledge is inside waiting to be uncovered, waiting to be hacked and released. Intelligence is within every human being.
Idea. Dictionary.com. Web. 29 January 2013.
Leibniz, G.W. New Essays on Human Understanding, trans. by Peter Remnant and Jonathan
Bennett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 74-88.
Nativism. Dictionary.com. Web. 29 January 2013.
Seife, Charles. Zero the Biography of a Dangerouse Idea. Penguin Group Inc. 2000.
Existentialism: Do You Exist?
By: Francisco Dosal
An existentialist is an individual who exists naturally and not through what religion and government considers right and civilized. It emphasizes an individual should not make decisions based from legislative institutions, governmental laws or religious’ beliefs. These forms of organizations have established what is morally and ethically correct. And in following their views we are granted freedom and promised a holy land for one’s cooperates. An existentialist does not live civil in accordance to any legislative institution for rewards. Instead, one is honest and living accordingly to their authentic institution. In hopes a more natural world would arise. Sadly, this remains a vision and dream as individuals continue to exist through the fundamentals of a foreign legislative institution. Living through the idea of what another thinks is an ideal life is, is not living at all. One’s calling will never be discovered. For example, one cannot discover one’s essence if the individual exists through the laws of a government and not the laws within. The moment an individual is exposed and influenced by any legislative institution, one becomes factitious rather than human. So break away! Live through what is within and live what is essential to the heart! But along the journey, as an existentialist, one must be responsible for the actions and the repercussions that follow after one’s genuine nature. A definition for existentialism is as followed, “opposed to rationalism and empiricism, that stresses the individual’s unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices,” “existentialism.” So why does one not commit more natural actions? Actions not based on a church’s or government’s morality? In the end, we fear responsibility and turn to a guide. A guide that one eventual fears by disregarding all that is within. And so, by vanquishing our ideals one is preventing the universe from evolving forward into whatever it is naturally meant to become. An existentialist believes that preventing an individual from committing natural actions, whether good or bad, prevents the universe from becoming its true natural state of being. One must not fear the actions their bones want to perform. One must not hold back the words the tongue desires to speak. One must not fear the essence within! For a life lived with fear is denying existence itself. Live the morals that guide you or take responsibility for an unnatural factitious world. Live what is righteous within and encourage others to do the same. For laws do not and should not create mankind’s ideal on what an ethical life is. Instead, mankind creates its own. And as an individual exists naturally throughout life, the law will also grow naturally. So mankind should not fear a factitious legislative institutions. Instead, one should guide it so that we may see a more natural growing society.
So, the question is: what is an unnatural legislative institution? As mankind first rose to its feet, naturally some sort of legislative institution was established to keep peace. Groups of individuals created simple laws in order to keep mankind safe from injustice. Sadly, these legislative institutions eventually become tainted by the forces of greed and control. So should civilizations create legislative institutions if in the end they are poisoned? In today’s society, mankind fears their legislative institution. An individual can look into any religious or into any form of government and will notice regulations of laws that command an individual on how to exist rationally in an irrational world. Christianity, Catholicism, Islamism, Judaism, and every other religious organization that has taken form in this world, has many purposes in our society. One, of course, is to guide an individual throughout life with what they declare is morally correct. These morals and ethics are not suggested to any individual. Instead, are rather implanted through fear, a tool proven powerful throughout history. Morals and ethics should not be forcefully bolted into an individual’s mind. An ethic is obtained as an individual experiences life and sees what ethics best fits their character. For example, one individual believes it is right to take food from others in order to provide for a family as opposed to an individual who works for food. Neither is wrong nor right. They simply have lived differently and as one should, live by what is believed necessary. Therefore, it is clear many have different views on what is ethically correct. A definition for ethics follows, “moral principles that governs a person’s behaviors” “Ethics.” So one is the ruler of conscience. An individual’s ethics are not to be forced unto life by another force. Ethics must be created by one’s personal law and like any law, some eventually must be re-written or abolished. Like the individual who stole for food no longer sees it ethical and now gained a job or the individual who worked for food may see it is easier to steal. Mankind would constantly be moving, learning, and adapting, if the fear of punishment would not interfere.
The fear of a higher being has kept an individual from properly existing in the universe. Fear, throughout human history, has kept society from naturally growing from what it is, into to what it could become. Fear itself keeps an individual from establishing individuality and authenticity. It keeps an individual from following their conscience. Sartre states, “As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become” (Sartre). An existentialist cannot exist in the liking of an unnatural institution. An individual must establish what they claims to be rational decisions, despite fear of punishment. Until then, an individual is not natural but rather spurious, making one a nonexistent being. To exist in this universe an individual acts upon ones natural instinct, never applying the laws of any government or religion into their lives. One simply acts. As Sartre explains in his speech, Existentialism is Humanism, “Man will only attain existence when he is what he purposes to be” (Sartre). An individual who lives and interacts through the perspective of legislative institutions does not have an honest conscience. Instead, the conscience mind that one carries within is the offspring of laws governed by greed and control. No longer does a society of conscience men create laws, but instead are now being molded by their very own creation. Man has indeed been created in the image of God. Sadly, a God created by unconscious men. An individual should abide to only one God. And that is the God that dwells within. In the end no law can be sacred but the laws one abides by. No institution should be created for it will be tainted as others drink from it. So live naturally and exist.
To exist in any universe one must interact others as they do the same. So the question is: what does it mean to exist in this world? A definition for existing follows, “Be found, especially in a particular place or situation” “Exist.” It means to be found in a society, found in a particular place in the world, and be present in a particular part in history. But how can anyone be found in a society, in a particular place in the world, or present in any part of history when individual’s existence resembles another? To exist, an individual must prove the presence of someone or something. In order to do so, the something or someone must be found in a particular place in the universe. If an individual was enforced to wear a mask produced by the legislative branch it lived by, no individual would ever be discovered. One would look just as similar to the rest. Most individuals in today’s society exist in the image of a legislative institution, disguising one true essence with that of a religious or governmental mask. Therefore, individuality does not exist and nor does mankind. An individual must exist without a mask, manufactured by a legislative institutions. And so an individual must take the mask off and proudly declare their existence. They keep an individual from finding one’s nature and pursuing one’s individuality and discovering one’s ethics of laws. Anyone or anything that exists naturally does not abide by the nature assigned to be considered right. Instead, they exist in whatever fashion and in whatever purpose they purpose. As Sartre explains in his lecture, Existentialism is Humanism, “Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself” (Sartre). An individual should not exist in a fashion that does not fit comfortable. There is no right way to live, there is no right law to live by, and there is no right legislative institution to base one’s ethics. There are only an individual’s instincts to act upon that allow one to live naturally, and then can an individual truly exist. A member of the existentialist movement, Friedrich Nietzsche says, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist” (Nietzsche). Nietzsche explained that there is no right and correct way to live. And it is true. The right way, the correct way, and the righteous way of living cannot be found. Therefore it does not exist. One moment in history legislative institution establish a law as righteous, yet years later it is declared horrific and unhuman. For example: In 1619 the first African was brought to America and enslaved by force. It was believes slavery was righteous and the only way America could grow economically. The greed for money and power cause the American government to create an unnatural law that declared slaves as property and nothing more. It was not until 1865 that the Thirteen Amendment declared slavery wrong and a horrific idea. One cannot exist by blindly accepting what a legislative institution considers is right and correct for they do not nor will ever know.
So live freely. Start by breath and walking in your own fashion. Grow confidence in your convictions just as others in the past did. Jesus Christ, Leonardo Da Vinci, John Lock, Albert Einstein, Marin Luther King, and others for example did not exist through what their institutions declared as the right and correct way to exist. Jesus Christ broke out and spoke his truth. Leonardo Da Vinci was the first to practice and document anatomy, knowing the practice was illegal. Through the belief of John Locke’s natural born rights; he influenced the American Revolution against Parliament. Albert Einstein broke away from traditional physics and gave birth to modern physics. Martin Luther King went against his government, demanded justice, and sought to bring forth a brighter future. All these individuals, and others, brought forth change through their nature and not through the nature of their legislative institution at the time. Human existence cannot advance forward without breaking the laws of expired and or manipulated legislative institutions. So break free and change the world by simply living in the fashion desired and whatever the outcome one must remember to take full responsibly of the repercussions that follow.
Existentialism finally explains that whatever the outcome is in the decision made from natural or unnatural being, one must now take full responsibility for one’s actions. Through existentialism, the individual is held responsible for their action, whether good, bad, genuine, or not, one must take full responsibility for its outcome. Whatever is caused due to the existence of the individuals, one is responsible. One must understand that the actions of an individual do not simply occur and vanish the moment one walks away from the scene. An individual must realize that existing in any way fashions mankind. So it is best to exist honest and natural. Just as John Locke’s fashion of natural born rights, fashioned mankind and influenced the American Revolution. He must take the responsibility that his beliefs caused the deaths of lives during the American Revolution.
Good, evil, right, and wrong are words and nothing more. The universe is neither good nor evil, it simply is. The universe simply is and so goes for a human being. Whatever an individual chooses to live by, one must live it passionately and take responsibility for its repercussion. Because, society does not change, and mankind does not simply adapt. It is the actions of an individual that causes society to become what it is.
Ethics. Dictionary.com. Web. 5 December 2012.
Exist. Dictionary.com. Web. 5 December 2012.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Brianyquites.com. Web. 5 December 2012.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism is Humanism. World Publishing Company. 1956. Print.
Transcendentalism: Who Are We?
By: Francisco Dosal
Transcendentalism is a spiritual philosophy that emphasizes the importance of an individual. It encourages an individual to uncover his/her true inner thoughts and beliefs; it emphasizes the importance of self-reliance and encourages one’s confidence in his/her own thoughts and convictions, rather than depending in social opinion. It suggests that social opinion corrupts one’s true spirit; murders individuality and poisons our nature. Transcendentalism guides an individual to separates his/her convictions from society to awaken a spiritual revelation within; a revelation of divine truth. Now, an individual does not have to go far to achieve separation from society, through simply living by his/her own convictions, maintaining self-reliance, and ignoring society opinions. An individual can achieve perfect solitude in the center of society. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in an essay, Self-Reliance, “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude” (Emerson 17). Accepting what society defines as truth and righteous keeps an individual from questioning society and himself; blindly conforming into society only imprisons the mind and slowly kills individuality. As any artist begins to compose a piece of artwork, he/she must compose with freedom and originality. The artist must compose free from society’s opinions and compose whatever dwells within. Picasso and Dali disregarded reason, traditional artwork, and criticism. They composed in their own interests, fashions, and likings. They did not paint for society’s interest, they did not paint in the same fashion as others. If Picasso or Dali were influenced by some outside reason, traditional painting, and influenced by criticism, Picasso may have never created “Guernica” and Dali would have never created “The Persistence of Memory.” They did not blindly conform into composing what society defined as true art; they did not imprison themselves from their true natures and so they created actual original work. The individual, and in this case painter, should escape society and escape into the dark void that is his/her mind. Just as Picasso and Dali ventured away, so must be with all those searching for themselves. One must venture away from society’s truth and discover one’s true nature. Through transcendentalism an individual discovers his/her true nature, beliefs, and genius. But before one can discover who he/she really, one must as the question: Who am I?
It is human nature to question the world around us and to question ourselves; these questions eventually lead to the discovery of answers that define an individual. But society has painted us with its colors without permission and without ones knowledge. An individual who never questions and accepts the perspective of what cultural, government, and religion defines at right from wrong, rather than the personal perspective of his/her conscience, is an melting pot mixing the ingredients of many chefs. The influence of cultures, governments, and religions, manipulate the thoughts of an individual into self-corruption. Self-corruption causes an individual from questioning and simply accepting what is considered right from wrong and this action causes the individual from venturing into his/her own conscience mind and discovering his/her own truth. Society’s truth is simple; it is to keep an individual depending on society opinions and influences. It is to keep an individual from becoming self-dependent and to keep an individual from the questions, that even without a definite answer, sets them free. The questions that surfaces genuine morals and ethics. No culture, government, or religion institution should establish ethics; ethics are established through what the individual considers necessary. There is at least one law that does not fit to an individual’s fashion and so with or without intentions, laws are broken.
Humans unintentionally are law breaker. Humans are and will be flawed sinners. It is unlikely an individual’s true nature is in fact culturally, politically, or religiously based. But how would an individual actually know without questioning first? He/she must question him/her self first then establish his/her true nature afterword. They must not declare their true nature as a cultural, political or religious people and not provide the reason why. To simply declare to the world, “I am because I’ve always been and will always be,” is childish and immature. This individual had disregarded that to be human one must grow and continuously be enlightened. Without continuously questioning ourselves first, how can we declare our-selves the cultural man, the Politian, the religious man, or anything? True nature can only be discovered through questioning cultures, government, religions and most important our-selves. He/she who allows society to influence him/her self will never discover his/her true self. It is a habit that must be done and has been done by some of the world’s most influential minds.
Throughout history many great sinners and rebels have made a great change to society; ironically they are not called rebels today but philanthropists, heroes, and prophets. They gain these titles not due to conforming into what society claimed as right. And by doing so they had changed the world. For example, Leonardo Di Vinci ignored the church’s opinion in studying the human anatomy and continued his work, disregarding the consequences that would follow if he was caught. Leonardo followed what he believed was not right but followed his true nature, as a curious man. He continued his work and followed his curiosity by sketching a human’s heart, fetus, vascular system, and much more. He accepted his true nature and disregarded social opinion and by doing so he pushed society forward and made major contributions in the medical field. No longer is he known as a singer but as a philanthropist. So what are rebels? Parliament declared John Lock, George Washington, and Franking rebels; they are now declared heroes. They questioned Parliament and refused to accept what it stated as right and instead followed their true nature as free thinking men. Jesus Christ was crucified because he went against what religious men believed in. He taught what he genuinely believed was right. In Henry David Thoreau’s essay, Civil Disobedience, he questions society’s religion and government capability to judge an honest man from a wicked man, “Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?” (Thoreau 97). It seems society has not fully grasp a conscience mind to declare what is right from wrong. Therefore an individual has no one else to look but within; just as Leonardo De Vinci, John Lock, Washington, and Jesus Christ did. And in doing so only then can an individual actually experience true freedom.
An individual is constantly seeking ways to obtain a sense of freedom from the world and so an individual dwells into the unfamiliar world in search of knowledge and freedom; an individual, not only seeks physical freedom but a spiritually and mental freedom. Just as an individual imprisoned in a cell for life can no longer enjoy physical freedom, he/she can still experience a spiritual and or mental freedom. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “so far as a man thinks, he is free” (Emerson 177). If the mind of an individual can venture from traditional thoughts and into outside thoughts; the individual discovers buried thoughts of treasure, undiscovered ideas and freedom. An individual with the capability to think is freer than he/she can truly understand. I once was young and was curious of what knowledge the world had to offer; I hungered for knowledge. I discovered and entered a world that I believed gave knowledge and hoped would also give me freedom. Society referred to these individuals as pot smokers. However, at the time, I referred to them as enlightened free spirits. So I entered there world, soon to be enlightened with teachings, I would soon teach to others. I entered this world just as Henry David Thoreau entered the woods: “see if I could learn what I had to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived” (Thoreau 8). I entered the world to see what it had to teach, hoping it would show me the true essentials of what is needed in life. I entered hoping it would free me from needless wants and empty desires. I hoped, in the end, I would discover higher knowledge and true freedom. Sadly, I gained no freedom; I was instead confused rather than free, I felt imprisoned, shackled to the substance, imprisoned in false enlightenment and given a temporary sensation of freedom. I left to see what other source could provide me with true enlightenment and permanent freedom. I left just as Henry David Thoreau left the woods. “I left the woods for as a good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one” (Thoreau 9). I did gain knowledge from their world but as a living soul I had to see what else was out there.
The soul must move and forever move for it is not a dead corpse. It must live and live with motion. An individual must venture off into the unexpected world and uncover knowledge. If an individual simply lived one lifestyle and viewed the world through one perspective, he/she must be a dead corpse. And like a dead corpse, the body will no longer move. One must move and see the sunrise from a sea, mountain, desert, rainforest, and everywhere in the middle. One should not grow comfort in standing still. Henry David Thoreau explains, “Perhaps if I had lived there much longer, I might live there forever” (Thoreau 9). I have escaped many things before I became comfortably trapped with many lifestyles and once more I venture into the world with freedom, learning from those willing to teach and from myself. In order for an individual to live a life worth teaching, he/she must have some knowledge worth listening to, right? Some wonder where is knowledge gained and how does one realize he/she has gained it? Knowledge is simply gained through living more than the one lifestyle. He/she must see to it that it is not spent living only in what he/she already knows. An individual must not only venture inside their minds, but he/she must also explore the world he/she is constantly walking. He/she must interact with life’s teaching and not fear mistakes or errors. One must acknowledgment their errors and mistakes and not allow them to hold them back from living a life of self-reliance. For the mistakes and errors in an individual, are the reason human beings mature and gain knowledge. So embrace errors as your teacher and not a part of history that needs to be erased. Embracing them, one is now more enlightened and this can only lead to being more self-reliant. But denying them, will one than begin to rely on others and so starts ones slow self-suicide. Emerson said, “The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency…..why drag about this corpse of your memory?” (Emerson 177). As human beings are known to naturally be flawed and make mistakes, an individual is also responsible so that he/she must learn from his/her mistakes. The individual must also see that he teaches his/her lessons to the world. And not fear being misunderstood.
Regardless of being misunderstood and declared wrong, an individual must rely in inner knowledge, original genius, and private opinion. A transcendentalist does not rely in government for guidance or in society’s opinions in personal affairs. Instead he/she relies on what they believe right. It is important in transcendentalism to believe in ones genius. Emerson gives an explanation of one’s opinion and genius, “Is it so bad 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” (Emerson 20). Being wrong does not provide the universe with a useless opinion; an individual’s opinion, questions society’s constitution that lead to spiritual revelation. As this enlightenment spreads, society as a whole begins to change. Even the smallest possible sign of unconformity and resistance against what is considered right awakens society’s conscience. Even the smallest of rebellion and disobedience is a good start for society to move forward. Due to a shared perspective, it may spark an individual to look into a different perspective that may later cause an uprising. As Henry David Thoreau explains, “For it does not matter how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever” (Thoreau 99). Society cannot move forward without the individual sharing his/her private opinions and expressing every opinion that dwells in his/her heart. I have taken every opportunity to speak my truth, not fearing judgment or the possibility of being misunderstood. It I truly believe in it, I proudly will not change it. My private opinion is what allows me to escape from society and into freedom.
A transcendentalist, regardless of judgment, believes the truth that dwells within the heart is also righteous, not only for an individual, but for mankind. Therefore an individual must refuse allegiance to what he/she refers and believe to be the wrong doers, as well as refuse the smallest possible form of support to the improvement of what is believed wrong. I was asked a question once: How can one improve abandoning babies. The question specifically stated that I had to provide an improvement and not simply answer: babies should not be abandoned or anything of that matter. I simply could not support the idea and improve its fashion of abandoning babies. The question did in fact leave thinking and questioning my own convictions. I asked myself, do I lend myself to the wrong and answer it or ignore it. Henry David Thoreau explains one should not contribute to what the individual believes is wrong, he states, “What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn” (Thoreau 97). So in result, I decided not to answer the question, but I could not leave it unanswered and blank. So I responded by explaining why I could not answer it. I stated that abandoning babies is wrong and explained the wrong in abandoning them; I explained, by simply permitting as well as improving this action allow humans, specifically teenagers, to continue childish and irresponsible acts that allow the possibility of future careless sex. My answer was indeed right and the question was wrong through the eyes of a philanthropist. I would rather be convicted wrong than give up my convictions. But what is wrong from right? Emerson gives a good explanation on the subject that can enlighten the matter, “No law can be sacred to me but that of my capture. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it” (Emerson 14). The question went against all that I believe in being righteous and divine; I could not allow my answer to contribute to this machine of injustice human acts. The question went against my constitution; therefore, I answered it in my fashion and not in the fashion that fir the questionnaire. By refusing to answer with a relevant answer and instead expressing my beliefs, I felt a sense of freedom. The freedom of expressing inner thoughts, regardless of whether I am right or wrong. I would rather do everything wrong and feel freedom against my face than be right and feel shackled with what is wrong. Not every individual can be right but must also be wrong in any kinds of fashion. Just like every transcendentalist cannot entirely base his life perspective through transcendentalism.
Some may claim me non-transcendentalist in not answering the question and not being able to think beyond my boundary, as well as not exercising my freedom to think. I cannot support the idea of abandoning babies or any idea that I know is wrong. I have, as I have explained, an own opinion. How far does a transcendentalist go to obtain experience and enlightenment? Must I experience murder, treason, or anything of that fashion in order to obtain more knowledge and enlightenment? I cannot do everything right when in the perspective as a transcendentalist. My opinion may not always be accepted and considered right in the eyes of society or to other transcendentalist, but if I did everything as one, wouldn’t that defy the purpose of being a transcendentalist? The very purpose, states an individual must discover his/her true nature, never allowing to be influenced by society’s opinion, even transcendentalism itself. I must find my reason of my actions and possibly my definition of a transcendentalist, as Henry David Thoreau says, “Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion” (Thoreau 117). I may even declare myself a non-transcendentalist, but does it truly matter if I do everything in my power to do right by transcendentalist’s fashion? Just as much as I have the power to do anything or everything right, I also have the power do everything wrong. As Henry David Thoreau explains that not every man can do everything right, he says, “A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is necessary that he should do something wrong” (Thoreau 98). Perhaps one day my opinion will change, and I will give an opinion in how to improve the action of abandoning babies, although until then, I gladly stand by my convictions and wait to be enlightened. Possibly, instead, I will enlighten myself and see how immature and ignorant I was, but until than I must defend what I believe today and for whatever new idea I believe tomorrow. I will re-write my work and my beliefs just as Henry David Thoreau did. Some claim he himself was not entirely a transcendentalist.
A transcendentalist sees to it that he is one with his neighbor and believes that the state should respect an individual if it was his very own. Transcendentalists believe that every man, is to be respected regardless of being misunderstood. It believes that if a system would become evil, it would be a peaceful revolution that would be taken into action, not a violent one. Just as Henry David Thoreau believed in simply civilized disobedience, he says, “All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government” (Thoreau 92). So would a transcendentalist, during the abolitionary movement, ally him/herself with James Brown, commit murderous crimes, and promote the idea? A transcendentalist is one with nature, one with himself, and one with solitude. Henry D. Thoreau ignored his beliefs during the abolitionary movement of peaceful revolt and approved, even promoted, John Brown’s violent methods. John Brown’s method were sadly violence and murder. This was his perspective and his ideal way to cease slavery from the United States. Although many recognize Henry David Thoreau for his essay, “Civil Disobedience,” a transcendentalist’s ideals of a peaceful revolution, he would himself support those who committed violent crimes, such as James Brown. Editor Joseph Wood Krutch explains, “to this day students of Thoreau differ widely as possible over the question whether his championship of John Brown was a betrayal of his principles…of his faith in nonviolent methods” (Krutch 18). Thoreau was an intelligent individual. Thoreau knew the difference between a violent and peaceful revolutionist. He had the capability to differentiate between them. John Brown, a violent rebel who would murder those who did not agree with his opinion was compared by Henry David Thoreau to Jesus Christ. Henry David Thoreau says, “Some 1800 years ago, Christ was crucifies; this morning, perchance, Captain Brown was hanged” (Thoreau 18). Any individual would know that Jesus Christ himself did not change the world with violence but instead in a peaceful fashion. Henry David Thoreau did not look entirely in the transcendentalist perspective, just as I did not look into the perspective that a child should be abandoned. So in conclusion, a transcendentalist must eventually peruse his/her own opinions and path, disregarding what is expected of him/her. Transcendentalism is but a tool used by an individual in his/her own liking and fashion. It is used to better understand and accept ones true nature and genius. A teaching in which encourages an individuals’ desired to gain knowledge and eventually peruses other affairs with a sense of self-reliance.
I have discovered transcendentalism and practiced the art of it in every perspective of life and in doing so. I have gained freedom, enlightenment, and truth. I have separated my convictions from institutions, separated private opinion from society, without fear of being misunderstood, and I now rely on myself. I am not in fear of being labeled wrong. I know within that I shall not lend myself to whatever goes against my constitution. I have spent my days in the solitude of my mind, never conforming to any lifestyles that society offers. And in the dark solitude of my mind, I have discovered a divine truth of freedom that now illuminates my world. I am happy with having discovered my truth of freedom, my true opinion, and my true nature. As Thoreau states, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth” (Thoreau 90). I want nothing more than the truth or rather my truth and the truth is, I am no transcendentalism, for becoming one, I believe, defies the very purpose of nonconformity and discovering his/her true self. I am no transcendentalist or anything else others may now me as for I am, in the end, Francisco Dosal.
Emerson, W. Ralph. The Spiritual Emerson. New York: Penguin Group, 2008. Print.
Thoreau, D. Henry. Walden and Other Writers. New York: Bantam Classic reissue, 2004. Print.
Krutch W. Joseph. Walden and Other Writers. New York: Bantam Classic reissue, 2004. Print.