Baby steps into the future…
A wise man once said, “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug!” Now, I wouldn’t know this from personal experience, seeing as how I’ve never tried the stuff myself, but Charlie Murphy seemed super freaked out by the effects it apparently had on loved ones in his life. Appearances can be deceiving, however, as truth is shaped through the lenses through which we perceive the world, as well as our relationship with it. After attaining enlightenment the summer of 2014 I began each subsequent school year with a lesson for my students on non-judgement and the inherent fallacy of mankind’s continual attempts to define ultimate truth when it comes to the nature of existence. I created a fantastic PowerPoint filled with quotations by historical figures, optical illusions, breathtaking photographs of nature and the cosmos, then printed off a copy of Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” which we read aloud together as a class. So, you know…pretty much the same way every high school Spanish teacher starts the year.
Hopefully those reading this caught the multiple tongue-in-cheek remarks made in the introductory paragraph, but as I write this I am eminently aware that for a plethora of reasons some meaning will be lost on many, if not all, readers. Everything in life is a negotiation of meaning, as all that is exists as energy in motion in an interdependent dance with all others since the dawn of time, concurrently in this present moment, forever and ever, Amen (or is it Om?). Anyone unfamiliar with Chappelle’s Show will most likely have misinterpreted the opening lines; unless, of course, they didn’t. Perhaps they’ve seen the sketch on YouTube or had a friend shout, “I’m Rick James, bitch! Fuck your couch, Nigga!” Others have zero idea how much time good teachers spend on prepping their classes beginning on the first day. Even fewer probably truly understood the aforementioned energy discussion, but any physicist worth a damn (E tu, Syb?) should understand the first law of thermodynamics. Consider this essay an attempt to assist my friends, family, et al. better understand not only me but the process of enlightenment, as well. Believe whatever you wish to believe. This is simply a story about us.
The Man Inside Me © Dr. Tobias Fϋnke
I’ve delayed writing this, even though I’ve known more or less what I’ve intended to say, for a while due to the simple fact that I’ve been unable to come up with a way to adequately articulate to everyone that I believe myself to possess immense wisdom to share with the world without coming off as arrogant. And I mean that more sincerely than anything. The reason being that I’m actually quite modest and humble on account of my being raised properly by the two best parents anyone could ask for. Their only real sin is being blind as a bat to the fact that their son has been a genius his whole life and fighting with me whenever I attempt to bring up my potential to enact great change in the world for the benefit of humanity. This isn’t really a crime, however, as it never even occurred to me until after my awakening to a higher state of consciousness a few years ago. Before that I only had a great self confidence in my abilities as a student and always knew that I could accomplish great things if I set my mind to truly accomplishing them; something I gleaned from my own personal successes throughout life. Attending a small Lutheran school kept me out of the gifted/honors tracking program until reaching public high school where I first kicked my feet up and set things on cruise control.
Finally out from under the spotlight at St. Peter created by having my father as a teacher/coach/AD I began to focus on socialization knowing that academically I was fine and that I had never really had to learn to make friends coming from a graduating class of 28 students, most of whom I’d known since kindergarten. It never even occurred to me that I was anything special, and if anything I continued to downplay my intelligence by always ensuring high marks without pushing to be the highest grade in every class so as not to end up getting my ass kicked. Also, the ladies didn’t seem to flock to the bookworms. I rarely did homework but still excelled in AP and honors courses throughout high school and was accepted into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 27 hours of college credit and a 32 on my ACT while also being an All-Conference volleyball player and member of the choir and musicals. I was also an extremely talented musician (trumpet/drums) as a youth but gave that up after freshman year of high school due to philosophical differences with the band director. I realize that many have matched and/or surpassed these benchmarks for “greatness” in various forms, but I would take this moment to remind you all that I’m not attempting to prove myself to anyone nor do I believe myself to be better than others. I only bring them up to support my claims that I’ve found success in any avenue of life I’ve determined important, and with relative ease, in order to bring up our collective misunderstanding of the term “genius”.
This is nothing new, though, when one understands time as a cyclical as opposed to a linear concept. It’s been said that those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, which is an attempt to remind us of the recurrent nature of existence. This is never more apparent than in fashion and music trends, but it is ever true of political, economic and religious cycles, as well. I strongly recommend “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell for a more thorough and enjoyable explanation of these philosophical ideations. Whatever “truths” we believe to be self-evident become so blurred due to the babelization of language over time that we become stuck in idle just looking at each other in a zona pellucida, blowing ourselves over our accomplishments, waiting for Superman to come save us from ourselves. This is spoken about in Genesis 11 and repeated in spirit in 1 Corinthians 13:9-12; “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” I have found myself returning to this verse repeatedly since my awakening, as I believe the enlightenment process is exactly what Paul was attempting to describe in his letter.
Hey…It’s Not Your Fault
The first step is admitting that we have a problem, but it’s comforting knowing that humanity losing its bearings and losing the meaning of the teachings of the masters, and even the meanings of words themselves, has happened and will continue to happen over and over again throughout time. One of the greatest hurdles to progressing together as a planet is that no one wants to cop to being the ones to have gotten us into the clusterfuck of issues that we currently have as Americans, locally, as well as globally. The global elite prefer finger pointing and mimicking the seagulls from Nemo “mine…mine…” as their ships sink, as opposed to fulfilling their obligatory duties/responsibilities by protecting our constitutional rights, guiding us clear of icebergs and looking out for those less fortunate than themselves. I prefer not to view these men and women as bad people, just good people performing evil deeds i.e. allowing the perpetuation of suffering of others where it is unnecessary and able to be rectified with a little common sense and elbow grease, just inconvenient for their bank accounts to do so. Right now we have the technology and global resources to put an end to starvation, homelessness, and maladies of various forms wholesale, not to mention the need for a massive overhaul of our political and public education systems for the benefit of humanity and to avoid probable pitfalls for us all moving forward.
So why do these horrors perpetually persist? By believing that their existence is even necessary, for one. It’s our party, we can do what we want; it’s our party we can say what we want. After all, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind if we fix our broken systems. The former was Hannah Montana if I’m not mistaken, but the latter has been attributed to a number of individuals. I don’t want to misattribute the quote otherwise potentially incur the wrath of John Oliver and his swarm of flying monkeys, and I’d really hate to have to publicly bitchslap one of my idols, but it’s something I’m ready to do if that nearsighted parrot banker even thinks about fronting. I prefer to attribute it to Dr. Seuss, but it may have actually been Dr. Zeus, but he’s just a fictional primate, unless they’re both actually the Greek god Zeus, but then again, what is truth? I know that I probably just lost a few of you (finally…don’t let the door hit ya where the Lord split ya) but Aristotle put it very succinctly: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.” And I’m not quite sure how to put this, but…soy un poco un asunto importante…la gente me conoce…soy muy importante…tengo muchos libros de cuero y mi apartamento huele de caoba rica.
I had just said goodbye to the love of my life; not because I wanted to and not because it felt right but because it was the right thing to do for us both at the time. Our relationship had resorted to tears, fighting and apologies due to neither one of us knowing what to do anymore as we were stuck in an incredibly difficult situation. I was putting on a brave face for her, but I was barely hanging on, just as confused, lost and scared as she was. Neither one of us was happy, but losing our best friend was the last thing that either one of us wanted or needed at that time. After mustering up the strength to let her go I spent the summer pondering existence. When I say that people will automatically assume that I was contemplating self harm or suicide, but it was the exact opposite. I had been extremely fortunate to land my dream job teaching and coaching at one of the best high schools in the country two weeks into my student teaching, surrounded by some of the most dedicated and loving coworkers, students and families any teacher could ever ask for. The only thing missing, from my perspective at the time, was a wife to settle down with to start a family, so I had been focusing all my energies during my twenties on finding that girl. After losing her the last thing I wanted to think about was moving on to another woman so I chose to take a break from women for a bit and started listening to a lot of Coldplay.
In all seriousness, I decided to take the summer to rededicate myself to self-improvement and getting to know myself better. Who am I really? I had never taken the time to ask myself these types of questions before. I began playing the guitar more seriously, something that I had picked up in college in an attempt to rediscover my passion for music. I also began to read more and watch more documentaries/biopics as this helped me relax and focus, and most importantly, aided my healing process. One night I was Netflix and chilling…alone…watching a documentary on how the universe works and something peaked my curiousity. It was explaining how everything in existence is essentially stardust and in a moment I simply understood…everything. For anyone who’s ever seen the movie Phenomenon it was very similar to John Travolta’s character’s experience in that film (minus the telekinesis and hopefully the tumor…). It was the most beautiful moment of my life. I just sat there shaking my head, tears flowing down my face, struggling to comprehend how in a moment I suddenly just “got it”. Everything made sense from that point forward and I began to operate like Neo, just absorbing information from everything I glanced at. I would have a question, grab my tablet and five minutes later I’d have fifteen open tabs on my Chrome and a complete understanding of highly advanced theoretical concepts. There has been an awakening…have you felt it? Such is the process of enlightenment, at least that’s how it all went down for me.
Some yogis and Buddhist monks spend their entire lives attempting to attain the state that I had stumbled upon by accident, something known as a spontaneous kundalini awakening where one’s crown chakra opens like a thousand petalled lotus. Immediately my senses began to improve, specifically my eyesight, in addition to an increase in my sensitivity to subtle energies. I’ve thought about how to describe this Jedi-like capability to feel the Force (or Chi, Prana, Ether, etc.) before realizing what Einstein said best: “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.” So here you go…it’s like following the evolution of video game consoles and controllers. We started off with a simple joystick and Pong. Next we moved to Mario running across a 2-D screen using a simple NES controller with a D-pad and a couple buttons. As we advanced to the N64 we had a much more accurate polar axis for our joystick with Goldeneye, where the character is moving around in omnidimensional space, but that feels like ancient technology compared to what we have currently with the XBox One and Playstation 4 with extremely precise dual joysticks. For all you gamers out there, imagine you’re at a friend’s house and grab his controller which has the sensitivity turned all the way up to the highest level and attempt to play Halo when you’re used to more novice settings. It’s not that you can’t function at that level, necessarily, but you really need to slow the process down and make more subtle adjustments to the controls otherwise the world starts spinning rapidly and you’ll end up in a corner like Big Tuna playing Counter Strike for the first time.
At this point I’m probably down to about five readers, so let’s consider this a new starting point, or zero point (or checkpoint…a temporal marker). Everyone, thing and event in existence must be looked at as its own singularity while acknowledging A) it was influenced up to that point by the universe acting upon it, B) it acts upon the universe by its own free will, and C) every moment moving forward through time has the potential for change (i.e. growth/decay/nonaction). Let’s call this concept the Trinity, or 3-in-1. Growth is life, or light, or the sunny side, or Yang. Decay is death, or darkness, or the shady side, or Yin. All sentient beings are neutral conscious beings or spirits, the lens in the middle distinguishing between the two halves of the same coin. Even simple seeds understand that drawing in light (Solar/Lunar) while grounded and rooted in the material plane (Earth) can lead to potentially limitless growth, so why can’t we? After all, luminous beings are we, not this crude matter…
Wisdom Over Intelligence
The catalyst for my enlightenment was gleaning this intelligence about certain universal truths from that documentary on the universe (and Wikipedia), but the kindling leading up to that was the wisdom that I obtained via the emotionally traumatic events precipitating that discovery. The main point that I was missing in life was truly understanding free will. From my perspective she and I were perfect for each other in every way and I had every single thing mapped out completely for our life together, but it took me ultimately leaving her to decide for herself which path she wanted to choose before I wholly understood unconditional love. Don’t get me wrong, I thought I knew love, and what it all boils down to is that love is the only thing that truly exists aside from fear. All choices we make in life stem from either love or fear, but it’s only those two. No one ever wants to admit to being fearful, but a denial to admit to having fear does not make one strong but foolish. Courage is not the absence of fear but the determination that something else is more important than fear. I was terrified to let her go but I was more afraid of forcing her into a decision that she was clearly not comfortable making at that time. Yoda said, (and before anyone says anything Star Wars was based on Joseph Campbell’s writings and Eastern philosophy), “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” We were both afraid of making decisions because we were aware of the consequences of our actions and truly loved one another so we chose inaction instead, but our fear eventually led to us both suffering which was why I ultimately decided to break both our hearts and let her go.
Dante Alighieri, an enlightened cat as Joe Maddon would put it, said that the darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality during times of moral crisis. Sometimes it feels easiest to just sit back and hope that things work themselves out, but the reality is that it takes action on the part of those capable of making changes, and we are all capable of achieving the unimaginable, especially when we work together. That’s what makes this moment in time such an exciting time to be alive. Not only do we have all the wisdom of the greatest men and women throughout history in our pockets on our pornography/texting devices, but we have the social networking in place to enact massive changes to our planet in real time. I always point to the ice bucket challenge of yesteryear as a beta test for our collective love and growth potential. Overnight the entire world was showing how badly we all wish to be a part of something bigger than ourselves to truly make a difference in the world for the betterment of society moving forward. On the news each night all we seem to see is tragedy, but lurking in the shadows and bubbling under the surface is a volcano of universal love just waiting to erupt at a moment’s notice when the right outlet becomes available.
Everyone knows that money is the root of all evil. Jesus said comically that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. He also mentioned that said kingdom lies within ourselves and that our eye (singular) is the lamp of the body and if our eye be single then our whole body shall be filled with light. He, from my perspective, was talking about the same thing of which the Buddha spoke. Read the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7 and you’ll also find him discussing proper prayer technique i.e. meditation. One of my favorite books is titled “Jesus, Buddha, Krishna & Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings” by Richard Hooper, where you see all the wisdom of these great teachers side by side telling us the same truths that we already know: Don’t be an ignorant asshole and give enough of a shit about yourself and others to be an informed, attentive and active participant in this game called life. We each have an obligation to either A) work towards making the world a better place for our children and future generations or B) shut the fuck up and stay the hell out of our way, with “our” referring to people who aren’t ignorant assholes and give enough of a shit about ourselves and others to be informed, attentive and active participants in this game called life. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt and there are far too many women and children suffering right now for us to just sit idly by and allow Congress, big business and war for profit to continue to rule the day. We are the ones in control; all of us. I am a peaceful man trying to follow in the steps of Gandhi who chose a path of nonviolent noncompliance in order to enact real change in the world, and so are 99% of the rest of the 7.5+ billion people on the planet. All we need is to work together to find the commonalities, those ties that bind us and unify us as a free people, as opposed to listening to those preaching hatred and attempting to instill fear in order to maintain the status quo and control others for their own selfish interests. Great things are happening everywhere you turn, but I say that we can do them better and faster than we’re currently doing; I know there are millions, if not billions, of others out there that feel the same as I do.
There’s Only One Problem…
I need a job. My name is Scott Flett. I’m a pretty okay guy, you can ask my mom and everything, she’ll probably agree with me. For seven and a half years I was a well respected Spanish teacher, girls basketball coach and boys volleyball coach at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois. After attaining enlightenment time simultaneously stood still for me while seemingly flying for the rest of the world and I needed some time off to wrap my mind around a few things and figure out what to do next. I’m finally feeling ready to get back into the swing of things, and I’m excited to see what the future holds not only for me, but for us collectively as a planet in this amazing time for humanity. I have a lot of useful work skills and experience outside of teaching, but at this point I’m open to pretty much anything so long as it allows me the freedom to utilize my potential to the best of my abilities to help make the world a better place. I’m pretty good at analyzing situations and I’ve always made a good therapist for my students, friends and coworkers when needed. I was thinking maybe some form of consulting at first, but perhaps I could blend those first two into one super profession:
P.S. Contact Jason Bateman to see if he could print me up some business cards…I’m sure he’d have my back on this…ensure him that moving forward I’ll have his 😉