There’s something there
Says the mind in a rift
Says the mind as it sifts
There’s something here
Says the mind as it lifts
Says the mind with it’s gift.
The sifting, the rifting, the lifting and more,
These are all gifting us things to explore,
As our minds flit and flitter within what’s in store,
The potential of knowing the thing we adore…
Have you ever wondered about the way your mind works? How it comes to bounce around from this thought to that? How it can be harnessed and focused to accomplish a task? How it is what is, it’s what we think and all that?
I’ve spent a lifetime exploring the mind. For the majority of that time, politics were the last thing on my mind. I like to joke and say, “I never wanted to touch politics with a ten foot pole.” That’s the truth. Politics, from my former perspective, was just a shit-show of bickering about things that don’t really matter.
Beyond that, there was the bickering about how to spend other people’s money, the bickering about whether or not we should fight another war, and most especially, bickering about who gets to make the rules for everybody else.
We need leadership, I get it. Society needs some structure to function efficiently, duh. But the result of all this bickering was generally little more than fat cats getting fatter, politicians getting richer, and an ever growing steaming heap of bullshit regulations.
I would apologize for being crass, but I suspect you can relate. This is how people talk, right? When we’re hanging out with family and friends during the holidays, at least in my little circle of trust, people cuss. Period. And no one gets offended.
That said, I do try to keep the Torch Report PG for the most part, so that parents can listen if there are kids around and not have to worry. I want the kids to hear what I have to say, too. As a matter of fact, I’ve had the privilege of teaching a couple of “current events” classes to a group of high schoolers, and it’s been a blast.
The first class I opened up with, “Give me some good news!” to which one unassuming young lady wryly replied: “Well, we finally got rid of Kevin McCarthy, that’s good news.” I couldn’t help but bust out laughing, it was perfect and perfectly unexpected. As I went on to explain why I agreed that it was good to get rid of Kevin “The Schmuck” McCarthy, a younger boy chimed in: “What’s a schmuck?”
The whole thing was just gold. I did my very best to answer in the politest terms, and throughout the class to impart that burning sense that we are indeed born free, that the government is trying to trample these freedoms, and of course that, drum roll please… “The commies are taking over the world!”
Interestingly enough, in moments like that, when I’m engaging an audience, teaching a class, guiding people through a workshop or what have you, time flies by. An hour is gone in an instant, and throughout that hour there is really very little thinking. It may seem counter-intuitive, but for me, given my personality, proclivities, and personal experience, it all just kind of comes flooding out. I speak from the heart and my mind doesn’t get in the way much. I am engaged and immersed in the moment and it all seems to flow smoothly, without much thought at all.
This is what athletes call “being in the zone.” They’re not thinking about catching the ball, they’re just doing it. Same goes for warriors engaged in combat or lovers engaged in a dance. There’s no thinking in the moment, it’s just doing, and the doing just comes natural—albeit in varying degrees of success depending on practice and preparation.
Yesterday at dinner time, my family and I were talking about this sort of stuff, specifically discussing the human tendency to overthink things. Some people are more prone to suffer from overthinking than others, again, depending on personality and personal habits. But generally speaking, most people can see how overthinking things hinders productivity, feeds into stress, and leads to headaches.
Talking with my teenager, this wisdom seemed most applicable to school stuff, like taking tests and writing assignments. Don’t overthink it. Study, prepare, and when you’re taking the test, trust your gut and go with your first answer. If you’re writing, don’t wonder, “What should I say?”—just start writing. Put the pencil on the paper, or your finger on the keys, and start pecking away. The words will follow.
Have you ever wondered why that is?
Why is it that once we initiate a process—or once we engage in actually doing what it is we’re prone to get stuck thinking about doing—why is it that things just sort of flow together and unfold how they will once they’re actually in motion?
For simplicity’s sake, let’s just think of it in terms of momentum. It takes effort to get the ball rolling, but once it’s rolling it develops it’s own momentum. Gravity. Inertia. Centrifugal force. The laws of physics are great aren’t they?
NOW THEN, you may be wondering why in the hell I’m bringing all of this up, and what in the hell it has to do with the political circus, geopolitical chaos, and solving the world’s problems. In other words: “Luke, what the hell are you talking about?”
Remember my first question?
How you ever wondered how your mind works?
It’s totally normal if you haven’t, but you need to understand that some people have wondered how your mind works. In fact, over the last century or so, some people have actually made a science out of mastering how the mind works. This matters, because those who have attained this knowledge of how your mind works, are working on controlling your mind right now, each and every day, 24/7, 365, no joke.
AND, they’re using super computers and artificial intelligence to do it, just saying.
BUT, there is some good news in all of this. Long before there were scientists dissecting the human brain in search of the mind, and long before psychologists were torturing people to understand what makes us tick, there was another group of people—several groups actually—who were also seeking to understand the mind.
In fact, the people in these different groups often devoted their entire lives to understanding the mind, and cumulatively, over the course of hundreds and even thousands of years, they managed to figure a thing or two out.
That was long before the scientists and the psychologists came along.
I affectionately refer to this body of work as “the wisdom of the sages passed down through the ages,” and this too I have spent a lifetime studying. What did people know before they had the internet? What did people know before they had televisions and radios? What did people know before books were even invented?
You do realize that human beings were around a lot longer than books right?
So, what did people know before all these things came along?
May I suggest an answer?
They knew Nature.
Throughout the ages, all of the sages shared this common knowledge. It was through their observations of and immersion in Nature that pure wisdom and knowledge was deduced. Long before there was electricity and telescopes, humans had managed to calculate the movement of planets, and to me this is wonderfully fantastic. It implies that the secrets of the Universe are swirling around us all the time, waiting for the curious mind to probe the eternal enigma, learn something exciting and new, and then share this knowledge with the tribe.
It’s primitive. It’s pure. It’s special.
And it’s timeless.
Could it be that this is how we solve all the world’s problems? By being curious? By exploring the great unknown? By doing things different because, well, we’ve got nothing better to do? Imagine yourself living as people lived in the past, without modern amenities or distractions. Imagine yourself immersed in Nature.
What would you know? What could you learn? What would you do?
In reverse order, if you think about it, by doing what you had to do, you would be constantly learning what you had to know. Knowledge comes from experience. Then, in the quiet hours of life, perhaps watching a sunset or sunrise, you might consider these experiences and knowledge, reflecting and ruminating on your perpetual quest to find a better way.
Alternately, you might just close your eyes and feel the sun on your skin, smell the breeze, listen to the leaves and just be. It’s good to just be. It’s good to be alive.
This is deep wisdom. It supersedes our modern problems. The knowledge gained from the natural world transcends our technological advances. In the exact same way, our knowledge of self, understanding our own bodies and minds, infinitely surpasses all the knowledge of the modern world—all of it—and I’ll tell you why.
What is knowledge, if not simply knowing?
Where does it come from and why?
And how do we know if our knowledge is pure?
Is it not from somewhere inside?
I like to say, “we learn something new every day.” How often have you learned something that totally changed everything you used to think or the way you used to do things? No doubt it’s happened at least once or twice, right? The point is, knowledge changes. Science changes. Understandings and perspectives change. This is all head level stuff, the stuff that floats through our mind.
But wisdom is different. Wisdom is how we evaluate knowledge.
Right now the world is suffering from over-stimulation. Our minds are saturated with new facts. Our brains are burdened by an endless stream of too much information.
This may have happened by accident, but it’s no accident that this fact is now being used against us. There is too much to keep track of. Too many things moving in too many directions at too many different speeds. The result fractures our focus. It splits the mind into tiny little pieces, shattering awareness, and eventually this results in a delusional psychosis. Look around and you’ll see what I mean.
This tech-induced, over-stimulated psychosis is an inflammation of the mind. It’s quite literally “too many minds” to quote The Last Samurai. When the mind is shattered, we cannot keep track of the scattered pieces. Too many minds.
This, I believe, is the outcome of modern psychological warfare.
But you are more than your mind.
When you become aware of your mind, you can control your mind. You can learn to focus when the mind feels scattered. You can even pick up the pieces if your mind gets shattered. You can gather your strength and gather yourself up and prepare for what lies ahead.
We all need to prepare for what lies ahead.
Friends, yesterday’s report felt subpar. After reflecting on why I wasn’t at my best, the reason become perfectly clear: too many minds. There were too many things I was trying to communicate, and none of it was what I wanted to say. My head and my heart were out of alignment. I was thinking too much and doing too little.
I wasn’t speaking from the heart. Sorry about that.
That’s why today’s Torch Report is more of a heart to heart.
Solutions must start with wisdom, and wisdom comes from the heart.
Let it be known that the seeds have been sown,
Let every heart calm the mind,
Let every breath do away with unrest,
And let it be Truth that we find…
In the end the Truth will prevail.
Friends, thank you for subscribing and for joining me on this journey. If you have questions about anything discussed today, don’t be shy, shoot me an email. I know a lot of people struggle this time of year, and given all the stress in the world it’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed. I’ve got the tools and experience to help with that. Please know that I’m here to listen and happy to help—we are in this together!