Since it looks as if I'm reaching the limits of the thread I started about how beliefs and belief systems solidify and enhance the ego, causing it to surround the mind in a self-limiting bird cage, I would like to make some suggestions for diverting the mind from the cares and tragedies of daily living in this topsy-turvy world. I suppose some mystic would encourage us to sit down in a lotus posture, pop our eyes out of their sockets, and stare into space night and day. But there are much better and effective ways to train yourself not to torture your mind, thinking about the secret power organizations on earth, pole reversal, The Illumaniti, pollution and other environmental problems; political leaders, wars and rumors of wars, economic injustice, and so forth and so on.
A famous Mexican sculptor, whose name I have temporarily forgotten, says that the key to world peace and understanding is for each person to take up a hobby or pastime, such as his profession of sculpture. He must endeavor to devote himself sufficiently to this hobby or pastime, in order to become an authority, if possible.
There's really nothing you can do to change the world effectively all by yourself. You can't make much of a dent in it, for everyone has his own ideas about what must be done. All they'll do is pressure you to do things their way. The past mistakes of mankind can't be unraveled either. Most of the time, when we try to unravel them, we just make them worse. You can't fight the whole world all by yourself, but there's a lot you can do to divert your focus on it to something else.
If I were back in my native Kansas, I would do what I always did back there when life started getting screwy. I'd just go fishing. This is what I mainly did when I came back to visit my parents from Mexico, finding myself forced to contend with my mother's hopeless drug addiction. Some people like the thrill of casting with a rod and reel. That was my dad's main thrill in fishing. I got my greatest satisfaction from just fishing with a pole and cork bobber. It was great fun watching that cork bob up and down, hoping that what was biting it was not a turtle, frog or crayfish. Fishing reinforces our ability to develop the qualities of patience and hope. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities to go fishing in this California desert. However, there are opportunities galore for collecting rocks and polishing them.
Many people wish that they had taken up a musical instrument in their youth. There are a number of musical instruments, easy to play, that can give one a lot of personal satisfaction. I have a friend back in Kansas who is an expert with the recorder. Where string instruments are concerned, the mandolin can not only produce some beautiful music, it is easy to learn. For woodwinds, even a retarded person can become expert on the oboe. Recently, I read an ad in a magazine for senior citizens, about a guitar-like instrument that produces sounds electronically. One just moves his fingers up and down on the guitar "mastil" (I've forgotten the name in English). The advertisement assures everyone that within a few minutes he can produce real music that would take years to master on other instruments, such as real guitars. I myself am not at all fond of electronic organs, for one is not really playing such an instrument, he is just playing at it, much like little girls playing house.
I have a retired friend who is a mathematician. He devotes himself wholeheartedly to collecting and studying succulents, especially the Yucca and variations of the Joshua tree. He has become such an expert that he has found hitherto unknown varieties, getting them named after him. He has the world's largest private collection of such succulents. People have come as far away as Germany to see his magnificent collection which is now probably worth a fortune.
Many people take up crafts, but they often soon bore of this type of activity. Stamp collecting may not occupy much of your time. Try to choose a hobby or pastime that will occupy several hours of your time daily. After all, the cares of this world come in extremely long time lapses!
When I retired, I took up the lifetime study of India's influence on the ancient world. This study led many on many different paths. One was the mystery of why so many places on earth have the same name: Khyber; Khaibar; Iberia (really Kiberia in ancient times); Cyprus (really Kifre), Hibernia (really Kibernia); Hyperborea (Keeberbara); Hebrides (Keber-desa); Gibraltar (Keeber-al-tar); Keweena, Mich. (Keveena); Quebec (Koobek), Canada; The Great Cobar in Australia; Baboquivari Peak in Arizona; Quiburi (Keeburi), Az; Quivira (Keevira), the name the Phoenicians gave to North America. There are hundreds of these names scattered all over the world - more than 40 in Brazil alone! Sometimes, one finds such names as Guate as in Guatemala, or Coahila, Mexico because some tribes could not pronounce "T, K, V, R." I was also astonished to learn that the Phoenicians gave these places such names wherever they went to mine for copper, gold, and silver, for wherever you find that name, you find mineral wealth. When I was trying to find out from where this name Quivira originated, I had to go into the writings of the old Spanish priests and conquistadores. One day, I found out that there was an old Spanish pamphlet about a nation of Quivira in the Spanish archives in Toledo, Spain. I wrote them, asking for a copy of this pamphlet. They said they couldn't send it to me, but there were copies in the University of Texas, at Austin. I wrote them, but they said they could not send it. So focused was I, I actually decided to drive all the way to Austin, spending at least a thousand dollars on the trip, to read a pamphlet that could be read in thirty minutes. However, at the last moment, the university librarian agreed to send me a copy for just fifteen dollars. Some readers may be astonished to find out that I did this research, not to get rich, but for itself alone! The research also led me on many other interesting routes, all leading back to the same source: Khyber! I then had iUniverse print the book I wrote about my research, so that someday, when people finally accept the fact that the Ancient Indians first explored and peopled the world, they can start from where I left off.
When my wife and I went to visit the ruins of Gran Quivira, NM, we decided to also visit the ruins of nearby Quari (a variation of Quivira). There, we saw some English tourists engaged in bird-watching and photographing. It was heart-warming to know that they had crossed the Atlantic ocean, just to study the birds of New Mexico. I'm sure that if anyone asked them, they would have said that torturing their minds with world conditions they couldn't correct was not their "cup of tea."
I can suggest many other excellent pastimes and hobbies. Just choose your star and aim for it. Don't torture your mind any more with conditions that aren't going to change just because YOU want them to. Only children cry, pout, and stomp their feet when "Mama" won't pay any attention to them. Just change your focus.
Gene D. Matlock