It has been quite a while since I’ve posted anything here, at least a month, but I often think about it. I drum up ideas that never make it to the blog, and some of them are great ideas, but I tell myself that, in order to write something truly moving, I need some time. I convince myself that I don’t have the time, but I do. My procrastination gets the better of me, causing me to do nothing instead of doing something. I sometimes wonder if this penchant for procrastination is something that carried over from my old prison days. Is it something that just spilled over into my free life? Is it even procrastination? Maybe I’m calling it “procrastination” but it’s actually something else.

While inside I read a lot, exercised, played handball, and wrote letters to family. If I were suddenly thrown back in time to a random moment on a random day of my 9-year stint, there is a great likelihood that, upon arriving, I would find myself doing one of the four things I previously mentioned. The other thing that occupied much of my time was the studying of people in my surroundings, their facial expressions, actions, words, mannerisms, and arriving at a logical conclusion about their personality, character and life based upon the information I gleaned from “studying” them. Eventually I got to a point where I really trusted these conclusions I would arrive at. These studies and conclusions assisted me in navigating my way through that inside world.

I thought much about writing, about producing well-written memoirs and fictional stories. I read books about writing. I took an English Comp college correspondence course through Ohio University that helped to improve my writing. I wrote scenes arbitrarily, whenever the mood struck, random scenes that sounded like they could be from the midway point of a book, just for practice. I wrote rap songs, poems (just a few), letters, and I copied excerpts from books that I’d read, not just any excerpts, no, I copied paragraphs that really moved me.

I would lay on my bunk at night, on my back, fingers interlocked, creating a seat for my head to rest upon, staring at the ceiling. I enjoyed those quiet moments when I could replay the days events in my mind, when the whole of me could convene and discuss the best way to handle various situations. Those silent bedtime moments were reserved for clandestine meetings, board meetings attended by my many selves, that decided my moves for the following day. The “many selves” I’m referring are born from either an indecisive mind or one that wants to stretch in too many directions at once. There was the part of me that wanted to go home, the part that wanted to make sure I wasn’t perceived as weak, the part that wanted to learn, the part that didn’t want to disappoint my family, the part that needed to stop any aggressive behavior towards me, the part that needed to outwit the C.O.’s, and many other parts, you get it. All of these representatives convened on a nightly basis to discuss the best course of action over the next twenty-four hours.

Anything I did involved a degree of solitude, even when in the company of others I had to maintain a level of “one-mindedness,” just in case an emergency meeting needed to take place. I needed to ensure that there was always space for the unanimity of self. Other people were just a distraction. When I initially got saved, when God and Christ found me, at sixteen years old, praying and crying in a cell in Broward County Jail, there was this revelation of a world I had only heard about, a spiritual world where God reigned, and from that moment on I was a Christian. I was introduced to my self, God’s son, a spiritual being. But, while in prison, knowing my spiritual identity, I still realized I was a body, trapped in a world full of other bodies and other spirits who had intentions that didn’t align with my own. I was this physical entity just floating through the world, and I didn’t have to be in accord with other people. That was a sort of a secondary revelation, that I was living in my own world, not someone else’s.

I began this piece with a question: Is my putting things off ‘procrastination,’ or something else? Almost everything requires some form of social interaction and, not sure if you’ve noticed, but I spent a great deal of time alone, in my cell, reading or writing or thinking, so I don’t look towards social interactions with excitement. I might actually experience quite the opposite. And, as I stated earlier, even when I was amongst friends, I was still taking pleasure in the world of my own thoughts, much more so than the company of others. I began with a question. I’ll end with a few. Does procrastination even matter? Is not my God enough? Why worry about trivialities? If and when it’s his will, it will be done. But to provide some sort of answer to that question, “Is it procrastination, or something else,” I must say, “It’s something else.” My reasoning is that my God is perfect and, when I was born into his family, in spirit, I was made perfect in his infinite perfection, and I cannot move forward without his approval. Procrastination? Nah, I’m just waiting on Him to give me the word.

11 thoughts on “Exploring the Unanimity of Self

  1. It took awhile to get back to this to answer. We have so different perception of how what happens to us, and when. What causes it. Please I’m not going to come across with any kind of “I’m right and you’re wrong” kind of words. I respect the differences of people and understand each person has reasons for their faith and also reasons why they have no faith in anything at all. Things happen in ones life that makes a certain faith real or they were taught by family as they were taught and never looked for anything else to make sence of life. I think most faiths have an underlying goodness. We want to be happy and raise our families the same way. We want to understand why things are the way they are. I think if someone truly tries to apply the lessons of how to be a good human being the world will be a better place. Unfortunately I find many in this country – America- that very many of those who say they are Christian, don’t apply their faith in their daily life, especially with all the hate I see and the government using the religion for control. The “Christian Right.”

    But I have gotten away from what I was going to say. I am a Nichiren Buddhist. Not to be with the Dalai Lama, Tibetan,Zen, Shinto or any other Buddhism’s based on Hinayana Buddhism which was the earlier teachings of Shakyamuni he said to disregard – like after studying in elementary school it’s time to deepen your understanding.

    A difference we have in our teachings, which is in essence the same is that it is based on something taught in the Bible, but taught much much earlier in Buddhism. “You reap what you sow” I rarely see Christians taking that teaching seriously. Do you? Do you think about the ramification of your actions’, your words or your thoughts? ‘Seriously? Its an important concept. Because those causes we make are what makes things happen in our lives. We react to to these things in a variety of ways, depending on or mood – our life condition, which could be down or up, angry or sad. Many different possibilities. How do we change those possibilities to react in a way that brings us benefit -to make the right cause ( thought, word or action) that will have a good effect in our life. We pray. We focus our mind- our mental energy- to have the wisdom we need to accomplish/overcome whatever issue is at hand. If we can do that with no doubt – which is hard, because it is human to doubt, than this that you call God is there in the universe, and we who put no thinking that it is an entity with human emotions but rather a rhythm in the universe we want to be in rhythmn with do our lives we in the right place at the right time for the doors to open to make our possible. I can feel when I am out of rhytmn because nothing goes right. I’m in a bad mood. I react wrong. I make the wrong causes. So I need to get back in rhytmn again. Apologize to myself, my life, and vow to do better. In my faith I chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo (6/8 time if you know music) which is the rhytmn even science I( I must change devices. My nook is acting crazy)

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    1. Sonni, good evening. I agree wholeheartedly with your opening statement: We do possess vastly differing perceptions on faith, spirituality, and God.

      You wrote the following statement: “Things happen in ones life that make a certain faith real.” Yes, absolutely. In the above post (Exploring the Unanimity of Self) I mentioned that moment when Christianity became real for me, “when God and Christ found me, at sixteen years old, praying and crying in a cell in Broward County Jail.” There is so much about that moment that I didn’t mention. My words did not, could not, improve upon the feeling and experience, ever. But this post was about committing to a decision with the whole of one’s being, taking the next step with one mind. To me, being divided (indecisive) meant that I could possibly lose a second or two of reaction time, which can be costly, especially in prison. I finally ended the post with what, I thought, was an expression of my “Unanimity of Self” where spiritual matters are concerned.

      Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you wrote a letter to Bill Gates asking for a million dollars. Let’s say two weeks after you sent out that letter you received one million dollars. Who gave you one million dollars? There is absolutely no way that you are going to assume that anyone other than Bill Gates gave you that million dollars, right? Of course not, because you asked a specific person for something and you received what you asked for. Now, that time I wrote about, when I was “praying and crying in a cell in Broward County Jail,” I was praying to a specific entity, a specific God, the one I’ve come to know through the Christian Church. I wasn’t sending out prayers to Buddha or Allah or Vishnu or Oden. I was praying to my God, Jehovah (Isaiah 42:8), and I was praying in Jesus’ name. And I asked for specific things that came to pass, many things. Some prayers were answered very quickly, others took more time, but the things I asked for were provided. It would be illogical and unreasonable if I were to assume that any entity or God other than the one I was addressing was responsible for answering my prayers, right?

      And yes, Christianity is something that I was raised around, so the influence was always there. But I opened that bible, started to read, and God spoke.

      Now, you said that many who say they are Christians don’t apply Christianity to their daily lives. I would say that statement is one-hundred percent true. But you know, as well as I do, that we can’t believe everything we hear. We can’t go around believing everything people say. Right? Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. So, just because someone SAYS they’re Christian doesn’t mean it’s true. Saying “I’m Christian” doesn’t make you a Christian. But this goes for anything, any religion. Not everyone who claims Islam is a Muslim. Not everyone who claims Hinduism actually believes in the Hindu religion. A person can say “I’m Jewish” but it takes more than words to make it true.

      Matthew 24:5 “Many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.”

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  2. Hello again! When my nook gets hot the typing gets screwy.

    The focus of prayer is powerful. But for us, that responsibility for how our life proceeds is our responsibility alone. We, as Buddhists are not mentally waiting for an entity to bestow a plan of his choosing on us. We make our own plan based on the causes we choose to make for every single thing that happens to us from the mundane to the extreme. There is no luck or chance. Only effects we don’t understand how they happened.

    We don’t pray and ask the universe for help to fix or understand what happens to us and wait to see what the next thing is in the plan laid out that the universe ( God) has decided is best for us.

    We pray for wisdom and dig deep into our nature to understand what it is we need to learn to change ( procrastination for example) and the courage to overcome that which holds is back. We know what we need to change but changing something in your nature is not as easy as it seems. Just because you know you need to change something doesn’t mean you can. It depends on your determination. Your ichinen ( single mind). When you challenge yourself to be different, every obstacle possible is put in your way to stop you – to see if you have the courage to do more than think you need to stop procrastinating. Do you have the courage to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. How MUCH do you want to change that trait. How long do you work on it before you give up and tell yourself “That’s just the way I am.” That is what most people say when they can’t change. Some even justify it by saying, “It must be the Lord’s will.” Then the responsibility becomes God’s, not their own. Partly because the force in the universe becomes a thinking entity with emotions and desires and loves and hates and sides with one side over another, and makes these personal plans for millions of people – only the ones who believe that faith. The rest are doomed.

    This lesson – you reap what you sow – which is also called the law of cause and effect and others say, what goes around comes around or you get back what you dish out, is all the same thing. It works in everyone’s life whether people realize it or not. Some people joke about someone having bad karma when something bad happens to others but they rarely apply that concept to themselves.

    But those who sincerely pray for these answers, whether Christian or Buddhist are going to have better lives because they seek the power “out there” to move mountains. There is much more to this than you think. The answers of who you are and most of all “why” you are, is not something taught in the bible. Saying you are born in his image – what exactly does that mean? I hear it said. It is learned, but what exactly is his image? Anger and fear. Demands homage and to be three only God you worship. He can throw bad things at you when he’s angry. It wasn’t until recent history that he became loving. A father to all. All personal human traits that many need to feel. Go back 500 years and he wasn’t loved. The people were only taught fear – for control of the people. Scared to death of hell.

    Most of what is taught – the essence of the lessons- comes from Buddhist teachings. Even the ten commandments are pretty much verbatim only it was in Buddhist teachings a thousand years earlier. Man began to learn that life is a cycle – a rhythm. Birth, aging, sickness and death – which all life follows. We see it in the seasons. We see it in nature. We are also life. Why would we be different? Why would the rhythm of our lives, our soul or essence, be different?

    There is much more to learn. Mine has been a 30 year journey of discovery, amazement and pain from effects of bad causes when I chose to do or react in a way that slapped me back. And effects from causes I had no clue I had done. But where I am now is the effect of all the causes I’ve made. Today I have the choice to make better causes to change the life I want to have. To move mountains – push them out of the way with my determination, which is stronger than the negative parts of my nature – I pray.

    It all comes down to prayer. The power you unleash. The determination you focus your energy and slam it into the universe and open the path you want – to ultimately be happy and benefit others. Do you pray like that – or do you ask your life/universe/God to do it for you/ give it to you if he thinks it is good for you. Do you beg for help or demand ( of yourself) that it will be done with no question because you said it would be so? Do you ask forgiveness from another / God/ or do you ask forgiveness from your own life and determine to do better.

    We call this power by two different names but it is the same power. Never lose your thirst for knowledge and understanding. Don’t stop with man’s interpretation of what God is. It is inside you, not outside you. There is much more to learn and experience. You know there is power. You feel it. You need to learn how to harness it and become the person you know is inside, who right now is stuck on at least one part of your nature – procrastination.

    I talk a lot. Often too much for a blog post reply. Please feel free to not approve it and if you want, answer it on my blog – my other blog, watchandwhirl.com. There is a post – about 3 down called “Talking to my Younger Self” It explains an important part of me 40 years apart. I also record piano improv and there is a piece I recorded as a gift to the man who inspired this post. I hope to talk to you again.

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    1. I understand the desire to want to be the sole decision-maker in our lives. I understand the need to feel as if my life is shaped entirely by myself. Those thoughts put me ( “I”) at the forefront, they make me the center of the universe, so to speak. Those thoughts afford me some semblance of control. But there are so many things that I can’t control. So many things happen in this world, in my life, that I have not approved of, so how much control do I really have?

      At this point, I feel it necessary to point to some key scriptures, rather than going on about what I think and MY own opinions. I just want to point to some of the most important scriptures that my faith is built upon.

      John 3:16 “For God (Jehovah) so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
      *If “everlasting life” seems too far-fetched, consider the scientific claim, not a spiritual or religious claim, but the scientific claim, that “energy is neither created nor destroyed.”

      John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
      *This scripture is important to me for a few reasons. First, almost every religion of the world acknowledges Jesus. If they don’t believe he is the only begotten son of God, they still consider him a great teacher or a prophet. Ok, so, if He was a great teacher, then he must have spoken truth. He must have educated people. He taught people. How can he be a great teacher or a prophet and also a liar? That sounds crazy, right? It can’t be. So the statement attributed to him in John 14:6 must be true. We can’t just pick the parts of his teaching that we want to believe, the parts that are most convenient for us. We have to acknowledge all of his teaching if we acknowledge any of his teaching.

      1 Timothy 6:12 tells us to “Fight the good fight of faith.”
      *It won’t be easy. Fighting is never easy. It leaves us with cuts and bruises and broken bones. This scripture is telling us that in order to hold on to your faith, you’re going to have to fight, because your faith will certainly come under attack. People will seek to disprove everything you believe. The Christian faith is always under attack.

      Now, I repeat, there are many who call themselves Christian who aren’t really Christian. I am a “non-denominational Christian.” I don’t adhere to any name that divides. I am not a Catholic or ANY of those other denominations. I am just a Christian, that’s it. I don’t agree with many of the things that go own in those other churches that call themselves “Christian.”

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    1. Yes, I understood what you were getting at. I hope my responses helped you to get a better sense of what my beliefs are and what real Christianity is. I wrote two lengthy responses and still didn’t quite get to responding to everything you wrote. Maybe I’ll have to come back and write some more. Anyway, I actually enjoyed writing these responses. Thank you for your comments. I love chatting with fellow “seekers.” God bless.
      And, please, don’t stop. Let’s continue this talk on spirituality, if you wish to, of course.

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      1. My heart is filled with Joy and my eyes with tears as I read your blog and your post. I prayed for you a lot while you were in prison and so did a lot of our family members. The legacy of prayer that mami Irma left for our family was fulfilled with your life. You have such a gift for writing and I know that God is taking you places. The word declares in Jeremiah 29:11- for I know the plans if have for you…. God truly has ordered your steps and I praise God that you are serving him and blessing others with the talents he’s given you. Keep writing!!
        You are blessed and I love you cuzzo!
        Nena (aka: Apple head) 🙌🏻😊

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      2. Hey, whats up Nen? Thank you for reading the blog.
        I always knew the family was praying for me while I was away. I was always appreciative of the love and support shown by the family upon my release. I consider myself lucky and blessed to have been raised in such a God-fearing, Jehovah-praising, Jesus-loving family. I love you Nen! You too are blessed, and you’re a blessing to others.

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