A Wandering Obsession

The benefit of having a bike with everything I own on it is it makes it incredibly easy to vanish into the wilderness on the drop of a dime. Throughout this trip, most of my development and passion has been experienced in a wild, natural setting, preferably in solitude, but my recent trip back to Chicago brought to the surface an obsession that has seemed to follow me ever since setting foot in Israel almost a year ago to date.

Introducing My Zahir, a Zahir is an Arabic term referring to a persons subconscious obsession with a topic which is the overriding theme of a book written by my favorite author Paulo Cuelo appropriately named The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession. It’s taken a year of nomadic searching and pounds of personal development material to get a peeking into the belly of my Zahir, and this perspective has made me realize why I feel so comfortable being constantly on the go. There’s a fine line between running away from a problem and searching for a solution. I’d like to believe that my quest has led me in search of a solution, but there are times when I feel the urge to just keep running until I’m ready to grow again, and this is why learning my Zahir has created lots of value, because awareness is the first step to healing.

My Zahir – The Wandering Obsession

My obsession has to do with my reference to society in terms of success, and the strong desire to create a new, unconventional notion of success. The problem with entering any city or any social structure, is there are constant reminds of the brand of success that has been in place since the 80‘s; get the car, get the girl, donate to charity and everything is peachy, you‘ll be the man! My first notion was that success involved making everything wonderful for yourself, I then moved onto the understand that success is about making the world wonderful for others, and I’m finally starting to realize that there is a deeper notion of success that we need to realize. Deep in everyone’s heart, below circumstances, mind and even feeling is something more powerful and amazing than we can ever imagine, and that is the life energy that has no thought, no feeling of lack and is the true purpose of all this physical hoopla we are involveed in. I feel that by being alone and listening to inner guidance there is a power that can be accessed in the search for the third level of success, deep spiritual connection and enlightenment. This idea of success will surely transcend every other, and I believe is what is needed to create the best world possible.

The aspirations of a wanderer is rarely to escape from this established game of success in society, but rather a burning desire to enhance it and create something new for the world, knowing very well how hard it is to do under the molding hand of a bustling, cosmopolitan social tribe.

Spinning Wheels and Rolling Stones

On my flight via London, back to Istanbul where I was reunited back with my bike, thus reconnecting with existential freedom, I watched a Rolling Stones documentary called “Exile on Main St.” While initially just wowed by the groups irreverent gusto and sloppy creative brilliance, it wasn’t until I found myself strolling through Trafalgar Square when in passing the National Portrait Gallery a picture of none other than Mick Jagger was being showcased for his sheer musical genius and world changing fame that the universal creative juices began to flow and I was able to conceptualize the meaning behind the coincidence and start to feel the benefit in my Zahir. I realized that through exile from their comfortable British lifestyle, the Stones were able to unleash their creative potential and change the world. In the film they were exiled from England for tax issues and while the switch to southern France was difficult for the group, it was the driving force of their creativity for one of their best selling albums.

This historic turnaround of the Stones career was said to be their most creative and was when they shifted from commercial success to critical acclaim. The onslaught of this creative stew of genius, all housed in a drug-laden basement of Keith Richards South France Château, was the groups exile from their home, forcing them to leave Britain and find their voice in a more secluded side of society. In Nice, the Stones were able to walk the streets with their kids without being recognized and were able to isolate themselves in their own worlds and forget the worlds opinion, and the result was truly dynamic.

I then began to realize that this whole new set of people who are aspiring for location independent lifestyles are looking for much more than just freedom and cool travel pictures. I think there is an instinctual drive in all of us to want to be able to operate in any setting for the evolutionary purpose of creating the most impact on the world. My Zahir isn’t about success in society, but rather about my obsession with creating success outside of the constraints of society, and all of the backlash, doubt and preconditioned fear that comes along with that, trying to do something that hasn‘t been done without even know what I was doing. To me success is defined by creating abundant good in the world, so by this definition it still involves the usual criteria that the city would view success with.

At the moment, there are hordes of people brushing the surface of this wandering aspiration, they are figuring out new businesses and means of creating good while not being locked into the expectations and assumptions of one cities trends. There are many organizations that are succeeding in this:

TheCASHFLOW
88 Bikes
Toms

…the founders of each project realized a way while being global to create value for themselves, their cause and the world. The potential value that can come with wandering success is unfounded, if the vision is supported and structured. By not being tied to one location, thought leaders are able to actually experience the causes they seek to support and inspiration can come from an ever-changing environment.

I believe the location independent trend isn’t just a self-fulfilling ploy to travel while making money, but the initial steps to a global movement that will mobilize Generation-Y and allow the youth to tap into their inner guidance to create ideas that fit outside of societies expectations of them. Becoming successful at this is not an easy proposition, but the least you can get out of the experience is a better look at the world and a better look at your life. This is my vision of a wandering theory: the idea isn’t to escape society forever, but to escape it for long enough to find your unique voice and emerge a complete individual hopefully impenetrable to the invisible hand of the big city, and what I like to call “the-way-things-are-economy“.

In one of my favorite pieces of writing, Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson sums up every part of this post in saying:

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude”

I’ve realized that I’m running from my Zahir; the well-dressed, over-sexed, over-fed version of myself (my ego), it’s an easy obsession to obtain with the reams of perceived “personal success” our culture seems to breed, so I’m deciding to denounce it and attempt to claim a new concept of success for myself and the world.

A Call to the “New Success”

This is a call to a new group of successful people, young gifted people that recognize the power of energy and the individual power we all contain deep inside that can liberate the world of its problems and literally create a heaven on earth. This new success is defined by no definition, to these people there is no limit to what can be created for the world, the minds imagination is the only limitation, something that can be easily transcended. The goal of the “New Success” is to learn to constantly operate from a state of heightened awareness, allowing inner, intuitive guidance to be what creates ideas, goals and eventual growth, not the ego and reactive thinking. The old guard will look at this group as rebellious and irreverent to the rules and that is exactly what they are, because they have realized that there are no rules in life and that no societal constraint can hold back the good energy that brews inside the individual willing and ready to express their full nature, connecting presently to the stream of positive consciousness we are all made of and connected to. I want people who feel this way to start taking pride in who they are, realizing that if they carry through with their visions and create these wild imaginary ideals in society, that while they will first be faced with resistance, from themselves and everyone around them, it is this young, incessant energy that will be the next driving force of change in the world. Go out and create companies that give all the profits to those in need, make reference to silly rules that never made sense, stir the pot and do it with a smile.

The “New Success” recognize the consciousness and good that we actually are under the ego, and look both to the physical and non-physical as a reference, not only attributing success to what we can physically perceive, a strong well-shaped body, lots of friends, social power, economic means, but to a connection to the consciousness that floods our perception with evidence of the non-physical. This is how success has been defined in the past and ones life is considered a failure if they don’t achieve this notion of worldly success. While there’s nothing wrong with the way we have defined success in the past, there is a fundamental flaw that gets overlooked and can explain much of the suffering that has taken place in humanity. The achievement of this success has involved looking entirely external, altering time and space to make things happen in the physical realm. This is achieved primarily through the ego, and the success that is created only boosts the ego further and creates a stronger attachment to what has been achieved through much hard work and strife. Worldly success has been the primary focus at the detriment of something much more important and purposeful, which is the recognition of our conscious connection to a greater non-physical well-being and purpose.

In this “New Success“, a shift to focusing primarily on satisfying our non-physical purpose will not only dismiss much of the suffering associated with the ego’s attachment to the worldly realm, it will actually unleash this element of our lives as we tap a power that is far more effective than the reason, action, acquisition model we have been using through our evolution to aquire the lives we envision.

The “New Success” operate on three principles:

1) The most logical ideas comes from an inner energy and source of abundance and creation that cannot be accessed by the logic mind.

2) The most good is created through independence from location, societal rules, popular opinion and the egos considerations.

3) Operating from a center of fun, positivity and enthusiasm is the best way to heal even the worlds most grime issues.

While the past 30 decades has been seen as an immensely successful period for humanity, with the advent of the computer (which has enslaved many), a sophisticated financial system (which has ruined many) and a multitude of comforts (which has weakened everyone), we have created these things out of the seat of the ego and much suffering has occurred out of this as we have witnessed. Moving forward, we need to create out of our being, out of the conscious energy that we are all linked to and strip our commitment to servicing the ego by recognizing where in our lives we are strongly conditioned to operate out of fear, pride, future worry, control and lack. The success that can be created out of letting our inner purpose rain into our physical realm will involve a renaissance of free creation that will have no egoistic attachment and truly provide what we are on earth to accomplish as humans, which is unconditional service of the divine and of spirit in a physical setting.

Feel what’s right and Do it!

We all are connected to the feeling of what’s right. I don’t mean what’s moral, sinless or submissive as religion and society has convinced us, but what feels right deep in our true beings. Everyone has faced up with what’s right and many people now are taking strides to follow that feeling fearlessly and passionately. Keep listening inside, focus your energy on good and you’ll start to get energy from places inside you didn’t even know existed.

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6 comments

  1. Hi Brandon,
    I know that you are in town and hopefully we will see each other. Reading your article took me back (yeah, way back!) to the days when I lived in an ashram with no possessions and no money of my own. It was an interesting and difficult time in my life. But young or old my thirst for more is always as present as it was when I was young. I completely understand your quest for solitude and understanding for the ways of the world and your place in it. The path of an old soul is not an easy one whether you are young or old. Sometimes I envy the simple thinking of those that don’t want to know more. They seem satisfied with a life surrounded by things and relationships that don’t seem to ask them to dig a little deeper into a life with more meaning. But, that is not my path and so it is that I too feel like I am traveling though this life on a bike passing by people who speak a different language.
    I admire the bare bones honestly and eloquence with which you write. Your journey externally and internally out there for all to see and read! A spiritual warrior no doubt who uses powerful words as his sword in his quest to open the awareness of others. While you may feel alone at times in your journey know that you are not.
    xx, Connie

    • I’d love to get together for a positive shake down of ideas and truths. Nature and solitude is a great teacher but you’ve served to be a valuable mentor in this area of life, so thank you. I think we can learn from the simplicity of people able to live an accepted life. This journey has tugged and tore me in a million directions, sometimes I felt like my brain was being physically ripped to shreds and time and time again I would come out more expanded. For me, the most meaning has been found when I let go of this inner battle. ?Meaning has always come out of connecting with love in another person, something that is so pure and needs no complicated justification or purpose. Everyone of our lives is so damn miraculous, and I don’t mean the crazy biking adventures we go on or the spirutal seeking we do, or the lifestyle success we achieve, or the confidence we access, or the things we do or say. I mean, just the life that we are, under all of this need to prove ourselve, need to feel miraculous, it is all there for us if we can just realize that we already are so much more spectacular than our brains allow us to concieve. I think people like us have a very good and open relationship with our ego, this can make us feel crazy, radical, sporatic, impulsive, furious, elated and actually be a positive and freeing charge in the world, if directed with the right intentions. I just am going through each day trying to access and be aware of what beauty and wonder lays under all my conditioning and try with all my energy to recognize that same brilliance in every single person that comes along my path. That’s why I really think a feeling of love is the answer for the swirlly, explosive path of the old soul, that love allows us to be free from our expectations of our life and helps to free everyone we come in contact with in doing the same. And that is our real purpose here, to free the world of anger, confusion, the need to be right so everyones souls can peer into this amazing physical experience we get to manifest day by day. With that said, I want to send you nothing but love and gratitude for keeping my mind and heart focused on that mission.

      Peace and love,

      Brandon

  2. Wow this is a long piece, took me a while~
    Reading you posting always keeps me awake Brandon, and I believe you’ll definitely keep yourself awake after returning to the societal metro. But before you decide to do that, continue to leave some beautiful footprints in your river of life!
    I wish I can be in Chicago for 1 or 2 days now, but it’s ok, plenty of time in the future buddy. Enjoy every second!
    Always support,
    -W

    • Thanks man, stepping back into society just clears up delusions and false constructs my mind may try to give me. I always feel so refreshed and challenged entering and exiting the city, it gives such a valuable perspective and the possibilies of the soul continue to expand and permutate. This trip home has been no exception!

      Thanks again for commiting to freeing yourself and for the support you’ve given to the world as a result, keep coming out on top in life man!

      Brandon

  3. Thanks. I love everything in the Call to the “New Success” section above, especially #3. I am relieved in your realization. You have joined many beautiful others who strive to live this philosophy out loud every moment. I now associate myself with these types because I can relate better to them in our shared quest for a better world! It is great to find many like-minded people and a whole community of sweet spirited souls out there. But is this enough? I must ask you of your journey, “now what?” Or is that question the plight of the Wanderer?

    • “Now what” is what drives the Wanderer. There’s this desire to constantly be searching for your self and solutions for the world, but something I’ve struggled with in my quest in having too many visions, creating this frustration and impatience that eventually pulls me away from the state I need to be in to make them all happen. I think the best move is to continue to make those connections of love and support with people who understand and let the next steps come too you. I knew this from the beginning of the trip, but I confused inner guidance with a sense of drifiting inaction, which was still helpful and incredbily fun and exciting, the main key is focus all your energy and action in the moment. So whatever is pending right now, you need to take as much action and put in as much energy as possible to that moment and that task. If you succeed at fueling the moment with positivity, fluid joyous energy and then inspired action, the visions you’ve been so eagerly wanting to express will gracefully fall into place. So right now I’m just loving everyone I’m with back in Chicago and waiting for each moment to alter the direction I’m headed and give me new visions and answers. As for what’s actually next, I still have a ton of biking and traveling to do when I get back to Istanbul, so hopefully this time around I’ll be able to act in the moment and spread my message of helping people to connect with this joy and desire to give it away in a more powerful and inspiring may!

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