*NEVILLE GODDARD

In my metaphysical journey, I have encountered many influential purveyors of the philosophy commonly known as New Thought, so to even begin articulating how much Neville Goddard’s teachings (He usually went by his first name) have impacted me would be extremely difficult. Nevertheless, I will try to highlight some aspects of Neville’s teachings, hoping that his work would stimulate someone’s interest.

I recently revisited Awakened Imagination (1954), which I feel is the perfect introduction to Neville’s teachings. I also just finished reading The Search (1946), which is considered one of his most famous literature pieces.

Neville wrote: “There is only one thing in the world, Imagination, and all deformations of it.” (AWAKENED IMAGINATION, 1954)

This is such a powerful statement because if we take a step back and analyze its meaning correctly, we can quickly come to the conclusion that everything we see around us, what we consider to be our reality, is the direct byproduct of our imagination and the creative power of our thoughts. Neville went a step further; he defined imagination as GOD, meaning that we can experience GOD through our imagination. By this unique interpretation of the gospels, Neville suggested that through the power of our imagination, we can be anything we desire to be or to obtain whatever is that we wish to achieve. He referred to it as an awakening, an awakening to “the mystery hid from the ages.”

The mystery hid from the ages…. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:26, 27

Many of us go through life not really understanding the meaning of the so-called word of God from the Bible, we read/hear passages from the old and new testament, but our understanding of their meaning is very vague. I can interpret the gospels in many different ways, especially since there are numerous versions of the Bible, which are continually being mistranslated, and misinterpreted, mostly by church leaders whose agenda is better served by providing their unique perspective of the gospels.  Perhaps that is why Neville’s interpretation of the doctrines has such a profound effect on me. His teachings seem to make more sense when viewed with an open mind.

Neville wrote, “Duality is an inherent condition of life. Everything that exists is double. Man is a dual creature with contrary principles embedded in his nature.”

That is a powerful concept, a concept that I fully agree with. I have always subscribed myself to the notion that what truly makes us human is the duality in our existence, the good and the bad. The balance between those two energies defines our humanity and separates us from all the living creatures on our planet. It is of extreme importance to learn how to balance the light and dark within all of us. We must learn to balance it all; despite all of the good in the world, there is plenty of darkness and evilness residing within this realm. We must learn to embrace even the darkness within us and learn to tame it, to control it, and thus, we will find the balance of the human experience.

The universe which we study with such care is a dream, and we are dreamers of the dream, eternal dreamers dreaming non-eternal dreams. One day like Nebuchadnezzar, we shall awaken from that dream, from the nightmare in which we fought with demons, to find that we never really left our eternal home; that we were never born and have never died saved in our dream.” 

img_2955In The Search, Neville firmly suggested that our perceived reality is a dream, similar to how many modern scientists and thinkers of our time believe that our reality could be some type of simulation like we are living in a Matrix-type of reality. I’m glad to see Neville’s teachings encountering a new audience; his work should be studied carefully. I feel the best thing I can do is shed some light on his work and to include a series of quotes from Awakened Imagination and The Search. Hopefully, they will inspire anyone reading this blog to explore Neville’s work further.

  • Ideas only act if they are felt if they awaken inner movement. Inner movement is conditioned by self-motivation, outer movement by compulsion. (Awakened Imagination)

  • The journey is in yourself. You travel along the highways of the inner world. (Awakened Imagination)

  • It is a most healthy and productive exercise to daily relive the day as you wish you had lived it, revising the scenes to make them conform to your ideals. (Awakened Imagination)

  • If a man begins to revise even a little of the vexations and troubles of the day, then he begins to work practically on himself. Every revision is a victory over himself and, therefore, a victory over his enemy. (Awakened Imagination)

  • Don’t blame; only resolve. (Awakened Imagination)

  • You must stop spending your thoughts, time, and money. Everything in life must be an investment. (Awakened Imagination)

  • It is possible to resolve every situation by the proper use of imagination. Our task is to get the right sentence, the one which implies that our desire is realized, and fire the imagination with it. (Awakened Imagination)

  • The present moment does not recede into the past. It advances into the future. (Awakened Imagination)

  • As soon as we succeed in transforming ourselves, the world will melt magically before our eyes and reshape itself in harmony with that which our transformation affirms. (The Search)

  • By intensity of love and hate, become what we contemplate(The Search)

  • To attempt to change the world before we change ourselves is to struggle against the nature of things(The Search)

  • By our imagination, we have created this dream of life, and by our imagination, we will re-enter that eternal world of light, becoming that which we were before we imagined the world.  (The Search)

  • Everything we do, unaccompanied by a change of consciousness, is but futile readjustment of surfaces.  (The Search)

  • Nothing is more important to us than our conception of ourselves, and especially is this true of our concept of the deep, hidden ONE within us(The Search)

*Music Streaming es el Enemigo de la Buena Musica

Mis referencias musicales están muy claras y definidas, si te pones a conversar de música conmigo, inmediatamente salen Pink Floyd, The Doors, U2, Oasis, Rod Stewart, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Roy Orbison, Bowie, The Smiths etc etc etc. Pero si nos ponemos a conversar del rock en Español, mis referencias principales son Soda Stereo, Bunbury, Mikel Erentxun, Caifanes, Jaguares, Calamaro, Draco Rosa, Los Cadillacs, La Ley, Sabina etc etc.

Para mi no existe ningún otro genero musical que exprese mejor el poder y la belleza del idioma de Cervantes que el rock en Español. En estos momentos estamos atravesando una etapa de música en Español de la mierda, todo lo que suena en la radio es basura. Vivimos en una época de consumo rápido, ya casi nadie compra discos completos, la gente escuchan música en sus teléfonos, utilizando mayormente Pandora, Spotify, incluso hasta en YouTube. En cierta forma los playlist de Spotify se están convirtiendo en algo mas importante que los discos. Pienso que la forma de consumir musica en forma streaming es temporal, en el sentido que en menos de un mes ya se olvidaron de la canción, del artista, la banda y del playlist.

El streaming esta tomando mas fuerza últimamente, especialmente por su fácil accesibilidad. Spotify por ejemplo te ofrece una subscripción similar a Netflix, con la cual puedes escuchar toda la música que gustes sin limites, y también puedes escuchar música offline. Pero la gran diferencia es que por lo menos con iTunes puedes descargar un album completo y puedes en cierta forma ser propietario de algo físico, algo que puedes convertir en un MP3 y transferir a multiples ordenadores o móviles.

img_0957

En cambio la idea de tener mi musica guardada remotamente en un cloud cibernetico me causa ansiedad. Quizás por que tengo una forma purista de consumir música. Por ejemplo el mas reciente album de U2 Songs of Experience me hubiera sido imposible escucharlo por streaming. Un disco tan esperado se disfruta mejor cuando le quitas el plástico de envoltura, lo especial que se siente al sacar el disco de su funda, de poder tenerlo en tus manos, de poder oler ese aroma a disco nuevo, y tambien poder apreciar el “Artwork” que incluyen la mayoría de los discos. El mismo día que el disco de U2 salio a la venta, yo fui a la tienda y compre el album en formato Vinilo, el cual incluye una opción para poder descargar la version MP3 con un código especial incluido en el album. Esa es una manera excelente de motivar a los fanáticos de la buena música como yo para seguir comprando discos.

Mikel-Live at RoxyLo mas preocupante para mi es que el rock en Español es uno de los géneros mas afectados por toda esta nueva forma de consumir música, por un lado lo mas positivo es que muchos artistas y bandas no muy conocidas, especialmente los del movimiento Indie en Español pueden llegar a ser apreciados un poco mejor, ya que estarían mas accesible a ser escuchados por primera vez a traves de las plataformas de streaming. Lo negativo es que esa es la única forma mas efectiva de poder escucharlos, ya que las estaciones de radio no les dan la atención necesaria, y peor aun iTunes, en su lista de “nuevos lanzamientos” solo promueven géneros urbanos, música basura sin alma, ni esencia. Si estoy buscando el nuevo disco de Carlos Ann, Christina Rosevinge o Diego Vasallo tengo que hacer un search/busqueda especifica para poder encontrarlos en iTunes.

Hay muy poca apreciación hacia los discos hechos con buena lírica, buen sonido, con instrumentos reales. Yo aprecio mucho los discos de rock con base de guitarra, no hay nada mas cautivador que un disco donde la guitarra y la batería están sonando a full, esos discos son my dificiles de olvidar, o dejar a un lado. Discos que inspiran sentimientos, sensibilidad, intensidad etc, son discos inolvidables, no solo por la música sino también por las buenas letras.

Con el paso de los años me he dado cuenta que me gusta mucho lo antiguo. Lo mío es lo analógico, el sonido de antes, los vinilos. Discos grabados como se grababan antes, preparados para escuchar en vinilos. No estoy diciendo que sean mejor, sólo que a mi parecer, a mi gusto personal suenan distinto. El formato analógico es mucho mas complejo que el digital, aunque el formato digital arregle un poco mas la calidad del sonido grabado, en cambio el vinilo te ofrece un sonido mas orgánico, mas directo, con una calidad mas nítida para el oido humano. Pero bueno, en fin, mi propósito es que muy pronto en mi casa los cajones con vinilos ocupen más espacio, que los fucking CD’s, y seguiré utilizando a Spotify  y las demas plataformas de streaming como una herramienta para encontrar, escuchar y descubrir nuevas bandas y musicos del mundo rock en Español y del rock indie.

*03-13-18

Hoy se cumple dos años de que mama dejo esta dimension…. el peso y dolor de su muerte no deja de ser profundo. El vacío sigue siendo abismal, nada, ni nadie puede llenar ese vacío.

Los días pasan, y seguirán pasando. vendrán mas aniversarios de su muerte, vendrán mas navidades, vendrán mas cumpleaños. Lo único constante que queda es su influencia, y sobre todo sus enseñanzas.

Cada vez me estoy dando cuenta, que en su paso por esta vida ella tuvo muchas funciones; fue madre, hija, esposa, abuela etc. Pero mas allá de todo eso, pienso que su función principal fue de guía y maestra en mi vida.

Hoy estaba recordando el libro de Brian Weiss “Muchas Vidas, Muchos Maestros”, y no pude evitar encontrar la conexión entre las ideas propuestas en ese libro, con la influencia que sigo recibiendo de mi madre. Veo claramente la forma que ella me sigue llevando de la mano, aun a travez de la muerte. De la misma manera que me guiaba de la mano cuando era niño, de la misma manera que me guío hacia este país, de la misma manera que me guió cuando deje de ser un niño, y ahora que soy un hombre, que tal vez mi nivel de vulnerabilidad no es igual que cuando era un niño, quizás ahora es cuando mas la necesito a mi lado.

Estos dos años obviamente han sido de muchos cambios, seguir adelante no es fácil, especialmente cuando cargas contigo día tras día el recuerdo de la persona mas importante de tu existencia. Cuando cargas contigo recuerdos profundos. Creo que es parte de la maldiccion que tenemos los tipos como yo, personas que sentimos mucho, que somos amantes del dolor y la nostalgia.

Quizás esos sentimientos son los que nos arman de poder para seguir adelante, quizás esa sensibiliad emocional es la razón por la cual todavía la puedo sentir cerca de mi. Quizás es la razón por la cual me visita en mis sueños. No lo se, quizás algún día tendré una mejor idea.

Mientras tanto sigo adelante, sabiendo que no estoy solo, que tengo mi guía y mi maestra, guiándome y enseñándome desde el otro lado. Gracias por ser mi madre, gracias por ser mi maestra,

*MY PASSION AND OBSESSION WITH VINYL RECORDS

I went from collecting CDs to collecting Vinyl records, which is somewhat ironic because listening to music on vinyl is how I was introduced to music growing up. When I was a kid, compact discs (CDs) did not yet exist, or at least around my immediate surroundings. And by the time I was old enough to purchase music on my own, with my own money, vinyl records were no longer easy to find, especially in music stores.

I guess you can say that I grew up around a time where the intersection of analog and digital was beginning to take place.

It was the 90s, and now CDs ruled the music world. CD players had entirely replaced turntables in just about every music store around the United States.

The Discman had replaced the Walkman as the primary listening device, and playing music on cassettes was somewhat considered uncool, or at least it was considered uncool by all my knucklehead middle and high school friends.

Music was now digital, which made CDs seem a lot more practical — mainly ’cause they now took up much less space in your home. Records, on the other hand, tend to take up more space, and they are pretty hard to take on the road with you — Now it was possible and easy to take your CD collection with you anywhere rather quickly. And you could even play your CDs in your car. It was a pretty fucking revolutionary idea — for the first time in modern history, people were able to carry their music with them anywhere they wanted. And we were only a few years away from CD burners, which provided us with the ability to create personalized CD playlists, which would eventually become a modern version of the cassette mixtape.

The other day I was going through my CD collection and noticed that in the last eight years, I bought less than 10 CDs, but on the other hand, in the same period of time, I purchased over 30 albums on iTunes. Albums that in the past, I would have totally purchased at a music shop.

When I was a teenager, I bought CDs just about every single week with my minimum wage weekly paycheck. I went on this weird, ritualistic “music store tour” every single week right after payday — making pit stops in-between three or four stores that carried a diverse selection of music. There was Sam Goody in Pentagon City mall, (It is now the clothing store Express). They had an excellent selection of cheap single promotional CDs, new arrivals, and a robust Rock En Español selection…. I bought some of my favorite Rock En Español albums there.

Record Town in Ballston Mall was another great music store — It was located on the top floor where the Arcade and the Regal movie theater are currently located; I remember Record Town employee Oscar, who also worked nights as a club DJ. He was very friendly and approachable… Eventually, Record Town became FYE, and they relocated to the second floor to a more prominent spot. Last time I was in town visiting, I saw Oscar still working there, as I walked by the store. I was happy to see him still working there after all these years — however I wasn’t in the mood to go in and say hello.

Best Buy in Pentagon City was also a great spot, especially if you were short on funds — their CDs were always cheaper than most music stores, and their music department was huge (now it is almost non-existent). There was also Tower Records, right off Seminary Road in Alexandria, VA. It was located in the same strip mall where Bally’s Total Fitness used to be, (it became LA Fitness).

For me, every single week visiting all those music shops was like a type of ritualistic affair. Sometimes I would hear a song on the radio, and I would feel compelled to listen to the whole album. My constant craving for good music kept me consistently buying albums from unknown musicians/bands. I would buy singles, radio edits, remixes. Buying albums and singles became such a vital part of my life — I would hurry back home and fully immerse myself in my ritualistic listening sessions. Those were some pretty intense sessions of musical discovery.

When my mother passed away, I was overcome by a powerful force to recapture certain things from my past, things that in a weird way reminded me of my time around her. Even though she was not a music collector like me, she never discouraged my obsessive-compulsive music-buying ways. She enjoyed having me at home engulfed in my semi-ritualistic listening sessions in my room rather than having me out in the streets getting into trouble, which I had a bit of a talent for (but that is a different story, for a different time).

So after a few months of deep grieving, I felt compelled to give myself something to obsess over again, like I did when I was younger with my music. Something that would help ease the pain, and occupy my mind, so I decided to use some of the money that she left behind for me to purchase a turntable and to go back to those analog days. To start collecting music again, to start collecting LPs, especially old LPs of classic rock , vintage editions of classic records. The older, the better. Used albums, first pressings, and some reprints here and there.

Vinyl records have recently become more popular, and that is a good thing. In the four years since I started collecting Vinyl — I have found gem after gem, mostly by visiting used record shops, and taking my sweet time flipping through crates of records. Not to mention my recent realization that I have an antiquated personal taste for music, films, and books. I love the whole “discovery” aspect of things — new things in plain sight like new movies that are actually old movies but they are new to me. New music that is actually old music but it’s new to me. Same thing goes for literature — I prefer to read early to mid 19th century authors. I always tell people that one of the best ways to get to know me more profoundly is to look at my music, book, and film collection.

I have found original pressings in excellent condition, with some minimal wear, and excellent sound quality. I found records that I never had the chance to give a proper listen to in their original analog format. I noticed that I had developed a deep appreciation for The Doors. I have become a massive fan of their music after listening to their first album over and over again on vinyl. Now I have all their albums on vinyl, except for Strange Days (I refuse to buy a reissued copy). Also those Rod Stewart’s first few albums with The Faces are now at the very top of my favorite classic rock albums of all time.

When you value your music listening experience as much as I do, you end up putting more value on the proper care of your Vinyl collection. Unlike CDs, you have to take better care of your vinyl records; you cannot just loan them to someone else. The idea of my records not being in my possession for an extended period of time terrifies me. I can easily imagine my records returning damaged…. and that is indeed a terrifying thought. On the other hand, the idea of lending out my CDs does not evoke the same emotion in any way, or even downloading an album on iTunes is not the same thing as holding an LP in your hands, admiring the artwork, and so on.

So, I am looking forward to the future. To a future where my vinyl collection surpasses my CD collection (which is massive) to a time where I can have my entire vinyl collection proudly displayed in shelving cabinets against the wall of my home. Where I can play an original pressing of The Beatles White Album, or Bowie’s Hunky Dory, or take a trip with Pink Floyd to The Dark Side of the Moon….

I guess what I am trying to say here is that there is no such thing as having too many LP records.