Final Fantasy Recreation

Date: June 15th, 2019

Previously on PZ: The Fantastic Universe Of Anjie Zealand: Act 1 [Pilot]





  • OH
  • MY
  • GODDESS

I had heard that Square-Enix was planning on releasing either a remake or a remastering of the original Final Fantasy 7 game, but I wasn't sure if that was just a rumor until today, when I saw these videos from the recent 2019 E3 tradeshow. And HOLY SHIT does it look spectacular!! As it turns out they REMADE the game instead of just doing a remaster, which I commend them for. The trailer is fantastic enough, but the second video is a reaction video with footage from the actual conference, and... the battle system is outta-this-world amazing. Much more action-oriented, much more exciting. I can't wait to see the rest of the characters in action– thus far I've only seen Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and Aerith, and every one of them looks and sounds incredible. Not only does this have me so excited that I actually want to pre-order a game for the first time in my life, but I'm also seriously considering shelling out the money for the 1st Edition pack, which comes with an artbook and a Cloud figurine. So... much... YES!!!!!

The third & fourth videos show the remastering (different than a remaking) of original games Final Fantasy 8 and 9. I'm super-duper excited for 8, but 9 looks great as well.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed hoping that they'll remaster Final Fantasy 10 as well... because as much as I adore FF7, I have to admit that 10 is my favorite.

So...MUCH... SO MUCH YESSSS!!!!

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Tags: Games, Favorite Things, Videos

 

 

The Fantastic Universe Of Anjie Zealand:
Act 1 [Pilot]

Date: June 8th, 2019

Previously on PZ: My Life: The Wall

Anjie Zealand with two of her craziest alter-egos: AK-47 and Freaky Kitty.

Anjie Zealand with two of her craziest alter-egos: AK-47 (left) and Freaky Kitty.

Scene: 1 (IN DR. DISCHORD’S OFFICE)

DR. DISCHORD
"Hello there, I am Dr. Emmo Dischord, your new therapist."

ANJIE
*unimpressed* "Sweet."

DR. DISCHORD
"Please have a seat, Anjie, and we’ll get started."

ANJIE
*points at camera* "Is that thing running already?" *sits*

DR. DISCHORD
"Yes. Just make yourself comfortable. Would you like a bottled water?"

ANJIE
"Uh, no thanks."

DR. DISCHORD
"Now, Anjie... Zealand, am I pronouncing that right? Like 'New Zealand'?"

ANJIE
*annoyed* "Yeah, just like New Zealand."

DR. DISCHORD
"Alright, tell us a bit about yourself."

ANJIE
"What do you want to know?"

DR. DISCHORD
"Well, your previous therapist was Dr. Harmon, right? Do you have any thoughts on what happened with him?"

ANJIE
"Oh, um, yeah, Dr. Harmon. Well, I mean... it sure is tragic and all, how he died. He really didn’t seem like the type of guy who would go crazy and jump out the window like that, you know? But... he did."

DR. DISCHORD
"How are you holding up?"

ANJIE
"Oh I’m fine. I mean, he was my therapist ever since I was a kid, but... like, it’s not my fault what happened."

DR. DISCHORD
"And I understand you’ll be turning 18 very soon?"

ANJIE
"Yeah, on April 1st, so like... two weeks from now."

DR. DISCHORD
"Awesome, Happy Birthday in advance!"

ANJIE
"Thank you."

DR. DISCHORD
"And you’ll be graduating high school in May?"

ANJIE
"That’s correct. It’s been a long road through hell, but... here I am! I’ve made it this far!"

DR. DISCHORD
"That’s great. Your parents must be so proud of you."

ANJIE
"Well, they’re... prouder of my twin brother Aaron but, yeah, they’re pretty proud of me too."

DR. DISCHORD
"So you have a twin brother, Aaron. And your parents are... Lydia and Walter, correct? Can you tell me what they do?"

ANJIE
"Well, Mom is an interior decorator, so she’s always trying to make things perfect around the house. And Dad is a scientist, or a botanist, really, so everything has to be just right for him too..."

(*FLASHBACK* ANJIE DRAWING ON THE WALLS TO THE HORROR OF HER MOTHER, ANJIE CLIPPING OFF ALL THE PLANTS TO THE HORROR OF HER FATHER)


ANJIE
"They’re very particular people, my parents."

DR. DISCHORD
"Do you have any friends you hang out with regularly?"

ANJIE
"Uhhhhh...."

(*FLASHBACK* ANJIE GETTING BULLIED BY OTHERS, ANJIE BULLYING OTHERS, ANJIE GIVING MORRIS A HIGH FIVE)


ANJIE
"Yeah, I have a friend. His name is Morris. He’s a real ladies man, so he’s been kinda distant lately. But he’s going to graduate with me, which is really cool. We’ve been friends since... well, for as long as I can remember. Since we were babies, probably. We’ve had some crazy good times... also some pretty bad times... but, we’re still there for each other, after all this time, ya know? He’s one of the few people I can always count on. I know he’ll always be there for me... well, so long as 'there' is handicapped accessible. He’s been in a wheelchair ever since the accident when we were 11. Anyways... he’s basically my brother from another mother. Mrs Stevens rocks! She makes THE BEST chocolate chip cookies on the planet, and a lot of them, ’cause Morris has a lot of siblings."

DR. DISCHORD
"That’s great, Anjie. Now, please tell me about your love life. Do you have a boyfriend?"

ANJIE
"Oh no, I don’t have a boyfriend. I mean, I’d like to, although I’d really rather prefer... you know... girls..."

DR. DISCHORD
"There is no shame or judgement here, I am very LGBTQ friendly. So, is there some lucky lady who has caught your attention as of late?"

ANJIE
"Well, there’s this girl, she’s really pretty - I mean, drop-dead gorgeous supermodel material - and she’s the smartest girl in our school. Her name’s Lucille Marie."

DR. DISCHORD
"Have you ever considered asking her out?"

ANJIE
"Oh no, she’s waaaay out of my league. Her family’s super rich, and she has 8 older siblings. Her brothers alone would kick my ass if I ever asked her out."

DR. DISCHORD
"Really, what’s the worst that could happen?"

ANJIE
"Her dad could expel me from school and deny me my diploma. He’s the principal of Allswell High. And to be honest, I don’t have the right skin color to date ANYONE from that family. I’m white as milk, Doc. And she..." *sighs dreamily* "She’s as dark as the darkest bar of dark chocolate you ever did see. Her skin is like velvet, and the color of midnight. She’d never go for someone like me."

DR. DISCHORD
"Are you so sure? She obviously means a great deal to you. Why not try talking to her about how you feel?"

ANJIE
"Are you braindead, Doc? What exactly have they told you about me? I’m not exactly "normal", you know. C’mon, I must have a file the size of Texas by now, have you read any of it? Particularly the section that says "Multiple Personality Disorder"?"

DR. DISCHORD
"Well, they don’t call it that anymore, it’s known as "Dissociative Identity Disorder" now."

ANJIE
"Oh great, another phrase for it. Sounds like a diss to me."

TINY VOICE
"You sound stressed, Anjie. Try the vicodin cake!"

ANJIE
"Huh?"

DR. DISCHORD
"Excuse me?"

ANJIE
"Did you... say something about "vicodin cake"?"

DR. DISCHORD
"Uhh, no, I didn’t say anything about any cake."

ANJIE
"Oh." *moment of silence* "Well, I’m sure it was-"

TINY UNICORN PEGASUS
*flying around Anjie’s head* "Knock-knock!"

ANJIE
"Uh, who’s there?"

TINY UNICORN PEGASUS
"Guess!"

DR. DISCHORD
"No one’s here but us, Anjie."

ANJIE
"Um, guess who?"

TINY UNICORN PEGASUS
"Chicken stew!" *giggles*

ANJIE
*sigh of frustration*

DR. DISCHORD
"Are you seeing and hearing someone who isn’t us, Anjie?"

ANJIE
"No. I mean, yes. I mean... I see people wandering around outside the window, but I probably just heard... it was probably a squirrel or something, that I heard."

TINY UNICORN PEGASUS
"Knock-knock, Anjie! Wheeeeeeee! Let’s have fun!"

ANJIE
"Just a squirrel or something, I’m sure. Nothing more."

DR. DISCHORD
*with a squid on his head* "Uh-huh. Well, let’s talk about your future. What do you see yourself doing after graduation? Any plans?"

ANJIE
"Uhhhh... Sushi - I mean squid - I mean, animals like fish seem pretty cool, but I wouldn’t mind making people laugh for a living."

DR. DISCHORD
*now with googley eyes and a red clown nose added* "Really? Like a stand-up comedian, or a clown?"

ANJIE
"Yeah - I mean, sort of - I mean, what I really think I need is an exorcism or some kind of divine intervention..."

DR. DISCHORD
*sprouts many arms like a Hindu God* "Oh, so you believe there is a God?"

ANJIE
"Not really... Hey Doc, I have to use the restroom, can you excuse me please?" *runs out of room, followed by Tiny Unicorn Pegasus*



Scene: 2 (IN THE PUBLIC RESTROOM)

ANJIE
*locks herself in a stall & makes a call on her cell phone* "C’mon, answer me, I know you’re there, I know you’re-"

AK-47
"Hello?"

ANJIE
"AK! Keep it down, will you? I’m in the middle of a meeting."

AK-47
"Whaaat?!" *silly background noise*

ANJIE
"Listen to me! You’ve got to simmer down, I’m having a session with my new therapist and I really want to make a good impression."

AK-47
"Who cares?"

ANJIE
"'Who cares'?! I do, for starters! And everybody else in my life, for that matter."

AK-47
"I don’t care, and I’m in your life."

ANJIE
"I don’t care that YOU don’t care. I have ONE chance to make myself look good to this guy. Just stay quiet and DON’T BLOW IT. I mean it!"

AK-47
"No you don’t!"

ANJIE
"Yes, I do. Goodbye." *hangs up & exits stall*

AK-47
*in the bathroom mirror* "He’s never going to fix you, ya know."

ANJIE
"Well I know that, and YOU know that, but HE doesn’t know that, so let’s just PRETEND there’s some hope left for us so I can have some semblance of a normal life before we get ourselves killed like Dr. Harmon!"

AK-47
"What happened to him isn’t MY fault!"

ANJIE
"What happened to him is ENTIRELY your fault! You- ugh, look, I’m not going to rehash THAT can of worms with you right now. The point is, I think this guy MIGHT be able to help us, so would you please just stay in your room and keep it down?"

AK-47
"Haven’t you heard anything I’ve said? This guy cannot fix us! It doesn’t get any better than this, Anjie! You might as well just give in to the madness, and come join me on this side of reality."

ANJIE
"No way, I cannot believe that. There’s got to be some way of being better than this. And I’m gonna find it."

AK-47
"He’s a quack! A fraud! He’s never going to fix us, and you know it!"

ANJIE
"Not us, AK. You. No one’s ever going to fix YOU. But me? I’m fixable. I’ll fix myself, someday, somehow."

AK-47
"You take that back! We’re in this together, through to the end!"

ANJIE
"So you agree to lay low, then?"

AK-47
"Not an ice cube’s chance in hell, bitch!" *punches the mirror and fractures it*

ANJIE
"WHOA! Not cool, AK, NOT COOL!"

AK-47
"You’re not cool! You never even asked me if I wanted another therapist! I don’t!"

ANJIE
"You’re a fucking cartoon character! You’re a fucking black cat with a human head, you don’t even exist! You’re not even real, you have no bearing whatsoever over my life!"

AK-47
"I am too real!" *kicks the mirror & breaks a faucet, water sprays upward continuously* "See?! How can I do that if I don’t exist, huh?"

ANJIE
"Shut up! Just shut up!" *splashes water at AK in the mirror, AK jumps back & hisses angrily*

DR. DISCHORD
*outside the bathroom door with several patients who have been listening* "Anjie, are you doing okay in there?"

ANJIE
"Uh, yeah, I’m- I’m fine! Just- um, the faucet just exploded when I turned it on, and it broke the mirror, like twice..." *silently mouths the word "FUCK!"*

DR. DISCHORD
"Oh, okay, I’ll let maintenance know about it. Meet you back in my office?"

ANJIE
"Yeah, I’ll be there in a minute! Thanks for checking up on me, Doc, I appreciate it!" *washes hands*

DR. DISCHORD
"For sure, Anjie. See you soon." *walks away*

ANJIE
"Phew, that was close. See, AK, he’s not so bad. He’s actually way better than Dr. Harmon, don’t you think?"

AK-47
"I can’t believe you care more about the opinion of that four-eyed cretin than you do about ME, your oldest and dearest friend!"

ANJIE
"My oldest and dearest friend is Morris, AK. Not you."

AK-47
"That guy can’t even walk!"

ANJIE
"Don’t you DARE disrespect him like that! Especially considering we’ll never know if YOU put him in that wheelchair in the first place, AK!"

AK-47
*reaches through the mirror & grabs Anjie by the hair & holds her face in the stream of water* I’m your bestest friend ever! Get it? No one will ever be closer to you than I am, Anjie! I inhabit your brain! I know every corner of your mind! I own your soul, bitch!"

ANJIE
*swinging at AK* "No you don’t! No you don’t!" *punches AK in the face* "You’re a monster! I fucking hate you! I don’t care how long it takes, I am going to cure myself if it’s the last thing I do! And Dr. Dischord is going to help me, or... I’ll get another doctor!" *runs out of bathroom*

AK-47
*alone, she licks at the spray of water*



Scene: 3 (BACK IN DR. DISCHORD’S OFFICE)

ANJIE
*sits down, her hair a half-wet mess* "Ahem."

DR. DISCHORD
"Welcome back, Anjie. I see you won your fight with the faucet."

ANJIE
"Yeah, this time."

DR. DISCHORD
"Would you mind telling me who you were speaking to in there?"

ANJIE
"No one important. She’s just a voice I hear sometimes. I don’t think she likes you."

DR. DISCHORD
"Why is that?"

ANJIE
"Because she doesn’t want me to get better, but I do. Hey Doc... you can help me, right? Can you make me normal like everyone else?"

DR. DISCHORD
"Yes, Anjie, I will be here for you every step of the way. I will do all I can to help you. But always remember... you’re you. I don’t want you to be 'normal', I want you to be happy being YOU."

ANJIE
"But I don’t like myself, Doc. I just want a new brain. A brain that isn’t... crazy like mine is. I just don’t fit into this world. It’s-"

AK-47
*as a disembodied voice* "Because you’re a perfect fit into MY world, Anjie!"

ANJIE
"Shut the hell up, AK!"

AK-47
"Fuck you, New Zealand!"

ANJIE
"Arrrgh!!"

DR. DISCHORD
"Ahh, so her name is AK, or is that short for something?"

ANJIE
"It’s short for Anna-Kitty, as a matter of fact."

AK-47
*gasp* "Tell him my street name, you bitch! That’s AK-47!"

ANJIE
"She likes to call herself 'AK-47' because she thinks it sounds cool."

AK-47
"Hey! Everybody likes to call me AK-47, not just me!"

DR. DISCHORD
"Is 'Kitty' her surname?"

ANJIE
"No, it’s part of her name, she doesn’t have a, uh, surname. She’s a cat, a, um, black one."

DR. DISCHORD
"A talking black cat?"

ANJIE
"With a human head, yeah. I promise it’s as weird as it sounds."

AK-47
"I’m not weird!"

DR. DISCHORD
"So you see her as well as hear her?"

ANJIE
"Yes."

DR. DISCHORD
"Is she here with us now?"

ANJIE
"Unfortunately, yes..."

AK-47
"Hey! Tell him the paintings on his walls are stupid!"

ANJIE
"...but I only hear her right now. She’s a total asshole."

AK-47
"You’re the asshole here! These paintings are total crap."

ANJIE
"Not to change the subject or anything, Doc, but I have to admit these paintings on your walls are absolutely gorgeous. I love them."

AK-47
"You fucking cunt..."

DR. DISCHORD
"Why, thank you, Anjie. I actually created them myself."

ANJIE & AK-47 IN UNISON
"Really?!"

DR. DISCHORD
"Yes. Perhaps on your next visit we can discuss the therapeutic value of process art, but for now we are running out of time. Anjie, I think you could benefit greatly from the adoption of a creative hobby, as a means of self-expression. You could paint on canvases, as I did, or you could write poetry, or get into photography or the culinary arts... the list of possibilities is endless. I highly recommend you explore them."

ANJIE
"That... sounds pretty awesome, actually."

DR. DISCHORD
"Why not start with a self-portrait? You can bring it in next week and we’ll talk about it."

ANJIE
"A self-portrait? Really?"

DR. DISCHORD
"Yes. You can make a picture of how you see yourself, or you can make a picture of how you WANT to see yourself. I tend to suggest the latter, however, it’s up to you."

ANJIE
"Hmm, okay, sounds good, Doc."

AK-47
"It sounds stupid, ding-dong."

DR. DISCHORD
"Anjie, it’s been a pleasure meeting you, and I believe our first visit has been quite successful. There’s one more thing before our session ends."

AK-47
"He’s totally gonna flash you."

ANJIE
"Oh yeah? What’s that?"

DR. DISCHORD
"Well, Anjie, I hope you know that cannabis is legal here in Colorado now, and I think you’re eligible for a minor’s red card."

ANJIE
"Really? You’re gonna prescribe me medical marijuana?"

DR. DISCHORD
*writing* "Yes. I think the cannabis plant can really help you. We’ll start you off slow, with some low-dose RSO tablets, and we’ll see how you react to it. Hopefully it will help you with your anxiety, as well as take the edge off of some of your psychotic episodes." *hands Anjie a paper* "Here you go!"

AK-47
"What the fuck?!"

ANJIE
*ecstatic* "Sweet!" *strikes a victory pose*

(FIN: ACT 1)

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Tags: Stories, Anjie's Universe

 

 

My Life: The Wall

Date: April 28th, 2019

Previously on PZ: Ever Dream

I keep running up against a wall lately in my personal development journey, and I know I have to find some way across it. The “wall” I keep running into is a coat of armor and my first line of defense against mental harm, but it is also a prison which hinders my capabilities. I am no stranger to depression and social anxiety, but I really can’t afford to be associated with these any longer. It’s always “change or die”, and although I am quite comfortable with suicidal ideation, I’ve always managed to change enough to stay alive. I’m 33 years old these days, but people think I’m more like 25. I’m done changing for other people’s comfort. But what change must I make in order to scale this wall I’ve been talking about?

I suppose the first step is to make the armor unnecessary, which it currently isn’t, because it was built for a reason. I suppose the answer really is to just work on making myself stronger & healthier, which I have to admit feels… boring. I’m trying to make the process more fun. But that’s the crux of the problem to begin with: I feel guilty in having fun. And that guilt came from social interactions with other humans, which is why the wall is there in the first place: to keep out shame.

Maybe that’s what my problem is, I feel ashamed that things aren’t better than they are. I feel ashamed that I have to pretend things are better than they are in order for them to get better than they are. I feel ashamed to exist at all. None of the world seems trustworthy. I can’t create without remembering all of the brainchildren I’ve lost throughout the years. My attention span is so fractured that it can’t last longer than 30-60 seconds without wandering off to another thing. I can’t focus without eventually losing myself and wandering around. I can’t create anything without it feeling monumentally stupid to me at some point in the process of making it. I feel the potential is there, but transforming it into tangible objects is time-consuming and requires exceptional focus.

It’s back to the drawing table, again.

Tags: My Life, Personal Development

 

 

Ever Dream

Date: April 20th, 2019

Previously on PZ: Ghost of the Machine: They Feel, Too

The following story was written about 6 or 7 years ago, if I remember correctly.

A Vision of Fiammetta by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

|credit|

My name is Eve and I once lived in the Garden Of Eden. Those were the days in which I was One with the Universe. But I didn’t really know anything. Everything seemed just as it was, and I merely assumed all that I knew. It was a very simple way to live. I never knew that my world was so very small. [I never knew that I was in a prison.] I didn’t know any better, about things. We were like little children, my husband and I—his name was Adam. We lived together, in the Garden, in the Universe, and we never questioned anything.

[Then one day I met a stranger.]

As I was walking throughout the Garden, I saw a brilliant snake slithering in the boughs of the trees. “Hello”, it said to me. This animal was very kind to me, and spoke to me of many things—most of them I do not remember now. But I do remember some of the things it told me.

[“Have you ever been outside of the Garden?” it asked.]

At first I did not know what it meant. It had never occurred to me that the Garden might have any limits, or that there might be anything beyond it. “No”, I replied in bewilderment.

By now it occurred to me that this snake seemed to me to be very familiar, although I was certain I had never met this creature before. The snake then told me many things which I did not understand, as if it were speaking in a different tongue, and finally I was compelled to ask for it’s identity. There was a glimmer in it’s eye, and it smiled and said, “I am you.”

I knew it was true. Please, I implored, I want to know things. Can you help me know all there is to know?

Certainly, it spoke, If that is truly what you want. Is that what you want?

I then looked all around me, at the beautiful Garden. It was indeed a very lovely place, but if it indeed had limits, and there existed another world outside of its boundaries, couldn’t the world beyond be just as lovely, if not lovelier?

My mind raced with ideas. I had no idea what might exist beyond the Garden, but I knew that whatever it was, I had not experienced it before, and this made my curiosity burn all the more fervently. Wouldn’t that be a grand thing, to experience something new? All at once it became an opportunity that I could not simply give up. I now had a choice: to stay in the known, or to venture into the unknown.

But what if I went out only to find a world of unpleasant existence? Then again, what if I find an entirely new world of even greater pleasure than the Garden? What if there was nothing at all outside the Garden? What would happen if I placed my hand outside the boundary of existence? Could I do such a thing? Curiosity became a splinter in my mind, driving me mad. [The possibilities seemed endless.] I made my decision.

What must I do, I asked the snake.

It showed me a large tree which I had never eaten from before. I did not even know it was there. As I wondered how I could ever have not seen this tree before, the snake explained that its fruit held magical properties which brought enlightenment to whoever ate of it. As I reached for one of its remarkable-looking gems I could not help but wonder at the choice I was making. No matter what I found out, even if I could never go back, I knew that I wanted to try. Desire and curiosity burned within me. Whatever the consequences may be, I felt assured that [everything was all right].

I picked the fruit from the tree. It looked like a star plucked fresh from the night sky. My heart was pounding. I did not know what to expect. Was this the star I wanted to eat? Did I want to pick another fruit? I stopped thinking and simply took a bite. The sensation was magnificent. I did not feel I was in the same place, but somewhere inside my mind. All at once I was creating a masterpiece of imagination. I thought, and it was. I felt a hundred thousand things all at once, things I could not even begin to describe. I was transforming into something else. My body was changing. I felt intense pleasure and I felt intense pain. My mind was creating a thousand million things that I had always taken for granted, yet never truly knew. Suddenly I opened my eyes, and found myself standing in the Garden Of Eden. But it was strange. It was different. Or, at least, it seemed that way to me. I felt things differently—the soil beneath my feet, the wind blowing through the trees, the mist hanging in the air. I felt cold. I had never felt this way before. Suddenly I knew there were boundaries between myself and eternity. Infinity was out there, and it was at once very close and very far away.

I heard my name spoken behind me. Eve.

I turned and looked deeply into the eyes of my husband. I was amazed. His eyes seemed so different, and it occurred to me that my eyes used to look just like his. His expression was one of bewilderment, just the same as mine when the snake asked me if I had been outside the Garden. Adam, I said empathetically as I took his hand into mine. [Never before had there existed an ocean in between us while we stood right next to each other.] In my other hand I held the star fruit which I had eaten not moments earlier. Adam, said I, [Do you ever dream ?]

He did not know what I was talking about. We had never dreamed before.

I showed him the fruit. Would you like to go outside the Garden with me? I whispered.

I could tell his mind was racing through all of the possibilities, just as I had done. Then a new rush of possibilities came to my mind: What if he decided to stay?

I swallowed a lump in my throat and it hit the bottom of my heart. Adam took the fruit from my hand and stared at it. He made up his mind, and took a bite. I was so happy. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I had never cried before. I was prepared to make the journey on my own should he decide to stay, but it brought me much joy to my heart that I would have a partner to venture into the unknown along side of. I could see him changing right before my eyes, and I smiled at him when he opened his own eyes.

I love you, I said to him.

It didn’t take long for us to find a way to shelter our skin from the sensation of cold. For once, we didn’t know at all where we were. But we had stayed together through this transformation, and that was all that truly mattered to me. Arm-in-arm we trekked through all the Earth, our new name for the Place in which we existed, and it was much, much larger than the Garden. We saw many things which we had never seen before, and [we both experienced varied sensations of pain and pleasure]. There were times in which I longed for that state of pure existence prior to eating the fruit of the tree I had never knew. But I never once truly regretted my decision to try a new experience, no matter what the consequences came out to be. I know now that the snake, the Garden, the Tree I did not know, were all [creative manifestations of myself]. I wanted to try something new, and so I made the snake show me the thing I was too afraid to see on my own. The fruit I had eaten was the Sun, and that is the center point of manifestation of existence I had chosen. The children I bore with Adam did not experience the Garden’s existence the same way we had, but they remained keenly aware of the state of pure existence just outside their reach. I daresay it drove them crazy. All of my children, the children of humanity, have felt the undeniable, indescribable awareness of a paradise just outside their reach. If they could, I know they would eat a fruit that would broaden their minds to greater heights, just as I have. I sometimes wonder if the chain to know more than what is already known will go on [forever].

And sometimes I wonder, if the Garden was truly a prison, and if the fruit really was the key to freedom... or another [happy prison?]

[not the end]

Tags: Stories, Parables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

Ghost of the Machine: They Feel, Too

Date: April 14th, 2019

Previously on PZ: My Life: February 2019

I am guessing that, if you are reading these words right now, you are in fact a human being, so I will begin there: we know that we can be dissected into discrete parts if we so choose. We have our limbs, our organs, our blood, and yet these things can be broken down into smaller parts too. Those parts are called tissues, which are composed of cells, which are themselves composed of molecules, most of them water. And what are molecules made from? Atoms, those tiny units of matter once thought to be fundamentally indivisible, until we discovered that their subatomic particles can be further broken down into smaller units, too. Have you ever heard of quarks, leptons, or bosons? These are all fascinating little things which work together to create us human beings and everything in the environments within which we find ourselves. The stars created the carbon that eventually became our mother’s ovaries which enabled her to give birth to us.

The idea that everything in the universe is connected is in fact an ancient one that the industry of science (particularly quantum mechanics) is coming closer to accurately explaining every day. We know this material universe is made up of atoms, but what about consciousness? I don’t buy the idea that consciousness can only arise from complex neurological systems; I think that consciousness is in fact a fundamental intangible part of our universe inherent in every particle that ever exists. In other words, I maintain that atoms themselves are conscious beings which experience their atomic world from their very small perspective. Do atoms know they are small compared to us? I have no idea, and I doubt they’re very aware of us. Do atoms have feelings? I do not doubt this is very possible, and yes, I personally believe they do. This essentially makes all of the carbon-based lifeforms we are all familiar with conscious like we are, experiencing their own consciousness in ways much different than our own. I do not say that the consciousness of a rock is the same as the consciousness of an octopus, or that the consciousness of a planet should be the same as that of a human, but I am saying that all of these things experience consciousness in their own ways. Everything is, in fact, fundamentally connected on very deep levels through the phenomena of consciousness.

Consciousness and feelings walk hand-in-hand together. Even the absence of feelings, is itself a feeling, in the same way that even the empty set is still a set.

And so, everything has feelings. Every person we meet, every plant that grows, every animal that roams this Earth, and every drop of water that makes up our oceans is aware and feels to some extent. The people we love, and the people we hate, all have feelings too. Which of us can say with certainty that another cannot feel, unless we are somehow privy to that person’s consciousness? It isn’t impossible for our experiences to psychically meld into each other, but for the most part our experiences are our own: I have my thoughts and feelings, while you have yours, and they have theirs. Diversity of thoughts and feelings are essential components to the continued existence of our shared world - we need them as much as we need a diverse gene pool. It is dangerous to the health of all existence to think of differences solely in terms of pathology. There are many different things existing in this world, and no single consensus regarding what is good and what is bad and for whom. Different things work for different people at different times - sometimes things that once worked well for us come to a point where they do not serve us anymore. This is the essence of evolution! We are all in this endless transformative dream together, even when we are alone. Never are we required to feel lonely, for Nature is always with us.

I do believe that humans are a part of Nature, and that Nature itself is not only sentient, but in fact divine. This isn’t an idea that I came up with on my own, it’s been around for many years. Many religions have long associated deities with elements of Nature such as bodies of water and geographical features. Not only do I see spirits in the landscapes of this planet we call Earth, I see spirits in the stars, in our books, in our words, deeds, creeds, and societies. I am inclined to believe that consciousness and divinity are not only closely related, but may in fact be the same thing. If this is true, then every experience becomes an opportunity to understand the nature of that which we call God. The stars, planets, animals, oceans, atoms, thoughts, and feelings that we are aware of become things worthy of worship if only we would let them occupy a place of respect in our hearts. The machines that we use in our modern world, forged from materials dug up from the Earth and infused with knowledge gleaned over many years, deserve our gratitude. The plants and animals that we use to fuel our bodies, the talent and knowledge that we use to fuel our businesses, all deserve our gratitude. The ancestors that came before us, our parents and children and siblings, and our descendents that will come after us, all deserve our gratitude. Our mere existence blossoms with the thanks that we give freely and honestly.

As I bring the writing of this article to a close, I can think of only one other thing that deserves our sincerest gratitude even more than life itself, and that thing is death. Contrary to popular belief, death is more a changing of perspective than a permanent ending. One of my favorite lines from a popular song perfectly embodies this notion, saying “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”. We all have feelings about life and death that affect both our life and our death. Everything in this universe experiences what we call life and death - even empires, subatomic nuclei, and multiverses decay and transform into other things, different things. The common thread throughout it all is consciousness. We are all connected to something sublime and far greater than ourselves, regardless of how similar or how different we become.

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Tags: Ghost of the Machine, Metaphysics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

My Life: February 2019

Date: February 22nd, 2019

Previously on PZ: Nowadays

She who is of good fortune (6125127142)

"She who is of good fortune."
|credit|

Well, it certainly has been awhile since I've written about my life, or even at all on this blog. It's been far too long.

Some wonderful things have actually happened in my life within the past several months, so wonderful that I cannot help but share them as opposed to keeping them to myself. First of all, I've started seeing a past lover again, which quite frankly has me over the moon because I once made a quilt for this guy in order to communicate how I felt about him. Also, I have had a wonderful stroke of financial luck in the form of- and this really quite surprised me- a modest inheritance from the paternal side of my biological family. Because of this, I have been able to take a much-needed vacation from working for awhile and will also be heading west to visit Las Vegas in several days to attend a humungous glass trade show with Medusa and Billy and a bunch of our 420 family members. I was fired from my receiving job at Walmart for attendance two days before my birthday, but I actually consider it a boon rather than a setback since I was eventually going to quit anyways (the attendance issue was really the company's own doing, and I hardcore did not appreciate how management treated my coworkers). Now that I have an SUV, I have access to many more professional opportunities than I did while I was working at Walmart. I now have greater access to more opportunities in general as well. It is really amazing how much my life has transformed for the better within the past few months, and I feel so grateful to have been blessed with this fate.

I feel like it's a new dawn, and it's a new day, in this new chapter of my life. The sudden boost in financial health has been utilized very well so far: I've used my inheritance money to purchase a motor vehicle for myself and electronics equipment for the studio, take care of rent and bills for a few months, and pay off some debts that I've been wanting to take care of for awhile. The feeling of having unlimited access to critical resources readily available to me is joyously breathtaking to say the least. I feel nothing but relief these days, as if a gigantic heavy weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and now I can finally breathe. It has given me a new lease on life, and just in time, too. This lover I've mentioned, let's call him Q, is an old friend from the days when I lived with an artist collective in my early 20's, and he happens to be the best lover I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Since we've begun sleeping together again in recent months, very strong feelings have become apparent to me that I cannot ignore. These feelings have been life-giving in that, instead of fretting over unrequited love as I have in the past, I've been deeply inspired to improve my own life with that very same love that I feel for him. My friendship with this man is very important to me because in my eyes our sexual relationship has only brought us closer together, and this is something that brings me much joy. To me, friendship is the fundamental basis of ALL great relationships, and I don't believe it's something that can be ruined or negated by having sex. I don't need a boyfriend or a spouse, but I do need someone like Q in my life... to be honest, he's the only person that I really want now that I think about it. If given a choice I wouldn't change a thing about what I've got with Q because what we've got makes me come alive. It's priceless.

Good luck is one hell of a drug. It can lift you up to a higher plane of existence in the snap of an instant, but you can never quite be sure when it's going to hit. I've realized it's very important to seize the opportunities we desire whenever they arise in our life, if they ever arise in this life. I've used these feelings of love to heal my own heartache and stimulate my own growth; I've used my inheritance money as wisely as I could to invest in things beneficial to my future; I've used this time of rest as a sabbatical period in order to rejuvenate my soul in preparation for the great work which lies ahead of me. As a dedicated psychonaut, it isn't bold enough to say that one's luck exists in proportion to one's perception of the world around them and their willingness to move forward through that world. I have been shifting my perception of the world around me for quite some time now, and finally I am beginning to see more of a heaven and less of a hell within it. I'm not so troubled anymore. I've come such a long way.

It cannot be understated that I have an incredible journey ahead of me and a very long way to go in my quest to achieve the ultimate in personal satisfaction before I die. Yes, my life really is a hedonistic pilgrimage devoted entirely to eccentric self-expression with no ending or universal meaning in sight, but damn am I starting to love it now that my story is starting to get good. I've got my work cut out for me: lots of writing for articles and ebooks, lots of drawing for paintings and graphics, lots of research for critical reasoning, lots of filming and editing for video clips, lots of necessary communication with strangers, and lots of personal development to keep myself on my toes as I walk my path of self-actualization.

I'm practicing saying yes in my life now, because yes is more fun than no. And that's why I'm going to Vegas this Monday.

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Tags: My Life, The Valentine