Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

I have never really considered myself as an artist. Time to change that. I have come to the conclusion that it would be quite beneficial for each and every one of us to regard ourselves as artists. I am not just talking about playing music or painting pictures etc. I mean the art of living - becoming the ceremonial master of your own reality.

What I mean by that is not so easily explained but hopefully you get the idea by the end of this text. It is something that has always been a part of my life philosophy but I have never really attempted to put it into words. So I am not only explaining this to my dear readers but to myself as well. Self-examination is a powerful tool in our everyday life, and that is what I am doing here in this text, continued from my previous entry, Turning the page to a new age.

What kind of person have I become?
How do I perceive myself and how do I portray myself to others?
How did I get to this point in life?
Where am I heading?

I have been working on these questions for quite a while, and they are very basic questions in any given self development strategy. But applying them into your own being is where the art of living comes in. There is a tremendous power in written words, in music, in paintings... art is not just about putting rhyming words together or mixing colors or figuring out which chord sounds most pleasant after the previous one. It is all about expression. What is it that you are trying to portray with your work? Behind every great piece of art there is a message that the artist has in mind. It is a manifestation of the inspiring forces, channeled through this person. A dream or a vision materialized in a certain format. Today I had an idea of writing this type of a text. That divine spark of revelation is what drives me to create. Perhaps one day I will write a book, I already have some themes on my mind that I could expand on but the plot has not revealed itself to me yet. Maybe I'm not ready for that at this stage.

Deciding the right format is very important, but that should not be a limitation for expression. Art is a journey of discovery, self discovery to be more exact. Let's say you wish to reflect the horrors of war and the general cultural degeneration of our western society. Then the medium for this type of art could be something like I had with my first death metal band back in 2007. Yep, that's me down below with the guitar, covered in cow's blood...

During the last few years I have been experimenting with different styles and forms of art. I find this quite liberating. It removes some barriers of the mind that hold people back. I see it as the masculine yang force as described in Chinese philosophy. An expansion of the mind, an exploration into the unknown. After the initial expansion comes eventually a time of contraction when all that has been learned and discovered are absorbed, embraced and synthesized in the female, yin, aspect. To put this into perspective, I could say that for the last five years I have been going around doing many kinds of things, traveling and experimenting. As a result I have turned into a chameleon. I can quite easily adapt to different situations and experience the whole spectrum of life. All it takes is putting aside narrow mindedness and being more curious. Perhaps for the next five years it is then time to synthesize the things I have learned and put them into meaningful practice. The Chinese would call it becoming one with the tao, in musical terms we can speak of harmonization.

A major thing that I have learned is that I don't really want to be a reflection of my environment. I prefer my environment to be a reflection of me. That is the essence and meaning behind my first tattoo, a text that says Non Serviam. I regard a tattoo as a medal of honor. Once I have accomplished something, a tattoo is a symbol of that achievement. I don't serve any single person or any single philosophy. Doing that only enslaves people and imprisons them into tiny boxes. Jack Nicholson made a great reference to the Non Serviam ideology in Martin Scorsese's film The Departed. Again we see a different way of communicating a message, this time in a character of a crazed gangster.

Polar Night Fandango was a more serious attempt for me to express myself. It was quite an experimental band where I wrote all the music and lyrics. All the band members were my best friends so it was just boys being boys and having fun while being creative. Playing music or playing in the sandbox, it's not that different really. All in all, it was a very educational experience and I still quite like the raw creative force that went into those songs. But I was still in a very delicate phase in terms of my personal development and that was when I decided to move to the UK for studying. This next song is what I still regard as my greatest artistic achievement so far. The lyrics reflect my state of transformation in order to find my true self; a spiritual pursuit towards the mastery of my mind. I was already living in the UK when I made the video, inspired by Zeitgeist Addendum.

After starting University I started exploring more the opportunity of using a cinematic approach as a way of expression. Again I wanted to push my limits further. I was learning how to film and edit videos and tried to capture some episodes of my journey in a meaningful way. I was not concerned what other people would think about it but it was something that was meaningful for me. I was mapping my development as you can now see in this blog entry. It was becoming a ritual. This is what I am, this is what I want to be in the future. So one of the clips I made was a trailer to my life. What would my life look like if it was a movie? You can see the result below.

People sometimes ask me why am I so quiet. I do speak with people but I'm not really into small talk. Sometimes I just prefer to listen to others. I might also get lost in my thoughts, and it's probably better to keep some ideas to myself instead of turning every coffee table conversation into a philosophical debate. There is a time and place for that, and certain mediums of expression are more effective when I do wish to bring my ideas forth. This blog, for example, is a great way to collect my thoughts and organize them. I get to do it at my own pace and no one can interrupt me while I'm doing it. And of course once it's done it can be read over and over again. I really hate to repeat myself so this way I get to communicate the same message to a larger audience. Just imagine for a moment that I would go around and tell people individually all the things that I have just written here...

Art is magical. They teach you how to spell at school but they never reveal how to make a spell. That is what I mean by becoming a true artist. Not just some attention seeking entertainer that you see on the TV all the time. Don't be a reflection of your environment, especially if you are not happy with it. Become someone that people will look up to and they will follow you. Then you can share the same wisdom with those who have chosen to listen to you. We can not change our environment but we can change ourselves. Become a radiating beacon of light and shine like the sun.

I'm not claiming that I have mastered everything and that I have all the answers to life's questions. But I have found a direction for my life, and it gives a  whole different tone to my art.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Turning the page to a new age

There is something magical in the first days of June. A slight change in the air, a scent in the wind that brings along a breath of freedom. Kids are finishing school and getting ready for summer holidays. Can you still relate with that feeling when school is out? Or have you become a modern caveman who frowns at the computer screen in some concrete house? Lack of enthusiasm is not far from depression so it's quite beneficial to do the things you really enjoy doing.

I already touched on this subject in my earlier text The Science of Silence when I talked about the rat race where people get lost in the labyrinth and eventually stop looking for the way out and just settle into some corner with a few other lost creatures. Sounds familiar? People trapped in their daily routines with jobs they don't care about or even worse, they are looking for a job and can't even get the job they would later on end up hating. Young people graduate from Universities with a nice sounding degree but all they really have is a baggage of student loans and very limited experience in the "real world" while hunting for a job in their respective marketplace. And is the employment situation going to change for the better? I doubt that.

People tend to lack an understanding of strategic planning. Going to a certain school or looking for a certain job has very little to do with strategy, it can be a tactical maneuver like a small battle in a larger war but never the end goal that one should truly be working towards. Now I may start to sound like I'm quoting The Art of War, which is a very popular book on the philosophy regarding strategic planning. Sun Tzu's doctrine has also been applied to other areas in life besides war, evidently because both short term and long term objectives need to be considered. This book did in fact come up during my studies as a part of a unit dealing with corporate strategy and leadership. Business environment is often regarded as a fierce battlefield, and certainly one can apply this mentality to everyday life as well. But do you really want to see the world as a constant battlefield? Of course you can do that, and if you do, it will also be one. Everything depends on how you look at things.


Quantum mechanics goes as far as proving that the object actually changes depending on how it is viewed. So if you want to change your life, you need to change your thinking. If you concentrate on your problems, you will only attract problems. This mindset has been popularized in recent years as the Law of attraction as described in the best selling book, The Secret. But of course there is nothing new under the sun, and this philosophy has been known throughout the ages.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” - Bible.
"Concentrate on the solutions rather than the problems." - Common sense.

This may sound very "New age", and in my opinion the so called New Age movement has tapped into many important things that should not be simply disregarded as fluffy and flaky airy fairy humbug. But the problem with many of these New Age philosophies is that they often present a watered down version of the real deal suggesting that positive thinking is the key to anything. If it doesn't work then you just haven't been positive enough. Nothing wrong with positive thinking but it also makes people damn passive. Let's take psychedelics as an example. Mind altering substances have their own place as a tool, as a trigger to open some pathways in our brain. But there is a big difference between using and abusing these powerful plants which deserve some respect. Again, I'm not judging anyone who wants to smoke pot all day and watch movies or something like that. But it is very hypocritical to speak about making a difference in the world that way.

What does the New Age mean in the first place? It is quite a loose term applied to all sorts of things. Perhaps some people might think of me as a new ager simply because I appear to be a bit of a strange character. To others it may seem like an eastern style of interior decoration or some sort of calming music with exotic instruments. Anyway, the truth is that we are actually entering a new age. According to whom? Well, pretty much every single tradition existing on the planet. Recently there has been a lot of attention in the Mayan calendar that ended in 2012. But let's have a look at a more familiar calendar in the Western world, the Zodiac. The year of course consists of 12 months that correspond to the 12 star signs, the 12 apostles in the sky. But there is also a Great Year that lasts for about 25,800 years. This is again divided into 12 astrological ages in a similar way as our earthly years with the exception that we pass these signs in a reverse order. So at the moment we are at the brink of a new age, namely the Age of Aquarius. It is also worth noting that Aquarius is one of the four fixed signs. These four signs (Leo, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius) comprise the holy cross of fire, earth, water and air.

For the past 2000 years or so our planet has been dwelling on the Age of Pisces. This is of course symbolised in the Bible by the story of Jesus who is often depicted as a fish. There is a big mistranslation in the King James version of the Bible when Jesus says: "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world". In other translations this verse has the wording "I am with you always, to the end of the age.” So the Mayan calendar is not the only prophecy that has been turned into an apocalyptic vision. The previous age before the Piscean age was of course the Age of Aries. Aries is the ram or lamb of God that was then "sacrificed" at the end of that cycle when we entered the Piscean age. The symbol of the Arian age was Moses who is often depicted with horns and you can still see Jews blowing traditionally the ram's horn. And what was it that Moses was so upset about? The golden calf. Yes, you're right that was again the age of Taurus that preceded the Age of Aries.

So what does this mean? It means that we are faced with something new, something quite revolutionary. It has been viewed as the age of freedom. There is an expectation that the Aquarian age will usher in a period of group consciousness. In a same way as the golden calf was the old paradigm when entering the Arian age, as the ram was the old paradigm when entering the Piscean age, we must now move on from worshipping this fish cult. The Piscean age was an age of monotheism. Will there be a great upheaval? Taking into account the current zeitgeist, it is a fairly likely scenario. Some people want to hold on to their old ways but it will be increasingly harder. Perhaps a smarter thing to do is to embrace the emerging innovations, the new collective ideology and sharing of information. Things that have been sworn to secrecy will be revealed. It is only a matter of time when the perpetrators of this era will face their punishment. You can call it karma or divine justice if you like. In case you have not thought about these things before this may sound a bit intriguing. By all means I encourage you to do your own homework on this subject because all too often people just believe all sorts of bs they have been fed.

The world around us is changing quite rapidly, but the same goes for our personal lives. Like I said in the beginning of this text, I have felt this exalting sensation of freedom for the past few days and I have a good reason for that. At the moment I am turning a new page in my life in several ways. I have now finished my studies at Bournemouth University although the graduation ceremony won't be until November. So yes, I am now one of those young graduates with a nice sounding degree and a student loan. However, going to University was merely a manouver in my larger strategy with the main intention of enlargening my "territory" to the UK. Of course I also had the chance of doing a placement in Jamaica which opened up new possibilities for my future.

Around the time of my last exam I went to a local event that could be described a bit new agy. There I met a representative of Forever Living Products who was showcasing some aloe vera products. I was already well informed about the various benefits of aloe, so I started a discussion regarding the importance of nutrition with her. You see, during my hospitality studies I have found my passion in nutrition, I guess it was sparked during my jamaican adventure. Especially herbal medicine, superfoods and dietary optimisation were things that got my interest and I had began researching on my own, outside the curriculum. I had on my mind an idea that it would be great to get a job in that area but then again I did not want to get trapped in the day to day rat race. One option would have been starting my own company but also a very tedious process. So, after that initial talk and later on a business presentation I attended, it became evident that Forever could be just what I was looking for. A business that I could run the way I wanted, it was flexible and operating in 150 countries all over the world so I would not be restricted to stay in one place. This feature really fitted well with my wandering nature.

So, I signed up with Forever and not long after that I heard that I would need to move from the house I was living at the moment (and still am, this all happened very recently). So I started looking for a new place to live until a few days ago I realized that I had accomplished my "mission" in the UK for now. It was time to change the country. I am a bit of a nomadic character and I began to feel that I would be needed elsewhere. I already had a few things lined up that I wanted to do in Finland and it would be an easy option to go back "home" for a while to re-evaluate my situation and decide on future expeditions and conquests. After all, I had a degree in my pocket together with a business that I have already started developing. You can check out my web page and store at I will be making some videos on YouTube in the future, explaining some nutritional stuff and of course advertising my products which are very high quality stuff. So if you decide to order something it won't be just a favor for me but a favor for yourself as well. I'm not a salesman really but more of a recommender of the things that I have found beneficial for myself.

Now I am looking forward to being able to mobilise myself even more. I have also finished recording a song for my upcoming project together with a music video in the making. There will be more information regarding this project in the near future, I'll just post a cheeky picture for now. This is another project that I want to keep mobile, so I can do recordings regardless of where I am situated. In my long term strategy I am planning for a touring band, but it needs a bit of work since that will be like an international dream team ensemble or something like that. Mostly I'm looking forward to reuniting with a certain drummer who is residing in Jamaica.

I have already booked my ticket to Finland and will be landing to the land of a thousand lakes on 26th of June. My next objectives? Get my business going and make some kick ass music. My long term goals? Mental, physical and financial liberation. What I tend to do is combine parts of well thought strategic planning with a bit of positive thinking, trying to live in the moment. It's an old zen master trick, you set yourself a goal and then sort of forget about it. And try not to take things too seriously.