Poem: The Choice

Impulsive,

following the first thought,

the first desire,

the first pleasure.

 

Confused,

thinking that is what you are thinking,

that is what you want,

that is what you need.

 

Man being god,

he like the all-knowing sits above and watches,

observes the animals going about their business,

animals that are full of thought, desires, and pleasures,

who are constantly acting on impulses,

but He watches and observes,

You watch and observe,

the real you isn’t the first to act.

 

Breathing in heavenly air,

shrouded in stillness,

clear sight, clear mind,

choosing what you act upon,

the choice is godlike,

the choice is man,

the choice is you.

 

Poem: Reflect On The Self

Eyes only for the bad leaves a darkened heart,

seeing, watching, consuming all that is wrong.

Eyes only for the good leave an ignorant heart,

overlooking, bypassing, ignoring the realities of life.

 

To neither be dark or ignorant,

to neither be cynical or idealistic,

rather, be aware of the self which is all of that and more,

through awareness, decency follows.

 

Eyes turned inwards,

peering into the shadowy pockets within as orbs of light shine and dim,

eyes outwards looking into the mirror,

the reflection shows all of mankind,

the shadow and light within mirrors all of mankind.

 

Consume enough hate and you’ll become hateful,

consume enough fear and you’ll become fearful,

consume enough goodness and you’ll become good,

consume enough knowledge and you’ll become intelligent.

 

Reflect on the difference and you’ll become different,

reflect on the similarities and you’ll become similar,

reflect on yourself and you’ll be one with mankind.

 

 

Lessons From Poems: Man Has Created Life

Nor dread nor hope attend

A dying animal;

A man awaits his end

Dreading and hoping all;

Many times he died,

Many times rose again.

A great man in his pride

Confronting murderous men

Casts derision upon

Suppression of breath;

He knows death to the bone—

Man has created death.

Death by William Butler Yeats

This simple, twelve-line poem by W. B. Yeats strikes at an important truth about mankind which is stated in the very last line of the poem, “Man has created death”. Meaning because we are conscious creatures who need to understand life, we have separated the natural occurrences of life into labels and ideas, one such label being that of death. By labeling death and being aware of death we have also given birth to dread and its opposite, hope.

Other animals aren’t conscious as human beings, which is why Yeats says:

Nor dread nor hope attend

A dying animal

They don’t understand death which is why they don’t dread it like humans do and neither do they understand possibilities which is why they don’t hope as humans do.

This idea of manmade problems has been prevalent for centuries. The Stoics believed that people suffered more in imagination than they did in reality. This results from being conscious. We can actively control how our life is shaped and what we can achieve, but we are also aware of what isn’t in our control and what is the natural course of existence. Many anxieties and fears stem from consciousness because we aren’t dumb animals without awareness. Our mind lingers in the past or in the future, areas which we have no influence on. At the same time, consciousness allows us to overcome those anxieties and fears by focusing on the present moment and improving the current situation. This is what I take from the following lines:

Many times he died,

Many times rose again.

Each time we bow to our fears, a part of us dies, but each time we overcome a fear, we are reborn. Rise again as a better version of ourselves.

However, such growth only comes from acceptance. Accepting that death is inevitable and acting regardless of that eventuality. Regardless of your fears and anxieties, regardless of pressure and stress. This is how a man becomes great.

A great man in his pride

Confronting murderous men

Casts derision upon

Suppression of breath;

A great man is someone who knows death but doesn’t fear it. He is willing to confront it and do the right thing even though it may result in him losing his life. “Confronting murderous men” could be taken literal and we can applaud the honorable individuals who do so or, it can be taken as symbolic and applied to life, confronting life, rather than cowering/suppressing from the unknown and unpredictable aspects of life.

The opposite of death is life. If man has created death, then he has also created life, his own life. Meaning that because we are conscious animals, we may be burdened by our knowledge of death but we are also relieved by our knowledge of life. Specifically, our ability to give meaning and purpose to our own lives which can overshadow death. And in doing so, find a sense of comfort with the eventuality of death because each individual has the opportunity or perhaps even a responsibility to take on the dread and hope associated with being alive.

 

Poem: The Changing Self

As the world changes with technology, so does the concept of self,

the real you is pushed to the background,

replaced by a digital self which is fixed and filtered,

shared only with ideal proportions which match what you wish you looked like,

encouraging the mind to imagine a different you,

a you whose edges have been buffed out,

whose nose has been fixed,

with touched up smiles,

to match the fake projection of yourself.

 

All for the likes,

for the fake love, self or otherwise,

the false care,

the double-tap of insecurity,

the lack of likes makes self-loathing thoughts,

the abundance of likes reinforces the fake self,

the self is driven by ego to be liked,

the self which overshadows the real you,

the real self which craves disconnection,

so it can connect with itself, with you.

 

But the buzzing phones,

the bright screen,

the technology to connect,

keeps the self from connecting,

and with time,

it creates a hollow self,

but the heart notifications hit like a heroin needle,

the instant dosage of gratification,

and for that moment,

this thing, this self on the web, is happy,

so are you,

as you evolve into this blend of muscles, tendons, blood, zeros and ones, wavelengths, and coding formula.

 

Poem: Man, The Creator

Before the self-hate, self-love, self-care,

before the self-awareness,

before the self-consciousness,

man was part of nature,

an animal without dread or hope.

 

The initial drop of awareness sent ripples throughout the mind,

ripples that colored the world,

vibrant with pain and suffering,

magnetic with death and destruction,

dynamic with love and care.

 

Simple realities of life now labeled,

now dreaded, now hopeful,

now feared, now craved,

detached from nature.

 

Man stands head and shoulders above the other beings,

the head constantly looking over the shoulder,

look for death,

his creation,

man is God.