Asylum Rising: Aluta Continua…

“A culture can be likened to a quilt of intricate geometrical design in which all the many colored pieces, their shapes and stitches flow into one another, constitute the whole. This analogy is apt for yet a second reason. Often, the design on the upper side of the quilt is different from the undersurface pattern. Still, the undersurface design is essential for the outward surface appearance.” – Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, The Isis Papers(pg. 53)


The concern with simulated social environments is that practice over a digital medium is not exactly practice within an organic one. The major point of technology for Blacks shouldn’t be in attempting to be experts in doing that which they can do offline, but doing that which is being done by others that Afkans (Afrikan Amerikkkans) aren’t doing or can’t do in other spaces. I don’t very much need to watch Afkans stepping if I can walk around to the nearest pub or club and get lessons from a live source that will fundamentally be a better teacher. The mastery of technology for the sake of mastery over that technology should be the focus; not the further separation of humanity from humanity by means of technologically assisted socialcide. Even with my extreme affection for the technologically addictive, my world couldn’t function properly without offline interactions…


I suppose every now and again a thought crosses my mind…

The taste of a bitter wind passing through a blanket stapled over a window,

… the cringe of nerves as a police car passes mine from the rear;

… a sense of the obscure as thoughts of meals and places to sleep are left unanswered as the day passes.

How fast things can change when you place customs and conformity to the side for considerations of the faith based. No, I’m still Mr. ‘Tell Your God To Cough HIV Infected Organisms’, but a sense of the surreal and spiritual encompasses my life in such a way that I can’t deny the presence of a belief of loftier concerns than those attended by lesser minds. I lost my religion and converted to the faith of Black Man and Woman romantic relationships. I lost my religion and converted to the faith of human interaction beyond a screen. I did something remarkable with my hypocrisy last week: I actually acted on something I wrote about. I put my paranoia away and gave Love another shot at healing my wounds.


I didn’t realize how destructive my diet of sub sandwiches and chips had become over the last few months…

Or how much one can miss food when they haven’t been eating properly…

I can feel the chemistry of my body altering…

…the restoration of my Taqwa…


I know what the naysaying observers of those that live and embrace living will say. I’m not very much affected by the rumblings of the crowd when they boo my team as we grace the planet with our actions. When I find my Self at a loss for a word, I may scroll my Twitter screen up and down like one might twiddle their thumbs. It is fun to watch how fast empty words can become a blur at the flick of my thumb. As nothing is perfect in the eyes of a perfect being taught to swear by its imperfection, I do applaud my defense, and maintain a certain lock and key on the interactions of Owl and Brie. I’ve learned how to dance to the tempo of envious nights spent watering one’s soul with bitter updates and phone calls that leave ears aflame.

“So these powers realize that they’ve been pushed against the wall during recent years and the only weapon that they have against this force that has been pushing them against the wall is divide and conquer – the tactic that they’ve always used. So that, if I may finish, so that every area where you find people who have been colonized and oppressed today striving toward freedom, you find that whereas in the past they got along, today they’re fighting each other.” – Malcolm X, Bernice Bass interview December 27, 1964

Trauma: A deeply distressing experience. Emotional shock following a stressful event. From Greek, literally ‘wound’.


I sought reprieve from various corners and crooks. A fathom of imagination, a mistaken identity, an attempt to hold smoke formed in a bong…the elusive fumbles of a man not quite assured of what it is I sought exactly. The opaque yelling through the esophagus of a man buried in the caverns of his own mind can indeed by answered. I stand by the belief that a vibration is sent from the soul of hopes raped by insensitive liars in superhero attire to the outer realms of objective hopes inspired and actively engaged. Somewhere in a seedy coffee shop on St. Louis’ central west end, a poet saved my life.


I’ve thought a lot about the story, Owl’s Asylum. How do we tell it from here? How dark is my dark brown paint these days? How much brighter are my golden yellows? I’m not exactly sure how much darker I want the rest of the pages of Asylum to be. As we nurse Asylum back to health, I can see her smiling more. We’ve got many more authors to showcase, realities to expose, and Afkans to embrace. I’ve still got 99 million problems…but being without a home ain’t one.


“Functionally speaking, for the victims of white supremacy, this means to act in a s self/group-respecting and supporting manner in all areas of people activity, despite the specific conditions of racist domination and oppression. Submission to and cooperation with victimization and oppression are signs of individual or group mental illness or self-negation.” — Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, ibid.


When have any of our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose!” — Harry Potter in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, part 2(2011)

The Essential Nature of Spiritual Secularism

This is a guest post from our Summit brother, Coreman, (@Coreman2200 on Twitter). This is a piece that I asked the brother to write for Asylum…of course, him being Summit, I don’t expect we’ll need any disclaimers…*smiles*.


sec·u·lar·ism?[sek-yuh-luh-riz-uhm] noun
1. secular spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship.
2. the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element.


spir·it·u·al·i·ty?[spir-i-choo-al-i-tee] noun, plural -ties.
1. the state or quality of being dedicated to God, religion, or spiritual things or values, esp as contrasted with material or temporal ones.
2. incorporeal or immaterial nature.


The contrast between these two concepts will be either harmonizing or schismatic. The binding of these two concepts, as “Spiritual Secularism,” could then prove to be quite the hilarious pairing, what with their contrasting and conflicting notions. The suggestion that two such words (just words) with largely opposite interpretations of “the” world view, being brought together into a singular construct is perhaps laughable. I have come to believe, however, that such a harmonizing of contrasts is important…essential. That for either extreme without the light of the other breaks the whole. That if either is deficient in the expression of the other, neither effectively tell the entire Truth.


Such is my thinking.


All things, from interpretation to realization, reflect all things. That which is of the earth and the ground and the calculated reflect that which is of the unseen and the questionable and that which dwells within One, felt and seldom accurately expressed by that One. The spiritual or religious mind with no connection to the earthly and the man and the physical nature around him is as devastating (and in many a case, proven more so) as the idea that no such connection to the divine and the ethereal and the mystical breeds no notion of a true Love and wholeness/Oneness.


To tend to the (worldly) ego/form and ignore the (universal) Self/God is as foolhardy as it is to look to a belief system that denies what happens before our very physical eyes. No God will save us from ourselves, if we (as gods, ourselves) affect no such salvation. There is no hope (ignore the flowery interpretations of that word, and See it in as worldly a sense as you can imagine) for us as a species if there is no connection to something more absolute and abundant than the concrete. If we cannot see a connection between us, we will continue to divide, devolve, and then fall. I consider this a reflection of our Oneness denying an Absolute Truth for the delusion of perceived falsehoods. See, “The System”, or “Nationalism”, or “Racial Division”.


For the spiritualist to acknowledge that One’s name and Presence is written in the stars/celestial bodies ~ that one’s “destiny” can be read on a chart that reflects the moment and position of one’s birth ~ and not think, “well, maybe this is so because of the gravitational or otherwise physical influence of such heavy masses upon one’s physical form..” just seems like a huge oversight and disconnect, to me. For a man of intellectual prestige to know the nature of our chemical make up, and our molecular make up, and the atoms therein and in all things/beings, and the sparks of energy that which compose those atoms, and thence, All things, and not realize that there is a Oneness, if only on the the subatomic level of All Creation ~ just seems to me to be a willful division and denial of a fuller Truth he claims to seek.


A good friend once explained to me, a long time ago, “the thing about Life is, should the conditions permit, it will happen.” The magic of carbon. But what does the extremely spiritual/religious do? Externalize the brilliance and divinity that is the molecular and evolutionary and otherwise wonderfully worldly/physical process, and praise a God or a Creator or a Source. I suppose the inclination to praise a Source for how the molecules react is not a terrible thing – but if you are denying the very physical and scientifically appreciable aspects to this All, then are we not in some sense missing the full point? The denier of spiritual sensibilities will, too, seek to deny the fullest bounty of that which has become – cheapen it as an event that is simply of formula. And in the same breath, deny the blessing that is Oxygen.


These things are synchronous and ever reflective. They are as the same. As are All things ~ it seems to be a fool’s game to separate such Truth per perspectives and interest in what One wants to see, show, and prove.


Quantum physics has suggested that it may, in fact, be possible to connect with and relate to energies/particles at any distance, at any instance – a Being half way across 25 billion universes may feel the resonance of my being, the shift of my charged particles. We have seen many a politician utilize the power and energy of the people to further their own worldly ambitions. Most have felt their intuition tell them not to do something, did it anyway, and realized the negative ramifications (now the kicker here, gods, is this: did he realize/Create those negative reactions with his decision/Action, or his Mind? Did he intuitively Know or Create his future? Are these things, divided by logic and label, ever really separate?). Who, then, could tell me that my third eye and my outlandish connection to All is impossible? Who could tell me that my influence isn’t infinite? And who could tell me that some day these unfathomable natures won’t be explained to futuristic children in the form of math equations?


I think I have wandered. Simply, my point is, that the spiritual (‘religion’ *shudders*, or whatever connection to the divine) must be paired with the pragmatic nature of the secular so that the harmony and balance to build further/Higher can exist. Both aspects of the same Oneness must be explored and furthered for us to fully explore and further ourselves.


You Are Divine and You Are Here. Such Is Truth, not to be made separate or distinct.

Are You Secure Within Yourself?

This post is in response to one of the many contributors of the Asylum, AllTayo. Please read the blog post here first: AllTayo’s Blog. She can also be found on twitter at @Alltayo…enjoy!


It is interesting that this blog post idea arose. I am working on a book with one of my former instructors, and I had to do a lengthy bit of research on the gay community. I know that many men would possibly be offset with that emotionally, and I’m sure quite a few reading this might be thinking of scrolling down. So, from that vantage point, I’d like to discuss self-security.


What does it mean to be secure?


Security is being able to be objective with yourself.


Security is being able to trust yourself


Security is being able to accept the choices of others


Security is being able to defend your position without needing to be offensive


To understand security better, it might be helpful if we visit its opposite.


Insecurity is a feeling of inadequacy. It is a blight on the soul that begs to diminish any action or person that stands a chance of revealing it. When we are insecure we are doubtful of ourselves to the point of malicious behavior. Insecurity needs to be bolstered by tangible signs of adequacy.


We see insecurity in the beatings and the murder of gay teenagers. Although I beg for caution in the blanket use of the term, the argument for homophobia is pretty strong. The idea is that there are people who are not secure with their sexuality, and in an effort to prove to themselves that they are “straight”, or “normal”, they may take extreme actions in an effort to prove to themselves and others that they are not gay. It is as if they have to kill the gay person outside of themselves, in order to kill the one inside of themselves.


We see this same insecurity in the world of religion. Religious beliefs can be very difficult to defend due to either the lack of knowledge on the part of the practitioner, or the sheer degree of faith based following that is asked of the practitioners. When any of our cherished beliefs are questioned it can create a uneasy feeling that pop psychology refers to as cognitive dissonance. If we aren’t able to defend our beliefs based on knowledge and proper argumentation, then we may have to resort to violence. Religious intolerance from a rank and file perspective, often stems from the need to protect ones beliefs by physically removing those who oppose them.


Security can be developed with honest reflection and self-knowledge. Unfortunately, due to our natural inclination to conform, social pressures can create conditions where we simply act in the manner of least resistance. The dichotomy is not so much our beliefs, but our fear of ridicule and social ostracizing. Speaking your opposing beliefs to your family can be a daunting thing. Often, we harbor beliefs that are contrary to what we present in public. There are times when our knowledge conflicts so greatly with publicly held opinions and beliefs as to cause violent reactions.


Part of the danger of insecurity is this lack of authenticity. When we are insecure we don’t want others to know that we are insecure, or the depth of the insecurity. As touched upon earlier, the development of a whole self-concept is necessary to augment our feelings of worth. Those with a great degree of self-knowledge are better equipped to handle the confusion of chaotic vicissitudes that occur. They are more able to understand their shortcomings, and are less afraid to admit to their differences when in public circles. The more one is aware of one’s self, the less likely one is susceptible to the ever present pressures to conform to the beliefs and standards of others without good judgment.


We can all use more self-awareness. Our beliefs can all be buttressed by further truth-seeking and asking ourselves better questions to strengthen our arguments. The true test of the secure person is being able to challenge their own beliefs, as well as unsubscribing to beliefs that hold no merit. The insecure person fears being wishy-washy, the secure person accepts the reality that we all have been given our belief systems and is willing to give up myths and illogical fancy for factual objective thinking.


As I wrote in the book, “The Better You”, we all need to take time to meditate on our selves. We all need to develop a routine of analyzing our most cherished beliefs. We all need to consider the beliefs we hold about ourselves. Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Why? How do these feelings reveal themselves in the public sphere? Do you get enraged when your beliefs are challenged? Do you feel inadequate when defending them in a well reasoned fashion? Are you able to reason well? Do you believe your beliefs to be above challenge? Do you honestly believe that any thing is above logical challenge? Can you emotional handle being proven wrong?


These are only a few question that I leave you with as you begin your journey from insecurity, into a more secure approach to dealing with yourself.


Blogging As A Sparring Exercise For Writers

I would suppose that one of my greatest strengths has become my threshold for pain. Simply translated, that would mean my minimal fear of failure. Now, no one likes to fail, and possibly my dislike of failure is higher than most. However, I take the prerequisite practice, research, and preparation for attacking a task, and then, well, I attack the task.

Many times I don’t convey an understanding as well as I would like. Often I misspell words or don’t capture my audiences attention. Even more frequently, I leave out necessary details that can be capitulated by those who seek to critique me. None the less, I have learned to be receptive of advice, suggestions, and edification. In my designing, I yearn for the consideration of others, and I remove my fear, as i realize that my first time at bat with most projects will be a strike or a foul ball. I simply, learn from the process, and move on to make a better piece or product. The same holds true for writing.

What I want to suggest to all that follow this blog, and are reading this post is that practice, if not making perfect, will definitely make better. What most popular psychology informs us is that our brain, the receptor and transmitter of our thoughts, is a muscle. It is composed of connections called neurons that grow and multiply with thoughts, actions, and with reflections our experiences. The more we do a thing, the stonger our brains will become in assisting us in accomplishing a task. The frequency with which we do it, as my book “The Better Self” states, the higher our vibration will become. Our world is composed of vibrations that become elements, entities and beings. If you want something to live at a higher pace, well, do it more often.

As writers we often don’t get the discipline we need once we are outside of classroom. We are beset by timelines and constraints that force us to focus our energies on particular assignments, often not allowing us the breathing space to notice the growth in our writing. Since I have embarked on this one post a day regiment, that has changed for me. I am able, within a quick space of time, to assess my growth from last month to this month. Normally, I would have to either wait on a grade or peruse a portfolio of extremely various journalistic projects to get this sort of data. With blogging at a high pitch, I am able to determine where my areas of weakness are growing, what areas of study I need to research more, and what areas of composition I need to improve. Blogging is not writing a book. But neither is sparring an actual fight or bout. Yet, without the actual challenge of developing the body through physical contact, the boxer or martial artist would lack confidence and objective knowledge about themselves. The same with the writer.

Take time out to blog a little more. I complete suggest increasing the pace of blogging to one post per day. If the time does not present itself for that particular degree, I would then tell you to compose at least two more blog post per week than what you are currently producing. It doesn’t need to be a seven hundred word essay every post, but it does need to be written. As a person increases the pace and intensity of the push-ups they do, the more they will be able to do and at a faster pitch. Start from where you are at, and simply do it more often, as I state in the chapter on “Frequency” in the my book(if you haven’t purchased a copy, I suggest that you do, it is in the sidebar).

Blogging itself has become a practice and a profession for many. I would hope that your pursuits in the blogosphere yield you great rewards, and even more, I pray that you use it as a means to develop your skill set and help me improve and exponentially expand our craft.

Infinite Development

Building on the last article I posted, I was thinking about my own book, “The Better You.” If you haven’t purchased a copy, I would really like to suggest that you do. In that book, I actually explain how I myself got the book to exist, and how I got it sold. I am now in the process of reworking the steps I outline in the book. The book itself is a workbook, and what I am now using my own formula to do is to get the book self-published. I realize that I will need to write another book, that will outline the new principles I am learning, and applying while getting the book published.

I typed all that in order to get you ready for this next statement: You can never grew enough. You can never stop developing your better self. If you choose to, then yes. But it really is your choice. I believe highly in seeing things in a new light. As a person who has seen the worst that life has to offer, I often have to pull back from a situation and reanalyze it. I have to ask myself certain questions.

Is the situation truly that bad?

Is there something I’m not seeing?

Is there more to this than what is surface, or superficially revealing itself?

Is there a way that I can reframe this?

What are the positives, or the beneficial elements of this particular situation?

What have I learned from this situation?

What can I take from this and apply to another situation that I feel comfortable handling?

The list goes on. The major lesson that I ask all my readers to garner is to have a relaxed and balanced attitude. Trust me, there is no situation in existence that deserves your panic mode. A balanced mind is a sharp shooter on the roof who has been assigned the mission of eliminating all enemies in your walk. Will they always get the enemy, no. But it is better to have them there, then to have some frantic killer trying to get rid of your enemies. Your obstacles need to be defined by a flexible standard. There is simply no way you are going to overcome setbacks and concerns with panic. As I wrote in my book, yes, there are many lessons that come with the chaotic mindset, but if you form the habit of trusting the chaos, then you will only dive further into chaotic situations. Trust the ordered mind. Trust the soul at rest.

My name is J. Farand. I am the Owl of the Owl’s Asylum. This is my story. Thank you for paying attention…