brain train!

side effects of being numb due to mental illness:

  • not crying for weeks and weeks on end until one day, you’re breaking down over something that isn’t actually worth getting upset about
  • not being able to tell if your feelings for people are platonic or romantic or if you’re just lonely
  • instead of caring too much, you don’t care at all about anything
  • not being able to process anything going on in your life and when you try, your brain stalls out
  • losing your train of thought every five seconds, so when you try to have a conversation, you have to pause and remember what you were trying to say
  • word vomiting
  • mind “static”
Avoid some of the Main Brain Damaging Habits

1. No Breakfast – People who don’t eat breakfast have lower blood sugar levels. This can lead to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain (and to underperformance in terms of thinking, processing , retrieval and memory skills).

2. Overreacting – This can flood the brain with chemical which interferes with clear thinking, logical analysis and memory.

3. Smoking – This can cause a shrinkage in the brain, and possibly lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

4. High Sugar Consumption – Consuming too much sugar interferes with the absorption of proteins and nutrients. These are essential for healthy brain development.

5. Air Pollution – The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain. Again, this can reduce and interfere with the brain’s healthy functioning.

6. Sleep Deprivation – Sleep allows our brain to rest and rejuvenate itself. Long term sleep deprivation accelerates the death of brain cells. It interferes with putting down new memory traces, effective problem solving and memory retention.

7. Exercising your Brain in Times of Illness – Working or studying during times of sickness can lead to a ineffective thinking, poor processing, and to poor memory and retention.

8. Lack of Stimulation – Thinking is the best way to train our brain. Lack of stimulation can prevent new neural pathways from forming. It can also prevent us from reaching our potential in terms of creative thinking and analytical thinking. Source: The World Health Organisation

Until one has loved an animal,
a part of ones soul remains unawakened.
—  Anatole France
LUCID DREAMING: HOW TO

SO LUCID DREAMING!!  

Some people asked because of my TONGUE IN CHEEK POST about it the other night, well!!! all it is, is being consciously aware that you’re dreaming. You can kinda train your brain to do it and it’s fukken awesome ok!  I learned from a bunch of books I got out from the library one summer back in high school and I have kept up all the habits since then until shit got weird but we don’t talk about that

sometimes you get to a point where you can control your dream and force yourself to dream about a certain thing . either way it’s really damn neat to just have conscious awareness while you’re asleep and if nothing else, it’s something fun to do that doesn’t cost anything.

I got into it a few years before Inception came out, if you can believe it. So when that movie came out talking about the same ideas my mind was  blown 

First things first:

1) DREAM RECALL:

This is your ability to actually remember your dreams. Because imagine, even if you end up having a lucid dream,  what’s the point if you completely forget it as soon as you’re awake? Some people think they don’t dream anymore but it isn’t true, everyone dreams. Some people just don’t remember.

So Write down  all your dreams, anything that you can remember as soon as you wake up.

I just text it to myself first thing in the morning and usually they’re super disjointed and barely readable but it’s just enough to have me remember them again. even if you can only remember little snippets, the more you do this the better you can get at remembering.

2) DREAM CUES

Dream cues are these little things that make you realize you’re asleep because they differ between reality and your dreams. They’re kind of like triggers that will make you realize you’re dreaming. The idea is to check in on these cues even when you’re awake, so that when it becomes a habit in real life, it will become a habit when you’re asleep.

It’s also a good way to check if you’re actually awake because sometimes dreams are super realistic. I’ve had a lot of dreams where I woke up in my bed, then did the reality check only to figure out I was dreaming.

Different people have different ones but there’s some common ones:

-mirrors: In real life you look like yourself. in a dream you’ll look like a really distorted version of yourself or like a completely different person. I don’t recommend this one because what you see in the mirror might freak you out into just waking up lol

-counting your fingers and seeing more or less than the amount of fingers you have

-electronics that don’t work

-text that changes when you read it, look away and then read it again

-dim lights [i hate light dimmers for this reason eugh]

-loose teeth

My personal ones are the and fingers and the changing text! So in real life, I count my fingers, and read some text, look away and read it again to see if it changes.

If I have more than 5 fingers, I realize I’m asleep and that’s where the lucid part starts.

Personally for me, all of these have served as dream cues, but these two are the ones that i literally check on. Another big one for me is if my teeth are loose, it’s an automatic cue for knowing I’m asleep.

INDUCING A LUCID DREAM

So you made a habit out of checking in on your dream cues and writing down your dreams. Now how do you actually do this thing….

There are some REALLY SPECIFIC METHODS To inducing a lucid dream . Some people practice one method that brings you from wakefulness directly into a dream, with NO LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS. I find this a little rarer but it’s definitely happened to me

Others have the method where you fall asleep as usual, end up in a dream, and then your consciousness wakes up while you’re in the dream. This is more common I think.

my sleep science might be off but this is it as I’ve understood it.

so the general method is to go to bed super early. like 9pm. And set your alarm for Stupid O Clock. I am talking some ungodly hour that you will never be up, like 4:30.

Reason being: You will literally never go to sleep and immedeitly start dreaming. You have to have been asleep for a few hours, having gotten a few sleep cycles in. The longer you sleep, the deeper your sleep cycles run and the more restful sleep you’ll have as the night goes on. It’s only in the later sleep cycles that you start to dream.

This is the reason you’re groggy in the morning [you were just in the middle of your deepest sleep cycle] but not groggy at all if you wake up at like 12

So the goal is to wake up right before you’re gonna go into a deep sleep cycle.

Stay awake for a few minutes, go to the bathroom or something, read some stuff on lucid dreaming on your phone… You want to wake up your brain so that your mind is conscious and running even though you’re dead tired.

Now you can go back to sleep, and the conditions are pretty much met for having a lucid dream.

SO GENERALLY NOW, it’s really likely that you’re gonna have a regular dream.

But if you’ve been making a habit out of doing your dream cues/reality checks while you’re awake, at some point you’re gonna do it while you’re asleep.

stuff from the waking world carries over into dreamtown. it’s the same reason you’ll have super realistic dreams about your job or people you know.

IT’S ACTUALLY SUPER COOL When you do your dream-cues and you see different results from real life. Like I’ll count my fingers and realize there’s 6 of them and be like Ohhh shit! I’m asleep! Time to go wild.

Usually I just fly around like a motherfucker but it’s so cool to be your exact same self who is able to think about your family/friends/homework/life/memes except you’re flying

CONTROLLING THE DREAM

OK SO NOW THAT YOU’RE AWAKE while dreaming, you can  try controlling your dream. This is a bit harder to explain but in my opinion it’s as easy as focusing/dwelling on what you want to do..kind of like repeating a mantra mentally.

Like lets say you’re dreaming and you come across a house. As you’re walking towards it, tell yourself “Captain Kirk is in this house and we’re gonna have the time of our damn life.” TELL YOURSELF WITH CONVICTION! BELIEVE IT! CAPTAIN KIRK IS IN THE HOUSE! OVER AND OVER!

also try practising controlling on little things first. Like point to the sky and say “brighter” or “more purple” or “bluer” or think “I want it to be night time instead" and it SHOULD change.

STAYING IN THE DREAM

There’s 2 tricks I know of that will keep you in a dream for longer when you feel like you’re about to wake up and you don’t want to.

One is spinning: If you feel yourself waking up, try spinning around on the spot till you’re dizzy. Things will blur around you and then they will clear up and get super sharp! Especially spinning while crouching. I have no idea why this works, but it does and others have said the same thing.

The other is, when you feel like things are getting blurry, focus on ONE spot in the dream. I usually crouch and like, stare at the details and texture of the road really really close up. For some reason, pinpointing your focus on one little thing will refocus the dream.

finally,

READ UP!!

Honestly the more you read about lucid dreaming, the more likely you are to have one for yourself..Even by reading this you’re more likely to have one. It’s weird, but it works. When I would regularly read books on the topic they’d say the same thing and it was true. It’s kind of like, the fact that you’re aware that it can happen makes it likely to happen..

SO YEAH, before you go to sleep or when you wake up at 4 in the morning, google it, see what others have to say. Get your brain in gear for it. there’s lots of posts online that will probably talk about the same stuff that I have here but this is my legit personal experience with it and stuff over the years.

IN SHORT

  • DO YOUR DREAM CUES/REALITY CHECKS
  • WRITE DOWN YOUR DREAMS
  • SET YOUR ALARM FOR A REALLY DUMB TIME!!
  • HAPPY DREAMING

anonymous asked:

Hello there; I've been looking through your blog and, as many others say, I just ADORE your art! I was also wondering if you could give me some advice. For quite a few months now I've utterly lost all motivation to draw. I want to go into something with art, so this devastates me, and whenever I try to draw I just get so easily frustrated. I've been an avid artist since I can remember, so for me to suddenly not want to draw for months on end really concerns me. Any suggestions to fix this?

(hi!! apologies for the late reply. i hope this can still be of some help to you despite that!)

i think that’s a feeling every artist struggles with at some point. you love art, you love making art, and it’s immensely frustrating when that suddenly doesn’t work out despite all the effort you’ve been putting in. and then you start to lose motivation, question yourself and everything you’re doing, and it’s a vicious cycle that’s really hard to break out of. so what can we do?

well, here’s a thing. let’s call it the productivity branch.

i feel like my own creative cycles are very seasonal. not in the sense that my creativity depends on the season, but rather that my creativity itself goes through different seasons.

  • spring: new ideas, motivation, productivity still low 
  • summer: lots of ideas and very productive
  • autumn: still productive drawing leftover ideas, but new ideas are harder to come by. and then 
  • winter: nothing. art-block. lack of ideas, everything-sucks-syndrome, no motivation, the creative part of my brain is basically hibernating

that’s you up there. you’re in a creative winter right now. and without any inspiration or motivation it’ll be hard to find a way to cross that gap over to a new spring (pls bear with the cheesy analogies). and if your cut yourself off from inspirational influence you might start to think that, hey, this isn’t so bad. i mean, who needs spring right? just means you have to do things. be active. yikes. winter’s pretty chill. haha. 

but don’t do that. it’ll come around and bite you at some point, because that lack of motivation and activity might start to seep into other parts of your life, not just the creative one, and you don’t want that.

so! when you don’t have ideas and motivation to create, then don’t create. but instead make an effort to inspire yourself. inspiration entails motivation (and vice versa).

  • read books, short stories, poems, science articles, anything
  • go on walks, explore your surroundings, if affordable maybe even go somewhere farther away
  • let people tell you stories
  • listen to new music
  • try things you haven’t done before (deliberately break old habits)
  • go through other people’s inspiration blogs
  • collaborate with a friend
  • get really invested in something, talk to others about it
  • watch movies, animated shorts, documentaries 
  • or speedpaintings and art tutorials
  • try different techniques, or new brushes
  • look at art that’s so inspiring that you can’t believe you’re still just sitting there not drawing anything yourself
  • and most importantly, be receptive. take in the world around you, rearrange it in your head, and draw whatever you end up with. that’s the core of what creativity is

think about what you want to achieve. make your friends smile? draw something really cool you can print out and hang up in your room? touch people’s hearts? deliver a message? whatever it is, and however small or inconsequential it might seem, keep it in mind. it’s your light at the end of the tunnel.

if want to keep drawing for the sake of muscle memory while you’re still looking for your inspiration: 

  • illustrate your daily activities
  • draw a random shape or find one in a photo (clouds are ideal for this) and turn it into a character or object
  • pick different pictures and combine elements from each of them into one drawing
  • do plain ol’ studies 
  • basically don’t try to come up with things completely from scratch. find something to work with and go from there. that will save you the mentally draining task of coming up with a subject, so you can start actively drawing right away

if you still can’t make yourself pick up a pen, make a schedule. train your brain to turn its creative gears at a specific time of the day, make that a habit. do it for pavlov

approach drawing with the awareness that what you create might suck, especially when you’re out of practice, but this doesn’t mean that it will always suck, and it doesn’t mean you suck. if you learn to dissociate your current creative achievements from your worth as a person and your future potential you will get back to work a lot easier, improve faster, and be more resistant to setbacks. 

find something that makes it worth the effort of working through the frustration. 

you might need to try a lot of different things because everyone copes with this differently, and even when a method worked once that doesn’t mean it always will. so start trying! you can only find inspiration if you start looking for it. 👍

Science of Male Orgasm Denial

In an update to her popular article The Orgasmic Benefits of Habitual - Male Orgasm Denial, Aislin Acquati explores the biological, psychological and evolutionary reality of routine male orgasm and how limiting them can dramatically improve your intimacy in relationships.

Dominate His Brain Chemicals By Controlling (Harnessing) His Orgasms

Male orgasm denial has numerous benefits, but do you know the chemical reasoning behind them? Endorphins, hormones, neurotransmitters, and neurochemicals (neurochemistry) affect how we ALL think and feel. By controlling your mans orgasms, you can control their brain chemicals and condition (train) them. Without any supervision or domination, men will masturbate and have as many orgasms as they please – which creates chemical chaos as well as undesired Un-Attentive behavior.

What are Endorphins?

Endorphins are a group of hormones that influence emotions and minimize the sensation of pain. They attach to opiate receptors, mostly in the brain. Pain and stress most typically influence endorphins to be released. They operate similarly to codeine and morphine.

Scandalous!

Bestseller

Bestseller

Women Can Enjoy Blissful Daily Orgasms – But Men Need To Be Denied

It’s true – Orgasms affect men and women “Differently”.

It is empowering to know that you can relish multiple orgasms on a daily basis while withholding them from your Virile Lover. Knowing there are hormonal reasons behind the science, (making him stronger and healthier), is just icing on the cake!

Endorphins and Other Chemicals That Control The Brain and Motivation

1. Endorphins: Natural painkillers that are extremely more potent than morphine – producing feelings of euphoria.

2.  Oxytocin - The Love , Cuddle and Bonding Hormone: Decreases abstract cravings – diminishes stress  – keeps couples together – provokes passion, devotion, attachment and deep feelings of fondness – strengthens sexual receptivity.

Normal/Raised Levels of Oxytocin: Devotion – a feeling of being connected – feeling protective and responsible – health benefits (reduces blood pressure and speeds up wound healing) – intense feeling of attachment – increases sexual alertness –   less addictions and cravings – positive viewpoint and attentiveness.
Low Levels of Oxytocin: Depression – low sex drive – reduced, indifferent or no feelings of of attachment, connection or devotion – poor or no feelings of protection and responsibility for another person – weakened immune system.

3. Dopamine, The “I have to have it” Neurochemical:

Normal/Slightly Raised Levels of Dopamine: Generates feelings of happiness – healthy sex drive – joy in completing tasks – motivated  – optimistic outlook – postitive feelings toward others – rational decisions – yearning to bond with others.
Low Levels of Dopamine: Ambitionless – despair – displeasure – idleness – impaired judgement – low sex drive – remorseless of own behavior – social anxiety – unable to feel love.

4. Serotonin (a neurotransmitter):

Too Much Serotonin: Anxiety – gastrointestinal disorders – insomnia – sexual malfunction.
Not Enough Serotonin: Decrease or increase in appetite – insomnia – isolation – loss of libid – low self confidence – ongoing saddness – over sensitive –– sore joints and muscles – stoamch pain.

5. Testosterone ( a hormone):

Low Testosterone:  Anger decreased motivation and self esteemdecreased muscle mass and increased body fat – depression – difficulty with concentration and memory – fatigue – low sex drive – irritability .

6. Prolactin (a hormone): After orgasm, it may make one feel sexually satisified and repress dopamine.

Excess Levels of Prolactin: Depression – diminished interest in bonding with others – – lowered testosterone levels – low sex drive – depression – infertility – irritibility – lethargy – pessimistic outlook – weight gain.

This is how it works:

Men experience a rush of dopamine during orgasm that puts them in a state of ecstasy. However – in most men – the blissful feeling disappears after 5-10 seconds. Interestingly, the surge of dopamine triggers an almost simultaneous burst of prolactin that causes dopamine levels to plummet. The result is a dopamine level that is much lower than it was before sexual arousal began. In addition, an above normal level of prolactin continues for up to two weeks.

Woman receive a peak in dopamine during orgasm, but (unlike in males) it doesn’t crash drastically; rather, it subsides in a gradual sequence of steps. Prolactin also increases to a level slightly above normal (upon feminine climax) – staying there briefly while dopamine levels gently return to their normal levels. Another recent discovery is that Women’s dopamine levels vary throughout the month based on their menstrual cycle.

You may be wondering what all this means. It means that…

1. Male Orgasms Are Addicting

Have you heard a song about love or sex being a drug or addictive and wondered if there were any truth to it? Consider the following song lyrics:

“Oh oh catch that buzz
Love is the drug I’m thinking of
Oh oh can’t you see
Love is the drug for me” – Love Is The Drug by Roxy Music

“The perfect drug | the perfect drug | the perfect drug
You make me hard when I’m all soft inside
I see the truth when I’m all stupid-eyed
The arrow goes straight through my heart
Without you everything just falls apart” – The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails

Well – male ejaculations can definitely be addicting due to dopamine, the “I have to have it” neurochemical. When comparing brain scans, Gurt Hoistege, a Dutch Scientist found an astounding resemblance of male orgasm to shooting heroin.

After they researched rats, scientists in Mexico City pointed out that repeated ejaculations can very closely imitate the effects of abusing drugs.

2. Men Experience a Post-Orgasm Hangover

After orgasm, men experience a hormonal hangover similar to an opiate or cocaine withdrawal due to low dopamine and high prolactin. Dopamine levels fall while prolactin levels rise after orgasm and after stopping an opiate or cocaine. It takes two weeks for prolactin levels to normalize after stopping cocaine.

During a post-orgasm “hormonal hangover,” men may look for new highs, such as drinking alcohol – eating sweets – new sex partners – porn – and drugs, to boost their dopamine levels. They may also feel disconnected from their partner – experience depression – or become lethargic.

When dopamine levels are constantly bursting up and plummeting down due to uncontrolled orgasms, it can wreak havoc on relationships. Your relationships could feel like a never-ending roller coaster ride full of highs and lows with no middle ground.

3. Too Many Orgasm Lead Him To Cheat

Once plighted, no men would go whoring.
They’d stay with the one they adore,
If women were half as alluring
After the act as before – Ancient Greek Anthology Poem

Or we could phrase it:

Once married, no men would be cheaters.
They’d be faithful to the one they adore, rather than acting a whore
If women stayed half as enticing After orgasm as before

In any case – long before our time, humans knew that men cheated on their wives because they were not as appealing after sex! Once again, dopamine is the chemical responsible for men choosing to act in a way we ladies don’t like.

Scientists found that after male rats partake in a frenzy of sexual intercourse, they will lose interest in that female. However, if a new female comes along, the male will have sex with her. They linked the phenomon of mate fatigue to dopamine. When a male rat has intercourse repeatedly with the same female, dopamine levels continue to drop. When a fresh potential mate arrives, a surge of dopamine follows.

So – to keep your men feeling you are the most beautiful woman on earth with a World Class “Sacred” Vagina – you must harness and resolutely control their orgasms!

4. Repeated Orgasms Decrease His Sex Desire

Male rats also experience a decrease in testosterone receptor for up to seven days within their reward circuit. Hormones, such as testosterone, and neurochemicals dock on the nerve cells, along with receptors. In this instance, fewer receptors equals less reactivity to circulating testosterone. As a result, the reward system releases less dopamine.

The first problem is that low testosterone, or a reduced sensitivity to it, can cause anger and irritation. No woman wants to give a man an orgasm and then receive annoyance in return!

Not only that – you don’t want to “Allow” your man to Ejaculate if the undesirable psychological result is a lowered sex drive. This brings us to the second problem, which is the fact that endorphin and serotonin levels go up - in the reward system of the sexually satisfied rats. Endorphins and serotonin are both neurochemicals that can produce happiness, but when they are in this part of the limbic system, they bring things to a stop rather than only generating good feelings. Think of it this way: Antidepressants, such as Zoloft – Prozac – and Lexapro, that increase serotonin and narcotics, such as Vicodin – Percocet – and Methadone that imitate endorphins, can cause sexual side effects. When neurochemicals diminish the reward circuit for a period of time, complications in your intimate relationship – both physically and emotionally – can and will occur.

If you want your guy to have a low sex drive for several days to a week, allow them to have orgasms whenever they chooses – or encourage them to take an antidepressant or opiate! If you just thought or yelled – HELL NO – Then we’re on the same page.

5. Uncontrolled Orgasms Make Him Fall Out of Love

In her book “Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships,Marnia Robinson points out the following: As a cure for love, the Roman Poet Ovid cynically recommends pursuing orgasm until it results in disinterest.

cruel Love presses your neck beneath his foot?…
Go, and enjoy your girl, any time, nothing’s forbidden:
let her steal away your nights and days.
Seek loathing for your sickness: and let loathing end it.
Now, too, when you believe you could be free, stay on,
till you’re quite overwhelmed, and abundance destroys love,
and disgusted you’ve no pleasure in her house. – Or Sate Yourself With Her by Ovid

Due to a dopamine drop and prolactin burst after orgasm, “eventually a man can develop feelings of indifference or slight repulsion for his sexual partner,” according to Taoist Secrets of Love by Mantak Chia.

Oxytocin is the chemical that keeps love alive, and Ladies can magically increase this baseline oxytocin level in their lives by cuddling – hugging – holding hands – massaging as well as sexually “Edging” their males.

The Cure is Simple

The cure for the chemical chaos that uncontrolled orgasms produce in males is simple – The Cure is Orgasm Denial. .

Are you ready to dominate and ultimately control your mans brain chemicals – do you want to train him to respond to you with any “Conditioned Response” You Desire ? or have you already learned to do so? Share your experience with femdom relationships and male orgasm denial (Karezza) by visiting the Tumblr Site Below.

To learn more about Male Orgasm Denial, Natural Subjugation and Devotional Male Response – read “The Orgasmic Benefits of Male Orgasm Denial.”

i was told something today that makes a lot of sense and a lot of people on here could probably use this. basically, its that what your brain may do because you are mentally ill is not your fault, however it IS your responsibility.

its like having a dog. its your dog, you own it and you train it. that dog is your responsibility. if you take your dog over to someones house and it pees all over their rug, is that your fault? no. is it your responsibility? yes, because that is your dog and you are in charge of that dog. you can train it to not pee on peoples rugs, but it can still happen

it’s the same thing with your brain. if you hurt someone because of mental illness, something you cant help, it isn’t your fault. however, it is your responsibility, because it is still your brain and you are responsible for your brain and your actions, regardless of if they are intentional or not.

this is why mental illness can NEVER be an excuse for something like abuse, homophobia, racism, anything that people use mental illness as an excuse to take the easy way out. sure, it might not be your fault that your brain is like this, however it is still your brain and you are still held accountable to your actions. you can use methods to help your brain, to train it from causing bad behaviors, but if those still happen you are 100% responsible for those actions and need to learn how to take responsibility for those actions.

and yes, this means that people have a right to be mad at you, just like your friend has a right to be mad at you if your dog pees on their rug. you will always be held accountable for your brain’s actions whether its your fault or not and you need to learn how to grow as a person, find tricks to train your brain when these things do happen so your actions don’t continue to harm other people

Quick fact. Ready?
Exercising with a particular muscle group only uses up the glycogen stored in those being used. The glycogen in all other unused muscle groups remains the same.

Some thoughts on Luke.

I’m sure all of these things have been said, and by people far more eloquent and capable than I, but I felt the need to say them again. Thoughts below are, as usual, heavily Jedi-critical in general but particularly so of Kenobi and Yoda.


Obi-Wan Kenobi tried his damned best to manipulate Luke into believing the things he believed, and into doing the things he wanted him to do. He and Yoda lied to Luke repeatedly, in an attempt to distance him from his connection to Vader and in hopes that he would ultimately reject that connection before he even knew it was there, and kill Vader for them. Kenobi’s first attempt at distancing Luke from Vader was creating a persona for him in some form of “other”. “Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine before he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father.” He’s attempting to plant seeds of hate in Luke, a bias against Vader that Kenobi is hoping will grow so that he can use it to his advantage later on.

And later on it does. Kenobi knows he will become a Force ghost. And he deliberately ensures that Luke is watching when he raises his lightsaber and allows Vader the finishing blow. You can’t tell me that was not a very deliberate and calculated attempt to make the seeds of hatred he already planted in Luke to grow. He succeeds quite well, but things backfire on him when he and Yoda both fail to take into account that Luke’s protective feelings towards his friends will win out over his tenuous new devotion to learning the Jedi ways.

When Luke left Dagobah for Bespin to save Han and Leia, he was disobeying and rejecting the high-minded distant “feelings are bad, m’kay”, that the Jedi of old espoused. Both Yoda and Kenobi ideally would have wanted Luke to adopt that mindset, but also be fueled by some sort of motivation to kill Vader. They tried to have their proverbial cake and eat it too, by presenting Vader as a being worth both hatred and murderous intentions, but also by stating “Anger, fear, aggression. The Dark Side are they.” As if they wanted some sort of insurance policy that if they couldn’t get Luke to do their bidding one way, then maybe some other way would work.

And then Yoda has the balls to tell Luke “Unexpected this is, and unfortunate” when Luke confronts Yoda after Vader has told Luke that he is his father. And even further balls to pretend like his explanation of “that you rushed to face him, that not ready for the burden were you” is even half of a sufficient excuse. Yeah, not ready for the burden. As in, wasn’t sufficiently Jedi-brain-washed enough to be totally a-okay with the thought of murdering his own father that he’s been wanting and looking for his entire life. Yoda would have been perfectly happy having Luke stay to be trained brain-washed further and let Han and Leia die, because I mean, after all, they’re simply nothing more than superfluous attachments and would only get in the way of Luke’s potential Jedi-ness. He’d have been perfectly happy to have extra time to enforce the proper warrior-monk mindset into Luke so that the idea of murdering someone that he shares a deep connection with suddenly turns into something tragically noble rather than shocking and repugnant. Because letting his friends die through purposeful inaction and deliberately killing his father is supposed to purge him of unapproved attachments and fulfill the “last hope” for the Jedi.

Because it’s not the fate of the galaxy’s people in general that concerns Yoda and Kenobi. It’s not even the fate of the Force. It’s the survival of the Jedi Order. They equate the Jedi with all that is Good and Right and Pure, and all else be damned if they can’t survive. Luke was their “last hope” because of his heritage and his power in the Force, and if he failed then they intended to conscript his Force-sensitive sister as a contingency plan. Only Force-sensitive people can be Jedi, after all, and in their mind if the Jedi die out, then nothing good could possibly come out of the rest of the galaxy.

But pinning their plans on Luke backfired. Yoda was right in that Luke was too old to begin the training – he had already learned that his decision to care for and love people in his life and want to protect them meant more than any vague and distant dogma, meant more than some will of or balance to a mysterious and impersonal Force. No amount of Yoda spouting “you must unlearn what you have learned” could recondition Luke.

Ultimately, when confronted by Emperor Palpatine on the second Death Star, Luke throws away his lightsaber – the symbol of the Jedi, the symbol of their authority and power. The same symbol that Obi-Wan Kenobi had chastised Anakin Skywalker about when he told him “this lightsaber is your life”. And immediately after he throws away his lightsaber, he claims, proudly, that he is “a Jedi, like my father before me”.

I read an awful lot into that line. I see Luke defining the Jedi as something very different from what they were. He doesn’t define it the way the Jedi Council defined it, he doesn’t see being a Jedi as something embroiled in politics or wallowing in dogma and ritual. Luke is reaching for a higher meaning than the Jedi Order we saw of old. He knows very little of the Dark Side, and nothing of the Sith. He’s rejecting the petty generations-long feud between two Force-adhering sects and embracing the only thing he knows and feels right in front of him – that he loves his father, whoever he is and whatever his name, and is willing to die defending him. He doesn’t see “Sith”, he doesn’t see “Dark Side”, he doesn’t see “Destiny” or “Fate” or “Jedi must win at all costs” or even “Maintain some sort of hazily-defined ‘balance’ between two fabricated and inadequately described  sides of one supposed whole”. He just sees someone he has come to care about that he wants to protect.

That’s it. That’s what it boils down to. The higher meaning that the Jedi could never seem to grasp was ridiculously simple, and it took a farmboy with next to no knowledge of the Force and an innate tendency to question authority to bring it out.

The Jedi Order didn’t win the day at the end of RotJ. Luke did. Vader did. And while Kenobi and Yoda seem to enjoy basking in some sort of credit, it was Luke going against everything they ever taught him that actually managed to do anything effective in the end.

I can only hope that the new sequel trilogy won’t stomp all over that. I can only hope that the new generation of Jedi that Luke was training had nothing in common with the Jedi of old, that Luke was sparking something new and simply calling it by an old name. I know my hopes are probably going to be dragged through the proverbial mud if the way Rebels and The Force Awakens are going is any indication, but what else can I do. I’m the most optimistic pessimist I know.

When I was growing up, I hated the Dave Matthews Band. If you don’t understand the magnitude of that statement, then brother, you didn’t live in my town.In certain parts of Massachusetts in the early 2000s, Dave Matthews Band was the best band in the world. This wasn’t an opinion. To challenge DMB’s perfection was like arguing that the sky wasn’t blue or that sailing wasn’t the best thing ever or that Toyota pick-up trucks weren’t reliable. And yet I hated DMB. Passionately.

Listening to DMB, and even going to DMB shows, became a de facto part of socializing. And if I admitted that I couldn’t stand their music, I wouldn’t have been able to participate without seeming desperate or weird. For a man who craves the approval of others the way most people crave clean water and oxygen, that simply wasn’t an option. So I began trying to trick my brain into liking “The Dave.”

Some context about me: I don’t make friends easily (because I’m “too real” and “an insufferable snob”), so I tend to stick to pretty tight-knit groups. So when everyone I knew and cared about loved DMB, and yet I didn’t, that meant I had to either a) make new friends, or b) retrain my brain to like this shitty jam-band bullshit. And since a) seemed like the scariest thing possible (despite my innumerable failings as a human being, my high-school friends are top-notch, Grade-A folks, aside from their unfortunate taste in music), I tried to do b) as well as I could. Here’s a true story: I bought all the DMB CDs, put them on a loop in my bedroom, and tried to train my brain to enjoy them. I played StarCraft and re-read old Discworld books, hoping I could tie this shitty, shitty music to positive memories.

Did it work? Of course not. I mean, listen to this fucking garbage.

How Defining Yourself By The Art You Consume Is Destructive

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Sekai x Selcas in 2016