There is a warrior’s path to the end of suffering.
In my life I have been lost, often alone, and sometimes in pain. I have been down and disappointed, I have been beaten by misfortune, I’ve been so tired and despairing I could not eat or sleep, I’ve been crushed by unrequited love, I wanted things that were always out of reach, and I was so lonely I cried bitter tears. Then I found a guiding star to wish to, and that bright star led me to a good place of freedom from pain and suffering. Now I can cross broad oceans, climb tall mountains, see the far horizons.
Now I can experience true friendship and real love.
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards, and leads us from this world to another. ~ Plato
You too can find your star to wish upon and to follow, if only you are prepared to search both the heavens and deep within yourself.
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a supercomputer reveals that the ultimate answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42.
The answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe, and Everything… Is… Forty-Two. ~ Deep Thought
This was meant as a joke, 42 was just a random number picked out of thin air by Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Allegedly. However it turns out that the number forty-two has symbolism and special meanings in a whole raft of philosophies, religions, and magical convictions. Forty-two is a highly symbolic number slipped into a work of fiction, seemingly by accident, or coincidence.
However, despite what some may say, there is an answer, a simple answer to Life.
If we are to believe numerology then 42 is an Angel Number, and the energies of this number bring us an inner-wisdom to help us pursue our Life Purpose. To pursue your Life Purpose, then first you must realise that the true purpose of your life is to live and to grow ~ to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, in health and happiness. That may be a long, long way from where you find yourself right now.
In order to get to where you want to go, you first have to know two things;
- Exactly where you are right now.
- Exactly where it is you want to get to.
You don’t need to know the road in-between, that will become only too apparent on your journey to your ultimate truth.
If you are anything like I used to be, then where you are right now could be unhealthy, unsatisfying, and depressing. There may be no real joy and happiness in your life. You may see no way out, even though you have sought relief and escape through religion, inspirational books, motivational speakers, support groups, counsellors, psychologists, doctors, medication, booze, street drugs, gambling, casual sex…
None of those escape routes will work for long, and the consequences of some methods of escape from hard reality just make things much worse. I know, before I found my own ultimate truth, my own warrior’s path, I tried just about every quick fix there is.
There are more false prophets than there are those inspired by an ultimate truth.
Taking the wrong road through self-destructive behaviour leads to one rock-bottom after another, and each new rock-bottom is worse than the one before.
There are no quick fixes in Life, and nobody can fix you but you.
The Ultimate Truth is this; Life is Difficult and Painful.
Once you are prepared to recognise that truth, once you are prepared to accept, appreciate, and understand that Life is Difficult and Painful, then you can transcend all pain and suffering. You can take your first step on the warrior’s path to freedom from desolation and misery.
The first step in any journey is always the hardest. It will mean uncertainty, leaving your comfort zone, doing things that seem unnatural, and at first it may seem just as painful as the misery you’re trying to leave behind. But, you have to know this ~ follow the warrior’s path and things will get better. Your life will become even better than you could ever have imagined it could be.
The first step is to recognise and accept that you are the cause of your own unhappiness. Whatever the proximate cause of your misery and unhappiness, be it alcoholism, gambling, an abusive relationship, or whatever is your personal purgatory, the ultimate cause of your pain is your own need for instant gratification. We must to accept that the causes of all our problems and unhappiness are our own cravings, desires, wants, lusts, needs, and our blaming of others when things don’t go the way we want them to.
Self-discipline is hard, it means not taking that next drink, not having that next cigarette, not overeating, not placing our happiness in the hands of another. Self-discipline means turning up for work on time, getting enough good quality sleep, getting enough fresh air and exercise. Self-discipline means not blaming others for our misfortunes, not spending money we don’t have, not allowing ourselves to become infatuated with someone who will never truly return our affections. Self-discipline is what will free you from pain, misery, and the teachings of false prophets.
You don’t need the hurt anymore, and you don’t need the pain in your life. I promise you that if you accept and understand that you can’t ever change what happens to you, but you can change what you do, then your shadows will turn into warm sunlight. Don’t ever allow yourself to give in to your craving for instant gratification, have the patience to appreciate, accept,and understand yourself, trust in yourself and not in others, and your life will get better. Your whole life will improve very fast, and it will be better than you have ever dreamed possible.
Not All Roses Are The Same.
Some say that one should never use garden hybrid roses for medicinal purposes. And, that there are more than 300 active compounds present in roses, of which only about 100 have been identified. All I know is that medicinal preparations from any rose can have strong and immediate effects on some people, especially women.
The good witch or experienced herbalist will try to find a true wild rose for medicinal use. There are many species of wild rose, but they are all easy to identify. Every wild rose has exactly five petals, and almost all of them are pink shading to white. They also tend to be leggy and straggling in form, extremely hardy, and likely to thrive on total neglect. There are also some ‘nearly wild’ roses which are just as good as the true wild rose for the herbalist, but are much more suitable for the average garden.
Here in England the good witch or experienced herbalist will preferentially use the true wild rose, the dog rose, rosa canina, for medicinal purposes. The thing is, unless you have a huge estate, you’re not going to plant this vigourous thing. Luckily it does grow wild all over in England, especially in mature hedgerows.
However, if one has a largish garden one can plant the Japanese wild rose, rosa rugosa instead. This is still a very strong growing shrub, but it’s more manageable than the dog rose, and you still get great hips.
Another great medicinal rose is the aptly named apothecary’s rose, rosa gallica. This is another wild rose, basically from France.
In North America there are dozens of species of wild rose, all of which have been used by Native American tribes in medicine and magic. In addition, many other species roses have naturalised into the American landscape, so sometimes it’s difficult to know which is a true American wild rose, and which is an introduction. It doesn’t really matter. If a rose has five petals and is pink or shading to white, then it’s a good medicinal plant.
However, if you are growing an apothecary’s garden, a herb garden, or a medicine garden, then perhaps the rose nearly wild in whatever variety you can find it would be your best choice. It’s compact, has a long flowering season, and is close enough to the species wild rose to be ideal as a medicinal plant. This rose is also readily available from specialist rose nurseries all over the world.
Almost every part of the rose has therapeutic uses. The petals can be used to make rose petal tea or an unusual scented jam, or rose water hydrosol, or what about a rose, cardamom, and ginger body soak? The rose hips can be added to organic cider vinegar to make a great salad dressing / tonic, and the leaves make a kind of substitute coffee. If you dry the leaves you can smoke them ~ and I have no idea what that’s like.
The main active effects of rose preparations are; laxative, opthalmic, diuretic, and linthontriptic, (removes kidney stones). There are many benefits of using the rose as a medicinal plant, and some potential downsides. Some people feel ill after ingesting rose medicines / tea, and some people feel mild hallucinogenic effects. As I have already said, there are at least 300 active compounds in the rose and we only know what about 100 of them are, let alone what they actually do ~ weird.
If in doubt of any herbal preparation, then try just a little, in a very diluted form ~ especially if you are a woman. And if you are either pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, then take specialist advice from your doctor or an expert herbalist before using any herbal / medicinal plant product.
Aphrodite’s Herbalist, jack collier
The Healing Powers Of The Rose.
Herbalists and witches know that the rose is a very useful and powerful medicinal plant, and that one of the interesting things you can use it for at this time of year is as a remedy for coughs and colds. A very easy way to take advantage of the natural healing power of the rose is to make rose petal tea. Well, the petals do contain vitamin C, which helps combat the common cold, but the petals also hold some powerful polyphenols and antioxidants. Ideally one should use the petals of the wild dog rose, rosa canina, but I also use the petals from garden hybrid roses.
Try making rose petal tea with just a handful of fresh rose petals, and a very little sugar or honey, (don’t use a lot of sugar or honey as it will overpower the taste). Personally I just scald the petals, but some suggest simmering, (stewing), for 5 minutes. Some also suggest removing the white portion of fresh petals, although personally I wouldn’t do that. The white area does impart the tea with a slightly bitter, tannin taste, but I firmly believe that’s also where most of the good stuff is concentrated.
Scientifically, the principal qualities of rose petal tea are that it has; Laxative, Opthalmic, Diuretic, and Linthontriptic virtues. I firmly believe it’s a lot more complicated than that. For example, you should find that rose petal tea will slightly numb your mouth and ease any sore throat and cough you may be suffering from.
- anxiety, depression, and stress.
- constipation and other digestive problems.
- coughs, colds, and sore throats.
- menstrual cramps and pain.
- skin and hair problems ~ the tea is said to relieve the symptoms severe acne.
- urinary tract infections.
If that wasn’t enough, drinking rose petal tea is supposed to help ward off cancers due to its beneficial effects on the immune system. Some say that drinking rose petal tea also promotes weight loss ~ I couldn’t promise that, other than you may use much less sugar and cream than if you were drinking coffee instead of this herbal tea.
You can make rose petal tea either with fresh petals, (make certain they are pesticide free), and you can also make a green tea with dried rose petals. You can buy dried rose petals mail order from all kinds of places, including Amazon. As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s better to collect fresh rose petals, and keep a few handfuls in the refrigerator.
There are a couple of things to be careful of. Firstly, drinking more than three or four cups of this stuff a day is likely to give you diarrhea. Secondly, most really effective herbal remedies for menstrual pain are also female aphrodisiacs as they affect the production of oestrogen~ don’t say you weren’t warned.
Aphrodite’s Herbalist, jack collier
Before we go any further to talk about the most common types on insurance ~ and do you need them or not? ~ there is something you should know about insurance agreements. Any contract of insurance is a contract uberrimae fidei ~ a contract of utmost good faith. This means that you must tell your insurance company everything and anything which may have a bearing on the risk they are taking on. If you keep any significant information back, the chances are you are not insured at all.
For example, if you have put bigger wheels and tyres than standard on your car, you should tell your car insurance company. If you’re an alcoholic / drug addict / smoker / overweight / pyromaniac, you should tell your Life Assurance company. If you have ever been refused insurance, you should tell your insurance company. And when you advise your insurance company of something pertinent, do it in writing.
All insurance companies love to collect premiums. All insurance companies hate to pay out for any claims, and will do anything and everything to avoid paying a claim. For example, you not telling your car insurance company that you have recently been found guilty of driving while intoxicated will most likely void your insurance entirely, and they will not pay out under any circumstances. So if in doubt, tell all, in writing ~ else you’re probably not insured at all. And, always pay your insurance premiums by automated bank transfer / direct debit / ACH transfer.
Your best friends when it comes to making a claim are photographs. Always take plenty of pictures of everything, including your home / car / self as it is right now, before anything bad happens. Store these pictures in a cloud, on your blog, in social media… so you can always get at them if the worst happens.
The five most common and necessary types of insurance are;
- Motor / car / vehicle / driver’s cover. In civilised countries it is a legal requirement for you to be insured for the exact car you are driving. The penalties for driving while uninsured are severe. In the small print of your insurance policy it probably says that you should not drive while you are incapable, and that includes driving after drinking. Have an accident drink driving and the chances are you are uninsured.
- Home and contents insurance. Because of the inflexible nature of the laws of probability, you should have your home and its contents fully insured, or face a life on the streets. Maybe add a margin of 10% in excess of the estimated values, to account for unexpected expenses while you put your life back together after your home has burned down, blown up due to a gas leak, been destroyed in an earthquake, flooded…
- Travel insurance. When travelling abroad you may, or probably may not, be entitled to medical services in the country you are visiting. You may have an accident, lose your luggage, get hijacked, robbed… any number of disasters may happen. Travel is by its very nature hazardous and stressful. Things which would be a minor inconvenience at home may become a catastrophe if they happen in a foreign country, or even a different state. If you are travelling abroad, or a very long way, you need comprehensive travel insurance. Only idiots don’t buy travel insurance.
- Medical / health insurance. I’m English and I don’t have any medical insurance, and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, (for reasons that are too complicated to go into here I do have dental). In the United Kingdom we have a National Health Service, (NHS), which provides free treatment at the point of care. The NHS is paid for out of taxation. Canada has a similar system. If you live anywhere else you really, really need comprehensive medical cover. But remember, you must tell your insurer everything there is to know about your degenerate lifestyle.
- Life Assurance. (not life insurance, you are going to die, you can’t insure against it). A whole life policy pays out a sum of money when you die. You don’t need this. However, if you have a dependant family, then you may want to look after them when you’re dead, therefore most heads of households buy one or more life policies. You don’t actually need to do this. It’s actually much more cost-effective to just save the money you would have paid in premiums. But nobody has that much self-discipline. I have no dependants, therefore my life assurance policies are utterly pointless, except to pay for my funeral.
Getting life insurance is like making a bet you can’t win. If you live, you don’t get the money. If you die, you don’t get to enjoy the money. ~ Oliver Gaspirtz
There are many, many other common forms of insurance, and some really esoteric insurance policies. Lloyds of London will insure against just about anything. You could probably have got insured at Lloyds against Donald Trump being the 45th President of the United States. After all, insurance is really just a bet.
Even Life Assurance is just a bet. The bet isn’t about if you’re going to die or not ~ no matter how much you pray you are going to die. With life assurance the bet is about when you are going to die, not if. And, if you think about it, that’s just creepy.
these opinions are mine and mine alone
Nobody gets out of this life alive. Aging is inevitable. Senior citizenship isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. But it doesn’t have to be quite like that.
Old age may have its limitations and its challenges, but our later years can be the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives. ~ Paul Silway
It isn’t all bad news. Life is full of compromises, and as we get older we really have to change the way we do things. After we have reached the milestone of 40 or 50 or 60, what we really need to do is follow that old adage; ‘Don’t Work Harder, Work Smarter‘. And remember this, you know a hell of a lot about life.
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected. ~ Robert Frost
There is some very solid advice for the more experienced among us.
Take Full Control of Your Life. Don’t let others ever again tell you what to do. Don’t blindly follow the advice of others. This includes family, friends, lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, financial advisers, insurance agents, government officials, contractors, salespeople of any kind, store clerks… Always question their knowledge, experience, motives…, because usually they aren’t doing things for your benefit, but theirs. Don’t ever do things you don’t want to do. In the end, do whatever you want to do, it’s your life. If you want to take up skydiving at 70, why not? Realistically, what have you got to lose? (The statistics are interesting. If a 25 years old guy kills himself skydiving he’s lost maybe 60 years. If you kill yourself at 70, doing something stupidly dangerous, what have you lost, maybe 15 years? No worries.)
Stay Fit. Exercise needs for the older person are different from the twenty-something keen sportsman. It seems that strength and mobility training is more important than athletic training. Sex is one of the best exercises you can get.
Believe me, an old broom knows the dirty corners best. ~ Hannah Kent
Eat Right. Dietary needs change as we age. Despite anything anyone tells you, really cut down on carbohydrates and give up wheat completely. Don’t eat so much red meat. Think about a Paleo Diet. Try to really cut down on refined sugar and salt. Find a healthy drink to replace coffee. Don’t get fat, it will kill you.
Stay Active and Interested in Life. Don’t just sit around in your chair with a blanket around your knees. As soon as you do that you’ve put one foot in the grave. Live every single day to the full ~ being well-educated you know what carpe diem means. Do it.
There is no old age. There is, as there always was, only you. ~ Carol Grace.
Don’t just ‘retire’. Retiring early can kill you. You need to find something to keep you in the ‘working’ frame of mind. Start a business, volunteer for charitable work, get politically active… Whatever you do, don’t stay in bed until noon and then stay up half the night drinking beer and watching sports TV.
Be Optimistic and Happy. Pessimism and Depression will make you physically ill and kill you fast. Negative thoughts and feelings, being grumpy and miserable lead to increased blood sugar and higher blood pressure ~ and all those lead to strokes, heart attacks, dementia, and cancers. Don’t worry, be happy. As we get older it’s time to learn some spirituality and true happiness.
Realise Your Assets and Spend the Money. What’s the point of being the richest corpse in the cemetery? Having spare spending cash helps you to do all the good things in life, and it’s your life. You want to go on a round the world cruise with your new romantic interest? Why the hell not? There may be those among us who worry about a ‘legacy’ for their kids / relatives / the cats’ home… Stop worrying about that because worrying, scrimping and saving, and not having fun will kill you. Downsize your home, or rent, and enjoy the money, spend the savings you’re not actually going to need to live on, don’t buy excessive life assurance cover….
Never Pay For Advice. You know more about money, risks, and life than any young ‘professional’ you are ever going to meet. What’s more you have the time and experience to do the proper research. So, when you’re working out your pension plan, don’t let some financial adviser tell you what to do ~ all they are interested in is their own fees and commissions. So very many older people discover that their nice little nest eggs have just vanished due to avaricious fund managers and insurance companies. Keep your own cash and manage it yourself. You can always borrow money if you really need it.
Never Let Anyone Treat You Like A Senior Citizen. You’re wiser, better educated, and more experienced than some young doctor, nurse, government official, member of your family… They will all expect you to be diffident and compliant, maybe take the ‘happy pills’ ~ just tell them to fuck off. Don’t ever do things just because someone else thinks it’s best for an old person like you. The only time to admit your age is if it leads to getting a discount somewhere.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. ~ Sophia Loren.
Sadly there are some things you should give up or cut down on. You must stop smoking, you should at least severely restrict the booze, salt, and sugar. And, don’t take too many drugs, prescription or stuff you buy on the street. Follow some of this advice and you will want as much time as you can get.
The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time. ~ Dante Alighieri
Don’t spend your life looking over our shoulder, maybe regretting what you did or what could have been different. Enjoy each new sunrise and make the most of your life.
these thoughts are very well researched,
but in the end, they are mine alone
You can do a lot of stuff with rose hips, from making syrups and jams, to my preferred use which is to make a tincture of rose hips and rosemary in apple cider vinegar. As well as sweetening and adding taste to the cider vinegar. the rose hips also add diuretic, lithontriptic, and mild laxative qualities to your brew. As for rosemary, this stuff is almost a cure-all. I just add an odd number of fresh sprigs to the bottle, (it must be an odd number.)
The finished product, (ready in about 6 weeks and will keep for a year or more), is a great basis for a salad dressing. Diluted in water it is also a first class tonic and as part of a whole-body cleanse. There is no truth whatsoever in the rumour that this is a female aphrodisiac. However, it is supposed to be a cure for practically whatever that ails you.
You can also make a true tincture of rose hips using medicinal alcohol, (or vodka). For those of us with a real taste for booze, just make a rose hip brandy or vodka. I have even heard of rose hip gin, although I’ve never tasted it.
The dog rose is an important plant to the herbalist, because the leaves, petals, and hips all have their uses. In a hedgerow, the plant may reach six feet or more in height, its flowers can be anything from white to a delicate pink, and if will guard its bounty with some particularly persistent thorns. (You can also use the hips, leaves, and petals of the cultivated rose, but I would look for a rose variety that’s as close to the wild rose as possible.)
The mixture of rose hips, rosemary, and organic apple cider vinegar is as near to a sorcerer’s brew as anything I know.
Why Do I Go To Extremes?
Most people like to know where they stand. It’s part of human nature to want the people you know to be same person today that they were yesterday, and to be able to rely on them to be that very same person tomorrow.
In general your friends want to be able to depend on you. Usually the people you come into contact with will become wary and suspicious if you suddenly turn into a crazy person, especially if you often become that crazy person. This goes doubly if you’re male and the friend in question is a woman.
Call it mood swings if you like, but if there’s a sudden and expected change in the way you feel and behave, especially when you’re angry and unhappy, you’re going to hurt someone. You will probably cause emotional distress to several people, they may never trust you again, they may become distant and feel threatened by you. If it’s bad enough you may sadden, offend, upset, devastate, and cause anguish to someone you love, and they may just walk away from you.
I know, because I’ve been there.
If you want your relationships to thrive and survive in the urban jungle, then find the cause of your mood swings, and then find yourself the cure. It may be hard, you may be crazy, but very few women are looking for a lunatic.
Billy Joel ~ I go to extremes
Please listen responsibly.
Booze, Prescription Drugs, Street Drugs, Excessive Speed, Failing to Stop, Using A Cell Phone, Reading, Unroadworthy Vehicle, No Insurance, No Licence….
I firmly believe that almost all drivers have driven while they shouldn’t, or in cars that they shouldn’t be driving, or without the proper documentation, or done something they shouldn’t be doing while they were driving. (oral sex, or searching for a pack of cigarettes in your purse, for example )
The most common really stupid thing drivers do is use their cell / mobile to talk / text / surf the internet / watch sports while they are driving. And, don’t try to tell me you’ve never done that, because I won’t believe you.
Texting while driving increases the risk of accident 23.2 times over unimpaired driving. ~ Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
But, and without a shadow of a doubt, the worst road crime is driving while intoxicated. A hell of a lot of other illegal stuff can be put down to people drinking and driving ~ excessive speed for example. And, driving under the influence of booze is not just dumb, it’s amoral, criminal, and dangerous.
I really don’t believe anyone who says they have never driven while intoxicated, or under the influence of prescription / illegal drugs. Everyone who drives and who also sometimes drinks booze, or sometimes takes some form of mind-altering drugs, (including prescription painkillers), has driven when they shouldn’t.
There’s no question that we need tougher drunk-driving laws. We need to take a lesson from European countries where driving isn’t a right but a privilege. ~ Jesse Ventura.
Back in the day I knew an alcoholic who had been a very senior police officer in charge of road traffic accidents. He shared that almost all really bad accidents involved a drunk driver. He also shared that it wasn’t seeing so many deaths, or even the dead and horribly maimed children, that had pushed him over the edge into depression and booze. What really destroyed him was the decapitations, bodies without heads and heads without bodies.
If you are involved in a road traffic accident and you suspect / know the other driver has been breaking the law ~ texting while he rear-ended your car for example ~ then call the police, and take a shed-load of pictures. You may get lucky, and the police might
shoot arrest the miscreant,
If you are the guilty driver, then don’t expect any sympathy whatsoever, from anyone except another dumb criminal
Think about this ~ do you want to be the one to run down a child, destroying her life and the lives of her family in the process?
puzzled narcotised mind
existing inside hallucination
indeterminate life unresolved
daydreaming lonely aberration
realities temporarily postponed
discontinue considered causation
unconscious meanderings disowned
scintillating sunrise sinister speculation
today is not another lovely day
words and pictures by jack collier