The State of Nature and Non-Conformity

Commenting upon the state of contemporary affairs, one often recognizes two aspects among our current society. One of these is the speed at which society desires pleasure rather than repose among the beauty of nature. Another quickly discernible modern trait is the desire to conform that society presents to its youth and adults.

At the point where we’re at today, the beauties of the earth are quickly overlooked so instant pleasures can be achieved. We rip apart our forests to make room for “progress”, a word I use lightly since it could hardly be considered “progress” to destroy the Great God of the Wood to create money for the community. The beautiful green of nature has been replaced by the sickly green of the dollar bill, and we are content with this.

I often wonder where our place to relax is. We sit at home and waste our minds on television. We have grown to be in such a hurry that even restaurants cater to our fast-paced lives, and the streams where we used to swim as well as the forests we used to wander have been moved aside for our society to make headway in what seems an eternal struggle to destroy itself. We often seem to forget that humanity is nature and nature is humanity. Without nature, humanity cannot survive, and humanity gives nature a purpose. We work together in peace, but for some reason we feel the need to destroy that which provides our collective life. What a wonderful way to say thank you for the fruits nature bears us and the love nature shows us in its streams, brooks, and forests. I live myself, but I shall return to my mother, the earth, when I die.

However, as sad as our struggle with our environment is, our struggle with ourselves is even worse. Today, we struggle to turn ourselves into what we simply are not. And we wish to be what we are not so we can fit into the categories others provide for us. These categories apply to adults, the elderly, teens, and children. Is it possible to be happy when you live another’s life? I can’t see any happiness in such a life. I can only see happiness in ourselves. For, we provide our own. In truth, no one can provide it for us. But some people grow their hair. Other people cut their hair. Some people spend thousands of dollars on clothes. Other people shop at thrift stores simply so they can put forward the image they wish to portray. I say grow your hair and wear a suit, or cut your hair and wear second hand clothes. Anything to show your individuality, but do what you want to do. Don’t fall into the trap of conforming to non-conformity. For, many “non-conformists” conform more than those who aren’t. They say, “If you don’t have a Mohawk, then you conform,” or, “If you don’t have long hair, then you conform.” But they refuse to show their individuality because they’re too concerned with showing how different they are, and that is conformity as much as the man in the suit who trudges off to work every day.

There are no true non-conformists. Everybody conforms in some way. However, there is individuality and the ability to be original. How can you tell the difference? It’s simple. If you do what you want to do, you’re being an original. If you’re doing something solely because it’s different, you’ve fallen into the rut of conforming to non-conformity. For the individual, it’s quite difficult to always be original. However, they’re still doing better than most in this society. At least, they’re trying.

Before I leave you, I want to say a prayer with you that, once again, we will love to live with nature and, for once, all will be individuals. Such a prayer may never come true, but that’s not the fault of the Great Spirit. It simply stems from a flaw in human nature, a flaw that someday we may be able to transcend, but at this moment, I’ll simply continue to be myself and seek my solace among my friends who bear seeds. Perhaps, you will, too, my friend.


Interview with Author Israfel Sivad

Interview with Author Israfel Sivad

An interview with me from the author/blogger Anthony Avina.

Author Anthony Avina's Blog

1)     Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always written. The first story I ever wrote was a sequel to Return of the Jedi after I saw that film as a little kid. I didn’t want the story to end. So, I kept it going. After my parents divorced, I started writing song lyrics every night to help me fall asleep. That’s when I first discovered how cathartic writing could be. I based the structures on all the lyrics I read on the liner notes of my cassette tapes. But it wasn’t until I graduated from high school, when I realized I was sick of playing in punk rock bands that I started taking my writing very seriously. I realized writing was how I communicated with the world, and I wanted to do that directly. I didn’t want my audience to…

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My Dark Garden

Sunbeams at break of day
might shine through the words I say,
but all that’s bright
can never light
these songs I sing for you.

Hide on my shadowed throne,
tending nightmares alone.
All my dark garden’s grown
is everything that you have ever feared.

And so when I sing my rhymes to you
do not pluck their bulbs so beautiful.
Do not smell scents shrouded in blues.
Do not taste their flavors of evil.

Everything I’ve ever said, I said it all for you,
to steal all that you have loved and feed the light in you.

Sunbeams at break of day
might shine through the words I say,
but all that’s bright
can never light
these songs I sing for you.

Here on my shadowed throne
where nightmares grow on their own
I sit, and I cry alone
for everything that you have ever…

Love is not what we’ve all been taught,
and truth is not something that’s forgot.
Pain is what we’ve been taught is love.
Truth can grow below to light above.

Everything I’ve ever said, I said it all for you,
to light the way that you must go with knowledge in these hues.

Sunbeams at break of day
might shine through the words I say,
but all that’s bright
can never light
these songs I sing for you.

Hide on my shadowed throne,
tending nightmares alone.
All my dark garden’s grown
is everything that you have ever feared.

My Untimely Meditations


Hebrew is like a veil being rent asunder. I see the world backwards, from the other side of the page. Suddenly, I see English from the other side of the page as well.

Greek forces me to meditate on the sound and symbol as well as the process of thought: the order of words.

Chinese is a reflection on meaning.

French? How could something so similar be so different? Even to the point of sounds of familiar letters… even to the point of putting articles where my “native” tongue has none.

I don’t need to publish anything. It was always a journey of self-discovery.

For so long I thought every moment was worth saving… was worth sharing. That was the flaw of my artistic theory.


It seems to me that the purpose of zazen is, maybe, to make what we have come to refer to as unconscious thought processes into what we know as “conscious” thought processes. With the unconscious conscious, the unconscious becomes controllable. Controllable, we gain power over our inner lives. Gaining power over our inner lives, we attain self-mastery. Mastering the self, the external world no longer has control over us by appealing to previously “unconscious” drives. Maybe, it’s time for me to start zazen again.


What is thought does not have to be actualized. That is desire. What, then, is thought?

It’s not the shoddiness of Freud’s system that matters; rather, it is the structure that it engendered: evidence of the self-perpetuation of a human idea (false).


Logic is limited. The question remains: Does logic express the actual way in which thoughts are connected by the mind? Also, does logical symbolization exhaust the possibility of how thoughts are expressed within the mind itself? The further questions of cause and effect, existence and non-existence are still perplexing.


Might it not be the case that in his merging of Nietzsche and Spinoza, Gilles Deleuze is bringing together the great post-Pythagorean argument between Heraclitus and Parmenides (strife and monism)?


Physics is the determining factor in the European intellectual tradition. And physics as metaphor becomes the basis for European logic.

Why did physics take hold in Greece?


How can one build in the nothing? How do we make our first step? Where do we land? How does one find an authentic point from which to begin? Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, even Freud… Plato, Aristotle, Confucius… Descartes…

Something happened to me once upon a time. I don’t know what it was.


Philosophy must be overcome.


What is the subject is the question.


It is evident that what underlies this world is nothing.

Logic is absurd.

The Adversary’s Good News by Israfel Sivad Review

The Adversary’s Good News by Israfel Sivad Review

A stellar review of my novel, The Adversary’s Good News, by Author Anthony Avina.

Author Anthony Avina's Blog

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Trigger Warning: This book deals with themes of suicide, drug use and abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

An intense fantasy horror adventure takes a troubled young man through the bowels of the afterlife in author Israfel Sivad’s The Adversary’s Good News. Here’s the synopsis:

A divine comedy – inverted. Christian Michael Anderson hasn’t been doing so well lately. He’s out of work, out of money, and out of alcohol. But when he loops a stolen rope through the exposed rafters in his ceiling and places that noose around his neck, his adventure has only begun… Encountering joke-telling gargoyles, the “Great Beast” imprisoned in a cage, a drug-dealing Tinkerbell, and much more, Christian eventually realizes he’s entered a psychologically haunted world far beyond anything his nightmares ever envisioned. But it’s…

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The Hermaphrodite (from “The Tree Outside My Window”)

The_Tree_Outside_My__Cover_for_Kindle (1)

The Hermaphrodite
(from The Tree Outside My Window)

Teach me to love.
I will teach you to hate.
Together, we can make a change.
With your love and my hate,
we can make this world a better place.

I’ve always wanted to write a children’s story.
Do you think you could teach me to speak?
Maybe then, you will love me
for what I’ve given you. Hate me
for what I’ve done to you.

Okay, I’m ready to do it now.
I picked my pen up off the desk.
My notepad is open to this page.
Take a deep breath, I’m going to begin.
The story is about a lion who loves a wolf…

I will always be
the alpha motherfucker
moaning like a bitch in heat
fucking like a goddamn lion king.

So you little slut,
let’s get to work on this lesson.
I’m bored with bondage and discipline.
I say we’re ready for sadomasochism.

You know what, I despise
your fucking sleepy time stories.
Now that I have you tied up and gagged,
you’re gonna listen to poetry my way:

This one is all about me,
but you know I am you.
I’ll tell it in third person.
Let there be no dispute!

I went back to the pit today.
I retraced my steps.
I sat down with the devil.
We had brunch.
I called him father.
He called me son.
I said – Father,
I’m going to kill you now.
I love my mother.
I hate what you have done.
The devil agreed.
He bowed his head.
He told me he was in love with me.
I rolled out the guillotine…

I had to spare the roaches, though, tiny little rats
that they are, crawling in and out of my father’s soul.
God and the devil, the master enslaved.
The lion is the wolf!

The spirit has come to life, my friend,
and this time he’ll condemn you to
heaven by praising the glory of hell.
That’s how the wild things grow.

Everybody’s gone mad.
We’re too sane to see it.
Take out the punctuation.
Let every line stand alone.

I have to write this all down
because if I accosted you on the street,
you’d lock me up and throw away the key.
My asylum is this madhouse called sanity.

Okay, I can untie you now.
I’ll let you lick your wounds.
Tell me that wasn’t better than sex.
You should speak it to everybody.

I almost read it to a little girl
who was playing with pigeons.
When she said she hated those birds,
I sat down.

I asked her if she wanted to hear a poem.
She said, “Sure.” I opened my notepad to here.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I lie so well, I confused myself.
No poetry today.” I stood up and walked away.

From more poems from The Tree Outside My Window, please click here.