Seed of Enlightenment

The small seed of enlightenment is all you need to start a journey which will be as long as you desire.

Allow me to state an obvious fact. The powerful Oak in the wood only exists because a small acorn germinates in the soil. Enlightenment can only be achieved by a person first having the seed planted in them. This seed is a desire to understand more about life, the universe and everything. It can be planted in anyone at anytime and for a multitude of reasons, and can take the shape of a book, a simple mantra, a song and yes even a work of art.

While a seed of enlightenment can be planted in anyone whether it takes hold and grows to its full fruition is down to the individual.

Many people give up on the journey as they see it will limit their life style perceiving that an enlightened state can only be achieve with years of solitary meditation or prayer. This notion is of course false, personally I seen no reason why enlightenment can’t be achieved as quickly by a shop assistant in Devon as a Buddhist monk in Tibet. This statement must not be seen as a disrespectful swipe to the Buddhist religion which I hold in very high regard. I use it only to clarify that enlightenment is not limited to a style of faith or position in society. To believe this is simply once again a wrong perception.

Who gets to decide when a person is enlightened? This is a dilemma indeed. Surely no one can ever proclaim one self enlightened that would be the height of arrogance. Conventional learning paths would have to suggest that only another such person could proclaim you enlightened, so if we follow this to its end result it becomes just another form of elitist hierarchy.

I have dodged the obvious question; can anyone on earth really ever be called enlightened? It depends on your definition. If it is that you have achieved total clarity of perception, reason, and knowledge, in other words you have become an omnipotent being, then I believe that such a state in our current human form is unlikely. If your definition is being able to view all living beings equally as one without distinction as to race, economic background, and belief systems, then I would say that this is obtainable within this lifetime, but not an easy road to follow. This I feel would be the seed grown to true earthly enlightenment.

Seeds of Enlightenment

Seed of Enlightenment

Art created 2007 /writing February 2008

Happy Halloween 2014

So my favourite day of the year is almost upon us 31st October. I’m one of those people that loves Autumn, the dark evenings, golden leaves, soup, jacket potatoes and bonfires. Sure as I get older the cold makes it’s way into the old bones a little more, but nevertheless for some reason this time of the year is still very special for me . I guess when I was a kid this was always one of the few times of the year  I actually enjoyed going to school, as we got to listen to spooky tales read by the teacher, draw pictures, make masks and generally just have fun. When I was in the cub Scouts we would have a special meet on the 31st we’d play apple bobbing and other traditional games, then gorge ourselves silly on crisps and chocolate. Out would come a old scratched LP record of spooky sound effects. Our Akela would predictably try and scare us by removing his glass eye, but as we had all seen it before he usually just received a groan or a chorus of fake yawns.

While America has always celebrated Halloween with far more enthusiasm, over the past 10 years I’m pleased to see that it is becoming more and more popular in the UK. One reason I also like Halloween even as a adult is because it’s one of the few days of the year where thankfully political correctness takes a backseat. Sure their are those who want to ban it, those that simply can not grasp it’s point, but who cares about them, they get their way on far to many things.

Some years ago I used to love to watch the Most Haunted live Halloween specials on TV. They were always more pantomime silliness than actual ghost hunting, but it made me smile and thats all that mattered. This year my wife and I are going to have a bonfire and enjoy eating and drinking suitably unhealthily. Personally I’ve never been one for dressing up or parties, but that doesn’t matter. Let’s face it like most traditions Halloween is more about what you think and feel about it inside than what actually happens, which in all honesty is usually not a lot LOL.

So no matter what you end up doing this 31st I hope you have fun.

Feel free to share the silly image below but as always point people back to this site thanks -Aric

Don't let the kids have all the fun this year.

Don’t let the kids have all the fun this year.

My Mantra still

Some years ago I wrote this short Mantra and while my life has changed a lot since I wrote it. I can’t really argue with any of it’s points:-

Question everything and rejoice in the honesty that we know very little.
Understand all life is precious and is to be respected.
Have regard for those with different beliefs to our own.
Fight the egos wish for separation and see we are all one.
Understand that in our current form the only certainty is there is none.

The hardest line in the whole thing for me is ‘Have regard for those with different beliefs to our own’ I have always tried to look for the good in all beliefs, but seldom do others do the same. So many people have a overwhelming need to be right, from the men and women of science to many Christians and Muslims. It’s very hard to have regard for anyone that is screaming and shouting in your face or worse. I’m now of the belief that some people simply don’t have a better nature and avoiding war and conflict is not always possible. The concepts of peace and freedom are honourable one’s and sometimes it is necessary to go to war to defend them as contradictory as that sounds. I know that peaceful activists can only function in a environment that respects their beliefs for example, Gandhi would have simply been run over by a tank if he had protested against the Nazis and we would have never ever heard of him.

I still believe we should question everything and that is why I must challenge all my opinions, as have said rejoice in the honesty that we know very little.
Feel free to share the image below but as always point people back to it’s creator thanks -Aric

Never believe you really know everything or anything.

Never believe you really know everything or anything.

 

Stop waiting for approval.

When I look back over my life so far (48 years) I find that much of it was wasted waiting for approval. This need for approval is a very disempowering trait as it holds back creativity and forces us to conform to family and social patterns that many times do not take into account our individual abilities or wishes. It is a fact that no matter what you do in life or how sensitive you may be to others you will always upset someone. The human race is, so I’m told in excess of 6 billion people and I would suggest than not one of those 6 billion people could agree in most cases on anything.

I would suggest that unless we break free from our need for approval or support for how we decide to live, our lives can never really be our own. We will all only be what others want and so despite our apparent freedoms we will always be slaves to others ideals and standards.

I think an example of what I am talking about is required.

Lets say you wish to become an artist be it a musician, painter or photographer. Your standard way to do this is to learn it via a school or College or video, magazines etc. What does this ultimately mean? It means that from the outset you will be often be moulded to create in a certain style, All personal ideas and techniques are overlooked in a decree that says you shall paint, play like this. Many people will say yes but you have to learn the basics before you can find your own styles. And I would agree to this up to a point but let’s take photography which I know a little bit about. Time and time again I have seen amazing photos taken by people who don’t know an ISO from a f-stop, yet they take wonderful photos because they love the subject matter or they are in tune with the moment.

Purists would say yes but they exercised no skill they just pressed the button and took a picture and it was pot luck. I know a photographer who must be the luckiest man alive as he takes wonderful pictures time and time again but knows nothing of the workings of the camera he just know a great picture when he see’s one. He has never had a photography lesson in is life and I hope he never does. Mind you, he does not make this common knowledge for fear of rejection.

Now put this man in a room of photographers and he would be made to feel a fool, but put him in a room of people who love to buy his style of photography and he would feel right at home and he would also receive respect and support for what he does. Now the whole point of this is if he was waiting for approval from the photography fraternity he still be waiting, but the fact is he just went out and did it and now he makes a good living. On the other hand I know another photographer who takes the most amazing photographs,  but despite pleas from friends and family he doesn’t think his work is good enough to sell. He draws this conclusion from the fact he hasn’t yet got some piece of paper saying he is a photographer. This is complete bollocks to my mind. I and most people I know like the art, photography and music they do just because they do, not because of the qualifications the person that produces the work has achieved.

So stop right now and think are you holding yourself back because of some social protocol? Do you believe that you are what a piece of paper says you are? Do you think that the way things are done is the only way? Do you believe that only what we know is the only truth? …then think again, a glance at the history books will show the established way of thinking has been shattered by ‘rebels’ and ‘heretics’ who refused to follow some state sanctioned dogma. They dare to question and in doing so they change the worlds mind-scape.

So your life is only the way it is because of others who refused to except the status quo, they refused to put their life and ideas on hold. Honour there lives by living your life with the same bravery, respect others opinions by all means, but never ever be limited by them. 

 

First used on my Visionary Art
Thanks for viewing http://www.aricvoss.com

I would have never sold my work  if I had kept waiting for some official approval

I would have never sold my work if I had kept waiting for some official approval

Creation

Contrary to popular belief, creation didn’t just stop years ago when the universe was set in motion, it is alive and well in you today. Many people reject the notion that they have a controlling role in the formation of their life, preferring to see themselves as victims of happenstance. While there are those that really enjoy the grandstanding and vocalising of how bad everything is, most people lie crushed under a pile of limitations put on them by parents, teachers, and bosses. How can people ever be more than their school grades, credit rating or job description if they are never told they can be?

Creating something from nothing is impossible so we are told. Yet whether you support the big bang idea or that God created the universe, both theories in essence ask us to believe that everything we see around us came from nothing at all. Indeed you don’t need to look to divine energy to see that this creation from nothing is happening all around us. How many entrepreneurs, musicians, and actors stories have you heard that start from a complete lack of anything that would be required to succeed? Despite such evidence we still believe that we must have all the elements in place before creation is possible.

It has been said thousands of times, but I stand here again to reiterate that everything in the universe no matter how large or small starts with the invisible stuff – thought. You can reject this concept if you wish and I welcome you to do so, but as far as I know no man-made object has ever been brought into being by any other method than starting with an idea. Another fact that I find is equally amazing is that once the ideas have been created in the minds of people, very few have any idea how they are going to put this dreamlike notion into action.

My greatest difficulty to over come in my life was putting to bed what a handful of so-called teachers said I was. Shame on all those that fill the young with limitations whilst crushing their dreams.

How many great minds and talents lie undiscovered simply because of the limited views of the few? Could it not be that working this very moment in a fast-food chain is the person that could change the world, whose only fault is not knowing they have the power of creation lying within them. If my life only ever inspires one person to greatness then it has all been worthwhile. It could be said that the ultimate energy never asked for permission to create the universe. And by giving the power of creation to you it has waived that restriction on you. So stop waiting for miracles to happen and start the creation process. You may think it is the same thing but I can assure you it’s not.

Originally posted June 2008 on my Visionary art Blog (Now Deleted)

from nothing comes everything.

From nothing comes everything.

Blast from the past me at Skin-Two

Suits you me 2005

Suits you sir —- me 2005

See I bet you thought you were going to see me in a rubber gas mask, I’m sorry to disappoint. That’s me at the  Skin Two Expo London (Barbican Centre), With some of my Erotic art in October 2005. The following Month I showed my work at Erotica London (Olympia), November 2005. These works were all created under my Extreme-pixel name, at this time I was a member of the guild of erotic artists. I really enjoyed both events and sold a fair number of prints and met some amazing people . Never let it be said I have never walked on the wild side lol.

Ps My wife said on seeing this photo again said see now we know why you have a beard …..the bloody cheek

 

My Tweets this week No 1

Twitter it's my favourite word game

Twitter it’s my favourite word game

I love Twitter and I spend a lot of time trying to get what I want to say in just 140 characters right. This is often hampered by dyslexia but it just means I have to check everything with my macs text to Speech before I post it. I know that in the twitter universe few people will ever even notice what i have written, sadly the world will never see this stuff as anything other than throw away Junk.

So I thought that in weeks that I feel particularly proud of my nonsense  I would post some on them on my blog. I’ve been on twitter as Aric Voss since early this year, but I have been on twitter under other names almost since it started. This week I decided to lighten up and make myself smile even if it goes over most peoples heads. For to long I have been trying to comment on the worlds problems,  but I realised people don’t want to here my  views on politics and life, most would just rather smile (and there is nothing wrong with that) So the my stupidity that has be amusing my wife  and friends for years, is now loose on the web you have been warned :)

It all started with my profile update :-

Currently a full time Human Being, writer & artist. Probably politically incorrect and quite possibly slightly mad. Take with a pinch of salt, twice daily.

If you would like to follow me on twitter, I’m usually more than happy to follow people back as long as they are not just selling stuff, blatant porn or hate or religion accounts. I do try to look at everyone I follow before I follow them just to make sure they fit my specifications (whatever they are lol)

Hope a couple of this weeks tweets make you smile:-

Certain parts of my body are now bigger than when I was 21, others smaller. Whatever change has taken place it is seldom been for the better

The male chauvinist pig is in decline due to over hunting for it’s bile. Just £2 a month can save this creature from total extinction.

Cleavage and the Venus flytrap have a lot in common.

The mothership just landed on Clacton Pier, but no one noticed, everyone was to busy looking at their phones.

@nationaltrust Our walks are democracy in action, I suggest the route and my 3 dogs out vote me.

Masturbation – I’m all for hobbies that don’t require you to join a club or wear a badge.

Confucius says, never trust those who have tweeted only 10 times but already have 64 k of followers.

Two of the menu options from my bipolar life:-
For breakfast I have a little Doubt, for lunch I like some complete pointlessness, I finish the day up with a nice plate of self loathing.
For breakfast I have a little Joy, for lunch some dizzy optimism, I finish the day up with a nice plate of god complex.

Finally started talking 100% bollocks well it get’s you on in life. Politicians are living proof that the truth is vastly over rated.

Soon – Male PC alignment for your genes. It increases productivity by 50%, wealth by 75% as you are 100% resistant to the female form.

Apple Event an hour away – After 2 hours of thinner, faster, thinner, faster thinner, faster, faster, faster, I’ll need a cold shower :)

Never the cool Kid

At 48 years old I think I’ve somewhat missed the bus on ever being a cool Kid. I guess I could still be a cool old fart, but it really doesn’t have the same ring to it. As we get older our lack of coolness as a child often follows us everywhere we go. Just as the first 7 – 14 weeks are the most important to a puppy. The first 3- 14 years to a human usually dictate your life. It’s hard to over come years of being seen as a freak, being the last to be picked on the team. Thats not to say not being cool as a kid will mean you can’t be a well liked and wealthy adult, it just means you got a lot more baggage to over come.

Take me, bullied most days until I was 14, hopeless at sports (even if I did enjoy them), I was academically substandard because of my dyslexia. My mum refused to buy me stuff that was cool, I always got stuff that was practical. I wanted a chopper or a grifter bike what did I get the cheesy folded up bike ‘because then i could take it on holiday’ ….Thanks mum :(. The only thing I excelled at was playing the fool, which did win me some notoriety, but not coolness.

Despite that I have achieved more than my teachers and parents ever predicted, but no I never became cool and my lack of coolness still holds me back in my ability to project myself as i would wish to. No cool kids can and do grow up to be sensible adults that produce yet more sensible kids.  When I hit 18+ I became a fashion rebel dressed head to foot in black and chains, topped of with a fluffy Mohican. I guess now I be called a goth or a emo, but then I wasn’t a part of some anti-cool, I was just a kid trying to present a image to the world which would avoid being picked on and I’m pleased to say it worked.

So did being a non cool give me any hidden superpowers like peter parker? Well nope but it did give me the power to be self-reliant, self-motivated and ability to be alone for hours and days at a time without a care. It could be argued that the lack of coolness can build individuality. I would have never moved to America, or  become a glamour photographer, sold my Visionary art or done half of the stuff I’ve done if I had had a large circle of friends. While the company of friends is great often their opinions and reservations hold back those that dare to dream. I know if I had had friends, time and time again they would have said to my hair brained ideas ‘that will never work’  I’m sure I would have probably listened and my life would have been a lot more uneventful.

Maybe Cool Kids do grow up to get the sexy partners, the ‘great job’ the 2.5 children and the flashy car, but it could be said they never get to live out side the box, they never get to question and they never get to ‘not give a fuck’. So maybe it’s good I never was a cool kid, but boy I wish I could have dated Vicky, Nicola or Patricia just once lol.

Now if I was a cool Kid I’d say this would go straight to No1.

Thank God it’s Friday

Bella (My elderly Leonberger) has had a hard week snoozing and sleeping, she is really glad the weekends almost here.

oh god not more publicity

oh god not more publicity

Nexus now just another expensive phone.

I’m sure a great deal of people were very pleased with yesterdays announcement of the Nexus 6, for me it was a disappointment and in my eyes Google took a step backwards. As a simple member of the buying public what made the Nexus Phone special apart from the pure android experience, was the ‘affordable’ price point and yesterday that looked as if that was now over.

To be able to buy a non contract phone for around £300 Like the Nexus 5 was a very attractive proposition. Especially for someone who enjoys tech but simply could never justify the normal £500+ phones. It seems to me that quality mid range phones with pure operating systems are getting very thin on the ground. It could be said that if you want a contract free phone that does a little bit of everything with a sensible price tag, you may soon only have the Windows phones or out of date models to choose from. Sure you can get great deals on pay monthly phones but I for one have absolutely no wish to be tied into a 18/24 month contract.

Let’s face it the UK if not the world is awash with people who have broken phones that just about work and still have more than 75% of the contract to go. So the Nexus 6 to most mere mortals (like me) is now just another high priced phone that they can no longer consider.

The problem is Tech companies idea of affordable and my idea of affordable are two totally different things. Now I’m not a person who buys cheap because for me Cheap is not a sensible purchase. Anything that is cheap in tech tends to be on it’s last legs or have poor build quality, also ethics of cheap production are often very questionable. Cheap has always been a false economy for me which usually ends up costing more in time, problems and money.

No I’m happy to pay a sensible price when it comes to tech, What is a sensible price? Well that is for each person to quantify, but for me it is a price point that usually can’t be a instant purchase (unless I have savings) but can be saved for in a reasonable space of time in my case a few months rather than a few years. A high priced item for me is one that will negatively impact a budget for a long time which for me is a year and beyond. It is a product that may force you to go without the other enjoyments or even some of the day to day essentials of life.

The Nexus 5 was a sensibly priced phone for what you got the Nexus 6 is not. I’ve no doubt, Google wants to be seen as a sexy top end phone company but is that really what Google is? I don’t think so, Google is all about offering useful services for free. I for one think their products should echo that for the masses appeal. Google like all tech companies have their fanboys and their haters, but view people could ever say that Google was an elite company ripping people off monetarily at least.

So what phone do I own? you maybe asking well despite the fact that most of what I own is made by Apple I have a Windows phone, a Nokia Lumia 920. It does everything I have asked of it over the past year and most importantly of all it came at a price I was happy to pay. I don’t fear taking it out into the  real world of thieves and concrete, because if the worse did happen, I could replace it relatively quickly.

Finally
The Nexus is a great looking phone that I’m sure some people will buy at any price. For the rest of us that  may want a pure Android phone,  it looks like the Nexus 5 will stick around for a while , that seems Like a very sensible move as the 6 will be well out of many peoples upgrade path. However in the world of tech where the latest thing is for many the only thing, the Nexus 6 I believe may still prove a hard sell at the price.

View the Nexus 6 page http://www.google.com/nexus/6/
View the Nexus 5 page http://www.google.com/nexus/5/