The Center of Infinity By Sierra M DesPlanques Age 18
Chapter 1 Grandma
“Grandma why was I born?” “You were never born for you have always been alive.” She always says the strangest things I think to myself. I remember the time she came up to me and said. “You are a very magical girl.” “Arrows of light!” She shouted. “Arrows of light! Pointed like a boomerang from the heart of existence!” “Gramma you’re crazy.” She would laugh and laugh “Of course I’m crazy!” “There are three kinds of crazy,” She continued “There’s the common madman, following the herd of a mad world, then there’s the awakened madman, being so foreign to the ways of a conditioned culture he is like an alien to society. Everyone is so afraid of his freedom that they try to cage him by labeling him insane. He is told to be the only one in the delusion yet from another perspective he is the only one who has escaped it.” “What’s the third one?” I ask “The mad madman, the kind that locks himself in an apartment for 40 years day in and day out because he can’t walk down the streets without having visions of his grandmother whispering the words “remember me.”
Chapter 2 Remember Me
60 years later
I’ve been locked in my apartment for 40 years day in and day out because I can’t walk down the streets without having visions of my grandmother whisper the words “Remember me.” It starts with a smell, I can’t quite describe it, some sort of smell from when I was young. Then the poetry, my goodness the poetry, words I don’t even know fall through my mouth in a comprehensible form to references of things my conscious mind has never heard of. “And the the spider spins her web in the dark” My grandmother's voice whispers as I peer out the window. I see the sunrise shining upon a beautifully woven silk web. 8 legs, I begin to interpret the omen, 8 eyes this is the 8th spider I’ve seen today. 8 the number of infinity. Sometimes I wonder if my imagination creates omens that do not exist, but other times I wonder if everything is an omen and the symbols in our life are in a nonlinear language of the script of our existence. And when you read deeply enough into one thing you find a metaphor for everything.
When I was in highschool I once had a friend tell me to stare at a pushpin for 10 minutes straight. Being me I began to ask the pushpin questions. “Mr pushpin are you a needle with a head? Or a head with a needle?” “ Do you stab the wall or is the wall stabbing you?” “Mr. pushpin, are you God?”
The pushpin answered all three questions.
“Yes” It said in a strange deep voice that only my imagination could conjur. I then began to laugh hysterically at mr pushpin while my friends shook their heads, “There she goes again contemplating reality through the perspective of a pushpin.” By now laughter has turned to tears and I’m rolling in circles on the floor. On this day I concluded that anything is a symbol of everything and you can find infinity in a pushpin. And so I began to see the symbols of everything in anything. This slowly turned into an immediate habit to interpret every omen I found whether or not it was created by my imagination, or it was my imagination speaking to the creator, I like to believe it was real. Strangely this went the opposite direction of turning me superstitious. I realized the black cat crossing your path is only an unlucky omen if you see it as so. These things come true because we believe they will. If I believed that the black cat was an omen of bad luck it would give me bad luck, but if I saw it as an omen of good luck it would give me good luck. But what is “luck” anyways, and does it even exist?
Anyways, I’ve always seen the spider as an omen of death and rebirth, and everytime I see a spider I’m reminded to kill a piece of my identity so my soul can be reborn. I remember my grandma telling me, “To become yourself you must erase yourself.” She spoke in poetry, “To know the truth is to know the trees.” Then she would laugh and laugh like she’d just told a joke that nobody else understood. I begin to laugh with her now as I look out the window to a mad society that cuts trees down to feed the hungry ghosts of modern civilization.
“If only they heard the laughter too,” I think to myself, but it’s sound has been concealed by the minds meaningless chatter of the past and future, desire and aversion. “If only they knew the music is in the present.” The world has gone stiff from people who have forgotten how to dance, grandma would say they were fearful of the madman dancing with his demons to the music of angelic light. “Do you hear it?” She would whisper, “do you hear it? Chapter 3 The Dream
“Remember me” My grandmother's voice echoes, I follow the sounds searching for their source. “Maybe there isn’t a source,” I tell myself. “That is precisely why it is everywhere.” My grandmother's voice sings in a somewhat soothingly haunting tone. Shadows dancing on the cave walls burst into laughter, “Follow the light my ember in the night.” A translucent purple butterfly lands on my fingertip. “Pay attention” Wildflowers bloom from the dark and damp cave floor mapping out a trail. At the end of the path is a etheric glowing light, as I take my first step the flowers propel into butterflies and multiply by the hundreds the cave turns into a tunnel and the butterflies turn into water the walls collapse and I find my grandmother standing on top of a hill. She smiles and embraces me in her arms, I feel my body shrinking into that of a child's as our hearts come together into one. “Safety is fearless” she smiles “So what are you afraid of darling? Are you afraid of people judging you, thinking you’re crazy for speaking to God? Ha! Is forwards backwards in backwards land? My love It’s better to go in the direction of truth alone than to follow the masses in the direction of illusion.” “Grandma what are you trying to say?” “My love, you wouldn’t have locked yourself up for so long if not for fear. But fear is a liar I tell you! You have a purpose and you have been selfish keeping it from the world, you must give the lost a map to who they are don't you see?” “But didn’t you just tell me it’s better to remain alone?” “You are growing old my love and you will not be on this planet for much longer, make your mark while you can.”
Safety is Fearless By Sierra M DesPlanques Age 17 Safety is fearless, fear comes from the ego when there is no ego there is no fear for there is no one there to be harmed. This is why masters of meditation are said to be invincible, it is because though they function through their bodies they do not associate an identity with them. They are not afraid of anything for they have realized that what they are protecting is an illusion. Recently I have been thinking about 3 forms of courage. The first one is blind courage, this is a kind of “searching for danger” so as to have something to prove your bravery to. The second one is “the courage of wisdom,” this is not a lack of fear but rather an action for what is best regardless of it. Through practicing this for long enough you attain “fearlessness” for you have faced your fears enough times to have discovered that fear is an illusion that distracts us from the truth of peace. From here you have a clear enough state of mind to know how to apply caution and common sense while unattached to the life that you are protecting. There are Buddhist teachings that teach that the root of all fear is the fear of death. But when you realize that we are all energy and all energy is one, and that this never ceases it merely changes form, you come to realize that death is not the end it is just a transition in the ever flowing breath of consciousness. When you fully understand this a sense of peace arises within you. Every Buddhist temple is guarded by demons, to enter the temple you must pass through them. This is an incredible metaphor for how our greatest fears live right before our greatest treasures, and that when you deeply face the fear of death you discover eternal light that lives within before and beyond everything. From here, when you truly understand light you can face all darkness from a place of equanimity.
In summary, there is nothing to be afraid of, you are safe, and you are peace.
A slightly organized essay reflecting my mind By: Sierra M DesPlanques Age 16
Facing reality is the sacrifice of staring into the dark to adjust your eyes to see the treasures hidden within it. To understand reality you must face it for understanding reality is finding the light switch. After your eyes having adjusted to the darkness this light reaches the extent of being so blinding it teaches you to see. Now imagine you’re in a room made entirely of windows but every window is painted black so you are unaware of its transparency. It is not until you begin to question what is right in front of you and take a blade to the paint that a light is revealed. One scratch through the paint in a this room of disguised windows is the very light I spoke about, it is a glance from the ordinary to the divine and you can only pay attention to one glance of light at a time. You can only pay attention to so much at once.
So pay very close attention to everything you see, because though you cannot look at everything at once you can look at one symbol of everything. This is the light revealed through the window, it is from the same body of light that is hidden behind the black paint so though you may not be looking at all the knowledge in the universe, you are looking at something that contains it. This is why it is impossible to know absolutely everything about something simple such as a pencil because once you understand everything about this pencil you understand everything to ever exist for this pencil is just a fractal of all that is. But then there’s the concept on how knowing nothing correlates with knowing everything because it provides the contrast needed to understand the difference between black and white. This is why it is impossible to understand everything because it is absolutely everywhere and nothing is nowhere to be found so we can’t have the second half of the yin and yang to give us this knowledge. There is a certain truth to what you knew before you knew anything at all.
Interpretation is due to the condition of the psyche. A simple metaphor of this is blot tests. When you take a blot test your mind turns an abstract image into something it regularly thinks about whether or not you may be aware of it. I once drew a very abstract image and I looked at it when I was in a very anxious state, the first things I noticed were claws, blood, and fangs. However I later looked at the same drawing when I was in a very peaceful state and saw trees, feathers and leaves. This was a very similar effect as to a blot test, it is a way of looking at your own mind. So imagine everything you perceive as a blot test, you notice different things according to how you have been conditioned. Walking down the street an artist might notice the graffiti on the wall whereas a photographer might notice the way the sunlight hits the trees.
Two Forms of Awareness By Sierra M DesPlanques Age 17
Awareness is a light and everything that it shines upon becomes light as well, the question is, who is it that is aware? There is a great difference between the awareness of the Self with a capitol S and the self with a lower case s. The Self in reference to Hindu philosophy is “Being,” the divinity that lives before, beyond, and within all of us. Whereas self is the ego, the distraction from the Self. So in this sense there are two forms of awareness, that of which completely oppose one another. There is the awareness of consciousness and there is the awareness of ego. Where the awareness of ego looks in the mirror and notices all of the things it would like to change about its appearance, the awareness of consciousness knows that it is more than its body and because of this it remains unattached from the person looking back at it and because of this is able to see it as the divine Being that it is. The awareness of ego comes from attachment and judgment, whereas the awareness of consciousness comes from selflessness and understanding. When you realize that the ego is illusion you begin to observe it’s antics from the outside. From here you know that you are consciousness and all else is transient. We are all one eternal Being and the ego is the idea that all you are is your mind and identity separate from all others. But have you ever thought about the idea that you do not exist? That identity is an illusion you have fallen into after years of being categorized and told that we are nothing more than our story? The ego is the cause of all illusion and its awareness is focused on lies. It is constantly thinking of the past and future, making judgments and forming attachments. Whereas the awareness of consciousness knows that the only moment that exists is now and from here you are always whole. In conclusion the awareness of self is illusion, whereas the awareness of Self is illuminatio
I Am the Starry Eyes of AHS By: Sierra M DesPlanques Age 16
I like to consider myself the eyes of Animas. The eyes to me are the most mystical of all organs within the human body. They translate our own reality to the people looking within them but at the same time they create our own reality to the people looking out from them. I consider myself the eyes of animas because I feel like my job in this community is to help people see beyond them. Every single image our eyes are capable of perceiving is a reflection of light. So in a way I am capable of helping the community of animas witness the light that builds our own existence. We are all beings of light and our eyes are merely one angle given to us to help us understand this.
I believe everything is neither good nor bad it is just a matter of how you use it that determines your own personal nature. The eyes are no exception to this rule. You could use them to admire the way the sun hits the clouds over a blooming hill on a lovely spring day or you could use them to pass off judgement towards someone with a different shade of skin than your own.
So this doesn’t mean I don’t have my flaws. Very often I can become clouded and get so focused at looking at what I can see, that I forget about the importance of what I cannot see.
Our senses are very limited, and sight is one of these. For the most part they may be telling us the truth in what they show us but this is only 0.999% at most of what actually is. So I think my job as the eyes of animas is not only to open them and see what lies beyond, but it is also to close them and see what lies before.
Blinding Euphoria By Sierra M DesPlanques Age 15
Sometimes the feeling of sadness is what you need to guide you to want to make a change, but in the world I live in, sadness is against the law, and happiness is the only emotion we are allowed to feel. There are people dying from diseases, every second of every day yet no one searches for a cure because they are too blinded by euphoria to see the truth of the world.
When you are born there are chips injected into your arm capable of measuring dopamine levels (The chemical that produces happiness) As soon as your body begins to express the need to show true emotion and show the sadness you’re meant experience you are injected with the a dose of the chemical. The feeling of sadness is what our nation believes is destroying us but really it is them. If a person is to develop the feeling of grief and disparity beyond the system's constraints the chip releases thousands of chemical shutting the body down . So say there was a shooting killing roughly 100 people about 1,000,000 more people would die simply because they were mourning. In an event of a shooting where someone beat the system and could not bear their own pain , killing 100’s of people they deaths by the shooter could not amount to the deaths of the system. 1000’s of people would lose their lives due to their need to mourn. The system will do whatever it can whether it be death or punishment until dysphoria is to be never felt.
In our world there are those who are illegally born without a chip, I am one of those people, I know that I was born as a secret my true identity could never be known but my mother won't tell me what exactly happened all I know is that she managed to survive removing her arm to get rid of hers. We are the only two people I knew of capable of feeling multiple emotions, until yesterday.
I don’t go into town very often because I’m more likely to be caught there, but yesterday we ran out of food so I went to the market to stock up and saw a story in the newspaper about a some members of rebellion that got arrested, apparently they discovered how to safely remove the chips but they were caught and got arrested. I bought the newspaper and food and headed back to me and my mom's hideout eager to share the news with her.
When I got back I opened the door revealing a trail of blood I began to panic and started searching the house for clues of where she could have gone denying the idea that she was nowhere, that she could be gone, fully. I then remembered about the newspaper article, I pulled it out and began to read.
“A rebellion of roughly fifteen people has been caught, some of these people were illegally born in secret and never received the mandatory chip injection, the others have found a way to safely remove it. Extensive interrogation has led us to believe that there are more of these rebels on the loose so if you see any suspicious displays of illegal emotion immediately report it to authorities.”
“Extensive interrogation,” I thought that must be their way of making torture sound professional, I wonder if that's what they’re doing to my mother, I continue reading.
“The rebels are currently being held in the country headquarters prison facility until their fate has been decided by the jury.” My stomach dropped if my mom was anywhere she was there, I had to leave immediately.
I was lucky that the headquarters are only an hour away so I grabbed my things, ran out of the house and got in the car immediately. As I begin driving I realized that I had absolutely no plan so I begin to think of how I was going to get to my mom but the only idea I could think of was absolutely terrifying. I had to turn myself in.
I pulled up to the headquarters and it was probably the largest building I had ever seen, it not only contains a prison but there is also a hospital and offices for the government. Thats a good idea I thought sarcastically, to put criminals in the same building as a hospital, and the government that put them here in the first place. I made sure to go in prepared so I grabbed one of the knives behind the seat and a gun my mom used to always keep accessible just incase we were found. “That obviously didn’t help keep her safe but I hope it helps get her back.” I thought to myself as I hid the weapons under my clothes.
I stormed in and shouted, “I surrender! I am a rebel born without a chip.” This is such a terrible idea I repeat in my head over and over until a police officer runs up to me and puts me in handcuffs. “You are under arrest for feeling illegal emotion.” He says and begins to drag me into the elevator, up to the prison at the top of the building without any legal trial or anything.
When we get there the man took me out of my cuffs and threw me into a cell without saying a word. There was a girl probably twenty on the top of the bunk bed who was crying, she had a name tag on her shirt that said Talia. I looked at her and there was something so familiar about her face shape I just couldn’t remember where she was from. “What’s wrong?” I asked her in a sympathetic tone. “My sister is going to be put to death today,” she sobbed somehow in a hushed voice. “Were twins you see and both of us were born without chips, but she’s the more intelligent of the two. She discovered how to safely remove them and started a rebellion that turned on her and reported her to the police. “That’s where she was from,” I thought to myself she was in the newspaper article.
“I’m so sorry,” I paused. “But sorry isn’t going to help your sister, my mom is in trouble too but I think I have an idea on how we can fix all this but first we need to get out of here.” I took the knife out of my shoe and started hacking it at the door. “You know wooden doors probably weren’t the best choice for containing prisoners.” I said to her somehow feeling calm and panicked at the same time. “Do you know how to shoot a gun?” I asked turning to her. “I used to hunt my own food.” She replied with confidence. “Okay good,” I handed her the gun. “Only use this if you really need to we don’t need to get into any more trouble than we’re already in.” I continue hacking at the door until we could break through, but when we opened the door there was a guard right outside there is no possible way they couldn’t notice I thought as my stomach churned. I turned over to Talia expecting her to look terrified but for some reason her face lit up “Daniel?” She said excitedly, “Shhh he replied don’t give away my cover.” He whispered. His voice tone changed to a more stern harsh sound. “How did you girls get out of here he shouted. You’ll regret doing this when the boss gets to you. He grabbed us and started dragging us down the hall and winked at Talia when nobody was looking. We continued walking until we reached a room that looked a lot different from the others, Daniel got a key out of his pocket and unlocked the door. There was a line leading to an electric chair and my mom was at the front of it with Talia's sister right behind her. I made eye contact with my mother and at first her face lit up until she remembered our current danger. We had to figure out what to do, I looked around the room and only saw one guard other than Daniel. Before I had fully formulated a plan Daniel started speaking to the guard. “I heard there was a fight in the main room and they need some more men to take care of it, I can watch them while you’re out.” The guard walked out without saying a word. Why are the workers here so quiet? I wondered to myself.
After he left Daniel immediately spoke up and hugged Talia's sister and said in a concerned tone, “We need to get you guys out of here.” The hallway was empty at the moment so we ran to the elevator which Daniel had to unlock in order for us to get in as soon as we started going Talia's sister spoke up, “We need to go to the government section of the building,” her voice sounded shaky. “During my time alone in my cell I’ve had some time to think, what if were going about this chip removal system all wrong? What if there is a machine that distributes the chemicals to everyone and if we shut it down the world would be able to feel the emotions it’s supposed to?”
We got off the elevator and all the workers stared at us for a second, but remained still and went back to working, that’s odd I thought to myself as I followed Talia's sister through the hallway until we ended up in a gigantic room with a machine that took up half the space, we ran towards it but were stopped when I saw a huge crowd of all the workers forming a circle around us all the while with completely blank faces my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest. “There’s no way out” I thought to myself, “we are all going to die.” All of a sudden Talia pulls out her gun. “What is she doing?” I thought. There weren’t anywhere close to enough bullets to get us out alive but she didn’t point the gun at a person she pointed it at the machine, She shot the wiring system and there were gigantic sparks of electricity and the room went dark for a few seconds and then the lights turned back on. I looked around the room and all the coworkers looked confused, some of them even started to cry, they were crying, it was as if they were finally able to express the emotions they weren’t allowed to feel their whole life. Later that day I discovered that the people in that building were given a different type of chemical that eliminates all emotion, even happiness the system thought it would make them better workers but it did the complete opposite. After the chip disabling they went on to change the way the world thinks we should act and allowed us to live as natural human beings.
Nothing is Black and White By Sierra M DesPlanques Age 15
It’s two in the morning and I am scrolling through quotes about depression for my essay on socialization and all I manage to find are black and white photos with quotes about sadness that portray some sort of beauty in it. First of all, why does every sad photo have to be in black and white? Metaphorically speaking that is the complete opposite of what depression is, it is so incredibly complicated and different for everyone even in the slightest form, nothing is black and white especially depression. Second of all feeling like complete and utter shit is not beautiful it is the complete opposite of beauty, but that doesn’t mean it’s something to be ashamed of, acknowledging the fact that you feel this way however is, beautiful.
For some people struggling with a mental illness it starts off pretty obvious to the people around them bringing unwanted negative attention thus causing them to master the art of pretending to be “ok”. However in a different type of environment it could be the complete opposite. You could start off perfectly capable of hiding unwanted emotions but eventually become exhausted from that while everything around you begins to unravel. Obviously there are far more than two different situations in the attempt to hide emotions and this is all due to hundreds of different types of factors but a few major ones are things such as genetics, trauma, anxiety, insecurities, insomnia, and the biggest one, the environment you live in. In other words the way we are socialized, (the process by which a human being beginning at infancy acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training for adult status.)
I don’t think humans realize how great of a toll the society around us causes us to think, negatively… or positively. The level of stress in an environment we are living in can be a great cause of depression, a major example is bullying. To a bully victim the people around him/her have become used to treating them as if they are less than human and over time everyone becomes desensitized to this cruelty even the victim. Constantly being told you are worthless, or a freak can really make you start to believe these things are true and take a large toll on your mental health. To think that society has become accustomed to treating outsiders terribly without even feeling guilty even after a suicide has been committed makes me feel utterly sick about who we are capable of becoming with just a little push from socialization.
Typically a if you are bullied it is because you didn’t socialize the same way as everyone, but depression on the other hand can be a result of socialization. It is the way you react to being put down time and time again.
It is estimated that about 10 to 15 percent of children and teens are depressed at any given time. Research indicates that one of every four adolescents will have an episode of major depression during high school with the average age of onset being 14 years!
Children's mental disorders affect many children and families. Based on the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report (Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young people: progress and possibilities, 2009) that gathered findings from previous studies, it is estimated that 13 –20 percent of children living in the United States (up to 1 out of 5 children) experience a mental disorder in a given year and an estimated $247 billion is spent each year on childhood mental disorders. Because of the impact on children, families, and communities, children's mental disorders are an important public health issue in the United States. Depression can be triggered by many factors, and how we are socialized is a major one, not necessarily how you are socialized in a certain group of people (This is possible however,) but rather as humans as a whole for men and women of all ethnic/racial backgrounds, and regions in the US experience mental disorders. The fact that someone has depression can have nothing to do with how they were socialized it is an illness capable of happening to anyone, how we treat it however has everything to do with our socialization.