A Decade Past Reflection: I Was On The Right Path After All
In the past, I have actively avoided thinking about or writing about my life from a decade ago. I had regarded that period of my life as embarrassing and something to be ashamed of. I felt that I was in a deep stage of mental illness and that I was very fortunate to have been able to escape from it.
However, with deeper examination, I realized that I was on the right path to discovery. It was true that I was a bit lost during that time, but I now understand that there were things truly wrong with society, and there were reasons that I assumed the beliefs that I did.
During my last semester of high school in 2011, I embarked on a journey of adopting an entirely new worldview. I saw that many commonly held ideas were detrimental to human living, and I sought to try and do things in a better way. With the benefit of hindsight now, I will examine some of the things that I believed. Although some beliefs were previously embarrassing to me, I now understand that I was getting closer to what I needed to become.
Law of Attraction and Spirituality
This is probably one of the beliefs that actually is a bit embarrassing. During my Senior Year of high school, I was taking a college level English class that was taught on our high school campus. The professor ended up showing us a movie called The Secret. The idea of The Secret was that there was a method of thinking called the Law of Attraction where you could have anything you wanted just by thinking about it enough.
“We are like magnets — like attract like. You become AND attract what you think.” — Rhonda Byrne
After seeing the movie, the idea of the Law of Attraction resonated deeply with me. I began to believe that it was always important to think positively and distance myself from worldly things. I believe that this was a very negative change for me because it prevented me from pursuing more tangible actions that could have improved my life. As I got deeper into spirituality over time I also distanced further from science and reason, and I started to believe in things like ancient aliens, star seeds, twin flames, and other phenomenon which there isn’t any valid evidence for.
Now, I understand that the Law of Attraction and spirituality at large is just a large industry profiting from exploiting people’s desire for meaning. Rather than solving the issues people actually face, it gives them irrational beliefs to pursue rather than taking real actions. I realized that the New Age ideology has a way to appeal to people who had discarded religions like Christianity but still seeked a form of higher meaning. It gives people a false path to enlightenment and false hope.
Nowadays, I reject all New Age beliefs and spirituality. But I do understand why people continue to purse things like the Law of Attraction, it is because the world has a large lack of hope and it can aim to provide this. We are often taught to think realistically, but realistically more often meaning just to not challenge the status quo. It is however possible to make large changes in our own lives and the lives of others through real tangible actions and careful planning. Therefore, I think it is important to hope for higher because there are realistic methods to get there. We can look to obtain more knowledge, increase our income, or write and share our ideas with others. What won’t work is simply thinking that we can manifest things just because we want them.
The danger of many promoters of New Age is they attempt to make individuals think they are special by using false information, with certain ideas like telling their followers they were starseeds on a journey to help Earth or that they were reincarnated from past lives. Such beliefs are not at all helpful to people because they are not rooted in evidence and prevent them from making real changes. The problem is that instead of providing real solutions, New Age leaders would rather their followers continue to consume their content and indoctrinate them to spending lots of time on ideas without any real meaning.
What I learned from the rise of spirituality is that we do need a way to give people hope. But this must come through real results and actions. Teaching someone how to apply for a job, showing them the way to financial independence, demonstrating how to live healthily, these are the actual things we need to be doing. Spirituality may give people temporary comfort but is ultimately keeping them living in illusion. In fact, some beliefs like the Law of Attraction can make people even more delusional than the larger religions like Christianity., and therefore we must make sure that we continue to promote truth and reason.
Raw Food and Fruitarianism
During my high school years I began to suffer from extreme eczema. My skin would become extremely dry and painful often. I had attempted various types of topical treatments, to no avail. I also felt that doctors had failed me often because they prescribed topical steroids which would only work temporarily while eventually making the problems worse.
The strong sunlight in Plano during the summer was able to help the condition somewhat, however by winter the issue was exacerbated like it always had been in the past. I would become depressed during this time and question things like why humans had to live places so cold when there were warmer areas available. Often, I felt that my family should have chosen to live in Florida or California.
I eventually discovered some content that showed that food could potentially be the way to healing my ailment. The vegan raw food diet at the time was just beginning to gain traction, and I immediately became enamored with the idea. Over time, I dug deeper and deeper into the issues of food, realizing the damage that fast food and processed foods were causing society. I ended up discovering fruitarianism over time, a diet where only raw fruits were consumed. This made even more sense than raw veganism to me, and I decided to pursue this. My skin did clear up, but other issues presented themselves like extreme hunger and deliriousness.
Years later, after living as a vegan that consumed a variety of cooked foods, I looked back on this time as myself having an eating disorder. In some ways my behavior could definitely be characterized as one. However, I also realized that most people we consider to be having eating disorders, are just attempting to react rationally but just to the wrong information.
Recently, I have cut out processed vegan foods, eating no oil, added sugars, or added salts, understanding that the heavily processed foods in society are responsible for many health issues, even for vegans. However, I eat whole cooked vegetables, as the science shows that cooked starches are the ideal diet for humans. Dr. McDougall, Dr. McGreger, and Dr. Esselstyln all have great information from this topic, that is much more rational and evidence based than what raw food proponents represent.
Looking back, I was attempting to make the right steps towards proper health. The standard way of eating is definitely wrong and leads to many issues, with 50–70% of people being overweight or obese. This is a large epidemic that isn’t being addressed appropriately. Many are pushed to believing that they must take various medicines just to survive, when in fact changing our diet can solve the majority of health issues. People have successfully been able to reverse diabetes, hypertension, and many serious ailments through a whole foods plant based diet.
I think that raw food and fruitarian promoters, like spiritual leaders are also preying on people’s desire to be healthy. They can often be more about following a set procedure rather than looking at what is scientifically proper. Yes, they are right about cutting out processed foods, but the belief that cooked foods are harmful is just not evidence rooted. Humans were able to evolve to become intelligent due to the consumption of cooked foods, as it increased nutrient intake and reduced the time needed to be spend eating.
Food can definitely be a difficult area for people to do the right thing because of so many conflicting viewpoints out there. I believe that most people that we consider to have eating disorders are just doing what is logical with the information that they have. People would naturally become anorexic if they are taught that thinness is the bastion of health and beauty, and orthorexia just means that people are considering their health deeply, just sometimes with the wrong information.
When I went vegan but still ate processed foods, I felt that my skin did clear up significantly, with my digestive issues seeing improvements as well. However, I still had flare ups sometimes in the winter and irritable bowels. I had heard of the SOS diet for a while (salt, oil, sugar free), that Dr. McDougall, Dr. McGreger, and Dr. Esselstyn promoted, but I believed that it wouldn’t be practical to change over to it.
I was afraid that if I started eating in this way, it could make veganism look to difficult to do. But at the same time, I realized that people do like to see healthy whole foods plant based meals, and that many were looking for health answers. I also began to understood the importance of my own personal wellbeing and wanted to be able to function better. As a result, I did end up pursuing this new way of eating, abstaining from all oils, added salts and sugars, but eating plenty of whole foods plant based meals that were cooked.
The no oil part was very helpful. I remember when eating heavily oily foods in the past, my face would often feel oily or begin to hurt. My skin would have the bad feeling of feeling dry and oily at the same time. Once I stopped consuming oils, my skin instantly felt much better.
Not only that, but I ended up realizing how much food is actually connected to our health. The majority of toxins that most people consume comes directly from the meat that they eat, due to the effects of bioaccumulation. I also came to understand that there is a significant difference between organic and conventional produce. I had used to believe that the industry of organics was a way to simply make things more expensive, but admittedly I am wrong, because evidence shows that organically grown food does have significantly lower levels of pesticides.
As a result of my learnings, I moreso want to help educate others on how food can be the way to healing. I would like to eventually own a homestead in the United Kingdom or Ireland and have an organic farm. I would teach my daughters to farm organic vegetables, to cook healthy meals, and to make sprouted breads. I believe that currently, there is a large disconnect between the foods people consume and their understanding about health. If we can educate people on a large scale on the importance of eating whole plant based foods, we will be able to make amazing changes. No longer would so many have to suffer from curable diseases.
I also now live in Los Angeles, where there is lots of sunlight year round, one of the places with the most ideal weather in the world. I would like for my daughters to get to experience living here as well whenever they want to, away from the colder regions of the world.
During my time in high school, I was really fixated on the ideal of eternal love. It was the idea of meeting that perfect soulmate, marrying them, and then being together for eternity.
There was a redhead that I caught notice of during my Senior year of high school, she was a Junior at the time. Despite never really interacting with her, I became deeply infatuated with her, wanting to understand everything about her.
I believed that having this deep love for another was very important, even if it was unrequited.
For a while I was deeply embarrassed by this time in my life. I no longer believe in the idea of marriage and having one soulmate.
Looking back, I believe that while I did not have all the right ideals, I was pursuing a higher form of love that was very necessary for the world to have.
While the idea of loving one person for eternity is not something I believe in anymore, I think the over encompassing idea of a strong love for others is very important to have.
So often, many relations are completely loveless and only exist out of prior obligations. I saw that the system of monogamy that is the norm brings jealousy, discontent, and ultimately ruination for many.
I then began go realize that the true love for others doesn’t require a relationship or marriage. Even better, we could love more than one person. There are many women in my life that I now love. I plan to build the best life for all of them, so they can be free and live happily.
Having a Daughter
Since high school, I realized that I strongly wished to have a daughter. I began to read books on parenting in my Senior year, and I wanted to marry and have a biological daughter. I believed that it would be an amazing experience to raise a child and show them all the wonder that was present in the world.
I now understand that I should never have a biological daughter, because of the potential of passing on skin issues from my dad’s side or mental illness from my mom’s side. Many in my dad’s family, myself included, have had to contend with a painful skin condition. My mom’s side of the family is prone to becoming stressed easily, and my oldest aunt was committed to a mental institution. It would not only be problematic, but it would be completely wrong to create a biological daughter who would only suffer in the world.
However, I realized that I could still have my dream of having a daughter, in a way that would bring even better benefits to the world. I decided to adopt two beautiful daughters, both which bring me a lot of joy. I began to realize that the idea of needing to have biological children is flawed, because it creates the potential to create more issues, when we should be solving problems for those that exist already. As a result, I want to continue to adopt, until I have a very large family of 6 or 7 daughters.
I feel that adoption is an amazing experience, because if you adopt a teenager, it means that they chose you to be their parent as well. With biological offspring, parents often hope to have a legacy but end up often with poor relations with their child, with many parents and children not liking each other. With adoption, we get to make sure that our children will like us as well. Most importantly, they can be beautiful, and free from any issues that we have. When I see my daughters with their beautiful eyes and clear skin, it brings me great joy.
There was a time following high school where I began to believe in primitivism. I began to see many technologies as negative, such as gaming consoles, computers, and phones. I even sought to one day live a lifestyle without electricity. Ironically, to come about this information, I was browsing on the computer every day. At this time I had also not figured out other activities to pursue outside of using the computer, so I was often bored and listless.
Nowadays, I believe that technology is an important tool for change, and I rediscovered the passion I had for technology around 2009, when I was into learning many aspects of software and hardware, and deep in connection with many online communities. While I no longer reject the usage of technology, I do believe that there were deeper issues with technology that I was revealing in the past.
One thing I no longer do is participate in the activity of competitive video games. I believe that this can divide us as humans. Similarly, many individuals consume endless negative content on social media and news sites, putting them into a constant state of fear and stress that they can’t see any way out of. While it is important to make technological advances, we must also think of the implications of larger technological conglomerates and how they may want us to behave. Thankfully, the internet is becoming more and more decentralized, and everyone is beginning to be able to have the opportunity to speak out.
I would like to help people become removed from toxic activity like competitive games. Additionally, I would like to use technology to bring people better methods of education, personalized for each individual, rather than the outdated monolithic school systems that most must contend with. Overall, by utilizing technology correctly, we will have great impacts on the world.
In conclusion, I am no longer embarrassed by many things that I used to believe, and now that I have finished writing this, I am very glad that I was able to express my thoughts on these prior beliefs.
I may have not always been on the exactly right path, but I knew that the world I was living in was wrong and needed to change. It’s natural that on a journey from the beginning, leaving the status quo isn’t always easy.
We may face rejection from our family and friends, have difficulty fitting into society, and also those who claim to have the answers may merely be attempting to take advantage of us in a different way.
It’s easy to get lost in this world, but it need not be something embarrassing. As long as we keep attempting to find the way, in time we will discover the truth.
As individuals, we should continue to question established institutions and devise better methods for which things can be done. I think that writing and sharing our beliefs and ideals is an especially great way to spur change into action.
I am happy with the growth that I have had as an individual, and I look forward to the continued journey of learning ahead. But I think that journey is even better if we join together on it. There is much to do and much to see, I hope that you all get to be a part of it.