Friday, April 18, 2014


The temperature outside is 1 degree with rain showers.  This is another non-busking day.  This is another day of writing, not about busking, but of life.  Though, dear reader, I know that for me busking with my twelve-string and harpoon is life, but for others life has, just a tad, more meaning.

To be able to explain our life on Earth is a powerful human need, and this need manifests itself in our adhesion in mainly two areas:  religion and philosophy.  To make sense of our existence, each of us in our addlepated manner, tends to create a narrative for our own position on the planet, a value of our own life.  These narratives, designed to provide personal harmony, often provide a cognitive and complicated dissonance.

All of our narratives, I believe, are based upon four kindergarten questions:
Who am I?  Where do I come from?  Where am I going?  What is the meaning of life?

Though the questions are simple, the answers are complex.

  • Who am I?

I am a busker; I am a guidance counsellor; I am a university instructor.  
As a busker I label myself a social entrepreneur, since most of the money I make busking goes to either the CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION or the SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF SASKATCHEWAN.  In seasons past, I used to pay the sign of either, whatever the minimum wage.   For example, the minimum wage last summer was $10.50 per hour, and so if I busked for one hour, $10.50 of the proceeds was donated to one of the sponsoring agencies.  This season I’ve designed a different formula for support.  This season I plan on scheduling pro bono services for clients referred by either agency (CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH or SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY).  I think it will just be a simpler calculation and more beneficial to the consumers.

Who am I on a grander scale would indicate that I am just one of seven billion beings presently inhabiting the planet.   Such an answer certainly reduces the importance of my self-aggrandizement of being a busker with a social conscience.  As one human being in habitation on the planet, I’ve done completed my procreation duty of continuing my species.  I have three children.

  • Where do I come from?

As Neil of the Child family, I come from Jack Child and Marlene Sanders.  I am their only son.  This information, I’ve known my entire life.  I have met my parents; I have met their parents; I’ve met most of the spin-offs of their siblings.  I’ve met my people. I’ve got the family photos to prove it.

Where do I come from on the grander scale is a search for how humans happen to be walking the face of the Earth. According to the Christian Bible (Christianity being the most popular religion on the planet), we came from Adam and Eve who frolicked in the Garden of Eden.   According to humanist scientist, Loren Eiseley (The Immense Journey), we began as such all things begin – a snout in the ooze of unnoticed swamps, in the darkness of eclipsed moons, with a strangled gasping for air. According to the astronomer, Carl Sagan (Cosmos), the Cosmos is all there is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us – there is tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height.  We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

  • Where am I going?  

Most of us fear dying, and that is where all of us are going.  Only astronauts get off this planet alive.  Do I know where I am going – of course not!  I only know that wherever it is, I hope to get there before my children do.  Any thought otherwise makes me sad.

Christian belief dictates that we are going to either Heaven or Hell.  We get to pass through the gates of Heaven if we have been good on Earth, serving our neighbors while spreading the word of Jesus.  We get the wrath of eternal fire and brimstone if we are bad asses.

Scientists (and some religions) believe that after we die, our personal energy dissipates elsewhere on the earth, transferring to either to the further development of floral or fauna.

I’m thinking Carl Sagan, if he were here for the discussion, could be convinced that when the sun, our nearest star (93 million miles from here), finally fades (five billion years from now) into nothingness, we humans, would have been long gone.

This begs another question:  To answer the previous questions, we rely mostly on faith.  Our scientists have scoured the planet for details and hints, but we are still left with conjecture framed within religions and philosophies.  Since this is the case, then could we not have arrived on our Earth, from beings in a faraway galaxy, whose sun, too, happened to burn out?

And this begets yet another question, one of creation.  I get it that we could have come from a god who can create life.  I can create life; I’ve three kids to prove it.  However, most of the gods in most of the religions have that super ability to grant everlasting life.  That power I do not have.  That power I do not want.  We are living longer, but will there come a day when we can choose to live forever and forever?

And the last of the kindergarten questions:   

  • What is the meaning of life?

According to Jaggi Vasudev (Sadhguru), most of us are searching for solace, security, and fulfillment of our desires, thus our lives merely being expressions of greed and fear.  I’ve heard Sadhguru state that our personal lives have no meaning, and to think thusly, is pure arrogance. And according to Sadhguru, to live and operate in the world, you may have to identify with something.  Play with your identifications – don’t let them rule you.  

I shall play being a busker.

Existentialists insist there is no real one meaning to any of this, and to survive positively in the world, we must be the Kapellmeister, and create our own meaning, attach to life our own purposes, and then live our life accordingly.

Hedonists believe that pleasure is the only good, and that the pursuit of pleasure is our only purpose.   

According to the Christian bible (Hebrew), sin is pleasure only for a season, the understandings of our design and existence liminal, and there is an omniscient god watching over the master plan.

And what do I know and believe?  I believe we are all living in a shadow suite; the mysteries of life being locked up in archetypal and unconscious thought, all due to our fear and loathing of death.  I believe that each of us delicately chooses to maxixe upon this blue orb, which is spinning ever throughout the universe, in the hope of dancing in joy for our entire lives. 

Dear readers, right now I do know one thing for certain:

The temperature outside is 1 degree with rain showers.  This is another non-busking day.  This is another day of writing, not about busking, but of life.  Though, dear reader, I know that for me busking with my twelve-string and harpoon is life, but for others life has, just a tad, more meaning.

*[Darren and I (PHANTOM TIDE) are working on some original songs.
Check them out by clicking on my YouTube account top and right of this blog header.]

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