New Ideas: Would Geico, State Farm, or Any Other Insurance Company Back this Obscure Burial Request for a Dying Will?
Insurance Companies Cover Satellite Launches All the Time...
Visiting with some dear friends in NYC last week, we had quite a bit of fun discussing an idea I have been hiding for the better part of 4 years...
My idea is quite, simple, actually:
Burial by Sun would be quite the force in returning our ethos to the universe...
img src: Popular Mechanics
Reasoning Behind Wanting to be Shot into the Sun Upon Death
After the incredible spiritual re-alignment I went through in Cape Town recently, I realized how important energy is to our experience as life forms on this Planet. Given that so much of the human experience is shrouded in pain, aggression, and greed, I feel that much of the energy on this Planet is tainted and therefore would have a negative effect on what happens in the long-term balance of energy in the universe.
For this reason, I simply do not want my remains to become mixed-in with the energy on this Planet when the Sun eventually explodes, essentially eliminating any and all traces of our known solar system.
A personal quest to find peace is hard when thinking about a final resting place...
img src: Urban Spiritual via WallPapers on the Web
In a way, I find solace in the idea of having my remains (which are tied in many ways to whatever our spiritual realm experiences) distanced from this realm of historic negativity, especially when it goes through reprocessing as star dust. That is, I like the idea of resting in peace as close as possible to the source of our well-being (for the Sun is the sole provider of life on Earth).
The Reality of It Is....
Most of the discussion with my friends involved the logistics around making this a thing- albeit through various funny ways of putting social pressure on the world's elite to buy-in to such an obscure idea- but my concerns over how turning this into a "thing" would very much ruin it came to surface as reminder to what André 3000 says in the song "Hollywood Divorce" from Outkast's album Idlewild:
All the fresh styles always start off as a good little hood thing.
Ignoring the Popular Mechanics commentary on why shooting things into the Sun is a bad idea, the cost / expense of rocket fuel on our environment is enough to point to the fact that this IS NOT a sustainable solution for interment.
So while it might be an interesting idea to explore theoretically, I wonder if maybe there are other ways to escape the hell of living on this planet of gross imbalance? Perhaps we could arrange some kind of community plan, where massive burial can take place by just shooting aimlessly into space, or we could just try to lead a new future with an economy based on kindness...
What Do You Think?
Very interested to hear your feedback on the matter - please feel free to leave a comment below so we might continue to explore this idea further as a global community : )
Taking My Own Advice as Seneca Would Advise
How do I know with what equanimity you would bear the loss of children, if you see around you all that you have fathered? I have heard you offering consolation to others. If you had been offering it to yourself, if you had been telling yourself not to grieve, then I might have seen your true character.
I recently uploaded my own answers to the writing exercise in self-reflection from the time period in which it was created (i.e. in 2008 when I first came up with the self prompt, I quickly answered my own challenge merely to help re-define life).
Ten years later I am at another cross roads of corporate malfeasance, to not recognize top-tiered talent as worth paying for, and now face a much larger quandary compounded by America's great corporate educational debt system.
Doubly so, I spent most of my twenties exploring life, working 2.5 years for what the IRS would qualify as a program similar to the Peace Corps, then, with nothing more than $40 in my pocket upon return to the United States, went through a similar experience as with immigration to eventually build up my own sub-contracting service in Research & Design as a sole proprietor in order to support myself as an artist.
After three years exploring this lifestyle until I really came to understand exactly what is meant by "starving artist" (no, seriously, I paid utilities in art one month because it was all I had left!), I found a new passion in building web applications for small businesses.
Following 2 years of graduate education at Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College in their Master of Information Systems program (after almost 2 years of exploring graduate schools!), I was lucky enough to land the opportunity in joining Credit Suisse's, at the time, internationally ranked (Top 10 in the World!) internship program for IT professionals.
3 years later, I am left out on the curb after a very disturbing leadership void during massive corporate restructuring. Reminders call to a poem I wrote about this once when I literally only had a fist full of coins, and since my first two goes at professionalism lead to dead ends in building any sense of long-term equity (see: 2.5 years working for "peace corps" and 3 years as a starving artist + 2 years as a student = no savings).
Even though people think $110,000 is a lot, after taxes (Federal, New York State, AND New York City), health care, cost of living in one of the most expensive cities in the US, a few horrible roommate experiences, and attempting to run a non-profit fundraiser out of pocket with no backing, then a quarter of a million dollars is hard to pay off at a rising variable rate!
With close to nothing left, I have recently caved to rely upon my remaining 4 months of Unemployment Benefits. It is a terrible experience and extremely outdated - dare say purposefully negligent as barrier to entry in preventing fraud.
Such negligence, while effective in preventing false actors from receiving funds, does not help those with very close to nothing left for support and very much needing monetary gains sooner than a 3-week wait period. What's worse, is to join their SEAP program, which allows those choosing to pursue their own New York State venture to only file updates quarterly instead of weekly while still receiving payments, you must first receive your first payment through the system (said 3 week wait period).
In this ass-backwards way of doing things, technically by way of their official policy, doing any kind of research, branding, incorporating, or business activity related to staring one's own company is considered work, and therefore you would not be allowed to claim benefits for that period of time in which you worked on the business that is supposed to help you out of unemployment.
indefinite thanks to Leathersmith and Bush Gallery for custom journal cover (1 of 1!)
img source: Author
Such is life, some would say, but luckily America lives Duncan (link to PHRASEOLOGY explaining how empty calories = empty value in a credit based system).
At any rate, I recently had a small panic attack related to considering any and all of the implications of this circumstance (see: literally about to become homeless as rent agreement ends this month, about to live on couches while retrieving mail from a P.O. Box + showering at the gym).
Luckily, this self-reflection worksheet came to the rescue just in time, and despite all of this, I now have a positive outlook on the near future (i.e. a game plan):
FACE THE SELF
Part I: Face the Self
*NOTE: the questions above should be deliberated upon for at least 2-3 days before moving to the next section...
Part II: Follow-up Questions
As part of the effort to digitize over 10 years of notes, hand-outs, research proposals, and other odds and ends piled into a 4 drawer filing cabinet, I came across the following list from LOGIC Management Consulting, a leading consulting firm in the Middle East.
Re-visiting the list now brings back memories of thinking a lot of this was trite or overbearing in the way of pointing to the obvious. However, after going through the last 5 years of missing any semblance of strong leadership, I see now sometimes it is good to have things clearly defined.
One could also consider using this list as a way to frame questions during a job interview in order to get a pulse on what the "leader" you might end up working for is really like.
Listed in reverse-chronological order, we are interested to know which one(s) you identify with most and why - or perhaps there are a few you know you need to work on more, or you simply just do not agree with?
Either way, it would be great to hear from you / start a conversation around this wonderfully curated list!
21. The Law of Legacy
A leader's lasting value is measured by succession.
20. The Law of Explosive Growth
To add growth, lead followers; to multiply, lead leaders.
19. The Law of Timing
When to lead is as important as what to do an where to go.
18. The Law of Sacrifice
A leader must give up to go up.
17. The Law of Priorities
Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment.
16. The Law of Big Mo
Momentum is a leader's best friend.
15. The Law of Victory
Leaders find a way for the team to win.
14. The Law of Buy-in
People buy into the leader, then the vision.
13. The Law of Reproduction
It takes a leader to raise up a leader.
12. The Law of Empowerment
Only secure leaders give power to others.
11. The Law of Inner Circle
A leader's potential is determined by those closest to him/her.
10. The Law of Connection
Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.
9. The Law of Magnetism
Who you are is who you attract.
8. The Law of Intuition
Leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias.
7. The Law of Respect
People naturally follower leaders stronger than themselves.
6. The Law of Solid Ground
Trust is the foundation of leadership.
5. The Law of E.F. Hutton
When the real leader speaks, people listen.
4. The Law of Navigation
Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.
3. The Law of Process
Leadership develops daily, not in a day.
2. The Law of Influence
The true meaning of leadership is influence- nothing more, nothing less.
1. The Law of the Lid
Leadership ability determines a person's level of effectiveness.
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