Accolades & Competition

The accolade was the central act in the rite of passage ceremonies conferring knighthood in the Middle Ages. From the mid-1800’s, the term accolade was then used much more generally to mean “praise” or “award” or “honor.” Awards are ultra-subjective, hierarchical, competitive, and egotistical, which are all things to avoid.

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As a filmmaker, every time I look at another director’s website, I will usually always find a list of awards. All of which are secretly saying “look how great I am” because others have told me so and look how much better and popular I am than you because a sanctioned inner club has said so.

As young sprouts, we are taught to play organized sports, which are good for tribe building and exercise but bad for a “your team our team” mindset and the sense of “healthy competition” (which is really unhealthy competition) which they indoctrinate young minds into. The ladder climbing mindset of “I must have a gold medal and anything less is a failure” is considered greatness in an immature society which is grossly hierarchical, hence the youth trophy is something thought to strive for and excellence is claimed to be collecting gold stars in the classroom or on an Olympic podium. This system sucks ass because there can only ever be one winner while everyone else feels partially unfulfilled since ultimately one person wins while all the others lose. It also highlights it’s immaturity through being goal oriented, wanting a prise, like the little kid at the arcade pumping quarters into the claw machine to attain a cheap made in China stuffed animal. Compared to being maturely process oriented and simply enjoying the act itself without needing a sparkly price or piece of material gain. If you can find a little kid who cares about the act itself more than the reward, then good for them and they are on the future path to becoming a little zen buddha.

There is a massive difference between competition, which inspires fear and scarcity, and creativity for all, which inspires abundance. Here’s a quote from a man who knew a thing or two about this, Wallace D Wattles, regarding the mindset of competition vs the mindset of creativity.

“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.

Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.

In order to do this, man must pass from the competitive to the creative mind; otherwise, he cannot be in harmony with the Formless Intelligence, which is always creative and never competitive in spirit.”

So the universe will only let you get so far in your development until you mature beyond competition. The biblical phrase “let thy will be done” not “let my will be done” highlights this through the mindset of help yourself first so only then you can help others.

 A cheesy picture of Niles with 16+ gold statues from other folks he’s been associated with.

A cheesy picture of Niles with 16+ gold statues from other folks he’s been associated with.

Since most folks can’t think for themselves and need others to tell them what is quality, entertainment industries for example, really seem to care about competitive awards. What’s that say about the industries? As someone who has actually won an award or two I recognize within the structures of an entertainment profession that they help your “career” and are important for allowing your material to be seen, and more secretly to egotistically be able to raise your rate, which equates to your time being more valuable — fair enough. However, the awards I have won have in no way been for my best projects.

A common theme in entertainment industries is striving for laurels. These are bestowed by a tiny few, such those who run a film festival, which have subjectively decided they are the critics to allow what they deem worthy through because they have self-created a business card with their name and on the line below it says “gatekeeper”. But are these gatekeepers life-long established professionals in their field who have created excellent bodies of work themselves in the field they are gatekeeping, or are they self-appointed critics who have given themselves the keys into the kingdom and you must bow to them in order to be let in.

Trying to give a stamp of approval or claim any piece of art better than any other is like trying to go into the Louvre museum in Paris and choose your favorite renaissance painting. That doesn’t work in that environment due to museums generally having a higher sense of sophistication than to allow a rotten tomatoes style labeling of such high-antiquity works. We all know the Oscars are not what is really the best renaissance paint on film emulsion created that year but instead what is in the category of “Oscar-worthy”. Which really just means “work established amongst the ranks”.

Bow to no one. Don’t have champaign red carpet dreams. Nice feedback is great and if you do receive a Pulitzer or a Nobel prize it doesn’t mean you are better than if you never receive any. Attention and respect from your peers or those who like your work are never to be under-appreciated, as all timeless works do want to be seen and no artist wants their work to only be recognized posthumously after they have exited their meat body. But the only person you should be in competition with is yourself. Intrinsically, you’re constantly winning a deluge of private awards within yourself if you’re creating a body of work which continues to inspire you as well as others. And that list is long.

A First Sunrise

Was dragged out of bed at 5 a.m. against my will to direct this piece in Kauai Hawaii in early 2018. It turned out to be very worth the effort. 

The later words I penned to it are as follows:

The sun.

Not a ball of gas in the sky but a dimensional converter.

Ancient cultures recognized the sun as both an entry point as well as an exit point for all who make it to the realm of Earth.

For a new soul, a recent arrival. Who transited her through the solar gateway, there is a first time for everything.

Witnessing their first sunrise, after their first sunset.

Seeing that supernal light shine back at them.

An infinite source with an infinite being.

Long may she shine.

PSYCHEDELIC MILK EPISODE 100 - UNCOVERING THE HUMAN POTENTIAL IN TRUTH

Joined Ed Liu on episode 100 of the Psychedelic Milk podcast to discuss the human potential and truthful living!

As a weekly podcast show host, Ed has had plenty of guests who are rubbish. So much to the point where he does not air certain conversations, he's recorded for future episodes or else only posts them only to his Patrons as "Rotten Milk" episodes. So it's an honor to have been on the show the number of times I have, to have great conversations which make the cut. 

Show Notes:

Who is Niles Heckman
Who am I?
What we're not
What we are
Why is it hard to know who we are
Introverted bias
Conscious vs subconscious
Living in a dream
Living the truth
Fear
Completing life's challenges
The Secret
New Thought

Continued in our PLUS+ Extension:

Thoughts influencing your actions
Discernment of information
Money and spirituality
Master key system
Changing the inner state to change the outer state
Messages of the subconscious
Depolarization
Integration of the shadow
Potential of human beings
Decentralization
Potential of the future

Evolve + Ascend Transmutation Write Up

Lovely write-up over at Evolve + Ascend on Transmutation. Many thanks to Jennifer Sodini and Jessica Golich for taking the time out to do an actual real piece of film journalism on what's coming down. Film to be released VERY SOON at www.transmutationfilm.com!

The Alchemy of Human Experience: TRANSMUTATION

Deep in the midst of actively or headlessly living out our singular human lives, it is often subconsciously dismissed that we are living on Planet Earth which inhibits over seven billion idiosyncratic human beings who are experiencing life in their own meaningful and individual way. Portraying a variety of worldly-wise perspectives and a wide range of emotions such as intimacy, grief, pain, suffering, happiness, mindfulness, enlightenment and depth, the manner in which Director, Niles Heckman, and Writer, Neil Kramer, examine human life throughout their documentary, Transmutation, from both a cinematographical and philosophical lens serves as  a mesmerizing and emotionally-charged source of inspiration for viewers of all walks of life. Blending the seemingly irrelevant with the divine within sweeping landscapes, prophets of perseverance and thought-leaders experiencing oracles of optimism envelop viewers with unshakable mesmerism that subconsciously draws the individual deeper into their center. Rooted from the cultivation of the willingness to seek beyond societal walls to reveal diverse ways of believing and being, Transmutation is a potent source for psychological healing.

It’s during those quiet and intimate moments surrounded by open natural spaces while within pauses of time when it’s easier to connect to our spiritual core and transport into a state of alignment that carries mystical attributes that we as human beings subconsciously extend outwards within our interactions. Rather than shrinking into places outgrown, the human connections and panoramic mental views that Transmutation shines a bright light on doesn’t steer from dark places, yet subconsciously reminds viewers that now is the time to dive in and work their way through, whether developmentally prepared to or not. Threatening the ways in which modern-society organizes reality and expressing perspectives from a place of bravery and conviction, Transmutation leaves the writing on the walls for viewers aching for a sense of equilibrium. Cognizant of their discomfort and the projections of fear that can sporadically arise from time to time, these human lives take pride in being there for themselves in the hole of the cosmic black and showcase both the capacity for and development of courage to live out a life of compassion.

Paradigm-smashing epiphanies stemming from connection with divinity leads human beings to challenge the familiar and known which in turn serves to broaden and awaken the whole. Transmutation showcases the art of tapping into someone’s mind and stepping in their shoes within an enlightening documentary and view that is abounding with soul-baring vulnerability.  Questioning the way in which both you and fellow individuals operate subconsciously leads to the opening of the mind and the refusal to stand for the ways of being that is correlated with modern man. The human experience is eternally a private experience, independent of external validation or expectations. We’ll leave the meaning behind this next line up to you – there is no such thing as a perfect landing, therefore, why not take the leap? It is time to exercise being your own safe space. Grant yourself an unreserved yes to take value-connected steps toward embodying your highest and truest self. Uprooting normality was the intention behind this documentary, Transmutation, but then again, what is normal?

Lanterns To Let Go

New narration piece "Lanterns To Let Go"...

I've always wanted to witness one of these night lantern festivals. Thinking that would only be possible via a trip through Southeast Asia, such as Thailand. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out The Lights Fest existed and was going to have a festival outside Sacramento California in February of 2018. 

This piece was shot there on a cold night in a generally all white part of the state that was primarily packed with Asian folks that night. Perhaps the tradition brought every person of Asian descent from Sacremento, which is a mostly "folks of European descent" town. The ethnic mix was good and made for a more Eastern like experience. And a surreal experience at that. Seeing so much texture in the sky is a rare occurrence and making the effort to go to it yourself if the traveling roadshow is coming to a location near you is highly recommended. 

On a tech wonk side note, this footage was shot using the anamorphic mad science project at 1600 ISO. Which the camera actually handled quite decently I must say. I find that V-Log color space is quite noisy in low light so this was shot in Cine Like D. So the dynamic range isn't the best but, fair enough. Anamorphic lenses are inherently a bit soft around the perimeter of the frame as well as when wide open. So all those factors make for footage which isn't quite what you might call "pin sharp", but is still passable at the high 6K resolution of the anamorphic frame and I'm not complaining as to the material we captured that night. The GH5 checks every box in my dream rig book short of its low light capabilities. Even the GH5s doesn't eat low light in an incredible way which inherently is a limitation of a smaller sensor. However, I have shot some low light footage on the Black Magic Micro Cinema Camera which I must say performed better in low light than the GH5 with a more clean look. And that's a small frame camera so go figure. Inevitably, unless the GH line perfects its current low light ability into the realm of amazing, a Sony A7s something is in my future. 

Occulture Podcast 2018

Epic chat with Ryan Peverly over at the Occulture Podcast to be posted soon.

As the years go on, I use social networks less and less and enjoy talking on podcasts more and more. Which is a good goal to strive for since having a good long-form conversation on a podcast usually requires having your own attainment, developed communication skills, and personal insights instead of just sharing those things which have been developed by others on a somewhat anti-social network. Podcasts also have the capability of being heard decades later rather than just the 2-minute attention span of crap social media feeds. Hence, I always try and make each podcast appearance where I am a guest timeless and life-changing.

The conversation is focused on "finding your occult self." Otherwise known as "you must become fucking awesome in order to create things fucking awesome." The first half of the chat focuses on Ryan and I's lives as examples of where we are at in that process and then we get into the work of Lyman Frank Baum who did the same in order to create the quintessential American fairy tale, The Wizard of Oz. 

Occulture is a great podcast. Much in the vein of The Higherside Chats, it's a podcast I enjoy and listen to as often as possible, so it's a gem to be a part of it. Keep up the great work Mr. Peverly.

 

You’re Talking To Yourself

I say “hello self” at the beginning of my spoken word essays because much like standing in front of a mirror, I am standing in front of a camera, talking into a lens, which if a few others watch that's great. But mainly, this is me talking to myself.  I would still find the time to do these spoken word essays if the watchership was just me myself and I.

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This doesn’t mean talking to myself in the sense of the homeless crazy vagrant with diarrhea filled pants rambling incoherently. Oftentimes such behavior can be seen in the person with no little to no inner monologue at best or schizophrenia psychosis at worst. So this is being mentioned not from a “one is sick” perspective but from a “one is helping themselves” perspective. This is a mental health issue not from a socioeconomic or scientific perspective, but from a spiritual one.

Everything you say to someone else, you are really saying to yourself. As well as everything you think about someone else, you are actually really thinking about an aspect of yourself. The universe will show you things based on your life experience and it will put you in situations, events, and circumstances to show you those things based on your own behavior.

So if you are saying or thinking or doing ill will, disdain, or hate to others, you don’t like yourself. If you are projecting gratitude, appreciation, respect, and love to others, you appreciate, respect, and love yourself. If everything said here is BS, isn’t this a beautiful exercise in being kind to one another? For treating those you know and those you have not formally met with mutual admiration and mutual respect.

There is a difference between identifying problems and constructive criticism, golly gee I certainly do a ton of criticizing of cultural and societal structural problems, but at a higher level, whatever you see wrong out there is what is wrong within yourself. Whatever cause you hold most sacred, has to do with your elevator down into the cavern of yourself and your past ripples in the pod of your back life story. This can fractal out into a much larger discussion about the structure of reality, the spatial model of the cosmos, the growth of the soul, as well as synchronicity, but ultimately this simple but easy life lesson is one of the most important life lessons to be conscious of and act on in your day to day life and the way you interact with others.

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It’s really not hard to see that if your a sour old curmudgeon who hates everyone and everything, you likely sit a home alone picking your nose and don't have many friends. Or if your the life of the arty in all social situations, yet are vain, shallow, narcissistic, and superficial, you may have many perceived fake friends that are on your same wavelength, party people, but who carry similar negative character traits. What you put out you attract and the frequency you vibrate at is the same frequency you get back. So if you are excellent, humbled, enjoyable to be around, light-hearted, and a good listener, you will be drawn toward others who are the same and will be slowly but surely building a network of other sophisticated and slightly more enlightened women and men who you can contact or rely upon for connection.

These are difficult and rather deep concepts to really practically digest in modernity, but nothing I’m saying here, or in any other narration, script, or essay I write is really new but more or less re-hashed from the ancient material of cycles past which also knew these things. Which are not as many things but could more accurately be said as truths.

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Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is spiritually philosophical, occulted, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. That will also be unpacked many more times in future words spoken here, but one of the main principles said in three seminal Hermetic works, The Corpus Hermetic, The Kybalion, and the Emerald Tablet, all very very very very very worth your time is the phrase:

“As above, so below, as within, so without.”

The cliff notes version of this is saying that the higher and the lower, as well as the exterior and the interior, are correlated. So much so that one could say they are projections, or derivatives, or almost mirrors of one another. More talk will be had one higher and lower, and what that actually really means, but we will focus on the as within so without a section of this axiom of wisdom for the time being.

I’ve talked about "mirror mirror" here before, which is essentially saying that until you wake up, or start doing the work, or begin living truthfully, or start walking the yellow brick road of a spiritual path, or become somewhat actualized, or cease to be a robot, or become excellent, the reflection of your inner and outer world is back to front and upside down. Which is revealed in the realization that we live in a culture and society that is awash with lies. Nearly everything handed to us from corporatized normality is 180% backward.

Working with others, watching their outer life improve, one can see as it reflects the shift in their inner reality. “As within, so without.” It really does work! Everything is connected to everything else, and undertaking personal change, doing the inner work to become more conscious leads to greater happiness, fulfillment and a clearer sense of life purpose and direction.

Personal experience of the magic of the Law of Correspondence may be necessary before most people will believe it. So if you’re out of your comfort zone, arguing with someone, let’s say your partner. Just tearing into them saying venom filled spiteful things. You have work to do. Always better for the mature mind to realize that if outer life isn’t working well, look within and work on the inner reality, so as to change the outer. And you will cease to put yourself, by your own admission, into relationships, contracts, and situations that are not correlating with your inner invisible, but very real, and paramountly important, inner landscape.

Health Is Wealth

Health is physical, mental and social well-being and not only the absence of disease. It is your most precious possession.

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At the time of writing this essay, I have been in numerous days of physical pain. In my infinite wisdom, I went off-roading on this property I have and got severe poison oak below the waist, arms and even some on my face. I somehow managed to get it on my eyelids as well which you may be able to still see my eyes as swollen as they’ve been deswelling for a few days.

It takes moments like this in life to really remind you that every day you feel good is a good day and to appreciate those days. When alive and healthy and feeling physically good, is truly a good day. It allows you to see why those who are in prolonged constant pain perhaps into their golden years want to go to Oregon which has assisted suicide and wrap it up.

When Health Is Absent Wealth Is Useless. Those who are wealthy may not always be healthy but the healthy people are always wealthy. Metal and physical well being are worth more than gold and silver. If your poor and healthy, you have the option to still live life ok but if you have all the money in the world and have not done all you can to be the best version of you which you can be, it doesn’t matter. There are physical reflections on mental misalignment in which case you end up in a steve jobs type situation where all money in the world can’t save you.

My mother had primary biliary cirrhosis of the liver numerous years ago and got about as far as humanly possible before the universe gave her a liver transplant, but she was so physically miserable up until that point that she started to occasionally confess things to the family such as “I’m not sure if I want to go on living anymore”. So it really takes being sick, or not feeling 100% to appreciate all the days we are healthy. Especially when you’re young, we don't fully respect our health or even take advantage of how good we feel by teenage / young adult shenanigans. Such as eating crap, binge drinking, sleeping around, etc…

A consistent lifestyle starting in your youth of healthy living (via the two main reasons you’ve always heard - diet and exercise) not forgetting a healthy environment, strong relationships, economic well being, proper personal hygiene and good old laughter. So you never have to have a traditional medicine doctor (quack or not) give you a diagnosis of a dark and stormy rain cloud one day. So you then only start changing your ways when the grim reaper is knocking at your door.

Food industries need to be incentivized to provide healthy natural foods and not high fructose corn syrups, factory farmed, a chemical sprayed, process crap to maximize their output and profits. Same story as every private industry while healthcare systems need focus on induced health over just corrective healthcare. Imagine a country where you get paid every time you do anything to increase mental or physical health such as meditate, get cardiovascular exercise, do yoga, or go to the gym, for example, so everything is focused on prevention rather than back-end treatment. Which would cost less than the current black hole money pit that is currently the American healthcare system which is actually the American sick care system not to mention potential to decentralize industry innovation and creativity in providing healthy living solutions?

So although it sounds a bit corny and slightly syrupy, is really true that health is wealth. Life of a healthy man is his long-lasting wealth. It makes him able to enjoy life to the full. This is an immerse simple phrase which has very deep truth to it. Just like many other phrases which have occult meanings and will surely be future essays such as:

“Mind over matter.”
“Where there's a will, there's a way.”
“And merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream”.

A Return To Nature

New short-form narration piece "A Return To Nature".

This was shot on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai Hawaii in January with my dad.

Na Pali is a world-famous hiking spot of legendary difficulty if you choose to do the full beginning to end. We shot this over one long day on just the single day hike section. With additional footage shot more inland.

As my documentarian work unfolds, I'm really digging the 3-fold use of all my half work / half hobby footage. For narration short-form pieces, licensing, and for B-Roll for future long-term projects. It's great to combine travel for both pleasure and work. Making travels not just an enjoyable and leisurely occurrence, but also a way to get great indie gorilla filmmaking done. It has tax deduction advantages as well.  

Transmutation Completion (2018)

Today is March 3rd, 2018 and my first feature film, Transmutation is 100% complete. It's about the beauty and danger of the hidden spiritual path, and highlights some folks who are transmuting themselves by walking it. 

The film has been a very long journey and has been an absolutely life-transforming process in the making as well. Thanks so much to all the folks involved. My colleague Neil Kramer and I are going to record multiple commentary tracks to go along with the final film to have in a single download package, so expect those as well. 

What I have learned from this project: Personal passion project filmmaking fills me with great intrinsic joy. Extrinsically, the film industry does the opposite. There will be much talked about in regard to this project in the future, but in the meantime, if you're interested, enter your e-mail at the website for private early pre-sale. 

http://www.transmutationfilm.com/

We Must...

 

We must learn to crawl before we can walk.

We must learn to walk before we can run.

We must learn to run without running from life.

We must run towards life to face challenges.

We must face challenges to overcome them.

We must overcome those challenges to walk the path.

We come from the light and will return to the light.

Long may we shine.

2018 Mad Science Project

Alfred Hitchcock once said, "I don't make slices of life, I make slices of cake." Well, I am interested in slices of life. 

As a documentarian and gorilla independent filmmaker, it's important to be a self-sustaining entity. One of the ways I do that is by occasionally being my own cinematographer. A way to set your work apart from the rest is to find your own unique shooting style which develops over many years of doing. Hardware should cater to that style, not the other way around. So as a documentarian who does a lot of talking about life, I'm also not above the occasional shallow tech wonk post. Especially to highlight the last anamorphic rig build! 

The who, what, where, when, why of that style of hardware and shooting can be found in this previous post. But here are the exact deets on the update you see here:

Panasonic GH5 + Metabones Speedbooster 0.67X + Helios 44-2 lens + 49mm to 52mm adaption ring + Rapido v2 Clamp + Kowa for Bell & Howell + HTN Lock Ring + Rectilux Hardcore DNA + 86mm to 95mm adapter + 95mm Bower variable neutral density filter + (optional not seen) Vivitar series 1 close focus diopters. Most of those major items hard difficult to aquire.

The key I have always found is small and lightweight is Queen. Behind the quality of the image of course - which is King. As a self-shooter, I need to get into places where you otherwise wouldn't be able to easily access with a giant rig. I've previously discussed this in a prior video essay, but to simply, the more you can strip down the better. Thus you do not have obstacles your way in terms of mobility, so you can truly be gorilla tactical. 

Many thanks to Ben Wong, Tito Ferradans, Jim Chang, and John Barlow for their help bringing this into manifestation.

A New Definition of Greatness

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a truly beautiful human being. Although he was certainly not perfect, he was a perfect example of a religious person working within the structures of Orthodoxy as a reverend who wasn't purely externalizing everything like sadly so much of religious systems do. He knew and understood much deeper notions, realizations, and truths about how at the inner beautiful core of religious structures, the ones rarely seen, there relates messages not outside of oneself or about corporealized deities, or an old man in the sky with a celestial penis, but instead everyone, internally, esoterically. Because of that he was quite a philosopher and was embodied with spirit.

Much of my personal passion project work is spiritually philosophical. As a somewhat esoteric documentary filmmaker, whether it be stills or moving images, I self-shoot footage personally to serve that purpose. Another major part of what I also do is shoot footage for various projects for others. I often times if not always have either a still camera or video camera with me from travels and am constantly documenting moments for my film work on a whim. Much of my travel footage I license out via a site I'm a member of called Filmsupply. As a full-service licensing agency, they partner with leading filmmakers to bring footage from their passion projects to you through their highly curated catalog.

Filmsupply is great and I really am happy to be part of their team and they have some really world-renowned filmmakers onboard the venture. I am very uncommercial and have come to know what I'm good at and not good at and they are a perfect venture to be affiliated with because all I have to do is shoot great stuff and they basically deal with the rest. Studios, companies, brands, well-known names throughout the world, go to them for licensing extra footage if they need to pick up shots here and there for their own various projects. Since the content of my personal work is quite esoteric and paradigm destroyingly awesome, as you can tell by the themes I talk about and the content I direct contains, when I send them footage it's open season for anyone to buy it. And I have no real say or control over that which is how the process of stock type imagery works. Sometimes I see footage is purchased for something I'm not personally in alignment with but that's okay. Regardless, it's nice to see things pop up that you shot in other projects that deemed your footage of excellent enough quality to purchase. So I will say that I'm happy to see some footage I shot unexpectedly pop up in a 2018 Super Bowl spot featuring a voiceover by Martin Luther King Jr. A commercial during the most watched moment in television, which goes to show the quality of the material visually is deemed worthy for the highest budget advertising. Here's the spot in its entirety.

There is a major separation between the underlying content of what I shoot footage for and similar footage used in a different context for a corporate ad. This ad is an anomaly because it has a controversial element of it essentially using the voice of the amazing American the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To essentially sell cars. I.e. one comment beautifully says "witnessing the bastardization of a great humanitarian by seeing him posthumously reduced to a corporate shill".

As someone that's worked in and out of ad agencies in Los Angeles in my former “career”, I know that creating an emotional moment correlates to memorability - which is what the ad is obviously trying to do. A major American auto manufacturer and their advertising agency they hired to make the spot is saying here’s a product to be sold by the powerful words and the historic Legacy of somebody that was very un-corporate military industrial expansion of the machine, on the front lines of fighting against the status quo. MLK’s work was not just about racism but a higher moral message about social injustice. Saying other lines like “A nation which continues year after year to spend more money on military defense (which is really military offense) than programs of social uplift, is approaching spiritual death". So Dr. King got it. He knew a few things and his spirit is why he has been shown to have been on the right side of recent history and why words spoken by him are just a pertinent and powerful 50 years later. Oftentimes old words are reused a new especially if they are words of substance and depth that philosophically can stand the test of time. Much of what MLK said during his life absolutely aligns with that way of being and one can say that using or reusing these words in a new context whatever that contacts maybe, it allows people access to those original words said when they may not have otherwise ever heard them. And his message of a new definition of greatness is to not look up to those at the top of hierarchies as great. Instead, those who are in service to others are truly the greatest because they are not concerned with ego expansion and ladder climbing but instead everyday people who help one another in life. So hooray to that re-defining of the term in the grammar/logic/rhetoric since.

This ad is very obviously polarizing in their use of Dr. King. The message being said is the most important part of the spot though and the attempt is to portrayed the message in slice of life America moments. I actually interpret Dodge/Chrysler's thoughts on the spot to say that the truck is meant to be at your service, America, as an American car manufacturer. But this spot aside, a great ad does serve multiple boxes and should be memorable. I always do see a disconnect in advertising these days that may achieve those things but then have little to no correlation with the product. So any final logo could be put on at the end whether or not you even remember it. Marketing ploys are a good example of why one could look at these things and acknowledge them as the light weight fluff that they are purely to sell a product, but at the same time there is a lot of artwork put into quite brilliant advertising and it can be a way for people to make profits off their skill set when those options aren't otherwise necessarily available. So the debate about the spot rages on.

Let’s not forget another beautiful philosophical soul who’s passed on who words also strongly live onto today, Bill hicks said that If you work in marketing or advertising you should seriously consider killing yourself. Which I find hilarious and I recently played for a marketing major and the conversation didn't go to well. That’s a bit harsh of course, but the underlying message is spot on, so maybe instead of suicide, if you work in advertising a job change would be in order? That will help the world by having the entire marketing + advertising cacophony which tries to get Larval puppet people sitting in front of the televisions to buy crap they don't need to recede into the shadows of time. Via an economy that not based on milimiliarism and consumerism but more freedom, security, transparency, prosperity for all. Themes King was an advocate of. A soul generated by love.

Childish Asleep Robots

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Many of the people we know are great. They are good-hearted folks who just want to live their lives and do the right thing. Credit is given where it is due. However, because we are at a low point and the cell phone bars of consciousness are going from 1 to 2 in the scale of 5 and our entire society is a product of empirical expansion, it has left much of our fellow mankind in the modern world in a reduced state. This reduced state is evident in the behavior of many human beings on spaceship earth at this time. With typically few wanting to leave Plato’s cave but one could say the times they are a changing.

A term I oftentimes use for the average person, joe sixpack or sally soccer mom, who’s we’ve already established as not being malicious, and likely quite good-hearted, is a Childish Asleep Robot. I use this term because many people if you are really honest and see things clearly and transparently and objectively, exhibit behavior which is acting juvenile, while being asleep, and acting like machines.

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Neoteny is a term to describe childlike traits in adults. While oftentimes responsibility is associated with growing up it’s also misconstrued with having the joy and play of the innocence of youth sucked out of you IE - grow up so you can pay your bills. I’m not so much talking about being responsible and setting noble goals to accomplish things, especially related to work, whatever your work may be however authentic or not. I’m talking about Neoteny in the sense of “adults” not having their own experience for things to gain knowledge and wisdom but instead always having it given to them by authority figures. We have schooling system which doesn’t educate and have little to no real initiations into adulthood such as a spirit quest or shamanic initiation like the native Americans and indigenous peoples oftentimes do. Where you must have an experience to pass from childhood to adulthood. So few people in technological first world modernity have their own experiences. Whether or not you were educated in the public school system, I was in public elementary school to high school before attending a private university, but I was able to see through the charade of always being subservient to a parent like adult figure to tell you what to do or what great they deemed worthy for you based on their own opinions of your performance, how well you conformed, and narrow spectrum short-term memory of multiple choice standardized testing. Unless you are living in a cabin in the woods being 100% self-governing while living off the land, it’s likely that this outsourcing of your own ability to be an independent operator continues through most folks lives, even into their 30’s, 40’s 50’s, 60’s etc...

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Weather your polarized liberal and may look at the government as a mother figure to help those our in need or polarized conservative and think of it and corporations at father figure who need to protect you, you are still reliant on a authority to tell you want to think because true adulthood comes from when you truly begin to formulate your own thoughts, notions, and ideas. Those can only come directly through multicultural, multilingual travel and interaction.

Men oftentimes stay in a partial child-like state especially evident by a 45-year-old man wearing a basketball jersey and a baseball hat and a mature woman in a relationship can oftentimes be a good help for a male to stop wearing baggy pants, tuck in your shirts, get your shirts tailored, and buy more than one suit for the occasional wedding you will attend. I have a friend who’s constantly very well dressed, he dressed to impress and was asked by the other “do you iron your shirts” and his response was “you mean like an adult”? All fashion aside, the man in the business suit driving the BMW may look like an adult on the outside, but get him out of his comfort zone, lets perhaps say by rear-ending that piece of German engineering and see how quickly he likely he devolves into schoolyard childishness in terms of confrontation. This certainly doesn't apply to every gal or guy in a business suit supporting their fam but it applies to the majority. Same with comment threads on articles or political discussion on social media, it’s 98% echo chamber or flame war and 2% open-minded discourse and original thoughts.

Much of our outdated societal operating system gets folks to consent to things they don’t need to consent to. Their minds are so front-loaded with assumptions that they think they know what they really do not know. They have been conditioned throughout life in a culture and society which gets massive amounts of these not quite mature being to consent to their overlords. A good test for this is the apophatic question “do you know what color the sky is?” The correct answer is not blue but instead yes because the question “what color is the sky if was do you know what color the sky is?”

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Achieving a level of being a conscious awaken woman man is a key. Folks thinking that waking up is realizing that the world is not as you thought it to be. That from a social-political standpoint much of what you once thought is realized to in fact often times be the opposite. While that’s certainly a step along the way, much of what the not fully mature human will be doing, the gal or guy driving that BMW to their office, is to behaving a machine like way day in and day out. Repeating the same patterns and occurrences. Thinking that their life could never be a bohemian life of uniqueness and originality, doing what feels right for them and them alone, but instead what society expects of them. Go to college, get a job, have children, pay your taxes, and tell yourself you are free. When in reality they may not be free, they are behaving like a robot.

A cold refrigerated human asleep in their matrix who is not the slightest bit awake to the potential true nature of reality and how magical this world is, but is instead concerned with their role in empirical commerce - ie the buying and selling of commodities what having two kids who will also never achieve real adulthood. Children raising children and societally we are still in the sandbox of maturity. The majority are not awake, the may be a bit 5 since conscious, but are multidimensionally unconscious to the much deeper and greater possibilities of what they can become. They are in an artificially induced states of consciousness which resembles sleep. They do not see that all is a reflection of the internal, that there is no separation, and that they have a direct connection to divinity, that they are all that has ever been and all that will ever be. As George Ivanovich Gurdjieff says of most of humanity, “machines they are born and machines they will die”.

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But you are not entirely all those things are you? You realize some gradation of each of these traits may have been pushed on your by the system of low resonance but doesn’t represent all that you are or all that you are interested in. You are reading these words because you know that balance of these thing main traits discussed, childishness, sleepiness, and roboticness don’t total define you. You are aware of that part of you may need to behave these ways on occasion if you phase in and out of unreality, but these things in no way totally define you. You are thus optimistic about the future because you see that optimism in yourself.

The state, the culture, the country may treat you like a robotic sleeping child until you, yourself take it upon yourself to do certain things to prove to both them and you that you are ready to self govern, that you are truly educated, that you can truly see what your overarching importance is here, and how you as a most WOKE version of many of our brethren may not see, perhaps much of our occulted systems of commerce, and law, and business, and government and decentralized forms of finances are actually designed to get you to grow up and take your own responsibility into your own hands. We’ll see.

 

Schooling is Not Education

Every woman man has two educations, one they’re taught by others and the other they teach themselves. Sadly, most folks don't teach themselves that much. They go through the structured schooling system and then stop at some point and that’s the end of their learning once they slot into a role in their soul-crushing desk slave job. So they end up not knowing that much about the wonders of this magic world but instead their role in a tiny sliver of commerce. Even if one has a Ph.D., they may not be educated because schooling is vocational instruction for employment via hive mind, groupthink, and established way of doing things while a real education is real authentic life practical and truthful knowledge learned. Hence education and schooling are two very different things. School is solely for employment and real-life education is about the ascendant course of life betterment and discovery. So, if an elder teaches you a practical trade that’s education, if an authority figure schools you a mainstream version of American history, that's schooling, if an elder teaches you how to be responsible with your finances and what they used to call balancing your checkbook, that's education, if an authority figure schools you in short-term memorization in whatever subject to pass a rubbish test which you’ll later forget all the answers about a week later, that's schooling. If an elder teaches you how to catch a fish or ride a horse, that’s education. If an authority figure schools you in sitting in a desk with some other robots in training and the more you conform the more stars you get up on the board, that’s schooling, if an elder teaches you the esoteric occult inner mysteries of the mind and how to practically use them, that’s education.

Even though there are some great teachers out there who deserve, praise, recognition, acknowledgment, and salaries 10x more than what they are, most schooling in modernity is rubbish. If you’re going through metal detectors and fearing for your well being every day, that’s tragic and adds to a destructive path breeding and environment where you end up in a minimum wage slave job, or barely able to read, or headed toward a life of crime, or destined for prison. However, even if you’re in a nice school district, it’s still latent path paint by numbers handed down from the board of education of the day. So many insightful young people are bored out of their minds in school because unless you have a very special teacher who transforms the material into something tangible, relevant, and practical, it’s dreadfully bland. And that’s with decent budgets into the arts and extracurriculars, let alone starving budgets. And to throw a wrench into the mainstream reality tunnel gears, one could say this has been intentional because corporate consumer capitalism doesn't need intelligent free thinking lucid conscious powerful individuals who are truly educated, they need obedient wage-slave consumers who have been schooled to a certain level.

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In the old one-room schoolhouse days of the 1700s and 1800s hundreds they would teach children the 7 liberal arts of grammar logic and rhetoric. More on that in a future essay but the beauty of that system, which if followed, is that it would build a foundation to allow the child critical thinking, to then give them a toolset to them be able to continue teaching themselves. Give someone a fish is a single gift vs teaching them how to fish is a gift for a life. So there can be a beauty in something like homeschools if your parent does it out of a conscious knowing of some of these things I’ve briefly mentioned, not because they’re a dogmatic nut. More personal one on one schooling methods allow the new fresh mind inquisitive little person room + if given a healthy balance of extracurricular activities which allow for a social life, you are actually getting education mixed in amounts schooling. The process of unschooling is a beautiful example of this. Which is essentially allowing a child to learn practically, out in the world, not in classrooms, what they want to learn at their own pace. For the mind to develop and unfold on its own terms, instead of standardized testing terms. I know some excellent folks who homeschool and unschool with a proper balance of being non-nutters themselves and as a result, their children are much more vibrant and alive because they’ve gotten a mixture of enjoyable “unschooling” with practical real-world education so they are motivated strong readers studied in the arts, sciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc…

If you are today an adult and eager to learn cool and interesting shit but didn’t really like high school, you already subconsciously know all these things. Mark Twain understood this as well and once said, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Because he was an educated man who could see through the distractions and illusions of the machine. The machine that sends young minds into its gears and turns out square head hats holding minds inside boxes thinking that their trainers have been responsible, being taught to perfect activities, and master routines. That instead of growing up educated through practical experiences where you have been responsible for your actions, imposed your own disciplines, become well rounded for many outcomes, and learned to critically think.

And this is not even getting into the public vs private debate of social class let alone the grossness of student debt caused by getting a formal higher education thus making you more susceptible to needing to go work for the man to pay off your debts rather than pursue a more creative path. A real education doesn’t need to cost anything more than your time, your travel, and your ability to access the good aspects of the internet, the modern day library card.

CHRISTMAS AWAKENING WITH SHONAGH HOME & NILES HECKMAN | ASTROLOGICAL ROOTS, CORPORATE TAKEOVER

Important mega convo with buddies Shonagh Home and Ed Liu over on  Psychedelic Milk. We here at nilesheckman.com can't get enough of Ed's podcast since this is our 4th appearance over there this year. Super fun Ed my man!

Discover the psychedelic origins of Christmas and see through the facade of corporate manipulation!!!

Shonagh Home is a shamanic therapist, teacher, author and poet. Shonagh holds the feminine voice for the reverent use of the sacred mushroom, authoring a book on the subject titled, 'Love and Spirit Medicine'. Shonagh was on episode #19 of my podcast as well. 

Show Notes

  • What is Christmas?
  • Mainstream narrative of Christmas
  • Paganism
  • The days of the week and its meanings
  • Remembering our past
  • The corporate takeover of Christmas
  • The Great Depression and its effects on modern day consumerism
  • Edward Bernays
  • Astrological aspects of Christmas
  • The significance of the winter solstice
  • The anthropomorphism of nature
  • Mushrooms & Mankind
  • Knowing your astrological perspective
  • Who is Santa Claus?
  • Amanita muscaria
  • Mycorrhizal symbiosis
  • Entheogen, the divine within
  • John Marco Allegro
  • The Sacred Mushroom Of The Cross
  • Shamans of Siberia
  • Does it make sense to pass psychedelic particles through urine?
  • Flying reindeer and Rudolph's red nose
  • Christmas stockings
  • When did western culture adopt the Christmas traditions of today?
  • Who are the people keeping the true story of Christmas from the public?
  • Invitation of the tree spirits of spring
  • Capitalism and its influence of mindset
  • Reclaiming your ancestral rituals
  • Etymology of words
  • Decisions between consumerism or withholding

    Continued in our PLUS+ Extension:
     
  • Triple crown of commerce
  • Christmas consumerism dilemma
  • Recognizing seductions
  • Knowing thyself
  • Collectivism and individualism
  • Educating the self
  • Recognizing your spiritual journey
  • Why ask ourselves the hard questions to ascend if we're only here for a limited time?
  • Things you can do start ascending
  • Targets of corporations
  • Seeing through the the artificial overlay on nature
  • Steeped in WiFi, and harmful signals
  • Bypassing the corporate hack and seeing clearly
  • Begin the journey to awaken from the illusions of our surroundings
  • Education through learning from wise elders
  • Process of growth and learning

Student of Life

We are all many things. Being a street photographer and documentary filmmaker are two main focuses which are partially my hobbies and partially my professions. However, before either of those things I am a student of life. Anyone who's curious about the nature of existence is one as well. All of those who are inquisitive, introspective, and curious are students and will always be students, no matter what level of mastery in specific area is achieved, they will always be students when it comes to this thing call life because in reality, next to no one knows what life is really all about. The ancients studied this in the past just like those inquisitive ones do now, and this study of the student is not only passed on by occasional and rare wise elders but is self taught by the autodidact. The most important thing to emphasize though is that weather your teacher is someone else or yourself or both, by you always being inquisitive, you never stop learning, hence never stop being that student who's constantly asking questions of those around them, not conforming to the old patterns of old ways of doing and being, but most importantly always asking inside yourself why?

Many of the things I share, I do because they help me learn. They act as both a journal as to what I've put out and a barometer to look back on and know where I’ve been. But I know next to nothing like the rest of us because I doubt to ever claim to be a wise spiritual philosopher but more a student of life. It's very healthy to never think you've reached the mountaintop. To stay humble and to always continue to look up and out for the mystery that lies ahead. So anything I say in the future can be looked back on as being mostly on the ball but perhaps some small percentage of what was conveyed at the time maybe missed the mark a bit. Hence why I sometimes will give a disclaimer that everything shared is “at my current level of understanding”. Which is okay because I'm not a guru nor a scholar either, but a student.

So things don't have to be perfect, none of these essays are perfect, they are always in motion, in development, any praise or criticism received is fair enough and is being sent from neophyte to adept and there are always more rungs to the ladder of learning. That ladder of education, not schooling but education.

Life is a beautiful thing and to have 100 good years in corporal for may be there to be a gift give to each of us for that learning. Because learning is growing and mistakes and "failures" are also leaning. So don’t be afraid to take on a task knowing it won’t be perfect, everything is in motion and is a work in progress. And mistakes are those bumps in the road which must be gone over to continue that motion because you either win or you learn.

The camera bag man purse

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When traveling, we carry a bag. Whether it's back and forth to the slave job daily or if you're in transit on holiday, we have some amount of "stuff" we carry with us.

As you turn into the roving samurai and have less materialistic crap, it's good to only live with what you need and travel with things you really need daily for your work. The items about are what's in my happy man purse sack by ONA

Items to collect images and store images, a few handy tools, and the bare necessities for modernity outside of your fashion. As a journalist or documentary photographer, you have to have a great camera with you at all times. Phones seem to have good cameras in them but in reality, they look good on the phone's screen but are still very so-so in quality when you load them onto a computer or try and print them out. Hence why the Leica M collection is so wonderful. World class quality in the smallest package. Ready to go, as soon as the opportunity presents itself. 

All one really needs in there living environment are the tools of survival, some clothes on your back, and these base need items to get your work done which you carry around every day. Joy.

Psychedelic Milk #79

Co-Hosted a nice chat with Miguel Conner on episode #79 of the Psychedelic Milk Podcast with Ed Liu.

Miguel Conner is a garage philosopher, hedge theologian, and general madman across the waters. His life quest is to take his audience from ancient connections to modern meaning. He is the host of Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio, author of four published books, and writer of hundreds of articles in various publications. His ventures include Voices of Gnosticism and Other Voices of Gnosticism (Bardic Press) and the post-apocalyptic vampire epic series, The Dark Instinct Trilogy (Warner Books/AB Press), as well as fantasy novel, The Executioner’s Daughter (Solstice Publishing). Miguel's articles and fiction have appeared in such publications as The Gnostic Journal, The Heretic, Mindscape, Reality Sandwich, The Cimmerian Journal and many others including being an Author of the Month for Graham Hancock’s website.

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Gnosticism is a deep well of knowledge based on personal experience or perception of which films such as The Matrix, Dark City, The Truman Show, and Groundhog Day owe their themes. 

Part #2 of the conversation gets extra juicy with my philosophical ramblings. It can be listed to on the extra plus section of the podcast. Available if you support it for a nominal fee on Patreon.