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Coming Full Circle

3:28 AM

I don't remember my first Christmas in prison, in particular. What stands out for me are visits that I received around the holidays; one moreso than the others to date. It was the first visit I had with my Mom while I was housed at Unit 32.

Until the last couple of years Unit 32 was open, there were no contact visits allowed because it was a maximum security facility where death row and high risk prisoners were housed. When I had my first visit there with my Mom, they only allowed us one hour and we had to communicate via telephone, separated by security glass. Before that I had been housed at Unit 17, which is a much smaller unit - 60 prisoners compared to approximately 1,000. A big change for me and my family.
This visit was in December and Mom was telling me what they'd been doing. Mom always fills me in on what my younger brother and sister have been up to. Leah was 3 years old, just getting old enough to really enjoy Christmas, and Tommy was excited. They had been given some early Christmas "happy," including these hollow plastic candy canes filled with M&M's. Tommy had been eating his candy and it was almost empty. Leah had only eaten a few of her M&M's. Seeing that Tommy only had a few left, she opened her container, then opened his and- being careful not to spill any- poured half her M&M's into Tommy's container.

I couldn't help it. I cried. Some tough prisoner I am, eh? This December promises to be memorable, too. I hope to soon meet my nephew for the first time. I left my sister when she was a baby, and now I get to meet her baby. That will be a Christmas present to remember.

Merry Christmas from our little Marcus!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays. Take care, stay safe, and don't take your loved ones for granted. We thank all of you for your support and for caring. Love and light to you all.

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Wasted Youth

1:41 PM

When I came in the system, I was always the youngest prisoner around with few exceptions, until I was shipped off to Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in 2001. Often people wouldn't know how young I was unless I told them, and then they thought I was joking. Fifteen years later there is no "youth correctional facility" and I am around young guys (who are around my brother's age) coming into this system. It's an odd experience.

In prison, when you start associating closely with people, giving them advice when they ask for it or if you get them out of a problem... you become responsible for them. And having been locked up so young, I still don't see myself as the "old convict" these youngsters view me as. I have had to let my guard down a bit to associate with them and it is taking some readjusting on my part.

A couple of them in particular are lighthearted and upbeat, which I encourage. In prison, anything that might be slander against someone's "manliness" is avoided and considered disrespectful. These two joke about each other and it's no big deal. It's no-holds barred - gender, sexual preference, whatever. I overheard one say to the other, "Bitch, I need a hug." I couldn't help but laugh because I knew he was playing, but he wasn't. And no, neither one of these youngsters are gay.

I worry, though. I remember when I was at WGYCF, when guards and staff would comment that I smiled so much. After ten years of being harassed, moved from cell to cell every week around prisoners with mental illnesses that weren't being treated... I stopped smiling so much. It took me awhile to come back from that bitterness, but I've become even more introverted due to my experiences. Guys have commented that my face doesn't show emotions, that I always look calm. A lot of that is due to meditation, but prison has trained me to be less outwardly expressive. I worry that prison will affect these young guys as it has affected me.

I will probably be writing more about these kids in the near future, so brace yourself. They aren't politically correct. They don't care if it upsets you or if you're offended. Actually, that would amuse them no end. It's like being around a couple of Howard Sterns in training, so shocking people is always a plus for them.

Just a reminder: If you have a loved one in prison, the holidays are difficult. Support them as you can, and I hope they'll reciprocate. If you are reading this and are only involved on the fringes, send some prisoners a card and let them know they are not forgotten. They will appreciate it.

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Under the Dome

12:08 PM

More often than not I read nonfiction instead of fiction, though I enjoy both. Recently I have read a few novels to pace myself and take a break from my studies. I am currently reading Stephen King's "Under the Dome." Some of you might be familiar with the TV series based on this book. As is to be expected, there are a few differences between the two, but I always prefer the book, personally.

The Dome's environment is something I can understand. It's a prison. Being incarcerated is comparable to how the inhabitants of Chester's Mill, Maine felt when the Dome fell. You wake up in a different world. The rules have changed. Learn fast or suffer the consequences. Put a group of people under constant stress and things come out that you wouldn't believe they would be capable of - good and bad. People clique-up for strength and safety. The pecking order is in full effect and leaders are self-appointed by the rule of brute strength and ruthlessness.

Don't worry. I'm not going to spoil the book for you. Think about the situation, though. How do you keep a group of people that have been unwillingly cut off from the the rest of the world from devolving into chaos and savagery? I am not finished with the book, but I look forward to learning how Stephen King handles the situation. Will he be spot-on? Or will he rely on some deus ex machina to save the day?

There are a lot of people who immediately shy away from anything associated with Stephen King. I was exposed to his novels from an early age and took comfort in the worlds he created when I began to read those books after I was incarcerated. "The Stand" is still one of my favorites, and is a classic. At the heart of his work, King shows us that we each have our own story and that we all have a mixture of the hero and of the monster in us. No matter how outlandish some of the stories might seem, King is a realist.

How well do you think you would deal with living under the Dome?

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They were more than MDOC numbers...

1:57 PM

In most parts of the world, the beginning of November marks the time when we slow down and focus on the dead, on how fragile life is, and we wonder what awaits us after we  the earthly chapter of our existence ends.
Here in Poland, we visit graves of our loved ones, and we light candles- a tradition which dates back to the pagan days- bonfires were meant to warm up souls wandering among those still alive.
It has always been my favorite holiday- when I feel so close to the Absolute and to the mystery of transitions in life. The figures of crying angels, the dates on the tombs and a question without answer- why something has to end? I remember stopping by graves of people I did not know and I tried to imagine their life… that was my tribute to them… to think of them, to remember them, even if they were strangers to myself.
This is the time when it strikes me the most that we all are nothing but dust in the wind… 

And even the great ones are gone at some point. Writers, singers, scientists, activists, good people whom the human kind owes a lot. Newspapers and magazines print their stories to make sure they are not forgotten. That we spare a minute of prayer or a minute of silence to honor their lives.
Yet, there are millions of stories that are never published. Each person had their story, and each of them might have meant the world to someone, although for the world they might not seem important. Some of them the world decided to forget while they were still alive, and then taking it even a step further and getting rid of them… Here I have in mind inmates executed in the name of justice… You can lynch me for that, but I believe that those men and women were more than numbers they had on their prison IDs and they were more than the crimes they had committed… They had mothers, they had wives, they had children. Perhaps some of them, perhaps all, were guilty of what they had been convicted of. Does it matter now, though? I still want to remember them because who am I to judge?
I asked Steven to write a few words about the men he had met in Parchman’sUnit 32. Here are his short obituaries for those whom most of the world does not want to remember. But we will. They will be in our prayers and in our thoughts.
John B. Nixon, Sr., executed on 12-14-2005 - We called him Mr. Nixon, and he was always respectful, if distant. He spent two decades waiting to be executed.

Bobby G. Wilcher,
executed on10-18-2006- "Big Bob" had an appetite for noodles and cheese puffs as big as his sense of humor.

Earl W. Berry,
executed on 05-21-2008- A victim of our justice system. He was mentally retarded and should not have been executed.

Dale L. Bishop, executed on 07-23-2008- I spent quite a bit of time around "Bart" and you definitely shouldn't judge a book by its cover. He was a music aficionado without peer and never ceased to amaze me.

Paul E. Woodward, executed on 05-19-2010- Used to laugh uncomfortably when I would imitate his voice to confuse other guys on the tier.

Joseph D. Burns,
executed on 07-21-2010- "JoJo" was from the area I grew up in, and that was something we had in common. He was the last person I saw escorted out to be executed and he was at peace with his Creator when he went. He'd had a spiritual experience before he was taken to be executed.

Larry Matthew Puckett,
executed on 03-20-2012- One of the most intelligent people I have met in prison. Minded his own business, but would stand up for others when needed.

Henry Curtis Jackson,
executed on 06-05-2012- One of the first guys on the row I met, causing me to re-evaluate my preconceived notions of them.

Jan Michael Brawner, Jr,
executed on 06-06-2012.- My big bro. Loved his family and was always concerned about them. Had one of the loudest bellows I'd ever heard when he needed to get someone's attention.

Gary Carl Simmons,
executed on 06-20-2012- Told me to hold on to hope and not give up when things seem to be at their worst.

Written by Steven Farris and Marta Dziewulska.

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President Obama and Changes

12:52 PM

Imagine this for a moment... You're on your way home. It's dark out and raining, and you just want to get inside, eat supper, relax after a long day. You happen to spot someone you don't recognize walking behind the homes of your neighbors, taking their time and looking at the houses. There have been eight burglaries, nine thefts and one shooting in your community during the last twelve months. Would you be suspicious of this person walking around in your neighborhood, in the dark, in the rain, behind your neighbors' homes? Probably so. Is it profiling? Of course it is. It's also common sense.

By now I'm sure you realize I'm referring to incidents similar to the night Trayvon Martin was killed. Understand from the outset that I do not think this young man deserved to die. What happened was terrible no matter how you look at it. There are only two people who know for certain what happened that night, and one of them is dead. The reason I am writing about this is because of what I see happening behind the scenes and how these things are being used to tear our nation apart. Instead of attempting to unify the country, President Obama has done nothing but cause more division.

Let us say that things had happened differently. Let's say that it had been the young man President Obama identifies with, saying, "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon"...let's say it was Trayvon that had the gun. Zimmerman follows him, jumps him and gets shot by Trayvon. No hue and cry would have been raised. Open and shut case. In Florida, 17 year old Trayvon would have spent a good portion -if not the rest- of his life in prison. Why isn't President Obama interested in that? Why doesn't he want to reform juvenile justice or talk about reform and rehabilitation for troubled youth? You know why not? Because he doesn't care. It doesn't touch his life directly and doesn't affect those he loves, so he doesn't care. He isn't any different in that than most people.

When President Obama was sworn into office, people had hopes that he would bring about positive change. He didn't promise that, though. He just said "change". Instead I've only seen and read and heard about changes that have been harmful to our nation and people. "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," the President said. Mr. Barak Hussein Obama, I think the United States of America would be in a better position if that had been the case.

So, if you see someone walking around in your neighborhood, in the dark, in the rain, where they aren't supposed to be...don't worry. It's just President Obama. He's looking for that change he promised. I will leave you with a quote from the Declaration of Independence:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for their future security.

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¿Buenos días?

1:45 PM

Over a year ago I wrote that a change was coming. Positive change, I'd hoped. I am still hoping for that positive change to happen as Corrections Corporation of America transitions out of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, and Management and Training Corporation takes over its operation. As the change happens I will do my best to write about it so that it gets posted on the blogs for those who are interested. In the meantime I will share a story with you, for your reading enjoyment.

I have reached a point where I'm tired of frequently and repeatedly getting all of my meager possessions torn to bits during searches that occur because of the idiots around me who want to harm each other. As is the problem with modern society, these people focus on treating the symptoms and not the root cause of a problem. So when my neighbor decides to tear down the fixture housing the light in his cell and make knives out of it and I am the one that is awakened at 1:30 A.M. with cops beating on my door and yelling for me to get down on the ground... I ain't going.

Think about the predicament a prisoner is in with situations like that. Unless they want to get labeled as a snitch, they can't say anything about what another prisoner is doing, even though that prisoner might be making a weapon to harm others. For many of you it might seem like a cut and dry decision. It isn't. And in prison everyone pays for the decisions of the few.

So here is the entire group of SORT officers (like the SWAT you see on TV) on the night shift standing outside our door, yelling at me, shining lights in my eyes at 1:30 A.M. ...I've told you, I am not a morning person. The lead officer is of Mexican heritage, so I politely say "Buenos días" to him, jam my door so they are unable to open it, and cover the window so they can't see inside. Now they are stuck outside my door looking stupid.

I'm normally respectful and courteous to a fault, complying when the guards tell me to do something. Respect is a two-way street, though. The SORT officers finally regroup enough to decide the next step in protocol is to open the food port in the door and spray me with chemical agents. I was expecting it. When they got the flap to the food port unlocked and open, ready to spray me with their mace, they were met with my prison-issue pillow. The spray intended for me was now all over them instead. They try the crack all around the door with the same results, because I had been stuffing towels in the cracks. The mace finally did cover one side of my body, but I didn't even notice it at the time.

Now imagine, fifteen SORT officers mingling outside this door covered in mace, trying to decide what to do next. One of them turns to his fellow officer and asks, "So, what do you say? Full gear?" Unless full gear includes a blowtorch, I don't think it would have helped them. Guards just aren't accustomed to this kind of resistance from most prisoners. I finally decided to let them in, since I'd made my point, I felt.

They went in and destroyed our cell, and I hated that for my roommate. He feels the same way I do about the situation though, or else I wouldn't have resisted the guards' intrusion. After they were done with "searching" the room, they had to take us to the clinic because they had used chemical agents. I admit, I was making them angry on purpose, laughing about how they looked standing around before I allowed them in the cell. A couple of them tried to get rough with me, pushing me into the wall, bruising me up, tightening the cuffs on my wrists. I've been through all that before.

After refusing to bother with medical staff taking my vital signs at the clinic, SORT escorted us back up the hall to our cell. On the way back I started telling them how they could have gone about things differently. During the whole time I was goading them I hadn't been disrespectful, but had been blunt in telling them that unless they were willing to go so far as to permanently maim me or kill me, there really was nothing they could do that I'd not been through already.

Before we got back to the cell I started yelling, "HONESTY! LOYALTY! INTEGRITY! RESPECT! THE CCA WAY!" over and over. And then I burst out laughing. They got the point. And as they put me back in my room I told them politely that if they came back in the same way they had come this morning, they could expect the same results. I'm still not a morning person.

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We now interrupt your regular scheduled program...

11:14 AM

Today I will complain. Why? Because it amuses me and there is nothing you can do to stop me. MUAHAHAHA! Go ahead, try. See? You are no match for my powers of complaint. And now I will proceed with my rant...

Contrary to popular belief, most prisoners do not own a personal TV or even have the opportunity. As the media and the government know too well, televisions are wonderful for pacifying a population, though. In Wilkinson County Correctional Facility there are two TVs on most pods, so there will not be fights about what is to be watched. One is used for movies or regular programs, and the other is for sports.

On 4/20 when these guys were trying to kill each other over an argument that happened on a lockdown pod about a pair of electric clippers, some bright soul decided to pull one of the TVs down and use it as a weapon. That TV is the one I could see from the cell where I am housed. I rarely watch TV, but it's a constant background noise, a subconscious thing. Hearing and not seeing it... I do not think the general public truly realizes how television is brainwashing you.

These days there are more commercials than actual programs, and most of the commercials are for insurance companies. And they play them over and over and over. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum. (Pun intended.) Progressive. Geico. The General. State Farm. Farmer's Mutual. Ever wonder why your insurance is so high? This is the reason. They can't handle your claims because they are too busy planning their next round of annoying commercials. I do not want to hear Flo sing "I'll stand by you" or play the kazoo. Can't we just get Tard the Grumpy Cat to just frown at people during commercial breaks?

Rise up, people of the world! Take back your TV programming! Boycott companies that have annoying commercials! It is your right to be able to view cute and funny commercials to your heart's content. Speak up and speak out! Indict Flo for crimes against humanity and for smiling too much. The next thing you know, Flo will have her own morning program...and you just cannot trust people who smile that much. 

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"By Hook or Crook"- a novel by Chris Roy

12:31 PM

I am proud to announce the publication of first-time novelist Chris Roy's breakout title "By Hook or Crook: the Criminal Ventures of Razor & Blondie." Chris wrote this novel in spite of his circumstances and the many restrictions placed on him by those circumstances. Housed in Mississippi's infamous Parchman Prison, Chris endures the heat and parasites -literally and figuratively- as well as the stigma of being classified as a high risk status prisoner. The only high risk you need to be worried about is in missing out on a great read if you don't purchase "By Hook or Crook."

Curious to know what goes on in the mind of a criminal in their natural environs?

Ever wonder about the ins and outs of the criminal world?

Have you considered the ingenuity of criminals?

You might have read novels about crimes and the criminals who commit them. You have never read about criminals as motivated as Razor and Blondie. These two know you've only got one life to live, so live it fast and loud. Chris takes you for a ride through the seedy side of Mississippi's Gulf Coast and you'll come out the other side thankful to have all your parts still attached...and you'll feel strangely excited. Razor and Blondie have a goal: GET RICH OR...GET RICH. There is no other option and they will let nothing get in their way. And they plan on having a good time while doing it. From grand theft auto, to fraud of all forms, to identity theft, this duo makes you an accessory to their illicit deeds. You will feel you need to retain an attorney. Or two.

I was housed with Chris in Unit 32 when he started breathing life into Razor and Blondie. That was an interesting process that I am honored to have witnessed, and hopefully encouraged. Now I need to stop procrastinating and start following my own advice! I am proud of Chris and hope the situation improves for my friend, soon. You can help put a smile on Chris' face by purchasing a copy of his book and letting him know what you think about it.

You can purchase the book here.

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We're All Just STDs

3:19 AM

A little food for thought today. Every creature on this planet has its own natural habitat, a niche it fills. Some are even symbiotic in nature, such as the clownfish and the sea anemone, or tube worms and their internal bacteria. That being said, just what is a human's natural habitat? Unclothed, climates can easily be too hot or too cold. Put us somewhere where there is a lot of direct sunlight and we will burn and get melanomas, since our eyes and sense of smell aren't keen enough to hunt or scavenge in the dark. We aren't well suited for aquatic life. We aren't great climbers. We don't have wings. We don't have durable claws. So, let's say a moderate climate, slightly humid, near fresh water, with indirect sunlight at sea level... Anyone have any idea where that might be? Face it, without our big brain to adapt ourselves and our environment to our needs, we would be in serious trouble.
So, where do we fit in?

The first movie I got to see when I was transferred to Walnut Grove in 2001 was The Matrix. Still one of my favorite movies. I do not believe that humanity will ever be in a situation like that, but it made me think about the nature of reality and other such things. There is one part I'm reminded of now. Agent Smith (bad guy) is speaking to Morpheus (good guy), whom they are trying to break and find out about the rebels. Agent Smith says, 

"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure." 

That stuck with me. About six years after seeing The Matrix I was reading an article about viruses that really brought this home.

Something you might not know is that in 2003, when the human genome was fully mapped, it was found that 8% of our genome is composed of broken and disabled retroviruses, called endogenous retroviruses. If it takes less than 2% of our genome to create all the proteins necessary for us to live, to what extent are we -who we are, what we are- affected by the 8% of our genome composed of retroviruses? The rungs of the ladder of human DNA consist of three billion pairs of nucleotides spread across forty-six chromosomes. The sequence of those nucleotides determine how each person differs from another, and from all other living things. Something to think about is how we share, in thousands of exact places throughout our genome, viral fragments with primates like chimpanzees and monkeys.

Endogenous retroviruses aren't newly discovered. In 1968, Robin Weiss found endogenous retroviruses in the embryos of healthy chickens and suggested that they were not only benign but might actually perform a critical function in placental development. He was laughed at. Weiss went so far as to live with a group of Orang Asli tribesmen of the Pahang jungle of Malaysia so he could test the eggs and blood of red jungle fowl, ancestor species of the chicken. They had the same virus.

Did you know that the earliest mammals, up to at least a hundred million years ago, laid eggs? Then embryos essentially became parasites. They began to implant themselves in the lining of the womb, developing a placenta. The placenta is essentially a modified egg, yet allows for the elimination of waste and to take nourishment from the mother's blood while preventing immune cells or bacteria from entering. In the 1970s biologists were surprised to find retroviruses in baboons on a layer of tissue known as the syncytin, which forms the principle barrier between mother and fetus. The same is true in humans. Cell fusion is a fundamental characteristic of mammalian placenta, but also of retroviruses. The protein syncytin, which causes placental cells to fuse, employs the exact mechanism that allows retroviruses to latch on to the cells they infect.

So, where do humans belong? And just how close to the truth is Agent Smith's revelation?

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1:06 PM

Mercurial. That is the best word I can think of to describe the nature of memories. They even have a dualistic nature like that of the Roman god, Mercury. Some of my strongest memories are those of places I considered home as a child. We moved around a bit, so the homes of my grandparents and great-grandparents have more solidity in my memories. I remember the layout, where everything was, the atmosphere...and the scents. Scents seem to trigger memories associated with them and solidify them, in my experience.

The scent I associate with April 20, 2013 is that of blood. Coppery, cloying, all-pervasive. A wounded animal scent. The smell of blood is something everyone recognizes on a deep level.

Memories are such mercurial things though. Some memories of 4/20 are so clear, like the look the Vice Lords had on their faces as they realized their brothers on other pods had started fighting. The realization that they would have to fight, too, and how they struggled to work themselves into that frame of mind. Other memories of 4/20 aren't so clear, such as who tried to stab me -whether it was purposefully or mistakenly. We all fought, though. Offensively or defensively. Actively or passively. For an hour and ten minutes we fought for our lives while guards and SORT officers looked on.

As dangerous and deadly as the fighting was, there were still moments that stirred the streak of dark humor in me. When you see grown men throwing TV and microwave parts at each other, using trashcan lids and microwave doors as cannot help but shake your head at the absurdity of it. But it was no laughing matter that Demond Flowers lost his life during all of this.

Back and forth the battle went for over an hour, until there wasn't a place you could step that wasn't splattered with blood. Finally the SORT officers tossed in tear gas canisters -which the prisoners tossed back and forth at each other. Then they came in firing their crowd control guns. At me. I'm guessing I make a good target or something. They herded us into cells and locked the doors. Most likely you will never know what it is like to be locked in a cell with 14 other bruised and bleeding men, covered in mace and pepper spray. I hope you don't. We were alive though, and things could have been much worse.

Since 4/20  I have had time to reflect on what happened, and I want to point some things out. Surviving in prison has a lot to do with being aware of patterns. Humans are creatures of habit. The first tell-tale sign something was amiss that day was that someone in admin had turned off the primary satellite descrambler, so all the TVs showed an error message on the screen. On the West Hall, we found out later that they had let them out, then locked them back down before allowing them back out. On the South Hall they did not let us out of our cells until right at 10:00 A.M.; about an hour later than normal, even by these chaotic standards here. Patterns. The administration at WCCF knew of the potential threat that morning and chose to disregard it.

So now the entire prison conveniently stays on lockdown status until CCA's contract is completed and someone else takes over the responsibility. Business as usual in the world of the prison industrial complex.

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Even heroes...

11:18 AM

Seldom do I bother to watch TV shows, for various reasons. I avoid stressful situations if I can, and there will always be friction about what these guys are watching. My friend, Roy Harper, calls them "idiot boxes" and my Dad called them "glass pacifiers." Issue one to every prisoner and you'd have fewer problems. Normally I have neither the time nor inclination to bother with it, but a recent morning saw me awake at 4:45 waiting for some Tylenol to kick in. I don't take my pain meds French-style. So I watched the TV through the window in the cell door.

I had heard of Smallville before, but hadn't done more than glance at the TV while it was on. In this particular episode I gathered that Clark Kent's father here on Earth had died or gotten killed. Yes, the show seemed a bit cheesy and over-the-top. I kept thinking about emotions, though. Here's Superman- super fast, super strong, super tough. Yet just as subject to emotional turmoil as you or me. Interesting concept.

My definition of a good book is one that makes you look at things differently. I just finished reading "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda, and I classify it as a great book. However, if you think it divulges techniques in practicing Kriya Yoga, you'll be disappointed. It does speak about emotions, though.

Think about it for a moment... How many of our actions and decisions are emotionally driven? We do things because they make us feel good. We refrain from doing things because they make us feel bad. Affection, anger, angst, anguish, annoyance, anxiety, apathy, arousal, awe, boredom, contempt, contentment, courage, curiosity, depression, desire, despair, disappointment, disgust, distrust, dread, ecstasy, embarrassment, envy, euphoria, excitement, fear, frustration, gratitude, grief, guilt, happiness, hatred, hope, horror, hostility, hurt, hysteria, indifference, interest, jealousy, joy, loathing, loneliness, love, lust, outrage, panic, passion, pity, pleasure, pride, rage, regret, remorse, sadness, satisfaction, shame, shock, shyness, sorrow, suffering, surprise, terror, trust, wonder, worry, zeal, zest. The whole gamut of emotions.

Emotions influence -and are influenced by- so many things. Mood, state of mind, how well our body functions, our health. Even the etymological root of the word emotion means "to stir up." And throughout history, being driven by emotions was viewed as something evil. Today's society in contrast is "self" centered and focused on self-gratification. I think there can be a middle ground though- acknowledging emotions without being completely driven by them. This is the balance that Kriya Yoga encourages, until you progress to the point of viewing it all as illusion. Easier said than done, since even Superman has trouble with it.

I don't plan on being up to watch Smallville on a regular basis, but I don't regret it this time. Reminded me that on some levels we all have our weaknesses.
Some things are more subtle than Kryptonite.

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About Me

My photo
Steven Farris is a prisoner who has been incarcerated since a month after his 16th birthday in 1998. Currently serving a life sentence without the possibility for parole, he is seeking to educate the public about the true nature of prison and the widespread and negative effects of the prison industrial complex. Steven has worked with both the National Prison Project of the ACLU, as well as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in furthering this effort.

You can contact him directly at:
Steven Farris #R5580
P.O. Box 1889
Woodville, MS 39669-1889

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