Friday, January 17, 2020

Does the Law of Attraction really work?

Of course, it does. And everybody is always using it whether they realize it or not. But how can you make it work for you? That can be a challenge. Yet a little study and a little practice, and you can do it.

For example, everybody has experienced that, when they buy a car, they start noticing the same make, model and color on the road everywhere. That’s the Law of Attraction working on a very fundamental level. This basic instance is simply your mind being focused on – pleased with – your new purchase. So, your eyes become vigilant to see what you are meditating on. Yes, you are meditating: You are thinking and feeling positive about this object. So, you see it everywhere.

The same thing happens when you apply the Law of Attraction consciously. You think about some object or circumstance, and you feel the wonder of it as though it already exists; and pretty quickly you start noticing little instances of that object or circumstance. That can grow into the reality of it appearing into your life.

Fundamentals

How does that work? It’s the story of physics. (Not the math and science of physics. The story of physics.) Once you understand this, you’ll understand how to make the Law of Attraction work for you.

The universe is filled with energy: The universal energy field. It’s everywhere, in everything; and even exists in the emptiest parts of outer space. Energy is always vibrating, waving, flowing, spiraling, and spinning in vortexes. These vortexes naturally pair up in double helixes (the shape of DNA). The forces inside the double helix sucks energy down its middle and concentrates it. Concentrated energy becomes matter. Now, that’s simplistic, but it’s a story of explanation, not science.

Now, let’s shift perspective from the fantastically vast to the inconceivably small. Scientists have been teasing out and identifying the tiniest particles, called quantum particles. These are the particles that make up the protons, neutrons and electrons in an atom. Quantum particles are so small that, if one was the size of your index finger, the energy field surrounding it would extend all the way out past Jupiter. It takes three of these particles to make a proton, and three more to make a neutron. These things are tiny!

But more to the point, they take up vast amounts of space by virtue of their energy fields, which are empty of matter except for the miniscule particle. That’s a lot of space. You probably heard your teacher talk about how an atom is mostly space. When we touch a table or chair, it is actually just the energy fields resisting each other. They’ll tell you that we don’t really exist, because we’re more than 99.99999% space. But I want you to realize that all that space is filled with energy.

The entire universe is full of energy, including the energy that makes you. And the energy is always moving. You were expecting certainty? There is no certainty. Everything changes all the time.

Now, that brings us to meditation. We do meditation to help us recognize that there is no certainty. The point is that, we create mental constructs about what we think is real, so that we can have something firm to understand. But that is all illusion. We are energy beings, and energy is always flowing through us and around us and between us.

Some masters will tell you that nothing is real. This is why they say that. At its most fundamental, the physical part of reality is virtually non-existent. Reality is a vast amount of space filled with energy. You need to contemplate this for the next nine months to just get a clue as to how fluid and uncertain reality is. Just give up all your expectations and thoughts and feelings about thoughts. Empty yourself of all mental constructs and illusions. Vacate the lie that the universe is physical. The physical part is insignificant compared to how much energy there is.

So, that’s the first part of this: Belief. You can believe in a physical universe, or you can learn to work with the Law of Attraction, which is all about energy. Energy moves to create circumstances. Energy condenses to become matter. Matter is energy. E = mc2.  

Next Step

Once we are empty of preconceptions, expectations, thoughts and emotional junk – once we are empty – then we need to understand the nature of our energy being.

For more than 300 years now, our culture has formed around Isaac Newton’s version of a physical world, where objects are separate from each other and bounce off of each other like billiard balls. With the advent of quantum physics, we now realize that everything is made out of vibrating energy. As the famous theoretical physicist Richard Feynman said, “Everything jiggles.”

Energy condenses to create matter, but it is still basically vibrating energy. Since all matter is vibrating within a universal energy field, it is sending out waves into the field. Our bodies are doing the same thing, and even our brains and hearts are sending waves into the aether around us. The HeartMath Institute in California has done research that shows the brain and the heart each produce a certain amount of energy in the form of an electromagnetic field.

“The heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body,” according to HeartMath Institute Director of Research Rollin McCraty. “The electrical field as measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG) is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an electroencephalogram (EEG).”

The heart, like the brain, generates a powerful electromagnetic field, according to McCraty. HeartMath studies show this powerful electromagnetic field can be detected and measured several feet away from a person's body and between two individuals in close proximity.

You may have noticed this when you’ve been alone in a room, and suddenly, you realize – without seeing or hearing anything – that another person has entered the room. The human body generates an electromagnetic field that interacts with others. That human field is energy extending feet beyond the skin. You extend beyond your skin.

In meditation, we can calm our brain and heart down to the point where we can sense this energy flowing through and around us. However, this high state of sensitive awareness is not the most astounding thing.

By synchronizing our brain and heart energies in meditation, our electromagnetic field changes. Not only that, in meditation, our DNA changes. Since we can consciously change our personal fields, we can send a new kind of wave into the universe.

In fact, the Coptic Gospel of Thomas refers to this single-mindedness of unifying the brain and heart:
“Jesus said to them, "When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, … a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom. (verse 22) " Also, see verses 48 and 106.

The idea behind the Law of Attraction is that, by bringing the heart and brain – feelings and thoughts – into a singular energy, human beings can broadcast energy waves that interact with the universal energy field. This creates a form or a coherent pattern for whatever we desire. That consciously held, coherent pattern then naturally draws the object or circumstance of matching energy frequency into our life.

You have experienced this unifying of brain and heart when you have “connected” with a person across the room. Human beings have been doing this unconsciously from ancient times without really realizing what we were doing. Now, we do so consciously with practice, with a pretty good idea of how we form our life – our circumstances – by holding our singular desire, by interacting with each other to magnify the energy, and painting that pattern in the universal energy. Amazing! 

– Christopher Aune

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Winning at life

It just occurred to me that we attempt to be one with God, as we conceive him. That is a relationship with our own imagination. There is no tension, no power and no life in our relationship with our own imagination.

Instead, I am in a perpetual argument with you, but it is not a competition, which we normally conceive it to be. In a competition we expect to find a winner and the vanquished. But if there is a winner, the competition is over and there is no longer an argument, no struggle, no power, no life force in that.

But in our argument, we are at the opposites of some subject. For example, you take the position of the North Pole and I take the position of the South Pole, and we're damned if the two shall ever meet.

But it is between the magnetic poles where the the power flows. Life happens in the struggle of opposites, not in the winning and not in the unification of the opposites. So the defeat of either pole is the end of life; and there is no winner in that.

All the fun is in the struggle, knowing that it empowers both of us. It is in the struggle that we grow and expand and express who we are. We don't destroy our opposite, we play with them.  To destroy our opposite is the end of everything, it's suicidal, and therefore, it is insane. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Get real, master life, and have fun!

Understand the nature of illusion and reality for a better life 

“There is no outside of you. It’s all an inside game.” NOT. 

This is an often repeated, badly understood half-witticism, and repeating it frequently doesn't make it so.

Reality exists, but it is extremely complex. We cannot grasp the complexity of the stimuli that we receive in any moment, so we carefully pick just those stimuli that are most important to our survival. We pay attention only to the few most important clues in in our world in any given moment. We have a very limited grasp of reality. We are in survival mode throughout our early life.

As a shortcut to faster understanding of the immediate world, we create an artificial, mental construct of how we think the world works. We interact with the world based on the assumptions and biases in our mental construct (ego).

Our weak, inaccurate, illusionary mental construct doesn't match reality because it is intended to provide quick rules of thumb so we can react to circumstances faster. The construct provides quick answers based on previous experiences, not the real-world, immediate circumstances. We make snap decisions about everything, and they are always wrong, at least just a little bit, but usually by a lot. 

We perceive the world through the filter of this mental construct. It is the lazy person's way to interact with the world, and it is always inaccurate ... until we clarify our perceptions by becoming aware of the construct/filter, and recognize that we never have an accurate understanding of what is going on or who any certain person really is. We categorize people by their behavior, but we don't know what they have experienced, what they think or what they feel. We don't actually know people - even those we've lived with for decades, but we respond to them according to our pre-constructed biases.

We don't perceive the world accurately, and we carry around an inaccurate, mental construct of the world as a survival mechanism, but that does not mean that the outside world is not real. 

The outside world is real. It is part of the game. You deny reality at your own peril. All you have left is an illusion, and reality will slap you in the face. 

Through meditation and contemplation, we recognize our mental construct (ego) and how it differs from reality. That is the inside game.

When we purify our inside game, we bring it to align more closely with the real world. Then, we become more accurate and more successful in our interactions with the outside world.

By the way, life is not a game, and reality is not a computer simulation. Life is a helluva lot more complex than any computer game can ever be. Real life is so much bigger that you are only a momentary, passing flicker in the universal flow of things.

But you are everything in building your life: Build it accurately to get in the bigger game and have much more fun!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

What are akashic records and can they be trusted?

A friend asked me about akashic records, how to access them, and how can one trust it to be true, and not some imagination or falsehood?

It's interesting that akashic records is a concept that is referred to around the world by different names. The truth is the truth no matter who says it or when. We can trust it to be a fundamental truth when it shows up in different cultures in different times of history.

You have probably seen me write before that the universe is energy. Waves in energy form patterns. The patterns contain information (knowledge). The more sophisticated the patterns, the more sophisticated the knowledge that is contained.

“Everything jiggles,” according to theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. He was saying that everything vibrates – a truth in physics. Because everything vibrates, everything puts out waves into the universal energy field. So, everything is broadcasting information into the field. Of course, we know that the waves continue to move out from their source, losing strength as the expand.

However, the source continues to repeat its same vibrations, and those vibrations resonate – are echoed in – other things in the source’s surroundings. So, certain vibrations expand and hold their strength for much longer. They share a common vibration and common information about their existence, their reality.

So, this information is all around us and in us. It’s what some refer to as the akashic record. Because we are in this energetic vibrational field, we are constantly communicating with it. We wonder about something, and in so doing, we set up a vibration with our thoughts. Similar vibrations in the field resonate, and we unconsciously focus our attention on them. When we pay attention and are open to receive those answering vibrations, we learn the information contained in the field.

The problem is that this happens on a subtle level, so our minds must interpret the information. We are driven to put the information in a form that we can understand and accept. In the process, our mind may invent stories. The story itself may be a fiction, but the underlying truth is still true. If we understand that we live in this fictional story that our mind makes up, then we can also become aware of our biases and filter them out to discover the underlying truth.  

So, when we access the field, we may already have a frame of reference – a story – that allows understanding of the truth. However, we may not even understand the knowledge that is made available to us. There is lots of opportunity for misunderstanding, whether we are stuffing the information into our current frame of reference or inventing and entirely new one.

To make matters worse, the information is constantly fluctuating and flowing. You can never dip your toe into the same river twice. In fact, when you dip your toe into the river, the river changes before you can get your toe back out.

Everything is uncertain. There is no certainty. We create our own certainty, and that certainty is only what helps us to fix things in order for awhile so we can more effectively function in the world.

From birth, recent generations have been steeped in the religion of science. We think that there is truth out there; and if science can measure it and repeat it, it must be true. But you have to understand that, scientific method has only been around for 350 years. And with the dawn of quantum theory, we now understand that everything is always changing. It’s worse than that: the observer influences (changes) what is observed.  

The akashic record exists, but it contains information about everything in all times. It’s a vast and variable imprint in the universal energy matrix. The information you access from it is more likely to resonate with what you already are and what you expect.

That may sound scary and uncertain, or you can realize that you are the source of the vibration that attracts the answering vibration. If you are source, then expect heaven. Intend heaven. Act as a builder of heaven. Ignore here and now reality, because it is just temporary, its vibration only makes more of the same trials and tribulations; and it is not what you want anyway. Instead, set up in yourself the vibration of happiness, prosperity and expansion; and that is how the akashic record will respond to you. The better and longer you hold that vibration, the more your happiness will be attracted to you.  

Within our physical reality, knowledge leads to understanding, and experience leads to realization. So, be a life-long student: Learn everything you can. Also, be a life-long adventurer and collect experiences: Be more so that you can do more, so that you can have more life in your living.

In quantum reality, we are waves on an ocean, there one moment, gone back into the expanse in the next moment. Surf the wave that you are.

Now, while I’ve answered your question, this is a very short, condensed answer. It’s meaning is already changed by my mind, by the words, and by your mind. And that’s okay. You can ask as many questions as you like, and I – or the akashic record – will provide an answer.

Just be who you are in this moment, because in another moment, you will be someone else. Everything is always changing. So, be the life that you love, and enjoy the forming of it. You may never arrive at the end. It’s not about the certainty of the end result, but about you, your vibration and the act creating. It's not about understanding, but realizing. Don’t worry. Be happy. Enjoy the ride!
- Christopher

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Addictions position point paper 2018



Yet, today, we understand addiction and have ways to prevent it, ways that cannot be implemented as long as the medical community ignores cutting-edge research showing genetic predisposition (Reward Deficiency Syndrome) to substance abuse, and childhood trauma as the activation of that predisposition. The interaction of the two results in Substance Use Disorder.

PREVENTION IS IMPORTANT AND POSSIBLE.

Prediction is now possible.Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS) … is an identifier of polymorphic variances which predispose an individual to Substance Use Disorder, and other impulsive–compulsive behaviors and their root cause Reward Deficiency Syndrome …. provided a critical tool in stopping the cycle before it begins.” “We now have entered a new era in addiction medicine that embraces the neuroscience of addiction and RDS as a pathological condition in brain reward circuitry that calls for appropriate evidence-based therapy and early genetic diagnosis and that requires further intensive investigation.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4225054/

Prevention is possible. “Dr. Kevin McCauley’s documentary Pleasure Unwoven defines addiction as a ‘stress induced defect, acting on a genetic vulnerability in the reward learning area of the mid-brain and the emotion choice area of the Frontal Cortex’. …. [C]hildhood trauma alters genetic expression, and the interactive variance results in increased substance use and/or abuse.”  - https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/integrating-the-science-of-addiction-and-the-science-of-wellbeing-2329-6488-1000275.php?aid=92330  (This is a great review of a well-being approach to addiction treatment, including the needed change in attitude and stigmatization. Attached.)

So, Childhood Trauma is the First Level essential cause (of five progressive levels) in activating the genetic predisposition, a condition known as Reward Deficiency Syndrome, resulting in Substance Use Disorder.

Trauma response is a DCS assignment, one that our DCS is failing at.

The recent Indiana DCS director – in her letter of resignation – pointed out that prevention is possible, but not under inadequate funding.  

Using the GARS predictor instrument, trauma prevention (avoiding genetic activation of RDS) can only be done by fostering healthy families and, failing that, community connections that replace the warm relationships developed in healthy families. Known connections points that are also failing to provide preventative support (in that they stigmatize addiction and drive away people suffering from genetic activation) include programs in church, employment, clubs, and other community organizations.

Legislative research, action and funding can thus direct funds to prevent Substance Use Disorder by fostering healthy families (the ideal DCS function) and promoting community connection points.

“Integrating the Science of Addiction and the Science of Wellbeing,” Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Published Date: August 15, 2017


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Afraid to ask

I recall an incident when I was two years old, that taught me a lesson that effected the rest of my life.

Mom had just changed my diaper, and I was playing in the sunshine on the floor of the living room. After a short time, I realized I was thirsty. So, I went over to my mother, who was working hard at scrubbing out a roasting pan. You know how hard and frustrating that can be. But, at that age, I didn’t know.

So, I waddled up to my mother, tugged on her smock, and asked for water. She nudged me away with her knee and asked me to wait a minute. Of course, I had no idea what a minute was, so I waited a long time – all of about 10 or 15 seconds – and went back and tugged on her smock again.

“Water,” I insisted.

This time, her knee knocked me backward a couple of feet, and she screamed her frustration at me. I landed on my butt, utterly shocked and terrified. I began to cry hard. She told me to go away and leave her alone for a while. So, crying in confusion and fear, I wandered down the hallway and into a bedroom.

I was really scared and alone. I thought to myself, Daddy is at work, big brother Mike is at school. I realized I was alone with this very angry, large person. There was no one to hold me or comfort me. I didn’t know what to do.

So, I continued to cry loudly.

“You better stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about,” threatened the monster in the kitchen. That just made me more scared. I just couldn’t stop crying.

So, I crawled up on the bed, took a pillow and shoved a piece of it into my mouth. I buried my face in the pillow and repeatedly screamed my terror and helplessness into it, soaking it with my tears. I wanted to get away, and I didn’t know how.

Then something shifted in my mind. The pillow became me: The baby needing comfort. I held the baby in my arms and comforted it, rocking and talking to it.

“Chris, come in here,” Mom called from the kitchen.

I was afraid to go. I kept holding the baby, rocking it, comforting it. Me still sobbing, struggling to stop.

“Come in here now! Don’t make me come in there to get you,” she threatened again.

So, in my childish set of mind, I decided to protected that baby. I put it carefully on the bed, and I told it, “You’ll be okay here.”

Mom yelled again. I patted the baby Chris, and left it there on the bed. I went out to meet the dragon.

Thirty-six years later, I recalled that incident. I realized that I was a split personality. Somewhere inside me, there was a baby that had been left alone in safety and forgotten. I had been bravely fighting the good fight for decades, trying to protect that forgotten baby, still crying on the bed of my soul.

Today, age 65, that memory came back with a thud as I realized that, for the last 60-plus years I had been practicing the lesson I learned that day: It is frightening to ask. Don’t ask for anything. Make your own way in life. People don’t want to help. They are mean and scary, and you can never tell when they’ll turn on you.

This has been a life theme. I can tell you story after story about how I never asked for what I needed. I never got the help I needed because I never asked. And I always blamed it on other people. I felt that they really don’t care.  

Then, today, I watched a video about asking for help; and it all came back to me. The speaker said that everyone naturally wants to help. First, I recognized that in myself. I’m a good person. I have kept myself safe. And somewhere deep inside, I really wanted to help. But I was afraid to engage.

Then, I had to admit that others had the same feelings, perhaps different experiences, but the same sense of expecting others to know my needs, but never to take care of me or to help me.

And so, a new journey begins. I have to unlearn that old lesson. I need to let go of that two-year-old’s decision to avoid asking. I need to let go of that toddler’s distrust of others and fear of asking. 

I need to learn how to ask for what I want. I need to learn that skill of asking, and learn to do it effectively, so that I can get what I need, and others can feel good about helping me …. So, I can help others get what they need, and feel good about helping them. 

I was vulnerable, but now I’m a little less afraid. Now I have another thing to work on for a better me and a better life. And it only took a lifetime of lonely struggle. - Christopher 

Friday, July 26, 2019

What do you have in mind for your future?

If I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll only get what I’ve always got.
I see what is, and I dwell on it; so, I get more of what I’ve always had. Basically nothing special.
So, if I want the things that I love in my future, I need to change from living in what I have, and instead, live in the reality of what is coming. I envision what I love, and I hold that experience as though it already exists. I sit and think about the six-senses experience of that which I love: I see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, smell it … all within the power of my imagination.
Here’s the key: My brain doesn’t know the difference whether I’m really experiencing it or imagining it. It’s a real experience to my monkey brain in either case. In my brain, the mental-emotional construct is equal to the real experience … because either way, my experience is in my brain.
So, when I hold the construct in my brain and feel it in my body, it becomes my expectation. My brains starts looking for that reality in the real world. And we all know that, you see what you are looking for. If you buy a new car, you see that car everywhere. If you have a hammer, you see nails.
If I see myself having a good time having deep discussions with friends and students, I will see it. That is my future … not some wishy-washy hope or a weak continuation of what my life has always been. I’m going to travel to see all my friends and students, and sit with them in conversation about the reality of spirituality - my specialty, my podcast, and my book.

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Itty-Bitty Healthy Eating Course

People think self-control is the most important thing for eating healthy.

For healthy eating, mindfulness is even more important than self-control. You can't control yourself if you aren't paying attention.

Most of us automatically respond to abdominal discomfort by stuffing something in our face. We get in a rush, and we aren’t paying attention. Then we feel guilty about it! We feel we failed and give up, and go ahead and eat anything. 

Imagine if we took a moment to recognize that feeling in your gut is something else. "Wait! That's not hunger. That's thirst!" ... or gas, or that spicy thing you ate a little while ago, or that asshole who yelled at you.

So, once you decide it’s really hunger, then:

    - Only eat when hungry. 
    - Eat a single portion. 
    - Use a side plate instead of a dinner plate. 
    - Stop eating when satisfied. Eat until satisfied, about 80% full. 
    - Drink some water after the meal. 
    - Wait 30 minutes for it to settle. 

Contrary to the cultural norm, we usually only need to eat once a day. A cup of bulletproof coffee, a few nuts with water, or a glass of unsweetened almond milk will usually satisfy you during the day.

Fat helps you feel full and is great at curbing cravings.

Sugar causes cravings. It burns off your vitamins and minerals, which create cravings.

Sugar is also addictive, which creates more cravings. So, avoid sugar at all costs. Cold turkey is the best way, and it’s not easy. You’ll go through withdrawal for five days to three weeks.  It’s harder to avoid than you think. They put sugar in all processed food.

So, eat raw foods. Avoid or at least minimize grains and root vegetables, which are heavy in sugar, starches, and carbohydrates. Eat lotsa green veggies, which provide healthy slow carbs.

Congratulations! You graduated from the Itty-Bitty Healthy Eating Course! Now you know what to do. Be a mindful eater! –Christopher  

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Pure and innocent self

For most of my life I did not know my true self. I was full of pain and suffering. After one particularly heart-rending experience, I was so drained and empty that, when looking at others, I could see their suffering imprinted in their expressions and postures.

Years later, on a three-week solo retreat, the mask fell away at one point. I physically felt it melt off my face and body as the tension of holding it disappeared. That was a taste of my true self: innocent and pure.

I kept these memories in mind as I continued to practice the meditative life. I knew the real me was there, just under the veneer of fear and defensiveness. Every so often the true me resurfaced, building a strong sense of my real identity.

One day, while interacting with some people, I realized that they were all working hard to keep up their masks, but that they could relax just a little bit, just for a few moments, if I surrendered my own mask. Their spirit fairly cried out for me to take the lead. When I became that pure innocent self, their whole demeanor responded. They changed before my eyes, became softer and more peaceful in tone and behavior.

In recalling that moment, I experienced again the courage it took for me to give up the hard shell that covered my tender self. I felt the fear and simply gave it up. While nothing in the room had changed, when it fell off, almost everyone just turned toward me and smiled softly. They didn’t realize that anything had changed, but through their behavior they followed the warm vibe. A most extraordinary experience. –Christopher  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

10 keys to improving yourself over time

If you keep doing the same thing you've always done, you'll always get what you always had. - Mark Twain

If you're looking for a better life, you want to do these things to improve your self over time.

1. Read.

2. Read some more.

3. Find people who do what you want to do, and hang out with them. Volunteer for them. Go to college and build a network of friends.

4. Travel. Try out new things every day: new people, new foods, new music, new skills, and new places. Diverse stimuli are the source of creativity.

5. Be your self. Ignore others’ opinions. Replace their expectations with your own. Follow the joy: Repeat the things that bring you joy. Do what you love: Make a career of it.

6. LISTEN. Take time to understand what other people are saying. Learn active listening, empathic listening. Listen to their needs and wants, then keep them in mind as you go about your life. When you run into something that could be helpful, share it with them. LISTENING is the path to world peace. 

7. Trust yourself. You choose. Listen to all the advice people give you, and discard most of it. Pick out only the nuggets that are inspiring and empowering. Do what you want to do. You have to ignore yourself to always do what others are doing. Choose for yourself. Trust yourself. You choose. You always choose.

8. Try. So many wonderful ideas and important messages never get shared because people don’t even try. Everybody has great ideas, but few people try. Take a risk, give it a try. You can never fail until you quit. Never, never, never give up.

9. Love. Express your gratitude abundantly and abundance will come to you. Comfort, encourage and empower people every chance you get. Make it an every-moment-of-every-day thing. Sad people will become happy because you took a moment to be present for them. Broken people will heal and become strong just because you told them they could. You are power. Your love is powerful.

10. Get out and do something now! Always ask yourself, “Am I using the Internet, or is it using me?” Live the real life. Social media is an illusion and sucks your soul. —Christopher