War.. War is hell: Part 2

 

The state of this box and how my grandma had kept it hidden and safe would not have had a bigger effect on my curiosity even if it had been jewel-encrusted, golden and covered in dusty catacomb somewhere, with Harrison Ford in the next room trying to get at it. No, nothing could compare, this seemed to be part of our family history, something that had been kept hidden, and kept safe by my Mimi for many many years by the worn but preserved look of the box.

“This belonged to your Grandpa mijo, he wanted all of his family to see this.”

My grandpa had passed away two years earlier, and in all our time with him, while he graced our lives, never did he reveal this box, nor talk about his early years as an adult very much. It’s understandable, as he served in one of the worst wars to ever befall the planet in the loss of human life. He was a great man, who loved my grandma with all his heart.

My Grandma Ysabell Hernandez is the mother of 5 children, 7 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren; to say she has seen a lot is a tragic understatement. (She had lived through 5 great wars that our country fought in)

Her first and only true love was my Grandpa, in fact, she jokes, she was off to a nunnery school before he wooed her out of it. He would travel to their little village of Capitan every week from Hondo NM to sell fruit, a neighboring mountain village 25 miles away. My grandpa, Albert Hernandez was handsome, a smooth talker, and all around manly man, even at a young age. He grew up on a farm like so many back then, toiling with the lands and livestock, thriving off of necessity, he learned what is truly valuable in life. He was an artist when it came to re-using something for a different purpose when it seems like all the use had been sapped from it. Their courtship was cut short as nations were testing their might against each other in what would eventually become the second great war. My grandpa was pulled away from the life that he had known, and thrown into a whole different world.

 

To be concluded…

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War… War is hell

     How many of our fathers, and fathers fathers battled for idealism, for justice, for freedom? The many people who have been gathered for a fight throughout the ages is immense and countless, why? Nations recruit their people to go to war for many reasons; for pride, for preservation of life or way of life, or for prodigy. To me, one of the scariest and most powerful reasons people are persuaded into taking up arms against a foreign enemy is blind patriotism for their country. This tends to be such a fearful excuse as it induces a herd mentality on a mass scale, especially when the means carrying that message are morphed and shaped by a Government into a way that suits their cause best. Everyone, from all over the world belongs to a motherland, a place that they can call home. It seems that the thing these countries Governments can do best is spinning the words of an issue in their favor… basic politics if you will. Yeah, its sad how people can be so easily convinced to hate, even kill another human, due to methods of deception and subterfuge, but it has been the truth since before many of our births.

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    We are a warring species, there is no doubt about it, but how can this terrible act become a nation’s sole occupation and Gross Domestic Product? In historical times, war was considered acceptable, if not mandatory. Countries had to fight for their place in the world and for resources to feed their ever growing populations. Today it really beguiles the mind to think that war is still the answer, we are living in times where the extraordinary has become the accepted norm.

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    Our recent political and social climate have shown that you don’t have to be from another country to be demonized. We live in a time where brothers are turned against brothers based solely on who they voted for, or what they believe. Joining an army of your own volition, for whatever the reason should be commendable, don’t get this piece wrong, a standing fighting force no matter the climate is a good thing that everyone should have. Being drafted into that fighting force though to wage a war on people whom you are told is evil, that is a different story completely.

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     Recently I was hanging out with my grandma. We were having a good time, downing cup after cup of coffee sitting at the same kitchen table she has had since I was a child, and probably her children before me. After a while, she told me that she wanted to show me some pictures. Something you all need to know first about my grandma, much like everyone else’s, she has kept the lives of her children and grandchildren documented down to a T, through photos, which she found any and every excuse to flood us with when she could. So when she had mentioned that she had pictures to show me, I didn’t think anything of it. “No grandma, Im sure you have shown me already, last time I was here.” My response, ignorant and short, due to a mind swimming with caffeine serves as a lesson which is easy to forget in our technologically advanced society, never assume.

“No mijo, not these, i’ll get them.” I got up to help her walk over to her cabinet in her room, where she produced a key from a hidden spot to open up the door to the dresser. Wow, these pics are under lock and key, my curiosity started to peak. Out came a worn leather box, with a small leather buckle on it keeping the top latched shut, looking to be at least a hundred years old. What the hell is this I thought to myself? My grandma’s sweet voice broke me out of my wonder “Let’s go to the living room and I’ll show you what’s inside”

To be continued…

 

A mind aloof in a cosmic swirl—Hallucinogens and Humans

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How can one describe the trip that Hallucinogenics give. Each experience really remains subjective to the user that consumed them. What these experiences do have in common with every other drug induced trip is they all give an open window view into your mind. Like a picture on display in an art gallery at a free showing. Every person viewing this piece has their own thoughts and feelings about it, and what they take away is left completely up to the users past experiences, comprehension, self esteem and self worth; not to mention the surroundings the person is experiencing at the time.

So whats new? Mankind has been tripping on whatever berries, fruit or cactus we could dig up and eat since the dawn of time. We are silly creatures, trying everything out with our mouths so that we may know its effect; the same way babies seem to do. Im sure many people died using this method, rightfully so, but without it, one can argue that language, religion, art, and culture would have never been established, as hallucinogens were the gateway drug… not to mention the deliciousness that is fresh mussels, seriously.Lophophora_williamsii_pm_2

Maybe i’m being overly dramatic about hallucinogens, but they really are an important part in the evolution of humankind, as well as a way for people to self reflect in serious, life altering ways. From my experiences with hallucinogenic substances, be it psilocybin or LSD, the results have always been an honest look back at myself, the choices I have made in life, how they have led me to the present, and how I am connected to everything around me…immensely so. I cant speak for everyone as to how their so called trip will turn out, if it will be close to what I described or if they spent it watching Pink Floyds “The Wall” or Rene Lalouxs’ “Fantastic Planet” and being wowed by all the colors and crazy shit flying around. Yeah I am guilty of the same thing at least a few times in life, it was the thing to do when you were young. I quickly realized though how uncomfortable it all felt, taking these powerful mind altering substances just to sit stationary and waste away in one place while your eyes are being fed with someone’s creativity, someone other than your self.

brain functions    Agreed, there is a time and place for everything, but come now, you have to respect the drug for the force that it is. I was always moved to create something of my own, feeling like a mother, months overdue with her offspring ready to burst at any moment, yet searching like an ancient sea captain for the shore as to how I can birth these creations. Sometimes I did, and sometimes I did not. No matter, as long as I carried this unspoken air of respect for the substance I was partaking in, I never once had a negative experience. In fact, on every single account I came away with something that bettered my life in one way or another. Be it to paint more, a huge boost in confidence, to write one page every day without giving a shit about prose, take up a new hobby, stop drinking or smoking, give up social media, train my body harder, and even to see people in their true forms and give up false friends. The benefits have been vast. What troubles me is actually keeping up with said good habits; it seems the negative is always a hands breadth away and easiest to fall into. It remains though, that every time I partake, the tendencies that come about only aim to benefit my health and my true self. Not in some esoteric way that touts meditations over vaccinations, but in a way that is backed by logic, reason and science. I have never lost my senses while under, they may be muddied a bit in one way or another, I feel it always makes me hyper aware of myself and my surroundings. So much so that it is to the point of being uncomfortable, that is why I always prefer to go out on a desert hike or camp for a night while dosing myself. mind tree

Its funny, writing this I feel as if the reader would think me a complete shroom head or acid junkie by the way I speak, let me assure you I am far from it. In fact every one of my experiences lies years in between the other. I do it once, and feel I get what I needed from it, only to do it again when I am feeling like my back is at a wall or I am stumbling some how I can not see. The new trip, always seems to set me onto a new path, and what I have found later, a new chapter in my life. In my experiences with these substances, I have found a way that suits me to take them into my body, respect them, and to get the most out of them. It works for me, but everyone is different. Sometimes thinking too deep about oneself is a terrifying thing. Mind you, I am not endorsing the use of psychedelics, to be better in your life, no. You are much better off doing that by sticking to a workout routine, and eating good. Hallucinogens are and always will be a drug, in the sense that we are tripping off their toxins and they become toxic to your body, and potentially dangerous for your mind. All I am doing here is relating my experiences with them.

I believe you need to face yourself honestly most of all at one point or another in life to better yourself and as the greeks say, “Know thyself”. How you do that is always of your own choosing… choose well.

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Hannibal at the Gates— A warning against perception bias in the media.

I recently watched an old National Geographic documentary on Hannibal and his life. The style that they filmed it in has always attracted me, im sure you have seen these types of documentaries before; they bring in actors to dramatize the events as well as the characters. It really gives life to the story, and if its portrayed well, the actors visage, becomes your memory of what the character in question actually looked like. Of course that is if you do not have any previous concepts of them to begin with. This concept to me is fascinating, and gives a glimpse of how the human brain operates…

I digress though— This was an amazing documentary that had me moved and turned my previous perceptions of a great conquering general and all around bad dude; into a man stirred by vengeance, only trying to carve his sacred place in the world; as we all strive to do in one way or another.Portrait_Hannibal_Barca

Allow me to try and sum it up real quick if your not familiar with the Punic wars, to give you an idea of the saga of Hannibal Barca of Carthage.

 

  •  The Punic wars 264bc-146bc. Hannibal’s dad Hamilcar was fighting the Romans for a long time, and ended up being cut off from Carthage, forcing them to surrender.
  • They forged a nice little place for them to live and grow in Spain through warring efforts.
  • Hannibal had learned everything about commanding from his dad, who was a strong general in turn.
  • Hannibal’s dad was Killed in a small Skirmish, and Hannibal had sworn vengeance against Rome for putting them in that position. He began building up his forces to oppose the great republic of Rome.
  • He started sacking Roman cities to show that he would not let Carthage be pushed around by any force.
  • Planned a sneak attack on Rome, one of the greatest ever achieved; and traversed the alps with 46,000 men and elephants. Animals were mainly for morale purposes, to show the men that if they could get through it, you damn well better be able to.
  • Though he made it over the alps, Hannibal lost nearly half his troops on the mountain due to starvation and skirmishes from Gaul mountain tribes.
  • Hannibal had some impressive and decisive victories against Roman forces, despite being outnumbered. He could not sack Rome, and sent word to Carthage for reinforcements.
  • They would not give it to him, so for 15 years he attacked towns and killed more than a million people to try and prompt Rome out of the city to attack, as he held his position and slowly encroached on the great city itself. They were wiser than to meet him on his terms again.
  • Rome, in response to the marauding, decided to attack Carthage itself, to force him back there to fight. He left to fight them, and in turn Hannibal’s army was defeated in Africa by Scipio the younger.
  • Hannibal escaped death, only to be betrayed by his own city: turning him in to the Romans, which forced him to flee.
  • He went on to becoming a mercenary and general for hire to any country who hated Rome.
  • Assassins from Rome were dispatched to kill him years later, instead he took his own life with a cup of poison.
  • Carthage was literally wiped off the map by Rome, for the fear that its general had struck in them by the damage he had done.

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Hannibal’s story is an epic to rival all of the ancient ones, deservedly so, it is a story for the ages! Whats funny to me and what I took away was how much I felt for the guy after seeing his story portrayed in a different light. Now if the documentary’s producers were biased, and meant to do that, its of no concern; it worked. Before hand I believed him to be a barbarian, bent on the slaughter of innocents; which in fact he was, make no mistake about it, he killed relentlessly. The mans reasoning and ideologies were kept out of the public eye in favor of his achievements— crossing the alps, and giving ancient Roma a run for its money. Hannibal began to realize that he could not defeat Rome, as it was a state of mind more than an individual city, he admired it. Seeing how Rome had backed its populace and cared for them in times of struggle, promising freedom to slaves for fighting and exorbitant military stipends; Hannibal could only feel bitter towards his homeland who would not even support him with reinforcements; in which the outcome would have been beneficial for all of Carthage.Carthage_EL_shekel_2250013

Now you may think this an old story, and why would it apply to the here and now. We are a modern society, as well as intelligent, we can think for ourselves who is good or who is bad. The implications of this message are huge, beware what information you are being fed. Good and bad are relative terms to what side of the fight you may be on— or where your political allegiance falls. The phrase “history is written by the victors” is never entirely true, but does hold some merit. We are way too connected to let something slide by our radars that is immoral or unjust and let it get away, someone will speak up, right?

Well, yes, but it may take a little while until that voice is heard; history is being made all around us at every hour of the day no matter how small. If we as a society keep accepting things at face value, then yes, I fear we are doomed to repeat past mistakes; both personally and culturally, big and small. Let my illumination serve as a reminder and a warning: There is always more than one side to a story, uncover all before passing judgement. Annibal

 

About

In those ever so famous words by a beloved fictional character, “I am what I am” We here at the HUP show like to live by that saying. We are a bunch silly, fun loving guys, who all enjoy a good story. In fact, the main reasoning behind the creation of The Human Universals Podcast was to plunge ourselves head first into the world around us through the stories of everyone we come in contact with. We do that on a daily, every time we meet someone new it seems, but we wanted to create that same effect; and dive even deeper into the inner workings of what it means to be; for the most part, an intelligent creature, and completely human. This show is our way of sharing with you the audience stories from far and wide, while including our quirkiness, our creativity, our passions, our joys, and our sorrows vicariously through the stories of others. The goal—To show that you, I, and everyone else no matter the person, are really not so different when it comes down to it. We are all universally connected by the things we think, do and say.

Thank you for supporting us!


 

The Team

Lucas pic

Lucas J. Hernandez

Wade picture haha it speaks me

Wade B. Mcmahan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Focus on measurement for progress

The thing that i seem to keep returning to, when everything else in my life seems jumbled, disjointed and out of place; is that in which we all participate unknowingly; a methodology of constant improvement. As long as I am moving forward in one area of my world, I can feel accomplished.

may that be:

  •  A steadier hand while painting
  •  Effortless organization
  •  Stronger and faster striking (I train in kendo)
  •  Better flow in writing
  •  Better sleep
  •  Being a more compassionate partner
  •  Manage any of the millions of intricacies life holds, etc…

 

It seems, at least for me that the more I try to do in life, the less I actually get done. I have found this true time and time again. To have a life that is vast and fulfilling, people need to fill it with many areas of knowledge. To try and accomplish all things at once, is a fools errand. Focus. The secret is to treat every area in your life, like a video game. Constantly leveling up in one specific area will leave your character unbalanced and ineffective; but if you spread your experience through all aspects of your life, you will be well suited for anything.

samurai 1“The focused mind can pierce through stone”

Samurai proverb

 

The only way to truly measure progress in such insubstantial or subjective fields is to find a way to measure them. Peter Drucker says, Whatever you can measure, you can manage; how to find that way in measuring, is up to you. It could be counting breathes, timing tasks and looking for improvement in speed, gauging strength in lifting objects, etc…

A field that seems to give you these inherent responses to measure what your doing is general fitness and weightlifting. One is always counting the number of reps or sets in any given area, focusing on any given groupings of muscles.  The results seen from doing these exercises are not instantaneous, but shown over time in the form of bigger muscles, less fatty tissue and so on.

I have been getting back into the habit of regular exercise, and what I have found more beneficial than any type of lift, or specific exercise, is targeted stretching. When you are able to access and stretch all the small muscle groups in your body, life starts to feel a bit different. Your more nimble, feel good, your sleeping amazingly, and your digesting like a colony of ants on a Popsicle. This is where my focus lies in this field as of late.

 

Here is a short video that beautifully illustrates exercises and which muscle groups they cover.

 

Whatever it is in your life that requires effort, concentration, practice or training to be good at, please, give it the proper respect by doing it to your best ability every time. If there is nothing that came to mind immediately, then you need to get yourself something you love to work in.

 

Our journey into the future, and how Hallucinogens may help

How can one describe the trip that Hallucinogenics give. Each experience remains subjective to the user that consumed them. What these experiences do have in common with every other drug induced trip is they all give an open window view of your mind. Like a picture on display in an art gallery at a free showing. Every person viewing this piece has their own thoughts and feelings about it, and what they take away is left completely up to the users past experiences, comprehension, self esteem and self worth; not to mention the surroundings the person is experiencing at the time.

So whats new? Mankind has been tripping on whatever berries or cactus we could dig up and eat since the dawn of time. We are silly creatures, trying everything out with our mouths so that we may know its effect. Im sure many people died using this method, but without it, one can argue that language, religion, art, and culture would have never been established.

Maybe that is being overly dramatic about hallucinogens, but they really are an important part in the evolution of humankind. What else, gives you senses outside your body, outside your perception? Travel has the possibility to do this, but it is not the same. These mind altering substances have been creating new visions of the same views for a millennia. The scientific community has just begun, in the past ten years or so, to see the merits that these substances may offer.

The future may be a mystery, but we can only guess as to how we are evolving, and what is creating that effect. We must not rule out anything that may help us along that journey.

The universe

Its a big place.

We all abide inside of it and try to find our place within the great massive galactic space that surrounds us. We create a life among the rubble’s or riches from where we were placed upon the day of our creation, birthed into existence. Whenever that may have been, from the beginning of man, it has crafted cultures into society, bio-diversity is the real feat. Every one person, connecting on some level with each other on the tree of life somewhere from the root, spanning further than proximity of your birthplace, or demography, it supersedes cultures and geography.

We are not bound to the places that we live, nor the places that we leave. Wherever you are, that is your home, and you as an intelligent resilient human; must strive to make it into excellence and omnipotence of the space you inhabit in this vast place…

Wherever that may be.

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Hello and Welcome!

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We are Live!

Whats up guys and gals! Welcome one and all, to the debut of our podcast in the form of a baby, more so a toddler, because hell, we are somewhat professional about this whole thing. We named it The Human Universals podcast, or HUP for short. We are, in the interviewing game now with a fervor that would match any pro volley ball player out there. We have been collecting stories from every nook and cranny of Las Cruces New Mexico, Welcome to our first season!

 

Its been a long time coming. But trials and tribulations always reveal the essence of something and what it can be possible of. We, the HUP team, our lofty visionaries (or like to think we are) exploring what a podcast about stories really can be all about. We realized it has to be More than audio, it has to be more than visual. It has to be Engaged. That is what we strive for, because that is the most important reasons for telling a story. To convey a message, a truth. Something that will compel one of your senses as a human on this great, green mother earth and home as we know it, into feeling something, anything. However that avenue of synaptic firings may open up in your brain, is the fun part that we want to dissect in detail.

If this were a PSA for the HUP show, it would state ;

 

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Please make a point of participating in your fellow race, no matter how stacked the odds may seem.

 

This is a journey for us, the trials and tribulations podcasting has proven to be a difficult terrain to trek, But is one we undertake with great honor, for the core message is timeless. Stories make and shape us as humans. They connect us, they create the realities we live in, as well as the mannerisms we swing by. All of our conventional action is a culmination of our experiences. We here at the HUP podcast aim to share those commonalities in the hopes that it will strengthen our bonds to our fellow man and woman, in this growing world of an ever discontent and disconnected society of humans living together acting as ants in a colony would.  Also, it allows us the freedom to listen to some bad ass stories, create some silly content around it all, and hopefully bring a smile to your face.

We hope you enjoy, and we Thank you for being Alive.

Stay Great,

-The Human Universals Team

 

 

Peritas : The Hound of Alexander the Great

There is nothing better than the love and affection of your favorite dog or cat, or even a miniaturized pig. We as humans throughout history have craved the attention of our animal brethren. Be it for love, protection or even for domination, to challenge ourselves. In ancient times exotic animals would convey the power and wealth of the owner. It is a common bond among every culture to house and care for some type of pet. George Washington for example,was an avid dog lover. In fact he was on a mission to breed the perfect foxhound. Genghis Khan was said to use and favor Tibetan mastiffs in his wartime exploits. Something in excess of 10,000. Along with elephants to wage war.elephant

Many generals and great leaders owned and utilized animals from great parades of war elephants to packs of baboons for show and entertainment. Imagine having a hyena as a means of security. The use of domesticating pets served many purposes.

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Alexander on his horse Bucephalus

One tale of a pet so endeared, had a town named after him upon his death. Peritas, the hound of Alexander the Great himself. Very little is actually known, or confirmed about Peritas. The few tales that do come up are from Pliny the Elder, masterful  Roman storyteller and wordsmith, who perished in the fall of Pompeii.  Speculated to be a greyhound, he survived many battles with his master the great conqueror of Asia and India. This breed, be it grey hound, Molossar, or bulldog, was of a fierce blood line. roman dogThese dogs were presented as a gift to Alexander from one of the kings, whose township he held. Before they were handed over, this king wanted to show the dogs true stock by pitting them in a death match against lions testing their mettle and effectiveness in battle. Only when the lions took advantage, was another dog thrown in to aid. These dogs beat back the lions so much so, that a guard was sent in to cripple a dog, by smashing his legs. Alexander stood and protested harshly The skill and ferocity in battle that these dog or dogs possessed (its speculated that it was a pack presented as gift), proved worthy to serve in the greatest army ever conceived. The best dog of the pack Alexander named Peritas, and always kept him or her, close at heel. Alexander took Peritas through many battles, this dog proved himself time and time again to his master of his loyalty and courage, becoming a beloved and trusted friend up until his death. They always say the brightest candles burn out the fastest.

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It was A terrible battle with the Mallians. Alexander and his small group of personal guards charged up through Mallian fortifications, and became separated from the rest of his army. They were trapped and out numbered. Alexander was known to be full of piss and vinegar. Moves like this were not uncommon for the young leader, rushing the enemy and entrenching himself behind their lines exposing weakness. For some reason, this time he could not. Alexanders unit was beginning to take losses and the situation darkened. The great General, Conqueror of all of Asia, was wounded by a Javelin. No matter how hard they fought they remained out numbered and could not gain any ground.

 

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One of Alexanders generals heard a blood curdling howl, it was Peritas, who had been separated from his master, but sensed his troublesome predicament. The general commanded Peritas to go to his master! Being spry and nimble, Peritas fought his way into the enemy to get to his master, leading the charge of Alexanders army. Peritas was able to carve a path fighting off the Mallians by tearing into them with such ferocity, it struck visceral fear. The army was able to get in and rescue injured Alexander. The attempt was a success, but in doing so, Peritas received a mortal wound by a Javelin. The poor animal made it out of the fray on sheer adrenaline and will. He made his way back to Alexander only to die in his lap. I’m sure the fury that befell those Mallians could fill volumes.

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Alexander lived to continue fighting and conquering nations, but his beloved friend had given the ultimate sacrifice to him. His life to save Alexanders. This so moved the great king, that he named a conquered city after Peritas, whom battle after battle, proved himself to be a true ally. It is unsure, if the city named after Peritas is the same in which the dog fell. Alexander did the same for his horse, Bucephalus, upon his death.

 

The tenacity and loyalty of pets can not be matched, especially those pairs of humans and animals who share blood ties and bonds of hardship. Those flames burn hottest. We all need help, moral guidance and instruction. But not everyone realizes how lost we truly are in this world, without the human universal, the need for love and companionship of a friend. Leptis-3_2500348k