My journey, from childhood to vegan

Growing up

I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to learn how to read at a very early age in life. During this time, I read many books written from different animals points of view. I loved the plush animal toy figures my mother sewed for me, and I used to play pretending to be different animals. The environment I grew up in however expressed dislike for vegetarians and similar thinkers, and with these prejudices I was not strong enough to realize the connection between what I ate and what was going on behind that. I justified my food habits by identifying with my name Björn, which has the meaning of bear in Swedish, and the image it might bring of an omnivorous animal. But something felt wrong in the far far back of my mind.

A life with diseases

My life until the last few years was plagued by many various health problems. During my childhood I had allergies, colds, nausea and stomach sickness, in my teenage years I got appendicitis, acne, depression, pneumonia, salmonella infection, ulcerative colitis and psychosis. In my twenties I suffered from colds, addictions of different kinds, depressions, and moodiness.

The turn-around

I will tell you about two events having a great impact on my journey:

  1. I met two very friendly and generous vegans (if you are reading this, I hope you know who you are, and thank you so much!) who cooked the most delicious vegan food! Experiencing this helped me appreciate vegan food as something positive and possible.
  2. At the age of 34, I visited a pig/sheep farm. I remember the contrast between being on a relaxed summer vacation on the Mediterranean coast to entering a concrete paved dark hall with a thousand eyes watching me in fear. All their bodies were moving as one, like a school of fish, because in such a place there is no other reference than the prisoners standing next to you.

A few months later I decided to go vegetarian. On New Year’s Eve, 2013, the decision to become a vegetarian popped up from my subconscious and struck me as so true and right as nothing ever had before in my life. And over time I realized that I had to be vegan as well, anything else was would just be hypocrisy and turning a blind eye to the impact of my choices.

Where I am now

Looking back on my life, I can see how much has changed since becoming vegetarian/vegan. Now I am never sick, I don’t even get the common cold, even when people around me have it. I am connecting with more people than ever before, both around the world and locally. When I talk to people I meet I am much less concerned about their social status, origin, gender or age than before. I am stronger, more fit and more active than ever before in my life. I am working simultaneously on a wide range of projects while also taking many actions and courses to improve my skills. I am constantly realizing and working towards my highest goals and dreams, while also creating a life and lifestyle I never thought was possible for me, while also trying as much as possible to help others. I have never been more at peace with myself as I am today!

To consider

We are all born without labels or names. Calling myself vegan only describes a tiny part of who or what I really am, think and do. But for me, and for this period of my life, it is a useful label to help me guide the choices I make in life, and I think it can do and does the same for many others.

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You are infinite infinities – Some discoveries made when raising consciousness and awareness

If one stays for long enough time in a focused awareness on any one perception of the present, there arises a perception of the absence of everything else. That else we can call the accumulated experience, or the assumed past and the expected future. What does this accumulated experience of an individual being encompass, what has been stored in it? Experiences comes through perceptions.

Examples of perceptions of our outer world as humans are:

  • Sounds
  • Sights
  • Smells
  • Tastes
  • Other body senses

Examples of perception of our inner world are:

  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Dreams
  • Imaginations

All these perceptions can be collectively denominated by different words such as patterns, waves, energies, events to name a few. I will stick to the word pattern for the remainder of this text. They are interconnected and accumulated by an individual being since its birth. Something which is discovered, after searching deeply, is

There are no actual borders in reality!

This can be found in many ways, for example through persistently seeking the most accurate information, or by persistently trying to discover what is the unifying connection between different concepts, by meditation with the goal of experiencing non-duality, or by stumbling upon it. We can see in science that any measurement of anything ultimately comes from an agreement of a model of reality. Equally so in religion. Any faith comes from accepting a original statement. In this, we understand that there is actually no conflict between religion and science, since both has to start with a statement/belief that then is taken as truth. Now before you might say that science is the method of drawing conclusion based on facts, ask yourself, where did those facts come from?

Some interesting conclusions can be drawn from the lack of actual borders in reality is that many things taken for granted, does not exist in the reality outside of the limited experience.

So there is no time in reality.

And there are no separate three dimensions in reality

The concepts of time and space only exist as a reoccurring and thus reinforcing experience. This might seem mind-boggling, but please stay with me.

The personal experience of the universe in each moment can be seen as a function of an enormous structure of interconnected partial structures, where the core stays seemingly fixed. That core part contains among other things the separation between time, space in inner and outer perceptions. But these are also interconnected without any actual border. The experience of there being borders were formed during the earliest parts of our existence. And these borders and the patterns they delimit are mutually arising, they cannot exist without each other in the form they are perceived. Remember however, that this is of course, another model, and therefor not REALLY the truth either.

What deep regular meditation over a longer time can do is to make raise the awareness of the interrelation between all these structures that seem to be subdivided into distinct categories, but actually must, by nature of it being impossible to actually grasp and define any actual border in reality, be at some point, at some level, the same thing. Meditation slows down the intake of perceptions/experiences enough such that some reoccurring patterns and their connectivity to other patterns come up to the surface. They go from being subconscious to being conscious, and thereby can be modified, rethought and restructured. Being in the state of higher consciousness reconnects, reorders and restructures all these perceived substructures, for example by changing or questioning beliefs, seeking new information and accepting new experiences.

Another realization in meditation is that there is no self apart from everything else that is experienced. And so, there is actually nothing left to be afraid, worry about, it is all generated by the same consciousness in the present moment.

There can also not be any limits to what the consciousness is capable of redefining in terms of the experience of reality, and the potential of changes and possibilities for any individual being is therefore infinite. Not infinity as the unreachable end of only a line, because that is infinity in only one dimension and direction. But infinitely infinite, as infinite in infinite dimensions.

One of the fastest ways of changing the experience of reality, apart from meditation, is to accept other viewpoints which one has been resisting a long time as valid, to be possible to hold for oneself. It will then be shown very soon by direct new experience that there is no thing such as true or false about any other beings perception and beliefs about reality, it is only perceived as such in relation to one’s own beliefs. If it really seems incompatible, it might be a belief that has been held for a long time. Examples of such beliefs for a human can be both seen as positive or negative. Beliefs about oneself, one’s parents, different religions, science, childhood, politics, prejudice about a certain groups of people, and many other ideas that maintains one’s sense of separate identity and personality. A drawback of keeping these beliefs it that it will limit the personal development and possibility to learn, improve and expand.

I will end this blog post here, but might come back to it later to expand on certain ideas. I welcome questions, criticism and any other feedback if you have read this far. I would very much like to hear from you!

A vision of the future

Can you imagine just a few decades or so forward, living in a world where there are no longer any borders between countries, because there are no countries. No laws needing to be enforced, no forms to fill in, no need to prove who you are to anyone? Can you imagine a world where there is no need to own or pay for anything, because there is no perceived lack of anything, a world were not only humans but all other animals are recognized as equally treasured beings on this planet, on the same level consciously, and allowed to move and do whatever they want without any fear of anyone and anything? And can you imagine being completely free to move around this world, participating in any activity you would like to, freely expressing and creating together with others?

A change towards this world is possible. By just allowing oneself to imagine it, it starts coming into existence. By starting from oneself, questioning the usefulness of abiding by old concepts, beliefs and structures, both concerning our own personalities and external circumstances. By seeking truth but not stopping and settling anywhere.

Some questions and answers regarding veganism

The other day I got the opportunity to ponder some great questions from a friend who just started her vegan journey. I would like to share these questions and the answers I gave with you:

Question: A lot of vegans have pets, which i find strange because of participating in the breeding industry and i often feel they humanize animals (dress them up for example). How do you see that?

Answer: I do agree that the way some vegans keep pets might not be they way I feel I would like to. On the other hand some vegans seems to have an amazing capacity to heal and help animals which has been hurt or traumatized. So it is perhaps more important to think over what the purpose of the relationship with the animal is, and if it is loving and trusting, in comparison to needy and restricting? Then the dressing up is secondary, it can be just as when you help dress anyone in a loving and caring way.

It can be useful to remember that vegan is a word, a label and only that. There can be a danger in identifying to closely with word or even a certain set of beliefs. Especially if one loses track of deeper positive values such as compassion, love, patience and so on. When a person says the are vegan, THEY as a whole are not the word vegan and the beliefs they or others put in it. They are much more. And the same goes of course for the people that are not vegan. As humans, we need to seek a common ground in order to have a dialogue, which then can lead to understanding and improvement of ourselves and others.

Q: When you’re on a travel, and you don’t know if something is vegan, how do you deal with that?

A: When travelling, I think it is good to do research beforehand to know the culinary traditions, what the most common dishes are called, and what they usually contain. Many places around the world DO have a lot of vegetarian or vegan food, and it is often possible to get a non-vegan ingredient removed or replaced before the dish is prepared when asking at a restaurant. If you have friends in the area you travel to, ask them for advice!

Here in the north of Spain, vegetarians are quite uncommon and vegans even more rare, although I feel that might be starting to change. I have often asked to not have tuna fish added to the salad when eating out, and it has never been a problem. If you explain that you are vegan or vegetarian and ask nicely, restaurant staff often go out of their way to prepare you something special outside of the usual menu. It can be a treat!

If you buy and prepare the food yourself it should be easier. You can buy fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, tubers, vegetables, cereals, algae, mushrooms, herbs from local markets and stores or even directly from cultivators.

Q: How do you react to this common reaction of “do you really know if your salad
doesn’t have feelings?”

A: I think plants feel, but in a completely different way from humans. I think plants are conscious, but not self-conscious. They feel and are intelligent in the way of reacting to temperature, sunlight, nutrients in the ground and so on. But perhaps the question is more often given in context of the moral issue of causing suffering to plants by harvesting and eating them? I do not think plants fear or suffer when dying. Instead I think they just feel a sense of fading away from existence.

I have a personal anecdote to share with you. While picking tomatoes and peppers, I noticed how my own state of mind and intention while picking them makes the process either hard or easy. With an attentive mind, benevolent, cautious, relaxed and gentle in its movements, the plants ‘give’ their fruits to you, they fall into your hand with the slightest touch. It is a beautiful experience!

Life as a game, you as the player

It was an ordinary evening a few years ago, I was playing the immensely popular computer game Minecraft, digging for treasures and building materials and avoiding or fighting monsters. A game I had played for countless hours, beaten and then coming back to again for more. Then suddenly it dawned upon me. My emotional state controlled what I was encountering in the game. If I let go completely of my preconceived notion of the monsters in the game as hostile, they changed behavior and became passive and didn’t attack my player character. I tried this concept with another computer game, the real-time-strategy game Starcraft II. The opponent would never attack until my first hostile thought or frightened emotion occurred, and by being conscious of it, I could control it. It felt surreal for me at the time, as well as it might seem for some of you reading this, but I encourage you to explore this. This is part of the real power of thought, mind and consciousness! For me it was a beginning of a journey where I realized that I wanted to use my energy to be more creative and contribute to the world I live in, instead of being a passive and unconscious consumer. Do you have any similar experience to share?

Set your game mode from survival to peaceful, and we can begin exploring this universe together!

A first personal step towards a world revolution

It all begins with you. Right where you are. Right now.

This website will be dedicated as a hub in the center of some of the activities that I see as most central for the personal evolution in the life of a human, a being with unlimited untapped potential.

Some areas I have thought of covering are:

  • Art
  • Body movement
  • Exploration of the unknown
  • Health and nutrition
  • Higher consciousness
  • Letting go, detachment
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Music and sounds
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Quantum physics
  • Religion
  • Spirituality
  • Unconditional love

Let me know in the comments if you would like me to write about something in particular.