The Apothecary

“You are cured of the poison.”, the apothecary said to Xanto, “Go forth and let this be a lesson in dealing with dregs. They dispense nothing but evil. They may not all be as cunning, cold and malevolent as this one, but you will not find what you are looking for in them.”

Xanto remained stoic. “My vision is clear. Thank you, kind sir.”

The dregs seemed so far away now but the haze was visible in the distance, a warning reminder.


Cake is something that I like but that I don’t have very often. It seems accessible enough, but to me remained a special occasion thing. The tradition in my family was that everyone had their favorite cake. For my father, that was blackberry and every July 30th, she would bake him a blackberry cake and we would eat it. For us kids, the cakes started as themes.

“What do you want on your birthday cake?”, mom would ask. For me it was airplanes, I think my brother had a moon cake complete with a lunar lander one time. I especially remember my 5th and 7th year cakes, with little toy airplanes on top them.

As we kids got older, the themes of superheros, popular culture icons, and aspirations would fade and be replaced by flavors. Me, I like chocolate cake. As much as I like chocolate, I find chocolate icing on a chocolate cake to be too much, so my icing of choice is white. Pure white sugar is still a tad too much, so i’ve taken a shine to the Betty Crocker “cream cheese” flavored icing.

So there you have it, my favorite cake is chocolate with faux cream cheese flavored icing.

As a young child I didn’t really care for the blackberry cakes that my mother would make for my father. There was no icing, it was a bundt style cake. But over the years I grew to appreciate it and I looked forward to them. I also grew to look forward to my special cake.

When I got married, my spouse took over the tradition of the cake making from my mother. And then, as our marriage started winding down, the cakes stopped. At first replaced with my favorite pie (Cherry), and then not at all.

My first birthday after my marriage ended, I decided to make the cake for myself. I got a couple of cake pans, and followed the directions on the Betty Crocker box. While my cake wasn’t perfectly shaped, and crumbled a bit as I iced it, the taste was there. It felt good to do this for myself. I got what I wanted and it was the way that I wanted it.

This year, the second birthday on my own, I have a girlfriend. She is sweet and she wants to do things for me. After my birthday passed without a cake, the next weekend I told her that I was going to make myself my favorite cake.

“I can bake!”, she said. She wanted to make me the cake. She asked my favorite and I told her.

Here’s where I need to take a little detour and explain something about myself. I am pretty selfless and conciliatory. i am an introvert and I like to be alone a lot. That said, I believe we are here in this world together and for the purpose of being together so I try and try to understand and be a part of human society. People say that I am quiet. I can tell you a thing about my introversion and one of the principals behind it. I believe in being courteous. To me, that means not intruding on another’s time, life experience, or even expectations. I stay out of people’s way. I don’t believe in bothering someone unless I need something from them and can offer something in return. I am really self-sufficient. This is all courtesy to me.

This courtesy, this politeness, this selflessness – it gets me into trouble. I really don’t like letting people down even to assert my own enjoyment, happiness or preference. But then I am disappointed in myself and the situation. I chalk it up to being with people and that is work. Sometimes it is really just “enduring” – that’s the word I use in my head as my patience wears thin and my “nice” filters drop a bit.

So back to the cake story. While I insisted that Betty Crocker mix and icing was just fine, my girlfriend insisted on going to the grocery and getting all of the ingredients to make it from scratch. I didn’t have a mixer, so we split up the shopping and I went to get the mixer and she went to the grocery. This cake cost almost $100. I was really disappointed with the money spent and she says “I’m just trying to do something nice for you!”. It was clear to me then that I should’ve insisted on Betty Crocker.

In the end, she made the cake that she wanted after hours and hours of taking over the kitchen. She’s someone that works hard, not smart. My frustration was more that I was stuck babysitting and unable to cook dinner while she did this. Finally at 9:45pm I went out and cooked dinner – whipping up a pasta, alfredo and ahi tuna dish in 15 minutes.

I am thinking about making my own cake – in a clandestine manner to save feelings of course. Maybe that will at least appease myself and my expectation, but I hope that writing this journal about my interactions, biases, and expectations will fulfill whatever the bother truly is. The end result cake is very rich and sweet and I don’t think I’ll be eating any more sweets for a while.

I can identify with wanting to do or make something for someone that you think is great, but isn’t what they want. Our own biases and expectations seem to come into play even when doing something for someone else. This will serve as a reminder to me to be aware of this and to be conscious of fulfilling the needs/wants/desires/expectations of the person that I’m wanting to do the thing for instead of bringing my own taste into the mix.

Burning the Citadel

I am not afraid to be alone.

I crave a deep intimacy with another person that I have never found.

Deep intimacy requires knowing, sharing and understanding. No one has ever understood me. They have tolerated me in return for what they wanted.

I am learning my lesson about settling for less.

People say that I am too trusting and naive, too honest. I know no other way to love.

If love means building and maintaining boundaries to protect myself then it doesn’t seem real to me and I don’t want it.

The trick is it doesn’t start out that way. It begins as a place, a ritual and then a citadel to honor that place and ritual. In times of stress it becomes a rallying point and then that point must be protected and before you know it the citadel is a fortress.

If I am building a fortress I want us both to be in it against the world.

What a Phoenix Doesn’t Tell You About the Fire

When a phoenix molts from one life to the next, it does so in a dramatic fashion by making a funeral pyre.

An observer would assume that this is painful but quick, however time stops while the phoenix is engulfed. Seconds become hours, days, weeks, maybe years. This cleansing via fire does not come without punishment by the same method. Such are the dry parallels of the phoenix existence. Each glimmer of hope corresponds to long stretches of agony.

One hopes that over time the glimmers get longer and the agonies get shorter until finally there is only hope and the phoenix can emerge into a new life.

Abridged Chapter: The Mission of Marcus

They paused.

The afternoon was growing late. They had prepared for what seemed like months. Xanto had trained Marcus on what to expect. Now it was time for Marcus to begin his journey. It would take days. There was nothing left to say. Neither remembered the time long ago when Marcus had first run this type of errand for Xanto.

Xanto wondered if the greatest archers would pause like this after lining up their shot. It wasn’t that he was contemplating not sending Marcus. Now that the time was here and all that was left to do was set him off on his way, this pause wasn’t a validation as much as a taking in of the world before it would become changed forever.

Godspeed my friend, he thought as he smacked Marcus’ horse.

Now the waiting. Xanto pondered what could be done in this time. How would the journey change Marcus? What would transpire during this time? He wondered not if Marcus would succeed, he knew that he would. The world seemed to be changing, and not of Xanto’s design. He wondered how the world would be when Marcus reached his destination, if the payload he carried would be right or even adequate to the task. He felt a nervousness now that he hadn’t felt in a long time.

Perhaps it wasn’t the world changing that was so concerning, but Xanto changing his mind about poking a stick into such a dark place. Saxstonia certainly had other priorities and this move might throw the kingdom into a civil war.

If character is measured by the punches that you don’t throw, and regret is filled by the shots that you don’t take, humanity must lie somewhere in between.

Molting Is More Painful For Humans

Xanto stepped into the clearing, if you could call it that. There was a break in the trees that opened up to the sky which was gray and dark. He didn’t remember this place at all. It didn’t seem completely foreign but he wasn’t even sure that he had been here. Like a place seen for the first time after being pictured in a dream.

A stone bench stood above the grass. It was taller than a bench made for sitting, more like an altar really. He certainly didn’t remember this. How long had he wandered? Aged and weary from the journey, he disrobed and laid on the bench, arms outstretched. Facing the sky he closed his eyes and threw his head back. It started to rain. It was a cold, cold rain.

It seemed to take forever. Weeks passed, there was no day in this place, only night. Xanto didn’t even bother to meditate, what was to be seen here? The rain finally stopped, or maybe he just couldn’t feel it anymore. The sky was clearing. Stars were appearing in the night sky, and a finally a slight glow. Xanto wasn’t even sure if it was coming from him at first.

“This is so much more painful for a human”, Xanto remarked, “at least as a phoenix you molt quickly in a pyre of warm flames. You are finished and reborn within an hour and I am days even months.”

The Phoenix appeared suddenly but was perfectly still as if it had been standing there invisibly for some time.

“It may seem an unpleasantry Xanto”, it said, “but this is a miracle really, especially for a human. Try to dwell on the positive, it will help things along. Change is hard. I believe it must be painful for a phoenix but I never remember. At least you keep your memories.”

“The memories prove to be just as painful.”

From Lonerwolf: Involution; Inner Transformation and Self-Discovery

Originally from Lonerwolf

“Most men will not swim before they are able to.” ~ Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)

In my years of Self-Exploration and teaching something has become very clear to me; only people who have grown frustrated, dissatisfied, disappointed or spiritually disenchanted enough with their lives and society will seek to explore alternatives to change or transform their lives, embarking on spiritual journeys.

Most people, if they find themselves content with the way things are, will not venture to explore the depths of the ocean and learn to swim. However, sometimes people fall into the water by accident, as was the case with Buddha for example, who grew up sheltered in an illusory world free of death, illness and aging until one day he encountered all three; motivating him to renounce his perfect, wealthy lifestyle in search for answers and spiritual fulfillment.

The process of Self-Discovery towards Self-Understanding is a very difficult and perilous one; we risk losing all the false beliefs and habits that compose our identity.

Who Are You?

Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this. ~ Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 19:14)

“Who am I?” This is the question you venture to answer when you begin your journey of Self-Exploration, or your search to “Know Thyself”.

All of us have been brought up through a process of “socialization”, that is, the cultural social conditioning that has influenced what we believe and perceive. We are born with the innocence of children, but slowly, we are taught that we have a name, a nationality, a religion, that certain ambitions and habits are respected and admired by our parents, teachers and peers so we should strive towards attaining them.

As we grow older and learn to speak, these sounds in our head known as “thoughts” begin to pop up. A simple stroll around the park, for instance, presents an unsocialized child with the sound and sight of birds. The parents, feeling they are helping their child, tell him that this bird is called a “Crow” and the other is called a “Kookaburra”. Thus, little by little, the child’s sense of awe and fascination is replaced with thoughts and words that cloud the experience. Instead of focusing on the beauty of sights and sounds, the mind focuses on labeling and classification.

Through socialization we are taught a variety of social expectations, values, beliefs and thoughts, which give rise to a variety of feelings within us. These include sympathies and antipathies, love, hatred, expectations, attachments, patriotism, habits, tastes, ambitions, convictions, memories and all sorts of things that begin to form our “identity”. This process contributes to us losing perspective of who we really are, causing us to focus on all the changing, relative and ephemeral qualities in our lives.

We also develop a false sense of free will, of freedom that makes us feel content and in control of our lives. Yet our behavior is guided by our beliefs, and our beliefs are often unconscious. When I ask someone “why do you support *insert sports team*?” often I’m met with an “I don’t know” until eventually I uncover their decision is based on either their parents or friends influence, cultural background or ethnic heritage; all of which they had no choice or control over in the first place.

Exploring our depths, our inner selves by observing and inquiring, will slowly rid us of the many false beliefs we once held so dear. When we embark on the journey of self-discovery, we start seeing through our false identities, as well as the ambitions we once were ready to live and die for. Slowly we find that all of these things prove to be quite meaningless and slowly we begin our Involutionary Awakening.

Fighting Fire with Fire

All instruction is but a finger pointing to the moon; and those whose gaze is fixed upon the pointing finger will never see beyond. Even let him catch sight of the moon, and still he cannot see its beauty. ~ Zen Saying

The moment you begin to search, you’ll start feeling an immense sense of emptiness in many of the discoveries you make. A lot of what you once thought was important proves to be quite pointless, and you develop a feeling of seeing too deep and too much.

The truth is, our minds cannot handle uncertainty, we struggle with the immense inner voids we come across in our journeys, the feelings of being lost. Our minds need to cling to something. We need hope, we need to believe in something. But until we complete our Involutionary Journey, we won’t be able to feel the totality of our inner selves.

So where do we begin? At first we need a starting point to begin our quest of Self-Discovery, a stepping stone to cross the river. Books, workshops, meditation, online articles, tests, documentaries all offer mediums to find information that we might identify with. A lot of LonerWolf’s content, for example, is dedicated to writing about different types of people and lifestyles, and of helping us to identify with these different “labels”. This website is one way of assisting those who are interested, in finding more about themselves and also spreading awareness to those who don’t understand themselves and other people. This is one of the greatest tools of Self-Discovery; the internet’s ability to make us aware that there are more people out there like us, and to assist us in the process, helping us to develop self-love and acceptance in the process.

But these labels are just the beginning of the journey, and reveal only a small aspect of ourselves, piquing our curiosity to explore more, to see what else can be uncovered. To a mind that identifies itself with thoughts, we must search for other thoughts or words to identify with.

Most people aren’t very interested in Self-Exploration unless it provides some solace to their problems, and many of these labels do that. They come at the cost, though, of people clinging to them as a definite end rather than a means towards greater discoveries. It’s important to remember this: no person falls entirely into a “label” 100%, everyone has different degrees and different qualities to them.

In our journey of self-discovery, it’s also important to be aware that labels can hinder the growth of a person. When we label ourselves something fixed, finite and static (as is the nature of dead words), then it does not allow for us to change or to grow. I have observed people who have labelled themselves as “Introverted” growing to enjoy more extroverted activities through time, in essence, developing more “ambiverted” qualities. I’ve helped people identify as “Bisexuals” who also later developed “Pansexual” attractions, as well as Old Souls who felt they weren’t because they enjoyed gossip and social gatherings.

Belief in labels can also influence your behavior, limiting what you think you can and can’t do based on what that label specifies. Many people feel empowered by the labels they attribute to themselves, but the difference amongst those who pursue the path of Involution is that there’s much greater power in feeling limitless, unbounded and unconfined.

Labels, words, thoughts – they are all very limiting to the power that is available to those who are willing to, through their senses, experience it. A Taoist parable might illustrate this well:

Lao-tzu once told his disciple, “he who knows, cannot say. He who says, cannot know“. His disciple then asked him to explain what he meant by that. Lao-tzu said, “have you ever smelled a rose?“ The disciple acknowledged that he had. Lao-tzu replied, “Ok, so you know the smell. Now describe it.

The word “Rose” is a label, all we can do is try to describe its smell with associations by dissecting it and explaining through comparisons that “it’s a bit like this, mixed with a bit of that”. But we can never fully encapsulate what a rose really smells like. So if we can’t label something as simple as the smell of a rose, how are we to label something as complex as a human being?

I Am . . .

The more you Self-Explore and Self-Discover, the more you’ll move down the path of Self-Understanding. But whenever you make the mistake of thinking you have arrived at the conclusion of “I found myself! I know who I am!“ Ask yourself this, “Who is it that knows? There would have to be two people within me to know myself: the ‘Self’ and the ‘Knower’ of that self.

Total BS

We spend all this time writing songs and plays and movies to convey the way we feel to other people, instead of just telling them how we feel, Mostly out of a fear that they don’t feel the same way about us.

So let’s apply some game theory here.

Person A likes Person B, Person B likes Person A, one tells the other = happiness x 2

Person A likes Person B, Person B likes Person A, they don’t tell each other = miserableness x 2

Person A likes Person B, Person B does not like Person A, Person A tells Person B = awkwardness x 1.5

Person A likes Person B, Person B does not like Person A, Person A does not tell Person B = miserableness x 1

Choosing to act yields a chance of awkwardness or happiness, but not acting at all assures misery.


I haven’t touched this site in a long time. It has been down for a few years even.  I haven’t had the urge to write really. Not much had happened and I found some other outlets.


Recently I have had an awakening of sorts fueled by some new realizations. Reading through these posts I am embarrassed that so many are song lyrics.


Restoring the site has been relatively easy, but I am going to be moving it to something more future proof than WordPress.


I am also considering if I should write outright or still through stories. Maybe a mix of both.