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Dragon Ball Z & La La Land: Evolution into The Ideal

The world is an extremely surreal & magical place. Life is always happening and we get to take part in it. That’s why Shakespeare still resonates in 2024. I'm a 25 year old Ethiopian Toronto artist but I relate to this 16th century British poet because the situations & emotions are transcendent, & we are just going through our own specific version of them. Love, family, friendship, beauty, feelings, motifs, all of these things are part of the human condition & have been here as long as trees and will be here way after us individually, and part of being an artist is truthfully communicating the experience to map out the terrain. 


Nobody has a full map of life, we just have whispers, allegories and tales of it that we’re always building upon to get a better view of what's really going on like Marvin Gaye said. What I do know is that the real thing is beautiful, & we get glimpses of the ideal & life as it truly is in the most intimate of moments. 


A lot of us are on autopilot through life, but once you become conscious and aware of the moment, the more in tune you are with the temperature, then with inspiration, the love, the winters bundled up with your family, a pink sunset, the scent & warmth of fresh waffles, cold winter evenings, the smell of dark roast coffee in a dimly lit cafe and the memories of you happy in another point in time with someone who will never cross paths with you again, nostalgia and melancholy, the sweetness of your favourite candy, those summer days with your best friends, being in the pool with your siblings & cousins, those days on the beach with someone you loved, the memories, that’s access to the transcendent dimension. 


Life is amazing and full of miracles, it's actually so overwhelmingly beautiful, but we’re sold & kept focused on bastardized and commodified versions of the real thing & we're kept distracted from fully appreciating the real thing & making actual decisions based on our free will. We get replicas of the real thing and confined to mediocre forms & copies of the ideal, and the ideal is so beautiful, and you feel it the more conscious you are, and the more decisive you are, and the more you make your decisions out of truth, inspiration and love.


Life is like the movie la la land. The characters in la la land are all chasing these dreams, from the opening scene its a group of people in traffic in Los Angeles and they all break into this colorful song & dance number about their hopes and dreams and that's fundamentally what a city is, but even further than that, its what a city like Los Angeles or a town like Hollywood is. 


A city is a hub of people's dreams, every store you go to, every mall, every item, every restaurant, it's all someone's dream come to life. People go to Hollywood to make their dreams a reality, to be this star they saw in a movie screen, people abandon their families, friends, and other aspirations, they sacrifice their time all in the chase of their dreams, which in a capitalistic society entails fame and wealth. We’re sold false replicas of reality & the dream.


Film is about capturing truth. Its capturing beauty, painting, hieroglyphs, the idea that this is so amazing I need you to know about it, soulmates, friends, beautiful women, noir, fog, neon lights, cold wind on your skin, headphones in your ears, musicians performing, smoke coming out of your mouth, snowy streets, creamy bagels, the greatest fables, images that last, light hitting your face in the right way, shadows, wind rustling through leaves, all of it, but in the world of the mainstream entertainment industry movies are just another job and creatives are just employees to keep the machine moving.


The characters start the movie in traffic, which is symbolic of where the protagonists are constantly at in life, and where a lot of us live. We all live in these autopilot transitionary moments waiting on the next thing instead of being conscious of the moment and aware of real life happening & making decisions with our own free will. Life is the transitionary moments and its every moment you live that makes up your life, there's no transitionary moments.


Emma Stone & Bradley Cooper's characters Mia & Seb are an aspiring actress and an aspiring musician. Mia is too busy rehearsing her lines in traffic to see that the light turned green, and Seb who was impatient because he was in a hurry was honking at her so she flipped him off.  


Seb moved to hollywood to be close to jazz clubs Miles Davis used to play at, & open his own club, he keeps getting fired from restaurants he works at because he wants to play freeform jazz and he’s being forced to play a corny setlist. 


Mia is an aspiring actress that works at a coffee shop on a film lot and she keeps going to auditions and getting turned down by people who barely care about her because there’s a million other people who look exactly like her auditioning for the same role, so she’d pour her heart out in the performances of lines someone else wrote, but it would just be interrupted by a phone call or a secretary, and she inevitably would never get a role. 


They’re both in the traffic of life, getting glimpses of the dream, getting close to it, smelling it, being around people that do it, doing it at smaller levels, but none of it was the ideal, that real thing they were chasing that kept them in traffic, but they both had a strong connection to authenticity and to the ideal.


They were being pushed around by fate and other people instead of being active decision makers and participants in their own lives, and whenever they would become decisionmakers it seemed like things would only go bad as seen with Seb getting fired when he started playing freeform jazz at his restaurant. 


Mia and Seb first met when they cut each other off in traffic, then again when Mia left a party full of social climbers and fake industry people, & she heard jazz coming out of a restaurant, and it was Seb playing freeform jazz and getting fired. 


They kept running into each other in less than ideal circumstances when they were chasing their dreams. Mia was in a relationship at the beginning. Seb eventually went to Mia's workplace and asked her on a date, she told him how she started writing plays as a kid because she fell in love with her aunt's storytelling, and how it was her connection to this family member that led her to pursuing this dream. Seb convinced Mia to start writing her own plays again, and he was planning on opening his own jazz club. 


Seb wanted to show Mia real jazz music, and how it was alive, how each player was reacting to the other, how it was created in hot smoky rooms in New Orleans with these people who didn’t speak the same language and were forced to communicate through the transcendent language of song, and Mia told him how she grew up with Kenny G and radio jazz, this commodified plastic version of the real thing where people left it on in the background and talked over it, which is ultimately what the illusion of Hollywood was and what they were both simultaneously chasing and running away from. Mia & Sebs awareness of what’s corny and fake was showing their connection to authenticity and the ideal.


Mia went to a dinner with her boyfriend but after being unable to engage in the surface level dinner conversations, and listen to the corny jazz being played over the speakers, Mia decided to break out of her boyfriends fake ass party and run into the movies with Seb and turn it into a classic night, that was the beginning of Mia being an active decisionmaker in her life.


Seb showed Mia James Dean movies, Miles Davis songs, they went to the observatory where they saw Nikola Tesla coils, and when they kissed they danced in space because they were transcending who they were into who they really are, outside the confines of capitalism and language, space & time, into the real transcendent human soul experiencing the moment and acting on its free will. 


The movie shows how through time Seb got jaded, Mia was scared of chasing her dreams, she quit but he’d inspired her to keep going. Seb went from inspiring Mia to chase her dreams into playing for a band he hates because it paid well, Mia became upset & insecure that nobody came to the play she made and the ones who did trashed it. They started drifting apart from each other because responsibilities kept piling up. 


Seb & Mia both reminded each other that there was a real dream and it wasn’t the thing they kept settling for out of fear, out of fear of not being enough, out of fear of not having enough, out of fear of humiliation, out of the comfort & safety of not really making your own decisions and being at the whim of other people's desires, dreams, choices, and subjugation.


In the end Seb and Mia broke up, they went their separate ways, Seb opened up the jazz club, Mia moved to Paris to be an actress, married someone else and came to Sebs jazz club, we then saw a montage of what their life together could have been like if they stayed together, and then we saw Mia walk out of the door after sharing a last glance with Seb. 


The real thing was the decisions they made by their own free will, their relationship, the love they felt for each other, the love they felt for their families, for music, their level of inspiration, their passion for their crafts, life and living, the moment when they’re singing city of stars and Mia starts laughing, the reality is Emma Stone & Bradley Cooper in that room living out their dream having that moment singing that song together transcending the medium and representing that beauty. 


I think la la land is an example of our fleeting grasp of these ideal realities, this infinite stream of possibilities and dreams, some of the ones your limited mortal body might have to let go of to achieve others in this capitalistic space time world of opportunities & incentives, and while that's true, you just have to decide what's most important, focus, act and work towards manifesting it with maximum effort & the best intentions to achieve the ultimate state. 


Nikola Tesla said if you want to understand reality think in terms of energy, frequency & vibration. Everything is a frequency from sound, to colours, & the more you actively decide to curate your frequency to what inspires you most, from what you wear, what you listen to, what you talk about, what you think about, it all manifests the frequency you live in & you can tap into beauty, love, joy, abundance, sweetness, creativity, inspiration, motivation, gratitude, experimenting, earning, & learning, in search of the highest good for everyone. 


We can transcend space and time through our minds, we can conceptualize the future, we can think of the past, and our compass is our emotions, the memories we had and the memories we want to live and create.


The 3 dimensional plane reality isn’t always the ideal, we can’t live in every possibility at once, we start off as dumb babies and figure it out, this world is dense and we make mistakes, we do have fear and we do have lust, we are kind of monkey like, there’s nature, there’s other people, but the ideal exists, and everyday we evolve, and it's our job to evolve towards the highest good, and we will be faced with challenges and obstacles, but it's our job to act in love & bring the vision to light. 


All you need to know to do something is to figure out how to do it, and then get it done, you don’t need anything other than what you have, use what you have around you to accomplish your goals, do what you feel and do it out of love, master your limitations, people build cathedrals from rocks, take any situation and turn it into a positive, everything is neutral its just how you react to it, you can turn anything into a benefit & a positive, you have to vibrate at the frequency of the life you want, everywhere you are is where you’re meant to be and where you want to be, everything you are is what you believe about yourself, you rise to the levels of your highest concept of yourself, your life is what you feel is possible, don’t think, feel, follow the emotional grid to vibrate at the frequency of what you want, the perceivable physical world is a reflection of higher dimensions with different rules of movement & time, use feelings, thoughts, & emotions to vibrate on what you want.


The only thing that separates the hero from the coward is what they both do in the moment that makes them who they are. Once you start seeing yourself evolve and you build a few things you start seeing what the possibilities are. We’re all evolving into who we really are everyday and every moment & situation is a test of the future we want to create. Are you getting stronger or weaker? Are you getting smarter or dumber? Are you operating on fear or love?


Akira Toriyama just died yesterday and I can’t help but think of his concept of Super Saiyan being the most accurate description of this thesis. The first thing I ever remember drawing was Goku, one of the first shows I remember watching was Dragonball, one of my core memories is coming home from kindergarten to see Gohan headbutt Raditz. My entire generation grew up loving the dragon ball series and it's because there’s something so self-evidently true about it. 


The entire dragon ball series is based on eastern spiritual and martial arts philosophies, and it started out with Goku the monkey boy that wanted to find dragon balls with his friends and learn martial arts, & it ultimately turned into this cosmic space opera about this nearly extinct race of warrior aliens that were focused on reaching their highest potentials, and that might seem like an insane progression, but it feels like the most accurate gradual realization of what real life actually is. 


We are all saiyans, this warrior alien monkey race, and we have the abilities to destroy entire planets, or we can be Godlike. Goku is benevolent, he’s constantly seeking competition only to enhance his own abilities and reach his full potential, he shows mercy against his opponents, he’s constantly getting stronger, getting smarter in terms of fighting, and he literally finds a way to fly without a device. 


We don’t know what we are at our highest potential, we have glimpses of it through other people's greatness. Seeing someone that inspires us gives us glimpses of what we actually are & our full potentials. 


I’ve seen Muhammad Ali so I know what’s possible physically, I’ve seen that speed, I’ve seen him lean back from those punches, that was because he was in tune with that moment, consciously observing everything that was taking place and reacting to it with his elite skill that came from decades of training starting from 12 years old and honing his craft until he became this next level ultrainstinct version, and that comes from centuries of fighters developing and evolving boxing, and that’s on top of millenia of human beings evolving their nervous systems and their ability to move, Ali is an evolution of all of that and its visible, and every fighter that comes after him is influenced by him because he achieved a new level, and then you can see people like Floyd Mayweather look like Neo in the matrix in terms of defense because everyone made the entire field better, the same way that Goku turning super saiyan opened the floodgates and everyone including small children became super saiyans, because everyone realized what was possible and that they were operating at a lower level than they could if they really gave it everything they had. Nobody turned super saiyan for centuries because no one could conceptualize it until one of them was enlightened and everyone could see their own potential.


The world is full of entropy & chaos and trauma, we’re constantly living other people's dreams and projecting our own insecurities and problems, sometimes Frieza wipes out your entire race, which is a humiliating experience, and it might make you bitter & nihilistic like Vegeta and Nappa so you go around destroying planets and harming people, but sometimes you’re like Goku and you don’t have any attachment to any of that because you hit your head on a rock as a baby, so you’re free to become who you actually are, to transcend the limitations placed upon you & to become this super saiyan, and to transcend that, and to keep transcending to see what your full capacity really is without the thresholds of class, and race, and ethnicity. 


Vegeta was an elite saiyan prince in his society and Goku was a low class warrior, but because Goku didn’t grow up with that programming he just knew he was Goku and he loved his friends & family, he wanted to fight and he wanted to get better, and to do that he had to fight the strongest people and learn from the strongest people, he just loved the innate challenge of evolving towards his best self, and that’s what martial arts or getting better at anything teaches you.  


Basquiat was known for waking up in the middle of the night to paint, and doing it everyday almost religiously, he was constantly conscious and making creative decisions based on inspiration to get better, to evolve, he shaved his head one day, then grew out his dreads, they all marked different evolutions of him becoming this super saiyan, or this fully actualized person. 


When I look at people like Tupac, you can see him transitioning into his final form, through his tattoos, his work ethic, the things he started to say, everyone talks about how much we missed out on because everyone can see his potential, the idea of potential is this unactualized version of ourselves, who we would be if we really gave it all we got, if we allowed ourselves to fully be who we really are given the most ideal circumstances, if we really focused all our energy into becoming the greatest versions of ourselves, we would become that thing, the ideal, perfection, the real thing, or as close to it as we possibly can. 


The series dragon ball is ironically the perfect representation of this idea, you see the animation get better, the story get more detailed, the world get bigger, the characters more fleshed out, Toriyama let the story tell itself and the characters to tell him who they were, as he progressed in the world and evolved through his creativity. 


The original series was just a glimpse into what the story really was, characters that weren’t even born or didn't exist when the series was conceptualized were foreshadowed and influenced by the beginning of the series because it was authentic storytelling, and sure there were some plot holes here and there & its not perfect but neither is real life. 


Toriyama got better as Goku got better, him and his friends grew just like krillin, bulma and yamcha, he was realizing his potential through the characters and trying to reach his full capacity, and the more he learned the more he realized he could do, the more he went through the more he realized he could handle, the further he got the easier everything got, things that used to seem like obstacles started becoming effortless, and ultimately you do end up with this ultra instinct godlike power because where else can you go? 


When I look at any of my heroes, Basquiat, Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley, Tupac, the only thing that made them who they were was the work they did while they were in the world that showed us the superheroes they really are, cause ultimately they were just a baby that was growing up & going through a bunch of situations, and it's what they did with that ball of energy that makes them who they are. 


We barely know who we are & we know not what we may be, we’re constantly distracted, but the more you tap into the moment and you decide to make decisions & get better and to evolve into the most beautiful, elegant, graceful, joyous, inspired, effortless, greatest expression of yourself that’s free and in love, awareness and connection with all things, that’s when you develop these superhuman capabilities, because you’re actually making decisions, and the more you conquer fear & resistance, the more you learn, the better you get, the better your experience, the better the experience you create for yourself & everyone else.


There’s really nothing to fear but fear itself, there’s no divisions and we have the ability to get better, and to make everything around us good & better, and to make everything the best, and to go towards good, and to create the most good and beauty and inspiration for everyone.





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