Today’s Thoughts on my Motivation for Hiking the Appalachian Trial


This photograph was taken on my iPad on 9/11/2011 in the Emory University mental hospital.  I just found the photo today after taking my iPad out during my making and MS Excel spreadsheet of all my gear.  I am planning on letting Derrick use some of my gear.  I do not need it all and want to help him have a good thru hike as my partner at the beginning of the trail.  Who knows if we will make it to Katahdin together, but it is nice to have a partner in crime at the beginning.  To my left is the book, A Walk for Sunshine: A 2160-Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail.  It will be a model for my book.      The photo at the top of the post represents my second time in a mental hospital.  My friends from the David Lynn laboratory snuck my iPad, a yoga mat, and a copy of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project into the hospital.  In the hospital I meditated, did yoga, and read the Arcades Project.  Little would I know that I would be working the Walkabout App, an app that empowers the cyber flâneur.  According to Wikipedia, “The flâneur was, first of all, a literary type from 19th century France, essential to any picture of the streets of Paris. The word carried a set of rich associations: the man of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer, the connoisseur of the street. It was Walter Benjamin, drawing on the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, who made this figure the object of scholarly interest in the 20th century, as an emblematic archetype of urban, modern experience.[1] Following Benjamin, the flâneur has become an important symbol for scholars, artists and writers.”  I see my hike up the Appalachian Trail as a psychogeographic drift known the the Situationist International as dérive as described here.  Enough theory.  I took the following photograph ofWalter Benjamin’s Arcades Project by standing on the bed in the hospital.  They gave me lithium and Zyprexa, the sledgehammer of antipsychotics.  Little did I know that Zyprexa would put 50 pounds on me in 6 months.  More on that later.  Lithium carbonate at 1200 mg destroys the kidneys.  Here is the photograph of the Arcades Project.

IMG_0007 In considering my thru hike of the AT, I want to try going drug free.  I have a protocol of how to get off the medication as described here.

See this video from the top of Springer Mountain for my motivation.

Regarding the second hospitalization, what had happened was that on 9/11/2011, the second anniversary of 9/11/2001 I was in church at Glenn Memorial after accepting Christ as my Lord and savior and listening to a sermon on the resolution of the terrorism war in Ireland between the Protestants and Catholics.  I had my Qur’an and Bible both in hand, and my brain exploded with anger.  I screamed “Jericho 3,” the name of Israel’s new nuclear missile.  My thought in some clear blunt words was, “These fucking Americans allowed Israel to test a new nuclear missile able to hit New York in 2007 while we were putting innocent Muslims into Guantanamo Bay Prison and torturing then by waterboard.”  A couple of years later, I realized that I am not crazy.  The people in that church were crazy for letting American turn into Orwell’s 1984.  So maybe I have bipolar disorder I, but I am free in that I am disassociated from the lust for money.  I do not want money if it oppresses people.  I would like to live in a cave in Moab with people over being part of a system that kills 100,000s of people out of fear of terrorism.  I address this in my poem Descent of Man.

As I learned in seminary at Princeton Theological Seminary on 10/11/2012 at 11:07 am in Old Testament class, poetry can heal.  I failed OT because I could not tolerate the idea of God as a blood thirsty tyrant.  The true Spirit is peaceful and loving.  In that the Bible is dangerous a little.  As President Obama said, any time religion and politics mix problems like war occur.  Thus the three lines in my larger poem Descent of Man,

Mountains do not do politics,  today, we are doing deserts, tomorrow, we will build the mountains peacefully.   



This is reason I am a poet.  I dream of creating a book of poetry, art, and narrative about my experience with healing with the Spirit on the AT on a Cyber Pilgrimage with my friends to raise awareness of peace, love, and justice.  One friend gave me these notes on 2/2/2015 about how to publish my book.  Thank the Spirit for him!


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InnerLight Enlightenment by Dr. William Kaya Erbil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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