These past couple of weeks we were asked to come up with an ideal religion. What do we think would be the perfect way of life? When I was working my first job, I discovered the Lokai. No, I wasn’t the person who founded it (Steven Izen did), but coming up with a religion based on the whole idea around it is actually a pretty interesting idea. During the time I worked at that job, I found myself constantly struggling with the way the employers treated us and the way my coworkers acted towards their workload, so I realized I need something in my life that helped focus on me other than the people around me. I’m not a very religious person at all so there was no God I could look up to or any reasoning behind why I was in the constant circle of work/sleep/college/work with no balance whatsoever. I started becoming more and more sick of not being able to do the things I used to in high school. After all, how can one hang out with friends, do puzzles and create artsy masterpieces while also going to college and a job full time? So, I stumbled upon this Instagram page where they sold these bracelets and decided, this is how I’m going to live my life. The concept of Lokai is similar to the Chinese’s yin and yang, where they believe everything has either a negative or positive force but there is always a balance in between the two.
Many religions contain a higher power, whether it’s the Native American’s Mother Nature or the Sikhism’s One True Name, the majority of them tend to believe in a higher person. Much like Buddha’s spiritual conquest to enlightenment, the Way of the Lokai is a spiritual journey throughout life. In a way this religion is entirely spiritualistic and helps you focus on yourself rather than having one person choose the way millions of people act.
Lokaism contains a set of hypothetical rules much like the Commandments that were sent to Moses in the Bible. These rules are enforced by the people who you surround yourself with. They are basic fundamentals to how you should act on a daily basis, starting with rule number one:
1. Stay humble when life “gives you lemons”.
Now, what exactly do those few words actually mean? Well, have you ever found yourself in such a good situation while someone close to you isn’t exactly at their best? If you have, then this would be when you get off of your high horse and stay humble to those that are ‘down in the dumps’. Rule number 2 is:
2. Stay hopeful when life gets you down.
For this situation, the question to go with this would be: have you ever found yourself so down about life and you just keep finding yourself in bad situations or only getting bad outcomes? I know I have at some point, but I’ve learned that just because you’re in a bad situation doesn’t mean you have a bad life. Things will get better with time, whether it’s a financial or an emotional situation. Things will get better.
Alright, moving on to number 3:
3. Don’t judge others in general. -> “you do you, they do them”
This rule would be where you hypothetically put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you decide to judge someone on their actions. Whether it’s a religious standpoint or if it’s a debate on politics. There are always two sides to every story.
These three rules are only an example of all ten. The first two are by far the most important, however there are still seven more…
4. Pay it forward.
Elongated Version: When someone does a nice thing for you, try to pay them back in return. Whether it’s a material thing or just good advice.
5. Animals are our friends.
Elongated Version: Just because this is one of the rules, does not necessarily mean that this is a vegetarian religion. You can still eat animals, just not the ones that aren’t meant for food. Which is why this “rule” is tricky. You can still hunt IF the animal has a chance of overpopulating, however if you see a turtle in the middle of the road, help it. If the animal was raised for slaughter, you can eat it. If the animal isn’t bothering anyone, leave it be. Animal fighting is bad and illegal anyways. Adoption is always nice and there shouldn’t be a limit to what animals you can and cannot have in your household, but that’s getting into changing a law so I’ll just leave the expansion of this rule at that.
6. Seven Deadly Sins are a real thing. Rationalize which ones you partake in.
Elongated Version: The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. It’s impossible to not partake in some of these so rationalize the usage of them if you ever decide to participate in any of their acts. Adultery is taboo, much like menstruating women are to the Native Americans. Using Johnny Depp’s quote, “If you love two people at the same time, choose the second one, because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.”
7. Don’t force your way of life onto others.
Elongated Version: If you believe in this religion then you have no right to force your beliefs onto someone who disagrees or follows another organized religion. If someone does not like to eat mushrooms, then you cannot force them to eat it and like it. Follow your own beliefs and stay out of other people’s business.
8. Take pride in what you choose to practice (college degrees, art, etc.).
Elongated Version: Do not let other people’s opinions choose what makes you happy. If going to school for art is your passion, then do not let other people talk you out of it because they believe it is silly or useless. Follow your own dreams and happiness and don’t let others bring you down.
9. Respect is a two-way street.
Elongated Version: Someone cannot simply demand respect and go around disrespecting everyone else. If you would like to be respected by someone then respect everyone else just as you would like to. For example; If an elderly person tells me that I need to respect them I will as long as they show me the same kind of respect. I will not call them ma’am or sir if they constantly call me worthless and no good.
10. Live a balanced life.
Elongated Version: Everyone needs a good balance between work and fun. One cannot spend their whole life just having fun and running away from responsibilities. Work hard and strive for a great career while you spend your days off having fun and relieving stress. You should work for what you want and not expect handouts. But do not forget to relax.
Along with these rules, there is also a system behind it. Much like how Christians go to church on Sabbath Day or when the Pre-Aryans sacrificed dairy products to their gods, Lokaism has its own system also. If you’re going to follow the Way of the Lokai then you must wear a Lokai bracelet to symbolize living a balanced life. There are many different types of Lokai bracelets, but the original ones are the ones people should wear on their wrists. Similar to how Jewish males wear kippahs on their heads for a sign of respect to God, Lokais would be a daily reminder to live by the ten “rules” listed above. Now one might ask, why should we wear these specific bracelets when we could just buy a yin and yang symbol and show our balance with that? Honestly, because these not only symbolize living a balanced life, but every time one is purchase money goes towards a noble charity such as, Make-A-Wish or WWF. There are many different colors; blue, purple, camouflage, neon rainbow, red, pink and the original clear. However, each one is made with a white and black bead on either side of it. The white containing water from Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, to symbolize rule number two. While the black bead contains mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, to symbolize rule number one. The beads in between are where rule number ten comes into play. These bracelets are unique in their own way, much like Lokaism would be and how all of the other religions have their own uniqueness.
Along with the wearing of the bracelets, I believe everyone should have at least one hour of creative meditation to reach their creative Zen in some way. Much like the Buddhists would meditate until reaching their point, this way would involve some act of creativity. During this hour one might read a book, draw a picture, write a story, paint a wall or even rearrange a room. Even if some people aren’t artistically capable of drawing, having at least one hour a day to think or act creatively would generally help expand/relax/calm down their mindset when they are stressed. This would be similar to doing yoga like the Hindus, except it would be yoga for your mind. It’s always a good idea to expand your creativity in ways you don’t think you can. People participate in “100 days of makeup” or “a drawing a day for 365 days” kind of challenges all the time and having that hour to fully bring out your creative side would help a great deal. Also, if you find yourself in a creative block during this hour, it wouldn’t hurt to try yoga instead since it is good for the body. Plus, this meditative hour wouldn’t necessarily be at a certain time because everyone has to live their own lives, as long as they stick to their faith by always following the Way of the Lokai, then they should be capable of choosing what hour they decide to use.
In conclusion, the Way of Lokai is a laid back religion that is big on being at peace with one’s self. It takes pieces of other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Everything put together makes for a religion that helps relieve stress and makes the most out of the follower’s life.