HONORING A LOVED ONE: BROTHER DANIEL
The Beat Of Brotherly Love:
A Portrait Of Daniel
To be awake, aware and take consistently measurable action that's in alignment of ones mission requires considerable focus in every moment. For mutually beneficial relationships are built on a foundation of authentic values, constructive criticism and supportive strategies. In certain social interactions, the positive dynamics can evaporate in the heat of stressful pressures. Whether it's personal or professional, sometimes we get distracted from our well balanced principals and lose sight of the larger perspective.
All too often I've been involved in situations where for the most part, negative reports have a higher percentage of the communication, unless things seem to be going agreeably within the boundaries of the unspoken plan, in which case conversation is inclined to remain casual. I think we should congratulate each other more often when we notice someone performing exceptionally. We all want to fit in somewhere and be acknowledged for our achievements somehow. We all would like to feel in harmony with the collective flow of humanity and be accepted as healthy contributors.
Now is the time to remember that we can choose to celebrate a person for their efforts and point out how even the minor things they do can have a major influence in our lives. One would be fortunately blessed to have even just a single person in their life who is unconditionally supportive and could be called a true friend. If such a person exists in the inner circle of your life, they deserve to be shown how much they mean and what a difference they make.
It doesn't have to be reserved only for their birthday or Christmas, it could a be spontaneous surprise that shows your appreciation, and that makes it even more special. It could be trading a text message for a phone call, an invitation to share a cup of coffee and deep conversation, a drive to the beach or a walk through the mountain forest. How about a hug? We who are still alive and trying our best in this mad world, are worthy of receiving recognition and being rewarded for our courageous expressions. And if you're searching for significance, I say look to yourself and you'll find the treasure of strength.
This article is devoted to one such individual in my life who has had a primary hand in helping me making it through difficult times, as well as adding complimentary value to the adventurous quality of my livelihood. I am happy to highlight here my interpretation of honoring a loved one through the lens of brotherhood. It is a service in sincerity that I humbly compose a feature portrait of my brother Daniel Whipple, as he is right now on his 36th turn around the Sun. He alone, more than any other person I know (perhaps with the exception of our parents), has willingly made countless sacrifices for the sake of my cavalier account. Without his generosity, I don't know where I would be, but I bet it would be a sad story to tell you in place of this comparative significance.
Please press play on the track above to listen while you continue reading, because Daniel would dig that and it's a perfect soundtrack to accompany the writing that follows below. (click here for more from, Wolves In The Throne Room)
Sometimes I feel like I owe him everything and yet he never asks for anything in return. His favors seem to have no end and he gives more than he takes. The average person could put themselves at an extreme disadvantage by acting with such an ascetic disposition but Daniel displays no signs of discomfort or resentment. I can't think of anyone who has shared some reasonable time and space with him that would say they felt like he stood first in line for a piece of the pie. (Perhaps with the exception of a pint or two of beer and a third pitcher to back that up at the brew pub. In which case you might want to keep a close tab on him.)
He will give out his last dollar and throw in some extra cents, just for the goodness that's in it. He will gladly give up the couch and choose to sleep on the floor for the hardness that's in it. He will actually shut his big mouth and listen for a change, which is refreshing in the noise of today's loud world. He will not only hear out what another person says, but will also be able to thoughtfully consider opposing opinions and offer smart solutions with expert discernment. He will be the first one to show up at work (even after that epic night of raging it up at the bar, like a boss), take care of the tasks of two team members, run a few circles around the third and then finally be the last one to leave.
It's a rare and precious thing to know and have someone in life that can be unconditionally trusted, shares lots of common interests and pursues complimentary passions. Daniel and I are on a similar path and our visions are in alignment. We are usually in agreement on whatever is the subject of the day might be, but naturally as one would expect, we don't always see things from the exact same point of view. This is of course a key ingredient to the dynamic evolution of relationship diversity. It's almost as if ours is a classic example one might find in a textbook on brotherly bonding. A little of this here, not too much of that over there, fill in the rest like so, improvise what's missing and it's all good to go.
No it's not always easy for me to deal with him but when all is said and done, I can't imagine it without him. Daniel always does his very best and it wouldn't be exaggerating to say that the world would definitely be much better off with more people like him in it. He is a force of good and is dedicated to finding ways to improve himself and inspire others through example. Despite any limitations of our childhood and against the odds of a challenging civilization, Daniel remains undaunted and refuses to compromise in mediocrity. In his search for more magnificence, he has survived being thrown into the lions den of domestication and fought for his freedom.
He is now finding his own personal strategies for thriving on his journey and his future looks brighter than ever. I submit that he is the genuine article and has come a long way to this day with a wealth of experience and a rich story to tell. I would like to draw your attention to him as an artist of life who's aim is the activation of his fullest genetic potential. Although he didn't inherit the handsome genes that seemed to completely skip over him and were instead saved entirely for me, it must be said that amazing grace has rather gifted him with the ability to articulate with wit, depth and humor, among many other talents. So rather than reading any more of my own lofty words, I invite you to learn directly from him. I think you'll agree, he's got that crazy Whipp Appeal™.
Continue on to the enlightening interview and bonus content below. But first, here's what some of his friends have to say about him....
"Daniel is my best friend. His values are multitude. His character is solid. He is a very funny person. He loves the world, deeply cares for the people In it, and is actively trying to make it a better place. He is probably one of the most consciously aware people I know. I really miss him." - Kenneth Chmiel (best friend)
"Daniel is pretty neat on a molecular level. And by pretty neat, I mean really cool. He's always willing to share his goodness while lifting a smile and rubbing his elbow against your elbow, in a good old fashioned kind of way. With or without actual hair, Daniel's presence is always warm and delightful." - Dusty Grimm (old friend and master musician)
"Today, just days before his birthday, Daniel Whipple took me to his favorite wild nettle patch. Herbalist's often keep key harvest spots to themselves when the herb is a rarity in an area. I have found that Daniel is ever generous in sharing his discoveries, with no thought of what he will receive in return.
In many ways I relate Daniel to this sacred plant we call stinging nettle; first off, he has a raw poke and provoke type of demeanor that is sure to cause one to become present and really aware of their actions… not to mention laugh a little too! The sting is really nothing, but just maybe the surprise at such a rare vessel of authenticity and sharp yet honest wittedness. The medicine out-weighs any initial reaction, for it is nourishing, abundant, giving, unconditional, humble, and profound in it's own unique wonderful way.
This is the strong rooted character and morale of a panacea; a being that carries a transformative grace for any and all that come in contact. Rudolph Steiner called the Nettle plant 'Heart of the world' because it radiates healing energy to people and the plants all around it." - Illup Gravengarrd (good friend and alchemist of life)
To see more images of Daniel, follow his feed on Instagram.
That I didn't grow up in Portland, but in Beaverton [satellite suburb] mostly. But, when in Portland until about nine years old...
Dad leaving for then unknown reasons when living on 39th and glisan street. Playing with Brigid [sister] on the tiny balcony at that place.
Exploring all the hallways, closets and places to hide at our new house down the street that seemed like a mansion. Especially being by myself in a narrow side yard that was dark because the next house was right there and the two houses didn't let in a whole lot of light. I see the small pieces if broken glass mixed in with the dirt and other debris that had collected there, the mysterious pipes sticking out of the house whose purpose perplexed me.
I remember hanging out on the roof with you and Brigid and talking about jumping to the next house, which we never did. I remember moms sewing room, classical music, too hot in the warmer months, the sounds of the machine whirring. Being made to take a nap in her room. I would lay there, sometimes just reading through her sunset magazines or sewing magazines until I thought enough time had gone by and I'd go in to her sewing room and feign tiredness so that I could be released.
Playing tag and lava monster on the lawn, sprinklers in the summer, one summer a pool before the water froze one year because it wasn't put away that fall and the ice cracked the cheap plastic. Sleeping in the backyard during the summer. My eight or ninth birthday party that Julia [sister] planned but none of my 'friends'(kids I mostly didn't know who were coerced by their parents into going) wanted to play the games she came up with and she cried, I felt bad and really didn't like the kids who came over but I don't show it.
Having to move out of that house. Mom really believing that god would provide the money to stay, but he didn't and the church we were going to gave us no support. A couple of Georgia's [sister] friends helped pack up and load us up. Boxes of papers I went through, coming across mom and dad's divorce forms. Empty, cleared out shelves. Even then, looking around, trying to burn it all in my memory. The dining room and the table cloth, the way the room smelled during the later part of the day when then sun came in. The big, potted plants and the drapes. Having pancakes for dinner sometimes and licking the plate clean.
Wonderful Christmases in that living room. Pajamas, hot chocolate, gifts of clothes, bikes that mom and dad put together, a couple years there was snow outside. First getting cable tv and watching mtv, Madonna was on.
I could go on and on. it seems that most of my memories of Portland are centered around that house, as opposed to doing anything in the city.
Most memories of Beaverton afterward are tinged with the smell of the hot wood siding of the fircrest manor apartments during the summer. Magical Christmases that were miraculously out on by mom with pot potpourri on the stove, white lights, tons of fudge and cookies. Mom trying to go to school. Fourth grade and the story of Dorian gray. Picking up smoking at 12. Not getting into too much trouble because I didnt like the consequences.
Didn't really like Beaverton. Richer memories of Portland but some details of Beaverton, like hanging out behind the walgreens in the woods, finding a treehouse with lots of old porn magazines at the base. Stealing baseball cards and nearly getting caught. beaverton was growing up and getting into trouble.
I read a lot. Lots of Stephen King and other horror. Michael Chriton too. Going hiking with dad or camping on the weekends. Going to the park with dad and playing baseball or football. Really, just going to dad's on the weekends. Playing video games over there, watching TGIF, eating ice cream and other junk he cooked up, driving out to the airport at night and watching the planes fly in. Sneaking out to wooded areas of schiffler park, smoking cigarettes and hanging out. Listening to heavy music with Britt McGinnis [old friend] and reading metal edge magazine. Watching movies with mom, especially when he made fettuccine alfredo with baby shrimp and put on Mafia films.
Loved going to the grocery store with mom. Watching her bake and licking the utensils and bowls after. Getting new shoes and running as fast as I could after getting home. Watching football with dad.
What did you love to do in high school?
Research for semester projects. Never wrote a paper but did all the research. Ceramics. Photography and developing the black and white film. Change the reader board with you and Nathan [old friend].
What do remember most about your teenage years?
Swimming at the Beaverton swim center and being jealous of the kids that could afford to go to Dairy Queen after. Walking home and my skin itching everywhere from the chlorine. Really liking girls but no girls liking me and feeling awkward and a little ugly. Being depressed because school and life was so pointless.
You and I running away from home because mom hit me. We hung outside of am/pm, waiting for people to put their cigarettes out in the ashtray and we'd take them and smoke them. I remember mom drinking a lot and writing. or getting into new age and redecorating the house using feng shui. She was angry a lot because she wanted more money, less struggle, kids that were less crazy and she wanted more fulfillment I think. but nonetheless dutifully making everything happen to make sure we lived and had enough.
Becoming a Christian and spending all my time reading the bible or going to church and youth group. Being in a youth group band, learning how to play the drums. Having extremely powerful spiritual experiences in China before coming back to the US and being super disenchanted by America and the church.
Getting my first job at Starbucks and absolutely loving it. Picking up a shift at pioneer square Starbucks and meeting Kenny [best friend], who I thought was so cool because he was a Christian and had tons of tattoos.
How do you define the work you do and what's your favorite part about it?
I consider all the work I do to be inner work. Inner work that takes place in any environment. I happen to be in a place right now that is more conducive to my inner work, acting as front of house manager for Chocolatree Organic Oasis. My position is called Light World Bridger and part of that entails bringing a conscious, loving attitude and awareness into a mainstream retail restaurant place, for customers from all over the world and my co workers.
But more importantly is the true inner work that is taking place. The inner work of seizing the day, and knowing myself in the context of the divine universe. The inner work of growing in the awareness of universal love and gratitude at every opportunity I can. My favorite part of it is all the mistakes I make, because I grow and learn the most.
What makes you feel successful in work?
When I can see the veil of this constructed reality thin, revealing natures truth to a larger degree.
What do you believe about yourself that helped you become successful and deal with hard times?
I saw from an early age the fruitlessness of domesticated humanity and have been open to newer and older ways of being, willing to make journeys into uncertain terrain, accepting hardship for growth and lasting, deep joy. Never accepting mediocrity, false security or a milquetoast mindset. realizing that I will always be learning through unlearning, listening with silence and never thinking I've reached the end. I was given only what I can bear, and I want to see just what that is.
In my late teens, I pictured life as if I was in a space ship in front of all the buttons, gadgets and levers, not knowing what any of them were for. I decided that it would be the most adventurous to just start pushing and pulling all of them to see what happened. I saw what other people were doing with their spaceships and wasn't interested.
What times in your life truly challenged you and what did you learn about yourself by dealing (or not dealing) with them?
The first was being really depressed when I was 16. I taught myself to view my emotions from a more objective perspective. This allowed me to go deep into the depression and fully feel it, to actually enjoy it and learn about life during that time, instead of rejecting it, running from it, avoiding it, trying to cure it. Using it as an opportunity to experience being a human being. This allowed me to do this will all emotions, and instead of being controlled by emotions, I began to work with them, to harmonize with them in a more integrated way.
The second was losing my faith in christianity while in bible college in India. Studying a westernized religion so intensely in India called into question everything I had been told was true. Without going into any detail, it was shattering and literally traumatizing to my mind. Thank god. I became deeply angry at god and human society for all the lies and confusion and slavery and became self destructive with alcohol abuse. It took nine or ten years of deconstructing myself and unprogramming all the lies which I achieved through heavy drinking, writing, painting, thinking and going deep into my mind and heart and traveling, frequently changing my scenery and challenging myself by removing false securities that would dull my senses.
I finally realized that I had never been angry at god, but at the image of god I had created and allowed to be taught to me. That in this domesticated, fraudulent version of human existence, there was no truth, only mental, spiritual, physical and emotional prison and slavery. I learned that in order to know God, to know myself, to know what it is to be human, to be a part of this integrated gestalt that is this world on earth and beyond, I would have to make adventurous decisions. To say, fuck off! Get free! Love and love's the only thing!
The third challenge so far in my short 36 years here, was to stop drinking and to let reality really set back in. I used alcohol for most of my adult life thus far to allow me to access feelings and thoughts that were much harder to get to sober. The challenge was to let that crutch go and to take steps to really get free. It's much harder to deal with reality and be real. So much easier to have lofty thoughts and keep them there, abstract, perfect, ideal. Getting clear, I am forging ahead into even deeper territory of authenticity and reality. No longer clouded by inebriation, the veil between the seen and the unseen is disappearing even more. Subtle and radical personal truths are being shared with me in quiet contemplation of nature.
What three events most shaped your life?
One night when I was 16, going through a deep depression, I woke up in the middle of a winter night. It was snowing outside. I went and woke up Michael [brother] and we snuck out of the house and walked to schiffler park. The large open field of grass was covered in fresh, untouched snow. It was very dark, very cold and totally quiet. It was the first time that I was touched by the divine, real presence of God as revealed in nature.
Having the citadel of western religion be obliterated by God when I was in India.
You making my first green smoothie and cacao smoothie, setting in motion my journey in physical health. Slowly, over years, this deep nutrition changed me on a cellular level, enabling me to make choices that only a higher vibration could do.
What three words would you say best describe who you are in life and how would you want to be remembered?
Metal. Love. Forgiveness.
What do you think the world needs more of right now?
Less stuff. More empathy, love, forgiveness and gratitude.
What do you believe people want the most in life?
Well, as my hero, Kurt Vonnegut used to say, it appears to be pretty obvious to me that humanity wants to die, based on the collective decisions we're making that are affecting our shared environment. So I'd say in that respect, that what people want most in life, is to die. However, as individuals, we want most to be accepted and loved.
What were the three best decisions you’ve ever made?
The first three, whatever they were, because I am who I am because of them.
What are you most proud of in life?
My beard, my wolf dog Ama and my desire/ability to be quiet in nature for long stretches(never long enough).
What were five of the most positive moments of your life?
Learning how to ride a bike. Playing live music. Learning how to use breathwork during sex. Hearing God tell me the reason I'm alive while riding my bike home from work when I was 31.
Hitch-hiking from kalamath falls with you.
What message would you like to share with the world?
Reconnect with nature whenever possible, more and more.
What are you most thankful for?
The heart knowledge that I am loved more than I can possibly imagine. In this, I can dwell in the magnificence of the divine creators generosity.
The internet is a sensational tool that can help keep us connected and growing together. If you're called to connect with Daniel and give him a shout out check him out on Facebook. If you like the style of my content and other written materials, I'd like to hear from you and can also be found through any of the social media icons at the bottom of this page.
The internet is saturated with diluted distractions and I try to deliver services and ideas of the highest quality I'm capable of. Time is one of the most valuable things we have. Life is precious and too short to not notice what's underneath someone. Thank you for investing the gift of time to hear and see Daniel's life story so far. What better way to say we care, than by devoting some time to truly understanding life through the lens of another conscious person? That's empathy. That's real.
This blog is for you, bro. I love you. Keep being a great person.
One of Daniel's playlists of his favorite bands on his Spotify music profile
Daniel's debut album of solo guitar music