Sunday, March 7, 2010

BMX Legends Interview with Chase Gouin

Chase Gouin interview starting 12/29/05       
by Glenn Mehltretter


I grew up watching freestyle grow into a sport, when I started riding, tricks were hopping and
balance in nature, but Kevin Jones and his friends (The Plywood Hoods) changed everything, and
in my opinion, I would have to say that Chase is the second best flatlander in the world EVER. His
style and speed is still a force that can’t be ignored. He has ridden his bike all over the world and
is constantly on the lookout for those rare parts that he loves. He holds himself to an extremely
high personal riding standard and his tricks have held the test of time. I witnessed him do four
decades in a row on my bike way back in 1991. Probably the hardest trick I have ever seen. We
have all seen the interviews from over the years with Chase, but here are some questions that I
have wondered about, as well as some posed by members of

Glenn:   Chase, in one of the Dorkin video’s you were pondering the following question. Many
years have passed since then, are you any closer to determining. What is the meaning of the

Chase:  The intro to my section in Dorkin' 4 1/2 it said Goal: Find P.U (purpose in universe). I may
have already told this little story before as to why it said that. It was the first time I had
"successfully" gotten stoned on weed and was riding. Kevin and I were doing whiplashes down the
college hill (in the Dorkin' vids). I did a bunch of whiplashes and then turned around and looked
back up towards the top of the hill and saw the wooded area behind it. I yelled out to Kevin, "What
purpose universe". Having never perceived anything in that particular frame of mind before, I think
I said this because I visualized myself as a tiny little insignificant spec in comparison to every thing
and just uttered that question. This was when I was still in the brainwashed and conflicted
dogmatic haze of Christianity so the question didn't get any further thought. Years later, after I
had dropped Christianity and the idea of holding any religious belief system as the ultimate truth
to existence, I could go back and look at that question with a clean slate, unaffected by any
predetermined concept. So here is my simplified and very short answer as to what I think the
purpose in the universe is: Nothing and Everything. I mean NOTHING in the sense that since no
one knowable ultimate truth (in regards to how, why, and when existence came to be, who or what
"force" if any, is supposedly behind it all, and where we are going after we die) can be determined
with any amount of proof or accuracy, then we have no ideal model upon which to base the
course of our lives as far as a final desirable outcome is concerned. In this sense one would think
that we can have no purpose, and it could be viewed as a negative or defeatist perspective on
life, drifting aimlessly without any reason for being. But it is precisely BECAUSE OF THIS that the
true beauty in boundless possibilities becomes available to us. This is the foundation of my
second / one in the same definition of the / my / your / our purpose(s) in the universe which is...

Glenn:        When did you realize that you wanted the bike to be a part of your life forever?

Chase:  There was never one day or moment that it became apparent to me in the sense of a
separate "realization" followed by a "conscious decision or commitment". It is just something which
has BEEN ME. Let me put it this way to be more clear: I never once thought that while I was still
breathing that I wouldn't at least be continuing to keep trying to ride.

Glenn:   What bike are you riding now (2006) and what components do you have on it?

Chase: I am still riding the original Gouinothing frame. I am waiting for a custom personal frame which will have the same geometry but with some
improvements. I run Odyssey race forks (Yes, I still run the full forward dropout offset position,
probably only a few others in flatland who still do). I run a prototype version of my signature
handlebars which will soon be coming out from Odyssey. I am hoping for more signature parts
from Odyssey so I will refrain from describing the rest of my bike in detail. ODI hooks me up with

Glenn:   Everyone has a trick that is the first trick they do when they hop on their bike for the first
time each day. Mine checks out the brakes and tire pressure to see if I will have issues and if the
bike feels “right”. What is yours?

Chase: Well, I suppose I’m guilty of  doing this, though if I rode enough (without the seemingly
endless setbacks)  then the muscle memory would stay engrained and I might be able to start with
any tricks whether difficult or easy. I do change it up once in a while randomly, but very generally
speaking, maybe some rollbacks and wheelies, plus no brake whiplashes because they involve a
sort of fluxuating balance which forces me to adapt and gets the nerves calmed down a bit and
works the bugs out. I don't have to check the air pressure because I would have already made
sure the tires were at the proper PSI before I left the house. I’ll notice 5 PSI less and won't stand
for it.

Glenn:   After a really hard day on the bike, you usually are ready to chill for a while, what do you
like to do in your downtime?

Chase:  My life has been pretty boring and dull for a while now. It seems like with the onset of
some bad anxiety conditions and tendonitis and winters, I’ve really been struggling to maintain
basic skills in recent years. Since I’ve had my own place for a few years, I’ve become a major
loner. I really don't do anything else that is worth speaking of. I’m always alone and it suits me just
fine actually. I've done some exercises, chill with some mellow tunes, maybe wind down with some
T.V at night like South Park. Fiddle a few poems here and there. I’m waiting for my U.S border
clearance and getting a car so those two things should improve my quality of life a bit. But
generally I’m ok with staying on my solo riding mission: eat, sleep, ride, recover and repeat that.
Seems mundane, but if my riding is doing ok, then that is all I live for anyway. Like it seems as if
doing only one thing would wear on me no matter how much I love it or feel I have to do it, but it's
the variety within the flatland which is what I strive for. Maybe my addiction to and passion for
riding doesn't appear to be justified by my lack of  skills these days, but I guess that is where my
battle is... in continuing to try matching my ability with the size of my inextinguishable flame and
desire to do it well. So far I have failed, believe me.

Glenn:   Injuries are a major bummer in any extreme sport. How do you cope with your body
breaking down from all the years of abuse, and does it affect the types of tricks that you attempt

Chase:  I can give a lot of legitimate reasons for why I might not try the harder stuff as much;
some might sound like excuses unless you were me and lived it all. But yes, putting one part of it
simply, physical injuries (in my case the tendonitis in both arms) set me back pretty bad. And
anyone who knows that time away from riding for any reason, but especially from injuries, will put
you out of touch, cause fear and hesitation, and then hesitation causes your worst fears to come
true and it's a vicious cycle which is a hard pattern to break. One could describe this as some
degree of anxiety about the anticipation to do what you want but not being able to get
there. The body and the brain need to work together. And when they don't, just the nervousness
of the awareness of that can be an issue in itself which compounds the problem. I suffered the
physical injuries but also got hit with a period of panic attacks which almost was the end of me so I
thought. The anxiety disorder combined with the tendonitis has made it so that it seems I’m
perpetually just trying to revive my riding to a respectable level for myself for years now. I am still
struggling immensely with this even though my arms hold up better now and the severe anxiety
episodes have somewhat subsided. All of this is depressing so there is that to deal with as well.
So, yes, it all affects what tricks I try and what tricks I can do. But I’m not giving up just yet.

Glenn:   "Looking back at the history of freestyle through today, what is your favorite part ever?"

Chase:  The parts which I could not have done without have been the Suntour coaster brake hub
and R.L Edge tires and of course the Gyro and Potts Mod. I can't imagine riding without the R.L
tires. Actually, I can and it's frightening.

Daniel W on wondered a few things;

What is the greatest flatland trick ever?

Chase:  The question itself could even be analyzed as to what is meant by "great". Like does it
mean the most innovative or most used trick in flatland, or the most difficult to pull off. Without
getting too into it all, it is safe to say that Kevin Jones invented almost every basic trick position
used in modern flatland. It is easily agreed upon also that each one of those tricks were great
accomplishments which came together to form the foundations of the tricktionaries of almost every
flatlander. This would be considered a great thing in itself in that without those tricks, who knows
what would have become of flatland. Kevin invented the greatest tricks and did some of the
greatest things with them. So many other riders have come up with awesome variations,
combinations and routines. I could not name one trick or describe one variation or combo which is
THE greatest of all time. But there are certainly some incredibly exceptionally talented riders who
blow my mind.

What tricks or types of tricks were the hardest for you to learn?

Chase: Generally speaking I always picked up tricks fairly quickly. Looking back, I was on a
course of learning as many basics as I could and doing as much with them as was reasonable to
spend my time on and then moving on. Almost everything I learned was related to some other trick
I had already done because one thing lead to the next and so on. Because of this I don't
remember having extreme difficulty in pulling any trick/variation I wanted to for the most part. That
is not to say it was easy or that I had it all dialed because I didn’t. I don't think I would change
anything about the course of or types of tricks I worked on because it did keep giving me a good
base to work from. Plus, once I started going in a certain direction or directions with variations or
combos, I would place originality (or at least doing something  with my own little twist that I had
never seen) above the idea of dropping what I was doing and learning a  completely different
concept just because it was popular or whatever. Yet I'm sure that that approach could also have
its advantages.  But there was so much to do with the basics that I HAD established that I simply
could not do everything else at the same time (only dream of being that good). The downside is
that I left out some trick concepts which to this day I have not gotten into and would probably have
some serious trouble with. So my answer to this question is that the hardest tricks for me to learn
are still in front of me. This is besides the fact that everything is harder to do these days, even my
old stuff. But whether it be pushing some of my own style variations even father, or taking the time
to learn some old Kevin Jones stuff just to see if I can actually do it, I would say that my biggest
challenges are still ahead of me.

In your opinion who are the top 5 flatlanders of all time?

Chase: This is another impossible question to answer definitively. The word "top" could mean who
does the hardest tricks, or even who I thought possessed greatness in all aspects of their riding
as well as who they were as people. The reason I chose these guys is because there probably
isn't any trick concept that any of them would be stumped on. I'm sure there are even more guys
who fit this definition. I am nowhere near being on this list. That is not false modesty either, it's

Kevin Jones
Ross Smith
Chad Degroot
Dylan Worsley

Another poster on RM125 asked;
Since you learned all those opposite sided tricks, do they ever feel awkward, or do they feel as
totally natural as your normal sided tricks?

Chase:  I did pull a bunch of opposite stuff throughout the years, mostly the basics. But I don't
feel I ever truly LEARNED it all in the sense of being able to do it as naturally as whatever my
regular way was. Some of the really basic opposite stuff maybe yes it felt normal after a bit, but
sadly enough I can't honestly report much more than that. A lot of the time I just wanted a
challenge to see if I could do it, and of course it helped string a lot of combos together which
otherwise would not have happened, but I never totally mastered a lot of opposite identical
combos. It still always felt forced and awkward and seemed to tire me out so much faster because
I was more strained doing it. It kind of sucks. I was supposed to much better

Glenn:  That brings up an interesting question. I remember watching you way back when you
scuffed with the same leg as your peg leg. How long did it take you to become “double footed”?

Chase:  Although I did learn to coast and scuff with either foot, somehow it still doesn't feel the
same on everything. I mean, scuffing and straight line rolling is not a problem with either foot, but
spinning or kicking the tire never felt as stable or comfort able or powerful the opposite way. I can
spin basic stuff counter clockwise and kick the tire left footed (like "propelling" kicking style stuff
which is a term I used), but not great. But it took me less than two years to be able to coast with
the right foot on the peg and scuff right footed in all the basic moves I could do at the time. My
regular way strong peg coasting foot AND scuffing foot were both the left foot at first. My right foot
was the regular strong kicking foot. I was somewhat handicapped at the point when riding went
from hopping tricks to all this other stuff.

Glenn:   "Many people consider you one of the top flatlanders ever, and from many of your
responses it seems that you don’t have a very high opinion of your flatland skills. Having ridden
with you in the past I found you to be one of the most focused, dedicated riders I ever met. Where
did that focused drive come from, was it learned, or were you just born with it?"

Chase:    Thanks very much. I don't pretend that people don't think of me as one of the top
flatlanders, but it is MY opinion of myself which I feel to be more accurate, and not skewed from
videos or rumors or the hype that tends to happen. People see tricks and often form conclusions
on what the person must be able to do based on that. It could be true that what they see is the
bulk of what the rider can do, or that the rider can in fact do much, much more. When I say that I
never got as good as I should have or that my skills are seriously lacking these days, I am
absolutely not being disingenuous. I may have said some things in the past which could have
been misconstrued as boastful or egotistical. This was likely just voicing that I was semi stoked
about what I had done or was doing. On the other hand I also have a simple theory on insecurity
and ego and how they are connected. Basically no-one can be entirely secure or confident about
everything. If they said they are, they are fooling themselves, because even if they actually were,
there is no way of guaranteeing that the confidence will be justified in the end which casts doubt
on the confidence whether they know it or not. So I feel that our egos compensate for the
necessary insecurities and our insecurities are the necessary pitfalls of any confidence we may
have. Both are required to survive. The insecurity causes the doubt which forces enough egos to
try and do something about it, to push forward. In short, this may also partly explain why we can
simultaneously be doing things which we think will help ourselves AND blatantly engaging in self
destructive behavior.

I got a bit carried away there and branched off. Anyways, to finish addressing the first part of the
question/comment about me not having a very high opinion of my riding: Only I know where I was
going with my riding and the potentials which I felt could possibly be achieved. For a lot of
reasons, never got there, is what I’m saying. On the other hand it could also be argued that I
achieved much more than I ever imagined possible. It could be that both are the truth, or
something somewhere in between, or neither. It was what it was and it is what it is. I actually never
set out with any consciously deliberate plan or ultimate goal, because I was too naive and just
riding my bike since that is just what I did. I could go on and on about what might have made me
better, but regrets are useless because time machines don't exist. I don't buy the theory that we
have to tell ourselves we suck in order to get better, because if we were satisfied then we would
not push ourselves. I honestly feel that by riding and getting better and feeling good about it, it will
naturally pull me in the direction of wanting to be EVEN BETTER because I keep getting a taste of
higher levels. That is what I have always essentially strived for. I’ve done that a bit but also failed
to keep it up because of personal problems and set backs.

The second part o f the question about where the drive and focus came from etc, maybe I’ll dig
into this one if you don't mind. I was definitely "driven", but never felt that I was focused. I felt
scattered, distracted and conflicted which could have made me angry enough about not being
able to focus more that I used that anger to blast through. I also have a very plausible theory as to
why I was driven or so bent on riding. Before you say "here he goes again" even going so far as
to blame other sh** for the reason he was a good rider, just hear me out. My mother was raised
catholic (but later found the "right one" Pentecostal Christianity) so her mother was a very stern
and strict catholic. When I was born, my grandmother told my mother "the best ways to deal with"
a crying infant in the crib. She was told and followed the directions of both denying picking me up,
but also on top of that, to spank me in the crib. The reasons were because if I was picked up and
held, it would "spoil" me, and the spanking was to re-enforce who was in control and apparently
punish the "bad behavior". These ideas are f***ed up even if the child were any age, let alone a
new born baby. Now, first of we know that a baby can only be crying for a few legitimate reasons;
either hunger, or need of diaper change, restlessness, discomfort, just the basic need to be held
in this frightening new place, or possibly a medical condition. The reason cannot be out of
"disobedience" or "testing the parents". This is and should be common knowledge and you would
think that the natural motherly instinct would be in order here. But even before I found this out at
age 30 when my mother finally cracked and felt the need to tell me this (and only because she
went to a seminar which happened to mention the detrimental results of it) I had already figured
out that religious beliefs can cancel out the most natural human traits, such as common sense. In
this case, the religious orders over-rode the nurturing instincts which should have been acted on
by my mother. Belief is dangerous in so many ways because it claims to have a set of rules or
answers which cover the whole spectrum of problems we face... so how can those always be
adequate?  Belief is a cheap way out of thinking for yourself and facing the problem head on.  It
stops the free thought mode and is stuck on one way of seeing things. It has only hurt us, and
slowed down the progress of evolving our awareness of ourselves and communication to the point
of learning how to truly "get along”. You know I could really get into this. But, back on track. So try
to make sense of this: a mother decides to get pregnant, care for the child in her womb, prepare a
home and all the essentials, but when the baby arrives, her idea of a welcoming committee is to
ignore and physically strike. I have spoken out before of how beliefs also cause these un-seen
inner battles within people which are never tended to, while we all just think the other worse stuff
like religious wars etc are the only problem. Well, the battles have to start somewhere, and that is
within the individual. And the battles occur to various extents which are all tied into the more
noticeable issues in the world. But no-one knows how to self assess the conflicts they are in
because it is part of the belief to not question it. So having said this, are we of the hook, or solely
to blame? Mostly likely both, and one in the same. This means we cannot draw the line to say
where the brainwashing begins, because once it is in motion, it is self sustaining. Therefore how
much can we ourselves be accountable for the thought patterns and behavior which were not our
"choice" to be fed in the first place? There has to a point, or opportunities along the way to
discover that we have been misled, but we don't even know how to go about noticing them. This
brings me to an impossible dilemma of what to say to my mother in response to her confession of
this. Do I say that I forgive her because she didn't know any better? And if I say that then I might
as well excuse everything that everyone does under the influence of dogmatic belief because it
was out of their control. This cannot be the answer because existential philosophy clearly puts the
emphasis on personal responsibility.

Anyways, with all loose ends remaining untied, I’ll proceed to explain how all of this may have
affected me. Is it such a far stretch to assume that if an initial bond is not established upon
entering this world, that there very well could be "detachment issues"? It is irrelevant that I cannot
consciously remember the time period in question over 33 years ago, but none-the-less they were
EXPERIENCES which occurred. And who can deny that all our experiences in one form or another
are the main contributing factors to the kind of people we become? If I never felt close to anyone, I
would feel "distant". If I felt distant I might lash out in various ways to compensate. If I felt distant
from the same person who made me believe I was a "sinner", this can only increase feelings of
worthlessness. How might I try to make up for this? Possibly throw myself into an act which I did
alone so that I could be the one in charge of punishing and rewarding myself. Could it be that I
took it out on myself? Could it be that something which is supposed to be "fun" was for me a
necessary escape and meant life or death at all times? Or was I just running in the direction I
should have been going anyway which was towards myself, towards the center of all reason for
being alive which was to self express. Wait.. To self express the turmoil of the above mentioned
reason for escape from the fact of feeling no connection with anyone? That can't be the case, can
it? Was something that I called my own only caused from the default? And if this is true, then how
can I take any credit for being "driven" when I just described some probable theories for the
reasons of that drive. Yes, I put in the effort, but what were the forces and mental/emotional
problems behind that effort which fueled it? Am I a stupid screwed up kid with a sick obsession to
ride which is beyond my control, or a brilliant premeditated self made artist? Who really knows?
The truth always "lies" somewhere in the grey area.

Glenn:        "What is your favorite trick today?"

Chase:    I don't really know if I have a favorite trick today or ever. The types of tricks I did and the
ways I did them probably had a lot to do with what was going on inside me. You may have got the
idea of "desperation" when watching me ride. So I don't think I chose the tricks which I favored, but
rather the tricks I did were chosen by what they had to be in order to survive. The tricks were very
symbolic (or just outer manifestations using the bike) of how I felt.

Glenn:        "If you had a choice would you ride by yourself, or with someone else, and if you
wanted to ride with someone else who would that be?"

Chase:   I have been riding by myself for years now mostly and even without music. Sometimes I
think that riding with someone else would be cool and even push me a bit, but there is little chance
of that happening right now. I would probably choose to ride with people that I have a history of
riding with and good memories of the progression involved. Kevin Jones, Brandon Fenton, Scott
Powell.  Even though I have only ridden with Bo Wade a few short times, for some reason I feel I’d
be ok with that. Generally speaking I’m "not ok" so I exist in quirky spaces and am never really

Glenn:         "What is your best memory from flatland?"

Chase:    My times in York with Kevin. My times in Cleveland at Chenga with Scott and Dave
Schaffer. Riding with Brandon. And my trip to Japan was just an incredible experience where I was
doing solo shows and practicing and progressing somehow. All those memories are of highs which
I’ll be chasing for the rest of my life.

Glenn:        "Unlike when you started riding, flatland is definitely international now. What do you
think the future of flatland looks like?"

Chase:    Yeah, flatland is spread across the globe now. I can't say for sure what the future of
flatland will be like other than I’m sure there will continue to be more riders and more great riders
and the tricks getting crazier. As far as its popularity in the public eye or all pro flatlanders getting
paid good money, I don't know. It seems like if you have to force something to become a money
maker, then it was not meant to be, at least in this backwards society. What I mean is that it
doesn't appear that flatland will ever become a traditional sport naturally, but I could be wrong.
Seems like the basic concept of all traditional sports are very simple and straightforward, meaning
that everybody can do the easiest version of it so they can identify with the sports stars who d o it
great and who they somehow wish they could be like. Flatland is just a bicycle which almost
everyone can ride, so you'd think that it would be realistic for the same thing to happen .But it just
involves so much patience practice and persistence to get even pretty good at that most people
can't be bothered. Plus it is a money motivated world and if people don't see that others are living
the high life doing it then this could subconsciously make them avoid it. What are we supposed to
do as riders? Be on our own path of progression and at the same time try to push it on people so
that it becomes more popular and hence puts the money in our pockets to fund our mission of just
wanting to ride? Would that not be money motivated? Or is there some "healthy middle ground"?
Some say that big contests are the way to do it. This puts the emphasis on the competitive aspect
of it which only further convinces people to think that is what it's all about...but it isn't. You want to
get people into it for the right reasons such as pure love for it? Unfortunately we live in a world
where people often do things just to "make it big" and what they are doing is only the excuse to
get there. It boils down to the fact that people want to be desired and envied and admired
because the messages we are bombarded with suggest that this in itself is desirable. So how can
we expect "REAL mother f***ers" to get into flatland? What the hell does that mean anyway? It
certainly would not be the kind of people who go out of their way to announce that they are "real
mother f***ers"? Something is seriously messed up here. Well, all's I can say is "get rich or die

Glenn:        "Way back in the day you were very high stress when riding, always wanting to pull
every trick without fail. Have you mellowed out with age or do you still have that fierce self
determination to pull all your tricks all the time?"

Chase:   I was actually getting the results steadily back then and I was still super high strung and
mad. So the only thing I could really complain about was messing up the trick or not doing it
perfectly. That was because I was in and coming out of teenage angst. What makes it different
today is that I have been forced to live with what things have become and have accepted it to
some degree and may not even have the strength left to get that mad. With the occasional
exception, generally you won't see the outwards signs of that as much, but the inner feelings of
desperation, frustration and lost quality practice are beyond explanation. Now I can consciously
make sense of how much riding means to me which means I have even more awareness of the
sadness of not reaching the levels I know I was headed for. But, like I said, maybe I’m still just a
screwed up kid who has to keep trying no matter what. Like I’ll perish without riding, but if I had my
way, riding to the levels I need to will take everything I have in order  to do ...leaving me with
nothing else left which is what I was and had from the start anyway. It almost makes sense...

Glenn:        Any tips on how to stay motivated to ride?

Chase:  There is nothing I can say to anyone that can "convince their WILL" to persist with it or a
statement which will get their asses in gear. Speaking only for me, riding is a necessity, so I don't
think that motivation is even a questionable issue for me. Although I’m not saying that it is easy to
keep going out and putting in worthy effort on the bike. Sometimes I just can't attempt or I even
have to give up and go home because of total emotional collapse and pure depression which of
course completely drains me physically. But I don't think that it is a motivation problem because
like I said, the DESIRE and NEED is still there which provides the compulsion to do it.  If you are
having problems getting or staying motivated then you might not be hungry enough. I’m still
starving. There is one thing I can say however which may be of some value. There is a poster on
the wall of the physiotherapy room I go to, it says: You want to feel better so you can start doing
things. But you start doing things so you can feel better. Translated into the motivation issue as
pertains to riding, I would say (and have experienced this myself) that riding generates more
riding. When you ride you will tend learn something, and that something you learn will lure you into
wanting to learn more (it should anyway if riding is really a part of who you are). So my only
suggestion does not give advice on how to get on your bike in the first place, but it just reminds us
that when we do practice, we keep falling in love with it over and over again. You need to keep
taking the drug if you want to stay addicted.

Glenn:        Chase, Thank you for opening your mind and soul to us in this interview, it is always
interesting to see your thoughts and aspirations on flatland. Do you have any last comments?

Chase:  Ok Glenn, no problem at all. Thanks for the opportunity and the forum to express myself.
However there is no evidence that anyone has a "soul" to even open up. What people call "soul" I
prefer to call ESSENCE. These will be my last comments for the interview:   Since the only thing
we are familiar with is our existence here, the lives we are now living, (the only tangible thing
anyway) we fear the end of that, so we have made up stories to say how it really doesn't end but
continues on in some other plain of existence...namely...the after life.  We know the physical body
dies; no-one can deny that. But we needed to think that something continued on, so how about we
call that "the soul". Now here is when we really run into some difficulties as to how that process
occurs. First of all, no-one knows what this "soul" they claim of really is, let alone how it goes
about making the trip into another plain of existence which we have also never seen. In order for
this to even be plausible, there would have to be a proposition which at least sounded reasonable
to what humans can even conceptualize, but then you still wouldn't be able to actually WATCH this
happening. But people just buy into the story and don't worry about those "minor details" I guess.
One argument for why the "soul must go on", is that once we exist, we cannot entirely cease to
exist. This may partly come from the philosophy: ESSENCE PRECEEDS EXISTENCE, which means
that the essence or "soul" of the individual exists before the physical body comes into being and
then they join together.  The opposite theory is: EXISTENCE PRECEEDS ESSENCE, which means
that the physical body must be born into being in order so that an essence can exist within it. In
this theory, it may be saying (in my own words here) that you need a brain and senses to
experience things to develop the essence of who you are. They say "soul", but I call it essence
and mean it in the most biologically rooted sense. In following the loose definition of "existence
precedes essence" it would seem that once the physical  brain matter and senses which  made
possible the accumulation of intake and experiences resulting in the "essence of the person" has
perished , that there could be no more essence. I am not sold on this or any other theory, as my
own philosophy is called the "concluded confusion solution" (which would be called "the cheap
way out" to those who think I’m living in denial of the ultimate one and only truth) which allows for a
vulnerable open-ness. I don't need to be convinced of any void-compensating invented belief
system in order to give my life meaning. See the thing is, I will admit to the possibility that there
could be an afterlife (or even a soul for that matter), whereas a lot of people outright deny that
there might be nothing. But rigid assertion in belief of anything has been our downfall. So here is
what I have to say to that: Everything remains in know this "for sure might be" life's
greatest lesson.

Block the pain that makes you grow
Cause the hurt that makes you shrink
Keep this up and stay safe on the brink

Chase Gouin interview, completed 3/31/2006

Glenn: What are you still doing reading. The interview is over…

Ok, so you want more; I asked Chase if he had any poems that he really liked and he sent me

Chase Gouin “rowems”

The course of my life
is going just right
and left without light
into pitch black of night

With the sight I don't have
take a knife at it stab
swiping blind while I roam
in my own strangers home

Admit to the loss
of no truthful gain
accepting all this
is the goal of my aim

Which shoots in directions
points with no reference
so the angles attempted
go without any sense

Now I’m not giving up
just because I can't win
in a game that's for losers
yet my will still begins

To deconstruct all
claimed as infallible
break it down for the purpose
of watching it fall
then laugh at the ruins
which never stood tall

Facing each moment
armed with bewilderment
so I’m void of pre-answer
to force my own thoughts sent

Can I for sure say
How this changes things?
No I can't, it's just for
any thinking it brings.

Don't get too down over there isn't anything to wore-e about as much as we can't take the wear
and tear-able now needs a cane to help the crutches of those home wrecking crews have let it
leak that these deceased grease monkeys have gone ape-shit over their own self played slick
tricks are for the kids that don't get treated to a mentally present parental figures ate their children’
s "true birth" day cake and make it  too decorate outer layers are the real slayers of inner potent-
ya'll are in scarred up "scare tis'-you" who threw your hatchlings out the sketchy nest before
knowing they could fly on their own is what's lost from the moment of every preceding conception
leading up to all others are not to blame but where is the bold starting point made to hold
accountable those folded under pressure cooked slow and subtle heat put on so as to never
really feel the fire from under our subconscious numbers we did on ourselves alright then now can
we begin to see the die-all turned so high that the sky melts into the minds of timeless treasures
sunken before leaving the dock of vacant vessels.

I'm a firm believer...
...that belief has caused humanity a HELL of a lot of grief
When it's my time to leave
I'll see you on the other side...
...of the street
When I walk across the intersection
And on that corner we shall meet
I'm a strict conviction claimer
A pointing finger blamer
At all those goofs
Who pretend to assert the truth?
I've got a lot of faith
You won't give up false hope
In dogmatic doctrine
The worlds most abused dope.

We keep fading into greater shades of grey and further from any definitive meaning not knowing
how to explain even why there is no around way of not  being able to anything  about it say.