Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My history with alcohol

I don't like getting too personal--although of course I do by implication in my chosen topics and opinions often--but it seems appropriate, today, the day when even non-drinkers get drunk, to meditate in public on my drinking.

For some years, regardless of how I might define the term myself, I have been physiologically an alcoholic.  I have drunk enough on a daily basis that I got withdrawal symptoms if I skipped a day.  Not serious symptoms, not DT's, but enough that it always made more sense just to drink than to not drink.

For a long time I was the guy at the party who, given an open bar, would consistently overdo it.  Otherwise, I'd have a few beers every night, and maybe a bit of gin to wash it down.

As my tolerance and disposable income grew, so too did my consumption--mostly at home, but I was no stranger to a few bars.

At a certain point, I got Barry McDonough's "Panic Away" kit, which helps you deal with panic attacks.  I have only had one, at an extremely hard point in my life, but I believe in collecting tools, and this was one I wanted, since I did not want to be that helpless again.

The essence of his method--and by the way I recommend this to anyone who deals with anxiety on a regular basis; it is worth the money--is to accept the anxiety, and ask for more.  Rather than moving away from painful emotions, you move to them, you kill them with kindness.

I got to thinking: this has to apply to more than anxiety, and decided, when I drank, to direct my attention to my dark places, to the emotions I could not process sober, could not confront sober.  I figured if I was going to be drinking anyway, I may as well make it useful.

I did this for a year or two--I honestly don't remember--and made progress.  At a certain point, I realized I needed to do Kum Nye seriously, and figured signing up for the eKum Nye program would help, even though all the exercises it covers are already in the books.  I figured correctly, as it gave me a more formal structure for my practice.  In theory it was unnecessary; in practice it was.

It is an interesting fact that my two Kum Nye books are literally the only books I have carried with me since I was a teenager.  I bought them in a New Age shop in Rancho Bernardo, California, back in the 1980's.  I think I knew they were useful, but I always feared them. I feared them, since I knew that with emotional release a lot of really shitty emotions would come up.  They did every time I started the process.  It was like sticking my finger in a light socket.  I knew I needed to do it, but lacked the recovery skills to keep doing it often enough to get through it.  I was alone, because of my life history--which among other things involved getting yanked from every place I developed an attachment to throughout my childhood--and because my traumas isolated me, as indeed they do everyone who has suffered in particular ways.  It is a defining symptom of unprocessed trauma.

But my drinking therapy got me far enough that I was able to combine it with Kum Nye, and that has been the situation for the past six months or so.  About 4 weeks ago, I decided to quit drinking, and have reached a point where I go days without drinking.  It is always hard, because I have opened up many emotions, and they come to me, and I am unprotected.  But I am developing the ability to recover, and I can say that today I can feel a point coming where the role alcohol played--the important, beautiful, needed role--is no longer needed.  It propped me up, kept me from falling, but now I can stand on my own two feet.

This is a wonderful Christmas present, one that has taken a lifetime of work.

I will share a dream I had last night.  There was a drag racing track, with a very unusual feature: a right hand turn.  You had to make the turn, THEN accelerate with all the power those engines have.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Emotion and the Ocean

I was noodling around in a bookstore today, and came across a book I had read a review of some time ago, "Trip to Echo Spring", which deals with the intersection of creativity and alcoholism.  It is likely a book I should read, since alcohol has played an important role in my life for some time.  I can't say I have wrestled with alcohol: on the contrary, it has unquestionably been a net boon to me.  All the same, why I drink is to me a very interesting question.

This book seemingly has the metaphor of water throughout it--she visits the sites where several writers, like Virginian Woolf, drowned themselves, and she deals with a story "The Swimmer"--and I would submit that this metaphor has occurred in my own dreams.  I was once told more or less explicitly to stop drinking and start swimming.  I took this literally, and bought myself a suit and some goggles, but I don't like swimming.  It's funny, but it's true.  I likely will take it up before long, but I am for now dealing at its root with my own unfreedom, exploring it, understanding it, massaging it, to use the Kum Nye metaphor.

And I see now that the image is metaphorical.

Let us let water represent emotion, and the ocean deep, uncontrolled emotion, and the swimmer someone reconciling himself to emotion.

Can we not posit that many reject, in what we might term Ordinary State of Consciousness (OCS), the possibility of the ocean?  When I say emotion, I mean all emotions, good and bad: joy, love, hate, sadness, anger, attachment, obsession, sex, sex, sex, power, powerlessness, belonging, rejection.  Emotions have all the shades and varieties of clouds.  None are the same, even if we speak of types out of the necessities imposed by language.

And can we not posit that many writers, in unleashing their creative potential, always unleash at the same time unprocessed demons--which I have recently begun to believe are those cages we have internalized that seek to limit us?  Can we not say, perhaps, that they are driven to create by what they fear, and simultaneously liberated and enslaved by entering through intoxicants Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness?

Can we not see the ocean as potential, and grant the possibility of rejecting this potential in ordinary waking states?  Can we not say that people with serious, deep emotional issues are afflicted by dryness without alcohol, and an admixture of terror and joy which get expressed through creative synthesis when high in some form or other?

As I said a few posts ago, Charles Bukowski's tombstone apparently reads "Don't Try".  Can we not add: "Let it", where it is a spontaneous flow which emerges when allowed? He was an alcoholic from an early age (13, if memory serves).  He apparently tried early on, and failed.  Alcohol let him move without trying.  That is why he consumed so much of it.

It not the task then, liberating creative energy without lust, without fear, without panic, without compulsion?  Has not most of the creative energy of the last century within our dominant cultural sphere been traumatic and unhelpful, because mixed of both toxic and life-bearing elements?

I am thinking out loud here, but I think there are some thoughts here worth considering deeply.

Being

Bit rambling, so be it.

Being me, mostly, I got to thinking "what if Heidegger had had a tool like Kum Nye, that he used consistently?"  It is, I think, a good question.  He thought a lot ABOUT Being--Dasein and the rest.  But when he bought his coffee in the morning, who was more emotionally present: him, or the person serving him?  Chances are overwhelming, are they not, that it was the person serving him, who perhaps because Heidegger thought "deep" thoughts considered him his superior?  In my own worldview--can I say Weltanschauung?--Heidegger of the two was vastly the inferior, since he had made an apparent virtue of actual existential retrogression.  It does not matter how deeply you THINK about being: if you are not there, then no one is.  You are operating an unclever machine, which spits out informationally flat 0's and 1's.

Or take Sartre: "L'etre et le rien".  He sat at a cafe, high on speed, and drank coffee and wine all day long, smoked furiously, and wrote 10-20 pages of something most of his adult life.  Was he there?  No: he was cruel, he was angry, and in my own moral cosmology this means inherently that no, he was not there.  He did not think he COULD be there, and one could perhaps look at his entire life's work as an extended rationalization of a failure necessitated by being stupid. Or, put more precisely, by being unwilling to allow his emotions to percolate, process, and "rationalize", both due to inherent lack of deep awareness, and due to lacking a METHOD.

I am superficial and ignorant enough to take the two as types, the first of Fascism, the second of Communism. In Heidegger's case, he had "feelings" for Nazism.  After his initial infatuation he lost his enthusiasm, but he in my understanding never resigned his membership, and never fully rejected the Nazi project.  How would he have conceived the Nazi project?  The formation of Home in conditions of existential confusion. (again: I am not well versed on this topic, and am perhaps projecting as much as analyzing, but I still think this basic project is useful).

Hitler, in my view, was a much better man than Stalin.  Objectively, Stalin killed more people--particularly once one factors in the Comintern and its role in mass death the world over, not least through leading agent Ho Chi Minh, and the mass deaths he facilitated throughout Indochina.  But more importantly, Hitler was capable of at least loving ideals.  I don't think anyone capable of such atrocities would be capable of loving actual people, but Hitler clearly operated from a wellspring of deep emotion, which is what made him such a powerful orator, and charismatic leader.  He truly loved his vision of the German people, and he truly wanted what was best for them, as he conceived it.  He wanted for them wealth and power, and security and stability.

Stalin had none of that.  He was a calculating machine, which loved no ideal, wanted no concrete outcome, had no attachment except to power for himself.  He recognized no truth outside of power, no reality outside of power.  He had no love for the Russians or any other nation.  He rejected his homeland of Georgia in rejecting his name.  He had no place, he wanted no place, he dreamed of no place for those he "led" through abuse.

I repeated a claim a few weeks ago that Camus was murdered.  I wonder if Stalinist Sartre knew of this, if in fact that is what happened?  He would not have cared, would he, since his whole life was rejected in the course of his arguments as to why and how he and no one else could exist, despite his furious and sadistic exhortations that that was the "essence" of life, to the extent it had one.

I am a Liberal.  Period.  To my mind, adding "classical" is to accept the lie that modern "liberals" are anything but people who do not exist, and so must grab power in the name of others to protect themselves through power from the lie at the core of their beings.

I reject, of course, Fascism.  I simply reject even more strenuously the creed that Obama and others seemingly still carry, which has no love, no life in it: nothing but lies and death, moral and physical.

Heart Gold Thread

I have been doing eKum Nye level 2.8 for some weeks, off and on.  This is the 18th, if my math is correct, module I was emailed after enrolling in the program.

This level includes a very simple exercise, called Heart Gold Thread, which seemingly has a very powerful ability to evoke latent emotions.  Now, the previous 18 or so lessons were a lead-up to this lesson, and it is my understanding it is best to open up other energies nexuses before doing this exercise (consult your physician, astrologer, priest, tarot cards, best friend, chance before trying: I'm half serious, because I can't claim at this point to know how any of this works), but I will describe it and my own experience.

You simply stand, feet about 6" apart, and slowly raise your arms, palms down, to slightly higher than shoulder level, and stand there for 10 minutes.  Working up to 25 minutes is a desirable goal.

Needless to say, I hope, your arms get tired and painful.  I have very strong shoulders, but I also have large arms, and 10 minutes, I would assume, is a lot for nearly anyone, at least until they build up.  It seems after a few minutes an impossible task.  I have to lower my arms even now a couple times.

Nothing happens for some period of time.  You are just standing there, wondering what the point is.  You close your eyes, and in a strict iteration put your tongue to the back of your teeth, open your mouth slightly, and try to breathe evenly between mouth and nose.

I don't know if anything will happen--good or bad--for folks who have not done preparatory work, and would again encourage folks to sign up for the whole program at http://kumnyeyoga.com/e-kum-nye/ ,but in my own case particularly when my arms started getting wobbly, and I decided to keep them up there anyway, powerful emotions would after a time rush through, so strong I wanted to yell: feelings mainly of fear, but also sadness, and occasionally calm.

And like any Kum Nye, you just stay with the feeling.  You let it burn.  You tolerate it, knowing it will not last forever, but that it is or was a part of you that was holding you back, keeping you from manifesting something better.  You embrace it, welcome it, thank it.  Whatever its role was at one time in your life, it was useful, protective, needed.

It is very literally like emotional housecleaning.  It is getting into the corners and attic, and just seeing what all is there, and letting what you don't want manifest and then diminish.  This process is still on-going.  I am going to start the next level today, but will continue to do this every evening, probably after doing my Emwave 2 for ten minutes, which seems to be beneficial.

So often people feel a sense of powerlessness because knowledge is power, and they lack knowledge.  Most of what you need to know does not consist in "be nice", despite what our educational system would have you believe.  Being nice is the consequence most of the time for people who are emotionally healthy, with the only exceptions being when it is inappropriate.

The dictum "be nice" is soulless, devoid of meaning, devoid of POSSIBLE affective depth.  In our world we are taught close to nothing about how to become deep, meaning-full human beings.  We are taught how to describe our emotions, but not how to feel them, how to be present now, so that some new present can manifestly (forgive me) presently.

Our culture is weak.  We lack the TOOLS needed to become otherwise. I submit this is one possible such tool that is virtually unknown.

Sadomasochism

Sadomasochism is the result of it hurting more to tolerate the pain of freedom that to endure either the pain of separation implied by cruelty, or the manifest pains of masochism, which include the overt loss of freedom.

Now, I want to be clear that I mean much, much more than simply sexual sadomasochism.  I see the rejection of freedom all around, and very definitely within me.  I look at my own psychodynamic history, and there was simply no room for my own healthy development of a self.  It was not just not encouraged, but very actively discouraged--punished is the word--in ways I was completely unable to see at the time and for a long time since.

But I feel, I think with some cause, that this basic process is common.  A great many people fail to fully individuate: it is a process of spiritual growth, and our society more or less conflates growth with careers and money, neither of which matter when one is simply acting as an automoton, acting on programming, understanding and truly choosing on a deep level nothing.

Plainly, in many ways we are constrained, as many silly people love to point out.  Yes, of course, there are genetics and family and social milieu.  In principle, this is not in any way a different constraint than that in other days assumed by the process of a deterministic astrology.

What I have stipulated often is that we have the freedom of "non-statistical coherence", that of making choices which define who WE choose to be, choices that may be small, but put us in a different slot than the one for which we were destined, and that choice can include fully ACCEPTING the path we are on, embracing it, making it our own.  There is a space we can perceive, and in which we can feel freedom of being.  I have sensed it many times.

All evil and all good comes from this process.  Evil is simply the rejection of freedom at the root emotional level, regardless of what the mind says.  As such, it is a rejection of existence outright, both that of oneself and by emotional implication that of others.  At a root emotional level this contradiction between the fact that one is alive, and that one cannot LIVE causes both all manner of cruelty, and toleration and even embrace of that cruelty.

I saw all this in a dream.  I have interesting dreams.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Balls

I'm watching "Birth of a Nation"--which I understand was used for propaganda purposes in the resurrection of the KKK, and in a telling piece of symbolism, was the first film shown in the White House, to the patent racist Woodrow Wilson--and have reached the scene of a Ball, in the (at that point relatively) antebellum South.

I think we should bring back the institution of the Ball, where people dress to the nines, act genteelly, and dance all together in dances all know.  The Ball, of course, was an aristocratic institution, something denied the plebians.

But if America is anything, if the project we started means anything, it is about the generalization of all the things that make life congenial and pleasant.  To my mind, the American project remains among the most bold, most audacious, most GOOD, ever attempted in human history.  Our principles are sound, even if like all peoples at the time, our early history was contracted by bias and ignorance.

We destroyed the Indians.  We enslaved the blacks, at least across half our domain.  These are historical facts that cannot be undone.

But history as a whole is FULL of such atrocities.  It more or less CONSISTS in the repetitious fall of one nation and the rise of another equally bad, but more congenial for those who suffered under the previous one.

Only here, only in this nation, only under this Constitution has a serious effort been made to end "history" by making freedom general.

There is great beauty in what has been attempted, great courage, great vision.  It is therefore only with sadness, as I have said many times, that one looks upon all the efforts to recontract us, to make us dumber, less principled, to return power to an elite that looks upon the masses with contempt, as do Socialists, and all the others who use their rhetoric for their own ends.

The laws of the Roman Public Thing, the Res Publica, were written in stone.  It mattered not, when the caliber of humans running the enterprise decayed beyond redemption.

The only faith we can have is in the pursuit of Goodness, which can be conceived many ways, when conceived in sincerity and good faith.  We can reconcile the many ways, in peace, and public piety, when we remember who we are, remember the brazenness of this enterprise, and remember the sorrow of history.

I will submit that the Ball is one way to do this, one way to remember.  We have reached a point of prosperity where such things can come into being again.

I know, of course, that I am in many ways a fool, preaching to the wind.

Still, one must have dreams.  I am an archetypal, ueber-Pisces, quite content to be skewered by contradictions I embrace.  The waters rise and fall: this is an eternal reality.

Christmas Day

I think what I like most about this day is the silence.  There are few cars on the road, few people out and about.

It makes me think of how things must be and have been in predominantly Jewish communities on the Sabbath.  It is hard to rest when everyone else is out and about and doing, but when the community, everyone, is silent, resting, peaceful, it is much easier to unwind: nowhere to go, nothing to do.

Family: it works better in such conditions.  We all need a rest from the ache of work, of worry.  I can't be the first to say this, but the Sabbath may well have been the key to the survival of Judaism, which antedates almost all world religions, and has the dubious distinction of having been cast out of its homeland more than once, and in the last case for several thousand years.

One sees the men clad in black walking to the Synagogue, and knows they have a candle lit at home.  This is culture.  Plainly, it works.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Homosexuality: a resolution to be debated

Resolved: that in a plural society diversity includes moral diversity, and that moral diversity in principle includes diversity on all topics, including that of sexuality.

Corollary: any society which does not tolerate diversity on any topic of consequence is by that fact alone no longer pluralistic, and if this lack of diversity is enacted by violence--whether directly physical, or by eliminating the ability of dissenters to express their views--that society is tyrannical and inherently, definitionally anti-Liberal.

With regard to the Phil Robertson case, what is at issue is neither whether or not homosexuality is moral, nor whether it is moral to believe it is immoral.  What is at issue is whether we remain a pluralistic society capable of resolving or at least reconciling our difference through open dialogue, or whether we are becoming mon-archic--an order based on One, on one vision, one view, one way of behaving. 

As a practical matter, we have in this country competing societies, competing social orders.  One remains pluralistic, and the other is patently Fascist in habit and expression.

My version

Fools rush in where the wise fear to tread; sometimes the wise are cowards, so this makes fools at times invaluable.

Repetition

I am well aware that I repeat myself--that some themes recur.  I would submit, though, that even though words and themes may repeat, FOR ME their meaning evolves, or at least I hope it does.

One could in principle utter the same phrase a thousand times--say, God is Love, or Good is love--and mean one thousand different things.  Such is the nature of language. 

To use an analogy from a previous post, can the word "cloud" ever mean the same thing twice?  Have you ever seen two identical clouds, even though when we use the word we all know approximately what we mean?

There is a continuum between an infinitely sharp blade and an all-encompassing fog--hell, let's make it an INVISIBLE fog, even space itself--which we all need to traverse regularly.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Types of Reason

Bit meandering, but I stand by my meanders.

Perhaps rather than speaking of reason, and unreason, we might more usefully speak of effective and ineffective reason, and logical reasoning and emotional reasoning.

When a human organism is in balance, it is possible to calmly think things through, and to readily change one's mind when new data appears, or circumstances change.

When one is out of balance, however, as in conditions of living under tyranny, and being compelled to commit it, then logic is not logic at all.

A common example of insanity--the sort of insanity that could have been used to justify, say, Neil Cassady in his Dionysian revels--was the nuclear arms race.  Through the 1950's and 1960's, Americans took seriously the Communist intent to take over the world, and took seriously the fact that both sides had atomic weapons.

Hopefully, it will never become clear what the effect of a nuclear war would be, but many not unreasonably supposed it would mean the end of our civilization, and thus even the thought of engaging in one was insane.

It would have been insane, but the point missed by many is that Communism is an insane doctrine, and so too are all the "lite" versions of it, the essential element in which is the rejection of individual moral agency.

When you are dealing with fundamentally irrational and violent people, violence has to be on the table as an option.  This is, to my mind, a rational position.  You are good, they are bad: this can happen, and relatively speaking has happened many times in history.

In actual historical fact, our nuclear arms buildup, at least to this point, WAS rational.  It worked.  We are neither Red nor Dead.

When people say, though: "who knows what is good and what is bad" this is a rejection of the possibility of coherent moral action, and thus Communism lite.

If I ask you "is the sky blue or grey", do you not need to look out the window?  Some days it is all blue, some all gray, many a mixture.  Some days it is mostly blue, some mostly grey, but it is moving, it is changing.  This does not mean we cannot make general statements about it.

All of us understand common sense morality: don't do things to others you would not want done to you.  Don't lie, in general; don't cheat, in general; empathize, offer kindness.  Should you always offer kindness?  of course not.  Be nice all the time is a recipe for failure.  It is the creed of the morally vacuous.  So, too, is the demand for relentless and unreflective compassion.  Should you feel compassion for those who want to hurt you?  If you do, if you fail to take effective action to prevent or counter their violence, they will not just hurt you, but all the other people around you.  Do they not deserve compassion as well?  Do not the innocent deserve more compassion and mercy and regard than those whose lack of emotional wellness and development drives them into enacting violence in the outer world they cannot avoid in their inner world?

Everything begins with balance, but balance, in turn, sometimes cannot be brought about except by losing it, for some period of time.

This is obvious in Holotropic Breathwork, but even in my Kum Nye practice I have no way of predicting what will come up.

Charles Bukowski's grave stone reads "Don't Try".  This is apparently what he meant.  Let it come.  If you force it you kill it.  And if you kill it, you have lost access to effective reason, of both the logical and the emotional varieties.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cycles

Sanity and insanity ought to cycle, should they not?

Few drinks, long week, lots of emotional processing, strange places.

So, watched a Thomas Merton biography.  Decided he was murdered in Thailand by Communists.  His last public statement before being found dead alone of an odd, freak, electrical accident in his locked room was along the lines of "Communism only works in monasteries.  But you can question me.  Questions are tonight.  For now, I'll disappear and you can go have a Coke or something."

Got to thinking about other thinkers of the 1960's who died in freak accidents, and came across Albert Camus fairly quickly.  Here is an article alleging he was killed by the KGB: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/aug/07/albert-camus-killed-by-kgb

Ferlinghetti was in the Merton piece, so I looked him up, then Charles Bukowski (real name: Heinrich Karl Buko(v)ski: he was born in Germany, and had an accent as a child for many years).  Bukowski was beaten with a leather strap by his father multiple times a week from an early age, perhaps 5 or so.

So: entropy: leather straps, failure, despair, creative response, alcoholism, p[oetry], sex, words, words, awful delightful words.

Sean Penn was apparently a Bukowski fan.  They went to the track together.  Penn seems big on symbolism, and relative photo ops.

So I got to thinking.  This is the point of this post, which I am allowing to be meandering.

Bukowski in some respects represents the 1960's.  Many of the figures of the 60's, like Ferlinghetti and Merton, were really from earlier generations.  And so was Bukowski, born if memory serves in 1925. Hippies, proper hippies, were born in the late forties, and early 1950's.

Dionysian: this is the word.  Out of whack, countercultural, non-clicking, forgettable, outside, out there, stranger, death to normal: these are words for Bukowski, and they make a lot of people of a certain disposition like him.

Me, too.

But what I want to say, before I walk my dogs to avoid the smell of urine, is that this feeling of wanting to stand outside the normal social realm is in my view quite ordinary, quite normal. It is our culture (and you are me, no doubt: can't I assume this?) which makes it abnormal.

Do we not need to integrate the unintegrated?  Do we not need to make ordinary Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness?

I looked, in my overly simplistic way, the Enlightenment, Rationalism.  And I saw a reaction to myth, a reaction to the religious abuse of power, a clinging to science in some form, and form in all events, to order, to reason, to the adequate at the expense of the insufficient.

Then I looked at Romanticism, and saw a reaction to reactionlessness, to unreason masquerading as order, which led to an insistence on myth.

Plato said moral values exist, roughly.  Others say they do not "exist", certainly.  Ontology is greeted with deconstruction.  The quest for values is countered with the claim that they do not "exist" outside the verbal realm and should thus be--argue the children--cast aside.  Cue the assassination.

For me, I want to say that reason and unreason must coexist.  One day one, one day the other.  Like the alternating consuls, the alternating kings, of the Roman Republic, we must not ask questions like: Is Reason Paramount:?  Is Passion Paramount?

Do we suffer from such questions?   Of course: we suffer from all bad questions.  No, I have not stopped beating my wife yet: have you stopped your abuse of truth?

Yup: It's time to Walk the Dogs.  I don't like the smell of urine. [they really do pee on my rug: how truly do symbol and reality procreate?]

Terms and thought constructs

It seems likely I will change the terminology of the fore-going, but I am working a 9 day week, and don't have time at the moment for more exploration.

A distinction I want to make though, is between awareness and personality.  Awareness is best thought of as expanding and contracting, more or less like a sphere around a person.  Here, I might at some point speak of an Inner Expander, and Inner Contracter.

Personality is built and destroyed, much like a building.  It has analogues in the brain, and is characterized nearly entirely by habits of mind, body and emotion.  Here, it is a question of building and destroying, constructing, and deconstructing.

It is perhaps--I am tempted to say likely--for this reason Buddha spoke of "no Self".  The role of personality, per se, is simultaneously to stabilize experience and to LIMIT it.

Now, thoughts are machines, and all analogies used here--in this world, in this life--lose, we must assume, their validity in other qualitative realms; but since we are here, we have ample cause to take them seriously, when advanced by serious, accomplished teachers.

Inner Creator

I've always had very lucid dreams, both in terms of actual lucid dreams--which feel very literally like out of body experiences--and much more commonly the ability to directly affect dream content. It's sort of like a movie, where I can dictate to some extent what happens, but in which most of the time it is more interesting to just see what happens, and more or less knowing while it is happening that it is a part of me.  Put another way, it is a sort of moving, real time psychoanalysis.

Last night, just as the engineer was going to show me the keys to the building--the controls--the orcs and Giants broke through the gates, and surrounded me.  They were going to kill me, but I surrendered.  I normally fight them and win, but this time that seemed inappropriate for some reason.  Then I awoke elsewhere (in the dream), free again, but they were still loose.

As I contemplate this, it seems to me that the evil forces represent limitations, parts of ourselves which perform the function of limiting us, keeping us within bounds.  Particularly in traumatic situations, it is best not to feel too much.  It is best to limit spontaneity, best to control thinking and emoting, to allow some things and actively discourage or even squelch others.

But this is a very unsuitable situation in conditions of freedom.  What was a protective angel because a jealous captor.  Life evolves.

We use the word "healing" for going beyond the boundaries dictated by survival in a bad situation, but this is really not the best term.  What I think we fail to realize is that we were bound BEFORE.  When we shrink in response to survival necessity, that becomes our new reality.  This is the reality of having endured trauma.

Growing beyond this, experientially, in terms of how it actually feels, feels like crossing new ground.  We can gradually grow to remember old feelings that were discarded out of necessity, but we now know about this process of growth, and that necessarily brings into question the old boundaries too.  You are shrunk, but then come to realize you can expand past where you were.  This is how trauma, pain, difficulty, can be liberating.  It brings out the awareness of possibilities you had never had cause to suspect.

Experientially, this feels to me like creation.  So, until I change my mind and come up with something better, I propose we call this Psychogenetic Expansion.  "Healing" lacks all ambition.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

True, not true?

The smaller the self, the larger the vision.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Healing

Healing from psychological trauma is an inherently creative act.  There is no status quo ante.  You cannot return.  All trauma inherently forces us to grow by pushing through it and integrating it.  There is only forward.

And it seems to me that in healing you end a "chain of abuses".  The person or people who hurt you were also hurt.  Their inability to process their wounds is what created their cruelty and thoughtlessness.  When you create a new, stable self, without that violence, you answer the question we were all born for.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Paradox

Sometimes it is selfish to think of others.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Burnt by the Sun

I needed to vent. I was going to post this on Facebook, but this is clearly a better place.

For some reason I've been on a Russian movie kick.  I just watched "Burnt by the Sun", which is a very sad movie set in the Stalin era.  It is difficult to communicate the violence of hate I feel for the monsters who spewed and continue to spew this evil, demonic creed, that trails death, despair, darkness, and utter depravity everywhere it goes.  It is difficult to communicate the hate I feel for Barack Obama for shaking a mass murderers hand. 

What do we do with people who lock others in closets for years because it amuses them?  What do we do with people who torture others for fun?  What do we do with people who put guns to people's heads and pull the trigger because they get a thrill out of it?  We despise them and we put them in jail.  But what do leftists do?  They lionize them. 

It is possible to build something close to utopia. I believe this.  But not on a demonic base.  Sean Penn is pushing the politics of Ted Bundy, openly, publicly.  He, too, wants to treat people like potted plants.  And most Americans are still too stupid to understand this.

The Maternal

It is one thing to diagnose an emotional malady, and another entirely to do the work necessary to integrate painful realities into an "after" consciousness, to grow beyond what ails you.

It is no doubt often the case that intellectuals--thought workers, to use my preferred term at least for what I imagine myself doing--often project their own internal realities on the world.  Those who seek to steal see everyone as a thief.  Those unable to find meaning in their own lives say that "life is meaningless".

In my own case, I am integrating the loss of a mother, of the possibility of a mother; the fact that my own mother did what was in her power to destroy me psychologically, from a very early age.  These are powerful emotions.  They invoke terror.  But I watch, and I feel, and I cannot imagine a worse terror than that of feeling helpless, of giving up, of failing to use this life to grow as much as I possibly can.  And so I go on, and it is fruitful.

But to continue the thread, I look out at the world, and I feel in some respects I am working to heal not only my own wounds--my own lacks--but those of the world generally.  What has happened to the sense of place in our world, to the feeling of being nested, home, comfortable, warm?

We live in hives of activity, do we not?  A purportedly rational, or at least rationalizable, world, one filled with archetypal male energy which can solve any physical problem, which is impatient with confusion, with hesitancy, with fog, with damp, with dark, with caves, with water, with soft voices in the distance we cannot decipher.  Do we not, though, seek mothers?  Through all this incessant activity, do we not want somewhere to rest?  And how do we rest?  Through sopophorics.  Through distraction: through TV, mePods, Twitter (Flutter?), through movement, movement, movement, virtual or actual.

In some sick way, I sense that aspiring totalitarians seek, through the attainment of the ability to snuff out alternative narratives, alternative views, alternative behaviors, the "warmth" of place.  But of course they are using archetypal male energy, without empathy, without warmth.  Theirs is the energy of the psychotic mother.

And this point warrants making: the feminine has ALWAYS been far more powerful than men have admitted.  Even if men think they have bested their wives, they were once utterly helpless in the face of their mothers.

And this energy, in its best use, is highly creative, highly nurturing.  It is food for the soul.  Where men are efficient at generating things and actions, women are efficient at generating affective states.  And it is the latter that we really want.  We don't want things: we want the feelings those things give us.  Women, at their best, help achieve the end without the middle.

Modern feminism is a process of making women into men.  It is a process of seeking quantitative power, not qualitative power.  It is a denuding of our culture of the energies that make life bearable, that make children happy, that bring joy to life.

Few--sensations, I will call them.  I am likely sharing too much, but fuck it.  My time will come, too, and I may as well get used to the idea of complete transparency.  Our world, in any event, needs more true honesty.