Saturday, October 31, 2015

The benefit of trauma

From the perspective of survival, traumatic dissociation can play an enormously valuable function: it shuts down the emotions until they can be processed.  We can survive using only our rational minds. We can go on when some part of us has been overwhelmed and shut down, even if it is at the cost of suppressing much of our vital life energy.

I am getting powerful, primary, what I tend to call antique feelings coming up, and at that age trying to keep contact with those feelings and keeping my sanity would have been impossible.  I wonder if some of the people who are driven mad by circumstances perhaps lack or have a substantially muted ability to dissociate.

And what I am realizing as well is that dissociation is like having an emotional vanishing cabinet--a place you can go where no one can find you.

I need to bring those feelings--that part of me--into the flow of my every day life.  The payoff will be vastly increased happiness and energy.  Some part of me wonders, though, if there is some way to keep that, just in case.  I suspect the answer is yes, since the pathway is known.  It is a door I can close, where I don't visit any more, but which does not disappear.

It is perhaps unwise to step into wellness one foot at a time, but this is unknown territory, and I am taking my best guess.  That is all you can do.  Observe, orient, decide, act.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Posting

I am in the process of the final conquest of my fears.  During that process, it seems my need to post the processes of my inner life will diminish.  If I post less, that is why.  It is all good.  I have other irons in the fire as well.  I won't disappear.  With luck and skill, I will transform, and come back a more skillful eagle.

Christianity

As I continue my listening of Gibbon, my sense of trust in, belief in, and confidence in the values of, Christianity continues to plummet.  On his account, the first sack of the Library of Alexandria was by Christians, dedicated to eradicating Paganism.

Alaric was a Christian.

But more than anything I feel this sense from my own history of sin, of needing to beg forgiveness, for NOTHING.  If you accept Christian doctrine, you are born a sinner as a little baby, before you can smile, before you can babble, before you can crawl, and long, long before you can walk and talk.  In your very crib you have been judged and found wanting.

Catholics get around this--and I will stipulate as a general principle that their theology is light years ahead of, and vastly superior to their rivals, even if their actual practice and actual organization have been and continue to be filled with mediocre and even awful human beings--by baptism at birth.

But most people who are not Catholic are born sinners, in the view of Protestant Christians, and can only with difficulty get rid of this stigma.

Christianity was unique in human history to that point in its radical intolerance, its violence towards alternative practices and beliefs, and in the fear it was able to exert in the cause of avoiding eternal damnation.

Islam was a logical outgrowth of  Christianity.  It takes a basic idea--that those who have not been saved face eternal damnation--and builds on-going wars, ubiquitous fear, and an absolute sense of superiority, even in the very processes of taking slaves, raping women, marrying children, and killing their enemies and taking their possessions, which would normally be called theft..

Monday, October 26, 2015

Silence

I am realizing there can be eloquence in silence.  Sometimes you say a lot by saying nothing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Learning

Everyone is stupid sometimes.  Some people are stupid most of the time, but everyone is a genius every once in a while.  To remain absolutely and consistently stupid, what are needed are dogma and fear.

The future of philosophy

There has to be a there there.

Post Investor's Business Daily

In moderation.  My history of getting through moderation is poor, so I'm reposting.  This has to do with Trump's recent comments that Bush seems to have known something was coming, but done nothing to prevent it.  This is of course in response to Jeb Bush's claim to be the man to go to for national security.  If you allow something like that on your watch, so the argument goes, you don't get "do over" points by starting two wars in response.
For may part, I find it increasingly likely that Cheney and other hawks, doing the math, figured some sort of WMD attack was over some time horizon certain, and that by sacrificing a few thousand now, could get in place the security apparatus to prevent the death of millions later.  This is what makes most sense to me, and would explain why no one involved in this conspiracy has yet come forward.  They may of course be too dead to do so as well, but it does seem certain at least elements of our national security apparatus and certainly NIST were complicit in the cover-up.

Speaking the truth has become an act of defiance in this openly Orwellian world. Barack Obama did not provide a birth certificate that would be valid in any court of law, or any State or Federal agency for any purpose. Period. This is not open to discussion. He provided a heavily edited PDF file which was a manifest forgery. Stating this, though, makes one a "birther", even among those who claim to want to speak truth, and who claim to oppose Obama.
And while one can question how high the conspiracy goes, there can be no question that our government interfered with and completely botched the 9/11 investigation. Beyond any POSSIBLE doubt, Tower 7 was imploded with preplanted explosives, and in direct violation of standard investigative guidelines, the evidence was immediately removed and destroyed, despite this being the first high-rise to allegedly collapse due to fire in the history of skyscrapers. Most people don't even know about Tower 7, since the media stopped covering it the moment it collapsed.
2,360 Architects, engineers, fire protection specialists, demolition experts and others in directly related fields have signed a petition calling for a new investigation. At a recent Structural Engineering convention 100 people stopped by, and 25 signed the petition on the spot after reviewing the evidence.
You can review the EVIDENCE--and it is that, empirical evidence--here:http://www.ae911truth.org/gall...
It is later--and worse--than you seem capable of grasping. You people need to get your heads out of your better halves and start looking at the big picture.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Acting as lying

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/marlon-brando-tell-cinema-audiences-6647767

I thought this was interesting.

When I did the Hoffman Process it turned out I have some talent at acting and improv, so I took an acting class locally, and the instructor actually asked for my picture, as she thought I was good enough to do commercial work.  I felt a weird resistance to it, which I couldn't quite put my finger on.

And I think Brando here has done it: acting is lying.  Its very essence is insincerity. It is pretending to be someone you are not.  And you can learn to portray emotions convincingly that I think you don't feel.  I think many Hollywood actors feel they are much more passionate than they actually are.  What they are is sentimental, and sufficiently talented at mimicry that they can do suitable imitations of deep passion.

I was able to portray a lot of emotion without feeling any of it, and I think that is how it works for most of them.

I am deeply uncomfortable with the role actors play in our culture.  We admire them without knowing them.  Cloaking their real selves is the essence of their craft, so we can never be sure the person we think we know--smiling, friendly, seemingly open--is real at all.  We admire them for the roles they play.  It is but a short step from that lie to admiring the soap opera actor Barack Obama for how well he is able to act "presidential" without any real character, any real beliefs, any real compassion or caring, any honor, and any actual dignity.  Hell, people seem to be taking mediocre actor Hillary Clinton as the real McCoy.  We don't even demand good acting from our politicians.  Just good enough for the masses.

I recollect that in traditional Chinese culture, which had a sort of caste system, actors were right at the bottom, far below farmers and the learned.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Confusion

Confusion among the capable is a sign that qualitative growth is possible.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wittgenstein paraphrased

The opposite of the claim "There are knowable truths" is not "There are no knowable truths", but silence.

Since the claim "there are no knowable truths" is itself a truth claim, it inherently contradicts itself.  Practically, it is a mask for cowardice and disengagement from life, in  almost all cases.  If nothing is true, then there is never a need for sacrifice.

And actually, that leads to an interesting idea: if we do not sacrifice ourselves, we are forced to sacrifice others.  If I am not working on myself, I am bound to be taking from others.

It is obvious what the Cultural Sadeists take, but what do the Sybaritic Leftists take?  They take meaning.  They take the higher purposes of life beyond simple comfort and pleasure.  They see safety as an end in itself, and danger and risk as inherently undesirable, because they know that is where the learning is, and they do not want to be reminded that life is always a fatal experiment for all of us.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Being Tough

This past week has been a bit tough, but it has led to an important realization: the way you get and stay tough is learning to thrive on adversity.  You don't accept it, you don't tolerate it, you don't muddle your way through it: you ENJOY it.

Over the years I have had a lot of opportunities to spend time with and get to know some really tough people, and they are happiest when they are on the edge, when they are pushing their limits.  It is not something they do because they have to, but because it makes them feel alive.

And these folks--lets take Special Operations guys as an example--are not serious, grim, scowling people.  They love to laugh and joke around and mess with each other.  You don't need to act tough when you are tough.

I think it is really important to reframe difficulty.  We assume that a "bad" situation necessarily must lead to negative emotions.  But if you treat everything as an adventure, as an experience meant to teach you something, you become alert, you become receptive, you ask questions of the experience like "why are you here?"  You wait for the answer, you look for the answer.  And it comes.  Some part of your unconscious can't stand the tension, and it will feed you something you didn't have before.

As I have said before, I have no way of knowing if "everything happens for a reason" (other than you being a dumbass and making bad choices), but it is categorically a useful belief.  If you believe that, you start looking for reasons, and in that very process you transform it.

I'll take "Almost a Bon Mot" for $600, Alex

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Get bed bugs and..........Jesus fucking Christ, where did everybody go?

I suppose on the plus side I now have life experience that will allow me to relate to lepers.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Worth remembering

There has always been a time after the plague, and after the war.

Sleeping on the floor

It occurs to me that with most "comfort" mattresses, the foam adjusts itself to you.  If you sleep on the floor, like I did last night (I'll skip the full back story) your body has to adjust itself to the floor.  Thinking about it objectively, which do you think is better for your overall long term health?

Consider this test: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2858804/Can-exercise-test-predict-DEATH-People-struggle-sitting-rising-test-five-times-likely-die.html

Then consider that in the United States you can literally go years without sitting cross legged anywhere.  You sleep on an elevated bed, and you sit in chairs all day, including the chair in your car.

I have a basic cotton mattress on order that I am going to put on the floor, and am giving serious thought to watching TV sitting cross legged on the floor.  I even gave some thought to sawing down the legs on my table, but I do want to have some guests more than once.

Still, I think the way Asians do it is likely healthier.  We read often about overall longevity of nations, but it is worth pondering how we measure longevity of QUALITY life, as in being able to do most things yourself.  Here is one possible metric: median age at which half the aging population needs help getting off the toilet, which would include a support bar. I'm two thirds serious.  Everybody has to (hopefully) do it every day.  Needing help sucks for everyone.

I have no intention of winding up sick and senile in an old folks home, smelling like shit and urine, and eating once again the food of an infant.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Goodness

It occurs to me that growing in "Goodness"--becoming "gooder"--is a growth in the number of situations where you can be happy.  I have defined Goodness as being capable of living happily on your own, and taking pleasure in the happiness of others.  You are becoming better the happier you can be alone, and the more joy you find in the joy of others, the more places, the more ways.

And I would say relative to the last post, that I think most people walk into adulthood wounded.  They use will power to function, to get married, to have kids and raise them, but when they get to a certain age, they are tired.  They do not know how to contact the joy of living, how to replenish their spirits.  They get in ruts.  They watch TV, drink beer, cheer on the local team, and they grow old poorly, then they die.

We can do much better.  I am going to try and start my "Church" in November.  Should be interesting.  I have the spot selected and am working on a Powerpoint.  This is my answer to aging: a renewed effort to save the world.  You may call me a windmill chaser, but I am an enthusiast, and that is worth something.

I've decided to leave curing cancer to my oldest, who I have convinced to pursue it with diligence.  She is indefatigable, and with my ideas, we may have something in a few years.

I will add that in my view we all live forever--whatever that means--so extending lifespans is not an intrinsically important task.  What IS important is a new paradigm as to the nature of life, which in turn will lead to new understandings of what being human truly means, which should be the death knell for the 19th century metaphysics which still infect virtually all the sciences.  That, in turn, will create the opening for building a genuinely good world.  Pipe dream, perhaps, but everything great started as an idea.

You have to do something with your life.  Why not aim high?

Impermanence, Part 2

The beauty of children, ideally, is they call forth from us all of our creative and beneficial energies.  They give us opportunity to express completely unselfish love, a love which differs from that of man and wife in that in giving you also hope to receive.  With children, all you receive is their happiness and well-being (again, ideally: many parents rely on their children to meet their own selfish needs).

And children grow.  That is what they do.  We become connected with this process, cheering them on at this and that, commending for this or that.  Change is continual, whether we seek it or accept it or not.

We have all heard of the Empty Nest Syndrome, which is a bit different, but not that different, for single parents.  What next?  What to do with a life which had been dedicated to something which grew and left?

This is the thing: you should never get caught flat-footed.  All of us can see this coming, and need to have projects in the hopper, and new work to do.

The joy of parenting is in giving, loving, and growing.  You do not need children for any of these, though.

I personally am committed to growing as continually as I can manage as a person for the remainder of my life.  My last project will simply be interrupted by death.

Impermanence

I feel sad.  I am moving from where I have lived the past ten years, and looking through all the old stuff is bringing back a lot of memories.  Since God is a practical joker--and likes to teach through apparent bad luck--I have simultaneously gotten a bed bug infestation, and am having to weigh what to bring and what not.

I am leaving virtually all that connects me to the childhood of my children--their blankets, stuffed animals, their artwork, and even their bed.

And pondering all this, it occurs to me that the essence of letting go is opening to new possibilities.  If you remain attached to the past, this is tantamount to saying that your best years are behind you.  It is a regression, a choice of decline.

Where I was concerned, my children had very happy childhoods, fulfilling, nurturing childhoods, and they know and appreciate this.  They are both wise beyond their years.

For my part I look at, say, an piece of artwork that I had thought lost, and feel happy finding it.  Then I recollect that all that is gone.  They are gone. That child that painted that is gone, never to be again, although I may one day get glimpses of it again in a grandchild.  Who I was then, thankfully, is also gone.  I have evolved.  I have worked very hard, and seen good results.

So in the spirit of Tibetan butter art--which they create, then melt--I am going to burn my favorite drawings, in the name and in the spirit of embracing all the good things, and all the learning, which is yet to be.

I am finding that you can choose courage.  You can choose to face an unknown future calmly, and even with acceptance and grace.  You can choose to be fully human.

Edit: those pictures still make me happy in the present, so I decided to keep them.  They are the open musings of happy children, and that is an energy worth recollecting for all of us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Attempt less, succeed more

I think this is a good motto for me.

Hillary Clinton

Can you remember an election where the front runner of either party was doing anything but looking for all the publicity they could get?  Bernie Sanders certainly is.

I think this fact alone, this willingness of Hillary to trust the media to carry water for her, should speak volumes about the state of our political affairs.  She still had a commanding lead, last I read, although it was slipping.  Going months and months during a campaign season doing something close to nothing will do that.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hate

We live in a world where many words have been converted into NewSpeak, such as "homophobia", "Islamophobia", "Racism/ist", and in my view most notable "hate".

We know the left does not oppose hate per se, because it is uniquely gifted in practicing it, and preaching it, and inflicting it.  It is FOUNDED on it.  Without hate, they have nothing.

I woke up this morning feeling I have never actually hated anyone, myself.  I have always said hate is a lot of work, and it is not repaid, at least for emotionally well people.  If I disagree for one moment--or even express insufficient enthusiasm--for the propaganda de jour--soon to be de jure, if the actual haters get their way--then I am called a hater.  They take the notion of hate, then add the appropriate propagandistic appellation.

Do you think the failure of blacks to thrive is in some measure their own fault?  Then you are a hater and a racist.

Does it make you uncomfortable seeing two flamboyantly gay men adopting a little boy?  Then you are a hater and a homophobe.

Do you take Muslim radicals at their word when they say they want to destroy America?  Then you are a hater and an Islamophobe.

We all know the drill.

The actual point I wanted to make, before I got preachy, is that I think hate is a combination of fear and disgust.  We have six primary colors of emotions, and hate is a mixture of those two.  I don't know that Ekman has said so--although he may well have--but it would seem to me that hatred and happiness are physiologically incompatible and likely opposites.

You cannot be a genuinely happy Communist, at least a practicing Communist.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Negativity

I got deep into some childhood stuff last night, really to the heart of my shaking, which has always lacked pictures, and I can tell you that my previous post was a much less unpleasant process than going to my diary and writing.

At root, evil is an avoidance.  It is avoiding dealing with horrible traumas through the mechanism of enacting them.  But it is circular: the trauma makes its presence known, a sadistic act is committed, temporary peace is bought, then it all starts again.  It can never heal, and the farther down this path one goes, the harder it becomes to stop, because the pain is accumulating.

Talking about evil is in some respects for me an avoidance, but it is also I think a necessary process for me to go through, to wrap my brain around what happened to me and why.

Through an intrinsic ability for deep concentration, I was able to hide myself well enough to survive the floods.  Now, it is time to being planting seeds, and watching living things grow.

Evil

As should be obvious, I am somewhat sympathetic to New Agey sorts of things.  I believe in chakras and energy meridians, feel there is something to astrology, although I can't explain it, and of course believe in the survival of death and psychic phenomena of all sorts.

But I cannot accept this simplistic understanding that the world is a kind and wonderful place, or that some sort of miraculous improvement in the human condition will come about by any means other than clear thinking based on very unemotional, clear eyed fact gathering and following effective action.  We cannot just sit on our duffs and expect good things to happen.

I read today that Obama is trying to undermine US sovereignty: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/obama-administration-and-un-announce-global-police-force-to-fight-extremism-in-u-s/

This is no longer paranoia: there was a press conference. I will note that we ALREADY have the Department of Homeland Security, which to my knowledge, and despite an enormous budget, has not stopped ONE terrorist attack, while simultaneously failing miserably to do its job protecting our borders.

I read the Chinese are killing people and selling their body parts: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3257383/Thousands-religious-prisoners-China-livers-kidneys-corneas-ripped-ALIVE-sell-transplant-tourists-claims-new-film.html

Many of the bodies used in these "human corpses as art" seem to be Falun Gong.  I was talking with a woman on a plane, and at the exhibit she went to they even had fetuses in all stages up to the new born,which she found quite disturbing.  She said all of them looked Asian, and it is my assumption that the Chinese, in tandem with truly horrible human beings, are "harvesting" them as needed and selling them for profit.

And while I am being dark, can I ask: do we even know who the buyers are of baby parts that Planned Parenthood is selling, or what their purposes are?

I will recall this story to your mind: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/18/11755862-thai-police-arrest-man-after-babies-bodies-found-roasted-wrapped-in-gold-leaf

I read this shooter in Oregon wanted to be welcomed into Hell: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/oregon-college-shooting/oregon-shooting-umpqua-gunman-chris-harper-mercer-what-we-know-n437351

It is no doubt comforting to be able to ignore evil in the world--and that is the word, used to describe something very very old--but serious, responsible, genuinely spiritual people do not get to do this.  We have to learn both to know about the horrors in the world, and to care about them, but to not let them get to us.  We need to both know and to forget.  We need emotional skill and considerable fortitude.  There is no other way to do it right.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

If we ban guns and knives, when do we ban the weaponized forks?

Languages

Both abstract ideas and emotions have their own languages.  And I think it is important to understand that the answer to a question which is expressed in emotional language may never satisfy those who want it expressed in abstract language.

Specifically, a sense of meaning is exactly that: a felt sense, an emotional state, and way of being in your body and interacting with the world.  What is the meaning of life?  This.  This is how you do it.  Do you understand?

I am strongly tempted to say that the purpose of all human activity is emotion, either freedom from "negative" emotions or the enjoyment of positive ones.  Our minds are harnessed to that end, when usefully employed, and it seems one of the precise defects of Western culture that we have pursued abstraction as an end in itself; that we have supposed that all "true" philosophical premises must exist in the intellect.

Deconstruction can be seen as a reaction to excessive intellectualism, but it merely substitutes an incoherent intellectualism for a previously coherent, even if unsatisfying, intellectualism.

Universities pay people to at least pretend they are doing something, and sitting around feeling, as useful as it may be in reality, does not lead to words, and the production of words is the task of people in the Humanities.

Most of our wisdom is in the body.  That is where we find truth.  That is where we experience states we cannot talk about, and which cannot thus be thrust into the philosophical realm, but which are nonetheless both real and relevant.