Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Nuts, and more reflections
Mind you, I’m very fond and proud of my neural firing patterns. I spent years cultivating them, on the apparent edge of sanity but quite safely guard railed, thank you very much. Associative ritualism mined for art, self experiments in controlled thinking disorders, aliens in my brain. Stuff like that, you know? I mean, I know that aliens in the brain sounds a bit extreme and provocative to say, but that could perhaps be the executive summary for adventures in overlapping thoughts and feelings with like-minded citizens of adjacent dimensions. There are a lot of them you know, these adjacent dimensions. Science says it’s so increasingly with cool terms like eleven dimensional strings and membranes, just sort of fluttering next to each other and colliding. But the scientists are assuming that collisions are explosive, like a big bang to start the universe which may yet prove to be apocryphal (the big bang, or the universe?). Who’s to say little everyday collisions aren’t behind creative inspirations and discoveries? Like saying what i said just now, that’s a cool idea, don’t you think? I mean, aside from the pathological leap to self-observation which it implies.
But there’s too many cool ideas to pursue. And there was no reason to miss the august blog entry other than priorities. I had a topic, I had some interesting information. I feel overwhelmed by the potentials of life and the responsibility of choosing just a few priorities. I mean, the discarnate philosopher Lazaris – say what you will, his words come back to me years later, there’s something there – says the hardest choices in life are between good and good. Good and bad is easy. Look at George Bush, he knows how to choose between protecting the environment and starting a war, or building schools and starting a war, or feeding the poor and starting a war, or forging diplomacy for world peace and starting a war. See how easy it is for him to make the, uh, wrong choice.
Okay there I go again, demonizing the demonizer. Blaming. Actually, last week I got the total insight that problems in the world are natural expectable extensions and consequences of my personal negativity, and how I feel empowered and hopeful for the future. I can’t recall how that thinking worked though. If I wrote it down then I’ll post it someday, who knows it might save the world. (I say that facetiously because part of the realization was that the truth is obvious, only people have their reasons for not realizing the obvious, if you know what I mean, wink wink -- what the hell am I talking about? Anamnesis isn’t just for breakfast anymore.)
Now here’s a theory. I will confess that I have always had an urge to squeeze my cat. Not to death mind you, I’m not that out of control. But until she freaks out and we fight each other. I restrain this urge of course. By the way, this confession is not the theory, it just is the backstory.
So I think (ergo theorize), maybe we need our bad people in the world. We need our negative reflections, because without them we’d only be able to act out the negativity uncontrollably until we had to stop denying, and denying is hard to stop. I love my cat! She reflects only goodness! (I'm obviously not thinking about soiled shredded furniture when I'm hypnotically stroking her soft fur). I don't know why I want to squeeze my cat to bits!
But thanks to the miracle of other people, we get to step down our impulsive nature to the safer level of just having to act out our reactions to other people who are doing the things we hate in ourselves. (Or love in ourselves, I must remind myself that reflections can go both ways, good and bad). Of course, I’m just trying to solve the riddle of bad acting people, which begins with just that phrasing: bad acting. Which leads to our bad reacting, which is a long enough cycle that we can watch ourselves and, hopefully, learn.
We don’t actually know any bad people (heck they don’t know themselves, how self aware do you think is Bush?) we only know our experience of their actions which are bad to us. I thus refuse to be a simple demonizer. Nay, I will more complexly demonize the demonizers like Mr. Bush, destroyer of nations, hideous Bushulu, shambling Bushslogoth, bedecked with unspeakable vermin… oh, sorry. I’ve been researching HP Lovecraft for a story about his afterlife, and his vocabulary of cosmic horror just seemed to gravitate toward the president of our poor disunited states. But you know, it’s true, we always attack most in others what we’re most bothered by in ourselves, what we are struggling to observe. Bush seems to favor easy stupid answers and putting total faith in them. A tempting practice, I will admit, this game of dehumanizing a nemesis.
I still can’t remember the insight about how “problems in the world are natural expectable extensions and consequences of my personal negativity, and how I feel empowered and hopeful for the future.” But at least I’m not crushing my cat. Not to imply that Mr. Bush is either – isn’t that some advertising and propaganda ploy, to imply the adversary is doing what you are not? I’m sure Bush wouldn’t crush a cat. Probably just give it to Cheney to shoot.
Oh that reminds me, seriously, sometime after Bush and Cheney were first elected (I mean, not elected) I had a vivid dream that the Dalai Lama showed me that Bush was one of the Popes during the crusades, and Cheney was his right hand man reincarnated. That was scary, though not as scary as the state of the world today which is harder to think about all at once. Myths give us bite size allegories, we need to return to ourselves through our reflections in manageable loops of conception. Seriously, I say stuff like that a lot, and for a moment I can picture it clearly, and then it’s kind of fades into puzzlement of the sort you may be feeling trying to follow my neural firing patterns in this blog right now.
So, here was my August blog idea that got procrastinated into September now: There’s a new book about Mother Theresa taken from her personal letters which she wanted destroyed, but tough luck lady, you want to serve the people well the people want to know what you were thinking. And apparently she was full of self-loathing from a 50 year dry spell in which she didn’t believe that God existed and she was a total hypocrite to talk piously and full of love. She was bitter and lonely, and she thought the poor were depressing and disgusting, although some of life’s most rewarding moments were in helping them as well. She had mystical experiences of hearing Jesus’ voice calling her to serve when she was young and idealistic, but that was so long ago that now, she wrote, if she ever were to be made a saint of anything, she’d want to be the saint of darkness.
Wow, that’s intense. Kind of like the kind of confession I tried to get my mother to give for years but never succeeded. Well, at least we didn’t have to live in Calcutta. I had her side of the family in which to experience the range of humanity. Like most families, there were some good people and some crazies, and figuring out which is which was the test of some brand of divinity. I tell you, hearing my Baptist minister uncle preach the dangers of Catholicism, or triumphantly announcing at their funerals how he converted my parents on their death beds to his Christianity, there were clues available. But like I said, we always attack most in others what we’re most bothered by in ourselves, what we're struggling to observe on the way to some mastery. We need that externalization exercise of theatre, dramatic roles to play. Sure, I’d like to convert everyone to my way of thinking. That’s why I’m first trying to express and comprehend my way of thinking, which leads me to think that my thinking is sparked by colliding membranes of the multiverse. Aliens in my brain, friendly of course.
Unlike poor HP Lovecraft, who thought aliens were evil and trying to drive him insane. Racist self-absorbed elitist bigot that he was, as I’m finding out in my research. Don’t stop at first impressions, though you can start with them (and Wikipedia). Question authority, dig deeper, get the bigger picture because there are lessons in how things fit together. Like Mother Theresa being a hypocrite, having a longer deeper darker night of the soul than probably any saintly documented figure in history. And I feel I speak from personal connection to both of these people. My first marriage, which was a no regrets disaster, was presided over by a replacement minister (my first pick changed her mind that she could in good conscience marry us, stuck up however correct ex-friend she was) who horrified me to inject comments about Mother Theresa into our wedding ceremony just because we were getting married the day after she died, and my first wife’s family was Catholic (I was not). As for authority to comment on HPL, well, I live in the region of northeastern Massachusetts where he set all his stories of New England intersecting interdimensional horrors, just south of Arkham (Salem), Kingsport (Marblehead) and not too far from Innsmouth (Newburyport). Come to think of it, Innsmouth (Newburyport) is where my first wife was from, a loveable woman who was just in need of having some demons cast out, and unfortunately I wasn’t Jesus to do it at the time (never have been, though I hear that losing one’s self in Our Lord's identity is a common mystical experience).
Oy vey, the mirror is bouncing back more images to consider. I’m not so bad as the worst people acting badly of course. If I’m ever made a saint I want to be the saint of patient confusion, with cycles of acting out and rollercoastering self-esteem. This may be an abstract virtue, but saints have to keep up with the self-help times, I do believ. It was helpful when my friend Kurt who channels Charles (now if I was Kurt I’d be going a bit nuts trying to figure out what is Charles’ exact relationship to me, who is a part of whom and that kind of thing, but Kurt focuses on the message and gets it loud and clear) said the reflections that are other people come in several off-center varieties, not only direct images. I used to be tormented by a voice in my head that said, see, whatever you don’t like in other people, that's what you did, you’re bad, you’re Hitler, you’re as bad as them (us), bwah ha ha ha! Stuff like that. But I think that was just my negativity both encouraging me to pass punishing judgments on other people and then take them onto myself, which I so often could agree to in the jolly spirit of emotional self-flagellation. Oh how I hate it when I read about some public figure being praised for self-deprecation! Anyway, Kurt and Charles say reflections come to us when we need to check on and remember a potential of ourselves, including the way we were (past reflections), the way we could be (future reflections) and the way we don’t want to go (wayward reflections). Helpful perspectives indeed.
And then there’s always what Lazaris said, that the world doesn’t reflect us directly, it just shows what our beliefs allow. What will grow in the ways of the world that we hold to be self-evident. This makes sense to me as well. Bad people populate my cynical give-up-what’s-the-use opinions of the world. Bad acting people also become the good reason to care again, because hey, humanity is meant to be beautiful. I don’t want these twisted weaker minds turning so ugly just because infantile consciousnesses are buying into belief systems that I know better than to believe (systems that hold domination works better than cooperation, stuff like that). So there, Mr. Bush, you are released. I hope to read something smart and caring done by you tomorrow in the news (he has done some good things I know, he’s not all bad or stupid)
Oh, that reminds me, a Bushism from earlier this year that I just heard recently on NPR (National Public Radio, may Tom Ashbrook live forever at the right hand of the God who can be feminine). Now you can’t tell me this isn’t telling, although the context was about how slips and spoonerisms are more artifacts of linguistic complexity than subconscious revelation. But, Bush was talking about how people need to wait for the September report on progress in Iraq before passing judgment on his war (years and billions spent and so much death and destruction aren't enough reason to condemn a war, apparently). Bush said, “you just need to give my chance a plan.”
Yeah right. Give my plan a chance, if I can just remember what it was. Something about how problems in the world are natural expectable extensions and consequences of my personal negativity, and how I feel empowered and hopeful for the future. Damn, why do my blogs so often run aground in finger pointing. Just because there are plenty of places to point? Maybe I like to point for the same reason I’m anxious about promising to see and review for globalintelligencer.com the movie “The 11th Hour”. It's about how the world is dying from global warming, it's a nothing-cute-about-it followup to “An Inconvenient Truth”. I’m scared and pessimistic, alternating with wonder joy and optimism. Like the Dalai Lama, or H G Wells, or other positive reflections, personal heroes for life. I recently reviewed “10 Questions for the Dalai Lama”, and have been reading more about H G Wells after watching the uncommonly excellent 2001 TV miniseries “The Infinite Worlds of H G Wells”, but then I got into the pessimism of Mother Theresa and H P Lovecraft.
Whew, what complexity is there inside us all to be residing in a world of so many strong conflicting personalities! A lot of colliding membranes of the multiverse apparently, a lot of aliens in my brain.
And in the spirit of a blog, I’m calling it quits for now, and posting this forthwith (oh I’ll probably polish it up a bit next).
For further reading:
Review of “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light” (Doubleday) at http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1655415,00.html