Thursday, 22 February 2018

a distillation

We all like to be acknowledged and appreciated. We all like to know we count.
-Frances Cole Jones

I think self-help gurus as Frances are full of crock as the Buddhist monk that I just saw being cutely cryptic on TV saying that 'enlightenment' cannot be taught and that when he points out the moon for us that we should not be distracted by his pointing finger. -what is enlightenment anyway?

But I really believe in the quote above. I think deep down when we see beyond ourselves (to look at ourselves), when all attachments, ambitions, and expectations fall away from focus we do realize that 'we all like to be acknowledged and appreciated' - just as the Christ said, plain and simple - no four-fold, eight-fold, umpteen-fold path, no 12 step program.

I've been force-feeding myself all the ugliness I see on the news everyday, not really knowing why and what for. Then, I came across the quote above this morning and it kind of stuck to me because I recently experienced (in my mind) its absence personally (if only for a moment): I literally lost my mind.

Jay

Ps: two very important persons in my life (whom I tried to drive away) reached out and snatched me from my madness despite myself.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

I am human

nothing human is strange to me. I am in the fray. -to paraphrase Publius Terentius Afer, that is.

in the great wilderness my honour is my currency, my word the mite everywhere else after.

A postcard from the other side

There was me before and there was me after.

In an unexpected turn of phrase in my formulation of the problem, it suddenly solved itself...

Sunday, 28 January 2018

A strange kind of calm

One thing that I've realized in my breakdown and most difficult decision to self-impose a permanent estrangement from someone who was once utterly important to me (well, still is but I've come to accept some things that stem from the breakdown), is that I seem to have attain some kind of strange calmness. It's just that I've been in a hellish waiting mode all these years and once that is gone there is peace that probably is not strange but normal but certainly something that has become unfamiliar to me because of its long, long absence in my life.

Jay

Friday, 29 December 2017

The "bootstrap" model of the human mind

As most of you have surmised, I had a breakdown recently. Recent events, including those of my own making, had me in a tail-spin about the nature of my existence, my unfulfilled expectations, and how I've reacted badly to certain things that all human beings confront at some point in their lives.

I've spent the last decade plus, thinking a certain way, always with a shadow of a doubt and uncertainty, hoping against hope (simply because I had no other choice), that I would be reunited with my estranged daughter. This uncertainty has always been a source of my sometimes debilitating bouts of depression.

Having temporarily lost all semblance of rationality, I have confronted the utter meaninglessness of life in the Buddhist sense of the word.

See, we all go through life accumulating and assessing and reassessing the veracity of our realities and we act "accordingly"; we expect the world to have certain qualities that make our lives tolerable even when confronted in-our-face by the possibilities that only we are responsible for wrestling down the "meaning of life" and that reality will be there regardless of our stumbles and falls.

Over the last few days I've come to realize that reality has no such obligations to us. Of course we believe that it has certain qualities like 'love', 'courage', 'integrity', etc. if only to stave off the negative aspects to what we consider 'virtue' (ie, not as opposed to 'vice' but as characteristics we admire in others and want for ourselves and the world).

We talk about and celebrate greatness in our fellow human beings and their great accomplishments, some of whom are long dead. This forms part of our sense of ourselves. I do not deny the fact that I have a choice - and I think that this is what saves me from myself even in the aftermath of my rage (and I'm very much prone to losing my temper especially when frustrated by my loved ones).

But this "choice" really is a bootstrap model of my mind. My mind literally pulls itself up by the bootstraps and constructs my realities, and sometimes deconstructs my realities (which is a positive when I think in a new way).

I have found that reality really has nothing to do with my sense of self and what I think I can and have contributed to my fellow-humans. I am no more 'special' than the millions of baby sea turtles that die off before reaching maturity.

I think that I still have something special to contribute if not to my family and loved ones than to the larger world, but, as much as I love the prospect of helping, the germination and fruition of my ideas are not a given any more than I now know that I'm the product of tenacious grasping at straws but whose final end I do not know.

Jay