|WillowBear's Amble: The Duplicity of Complacence|
6 comments4 Dec 2002 @ 16:22 by invictus : Thanks Ben...
Your timing in posting this entry was really good. I'm feeling rather rootless, or at very least I'm in serious danger of feeling that way these days. I really haven't decided yet whether the way I can't help but be is a mistake. In the long run, I'll do everything I can to make sure it's not, because I really can't imagine myself giving up, but I do wonder. Thanks for the entry Ben; it's nice to read someone who "gets it". There were several sentences in it that made me go WOW...
It's so weird; the different ways people find to deal. It is even weirder that so much of our society doesn't think people have any reasons for dealing as they do, or that there's not even enough wrong with the situation for there to be reasons to go a bit... dealy : ). That confuses me; that there are people all over the place who honestly can't at least conceive of how this world can drive a perfectly good, reasonable person insane. Not that good, reasonable people should LET it drive them insane. Still, people think the kids are just bad or screwed up. Yeah, society people, now think about the cold-heartedness and pain that made them that way. And oh for the love of humanity, people, please don't call it all a "phase".
I'm so glad to read this ... thanks very much. You might notice that I've been posting rarely (and my blogs are just as sparse, if not moreso) ... I've been feeling rather blanched. Your response is heartening.
Greg Bateson and R.D.Laing's work on mental health highlight the social aspect ... resonances of the old African wisdom that "I am because we are" ... what meaning is there at all to the construct of "I" without reference to the social context.
My lovely young friend is suffering from an absence of cant, if you will ... I don't think she's "gifted" with the sort of capacity for fundamental deception that so many are. Or, perhaps, she is truly gifted with some insight or intuition concerning authenticity, and so feels empoverished by the general conspiracy of delusion and self-deception?
I don't know what frightens me more ... that folk haven't the courage to break out of matrix, or that they are truly not conscious of the prevailing conditions. My buddhist teachings remind me of how suffering arises from the sad misunderstanding of what pain is all about (the pain of not being a truly self-existing "I"? But ... why should I want other than this interelatedness?!). And my marxist studies have lead me to conclude that there is no other source of consiousness (in any meaningful sense) than the mundane fabric of social affairs. So (and this is increasingly my focus ... call it "humane governance", for lack of a better buzz-word) I'm left thinking that for our health, for the health of our children, and for the sake of the planet (i.e. for all beings, sentient and otherwise) we had better give our heads a shake and smell the flowers.
A measure of value other than wealth and power? Gee, now /there's/ a concept!
*When the begging bowl is ignored, the truly meek shiver in the deep shadow cast by the prideful.*
Ben, the things you say about your young friend are very insightful. I can feel certain aspects of those things in myself. The more I get to know myself, the more I come to believe that I am simply incompatible with the prevailing wisdom. I wouldnt want to be, in any case. Its just starting to seem like I really couldnt be. So what things you say about being gifted/gifted make a lot of sense. Makes one wonder about human nature and the different directions it can take. If a lot of the ugly things that people seem so eager to write off as human nature really are nature, then Im almost starting to think Im not human. But, then again, I really dont think our nature is what most people would make it out to be.
Interesting comments about the concept of self, too. Rather than saying I am because we are, I would go more for something more like I am because we were at some point in the past; now I just AM, period. Another thing Im finding out in my recent self-explorations is that my self is really strong. My sense of I isnt dependent on the social context as much, anymore. The social context is very important, seeing as we live in the physical world and all, but not critical to the sense of self. There really is a lot of interesting stuff in the inner world enough to keep me occupied for an eternity. Ive often had the argument with people over whether it would be tolerable to be a completely disembodied and isolated brain. I usually think it would be. No one else Ive ever spoken to about it has agreed. The social context is necessary for establishment of the base line stuff, but I feel that, as I am now, I would still have a very meaningful self if the outside world, with all its interconnectedness, along with all the information coming from my senses, were to disappear. Thats what my being feels, anyway. Thats more of an interesting thought experiment than anything else; it wouldnt happen. And I wouldnt give up the interconnectedness and the beautiful people with their own beautiful selves for anything. But I do really believe that there is a self outside of the interconnectedness. I do want more than the all-is-one interrelatedness that Buddhism has to offer. Why? I just do; its what makes my life interesting, and having a very strong, developed sense of self will allow people to better serve each other. I have a huge sense of individualism, but NOT the kind that promotes the individual at the expense of others. I dont think thats at all necessary, and that is one of the big problems in society. People get individualism and selfishness confused.
"Humane governance"? Hmm... I'm always cautious of things when they become buzz words : ). But amen to what you said about smelling the flowers and different standards of value.
5 Dec 2002 @ 01:42 by jazzolog : Your Friend
I worked 3 different psychiatric institutions some 30 years ago. One of them was the big old self-contained type, with lots of farm acreage and all that. Underground tunnels connected the steam-heated buildings. Another was a modern, open come&go joint. The one in the middle sounds more like where your friend is. It was for rather well-connected and educated folks, professionals...but often long-term, lots of depression in there, anorexia, LSD stuff, adolescent angst. That breezy attitude attempts 2 things: 1) give an assurance we know what we're doing and this isn't going to be so bad, and 2) prevent you from getting too comfortable in here. That second motive is to counteract the greatest psychological fear of our time: that some schizophrenic part of you is going to decide to set up housekeeping in here and never leave! Life in the back wards, where the "chronics" or "cronks" end up, while containing horror stories beyond comprehension, was not the end of the world. It was possible to create the narrow line required to live out one's days in them, without ever being offered the terrible option of discharge and a place of one's own.
I wish your friend well, and commend you for visiting, Ben. Continue to do so, if you can, dear friend, for both your sakes. To the new sufferer in a psychiatric unit, a day without a visit from somebody is hell beyond relief.
5 Dec 2002 @ 03:27 by shawa : Hi, friends...
Andy, buddhist studies is a way of learning about matrix. A fine one. The critical thing is how to get a distance from something that we all carry inside, at the very root of what we perceive as "reality", "who-I-am".
Before going crazy, become a buddhist! :-) And there are fine people at NCN (cho, Jeff, for ex) to give you information and some advice about how to start.
The problem with kids, is that the role models are no longer effective. So - until we create some new role models, the kids will die, either in the mental wards, or from a nasty disease, or in the killing fields. As representants of people over 50, we have at one point or another contributed, knowing it or not, to the general craziness, and so we have a collective responsibility towards the young ones.
5 Dec 2002 @ 03:32 by shawa : Let´s not give up!...
5 Dec 2002 @ 16:44 by invictus : No danger...
Of me giving up Shakti. I don't know about everyone else, but I don't think I could. Like, I literally couldn't do it. Impossible. It'd be like someone asking me to kindly stop keeping my DNA in my cell nuclei. As for Buddhism, it's not quite for me. : ) I agree with you on role models. Role models that can teach kids to think for themselves are the most important thing. Sounds cliche, but that's what I appreciated from my parents. They let me work things out for myself, and were supportive at the same time. I really couldn't ask for much more from them than that. In my education too; the best parts were where the role models were independent thinkers who allowed us to do the same.
Anyone who has been awake for even a second and not gone absolutely off the wall and given every fiber of their being in trying to fix things has contributed to the craziness at least a little. It sort of comes from living in this society at all; especially being a "productive" member. But hey, who wants to play the blame game... hee hee? We all need the fixing/healing to happen, and we all deserve it too. We all have the responsibility like you said, but it's to everyone equally, except ourselves. It's about double or triple to ourselves, because we're the ones we control. That's my fierce individualism streak coming out. It's not just to the young ones. I mean, do it for the children, but not only for the children. I'm not a parent, I know, so my emphasis is different.
6 Dec 2002 @ 00:58 by shawa : Do it for the world.
Do it for your self. Do it because there is no other way.
Other entries in Opinions
26 Dec 2002 @ 12:45: Self and Others