Sort of me, sort of everyone.
“We are so convinced that past evils must repeat themselves that we make them repeat themselves. We dare not risk a new life in which the evils of the past are totally forgotten; a new life seems to imply new evils, and we would rather face evils that are already familiar… Hence we cling to the evil that has already become ours, and renew it from day-to-day, until we become identified with it and change is no longer thinkable.”
–Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
“Any time you worry that someone is going to judge you, that is really you judging yourself”
– Joseph P. Kauffman
Until this is recognized you can’t do anything to correct it.
When I’m not writing obsessive pseudoscience I may well be dreaming on screen. Not a single one of these is new, but I felt like gathering them together to talk amongst themselves.
Load order is random to alter the story every time.
“I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer’s words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,’ accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me.”
– Albert Einstein
“You see, that’s why I think that people have affairs. Well, I mean, you know, in the theater, if you get good reviews, you feel for a moment that you’ve got your hands on something. You know what I mean? I mean it’s a good feeling. But then that feeling goes quite quickly. And once again you don’t know quite what you should do next. What’ll happen? Well, have an affair and up to a certain point, you can really feel that you’re on firm ground. You know, there’s a sexual conquest to be made, there are different questions: does she enjoy the ears being nibbled, how intensely can you talk about Schopenhauer in some elegant French restaurant. Whatever nonsense it is. It’s all, I think, to give you the semblance that there’s firm earth.
Well, have a real relationship with a person that goes on for years, that’s completely unpredictable. Then you’ve cut off all your ties to the land and you’re sailing into the unknown, into uncharted seas.”
– Andre Gregory: My Dinner With Andre
Carl Jung defined the shadow as the unknown dark side of the personality.
According to Jung, the shadow, being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is understood as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.
I’m not remotely a bible guy but this is ‘chapter and verse’, my personal recipe from here forward.
“Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves” [have no self-serving agenda].
– Matthew 10:16
To speak from strength, to be trustworthy, own your serpent and own your dove. For that matter, I suppose own your sheep and wolf as well.
The two of swords from the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck.
Swords are ideas, concepts, situations, words. The two of swords is about being frozen with indecision, trapped between choices, unable to move forward and truly accept either choice. It might be a choice between two things you love or the choice between trying and giving up. My little edit is amplifying the stress one feels in that spot. Lonely, weary, and cold. Robe wet with dew, ass hurting from the stone bench. Bearing the weight of the long night. Muscles cramping and straining… yet dropping one sword won’t free you. The only escape is a truly new perspective… but gained at what cost? The night goes on.
Most of us aren’t very good at happiness and remain there about as long as we might on a skateboard or a pogo stick. Part of it is being carried about by the natural ebb of flow of events. But we treat happiness like the universe was giving us a shoulder massage and finally hit the right spot with the right pressure. “Oh yeah, that’s it! Keep doing that!” we say with gratitude as the universe moves off, perhaps sticking its finger in our eye as it goes. “Stupid universe” we can’t help but feel. That’s one issue, that a high water mark for happiness based in good luck, is like the apogee of the roller coaster: For best results, hold your hands in the air, scream with a crazy ecstasy, and laugh with your friends about it later. We don’t often learn much from our highs, and when they pass we may feel rather flat inside as if we had been fooled into joy, then returned to the disappointing truth. Again.
This feeling that reality kind of sucks is a large but subtle challenge. It grows out of the individual blend of shame, grief, and fear that plays all day through our minds like an infernal top 40 radio station. Every moment of grief, fear and shame becomes a piece of track connecting it to the next, and the next. This continuity becomes the world you recognize as your own, the self you recognize as you, and defines your expectations of what your life can be. Worse yet, it becomes reassuringly familiar and all of us need a place in our lives that IS reassuringly familiar. Part of the self then defends the borders of this dismal place against change. When we are happy, there can be a feeling of disequilibrium that the agents of our inner life work to “correct”. This is not usually something we are conscious of doing.
Things have to get pretty bad to form big enough cracks in your familiar world to shine a light on how mechanically self-defeating this is. This opportunity is almost always offered up by a broken heart. This can be a moment of true change if we consciously question and explore the reasons for the heartbreak. Feeling unlovable, and simple, robotic codependence being the most common. If a sufficiently bright flash of understanding happens, during this critical moment of searing pain it is possible to step outside of the templated sad story. This is a prison of belief taken for granted, you must achieve a minimum distance from your life story to see the path to freedom.
A broken heart contains escape keys. Find them, and head for daylight. Discover something new.