Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Eyes

these issues are very disturbing. I would hope they would be, to anyone. Reminds of that quote which I can't quite place about if you don't like my answers, stop asking such dangerous questions. In this case the dangerous questions are constantly being asked by real life circumstances. We who hear do feel compulsion to answer disturbingly. If we hide from all disturbance of our status quo and our self-taught lies, how are we to change the horrific realities?

It is not up to us to decide what a god will condemn. We, each of us, make our own equations as to what falls to good, neutral, evil. Situations can be quite complicated, or facile and obvious. To my mind, we are here to learn who we are and how to act accordingly. I believe in peace and cooperation among humanity as the most useful and mutually beneficial course. It is not necessary to condemn in order to work toward the perceived goal. It is much more useful to treat each other with compassion and familial concern. Yet we all know there are often bitter arguments within families when strong emotions are evoked. In a universe there is room for it all.

I agree that Pastor Wright's statements are true, and applaud him for his public valor and spirit. This does not mean that Obama is false when he proclaims that he split with his pastor because they are promoting vastly different messages. Pastor Wright got it right (again) when he said that pastors and politicians answer to different bosses. Wright is telling a deep set of truths and fighting an ongoing battle. It is a different set of truths and a different battle from Obama's.

Obama's core message has been from the start not about historic wrongs, but present necessities and the need for unity among the diverse peoples of the U.S. He rightly understands that Wright's message is acting as a divisive distraction from his call to put aside our differences in favor of working for our common goals and common good.

It is not necessary to condemn one side in order to uphold the other. Both men, both messages, are important. They are only conflictual when pushed into combat by the public cry for either/or logic. There is more than enough room in this wanting to be great country for good people to find their individual vocations at various points in the overall fabric needing to be mended.

So sad that we have to go through pain to understand how pain is gone through. No need to leap into homilies or even thoughts of healing in the first throes of emotion. If we allow the emotion to feel its way all through our being, we can merge and go forward, having grown. It doesn't have to be a lesson in the sense of schooling. It is what we learn because that is how we are made.

What I don't get is why lenders didn't work out new loans for their defaulting customers which would be within the home buyer's means. That way, everyone could have gotten what they ostensibly went into the loan to get: the home buyer a home, the lender a return on their investment. The government would not have had to get involved, and the US financial situation would be less immediately dire.

In regard to the threatened Bush veto, he is also expecting action on Iraq War financing. If the Congress had the cojones we pay them for, why not insist the housing bill be signed before they agree to any more funds for Iraq? Although, if they want to give their constituents what we want, that funding needs to be minimal, with the idea of getting troops out, not extending their stay.

If we had reasonable laws against usury we would not be in any kind of financial mess like this. I understand getting a return on your risk, but anything over say 12% a year for credit cards is ridiculous. Mortgages ought to have a reasonable time to pay off/interest ratio so that mortgage payments stay well within the means of the buyer. Financial institutions, like so many institutions, seem to act based on some theory of divine right to profit, rather than as a service organization getting paid for providing good social benefit. We have no free market here, so letting the market make its magical corrections is not only dubious theory, but not an option. The market is obviously and unapologetically manipulated for the benefit of corporate interests even though these manipulations in fact destroy the whole conceptual basis to the benefits of capitalism. If we were intelligently designing our market system, restrictions would be on the corporations for the benefits of the consumers, the environment, the social structure and public good in general, and the lower level workers who actually do the productive work.

People are complaining that corn is being used for fuel rather than animal feed, but the companies buying the corn for fuel are probably doing a two-for-one because the process to make alcohol uses the sugars, not the proteins. The proteins can then be used as animal feed. What is lost is the high fructose cornsyrup.

What is "science"? It's not what scientists do, or what we have learned in science class. It is a method to achieve knowledge. As is astrology, which may be classified as a proto-science by some. There is observation and notation and calculations and theorizing and observation, etc. What your average astrologer is doing, like a cook, is using "scientific" principles in practical commonplace application.

Interesting that they are so concerned with possible effects of "illegal" drugs on the aging brain, when the real ill-effects of highly touted pharmaceuticals get little attention. It would be nice if we could all be made aware of the risks and benefits and make our own choices of recreation and medicine. Did you see the Bill Moyers program exploring the scam of big pharm? Did you see the effects they showed in older folks who had been scammed into taking Detrol for a made-up disease? I just saw a very aggressive Detrol commercial on network tv, with none of those effects even mentioned. They made it seem like any side-effects were slight and unlikely, and this wonder drug would make life so much better. It's all a matter of who is getting the money, and how well they lobby Washington.

There is good reason, though, for those who are victimized in this sense to change their actions not in the sense of adding to their powerlessness in regard to the larger system, but to change their cognition and actions toward understanding the political aspects of their "personal" situation. Thus, with encouragement toward this attitude, powerlessness can be overcome by a new understanding of power as the politics of standing up for our own well being.

I have been working to reframe my "depressive episodes" as fluctuations in energy -- no blame, in fact a message to go within for a while to recharge.

Have you seen the documentary on Depression currently being aired on PBS? I watched last night and was appalled. Their first line of defense against cognitive/behavioral issues was these dangerous drugs, which they admitted they don't really understand but just experiment patient by patient taking advantage of confusion and misery. They even touted electroshock. Yet, when we saw the results in the lives of the people whose stories they were following, the best result was for a young black man who refused to take drugs and transformed his life by engaging with an older woman activist and working for a community support group, along with talk therapy to work out his early life traumas and resultant ptsd. The white well-off parents of depressed teens talked about how they hated to send their kids away for treatment and now the kids are back home and doing better on daily drug cocktails, but you can see what was destroying these kids was lack of intimacy in their lives so they always felt they had to play a role to be acceptable. Nothing at all was mentioned about complementary or alternative therapies, such as expressive therapies, though it was pointed out that regular exercise helps keep depression at bay. What they did keep emphasizing: "This is a disease and therefore treatable." I may have it wrong, but I didn't know there was treatment for every disease, even postulating these basically faulty software issues to be "disease", but I digress. Of course, the major point was that poppa Psychiatric Association knows best, and what we know is you gotta take your medicines, no matter what the ill-effects, because we have more medicines for those.

Of course what works for you works for you. There is no reason why you should not do what is best in your individual circumstance. I am objecting to all the forced/coerced/drugs first phenomenon. People's lives are being ruined because they are misdiagnosed, given harmful treatments (side effects are just some effects created by the mixture of the chemical and the body, not side at all) and made to feel disempowered by dependency. My take is that we should be given all the information, easily available and digestible, and allowed to choose. Kids should not be coerced into these kinds of treatments. A big part of that information we need is about the alternative and complementary therapies, and alternate ways of framing "symptoms."

I was dreaming that I was walking along a verdant highway shoulder with my brother and his wife. She was asking about my mental health issues. I explained to her that I was coming to the realization that I was no longer "sick." I had gone through a long healing process. Now I was not a sick person healing, but a new person I had not been before. My task now was to learn how to be that person effectively.

As I was saying this last bit, she let us know that we needed to cross the highway here, to get to a place she wanted us to enjoy in the woods on the other side. She and my brother raced across when she said: "now." However, I got caught by traffic that came up on my too quickly. I have a recurring dream situation in which I am trying to get across a street or some such and find my feet somehow glued or tarred, unable to move. I remembered that and expected this situation to ensue. However, to my surprise, I found I was able to, lane by lane, cross the highway after waiting for the oncoming traffic in that lane to clear. I woke up before reaching the other side.

I have been musing on my current Pluto transits, the idea of transformation being about a permanent change. People often look at transits as temporary conditions that we will get over,
but the influences of life's experiences make us something new. The challenge and the gift is to embrace the changing and dance with it, not static "beings" (though I do understand that that is a verb-alization, implying movement) but amazing ever-becomings.

All the in your face political "news" here in the US seems to be reiterating that epic story about crises trying to knock us out of our comfort zones into more creative usefulness of changing conditions, and more useful change to move us beyond stagnant stubborn facts.

All the epic conditions, the magicks and miracles and heroics, great conflicts, tragedies, comedies, ironies, classic adventure and philosophic enlightenment do exist in the everyday. Every and all of us is forever being given opportunities to rise above, become more, understand and relate better, create ourselves as ecstatic evolving art.

Ralph Nader is an astute student of politics and society, a rare practical idealist reformer, a member of the best of what America is about. If it comes down to Hillary v. McCain plus Romney in the Fall, I'll be voting for him again.

So ex-Republican Congressman Bob Barr has become the Libertarian Presidential Candidate for 2008. He claims he split with the Republicans over the Iraq conflict, and that now that he has been taken in to the warm bosom of the Libertarian Party, he has seen the light and repudiated laws he once helped to pass, such as the US PATRIOT ACT, and the Defense of Marriage Act.

I can see that the Libs are non-foolishly taking the chance to get some big name recognition. Personally, I would have preferred Steve Kubby, to get the mmj issue front and center. You know all those sick pot-smokers in prison can't be helping the economy or the cause of social justice.

This is what America is all about: freedom of expression to promote ideas and counter promote, and find out what matters to each of us and perhaps ways to make it all intertwine effectively (though we could probably do better without the blaming and invective).

Registering voters is an important part of the process. However, there is a lot of educating of citizenry that needs to be addressed. I am constantly being amazed by how little "we the people" generally seem to know about how our government is supposed to work. No wonder it rarely does.

Congress never seems to get "it" in I guess some kind of mindless groveling to some imagined public view. I saw Newt Gingrich on tv today promoting prizes for innovative solutions to such concerns as energy and healthcare. I don't know if that would work, but I like the idea of innovative solutions to finding innovative solutions. I think a diverse open set of possibilities being worked on would be best.

Is evil jungle law
slavering jaws crushing life
to live
and what of love
sucking souljuice exquisitely
redeemed by mutuality

Of course, politics is a sporting event for the fans wherein the sportscasters explain the plays and we get to cheer and boo for our team.

Whichever utopia/dystopia or bit by bit moving along the time track we find ourselves a part of, real life is not just blinding science window-dressing. Real life is day-to-day relationships and figuring out paths to personal goals.

So many don't get it. "God" the almighty, ineffable, allthatis, is not some grandfather in the sky. It is All That IS, including the entire physical universe, the entire spiritual realm, all of us and all the techniques we discover to figure out bits of "reality." Eternity is a process; for humans, a learning process.

The purpose of religion is to bind people together into a community. Unfortunately, a lot of people get the whole concept twisted.

My right to move my arms should only be limited at the point of your body -- freedom, liberty, equality under the law seem to be eroding under the pointy heal of self-righteous would-be-demi-gods in their effort to bring human fate into their rulership. This is nothing new.

You know, it would be a freer market if government didn't support some industries over others. It would be a fairer market if people trying to create new resource paradigms, or better ways of distributing a variety of solutions to such problems as "energy" had better access to r&d funding. It would be a much more useful market if diversity of small solution operations were encouraged.

It would certainly help to stop giving subsidies and tax breaks to companies that are not making the effort to employ Americans. It would also help if Americans were more entrepreneurial, not dependent on these companies to create jobs.

We are operating out of a faulty paradigm when we think of healthcare as being about profit rather than about keeping the population optimally healthy -- the latter proposition being ultimately much more to the benefit of the overall economy. No, there is nothing wrong with making a profit. It is what business is for. However, there are other models than having healthcare run by the insurance industry.

Yes, anger overcomes reason, and love. But why are people angry? Do they feel unheard, and therefore a need to scream?

I am in favor of getting all the votes in from all the states. I am in favor of the candidates touring all the states, interacting with the people, getting their messages out widely and narrowly and in each and every crevice. I also see the campaign spending state by state as bringing needed funds into shriveling economies. This is all good.

I don't mind people having different views/ideas/rationales/policies. I enjoy mind-expanding dialog, getting a chance to get deep into what I really think, or what may be misconceptions. I am happy to be inspired by others' thoughts and experiences. What I can't deal with is the angry meanness, the ad hominems and cutting remarks meant only to deflect from real engagement.

Hearts of hope and passion
broken on the wheel
of disregard

These days if a kid should show real creativity, they most likely will have it drugged out of them.

Words, those slippery static bits
of hapless evocation
I learn again the meaning of language
losing words of specificity
finding my true calling

Even if those pro-Clinton people who have threatened to voted for McCain, which is unlikely given that he is not campaigning to their interests, there are not enough of them to matter. McCain is a very weak candidate, with little support in his own party. He is not the straight-talking McCain of 2000 who could pull large support from independents and Democrats. Obama is the much more the uniter. Once the lines are more clearly drawn in the Fall, most of the "Hillary supporters" who are not just voting against the black man, will see where their interests lie.

I'm worried about John McCain. He seems to be fading into some kind of senile dementia in which he can't remember what he said or believed when in his right mind.

The problem is, there isn't an "ever after." We are happy in a moment of bliss, then sad or mad or fearful or numb or any other state we may enter for that moment.

Our brains are constructed to create order. We find order in the randomness, and feel more in control. We create an ordered reality in which to move based on where our attention is placed. We build up a world view of cause/effect/control through an unconscious ordering of our experiences. When it all falls apart, we blame rather than understanding our mistake.

All that is or ever was or can occur
Exists in whirling mists, a cosmic blur
To set out bit by bit a brilliant poem
Weaving eternally our common home

It is perfectly normal (or at least it better be) to think for oneself. Therefore I am normal though I disagree with quite a bit that is considered to be the norm.

When we mature we realize the remarkable contradictions of being human. Mom and dad had to live their lives and figure it out as we are. It's not about finding a perfect person to emulate. It is about figuring out our own path, imperfect as we and it and they may be.

Chilling, and so sad.
Mothers are meant to be
comfort, salvation,
the rock from which to launch
the ships we harvest
Mothers closed in on
dreams never opened to
mere children
Laying offspring on
sacrificial altars
appeasing long-held
griefs and anger
take and lose far too much

The middle way is neither narrow nor restrictive, but takes in all that can be

In the physical universe nothing is created or destroyed, everything changes

playing in the mist of cinema
reckless images thrown from the screen
which shall we carry?

those quiet digestive interludes,
going into the depths to find the light
so ethereal, fragile, belying
the strength implicit in the search

Can you imagine a world of work in which people do their jobs and get paid without having to submit to indignities and lack of respect? Can you imagine a welfare system that actually helps people to resolve the issues that keep them from being able to work and get paid without having to submit to indignities, lack of respect, and paychecks too small to cover their daycare/travel expenses/other work related expenses/healthcare/rent and other basic living expenses?

Of course the truth is that people create jobs. People, in fact, have created the whole concept of "job". Ideally, what we are talking about is dividing labor in an efficient way so that all the
work we want as society to be done gets done. Then, you bring in the theory of capitalism with investors and markets and homage to the great human trait of greed. I have been wondering about this. Is greed made more dominant because of this homage? If we devised an economic system based say on usefulness of work done, or a love of beauty and grace, or active compassion, or just a balance of work and play, would greed become irrelevant? They say it is what we give our attention that grows, or something to that effect.

As I watch commentary on the election and hear people's thoughts about the candidates and the process, I realize how very ill-educated the vast majority of American people are about our political system, how our country is run (or supposed to run) and what their responsibilities and place is within the structure of "we, the people"

I have been thinking about this idea of dignity in relation to remarks about depression as a result of powerlessness.

I am postulating that here in Western society this powerlessness is more often against the social world than the world of nature. Looking over my life experiences, and those reported by others, there seems to be a strong bias in our methods of education and socialization toward shame, expectation of ambition toward specified areas of success, class structure based on denying personal power which acts oppressively in ways to exacerbate internalized aggression and
hatreds. There is a tamping down of what could be creative resources in individuals. The value of keeping young children still and quiet for most of their day discourages energy and natural enthusiasm. In such a frame, rampant depression makes sense as the norm. It is our denying of the dignity of each and all of us that sickens us societally and individually.
So, it is not just about maintaining dignity in the face of mental illness, but even more fundamentally about the desirability of promoting the value of dignity as a prime preventive measure, to maintain sanity defined as the meta condition of health.

The Earth screams
People die before their time
Or never get much of a life
Species die, their music silenced
Crazy theories of wealth
belie obligation or simple seeing
the laws of consequence
Scream Earth!
Pierce the cosmos with your
terrible cry
Acid rain burning through gold

I am thinking about starting a Yahoo Group Writers' Circle. Would you be interested in joining such a group? Would you like to help to form it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have very interesting ideas.

"So many don't get it. "God" the almighty, ineffable, allthatis, is not some grandfather in the sky. It is All That IS, including the entire physical universe, the entire spiritual realm, all of us and all the techniques we discover to figure out bits of "reality." Eternity is a process; for humans, a learning process."

Seems like you have a very good soul to me.