Tag: ideas

How can we give advice in a world of confusion? How can we guide others when we respect the limits of our own knowing?

I’ve learned that ignoring people who annoy me is far superior to publicly chastising them. But, this is not always an easy thing to do…I feel as though that paternalistic, soapbox mentality is very American. “Let me tell you how everyone is doing it wrong!” I do my best to spend my time finding positive and constructive solutions to problems instead of engaging in tabloid/reality TV-style drama mining to get likes online. Don’t get me wrong, I used to do that aplenty, but I found that it came from an inner sense of insecurity and fear.
Honestly, I don’t really believe in saving the world anymore. I think that if you act out of what you see as virtuous on the microcosm level, the macrocosm/society level situation will manifest as an emergent property/system. I’ve probably read the Tao Te Ching too much, but I don’t have much faith in top-down, contrived systems that are more focused on achieving ends than finding good means of being.
Working with the void has been helpful. Seeing how there is intelligence in letting go and acting in a receptive manner has enlightened me with darkness. Life seems to be a concert between me, a person on an inner-tube, arms flailing, and the river in which I move. There is no either/or when it comes to concepts of control or power. When two people dance, who is in control? Obviously, they both are. So I try not to obsess about “am I in control?!” I know I am and I am not. Language is inherently reductionistic and binary, and so there are limits to describing true reality with a tool that is probably better designed to questions of “where is the food?” and “where is the bathroom?”
The more that I’ve looked for deep meaning in life and tried to capture it like a firefly in a jar the less I’ve been successful. I want to be someone that gives people tools for transcending the mundane aspects of reality, but I also know the limits of prescriptions and commandments. I can see the irony in me saying that I can’t figure out how to tell others how to improve their lives while writing a blog post obliquely focused on a similar intent. I get it. But I don’t get it.|
Do you?

We need to stop with this left right nonsense. Everyone is both left and right in some measure. Find the middle.

You gotta be half severe as Stalin and half merciful as Mother Theresa. Yes, there are leftists who cling to and identify with victimization and in so doing try to escape from their own fears and inadequacies. There are fascists who cling to and identify with extreme judgmentalism as a salve for whatever trauma they suffered and can’t move past. We need to stop with this left right nonsense. Life is a balance between opposites. On one side is complete, loving union; on the other is stark separation. Every human organism must dialecticaly move between opposites to survive. Be male and female. Be left and right. Be ego and total spiritual dissolution. Strength lies in balance.

So who cares about this Jordan Peterson motherfucker? He’s not saying crazy things. He might be a little too severe for some or even me, but everyone has their overt and covert severity. Spamming memes instead of arguing is so 3rd grade.

I used to be really into Ayn Rand, like really into her. I went to the Objectivist speeches and read all of her books. But later I came to see her metaphysics as far too materialistic and severe and really just ignorant in many ways. However, I can still appreciate some of what she was saying about asserting yourself and being a radical individual. I mention that I used to be into Ayn Rand to some lefty types, and they sneer with dismissive derision. I had to explore the severe and later the merciful and find a balance.

America is like a brain without a corpus callosum, the structure which links the left and right hemispheres. We are like a person whose right hand is attacking their left and vice versa. Sadly, as many a wise person has uttered throughout history the answer will come in the middle. However, these days centrists are largely reviled. It’s much easier however to be totally reductive to one side of the spectrum because then you can just parrot slogans instead of alchemically balancing opposing sides to find a synthesis.

Will we elevate through the middle pillar to a beautiful balance? It’s going to happen on an individual level if anything. The reformation and revolution has to occur in individual hearts and minds. Then some good and novel synthetic balance might flower.

Rambling stream of consciousness thoughts on life Entry 1

Most people don’t understand why they’re stressed out. This thing called the 9-5 work week is eating at them and they don’t know why. Like a good fish we’ve each gone along with the school as it has moved in its increasingly strange undulations; the dance called cultural progress moves on. But we have radically altered so many of our personal environments that we don’t really know what we are anymore. Your life would be completely alien to someone born just two hundred years ago. It’s not a matter of “where are the aliens?” We are the aliens. We are achieving liftoff and distancing ourselves from our life mates here on planet Earth.
What does that mean? I don’t know, but it’s true. We are getting so remarkably good at automating our mundane tasks that our brains don’t know what to do with the free time. So we are creating conflict around us to try and keep the inner wheels spinning. But what is the purpose of all of this? What is the meaning behind this big abstract thing called culture and history and language. I’ve found amazing things in silence that cannot be communicated because they operate on the level of the heart. When I first started to really get that there were things and values that were hidden away from words, I was troubled. I thought that these things must be spoken about! But of course I missed the point then. Silence is lovely, especially when it’s internal silence. And words are gaudy neon signs on top of the true existential majesty of reality.
My personal meaning for life is to grow as much as I can spiritually, and that requires me to feed all of the other things that support that pursuit. I have to watch my health and try and stay moderate. My being is an ever changing and evolving jalopy that requires I be both a mechanic and friend to myself. I have learned to manage my vices so that they don’t drive me over the edge. I’m happy that I’m getting old. It’s like I’m getting the keys to a new luxury automobile. I learned what doesn’t work for me, and that’s invaluable.
I know I can be meandering and all faddish and all over the place. It’s my own personal style I suppose. I’ve found ways of understanding it through astrology and religion, but it’s just me. And I’m pretty happy with this jalopy of a person called that is doing its best to survive.
I’m most happy that I have learned that life is about having a good time. I’ve had some “Grade A” psychedelic/psychotic/paranormal/perplexing experiences which defy language or that I don’t have words to express. I’ve been able to discern a little bit out of the torrent of strange, and I have my personal philosophy and mythology.
I think one of the most important things I ever learned was nothing. Nothing is amazing! Sometimes I just go duhh… and that’s the best place to be. I used to think that I had to be thinking all the time in order to be a “valuable member of society.” But I like being a zero. If only for a while. Compulsive thought is my cross to bear in this existence. I’m learning to let it go and just be zero.

Identity Politics in the Real World

I have a very complicated perspective on identity politics. As a queer and transgender person, I am constantly surrounded by intense debates that center on buzzwords like privilege, race, and intersectionality. I came out as trans six years ago into the tumbler of Tumblr style politics, and I picked up the flag of radical identity politics like a good liberal and ran with it. I spent thousands of hours writing outrageous polemic after polemic that snarled at the white, male oppressor because I was, unsurprisingly, very damaged by said oppressor. I grew up being bullied by 99% male peers starting before I really had any idea what gay, queer, trans, or any of those concepts meant. I just knew I was the target. This instilled a deep resentment in me that I’m still to this day (I’m 37) trying to dig out from under and probably will be until I pass.

However, resentment is not all roses and candyland. As Mark Twain once quipped “anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” I became a festering pit of toxic resentment, which was really just a hyper-defensive state of extreme paranoia. I became increasingly suicidal until after years of living on the edge of death, I finally woke up and realized that this line of thinking was doing far more damage to me than to the “enemy.”

It’s not as simple and binary as saying that “now I’m better because I realize that identity politics is terrible!” Our system pits us against each other like terrified Pit Bulls in a dog-fighting pit with screaming Plutocrats on the sidelines urging us to bloody our fellow citizens. By the time you wake up to the fact that the other dog across from you is not the real enemy, you have become hyper sensitized to react to those dogs because they do pose an existential threat. In my estimation, this is how we are controlled from the aristocracy, and it doesn’t have to be a conscious top down phenomenon. The rich know that when people are too busy fighting with people who should be their allies, they are too distracted and damaged to band together to effect real, substantive change.

Honestly, I believe that one of the core reasons for this nascent tribalism is that our intellectuals eschewed grand unifying theories a century or two ago and devolved into Balkanized camps where each group’s minutia was equally important to the others. We lack an intellectual cohesion and vision, or this kind of vision is kept from becoming ascendant. I’m not really sure what the cause is, but yeah, I don’t know a lot of things. I’ve found more grand unifying theories in esoteric writers like Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson among others than from the official ivory towers wherein I started my search. I studied Economics and Philosophy in university, and then I realized that there was little novel creative thinking going on in those institutions. But I suppose I’m a bit of an esotericist by nature, so I needed something more avant-garde anyway.

I have seen the best queer minds of my generation destroyed by the pursuit of that elusive victim status that is going to take all of their problems away. But life is rough. Everybody has pain, even your so-called enemies of privilege. Even though I have been decimated by injustice, I now know that trying to victimize myself is a trap that I don’t want to go back into. But it’s a balance. It’s not as reductive as we’d like. Middle path, middle pillar, golden mean…

Be well fellow pitbulls.

Until we understand the psychological roots of our current national freak-out, we are not going to evolve and grow as a society.

My understanding after a few decades here is that 80% of Americans are misinformed and hobbled by improper education and that that 80% is split up into two groups called the “right” and the “left, and they are stuck in this blame cycle like a room full of crying children that is only getting louder. Strength comes from unity and deep understanding, but most people would rather consume their 7 hours a day of vapid, commercial-laden media than work to educate themselves. Nobody is going to educate you. If you think that society is going to educate you, you are most likely going to have very few skills for navigating a world that with all of our “advances” can be completely overpowering to your personal psychology.
 
Life is the shit you really don’t want to do but you do it anyways because you’re not God, you’re an animal in the jungle trying to survive, or you’re somewhere in-between. I find that my generation of Americans (people born after 1975) are incredibly spoiled, and I was one of those useful idiots who just assumed that I had some sort of birthright to be happy all of the time. In consequence, I was constantly depressed because all of these “baddies” out there were fucking it up for us. I tried to kill myself and generally self-sabotaged until I was so close to death that I was forced to grow up in an instant and let my dumb, entitled ideas fade into the void. I learned the hard way that mental health treatment can be a trap that self-perpetuates your sadness by supposing that you deserve to be happy. People all over the world and throughout time have been mixed levels of happy. If happiness comes, that’s great, but thinking that you are entitled to happiness will bring on a nasty paranoia and eventual self-loathing because life is about more than happiness. Life is about growth.
 
Upon hearing thoughts like this people will inevitably try and squeeze me into some sort of right wing stereotype even though I loathe the corporate rich and their slave empire, and I’m a transgender and queer woman, so they don’t really want me anyways. So I feel like a woman without a country most of the time. I’m supposed to be a fired-up leftist, but I really, really do not want a Maoist Cultural Revolution style feeding frenzy to happen in my society. So I’ve just resigned myself to probably not having much of an impact on my people. I’ll just meditate and make my music and look to feed myself for the day. Maybe I too have been indoctrinated to think that I have more influence and power than I do. It’s probably a remnant of growing up as a white male in America, something that has emboldened me but also crippled me in many respects.
 
I’ve spent a lot of time in mental hospitals, and I know what people who are disconnected from reality sound like. I’ve also been around my fair share of hopeless addicts, and America really is starting to resemble a crack house. I think we really have to shake loose this idea that we are entitled to happiness and luxury. I know that this concept is called decadence, and in late stage societies, it kind of plays out like clockwork, but I suppose it’s worth it to try and figure out what might right the ship.

Live according to your true will and the universe will raise mountains beneath you

Nothing reduces to single factors like so many want life to. The mind is a wheel of mutually arising possibilities. Yeah that might be more complicated, but what’s more complicated is trying to live according to a fairy tale notion of simplicity that is obsessed with singular root causes. This applies to people and personalities too. Some people are drivers, some people are riders, some people are sages, some people are artists. Very few are all of these things. Everyone will be all things at some point thousands of lives from now, but right now it’s best to find your individual purpose and true will and accept your limitations instead of lusting after the lie that “Everyone should do these 8 things!!” Modern materialistic science wants to reduce everyone to fundamental and universal factors, but then we just end up with a lowest common denominator society.

A Few Words

God gave you a left hand and a right hand. On one side there are things that happen to you and you’re the victim or receptive or yin. On the other side, you are the actor, the thinker, the yang. You can’t reduce it to one. It’s both, well at least both. I’m not that smart enough to know how many hands reality has. But you can’t say that you’re a total victim, and you can’t say that you’re a total egotistical controller. We’re all both in varying degrees. So can we please meet in the center? Can we have a mosh pit of love and understanding. I know that some people are “unrelatable” but people change. I used to be a frothing right winger. I grew up. Let’s all stop being total know-it-alls that are completely convinced that the other side is wrong. Certainty is poison. There is no certainty in a complicated system of oppositional actors. Humility, Please?!
By the way, WTF is wrong with you Donald Trump. I’m talking to you as one of those horrible trannies that you want to cleanse out of the military. (BTW, only we can say tranny. Don’t fucking say it if you’re not a tranny.) Grow the fuck up motherfucker! Simmer down my brother. You’re not fucking Christ. Lord. The amount of intellectual certainty in this budding Aquarian Age is just too much. Yeah, we kind of know things because of science, but science is wrong every day.
OK I feel better. It’s such a fucking disaster. Center. Breath. Ground. Know that you’re a dumb ass ape. Life is work.
I’m drunk, but hey, I can write a few words.