America, we are one of the more materialistic, and therefore one of the more defensive, narcissistic cultures mankind (and I left in the term man purposefully) has seen fit to conger up from the depths of our fears and the delusions of our fantasies.
We should listen to Freud when he says, “I believe that a change in the relationship between man and his possessions will do more to bring about moral change than all of our preaching.” I think that he also said such a change would be more powerful than rules and regulations, but I’m not sure. I think that is true. Freud added, “So long as virtue is not rewarded here on this earth instead of the afterlife, [all attempts at] moral behavior will be in vain.”
p.s. the phrase depths of our fears and delusions of our fantasies, is a take-off on Rod Serling’s description of our imagination as ranging from the pit of man’s fears to the summit of his knowledge. I think that civilization today, especially in America, has sadly substituted our infantile fantasies for the summit of our knowledge, while still playing upon our fears.
Filed my taxes, certified mail. Forgive me, but while I was standing on an inordinately slow line at the post office I thought, “They must screen these guys, accepting only those who work at a pace which would lose not only to a tortoise, but also the napping hare, and who, despite a line stretching out of the doors, refuse to alter their routine.” God bless ‘em, they almost make me look forward to a time when machines will do all of this sort of thing, and of course most people file electronically already.
I just wonder whether or not the machines we become dependent upon will decide that human beings are outdated, fit simply to carry out what the machines consider the dirty work, a modern take on H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.
It seems that the more likely scenario is a change in the species human being, as we become bionic and as we move out into space.
There are a lot of churches in Astoria, but I never see crowds of people, or even small groups of people, or anyone for that matter, going to the churches on Sunday. A sign of changing times?
Trivial is a tricky word, to be used carefully when being applied to the pursuits of others. Meaningless factoids are one thing, as in Trivial Pursuit, but unimportant human patterns, I’m not so sure. Anyone’s routines are important as adaptive mechanisms of survival.
I have used the word ridiculous many times, applied to my own self and others. I think it indicates a value judgment without denigrating the importance of a person’s life quite as much as the word trivial, but maybe that’s just a rationalization.
Anyway, just a thought, maybe or maybe not trivial.
The aggressive and nurturing instincts often seem to be at odds, while the sexual instinct seems to merge with both.
Something really interesting is happening right now in Nevada - a bunch of cowboys are standing up to the US government, and the government is blinking. It shows that there is a limit to what the government will do.
Now, keep in mind that I would not want to live within a society in which there is no system for ensuring law and order. But of course I was born and raised, and live in New York, so I know of no other viable alternative to the system of courts and police which is needed to control the aggressive energies of this city’s inhabitants. Without the system’s protection I’d probably be killed, or have to find protection within some group of people.
But I do think that the cattle rancher at the center of the Nevada standoff, who was asserting a right for his cattle to graze on public land, has a point. The government is looking for a cut of the action, a “grazing fee”, so even though I think that the cattle industry is something we’d be better off without, the government is not doing this out of empathy for the poor cattle, but merely to fatten its wallet.
I don’t know who’s right or wrong in this little melodrama. The only thing that can be said with certainty is that in a relatively minor threat to the system, the armed civilian men have prevailed, for the time being.
Sounds like something that’ll be made into a reality show.
Spiritual teachers speak of our original nature, sometimes saying our true nature. But what is it? It seems to be a potential. The potential to develop a system of thought, linked to emotion, along with a physical system which processes sensory input and allows for the physical responses providing our material needs. The potential to adapt to the brave and scary new world, with instincts, the ability to develop a cognitive perceptual universe, with social relationship, and the tendency to feel things as good or bad.
The important thing to keep in mind is that our original nature develops, and different aspects of our nature change along their own path, over time. Two such aspects are original need and original aggressiveness, and the chart of development from original nature through social development could be looked at as:
Original Nature = need
Learned = conditioned want
Exaggerated = craving
Original Nature = Submissive versus dominant
Learned = Accommodating/Appeasing* versus
Exaggerated = Surrendering will/ Sacrificing
own needs to will and needs of
another person versus
person solely for satisfaction of
*to bring to a state of peace, quiet, ease, calm, or contentment; pacify; soothe - Wikipedia:
I was watching people play tennis and thought that physical assertion is as important to us as our individual development of a place where we fit in within our inner perceptual social universe, which will be more or less in congruence with the actual social reality. In fact, I had a period of a couple of months during which I had lost my rational capacity to make choices about daily activities, my level of anxiety was so high that as soon as I began to act on any choice I had made the anxiety became unbearable, because I began to question the outcome of the path, before turning around and repeating the process in the opposite direction, ad infinitum, crazy. I was runnin’ to all the emergency rooms in the area and drivin’ them crazy and at one point a doctor said that it was either anti-anxiety medication or a hospitalization. I took the prescription but not the medication. I began to run, just a couple of miles a day. Did pushups. And then I went back to work. And between those acts I was able to bring the anxiety back under control. So I really believe in the power of exercise to alleviate anxiety.
Sporting activity certainly has value, but not to the point of exhaustion or extreme stress to our physiology, sometimes leading to chronic pain and injury. I think we have taken sport too far. Indeed, the word sport indicates diversion, an alternative to what we do in our ‘professional’ (ie. money-making) time. But we have turned sport into a profession, creating role models who have less than stellar scruples and also a whole class of ‘owners’ who are the real profiteers, modern-day pirates whose hoard dwarfs that of the legendary Barbary Coast pirates, who were on-the-fringe, even outcast. These modern-day ingratiating sharks have the smarmy steel of nerve to smile benevolently as we toast them at their fetes, even as they fleece our bank accounts and our pockets.
When I was working as a door-knocking fundraiser and going out with groups of people, one of the questions asked to pass the time was what we considered to be the most serious political offense of recent memory, and this was back around 2010, so I said it was bloomberg buying a third term in office, in direct violation of city term limits. He bought off a city “council”, the term being doublespeak, as if the sham patronage bungalow took the public to heart in serious deliberations. It didn’t. Their capitulation to king bloomberg was outright subversion of the democratic process. Proof positive that in America, democracy is subservient to capitalism.
A man getting on a bicycle, cycling away
A woman at the window
Our individual development of a place where we fit in, within our own inner perceptual social universe. That’s what infuses the Garden of Eden myth. The threat of a loss of sense of home. The Wizard of Oz fantasy. Playing upon our need for a center to our inner perceptual social universe.
But the center of our inner perceptual universe should be within our own self, connected to all, a sense of trust emanating from within, a sense of self undisturbed by the flights and fancies of the social reality.
It feels good when someone tells me they’ve been thinking about me.
Maybe there are two experiences of clarity - a plane of observation - a plane of sensual immersion.
Our need for attention is so strong, we honk too much, we cough unnecessarily, we burp too loudly, we eat disgusting things on national television for a second of fame, we wear clothes that aren’t covering anything and serve no purpose except to shock, why do we have such a hole in our selves that we have to fill it with meaningless substance, or lack of substance?
There’s a word in the English language - Acknowledgment. Maybe,
acknowledgment = acceptance + knowledge
acknowledgment = attention + conscious reaction (positive/negative, acceptance/revulsion)
There’s gotta be a better way for us to fill our want for acknowledgment, and I think that a more rational approach is made possible when we establish a trust in our own selves and our ability to adapt, in cooperation with others. Then acknowledgment can be derived simply from the mutual satisfaction of a shared effort.
I tended to score in the top ten percent on standardized testing administered during my educational experience, but I also tended to score in the top ten percent in emotional stupidity.
The results of my emotional testing, which I carried out on my own later on, show an infantile level of functioning, with narcissistic delusions, ridiculous idealizing and devaluing of others and my own self, and a moronic solution to the problem of social tension - isolation.