Tag Archives: Mental Health

Able to Reason or Reasonable?

Civilized is a term that is often used to describe a people or nation.  There are terms used that reflect on these notions of civilization such as deplorables.  It is hard for an outsider such as myself not to notice what human beings are capable of and what they have accomplished.  We have built a world, the world of people.  This world of people lies inside a greater natural world.  The human world is so vast, at least from my seat, that its takes us a great deal of effort and a great distance of travel to finally find these human free natural spaces.  I much enjoy those natural spaces and I have found after spending some time, usually week to weeks, that when I find my way back to the human world I see and feel the technical comforts with new eyes and new hands.  It is strange how I have to be away for a time to truly appreciate the wonders civilized humans have created.

If we take a moment and think about it there is only amazement at what has been accomplished.  The Stone canyons of the great cities, mass transportation by rail or wheel on time most of the time.  The machine coughs up currency when you ask for it, as long as you have enough available in your account.  Flip a switch and on comes a light.  Hot water is delivered to your sink or shower by some invisible entity.  Busy people heading about their day all running on the same clock.

Amazing.

We can fix on the negative and the crumbling and lose sight of the wonders around us.  The mind is a powerful and strange thing.  Obviously these wonders were accomplished by planners, bosses and laborers, various skills in specialized sets.  The educated have a tendency to undervalue skilled labor, I know I used to do it.  Now I simply marvel at the skill with either numbers or trowel and hammer and wonder where all such knowledge came from.  I hold the strange opinion that all this skill and knowledge has been generated by people.  As I said the mind is an amazing thing.

Logic or the ability to think rationally is one of those things our minds allow us to do.  People can rationalize about any situation, It can be a coping mechanism or a tool for destruction.  I watch some dark documentaries on You Tube from crimes like serial rape or murder to coverage of this or that war along with news,  Lots of people hurt or grieving visibly over the loss of the loved one(s) in very much the same way.  Whether by a mass shooter, a serial killer, a 2000 pound block bluster or a hellfire missile.   I am left wondering how these victims would react to each other even across national lines.

Are we still capable of seeing each other as people.

sometimes I think we do, that’s why so few of us can look over the pond at the horrors great countries are inflicting on the world.  That we avoid staring unblinking at the pain an suffering in the world.  What can one person with little means do anyway?

I’ve come to this conclusion:  The Actor (any given individual) is always justified in their own mind for any Action they (any given individual) are about to undertake.  This is called rationalization.  There is a logic to it even though it may be inscrutable to an outsider.  I came to this conclusion when thinking about serial killers, captains of industry and leaders of nations.  When I strip away the position, the authority an look at the act itself, the level of premeditation, the tools used, the people affected and the penalty, if any.  I find my self at an impasse.  Obviously some people can kill massive numbers with out any real consequence.  How can this be?  All I can figure is how the individual and the people around them think about the act, the whys and wherefores.

IN other words how they rationalize it .  As earlier stated.

The Actor is always justified in their own mind about the action they are going to undertake.

When I was younger it was easier to think about these things and make a judgement.  Over time the net of judgment widened and then became tangled.  My Grandfather was right.  The older I get the more I realize how little I actually know.  Everything comes into question.  I am riddled with doubt and aware that I have so few facts.

So what is there that I can do?

I do one simple thing.  I try and practice mental hygiene and use care to keep the way I think anchored and try and stay aware of the people in the world around me.  Stay conscious of the consequences.  I often find this exhausting.  But is is necessary because I have been close to a terrible action in the past.  That time I was doubly lucky as no one got hurt and I didn’t get locked up.  I don’t want that situation to arise in my mind again.

This process can be exhausting.

I have a reason for writing this thing but it slipped away about a quarter of the way through the process.  Win some lose some, I guess.  I hope this is of some use and if not…

have a better thsn average day anyway.

Think About it?

We will all loose and we all will be lost.  It is an existential question.  The terrible limitation on our little mortal lives.

We all know this to be true.

I have heard it said, more often in movies and stories than in real live conversations that no one wants to die alone.  The reality, I think, is that we all do.  Though there may be people around us who care or whom we care about and possibly that we all start to travel this road as a group, in the end it is a journey that we take alone.  It is the same way that we cone into the world.  There are people there when we finish but we still take the voyage by ourselves, even in the case of twins.  These processes produce in us a great unknowing.  We know that we came from some place and we suspect we are going someplace, possibly the same place, but these regions are beyond our reckoning as a group at the very least.  As an individual one or many of us may have has some experience that causes us to know or believe we know something of one of these places or possibly both.  This is individual knowledge and this knowledge is difficult to translate into the shared reality, that is the nature of the Mystical Experience.  This is why I hold various ancient religious text within a narrow gaze.  What ever experiences generated said text have been lost to the efforts of other more scheming individuals,.  This topic is about as popular as death and politics.  But it is important none the less for us living today.

We remain silent on these things mostly as rooted in them is the most powerful fear any human, except the foolhardy, experiences, the fear of the unknown.  Our defense is to ignore.  Humans with certain noteworthy exceptions, myself included, possess an amazing power hidden in their ability to concentrate, to focus.  They can ignore so profoundly as to blot conscious knowledge from their minds.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it is still there like a great stone wheel slowly grinding toward us from behind.  We cannot out run it and we cannot hide from it.  We do the only thing we can, we ignore it.  The result is a creeping stress.

Add on top of this the stress of every day life as most of us experience and it becomes easy to see why people are getting sicker and sicker.

I have no idea what if anything can be done about it.  Even if something can be done will the greedy powers that be take the time to even consider it?

We shall have to see.

I’ve said it before and I will say it  now.  We each have to find that thing we love and make time for it, be it thing, hobby, place or person.  The only other suggestion is spend as much time as you can in the moment, after all we have only a few and it is best not to waste them.

Have a better than average day.

Nostalgia

My mind’s wandering wondering eye

Find’s its attention fixed

on dusty archives of life’s long lived lies

Memories’ faded photographs

tales, legends and lore as nothing is ever quite as it seems

countless voices like an over crowded aviary

clutter your thoughts

grandmother, father

grandfather, mother

brothers, sisters, friends and others

viewed through the warped lens of the moment

the foreshadowing of youth’s promised failures

you cannot know then what you know now

you can’t go home

you must make home where you are

find your place in the sun

or the moon

what ever that means

Yet another Adjustment

There is a beginning to these things and this beginning is a type of back story or an ethic if you prefer.   At its heart it the idea of a great quest.  A Great Quest is a concept one might encounter in a common novel of the fantasy variety.  I an sure that it occurs in other places as well but I have no examples that stand out in the front of my mind.

A great quest can be as simple as a journey through dangerous country or saving the princesses from a band of highwaymen and it can be very complicated like building an empire, discovering some long lost artifact or rediscovering some bit of knowledge that has been long lost. All of these are similar themes that run through many a story but the idea itself is not that foreign to our daily lives in a non fantastic context.  It is important to note that the Great Quest is not limited to fiction.  There are Great Quests that happen here and now in our shared reality, maybe not as glamorous as rescuing the princess but great none the less.

For instance, going for a higher education beyond a Bachelors for the sole purpose of gaining insight into a thing that is otherwise incomprehensible to you.  This could take a life time and odds are their isn’t a weekly paycheck in it for you, not that you can’t turn that knowledge into cold hard cash its just that the process is different.  A cashless journey to a far distant land and staying for a year, a life time or somewhere in between, even raising a family and keeping said family together is a Great Quest.  For myself the Great quest was knowledge, it was the world I wanted to understand, the human condition and why reality was the way that it was.  This great quest had two lines of attack, one the hard sciences and the second, the occult and mysticism.

Now that I think of it that probably should have been my first warning there that odd combination of seemingly incompatible fields of study.  To me though it made perfect sense as I had extrapolated them from a quote attributed to Carl Gustave Jung, “Psychology and physics are facets of the same concept.”  To me it seemed only natural to infer that Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, the Occult and Mysticism were all facets of the same concept, in this case human consciousness or humanity itself if you like.  Of course there will be time management issues but I felt as I slept very little that I should be able to manage.  I had contingency plans if something got derailed or if funding dried up or even if I needed to transfer schools in mid stream.  What I didn’t have contingency plans for was failure.

It has been said, by my Action Theory Professor that one cannot plan to fail.  One might argue that a contingency plan is a way of dealing with failure but I think these plans are for foreseeable obstacles and away of planning to succeed.  The Great quest is very much like a horse pulling a load.  Horses in this case often wear blinders.  These are used to keep the horse from being spooked by the various happenings around he or she.  People on the great quest also wear blinders in this case allowing them to concentrate full energy on the goal before them.  The down side to this is that when an event comes out of left field you don’t see it until just a fraction of a second before it makes contact.  This spells disaster and that disaster, in my case, was a mental breakdown.

I distinctly remember the sensation that all of that knowledge in Calculus, Wave Mechanics, Differential equations and Organic Chemistry stood like a house of cards built on shifting sands and when it collapsed it took a great deal more with it.  I was aware that I wasn’t going to be able to proceed into the Masters program right away, that I would need experience so that I might reinforce and strengthen the shaky knowledge I already had but at no point did I think I was crazy.  The thought never crossed my mind.  I entered the work force with out my degree thinking that in time I could go back and finish, the thought of collapse still hadn’t crossed my mind.  The hardest thing was the realization that the goal I had been working on since the age of 12 was now unobtainable.  That all that time and effort had made little or no difference and that not all problems could be overcome or goals achieved through nothing more than hard work.  Reaching this realization though would take some years.  I just couldn’t keep from continuing the act of pounding my head against the wall.  I think it was those blinders that kept me from grasping the reality of the situation more quickly.  In a weird way it was like suddenly finding yourself in prison, through no fault of your own and in this case the bars of the prison were your own mind.

What to do?

Everything had changed.

Rage was beginning to build.

I could plop down in front of a television and booze it up until I died.  Lots of people do that or something a kin to this each year in these days of late.  This is not new, people have been drinking themselves to death forever it seems, now its prescription drugs.  The difference is just the age.  I had to redefine myself.  I had to give up the great quest and turn it it into a hobby of sorts, something of a passing fancy I could dip into on rare occasion.  But that was only part of the solution, I also had to find something to do with myself, something I enjoyed.  This was very difficult.

In reality it comes down to how we define ourselves.  Many of us define our self by the Great Quest, or possibly a job description and even that we are a parent or wife or husband, when we lose this key definition, an idea so deeply entrenched in our minds and for so long that we aren’t even aware it is there.  It is a large part of who we are.  When this is gone it puts us at a loss.  We have a definition of ourselves that has been removed from our existence.  Finding a new direction is practically impossible without first realizing that underlying definition.

I can’t tell anyone how to do this, I don’t think there is an expert out there that can.  This is one of those instances where our individuality is most apparent.  We are peculiar beings.  In the end all I can do is point out that it needs to be done but I have no idea where the guideposts are or what they say.

To anyone going through something like this all I can do is wish you God Speed.  The only advice is introspection and perseverance.  The only wish…

Have a better than average day.

Aether

I walk between worlds

yours, his, hers, theirs

from the wilds to the city

they all belong to some one

or something

Yet I am lost

Home

A shadowy remnant of what was

I have been returned

like a thing without a receipt

broken on the wheel

I have no place but the moment

standing on my own insecurely

But I do have a good view

The whole world to witness

and although I do not belong

I do have a choice

I can get the most out of the ride

Meta Mumbles on about a family pet named Chico.

While I was in grade school my grandparents had a rhesus monkey – there were times that they entertained the monkey, Chico, by sitting up a card table in the center of their living room and putting out on it a Sears and Roebuck catalog.  They would leave it there with the pages open.  That was a time when all sorts of things were for sale in their Big Book.

We would all sit around the room talking and watching the monkey browse through the pages.  He would turn each page and then carefully spread it out flat.  Then he would sit with his hands folded behind his back while exploring all of the photographs before him.  He would slowly look first at the left page from top to bottom and then the right, while chattering the whole time.

When Chico would come to the part where various breeds of dogs were pictured, he would get so excited that he sometimes flipped over backwards while he seemed to laugh – out – loud.  Then he would point to the family dog, Beau, sleeping at the feet of my grandfather.  Beau would quickly respond and go to the edge of the card  table poking his nose up by the monkey.  Chico would start pointing to a photo of one of the dogs, the breed would not matter, then point directly at Beau – back and forth his finger would go – apparently he recognized that they were all dogs – while laughing the entire time.  Beau would get excited and it seemed obvious to us, at the time, that they were communicating in humor.

And we want to think that we are the only ones that can make our thoughts known to each other.

Mumbling Meta

I wonder how those that use or speak on the subject of “white culture” define that term – I would like to know what tangible elements they use.

This was the question Iba bounced off of me in one of our conversations several nights ago.  I purposed some possible answers – with Iba adding his possibilities.  Maybe it was people that eat white bread and mayonnaise, could it be pork and sauerkraut on New Years Eve, Irish whiskey and green beer on Saint Patrick’s day, Brats and beer on Ocktoberfest  or possibly Christmas Trees?  How about accordions and fiddles, folk tunes to clog to or square dances?  What about country and western music?  Is it the culture of dominating group?  the Extremely wealthy?  The middle class with surnames indicating some type of pedigree?

Perhaps it is the culture of those whom make war, but all empires have done that through out history, where they all white?

Our founding father’s defined white as Anglo-Saxon and Saxon landowners and protestants.  That was back when only white male landowners could vote.

you could always try and change your name I guess.

I wonder – what do you think they mean by “White” or White Culture, terms they so easily banter about right now?

Comment if you care to.