(Preliminary) reasons to write

I just got back from a library more useful than the one I work at 😉 (I forgot how nice that library is), and am going to take a quick break here to note down some things I found last night, when writing.

I took about 20 minutes last night to begin writing out the narrative of the story I’ve mentioned recently. I’m actually feeling very good about it, and about having taken some time last night, to read in Drawing Words and Writing Pictures. It’s been a long time since I’ve dealt in fiction, but the value of it came to me when I was trying to fall asleep.

Fiction allows one to try out being different people and making different life decisions than the ones one has made, or possibly might make. It allows one to look at life from multiple perspectives, without necessarily validating one over the other (though to be honest, I don’t particularly strive for objectivity in my fiction!).

One of the things which has stopped me from reading fiction in the past has been the sense that some authors (particularly in the Classics) wrote for the reason of reinforcing and validating their own worldviews. I’m not sure anymore that this is the case; as I’ve mentioned before, my memories of my young adulthood are distorted by untreated illness affecting my cognition, and as such, they’re unreliable.

This is kind of a difficult truism to combat, though. If one believes it, it may prevent them from reading fiction at all, and from writing it as well. If one doesn’t read any more narrative after that, one just continues to hold the belief while the world around one moves on. It might not even help if one tries to get out of it by reading creative prose; often, we see what we are looking for, particularly when there is no one “right” interpretation of a text.

It’s generally accepted that in literary arts, as in fine arts, there is no one “right” or “correct” interpretation, by the way…because not even the author can know such a thing. There’s just too much subconscious and unconscious content for this to be true, and often the interpretation of a text has as much or more to do with the reader than it has to do with the writer.

In order for multiple divergent readings to be possible, we have to grant that the work stands on its own (that is, in fiction, we don’t judge the author for what they have written, even if we do judge the work itself) and that not one reading is “right.”

Hmm. Maybe that’s where I get my philosophical relativism from.

I also at times have felt a bit of…trepidation at letting the reader inside of my head, because I’ve attempted literary analysis on my own work before, and in the past it hasn’t been pretty. (Don’t do that, by the way. Especially not if you’re concurrently dealing with mental illness and cognitive distortion, as I was.)

What I have found is that taking time out to write enhances my productivity, rather than reducing it, as I had assumed. It takes time to write, but then it also helps when you come to things with a fresh mind, not burdened by unexpressed ideas. (Unexpressed ideas can turn into unexpressed obsessions, which is where writing serves well as a method of exorcism. Once you write it down, you can stop repeating it to yourself in an attempt to remember it.)

The problem with unexpressed ideas, as well, is that before they’re put into a format where they become objects, it’s difficult to manipulate them and see the deeper meanings behind them. Whereas, I know as a writer that when I encode things into English (as my first language), I start making connections and realizing ideas that I didn’t know were there.

And these two reasons can be enough reason for me to write, for now. I’m sure more (real) reasons to write will arise as I actually get back into fiction writing.

In any case, last night I didn’t get a lot written, so far as length was concerned — I was writing (legibly) by hand in a small sketchbook, which reduces my writing speed significantly. In turn, that makes me think about my phrasing (not to mention the art of handwriting), more.

I did, however, begin to lay the foundation for a larger story…and I was surprised at how much was already there, going unexpressed. It might actually turn into a novella (or alternately, graphic novel series).

In addition, I was immediately able to see opportunities to expand on what I had begun. This is where my degree in Creative Writing actually helps!

I guess it’s nice to feel multi-talented. 🙂 Or that my undergraduate degree is actually useful for something.

I think that’s about enough time spent, here. Of course, there’s always more to say, but I will post it when it’s ready to come out. 🙂

Advertisements

Dark ‘kin, mythology, and pop culture

So yes, I did see the last episode of Dragon Ball Super, and yes, I did start to do research on it. Apparently there’s an end-date for the series (though a movie is planned for later)…and things are about to get fairly serious in the show.

Whereas earlier, it seemed like the writers were just playing around…the present arc with Mirai (Future) Trunks is looking as though it isn’t going to turn out well. I haven’t read all the spoilers, though, and I don’t know exactly when the series is set to end.

I am not entirely sure why the last episode had such an effect on me, except for the fact that Goku Black is an extremely twisted character, especially if you know a bit about Asian philosophy and religion. That, in turn, recalls my time in Otherkin groups…

(AAH! I said it! Finally! Watch me fight a tide of new incoming spam!)

…and it’s also recalling the freakin’ Political Advocacy course I’m in, at the moment, where it’s been shared that barely anyone wholeheartedly thinks of themselves as a bully or terrible person, even though they may be seen that way by others.

So anyway, on the radar tonight, I had to deal with extended family (which is itself a bit demented, though I’m not going to get into it) and with a session where we dealt with what to do about the portfolio option for graduation. I feel better, now that I attended.

But yeah, I can see you wondering about that Otherkin bomb I dropped. I’m wondering about it, too. (If you don’t know what “otherkin” means, it refers to people who primarily identify as something other than human. It’s sometimes distinguished from “therianthrope,” which is someone who identifies as a creature who is now or was at one time literally existent; “otherkin” includes these people and also those who see themselves in myth, and/or as possibly not literally existent, or for whom we have no proof of their literal existence.)

At this point, I’m fairly certain that the reason I even got into that subculture is because I’m a highly creative person who lacked creative outlets…which is what I’ve been trying to say in one form or another, for a while (though I haven’t been back to a ‘kin forum in a very long time; the ones I was active on, went dead several years ago. Do we want to resuscitate that…).

The major issue I’m having right now is still f***ing identifying with my Kintype, even though I know it’s an outgrowth of my own human mind, and a metaphor for what I actually am. That is, it both is and isn’t valid, at the same time.

The major problem with this is that my Kintype (that is, the type of being I identify with/see myself to be) isn’t highly respected; I tend to freak people out when I say what it is. (Unlike one of my old acquaintances who identified as something hardly anyone in this hemisphere had a definition for, I could state what it is and everyone would immediately get an idea. The ideas would just be multiple and largely off-base.) At this point, I’m not even certain I know what I’m referring to when I give someone else a reference, because we come from such different swaths of backgrounds that I don’t know that what I mean is what they think of.

But to give you an idea, I have spoken with people who had identities along the “dark” end of the spectrum, and we kind of had a little thing going. I’ve actually been more comfortable (to an extent) with them than with the general canid types or people who have seen themselves in a positive/religious light as angels (though that can get pretty dark, too — they just don’t see it as such).

And…yeah, that whole “not sharing intellectual worlds” thing is a reason why I identified as ‘kin, in the first place. For the sake of family and (multiple versions of) security, I’ve been trying to ignore it for, well, years. Granted that I’m no longer anywhere near Pagan/alternative religion circles anymore, and as such don’t have to worry about people taking me deadly seriously (no I am NOT god-kin), but still.

I actually have been giving thought to the entire Book of Enoch/Nephilim thing, although it’s outside of my own intellectual circle. That is to say, ancient Near-East beliefs are not something (anything) I’m familiar with, largely, outside of researching the Daevas, but I have been giving time to thoughts about unseen advanced beings giving humans information which we may or may not be ready to have, yet (with the balance tipped toward “not ready to have,” on a large scale). Nuclear capabilities are one of those things. At this point I’m not sure if it’s a spiritual thing or an alien thing, but it could be fun to write fiction about. 😉

Of course, it would only be fiction. I have a hard enough time discerning that fact as it is.

Those of you who were around during the online-Satanist boom of the early 2000’s, probably know what I’m referencing with the Enochian thing: at the time I left, one leader in particular (one of the more balanced, tolerant and non-mind-control ones) was of this mindset, and…I don’t know what to say about that, really, except I kinda miss her. What I don’t miss are the political views that came along with a bunch of the other people on her fora. I also don’t miss the (constant barrage of) drama. And the constant stream of people wanting to “sell their souls.” Why is your soul so cheap?

Reason I never turned Satanist is that I have no grudge against Christianity except where as a hegemonically organized voting bloc, they intrude upon my self-concept (heh heh) and human rights…and that happens to be a political/power/control thing with a glaze of religion, more than anything. Because I was never inculcated as Christian, I don’t have that specter to fight against in my own mind. Most Satanists, to my estimation, do.

Anyhow, that Goku Black thing kind of freaked me out, and I’m pretty sure it’s in relation to his trying to elicit thanatos from Trunks. “Thanatos” is…if memory serves, I think it’s a Freudian term, which translates to the “drive to death,” or the desire to die. Particularly, in this case, it was because Black had basically turned the world into a Hell and told Trunks that if he died, he could be with all the things and people he loved (not a spoiler, it’s been on already).

I’ve had to deal with this enough as a youth and adult that maybe it just tipped off something in my mind. Particularly as certain of us have decided to flush the world down the c***per because they’re mortal and selfish and thus have no reason to care about its future…

…let me get off of that…

…but it kind of makes it clear why some people don’t want to be associated with the species, yes?

Ugh. Anyway.

Anyway, it could be interesting to start studying the whole Otherkin thing, again. My major issue is that I have no exact definition for what I am, and what information there is about anyone like the term I’ve previously associated with myself, happens to be couched in negativity. The problem is that many very simple people have divided the world into “heroes,” and, “villains,” and I happen to fall toward the latter edge of that, as regards presently dominant culture.

The positive bit of this is that I’m not totally “dark,” and I’m not totally willing to play the villain. I know by now what “darkness” is, in my own lexicon; it isn’t something to aspire to, more than a place we start from. This is not referring to literal properties of absorptiveness by dark-energy beings; more than a lack of knowledge about what is and is not right, and how- and how-not-to live. (Dharma, baby.)

As I’ve said before, certain ways of being have persisted for millenia because they work. This is the point at which I am totally divorced from certain strains of Satanism (if you know, you know). Opposing things just for the sake of opposing them is closer to an illness than to a meaningful philosophy (IMHO). And there are a lot of people who do oppose things just to oppose them, regardless of what kind of havoc that wreaks in their lives or what kind of philosophical weakness that shows. I’m fairly certain these are the people I had been trying to avoid.

Of course, in the present world we don’t have to worry about some things, such as having enough children to maintain our safety, population, and way of life. So some things can be changed in light of differing conditions. My main issue here is being seen as not-of-this-world because I’m adapted to latter conditions rather than former ones. Then I start being gauged as to whether I’m good+not-of-this-world or bad+not-of-this-world, which is really not something for a human (who doesn’t understand me in the first place) to gauge.

I guess it’s something for me to gauge. But that’s tough when the closest **** thing you’ve got is Dragon Ball Super. 😉

I might want to get into reading South Asian and East Asian folktales, at that…at minimum, it will be enlightening as to why I identify so much more with stories out of Asia than stories from the U.S. And there’s the chance that I’ll actually start to understand some of the thought processes behind them…

Just because it’s believed, doesn’t mean it’s real.

I know it’s time for me to start preparing for the night, but I’ve actually had some interesting thoughts to share.  One of them, is how much easier it is to talk and define oneself when one isn’t aware of exactly how crazy one sounds.  🙂

I have a tendency — a strong one, on reduced medication (I’ve started to get off of Prozac, which historically has helped clarify my thoughts) — to be creative and define myself in creative manners.  However, what has become clear to me is just how many versions of myself I can have…and that none of them may be entirely accurate.

It’s actually really easy to define (or redefine) oneself (especially if one is delusional; meaning that no matter what evidence is presented to one that the belief is untrue, one will continue to hold the belief despite it).  And it’s easy to believe these definitions of oneself are true:  it’s the brain’s way, to believe itself.

The hard part is sticking to these definitions, because when you’re trying to be anything you can conceptualize, there will inevitably be holes (the true self may be beyond conceptualization).  And after a while you realize that all these outgrowths are symptomatic of a deeper reality, which is that your tendency is to create and that given no creative outlet, you rewrite and re-iterate yourself, as versus your art projects or your crafts or your writing or music…or apps… 😉

(Water has been a strong theme in my life.  It will seek out holes and burst dams.  The more I try to hold it back, the more catastrophic the floodwaters can be.)

As I’ve moved forward in life, as versus paused to ascertain whether and how to just hold steady and avoid despair, I’ve not had time to devote to things like energy work or spiritual topics which may only hold a side-benefit of (supposedly) better health.

When I was a youth, I was drawn to Buddhist philosophies, because having a philosophy which recognized the existence of duhkha (popularly translated as “suffering,” but this is an inexact translation), and was based around relieving it, gave me some comfort.  It meant I wasn’t alone in my pain.

By now, I have integrated parts of Buddhist philosophy which can help:  but I don’t really think it’s…true, anymore.  (Pretty much, nothing classified as, “metaphysics,” “spirituality,” or, “religion,” fall into the “undisputably true” category, with me.  Even the category of “philosophy” is questionable [if you start out with the wrong givens, in philosophy, you can’t hope to follow them to truth] — although I do realize that this post is in essence, philosophical.)

People are creative — is something I’m taking as a given — and many more things can be thought of, than are true.  Buddhism is a creation which has been co-created by many people over more than two millenia, which has likely helped sustain a large number of lives over the years it has been in existence…but its functionality (its usefulness) doesn’t relate to its truth value.

That is, something can be useful, and not be true.  I may have, on this point, come to the realization of what is meant by the Buddhist concept of upaya (usually translated as “skilled means”).  Although all explanations I’ve heard of this concept seem condescending — I’m kind of understanding, at this point, that this is both an admission that doctrine itself may not be founded on truth, and that it is still important to address duhkha in life.

Earlier tonight, I realized one thing:  that people in certain spiritual communities (myself having been included among these at multiple times) have felt relatively free to say things, precisely because they felt those things with such certainty.  However, my experience with mental illness has made at least one thing clear:  a subjective feeling of certainty is not a determinant of truth value.  What do I mean by that?

I mean that just because we think and feel and “know” something is true, that doesn’t mean it is.  It’s the brain’s nature to “believe in” what it tells itself.  Now it is possible to have subjective (or internal) dissonance, and that also needs to be attended to:  oftentimes, it has been feelings like these which have let me know that I didn’t have both feet in reality.  (There does seem to be a spectrum of, “More True”-to-“Less True,” when it comes to seeking out who one is.)

And once you’ve been around long enough, it becomes apparent when others are attempting to manipulate you for their own gain.  (It’s one thing for a person to choose what to believe; it’s another for someone else to try and choose what they believe for them, in a manner that benefits the one doing the choosing and not the disempowered subject.)  Just because I recognize that I cannot fully grasp reality in my mind, doesn’t mean that I think anyone else can, either.

This has been the largest reason I’ve stayed away from spiritual institutions.  Although I do admit that I am now curious about attending Buddhist services.

The priest at my family member’s funeral was from a Pure Land sect:  Jodo Shinshu, to be exact.  But he seemed to have his head on straight, and to know what efficiently and urgently needed to be addressed.

It’s apparent to me that we tell ourselves what we need to tell ourselves in order to simply function and stay alive.  In this sense, creativity in humans functions as a survival mechanism.  And is this why so many creative people deal with mental illness, as well (only the most creative, survived)?  I’m not sure.

It’s apparent to me as well, that religion is an outgrowth of creativity.

I’m not certain exactly what will happen if and when I succeed in entirely kicking Prozac.  What I do expect is that my creative faculties will become less muted.  In turn, I’ll probably become more eccentric than the way you’re used to seeing me behave.  I hate to say I can’t help it, but…it’s just the space I normally inhabit.

I just have to make sure I don’t box myself in too tightly with definitions and proclamations of “truth”…because words don’t matter where it comes to what’s real.

Buddhism and anatman — a personal view

Last time I was sick (I’m better now), I realized how quickly ideas about functional immortality (reincarnation or other continuance of a phenomenal spirit past the cessation of bodily function) fade due to having an unexplained fever which will not break, and weight that is dropping at a rate of a pound a day.  The reader may recall that I’ve had an interest in Buddhism from my undergraduate years…accordingly, I’m aware that at least some (if not many or most or all) school(s) of Buddhist thought hold to rebirth, but not reincarnation.

The distinction is fine, but the implications are vast, either from a general paradigm-shift back towards materialism or from a lack of hope or worry about immortality.

In a Buddhist theory of rebirth, the effects of past actions (karma) go on to seed a new birth after the death of a sentient being; however, death for the person who has died is seen as final.  That is, the new life which arises after the death of the being who seeded it, is not the same being as the one who existed before, even though this new being may maintain a sense of continuity with the past being (or a plurality of past beings) through inherited karmic effects (and/or the problem of identification with that which made one).

In reincarnation, as I understand it, there may be a personal essence apart from the body which is transplanted and reborn into a different body.  However, keep in mind here two things:

One is that I have not studied advaita (non-dualist) schools of Hindu thought (like advaita vedanta) heavily, which seem monist from here (monist = the philosophy that everything is one); and I get my ideals of having a soul from various cultural points:  including Hinduism, as referenced by Buddhism.

That is, I get my ideas on the metaphysical validity or necessity of a “soul” (atman) concept through the lessons of people who do not believe in souls; and I believe the latter were referencing dvaita (dualist) Hindu thought, in which mind and matter coexist to create life.  I also know that it’s not uncommon to see distortions; at times, outright falsehoods; and torquing of what I as a Westerner percieve as ethics; promoted by Buddhist writers, in the name of pragmatism.

I also have not studied theories of reincarnation — in specific, reincarnation (not rebirth) — heavily, although any explanation of how I came to be which was not “reincarnation” was foreign to me when I was a child; and for much of my life the question of whether or not I have a soul (atman) has weighed on me.  This has particularly been the case after having been introduced to the Buddhist doctrines of anatman (no-self) and shunyata (emptiness).

The latter seems to fit well with a behaviorist and constructivist view of the self; the former is something that appears to be unique to Buddhism and philosophies which would likely fall under the heading of “atheism” — although “atheism” seems to be a misleading term, to me.

There are religions without deities (Buddhism, at times, being one of them), and religions with plural deities likely (in my experience) don’t grant those deities the same power and status as the big three monotheistic religions do.  That is:  the presence or absence of belief in a deity is irrelevant in determining whether someone holds religious ideals; or maintains a mode of thought closer to that of a religious person, than to someone who has divorced themselves from all religion wholeheartedly.

In any case…didn’t mean to get into that, but.

The following is based mostly upon unrecorded thought which I seem to intuitively understand but not be able to commit to words, easily.  I’ve come to the place where I’m getting to be okay with knowing that I don’t understand what happens after death, and in which I’m getting to be more okay with the concept that this is the only life I’ll have.

After all, if it’s so, being upset about it isn’t going to change it.

This has just been based on the threat of more war, on the peril to human civilization which is coming at us from at least two fronts, now.  I’ve been worrying myself in thinking about the metaphysical/energetic impact of 21st-century weapons (yes I know it’s silly), and about the future, should the belief in reincarnation be valid and we all are reborn as cockroaches on an irradiated planet, or one which is turning into a twin Venus.  Is that what we want our legacy to be?

In this point, I can actually understand the question as to how someone can lead a moral life if they don’t believe they will be judged for that life, later.  Because if you don’t believe that you will have to deal with repercussions for your actions, it’s hard to imagine some people — not all, but some, and they’re in the middle of exemplifying it — will take that as an excuse to behave in a way harms others, and harms themselves, and may cut off all of our futures.

Of course, what you and I take as “harm” are likely to be different things, at least slightly, if not radically.  But it’s obvious that people who don’t care about climate change, or who are welcoming it as the end of the world (like the death of life as we know it is something to celebrate) don’t believe they’re going to have to live later on with the mess we are all making.  That’s in violation of a direct action-reaction principle, because we collectively don’t want to be told we’re doing something wrong and that we need to change.  Because change is scary, and people are creatures of habit.

And we don’t like to be told we’re behaving out of fear, either.

But I’m getting better with the idea that perhaps I don’t have to take all of this on.  I’m getting better with the idea that this is temporary; that whatever this life is, it only exists on this side of the veil.  And that at the end of this stint, I may not have to deal with this at all, again — or at least until such time as the motions of the universe or multiverse see fit to bring together again the conditions that allowed this me to come into being.  For however long that lasts.

I know I won’t be the same person, at least figuratively speaking, and in that I can see the idea of anatman showing up, fairly clearly.  (Consciousness may be regained; identity may not be.)  But that doesn’t mean this will be the end of it.  (I should investigate ancient ideas of atman more thoroughly, I think…)

Maybe, in this philosophical position, the best I can hope for is either having gained enough advancement so that I don’t have to remain stuck in lower levels of learning for too long, the next time; or to…I don’t know what…savor what time I have, because it’s finite.

Of course, this “time” thing…I can still be punctual, but I’ve never understood it…

Motivation

This is just another entry in the “why be creative/do art (when it doesn’t pay),” series…which it seems I should really organize, somehow.  It would be interesting to make this blog into an actual site with indexing more sophisticated than WP’s tagging/categories system…but I don’t have the skills to do that well, at this point in time.  Soon, though:  it will be very much closer to possible.  I have the chance of learning CSS this Fall, and more than that next summer, at the latest.  I am thinking/hoping that basic HTML coding will be introduced along with CSS…it’s just that the CSS textbook was the one I saw earlier in relation to one section.

(One of the reasons I’m aiming for the Digital Services track is that even if it does become a pain to catalog and retain all of my work in order to fulfill Culminating Experience for my degree (the alternative is a Master’s Thesis), I’ll still have salable skills.  That is, outside of the Library, where it may not matter if I have the Master’s or not — so long as I can do the work.)

So, this “why do art” thing.  I was thinking up things to write about here, and the question of this came forward into consciousness.  Well…it’s an easy thing to slip into, this mode of thinking.  However…as I was actually doing the art, I realized that doing it was an end in itself.  Kind of like origami, but…well, hey, origami has practical engineering uses, for one thing; but you do this work for the sake of the work and the satisfaction of making something beautiful, and then you have all these little leftover trinkets.  Like origami.  And then it’s like, what do you do with them?  I guess you give them to others (or sell them)?

I’ve been thinking of taking my suminagashi prints and printing flowers on them (probably after I rework my flower linocut), and then cutting them apart into little prints.  I actually did this last night with my first sheet of prints (on white paper), and made a bunch of neat little 2″x 2″ tiles.  However, I realized today that I can cut them into any shape I want, meaning that I can make really nice bookmarks for my friends at the Library!

I know it sounds silly, but what person working at a Library would refuse a bookmark?  😉  Who would do that.  😀

I’ve only told one person of my plans, so far.  Happily, I didn’t have to explain to him what I was doing with the ink marbling!  I’ve also sent off a letter to my old professor, asking her about any precautions I may need to take with the Sumifactant.  Just in case, I did give myself a break from exposure, the other night.  However…TOMORROW’S A NEW DAY!!!

And I’m getting kind of obsessed with this.  That was another reason I stopped.  😉  I do have a tendency to get really strongly involved in things when I do get involved — probably the reason why I ate that book up so fast, the other night!  I’ve had a hard time finishing almost any book from the Library, and didn’t want to risk letting that one go unread.  Especially as Summer Session is about to start.

Right now, I have two other books on creativity to get through, one of which looks promising; the other of which, looks didactic.  However, the latter’s theory about a “freeze” response preceding a “fight or flight” response in the case of anxiety…was telling, and has helped me get out of stasis (and understand why one of my relatives refuses to change habits that don’t work in their favor).  I’m just not sure whether it has anything more to say, than that.

And yes, I have also been reading around on the “ink” tags on WP, and now want a Lamy Safari with a 2mm stub nib.  It seems silly, but I will be going to an upscale stationery store soon…and they may have it.  I should probably check around first, though…

Does evil exist?

For future reference, this text was begun during an after-funeral gathering.  Although it is difficult to see other people in pain…I am surprised at the overall experience of the services and after-parties.  I am also wondering if there is such a thing as “evil.”

Having been labeled evil by people I would myself consider evil (though of course, they referred to themselves as “good”:  typical but not required), I have resisted identifying others as evil, myself.  This is largely because I can see the mindless destruction the label can cause.

The term itself may relate to nothing more than “aversion,” which is entirely subjective, its targets changing from person to person.  And in the case of my own psychic alignments, it’s clear that there are things others would call “evil” about me which would in no case result in harm to anyone (the gender[s] of the person[s] I love in relation to my own gender, being one of them).  They may result in change to a more egalitarian and free society, but that does not equate to harm.

I have been thinking about this problem…seemingly, ever since high school, or before (this being the time in which I was progressively demonized and outcast by my classmates).  Today at the funeral, a speech was given by a Buddhist Reverend…which actually made sense, much more sense to me than did the Catholic Priest’s…but not everyone agrees with me.  Particularly, ardent Christians seem not to (and the priest would be included in this group).

I am coming to see the term “faith” to have more than one meaning.  One meaning, the one which I use most of the time in my own thoughts, refers to trusting my own intuition even when it is unexplainable by rational thought combined with the scope of my current knowledge about the world.  There is another meaning, though, which I encountered today:  that is to hold close to registered and approved dogma as a comfort when faced with the unexplainable and incomprehensible…even when that dogma doesn’t make sense.

I don’t see these things as the same definition, although I must admit possible bias in that my own thoughts may hold to registered and approved dogma; I just doubt it.

In any case, recent events have caused me to question the existence of evil in the world.  Whether that is absolute evil or relative evil, i don’t know.  Or maybe it isn’t a philosophical problem.  Maybe it’s an energetic sensation which just gets confused when I try to communicate it in concepts and words.

What I know is what I feel, and there are some people in the world who read as “toxic” to me.  Unmistakably, poison.  And so permeated and overwhelmed by it that they are literally repulsive and offensive and exude this.  Disordered energy.  To be around them while taking them seriously is not safe, as they try to emotionally harm and take power from anyone who will let them, using any weapon in their arsenal — and would try to physically abuse others if they thought there would be no consequences.  To give them power and consider them as beings like myself pushes me into rage and hate…and perhaps pain at how much the world has warped and twisted them out of what I assume was initially recognizability…and as such is not recommended in my current condition.

I just have a hard time seeing what remains of some peoples’ humanity.  I know this must be a fault in me (either this, or a mark of my own ideals stating that all people have the “souls” of “humans” — this is not an unvarying property over different cultures and eras)…but it’s understandable not to be enlightened, and I think I must have to be closer to that goal than I am, to see through what’s happening here.

And I am not sure what the root of this is; nor am I sure whether or not there is some kind of organized metaphysical evil.  This is not a new proposition — though I tend to default to referencing Ahriman as a kind of anthropomorphized Principle of Evil, more than any Christian idea.  The idea of the Devil has been itself warped out of recognizability as it has been weaponized against minorities (though that may be something of a tautology).

Of course, though, I have no political references where it comes to Zoroastrianism (the religion where the principle of “evil against people” was eventually embodied in the idea of Ahriman).  However, I do recognize that “evil” can be brought into the world by those who conceptualize and aspire to it.  This, I would not have known without investigating multiple cults and having been witness to people who have idealized Evil and taken satisfaction and pride in doing the wrong thing at every possible juncture.

But beyond this…it seems to me that this is a symptom of being out of balance — and committed to being out of balance — on a deeper psychological and energetic level, which manifests in the physical.  And, of course, creating chaos in the physical world can’t help but encourage one to continue to be off-balance.  But maybe “balance” is not the best word.  “Balance” implies a polar model.  This type of being off-balance is more like a top spinning out of control in seven dimensions at once…even though it’s hard for me to imagine a top spinning out of control.  Normally the ground would equalize this — you can only mess up so far before you can’t go any farther — but this is not part of the model in energetics.

I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore, except maybe to say that I’ve recently…been able to trust my own feelings where it comes to the “energy” of others, which is not something I know I can explain.  The term “evil” comes to mind when encountering highly discordant energy (not meant as a slight against Discordians; there is a difference between being random and aiming to harm).  I’ve just realized that I don’t know what makes some people tick, and that maybe I don’t want to know…and while it is tempting to call it “evil,” I don’t want to fall into the same trap the people I see as evil have fallen into, which is to consider oneself right and anything one disagrees with as worthy of destruction.  That is not a balanced path, to me, and it’s not a protected one.

But I …I think I am starting to see that I will need to forge my own approach…

Is it possible, though, that not all bad things happen for good reasons — but rather, bad things happen, and good people find ways to shine despite, or in spite of, the situations they’re dealt?  Is there a cosmic tension between “good,” and “evil,” and am I, despite growing up having thought to the contrary, actually on the side of good?

Breaking the silence

Writing the last post, I realized that a lot of what I’m going through now would seem to be the consequence of having been a largely silent child.  I don’t consider myself an intensely private person; at the same time, I get intimidated by social media (I’m not even sure of the last time I went to Facebook, though I know I initiated contact with someone and then forgot about it), and form deep, intense connections with a very small number of people.  The only reason I’m on social media in the first place is that it was a requirement for my Library & Information Science program.

Is blogging considered social media?  I don’t know.  I did start out my first blog, Hidden Jewels, a very long time ago; seven years, unless I’m mistaken.  I would have been 28, and have just entered the job market.  At the time, I was in the Business program at the college from which I ended up getting an Art AA.  I bailed on the Business program because of realizing the difficulty of making a living at craft jewelry.

Even if I did start my own business, I would have to have a side job to make ends meet.  I eventually turned to Library work as a primary way to survive, which would give me the time and funding to be creative on the side — in some way that I wouldn’t have to rely on jeweling and/or beading to feed myself.  Though I would like for it to be possible, I simply don’t have the skills right now to sell my work for as much as I’d need to sell it in order to survive and be assured not to be in poverty.  It would be easier if I were a bench jeweler, but I’m not that interested in Fine Jewelry.  (Except in electronics and engineering applications, gold is overrated.)

I should probably read more in that Quiet, book.  Basically…as I grew up I was unable to be unknown, and the publicity (which had to have been a slew of rumors going on behind my back) was not a good thing.  I’m not sure how much I want to recount, here, but a lot of my private time at recess ended up being spent making crafts and dealing with things which were, in my perception, either the sensation of the spirits of other speechless life, or imaginative projections.  At a certain point you get tired of your (human) “friends” hurting you.  I learned that it was better to be without friends than to be with abusive “friends.”

I think the problem is that I was too open.  Plus, I didn’t really know much about racism or sexism or homophobia or transphobia, all of which ended up impacting me, pretty much concurrently.  Given the applicability of Intersectional Feminism, here, it becomes apparent that statistically, given my genetic background and my social environment, things were not laid out for me in such a way that I had much of a shot at lifelong mental health.  I’m really lucky that I’ve had no suicide attempts or hospitalizations, thus far.

Maybe this is the reason I withdrew into myself to the point that I channeled all that energy out into my writing.  Right now, when I write fiction, it feels escapist, but it’s pretty much an escapist nightmare more than anything, which …kind of isn’t the definition of escapism.  Historically, though, I’ve had issues with embodiment which have been related both to gender and race (if you’re new to the blog, I’m mixed-race, but primarily identify with the side of my family I was raised around).

In any case, the world of my dreams — and illusions — has long been safer and more compassionate than the world I live in.  Most of this hasn’t been disclosed, though, except in my writing.  Maybe it’s because of this that I was drawn to writing.  Though I don’t think I’ve been an avid reader, outside of what had been assigned at school and what I occupied myself with as an alternative to being alone (the library was good for this)…I have been someone for whom writing has been necessary.  It’s a way to keep track of and organize my thoughts.

Otherwise…there was a long period when I didn’t know who I was.  Maybe because of a lack of social interaction?  I’m not sure.  I did develop my own internal “social” spiritual interaction, but that was probably a last resort from being externally understimulated.  It doesn’t happen so much, now.  I’m not certain why, though I suspect it has to do with medication, and more outlets with which to show myself who I am.  Of course, writing is instrumental in this; my long-term memory isn’t great when it comes to remembering who I was in 2011, or what I was dealing with, etc.

Writing for an audience seems like a different thing, though.  I really, really am not used to other people reading, and responding to, what I write!  It’s almost as though I were talking, and someone is actually listening to me.  😉  I have gotten used to making speeches as well, but it still makes me uncomfortable when I am expected to take, and defend, formal positions on problems which I know I don’t fully understand.  I know it’s really easy to go wrong, that way; and it seems understanding would be desirable before being forced and/or expected to spit out an answer.  It’s the major reason I tried to get my brain sorted out before even seriously considering testosterone.  I was terrified I’d make a decision for the wrong reasons, and then be unable to undo the damage.

But maybe that’s something social people do?  Take positions on problems they don’t fully understand and rest in (ignorant) faith that they’re right?  I’m not sure.

Maybe the issue is being pushed or forced to make a decision or take a stance when one is not a warrior type, but more of a balancer, or a person who sees multiple factors acting on a situation without assuming that any side people are taking up even addresses the correct problem.  (Something I learned in Critical Thinking is that it is indeed possible to use language to construct nonsensical propositions.  Often the key to solving a problem is asking the right questions.)

It is very much easier not to take a stance when one is silent.  It’s easier to run silent — except when one reaches the point that it becomes imperative to say something and actually stand for something and actually deal with the consequences — both positive and negative — for having done so.  If it’s something that really checks out, which is really important or urgent, it’s not an issue:  things need to be addressed, and worked out through dialogue (what is dialogue called with more than two sides?).

But the problem is that people rarely if ever question whether what they think is right actually is right, and this seems to hold across the board.  It seems to be something about the nature of the brain…which I don’t personally understand; but I’m sure we agree that we can’t all both disagree, and also be right, about everything all the time — and just because it’s you who thinks it doesn’t make it right.  (I use the second-person tense here because I want to make it clear that this is not a weapon to throw at people who disagree with you.  If this observation is correct, it applies to everyone.  It applies to me, it applies to you.)

Anyhow; it’s much easier to exist…for me, just to plain exist, without taking a stance all the time.  And I’m certain that this is related to growing up as a silent child.  But there are times at which it is necessary to speak up.  For me, an outlet was necessary, and that outlet was writing and storytelling, in lieu of speaking and socializing.  At the same time, reading…does help.  But I am still in a place where I need to see my own words reflected back on me, maybe to see myself as a person.  To me, language is a mirror, through which I can see myself.

Though maybe, as I “come out” further and further with regard to both my disability and all the other hidden levels I contain, my life will become richer for it, and I will be not just surviving, but living.