Actually, I continued to participate in Landmark after the incident I'll tell you about... but NEVER intended to contribute any more. Or not really. I was participating from hurt... knowing that what was broken cannot be fixed.
You cannot help/change something that you don't know what causes it...
Thoreau thinks misplaced value is the cause: We feel a void in our lives, and we attempt to fill it with things like money, possessions, and accolades.
I think that the truth is deeper than that.
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so
the necessary may speak." - Hans Hoffman
Things are never how the mass of men want them to be. Not the way they want to feel, not what they want to do and not what they want to have.
Money is never enough. Or time... Or fun is never fun enough. Not enough love. Not enough respect. Not enough of anything.
On yesterday's grocery shopping trip (I don't have a car. So I go shopping with the community center's van for old people.) I watched the other people... two days before the next "pay" comes in, they barely had enough money to buy an item or two. One spent those few bucks on wine... One couldn't even come to shop... not until he gets his check.
I talked to an 80 year old and a 95 year old woman. By that age, it seems, you appreciate if you are feeling halfway decent. I am only 71... I'll be next Tuesday... if you want to wish me happy birthday.
We live as if things never changed. Even though we hear, read, that the only thing that is constant in life is change.
And yet, our minds, the machine-like part of us that cannot learn, won't learn, and fancies itself YOU... our minds tell us, moment to moment, that life will remain the way it is in that moment.
Is that crazy or what?
When something bad happens, the reaction is not to the bad thing, but to the idea that the results of the bad thing are life-long.
When something good happens, the reaction is not to the good thing. It is to the idea, to the notion, to the certainty, that the good thing will last a lifetime.
When you are well... you are sure you'll be always well. When you feel sick, you are sure that unless you fix it, you'll never feel good again. Gloom and doom, or yippee... all is wonderful. The roller coaster, I call it.
One day I'll have an editor. Or maybe a brilliant assistant. Someone who is good at things I am lousy at.
I have major holes in my brain. It started with my brain development in the womb. I am on the autistic spectrum, an experiment of sorts. Then I had my two massive brain injuries... One in 1969 and one in 1998.
Most of us seem to know what it is, we feel it, some in their guts, some in their heart, but feel it, especially when other people are negative. When it's within us, we feel despair, anxiety, worry, we have a sense of dread, or we are sad, nervous, stressed, hyper, manic, depressed, or just listless. We get sick from it.
We do not recognize it as negativity on ourselves and that allows it to go rampant, unmanaged, something that happens to us and all we can do about it is complain, bear it, or take some pills.
In the normal course of events we don't notice anything special tied to what we think or say, because we are so mired in negativity, it's normal. Our life is lived in quiet (or not so quiet) desperation, and that's that. Continue reading "What is Negativity?"
I have been observing myself as a spiritual practice. Trying to "remember myself" as Gurjieff would say it, call upon the "witness" or "observer". Be awake. Either way, I have noticed something remarkable about myself: see if you can relate.
When I am in front of my computer* (where I spend most of my day) and I encounter something that requires the slightest push on my end, I see myself automatically going to the computer game of my choice, freecell.
I began observing this phenomenon about 6 months ago (it was there, unobserved, for many years). But 4 days ago I decided to employ "restriction," which is one of Kabbalah's main tenets, and see what will happen.
For about 36 hours I closed the freecell program as soon as I opened it. Then every time I was "awake" which means I was by myself and I was still observing myself. On the other hand, every time I was on the phone, or watching a video on my computer, or listening to an audio file, my attention wasn't on myself, and I played... until I "woke up."
Still curious, more interested in the experiment than conquering the force that moves my hand, I saw something today that is worth sharing.
Since I have started this blog, I have been watching how I somehow leak the energy that is necessary for creative thinking and expression... by talking on the phone, by playing freecell.
Every occasion when I need the little push and I opt to play instead, two things happen: 1. I have diminished the internal discomfort 2. I have successfully diverted my attention from what is important to me.