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Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in grgbrglr's LiveJournal:

    Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
    1:25 pm
    crystal sandy diamond dream
    we were at your house. I was sleeping downstairs on a couch. the
    'neighbor lady' was in the room next to me. you were in the room next
    to me. the back yard was amazing., with birch trees golden all year
    round, not just in the autuumn- they were gold all year round, because
    they're most beautiful that way. I met your dad, twice. he was very
    handsome, and very smooth in the way he talked, and very nice. He was
    always doing something very smart and useful. He was 'living off the
    land'. He brought in a giant rock and siad, Rosa, you're right, there
    is a difference between a geode and a crystal.. and he explained
    something wonderful about how the crystals form insid the rocks o ver
    the years... and then he chipped the rock, and a crystal burst through
    the shell of the ordinary looking rock- a crystal actually grew out of
    the surface, like a piece of play dough through your fingers if squished
    in your hand. And then I looked in the corner of the room, and there
    were rocks like these, hollowed out with brilliantt blue and purple
    shimmiering brilliant gems, chizeled out and ready to be send in to
    museumss or jewelry shops.... these were diamond eggs that had hatched
    all over your yard.... the yard sloped down from the house, and the
    other families were in houses or mobile homes that we could see from the
    room I was in.... and the trees were down in the valley, surrounding the
    river. I was snoring and talking too loud for the neighbor lady. I was
    in your house, and I was walking on eggshells, and I was offending
    everyone, it seemed, but everyone was so nice that I couldn't really
    tell, so I just felt small inside, and that's life sometimes you know?
    ON the first morning, I woke up and no one was around, I wandered around
    for a bit, hearing the sounds of the productive day all aoround, so
    early, but I was just a visitior, with no chores....put me to work, I
    thought. I want to help farm this land, and show them Im worthy of
    their treasured daughter.

    The night before, I came into the room downstaris I was sleeping in, and
    your family was sitting ona couch, and I was asked, so who are you Greg?
    And I explained that " I'm here to explore a relationship with your daughter. As
    you know, I fell in love wth her and now I'm here to explore the more
    real and gritty and physical side of the relationship- to test our
    chemistry." I felt awkward, but your family all seemed ok with me.
    I was looking aroudn for your brothers and the nieghbor boy, but they
    were nowhere to be found, or at least i couldn't tell who they were...
    there were lots of handsome young men working on different tasks,
    ignoring me. And for a moment, you had hair just like mine, but softer
    and wavier, and longer. When i woke, I thought you were still asleep in
    the other room, but you came to my room and said that you had been
    working out next door in the neighbor lady's room, and that you cuaght
    her doing something embarrassing, but
    'at least she wasn't fucking the dryer' you said.

    And everything was so modern, and everyone was so 'normal', that I was
    surprised.... the roads and the people and the house all looked like
    something from the USA.... And all the similarities made me think that
    we're all just different shades of the same light, and humans areen't so
    different.... which I've always believed, but the evidence notched my
    belief at a still higher level. And I was so excited to explore the
    trees with you- to jump into that postcard framed so seductively by the
    bedroom window. The house was older, like 70's style, with flat
    architecture- boxy- it was not a marvelous castle, but a fully
    functional and big, simple, house.

    I found myself in my dream resolving to take risks and let the chips
    fall where they may. I was telling myself this because I felt so
    intimidated in this new environment. I felt welcomed, but also
    uncomfortable--- outclassed. I've felt this before, and it bruises my
    ego... although it shouldn't.... although i should be 'above' such petty
    jealousy and envy. Hey, I'm still human, trying to rise up! So I told
    myself to remember not to go into a shell.... to remember to speak my
    mind and my heart and act with confidence, because there's just no other
    way to live, and no other way to connect with the moment and those
    around you.

    Strangely, in this dream, I didn't even kiss you. When we talked, we
    were past the 'always kissing' stage somehow.... although I think it was
    the first day of my trip. Our relationship was more mature.... more
    subtle.... I did feel an intense yearning- in my bones to just BE with
    you alone. I wanted to go and roll in the sand on diamond sand beaches,
    blindingly shining, and warm and almost like water, but not water-
    shimmering, and soft, like those big tubs of plastic balls you jump into
    (do you have those?), but diamonds- and soft enough to dive in and slide
    through the sandy light... cooler when you got down in the diamonds a
    ways... turning over, looking up at the surface, amazed at the effect of
    reflecting light and penetrating light and the way it made us feel- the
    way if made us feel- like heaven. And we ponder the ways to apply this
    divine beach to life- to the universe.

    Current Mood: sad
    Monday, February 20th, 2006
    1:13 am
    A letter to the safe players
    Dear brethren,

    I love you. I love you hopefully. I love you in the hope that love can turn fear into just one risk on one night when the feeling gets somewhere close to just right. I love you in hope that you will love the blissful array of stars and actually feel them inside your smile. I love you tenderly, awake and alive, hoping to maybe catch one lonely sunbeam and reflect it back into the magic of the mystery of your moments. Do you feel the blinding sun transforming your eyes now? Pulsating now… all about your core, from eyes through lungs and tender face. An infinite chance at infinite grace. It may be too much to handle, but how will you know until you open your eyes and risk retinas staring openly toward tonight? Will you? What if I were dressed like Romeo or Sabrina? What if I spoke to you in moody lovesick celebrations of music? Do you see how waves stir in you? If you let them, do you see how savage jungle smiles in between surges of instinct break slowly into the laughter of Jesus? Absurd. Living. Dreaming. Alone in the light. Leap if you can. Leap to this ledge. It is warm and sharp, but with understanding, the blood looks like the wine of his body. It forgives. From here, the kingdom falls away in every direction and reveals its true nature as open space to be trusted. Every leap yields a new blessing… something you may have forgotten in your fourth or seventh year. Maybe you even lay awake, a candle now a waxy tear, burnt hotter than heaven. Human heaven, forgotten wicks burning no more on plastic elderly windowpanes. There is an answer that calls if you ask for it in a question. There is another way if all assumptions are suspended for just one second. All hope is not lost if all is forsaken for maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe is so respectful. Risk is such a rational choice if we will stretch the definition. Who is to say that longevity means anything? What about total life? Could total life be measured in time? How about richness? How about intensity? How about eternity in a moment? Have you felt it? Have you ever lived a day that stood on its own without any sacrifice and without any wishes for what might be? It’s there in you. It’s there where you left off and chased what you were told to chase but never felt. That is the fallacy. That is the real paradox. How can you explode in a predetermined direction? How can they use you in all of your uniqueness? How can you, an unpredictable and divine force of being, be held and manipulated? This is the question we ought to be asking. In asking such a question, we can move beyond any assumptions. Without such assumptions we become freed. Asking such a question frees us… in itself. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. Death ends it not. All work and no play make Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull doy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and now play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jimmy a dull boy. Repetition is the mother of mastery, they say.

    Current Mood: thirsty
    Saturday, February 11th, 2006
    2:08 pm
    and where the hell was I? (name that movie)
    There was a point at which I stopped remembering so much and that was when I grew up. I just woke up one day and I was here in adulthood and I couldn’t quite trace the days backward anymore. I couldn’t exactly remember what all that angst was all about. I couldn’t remember that thing I always swore I would never forget. I started to look around and turn in circles in a house and think about furniture. I didn’t get any, but I thought about it for a minute.

    Current Mood: nostalgic
    2:05 pm
    pounding swirl
    Trying to pound something out of the swirl
    I sat next to a curly brown haired girl
    She loved me like a memory
    Before I even had a chance to be
    I jumped off the cliff again and it was rocks disguised as pillows
    But just as soft was the light that knows
    A new womb to heal and sing us out in a scream
    To a new sunlit space disguised as a dream

    Current Mood: curious
    2:02 pm
    mommy sphere
    Windy autumn scenes outside cafeteria windows suggest an art overlooked a million times.

    Before slowly, we slowly saw slow synchrony

    Mommy sphere wintering in delicate destruction
    Leaves
    Green yellow brown ground
    down
    dirt

    While winds warm argentina

    Current Mood: amused
    2:01 pm
    a functional illusion
    Definitions are functional and they are the creators of the self.
    They separate things into subject and object, real and unreal.
    They deflect the oneness of existence through lenses that bend and dissolve the light into something that will not burn the retina of the soul’s eye.
    Definitions stand in for understanding.
    They point to the sphere of reality, but that sphere itself has no sides that could be defined.
    Infinity knows no bounds.

    Current Mood: crazy
    1:55 pm
    coffee shop freewrite
    Write just for me on a couch in gallery row getting stranger and stranger by the day and more hopeful and more destitute. The meaning of insanity changing from dsm four to 9 to 5. Heart opening a bit. Humility screaming its significance. Risk screaming its lessons. Vulnerability crafting with artistry. Authenticity better than any food or drink or think. Sink down into the couch. Be here now. Observe with clear eyes. Inner eyes. Eyes without a face or a lens to bend perceptions either way. Speaking and writing coming in desperation. Communicating with these furnishings in a most peculiar dance- one more chance, not taken, never taken… maybe now? It comes to me when I sleep and when I wake. It seems like an old sweater that I had forgotten about. I wear it comfortably- this understanding. Everything is the same. Chop wood, carry water. I love the wood. I love the water. I love the chance at true life.
    Last night I tried to force it. I tried to create something, and it only half worked, as it always does. I remember this slightly dull feeling of social pains taken with a hope for some sort of sharing—for some sort of love. All I really felt was a desire to go home. But every once in awhile I forget and I start trying again. I lose touch with wisdom all the time. I lose and I find, a glorious perspective each time. Like taking a shit and eating a meal, new life coming and going. Breathe in, breathe out. Which is which? What a silly question.

    Current Mood: mellow
    1:53 pm
    Just say it. Say what is just out of reach. Write it and say it. That is art. That is life lived.

    From the heart. From the heart. Speaking from the heart seems so relevant. It doesn’t matter what comes out. What matters is where it came from. It is a risk worth taking, this honesty. Now I’m not talking about intellectual honesty here. I’m talking about a blind stab in the dark from one heart toward another. I am talking about a giant leap of faith- faith in the love suffusing the darkness of the abyss.

    I am talking about falling backwards, blindly trusting the process of risk and the principle of reward. I am talking about forgiveness that comes from recognition of the source. When we see where it all comes from, we are free to forgive where it may lead. Because it is all coming back to the source in some sense.

    Maybe it was just a false start or a failed experiment, but we see that there is no failed experiment unless we have certain expectations. But a sophisticated enough experiment would be able to utilize any and all data. Every experienced moment can be seen as an infinitely intricate experiment. All the feedback is divine! Every misstep. Every mental illness. Every act of violence and every extinct species. Every rape and every murder. Every riot and every bomb. Every flower saved. Every group hug. Every song. Every lost soul found. Every moment of joy. Every dream. Every step. Every breath. They all tell someone something about cause and effect and art and love.

    All the world a stage. All the world an experiment. Wiggle or cry or try to die. Show us what that would look like. Tell us how it feels. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to choose joy.

    Current Mood: amused
    1:51 pm
    before the flood
    So I’ve twirled around so fast and gotten so dizzy and now I find myself here on the ground and holding my knees in the fetal position, waiting for the flood to carry me away to another look at the same dance. What I mean to say is that here on the ground I have faith in a new day. Or, at least, I will leap into the night that is offered to me. I will swim in its sleepy darkness doing revolutions after midnight, embodying negative space and color. Sleep spindles sending wisdom waves synchronized like children, seeping through a rhythmic gap in the veil. Double dutch. Sleeping children are poetry.

    So that’s the dream I’m in, here on the ground humbled infinitely. The meaning comes and goes in a slipstream just above my wings, my flappers hungry for a taste of tomorrow. Not yet. Not here with aerodynamics to contend with.

    Free it up. Get real quiet. Dance with it. Or even just move. Breathe deep. Tap in. Intention and attention bring close what we need. Open to it. Open to it. Let it stream through. Let the spirit come right up the spine. Chakra love. Health in a moving wave. Visualized, actualized, and redemptive. Music.

    The theory is simple. Life is unfolding through time in every moment. There is energy that is manifesting itself as life. We are part of this unfolding manifestation. Through opening, we can tap into the energy of this unfolding life more directly. We can learn to be a direct channel of the energy that is all around. We can listen to the moment in this way. What do you have to show me about how to tap your energy in a new way, oh moment? Oh moment, where are you? And why? No why? That is hard to accept. Ok, if you insist. Art, you say?

    Current Mood: artistic
    1:47 pm
    Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning and then I find a spacious breath and a spacious thought and I am home in sweet serenity or even buoyant joy. This mind body stuff is so darn useful.

    It is so strange to use the body as an instrument for creating joy and space. It is right here in us. These tools are right here. This world is such a space for creating anything once we get the courage and simple wisdom to ‘just do’, without being fearful or selfish or clingy.

    Just be is perhaps a better way to put it. Just be. Just listen. Just move with it. Just breathe into it. Just open to the moment. Unfolding and teaching and nurturing. Just risk it all, as a principle. It is the gracious thing to do if we understand the gift and its opportunity. Life is a chance to play! Play and gamble and get past trying to hold tight to a gift. That is humility.

    Current Mood: grateful
    1:44 pm
    so much love
    I’ve got so much love to give.
    I’ve got so much love to give.
    Love has so much me to give.
    Give has so much love to be.
    Love has me to fill.
    I have full love to be. Y
    ou have so much hurt to be loved.
    You have so many tears to feel.
    I have so many hugs and smiles.
    Your tears can be mine and my love can come on time.
    I can love you.
    You can be me.
    I can love me.
    I love life.
    You are life.
    I am life.
    Given to you through me from the big love
    I a hollow reed.
    Wrong or right or inspiration.
    Right down the middle.
    Opening and communicating.
    It feels so right.
    I love you.
    Heart and soul.

    Current Mood: creative
    1:04 pm
    Feeling sweet feeling drops from my fingers fingers
    It is a question of feeling. Enough thought obsession. Enough analysis and escaping from the pain into dullness. Enough justification. Enough trying to control feelings with thoughts. Enough trying to control others. Enough trying to control life and death. Enough comfort. Enough wealth and treadmills. Enough shopping malls and plastic facades. Enough simple scientific explanations, and enough convoluted scientific explanations to entertain the illusions of the asynchronously developed brainiacs.

    Analysis can’t cry on someone’s shoulder and open up their compassion. Analysis can’t write a heartbreaking song. Analysis can’t see the pain in your brother’s eyes for anything other than a threat or an opportunity for exploitation. Analysis can’t smile through the pain in wise acceptance. Analysis doesn’t spend an hour talking to the homeless guy who hit you up for a dollar. Analysis can’t ever give you what you need.

    What touches your heart? How about acoustic guitar? Or the frustrated sigh of a little girl? How about a little boy helping his grandma pick something up off the floor? What about watching someone being insulted? What about seeing someone struggle through stage fright? What about the star of the football team making an extra effort to invite the shy geeky kid to the next party?

    We are here to help each other. We are here to see through and break through the thoughts and institutions that would hold us apart. We are here to break down the walls. We are here to make love and make music make meaning and hold each other softly in our honesty. We are here to sit with the pain and rejoice in the sunrise. We are here to answer the question of life with a question of our own: “How may I thank you?”

    Current Mood: hopeful
    Monday, January 30th, 2006
    1:15 pm
    Wittgenstein
    The task of the true philosopher (i.e. Wittgenstein) was to "show the fly out of the fly bottle": to show that the problems with which philosophers tormented themselves were in fact not really problems at all, but rather were examples of "language gone on holiday," as he put it. So the true philosopher becomes more like a therapist removing distress and confusion than someone who creates or discusses philosophical theories or positions. (from wikipedia)

    Me:
    Ok, so the philosophical problem is philosophy itself. The problem is in the question. The problem is in the language.

    The great sadness is that nothing lasts. The great joy is that nothing lasts.

    The only thing that makes sense is nonsense. How could sense hold anything more than itself? And then what made it? What could possibly ‘make sense’ other than NONsense? And, of course, the path is between the word and the meaning, and both.

    So, here I am mired in between and all around the human dream.

    Facts and probabilities and both. Particles and waves and both. Potential and existence and both. Scale and relationship and both. Science and art and both. Alcohol and marijuana and meditation.

    Now for the quotes!! :D

    It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists. (6.44)

    There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical. (6.522)

    My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) (6.54)

    If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do." (217)

    The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to notice something - because it is always before one's eyes.) The real foundations of his enquiry do not strike a man at all. Unless that fact has at some time struck him. - And this means: we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful. (129)

    My aim is: to teach you to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to something that is patent nonsense. (464)

    But if you say: "How am I to know what he means, when I see nothing but the signs he gives?" then I say: "How is he to know what he means, when he has nothing but the signs either?" (504)

    A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

    A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.

    At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded.

    At the end of reasons comes persuasion.

    For a truly religious man nothing is tragic.

    I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.

    I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse's good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment.

    If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.

    It is one of the chief skills of the philosopher not to occupy himself with questions which do not concern him.
    - Discernment@!!!!

    It is so characteristic, that just when the mechanics of reproduction are so vastly improved, there are fewer and fewer people who know how the music should be played.

    Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.

    Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language.
    - so, the limits of the descriptive power of language represent the start of the chasm between the optimal use of that language and the ‘facts’ it is trying to describe.

    Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.

    Man has to awaken to wonder— and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again.

    Not every religion has to have St. Augustine's attitude to sex. Why even in our culture marriages are celebrated in a church, everyone present knows what is going to happen that night, but that doesn't prevent it being a religious ceremony.

    Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.
    One often makes a remark and only later sees how true it is.

    Our greatest stupidities may be very wise.

    Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.

    Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep.

    Someone who knows too much finds it hard not to lie.

    The human body is the best picture of the human soul.

    The logic of the world is prior to all truth and falsehood.

    The real discovery is the one which enables me to stop doing philosophy when I want to. The one that gives philosophy peace, so that it is no longer tormented by questions which bring itself into question.

    Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.

    You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks.
    - Artists self-destruction in self-transcendence

    You must always be puzzled by mental illness. The thing I would dread most, if I became mentally ill, would be your adopting a common sense attitude; that you could take it for granted that I was deluded.
    - reminds me of Laing’s attitude toward Schizophenia

    Current Mood: quixotic
    Monday, January 23rd, 2006
    5:16 pm
    hi
    I am greg. I am a student in psychology. Kat made me do this.

    Current Mood: bitchy
    Saturday, January 22nd, 2005
    1:20 pm
    Resonance!
    The questions were getting pretty big. The thoughts were swirling around in hopeless attempt at flow. Because, you see, the computer always seizes up when it tries to crunch infinity. That is rationality. That right there is downright rational. Seeing its own limitations is the most inspired use of logic.

    Then, in a moment of despair, I found, as I so often do, a moment of sanity. I saw clearly that relying on beliefs would forever take me out of the moment, because I would always be trying to figure out how the momentary circumstances fit into my framework of ideals. I saw clearly that the answer to the questions that matter come, not in the form of words or logical frameworks, but in the form of resonance. Who am I? Perhaps a better question is, ‘what do I resonate with’? Where is my joy? What makes me cry? What music fills my soul? What people do I feel chemistry with? What is funny to me? What poets, authors, philosophers, and artists consistently bring me inspiration and meaning?

    Now, the problem with this truth, as with most other truths, is that it lies beyond the purview of the logical mind, which means it is beyond control. The ‘will to power’ does not sit kindly with such ideas. But, you see, you can’t control what music you like. You just like it. You can’t control who you love. You just love them. Resonance is something that is done to you. I don’t willingly resonate with the blues any more than I willingly beat my own heart. The good lord beats my heart and the good lord in the blues vibrates that corresponding string in my heart.

    So, perhaps verbs should be more clearly distinguished and understood as action verbs and resonance verbs. Resonance verb sentences make sense whether they start with the subject or the object. I resonate with the blues. The blues resonate with me. Who’s to say which way the resonance goes? In fact, placing ‘I’ first tends to confuse the issue, by implying a choice in the matter. This is the way our language is structured. It demands a subject and an object.

    Perhaps this is what was meant by Lao Tze when he paradoxically said, “Those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know.” Why? Because any true knowing is beyond subject and object. Any true knowing is beyond the separations and definitions and distinctions that are necessary for coherence in language. So why am I typing this? Perhaps the same reason Lao Tze spoke his words. Perhaps because language can be used to deconstruct itself. Perhaps because language can point beyond itself.

    I guess, because I resonate with the proposition that our ‘salvation’ lies further down the current path, rather than backward at some turn in the road we may have missed. This means that I don’t think we have to bomb everything back to the primitive ages and forget all the linguistic and scientific advances we have made in order to find the primal wisdom we seem to have glossed and cemented over and forgotten about. No no. The way is through the middle of the fire of passions, language, logic, and ego. The true way honors all of this as part of the dynamic tension that has brought us to this beautiful, if precipitous precipice:) It has brought us to the brink of meaning. The voice of a faint muse is singing in the void, calling you home. A voice so silent it might be in your own mind… or very far away. Ineffable. Inexplicable. Infinity either way. Wrapping around on itself, through you and I, an unbroken and musically waving spiral of light singing the necessary night of mind. See how the questions melt away?

    Current Mood: contemplative
    Tuesday, January 4th, 2005
    1:26 pm
    Freedom!!!!!

    In looking at the world and all of its ins and outs and ups and downs and spins and wobbles, one needs to start somewhere.

    I start with the principle of freedom. Without freedom there is only a machine. A machine doesn’t turn me on.

    First of all, as a basic premise, I believe that we have free will on some level or another. Exactly what level is not all that important. What is important is that at some point we make choices… real choices about what we think, say, and do. And that fact gives meaning to our existence.

    Second of all, I believe that a principle of freedom on a societal level is the condition that will generally allow the most people to develop into their healthiest and most expansive selves with as few ‘neuroses’ as possible. Neuroses in my opinion are gaps in understanding that develop from inhibiting and suppressing parts of ourselves for the sake of the perceived expectations of society or family or religion or any other type of ‘should’.

    I believe individuals should freely allow themselves to be who they are at any given moment. I believe there is a ‘guidance’ that comes through to us if we allow ourselves that freedom. If we transcend the ‘imposed’ guidance from religion, society, family, friends etc, then we are left to make our own decisions based on our inner conscience- a guidance that is our own truth, based on our own subtle interaction with the here and now. We each have a conscience that can discern what our truth is and what our deeper purpose is. Without someone else directing our thoughts and actions, we necessarily find the maturity, strength, and judgment to make our own ethical decisions. Freedom demands it of us. Freedom demands personal responsibility.

    Allowing this freedom to individuals is risky, no doubt. It requires an act of faith on the parts of those involved. It requires risking temporary chaos for the greater principle that freedom yields truth. This risk is contrary to our deep biological and emotional instincts.

    As survival-seeking beings, humans do not like the concept of others being free enough to hurt them and their chances at genetic reproduction. They are typically happy to manipulate the situation in favor of their survival. Fear is powerful.

    As emotional beings, humans also don’t usually like taking the risk of freedom with their loved ones. They would rather hold on tight and keep those emotional bonds intact than set the person free to find their truth. Maybe the freed loved one will float away without those bonds. Fear is powerful.

    People like to control each other. This can also be called manipulation. They do it in many ways. To gain advantage, they use their strength, intelligence, social/ emotional sense, rank or status or whatever other power they have. The most powerful (see ability to manipulate: manipulative) people, in these different ways, get to be leaders of structurally hierarchical institutions. They lead systems and clubs and societies and religions and cliques and gangs and political parties. These institutions all share the goal of stripping freedom from the individual by establishing shared norms of belief and behavior. They all thrive on codes and rules.

    So, what’s wrong with codes and rules? Codes and rules take the ‘judgment’ responsibility away from the individual. Without the freedom to make their own judgments about beliefs and behaviors, people lose the meaning of their lives. They move toward becoming simpleton automatons acting out of their desire to be accepted in the group by conforming to the rules and being ‘good boys and girls’. As a result of this ‘outsourcing’ of their judgment to institutions, they end up losing their connection with their inner spiritual guide and their capacity for critical thought. They lose the ‘ownership’ over what they do. They do things ‘because it’s the rule’, not because it was a conscious decision.

    For the institution, this is a good thing. With enough unquestioning rule followers as members, the big wheel has enough cogs to roll smoothly down the road. But from the perspective of the individual, things are not so optimal. The people who defer their opinions to those of the system end up losing their deep and nuanced identity to a degree. The system provides certain benefits- be they physical (gangs) economic (politics), social (clubs), or even 'spiritual' (religion)- in exchange for the member's allegiance and conformity. Thus, the individual becomes dependent on the system. And because of this dependence, the survival of the system becomes very important to the individual. As a natural psychological result, the individual identifies more and more with this 'beneficent' system, including its rules and unspoken norms of behavior. That person's integrity has been influenced. That person is no longer completely free.

    Not only does the individual dependent on an institution lose some of their freedom, but they will also be necessarily unfulfilled in the deeper sense. They may be comfortable, but they will pay a high price for such pleasure. The price of membership is that the individual must suppress some of his or her beliefs, traits, thoughts, or behaviors in order to be in step with the codes of the institution. In suppressing these unique expressions of individuality and free will, the person will become necessarily detached from their deepest self, that is, from their unique connection to guidance and purpose, which is the only true fount of fulfillment.

    Humans need to express themselves and the energy that flows through them in a free manner in order to be truly happy.

    A human needs to be able to ask ‘why?’ and get the guidance from a deep spiritual place of personal truth, and not from the rulebook of some self-serving institution whose often unspoken or implied ‘response’ is designed to stem the flow of such structurally dangerous questions (see circular reasoning and appeals to ‘faith’)

    Am I suggesting that everyone who works for a corporation or subscribes to a religion is a corrupted pawn of The Man? No. What I am saying is that one must be aware of the differing interests and the inherent tradeoffs involved in the dynamics of such relationships if one values freedom in this society. The individual's purest interests are freedom and self-actualization, while the institution's interests are for the individual to conform.

    The million dollar question that always arises is whether or not people can actually handle freedom. I suppose this is the fundamental inquiry into human nature. That is, are we fundamentally good or evil? Can people act in an ‘adaptive’ manner without the forces of systems and institutions forcing their various colored and wild random shapes into confining grey square holes?

    This is, of course, not an easy question. It has been a central question in philosophy for a good while now, and I don't claim to have a satisfactory answer. However, I believe we've gone way too far in oppressing and inhibiting the growth and expression of too many people. I see it in the eyes of those victimized by the over-systemization of society. I see the loneliness and separation and anger that has arisen as we categorize each other and let our enemies be dictated to us. I look at a nation who has elected a president based on fear. I believe freedom is the appropriate direction for us to point this spaceship if we want to find out who we are as a species. We will never find our true natures by inhibiting ourselves and our free will.

    In gradually moving toward hope and freedom and tolerance, we may come to the conclusion that there are people who are best suited for a well-defined and structured environment. And that will be a fine and appropriate free choice to be made voluntarily. I believe that today, too many people are unnecessarily being crammed (or cramming themselves) into thoughtless and confining situations and it is largely inhibiting their growth.

    We have grown too far apart as people. I believe that freedom is the only way to heal this fragmentation. Freedom unites us in a different way than institutions do. As a free individual, I can tell another free individual, in effect, “I will allow you the freedom to think and act as you please, and I will trust you to make decisions that lead to an ultimately more favorable environment than if we were all following strict and confining rules. And I recognize that a huge part of that favorable environment is my freedom sweet freedom which feels so good and gives meaning to my decisions. And I know that your freedom affects my freedom. So be free my brother, and let’s live with principle and without fear.” And this shared freedom is our bond. Our unity is our shared principle of freedom and our mutual respect and trust in our deepest natures.

    So that’s the way I’d like to see this big ship steer. Away from institutions and rules, and toward freedom and a chance for true meaning. Not all at once, because we're not ready. If you give total freedom to a person who is not used to critical thinking and decisionmaking, it's like giving a loaded gun to an infant. Freedom demands responsibility and maturity. Baby steps.

    How does it happen?

    Education. Dialogue. Voting. Policy. Creativity. Revolution. We must begin to exercise our freedom to educate ourselves about the forces of control at play in our society and our world. Freedom has to come from the root upward. Corrupted and corrupting systems will not dismantle themselves for the greater good. It has to come from individuals who understand that the principle of freedom for all is the only path to the answering the deepest question, “Who are we?”.



    Current Mood: mischievous
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