by j-a

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Dec, 2000


My rationalization for sending "opinionated" (for lack of a better word) e-mails to people: you asked for it (my "opinion," or feedback, or comments, or whatever.) This is a lifelong problem with me, that I will express myself, usually in response to someone, because I am most always reticent to speak unless prompted to do so (encouraged, dealt with patiently over a long period of time by people who really believe they want to hear what I have to say, until they hear it), and then I will regret it, when they do not appreciate what I have to say. My "defense" against this manipulation is "You asked me."

Never offer opinions unsolicited, so that when they are solicited, you can defend yourself in this way. They have no right to bitch then. They can complain all they want because they, not you, are responsible for their misery. (This is not really true, though. I am responsible for my actions and decisions, to speak.) And it can be miserable, when I will point out things about them and their world which are disconcerting at best, things they do not want to hear and so must defend themselves against via denial and projection.

And even if they don't ask for it, via direct request or prompts which take the form of irritating behavior toward me, or even just in general, overtly, publicly, even if they "ask" secretly, via their behind-my-back agendas, I just have to respond, being driven to my limit of endurance w/o speaking up, echoing their behavior/attitude when my wit cannot come up with something better, more studied, more prepared (which usually it cannot, the response being a spur of the moment type of thing, a knee-jerk reaction.) Even then, when they don't ask for it, they invite a response, if only unconsciously, because they are speaking publicly (whether to my face or not.)

Anyone who speaks in public makes their words my business. It always amazes me that people will speak out in public places, often vociferously, as perhaps to a friend who is with them, and then if I respond, which sometimes I must, because they are so wrong, or so inane, or so... or I myself am so... they will act offended and tell me to mind my own business, as if they did not make their comments my business by speaking out in the first place. Of course, when I will respond, I, then, make what I say their business, I am inviting their counter-response. So stay out of the kitchen if...

My words/advice/responses are socially important, even if people don't want to hear it. The problem is not that I react negatively (hurt/overly-sensitive) to their reaction. Rather, I feel they should be grateful that I point out their faults, so that they may have an insight into their less conscious selves, and I feel they should appreciate my "genius" at arriving at those insights, because I am never surprised when they point out my faults to me, but can accept their opinions when they are constructive (a practice that can be rather disconcerting to them, especially when their "constructive" ciritcism might be couching an agenda that they are not so much aware of, when they might semi-consciously be expecting a bad reaction and get only a tacit agreement instead), even if I have no intent of changing myself in accordance with their "better" ideas.

I feel that people should accept me and my opinions in the same way I accept theirs. But they don't. They will attack instead, and I must further use my "talent" and my wit to defend myself (even within my own superego when I retreat to be away from their attack), to prevent the conflict/hurt from devastating me, non-acceptance being a mode of being I cannot tolerate, which is why I tend to remain quiet in the first place, because often, especially when under long-term stress, I fail to use my wit and, instead, respond in kind, which is not kind at all.

But I cannot remain quiet when I get the idea that I might be the world's psychologist, offering analysis and interpretation when it is requested.

Many important and powerful people are/were opinionated, less-than-sociable pricks, even some of the founding fathers, our most revered personages--as are many psychologists and psychiatrists today, who disguise within their therapies their less-than-sociable agendas and personal pathologies. (I have had/will have this tendency too, when I am out among them all too long. It is better, perhaps, that I just keep my damn mouth shut. But I don't. Not when I am asked.)


Self Art
(self as art/art for self)

for my self     for ego
fantasy      sculpture
song     painting
pastiches     books


Kevin Bacon, Tremors
I've just been through over two months of inactivity, precipitated by a rejection of a piece I wrote that had previously been accepted by a prestigious e-zine. I always feel lost after these extended episodes of doing nothing, hoping I can get back to where I had been before; but I never do, leaving much behind, much potential thought coded into notes I never manage to process. This is the advantage of a journal, if you process your daily scribblings into it, which I've been tending to do more readily in recent years, although, because of lost periods of time, never completely. But now, I am motivated again, to get things done. If only I could remain this way permanently. If idle thoughts are... I am going to hell for sure. I have my life arranged now so that I can take months off from doing anything at all if I so desire. That's a sure sign of decadence, dereliction, and degeneracy. But it's also a sign of success. I plan ahead, that way I never have to do anything now.

But I've gotten to this point in my life by working obsessively hard for long hours and accumulating lots of money that I wisely invested. I deserve the free time that I now have. And it hardly mattered at all that I applied skill to the work I did. I did apply skill, but looking back now, I see that I could have gotten to this same point in my life with hardly any skill at all. All you have to do to succeed (in this country at least) is find a job, any job, and save every cent you can get your hands on. Everything else you achieve is gravy.

Steve Martin says that you don't need innate talent, just focus, and even obsession. He says that his obsession grew out of an envious lack of encouragement from his father when Steve was a kid. This kind of focused obsession/reaction against pathology is what I did in my work life in order to feel secure in a business world in which I felt that I did not belong. Never mind how much talent I applied to my job; I felt insecure and anxious.

I apply this same kind of obsession, when I will, when I do not become too comfortable with myself, having grown up a bit over the years, maybe too much for the sake of my art. My art is a reaction against my social anxiety, but its therapy has been somewhat successful, reducing the need for its catharsis/insight. Talent, what there is of it, develops out of the reactive drive to produce art, arising out of the focused obsession, to try to understand the causes of discomfort and to explain them away in an analysis of words or, prior to that, to explain them away in fantasy. (Fantasy is the lower, cathartic level; the art is the higher, analysis/insight level.) I guess, then, maybe, since the fantasies persist, I have not grown so much in talent/insight as I have grown in laziness, choosing fantasy/withdrawal (away from the social "causes" of the anxiety in order to attenuate its pangs so that the need to defend against them is reduced. But the "need" (superego) to work persists and guilt (repressed anxiety) drives me back into a production mode, when I would otherwise laze around all day and night for the rest of my life. I withdraw into hibernation occasionally, before (now) I become stressed, and I wait it out. Then I return, back to work again.


In a world that's becoming increasingly pecuniary and corporate to a fault, having reduced social welfare to sub-subsistence levels (except corporate welfare, of course), they (the insidious powers that strive to disguise themselves as various types of public service) are trying to convince us to become volunteers, to help out in those places where the money interests do not wish to go, because there is no profit there, or because the profit motive would produce too much 'bad press.' And we are dumb enough to play into their agenda. We have been set aside enough in our sense of social significance, being retired, or non-white, or whatever--categorized and stigmatized in any way that might make it seem that we are less than valid citizens (and thus humans) if we do not comply, that we jump at the chance to donate our services for free. We become volunteers, to help out the even less fortunate than ourselves, to feel a little bit more important or belonging, and to enable the money-makers to go on ahead doing what they are doing, feeling smug about the way they have motivated us to take care of that which they cannot find a way to convert into a positive cash flow, so that the maintenance costs will not have to be borne so much by governmental agencies, thus robbing them of their easily-earned dollars as taxation; when after all, maybe, we should be heading as a society in the other direction, transforming crass corporate motives into more advanced forms of human sensibility, slowly over time converting the capitalistic tendencies of natural law into more humane agendas of existence, without of course disturbing the economic interests of gluttonous bosses so much as to actualize a backlash. Centralization is inevitable in the very long term; but whose schema will prevail, that of the greedy corporations or the humanitarian motives of an advanced contingent of the human race? If it's up to the corporations, we will become a society of volunteers, dependent upon business for our daily bread, but otherwise donating our services to an increasing number of causes, phalanx after phalanx of troops sent out into the streets and hills in our spare time by our employers to assuage the suffering of those who cannot raise their bootstraps high enough to join the corporate force. (We'll probably wear gray clothing and black boots and sing the praises of the corporation while we volunteer, so that we look like latter day Jehovah's Witnesses, their way lost after having stumbled into a downtown lobby and seen a different light. Oh, have I gone too far again?)

In the morning I am motivated, starting out the day scheduling my work, happy, to be so insightful of life, the world, the mechanics of my mind, listing out my plans, ideas, and fantasies, as if, I will be capable of accomplishing everything I imagine within a day's short time allotment, which I might, if only, I could follow my first dictate, item one in my list of things to do arranged in chronological order by areas of the day, mornings for writing and psychology, computer and desk work, afternoons for activity, evenings for relaxation and alternate creative endeavors, segments overlapping, giving way, transitioning one into the next in wide bands of time until abandoned, finally after enthusiasm for the structuring breaks completely down, lost amid more normal, dispersed thought, fantasies, as the mere activity of the elaborate mechanism serves to satisfy the need, to create and control a world, within myself, a microcosm dedicated to the completion of the partial being that I am. Items of immediate importance, listed at the top, will be accomplished, because they are essential to my health, well-being, social adaptation, whatever, those significant duties, like paying bills, etc. Time specific scheduled items, when they are important, when they are socially related, will usually get done, if I had not set aside most of a good night's sleep to pursue other fantasies and must return to bed to catch it up, foregoing the delicately structured day. Daylight or early evening items, requiring a time allotment where I must interface with or at least will not disturb society, such as cutting up wood outside with a chainsaw or going shopping while the stores are open, may or may not get done, depending on how I have persisted in my early morning vision, how my blood sugar levels are holding, how much interference is being caused by my inordinate desire to be anywhere else, in any other time and place, doing other, less mundane tasks, executing less routine plans where I have a source of people-power at my disposal, so that I may delegate my tasks away, to see my plans come into fruition. All other, more fantastic items await their turns that never seems to come, except when in a fit of pique I turn away from scheduling and burst forth in a spurt of activity, unplanned except that I have planned it, tentative to having completed all the other items on the list ahead of it, when it has instead sparked my love for both freedom and accomplishment together. I have a great desire, to be focused to obsession with accomplishment--but only in the morning on the best of days. Otherwise, I plod along, like every other person, hoping life will deliver to me the fantasies I call my scheduled plans, and those I fail to document, because they are too fantastic.


As daylight shortens, down to an extreme, I wait, again, understanding, an austerity of soulful anguish where, hidden beneath, a truth of revelation lies. I am, no longer interested, in writing; but then, I am no longer interested in anything, but living; and that is maybe enough, all it should be, writing, that is, beyond documentation of basic thoughts as journal entries. Life is like a movie: everything either turns out all right in the end, or someone dies, or both. I wait for it, the climax/resolution.


At certain times, during specific episodes, when I move, stretch, do mild exercise, etc., I experience (as a result of much learning/de-conditioning re early programming, it's true) certain states which could be described as "spiritual." It makes me wonder what mystics really experience when they enter a trance, what physiological conditions (naturally occurring or self-imposed) might be responsible for the states they experience. [I think here of the description in The Last Temptation of Christ attributing Jesus' mystic states to a form of epileptic seizure.]

There is no God, but rather only, at best, an unconscious pre-existence state that is evolving into the intelligent consciousness that we represent. Light (or some precursor of it, some basic cosmic material), of which everything is ultimately composed, is God in this sense. When we develop the ability to short-circuit our conditioning (or when we bypass it via "mind-expanding" drugs like LSD), we realize the connection between the physiological and the "cosmic," which we may want to think with our still-deluded (not completely freed of conditioning) mind, is God. It is not God, but The Light of the Universe (which some may consider God, after all, and be labeled as pantheists by dogmatized theists).

Or we may see the universe as "love" (another only partially revealed truth). We get "true love" all mixed up with feeling, being feeling beings, and feeling is really weakness [I know, you think I'm an asshole; but wait. Hear me out], or at least a "shared" struggle (as opposed to independent achievement), such as when we cannot make it by our wits and acting as our own good counsel and so we turn to others to help out, and we come to love them for it, so that we "learn" that the pinnacle of our need for others is love: we love people because they pay attention to us, because they feed our egos, because they allow us to be "open" with them, to pour out our feelings to them, because they physically or psychologically or emotionally satisfy us. In short, we become gregarious, not only in order to enable our continued physical existence, that is so small a part of the reason, but to better enable our psychological and emotional satisfaction, to allow us to feel.

But when we turn around and maintain (perhaps out of an experience we have had, drug-induced or not, that feeling is primordially cosmic), that the feeling (or "love") is thus the most important human trait, we bypass all the other stuff, the more specialized human abilities, like thought, which is a refined way of feeling and an advancement over it. First, we learned to feel, as animals; then we learned to think, as humans. It's nice to get back to our physiological roots now and again, but to conclude that feeling is more important than thought, and especially than reason, is to be blinded by the "light" of "love." Women, mostly, come to believe this. The female is a more generalized being; the male develops out of the female form in the presence of certain chemicals. The male, then, becomes specialized, to perform a more specific role, that is, to generate the specialized cells necessary to continue procreation (not unlike the drones in ant and bees colonies). But in humans, the specialization has additional consequences, focusing the organism toward the mental (and away from the more global whole body feeling) abilities of thought, reason, etc.

I'm not arguing here that women cannot think, nor reason, because they can, some of them quite well; and I'm not arguing that there is not a vast range of gradations along the spectrum from man to woman; but I am saying that the specialization "pushes" men in the direction of these mind traits, while the non-specialization of women allows her to maintain a more general adaptation to a world that nurtured lifeforms up the evolutionary ladder. But women, lately, have been raising the argument that, because they are more feeling, they are superior to men, "reasoning" that feeling is a more important trait than the ability to develop consistent and rational thoughts, even when they themselves possess that ability. Women think this because they see that they possess the ability to have babies, and that feeling (love) is a primary ingredient in the care and raising of the infant to adulthood. But this is not a valid argument for maintaining that feeling is an advanced trait. It may be important. It may even be most important, but it is important on an animal level. It's basic. It's our physiological heritage. When women (and men) feel, they express a primordial ability. Babies feel, from before birth, but it takes them many years to learn to think, and nearly twenty (or more) to learn to think critically--if they ever do.

Thinking is an advancement that develops out of the ability to feel. Somewhere a long time ago, our ancestors felt something, were unable to communicate it adequately, developed hand gestures, grunts, etc. to try to better communicate it, and over long periods of time and natural selection learned how to say what they felt. And in the process, the parts of their brains that enabled them to speak developed into an ability to think. So, even if feeling is more important, it is not more advanced. So the women who maintain that it is should stop engaging in this erroneous form of thought. [Okay. Now you can think I'm an asshole if you want; and I may well be, but I'm still right.]

The whole point here is that we progress, out of a global awareness of our physical and physiological existence and into a more advanced way of conducting our human business. But in the process of developing in this way, we shunt aside those experiences that do not immediately serve our specialized purposes, and because we fail to understand them rationally, we assign to them a "spiritual" value; and feeling being less than specialized gets mixed into that mess. I feel that this is true, and I strive to find the means to communicate this truth in words, which means I try to rationalize it. But in the process of rationalization, the truth gets lost. It becomes things like "God," when it is something more like physiology, or cosmology, or phenomenology, or love--or pantheism.

We are physical beings, created, ultimately, out of stardust. If we have a God, it is within that dust that It exists. And if I go into a trance and experience something that seems to me like it is It, I experience my own being, which has become so foreign to me in my New World mentality that I've been using all my life to earn a good living that I want to believe that it exists outside of myself, as a force I do not know. But I do know It. It's not outside of me. It's life. I contact it daily, most profoundly in dreams, but in waking life as well, which I do not want so much to see, and so I relegate it to a subsection of my mind/brain/being and go about my daily routine, oblivious, unless I will convince myself to take the time to meditate, when, sometimes, if I am well-relaxed and yet awake enough, two seemingly opposing states, I can see the connection beyond myself to all living things and, by virtue of my advanced state of mind, know that it is not God I see, not angels, not spirits, not demons, not illusions, not megalomaniac visions, not a universal awareness of the human race, nor of life in general, but me. I am extant in every living thing, and every living thing (which may or may not include every thing that has lived previously) is alive in me. I know I do not dream this up, and that, maybe, when I do actually dream it, that it is real. I know that this as real as it feels. We are all one extended thing, one vast organism, and if you do not know this, you are not as aware as you may feel you are, even if you are a women. It takes not only a primordial ability to feel that has not been buried irretrievably by a preoccupation with the more advanced form of feeling known as thought, but it takes a specialized form of thought as well, both, together, resolved of polarity, paradox negated. You can't "feel" it if you are a prototypical woman; you can only feel a sentimental/instinctual form of "love." And you can't "know" it if you are a prototypical man; you can only know the abstraction that I write of here and think you are so superior as to understand such advanced thought. You have to put the two together. You have to be a man and a woman, both. And that's the start. Because if you are not, then how can you hope to feel/know the whole universe of being? And if you don't even want to know that, then how can you call yourself a scientist, or a theologist, or a spiritualist, or a teleologist, or a human being. If you don't feel/know this, then you are, at best, half-human, and the rest of you is animal, or not even that. You are not advanced. You are a metaphorical Neanderthal. A cave man (or woman). A "warrior" if you like. A less than fully human being, going about daily murdering people as if you did it literally (and maybe you do, maybe you're one of those politicians who have convinced yourself that you're not responsible for the deaths of millions of people around the world because you didn't directly pull the triggers, or drop the bombs, or release the gases or the biological agents; or one of the vast army of manufacturers who make the components of the weapons' systems that blow people's arms and legs off or disintegrate them completely). You probably participate in some small way. But even if you don't, you're murdering people psychically by ignoring your most important and advanced ability, the ability to commune. I know. I'm guilty too, most of the time. I live oblivious to it all, the genocide as well as the communion. But at least I know it.


Barry Gibb
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
Hector Berlioz
I feel like I should be doing this and that and...everything, but I don't want to. It's taken me a long time, almost forty years, for me to work my way through my writing to a point where I almost feel like I have nothing to prove. I am experiencing a consequent lack of motivation. But I'm starting to feel like I don't have all that much time left. The perception of a lack of time may prove to be the replacement for having nothing left to prove.


I have been discriminated against, because of my psychological orientation, because I do not want to be so outgoing as society expects from its representatives, and because I have unwittingly chosen to work in that sector of business that demands that I be "normal." It is now known that discrimination correlates poorly with healthy individuals; that is, if you are discriminated against, you tend to be more sick, physically or otherwise. Being overly demanded of, being put upon, being pressured, takes its toll over the years, making you ill. Who hasn't known that? It doesn't take modern medical studies to tell us what we know. When we are made to feel, inferior, we are made to be, less well. It hardly matters that it is our own selves that are doing the manipulating (we are each responsible for our own physical and psychological states states). If it's an unconscious process, whether we are the victims of own own selves or others in the face of social pressure is irrelevant. We're victims whatever the case. The only solution is to take control and stop the victimization. Are you discriminated against? Just stop it. Refuse to allow it. You do it to yourself by accepting the way things are.


Waiting out the winter is like resisting situations I have been in when circumstances I do not agree with insist themselves upon me and for whatever reason I do not choose to remove myself from their presence, such as when I have had to do a job for a company that conducted itself in a manner I did not agree with, or when I have had to relate to someone, even intimately, with whom I did not, really, harmonize.

Although I can be the most incorrigible of employees, following instructions/policy to the letter, by rote, yet resisting in spirit what I consider to be at best misguided attempts to constrain human nature into a rigid purpose, I can be the most congenial of companions, accepting especially close associates for exactly what they are, yet without compromising my high ideals, which will be always on guard in the background, waiting to assert themselves full force, like winter, icy cold, so frozen as to resist the thawing attempts of a warm, endearing personality toward which I always definitively proffer the most properly affecting nature of acceptance, when she can be right in her own wrong way so long as she will not lead me to a place where I am wrong in mine.

Once, I didn't eat for three days, unknown to anyone, in order to hone an edge of passive resistance, to prove to myself that I had the definite will to remain steadfast to my principles, disallowing a woman's machinations the space to operate when we were in a winter's night of civil purpose, tucked warmly in our separate beds, perfectly correct in each our own ways, always affable to a fault within our own realm of personal influence, until I was to be away for several days, when I could surrender to my own relief of springtime gratitude for having been so precise in my independent opposition. I am winter resisting winter's negligence, in any season.


My withdrawal and relative isolation from the world is a statement to all of those people throughout my life who have belittled, manipulated, and/or jacked me off in one way or another. My lifestyle and behavior, as it has always been, more or less, now far more overtly says to them:

"Fuck you all! I have learned to live without needing you, without even associating with you in any way. I no longer have to put up with your caustic attitudes and the nasty little world that you want to create."


The day after Christmas, the center of the celebration of the new year, the sixth day of the eleven day period between the solstice and the first of January. Time to start to get serious again. The first five days are for surrendering to the spirit, of ending up the winding down begun at the summer solstice. The last five days are for the reassessment of the life you lead, the renewal of purpose, the defining of a new life, such as that which is resolved in the tradition of New Year's resolutions. Okay. Let's do it. Stop waning and begin to wax again. Wax off/Wax on.

Random Thoughts:

Like Napoleon's efforts, the Roman Empire was not something to be glorified in the way we glorify it today. The fact that we applaud its "achievements" is an indictment of the questionable values of our own society. The Roman Empire was a bigoted, brutal, blood-loving society. Saner, more civilized people could have given us the same advancements in a less caustic and bloodthirsty manner. Real value lies as much in the method of achieving advances as in the achievements themselves. The Romans' consideration of the barbarian hoards as "uncivilized" is a massive projection of their own barbarity.

When did the word ubiquitous become so ubiquitous? It used to be that no one knew what the hell it meant when I'd use it. Guess I'll have to find another word to show off with.

Much (sometimes for months at a time the only) spiritual experience I have is restricted to that narrow hynpagogic state between sleep and awakening, that not quite dream time when memory is foregone so that revelation later becomes elusive.

Sandwiches used to be a convenient way for me to package protein and provide a simple but effective meal. Now they have become an excuse to consume bread, the sandwiched ingredients being an afterthought. I no longer care about the protein I used to crave so much; I want the carbohydrates I used to naturally avoid. What does this say about my physiology? Has it changed, or have I just become (more) lazy (i.e., sedentary)?


1. I know that this statement, in itself, is insulting to women, but that's just a sympathetic reaction on my part. [back]

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