20120717 (J)
Journal: July 17, 2012
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Improvement                  Idea of "Other"                  Self                  The Bear                                                                             Desire                  Language                  Purpose                  Student Years

The Bear: I felt the “darkness” in my hormones, in my brain, heat on the skin of my arms, a familiar but vaguely remembered set of feelings – dark – suicidal, painful though I could not locate the source of the pain. It dominated my thought, compelling it – vacillating between excuse making and self-recrimination. Confused, trying, unable to find a common ground. Similar to and sharing origins with the feeling in 2000, my point of abject financial failure. Then the “feeling” persisted for a year or more. And now the bear rolled over in his sleep to remind me that he is still in me, and can still hurt me, in this case by “making” me want to hurt another.

The bear of darkness breathed again after the explosion of my temper yesterday by “darkening” my thoughts. I despair ever being free of the darkness. I vacillate some more: to apologize or “let the way be the way”. No grounding, lost, adrift, feeling ill. I decided “no apology” then as soon as the phone was available I called Teri and apologized, for the bear, for me.

Magic – I think the bear went back to sleep.

And now I cry because I don’t know what to do with this gift of gab you have given me, God. But I cry grounded again, or at least seemingly so. So quick, so devastating the bear of darkness can strike. I really hope he sleeps again, but know he lurks ever there. As I asked yesterday, “Can I rid him or only chain him?” I think again, only chain him, recognizing chains decay and weaken allowing him to at least strike out for freedom before newly forged chain links can patch the breaks. That metaphor is crap.

“Grounded” may be when “thought” and “feeling” are the same, “darkness” when they diverge and confusion reigns. So perhaps it is not my wanting to hurt another that is my evil; rather that I “think” it is my evil; and I think I do so think. If one can reconcile the desire to hurt another with “thought”, e.g. to punish wrong, then it is not darkness, perhaps it is even God’s shining light to harm another, n’est ce pas? punishment is always reserved for those who harmed other people or their sense of dignity. They deserve it by the creed “Do unto others aa I command you to do” (Old Testament values).

It seems what I am trying to do, my “improvement’, my cursing of God, is to chart a course out of the miasma of morality. It leads to no good as it seeks the good. Do I chart the course? For me? Or for posterity? Or for friends (i.e. for glory)?

Maybe putting words on a page at the rate I write shows my thoughts enough so they can be grasped. So, yes, yes …. for "me" not for glory, which may or may not be, but advantage either way. Bullshit is the thought that comes to mind just then. When? About the time the words “but advantage” became “real” in my mind, in “thought” before their writing.

STOP       STOP       STOP       IT

Don’t know.

Ok, I did sleep for a bit, still the 17th.

Nesters, ISTMRN we are avid nesters. We love our nest, protect them, decorate them, embellish them, even foul them, like our cities.

I like truth, some call it “god”, some add an “o” and call it “good”, some “evil”, some knowledge, some the way; that sort of thing, you know. I early on encountered the idea that logic and its handmaiden math provided special insight into truth. I abhorred arithmetic was even punished in 3rd grade for some forgotten misdemeanor by having to sit in the hall until I finished a whole page of three-column additions and subtractions. The additions were much easier than the subtractions, but it was a severe punishment nonetheless.

Geometry, especially its finality of “truth” in a geometric “proof” and algebra with its comparisons were both enlightening to me. But trig: I cried on my bed in frustration in seventh grade as my father consoled me, but was unable to soothe my sense of failure to “comprehend”. The calculus: three attempts, Davison ’64, IUPUI ’67-’68; two failures and a final success, even an “B”, helped along with another geology major with math attention disorder, Bruce Sydner (eventual PhD in oceanography). Bruce and I shared an aversion for calculus and drilled each other through the course by rote memory, not comprehension, at least for me.

As I can’t remember any of the lines to any of the plays I was in, I can’t remember any of the formulae. With my crippled math abilities I hear from physicists that the greatest beauty and truth can be found in the elegant dance of differential equations, because they do away with differentials by pushing them to limits at zero or infinity, i.e. “continuity”. Anyway, I don’t think that way very well. So I asked others, but mostly myself, “Am I thus limited in my vision of God?” Some would say, “Yes”, but ISTRMR most would say, “No”. I think I agree with most on this one (actually I agree with “most” on most things everyman that I am, but I just enjoy dwelling on the exceptions, contrarian that I am.

So, if knowledge of math in not necessary, I suppose knowledge of anything is not necessary. Most seem to disagree here. Most I talk with and read about think some special knowledge lead to “God” or “truth” or “reality”. Culture! Just this month I was informed, not from an opinion but from a “knowledge” of faith, that all Muslims will go to hell because they know of but reject Jesus as the only son of God; Chinese probably to, even if they have never even heard of Christ. However, never “hearing” of Christ is doubtful in today’s world. Or perhaps “knowledge” of the eight-fold path is open for all, but followed only with hard work and diligence and “right thought” as learned from the master, Buddha. But ISTMRN if not math, then not Jesus or Buddha or Lao Tzu. No special “knowledge” is necessary. We all have awareness, reason, math (at least counting), feeling, and ISTMRN, God is there.

But .... yet ..... those who reach this conclusion seem to be, in general (statistically) more “read” than others, or perhaps that bias is an illusion and behind those many yearning eyes lies contentment. I can’t say for any other, though I try to all the time as these words testify. I know of NO human who has special access to God (which to me is contentment in contrariness, to someone else perhaps killing infidels). As Epictetus pointed out, what we think is up to us, what “happens” to us is not. So are we “equal” any other way? It seems not, not even in how we think. According to brain students, skills are quite varied by birth and by attention. In terms of ANYTHING we can measure, we are NOT equal, as today’s opening of the Olympics so aptly demonstrates