Letter to Jessie Jackson, Jr.
Time to Quit?
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20130222                                Acceptance                                  Betterment                                Happiness                                Human Rights

February 22, 2013

Office of the Second Congressional District of Illinois
2419 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Attn: Jesse Jackson Jr. (Please Forward)

Dear Sir,

Please forgive my impudence for writing this letter. But I sense, perhaps completely wrongly, that you may be ready. It’s about Jesus, among others that I write. If I am wrong you can stop here. If not, well .... I too have been “self-admitted” to a mental hospital for bi-polar disorder (classified at the time of admittance, confirmed numerous times thereafter). Being now so “legally” classified as “mentally ill” slams all doors in Caesar’s world, the world you lived, thrived, struggled, fought, and often won in with great glory; the same world that now relishes heaping upon you ignominious defeat. All doors are slammed shut. Some can be reopened no doubt, but you must first knock loudly and beg for forgiveness, and you don’t know which doors may eventually open again. Friends help in suggesting more “forgiving” doors, but you definitely must knock and beg. You are well trained in these skills, perhaps not so much the begging, but they are all slammed shut now. I too soared in the heavens. I was not a legislator in the game, I was an advisor, but I rubbed elbows with the President’s men and managed other scientists and millions of dollars at one of America’s most prestigious scientific institutions, a DOE’s national lab. From one thing and another, my slide continued and I too ended up in jail.

“Best thing that ever happened to me”

Though your physical situation shares much with mine, this letter is based on a sense that you too might be somewhere near where I was mentally also. It took a long time (years) to fully dawn on me. My desire to scramble back into the game was strong, but my physical situation prevented it. I looked around. Someone said, “It’s not so bad, three hots and a cot, what more do you need?” It took a long time to fully dawn on me. “Yes, of course! ” Acceptance

But there are joys to be had beyond the necessities. The ping-pong table in jail became a center of fine social interactions, alliances, shifting allegiances and all the other goals that drive human interactions. I took what joy I could and gave what I could there. When I came out, I had a pension and social security though I was only 55 (disabled, bi-polar, remember).

I had ‘three hots and a cot”, so I stopped. I was ready. Maybe you are too. I believe it is a noble thing to do so in our cultural tradition, not Caesar’s, but God’s. And here we return to Jesus. My preference is Lao Tzu, the old Chinese gentleman or Epictetus, a vibrant Roman slave, as well as Jesus and many others. But most people around here are versed in the language of Jesus, so I find that least confusing as a foundation of “truth” in my conversations.

I think the message is loud and clear. “Don’t judge others” or “Stop!” Why? Simple, your own peace. Betterment: Praise God, don’t curse God by believing “his ‘perfect’ creation is flawed and needs our tender loving care and attention to nurture what God intended to fruition” God made it as God wants it, it seems to me, who am I to be so arrogant as to presume to know what God wants. Matthew Chapters 5 – 7 say it all for Jesus, I think. Most people perhaps seriously misinterpret those words, though perhaps it is me who does so and therefore it is I who am the fool. But if not, and if my heart’s seeming peace is a reliable guide, then the Golden Platter offered is especially bright for you right now.

The Golden Platter is the “happiness” described and pursued by all world’s main religions and their derivatives in philosophy. Elusive yet right before our eyes, as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount

"Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14

I don’t think your father has found it, Jesse, I am sorry. His distress at God’s creation is his curse and his desire to change that creation, to put things right, is his sin. It need not be yours. Jesus had to leave his family; he even turned his mother and brothers away once because they demanded special attention. Epictetus said to smile while your mother lectures you, then go do what’s right; just like Jesus and all the others. Was Jesus sad to turn them away? I doubt it, well, maybe a little.

So the simple “truth” of the “sages of the ages” is, simply: “Thank God, and don’t sin yourself” And I in my sin, as is this letter, would add the first commandment of Moses “Rather than curse God”

This is a path very, very, very few find, a path the Jehovah’s Witnesses even count at 144,000 and that’s not very many out of 7 billion. I don’t count, but you get the idea; so maybe about 1 out of 40,000, or maybe one here in my city among all the mayors, priests, workers, bosses, wives, children, barbers, charity givers, thieves, and saints, only one. It is a path that Lao Tzu says follows the water to the lowlands where it settles peacefully; it is not the hard won road carved up to the mountain side from which we can see far and our canons shoot far (well I said that, but he would approve). It is, as Jesus said, a different path, the night path rather than the day path, a path often alone but never lonely, or as Buddha said, the path of frredom, and many more such “attributes” of the “way”, or so they of old say, and so I have found so far, though I don’t go for all of all of their “suggestions”.

So, I suggest you have a wonderful opportunity to sit just back, enjoy; for God gave you life. I find reading, eating, sleeping, writing, art, driving, and the occasional conversation fill my time just right. Most would prefer more conversation.

Instruments of Power: Radio, TV (especially) and any other electronic entertainment of any sort are total wastes of good thinking time and the greatest Orwellian tools of thought homogenization ever devised, but the internet, especially Wikipedia and similar nonfiction information is the greatest democratizing and diversifying force ever devised. Go figure. That’s my way, only you know yours. Offer your family to come along, but accept them and love them still, even when they probably won’t.

Maybe you are ready. If not, I apologize for the insult