Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
You ever had just enough of something that the smallest addition might send you spiraling into over-kill--over-amped, over-fed, over-medicated, over-sensitive, over and over and over and on? Where did I hear or see "over-fed?" It must've been my other conscious half.
Like today. I had just enough coffee at breakfast, and just enough eggs and quiche. Then, I got to work, got fussy or nervous or flustered or bored, and went to the career center for free coffee. I swear, after the first drink, I became over-caffeinated.
Now, my feet can't stop tap, tap, tappin'. And I can't relax. I know I'm caffeine-sensitive. Though this is a recent condition. If I have just enough caffeine, I feel settled. A sip more, and I feel like I need to run the distance to calm my jitters.
Maybe I'm over-informed. Maybe I can't digest the amount of information I ingest on a daily basis, sitting in front of this computer at work. No. No. No.
Maybe I need to breathe, and not give into the urge to quiet whatever jitter is ticking. Maybe I need to refrain. Maybe I need to sit tight.
But, coffee comforts me.
Is it me or are we all seeking that which comforts?
It's not me. At the bottom of that jitter, and this is something I read in a Buddhist book, is ground zero. The source of your need for comfort has a root and a cause.
Mine is loneliness. And I don't mean loneliness because I have no company. I have enough company.
You know what state I'm in? I've arrived at hopelessness.
Now, let me tell you something about hopelessness. I've been in this hopeless state for awhile. And when I found myself feeling like life is hopeless, I didn't panic. I didn't fight it. I didn't feel sad. I told my friend about it, and she thought it sounded dissonant. But, I disagreed. And here's why--I found a reinforcement to my feeling last night as I read:
"Hope and fear come from a feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can't simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what 's going on, but that there's something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.
"Rather than letting negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That's the compassionate thing to do. That's the brave thing to do. We could smell that piece of shit. We could feel it; what is its texture, color, and shape?
"We can explore the nature of that piece of shit. We can know the nature of dislike, shame, and embarrassment and not believe there's something wrong with that. We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better "me" who one day will emerge. We can't just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It's better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.
Hopelessness is a place where one has given up the idea that she is lacking or in need. Instead, hopelessness provides emptiness and the feeling of acceptance of everything just as it is.
I accept life just as it is. I would not change a thing. I don't feel the need to push for something--I feel the need to keep moving. I don't want to stop.
That doesn't sound dissonant to me. However, the fact that I want to keep moving may imply that I'm running from something or somebody.
I don't want to go in circles. I want to accept life just as it is and who I am just as I am.
I've finally reached a place of emptiness. I've finally had enough of the same old story, so I'm risking the free fall of being completely alone and accepting that what I once wanted no longer fits. I'm over it.
I can't have it because it's not mine. Simple equation. With that, I think maybe she's not what I need anyway. Maybe I'm not what she needs. Mom says, "If it's too complicated, then it's not right. Two people and love should never be so complicated."
What a weird, twilight-zone of a world.
One day, we're walking along and thinking we know what we want and what's in store for us. We're surprised when the universe doesn't cooperate. We argue with it. We struggle and cry, yell obsenities, beseech forgiveness and help. We say our prayers. We abandon prayer. We abandon hope. We accept that we don't have an ounce of the control we'd like to have. We're sore and pissy for a bit but, eventually, we let it go.
We move on. Now, we're grateful that we have the courage to move on and accept our failures (because that's what it means to grow). When we completely accept our failures, we're ready for new life. We're ready to begin anew.
All I got is time, and everything I need is right here.
"X" marks the spot.
Monday, August 4, 2008
"But is our analysis of conscience not contradicted by the fact that in many people its voice is so feeble as not to be heard and acted upon? Indeed, this fact is the reason for the moral precariousness of the human situation. If conscience always spoke loudly and distinctly enough, only a few would be misled from their moral objective. One answer follows from the very nature of conscience itself: since its function is to be the guardian of man's true self-interest, it is alive to the extent to which a person has not lost himself entirely and become the prey of his own indifference and destructiveness. Its relation to one's own productiveness [this idea is understood as something other than the drive for glamour and success, but of living in accordance with man's true nature, and creating from that center] is one of interaction. The more productively one lives, the stronger is one's conscience and, in turn, the more it furthers one's productiveness. The less productively one lives, the weaker becomes one's conscience; the paradoxical--and tragic--situation of man is that his conscience is weakest when he needs it most.
"Another answer to the question of the relative ineffectiveness of conscience is our refusal to listen and--what is even more important--our ignorance of knowing how to listen. People often are under the illusion that their conscience will speak with a loud voice and its message will be clear and distinct; waiting for such a voice, they do not hear anything. But when the voice of conscience is feeble, it is indistinct; and one has to learn how to listen and to understand its communications in order to act accordingly.
"However, learning to understand the communications of one's conscience is exceedingly difficult, mainly for two reasons. In order to listen to the voice of our conscience, we must be able to listen to ourselves, and this is exactly what most people in our culture have difficulties in doing. We listen to every voice and to everybody but not to ourselves. We are constantly exposed to the noise of opinions and ideas hammering at us from everywhere: motion pictures, newspapers, radio, idle chatter [and internet]. If we had planned intentionally to prevent ourselves from ever listening to ourselves, we could have done no better.
"Listening to oneself is so difficult because this art requires another ability, rare in modern man: that of being alone with oneself. In fact, we have developed a phobia of being alone; we prefer the most trivial and even obnoxious company, the most meaningless activities, to being alone with ourselves; we seem to be frightened at the prospect of facing ourselves. Is it because we feel we would be such bad company? I think the fear of being alone with ourselves is rather a feeling of embarrassment, bordering sometimes on terror at seeing a person at once so well known and so strange; we are afraid and run away. We thus miss the chance of listening to ourselves, and we continue to ignore our conscience.
"Listening to the feeble and indistinct voice of our conscience is difficult also because it does not speak to us directly but indirectly and because we are often not aware that it is our conscience which disturbs us. We may feel only anxious (or even sick) for a number of reasons which have no apparent connection with our conscience. Perhaps the most frequent indirect reaction of our conscience to being neglected is a vague and unspecific feeling of guilt and uneasiness, or simply a feeling of tiredness or listlessness. Sometimes such feelings are rationalized as guilt feelings for not having done this or that, when actually the omissions one feels guilty about do not constitute general moral problems. But if the genuine though unconscious feeling of guilt has become too strong to be silenced by superficial rationalizations, it finds expression in deeper and more intense anxieties and even in physical or mental sickness."
I couldn't help but call this "voice of conscience" "intuition." Also, conscience is the moral compass that guides man to live according to his true self, or her true self.