We Are Works of Art.

(Building Upon: (The Light of Postmodernism, and Its Very Own Cave).  Point #7; Good, Evil, and Every other Moral/Rationale Descriptor is based upon Perspective.).

And with art, comes the sense that not everyone “gets” what the art is about.  Take a look at modern abstract art, and it physically doesn’t represent much.  A few blobs of paint upon a canvas, and it leads one to speculate upon their emotions.  The red reminds me of passion, and rage.  This is nothing more than old school symbolism.  Red can be used in any sort of painting or image.  It should be sufficient that I don’t “get” modern abstract art.

Tying our sense of self to this notion that we are actors upon life’s stage.  One can easily come to terms with a notion that not everyone will understand, or appreciate our performance.  What you consider a great performance, or enactment may just be “eh” to me.  And vice versa, this is postmodern relativism.  My value system doesn’t have to relate to yours whatsoever.

Running with that notion, it is coupled to our inner sense, our introspection.  Are we being authentic to ourselves?  Am I fulfilling the role I feel I should be portraying in a manner that is consistent with my value/belief system?  This is where we get into the “Penitence” post.  I’ve found a reason why I posted it, or at least I’m conjuring one up now.

The reason, I think, is that it was meant to illustrate that all of us go through those inner turmoil where we don’t know how to act.  We’re just as judgmental of ourselves as we are of others.  Is this a problem, it can be.  We are petrified of the different, the unknown, and the strange.  Sure some people may lean into the transitions, but overall.  We like it when reality makes sense, even if it is a little bubble that does.

And a little bubble it is, regardless of what we think the scope of our awareness may be.  For instance, it’s starting to dawn on me that not many people have a non-religious based perspective.  I fell out of religion when I was six or seven years old.  Not entirely through my own actions, but it just precipitated out that way.  The last time I stepped into a Church with intentions of belief was probably close to tow years ago.  And it simply didn’t click with me.  I’m 28 now, pretty much, and so I’ve been without Religion/God, for about 20 years.  Yes there’s been times that it has bubbled up, but they’ve passed.  Mostly as my understanding grows.

Yet for many individuals, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Moses, …et al are significant factors in their lives.  To me they are historical figures, ones who almost summon up the same reaction that someone saying Thor would (technically not true because I know a guy named Thor….).  And is my way “wrong”?

To some, or maybe a lot…I’m starting to realize, Yes.  My way is “Wrong” simply because I haven’t been cultured to the dominant “culture”.

Although we’re hitting the stage, where we’re having the power of individuality.  That the individual is starting to have a presence in life.  Most of us aren’t uneducated slaves toiling away at our overseer’s jobs.  Our language, and our privileged place in history allows us to reflect upon Humanity’s Past.  And say, yeah we as a species did some stupid things, but let’s not repeat them.  Hopefully.

We have to dive into the unknown, swim in the eddies and currents of being woefully misplaced, surface when the need demands, and overall Live in the absence of space where other generations have tread.  Else we are doing ourselves, and our progenitors a disservice.  Their history is incorporated into traditions, moments and aspects that we chose to propel forward or to discard as unnecessary burden.

We should look to places where our languages, our experiences fail us, and dive in.  In order to have new experiences in order to talk about, and delineate new portions of reality.

That is what makes our lives art, we aren’t a set plan.  An if A then B, or proceed here from C to D.  Plans are to be acted upon.  Art conveys meaning, and expression.  We are meant to convey our personal sense of value onto the next generation.  We are vessels for our Ideals.  In addition to being the crucibles which purify the essence of those Ideals.

Even the word, Virtue, to our present understanding it means “moral high quality”, in essence, to the ancient Romans.  Vir the stem of Virtue, simply meant Man.  This something didn’t know months ago.  It is something I realized as I was looking through Latin Grammars, and it clicked.

We are living in our concepts, our perspectives of the world.  We are actors who don masks to perform, but is there an inherent state of wrong to this?  I can’t honestly say, so maybe we all need to realize that nothing is set in stone.  It all is dust going to dust in our lifetimes.  Our perspectives die with us, and that is a good thing.

I just found this last night, and it resonated with me; https://youtu.be/MBRqu0YOH14

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Forging An Identity.

(Building Upon: (The Light of Postmodernism, and It’s Very Own Cave).  Point #2, Too an extent, the World revolves around the Observer, You. & #3 There are, multiple reference frames, and modes of being. ).

I think I’ve said, and alluded to it before.  Although I can’t remember which posts right now, so bear with me.

I know I’ve mentioned the thought that a person doesn’t have a soul until they actively strive to create one.  Perhaps I need to clarify, and support that claim a little more.  I’m not sure if it entirely makes sense to those who read, but I’m going to run with this topic in this post.  If it’s redundant, skip over it.

By soul I mean a sense of self, not awareness, but a self that has a noted value system.  One that wasn’t handed down, and defined for a person.  A value system that takes into account what they feel suits their lives.  Kinda sounds paradoxical, and it is, you don’t have an identity until you have a value-system, but this value system is based off of your judgment (identity).

As odd as it may sound, that’s what I think the truth is.  A person is raised in whatever belief/social system they are (Christian, Islamic, Hindi, Buddhist…etc), and it becomes a cornerstone of their identity.  Moving to a slightly less touchy subject, I’m switching gears to language, but still holding onto this theme.

In most school systems they teach, and codify a language to you.  This is fine, for it allows one to communicate with reliance/skill/understanding to those around themselves.  Example, I learned mainly English in my academic life, and that was it.  Actually, I learned a little bit of German too, but I’m probably at an elementary level in it.

Language, like English, allows one to make sense of the world, and structure it.  Much like a religion/core value system does.  What it doesn’t always do is allow one to develop themselves (I can’t rewrite the rules of English to my amusement).  In Latin, and old roman cultures (based off of the grammar books I’ve been teaching myself from).  Women, and daughters were numbered, and that’s what their name was.  Secunda, sounds like a name right?  It means Second Daughter.  Kinda offensive I’d imagine.  You are just my second daughter, and thus I call you Daughter #2.

Latin, huh?  English may, or may not be better.  Same with German.  Helmut, is a German boy’s name, but it means helmet…, as in the head-ware.  My name Richard, comes from a pair of words “ric” meaning ruler, leader, king…etc., and “hard” meaning strong, brave, hardy…etc.  Now like most people, I didn’t choose my name, it was chosen for me.  And this is where I’m starting to get at my point.

We tie our identities to our names, “Hi, my name is Richard, or I’m Richard”, but our names don’t necessary reflect upon who we really are.  They kinda signify an object.  Like Secunda.  I am not the “Richard” if there ever was one, but I’m an instance of “Richard”.  And people make assumptions based upon our names, that were given/assigned to us.  Our object identifiers, and our handles.  Government bureaucracy, and the society built around it takes our identifiers, and makes it our “Identity”.  According to the U.S. Government I AM Richard.  I even have a nifty little number that applies solely to me, or it should…at least in theory.

Now getting into the aspect of forging an identity, I am Richard, but I am also Not Richard.  To make sense of this I’m going to have to jump to Sartre’s Authenticity.

In said concept, a person isn’t the role they are acting out in public, or even in private.  If I was a student yet, I fulfill the role of a student, but it is not who I truly am.  Who I am, is the identity behind the mask, the sense of Self that lives within said role, and makes it act.  The role is like a mask, and a persona….just like our names are until we make efforts to “Own them”.  My “Richardness” is a mask for my “I”.  And if all of this makes some sense, I’d say you’re on track to having an Identity.

An identity is formed by the values we consciously choose to accept, endorse, or be complacent with.  It is also formed by the values we strive against.  A person may take away my “Government Identity” of an issued number, and the like.  And yet it will have no effect on me, other than maybe making my external life more difficult.  Thus when an “identity is stolen” it is little more than a mask that is lost.  What a person can’t lose is their sense of value, and what they actually chose to value.

Now, to develop this more.  I grew up in a Christian/Humanist environment.  Thus those beliefs are sort of the foundational stones of my belief/value/ontology.  They used to be the load bearing stones, but I have since removed some of them.  Either so they could be updated, or because I didn’t agree with the system they fostered.

I’ve used the “language” of my foundation/upbringing (English, and Christian/Humanist Mindset).   Simply because I have no other one readily available to develop my own “value system” which I won’t explicitly lay out…at least not overly intentionally, there may be traces of it appearing here and there.  Although overall, I don’t see the point in telling someone , or acting like my “Value system” is superior to theirs…simply because I don’t know if it is.

Overall, this is what I mean when a person has no “Soul”, or “Identity” until they actively take time to make one, and joy be told.  It seems to be an active piece of life.  Everyone seems to do it as they grow older.  At least a little.

The Resurrection

As a public and personal reply to the Crucified Lord, I realize that Christianity is lauded as something that unites, and creates a community.  As does every other religion.  Not a big difference there.  Note; I don’t feel, or think I have a personal grievance against Christianity, and I can readily admit that in the past that it has done a lot of good things.  Safeguarding schools of learning during the dark ages, encouraging, and supporting the refinement of social mores.  These are good things that Christianity has done, and should remain the things that they focus on.  This notion that God would or wouldn’t support this, or just the plain obsession with God…, Deus.

This is what I find really peculiar about the way it’s bandied about, and it may just be my personal age (ignorance).  It just seems odd to resort to idolatry of a term which is what it seems like to me.  My personal understanding of faith, I feel is more nuanced than what I feel the stereotypical understanding (broad generalization here…, so apply discretion if needed).  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the simplified concepts of tribalism that seems to resolve in religious communities.  To my perspective it should be a period of intellectual, and emotional development while under a safe space.  Not a cudgel to bandy about, or a “moniker” to adopt to fit in.  Why yes, I’m a good Christian….

There is so much more to this notion (Christianity), and having never fully made it through the narrative (I’m working on it) of Christ’s Life.  It seems to me that it’s sorely misunderstood.  Not just the Bible, but the a concept of what religion can be.  At it’s base, from my perspective, Religion is a belief about the World.  It is the ontology (intellectual/mental/philosophical foundation), or the ground upon which one sets their edifice in order to construct their worldview, and life.

Mathew 7:24-27 (King James Version)

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and if fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be linkened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A24-27&version=KJV )

From this it should be possible to see, or understand that this is exactly what it says.  Christianity is a foundation of thinking…is it The foundation of thinking, no.  It is simply a way to make sense, and understand the world around oneself.

Going back further; Exodus 3:14 (King James Version)

And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+3%3A14&version=KJV )

To me, and at this time, the “I AM THAT I AM” (or “I AM WHO I AM”) seems to me a base realization that it is “I’ness” that founds, and sets that first stone in an ontology.  It is not “Richard, Bob, Susan, or Marley” that does it.  It is our own sense of “I’ness”.  The consciousness we have ourselves.  We have to think for ourselves, and with thinking for ourselves we have to build our own foundations.

Take for instance that we’re all born ignorant, and unaware of the world around us.  Our parents set up the basics of our foundation, and worldview.  Is it safe for us?  Is it going to provide for us?…etc.  We have an instinctual drive towards somethings, sure, but what I don’t know is if people always move beyond the security of their homes.  The security of their communities, and the security of their worldviews.  This is where I think Religion could excel, as pushing an individual out further, and further of their “comfort zone”.  Alas, Religions are institutions, and over time institution’s motives change according to the heads that change (which can be good).

Take for instance, a person who lives at their parent’s home their whole life (metaphor about adhering to one Doctrine/Ideology for one’s whole life).  Are they really living in accord with who they are, or who they could be?  An existentialist says, and implies that existence precedes essence.  With that simple expression, is a huge notion that in order to be considered an “individual”, or to actually have “essence” (a soul).  One doesn’t merely have to “Exist”, they have to actively strive to create it.

Thus I don’t think a person who’s going through the motions, and isn’t expressing themselves in any manner.  Even if said expression causes conflict with the almighty status quo.  Is an entity.  They are there, physically, but are they there “Spiritually”?  No.  For what are they, they are just a domesticated …thing, not an evolving, and growing being.

Look around society, and you see cultural trends, or groups of people who act in accord with each other.  A group identity, but do you really truly see individuals?  A person that is so exceptionally different that they stick out without effort?  Not because they always want to, but simply because they do.  Kierkegaard alluded to some of these thoughts with his Knight of Faith, and so did Nietzsche with his Ubermensch.

A person who loves their individuality, and their uniqueness fully?  All to the point where they’re willing to suffer any slings, and barbs that life throws at them?  Should a religion foster this mindset?  That we are all unique, and different?  And with that, a notion, that we’re all Human, all too human.  We run the entire spectrum of behaviors that we’re aware of because we’re only aware of what it means to be “Human”.  That it’s okay to be “different”, or one of “those”.  The “Other” in everyone else’s conception of what it means to be alive?  That until you know one, and their life…they are merely a stage character?

Or should religion be about safeguarding against fear?  I much prefer the notion that it’s meant to uplift, and revive the Human Spirit.  That it’s meant to foster reflection upon what it just means to be “Human”.  Humanity has a story, and every one of us has a chapter in that book.  Do you wish for yours to be unique?  It is already, but do you truly wish for a “stage presence” in someone’s life?  What does it take to be comfortable in one’s skin?  Over being afraid of the judgment from the “Other”.

I think it is fear of ourselves, and what we may potentially do.  There is freedom in our lives, freedom to kill, freedom to hate, freedom to wound…, but it is our choice whether we do so.  It is always our choice.  It’s okay to think, “What would Jesus do?”, or “What wouldn’t Jesus do?”…a bigger question is; “What would I do?”…, and “can I live with having done it”?  That is the harder set of questions.  To be responsible to oneself, and that is what considered being an adult is, is it not?

 

Isolation & Despair.

I just watched a free episode of “Mind Field” on youtube, namely the one about Isolation.  It…sort of triggered some old memories.  If you haven’t watched it, I’d advise doing so, but take into consideration the following comments I’m going to make.

In 2010, I had moved to a different state, and was on a “fast track” for “life success”.  I was going to get an aerospace engineering degree at one of the more prestigious colleges for such a program.  It was about 1000 miles from home, and I was a huge introvert at the time.  I had no experience with really contacting people, nor having a desire to make social connections.  I was a high school nerd that was more focused on personal “success” than at actually relating to people on a sociable level.

Suffice to say my social skills were limited, and I had just essentially jumped into a crucible.  In addition to this I was trying to cope with a friend’s death that had happened a year earlier (on my own), and a grandparents death a year before that.  I was extremely depressed, and was thinking like “Huckleberry Finn”.  In other words, wouldn’t it be cool/neat to see who’d go to my funeral?  I was having nightly thoughts/worries that no one would care to attend, and I would essentially be forgotten about completely.  I was going through what I’d imagine was a form of “Survivor’s Guilt”.

I felt like I was a false friend to all of my friends in highschool because I made no effort to get to know them outside of school.  I didn’t hang out with them, and the only social interaction I had been during school, and at the occasional lan/halo party.  I didn’t think anyone really “liked”, nor “cared” about me because of past bullying in Jr. High.  And it was a wound I was hiding throughout highschool where I had somehow became “inadvertently” popular.  I was recognized as one of the “nicest guys” (legitimate?), but I was secretly extremely judgmental of everyone.

Giving the background to my experiences, an a context to what I’m building up to is what I’m aiming at for right now.  When I had gotten to college I was hoping things would change, and they did to an extent, but they really didn’t in another way.  I had a girl take what seemed to be an interest in me during a course, but she was also the TA for the course while I was a freshman (perceived power imbalance).  And she already had a boyfriend, which to some doesn’t make a difference, but to me it did.  I was still in the stage of “being a white knight”, and actually caring about ethics/morals.

Thus when I moved, I was dug into a little bit deeper of a hole because of this.  I was depressed, and I went “Stalkerish” with trying to make amends for perceived slights that I had made.  Even though she was in a different state herself.  It was weird, it was the only social connection I seemed to really have.  It was the first time I felt “love” which I attributed to a warmth in my chest (Oxycontin produced), and I crunched it because I felt like it was misguided.  That I had been emotionally played like a harp.

Then I started isolating during this year in 2010,  I would go to campus, and classes, but didn’t care to interact with anyone that was “real”.  Namely because I felt like I didn’t know how to, I was still extremely judgmental, and I was hurting deeply.  I would then return home to where I was living, essentially by myself.  I was living with a brother that’d be out-of-town on weeks for work.  I got essentially to the stage of “psychosis” that was referenced in the above video (Isolation via Mind Field).  One where’d I would be dissociating, and talking to myself because I simply couldn’t believe the “Reality” I was in.

This went on for a few months, where I was still “functioning” on an outer level, but on the inside, I was completely torn apart.  I had nothing, and I had no one.  I met a few people on campus, but I was rendered paranoid about who they were by that time.  “How would this impact my future”?  Type thoughts, are they good “enough” to associate with?  I had wanted to work at Skunkworks (Top Secret Clearance Required) which is a division of Lockheed Martin.  I couldn’t tell from a cursory level, so I didn’t really associate with anyone.

This paranoia, eventually branched out into a global paranoia in the breakdown of my mind.  I had very little simulation, I couldn’t play computer games like I normally would because my computer didn’t have a graphics card, and I had no other physical goods.  All my books were still at home in MN.  Thus I got into a habit of just drifting off in thought while music (my only stimulation, or so it seemed) played on youtube.  I had pretty much nothing going on in my life during the summer because I made no friends, and I couldn’t find a job.

Therefore, I just sat at home staring at the computer screen going through the motions of living, and listening to music.  During about this time, I started to get agitated, and arguments with my brother ensured.  It created a fairly large rift between us at the time, which thankfully has been healed for the most part.

Regardless, I clearly made it through that, but I wanted to make some observations of what I noticed in comparison to the video.  Yes, people do breakdown like that, and it can happen that fast.  I dreaded reading some of the comments where I had a hunch people would be “boasting”, “oh, I could do that!”.  No, no you can’t.  Well, you can, but I wouldn’t advise it.  It is extremely unhealthy.

In my experience of it, I had;

  • Started dissociating, and realizing that the whole nature of reality was a “construct”.  That a “block” is defined based upon the user, and the context.  I would make “jokes” that I was going to “walk around the block” to my brother, who naturally thought I meant a city block.  Whereas I was thinking from a bird’s eye view, his house was a “block”.  Thus I was just going to walk around his house.
  • In said dissociation, I made a “connection” that “No1” cared, and “No1” became my “deity/god-figure”.  This came about because the keyboard I had at the time had the “n, o, and the 1” rubbed off (it was a refurbished office computer).
  • I started talking to myself, and not realizing it, apparently.  Up to the point where I was having entire conversations, for lack of stimuli.  And conversational partners.
  • I went through the shifting sleep cycles which as you could imagine caused arguments with my brother, and in turn caused more dissociation (rejection of Reality).
  • I had a few days, where in some sort of regression state, I felt like I had “emphasized” with Jesus during his walk to be crucified.  I was imagining that I was spiked through the feet, and hands like Jesus.
  • I would walk around, in a delirious state, thinking/playing “Make-Believe to Make it Real”.  This notion is an idea, that everything in Reality is a byproduct of someone’s fiction.  And one time, I felt cognitively jarred to the point where I thought I was a Simpson’s Character.
  • I had rationalized myself to a pure materialist nihilistic state, in which I was chemicals interacting, and producing changing hormones….etc.  Why was I, an “I” out of what could be considered “rocks…, and errata”?
  • + more…, but I want to switch gears here.

From said experience, and alienation, I’ve realized just how fragile a human psyche can be, but also how resilient it can be.  I had essentially, hit rock bottom, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and I had decided to “dig”.  And I feel it’s been my “digging” that has saved me.  Getting out of said state (no pun intended), of isolation and the co-partner despair.  Was brought about by getting immersed in “culture” again.

I feel to an extent, like I’ve hit that “state of nirvana” because of said isolation, but if that be the case, I don’t think it should be as lauded as it is.  I’ve felt like my “ego” has died, that I “don’t have that inner conflict anymore”, but to me …the cost almost seems a little too high.  At least from this vantage point in time.  I don’t move in “normal circles” anymore, and I have a hard time playing the “game of life” which may be a give or take thing for some.

The sad part is, that I sometimes miss those “hallucinations” because with them often came a feeling of ecstasy which is a little odd.  And things seemingly made “sense” in those hazes.  More sense than it does in the “real world” in some ways, and that I don’t know what to make of.

As I tried to make sense of what happened, I began to realize, that I couldn’t tell if I was under-stimulated back then or if I was overstimulated.  To me, there’s probably not much difference anymore.  And I started to turn towards mysticism which for someone in a Science program, isn’t apparently advisable.  The only way, I feel like I could make sense of it anymore is through an “appeal to an outside power”, aka “A God”, so I really don’t know what to make of it.  And I know I started this as a game design blog, but who cares?  It may give some insight into my eventual publications when they happen.

Juxtaposition of the Lens, and Multiple Candles of Consciousness.

(Building Upon: (The Light of Postmodernism, and Its Very Own Cave).  Point #9; All things are comprehensible to some reference frame, but it may not be the reference frame one is presently in).

There’s much ado about well, everything.  Hold one concept in mind, and the counter concept eludes you.  Ex; A person generally has a hard time holding these two emotions in their mind at the same time; Sadness, and Happiness.  They are generally opposed to one another, aren’t they?  It sounds odd to say one is blissfully tragic, or suffering from sorrowful ecstasy.  And yet, we can ram those concepts together, gotta love words.

It’s kinda like shifting statically, a person want’s to be “enlightened”, but they also don’t want to lose sense of themselves.  One is antithetical to the other, or so it seems.  And yet, is it really?  Can I efface myself to the point that there is no-self, yes.  I supposedly shouldn’t do it, for that may be a little problematic.  “Where does the person of Self go, and what about all those relations?”.  Well, in addition to losing sense of self, there’s also the loss of “Mutual Reality”.  My world is less real than the common one because why?  It wasn’t endorsed by those around me?  That the patterns within the chaos that I Observe isn’t, and aren’t the same patterns that you would pick up on?

How is this any different than spotting figures in the clouds?  What looks like a man, or a person to you could just as easily be another animal to me.  And yet we have to ram each others’ conceptions down the “Others'” throat.  Isn’t that what schooling is to an extent?  Teach ’em good, and teach ’em well so they don’t question anything ever again?  That they have no innate curiosity about the world around them?  And so they can express themselves in the proper verbiage of the day?

Are these characters, that were/are descended from “Latin” any better than their Arabic, or what have you counterparts?  What if you want to express a concept that is so foreign in a certain language that you don’t have words for?  Much less a limited palate/pallet of characters?  Sure you could invent new words, and/or new characters.  Although what have you really done?  You’ve changed the rulebook, at least for yourself, and that’s somewhat of a no go.

Say for instance that one couldn’t speak half the words that they can/could read.  Does this mean that you can’t converse with the sesquipedalian dialect?  I suppose, yes.  Let us assume that we only use a tenth, if not less, in any given language that we know.  And when confronted with an interlocutoring interloper…we get confused, and/or befuddled.

This is building up to the notion that with all our postmodern relativism, we’re losing an “absolutist” core.  That of a reference point that can be mutually agreed upon.  My last post was a slight towards Christianity, but I could have easily referenced any other Religion, or Worldview, including my own.  And that is a problem I think we’re starting to catch upon as a species.  This world is a little too vast, but small enough to be manageable yet.

As context, imagine having received a “Like”, or a “Follow” from someone halfway across the globe.  It happens.  Although do they grasp the full context of the events that are going on in one’s own world that allow them ability to relate?  I don’t honestly know.  An example of this is the American Culture War ongoing, and I think it’ll always be ongoing.  That the arguments being made about gender identity, and every other thing imaginable are now reaching halfway around the globe to what?  Ears (really eyes) that may, or may not be in a similar position?

That one can go to an international site, like Youtube, debate with a complete stranger, and foreigner about concepts that affect both of their worlds in completely different ways?  Imagine this for instance, an Afghani (or Iraqi) near the time of the American Invasion (perspective here matters).  Going online in the era afterwords, and arguing with Americans themselves about being “bombed” or attacked.  Its baffling, but also humanizing.

Or even this idea, that a Hindu from India could be privy to the same arguments that I hear in person about any of the American Cultural conflict right now.  They’d just have to navigate to the site on their browser, and see if their government will allow them access to it.  The world is getting smaller, but in multiple ways.  The internet connects us to such a broad, and diverse audience.  And yet, it causes us to get cornered in our own little echo chambers of rationale.

A person’s ignorance, can multiply faster than they can realize it now.  If I started rambling on about the Vedic Philosophies, I’d be completely clueless.  Much as I feel about Christianity sometimes (namely every time I reference the Bible/Jesus).  There’s simply too much to know, and this is what I think deters a lot of people.  They’re comfortable with the world that they know because it is their world.  Something from the other side of the planet won’t affect them that much, but it still will.

I watched a video last night that advised Millennials in America to work to change themselves if they want to change the world, and this was from a Canadian Psychologist.  ….As someone who got a little lost (psychologically, and socially) in a culture that was still American (Minnesota to Alabama) a 1000 miles from home.  It just strikes me as odd to realize that anyone can have a global audience.  Nonetheless one that could relate to what’s going on in the drama of life on my personal stage.

How is this any different for me over anyone who chances upon this blog?  I could catch a reference to say the Mandala, but I would have to reference a Western understanding of it.  I may be able to “live” some aspects of it, but is there a meaning behind say the Sanskrit that eludes the meanings to be found in English?  Most certainly, and this is where I fear we’re losing the context that is so important to many in our daily lives.

As a final example; Nihilism, in Western thought it is a dreaded concept at least on an emotional level.  That it leads to the nightmare of, “The Dark Night of the Soul” (Christian Thought), and despair.  Despair has been called the sickness unto death by Existential Philosophers in the West back in the 1800’s.  And from a deeper perspective, Nihilism is a meaning that annihilates all meaning.  That it renders void, all thoughts/emotions/values in life and puts one in a dark depression.  And this is all from the Buddhist thought of “Non-Attachment” as interpreted by the Western Mind.  How does a native thinker/experiencer of Buddhist doctrine view this change in mindset?  Is it even possible for a Westerner to attain “Nirvana” in a classical sense?  Or are they too biased by their old ontology?  Just like realizing Maya.

The Crucified Lord.

(Building Upon: (The Light of Postmodernism, and Its Very Own Cave).  Point #10; One can buy into one Myth over another).

Christianity.  One word, but it means a lot to those in the know, and practice.  To me the very expression is complicated.  I fell out of religion when I was probably about 8-9 years old at the time.  The reason being, oldest brother railed hard, and I do mean hard against the dogmatism of the Catholic Church.  Thus up until my years in College, religion was simply a no-go for me.  I didn’t think about it, and it never really came across my plate.

And it was at this point in time, nearly 2010, when I was about 20 years old.  I was in the Deep South (Alabama), and peers were talking about Intelligent Design…nonstop.  Regardless of class (I kept hearing about it in Calculus at the time), I guess it was the rage at that time for people my age.  People where arguing about religion in bathroom stalls.  It struck a nerve with me, “why are we talking about God in the middle of a math class?”  God had ceased to exist for me at that point, but suddenly it was starting to be everywhere?!  I don’t know why either.

When I had a Facebook account, I had posted a “remark” in the quote section of my profile that essentially ran along the lines of; “The only idols we have are the one’s we place upon their pedestals.”  To deconstruct some of the thought behind that expression, one has to think like I did back then.  I had, and still have no “heroes” in Life.  I don’t have a role model, or an aspiration of who/what I want to become.  Simply because I know, and have experienced growing up that “heroes” fail…, big time, and it hurts when they do.

Thus, it only makes sense, and it still does to a degree.  That one shouldn’t operate under the “hero identification” modal.  Sure Elon Musk may be a “great” guy, or Steve Jobs, Obama,…Christ…whomever.  I’m not likely to know any of them.  Firsthand, nor secondhand.  And I really don’t care.  They aren’t going to impact my life in a manner that is more meaningful than I allow, or the effect on a societal scale.

There’s a book series called Dune, that in one perspective of reading delineates what happens when one falls into the mindset of “Hero Worship”.  They (said hero) loses touch of what is Real, and the Reality that made them.  Often leading to massive discord, and casualties in some sort of aggrandized scheme.  Ex;  Hitler was a hero to the German People post WW1, simple as that.

Now getting onto the point of this post, Christianity/Jesus.  There are many who have placed him in the Hero Pantheon simply because they grew up in it, and are cultivated to believe in it.  This is a myth, just like the “myth” of Hitler.  I don’t deny that both have been real people, just the narrative that has sprawled forth since their deaths are a myth.

An offensive analogy to make, I’m sure, but let’s add to it that title of the post; “The Crucified Lord”.  With said title, I was hoping to call up some new imagery of what Christianity could, or may be.  Christ was crucified, yes.  Crucifixion was a crime reserved for criminals in the Roman era.  The message of Christianity, is that he was the son of God, and he died upon the Cross for our sins.  Simple enough, right?

From there it gets contorted.  What sins have we wrought that are so grievous as to warrant a life of detachment, and punishment.  Some consider this mortal coil to be entirely base, and undesirable.  The sin of Knowing?  The Knowledge of Good, and Evil?  Sure, that seems like a good qualifier for a sin?  But as we can see firsthand in our world, right now.  Evil, and Good are bantered about as Relativistic Terms.  Your Good is not my Good.  Let us agree to disagree, right?  Acceptance, Tolerance….etc.

How long is it before someone yells, “NO QUARTER!”.  Well, we already have that effect going on today too!  The Far Left, and the Alt-Right, ring a bell?  Why can’t we simply agree that these beliefs are contextual?  That a person from Northern Minnesota has no problem driving on a lake (during winter) whereas to a person from the South.  That idea is completely alien, and utterly or nearly incomprehensible.  “Drive on water, do you mean boating?”…, “No I mean take your truck, and drive to your fish house…”….

Is this an alien concept?  Is it hard to wrap one’s mind around the notion that the house I go home to isn’t your home?  I don’t see this as any different, and yet…to some it is.  Why?  Do I need to buy into the myth that Jesus (or whatever doctrine) is going to provide me eternal life?  Isn’t that the greatest form of self-denial?  To deny one the Truth?  That as far as one knows, they are going to die regardless?  A person who says, or implies that Death is natural, and that there’s not much to do about it when it happens.  Immediately gets hammered with a notion that, “Oh, so you’re not going to connect to Others?”, or “You can’t live life that way, no sentiments…”.  How are you supposed to know?  Have you done it?  I’m not saying I don’t have a “higher ideal”, but it’s simply erroneous to goad/coerce others into following a doctrine that doesn’t work for them.

That is the casualties of an aggrandizing scheme.  Those bystanders who’d really prefer not to get caught up in the mix of ideological warfare.  From the same book, Dune, there’s a message that when it comes to leaders, it all boils down to who’s going to play/be God.

The Chains of Freedom.

(Building Upon: The Light of Postmodernism, and Its Very Own Cave ( https://wolframgand.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/the-light-of-postmodernism-and-its-very-own-cave/ ).  Point #8; Free Will exists because of the inherent Complexity in the System)

Free will exists, simply because there’s too many factors/vectors for any system to keep track of.  Simple enough thought experiment; try tracking down all the people from a “200 person flash mob” that “mugged/robbed/beat you”.  Can anyone do that?  Maybe if they find the network that facilitated it, but it’s like trying to keep track of 200 molecules for a gas system in chemistry, it ain’t happening.  Thus I think at the base free will exists, it’s too complicated to track every little widget down, especially in one life time.  The question isn’t if it exists, but if we have it.  Yes, and no.

Those who actually take the time, and expend the effort at understanding themselves.  To become one’s own taskdriver, may actually have it, as far as I’d think.  They have submitted themselves to a higher power (a Selfless-Ego that drives the Self-Ego).  Let us ruminate, and get a little bit theoretical.

To be a human, one has to domesticate themselves.  Does this sound offensive, yes.  Although think about this on a deeper level, if one wasn’t brought up to bear with the current cultural norms, like say potty training on where and how to go to the restroom at the proper time.  One who hasn’t done so would be seen as a complete imbecile, and would’ve lost the benefits of a culture hard won over the past 2000 years.

So to run with this idea of self-domestication, one has to think about it.  Let’s start with a general tilt in the direction of slavery, harsh yes, but let us speculate that a part if not a portion of human culture.  Is heavily dependent upon this notion.  Let us say that the earliest slaves, and those who were beaten down due to shear physical brutality.  Were some of the first ones to escalate, and develop our species intellectual bent.  After all, would it not make sense to have a conceit, or a hidden advantage developed if one is being beaten down by a physically dominant foe?  Yes.

An argument could be made that all of human history is built off the idea that we are burdened, and shackled at first.  That we are animals first, and foremost.  Is this not true?  This may be a central conceit to civilization, that society has to be trained for and adjusted to.  High school (really k-12), and to an extent college.  Is a socialization protocol, and even then they aren’t always successful.  Case in point, criminals.  Do they operate differently than an average individual, to some yes, to others the baseline human hasn’t much deviation in character.   Nature vs. nurture, and all that rot.  Taking into account that we’re all roughly born as an entity, and to lower the standards somewhat.  Let us say, we aren’t a “person” until we make an active effort to be an “individual”, and/or a “person”.  Otherwise we’re an “animal” that acts human.

Thus, we arrive at a chain of thought that it doesn’t matter what race, color, or part of the world you were born into, for there should (in theory) be equal opportunity everywhere.  It’s just the restraints, and the norms that one has to take into account in everyday society that dictates the lives one leads.  Does a native, from let us say, Texas, U.S.A. to be simple have a clue about “northern” culture?  To walk/drive onto a frozen body of water, and all the norms/customs that determine “winter driving” in the “Frosty Regions”?  Unless they’ve been exposed to it at some point in their life, they are going to be completely flummoxed by this notion.  And earlier the better.  Tying this into self-conditioning, there is a notion that yes, there’s the nature, and the earlier childhood nurturing.  And yet, we aren’t set in concrete as individuals.  Our entire sense of self, and being can be called into question by that foreign “Other”.  That alien that causes us to question some sort of “truth” that we had previously established as “concrete” at least for ourselves.

This whole line of reasoning isn’t what I was aiming at, at least entirely, from the starting notions.  I was calling up the idea that we are conditioned to behave in whatever manner society at the time dictates us to be cultured for (we are normalized to the normal, essentially).  And this applies to about everything in society, yes, it’s a construct, yes, it can change, but the change has to start from within ourselves.  And to do that, we have to be our own “master”.  We can’t let others dictate our course of actions from the point onwards where we are deemed an “Adult”.  Truth be told there are no “adults” it is merely a distinction set, and codified legally.  Another constructed means.  And this freedom along with the responsibility can be very troubling.  “What is one, nonetheless I, supposed to do in Life?”.  Well, politely, whatever one wishes to do, and/or accomplish.  This one life of yours is entirely about you.  Regardless of what religion, philosophy, politics, and even science states, or implies.  There is no right path to follow, there is only one’s own path.

It doesn’t matter if it’s colorful, derogatory, demeaning, or upright, so long as it is YOURS.  One has to be able to accept that.  Regardless of tone of life that you take, there’ll always be competition, and detractors.  Accept it.  And in that regard, if one truly desires the self-mastery that comes with being one’s own master.  Realize that you are responsible for holding oneself to task.  Everything that you do that you consider wrong, and don’t hold yourself accountable for, is a slipping and a failing of your personal integrity (you’ve devalued yourself in your own eyes).  Being a “master of self”, cuts both ways, one has to give oneself direction, and in turn hold their self to their standard.  You have to build yourself up (positive reinforcement conditioning), and be willing, and this is key, willing to punish your “Self” out of failure (negative reinforcement conditioning).

Yes, there’s a lot of talk about acceptance, and you should just “accept me for who I am”, but really.  Is the notion that you are accepted going to change much?  At this point, I should make mention that the positive/negative reinforcement thoughts are based upon classical psychology (Pavlov’s Experiments https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_conditioning ).  In which a dog (an animal like we are) is conditioned to react to a bell every time it was served a meal.  Overtime, it would start to salivate with just the bell tone, and no food delivered.

Now as an animal, aren’t we too privy to being conditioned this way?  I’d say yes, and it’s done all the time whether we’re aware of it or not.  Potty training?  Yes.  Buying stuff, yes.  All positive feedback, but what happens when one starts to apply negative reinforcement.  “Oh, that’s bad…”, may be the instinctive response simply because of the word “negative”.  And yet, if there is no counter to the positive, what happens?  The “Trophy Generation”?  Why can’t a person, and I do mean person, and not in a generic everybody’s a person sense, but everyone who’s taken time to become (express) true individuality authentically as they see fit.  They are a person, those who go around rehashing words they’ve heard elsewhere, or supporting whatever political/societal platform because “so-n-so” is doing it, or “they said so”…are they really a person?  Deep down, maybe.

It is the “Self-less Ego” that takes the “ego” to task.  It is selfless because it doesn’t care about the “negative reinforcement” that it has to dole out.  It is a task it will do to either the willing, or the unwilling Self (Ego/id, respectively).  Call it super-ego, or whatever you wish to call it, but the super-ego is more about the social constraints/conditioning.  The culture that surrounds us.  I’m talking about a “4th” partition of the psyche where a person takes into account those “three: Id, Ego, Super-Ego”, and deconstructs all of them.  To the point where it can rebuild all of them.  It’s like building a triangular pyramid in one’s psyche.  One has the “id” (the animal-like), and base slave.  The Ego, who is seen as the individual (normally/classically) taking the place of the middleman in Super-Ego’s Society.  There has to be a higher mandating power that dictates that the “id” needs to work, and how.  And when it is supposed to be punished for breaching the character of the Super-ego.

The “Self-less Ego” is like a Pharaoh, it is transcendent, it gets us closer to the “divine”, and gives us direction in life, for the pyramid that is being constructed is it’s “tomb”.  It’s tomb is what we wish as a higher goal to accomplish for, and with our life.  Thus those who can master themselves, and treat themselves accordingly, should be able to benefit from the notion of Free-will.  Oddly through submissive behavior to themselves, and a higher calling.  Freedom is a chain used to constrain our action to our own desires.

The Light of Postmodernism, and Its Very Own Cave.

To start with a brief description of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave ( Link to Wiki; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave , but both this post and the wiki pale in comparison to actually reading the book for description); Imagine that one is trapped beneath the surface of the earth, and chained within a cave.  This cave is to represent the awareness of Reality that is viable through the normal human means.  Within this cave with you is a fire that is behind you projecting shadows upon the wall.  These shadows are construed by the observer, you, and perhaps I, as objects of “Reality”.  That every interaction between shadows within this domain is taken as face value of what is “Real”.

If by some odd circumstances one breaks free (gets “woke”) to the nature of being in said cave.  They would turn around and see the fire which burns their eyes with its luminescence which is supposed to represent truth.  Heading out of the cave, a person would see the Light of Day (the Sun), and deduce the true nature of Reality (God).

…This is where I’d like to break from convention, and say the following;  Is the sun not a bigger fire in the sky?  That we’re still in a cognitive box?  The Universe?  Albeit the Box of the Cave is a metaphor, I’m aiming on extending the metaphor a little bit to absurdity, and breaking it.  Plato’s Cave Fire, may be taken as the Light of Consciousness Itself for any said individual, and while dwelling inside they have a nice comfortable little flame.  Stepping outside, after breaking free, achieving enlightenment….what have you.  They see a bigger flame, is this bigger flame still a mirrored reflection of the own consciousness?  I would say yes, and thus we start to get up to an infinite regress in logic where every box (cave) we are in, and every one step out into leads us to another box (cave).

From a Cave within the Earth, to a Cave within a Universe, we simply like our boxes, and this is where the postmodernist/relativistic thought gets in.  Our cognitive domain is limited based upon the time we invest into expanding it, and we’re constantly investing effort into doing so.  Sure, it may not seem like we are doing it, but every little experience that changes from day-to-day whether it merely be the date of the calendar is a change in experience.

Regarding Plato; One has to take into account the context of his work, There was no Absolute/Monotheistic God…, and even was implied to say he doesn’t tell absolute truths, only probable, or likely myths.  Thus we have to always stumble upon what sort of Myth works for ourselves, one that we feel that we can narrate for ourselves, at least a little, and demarcate what is an outside influence that seems irrelevant to ourselves.

Platonic thought became Neo-Platonic, and that in turn became a cornerstone for Christianity (as far as this lay-man is concerned).  That of the Ideal, and Greater Good.  That higher purpose.  That of an intelligent, and intelligible design or schema to the World.

Ever since those days, we’ve been arguing about what to do with our lives, and what is actually Real.  The myth, I’d like to venture forth in saying will come subsequently.   Although to summarize these thoughts in keynotes prior to making said post(s) at a later date.

  • Everything One can conceive of exists, and even then there are some things that you can’t conceive of that exist.
  • Too an extent, the World revolves around the Observer, You.
  • There are, multiple reference frames, and modes of being.
  • The Problem Of Evil, is addressed by the notion of multiple Actors.  All of which have the same abilities/rights as You.
  • You, aren’t the sole creator/resident of your World.
  • One’s cognitive realm (World) can either expand, or contract.  Depending upon how they choose to interact with it.
  • Good, Evil, and Every other Moral/Rationale Descriptor is based upon Perspective.
  • Free Will exists because of the inherent Complexity in the System.
  • All things are comprehensible to some reference frame, but it may not be the reference frame one is presently in.
  • One can buy into one myth over another.

 

Stepping Out of the Shadows, and Into the Light of the Flame (A Perceptual Test in Progress).

So here’s the thought, if we’re born ignorant of who we truly are, and what we perceive ourselves to be on a daily basis is an amalgamation of perspectives either from within/without.  Who are we really?  What would happen if one were to concretely say publicly, “THIS IS HOW I SEE MYSELF”!  Would there be rejoicing in the “community”?  Or would the person be considered a deviant in need of exile/punishment?

Let us take a step deeper, and say that we’re all shapeless, and formless ooze/matter/energy.  That our conscious perception of who we presently are is an old afterimage of someone elses’s imposed sense of self.  That reality doens’t need to be “Figured out”, it is merely a play thing, for us to amuse ourselves.  That everything we fear, and dread are constructs.  Just as much as everything we enjoy, and rejoice in.  That we are putty to mold to ourselves.

Taking a leap out onto a limb here, let us say further that we do need to define ourselves.  Both to ourselves, and to some social mirror of values.  How would one go about it?  Is safety an issue here?  Safety from what?  A “Stolen Identity”?  Why would that matter, the “Record” has been created for us without our say.  Isn’t it always the most opportune time to make ourselves who we are?

Let us start, I’m;

Bi-gender – I have no problem in living in either of the dominant human guises.  Female, nor male.  I see the human body as a vessel that may be sloughed off upon death, or desire.  This ties in with that part of Plato’s Republic that seems to have been overlooked/forgotten.  The part where a veteran soldier makes a comment that we can choose our bodies upon “death”, for our “next life”.  Thus I have many bodies, and changing them is like changing a shirt.

Ontological – I think that there is a state of Nothingness that exists before one realizes that they too didn’t exist until they realized that they do exist.  That it’s quite possible to divide 1 by 0, and have it equal 1 (1/0 = 1).  Mainly because these symbols are used to denote a shorthand process of logic.  That 1 divided by nothing is UN-operatable in classical logic, but that was a hand me down logic.  This logic is a “new formulation”.

Many Roles – Some of you may have seen me in life as a certain character, or from a certain point of view.  That is fine, but it may have been only in passing.  Apparently, Kant set up the Point of View that the Self is the Center of the Universe.  That we tell stories about ourselves, and about each other in a vast unwinding drama we call Life.

I have seen myself as Revan from the Knights of the Old Republic era, Geralt of Rivia, the Dragonborn, and other numerous personas.  These are masks that I may wear with a simple change, or they may be different narrations of events that have gone about through the elephant’s phone game of Life.

One person’s fiction may be another person’s reality.  Who’s to state what is what for certain in these postmodern times?  At one level, we are God’s Fiction, and God’s Reality.  Does that make our experiences any less real?

My memory carries over from Role to Role, and from Body to Body.  I never lose sense of who I am, nor where I’m at.  It is just this at the barest, and basest.  We are creating stories for ourselves, and others around us at all times.  Don’t strip the masks, put on a new one.  Accept one that is truly unique, and individualistic.  An Omniscient Mask.  A mask to unite all the masks, and roles that have been created for us.  We do not have to fight, and struggle for a part of Reality.  It is, and was gifted to us all.

It is up to us to accept, and acknowledge it.  We don’t have to play all the masks in this masquerade, for we are Non-player characters to some people, and those are the masks I refuse to wear/play.  If solely because they steal away my own agency.  Some may see me as disabled, or crippled, or insane… Schizophrenic by their book, but their book has created said role for me.  I don’t have to play it, nor enable it.  I just have to fulfill the part for now.

Let them see bodies, and nothing more hereafter.  For in the long run that’s how they see me, as a faceless casualty of Life.

Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM”, in essence.

What Wouldn’t Jesus Do? (A personal response to: A Philosophy of Pain, Suffering, & Humiliation).

Be it far from me to truly, and fully know Jesus’s teachings faithfully.  I would like to speculate for a moment, for those amongst us that would often ask, “What would Jesus do” when given a life challenge, or situation that seems difficult.

Well, let’s look at this perspective from a “negative space” angle (borrowing a term/concept from Artistic pursuits for a moment).

From what little I honestly know of his creed, I will state, that I could possibly infer several factors that Jesus would likely adhere to (if you’re willing to suspend my lack of formal credentials as a imposition to belief).  Let us say from an obvious example that Jesus would distrust betrayal from those deemed friends.  Unless he learned/realized that such infliction of hardship is within a “master-plan” from a Holy Father/Mother (Whatever terminology one would use for a “Holy Lord” *(Lord being in this case non-gendered, as touchy as it is nowadays)).

Should a betrayal as Judas Isacroit(?) wrought be forgiven?  It is not my place to say, only Jesus and God would know the full, and proper response to that.  Be that as it may, I’d like to think that Jesus would offer a chance of redemption (Christian core belief).

I don’t think he’d voluntarily submit to needless suffering, suffice to say, because that is legitimately stupid, and pointless.

There’s a highly good chance he’d love everyone he could in whatever little way that he could do so to brighten their day, at that junction in time, so there’s that.

There’s also a strong chance that he may be lenient towards deviancy because well, honestly he was one of a lineage of deviants *(Moses fled from Egypt…deviant inference made).

There may also be a chance, really off hand, that he may attempt to make reparations to those that were previously unjustly wronged, and encourage a strong sense of Justice.  The Christian God is reknown for that.  A sense of mutable Justice.  Meaning Justice is an evolving thing, we are growing from our lessons in Life, and through God’s education.

*(Note that’s a really strong reason to believe in Christianity, for The God, is understanding, and will enact what is necessary to create a sense of Justice….including, but not always limited to his own son’s Sacrifice).

As far as I can tell, Christianity is a Growing, and Living Faith which is highly admirable.

At this point I must disclose that I feel more inline with a reformed Baltic Faith of some form (thus I may be a “Neo-Pagan” in some way, but I’m still searching…as far as that True Faith goes).  The reasoning being that I may, or may not believe in a “Family History” of “Religious Persecution” (Look up the Baltic Crusades).  Although, I’ll gladly admit that every day my Faith grows, but I don’t know in what way.  Thus I’ll firmly state I’m a devout Humanist, of a Christian Origin.

Note: Humanism is a Philosophy, Christianity is a Religion.  Things change daily for us all, and I’m devising my own “philosophy” as far as I can make sense of “my world” on a daily basis.  I like to consider my “personal taste of life” to be in line with a made up term called “Zen Stoicism”, for I find myself drawing upon inspiration from around the World.

1st Ethos;  It Happened, Deal With It.  2nd Ethos; A Disciplined Mind is a Happy Mind.  3rd Ethos; Change Happens, Accept It.

From here on, it’s all “fun n’ games” of some sort.  Unless something “Changes”…, so there’s that.