Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Going forward with Gramps

I’ll keep this brief:

Grampa Munster approached me cautiously and made a confession. He says that the therapists have never been as bad as he has let on, that most of the fault is his for being secretive and that he now welcomes the prolonging of his temporary court orders and the continued therapy sessions with those he had formerly labeled his tormentors. He now blames himself for the dysfunction and torment of his therapy visits and claims that his complaining about them was just “using them as escape-goats” (his words). He claims that he will learn to open up to them properly and upon this progress they will lessen the frequency of visits and eventually support the expiry of his court orders.

I have accepted this at face value though I remain well aware of the genuine pain and anger he has often expressed in the past, aware of these therapists’ lower-order behavior in my own presence, and of all the criticism I have heard about them from former patients, church officials, security guards, one corrections officer, a parole officer and a lawyer.

I don’t trust them but it is no longer my business.

I told Gramps very explicitly that he has the power to end his relationship with these therapists and demand a new one (this is firmly established and furthermore established who the new therapist would be: one whom I already have an excellent working relationship with and who would welcome my occasional participation at sessions) and that he may choose to continue dealing with the Gruesome Twosome if he chooses but that I am moving on with my end of our plans regardless if he is, which means:

I will expect him to move forward with intentions to get out more on his own, to make new friends, to sample peer-support group activities and part-time employment options and that I would help him with all of this at initial stages and to somewhat cut back on my personal visits with the expectation of all this new activity more than filling in the gaps, and that if he instead chooses to reject these initiatives out of interrogation-fear which he currently purports shall desist, than he shall suffer more loneliness as a consequence of his choice. Because I have been giving him more time than I can afford for a long while now, in anticipation of the January 2016 release date and the opportunities we both counted on.

I warned that I would be less receptive to letting him vent to me about maltreatment and less likely to take him on certain excursions if I think that Thing One or Thing Two might be inclined to interrogate him about it. I am done with that kind of liability. I will not have these clowns making false accusations to police that might incriminate me as Munster’s friend or volunteer.

To make a long story short, I don’t encourage this decision but I will respect it. We will of course remain friends but I will not feel obliged to suffer any consequences on account of this decision.

Since that discussion, things have gone well. I took him out to a support group meeting and he may follow through with participation on his own or else we will explore some other group which hopefully requires less of an academically intense process (which naturally unsettles Gramps). He also took it upon himself to call up the detective and ask about the possibility of part time employment. The cop was supportive as he has also been supportive of Gramps’ interest in making new friends and getting out more.

So things are well on that front. He seems bright and positive and for now I have not cut back on my time with him.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Caveat emptor

Hey there.

My posts have become sparse of late but not because I am ignoring the blog. I’ve been up to a whole lot of research which I aim to disseminate in installments here in this space, and very soon. I need to make sizable initial progress before I will know how to break it all down into chapters and thus before I can begin to post. My aim is to keep it all as brief as reasonably possible.

The subject matter (which I have absorbed in large volumes for years now) is too complex and immense to ever be brought fully under the reliable umbrella of one person’s living experience; to be tarred with the bold label, truth, and is too critical to every living person to be lazily reconciled. As I seek specific subject matter in order to update older material and to fill in the gaps, I must do everything in my power to be vigilant: to question the motives of every source; to disregard unconsolidated claims; to give weight to demonstrably neutral sources, to decipher the logical middle ground between opposing stakeholders, to apply the most robust logic and to be wary of the gaps in logic offered to me, which often do not become evident but in hindsight.

Perhaps the greatest hurdle though, is that of transparency. Contrary to normal, almost universal, human behavior, I do not take delight, subconscious or otherwise, in bearing bad news. And though I have an unusually strong regard, perhaps passion, for the pursuit of unvarnished truth, there are conceivable realities of which – I’m inclined to think – I might literally respect people’s wishes to remain ignorant, all things considered.

The great problem, I suspect, is how to know when an argument comes from an associate’s genuine desire for truth, but approached from a different direction or bias then mine, or when it comes from a buried desire to remain ignorant. How do I know when to persist and when to charitably decline? Not just in the blog but in my life going forward? The greatest jeopardy lies in the people who outwardly believe they seek truth while subconsciously demanding illusion. These are the most dangerous people to corner with convincing logic.

And how do I warn readers here, that I might drag you into something you don’t want to be dragged into, before it’s too late? All I can promise is an honest attempt at honesty. Buyer beware.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We did it! A turning point in history!

We did it! A turning point in history!

This was the title of the Avaaz newsletter which was emailed out to members, myself included, to celebrate the great victories in Paris and leading up to Paris; successful fights which undid Bad People’s attempts to block climate deals. As I read this long list of victories and the great revelry over humankind, in essence securing a future, I felt the worse dread I’ve ever felt; a sickening feeling.

It’s nonsense of course. The Paris spectacle cannot accomplish anything that will help the planet to keep us alive. The overwhelming feeling I get, reading between the lines is:

Hey! Let’s just love big brother. We ran out of time. It’s too late now so let’s all fantasize that this is the victory we’ve all been waiting for! Now we can end our days doing what we want and having what we want cause clean energy is coming to save the day and our children our going to live on and have everything that they want! Let’s tell our kids that everything will be okay and we have nothing to apologize for! We never stole their world from them and traded it for toys and pleasures and indulgent privileges. It’s perfectly normal to destroy the thing that gives you life and trade it for immediate pleasure because magical panels and magical windmills will just rebuild nature for us!

What I read between the lines is: Okay. We give up. But let’s not face the facts. Let’s hide in fantasyland together.

It was just like the Liberal Theologian back in the hospice again, saying, “Let’s get on with it,” and her guests cheered because they did not realize that what she meant was, “Let’s get on with dying. Let’s get it over with.”

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Venting: a closer look

I want to thank IntrepidReader for this excellent and thoughtful comment. My wish is that more readers would challenge what I have to say in order that I can identify what I've failed to explain or else expose me to a useful new idea: 

I like to vent. Not because I think I am better than anyone else, but because sometimes my anger and frustration are too great for me to deal with without first blowing off steam. Sometimes I vent because my anxieties cause me to question my own feelings and reactions...so it becomes an is it them or is it me situation. And sometimes, getting the feelings out makes the situation seem less monumental...it give perspective. I think venting is a totally healthy and human interaction, that's why we have blogs and friends etc. Now, constant venting without addressing the problem or taking action...that's a whole different thing.

We all claim not to think we're better than everyone else but our instinctive ego is always trying to feel that way and is always subconsciously perverting our feelings to that end. I know that I'm better than most people at some things and far worse than most people at other things! And I know that my own ego doesn't prefer to see it that wayI The ego is never satisfied and always wants more. I once put a ton of work and contemplation into trying to isolate and understand my own instinctive forces. It was literally the central focus of my life for a while; all while other people were busy doing the necessary work which enables me to lead a materially comfortable life - for which I am grateful! My duty is to complete the circle by sharing what I've learned; regardless that few people want to believe in me or give me credit for my accomplishments, which is fine. My ego doesn't like that but it has less power over me than it once did so that's fine!

I concede that venting is a healthier alternative than some, in dealing with anger, frustration and other tensions which we feel are products of external forces such as other people's poor behavior.

However: I have personally never in my life experienced any form of anger or frustration that I don't now realize was a product of my own flawed reactions to external sources; not the sources themselves. I don't believe I have ever experienced a kind of anger or frustration which I don't now perceive as societal illness which the mainstream fails to recognize as such.

The healthier scenario, not to venting but to a reliance on venting is to be more mindful and inward-looking until we get enough of a handle on our masked instincts, the gap between they and our conscious self, and the illusions thereof, that we develop reactions more in tune with reality, which do not necessitate anger or frustration.

In reality, given my constantly-improving perceptions of causality, the nature of the the universe, life and humanity, I know that I have nothing whatsoever to be angry or frustrated about, though I am still not immune!

I now experience a small fraction of the anger and frustration I once did in life and even now, when I do, an alarm usually quickly signals that I am participating in illusion and swiftly I recover and have a little laugh at myself, though I occasionally have my bad days when this process lags. I must say ardently: It is extraordinarily peaceful and joyful to live this way, and still I have room for improvement. And it is supposedly my purpose in life to help propagate and further understand this evolution which I interpret as being vital to the future (and even survival) of the human race, though I seem to tumble off this game-plan with unfortunate regularity.

Yes, if we seem to be venting but are actually looking for some kind of solution, then that is useful! I think that my associates sometimes perceive I am venting when I am not; partly from projection and partly because I can get intense in a conversation because I'm struggling to explain something which I dearly wish to explain properly. That intensity can be misinterpreted.

When we get steamy, then yes, at that point, better to blow it off! But with Grampa Munster it is the exact same complaints over and over and over again. If it were someone with a more competent mind I would tell him to put a cork in it or find another audience. I think IntrepidReader agrees (as does The Healer): Repeated venting of the same issue reveals your failing to deal with the problem and it is an indulgence to lean on an audience at that point.

My goals in life are very difficult to achieve because there is no satisfactory existing framework within our society that I know of, for me to enlist with. I need to waste less of my time, which is mostly my own fault, but still it makes me feel resistant to other people wasting my time, including the above repeated-venting scenario or that in which we complain about items of perfectly typical human behavior which are not news; which occur throughout the world a million times a second.  

Yes, venting has its healthy benefits, but only within the paradigm of normal society which is a society of illusions. Yes, when we find ourselves venting, let us use it to look for solutions and keep my claim in mind: That in our truly healthiest state there is no opportunity to vent. In our healthiest state we grasp the inevitability of everything around us, including poor behavior, realize it is not to be taken personally, except when deceived by the ego, and realize that the imperfections of an otherwise beautiful and miraculous human race represent opportunity and not despair!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


The subject of venting is rallied about me with frequency these days, mostly in Circles of Support company because the matter of Grandpa Munster’s struggles with therapists is such a hot topic; therapy which he receives as some form of victimization. He often uses his Circles people as an outlet for complaining, and this, I understand.

Gramps lacks the mentality to look at circumstances remotely outside his egoic point of view or to deal with apparent problems in a more useful manner.

But I feel so very resistant to listening to the venting of those with a more qualified mind. It strikes me as a terrible waste of my time (and theirs) because I know it can feel like a necessary or therapeutic thing but I know it only serves such a purpose at an illusory level. I know very well that any complaining I might be inclined to do regarding the specific transgressions of a specific neighbor is essentially invalid. I understand the nature of causality and the inevitability of this flawed nature of the current humanity. I understand that when I am angered by specific actions of those around me, it is in fact my own flawed expectations which are the real culprit. 

I understand that no one is perfect, that we all transgress harmony on a very regular basis and the only useful policing of transgressions is to have the awareness to identify our own shortcomings and the evolving consciousness with which to improve ourselves. The great barrier is that every one of us has a lengthy code system which essentially criminalizes a great volume of unkind behaviors on one hand while licensing a great volume of unkind behaviors on the other hand, which we rationalize with apparent (yet deeply flawed) logic. Our unique codes cross and intersect those of our neighbors creating our individual illusions that we are each better than everyone else. 

I can’t help feeling that I would prefer my associates vent at someone else, because, frankly, any idiot can provide an ear for that. I can’t help but feel that my own skills and insights into these matters; essentially matters of illusion, are rare and should be reserved for associates who wish support in battling these illusions and/or making progress with their own struggle to improve.

And likewise (and to be fair), I should never be venting to other people because I should know better, and I should be demanding the better me of myself. My associates should be quick to tell me off if I fall into the venting temptation. And to The Healer’s credit, she usually does! More often, I catch myself at the game and apologize for it but the associate is quick to decline the apology and welcome the complaint.

There is a fine line though, between venting, and the verbal acknowledgment of non-harmonic behavior when framed as societal commentary; while seeking solutions in a conceptual way. The difference may seem very hazy but frankly, the tone of voice always gives it away. And when I hear that complaining tone of voice I know that it is ego doing the talking; the ego patting itself, making itself feel superior to the transgressor; a transgressor who almost undoubtedly, on their best days, are more noble than we on our bad days.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Eat Poop U Cat

I played "telephone pictionary" on eatpoopucat.com for about two years, drawing over 700 quick cartoons and supplying perhaps 400 or 500 captions. The site was run on the private funds and goodwill of one benefactor who had to give it up a while back. A core group of us has restored the hobby in a very occasional, very manual way, without any "liking" and scoring. I'm one of the few who occasionally takes charge and runs a strip; passing the latest caption or drawing to the next member for their contribution and eventually sharing the final result. Without the website to give our work an internet home I shall here give life to some of our strips: The ones which I facilitate or take part in (or both).

The great advantage to this new primitive functionality is that there is no huge volume of unfinished strips at my fingertips, thus I don't get tempted to sit in bed drawing cartoons all day long!

If this looks like fun to you, message me your facebook identity and I'll bring you into the group.