Monday, November 13, 2006

The One in the Many… many… pieces.

The details flood in, syntax changes, new methods & properties, a completely new and jarring look - I've got a high level understanding of what the overall concept is, but connecting the, at this point, still nearly senseless flood of particulars to the sensible comprehensive conceptual plan, is slow going to say the least.

Every skill and understanding you've developed threatens to be washed away in the riot of unfamiliarity.

Focus in, then withdraw and reflect - it is only just beginning to start to integrate... not unlike a few scattered pieces of a puzzle that fit together, amongst the senseless spray of pieces across the table - the thumbnail picture there before me, the full sized pieces a disintegrated mess. Slowly they come together, then one piece links another couple pieces, soon the border of the puzzle is laid, and then more and more, the particular pieces reflect the larger picture and established the pieces, and the picture comes together more and more.

I'm talking about a new (to me) programming language and application architecture, but of course I am also talking about the horizontal and the vertical. The only way to unite them is to do so step by step, in the face of the multitude of horizontal particulars that threatens to swamp your united mental picture. You look at the randomness of each piece, and it is so obvious that there is no way that they are related, you feel foolish thinking that they could form one picture, one concept, one truth.

You have to hold on to the One, you have to know that without the One, there is no many - and also that the One requires the many to become One. Focus in on the pieces - you must do so, or you get no grasp of their form. But then you must also sit back and reflect on the whole, you must keep that image intact, until you begin to see the many within the one.

The plan comes first - a high level integrated view of the world, it seems sensible and you buy into it. Then when it comes time to apply that understanding, you find that your high level understanding begins to crumble on contact with reality. You're mentally assaulted with a myriad of pieces, seemingly completely separated in time and place, and only very slowly are you able to tie them back to your larger world view. With diligence and reflection, the pieces come together, the concept takes shape in the particulars of your life, what seemed separate, shows itself to be in truth fully integrated into all the areas of your life.

Learning requires an idea to be planted first, then particulars to be examined, and slowly fitted together and integrated into a working whole.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The joke is that they happen simultaneously, they both come first. Yes, that IS Truth. And they rely on each other together to exist at all. As it is above, so it is below.

One of the things that drew me to programming was its many resemblances to philosophy, the mind and life. It still keeps me going, even when it makes me question every confidence that I've formerly felt, and to re-confront every fear that abounds in uncertainty, certain only that following the plan will eventually relate the pieces into the overall picture. The uncertain chaos will continue to fade, and understanding will set it in, and soon after foresight and familiarity will return as well as the Many become One… once again.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Prayers and Politicians

Well the cold & flu medicine is finally flushed out of my system, the regularly recurring gloomies have come and gone again, and its probably as good a time as any to address such timely topics as prayer and politicians.

Yesterday's election has brought out all of those who declare the sky's falling, who make urgent calls for prayer to fix the country, and even doomsayers declaring the coming of a new dark age falling upon us as we speak.

Not to minimize the current situation, but people - get a grip!

As to prayers being needed to right the course of the gov’t, IMHO those who indulge in prayer in order to change the world, to cure their friends boils, cure cancer, turn away hurricanes - or to reprove God for failing to handle things in a proper manner... you're all seriously missing the point of life, free will, the Universe and everything in it. Do yourself a favor and buy some nice magic wands and herbs. At the very least, you'll then at least have a certain pride of ownership & much more flashier and entertaining prayers to harangue the big guy with.

Now I do not intend to denigrate anyone’s belief in God or Prayer, I think that beyond the glib assertions of either the religious or the atheists, there is far deeper value to both God and Prayer than most imagine. But IMNSHO (In My Not So Humble Opinion), the purpose of prayer is to contemplate the state of your own soul, to seek after God's influence within your own soul, not to nudge him awake to the fact that you disapprove of the shoddy work he's currently doing in the universe.

I think that if there is a God, it's highly likely that God is pretty well pleased with the universe in all of its dimensions - those we can see, and those we can't see. If he was clever enough to, and went to all that bother, to design quarks, neutrons, atoms and solar systems to operate over the course of trillions of years; then causing all of those carefully crafted creations to suddenly shift in their properties and courses in order to satisfy the momentary whims of some shortsighted creation who haven't even figured out how to master their own free will over the course of a few decades of life - such fervent wish lists are probably not going to be a really big factor in the cosmic game plan.

In short, Metaphysicians, heal thyselves!

As for the likelihood that we are witnessing the onset of a dark age whose end will not be seen in our or our great-grandchildren’s lifetimes - Ladies and Gent's, that's been the constant case for at least 50,000 years! As possessors of Freewill, we are always faced with the consequences of our actions, and if we act foolishly on a consistent basis, disaster will follow. But to think that the immediate results of one dissatisfying election are going to have THAT catastrophic an effect is more than a bit hubristic its own right.

First off, we are living in the most prosperous time that has ever existed in all of the history of humankind, and we in the United States of America are blessed with the ability to affect the course of our nation through our choices and actions.

Remember to keep things in perspective, if the Dem's do get their way, it'll take a year or two to really louse up the economy again, and as for the rest of the culture, it will slide only so far before the electorate swings back the other way again. As far as the glass being half full or half empty, about the only thing you can really say about it, is that it is a Glass, the rest relies on people’s ability to perceive the glass, to understand that it can be filled or emptied or grasped according to how they exert their own free will in their own lives.

Folks, this is the way the country works, BY DESIGN, when the people lose confidence (wisely or unwisely) in those governing them, they vote them out. This is (still) a free country - that means that good and bad decisions will be made by, to and through the gov't. I have posted this poem here elsewhere before, so I won't post it again, but Rudyard Kiplings "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" sums it up - fools only learn by burning their fingers, and lessons forgotten have to be relearned.

I do realize that we face dangerous times, and much hinges on the choices we make, but keep in mind it was just a short time ago that hundreds of thousands of people were wiped out in an instant by a tidal wave. That kind of thing happens, and will happen again; at least the dangerous times we face politically are open to being affected by our choices, as opposed to sudden death dealt out by the shifting of tectonic plates or the trajectories of asteroids.

We are most assuredly going to have hard times coming, and we are going to have good times coming too - there will be scandals and there will be good times, and there will be disasters as well - in short, life will happen and we will respond or react to it as best as we are able, and no politician or prayer is going to change that.

Politicians are NOT ever going to fix things! At best they can make the ride a little steadier, but they can't fix anything, because when you come down to it, it is US that makes it work, or not work. Nobody can FIX anybody other than themselves. The closest you can come to affecting others is through education - and I don't mean accumulation of diplomas. Until the people again get wind of the existence of Education, and educate themselves again as to the pursuit of Sweetness and Light, there will be no political solutions to anything, only larger and smaller swings of the pendulum in one direction and then the other.

I believe that Prayer is also NOT ever going to FIX things out there in the world. If it does anything, it is a way to deepen your consideration of your own deeply held principles and convictions in relation to a wider perspective, the God view of life - and so it enables you to strengthen your own inner understanding of your place in the world, and with that, the strength of your convictions and wisdom will follow.

As I've also noted before:

In our sleep,
pain which cannot
falls drop by
drop upon the heart until,
in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.
And in the end, as creatures of Free Will, that is all that can and should be asked and hoped for.

Jon Cary's’ assertions to the contrary, Genghis Khan is not here amongst us, and even if Genghis and his buddies are somewhere out there in the world - so are we! If you want to change the world, deal in Ideas, put in the hard work of understanding them, discuss them with others - Educate each other. The one thing the world has NEVER had before, is the ability of nearly anyone to do just that, and on the unimaginable scale we have today, with the ability to do so with anyone anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night via the blogosphere, and anyone else can see and participate in the same discussion.

Even here on my own tiny little corner of the blogosphere, I've had people in the last few days looking in from around the USA, and Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, India, Australia - folks, never before has such a thing been possible, for ideas to be exchanged, contributed to and improved upon simultaneously around the world. Beneath the hype of the Internet, I think that that single development is absolutely world shakingly huge, and surprisingly little understood.

Do you want to save the world?

Then slow down, stop trying to FIX someone else, and Think. Discuss ideas with others, seek to understand what is Good and True, and live accordingly. If the world can be improved, THAT is how it is going to happen, and once sound Ideas are understood, the rest will follow, and without such understanding, nothing else of lasting Value can or will be accomplished.

Think about it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Those Dead White Guys of olde, are they still relevant? Their answering laughter is thunderous. The more I wonder, the smarter they get, these people that haunt our libraries; the dead men, dead and buried, dead and gone, who still rule us today more thoroughly than any tyrant could ever hope to.

For example, Euripides wrote Medea, one of his more disturbing plays, of Jason, the hero of the Argonauts, and his wife Medea who helped him escape with the golden fleece from her Father - both now older and fallen on hard times. He thinks to solve their situation by planning to marry the daughter of King Creon, putting Medea and their children temporarily aside 'for the improved standing and good of all'. She deals with their problem by bringing horrible death to his new betrothed and to King Creon, and most horribly of all, to their children.

From the ending of the play after Jason has discovered the children’s death, and she is being borne away into the heavens in a chariot of the gods, they harangue each other endlessly:

JAS. And thou thyself grievest at least, and art a sharer in these ills.
MED. Be assured of that; but this lessens the grief, that thou canst not mock me.
JAS. My children, what a wicked mother have ye found!
MED. My sons, how did ye perish by your father's fault!
JAS. Nevertheless my hand slew them not.
MED. But injury, and thy new nuptials.
JAS. And on account of thy bed didst thou think fit to slay them?
MED. Dost thou deem this a slight evil to a woman?
JAS. Whoever at least is modest; but in thee is every ill.
MED. These are no longer living, for this will gall thee.
JAS. These are living, alas me! avenging furies on thy head.
MED. The Gods know who began the injury.
JAS. They know indeed thy execrable mind.
Meo. Thou art hateful to me, and I detest thy bitter speech.
JAS. And I in sooth thine; the separation at least is without pain.
MED. How then? what shall I do? for I also am very desirous.
JAS. Suffer me, I beg, to bury and mourn over these dead bodies.

each accuses the other that "it was YOU!", not seeing that from the perspective of the chorus and the God, the truth is that it was THEY that did it. Once upon a time, together, they slew dragons, they were Heroes – now, what they had done, and who they once were together are forgotten. Euripides continues:

JAS. But may the Fury of the children, and Justice the avenger of murder, destroy thee.
MED. But what God or Deity hears thee, thou perjured man, and traitor to the rights of hospitality?
JAS. Ah! thou abominable woman, and murderer of thy children.
MED. Go to thy home, and bury thy wife.
JAS. I go, even deprived of both my children.
MED. Thou dost not yet mourn enough: stay and grow old.
JAS. Oh my dearest sons!
MED. To their mother at least, but not to thee.
JAS. And yet thou slewest them.
MED. To grieve thee.
JAS. Alas, alas! I hapless man long to kiss the dear mouths of my children.
MED. Now them addressest, now salutest them, formerly rejecting them with scorn.
JAS. Grant me, by the Gods, to touch the soft skin of my sons.
MED. It is not possible. Thy words are thrown away in vain.

Each is intent on the cause and the fault of the other; one who had done the deed, one who had ensured that it would be done. Each talk past the other focused on their own parameter of hatred and justice - different as can be, and yet but two parts of the same soul, parted and grotesque.

For that is what I think Medea is about, Jason, the calculating taker of step after step up the stairs, and the visionary Medea who takes the entire staircase at a bound, but now off balance carreening wildly about - the particular and the whole, each necessary to the other, but now separated by divided vision, and their separation is a bloody wound, raw nerves and pain to both, united no more. The One, divided and at odds with it's once one self.

Do we not do much today that resembles this?

Think of the 'art' that currently plagues us, the stylization of ugliness, a disharmonic, separateness is its hallmark. Pieces of this and pieces of that, thrown together - find any tattooed fool for a glaring case in point. This art doesn't unify, it separates, it discolors, it unbalances - and its companion adornments of body piercing with chunks and hoops of iron struck through the wearers flesh, it mutilates what was once wHoly.

There is an irony here lost on both the artiste's and their patrons, and that is that I don't think that most of these adherents grasp this wider perspective precisely because their vision has been hauled down from the heights, and pressed into the horizontal particulars before their faces.

They don't see a whole that is divided, they see only parts which they adorn and prop up to be 'admired', pieces... many pieces, quantity in place of unity, juxtaposition over integration - the result of their unknown philosophy, their faces pressed up so close to the trees that the bark is wedged between their teeth, their eyes unable to see around the width of the tree filling their vision, the very existence of a forest is to them but a scoffed at rumor. But even to these people, what pieces of wholes they do retain, they retain within them still.

The further irony is that the "Modernist" artiste’s, who do realize that they are assaulting unity and beauty, don't realize the way in which their 'fans' don't grasp their point. They think that the public is just too stupid to grasp their intent, but they don't fully get the idea behind the publics missing the pointed ideas behind their "art", the public only thinks that it has found a sophisticated way of engaging the target of the ‘art’, which unbeknownst to them, the artiste is attempting to destroy.

As an example of what I mean, one review I saw of Warhols Marilyn Monroe canvas, the one that had three images of her churned out upon it, and odd colors washed over the surface, was that it was depicting the effects of machine upon nature, and so illustrated the worthlessness of art, and of the West in general, etc.

But what the reviewer and the artiste don't seem to get about such awful 'art', is that most people on seeing the images they present in their pieces, they still manage to mentally leap to the actual objects that these images spring from - physically or conceptually; whereas the artiste seems to think that all art and interpretation of art, begins and ends with the images they use, but it is only themselves that they impress with their extremely tortured trails of 'thought' which they see as being truly 'Deep'.

They think that those horizontal images they distort are somehow entirely separated from that conceptual entity they originally derived it from. When they slap Marilyn Monroe upon a piece of clapboard, and splash pastels over her, they think that they've succeeded in destroying her. But what they don't get, is that when most people see the Marilyn canvas, if they’re not repulsed by the presentation of her remembered beauty, they use the 'painting' to mentally travel to that still whole mental picture they have of her beauty - they only see a 'unique' way of displaying her, they don't disassemble her in their minds in the way that the artiste intended, to them she is still whole.

Or at least for some, in part - for now. The patrons are still primitively seeking after Art, the unifier, the giver of meaning, but they are given only this particularized 'art' instead, and it doesn't unite, it doesn't soothe, it only excites. And excitation always requires more and more to sustain itself, more quantity and more jolt to each dose to be felt at all. This 'art', it does batter away at Sweetness and Light, and inexorably beauty is divorced from unity, quantity buries quality, concept is separated from fact, the Vertical is severed from the Horizontal, the eagerness for the perception of style and respect does eventually erase all style and deliver respect only from those who don't know what it means - and finally meaning separates into mere facts, suitable only for hurling as weapons for breaking, not building.

Jason continues as Medea disappears into the sky:
JAS. Dost thou hear this, O Jove, how I am rejected, and what I suffer from
this accursed and child-destroying lioness? But as much indeed as is in my power
and I am able, I lament and mourn over these; calling the Gods to witness, that
having slain my children, thou preventest me from touching them with my hands,
and from burying the bodies, whom, oh that I had never begotten, and seen them
thus destroyed by thee.

But old Jove, the One in the Many, is not deceived by either Jason or Medea. Those who were once One in Love, divided from each other, willingly, and purposefully, and in so doing wrought pain and suffering upon all that their division rent apart. The Chorus answers:

CHOR. Jove is the dispenser of various fates in heaven, and the Gods perform
many things contrary to our expectations, and those things which we looked for
are not accomplished; but the God hath brought to pass things unthought of. In
such manner hath this affair ended.

Our 'art' finds its way into our aspirations and our lives; our elections tomorrow are more cases in this point. The Leftists are so focused on their horizontal goals of regaining power, and thwarting Bush, that they are most willing to distort their vision by any particular perceived offence they can gin up into a scene between themselves and their Media.

The Conservatives have fallen to their folly of trying to retain high principle through the mediation of horizontal power grabs. Small gov't, secure borders, Righteous War staggering under Medicare bribes, multi-culti bribes, and International-PC-Relations bribes in order to secure power, and so of course they fritter it away.

The leftists with their particulars at the expense of any soaring vision, the conservatives with their soaring vision pinned down with their particulars as butterflies to a display board - truth and unity forgotten by each, and repelling each other just as a magnet when broken in two can not be forced back together, the once common center now become two oppositely polarized ends.

A Greek tragedy in deed.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Make The Doppleganger Wait

The following is from a letter I wrote to my oldest son a couple years ago when I went home to see my Grandma once more before she died. It came to mind today as a weeks worth of flu drugs are finally draining from my brain, there’s still the flat dead feel inside my head that I often get when I break down and take cold/flu medicine. I’ve never been one to take much more than a throat lozenge because most med’s seem to really throw me for a loop, and that sensation put the point of this letter into my mind – the doppelganger that seems to be within each of us, ready to take the controls should you let them slip – always ready to slip between you and yourself.

I'm sitting by the barbecue at Grandma Jeane's house - fresh from the pool, and the afternoon desert quiet. Grandma Ebbie is close to 104, and closer still, to being no more. This morning I saw her for the first time in over a year, and her arms are no thicker than my index & middle fingers twined, her hair snow white, and thin as blown snow, and the oddest thing, was watching her slip into and out of her face.

I sat by her as she woke, and she was no more my grandma, than anyone else passing by on the street - in fact less; her neck & face twitching with primitive animation, little of it human, and less of it anyone I knew.

Then as her eyes began to blinkingly recognize that someone was sitting next to her, you could see Her trying to reclaim her body... moment by agonizing moment of wearisome attention... fleeting and halting, but persisting. She began by "Who are you"... Who? I have a grandson? Are you Mason? Brother?... She and her humanity slipped out, and the bodies default reflexive animation let her rest, and then she made an effort to come back again... "I have a Grandson that lives far away..." "Who are you?" "Van? Who'is Van? Are you in college?" and slipped off again, and then another charge at retaking herself, and back & forth for about 30 minutes.

And then I saw Grandma slip into her face. It was the oddest thing, her lips lifted up, her eyelids drew down a fraction and her cheeks bunched "Van... it's good to see you... are you here?". For the next half hour it was much the same style repeated "Are you in college? Or Do you live here? Followed by a few minutes of recognition, and back at the time-phased questions again, but now not the primitive default life working the face and keeping the body alive, and keeping the controls for Grandma ( or keeping her from them?), but yielding their face to her with a simple blink, and Grandma was back. Her memories scrambled, her sense of her place in time non existent, but She was there all the same, and recognition and delight in her voice at the mention of Ryan, Chad, Rachel and Carol, and a glittering as she craned her neck to eye the slideshow of pictures on my laptop of the faces that attend those names.

She got a little bit better in the afternoon - maintaining a grip for about an hour, then slipping back again, and fading for the remainder of the weekend.

It got me thinking of what an immense stretch of time she has covered, what a unique thing a person is, or can be, aside from merely human, and what it means to be either. It also got me thinking, that we all, every moment of our lives, invisibly and almost imperceptibly even to ourselves, have to engage in that same battle for control of ourselves, as your Grandma was visibly engaged in.

When your Grandma was born, the Train was still the fastest transportation on earth, airplanes were unheard of, electricity and telephones only rumored, and the century the 19th. She's seen the coming of Modernity, Movies, two world wars, Airlines, Spaceflight, Computers, the internet, and an absolute transformation of culture which marked someone of age when she was a child, their bearing, beliefs and attitudes, from someone of our time, as distinctly as if they were from Ancient Greece or Victorian England.

What those differences are, and whether Pro or Con isn't the point I'm after here, but only that a Human being, someone who has shaped and claimed their self, and what that means, and the uniqueness & significance of it, is what I'm after - and what it means for you.

Modernity, Movies, two world wars, Airlines, Spaceflight, Computers, and the internet, are not what make us who we are, or that make us anymore or less worthwhile or significant. In short: The differences between Togas or shin length shorts - Papyrus or HTML - don't mean a crap.

The choices that you choose to make, rather than to default to, Do.
You are at the age, where you are emerging from childhood, and into the character which you will essentially define as you, for the rest of your life. You are also at a time when you don't yet have the habits or experiences which you will use to shore up, define and further shape You into the self you will come to be able to map yourself out to others from.

By that I mean, you have yet to have those defining moments where you can say to someone "See, I did this, then, and for this reason, and so, as you can see, I am like This." You may already feel it, but as of yet, you have only a limited Proof of it, and the self assuredness that it establishes and demonstrates.

However, it will be those choices yet to be made, the experiences stemming from them, and the beliefs which they will cement into the structure of your life yet to come, that will define you, and mark you as you, to yourself, and to those around you, for the rest of your life.
What I want to say to you most of all out of all of this, is that you will always have the moment of choice throughout life, of whether to actively engage yourself, and uphold what can be the integrity of your life, a life that You have Created, through an unceasing procession of individual decisions in the heat of the moment, to choose your life.

Either that, - or as is more often the case with most, to yield their life to that primitive animation, the default life, which exists in us all, but is not Us, it's a doppelganger - a thing that bears our face, but not our soul. It is a choice-less default of energy that will readily accept the reins of your body at anytime you wish to casually stand aside and let it move you along. It knows the trick of your words, and has access to the snapshots of your memory, and is always eager to DO as the heat of emotion urges, but never with regard to what You would do, were you in it's place, as indeed you should be.

Will you always successfully choose to make that choice? Not likely, I at least can't say that I have always successfully made the choice to choose, but I flatter myself to think that I have been more successful than most, and have been forthcoming in admitting when I haven't, or in admitting that although I chose, I chose unwisely.

If you give it consideration, I think that you'll find, that in choices of Should you do something, of Right and Wrong, the Natural is almost never the right choice. The Natural Choice, is that of the animated doppelganger within us all, eager to gain the controls you let slip. But it is so much less than us, and when we negligently let it at the controls, we almost always lessen ourselves; in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others.

I think that it is important to note, that everything we have, either trivial or significant, is the result of our unnatural choices. Language, Invention, Art, Civilization are all the result of a seemingly infinite string of decisions against what comes naturally; and Civilization is the result of a Herculean effort of it's members to remember and pass them on, which have separated us from the Natural realm of the animal, and transported us into the realm of humanity - and it is far better than the life of the natural animal we originally were.

You can see the effects among us, of those who've let the Natural Choice substitute for the Right Decision. Those with drug problems, those that cheat in their relationships, those whom you're never sure you can trust, those who steal, abuse others, murder - what they all have in common, at that crucial point of decision, each of them made the choice to let themselves do what comes Naturally, yielding to the urge of the moment instead of doing what they knew they should do. And you can surely verify from your own experience, as I can, that everyone of them surely knew it was, if not Wrong, at least that it was not Right, at least at the beginning of building their string of actions become habits, that they were still able to make the distinction.

People know when they are making excuses for doing what they shouldn't. Eventually they may pile those excuses up so deep in their own minds, that if they studiously avoid letting their thoughts linger on their excuses, they can avoid facing the truth about themselves directly, but I suspect that there is always the echo of the life they've thrown away sounding throughout their every moment, annoying or tormenting them, as the degree of the case may be.

Religion has one thing right, there is an all seeing, ever present deity mindful of everything you do, but it's not some bearded guy on a throne in the clouds, it is you. And as the person who tried to escape their life by globe trotting the world said, "It was no use, everywhere I went, there I was". You can't escape yourself. You can however lose yourself, by ceding the controls to the easy, the Natural choice of the Doppleganger within you; and with each of those slips, the Doppleganger gains a stronger hold on the controls of your life, through those unwise actions become chaining Habits.

You build Habits, not only consisting of actions, but also habits of thinking - or not - of ceding the choice to be Human or Natural, and you can see the truth of this in the face of any addict as they come out of the influence of their drug of choice, see the consequences of it, and frantically swear "Never Again!", and note the absolute fear and loathing they feel towards themselves in the next instant, as they try to hide from the fact that they know that they no longer have the strength to completely get their life back from the Doppleganger within them.

And so it is that I've irritated you by saying, that Everything you do affects everything you want to do, and your ability to do it.

I may be staggering all over the map here. I know that I am.

My point is that to be someone worth being, is the result of a never ending string of decisions, usually of choosing not to do what is easy, natural, and momentarily satisfying to one urge or another, but instead, Thinking and Choosing to do what you determine is Right. You need to know that although the Right Choice isn't always the one that will give the immediate sensation of pleasure, it is at least the one that is far more deeply satisfying, and which will give a satisfaction that lasts far beyond the moment. And won't spawn an unceasing echo through the years of your life, an ever present torment of "I should have done! I could have been!" Happiness is not a never ending string of pleasurable sensations, but a sense of satisfaction with your decisions, a peaceful sensation of your soul which accompanies you whether in luxury or poverty, and without which no luxury can ever give any satisfaction. For proof, ask Marilyn Monroe, or Elvis, or John Belushi, or Kurt Cobain, or... The list goes on and on.

It's important to know that some of your decisions will be wrong - there is no avoiding it. The only way to never make a wrong decision, is to never make any decisions; to shuck your clothes, forsake your humanity and dash off into the forest to bark at the moon.
It is that realization which lies behind the myth of an Eden lost to the Apple, and behind the idea of original sin.

You have everything you need to accomplish anything you want. You could be a President, a Titan of business or Sport, or the best Iron Worker in town, or the best Dad who happens to do something for a living. What you choose to be doesn't matter (except of course, to you), but that you choose to Be, does. Even success doesn't matter - it's certainly desirable, and Rightly so!, but it doesn't itself make one person better than another, or more at ease within their own skin. Success doesn't mean only being successful at what you were doing, but at who you were being.

I have made a lot of decisions that didn't turn out successfully, I've taken a lot of unwise risks, that didn't pan out - dropping out of college to be a musician didn't put the odds of success in my favor. I did however understand the consequences of my choice (as best as any 20 year old can understand them, which ain't saying much!) , and I had enough confidence in myself to believe that if my roll of the dice didn't come out in my favor, that I'd be able to pick myself up, pick a new course, and, though I'd be several years behind everyone I knew, I'd make it work out.

I chose what I needed to choose to be comfortable with being me, and I still think it was the best choice. Incidentally, I even think that not having won the gamble was for the best, especially when I look at you and your brother & sister. Know what you value, and value it.
Over the last couple months, you've increasingly begun responding to being asked or told to do something, with either a calm "Ok", or an "Ok, but would it be alright to..." which is the mark of someone who is becoming their own person - maturing, laying claim to their lives.

Nurture that sense, that action of asserting your reasoned control over yourself, that is you becoming you, and it is of the most dire importance to your life that you do so. It is after all possible for a person to be alive, but no longer living, no longer being the active force within themselves. The doppelganger will wait a hundred years, but it will also be quite happy to step in and take over a person’s life before they’re through living, the person that always gives in to their emotional reactions, who flies off the handle, who drinks to handle the pressure – to the doppelganger these are all the sound of the reins dropping, and it is eager to pick them up if you let it.

Make it wait. A hundred years is too soon, make it wait.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Blogodidact - Blowing in the wind of my sneezes

Aside from various other useful excuses, I've been down with the Flu (Achoo! sniff...shiver & shake. groan).
Flu shots? I don't need no stinkin' flu shots(Achoo! sniff...shiver & shake. groan).