Within many meditative traditions “insights” are common, perhaps even the goal in some cases. The most well-known meditative traditions in the West are the myriad of Buddhist traditions and among them the top two most well-known, I would bet, are Zen and what is termed “Tibetan Buddhism”. The Buddhist traditions are not, however, the only game in town. Meditation has become so mainstream that it is being taught and practiced everywhere from the corporate world to the prison world. With good reason I might add because it works if done correctly and regularly. But it has also become so commercialized that words and phrases such as “mindfulness”, “being present”, “living in the moment” and so on have become mere caricatures of the wisdom they once pointed to. Whenever I see or read and advertisement using those words or phrases, or see an article with them in the title I catch
Ah, the topics of religion and spirituality. Things that are never far from my mind. I separate the two because I don’t believe they are the same. So many questions, so many years of study and research to find answers to those questions only to come up with more questions more difficult than the previous ones. I equate religion with dogma, ecclesiasticism, and hierarchy. Spirituality, on the other hand, is personal, healing, sustaining, and free of dogmatism. At least that’s the way I define and view the two. Every religion, without exception, has rules or dogma. Even those more recent on the religious landscape that claim to be free of all dogma while ironically proscribing one thing or another. Spirituality, as previously mentioned, is (at least to my mind) something profoundly personal and there is no hierarchy, priests, priestesses, or anyone else to tell you how you should think and
“Desperate times call for desperate measures” or “drastic times call for drastic” measures… I prefer a slight rearrangement of words in these idioms. Desperate times call for drastic measures. For me that is more precise. There comes a time, I would imagine, in everyone’s life when drastic measures are required. The more desperate the situation, the more drastic the measure(s) may need to be to remedy the situation. I cannot speak for everyone, I can only relate my own situation and so this is something of a disclaimer. Everyone knows I’m not a doctor or a shrink, I’m just someone who has dealt with decades of poorly controlled bipolar disorder, depression, rage and anxiety. So, I have a good grasp of what has not worked for me. I’m not claiming that what hasn’t worked for me is universally ineffective, so any litigation-happy pharmaceutical companies can go fuck themselves.
What I’ve noticed
Fair warning: If profanity offends your sensitivities then be forewarned that this is a profanity-laden post. However, it’s a very important post… in fact, I would say that it is the most important post I’ve done on this site. So if you are one of those who are offended by profanity, please set that aside for just long enough to read this post. My emotions were very raw as I wrote it and therefore it is, to say the least, unbridled, unapologetic, and some may even call it confrontational. But when people are losing their lives because others aren’t listening to them on a scale I’ve never seen before, it’s time to put away the niceties and just call it as it is. I’m particularly aiming this post at you, Wise County, Texas and any other place that is so caught up in their radical religious beliefs that meaningful discussion
We live in a cookie-cutter society, I think that much is obvious to anyone who looks closely. In case it’s not clear, allow me to elaborate a bit. Take a look around you the next time you’re at work or shopping or even watching TV. 99.9% of the behavior, dress, hair style, and everything else is either exactly the same or so similar that it could pass for exact. There are very, very few variations and all too often those variations, especially if they are actually stark differences, are labelled as misfit, crazy, or some other derogatory term. There’s very little that’s new or different. People in offices are made to dress according to company standards, much like the school uniform codes in Japan. People working outdoor jobs are now required by government to wear OSHA approved clothing. The cookie-cutter mentality is even in schools, from very young all the
I’m considering shutting down this blog. There’s so much (and nothing) going on in my life at present. I’m trying to find focus but it seems an impossible task at the moment. By far the most read post on this blog is the Kawasaki Vulcan S review. It gets nearly all the hits every single day. While that’s fine I suppose I wish that readers would take a look at the other content here. Some do, but far and away the most attention is payed to that single post. In a way that is very discouraging because what is the point of maintaining a blog if only a single post out of over a hundred is being read? I realize I tend to go all over the place with my topics, that I don’t have a niche or a single interesting subject matter… I simply write about what happens to
I’ve been thinking a lot since that crazy doctor said the most moronic thing to me recently… you know, the one I wrote about telling me that my bipolar disorder was my fault because I hadn’t “accepted Jesus” (whatever that means). Since I’m here smack in the middle of what’s known as the Bible Belt and I’m constantly surrounded by religious zealots, I’ve been thinking of what it would take to convince me that there is some “higher power” or anything of the sort and I’ve come up with a short list.
What It Would Take
First, it would have to not only be able to communicate with me in a meaningful and helpful manner, it would have to actually do so. Reading a collection of books written by humans in ancient times doesn’t count as communication. That’s not real two-way communication. Plus, it’s written by human hands and a product of
I haven’t been posting as much as I should lately. One only has to read over the last few posts to understand, at least somewhat, what has been going on in my life. Anyway, I’ve decided to post about something I have a passion for and have been doing for over a decade now. Genealogy. I’m fascinated with family history. Especially the lines I can trace very, very far back into the distant past. My oldest son just recently received his results from one of those companies that does DNA heritage testing. Very interesting results. Some I didn’t expect and others that didn’t surprise me at all since they matched up well with what I had already found during my own research. But he got both his mom’s and my DNA, so I’d like to do one of those tests for myself but I don’t want to pay the money
Disastrous Doctor Visit
I went to see my doctor today. My PCP. I learned he doesn’t believe in psychiatry, mental illness, or anything of the sort. He said my problem was not physical, emotional, or mental. He said it is a “spiritual problem”. That everything I have been suffering for decades is simply because I haven’t chosen Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Yep. You read that right. When I pointed out that religious beliefs have nothing to do with mental illness and that Christians suffer mental illness on the same level per capita as non-Christians he replied that those who profess to be Christians but “have problems” such as these are merely “church-goers”, not real Christians. Real Christians, according to him, do not experience such problems because Jesus took upon himself all the problems in the world and overcame them on the cross. Obviously, this man has no business
It’s truly astounding just how quickly everything can become truly and utterly fucked up. If anyone is still reading this blog, they’ll have noticed that this is my first post in a very long time. At least it seems like a long time. Like ages. A lot has happened between the last post and this one and I’m trying to think of one part of it all that was good. I’m still alive so that’s good… I suppose. Anyway, I’ve been in what is called “crisis”. I’ve been doing everything I can to stay out of the fucking hospital where they put people that they simply don’t know what to do with. I’ve known people that have gone into those hospitals and I can say from personal observation and stories from those that have been in there that (a.) they don’t help anyone, much less “cure” them and (b.) people