The Passionate Heart

Fire_in_the_Eye_

When attending San Diego State University prior to my completion of a bachelor’s degree in psychology, my fascination with philosophy compelled me to also seek philosophy as a major, so I pursued a double major around the year of 1987.  Questions I sought out in psychology were now being re-examined with new light that I thought only philosophy could seem to give me the answers to.  Psychology gave me some answers, it gave me alternative points of view from various schools of thought, but it also directed me to a field of study that was responsible for its birth; the influence and realm of philosophy.

My educational quest was not so much intended for a career, but rather, it was one for self discovery and acquisition of knowledge.  I feel like that of Mark Twain who stated…..“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”  I had always assumed that my education would eventually take care of securing my employment.  Having no other voices dispute my intention along with my naiveté during those years, I eventually modified this notion since my life experience has augmented this earlier belief.  The degree does not make the man, the man makes the degree, or the education does not automatically pave the road for lucrative careers, especially ones founded upon sound ethical practices in today’s world.

During those years in school I would often journal my thoughts, feelings, studies, research, and perceptions about the world.  Being a fan of journal writing for some time, I have realized it has allowed me to assiduously concentrate on my subject and therefore crystallize my thoughts for a deeper understanding, one that allows me to challenge, review, and even update my perspective upon further analysis.  At times I would write listening to what is now called ‘new age’ music since it is excellent  background music that allowed me to sink deep into my thoughts and write about them without too much distraction.  Sometimes the music would be Classical, Jazz, or even some recorded sounds of Wales, but I preferred the New Age type of synthesized keyboards such as that which was played on the syndicated radio program like Hearts of Space in the late 1980’s.

I was young, excited about what I was learning, and drove myself to ask questions that many of my peers outside of these fields did not seem to care about.  I was primarily interested in ethics, but this also extended into epistemology, metaphysics, logic and philosophy of mind.  My debt load was manageable as I self-financed my education from a job in retail.  But this had a price that extracted much of my time for a student working his way through the California State University system.  I did not rely upon the government for educational grants or loans, I paid for my expenses working while attending which gave me very little time for myself.  I was a working-class member fighting to become an independent thinker, one that could earn a living using this education, but more importantly to me was my liberation for the trappings and the limitations of an uneducated mind.

A most troubling obstacle that I have had to combat in my life was one of ignorance.  My family was not well-educated, and I grew up in an environment that fed into my feelings of shame.  I  drew the line in the sand many, many years ago that I would try like hell to empower myself as much as possible to cleanse myself from the scourge of ignorance, something I felt my family had been captive of, and something I held great contempt for.  Suffice to say, I was determined to better myself but in my attempt to do so, I made sacrifices that have not been deemed a successful strategy in most people’s eyes.  Many people transfix themselves upon the social norms of the day, the status quo of their livelihoods, and the material possessions they can manifest.

They say that we hate things we can see in ourselves.  Maybe I recognize just how ignorant I am in this life.  Perhaps I pass judgement and I may trespass upon those whom have trespassed upon me?  For me I’ve learned that a life that is most fulfilling is one based on the relationships most important to you.  Letting go of the ego and serving your loved ones is a central theme that I have come to believe strongly in.  In all of my failures and challenges in my relationships, this is the lesson I learned that remains as strong today than as it was at times when I was much younger.  Ironically this is something I struggle with in my current situation, yet nevertheless is all the more true for me.

You can become immersed and lost in your own self-made plans which may distract you from what is truly important if your plan unwisely.  After you discover your err years later as these missed opportunities become a painful bittersweet pill to swallow realizing that you have spent your time in fruitless and vapid attempts of the ego exerting itself, a remorseful dysphoria sets in.

The progression of a life led in confabulation is not unlike following a hazy dream.


 

In psychology, confabulation is a memory disturbance, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive.  Confabulation is distinguished from lying as there is no intent to deceive and the person is unaware the information is false.  Although individuals can present blatantly false information, confabulation can also seem to be coherent, internally consistent, and relatively normal.  Individuals who confabulate present incorrect memories ranging from “subtle alterations to bizarre fabrications”, and are generally very confident about their recollections, despite contradictory evidence.  Most known cases of confabulation are symptomatic of brain damage or dementia’s, such as aneurysm, Alzheimer’s disease, or Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome (a common manifestation of thiamine deficiency caused by alcoholism).

 

My dreams have not taken the shape I would have wished for.  I am not apologetic for the path I have taken, rather,  I am proud I followed it on one hand, but on the other I must admit that it has exacted some costly lessons and more precisely I learned something very valuable  in the process.  I tried to stay true to my commitments and sacrificed much for them.  I am proud of that, but in ways of this crazy mixed up world I find myself in, some of those close to me aligned themselves with other views in direct conflict with my values.

You can do everything in your power to do what you think is right, only to find that if others do not see this and understand what you are doing, then there is little mirth to rejoice in, and all that is left is an integrity that shares no mutual benefit.  We often drift through life thinking that we can predict or shape our destiny given the course we are on.  What cannot be predicted is the myriad of outcomes in which others will influence us and intersect our interpersonal equations of life.

 


 

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night


 

Life with resistance can shape our outlooks, but they must also be given a proper treatment of perspective.  We connect to the tides that bind us, the wake of human emotion that entangles our lives is the consciousness of our progress.  Awake we can revive spirit and soar above the clouds, asleep we may pass the hours, days, months, or years away only to perish with an antiquated human spirit much like that of the zeal of an insect.  Aligning the power of intention with thoughtful purpose gives us a formula for living extraordinary lives.  Passion lives in the heart; the passionate heart!

 


 

Come down off your throne and leave your body alone
Somebody must change
You are the reason I’ve been waiting so long
Somebody holds the key
Well, I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home
Come down on your own and leave your body alone
Somebody must change
You are the reason I’ve been waiting all these years
Somebody holds the key
But I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time
Oh, and I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home
But I can’t find my way home
But I can’t find my way home
But I can’t find my way home
But I can’t find my way home
Still I can’t find my way home
And I ain’t done nothing wrong
But I can’t find my way home

 

 

 

 

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