Enrich a life to Survive


Ethics should have a deep root

In everything that we do

Our treatment of other people

Of ourselves

And of politics too

We have all been wronged

But there are many who don’t know why

Disassociate from yourself and others

The amoral have no need to lie

What happened to our culture and people?

A devil’s ego that lives within

Excludes themselves from others morality

This herein lies the sin

A destruction of family and values

An educational system designed to fail

America’s literacy rate of 17 percent

The proof in the pudding of this tale

The greatest threat to western society

When migrants do not assimilate

If they care not of liberty yet demand equality

There defines the cultural checkmate

So if these words reach you

Keep our values alive

Educate and teach to others

Enrich a life to survive

DCG

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

 

 

 

 

When Desperation Leads To Aspiration


08-lighthouse

An empty place inside me visits when I feel no connection to others beside me.  I feel abandoned by those whom I have known at times when in need.  I must admit that I have sought out others for solace, yet I am known more for my alliance with seclusion much of the time.  I tend to turn inwards more than to seek others.  My early life has comprised itself with members whom have not mitigated some of life’s lessons when I was younger.  I did receive some good counsel but my memory still concedes to instruction that was either not very effective, deficient, or downright contemptible.  I wonder if that has some bearing on my disposition for solitude.  I do not hold any ill will towards those aforementioned, as I realize one must not live in the past.  The wounds of the child sometimes stay deep within me, my invisible scars, but I seek to focus on the teachings learned later in life’s journey.  The wounds sustained in childhood can and often do remain with us for a lifetime.  But as in any journey, we make choices on paths that come before us.

I found that I turned to my educators to find out answers that might complete my inadequate feelings about myself and thinking about the world.  In my studies in speech communications and psychology courses I learned that we as humans will comprehend more from how a person says something, than what is actually said!  The body language and the non-verbal dynamic of communication is far more powerful than just the verbal dynamic, hence, the ethical statements such as Mathew 23:3 which states….”All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”  (King James version)
Also noted are the parental affirmations of this concept when they exclaim “Do as I say, not as I do!”

Looking back, the acquisition and purpose of my studies were not for the job quest, but rather an ardent search for an education that would answer my questions about the best possible life.  As in the words of John Lennon…”You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!”

The road of self-reliance is a difficult path, but a path that can result in a greater capacity for free thinking, and resourcefulness, and thus magnifies ones assessment aptitude.  The downside, is that one may stumble many times before the lessons are learned in the social arenas.

Amongst the jackals and exploiters of the world that I have met head-on; I have had to shield and fend for myself in the process.  (A jackal is one who allows themselves to be used).  The proliferation of souls that feed off of others only shows me that many have not been shown a way to better their existence.  I also do remember having met some very charming people and inspirational experiences that have balanced out those times of misfortune that cross our paths, but the most hurtful experiences are those who are actually in your family; the ones that you should be able to trust the most.  The betrayals of family members happens more often than not and is part of our mutual experience in everyday life.  I should also add that many have probably had a similar circumstance in dealing with these social happenings and I do not see them as a significant adversity for most cases.  I think them to actually be fairly common.  Unfortunately there are also those cases that are far from the norm, continue to exist and leave many to be disposed to some very hellish tribulations.

confucius

The shocking truth is that my disposition tends to lead me to the profiles outlined in the ASCA or Adults Surviving Child Abuse.  Researching some of these characteristics I found some resources that leave me in utter dismay when looking at some of the correlations to my conduct.  Though I do not think I would fit into a classic case outlined here, I must admit there are some strikingly familiar similarities when looking at the cases of emotional abuse experienced in childhood.

Emotional abuse refers to the psychological and social aspects of child abuse, and it is one of the main causes of harm to abused children.

Many parents are emotionally abusive without being violent or sexually abusive, However, emotional abuse invariably accompanies physical and sexual abuse. Emotionally abusive parents practice forms of child-rearing that are orientated towards fulfilling their own needs and goals, rather than those of their children. Their parenting style may be characterized by overt aggression towards their children, including shouting and intimidation, or they may manipulate their children using more subtle means, such as emotional blackmail. Parents may also emotionally abuse their children by “mis-socialising” them, which means that they may encourage their children to act in inappropriate or criminal ways with direct encouragement and/or by surrounding the child with adults for whom such behavior is normative.

Signs in childhood

From infancy to adulthood, emotionally abused people are often more withdrawn and emotionally disengaged than their peers, and find it difficult to predict other people’s behavior, understand why they behave in the way that they do, and respond appropriately.

Emotionally abused children show a range of specific signs. They often:

  • feel unhappy, frightened and distressed
  • behave aggressively and anti-socially, or they may act too mature for their age
  • experience difficulties with academic achievement and school attendance
  • find it difficult to make friends
  • show signs of physical neglect and malnourishment
  • experience incontinence and mysterious pains.

Signs in adulthood

Adults emotionally abused as children are more likely to experience mental health problems and difficulties in personal relationships. Many of the harms of physical and sexual abuse are related to the emotional abuse that accompanies them, and as a result many emotionally abused adults show a range of complex psychological and psychosocial problems associated with multiple forms of trauma in childhood (Glaser 2002).

Significant early relationships in childhood shape our response to new social situations in adulthood. Adults with emotionally abusive parents are at a disadvantage as they try to form personal, professional and romantic relationships, since they may easily misinterpret other people’s behaviors and social cues, or misapply the rules that governed their abusive relationship with their parent to everyday social situations (Berenson and Anderson 2006).

Merely refraining from abusive behaviors will do nothing to improve a relationship, though it may slow its rate of deterioration. To repair the harm done, there must be a corresponding increase in compassion on the part of the abuser. Abusers do not change by receiving compassion; they change by learning to give it. Emotional abuse does not result from storms of anger; it emerges during droughts of compassion.

Now it is too common for students in an abnormal psychology class to view abstracts and read the DSM-5 (formerly known as DSM-V) and suddenly relate to some of the disorders discussed within the pages.  (DSM -5 is the planned fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).  In my day my abnormal psyche class used the DSM-III in the mid-eighties and I found out that many of my classmates had some interesting discoveries about themselves, until my professor set them at ease stating the cases in more detail and putting their minds at rest.  Can you imagine thinking that you may have schizophrenic characteristics or some other mental disorder just by comparatively reading about symptoms or cases and as you are studying the material you begin to start applying it to your own behaviors?

For whatever the reasons I think I have come to recognize the terms with my unresolved childhood dilemma’s about my upbringing and worked some of them out.  I must say that I am not in bereavement about those days since they have opened my eyes to looking at the world in a certain way.  I certainly admit that I do struggle at times when some of those memories come up, but I find that the sensitivity felt in this case can be a collaborator and not a crutch.  The term I think for this outlook may be “resilience” to such factors and quite possibly the strengthening ingredient in my illustration.  Understanding the nineteen-sixties also gives us some perspectives on the why it happens.  Emotional abuse can, and does, happen in all types of families, regardless of their background. Most parents want the best for their children. However, some parents may emotionally and psychologically harm their children because of stress, poor parenting skills, social isolation, lack of available resources or inappropriate expectations of their children. They may emotionally abuse their children because the parents or caregivers were emotionally abused themselves as children.

Emotionally abusive behavior is anything that intentionally hurts the feelings of another person. Since almost everyone in intimate relationships does that at some time or other, emotionally abusive behavior must be
distinguished from an emotionally abusive relationship, which is more than the sum of emotionally abusive behaviors.

In emotionally abusive relationships, one party systematically controls the other by undermining his or her confidence, worthiness, growth, trust, or emotional stability, or by provoking fear or shame to manipulate or exploit.

It’s important to note emotional abuse is about the effects of behavior, not the words used. You can say the most loving words with sarcasm and
silently communicate contempt through body language, rolling eyes, sighs, grimaces, tone of voice, disgusted looks, cold shoulders, banging dishes, stonewalling, cold shoulders, etc. There are dozens of ways to be emotionally abusive…

Steven Stosny concludes…

Merely refraining from abusive behaviors will do nothing to improve a relationship, though it may slow its rate of deterioration. To repair the harm done, there must be a corresponding increase in compassion on the part of the abuser. Abusers do not change by receiving compassion; they change by learning to give it. Emotional abuse does not result from storms of anger; it emerges during droughts of compassion.

From fear to freedom, from despair to an awakening, I have seen the emotional gamut via personal experience as well as considering that one definition also conversely defines the other.  The understanding of these emotional boundaries illuminates the capacity for our experience and teaches us the wisdom of aspiration.  The brilliance of the human mind is the seemingly infinitesimal synaptic connections and associations that allow us to circumvent adversity with ingenuity which we can pave even through the anguish of suffering.  The unfortunate burden we have is balancing the emotional and the intellectual aspects of our understandings.  I believe it takes the spirit, the drive, or the “gut” response to complete the process.  If you subscribe to the tripartite mind, then you will understand the argument made here.  We are not just the sum total of our feelings, thoughts, and desires, but rather in the synthesis of these attributes there resides the spark and the essence of our being.  Beyond the limitations of our personalities, each of us exists as a vast, largely unrecognized quality of being or presence-what is called our Essence.  Real self knowledge is an invaluable guardian against self-deception.  As much as traversing the enneagram paradigm in that it can reveal the spiritual heights that we are capable of attaining, it also sheds light clearly and non-judgmentally on the aspects of our lives that are dark and unfree.
Meditations and having “presence” (awareness, mindfulness), and the practice of self-observation (gained from self-knowledge), and understanding what one’s experiences mean, is the beginning of the process to undertake a transformation for yourself.

Helen Keller

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.”
Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death

Voltaire

“I have lived eighty years of life and know nothing for it, but to be resigned and tell myself that flies are born to be eaten by spiders and man to be devoured by sorrow.”
Voltaire
•••

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

The long shadow

The Invisible Scar

http://www.havoca.org

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Crisis of Conscience


Many of us have seen office politics in many different forms, and also the social groups that conform to a dynamic set of established spoken and unspoken rules or behaviors.  A large factor contributing to the dominant social constructs in these groups are in my opinion resulting from the personalities and ego’s managing these units within their own personal belief systems and their experience levels of the world at large.

This experience comes contextually in many different forms such as; maturation, education , intellect, morals, upbringing and thoughtfulness.  In addition, people must use a logic to process the information along with their own conditioning or “life training.”  Whichever logical arguments are used in their account of the world, the only other attribute to posit into this behavioral equation are the unknown random factors in human behavior that are unpredictable and that we cannot always control.  Examples of these unknown factors originate from and are embedded into our own personal coping skills, our existing attitudes, and our emotional responsiveness to moral situations.

In all of the associations I have observed or have taken part in, many of the members in these groups of individuals have displayed a need for the social networking they are part of.  My observations of these groups of individuals has convinced me we are a people that easily give up our principles in order to advance in the sociopolitical hierarchy that often tends to be the flavor of the month.  Of course there are those cases of individuals that do not participate in such a vigor that many of their peers do within these groups. As Mark Twain puts it…“It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist. What is its seat? The inborn requirement of self-approval.

The corruption of our moral behavior is rampant in the sociological systems surrounding us.  History is full of approaches to counteract this age old problem.  The masses are not well equipped to deal with these matters since we all at times negotiate the sacrifice’s we make, and we endure such occurrences in order to keep the status quo.  Some of us simply just chalk it up and exclaim “Cést La Vie!”   We hear all about scandals on the news, see it in our lives, hear it from our friends and yet we still cannot seem to evade the prevalence of this reality.  This is largely due to our neglect of confrontation and skill to resolve such matters.  If one can change anything, then one should start from within and change their perspectives.  But where does it end?  Is it just an enigmatic part of the quintessential life?  Do we do nothing and let things continue as they are, or do we stand up and resist?

Leadership begins with the self, then the home, then the town, then the province, then the city, then the state, then the country, then the hemisphere, ad infinitum.  Does this influence our personal bearing as we meet the world?  I suggest we create our own reality that incorporates the will to overcome inequity where ever it may exist.  I do not purport a utopian society, but rather to develop an individual philosophy that demonstrates the golden rule.  Despite the common natures of others, we must give them an example of just how one can behave.  The most powerful dynamic in all relationships for the most part are forged on trust.

Silence in the presence of evil is a form of non-verbal approval.  We have become a culture of silent conformists.  The state of the union now is under attack from within our own government, yet we (in general), do not take notice and participate in the dismantling of these corrupted  social systems.

To borrow from the author Graham Hancock; we are a species with amnesia.  His point was regarding another topic altogether, but I think it is quite relevant to the current topic.  What did the children of Nazi Germany ask of their fathers when the regime of the Third Reich was upon them.  Did they ask what did you do to prevent the tyranny that befell the world?  Don’t be caught up in the fear mongering.  Do something!  In our everyday lives, we must rise out of this mindset and prepare for the bigger picture.

On a national scale our civil liberties, Bill of Rights, Constitution, and freedoms are being plundered at an exponential rate, yet we do nothing about it as a culture.  This is also happening all around the world as well.  A seize upon our freedoms from our government is upon the people of the United States and abroad from those in power.  The controlling masters who own the banks, are manipulating the markets.  Those who own the media,  tell us what to think, and believe, and those who participate in this dilemma contribute to the enslavement of all of us.