There are times when we begin to have self-doubt about much of what we have tried to carry out in the world. When reflecting upon our lives and wondering if we have made a difference in the world, we sometimes neglect that which makes our spirits lighter. We often become detached from a healthy lifestyle by allowing routines and small matters consume our lives. When one reaches this place, we begin to reflect upon that which will take us to another state of being, a place that is usually provoked by something we love, something that will transform our thinking and bring about happiness…..For me that element is…playing some music.
Unfortunately we can often become distracted, and become over time practice behaviors that become habits that will lead us down a darker road than the one we should have liked to walk. Sometimes the habits of our thinking can distort the nature of ‘things-as-they-are’, and we become disconnected to fundamental healthy living choices. There are many tales and talisman of those who become “disconnected”. If our focus is too narrow, or too broad, we just may be leaving much of our experience to the realm that erodes these experiences. We then little by little become stricken with a decay in our thought on how we should relate and live in the world. Thus we begin a process of alienation that started with an imbalance somewhere in our own habitual routines which ultimately pull us away from what is truly important in our lives.
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein
Take a look at the cases for addiction. One can become addicted to any number of things based on our “perception of being!” We are profoundly affected by the environments we accommodate. I posit this claim on the history of psychological studies in the fields of human motivation, developmental psychology, behaviorist conditioning, cognitive and gestalt findings, from Jean Piaget, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, (et. al.), and the Eastern influences of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucian teachings. This is also noted in studies of the Enneagram with conclusive findings supporting my following claim.
Addiction is not caused only by the drugs themselves. Addiction is caused by a sense of isolation and disconnection in the addict. It’s not the drugs—it’s your cage.
So our placement in the world, our views about the world can somewhat determine our “Being” in the world. Our decisions about how we live, are ultimately important when finding meaning in our relationships.
When we become disconnected from
Values not based on ego / self
Humor and Laughter
we may be heading towards hurtful discord and disharmony.
Being Disconnected is an anti-Taoist state of being
The quintessential question we often displace is about being! How does one fit into the world? We can become distracted, overstimulated by our passions, but there may be some consequences to our choices that we make about our relationship to the world and in the world. We must first understand what in this world is critical for our “Being!” How should we relate to it, the people in it, and what sources should we align ourselves to?
Through the process of immersion one can reconnect to the world. If we follow paths that lead us down a meandering road full of distraction, such as problematic learned behaviors, maladaptive dissonant behaviors, or faulty poor environments which damage our awareness and dissuade our better natures; then we may find ourselves in an existential bewilderment.
One must use all of our senses and abilities to “Feel” this immersion. It is not purely intellectual. It is also emotive and felt from the “Heart”! I cannot stress the importance of this connection since much of our “detachments” derive from within the mind, but are not solved without the heart being involved. A disconnection can be largely caused by our will’s overpower other parts of our sensing apparatuses. Thus we become lost, yet still don’t know why we have disconnected our way from the things that sustain our being the most: family, friends, hobbies, music, et cetera. We give into our ego, and distort our other relationships that alienate our Being. Alternately we can become lost in our passions, and leave our intellectual judgements at home on the porch. Like the saying ….”If you don’t wanna run with the big dogs, than stay on the porch!” An anachronism that seems to fit in this case.
There are many instances in which one can alienate themselves from that which sustains them. Sometimes it is from powers outside of their control, yet they have to deal with the aftermath of burdens of such events such as parental alienation. How we cope with the events in our lives is our decision. We are responsible for seeking out solutions that will bring about our salvation. Part of the process of healing, is directing ourselves to open our hearts again to receive the natural positive vibrations the universe has to offer us. When we close ourselves to this, we risk the chance of becoming overloaded and thus become jaded!
So what’s your Muse? What will bring you home again if indeed you stray from source of your fulfillment and well-being?
“Here is the vicious circle: if you feel separate from your organic life, you feel driven to survive; survival -going on living- thus becomes a duty and also a drag because you are not fully with it; because it does not quite come up to expectations, you continue to hope that it will, to crave for more time, to feel driven all the more to go on.”
― Alan W. Watts
“Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.”
― Oscar Wilde, De Profundis
“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
I am like that of a two-faced Janus – “With one face I laugh, with the other I weep!”
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. The Romans named the month of January (Ianuarius) in his honor.
From the Journals of Søren Kierkegaard he writes that he was profoundly dissatisfied with the emptiness of his existence and with his inability to find some center of focus for his life. On the one hand, he complains of the futility of seeking pleasures which invariably left in their wake feelings of ennui and malaise; on the other, he expresses impatience with learning in so far as this is regarded as a purely dispassionate pursuit of knowledge and understanding – ‘what good would it do me if truth stood before me, cold and naked, not caring whether I recognized her or not?’
I wonder if Kierkegaard would feel differently if he had borne children? He died at the age of 42 in 1855 over 159 years ago. The expression of grief and anguish in a life lived can be seen through-out many of the world’s populations, especially of those that comprise the existentialist philosophical types. In my readings I have pondered some questions about how others have dealt with their pain and suffering. How they have made sense out of a very fault-finding society that displaces guilt, purges frailty, and uses weapons of discourse to manipulate the emotion of others. There are countless examples of ruthless behavior demonstrated by bitter souls that have an axe to grind. The resulting emotional poison of this fester within the veins of the disgruntled who do not transition out from the emotional swamp that impedes spiritual growth among those who suffer from its grasp.
There is nothing more dear to me than the love for my children and those I truly love. It is simply the most powerful feeling I have ever known on this earth. As I reflect upon our relationship through the years, as children, as children of a divorce, and now as young adults living far away from me I’ve had some time to think about just how these feelings present themselves to the world during the span of experiences we perceive. Especially if there is an estrangement between those you love, not knowing the details of their true feelings, but only knowing the distance experienced and you are left to fill in the blanks yourself because they may not want to hurt you or that their ambivalence is a result of one-sided family conversations you have never been included in or part are of. If you have undergone a divorce and separation from your children that has not gone in your favor, then you may understand just what emotional heartbreak is involved when the single most valuable people move away from you, not knowing if and when the next time you see them will be allowed because of the schedules you have to deal with and the person you negotiate this is willing to oblige.
I struggled with this for many years as the job I held was not very accommodating to my child care schedule, my legal support did absolutely nothing to help me, and I was at the mercy of an Ex-Wife who in my opinion alienated the children from me even to this day. I do not wish to hang out my dirty laundry in regards to explaining my position. I do not wish to solicit any pity or express myself in a passively aggressive story of my telling. What I do know is that this experience has left me to think about how cruel this life can be. I do know that true justice in this world can be a fairly tale; a fiction that may never come to be. That we can hopelessly pray, wish, and pretend things will work out in some way that will have an equitable ending, but many a time this is simply not the case. It is possible that some reckoning and honest objective ending will present itself after the writing of this post that has not yet come to be, but I will still have to endure the circumstances for what they are and continue to live hoping for the best. That was some time ago.
Despite the particular theory of emotion you subscribe to, one must still deal with the resulting emotions that come to be.
I think that love itself is just that, the most intense emotion that we as humans can ever experience. Love has built-in cognitive components that synthesize the emotion to greater levels of experience than pure emotional or rational experience. There is a blend of “gut”, “heart”, and “mind” that come together to place it among the most influential and enduring emotional products of the human being. Some would say that anger and hate are equally just as powerful often being compared in intensity, but I do not see this as an equality in human experience. The complexities of these emotions are much more visceral than most other emotions experienced. It is possible that hate and anger are felt as strongly, but the underlying psychological reasons for them to come into being are not even close to gaining my vote on whether they are of equal intensity.
The wisdom of the ages all have chimed in on the argument for the power of love. The hierarchy of human emotion and the corruptible condition that leads humans to do some very distasteful things to one another is a product of our society and an untrained mind. Conversely how we can bestow immense acts of kindness and love to those who give us a wrongdoing is a testament to the spectrum of our capacity for good.
Many emotions that are experienced may be factors of related more primal emotions such as fear, such as jealousy. The underlying emotional and rational components to what we perceive are synthesized together creating this emotion and realized through our behaviors when we take action upon them. The overall view amongst all theories (James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, Schacter-Maranon, Cognitive, or Perceptual theories) is that they do have a symbiotic composite. The only questions left are really epistemological. A which comes first debate usually ensues, ( what is a priori, and what is a posterori ) but is not of importance for this post.
Examples of basic Emotion
Joy is a magical, often transformational emotion. In an article titles “The Alchemical Emotion of Joy,” Kevin Ryerson called joy, “the ability to feel the essence of your own divinity.” Related emotions include happiness, exhilaration, excitement, pleasure and contentment.
Anger can be felt on many levels, ranging from highly irritable to frustration. It is defined as a strong feeling of disapproval or dissatisfaction, usually brought on by some real or perceived wrongdoing. Related emotions include resentment, exasperation, rage and fury.
Anxiety can be subjective and difficult to describe. Most often, it means feeling nervous or uneasy, but in many cases there is no specific reason for feeling so. Impending danger, an upcoming exam, speaking in front of an audience, a blind date, and even day-to-day stress can lead to feelings of anxiousness. Related emotions include distress and apprehension.
Feelings of surprise can be pleasant or unpleasant. The one constant, however, is the suddenness of the feeling. Related emotions include amazement, bewilderment, astonishment or feeling startled.
Also referred to as strength or self-assuredness, trust enables humans to rely on confidence, impart confidence or experience hope. Related emotions include certainty, faith and a feeling of security.
Mental suffering over a great loss or painful experience are the hallmarks of this emotion. Like anger, there are varying degrees of grief, ranging from disappointment to great despair. Related emotions include anguish, heartache, melancholy and woe.
Fear is an adaptive human emotion that often has unpleasant side effects. In cases of violent crime or a near-death experience, the victim might experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Fear can also have a protective effect. Think of the father who, for only a moment, can’t locate his child in a busy supermarket. His immediate response (fear), enables him to quickly read his surroundings, listen for his child’s voice and locate the child. Related emotions include apprehension, terror, panic and dread.
Feelings of personal attachment to a child, husband, wife, parent or friend are most commonly associated with love, but love can fall anywhere on the spectrum from passionate affection to mere enthusiasm. Feelings of love might be romantic, or they could mean having a high regard for a friend, church or cause. Related emotions include fondness, adoration and passion.
Knowing the distinction between how we feel and how we act upon them becomes the morality we live every day. The choices we act upon in behavior defines our characters. The angst (possibly a quasi-primary emotion), we feel when we contemplate such matters of the heart are common place among many of us despite the awareness of our feelings, out thoughts, or that experienced within our “gut”. They say that integrity means “doing the right thing even when others are not looking!” I sometimes wonder if the self-imposed morals that we often adopt lead us to be more prone to feelings of anxiety and despair? If we adopt a flawed morality, do we suffer from the outcomes of our behavior when we live by these rules, or is it that we change our reasoning due to our cognitive dissonance resulting from the outcomes?
Having to taste from the well of a polluted pond, and having to taste the nectar of honey can leave an impression upon those who have been able to distinguish between them. There are those who cannot make that distinction and thus live accordingly to this perception of the world. I sometimes think that I can see the world with a Janus face…..laughing at the absurdity of our human affairs whilst weeping at the outcomes of our faulty misdeeds, thus I am torn!
The question eluding many of us is how will we live with our actions and those of others who impart calamity in our lives? I believe there is a force in the universe that is able to distinguish between the good and bad, the right and wrong, the just and unjust behaviors that embellishes our deeds and somehow in our existence makes amends to control the balance of nature. The only proof that exists in my mind of this principle is what is observed within my life in defiance of cases which have not yet come to be. For that I can only have faith that a harmonious balance exacts its own justice out of the affairs of human kind.
Arthur Miller (1915-2005) 1915-, American Dramatist
Have you ever felt at times like a fish out of water? A feeling that you somehow did not belong to what you were in observance of. Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? On occasion we have been in the company of others that we did not really know very well, and have felt out-of-place, or discomforted by the environment we were surrounded by. What is even more discomforting is being with friends and feeling like you did not belong to this group of people who you have already known for some time when you happen to be at some function. What is most appalling is the extraordinary circumstances that hurt us most when we have these feelings and thoughts about our own family.
Alienation is an awful feeling that leads us to question our own sense of values. A feeling that divides us on emotional levels from people that we have known for some time and can be a very strange experience to us. In some cases there are situations that effect our families and that we may have had the unpleasant experience to contend with. Having family members become estranged from other family members due to the communication dynamic in those families is also known as parental alienation, and is an extremely painful event.
Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. The parent that the child aligns with – the aligned parent – may engage in alienating behaviors, by undermining the other parent: these behaviors may be conscious and deliberate or alternatively may reflect a lack of awareness on the effect of their actions on their children. Direct alienating behaviors occur when one parent actively undermines the other parent, such as making derogatory remarks about the other parent or telling the child that the other parent is responsible for the separation or the cause of financial difficulties. Indirect alienation behaviors occur when one parent fails to support access or contact with the other parent, or tacitly accepts the child’s negative behavior and comments towards the other parent.
Whichever the case may be, some underlying concepts thread their way through some of these cases including: levels of awareness, anger and hatred, distrust or mistrust, lack of moral concern, ego-centrism, feelings of disconnection, ad infinitum.
Many of us have experienced these feelings and our dissociation from particular groups that we tend not to have any affinity with. I remember at times when I was younger, not quite certain about my beliefs, when I would still feel unsure about some of the gatherings I was privy to. The internal voice that spoke for me would still alert my conscious thoughts and feelings if any discontinuity of behavior would engage the assembly. As the years have passed, some people may tend to identify with their agitations and thereby hold onto stained memories of the confrontations. This may develop over a time and eventually lead them to have little candor over their reflections of past events. In many cases the sour grapes that take up their minds attention become the dominant profiles of their attitudes. Cases such as these tend to develop into the misanthropes of the world.
The losses or emotional disconnection we sustain as adults sometimes effect us on deeper levels we are not completely conscious of. Our awareness may be hindered, as we try to protect our emotional states by distraction, entertainment, confusion, or some other way we tend to cope with these situations. The result still leaves us as someone who is on the outside looking in. We still feel a disconnect with others who may respond differently or have a different sets of values.
— Misanthropy in the pond of humanity —
Misanthropy has been ascribed to a number of writers of satire, such as William S. Gilbert (“I hate my fellow-man”). Jonathan Swift is widely believed to be misanthropic (see A Tale of a Tub and, most especially, Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels).
Molière’s character Alceste in Le Misanthrope (1666) states:
My hate is general, I detest all men;
Some because they are wicked and do evil,
Others because they tolerate the wicked,
Refusing them the active vigorous scorn
Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds. “
When I cast my gaze out into the world, I find myself aghast as I look into the mass amounts of propaganda and disinformation that has captured the multitudinous occupants that encompass our society. Things that have a destructive influence on our society, on our town, or on our friends can lead us to become alienated by the greater influencing forces upon us. Those forces at work may be the world bank, the united nations, the CFR, the Bilderberg group, or even the United States Government, Et Cetera. The communication vehicle that is often employed is the controlled media, the newspapers, the radio talk shows or t.v. shows. An agenda being pushed down from bureaucrats will disrupt many in societies. The case can be made that most dictators work in this way. Under state control, a mass amount of propaganda finds its way into the citizens sometimes before action is pursued.
On the personal level, many feel a disconnect to something that holds value for them, but not equally held by others and the value is now under some scrutiny due to the counter-information they are receiving. This could be from a difference of opinions or a change in perceptions. Whatever the size of the group having the influencing effect upon us, we must ultimately decide how to sort out this dissonance.
We humans like to think we are in control and determine where events in our lives are going. There are many choices we make that seem to make a big difference. Most of the time we take credit for the great thing we manifest. Although we do affect reality, our impact at times is much less than we imagine and at other times, it is greater than we imagine. However, most of us never stop to look at why that is the case. In reality, it all depends on the energy of the situation.
What is little understood is how often we ride the current of the energy that is manifesting. It’s like being in a rowboat carried along by a swift river current and not by the effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness of our rowing. The world we experience is much like a Galileo Thermometer such that the environment conditions change, we move naturally according to the energy changes and not by choice. What we fail to realize is that we are energy consciousness and we move into or out of a situation depending on how well our energy matches the situation at hand.
Ask yourself some questions before you make your judgements public. If you find that you are questioning something that you value because of some other friend, be sure that you are not compromising your core values because you want approval. Don’t follow the herd, just to fit in. Taking the path of least resistance can lead us to dangerous outcomes. Freedoms are often fought for, but not without personal sacrifice. Choices we ultimately make, but do not give it the attention that it sometimes deserves.