Jisaw pieces of thoughts, these are. I think they’re connected but I haven’t joined the dots yet. So, it might sound a bit disjointed.
How old are any of us? We decide according to time of birth (which is important to me, as someone interested in astrology), but think on this:
* The molecules that construct our bodies are borrowed from the universe and they are trillions of years old. They have been parts of the assemblages of all manner of things before they came together, in a constantly-changing flux, to form ‘us’, ‘me’, ‘I’.
* If our bodies are not the age we believe ourselves to be (a mere few decades), but are constructed of trillion-year-old stuff, what about our consciousness? How old are our minds? Also trillions of years? Also an assemblage of parts borrowed from the universe?
* How, actually, can we consider ourselves to be older or younger than anyone else? Even people who are now dead and who haven’t yet been born.
* If you weren’t counting your birthdays so that all you had to go on were your memories, could you work out how old you are, year-wise? And, can you put those memories in the correct order of happening? Think about it, pretend you don’t have a number in your mind, rummage around your memory bank: how many years have you been around? When I do that it feels like only a few years.
* Lots of things don’t change a jot, do they? Take emotions. They feel exactly the same as they have ever done. Sure, the triggers may change as time goes by, but the actual feelings don’t. Happiness, sadness, fear, embarrasment, et al, feel just the same as when you were a kid, right? And falling in love – exactly the same experience as when you were a teenager – the same excitement and angst, the does-s/he-doesn’t-s/he-the-evidence-goes-both-ways of it all. That leads me to believe that we are born emotionally mature.
I’m beginning to think we might never be free of them on account of the lack of progress I’m making. But I do think we can learn to understand the nature of them, and this is where age is an advantage because it takes time to get to this understanding. And I think, for peace of mind, that we must cherish our insecurities and look after them like we would a toddler or a kitten. With a cuddle.
We can’t do this without self-love, which is something we are not taught in this culture of ours. Instead, we are taught to be self-deprecating.
Is self-love the route to sanity? I don’t mean narcissism. I’d say that’s a form of self-hate.
I go quiet and retreat into my shell when I’m feeling insecure.
Nature vs nurture
When I’m feeling insecure I tend not to seek the comfort of others on account of a belief about being unwanted and therefore anticipating that I will be either rejected, or ‘tolerated’ by those too polite to show their disgust or disdain or disinterest or whatever. In a roomful of others, I believe I would be the last to be chosen (whatever the occasion). I can’t shake it off even though my ‘rational’ self understands the nonsense of such a belief and would argue against anyone who talked about themselves that way. Is this because I was unwanted by my mother or is it because of some ghostly item in the mish-mash of borrowed universal ‘stuff’ that constitutes my consciousness? Nurture or nature? Dunno.
Whatever, it has a knock-on effect in terms of forming close relationships with people. Everything has consequences.
I don’t think I’m revealing much of an unusual, or particularly personal, thing there. First, I reckon that’s a fairly common-or-garden experience. Second, I no longer really consider myself to be an individual that is separate from others, but one node on a gigantic (infinite?) grid of intersecting points in time and space which has qualities of data that cause me /us to have the illusion of being separate and individual.
Going back to common-or-garden experiences … a difference, perhaps, is that I have an understanding that perhaps evades many others. Subconscious stuff brought to consciousness – Jung would be delighted!
I wonder: with all this understanding about ourselves, can we expect improvement or are we best off learning to live with these aspects of ourselves? To accept. With grace. And magnanimousness. Is our journey to peace of mind about healing ancient, buried wounds, as many would have it, or is it about accepting the inherent natures allotted to us by universal forces (God, if you want to use that word)?
I quite like the idea of the source of all existence (I mean: all) being like white noise. That’s the idea that makes the most sense to me in terms of understanding that three-letter word.
Many believe that astrology is about planets influencing us through rays given off. Having been indoctrinated in the materialist paradigm (despite the wealth of evidence that makes a nonsense of such a viewpoint) most poo-poo that idea. (Mind you, everyone accepts the influences on Earth of the Sun and Moon, so why not other planets? Whatever.) I don’t think that way. I think astrology illustrates the energetic activities of the universe rather than governing them, when viewed from the perspective of the universe being like a fractal pattern with microcosm and macrocosm having the same qualities, which fits with Jung’s ideas about synchronicity. If this is so, it is a most valuable tool in understanding what the bloody hell is going on around here 🙂
On being a child (and an adult)
By and large, I think we can ignore what the Church says about Jesus and what he meant by what he said (if he said anything at all).
Jesus said that if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven we need to be like a child. He wasn’t taking about an afterlife – he said heaven and hell exist in this life. In other words, what he meant was (as I understand it): if we want to be happy in this life we need to reconnect with the joie de vivre we lost in growing up.
When we’re a child, we look forward to being an adult because we believe we will have the freedom to live our own lives – free from being told what to do by parents and teachers, free to play all day instead of going to school, and such like. Then, when we’re an adult, we look back with nostalgia to when we were a child and had no worries or obligations.
Nostalgia is a liar.
No matter how loving and well-meaning parents and teachers are, it’s still a dictatorship.
Is being an adult all that great? Jobs, relationships, children, aging parents, mortgages… obligations that make joie de vivre difficult to achieve, despite our best intentions. Considerably more of an adult’s time is taken up with fulfilling obligations than it is doing our own thing. There’s so little time for play. Many think that’s how it should be. I say that’s a Puritanical attitude.
Puritans are sado-masochists.
When adults teach children how to be adults they lead us astray. We are led away from happiness when we are taught the ways of adulthood. They don’t actually lie about what’s supposed to make us happy… they’re just misguided. They actually believe they are doing good in what they teach! Most haven’t worked out that they were led astray and that the ideas they’re passing on are fucked up. Of those who eventually figure it, by the time the realisation happens their children are grown up and already damaged.
In a nutshell, I believe that the problem isn’t that people can’t be good. I think the problem is that our culture has dodgy ideas about what constitutes ‘good’. I think that what’s expected of us is impossible without both immense self-control and a masochistic propensity that enables us to endure suffering. Some people mark such ‘sacrifice’ as proof of their goodness. Moralists metaphorically flagellate themselves with their ‘good’ behaviour.
I am on the side of amorality, although I realise the impracticality of it for most people. By the way, I don’t mean immorality. That’s as bad as morality.
I previously wrote a blog post about childish love vs adult love. The list of qualities of childish love is short:
The list of qualities of adult love is long and you can read it here, along with the rest of the post.
When one encounters other nodes in the universal grid, usually there is no untoward effect, in the sense that most of us seem to get on okay with practically everyone, in a friendly manner, most of the time. We like people, but we can generally take them or leave them. But sometimes it’s quite discombobulating to our energetic equilibrium! And those people feel ‘special’ and that’s where we focus our beliefs about ‘love’. For good or ill.
And we don’t get to choose. We don’t get to choose who discombobulates us, and we don’t get to choose who is discombobulated by us.
Also, I’m doubtful now about the extent of which our state of consciousness is in our control.