Archive for July, 1998

bq: Leo Tolstoy

This is a quote that I got from a friend of mine back here Bristol way. She, search like myself, has been going back through some of the books that we read for AP English and is finding them more intriguing now for some strange reason. =)

“Every one, knowing intimately all the complexities of his own circumstances, involuntarily assumes that these complexities and the difficulty of clearing them up are peculiar to his own personal condition, and never thinks that others are surrounded by similar complexities…”

Part III Chapter XIX “Anna Karenina” –Leo Tolstoy

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bq: Carlos Castanedas

This is a piece of a book that I have been reading. This is one of the neater sections; IMHO. Anyone got any thoughts?

-Will

Excerpt from “Assuming Responsibility” from Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda. Published 1972 by Touchstone Press.

Don Juan smiled and began humming a Mexican tune.

“When a man decides to do something he must go all the way,” he said, “but he must take responsibility for what he does. No matter what he does, he must know first why he is doing it, and then he must proceed with his actions without having doubts or remorse about them.”

He examined me, I did not know what to say. Finally I ventured an opinion, almost as a protest.

“That’s an impossibility!” I said.

He asked me why, and I said that perhaps ideally that was what everybody thought they should do. In practice, however, there was no way to avoid doubts and remorse.

“Of course there is a way,” he replied with conviction.

“Look at me,” he said. “I have no doubts or remorse. Everything I do is my decision and my responsibility. The simplest thing I do, to take you for a walk in the desert, for instance, may well mean my death. Death is stalking me. Therefore, I have no room for doubts or remorse. If I have to die as a result of taking you for a walk, then I must die.

“You on the other hand, feel that you are immortal, and the decisions of an immortal man can be canceled or regretted or doubted. In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions.”

I argued, in sincerity, that in my opinion that was an unreal world, because it was arbitrarily made by taking an idealized form of behavior and saying that that was the way to proceed.

I told him the story of my father, who used to give me endless lectures about the wonders of a healthy mind in a healthy body, and how young men should temper their bodies with hardships and with feats of athletic competition. He was a young man; when I was eight years old he was only twenty-seven. During the summertime, as a rule, he would come from the city, where he taught school, to spend at least a month with me at my grandparents’ farm, where I lived. It was a hellish month for me. I told don Juan one instance of my father’s behavior that I thought would apply to the situation at hand.

Almost immediately upon arriving at the farm my father would insist on taking a long walk with me at his side, so we could talk things over, and while we were talking he would make plans for us to go swimming, every day at six A.M. At night he would set the alarm for five-thirty to have plenty of time, because at six sharp we had to be in the water. And when the alarm would go off in the morning, he would jump out of bed, put on his glasses, go to the window and look out.

I had even memorized the ensuing monologue.

“Uhm… A bit cloudy today. Listen, I’m going to lie down again for just five minutes. O.K.? No more than five! I’m just going to stretch my muscles and fully wake up.”

He would invariably fall asleep again until ten, sometimes until noon.

I told don Juan that what annoyed me was his refusal to give up his phony resolutions. He would repeat this ritual every morning until finally I would hurt his feelings by refusing to set the alarm clock.

“They were not phony resolutions,” don Juan said, obviously taking sides with my father. “He just didn’t know how to get out of bed, that’s all.”

“At any rate,” I said, “I’m always leary of unreal resolutions.”

“What would be a resolution that is real then?” don Juan asked with a coy smile.

“If my father would have said to himself that he could not go swimming at six in the morning but perhaps at three in the afternoon.”

“Your resolutions injure the spirit,” don Juan said with an air of great seriousness.

I thought I even detected a note of sadness in his tone. We were quiet for a long time. My peevishness had vanished. I thought of my father.

“He didn’t want to swim at three in the afternoon. Don’t you see?” don Juan said.

His words made me jump.

I told him that my father was weak, and so was his world of ideal acts that he never performed. I was almost shouting.

Don Juan did not say a word. He shook his head slowly in a rhythmical way. I felt terribly sad. Thinking of my father always gave me a consuming feeling.

“You think you were stronger, don’t you?” he asked in a casual tone.

I said I did, and I began to tell him all the emotional turmoil that my father had put me through, but he interrupted me.

“Was he mean to you?” he asked.

“No.”

“Was he petty with you?”

“No.”

“Did he do all he could for you?”

“Yes.”

“Then what was wrong with him?”

“Again I began to shout that he was weak, but I caught myself and lowered my voice. I felt a bit ludicrous being cross-examined by don Juan.

“What are you doing all this for?” I said. “We were supposed to be talking about plants.”

I felt more annoyed and despondent than ever. I told him that he has no business or the remotest qualification to pass judgement on my behavior, and he exploded into a belly laugh.

“When you get angry you always feel righteous, don’t you?” he said and blinked like a bird.

He was right. I had the tendency to feel justified at being angry.

“Let’s not talk about my father,” I said, feigning a happy mood. “Let’s talk about plants.”

“No, let’s talk about your father,” he insisted. “That is the place to begin today. If you think that you were so much stronger than he, why didn’t you go swimming at six in the morning in his place?”

“I told him that I could not believe that he was seriously asking me that. I had always thought that swimming at six in the morning was my father’s business and not mine.

“It was also your business from the moment you accepted his idea,” don Juan snapped at me.

I said that I had never accepted it, that I had always known my father was not truthful to himself. Don Juan asked me matter-of-factly why I had not voiced my opinions at the time.

“You don’t tell your father things like that,” I said as a weak explanation.

“Why not?”

“That was not done in my house, that’s all.”

“You have done worse things in your house,” he declared like a judge from the bench. “The only thing you never did was to shine your spirit.”

There was such devastating force in his words that they echoed in my mind. He brought all my defenses down. I could not argue with him. I took refuge in writing my notes.

I tried a last feeble explanation and said that all my life I had encountered people of my father’s kind, who had, like my father, hooked me somehow into their schemes, and as a rule I had always been left dangling.

“You are complaining,” he said softly. “You have been complaining all your life because you don’t assume responsibility for your decisions. If you would have assumed responsibility for your father’s idea of swimming at six in the morning, you would have swum, by yourself if necessary, or you would have told him to go to hell the first time he opened his mouth after you knew his devices. But you didn’t say anything. Therefore, you were as weak as your father.

“To assume the responsibility of one’s decisions means that one is ready to die for them.”

“Wait, wait!” I said. “You are twisting this around.”

He did not let me finish. I was going to tell him that I had used my father only as an example of an unrealistic way of acting, and that nobody in his right mind would be willing to die for such an idiotic thing.

“It doesn’t matter what the decision is,” he said. “Nothing could be more or less serious than anything else. Don’t you see? In a world where death is the hunter there are no small or big decisions. There are only decisions that we make in the face of our inevitable death.”

I could not say anything. Perhaps an hour went by. Don Juan was perfectly motionless on his mat though he was not sleeping.

“Why do you tell me all this, don Juan?” I asked. “Why are you doing this to me?”

“You came to me,” he said. “No, that was not the case, you were brought to me. And I have had a gesture with you.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You could have had a gesture with your father by swimming with him, but you didn’t, perhaps because you were too young. I have lived longer than you. I have nothing pending. There is no hurry in my life, therefore I can properly have a gesture with you.”

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on the subject of people

I still have no faith that anyone that I know on the face of this planet has a clue what the hell I am talking about.

I am wondering how intelligent I am. I can tell that I am doing a different kind of processing than most people are, but I am not sure why. You are a point of resentment at times. I keep sending you stuff and about half the time I get the distinct impression that you don’t have a clue what I am talking about. Your replies are all nice and good, but I can see that they are directed at a person who is about three shades different than I. Not to exaggerate, much of the time you are right on the head, but sometimes you come in diagnosing things (asking questions) that are things that are immediately apparent and I think that I have expressed this fact plainly in whatever I just wrote.

Truly, I think that I am being too hard on you. I myself am far from omniscient and expecting you to be is not just.

I simply desire to be understood and honestly you are about my best bet. I’m trying in different places, but with little true success. I can usually manage to make myself understood if I go through a translations process, but I would like to communicate with someone without that intervening step.

I have some hope for more success upon returning to school. I have matured a good deal over the course of the summer, though it might not show from this letter. I just hope.

-Will

Perhaps it is simply a matter of refining my communications skills; I have just read back through what I wrote and it is not nearly as succinct as I got the impression that it was as I wrote it. Maybe I simply am a poor communicator, at least for the information that I am trying to convey.

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jealousy

I just got through reading a set of messages from Wayne about his relationship and I can sense a subtle but definite shift in my thinking about him. I feel more detached and guarded.

Over the course of the summer we have discussed our relationship several times and my relationship with Wayne has been a point of focus when thinking about relationships in general which I have done alot of. The nature of what I thought about it and thus what it is has shifted somewhat over the course of the summer. When school let out Wayne and I were friends, but as time went on and I discovered how incompatible I could be with other people my relationship with Wayne became “the relationship,” the one that at this point works better than any of the rest of them and as such I look to it as a point of reference. It gained almost a mythic quality as all my thinking about relationships and all of my references to it reduced it to a stereotypical form. It lost its complexity and simply because “the relationship;” it was one wherein no wrongs occurred and no harm was done.

I read what he wrote about S and I could feel pangs of jealousy and then detachment from those feelings. When he was going out with Emily I did not experience any of these sensations because Emily fit into a certain part of his life that was mushy and gushy and that kept him bubbly. That was not my place and I had no special desire to go there. S on the other hand is a contender for what I consider to be my space. I fear that she will do the things for him that I do and that he will no longer want me for a friend. I am competitive with her, in my mind at least. I tell myself that I can do the things that she can do and I can do them better.

I don’t know though. I’ve never had a best friend before. I was never willing to commit that kind of trust to a person for fear that they would leave me. I finally started the committment and now I fear losing it. I’m about 8 years old right now. Ick.

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reply to wayne and a reply to the reply on falling in love

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To A,

Ok, this is a set of letters, two to be exact. The first is a reply to Wayne to a letter that I sent to L that I sent to him to ask his opinion on how I was doing. The commented letter inside of his letter was originally sent to L. If there is any confusion in reading all of this you can ask and I can probably straighten it out. -Will

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From:	TTU::TWD      "WAYNE DOUGLAS" 23-JUL-1998 11:22:33.65
To:	TTU::WJH3957
Subj:	RE: you have any comments on this letter?

First of all, I am very happy that you are sharing all this with me. It is very self efficating. I think i used that right… And on top of that you are seriously valuing my opinion. thanks =)

I did pretty good last night, didn’t I? =) I think that it was an enjoyable evening for all. I haven’t ever really tried to orchestrate anything that big or complex before, but I think that it went pretty well. I was lucky though, you all are cool and it would have been hard to mess things up. =)

And I didn’t think too much. =) I think…

-Will

P.S. You can be hard to read at times. I think that you could hide stuff if you really wanted. I still wanna know who Big Poppa is, you have piqued my curiosity. =) Are you worried that I’ll think you’re weird or something if you tell me? C’mon, I sit in crowded dance clubs and talk to myself in the company of others, I can nearly guarantee that you’d have to be really really weird for me to think that you were goofy or something.

You are one of the coolest and most interesting people that I know, I don’t think that because of anything that you have told me, I think that because of who you are; giving me weird information about things won’t change my opinion, that’s just what you think, who you are is something that shines through separate from all of that.

You’ll have to excuse me, I have had trouble in the past because most people are very reluctant to share things about themselves because they’re afraid that if they share then I’ll think less of them and it frustrates me because I want them to know that I care about them because of who they are and not the image that they propagate. I just didn’t want you to be afraid of me, really when you get right down to it I’m a nice guy, I get confused sometimes and do stupid things, but I am almost never intentionally hurtful.

Oh yeah, I wanted to know some things that are immoral. You used the word last night and I haven’t used it in a long time. Was that girls dancing immoral? Why?

Hmmm… Well, I see no problems in the letter. Don’t really see anything lacking either. really there are no points that stick out severly. I think you have gotten more comfortable with her; i notice your speech patterns are much more laid back (i think that is a good thing, even if you are doing it purposefully and still are very nervous; probably cyclic anyway). The level of honesty is good. I admire that in you. I am not sure everyone would handle it well; there is alot of room for projection/string pulling, but I think L is very capable of that level and deserves no less.

I have a thought that is pretty much separate from the letter. It seems from my past/current relationships that validation becomes a bit of a shovel. It begins digging and digging the earth from beneath the two parties (because both are digging in response to the other). The result is, the two end up falling… falling together down in a hole (a nice hole, but more difficult to get out of the more you dig). I think this is “falling in love”. I’m not sure what I would put a more balanced (yet still romantic, if i can ever achieve such a thing =)) love in that phrase. I think i have associated “falling in love” as more falling into a validation game. It is just symbiotically filling each other’s undeveloped needs. more to come on this topic…. it has been deemed so by the mentor Gods and their sluggish yet steady messenger; Connideus.

love,

wayne

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To A,

There is, to give you some context, another letter in between these two where I accidentally sent the first half of this next letter. That is the meaning of the first paragraph. -Will

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From: TTU::WJH3957 “W.J. Holcomb — Mr. Happy =)” 24-JUL-1998 12:06
To: WAYNE
Subj: second attempt at falling in love =)

Ok, here is attempt number two at replying to your response. I’m leaving the original stuff in there just for reference, so if you want to skip what you’ve already read just skip to the asterixes. =)

First of all, I am very happy that you are sharing all this with me. It is very self efficating. I think i used that right… And on top of that you are seriously valuing my opinion. thanks =)

Honestly, I have no idea. I know self-effacing which is to destroy oneself and I know self-efficacy which is you concept of your capacity to enact change, but I do not know self-efficating. I reckon that its ok. =)

I think you have gotten more comfortable with her; i notice your speech patterns are much more laid back (i think that is a good thing, even if you are doing it purposefully and still are very nervous; probably cyclic anyway).

It is not an illusion; I am alot more comfortable with her than I was perhaps two days ago, and a hell of alot more comfortable than I was when I first started talking to her. I have been impressed myself with my composure and my maintenance of my self. I was in a very similar situation with her at the end of last year and I could not keep myself together. I was scared most of the time and it affected my behavior a great deal. Now I am doing much better, not only am I more centered in myself, but I have adapted my masks for hiding my nervousness and they work alot better than they used to.

Physicality is something that has always given me alot of trouble, especially friendly nonchalant physicality like say leaning on someone or tickling; you know the fun little exercises that go on in the course of normal interaction. I was doing really well with that last night. It still made me very nervous, but when the time was right for the element of physicality to be added I did not flinch.

Ohhh yeah! You gotta hear this story. Ok, we got to the club at about 10:30 – 11:00, the place was really empty and there were only a few people gathered around the bar. They had the music playing like it normally is though and dance club music is something that just consumes me. We sat for a while because none of them wanted to go out on the dance floor while there wasn’t anyone else out there. I wanted to dance though. So every so often I would get up from the table and go out and walk around the dance floor and kinda dance a bit, though not really, you know just kinda groovin’. =) Anyhow, one of the times that I got up and went out there this girl comes down from the bar and asks me if I wanted to dance.

This is a neat side note, as soon as she asked me the first thought in my mind was, “there is really only one choice, to dance with her. If I don’t then it will hurt her feelings and it took alot of courage for her to come down here and ask me to dance. The right thing for me to do is to dance with her.” Its weird because it didn’t matter if I wanted to dance or not, it was like the decision was already made.

Anyhow, we start dancing and it was wild. She was all over me and I was doing my best to keep up with her and be a willing participant. I have watched people before who have been dirty dancing and I always wondered what it was like, well for me I would rank it in about the top ten for erotic experiences, and for raw sensuality it comes in maybe top five. I can only imagine what that would be like with a girl who I was really interested in. It was just wild; the music was going and we were all over the place. I would really like to do it again with someone that I knew. I think the fact that we were the only two people out in the middle of a big ol’ dance floor and the music was really going was an important part of it. For a couple of minutes there I just lost myself in the music and the touching; I think that it all happened so fast that I forgot to get afraid. =)

Come to think of it I think the fact that I didn’t know her probably helped some. For me to be with someone else like that who I knew I would have to be really comfortable with them.

So, anyway after I was through dancing I went back to the table and we all sat around for a while, then we went outside for a while and we talked some about different things. I really liked how conversations went with this group; they weren’t perfect, but they flowed really well and they were interesting. So, after a while we went back inside around 12:00 – 12:30 and sat in there for a bit.

Eventually these three girls and a guy came in and went out and started dancing.

**************** Begin attempt number two =) ******************

Everyone who was with me had been saying that they didn’t want to dance while there wasn’t anyone else out there, so now that there was I got everybody moving and we started dancing. (I would swear that I already wrote what I am about to write again, but I can’t find it in the message, so maybe I dreamed writing it or something; I dunno.)

Anyhow, on the topic of physicality, when the other people got out in the dance floor and I was trying to get everyone else to come out I did some very bold moves that ended up working very well. I think that a careful observer can do a pretty good job of seeing what the sticking points of a groups inertia are and then removing those points and enacting change. Anyhow, I went around and yanked everyone’s stools out from under them and got them moving, and after I did this L and Erin retreated to the bar in mock disdain (I know that I have written this before because I remember writing mock disdain, ah well.) Anyway, L left in such haste that she abandoned her purse, and I retrieved it. A classic game of keep away ensued, and it was not too long ago that I would not have had the courage to attempt such an endeavor.

There is a certain trusting in other people when you do social interaction and I can feel the reliance going on when I am doing something like joking with people or playing keep away. I mentioned this reliance when you and I and S and T were in the car going to the lake and you were joking with S. I said that the moves that you were making were bolder than what I would attempt because I did not have the faith in my relationships that you did. I reckon that I’m getting more faithful. =)

It’s the same kind of stuff that goes on in flirting, but it can be done in a purely Platonic setting. I am acutely aware of my reliance on other people when I am interacting with them; do you sense what I am describing?

Another thing that I did was at one point was go up to L as we were playing keep away and put my arms around her and lean in close to her ear and tell her that she knew that she wanted to come dance. It wasn’t any big thing really, except that I am really unaccustomed to that level of physical contact. My family is, as I said, very non-touchy, so this is stuff that I am uncertain about.

I think that to a large degree the amount that I think about stuff makes things alot harder. I know that is certainly true in the sense that I can blow things out of proportion, but that is not what I am talking about. From what I have seen, the things that I do have a greater cognitive impact on me than they do on alot of people. Like with talking to L or the physicality, alot of people wouldn’t even know to be afraid, but it seems that I am so aware of all the things that I am doing. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It seems to get in the way of the enjoyment of my life, but at the same time it makes it easier to look at things and see what exactly they are and how I can deal with them. Am I still making sense?

We danced for a while and then I drove Erin back to her place and let V off and then took L back to her place. We were all seriously tired. Usually in social matrices my mind gets worn out long before my body does, but my body was exhausted.

I talked to L some on the way back; she was about ready to fall asleep too. She has a boy that she has been going out with at school who goes to UTC, but who comes up to Knoxville every weekend, and she really likes him. She is not sure about their relationship though; she is interested in continuing it, but he seems to be kinda wishy-washy. It’s really hard for me to get a feel for people and what they are thinking without talking to them some, or at least having some first hand information. Going on second hand information leaves all these holes where the teller can insert themselves and cloud the person being told about.

Boy, I’m one for tangents today. Back to a more interesting issue, I, yet again, think that it would be really cool to go out with L romantically. Over and over I beat my head against this wall and over and over it seems to do me no good. I have twice now approached her about a relationship and have twice been rejected. I just don’t get it. I understand fine my end of it, I get along well with her as a friend, probably just about as well as I have gotten along with any other girl, and the capacity for friendship is something that I am looking for in a romantic relationship; what I don’t understand is why these feelings are not reciprocated. She seems to like being around me and I think that she values me as a friend, and from what she describes I am at least as interesting as the other guys that she went out with, but she doesn’t consider me to be a candidate.

Ah well, I did this exact same thing at the end of last year, but to my credit I am handling it alot better now. I have the damndest scarcity needs about my relationships and it keeps me messed up alot of the time. Going out with D and then with J has helped to cure me of them a good deal and also my relationship with you and with a couple of other people that have helped me to see that I am actually capable of being part of a relationship and that people do like to be around me. So, right now I am not exactly to the point where I can just drop it ad let it go, but I can feel inside that I am alot closer. Right now, the fact that L is not interested in me romantically does not mean that I am an unattractive person or that I am doing something wrong, and I can get that statement about half way down into my stomach before it encounters some resistance and I feel kinda nauseous. (Kinesthetics is neat.) =)

One of the things that really thing is helping is that I consider L to be a possibility once we go back to school, and if that didn’t work I have more confidence that I could find somebody.

That was another point, I really dislike the fact that I want to be in a relationship. I can see where it is driving me to make unclear need-based decisions and I would like to just stop, but I think that I’m too afraid. The idea of being to the point where I am complete in and of myself is an attractive one and I think that if I were to extrapolate along the lines that I have been traveling then I would get there, but I am not yet.

The level of honesty is good. I admire that in you. I am not sure everyone would handle it well; there is alot of room for projection/string pulling, but I think L is very capable of that level and deserves no less.

Radical honesty was not one of the things that came to mind as I was writing. t really didn’t flash any warning signs for me, about al that I could do is pull up a fear of intimacy, but I don’t think that I’ll do that with her. I wasn’t giving her anything but positive strokes, and I haven’t had any situation where someone reacted especially negatively to that. I’ve had one or two where it made the person uncomfortable, but I’ve never got a really negative reaction. Are we talking about the same thing? What part of the letter are you saying left room for string pulling? It may well be that I am not seeing past my intent.

I have a thought that is pretty much separate from the letter. It seems from my past/current relationships that validation becomes a bit of a shovel. It begins digging and digging the earth from beneath the two parties (because both are digging in response to the other). The result is, the two end up falling… falling together down in a hole (a nice hole, but more difficult to get out of the more you dig). I think this is “falling in love”.

I would tend to agree. One of the major aspects of a relationship and one of the things that has given me the most difficulty is there are lots and lots of positive strokes traded until both parties are virtually glowing. From what I have read this is also backed up with lots of hormonal changes as well with the release of oxatocin and endorphins.

It is essentially dishonest because very very rarely are you going to find a person who is perfect, and in the beginning people operate around the imperfections and pretend that they are not there. I think that there comes a point though when the digging becomes tiring and you stop and start to look at the person that you have been digging with in a way that you haven’t looked at them in all this time that you have been digging. (And goddammit, I can see that I am feeding alot of this of of crap that I have gotten from listening to A, and I can’t tell how much of it is her and how much is me, so beware that.) And I think that alot of relationships do not have the stability at this point to handle the incorporation of this other person’s flaws.

I’m not sure what I would put a more balanced (yet still romantic, if i can ever achieve such a thing =)) love in that phrase.

I think that more balanced comes if you manage to survive a few rocky places and your concept of the other person is more complex.

I know what it is, A gave us this nice model and it is cohesive ad it seems to hold up pretty well to observation, and most importantly it allows me to put a solid handle on relationships, which is a subject that I do not understand and have little complex experience in. So, I use this model and even think out of this model not really having tested it out with observation. I dislike doing that because I’m spreading around untested ideas as though they were my own. I could just stop and not talk about relationships. I don’t want to do that though, I like thinking about relationships.

I think I have associated “falling in love” as more falling into a validation game. It is just symbiotically filling each other’s undeveloped needs.

I think that alot of this is that, though I would not say that as such it is completely false, just kinda. There are certain aspects of the validation games that feel true to me though maybe that’s just because they also feel good/enjoyable to me.

I really want to do it, I’ll tell you that much. Most people really seem to like it and I am not going to knock it for any reason until I’ve tried it.

More to come on this topic…. it has been deemed so by the mentor Gods and their sluggish yet steady messenger; Connideus.

I like that; very creative writing.

-Will

P.S. On the subject of what you should write about, I would like to hear more about S and what’s going on there. If you have time I’d also really like to hear your thoughts on “reading” skills for telling how other people think and what’s going on with them.

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letter to wayne

From:	TTU::WJH3957      "W.J. Holcomb -- Mr. Happy =)" 23-JUL-1998
To:	WAYNE
Subj:	re: taking over the world

I have thought some about the potentials within our peer group and you are right, the capacity to enact change that we have is pretty staggering. I think that if you had a group like our that was about 5-10 years more mature (given what I am viewing as the current average rate of maturation) I think that they could work together and do a hell of a lot of stuff. Right now, I don’t think that we have the stability as individuals or as a whole to really decisively enact change, for one thing we don’t really have a common mindset or goal and by and large we are too wrapped up in ourselves to really devote ourselves to a common goal.

This actually ties back into what I was writing about yesterday when I was bitching. Actually my complain had two distinct parts and I really didn’t make that clear. What you picked up on was the second part where I was complaining that I on occasion know more than my mentors and it is frustrating. That was a small self kind of whining. I have control over what I do and I’ll get over that. The first part though was a real deep sadness coming off of a corporate meeting that I went to. When I was talking about revolution I was talking about real revolution. My friend CJ, who was copied to on that message, is a really strong political and when he is around I talk to him about what is happening in the world. He is convinced that the world is to a state where it will take a revolution in order for society to progress. I went into the meeting yesterday and all the talk was about how to control the users and how to make their behavior to conform to certain standards and how to manage the information, and I was really depressed after leaving there. I really like seeing people empowered and living their own lives and as a programmer I was planning on being in the business of enabling people to get access to resources. Now I go out here in the “real world” and find out that the business is not freeing people and making them more powerful, but binding them and making them controllable.

By the time I left the hospital I wanted to destroy the system that propagates that way of thinking. I really don’t think that the people are ready for a revolution though. CJ is convinced that if you help them to see then they will see, but I don’t think that as a whole they are ready. I think that the job now is as sowers of seeds that will never come to fruit in our lifetimes. I was thinking about this the other day; I have run into some people, some teachers especially, who have really added alot to my clarity. That is the kind of person that I would like to be. I am still giving semi-serious consideration to going into teaching. I run with my mom and I explain stuff to her and it gives me a real sense of fulfillment when she understands some complicated topic that I am explaining.

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the system

I went out today to a meeting of all the corporate people for Wellmont and I want to join the revolution.

Right now with so many people I feel like a man without an country because they seem to be leading such petty empty lives, and more than that they seem to be hell bent on dragging the world down with them. I just about was ready to give up on everything after some time over there. I just don’t get why the hell these people even bother to take another breath; I think that it is habit more than anything else at this point.

I realized yesterday that I resent the job that I have right now. I have done lots of working on clear thinking and being competent, it is something that really matters to me and that I am good at, and I am under people who are not superior to me cognitively. It is just a pain to know what is going on and watch my “superiors” flounder around. I really want to leave.

Thanks for listening to me bitch.

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j: thinking

I just wanted to jot down a note about how I think and some problems that I had the other day.

N and I were in the basement of the house that I will be moving in to and we were trying to wire up some light bulbs.

We got a book on how to wire three way switches and it was set up in a way that was extremely difficult for me to work with. It just said hook the red wire to the black wire and the black wire to the switch and then hood the red wire to the white wire, and on and on like that. It said nothing about how the wiring worked or why we were doing what we were doing and I could not get a concept of how the different components worked or how they worked together, and I was nearly completely unable to do anything.

N just plunged right in and he didn’t know what he was doing either, but he just hooked like wires to like wires, and didn’t care that he didn’t understand. In the end he blew two fuses before it worked kinda right and it still isn’t completely right. I slept on it last night and I had a dream about it and I think that I understand how it works now and I think that I could wire it if I needed to.

The last time that I came up against this concept was in relation to religion where I saw people following rules that they had no reason for following other than this was how they had been told that things are done. I really didn’t like that kind of mindlessness and I am wondering if my dislike of it there could be affecting me here.

It falls into my category of an intuitive/sensing distinction and also what Pirsig talks about with technology, but I’m gonna go to bed rather than go into that now.

Night.

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zen story

I have been spending my copious working spare time surfing the web, and I came across a site that has bunches of zen stories, the url for which is:

http://www1.rider.edu/~suler/zenstory/zenframe.html

but that is secondary, what I wanted to share is a story that I have heard a couple of times before, and I have always liked it.

The Nature of Things

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s nature is to sting?”

“Because,” the monk replied, “to save it is my nature.”

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letter to J

I have a bit of a problem. I got a letter from J a couple of days ago that I really think I need to respond to, but I don’t know what to write.

Here’s the letter:

hey sweets. I was just wondering if you even existed anymore. Are you okay? I haven’t heard from you in so long. You’ll have to write to this address, please let me know if you live. 🙂 (())

J

What the hell am I supposed to write? I was talking to my mom about this and she said that I should send this message:

yes

and that’s all. =) My mom isn’t particularly fond of J. Mainly because we go running at the dam at least four times a week and after we go up we often walk back down and we talk about stuff, so she’s got to hear lots of my stories about how going out with J frustrated me.

I don’t want to do that though. Actually this message from her was really nice; I was looking back through my messages I haven’t been able to find another one that had that simplicity. I was expecting (and half hoping) that when she sent me a message it would have more accusations in it and it would be defensive. That would be alot easier to deal with; I could just say that I was tired of her acting like this and I thought that she should just make a new go of everything out in California.

But with this it is harder to say those things, maybe she has changed. I think that people should be responsible for their actions, but once they have changed I strongly believe in forgiveness.

Really I guess the essential question is where do we go from here. I am not interested in continuing a relationship with her, California or not. But I don’t want to hurt her. I really don’t think that she was really aware of what she was doing. What can I say to her to explain my decision? She cannot she how defensive she was; my points would make no more sense to her than telling a blind person about the sunset.

I just really don’t know what to say. I could go into what I thought about how our relationship went, but I don’t know if that would do any good. Really, it’s been almost three months, and I’ve done alot of talking and I just want to be done with this. I don’t know what to do in relation to J, I never really understood what she wanted in the first place, and I don’t know how to relate to her now. I just want this to be over.

But, I won’t start whining, as attractive as that option is. =)

Anyone have any suggestions?

-Will

P.S. One other thing, I have a very non-touchy family, so I’ve not been getting my RDA of physicality, so (()). Thanks. =)

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