December 28, 2012

Drifting, or not

Scientific American 297, 26 - 29 (2007) 

Finally, I'm beginning to understand this drifting thing of mine, being a drifter. Nothing in life is permanent. We're mortal. Simple.

So what is a life spent on being stable, secure, living in one place and accumulating bunches of stuff. For what end? This is the closest I've ever come to not wanting to move on, to not looking over the hill to what is there or even not there. I have art on the walls here that I enjoy, furniture that is comfortable, and a past. That past is what is the most enticing of all. The security and simple comfortability of knowing what was and thinking what is. The thing is it is not real. It is not real at all.

Of course I have no idea what is real, but I do know and understand with all my being that there is no permanence. Nothing in life is permanent no matter how badly we might what it to be so. Nothing is thicker than water. Being is illusive.

As much as I feel a semblance of truth in my thinking lately it has nothing to do with any god, but more the nature of our impermanence and the illusion of our existence. I've heard these thoughts often enough before in reading and thinking about Buddhism, but now more than an inkling of all this is beginning to creep into my mind with glimpses here and there of what might only be real reality. Perhaps not. I mean, real reality? Really?

I've been getting terribly angry in public a lot lately. Not at home. Not when alone. The other day, actually Christmas Eve, I went to Walmart to cash my paycheck and decided to risk the crowd to buy a few things. Silly me. After standing in line for around 10 minutes and finally getting next to my turn at the self-checkout, a couple pulled in front of me from the side. I said excuse me but there is a whole line of people who have been waiting here, but I was completely ignored and off I went calling the woman a bitch and there was no stopping me after that.

The point is I could give you a couple of other scenarios like this where I have lost control. And so I think what happens with a more delicate mind when they have lost patience with the world. I often wonder how and why more of us aren't losing control, or maybe I just don't see it. Maybe more people are losing control at home with their spouses and children or with themselves. Maybe not. Maybe I am just an oddball with no patience or just an old lady who can no longer contend with the general madness of everyday life. I'm not sure.

Anyway, I am sure that what I've always thought is is not. I can not handle the grandstanding of our congress or our purported caring about the atrocities in this country. I cannot talk about it without losing control. I lose my temper or I cry. I can no longer deal with how things are and so I've somehow been given the gift of seeing beyond it all. To the greater pale.

I know. How grandiose and full of hubris I might sound. Perhaps how schizophrenic I may sound. But it is all I have. To think there is something much more than this simple sad life of people killing each other and stealing from each other in the name of greed. I must believe there is something more and so I have begun to see that yes, there is more. But it is not in this tragic everydayness.

But rather in a something that takes me beyond it all and offers me glimpses of how irrelevant this human life really is.

And once again here's one of my very most favorites, Peggy Lee and "Is That All There Is?"

 
Well, then let's keep dancing! What the hay I say!

81 comments:

  1. I guess we have rules for polite behaviour to keep our society together and functioning. Fortunately most people observe them, and so it is not all out war. I don't like to think about such matters as our impermanence. It can only lead to thoughts such as 'What is the point?'.

    Love the art work in your side panel. Just fantastic and also one of my favourite songs too.

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    1. And if only people would keep following the rules...
      Au contraire my special friend, impermanence gives us all the more reason to live life to the fullest because the idea lends a sort of moral imperative to be our best while we are.
      Nothing like Peggy Lee is there?

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  2. I feel a lot of the things you feel. I have no answers, just a small bit of hope that tomorrow might be a little better, no matter how unlikely that might be.

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    1. Thanks for the validation Laoch.
      For me it helps to know, feel, think how very little in the scheme of things we really are. I do not think tomorrow will be any better for humankind but what I've been feeling is that it does not really matter.

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  3. Rubye, maybe it isn't so complicated. If we could only say --and I say we because it's happened to me too-- to those who rudely cut in line, "You know, if you're in a hurry I would've let you go ahead if you'd been polite enough to ask", according to a favorite Emerson line: "Treat a [wo]man as [s]he is and [s]he will remain as [s]he is; treat him[her] as [s]he could be and [s]he will become what [s]he should be." They will be embarrassed and defensive, but someday they will be grateful and extend courtesy to others. At least, I hope some of them will --and that's really the principle of it: somebody reaches out, somebody learns. You can't see the good that eventually results, but you can reach out. One can be at peace with the effort.

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    1. If only my fight or flight brain could remember this in times of stress. Thanks Geo.

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  4. I always think of my mother when I hear Peggy, she always sang along. The holidays are stressful for many of us, even when we think they are not.Sometimes the release of tensions is good, but I tend to feel guilt often.I could move at the drop of a hat,and just bought all new furniture,having donating my old to a single mom in need.I hope your new year brightens.

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    1. That's so cool that you donated your furniture to someone in need.
      Actually, my new year is already brightened and I feel okay with things as they are.
      Peace and happiness to you.

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  5. This knowing with all one's being that everything is impermanent - isn't that enlightenment? We all "know" it, but that solar plexus-level knowing. We don't all have that.

    And, you knowing this completely, no doubt the veneer has worn thin. Maybe it's like civility during childbirth - there are things more important than smiling.

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    1. Did I say that? Whoa Nelly. Ha.
      I really don't know j sh** but when it comes to impermanence I do think we are all about nothing. Still, enlightenment continues to be illusive or I wouldn't be here writing about my doubts and insecurities. Ego continues to reign in this mind I'm afraid.

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  6. Hey Friend,

    That's some deep stuff and beautifully written. I am a patient easygoing person, but I've stunned myself a couple of times lately with anger at inconsiderate people. I try to stay out of those situations, but it's not always possible.

    That picture from Sci. Am is gorgeous and beautifully illustrates your thoughts.

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    1. Thanks Jen!
      Yeah, I've a self-imposed ban on Walmart for awhile. :)
      The Sci am picture is a string theory one but I forgot to add that.

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  7. You touched on many points and I'll respond on your statement that nothing is permanent. As my years have gone on, I realize how true this is.

    I was raised on my Grandparents farm until I was school age and my memories of them and their lifestyle is somewhat vivid yet today. My Grandfather had an innate knowledge for survival in the pioneering spirit.
    He mastered agronomy, animal husbandry, carpentry, blacksmithing, horticulture.....name it, they were self-sufficient. My Grandparents and that farm were always the most real, permanent things in my life. I grew up, moved away, they got older, died and the farm was sold. Many years later when I was in the area, I felt the urge to drive out to the farm. What a shock. Everything was gone and I mean everything. Not a building, not a road, not even a tree. The whole area had been put into crops. It was even hard to find the exact spot where the farm had been. All that remained of them ever having once lived on this earth were 2 granite headstones in the cemetery. At that moment I realized the impermanence of life.

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    1. Yes, everything is in flux and finding our old homes changed is not real reassuring. However, I think over the long run there is a sort of freedom in being able to understand this impermanence. Do you Manzie?

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  8. I'm not an old lady, yet, but I can't handle it either. I have no idea why not more people are losing control. most days I think it's just a matter of time until something big is going to happen. what - I don't know. but I don't believe our current lifestyle is healthy, maintainable or sustainable. most days I feel like an old & moody cynic, like I should move to some cave and live like a hermit. but I like life too much to just step aside. in the meantime I hope for a miracle, I believe in humans, but I expect more violence, rage, craziness and loss of control before we move a step further...

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    1. I agree with you Petra but I think there will be a few more years of escalating craziness before anything radical happens. Maybe nothing radical will occur and the majority of us will simply be reduced to an underground criminal serf mentality of survival with a few elite in control. Actually, that would be a bit radical wouldn't it? :)

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  9. Wal-mart brings the worst out in everybody, I'm afraid. Especially when the line-ups are long and people are exhausted. That being said, Wal-mart has had nothing to do with some of the hissy fits I've been having lately. The older I get the less I am able to put up with stupidity and selfishness, especially in my circle of friends and family. Just yesterday it was all I could do not to blow up at a friend and co-worker who said she never goes to funerals because she doesn't like them, and she never goes to visit terminally ill people because she "wants to remember them as they were." I guess everybody's entitled to how they run their lives, but I was bowled over by the selfishness of her words and even said to her, "Don't you think that's extremely selfish? Don't you think a very ill person might appreciate a visit?" Two weeks ago I spent an afternoon with my husband's aunt. It was her last afternoon on earth as cancer took her. She wasn't able to talk, but she had tears in her eyes as we spoke to her and held her hand. She had said earlier that she was afraid of death and I know she was happy not to make the journey by herself.

    Anyway, sorry for being sidetracked away from your point, but I just can't deal with shit anymore. I definitely have the flight or fight syndrome and sometimes I just can't hold back my anger or tears.

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    1. Yeah, I know and I think Walmart needs to start taking some social responsibility for what goes on in their store with their frustrated customers. Maybe all that is going on around us is putting us all on the edge. I mean how could you not react in some way?
      It is good that you took a stand with the woman who finds it acceptable to let go of friends when they need her the most. Maybe the answer is in more of us taking stands against things that are wrong and letting people know they are behaving unacceptably or selfishly. Anger is not the answer but taking a stand may be part of it. And we need to remember to breathe. :)Take care of yourself Cathy.

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  10. We are on the same page...I think of it as not having one social grace left and not caring enough to think about it too much. In the last year or so I have come to think nothing is as it seems...nothing. The funny thing is I am ok with that...much easier this way...

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    1. Nicely said. Social graces? It's hard to behave correctly when the world around you has gone mad. It sounds like you've been through a lot of tough changes Cheryl and pain makes us see things as they really are. Thinking of you.

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  11. Well, I'm with you. The idea that we are nothing but charged molecules here in this vast universe is incredibly comforting to me. That none of it matters, not really, in the entire scheme of things. In the incredible weight of the ancient years behind us, the unknown uncountable before us.

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    1. Yes indeed. It helps to not have to try and make reason of it all when nothing is as it seems. Or as we were taught it should seem.

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  12. We have been going through what seems to be a very violent time and the least of that violence are those who break the rules the rest of us use to maintain order. I think what you did by becoming angry is what we all feel when some simply cannot understand that there is a reason we wait in line, why we don't brawl to get our way. Maybe if more of us did get angry and speak our mind, more people would see the price they pay for crowding wasn't worth it. It's about more than one line in a store and where it leads is somewhere I don't think any of us would want to go but some are too ignorant of the true price of chaos.

    We watched the stars last night, the patterns, found the ones we knew, saw the moon come up. It is very calming.

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    1. Yes, the sky, moon and stars are incredibly calming to me also and they help give perspective to things.
      I don't want more people to get angry but I do wish more of us would take a stand as you say here and let others know they need to follow the rules also so that we can all get along. Structure lends itself to peace and chaos only wreaks destruction in the long run.

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  13. I don't really "do" Christmas so I avoided crowded stores and places during the holiday. I did buy myself some nice things on line, though. There are plenty of rude people in the world, but I found myself thinking about "Les Miserables" when I read your post, and how the kindness of one man changed the course of another's entire life. If you love musicals, you might love this beautifully performed movie. It lifted me up.

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    1. I don't "do" Christmas either and usually have the sense to stay away from the stores. I guess I just was not thinking that day. I've seen "Les Miserables" a couple of times in older shows and it really is an extremely moving play/movie. I should watch it again I think.

      Also, I've decided to pay more money and shop only at the organic grocery where it's not crowded and people are still kind. :) Thanks DJan.

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  14. I can't change the injustice of the world, especially by anger; I can only focus on my own space, where anger seldom is necessary. There I am able to affect whatever angers me.

    i wonder how many people move on, then come back. I raised my children in a different part of the state. I moved "home" in later years, they didn't. "Home" is where they grew up. Makes sense. Makes travelling to visit necessary, too.

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    1. Anger is no answer and I agree that it is easier to simply stay away from the madding crowds. Still, as the world becomes more crowded it'll be harder to stay in our own safe worlds.

      It seems a lot of people from this area have moved away after college and then most have come back. I think we find solace in the places we knew as children. Thanks Joanne.

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  15. Ruby, I don't blame you for getting mad. If no one ever calls people like that on being dicks then they'll keep on being that way. Those are the same people who have 24 items in the 12 or less line and think rules don't apply to them. A pox upon them all I say.

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    1. Thanks! The thing I need to remember is to not lose my temper while pointing out they just totally bogarted their way in.
      Yes, a pox upon them all!

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  16. I understand this feeling, and I know that many people at our age feel this way. I don't remember my elders being this way, but then, I was not paying much attention to anyone else's feelings.
    You opened up a whole new conversation here!

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    1. Hi Rosaria, I've missed you.
      I do think it has a lot to do with being older and not being heard, and feeling powerless because of this.

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  17. Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
    Benjamin: Yes, sir.
    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
    Benjamin: Yes, I am.
    Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

    I think many of us on this set of posts and replies are, or have been in their lives, floating in the pool like Ben, enduring the unrequested forces trying to foist some made up (as in plastics) shit on us, to give us this goal, their goal, goals that don't always complete anyone. Things that matter seem to get upside down. Mr. McGuires plastics have too much permanence. Some things pass, some endure, but Siddhartha keeps asking, is that all there is?
    Rubye, your writing is very pleasing to read. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks YF.
      The Graduate right? That was a funny scene indeed.
      What can we do but keep dancing. Happy New Year to you also!

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  18. Life plays with our expectations...because we shouldn't have any...which is hard. I have not one answer, but I often enjoy the questions. ~Mary

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    1. Indeed it does Mary.
      Even if we could know the answers I think there are no words adequate to explain them.

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  19. as I like to tell people, you can fight the current or go with the flow but you are going downstream regardless. there is no permanence, least of all for these frail human bodies. this is a great post. what is the point, one might think, if it is all impermanent. the point is to live and love and get the most out of each moment as it is here now. be here now. tomorrow will be different and may not even come.

    other things...having less patience for selfishness and speaking up about it is something I think we all arrive at as we get older. someone needs to speak out.

    I try not to have expectations, only to accept what is. that doesn't mean I don't try to change the things I wish were better but it also means I am rarely disappointed in life.

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    1. Thanks Ellen. You say it well.
      It's hard for me not to have expectations over the little things -- like standing in line and seeing myself out of there in 5 minutes. But often life doesn't agree with me. Ah well...

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  20. Nothing wrong with drifting, and, of course, everything's impermanent — drifting, staying put, or otherwise, But chill, Rubye. (Though, my God, I find it hard to do that myself!)

    Peace and love to you for the New Year.

    SW (Robert)


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    1. You make me smile Robert. My mind seems to be incapable of chilling but that may be because I enjoy how it thinks. Now as far as the anger goes I am certainly working on chilling with that.

      May your new year also be peaceful and beautiful and full of love.
      Linda

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  21. Peace and tranquility to you in the new year...

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    1. And I hope your year is full of peace and love! Happy New Year Ken!

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  22. As we age our tolerance for ignorance and stupidity decreases...and we have earned the right to voice it. And those that don't like it - fuck um.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Thanks Buzz!
      Yeah, that's what I told the 20 somethings who pulled in front of me and they just laughed and I imagine feel happy that they "got over". I think this is what they were taught -- "get yours and get out". Oh well, if this is the worse thing I have to deal with then I am fine.

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  23. First, let me thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting...it meant a lot.
    I have spent the past few days thinking about your post and how to respond. It resonated with me in so very many ways. And I realize that there's really nothing more I can say that hasn't already been said...just, thank you...beautiful post. So much truth. I hope that I can stop fighting the impermanence and, in doing so, embrace life more fully. I also hope that I can learn to control my own anger...everything is pissing me off lately:-) If you find the answers, let me knows!

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    1. Thank you Teri. Actually, I think it's the questions that are important.

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  24. I should also add that, when I read the story about your experience in the grocery line, it somehow made me think of the events in Newtown, CT and how everyone keeps saying, "How can this happen?" I wonder...are we now a society in which everyone is so self-centered that they don't even SEE what or who is around them but, instead, are purely focused on their own, personal world? Is your grocery experience just another, albeit less violent, symptom of the egocentricity of our society and, as such, an answer to the question, "How can this happen?" If so, then a better question might be, "Why doesn't it happen more often?" and...of course..."How can we stop it?" I'm glad you spoke up...we all should.
    Best New Year's wishes to you and yours!

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    1. For some reason I tend to bury my most important points in the middle of a bunch of trite, but you picked up on it regardless. That point was if myself and others are becoming more sensitive to wrongdoing around us, then how does that delicate mind, the one who cannot cope and strikes out violently, handle it? By striking out violently. I don't think we can stop it and I think it will happen more often.

      On that happy note, please have a very happy and peaceful new year!

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  25. RJ... If you had written this post a month ago and I had read, I would probably have shaken my head and wondered why would you think such. Unfortunately, the world turns... a person I love experienced a health event that brought his mortality clearly into focus... one young man does the unspeakable... our government leads us to the brink of financial disaster and so today, I am left to agree with you... there is no permanence in life. Whether we live high or low, rich or poor, in good or ill health, surrounded by family or alone... reality is subjective. As for you going off on the young folks... ummm. My mama would have said that folks just don't have any raisin' these days. She would be more than right! For some reason society and evidently parents have condoned and encouraged the "I'll get mine at any cost mentality." Sometimes injustice just has to be pointed out... either with honey or vinegar. I always enjoy reading your thoughts. Sending you good wishes for inner peace, strong health, tolerable people, and a measure of contentment in 2013.

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    1. Hi Susan, It's so interesting how our views are changed by our experiences. I think selfishness has been promoted by our insatiable craving for money and things, kind of like to the extent that money is the root of all evil. And we are now paying the price.
      I hope you find all you need in this coming year and best wishes for peace to you and you yours.

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  26. It’s wonderful that you spoke up about the people pushing their way to the front of the queue. As for loss of control… that might be relative. My worst adult tantrum [and there have been many] lasted 3 hours. Prescription drugs help – the tantrums are less frequent and much shorter, though they are still extreme. Years on, the shame has not diminished. – I can only talk about it here because I am reasonably anonymous.
    Someone very kind once told me no-one can dish out worse punishment than that we dish out to ourselves. I’m learning to forgive myself past eruptions on the proviso that I develop more strategies for self-control in the future. But forgiving oneself and losing a sense of shame are different things entirely.

    My battles with expectations occur on two fronts; expectations of others, and expectations of myself.

    There are several store chains here where the queues are much worse during what I call “housewife” hours, and the hours men do their shopping. I refuse to enter them on principle, and there is one chain I am proud to say I have not visited for 30 years. Nothing excuses bad behaviour from other shoppers, but what ticks me off most in such situations is that cashiers reward it by serving people out of turn.

    With respect to the awful massacres that happen Stateside, one reasonable comment I have seen is that when people go on a rampage the extent of the damage is determined by ease of access to hi-tech weapons. Which is not to say it hasn’t happened in Australia [and I wonder if it is not just as bad in per capita terms].

    There was a time, as a teen, when I fantasised about going on such a rampage [is the crime lessened in that I was imagining adults as targets?] There have been times since when I have felt an overwhelming sense of murderous rage. When this has happened it has been quite terrifying for me, not just because I do have a conscience, but because there seem to have been no incidents or precipitating factors that can explain it. I can only guess it relates to some kind of mood cycle.

    For me in general, though, the key to anger and frustration has been invisibility. That’s what commonly pushes my own buttons. [A well respected journalist here once wrote about her adult son’s battle with schizophrenia. The book title was “please tell me I’m here”. His meaning came from a different place, but it resonates.]

    My own sense of invisibility is exacerbated when it coincides with the pushing of another button; a threat of failure that will lead to punishment in the form of even more invisibility. As if I have been “set up to fail”. But perhaps that’s too big a story for here.

    With much practice, I can now be assertive in some situations and be confident that it is far more effective than going off my nut. In many situations I am eternally patient and forgiving. Depends how invisibled and threatened I feel. I agree with Geo. that people often live up to [or down to] the expectations we have of them.

    Of course violence isn’t the answer but, as Doc Teri suggests, maybe finding solutions comes after we understand the reasons for violence rather than before?

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  27. Part Two
    Cathy raises an interesting point too, about selfishness and dying. There have been many times I’ve gone out of my way to visit people, only to find myself unable to do more than stand outside a building. Some people might not like to die alone, but some do. Each person is different. No doubt my inability to cope or control my emotions is selfish, but I wonder how such despair can offer solace to someone dying? Nor do I do funerals, but is that equally selfish to others? In some cases I feel it would be gross hypocrisy to go to a funeral for someone I might be able to forgive but could never have hoped to respect. I admire people who work in health, because they must treat people without first judging them. They are also, somehow, able to cope with the grief of perfect strangers [which is not to suggest health workers do not grieve themselves].

    We are all born with a personality but become ourselves only as a result of our stories. Nobody knows anyone else’s story – gosh there are many of us who struggle to even know our own.

    At the risk of sounding like a “me too” trendy, depression is selfish but for me that very selfishness is just another source of shame when I am depressed. One psychologist has suggested that when people suicide they confuse a desire to end their pain with a desire to end their corporeal life. Looking from the inside out this is just another pronouncement that misses the point. What if the only way to end the pain we believe we inflict on others is to end our corporeal life? If we misjudge our value to others, at least it shows we care about our impact on others.

    Which comes back to the question of the meaning of life. The worth or value of life. No reality is permanent, and we are all finite in the sense that we exist as people. Objectively, if our lives are to have any meaning we must be true to ourselves and must therefore take a stand occasionally including, for example, believing that avoiding ill people is selfish. To be true to ourselves we must first know who we are. To be ourselves we must first have boundaries. To have boundaries or to improve them we must first trust ourselves to make moral judgments, and to trust we have some worth which can only exist in relation to others. Where does one buy trust? It’s all rather circular.

    I never asked to be here at all let alone temporarily. Two or three days out of seven, on average, just waking up in the morning is an enormous disappointment. But if I must be here, all that I hope for is that people be themselves, feel free to agree or disagree with me, to like or not like me, but please don’t invisible me.
    I just might live up to your expectations of me.

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    1. Hey FC, personally, I avoid people period. That's probably part of why I can easily lose control in crowds when others are being mean. I'm not one to visit people I don't know well anyway, sick or not and I've only been to two funerals in my life--my husband's and my mother's. The first made me decide to never go to a funeral again. I just don't "get" them and how people act at them. It does help a lot of people though so if I have someone close to me in the future who dies, I will go to their funeral as a sign of solidarity for their family.

      As we get older we do become invisible unless we have certain connections or money, and so we have to stand firm in order to remain a part of what we believe in. The rest be damned.

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  28. Hi Rubeye, I hope you have recovered from your Walmart rant now? I know what you mean about losing control, I feel permanently out of control. I do lose my temper with my husband and daughter and then feel awfully guilty afterwards. I tend to be rather kinder towards strangers, but not always. My new year's resolution is to be kinder to everyone, as I feel the world is in desperate need of random acts of kindness.
    We shall see how long I can keepit up for!
    I hope that you enjoyed Christmas in your new home, and I hope that 2013 is a year of enlightenment, peace and joy for you.
    I like your thought that this non-permanent fleeting world is a good thing. I think so too. It helps you to focus on what is important and real.
    Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog, I love it when you stop by. Much love to you, Linda x

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    1. Nicely recovered, thank you. :) I am now shopping only at the organic store in order to avoid the mean spirited at Walmart. The extra money is what I pay for peace of mind. I hope to be kinder in the new year also and think that by being kind to myself it will help in being kinder to others.
      Happy New Year and peace to you Linda.

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  29. Rubye, you're not alone in your thinking or in your anger and frustration. I have to really work hard on not blowing my top in public. It wasn't always this way. I know that fear is at the center of it all. Fear of being stepped on or worse, ignored. That somehow you don't matter. Anyway, I enjoyed your post. It's always nice to know that you're not the only one who feels this way.
    Happy New Year! LOL!

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    1. You are so right Leah. It is definitely fear causing the anger.
      And a happy new year with lots of peace in it to you also.

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  30. You keep dancing, I'll keep drawing, and we'll both stay out of Walmart... and all will be well :)
    I wish you a happy, peaceful New Year.
    xo

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    1. Such a deal Lizzie! You've got it.
      And I hope the best of the very best comes you this year.

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  31. i've often wondered how this world of ours holds together as well as it does, considering all the rampant bottled up emotion and the lack of a sense of safety in expressing ourselves without fear of rejection or retribution or just understanding. i sympathize with your check out incident at walmart's - i had a similar situation at sam's earlier last year where someone yelled at me for unwittingly taking their spot in line and for once i had the grace to let her go ahead of me. the favorable reaction from people around me in other lines was what was most remarkable. i wish i had that kind of grace regularly, but more often than not i would find myself generally barking at the person, and once again witnessing the igniting of a seemingly ceaseless cycle of anger.

    i appreciate your take on life. we are living in an illusion, we are illusion. but we manage to wake up every day and believe the opposite. what a laugh those who are enlightened must have witnessing us creatures.

    wishing you all the blessings the new year has to offer, and a bit of drifting thrown in for good measure, my friend.

    with love,

    amanda
    xoxo

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  32. I don't even notice when people cut in line. I figure their needs are greater than mine. Do I get a prize of some sort for that?
    But I sympathize. It's always the little stuff that is hard to bear.

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  33. Rubye -- what a cross section of comments to your post. Your post brought out many points that are happening in our culture -- violence, negativism, ageism, etc. I believe it would take several studies, books and conferences to discuss all of these areas. For me, the way I deal with it all is walking meditation -- took me years to get to this point -- but now what is, is. No matter the point.

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  34. There are some places I avoid too, for the selfishness and the greed, and the products not being worth the trouble. My daughter shops everywhere and is brilliant at telling people not to push in, it is a jolly thing to behold: shabby people wilting!
    Being impermanent and transient and tiny I find very relaxing, somehow, maybe because achieving and acquiring is pointless, so I needn't worry about it? One can concentrate on the things that inspire, after some minor practicalities like paying rent...

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  35. HI, Rubye! I've been drifting a lot lately, too. Cannot get focused on much. Sat down to write you a note, and, well, I got started. And that's all. Anyhow, I'm in drift mode a lot of the time.

    It's nice to be enclosed by four walls, and to be able to ignore pretty much everything else. Except to go shopping, at an hour when most people won't be there. To take one's time and wanter the aisles. half-thinkig. And then chat up the clerk while she is running through my stuff.

    Past 2;00 a.m.; time for bed. Actually, it's been a bit warmer, so I stuck out my snout to see what's happening. Still winter; back to hibernating. And no New Year's resolutions. Such a waste of time.

    Blessings and Bear hugs for 2013..

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  36. Losing control sounds familiar. Sometimes I feel like getting out of my car and bashing someone on the head because their driving is so reckless. I find days when I don't know how to react. When I'm at home I try to leave the world outside. Sounds selfish I know but it stops me from going nuts.

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  37. Drifting can be the beginning of creativity, but I have learned not to lose myself in the process. Getting angry at people was a form of losing myself. I was a considerate person most of the time, forced to feel inconsiderate of others when they acted without conscience. That wasn't creativity of my being, it was destruction of my being.

    There is a saying (not sure by whom) but it goes something like: what you do to others, you only do to yourself. So now as I'm drifting from one reality to the next, and someone acts without conscience, I try to remember to remove myself from the equation. Their actions are about them, not about me. That way I am free to continue with the creativity of my own design - not simply reacting to what is forced upon me by others.

    I also try to remember that large shopping complexes aren't the natural habitat of humans. So I try to avoid those places as much as possible. When I cannot avoid them, I remember the nature of the place and take my body there, but my spirit is inevitably somewhere else. Somewhere higher, without being haughty or self-important.

    As for what it all means (reality) or not, I think that picture is still being made and so it's not recogniseable to anyone. All we can understand is who WE are playing in the background of the bigger picture. I used to believe that wasn't possible. I used to believe situations are what made me. Now I recognise, I was always myself in those situations, so I decided to get to know that person better.

    Drifting (to me) is a way of finding one's self. I think if we drift merely to get away from something we don't like though, we end up going nowhere different. And that's no matter how many times we change address, or our personal beliefs. Inside each and every individual, is a unique design meant to contribute to the creativity of life. To unlock the meaning of life therefore, we must first unlock ourselves.

    Anger is a block, which I know from personal experience. It only leads to more tension of self.

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  38. Dear Rubey Jack, I've been away from reading blogs for the past six weeks and so missed this posting, which has made me stop and consider not only impermanence but also what is truly important for growth in the human spirit.

    I've believed since the convent days that all of us are unfaceted diamonds and that we need to seek ways to become wholly faceted during this lifetime or in many others. And so I've tried to seek out opportunities for growth in Oneness.

    That is, Rubey, that I believe all of us are One. We are part of the Holy Oneness of All Creation. And when one of us suffers, we all suffer. And when one of us rejoices, we all rejoice. As Donne said so many centuries ago, "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

    Like you, I can feel myself becoming frustrated by the hard-heartedness and lack of tolerance and respect and by the mean-spiritedness that I see growing in our world. All of this draws me into itself and so I, too, because hard and mean and intolerant.

    But if I am to extricate myself from those traits then I must begin with the good word, the good act, the good motive. That is, those things which bring contentment and growth to humankind. Then Oneness builds, expands instead of contracts.

    As DJan said, "Les Miserables" put into perspective for me the whole belief that one act of kindness can travel through the world and do good. And I think that's all we can ask of ourselves. We need "to pay forward" the gift of life we have been given.

    But I think you do even more. You ask the hard questions of and for us. You follow Dylan Thomas's injunction to "rage, rage against the dying of the light" of the night that seems to be encompassing us. You ask us to truly observe what is happening around us and to then become passionate about possibility. And I thank you for that. Peace.

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  39. Rubye Jack; as i have grown older i have come to realize how unimportant i am. I am not eternal - and in the scheme of the universi i don't matter. Fifty years after my death (and probably earlier) no one will know that i ever existed.

    We occupy a place on this planet for a short time, and there is no reason or design. But: for the short time we have we should not waste a moment.

    Politics doesn't matter, disagreeable people don't matter, opinions don't matter.

    Unless you are to waste the time remaining you must come to understand that: JUST THIS IS ENOUGH.

    Enjoy poetry, enjoy art - for this is the best of humans nature.

    Please, have your library order 'Buddhism Plain and Simple' by Steve Hagein - and read it. It can set you on a path to solace.

    Meditate

    Two Buddhist prayers: Start the beginning and end your day like this.

    Morning Verse:
    This morning as I wake
    I vow with all beings
    to see each thing as it is
    and not to forsake the world

    End of Day Verse:
    This evening as I sleep
    I vow with all beings
    to still all things
    and to put an end to confusion.

    Namaste
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  40. Rubye, where you been drifting lately? I suggest when the wind and water are warm again, you find some ankle deep water moving fast over pebble and sand, lie down in it and feel the push of the mountain and the pull of the gulf, wriggle a little and let it glide you a short way as easy as it moves the mountains reared up from sea bottoms back to the sea. That's drifting.

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  41. Wow. Well written and clearly stated. I enjoy how real you are in your writing.

    I like to deal with rude people by simply ignoring them. I found the perfect way to keep cheerful is to have my ipod connected to my ears enjoying music. Waiting is usually a breeze and if anyone cuts in, no worries, I'll just enjoy another song or two. Sometimes just slowing down, not being in a hurry keeps me sane and present.

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  42. Hey Girl...I miss you and your writing...

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  43. Hey You! Where are you ... I miss you ... please let us know ...

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  44. Thank you Teresa!
    Your comment makes me feel good.
    I remain safe and fairly sound. I've been working a lot and it leaves me with little energy for much else. However, come fall, I am moving to either Portland, Oregon or Seattle. Fresh salmon, legal mj, and other women who let their hair grow grey.
    On the serious side, decent medical care.
    Thanks again for caring.

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  45. Oh, RJ, that sounds like a wonderful new adventure, just up the road and all very good reasons! I'm happy for you! I do care and hope you'll stay in touch however or whenever it works for you...

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  46. Wow, what an intelligent and interesting post matched by equally wonderful comments.

    I am sure there is more. All of it is about love in one way or another. And if it isn't about love that is when the irrelevant and impermanent push to take over

    I hope I do my life proud. I hope I love at every chance

    Love
    kj

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  47. Speaking of love, I always find it in the comments. At least in the majority of them.
    It gives meaning to posting -- that feeling of being heard in the noise.

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  48. Where are you, my darling girl ?? I miss your face.

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  49. Ah Annie, you are kind!
    Just working too mucn.

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  50. Are you OK, thought you were living somewhere near Moore Oklahoma. Hope you and your friends are OK.

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  51. Thanks for thinking of me YF. Yes, Norman is adjacent to Moore. It was very scary watching the tornado move through and extremely sad realizing so many people were in its path. We have storm chasers here who film and the local channels stream it live.

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  52. Ruby - The now is all there is...our now. We can't control what others do or think or how they act. Being here - being now is all we have...and then it's gone. Enjoy the moment. Do no harm. Love yourself. There are people who care.

    Glad you missed the storm. Please post anew.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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