Aristomenes X

Seize the initiative and claim yourself. Be determined to grow and thrive. Choose to choose no matter what, and embrace all meaning vibrantly alive. To create, to redeem, to be free as was meant.

Category: Personal

Realism, Idealism and the Meaning of Life

Idealism and realism are opposing views. Their more extreme versions are irreconcilable because they are intended to be. Each is defined by the denial of the other. The extremes of idealism, transcendentalism (in the mystical sense) deny the tangible, and pragmatism, realism or objectivism in its extreme expression denies the existence of spirit and mind as anything but a side effect of random- and hence meaningless- materialization.

Extreme as these views are, they each have a certain merit, but only when mitigated by the other view. This is a paradox because we can make sense of it when we look beyond the obvious- or toward it depending on one’s perspective. The views are interdependent and each can balance the extremes of the other, when they are taken as two sides of the same coin.

I want to, therefore, suggest looking at the merit or attraction of the two views. Why are we drawn to one over the other? Can there be a happy medium between them, or are we limited to flipping the coin back and forth to access only one side at a time?

Let me approach this by my own example. For years I had been an advocate of pure spirituality, and the more I practiced the more spiritual and focused on mind and consciousness I became. That was not, however, how I saw and felt things as a child. I remember that the world mattered, and that my thoughts and feelings mattered, and that the two were cohabiting, with the lines between them being ever more blurred the further back my memories went.

Conventional wisdom might say the blur was a product of my immature psychology. Memory, or the feel of it at least, tells me that this was a healthy state. It made sense, and was free of conflict. Everything was embraced, and everything was experienced in a more direct manner because of that. It was only as I was growing up that polarization between “objective” and “subjective” was rather imposed by the words and actions of people around me.

Following the conditionings of childhood and the turmoil of adolescence, I found myself on a quest to heal the damage that growing up appeared to have inflicted upon me. Part of that included the quest to reconcile the idealistic, transcendent states of subjective coherence, with the worldly, sensate focus of objectively powered reality evaluation.

This journey was far more chaotic and disorganized than its initial referencing might suggest. As I approached adulthood, my concern was holding my own in social relations, be they causal, intimate or formal. The quest for truth wasn’t idealistic, but driven by a desire to use truth as a sort of tool, if not a weapon, to enhance my position in the group, as it were. Nevertheless, being more an introvert, my attitude was rather defensive.

In academics I found myself majoring in physics, even though I strongly continued to question he extremes of radical idealism and what I came to know as reductionist materialism. These are labels, since idealism can be an oversimplified bottom line of nihilism, just as materialism can be revolutionary in its meaningless assertions. My view that idealism was for those of intuitive bent, with realism/pragmatism for the more rational was also overturned over the course of time and experience.

Analytic reasoning can support either view, just as feeling based-intuition can advocate the sensual world (if one is hedonistically motivated, for example) as the abstract and transcendent divorced from it (as is the case for the disgruntled aesthete). It became apparent even further down the line that the situation was even messier. Whatever one’s motives, both reason and intuition could be used to justify them.

Even when the bottom line is the adage that the truth will set us free, what matters is not so much the truth itself, but the acquisition of freedom. If we are convinced that a certain view is the truth, it is at the very least interesting to consider that freedom may be seen to come not so much from the view itself, as from our vehement support of it. We may be passive in that support, resisting opposing views, or end up fighting for it. As we do, we can consider that our struggle is to be free from whatever oppressive or harmful influence we may feel the contrary view represents.

For some the door to freedom from whatever oppresses them in life might take the form of supporting a view because it is popular or collective accepted. For others the opposite can hold; resisting the popular view is how one can be truly liberated in life. Or maybe the collective voice gives one courage to join with it or makes one desperate to resist.

In my case, and after deliberation over several decades, I have settled in a place where I don’t feel I am coddling myself, nor beating myself up. I can grow through challenge, while maintaining a sense of integrity and self-respect through minimizing conflict.

My motive is the love of life. I am not speaking of the way things are in the world, but of the very nature of life and its broad horizons of possibility. Life is tangible. Life is free. Life is the magnetic force of desire for more, for deeper, for greater, for less, for higher. Life is beauty and love and challenge and fun, and creativity in all its aspects. Life is the fulfillment of what matters, and all that is meaningful.

To be more specific, there are few things that can be concretely said about life and the experience of being alive without falling off the mark in some way and distorting one’s own intended meaning. It may appear that scientific description of life is accurate, but subjectively poetry appears to have more authority when it comes to resonating a sense of meaning in the human breast.

Even so, the proverbial left brain has its place. Thus, to navigate the existence in which- of which- we find ourselves, as human beings we need to distinguish this from that, to identify, to speak, to formulate, and to analyze. It doesn’t mean we proceed with stuffy academic or theoretical complexity either.

Life is the big picture and all the little ones as well. What may lie beyond the furthest horizon need not negate what is in from of our noses. More importantly, what we feel as meaningful need not be treated like so much psychic trash just because the feedback we get from the world is disappointing. As such, the child I used to be would be well justified to kick me in the shins if it realized how much I contributed to trashing its felt ideals over the years.

If that child were savvy with its intellect, it might even tell me I am making a mess of things in confusing my copping out for growing up. It might aggressively explain that a hardening against life is nowhere near the same as maturing in accordance to its reality. On the other hand, if it could that ever sagelike child-me might patiently explain that so long as my motives represent all of me, all that I was and all I will be- and nobody ever said self-knowledge was easy- I can be as intuitive as I need, as intellectual as I need, as emotional as I need and as spiritual or materialistic as I need to be without beating myself over the head for being “selfish”.

In my experience selfishness only appears to benefit the selfish, and generally harms those around them. Ditto for self-denial, because the two are also sides of the same coin of dis-integrity. All in all, truth is not easy to pin down, but we can make friends with it. Perhaps we might even be lovers. But if we are denying ourselves or accepting something that we only mistake as our-selves, then truth is nowhere near what we think we are befriending.

Let me then be so bold as to assert that these days it matters not what I believe so much as what it means and where it takes me. It matters not so much to discover or live truth than to be true and genuine, to myself, all my relations and ultimately to the existence in which and of which I am. If there is any mode of becoming that may approach a “path to fulfillment”, I believe this might be it.

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Moving Forward

It’s been awhile since the last post here, and for a reason. I wasn’t satisfied with this blog, in the sense that it did not represent me in a way that would keep me motivated to write as I have. I won’t go into any tiresome analysis about it, but it was time for a change. As many readers may have observed in their lives, sometimes the realization that it is time for a change takes a while before it is validated by real-time experience.

Sometimes the changes are not only undesired, but they can be forced upon one almost violently. In a way, it’s like being bored in my carriage ride and ending up hitting a major bump so that I practically bite my tongue off. I can see such an event as an answer to my “whining”, or I can figure that my carriage has bad suspension and requires some fixing.

The good news is that unless one encounters a particularly upsetting patch in one’s life journey, bumps are usually brief events. If one, however, realizes that some sort of adaptation to the chaotic forces is needed, the journey becomes not only smoother, but may  reveal the vehicle entering a more engaging territory.

As I was pondering about how to be more true to my muse, making a number of new years resolutions in the process, the bump hit. It’s a long story. Suffice it to say a family issue came up right on the Winter Solstice, and it wasn’t until about a week ago that things started to smooth out again.

Shit happens, and our world is in crisis enough without personal matters exacerbating things. Similarly, our lives are chaotic enough without world events making it worse. Like many of you, I just want to live in peace, to explore my being and my world, to be creative and to be free to live, love and prosper in health and meaningful expression, as I define such- respecting the life around me of course.

The fact that shit gets in the way of that irks me. These posts were expressions of a mobilizing frustration with the constant push of psychopathic and parasitic causality to program not just people, but nature Herself toward destruction. To make matters more irking, this destructive path is imposed because the depths of hell in those psychopathic souls- in all of us for that matter- are left to a great extent unaddressed. Certainly I want to live in peace, but I do not want to be oblivious to what desperately needs my attention.

In my view, we as human beings are constantly conditioned to frame our experience in ways that marginalize our capacity to effectively deal with it. We are either numbed to ignore and deny or are limited to obsessive and relentless applications of flimsy band aids with sparkly promises written over them. We are, furthermore, programmed to emulate our authoritarian matrix handlers as if they were parents, masters, or gods according to some of their dark fantasies. Thus when we do manage to see a problem we cannot avoid, we treat it like the medical establishment treats cancer: poison it, burn it or cut it out. In the end, even as we sink in the sweet fantasy of doing the best we can, the result is our self-mutilation and the sacrificing of all we hold dear.

I am actually quite optimistic as I write this. I am hopeful with a sense of possibility because so much that drags us into perdition is written upon and within us as “reality”. It is that writing on our inner wall, tantamount to dictated code to enforce obedience that prevents our truly divine natural healing potential from kicking in and getting us back to being the free and creatively loving blessings to ourselves and all around us we were “designed” to be.

If one gets physically sick, the body requires time and care to heal. But first conditions need to be met, such as healthy diet, proper hydration, adequate rest and comfort. If infected by a parasite, we need to remove the invading organism, eliminate the toxins it has released into our system, and insure the aforementioned of any proprietary conditions of physical healing are met.

My point is to identify the programming as the parasite, like a computer virus that not only infects us and replicates at every turn, but which is designed to instill the sense that we ourselves are machines. Thus, whereas the nature of the parasite may be of the sort our natural design can address, we are instead hobbled to view it mechanically so that it cannot even be understood unless we pose it in terms of a computer program or virus or other such morally neutral assemblage.

So I was looking at issues revolving around mind control and how to mitigate, counter and even reverse it. I was not content to simply spout commentaries on the human condition, and opinions regarding events as the media- alternative or otherwise- portrays them. On the other hand, this blog will still stand and the occasional post of paradoxical or straight-laced commentary will be made. It’s just that right now, my focus is more on a path that I believe is more conducive to addressing the issue of mind control and overt parasitic conditioning, the need for deep existential healing and the possibilities of empowerment beyond cliché elaborations.

In my view, esoteric themes more appropriately cover these topics when presented with lucidity and care. That is easier said than done. So no guarantees, but it is my very determined intention to present what can be realistically applied provided one puts in the energy (time, attention, life force etc.). One cannot embrace positive change in contradictory conditions of active oppression without initiative and effort. Simply taking a pill or being basked in grace has not worked and is not meant to work unless the way is paved for it via some form of effort. The majority of humanity may indeed wait for the savior, but it is a minority that will usher in the conditions favoring salvation.

We don’t have to wait for everyone or most to transform or “get it”. We don’t have to bear the weight of responsibility on our shoulders. We are instead best served, in my view, by knowing ourselves independently of “where we fit in”. Will I offer the effort, energy, time, attention- whatever? Some pay for services, knowledge etc. That can work to get the ball rolling but if buying salvation is one’s (albeit hidden) intent, through a seminar, a book, a pill or whatever, disappointment is the most likely outcome.

Yet if one acquires something as an investment and seed around which to base one’s effort, attention and energy, then  more than likely the seed will sprout and will lead to nourishing fruit that will make a difference worth the investment and effort together. From my end, I have made my own efforts and have results worth sharing. The Esothemes blog will be the medium and most of my focus. If you who read this are interested, the link is esoquest.wordpress.com. As for this venue, it is slowing down for now, but never halting activity completely. Stay tuned, you never know what might come up here and how the wheel may turn.

Musings Part IV: Meeting the Challenge

In our sojourns through the highways and byways of social media, we are bound to confront psychologically destructive intentions in the form of written, verbalized or visually depicted communication. It is a painful thing to endure, and all too tempting for those who finally get to be the bully they’ve hated- or admired- all their lives. The hurt bleeds into and infects the disposition of the victim so even they can end up abusive and directly hurtful unto self and others. The simple solution is to police beliefs.

The idea that one has no recourse but to engage in controlling what other people think and feel is probably one of the most harmful of beliefs. It is all the more dangerous because it is so easy to justify, enticing us with promises of smoothing out all those pesky problems we endure because of others.

The impact of the idea of thought control as viable in modern society is, therefore, not to be underestimated. It is no less insidious for the fact that it slips so easily into masking itself as common sense to be taken for granted by the majority of socially active human beings.

The speed and ease of information transfer these days can fool us into thinking we can act upon that information just as rapidly. I see it, furthermore, as an understatement when I say that in the age of instant this and getting things done yesterday, patience does not appear to be the virtue it once was. Information may flow at light speed, but meaning takes time to digest.

It is crucial we take that time so we can separate waste from nourishment, allotting each in their proper place. When our ability to digest is compromised, our ability to discern is handicapped. We end up just nodding to the givens presented to us as we are flooded with toxic memes. In this state we are left weakened and debilitated, mentally, emotionally, often tot eh depths of our souls as we suffer acute and chronic deprivation of empowering truth and meaning.

Nevertheless, even in a state of toxic overload, we can step back and remember that we define who we are, even as circumstances may appear to control so much of what happens around us. We may surprise ourselves at how much we can still muster the strength and determination to support that voice within that still craves something more than what we are taught is our lot. Even as we realize the demoralizing nature of agendas far and near, and that we are not in Kansas anymore where all we took for granted as normal was concerned.

Agendas can be exogenous- created outside of us. Most of “conspiracy” thinking describes something like this, but it can include any systematic bullying, harassment and abuse. They can, however, also be endogenous- created within us. They can be psychological in nature when involving our apparent sense of self, but also of a spiritual dynamic if mundane explanations don’t quite cover what is going on. As unsavory as this sounds, each of us can have our own “agenda” and be barely aware of it. It can be so even and probably especially when you, I or another are under the impression the word “awakened” describes us hands down.

I am in no way reluctant to include myself in the lot of endogenous agenda holders. I see it as par for the course; part of the challenge of knowing ourselves deeply enough to cultivate our potential to the best of our ability. In this way our best grows to be ever better, and we can even relish meeting what otherwise would have us withdraw under the jackboot of a crushing cognitive dissonance.

It’s so important to apply the golden rule to ourselves. It is important because it is nourishing. We are therefore nourished when we see and treat ourselves as we would like others to do so- masochistic dispositions notwithstanding. We are nourished when we acknowledge the progression of our growth. We are nourished when we affirm our process of accumulating wisdom with ever more grounded and impacting applications.

In this manner we can stand up to the naysaying thieves of personal truth and self-esteem that abound on the internet today. No matter how these online junkyard dogs bark and growl or whimper and whine at us, we can still root in the affirmation that our desired empowerment is a reality that trumps assaults by bullies, guilt-trippers and fanatics. We can stand strong and revel in our choice to engage with frameworks of possibility we can accept as intimate with our very core of being.

I cannot help but cringe when I read sayings like “smart people know they are stupid and stupid people think they’re smart”. I don’t find these nourishing, not even as reminders of healthy humility. To generalize that way is just another version of the “up is down and light is dark” meme poisoning the field of human understanding these days.

Manipulative tactics are often nothing more than strategies and tactics to project stress, to demonize, to get recognition, support, attention, to dominate or vent. I am speaking generally, mainly to emphasize that all of us have ourselves to work on more than others. That being said those that aspire to inform their fellows of alternatives to the collective program of acceptable thinking are growing in number.

More importantly, sharing experience and views that are mind-expanding involves building bridges to others. It also involves rebuilding those connections that a lifetime in the matrix has left in a sorry state of near collapse.  That is anything but easy, especially when internal agendas are relentless in their attempts to undermine any mobilization toward real empowerment. At the same time if we sense impulses, our own or another’s expression of weakness free of overt calculating intent, we can cut us all some slack.

Sometimes agendas are just the motive to find shoulders online upon which to release our pent up tears and frustrations. After all, those who read, listen and view us on social media are often called “friends”. So it can appear normal to ask for prayers, kind words and even a bit of verbal coddling and flattery. I found that if I actually took every such request seriously, I would be spending most of my time just projecting well-being on people. Anyone who has ever tried that- seriously and not just showing up for a bit of loving drama- should collect disciples and walk on water. The world needs you.

There are many who can make a difference in the lives of others by projecting good will to them. The problem is that unless there are boundaries, the sender can become ill and the receiver an addict of what is given to them. Those who usually practice helping others in this manner are selective, and some even use the image of “healer” or “wise one” to establish boundaries so they are not bled by those in desperate or even flippant want.

When the culprit is within us, we tend to display intelligence and/or felt honesty, yet there is an agenda of dumping all that we don’t want to face on others. We make friends and act supportive, but it is we who seek to lay our burdens anywhere but where it is our responsibility to lay them. The above statements are free of judgment and accusation because they reflect very human strategies to alleviate the pain and stress that is often beyond our ability to endure.

Thus we move to sustain the image we desire to sustain as we stand before those who know us as well as the mirror we confront every day. It’s prudent to protect one’s self from the foibles of human pathos, but I am not describing psychopathy here. I disagree with those who see a psycho at every turn. Psychopaths make a splash in human circles when they come out of concealment, but they are still a minority.

There are, nevertheless, many desperate and lonely people out there. There are medicated people out there, people saturated with toxins of all kinds to the point of bursting. Who among us has not been hurt in some way? Some, however, sustain degrees of trauma that would break others. We are not all the same, and one size does not fit all- cliché but very true.

Let us always keep in mind that our differences matter, but so does common ground. We need common ground with each other, and we need to be aware that any forcing or fabricating it is the act of someone with an unsavory “agenda”. With common ground we can empathize where nourishment embraces more than you or me. With common ground we can experience compassion to carry first any trauma of our own being to healing, and then lift it from wherever we find it.

This the art of enantiodromia: the art of reversing course, going up stream and transforming the dross into gold and crap into fertilizer. It doesn’t matter where trauma originates when we confront it constructively because in the now of our art we are not being hurt. In the now of our art we can see ourselves as more than former victims, more than righteous or vulnerable or anything but willing to get on with being healthy in every way.

More importantly, we can and should be self-centered, and refrain from demonizing the idea of being selfish because we know in our process that we are committed and response-able. We can and should insure the oxygen mask meets our needs before we attempt helping others with theirs. It is good sense, and to let anyone undermine that in the name of ego-deconstruction is itself falling for an agenda. We are no good to anyone if we are not good to ourselves.

These musings are not as random as the title implies. They are born from daily online encounters, and they fuel much of the ranting of this blog. Most of the writings here can probably have the words “Musings of Online Encounters” inserted somewhere in the titles. Over the last few months I’ve gotten frustrated with some of my day to day encounters. I hear it’s a common occurrence, but no less unpleasant for it. Musing through them helps me clarify where I stand, and formulating where I stand out of the morass of debate and contradiction helps my psychic posture. I think I’m straightened out for now- *winks*.

Musings Part III: The Challenge to Grow

Social media reflects the state of the modern world. It is an arena of data mining, so long as people continue to post representations of their visceral responses to all the little things in life. Data mining the seemingly innocent indicators of individual and collective desire, and the behaviors corresponding to them facilitates the structuring of marketing strategies by individuals and groups invested in doing so. We are told this is to more efficiently promote goods and services people want. It’s just the good old free market at work.

The darker side, of course, is the mapping of the internet user’s behavioral spectrum in order to establish set pathways of stimulus/response. Encouraging creative discourse and problem solving do not quite fit within the parameters of that agenda, where it clashes with the interests of its promoters.

Social media could be a conduit of illumination and problem solving far in advance of real-world alternatives, at least as far as the planning stages go. I would say it is by design that such is not the case. Manipulated or not, social media tends to reflect the state of many current conditions of human society, especially if one broadens one’s horizons of interaction to encompass as much variety as comfortably viable before the friction of incompatible expression, belief and preference tears the situation apart.

The fine line between open-minded social variety and finding one’s self on a battle field of conflicting in-groups is a blurry one. It is, however, worth stickling one’s neck out on social chopping blocks if there is a chance to experience firsthand the statistics of where others are coming from.

That is one reason to refrain from bitching- too much- about the internet and all it involves. Even lies and half-truths can be valuable teachers. They tell us about the neurotic, the deceiver, the bright smile concealing a shady agenda, and about ourselves and the weaknesses we hold from the light of day. We are challenged to be aware, and that’s the hard part. The harder part is doing something about it that counts; something that nourishes our integrity rather than compromising it.

In discerning the ins and outs of online human nature, no amount of talking is going to change the beliefs people hold. Life does that. Discussions, however, can supply us with a field of alternative conception when life finally reveals that it’s time to reconsider things. Or discussions can provide a field of resistance and inertia so we chicken out and run back to all the familiar shit we had just realized sucks.

If someone’s beliefs, views or attitudes are such that they clash with my sense of integrity- not the same as simply disagreeing with them- I let them be. We have enough violence in the world.  Getting rabid in a virtual environment is just demeaning, especially when we all have the option to step back and chill out.

If there is a point of contact or common ground, on the other hand, I focus on that. It is funny how social media and discussion forums have gone such a long way to teach me diplomacy. If only for that the internet has been invaluable to me.

In addition, sometimes I find myself feeling psychological harmony with people where there is no sensate connection other than words on a screen. In that feeling lie the revelations, that never get old, of how much well-being is dependent on solidarity with our fellow humans, and how deprived most of us are in lives diminished without it.

The value of human solidarity might be obvious in theory, and even in terms of off-line experience. Demonstrations, rallies, even parties and celebrations attest to that. It so happens, however, that in our information age crowds of people are a few keystrokes away all the time. And as we seek those who are like-minded, we may have to wade through swamps of communication dissonance that might even bring up issues from the past or just latent sensitivities we would rather not face.

Just as solidarity is healthy and empowering, social dissonance weakens us with one exception: the predatory personality. This would be one who projects their inner dissonance onto the world as a means to experience empowerment by witnessing the weakening or psychological turmoil of others.

We can, through some misadventure, learn to identify such individuals and avoid them. It is far more difficult, however, to deal with people who mean well, but in one way or another are in denial of a specialized form of dissonant projection.

That latter statement is not describing a disease. It’s really just the nature of being human, living in a society of artifice and trauma, and mired in the confusion of layers and layers of distortions, lies and out of context facts. The usual symptom is experiencing views and beliefs pushed in one’s direction that don’t resonate with one’s sense of right, even though they may make sense, or reflect common (proprietary) sense.

Confronting that kind of pressure can lead to a spectrum of choices that make us pray psychological manipulation on a number of levels. Coping mechanisms can include embracing relativism for the sake of keeping the peace, and raising the banner of our pet peeve to crusade against a world populated by infidels of one sort or another.

We may want to remain “correct”. We may want to vent, but still hold on to our precious integrity and sense that we are “good”. We may end up caring too much what other people think, yet still avoid considering just how much pain and constriction sensitivity to collective consensus is causing us.

If we are of the ilk that desires to see positive change. If we are willing to challenge the flow of mass correctness, there is much to learn and much to be done. Swimming against the current requires more strength than the average individual can manage these days. Otherwise it would be a common occurrence, one that I must be blind not to see. The good news is that strength can be cultivated. How to stand and how to proceed can be cultivated. Courage to liberate ourselves from the rut of familiarity can be cultivated.

Clouded vision and clouded heart will begin clearing when we stand by options and views because they come from a place that is genuine regardless of how vulnerable that feels at first. Persistence in such commitment transforms a person to a pillar of strength without their demanding attention or some form of psychological ‘tribute’. Then one is a force of inspiration and experiences the power and possibility of the modern online social medium.

Musings Part II: Revising the Rant

When something disturbs me online, I sometimes open up a word file and just write. Be that as it may, putting forth polished and edited venting may be an exercise in refined catharsis, but it doesn’t necessarily make for insightful reading. Instead of the fine verbal sheen and smooth linguistic flow that comes from coherent editing, polished venting can result in not much more than tiresome dribble.

I speak for my own dribbling tendencies. They tend to hit when I get affected by the prevailing winds of politically correct guilt tripping and wimp out not wanting to piss people off.

This second instalment of the topic at hand, therefore, is an attempt to re-muse the former musing, now that some weeks or so have passed and the mental pipes have all been vented. Unfortunately, circumstances are not so kind as to encourage the mental pipes stay vented. More encounters, more frustration; so be it.

I want to blame it all on the “establishment”, but the latter as a controlling minority with hoarded resources and extended experience in the art and science of psychopathic manipulation still cannot get away with all that goes on without the participation of you, me and the rest of the proverbial majority of online humanity. I speak specifically of internet oriented behavior manipulation.

The bait is the sense of power every “little person” feels in sounding out where they stand, be it complaining, pontificating or simply socializing. We all have reason to complain, and opinions are like assholes- and I mean no disrespect to the aforementioned body part. Socializing, furthermore is a basic human desire if not need.

Expressing as such is healthy, so long as we consider the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and its reflection or inverse (treat yourself as you would treat others). These two sides of the golden rule, however, are counterproductive if we seek to harm ourselves.

In any case, many worship, admire and most likely envy celebrities these days. Many, furthermore, would love to be a celebrity, and I can’t blame them given the promoted images. The bait then is promoted self-importance, and sometimes monetary gain under the guise of “teaching people what’s right”. From there it can escalate to the sadistic pleasure of acting as judge and jury, if not executioner- at least in the physical sense.

This is where I urge myself caution in plenty. Each of us can be found to be perpetrators of that which we condemn, as far as online communication is concerned. The irony is that those who slip through the cracks of the witch hunt are often the most manipulative and psychopathically inclined; but that need not be taken as a rule either. Nothing can, but oh do we wish it were that easy (or at least I find myself wishing like that on occasion before I slap myself awake). How can we then apply discretion and be discerning in such a contrary venue? Here are some suggestions:

1) Insistent- but not brutal- honesty in viewing the reflection of the world in yourself, as well as the reflection of yourself in the world.

This includes the basic honesty regarding one’s motives, sense of purpose and feelings regarding others. If there is any time we are served to evaluate a situation from a position free of condemnation (normally know as being judgmental), it is where we ourselves are involved.

If we are sincere, if we are not running a scam or seeking to crush others and dominate even if psychologically, we can remember that it suffices that we know. The problem with a correctness mentality is that it is a hop skip and a jump from a witch hunt mentality, which itself two fingers away from a holocaust mindset, and I am not speaking of any specific historic uses of that word. Holocaust simply means burning everything to the ground, for whatever reason. Those who would desire such thing can get those with an exacerbated inferiority complex to do their dirty work and face any consequences if they are outed. It all starts with pushing guilt.

2) Be aware of your responses in applying (1).

Honesty is not painful, but it can reveal pain. When honesty itself is painful then it isn’t honesty, it is punishment. Taking responsibility for one’s pain does not mean creating more pain on top of it. Atoning is not a spectacle to satisfy others, neither is it groveling in front of the self-proclaimed righteous. It is meant to be a healing, which is meant to move from the stage of pain to the stage of soothing reconstitution.

3) Concern is primarily best turned on one’s self.

In other words, don’t worry about what others are doing or how they are doing it, unless you are done worry about yourself as thoroughly as it takes to move to do something about it, even if that involves “inner work” and not much in the way other’s see you. Guilt as a dominant meme we inflict or allow inflicted upon ourselves is malignant and toxic.

If you experience compassion for your circumstance and state of being, you need not accept guilt from a misplaced sense of fairness. If you are forgiving to yourself then you will be more understanding regarding guilt tripping others.

I am not giving original advice. It isn’t even “new age” advice. In this blogger’s honest opinion, it is the kind of sense that describes someone who is pragmatic where their inner world or experience of self is concerned. All too many are taken for a ride to embrace self-denial in subtle and overt ways, and to degrees that vary from mild to being extreme, if not lethal in their ramifications.

As far as I’m concerned coming to terms with one’s own set of personal values and qualifications of meaning, knowing oneself, being mindful and self-aware, even self-centered establishes a grounded stance that empower’s one to be free of manipulative guilt- without turning into the boogey man psychopath that has turned into what everyone loves to hate these days.

Psychological abuse is not uncommon. Insuring one is capable of avoiding or even reversing one’s victimization is one of the most practical things one can do in the information age, where online presence has more impact than ever. Riding the high of self-righteousness, however, is a conscious act because one needs to affirm the superiority of their stance all the time. If we fall into the trap of seeing manipulation everywhere and take the bait to see the devil behind every corner, then it is we who might be a witch-hunter or inquisitor in the making.

Musings over Online Encounters: Part I

This diatribe is an attempt to organize thought in the aftermath of experience dissonance in online encounters. This dissonance involves witnessing conflict even more than participating in it. The dissonance is steeped in the sense that online manipulation abounds more than any individual who takes their reasoning for granted would like to think. It is more than just a conspiracy effect.

It is that people have been conditioned to deny in certain instances- and idolize in other ones- qualities that spread suffering. In this way, without directly intending the aforementioned pseudo-discernment can sabotage inspired motivation that might lead to a better tomorrow. As such the rant is my desire to depressurize the force of dissonance without pushing it further under the rug.

To begin, I realize online interactions can sap our energies, especially when dealing with people who may not even realize they are projecting what they don’t want to face in themselves. I am not referring to the proverbial “troll”. The very extremity of that scenario is usually so blatant that guiltless and effective action, as simple as blocking them, is a mouse-click away. There are, however, fine lines and gray areas in the multifaceted topography of online human interaction. This is the arena of subtle manipulation, be it conscious or not, where the receiver is not even sure they are being psychologically played.

It isn’t as rare as one might think, or hope to experience discomfort, stress or even trauma when confronted with projected emotional states. The more repressed the hurtful issue underlying the state of projection the more extreme the discomfort can get. Even so, unless the receiver is also already traumatized and holding it in, it is most likely that their suffering is far less than that of the one doing the repressing.

To clarify a bit; my understanding of “projected states” involves not just how people feel, but also what they are denying in themselves in favor of a more sustainable to them self-image. That denial tends to spawn dramatic pressure, a subconscious desire to act out the issue in some way without being hurt by it. The internal pressure is itself a form of suffering and it does not go away with time, although it may appear to go dormant.

I would not call this a guilty conscience. It happens to be more prevalent in a victim than someone who has victimized after all. In extreme cases, victimizing itself is a form of projecting one’s repressed victim state. Hence the more members of a group or society are made to suffer the more suffering prevails overall.

Some appear more sensitive to emotional energy than others, their own as well as what permeates their environment. That does not guarantee that reason can make sense of an encounter with projection. Being sensitive, in other words, doesn’t mean we can easily understand what is going on. Are we somehow forced into being recipients of projection, just minding our own business when the bird poop spatters, or are we participants and perhaps even main protagonists in a drama with many screen-writers? Should we even consider that we are the prime creator of this drama?

In my experience when engaged in online discourse where fingers are being pointed, all participants fall into a state beyond default reasoning. The reasoning from the side-lines and that of hind sight is what I would call closer to our default or normal reasoning state. When engaged in finger pointing we at the very least fall into crisis reasoning mode. This is more like warfare than discourse. When sustaining the upper hand especially psychopaths love this frame of engagement.

Therein, anything said can be turned back to the one saying it as their issue or fault. At a deeper level of perception, the issue isn’t one of me vs. another, but of individuals finding themselves in a ‘vibration’ or felt sense that triggers trauma echoes in both of them. This is true even when one group or person engages in gas-lighting or demonizing another as a means of defeating them. In less consciously deliberate scenarios, however, battlefront polarization occurs because the discomfort demands reparation, and that leads to projecting blame and/or guilt on top of the most convenient scape-goat.

Usually options of avoiding blame and guilt are offered that involve some form of manipulation, by one or both parties. Because the field of experience is temporarily mutual, any guilt or blame can be turned back on the other party with tension and denial escalating as a result. In merely complaining about being a victim of projection one can have all one’s arguments flipped on their ears and end up looking or even being convinced it is all one’s own fault.

I have seen ‘self-help’ presentations that trigger rage in me. The speaker (or writer) will turn it all back on their audience. They will even speak of themselves claiming they “used to be in that position”. It’s only right to state that the aforementioned speaker often could have- and more times than I would want to admit- has been me. Notice how I too am turning it back on myself, but past tense so I don’t piss myself off as I’m writing these words. Being tripped with guilt hurts. When tribulation you want to share or communicate is rejected, the result is also hurt.

On the flipside being tripped with guilt does not imply we have done wrong and must atone, at least not in the immediate or moral sense. We have, on the other hand, experienced the wrong of being unable to prevent our own verbal abuse, and demonization, which in any online community often results in being ostracized. There are often frighteningly primitive elements at work in online communities. Judging from the twists and turns of global events and the trends of western civilization, it is not farfetched to say that innocents may suffer from demonization in more ways than just having a tarnished reputation.

To avoid the end of addictive drama we can vacillate back and forth between extreme views, being doormats of tolerance in one instance and shifting to howling mobs of righteous indignation the next. All to avoid that disturbing zone in the middle where all bets are off and we are left with the tribulation of facing our existential desperation.

It helps in my opinion to admit our own perspective as a starting point and consciously stand as a self-centered being. This cuts the moral confusion down, something that guilt trippers may find discomforting. The fact remains, however, that when you are on a plane and the cabin depressurizes, you would be prudent to pick up your oxygen mask first and put it on.

By the same logic, when confronting a field of trauma, or post-traumatic reverb (acute or chronic), you would be wise to direct compassion to yourself first. It is only selfish when you shut the other out after you are cleansed of guilt and/or blame imprinting and other judgments. Yet that is a contradiction because selfishness in the derogatory sense does not occur when imprinting is not operant. Therefore, allow me to rephrase what I consider to be a cliché type phrase that is easily open to misunderstanding: It is only selfish when you neglect your deeper needs in the process and focus on the surface state of self.

 

A Shift in Emphasis

When I started this blog not long ago, I wanted to entertain a broad scope of topics, all somewhat “alternative” in nature. These would cover themes of mysticism, philosophy and what I would consider to be a more moderate version of  “conspiracy” views, which I don’t classify as mere “theory” by the way. I was going to open another blog for specifics on my work in esoteric cultivation, influenced by paths from all over the world, but with focus on yoga,  alchemy, energy work, hermetic, animistic and other applications of what I would call esoteric possibility.

I have been to varying degrees involved in different expressions of esoteric cultivation, study and application over the last thirty years. Even if I am anything but official in that regard, I am still discerning enough to know when my experience might actually be of interest if not value to someone out there. In fact, I have met people who tried out some of what I have discovered and applied and most of the results were positive.

I am being conservative in my assessment by the way. A decade ago I used to offer advice in a systematic manner, and it was taxing, time consuming and thankless. I did this for a period of two or three years, and then just focused on sharing with a few friends instead of a gaggle of “students”. Whatever else the experience may have been, it was definitely educational in more ways than one.

Right now I am in a time of transition regarding what to do with this knowledge and experience. I found that just giving it away has two drawbacks for others: First, contrary to objections some may have to this, I found a majority of people tend to lack appreciation for what’s free. It’s taken for granted. There’s no point in sharing when that happens. Second, giving something without compensation is a drain on my life. At first I thought I could just talk or write freely, but this kind of knowledge is not easy to get. I need to map things out better. That cannot happen with an all-consuming “day job” as my former (physics) position was. Not that I am knocking it or the PhD I had to get to have such a position.

I say that, by the way, in the spirit of paradox. I have taught, and I have done scientific research, and I have even published some things. Lot’s of I’s, I know (there’s another one). It’s important to me to be honest though and this particular post is more personal than others. In any case, I am not putting eggs in baskets and such. One cannot offer anything constructively if the primary motive is to bring home the bacon or daily bread or whatever keeps one fed, sheltered and alive materially. I am moving according to my sense of meaning, and this is a record of that intent, not a justification.

For now I will continue to formulate, organize and express freely. At some point I want to open venue’s where I will be “selling” something. It won’t be enlightenment or bliss or the solution to whatever plagues a given individual. I will endeavor to sell treasure maps, with directions and some pointers on how to read them. Perhaps at some point I may even end up providing private consultation. I don’t know yet. All I know is that I value realism regarding topics that the majority of the population in the western world considers to be bogus (at least officially).

In most cases one has to be some sort of credited somebody in alignment with institutionalized teaching and traditions, or at least a respectable history of such, in order to claim or be viewed as having understanding worth sharing. I cannot blame that particular view- the more conservative one. I have seen too many cons and even more folks who think that esoteric knowledge and application is “for them”, when they are less than qualified. That doesn’t mean every case is like that.

It can be confusing, and it was for me. I avoided all teacher types aside from reading about them and choosing what to apply for myself every step of the way. It was a long road, but my basic premise was that the real teacher and guide is within. The rest are options that inner teacher points out as valid for me or not. Of course  the inner voice was far more difficult to discern at first, and mistakes were made, but all for the good as it were.

My point is that I have been very reluctant to take this path of commitment to present what I know and what it means to me because a) it needs more than just being a hobby, and b) there are so many bad examples out there I did not want to drown in a sea of them regardless of not being one- in my own view, of course.

What does my “guidance” say? Actually, it’s very pragmatic: “Just be true to your sense of integrity and purpose, and know that the right time is when you feel it is”. Well, I am not sure if the right time is anything but a prolonged period, but I am getting that feeling about being ready to get things moving. And whatever else anyone may think, I have no intention of compromising my sense of integrity and purpose.

Ok…now that I got that off my chest…we can see where this will go…Stay tuned :-).

 

 

Horizons in the Mist

This venue, this medium to write as one wills is fascinating to me. It encourages horizons to spread invitingly. It beckons the mind to touch formerly unexplored possibilities and dissolve the mists of uncertainty and confusion around them. It is enticing, and it is daunting. Fascinated as I am, however, I feel as if trying to put on a suit that sits on my frame like I’m wearing a loose version of the skin of someone else.

How do I just wear the damned thing and be done with it? How do I make any needed alterations? Do I- mixing metaphors here- just swagger through this virgin territory or should I be more careful and conservative in my expression? I’m not sure. What is certain is that when I tap dance my fingers across the keyboard, I care less and less about such details- until the tapping stops, and I’m left with the echo of my thoughts.

That being said, here is the venue of my expression: It’s titled Aristomenes X, the latter letter being a convenient stand-in for a rather long surname. Aristomenes is an ancient Greek historic figure and my namesake. He was the leader of a revolt against the Spartan yoke (circa 7th century BCE). The ancient Greek city state of Sparta was populated by a class of warriors, considered undefeatable in those days. They amounted to about ten thousand fighting men who enslaved a population that outnumbered them ten to one.

The Spartans captured Aristomenes and fifty of his comrades after his allies betrayed them, and then promptly threw them all into a pit. Somehow the hero managed to survive the fifty meter fall and escape. He rallied his troops and for all his trouble was betrayed again! Having lost the war, but not his life, my namesake escaped into exile for rest of his days. I mention Aristomenes because, to me, he was a man who lived up to the meaning of his name. That inspires me to feel that I can do the same.

I also like to think that the meaning of the word chosen to refer to one’s person can be a positive influence if one consciously opens to it. I like to think that one’s name can vitalize the bearer, especially in difficult times. That being said, I think it would be presumptuous to assume that just because someone is called something that they are that thing, for better or worse. When life wears me down, however, I like to remember that the name ‘Aristomenes’ is a compound word, from aristos (without flaw) and menos (passion, spirit). I like to remember and hold onto the quality of passion without flaw. I like to keep it in my heart like a powerful light, and feel into that light as if it could cut through life’s stubborn occlusions. Sometimes it feels like it does just that. Sometimes not.

Aristomenes X is founded on the desire of a passionate and moderately opinionated spirit to clarify and work through the mists that veil the horizons of possibility in all manner of issues, themes and topics regarding the human condition. Where these horizons will appear and where they will lead is unclear to me. They are horizons shrouded in mist. This is why I associated this venue of expression to the quality of flawless passion, of aspiration and undaunted drive. A name is, after all, supposed to bless the bearer with its meaning.

Aristomenes is a constant reminder to me of my potential, and Aristomenes X is a constant reminder of the potential that lies latent in this arena of expression. When mist dissolves to reveal an open horizon, the latter may recede as I approach it, but it never withholds its ideal even as it appears to step further away. I don’t have to identify with the word for its meaning and ‘energy’ to fill my soul, nor do I need to be attached to something to honor it, or feel honored by it. I suppose one can call this pride; not the pride of egoistic arrogance, but something more down to earth. It is the humble pride and honor of bearing meaning.

The term “humble pride” was deliberate. In this instance it is intended to denote paradox, and not insufferable contradiction. Aside from the name of the blog, the address given also bears some meaning. This time the meaning is off the top of my head. That being said, I consider it noteworthy. The blog address name is “xparavox“. That x that ended the Aristomenes this time initiates a pesky neologism. Paravox as I use the word carries the meaning of the ability to name things, to bear and express meaning through words. This ability is then applied to what is unfamiliar, different and even- or especially- strange at times. At the very least it points to the ability to put words to possibilities unconventional and difficult to understand.

Just as paradox sustains the meaning of being a contrary (para) presence (doxa), paravox represents the meaning of a contrary voice. Just as paradox points to something that appears false but is in fact true, paravox represent sthe voice or expressive annunciation of an idea that doesn’t make sense in the face of common conception. It appears meaningless yet holds all the meaning a word can hold.

It sounds more than a tad pretentious, but it’s a name and the path to finding this place and all it promises. Aristomenes X reflects the spirit and life of all I aspire to express here, and xparavox marks the spot for contrary views to make sense and perhaps inspire. This is more risky than pretentious. I have to do my best to live up to it or I misrepresent this effort and myself.

It is a reminder to be true to penetrate the mists of confusion that confound many today regarding all that is going on in the world as well as the promises and pitfalls of the human condition. Lies and truth are often so enmeshed across the globe that many are weary with confusion and worse; they are willing to latch on to anything that simplifies their world-view.

I’d like to commit to avoid ranting about personal preferences and names. I want to get on about what really concerns me: Dispelling mists of confusion and despair, and shining some light to show that the days and times to live with meaning are neither out of reach in distant tomorrows nor lost in long gone yesterdays. They are in the here and now. Onward then: horizons beckon and mists taunt, and the path will not define itself!