Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Temptation of the Public Poetry Reading, Issue 2: In the Truth of Lacking Intelligence

You can be an optimist or a pessimist, or somewhere in-between, but no matter where your mark is on that scale, you should have no opinions on math.  And who should?

Mathematically, your experiences in this world can be summed up as everything you've gone through as calculated by your mind.  Your experiences are not everything you've gone through, of course, except as calculated by your mind.  A person who may be called disconnected from reality is, of course, having a reality of his own, marked not by level of accuracy regarding what's really happening--marked only by how he perceives it, and how much of it he perceives, and how long he can remember any of it.  Without memory, there can be nothing drawn from an experience except for the immediate emotions or other thoughts it gives birth to, and without memory, the traceability of that path disappears, and therefore, can never be proven to have existed until science can record the path.  Don't hold your breath for that one.

To that end of having experienced, we are only limited by intelligence once health and normal cognitive abilities are accounted for, those being the engine of experience.  Intelligence is our legend for the map of experience, isn't it?  How can we know what we are experiencing without it?  And a lack of intelligence, which every human alive today lives with, is a measure of our ability to understand a given experience, or ascribe any value to it or even more importantly, to draw anything valuable from it.

Since we are all lacking some intelligence, leaving us all somewhere between knowing nothing and knowing it all, then we are all immeasurably limited until we find our what the end of intelligence is, and in my own humble wager, intelligence is not limited--it's a perpetual compounder, if nothing else.

Imagine if you did know it all; would you even know what to do with that?  Is it fair to even argue that knowing it all would necessarily include having the knowledge of how best to use the information you have to further (what?  Your life?  Humanity?  Science?) something or someone?

The truth in realizing that you lack intelligence is a promotion of yourself.  I'll say it aloud.  You are promoting the accuracy of your understanding of your importance and of your value to this world when you realize that, compared to all knowledge, you can't possibly have even scratched into a millionth of a millionth of one percent of it all.  This world is temporary, just as you are; your importance to it is no more measurable than is the measure of your importance to the ground compared to the train's importance to the ground that you are riding on.

By recognizing the truth of lacking intelligence, you decisively are placed into a category made by nothing more than circumstance that insists upon your expendability.  The Earth and her people can afford to lose you.  The skies stay blue even in your absence, until She, the Mother, is devoured by a dying sun and the mathematical certainty that she will be consumed by a black hole long after she has lost her ability to sustain life of any type.  And just as traffic will still move long after you're gone, the Universe will still thump long after She's gone.

The implicit idea is not that having total intelligence would make you indispensable--nothing would still rely on you for its survival; having total intelligence would make you indestructible, except by your own choosing, and anything in existence that might choose to destroy itself or allow itself to be destroyed when it doesn't have to must be lacking intelligence.  Assuming choice is never removed, total intelligence is not possible as long as choice is possible, and who among us would give up choice to have total intelligence?  Who would walk into the cell of knowledge and slam the door behind him, knowing that that would be the last decision he ever made, just to roll around in the mind of all information and it's applicability?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

People will not tolerate you enjoying your life, so you'll have to do it alone

There are only a couple of things I really dislike.  One is constant negativity, and the other is hypocrisy.

The negativity isn't something I always hated.  I didn't even isolate it from everyday, normal conversation until a few years back.  I just incorporated it within life as a part of life.  Once I separated it in my mind, I realized that I didn't have to tolerate it.  The negativity was coming from people.  All I had to do was either get those people out of my life, or insist on the old maxim, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  Easier said than done; I know.  I worked with a guy who was always negative, so I couldn't just cast him out of my social circles.  And I didn't want to say old maxims to him; sounds bossy and judgmental.  Instead, after he would say something, I would always say some variation of, "Oh, I don't know.  When it comes to negative stuff, I just don't get involved."  He finally got the message, and because he didn't know how not to be negative, he stayed quiet a lot, which was ok with me.

It was ok with me because I had decided to have no more negativity in my life.

On my mom's 70th birthday, about 4 years ago, my youngest sister, Kelley, was visiting and she and I made a little pact while standing around outside.  Something got us talking about negative people, and particularly, critics.  We both believed that you shouldn't criticize anybody until your got your own back yard perfect, unless they asked for your honest opinion.  We both knew that some people love to stew in negativity; that steamy, acidic broth from which all of their thoughts and actions emanate, seen usually in the form of their criticism of you or other people, or places/things.  Always putting something, person, or place down.  Always, always complaining.  Just unhappiness, paraded.  We knew everybody had days like this; Hell, even weeks like this, or occasionally, an entirely bad month.  But those folks are easy to separate from those who live in the steamy broth, the acidic, corrosive poison that moves them from thought to thought, and therefore, from action to action, which usually materializes as criticism.

We made that pact.  We decided to work hard, really hard if necessary, to get negative people not only out of our social and co-worker circles but even family members.  Even siblings, parents, whomever; if they were negative, and always prone to criticize you or others, or tell you how to live (implying how you're living wrong), off they go.  Out of the circles.  You launch them over the fence of your everyday yard.  You are free to warn them; give them a month.  Tell them, "In 30 days from now, I'm going to stop hanging around or talking to anybody who I see as negative.  Not because I'm judging them or any other reason except that it brings me down, and this life is hard enough.  I don't want help to feel bad.  I don't need bricks tossed into my leaky lifeboat.  I can't handle it, and even if I could, I'm going to choose not to, because nowhere have I read that I'm not entitled to take a good, hard, fair shot at happiness.  If I'm going to take that shot--to make a real effort toward it--I have to get the negative people out of my daily communications.  There is no other way."

While hypocrisy and negativity are not necessarily related, I think they do hang out a lot together.  A hypocrite must necessarily be telling others how to live to be a hypocrite; he must also not be living by his own advice/demands.  The ultimate, near-combo mixture for me that just drives me berzerk is a hypocrite being a hypocrite while criticizing me.  A christian, for example, telling me I won't make it to heaven, when I personally know that he breaks 5 of the sacred 10 commandments weekly but believes he's forgiven if he says sorry every Sunday.  I have many, many more examples that do not involve religion, and I'm not here to pick on religion, but it is the first example that popped into my head.

While I may occasionally contradict myself, I'm ok with that.  My life path is clear to me now, at almost 41-years old.  I know a lot of people that live off of government checks when they could be working, yet they criticize others for not working.  I know plenty of people who have diets or lifestyles that are very unhealthy, yet they criticize others for eating too much or smoking cigarettes.  That's not contradiction, because they would have to believe in (and would thereby live) a healthy lifestyle in order to be contradicting themselves while criticizing the choices of others.  I contradict myself occasionally with philosophies.  Walt Whitman said, "Do I contradict myself?  Very well, I contradict myself.  I am large.  I contain multitudes," in Song to Myself.

I don't know about being large or even containing multitudes, but I'm not bothered by when I contradict myself.  I see it as almost unavoidable if you think a lot.

My girlfriend, Tanya, has a very positive outlook on life, in general.  I'm super lucky for that, because I promised myself before I started dating that I could not be in a relationship with anybody who was consistently negative.  And that now goes for my friends, too.

So this blog post is one that I made mostly to help me crystallize this particular series of beliefs that absolutely must define how I deal with others.  I'll probably refer people to it. It's very confrontational in my view to just come out and tell somebody, "You're too negative.  I'm going to avoid you from now on," yet I've had to do it, and I'll have to do it again.  If I seem to have disappeared from your life, and you happen to stumble across this, you may get a clue into what I was thinking when I removed myself from your daily life.  To sum up, this life is a bitch, no matter which way you slice it.  There's a few good things, and a shitload of bad things.  I choose to focus on the good things.  My choice may be good or bad, but it is my choice and one that I adhere to with maximum dedication.  I would advise this to anybody, this choice to not hang around/be around negative folks and hypocrites.  But yet I don't, because advising anything sounds... pushy.  There is one other context I need to put this in, though; I genuinely believe that if you don't live by this model or some variation of it, you cannot have a decent shot at real happiness.  I'm giving myself, and the people around me, the best chance possible to have happiness.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Another degrading comment from my ex-Monster in Law

I can't be sure it was from my ex. ass-in-law, especially considering the name is bart_BOY_1 but I have to go from experience.

Let me take you back.

It's July 4th, 2001.  We're gathering to watch fireworks on a lake.  In comes the ass-in-law; hyper, just smoked a big, fat joint, and she's all in my daughter's face.  100mph, this nutcase goes.  My daughter can't stand her personality; she's almost in tears as her grandma hits her with 10,000 Amps of stimulus per second in her stoned rampage.

And that was a mellow evening.

Since then, she and her daughter, my ex, have gone on a concentrated mission to separate me from my daughter, and have been fairly successful.  After I found out my ex was cheating with gawd knows how many men, I immediately filed for divorce.  I had sole custody of my daughter but with her polished court appearance at the final divorce (mostly lies; even got caught in a lie where the judge said, "What?"), she got custody back.  Some lawyers tell me it was because I was leaving the state and was honest about that (she since left and moved to another state with my daugher); others tell me it was because I lacked a vagina.  I took it to the state supreme court (I will not capitalize it) and lost again.

There was a sneakiness that pervaded my ex-ass and ex-ass-in-law's behavior; it was always in their M.O.  "Don't tell Curt," (my ex father-in-law) was something I heard every day.  It was always about hiding and lying with her and her two kids.  She also tried to get me to lie and not tell a clinic that was giving my daughter checkups for free that I had gotten a job and could afford medical care/food so I could keep getting benefits. She flat out told me, "Lie to them.  Don't tell them you have a job."  I refused.  This VA boy wasn't playing that scam game up in VT.

So tell me something.

If your husband and daughter (AND her current husband, the 4th or 5th, I've lost count) all three lived off of a check from the government, and you and your son were potheads, would you be able to easily launch attacks upon others?  Is it jealousy?  Is it just diminished brain capacity? 

It always gives me a chuckle.  But I'll probably write a lot more about them now; the government funded, pothead family. Next time, I'll leak some names.  Come poke at a sleeping dog, well...