Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category
Today I was biking home, going past an apartment complex, when I overheard one of our resident homeless folks composing a rap apparently titled “I can prove you don’t exist.”
That got me thinking (which is usually when the trouble starts, but I still persist in doing it)….
Following this thought through to its “logical” conclusion could cause a headache. Or it could be a Zen koan. If the speaker proves I do not exist, does she also cease to exist? But then, no one is reading this, because none of you exist either.
It reminds me of the old joke from and introductory Philosophy class:
The professor assigns a paper in which the students must prove that “that chair” exists.
The only student that gets an A is the one that turns a paper reading “what chair?’
Ah! Well now. That’s better. Sometimes the only way I can purge these things from my brain is to infect someone else.
Have a pleasant evening, all.
Last night I apparently did something that pissed off my right ilio-psoas. If you ever want to find out just how big and important that damn muscle is, try pulling it. Doing just about anything except biking hurt like a mother – sitting, standing, going from either position to the other all pretty much sent shooting pains along my lower back and right ass-cheek.
Luckily I had scheduled an appointment with my acupuncturist, who comes to see her old patients in Davis one week out of every month (she now practices primarily in Bend, OR).
After a short examination, I was informed that my pelvis is tilted too far forward (true: I have a major sway-back) and is spilling my life-force from the pelvic bowl. This probably isn’t good. Now, I had a pretty good energy level. I regularly wear out an eleven year-old boy, I stay busy until at least midnight and get up at 5:30. All this makes me wonder what I could be accomplishing if I wasn’t spilling my life-force. I might actually get to do all the things I want to: devoting more attention to my Etsy lapidary shop and getting my photos and cookbook marketed. Hm.
Now this life-force stuff might sound absurd to some Western minds. I know 10 months ago, when I started seeing Alzada, I was a bit skeptical when I was informed that my viciously throbbing heel was due to an imbalance in my kidneys. Then I thought about my dad’s susceptibility to gout, and it seemed possible. More to the point, the treatment worked.
Beyond the physical ailments, she has also been able to tell me a lot about myself and interactions with others, based on my body type and posture. For example, people with lots of lean muscle of my type have little natural buffer against taking on other people’s emotions. This certainly seems to be true for me. I have to be on guard that other people’s emotions do not infect mine. I am often too empathetic. My perfectly good days can easily go astray because of another’s experiences. Conscious detachment is my friend.
It’s a little eerie, sometimes, getting these diagnoses that do not correspond to the body in the way that I understand it. Especially when it’s correct. I see it as just another reminder that there is so much out there that each of us do not know but that others do. And then there is the stuff that none of us can yet grasp. It makes me wonder what we could accomplish if we ever integrated all of our very different “sciences,” physical, mystical, meta-physical. Of course, we’d have to be willing to really open our minds and accept some things that do not fit into our world-views, and be willing to throw out the rubbish. The latter is always tough, whether that rubbish is physical “stuff” or ideology. If we ever do manage that as a collective species, rather than as isolated individuals, the knowledge out there could be astounding. Hopefully with the clarity of open minds, we would use that knowledge to better ends than our current track record suggests we would.
It will be a long road from here to there, but if we don’t blow ourselves up first, maybe one day we’ll make it….
Today I made the choice to observe the 10th Anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 by avoiding the media coverage. I already do not watch TV, do not listen to commercial radio, and am judicious in what parts of the newspaper I read (today I only read the funny-pages). Most of my news comes from NPR, and even from this source, I have tired of the “9/11” coverage over this last week.
I fully appreciate that the tragic events of that day irrevocably changed our country; they have affected me as well. Nonetheless, I just do not believe that the constant picking at the scabs and raw wounds of the day is healthy. We need to move on and grow, and this cannot happen by the constant rehashing of the events, which actually seems serve our baser instincts: voyeurism, revenge, hatred and xenophobia. Certainly, we saw the face of evil that day, and I know we will never forget, but I feel that we also need to move forward, otherwise the now-trite phrase will be true: the terrorists will have won.
Today I choose to observe the anniversary by expressing my gratitude – because we can be grateful that even in the face of the events of the day we also saw the face of goodness (more people could have died, for instance; many people acted as heroes; people were inspired to acts of kindness; the list goes on).
I try to make a daily list of twelve items for which I am grateful. Today I will double it:
- I am grateful that I have a circle of friends who have taught me the value of living with gratitude.
- I am grateful that I was able to spend the day with my son and my parents.
- I am grateful to see my parents’ new house, and that they seem mostly happy with it. They seemed quite concerned that Justin and I like it (we do), but what is ultimately important is that they like it.
- I am grateful that the day was free of the drama that was always present in my marriage.
- I am grateful that I was with people who could observe a holiday without the use of alcohol.
- I am grateful for music. Music to me is very spiritual (the act of artistic creation, in general is). Among the artists played today are New Monsoon, Aryeh Frankenfurter, Tempest, Fela Kuti and Railroad Earth.
- I am grateful for enthusiastic, wet-nosed home-coming greetings from Buddy and Buster, the wiener-dogs, and for purring rubs from Sophie and Rose, the cats.
- I am grateful that none of the homicidal-seeming drivers on the freeway actually managed to hit me. For the most part, they probably aren’t even truly homicidal.
- I am grateful that the deer grazing on the side of I-680 had not wandered into traffic. Justin handled himself admirably calling the situation in to 911 (hopefully they were safely removed before they could cause an accident). This had to be an intimidating for a ten year-old.
- I am grateful that I have found a spiritual path the works for me.
- I am grateful to have discovered my creative side, which includes lapidary work and photography.
- I am grateful that I have learned to take care of myself, and not just others.
- I am grateful that I have a roof over my head. The living situation may not be as I pictured it, but I am not on the street.
- I am grateful that I could afford today.
- I am grateful for peaches from the Farmers Market.
- I am grateful for chocolate.
- I am grateful for Freecycle.
- I am grateful for clean water.
- I am grateful that I can start my day, week or life over at any time.
- I am grateful for my health.
- I am grateful for the opportunity for bicycling in Davis.
- I am grateful for the kindness of a stranger who gave me good directions when Google maps sent me on a detour ended in a closed road.
- I am grateful for my pocket rock – a piece of jade from Agate Beach, which can transport me back to my vacation when I
- I am grateful for yoga.
I would like to encourage all who read this to compose a gratitude list of their own, and to reflect upon what is right with the world and in their lives. Perhaps then, we can begin to live our lives with more dignity, kindness and joy. I know that I will not be, by any means, perfect in this regard, but I will aim for progress.
And then, maybe we can be what is best said by plagiarizing my favorite bumper-sticker:
“God, please help me to be the sort of person my dog thinks I am.”
Today, after work I went to my yoga class, truly looking forward to it, so I could blow out some mental garbage. In class we were informed that today Lord Ganesha’s birthday is being observed in India (although it is tomorrow there by now). Ganesha is seen as the remover of obstacles. Well, I can certainly use some of that….
Anyone who has been through a divorce, especially from a person who is basically unhappy and looking for others to blame, can attest that this can create some obstacles. Especially if there is a child involved… and the other party has trouble taking care of herself, let alone a child… and you happen to live in a community property state like California, where the aim seems to be to establish 50:50 custody as soon as humanly possible (because children are considered chattel, aka property).
To do this, the system is all too happy to ignore numerous red flags and violated court orders. Worse, a ten year-old child is put in the position to keep an eye on his mother and to narc on her if she misbehaves. Talk about parentifying a child, but I’m sure this won’t cause any problems later in life.
All of this sure causes some potential obstacles, to happiness, to financial stability, to raising a well-adjusted child. Well, welcome Lord Ganesha, I could certainly use your help.
The thing one learns after practicing yoga for some time, is that these deities are not necessarily deities the way the West sees them. Sure, many people take the Eastern gods literally, but it can just as easily reside in ourselves as an untapped potential.
So… there is an elephant in the room, but it is a good one.
Free Ganesha clipart from: