Observations, Cynicism, and a Tinge of Alcohol

The world is one buggered up place. We have over-saturation of insanity in our media, a species that is either intent on destroying itself, or simply too bloody stupid to realize that’s whats going on, and a government where people actually say that Tax Laws are a greater violation of our rights than removing equal pay legislation.

Each day, the cynic inside see the world getting a bit dimmer. The sun isn’t as bright as it was in childhood, even on the cloudless days of spring. The glory and knowledge that a child believes comes with being an adult never materialized. There was no eureka moment when the skies part, and the mysteries of the universe unravel. Inside, we are all still nothing more than educated children, trying desperately to find some semblance of truth in a world of illusions and lies.

This search for truth is the great tragedy of human existence.  We are driven by an impossible yearning to know, experience, and find. Every day the human experience expands our minds, and fires our hearts. But to what end? In Truth, we also find pain. We learn, and see the ways of the world, and the naive ideas of children die like flowers in the fall,  only to grow back in the spring as thorn bushes. Reality, that great killer of dreams, has show itself and to those with the intellect to realize it, it is not a pretty sight.

Into this brutal vision of our planet, there are a few ways people tend to deal. When revealed, the man behind the curtain can be exploited, or helped, or ignored.

For my part, I have long since discarded the notion of exploiting a broken system. Not for moral reasons, that would be too convenient, too coincidental, and too lazy even for me. For 8 years, helping seemed to be the way to go, but people do not think at how true the old sayings are. If you work hard, they say you are pressing your nose to the grindstone… how fitting is that? A grindstone will wear down anything pressed against it, chew through it, and leave it broken and shattered. Like Hemmingway, I find myself looking at the world through the bottom of a pint glass, and it seems to make more sense that way.

But must it be this way? For those in the middle, smart enough to see the problems, but without the abilities to fix them? Quieting our demons long enough to get some work down to paper?

It isn’t a question I can answer, at least not now. But today is Hitchens Birthday, and if ever the mood to sit, and think, with a glass of whiskey, and a pad of paper was ever to wash over me, it would be today.

Maybe tomorrow I shall wake up and know the world a little better.

Maybe that’s all it takes to make the world a little better.

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2 thoughts on “Observations, Cynicism, and a Tinge of Alcohol

  1. In Response to Jon Reece’s Observations, Cynicism, and a Tinge of Alcohol

    Childhood is such a glorious fantasy. When you have experienced few disappointments, anything is still possible. Knowledge is limited and so wants and needs (desires) are easily satiated. With age and experience comes knowledge.
    Knowledge is a burden. (Or “ignorance is bliss”, said George Orwell.)
    Knowledge comes to us in waves of disillusionment, crashing around us in depressing disappointment.
    Religion is no longer a beautiful and comforting narrative but an oppressive lie whose purpose is to indoctrinate the masses towards hatred. Democracy is not an abstract representation of fairness but yet another way for rich men to oppress everyone else. I am not an autonomous being, just a body with white skin (lucky me) and a vagina (unlucky me) and those factors will characterize and form my entire existence. I am racist. You are racist. We are all racist. Our parents are not perfect. People who commit crimes are not evil, there is no such thing as evil. All things are evil. Education ages you, crushes the soul (souls are childish!) right out of you.
    Fantasy is stripped away to reveal the weathered bones of humanity’s failings. We have created quite a broken mess haven’t we? And how we desire so limitlessly to fix it! Desire and anxiety. It reminds me of an eloquent Japanese folk saying, that “the heart dies slowly, shedding hope like leaves.” We awaken to the betrayal of our media, our education system, our leaders, our very social fabric so very slowly.
    And yet.
    The heart sheds its hope like leaves. Hope is what makes us human… and sometimes when we think it is dead, spring happens, and we undergo the painful process of death yet again. We learn more, we fight, we regain our faith in humanity, and it is peeled back again and again. And yet hope brings us back again and again.
    So I will share a pretty personal spiritual experience I had. Once I took my canoe out to lonely beautiful place, fasted, built a fire and meditated on the world beneath the world. The next day I awoke to the sounds of a boat motor and my father’s voice. This was impossible. Puzzled I looked out over the bay and impossibly there he was, putting toward me in an aluminum boat that was my grandfather’s. But there were two children in the boat. A boy and a girl. It was my brother and I. I kid you not. I slapped myself incredulously. I was not dreaming, not high, not imagining this in any way. Perfectly lucidly I observed my dad pointing out this and that along the shore, as my brother and I wriggled excitedly in the boat, chatting in our little voices. Then they drove out of the bay. That was my vision quest. I did not understand the significance of this until years later when I was speaking to a shaman and a friend helped me to understand what that vision meant. The time in the boat, on the lake, with nature, in my favourite place, life was magical. The world was painfully beautiful and wonderful and sacred. I was so small and the world so huge. I was a little living piece of a glorious puzzle.
    As a student, a volunteer, a professor, a friend, a woman I have seen and felt and heard so many heartbreaking things. We do such nasty things to each other. We can be so foolish, so cruel. But the desire to change people, places, history… it is an endless pit of desire. No matter how much you try, it is never enough. It sucks out your creative power, never satiated. Desire is limitless.
    However, so is love. Yes, this sounds prosaic on my lips, but sometimes when people share the sharp pieces of their sadness with you, the only thing you can do is wrap love around it. Beam love onto their darkness so it has nowhere to hide. Sometimes that means just listening. Sometimes it means giving a hug, or a smile. Sometimes it means stepping back. Sometimes it means stepping in. My love is as endless as my hope. I love deeply and richly and wholeheartedly. Love is not something to be stingy about.
    When I fall prey to desire, as all humans must, I spend a moment throwing my thoughts into the universe, of which I am such a little living puzzle piece, and the republic of atoms that are me laugh at the worries of my consciousness, which imagines that it could possibly exist apart from the rest of existence, and I feel the burden of knowledge, the weight of gravity lifting, lifting, until ‘I’ float to a place of perfect contentment. Does the mountain feel frustration at its situation? Does the ocean mourn its liquid form? Nature never hurries; all seasons pass as nature intended. Why then do humans spend so much love time on anxiety and fear? It seems that desire is what separates us from nature. Or indeed is our nature. And our ability to overcome it, to return to a state of nature is… enlightenment?
    And yet to live each day at perfect peace is to die. Is to cease. Living is moving, breathing, grinding the stone to make dust, the dust that makes the stars.
    The way to heal these hurts of the world is to love, and to move, and to gather hope around us like leaves, letting them fall when it’s time to let them fall.
    You say that inside we are nothing more than children, Jon, and I think you are right. And I am happy about that, because no one knows more about peace than children.

    Many blessings,

    Cameron

  2. Reblogged this on Dreamshare and commented:
    In Response to Jon Reece’s Observations, Cynicism, and a Tinge of Alcohol

    Childhood is such a glorious fantasy. When you have experienced few disappointments, anything is still possible. Knowledge is limited and so wants and needs (desires) are easily satiated. With age and experience comes knowledge.
    Knowledge is a burden. (Or “ignorance is bliss”, said George Orwell.)
    Knowledge comes to us in waves of disillusionment, crashing around us in depressing disappointment.
    Religion is no longer a beautiful and comforting narrative but an oppressive lie whose purpose is to indoctrinate the masses towards hatred. Democracy is not an abstract representation of fairness but yet another way for rich men to oppress everyone else. I am not an autonomous being, just a body with white skin (lucky me) and a vagina (unlucky me) and those factors will characterize and form my entire existence. I am racist. You are racist. We are all racist. Our parents are not perfect. People who commit crimes are not evil, there is no such thing as evil. All things are evil. Education ages you, crushes the soul (souls are childish!) right out of you.
    Fantasy is stripped away to reveal the weathered bones of humanity’s failings. We have created quite a broken mess haven’t we? And how we desire so limitlessly to fix it! Desire and anxiety. It reminds me of an eloquent Japanese folk saying, that “the heart dies slowly, shedding hope like leaves.” We awaken to the betrayal of our media, our education system, our leaders, our very social fabric so very slowly.
    And yet.
    The heart sheds its hope like leaves. Hope is what makes us human… and sometimes when we think it is dead, spring happens, and we undergo the painful process of death yet again. We learn more, we fight, we regain our faith in humanity, and it is peeled back again and again. And yet hope brings us back again and again.
    So I will share a pretty personal spiritual experience I had. Once I took my canoe out to lonely beautiful place, fasted, built a fire and meditated on the world beneath the world. The next day I awoke to the sounds of a boat motor and my father’s voice. This was impossible. Puzzled I looked out over the bay and impossibly there he was, putting toward me in an aluminum boat that was my grandfather’s. But there were two children in the boat. A boy and a girl. It was my brother and I. I kid you not. I slapped myself incredulously. I was not dreaming, not high, not imagining this in any way. Perfectly lucidly I observed my dad pointing out this and that along the shore, as my brother and I wriggled excitedly in the boat, chatting in our little voices. Then they drove out of the bay. That was my vision quest. I did not understand the significance of this until years later when I was speaking to a shaman and a friend helped me to understand what that vision meant. The time in the boat, on the lake, with nature, in my favourite place, life was magical. The world was painfully beautiful and wonderful and sacred. I was so small and the world so huge. I was a little living piece of a glorious puzzle.
    As a student, a volunteer, a professor, a friend, a woman I have seen and felt and heard so many heartbreaking things. We do such nasty things to each other. We can be so foolish, so cruel. But the desire to change people, places, history… it is an endless pit of desire. No matter how much you try, it is never enough. It sucks out your creative power, never satiated. Desire is limitless.
    However, so is love. Yes, this sounds prosaic on my lips, but sometimes when people share the sharp pieces of their sadness with you, the only thing you can do is wrap love around it. Beam love onto their darkness so it has nowhere to hide. Sometimes that means just listening. Sometimes it means giving a hug, or a smile. Sometimes it means stepping back. Sometimes it means stepping in. My love is as endless as my hope. I love deeply and richly and wholeheartedly. Love is not something to be stingy about.
    When I fall prey to desire, as all humans must, I spend a moment throwing my thoughts into the universe, of which I am such a little living puzzle piece, and the republic of atoms that are me laugh at the worries of my consciousness, which imagines that it could possibly exist apart from the rest of existence, and I feel the burden of knowledge, the weight of gravity lifting, lifting, until ‘I’ float to a place of perfect contentment. Does the mountain feel frustration at its situation? Does the ocean mourn its liquid form? Nature never hurries; all seasons pass as nature intended. Why then do humans spend so much love time on anxiety and fear? It seems that desire is what separates us from nature. Or indeed is our nature. And our ability to overcome it, to return to a state of nature is… enlightenment?
    And yet to live each day at perfect peace is to die. Is to cease. Living is moving, breathing, grinding the stone to make dust, the dust that makes the stars.
    The way to heal these hurts of the world is to love, and to move, and to gather hope around us like leaves, letting them fall when it’s time to let them fall.
    You say that inside we are nothing more than children, Jon, and I think you are right. And I am happy about that, because no one knows more about peace than children.

    Many blessings,

    Cameron

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