Two Things

Two Things

The First Thing

It used to be that mental illness was a taboo subject. This was bad. The stigma created by the silence harmed many people and prevented people from living the happier lives they could have lived. Now, however, we’ve overcorrected, and mental illness has become the explainer for way too much of human behavior. I see this especially in my partner’s generation (people in their 20s), for whom various forms of mental illness have become the defining factor in their lives. This is particularly a problem, in my opinion, because of the second thing.

The Second Thing

Of course mental illness is real. People have actual malfunctions in their brains, PTSD from trauma, and a whole host of other things. BUT we also live in an incredibly sick society. We’ve been sold (quite literally) a lie about what constitutes success and happiness, and we’ve been sold that lie so we’ll buy things we don’t need, obey social mores and rules we don’t need, look up to “leaders” we don’t need, and avoid doing the things that actually contribute to human well-being and happiness. In a society as depraved as this one, feeling depressed and crazy is a rational reaction. Again, there are real mental illnesses, but I also really believe that many of us feel the way we do because we realize something is wrong but we’ve never been shown any way to live outside this awful, harmful system. We’ve been sold a series of yardsticks that all lead to less and less happiness, rather than more.

So What?

A logical question is to wonder what to do about any of this. And this is where I come back to the same song I always sing, namely that small intentional communities of mutual aid are the only rational way forward. We need to do everything we can, no matter how small each individual step may be, to separate ourselves from this system. Grow food. Make things. Stop needing crap. Help one another. Trade skills. Live together. Yes there are a million complicating factors, but some of them are what we’ve been told is unachievable by the very people who have the most to lose if we achieve them. We can heal ourselves, but we can’t do it using the system that made us sick.

Posted in Politics & Activism, Random Musings | Leave a comment

Enlightenment*

I’ve been very reluctant to talk about this, but I think that sometime in the past year I’ve had one or more enlightenment experiences as a result of meditation and some life shocks. I hesitate to even use that terminology because it’s so weighted.

In any case, there have been several tangible results of seeing the world more clearly this way, one of which is that I’m exploring ideas I would have rejected before, including those rooted in nature. These experiences are also the cause of my recent job decision and the attempt to redesign my life around a different set of principles.

My life has always been moving in this direction, but very slowly until this past year, when suddenly I see the universe and my relationship to it (and the reality of whether or not there’s a “me”) in a way I never imagined before. I’m still figuring all this out, and definitely not laying claim to any special knowledge or status. It’s another step on the path.

Posted in Buddhism, Nature | Leave a comment

two haiku: 6 September 2018

falling locust leaves:
the sound of Stan Getz’s sax
obscured by mower

9.6.18
State College PA

///

blue-black crows outrun
a car speeding down the street;
summer sun on wings

9.6.18
State College PA

Posted in Haiku, My poems, Poetry | Leave a comment

haiku: 25 August 2018

nuthatch drops three seeds
finds the fourth acceptable
returns to the trees

8.25.18
State College PA

Posted in Birds, Haiku, My poems, Nature, Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

haiku: 23 August 2018

“Blues For A Hip King”
pinwheel spinning wildly ’round
no money no problems

8.23.18
State College PA

Posted in Haiku, My poems, Poetry | Leave a comment

haiku: 22 August 2018

Johnny Dyani’s
bass notes compete with the breeze;
cool night for August

8.22.18
State College PA

for John Edwin Mason

Posted in Haiku, My poems, Poetry | Leave a comment