Still crazy after all these weeks

Friends, I’m sorry for my cyber-silence. There’s been a subtle shift in my life, although I’m hard-pressed to explain it. Sometimes I’ve felt very much IN the Spirit, othertimes, no. Sometimes the weird melding of the false boundaries of sacred and secular bothers me a little. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes I take “the bait”—feel dissatisfaction or disgust with the world for the incessant brainwashing that goes on, and most people’s apparent desire to have ever more of it. Two emails came my way that showed me dear friends of mine were falling for well-meaning but nefarious invitations to go beyond honoring our war dead, to further embracing the delusions that are behind all conflict, large and small. They’re always the same—only sides, words, stakes and the particular sparks that ignite it change.

Tonight, I spent a bit of time kything with a dear light… St. Teresa of Avila. (I’ve never explained kything on my blog, and I’m not going to get into it now. Basically, it means “hanging out” with someone who may not be there in an obvious way, such as physically present or on the phone. I’ve always been a bit too shy to talk much about this before.)

Anyway, we “meditated” together for a while, and I came away feeling compassion rather than dismay. We’re all children here. Jesus saw us all as sheep without a shepherd. I dropped “the bait.” (Tricky stuff, that.)

In lighter news, I’ve been watching a lot of LOST, renting the first season, which I missed. Any one want to take a guess as to my favorite character? And whose yours?

12 thoughts on “Still crazy after all these weeks

  1. Kything….I’ve always sensed an openness to interacting with those who have left their physical containers (aka ‘dead people) ;)…not in the psychic sort of way but in the same way we interact with God. Hmph…I’m not sure I’m up for reading a book about it, surely it doesn’t require that much study 🙂

    oh…and Hey, I’m Rick. I found you a few weeks ago. Interesting articles…I didn’t know what I was experiencing had a name…labels…geez.

  2. No need for apologies, Jon. Life is circles and cycles, blogging/not-blogging, feeling spiritual/not-spiritual, sensing dissatisfaction/acceptance. It is THE DANCE! It is LIFE!

    Thanks for sharing, even though you’re reserved, about kything. I’ve never heard of it and appreciate your insight and experiences.

    (Sorry about LOST, I know I’d like it if I gave it a chance, but have never watched it!)

  3. I’m glad to hear from you, hoping that in your virtual silence your fleshly existence goes well.

    I certainly identify with the dissatisfaction/disgust that you mention, and wonder why that’s “the bait”. Is it bad to feel that way? A trap, somehow? What are your thoughts on the setup of the human experience, on moving between frustration and compassion. Is one more desirable than the other? Why?

    How would you describe “the delusions that are behind all conflict”? Can they be enumerated somehow?

    You’ve made some interesting comments, and I’m curious about the system of thought behind it.

  4. Hi, Jon. I’m into Lost in a big way. The third season started to drag a bit, but it seemed to find its direction again.

    Hope you enjoy watching season 1. My favourite Character is Locke 😀

  5. Welcome, Mahud!

    Well, I can’t tell you who my favorite character is until someone hazards a guess.

  6. Julie,

    After September 11, I thought hard about the nature of violence, and wrote a page about my realization that resentment is the fuel of violence. Not necessarily the spark that ignites a conflict, but it’s always an ingredient in an ongoing conflict.

    Consider schoolyard shoving… the first push might have any number of surface motivations (very often a resentment about either a real or perceived injustice), and if the shovee feels enough resentment about being shoved (probable), he’ll make an aggressive move in return, and possibly harder. Then the shover is likely to respond in kind.

    If the resentment is not expressed or released, it will be repressed, and may erupt suddenly in what appears an unwarranted attack “just out of the blue.”

    Violent conflict tends to be resolved by either: A, exhaustion–the resentment burns itself up in exhausting activity–or B, release, where resentment is vented away through airing grievances, negotiation, removing oneself from the situation, or forgiveness.

    In the case of international conflict, the A option is called “war.” A war is unwinnable when there is no realistic likelihood of resentment being exhausted through military power.

    A “war on terrorism” is unwinnable as long as conditions are such to foster violent resentment. (Bush himself said the war on terrorism was probably not winnable.)

    A war can be won (though at a terrible price) when exhaustion happens, as it did to Germany and Japan in World War II. In the latter case, the MacArthur and Marshall plans were quickly enacted to address and defuse remaining and post-war resentment.

    The B option can also end violent conflict. For some reason, acting or continuing to act with resentment becomes less desirable than releasing it in another way. In the schoolyard, this might be the principal coming out and threatening both kids with detention. In international conflict, it could be expense, domestic issues, shortages, or the anticipation of approaching exhaustion. Generally, an authoritative decision-maker, whether individual or collective, must select the B option, which is why it’s so unlikely in the vague war on terror.

    Now, if you know what disgust can lead to, you know why it’s “the bait,” and why cultivating peace is so important.

    So… who’s your favorite LOST character, and who’s mine?

  7. Hey Jon!

    I’m a lost fanatic. My favorite character changes somewhat with the seasons, but overall it’s Locke. I also really like Sayid and Mr. Eko (who you probably haven’t “met” yet).

    I’d have to guess your favorite character is Locke?


  8. Now, if you know what disgust can lead to, you know why it?s ?the bait,? and why cultivating peace is so important.

    Hardly! Why is peace more desirable than war/disgust/resentment?

    And I don’t watch Lost, so can’t help you there…

  9. I certainly identify with the dissatisfaction/disgust that you mention, and wonder why that?s ?the bait?.

    Okay, so it’s the bait because something seemingly small can be the source of larger conflict. Did we hit on what, exactly, are the deluded beliefs? (Reading your Sept 11 commentary, obviously one delusion is that “war” can be “won”… not so; the conflict is never resolved – rather, one party gives up the fight.)

    Is it bad to feel that way? A trap, somehow? What are your thoughts on the setup of the human experience, on moving between frustration and compassion. Is one more desirable than the other? Why?

    Is there a necessity to reject some parts of the human experience while embracing others?

    But what I should have asked at the beginning is, what are your base premises that lead you to call something “the bait”?

  10. Kay and Mahud, you’re GOOD!
    Locke is my favorite, and Hurley is a very, very close second.


    You’re correct in challenging a flat statement. It’s a matter of taste. One can go the Tyler Durden way, which is definitely valid.

    But if one desires to make peace, cultivating inner peace is essential to avoid bringing the seeds of more resentment to the mix.

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