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Monday, August 17, 2009


heaven and earth

One of the aspects of getting older that I like is finding how fluid the mind is, how thin as air it is, how incredibly unreliable it is, how ways of thinking guide patterns of behavior, how living in the mind can stunt inner growth, how adamantine mind can be. I see it in myself, believing with certainty some event I'd been involved in happened a certain way, would testify to it in court. Come to find out, it wasn't like I remembered at all. Where did what I remembered come from? I think it's called false memory. How do we know what's false memory and what's not? Then, there's deception and self-deception. It can go on and on and it does.

Of the 3 billion earthlings that live on the planet's landmasses like clusters of ant colonies, ever at war with neighbors, every one of us has his/her interpretations of experience. In a courtroom, multiple witnesses are consulted looking for the thread that runs through all the different versions of the same moment. We see through the filters of our minds, or, in other words, our experience. The man that swaggers like a tough guy, does his hair like a tough guy, brags like he's a tough guy, who has been in prison, which precedes him wherever he goes, his identity, sees through a very different filter from a teenage girl with a bad case of pimples, a nose she doesn't like, and mouse-colored hair, who pours her heart out to a pet gerbil. These two people cannot see the same thing that's right before their eyes the same way.

Multiply that by 3 billion and we have a whole lot of misunderstanding going on. We're seldom at peace in our own minds, so when we get together in big groups, identify with the group, the club, the tribe, the county, the nation, and everybody has conflict going on in their minds, then the whole bunch will have no peace, will keep war going created by mental conflict. There will be murders, robbery, bigger and bigger police forces, more and more prisons, military industrial congressional complex, wars to keep the economy going and the people divided, because people divided are easy to manipulate.

All of that, because individually we don't have peace of mind. Hence God comes to earth in human form and gives perfectly clear guidelines on how to have inner peace, which amounts to getting along with the people around us, bypassing mental conflict, and loving God. But that's no fun. "Do you know what that haystack-headed bitch said to me? Well, she looks just like a haystack a-settin on a pair-a shoulders. I aint lyin, honey, I'm tellin ya, she looks just like a haystack. About kills me ever time I see her."

Big Maybelle, a Chicago R&B singer of the fifties, had a song that was two women talking on a sidewalk in Chicago, Big Maybelle one of them. She lets the other woman have it for telling her business all over town. The other woman has a petulant, smart-mouth way about her, coming back with, "I call em as I see em.... You got Mississippi written all over you." They never come to agreement, so Big Maybelle ends it with, "Ya better watch out!"

Being in this world, not of it, appears to have a lot to do with peace of mind, free of conflict in the mind. Judgment sets mental conflict off like a dynamite cap. Then you get all that follows. "Why's everbody down on me?" Maybe I was down on them first. Several years ago, somebody I knew a short time said, "I don't like people, but I like you." That didn't appeal to me. I felt I understood what he was saying, but at the same time it told me it won't be long til I become people, so we'll settle it right now. I'm already people.

The foundation of all drama from Greek times to now is conflict. The nature of this world is duality, the spin of opposites, black and white, that creates all the colors between black, the color of all colors blended in pigment, and white, the color of all colors in light blended. The Impressionists would not use black, because it was not a color. That's just one way of looking at it. The other way of looking at it is black is all the colors; thus, it's a color. Rouault certainly thought so a few years later.

Look down through the centuries at schools of philosophy that contradict the one that came before, back and forth, back and forth. It seems like the pendulum swing is the result of momentum, like footsteps to catch us as we fall forward. In history, a renascence is followed by a reformation, a rejection. It opened doors to too many unknowns. Like hanging a couple of dried and painted elephant turds on a painting called Madonna, and the mayor of New York wants it taken out of the show, because he's a Catholic. Turds and Mother of God don't mix. But that's just one way of looking at it, which, fortunately, American law allows.

Seeing the mind can go anywhere it wants and justify anything, create reality by repetition and deny anything out of existence makes a good case for illusion. Put a dozen people in a jury room after a trial with the same evidence to go by and see how many versions of the same thing come up. Gore Vidal artfully demonstrated in just a few words there is no history. History is written from memoirs and letters that are, by nature, self-serving, and newspaper articles, which we know are consistently incorrect. Plus, for everyone involved in a given event, it is a different experience.

I see Jr in his bed as near mindless as can be. he has said he can't think any more; his senses know more than his mind. I saw his mind flow the same as down a drain over the course of a week. Every day there was less and less, until it was gone. Now mind is gone and body lives on. 23 hours a day in the bed, so weak he can't move or think. He says he doesn't sleep, but he always looks asleep. When I say his woman friend is on the phone, he's awake, though just by a thread. He is aware. He can respond to something said if he understands it. While he was up about an hour ago I took the moment to change bed sheets and he said, "You don't have to do so much." He was ready to crawl in as soon as it was ready. The phone rang. He wanted his pee cup. It was in the kitchen sink being washed with detergent. I answered the phone, got the cup, finished the bed and left him to his privacy. A whirlwind moment in a day of stillness.

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