I was thinking a lot about this question yesterday. Specifically, it was my “object of meditation” as I went for a walk in the park last night: Do I remember experiencing empathy growing up?
What comes up for me is that there was a feeling that I somehow internalized that feeling empathy was “bad.” I have no idea where that came from, I believe it is a condition of our culture at large. But the feeling of being “too vulnerable” and really feeling the deeper emotions is something in the environmental soup that we live in, which, specifically for Men, is learned to be a sign of weakness.
Solsara in Oregon had a unique way of somehow dissolving those emotional barriers and letting it in. For whatever reason, those “hippies” are onto something with the emotional work they are doing. The culture of the Midwest is emotionally numb in a way that I only found a context for understanding out west.
Oregon is truly as different of a culture from Chicago and Kansas City as Madagascar is from America. There is some “reverse culture shock” I am feeling being back in the Heartland.
The one missing piece of the puzzle that I still am clueless about how to integrate is how to find “right livelihood” (as the Buddhists say) while living up to what I have learned on my journey.
But, to wax philosophical, which is what I am best at, 3 years ago I published my 4th book that should have been titled, “Don’t Quit Your Job,” because that was the opening line, which I should not have edited out. (Maybe I’ll edit it back in and re-publish it under the correct title ~ hell that ain’t a bad idea come to think of it!)
In that book, I gave myself a 3-year mission and my earnings of $100,000. And my 3-year mission was “to become the best version of myself.” Says so right in the prologue. And, to quote Captain Picard, “That’s exactly what he’s going to do.”
How that best version of myself fits into the shitty-ass society he find himself living in, neither he nor I have any idea. Nevertheless, I’ve come far too far to abandon my values at this point.
At some point, maybe my orginal dream of becoming a motivational speaker will come true. But I don’t want to convince people to make a million dollars like that Tony Robbins bastard.
I want to show people what it means to live according to moral integrity and help them discover what moral integrity really means. Cause, to quote Molly’s grandma, “Ain’t no one seem to have that no more.”
Then there’s the captain Picard in me who refuses to blow up the damn ship in “First Contact,” and slams his phaser-rifle into the glass case with all the model Enterprises. “We have made too many compromises already. They destroy entire worlds, and we fall back. The line must be drawn here. This far, no farther!”
In this world, there are Hitler apologists. I think the world needs “White Man Apologists.”
Since the Roman Empire, the Western World has been conquering and decimating all the cultures on Planet Earth. Just like the Borg. No different.
And now the arrogance of the Roman/British/American Triumverate is causing Global Warming. I will not participate. I wonder who I learned to think for myself from? It’s not a trait that pays the bills.
I want to earn a Nobel Peace Prize.
50 years from now, or less, I want to take a rocket into space and see the world after Global Warming has been reversed by the people who had the balls to stand up and say, “This far, no farther!”
God, I sound like a crazy person!
Speaking of God, I told him in no uncertain terms that I will not go to prison for my beliefs. That’s why I draw my own line in the sand.
In the meantime, I have an apartment I can’t afford, and a job painting windows.