Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anger's Applications

Reading comments on facebook in response to MSN's question: was the end of the war in Iraq a success? Readers are incensed, from the look of their diatribes against the administration, against the war in general, against whatever their personal feelings told them was wrong. And no doubt a lot must be wrong in any war. Murder, pure and simple. Defense? That's usually the incentive. How is killing, no matter who commits it, NOT murder?

Not to say that fury won't incite one to mayhem. Quietly believe what you want, if a loved one has been killed in any manner whatsoever, anger will overcome reason at some point. The stages of grief, anger, acceptance . . . everyone has read them, none may know them until that time of moving through comes to us.

Life ends. Life begins. Cycles of birth and death have prevailed for human beings always. It seems that at some point, we might begin to accept the process, the inevitable moving toward that first and last. Attaching any personal feelings to either of these is accepted as normal, defined usually as 'love' . . . leading toward protection, possession, even illusory imaginings of control.

A person I know, whose superior intelligence is never in question in my mind, says: anger motivates. Propels, stimulates. Perhaps we use it for these purposes . . . avoiding complacency, boredom, tedium, mediocrity . . . those dreaded states of dead-eyed living.

Quiet acceptance at this moment is possible. Flaming fury may be next, depending on what is heard, believed, feared. Is it possible that a complete absence of anger denotes an enlightened being? One who has achieved the highest state of existence within the human condition? Or has that person simply, without fight, begun to merge with destiny?

If any of us could have the choice, an immutable sentence for life, to rid ourselves of anger altogether . . . it might be most intriguing . . . our decisions thus.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What are we hearing?

Noticing reactions to words can be difficult. Are we actually listening while hearing the bombardment of daily messages in our worlds? Collections of words designed to bend our minds in a certain direction, toward an opinion or idea espoused by someone else - or something else, such as an entity which requires our compliance with its tenets - can be decidedly dangerous. And may not be, at all, WHAT we believe that we are hearing.

How did the Holocaust really happen? Why would an entire population sit still while a few military appointees murdered so many people? For one thing, there were no weapons save those in the hands of the military. This condition was levied on the people of Germany with many words of reassurance . . . eloquently delivered by those whose objectives were, as we see, suppression and control.

When we allow ourselves to be influenced/convinced by anyone, with any message, we comply. Each time a product touted by a marketing effort is purchased, or we vote for any candidate, when we buy a certain vehicle, those endless electronic toys, a piece of clothing, a pair of shoes . . . we've been led -- cleverly led -- toward compliance, along with the powerful conviction that we have chosen all this on our own.

A bountiful smorgasbord of delicious, seemingly freely chosen delights. Created whole cloth, designed to allure, using superior linguistic ability and financial motive. Partake in this lovely pursuit and just flip out that credit card . . . it's all for you and your pleasure. Why not? Freedom . . . of choice, indulgence, happiness.

No doubt it would be prudent to empty our minds and FEEL what is important to our existence. It likely isn't that perfect jacket or piece of jewelry we currently lack. Surely it can't be a hunk of metal and plastic gadgets bought at great price sitting in a driveway, waiting to take us on short journeys toward the same places . . . being duly fed with expensive liquids along the way to ensure that we keep going until we return to these same places . . . liquids which are at our disposal at a great price to humanity.

Happiness and serenity, much less peace of mind, are not for sale. The seductive call of carefully crafted words promising pleasure can be understood as a deadly drain . . . achieving true lack of need, or human happiness, cannot include harming other living beings to obtain it. Perhaps we might try subjective reasoning . . . truly listening to that which we are hearing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


So many quotes exist concerning love. Love has many definitions, including respect, passion, endearment, and so on. Rarely do we think of caring as love's permanent and devoted companion, though many of us bring this combination into motion, unthinkingly, every day.

Caring for another person or living thing, caring concern for well-being of all breathing creatures on our planet, caring and tending to the health of our environment and all within it is pure love. Deep, abiding, every moment loving. While these acts and thoughts may pass quickly, almost unnoticed . . . they compose hours, days, months and years of improvement in quality of our lives . . . that steady furtherance of beauty and goodness.

In short, love is doing. A smile of approval, a shared laugh, supportive words, empathetic effort, even simply an occasional short prayer of understanding. These create serenity, peace -- those binders of daily existence, provision of positive energy . . . open affirmation of humanity's ability to love.

As the popular phrase goes . . . just do it. Love. It's so easy, melt a bit, relax . . . feel the quietness in the center of the chest, the letting go of negativity; rest for a moment inside. Remember someone, admire a view. Notice breezes on the skin, look and clearly see a magnificently feathered flying creature, or rustling leaves of a living tree. Hear the lilting strains of nature's music; roar of the ocean, booming thunder, brilliantly shocking bolts of lightning, quietly falling rain. Experience scents of spring -- hyacinths, sweet olive, roses. Believe that in this moment, only love exists. Allow a small child's eyes to lighten the load for a moment.

That is, entirely, all there is to it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Come to the Party

My mother used this phrase to indicate that proper attention was not being paid or there was improper 'tracking' in regard to a conversation or instructions. It was usually delivered in a slightly sarcastic tone . . . it meant that we should join whatever was going on at the time, that there was a current issue with which we needed to be familiar, so get involved, speak up, and hop to it.

More desirable distractions, namely whatever is in one's own mind, haven't diminished in the slightest with age. And, it has become surprisingly easy to zone out and slide into alpha state, being only slightly aware of any heightening din around and within a particular spot. It's a lot like being at a crowded beach, blocking everything out except sounds of the surf, or circling gulls. Ignoring people is artful, clever technique . . . it will save your life.

It's easier in movies . . . quiet, dark, focus is on the screen, talking above whispers is inappropriate, viewers file out mostly without conversation. Entering the restroom AFTER the movie is disastrous, especially if the movie was good. Just go to Circle K down the street. The cashiers do not speak. Maybe they can't . . . this works to advantage.

While in traffic, never, ever look at people in other vehicles. This implies connection, and this you do not want. Simply pretend that no one exists except you . . . practice a feeling of isolation, of being alone in the universe. Draw the line when the car in front of you stops, and apply brakes, as if you just decided to stop . . . then decide to accelerate when lights change. With a bit of practice, it will seem as if you are alone, and your heart rate will slow, even in heavy traffic.

At cocktail parties, simply get your drink and stand in one place for approximately ten minutes, then casually move to another spot. Assume a pleasant, smiling countenance, slowly sip your drink, and wait for someone to approach you. If no one does, this is preferable. If it looks as someone is heading your way, it may be possible to move away smoothly before the person reaches you to take your position in another, more secluded spot. Do this three times, finish your drink, and leave, smiling at or thanking the host/hostess briefly. No one will notice that you haven't spoken to a soul present -- but you have made your appearance.

When forced to attend dinner with several people, be sure to smile a lot and eat slowly. Very slowly. Feign interest and occasionally nod knowingly, with tacit approval, when others are speaking . . . this passes time and ensures that someone else will be talking for long periods of time. When the person on your left starts to speak directly to you, quickly turn to the person on your right as you are about to begin a conversation. Do exactly the same in reverse. If your body language is cleverly designed and delivered, no one will be the wiser and you will at least be relieved of the necessity to respond to trivial smalltalk.

Avoidance of close interactions with most people adds years to life. Silence is golden. Solitude isn't always available, but can be simulated. Go for it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fight Mode

Every spiritual guide known to the human race throughout history has clearly set forth the path to enlightenment. Quiet acceptance, diligence of thought, and peace of mind and heart. With ourselves and others, compassion and kindness take the lead as we attempt to achieve success throughout our lives. Fighting together for world peace seems more than advisable.

What about these statements appears to be completely lost and forgotten today? Everything, as we see. Financial structures throughout the world are in meltdown . . . millions of our planet's inhabitants are without basic requirements such as pure water, adequate food or shelter, and even safety from predators - more often the human type.

Media circuses tend to exaggerate and promote contention, along with advocation of retaliation, often reaching such intense proportions that it becomes abusive, even predatory. Political parties daily fling insults toward dissenters . . . employing vandalism and vicious verbal abuse, while attempting to sway public opinion toward whatever 'cause' they currently espouse.

We're missing something here. Some integral, essential qualities . . . notably cooperation, understanding, composure, and dignity. The world we face each day is a morass of furious, pointless squabbling . . . desperation's ugliest countenance.

Take a deep breath. Become aware of the state of humankind. Remember good. Believe in positive change. Think carefully. Know that no matter who wins the petty fight, war continues . . . and certainly will lay waste to quality of life so long as it exists.

Lose righteous anger, careless use of ridicule, willingness to inflict damage, defensiveness, deceit. Acquire love, empathy, patience, care for others, all others. Cultivate a generous spirit, employ mercy. Damage, inflicted purposefully or accidentally, does not usually confine itself to a small area.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Now that the National Enquirer deserves (someone, somewhere's) new respect for "stakeouts, paid informants and various sources" having exposed a politician's dalliance with a staff worker, what comes next? A literary prize? Attention from the public? Heavy increase in sales?

We've become a mass of punitive, small-minded, petty activity, this culture. Media successes skyrocket when the public is treated to squabbling, foul-mouthed, asinine behavior by featured 'guests' who attempt to best each other by exhibiting as much of their vacuous ignorance as possible.

What do we now respect? That is, what do we hold in high esteem, what is valuable to us?

Surely it cannot be knowledge, thoughtfulness, consideration. Nor does it appear that most of our fellow citizens have much more on their minds than the latest fashion or scandal, or where the next drug or quick 'high' can be procured.

Shallow, artificial functionality has come into its own. Marketing industries clamor toward banality, actually insulting normal intelligence with most commercials which are heaped non-stop in our laps daily. Any attempt to obtain daily news is met with this constant bombardment; rarely can we expect to view, on any TV station, an entire half-hour of uninterrupted information or entertainment.

And we wonder why so many people suffer panic attacks, anxiety? Why stress is steadily on the rise, why so many take prescription drugs daily to ward off a complete inability to function? Try sensory overload . . . consider constant noise, an urgent deluge of unintelligible nonsense.

So much for quiet dignity . . . for honest, aware communication. Sensationalism has arrived -- in all its mindless hunger. When we begin to see merit in, much less truly admire, publications which set out to annihilate others; when we feel the need to behave as judge and jury; when we relish decimating lives for our own entertainment -- the concepts of goodness and integrity have been lost in the shuffle.

Get into learning, loving life, generosity to others. During the human race's habitation of this planet, there's been enough killing. Let's live.