Monday, March 2, 2009

That Nelson Mandela Quote


...that Nelson Mandela quote in that last post had been sitting in my YogaforCynicsworking file for some time...that file’s kinda the womb of this blog....are you comfortable with me using that kind of metaphor?....I’m not...so I won’t do it again...anyway, I’d meant to bring it up when I had something more to say about the subject...without sounding preachy...

...there was something I wrote about a year and a half ago...just some personal writing...would never end up in a public forum...and that's a good thing...I charted a kind of emotional autobiography in the form of a kind of bar graph...yeah, I find strange ways to spend my time...a timeline at the top and then, along the side, seven levels of happiness and misery: 1) Nirvana 2) Life is good 3) Life’s okay, and I’m pretty optimistic about it getting better 4) Mid-line: life’s bearable 5) Life kinda sucks, but not too bad if I can keep myself entertained 6) Life sucks 7) Hell...

...the bar graph fell apart, and I started writing things out...like Seventh grade: big fat 7...and elaborated...writing out names, with four letter words as a kind of punctuation soon giving away to flat-out hatred and damnation...rage and hatred pouring onto the page...and it was rush...got me pretty wired, in fact...did a bit of yoga to try and mellow myself out...and then, unbidden, started thinking of other experiences...when I’d been nasty...cruel... inexcusably vicious...caring about nothing apart from making sure that whoever I was dealing with would feel as bad as I did...and I felt like shit...and then it occurred to me that if you don’t wanna hate yourself, you can’t hate anybody else either....that’s been recounted here before, but it seems worth mentioning again....

...another interesting realization was that my 20’s—in between spectacular backpacking trips...and other kinds of trips...were a pretty miserable time, while my boring studious 30’s weren’t bad...not so many good stories, but some good friends, mellow good times, and a lot fewer mornings mumbling fuck upon opening my eyes...which says something about spectacular experiences...they’re cool, but, ultimately, it’s the day to day life that counts...

...and that goes for hatred, as well....it’s way too easy to declare yourself an irredeemable asshole because, after so much yoga and meditation, you’ve failed to turn into a glowing floating being of pure love...on numerous occasions in the recent past yelling at friends and family, giving the finger to people on the street, fantasizing about doing horrible things to inexplicably popular talk radio personalities...not that I’ve done any of that stuff myself....

...the important question is: what’re ya gonna do now?

10 comments:

Aggie said...

Sometimes you have to draw the poison out one way or another. Seeing it written down in black/white and reading it back kinda helps you to realise how destructive it is and then you can whitewash it over. Wiping it out of your system and finding ways to do that are all part of life's little struggles. We get tainted by the world we live in and need to clean up as we go and keep our slates as clean as possible along the way.
It is a great quote ... just a very succinct and to the point way of putting it.

Lydia said...

Personally, I think I could really take to your bar graph life-rating concept, at least to begin a process of remembering, then seeing what was there. Are you still doing the volunteer work with recovering addicts? Not kidding, this could be an interesting exercise there.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

I feel torn sometimes Dr Jay. I want to be a better person, but I have {like everyone else} curious sore spots, that get rubbed from time to time. And feelings of righteous indignation when I see what I perceive to be the unmitigated, uncalled for abuse of others, or the abuse of an institution or system.

Last night I did a meditative exercise where I wished for my enemies whatever I wished for myself. I do my best and remind myself that the monster I see in them is not separate from me. That I too carry that monster within. And that part of my indignation is the fact that I am horrified that they refuse to keep that beast on a leash, and pick up its shit in the park.

Its easier for me to get very angry about things that affect a lot of people at once too. The thought of some people carrying through with their darkest desires {what I have witnessed lately} angers me that way. I am angry because I am tired and I need some rest and I feel like their acts are a constant wake up call, something that jerks me out of the happiness of being, and into the mire of their hatred. It's bad enough when I mirror that. Now I am working at not allowing it to circulate from within. I have enough of my own to deal with, without taking theirs on as well.

Melinda said...

Actually, 'the womb of your blog' doesn't bother me at all. However, does this mean that all published entries are your little children of the weblog? Hmnnnnnnn. Never thought of it that way, Jay!

I very much like your thought that if you don't want to hate yourself, you can't hate anyone else. This was something that took me a long time to learn. For many years, I was so consumed with hate--for all the people who wronged me (both real and imaginary). Then, it occurred to me--hate takes an awful lot of energy--and when you are busy feeding hatred for someone else, you are feeding hatred PERIOD--and some of that hatred is bound to spill out on you (me).

I don't think I hate anyone today--although I will say that there are people I'm glad I never have to see again.

As to the important question, "What are you gonna do now?" Well, that seems pretty easy at this point. I'm gonna keep learning, keep growing, keep making mistakes and then do all three over again.

Cheers!

Melinda

Brooks Hall said...

Dear Dr. Jay,
I love hearing about this part of your journey! I can identify. Wow, the bar graphs sound intense...and the terms fit. And I like your use of the word womb.

Andrew said...

Hey man, much thanks for the compliment, I do love that marley shirt. I gotta say I've been at a solid four for about the last two and a half years. With the odd peak or valley of course.

earthtoholly said...

I'm a loner, so there's not much of that goin' on with me now. Of course, I do have a week-long visit with the family coming up...

I have been a flat-out bitch in the past to most people within arms length and they didn't deserve it. I feel so bad about that now but know that I hurt them because I was hurt...doesn't make it right, though.

Hmmm, seems I should be posting about this stuff instead of filling up your comments area. You done struck a nerve there, drjay.

I really liked this post, though. Your writings always make me think. And sometimes that's a good thing. [wink-wink!]

berenice said...

Dr. Jay SW, it's OK to be mad and confused and enraged, we learn more from those states of mind than from the happy ones! we learn who we really are and what we are capable of... so I guess the trick, even if it sounds cliché is to learn from those moments, as to not let them take over you again

I think is pretty normal for most of us to live a full-of-life-experiences youth, I feel we are not at all the same person when we are 20 than when we are 30 and even less when we are 40... it's a molding process this life thing for sure! Me too, in my 20's lived sort of a miserable life, but full of magic moments too, then also on the 30's focused more on learning and work, now finally coming to 40 i feel the balance settling in a little... i heard and read many people complaining about getting old, for me, it's such a peaceful path to become older in life, things seem simpler now, every day and every downward facing dog more! i understand more my body and my soul... so embrace your good and bad moments, and enjoy them both! we cannot be saints every day (regardless of how much yoga) and we are not demons every hour either.. as for your graph idea, sounds very funny & clever to many, but i feel there's no point on making a list of regrets to make you feel bad unless you just think of them for little time and then realize you don't have to do that again, & just feel a little guilty when you flip-off another peasant on the street, but if the guy deserved it, oh well... also and most important learn not to be forgiven, but mostly to forgive yourself

now the unrequired quote

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned" - Buddha

melissa said...

if you don’t wanna hate yourself, you can’t hate anybody else either

That was a hard lesson to learn. And of course, I am still continually learning that one, among others.

Thanks for this post. It really hit me in the right way this morning.

Mandy said...

I think it is crazy how many of us live on autopilot at #5...I sometimes fall into that(it's comfortable) but, thankfully have the tools to bump up on the scale!