After yesterday’s exertions I probably need a break. The pesky mole is taking the piss again, but it can wait a day or so.
I have been trying to find a way of verbalizing this for quite some time now. We will see if I can.
I’ll speculate that most people have some kind of foundation story around which they construct a life, or current version of a life. People will stick with that story until it becomes untenable, at which point, they might have something of a mental breakdown. All around the world there are people who are quite literally living a lie. They may be in relationships and hiding shenanigans or having said shenanigans hidden from them. They may be raising someone else’s child unknowingly. There is a lot of deceit in this world. If people genuinely believe that plastic surgery will bring them a nirvanic bliss, they are deluded. “If my boobs were bigger people would like me more…”
People try to sell their foundation story to others, it is kind of a stone which props up one’s self-image, a foundation.
When I was a young man, I was arrogant and pushy, because that is what I saw my peers doing. At school in general studies, I did Buddhism and Rastafarianism. I liked the spiritual side of Rastafarianism and was partial to the odd spliff or two. I went to university to study Chemistry and did a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics. I would spout off about how science had the answers to most of the questions concerning life. I had abandoned my spirituality. I started dabbling with the warrior’s path because I was very interested in altered states of perception. I had a few trips and ‘shrooms were my favourite. Humito…
I was pretty good at science and got published which was a hoot. Something was missing.
The one fine day, I sat on a beach in Negril telling a drug dealer that everything could be explained by thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and the standard model. He looked me in the eye and said, “you don’t really believe that do you? He had accidentally pulled my foundation stone from under my world view and there on that beach my mental breakdown began.
I needed something else aside from science and it took me quite a long time to find it.
I had been living one dimensionally. I found I could write poems. Wow…
Later when I was working in student pastoral care, I would have many conversations with “unhappy” students. One recurring theme was that many of them had stopped doing something that they loved in order to work slave like at their studies. I would say things like, “I know it may sound crazy but why don’t you pick up your violin again…” In many cases it helped.
People were trying a foundation story of being an overworked student. It just needed a tweak.
Many people believe that they can get away with things and that there is no karma, no sin. I am not sure how deeply most people think. After all material hedonism is in many ways an all-consuming pass time. They spend their life thus. We must keep up with the Joneses!!
I personally believe in the notion of karma because it makes sense, and I can observe karma in action. But so many people do not like the notion of karma because it would stop them doing some of the less salubrious things that they wish to do.
We all think we know others and if for example you knew me in the very early part of this century you would have the recollection of me as a pushy entrepreneur playing with lasers. Listening to my Gayatri Mantra would change your perception of me ever so slightly. If you had built your world view around the concept that I was a Man of Action and I said I was not. You may not even believe me because to do that would remove a part of the foundation stone of your view of me, upon which all our interactions were based. You may prefer the opinion of another about me rather than my opinion about myself.
To believe some things can radically impact a whole bunch of other stuff. So, the consequence of belief and accepting can be wide ranging. To accept that one has been living with the wrong end of the stick can be very hard and people are generally unwilling to do this.
The concept of an inconvenient truth is widely applicable. There are many inconvenient truths, and most are not accepted. That river in Egypt gets everywhere, denial.
For people who “knew” me 1996-2006 as a science academic it might be difficult for them to understand that we live here on ~2000 euros a month and that I may indeed have some residual sanity left. It would be much more convenient for them to think me bat shit crazy.
How we view others is often a matter of convenience so long as we come out of it smelling of roses and they shoulder all the blame. In the foundation stories of many the blame is apportioned elsewhere, and responsibility remains unshouldered.
I’ll postulate that if you are forever blaming others, you are living a lie because by logic you must have had a hand in whatever has transpired for you. You are the common factor in all your interactions.
You could blame me and say it is all my fault that your life is as you assess it to be.
My current foundation stone is based around the notion that four out of my last five lives were associated with priesthood / monasticism: two Buddhist one Christian. Recently someone told me that something I have personally experienced does not exist.
This statement of itself is at odds with the recollection of others concerning me. They do not know what to do with it and interpret me from their historical data of me, even though that data may be perceptually inaccurate. To believe it would be to change the story, the recollection.
My family found it hard to accept me chanting. They just thought I was being weird, in their words. But no, my way of life had radically altered. They were not prepared to interact with me as a I currently was.
I’ll end with some questions.
Have you ever tried to get someone to comply perceptually with your version of them?
Have you tried to shoehorn them into your outdated version of who they are and what they are about?
Is the foundation stone of your story about them wrong?
What would happen if it crumbled?
P.S. Stories are just stories. They are made up in the minds of mankind.