Being Problematic

Over the last three weeks or so the UK news has been dominated by the search for a lost person. They have searched “everywhere” for a lost body and now one has been found. This means that, in time, there will be some media resolution on this issue. The family and friends will still suffer. The TikTok detectives will have had their five minutes of “fame”. It will pass and fade for most, not for others.

This is a metaphor for “problem solving” in society. People are often looking for a lost body, a skeleton in a closet or a scapegoat. Someone to blame. Once one of these has been found all the drama and the emotion can come to a crescendo and then start to fade. For some reason, people need something or someone to pin things to. It is a primitive dynamic rite of passage. Psychologically in days gone by, human sacrifice was perhaps used so as to appease the Gods. It was an act of futility, by the collectively powerless to give the illusion of making a difference. The catharsis was cathartic, but nothing changed materially. It was a bit of a con by the powerful priesthood, it helped them keep their power over. The dead person did not go into the waiting arms of the loving Gods.

Because I am a retired “old fart” living out in the middle of nowhere, I can write things like I just did, without someone, a “superior”, calling me in to have a discussion, a quiet word, about my on-line opinions. I have no contract concerning my on-line comments with my employers. I am bringing nobody else other than myself into “disrepute”. Thus, I am not strictly speaking problematic to anyone else. But this cover-all is not exact.

For example, when I applied for a Ph.D. studentship around ten years ago, I was being “problematic”. I satisfied the educational requirements but for some societal reasons an ex-academic with 50 science publications applying for a Ph.D. studentship was problematic. Why?

From my point of view, I would have been very good value for money. I would have hit the ground running and helped to advance the project. The money was more than I was making as a private tutor. But…

The project supervisor might have had ego problems, they might have been insecure, they might have imagined some kind of scandal and besides the science funding body, whose mission it is to get value for money from investment, forbade the funding of a second Ph.D. {doh}

I was / am problematic to the way people think, their expectations, and mental “rules” about what is and is not “acceptable”.

Snobbery plays a big part in what is perceived as being problematic.

Because I have no power, am not famous and am not associated to any body august or otherwise, I am relatively free to write what I wish. Were I a head of a university department, an Oxford college or a learned society I would have to watch my Ps and Qs. I would not be allowed to express freely and I would be subject to being censored and to censure should I stray. Although I have no positional power, I do have an enhanced apparent freedom of speech over those who do have power.

If Dishy Rishi or Keir Starmer wrote what I just did, it would erupt all over the media, like a pandemic.

What an eccentric old fart {This language maybe offensive to your reader} says is unlikely to cause any ripple whatsoever. Computer programmes however still want to admonish me.

From time to time I get the notion that the way I live remains problematic for some. Why?

What is so very wrong with a retired old fart, doing some gardening, some DIY, some photography and rambling away here on the internet?

There is no problem unless there are expectations, notions of should and notions of ought.

A lot of the things which appear problematic are only problematic in the minds of men, not it reality. When there is a divergence from the “accepted” socio-political construct the error checking software says “problem”, “problematic”.  It should not be like this, “we have a problem Huston!”

So, what does one do with a violent double rapist who has a penis and who is claiming to be she? Is this being a problematic one, or has the socio-political construct created a “problem” for itself. Whose fault is it?

Common sense suggests that putting a penis holder heterosexual rapist into confinement with beings with vaginas is not a smart idea. Whichever way you look at it, it does not smack of wisdom. Not a very good cunning plan. It is asking for problems down the line.

Why is this problematic?

Because some people claim it is discriminatory.

It is taboo to mention common sense, these days.

It is problematic if one prefers reality and common sense…

Resentment and a Moment of Clarity

“Why was he born so beautiful
Why was he born at all
He’s no bloody use to anyone
He’s no bloody use at all”

I think it reasonable to say that there is a great deal of resentment in the world today and much of that can be found amongst those who have little, in reality, to resent. Resentment can come from thwarted ambition and when life does not fulfil the conditions which we impose upon it. It can walk hand in hand with a “It is not fair mummy” mentality. It can stem from unmet expectations when a sense of entitlement is not sufficiently fulfilled. It can arise in envy and jealousy. People can resent having to put some effort in, some work and this can cause resentment.

For example, I published six academic articles during my Ph.D. That was from only around nine months actual experimental time. I used to party a lot {vast amount} and it appeared to others that it was all too easy for me. I know that some resented me for this. “He smokes weed and gets pissed it is not fair that he is publishing and I am not.”

Resentment is an astral-emotional thing, it emits negative thoughts and energies at the object of resentment and that is in many cases a fellow human being. Some people are born with a metaphorical chip on their shoulder and resent the entire world, others are spoiled rotten and when they do not get their way they fall into resentful sulking.

For most of my young life, I was pretty good at most things, though never top of the class. I put in enough effort and willingly so but never really excelled. In school I captained the rugby second fifteen and played either hooker or open side flanker. My friend captained the first fifteen as hooker. He played for South-east England at that position and even had an England trial. He was head boy. I used to help him with his homework {he was not a scholar} and many lunch times we would squat 100kg together inter alia. {Maybe this is why I now have osteo-arthritis.} When there was a crunch match, I would be drafted in to the first team as flanker. I was fast and could give the wings a good run for their money, but not beat them.

I never really resented much in life. Do your best and see what happens without obsessing was pretty much my way of looking at things. I have never really been jealous beyond a hint. That is perhaps because most things came relatively easy to me, all I had to do was concentrate and put the effort in. At university I put in a good shift in my final year so as to remain a student. If Sue Tollerfield had not gotten one more mark out of a thousand than me, the trajectory of my life would have been entirely different. On such little things a fate hangs.

If one accepts life as it is rather than how we imagine it should be or ought to be, there is no resentment. The universe does not give one hoot about the conditions we impose upon it in our “minds” and “emotions”. Our made up imaginary conditions are the cause of our own resentment; the universe is not to blame and it is not my fault if you resent me.

One fine day I was contemplating the above rugby song. I had a moment of clarity.  The one thing that I resented the most was being born. “Oh shit, not into that meat again. Do I have to?” It was a very real sensation I resented my own in-carn-ation. In that moment much fell off my shoulders and I was as crystal clear as can be, reincarnation happens.

I’ll posit something, on one level we each have a resentment about having to take on a meaty vehicle again and again and face all the challenges inherent with being corporeal. We may not be sufficiently aware to feel this.

It not my fault that you incarnated in this lifetime, you are the one responsible for that!!  

It is not my fault if you reincarnate again with accumulated and accrued karma in a few hundred years or so.

If you have failed to acquire some karmic merit as opposed acquiring to material things, I have not advised you that this is a good thing to do.

If you want to blame someone for your next meaty sojourn, look in a mirror.

Blame and resentment are cut from the same cloth and are in many ways cousins…they are both toxic emotions which “poison” those who hold them close and imagine themselves justified in the expression of these unpleasant forms.

Resentment can be full of bile, blame full of ire. Neither makes the world a better more harmonious place.

“Do your best and see what happens without obsessing…”