Is the world doomed or can we save it?

6/18/2018 6:52:57 PM

Monday

[Grow Till Tall -Jónsi]

Taking another crack at this.

I enjoy writing, but I feel like it can be missing a lot. I wish I could add pictures, illustration, video, music.

Have lots of feelings and ideas, and writing / reading can only do so much.

I have a few personal projects. What kind of personal projects are you all trying to accomplish?

Being better about practicing an instrument or a language or cooking?

Getting a degree?

Raising a kid / family?

I am trying to love myself and my life more. For a long time, I have been in a dark place. Have felt very alone at times.

At the core of it though is a sense of worthlessness. That I have nothing of value to bring to the table. Which means, if I ever do become a subject of conversation for whatever reason, I’ll be met with pity, derision, bafflement, or perhaps the worst – complete disinterest. For whatever reason… I am hard-wired to think about how I will present myself to others. Or how I will fit in with others. I can’t seem to stop thinking about how other people will think about me.

[Hengilás -Jónsi]

While I know I ‘shouldn’t’ care about this, I do. This is part of who I am – wondering about what others are thinking. Wondering how every little action, word, expression, reaction, nonaction is being interpreted, if at all, and why. How are all these reactions changing my relationship with the current person I am talking to, if at all? It’s like I am constantly aware of the relationship and watching a constantly progressing line graph – with every good joke or interaction I make, the line rises. With every bad, the line falls.

So rather than berating myself for caring about what others think so much – as yes, I am working on developing my own sense of self regard – that is absolutely priceless and indispensable, but for me to have the goal of stopping carry what others think about entirely or even to a tiny fraction of my day is just not worth my energy right now. What is worth my energy is figuring out how to channel this proclivity.

[Festival -Sigur Rós]

I love discussion. I am bad at it, haha. But I love it. I love analyzing discussions and seeing the flow of logic. Again – I think I am bad at it. I am an ok writer. Not great. I tend to ramble. My thoughts are scattered. I hate being critiqued. But… like before, I can’t seem to stop thinking about discussions and the flow of energy, logic. Has someone been persuaded? Is there merit to what is being said? What drives someone to stick their neck out there and state an opinion or reaction anyway?

Maybe (more rambling) I just enjoy collaboration?

I want to collaborate and explore topics together.

One thing I love are book clubs – even though I’ve only discussed one book in a book club in my adult life, not including college. The process of picking things apart. Seeing the merit. Giving others the benefit of the doubt that their perspective is valid. Seeking understanding and learning instead of bristling at different viewpoints. Respectful dialogue.

Where am I going with all of this?

[Youth – Daughter]

  • How do we love ourselves in the face of feeling absolutely worthless? Why do we feel worthless in the first place?
  • What are some holistic approaches to addressing the different kinds of depression / social isolation / addiction that draws upon the best research? What are some of the cause of these?
  • How do we make the world better? (with the implied question of – the world is in need of betterment / how is the world need of betterment?

These are the questions I’m thinking about right now – I welcome dialogue and your own questions. Maybe we can try and explore this together so we are not so alone with our questions and feelings.

And sure… I could start a discussion club with real live people… in some ways I am already taking steps toward that because of a new group I am beginning to dabble in.

[Ether -We Are All Astronauts]

But writing is also a creative and expressive process. I enjoy the aloneness of writing, but also the wonderment of… who else is watching / feeling this (feeling my same feelings, asking my same questions) from across the gulf of time and space / the internet?

Critical me: “You know, I bet what you just wrote has been written a million times on a blog. Aka, you’re unoriginal. No one is going to want to read this. People will have seen this a million times before. Aka don’t publish this. You also haven’t edited it at all. Aka it’s bad. Just don’t do this. Don’t do this.

Response: Yeah… some of what you say may be right. But… I know you’re also coming from a place of fear / protection – you just don’t want me to be hurt. What’s the worst that can happen? I get a bunch of comments criticizing me? Ok. Say it happens. Was it worth it? I enjoyed this process. I am curious about exploring this process more. I am curious about the equation of:

I put time / effort into expressing myself in some way -> I put it out there as a question to begin a dialogue / collaboration with others -> I wait and see the results.

[M83 – Un Nouveau Soleil (audio)]

At least I tried something?

And the theories of probability / physics know I’ve been trying for a really long time. At least I’ve got that – my heart is in the right place, even if it is blindfolded in a dark room, bumping into wall to wall, making more trouble for itself.

Will I just make more trouble for myself? Eh.

Let’s just take a dive. At least I’ll say I tried. The point is that I’m trying to be true to who I am:

I need to express, question, wonder. I am fascinated by what others think. I want to make the world a better place. I want to help others who are going through similar feelings of worthlessness, isolation, despair. I want to grapple with the many social / economic / political / religious / environmental issues. Is there a way to save the world, or is the world doomed?

I guess let’s start with that:

Is there a way to save the world or is the world doomed?

I would love to hear from you in the comments and start a discussion. Feel free to comment on anything else you found interesting in this post. Thanks for reading.

Best wishes going forward and until next time.

MBM

6/18/2018 7:30:49 PM

All I want for

Writing for ½ an hour. I can do that.

Who wants to read the ramblings of a stranger?

Ok, maybe I do. Depending on what they’re talking about.

Loneliness. Isolation. Individualism. Collectivism. Our current dystopian world. Hope?

The body.

Existentialism.

Entertainment Addiction.

Attention Disorder.

What am I?

What are we?

Codes of DNA encased in a flesh shell. All that DNA wants to do is survive and replicate.

Is that all we are?

I am a recovering theist atheist. So for those of you hoping to find solidarity in faith or the beyond will not find it here.

You will find someone who struggles with:

loneliness and isolation

being overwhelmed by politics, wanting to do something, thinking if we got together things would change, feeling like it’s all hopeless

trying to adapt with a mind brought up to think in black and white, positivity, afterlife, everything has a reason that clashes with how things really are

still thinks there’s hope and it’s worth fighting for

Existentialism feels more real to me every day.

But E is nothing more than socially programmed humans who have a surplus of time living isolated, individualistic lives:

What do I do with my free time?

The culture of individualism is a culture of isolation / living alone – which leads to stress – which leads to addictions of all kinds – which leads to more isolation and feelings of powerlessness – and this cycle is how we’re pushed more and more out of power / how more and more voting rights are demolished.

One merger after another. We’re definitely heading towards the BnL Wall-E future. Maybe we’re in it already.

How do we escape?

Is it through intentional communities and cohousing? Is that the crux of all this? Shifting the culture of individualism aka isolationism to ‘cohousing-ism’?

The very thought of sharing my personal space with others makes me want to crawl into a hole.

“I’d go crazy” I think.

But I’m going crazy now.

That’s why I’m sitting on the floor of a darkened room with the glow of a computer screen as the only form of illumination. This urge to EXPRESS…this urge to express ME… to cry out…. am I… REALLY alone as I feel?

Seeing words materialize on a blank white canvass feels…comforting. So the very act of typing feels nice. I’m able to shape and create SOMETHING.

So why publish it then?

I am lonely and so are you.

I…. want it to stop and so do you.

I think.

The world as it could be. The world as it could be.

I was born into an environment that shaped me into an idealist.

Phenomenon after phenomenon.

Is there ‘a god’. Are we here for a conscious purpose?

While I ask these questions, I could be helping someone fleeing a country or someone who is starving. But I have the privilege of existentiality. The horror of the mind and the modern age of surplus time and isolation.

Existentiality is beautiful, but not at the price of inaction.

I know I am grossly misusing the term in a strict, academic philosophical sense.

“Existence precedes essence”

But as I lay on my death bed in 5, 10, 20, 50 years from now – at least I did SOMETHING.

I felt lonely. I moved my fingers. I pushed a button. And other people can see it. Hey, I feel that way, too.

Pointless. Hopeful. Maybe it’s a way out of my crippling escapist behaviors. It’s definitely an EB in itself. But at least it’s better time spent then watching another half hour of pornography or the next show on Netflix. It’s better than just being in a reverie of thought-mulling, a trance of rumination, where thirty minutes has passed and I’ve just been sitting on my bed, half aware of what I’m thinking and half not.

I struggle with this process of sticking my neck out. Of now being open to criticism.

You’re a fucking dumbass.

You’re a shitty writer.

Go kill yourself.

How EMBARRASSING. I feel so goddamn embarrassed for you, you fucking loser. You fucking piece of shit loser. Jesus fucking Christ you are a lost cause. You’ve wasted your life and now this? And now this?

Why in the absolute fuck are you putting yourself through more pain?

The pain of exposure.

The shifting judging eyes.

The flying thoughts of judgment like thousands of tiny daggers. The frown. The squint. The click. The turn. The forgetting.

Am I just attention crazed?

Yes. Yes I am. I am in desperate need of attention and that’s why I’m writing and posting on the internet because I have no friends.

(Well, I do have friends, but… I crave community. I crave community. And I crave a life worth living. I crave meaningful work. I crave doing something instead of caving into paralysis in the face of a dystopian society.) Boy, we’ve been fucking dystopian for a LONG ass time. Where the fuck have you been?

Grandpa, what did you do with your life?

Well imaginary grandchild, not fucking much. I did however, once or twice, be in just the right mood to right an existential, rambling blog post.

What I want: a variety of intentional communities (rural to urban) that shifts culture from individualism and isolation and addiction to healthy minded, diverse, and connected individuals who are aware of and participate in the political process, decentralizing power and resources, to create a stable, sustainable union with the planet and each other.

I want to love myself and have the courage to say what I want in front of others, and face the fear of criticism and backlash. I want to believe in myself. I want to believe in the goodness of humanity. I want to believe in hope and give hope a try.

That’s all I want.

An evening of coping with anxiety, despair, and depression

Phase 1 – Denial. Rushing around. Doing things. Doing your job. Going on a run.

Phase 2 – Shit hits the fan with no escape. God no this is real. This is happening. No, no, no, no. Not this. A thousand nos. Sitting on your floor with racing thoughts. Could I turn to this person? This person? That person? Him? Her? Them? No…no…no…no. Alone. I am alone and I … this is all fucked up. I’m fucked up.

Phase 3 – Brief wonder about what my preferred method would be.

Phase 4 – In the shitstorm of despair that is my mind, there are flashes of the ideal group of friends. Flashes of the ideal mentor. Flashes of being loved by my own self. A smile. A denial. At first I feel completely disconnected to it. I am just observing, pushing away, and then seeing the flash again.

Phase 5 – Flashes / Imagining of the ideal become longer. Maybe there are glimmers of feeling in the body. This is the turning point. The internal screams become softer.

Phase 6 – Feel my body again. Feel my aloneness. But I am surviving. Despite my situation, my body doesn’t care – it wants food. I am alone, but I can take care of myself. [Pause for a moment to see my privileges – I have shelter, food, access to a shower, able-bodied. The crises are all internal. No less agonizing, but it could be much worse.]. Get up and take a shower.

Phase 7 – Amidst fits of crying, ups and downs, then sitting on the floor of the bathtub as water spills over me, looking up at the spout, feeling the moment. The warmth. The water. My body. A breath. All these sensations. I am alone, but I am not dead, and I am in company with sensation and breath.

Phase 8 – New ideas. Introspection. A kind of calm. The anxiety, fear, and pain are still there, but they are now shadows. I see the reflection of their eyes, and maybe a silhouette or two, as they wait in the darkness at the edge of the light of the fire. What is the fire? Is it hope?

Do animals have hope? Is that how they fight against depression? Are animals existential? Rhetorical questions?

A message to anyone reading this struggling with despair / loneliness: I am sorry. I am so sorry. It fucking sucks. It feels like the worst thing in the world. I wish I could take your pain away. Things that have / are helping me:

  • Therapy (this develops the ability to comfort, see, accept, and understand yourself when you are alone. I think there comes a time when even your therapist is not able to give you the kind of seeing/understanding you need. But when you have developed critical introspection tools, there is an ability to stand beside yourself, even in really dark times.
  • Exercise (I think a lot of anxiety is partly the built-up unused and excess energy of the body due to a sedentary lifestyle. There’s also a lot of science to back up the health / mental health benefits of exercise
  • Music, shower, writing, breathing, hugging yourself – anything that creates a kind of positing stimulation to begin to anchor you to the moment
  • Imagination: visualization of the ideal of whatever you need being there right with you. Make sure it’s a need and not just a craving / want. What do you desperately need right now? What would it feel like to have that right now? Feel it.
  • Recommended music:
    • Against the Sky -Harold Budd & Brian Eno
    • Even if You’re Never Awake -Stars of the Lid

Honesty.

Courage.

Good luck friend.