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  • Category Archives Matters of the Heart
  • Taking On a New Thing

    People tell you to improve your life you need to take on a new thing be it a job, a medication, volunteering, or something else.  What they fail to tell you is if you are on the bottom it is very difficult to impossible to actually quit that new thing you tried.  This is because if you are on the bottom you generally don’t have much control over your life, your handlers have control of it.  It’s like the cars that had their accelerators suck.

    I want to quit my job and my volunteering but I can’t.  I would not have started volunteering if I had known I didn’t have the option to quit.  But when you try things people assure you that you can quit them.  This is a lie, they know if they told you the truth, that you couldn’t quit, you wouldn’t try anything.  So they lie.



  • The easy route is to not forgive

    Following up on my Forgiveness and Indra’s Net post, I think a lot of times forgiveness just makes things more difficult.  I know this is not an opinion that is going to be popular with religion or modern psychology but my experience has been it’s been true.  Wrongs never go away in my mind, particularly ones that have caused the most fallout.  I still try to treat the perpetrators of these wrongs well and this s a lot harder than just cutting them off or treating them like crap.  And this non ill treatment is what’s the hardest.  I think people who are jerks to people who wronged them are generally not rabidly evil, they just don’t want to put forth the effort to take the high road.

    Underlying all of this is a current in neurotypical culture where some things people say are true while others are knee jerk dissembling reactions to hard truths (generally noble lies).  The idea that forgiveness always makes you feel better is one of these noble lies (like money and status aren’t everything for a man).  Forgiveness can really be healing but it can also be wounding and subject the forgiver to increased depression.



  • the DIS in disability

    Often the the DIS in disability grows larger as you get older.

    For me it was obvious because by 16 my vision was too bad to drive so I was suddenly different from everyone else.  At 24 when I was too mentally ill to live on my own I was again different than everyone else (back then there was still a lot of stigma around people living at home).  I never found a real job after that largely due to disability based prejudice.  Failing to live on my own the stigma grows with each passing year.

    Adulthood is no picnic to those of us with disabilities because adulthood itself is marked by milestones like having a car, a job, a place, a community that accepts you, etc..  and a lot of us don’t have any or many of these things.  Childhood has its own pitfalls but for a lot of us it was better (except for those who were bullied all the time).



  • what is this eudemonic pleasure you speak of?

    I don’t feel eudemonic pleasure.  I volunteer a lot because I can’t find paid work and don’t get pleasure from it.  The pleasure I feel is hedonic like when I listen to a good song or are with friends enjoying tea or a chai latte.  I think there are a few reasons for this, first being that I’m on the bottom so any time I help people it’s not happening by my own free will, it’s happening because disability based prejudice is keeping me from fully functioning in society (via getting a job).  Also generally classes that have been oppressed (such as African Americans) get less eudemonic pleasure out of uncompensated labor because it was forced upon them in the past.  The second being I have untreated depression and I think depression (at least as a male) makes you feel your station more at the expense of anything else you could be feeling.  So if you’re volunteering you’re thinking you are on the bottom instead of how much you are benefiting people.  Thirdly I can’t read social cues so when people are grateful it doesn’t often reach me.

    Society likes to denigrate people who only feel hedonic pleasure labeling them as selfish and entitled.  I don’t know what to say to that other than a lot of times it is something out of our control.



  • God’s Goodness

    God’s perceived goodness is like an odometer.  People who have great lives generally believe God is good.  People with middling lives don’t as much.  But when things get bad enough people start viewing God as good again.  This is why more people would say God was good in sub Saharan Africa where there is dire poverty than in Europe where there is relative security.  Of course when you are in extrmis you don’t have the luxury of hating God.  You are so far down you need all the allies you can get even if it comes at the expense of authentic self expression.



  • xanga bits

    From my Xanga (’03 ’04)

    Seeds of certain kinds of trees only germinate under extreme
    heat. I think the same could be said about certain kinds of evil
    in people’s soul. The seeds have always been lying there…
    it just takes an extended period of extreme suffering to crack these babies
    open. But quickly the seed with the tiniest of roots showing
    turns into a giant under and overground trunk with roots and branches.

    Your IQ might be your own, but a lot of what you know and perhaps even your desire to acquire this knowledge comes from teachers.

    In elementary school you may have been taught about how the great plains Indians used every part of the Buffalo they killed.
    Suffering (and the oftentimes ensuing desertion) is like a part of you being killed.  Like the Buffalo, you must make an effort to put to use the dead parts of you to help those who will follow.
    Every fifth stoplight tells the story of a terrible accident.
    You will never get that part of you (and those relationships) back but you can be the vaccine that keeps life.



  • incarnate

    The deepest truths are not true or false like a Boolean variable, they are incarnated.  This is partly why people get so angry when you are living a life that, by their philosophy, your outcome should be different.  This is why the people conservatives save their worst for are the ones who worked hard, were moral, and still failed miserably.  And this is why the people Christians save their worst for are the ones who sincerely sought God and found nothing or worse (that’s me, read earlier entries for more details).  If these truths were not incarnated, if they were just like math problems where you could derive a simple answer, then there wouldn’t be so much emotion around them.

    Every human is an island, whether you are allowed to believe so or not.  Most philosophies of life are one size fits all but what fits for one person may be the opposite of what fits for another.



  • Pride

    Pride isn’t so much of an entity in and of itself is it is a glue that holds everything else in one’s life together.  For example take your typical window shade.  It will have a shade and an apparatus to connect it to the window. Pride is like that apparatus.  Pride is commensurate with how much you have in your life just like the window shade apparatus would have to be stronger to hold up a heavier shade.

    Times in my life where I had the most I also had the most pride.  I have less now but it’s because I have less and less of what makes people worth something.  I find it ridiculous that Christians vilify pride.  This is because for a lot of people their pride is integral in holding up their faith (as it is to holding up everything else in their life).  Being right and righteous are two things that produce substantial amounts of pride and just happen to be integral to most people’s Christian experience.  Heck I was the most prideful when I was Christian.  Of course the party line is pride is a sin which is a ridiculous statement.  If you are going to invent a religion whose final product is prideful people, don’t bother calling pride a sin. It would be like selling cars with the emergency brake always engaged or having an over eaters anonymous meeting in a mall food court.



  • moated

    Most people are moated, particularly those society deems worth engaging.  This means there are barriers to getting into their life and often these barriers are insurmountable.  I have been in situations including a college surrounded by people society deemed worth engaging and it was generally useless trying to get into their lives.  It’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.  The only people that don’t seem to be moated are people on the spectrum and a subset of those who struggle with mental illness.

    Of course no one tells you this fact.  This is because it is one of the unwritten rules society is ashamed of.



  • logarithmic scales in life

    Walk inside on a sunny day and you generally can see indoors without too much fuss (unless there is something wrong with your eyes).  This is because your pupils dilate.  The scale of light is actually logarithmic.  There is orders of magnitude more light outside than there is in a closed off room inside.  This can be most clearly seen by taking a picture indoors that has a window to the outside.  The outdoor portions wash out in white.

    I feel there are other things that operate on a logarithmic scale, chief among them suffering.  A lot of us experience a lot of slow burn misery when our lives are not actually very bad at all.  What makes things bad is we are living inside of our head and reading about the nation which is in a slow motion train wreck.  However once a tragedy strikes or we are sick or experience distressing physical pain suddenly our life is orders of magnitude worse but we often don’t feel that all the way.  I have in my life been under pretty serious physical pain which led to an eventual psychotic break.  My life was much worse then than it is now but my mood was only somewhat worse.  Of course some of this has to do with the fact that when you are in a lot of pain your stress response kicks in so you don’t feel as bad during it but the bill eventually comes later.

    The second thing I think works on a logarithmic scale is status (particularly for males).  The (now former) friends of mine that are high status have orders of magnitude more than me (CEO’s and senior engineers verses me fighting for scraps on the informal economy).  Another proof that the status curve is logarithmic is the Redpill trope that women are going after the top 10 or 20 percent of men and ignoring the bottom 50 percent entirely.  If what made men desirable wasn’t distributed logarithmically I don’t think you would see this so pronounced.