Friday, August 24, 2012

Ingredient 20 - "Failing"

Twenty ingredients in, and we have "failing."  It's gotta come up somewhere on The List.  No way around it.

Failing is an interesting plot line, and by "interesting" I mean: a totally necessary ass-rape...until we step out of our own prison and can feel free to drop the soap anywhere we please, without consequence.

We are pretty much taught from infancy that failure should feel bad, but at the same time we are taught that failure is meant to do good things for our character.  Supposedly, it makes us stronger, smarter, more compassionate... YET, if this is true, I have to say, the world is filled beyond its firmament with successful people.  Not much failure here on Earth!  No sir.  Not based on those guidelines.

Forgive my pessimism (or not...whatever), but I just don't see a whole lot of people actually learning from their mistakes.  On the contrary, what I see (mostly) is a planet over-run with two-legged egocentric monstrosities so hell-bent on NOT failing that they are pretty much dropping the proverbial ball all over the place and blaming every one else when they inevitably trip over it.  We are a sad, hot mess.  And, I blame the concept of "failure" (I also blame "blame," but that's another blog-post).

I've done a lot of thinking about this, and while there are many trinkets I could pull out of my toy box and share, this is a blog, not a novel; so I will pull out only the toys with the most alluring shape, size, and battery power: Let's play with prehistoric tendencies and...GOD.  Didn't someone say "ass-rape?"

Yep, God and failure = toMAYtoe/toMOToe. 

I am pretty sure that our cycle of ridiculously passive-aggressive self-obliteration MIGHT (ironically) have something to do with the religions of the world.  I mean, shit: if god and his angels are going to smite me for not living up to whatever "plan" happens to be laid out before me, it's likely that I am going to suffer some severe acid reflux - at the very least - when failure looms as a constant "maybe" to Life's never-ending challenges.  That's the kind of thing that will make you run from circles.

I understand that there was a time when people did not have the science and technology to explain seemingly wrathful acts of nature, so they did the figuring and could only come up with punishment as a plausible answer.  What else could they do but start going over all the ways that they - as individuals and/or communities - had FAILED the entities controlling such magnificent things as lightening and tornadoes and tidal waves and fire.  It makes perfect sense, really.

But C'MON!  We have meteorologists and iphones now.  We are only a couple of centuries away from putting God on speed-dial.  So, why does the concept of failure still have us so shamelessly corralled? 

Systematically (and again: ironically), fear resulting from a lack of basic comprehension lead to the inevitable human contemplation of failure, which created a whole lineage of god-concepts.  Yet when understanding began to abound, religion remained a source of power-lust, and so the use of fear resulting from the threat of failure's disciplinary tactics is what built "organized god-wrath," which turned out to be quite the efficient fencing of "the herd."  And, it was such an easy thing to do because...

There isn't much we can do about what is inherently built into our DNA.  We either kill the gazelle or die of hunger.  We either rule the food chain or become the food.  If we fail, we die.  Our very chromosomes DEMAND success.  Right?   Maybe.

Maybe not...

MAYBE, we learn to rise above the terms of the "human condition." MAYBE, "the terms" exist just to be denied. MAYBE, we choose will over primal instinct.

And MAYBE, we reconcile OurSelves with our opinion of what is and is not Divine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ingredient 19 - "Obsessing again..."

"Dreams and rivers and haunting addictions
Lovers and hypocrites and dwindling prescriptions
Turmoil and sunsets and purpose and pain
Oceans and graveyards and secrets and rain
Forever and children and Angels of Sin
Mother and mountains and OBSESSING AGAIN..."

I cannot believe I have only come this far on The List.  Damn.  At least I picked a seemingly endless source of blogspiration.

Alrighty, then:

"Obsessing again..."  The subject matter changes, but the habit (?) does not.  Is obsessing a habit?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Perhaps a sickness?  I don't know.  I'll obsess about it later.

For as long as I can remember, I have been an obsessive thinker.  It's not worry.  That's different.  It's more like the mental equivalent of having to flip a light switch a certain number of times: the thought being the switch.  But, the difference between my form of OCD and having to wash my hands ten and a half times or touch my pillow three times before taking a dump, or having to kick the neighbor's cat before pulling out of the driveway is: these are all OUTWARD manifestations of crazy.

I would argue that - while outward crazy creates a lot more room for judgement - INWARD crazy is more difficult to live with.  If a friend and I are going out to dinner, for instance, and I feel the need to count a hundred and twenty-six carpet fibers before I can walk out the door, at least my friend is totally aware of my crazy and can sit silently by while I engage in ritualistic insanity.  BUT, do you have any idea how fucking hard it is to first find the correct sequence of thought-wording (which can only be accomplished by having the same semblance of said thought over and over again until the correct arrangement is stumbled upon), and THEN have to complete the sequence WITHOUT interruption when nobody even knows that such complete and utter craziness is afoot?  It feels kind of like this:

And also like this:

So, I take meds with the full understanding that I cannot expect anything close to full understanding from anyone that has not endured this kind of torment.  The meds make me forget just how bad it can get; then I start feeling brave - like I can exist without chemical realignment. But, my reality quickly puts "baby in the corner," again.

And that's all I have to say about that.