I'm in this place and time in life where I'm befriending people older than me by three-four-five decades. That's because there aren't very many young people in the Jewish community here. These new encounters are a blessing. They are enriching my life. I am invited into the homes, lives and insights of real and authentic people. I am in awe. I am connecting to their frequency and their wisdom. I am developing the elated feeling that my own story is so much richer than I previously thought.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
A lot of flusteration and mind-looping, mental back-flips and agony bring an abundance of insights, which create an inspiring enthusiasm, as they flash into my mind at random times and at difference stages of thought-depths and -processes.
One of those insights hold the story of anger and remorse:
I am impulsive yet restrained, patient and nonviolent (I'll write more about vulnerability, helplessness and nonviolence another time) and intentionally as well as naturally refrain from any violent or aggressive actions. But approximately once every 365 days I lose my highly-appreciated patience and I am consumed by a sudden wrath. (It seems sudden, but when I unravel the preliminary circumstances I find the causes, and I understand them.) I am swallowed into it for a few hours, and at first - before I get outdoors alone and start walkingwalkingwalking fastfastfast to calm myself - my body is so overwhelmed with an immense energy of anger that strikes out from inside me through my hands, and I impulsively push Nemo away strongly when she does something that frustrates me. I push her and I walk out and I walk for hours until I calm down, all the while thinking about how tired I am, how I may just go put myself head-down in the lake and fall asleep (but I also think that I won't because Nemo needs me), how I may like to walk into the street and be hit by a car because if I'm in the ER I won't feel as embarrassed and ashamed by so many things that Little Miriam painfully carries with her, and I keep walking and walking and walking, and eventually it starts to subside, and then comes the realization of the aftermaths of my angry actions and the sorrow of having hurt or frightened Nemo on my way out of the house, my true true love, who I never ever want to hurt of frighten for even one millisecond, who loves me unconditionally, and whose connection to me I can never take advantage of by being aggressive toward her in any way. When I frighten Nemo (and myself) I feel awful about it. As the years go by the energy of anger in me becomes more and more scarce and my ability to control it becomes more and more apparent and easy, and the forces of wrath hardly ever consume me, thank goddess, maybe only once a year, maybe less...
And then I think of a few possibilities of the virtue of compassion:
The reason I cannot tolerate using force over helpless beings, that I am "allergic" to and toxically fearful of anger and physical power (and my own anger and physical power) and that I stay away from it like from a black hole is because of the deep fear and shame I have resided in during my childhood years as a helpless being at the hands and mercy of someone physically stronger, and in this sense my nonviolence may actually not be a virtue or a moral principle that resulted in pure decision and that I can be proud of, but rather just my inclination because of trauma (which I then easily follow with an ideology of nonviolence). And in this sense, being an "ethics snob", as I sometimes feel I am, or "ethics snobbiness" in general among humans, may be void of meaning, and our ethics may be only a result of our life circumstances, which we then excuse with rationale. And even when people praise my ethics, or claim "you are a good person", I cannot claim that to my advantage, because I have not intentionally decided to be a good person instead of a bad one, but rather it's just the way I have to be, it's the way I naturally am, I really have no choice... I just am who I am, for the better or the worse.
AND/OR it all resulted in my childhood but I did actively decide to never use violence
not wanting to hurt vulnerable beings is a natural instinct, and my nonviolence is cultivated through belief in that ideology and through strengthening that instinct, and a person who systematically hurts others must have - knowingly or unknowingly - altered or destroyed the part of the brain of compassion that doesn't allow you to be at peace with hurting others. I feel that people who hurt vulnerable beings and don't feel bad about it - or don't actively work on themselves to reverse their malice and their sin against humanity - are a) bad people, and b) must have unwired something basic in their brains and are ultimately messed up humans whom I cannot and will not understand or tolerate.
And aside from my own pain of having scared my wonderful little beloved Nemo (even for just one millisecond and even if she doesn't remember it), I am overwhelmingly saddened by the pain caused to so many vulnerable beings across the globe, human and nonhuman animals alike, and I myself can almost not tolerate the knowledge that in myself I hold the power of destruction and violence. It scares me that I have the potential of being as awful as those who have hurt me. And it has become my mission in life to promote nonviolence and to do all in my current power to protect helpless beings instead of hurting them.
It's Rosh Hashanah tomorrow. The Hebrew New Year. This is a time of repentance.
I pray that everyone will have the courage to stop violence wherever it occurs and to promote nonviolence and compassion wherever it is needed.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Saturday, September 09, 2017
My body is an ambassador of my heart; I work in unison and strive for harmony between the two. When my actions are not a pure continuum of my heart's pleas and when harmony is not cultivated, the heart becomes obsessively prominent in trying to get what it wants and never fully forgives me and never fully fits in in the new situation. It takes me by the stomach, it fills me with dread, with regret, with aching sorrow of a person who has failed his own integrity, his own high ethics of conduct. And my heart is very specific and very narrow-minded. It doesn't want to try new things, it wants what it knows it wants. I have always listened to it, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but in the end, have always consented to what it had to say (I really have no choice; when I don't, I am miserable); I attribute great respect to my heart and my intuition. I believe that the alignment of body with heart defines one's integrity and authenticity, which are of utmost importance, especially in a world of lies and corruption, where sincerity is maybe the last rope a human can rely on to be able to walk straight.
And then, I had in front of me a fork in the road: Two ways, splitting from one. Two ways the heart did not love. Two ways the heart wanted to avoid. I felt miserable trying to maze through the speculations and apprehensions of my heart, trying to be true to myself, but couldn't find a way to do it without risking folding myself into a paralysis of pain and agony. I took the road that the heart was least scared about; because if you can't figure out what will be in the future, you can possibly rely on the present.
I feel that I am in my own human experiment. I used to know (or decide) "I am doing what is right" and then go forth on a path feeling fully confident and happy with it. It's hard to say if just by chance those past paths really were perfect for me, or if perhaps I was once better at being content with the roads at hand. Whatever it is, there was a time in life when I felt whole (with all the pain and baggage I held), and then began a time when I started walking down a path that contained hardly anything that was "just right", and everything was an estimation, a guess, an experiment, and every decision was agonizing and heavy.
And down this path, there is some disharmony between heart and body. Nope, my heart is not fully content. It's not. And I'm saying "WHY NOT?" And I don't know, and I am doing things it doesn't consent to (I know because I wake up with a knot in my stomach), and living with the frustration of not being in unison with the heart. And in that sense, I feel I have failed my integrity, my sincerity. I am experimenting ways, yes, but why am I not able to go back to a situation in which the heart knows "this is my place"?
I ask myself: Will I ever find my place again? Will I ever be whole again?
Where will this experiment take me?
Can I regain my integrity? Have I perhaps never lost it?
Can I change my view of things so at to not feel at a loss with my heart, and am I capable of abandoning all the rumination I hold of the past, all the hard feelings I hold against myself with which I ruthlessly scathe myself?
I torment myself with hard questions I can't answer. I hold a high level of ethics which I urge myself to live by. That is my way. At times it's hard, but that is the true calling in my heart. I have been deprived of sincerity in my life, and it has become my mission to cultivate it everywhere and anywhere, always.
In the photo: Three people I love