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Cartesian Theater

Friend In My Head

How strange it is when a close friend dies outside of our presence. We are probably within normal stasis when we receive the news and suddenly we are not. What has changed? The person recently dead may not have been physically with us for some time and their absence had probably not caused any particular concern. Nothing had changed within our relationship to that person except for the hearing of few words and suddenly our whole world begins to shiver and break apart. Why? What happened to precipitate such a reaction? What had really died for us was, in effect, the “friend” that we had been carrying around with us in our place of living memories. It’s that image that has suddenly shattered. Our corporal friend had died elsewhere; and what was especially disturbing was not that event (we weren’t there), but rather the memory of that person, which was still strong, vital and alive within our psyche – it must now be revised and deposited within a “dead” file. Our memories of this person had become an integral part of psyche and the loss and reshuffling of those memories now is personally painful. With people to whom we were very close, like a parent or child, it could take years to convince our psyche that they are really “dead” as we continue to revive them with each flash replay of their memoric image. Consider the situation where you hear that a close friend has died, however years after the fact. The shock is just as great, though the event has long past. It is still felt as a personal loss, and the pain is palpable. An examination of what is actually happening is a fascinating inquiry. Upon deep exploration into the process we see that each of us is actually the center of our own little universe, which we carry around with us in our visual-emotional memory centers. These personal universes are peopled by all those who have left substantial memory traces with us, storee within our memory banks. Many of these people we are destined never to see again, yet the feeling of shock and loss at the news of their death is still somehow very disturbing. Because we then have to deal with the fact that another of our favorite and fond “memory people” has left us. As a result, we feel personally reduced and diminished. The real person who has died is gone now, and we hope they did not suffer; yet they are dead, and so they no longer agonize as we continue to. Their own individual memories have dissolved and their memoric universe, which also contained us, functions no longer. Their “movie” has ended and they have been released from the action, but not us. We continue projecting our own movie, but we’re now left with the painful job of trying to gradually write them out of our screenplay.

Filters of Being

Filters; not a very glamorous or exciting word for most people.  Vacuum cleaner filters, oil filters, air filters, etc.  Consider a very different kind of filter: people filters.  Perhaps what you really are, what we all are, are human filters for the conscious life force which flows through and animates us – that it’s all the same life energy, just manifested differently as it flows through us and each one of the many varied filters of being.

In the Game

One day you wake up and you’re “in the game”! Life has become a puzzle. But those who accept the challenge of attempting to unravel the puzzle and to “know thyself” will ultimately fail. However, it is the quest itself, which seems to give life a semblance of value and meaning. You’ll be on your own however, because there are no good operating manuals or instruction books provided, and most of the ones printed are misguided or simply wrong. It’s up to you to discover the deep questions and determine how you fit into the larger picture. This lifelong quest to resolve the basic mysteries also can be much more interesting than common acquisition and personal aggrandizement. But it’s ultimately a game of “how close can you get”, before reaching the place of “I don’t give a damn anymore”, and then the final slide down the chute to oblivion. Game over!

Seeing the Matrix

A better word for soul might be ‘Matrix’. One’s Matrix informs us beyond the massive effects of genetic determination and environmental conditioning. It is the invisible, mysterious and unique pattern that we all seem to carry individually and also collectively. Philosophy and psychology attempt to understand the qualities of this human matrix but unfortunately are inhibited by inherent structural deficiencies imbedded within the mechanisms of science and logic. A self “examined life” is also about this exploration but at an individual and personal level. If you become serious about such an investigation, remember that they are blessed and also cursed who begin to ‘see’ the matrix.

Drive Towards Unity

The drive toward unity.  We, as human beings, are necessarily separate in this world; however, we live also with a deep memory of another earlier condition of complete surrender and merging.  Even before the fetal union, there was cosmic or divine unity.  The earthly dance we do is between the ego’s protective, individual separateness and its paradoxical opposite urge — a deep longing to merge back into wholeness, to dissolve and lose ourselves in the vast, original pool of being.  This dynamic is played out constantly in the story of relationships and their incessant polemical gyrations as we, on the one hand look for home, trust and complete acceptance finding instead mostly vague approximations, frustration and disappointment.  Heaven on earth?  Where is it?  The problem is that we want both “me” and also the merging and total dissolution of me.  When we realize that paradise cannot be provided by mere mortals (mommy couldn’t do it, except for rare moments, and we try like hell for a time to find it with our mate), where else is there to turn in the modern world except to matter — in the form of wealth and power acquisition?  We’re often left seeking the divine by building up one’s persona to god-like levels of control and pleasure.  But alas, the resulting satisfaction is always short-lived, and in one’s dark, honest moments the individual knows it’s really just an unfulfilling sham.  I guess we humans are just cursed.

Imaginary Friend

Do you have an “imaginary friend” in your life?  That is, do you have someone who is always there for you, even if he or she is not visible or has long been dead?  Someone whom, as long as you continue to believe and have faith, will always love, watch over, and protect you.  Someone who won’t be fickle and betray you like other friends and lovers.  He or she will always be concerned about your welfare.  If you do have such a friend, you won’t have to worry about making hard decisions in your life because you can trust his invisible counsel to guide you down the right path.  So fold your hands, close your eyes, and concentrate on being as good as you can.  Your “friend” will hear you calling and will answer your requests.  Finding friends is much easier too — you need only look for others who share a belief in this amazing “friend.”  Life can be much more wonderful when you have an imaginary “friend” and savior.

Zarathustra Rides Again

The fundamentalist, Zarathustran perspective of the “evil other” is a diabolical force lurking in the world, ready to pounce and corrupt the innocent lambs.  The devil is everywhere, using all forms of disguise and trickery.  Only those with eternal vigilance and a pure heart will survive the stealth attacks.  How can the righteous trust anyone who is not?  Ultimate paranoia!  The body and soul snatchers are everywhere.  They may smile and look just like me, but at their core they are surely Luciferian.  It’s just me and my little band huddled against the evil world!  I only know that “I am good,” and therefore, those not like me must be bad (or at least misguided and dangerous).  What a terrifying mindset this creates, believing that the disguised demonic forces are everywhere; present, lurking, and ready to devour.