In the middle of the thoughts, feelings and actions which are me, there’s an integrity which could be identified as “me”, but that integrity is almost entirely a “body” identity and is based on survival instincts. I doubt there is much I argue about which isn’t identified with survival of my body. Language makes that drive, or drives, evident. Language makes the struggling me “visible” to others. All my survival instincts are being exposed by my language and projected by my language. Much language, however, is also only animal grunts of communication with a few syllables thrown in. But my real integral self is beyond language and probably always will be. So... conclusion? Identity is made up of fragmented moments of consciousness, held together by the life in the body. The central me which I could encounter in meditation is silence, probably Ingmar Bergman’s “god of silence”.
BEING CALLED A “CHRISTOPHOBE”
That’s a new word that fundamentalist Christians have come up with to attack those who oppose their drive to dominate American life, whereas, when I think it through clearly, I realize that I have little problem with the collected wisdom of earlier ages gathered together in the words and deeds of the Jesus myth as fictionalized in their Bible. Their myth of crucifixion and transcendence of death certainly expresses the deepest feelings that a human might feel when his evolving consciousness comes face ot face with his or her own mortality and the unfairness of being born only to die. Two-thousand years ago, with the little knowledge of reality that they had, their story of Jesus was probably an advancement over the actual human sacrifices that earlier religions required.
No, I’m not a Christophobe, but I do fear and oppose the Christian fundamentalist’s drive to force their Bible myths on all of us. Let me get what I want out of their myth and leave the rest, but I do oppose their censorship of good adult movies and the facts of evolution which they just don’t seem to be well-informed enough to understand. I do oppose their wish to take us back to a reality which is thousands of years behind the knowledge we currently have. Under fundamentalist leadership, we have already lost the leadership of the free world and gained the contempt of those nations where reason prevails over myth and superstition, and we’ve fallen behind South Korea in science.
For some reason, probably because I was watching a tall young woman with a nice figure here at Starbuck’s on Hamilton and wondering just how young she really was, an old phrase came into my head, the sort of vulgarism that teens like me in the Fifties used to mouth. Put your hands over your ears and eyes. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Old enough to bleed, old enough to butcher!”?
Why, then, was I so shocked in my late thirties when that Cajun on the Louisiana oil rig, working side by side with me, spoke of “cutting” his woman when he referred to sex? Like in “I cut her on the back seat of the car, then I cut her on the kitchen table when we got into my apartment. Man, she likes it!”
SPEAKING OF WOMEN AND MENTAL HEALTH
Robyn Dawes in his book, HOUSE OF CARDS, p. 186, remarked how an unintended consequence of seeing women as being losers in the culture wars also allowed us to think of them as victims and, therefore, as having mental health problems which men didn’t have and therefore to be inferior to men.
“The problem is that feeling and believing that one is a victim and hence incompetent can inhibit action.... An erroneous belief that past abuse necessarily has lasting effects can... lead to drift and a worsening of the current lives of those who believe they were abused in the past.” —Dawes
Such beliefs can inhibit action to improve one’s lot in life, and that’s a terrific bit of damage because one of the things which most insures an improvement in one’s condition is the knowledge that one has taken steps to improve one’s life.
“A friend in need is a friend to dodge.” —unknown