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An Ozark E-Zine

I heard a song on the radio this morning that so completely expressed everything I've been feeling for the last many weeks. Don't recall ever having heard it before, yet it resonated familiarity to the degree one feels when hearing a holiday carol one has not heard since childhood... And now, the only phrase I remember from the lyrics is "...I'm feeling, yeah."

Though there is more to this, I must hold the thought to  attend other duties so that I may, with a clear conscience, fulfill other plans I have on my list today. In the interim, the questions I shall be pondering in the background of my routine:

"How do we know if/when we have removed the log from our own (invisible/spiritual/intellectual mind's) eye?"

"If/when we are confident in the answer we discover to this above question to a degree sufficient to conclude that we are thus enabled, what (if anything) are we responsible and accountable to do (and not do) in the realm of thusly empowering others?"

"How is such enabling empowerment righteously achieved...???"

PS: One significant mark of 'true love' is that we want only for the happiness of the other person, no matter whether their happiness involves us, or not.

PPS: Following are a couple of links to Bible verses that I personally see as conveying some semblance of ineffable humility, integrity and truth and I don't mean by sharing the following to in any way be 'preaching' -- just simply offering you a window into the way I think:

Walk in faith....

GUEST EDITORIAL: From the pen of the Arlberg Ozarkie
My circle of acquaintances in these Ozarks includes quite a handful of would-be reformers: socio-eco-religio-politico activists, if not by deed certainly by word. I respectfully decline to be an active part of that. Not that I don't agree with many of the positions they take or the points they make, because I certainly do. But I know futility when I see it, and...maybe I'm just lazy.

We are incensed with the way things are handled by the ruling class. The wealthy oppress the poor. The powerful oppress the weak. The religious leaders confound and entrap the sheep with a hellfilled, threatening dogma. We are incensed.

Something must be done about this. We must take action. We must rant and rave until our very guts are raw with ulcers.

Natural resources are being exploited. Pollution is defiling the air we breath and the water we drink. Hundreds of television channels and nothing fit to watch. Lies. We're being fed nothing but lies and half-truths. We are incensed, and WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO TURN THIS ALL AROUND, TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR US.

So do it. But first, answer these questions:

(1) Who are "WE"? Who are we that are the correct ones, the ones who are more right and righteous than the others?

(2) If WE form an organization to effect the changes that we know are needed in this world, how do we not fall into the organizational trap: the need for leaders (ruling class--the powerful oppress the weak); rules to tell us how to do it (stage prop for corruption); financial means with which to carry out the plan (wealthy oppress the poor); all for one, one for all (half-truths and lies); the plan itself (hellfilled threatening dogma)?

WE can't do it.

You and I can do it. You and I can make a personal commitment to live at peace with each other and with our environment. You and I can make a personal commitment to honesty and integrity. You and I can do it. WE cannot. ~~~

Note to another friend...
I gave up guilt when I adopted karma as a guiding principle in my life. It has become clear to me over the years that what goes around does indeed come around. Our chickens do come home to roost and whatever crumbs we cast upon the waters shall absolutely return to haunt or bless us an hundred fold. Thus I contemplate the quality and purpose of my actions...

And I agree with you 100% -- "A true disrupter can't ever disrupt intelligence." You've pretty much said it all right there. No contest. I'm a true believe in the cause: "If they will not adopt a plan of action to deal with evil they are evil as well and just another part of the problem." Also the thing from the book about 'New ideas were treated as guilty until proven innocent...' I have dealt with this throughout the entirety of my 'adult' life and it is wearying. But then you know this from experience, too.

I also agree that the 'close minded and self convinced' are -- in your terms -- the enemy. Yet I find this term a too-convenient 'catch all' label which enables us ('the good guys') to objectify the problem and thus (falsely) address our actions to the 'symptoms' rather than (correctly) to a realistic 'cure'.

And even here, I agree with your approach... or at least that your approach -- to ridicule and humiliate the enemy -- is a powerful and essentially proactive one. It's just that I really must stretch to grasp what the 'good & beneficial' outcome is that is to ultimately come from actions of this ilk.

And I guess in a way I think of it all in the same vein as I do about raising children... only really, the true objective of any ('good') parent is NOT to raise 'children,' but to raise adults... to nurture and cultivate 'individuals' who are capable to think about life and decide important issues for themselves...

And with kids, it is easy to humiliate, shame, guilt and ridicule them into submission... but the long-range effect of this is to break their spirit and engender to them attitudes (by immersing them in behaviors) which are contrary to the self-stated goal of raising intellectually and emotionally healthy human beings.

Under this heading, it seems to me that all these folks who are so dumbfoundingly 'stupid' are really (at base line) intellectually dysfunctional because they are emotionally immature. I believe this is because they have been raised in a cultural environment which is immersed in a social paradigm that predominantly indoctrinates us with the belief that (#1) 'we are all sinners,' (#2) 'all sinners must be punished,' and (#3) the 'best' way to punish someone is by ridicule and humiliation....

Thus the cycle of debilitation trudges on....

PS: As always, nice to hear your dulcet tones on the phone and much appreciate the wisdom of all the words you wrote.

Following the thread...
We all do, of course, have all the answers to all of our own questions all of the time, (aka: the kingdom is indeed 'at hand'). Still sometimes it is like looking for a jar of mustard that you know you have but just can't seem to locate at the moment.

One question I ponder from time to time is what, exactly, is love.

See, I affirm that I love everyone... and legitimately, I believe I do. Even folks who piss me off by what seems to me to be unconscionable behavior, I just wanna be free of them... be someplace they are not... and still, I wish them well... hoping that they (or I as the case may be) 'see the light' and get on with doing whatever is ours to do in the world.

Beyond that, I believe that 'being loving' (to and with those I choose to associate with) is a choice that I can turn on or turn off quite purposefully as a matter of decision... Although when things are 'going well' among friends this 'decision' is a foregone conclusion and it is generally only when things are NOT 'going well' that we discover whether (or not) we have the personal mettle to abide this choice.

Yet there is something beyond the simple act of 'caring' about the well being of others; there is this ethereal realm where 'love' and 'romance' and 'physical attraction' seem to get all intermixed in a medley of emotions that are somehow autonomic (genetic? spiritual? reflexitive? reptillian? -- I dunno) and are thus outside the scope of any type of contemplative force or decision-making action...

A kind of special quality that just 'is' -- an extra added measure of (irrational) 'vibrational resonance' that is provoked by another's presence and/or thoughts about them in their absence that is somehow tingly, disarming and anticipatory, glowing with admiration and (whether deserved or not) buoyant with trust. And this is what I would define as 'being in love.'

Related to this, another thing niggling my brain subsequent to a recent conversation with a friend has to do with spouses (aka: life-mates, soul mates, etc.) having friends of either gender... I've always (sorta kinda) had friends that were both men and women, however my spouses always seemed to frown on me having friendships with guys, which I've always understood as the 'male insecurity/jealousy' thing and I would find it awfully difficult to tolerate these kinds of 'unspoken' restrictions anymore.

At the same time though, when a couple has several young children there is generally such a limited amount of time to actually enjoy your spouse's company that it does beg the question as to just how much time either party can afford to invest in cultivating any type of meaningful friendship with anyone of either gender (other than their spouse) without somehow taking time away from their spouse and thus NOT giving the (supposed) primary relationship/partner the quality of life they (supposedly) hooked up with the other person 'to have and to hold' -- ie: to enjoy...

Anyway, as a friend closed an email recently... Catch the wave.

Chicken Little vs. Pollyanna...
New Year's note to a friend:
It is good to connect with someone who actually knows what it is like to 'live' and 'do' with the bliss of appreciation. 

I get weary sometimes of being called a Pollyanna... though I have come to take it as a compliment, still it bothers me that the connotations it carries convey a sense of unreliability and 'pie in the sky' and (as you so aptly put it) "Yeah right. Woman's full of crap."  -- which, to my way of looking at myself is not at all who I see myself to be... and in terms of 'real world' accomplishments would certainly seem to be contrary to the facts.
So there comes with this a sense of 'not being known' (as a person) for 'who I really am'... and also of having to 'defend' myself against other people's 'imaginings' by putting up some sort of contrived pretense to allay 'their' (fearful and errant) preconceptions and misgivings about me which are (factually) grounded only in their own bigoted distortion of 'reality'... All of which truly sucks, makes it exceedingly difficult if not totally impossible to develop any tangible/mutual 'depth' to a friendship and is simply a game I will not play.
Not that I never have played it... But just that I won't anymore. And this is a recurring New Year's resolution of mine, which I seem to get better at (by exploring new dimensions of) every year. Every day, in fact, and with every breath for that matter. Anyway...
Yes, life immersed in the light at the end of the tunnel is a good place to be... and it is also all too true that most people's lives are "way over half full" of "Chicken Little" crap... and that they adamantly believe with the purest conviction that they have absolutely no choice but to 'suffer through' everything just that way... and are (for the most part, though covertly) rather 'proud' of themselves for adopting this downtrodden 'reactive' (reptilian) behavior as their own...
In the immortal words of Fiddler on the Roof: "Tradition..."

Are you familiar with the story of this musical...??? There is much wisdom therein. Truly an inspired work... Speaking of which, how is your own music coming...???
Also, I would say that you got 'un-lobotomized' -- but then we've already established that I am a Pollyanna and thus my words, thoughts and deeds are irrational and to be readily dismissed. That aside, the frontal lobes are (scientifically speaking) the 'seat of consciousness' (aka: self-awareness).

Whilst surfing around I came upon this reference:

"In the widely read Da Vinci Code, author Dan Brown relates how each of us is affected by something called scotoma, defined as a blind or dark spot in our visual field. Brown introduces this term to explain how we may look at something everyday without glimpsing an apparent truth, an ah-ha! within immediate reach, though our former associations blind us to alternate meanings and transparent keys to truth and wisdom."

This 'scotoma' stuff is extraordinarily interesting in context of our "Chicken Little / Pollyanna" conversation. In fact (imho) our own (individual) ability to purposefully utilize this (God given) 'cognitive filter' -- adjusting its 'reticular' capacities to 'match' our preferred/enjoyed/desire (imagined) 'version' of reality is THE (scientific/intellectual) KEY to being 'un-lobotomized.'

Following this cognitive thread, understand that the 'energy of consciousness' (aka: the electro-chemical impulses that flow through the brain as 'thoughts') is controlled by the 'reticular filters' (the physical seat of which is in a part of the brain called the amygdala) to either (a) cycle through the frontal lobes, generating increases in creativity, happiness, and gratitude or (b) shunt back to the 'reptilian core' of the brain (at the top of the spinal cord) stimulating actions that are win/lose 'survival' fear-driven and reactionary.

"Only those who are un-lobotomized get to taste the blessings of perfect peace, everlasting happiness, blissful abundance and eternal life." ~The Great Gozarkian One(s)


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