It’s like I have to make myself tiny and compact

It’s like I have to make myself tiny and compact, then stuff myself into the chute which takes me down to the dark space where I pretend to be someone else. Then, when I can take no more of it, I return up the ladder slowly and wearily in the form of a neverending rush hour drive home. At home I start to expand again, but never get there completely. If I did, I would never want to return. My dad told me after he retired that he no longer wanted much of anything to do with computers and learning new programming languages. He said he just wanted to sit and let his mind wander. It’s something I’ve been doing my entire life. Work is just a side distraction. For whatever reason, I am among the ordinary masses who must go and do ordinary things to draw an average-sized paycheck that keeps me from going completely under water. There is nothing at work to get excited about. Even drinking beer at lunch has the feeling of being a desperate attempt to drown out some of the awful noise of workplace jargon and the weird, worried manager types who blow every last unimportant thing out of proportion and blithely ignore the important things.

It’s like I want to let my mind wander past even novels, television and movies. Those artificial worlds are still too linear and boxy and ready to contain me. I reach a place of freedom in my head that feels as if it is no longer just in my head. I don’t need to astrally travel or anything so sensational. The preference is to float on a neverending ocean that delivers peace that doesn’t stagnate.

I did let my little light shine, though few came by to see it.

I did let my little light shine, though few came by to see it. I tried to give instead of receive when I was able to hijack my selfish default self and override such instincts. I never let anger lead me along, as long as I remained well-fed and medicated. I never made it into the pantheon of saints and heroes. I did nothing for my country, little for my community and slightly above average for my family. Then again, I rarely, if ever, fell into the class of men who were so lost and broken that they were better off locked up in an institution. I wish that I could tell you that I was an exceptional man with a keen acumen for social justice and a heart for the hurting individual, but I was not. It was good enough and sometimes more than great for me to be simply a good enough sort of man.

Would I have been better off a woman? Scientifically, I suppose you’d have to give me a Groundhog Day rebirth inside of the same family, but as a little baby girl instead–with no memories of my previous life as a man to make things unfair. Probably, I wouldn’t have been the prettiest girl, but likely would have had fewer weight issues than many women do, had I been born one. I would have likely gotten married soon, and have had more relationships with the opposite sex in high school and college. I probably would have complained a lot about how hard I had it as a mom who’d never gotten to do many fun, single things before getting married, but overall, I would have been content with watching my kids and the face in the mirror grow old alongside one average-looking man who worked in an office downtown.

Which is all to say, I don’t think much would have changed about me. But then again, who knows? Who can really say for sure, except for maybe God–and I don’t think God really cares about such idle speculation.

Have I really lacked for anything in this life, except perhaps a few more friends? No.

God has been good to me many times over. I have been good to God far fewer times than He has been to me. I have been good to others far fewer times, too. If I did end up getting what I deserved at the end of my life I would probably be sent to a boring, unexceptional sort of heaven or hell, a gray place with no real ups or downs but nothing worth complaining about, either. A cozy nook tooked away between the places where the excplicit sinners and saints, the proudly evil and the boldly good, go. A cozy nook for me and billions more who schlepped their way through life, doing next to nothing for the betterment of humanity, the self, or the less-fortunate creatures that humans mistreat so.

It is hard work to be overtly evil or good. It is an easy paradise to get caught up in reacting aimlessly to life’s curveballs and being content to hit one out of a hundred out of the park.

Why do you try to deny things about yourself that are what they are

Why do you try to deny things about yourself that are what they are? It is exemplary to strive to be a better person, but you can’t move forward until you recognize exactly who you are and what you really want.

I am a series of endless contradictions. I can’t seem to be happy unless I am doing something to contradict the previous thing I was doing. I go around in circles. I get nowhere.

I need to start with the simple stuff–unpacking boxes, pushing the empty ones out in recycling, cleaning things up a bit, hanging pictures, etc. I need to get the lawn cleaned up, and go through paperwork. I need to get all of my 401Ks moved over. The complete inertia of me persists. It is so much easier to open up a new file and write about what I need to do instead of do it.

There is also contract work to be done.

For some reason, I just keep hitting these walls where I used to leap up and get a million things done. Maybe it’s me getting old, maybe it’s the sleep medicine. The tradeoff with the sleep medicine is clear. I become a grouch and then a full-blown angry person when I stop taking it. But, I am pretty much running on dull auto-pilot when I do take it.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I started taking it again. Well, I mean the night before and Wednesday was the first full day after taking it. I scraped my car into the side of a curb as I was hurtling down the hill of S 1st right after crossing Ben White. I had kind of just lapsed into a trance, thinking about visiting my cousin in the hospital at lunch. It jolted me awake, but not enough to make me highly aware of my surroundings.

Overall, though, it helped me stop getting mad and offended at every last little slight that someone caused me.

I started writing this particular entry a few days ago–Sunday, I think. I sometimes try to picke these up where I left off, even if chronologically it will never be recorded (except in the original file) what I wrote on which day.

Work has become utter madness. I can’t even big to catalogue all of the random weirdness that happens there–all of the oddities of my supervisor and weirdness of other managers. For whatever it’s worth, the management seems just as weird and out of touch with reality as the management did at the job in Waco–and this crew is supposed to be more cosmopolitan and technically savvy. I realized that my resume hasn’t really been updated for the past few jobs. I’ve just been winging it with a line or two from the original job req that was posted. This is probably why I’ve missed out on a good number of opportunities at places that have gotten their collective act together.

A Guinness Extra Stout.

A Guinness Extra Stout. Oh yes, that hits the spot. Am I extra stout? No, I would say not. I am stouter than some, much less stout than many. I am probably right at the top of the bell curve when it comes to being a stout, suburban father. You know, a badass dad who keeps a gun and kills small animals for fun vs. a simpering bleeding heart who wears the panties in the family. I’m right in the middle. I liked watching some romcoms with my wife and her favorite shows when we were dating, just to show her I wasn’t completely opposed to sitting through these things and being entertained by them. But, I prefer Sci-Fi and violent action, horror and thriller movies–mostly psychological horror, but if someone’s guts need to be opened up now and again, I can be a fan. However, I have completely stopped watching sports, except when the game is on at my Father-in-Law’s house. In that aspect, I guess I tend toward the simperer.

I think of myself more as a primitive, than a pansy. I don’t like guns, tools and gadgets mostly because I prefer simple machines and primitive things. If you left me completely to my own devices without any sort of sense of duty and obligation to family and loved ones, I would be a homeless, crusty guy.

I’ve never considered my civilization to be one that was air-tight guaranteed to remain the way that it is. In fact, I would hardly be surprised (though I don’t want this to happen) if our civilization collapsed and anarchy broke out for a few decades before some heavy-handed brute pulled it all back together again and we reformed under the Mark of the Beast–at least those of us who don’t care about our souls–where I am not even including myself in the Royal We.

I’m not a Luddite or anti-technology–I want to be clear about that. I am simply not opposed to the idea of living without most of it. While it’s here, yes, I am going to leverage the technology that I like to use.

Then, I go looking at trucks on Craigslist under $3500. I want to have one and some land out in a place like Smithville some day. Or, Charleston, South Carolina. I can live out there and write mysteries like John Grisham.

I was not made for this world

I was not made for this world. I was not made for a world lesser than this one, either. I wasn’t made for a world full of gadgets and distractions, things and noise. I say goodbye to the things humans have created to keep themselves amused, entertained, and separated from the Truth. I become a boring, stodgy old man in the eyes of others.

I need a cave and minimal food. Perhaps a blanket for when it gets cold and some means of making a fire. I don’t need to strike a hermit’s pose, though, because this is just grabbing onto something less that Truth itself.

All books written are just stabs into the light.

Most health issues and things that prevent a longer life are created by the progress that seeks to ultimately make people live in a state they could have lived in if they’d remained true to their original natures.

Practice flipping off the things that haunt you as if you were flipping a switch, shutting off a television. The past is gone, the future is yet to be. The moment just is, it just exists, or, you exist within a greater existence. Remain tethered to the Christ consciousness, the sense of pervasive love. Seek to remove the clouds, but seek a clear sky to replace them, not a sky filled with more clouds.

Seek as much natural peace and healing as possible, but don’t stop taking medicine if it helps, but take medicine with an eye to no longer needing medicine, not with an eye to remaining dependent upon it. Anything that is additionally added to you beyond the food and water needed to survive is a kind of medicine. A medicine that is used to placate something or excite something.

Try to find yourself away from your physical self, but don’t discount your physical self as being irrelevant to your identity. Who you are in physical form is part of a precise plan. When you seek to be someone/something that is completely Other, you prolong the formation of the particular plan.

But who you are in this time and place physically isn’t everything you are, either. The sum of who you are is still being added together.

Cast off what you really don’t need and cease trying to take on more and more.

The unhappiness comes from the expectation that arrives when you realize that there is always more you could attempt to have, that you will never have.

The unhappiness comes from chasing things that aren’t really happiness–quick shots of ecstasy and euphoria to the brain. You chase after these things, and you are made inordinately full of something that feels good then leaves you completely empty or even depleted and angry.

Things that come down to you from above/within and above/without–things that came down to the first humans–these are the things that matter. When the feeling of the first true day of spring arrives, you know again an added kind of peace that makes being alive worthwhile. And then, you want to chase after that peace by adding all kinds of extra stimulants to it–chemicals and exercise–until you are miserable and it is now summer and hot, and you are simply chasing memories of when summer actually meant a complete break from everything that taxed you.

Meditate on what “store up your treasures in heaven” means. It may mean more than simply tithing or giving to the poor. It could mean how you change your Eternal Self for the better or worse on this earth, in this life. The person you truly are when you die becomes the person you will be in your next life. None of this is new wisdom or a new idea…it’s simply a concept you haven’t fully taken to heart yet, because you are still acting out some of the terrible things you brought with you from the previous life, and creating karmic snares for yourself that will continue to follow you if you don’t rid yourself of them.

Every day, there will be stories in the news to terrify you, plus the memories of what happened to your own family. Stories that make you terrified to raise a child in this world. Except, you have to remember that most people don’t experience these things, and the ones that do generally have no control over what has happen to them. They just happen, maybe for an ultimate cosmic reason where all of the pain and sorrow and suffering will be alleviated at a future time and place on a higher plane, but for sure, they happen most of the time beyond the control of the people they happen to.

The things you do have control over start with the things inside of you that you need to fix before you die.

The discipline that you do on your own mind/self is the discipline that really sticks with you. The discipline that comes from the outside, as a matter of course, due to circumstance, etc., may or may not stick. You might die just as non-transformed as you were when you were born.

The places you go when you sit still and push aside the distractions: breath, heart, gut. Mind is too furtive. Sex is to volatile. The seat of the Self seems to be between the heart and the gut. This, too, is nothing new. Many sages and saints have come to this conclusion.

Dream that I was at some kind of fair

Dream that I was at some kind of fair, where I wanted a croissant with peanut butter on it. One booth sold croissants, the other peanut butter. The lady at booth A wouldn’t let me take the croissant over to the peanut butter booth and purchase my combined peanut butter croissant sandwich from booth B. And, the croissant was only ten cents, but all I could find in my wallet was a five dollar bill and a one hundred dollar bill. After I’d already given her my hundred (because for some reason I thought the change from the 100 would be better suited for buying the peanut butter), I found a one dollar bill, which was apparently what I was really looking for. For my change, the lady returned a bunch of cancelled checks she’d found at the bottom of the cash register drawer, along with some plastic card holders. There were also some envelopes with various amounts written on them that didn’t amount to the $99.90 she owed me.

At first, I interpreted the dream to mean that I am going through life in a similar fashion. I keep trying to take $100 worth of brain power and skills and experience, and use it on ten cent jobs. And, what I get back for my efforts is a lot of garbage that looks like it might have had some kind of value at some point. Of course, this doesn’t make complete sense, because a job should pay you at least what you are worth, if not the dividend of additional experience you can use to move on to a better paying job. However, maybe that’s the point. I am not really thinking in terms of finding a job that matches me for what I am worth. I am still stuck in the mode of trying to find the least common denominator of a job so that I will get hired and have a job of some kind.

I also remember having some kind of dream where I was getting feedback about my teeth on a website. Most of the commenters seemed to think that my teeth were fake and should be replaced with better fitting teeth, and I was somehow proud that people thought my natural teeth were so good as to be fake.

Today is Friday, and it feels like each Friday is getting harder to reach. Where I work, the work that my boss wants me to do, I don’t really want to be doing, and it’s not much work, anyway. The other work that is required of me is small-change work like the kind of work I’ve been doing for too long. I certainly need to figure out a way to move into a more senior-level position somewhere, but this is hard. I don’t have a lot of official people-managing experience, even though I’ve spearheaded plenty of projects and groups, and have been responsible for seeing many tasks to the end that required the delegation of work to others. I am at an age where I should at least have a Director in my title, but the VP title I held was so brief that I think it would just look weird on a job application. I don’t know, I’m in need of some free time to really think this through and just get tight about what I really want to do for the last twenty-five years of my career, but I never seem to have that kind of time, anymore–or I am just so drained by the end of the day/week that I don’t feel the least bit like thinking about my professional sphere of being.

It probably goes without saying, but I am going to have to admit that I am experiencing the downhill slide of the aging process. I am not motivated to try to do new things, learn new things, create new things. My preference is to be entertained or simply sit and do nothing, letting my mind wander in no particular direction, and certainly not in any direction that would net me some new creative idea to help me make more money or grow more as a person. Certainly, part of it is purely mental. I’m going on my seventh year of marriage, in my forties, have more gray hair on my head than dark and more bald on my head than hair. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never do a lot of new and first things that young people do for the rest of my life, but I haven’t bothered to replace the desire to have and living for those experiences with something equally stimulating. My condition isn’t any different than most people’s. Most of my peers entered this state of being ten years ago or more when they got married and had their first children.

But, I think there is also just the kind of resignation that comes with having seen so many experiments and attempts to become something or someone amount to nothing. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t say I look forward to my dreams more than anything else, but they certainly supplement the ordinary, regular and the mundane in a way that no original television programming or movies seem to be able to.

A couple of times throughout the week, I almost feel as if I am about to breakthrough into some higher state of Mind. When I’m on my way to work, or walking about the city on a break from work. There is a sense that the way we are all connected is out there, floating in the air, beyond the reach of the highly spiritual and the highly materialistic, the religious and the atheistic. But these are just hints. The way that I end up connecting with people, if I do at all, is mostly angles and deflections–people all around ducking their heads and not wanting to be intruded upon, except by those who know them well. It’s not like I’m any different, except sometimes I believe that humanity could be completely connected in a way that was pure and righteous, rather than evil and obscene, like some kind of hive mind that is controlled and manipulated by an evil government pyramid with Satan sitting at the top.

Much of the breakthrough starts to come when I am firmly able to leave off from considering other human beings from the place of what use they are to me. This is hard, because this is how we are conditioned. That each human I meet must be a person who is useful to me, even if it’s to prove how virtuous I am and aggrandize my own ego-driven sense of having a noble self. Such an insight can come easily, but it is hard to really change it. I’ve simply taken my old, selfish approach of asking whether each human I meet can serve me in a material sort of way, either through a sexual or a business relationship, and I’ve replaced it with a similarly selfish approach, albeit one with a presumably altruistic veneer.

Dream: my Greek teacher from last summer had become a Calculus teacher

Dream: my Greek teacher from last summer had become a Calculus teacher as I had gone back to school to learn math and computer programming. The Calculus class was just as intensive as the Greek one was in real life, with a ton of homework due every night and a test every day. Also, it just happened that on a day I was wrapping up the toughest homework assignment yet, the teacher was also taking us to Italy. I had just moved back in with my parents in Missouri, and drove to our class, which was regularly held at the airport. Except, I didn’t know until the moment I was at the airport and was past security that today was the day we were going to Italy. I had left my ticket back at home. I called my parents, and my dad chewed me out, naming all kinds of current programming concepts that I had been learning that he didn’t understand (he believed that I was just bullshitting him about having gone back to school). I just wanted my parents to bring my ticket and an extra change of clothes, but it sounded like they weren’t sure if they wanted to do this or not. I told my dad that I was trying to get my life turned around, but he wouldn’t believe me. I went down to the ticket counter, and I could see that the airline was TWA, where my dad had worked. Apparently, TWA still existed, though I thought they had been sold to American. The ticket counter attendant said, “We’ve been resurrected as TWA, a Boeing Company.” I remember as a kid thinking that Boeing was its own airlines, as my brothers would routinely point out that this or that airplane was a Boeing airplane. The lady was skeptical about whether I had really purchased a ticket, but I offered to show her my ID. She said, “look, I’m doing a favor for you,” and printed out two boarding passes without checking my ID. I said, “well, my dad’s worked for TWA for almost 30 years, so of course I deserve these…”