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is / is not

foto by smith
foto by smith

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract, 1763

i’m reading that at the end of the 1700s, western civilization consisted of the irreconcilable – rationalist versus romantic, scientific versus artistic, deliberation and reason versus passion and instinct. i don’t see where there’s a problem – i happen to be a bit of all of those simultaneously.

the problem is not they’re irreconcilable, the problem lies in the EITHER-OR mindset that says it must be one or the other.

it’s not either-or. instead it’s taking the valid viable workable bits of each and all. . . a little of this, a bit of that, a slice of here, a dash of there. i’m a collage assemblage artist – i’m used to taking ephemeral found bits and creating solid foundations of art.

this is especially true in spiritual matters – almost all creeds and belief structures have part of the truth, while none have it all. the basic exceptions to this statement that all have part are the flat earth fundamentalists of all religions who insist only their god is right and he/sh/it must be worshipped only their way – or else. if there is a hell, it will be filled by fundamentalists. one-size fits all organized spirituality is a contradiction in terms.

i take a bit of buddhism, a bit of american indian recognition that all things animate and inanimate have spirit and deserve respect, a bit of christianity, bit of sufi, bit of coyote trickster, bit of humanism, bit of rationality, bit of jung, bit of freud, bit of experience, bit of life, bit of science, bit of pagan, bit of flakiness, bit of logic, bit of gaia, bit of biting the bullet, etc on anon, and build my own world spirit view. after all, i’m the one going to be paying for it, so i’ll work it out myself thank you very much.

one of the major ways the world’s gone wrong is everyone puts labels on everything thinking that labels sum up what they’ve labeled. give me a break – labels aren’t truths, they aren’t even teensy weensy bits of truths. labels are intellectual lazy thinking on the part of academics who try to fit reality to their pre-conceived theory, or else crazed wish-fulfillment for the weak and scared too timid to think for themselves. labels are for the sheep and asleep who need their meat pre-chewed.

nothing is ever just one thing or another – instead life and thought are constant compromises in an ever evolving collaboration between us and reality. what’s true and right today might be false and wrong tomorrow, what’s true for you might be lie for me.

there are general broad stroke rules like “don’t do to another that which you wouldn’t wish to be done to you” – but even this breaks down if you’re a sado-masochist because your liking to hurt and be hurt doesn’t mean you better try that shit with me.

most of life is a mixed salad of common sense, pondering, experience, patience, hope, and healthy skepticism. those folk who go around saying life is just this or just that and you’d better live it their way are sick. they are not to be tolerated, or listened to.

these thoughts arise from my current reading of roger osborne’s “civilization – a new history of the western world.” i’m halfway through it, and my brain’s getting crowded, while my spirit is wondering where to go to get recharged with hope. seems like most the nastiness done in the past is revving up again with the cheney-bush beast going around stomping non-white folk and telling the rest of us where to get off. the scary thing is these shitwits believe they’re in the right and have the moral obligation to tell us how to live – or even if to let us live.

for the past 6,000 years, the powers-that-be have killed for food, gold, sugar, land, tobacco, slaves, gods, family grievances, divine right, power, skin color, sex, just because, or simply because they got out of bed on the wrong side that day.

personally i can’t see letting someone with less experience, fewer scruples, and a lower IQ than i have tell me what’s right, what’s wrong, or what to do. i’m more of the i’ll-live-my-life-and-you-go-live-yours school of thought. if you want to get together and talk, fine, i’ll listen to you and ponder your point of view. but if you want to lay your law on me, sorry charlie. i don’t tell you, you don’t tell me.

if your god or your class or your mental disease has a problem with that, too bad – you need counseling.

“Any civil government depends on the consent of those who are governed, which may be withdrawn at any time.” – John Locke, Civil Government, 1690

foto by smith
foto by smith

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