Posts

Sin

My favorite movie is The Fisher King, directed by Terry Gilliam. For anyone not familiar with the film, a superb synopsis and analysis of the plot and themes are to be found here (spoiler alerts).

Basically it's a film about Sin and Grace and I've been having an extended dialog with Penelope about precisely those topics of late.

I have a problem with the notion of Sin as it's typically formulated, as disobedience to a deity, as "missing the mark". Many of the behaviors that constitute "sin" in many vocabularies (sex, drugs, rock and roll,...) are, at worst, minor taboos if not overt pleasures to be taken in appropriately moderate doses.

Regardless of that the notion retains a compelling quality. There's a sense of the erotic, the forbidden, the transgressive that it expresses; a violation of some "established order". This has some psycho-emotional (archetypal?) resonance that I'm still trying to tease out, there's clearly literary …

I don't belong here.

I came across a major theme of my life a while back, I'll even say it may be the foundation of my "contract" for this earthly incarnation (if it makes sense to talk about things in that fashion).

I think I came here with a deep sense that I don't belong here. That can be thought of in a number of senses, and has many implications across my life.

From my therapy with Kitty, I've come to know a theme of my life is that I didn't come here to "fit in". That dovetails rather well with not belonging.

Not belonging feels very much like how my love life has evolved and the themes of some of my most poignant "theme songs" (Slip Kid, Take the Long Way Home, Don't Look Back).

I was born into so many peculiarities: gay parents, growing up and living in New Orleans(a crazy place to call home, I now realize), being transgender (though not recognizing myself explicitly as such for much of my life).

Maybe it was my challenge to see where I ended up, w…

Getting going again.

I haven't posted anything in a while. I have no excuse really. Saying "I've been busy." is a cop out. Closer to the truth is that I've allowed myself to become badly distracted and preoccupied by other things.

Penelope has repeatedly cautioned me about this.

And I'm prone to slipping into other activities that become time and attention sinks and lose myself and what's important. I'd purposely avoided getting involved in social media much beyond email, maintaining a minimal professional presence on LinkedIn, and blogging precisely because of the apparent tendency for them to become time wasters.

Sometimes it's about a quick "fix" or more frequent or explicit feedback.

Case in point:  When I started exploring my transition and relocating to North Carolina I discovered Pinterest and Tumblr and found I readily lost myself there to where I had to limit my time involved with them pretty severely.

When I actually got to NC I reconnected with my…

Why be nice?

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself
-- Ricky Nelson, "Garden Party" Came across a blog post on Tumblr the other day, the OP was bemoaning the fact that they'd been nice to people and didn't get the reaction they expected.
As they put it:
I don’t understand how I can be so nice to people and I STILL get the cold shoulder

I replied to the post thusly: Hon, if you’re being nice just so people will like you you’re doomed to frequent disappointment.
People are tired, irritated, busy, distracted, preoccupied, bored, forgetful, it’s generally nothing personal nor malicious; and even when it is, it’s cause they’re just a**holes, nothing really to do with you.

Do it because that’s the kind of person you want to be.

I imagine this person is young, it's a hard lesson to learn that what you put out to the Cosmos may well not be reciprocated immediately or in the way you hope/expect. People aren&#…

How much is enough?

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do. 
--Voltaire, philosopher (21 Nov 1694-1778) 
There's always more to do.

Even Mother Theresa could have done more.

It's in the nature of incarnate existence that conditions of struggle and conflict and waste and misallocation of resources and habitat destruction persist despite many heroic efforts to ameliorate them.

Without getting into questions over whether any or all of those are ultimately resolvable, I do argue that we aren't meant to spend our entire time toiling against the ceaseless tide of suffering and neediness that has defined the human condition on Planet Earth since time immemorial and remains so right now.

Devoting all our energy to localized patches, or even apparent "systemic fixes" (with often appalling unintended consequences); or railing against the unfairness of it all and beating our breasts at our limitations and inabilities to address them; often means we miss all the glory and wonder th…

Getting back to THE WORK...

Penelope has been after me to write more. I've been so caught up in the "coming out" process, and (not so incidentally) having so much fun with it, that I've let other parts of my journey/mission get sidetracked. 
Reaching this place in my life is not any sort of license to slack off on the more spiritual side of what I've been working on.
In fact, it's arguable that the whole transition process is a crucial piece of the larger spiritual journey.
In classical/medieval alchemy, the figure of the hermaphrodite was an important symbol representing the merging or unification of opposites (akin to the Tao being the One behind the opposing/complementary entities/forces of Yin and Yang in Eastern mysticism).
It's a symbolic representation which (for perhaps obvious reasons) I have found compelling over the years; and I flatter myself to think I may actually be expressing now in some fashion: the merging of male and female, sun and moon, light and darkness, Apol…

If you meet the Buddha...

It's said: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

At one level this paradox/koan is meant to point out that any Buddha you come across outside yourself is not the real Buddha.

Then I got to thinking about the implications of "the road", that might be taken less literally and refer to one's personal spiritual path; so the admonition can also be taken as a caution against too readily ascribing Buddha qualities to oneself.

Many a guru and televangelist should heed that advice.

I don't think I'm personally in too much danger of falling into that particular trap. I have the opposite problem: I'm too ready to put myself down, feel less than, assume I'm not as good as everybody else.

In a way it's a reverse sort of egotism, I'm better than everybody else at being worse than everybody else. Kind of perverse, isn't it? :-/

Anyway, much of my own process recently has been one of overcoming that reticence to recognize my worth. That I may genu…