Posts Tagged ‘love’

Short Story

25 November 2020

Once upon a time, a boy and girl fell in love. They seemed perfect for each other. They enjoyed their times together in a calm and simple way that no one else seemed to notice or care about. He pledged to her that they would spend their lives together. But he was only a little boy. How could he keep this promise?

Sure enough, one day his parents announced to the family that they would be moving to a land far away, where Father had found work. The boy’s attention went off his friends as the excitement of the move filled his days. And then the family was gone from that place, and the boy found himself living in a new town, thousands of miles away.

The little girl wondered where her friend had gone, and cried. But eventually, the busyness of life restored her spirit, and she made new friends and continued on.

Meanwhile, the little boy had become fascinated and captivated by his new surroundings. The town he had moved to was older than the one he had left, and the climate there was much different. As the winter’s snows melted from the lawns of his family’s new house, the boy, aware that he needed new friends, made many attempts to play with the girls he met at school, as he had done where he used to live.

But the children here had been raised differently, and the girls he met all dismissed him. He did not get discouraged at first, but then one night as he slept, the face of his former best friend appeared to him, smiling calmly as she always had. And he realized that not only would he never see her again, but that he had not had a chance to say goodbye.

And so, lifetimes of unkept promises pressed their full weight upon his emotions, and he began to cry. He cried for what seemed like hours. At first, it seemed he was crying only for his lost love. But then it became more obvious that he was crying for all those unkept promises, indeed, for all the tragedies of his fragile world, and of all the worlds that had existed before it.

Sixty years passed.

Though his world survived, it showed it weaknesses at every turn of the planet around its axis. And a boy and girl again fell in love. The boy was, perhaps, the same boy. His body was bigger, and his skin had wrinkled. His belly had grown a bit too large, and his ability to run freely and laugh with his friends had diminished. And yet, he had, again, fallen in love.

He and his new friend spent many mornings together talking. Their concerns were now the concerns of “adults” and no longer the trifling concerns of children, made large and important only by their imaginations. These were real concerns of real importance. At least, that’s how they saw it.

And then a disaster befell the land, as will happen in our fragile worlds, and the two who so cared about each other were separated. Amid the distractions of the moment, the boy forgot about his new friend. He had assumed that she was safe and cared for, though he actually had no idea. But then a man who was part of his community mentioned to him that his friend had been sent away. Where had she gone? Was she in fact safe? How were her children doing? And her parents, brothers and sisters?

He guessed that she had returned to the place where her family lived. It was too far away for him to travel there, but this world had communication devices that made it possible to stay connected even so. And though he now regretted that his kind had, thousands of years ago, lost the ability to connect with each other directly, he used the tools he had at his disposal to try to find her and reestablish contact.

This was a difficult struggle for him. It involved many new tears, and he often wondered why exactly this seemed so important to him, and why he was crying so much.

And then one day, a message from her appeared on the screen of his device. He answered it impulsively, then sat in his chair and cried some more. She had promised to meet with him and let him know all that had happened to her since the disaster had separated them. When the appointed day arrived, he sent her a short message. But she did not respond. Later in the day, he left a voice message urging her to at least have a brief meeting with him. Still no response. He went out and walked around his neighborhood, as had become his recent habit. He found some cheer in the little children’s laughing and taunting of their parents, excited about the winter holiday festivities that were quickly approaching. And yet, his friend did not reply. That evening he sent another message, forgiving her, and reassuring her that he would be very happy to hear from her in any form, at any time.

That night the boy (man?) went to bed with a troubled heart. What was keeping him apart from his new friend? She seemed fearful of something. What was it? And then he recalled the friendship that he had broken sixty years earlier, through his own over-excitement in anticipating a new experience. It was his own carelessness that had ruined (had it?) the most precious friendship he had known that lifetime. And now he was prepared to put the responsibility for his difficulty at reconnecting on the shoulders of his new friend! What folly! He cried again, most heavily, realizing his own complicity in his own heartbreak.

He arose that morning weary, but ready to face the new day. He did indeed live in a fragile world. But that fragility, it seemed clear now, was of his own creation.

Troop Zero

28 September 2020

During my stay on Amazon Prime, mostly watching old seasons of Stargate SG-1, the website was insistently promoting a newer Amazon production called Troop Zero. So, I finally watched it.

Troop Zero is unconvincingly set in the South of the late 1970s, when Jimmy Carter was President and NASA was preparing to send out Voyagers 1 and 2, both of which included a “golden record.” The protagonist, a girl named Christmas Flint, hears about the NASA project to record children’s voices for the record and decides to become a Birdie scout so she can have a shot at getting her message to “them out there.”

As is common in modern stories, particularly comedies, every important character is portrayed as in some way dysfunctional. For the purposes of the story, all characters fall into two groups: the mean, strangely gifted, but emotionally stupid colonizers, and the kind – and so, oppressed – normal folk. In the context of their tiny town, Wiggly, they somehow get along with each other. But the oppressed are crippled in various ways that make them “losers” while the colonizers are crippled in ways that make them “winners.”

Christmas’ troop includes three broken little girls, one made permanently antagonistic by some unknown turn of fate in her past, another made permanently angry and destructive, another, with one bad eye, who is a devout Christian but is scared of everybody, along with a little boy (Joseph) who likes to act like a girl. Christmas’ father is a lawyer, failed because he prefers to defend poor people who are guilty of petty crimes. His office assistant wanted to be a lawyer but let her career be derailed by getting mixed up with some sort of pervert. Their best friend is a kleptomaniac.

The story conveys a sort of Jungian inevitability in life, relieved only by momentary and usually failed attempts to break out of it and retake control. These themes are very obvious in Western (particularly U.S.) literature and art today and I think deserve more attention, which I might venture to qualify as loving attention.

Who wrote this story?

The movie was directed by Bert and Bertie and written by Lucy Alibar. Bert and Bertie are a female team of writer/directors. Bert’s “real” name is Amber Finlayson. She was born in South Africa and operates out of the UK. Bertie’s real name is Katie Ellwood, and she is from the UK. They are both young, fairly new on the scene, and are a part of why this film is the way it is. Lucy is a young American woman who grew up in Florida. The story is a little bit autobiographical.

These young women post very little about themselves and their influences on their websites. Lean and mean.

Lucy did interviews after her big film release Beasts of the Southern Wild. She is a very smart woman who has been into theater for a long time. She has been working out of New York where she used to work as a waitress until she became better-known as a writer. She seems quite sane. Dad was a lawyer, mom an artist. She isn’t cool with social media and she likes to do yoga.

Bert and Bertie have also done interviews. They are into “magical realism” and the idea of misfits having the moral high ground, or at least being more interesting than regular folks. In the interview I saw, the young star made this point emphatically. This is a big deal for her generation, a really big deal.

People need love

When I was growing up my parents described themselves to me as “misfits” because they were liberal atheists. Then I was a “misfit” for refusing to go to college, learn to drive, get married, and stay away from Scientology. So, where was the love? And now our kids are up in arms because the same shit is still there and doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and they have no idea how to cope, because if we learned, we forgot to tell them. But I think most of us never learned. We need to love our kids.

We are in a situation now where we are experiencing some setbacks as the forces of good and evil battle for domination over our planet. (I know that sounds over-dramatic, but it is almost literally true!)

My generation, and those a little older than me, came up through a very easy and prosperous time for the West, while it sent its agents out raping and pillaging around the rest of the world. Now we are getting some of that “karma” back and we are acting all confused. We didn’t prepare our sons and daughters for this (We didn’t believe in karma! Too unscientific!) and now they don’t know what to tell their sons and daughters. So we have the wackos who have been predicting this the whole time now controlling the narrative, basically, and we don’t like it.

So, like, where’s the love? Does is really take a Buddha or a Jesus or a Hubbard to remind us that we need to love our neighbors? Well, maybe is does.

While the Right rants on about Critical Race Theory and the Left rants on about how “fascist” the “colonizers” have become, the real sociopaths sit back and lick their chops. We can either learn to show some love and understanding over what’s been going down on this planet, or we can fight to the death.

Which would you prefer? I know which choice the sociopaths would prefer!

The Emotion of Hate

18 July 2019

The essay below is almost verbatim from a copy I kept. It was probably written in 1968. I presented it with a collage of news photos from magazines – probably ones we had at  home. The collage of photos is lost, but as they were news photos, similar ones still exist on the internet. My copy has notes from my teacher (not sure who she was) which are not included here. It is being published here for the first time to give my readers some idea of where my thinking was back then, and how long I have had these issues on my mind. The first photo is from the Birmingham student protests of May 1963. The second photo is from the Columbia University (New York) student protests of April 1968.

19630503-birmingham_alabama

With these pictures I have tried to illustrate, among other things, the emotion of hate. This emotion, as all emotions, belongs exclusively to man. It occurs under many circumstances and may be accompanied by fear. I used a dictionary to help me find what fear was. One of the basic things that fear is is “ an agitated feeling aroused by an awareness of actual or threatened danger…an uneasy feeling that something may happen contrary to one’s desires.” I would like to try to elaborate on this, so as to be able to understand it better.

One of the main things I would like to study is what one’s desires are. Most people have a conscious, or at least biological, desire to live. One may also desire to conform to sets of values determined by his peer groups. These values may include certain prejudices. Many people want things to stay as they are; they do not desire change. This may be a change in governmental or business institutions, or it could be change in their own lives or values. Another thing people desire is to feel as if they are better than someone else, or have power over someone else. Many people have a desire for wealth.

The desire to live is basic. Within this basic desire we may include the need for food, clothing and shelter. Since these things, in our system, are not free, one must have money to buy them; one must have money to buy life. One must have a paying job.

I must now go back to hate, “an extreme feeling of dislike or animosity,” says the dictionary. But why would this feeling ever occur? Have you ever hated? When you hated, you probably hated a person or group of people. What made you hate them? Maybe they said something about your looks, or actions, or manner. Did what they said affect your pride? Or perhaps they physically threatened you, perhaps they wanted to kill you. Or maybe someone told you to hate them, or described them to you so that they seemed inferior to you.

The basic reason for hating is because someone is threatening your life. Most other reasons for hating are reasons built up over hundreds of years of people living with people. They are reasons that need not exist. Of course these reasons, which are in most cases the desires I spoke of before, are hard to get rid of. But some of them keep others from attaining their basic desire – which is to live. This cannot and should not be tolerated by the victims of hate. They should not have to only half-live because of someone else’s hate for them. And if they hate the people who hate them, their feeling should be condoned and not condemned. This, I believe, is the only justifiable hate.

(Or is it?)

19680428-columbia-protests

Most of these students, at first, only fear. Fear that they will not feel fully educated when they leave the university they protest. But repelled by police, they now have something to fight, someone threatening their lives, and the fear turns to hate. And once the ball gets rolling, it’s hard to stop it.

The blacks have, for a long time, had a true and justified hate for whites, because the whites hated them, as humans at any rate. If the Negroes had remained slaves, the whites would have been content – they had someone to have power over, to dominate. But of course the Negroes were humans, not slaves, and not content. They hated the white man. And because of this, the whites hated them all the more.

So unless the white desire to dominate over the Negro ends, they will probably go on hating each other forever.

Possibly one way to eliminate hate is through education.

Basically, hate comes when one thinks his life is being threatened.

How do you get rid of the artificial desires and values of modern man? You only have to get rid of them enough to let everyone live a good life. Possibly these desires also come from a fear that one will not live a full life without the things desired. Is it possible that really no one in America feels he’s not living a good life? Maybe everyone should go back and re-examine their basic fear. If they find it to be a justifiable one, as I think it is, perhaps they are over-estimating what it takes to live. Or perhaps someone is helping them to overestimate. Their peer group? The business world?

I must find the root! A common denominator!

The trouble with human relations is that they can never be perfect, for human emotion is part of it. And human emotion will occasionally be able to rule a person’s whole body.

Of course, some emotions seem perfectly wholesome, such as love. Though at second glance there may be complications – or is that only in love as many see it? In the institution of marriage? For some people, marriage might ruin their love. Perhaps people were not meant to love one person for the entirety of life. In fact, it is horrible to think that all the more people a man is allowed in his life to love is one. Everyone should feel love for everyone. Love, as all emotions, was not meant to be hidden or kept by only two people.

And then there is hate… You know, it’s a funny thing: I used to hate a person so much that I threw rocks at him once. But now he’s one of my best friends. Of course it was a childish hate, bred from immaturity and failing to understand the other’s situation. Why, then, does this same childish hate occur in adults? Why do some adults let their emotions and their peer group just rule their lives? It must be because of something they need, something they want out of life, or maybe it is a misunderstanding of life. What could it be?

Perhaps it is fear. Fear that if one breaks one’s dependencies on others one will cease to exist. Fear that if they are not accepted in their group, they will be alone. It is as if they don’t know how to make new friends with new people. It’s as if they couldn’t face a world different than the one they are in.

Institutions often help this happen. Take Christianity. It has been the truth for some people for years that God created the earth and all the creatures on it. These and other beliefs have been thrust into people’s heads along with fear, the fear that if they don’t believe these things, they will go through huge amounts of pain – the most hated thing to man. And when these beliefs are contradicted, the Christian backs into his shell farther, afraid to believe the truth.

Yes truth, all important truth. Not nearly enough people take the truth as seriously as they should.

Shut minds breed fear and hate; these minds must be opened with love and courage. People must live the truth, yet always question it, curiously and openly.

Now another question: Is hate on anyone’s part really necessary?

As I envision the cave man, I see him with a myriad of unknown phenomena surrounding him. These included electrical storms, wild animals, birth, death, and many other wonders of nature. These men learned to hate some of these things – death for one, and things that caused it – and pain, and things that caused that. This included wild animals, weather extremes that started fires or ruined the food supply thus causing hunger and pain, and anything else causing pain or death.

These things – death, pain – were not understood and fantastic stories were built up around their causes. In the meantime, science has solved these questions, basically at any rate, and so anyone with an education can understand why death, pain, birth and other things exist, and why some of them are necessary.

One question has remained unsolved, and this is fate, on a personal basis at any rate. People have always wondered, why did he die then? Why was he the one to be killed, out of all those others? It is harder for people to understand why things like this happen, sudden deaths, with one in a million chances of the one that died dying. Yet people need not even get as flustered as they do, except for the fact that their emotions get in their way, emotions like love, emotions that aren’t essential to life yet certainly do, and will, exist. It seems that for hate to dissolve at this late date, people would have to be able to rule over their emotions. This seems impossible. But at least people could make a conscious effort to eliminate false hate as much as possible, making their hates as basic and justifiable as they can possibly be. The hate of other humans is not justifiable. But it has existed ever since the first cave man wanted someone to blame for something that happened, that he couldn’t explain.

Cruelty to animals seems to be a well-liked pastime among boys my age. They blow frogs up, burn mice live, use toads as slingshot projectiles, feed squirrels whiskey, cut a rat in half, sin a snake live.

Why is this necessary?

Perhaps it is better than taking out one’s hate on other people. But where were these boys exposed to so much hate in the first place? It’s horrible, grotesque, and brutal.

People ask, why are there so many problems in our society? I have been thinking about hate because I thought it was one of the main causes of our problems. Some people use other words to express this prevailing feeling of hate…racism, conflicting interests, unequal rights…but I see hate as the major factor in all of these.

Hate, as I have said before, has to do with man’s desires. It is, however, always hard for me to remember how it has to do with them. Perhaps it is this: One man, a businessman, pursues his desires which are, say, to make money. He thereafter does not bother to shell out the dough to train hard-core unemployed. But this results in the interference with another man’s basic desire to live (by earning money which can buy food, clothing and shelter). This may be seen as conflicting interests, but their interests are much the same. They both want money. If the richer man, though, were to sacrifice some of his to train hard-core unemployed, he would then get a new set of workers. This would probably pay back a bit of what was spent on them, and they would also be able to live a decent life. It all comes down to people having to look at themselves and others and be compassionate enough to bend their backs a bit for others so that they may fulfill the desire shared by all men – the desire to live.

So, we find a condition on the part of upper and middle class people which is often called apathy. They think of themselves as harmless, not taking anything away from underprivileged people. But they aren’t able to lift a foot off the floor to help them, support them, love them. And though they may think the absence of love for their fellow man on their part is not extremely important, by the time this absence of love gets down to the underprivileged people it turns to hate, for they are only half living. And so people must truly love their fellow man in order for hate to cease to exist. It means, at first glance, that the affluent must give some of it up. But in the end, everyone would benefit. In the end, there would be no hate, conflicting interests, racism, unequal rights, just living human beings.

P.S.

The above is probably the major philosophic work that survives from my early teenage years. I was surprised as I transcribed it. It summarizes all the most basic themes – at that level of thought – that I have been dealing with my entire life. I even get some of the basic concepts correct, which surprises me; I don’t recall where I learned them from. This is part of an ongoing project to digitize writings I have saved that I think might be important. But this first is probably the most important piece in my collection.

Tell the Truth Movement

31 July 2012

“Tell the truth” is an effort to create a viral movement on the web. – Me

My main article about this is on my newer blog here.

It explains to some extent how I got the idea for starting a Twitter “movement” scheduled to continue through to the end of this year.

The idea is a little whimsical, but it was born out of a desire to do – something.

From the point of view of someone who was raised to be honest, then later worked for over 25 years an a group that understands the spiritual dynamics of dishonesty, as well as the more practical results, I walked back into a society that is obviously…

…built on lies.

When you build a whole civilization on false premises, those who dwell in it can come to find themselves in a very difficult condition. When things go wrong, they are virtually helpless to correct the situation. Because they will be lied to about what caused the problem, will believe the lies, and then will work to correct a wrong target, which will only result in another situation for the group – often much worse than the first.

To demand the truth…

…is only the first step in a potentially quite long process of repair. And of course, there is no guarantee that just because truth is demanded, that truth is what will be delivered.

But, if nothing else, my “movement” serves as a clean statement of purpose. Survival, and beyond that, abundance, depends on those trying to survive having access to true data. Thus “tell the truth” equates, roughly, to “we want life” “we want prosperity” “we want happiness” and “we want peace.” It is a demand that is sufficiently challenging to, perhaps, improve the honesty and responsibility even of those making the demand. And that is very very key.

I hope the idea catches on.