“why would some proclaim that you’ve failed over and over?” | March 19, 2011

(This is not an answer to the question, but at least an antedote.)

When I was young, I remember walking through groups of people, any groups of people really, at school, at my mom’s bar, anywhere. I remember feeling like my ears were boxed or that I always had a sinus infection that would clog my ears. The populated world was muffled and fast. When I got back home to an empty house or was able to take a walk around the neighborhood, the calm of the empty room or the wind would unlock my ear canal and I could hear clearly.  Because of this I remember only feeling comfortable alone or in very large groups where me not hearing clearly or having to yell wouldn’t be noticed or minded.

I have had my ears tested as much as the next fella and there isn’t anything actually wrong with my ears.  

Since “growing up”, I have adapted my seclution. Most would know me as a very outgoing person. For many years I drank excessive amounts of caffiene to keep up, but mostly I am unfocused and unproductive, still drinking excessive amounts of caffiene now with no perks. I still don’t hear well or at least I don’t comprehend quickly but I make up for it most of the time. The places I don’t make up for it are in basic manners. I have prioritized them out as useless because if I focus on them I lose all control of everything. I get anxiety and I panic. Some examples of the basic manners I limit are things like presents or calls around holidays or birthdays. They tie me up and make my blood pressure go crazy and I often feel like taking a nap after one phone call. If I can have a quiet room to clean or one phone call to make with no one around and nothing to multi-task then I am ok. 

Phone calls are horrible.

None the less, I feel like these simplifications of my life have left people I have known or know feeling neglected, feeling resentment.

It all makes me wonder how much of all of our interpersonal dynamics are attributed to the fog.  the rushing. the waves from fish circling.

It’s all too loud and we expect too much.

Someone points fingers and someone points fingers back.

“So we end up you see, with the possibility that so complex a selective system may have a great many variations, and that people that we call crazy have a different system of evaluation. They may have a difference of neural structure, as would obviously be the case if there were lesions caused by syphillis, or by brain tumors. But what about something not quite at that level, but at the level of the selectivities they imply which would correspond to what I call social conditioning. Now we know the proverb that genius is to madness ‘cross the line. And how do we know whether a certain modification in the structure of the whole sensory system is a sickness or whether it is a growning edge–some kind of improvement in the human being. Well we have certain very, very rough standards which we apply to this, but we can never be quite sure because what we call sanity is mob rule. Sanity is simply the vote or organisms that recognize themselves to be humans and they get together and say ‘Well, the way we see it is the way it is.’ And you will remember in Kipling’s story in the ‘Jungle Book’ called ‘Cause Hunting’ how the monkeys, the bandiloot are laughed at because every once in a while they get together in a meeting and shout ‘We all say so, so it must be true!’

But herein you see lie the deepest political problems. How is the majority to tolerate, to absorb, to evaluate a minority? It’s an academic problem. We have standards as to who are sound scholars, reliable scientists–we give them a PhD. And they all get together and uphold the standards. But then they suddenly realize that they’re getting a little narrow and that things aren’t going on, and suddenly somebody says one day ‘Old so-and-so, who we always thought was quite mad and very, very unorthodox has suddenly come up with an idea that we’ve all got to think about.’ So one would say that every university faculty has to include in its membership at least five percent screwballs. Every culture has to tolerate within its domain a lot of weird people.”

-Alan Watts


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    Mother Lover. <3

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