Monday, August 14, 2006

fear & loathing in port woebegone

a stream-of consciousness moment or two for you all!

so many of us are afraid. afraid of failing. afraid of being hurt. afraid of the unknown. we would rather stay exactly where we are right now, because at least we have a handle on this, at least we can cope. the potentially negative effect of change makes it not a viable option.

how do we deal with our fears? we make boundaries around ourselves so they cannot get in. how do we deal with the unknown? we make boundaries around it so it cannot get out. naming is a powerful example of this, e.g., "gender". there is a fluid spectrum between the polar opposites of male and female. however, at birth we are firmly placed at one end or the other. the lines are drawn around us so we cannot get out. the rest of the spectrum is named as perverted, weird, wrong; and thus separated out.

d. told me about boundaries in painting yesterday. how colours blend across the borders in both directions. and how scary it can be to let them go.

a permanent status quo equals stagnation. yet the very existence of life suggests process, suggests change. how then are we to deal with it?

if it is not healthy to stay at one point all the time, then perhaps an understanding of balance may help. if one is aware of the nature of one's relationships, one might be able to act to restore the balance when things get wobbly. balance and awareness - for me the key to making the most out of my life.

and this, for me, is the purpose of religion: a basic structure upon which to lean at times when i need to; and at the same time a set of teachings that help me develop my ability to relate to my self, other beings, and the world around me. it, and i need to be flexible, able to blend without fearing loss of self.

it's ok to name things, to put them in a box and limit them ... sometimes it has to be done just so i can get my head around it. "god" for example :-) just as long as i remember that just because i named it does not define it either universally or permanently. that would be pretty bloody arrogant. as a working title, however, it can be quite useful.

i think that's where the problem with a fundamentalist perspective lies. things get set in stone forever. it may feel safer, because you don't ever have to deal with change. but that's not how the world works, so automatically there is conflict.

have to go to the office now. more another time, i hope!

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