Disorienting Yourself

Disorienting YourselfLast week, for a moment, in the morning, I wondered if it was Wednesday or Friday. I wasn’t sure. Turns out it was Saturday. I like to check from time to time. Often I know the day of the week, but rarely the day of the month. After all, people’s moods and behaviors are influenced heavily by the day of the week, and that is good to consider when dealing with them. Never trust a person on a weekend. They may have the best intentions, but they are reeling in some bizarre fantasy existence. Or maybe it’s the other way around. That’s more up to them, than to me. All I know is you must target the right person of the person. That is, if you must.

My last written piece here was about an abdicating Pope, the textures of our personalities coming through the ringer of the Church, and mechanical organs. It took someone like the Pope, way back in the day, with power enough to decree that all the world has lost a calendar day. To fix things. I wonder who could get away with something like that now? Would it be the purview of astronomers or physicists? Do politicians decide the day, or perhaps some government agency? The monkey with the most money?

There is nothing really anything about a Tuesday, or a Sunday. Or 4pm for that matter. In one hour, or next year. I imagine around two weeks ago I decided to “go dark”. No messages. No calls. I imagine it was around two weeks ago, because it feels like… what I remember two weeks feels like in my memory. You know, week-ends are a fairly new invention – the last hundred years or so. And yet here we are now, everyone taking them for granted. I think it had something to do with industrialization and the labor movement.

Of course, weekends and days of the week, and the calendar, are illusions: pretty tick marks on a scale that measures something we didn’t always realize was the Earth’s rotation around the sun. An illusion much like money – which we give power through our collective belief and adherence.

Outside so many buried bulbs are sprouting up so beautifully unique within their bounds. Two yards of fresh manure compost still steams, nearly ready, being turned.

I wonder if we might inevitably embrace a metric system of time measurement if we manage to venture out into space, losing the baroque nature of an Earth-centric scale. Like so much has been lost and gained as we evolve into the creatures that we are.

I have been missing from friends for this time, and missing from those who rely on me to answer their questions and do things for them. There have been people who pay me each month to be always available to them. The last of these is gone. Perhaps it is like children growing up to move out of the house, both sweet and sad. There are others who have not paid me, but I’ve always been there for them. This will remain true, but on time scales that arise from my own organic flow. It will take a while to respond.

Being someone who creates, you are presented with interesting challenges. These challenges depend upon the landscape in which you create. Some people are most comfortable creating add-on bits to mostly already-existing structures, with already-existing tools. These are the craftsmen. It’s a different type who ventures into the dark void to create something utterly new. Here is your blank white page, with little or no context. Go!

These are the rare and courageous lunatics who make all new things possible. And they fail, or they fly. But always they are met with opposition, from others and especially themselves. This can’t be done. This has already been done. This is impractical. And the worst of all: nobody will care. It is a matter of constraints, those constraints that others place upon you, those you place upon yourself, and constraints we all experience as a natural course of being an being who exists within a social context, filled with collective ideas and beliefs.

That last piece I mentioned also spoke about transcendence. Moving beyond. Finding perspectives and vistas. Sewing seeds for next year. And sometimes to really do, you must first un-do. You know your pen. You see the paths. And here you are.

Radicalism is almost never right, because it is reactionary. Reactionary against something. This is fundamentally different from transcendence. Transcendence does not seek to destroy, though some things may fall away. Transcendence embraces more, beyond our current context. Even software developers can do it. Even with accountants and marketing people keeping their pen. Their world is fear, control and manipulation. Yours is truth. And no one will progress anywhere without you.

The common thread is order, and in that you are common brothers struggling against the always-present universal nature of entropy. To address the common fears, almost everything can be done, if you can imagine it realistically. The harder part is starting down the path, and bringing help along if you need it. And nothing has been done before, if you didn’t do it. So many times I have been asked to study what’s out there so I know what to do. That’s more limiting than a calendar, or clock. You know what needs to happen, and if you don’t know the full picture, find it out. Then create, and will never have been created before. And as for people not caring… well, I suppose it depends on what they care about.

What they care about on a weekday, I should say. But this is the weekend. Or rather, the day of transition, Friday – the portal into your weekend world. Where you can entertain such ideas as might become you. At least, in a sense.

Lunatics all, really. With your clocks and broken hearts. Something to keep you going. To keep you focused on. Til the weekend always comes. And the alteration of data represents more money to live. And the environment we choose and make, conducive to this long maintenance, or as an alternative, an acknowledgement: that void of the un-done whose shreds serve only fertilize the ground. For all that grows.

The Pope, You and I. And Gadgets!

In recognition of an event that has not happened in more than half a millennium, the Bishop of Rome abdicating, here is a piece of music composed by Bach and played on a cathedral organ.

I am not a religious person in any traditional sense. However, I do recognize history. As much harm has been done in the name of God, so too has much benefit come.

Cathedral organs were, for centuries, the pinnacle of human technological achievement. The complexity, scale, craftsmanship, art and engineering was a major milestone. Cathedrals themselves are astonishing achievements.

While browsing through YouTube for a good video example, I ran across several submissions where the person taking the video within the cathedral could not help but continue panning around the vista continuously. Even today these structures manage to fill us with a sense of awe, whether we believe in any god or not.

The West has Christianity because of the Catholic Church. They brought education. And even today the Catholic Church strongly advocates academic achievement, even in deference to science, particularly amongst the Jesuit order.

I have never been Catholic. But if you are aware of our history in the West, you realize the significance – the impact the Catholic Church has had upon our most fundamental thought processes. It is our legacy, in many ways.

It was the first multinational organization, at a time, much like today, when all people were ruled by a very few individuals who held nearly all the resources and power. The Catholic Church brought a common sense of ethics and morality, and a respect for written law, that all Western nations, despite language differences, share in common. They became a force that dictators and rulers had to heed. And this helped bind Europe with a common identity that eventually transcended the notion of earthly rulers.

And that’s the key here. Transcendence. Moving beyond where we find ourselves. And this can be sad, painful and exhilarating. We look for a rebirth into something new. As individuals, and as nations. A rebirth into something kinder. Something better. Something wiser.

The Pontiff has abdicated his position, calling for someone who will be, perhaps, more open. But perhaps not caught up so much as us in all the fast-paced, momentary and superficial trappings we lap up. Perhaps while even being more open, he will still remind us of the importance – to look within ourselves.

God knows we need some good and big changes for the better. Or perhaps there is no being to know this. Perhaps we have to do this on our own. The harder route. The route where we must take responsibility for all that we say and do. And all that we do not say – and all that we do not do.

It is worth a prayer to something larger than ourselves. If only to our better selves that we aspire. May we all make wise choices in the time to come. And may we find peace and comfort in that.