Tag Archives: being human

A Sensitive Year: The Bravest of Them All

It took me months to admit I might be Sensitive.   I hated the idea since the admission seemed to carry with it a connotation of weakness.  As I’ve learned more about the trait and living the life of an HSP in our hyped up world, I’ve adjusted my thinking.

I suppose it seems weak if a person can’t sit through violent movies.  I suppose it appears to be weakness if a man chooses to go home after work instead of going for a drink with the guys.  I suppose it looks as if a woman is weak if she becomes overwhelmed quickly in a highly stimulating environment.  I’m sure it must suggest weakness if a person is constantly empathizing with others instead of getting on with life.

While all those scenarios are true of HSP’s, it must be remembered that we don’t like or do those things because of a weakness, we behave this way because our wiring. Which means most of what we do requires a level of bravery that others don’t need to employ.

It’s a brave soul that moves beyond the constant fight or flight tension to engage with a stranger and get to know them.  It’s a brave man that speaks out against an observed injustice in the workplace.  It’s a brave woman that disciplines her involuntary empathy to pass up a relationship with a narcissist. It’s a brave person that notices the oddball in the crowd and pulls them in to feel more comfortable.  It’s a brave individual that pushes back the fear and reaches out to help, teach, guide, and care, because we don’t just see the suffering around us, we feel it as equally and as vividly, and we’ll do damn near anything to ease the suffering in this world.

It’s a two sided coin for sure.  HSP’s appear to exist along the sidelines, preferring less exposure since we’re already inherently exposed; yet we often lead the way in situations that necessitate diplomacy, empathy,  and the ability to see details while simultaneously observing the big picture.   The only way we have the ability for doing so is by literally ignoring, or overcoming, or swallowing the energy of every alarm system going off within us.  Such acts require a deep well of bravery that only HSP’s possess.

We are the bravest of them all.

Yours,

Frankie

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Immortal

“You wish to live forever?

You want to be remembered?

You do not want your existence to be for naught?”

 

“That is right.  I do not know what happens when I die.

Immortality solves the problem.  I just don’t leave.”

 

“You misunderstand.  And greatly so.”

 

“What is there to understand.  I do not want to die.

It’s human nature.”

 

“It is never the physical body that lives on, no matter how advanced science becomes.

It  is always the body of work you leave behind:  your words and deeds, the contribution you make to society – whether positive or negative, the energy you choose to release into the world around you.”

 

A long moment of silence passed between them as the sage studied the stars and her student squirmed with thought.

 

“I get it.  I understand.  Immortality is more an idea than a tangible thing, not something seen so much as felt indirectly, perhaps for generations to come.  It’s something we can all achieve, if we are conscious of our work.”

“Precisely.  Now go, make your mark.”   The Immortal One got up from her sitting position, stretched her arms to the sky so the stars could reach down and pluck her back up to the heavens.

 

Her student laughed at the irony.   And then he admitted, contentedly at that, he was only human, but he would be immortal in his own way.

 


An Atheist Confesses

I do not pray.

I’ll take action instead.

If you are in need, I will give you my money, bring you a meal, or clean your house.

I do not pray.

I do not have a religious text.

Empathy and compassion dictate my behavior, keep me from wrong and hurting others.

I do not have a religious text.

I do not have a holy deity.

Mankind is my focus and energy.  Brothers and sisters by shared birth from mother nature, it is they who deserve all I have to give.

I do not have a holy deity.

I do not have a religion.

My foundation is on this earth, where time is short and goodness must needs win.   I will do my part.

I do not have a religion.

I do not pray.  I do not have a religious text  I do not have a holy deity. I do not have a religion.   I believe in our ability to do good and that we rise above the noise of evil in the process.  I am an atheist.  This is my confession.

 

 


No Religion: What’s to Believe In?

As we continue to progress as a species, more of us human beings are stepping from the dark archaic belief systems of religion to the bright confidence of knowledge afforded us by science.   But the shift from religion to non begs some questions:  What do we do with ourselves?  Where do we put our energy?  What’s to believe in? What becomes our focus?

From my humble perspective, it kind of seems that a default focus would be nationalism; belief in one’s nation and attention to its politics and social/economic issues.  From my humble perspective, we could use a boost in national attention to politics and social/economic issues.   But there lies a danger of jingoism, unabashed love for one’s country without regard for other nations, fervent almost blind belief that ‘my country is the best’.  In a time when we face global challenges such as health epidemics and climate change, we can’t really allow ourselves the pleasure of arrogance.  We must be able to cooperate, to admit that maybe another nation is doing something right and we might consider adjusting our own perceptions.  We are bound together by this planet and its natural laws, we have to work with one another in order to keep our species viable.  While some of our new found energy can and should be focused on national issues, it is necessary to strike a balance with how much energy we invest in our country – there are bigger ideas to focus on as well.

I heartily contend that the biggest idea should be humanism – a focus on mankind and our path of past, present, and future, our connection with one another as dictated by nature’s laws.  If we think about it, we only, always, have each other; and though cultures vary we cannot deny our bloodline and the truth that we are all brothers and sisters.  I believe we owe a certain amount of attention to our race based on this sole premise, with the spirit that we are inherently obligated as human beings to look out for our siblings. As mentioned above, our modern age forces us to examine physical global issues and international cooperation is paramount to finding solutions to these issues.   A humanist focus allows us to set aside cultural prejudices and adopt cooperative attitudes based upon the assumption that we’re all in this together.

Science appears to be the common ground for us all and I’ll assert that the growth of humanism will include many elements of the discipline.   Two plus two will always equal four and no matter where we go in the world we can speak that language to anyone. I am not claiming that science has all the answers although I’m close to agreeing with many modern thinkers who believe it does.  It certainly answers our questions best and provides a universal language with which we can speak to one another, culture set aside.   Besides providing a common language science provides a foundation for finding common solutions to the challenges we face together.  The discipline is a perfect fit with the tenants of humanism.

I’ll even go out on a limb and demonstrate that we already have a vision for the melding of science and humanism and how they work together by invoking the genre of science fiction film and writings.  There are several examples where science fiction has remarkably portended the future as far as gadgets and inventions are concerned.   Even George Orwell was prescient enough to understand that an entirely new language would evolve under political pressures.   Using science fiction as a barometer for the way humanistic tendencies might emerge, one finds an astonishing body of work that illustrates how political and even personal decisions are made based upon available evidence and facts instead of mystical, archaic texts. Pay attention next time you tune into Star Trek, or Dr. Who, or The Fifth Element.

We’ve come a long ways since the days when science and religion walked the same path of curiosity together, searching for answers to the same questions.   At some point their paths split and one has gone on to answer those questions with solid evidence.   As we continue to progress as a species and more of us also leave the anachronistic beliefs behind, we are faced with the necessity of filling the void.   Humanism does so with a neat and comfortable fit.  Here’s to our future and the place that Humanism has within it.

Yours,

Frankie


On Water, Wolves, and Wind : Civilized Compromise

Human civilization is often forced to compromise with mother nature, there isn’t much choice in the matter.

I live in northern California where water is a serious issue right now and salmon are exacerbating the problem. Shasta Dam is the cornerstone of the Trinity Dam Project that supplies power and water to much of the region, but it comes at a high price:  dams block centuries old salmon runs in the San Joaquin delta.  As a compromise, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has long had water release rights to the Dam during spawning seasons in order to keep the runs viable. In years of severe drought however, releasing sacred water for ‘fish’ doesn’t seem like the brightest idea in the box and there have been some protests over the issue.

The issue of releasing wolves back into the Yellowstone Park environment caused a lot more protests, most from area farmers who were concerned about their livestock.  Wolves were hunted to near extinction early in the twentieth century to protect valuable farm animals. But that also meant that wild grazing animals were protected as well and before the century’s end bison and deer were overpopulated to the point of devastating the park.  Creeks and rivers were unable to form banks because the trees and shrubs required to do so were being eaten or trampled.  As a compromise, wolves were brought back to the Park to hunt grazing animals.  The grazer population returned to a more balanced number which in turn created healthier water banks and greenery.

Healthy air is the motivation behind wind turbines.   In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and take advantage of a morewind sustainable energy source, turbines are proving to be excellent generators of electricity.  But there’s a significant backlash to their presence:  people complain about wind turbines ruining the visual landscape of an area.  I can understand the argument to some degree, but we currently have miles of wire running through older neighborhoods with big wooden poles every hundred feet to keep them elevated so we are quite accustomed to a skyline full of man made objects.  In the long run, wind turbines save our planet and air quality. So even if they do take some enjoyment out of our horizon gazing, implementing wind energy is a compromise we must make as civilized human beings interested in keeping our atmosphere clean.

Each day I am amazed at the way we homo sapiens can manipulate nature and make it work for us. But in our advancement, in our quest to create a high-functioning society we managed to strangle nature at some very serious junctions. We’ve had to learn to give a little along the way as a matter of consequence.  That is as it should be.  We are the conscious party after all, we have a certain accountability to  other living beings on the planet.   So while water gets released during drought years, and the first wolves have recently made their way to California, and wind turbines continue to provide clean energy, we ourselves must make adjustments to our perceptions by understanding that the cost of civilization comes at the price of compromise with mother nature.

Yours,

Frankie


Time For an Adjustment: Social Constructs, the Duggars, and a Pew Study

I’ll not forget the struggle I had reading modern philosopher Michel Foucault in graduate school, but I am thankful for the enlightenment it brought to me, especially with regard to an element he termed “social constructs.”

Social constructs are the framework within which a culture decides to build and operate a society.  They emerge from a myriad of sources, (religious texts, scientific discoveries, philosophy – to name a few) and are informally adopted by a society’s members over the course of generations. For example, the US has a unique construct with the marriage of capitalism and christianity which emphasizes an individualistic doctrine.  The Chinese are uniting their elements of communism and an emerging middle-class to produce a more cooperative environment (see John Perkins “Hoodwinked”). Overall, social constructs provide guidelines for citizens of a particular society to follow.

The thing that impresses me most about the idea of social constructs is that they can be changed. They aren’t set in stone. They are subject to new information and therefore malleable, adjustable.

I assert that Americans are learning that some of our current social constructs are in need of adjustment.

While we’re probably all up-to-here with the story of the Duggars, there is one theme that stands out from all the noise surrounding the issue:  willful ignorance and keeping something so wildly instinctual as our sex drive confined to unnaturally narrow definitions necessarily provokes problems. The abuse that’s occurred within the catholic church and the jehovah’s witness sect is a manifestation of the same premise. We can’t ignore our instinctive sexual hunger any more than we can ignore our need to drink water. Yet we’ve agreed to adopt a social construct with a rigid interpretation of sex – based almost entirely on a flawed document  As I read the comments and even a few articles reflecting on the Duggars, one thing seems certain:  the current is changing.  We are seeing the negative effects of this particular social construct and we are ready to realign it to more reasonable, and honest, interpretations.

Giving the current a significant boost in velocity is the discovery that many in the US are turning away from religion and the flawed document it is based upon as noted in the recent Pew Research publishing.   By leaving behind an outdated document, by eliminating it from the foundations of our social constructs, I contend that we should expect adjustments to include instead more science, academics, and probably humanistic tendencies.

Change is painful, it is messy, and it is oftentimes violent.  As we move forward together, we must be conscious of the struggle incurred by adjusting and redefining the social construct of sexuality.  It will help us to be patient with one another.  As we move forward together, we must acknowledge that work is involved, awareness is required, and stubbornness is appropriate so that ignorance no longer has a place within the new frameworks.  It will keep us focused.  As we move forward together, those of us who aren’t a part of the millennial generation need to provide them with exemplary discussions and elevate the standard for hashing out new precepts.   It will give them tools to manage their own adjustments.  As we move forward together it behooves us to keep in mind that social constructs are not permanent, they are pliable and influenced by new concepts.  It will enable us to embrace change.

Here’s to healthy adjustments,

Frankie


Clarity With Atheism

A family member died this past week and I watched with a breaking heart as some prayed for a miracle that never came.  I watched with an empathetic mind as some wrestled with the very real struggle of justifying the death:  “God must have wanted him in heaven more than on earth,” was the go-to phrase. As I watched and empathized, I was reminded of the ways in which religion would cheat a soul.  I was reminded of the freedom and clarity that come with atheism.

I remember the days of praying with desperate hope for a miracle that would delay the finality of death (even though there was no evidence anywhere for me to believe that a miracle would occur).  I remember hanging on to any glimpse of good news:  the blood counts were down, the iron counts were up, the kidneys are working again – each was a sign that a supernatural healing was just around the corner.  Death would be cheated this one time.

Death is never one to allow itself to be cheated.   It always came, always claimed the soul it taunted for months.  No amount of praying would dissuade it from its duty. No god could stop its arrival.

I remember my struggle to make sense out of a no-win situation when the inevitable would happen.  I recall finding excuses because the reality was too hard to accept; buffering my psyche with outdated memes “thy will be done”  “god is in control”  “so-and-so is with the lord now.” I remember admonishing my self – obviously my faith was weak.

What a mental mess we allow ourselves to be as we work through the conflict of believing in the supernatural and dealing with the fallout when the supernatural doesn’t manifest itself.

As I watch family members work through the conflict – trying to fit together the notion that an omnipotent/omnipresent god refused to defy nature this one time and keep death from claiming its prize – I am thankful for the clarity that atheism brings to such circumstances.  There’s no emotional roller coaster, no disappointment in a benevolent being, no chastising myself for weak faith.  No futile reconciliation exercise in order to come to terms with the failed hope of a miracle healing.

I am saddened by the loss of life. But I am consoled by the many ways in which that life will live on: through children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors. I am inspired to live my life better. I accept the reminder that time is short, we are mortal, death will not be cheated.  I am grateful for the lesson that there is clarity with atheism.

Peace comes with understanding, it does not pass it.

Frankie


Through the Pinhole – a Poem

It is the smallest of windows

Wholly created, voluntarily accepted

Without a moment’s thought

Without a soul’s reflection

It is a single portrait viewing

The colors never fade, never change

Never adjust to the light

Still life in a perpetual state of fix

It is a changeless visage

Allows for only redundant interpretation

How oft can the brush stroke be dissected?

Countless opinions fight to death.

It is merely a pinhole picture

A finite vision carved from infinity

Chosen for its narrow path

Endorsed with eternal fear

It is a singular lens

Projected at grain of reality

Produces warped lines

Cages light in a prison

It is the smallest of windows

Wholly created, voluntarily accepted

Without a moment’s thought

Without a soul’s reflection


An Earth Visit

Tsyllus stepped out of his TimeField Transport and took his first breath of Earth air.  Well, to him it was simply Planet st.042 located in the Stellar Formation xin, Galaxy Hrsollyn.  It was a bit of an outback planet, Universally speaking, and was therefore rarely visited by any alien life.  Tsyllus knew this because he was a TimePrince and therefore privy to all alien travel throughout the Universe.  At once.  It was a curse. He was visiting this particular planet because he heard tell (by some unsavory Woolysnx in some shifty bar on the mangy Planet Slaacp) that the inhabitants here had picked up the esoteric idea of a TimePrince.  Tsyllus wasn’t surprised at all that an obscure life form came up with the concept:   “We are, after all, connected.” he thought to himself, “We are all made of the same stardust material and we all possess the same stardust memories.”

He wanted to investigate what they teased out of the ether and how close they came to the reality; this meant an actual trip to Earth to study the imagined TimePrince and its creators.  He correspondingly landed in Trafalgar Square, just underneath one of the lion monuments.  He stepped outside to check his landing position, and taking a small remote control-looking device from his coat pocket he thought for a moment and then pressed a couple of buttons.  It took a few seconds, the Transport had to receive the code and then implement the program, but slowly the vessel seemed to disappear, its high-tech, shiny black rounded shell was blending in to the concrete base elevating the lion. Tsyllus had activated the camouflage program.

“Better.”  He announced to himself and, adding the command “Open Main Hatch” a panel of concrete opened up exactly like a door and Tsyllus stepped into his home. The hatch closed automatically behind him.   “Dlynnar, find local broadcast satellite A113, queue to program “Dr. Who.”

“Request received, finding local broadcast satellite A113, queueing to program ‘Dr. Who,'” replied Dlynnar, the mainframe quantum computer, in a pleasant androgynous voice.   He planned on watching every bit of Dr. Who and anything remotely Dr. Who related; he wanted to see what these aliens got right in the thing and what they got wrong.  He suspected the ‘wrong’ column would far outweigh what they got right, but he was inwardly thrilled that they even came up with the idea.  He wondered if they knew that TimePrince’s were a despised group and not typically amiable.

After hours of The Doctor, and a long tea in a small shop in Leicester Square, from where Tsyllus observed nearly every kind of human behavior and interaction, he was ready to make his report:

“Visit: Planet st.042 located in the Stellar Formation xin, Galaxy Hrsollyn, locally known as “Earth”, date 45 Meleni, year 70412.  Findings as such:

“The local intelligent life, calling themselves ‘humans’ are indeed an interesting and humorous population.  The first thing that impressed me was that I found their quaint bodies to be quite fragile and underdeveloped compared to most other alien life.  Just one small piece of metal slung from a projectile at mass velocity can crush their intelligence centers without resistance.  Indeed, this particular animal has no developed physical defense system such as an exoskeleton or telekinetic abilities to alter their surroundings or regeneration capacity of any kind, which leaves them extremely vulnerable to outside influences.  However, they fall quite short in soliciting appeal from any alien visitations due to their small mental and spatial capacities.  And yet….they seem to overcome their deficiencies in several clever and creative ways.

‘Humans’ have managed to build a variety of quasi-exoskeletons using the scant amount of metals found in their natural Planetary composition.  These exoskeletons include large land tanks, aeroplanes (what are Universally known as IPT – IntraPlanetary Transport) and water borne vessels, both surface hydro and sub-surface hydro.  One might wonder why the Earth creatures even build such protection if, as mentioned earlier in this report, it invites no other alien life form.  This is because Planet st.042 is still very much in its infancy with regards to Universal Awareness and therefore more focused on the varying differences amongst themselves.   Such a focus only sets the stage for intraplanetary warring, as typically seen on other Planets that are in their infancies.

In fact, there is still a large population on this Planet that still cling to archaic beliefs and have not yet progressed beyond Msoolyz’  famous “Illusionary Fixation” whereby their intelligence capacity is still underdeveloped and stifled by early “pre-consciousness beliefs of deism and egocentric thought processes” as Msoolyz states.  On the balance though, the Planet seems to be continuing along normal Awareness progress.  I would adamantly note however that much of their slow development is again due to the lack of any outside visitation or relationship; they have no reason to comprehend themselves as a unit without the face of an outsider to unite them.

Along with creative improvisations to protect themselves, I must also declare a high level of admiration for the human ability to imagine.  The fact that they were able to hone it on the concept of a TimePrince is testimony to their capacity to discern specific ideas and worry them to perfection.  In the case of comparing their version of a TimePrince with actuality, there are a few things eerily accurate.  There are obviously many gaps in these nuggets of truisms, however the ingenuity utilized to deduce what might be placed in those gaps is both entertaining and charming.

While they’ve imagined a TimePrince (their term is ‘Time Lord’) that is indigenous to a particular Planet and alien race, they imagine that everyone from that Planet is a ‘Time Lord.’  They missed the part where there are only a few of us born each generation with the ability to See and Intervene.   Yes, there is a certain amount of status with the gift, but the curse is much greater.  Torn from our families at a young age, denied any childhood privileges and raised by older generations of TimePrinces, our lives are solitary (Humans got that part right) and never our own.”

“It’s no wonder we are an unhappy lot.” Tsyllus thought to himself.  “Dlynnar, delete last to the word ‘Intervene’.”   He waited just a second and Dlynnar replied “Deleted, ready to continue Tsyllus.”

“Whilst this Planet has had scant alien visitors,” he continued, “the imagined life forms humans contrived are grounds for a Msoolyz type examination in their variations of form and character, and presented with an odd fixation on violent, often malicious life forms.  Perhaps this stems from their still primitive views and lack of knowledge thereof, I’ll leave the final conclusion for the experts.  It seems difficult for them on the whole to consider friendly visitors, which is most likely to occur as we all know.

Finally, and in attempt to end on a positive note (although I’ll admit a certain biased toward liking these harmless creatures) they have obtained a decent foundational grasp of space and time.  They are aware that there is probably other life in the Universe besides their own, they have probed neighboring Planets within their Stellar System and have worked the calculations out enough to understand that time and space are in no way fixed and linear but, to the use the words of their imagined ‘Time Lord’ a ‘Big blob of wibbly wobbly timey wimey ….. stuff.’  I myself am highly impressed at this grasp of time and space.”

“Overall, the inhabitants of Planet st.042 are a charming, if naïve, animal and I for one wish them well in their attempts to mature.  I have scheduled a revisit in millennia (Dlynnar, set the date for reminding please) and shall send an update at that time.   For now, this completes my report on Planet st.042 located in the Stellar Formation xin, Galaxy Hrsollyn.   Respectfully submitted, TimePrince Tsyllus.”

He took a deep breath and then addressed his computer, “Dlynnar, send report to the Pynndl council and set course for Planet Scaalp, I need a Norliss to drink before I lose my mind.”

Dlynnar dutifully replied, “Sure thing Tsyllus, sending report into council and setting course for Planet Scaalp, you need a Norliss before you lose your mind.  Estimated time of arrival equals 35 plincks, plus or minus 2 plincks. Allonsy!”


here’s a great read….

my belief that we are good after all is confirmed in this delightful little story…..happy tuesday kids!  be well, frankie

http://oliviacirce.tumblr.com/post/48486628148/after-learning-my-flight-was-detained-4-hours-i