Thursday, August 16, 2012

Who Can Understand It?

What’s going on? Why do people do the things they do? Why do I do the things I do? Why do I respond this way or that?

It seems to me, like it or not, that everyone has pieces of themselves they either can’t or won’t share with another human being. Even if you want to, when you’re willing to, there will be things you can’t share, because you don’t even know what’s going on yourself. Some things are unknowable. And these “unknowables” are what often lead us to the water, or the poison, we can choose to drink or leave behind.

Some people want to be “transparent” about their lives. They feel it’s false or fake in some way to hold anything back. But even if you managed, somehow, to totally reveal what you believe to be the “truth” of who you are, you would still be a mystery because you can’t even know yourself completely. How is anyone else going to know you that fully?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s worth trying, at least with some people. But it is futile in many ways and I think we need to admit that up front. We’re all just the tips of icebergs. There is a lot going on below the surface, and even a person who is amazingly dedicated to the art of self awareness and self revelation can be, I should say, “will be,” blind to their own motives and at least some of the realities that cause them to feel and eventually do what they do.

We feel things and then think things, and finally do things, because we have been convinced by some event in the past to respond that way. Sometimes, even long after the event itself is forgotten, the reaction lives on. We have been trained by experiences to respond, and our responses can tell us a lot about what’s going on underneath. But it’s like putting together a puzzle with missing and messed up pieces.

I guess you could say I believe in at least some aspects of behavioral psychology. But doesn’t it just make sense? In fact, I think it’s biblical.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

To change this reality, to “understand” your heart, you would have to remember everything you ever did, every thing that ever happened to you, and also be able to measure and calculate a proper emotional response to all that information on the fly as you move through the day.

Let me know how that works out.

You can’t always “choose” your emotional responses to things, but you can “choose” what to do with it. Where do you let it take you? What do you do as a result? A lot of people want to believe they have no control, or responsibility, for what they choose to do, because they don’t always have control over the emotional responses that lead them to that action. But you can always choose. You are not a cyborg, an automaton, a robot, or a thoughtless animal. You are not. You are a human being.

What you, and I, actually do each day, each moment, is the product of your decisions. And decisions have consequences.

© LW Publishing 2011

Thursday, August 9, 2012


 There are many amazing things depending on you to realize they are amazing. In other words, if your eyes aren’t open to how amazing things are then nothing will seem amazing to you, which reveals, unfortunately, unfortunate things about your desire to learn and grow. It can reveal how much we take for granted. It can reveal arrogance and closed mindedness. I personally find a mind that can’t be amazed any more to be a little scary.

Consider: What does it take to amaze you? Do things have to explode? Does the world have to be a brand new circus everyday, putting on a show just for you in order to get some kind of response? Perhaps you aren’t seeing things that are right in front of you.

I certainly hope this is not the case. For anyone.

If you don’t know what I mean, I hope you figure it out. And to help people along, here are just a few examples of some amazing things a lot of people don’t seem to realize are amazing. Feel free to share some of yours if you are so inclined...

1. Bass players who sing lead vocals and play bass at the same time.

Guys like Sting and Geddy Lee. Paul McCartney. I seem to remember the guy from Thin Lizzy doing this as well. But it is fairly rare to see someone sing and play bass at the same time. Even more rare is the lead singer/bass player. You know why? Because it’s, like, stinkin’ impossible, that’s why. I have tried it. I can’t really play bass, but I definitely can’t sing lead vocals and play bass at the same time. Some players get away with it by basically playing root notes, plunk plunk plunk. Like Gene Simmons of Kiss. Not the same thing. I’m talking about guys who actually, really, genuinely play complex bass parts, peddling through the chords, while singing at the same time. I don’t know why it’s so impossible, but it is. More impossible than playing drums and singing, or playing accordion and singing, which is also very difficult, or so I’m told. But I’m telling you, if you see someone playing bass and singing lead vocals at the same time, be amazed. It is amazing. Probably the only thing more amazing would be a person playing a wind instrument and singing at the same time. I’ve honestly never seen that. I assume it's impossible, but what do I know? Still, if you see this kind of thing, bass guitars or otherwise, whether you realize it or not, you are witnessing something amazing.

2. Everyone’s kids.

Everyone thinks their own kids are amazing. And yet, to other people, they are just normal kids. Therefore, the inclination is to believe that the people with kids are biased and their kids are not actually amazing. But, in fact, the kids are amazing. All of them. Every single one. And if you don’t think so, it’s because you don’t get it. But that’s okay. You’re still amazing too.

3. Empty space.

Sure, seems boring, because it’s nothing. But if it’s nothing, then how is it still “there” in any way that makes sense? And if it wasn’t “there” what would be the difference between here and the “there” beyond the "there" of empty space? Some physicists argue, like Einstein did, that there is really no such thing as “empty” space because fields, such as gravity, fill all so-called “space,” including a vacuum, which is the ultimate empty space, I suppose. And I get what they are saying.

Kind of.

But that “space” is still there, isn’t it? In other words, the space is not, itself, the gravitational field that is “in” the space, right? Even if that empty space couldn’t exist without the forces acting on it and within it, what exactly is that thing that the gravitational field is occupying? Maybe it’s not technically empty, but it’s practically empty. And it’s space.

Perhaps we should call it empty space/time?

Okay. I seriously have no idea what I’m talking about anymore.

But I still think it’s amazing.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Date

She: So you don’t want children at all?

He: No.

Awkward pause.

She: (Looking down at her feet under the edge of the table.) And why not?

He: Do I need a reason?

Awkward pause.

He: (Slightly agitated.) Why would you bring a child into this world? Where we put children in striped shirts and bake them in ovens, like some sick reality TV version of a fairy tale? Why would you bring a child into this world when there’s nothing to live for anymore but a bigger, more impressive something or other?

She: (Looks him in the eyes.) So, why are you here?

He: That’s a good question.

Awkward pause.

She: What you’re saying doesn’t add up.

He: Yes, it does.

She: No. It doesn’t. You neglect the beautiful for the ugly. You see the dark without recognizing the light.

He: But the dark makes the light pointless.

Awkward pause.

She: You don’t really believe that?

He: Why not?

She: Because it’s the other way around. The light makes the dark pointless.

Awkward pause.

They finish the meal. They do not date again. Occasionally, over the years, they cross paths at the grocery store. They smile wanly and wave, but they have nothing to say.

© LW Publishing 2011