The “WHY”

 

My friend, Doctor Genius, I have referenced him in previous posts, responded to my last post asking, what is your “WHY”.

Interesting question

Freud believed life is primarily a quest for pleasure.  Alfred Adler believed life is a quest for power.

I guess the greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.  Finding meaning has been a quest of humankind since the dawn of consciousness. Entire social and belief structures are built around this pursuit of meaning.  The more one individual submerges him or herself in such a structure the easier it becomes for him or herself to derive meaning and purpose for existence. Lack of meaning and purpose can and will have devastating effects on a person.  According to my father, the lack of meaning and purpose is often at the root of drug addiction and alcoholism, since it is easier to numb your consciousness then to find meaning and purpose.

Our parents, maybe but certainly for our grandparents and their forefathers, the meaning for their existence was given to them.  Their purpose and their reason for existence, was hammed into their heads from their time of infancy. In addition, they lived their lives in such a tightly knit social structure that meaning and purpose was inevitable. Everyone had to contribute to the whole.

Freedom

Freedom for individualism

Freedom always comes with a price.  We now have to freedom to pick our destiny.  One can even go so far and say, we now have the freedom for individualism. Is this freedom a blessing or a curse? We often forget the overwhelming responsibility which comes with freedom. What does this freedom do to the whole?  Is individualism and selfishness not closely related?

So far I have come up with three possible sources for the meaning of my WHY

Work – Doing something significant, significance which can’t be measured with dollar signs.

Love – Caring for other people.

Courage – Making it through the difficult times.

This is what I have for now.  I just order five more books on the topic so maybe I have a better understanding on the topic after I finished reading these books.

Still connecting the dots

As I stated in my last post, I’m trying to connect the dots.  I’m starting to make sense of it all.  Slowly a clear picture starts to emerge however I’m still lacking the ability to spell it all out.

Maybe because others before me have phrased it better like Nietzsche who said;

“He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any “HOW”.

Connecting the Dots

Now that my Behavioral Therapy Study is coming to its end, I was asked to reflect and review.

I’m slowly connecting the dots.  I still have a few more weeks to get a clearer picture.

Now, I’m sitting here waiting, waiting to conveniently remember, remember, remembering what I had held true, what had guided me through.

I’m starting to see what caused the tumbling down the rabbit hole and why Kansas went ByeBye.

One of my new activities is my volunteer work with Hospice. At first I thought, it would help me coming to terms with my father’s death. I thought facing the finite nature of humankind, head on, would help.  Maybe it does but so far it’s not helping it just makes everything even harder.  I can’t buy into the whole theory of “accept your suffering and it will be easier”.  Then again, I easily accept the fact that life sucks and if you get your cookie be happy, you may not get it tomorrow.  I guess it’s all the same one is just a little deeper than the other.

One of the reason why my volunteer work with Hospice makes it harder is, not only do I stare death in the face each time I enter the hospital or the care center.  My patient maybe doing well but each time I walk down the hallway to her room; one face along that hallway has left, replaced with a new one, which may not be there the next week.  It’s the question, the question that drives us all, “what is it all for”.  What is it, this what we call life, this illusive idea of living a meaningful life? What is it really?

When I sit and contemplate the meaning of it all, I hear my Dad’s voice echoing in my head.  What the meaning is, how one should live life etc.  Maybe one day after I figured it out for myself the voice will go away, maybe one day I’ll find comfort in its presents.

Volunteering for Hospice made me realize how materialistic our society is. I’m questioned constantly why I’m doing this, if I’m not getting paid.  One person, said, “Well I could understand if you are doing it for your course work or study but WHY what is in it for you”. Trying to find the answer to the question, I said.  To which, I gotten the obscure answer, “you just need to come to peace with yourself”.  To this the answer would be “Cotidiana vilescunt”, I guess.

Still, kind of interesting how we in this modern western world, measures everything that matters in relationship to matter and then we turn around and act surprised about the large depression population and the overuse of the depression drug class.

Over the last six months I read a lot of reports of people with terminal illnesses.  A patient enters Hospice if their life expectancy is six months or less. Some fight against the odds and live longer but in the end they all die, we all die.

Still connecting the dots.

Cigarette

Oh, cigarette. We hooked up again recently.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s not meant to be. You found me in Germany, first, and then we went to France. You even followed me to the States, loyalty beyond belief. Then we broke up but only for a while. You just found yourself in my hands again, packed away in a neat little case. I opened up the box and there you were: neat, clean and happy to see me. I lovingly removed your foil blanket and plucked you from the ranks. You kissed the flame of my lighter, and then we talked awhile, carrying on a light conversation with much sighing and breathing. I extended my arm in front of me to properly examine you.

But wait. You had changed. Incorrigibly. No longer did you appear sleek and elegant. No. Instead, I cringed at the mere stubby sight of you. You had grown so tinged with taint, I could no longer hold you in my hand.

And so down you went, fluttering into a November puddle of the city. As I watched you drown I felt it was right that it be so. We were over.

Until . . .

We met again.
I thought I got rid of you.

But somehow, just somehow, you managed to weasel your way into my hand at can’t-remember the day the time we met again. Suddenly I was caught up in the moment and we chatted briefly. I batted my eyes a little, and you nodded demurely.

Though when you’d gone I felt awful. I felt contaminated. I realized that this was due to my guilt. Fuck guilt, right? Let’s just say I realized, finally, the extent of your awfulness, your absolute filth.

Now, having received the right amount of distance, I see things with more perspective. I acknowledge that we had a great love while it lasted. Fun was had by all. I’m glad it happened. It was my fate, my destiny (if you will). This is what I have decided, and that is where I’ll leave it.

So this is the final goodbye . . . until next time.

Structure and Balance

 

There is the yin and yang, good and evil, the male principal and the female principal and so on.

From early age, my father had an acute awareness of these principals and its need for balance.  As a child he excelled in mathematics, philosophy and oratory rhetoric; script, grammar and spelling were his weaknesses.  The assumption, the more you read the better your grammar and spelling will become did not apply to him.  He made it clear to his teachers, he didn’t feel a need to try to further his skills in script, and grammar or spelling neither did the conquering of his weakness appeal to him.  He simply stated “My time on this earth is finite; I see no need in furthering my skills in script, grammar or spelling. It is a waste of my time, if I simply can marry a woman who possesses such skill. My future wife will fulfill me and bring what I’m lacking”.

One can say he had a keen sense of awareness even as a child.

His view was, opposites cannot stand neither be viewed in isolation, they are interconnected and interdependent and such was his view on order and chaos. His belief was if you structure your life in such an orderly fashion so you will never encounter any confusion or disarray you may live a life in comfort though nothing forces you to stretch your mind.  He firmly believed progress will only come out of conflict.  Much along the lines of; “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Even though my father pushed the seeking of conflict to extremes there is truth to his philosophy, which covers an array of matters, for finding the right partner, to effective time management to having the proper balance of order and chaos so it will stretch your mind beyond your current edge.

 

Structure and Order

Last night as I reviewed my notes for tomorrow and cleaned up my desk before going to bed, I remembered the comment Albert Einstein made; “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

As noted I’m not the first who contemplates this matter, I find myself in rather good company. In addition, this blog post provided something opposite to popular beliefs.

To me, a clean desk represents order, it represents structure.

Mythology and the fairytales we grew up with provide the reoccurring theme of order and structure.   Even throughout history every town, every fortress was build with the surrounding walls which kept what was supposed to stay in, “in”; and what was supposed to stay out, “out”.  One can argue humankind evolved with a sense and need for structure.  To what level depends on the individual.

I have a friend, functions well in her orderly environment, with lines in the carpet and plastic on the chairs.  Another friend of mine lives in total disarray, clothes scattered throughout the house one can barely walk without stepping on something.  Both of my friends do well in their structured or lack of structured environment however their partners are plagued an array of psychological problems.

Too much order makes you ill; lack of order does the same.

In order to conquer whatever psychological problems one is struggling with; is it depression, anxiety, overeating, whatever it may be.  One may needs to step back, define their sense of structure and what their threathhold of structure is in order to live in a somewhat metal comfort zone.

Lack of Motivation – Depression – Or Plain Lazy

It has been more than 10 days since my last post.  Did motivation disappear or did life take over?  How hard is it to write something worth posting?  I haven’t even finished setting up the entire site since I wanted to add additional pages showing my paintings and photos, plus adding some reference materials.

I was offered a part-time job and my training starts on Monday.   This has occupied much of my time since the first time in two years I have to wear professional clothing again.  With the professional clothing comes the whole, hair, nails and make-up thing.  For some girls, such as my sister, this is second nature for me it is somewhat a struggle. My sister would now raise her eyebrows and say; “A struggle??? No, no struggle you are just lazy and your laziness causes your depression since how can you be depressed if you look your best”.

There is some validity to her statement. Still, no matter how much my sister boasts about her efficiency she spends an average of three hours a day to look the way she does, not considering the amount of money she spends on accomplishing this perfect look of hers.

I try to twist her theory, trying to find arguments on how the time and money could be put to better use. I cannot totally disregard her theory neither can I find fallacy in her statement; “Not only will you feel better when you look good, your capabilities are first judged by your appearance research and studies support such there is no escaping.”