… is the scariest thing I can think of to do.
I’m sitting here, trying to figure out something to do; I’m too wired for sleep (although work is tomorrow at 11:00am –I think; I’m unsure of everything these days, especially related to time of day), and have copiously avoided trying to write anything down.
I did, for a while, try to write a lot, if not ‘all of it’, post it online in fits and starts. I decided, I resolved to start writing regularly on one blog or another, but I can’t bring myself to start. I can’t bring myself to say, “This is what I think”, because what I think is still fairly radical, compared to the consensus view these days.
Yet, on the other hand, I’m not even assuming anyone’s even listening/reading, much less responding. Which, to me, is a blessing; I don’t want anybody looking, at the same time that I’m compelled to leave a record. I’ve been journaling since 1978 or so, compulsively. Once, my partner found a journal entry that absolutely enraged him. We had a loud, raucous scene, and then got on with our lives, but something in me shut down. I didn’t journal again for about a year and a half, and then only in secret; I actually left my journal at work, where I felt it was “safe” – if you can imagine that. It wasn’t even that “it was a different world”; my co-worker and friend, Denise found it, or I offered it to her to read, and actually complimented me on the structure of the entries, the way my line of thought was pursued in the linear context of a journal entry. Whatever …
So I’m starting over again. There are remembrances that shape the story as it unfolds. There is understanding about experience and the nature of consciousness to think about. Then there is the political and cultural situation that can be addressed through expression of my experience of political philosophy.
It actually starts … well, actually it ‘starts’ in infancy, but we won’t go there, for now … during the Reagan years. In the 80s, when we started to hear about “the intent of the Framers”, in reference to conservative desires, I decided to start reading about the Framers themselves, and find out for myself what they might have .. intended.
What I only later figured out is that Intention is one of the functions of Mind, and in reality, one of the major forces at work in the Universe, as much as gravity, electromagnetic and bio-magnetic energy, heat and light are major forces that operate in the Universe. Man has always been reticent to name and possess the functional abilities of his mind beyond those within the scope of reason. Once you dethrone the “rational” mind as the ruler of the mental universe, you realize there is a wider scope previously unrecognized.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I started reading about Thomas Jefferson first, and discovered the political side of the genius who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the negative side of his legacy, and through his friendship and correspondence with John Adams, discovered the man who was the second President of the Union, in all his brilliance and his foibles, who I came admire foremost among the Founding Brothers. As I enter my own curmudgeonly age, I identify with Adams in his ‘retirement’ when, reconciled with Thomas Jefferson, his bitter political rival and brother in arms, they began the correspondence that endured throughout the remainder of their lives. I always marvel at the fact that they both died on the Fourth of July, in the same year, 50 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
In terms of political philosophy, I discovered the Enlightenment, after years of exploring the concept of enlightenment, having been introduced to eastern philosophy and Huxley’s idea of the underlying Perennial Philosophy I’d been an early adherent of. What I discovered was clarified for me when I read Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ essay “The Eternal Life of Religion.” What stuck out for me was the idea of man deciding to use reason to explore the universe, not at the exclusion or denial of religion, but without recourse to religion. Nothing exists in a vacuum, and events always have multiple antecedents, and in this case, the Enlightenment in part came about as a response to over a century of religious wars, primarily between the Protestants and the Catholics. Just lately, I found the book, CULTURAL CREATIVES, who describes the contemporary opposition as between the Conservatives and the Moderns, with a third force, the Cultural Creatives who no longer entirely subscribe to either paradigm, searching in new ways for answers to questions not being answered within the confines of convention, within the current consensus of the modern/Modern society.