Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Mindless Era

I've been impressed today how I have been living in a mindless era for a long time. When I say this, I mean that the philosophies governing my life have been mindless. When I was born, I was raised a Christian in a farm community in northern Indiana. The ethics were those of Christianity. I was not discussing these norms, mind you; I was just accepting them, as from God (or the community). My mind was not considered in this transaction and I accepted that.

Years later, in the 80s, I signed up for a course in Landmark Education. I did it because I was bored and wanted to see what else might be possible in life. The mental character of Christianity and its taboos had grown thin. I needed my body. So, I explored my feelings. What did my heart want? All of this was about my body (interpreted in the larger sense as non-reason/non-intellectual). In fact my mind was specifically disengaged and I remember well the day I disengaged it.

But, at last, some other things are brewing.

In the Christian days of mind without body and in the Landmark days of body without mind, the one thing that was constant was that I was split. I have come to know the consequences of that split in the past two years. The chickens are here. The possibility of putting together the mind and body as a unified whole is upon me. I do grasp the idea and its consequences. Whether at this age it is possible remains to be seen. Habits are habits. It will take some specific clear-cut actions to impact the habits of 67 years.

It's not all a bust, however. When I was 30, I discovered and read Ayn Rand. She was, for me, the source of the possibility of unifying the mind and body. I got it emotionally from her novels although I didn't translate it into everyday terms. So, even though I lived through the Christian mind period and the Landmarkian body period, Objectivism was in the background as a standard against which I was measuring my actions throughout those years. That influence was not strong, but it was there. When I reached the dead end of Landmark's influence, I had somewhere to turn. So now life is about a new integration. And, you know, this is very exciting. It really is. I've been soooo happy all day.

When I get discouraged and forget this conversation I will pull out this blog post. Reason is a powerful tool. Hell, it put a man on the moon and that was something new.

The hardest part is realizing where I've been and what I've been doing and forgiving myself according to the standards by which I am now assessing my life. My strategy is to develop a context for what happened which allows me to use the past for living in the present. I request you accept the above paragraphs as an effort in that direction.

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