Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nightmares

Pretty Lady didn't get much sleep last night. The news that the government has taken to stealing babies in the U.K., sometimes even before birth, upset her so profoundly that she flailed around and hallucinated that, in some mysterious way, the mosquito that made it into her bedroom was in some way intimately connected with the rise of totalitarianism in one of her favorite countries. Truly, it is horrible.

Furthermore, she is finding herself confronted, yet again, with the dismal fact that persons in her own field, who should know better, are still subscribing to the hopeless cant of that bastard Karl, in a shallow and self-righteous denial of Obvious Reality. So, wearily, Pretty Lady shall take it on herself to illustrate why religion and opiates have nothing in common, in the light of their relative effects upon the proletariat.

Now. First, a show of hands: how many of you darlings have been close friends with a heroin addict? Please? Pretty Lady does not actively avoid persons who make habitual use of opium-based narcotics, but the trouble is that these individuals are not particularly friendly, in the usual sense of the word. They will engage you in conversation in order to extract money from you, of course, but largely they tend to be Poor Listeners. And their follow-through is nil.

In fact, the singular hallmark of opiate addiction is that the individual concerned progressively jettisons every value apart from his or her relationship with the drug. One friend commented, "N. would never be able to love me back; heroin would always take first place." Persons who lived in Desperate Ghettos would tell stories about junkies so stoned that when apprehended for theft by a man on a bicycle, they would make a dead-eyed grab for the bicycle, while actually in custody. "Man, I need this shit!" was their pathetic cry. Junkies are notorious for child neglect, impotence, and Living in Squalor.

Because heroin, as they say, kills the soul. One may know a true junky by the fact that they have no light in their eyes.

Now, Pretty Lady grants that the more infantile of the religious set can occasionally be annoying. She grants that they may talk a lot, and that they are not always the best of listeners. But she submits to you that this sort of thing is a symptom of immaturity, far more than religiosity; furthermore, that whatever their failings as individuals, these people are engaged. They take their responsibilities seriously, as parents, spouses, providers, and members of the community. The fact that they subscribe to a system of rules governing their relations with others has an expansive affect on the mind, rather than a contractive one.

The fact is, darlings, that the notion that religion, in and of itself, anaesthetizes the mind to the perception of social injustice is a lot of rot. Religion does nothing of the sort. It merely alerts the mind to the fact that materialism is not the be-all and end-all of existence, and thank goodness for that! We are then free to seek increased social justice without the burden of Total Responsibility, for whether or not it is clear to us, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

For it has not escaped Pretty Lady's observation that when society as a whole attempts to equalize itself in a materialistic context, without faith in a Larger Pattern, disaster occurs. Our egoistic selves go into a neurotic panic and start seizing babies, attempting to impose Cosmic Justice from the point of view of an ant.

On a tangential note, an individual from over at Edward's has attempted to challenge Pretty Lady to a debate, in a display of jejune optimism. Pretty Lady must inform this gentleman that the term 'ego,' in a spiritual sense, can be defined as 'the perception of self as separate from the whole'; in this context, transcending the ego, through spiritual discipline, to perceive one's Self as unified with the Whole, is the precise and definitive opposite of 'fetishization of the ego.'

This is elementary.

13 comments:

Jonathan T. D. Neil said...

Jejune optimist here: Perhaps you are right PL, 'fetishization of the ego' was incorrect. What you describe is simply a fetishization of the Self' (alone, or unified with the Whole, it doesn't matter). The key is the "to perceive" necessary to both cases. You just can't escape it.

But thanks for putting me on to Vox Day. Obviously a highly intelligent guy. Seems like a waste of talent to me though.

And I find it interesting that you two would see eye to eye; after all, religion to him boils down to obedience to the word of god. This doesn't square with your obvious respect for Wilber.

prettylady said...

What on earth makes you think that I see eye to eye with Voxy-poo? We are constantly at loggerheads. Moreover, he is always fussing around with statistics and things, which I find most tedious, although useful in a grunt-work sort of way.

I do not understand what you mean by 'waste of talent,' however. It seems to me that the boy is fulfilling his potential most thoroughly, what with his conscientious debunking of atheist rhetoric on its own terms. Ask him about wars, sometime. You will be shocked.

Anyhoo, the point I was making, dear Jon, is that small-s 'self' and capital-s 'Self' are two entirely different things. It is the mistaken conflation of the two that is the basis of this most tiresome New Age movement, which dogs Pretty Lady's steps every time she attempts to have a conversation with an honest theologian.

You are correct about the inability of escaping the prison of perception, however; to be truly rigorous in one's thinking, this fact must be taken into consideration in all ontological arguments. Moreover, when we rigorously examine the 'peer-verification' element of esoteric philosophy, it becomes clear that the act of practicing spiritual discipline is itself a scientific experiment, the results of which only rigorous practitioners are qualified to judge. A person such as you or I, who do not sit our zazen regularly, may have an opinion, but it is of necessity an uninformed one.

The Aardvark said...

Just remember that in an online debate, if you make your points IN CAPITAL LETTERS, it adds force to your point, and you automatically win. That, or you'll get a job as a spam writer.

"THE HEALTH SECRETS THE DOCTORS DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW!!!!!"

(Don't forget the multiple exclamation points. They convince readers of your passion.)

The baby stealing story (possible Munchausen-by-proxy indeed!) upsets me such that I cannot lucidly write about it. It produces a mental state in me not unlike the blustering befuddlement of Gale Gordon in his various radio roles (Fibber McGee would drive him into a frenzy.) Too much to say, and too much passion, to pass through the mouth-or keyboard. That the officials see this as a normal governmental role with no downside merely stirs the pudding more.

k said...

Or, mr. aardvark, it may just be that some of us are, innocently enough, given to superlatives.

Hey. It could happpen. Yes it could! YES!!! ;-)

~~~~~~~

This baby stealing business is horrendous. It's been going on in Britain for much longer than it looks; numbers are skewed because of a more recent huge spike in activity. There was a movie made several years ago about a particulary egregious case, where a woman had lost perhaps 9 children?, several of whom were removed immediately at birth. In her case there was an earlier *crime of neglect* precipitating it, something involving a night on the town; for that, she was forever deemed an irredeemable Neglecter. Afterwards, through childbirth after childbirth after childbirth her babies were taken away, although she'd done nothing to harm or neglect them at all. Her husband stood by her through thick and thin. I believe they did get at least a child or two back, finally.

In the 1970's or so, an estimated 20% - 30% of Navajo babies, mostly *rez* born, were removed from their families to be outplaced with white American families for adoption. Often, as in the past with Native Americans of various tribes, the reason given was simply that the Indian families were *too poor* to properly parent.

In that particular tribe, the traditional notion of *family* is complex and very extensive. The loss of a child this way - even just one - usually caused family repercussions and grief that reverberated over a large number of relatives. That the children were never sought to be placed with their better-heeled Navajo relatives, but only with unrelated non-Indian families, was striking.

Many of those families and relatives are still searching for their out-placed kin today.

The uniting theme is the demand for babies for adoption. The British so-called *social workers* are trying to meet statistical expectations in order to show good job performance.

The Aardvark said...

"In the 1970's or so, an estimated 20% - 30% of Navajo babies, mostly *rez* born, were removed from their families to be outplaced with white American families for adoption."

I am convinced that dark mutterings occurred to the effect of "Well, THAT'LL keep 'em off the warpath...." 'Course, the official paper was likely "ending their poverty...unfit parents" cant.

Bobert said...

Your "links to this post" is vertical on my display.

Don't know if it's my video card, or your blog mods have a bug.

Chaos Fae said...

Yeah, I know a lot of heroin addicts and your quotation is quite apt. The part you've failed to examine is the possibility of escape from the addiction; life is not ended simply because someone is suffering.

The most astute comment you've made in quite some time (not trying to take away from any of your previous writing) is the obsevation that 'one may know a true junky by the fact that they have no light in their eyes.' You are correct; however, when an addict does have light in their eyes... do you have any comphrension as to what it means?

Probably not, but hey - you're a smart girl - figure it out. The answer may surprise you. Finding that answer ain't an easy task though, not unless you've got the genetic x-factor that these addicts have and have been able to master... oops, guess I gave you a hint.

Anyway, whatever. You are one of the few people I visit in this electronic world; so much is useless and a waste of my time. You, however, are a different One... there is something about the way you write and contemplate the world that I find amusing and intriguing.

Oh Pretty Lady, you are a rareity; and Chaos Fae thanks you. Peace, yo.

prettylady said...

Bobert, my dear, I would ask you what browser you are using, except that I am helpless to fix anything, having borrowed the HTML from Blogger. You will have to suffer.

Chaos fae, Pretty Lady is all about escape from suffering; have you not figured that out, yet? ;-)

DuckMan said...

I am convinced that dark mutterings occurred to the effect of "Well, THAT'LL keep 'em off the warpath...."
The Aardvark

I can't think of anything that would be more likely to put them on the warpath. Maybe that's just me.

Pretty Lady:

On the question you asked us, my hand is down. As far as I am aware, no one of my acquaintance has ever partaken of opiates. (Other than the religious variety, of course.)

The Aardvark said...

Duckman- of COURSE it is 180 degrees wrong-headed. It was 1970's bureaucracy.

Scratch that.

It was just bureaucracy

k said...

Yes.

And bureaucracy is timeless.

DuckMan said...

Question:

How many bureaucrats does it take to change a lightbulb?

Answer:

At least 11.

One to requisition the bulb, one to requisition the ladder, one to check up on the requisitions, one to keep and eye on the first three, one to change the bulb, one to hold the ladder, one to make ensure that quality was part of the bulb changing process, one to guarantee that diversity was honored by the process, one to keep all honest with respect to safety, one to take overall responsibility for the process, and one to investigate why the bulb-changing process was overdue and over-budget.

sarah said...

To be fair, here's the Marx quote in context:

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

He's not exactly calling religious folk heroin addicts, here.

Great blog, by the way! I just stumbled across it in my wanderings across the internets and have already bookmarked you. Thanks for brightening my afternoon!