The Market

So, as I understand it the market depends on the consumer whose purchasing power depends on the sale of goods produced by the consumer whose wages ensure the consumers’ purchasing power which ensures the product will be purchased.

Everything proceeds along okay as long as there aren’t any linkage problems in the chain, like interruptions in acquiring the necessary pieces required to produce the product which might result in job layoffs which then reduce the consumers’ purchasing power, and which eventually, considerably increases the cost of the unavailable pieces the products’ manufacture require making the product more expensive and perhaps out of reach of the consumers’ now limited resources. The product is no longer affordable, manufacture shuts down: no wages, no consumers, no product.

Thought about in such terms, life seems pretty tenuous dependent as it is on the cooperation of a population of independent souls often at odds with each other. It may be time to thank my neighbor for his part in keeping the chain in tact.

Impending Doom

I guess this time of year invites morbid thoughts: nature receding into dormancy as it is, temperatures dropping to inhospitable levels. Then there’s the growing disaster of climate change that our politicos seem unwilling or unable to address in any meaningful way, the partisan reality disconnect dividing us into hostile tribes and who can forget the ominous persistence of the dreaded virus.

What I need is a catharsis, a jolt of adrenalin to lift me from this debilitating depression. I was reading that the horror genre is beneficial as a means of escaping the sense of gloom one finds oneself in at times; that horror films can help one find a fresh outlook. Seeing Jason about to slice up an unaware teenager and the like produces an adrenalin rush, so the article suggests, ushering in a revival of energy to go along with a thankfulness one is in one’s living room rather than in a cabin at Camp Crystal Lake.

It makes sense to me; I think I’ll revisit some of the films that have terrified me in the past; maybe start with Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. Betty Davis’ take on insanity caused me nightmares for quite some time.

Feelings of Anguish

Some days I find myself feeling vulnerable in an abstract sort of way, sensing opposition to my existence that I’m hard pressed to identify. I have no explanation for this vague feeling of dread but it’s very real when it occurs. I know I’m not alone in experiencing this sort of discomfort and I know that it leads some of us to seek a strong identifier, something or someone who appears to stand in opposition to the status quo, to the ingrained structure that lead to the inequities we think we’re experiencing.

A renegade leader can, if he/she is effective produce an identifier many of us will gladly latch on to and may evolve, over time, into the very epitome of evil. This development may lead to a sense of moral superiority, a hubristic certainty of being on the Right Path, and then, after a while, may lead to violent confrontations with a perceived enemy and eventually to terroristic behaviors. (yikes!)

My angst, thankfully, is usually pretty short lived. When the sun comes out, the weather turns mild, I find myself feeling everything is fine, life is good. Curious, though, the twists and turns of one’s psychological self.

Subliminal Truth

I’ve been reading, lately, about art and meaning, specifically how the intended communication the art maker might initially wish to convey becomes confused and intermingled with personal urges or desires that are then made manifest in the work during the intensive painstaking making process.

An uninhibited free reign provides the art maker’s mind the opportunity to bypass the political correctness of moral restraint untroubled by any sort of critical push-back (well, at least until the work is presented) and if the work is coming from the depths of the maker’s being without ulterior motive the work will be true: not necessarily attractive in an aesthetic sense nor morally uplifting nor of profound meaning; just honest.

Anyway, this got me thinking about my motivations as I proceeded to develop and execute my painting of the Mother Tree. Making the painting turned out to be a fairly involved undertaking in more ways than I usually find myself engaged. So now I’m led to consider that a project I’ve intended to have a lightly humorousness, anthropomorphizing tree forms as I have might in fact suggest a subliminal libidinous undertone that not only have I been preoccupied with female anatomy I present them (the female entities) as subservient

.Well, I must claim innocence. I really was just intending a light-hearted take on the natural process. But, who can say what the unconscious mind holds. I just hope the PC police won’t come down on me too hard.

The Illusion of Freedom

I’ve been thinking, lately, about what constitutes freedom. I imagine a freedom of movement, to travel undeterred, to acquire whatever man be required to ensure a semblance of safety.

Now I find the idea of ‘freedom’ has taken on political nuance: those who oppose vaccination demand the freedom to choose in spite of science informing us the virus will mutate, be with us much longer than it might have if most of us were vaccinated. The anti-vaxxers oppose vaccine requirements with demonstrations, touting ‘my body my choice’, which in itself is pretty interesting since many of these same folks refuse to accept a woman’s right to abortion.

I guess I should count myself fortunate that I can still find temporary solace in my local environs, seek short-term get-a-ways to recharge and realize the inherent freedom such affords.

A Deep Sense of Place

I’ve been reading about the villagers of rural Sumatra who have occupied their ancestral lands for generations. The rich volcanic soil and abundant rainfall have provided reliable rice production for families to remain in place for a thousand years or more. Such an extended presence has led these folks to develop deep spiritual connection to the land. Beliefs have developed over time securing a sense of peace and common bond among these rural farmers. Tabus have evolved to ward off ill-fortune, rituals, past down over the generations, are performed to appease nature’s gods.

How incredible it must be to have such a deep sense of place, a conception almost unimaginable for Scandinavian transplants like me, so far removed from any place we might think of as ancestral. We immigrants can, of course, understand our inherent ties to nature traceable back to our primordial past, our single-celled ancestors, but we lack the personal connection to place, the spiritual and physical continuity of the Sumatran villagers.

Things change. The aggressive influx of the revealed religions undermines traditional beliefs, interrupt respect for local sacred places. Growing populations force more villagers to commute to jobs in the city where material values take hold and village life loses it’s sense of cultural autonomy.

I guess it will always be the case that new ideas will eventually disrupt old beliefs, for better or worse.

Controlled Hallucinations

I’ve been reading that certain neuro-scientists have determined that ‘reality’, the domain within which we all live, embodies a world existing in the intersection of memory and observation: that our cognitive awareness consists of ‘controlled hallucinations’.

I guess what this must means is that the memories we rely on will undergo change over time, likely soften, flex toward favorable interpretation and what our senses observe at one point in time will likely vary with age and experience.

I wonder if the ‘controlled’ part of this idea is about dealing with the psychological baggage I carry around with me that gets in the way of my otherwise generally pleasant existence. I can live well enough with the idea my reality consists of hallucinations.

escape

I’ve been thinking lately about escape. The psychological desire to retreat to unfamiliar environs even for a couple of days is truly compelling. Months long wait lists for camper purchases and campground reservations unavailable into late fall informs me I’m not alone. The uncertainty of contracting the dreaded virus variant even after being vaccinated has led the more responsible among us to seek outdoor activities away from urban crowds.

I long for such escape realizing at the same time that the whole notion is illusory: leaving home, traveling, is at best a distraction, a means of removing oneself from one’s daily realities, a short-term reprieve at best.

Knowing this truth changes nothing. If anyone hears of a lightweight camper for sale, please let me know.

Contemplating Immortality

The human genome has finally been deciphered and connected suggesting that in the future an individual’s genetic flaws may be found and possibly corrected leading to the potential for longer human lifespans. Imagination might lead one to the idea that sustaining life indefinitely is within the realm of possibility.

On the face of it the idea seems pretty uplifting, having all that time to…………… well, do exactly what. Another problem that comes to mind is that the very nature of human Being depends on uncertainty. Awareness of one’s mortality, as subliminal as it may be, is an enlivening prospect, an experiential richness, without which one would likely fall into a debilitating ennui, losing any sense of meaningful life.

It will be some generations, I suspect, before anyone must worry about such things. Meanwhile, realizing mortality will keep us in mind of the preciousness of daily existence.

Reborn in the Seventh Sphere

Does skepticism Inhibit Emotional Development?

I’ve been thinking about two essays I’ve recently read by the 19th century philosopher William James. The essays were delivered to the philosophical society and YMCA at Harvard and Yale, respectively, where, it appears, enlightenment thinking had not surprisingly undermined religious beliefs of many faculty members and students.

The thing that has stuck with me as I think about his essentially pro-faith rationale is his fervent assertion that skepticism about belief in God (in whatever form it may take), if sustained will inhibit emotional growth. One must have the will, he maintains, to choose, make an informed decision and move forward in that belief or disbelief until new experiences lead to reassessment.

I find this position to be counter to my own fairly skeptical nature. My thought processes are organized to entertain possibilities without the need to choose one. So, I guess I must count myself among the timid non-choosers wondering what it must be like living in the rarefied air of firm belief.