No Compromise, Just Unparalleled Imagination
Science tells us that everything can be broken down, systematically analyzed, and understood. At least, that’s what I learned at the Bronx High School of Science; Northwestern University tapped firmly on the notion with a large mallet and seated it in the slots in my mind as I worked on my BS in biology. By the time I was grinding away at neuroanatomy, pathology, and endocrinology in chiropractic school, my train of thought chugged reliably away on the steel track of theorize, analyze, test, conclude, refine theory.
Spirit, spirituality, belief, mysticism:
These were something separate and peripheral. Like the supposed separation of church and state, the Ineffable was reserved for recreation and socialization while the Measurable was what really mattered.
While I fulfilled the requirements of my credentials (which would grant me permission to earn a living doing something I was good at), I was surrounded by dweeby math and physics geeks who rolled their eyes slightly when I said calculus was a challenge for me. They wandered away into a land of abstraction and came home with things they named weirdness and chaos.
This was cute, but then it was startling, because they really meant weirdness and chaos. As I struggled to reach the point where I could gulp huge swaths of data whole, digest them, and excrete mental algorithms that would make me the best diagnostician ever, they slyly whispered: you can never know. Starting conditions affect the outcome. Fractal repetitions will lose you on orders of magnitude. You cannot analyze it. You can only appreciate it.
I had to take their word for it, because my mind wouldn’t wrap around the math.
Perhaps, I pensively mused, I should follow my heart, which was always pulling me towards other people. And I found the church! I found belief! I dusted off creaky old inductive reasoning and found God’s word in the Bible; I became part of the global body of Christ and we all devoted ourselves together to the love of that word, the Logos, the eternal utterance of pure love which created, creates, and will create the Universe. We did. Really. Except it turned out that involved a lot of eating bad food and singing bad music and judging people unkindly and telling people what to do with their reproductive organs. I tried several flavors of Christianity just to be sure.
I HATE being told what to do!
Always have, since birth. It’s who I am. It’s part of what made me a vehement feminist when young and idealistic. And I hate still worse being told what to think and what to ignore. And the whole ignoring-the-parts-of-the-scriptures-we-don’t-like-while-flogging-the-ones-we-do-like-a-dead-horse part of religion finally tasted bad enough that I spit the whole thing out.
The basic principles of morality…
…are actually pretty clear and simple: don’t hurt other people or take their stuff. Love God and do what you will, as Augustine said. All the rest of it is pretty much just yak, yak, yak.
So okay, that’s the non-aggression principle; you caught me, I’m a voluntaryist, what you might call an anarchist, depending on what kind of day I’ve had.
Most things people have to be forced to do are not things that actually need doing.
The best outcomes are always win-win. And one of the most satisfying things I know is helping other people. I made a successful solo career out of it, until the arthritis in my wrists, aided and abetted (in an obvious conspiracy) by exponentially expanding healthcare regulations, made it nearly impossible.
Of course, then there’s the helping-versus-enabling dichotomy. Crazy sadistic nutjobs and alcoholic narcissists bloomed floridly on my family tree. Look up gaslighting and there’s a picture of my family. Being tied up, whipped, and suffocated was a visit to Grandma’s. Inductive reasoning came pretty naturally to me because as a child I had to always remember what to think so I’d know what to say.
Not whining here; worse things are happening to other people all over the world right this very moment (and you and I are paying for some of them). I’m just explaining why I kept giving second, third, and successive ordinal chances to people who disrespected me, including people I gave birth to, until I mostly stopped. Fuck that! On a personal level, boundaries are beautiful.
So now you know what this blog is about. If you prefer a cheerful, happy blog about traipsing around in an RV and enjoying the beauties of the most prosperous nation in the world from the open road, check out https://peripateticperi.wordpress.com . You’ll probably find it much more to your liking.
This blog will have sex, religion, and politics in it, sometimes in the same post. Sometimes in the same sentence. Also conspiracy theories. And cussing. But it will also have poetry and whatever deep insights I can convince myself are not just the drugs talking. There will be beauty.