My little sister Talitha, who is far more political or Conservative than yours truly (in one sense, Philosophy is the study of “what is?”. Politics is the science of mobilizing forces to achieve something. In an argument, a philosopher wants to know what is true. A politician or politicized person just wants to know how to win. The former can support the latter, but the latter corrupts the former) posted something Conservative folks on her page said about me: “Talitha, is there a sunshine tree in this guy’s yard? He’s never unhappy! He’s a liberal….hmmm. Liberalism breeds unhappiness & despair, why is he so happy?” I’m sure that’s not a pure quote, but it still vastly amusing.
See the flaw? Look at the quote again.
O.K. The flaw is in the assumption that their perceptions or beliefs are FACTS. The proper phrasing would be “I had assumed/I believe/I have heard that liberalism breeds unhappiness and despair.” This would open the door to asking: “is it TRUE that liberalism breeds unhappiness and despair” using my counter-example to drive the questions. They might then decide that I am an outlier, or a fraud, or they misinterpreted my statements. Or…they might decide that their perceptions and beliefs were incorrect. Or that I’m not a “real Liberal” or something. But by assuming they were correct, they HAVE to invalidate their experience of me.
- They are wrong. Liberalism doesn’t breed unhappiness any more than does Conservatism. More despair? That is possible: if Conservatism breeds an equally dysfunctional but opposite response to fear.
- I am an outlier. Hell, yes I am. I remember when I was younger, some rather bigoted white folks told me that “you’re not like `them’, Steve.” Yeah, I’m not. But I’m not like YOU, either. I’d be just as unusual for a white guy. I’m me. I’ve never been able to hide in the crowd. For years I was miserable about that. Now…it’s just 24 hours.
- Am I happy all the time? Nope. But I notice when I’m off-balance, and know EXACTLY how to compensate. Know EXACTLY the re-integration sequence, what I have to do to get back in tune. I don’t know if my Morning Ritual would work this way for everyone, I really don’t. What I DO know is that I’ve taught it to countless people, and so far haven’t heard of a single one who did it and didn’t get the positive result. This leads me to the belief that it works, and that the “only” problem is inability to get yourself to use it. The demons in your head will stop you. How do I get past the demons? Daily meditation, shrinking the ego until it is like the little submarine in “Fantastic Voyage”, small enough to slip between the blockages. That gives me the clarity to perform the MR. How do I motivate myself to meditate? A combination of love and fear: love for my family, my art, the little boy inside me who began this life journey. And fear of crashing and burning: I need 100% of my resources, or I don’t have a PRAYER of making it. I put my fear behind me, my love in front of me, and run like hell
Anyway, that’s what I think about that. That when people encounter an anomaly and don’t question their perceptions, they are locked in their pattern. If I made the same kind of mistakes, I’d say something stupid like “That’s how Conservatives think…”
I don’t do that. I make OTHER stupid mistakes. They are quite enough, thank you.