Sunday, June 22, 2008

A strange day... which I started on the wrong foot (so to speak) by heading out for a walk. I was motivated by anger: back pain has more-or-less crippled me recently, and I've simply gotten tired of sitting around waiting for the next jolt of discomfort.

Walking didn't help. I found that I had to be very careful about my posture. A single misstep brought agony, several times. So did the heat, which combined with low-lying fog to make the air jungle-damp. I was a sweaty mess after a mile and a half.

And my back hurt. Still does.

I was somewhat amused that someone mentioned Wayne Dyer in a comment on my previous entry. Dyer was on George Noory's show Friday night. I was hoping for UFO, Project HAARP or chupacabra news, and got Dyer's message instead.

The first thing that caught my ear was Dyer's mention of having given away his possessions to spend a year trying to live with the teachings of the Tao. Cool, I thought, until he completed his sentence: " Maui."

And this struck me as the root fallacy of the "let go" movement, the self-help gurus who advise not thinking about material happiness or mourning what you don't have. Give me a nice six- or seven-figure bank account, and I'll cheerfully discard those few things I haven't already had to give up involuntarily, bet your ass.

When you are caught on the ugly downward slope, getting advice to simply "bag the fear and wait for the inevitable good stuff the Universe can provide" from people who have amply padded safety nets is not helpful. My acquisitiveness has been considerably revised over the years; the square-footage of this planet I feel a need to occupy and the number of things I wish to house within that space have both diminished considerably.

I do, however, feel a need to receive value for value given in order to "enjoy" a certain basic level of survival.

I am not at all angry about those -- government, individuals, corporations -- who wish me to pay for the space, services and goods I consume. I merely have a major issue with those who make it impossible for me to uphold my end of the bargain, while thriving from my labor.

So when someone lounging on a tropical beach says I should toss everything away and embrace "goodslessness," my sole comment is both short and unprintable.

If the world wishes to stop collecting rent, demanding payment of utility bills, grocery bills and taking money for gasoline and other necessities that keep me working and alive, I'd be all for it. I'd calmly and cheerfully wait for the end of the rainbow to plunk itself down right on top of my roof. Then I'd trot up and collect my very own pot o' gold.

But the wolves are gathered around the door, howling and extending their paws to be crossed with silver. If not fed, they will bite. And it won't be much longer until I feel the fangs on my flesh.

Should you happen to read that I am miserable because I can't buy a new Bentley, please feel free to remind me that things do not bring happiness. I do not, however, take kindly to suggestions that I should somehow feel happy and fulfilled even though I can't pay my freekin' phone bill.

If I manage to extricate myself from the mountain of excreta that's pinning me down, I may think about embracing the way of the Tao. Probably from someplace like St Lucia or Tobago or Jamaica, though. Maui is too crowded.

Bitter? You could say so, Jim.


Anonymous said...

"The harder I work the behinder I get" seems appropriate here. That could have been written for me, too. Call me foolish, but I have to think there will eventually be a bottom to this financial roller coaster.


Anonymous said...

Talking to folks who live and work at more or less humble jobs in Maui is sort of like conversations with members of the crew on an ocean liner. It is sometimes hard to remember that although it is a fairytale destination for you for a few days, it is their life. And like many, it can be a grind and not very pleasant.


Natalia the Russian Spy said...

That's my biggest pet hate! Dime-store advice when you don't ask for it.