Sunday, June 29, 2014

On Ethics

Ethics are always a sticky subject, and I'd like to discuss them in a little more detail.

I am of the opinion that the only difference between myself and the majority of people is that I choose not to deceive myself, or others.

I do not believe there is such a thing as good and evil. Without exception, when someone says something is "good" they mean, even if only subconsciously, to say "good for me". Every individual's concept of evil is what is "bad for me", whether or not they are correct in what is actually bad for them.

Everyone acts out of self interest. You, reading this right now, do what you think is in your best interest, and what makes you feel good. If you help others, it is because it benefits you to do so. Even if you help someone else at your own expense, you only do so because it causes an endorphin rush which makes you feel good.

I simply accept this fact.

I practice neither Satanism nor Thelema, but I find some of the philosophy interesting. People (including the people who try, poorly, to practice these paths) seem to misinterpret the intention. In terms of ethics, both give the imperative to do what is right ONLY because it is right. To do what you feel you should do in any given moment. They posit that if you do something because someone else tells you that it's right, then it doesn't count. "I was only following orders" amounts to the same thing whether you saved the world or committed genocide. If someone has to tell you to do the right thing, you're just a sheep. If you end up doing the wrong thing, then at least you made a decision, and you get to live with the consequences and learn from your mistakes.

I do lots of things some people consider wrong. I've been known to defend my friends with violence, both physically and mentally. I have very little interest in what is socially acceptable, politically correct, or even legal. I do what suits me, and I help the people I care about. At least I'm not a hypocrite.

Lots of people claim to have a code of ethics, they talk about what is good and right, and then they look the other way while someone else is suffering. They do what is good for themselves, and they talk about how good they are. They're liars. They lie to you, and to themselves.

I'm not better than some of them, but I'm honest about it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Understand That You Don't Understand

So many people don't seem to understand how depression works. Depression is not just being sad for a long time, it's something totally different. Most people have NOT experienced depression, whatever they may think.

I hear from time to time that if you're depressed you should just try to think positive, that you need to focus on the good things instead of the bad things. It doesn't work that way. No sentence beginning with 'at least' is anything but obnoxious when you're depressed.

Yes, we know it could get worse. Or it could get better. It wouldn't much matter either way. That's the problem.

Depression is like slowly going color blind. It's like all the colors in the world are fading around you. You still like what you always liked, but you don't FEEL it as strongly as you used to. Activities which normally would give you untold joy are merely slightly less unpleasant than boredom when you're depressed.

It's a chemical imbalance in the brain. You can't just make it better by changing how you think, or what you do. In the worst cases, you can't even WANT to make it better. Depression means losing your ability to feel good, until the pain of remembering how something once made you happy is worse than what little enjoyment you still get out of it, and doing anything other than sitting in the corner feels like a waste of effort.

If that wasn't bad enough, half the time all the medications for depression do is make you unable to feel ANYTHING, so you're just going through the motions of life. Sometimes, that's almost worse. The only reason suicide stops sounding like a good option is because it would be too much effort.

It takes a long time to figure out how to handle depression correctly, and there's no one right answer, but it never really goes away. You just build on top of it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


This may be a bit of a rant. Bear with me. Or don't, whichever.

We all have our causes. We all have things that matter to us, things we're ready to stand up and be counted for, things we'll fight for. Sometimes the cause lasts a day, or a month. Sometimes it's a lifetime. Often, it's one little battle at a time seeking a long term goal.

I've seen lots of things that come up, and dozens, hundreds, even millions of people turn up to support their side of the argument.

The Pensacola city counsel proposed a domestic partnership registry and a solid hundred or so representatives of the LGBT community spoke to them at the meeting, not to mention those who attended in silent support.

Certain corporate interests lobbied for bills to suppress internet freedom, and half the country stood up to say no.

Just as a couple of examples.

But time and again, I see the droves of people turn out to show their support... once. A week after the first city counsel meeting in Pensacola regarding domestic partnership, the city counsel met to actually vote on it, and fewer than half of the first group showed up the second time. It passed anyway, but no one was there to see it.

"Net Neutrality" just went away, and no one noticed. No one stood up the second time.

You have such short attention spans. Yes, you. See? You're already not paying attention, are you?

It's not enough to stand up for what you believe in once. You have to stand up every time. If you support LGBT rights, then every time someone says the phrase "LGBT rights" you should be there.

If someone speaks against what you feel is right, and you're not there to answer, you deserve to lose. It's that simple. If you care, prove it. Every time. Do you stand for what's right, or don't you?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Of The Artist

True art is made of the artist, not by the artist. Art comes from FEELING something. Good or bad, it all comes from the ability to experience life more deeply than most people can.

No matter how you cut it, that means artistic people feel more pain than normal people. 

I have to include myself in that category. We're all broken, it's the cracks that let the light out.The more you feel, the greater the art, and the harder it is to live with. The closer you fly to the sun, the easier it is to get burned.

That's why the greatest artists have such tragic stories. Edgar Allen Poe outlived true love, Van Gogh never found it. Just for a start.

On the other hand, that means you can always turn your pain into something worth having. Life is painful, but if the scars can be beautiful, it's worth it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Beauty Inside

I can't say who or what of course, but tonight I met someone for the first time and she finished a story she told me with "I've never told anyone that story before."

I suppose I'm a good listener, and people pick up on the fact that I am good at keeping secrets, and I don't judge.

I think that's my greatest joy in life. It makes everything else okay, when people confide in me that way. That's why I so enjoy doing readings. I get to see into people. I get to hear their fears and tell them how to face them. I get to shine a little light on their darkest parts. I get to see the parts of them they think are ugly, hold up a mirror, and show them they're beautiful.

Everyone is beautiful, if you look deeply enough.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Never Not Broken

So at this point it's known that I've been dealing with some mental and emotional issues. I hesitate to call it "struggling with" because I don't want to look at it that way.

I've been this way all my life, but most of that time it was a little thing. I was ten years old before I stopped sleeping with the light on, not because I knew the monster in my closet was real (which it was) but because when the lights were off things started moving that I knew weren't supposed to move. I'd lose track of time, wound up in the wrong classrooms in school because I forgot where I was going. It didn't happen often, but it happened.

Now I'm that way more than I'm not. Some months ago, a very close friend, who is one of the most perceptive people and best psychic readers I've ever met picked up on what I've been going through and told me I was going to fall apart, that it would get worse before it got better, but that I would be stronger for it.

Since then, I've been trying to figure myself out. Trying to understand how to overcome the fact that my own brain is my biggest obstacle. I feel like my mind is a puzzle and someone keeps taking the pieces out and putting them back together in different configurations.

I'm learning to ride the currents, to swim with the tide rather than against it. There's a lot I can't do anymore, and there are bad days. In fact, some of the symptoms are still getting worse, but I'm learning to cope. I think I can do more than cope, I can make this work for me.

I found an article which really spoke to me. The Hindu goddess Akhilandeshvari, the goddess never not broken. She is the patron goddess of trauma, catharsis, of growth through emotional pain. She refuses to give in to pain and fear, she embraces it and becomes stronger.

Akhilandeshvari promises that you are strongest when you break, that it is the breaking which allows you to become something new. That without pain, we have stagnation. Not only does she embrace the pain, she chooses never to cast it aside. Never not broken, she does not settle into a whole which has limitations, she remains in flux, constantly changing, becoming new every moment. The beautiful prism of color in a diamond comes from the fractures deep within.

That must be my aspiration, to become like Akhilandeshvari.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mind Your Own

To all the fundamentalists, republicans, democrats, conservatives, liberals and everyone else who's opinions are quotations. Fuck off.

That's right. Pretty much if you identify yourself as part of any political or philosophical group other than people who think before they form opinions, fuck you.

There are lots of reasons for this, but the really really big one is that freedom isn't conditional or limited. If you think people should have the right to own guns but not to marry anyone they want, you're a human piece of shit.

If you support marriage equality but you think only the government can be trusted with guns, then you're a witless sheep, and I have even less respect for you.

People say the world isn't black and white, that things are more "complicated" than that. No they're not dammit. You people make shit complicated because you're either mean or stupid; usually both.

You know what my political ideology is? It's mind your own fucking business. If you don't like how someone else lives their life, DON'T TALK TO THEM! Just shut up and keep your own counsel. My rights end where yours begin, and vice versa. Drunk driving, littering, and shooting people are crimes. Getting drunk and high, destroying your own house, or even shooting yourself, shouldn't be. No one has a right to protect you from yourself, you get to do ANYTHING YOU WANT as long as it does not directly prevent anyone else from doing anything they want. You want to build a house without a permit, do the wiring wrong and blow yourself up in your sleep? Fine, but you're liable for damage to your neighbour's property. Until your actions are immediately harmful to someone who isn't you, what you do is your problem.

That's my philosophy. It's also the ONLY philosophy, EVER that it's okay to force on other people. That's right, I'm forcing you to do whatever you decide to do, and if you try to force me to do something, I will fuck you up. Sound fair? Good.