Miércoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol 8.

It's in the cards for all of us that someday
We'll move into the ground
Forgive me, Love - I only know the one way
To lay this burden down

The lines in a previous post may or may not make it into [don't forget]. But these, above, are non-negotiable. I'm thinking the song should be a long rambling string of good yet sometimes frightening advice interwoven with bits of stories. It's coming together, as all good songs, too slowly to suit me. And I'm leery of overthinking during the percolation process. It's like digging up recently planted seeds; interferes with the growth of the root structure. The most important parts of creative works take place in parts of your personality you can't afford to watch. Quantum observer type interference; the act of watching changes what's happening.

Had such a dream last night! I knew it was rememberable, but didn't have the urge to remember. So I got right up, Dave fed me breakfast and I let it slip out of my mind. The issues'll come back in another dream if they weren't resolved in this without me getting the message.

I've been thinking a lot the last few days about the logic of the story. And when I say the story, I mean the story of my life. We narratize our experiences in order to invest them with meaning. A good story can build all our scattered moments into a coherent whole, by weaving together those aspects of daily life we choose to hold sacred. This is one of the most important things my father taught me; that your religion is the things you hold sacred in this sense, the things you choose to give shape to the story of your life.

Way too much of my religion is invested in the stuff I may as well call magic. Misleading, yes, because everything I've got in that area I patched together myself from a combination of reading, discussion with others, and lengthy and elaborate observation/interpretation dances with my daily life. If most of the people I know were aware of the full extent of my current belief set, they would be seriously weirded out. Invisible friends, sapient stars and all.

But I had some words with Dave about it yesterday that heartened me immensely. My favorite words he used were "unassailable" (in the sense that it all hangs together coherently) and "unassuming" (in the sense that it does not presume to contradict observed reality, only attempt to explain it). Dave doesn't share all my beliefs; he is actively agnostic. As opposed to passive agnosticism, where a person hasn't thought it through enough to decide, his active agnosticism comes from his epistemological position. That is, we shouldn't be so arrogant as to believe things that we know we don't know enough about to properly understand. And it's stupid to put the emotional energy of belief into something for which you have no verifiable evidence.

However he doesn't think I'm stupid for having the beliefs I do, because they are part of a coherent plan. I don't believe all this crap because I know it's true, nor do I claim to know what's ultimately true. But I have chosen to believe a host of things because a) the beliefs adequately explain my experiences, b) as mentioned in an earlier post, my psyche is so structured that I have to believe something in these content areas, and c) my beliefs have been carefully selected for their potency in promoting psychological health.

Of course I do still go off on bunny trails talking about the universe, invisible friends, the meanings of dreams, the shapes of times or how the taig seems to me to be feeling today. Which can sometimes annoy. I suppose that's another thing I learned from Dad, albeit by negative example. He couldn't turn it off, couldn't not be thinking a mile a minute at any given time. So I developed a decent sense of when a listening audience is just starting to get bored, lose interest or be weirded out. Even if what I'm saying happens, by happy accident, to be both true and useful, what good does it do anybody if I've bored or disturbed them to the point where they won't hear it? And if by unhappy accident it is neither useful nor true, where do I get off wasting their time?

Which brings me to yet another example of how I use my beliefs to promote psychological health. Magic, as I am fond of saying, is all about relationships. And if I learn how to be a better friend in physical life, then I will also be a better friend in invisible life. A possibility I use to encourage myself thusly: "In treating incarnate people better and becoming a better friend, invisible people will be able to perceive the increased level of awesomeness in your personality, and perhaps you will attract a higher quality of invisible friend as a result! Assuming that they exist, happen to be in your psychic neighborhood, and find you interesting!"

Like most things that work well for me it is needlessly complicated. But as Mary Poppins says, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. Since I often find human-to-human relationships scary and difficult, sometimes holding out the carrot of human-to-invisible-person relationships helps me plod on forward under the weight of my fears. What else can a body do?


Amber E said...

Hi Dear,
I think your song Don't Forget will make me cry but will be good. I sent you another astronomy article I thought Dad might have liked, it's about black holes and star formation and such. Hang in there. Oh, more people told me to tell you we are in their thoughts but I don't like to write down full names on the internet.