John Muir

I

Yesterday was John Muir’s birthday. It was very beautiful and in fact peaceful, but I had written this post days earlier. It said that in order to achieve the peaceful state corresponding to John Muir I would have to articulate a list of the usual trades and traits of people I find exhausting — the people I aim, with a few exceptions, to eliminate from my life. Only this way, I had decided, could I avoid these entities  and remain peaceful. As I say, there are exceptions, but generally speaking I these are the classes of persons I find most exhausting:

1. The envious and the resentful. For example, M.A.s who resent Ph.D.s, Ph.D.s who resent professors, new professors who resent the quietude of experience. So far as I can tell, these entities are at least as patriarchal, as egotistical,  and as power mongering as the people they envy or resent. I have cast off patience with all invasiveness, arrogance, and meanness from members of this group. They are newly on my watch list.

2. The passive agressive and the powerless. For example, women who are being supported by men. People in this general class have a tendency to sadism. I understand their situations, but to subject myself to their cruelty  will not actually help them. I have said this before and I am saying it again. They are on the top of my watch list.

3. Those who substitute religiosity for ethics. George W. Bush is an example. I have already said it — this group lacks ethics, and covers that with religiosity or “spirituality.” Their tendency is to authoritarianism and misogyny. They are more often than not mean, which stunts them intellectually. I am on red alert about this usually soft spoken crowd.

4. Those who teach so they can enmesh with people less powerful than themselves, and exert power. If they are that way with their students, they will be that way in all of their relationships, so beware.

5. Those who have or want children so they can enmesh with someone over whom they hold and exert authority, and so that they can hold social power. These people resemble those described in point 4, and could come to resemble those described in point 2.

II

I would only be able to have the peace of John Muir, the post said, if instead of feeling sorry for all of these people as a Christian would, I resolved to push right past them the next time they tried to accost me. Note, said the post, that some people fit all five categories. Those are the most dangerous. People who fit only one may actually be quite benign.

In the Popol Vuh, the post said, this would not be a question of social relations but of cosmic warfare. It would be all right to plan to fight these enemies on a ball court, or to sink them in the bayou. The post said these were in fact the indicated remedies, and pointed out that they are actually kinder than pity.

III

Was I angry? Yes. Is there something wrong with that? No, although my opponents said so. I am tired of being manipulated into supporting the activities of such people, or allowing myself to be mistreated by them. Those are the errors.

In Reeducation, the correct response to it all would have been to ask myself what I had done to deserve these peoples’ meanness. Had I done this I would not be over the whole sorry episode yet. Since I didn’t, I am. Reeducation would not like this but it does not understand one of its very own better tenets, namely that one cannot control everything.

Instead, I am over it all. Reeducation would not approve of this, but I do not mean there will never be another incident; I mean I have not internalized this one and I am therefore better protected before. Reeducation would also not approve of the ranking of persons in which I am about to gleefully engage. John Muir was superior to some other entities, such as Reeducation.

IV: FOOTNOTES

1. I am increasingly convinced that many forms of Christianity are downright  Satanic.

2. As I have said before, one of the aspects of Reeducation I find the most disturbing is that it fascinates and thus controls because it is fraught with contradictions.

3. This prevalence of contradictions mirrors the weak character structure mentioned in a recent thread here. It would seem that Reeducation addresses people saddled with these character structures. It attempts to keep them stable within them, since that is as much as one can do. That is why it does not encourage major or independent change, and assumes it must be joined for life.

Axé.


7 thoughts on “John Muir

  1. In Reeducation, the correct response to it all would have been to ask myself what I had done to deserve these peoples’ meanness

    This is a big one — because it plays upon the naive idea that most people have (including intellectuals when they forget who and what they are, and so revert to ‘common sensical’ thinking) that the universe is inherently just. Oh! This is such a big one! It is such a big source of error (and of course this inherently “just universe” concept is linked to the idea of democracy as it conforms to ideas about social darwinism, that the best results for humanity are achieved by forgetting your ethics and behaving randomly according to “instinct”). This is supposed to induce justice to appear automatically out of the chaos of everyday life, in order to give you your verdict of whether you are a worthy humanbeing or not. And, if you are not a worthy humanbeing according to these pronouncements from out of the belly of chaos, then you had better darn well do some soul-searching, to find out why the justice that was percolated in the belly of the laissez-faire de-ethicisation of human relations happened to disapprove of you so.

    “Why, why, oh Lord, does chaos reject me in this way? I always submitted myself absolutely to his commands? I tried to embrace chaos in every possible way, in order to reveal to all in a definitive way that I was not uppity or arrogant, but somehow my need for depth of soul and a more substantial way of thinking about and experiencing human nature got the better of me! No wonder chaos cast the final judgment against me that it did!”

  2. This comment is practically a free standing post, you should put it on your blog, too.

    This whole model of thought and behavior actually seems to take the lowest common denominator and call it “natural” and even good.

    People here really do believe that “everything happens for a reason” by which they mean a reason that reveals the justness of the universe, the orderliness and so on.

    I suppose that is why they find me so odd — and I guess scary — not expecting visible cosmic order or justice but still having ethics — this is VERY weird to them.

    “The laissez-faire de-ethicisation of human relations” is a great phrase!
    And so true … and a while ago someone taught me the phrase “disposable friendships.”

  3. Also — this post sounds downright Messianic, listing the kinds of people I am sending to Purgatory, and so on. I certify that I will NOT start a religion.

  4. In junior high. I have only the most impressionistic memories of it and now, having reviewed its Wikipedia page, am convinced it’s time to seriously read it! Thanks for this tip!!!

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