Chapter 20: Being Straight Up Different from Everybody Else

Quit studying. Quit learning.
*BOOM!* No more worries.
Take that, anxiety.
(And fuck you, pharmaceutical corporations!)

The difference between “Yes” and “Yeah”
really isn’t that big, geometrically speaking.
Except, that it is if you’re talking about
measuring the difference between Good and Evil.

Silly Lao Tzu, using geometry to try to measure good and evil.
What a math geek! 🙂

People can fear just about anything.
But really, they should fear almost nothing.
Their innate awesomeness remains uncultivated;
They have not yet even begun to beg or to center themselves!

Everyone who is prosperous and splendid
lives as though they are enjoying the finest fold of animals,
as though they have achieved the greatest heights of lust-filled life…

I, alone, anchor myself with this ancient and future truth
as if I were an infant who missed out on important childhood lessons,
like how to smile genuinely.

It seems like I don’t matter.
Hell, I even dyed my hair blue to make that point.
I’m invisible, even in public.

Everybody seems to have enough knowledge
in the “understanding how to live” department – some to spare even
But I have lost everything that I thought I knew.
My heart is foolish, and my mind is stupid.

Chaos, thy name is Rae.

Ordinary people can make themselves amazing here in LA.
I’m the one who’s got to first get MS, then a seizure disorder,
then fight to get better only to unearth more troubles…

Ordinary people can see the world around them clearly.
I’m the one looking at the world through shit-colored goggles.

I am adrift on the tranquil sea of life,
And because I have no idea where I will dock at the end of the day
I cannot appreciate the tranquility.

Everyone has their place, their function in society –
I alone have the job of being “me” – whatever that means.

Lao Tzu thought his job was to be
obstinate, controversial, stupid, rustic — sometimes even mean.
Lord knows the stunning combo of medications and health make me
all of those things in spite of my best efforts to be kind.

I am different from every other person in the world,
but I am not so different as to not be human.

As the most Noble and precious animal on the planet,
I draw nourishment from my femininity and my mother.

Taking a deep breath, I remember,
there is value in being a wife
and building a home from the bottom up.

Chapter 19: Returning to A Pure Way of Being

If we “disappeared” our holy saints and sages
and threw away our wisdom and knowledge,
it would benefit the people a hundred-fold.

Remove the kernel of humanity.
Abandon the concepts of justice and righteousness.
The people will retaliate and regenerate by
being brotherly and compassionate to one another.

If we could give up on being opportunistic, clever, or good at timing,
And let go of the profits or potential advantages that go along,

There would be no more thieves and no more thievery.

These three things are most important
to remember when culture is lacking:

Our oldest ancestors built communities and
chose to become affiliated with one another:

(1) To seem plain;
(2) To cherish simplicity;
(3) To share our individual widowed desires.

And if you ask me, that’s all a foofy way of saying:

Trust in your fellow human as family.
Saints, sages, knowledge, wisdom:
all of it is ultimately useless/pointless.
Do not seek to grab and keep anything for yourself,
you’re not staying, you can’t keep it.
In life, you will have whatever you need to survive.
It’s built in. We all help each other out.

Chapter 18: A Lack of Common Courtesy

When the ways of the Tao are forgotten or abolished,
there is still the kernel of humane justice and righteousness.

Wisdom and knowledge, while necessary and wonderful,
should not be used all alone to make decisions,
because the results can produce some major bullshit.

Sometimes, even incredibly smart folks are wrong.
Sometimes, they lie or forge their work, and
Sometimes, they’re just plain hypocrites!

When times roll around that no one knows who to trust,
because we can’t trust the government, popular wisdom, or knowledge,
even family members start bickering with each other.

At least we still have the teachings of brotherly love,
of paternal affection, of benevolence toward our fellow man.
Compassion and caring for one another brings people together.

When a community is confused, afraid, and lacking security,
Noble leaders move their neighbors to be more friendly & kind.
Loyalty and faithfulness heal the fraying tapestry of human empathy
through their actions and not their commands, teaching us all how to be better people.

Day 4 of 5: Current IV-SM Treatment – Important Side Effect Notes

Usually, this is the kind of thing I save for Patients Like Me, but after reading today’s Trauma Tuesday on PTSD and learning of the concept of “passive suicide” – something which, I’ve apparently been engaging in most of my life… (a lifestyle of recklessness and hanging around those who are reckless, not really caring if you get hurt; cept I’ve spent more of my life toeing the line on both sides… sometimes earned me the nickname “Goody toe shoes,” sometimes, “Mom,” and all too often, “Bitch.”) I feel it is somewhat necessary to say this:

Weed is a necessary drug.

I did not inhale cannabis this morning, as I usually do. When I did not do this, and I had my IV-SM infusion, I ended up a having horrible time with suicidal ideation today. I also experienced PTSD flashback memories. I just remembered them: no hallucinations or anything. It was just very vivid. I am referring to some of the repressed memories that I recovered during EMDR treatments.

It was not until I was willing to smoke out that I was able to calm down enough to be okay tonight. I needed Adam to tell me to use it before I realized I needed it because physically, the IV-SM was masking the pain entirely. I just kept suddenly crying and not knowing why.

I need to treat the medical marijuana exactly the same as I do my pills. I need to be better about measuring the stuff and when I take it.

Bright side: No seizures.

Oddly, I feel this is winning. Or at least in the right direction.

Chapter 17: The Unadulterated Influence of the Tao: Cycles in Politics

When truly Noble, Good people are allowed to rule,
those who are their subordinates and are affected by their decisions
hardly even notice that their rights and freedoms are affected.
These great rulers are barely even noticed, they fit so nice.

Next, there are rulers who are more like kind parents.
They are loved by the people and appreciated for their benevolence.
These new, stricter laws and increased taxes, are after all,
only for their own good and the good of the country, right?

The next generation of ruler, with the stricter rules in place,
And with the trust and cooperation of the people,
needs only to remain “common” in his leadership to maintain control,
but he will not have the love of his citizenry.

This leads, sadly, to the next leader: one who is feared.
Fear leads to insult and lack of faith;
both of the leader by the people,
of the people by the leader.

Where evidence of inadequacy exists, so will distrust.

Mark Twain was right!
Even the Tao agrees that
“It is better to keep your mouth closed
and let people think you are a fool
than to open it and remove all doubt.”

This is why the Noble Leaders of Old
were so sparse with their speech.

Every major achievement made within their country
was made by the common man, and was not touted as
“Another Project Brought To You By Your Government.”

Because the individual worker was appreciated for his personal efforts,
encouraged to take personal pride in and credit for his work,
the citizens felt as though they were fully independent
even when they were working on government-funded projects.

To All You Productive Motherfuckers Out There: I Salute You!

In Other Words: Happy Father’s Day!

My favorite pictures with my dad are the ones where we’re both smiling and flipping off Mom behind the camera.

And even though he’s on the opposite side of the country (which may as well be the other side of the world), and we’re not talking to one another, I have to say, rather proudly, in fact: I came my attitude honest.

This Father’s Day, I am grateful for the gifts of Pat Benetar, Jethro Tull, Styx, and Boston being consistently played in my father’s car stereo. For hours of giggling uncontrollably at a toy purchased at Spencer’s Gifts called “The Final Word” that taught me the phrase, “Eat Shit and Die.” which was, of course, only to be used in traffic (with closed windows!), and for his bleeding-edge tech geekery, which meant that I was privileged to learn on top-of the line equipment from such a young age, I never knew how special and amazing a gift that it was until I was an adult… which lead to me thinking, for a little while there, at least, that my shit didn’t stink. (Good thing I grew up! Nothing stinks like unacknowledged privilege.)

To all the fathers out there, taking care of of your children: remember, they’re only kids for so long! Take an interest in who they are and what they want to do. You’d be amazed how one afternoon can make a lifetime memory. Your children are not actually interested watching you play video games. They just want to spend time with you. Interact with them! You can make all the difference in their world.

Chapter 16: To Sum It Up…

Devote yourself to Humility.
Guard the sacred Stillness
with the same sincerity saved for serious sickness…

A great number of things (some would say ten thousand)
combine to make this summary a pretty good idea.

Every living creature (and the whole of life, in fact) has a Life cycle,
and eventually returns to its root.

Returning to the root
is achieving a state of stillness.
Stillness is still life!

It just means rest.
But destiny has built in rest stops.
It’s got to. It’s destiny!

Otherwise, even the greats would burn out.

Always know this wisdom:
Life continuously goes through this repetitious pattern.

Unknowingly, it is common
that things done rashly yield inauspicious results.
Be sure always to be aware to appear to hold honorable values.
Actually holding those values is a good idea too.

Because in this “Perception is (your) reality” world,
where people actually say “Pics or it didn’t happen!”
You’d better walk the walk you’re talkin’.

Common and therefore “king,”
“King” and therefore heavenly and comprehensive.
heavenly and therefore of the Tao.

Those of us who study the Tao understand
that The End & The Beginning meet one another so perfectly
In the circle of life that you can’t see where they blend
Aging, death, decay of the body
Don’t need to be feared, they happen to everybody.

Chapter 15: Conspicuous Goodness

The ancient scholarly warriors for Good
had a way of cutting through the fearsome unknown
with subtlety so profound
that it, quite simply, is ineffable. (Can’t be put into words!)

Because this wisdom cannot be communicated well to most people,
I aspire to make it clear here. (No promises.)

To protect your interests silently
while acting as a reserved humanitarian,
as though you fear your neighbors,

To act majestically dignified and diplomatically,
as though you are a constant guest of your community,

To be cool to the point that you could be melting ice,
Yet still kind-hearted and simple,

The masters are deep enough to be the valley itself.

And sure, they’ve got dirty minds,
But how else are you going to see beauty in muddy waters?

What can make sense of science?
What can make muddy water clear?
What can pacify growth?

Those who defend, protect, and preserve
the ancient wisdom of This Sacred Poem of Goodness
know better than to be arrogant or greedy.

Because studiers of the Tao are content
with what they have and who they are,
They have no need for the newest, latest greatest thing.

They can happily use their technological gadgetry
until they’ve reached the limits of their usefulness,
And believe it or not, these folks can even rock hand-me-downs,
and manage to make ’em look somehow fresh and new.

Chapter 14: Walking on Quicksand: In Praise of the Fearsome Unknown

We look to the Unknown future, but do not see her,
yet we call her, “Barbarian.”
We humans are always afraid of what we do not know.

We hear her, but do not bother to ask questions,
pay attention, or listen to what’s said
because we listen so rarely.

Conquering her, simply, is not possible.
We are too tiny in the grand scheme of things.
(The phrase “Winning the future” is hilarious to Chapter 14!)

These three characteristics should not cause a person to convey restraint.
You only get 1 life, after all.

Life’s prior times weren’t always bright and shiny.
Life’s next times won’t necessarily be dark.
The Unknown, like an indescribable rope, pulls each of us,
Returning us to the Nothing from which we came.

To speak of disability is strong,
for nothing else is the 800 lb. Gorilla in the room everyone else is ignoring.
To speak of it indistinctly would be a terrible disappointment.
For isn’t it better to welcome it, than to meet it as your new leader later?

When we fully understand the methods of our ancestors,
we can use their knowledge to defend our existence.
When we fully understand our ancient technology,
then we can say we have entered an Age of Reason.

Chapter 13: Loathe Shame: Live Shamelessly

Being favored (through love or fame) or being disgraced are both to be feared.
They hinge both on immaterial personal integrity, nobility and honor – and on the materially-manifesting, painful anxiety, so bad that it makes you wanna barf like you were pregnant with morning sickness.

Why are favor and disgrace both fearsome?
Because they are opposite poles on the same scale of shame.
Once you gain favor, you are always afraid that you will lose it.
Disgrace, of course, can only occur when favor is lost.

Why must they hinge not only on the immaterial but upon the physical?
What makes me vulnerable to the pain, inflammation, seizures, and nightmares of anxiety is having a human body;
If I had no body, no harm could come to me.
But then, I wouldn’t exist.
And what fun would that be?

Lao Tzu got all political here, but he said something smart and true:
The best and most trustworthy leaders treat their countries and communities with the exact same care they would their own bodies.

And really, it’s just another way of stating the Golden Rule.
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You.