Rational Lies

Quarter of eight.

Today is still nice outside with some cirrus clouds west and south. It’s a Gloria day. Yesterday, the yard guy never showed up, so I wasted my time waiting for him. Last night I felt rather vindictive about it, saying I would give his cash to the church instead. And I do have that option, though if I did it, the blackberries would keep growing and I’d lose him for my yard man. There are a few ways to rationalize doing the wrong thing, such as saying the church needs the money, and it’s been very long since I tithed. But still, when I withdrew the cash I said it was earmarked for the yard work, plus I promised the guy that I’d have it for him. One should always do the right thing and never act out of vengeance or retribution. Therefore I’m keeping the cash safe for him for when he finishes the job.

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Ethic for the Fourth

Eleven o’clock.

Some fireworks are going off in the neighborhood. Conceivably I could make a run to the market for something sweet to eat or drink, but at night it’s inadvisable. The vampires and the loonies come out at night; basically just people on drugs including alcohol. Vampires don’t exist without alcohol. And the moon is only romantic in madness. I think I’ve experienced enough of lunacy for one person, and it’s unrewarding in the end. I don’t know if there’s anything magical about staying sober, but when you walk a straight line, good things tend to result. It’s a poor friend who calls you a wuss for your sobriety… I believe that if you want to stay sober then you will do so. This desire for sanity will guide everything you do. You will leave bad situations for good ones with better and better judgment. I can remember when I was accused of selfishness, but egoism and altruism are a false dichotomy. There’s only the good choice of action, and this is the meaning of prudence.

Prudence

Noon hour.

Feeling pretty tired after Gloria was here for two and a half hours. But it looks like we got something done today. There’s actually some free floor space in my family room again, and most of my CDs are shelved and off the ground. I don’t know what causes the disorder of schizophrenia or why my functioning went downhill after I left my job 14 years ago. It’s a thing you can see objectively, just something that happens. I seriously doubt that psychotherapy can do much good for a case of severe mental illness. You take the medication and hope for the best.

Today it’s raining lightly at intervals from a white sky. Sometimes I want to really milk the pleasure out of my life; go on a spree of bohemian activities like drinking and making music, and I wish for a world where it’s okay to be a fool in a Queen song. The only dangers of decadence are that it shortens your lifespan and does damage to others who care about being responsible, like Odysseus trying to go home to Penelope in the iconic old story. It’s the old conflict of passion versus prudence, as ancient as the Greeks and still pertinent today. It’s the substance of civilization, with the mainstream and the counterculture. I wonder which one I’m more partial to now. To straddle both is difficult, like Henry IV before he finally rebuffs Falstaff to be a proper king. “I know you not.” Life is hard for everyone the same way… 

Some Ego Is Okay

Quarter after eight.

Lately I’ve noticed myself being more perfectionist than usual, which can stress me out. It’s like thinking that the slightest mistake could be fatal. I haven’t heard from the guys in the band since last Friday. A significant part of me wants to quit the project and do something else just for the risk of relapse. They’re not going to change their habits, and I’m certainly not going to lose my sobriety… There’s a fog over the roofline and it’s cold outside. A two Snapple day today. The ambiance outdoors reminds me of something I can’t put my finger on, a recollection of happier times. The church is so jazzed about vaccinations, but I plan on learning by observation. Let them be laboratory rats for these new serums. I’m very suspicious. If the world of people jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? Or, if your turn to be executed was coming, and the way was clear to bolt for the river, would you take the bullet? Some people would, but it’s not the intelligent thing to do.

Nine o’clock. On that note, I recall the leaflets we were handed out in the treatment program long ago: Tru Thought, and the precept for it was self sacrifice, with no invitation to discuss it critically. A few people believed treatment was an education. Luckily I got out of there still retaining my knowledge from school, so today I can think and write about the experience. There are better ways of staying sober than by self abnegation. It comes down to prudence and judging what’s right for you personally. Forcible indoctrination is a very unfortunate thing to undergo. I don’t recommend it to anyone who cares about the quality of their experience. Instead, build your library. Read good stuff and use your brain.