Posts tagged ‘Philosophy’

Reading & Writing

I’ve somehow managed to read 9 books over the past week.  Well, not quite a week yet.  This just manages to make me feel guilty to for all the other weeks I wasted not reading as many books as I am obviously capable of doing.  Somehow, writing furiously turns my brain into this furious machine that has to read and diet and hold meaningful conversations and be engaged in everything in life with the same amount of vigor.

My current favorite read is Writing a Book that makes a Difference, by Philip Gerard.  I’m furiously taking notes, so it’s going to have to go on my Christmas list.

Yesterday Ryland finally succeeded in pulling one of the stacks of books in my room down on top of himself.  My dad tried to bribe me with a bookcase.  He wanted my couch in exchange, which of course was impossible, because I write on my couch, I organize at my desk and I sleep in my bed. 

The books reside everywhere because they are not merely inanimate objects but companions silently cheering me forward in my quest.

I’ve somehow commited myself to going to Institute tonight.  Thank God for the miracle of Klonopin.  Hopefully I can make it through and make some progress in figuring out this whole spirituality thing.

I had a good talk with Bree & Sandra last night, but it’s still so hard to explain where I’m at when it’s so deeply layered that I can’t see all the dimensions of it.  I’m trying to take things step by step and just straining in the dark for the echo of footsteps leading me forward.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain I tell myself as I hurry further down the rabbit hole.


November 9, 2006 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

On loneliness

When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.                               – Tennessee Williams

I’ve been battling with loneliness this week.  A relationship ending will do that eventually I suppose.  It’s an interesting dillema for me, because there is a great part of me that loves to be alone, to have the time to think and accomplish what I want to accomplish. 

But there is a part of me that misses the person that I am, when I am truly understood by another soul as well.  I miss my own laughter, the sharing of affection, intelligent conversation.

The terrifying thing is being in the position that I am, where you don’t know where to turn to alleviate the isolation.  I’m sitting precariously high on a fence between two worlds and no matter how hard I try, I find it impossible to choose one side over the other, and the chances of anyone being foolish enough to climb up beside me are less than none.   

Some existentialist philosophy views aloneness as the essence of being human. Each human being comes into the world alone, travels through life as a separate person, and ultimately dies alone. Coping with this, accepting it, and learning how to direct our own lives with some degree of grace and satisfaction is the human condition.

However, other existentialist thinkers argue the opposite. Human beings might be said to actively “engage” each other and the universe as they communicate and create, and loneliness is merely the feeling of being cut off from this process.

Also, Buddhist philosophy argues that loneliness may be completely overcome by making authentic connections to other human beings, on an emotional level. Under this viewpoint, loneliness is therefore the opposite of the natural human condition; it then becomes the lack of action against a human system as constant as hunger or thirst. Loneliness becomes the lack of action.

 – Wikipedia

There is certainly more I could be doing, but the results seem to always be the same…the inconsolable feeling of being utterly alone in a room full of friends, not able to communicate and understand each other on the most fundamental of levels.

So hermitting aside, I feel I must begin a quest.  A quest of enlightenment, spiritual growth and understanding.  It is the only way I will ever be able to come down from the fence.

October 30, 2006 at 5:22 pm 2 comments

Ignorance is NOT Bliss

“Man’s basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know.” – Ayn Rand

I’ve been thinking alot about ignorance lately.  Someone asked a question on q&A last month about the “gap” in the world today, and my immediate response was: Ignorance.  Everyone agreed with my statement, but there wasn’t much satisfaction, because just knowing that ignorance exists, doesn’t make it easy to fight.

As tensions have continued to grow in the middle east and militant islam extremists are being compared to Nazi automotons, whose children are bred with a sole purpose of furthering their cause, my frustrations have only grown.  When the president of Pakistan writes a book and is forced two days later to retract his accounting of bounties paid his country by the CIA for capturing key members or Al-qa’eda, my frustrations grow.

Today they reached a boiling point as I read the following article:


October 23, 2006 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

Yes, I’ve become a Hermit…

…as my parents feel the need to almost continually remind me.  I’m not sure who it was exactly, that decided that was a bad thing.  I’m beginning to think there may be something to it all.  For your money, here’s what my daily hermitting entails:

Organization:  Trying to fit 30 years worth of ideas, writing, instruction on writing, research and journaling into some sort of easily accessible “less than mess,” so that I can concentrate on actually writing. It’s a work in progress, but it’s getting somewhere.  My system is at least mapped out and backed up, if not completely filed and indexed yet.

Reading:  Books on writing, screenwriting, promotion, philosophy, new and classic novels, instructional newsletters, rss newsfeeds, email and of course the occasional US Weekly or fun web site to give my brain some down time.

Promotion:  Work on framework for promotion including an under construction author’s website as well as a website for other writers and business folk.  Also putting together ideas for a newsletter to go along with both sites.

Actually Writing:  I haven’t kept solid track of my output for each and every day, except to say that I try to push my self a little bit farther today than I was able to stretch yesterday.  I’m still working on ‘Broken Butterflies,’ however, now in novel form.  I also spend time on several other projects, blogging or journaling pretty much every day.

Naps: Ok I admit it, occasionally my body just says, “NO MORE!”

This Week: is especially crazy for me.  I’m attending my first online Writers Conference this week and barely have time between sessions to breathe let alone take the nap my head wants.  But, I’m finding it a great networking and learning experience and highly recommend it.  It’s free, and I can attend in my pj’s!  What more could a girl want.

Speaking of conferences, I had to cancel my reservations in LA for this year’s Screenwriting Expo.  After attending the past two years, it will be missed.  But unfortunately bills,  and my health have to come first.  Hopefully I’ll be back next year.

I’ve also decided to participate in this year’s National Novel Writing Month, where I will endeavor to complete a 50,000 word novel, start to finish during the month of November.  So consider yourself forewarned.  If I don’t return phone calls or emails, I’m either trying desperately to get my word count, or sleeping.  Feel free to act as my conscience and keep track of my progress.  I have a few ideas percolating for this project and can’t wait for November to start. 

(And I’m already 3 weeks behind on Grey’s Anatomy, thank heaven for DVR’s)

Ok, I promise not to become a total hermit for life, there are some movies I want to see, and I still have to go to doctor’s appointments…so I hereby pledge at least one non-hermit activity per week!!!  And yah, Dad I promise I’ll get that cost comparison you want done…Does that count?

October 9, 2006 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

Why I hate having guns in the house

Deputy killed when his gun goes off at party

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A sheriff’s deputy showing a handgun to friends at his birthday party accidentally shot himself in the face, killing himself, authorities said Saturday.” – MSNBC

                                                                                read more…

So unbelievably sad, especially for his fiance and others who were present at the party.  Granted, alcohol was likely a a factor, but I’ve never been comfortable with guns in the house.  My family hunts, and my dad keeps a hand gun close by for protection.  They’ve never made me feel safe.  There are just too many possibilities for tragedy, that could be eliminated if the guns weren’t around.  Yes, we keep ours fairly secure, locked in a closet, but there have been times, when I’ve found that closet eerily wide open.   I’d rather learn to defend myself, disarm someone who has a gun than try and fight back with one.  I also don’t think I could live with myself if I ever did use one, taking a life, even in self defense.  It would haunt me my entire life. Anyway, enough ramblings on that subject for now, sure to get some comments in defense.  lol.

Related Headlines from MSNBC News:

Accused of killing deputy, suspect shot 68 times

‘We would have shot him more,’ sheriff says of SWAT team’s actions

a) I’m sorry?  68 bullet holes isn’t enough!!??

b) Don’t we have, like a justice system in this country, ya know trial by jury or something like that?  I guess it doesn’t apply if you kill a cop.  What won’t it apply to tomorrow?  That’s a slippery slope there folks.

October 1, 2006 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment

The Religion of Celebrity

 “‘Jimmy Stewart, Everyman‘ …most likely, that image survived because Stewart was not, for the public, an actor: He was a star. And our image of stars stems not only—perhaps hardly at all—from what we see on-screen, but from what we know or invent of their personal lives. In this respect, Stewart was the anti-Mel Gibson: His upstanding reputation (Princeton graduate from a small town, genuine war hero, and husband of 45 years) made, and continues to make, his on-screen darkness a little hard to see.”From:  Jimmy Stewart’s dark vision. By David Haglund – Slate Magazine

I recently came across the above excerpted article on Jimmy Stewart, which I found to be both eye opening, and encompassing. Haglund is right on, in his analysis of the great actor’s often overlooked abilities and gives us above a biting, right on, commentary on our idealization of movie stars. 

We seem to expect our stars to be squeaky clean, never allowed to dip one toe down from the pedestal on which we have placed them.  And when they do, as almost all men will, we are so quick to excuse them, to forgive them, to fight for their innocent, perfect image, because for some reason, the world doesn’t make sense to our minds without this hierarchy of those we cannot but hope to touch.  They are our modern day gods, and their deeds our the edicts we turn to for how to live our lives.  We make them into saints, or sinners in our mind.  Saints who can do no wrong, and whom we should never forget, or sinners whose behavior like the warring Greek Gods, is utterly forgivable, because they have earned the right to be forgiven, simply by being famous.

The question of the hour seems to be in relation to Mel Gibson’s drunken anti-Semitic tirade while being arrested for DUI.  The question is not, did he make such remarks?  Are such remarks wrong? Was he drinking and driving?  Does he have an alcohol problem?  Is his character flawed?  We know the answer to those questions.  No, the only questions we seem to want answered is:  How long until the world forgives him?  How long will it affect his movie career?  There is no question that he will be forgiven, his faux pas forgotten and his career revived.  It is only a matter of “Corrective PRand perhaps a scripted apology.

Then we have Tom Cruise.  Arguably, the biggest movie star in the world today. The man who was ostensibly fired by Paramount Pictures’ Viacom chairman, Sumner Redstone for his alienating strange behaviors and the escalating costs of his films.  But, strange as his behaviors may have become, the public still champions this superstar and cheers for his oddities.  Never mind that he claims to be an expert in the mental health field.  Never mind that said expertise comes from reading a book written by Scientology founder and Phoenix alum,  L. Ron Hubbard, whose “scientific” advice has not been questioned or compared against any modern medical advances in the 20 years since his death.

“Hubbard died at his ranch on January 24, 1986, reportedly from a stroke. He had not been seen in public for the previous five years. Scientology attorneys arrived to claim his body, which they sought to have cremated immediately. They were blocked by the San Luis Obispo County medical examiner, whose examination revealed high levels of a drug called hydroxyzine (brand name Vistaril), which is sometimes used for its antihistamine or anti-emetic properties, but is also psychoactive (which would make it disapproved of, if not forbidden, under Scientology doctrines). The Church of Scientology announced Hubbard had deliberately “discarded the body” to do “higher level spiritual research,” unencumbered by mortal confines.”


I cannot say everything about Scientology is harmful.  My sister went through a very effective drug rehab under their care, but: Are they really advocating suicide, as an acceptable religious sacrifice? 

Such word wrangling, was not uncommon to Hubbard. The prolific science fiction writer is hailed as a humanitarian, and religious leader. But he claimed educational degrees and military service, even careers he did not in actuality have.  He then determined to make his best selling book Dianetics, into a religion.  A religion, that for the most part, worships all things L. Ron Hubbard, including a belief of descendancy from space aliens.  But how can they build a religion around a man who did not even practice what he preached.  A man who, himself used psychoactive drugs?!

In short, Cruise’s claims of being an expert in the field of Psychiatry are not only ludicrous, but extremely damaging to a society that reveres it’s Superstars just enough to believe him. 

The fact that he recently apologized to Brooke Shields for his attacks on her use of prescription drugs to treat post-partum depression, leaves one wondering if recent events in his life, namely the birth of his daughter Suri, haggard shots, and absolute retreat from the media of girlfriend Katie Holmes, signal a possible bout with post-partum depression within the walls of his own home that he would be, understandably, laggard to admit. 

“I think John Wayne could kick Tom Cruise’s ass!” (an elderly gentleman’s response to a question regarding the state of movies today)

From: Comedy Central’s Mind of Mencia

I made sure to remember the above quote because I knew my Dad, a die-hard John Wayne fan would appreciate it.  Actually, I’ve yet to find a single soul to disagree with the statement. 

So, what does that make John Wayne?  The Zeus of our modern CelebGods?  Judging by the fact that my sister’s one year old son has, (courtesy of Grandpa), a huge portrait of The Duke hanging supremely over his crib, I would have to say yes.  In our home at least, there will never be another star like Wayne.  The 6’4″ giant, whose iconic face graces a postage stamp, whose boots fill the leading role in over 142 films, and whose heroic status is memorialized in names of airports, state parks, and countless books, songs and tributes; seems untouchable. 

“…Obsessed with projecting a positive image of both Hollywood and America, he denounced every film that, he felt, hurt the public’s notion of the industry and the country. He thus deplored the new trend of antihero films, with “psychotic weaklings as heroes,” because they were “unfair to the He-Man.” “Ten or fifteen years ago, audiences went to pictures to see men behaving like men,” whereas at present, “there are too many neurotic types,” which he attributed to “the Tennessee Williams effect on Broadway and in movies.” Williams went “far afield to find American men who are extreme cases,” he reasoned, “these men aren’t representative of the average man in the country, but they give the impression that we are a nation of weaklings who can’t keep up the pressure of modern living.”

From: Emanuel Levy, John Wayne: Prophet of the American Way of Life, The Scarecrow Press, Inc.: Metuchen, N.J. and London (1988).

Mere mortals they may be, but there is no questioning our obsession and subsequent exaltation of these celebrities.  It is only sad, when we consider that so many real heroes live out their lives in obscurity, their songs unsung, their heroic deeds inspiring no-one to greatness. Wherever the fault lies, I don’t see this as a problem that will easily go away.  Day by day we deify our celebrities each a little more, handing them power to which only they can claim responsibility.  Only the celebrities themselves can choose what to do with their ill-gotten fame.  But only we can choose to think carefully and consider which of their deeds deserve lauding.

September 9, 2006 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

I Am a Rock

Rock_1 A winter’s day

In a deep and dark December

I am alone

Gazing from my window to the streets below

On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.

I am a rock, I am an island.

I’ve built walls,

A fortress deep and mighty

That none may penetrate

I have no need of friendship

Friendship causes pain

It’s laughter and loving I disdain

I am a rock, I am an island

Don’t talk of love

but I’ve heard the word before

It’s sleeping in my memory

I won’t disturb the slumber of the feelings that have died

If I never loved I never would have cried

I am a rock, I am an island

I have my books

and my poetry to protect me

I am shielded in my armour

Hiding in my room, safe within my womb,

I touch no one and no one touches me.

I am a rock, I am an island

And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.

-Paul Simon


I came across the words to this song in my research on John Donne.  It really touched me, not only as a perfect metaphor for one of my characters, but for my own life as well.  It describes the “shutting down” and depression I go through when I’ve been hurt emotionally and slight dissociation that is our bodies natural way of protecting and healing itself.  It’s a beautiful thing when I can look back at it, not caught in the throws of it’s power as I have been from time to time.  Simon is contradicting Donne’s statement that “No man is an island” in a very powerful way, and I agree….we all need to be islands from time to time, it is the only way we can gain the strength we need to continue to grow.

January 21, 2006 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment


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