The Specter of Violence

The subconscious specter of potential for violence is a natural, arguably justifiable part of human interactions on every level. We are animals with vicious, amoral instincts underlying moral, interpersonal, empathetic brains. The ghost of the threat of violence lends creedence to the value of trust: I trust that you could hurt me, but you won’t. This is why Jordan Peterson says, “A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.” And so we should not be eager for violence. We should hate violence, because we know we are killers, even if we must kill, but we must not be eager for it. We should all be eager to develop such serious wisdom and extraordinary self-control as to avert real violence, thereby making any possible necessary violence undoubtedly defensible in those terrible moments when we are absolutely forced to use it.

Tarot for Clarity, Not Superstition

I don’t believe in divination or “telling the future” at all and I’m turned off by any belief system which promotes that. I play with Tarot because of its ability to prompt clarity of reflection and critical thinking about my own life and mind. It’s an artistic tool for awareness, not hocus-pocus. It’s nothing more than thoughtful, contemplative play with really excellent art-cards. And that’s why I love The Wildwood Tarot: it focuses on naturalistic elements of archetypal folklore that are beautifully aimed at clarity of thought, not superstition.

Wisdom From The Mind of the World

One of the difficulties in learning to be present with a calm mind, and more important in learning to listen deeply to others, is the fear that we will loose track of our own valuable thoughts if we step out of our own minds long enough to listen to other minds, or have respite from the human mind at all. There is an underlying pressure we feel, when striving for mindfulness, to devalue our thoughts as if they were not the rare jewels that are precious sparks of insight. If we think we must believe our own thoughts are unworthy of attention in order to practice deep listening, we run the risk of not wanting to listen deeply because we feel we must choose between basic self-respect and respite from our own minds. Instead, we can maintain and grow our self-respect by trusting that whatever thoughts we discover within us that are worthy of chronicling will return to us again after our attention leaves our own our minds to venture out into the mind of another or the mind of The World: wisdom comes through us, not from us. Thoughts worthy of keeping are of the wisdom which comes from The Mind of the World.