Tuesday, March 27, 2018
This morning on my walk from Dunkin’ Donuts to the library, I stopped at the corner of Fayette and St. Paul Sts. to finish a cigarette, before I’d go into the convenience store. To my right, on a bench, sat this woman, bent over with her head between her knees; she had turned her head to the left and was calling to me. I couldn’t make out her words. She is a “taker.” Sometimes I respond to such folk with compassion; sometimes I respond with contempt.
How would Ayn Rand have responded?
Continue reading Ayn Rand’s karma
Living as Jesus taught actually changes your physical body, in desirable ways.
I will focus just now on body chemistry, and specifically one chemical, serotonin. Dozens of chemicals are probably involved, and I don’t mean to exaggerate the importance of just one. However, it happens that, on the one hand, serotonin plays a major role in the challenges I have personally faced in my life; and on the other hand, it has profound ramifications for how well anyone does in life. Continue reading Serotonin and the individual
Friday, October 6.
I arrived at the shelter where I stay at 14:32. There was no line of people waiting admission. They nominally open the gate at 14:30, but in fact sometimes do at 14:15, 14:00 or even 13:00. When I later asked what time they’d opened today, I was told 14:30. That can’t be factual, though: given current intake procedures, they can’t possibly have processed 30+ persons in two minutes.
Marvin arrived at the same time. I stayed outside to finish a cigarette, and he slipped in in front of me. He got assigned #41, “my” bunk, a bottom bunk. I got assigned the only available remaining bunk, #40, a top bunk and thus much less desirable.
If I had arrived only 30 seconds earlier, I would have been assigned “my” bunk, a bottom bunk, the one much more desirable. I found myself scouring my memory as to anything I could have done to have left church even 30 seconds earlier. I would recognize the mistake of looking only at my last activities before leaving; whereas 30 seconds at any point during the day would have made the difference.
I would recognize that I was “bargaining.”
Continue reading 14:32
I have suffered with obsessive-compulsive disorder and genetically-based clinical depression all my life. I first became medicated for these conditions, with SSRIs, in 1991, and the improvement was so drastic I never wanted to be without those medications again.
On or about December 6, 2015, however, it seemed as if they abruptly became ineffective. I was not in a position to find a medical doctor competent to change them. So, on the one hand, I’ve lived with clinical depression from then till now and continuing. On the other hand, a positive is that in this state I’ve obtained certain insights that I never could have “seen” any other way.
One insight in particular would have changed my entire course in life, had I only learned it as a child.
It occurred in four steps. The blue block quotes below are excerpts from my diary. However, I recall that C.S. Lewis referred to diary-keeping as a “time-wasting and foolish practice;” that a diary is, “even for autobiographical purposes,” far less useful than one might suppose. As to the first two steps below, I lost a good deal of time and effort searching for diary passages that didn’t exist.
In mid-December 2015 …
Continue reading Self-comfort