Isoliert und einsam

Periodically, I encounter things online that pertain to astrology and how the various alignments and interactions of the heavenly bodies influences life on earth and individual karmas. Depending on the source of the information I see, there could be a warning about electronic gadgets being affected, communication being weak or challenging, relationship problems, governmental crap. You name it and, apparently, the stars  or neighboring planets govern it. I don’t know that the stars have anything to do with what I’m writing about now, but I feel like something cosmic is definitely up.

For about a month already (and there’s no let-up in sight) I’ve felt terribly isolated – thus, the name of this post (isoliert = German). You see, every person – without exception – that I’ve actually wanted to hear from has been mostly distant or unavailable. Actually, there has been one exception: My local prefects.  My husband and I were fortunate enough to have a nice Thai dinner with the two of them recently. But a distinction should be made – they reached out to me. This will set them apart in the scheme of things.

There are friends who have new work schedules and I mostly only hear from them after I’ve gone to bed. Acquaintances are far busier than I feel is constructive to developing deeper friendships, which saddens me a tad because that’s exactly what I want from them (and what they’ve told me they want also). And loved ones who either show little interest, are simply “too busy,” or give me reasons for not talking or hanging out that I’m able to see right through – which is obviously offensive (not because people should want to hang out with me, but because people should want to be honest with others).

Something else in all this that I’m currently unable to rationalize is effort, or more accurately the lack thereof. There are very few people who don’t text or SMS. I can SMS a friend in Saudi Arabia (in Riyadh) at a time when I know it is 0230 where he is – and also knowing that he works IT and has a wife and kids – and I get a response within a few minutes. Depending on when I message him, the response may be minimal but that’s my whole point. I say, “Hello” and I get a “Salaam” in return.

Recently, I’ve tried the same here locally with someone I know to be a single professional who keeps his free time occupied with fitness endeavors and I can’t even get a one-word response back. To add insult to injury, some of these people will text me back DAYS after I reached out to them and briefly explain how impossibly busy they’ve been – never mind the 500 posts they’ve made to Facebook in the time between. How can one be absolutely too busy to send a one-word text response to a friend, but not too busy to post to Facebook about how you met up with another friend to go for a run THE VERY MINUTE you got back into town from a business trip?

Maybe people don’t realize the message these kinds of inconsistencies send. No one’s actions align to their words 100%, but when the discrepancy is so stark I think it really says something about yourself and about how you view others or the value you assign to others. I think it also speaks to the level of honesty you maintain, or don’t. Then again, maybe it’s absolutely reasonable to be so busy the only possible thing you can manage in regard to external communication is a Facebook status update, or twelve.

Now…. I’m a big boy. And I’m well able to babysit myself. I don’t NEED people around me all the time. I don’t want that either. But when you reach out to one person, and then to another, and then to 384 more after that and practically NONE of the ones you try connecting with are available or even interested, it stings a little and it sure feels like the stars are managing some unpleasant mojo.

I mean, what are the chances that I’ll feel “needy” in this way at a time when everyone I know is supposedly impossibly unavailable? The things I’ve said here in this post are true. But the resultant perception I think I might be carrying as a result of those true things is likely skewed – it’s certainly currently being flavored by my emotions and hopes. I’ll tell you, I’m taking a lesson from this. For sure. I’m not sure I’ll share that lesson here because it’s an awfully personal one, and if I decide to then I’m not sure when that would happen. But I’m definitely learning. And it has made me want to cry more than once.

Then again, maybe I’m reading far too much into all of this.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

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Dichotomy of Peterotica

A thought has crossed my mind a bit lately. More than once. It first crossed my mind a few weeks ago – maybe a month.

I’ve been considering a second blog.

I know a few other bloggers who maintain (or at least started) more than one blog. All the things I’ve read about bloggering tell me that if you want a large readership you are supposed to find your niche. Find something specific to write about and write about just that – or at least write only about that thing and other things that relate to that thing.

In case you haven’t noticed yet here on Sthapati, that isn’t really my style. I might write about general spirituality in one post, specific spirituality in another post, my dead mother in the last post, and voter registration in the post after this one. I suppose, as evidence that what I’ve read is true, this variance here accounts for why I don’t have thousands of subscribers. To be quite clear, gaining subscribers was never my goal or intention. I just wanted to say I have a blog (only one two other people I know in person even can say that, and it seems that currently neither of them are feeling terribly inspired), and also have a place to journal my thoughts and experiences.

Strangely, as broad as the scope of things written about on Sthapati sometimes can be (and it’s probably not really terribly broad), there are things I experience and think and learn about that I would never – EVER – put here. Partially because I’m aware that a number of my close friends and family read my words here. It would be like seeing your parents have sex…. to outsiders your parents are just two grown people and, who knows, those outsiders might enjoy seeing that. But you would not. Right? I mean, I feel like that statement is likely true for most people who have parents.

And speaking of grown people having sex, I’m thinking that this potential second blog of mine might likely be of an adult nature. It wouldn’t be “right,” I don’t think, for me to start publishing posts of that nature here on Sthapati.

There are certain things we want to see from certain people in our lives. We’ve already decided what their role or purpose or right place is within our lives and to experience those people outside of those assigned roles is… wrong in our minds. No? Your parents are your parents and they are thusly parental. You likely wouldn’t find additional value in them being your source of porn. Am I wrong?

So, supposing I have things to share – thoughts and lessons and experiences – of a sexual nature, surely dear readers you would agree that Sthapati isn’t the place, which in my mind means one of two things are sure to happen (although one is far more likely).

The first is that I could create another blog place for things I wish to write about that are of a nature unfitting for Sthapati. This would likely be a place for which I would write far more anonymously than I do here. It would be a total mix of my “adult” thoughts and experiences as well as some things I might find in other place online. I don’t foresee this being a “porn” blog, but it would definitely be much closer to that than Sthapati, just because of the nature of the posts.

The second thing that could happen is that I could begin journaling these things in an actual paper journal. Assuming no one else ever got their hands on it, I could do that just as privately or anonymously as I could a blog, but I think that would actually require more effort to create and maintain and if I wanted to do that kind of journaling to begin with, Sthapati would be in a notebook in my nightstand right now and not online where you are currently reading it. It’s safe to say that if this other blog ever becomes a reality, it will not be on paper. (Not that any blog is on paper, but you know what I’m saying.)

I know there are many people who write (and read) “adult” blogs. And I’ve looked into a number of them to see what the standard seems to be for them and the “standard” adult blog seems to boil down to two kinds of posts: Pornography in some form or another, or written smut in the form of fiction or likely very embellished / exaggerated retelling of experiences. Neither of those are what I have in mind.

Reader, what says you? Are “adult” blogs really just another form of porn? Do you see any legitimacy in them? Do you think it likely or even possible that a sincere someone traveling a spiritual path could also write about such things? Aren’t we supposed to stop being horny when we find God?

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Delay

I have been meaning to write a post about my birth mother, who passed away last November only days before Thanksgiving. I have a draft saved. I last touched that draft on 20141203 and have been feeling it pull at me a little in recent days.

But I’m not sure. I think I’ll sit on it for a while yet and see what comes. We plan to bury her ashes this spring sometime. I still need to buy the vault for that. Maybe I’ll finish the post then, once things are finally said and done with her.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

No Right

Image Taken from Google Image search

Image Taken from Google Image search

A month or two ago, at temple, a guest speaker mentioned during her talk that in many Indian languages there is no word for “right.” This isn’t “right,” as in the opposite of wrong but “right,” as in something one is entitled to.

Rights are a big thing here in the USA. As “the land of the free” I suppose it’s quite natural that someone’s rights are just about always being debated, contested, or voted for (or against). As a gay American my own rights are, and have been, the subject of a lot of heat recently and in recent decades my people have gone from being classified as mentally ill to now being able to marry in many places. A lot of progress has been made, and much more is needed. And, of course, for every step forward there are those who demand a step backward – locally and in a number of states there are efforts underway to legalize discrimination. Here in Indianapolis there was a bakery that made a lot of news because they refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. I usually try my best to adhere to the “live and let live” philosophy and so, while I thought it wrong as hell to refuse to do the job someone was willing to pay you quite well for just because they have matching genitalia, I have almost always been willing to leave room at the table for those haters. When I was a teen and being thrown out of my church for being gay, many people were furious on my behalf – but I never was. They believe what they want and I’ll do the same. Whatever. The flip side of that, I feel, is that karma is impartial. If you do something to harm others (or yourself) you should expect results that you will likely perceive as negative. In that light, it’s no surprise at all that the anti-gay bakery here in Indy has since gone bankrupt.

Before I get too sidetracked, lemme get back to my focus: Rights. Entitlement. The speaker at my temple that day mentioned the lack of this word in many Indian languages and she briefly discussed this. I can’t regurgitate everything she spoke of, but I recall that she related it directly to karmaphala – the fruit of one’s actions.

Let me relate this to another side story: I was recently on a video chat with two people who are likely some of the best human creatures I’ve experienced in this life so far. We chattered about many things, some dark-n-wondrous and some not. One thing we touched on briefly was my pal and the Gita study group he attends. He mentioned that he sometimes doesn’t say a whole lot in the study group and connected that silence to timidity in regard to what others might think of what he might say.

This bothered me a bit. Anyone who’s met me in person, can confirm that I say anything I think needs to be said. I’m often correct in what I say, but not always, and I’m always honest. I almost never concern myself with whether or not someone will think I know as much as I should or whether they will agree with me. I don’t have a right to that. I do my part, as best as I know how to do my part – and that’s the end of it. I’m not entitled to what comes next. The fruits of my actions / words absolutely will be connected to me in whatever way they will manifest in my karmas, but even that is none of my business. You do what you should – when you should do it. I tried to explain to my friend that he’s short-changing others by holding back. He’s potentially robbing them of an experience that could be significant. There are times, especially in that setting, when he’ll be the teacher -regardless of whether or not what he mutters is intelligent – and because of that it’s his dharma to say what should be said when it should be said.

Holding back because of what he thinks might happen from the side of the listeners is him being concerned with the karmaphala of his effort to share with the group – and he has no right to that. None of us do. We should do what we should do, whenever we should do it – and that’s the end of it. Think of the freedom afforded to the karma yogi who is able to separate himself from the karmaphala most others get muddied in! Krishna says much the same thing in the Bhagavad Gita – act, because you must and for that reason only. Never act (or not act) because of the karmaphala. Certainly, in today’s culture where everyone is busied with other’s perceptions, it can be challenging to simply let go of the “phala” mentioned by Shri Krishna. I hope we can all, at our own pace according to our personal evolution, learn to loosen our grip on the rights we think we have.

 

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti