Howling Blog

Time for a sabbatical

Sabbatical from what? you may ask. You don’t do anything, you just potter about at home.

Well, I’ve decided to take a couple of months off from any social contact (with a few kind exceptions), because things have got so bad that I can’t last a few minutes without causing offence. Pushing 70, I really do need to get this ‘mental health issue’ sorted out as a matter of urgency.

And I’m not even going to try looking for professional help, having been bruised by several expensive encounters over the years. I have to do this myself, with the wonderful support from my family and the aforementioned few kind exceptions.

So here goes.

We all have to find a narrative that both fits the ‘facts’ and is emotionally acceptable. I was worried that my impairment – my own version of what has been called Asperger syndrome – is a spiritual disability. I’d had enough clues to that effect from all the spiritual groups and organisations I’d tried to join over the decades. It mattered to me, but I was beginning to come to terms with it and Poor in Spirit was a step in that journey.

But I’d finally found a sense of belonging in the woodturning club – nothing faith-based there at all, unless you’re a passionate advocate of a particular brand of glue and even then no-one’s going to get hurt. 

But then Brexit happened and I found myself after all in a faith-based group of people to whom I was irrevocably an outsider. So the old ground-state of dissolving into a weepy puddle evolved into a howling inside, which was starting to spill over in all kinds of encounters on a hair-trigger.

So, crashing out of the club was a serious wake-up call, and I’m calling this my Howling Blog. 

Breaking the logjam

Despite the taunting over the years about my ‘busy little brain’, I still revert to thinking because it’s what I do.

Along the way I discovered a book via Amazon’s helpful recommendations and, for me personally, it has finally broken the logjam of the ‘key inside the box’. It honours the achievements of Western science and technology, while at the same time pointing to the fatal flaw in their philosophical underpinnings. At last there’s a way to bring the holistic worldviews of ancient Chinese traditions and Indigenous peoples into a coherent synthesis with the achievements of Western reductionism. No babies have to be thrown out with the bathwater after all! 

The book is: Jeremy Lent, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our place in the Universe (Profile Books, 2021)

Current state

I am not a good-or-evil entity, an immortal soul under the cosh. 

I am a pattern that perpetuates itself on a ’strange attractor’.

I know it pretty well by now. And I need to steer it into something kinder.

And I can do it by thinking.

I’ll keep you posted.

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