!He used to wake up at night with thoughts of what he’s like to do to this person.This shows how even someone of high quality can be wounded easily/
Most people who read English novels have heard of Virginia Woolf. She was highly acclaimed yet had breakdowns whilst awaiting reviews .Eventually she committed suicide during WW2.Her husband was Jewish and she was afraid of what would happen if the Germans invaded Britain.
But her mental health was fragile after losing her mother and favourite older sister in her teens and also possibly being sexually assaulted by her half brother.Despite al this she had much happiness and is one of the most highly acclaimed women writers of the 20th century…not much good to her of course
Sylvia Plath a great poet a generation after Woolf also committed suicide and later became known as one of the best poets of our time
I have become interested in virtue and perception.It began when I read a little Aristotle about virtue being a habit.That was quite recent.Before that for many years I believed virtuous acts would follow from being able to perceive well.But when we are fraught our minds and eyes tighten up and so we perceive only what may be a danger to us.To perceive others well we need to be in a position to trust others and we need to feel secure.How is this possible?From my studies I read that our ability to trust begins with a trusted caregiver in infancy,[See” atttachment and loss “by John Bowlby reference to come] We may be able to become more secure later by good fortune,friendship and love.If not,I seem to get the idea that if we are insecure and nervous we cannot truly perceive others and they may be in the same position.If we are very afraid then virtuous acts may be hard to accomplish. The reason is obvious… when. we are concerned with mere survival as a person , in that state what we do to others may be impossible for us to consider.We cannot truly see them and so we cannot act well towards them except by good luck.Or if we are able to tolerate great anxiety,we may see better…. if not we are incapable…. Those whom we cannot see properly we cannot truly consider with feeling and act on this feeling.We see them partly or mainly in terms of the fearful fantasies in our minds and cannot see them as other and interesting.When we make a friend online we may feel safer but in fact we are more likely to misperceive them. When we are from a sad a or difficut background it may help greatly if we have some friends who might point out our errors if we trust enough to tell them.Or we may pretend to be hard and tough.Neither leads to virtue.If we trust God it may help but I believe we see God through the lens of our parents.. which is not good…depending on the parents. When we live in fear,we cannot see what is there before us.We cannot let go.We cannot accept grace and love nor give it.We will try to live by will power.Ironically people who are fearful inside can develop a shell of toughness and pride and so are not seen as vulnerable and/or lovable.Tbey may seem frightening to others. This account may help to explain why politics is the way it is and also we see that arguing is not persuasive when the other is not able to open up and see things more broadly.Arguing makes us tighten up and see less well.And it can be frightening too though some cultures find it more acceptable than others.
There are trends in society to encourage us to build our self esteem and to value ourselves… to develop and achieve a place suited to our talents.. but what is best for me is when I lose myself in something.I was reading an old blog of a friend and was quite absorbed and went into a different state of mind..then I regretted I don’t manage to lose myself enough being a housewife and having much on my mind and being busy.
Sometimes it can happen when we love a person.Sometimes a wonderful landscape feels like home.. other times a sunset across the Irish sea from the cliffs of the Isle of Man where myriad butterflies swirl and float over flowers and rocks.
Modern life, the News,talk,excitement of the wrong sort seem to lock us into our self and frighten us so we forget the value of fining something in which to lose ourselves and grow as a result. Sitting by a river fishing,knitting,sewing,a book, many things can elicit this response And remember how horror filled was the self consciousness of adolescence and how good to forget one’s self being more comfortable and accepting of appearance and image..How to live like a wild flower for a time… and be happy not to be a rose but just a tiny wild geranium or a moderate sized gentle pink flower in a arden
Have you ever felt you were behind a pane of glass? I did once many years ago after a friend committed suicide.It must be a protective condition but it is painful and odd.Everyone else seems ok ,you imagine,but you are not a part..In reality many people may be feeling like you do and putting on a performance while out at work or socialising.We are probably wiser as we grow older as we know more people better and see we are not unique in our suffering and pain; we know that feelings pass,even the worst ones and we may have become better at judging others and knowing if friends die by suicide it’s probably not our fault
When one feels that way it has to be accepted for the time being, like all feelings,I found reading poetry helped me and also being with others in a group where I could sit and listen without pressure to speak.I like this poem from then.It was a favorite of Simone Weil,the mystic.
LOVE BADE ME WELCOME by George Herbert
Love Bade Me Welcome – from Love (III)
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back.
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah, my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.
Ihave been reading his earlier book,The Saturated Society which I also strongly recommend.I found it good reading and I now know what post modernism is about for better or worse.He can be very funny too When trlating his personal experiences.If you can get these from your library you will be intrigued.And his prose is great too.
A week or two ago I was thinking about thinking.There is more than one kind of thinking.Some kinds,like rumination, are often self destructive.Other kinds of thinking can turn one outside of one’s self and can become what I call “thoughtfulness”.And that is a a virtue.It combines awareness and caring towards others with standing back and considering what is best for them and ourselves.
Then there is what we might call ” blind thinking” which is totally self centred like the chattering voices in our head
I want that red dress,he’s nasty,I am fed up being at work. so long…………all going on underneath our consciousness much of the time.We may be unaware of it but it can affect us and how we act towards others.It’s childish,turned inwards and trivial.Can we stop it? I am thinking about that,,, not brooding.I mean,my mind is open and I hope some new ideas will come to help me understand this blind thinking
How can we see and not be blind in our thinking?How can we be wise?
Leaves are the placet along with roots where communication happens.When we grow beans the plants at first have just two leaves and need warmth and light to develop…. and so do human beings,We need food as well.