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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Reflections on Relationships

All my closest friends seem to have something in common with each other, but not with me. They grew up with close relationships with their mothers. I grew up without the benefit of a loving mother. Instead, my mother who was Korean went back to Korea after my parents divorced. I was constantly told about how they said she was crazy. I still remember visiting her when I was very small, at the hospital. She was sleeping on the floor, in a room with bars for a door. If she wasn't mentally ill, the vision of that and the stories I heard growing up may have fostered a propensity towards neurosis. It was only after I had entered my teens that I was told that she wasn't crazy by one of my aunts.

I grew up with my grandmother raising me. She was a superstitious woman without the benefit of even a complete elementary school education. She had, in retrospect, an anger and contempt towards anyone who even showed trace of knowing anything more than she did, including her children and grandchildren. She had a confidence problem. She knew plenty, and was not stupid, but didn't get a formal education. She also had told me that my mom was a schoolteacher in Korea.

I remember the stories of how she beat my mom with a mop. Once when my mom came into the house, the floor appeared to be wet and so my mom started trying to dry it with a mop. My grandmother had just waxed the floor (back before they had the easy waxes of today). My grandmother grabbed the mop and started beating her. Being from Korea, my mom had never seen a floor waxed. So I think between culture shock and stress from my grandmother and the rest of the family, my mom could easily have been desperate.

The house I remember most growing up in was situated between those of two of my aunts’ houses. They didn’t speak to one another for years at a time, and there was a lot of friction there. I had to listen to both sides, and sometimes more of a story, and had to learn not to be judgmental. My grandmother even would accuse one of my aunts of “doing witchcraft” on her. This was the aunt that in reality minded her own business, was the more benevolent of the two. She raised her children the best she could, with honesty and tolerance and I believe they knew she loved them.

My dad was likely one of the worst parents of the family. I remember seeing him just 3 times before I reached the age of 12. All totaled, the time was likely less than a day. And he didn’t call. When I was 12, he retired from the Air Force. Within a few weeks he took a job with –guess who- the Air Force base in Panama City, Florida, one of the stinkiest cities ever with their paper plant. We lived in Tampa. He came to visit the every other weekend. When the summer rolled around, he started taking either my brother or I with him for the two weeks between visits. While he was at work, he would leave us at the house where he was renting a room. When he was there, there wasn’t much going on between us, and I didn’t like it. I soon quit going with him.

I didn’t get much of what most people do, not the healthy ones anyway. I developed a somewhat independent personality. I don’t like asking for help, because I don’t like disappointment. I have had enough of that, especially from those whose jobs should give support. Some people have a propensity for turning what could be a great job into an opportunity to lord over others, impeding instead of helping, telling you what you should have done (something that can’t be done at that point), instead of addressing the problem at hand. It’s frustrating.

I think I have managed to lose one bad habit I learned growing up. I don’t hate anymore. This has freed me from a lot of seething anger. I rely upon the concept of karma. You get what you give. Give what is good get what is good. Give what is meant to harm get what is meant to harm. This is simplicity at its best. Let the universe take care of those who do you harm, its just a matter of time and circumstances. They will probably think they got away with it, and escalate their abuses. It’ll catch up with them. If they steal from you, they will be stolen from. If they take credit for your work, credit will be taken from them. It isn’t exactly even, but it is just. If it were meant to be otherwise, it would be otherwise. Give them what they want. They will get what they deserve. It sounds like I’m being vindictive, but I’m not. The universe metes out all the vindication necessary. Like George C. Scott said in one of his movies, “Its like pissing in the wind, it all comes back to you.”

On a higher level, we should remember the conservation of energy and conservation of matter laws. Nothing is destroyed it just changes. If we think of actions as an instance of energy, then that energy is never destroyed.

I owe much of the loss of hatred to Marsha Toohey. Marsha and her husband Don were the owners of Reliable Sheetmetal. We used to talk after work while she was waiting for Don to pick her up. She was a good and wise woman. I was fortunate and blessed to have known her. Thank you Marsha, wherever you are now.

Charles

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6 Comments:

At Tuesday, May 3, 2005 at 9:52:00 AM EDT, Blogger Unreal. $visitorIP said...

Karama is a good idea if such worked.

Why would the universe show any indifference torward the transaction of humans, when it refuses to tak care of those who are pure and good in the first place?


Plus the universe, and god, and whatever forces that rely out there, always have the arguement tha who is good anymore, and for that matter: who is bad anymore?

As we grow things turn to shades of gray. Whats good is all relative, and whats bad is all up to whose persecptive are looking at.


Karma I think only works in a world where at the end of every situation, there is an absolute definitive answer.



Of course we know that none of our experinces in life have this.



I can relate to your story in a lukewarm sort of way. My mother does have a mental illness,and when I was growing up, the tides of her emotion affected me everyday.



I also admire how you are able to forgive, and forget in a world who punishes those who don't carry around thier transgressions.



Anger is the bane of humanity, yet its the very thing which builds us at moments, and distinguishs what we love from what we pity and steer away from.

At Tuesday, May 3, 2005 at 3:16:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

All very good points. The best I can do is wish for the best, its unlikely it will find me, but there's always that chance.
I dont really believe in a religious sort of way in karma, but I can hope that deeds come back. Good luck to you. Dont hurt yourself too badly, doing those things that are tempting. If we do not live, we cannot learn, and that's what its all about. Learning and becoming better than we were.

At Thursday, May 5, 2005 at 3:22:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dizzy $visitorIP said...

Hey Charles
It is nice to read your blog specially what you have to say about Krarma.I belng to the land of the origin of that thesis.
It is quite admirable, the way you have stood the ground beneath your feet despite the trials & tribulations of Life, which means you have a strong emotional quotient.

Sometimes even adverse incidents in our lives work in our favour.But this can happen only when you have inculcated qualities of patience& Trust & of not losing courage.& it takes a great intelligence to be a silent & objectivewatcher that you seem to have been through your life's experiences.This is what is called the quality of 'no mind'.Once Man is in the quality of no- mind, nothing contradicts him from his being. There is no power bigger than the power of no mind. No harm can be done to such a person. No attachment, no greed, no jealousy, no anger can arise in such a person.

There is an intrinsic law: thoughts have no life of their own. They are parasites, they live on you identifying with them.When you say"I am angry", you are pouring your energy into anger, because you are getting identified with anger.But when you say, " I am watching anger flash on the screen of mind within me", you are no more giving any life, any juice, any energy to anger.You will be able to see that because you are not identified, the anger is absolutely impotent, has no impact on you, does not change or affect you.

Watching needs a certain distance, for if you are too close, you become identified.Its like, if you are too close to a mirror you cannot see yourself clearly. A distance is needed to geta c lear image.So also, getting to involved to your thoughts colors them, anger makes you angry, greed makes you greedy.
A distant watching creates seperation. The more you watch, the bigger is the distance. The bigger the distance, the less energy your thoughts are getting from you. And they do not have any other source of energy. So they start dying & disappearing.This is the first glimpse of no mind, your first step toward the right direction, towards blissfulness. Your beautiful experiences are going to become more & more.& if such experiences are growing,if you feel the gaps betwwen mind & thoughts widening, that means you are moving without looking back.

And remember, no mind does not mean that you cannot use the mind. It means that the mind cannot use you.It simply means, that the mind has been put in its right place, only as an instrument to be used by you,only as a medium when you wish to communicate.
If you allow your mind to master you, it will destroy you. It will make you mad..You have to be the mster of your mind, not its slave.Then you don't need arguments. You are simply authority, because the force that you carry will be self evident truth.

At Thursday, May 5, 2005 at 8:14:00 AM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

Hi dizzy,

Gee, that's the first time I've been associated with no mind, without feeling someone was trying to insult me, and actually felt good about it. :)

Unfortunately, although I have a philosophy of "do no harm" and to help all I can, I do succumb to the occassional emotion, although less than I used to. I owe lots of people who are kind and loving persons for the calming of my feelings, and sometimes find it difficult.

I find it interesting that in this world, with all the strife it has, I could run into individuals from places I have never seen, who project such a caring attitude as you so apparently do. I would like to say "Thank you." I really do appreciate it. You are one of the people who can change the world to be a better place.

BTW. Thanks for reading, too.

At Thursday, May 5, 2005 at 2:44:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dizzy $visitorIP said...

Dear Charles
It is all right to succumb to emotions at times.In fact it is not only all right, it is an evil necessity to do so.For that is the only way you get to realise their nature, that is by experiencing them.For example, if you feel anger, let it come to you. Go deep into it, study it,& realise how actually it can affect[ harm or benifit] you.It is only when you understand that you are able to realise the futility to cling to such emotions.Do you know that emotions like anger are nothing but pure energy, & energy is just Energy. It is upto us to turn it to positive or negative form.The same energy that takes you down can pull you upwards too & vice versa.Only you have to be the master of yourself.
That is what I tell unreal.Once you have touched the rock bottom of ocean of life, you cannot go deeper down, then you start moving upwards again...

At Thursday, May 5, 2005 at 2:46:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dizzy $visitorIP said...

about me... I feel I am just a hollow pipe through which life just passes. The Whole or the medium through which Universe works through.If I can make a difference in one person's life, It is well worth it
Cheers...spread the Love

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