Reflections on society, politics and nature – vol. 59

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on society, politics, and nature. I sometimes include short personal notes as well. Click “read more” to see all the entries.

THE ZEAL AND IMMATURITY OF THE NEWLY CONVERTED I: CONSPIRACY THEORIES

When I see conspiracy theorists, I often see the zeal and immaturity of the newly converted.

Often, these are people who may have discovered some grains of truth that are public knowledge but they were not aware of before. And they go overboard with it without understanding much of the history, context, or how to use this information in a more nuanced and reasoned manner.

And then they want to educate others about it. They become self-appointed missionaries.

This is the zeal and immaturity of the newly converted.

It’s not wrong or bad. It’s understandable and most of us have done it at some point with something we discovered that was amazing or shocking to us. But it is good to have some perspective on it and know that it is the zeal of the newly converted, and there is a more mature way to relate to it.

THE ZEAL AND IMMATURITY OF THE NEWLY CONVERTED II: HEALING & SPIRITUAL PRACTICES

This can obviously also happen when we find healing modalities and approaches to spirituality that works for us.

In my case, I tend to not do it since I know there are lots of approaches out there and what works is often individual. But I do fall into this pattern in the reverse: I tend to not talk about things that are relevant, interesting, or even useful just because I don’t want to proselytize. (This also ties into a pattern of wanting to hide, even if what I hide could be interesting or useful to others.)

STORY ARCS

Stories, at least in our European-influenced world, have a certain format. We have a beginning, middle, and end. We get to know the characters and setting, there is struggle and conflict in some form, and then resolution. And so on.

Most stories in our mainstream culture follow this format.

And I understand why. These types of stories feel satisfying. They feel complete. And they mirror inner processes when they reach a kind of completion. (Which is always temporary and part of larger processes.)

At the same time, it gets boring when most stories have to tie up loose ends and reach a kind of resolution and completion. Why not leave some mystery? Why not leave it more open-ended?

This comes to mind since we are in the next-to-final season of Stranger Things. (Which I love.) I suspect the story is reaching a kind of resolution with more and more loose ends tied up. That’s fine. But I suspect I would have enjoyed it even more if they left more unresolved.

When they want to give the readers or audience a neat ending, the resolution is often a bit disappointing. Leaving it open leaves more room for imagination. And it’s also closer to real life where a lot is not tied up in this way.

CIVILIZED AND BARBARIANS

This is an old classic and sometimes worth repeating.

If we see ourselves as civilized and others as barbarians, it’s often so we can dehumanize them and do terrible things to them – rape, pillaging, genocide, theft of land and natural resources, and so on.

In that case, who are the real barbarians?

Calling someone a barbarian is clearly a projection. We call others barbarians to dehumanize them and justify injustice, and we are the ones acting in barbaric ways.

There are many synonyms for barbarians in this context: uncivilized, brutes, heathens, non-Christians, poor, foreigners, and so on.

Today, this is especially relevant to how we treat non-human beings. We call them animals, make a strong mental division between humans and animals, and justify treating them terribly through that mental division and by seeing them as less than us.

JUDGING A SYSTEM BASED ON THE LEAST FORTUNATE

This is another classic that is sometimes worth repeating.

How do we judge a society or political system?

I judge it based on how the least fortunate are treated and live.

If a system mainly works to the benefit of those who already have what they need, and leaves the rest to live in poverty and struggle, it has already failed.

And if it provides good safety nets and real opportunities for the least fortunate, then it has some merit.

LONG COVID

Like many others in the CFS world, I thought one of the worst consequences of the covid pandemic would be post-viral syndromes, now known as long covid.

I assume this will keep getting attention as we are more aware of its prevalence and seriousness.

There are several reasons to be cautious here. For instance, it seems that even with vaccines and having had covid and recovered, it’s still possible to get long covid from a new infection. And there is always a chance of new mutations that increases this risk.

Personally, I have been relatively lucky. I had covid in February (four months ago), and still have Covid brain – especially when it comes to memory. Of course, most recover fine. And I also know a couple who still struggle with relatively serious and debilitating after-effects of their covid infection at the beginning of the pandemic (almost two-and-a-half years ago).

BROTHARIAN?

I find that when I have bone broth regularly, I feel deeply nourished and my cravings in general are diminished or fall away. I have a much-reduced craving for sugar and often feel a slight aversion to it. And the same for meat.

It seems that my ideal diet may be bone broth with otherwise mostly vegetarian food.

What should I call this? Maybe brotharian?

JUNE 18, 2022

VOTING ON BEHALF OF THE NON-HUMAN SPECIES

There was just a presidential election where I am, and the one elected has the interest of the less privileged at heart.

For me, when I vote, I vote on behalf of the less privileged. (Who often vote against their own interests based on identity.) And I especially vote on behalf of non-human species and future generations.

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