Tag Archive: Wisdom


https://www.gotquestions.org/Proverbs-26-4-5.html

I found the article above on these verses and I suppose it is fairly typical of the answers that would be given.  When I was at Bible college Elmer Darnall said the best way to approach answering a problem or question is to preface your answer with ‘it seems to me’, I suppose so as not to be dogmatic and unreasonable.  I try to follow that.  When I say ‘it seems to me’ I am doing the exact opposite of assuming a position of authority.

I’ve had an awful day today, though, and I was lying upset and terrified in bed.  Terrified of the prospect of possible further torture, as the UN calls forced psychiatry, at the hands of the mental health services, terrified of the way people in my community, including professionals, are treating me, many of them knowing I have a mental health diagnosis they can call on at any time, knowing that I fear that.  That is torture in itself.  I feel as if people are trying to brainwash me and I find my thinking in crisis.

I think people apply these verses as and when they see fit, for the most part, and that there is no fixed agreement on when to use one or the other.  Play it by ear and intuition, I really think must be the way it is done.  But tonight I thought the ‘it seems to me’ approach really needs to be backed up by a good body of wisdom and understanding – but again, whose wisdom?  I was wondering about the wisdom at the time and in the tradition it was written, that might be the first port of call.  But it seems to me that the original wisdom is not automatically the best wisdom for all time, though it must be interesting at least.

I was thinking about terrorism and suicide bombing and stuff and I thought of these verses and thought I had been a fool thinking I was being wise.  That answering a fool according to his folly in a situation like that might mean opposing and frustrating and arresting and even, in some people’s opinion, imposing the death penalty.  And if someone in the street has a gun then the police should shoot to kill, it must mean.  That’s what I was thinking.

Then I thought about things I have heard about Gandhi and his policy of passive resistance and I thought it couldn’t be that simple.  But how do you use passive resistance when dealing with suicide bombings and all that?  Maybe I have an incomplete understanding of Gandhi’s position.  And OK, back to me, do people like me need to have our computers hacked and lives stalked and harassed so we learn to think right, responsibly and wisely?  I’ve been thinking all this hacking, it’s like the wild west with computers instead of guns.  I believe at least one of my neighbours is hacking my computer because I believe I have heard many instances of reaction to what I have been writing or reading.  This stuff that I and the UN call torture, is it necessary to bring people to their right minds?  Am I being alternately answered and not answered according to my folly?  Not answered by being ignored, answered by being subjected to all the stuff I’ve just talked about?  If I am as wrong as some people seem to want to make out, have I lost my right to be taken seriously and treated equitably?

I wrote to the police on 18th August, following the Barcelona bombing.  I’m still waiting for a reply.  I put in a complaint to the IPCC a day or two ago about the fact they haven’t contacted me yet.  People who have read some of my recent posts will understand why I might have done this and I’m not going into all that again, I couldn’t cope.

People approach me surreptitiously and skirt around stuff.  Last Saturday I was in town and a community officer was walking towards me with what felt to me like an assumed nonchalance and I thought, ‘Oh yes?  Let’s see where this is going’.  I felt his attention towards me, even though he seemed to be trying not to appear to be addressing himself to me.  As he got near where I was standing at the bus stop he drew up close and touched his radio then touched his ear, like a coded action.  I just stood there, I didn’t react, just took it in, and when he got past me he cleared his throat, it seemed to me in annoyance or frustration.  So I, without doing it in his face, went, ‘ahem to you, too’.  He didn’t look round.  The bus came almost immediately and as it turned the corner I saw him standing making notes.

Is this normal procedure in a case like mine?  No direct approach, just signals you’re expected to follow or be broken by the ‘consequences’ of not doing?

Later I was in Tesco’s.  A couple of men were behind me on the escalator and I felt they were after my attention.  When I started trying to disengage myself from hearing them one of them said something about a ‘big fashion thing’ in a way that sounded to me like a ‘big fat thing’, and he quickly followed it up by making a strong reference to his wife Sue.  At the bottom of the escalator I said, ‘oh yes, very interesting, who are you, then?’, and they looked sheepish and embarrassed and sidled off.  This sort of thing has happened to me before.  I said a while ago that when I was staying in a hotel I was out in the street one day and decided to stop walking, feeling driven, and just stand still, and after a couple of seconds a man I didn’t know drew up to me and without looking at me or stopping said, ‘hi, Sue’, then carried on walking without looking back.  I think I recognise it when it is happening.  If these people were police, was I wrong not to try and co-operate?

Something else, too.  This thing some people seem to have about telling stories instead of making reasoned and reasonable approaches.  It seems to me that if you think you need to tell a story to reach a person or know them, you are setting yourself up as some sort of authority whose terms are more important than the person you are using the story on.  The story says, ‘it’s like this’, or the story teller tries to say that with the story, whereas the hearer might not agree, and it seems to me it is quite patronising to ‘try to get through’ to a person that way instead of dealing with actualities and entering into a communication based on equality and clarity.  What happens of the person you want to see the point of your story interprets it completely differently and wishes you would just be up front because you are confusing them and making them feel guilty for ‘not getting it’ or not being prepared to get it?  Does that mean the person has a bad heart?  Maybe the story teller has a bad heart, if they won’t communicate accountably.  A story teller examines the hearer, as much as anything else.  That seems to me to be an arrogant and/or fear based position to take.  Not quite ready to deal with things, not willing to be challenged and questioned.

Man, I need to sleep.  Shouldn’t they make a formal and explicit approach?  Or is it different when dealing with something like I’ve been talking about?  It makes ME feel foolish and that I am making myself vulnerable to mental health interventions by being explicit when no one is making a response to anything I have said in a way that I have been prepared to recognise and validate.

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King David – Camera Snap From a War Zone

David said, ‘Let a righteous man strike me, it is a kindness’.  Is this the truth, or is it, like his affair with Bathsheba and ordering her husband to be killed in battle, a sign of emotional sickness?

Poor little guy, one of many sons, the youngest and despised, sent out every day to look after the sheep on his own.  With nothing but his target skills and his harp and singing and his idealised idea, in his loneliness, of his relationship with God, to keep him going.

When his father Jesse was asked by Samuel to get all of his sons together because he wanted to anoint one of them to be king after Saul, neither Jesse nor the rest of his sons gave David a thought.  He was out there with the sheep.  Samuel got to the end of everyone who was in front of him, the story says, and God said ‘no’ to all of them, and he had to ask if there was another son.  When Jesse said yes, he said yes but, not oh yes of course.  Samuel had to insist on him being brought in.

Later Saul kept trying to kill him, and he and Jonathan agreed a code that Jonathan would use to tell David that he needed to flee, if he thought so.  And David fled.  He got to a city and pretended madness, he lied to cover his tracks and people were killed in the wake of that.  Yet he said he would not fear.  He was very afraid and in denial, whatever his affirmations and confessions.  He said he was convinced of his own righteousness and that God was with him and knew him in his righteousness.  It seems to me his suffering and isolation had pushed him over the edge.  He felt he had to be perfect or something to be loved and approved of, and so he asserted that he was, exulted in it, and told God he was a perfect and righteous man.

And my teachers have believed his reported self-assessment.

It seems to me this is faulty interpretation and exegesis and shows no understanding of human psychology.

They are as much in denial about him as he was about himself, and as the prophet might have been who said God had said David was a man after God’s own heart, who would fulfil all of God’s desires.  And yet God had to tell David, when he wanted to build him a temple, that he was not the man to do it, because he was a man of blood.  He went around killing people and cutting off foreskins for trophies.

The Bible, reportedly, shows people as they were.  It doesn’t say that everything that came from his life and pen and lips were God’s truth.  The Bible, if it is true, is the truth about the people in it, and what they say is from God is not necessarily from God at all, and it is undiscerning and maybe a bit afraid to look at every word the people who are called God’s servants say and think they are all right and perfect and can all be synthesised into being truth in themselves, just because they are in the Bible and came from people who have been made, historically and by the will and judgment of men, both at the time and since then, into heroes.

When the Bible says God was with him, does it just mean that people loved and protected him?  The Bible was written by men, and men said that God was with him – because they had a warrior mentality?

David said I am for peace but they are for war.  So why did God say he couldn’t build his temple because he was a man of blood?  He was holding David responsible.  Or Nathan’s prophetic spirit and internal workings were.  Later David prayed ‘deliver me from blood guiltiness, Oh my God’.  So what was Nathan’s bag?  He put a real heavy on him, and made him live without formal punishment, which was obviously a psychological need and would have been appropriate.  (thought: unless man of blood is just referring to the thing with Uriah, then of course I am just being arrogant and proud again deciding it was about his killing sprees, which in the eyes of Israel were worth eulogising – Saul has killed his thousands and David his tens of thousands.  That was why Saul wanted to kill him – he was jealous.  It says the hand of God was with David because he was killing so many people.  Whose judgment was that?  Was it REALLY God’s?)

When it says the glory of the Lord filled the place and the priest’s could not go about their work, does it mean there was a sudden emotional and psychological crisis felt by all that no one knew how to handle? So they fell on their faces and worshipped until – what – released them?

I’m sure this could be taken much further.  I love the fact that it can.  But then who is God?  Who are you?  Who am I?  And what is good?  And how can we free ourselves of this evil and hero protecting mentality to pursue what is right and good, and not what is safe and cosy and cronyistic and cliquey and maudlin?

 

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