I Feel Much Better Since I Gave Up Hope

I feel a trite segue from the topic of Thanksgiving to this blog entry's subject coming on. Wait. Here it comes. Ah. There it is. I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to do that, it's just that I've been thinking too much...

Each of the so-called Seven Deadly Sins can be interpreted in more ways than just the obvious. For example, we can be slothful mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well as physically and we can lust intellectually as easily as we can sexually. You've read many times the adage, "As above so below" which I've always taken to mean that anything we experience in life has multiple layers of multiple significance. My pet deadly sin is gluttony.

No, I don't sneak-eat cookie dough in the middle of the night, nor do I over-eat at mealtime. What I do is over-think. Everything. Every minute of the day and night. Even my dream life is stuffed with over-thinking. And what I get from it is extreme indigestion and the bloody flux. Like Monty Python's Mr. Creosote, I gorge. But I do so on pop-psychology, New Age mental mind massage, neo-religious concepts, and moral conundrums. I push myself away from the table near to bursting, but can I resist the temptation of that one, tiny "whaffer theen" after-dinner mint?


What follows is a flux of self-criticism and self-condemnation. If only I'd felt more gratitude... if only I hadn't entertained that wee moment of doubt... if only I'd... I blame myself for all the ways my life hasn't turned out the way I wanted it to. It has to be my fault, right? I mean, I'm obviously a victim of my own karma, right? If only I'd made other choices and been somehow a better person, I'd be a retired rock icon living in a country manor, right? It has to be my own damned fault. I wasn't dedicated enough, I wasn't good enough, I wasn't grateful enough. Cue the barf buckets and mops...

Lately, it has occurred to me that my life was happier, more fulfilled, and held more promise before 1983 when I inducted myself in the rising tidal wave of New Age philosophy that crashed on California's shore. I wasn't constantly analyzing and moralizing anything, I was just doing it. My thoughts were filled with creativity—writing songs, keeping a journal, etc.—I didn't have time to try to make things happen, I was just making them happen. I wasn't trying to manipulate and trick to universe into giving me the things I wanted in life, I just expected them. It was so simple. But after the 1982 "Let It Be" breakup from my best friend and manager, I was left grasping for anything to keep me from being pulled under and drowning. I lost my confidence and acquired a crippling stage fright that still plagues me, and I left popular music behind to learn classical, a form she had nothing to do with.

Of course, some things are good for me: meditation and self-acceptance being key. But I need to turn off the forces that control the concentration camp of my mind—the Thought Police and the Karma Police—and just do what I love to do for the love of doing it. I need to go back to expecting great things instead of hoping for them. I think I'll feel a lot better.
“The treatment is very simple. Are you ready? Sure? Ok, all you need to do is close the books, stop wondering, stop looking, stop thinking and be still—be silent. 'Be still and un-know.' Allow everything you ever learned, ever studied and ever knew to drop away this moment. Give up yesterday with all its memories and surrender tomorrow with all its promises. With all your heart and soul, with every fiber of your being say to your self right now 'I know absolutely nothing; I need absolutely nothing and I want absolutely nothing.'” (Mark McClosky, Spiritual Indigestion)