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Killing the Father and Petting the Cat


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#1 DonShadow

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 07:02 PM

Despite having taken about a dozen very powerful trips this year, I've fallen far behind on my public reports. However, this doesn't mean I haven't been writing. On the contrary, I've been using every moment I can spare to work on a large essay that will consolidate a massive ongoing download from my closest companion--the good Spiritus Fungus. Today I've decided to take a short break from that essay to write about a more recent experience that left me feeling abysmal and disintegrated yet, perhaps for the first time in my life, joyously liberated.

 

Shortly after I started taking mushrooms seriously and more or less "got my shit together", I was very explicitly instructed to inform my mother and father about my mushroom habit. To my surprise, my confession was not initially met with hostility, but only minor suspicion and concern for my safety. I did my best to provide context for my pursuit, providing information about recent clinical studies and the implications of ubiquitous indigenous shamanic traditions. This confession was completely contrary to my previous mode of operation, which was to hide away from them all those naughty things they were sure to disapprove of (which sometimes felt like almost everything). In the family household, drugs and sex in particular were strictly taboo, sinful in fact, but naturally these were the two things that enraptured my adolescent mind above all. Since drugs were much easier for a timid bookworm to acquire than sex, I dove headlong into a rocky relationship with alcohol, cannabis and tobacco that lasted through most of my teens and twenties. That mushrooms helped to completely eradicate those addictions was good evidence to support my case.

 

Of course, my inebriated liaisons had to be kept hidden from my overlords, because the paranoid religion they imposed upon me denied the normal sane pleasures of life. So I tiptoed around their ostentatious home at night, contrived all sorts of methods to rid myself of tell-tale odors and washed my tobacco-stained fingers until they were as pink as Proust's dick. My tiny Altoids tin of pot was hermetically sealed inside of several ziploc bags and stuffed deep into my sock-drawer. To sixteen-year-old me, nothing could be more exciting than to lay perfectly still under my covers in my darkened room, saturated with gin and immersed in a rhapsodic wormhole of weed. On the handful of occasions when I got caught engaging in my favorite outlawed pastime, I was subjected to long-winded maniacal lectures about the fate of my sin-drenched soul if I didn't abandon my hedonic ways and be washed clean with the holy blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to save the world from Satan and his evil minions.

 

With a head full of Camus, Kierkegaard and cannabis, this Jesus garbage just didn't make sense anymore. I knew that if I was to keep up my pursuit, I had to escape from this absurd narrative. I spent two summers as a construction laborer scraping together enough money to buy a van, and as soon as I graduated highschool I flew the coop and found my own nest in a faraway tree. My parents made it very clear that if I left the family home, I was entirely on my own financially. I gladly accepted this stipulation and embraced my newfound independence wholeheartedly.

 

Not a whole lot has changed since I ran away from home all those years ago. My now-shameless passion for vegetative contemplation in the dark has grown steadily. For several years I've operated my own small construction business, just to pay the bills and keep up appearances for my parents, to whom "success" is measured out in dollar signs. I've had a few unsuccessful romantic relationships, embarked on many adventures, and formed several strong loving friendships with equally alienated personas-non-grata. For the most part my life feels quite full, aside from a lack of time, the absence of an occupation that makes use of my potential, and a dull nagging desire for romance that grows fainter as my hormone engines steadily lose steam. I want for no material possessions aside from a warm bed, good books, my little beater pickup truck, and my bedroom fungi garden. Sometimes it makes me a little sad to live in the most beautiful place in the world with scarcely the time or money to enjoy it. The summers go by quickly when I'm working in the hot sun, and admittedly I feel a slight sting of envy when I see all the beautiful tanned rich kids driving to the beach, living out their robotic trust-funded lives which they take completely for granted. But I really can't complain, my life is very pleasant and the only suffering I endure is consciously, willfully self-inflicted through periodic mushroom work, which helps to keep me grateful and able to listen and empathize with others more effectively.

 

I've made my best effort to maintain some semblance of a relationship to my family since, after all, they did give me life and fed me good food. My older sister's family and my folks both live in suburbia, only a few minutes drive away from each other. My sister is the golden child, having married a millionaire and fulfilled her dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom, just like our mother. I make the two-hour journey to their hometown to see them as often as I can, which is rarely. Of course my two little nieces occupy my family's attention more than anything else, and their ability to nullify the effect of my absence has been very relieving. The less I have to associate with the family the better, as it is almost never a pleasant experience. However, they do occasionally request my presence, so I put a smile on and do my best to be pleasant, grateful and kind.

 

Last weekend I reluctantly sojourned to the homeland to pay my respects to the ancestors. Initially I had planned to attend a sweatlodge ceremony that was to take place in their city, but sadly due to the wildfires and extremely dry conditions, a fire ban prompted the organizers to cancel the event. My plan was to visit with the nieces for an afternoon before the sweat, but now I was on the hook for a full weekend reunion extravaganza. My truck had been giving me some trouble and I didn't trust it to make the journey, so I woke up at the crack of dawn and hopped on the Greyhound bus. My father met me at the station in his brand-new Tesla electric supercar, which he bought as a means of justifying his four other automobiles, personal airplane and his otherwise unnecessarily opulent lifestyle. It was immediately clear that he wasn't overjoyed to see me, his failure of a son.

 

The drive back to the house was mostly silent, as is the norm. He takes no interest whatsoever in my affairs, so after asking him a few rudimentary questions about the nieces, his work, and his new luxury RV (questions to which he gave pained, dismissive answers), we both retreated into our own heads. A few blocks away from the house, I spotted a small black cat in the middle of the road, which looked freshly killed. I pointed it out, allowing ample time for him to swerve and avoid the carcass, but instead he pressed the accelerator and ran right over it and desecrated the poor thing. Of course, due to the fact that I have a soul, I was completely shocked; I turned a ghastly look his way to see him chuckling to himself; "Oops", he said, wearing a smug grin that made me feel queasy.

 

When we pulled into the driveway at my folks' place, their elderly neighbor was outside watering her garden. I hadn't met her before, so I introduced myself before she and my father exchanged a few courtesies. Just as we were turning to go inside the house she proclaimed: "Oh yes, and the neighbor's little black cat went missing this morning. If you see it, do let them know". We both hesitated for a moment to process what we had just heard, then closed the door behind us.

 

Apart from this one disturbing event of the morning, the first day spent with my parents was actually quite pleasant. We went out for breakfast and had a nice conversation about the absence of healthy gut bacteria in the modern North American diet. I presented my theory that the Mazatecs of Oaxaca insist that mushrooms be eaten with the dirt on because it helps contribute to healthy gut flora and supports the metabolism of the mushroom's constituent compounds. Unsurprisingly this resulted in an immediate subject change.

 

My parents live very near a small idyllic lake, so after breakfast we put on our hiking boots and went for a stroll around the perimeter trail. Before heading out the door, I selected two little Psilocybe Cyanescens mushrooms that I had stashed in my backpack, and popped them in my mouth. Blackberries and salal berries grew in abundance alongside the path, so I paused often to gorge on these miraculous sacred purple offerings. The presence of a little psilocybin in the blood makes berry-picking a truly delightful activity. I guess I got a little hyper-focused on what I was doing because my folks had to tell me several times to quit dawdling, which was a reoccurring theme throughout my youth. They're always on the move... no time to enjoy the journey, only the unattainable illusory destination is important to them.

 

In the evening we made dinner together and laughed at videos featuring an eccentric man whose hobby was to hand-raise wild crows and ravens, who freely flapped around his apartment while he lectured the audience on the foolishness of keeping ravens as pets. Later on my mother and I had a conversation about the current state of the world, which she saw to be descending into moral decay. On a whim she selected a short podcast in which the speakers discussed C.S. Lewis' book "The Abolition of Man", a work that I've leafed through a couple of times. When the clip was over, I commented that the present state of the world reflected the European renaissance, which was catalyzed by several factors that mirror to a large extent what the world is experiencing today. This is by no means an exhaustive list:

 

-The proliferation of information by means of the printing press.

-Renewed interest in ancient tradition and Greek philosophy, natural law and polytheistic myth (the cartography of the soul).

-Patronage and altruism by wealthy philanthropists.

-Encounters with foreign cultures and the realization of social conditioning.

-The weakening influence of the Catholic church (due in large part to their handbook being made legible to underlings).

-Dietary modification through the importation of novel foods and drug plants.

 

I was trying to suggest that, despite that things look grim sometimes, there are many good things happening in the world. Our unfettered access to information permits independent learning and the healthy sharing of ideas, which may lead to social equilibrium, creativity and a time of peace and prosperity. She said she agreed with everything except for the "drug plants" part. My father didn't chime in, but his behavior suggested that he was feeling disgruntled.

 

All in all, it was a pleasant day, and I was mostly happy to be with my family. The positivity and relative openness of our conversations would make the events of the following morning all the more shocking to me. My sister and my nieces were scheduled to arrive for breakfast tomorrow and I had been up very early that morning, so I said “goodnight” and descended to the basement to sleep.

 

I woke up again at the crack of dawn and attempted to make myself a decaf coffee by pressing a coffee-cup-shaped button on my parents' fully-automated espresso machine. After a bizarre profusion of clacking and wheezing noises it ironically produced only one tiny drop of brownish translucent fluid. I pressed the button again, and thirty seconds later another sad little drop appeared in the bottom of my mug. Feeling intrigued but unsatisfied, I abandoned the mission, boiled the kettle and brewed a cup of strong mint tea. No matter, coffee isn't a friend of the mushroom anyway. As I tiptoed my way into the living room to crack open my book, my mother emerged from the dark of the hallway and said "good morning" in the way she always does, with a forced smile that almost resembles a smirk. This face she makes reminds me of an awkwardly grinning taxidermied yellowfin tuna that I once saw mounted on the wall of a backwoods fishing lodge in rural Ontario. It didn't occur to me until much later that it must have traveled a very long way to get to Ontario. Much to my relief, the nieces were sick and wouldn't be joining us. My sister is an obsessively suffocating helicopter mom; the sound of her rotor blades barking quickly sets my mind on edge, so I was pleased that I might have an opportunity to read my book in silence instead.

 

Unfortunately the silence was destined not to last. My father emerged from his hibernation earlier than usual, and for some reason he was very eager to talk at me this morning. I say "at me", because when it's time for my father to unload the contents of his unconscious, there is no point even attempting to slip a word in edgewise or otherwise. I'm often slow to gather the words to form a response that reflects how I truly feel, so I've been conditioned to simply bear the burden and listen until it's all over, or I'm at last provoked to anger. Today he wanted to gloat about the foolishness and laziness of the millennial generation, which turned out to be a roundabout way of accusing me of being foolish and lazy. Allegedly he employs only foreign workers because of their subservience and grateful willingness to work for a pittance; he doesn't employ white kids because they're entitled snobs who think they deserve the world on a silver platter. Sorry Pops, in no-man's-land everyone is a "foreigner", and exploiting minorities' stockholm syndrome to maximize profits is not something to be proud of.

 

I managed to barely squeak in my perspective by suggesting that perhaps millennials were struggling to find meaning in their lives due to ever-increasing poverty and the absence of healthy social tradition in our culture. I explained that cultural identity, which was systematically robbed from indigenous peoples all over the world, depends on a closely maintained relationship to the land, that initiatory systems involving plant sacraments were ubiquitous until very recently in the course of human evolution and should therefore be reexamined for their integral purpose as carriers of cultural memory. As usual, before I could complete my thought he rudely interjected with his opinion that "drugs" are gateways to demonic realms and both he and my mother (he often speaks on her behalf) were concerned that I had come under the control of an evil spirit. Just as had occurred in my youth so many times before, I was subjected to a torrent of asinine and hurtful accusations; I am corrupted by sin, and in order to be forgiven I must be cleansed with the holy blood of Christ who died on the cross for my wrongdoings, etcetera.

 

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Even though I had heard it all before, this time it felt like it must be an elaborate prank. Only a month prior to this, I had my parents over for lunch and I showed them my flowhood and custom fruiting chamber which, as luck would have it, was full of happy Psilocybe Mexicana mushrooms looking very pretty basking under their blue light. Being a distinguished medical scientist, my dad isn't totally immune to cool sciency stuff. In fact, he at least pretended to be a little intrigued and open minded about it, even proclaiming that he might consider trying to eat some one day. He had read about the silicon valley Smeagols who microdose to enhance their programming brujeria, and felt that he too could benefit from such a creative boost. That encounter left me feeling truly hopeful and elated, perhaps my father would come around after all, maybe there was some hope of having an emotionally mature parent in this lifetime. Alas, reality caught up to me as I returned to the present moment, in which my father was now looming over me exorcist style, almost foaming at the mouth while calling on Jesus to help cast out my demons. If I did not accept the blood of Christ, I was doomed to burn in hell for all of eternity. He actually said these things to me, over and over again. Yeah, right... I'm the one possessed by a demon.

 

The irony of the situation was so thick; it was as if the reality hologram crashed for a moment and there before me stood an artificial intelligence bugging out of control, system failure immanent. While being scapegoated for the repressed paranoiac fears of a fifty-nine-year-old man-child, I was being told that in order to be forgiven, I must accept the blood of some other scapegoat who may or may not have been crucified over two-thousand years ago under very similar psychological circumstances. Several times I politely asked him to leave me alone, but it was no use. I couldn't help but let out a chuckle as I held my face between my palms, which were trembling uncontrollably from the adrenaline surging through my veins. I immediately regretted it, but I couldn't help blurting out: "Do you realize that right at this moment, you are persecuting the one you claim to worship, and that the blood of Christ is nothing but a metaphor for a psychoactive plant sacrament?". This completely scrambled his circuits, and of course only furthered his rage. He never wanted to hear about psychoactive plants again in his household, I was possessed by demons, I was going to burn in hell; around and around spins the static feedback loop of the profane mind.

 

When I felt I had suffered more than enough of this insanity, I closed my book about the history of the druids and heretical Christians, picked myself up out of my chair and looked at my father in the eyes. I began to speak with all the cool composure I could muster: "You coward. I'm your son. I'm your fucking son!" With that, I walked downstairs, gathered my belongings up into my backpack, his taunting remarks now raining from above until I calmly walked through the door where, just beyond the threshold, freedom awaited me with wide open arms.

 

I spent the rest of the day downtown breathing sea air and trying not to grieve. I lazily browsed a few bookstores and watched big red crabs scuttle bravely out of their traps, allowing the weight of the morning's events to slowly sink into my soul. I found a very cool mushroom cultivation book circa 1966 which contains lots of fascinating information about the history of European mushroom growing techniques, with particular emphasis placed on the early days of cultivation in France. I was shown that I am a microcosm of history; my whole life is a resonant episodic reflection of the past compressed into a scintilla, a codon.

 

My doctor-dad is the rational scientific paradigm personified. He had a brief stint as a backwater hippy and dabbled a little in psychedelics, but gave them up when his own shadow scared the shit out of him. As child I was the guinea pig for his dietary supplements which he developed to exploit others' misfortunes for profit. Much to his credit, he battled head-to-head with the grim reaper during his days as an ER surgeon. While working for the coroner he cut open corpses to determine how material causation supposedly gives rise and fall to consciousness. My mother has never worked a day in her life, instead she devotes all of her time to the service of her husband, her diseased theology and the perfect execution of classical compositions on the violin. She is a living museum, a sad lost girl trying to impress her daddies. And I, the aborted son, am too much in love with death and the truth it harbors to be acceptable to them who have only been taught to flee from it in terror, or in my father's case, to literally combat it with surgical tools. “It's not their fault...” I told myself, “...but it certainly isn't mine either”. No one is to blame for reality, It exists only for Itself.

 

If I sound macabre and ungrateful, that is understandable. However, mine is a perfectly normal cathartic reaction to being disgraced and scapegoated by one's progenitors because of a hereditary archaic delusion. Inside of their souls lives a vacuous parasite that, unbeknownst to me, fed on my gentleness, tolerance and patience for years and years. All I ever wanted from them was their love and respect, to experience the virtues espoused by their own precious doctrine. Instead I became conditioned to believe that it was normal to feel empty and abandoned, because I had never known anything different. Now, at last, the parasites will have to find another source of nourishment.

 

Yes, for seventeen years they clothed and fed me; all of the material comforts were provided, but I never felt as if they knew me, or even wanted to. They never looked deep enough to see the treasure I was crafting in my inner world, deep within the forge of my soul. Even during my days of service as an unwitting member of their cannibalistic cult, my Sunday best was never good enough for them. I always have been, and always will be a heretic. And by that I mean, one who is able to choose. If I'm demon possessed, so be it. The devil who possesses me may as well be Sam-I-Am, the gastronomically deviant protagonist of Dr. Seuss' “Green Eggs and Ham”, a book that I gave to my little niece for her very first Christmas present. I hope that it will help her learn to vanquish the vile spirit of indifference that surely lies waiting in her future.

 

Green-eggs-ham-book5.jpg

 

I caught the bus back to my hometown and arrived after dark. During the walk home from the bus station I spotted several Amanita Phalloides mushrooms bathing under the glow of a street lamp in the same patch of grass where I see them every fall. Emperor Claudius came to mind, and I felt deeply ashamed at the pleasure that thought provided. I sat down on the curb, put my face in my hands and wept. When I sensed something approaching from the sidewalk to the left of me, I looked up and felt the cool breeze on my tear-soaked cheeks; a small black cat was trotting my way. It rubbed up against my leg and purred softly while I stroked its immortal charcoal coat.

 

That night I had two dreams. They were what I call “big dreams”, the kind of dreams that aren't dreams at all, but are actually “real”, in the sense that everything else is said to be real. In the first, I found myself peering into a small white windowless room in which two young orthodox Jewish men wearing yarmulke and sideburns sat at a table writing assiduously. Alerted to my presence, they craned their necks around to face me and stated in unison: “Shalom. We have two words for you: Mushroom. Holocaust." And that was all. In the next dream, my father was chasing me down an empty early-morning street under an overcast sky. Everything was gray and we moved in slow motion. My father was berating me and provoking my temper, so I stood my ground, turned to face him and began to beat him mercilessly with my fists until all signs of life had disappeared. An exposed, light-colored region of his lacerated face revealed not the bone-ivory of a skull, but rather what appeared to be electronic components.

 

And that, folks, is what an Oedipus complex looks like.

 

 

Mom and Dad and God - Suburban Lawns

[Direct Link]


Edited by DonShadow, 06 September 2018 - 11:56 PM.

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#2 onediadem

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:49 PM

That was a very hard read for me. Beautifully written, i went on that journey with you, and felt that burden of old that I let fall from me so long ago. Be grateful you were not subjected to an exorcism for being a nonconformist... I do not tolerate what had been shoved down my throat my entire upbringing, and they know to tread lightly with the topic. It has taken a couple decades to have the relationship I now have with them and it is only possible because they finally started respecting my boundaries. Perhaps someday, you too will see positive from them. Some things just take time.


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#3 Alder Logs

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 08:45 AM

Keep writing.


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#4 onediadem

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 12:11 PM

I agree. Your writing is engaging good enough to have something published.


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#5 DonShadow

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 04:27 PM

Thank you both for the kind words, it really means a lot to me. I will keep writing, as I don't seem to have much of a choice...
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#6 Oneyedraven

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 05:18 PM

I would agree with the other comments that your writing is very good, as an avid reader I sense you have a hidden novel already residing in you. I am sorry that you have had such a bad experience with organized religion. There are many paths to enlightenment and just as you veered from the path berry picking many forget why they believe and get lost in the how they believe. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
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#7 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 06:15 PM

Don... Incredible. I have read many of your awesome trip reports!

But this...this one hurt my heart. I am glad you have found your way. Thank you for sharing this.




Here is something I think will give you a laugh, while at the same time shows the insanity of Abrahamic religion.

[media]

[Direct Link]

[media]

This guy has made a bunch of these animations... Quite interesting.

Edited by SteampunkScientist, 10 September 2018 - 06:34 PM.

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#8 DonShadow

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 11:15 PM

Thanks Oneyedraven and SPS for the kind words. I appreciate the encouragement and I'm glad my rant had some value to you! I got some good laughs out of that video, especially Noah getting kicked by the kangaroo.

I wrote this story pretty quickly after the experience, and was definitely going through the motions at the time. I've had a chance to study a little about the behavior of narcissists and the scapegoating complex, and I've tried to see things from a variety of angles. Perhaps the scariest part about being the son of a narcissist, is the high likelihood of being a narcissist myself. By embodying the role of victim or scapegoat in my family, I automatically create a dichotomy or split between myself and the "other", in this case my father. Granted, I have tried very hard over the years to be tolerant of his behavior and as grateful and empathetic as I could be, knowing full well that he has many good qualities and is a very intelligent and often compassionate person.

The act of walking away on my part signified my defiance of his authority after having reached the critical stage at which tolerance was no longer possible. I think that this was a healthy reaction and has allowed me to observe a deeply ingrained habit of subservience in my behavior. Even my reply to Alder's encouragement exposes this in a deeply ironic fashion, since my claim of being a "heretic" (from Greek "hairetikos", meaning "able to choose") was immediately contradicted by my saying that I felt I didn't have a choice in writing.

It's true that I feel a lot of pressure to write, but I believe this comes from a genuine desire and is motivated not from an external authority, but from the authority that I am beginning to cultivate inside of myself. Of course, to simply swap the appeal to authority from my father or some sort of paternal God figure onto the mushroom could seem like a weak subversion of control, but through my experience I've gained the conviction that the mushroom does in fact contain an intelligence that operates paradoxically as both the observer and the observed, the controller and the controlled. I suspect that it still is the primary source of authority on this planet, and the perceived or apparent transference of authority from mushroom to man (perhaps even "the man") is directly related to mycophagy as a cultural tradition having been wiped out and forgotten. I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here but YMMV.

Edited by DonShadow, 11 September 2018 - 02:51 AM.

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#9 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 09:18 AM

Hey Don, the fact is we all have this tendency - that is to feel that there is an "other" we should please.  I have been reading about how this may be a leftover in our brains (a vestige) that promotes "herd behavior" and later "clan or tribe" behavior.  I believe this may have led to the development of gods and religions that basically take the place of "parents" as we get older within the development of the human species.   That could also be completely false as it is an area of research, but it is a compelling idea.

 

When that tendency is twisted by belief systems that attempt to lock us into certain behaviors that are no longer consistent with our societal systems, we can get pretty fucked up.  

 

In the end... we are the gods we are looking for.  That is, in my view, the whole "point" of evolution.  God has to come from somewhere and the phenomenon of Life itself is that purpose.

 

But most people are afraid of that concept, they don't want that responsibility.  Hell! I don't "want" that responsibility! But there it is.  Reality - it's not just for breakfast anymore.

 

The mushroom has opened my eyes in a similar fashion as yourself.  While my parents were very liberal in their understanding and practice of religion, I still have many family members who are quite a bit more fundamental - we have some "lively" discussions.

 

I cant possibly understand the visceral emotions and feelings you have gone through, but the fact that you have gone through them makes you stronger than you probably realize - many would not have made it.  I commend you.


Edited by SteampunkScientist, 11 September 2018 - 09:19 AM.

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#10 DonShadow

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:46 AM

Thanks SPS. I really appreciate your heartfelt words. The generosity and kindness presented on the mushroom forums has been critical for me over the past few years. I never cease to be amazed that a total stranger would want to read about my "problems" and even give thoughtful and caring feedback like you and so many others have done. A big thank-you to all 'topiates for providing this amazing vehicle for expression. My hope is that I'll eventually get over myself to such an extent that I shift my focus, give back and exude this same gracious spirit. Please always feel free to not take me seriously and to point out my bullshit, as I know that I have the capacity to be pretty foolish and probably narcissistic. I think I'm getting better at recognizing it when it happens, and I understand the mechanism of catharsis and it's role in self-reflexivity. The primary motivation of my life is to learn, to be a help rather than a hindrance. Onward!

Edited by DonShadow, 15 September 2018 - 01:51 AM.

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#11 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 09:13 AM

Thanks SPS. I really appreciate your heartfelt words. The generosity and kindness presented on the mushroom forums has been critical for me over the past few years. I never cease to be amazed that a total stranger would want to read about my "problems" and even give thoughtful and caring feedback like you and so many others have done. A big thank-you to all 'topiates for providing this amazing vehicle for expression. My hope is that I'll eventually get over myself to such an extent that I shift my focus, give back and exude this same gracious spirit. Please always feel free to not take me seriously and to point out my bullshit, as I know that I have the capacity to be pretty foolish and probably narcissistic. I think I'm getting better at recognizing it when it happens, and I understand the mechanism of catharsis and it's role in self-reflexivity. The primary motivation of my life is to learn, to be a help rather than a hindrance. Onward!

 

Ha ha, oh man! I hear you!  I need the same bullshit meter, because believe me we all also have that tendency (or at least I do) to say, think, and do stupid shit - and I seem to have a problem recognizing (or smelling) my own bullshit.  Luckily, there are plenty of persons here on the Topia who will gently, but firmly, point that out to you.  This makes us all better persons, and this world is damn sure in need of that my friend!

 

Here is a little tip my grandfather and dad left with me that I cherish: "Son, in life you will be knocked down.  Over and over.  If, however, you always get up one more time than you get knocked down, you cannot help but succeed."

 

Peace and good vibes to you brother!


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#12 Alder Logs

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 09:52 AM

On submarines, is was always to be sure to keep the number of surfaces equal to the number of dives. 

 

Remember this, you are the seeing that sees even the seeing.  If the idea of what is seen changes, that is in the seeing which hasn't changed, but is ever here.  The True doesn't change.   If It puts on an identity of limited perspective, it only hides 'what is' for a moment, and when the charade is over, it is known to have never been more than pretend.   It only seems we stand outside of ourselves, for in reality, we cannot.   In the end of all our efforts, all of our striving to be and do, we see the true path is not a path, and effort was never needed to be what we are.   Actions arise with no illusion of an actor.   We made that guy up.  


Edited by Alder Logs, 15 September 2018 - 09:53 AM.

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#13 Coopdog

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 04:38 PM

That was a heartwrenching thing to read, but as others said I could have kept on reading it all day. Man I felt every bit of it to the core of my soul. I finally moved 3,000 miles across country to escape the disdain of my parents. Mine was a little different but similar in structure. My dad was a hardass vicious biker when I was growing up, and he wanted me to be as ruthless as he is. I could always handle my own, and pretty well at that, but I always had a kind heart and never wanted to hurt anyone and NEVER went looking for trouble. Instead I was an avid reader and went to the state spelling Bee's which he had total disdain and even anger about. My grandmother took me. Mom and dad were not even interested. The only way I ever got a good word and a nod from my Dad is if I knocked the hell out of some kid down the block and for years I thought that was the way I needed to be before I met my wife who put up with a lot of nonsense before she finally guided me back to the light. 

 

Now 35 years later, I am a musician, a published author, worked a career in a well respected industry that I am proud of. I call home once a week or so to get my weekly ration of abuse, but really got no intention of going back there again. I only found out two years ago that Dad is functionally illiterate and that is why he had such disdain for my interests. I honestly had no idea. He always read the newspaper every day, or so I thought. I was never psysically abused at home, but man the mental wounds are raw to this day. I forgive all of it, but have no intention of partaking in it anymore whatsoever. Hang in there man, you are doing honorably well despite what they think. 

 

Peace...


Edited by Coopdog, 15 September 2018 - 04:40 PM.

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#14 Coopdog

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 03:53 PM

lol I hate it that the edit button disappears after I see typos in something I wrote. Oh well



#15 onediadem

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 05:01 PM

LOL, I hate editing my posts. I will post again before I edit anything 99.99999999% of the time, and when I do it is to fix my purple post lol. We had a problem at another forum I admin'd at where a mod actually got pissed off because he didn't like a new policy and started deleting every post he had made. I was able to get in and ban him before he destroyed a lot of material.



#16 DonShadow

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 09:33 PM

Here is a little tip my grandfather and dad left with me that I cherish: "Son, in life you will be knocked down.  Over and over.  If, however, you always get up one more time than you get knocked down, you cannot help but succeed."

 

 

Remember this, you are the seeing that sees even the seeing.

 

It's really helpful to hear these kinds of reminders. Thanks again fellas.

 

That was a heartwrenching thing to read, but as others said I could have kept on reading it all day. Man I felt every bit of it to the core of my soul. I finally moved 3,000 miles across country to escape the disdain of my parents. Mine was a little different but similar in structure. My dad was a hardass vicious biker when I was growing up, and he wanted me to be as ruthless as he is. I could always handle my own, and pretty well at that, but I always had a kind heart and never wanted to hurt anyone and NEVER went looking for trouble. Instead I was an avid reader and went to the state spelling Bee's which he had total disdain and even anger about. My grandmother took me. Mom and dad were not even interested. The only way I ever got a good word and a nod from my Dad is if I knocked the hell out of some kid down the block and for years I thought that was the way I needed to be before I met my wife who put up with a lot of nonsense before she finally guided me back to the light. 

 

Now 35 years later, I am a musician, a published author, worked a career in a well respected industry that I am proud of. I call home once a week or so to get my weekly ration of abuse, but really got no intention of going back there again. I only found out two years ago that Dad is functionally illiterate and that is why he had such disdain for my interests. I honestly had no idea. He always read the newspaper every day, or so I thought. I was never psysically abused at home, but man the mental wounds are raw to this day. I forgive all of it, but have no intention of partaking in it anymore whatsoever. Hang in there man, you are doing honorably well despite what they think. 

 

Peace...

 

Thanks a lot for this thoughtful post Coop, it's a pleasure to meet a fellow writer! What you said about your dad feeling disdain for you as a result of his illiteracy was relatable, and may also reveal some of your inspiration to write. It seems to me that we consciously or unconsciously attempt to resolve some of our parents weaknesses, and of course this poses a threat to their sense of power and control over us.

 

Despite that my dad is a highly intelligent and educated man, he has an anti-intellectual streak that always seems to ignite when I talk about anything that doesn't fit his world model. I always appreciate hearing about his scientific knowledge; I truly am lucky that so much of it rubbed off on me, but it's a one-way-street...he doesn't seem to think it's possible that I might know something that he doesn't know. It's all just standard father-son shit I'm sure. Anyway, the whole situation has been pretty illuminating. I don't have hard feelings toward my folks and I suspect we'll more-or-less patch things up sooner or later, but now I know to be more strategic about what I say and do in their presence. There's still plenty of love in my heart for them, and I don't need them to see my point of view to give them that love.



#17 Alder Logs

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 10:38 AM

I have been searching online for a old talk from the '90s by John Robbins, author of Diet For a New America.  He was to have been heir to the billion dollar Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream fortune, but refused.    The story of his split and reconciliation with his father was brought to mind here.  I could not find that '90s recording.  In John Robbins' case, his book was directly instrumental in saving many years of life for his father, when it had to him, represented the son's total rejection of all his values.   He only read the book when ordered to by his doctor, and his extreme case of diabetes was reversed.   Father and son became great friends.  

 

With myself and my father, long after he had tossed me and my future wife out of his vacation trailer for drying peppermint out on the wall, thinking it was marijuana, we finally reunited.  But there could never be open communications between the hippie son and the Nixon Republican.  


Edited by Alder Logs, 17 September 2018 - 10:44 AM.

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#18 DonShadow

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 06:45 PM

I have been searching online for a old talk from the '90s by John Robbins, author of Diet For a New America.  He was to have been heir to the billion dollar Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream fortune, but refused.    The story of his split and reconciliation with his father was brought to mind here.  I could not find that '90s recording.  In John Robbins' case, his book was directly instrumental in saving many years of life for his father, when it had to him, represented the son's total rejection of all his values.   He only read the book when ordered to by his doctor, and his extreme case of diabetes was reversed.   Father and son became great friends.  

 

With myself and my father, long after he had tossed me and my future wife out of his vacation trailer for drying peppermint out on the wall, thinking it was marijuana, we finally reunited.  But there could never be open communications between the hippie son and the Nixon Republican.  

 

You have no idea how relatable this is. Sharing this was very intuitive on your part, thanks. My father has a fairly dangerous and unpredictable heart condition. He often complains provocatively about how his aortic valve could rupture and kill him at any moment. My father has always been a severe workaholic and a fanatical exerciser. All throughout my childhood and teens he would force me to exercise with him to the point that I thought I was dying, and that is no exaggeration. The deep irony here is that my father is addicted to his own endogenous stress hormones, and the weakness of his heart is a direct result of pushing himself to the brink of collapse for so many years. His unconscious search for ecstasy destroyed his heart, and passed on to me severe anxiety that I've only recently learned to cope with. I have a feeling my dad won't slow down until his heart gives out. Adrenaline, cortisol and endorphins are dangerous drugs.


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#19 Psilocyduck

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 10:59 AM

Man, this was a really hard read for me especially since it is so hard to relate to. My family was the complete opposite. They even introduced me to Marijuana because they wanted me to feel safe and comforted. They were a lot more like friends than family. Though they are now divorced I still keep in touch with them sometimes and occasionally come to visit and toke a bowl with mom. - After reading this, I can see so much more clearly why people have a hard time believing in Jesus. As a devout believer, I revolve my faith around Him. But by no means would I ever know how to interact with the character that your family is. My faith is that one day your family makes you so comfortable that you pinch yourself to see if it is a dream. Looking forward to many more threads to read from you DonShadow :)


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#20 Alder Logs

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 12:01 PM

I was listening to Chris Hedges, who is a Presbyterian minister with a Harvard Divinity School background, before becoming a war correspondent.   He said, "Jesus didn't come here to make us rich."   Many self-identified Christians don't seem to get this, and their faith and belief becomes an impenetrable arrogance.  They believe they know something which they don't, and everyone within their orbit suffers for it.   Of course, it's not exclusive to any particular religion or social division.    It's us and them, and they define us, and woe be to whoever does not conform.   Even if we reject the conditionings we were taught, what can be missed is that we were taught that we must ascribe to some flavor of conditioning.   So, escape from the pathology of being something, being something that is definable, is very difficult. 

 

A high form of grace is to heed that urge in us to not be any more than being.   It is the urge for the freedom which we deep down know we are.   "No, I am not that."  If we can say that about the things we have believed ourselves to be, we break free of the bonds of karma itself.   The only thing that ends in such a seeing is what never was.  


Edited by Alder Logs, 19 September 2018 - 12:03 PM.

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