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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

130 Years and Disengagement

I won’t apologize for my infrequent blogging of late. It’s just the way the ball is bouncing at this current stage. I’ve been preoccupied and not only not writing, but not surfing other blogs.

I figured that I better try to crank something out now because it’s only going to get worse in the coming days. Procrastinator that I am, I’m going to be completely sunk in the swamp of tax preparation for the next week or so—a task even more overwhelming this year due to re-opening my business after a retirement with a lifespan rivaling that of the fruit fly.

To those tempted to say, “Get an accountant,” forget it. I’m a cheapskate.

Immediately following this tempest, comes a more pleasant, but very time-consuming task—nailing down itineraries and accommodations for our European vacation this summer. Jill and I have just completed our decade-turning birthdays (60 and 70), and we decided to celebrate 130 years of combined existence with our first-ever joint European trip.

So, best to get in a post now, before the deluge hits.

There’s been another wrinkle getting in the way of my blogging—admittedly a bit esoteric, but perhaps a dynamic worth mentioning.

Reaching this milestone birthday has been something of an emotional challenge. A change of perspective is needed. One’s usual linear and physical way of looking at the world will only make you depressed when you contemplate the amount of time you’ve been hanging around, vis-à-vis how little is left.

I refuse to spend that remaining time in a state of depression. It ain’t gonna happen. So, the spiritual orientation becomes doubly important at this stage. I don’t mean New-Agey magical thinking horseshit. I mean a change in the way one regards the “self.”--elevating the consciousness to a level where one is operating from a broader perspective than just that of the body/mind mechanism.

I’ve found that one of the best tools for facilitating this shift is an exercise recommended by Florinda Donner, the former sidekick to Carlos Castaneda and one of the sorcerer’s apprentices to the late don Juan Matus.

She suggests writing a journal every day in which you do not allow yourself to refer to yourself in the first person. Your journal ends up sounding something like this: “Tom mulls over the notion that_________.” “Tom concludes that___________, yet he is concerned that____________.” Ultimately he decides to_____________.” “He notices that he’s feeling________,” and so on.

It’s very stilted, of course, but when I practice this exercise, I notice that the self, or ego-consciousness, does seem to recede somewhat. Feared burdens begin feeling lighter, possibilities greater, daily events more enjoyable. This is a space I want to occupy more often. It’s an excellent antidote to worrying about your freakin’ age.

Blogging, on the other hand, is all I, I, and more I—which is fine. It’s what we want from reading a blog—to experience the I writing the blog. It’s the heart and soul of good blogging. But, as I attempt to disengage from ego-consciousness, I wonder if the first-person requirement of blog writing will complicate my efforts.

Well, I won’t find out without trying.

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