Somewhat relevant to my comment on my last reblog:

Easy, far too easy to flip the switch-
Black to white or night to day or
You to us.  Poison comfort, the smooth,
Swift, foot-worn fall, no finish
But impact; well-traveled but only safe
As known end on the butcher’s block
Is safe.  The mad surge down the
(Self-made) one-way desolation road
Ignores the real, the many and multiplying
Unstable lights and shades of the cycling hours,
The myriad colors manifesting the restless world,
The danced flow of discourse, mind to mind,
Heart to heart; hand touching hand, accepting
Humbly, that truth cannot be reduced:
Is single, is plural, is static and shifting,
Layer on layer, webbed with wonder.



On Madness, Hallucinations, Being Wrong, Magic, and Belief

Truth is multiple. There is scientific truth, religious truth, mythic truth, poetic truth. My truth, your truth, their truth, our truth.

Sex, Gods, and Rock Stars

People frequently ask me, “How come I can’t perceive spirits/energy/Gods/ghosts?” Others want validation that what they sense – whether it be visual, audio, tactile, or even smell and touch – is “real” in some way. Some see the way I move in the world, where I take for granted that the things I perceive, including things that aren’t easily sensed by our everyday senses, and beg me to teach them how.

You (yes, you) are already seeing things that aren’t there. You’re already perceiving things that your intelligence can’t easily explain. The problem is, it’s happening without your conscious will for it to happen. The things I’m thinking of happen whether you want them to or not.

Let’s start with the most basic. Every person has a “blind spot”. This is a place where your optic nerve passes though the retina, which prevents visual processing. But it’s not like everywhere…

View original post 3,655 more words

Musings on compassion

So, this is something else from my LJ archive… I posted it to another blog already, but since that one seems to be inactive right now, I thought it would go better here.

At Home in the Sacred Grove

Hughby Aed Dubh

This is the first in a series of posts I’m digging out of my LJ archive because I think they have relevance here…

People are all exactly alike. There’s no such thing as a race and barely such a thing as an ethnic group. If we were dogs we’d be the same breed. George Bush and an Australian aborigine have fewer differences than a lhasa apso and a toy fox terrier. A Japanese raised in Riyadh would be an Arab. A Zulu raised in New Rochelle would be an orthodontist. I wish I could say I found this out by spending arctic nights on ice floes with Inuit elders and by sitting with tribal medicine men over fires made of human bones in Madagascar. But, actually, I found it out by sleeping around. People are the same, though their circumstances differ terribly.

– P. J. O’Rourke

View original post 863 more words

Belated: National Suicide Awareness Day and Thoughts About Suicide from your Friendly Neighborhood Madness Shaman

As someone a) whose spouse has depression (relatively well-treated and managed) and made at least one (long-ago) suicide attempt and b) who has had the occasional suicidal ideation and c) who has once (long ago) held a gun to his head, I can really appreciate this post.

Sex, Gods, and Rock Stars

This isn’t going to be easy to write, so please bear with me.

I have a long and complex relationship with suicide. When I learned that yesterday was National Suicide Awareness Day, I felt I wanted to write something to encourage those who may be contemplating suicide to get help if they can. Y’know, one of those posts that lists a bunch of hotlines and websites where you can talk to someone if you’re thinking about killing yourself.

I couldn’t bring myself to write it, and at first I didn’t know why. So I meditated about it, and eventually the truth began to come out of the confusion. I wouldn’t be able to write an essay about why you should get help if you’re suicidal because I am in the midst of a depressive episode, and it would either be, or feel an awful lot like, hypocritical if I gave…

View original post 2,977 more words