Friday, December 31, 2021

7 Goals for 2022, Provided the World Doesn't Collapse

As I mentioned in my last post, I've come to peace with the reality that civilization is burning down and there's probably not anything that can be done to stave off a total collapse. I don't know if it'll happen in a year or a decade, but it's coming and it's inevitable at this point. We've just gone too far off the rails. We're too atomized, too fearful, too obedient to the forces that manipulate us for their own ends. 

Too many people are OK with resegregation, with reverse racism, with subordinating biology to feelings, with creating a new class of untouchables and banishing them from society, with the politicization of science to manufacture and enforce specific social and political outcomes and to protect the ideologies and financial interests of our institutions of power, the likes of which we haven't seen since Galileo butted heads with the medieval church. 

Too many people are incapable of independent thought. Too many people hand over their brains to the leaders of the tribes they identify with and the ideologies they're told to embrace. Too many people are too self-absorbed with whatever micro-identity they choose to make themselves feel special in a world that doesn't care about your feelings or how special and unique you are. And we're all compelled to nod our heads and celebrate as others play pretend, denying the evidence of our own two eyes, as if someone can simply identify into manhood or womanhood like they were interchangeable costumes.

We've become surrounded by legions of masked zombies, conditioned to believe that immune systems are a dangerous right-wing conspiracy, who scream at us to respect their pronouns and check our white privilege, while their Woke High Priests threaten to cancel us for violating their dogma, unless we bend the knee, rebuke our wrongthink, and confess our Original Sin of being born white. 

And thus it is, in a culture where everything has to be hyperpoliticized, that logic, reason, individual liberty, personal autonomy, and the right to free thought and free speech are giving way to authoritarian superstition and irrational hysteria, as we sink into a new Dark Age.  

And it's all being accelerated by a sanity-shattering climate in which humans are discouraged from even making human contact, as we're relentlessly conditioned to see every other human as a walking disease -- as if our bodies lack the ability to fight off a respiratory virus with a whopping 2% death rate. 

Had I known a decade ago that the world would go so utterly insane, I probably would have opted for another pet over a child. I dread to think of the world my poor daughter will have to grow up in. So in 2022, I intend to simply do more of what's in my control to do, in hopes of making her life tolerable and our family's existence an act of quiet defiance against the status quo, inasmuch as I intend for us to live as normal a life as possible, in spite of the madness raining down all around us.

My goals for the new year, then, are as follows:

To be as good of a husband and dad as I can. That means hoping my body holds out so I can continue to provide for my family, but also making sure I balance work with personal time. My wife works tremendously hard to keep our house functioning, and I probably don't thank or support her enough for all her selfless dedication. My daughter, meanwhile, needs plenty of dad time. She comes to me to learn, to ask questions, to feel secure, to have fun. She likes playing card and board games, and she wants me to join her in some of her videogame worlds. I need to manage my time so I can do that. I know how much it will mean to her. 

To be a better Stoic. We began exploring the ancient philosophy in 2021, and I think I need to keep at it. I see how angry my daughter gets at the stupidity in the world outside our door. I used to be the same way, just filled with rage at everything and everyone. It's hard not to feel that way. I've managed to find a somewhat better balance by tuning out the divisive propaganda of the 24/7 news cycle. Whatever will happen will happen, whether I complain about it or not. I used to crap all over social media griping about the state of the world, but it didn't change anything. It only served to stress me out. So why do it? No one cares, just like no one will read this blog post. But at least this is my only outlet now, and it's a rare outlet at that. I'd rather focus on what I can control and find the equanimity to tune the rest out, to the best of my ability. 

To be more mindful of personal spending. Because I'm not getting any younger, and you never know what financially trying times lie ahead.

To simplify. We have a big house that's full of clutter. I have a strong desire to purge.

To try to at least maintain my current level of health. Every day is a challenge when you feel miserable all the time, you never know what affliction awaits you next, and you've given up hope that the doctors will ever figure things out. But I intend to hang in there for as long as I can. My goal is to at least see my daughter grow up. 

To indulge my new hobbies of mixology and sartorial peculiarity. We're trying out a new cocktail a day, and I got a drink-a-day book for Christmas. I enjoy experimenting with various flavors and adding a bit of spirits to our meals. I've discovered that I enjoy gin, tequila, and vodka, but not so much whiskey, brandy, and rum. I already knew I enjoyed port wine, sweet reds, and some kinds of beers. So I'm just expanding my horizons to see both where things go and what flavors are out there.

As for the sartorial part, I've taken recently to wearing bow ties. I don't like neckties, but my daughter gave me the idea of trying a bow tie with my Sunday church attire. I like the way the experiment is going so far. I feel a little better about myself when I dress up and figure it might even help me feel less ill all the time, as a good frame of mind counts for a lot. And I've already noticed that people seem to treat you with more respect if you dress well. They're more likely to strike up a conversation. Or maybe it's just the peculiarity of the bow tie that acts as an icebreaker. I guess time will tell.

To continue my spiritual growth. Though I was born and raised Catholic. I've come to terms with understanding Christian teaching in a metaphorical way. It's impossible for me to take any of it literally. I continue go to church because it's comforting and familiar, and I'll probably continue to go to our local Latin Mass until the horrible, petty little bureaucratic bully of a pope that runs the church kills off the traditional Mass once and for all. I may split my time between the Latin Mass and the Byzantine Catholic liturgy, though the Byzantines live over in the jackboot people's republic of Washington, whose proto-fascist governor could at any time declare that papers be shown and useless masks be worn as a condition of entry even into a place of worship. We have none of that nonsense affecting the Orthodox church here in North Idaho, which is like the Byzantine Catholic church in all ways except that I'm not invited to communion with the Orthodox -- and I don't think I have the stamina or the patience to go through the long catechism classes that the Orthodox require before I can partake in what Christ offered freely to everyone at the Last Supper. 

I'll probably continue developing my own theological system that incorporates Taoism, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, the Kabbalah, the Sacred Feminine, and a little bit of Hinduism and Christianity, mixed with bits of Jung, Alan Watts, Jiddu Krishnamurti, the idealistic pandeism of Bernardo Kastrup, the notion of a universal consciousness, and more. I have a book rolling around in my head that lays out all the tenets. I envision an intertwined three-part story that involves new scripture, an academic explanation, and an imagined conversation in an abandoned church between the Virgin Mary and Lilith, whom I envision as one of the most maligned and misunderstood characters in all of Judeo-Christian history and legend. I was going to join an online seminary program in 2022, with the end goal of taking holy orders in a few years, with the laying on of hands, apostolic succession through the Old Catholic order, and all that comes with it. I'm already an ordained minister and hold a Th.D. degree, but the idea of being an actual ordained priest holds great appeal. I just don't know if my dodgy health will hold out. Even if I started an actual church as a priest, there are periods stretching for weeks at a time where I can barely get myself vertical. So I just don't know, physically, if I could do it. That's something I need to weigh before I take the next step.

Meanwhile, my daughter, who considers herself a Taoist like her mom, is also thinking she might want to give Wicca a whirl. Being the most spiritually knowledgeable one in the house, I'll have to be the one to get her up to speed so she can properly assess the belief system and see if it's something she'll want to pursue. 

I also plan to keep up our daily Zen habit of drawing ensos, to help us embrace imperfection and spontaneity. And I intend to finally go through with my plans to devote one day a week to being silent, in an effort to remind myself of how much mindless chatter we all engage in, and to cultivate my own mindfulness. I hate talking anyway, so I don't think this will be too hard.


That's seven goals for 2022, and that's plenty. At a bare minimum, I just hope I can stay vertical and sane for another year. 

Fingers crossed.

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