Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Thank You Diane Rosen

Diane Rosen, when I was a ween, and my father used to beat me... would remind me that he was the one with the problem, not me. Well, thank you again Diane. She has been dead for many years now, but she inspired a song... in spirit she reminded me that the one who has recently abused me terribly, is the one with the problem, that like my father, some people can only feel complete in themselves by projecting their pain onto others, and causing hurt, deep hurt, any way they can, with an endless recourse of tools of torment.

These people carry that pain in the way we who they hurt do not. We heal and grow. They keep it all buried within, leaving more and more injured people in their wake, and wondering why... hurting others rather than taking a moment of self reflection.

So, I wrote a song, inspired by Diane's wisdom, which has already been doing well at the busking... called "Goodbye to you now Amy Gray". It is a metaphor for learning not to let these people into your soul ( or your ego ).

Thanks Diane,
I'm remembering you now,


At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Mike Harwood-Evans said...

Damn but you Quakers spend a lot of time thinking about your own dumbass selves, don't you? Why don't you get off your ass and do good shit for the world... what the hell is religion for anyway. Dump the "good book" in the trash and ... no... SELL the damn thing and buy some CDs. Get some rock and roll or some jazz and stop giving us all this crap about your soul

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Dyske said...

This is an interesting topic. Why does one get “hurt” by others? When people commonly use the word “hurt” in an emotional sense, they are almost always referring to their own egos (as you noted at the end.), but not consciously. If you identify yourself with your own ego, you cannot step back and see it. That is, you feeling hurt and your ego feeling hurt are one and the same thing. To be able to say that your ego is feeling hurt, you have to have some degree of separation between you and your own ego. If you can see your own ego objectively, i.e., if you don’t identify yourself with your own ego, then any offense towards your ego would not hurt you.

Whenever I feel offended, frustrated, or hurt by someone, my own ego becomes clearly visible, and I realize that those feelings are in fact self-inflicted. What your friend, Diane Rosen, did was to remind you that you were hurting yourself for no good reason. There were feelings of doubt, guilt, or fear in you that were unnecessary, or inappropriate. Kids especially need to be reminded of that because they have absolutely no separation between themselves and their egos. They don’t understand what they are feeling. However, I think it would be inappropriate to extend her advice to your current problem. You are not a kid anymore. No one has an unfair advantage like your father did over you.

As I said before, all the people you know in your life are part of your own ego. This person, Amy, for instance, is part of your ego also. Just as you may not know accurately who you are, you do not know Amy accurately either. Who you think Amy is, is different from what Amy truly is. Who I think Lorcan Otway is, is different from who he really is. My image of Lorcan Otway is thus part of my ego. If you were to hurt me, it happens between my image of Lorcan Otway and my image of myself.

You might tell me that you’ve known Amy for years, but that is irrelevant. Knowing someone is not a function of time spent together. Quite often, the more time you spend with someone, the less you know that person, because you come to take many things for granted. One can only understand others within your own experiential framework. Any aspects of that person that lie outside of that framework is beyond your own comprehension, regardless of how smart, insightful, or experienced you think you are.

So, it is unavoidable that Amy who hurt you is in fact your own creation. You let her into your “soul” by creating her image in your ego. This image of Amy created a conflict with the image of yourself, and the latter was destabilized in the process. And, you feel hurt because you identify yourself with the latter. Since Amy is part of your own ego, you need her to be a certain kind of person. The stronger her presence is in your ego, the stronger that need is. If she were to deny your need for her to be a certain way, or if she contradicts your image of her, she would end up hurting you.

The same thing happens with yourself. You have a certain image of who you think you are, and sometimes that image is contradicted by the reality. You might have an image of being a great singer, but you meet someone who is ten times better than you are, and that image of yourself is shaken. You might think you are a mature, calm person, but one day you get really angry and end up behaving violently. That night, you might feel bad about yourself because you contradicted the image of yourself.

These bad feelings all come from the discrepancies between the images you have in your head and the reality. If you spend less time being concerned about these images, and just observe who you are without judging yourself, you could avoid a lot of unnecessary feelings of hurt. For instance, in the above example with behaving violently, it is because you created this image of yourself as a clam person that it makes you feel bad. Forget that image. You just say to yourself, “Wow, I didn’t know I had that kind of violence in me.” Nothing more. No need to judge yourself. You are who you are, regardless of what your ego thinks you are.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Yes and no... there is such a thing as another inflicting intentional harm, for example my father beating me, or someone who uses control over you in order to get you to act in ways that are harmful - who are aware of the harm they do, but do it anyway.

There are miriad harms one person does to another, and yes many we do to ourselves.

This metiphor which is Amy is about harms done by those who use others... intentional harm done for the ego of one at the cost of another... and sure, it would be nice to smile and walk on, no matter what the harm, but sometimes it takes art to look inside and see that the harm is the illness of the other and not you.

My father used to leave real bruses, not a brused ego... and like many, I thought I was at fault for that injury... it leaves one quick to take more than one's share of the responcibility for the pain caused, sometimes intentionally by others.

Well, hell, Dyske... one evening I will either sing you the song, or give you a copy of the recording, then we can discuss it from the point of view of is the art honest, and therefore Quaker art, eh?

Thanks for the thoughts...
I am not brushing them off... much of what you say is right, but we also are hurt by others, in many ways, I would not tell.

all the best


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