Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 7/3/12 questions and discussion

From: Jim
Sent on: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 8:59 PM
IMO OCD's get stuck in an ultimately self-destructive (or at least  
very limiting) loop, often reinforced by overly well-meaning  
sympathetic others. How do you say to a suffering person, "it's time  
to get over it"?

Those of strong mind who know how to process the pain (engaging  
others constructively) and move on in the end have a good chance of  
carrying on with a satisfying life. Seems like Andrusela is in that  
camp. A sante.

Jim Baker



On Jul 11, 2012, at 12:08 AM, Andrusela wrote:

> After all the agonizing over my husband's passing. "Why him?" etc. I
> have settled on the old "shit happens" theory of life. What is more
> important to me now is what we do about it afterwards. Do we reach out
> and help those to whom shit happens or do we just say "sucks to be
> you?" I find this question more interesting.
>
> On 7/10/12, Jon Anderson <[address removed]> wrote:
>> 7/3/12 questions and discussion
>>
>>
>> 1-is it better that religions hold together better than secular
>> organizations?4
>> 2-are professional/semi-pr­ofessional sports good for us?4
>> 3-are the olympics good for us?4
>> 4-what's the root of the controversy in America: Is it supreme court
>> interpretation or legislative design that's responsible?5
>> 5-how do we rationalize the bad things happening to good people?6
>> 6-what's the difference between good and  bad stress?4
>>
>> ====================­==
>>
>> 5-how do we rationalize the bad things happening to good people?6
>>
>> Jim: it's a common thing, but it's personal to me right now. My  
>> niece just
>> got lymphoma. She's like a daughter to me. How do people  
>> rationalize this?
>> She's done nothing to deserve it. Looking at life through the lens  
>> of why
>> bad things are happening to good people, we would all despair at  
>> the volume
>> of it; there's so much suffering! What do I do? I restrict my  
>> scope -- I
>> focus mostly on the people in my family/among my friends -- to  
>> keep from
>> pessimism. The good in that sample is outweighed by the bad. So I  
>> keep it
>> small.
>>
>> Dick: time heals.
>>
>> Jim: I have things from my past that I am still haunted by.
>>
>> Jon: "comedy = tragedy + time". Apparently our species evolved its
>> psychology to place greater emphasis on the well-being of those we  
>> are
>> closest to. This makes sense if we need the groups we are a part  
>> of to
>> survive. Interest in the welfare of other groups might even harm the
>> survivability of our own groups.
>>
>> Jim: it's unworkable to worry about people beyond one's circle
>>
>> Julene: empathy makes us hurt for others
>>
>> Jim: but how do we weigh the good vs. the bad? My niece means more  
>> to me
>> than all those starving kids in Africa.
>>
>> Julene: kin selection is based on genetics, closely related.
>>
>> John: is Jim asking why good people are given bad breaks?
>>
>> Jim: in part. Most of us here have gone through our lives with good
>> attitudes, so we have apparently accepted the bad. It's the only  
>> way it can
>> be. What's our philosophy about badness?
>>
>> John: religion has theodicy. Christians spend a lot of time  
>> thinking about
>> it. It's Original Sin. Our inherent badness guarantees bad luck.  
>> Some think
>> it happens in proportion to the bad we do in life. Pat Robertson/ 
>> Jerry
>> Falwell alternately claimed our sinfulness caused Katrina and  
>> 9/11. That is
>> almost always is the reason in the old testament (minus the Book  
>> of Job).
>> God's answer to Job is "who are you to ask?" The explanation for  
>> war and
>> Hitler is the same; god didn't do that, sin did it. This  
>> explanation leaves
>> out natural disasters. The last explanation given is that if these  
>> people
>> stricken with bad luck were good people when alive, then they're  
>> going to a
>> better place (heaven).
>>
>> Jon: and you?
>>
>> John: most of the suffering I'm connected with isn't physical (mental
>> illness). Mental illness is hard to understand.
>>
>> Jon: are you willing to discuss your mom, how you feel about her  
>> mental
>> health issues?
>>
>> John: I haven't given it much thought. Her mental illness has  
>> always been
>> there. Growing up with it I never could be certain how responsible  
>> my mother
>> was/is for her illness.
>>
>> Julie: control is less important than how we deal with its lack or
>> abundance.
>>
>> Jim: I wish prayer made a difference.
>>
>> Dick: when Drue Sjodin was abducted and murdered people hated her  
>> killer.
>> Several cases emerges thereafter that weren't as hated, was it  
>> because she
>> was pretty, young?
>>
>> Jim: recently a 6th grader put a video up on Youtube of his and  
>> his peer's
>> taunting of their school bus monitor. It generated lots of  
>> disgust. Even the
>> kids involved later lamented their involvement.
>>
>> John: there's always more public grief at the death of a young  
>> woman, even
>> more than kids. We feel more intensely about people in the prime  
>> of life and
>> if they're physically attractive it's intensified. For example, the
>> comparison between our reactions to Princess Di and Mother  
>> Theresa. Each
>> occurred near the other yet Di's death attracted much more press/ 
>> public
>> interest.
>>
>> Jon: 9/11 seemed to be an exception to the focus on one's small group
>> (friends and family). I vividly remember how other western nations  
>> declared
>> "we are all Americans now." In this case the group was those  
>> involved in
>> civilization. All developed countries felt attacked by 9/11. I was  
>> amazed to
>> observe my own reactions to that event. For the first time in my  
>> life I felt
>> patriotic.
>>
>> Jim: it was spectacular.
>>
>> Dick: gunshot injuries/deaths far surpass those deaths on 9/11 yet  
>> we pay
>> little attention to it.
>>
>> John: 9/11 was an attack that set off fear of the destruction of  
>> an entire
>> society. That kind of fear can paralyze a society. Gun violence is  
>> not
>> perceived in the same way. The context in which crime occurs, in  
>> which
>> suffering occurs plays a role in our estimation of it. A woman  
>> killed after
>> work in her company's parking ramp is viewed more sympathetically  
>> than is a
>> woman killed late at night outside a bar.
>>
>> Jon: blame the victim?
>>
>> John: the pimp is engaged in an activity with death as an  
>> occupational
>> hazard. A rape out of the blue is different than a drunken woman  
>> at a party.
>> If I'm hanging around in a high crime area I bear some liability  
>> should
>> something bad happen to me while there.
>>
>> Jim: if we look at the suffering of our loved ones we realize that  
>> safety
>> illusory . Hemingway's book (John Donne's poem): Ask not for whom  
>> the bell
>> tolls. This cancer of my niece destroys the safety illusion, if only
>> briefly, for me.
>>
>> John: the danger is if we think life is totally unsafe. It can  
>> lead to
>> tyranny (see post Versailles Germany or Fascist Italy).
>>
>> Brian: the energy in our lives (spirit) is a constant. We choose  
>> to be human
>> yet sometimes we decide we've made a mistake and we want to return  
>> to our
>> source (god). This explains to me what sometimes seems to be  
>> unfair death.
>>
>> John: is dying good because we're returning to god?
>>
>> Brian: it's my contention. God (energy) gives us these challenges  
>> in order
>> to help us mature.
>>
>> Jim: if there is a god and one accepts it, it's too convenient to  
>> me. My
>> niece doesn't want to die. She doesn't want to return to god.
>>
>> Jon: "the lord works in mysterious ways" or back to Job's asking  
>> god why
>> he'd given him so much suffering. God's answer: who are you to  
>> even ask this
>> question.
>>
>> John: crisis can make one stronger.
>>
>> Brian: this brings up the idea of separate realities. A down  
>> syndrome child,
>> for example, will tweak our perceptions of the world.
>>
>> Julene: it depends on whether one is up to the task of raising  
>> disabled
>> kids.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
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>> Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
>> To learn more about Jon Anderson, visit his/her member profile:
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>>
>>
>
>
>
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