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.
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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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/
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> Jim: I wish prayer made a difference.
>> Dick: when Drue Sjodin was abducted and murdered people hated her
>> 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/
>> 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
>> "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
>> 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
>> perceived in the same way. The context in which crime occurs, in
>> 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
>> 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
>> something bad happen to me while there.
>> Jim: if we look at the suffering of our loved ones we realize that
>> 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
>> 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
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