My funky state of mind

My notion of radiance.

My notion of radiance.

My wonderful massage therapist, Melissa Stablein, knows I’m depressed. She worked on me today. She gave me a homework assignment to write a description of how I want my life to look. She emphasized that I am to take no shortcuts, and I cannot rely on generalities. In other words, no copping out. No clichés.

If you are reading this it means I gave myself credit for meeting her requirements. She is the final judge.

My highest priority in life is to see in myself what Joseph Campbell called a radiance. He said, “What is the obstruction in your life, and how do you transform it into the radiance? Ask yourself, What is the main obstruction to my path?” A Joseph Campbell Companion, page 156. The selections in the book were compiled by Diane K. Osbon. It is a lovely collection of wisdom from this fine man.

“What is the obstruction in your life, and how do you transform it into the radiance? Ask yourself, What is the main obstruction to my path?”

I am guessing that the radiance is akin to what some religions call enlightenment. Either will do fine for me.

So far as I know the main obstruction in my life is that I label myself damaged goods, not worthy of experiencing radiance. I have always done this. I endeavor to work in the spirit of a humble servant, but often I display a certain arrogance. It’s a mixed bag. I was born into a deeply troubled family, and I took their burdens as my own. At least I know what the main obstruction is. That’s a good foundation for becoming real.

What would I look like if I were radiant? I suppose radiance solves many problems. It’s just my theory at this point. If I manage it you will certainly notice a difference. I think we are born with radiance, and then people talk us out of it. This photo of me is from 1948. I think I was radiant then. My parents were not.

My next priority is to be perceived as useful by some number of people. I don’t really care how many. I would like them to put their feelings into words. I would like sharing to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Useful for what? I’ve written hundreds of blog posts. Most of them point to other people whose service and wisdom I value and appreciate, with the thought that readers of this blog might find them of value as I do. I would be pleased to receive some feedback from anyone I have served. Something more conspicuous than the “like” button. Hitting the like button is not, in my view, real participation. The Internet has taught us some very bad habits.

My third priority is to advocate for artistic expression, and to see evidence that the encouragement is welcome. I rely primarily on photography for my art. Our “civilization” has sunk into a command and control mode in an extreme way. Artistic expression, I believe, is essential to both our spirit and the wellbeing of the world. I would like to be thanked for the art I create for people.

Finally, I would like a measure of financial success. I don’t care if it comes from winning the lottery, or from being paid for one or more of my contributions: this blog, my ability to take photos, my knowledge of management wisdom, or my rugged good looks.

Thanks to all of you for your patience with me, and to Melissa for her depth of caring.


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