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1/3/11

Geography of the Mind

If your time to you is worth savin'...

Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone

We are in an epoch where I believe people will be distinguished not as much by status and financial worth, income from employment or other means (or little to none), looks or personal bearing, community or style of life, rural or urban, although those things will always matter to some degree. Rather it will be if they are coping with the times or they are not, regardless of what populace they are from. The world is rapidly changing and living in it, at it's basest, is either acceptance or denial.

The darkest angst of most people is being alone, with no social significance, income or money and living in a weekly motel splitting pills and dumpster diving. How you cope with that reptilian fear determines how well you will fare in difficult times. There is a grain of truth in what you believe will happen to you, actually will. If you encounter your lizard brain fears, you will likely overcome them. Among us are many people, who have never experienced life during a significant economic downturn that affects most of society. They probably are in most need of examining their innermost dread, if they're smart and they dare to, to avoid being surprised in the worst way. As a matter of fact it is worthwhile for everyone to explore, far better to be surprised in the best way, whether or not you believe the world is turning a different direction.

Everything that I needed to learn about life I learned during the turbulent times of the late sixties through the early eighties during my teens and twenties. For me the years spanning between 1968 and 1982 were packed with racial strife, assassinations, political scandal, war, riots, anti-draft movement, hostage-taking and terrorism, energy crisis, labor difficulties and unrest. All of those things seemed distant to me at the time though, although it was ever-present in the news and the topic of conversation among everyone. What directly affected me was the economy and how I was going to not only survive but thrive in it. I had to face what I was afraid of.

Every once in awhile you feel a tap on your shoulder and turn around only to face yourself.

There were technical recessions in the years 1969-1970, 1973-1975, 1978, 1980 and 1980-1982 but to me it was one long economic haul of "stagflation" and constantly figuring out ways to keep my head above water and staying afloat. I started working and paying taxes and social security in 1968 when I was 14 years old. In 1972 I went to work for the Bell System which from 1974 onward, operated in constant surplus and layoff mode. I eyeballed my fear that life would be a long treadmill of deprivation and resolved that I would not let it be like that. The amazing thing is that it forged me into living in ways that not only made ends meet but more often than not, improved what I had, while also still being happy and not feeling deprived.

That time period forced me into a life of thinking creatively, learning self-reliance, independence, motivation, problem solving, never giving up and always going forward. I learned how to take what I had and make it into something better, enjoy life without an excess of material consumer goods and often more than enough. I managed to be comfortable in my living situation and obtain what I needed and wanted in innovative alternate ways. It was very often difficult and I sometimes thought life would always be that way. In hindsight those years prepared me for how to deal with all kinds of difficult situations, not just economic, as I encountered them. It also made me more original and I created my best early art, photography, writing and music.

Your old road is rapidly agin' 
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand

It is my belief that people will either learn to live ingeniously and do the best with what they have, figure out ways to obtain what they don't have if they really need or want it, or they won't. There are many people living more innovatively now, many who aren't but will and many who never will. Those who don't will remain stuck in a time warp the rest of their lives and there is little the rest of us can do about it. There is still enough "America" in the United States to rise above difficult times for most people. The knowledge is out there to figure out means, although it may require significant changes in attitude and approach to life, to rise above hardship and difficulties. Very often what some people consider a catastrophic lifestyle change isn't that at all, their expectations are out of alignment.

If some do not want to confront their basest reptilian fears, no one else can force them. Our only obligation is to make what is known available to them, it is their obligation to mobilize themselves and actuate their reality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrVkEKcSoFE