I was all Boo Hoo because he likes a lot of atheist memes on Facebook - and in that sentence "likes" means he likes them as in appreciates and agrees with the statements as well as him clicking the Like button. Now that we've declared we are In A Relationship on Facebook, and he's on my Close Friends list, his activity shows up all over my newsfeed. That this whole relationship illustrates the interpersonal results possible via Social Media is a topic in and of itself, but right now I'm more interested in emotionally charged vocabulary words. The other night, the way he said,"reward," sounded like business school speak to me, and I experienced a reaction. My spine stiffened instantly, but I was able to control the impulse to curl my lip. The feelings I have about Business, which I picked up along the Sabine River in East Texas, clearly run as deep as those he has about God.
I can't remember if I already mentioned that when Pinko was at the University of Texas at Austin, he was a Young Republican in Business School. He got to Austin about the time I was leaving, although we may have overlapped a year. While I never laid eyes on him personally until Burning Man, I saw plenty of Young Republican Business Majors at UT, and wouldn't talk to any of them. I avoided that area of campus entirely since I was a New Wavy English Major, listened to the Sex Pistols and went to see the Ramones every time they were in town. Everybody knew Republican Business Majors were complete and thorough assholes, or Ass-Wholes (h/t Woody).
This was my part of campus - English, Philosophy and Foreign Language mostly
This is the business school which probably wasn't all built when he was there
Pinko voted for Ronald Reagan any time he got the chance. That was his social and domestic conditioning, rather like my own mother's. She was a John Bircher Southern Baptist in Texas when I was little because it was expected in her social milieu. Any time she questioned statements made by people in her environment - people from my dad's job and the family in Beaumont - they told her she was stupid and needed to hush up. Same thing happened to Pinko only he was surrounded by Reagan Republicans. That both my mother's and Pinko's thinking has evolved so much over the years just goes to show how much can happen once you stop listening to people calling you stupid because you're questioning their authority.
Nevertheless, if a word reminds me Ronald Reagan and/or business majors, I have a negative reaction - but that doesn't mean the word itself has anything to do with Trickle Down Economics. My own perspective determines the emotion charge associated with vocabulary words in my own head, and if I'm the one applying the charge to the vocabulary word, then I can modify my emotional response in order to continue a conversation aimed at establishing a common vocabulary between two individuals.
I have to pause a moment to express my appreciation for the ability to settle a lot of this cerebral stuff from a comfortable distance. It may be easier to learn about a person through correspondence. Correspondence is a component in many great romances. I enjoy a correspondence. I enjoy conversation more and Skype makes it possible to have discussions around emotional, intellectual issues without falling into bed for one reason or another. Hiding under the covers is a good way to avoid conflict and connect at the same time, but if your feelings are shut off because you're fearful, you never really connect at all.
As it happens, Woody and I spent nearly two years sifting through emotionally charged vocabulary so that I could talk with him about stuff I was reading in A Course In Miracles. Woody went to Catholic School and was so traumatized by the nuns, and his own mother, that he couldn't even hear the word spirit, much less God. His experience was that anytime somebody brought up Spirit, they'd be using it against you somehow because of Guilt and Blame. Makes perfect sense because the Catholic Church is the ultimate hierarchical, patriarchal, fear mongering organization and pretty well wrote the instruction manual on how to keep peasants in their place through guilt, blame and sin.
The thing is that the narrator of A Course In Miracles, who may or may not be Jesus himself, says all sorts of stuff that people think when they're tripping - like about how we're all connected and being At One with each other and the universe - which is why I think of the narrator as Tripping Jesus. Turns out that Woody and Jesus say the same kind of stuff all the time about perspective, vocabulary and how the way popular, mainstream Christianity is practiced is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. Once Woody and I got through two years of shouting so that we could listen to each other, he came to enjoy being on the same page as Jesus about all kinds of things.
These days, Woody says that my understanding of God, for lack of a better word, is an anomaly since for me, God is a verb that describes the internal process of coming to love yourself, and expanding that love in order to connect with others. Granted, accomplishing that level of expansion is easier for people like Jesus, Buddha, etc - but the whole point of the stories about those guys is that they were in bodies just like the rest of us, so if they can do it, we can do it. Loving is simply practice - like yoga. That God is Love and we are Love means we are God - so naturally God is all in your head.
Where else would God be? That's why it always surprises me when atheists say that God is all in your head as if it's a problem. That's the best place for God - unless your ego takes over and declares itself God which is how all the trouble got started in the Church to begin with.
Religion, according to Tripping Jesus, has nothing to do with God since it's an expression of the Ego. Ego lives in your head too and is forever interfering with Spirit. It's no big deal because all you ever have to do is take a breath and pull your head out from up your ass - but that takes practice. Pretty much the last place you'll find that practice is in a mainstream church since the whole financial structure depends on plenty of heads up plenty of asses. So does the entire system of Business and Government in America but that's another discussion. This discussion is about use of vocabulary in relationships.
So when Pinko started talking about Rewards the other night, and how the reward was being Right, it was clear we had a common language because ACIM talks all about how the ego needs to be right all the time so it can feel special, and the whole cycle of isolation, fear, blame, defensiveness - all that stuff kicks into high gear. Tripping Jesus also spends a lot of time explaining how Special Relationships, or being "In Love," is all about the ego because none of us are Special. We all have individual characteristics because we're in bodies here on this earth, but because we're all from the same energy, none of us is special. So having A Special Someone is a big problem for both yourself and that someone especially when Hallmark cards, Hollywood movies and the DeBeers have been creating the definition of another highly charged vocabulary word: Love.
Which brings us to the present.
Pinko may very well be here in two weeks, and I keep finding reasons why he should stay in New York until Christmas, when we'd each go to our respective families of origin. That's because I totally love Pinko in exactly the same way as I love all my friends and family - which means there's none of that Special shit making me nervous. Talking about it makes me a little nervous, though, because when it comes to some vocabulary words, the dictionary definition is simply insufficient.