This page is for comments Page 4

Time for a new page ! G.

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236 Responses to This page is for comments Page 4

  1. Berk, Sorry to hear your dog isn’t doing well. I know how hard that is. Gretch

  2. I also wanted to make a quick comment on using drugs of any kind. I think we are all pretty much on the same page but just to be 100 percent clear we really don’t advise it. Whether we are talking about LSD, pot, alcohol or any number of substances really doe not matter. It can be extremely dangerous. There are also more effective ways to get closer to your feelings that we believe will have better long term results. Gretchen

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for the new page, Gretchen. “Far out”, as they used to say in the 60’s. I was always afraid of drugs.

  4. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: I totally agree with Gretchen about most of those psychedelic drugs. As I see it I did not have any bad effects from any of them. My contention was that having had a very good mother, who wanted me and loved me; my major PRIMAL SCENE for me was at birth and then a reliving of it at age two and a half..

    I contend, the way we got traumatized will depend on how we react to drugs. All drugs the prescribed ones as well.

    But the question goes a little deeper than all that. The pharmaceutical industry is pouring out drugs faster than we are able to take them and many IMO are not all they are cracked up to be.

    In my case I have been taking a simple cough mixture for some coughing that brings up phlegm. It all seemed so normal and natural until for two days I stopped, since I ran out of it. Guess what, the coughing decreased.

    The contentions between Jim and I are all about medications. He’s well and truly steeped into it. I am a little more wary.

    The saying goes:- It depends on how YOUR ‘cookie crumbled’

    Jack

  5. Guru, If it was such a minor issue I doubt you would characterize me as devious. I posted a new page because the old page was not allowing me to comment with out cutting and pasting from my email. I encourage you to repost any comment you are concerned will be overlooked. If you prefer I will be happy to do that for you. I’m not sure what the issue is however because as I said I was under the impression we were all on pretty much the same page. It simply struck me as a serious enough subject ( and possibly dangerous) that Barry or I should weigh in on the issue.Gretchen

    • Gretchen, I wouldn’t go so far as to ‘characterize (you) as devious’ where this matter is concerned. It just SEEMED kinda sneaky, and a skeletal network of about 2,100 out of my 100 billion brain cells sent me an alert message to this effect. I did consider ignoring the alert altogether, yet the slight ensuing irritation compelled me to move forward.
      I was pretty much finished with the drug topic, except to say I am only 92%+ in agreement with you as I don’t object to C-A-U-T-I-O-U-S experimentation to see if there are any benefits.
      Just looking at the enormous number of psychotropic prescription meds handed out under legal and professional sanctioning leaves me reticent to completely closing the door on personal experimentation.

      • Addendum:
        It was discussed in the recent past about Janov and various loyalists completely closing the door on anything beyond materialism and the eternal end of all subjective experience upon death.
        With Gretchen and her close associates closing the door to all forms of drugs and alcohol as well, it starts to give me a ‘strict atheistic schoolmarm’ feel to the whole scenery even though I had always believed such a depictions to be of Catholic nuns with rulers ready to slap our hands.

  6. Phil says:

    About drug experiences, I tried LSD one time while in college, with no thought given to it. It was so terrible that I would never go near it again. I thought I was going crazy and every negative thought I had about myself was magnified like a million times. It was educational though, and did lead to my doing primal therapy. The first few minutes were extremely positive, so much so, that I thought, why can’t I be like that all the time.

    Phil

  7. Margaret says:

    Subscribing

  8. Phil says:

    Coincidentally, there’s an article in The NY Times today about Ayahuesca jungle retreats:

  9. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Didn’t want to say anything, but something is pushing me to do so. I had an insight after waking up a little while ago, but I don’t think it matters much. Cried a bucket of tears during group about something; not sure what, and not sure it matters. Something about– wasn’t it enough to be clobbered by life by losing my mom at 10 months? But no, then I was totally abandoned, unseen, unwanted and unable to express any of that to anyone for the rest of my life, to a large extent. For how could you express that horror at the age of 10 months, not knowing how to speak. Sure, crying, kicking, and screaming, but who wanted to listen to that. Well, the insight I had got muddled and I didn’t write it down fast enough and now it seems meaningless and it flew away. Anyways, I feel no empathy towards anyone in group but I guess I did not want to feel alone, so I watched and listened a little. Listened more to music which brought on the bucket of tears, but those tears realistically are probably worthless — and definitely not being a part of group, and no fooling, I never will. Even before covid, when we were in-person groups, I was barely there. Anyway, maybe I am gaining a little empathy for my mate, more and more, step by step, week by week, but i will curse the crap out of her every morning before she wakes up. Happy happy group members and their significant others. You have hope and can listen to each other and care for each other. I guess I am jealous of that, but oh well. The time keeps slipping by. Didn’t see that time passing by. Seems funny to be still thinking about a loss that happened 67 years ago. But as I was trying to say, good old life, you can sometimes count on it to continue the brutality on and on. I was touched last night watching the American. Clooney getting big smooches from his sweet Italian girlfriend whenever they would meet. Smooching left my life a long long time ago.

  10. Jo says:

    Otto, it seems like being present at the groups is helpful for you.

    • Jo says:

      I feel that for myself, having been in zoom group last evening, unable to access at the time what was going on in me. But being there feels like I’m with real family, and I want that, even if I dont say anything.

  11. Jo says:

    This last week of August, feeling alone, bereft of people, jaded view of my life, hopeless, what’s the point.. effort to respond to an invitation for a walk with stepson yesterday, but I did. Anxious because I felt my lungs weren’t at full capacity while walking. After half an hour we sat on a wall in the sun, below was a 15’ drop (onto vegetation) but I couldn’t cope with the feeling of danger and I would imminently fall. Then home, in my cocoon. Later the zoom group,
    This morning Ive woken from a vivid dream, the last bit of the story resonating with early boarding school. I was sobbing and coughing, horrible feeling, and back in a scenario where I had to perform (at 8yrs) in a choir, juniors and seniors together. Parents would be there, I think I’d been told mine wouldn’t be there (disappointing) but a strong hope that they would be.
    This involved several of us walking to the ‘big’ school, but Nurse (matron) held my hand all the way (I was comforted but uncomfortable because I didn’t understand why she did this) She kept me apart from the crowds of other children, right up to the moment when we were placed on stage..all very surreal. It was because I’d fainted before a play I was in before, and fainted in an assembly, and she thought I might faint there.
    I cried a lot about this earlier, calling for mummy, It connects to feeling fear about speaking in groups I suppose, or the individual thanks I had to say at Thanksgiving retreats, the spotlight on me, in any shape or form, to a greater or lesser degree, I eventually wondered (re the scenario described above) if it was because I was worried that my parents might be in the audience, might see me. There was hope they would, plus the huge need for them, but fear they would see me, as at home I wasn’t supposed to speak up at home. To complicate this issue, my father on occasion demanded I read out loud from the bible in a small group he ran…very difficult and painful.
    I guess I’m conscious that being in groups are triggering in different ways.

  12. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Thanks for caring, Gretchen. This is heart-rending sad. She was coughing a lot this morning but finally fell asleep when i gave her a pill. we were giving her a liquid compounded version of that pill, and maybe the compound was just not as good as a pill. anyway, it’s getting close and i can barely deal with this. she trusts me so much. she loves her walks and food and being alive. life’s cruelest joke is leaving your mind alive while ravaging other parts of your body. she will be my last dog. i can’t do this again.

  13. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    “Euthanasia is a way to provide your pet with a peaceful and dignified passing. It is a way to give back to them for all their years of friendship, loyalty, and unconditional love.” years of f’ing love…this is so horrible.

  14. I am sorry to hear about your beloved dog too, Otto. Believe it or not I did catch a glimpse of her in a couple of your old videos. Your writings about life being cruel with a sharp mind and ravaged body remind me a lot of the terribleness of what dad went through the last couple months before he died.
    It all feels so wrong, as though it’s never supposed to happen.

  15. Margaret says:

    Otto,
    I am so sorry for you and your dog, I know how heartbreaking the goodbye can be.
    but you do provide your dog with a feeling of safety and trust and make sure he won’t suffer unnecessarily.
    that is all anybody could do and it means so much…
    your level of sadness shows how big your level of love is, they go hand in hand when we have to say goodbye isn’t it?
    thinking of you,
    Margaret

  16. Not to detract from Otto’s suffering in the slightest bit, but…
    I know I am more vulnerable to either taking substances or gambling when a terrible feeling just hangs around, hangs around, hour after hour after hour. The terribleness might let up for a few minutes, but then only smothers me once more…hanging over me like a dark slimy cloak or shroud. Allowing all of the feeling to course through just leads to more of the same, never letting up, hour after hour.
    That’s when I become utterly sick of the misery and seek an escape. If the misery never wants to leave, why the fuck would I want to lay in bed with it forever when I can find a quick and easy respite?
    Maybe I am just looking for someone with an understanding heart ready to tell me, “Yes, Guru, it’s alright, go ahead and indulge. Take a break for tomorrow we all die anyway. Why die miserable?”

  17. Vicki says:

    Otto, sorry about your dog. Nothing but hard, and missing the smell, touch, and love.

  18. Vicki says:

    I went back and read some of the drug stuff posts. My brother who died used pot for quite a while many years ago, and liked it, but he said he tried LSD one time, and never would again, it was so bad. Extremely scary and disorienting. Both he and his wife wanted nothing more to do with it.
    I remember reading in the 70’s that some who took it jumped out of windows, and died, of course.

    And I knew someone who had taken a drug called STP back then, which a psych. prof. said was about 200 times more potent than LSD. He had taken STP two years earlier, and still had not recovered. His mind was racing all the time, and he could not speak fast enough to express it. He could only speak about every 5th or 10th word of what he needed to say, in the group. So no one could understand him. I found that by listening carefully, I could gradually adjust to guess what he must be aiming at meaning, so I could speak it back to him and get confirmation. But he was barely functioning, his girlfriend had to take care of him and help interpret for him, he couldn’t hold a job or anything. He had just tried the drug one time, and his life was ruined. I have never wanted to play Russian roulette like that.

    I smoked pot just a few times, but the last time was a doozy — I think the stuff must have been laced with something stronger. The guys doing it were heavy daily users in college. Within two puffs, everything s–l–o–w–e–d d–o–w–n for me a lot, I could no longer keep up with the movement in the room. Next I could no longer feel my body below my neck, at all. I just was scared, and thought I’ve got to get home, but I didn’t know if I could make my body move, but I just tried to, and I couldn’t feel it, but it did move. I walked back to my own dorm room about two blocks away, scared the whole time. Keyed into my door, stepped in, and just fell onto my bed and slept for 10 hours, dead to the world. When I woke, first thing I checked was that I could feel my body again, and move ok, and it was a relief. Never again.

    • Hi Vicki:
      Thanks for your own story about recreational drug use. I was really surprised you tried pot, for you struck me as highly strait-laced & highly disciplined with very few chaotic or counterculture lifestyle pursuits.
      — I told Gretchen I favored legalizing drugs, yet I neglected to her mention why. It’s precisely due to what you experienced and your fear of your own drug being adulterated. With legalization, most of the risks of pesticides, greedy and dangerous dealers putting fentanyl in heroin or cocaine or pills, and other forms of spiking would be minimized if production was legalized and the process regulated for safety. Dosages would also be measured better for safety. When you buy from the black market, you truly don’t know what you’re going to really get!
      –For the reasons above, I also favor safe injection sites as well.
      –My favoring legalization doesn’t mean I want people to try drugs. If someone felt uncomfortable trying, I wouldn’t want him or her to try it either!
      –LSD and STP do sound dangerous and I have no interest at all with those, either. That was a tragic story you shared.

  19. Otto, It took me a year to even consider getting another dog. It was just too painful, in fact it still is. But it has been exactly a year now and I have just adopted a rescue who is happy to have a home. I’m glad I did but yes it is a long road. I do feel for what you are going through. Gretch

  20. Les B from Almont ! Welcome to the blog! I hope you continue to visit! Gretchen

  21. Phil says:

    Otto,
    Sorry about your dog, that’s really hard,

    Phil

  22. Daniel says:

    For some bizarre masochistic reasons, I’m following the developments in the US, especially the rapid and sweeping changes in academia, the violence and lawlessness, and of course the presidential race. I can’t help but follow the last two because they’re on the news and newspapers every day and every evening, but the first one is a torture I picked all on my own.

    I’m not surprised at the post-modernist extremism of the intersectionalists who came out of richly activist but poorly academic Critical Theory university departments – I’ve written of their dangers here on the blog – but am very surprised, even shocked, at the speed and breadth of their current influence on academia, their ability to dictate terms, and especially at the almost complete lack of opposition to this agenda, even a total capitulation.

    It is extraordinary that reputable institutions of higher education bow to anti-enlightenment spirits and are busy “decolonizing” their curriculum; even hard sciences such as Chemistry of Physics or Math, as if these were just another Uncle Ben or Aunt Jemima brands (the rebranding of which makes sense to me). It’s extraordinary that universities are receptive to being bullied or harangued into considering crazy “anti-racist” policies that are likely to end in just the opposite – small racial civil wars on campuses. And it’s extraordinary that nobody is rising to defend academic standards. Students, faculty, alumni and donors are all silent as bureaucrats lower admission standards, presumably to meet some racial quotas, thus practically ensuring the lowering of graduation standards.

    As is appropriate for revolutionary movements, they are not settling for higher education; now California wants to require all its school districts to offer a semester-long ethnic studies class.
    The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (head for the attachments at the bottom of the page) speaks the same extreme language of grievance, oppression, privilege, and anti-capitalism that the critical studies departments are so fluent in and their subject matter is now deemed appropriate for K-12 students. I won’t bore you with details, except for a Jewish point.

    The model for ethnic studies includes African Americans, Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans and Indigenous people, but not Jews. However, Jews are not entirely excluded because in Unit 6 of the Approved Course Outline it is suggested that “Students will write a paper detailing certain events in American history that have led to Jewish and Irish Americans gaining racial privilege”.

    Julius Streicher would have been proud.

    • Renee says:

      Daniel, I will assume from what you have written that you are wanting to continue debating/discussing this same stuff with me. At the same, I think it has been established beyond the shadow of a doubt that we fall on opposite ends of the political spectrum with regard to these issues. And that it 100% impossible that you will be able to change my views. So why continue trying?

      To be totally honest, when I read what you wrote, the only thing I found new and interesting was your first five words: “For some bizarre masochistic reasons.” I really think it could be worthwhile to get some help with exploring your underlying motivations for continuing to want to engage with me about this subject.

  23. Daniel, I realize you are describing an apparent infection of far-left values onto mainstream academia, but I wanted to direct your attention to this blog entry from Paul Campos, as well:
    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/08/idea-laundering

    The entry describes how far right-wing ideologues (and very deep-pocketed ones at that) have also infested mainstream academia with their beliefs through affiliated groups which donate lots of money to educational institutions, using said institutions to give a patina of academic respectability to the right-wingers in question.

    Since you have said you are a moderate, I felt it best to include my very short post as a balance for your own post.

    • Please note: Paul Campos’ blog entry devotes well over half of its space to Kamala Harris’ citizenship issue, but the REAL issue Campos is trying to explain lies much deeper than that, towards the end of the semi-long blog entry, so patient reading is required to fully understand why I was saying what I did in my post above.

  24. Daniel says:

    Thanks, Guru, for the link. Of course, there is the possibility that I may be locked in an information bubble where I only get only very specific pieces of information that reverberate what I already “know”. However, I consciously try not to be trapped that way. I do that by reading reports from several media outlets, both US and non-US, some considered left leaning and some right leaning. I mean, if one gets most of their information from Fox News and Breitbart, or from Democracy Now and Jacobin, then one is in a bubble.

    Obviously, I can’t survey the entire US higher education system, so I may be too influenced by what I encounter. Still, my impression from the sample of university websites, policy proposals, and personal reports is as I wrote.

    The blog article you linked to is indeed another symptom of a similar disease. Academics shouldn’t be right wing or left wing. The classic university is defined only by its scholarship and teaching. Not much room for politics in Math, Chemistry, Physics, AI, Quantum Computing, Psychology, Diplomatic History, Latin, the Classics, the Law, Textual Analysis (not “English”). A bit more discipline is required to keep politics out of subjects such as Literature, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, and the Arts, but it is achievable. And none of the victimology or identity-massaging courses. I mean, those are legitimate concerns for some people, but they should remain in the public/political arena, not as academic fields on their own.

    By the way, it is no accident that in that Robin DiAngelo interview Renée linked to a few months back DiAngelo describes herself as a Sociologist, even though she isn’t, her degrees and appointments being in Education, not Sociology. DiAngelo is unconsciously accompanying her false self-description with a little smile, a sort of an editorial about what she’s saying at that very moment. One wonders why DiAngelo isn’t describing herself as a critical race theorist. My guess is that she really wants to be considered a Sociologist because Sociology demands a level of rigor and part of her knows what real academics is and what is not. Critical race theory is not.

    • Daniel says:

      In case it isn’t obvious, were I an American I’d most certainly be a Democrat. Being a proponent of Scandinavian Social Democracy puts me in the political vicinity of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang, or some combination of the three.

      In case it too isn’t obvious, as a world citizen I consider the single most important objective currently is to remove Trump from office, and to do it politically rather than judicially. Ironically but IMO not surprisingly, giving Trump another 4 years in the WH may be BLM’s crowning achievement. After all, as I was arguing here in the past, Trump is a pristine example of identity politics.

      • Phil says:

        Daniel,
        BLM is getting 63% support from the public,and about that number support the protests. But they may not poll as well in critical states for November, which is what matters. Trump is counting on activating his base and trying to tie Democrats to the looting and violence, to influence undecided voters. I’m afraid the election will be close, when it shouldn’t be.

        Phil

        • Phil, I hope you haven’t perceived that I was ignoring your last few posts addressed to me. I simply had nothing good to add to what you said at the time.
          I admit I have been posting here a LOT lately. I’m suffering from too much loneliness and way too thin of a support system. Clearly my need for some camaraderie has been seeping though here.
          I know Otto and others are having a tough time as well, so I will happily shut up as much as I can for them if needed.

    • Hey Daniel, thanks for checking out the Paul Campos link. He’s one of my favorites! He does lean to the left, to be sure, but I always enjoy his intellectually snarky quips. I have another reason I like the guy a lot, but I won’t rehash that here and now.
      –it would be a FASCINATING study (at least for me) to see whether colleges can have a score, an aggregate score, designating how “liberal” or “conservative” their professors in the ‘soft sciences’ (sociology, history, etc.) lean. Is such a scoring scheme in existence today?
      –Another fascinating study would be to see whether ‘liberal’ designated schools have a greater percentage of STEM courses as a percentage of their total curriculum than ‘conservative’ designated school or vice versa. Some fascinating inferences might be drawn from any noteworthy results in this study.
      –As for Robin DiAngelo..I will admit I do tend to lean in favor of your own beliefs here, but I don’t want to go any further regarding the author personally. I have not read her materials and it seems you and Renee are much more competent pugilists than I with this topic.

  25. jackwaddington says:

    Hi Everyone: For last two or three months I have been feeling exhausted and as time passes it comes on stronger and stronger. It feels very physical … but I am willing to stay with it and see if there is an old feeling component in there.

    Each day it gets worse and I have little energy to do anything. I am still able to get out of bed and pee several times in the night, but the effort is enormous. I feel I am dying.

    Jim does not believe it and thinks I will eventually recover. I am not so sure. It is a very debilitating situation for me. If I do die I have no illusions that there is anything beyond this life.

    If I go back into my ancestry I came from nothing and will return to nothing other than some peoples memory of me … until they’re gone then I am hardly a statistic

    I just feel I needed to talk about it; especially since it’s getting worse.

    Jack

    • Sylvia says:

      Jack, you should go see a doctor or at least call them if they have telehealth where they can talk to you over the phone or see you with your computer. They could order some tests for you for blood sugar levels or heart function tests. Something has changed and you should find out what is going on. Take care, Jack.

    • Renee says:

      Jack, PLEASE don’t die! I will miss you. And if you’re going to go ahead and die anyway, I hope that, as much as you feel up to it, you can talk about it here. None of us have had the experience of dying from old age and what it is like. I hope you can share your experience with us.

    • Phil says:

      Jack,
      I’m sorry about what you’re going through. You say you feel like you’re dying, but maybe that’s just a feeling. I sure hope you get some energy back and recover.

      Phil

    • Jack. if you really feel as though you might be dying I will start to muster some empathy for you. It’s just that I have seen you put forth this frail, sympathy-evoking countenance many times before…even when I saw you in person 20 years ago!
      I felt badly for your condition when Patrick attacked you 8 years ago, and even tried to protect you a few times early on…
      Afterwards you were mean and denigrating to me, so the kindly old grandpa image wore off quickly and it hardened me,
      It feels a bit like ‘The boy who cried wolf’.
      Two months before my dad died he could barely write any words at all and he was 10 years younger with a stockier frame than yours, yet you still manage to type your blog post.
      I’m not sure what to think considering those closest to you are also skeptical. I think you will be dying for the next 36 years until it happens in your sleep at 126 years of age.

  26. Daniel says:

    Guru, those are indeed interesting questions. I think it would be fair to say that in most Universities in the free world faculty tends to be liberal more than conservative. Right wingers are up in arms about it. I don’t care about faculty politics as long as they teach the subject matter fairly and academically.

    Phil, it makes sense to me that 63% of Americans support BLM, because the natural inclination is of course to stand by and support a struggle against racism. However, I’m doubtful Americans look further than the just cause and into the actual policy proposals that are being advanced and the ideas underpinning them. Take a look at the following Newsweek report and especially the infographic in it, from the African-American History Museum, summarising what Whiteness is. “Objective, rational thinking”, “cause and effect relationship”, “hard work is the key to success”, “plan for the future”, “delayed gratification”, are all declared to be “White” values.

    These ideas are closely tied to developments such as the lowering of admission standards in Universities, or other accommodations made to bypass those “white” values. The rationalisation is that there is no real achievement gap between white and black kids, just bad and racist testing and admission standards. So, when considering admission, if we dropped, for example, “objective, rational thinking” or “cause and effect relationship”, which are “white” and therefore racist values, as criteria for admission, the achievement gap will go poof in the air.

    Aside from the very relevant question what kind of science, medicine, law, and public services America will have when its students will resist “objective, rational thinking”, the irony is that real white supremacists traditionally project the opposite of these traits on black people, thinking they are lazy, less likely to be on time, not as good as white people. In other words, these ideas actually promote rather than mitigate racism.

    Of course, such ideas are legitimate and perhaps have their merits, but they are outside western culture. So, the attack is on western culture and its enlightenment values, and at the moment a radical minority is dictating non-western values to the most important country in the western world. That is extremely powerful and also scary. I must say I don’t believe it will last and I fear the backlash might be very ugly, especially if Trump will win in November.

    Renée, you’ve been trying to shut down such discussions from day 1, with the exact same arguments about protracted exchange, me trying to convince you, and down to the customary and innocently violent suggestions at the end of the comment to look at my motives or get help.

    I write when I feel like sharing some of what I have in my mind, not to change your yours. You’re welcome to participate in the discussion if you like, or refrain from participating if you like. It’s not about you.

    • Daniel says:

      Guru, you may want to read DiAngelo’s original paper from 2011 which I’ll post here (downloadable pdf). It’s an interesting read.

    • Phil says:

      Daniel,
      I read the Newsweek article you linked and thought that a good part of what the Smithsonian African American Museum says seems true. The parts about “whiteness including ” being “no tolerance for deviation from a single god concept”, “rugged individualism”, “the protestant work ethic and aesthetics, and white privilege. This museum is just one voice and I wouldn’t give it that much importance.
      I don’t feel that western culture and civilization are a risk or anything, however, and I think it’s good to question our assumptions. Colleges and universities are centers of liberalism and that isn’t likely to change. We have an ongoing culture war going on in this country, with the right and left taking more and more extreme positions, and because of that division, change is likely to be slow,
      Phil

    • Phil says:

      Daniel,
      Are you aware of our college admission scandals. It’s about peoples buying and/or cheating their way into elite schools, using privilege and connection. Trump, the genius that he is, got into Wharton business school only because of an example of this corrupt process. I’m sure this kind of thing has been going on forever, so I wouldn’t worry that much about students having a lack of achievement, since many of them never had that to begin with in past years.
      Phil

  27. Margaret says:

    Jack,
    I also hope you can keep sharing what you feel here.
    there are many nice things about you I will always remember, like the first time you came up to me, when we were in front of the Pico institute and i was new, and you introduced yourself to me.
    i was immediately struck by your eyes, they were beautiful, not only the colour but the straightness of your look and the sparkle they showed.
    then there were many moments you suddenly were there to support me at retreats, and the hilarious time when before group you sat down in the therapists seats and silently impersonated them all so brilliantly, just by your expression and body language and cracked everyone up.
    I also hope you will get better again and live for many more years happily together with Jim .
    Margaret

  28. Renee says:

    Daniel, I think that your assertion that I am trying to shut down this conversation is a feeling. Each of us is, and always has been, free to write and react to each other (or not). No-one is shutting anyone down. Each of is just reacting to the other. That’s all. I think that your interpretation that I am somehow trying to “shut down” the conversation is part of your belief that I am a participant in some giant left-wing academic conspiracy that is intent on overthrowing and shutting down the whole western, civilized canon. Seen from this viewpoint, it makes sense that you would see my suggestion that you get help to look at your motives as somehow “violent”. Of course, from my viewpoint, the “violence” and the “shutting down” is actually top-down and not bottom-up. This is exactly what systemic racism/sexism etc. is all about at it roots, along with finding ways to divert attention away from that reality. Usually, this is accomplished by finding marginalized groups, and any allies of them, to blame. It’s why history keeps repeating itself. It just saddens and disappoints me that someone who identifies as Jewish, could uphold and espouse these beliefs. Considering the history of the Jews.

    I was actually struck by your insightfulness when you said that you had “bizarre masochistic reasons”. And then you expanded on this insight, in the same paragraph, by acknowledging a preoccupation with what you called, “sweeping changes in academia”, and that this preoccupation was “a torture I picked all on my own”. I think this is likely very true and makes a lot of sense. It left me reflecting on whether this tendency could be connected to historical trauma. Not just personal trauma. It has left me reflecting on whether a tendency toward masochism and self-torture could be connected somehow to being Jewish. In other words, when violence, torture and suffering is no longer being imposed on us from the outside, do we do it to ourselves? I know I have had times in my life when I’ve chosen to put myself in situations where I would suffer and feel tormented. Usually, I’ve only thought in terms of what I’ve recreated from my childhood. But your comments have left me wondering if part of this behavior could be connected to historical trauma as well.

  29. Jack, I hope you are feeling better but I wish you would take Sylvia’s advice and maybe do a phone call with your doctor. Of course I can’t know what’s going on with you but what if it’s a mild infection or maybe you need vitamin D or B after all you been inside like the rest of us for months. I just feel it’s worth checking. You could also have a mild case of the virus, there are lots of people who describe being exhausted or having headaches. It’s not always a serious situation with this virus and more often than not it isn’t. Anyway do take care of yourself! Keep us all posted on how you are feeling. Gretch

    • jackwaddington says:

      Gretchen: An addendum:- I never had much faith in doctors ever since spending two years of compulsory military service in the Royal Army Medical Corpse ; Then another years on the peripheral of the medical profession as a pupil ‘health inspector’

      As for supplements, I take 7 each day and Jim is now looking others that might help.

      I lost faith in the medical profession the moment they chose to NOT consider the Primal concept.

      Meantime I had a buddy session with my buddy who gave me several areas to explore that I have done sInce.

      Meantime,; thanks for your caring.

      Jack

  30. Jack, I understand what you mean. I don’t tend to go running to doctors either. Still sometimes it can be worth checking out things like low energy or exhaustion. I’m glad the time with your buddy was helpful. Sometimes a little support is the best medicine of all. Take care ! Gretch

  31. Daniel says:

    Guru, I never meant to force you to read DiAngelo, and I hope it didn’t come across that way. As far as I’m concerned you can move it from the Download folder directly to the Recycle Bin.
    —-
    Phil,
    Your example of corruption in admission shows exactly what is at stake. We call it “corrupt” because by circumventing the admission system it admits people who shouldn’t be there in the first place, people who do not need to show the aptitude that is required to successfully graduate. If you take what yesterday was considered corrupt and turn it into an official policy you will fill the institution with people who do not need to have the aptitude that is required to successfully graduate. Since once they’re admitted it will be impossible to not let them graduate the graduations standards will be lowered.

    Absurdities are all around. Tuft/Fletcher school of Diplomacy (!!!) has dropped it’s requirement for a second language. You can read their explanation: it has become more of a barrier than an opportunity for students, including those with learning disabilities. I’m sure the US will benefit greatly from diplomats, state department officials and CIA operative who will rely on English alone. Most likely spoken loudly.

    Colleges and universities may be centers of liberalism and you don’t seem concerned that something may hurt that. So, let me just leave you with a glimpse of what that liberalism may turn into. Northwestern U. law school had a town hall meeting online recently. Everybody began with a ritual denunciation of themselves as racist.

    Aside from it being obvious that not all professors really believe that they are racist or wish to participate in that (one reader wrote: “Prof. Speta is not a racist. He is a wonderful man universally loved by students. It makes me sad that he is forced to say otherwise.”), does this look like liberalism to you? To me it looks pretty much like a Chinese struggle session, or, since I’m Jewish, those people who were forced by Nazis to carry signs they are “race defilers”. Not too long ago I wrote here on the blog how these ideas that on the face of it are innocent and about justice can become totalitarian. And they have. Sooner than I thought.
    —-
    Renée,
    In saying “bizarre masochistic reasons”, or “a torture I picked all on my own”, I was being humorous and referred to the fact that it pains me to learn, but also sometimes makes me laugh, of what is going on.

    I do feel your innocence is at times violent, but I promised you not to talk about my personal impressions of you. As an aside, I’ll just say that your portrayal of my views is far from accurate.

    I do agree, though, that historical trauma plays a part in me, although being transmitted through generations it is obviously vague. I want to skip for now talking about parents who live through their children and concentrate of the Jewish experience as a whole.

    Jews have suffered the harshest and deadliest slavery and racism to date. What happened to them in Europe in the 1930’s and 1940’s was a culmination of centuries of persecution, deportations, expulsions, pogroms, and other humiliations. What do you know of their reaction to all these? Do you think anything can be learned from their reactions? What did Jews demand from and what are the differences from the current racial crisis and demands?

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: In all seriousness:- what makes you Jewish?

      Repeat:- My being in on my two Jewish American Jews. “What is all this about being Jewish?”

      At birth you had no idea what or who you were, just needing and needing mommy … something happened meantime … what was that?

      Gays also have been humiliated and put in concentration camps also. It is in the Jewish scriptures that man laying with man is the greatest of sins … Leviticus & Dueterominy.

      Why do Jews need their very own country (state)? The answer to that question alone, bring up more of all this separating our selves from one another.

      In the final analysis I am not anything other than myself … and that’s been my preoccupation for almost 40 years now … Not British, not Christian, and within the very strict meaning of the word ‘gay’ … anything but perpetually joyous.

      Something went totally wrong some 20 – 30 millennium ago … we lost out ability to feel and express them, simply and naturally.

      Last point:- being antiemetic, does answer it either … the Palestinians are Semites also.

      Jack

    • Renee says:

      “A radical minority is dictating non-western values to the most important country in the western world….once they’re admitted it will be impossible to not let them graduate the graduations standards will be lowered……Jews have suffered the harshest and deadliest slavery and racism to date…… What did Jews demand from and what are the differences from the current racial crisis and demands?” I never thought I’d say this but I’m starting to miss the raw, in-your-face, no-holds-barred prejudice and racial antisemitism of Patrick! This intellectualized, sophisticated and nuanced version of anti-black and brown racism is exhausting, obfuscating, and way more dangerous, IMO. Looking down on “thems who are lowering our ‘standards’” and “dictating non-western values”, comparing oppressions, and pitting oppressed groups against each other are all destructive and harmful. Remember Audre Lorde’s famous statement, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”? Well, these are all well-used tools of the master to maintain the status-quo. Or, to use primal language, tools that perpetuate neurosis and the disconnects between us.

      • Daniel says:

        There is nothing really “obfuscating” about the sentences of mine you quoted. On the contrary, I thought I explained them and the rationale behind them rather clearly. Nor are they racist by any means. Perhaps you care to explain the racism in them? None of the sentences even include specific reference to black or brown people (I did mention lowering standards for students with learning disabilities).

        In a way, I think it is exactly those two – the clarity and lack of racism – that drive you mad and make you pine for Patrick.

  32. Phil says:

    Daniel,
    In the end graduates of universities have to prove themselves in the job market, in the real world, and a lot of learning also takes place at that time too. I don’t know much about diplomacy, maybe graduates of that school can get hired only speaking English, I have no idea.
    I’m just not triggered or alarmed about the implications and consequences of the BLM movement, other than I hope it stays peaceful, and that reasonable goals can be achieved.
    What does worry me these days is Trump and his movement. Trump is trying to undermine our democracy and looks like he will do anything to stay in power. I don’t know that the country in it’s current form can survive another four years with him as president. There is a lot of fear he won’t step down even if he loses. I’m afraid I’m not looking kindly with understanding towards his supporters. So for me, other than my personal situation which is OK, that is kind of superseding other questions and concerns with the election coming in 2 months.
    Phil

    • Phil says:

      And I’m concerned of course about Covid and the economy. I hope that good solutions for the virus will come out soon, although I don’t want that to benefit Trump. So many people have died, it’s terrible, and we are all being negatively effected, one way or another. My younger son just graduated in May and can’t find a good job in the current environment. He could always come back and live with us, but that isn’t what he wants, and I can understand it wouldn’t be exciting or fulfilling for him.
      Phil

  33. Renee says:

    Jeezus effing Christ, dog whistles are getting loud these days! My ears were ringing after reading about the Northwestern Law School’s recent online town hall event on racism. Northwestern is an ultra-conservative institution. It’s current interim Dean, James Speta, is a member of the Federalist Society, an organization of conservatives and libertarians. (See this recent article to get a sense of their shenanigans: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/opinion/trump-judges-federalist-society.html). Is it any surprise, then, that this institution has put itself forward as a contender to lead the backlash against the movement of white people educating ourselves, and standing up to, the horrors and violence of systemic racism? I have been wondering what this backlash would look like. Now we have an example. The town hall meeting was designed and executed to portray white peoples’ consciousness-raising as a grotesque variation of an AA meeting at best and a return to Communist style re-education camps at worst. This is fearmongering taken to a perverse extreme. Sadly, it is perfectly in line with Fox News and right-wing tactics. With Trump sorely lagging in the polls, I predict we will be hearing more of these dog whistles as the election get closer. Be prepared.

  34. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    VERY HARD TO HAVE TO HAVE MY DOG PUT TO SLEEP. SHE IS ALMOST THERE. I AM NOT THERE. THIS WILL BE MORE PAINFUL THAN DYING MYSELF.

  35. Otto, I have just sent you an email so please check. Gretch

  36. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Thanks Gretchen. Thanks Jack.

  37. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i just have this really strong feeling of loneliness. wishing i was still at group 10 hours later. I guess it’s my ‘losing my mom’ thing. can’t do much with the feeling except …except what? embrace it? don’t run away from it? no idea. i will keep listening to this lady who probably reminds me of my mom. Emmylou Harris- “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” LIVE 1970 [Reelin’ In The Years Archives]. Gretchen, i wanted to say in group today that i missed going to your sunday groups. lots of female energy, for what its worth, and some of my favorite guys who don’t come to zoom much or at all. and of course, you leading the group.. but how was i going to say a word back then, in all that energy? ok

  38. Daniel says:

    Jack,
    I’m happy to see you’re up and about.

    All your important questions (why remain Jewish, why Jews need a country of their own) have been discussed in blog before so I won’t go into them again other than saying that whether I like it or not I’m being considered as part of that group of people. The Spaniards of the inquisition or Hitler’s Germans didn’t care if I decided I was not Jewish – they would still categorised me that way.

    Once people form as groups, organise themselves as a society, it actually makes evolutionary sense to define who is of us and who is not.

    But let me ask you something else, a personal question which of course you are under no obligation to answer. You mentioned your mommy and you mention her quite a bit in your comments. Like many therapists who work with homosexual patients, I too noticed how often they are preoccupied with their mothers, who are described in various ways but perhaps mostly as personally absorbing, or domineering, or supplying a compassionate refuge from a distant father.

    Psychologically speaking, what do you feel is the maternal contribution, if any, to homosexuality?

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: The last part of your question is the one I feel most relevant to reply to.

      Most Homosexuals claim they were born this way, and there is a good reason for it, by my reckoning I feel strongly that it is trauma in utero that creates the basis of homosexuality.

      Not all gay people agree with me … in fact very few. It is not NORMAL. Most gays think it is

      However, the so called cure is both cruel and never complete Depending on what transpires thereafter, will depend in the scale between fully homosexual:- to being bi-sexual.

      On the earlier points you mentioned … my ‘mantra’ is:- Neurosis came first … then from there-on-in, transpires our current fucked-up humanity. Starting with Religion by way of totem poles, all the way to Abraham. For me it has no redeeming features … it is here, I feel, we (you and I) part company

      As with the Primal notion,, the whole system needs tearing down … the young of a very near future generation will understand it; and after a period of creation of a ‘critical mass’… it will all fall apart

      No- one seems to see it … except the few anarchist, but the way back is the is the ultimate destruction of what is:- for humanity.

      The ‘repeats’ are for emphasis.

      Jack

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: I did not respond to your first line:-:-“Jack, I’m happy to see you’re up and about”.

      Yes, I’m still up, but the feeling of exhaustion is with me more than ever.

      We’ve tried several fixes, but none seem to ‘bear fruit’… so far..

      Jim, my partner, suggested that I go to a nursing home; to which I replied:- “I am already in one , with a single staff member … who can be an awkward bugger sometimes.

      Jack

      • jackwaddington says:

        Daniel: I did not respond to your first line:-:-“Jack, I’m happy to see you’re up and about”.

        Yes, I’m still up, but the feeling of exhaustion is with me more than ever.

        We’ve tried several fixes, but none seem to ‘bear fruit’… so far..

        Jim, my partner, suggested that I go to a nursing home; to which I replied:- “I am already in one , with a single staff member … who can be an awkward bugger sometimes.

        Jack

        • Renee says:

          I’m glad that you’ve still got some life left in you, Jack. And I’m glad that you are using that life to maintain your sense of humor! 😀 It’s the best medicine, after all.

        • Sylvia says:

          Jack, “go into a nursing home,” really? I think it would be easier to go for a few tests. You may just need supplements or have an infection. Anemia can cause exhaustion. It may be something simple. As we age we lose some ability to make those red blood cells. Sometimes iron pills aren’t enough either. Don’t be stubborn, okay? Do something about this. Take care, Jack.

          • jackwaddington says:

            Sylvia: Being the stubborn bugger I am … I will not make matters worse for myself by going to attend a strange place with doctors I have almost no faith in’

            Why are we trying to save those that have done their time? Move over ‘buster’ … let the young take over,

            Jack

        • Larry says:

          Jack,I feel sad to hear of your condition of persistent low energy and even sadder that you could be dying. I think that you and SuperstarGuru were the first two people on the blog when with some trepidation I joined it early in its birth. In the beginning I had contentious interactions with you, which I learned about myself from, and after a few years I realized you have a good heart (which you denied), and I was eventually touched by your support and encouragement for me which sometimes brought me to feelings. For me, you are a fixture of the blog and it makes me sad to imagine you no longer being here. The older I get though, the more conscious I am that every life and eventually mine comes to an end.

          But your life isn’t over yet Jack. You are still here to care for yourself and your loved ones as best you can. Doctors or naturopaths might have insights that might improve your quality of life. If these truly are your last days, hospice care coming to your home would improve quality of life for both you and Jim in this final stage of your time together. You say Jim is the single staff member in the nursing home your are in. I’m sure he would welcome some help in caring for you. If these are your final days, there are ways to plan the endgame so that it is a best quality experience for you both, not a nightmare for Jim to have for the rest of his life.

    • Renee says:

      Daniel, psychologically speaking, what do you feel is the maternal contribution, if any, to heterosexuality? Would you agree that straight men tend to be preoccupied with their mothers?

      • Daniel says:

        Some straight men in therapy are preoccupied with either parent. Homosexual men in therapy tend, on average, to be preoccupied with the mother alone.

        • jackwaddington says:

          Daniel: this is the problem with dealing with it from statistics alone. Trauma is the main fuctionary of it it all ……… from my experience.

          Jack

          • Daniel says:

            Jack,
            I wasn’t approaching the issue “statistically”. Over years of working with people I thought I noticed a pattern where my homosexual male patients were rather more preoccupied with their mothers. With some it felt like they were trapped inside her. Quite often it would be closely linked to the intense states of mind and corresponding physical theatres particular to cruising for sex, where scenes of looking for love on the one hand and a complete erasure of the self on the other were simultaneously acted out.

            • jackwaddington says:

              Daniel: You say:- “Over years of working with people I thought I noticed a pattern where my homosexual male patients were rather more preoccupied with their mothers.”

              The operrative words …”you’ve noticed a pattern” … That is not what I have experienced.

              Jack

  39. Renee says:

    What evidence do you have for this assertion? Perhaps it could be more accurate to say that homosexual men in therapy with you tend, on average, to be preoccupied with the mother alone? Take a look at this for an alternate viewpoint: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/gay-and-lesbian-well-being/201009/gay-men-and-their-fathers-hurt-and-healing

    • Daniel says:

      Renée,
      You’re so busy angrily disputing what I have to say you are completely oblivious to the fact that the article you linked to doesn’t include even a single “alternate view”.

    • superstarguru says:

      *Adorning his shiny White Western Male Marauders gang leather jacket, arrogantly blowing his masculine blue bubble gum and pointing a mocking finger at Renee*
      “Haha, Daniel TOASTED you with that one. PWNED! BOOYAH!”

      • superstarguru says:

        Speaking of which, the White Western Male Marauders’ acronym ‘WWMM’ would carry tons of potential in terms of artwork logo design. WWMM being opposing reflections, smooth continuous neon style lettering, all kinds of creative potential for a nascent gang.

        • superstarguru says:

          OK! OK! Hours of merciless blog silence is too discomforting. It was just poking fun at identity politics. Fuhgeddabout it!!

      • Renee says:

        Ugg, I don’t mean to pop your masculine blue bubble gum or stop your imagination from creating fascinating stories about marauders, leather jackets and mocking fingers, but “it’s all in your head”, as they say.

        Daniel believes that I am “angrily disputing” him and that I am “oblivious to the fact that the article I linked to doesn’t include a single ‘alternate view’”. It is his right to believe this, even though both assertions are inaccurate, IMO. I disagree with much of what Daniel says, including this. I posted the link to attempt to show that I think he has a very narrow view of what he is attempting to describe as gay male “patterns” in therapy.

        I actually think it is ridiculous for Daniel to present himself as an authority of behavior/ psychology/patterns/ tendencies of gay males in therapy. And to do this by presenting a stereotypical cliché, no less! I’m glad that Jack was able to comment on Daniel’s assertion and cast doubt on it. So no, Daniel didn’t “TOAST” me. And the only “PWNED! BOOYAH!” that happened was in your head.

        • superstarguru says:

          Renee, I didn’t catch this post you made in time, sorry. I probably shouldn’t have made my biker gang joke when I did, for you were going over the homosexual topic with Daniel when I was sarcastically responding to how you sometimes seem to lump the white western male into a negative stereotype. Obviously you’re on a wholly different topic at this time, and I should have refrained from introducing my delayed response to what you’ve discussed months or years ago

          I don’t have much in the way of good feedback to offer on the homosexual topic, except to say I was a bit taken aback by Jack’s astonishing opinions on it, namely homosexuality being unnatural. I admit being seduced myself by this train of thought where being gay is a mental illness even though it’s been widely discredited long ago.

          • superstarguru says:

            It seems as though I will have to dispense with subtleties from here on out. Many people on the blog don’t seem to pick up on them, and not through any fault of their own.
            A small cultural white male glossary:
            PWNED is what the younger white male set would use as a term for someone who has been defeated, often in a verbal discourse
            BOOYAH! is a celebratory term used by Jim Cramer on his CNBC “Mad Money” show. It’s deeply rooted in the white affluent male province of stock ownership in America.

            Anyway, I was using those terms sarcastically to flesh out an image of the insufferable white male exerting dominance over others as Renee has portrayed in the past.

            I see now I packed WAY too many cultural references and wrongly assumed the reader would have a sufficient grasp of my sarcasm as well.

            Let me just offer the blog one big fat, “Never mind, this won’t happen again!”

        • Daniel says:

          Renée, misrepresenting and casting me yet once again as the villain you so need me to be will give you only a very brief respite.

          • jackwaddington says:

            Daniel: If you feel Renee is casting you as a villain … that is your feeling … not necessarily her’s.

            It might help to say so.

            Just a suggestion … that is all.

            Jack

            • Daniel says:

              Jack,
              Please assume everything I say is my own opinion/feeling/thought/impression. It sort of goes without saying and would be tedious to keep mentioning each and every time. Conversely, if I were to present another blog participant’s opinion or feeling I would certainly have to and will mention that the opinion or feeling is not mine but that participant’s.

              • jackwaddington says:

                Daniel: I personally always make a point of saying “my feeling2, “my opinion”, “my contention”; such, that I avoid being seen as some expert on something … I am not.

                I doubt any phrase I mentioned about would e tedious … just MY FEELING.

                Jack

  40. Otto, You did great in group and I’m glad you are there. It is true that with Barry and I leading the group together we have ended up with an equal number of males to females so maybe a little less “ feminine energy”. Of course I’m wondering who you are missing as it seems pretty much everyone is there but whoever it is maybe you can let them know. I am just so grateful that we have all had this opportunity to meet weekly. I will see you next Sunday ! Gretch

  41. Phil says:

    This morning I feel like I’m coming closer to feeling the full nothingness of my childhood. Just no one there for me. Oh, a little here and there, which didn’t amount to anything. Also, somehow related to having to go to work after a nice long Labor Day Weekend. I feel like I can hardly do this anymore. It’s just so hard. No caffeine either. I’m caffeine free for several years because it gives me acid. For years my energy was based on that, and now I can’t have it.
    Phil

  42. Margaret says:

    Otto,
    you and your dog are on my mind a lot today.
    remember she must always have been aware how much you love her which must have made her a very happy dog…

    Phil, that must be hard, to have to go without caffeine while having to push yourself every day.
    and ginseng or similar stimulating drinks are probably not good for the stomach either, isn’t it?
    Labor day indeed…
    M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret,
      Unfortunately I’ve developed an extreme sensitivity to caffeine. I just can’t drink it, I get a reaction which can feel like a heart attack. I drink special decaffeinated coffee which is 99% caffeine free. Maybe I get some psychological boost from that, but otherwise I’ve found no adequate substitute. Nowadays it’s hard to imagine how I did all those things I did in past years. Like all the things I did for my kids. I coached their soccer teams even when I was exhausted, for example. Luckily, they’re grown up now and don’t need much from me.
      Phil

      Phil

  43. superstarguru says:

    Apparently the wildfires are so bad now in California that the sky is quite literally an orange fireball color in San Francisco and throughout parts of Oregon.

    Anyone on the West Coast with interesting reports to share on this? California residents have been quiet about this on the blog, and this would seem quite traumatic to witness overall. At the rate this is going there won’t be much foilage left to burn in the state. At least there are fewer deaths than the Camp Fire of 2018…at least so far.

    • superstarguru says:

      • superstarguru says:

        Is this God’s (or a staggeringly advanced computer simulation from millions of years from now’s) way of wreaking vengeance on California liberals since much of the state hates Trump and their skies are now the same color as Trump’s eponymous orange hair?
        Meh, probably not.

        • Sylvia says:

          Guru, I think God or the Universe, according to one’s beliefs is more upset with trump than with the liberals of CA. Karma, I feel, is waiting for Mr. orange.

          Yes, the sky here in N. CA is orange too, just about 50 miles north of the Bear fire in Butte county. Ash is laying on car surfaces, pet dishes squash plant leaves. Winds were terrible yesterday and last night that swept the fires, probably all over the state, I imagine. My neighbor said she could see flumes of fire shooting in the sky over Oroville on her way back from town on the freeway. Poor Oroville having to evacuate in places. They had a catastrophe a few yrs. back too with the dam spillway giving way when many evacuated from there.

          I am watching the winds and acreage behind us in this neighborhood where dry grass grows that has caught fire in the yrs. before. I suppose I won’t mind a truck stop development going in after all, eventually. Such is life. Y’all take care in Southern CA too. Thanks for asking about us, Guru.

          S

          • superstarguru says:

            Sylvia, do you think you might have to evacuate? Do you have plans in place for all your cats and the dog? It might also be a great time to have a “go bag” with all your extremely important items (documents, survival stuff) packed in it in case of emergency if winds fiercely blow a fire your way.

            • superstarguru says:

              By the way, I should point out…on a completely separate note…that, yes, the computer simulation argument as put forth by Bostrom and Musk have fascinated the hell out of me, particularly since it’s also quite compatible with a naturalistic worldview as espoused by Thomas Clark.
              My point with all this is when Sylvia brought up Karma for the Orange One. I won’t argue for or against the existence of Karma, but I did want to emphasize that the simulation argument for the universe still holds quite well even if Karma does not exist AT ALL (pure materialism where the universe doesn’t give a damn and will never intervene in anyway). Karma is not needed for us to be in any sort of incomprehensibly advanced computer simulation.
              I just wanted to mention this before I forgot, thanks.
              The fire topic with Sylvia and possible evacuations are obviously more pressing for today.

          • superstarguru says:

            It’s being said that 2 MILLION acres of vegetation have burned so far this year in California. At 640 acres per square mile California is likely going to easily exceed 4,000 square miles of foilage burned in the state this year. This number has potential to go MUCH higher since it’s still early in wildfire season, ouch!
            California is about 164,000 square miles in size.
            4,000 square miles burned is 2.5% of the ENTIRE STATE ON FIRE.
            Simultaneously amazing and terrible. No wonder the skies are orange!

            • Sylvia says:

              I do have a few bags ready to put in the car if a possible grass fire cannot be contained by water hoses. The fire engines are prob all at big fires now so we are ready as we can be.

              I think Karma is really, if a down-to-earth view is taken: “When your chickens come home to roost,” or “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it,” as the sayings go. In other words, trump has a lot to answer for. He will get his just deserts.

              I don’t know if Elon Musk is just dissociating. He says sometimes this all doesn’t seem real. I know he said he had a terrible childhood and that his dad beat him. Maybe if he had primal therapy he wouldn’t have these strange ideas and just face what happened to him growing up. He seems hyper to me.

  44. Sylvia says:

    I saw a post from a therapist formerly at the PI. On the “Being Human Podcast” Richard Atherton interviews Theresa Sheppard Alexander, author of, “Facing the Wolf.”

    • Viicki says:

      Thank-you, Sylvia! I didn’t even know there were any videos with Tracy. I knew of her, and people in P.T. who knew her, many years ago, but she was in New York, and I never met her. I think I just saw her briefly, at the Open House they had at the Institute, a few months after they moved from Almont in West Hollywood to Colby in West L.A. Sylvia, have you read her book, “Facing the Wolf”?

      • Sylvia says:

        Hi, Vicki, yes I read her book a few years ago, but I want to re-read it, as my thinking is more clear after having had more feelings processed, and I appreciate the primal literature more now. I think she is great and such a good communicator.

        • Vicki says:

          I finally finished watching the long interview — How did you come across it, Sylvia?

          Late on the video, the interviewer, Richard, asks her about how her “Deep Feeling therapy” is different from “Primal Therapy”, and she talks about the use of “transference”, which Art disavowed originally — and after becoming a Primal Therapist, she came to disagree with Art’s view that homosexuality is neurosis. But she said she didn’t know if Art’s position had shifted over the many years since. Richard also mentions he did his therapy at Art’s Training Center.

          In the old days, I heard the term “symbolizing” instead of transference, but I have heard Gretchen say that their view of the importance of transference has changed, and my own experience of PT in the late ’70’s was quite different from what I found when I returned in the mid ’90’s. The P.I. also long since moved away from Art’s views on homosexuality. I heard Gretchen say that they never agreed with Art about that. At any rate, “Deep Feeling therapy” sounds the same as “Primal Therapy”, in practice. When “Facing the Wolf” was first published in 1996, copies of her book were available for sale in the lobby, for quite awhile.

          • Phil says:

            I’ve thought that book, “Facing the Wolf”, to be one of the best ones on primal therapy. Phil

          • Sylvia says:

            Hi Vicki. It’s great that the Tracee Sheppard Alexander interview brought back such good memories for you, Phil and Margaret. I’d read about her in the PI Newsletter or Journals when they first came out. I’ve been watching Richard Atherton’s podcasts since before he interviewed France Janov by phone a few months ago. He himself is still a patient, though long distance from the UK, at the Primal Center. He has another podcast talking about his own problems and subsequent awakening to the primal process, he made about a year ago.

            I think from what I have heard that Tracee’s deep feeling approach toward therapy is in align with what Dr. Janov at the Center practiced, concerning homosexuality I saw a video on a sexuality discussion from the Center that implied they did not think homosexuality was anything to be cured. Some patients had changed their preference back to heterosexual after therapy and some stayed with the homosexual preference. Whatever anyone chose was fine, it seemed. There was a belief, though, that if the hormones were affected in utero, that the change would most likely not happen, (homosexual to heterosexual), as compared to a second line or third line influence where there was a change sometimes. Another video talk that France Janov gave implied that genetics could be involved also in the determination of homosexuality. Interesting stuff, at any rate.

    • Phil says:

      Sylvia, when I started therapy at the New York Institute Tracee was co-director there, not my therapist, but I remember her well. I didn’t finish watching this but it brought up feelings about what went on in my therapy at that time, so long ago. My feelings started to be opened up, a process that’s continued ever since, but I had so much trouble talking about things and saying what I wanted. It’s hard to be helped if you can’t talk about it. I was just so bottled up. Tracee did my intake interview, as I remember, and I was just so scared.
      Phil

    • Renee says:

      Thanks for sharing this podcast, Sylvia. I read Facing the Wolf when it came out in 1996 and found it really meaningful. While I agree with everything she says here, I particularly liked hearing her comments on the connections between old feelings/acting-out and political activism. I thought she responded really well to the white interviewer seeing political activism as simply an act-out. To me, this is a symptom of white privilege. You can hear this part from around min. 59 -1:05. I think she reinforces how inextricably the personal and the political are linked. It also reminded me of how remembering in therapy my own suffering in the system of my family allowed me to become more compassionate toward people suffering in other systems as well.

      • Phil says:

        Renee, I thought what she actually said was that anything could be an act-out, depending on the individual. So, being an activist could being an act-out, as could be being a passive non-activist.
        Phil

        • Renee says:

          That’s right, Phil. But that is not all she is saying. I think that the more we are beneficiaries of this system (due to our gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical abilities etc.), the harder it can be to see the other part of what she is saying: “The growth of awareness of feelings, emotions, depth of human experience…..can mean having a greater compassion for other peoples’ suffering and….solidarity with people who are being badly treated.”

          • Phil says:

            Renee, through therapy we become more aware of our feelings, have greater access to them and can have greater compassion for people’s suffering. I certainly agree with that. I thought this interview was mostly for a general audience and the content was stuff that we already know, except in the ways Tracee’s “deep feeling therapy” differs from primal therapy. I already knew that too having read the book many years ago, and while it’s still relevant, I hope some new volumes on primal type therapy will be coming out.
            Phil

          • Daniel says:

            If “the personal and the political” are inextricably linked, then the personal “compassion for other peoples’ suffering and… solidarity with those who are being badly treated”, are politically determined and so selectively felt.

            • Renee says:

              Yes, that’s what I like about her. She is challenging the dominant perspective that you are presenting, which is the view that the personal can only be politically determined and selectively felt, which keeps people divided. She is, in my opinion, overlaying a social justice perspective that understands the pain caused by, what she calls “systemic aggression”, with a therapeutic/primal perspective, to inspire and create a more humane and compassionate politics. Totally awesome, radical and subversive, if you ask me!

  45. Margaret says:

    Sylvia,
    thanks for posting that link, it was a long but interesting interview.
    it made me teary, being reminded of my own intensive and breakthrough to an unexpected feeling which opened up the gates to my almost forgotten childhood self.
    after the feeling it felt euphoric to have found myself again like finding a long lost and almost forgotten best friend.
    of course then the work only started to peel off the layers of defense, but that breakthrough had the great quality of making me trust the primal process since then.
    M

  46. superstarguru says:

    I don’t want to greedily and self-indulgently draw any attention to myself beyond simply saying I watched the interview from beginning to end. It was enjoyable to watch and I wish a little bit of time was spent exploring the validity of self-therapy for lost souls ‘out in the wild’. I had heard of Theresa’s book decades ago though I had never read it, only reading some of Alice Miller’s books instead.
    Perhaps because of the fact I never came around to reading Theresa’s book, I had been under the mistaken impression that she left the Institute simply as a renegade patient rather than a high-ranking supervisor.
    I did feel a twinge of disappointment that the interview had to end, if you can believe that!

    • superstarguru says:

      The interview did do a good job addressing a person’s fears that s/he will completely fall apart and not function if s/he stays in place rather than offering excuses of having all sorts of little errands to do “bye gotta run!”. The idea being that, once the feeling no matter how terrible, was addressed it would leave the person with ‘more of himself/herself’ to manage the situation afterwards.
      To put this more succinctly, people commonly underestimate the power of incremental healing and our inherent flexibility as humans. Theresa was right that even in the deepest sobbing fit, you can really stop in an emergency.

  47. Daniel says:

    I like Tracee Sheppard Alexander, she has a “therapeutic personality” where warmth, emotional intelligence, and a sense of trustworthiness about her combine to make one feel it possible to talk with and open up to her. From all she said I’d like to add something to the idea of transference.

    Transference not only repeats the patient’s feelings and modes of relating as a subject, as he or she felt as a child in a relationship with a significant other. Transference is not only a simple continuation of the role one had as a child – although many times it is also that. Since it’s the entire mode of relating that is being internalised in childhood, the patient may in the transference (and in life) become the object: the seducing father, the explosive mother, the bullying brother, the condescending and triumphant sister, etc. One of the more difficult revelations people have in their therapy is how similar they are at times in their feelings, actions and modes of relationship to their parents, especially to a parent whose feelings, impulses and modes of relationship one spent many years disavowing.

    At other times patients experience a sense of liberation when discovering that some of what they feel, some of their states of mind, are not theirs to begin with. Their hypochondria, depression, a perennial sense of loss, the specifics of an anxiety, the vehemence, the difficulties in thinking, although truly experienced by them, actually belongs to their parents or siblings.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: I also read those books, ,but got the sneeky feeing they were doing a ‘one-upmanship on Primal discovery and Primal theory.

      Jacj:

      • Phil says:

        Jack, I’m hearing that you’re not doing well, that your health is declining. I’m rooting for you to recover. Keep in mind, it may be possible, despite how you’re feeling right now. Don’t give up!
        Phil

  48. Well, well, well…
    Even I, as Humanity’s Supremely Insufferable Superstar Guru, must profess to scant moments of sheer ignorance.
    I do my best to correct such mishaps.
    In my discussions with Sylvia earlier, I expressed alarm and dismay at almost 3% of the entire state of California being on fire.
    At the time I assumed it would be a naturally correctable condition to where the goal is stopping all fires as much as possible.
    Little did I understand the idea of ‘natural fuel buildup’, where concerted firefighting efforts only makes the inevitable worse due to excess natural vegetative fuel buildup over many years.
    From the highly respected nonprofit news site ProPublica: “We live with a deathly backlog (of burnable vegetation fuel). In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published this terrifying conclusion: California would need to burn 20 million acres — an area about the size of Maine — to restabilize in terms of fire.”
    Ouch! Looks like this will become a lot worse before it stabilizes:
    https://www.propublica.org/article/they-know-how-to-prevent-megafires-why-wont-anybody-listen

    If the smoke becomes too dense, we can start to consider moving mini-retreats and groups to my old house which is far away from those fires. The air quality is “green” here.

  49. Daniel says:

    Wow, Renée, you’re really confused here, again attributing some of your thoughts and attitudes to me.

    Jack, which books are you referring to that are doing ‘one-upmanship’ on PT?

  50. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i am scared shitless about my dog. sinking feeling in my stomach. old feeling yes, but also reality. trying to fight off the paralysis. scared to even post this. happy motherf’ing monday.

  51. Margaret says:

    Otto,
    how are you?
    M and cats

  52. Margaret says:

    Otto,
    of course my question was how are you, typo, as you clearly understood.
    and my heart goes out to you.
    when I had to say goodbye from my former cat, it was so painful, and at the same time an intense feeling of tenderness and closeness with her, holding her and talking to her all the way through, doing all I could to make her feel loved and safe.
    I asked the vet to put opiates in the cocktail to make sure she would drift off feeling at ease…
    but it triggered the most painful feelings I have ever had, exactly what you say, both old feeling and present deep pain and sadness.
    I cried and cried for weeks in a row
    it helped me to think of all that grief being part of all the love between that cat and me, and at some point it really felt as if she had installed herself permanently safely and comfortably in my heart, it really felt that way and felt like she was curling up there liking to be there.
    it felt like all the crying had led her into that safe place.
    this probably does not help you at all right now, but maybe at some point it can do so just a little bit.
    you are a very caring and loving person and I am completely certain your dog is feeling all that love and care since the day she started living with you.
    and she is in good hands from you and your wife to start her last journey to stay forever in your heart.
    I am getting teary myself here, xx,
    Margaret and Pluche and Plukkie and Molimet my former cat.

  53. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    thanks margaret. you are making me cry. i needs to be steel at this point, to do this gruesome deed. i will ask about opiate.. z finally said let her go, even though she keeps saying that sophie is still alert and alive. . i don’t want to let her go. plus, if after the vet examines her today, as to whether she is suffering or drowning from chf or not, i might only have the choice of abandoning her at my car, since the clinic doesnt let people in because of covid. i am also talking to the vet who can come to our house. thanks for the comfort. this will be the scream heard round the world.

  54. Jack, It is definitely a Jack love fest around the Primal Institute. Everyone’s worried and concerned about your health ( I do think Chris may be right about dehydration with the heat you have had so drink some smart water please). We are all thinking of you and hoping you will be feeling better soon! Gretch

    • Daniel says:

      Does anybody have a direct line to Jack and knows what’s going on with him?

      • I have to say I am starting to feel really bad about my post to Jack from early this month expressing anger and skepticism that he might really be having serious difficulty.
        I was too blinded by anger at past grievances to let enough compassion come through, so for what it’s worth (even if my input means nothing) I am starting to feel terrible about that.

        • Daniel says:

          Although I knew Jack is old, and don’t know Jack as well as you do, I too had inside me a similar reaction to yours. We’ll just have to live with that little bit of mean (even if earned) incredulity and hope Jack is ok or will pull through.

  55. Otto, If you need the name of a vet that comes to your home I can give you my vets number. He was very kind and sensitive. Your pup is so lucky to have had a home where he was so thoroughly loved . Gretch

  56. Margaret, That was such a caring thing to have written to Otto. Really beautifully said. Gretch

  57. Jack, since everyone seems really serious about what’s going on with you now, so I will urgently set aside whatever misgivings and rancor I have had towards you from the past to wish you a speedy recovery if at all possible.
    Eat as much healthy nutrient-dense foods as you can…beans and vegetables are good. Try to exercise your body in small ways even if it’s difficult. Any activity is better than a standstill.
    Best of luck.

  58. Margaret says:

    Larry,
    that was such a nice comment you wrote to Jack.
    M

  59. Margaret says:

    I just had a cry, being reminded of how painful it was to have to say goodbye from my cat, to lose her and to let her die.
    more and more I am aware of how unacceptable it feels to me there is suffering and dying in this world, I don’t want that for anything, not even microbes should have to suffer if it were my own creation…
    nothing and nobody would have to die, I remember as a small kid talking about dying with my mom, who was severely ill several times and the feeling was we might have to do without her at some point.
    once when she was very ill in bed, she told my brother and me we should take good care of each other in case she would die.
    i remember my brother and me peeking through the keyhole when the doctor was there with her, and she looked so pale I was literally struck by panic, all I could do was look at my brother in silent terror.
    she made it but I remember talking with her about how hard it would be if she would die before me, and how hard it would be for her if I would go first, so I decided if ever we would have to die, it should happen simultaneously…
    guess my struggle with the dying concept is connected to that as well…
    yet getting older there is no way around it, as the number of times having been confronted with it just keeps increasing.
    on the other hand, when i was severely ill myself, the idea of my own death did not feel scary, but more as the appeal a bed has when one feels very tired.
    and now I have the good example of my mom who keeps squeezing all the fun she can out of life still, approaching her 90th birthday in November.
    she loves all living creatures to, and is happiest in the middle of nature , animals and loved ones.
    seems caring as much as we can is the only option…
    M

  60. Margaret says:

    Gretchen,
    thanks, it feels painful to really let that in…
    guess I am too used to feeling bad about myself still…
    M

  61. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    ISN’T LIFE GRAND WHEN YOU ARE 110 YEARS OLD. YOU HOBBLE, but you still love to smell raccoon scents and to see people walking and machines cutting grass, and chase the cats away from your food. and eat, if your doctor gives you appetite pills. in other words, this dog is still ok with being on planet earth as an animate object, for however many hours or days ahead. but i feel like i am 202 years old.

  62. Margaret says:

    Otto,
    ha, that is good news really, it is nice to hear your dog is still interested in the world around her, and chasing the cats away from her food when necessary!
    but I also understand this emotional roller coaster must be exhausting for you.
    i wish you many more nice moments together, and hope you have enough time to rest when you need it.
    M

  63. Bernadette says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Yesterday Jack was admitted to the hospital. After tests were done, doctors advised that there was nothing more they could do for him. His body shows multiple signs of shutting down and the doctors said that he had days rather than weeks to live. Jack then expressed his wish to die at home, and subsequently was released. He is taken care of by home medical visits and Jim, his partner. At this point, he is given liquid morphine to keep him pain free and comfortable. Jim is at his side and is taking good care of him. He just let me know that Jack had a good night and is asking for a “fizzy drink” (sparkling mineral water) which he can drink through a straw. We are heart broken and very sad. We hope that Jack’s last days are comfortable, peaceful, and pain free.

    • Sylvia says:

      Thank you for letting us know this. My thoughts are with you and Jack and all of his family. Take care at this difficult time. Jack is one of a kind. Peace be with you all.

    • Larry says:

      That is sad news, but good to know that Jack is being cared for and comforted. Thanks Bernadette.

    • Vicki says:

      Wow! I am sorry to hear this, Bernadette, and glad you let us know. I had gotten used to Jack “living forever”, as he had seemingly done each day he came here. I am sad he is “sailing away” or “leaving us”, he has definitely been a one of a kind guy, and I’ll miss his presence, as well as those times he made me laugh. I hope his final days are calm.

  64. Jo says:

    Bernadette, good to hear from you, but so sorry its on such a sad note. Its a relief to hear that Jack has medication now, and palliative care, and will be as comfortable as possible. Feeling for you.
    Jo XO

  65. Phil says:

    Bernadette, I’m very sorry to hear this about Jack. If true, I hope he can be comfortable and pain free in his last days. I hope you and all his family make it through this difficult time as best as possible.
    Phil

  66. I’m sorry and sad to hear of Jack’s condition as well. I had mistakenly expected him to be here forever, so I am a bit too stunned to express any helpful sentiments in a better way.

  67. Margaret says:

    it is good to know there is support now, both for JIm and for Jack.
    it will hopefully allow for more quality moments still.
    it does remain sad though, Jack was one of the first fellow Primal patients that introduced himself to me, and I loved the sparkle in his eyes instantly.
    thinking of all of you,
    Margaret

  68. I would dearly love to take back ALL of my interactions with Jack this past year and rewrite everything, but I can’t.
    I wish I had known the situation better and I am being hammered with guilt today.
    I’m really sorry, Jack.

  69. Leslie says:

    Thank you Bernadette! We appreciate you taking the time to let us know.
    It is sad – and must be hard for you and family… Jack will be so missed. I can’t help but smile
    thru my tears – remembering some funny things he said, his zest for life, and his humble, loving nature.
    L

  70. Bernadette says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I am sorry to let you know that Jack passed away today at 4:50 p.m. (local time, The Netherlands) (7:50 a.m. Pacific Time).
    Thank you all for your kind and supportive words above. I had forwarded them on to Jim in the hope that he could read them out to Jack. Although, as he was already in and out of consciousness during the last days, Jack was not able to hear them anymore.
    My last communication with Jack was on Sunday, when he sent me an e-mail and asked me to tell you “Thanks everyone for best wishes” that you all had posted here before.
    We are heartbroken and very sad. It is a comfort to know that his suffering is over and that his last days and hours were pain free, peaceful, and serene.
    Goodbye “Uncle-in-Law”, I will always keep you in my heart!
    Bernadette

  71. Barry and I are just so sad that Jack is gone. We were always so touched by his loyalty and love for Primal and the blog . As he always said he loved the banter. Mostly we will always think of him at retreats . We will never forget the look on Vivians face when he told her she reminded him of his Grandmother ! Right now our hearts are with the people closest to Jack. His longtime partner Jim , his family Mark, Bernadette and Louise, his best friend and buddy Chris and one of his oldest friends Patrick. We are thinking of you all . Gretchen and Barry

    • Bernadette says:

      Thank you Gretchen and Barry! Primal had a loyal “disciple” from the very moment when Jack had his Eureka! moment when he discovered the Primal Scream 🙂 His love for the banter on the blog kept him going every day, it was a reason to get up in the morning. Although he loved you, too Gretchen and Barry, I believe Vivian was his favorite 😉 Thanks much for your kind thoughts and words.

      • Vicki says:

        That is definitely true, that Jack just loved Vivian. From the 1st time I knew Jack, when he was my buddy at my first retreat, through all the years after, Jack has told me the stories multiple times, of how he felt about Vivian and what she did for him, that he “would never forget”. Remembering the way he talked about her, makes me smile.

      • Bernadette says:

        Vicki, thanks for your kind words about Jack and sharing your memories. I remember you telling me about the special (and very funny) gift you gave him at that retreat; he loved it. And then, I believe at the last retreat he attended, he asked me to help him find a gift for you. He took it very seriously and wanted to do it right, even though it was hard for him to get around. Bless him! I thought that was very sweet.

  72. Jo says:

    I feel sad at Jack’s passing. He’ll be missed greatly. Thinking of you, Bernadette, Mark and Louise, and Jim. Jo.

  73. Bernadette says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Jack left instructions for Jim in case of his death. His wish was that the following is posted on the blog:
    “I wrote this before I died to say goodbye to planet earth, goodbye to all in this therapy, goodbye to all my friends and family. Lastly, goodbye to my darling Jimbo.”

    • Larry says:

      Oohh…. Too soon. Another 100 years would have been nice Jack. Good-by fellow blogger.

      • Bernadette says:

        Larry, a very sweet message! I also wanted to say thank you for being kind, and especially for the amazing, supportive post you wrote to Jack on Sep 14th.

        • Larry says:

          Thanks Bernadette. I never expected to cry as hard as I did after reading your recent post of his final message to the blog. Finality hits home. I’m surprised how much the void left by his departure hurts. I hope that you, Mark, Jim and Jack’s other relatives and friends are able to find time and space to do the difficult work of grieving as needed.

          I hadn’t realized how much Jack had become a component of my life. We bloggers share here when it feels like there is no where else to go with what we are feeling. Early on he and I had disagreements. Until I knew him better, he had been the most difficult person I’d ever run into. Nevertheless we eventually grew a mutual understanding and respect and I felt support from him. Then he always said I had a horribly difficult childhood, while I always felt (and he always denied) that life was terribly unfair to him.

          For me the blog is a testing ground. What I learn through my interactions on the blog carry into my broader life. At least in some small part, Jack will be part of the fabric of who I’ve become. I’m sad that his becoming is at an end. Makes me realize that mine will be too one day. I’m glad that many years ago, I think before I finally met him in person, I told him on the blog that I wanted to give him a big bear hug. He didn’t know what to make of that, and cautioned me against it. Ha ha! Too bad he couldn’t have heard the blog’s final comments for him. I hope they at least give you and Mark and Jim some comfort, Bernadette.

  74. Phil says:

    I’m very sad Jack has passed away. He was a real character, one of a kind, and I’ll miss him here on the blog. It won’t be the same. I’m very glad to have met him at what I think was his last retreat.
    My condolences to all his family and friends.
    Phil

  75. Sylvia says:

    Thank you, Bernadette, for letting us know. It is still a shock because of the finality of it all. Good bye, Dear Jack. You have left an impression with all of us for sure. Peace to your family, Bernadette and Jack’s Jimbo.

  76. Chris P says:

    Thank you, Bernadette and Gretchen, and everyone for all the loving and kind comments about Jack. I know it is cliche to say, but I feel like an orphan suddenly. Jack was as close to a loving parent as I will ever have and he was a wonderful friend and buddy. No one in my life was ever there for me like Jack was. We “buddied” steadily for the past 11-12 years. There were many years–and I mean years–where several times a week Jack would take my calls in the middle of the night; I mean like 3:30 or 4 am middle of the night, and not once or twice, but many times… to Jim’s dismay. Sorry, Jim.

    Jack was able to sit and listen carefully as the deepest and most painful feelings would pour out of me. And he was NEVER in a rush to get off the phone or distracted. He was the dearest and most loyal friend a person could ask for. I will never forget the time Jack came to my house just to sit with me as my dear cat Bisky was put to sleep. Thank you, Jack. BTW, Jack would never let me thank him for anything always telling me that I gave him as much or more as I got from him.

    As he wrote here on the blog, Jack had been telling me for weeks that he was dying. In our buddying, we tried to explore any feeling component, and sadly I am not sure there was one, and looking back now I wish I would have spent more time telling Jack how much he meant to me. I guess I just did not want to believe it true that he was really dying. Jack said many times how he did not believe in an after-life and how he was not afraid of dying. He was afraid of how Jim would take it, and that Jim would be devastated. I am sure Jim is and know that we are here for you Jim.

    This past Sunday I did speak to Jack via Skype and he looked very tired and weak and he could barely talk, but I was able to tell him that I loved him and how much he meant to me. He was unable to speak, but after we hung up he texted his last words to me, “You mean a lot to me and we both been through a lot.” We have been through a lot my good friend and I will remember you forever.

    I have so much more to say but I am just so sad now.

  77. Bernadette says:

    Chris, thanks so much for sharing your feelings and expressing your love for Jack so freely. I know what a good friend Jack was to you, and my heart goes out to you in this sad time!
    I also know how important you were to him. I can vouch for it: your ‘buddying” calls were priority to Jack. When Mark and I were staying with him for a couple of weeks in 2014, we could be in a conversation but when you called, that conversation was over, and we were sent to go shopping or to the other room to give you privacy (which we gladly did).
    I know Jack took buddying very seriously with everyone, but honestly, Chris, you got the best of him. He loved being a buddy and helping people into feelings. He was ever so attentive and patient, as you said, and I remember him saying in his most gentle voice that touched your heart, “You’re doing it!” when the feelings came up and the tears started flowing, meaning you are in the feeling and there is nothing more to do but feel it. He was good at that, good at making you feel safe. I want to thank you for giving Jack’s life meaning in this way, as it was very important to him to be a good buddy and friend. I understand when he said that you gave him as much or more than you received from him. That’s how he was. Generous and kind.
    I had many conversations with him about the afterlife, especially in the last few weeks. Of course there was no way he would even consider it. I teasingly asked him to send me a message from the other side when he finds out that I was right and he was wrong (nobody knows for sure!). His answer: “Whenever you think you are perceiving a signal from me, it’s your feeling, not me!” Wherever you are, Jack, may you be at peace!

    • Vicki says:

      I laughed at his answer, Bernadette! “Whenever you think you are perceiving a signal from me, it’s your feeling, not me!” Thanks.

    • Chris P says:

      I really appreciate your thoughtful reply Bernadette; it so detailed and shows how connected you were to Jack. Haha, and I do remember when you and Mark stayed with him back in 2014. I was a little embarrassed to think that you were able to hear me screaming and crying through the phone, but Jack did not skip a beat: he was always ready to listen. And you’re right, Jack’s line of “You’re doing it!” was so encouraging. It’s funny but in the last few years he stopped saying that. I think we both realized I was in it for the long haul and that there may never be a “You’re done!”.

      Saturday morning was one of the days we had regularly planned buddy session, so it is going to be hard waking up tomorrow knowing that Jack is not there.

  78. Vicki says:

    I don’t read the Blog regularly, often I come and catch up reading, before I write something. So I completely had missed Jack’s Sept. 2 post, where he clearly talked about how he felt he was dying — he said it much more clearly than some of the flip comments I’ve heard him make in the past, which always made me think he might “go on forever”. Not so, the one on Sept. 2. It seems amazing that he was right, within just over two weeks later. As he got older, and was often repeating things in his posts, I didn’t know he was still capable of the kind of self-clarity he wrote on Sept. 2. So it kind of caught me shocked, at how fast his leave-taking happened — I didn’t expect it, and have found myself sadder than I would have imagined, especially considering how he and I did often not get along. I am glad we did also have some memories of nice presents and laughs. I think the sadness is a measure of my own mortality, but also just the loss of another someone familiar, when I come to the Blog.

    • Vicki, Jack’s moving from LA to Europe during his late octogenarian years solidified his aura of invincibility for me, and unfortunately made it too difficult for me to believe something might be wrong. Jack also attempted to send me a couple of emails a few months ago, which struck me as strange since we had agreed to part ways many years earlier. My harsh and misinformed judgments led me to believe he had something nefarious in mind, but it’s clear to me now that was not likely the case.
      I sorely regret not softening my own stance towards Jack, and I only hope his last few months were reasonably happy for him.

      • Yeah yeah, I know Jack would say, “There’s no such thing as happiness, only feeling.” but I think you catch my drift..

      • Vicki says:

        I do catch your drift, Guru, but I also don’t think Jack would think badly of you, for having any “harsh or misinformed judgements” — he might just likely think you were mistaken and/or in a feeling. I would have thought his attempts to email you a few months ago were likely his reaching out to hopefully connect to you, again. I don’t think Jack held grudges, at all. Although at times when he and I were not getting along, he did learn to “read” my face, to know when to steer clear of me, which I appreciated. So you may have some regrets, but I don’t think you should beat yourself up for them. Jack would not have.

  79. Vicki , I loved that “ it’s your feeling not me “ comment as well ! It’s so Jack ! Gretch

  80. Chris, Everyone wants to be seen and appreciated. Of course all too often that does not happen. You truly saw and appreciated Jack. That had to mean so much to him. Gretch

  81. Well just had a pretty disturbing earthquake in Southern Ca. . I would say about a 5 ! Yikes ! Gretch

    • Chris P says:

      it was disturbing!!! they are calling it a 4.6 centered in San Gabriel Valley. It scared the shit out of me and I ran out the house!!

    • Vicki says:

      Yes, the first shake was strong, some lateral movement, I thought it might get worse — but then just a few much milder shakes, and then nothing — I am near LAX. One site says 4.6, another 4.8. Chris & Gretchen, I believe you’re closer to it, than I am.

  82. It was scary ! I just heard upgraded to 4.8 but felt bigger and noisier because it is so close. I grabbed the puppy who looked a bit frightened and confused ! Fires are clearly not enough so let’s have an earthquake as well! G.

  83. Chris P says:

    I am about 10-15 miles from the epicenter Vicki, so you’re probably another 15 miles. But it was quick jolt to get the blood flowing. It felt like it might really do some damage so I got out of the house in like 5 seconds, literally. plagues, fires, earthquakes, gees…

    • Sylvia says:

      Chris, next come the locusts.

      I remember a few years ago on the blog someone said something un-primal, not true to the theory, and I waited for Jack to say something. I said to myself, “Jack, say something, set this straight.” He did, thankfully. He was the master of primal theory. At that moment because I was new to blogging and needed to be reassured I was on the right track with with primalling, it really mattered that Jack stuck up for primal. And I continued to risk sharing my feelings here. I will always be grateful for that.

  84. Vicki says:

    You’re right, Chris. We’ve had a couple of strong-shaking quakes this year, which scare me more. I am more used to the slow rollers I have felt for years, that last longer, but not so jolting at first. I remember one of those many years ago, living in Palms, I woke and looked to see my cat just sitting like a sphinx on the coffee table, as my whole room swayed for long seconds. She was pretty blase. I will ask my friends how Baby handled this one down in Long Beach, if they felt it.

    • Vicki says:

      Long Beach is another 23 miles away. Baby’s & Mona’s moms said the earthquake woke them up, and scared the shit out of her! The first thing she said was, “What’s wrong with these girls!! They sleep through everything!!” Neither of the dogs even moved!!

  85. Bernadette says:

    Yes, felt it, too here close to the Marina. It was pretty scary!

  86. Louise sent me this to put on the blog. It’s really wonderful! Gretch Dearest.sweetest,maddest,kindest uncle Jack!
    Most people would think that an uncle is not as important as a mother or father or grandparent but for me, your presence in my life has been just as important.
    When I was a little kid and you would make your whirlwind appearances from exotic sounding places like London and Ibiza and Paris and Amsterdam, with your life changing ideas and mad exuberance it gave me hope that I too could have a life of adventure and follow my dreams. This continued of course when I came to LA and you and Jim put up with me and helped me once again to experience something different! I will never forget the walks and talks and coffee we shared and the California sunshine. Visiting you in Amsterdam and being invited to a live sex show by the very friendly neighbours was also a highlight LOL. Most of all though to be loved by someone, whether blood family or not, in such an unconditional way without any expectation is surely the most wonderful gift a person can receive from another. This i had from you!
    I love you and will see you on the other side!
    When you get there and realise I am right send me and Jim and Bernadette a red balloon. I will be watching out for it.
    I am sad to be in a world without you but I know you will be with me
    As always and forever sending you love
    Louise xx

    This I would put on his gravestone if he had one!

    Jack Waddington: The prime example of how one person being who they truly are, allows the other to be who they truly are! The greatest gift!

  87. Daniel says:

    I’m sad at the news of Jack’s death. The place wouldn’t be the same without him.
    In thinking of him my thoughts drifted to a Berthold Brecht poem which I thought would honour Jack and capture some of his spirit. Here it is:

    On the birth of a son
    Families, when a child is born to them
    Wish it intelligent.
    I, who through intelligence
    Have entirely ruined my life,
    Can only hope my son
    Will turn out ignorant and too idle to think.
    Then he will have a quiet life
    As a cabinet minister.

    My condolences to Jack’s family, friends and buddy.

    • Bernadette says:

      Daniel, thank you for the condolences and thoughtfulness. I love the poem and agree, it captures some of Jack’s spirit.

    • Chris P says:

      thank you Daniel. The poem is great and reminds me of a story that Jack shared with me more than a few times. In secondary school the teacher asked Jack a famous question posed by the philosopher JS Mill: “Would you rather be a human dissatisfied or a pig satisfied?” I’m sure after all of the blogging you’ve done with Jack you must know his answer!

      • Daniel says:

        Yes, that sounds like classical Jack, even though I don’t fully believe that that would be his choice given the opportunity. Perhaps I’m just refusing to believe that, to echo Jack’s side which was disappointed in and rejected humanity. Miserable as we humans are we still have some joyful advantages.

        Your upcoming Zoom service for Jack is a moving gesture for you buddy of many years.

  88. Margaret says:

    what Louise wrote is so beautifully worded and reflects so much the qualities I will always associate with Jack, his liveliness, joy for life,and his generosity.
    it is good to know he had people who cared so much about him.
    my heart goes out to Jim who has to carry on without Jack now.
    Margaret

  89. Bernadette says:

    Margaret, thanks so much for your kind words about Jack earlier this week. I also loved what you wrote to him on September 2nd. It is very warm and caring. It’s nice that you had the chance to tell him how you feel about him before he passed away. Thanks for sharing the memories.

  90. Chris P says:

    Hi Everybody,

    I am going to set up a ZOOM memorial service for Jack next Saturday the 26th of September at 10:00 am PST. It will be an informal opportunity for us to share stories about Jack and to honor his life with our memories. Please come share as we remember how Jack impacted us. Bring photos if you have any, and maybe some Kleenex as we say goodbye to our dear friend.

    As Jack loved to blog and loved the banter with you all on here, I invite all of you who here to come and join in the memorial. Even if you have had disagreements with Jack over the years, I can assure he never spoke ill of anyone here and you are all welcome. If you would like to come, please send an email to Gretchen or Atty at the Institute with your email address and they can forward it to me so I can send you the link to the ZOOM meeting. And ZOOM is very easy to use, you just click on the link and the programs pretty much runs without needing to download any software.

    I hope to see you all there,

    Chris

  91. Chris says:

    Hi all,

    as I wrote above, the memorial ZOOM service for Jack will take place this coming Saturday the 26th of September at 10 am PST.

    Here is the link to the ZOOM meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84814129411

    I hope to see you there,

    Chris

    • Larry says:

      It feels fittine to have the memorial ZOOM service for Jack, Chris. It is an opportunity to say good-bye to him as a primal community. I want to participate in it. I feel the need. But I might be away this weekend.

  92. Chris P says:

    memorial ZOOM service for Jack this coming Saturday the 26th of September at 10 am PST.
    Here is the link to the ZOOM meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84814129411

  93. Margaret says:

    Chris,
    I will attend tomorrow, even if possibly I can only stay for a while.
    Margaret

  94. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    yes, I knew but somehow it felt like Saturday was tomorrow.
    a friend canceled our lunch for today as she had severe back pain, so this day feels too empty…
    tomorrow visit to my mom.
    autumn seems suddenly to be setting in here now, a big change…
    this week the subscriptions for the senior gym classes should have opened, but to only half the attendance of before Covid.
    but the site messed up repeatedly so after many of us tried in vain to subscribe the date has been set to next Tuesday 9 am, and we will have to be fast as each group will only accept 10 participants, and I really long to start it again!!!
    the site is not very well accessible with Voice Over, so someone will have to try to sign me up, hopefully in time!
    these days everything seems to be difficult…
    and I am putting on Corona pounds bit by bit, also due to increased comfort eating, and on the wrong place as always, my belly and face…
    so fingers crossed that I will be able to get into this (fun) group gym class!
    M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret,
      I hope you get into that class. I also plan to go back to the gym finally, but taking a lot of precautions. The weather has already changed here too. One night this week we had our first frost, which seems a bit early for our area.

      Phil

  95. Vicki says:

    We missed you there, Sylvia, Larry, and Daniel, the Memorial service was excellent! Chris showed a video of pics of Jack, I had no idea Jack had been such a handsome guy when he was young, that surprised me. And Louise told stories she heard from Jack — she grew up with him, as his niece. Patrick came too, and told of how he and Jack had made peace. It was good to see people we had not seen at all this year, and some for years longer.

    • Larry says:

      What!! For some reason I had it in my head that the memorial was this evening. I spent the latter part of this morning and early afternoon helping someone move most of their belongings to their new residence. I was looking forward to participating in the memorial this evening. I got to know Jack mainly through the blog but also from having visited him a couple of times in his trailer off Colorado mabye 8 years ago. It surprises me to realize I formed a bond of sorts with him, and how in his death I feel a void that I don’t like. I wish I had experienced Chris’s memorial for him.

    • Vicki says:

      And Guru — I was hoping you might come to the Memorial, too. Haven’t seen you for a very long time. You may not be able to feel it, but you would have been welcome.

  96. Vicki, It was a beautiful memorial. I was so moved by all Chris did to honor Jack. The videos were incredible. I believe Larry is out of town but Sylvia and Daniel were missed. I will say I do understand, if I could have skipped my own mothers memorial I might have. It’s all very painful. I said to Atty I’m not altogether sure about this closure concept anyway ha! Vicki your poem was one of the highlights. Loved it! I thought to myself this is truly a Primal memorial. Everyone was so honest and straightforward, each memory of Jack began with “ I loved Jack , he was one of a kind but boy did he drive me crazy. “ . No sugar coating but he was very much loved. Unconditionally. Gretch .

    • LesB says:

      There comes a time we all know
      There’s a place that we must go
      Into the soul into the heart
      Into the dark

      Melissa Etheridge, “Into the Dark”

  97. Oh that’s too bad Larry. I think Chris can send you the videos G

  98. Helping someone move .🤔

  99. Phil says:

    The memorial for Jack was wonderful, and showed how much you cared Chris. I wish I had gotten to know Jack better and met him sooner. It’s too bad the rest of the bloggers weren’t there.
    Phil

  100. Chris says:

    thanks for that Vicki, Gretchen, and Phil. And thanks for coming. The memorial is pale in comparison to what I got from Jack. I really miss him–and yes Phil–I cared a lot about him. And it was great to see that many others cared about Jack too and what a big impact he has had on our community. It was great to hear all of the stories about Jack, and I agree with Gretchen the poem that Vicki shared was exquisite. And the story that his niece Louise shared of Jack studying the map of Cornwall and making it to Truro by hitchhiking; how wonderful! It really was a “Primal” memorial, maybe a little too primal in places (hmm. hmm. Steve). I’m just kidding it was great to hear people being so honest; I would not have wanted it any other way. And Patrick was well-behaved.

    Sorry others weren’t able to come, but as Gretchen wrote, I am willing to share the videos, I just don’t want to link them here. If anyone wants to watch the videos, you can get the link from Gretchen or me.

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