In New Age circles they mention the Law of Attraction a lot. It basically says that you attract good things into your life by thinking positive thoughts. Those thoughts then “resonate” with “positive energy” and boom – you’re a millionaire! I’ve always believed this oversimplified approach to be an elaborate way of saying that noone enjoys being around a gloomy person and that you had better done everything you can to be this chipper dude that everybody likes having around. You got a disability, a disease, a chronic condition to deal with? Well then go fuck yourself, doomster, you’re going down. The Law of Attraction doesn’t spare whiners.

Today, however, I believe to have found some minor evidence for this “resonance” phenomenon. Upon some second, a little harder thought, it may actually refer to “negativity bias” more than anything. In a nutshell: Nature provided us with a bias towards expecting and hence preparing for negative outcomes in order to give us an edge in the survival competition of species. In an even tighter nutshell, negativity bias is driving the “never repeat a mistake” paradigm. Correct me, if I’m wrong here, but that’s how I understand this phenomenon.

Alright, so with these two paragraphs of elaborate ado, wtf happened? And before I go on, I feel guilty and majorly embarrassed for posting this entire blog post when just a couple of days ago I was this full mouth about 2015 and how I’d become a “dragon slayer” again. Well, that dragon probably got a good laugh out of that as it fixed to slay me – or my spirit, rather – today. And it did so with a brief, elegant wiggle of its mighty tail, whiplashing whatever resolve I may have felt for a split-second on my 50th birthday a couple of days ago.

It started by following up on a priority I had established for myself in an approach of transforming that 2015 dragon slaying resolve into some tangible action: I resumed my crib hunting efforts again after firmly finding after three years of trying that I am no longer comfortable where I live, never really have been (to the point of physical manifestations and discomfort, of course, needless to say). I had decided to take it even a notch further by considering moving back to a more urban area, in fact considering the fringes of the city limits of the next bigger city in my vicinity. (I currently live about some 25 miles West of it in a very quiet, rural, scenic, actually recreational area). So I did what I have to do in my current situation of having become a disabled retiree living off of the meager pittance that the stubs of a once comfty social security net left in my country. “Too much to die, too little to live”, as they endearingly call it. I’d rather say it’s even too little to die a halfway decent, pain free death of one’s free choice, should one so decide. But that’s another story. As I get up early in order to get to make those mandatory phone calls and the latter in order to get some feedback as to the criteria I need to meet for space and rent, I am being referred to another person half a dozen times until I eventually get patched through to the person in charge for my anticipated, potential future place to rent. I then learn that the place I had found doesn’t meet the criteria in place, contrary to some publicly available memo I had found saying that the place I had in mind was indeed within the criteria that can be funded. Long story – and phone call – short: It’s a no-no. But what really got me after that is this: I have become quite the diplomat/Buddha in bracing myself and my impulses upon hearing such not-exactly-uplifting messages and I usually then try to get the person in charge to work with me and tell me how to best continue from here. Not this one. She simply refused to be of any help, claiming that she’d follow updated regulations in doing so and she wouldn’t be able to tell me the new criteria in place. She wouldn’t even give me a place, URL, name, phone number or any shred of hint as to where to look in order to garner this type of information. In other words: She was actually being an ass of the proportions similar to a small nation’s geographic expansion. I had to formally terminate that phone call in order to keep it together and in order to make – my now obsolete – appointment, which should have been followed by a number of errands I had planned on running while I was at it. How does that relate to “resonance” or evidence for such a law? Well, bear with me for another moment, if so inclined.

I then met a friend’s relative close to where my appointment was and we spent the afternoon with all sorts of stimulating conversation – in a language that isn’t my native tongue, b.t.w. I excused myself after about 3.5 hours of hanging out in order to run another errand I had planned on and headed back to my car using the local subway system. This is when some quantum fluctuation seems to have reverberated in ways that manifested a major cognitive black hole in my mind as I took no less than an hour for a short trip that shouldn’t have exceeded the 15-minute-mark. In other words: I got lost. Not just once, but three times in short sequence, until I eventually found my car. I was already late, so I hoped on making up for lost time by believing I already knew the way back seeing as I had been in this area about four times last year. But …. the quantum waves of the gravitational shit field seemed to ripple the other way again as I …. got lost another three times in trying to get back on that city highway that connects to the freeway I need to take in order to drive home (or stop by that other place, where I meant to run another errand). Again, a short trip that shouldn’t have lasted for longer than 20 minutes even in traffic amounted to an odyssee of almost an hour. Let me spell that out for you once more: One full hour, an entirety of 60 minutes as opposed to the 20 minutes it should have taken. (No, I don’t have a navigation system in my car – I’m lucky I get to hold on to the car in the first place and I can only do so by way of some benevolent folks helping out with that – undocumented, of course…, or else the car would be gone and probably the place I live in, as well).

I can see you tapping your toes with impatience: “Resonance, you were fixing to talk about that.” Right. Here goes (deep breath): How is it that I’m focussing on all the shitty parts in the day, my failures and defeats? Why can’t I come home feeling good about myself and about having had a not-so-casual, borderline academic conversation with a super-smart person whose first language is different from mine? Why do I seem so helpless in deterring my known tendency to beat myself up over these setbacks, thus – naturally – resulting in an eating binge upon finally coming home – did I mention that this last errand wasn’t productive either? – and thoroughly giving myself the blame for all of this? (Ok, the disorientation bothers me. It happens for the n-th time in this particular area. Maybe some subtle, but powerful subconscious aversion towards going there in the first place renders me unattentive borderline autistic in finding my way around there, I have no idea…) But the relapse into self-blaming and putting myself on the guilt trip was – or is – so pronounced it even stands out to me, who is currently engulfed by feelings of self-loathing dipped with a heavy sauce of self-pity.

Resonance. Apparently today’s events resonated with those seemingly deeply ingrained patterns of low self-esteem and thus low self-confidence. And as I type this and as I felt them washing over me, no cognitive intervention of any kind actually helped me to avert them. I seem to be beyond any fixing.

There goes my dragon slayer spirit. Took exactly one single bad day to kill it. Wow. Fuck therapy, get milk and cookies. Fuck that, too. Get smoke and booze or whatever nice drug you can get your hands on.

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6 thoughts on “Resonance

  1. Wow. That is the exact line which caught my attention…in which you described havking the long conversation. Because instantly I thought, holy shit, that would be a hugely challenging accomplishment for me. I might leave me feeling drained, especially under those conditions, and not having practiced that behavior a lot in recent times. Most especially, looking back over your earlier encounters, I cannot help but propose an hypothesis. This hypothesis arises from my recent reading about animal signalling that “informs” subordinate group members to keep their subordination for group cohesive purposes, perhaps.

    Also, I have been looking at the online bookstore’s lists of books that supposedly teach people exactly how to get what they want, and/or teach how to keep otnhers from accessing thei needs, and all of it is done via language signalling, for instance with Neurolingistic programming.

    So, instead of communication that orients towards mutual understanding, our culture is supported in efforts to substitute control strategies using signalling with language, both verbal and non verbal. I was raised to be subordinate to most dispays of domination and to keep myplace in the social hierarchies in which I participated. Then, recently I realized that I was reacting to particular language patterns in ways that felt very much “”not like me”…I of course felt resposible for any andcall actions that resembled those of the people who raised me, right down to feeling guilty and hopeless for not behaving perfectly or for becoming unsure or cocfused—even when some kinds of conditions of domination practically guarantee those responses.

    I even ordered some books to read about human hierarchy signalling, but have not opened the box or read the contents because I do not wish to feel slimed by information that repulses me. Instead, I am paying attention to my reactions and responses on a day to day basis, as you did here in describing your day’s experiences and recalling your responses.

    Are you familiar with Bateson’s theoies of double binds and the cincept of double think as illistrated so vividly by the character Winston in the novel 1984? Again, I just ordered Bateson’s book but already understand how my participation in exchanges like that which you described whereby your efforts to meet your needs were consistently thwarted by the probably well trained “assister” with state sanctioned power using language that evokes what has been called “learned helplessness”.

    I stumbled across bio journal studies of animal groups that use signalling patterns to dominate and control the status of group members. Hence the confusion may result, hypothetically from the contrast between the earlier ecounter and the later….as if, again hypothetically, in my case my body would seem to be saying, WTF?

    For me, now, I notice such seemingly incongruous reactions, and set aside the meaning, even when I want to mentally bash myself for not being able to articulate what exactly it all means. And, like you, it seems I become aware after the fact, after the point when I could have altered my negative reaction to myself.

    But oh my—how your post resonates with my recent experiences. I also have new friends I can call who speak without the domination style signalling, and almost within minutes I can sence my inner self and my inner “knower” returning, feeling calmer, feling more peaceful. The domination signalling uses, among other strategic means, dojble binds whereby it seems as if they are presenting you with actual options, for instance, burt they are noy really options when all or both come with another problem or an impossible task that cannot be completed. The feeling of being repeartedly confronted with such double bind signalling, for example, has typically been one of paralysis or confusion or even disorientation in exreme cases. I realized intentionality or motivation of the other does not matter as much as the fact that the result is similar…once again, I feel off balance and distressed without knowing why.

    I hope these may be useful ideas for you to ponder and then just kinda notice without really settlilng on the “correct” meanings if you happen to observe similar responses in the future. I find it is possible to let go of the panicked feelings sometimes as I accept that I can start to see patterns in interactions, can accept that I dontneed to know their ultimate meaning, and can continue to notice when negative consequences became worse when I felt socially pressured to ignore my own insight or to ignore the fact that my real needs are disregard or minimized or discounted by people who stand in as proxy power brokers for, say, the state apparatus.

    I also read aloud from a book of prayers by indigenous peoples, and take comfort knowing I am not alone in suffering from forms of severe oppression.

    Finally, I cannot speak for another, but I feel heartened to read your post and to recognize ideas that have been puzzling me too. To me this post seems hopeful, therefore, it suggests perhaps an awakening to the kinds of situations and conditions that seem to covertly knock the wind from my sails. And this means the covert aspects may become known and not attached like a freaking heavy parasite I then havve to lug around as if I requested it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts experiences and thoughts about resonance. Reading your words today is very helpful to me with the challenges I now must confront, sometimes one hour at a time.

    • There is one simple conclusion from this long conversation and its “outcome”, Ruby: The system doesn’t give batshit about us. Period. We’re on our own in regards to the system. While I am not 100% familiar with the technicalities and specifics of how it works – or rather: doesn’t – in the U.S., from some witness accounts I picked up on in passing, I take it it’s not all too different in its rigidity to single out, oppress and slowly kill the downtrodden. Yes, kill!, because any single measure or activity that doesn’t fully support the individual needing and seeking help is a death verdict in the long run.

      There is no point in fighting the system. We can only and must fight for ourselves. Kudos and congrats to the person who have a support system in place.

      P.S. I no longer think it’s productive to contextualize whatever you, I or anyone with a similar condition, issue, history deal with. I no longer need to have any more details on what or how I seem to be different from anyone else – I’m not (!) different, my history is and I dare say it would have produced similar outcomes in almost anyone (science will or won’t correct me on the latter assumption one day when they have found the exact facilitating neuronal mechanisms that produce [C-] PTSD in any given individual or what it takes to avoid establishing the condition). So I know enough about that and from experience, I just about have enough evidence as to the ways a majority single out minorities or an individual they perceive as outside the accepted norm – and that norm is being established by the ruling majority, there is enough literature out there on those dynamics (my personal take on those is that these dynamics seem to be a primordial “health care” strategy, like e.g. minimizing the harmful effects of ill members of a group so as to not “infect” the rest of the group/band/tribe or something along those lines. That’s just a wild assumption at this point, but I bet if I put my mind to it and did some digging, I’d find scientific evidence; however, my top priority is to be the fuck better and suffer less!, so I’m going to have to set theoretical musings aside for the time being 3:) )

      P.P.S. Sorry for ranting. I’ve been burning my last ember for so fucking long, it was about time I JUST – FOUND – REAL – RELIEF…, so I eventually get to get my real life started…

      • I hear you. Some rant, others sob, I howl. The culture is a massive psychopath that is running humanity.

        To repeat to any and all innocents: listen to your intuition. Trust only yourself. Finally: visibility is a trap. Dont assume anyone is safe.

        Survival is the focus now. If humor sneaks in, if beauty peeks through, if peace abides within you for awhile….enjoy. Those without feelings or empathy may prevail.

        Yet we have been spared their horrible fate. In that I rejoice.

      • “If humor sneaks in, if beauty peeks through, if peace abides within you for awhile….enjoy.”

        Those fleeting moments is what I learnt to hang on to for joy of life, Ruby. They usually don’t last too long, but then nothing does, not really. Will this work as a concept? I have no idea. There is and are “holes in my soul” that might never close up. That scares me. So I need to create as many of those fleeting, beautiful moments as possible. On the bright side: It keeps one busy 😉

  2. Please endulge my Grammy p,ov. Which seeks NOT To minimize or discount the pain from feeling those “holes” in you soul. Yet offers another potential interpretation for them as metaphor, to ponder. And maybe reject.

    I like to imagine I maybe have soul holes for reasons that might not just represent painful losses and grief. Maybe
    i need the holes to allow the Sacred (HOWEVER each person understands it) to flow in—and through us. Or rather, speaking personally, through me.

    O N THE other hand, i am no doubt kind of a freak for loviing powerful imagery Hence…who knows? ♥

    Lovely conversation, btw. Thanks.

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