Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I have grown somewhat weary of my shiatsu colleagues--not of my clients, who are wonderful, clever, generous, insightful human beings--but my fellow practitioners. If I have to endure one more conversation that takes as its starting point the presupposition that The Law of Attraction is really a "law" of the universe, witness one more debate about the symptoms of entity possession and the best cure thereof, or hear any more tales of the healing properties of angels, spirit guides, and/or crystals, I might just snap. I may show symptoms of demonic possession myself.

Many of my colleagues, mind you, are not like this. It just seems that the ones who are will Not Stop Talking. Most startling to me is that the offenders are completely unselfconscious about their cockamamie ideas.

Of course, this is just one branch of a General Misanthropy I'm experiencing of late. Other irritations include Printer Discourtesy (PUT YOUR DAMN LABELS IN THE PRINTER WHEN YOU'RE PRINTING LABELS, RESTOCK THE PAPER WHEN YOU PRINT THE ENTIRE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA); No One Knows Who Replaces the Toner Cartridge; Yakking on Cell Phone While Driving an SUV Too Large For You to Handle--that means YOU, Soccer Mom and Angry/Entitled Corporate Guy; and, my favorite, Outsourcing/Slashing Pay for Local Vendors in Order To Line the Pockets of Senior Management (NOT Ethical).


Narya said...

And the occasional rant.

Which, you know, if you come from the kind of italian family from which I come, fits right in. Then you have a glass of wine and a cookie and laugh about it and move on.

Except--angels? Spirit guides? Crystals? And you manage to keep a straight face? Because I would sprain my eyeballs from rolling them. It's like that episode I described a few months back, where a woman was going to consult an invisible cloud being about whether she should keep paying for a parking space. Seriously, people, shut up and spend some of that energy on taking care of your own business, and you won't NEED an invisible being of some kind. Just sayin.

kStyle said...

Ah, cookie and wine with the rant. I like.

I have no issue with consulting the occasional cloud being or whatever--use all your resources, you know?--but for some people, like those of whom I rant and your parking space lady, it's the Central Focus of their lives. I'm no stranger to the Tarot deck, but I generally keep it to myself, where it belongs, with a thin cover of self-consciousness.

kStyle said...

PS And to me, Tarot is mostly about the power of symbols unlocking new ways of thinking, not about Mysterious Forces.

Larry Jones said...

I love that you know folks with cockamamie ideas.

I think of all those kooky superstitions as ways of explaining the universe, to myself. But I am aware that I don't understand the universe, that my explanations are just stories I tell myself. Kind of like "What if God were one of us, just a stranger on the bus?"

Narya said...

I think any of those things--Tarot, I Ching--can be useful, as you say, as way of structuring one's contemplations on whatever's going on in one's life. I don't really think of them as predictors.

So what we're arriving at here is drawing a distinction (meaningful? self-justifying?) between an interpretive schema and tools for developing one's own interpretive schema. I tend toward the latter, not least because it seems like a way to let things unfold. Yeah, the occasional bit of reassurance that this or that decision is going to Work Out Well would be nice . . . but I wouldn't trust it anyway.

kStyle said...

Larry, YES, that's just it!

Narya--and how many people, for example, believe in their horoscope selectively? Like, "It's really negative today, so I think the astrologer must be off."

Narya said...

Larry, atheist though I am, I've always liked that song. It's closer to what I understand the christian message to be than many other things.

Also, your comment made me think of a quote from Joan Didion (who can get on my nerves but who gets some things exactly right): We tell ourselves stories in order to live.

word verification? ljcolurr

kStyle said...

Nice quote, Narya! Here are some I would add.

Someone recently told me an excellent bit of Confucian wisdom from Han Dynasty China, "Respect the spirits by keeping them at arm's length," or something like that.

Put another way, as the Bear King Iorek Byrnison told the children, "The business of the living is with the living."

Or as our monk Ven. Lobsang says, "The job of a human is to be a joyful, peaceful, compassionate human being. If you want to believe in god, that is secondary."

I'm not totally willing to rule out the supernatural, nor am I willing to believe. I just don't want to play, either.