Devotion

Honestly I have a strong aversion to hospital culture, the idea — not saying you do this; you don’t — the idea that every little thing has to be obsessed over and that salvation is found in the medical industry. Hospitals are not to be worshipped, are not for finding salvation, though some people think so, so it seems if you listen to them.

I’m not comparing you to anyone. Not saying you do this. I’m talking about myself.

Every time I hear talk of going into a hospital, I hear the echo of this idea, like religious devotion: that it’s our destiny (and duty!) to enter that place and put our fate into it, that every feeling in our bodies calls us to obligation: calls us to submission to the medical system and all it entails, even the idea that this submission is our whole and actual purpose.

I’m certain that many people hold these beliefs.

I know you meant, doctor’s office, not hospital. I mean “hospital” as a word that implies the system, as “the Church” implies the system and hierarchy that covers small temples, churches, and at the top, Cathedrals.

As I said, the system has value in both cases, hospital and church. My problem is with the degree of WORSHIP.

What does that have to do with me?

You said you noticed that I don’t want to talk about your going to the doctor. I said I do listen. Then I add: this is the psychic context.

I have an equal attitude about both churches and hospitals (medical system). I will attend both when I feel like it and have a specific and limited need.  But I won’t seek salvation in either.  Won’t worship either. I see value in both, but not as objects of worship. When I enter either, I won’t enter with the attitude that “here I will find relief”. I might receive it, but I don’t expect it. And I’m aware I might be harmed as much as helped, in either.

That caution matters I think.

Of course I know that too.

I know you do. I enjoy making these thoughts.

We can see in the world what happens with excessive worship, with too much faith in your religion (by the way, the USA is a religion), and too much faith in medical systems. This leads to tremendous harm.

But if you have a reasonable approach to each, then sometimes you can get good results.

I want my knee problems to get better.

And sometimes, actually always, people eventually end up with a chronic case of one thing or another. If we’re reasonable, then we understand that and so do not demand salvation, asking for more and more and more… medical attention, …as if at some altar.

Which then comes full circle: the Christian idea of suffering, and ritual praying, full circle, as this is reasonable meditation, reasonable because of realistic expectation, that suffering will continue.

The basic undistorted teaching is that we are human.We’re both flawed, and, we break down. We suffer, and endure. We’re principled though, and devoted, to the light, the good.

This can be healthy until it’s excessive.

I mean, those ideas cannot be used excessively. But devotion can be, and so the ideas can be distorted, and evil ideas adopted and so on.


Sweden is a country of 9.9 million people (2017). The United States is 33 times larger at 323.1 million (2016).

Since the two countries participate in wars together (Sweden’s centuries-long neutrality is lost) creating very large populations of refugees, you’d think maybe the two countries would admit similar numbers per-capita, of war refugees.

You’d be wrong.

Sweden admits more refugees than the United States, in actual numbers. Not just a greater number as a proportion of population, but a greater actual number. In per capita terms, Sweden admits about 50 times more refugees than the United States. I won’t science it all out (the numbers). It’s not my point. There are some introductory figures here:

https://qz.com/774427/the-most-refugee-friendly-country-in-europe-is-growing-weary/

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/30/key-facts-about-refugees-to-the-u-s/

My interest is devotion.

I live in Sweden part time. I visit as a tourist. From my apartment third floor window, I look out to a celebration of happy people, Syrians, in a procession of horn-honking cars and cheering. A wedding, I was later told. The neighborhood is home to many Syrians. As I wondered what they celebrated, a Swedish woman on the sidewalk below clapped and smiled, raised arms and joined the cheering.

That’s nice, sure. I think about it. I want to analyze this, find some meaning in it. Maybe there is none other than the obvious on the surface: she’s happy seeing a wedding party, and wants the refugees to be welcome.

But, well, I just don’t enjoy stopping there at the surface. If you do, you can quit reading now. The rest is my opinion only, thoughts to myself.

Devotion

Most Swedish people are like most American people it seems to me, in many ways. They have the same basic motivating idea as the woman on the sidewalk. The idea is that Sweden is a good and decent country, and not only shows this but IS this by admitting refugees.

One cannot really cheer happily a wedding party of immigrant war refugees, without believing this idea.

If you believe that your country, Sweden, is evil, because it wages wars of aggression throughout the world, then seeing war refugees celebrating is going to surface some feelings other than pride, and delight, and welcoming. There might be delight, and welcoming, but it will be tempered with other ideas. It’s hard to describe what the amalgam of response looks like. But it doesn’t look like innocence.

This idea (that we are good and decent) is the problem. This idea (that Sweden is a good and decent country) prevents recognition that Sweden is an evil country among other evil countries that are waging war against Syria and many other countries. That evil must be confronted and stopped. And will not be confronted and stopped as long as Swedish people believe their country is good and decent.

I hear it said that we can do both, stand against war and protect refugees.

What I try to say is that Sweden does NOT do both. What Sweden does is like this: Sweden is like a mass murderer who goes into a movie theatre with guns shooting people, who also at the same time “generously” protects those who flee and stand behind him.

So what I say is that the shooter has to be stopped and until the shooter is stopped, the shooter, Sweden, or (fill in the name of your US/NATO country), is not to be honored for protecting the ones he doesn’t shoot.

The current situation is even worse than honoring such a deviant. The current situation is that the honor is given, and has the effect of blinding people from seeing that the same person has been shooting and killing and continues to do so.

But it does not change what I think is right.

What is right?

To help people who need help, we can’t close our borders for refugees.

Without stopping the shooter? If Sweden does both, then helping refugees has meaning.

But if Sweden, or (fill in the name of your US/NATO country), remains committed, as it is committed, to creating refugees, then helping refugees has no meaning. That is, helping refugees has no meaning as national policy while the same nation creates them.

That is your opinion.

Not really.

If I set a building on fire and help the survivors, there’s no meaning in my rescue efforts.

That’s not opinion. I should help them, yes, but if I’m sane, I won’t delude myself into thinking I’m in any way decent.

This conversation is confusing because it includes definitions of “I” and “WE”, which overlap. I’ve been talking about a nation, with behaviors and actions, a nation as an “I”.

But imagine instead, Sweden as a nation with a population of two people. One of those is burning buildings and shooting people (continuously with no end in sight). The second Swede is helping the survivors while the first Swede continues the shooting and burning without opposition and with no end in sight.

Such a nation has real issues, serious issues, presents a psychotic break, a schizophrenic nation unable to see what is real.

In such a Sweden, the help is meaningless. The only way to make it meaningful is if the population (of two) adds a third person who stops the shooting and burning.

Without this third person, the second shows excessive devotion, to a false idea (we’re good, decent) that perpetuates war mongering, killing, creation of refugees.

For words that drill this into the brain more totally than any I’ve seen, read to the end for the discussion between S Brian Willson and Adrian Rossi here: https://www.nationofchange.org/2017/09/16/shelter-within-storm-dialog-politics-culture/

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