Friday, December 21, 2007

Top 5 confusing things on my radar

5. desire
Especially around Christmas, I realize how far and few in between my deires really are. Occasionally that translates into me wanting to want something or wanting to feel stronger about those things I do want. However, on other ocassions, I wonder if this whole Buddhist thing is a type of justification for my lack of desires, but then I have a sneaking suspicion that I'd be a better Buddhist if I could have more desires to aware of.

4. ritual
Again provoked by the incessant cultural hegemony of the holidays, I wonder what place ritual should have in my life. I grew up sans most of the rigamorole and tradition that most people come to associate with "home." It all seems quite artificial now, and I wonder if it ever wouldn't. I wonder if I'll ever derive the comfort and excitement from traditions that other people do...

3. asexuality
There's too much to summarize here.

2. transexuality
Transgenderism as a whole is intriguing and exciting on both an intellectual and emotional level. People who don't feel like traditional notions of gender apply to them (for whatever reason and to whatever degree) I get, and yet the whole connection between identity and body is puzzling. And there's something that doesn't sit right with me about feeling the need to have surgery in order to conform to a social construction.

1. higher education
Talk about love/hate relationships. I love reading, reflecting, discussion, and being surrounded y people who value the same thing that I do. I hate feeling disconnected from people who have not been through formal education. the longer I'm here, the more esoteric I become...I'm taking a break and deciding whether college is the place for me.

There's my semi-rant for the day...ohhh the joys of ambivalence.


Monica said...

Having a lack of material to work through can be a connundrum. On the one hand I've very happy not to have a lot of the issues I see in the world around me (rage, hate, greed) and to have lived a life without trauma or hardship.

On the other hand, the teachers tell us that to understand kindness, we must first know pain. We should use our own suffering as a springboard of compassion towards others.

In Buddhist mythology we are told of hell realms and heaven realms. We are warned that though the heaven realms are full of pleasure, we should aviod them. The beings in these realms care nothing for enlightenment or the plight of others because they have known so little of suffering they cannot even relate to its existence in the world. Whether you buy into the mythology of not, I think the message is clear.

I struggle with this ideas as they relate to my cushy life. I often think I could do more to help the world - go rebuild homes in the Ninth Ward, feed children in Africa, fight for women's rights in India - but a part of me is far to attached to my cushy life and afraid to expose myself to that kind of hardship and danger. Another part of myself argues that I will be more effective by staying the course I have set and finishing my education. Yet another bit s just confused and no small part apathetic. What could I possibly do? How could I possibly help?

In the end I think the best we can do is the best we can do, working with the material we are giving and living each moment of each day as best we can.

Hang in there.

Hezaa said...

SRS isn't about conformity; it's about feeling comfortable in your body. Kate Bornstein speaks of hir transition that ze "just wanted to be sexy." And...not all transgender people who identify with a binary gender want surgery. There are people content with being men with vaginas and women with penises.