Ether

All hills, no thrills. Hurricane, where I lived before moving to Charleston. Hills change a lot of things, and it has taken me a few years to get used to them.

Thoughts are made of air. Behind thoughts lies ether. Ether is the space which thoughts occupy; the realm in which you are thinking. And this is where I sometimes feel off, as though my reality is located in a place not quite relevant to me.

While thoughts need to be clear, rational and honest to have value, ether is subjective. You could say it is faith or imagination infused by a feeling. You begin with a subjective feeling, a sense, that life is this sort of thing, and then that feeling becomes the terrain over which all your thoughts must travel.

Perhaps, for example, you have the sense that life is a dismal affair and the world more or less a machine. In this case, your ether has a gray metallic cast, and all your thoughts must make their way through that grim landscape. Or you feel as though the world is full of love and unicorns (even though you might not literally believe that). Once again, you will only be able to harbor thoughts that can survive in this bubblegum hued environment. In this pink world, the possibility of your husband wanting to kill you becomes unthinkable, and all evidence in favor of this hypotheses drops from your mind. This does not, however, make it impossible for your husband to follow through with his deadly plan.

Hence, why it is difficult to judge which flavors of ether are better and which are worse. It all depends on the person and the place.

Let’s say, for example, you are an atheist, a materialist,  and this is the backdrop for your thinking, the etheric world your thoughts inhabit. (Keeping in mind, however, that ether is not so much your stated beliefs as the climate these beliefs inhabit. There could be an atheist with a empty cast, who feels the world is void of meaning. There could be an atheist with an angry cast whose rage at parental figures has turned into a war on religion. Or there could be an atheist with a milky brown cast, who is so enamored with nature that he has no interest in spiritual abstractions.)

So let’s say you are an atheist with a metallic gray cast, drawn to mechanical thoughts and seeing life as a rational affair. Although spiritual things seem like fairy tales to you, you hold no animus towards those who believe in them. This could be a fine etheric location for a engineer or scientist to set up shop, helping them to stay focused on their life’s work and perform it in a logical manner. While for someone else-like a warrior- this form of ether could be debilitating, stripping from them the passion and sense of glory one needs to lay down one’s own life.

The value, then, of any given frame of mind is relative to what that person needs to contend with and accomplish. The rose colored glasses that might compliment a pre-school teacher could be deadly for a police officer.

And now I am wondering what my point is… I think my point is- maybe- that when you interact with people, you don’t just have a tendency to share their thoughts, you get drawn into the same mindspace as them. This happens to me when I use Facebook. Even though I disagree with people, eventually the disagreement draws me into thinking about the same things as them. Their take on life starts to refocus my own, creating a sense of disconnection from self.

I guess I am honest with people to the extent of meaning what I say, but not honest to the point of sharing what I actually care about. The things which can be shared do not interest me, and the things which interest me cannot be shared. Or perhaps that is just the dark lens through which I view life.

Me, a couple years ago, unable to smile as Saturn- the planet of restriction and gloom- crossed over my horizon. There was a time in which I had few opportunities to leave the holler, the little crevasse in which I lived, and this photo may have been taken to celebrate one of those moments.

 

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