In the World

My friend is going back to work after some time on the sick. I salute her courage, because I could not do it. And I fear for her.

The Government have destroyed what they called “Local Authority Control” as if it were something totalitarian, rather than supportive, and replaced it with the vertiginous hierarchy of an “Academy”, a for-profit business operating Conservative ideas of education. Each lesson has to have an Objective and record evidence that the Objective has been met- so teachers write on their white-boards, then photograph them for the files. This is a primary school. She feels distrusted and controlled. Retired teachers do not know how bad it is, because they used to be able to get around the more insane bits, but now she can’t.

Another friend went to the Non-Theist Network of Quakers. She is theist and mystical, and went to find out more on the state of the Society. David Boulton refers to any mysticism dismissively as “magic”. There are Quakers who deny any spiritual reality beyond the evolved ape in a Godless universe. This is not so bad, in my view, if they are humble and mature enough to admit that these apes have experiences they cannot explain, like being moved to speak, or reaching Unity. There are some who deny that, and some of those are Christian. She fears for our Society.

My way of dealing with workplace insanity has been to run away. I do not believe “That is ridiculous, concerned only with appearances, and making the situation in reality worse” or “that is insane”, even when true, are valid objections to corporate-speak. I do not know how to cease caring, or not to be constantly stressed out with rage at the quotidian. I suppose I need to remember that humanity gets better, despite mis-steps.

Or that the world is ridiculous, and beyond my capacity to understand. I am reading A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks, which is filled with jewel-like paragraphs, so I pause and appreciate their beauty. Like this:

Sometimes he felt his life was not a narrative or a sequence of events, but a succession of disconnected images, fragments of a larger dream. And Catalina had been such a fragment, torn off from the gulf. Everything that made life tolerable derived from a premise that you could expect reward or permanence: that you could build. It had been too difficult for him to accept that Catalina and the feeling that he had for her were not like that at all: That she had been a bubble on the surface of a stream, held in perfect tension- no less real because translucent, temporary- then reabsorbed by the element that had made her, carried on by the current of time.

Jesus strips away our illusions ‘Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from ploughing or tending sheep in the field, “Come here at once and take your place at the table”? Would you not rather say to him, “Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink”? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, “We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!”’

Men loading wagons

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