Consciousness and the unconscious

There is no morality beyond what people imagine is right or wrong or Ought to be. People with these imaginings evolve through natural selection, from being a social species, and we may observe different people with different ideas about what Ought to be, and what they value, and from that construct a morality to achieve the best result for that society.

Shakespeare thought that arguable: he has Hamlet say There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

I used to think my morality is for me– that is, when I have a thought about what is the right thing to do I should do it myself, not impose it on others. I don’t know their difficulties or blind spots. Now I think others’ morality is for anyone but themselves, something they can agree on to judge a victim together, to feel good about themselves.

If we construct a morality to enforce our will, this depends on not knowing what we are doing. If we imagine ourselves to be moral people, we could not bear to be aware of using morality as a weapon.

This not knowing why we do what we do applies to lots of things. An example from the NYT:

We think we are sharing news stories in order to do one thing, like transfer knowledge, but much of the time aren’t really trying to do that at all — whatever we may consciously think.

Someone asked whether Mr Trump believes what he says. That ignores why people say things- to enforce dominance or show submission, to build community, to evoke feeling- Mr Trump’s insight is that truth does not matter in doing these things. His opponents might care but his supporters don’t.

As an evolved being, it matters whether I can reproduce, and whether I am conscious of what I am doing depends on whether that increases the likelihood of reproduction over fooling myself. I am not sure it does.

So morality may be an illusion. How could it not be, when pretty much everybody crashes through the world hurting other people and hurting themselves – cheating, lying, sneaking, betraying, laying about them with the broad sword?

And so, consciousness, in which morality plays such a part- mine more or less OK, others’ a mess of viciousness and hypocrisy- must be illusory too. And morality goes beyond conscious impressions into analysis. Under the self-forgiveness I find self-blame.

We have to live with the best we can do, and with disagreement. Often I know what I am doing but not beforehand that I will choose it. I can be in two minds, knowing I ought to get up and shower, and deducing that I don’t want to only from the fact that I don’t, because consciously I imagine that I want to. From this I deduce that unconscious motivation is in control, and conscious motivation- what before thinking about it I would tell myself or others that I wanted- is often illusion.

Or the mechanism linking desire to action is in some way broken, that I want to do something but that does not mean I do it. Then “I” could still be perfectly good, and do bad things haplessly.

So it is necessary to sit in contemplation of what one imagines one wants. Setting words aside I imagine a possible or remembered act and consider what I feel about it. Or I consider what I have actually done in particular situations, rather than what my self-image tells me I ought to (want to) do. Was my past act triumph, failure or simply what emerged from me in the circumstances at the time?

Imagining I could do better may be false reassurance, imagined safety from similar mistakes.

There is a human being, that acts and desires, sees and fails to see, but it is so much more than consciousness.

The Discrimination Tribunal

Jessica Yaniv’s claim of discrimination failed in the tribunal though the judge said that her complaint of gender-identity discrimination in a leg wax was justified (paragraph 102). The Judge Devyn Cousineau said she had made the claims in bad faith and for improper motives.

Jessica Yaniv was still using a profile on Facebook in the name Jonathan Yaniv, with a photo Cousineau thought appeared male. She said gender cannot be told from looks.

What if rights to single gender services should be? Where should we draw the line? Can you divine someone’s intention from how they present? I like to think people can be reasonable. We know what presenting male looks like.

We might distinguish use of services and ways of interacting. Gendered ways of interacting are oppressive. You don’t know if the person is non-binary or nonconforming. We might get to know the person rather than apply gender stereotypes. But we still need some single gender services.

The judge found Yaniv’s evidence disingenuous, self-serving, evasive, argumentative, and self-contradictory.

Ms Yaniv told beauticians that she had “male parts” but in tribunal was evasive. Asked “You’re saying you were asking her to wax a vulva?” she replied, “I’m not gonna say whether I have the whole thing. I’ll say it exists.”

I can understand her not wanting to answer questions about her genitals, but the tribunal decided the service of waxing a vulva was different from that of waxing a scrotum, and so there was no discrimination. So it was relevant.

On seeing Jessica as a man, Cousineau wrote, it was a common theme through these complaints that service providers initially perceived Ms. Yaniv to be a man based on her name and picture. Me. Yaniv strongly objected to this, arguing that there was no basis to assume her gender based on these details and that the very assumption was offensive. I disagree. While we may one day live in a society where a person’s gender is not assumed based on signifiers like name or appearance, we have not yet arrived at that point. For the most part, people still make assumptions about gender based on outward characteristics. While in some cases these assumptions are wrong- as they were in this case- they are mostly right. A service provider’s reliance on these assumptions is even more pronounced when they are communicating with potential clients via social media, with very little information.

They thought she was a man because she had a male name, short hair and no makeup. I think that is OK, but the problem arises if she intends to transition but is still part time presenting male. I would have explained the position. She is offering to pay for a service. Some people have two facebook profiles, one male one female.

I learned a little about the “Brozilian” or “Manzilian” wax, of penis and scrotum. I agree with Jessica that those terms are offensive to a trans woman, but they are ok for most people with scrotums, and possibly once she found a beautician who would treat her she could talk of a “genital wax”, but it is a different service from a Brazilian, a vulva wax.

The expert witness had run a business for many years and taught beauticians:

The penis almost always become erect, at least for some portion of the treatment. In her experience, it is not uncommon for the client to then request or expect sexual services and to become abusive when they are denied.

I found that completely shocking. I cannot imagine demanding a hand job from a spa worker.

Waxing does not kill hair follicles, only make them weaker. If your surgeon will use scrotal skin to line the neovagina, you should have laser treatment or electrolysis, having consulted the surgeon.

The skin of the scrotum is thin, and may tear in inexpert hands. She said a scrotum wax can take up to an hour.

The judge considered Yaniv had made the claims for improper motives, or in bad faith, so should lose. In part this is because of racial animus against the respondents. Yaniv considers certain ethnic and cultural groups don’t accept Canadian values, or trans women. The judge said that just as she should not have to endure being misgendered, so she should not judge the Indian-heritage legal representative on racialised stereotypes. Yaniv asserted immigrants were like Neo-Nazis, in that they were taking over her town.

Each of the five grounds for finding improper motives applies. The judge is clear that it is extremely difficult to demonstrate improper motives, and none of the grounds individually would necessarily be enough.

Jessica Yaniv had joined a women’s gym. She is not simply barred from women’s services.

This case has been used by transphobes to monster us, and oppose Equalities legislation supporting us. Yet the legislation has worked. Yaniv’s racist scheme failed.

Two women ceased to trade as aestheticians because of Yaniv’s legal threats; but many laws can be used to make unjust threats of legal action, not just gender discrimination law.

I am not responsible for Yaniv. What she does in another continent has no relevance to my rights.

Evolutionary spirituality

How could spiritual experience evolve? Blake’s lines

The world in a grain of sand
and Heaven in a wild flower

refer to it. My senses feel more alive, more immediate and intense, and this changes from being a peak experience to an everyday one which I can enter or even sustain through disciplined effort. It seems worth the effort.

I was writing song lyrics seeking to evoke a standard spiritual experience, even hint at it to those who do not have it, and that led me to imagine what it was and think of early experiences of it.

I had the experience without connecting it to Blake the first time I sat in a circle with the instruction “Speak when moved”, not with Quakers. After, I would have said “I could hear a pin drop”.

Then at the Five Rhythms dance camp, the facilitator sought to induce it- we had our right hands on the shoulder of the person in front with the instruction to place your foot in the footprint just left. This is impossible and pointless. Some gave up. He led us in circles in the woods, then abruptly out into a field in bright sunshine- the perfect metaphor for spiritual experience as well as a real experience of it, doing ridiculous things in darkness then emerging into Light. My senses were alive. This delighted me.

After, I had such an experience at the Greenbelt festival: a tree impinged on my consciousness suddenly, and each leaf was separate, I saw it in such detail. Then I decided to evoke such experience, for example by paying full attention to chores like washing up, seeing the gleam of light on wet plates, enjoying the motion of wiping them.

A deer, feeding, will suddenly lift its head to scan its surroundings. So might our primate ancestors. We are suddenly moved to look around. There may be a predator, or prey. There is no predator in civilised society apart from other humans, whose threat civilisation often seeks to blind us to and deny, but basic brain processes may nevertheless take over from the monkey mind, the endless stream of words flowing through consciousness, most of them repeated many times before.

We escape words into conscious attention. Rather than stereotyping classifying and dismissing current experience through words which simplify it, I pay attention.

The words come between us and experience. Sometimes this is a good thing- I can communicate complex information, think abstractly, read a book- and sometimes bad, stopping me really seeing. As I look at the woods more, I see all the different greens. That is not just a “bird”, even a “red kite”, but a miracle of adaptation, a slight movement of one wingtip feather holding it perfectly in the thermal.

New words delight, old words stultify, even becoming the psychiatric symptom of rumination. When I enter into the moment of immediate experience I might act as needed now rather than by habit, from seeing rather than stereotyping.

Wake up!  cried Anthony di Mello. Liberation is another metaphor. I become my potential. It is an animal response, perhaps older than backbones or bilaterians.

Quaker transphobia

Are Quakers transphobic? Yes. Not all, perhaps, but there is a vicious, self-righteous, self-pitying strain of transphobic hatred in many Quakers. At least one cis ally had to step away from her meeting because of transphobia there, and trans people are leaving.

“The Friend” magazine regularly prints the letters of transphobes, and there is a fine example in this week’s. It is anonymous, as the writer fears their vile prejudice becoming known.

It attaches Quaker virtues falsely to the transphobe cause. “The promptings of love and truth” and “sitting with uncertainty” allegedly lead the writer to transphobia. Wokeness is mocked with scare quotes, and being a trans ally called the “easy”, thoughtless path.

Trans concerns are minimised, and myths peddled. “We heard about the trans woman who feels alienated”- this sounds abstract, beside the account of our “victims”. “A young man pressured to redefine his gender rather than accept his homosexuality” as if that ever happens. No-one who cannot accept gay people can accept trans people.

The answer, they imply, is just to exclude trans women. How else to protect vulnerable, fearful women? Well, you could introduce them to the trans woman and show fear of her was unjustified. Few meeting houses have communal showers and changing rooms, and the risk in a toilet cubicle from trans women generally, if it exists, is far less than the risk anywhere else of male sexual violence.

“The Friend” printed an excellent article by James Barrett, specialist psychiatrist, who wrote “it is soul-crushing and miserable for someone to live their lives pretending to be something they are not”, a quote made prominent in large print. The editor is not a transphobe. But letters show a steady drip of poison.

On 17th May, a woman claimed to have had transgender friends! Then she said “the recent politicization of transgender has adversely affected women, girls and lesbians” (sic). She then wrote of “misinformed trans activists” in misogynistic bullying of rape survivors. She wants a “safe space for debate”, or to be able to hate trans women without criticism.

Elsewhere, the self-righteous attempt by some Quakers to promote hate and fear against trans women was on full view. One claimed that being asked what her “gender” was, was a lie- she has sex but no gender. So she works to deny the ordinary descriptive language we use to explain our experience. Another complained of trans women being referred to as “she”.

One suggests the “theory” underpinning our identity is “unhelpful”, and “just be kind” “gets nowhere”.

One asserts “female-bodied people calling themselves non-binary is anti-lesbian”. Some AFAB non-binary people have male partners. She wants to regulate the words we use about ourselves. Another says “it isn’t about trans rights, as gender-critical progressive women are in favour of trans-identified people having fully the same rights as everyone else”- as long as those rights are defined to exclude us. She is against our rights under the Equality Act. Despite all the open transphobia, she claims “honest and open discussion” (transphobia) is “suppressed”. One claimed that trans women talking about our experience “causes pain to other Friends”.

Then there is the old lie, “This is an issue which will affect everyone, not only Quakers”. Gender recognition, the only new right on offer, only affects trans people.

Are Quakers transphobic? Not all, but some are grimly and self-righteously so. If you go to a Quaker meeting there may be someone there resenting your presence. They are unlikely to say anything- despite talk of Quaker “plain speech” we are not good at handling conflict- but you may find yourself frozen out.

As an antidote to the hate, a beautiful picture.

“Autogynephilia” refuted

Autogynephilia is the hypothesis that despite constant rebuttal refuses to die. Julia Serano, in a long essay, summarises the refutations, and suggests reasons why people might cling to it despite them. The whole is worth reading, but as Medium predicts that could take half an hour here is my summary.

Ray Blanchard came up with the idea that people assigned male at birth, through fantasising about becoming women, caused themselves to develop gender dysphoria and then transitioned. He thought there were four kinds of fantasies, including but not limited to having a woman’s body: one was of stereotypical women’s activities. He imagined that people fantasise about knitting and sewing.

Blanchard’s only evidence for AGP was correlation, that trans lesbians had female embodiment fantasies (FEFs). But the correlation is poor- some trans lesbians don’t have FEFs, and some androphile trans women have. We experience FEFs after feeling the desire to be women, and they diminish or cease after transition. Rather than two distinct kinds of trans women, our sexualities fall on a continuum, and we have different experiences of desire and of FEFs. Intense FEFs may be caused by having to hide or repress gender dysphoria- they are most prevalent in older white trans women.

Cis women have FEFs too. 11% of cis women have fantasies about becoming men. People probably experience embodiment fantasies for a variety of reasons.

Trans women have many reasons for opposing AGP theory, besides that it is false. It is rigid and simplistic, reducing our complex experience to two simple subgroups. Blanchard insisted any trans woman opposing his hypothesis was in denial or lying. That is, he twists and minimises all the evidence contradicting his hypothesis.

He says our motivation for transition is sexual. It is far more complex. People should not be classified or stigmatised because of sexual fantasies. Science is about following the evidence wherever it leads.

So who still believes AGP theory, and why?

Blanchard failed to distinguish AGP and FEFs, which had been observed before his research. We use AGP to refer to the discredited hypothesis, but he and his supporters use the name to refer to FEFs in trans women.

Unfortunately some people have only read about AGP from Blanchard supporters, and have not read further. Laypeople may favour Blanchard’s simple but false explanation over a more complex understanding of complex traits. They may dismiss trans women because of sexism, so be happy to imagine all our motivation is sexual: they cannot imagine why someone would want to join the second sex. The stereotypes come from sexist ideas about women, not observation of trans people.

Other researchers are recognising and correcting for old unconscious sexism.

Older sexology referred to atypical and non-reproductive variants of sexuality as deviant or pathological, but sexuality is so varied, so inextricable from all aspects of life, that this is outdated. There is no clear line around “normal” sexuality.

Gender and sexuality are infinitely varied, but the old idea of sexual inversion still influences some people. They are gender essentialists, saying men should be a particular way so that when some are feminine, they are repelled. Such people conflate gender and sexuality, imagining it is “masculine” to be attracted to women.

AGP believers don’t take account of the social pressures on trans people, such as external and internal transphobia, homophobia and sexism. Gender diverse people exist across cultures and throughout history but our social roles vary considerably. Ideas of gender fluidity and non-binary increase our freedom. As societal transphobia decreases we transition younger, without being forced into a secret crossdressing stage. Younger trans lesbians experience far fewer FEFs.

We are not a “type” of trans woman. We are humans with vastly different life experiences. Stereotypes are useful for the most basic understanding but inhibit any greater understanding. People like Blanchard cling to their stereotypes to avoid the need to think. Male heterosexuality is normalised, women are sexualised, and trans women are hypersexualised.

Some trans women, such as Anne Lawrence, accept the AGP hypothesis because they imagine it relates to their experience and describes the fantasies that they were ashamed of. Their beliefs do not trump the overwhelming evidence against AGP.

Transmedicalists or truscum are tempted to portray other trans women as perverts in the hope that they will be recognised as real transsexuals, and accepted. This never works.

Transphobes looking for justification for their beliefs-religious conservatives and TERFs who are ideologically opposed to our existence and who actively work to undermine transgender recognition and acceptance- cling to the hypothesis. It’s like slut-shaming: it sexualises us in an attempt to discredit us. It gives a pseudo-scientific justification to portray us as perverted predators, a threat to women and children. Blanchard writes articles for such transphobes.

Julia promises another article on the absurd complications, like epicycles in Ptolemaic astronomy, that AGP diehards resort to, to wave away the mass of contradictory evidence. But the AGP hypothesis is discredited, and the reasons people still believe it are outdated.

The Entombment

I love her face. She is in the moment, concentrating on the task in hand, and her misery does not get in the way. The necessity of completing her task may give her some relief, by giving her something else to think about.

She is practical and loving, in mindful presence. She is not unfeeling, but her feelings do not get in the way.

Wikipedia identifies these as Nicodemus the Pharisee and Mary of Clopas. Nicodemus has the same look of loving practicality, looking at the beloved, now lifeless face. Mary of Clopas and Mary Salome, below, stifle tears and cries.

Jesus’s mother with downcast eyes holds his hand, supported by John, the Beloved disciple, whom Jesus told to care for his mother.

Each face has thoughts and feelings readable and relatable on it. Fifteenth century artists used the stories in the Bible, which everyone would know, to show real human beings responding to real situations. In Marys’ grief they could feel their own. I can use the picture to find my complex relationship with feelings, of those acting or watching. It is linen, fragile, and faded from original brilliant colours.

National Gallery

Am I too trusting? Probably.

One of my myths, my stories for understanding who I am and how I came to be this way, concerns The Adoration of the Magi by Pieter Bruegel. When I was 18 I had a poster of it on my wall, which I got from my father’s magazine. It was a pose, to show I am an intellectual, and I hated it. The people are so ugly!

Here is a higher resolution image.

However after living with it for a few weeks, I saw it differently. I saw looks of wonderment on the characters’ faces, and loved them. They were ordinary people, amazed at the miracle of the Incarnation. And, I reached this understanding in a moment of inspiration, when the painting changed utterly for me, in an instant!

I had my first Art epiphany with an Epiphany.

So I was shocked to read the National Gallery companion guide, which argues the painting is a satire. “The crowd has eyes only for the rich presents.” I had to go and see, and I asked H to come too, to check.

And, yes, indeed the people are looking in awe and wonder at the gifts. One might be looking at Caspar, who is Black, and one of the soldiers looks out at us, but the soldier in the middle is definitely looking at the gold, and not the baby.

Still, I think it is a gift, always to think the best of people. It takes a lot to convince me they are not well-meaning, community-minded souls. Certain Tory MPs have convinced me, but they had to be revolting to manage it.

Fortunately in the same room is Jan Gossaert’s treatment. These Kings have a proper attitude of reverence.

In another, the people seem to be going through a tedious court ritual, going through the motions, rather than seeing God Incarnate. Or, perhaps, in a dog eat dog Italian court they cannot show any sign of weakness or feeling.

We liked the Botticelli, though. A fully clothed woman and naked man is unusual. And the Justus of Ghent is just my thing- a man kneeling at a woman’s feet, even if she is the personification of rhetoric. This is meant to be seen from below: when I sit on the floor and look up at it, I see it better.

There is so much beauty here! It delights me. These paintings 1250-1500 in the new wing are designed to evoke feelings of awe, wonder and reverence, and in me they do. When I want to leave, arted out, I have to stare at the floor to avoid being distracted.

Emptiness

In Meeting, I empty myself of the desire that the world be other than it is, and see it more clearly. “How it is” includes its potential and possibilities; and includes how I really am, rather than how I imagine myself to be. If I worship something greater than myself, it is Reality.

The unpalatable truths I am evading are part of that reality. I fantasize of impossibility and of moral requirements others do not recognise because they make me feel safe, but they also stop me acting to make things better. Hence the slogan In stillness our faith becomes action: rather than resist uncomfortable reality, I accept it, and am enabled to flow like water in it. The comfort is a false comfort. The action realises possibility once I turn from fantasy.

This could be called “Repentance”, an unpopular word with Quakers. We prefer the Greek metanoia, amendment of life. (“Amendment of life”) is a quote from Cranmer.)

Shedding the false comfort is painful. The filthy rags of my false self which I draw about me to hide my nakedness fall away (others can see through them anyway, better than I can) and I am not ashamed.

This emptying, and seeing clearly, involves my subconscious self leading my conscious self. I saw, but did not see. There are truths I know and cannot consciously admit. What I know unconsciously, in the silence comes to consciousness. There is an inner light which knows the truth and reveals it to me in the silence. My Friends stand witness to me, and I to them.

This sounds like a painful cleansing. As the prophet says, But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.

What I feared to look at:
If I look at it unwaveringly
I see it is beautiful.

There is also joy here, beauty that I could not see consciously. The Light reveals it to me.

If we accept what is and allow it to change us the light brings us together in love as a community, knowing each other and fully known.

anti trans propaganda

What about the rape victims excluded from women’s services by the presence of male bodied people?

That would raise feelings of concern and perplexity in kind, caring people. It does not mention trans women by name, because trans women also are a vulnerable group, who might gain sympathy from the well-meaning.

When seeking to exclude trans people, don’t name the trans people. Instead, suggest there are threats to vulnerable women, and make dark allusions to trans people. “Male-bodied” is a weird term to use in normal conversation, but does not have the sympathetic connotations of trans people. Instead it alludes to the well known phenomenon that some women after a sexual assault cannot bear to be touched by a man, even a male relative.

Make it a question. An assertion of fact- rape victims are excluded- could be answered by demands for justification. What about the vulnerable? demands compassion and care without leaving space for challenge.

Having raised concern and compassion in potential dupes, the propagandist can produce more and more detail, increasing emotion, until finally he names the solution-

Vulnerable women are excluded because we need single sex spaces.

There are no single sex spaces, because the male bodied people insist on going there.

At that point the natural sympathy for the underdog of the caring middle class person has been developed so far for the rape victims that it can outweigh their sympathy for trans people.

Stating that rape victims would not go to rape crisis centres because of the theoretical possibility that they might see a trans woman there would be obviously ridiculous, especially as there are so few of us.

Still the propagandist does not use the term trans woman. He refers to “trans rights activists”, unreasonable, domineering people pushing for the right to ride roughshod over everyone else, setting women’s rights at naught, entirely solipsistic and lacking any sympathy. Or to “male-bodied” people again, weird, as out of place in a rape crisis centre as a fox in a henhouse. Never mind that over half of Rape Crisis centres also help men who have been sexually assaulted.

To build up hate, avoid anything which could humanise your hate-group. That is the basis of the tactic of professing sympathy with “real transsexuals”, also allegedly the victims of the TRAs. Except that when pressed, no one is ever admitted to be a “real transsexual”, and even “trans women” are falsely distinguished from them. Even those who speak on behalf of WPUK are told to use the men’s loos.

See what I did there? I did not use the names of WPUK’s trans collaborators. I do not want the names to be remembered, because I do not want the people to be given too much significance, and referring without names dehumanises them a bit. They are “collaborators”, rather than people.

It’s about feeling. It’s about shutting off any sympathy for the out group, trans women, and creating a sense that they threaten people who deserve sympathy, such as children, or rape victims. The allegations have almost no substance, but can still be spun. So any act which can be portrayed as offensive by a trans woman is emphasised, and constantly returned to.

Of course people should be engaged and persuaded, but that should be primarily by facts. If you need to distort facts, and rely excessively on building emotion in order to persuade, you are a propagandist.

I tend to feel we need to persuade. Someone referred to anti-trans campaigners as “fascists”. That’s arguable: as she says, if its philosophy is of morally mandating marginalized groups out of existence it’s fascist. However, fascism is associated with nationalism, and British fascists like the BNP have sought to justify violence against Jews and non-white people. Fascism is abhorrent. Use of the word “fascist” without showing the arguments justifying that puts people off, even many trans allies. They think you absurd. Yes our opponents are arguably fascist- show what they are doing, building hate for a vulnerable group through lies and half truths, before naming this as “fascist”.

Examples: “If Corbyn were to declare ‘my pronouns are she/her’ Labour would have its first female leader”. Yes, but why would he? This spreads the canard that transition is a whim or fantasy, rather than the only thing we can do.

“It isn’t about trans rights because gender critical feminists are in favour of trans people having the same rights as everyone else.” She would take away my Equality Act rights and expel me from spaces I have inhabited since 2002, but she refuses to countenance the language that describes that, or anything anyone could object to. She is preaching hate, but claims it is love.

What I can do

I’m not sure I would call it a personal crisis-

Last week I was effective. I was out protesting, talking, persuading, encouraging, writing, photographing for eight hours a day. I valued myself and people valued me- that vicar on Friday talked of me dancing on Tuesday. I think she saw I needed valued, and she valued me.

The week before I was not effective. I was supposed to go in to the office twice and both times failed to do so, and the thing is that I did not realise I would not until I did not. There’s the moment when I should get up, having had breakfast, and shower and dress and I just carried on reading the Guardian on my phone. Well, my phone is my main source of dopamine. And this week, on Tuesday I just stayed in bed.

I don’t have the energy or motivation to get up but until I should but don’t I don’t know it. I imagine I will.

I don’t know what I feel. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I will do, and when I think I want to do something I don’t know if I will. I would not call it a personal crisis because it doesn’t feel that bad to me; it’s only when I see what I do that I think maybe I should be worried.

And yet I was effective last week. It’s odd. I wanted to do all that stuff.

Consciousness is overrated. Subconscious (superconscious?) me makes decisions, conscious me watches. Possibly there are different voices in subconscious me that pull different ways, so one wants to go to the office, and possibly it only fibs to conscious me that it wants to because temporarily that makes conscious me feel safe. Possibly the bit getting its way, and not going to the office, is the Real Me following my heart, and possibly it’s childish-in-a-bad-way me, following immediate pain-avoidance at the cost of long term goals.

I have the experience of speaking with whole me integrity, which indicates that at other times I am torn, or in two minds.

The good thing I have done today, rather than phone-touching, is half an hour’s meditation, holding XR Quakers in the light at the time they were worshipping. I think it “good” because it was focused beyond myself.

It seems to me that in the lower ranks of that office people are constantly irked, and the strict hierarchy is shown by who gets to moan and who has to listen. C said to me she did not expect me in, the day after I did not get the job, and I said, well, it was a matter of pride- and self-interest, getting me into a routine whatever my motivation. It was, that day, and that worked. Then after S complained to me about M moaning to her and how M should think of that quote, you know, the something to accept what you can’t change, I walked back down the corridor fighting the tears (usually a losing battle for me) deciding I would demand a listening ear and it would be whole life all problems, the expression of pain I would erupt into, starting I used to be a solicitor! Well, I fought down the tears and found myself hearing an account of someone’s Saga holiday in Egypt- not telling us of tombs and temples, but of the transport getting there. The day trip to the Pyramids (Great Pyramid of Khufu, I thought to myself, not all pyramids are at Cairo) involved internal flights.

“Now you’ll know what to do, when they weigh your heart against a feather,” I said, but she did not rise to that one. There may be many things messing up my relationships there, but I doubt being trans helps- even if only in the sense that I had male privilege and have not got it now.

In a world which is almost all black, going to that office offers the faintest chance of the darkest grey for me. It’s not what I would have wanted. It may be all there is.

I feared I could not do the job anyway.

I have a cold, and together with the depression that takes away my motivation.

Mostly today I have played on my phone and watched telly. The Broo is after me again. I could have bought food or done washing. I liked the busker’s puppets, moving their mouths as if singing harmonies.