I wrote about today’s Full Moon three days ago, focusing especially on the U.S.A and geopolitics. But of course, my own center of awareness of this entire world is inside ME. So in honor of today’s eclipse (actually not full until late this afternoon EDT), I decided to do something that I have long known I must do, namely: STOP TAKING MY IPAD TO BED WITH ME.
I know this sounds minor, a mere blip in the daily potpourri of continuous massive good/evil Epsteinian revelations that currently flash through our inflammed brains.
But it’s not. In fact, that damned ipad, so convenient, and so tuned to twitters continuous flow, second by second, of new/old apocalyptic revelations, IS the problem, for me. Because, and here’s the great confession: I AM ADDICTED TO BREAKING NEWS, TO “INFORMATION.” And furthermore, while I thought all this time that cigarettes was my “root addiction,” and was able to break this pernicious habit back when I was 40 years old, that’s 36 years ago, and the root itself remained untouched!
That root addiction began when I was two years and eight months old . . .
(Forgive me if you’ve heard this story before. It is CENTRAL, so I tell it often, wrapped into different contexts and on different occasions.)
August 1945. I was sitting with my war-widowed mom and her folks and sisters during the radio war broadcast that announced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. That was it. Right then, the division between me and everybody else in my world commenced. For they thought bombing an entire Japanese city was wonderful and rejoiced, because my father would be able to come home again; and I thought this same act unspeakably horrific, that it would eventually blow up the whole world.
Yes, I was two years and eight months old when I woke up. And my psyche refused to go back to sleep. From then on I was chicken little, frozen in fear.
I learned to read early, as a five year old rushing outside to the stoop as soon as the paper was delivered to devour the headlines. No news, and the world wouldn’t end that day and I could go out and pretend to play with my friends again. Bad news, and it would end, the mushroom cloud of my nightmares materializing . . .
I could go on and on about how this single event, Hiroshima, torqued me into a certain direction, and how, in my fifties, I finally let the fear go, see —
but I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you the book I decided to read when I went to bed last night, rather than the ipad that I consciously decided to leave in the living room. This is not the first time I have left it in the living room overnight. This is the second time I have decided to break this horrific breaking news habit. And that time, too, I was successful, which meant, I actually SLEPT. You’d think the first time would have taught me that I must continue this new practice, of reading an actual printed book to sleep rather than reading the constant fractured flow on a screen. In other words, as Karl Marx once put it, “What happens the first time is tragedy, and the second time, farce.” Tragic, to be so addicted to internet news. Farce, to have to realize that AGAIN.
So yes, here’s the book I decided to read last night, and it’s a doozy; I ordered it from the internet and it’s been sitting on top of my pile for months,
From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning, a memoir by Paul H. Johnstone, with commentary by his daughter, Diana Johnstone. He gave it to her a few days prior to his death, in 1981, titled then, “A Humanist in the Pentagon.” Thirty five years later, she finally managed to get her father’s memoir published, and it’s as least as relevant now.
I decided to read that book in honor of this Saturn/Pluto occasion, when the Sun/Moon opposition lights up the Plutonian horror that commenced back in 1945 with Hiroshima, and then ramped up into the so-called “Cold War.”
I was able to fall asleep after about 30 pages at around 9:30 PM. Woke up at 1:30 AM to pee. Then, instead of going into the living room and grabbing the damn ipad (which would have put me in a sleepy, but buzzing state for the rest of the night), I grabbed my recently purchased acupuncture neck pillow, which I then arranged behind my head and proceeded to go into meditation. And succeeded! After about 90 minutes I fell back to sleep and woke up refreshed at exactly 7 AM. YES!
It’s obvious that I must pay serious attention to my daily habits, and how they can damage not only my psyche, but my capacity for full aliveness. This root addiction, to news from afar, though I can’t eliminate it without leaving the human race, since it comes at such a blinding rate now, must be tamed, channeled, and not allowed to disturb nightly sleep. So there. AMEN.
For those astrologically inclined: I have the Saturn (serious)/Uranus (surprise) conjunction in Gemini (info) in the 6th house of daily habits. Plus, my south node (the past) is in the third house (which rules Gemini (info) in Aquarius, so ruled by Uranus: Sudden, wrenching surprises. Yes! Even stronger than the cigarette habit of old. I always, ruefully, called that habit a “fucked-up pranayama,” i.e., fucked up breathing exercise. So this altered habit, of meditating in the middle of the night when and if I awaken, is its correction.
Welcome to Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn (serious business: dismantling and regenerating old forms structures, especially those that lead to overwhelming WAR) illuminated by Sun/Moon! What are YOU going to do with YOUR one wild and crazy life?
The “BAD GUY” is inside me. And so is the “GOOD GUY.” It’s up to me to both discern the difference and to learn how to integrate them, productively, in full aliveness.