Friday, March 18, 2005


The depression I mentioned in my previous journal entry looked like it was going away when I wrote, but instead it turned worse and stayed around for a while. This isn't the first time I've gone through bouts like this, but it my reaction to it this time was different. Something in me stood up and said, "Enough is enough." The time has come to make some changes and deal with the depression, once and for all.

The O.T.O. members I talk to speak in reverenced tones about "The Ordeals", but not as something written in stone that comes down from the initiators or body masters. Instead, the ordeals happen on their own, at the bequest of the universe. The consensus is that, as soon as you choose to seek an initiation (either making the choice or handing in the application) the wheels of the universe are set in motion and the ordeal begins. Only Mark has given the details of one of his ordeals, having to deal with his 16 year old daughter having a baby. With my Minerval, it seemed to be LL crawling out of the woodworks. So this last weekend I decided to get the ball rolling for my First Degree and baptism at the next Gnostic Mass. This was about the time I decided to do something about the depression. This isn't a new thought for me, but after hearing the other people talk, I backed off from it, thinking it was written in stone that the ordeal would choose me instead of me choosing it. But then this fit of depression hit, and the uncharacteristic reaction to finally do something with it, and I had to reverse myself yet again. I think this is the ordeal. And if I am wrong? The effort won't be wasted…and the real ordeal will certainly find me.

Friday, March 11, 2005


First let me report on the mundane happenings in my universe. ADP informed us all last month that we are moving to a common review date for yearly raises. April 1st for the raise, so the reviews get done during March. My last review was in November, so this one will be prorated for the short number of months. The money part of it has the potential to be rather nice, but I'm not sure this makes up for what a pain in the ass it was to do the review, especially when I have barely recovered from the trauma of my last review. But it was nice to be dealing with Johnny this time instead of Kris. I also found that my classification is Tech 3 - top for my department (but likely lower than reality). This is better than the Tech 2 they pasted on me after the acquisition.

The last several weeks I have been attending a 'Thelemic Magick and Mysticism' class at Amber's place, taught by Mark Anthony. While the quality of the 'class' is nothing to strike fear into the hearts of college instructors, the actual flow and results have been great. Every week turns into a pretty good discussion, even when it veers wildly off topic. But most important, the class has got me (and a few others) started on doing a daily practice. We started out with the first leg of Yoga and tried to progress though them one each week. This is an absurdly fast pace for true practice, but there really is no other way to teach it in a group such as ours. I have settled on a version of yoga that emphasizes observing body and mind, while not trying to control the mind. I'll move to that later. I'm up to 30 minutes of asana (admittedly it is sloppy asana), 3 to 4 times a week. It feels good.

Last weekend I made myself a white robe. I had two aims in mind. First, I needed to learn and practice for making a black robe for my first degree initiation. Second, I need a white robe for my confirmation into the ECG. The project took me most of the weekend. It looks pretty good on me, has no major flaws, but would make a real seamstress swoon in dismay. Among other things, I learned the black robe will have to have the edges all sewed up to keep end threads from unraveling in the wash. I'm hoping to purchase black material tomorrow and get started this weekend, then finish next weekend. Also next weekend, I'll be asking for my first degree application.

But all that stuff above is just bookkeeping. The real issues right now are depression and anger. It is odd that one of the results of the yoga has been to increase self awareness and observation - seeing the bullshit for what it is and separating from it. I would expect this self awareness to be good for me, but it isn't working out that way this time. It seems that the self awareness is only having an influence on the level of the intellect - the "thinking" Andy. On the level of emotion, the "feeling" Andy, I am - to quote Trent Reznor, "Down in it." It's an odd feeling, sort of like the ego-dystonic state that an OCD victim finds herself in. Here I am getting all wrapped up in bad reactions and feelings, while a part of me is watching it all happen, detached and separate, with a sort of shock and amazement.

The stage for this was set last week when Kate e-mailed her first play in our Scrabble by Mail game. She used all seven letters to rack up a hefty opening score, but with a word that she essentially made up. She confessed that it isn't in the dictionary, but that it was still valid for some bullshit reason or another. I plugged it into Google and found that Microsoft uses it as some sort of private geek term, but only in the same way half a million other non-words flash in and out of existence in sheltered settings. "Isobits." Whatever. So this put me in the position where I can either call her on it and be the asshole, or roll over and accept it, losing the game while allowing her to push my ass around. Great - I can lose, or I can lose.

This and other incidents set the stage for the depression, but I was still barely above it. The trigger point for down in it came a few days later, and was the most stupid and embarrassing incident. On the way back from the track on Wednesday, I made the mistake of swinging by the H.H. residence and trying to say hello to H.H.'s whelp. I was soundly ignored. So I just went away. But it really bugged me - more than it should have for anyone, and far more than it should have for an inbred shit like her.

[Redacted gripe and moan centered on wenches]

I must make one thing very clear at this point. The events above are not causes for depression. The causes are several and varied and tied up in all aspects of who I am and the little universe I live in. The events above are triggers. As such, they aren't the problem and really don't matter. If there is a problem to be addressed, it is to change how I respond to the triggers, not to make the triggers go away.

Despite my complaining, there is a good side to things. The discussion at the seminar was good, and the only thing better than a good group discussion is good one-on-one brain sex. I also finished my white robe last weekend, and it actually looks pretty good (as long as you don't look too closely). This clears on hurdle for confirmation into the EGC and I'm ready to make the black robe for my first degree initiation. And, to leave of this feel good fest, we bring up my favorite obsession - my weight has been staying down.