Friday, December 29, 2017

The Curse, Part 7: Countermeasure: Casper

Previous installment
First installment
All installments in reverse chronological order

Time jump!

I'd been keeping up a heavy meditation regimen for a long while. This built on the fact that I'm naturally suited toward meditation, and had meditated as a child with the impassioned devotion of a 12th century fanatic. So, by this point, natural opiates coursed through my body, very little could trigger me, and I viewed pretty much everything with equanimous bemusement. If I were any more relaxed, my arms would have fallen off and rolled around on the my giggling delight.

It occurred to me that my years running Chowhound had mirrored many elements of monasticism:

I was often too busy to eat. Fasting!

No time for girlfriends. Celibacy!

Chowhound had been bulldozing me, but I kept it up because I knew it was helpful for people. Service!

My work communications were via email and instant message, and work took up all my time. So I often went days without speaking. Vow of silence!

Factor in my mission to purge negativity, impatience and self-centeredness, plus loads of meditation, and the spiritual side of things started getting sort of juicy - perhaps overly so for a while. And, meanwhile, I was undergoing the tumultuous aftermath of Chowhound's sale to CNET. Suffering!

But while the Curse was bothering me a lot less, it was, alas, still there, and still weird. No one would use an adjoining gym treadmill, clerks seized up making change, always the damned cough from passing strangers, and innocent encounters could unpredictably turn toxic.

At some point I bought a Casper the Friendly Ghost DVD, hoping to pick up some pointers. I was inspired by Casper's fortitude and hopefulness. He never stopped trying, and never got mad at people for their reactions. I emulated this. To this day, my home wifi network is named "Casper".

Continue to part 8

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