I’m Keeping An Eye On You

eyes-2

No good deed ever goes unpunished. 😯

A young man was convicted of a crime, and sentenced to prison. Shortly after arriving, he became well-known to the prison infirmary. First, his tonsils got infected, and had to be removed, then he jammed his little finger in a press in the prison work-room, and had to have it amputated. His appendix swelled up and almost burst before they operated on him. Finally, he had to go to the prison dentist to have his wisdom teeth pulled.

The Warden followed him in and stood in front of the chair. “I’m onto you Mister! Don’t think that I don’t know what you’re up to. You’re trying to sneak out of here, one little piece at a time.”

Gravity Well

And so it is with me. I had the retina of my right eye operated on, back around New Years. I was told to come back in about 6 weeks for a follow-up, and if things had gone well, I might have the left eye done also. Things went well. The film on the retina had caused a divot which made words and letters fall in, like the Black Hole gravity well above.

The eye still has blurry spots, but is expected to continue to improve. Re-examination of the left eye shows that it can be ignored for some time. HOWEVER….

I was told to go to my local Ophthalmologist after another 6 weeks for a final check-up. Tests last year showed the merest of beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. When she examined them, she was happy with the surgical results, only….

After the Optical Surgeon poked three needles into the right eye, some of the vitreous humor fluid leaked out, and got on the lens. Apparently, this can stimulate the development of cataracts. Now I am scheduled to go to a local hospital, Thursday, June 13th, to have her peel off cataracts which are developing on the right eye and which made me think that the first operation was not completely successful.

Pirate

First I told my pharmacist that a guy had stuck three needles into my eye. Now I told her that someone is going to use a medical potato peeler to strip off cloudy surface lens material. She is astounded that I can so calmly joke about such a thing. That’s just the way I deal with potentially stressful situations. There’s no sense brooding about it, and driving up my blood pressure. Making fun of it makes it less frightening.

During the first operation, my head was reclined almost upside-down, and all work was done below my field of vision.  For this one, she’ll be coming directly at me.  I wonder how disconcerting that will be.  😯

Like before, I may be incommunicado for a while, but, like Arnie The Terminator – “I’ll be back.” See you then – I hope.   😎

White Cane

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The Evolution Of Religion

Prayer Beads

Finally, an eminent scientist is setting out to prove that the rise of religion was caused by evolution.

In humans’ mysterious journey to become intelligent, socializing creatures like no other in the animal world, religion was the innovation which played an essential role. We needed something to literally stop everyone from killing everyone else, just out of grumpiness.

How did we manage it? Did humor help? Exercise?  Storytelling?  Singing?  Dance?

CAUTION, CONFORMITY CONFIRMATION

Religion is a complex, multi-tentacled Hydra, which draws from many psychological inputs, to ensure the survival of (most of) the race. It creates an US and a THEM.  Anything we recognize as US, we deem safe and acceptable.  THEM, on the other hand, are not family, clan or village, fit to be driven out.

Each species of primate can manage to keep up a special bond with a certain number of others of the same species. This goes up as brain size increases, from monkeys to apes.  Humans can maintain significantly more social ties than brain size alone, seems to explain.  Most of us keep a surprisingly large number of social ties, including 5 with intimate friends, 50 with good friends, 150 with friends, and 1500 with people we can recognize by name.

Reading this, I immediately knew that I was well below the standard. Of my 5 most intimate friends, I’ve only physically met two of them.  I am friendly with 50 to 150 people, but they are store clerks, Osteopaths, etc.  While they may like me, or put up with me and my silliness, I doubt that they regard themselves as my ‘friend,’ and I barely remember the names of the people who reside in the same house with me. 1500??!

It is well known that repetitive actions like pacing the floor, or twiddling thumbs, lower anxiety. The Jews and Muslims have prayer beads, and Catholics have their rosary – the same thing, with a cross attached, although most Protestants have given it up.  Buddhist monks spin prayer wheels, and all of these focus the mind to help achieve a calm, Zen-like state.

Religions have taken all the calming practices, and made them into group activities. If everyone bows, kneels (in the same direction), waves their hands, etc, at the same time, each person feels less aggressive and more accepting, and everybody feels part of the group.

A couple of other calming activities are singing – think hymns – and dancing, although Christianity has largely got away from that. It smacks too much of ‘having fun.’  Anyone forced to observe me singing or dancing, would not be calm or friendly.

Another couple of aggression/tension reducers surprised me. Not ‘group’ actions, because not everyone performs them simultaneously, they are humor and story-telling.  Presenting funny or spell-binding tales to a rapt group, especially youngsters, binds them into a less war-like group.

My singing and dancing may be banned in some States, and I can’t remember who my friends are, but apparently, my blog-posts and jokes make others less likely to assault me.  Hey!  I’m religious, and I didn’t even know it.   😯