Not Until Hell Freezes Over

There is a classic piece of human folly which I shall call “Not Until Hell Freezes Over”. It pertains to many things. I suspect that from time to time we have all behaved like a right dickhead, an utter bastard, a lying swine, a two-faced slime, a cheat, an obnoxious know-it-all, a manipulative so and so, a ranting lunatic, a slag or a tongue wagging gossip; to a greater or lesser extent. {I have over egged slightly} Which raises the question what do we do, should we even notice? The problem is one of face. We could attempt an apology promptly before things get out of hand or we could think “Not Until Hell Freezes Over”, especially if we think that we are the wronged one. And it, the situation, gets ever increasingly out of hand. Waiting around for hell to freeze is a bit futile. What we then have is a burr of bitterness that grows and acidifies with time. We may in time feel ashamed and have regrets. But should we do, we summon up our feelings of indignation to bat them away, Not Until Hell Freezes Over will I give him / her the satisfaction!!

If we are somewhat obsessed with “being right”, whatever that means, and slowly it dawns on us we find it difficult to admit we are “wrong” even to ourselves and most especially to others. Not Until Hell Freezes Over will I ever do that!!

Do you get the idea?

Have cued this up:

Do I recognise this “Not Until Hell Freezes Over” motif in myself?

Ultimately who does it harm?

What purpose does it serve?


disproportionate adjective uk ​

​too large or too small in comparison to something else, or not deserving its importance or influence:

There are a disproportionate number of girls in the class.

The country’s great influence in the world is disproportionate to its relatively small size.


This word means something different in chemistry, when an element is both oxidised and reduced in a reaction it is said to be a disproportionation reaction. In this sense the electrons are not shared evenly, one loses electrons the other gains.

Many of our reactions to situations are disproportionate, this often stems from a kerfuffle, wherein things are blown out of all proportion. This “blowing things out of proportion” is a common human folly. If someone says something we do not like or agree with, then they can in our minds, become THE enemy. In an instant all the good things are forgotten and all we can see is the “insult” or slight. It isn’t a very balanced approach to living.

For example, killing hundreds of thousands in response to a single terrorist attack could be said to be a tad disproportionate. On a smaller scale disproportionate reactions are fairly prevalent. If we don’t get what we want, when we want it, we can create a massive drama. The whole world becomes skewed because of our disproportionate reactions. If we fail an exam, then clearly that is the very end of the world as we know it. If our car breaks down, then it is obvious that the entire known universe is out to get us. Most of all these disproportionate reactions happen when we don’t get our own way, life on our own terms. This presupposes that life, as a whole, is amenable and submissive to our terms, whatever they might be.

Once we have started down the road of disproportionate reaction, it can be difficult to back-track, because we have invested face. We cannot back-track without losing face, so it can very quickly become a battle to the death. In which the collateral damage mounts rapidly. The moment we are disproportionate we have lost balance, we have become un-balanced and slightly crazy therefore. All we can see is victory and victory at all costs. The human desire to punish the transgressor is a strong one and it can go to some length, so to do. Someone must gain and someone else must lose. It is somewhat polarised.

Having cued this up:

How quickly does someone, in my mind, become THE enemy?

Have I ever acted in a disproportionate manner?

Was I then committed and unable to back-track, for fear of loss of face?

Might it be wise to pause and breathe, when I sense things getting out of proportion?

Do I often lose my balance, my center?

The Monkey and the Organ Grinder

This is related to the previous post, a little. What is the best way of knowing what the organ grinder is thinking? Well ask the monkey of course! Or failing that, ask a drinking buddy of the monkey who once knew him (the monkey) when he used to hang out on Gibraltar. This kind of “logic” is not uncommon. And so, we have the game of monkey-basis-Chinese-whispers overlaid with a wine soaked reminiscence of days gone by. There is a risk in asking the monkey directly, because the monkey might tell the organ grinder of the inquiry. I don’t know about you, but I can see a simple solution, it is to ask the organ grinder.

But hey asking the organ grinder is out of the question, why? Well it would be to admit to the organ grinder we wanted to know what he was thinking, and in so doing we would lose our power to the organ grinder. What shall we do? Rather than ask him, we shall collect hearsay from a whole bunch of monkeys, that seems like a sound and fool proof plan!!

And so it goes on, people try to be clever and cunning…sneaky and surreptitious…


Taking the Piss

The most important and deeply secret skill required on the road to freedom, is taking the piss. By this I mean the ability to take the piss out of yourself and otherwise chuckle at some of the ludicrous things you do, believe and say. It is called folly because it can be very funny.

Once you lose this ability / skill the prognosis is not good. It means that you are in the terminal phase of cranio-rectal disease. There is no cure for this as yet, though advances are being made in gene blocking technologies. Death from terminal cranio-rectal disease is prolonged and without any joy. It is a very serious affliction.

The problem with many approaches to learning and freedom, is that they can take themselves overly seriously, they might speak of themselves in bated breath. A rigid po-faced approach can be without heart and it imbues a degree of self-righteousness, one of things which one needs to eliminate.

The yoga of taking the piss out of oneself is a very powerful yoga, it works on increasing flexibility of mind and fluidity of thinking. It can even make you laugh 🙂

Those Disconnects

When I woke up this morning, this theme of missing the point, losing the plot and otherwise getting the wrong end of the stick, was in my consciousness. This theme underpins human communication. I’ll wager that every single one of us has gotten the wrong end of the stick at least once and that each of us have been misunderstood. There can be massive disconnects between what we think is going on and what is, there is often an assumed understanding.

In the blog I have mentioned non-contending, which some might consider wimpy. It is anything but. It can cause consternation especially when someone outdoes themselves in the asshole stakes. Once someone has done this, it is difficult to save a situation, largely because of wanting to save face. It is not the intention of non-contending to cause embarrassment, it does occasionally happen as a by-product. Many are so thick-skinned that they fail to notice. If you noticed I am building a scenario where someone wants to show off and win an argument, the other is non-contending. There are two radically different attitudes. Now imagine that you have read this blog. You might have noted that I am talking about non-contending. Should we meet face to face, we might have a “discussion”. You might want to win said putative discussion. At one level you have some memory that I mentioned non-contending. But in the heat of the moment it would never occur that I might actually be practising non-contending. Here is a disconnect. As a consequence, you might behave as if I was motivated in the same manner you are {in this imaginary scenario}. What chance in hell would there be for us to communicate effectively?

These disconnects, of varying flavour, happen every day. They are all around us. We miss each other by miles like ships passing on a foggy night, we can be unaware of what has happened. There may be an assumption of communication when little or none has taken place. How we think we have come across, may be entirely inaccurate. The messages we think we are sending do not arrive. How others perceive us is down to them, and it may be the opposite of what we might wish. Others might see something we are trying to hide or something which simply isn’t there.

When I wasn’t living in my cave there was a time when I interacted with people who were overly keen to impress. About 90% of the time their efforts had the opposite effect. What works for / on others, does not necessarily work on me. I probably came across as boring and with nothing exciting to say. In these situations, both parties walked away having miscommunicated. We missed each other like ships passing in the night. There was no connection, there was a disconnect.

I have raised here this notion of assumed understanding and cued it up. You may assume by now that assumption is a favourite topic of mine, it is a root of human folly.