In a nutshell, I am a mixture of geek, "sociable hermit", and someone searching for God but doing it without religion. I spend a fair amount of time alone. I don't do much traveling anymore, am mostly content to stay close to my "cell" (a small suburban apartment). I spent my quiet time reading, doing chores, writing, exchanging written thoughts with friends, bits of prayer and meditation, cooking, that sort of thing. I don't talk on the phone all that much; writing (or texting, when necessary) is more my style.
Nonetheless, like most, I need some social connection. I get together with people, go out to restaurants, enjoy having face-to-face conversations . . . it's just that my balance between aloneness and social interaction is a bit skewed. It's a Taoist yin-yang thing, a swirl of dark and light, a dynamic between the social and the "eremetic". I appreciate both all the more, because of their great contrast! Despite much time alone, I hardly get depressed. I really DO enjoy humankind and life, all the more for having some quiet time to digest and contemplate it!
I'd like to find someone who shares my values and interests and "sociable hermit" karma; someone I could spend time with and who could spend time with me without upsetting our balance. I'm not in a big rush with this search. I'm not an "old tortoise" for nothing!
[For more on sociable hermits, there are two good books describing this lifestyle by Barbara Erakko Taylor, "Silence" and "Silent Dwellers". There is also Marsha Sinetar's "Ordinary People As Monks And Mystics". And then there's Greta Garbo, so I'm told. Wikipedia says that despite vanting to be alone, Ms. Garbo had a small but steady circle of friends. Sociable hermits are not likely to be found in Norman Rockwell-type paintings of big family dinners. We sometimes eat alone, sometimes with one or two close friends.]
I'm a sociable hermit tortoise for a variety of reasons. I could list those reasons -- partly age and declining energy levels (and need for sleep!), partly my retirement-planning financial situation, partly a demanding job situation and a bunch of other stuff, partly to make time for reading and writing . . . but mostly because it's just who I am (the "karma" thing).
Soooooo, I don't anticipate getting into a serious dating and commitment situation in any big rush. I'd like to find the rare bird who I could SHARE my lifepath with, who sees life through a similar prism. A fellow 'sociable hermit' would understand all this . . . if there are any other ones out there!!! This is my candle in the window, just in case someone else like that actually still exists.
Sorry, but I'm not really the guy to get together with for movies or restaurant nights or museum trips every other day. I focus on value-sharing, interest-sharing, intelligence and mutual respect in relationships, much more than raw passion, sensual experience, entertainment and cultural sophistication. There's nothing wrong with those things! I had my share as a young man; but I guess that the season of life is changing for me . . . do you remember . . . the kind of September . . . (yikes, sorry for that!).
Thus, I'm looking for a rather rare bird, the bird of the same feather, the bird who shares my own "weird-duckness". (Ooooo, sorry for the mixed animal metaphors, turtles and birds . . . but then again, both of them relate to dinosaurs, which some people have called me . . . ) I'm looking for a slow start -- slow starts make for slow finishes, in my book. I understand that this is not what 99.99% of people on this site or any other e-dating site need.
My own intellectual strengths and interests lie mainly in science, math and logic; that's what interests me, that's what I can offer. I'm not very artistically inspired, I don't travel much, I don't go to the movies much. I hardly read fiction and I'm not 'culturally sophisticated' (again, nothing wrong with those things; I tasted of them when younger). Relating to children never was easy for me (even when I was a child!). Sorry for such negativity, but sometimes it takes dark lines to outline the brighter areas. I don't read much poetry these days, save maybe for the spiritual stuff by poets like Katherine Raine.
I do like to study history, philosophy, politics, science, and other interesting new ways to analyze the world. At the same time, I have a strong spiritual interest . . . I'm not am atheist. I ponder religion and the many ways to approach 'the divine'. I take the QUESTION / EXISTENCE OF GOD very seriously. I feel that the question of God is basically a Zen koan (I am a novice Zen practitioner -- my quasi-Buddhist involvement).
I've been haunted for most of my life by the idea of God and by the ideal of using reason and intellect to help humankind approach (but not know or possess) God. In the end, I stand in awe of this ultimate, unanswerable question (the ultimate koan). And I ask, what does it mean that so many people throughout history have found the question to be so important – and so unanswerable?
You see, that's why I'm so interested in cosmology and brain science and how the mind works (from a scientific perspective) . . . I'm looking for God in the equations. Most people don't like this approach to the Eternal, but . . . it's my song and I have to try to sing it; even if nobody else sings along.
Religious background: Brought up Roman Catholic; but at this point in my life, I don't see Jesus as the Christ (too unscientific!!). However, I DO believe in Jesus of Nazareth, the great earthly prophet of God and faith, killed by the Roman Empire and Temple establishment around 32 CE. There is much more to say, including God's feminine aspects and the contemplative 'apophatic' viewpoint; that's why we need to listen to all of the great spiritual prophets. The Tao is a delight, the Upanishads never fail me, and the Sufi mystics can be wonderful. And of course, there's the Great Buddha to be reckoned with. I'm hanging out with the local Zen sangha, tryin' to be a Dharma Bum. I try to get to zazen every week down at our zendo!
So I'm a man of Jerusalem (and maybe Kyoto too), but I'm also a man of Athens. I believe in my heart in the Enlightenment; in critical thinking, in philosophy, in learning, in human rationality. I worship before the Holy Trinity: Plato (the father of The Forms); Aristotle (the earthly incarnation); and Socrates (the spirit energizing the triangle). And don't forget Pythagoras, a saint preaching of the perfect triangular form.
I enjoy deepening own views and paradigms through reading and discussion. I respect the ways of research, writing and critical thinking, and I think they can lead to an ever-growing appreciation of the mystery of the divine (despite the fact that most scientists today are hard-core atheists, e.g. Steven Hawking). God is there somewhere in those complex equations behind quantum mechanics and the Standard Particle Model and Superstring Theory (although lately I'm coming to like Loop Quantum Gravity). I'll never find God just standing there in the open, but I can see what look like hints and clues amidst all the wonderful stuff that the cosmologists and high-energy physics people are coming up with these days.
What else? I'm a 60 year old government bureaucrat working for a law enforcement agency, was married for a few years back in the 80s but never raised a family. I like to read, write, listen to / watch Teaching Company Great Courses, etc. I do have plenty of books -- mostly non-fiction. Even though I'm not an academician, I consider myself an "eternal learner".
On the Enneagram, I'm a type 5 -- i.e. on the edge of Aspie territory (saw the movie "Adam", loved his monologue on the formation of the Universe). I'm not on "The Spectrum", but some of the stuff explained in "The Reason I Jump" might apply to me slightly, such as 1.) sensitivity to disorderly sensory stimulation; 2.) thought processing overload when things aren't properly systematized; and 3.) resulting mental logjams that occasionally slow down my outgoing communications, especially when anxiety is involved. Thus, I enjoy people, but I might not always be emotionally present; I might "close up my shell" when I'm under overload and stress (as any good tortoise would do).
Myers-Briggs once said that I was an INFJ, you know, a sensitive quiet and introverted kind of person. BUT, LATEST UPDATE: recent tests show I've crossed the line to INTJ. Tough times call for tough temperaments, I guess!! Nonetheless, I still mean well. I spent 10 years working for a non-profit community development agency in a poor urban town, after volunteering with them for 2 years, and I recently did some volunteer grant writing for a small NGO based in Kenya. Once I retire, I hope to get involved again with a social justice ministry of some sort, maybe as a part-time / low-pay job.
Political views: Ex-semi-socialist (ah, the idealistic days of youth), ex-doctrinaire liberal. I still sympathize with liberalism, but the conservatives need to be considered; they're making more sense to me as I get older. Lately I'm reading Victor Davis Hanson and George Will and Krauthammer and good old Brooksie. But I still can't stomach Rush and Sarah and their like. The Tea Party is not my cup . . . I still want to see Obama succeed. Glad that he finally seems to be getting his mojo in the second term.
Other less important interests / hobbies: Blogging, jogging, web sites, computers, photography, trains and railroads, politics (love to read RealClearPolitics, but I don't get involved with politics), hiking, exercising, vegetarian cooking, science (have a subscription to Sci Am), stamp collecting, red wine (zin man here! not the white stuff!), craft-brewed beer, birdwatching, Calvin and Hobbes, essential oils / aromatherapy, growing plants in my apartment (14 different ones, a mini-rainforest!).
If you've read this far, thank you. This is long, weirdly long . . . but that's what contemplative, semi-eremetic writers-at-heart and searchers-for-the-infinite do, i.e. write long articles. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!