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T = Thinking.

After research and reflection, here are what my underlying thoughts on philosophy are: if philosophy is about how to live by learning how to die, then not having hope or faith is a serious problem.  For as Bertrand Russell says in the Value of Philosophy: “It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found, and only those who are not indifferent to these goods can be persuaded that the study of philosophy is not a waste of time.”

Philosophy is valuable because it exposes us to questions that might not have answers.  I ascribe to the thought that a major part of the value of philosophy is in its very uncertainty.  The man who does no know philosophy will be imprisoned by prejudices formed by common sense.  To this man the world becomes definite, obvious, and finite.  Everyday objects which need no questions, and what is not familiar is not welcome.

When we begin to philosophize we find that even the simplest questions can lead to problems that may not be solved.  There cannot be a value on one asking questions in order to find one’s answers for oneself, not settling for what we are being told.

As I am,

Prince

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Hi, Circle.
Not much going on here lately, just another boring summer. I’m playing lots of horseshoes. Is there a professional league for horseshoe players, cuz if there’s any money in it, I’m really good.
This one guy keeps following me around and some guy told me that he’s after my mangina. That’s not gonna happen.
I’m good at horseshoes.
Running Deer

runningdeer1

Hey, Circle, how’s it going?

Hey, yes, I heard from Melanie.  How did she get the nickname, “Dolphin” anyway?

Well, here it is, it’s June and it’s cooler than normal.  Oh, well, it will warm up soon.  Hey, keep an eye and ear open for free RPO day this summer.  On that day you get a free bag of gaming goodies, when you go to a comic and gaming store.  Try to go to a gaming convention this year too.  I believe that the university of Maine Mall has an anime/gaming convention.  Or, you can just look up “gaming conventions in Maine” on the internet.  Still looking for those spells from the Dragonsfoot website, if it’s still around.  I am trying to get as many spells from that website before it shuts down for some reason, like a man made or natural disaster and then everything on the internet is forever lost.  They have some great spells and I would hate to see them forever lost.  I would like the first through third level spells  and the first three firth level magic user spells from that website as well as a list of first and second level spells that they have so I can pick out the ones that I need.  Still looking for the populations of the following Maine towns as well.  Planning on putting them in my campaign world:  Machias, Machiasport, Arundel, York, Freeport, East Port, Boothbay Harbor, Iselsboro, Vinalhaven, Monhegan Island, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Pemmaquid, Harpswell, Crownpoint, Nooseneck, Pelican Point, Hardshell, Salmonfirm, Vaginaville.

So, how is everything going?  Does the landlord know about the cats yet?  How is the game going so far?

Well, it’s official:  I found out that my sister and her husband have sold the house and are leaving for Texas.  They got sick and tired of Maine winters.  Now, I have to find out how much money I can have in my account.  Because after they’ve got settled in Texas, she plans to send me some of the money from the sale, plus she is setting some aside for me for after I get out!  Now, that’s one good sister.  By the way, the last five towns listed are out of state.

Well, it’s Sunday night, and it’s the “Return of the Walking Dead” on AMC, and it’s not just about the zombies; it’s abou8t the people.

Well, good night.

Kenneth McDonald

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Dear Circle,

Thank you very much, it will help me a lot.  I can’t get anyone else to send me any money other than Leah, which I got here to cash my check and I paid here to do it and didn’t see much of it either.

I am playing pool and horseshoes and watching t.v. I’m not going to church or A.A. meetings or Native Group.  Not for me.  Yeah, about the anger is a big problem with me.  I am working on that.  I am definitely moving back to Augusta when I get out, maybe I’ll run for city council.  But I might move.  I don’t know yet.

God bless,

Running Deer

runningdeer1

“The Philosopher needed to be trained not only to know how to speak and debate, but also to know how to love.” – Piere Hadot

The philosophers of old were not concerned with ready-made knowledge, but with imparting that training and education that would allow their disciples to “orient themselves in thought, in the life of the city or the world.

When I first started this class I thought that I was ready to be a philosopher, that I would soon be philosophizing with the best of them. I was under the mistaken impression that Professor Bill would give me some magical key and that I would soon unlock the potential to reason and to think. Instead, Professor Bill made me stop and slow down. He showed me that the best thing I can do is to ask questions.

As Plato says, “The un-examined life is not worth living.” I have spent months and years in solitary confinement and have spent a lot of this time “examining” my life. I thought that this meant I was ready to be a philosopher, but I was wrong. The first day Professor Bill asked us two things that I will never forget. The first was that if we could not answer the question of why suicide was not a viable option for us then we were not ready for philosophy. [now, before you (the reader) ask what the hell kind of class is this? Relax. I will explain why that question is important in another letter, so stick with me.]

The second important thing he told us is that Philosophy is about learning how to die. As a Muslim, both of these statements immediately made me think about Allah and my relationship with Him. Suicide is not allowed in Islam and the vast majority of Muslims will automatically think about Allah when the subject of death is broached. For this last critical reflection I will, in my next letter, talk about one of the most important lessons I learned in class: my belief that in order to be a philosopher, you must either believe in either hope, or in God.

As I am,

Prince

Fortune, Daniel

Hey, Circle,

Well, it looks like we’re going to have a  pretty good winter after all.  Getting lots of snow now.  Haven’t seen any yeti running around, although some of the guys are large enough to qualify as yeti.  I guess we are going to get more snow this Wednesday and Thursday.  My New Years is going good.  Heck, no, I wouldn’t mind if anyone out there wanted to write me.

My sister is doing qiuite well.

Good night.

Kenneth McDonald

kenny

I am my own worst enemy.

For most of my life I have denied this and have been okay with not examining the reasons for my troubles.  Today I have decided that enough is enough, starting today I will be my best friend, I will love myself, an I will believe in myself.  I know, I know I am not saying anything new or unknown.  To quote the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” but this has not always been the case.  However, recent events in my life have made it abundantly clear that now is the time for change.

I have always looked down on people who have wanted to “recreate” or “reinvent” themselves.  In my mind if you didn’t like a part of who you are then you should have never let it become habit.  It is extremely ironic that I now find myself in situations where I must do the same.  For years I have allowed negative, damaging thoughts, emotions and actions in my life because I believed it was necessary to survive in the situations I found myself in.  Dr. Joe Dispenza has shown me how wrong I was.

“Your personality creates your personal reality.”

Dr. Dispenza says in his movie, Aligning your thoughts and feelings for a New Destiny.  The realization that my thoughts and feelings created my reality was something that I knew but have never explored.  Exploring this has forced me to remove the last of my blinders.  Now, more than ever, I can look around and see my present circumstances for what they are.

My present circumstances are the biggest and best opportunity I have even had to change.  I will no longer be who I think I have to be or who others want me to be.  I will become the man who I want to be.  Recognizing the truth in what Dr. Dispenza says has shown me that I have had and will always have the power to do better.  Dr. Dispenza also speaks about how in every case (that he studied) in which people made a miraculous recovery from a disease or illness, they surrendered themselves to a higher power.  This resonates with me because the idea of surrender has been the best and yet most difficult issue of my faith.

As a Muslim the idea of Allah being in control, wanting what is best for me, and not giving me more problems/pain than I can handle is a balm to my soul. Yet, I struggle with the concept that in order for Allah to be in control, I cannot be. The reality that he knows what is best for me and what is right for me stares me in the face every day.  I can no longer continue to fight it.  I have not demonstrated a love for myself or that I want what is best for myself, because who in their right mind would make the choices I have or want to be where I am?  Yet all of my thoughts have led me to this place.

I am now ready to embody the change that is  necessary for me to be who I should be.  Allah has blessed me with many talents and abilities that I have run from or misused for the majority of my life.  I am done with being somebody who has wasted potential; instead I will be somebody who has realized their potential.  I will not continue to be anything other than the best possible version of myself.  One of my favorite sayings is, “Our biggest fear is not the darkness, it is our light… for who are we to be beautiful?  Who are we to be powerful beyond all belief?”  I am paraphrasing a Nelson Mandela quote.  The events, conversations and lessons of this last year have led me to a point where I understand that without some serious painful introspection I will never stop makin the same mistakes.  It is not enough to not want to make them.  I have to understand why I am making them in the first place.

Starting this process has been eye-opening.  I will probably be doing it for the rest of my life, because once I started I do not wish to stop.. It has brought a clarity into my life that is much need.  I could wax poetically about all of the insights I have gained, but I won’t.  I will instead let them speak for themselves.  I am not the same person that I was last year, last month, last week or even yesterday.  It is my firm belief that these changes I have made and will continue to make will be apparent to all in my life.  It has been a long time coming but I am finally okay with being me.  As l as I am continually striving to be the best version of myself.  Some days I will make mistakes, fall or revert to old habits, but I will never stop picking myself up and trying for better.

As I am,

Prince

prince

Hello, Rage.

So, how are you doing?  How are the cats?  Meow.  Say hello to them for me.  The idea about publishing gaming material sounds pretty good to me.  I’m thinking tha I should get my stuff published by a company called Kenzer and Company.  They publish fantasy games like “Hackmaster” and “Kingdoms of Kalamar,” a western game called “Aces and Eights,” “Shattered Frontiers,” various roleplay resources and a comic called “Knights of the Dinner Table that is also part magazine for gamers and an e-zine called “Hack Journal.”  I could send my gaming stuff in and when they publish it, they’ll send me the money (checks sometimes take 10-15 days to clear.  Maybe you could put some of my stuff on the blog, or start a new gaming blog.  You could check to see if Wizards of the Coast still publishes Gygax Magaizine, a company called “Open Design” was publishing “Kobold Quarterly” and you could check to see if Goodman Games is still publishing “Level Up” magazine.  I have some ideas that I’ll be sending you guys.

Kenneth McDonald

kenny

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

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