I remember fire, and fear, and the smell of blood. Blurred, confused images pass behind my eyes, unheeded, as I try to separate all the conflicting perceptions clamoring for my attention from all directions…. Panicked, I open my eyes, only to close them immediately, as the smoke and heat fly into my awareness, and into my lungs. Coughing madly, I start to run, anywhere….
Crashing into walls, screaming in abject, unreasoning fear, I run blindly down the hallway, with flames and smoke pulling at me, reaching out to caress with seductive, lethal fingers, as I flee past the open doors, all with more flames and smoke pouring out…. As I near the window at the end of the hallway, the glass bursts, sending millions of glittering sharp needles raining down at my face….
So, I ducked, grabbed a fire extinguisher, & put out the fire….. Actually, what I actually did is stop writing, because I couldn’t decide whether to kill him off, or save him, & it was getting close to the point where I’d have to do one or the other…. Rather than make up my mind, I decided to just give up, and bring y’all into this paragraph, where a taste of real-time will bring us right into line with our agenda for today. Well, that’s the plan, anyway. Given the general state of affairs around these parts, there’s really no telling what will ACTUALLY occur…. That’s just fine, though, we like it that way….
That’s what we keep telling ourselves, anyway…. that’s our story, and we’re sticking with it. (As you can see, we are also using the royal “we” today….) Besides, what with the way that Reality generally treats ALL of us, I’ve found it’s best to go along with whatever happens, without argument. Trying to make things work the way I want is not what I’d call a lucrative occupation, not for a person who claims to be a realist…. Reality seldom asks us for our opinions about how things should go; it just lets the shit fly, with no worries about what it sticks to…. No nose, y’know?…. the smell doesn’t affect ‘em….
I’d claim it had one, (a nose, that is….), but, the anthropomorphizing of inanimate forces of Nature seldom results in anything other than a black eye, or a bloody nose, with the ubiquitous Murphy being both the obvious exception that proves the rule, and, the perpetrator of Reality’s sardonic attentions…. Besides, y’all are probably aware by now of what is going on here…..
No doubt, the regulars among you have tumbled to what I’ve been doing for the past five paragraphs, as they’ve seen this sort of trickery before…. Yes, we’re deep into the depths of another of my famous meanders, and it’s too late now to say we’re not…. Not only is it too late for that, but, we’ve also lost our way to the end….
But, we have the means to deal with that, no worries…. I’ll just open up this little cupboard right here, and pull out this little package, containing all the denial I’ll need to deal with the reporters later, while I surreptitiously apply Emergency Method #4….. otherwise known as the sudden complete stop…..
Shall we Pearl?
“Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. ” (Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.) — William of Occam, Occam’s Razor
Aha! I KNEW there was SOMETHING I was doing wrong!….. Ah well, it DOES add more to the arguments explaining why using EM #4 is a good idea on mornings like this one…
I’m in a strange place today…. I suppose, coming from me, that isn’t saying anything particularly unusual, but, it still holds true; even for me, I’m feeling weird…. I read the two articles below yesterday, during the short period of time I was able to sit and read news-type stuff….
The first was added to the evidence in my mind regarding the imminent world-wide environmental crisis that Mankind has to face in the coming years, while the second offers at least a small bit of philosophy that could be of help to us in our struggle… by which I mean, the article by Mark M. has some very rational points to bring out, points which, if heeded, can’t help but make things better for a lot of people…. But, who listens to a smart-ass, semi-millennial, faux hippie with a big vocabulary, except ffolkes like me?….
I could conceivably, and quite easily, I’m sure, rant on the first article, about society’s pending demise, thus proving it fits into the prevailing theory of civilization to which the article refers, a theory which delineates how cultures age over time, until their predictable, eventual, inevitable collapse, destroyed from within by corruption, and the weight of its own folly. Our society is a perfect fit for this theory, for which there exists a LOT of evidence, all provided from our own history. But, I’m still a bit tired, and not able to sit long enough to do justice to such a critical, complex subject….
Instead, read the two articles, to get a good idea of where we are today in the World at Large… For your reading and cogitative pleasure, I’ve followed these with a religirant from the archives, just for fun….. Enjoy, ffolkes, as much as you can, considering the subject matter….
The following rant is one of my best, all in all, as it didn’t start out with the intent to rant, but just grew naturally….. Abondanza!….
The following religirant is from June of 2012; in my opinion, it remains as cogent as the day it was first written….. Thank goodness, as it gives me a reason to use it now. (Note from 2014: It’s as valid today as it was last November…) My advice is to take it with the usual grain or two of your favorite flavored salt….. Myself, I like a mixture of onion and garlic salts, with some cracked black pepper, and a touch of chili powder, for interest, and balance…. Metaphorically speaking, you could think of that as Reason, Doubt, and Imagination…. apply them to any subject, and they’ll come out a lot better than merely using Faith and/or Fearful Denial….
“Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972)
There are many folks out there who, when reading my material for the first time, might get the impression that I am an atheist, and an anarchist. The stuff I write would tend to give that impression, I have no doubt. But, it really isn’t the case, and just goes to show that not everything is always as it seems….
I’m not an atheist, at least not in a classical sense. I would more accurately be described as agnostic, as I believe strongly in a spiritual component in the universe. But, the very concept of omnipotence, and omniscience, implies that one cannot define God, or whatever entity one considers to be the ultimate authority. A finite mind cannot comprehend an infinite mind; anything we can imagine cannot, by definition, be accurate or complete, as our minds are not infinite in scope.
It could be said that our imagination IS infinite. We can, at the very least, comprehend the concept of infinity, even if we cannot touch it, or see it, or count that high. But, to actually think that what we imagine about God is the same as reality is not only arrogant, it is foolish. Yet a large percentage of the human race not only believes they know what God looks like (ironically, God always looks suspiciously like the folks who are claiming Him as their deity….), but, also have the temerity to say that they know what He wants. To my way of thinking, this is sheer self-aggrandizement, and unjustifiably arrogant….
I suppose it helps them in dealing with the everyday stresses of life to think that they are special. It must be comforting to think they are beloved of God, and what they do is important to Him. This sense of belonging is important to a lot of folks, in reaction, I think, to their own fears about their ability, or, in their eyes, their inability, to deal with reality as it exists. It gives them a sense of entitlement, and justifies their actions, no matter how immoral or unethical they may be. It allows them to act upon their impulses without restraint, to lie, to cheat, to steal, all in the name of the Lord. And, if they should happen to feel a tiny shred of guilt about what they are doing to other folks, why, they just confess their sins to Jesus, and all is forgiven!….
Sorry, ffolkes, but I could never buy into the whole scenario, from my earliest days on this planet…. All of my experience, and all of my reasoning has led me to a different view of reality than what is described by any religion. I have observed the behavior of most people of a religious bent to be, as a rule, hypocritical, cruel, bigoted, racist, and, for the most part, unrelated to any moral or ethical system of any depth. Those who claim to be the MOST religious in society go so far as to threaten violence toward anyone who disagrees with their beliefs, justified by their own self-proclaimed right to spew their hatred on anyone who differs.
I believe in compassion and kindness. I believe in love. I believe in protecting the vulnerable, and helping the less fortunate. I believe in beauty. And, I believe in reality, whatever that may be; it’s purely subjective for the most part. I DON’T believe in the divinity of Jesus, or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, or Mohammad, or any other religious prophet. I don’t believe there is some white haired, bearded old guy sitting on a throne of gold up in the sky somewhere, looking down and getting his shorts in a bunch because I didn’t salute his graven image first thing after I got up.
That whole graven image thing, and the idea that God wants, or needs, our worship has always been a thorn in my side. I mean, can’t these zealots understand the irony of worshiping an image of Christ on the cross? Don’t they know that the cross is a graven image? And, most importantly to me, why would an omnipotent being NEED to have MY worship? It makes no sense. None. I cannot imagine of ANY reason for a God to care at all about such petty bullshit; I don’t care to be worshiped, why should He? Having someone act that way toward me makes me uncomfortable, so I can’t see why a God would even want to go there. What purpose does it serve? In my opinion, it debases the worshiper, AND the one worshiped.
One of my computer alarms just went off, and made me realize I was ranting, which I had not started out to do. I think y’all can get the gist of my arguments by this time, and, since those who are in disagreement with what I’ve written aren’t going to be persuaded away from their long-held delusions by my words, further soliloquy would be futile.
I’ll just finish by saying this…. until Mankind grows up enough to be able to put aside the crutch of religion, until the species as a whole learns to stand up to reality as it exists, without the delusional imaginary friend to intercede on their behalf with the universe, then our path to extinction will remain clear…. It’s too bad, really, because we do show a lot of promise, at times, and under the right conditions…. It’s too bad we will never be allowed to explore our limits as an adult species, because we will have killed ourselves off before we ever got out of childhood….
“There ain’t no devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk.” — Tom Waits, Heartattack and Vine
There you go…. Now, I COULD continue ranting on this theme; it’s one I can pick up in a heartbeat. But, I’ll be nice, and get on with the rest of today’s effort…. See, I CAN be disciplined…. and compassionate, as well…. it just takes a while sometimes……
“It is in changing that things find repose” — Heraclitus
On days such as this one is turning out to be, I try to NOT let any of what takes place here splash onto other people…. In that vein, here is one of my older poems, just to fill up this space with something that rhymes….
A Dubiously Soft Morning
Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, bright, empty screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.
Still, but almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.
Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.
Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt that no joy will soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.
~~ gigoid ~~
Fiddle de dee, fiddle de dum….. I smell the blood of an English mun…. I always hated that rhyme; it isn’t QUITE right, and, thus, hurts my obsessive sense of order…. But, it’s a nice little phrase to indicate the passage of time, with the added attraction of being thoroughly nonsensical…. As such, it’s handy for those of us who rely on literary tricks to get by…. Patently, it’s useful, if only to get us where we needed to go, which, oddly enough, is right here….. Fancy that!…..
I COULD get really silly, and go for Monty Python style in this next section, but, I’m not terribly expert in the Silly Walk. I CAN do a decent “Ni ni ni….”, but, how many times can one fall back on that? Not too many, I can assure you…. No, we’ll stay with what we know best, which just happens to be an old-school pearl, with parameters unset, to give it that random, harlequin look… It works for me, as it will for you, if you give it half a chance…. that’s all we’re asking for, ffolkes, just half a chance….
“The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.” — Albert Schweitzer
“Regrets and complaints about relations are to be attributed to the same cause, which is not old age, but men’s characters and tempers; for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but for someone with the opposite deposition, youth and old age are equally a burden.” — Plato,_The Republic_, Book 1
“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts
“Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man,–yesterday in embryo, to-morrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hair’s-breadth of time assigned to thee live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 48
“Nature does nothing uselessly.’ — Aristotle
“Extinct is forever.” — Smart Bee
“There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you please unless it causes others harm. With it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.” — P.J. O’Rourke
I seem to be incapable of reaching any sort of conclusive resolution regarding the nature, and/or disposition of this Pearl; some time during the creation of today’s piece, my mind took a hike, and hasn’t returned all the way…. Something out there in my subconscious is drawing a good portion of its focus, so, I guess I’ll have to finish this without benefit of being 100% present…. and if anyone makes a comment as to that being a normal state, I WILL be hurt….
Not really, cuz it’s perfectly true, and I try not to let true stuff hurt me…. (see the last pearl in section three to see why….)…. Actually, I’m all here, I’m just not ALL here, if you catch my drift….
Now that I’ve gotten to the point of deliberate obscurity, I’d better bring this to a close…. It’s true, though, I don’t know what to think about today’s Pearl; it felt strange while putting it together, and still defies my complete comprehension…. I’m a little worried about how that will affect others, but, hey, we all take a risk, every time we try to use whatever it is we keep between our ears, so, like me, and everyone else, y’all are on your own in that respect…. I don’t think any of it will actually HARM you, unless, of course, you try to use it as REAL wisdom….
See ya tomorrow, when things will be different…. None of us has much of a choice about THAT, do we?…..
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious