One of my most strongly held beliefs is that “regret” is a useless emotion, and should be eliminated from those feelings I allow myself to entertain. This, or course, assumes that I can actually control what I feel, an assumption that, while true in the realm of possibility, is not always so in reality. Our feelings just happen, often as a reaction to new information or a surprise event (though we can control what happens inside us, for the most part, we cannot do the same in the real world, outside us….). Thus, we sometimes must suffer feelings that are not welcome, at least until we are able to banish them with our will. Regret is one that I try to root out at its first appearance, as it does nothing to help resolve anything, especially not whatever has caused it.
Some religious moralists will point out that regret can be useful in preventing future similar situations, but I challenge that presumption as overly optimistic, as well as morally manipulative. More often, I would say, regret causes us to avoid the type of situation where it might occur, not out of morality, but out of guilt, and fear. Plus, the situation that regret avoids may be one that is necessary to improve one’s lot, if only it is faced squarely, and resolved, rather than regretted, and avoided. Fear and/or guilt are never good motivations to act upon, except in situations of impending life or death, when the speed it adds to an honorable retreat is welcome. Any other time one acts from fear, the result is generally “regrettable”……
Why have I started out with such a serious subject? Hell, your guess is as good as mine. I just started typing, and this is what came out….. I think I was having some thoughts of regretting getting out of bed, which, since I was already up and typing, served no real purpose. Hence, this short, somewhat mellow diatribe….. it could be worse. I could have started in on health issues, always a pleasant topic, and always available for discussion, what with their daily insistence on being in the forefront of my consciousness. It can be hard to ignore my carpal tunnel symptoms when one hand is numb while trying to type, for sure….. But, I didn’t want to take the chance of driving the Gentle Reader away so early in the morning by creating too many unpleasant images…. bad policy, all around….
So, we’ll just fly with what I’ve written so far, relatively useless as it is for any purpose beyond filling space in the intro section….. We have more important fish to fry than to “regret” what has already taken place…. :-) Shall we Pearl?…..
“I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.” — Marcus, Babylon 5
Here is one of those statements that, at first look, does not appear to be particularly important, or helpful. But, after a second look, it grows…. and, in reality, I have to remark that it is a pretty good way to look at life in its most real sense. If one can come to understand, and to believe in the indifference of the Universe, then its apparent malice becomes moot.
We all know of terrible things that happen in this world, and many of them make no sense to us; it’s hard to understand why little children have to die in natural disasters or fires or such events. There is no reason that we can find, and none that anyone can give, that will explain or expiate such a tragedy to the parents of the children. Sometimes the violence that can shatter lives is perpetrated by other people, sometimes the Universe itself seems to have picked out the weakest, most vulnerable targets upon which to display its irresistible power. However it occurs, it will never seem fair, or just, nor can any justification be offered that would assuage the pain that is engendered.
Thus it becomes an important tool for us to be able to accept the unfairness that is inherent in the indifferent nature of Mother Nature. She doesn’t mean to be cruel; it is just the way it is. If we choose to believe that the world is fair and just, then we can only believe that She hates us, both individually and as a species, for she regularly presents us with reasons to do so, if we assume her hostility. No other explanation fits the evidence.
Unless, of course, one learns to understand that there is no special animosity on Her part, it is just Her way of expressing Herself, and we happen to be there when She does so. In the final analysis, it is quite a comforting thought, to know that we are not the special target of all that goes wrong in our lives…. we’re just lucky, I guess…..
“Prayer carries us half way to God, fasting brings us to the door of his place, and alms-giving procures us admission.” — The Koran
As may have been guessed, I find the precepts and concepts that are put forth by most organized forms of religion to be not merely false, but deliberately so, in order to foster the control over people that is the sole intent of such organizations. No matter how pure they claim their motives are, they are no more interested in the well-being of their devotees than they are of anyone outside their church. This is true not only of every Christian sect I have examined, but of other major religions as well. The above serves as evidence in favor of this observation, as well as showing that I don’t apply this to only one religion; it is a hidden purpose behind all of them.
Now, let us examine the above statement. If we take away all the guilt-ridden phraseology, and strip away the delusions that are presented, we can re-state this more accurately as…. “Let’s talk to our imaginary friend to ask for favors we don’t deserve… then we’ll put our bodies in great stress in order to experience hallucinations that we are in the presence of our imaginary friend…. and to top it off, we’ll give our hard-earned money to the ones who tell us to worship, so they can build golden domes to the everlasting glory of the supposed deity. Hmm, makes perfect sense, eh what?
I’m not going to go into a huge rant today; I’ve got some stuff to post later that precludes any long, drawn-out discussions. But, I didn’t want all the Christians out there to think I pick on them exclusively, or that they are the only targets of my critical eye. No sirree, they are not…. any religious organization that puts out the kind of crap as listed above is my target, and they certainly don’t have to be Christian (though, in truth, I don’t believe there ARE any organizations at all that would actually deserve to call themselves such, as none of them follow His teachings closely at all… mostly they’re not even in the same ballpark….) .
Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists who mistakenly give Gautama godhead, Taoists who foolishly look for god instead of understanding of the Way, Baptists, Episcopalians, or any other such organizations that exist, in reality, solely to support a priest-hood, a group of men (usually… women don’t seem to lead these movements, though they often fall prey to them) whose only interest in other people is how much power over them can be obtained; these are what I choose to speak out against, with all the intellect at my disposal. Call me Don Quixote, if you wish, but that’s just the way I am, by deliberate choice….
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
“Abolition of a woman’s right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State.” — Edward Abbey
Here is perhaps the clearest statement of this idea that I’ve seen in a long while. Of course, it is an opinion that will be vigorously opposed by a great many people, too many of whom are women who have been brainwashed to believe that their male masters have the right to make such decisions for them. These women have abrogated their very person-hood, their entire feminine nature, becoming mental and physical slaves to men who have no right to call themselves such.
The arrogance and misogyny that is implied, and proved, by those who would disagree with this statement by Mr. Abbey is astounding. I regard such an attitude as evil, plain and simple, and only those who refuse to acknowledge reality as it is, instead of how they wish it to be, are able to give credence to such flagrantly dishonorable ideas. It is, to say the least, disheartening to realize the extent to which the average person will allow themselves to give up the control of their own minds, just so they don’t have to make the effort to decide what is right for themselves. It is much more to their advantage to go along with what is obviously wrong, as it feeds into their own egotism and misplaced arrogance.
And I say, fuck ‘em. When any assholes who would argue with a woman’s right to control her own body speak up in my presence, I will never fail to put them straight, even if it entails reading to them from the Book of Righteousness (ref: Louis Lamour, from any Sackett novel), after tactfully pointing out the errors in their thinking.
In fact, when such opportunities arise, I have a hard time preventing myself from advancing directly to that step in the discussion at the first asinine platitude that escapes their mouth. That first blow always sends a particularly pleasant shock of power from my fist to my shoulder at first contact, and though usually unnecessary, makes a second blow very tempting. But, if I do that, they’re not awake to hear the lesson….. Oh well, assholes, all of them….
“What’s on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?” — Fred Allen
“He that doubteth is damned.” — Romans 14:23
It took a while, but it was worth the time spent searching…. This is a perfect example of how the folks who would have us believe that the Bible (or any other sacred books inspired by supposedly supernatural entities) is a direct line of information from God, will go to almost any lengths to trick us into doing exactly what that book tells us to do. I have previously written here as to the value that Doubt has in the bag of tools people have to get by in this complex, confusing universe we inhabit. It is our only defense against information or events that can cause, or even intends, us harm, rather than good; such information invariably is given to us by other people whose only intent is to achieve some sort of power or control over us. I don’t think this is a particularly hard concept to understand; its proof lies in almost every interaction we have when faced with organized religions.
This short little warning/threat implies that any who do not bend over in submission to its decree will spend eternity in Hell. Hmm, a bit harsh, don’t you think? For merely entertaining a question regarding the accuracy of a concept presented with no evidence that proves its reliability? The Universe at large presents such false information regularly, and anyone who doesn’t learn caution in such instances is liable for the consequences, which can be severe, such as in the case of being confronted by an apparently friendly, but in reality, rabid dog. Rabies is no picnic, from all reports, so Doubt in such instances is very appropriate, and useful.
But, in the minds of the folks who are selling faith-based products, Doubt is the last thing they want people to have in mind when considering what they say. It tends to cause their arguments to fall apart right in front of their eyes, and they cannot make the sale that way. If they can’t convince people to accept what they say without questioning it, their entire house of cards will come tumbling down around their ears, and they would have to give up all those nice little perks that go along with having everyone believe everything they say, like having poor people willingly give up 10% of their earnings in tithe, or free rent in a house built by the labor of others…. Did you think they would give that up easily?…. Well, then you’ve lost your strongest ally against such degradations to your sensibilities…. a healthy sense of Doubt….
“Fear not, for I have given you authority to do so.” — Smart Bee, via some random preacher’s King James version….
She what was honour knew,
And with obsequious majesty approv’d
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower
I led her blushing like the morn; all heaven
And happy constellations on that hour
Shed their selectest influence; the earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
Whisper’d it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub.
– John Milton (1608-1674) — Paradise Lost, Book viii, Line 508
Once again, I have included a poem here, just because…. What I’ve written above is serious enough, and a little balance is called for…. and here it is…. enjoy!
Okay, so, not so bad for an off-the-cuff sort of morning…. a fairly eclectic group of observations, fraught with my customary sardonic views on most everything. Without even going back to re-read yet, I’m going to let it fly…. even though I know in my heart that once gone, there is no retrieving any of it…. but, hey, what’s life without some risk, eh? Pretty damn boring, that’s what…. so, enjoy, or not, as you will… if not, feel free to comment on any of it. And if you do enjoy it, I’m glad to hear that too… not necessary, though, a simple click on the “Like” button will suffice to make my day….
Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.