In re: motivation…. let’s be honest. The motivation that prompts each of us to write, and then to post what we write, may be simple, or it may be complex; humans have a tendency toward both at times, depending on their predilections, and preferences in life. In my own case, since I tend to complicate matters naturally, it is somewhat complex; I suppose I enjoy the feeling of chaos at work that comes with maintaining an active mental life. In short, I’m crazy as a bed bug, and I like it…..
As the old saying goes, I don’t suffer from insanity, I revel in it….. In fact, I encourage insanity in others, often, in an attempt to give life a little spice when it falls into one of those routines, that threatens to become a rut….. There is nothing like some general insanity to liven up a party, now, is there? Who’s more popular on the dance floor than the guy with the lampshade on his head?….. Nobody, that’s who!
There are so many aphorisms floating around in my head, I often can’t remember who said what, but, I believe it might have been Voltaire, or another social philosopher of the modern age, who said, “Insanity is a sane reaction to an insane world.”….. Oh, hell, Google will know… Yep, I was right in my being wrong…. it was the psychiatrist and philosopher R.D. Laing who is credited most often with that particular phrase… though other authors seem to lay claim to it without any regard for that information…
Now that we have that out of the way, and we know for a fact that, a) I’m crazy as a loon, and b) it doesn’t matter at all for our purposes here, we can get down to business, and stop with the fluff (Whew! Tough word to type…. took me five tries…. that fluff stuff is tougher than it sounds….). I have some crow to eat, and I’ll thank you to let me chew and swallow quickly, to avoid some of the unpleasant flavor…. It still leaves a bitter after taste, no matter how quick one is in spitting it out, or downing it, whatever….
Yesterday, I ranted for quite a while about missionaries, such as those generally found in remote places lording it over the natives, and specifically targeted the most famous of that breed, Mother Teresa. I knew when I chose the subject that I risked some controversy, but, I happen to believe all I that I write, and still do.
But, a friend, one of the email recipients of the Pearls, happens to live in my building, and we got to discussing the piece in the afternoon, during which discussion, she most excellently, and correctly, scolded me, putting me back into my correct place, for having targeted whom I did. She did so without ever falling into trying to make me feel bad, but, rather, explaining, or, reminding me, mostly, of a piece of the picture I had forgotten to acknowledge….
Essentially, that piece is this: I’ve never met Teresa, and, in the eyes of a great many people, she is considered to be one of the most compassionate, truly loving examples of a follower of Christ that has ever lived, achieving relative sainthood during her lifetime for the charity work she does with the poor.
According to legend (which, right now, I am merely listing, and not questioning for veracity….), she is a perfect example of how a real Christian should live, in the sense that she eschews all worldly material goods in favor of giving herself and all she has to help those less fortunate than herself…. In light of her unswerving dedication to this life-style, and her absolute defiance of typical Church procedures, she is truly one of the heroines of the common man….
I have observed much of Teresa’s life in the public eye, as she, and her books (five of them) all came into the light of public scrutiny when I was a child, so I have known OF her for many years. When I googled her name, the first page of results showed about 15 results, of which five were informational, such as Wikipedia, or sites where images were shown, seven were positive stories about her life, (she died in 1997), and three were articles like mine, that explored the darker side of the missionary activities she perpetrated for the Catholic Church in her lifetime. One was entitled, “The Darker Side of Mother Teresa”, while another headline in the Huffington Post proclaimed, ” Mother Teresa Humanitarian Image A ‘Myth,’ New Study Says”. I’ve included below the Google links to the three articles that challenge the usual image we have of the good sister….
After speaking with my friend, I went back to read over what I’d written yesterday, and I will confess to a degree of vituperation that may have been overdone. I don’t know the woman personally, so all I have to go on is her public persona, what I know about people and their psyches, and the depths to which they will sink to achieve their ends, regardless of whether or not those ends are either moral, ethical, or even helpful at all. So, I apologize for anything I said about her being an evil person…. she may indeed be a very compassionate, truly Christian woman, so I will acknowledge that portion of the legend that has grown up around her…..
However, I stand by what I said about her missionary work, and that entire ilk of religious fanaticism, or for how observing how it is demeaning for those it purports to help. In truth, it seems clear to me the practice is motivated by the desire of the priesthood to claim more souls, not out of any particular concern for those souls themselves. The Church doesn’t send out missionaries to save the people, it wants the souls, which translates into power over others, and a lifelong bivouac of luxury and pomp for the clergy….
Nuns are a bit different, as many of them are actually out there in the world, dealing with people, so, they tend to ignore or modify what the church itself might do or say to fit the local circumstances; otherwise they would never get anything done to help people. But, their motivation remains murky, even to them, as almost every nun, or priest I’ve ever known, if they were at all honest people, suffered from crises of faith, where they doubted their vocation… Perfectly natural, and a shame they always seem to talk themselves out of listening to that little voice in their head….
Well, I’ve started to ramble, and it is threatening to turn into another rant, (actually, in looking back, it already did that….), so I guess I’d better get on with this, or I’ll never get done today…. I’ll have to depend on Smart Bee to come up with something different to talk about, but, it never seems to have much trouble with that….
Any who, I’m sorry for picking on Mother Teresa… like the Beatle’s song said about the Queen, “I imagine she’s a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say….” She may or may not be as bad as I made her out to be; to my mind, even if she is not a bad person, she is still operating under a set of very strong delusions, but, that is not at all unusual in this world, so I can’t hold that against her…. So, sorry, Terry… I hope your compassion can extend to forgiving me for my brashness and the crime of inelegance, if nothing else….
In the meantime, shall we Pearl?…..
“Enough is enough.” ~~ gigoid
I’ve re-read the intro section, as it seemed a bit like it was too long…. It was, indeed, but, I can’t in good conscience take much of it out, or it will fall apart from its own inner weight imbalances (it’s a very weighty discussion, difficult to keep in balance, as each word and phrase changes the moment of vector…. trust me, the math is tricky, but clear….). So, I’ve resorted to one of my own aphorisms, above, one I mutter to myself often, as an incantation against breaking free of the habit of moderation in all that I do…. Moderation is the key to long life, I believe, but, even moderation itself needs to be practiced in moderation; it’s a good thing now and again to just let go, and give one’s wild side free rein…. just long enough to release all the built up angst, but not long enough to land in jail….
So, naturally, I shall default into the normal procedure for following a rant, even if it is an intro, and submit for your reading pleasure a harlequin pearl, freshly chosen this morning, complete with potential hilarity and possible clarity…. enjoy! Oh, and, no point to this one, it’s all as random as I can make it…. so, don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out if it has one…. Of course, if it should end up with an obvious sharp point, let us know, so nobody hurts themselves on it, okay? Thanks…..
“If Mother Nature doesn’t make mistakes then why does dessert taste better than dinner?” — Smart Bee
Shifu: “If the instrument is broken, the music will be sour.”
Daniel: “The music does not play the musician.”
Shifu: “Normally there is truth in that.”
Daniel: “Really? Good. Because I really didn’t have any idea what I was talking about.”
– from Stargate
“Call on God, but row away from the rocks.” — Indian proverb
“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)
” — You know it’s going to be a rotten day when you wake up face down on the pavement.” — Smart Bee (?)
Hmm… for a five-star, it’s not bad, if a bit strange… I think two more ought to bring the Force, if not the Metaphorse, back into balance for now…. let’s see what comes up….
“A life lived in fear is only half lived.” — Spanish proverb
“By the time this message gets back on topic, WE’LL ALL BE DEAD!” — Smart Bee
(Doh! Sorry, this one doesn’t count… Smart Bee isn’t supposed to do that…. bad Smart Bee, bad dB!…. One more, for good measure….)
“Good generally conquers evil. Unless, of course, good is stupid.” — Smart Bee
And there you have it… Smart Bee came through in the end with the perfect closer…. Okay, onward, or we’ll never get done….
In the interests of brevity, along with elegance and depth, where else would I go, but to Emily?…..
Rouge et Noir
Soul, wilt thou toss again?
By just such a hazard
Hundreds have lost, indeed,
But tens have won an all.
Angels’ breathless ballot
Lingers to record thee;
Imps in eager caucus
Raffle for my soul.
~~ Emily Dickinson
Her poems are small enough that two is not crowding….
‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!
Life is but death, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least too know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail.
And if I gain – oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!
~~ Emily Dickinson
Faith, n: “That quality which enables us to believe what we know to be untrue.” — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
Calm down! And sit down, and relax…. I am well aware that, upon first seeing the above aphorism where it is, you immediately figured I was going to start in on another rant of major proportion, again heaping scorn upon the priestly hierarchies, and the myriad of folks who fall for their rather unbelievable fantasies…. Even I, however, have my limits….
I wrote around a thousand words above, in a general way, about religion, or, at least, religious figures, and I’m not going to burden you with another…. No, this was chosen just to get your blood moving, and to relax you for a final, short group of simple pearls, all on a particular subject, or as near as I can make them…. What that subject might be is for you to guess, should you wish to exercise your imagination in that way…. Otherwise, just enjoy them for their, well, whatever they are….
“When Eudaemonidas heard a philosopher arguing that only a wise man can be a good general, “This is a wonderful speech,” said he; “but he that saith it never heard the sound of trumpets.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Eudaemonidas
‘When they tell you to grow up, they mean to stop growing.” — Tom Robbins
“I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope, and then they disparaged all high hopes. They lived shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and hardly had an aim beyond the day. “Spirit is also voluptuousness,” they said. Then they broke the wings of their spirit; it now creeps about, and defiles whatever it gnaws at. Once they thought of becoming heroes, but they have become sensualists. A trouble and a terror is the hero to them. By my love and hope, I implore you: do not cast away the hero in your soul. Maintain holy your highest hope. Thus spoke Zarathustra.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, _Thus Spoke Zarathustra_
“All religions issue Bibles against Satan, and say the most injurious things against him, but we never hear his side.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)
(Well, actually, Robert Heinlein did write a book called, “Job, A Comedy of Justice”, in which the main character happens to meet up with the Devil, when he was picked up hitchhiking, is taken to His home, and hears His side of the whole story… It’s a great read, if one can suspend belief, and exist purely in imagination for a time…. It’s also funny enough in spots I’ll warn you to be seated when you read it…. I will note, in Twain’s defense, that the book was written well after he died, so he can be forgiven for not knowing of it…. )
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: (1) not going all the way; and (2) not starting.” — Buddha
Well, I don’t think I could have picked a better closing pearl if I had it specifically in mind…. good job, and good recovery, Smart Bee! Well done….
I am almost afraid to go back over this to proof… but, here goes….. I’m really not sure how it happened, but, this is a good one…. I like it, and since that is all that counts, ultimately, it can go out as is, with my blessing, if not my hopes…. Those have already been realized today, when my first tax refund hit the bank electronically…. I’m considering dinner out tonight, as a start….
It’s nice to not have to think about how that might run me short at the end of the month, as it is already almost that time…. More proof that patience, while not an absolutely essential quality to possess, is surely of some value in preserving our dignity, if not our comfort….. And THAT is surely an example of “Enough is enough”…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.