Wow…. It’s been a LONG time since my head has been so empty in the morning….. I’m guessing it has something to do with getting an extra hour and a half of sleep, which has me up today rather later than is usual in the recent past….. Of course, my guesses are wrong as often as right, so that’s no guarantee that I’ve figured this out, or that trying to use my brain for any kind of cognitive tasks will have any positive results… In short, I’ve reached that momentous state so aptly described in the Grateful Dead song, Sugar Magnolia…. to wit: “Head’s all empty, and I don’t care….” I DO care, though, at least enough to feel some regret at my lack of alertness just now, if not any great depression, over not being able to write…. I mean, THAT is nothing new, right?….
Besides, the empty-headed state described in the song has more to do with the effect on the brain of a beautiful woman, not over-zealousness in pounding the pillow, so it doesn’t help explain anything… As is normal in these cases, I have absolutely no idea what to do about it, and intend to carry on in the usual way, as I am right now, wandering around in my head, blathering, until something, anything, I type strikes a chord, whether of humor, anger, outrage, or simply reminiscence…. SOMETHING has to pop up eventually, and when it does, I’ll be all over it, like a male dog chasing a female in heat….
Hmm, as is plain to see, I shouldn’t be allowed to make up any descriptive phrases until I have a better handle on things… I’m not sure that image is the one I was shooting for…. But, what is a daily blogger to do, eh? I ask you, is it fair to expect brilliance every day? Well, maybe it is, but, hey, not all of us can do that, okay? Some of us need to be average some days…. otherwise, those flashes of brilliance tend to get overlooked.
If I was brilliant all the time, it wouldn’t seem special when I do make some connection, or expose some nerve, or shout something out that makes people sit up and take notice. There has to be a degree of contrast, sort of like using a frame for a picture, to serve as a way to highlight what I’ve written, a dichotomy that tells the tale to be told….
Most days, I end up like today, trying to achieve perfect piffle, which, to me, is great fun, and funny, and, in some ways, the most honest way to start off these missives… Nothing else conveys the sense of nonsense that we try to achieve here, that sharp, sardonic wit and intelligent discourse to which I aspire in my writing…. Of course, not everyone appreciates piffle like me, but, that is NOT my problem; I can’t fix the whole world at once…. It does mean that I have to also write in such a way that those folks are included in the message’s recipient list, as they typically are in the direst need of such information as I impart in my ranting mode…. So be it….
Well, like it or not, I’ve done it again…. Four plus paragraphs of near-piffle, punctuated within an inch of its life, all with absolutely no meaning, or relevance to what is happening in reality…. What can I say? It’s a gift…. It also meets all the legal requirements for an introductory section, which means I can put down my quill, and start typing again…. That’s sort of what it feels like, even if it isn’t anything close to that…. Piffle takes me back to my youth, and I can’t help it…. nor would I, if I could…. I’m just a sentimental fool about that sort of thing, and there’s no changing that at this late date…. I suppose I’m starting to ramble beyond even the loose limits at play on this site, so, I’ll give it up now….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horseraces.” — Mark Twain, from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar(1894)
Over the past two and a bit more years, I’ve written an average of about 2000 words per day, and have posted them all here on this blog…. This is either very egotistical, or very neurotic, and I don’t really give a crap which, because it was my only defense against insanity, at the time when I began. It seems to have worked, at least from this side, so, whether or not it is, or was, necessary is, to me, a moot point…. There is one advantage to having written so much, which I am now able to better utilize, since WP has been referring us to various older posts of the same nature as the one being read; that advantage is having a large archive of material that I know is ready to use, for those times, such as today, when my brain is somewhat less than perfectly groomed, and not willing to come out to play just yet….
Hence, the following discussion, which I found in a Pearl first posted on December 15, 2012…. I hope you enjoy it….
“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right actions arises by itself?” — Lao Tzu
Ever since being first exposed to the precepts of Taoism, back when I was in college in the late 60′s, it has always appealed to my sense of rightness, and makes the closest approach to what I personally believe about the Universe at large. Not the mystical parts, that cater to the religious order of the time it first was clarified by Lao Tzu, but the essence of the concept of reality, as being both within our perception, and unknown to us as beyond our understanding. We may not possess the necessary sense to be capable of receiving such information, whether about reality or fantasy, and if we assume the omnipotence of a god, then we would not be able to comprehend their existence, lacking the tools to perceive them with our five or six senses….
This knowledge, however, is tempered by the deduction that, as a physical part of the universe, we are connected to it, and to every other part, if only by sharing that existence. The connection, intuitively, is deeper than merely the physical; it extends somehow into the spiritual plane, which, though not tangible, is nonetheless a proven part of our mental reality. (What IS the mind?) It is this very lack of the ability to explain by which we may know the connection exists, as it echoes the nature of reality itself, which cannot be explained in words. Goodness knows why I’m trying, to be sure…. this is getting pretty esoteric, although, so far, it is consistently rational, if not entirely illuminating.
“Since everything in life is but an experience perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.” — Long Chen Pa
What better way to acknowledge and celebrate the perfection that we can see, or hear, feel, smell, taste, or imagine?…. It’s certainly preferable to a long, dusty discussion of esoteric concepts, and will encourage enlightenment just as efficiently, if not quite so verbally. In some way, I’m always looking for the perfect quote, the ultimate aphorism, that delivers that cosmic truth we are all seeking in one swell foop, and the above from Long Chen Pa comes very close to it, especially when considered in the light of what one concludes from considering the answers to the first two questions today. As a Westerner who has learned to appreciate what the East brings us, the following resonates very well….
“Somehow, in the midst of their horrid history, the best among the _gaijin_ learned a wonderful lesson. They learned to distrust themselves, to doubt even what they were taught to believe or what their egos make them yearn to see. To know that even truth must be scrutinized, it was a great discovery, almost as great as the treasure we of the East have to offer them in return, the gift of harmony.” — David Brin – Dr. Pak’s Preschool
There’s the key, ffolkes, right there in front of you…. Even truth must be scrutinized, or the universe will have its way with you, and you may never find the gift of harmony that is also there for the taking…. There, not so esoteric, after all….and, not too shabby at all, eh what?….
“The ancient Taoist sages were poised and alert….. like ice on the verge of melting.” — Taoist proverb
In the same Pearl where I found the above short discussion, I found a very powerful poem, surprisingly… I was surprised because it was my own poem, and I had no recollection of writing it, or posting it…. But, there it was, and here it is….
Beauty must define, as augment to existence,
as life must be more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
~~ gigoid ~~
WARNING! FRESH RANT BELOW: Read it, or not, as you wish…. but, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you….
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 1, 1791
I had thought, when I found this restatement of the First Amendment, to use it as the opening for a politirant. It IS the perfect lead-in to such discussions, as each and every one of the issues addressed in this codicil to the Constitution is under attack, and, in essence, is no longer one of our guaranteed rights…. I’m not crying “foul!” without evidence; the sky actually IS falling, to use an obvious literary reference. So, I suppose I will…. use it to lead in to a politirant, that is…. Let’s take this piece by piece….
Religion in this country IS free to carry on with, as long as the religion is a Christian sect…. Any other group is likely to suffer a lot of obstruction in the pursuit of their religion, both by law, and more significantly, by custom, and the power of peer pressure…. On the State level, as well as locally, laws have been, and are being passed that prevent Muslim women, and men, from wearing certain articles of clothing their faith demands they wear; other religious icons and dogmatic representations have been subjected to legal restriction as well, for many religions…. except Christian…. But, such laws are only the surface of the problem….
There are even Christian churches, or, well, allegedly, or peripherally Christian churches, that are discriminated against by their larger co-conspirators, just because they don’t have the same ideas about what their particular focus of worship is all about…. Just ask anyone from the Mormons… or ask anyone in The Tribe about antisemitism in the twenty-first century, and listen to them list all the various examples one can find, and not just in the news…. Ask just about any Southern Baptist what they think about Catholics, or Jews…. but, be prepared to get spewed upon with some nasty vulgarities…. Then, ask anyone from Texas what they call a Muslim when they aren’t calling them ragheads….
Okay, that’s the first section of the Amendment, on religion…. That’s gone, kaput, no longer in force; from a cultural point of view, it really never was in place, not very strongly…. The Christian sects have always been good at paying lip service to the principles of their dogma and creed, (the ones about tolerance, and compassion for others….). but, they’ve never been terribly good about actually living up to those principles, have they?…. That little episode during the Middle Ages, the one they called The Inquisition, now THAT was a pretty thing, wasn’t it?…. Now, of course, we have the plague of pedophilia, and/or outright bigotry that permeates so many church hierarchies, and not just the Catholics…. Even a simple, even Christ-like soul, such as the current Pope seems to be, won’t have a big effect on that degree of corruption of spirit….
Next is free speech…. Need I even say anything at all about this? How free is our speech, when telling the truth about the illegal activities being perpetrated by the government is looked on as treason? How free is our media, when they won’t print anything that exposes the lies told every day by the government, much less publish the stuff that Eric Snowden had to show? Oh, they enumerate the prevarications in spots; there are fact checking sites, and a lot of folks who claim to call BS on them everywhere…. The lies they tell are so obvious, that much exposure is unavoidable, given the internet, and the scope of modern technology….
But, those sites, articles, and shows that expose the lies don’t get anywhere near the publicity or exposure that the lies get, or the spin on the lies, or anything at all that the pundits and talking heads have to say in defense of their lies…. Hell, much of the time, the response by the government, regarding a particular instance of being caught lying, is handled most effectively by just ignoring it, making no statement at all…. and the media lets them do it! Every time!…. No follow-up outrage, no further mention of the lies told, just silence…. When was the last time we saw a public official actually tried in court for lying to the public?….. Nixon, maybe? Maybe so….
I can think of, at minimum, three instances in the past six years of this administration when huge lies were told, or exposed, and not a single politician or government official has been prosecuted for those lies, up to, and including the President…. This doesn’t even address the lies told by the Republican Party (the “loyal” opposition?….) on a daily basis by that entities representatives…. I’m not going to bother naming them, as all of them were covered extensively in the news, for all the good it did….
Okay, free speech, and freedom of the press, those are pretty much gone, too…. Let’s see, now, what’s next?…. The freedom to peacefully assemble, and petition for redress of grievances…. Have you tried to get a permit to have a protest lately? I understand there are now a bunch of requirements that are necessary to be allowed to assemble anywhere in a public venue, all laws passed on a local level, as a rule, and enforced by police departments with a huge sense of entitlement, legal backing, and guns they aren’t afraid to use on the public….
Those requirements that must now be met before assembling any group for protest in public, requirements which are, if one actually reads this Amendment, completely illegal according to the Constitution, have to do with protecting property, mostly, from the vagaries of mob actions….. The laws were put in place through the efforts (i.e. they spent a lot of money to make sure their politicians voted the “correct” way….) of corporate entities…. The landed gentry, or more accurately, private interests, to protect THEIR profit margins, and THEIR rights, as opposed to the rights of the people… Can’t have those ignorant voters taking money out of their pockets in their dissatisfaction, now, can we?….
Oh, and by the way…. When was the last time we heard about a policeman getting arrested , ( Or women, though police women don’t seem to ever go as completely overboard in their zealousness as their male counterparts, at least not without first becoming more male than female in their attitudes about violence, and the use of it to control the public….), for being violent during a protest? Or actually being prosecuted, and convicted for those kinds of acts? Very, very seldom, as you are well aware, I’m sure…. That particular issue is generally taken in hand by many governments by passing laws making the police immune to prosecution for ANYTHING they do while on duty…. pretty slick, eh? Become a policeman, get a get-out-of-jail-free card to stick in your wallet….
Not bad work, if you’ve got the stomach for it, along with a very, very skewed and distorted sense of honor, and justice…. To my mind, in the current state of our society, it takes a pretty sick mind to want to take on the duties of a police officer…. Sadly, there just aren’t enough honest, honorable men to fill the empty spaces, and the need for them….
As a result, I’d estimate that at least half of the men, and, almost as many of the women, who try to become police officers are clinically insane, and should never be allowed to have that sort of power over others, for they WILL eventually, even consistently, use that power for their own ends, or use it in ways that are destructive to the public good…. It’s their nature to do so, and they WILL do so, if given the chance… As evidence, I will once more point to the news, and the many instances reported of dishonorable, destructive behavior by police officers….
It must be remembered, THOSE reports only tell of the ones who are caught, or prosecuted, or screw up so badly even their own mates turn on them…. How many instances of police bullying, or intimidation of citizens in the pursuit of their ends, actually show up in those reports?…. More significantly, how often do you see a news report, many months after an incident, that was investigated for wrong-doing, or illegalities on the part of the officers, that exonerates the officers of all wrong? Of course, the fact that these investigations are carried out by OTHER POLICE OFFICERS seems to forever lose its place among the reactions from the press….
SIGH, now, I’m a little bummed out…. Here it is, not quite 7 AM, I’ve got a dental appointment to live through at 10, and I’ve already put the hammer to the First Amendment…. Say BYE BYE, ffolkes, to that hallowed document, the Bill of Rights, otherwise known as the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, because the efforts of the past 235 years by the corporate masters to do away with that hallowed document, as predicted by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, George Mason, and a number of other of our Founding Fathers, have almost reached their desired results….
Most, if not all, of the rights we were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights have now been abridged, in one way or another, and we can not depend on ANYONE in our government to give them back…. Not when we’ve already given them the keys to the treasury, by allowing them the right to vote their own salaries, their own health care system, their own retirement, all without ever realizing we were doing so….. The American people have cooperated fully in their own enslavement, ffolkes, and though the collars we wear are not yet such as to kill us outright with their fit, nonetheless have taught us to do without a lot of the freedoms our forefathers gave us, with our full, if sadly ignorant, consent….
Sorry to be the one to bring this out, but, hey, somebody has to, right? Right….. I may not be a small child, but, as far as I can see, the Emperor is NOT wearing any clothes, ffolkes….. Now, let’s see how many ffolkes, and/or folks, out there will either admit to it, or reject my assertions…. nicely, of course…. I suppose this is a good place to bring this rant to a dignified close, though, given my history, that’s pretty much out of the question… the dignity, I mean… I think I’m going to have to resort to a pearl to make my escape…. so, let’s see if Smart Bee can come up with just the right one…..
“What now if the sky were to fall?” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Heautontimoroumenos, Act iv, Sc. 3, 41, (719.)
“If you don’t make the rules, you don’t have to keep them. If you do make the rules, you won’t anyway.” — Smart Bee
How admirable, he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!
Well, it took three, and that’s okay, too…. because they’re perfect….
Without even going back over this, I can feel it is something of an epic Pearl…. I can only hope it can carry the weight of its own dimensions…. Let’s go see…. Yep, completely epic… I apologize if I have set the bar too high, and y’all don’t have the time to read it all, or to comment… It’s a lot… But, if you should have a thought, or even two, about any of it, feel free to chime in…. Meantime, it’s started raining here, so I’m going out in it to soak up some moisture, first-hand…. See ya….
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.