10/20/12, aka 10/21/12 ~~ Time, or the labeling of same, is mine to dictate, so, today is tomorrow…. the missing day is banished from memory. So Be It….
It seems my unconscious mind has taken a hand in directing my conscious life as well…. but, in this case, it seems to work fairly well, all in all, so I’m going to leave it alone for the time being. I know that sound mysterious, but saying this precisely this way is merely withholding details that would be unenlightening, and at the same time, counter-productive to discussion. Suffice it to say that I am here now, sitting down to write, with more than average clarity, and a degree of unusual comfort…. Thank goodness for coffee, eh?……
I know, I know, that was a less than illuminating paragraph, but, believe me, you really don’t want any more details, so let’s just get on with our regular business, shall we? Suffice it to say that this is a case where you need to trust me, you don’t want to know any more than you do now…. So, you may as well give it up, because I ain’t talking…. Well, I wouldn’t be, but this IS the intro section, and I have to say SOMETHING….
I could point out that, here at Exploring Consensual Reality, you do get more respect…. I could have skipped the above two paragraphs entirely, and not even mentioned the new schedule changes, thus avoiding inadvertently letting out TMI, but figured that my readers are too smart, and might notice something…. so, I figure it’s better to just mention it in passing, rather than try to fool you all into a false sense of complacency. Such a condition is anathema to me, and I refuse to create it in others, if at all possible…. I’d rather create a small bit of confusion, than a great deal of it….
With all that being said, and so cheerfully, we should probably get on with the search for pearls; it promises to be somewhat of a hard line search, as I am starting off with zero to work with (as might have been surmised by this intro, and it’s obvious stretching of ingredients…). This will be posted from the library again, as it is that time of the month when my available cash is scarce…. Until we can get to that point, though, we need to find some pearls…. so, shall we Pearl?…..
“It’s OKAY — I’m an INTELLECTUAL, too.” — Zippy the Pinhead
Okay, so there I was, cruising through Smart Bee, and these little gems popped up. Each one tempted me to begin a rant, or a discussion, but, none of them completely grabbed my attention enough to do the trick. They are all much too valuable to throw out, so I had this idea to include them as a “new-school” pearl….. Y’all can take the ideas herein described, and formulate them into your own pearl of virtual wisdom…. there is plenty here to work with; I’ve used many similar pearls myself to create unforgettable rants, or brilliantly funny forays into nonsense. (Sure I have….. trust me….)
“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”
“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” — Mark Twain
“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence
“I figure that if God actually does exist, He’s big enough to understand an honest difference of opinion.” – Isaac Asimov
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but there ain’t no way to make the cat enjoy it.” — Jed Clampett
“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xii, Apology for Raimond Sebond
“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
So, you should find it reasonably simple to do the same yourselves (creating a pearl, that is, not wearing plaid…) …. and if not, well, they are all fairly strong stand-alone dribbles of good advice/good observations, so you aren’t completely without recourse…. No refunds, though, we’re not completely without shame…. Remember, you get what you pay for in this world, right? TANSTAAFL….. (for the uninitiated, that is, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch….)
Choosing a Theme
Powerful words playing hide and seek in my mind,
teasing with subtle cruelty, pretending to be kind.
Grand visions and flowery verses of beauty and truth
evaded my inner eye all through the days of my youth.
Affable interludes interspersed with allegorical wit
softened the crimes, against all reason, to finally acquit.
Time became at once an enemy, and an ally
Never once compelled to provide an answer why.
Giving gifts of simple kindness are their own pay,
spreading ripples of compassion are felt far and away.
Love given freely is precious, we are ever told,
increasing love received, more than a hundred fold.
Living long and with passion has centered my soul,
allowing me room, and time, to choose my own goal.
Now that I’ve gone past any need to pretend
I love everything in life, even knowing it will end.
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
– Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) — Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child”
I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”
“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke
I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!” You can’t say fairer than that….
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha
One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan
Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..
I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.
The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….
In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….
“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi
There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….
Well, there you have it…. Yesterday, or recently, I said, in a poem, “All you can do, is all you can do… and nothing more.” I’ve done all I can do today…. A couple thousand words, mostly all original, an old-school pearl, a new-school pearl, a poem…. it’s going to take me some time to close all the veins I’ve had to open up this morning…. but, it was worth it. It kept me from considering Reality for quite some time, other than as an objective subject for thought, so, that is a good thing…. and, it has the added positive characteristic of being DONE…. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing this one….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.