May seventeen foul demons from the deepest hells of Mordor make fun of your face! There, take that! I guess THAT will teach you!…. Back, foul fiends, begone with you!….
Huh? Oh, sorry, forgot it was time for that….. Half a second, let me just….. ugh! Okay…. last one dispatched…..Come on in, I was just putting away these old attitudes, and they didn’t want to go. I have new ones ordered up & delivered every few years, just to make sure the ones I have aren’t getting too inflexible, or unable to adapt to changing conditions…. Nowadays, what with the new, forced adaptations we’re going to be going through, it’s a good idea to rotate out the old ones regularly, lest one be caught with one’s spiritual pants down, so to speak… While the new ones are always cool, the service that delivers them doesn’t haul away the old ones, so, that part is up to me, & I thought I’d get a head-start on that this morning, since I was up at four in the AM….
Today, I’ll be creating a different sort of Pearl….. and I’m not even going to tell you how, or even why….. How, you may ask, am I able to show you such a fine example of showmanship, and still keep the inner workings of the process to yourself? You say I can’t ever seem to shut myself up, so how do I expect to do it now? Simple…. Oatmeal, dried into a crust, burnt, and shoved down my nose…. Then, we prop up my stiff carcass at the keyboard, boot up the computer, and hope for the best…. Seems to work pretty well, so far, every time…
Disgusting, yes? I hope so, that’s what I was shooting for…. I wouldn’t even have minded a case or too of spew, as long as y’all remembered to use the bags provided in the seat back in front of you. Oh, jeez, Harry, did you have to use the one with the hole in it? I told that flunky not to recycle them, but, do they listen? Of course not…. Well, sorry, I guess you can use the old towels in the corner there, and, if you need it, there’s some Windex in the cabinet under the bathroom sink…. go ahead and use that, if you think it will help…. Thanks for trying….
Well, now that the excitement is, hopefully, over with for one morning, (I’m not sure I want to encourage this much hilarity again; we’ve used up a pretty fair supply of paper towels, and we’re only done with four paragraphs or so….), WHERE shall we begin?…. Oh, I just have so many things I want to tell you…. I’ve been so busy, thinking, and…. oh, shit…. I’ve been thinking again, but, as usual, I forgot to fire up the backup server, so there’s no extra copy if I forge…… well, shit, again…. If I forget, is what I was saying, when it struck me forcefully that, hey, I already forgot!…. Damn…
Okay, new plan…. First we wobble, then we Pearl…. and since, by the evidence presented above, we’ve wobbled aplenty, we’ll now be going on to the meat of this sandwich, or, whatever may come next in this plane of Reality, such as we find it…. a bit worn, but still willing to play the game…..
Shall we Pearl?….
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of our men and women. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” — Thomas Paine
Yesterday, part of the ranting portion of the program spoke about lawyers…. Serendipitously, one of the old pearls that I went to read, upon the suggestion of the WP suggestion bots, who put their ideas at the bottom of my posts, had a wonderful rant about lawyers, specifically, from way back in November of 2012…. Here ’tis, to finish off my remarks on those oh-so-despised members of our Asininny class…..
“He who dies a thousand deaths meets the final hour with the calmness of one who approaches a well remembered door.” — Heywood Brown
I almost passed this by when I first read it, then I thought a moment about it, and it occurred to me that it sounds like a defense of cowardice, which is what we usually associate with the phrase “He who dies a thousand deaths”…. Upon further reflection, though, that phrase, though certainly appropriate for describing the state of uncontrolled fear that brings a human to react with cowardice, could also be used to describe some of my own experience in dealing with violence. To generalize that thought, it could be said that a person who faces situations where death is hovering nearby, always a threat to manifest its presence in reality, is also dying a death each time, because their imagination is always aware of that proximity of possibility….
I made the mistake once of counting how many times I faced off with a person who wanted to rip my head off, and would have done so had I not acted to prevent that from becoming reality. Suffice it to say it was entirely too many times, though somewhat less than a thousand (not by much, but less….), and my imagination was stimulated into conjuring visions of possible outcomes that included my own death, each and every time.
Of course, the key to success in such situations is to be able to put aside, or ignore, those visions, in order to keep them from becoming real, and I learned very well to react very quickly in a way that allowed me to control the outcome, rather than random chance or, worse, having the other party assume that control. Fortunately for all involved, I never lost…. at least, not in the sense of becoming physically injured, or dead. (Nobody else that I controlled was ever hurt or killed, either, a fact I’m pretty proud of…. and mental injuries are another story, entirely….)
The quote above is one that I find to be a comfort to me as I get closer to the time when death will come to make my acquaintance in this lifetime. As a conscious being, I naturally have to believe that my mind, or soul, if you prefer, will not cease to exist; only a change that we do not understand will happen, one which no one has ever successfully explained with any degree of certainty. There is, of course, no evidence to support the belief that we do not merely stop existing, like the flame of a candle, when we die, that we will somehow “wake up” somewhere else, according to our particular set of preferences in such philosophies.
Nothing tangible can be produced, or has ever been produced, that makes such a belief a conclusion; contrarily, there is also no evidence available that it is not true. We each have a strong feeling that our soul is indestructible, like energy of any type, but no incontrovertible proof is available for either side of the issue.
Thus, we can only hold on to our sense of spiritual connection to the universe, that part of us that knows that, like sunlight, or electricity, or heat, our conscious mind is a manifestation of energy, one that, like all the other kinds of energy we perceive, does not cease to exist, ever. It may change forms, or even types (as light can become electricity, or motion become heat….), but it does not leave the universe at all.
To me, and to certain philosophies, the qualities of water are a good example to use as a way of understanding this principle. Water cannot be destroyed. You can, by altering its temperature, cause it to change form, from ice, to water, to steam…. but it cannot be destroyed at all. Our minds, and thoughts, can be thought of as water, ever flexible, ever changeable, yet never ceasing to exist in any way, and retaining within its being all the qualities that make it, and us, what we are…. another unique part of a beautifully complex and wonderful reality….
To me, that is, indeed, a comforting thought….
“If I am I because you are you, and if you are you because I am I, then I am not I, and you are not you” ~~ Hassidic rabbi
Again, it seems serendipity is guiding my attention…. In searching this morning for a poem a bit off my usual track, I came across this one, from William Blake…. In light of my recent rants on how America is, well, heading for the toilet, and not to enjoy a soothing episode of relief, but, to get flushed…. Perhaps, my imagery isn’t exactly the most elegant for its intended purpose, but, you get the drift….
Any who, I thought it was interesting to see how someone from another country viewed ours, from the vantage point of the past…. Blake was an interesting man, to say the least…. A poet of little renown in his own time, he is now considered one of the most seminal Romantic poets; in addition, he painted, and one contemporary critic was moved to remark of his work in no small way, when he described Blake as, “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced” (Information from Poemhunter.com).
The shadowy Daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc,
When fourteen suns had faintly journey’d o’er his dark abode:
His food she brought in iron baskets, his drink in cups of iron:
Crown’d with a helmet and dark hair the nameless female stood;
A quiver with its burning stores, a bow like that of night,
When pestilence is shot from heaven: no other arms she need!
Invulnerable though naked, save where clouds roll round her loins
Their awful folds in the dark air: silent she stood as night;
For never from her iron tongue could voice or sound arise,
But dumb till that dread day when Orc assay’d his fierce embrace.
‘Dark Virgin,’ said the hairy youth, ‘thy father stern, abhorr’d,
Rivets my tenfold chains while still on high my spirit soars;
Sometimes an Eagle screaming in the sky, sometimes a Lion
Stalking upon the mountains, and sometimes a Whale, I lash
The raging fathomless abyss; anon a Serpent folding
Around the pillars of Urthona, and round thy dark limbs
On the Canadian wilds I fold; feeble my spirit folds,
For chain’d beneath I rend these caverns: when thou bringest food
I howl my joy, and my red eyes seek to behold thy face–
In vain! these clouds roll to and fro, and hide thee from my sight.’
Silent as despairing love, and strong as jealousy,
The hairy shoulders rend the links; free are the wrists of fire;
Round the terrific loins he seiz’d the panting, struggling womb;
It joy’d: she put aside her clouds and smiled her first-born smile,
As when a black cloud shews its lightnings to the silent deep.
Soon as she saw the terrible boy, then burst the virgin cry:
‘I know thee, I have found thee, and I will not let thee go:
Thou art the image of God who dwells in darkness of Africa,
And thou art fall’n to give me life in regions of dark death.
On my American plains I feel the struggling afflictions
Endur’d by roots that writhe their arms into the nether deep.
I see a Serpent in Canada who courts me to his love,
In Mexico an Eagle, and a Lion in Peru;
I see a Whale in the south-sea, drinking my soul away.
O what limb-rending pains I feel! thy fire and my frost
Mingle in howling pains, in furrows by thy lightnings rent.
This is eternal death, and this the torment long foretold.’
~~ William Blake ~~
Now you see the nefarious genius of my plan…. I’ve created an entire pearl, using primarily work I accomplished over two years ago…. Pretty slick, eh? Now I have time to prepare myself mentally for the important event I have on my plate for a couple hours from now…. What happens at that time will play a big part in determining the physical AND emotional tenor of a lot of the next few months, (or, alternately, it could have little effect at all, which is okay, as long as one particular issue is resolved to my satisfaction….)…. so, I’m looking forward to the challenge of making things come out the way I intend…. SIGH….. Shaping Reality to suit our needs and purposes can be exhausting…. So, here is my third cheat of the day…. but, I think you’ll agree with me that it couldn’t be any better if it was fresh….
Good morrow to you…. let us begin as we mean to go on….
“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler
This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…. whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody….. Actually, bloody well-used-up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out, taking a a kidney with it.
The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which. after all. requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually….
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley
This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.
What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.
There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms. Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.
You must remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday….
“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein
I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, purely out of their love of mankind. I also admire that Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, spiritually, and physically, in a simplistic fashion, and had the ability to share his deep insights into life and the universe, for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.
He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, living his life in a way that stands as an example for the rest of us, of how to live well. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably….
“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau, were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.
But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid, even if incomplete. And, it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness….
So much for another day…. Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there….
So much for the sanctity of the mind, eh? We’ve put the lie to that one rather well today, haven’t we? If nothing else, I’m pretty sure I felt the foundations of Reality tremble in fear for a few moments, and we can’t hope for any better than that….. 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.