I’ve started to write several times this morning, but each time was forced to begin again, having spewed pure garbage onto the page. Even this honest statement of dismay seems to me to be stilted and stupid; it seems doubtful, at this point, that anything worthwhile is going to be coming forth from the depths of my mind to grace our presence with wit and style. I’d give up, but, I’m stubborn….
Having thus disposed of at least the first paragraph, perhaps I can distract Murphy with my fuzzy brain….. If he thinks I’m already in a state of confusion, he will, sometimes, let me be, allowing me to fuck with myself, which, though no less destructive, is often less bloody, and takes less clean-up….. Funny, isn’t it, what we can learn to live with?…. Besides, even Murphy will have a hard time putting me in a depressed state today…. In a bit under eight hours, I’ll be getting into a limo, which will deliver me, and milady Patricia, to the cruise terminal to embark on our ten day trip to Alaska…. Very little in the universe could make me unhappy at this point….
The only hard part now is getting through these eight hours…. creating this Pearl will eat up some of it, and I’ve got some ideas of how to pass the time quickly…. but, nothing will make the clock move fast enough to suit us. Everything is done, and all we need to do is carry our bags to the curb to be on our way….. I’m so jazzed and excited, even coming up with the BS I can normally spew out on demand is a bit more than I feel easy with….. Oh well, such is life, as they say….
Shall we Pearl?…..
You knew it would happen today…. and, if you didn’t, you should have…. I had intended to make this a fresh pearl, old-school variety, and rant in the third section, provided I can find a rantable subject….. However, Smart Bee has gone over to Murphy’s side for the time being, and won’t cooperate with the plan…. so, I’m retreating to the archives for a short, pithy rant on religion, or religious philosophy, whatever that might mean…. This was originally posted in December of 2011…
“That which leads us to the performance of duty by offering pleasure as its reward, is not virtue, but a deceptive copy and imitation of virtue.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)
Just so it’s clear…..I’m not an atheist, per se, at least, not in the classical sense of the word. I do hold beliefs regarding the subject of divinity and spirituality, but they bear no great resemblance to those espoused by any organized faith, and I don’t discuss them with anyone. It just causes arguments. I am not a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Unitarian, or a Buddhist, or any other of the virtually countless ‘isms’ people have come up with to try to understand those parts of the universe that we do not comprehend.
I’ve read the holy books of most of the major faiths; Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, the Bibles of several different Christian sects , the Tao Teh Ching, the I Ching, and any other related material I could find. Not that I made a complete heavy study of each, but I learned enough to be able to draw comparisons, and judge the validity of each (which I admit, is purely subjective. But then, isn’t any religious belief purely subjective? Why yes, I do believe it is…..).
It occurred to me, just now, that, maybe, for all these centuries we (that’s the human “we”…. meaning all of us as a group….) have sought to explain what we do not understand, we have been looking at things from the wrong perspective, at least in terms of intelligence, with its defined value to us being such that man considers himself greater than “lower” forms of life. The attitude that we are the pinnacle of creation is a given in almost every approach taken by philosophers and scientists in any explanation of why things are as they are. Since we have not the ability to create worlds (yet), or stars (yet), or universes (yet?), we attribute the state of things as we know them to creatures of vast wisdom and power, as “far above us as we are above bacteria or amoeba.” How often have you heard the last part? Isn’t that part of any definition of a god, or even God, by whatever name one calls him/her/them/it?
But what if the amoeba IS God? Amoeba are the most ancient form of life we know of, utilizing the simplest means of reproduction available (as far as WE know anyway…), and are an essential step in the formation of other life. Perhaps the entire bacterial level is God’s nervous system, and the amoeba are the thoughts of God. And as other forms of life evolved, maybe each entered another part of the symbiotic whole that is life, non-life, energy, matter, and non-matter, all of which must be present in order for our universe to manifest itself.
All of which makes our viewpoint completely backwards; we are the bottom of creation, not the top. Every other part of the universe, and almost every animal and creature on our planet we know of, except ourselves and our vaunted intelligence, are functioning, and functioning well, according to their place in Nature because they have no need to do anything else. Our intelligence is generally accepted to be that which makes us ‘better’ than the rest of creation, a convenient word to describe something that may not have been created at all, but might just happen to be the way it is, because it wants to be…..at least most of it does….so far we haven’t done too well at learning how to be at one with the rest of creation; quite the opposite, as a general rule…..
Hmmm…..well, I guess that’s one way to look at it…… at least with this credo, there’s no guilt, no shame, no incentives, and no rewards….. other than self-respect……
– How many amoebas does it take to change a light bulb? One. No, 2. No, 4. No, 8. No, 16. No, 32……. — Smart Bee
Some years ago, on the occasion of her mother’s passing, Patricia, my lady love, wrote a memorial tribute, in which she put a poem that she wrote for her mother…. I think it is very touching, as well as quite beautiful, and include it here, not to depress anyone, but to celebrate the life of her mother by sharing what Patricia felt when she wrote the poem….. Enjoy!….
Eyes in a wrinkled face,
A kaleidoscope of memories
Laughter mingles with tears,
Fear and sorrow melt into contentment.
A lifetime of joy and passion,
sorrow and doubt pass by.
Don’t hurry so, take your time.
Stop and listen
and she will tell you tales.
Tales of far away lands, great adventures,
great passion and greater trials.
She takes out the memories, one at a time,
Views them re-lives them,
brings them to life for her listeners.
Then tenderly, reverently, she wraps them again,
and places them, one at a time,
into fragile bubbles.
If you look closely, you can see them.
Tiny little flashes in her eyes……
Individual memories encased in fragile bubbles.
In loving memory of June. T. Miller
Patricia Miller Larsen
Okay, it’s time to drop any pretense I have assumed…. Smart Bee isn’t cooperating, and my head just isn’t ready to be creative…. so, once again, I’ll have to dip into the past for the material to complete this Pearl…. So be it…. Here is a rather long, involved pearl from late in 2012… I think it’s one of my best, so, it will do for the moment’s need….. Enjoy!….
What is the mind? Where is it, exactly? And how does it work?….. These are questions that have been asked throughout time, without ever finding answers on which all can agree…. Oh, there are many ideas, and every sage and his brother’s cousin’s friend’s uncle has a theory about it…. Finding pearls that discuss the matter was pretty simple, actually, as they just kept popping up in front of me…. for example, here are four that I found, all of which have an important part of the idea to discuss…..
“Whether time is long or short, and whether space is broad or narrow, depend upon the mind. Those whose minds are at leisure can feel one day as a millennium, and those whose thoughts are expansive can perceive a small house to be as spacious as the universe.” — Hung Tzu-ch’eng (1593-1665)
“An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another form of conclusion. An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind, a mind that is watching, learning, studying.” — J. Krishnamurti
“Hypotheses are not to be multiplied without necessity.” — Occam’s Razor (aka, the K.I.S.S. axiom….) (see Hanlon’s Razor, aka Heinlein’s Corollary to Occam’s Razor) (See logic) (See Dick and Jane run….) (Just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention….)
“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve the problems of life not only theoretically, but practically.” — Henry David Thoreau, American Philosopher (1817-1862) in Walden
You probably noted that one of these four was not like the others (Sesame Street teaches critical thinking well, does it not?….). Occam’s Razor has done more to advance science and philosophy than any unified field theorem, or any other wide ranging thought that mankind has come up with over the years. It cuts through the bullshit, and reminds us to concentrate on what is important, to not to go off on tangents that detract from the final outcome. It’s a way of approaching science and the fields of knowledge, and even Life, that offers the superiority of having been proven true over and over, in every experiment, in every field of science since it’s publication, sometime around the Renaissance period. William of Occam was, reportedly, a mathematician, and no doubt a very good one, as his assertion regarding hypotheses implies a certain impatience with bullshit; he likely wasn’t one to put up with foolishness for long….
Of course, there are always a few who don’t have the intelligence, or the courage, to stand up to Life, and they too have had their two cents worth put in for consideration….
“Do not learn more than you absolutely need to get through life.” — Karl Kraus (Seconded, I’m sure, by Homer Simpson….)
An obvious proponent of the entitlement crowd, this guy has expressed clearly the lack of courage that it takes to really retreat from life as can be done. These are the Republicans, the non-thinkers, the men and women who prefer to hide their heads in sand rather than meet reality with any dignity or bravery. Ignorance is their status of choice, as they don’t have to bother themselves to ever check things for truth, or even make up their own thoughts…. they just accept whatever the pundits, religious or political, tell them, because those pundits are the ones who are immoral and unethical enough to take advantage of their ignorance, and will tell them anything they want to hear, in order to soothe their bigoted fears, and, as a happy side effect, take all their money…. which they willingly give away, proving the old saw about fools and money…
I didn’t mean to get into a political rant, but I suppose it isn’t an ill-conceived idea at this point. Tonight will be the first of the Presidential debates between Obama and Romney, and a discussion of mind vs. no-mind seems appropriate somehow. We will get a pretty good picture drawn for us tonight, as one of the greatest speakers of our time, the POTUS, faces off in debate with one of the worst speakers I’ve ever seen, Mitt the Twitt, who has a proclivity for dropping bombs, and speaking without evidence of giving any thought at all to what he has just said to some group. This is an occupational hazard for someone who relies on lies and misrepresentations for the major portion of their message; it’s hard to sound true when one is obviously false…. No matter how much it gets dressed up and taught to sing and dance, a pig isn’t going to win any music contests with its squealing…..
“I’m not imaginary–I’m ontologically challenged” — Smart Bee
As might be guessed, the above is a joke, intended to poke fun at those who choose to live their lives without the benefit of using their minds…. to live one’s life in ignorance to me would seem to be the actions of a fool, by definition as well as practice. One may as well BE imaginary, if one is going to retreat from reality to the extent of turning off all curiosity, all doubt, and never using the mind for that which it was designed (if one believes in design….), or happened to evolve into…. The mind is our best, and possibly our only, ally against the harshness of reality, and it would behoove all of us to keep it in good working order, as befits a tool of such high quality…… T’is marginally better than treating it as a red-headed step-child, leaving it out to starve in the cold, harsh light of reality…..
Without even looking this over, I know it will do…. but, I’m anal about typos, so let’s see how it reads….. Given the handicaps under which I am operating today, it isn’t at all bad…. not terribly fresh, but still stimulating… and, it’s done…. Yay! Now I can get ready to rumble….. Next time I post will be from the road, so I can’t predict exactly when, but, it will be soon…. count on it….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
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.