Some days the dragon wins …

Another day dawns, and I’m fairly certain that I left my mind in one of my dreams last night. Disconcerting, to say the least; I’m operating on extreme autopilot mode. This could make for some very interesting Pearls, as my mind is where I keep almost all of my restraint. In this condition, I could say damn near anything, and not give a whit for how it sounds to other folks. Oh well, we’ll just have to dive in, and take our chances…….

“Violence accomplishes nothing.”  “What a contemptible lie!  Raw, naked violence has settled more issues throughout history than any other method ever employed. Perhaps the city fathers of Carthage could debate the issue, with Hitler and Alexander as judges?”–attribution not given, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this with Robert Heinlein’s name behind it.

Our planet is rife with violence of many sorts. It’s only to be expected when a goodly number of the creatures who live on this planet use other creatures as their source of food. Those other creatures are not always amenable to that, and will put up a pretty good argument for an animal that otherwise does not fight. This can lead to some rather spirited discussions over dietary preferences……. There is, however, another effect of using force to obtain food, one that can be problematic to use at best. The use of force can be easily applied to the process of obtaining other desired objects, such as a better cave, a prettier mate, more food, etc.  Humans very quickly adapted to this system, as violence is part of our nature. (Anyone who does not agree with this is not paying enough attention, or is in deep denial)  We tend to use the threat of force a lot as we go about our business; it is one of our most universally adaptable tools, able to be applied to almost any situation as a means of achieving one’s goals.

But there is a price for the use of this tool, and it is a heavy one. Each time a person uses violent means to achieve their ends, a little bit more Grace is carved out of their karma. They devolve, instead of evolving, and become more and more unable to use any other tools they may have, more bestial in their demeanor. The more violent a person becomes, the further they remove themselves from the rest of society, eventually coming into conflict with society at large, as being a danger to others.  As with just about anything, society as a whole is much more effective at violence than any single entity can be, just because of numbers, if naught else. Breaking the habit of assuming a violent stance in response to life’s vicissitudes is extremely difficult; people don’t give up their primary behaviors without a great deal of resistance. But society has little patience with rogue citizens, and will have its way, irrespective of our wishes. This is why we have prisons, and an entire system of law to protect each citizen from suffering violence at the hands of another citizen. If we were truly moral creatures, we wouldn’t need any of that….but we are not, and violence will be an issue for society to deal with as long as human nature remains resistant to change…..

“Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerve give to wisdom.” — Mark Twain

I always enjoy good advice in the form of an aphorism. Short, sweet, and sharp as a scalpel, a good aphorism cuts right through any preconceptions or perceptive fog, and arrows straight to the rational corner of the mind. This one from Mr. Clemens is a perfect example of the venue, and how it pulls the mind along with it, out of the darkness of ignorance, and into the light of knowledge. I consider aphorisms, or axioms, or anecdotes, or any other word that describes this form of communication to be peerless in their usefulness, especially as a teaching tool. Hell, they’re the backbone of this entire process; if I didn’t rely on them for subject matter, I’d have to sit down and think up what to write, instead of just commenting on what others have said, and that would bear far too much resemblance to actual work…….

If money is the root of all evil, I’ve been uprooted.

True enough, but not accurate in its original sense. The quote actually reads “The love of money is the root of all evil”, and is misquoted a lot, probably because it makes the same kind of sense the original possessed, and people, in my experience, are pretty lazy. The sad part of this in my estimation is that everyone knows this, and just about everyone totally ignores it. People still spend most of their waking hours in employing various and sundry methods to increase how much money they possess. Everybody wants more, and more, and more, and will say and do almost anything to achieve that end.

I’ve never wanted any more of it than I need to get by, and to be able to do the things I like to do, with possibly some extra to give to folks who need some. That’s all. Perhaps my lack of ambition in this respect makes me seem strange, but I’ve never understood why folks would want to burden themselves with so much stuff that they have to worry about others trying to take it away. It’s much more fulfilling to use only what one needs, and be happy with that, and then use the rest for helping others to achieve the same…..and you don’t have to worry that it will be taken away, just like it was taken from someone else. I prefer to not become a target……

“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)

I’m always amazed at how accurate the statement “there’s nothing new under the sun” can be. According to this little gem, mankind has been struggling with the same philosophical questions for a long time, in this case about two thousand years. And from what I can see, we’re not making a lot of progress. This concept is as true today as it was in Greece two millenia ago; mankind continues to use whatever means they have at hand to manipulate others, even if those means are degrading to all who participate. The urge to control other folks, in order to set ourselves up as being superior, has never been comprehensible to me; I believe that the impulse to do so is indicative of a sickness in the soul, and that the folks who indulge in such actions are mentally ill. And I should know; I spent close to twenty years caring for the mentally ill, and have seen the outcome of every maladaptive behavior known to science.

In my humble opinion, anyone who actively wants to be President of this country is seriously mentally ill. The job is impossible for one man to do well, what with all the roadblocks to reform and/or progress that are thrown up in their path by the opposing political party. But, as absolute power corrupts absolutely, there is always some d__head out there ready to foist their own particular madness on the rest of us. I’m looking forward to the election next year, if only because the political arena has been so frigging insane this year. Next year promises to provide even more stuff to write about every day, as one pundit after another parades their personal brand of ignorance before the unwashed masses…..

“Honor isn’t about making the right choices.  It’s about dealing with the consequences.” — Midori Koto

This is a good point to make, as I see a lot of folks in today’s world who really don’t have any idea of what honor really means. It is rare to even find someone these days who even thinks about their honor, and even more rare to find a truly honorable person. The whole concept has fallen out of favor in general society; expediency has become more acceptable, no matter how dishonorable it may be. To my way of thinking, society has reached a point where people’s sense of entitlement has grown completely out of control. A person’s personal desires are considered sacrosanct, no matter how badly achieving those desires may affect others. It doesn’t matter that acting in such a fashion places others in danger, or demeans them, or merely inconveniences them; people don’t care, because they’ve been led to believe that what they want is what they deserve, by corporate entities who feed into this, because it plays right into their hands. It’s easy to get someone to buy something, when they believe they have the right to it. What is hard is doing so in an honorable fashion, and we all know how most folks feel about doing hard stuff…..

It’s probably a good thing to stop here. This was threatening to grow by another thousand words, so it’s just as well I cut it off here. You probably have other stuff to do, and I know I certainly have a plate full of problematic tasks. We’d all best be getting to it…..y’all take care out there…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.




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