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 normally discuss them with anyone. It just causes arguments. I am not a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Jew, 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 just now occurred to me that maybe, for all these centuries that we 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, and its value being so great, that man considers himself greater than “lower” forms of life. The attitude that we are the pinnacle of creation is obvious in almost every approach taken by philosophers and scientists to explaining why things are as they are. Since we do not have 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 was God? Amoeba are the most ancient form of life of which we are aware, utilizing the simplest means of reproduction available (as far as WE know anyway…), and essential to 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. 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 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, but might just happen to be the way it is, because it wants to be….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……
— Things We Can Learn from a Dog
1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
4. When it’s in your best interest, always practice obedience.
5. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
6. Take naps and always stretch before rising.
7. Run, romp, and play daily.
8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
9. Be loyal.
10. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
13. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
14. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
15. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
16. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
17. When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
18. No matter how often you are criticized, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.
There is nothing I need to add to this; it’s just fine the way it is. If there is any creature on this planet that might really be the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ, it would be a dog, for sure. Probably a border collie, they’re pretty smart…..
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now, here is indeed deep insight into human nature! One must respect MLKII, not merely because of his integrity and commitment to a higher purpose, but because he did so when there was no expectation of success or reward. Even those who disagreed with him (a group I am not part of, thankfully) learned to respect him, even as they reviled his positions. And this particular statement is one that applies to all human behavior and interaction. Much of the current world-wide troubles stem from this principle’s veracity; in too many corners of the world, people are oppressed, held down at the behest of tyrannical leadership in the name of either religion, geography, or sheer human avarice, unable to speak for fear of reprisal. But, eventually, one of them does speak out, and is heard by those in thrall with him. One man, or woman, showing the bravery to fight for their freedom, can inspire a million others; when that happens, change happens. It is well to remember that it takes only one person to act with courage and honor to change the world. But that one person must speak out when they witness, or are are victimized by the cruelty and rapaciousness of those who prey on their fellow men…… It is then a good thing, for all of us, to find opportunities to………practice acts of random kindness and senseless beauty, and be brave in the face of evil…..
“He said that there was one only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD)
— Socrates, xiv
Discouraging, isn’t it? This concept has been part of mankind’s legacy of wisdom for AT LEAST 1900 years, and we are still struggling with the war between good and evil, knowledge and ignorance. If one is the type who is easily discouraged in the face of difficult problems, this would definitely be a major obstacle to finding a solution. I think the part of this issue that is particularly hard to accept is that a lot of people enjoy their ignorance, and resist any attempts at education, or for that matter, any type of change, either in what they think, or what they do. Today’s culture is, sadly, infused with a sense of entitlement by far too many people regarding their actions and thoughts. They believe that what they want, no matter how destructive or indifferent to the rights of others, is owed to them by the universe. It is this sense of entitlement, promulgated and reinforced by religious organizations, that is the root cause of most of the problems we face as a species, to wit: pollution, ozone depletion, global warming, extreme climate change, and most significantly, the economic disparity so glaringly obvious it’s pasted all over the news on a daily basis. I’m still a tiny bit optimistic, but it’s getting hard to maintain any positive energy about this issue, and I wish that I were smart enough to be able to come up with something in the way of a solution. How to accomplish change in others has always been a mystery. The changes we need now are all internal, proprietary to each individual human, and the changes must be initiated by them, or they won’t be real, and we’ll continue down this road to perdition, instead of to redemption……___________________________________
I confess that I love Pooh and have never seen Beavis and Butthead.
Well, maybe I’ve seen a couple minutes of the two bozos; it took no longer than that to notice that watching it was killing brain cells. I haven’t bothered to watch again. Nothing I saw was at all attractive to my taste, so continuing to watch would have merely annoyed me, and caused arguments with my kids, who were fortunately old enough not to take the show seriously. The very existence of the show could arguably be considered as proof of the arguments presented in the section prior to this one. It could be considered one more manipulative attempt at mind-control by the PTB, deadening otherwise normal people’s sensitivity and intelligence by overexposure to deep ignorance. It’s not an unusual tactic; television is the perfect medium for distributing propaganda, disguised as comedy, or as dramatic, pseudo-intellectual thrillers. Why do you think cop shows are so popular? In reply, I will refer you to the quote above by Diogenes Lertius, via Socrates…..the battle goes on, with ignorance leading on points, which, of course, were awarded by default, due to lack of protest on the part of the normals……
I can’t say I’ve lacked for anything to say today, can I? I’ve done you a small favor, by only having four sections today, rather than the customary five. I did so because I wrote so much in the introduction that I am now getting fatigued, though I’ve only been up about an hour and a quarter. It would probably be best if I just stop now, before I cannot…….y’all take care out there…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.