My apologies to anyone who has been commenting on my last few Pearls, and has not received a reply. I am only able to hook up to the Net once a day, usually around 11:00 or noonish, so I’ve been limited to getting the Pearls posted, and taking care of necessary business, such as email. Even my shared computing tasking program is annoyed with me, as it wants to connect to the Net several times a day to get new work. Such is life, at least until I can figure out how to get ISP service at my new apartment….. SIGH……
I also miss getting to read the blogs I follow…. I’ve been getting to a few a day, but only four or five of them, and I’m sure everyone thinks I’ve died or something…. Perhaps not, but I feel like I’m in limbo, for sure….. ah well, I must counsel myself to be patient. If I can wait on Social Security without biting anyone, I can do this, too…..
I should probably stop writing this intro now, and get on with the day’s dive….. so I will. Shall we Pearl?…..
“Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is NOT a sin–just stupid.)” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”
It would be foolish to try to claim that there is NOT a part of me that wishes there was a God as described by most of the Christian sects, or the Islamic, or Jewish, or any other of the major and/or minor religions in the history of Man. Who wouldn’t want to have all the responsibility for thinking, or for acting within reason, taken out of their hands? It would be wonderful, but as it’s pretty unlikely, to all appearances, that part of me will have to remain unfulfilled….. I’d rather adopt and set the above moral standard as my own, as I happen to agree with it wholeheartedly. It forms the root, the base, the touchstone of all of my morality, the basic raison d’etre for my every decision of whether or not to act, and how to react, from an ethical standpoint of my own choice, without thinking about whether or not it is according to dogma.
I first came across Lazarus Long and his irreverent take on life when I was about 15 or 16 years old, right when I was taking classes at my parent’s church to fulfill the requirements for admission as an official, saved member of the church (Presbyterian, if it matters….), and wondering how I was going to break it to all of them that I couldn’t do it…. It was a hard decision, but, since the teachers couldn’t answer my questions about Bible incidents that puzzled me (not part of what we studied, but from different chapters I had read…), I stopped attending any services, because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite…. I could even rationalize my decision, as having been made out of concern for the safety of my family and friends, since now the church could conceivably fall down on them if they were with me when I came in…..
“Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I’m concerned — I support your right to enjoy it. However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture or necrodestination.” — Frank Zappa, “The Real Frank Zappa Book”
I also happen to agree with Frank on this one. What I do believe about religion, and the concept of God, or god, or Dog, is my own business, and begins with not pressing it on others, unless they ask; in such cases I will discuss the subject superficially, without expressing any preferences one way or another…..
Unless, of course, they begin to proselytize. In THOSE cases, I will use every bit of shock value pop psychology I know of to lead them down some primrose path, messing with their heads until I get bored with them…. which usually doesn’t take long; they’re generally fairly uninteresting people. I tend to prefer people who have a bit of salt to their personality, just a touch of insanity somewhere in their blood…. Such ffolkes are much more fun to be around than folks who spend their time feeling bad about wanting to feel good….. and they annoy me far less often, as a rule…..
If God is omnipotent, why does he need my money? — Smart Bee
“The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are rather the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt. For mortals, the ‘easy life of the gods’ would be a lifeless life.” — Hannah Arendt
Vague Glimpses of a Rainbow
All the sad notions of propriety had fled,
Screaming their anger for pausing in song,
Until late came the rabid fog, colored in red,
As serenity cried, unafraid to live so strong.
Fallow fields in faithful patience set free,
Dragged from birth, by their own nature cast
Saving each moment against fear yet to be,
Carved into silence, by ignorance held fast.
Historical forces plod slowly ’tis often said
Anxieties streaming stiffly, one epoch to the next.
Cultural mania stands nonchalant in its stead
No sadder epitaph has such bittersweet context.
Patterned bags of forgotten virtue lie in wait
Blessed by reminders whose souls value affinity
Frozen webs surround the fields in gravid state
Grasping passionately within obvious opportunity.
Passage to future realities isn’t guaranteed
Small favors for deities was left off the menu
No roses, nor manna, nor gallant aerial steed
Left traces of fatal, yet originally gracious venue.
Having just spent three hours (okay, I exaggerated…. only two….) searching in vain for a pearl to finish with, I became incensed with frustration, and rather than scare my new neighbors with a verbal outburst, I calmly set a parameter, and collected the following pearls on one subject, to wit: human nature…. As far as I can tell, all of them rate a solid 10 on the truth scale….. As always, just follow the bouncing thought as it explores your own inner self….
“The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth–that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.” — H. L. Mencken
“The ultimate evil is the weakness, cowardice, that is one of the constituents of so much human nature. When, rarely, unalloyed nobility does occur, its chances of prevailing are slim. Yet it exists, and its mere existence is reason enough for not wiping the name of mankind off the slate.” — John Simon
“We are all terrible little creatures.” — Martin Amis
“The tragedy and the magnificence of Homo sapiens together rise from the same smoky truth that we alone among the animal species refuse to acknowledge natural law.” — Robert Ardrey, _The Social Contract_
“Man, were he not corrupted by Governments, is naturally the friend of Man, and that human nature is not of itself vicious.” — Thomas Paine
“I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!” — Firesign Theater
Now I feel better….. and I hope you do, as well….
“I hope something GOOD came in the mail today so I have a REASON to live!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
I know just how Zippy felt when he voiced this plaintive wish…. but, the mail doesn’t get here until later, so this will have to do….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.