Softly crept the morning light, filling the room in golden rays of warmth. As the eyes of the young maiden opened, they fell upon the worried face of her brother, standing by her bed, dressed for his morning ride. His fair, innocent face, marred by the worry in his eyes, looked down at her as if he could see into her mind with the intensity of his gaze. She smiled up at him, wanting to ease the worry out of his eyes and mind, and spoke, “I’ll be fine, Malcolm. There isn’t even a bruise.” He only frowned harder, replying, “I don’t care. I don’t like to hear that you’ve been hurt, even if it was your own cupidity that caused it….” “I just wanted to see….” “Bah!,” he interrupted, “…. ‘only wanted to see’… How many times have I heard you say that in our life, as I was dragging you to the healer again? You have no sense of danger, Malia, and it worries me. Especially when you try to climb up to see a dragon’s nest of eggs….. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!” It burst out of him, with the force of his emotional storm, leaving him breathless and angry.
All done…. That just sort of leaked out as I sat down to start this morning. I don’t know if there is any significance to it, but it’s not bad, so maybe I’ll try to keep this one to work on and expand later…. Dragons always make for a good story…. Why is that, do you think? Is it some kind of racial memory of ancient days, when dragons roamed the Earth? Is it a prescient image in our minds, of a time in our future when dragons assume some pivotal role in our fate? Is it just imagination and wishful thinking? I don’t know for sure (though I tend to favor the first reason….), but there is something about the concept of dragons that fascinates the human mind. Even the most egregiously plagiaristic books with dragons as a key character seem to sell in today’s market, no matter how well, or how poorly written. I guess, if I’d like to sell a story, that might be a good way to go….
For now, though, we’ll drag ourselves out of the realms of imagination for a time, and go off in search of the oysters, with their hidden gems inside, that go together to make a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom. It’s not an easy task, nor one that furnishes me with much beyond the sanity it saves, but, hey, somebody’s got to do it, and I’m the only one here, so….. Shall we Pearl?
A well known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have just told is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!” — Stephen Hawking, “A Brief History of Time”
In other words, reality is, for you, whatever you believe it to be….. and, if you believe it, no logic, no evidence, and no kind of argument at all will ever change your mind. The human imagination is so powerful that it can actually make us see, and feel, things that are not real, just to fulfill the inner urgings our minds. This latest election is an example of this talent, as over 50 million people managed to convince themselves that their candidate was not a congenital liar, not a misogynist, not a thief, and instead was an honest, trustworthy human being. It took some really powerful self-deception to pull THAT off, as he spent six months and more exhibiting all three of those behaviors, and not a one of those who voted for him will admit to seeing any of it….. Makes one wonder, sometimes, just how some folks get to be as old as they are, since they are in such denial of reality….
“It is a mistake to believe that a science consists in nothing but conclusively proved propositions, and it is unjust to demand that it should. It is a demand only from those who feel a craving for authority in some form and a need to replace the religious catechism by something else, even it it be a scientific one.” — Sigmund Freud
Siggy was very often full of shit with his psychoanalytic conclusions, but he got this one dead on. There does seem to be a large percentage of people out there who want the universe to be easy to understand, and amenable to what they wish it to be, rather than being strong enough to accept it the way it is. I try to be tolerant of these folks, as they are obviously operating with a mental handicap, but it’s hard sometimes, when they try to make their idiocy spread to others.
The recent campaign we just suffered through helped to identify the people who feel this way, as they all, to a man, voted for the loser. I’ve never seen an election that so clearly and completely showed the schism in this country between those who use their minds to hide from reality, denying it as much as they can, and those who use their minds for something other than sitting on…. I saw a good one in Smart Bee recently, & can’t find it, but it says, “Where you keep your mind is much like a coin toss…. heads you win, tails you lose.”…..
“The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking…the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Albert, as we all know, was perhaps the greatest of us who lived in the last century. The knowledge and wisdom that he gave us through his lifetime is a legacy that we can never appreciate enough. This particular insight is one that I believe completely, for it expresses the whole issue very succinctly. The heart of men is fickle, and will follow the will of its owner, without knowing what is true or not. If the owner is deliberately ignorant of what is true, or if they deny it, because it doesn’t fit in with their prejudices and misconceptions, then the heart is led into realms of dishonesty, and dishonor, suffering changes that leave it forever blackened, and in despair.
“First you have to be able to see world as it is not as you wish it were. or because of your ignorance, misconceptions, and prejudices.” — Smart Bee
It is this sort of deliberate denial of reality that is leading us to perdition, and one of our own devising. No sane or educated person can deny any longer that our habits are killing the planet’s ecosystem….. the evidence is too great. (Not that the planet itself is in danger… oh no. It will just rain for a couple centuries, and wash away the crap we deposited, until we are just a memory, in nobody’s mind…..) It is not a matter any more of conjecture, or speculation; we can now see first hand the effects on climate, as super-storms, seasons changing, and ice-cap melting continues unabated, thanks to the millions of tons of carbon monoxide pumped into the air on a daily basis. No, only a person who denies reality, who refuses to consider evidence, even when it is poking them in the ribs, can argue that there is no problem. And, once again, the recent election serves to help identify those folks for those of us who do accept reality; it will be handy knowledge when it comes time for a reckoning…..
“It is only the ignorant who despise education.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 571
The sea-change that is needed for us to make the changes necessary for survival don’t seem to be happening, as far as I can see. When almost one sixth of the entire population of this country, supposedly an educated one, can vote for such an egregious example of the very attitudes that got us here, then the chances of their hearts all of a sudden seeing the light of day are pretty slim, and approaching none rapidly. It’s sad, really, to think that it is the stupids who will win in the end, bringing the rest of us down with them…. If I were a bit stupider myself, I would start killing them, in an effort to stem the tide…. but, alas, by doing so, I would be joining their ranks, and I couldn’t live with that anyway…..
I feel like a change of mood, so here is something about 180 degrees from the rest of today’s material…. Enjoy!
The face that launch’d a thousand ships
Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies!
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wittenberg be sack’d;
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear’d to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa’s azur’d arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour!
“Integrity is when what you say, what you do, what you think, and who you ARE all come from the same place.” — Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
Okay, I know we are all probably sick to death of politics, and the election, and everyone would like to have a break from talking and thinking about it….. I know I am. So, I’ll try to make this fairly short, and make it the last political diatribe for at least a day or two. It may be possible, if nothing in the news jumps up to stimulate my outrage (which may be on a short vacation itself….. I hope. I could do with the emotional space….).
Any who…. here is what I was thinking when I came across this little gem…. What if we devised a test, that in some way would enable us, as voters, to determine the relative status of each of the candidates according to this rule? A way, as it were, to measure their degree of integrity, which is something I think we can all agree would be a good thing to see in a politician, unlikely as it may be. If we could, say, set up a scale of integrity, and make it law that a person had to score in the top 5% of the scale in order to merely be eligible for office, I think we might see a whole new set of politicians, who had never before been seen in public.
In fact, in thinking about the current crop of those in office, it is entirely possible that ALL of those in office now might not be eligible…. I am not excluding the President, out of fairness, though I personally believe he might score in the top 10%…. I still have questions about some of the stuff he has signed that didn’t seem to be very well publicized, as they didn’t exactly fit with his image….. The newest version of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, that he signed last New Year’s Day comes immediately to mind….
I don’t care if he did try to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of the law, he still signed the damn thing, thereby seriously endangering a number of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. Plus, the method he used to keep it from the public awareness was rather suspect, in my mind, and reminiscent of the old days under Nixon, Johnson, Reagan, and the two Shrubs, may they all rot in whatever level of Hell they are destined to occupy….. (I know, I know…. not being a Christian, that curse has little weight, but, hey, it’s a pretty clear indicator of my opinion of all of them….)
As I suspect it might, this grew to be somewhat more than I intended it to be, so I’ll cut it short here. But, my suggestion above, about the test for integrity that should be a given for political aspirants, is completely serious, and I wanted to get that out. Maybe by the next election, we can get the rest of the country to buy into it…. which should be interesting, and fun. I’ll be looking forward to the expressions on the faces of all the supporters of those now in office, when their people gloriously fail to pass the test…. and to the results it will have on society, should it ever be adopted…. I don’t see any way at all that it could do anything that wouldn’t improve the situation…..
And so I penned
It down, until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.
— John Bunyan (1628-1688) — Pilgrim’s Progress, Apology for his Book
I’m almost sorry to come to the end this morning. The thoughts are flowing easily, and Smart Bee is coming up with decent material…. but, all good things must come to an end…. otherwise it will never get posted. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed today’s little trip through the minefields in my head; I didn’t see any explosions that will cause serious injury, and around here, we call that a win….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.