At my age, having a good reason to get up each morning is a blessing, not necessarily in disguise. If one gives in to it, the related physical challenges we face in performing daily activities can intimidate, and make one want to just stay in bed, so the motivators we have that get us right up, looking forward to the day with enthusiasm, are worth their weight in gold, so to speak. For me, writing these Pearls is one motivator; I’ve become pretty addicted to the daily opportunity to spew out the stuff I would normally stuff into some dark corner of my mind. I would be far less content had I not started blogging after I retired, if I had not come to accept that I was actually done working for the rest of my life, and started to spew out all that stuff I’d been stuffing for so long…..
Some might challenge the value of what I write, but, then, everybody’s a critic, yes? If somebody doesn’t like, or agree with what goes on here, well, they’re free to comment (within the boundaries of polite conversation, of course….), or, to go elsewhere for their reading. If they have some sort of philosophical objection to what I say, and feel the need to express vituperative emotional attacks, well, then, they can either come to my space, where I can kick their ass, literally, or they can, figuratively, kiss my ass, and take their venom somewhere somebody will appreciate it….. I hear the KKK is recruiting again…. and, obviously, the Westboro Baptist Church of Idiocy is always on the lookout for new bigots….
As for me, I now have even more than mere enthusiasm for literature to get me up. Being the discrete personality I am, I’m going to leave that thought unexplained for the time being…. Suffice it to say that I’ve recently found another good reason to look forward to the day, and am enjoying the play of new, or at least long-unexercised, emotions and thought patterns. Anticipation of pleasurable events is a state that we often forget, when we’ve been stuck in a rut for a time; it is one of life’s great little treasures, and though seldom remembered, is sorely missed when absent from our lives. It’s nice to be able to feel it again….
That said, I should probably get on with this…. it isn’t going to write itself, much as I’d like to think it might. I’m still waiting for technology to come up with a reliable voice activated text editor, (still too slow and inaccurate for my standards), or, as in the Harry Potter movies, a pen like the one Rita Skeeter used, that wrote what one was thinking, in lurid style….
(The writing industry will undergo another upheaval when a good voice activated computer system is developed, for there will be a HUGE number of people writing stories, about whatever tripe that enters their minds, who never before would have done so, as they cannot type…. Such a software program will revolutionize the publishing field, and we will need to figure out an entire new way of figuring out what should be read, and what should be passed over, for there will be an incredible increase in the amount of material to read….)
“Old grammarians never die-they just fall into a comma.” — Smart Bee
Ah well, my meandering mind has slipped its leash again, I see…. No matter, we’ll just dive in now, and forgo any further wandering about…. Shall we Pearl?…..
“He who proselytizes in the cause of unbelief is basically a man in need of belief.” — Eric Hoffer
This is true…. you never see an atheist going door to door, trying to convert the pious to their unbeliefs. However, I would go further on this train of thought, and add that, “He who proselytizes, in any cause, in basically a man in need of a life.” I’m sure it occurred to Mr. Hoffer, but he was too busy trying to explain this statement to somebody who didn’t understand the word ‘proselytize’….. For my own case, I have never, ever understood why people feel compelled to go door to door to try to get other people to believe what they believe; it’s one of the most persistent delusional systems I’ve ever witnessed to believe that anyone wants to hear what they have to say, much less find their beliefs palatable, or superior to their own…..
“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying they made them.” — Smart Bee
Humans seem to have an immense blind spot when it comes to their own actions and beliefs. Most of them never seem to question the things they are told, even when those things are presented with no evidence other than faith. Of course, the people who are invested in the religious system, the preachers, to wit, start their indoctrination when their constituents are very young, and are prone to accept whatever an adult says as truth.
This ensures a life-long predilection to being simple to control, or slavery, if you will. Unless there is some sort of rebellion of spirit, and new knowledge is entertained, these poor saps will spend their entire lives believing that what they have been told is real, when, in fact, they are fitting themselves with shackles, that will forever imprison their minds, and their imagination…..
“To defend one’s self against fear is simply to insure that one will, one day, be conquered by it; fears must be faced.” — James Baldwin
In my life-long quest for the truth, I’ve come to believe that religions, while originally intended to benefit people, have historically been taken over by the predators who live to control others. Oh, some of them may indeed believe that their beliefs are true, and act accordingly, but the majority are, as far as I can tell, only concerned with maintaining status quo, thereby benefiting themselves, while never actually allowing any progress in the development of the human condition. They would have society behave as if we were still living in caves, and cowering in our meager shelter when the storms and lightning are raging outside, fearful of the power of what we do not understand, and therefore fear….
“A universe of death, which God by curse Created evil, for evil only good; Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, Abominable, unutterable and worse Than fables yet have feigned, or fear conceived, Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.” — Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II
(Side note: I’ll bet Milton had a hard time sleeping….)
The Universe is a big place, and there is a lot to learn. Fearing that knowledge, or fearing what changes that knowing will always bring, is the act of a coward, to my mind, and should not be encouraged. Supernatural beings of unlimited power are not a required component to the understanding of Nature and the Universe; we need not fear that our lack of knowledge of how things work is unattainable. Just because we do not understand a part of reality does not mean that whatever it is, is beyond our understanding.
It is not necessary to ask for exemptions, or intervention by our own personal gods, for us to achieve happiness, or even contentment; that is completely within our own power, if we but acknowledge that part of us that is free, and connected to everything else we can perceive. The connections may not be fully understood, but they are there, and if we can only learn to recognize it, the power to change reality lies within us, all the time…. As Epictetus said, “Happiness lies in learning to accept a simple truth. There are some things you can change. And there are some things you cannot.” It’s really quite that easy, you know, once one learns to accept this fact of life…. No dogma required…..
“If brains were outlawed, nothing would change.” — Smart Bee
I’m working on a poem, but it isn’t quite finished yet, or as one poet said, I’m not yet ready to abandon it…. So, today you’ll have to once again settle for one of the poems I can find in my morning session with Google…. which provides a pretty diverse statistical universe to choose from, if I do say so…. In that sense, you won’t have to settle, for anything less than the best…. Enjoy!
A Draught Of Sunshine
Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port,
Away with old Hock and Madeira,
Too earthly ye are for my sport;
There’s a beverage brighter and clearer.
Instead of a pitiful rummer,
My wine overbrims a whole summer;
My bowl is the sky,
And I drink at my eye,
Till I feel in the brain
A Delphian pain –
Then follow, my Caius! then follow:
On the green of the hill
We will drink our fill
Of golden sunshine,
Till our brains intertwine
With the glory and grace of Apollo!
God of the Meridian,
And of the East and West,
To thee my soul is flown,
And my body is earthward press’d. –
It is an awful mission,
A terrible division;
And leaves a gulph austere
To be fill’d with worldly fear.
Aye, when the soul is fled
To high above our head,
Affrighted do we gaze
After its airy maze,
As doth a mother wild,
When her young infant child
Is in an eagle’s claws –
And is not this the cause
Of madness? – God of Song,
Thou bearest me along
Through sights I scarce can bear:
O let me, let me share
With the hot lyre and thee,
The staid Philosophy.
Temper my lonely hours,
And let me see thy bowers
Since there are now so many Pearls, I am starting to forget if I’ve included a poem in a previous episode, or not; in the case of this one, I suspect that I have done. Oh well…. It’s not as if it is a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, is it? No…. so, enjoy….. 🙂
MOUSE, n. An animal which strews its path with fainting women. As in Rome Christians were thrown to the lions, so centuries earlier in Otumwee, the most ancient and famous city of the world, female heretics were thrown to the mice. Jakak-Zotp, the historian, the only Otumwump whose writings have descended to us, says that these martyrs met their death with little dignity and much exertion. He even attempts to exculpate the mice (such is the malice of bigotry) by declaring that the unfortunate women perished, some from exhaustion, some of broken necks from falling over their own feet, and some from lack of restoratives. The mice, he avers, enjoyed the pleasures of the chase with composure. But if “Roman history is nine-tenths lying,” we can hardly expect a smaller proportion of that rhetorical figure in the annals of a people capable of so incredible cruelty to a lovely women; for a hard heart has a false tongue. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
I love Bierce’s Dictionary….. I’m always amazed at how relevant what he wrote back in the mid-1800’s is so apropos for today. The humor he displayed, such as in this, pokes fun at whomever it mentions, and manages to speak the complete truth, aside from those parts which are obviously made up…. I downloaded a free copy of it for my own reading pleasure, and have a great time flipping through the pages, looking for new pieces I can use here….. This one was found in Smart Bee, actually, which has quite a large number of entries from the dictionary, but, I find useful pearls in there regularly…. Just for fun, here are a few other entries from The Devil’s Dictionary…..
ZEUS, n. The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog. Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names.
WORSHIP, n. Homo Creator’s testimony to the sound construction and fine finish of Deus Creatus. A popular form of abjection, having an element of pride.
MYTHOLOGY, n. The body of a primitive people’s beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.
GRAVE, n. A place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student.
Beside a lonely grave I stood–
With brambles ’twas encumbered;
The winds were moaning in the wood,
Unheard by him who slumbered,
A rustic standing near, I said:
“He cannot hear it blowing!”
“‘Course not,” said he: “the feller’s dead–
He can’t hear nowt [sic] that’s going.”
“Too true,” I said; “alas, too true–
No sound his sense can quicken!”
“Well, mister, wot is that to you?–
The deadster ain’t a-kickin’.”
I knelt and prayed: “O Father, smile
On him, and mercy show him!”
That countryman looked on the while,
And said: “Ye didn’t know him.”
Great stuff, what? There are more than 150 pages in the dictionary, and I’m enjoying every one….. and, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you can see why he gets my nod of approval…..
Not too shabby, if I do say so myself…. Aside from its most obvious positive quality (it’s done….), I’m not completely unhappy with what I’ve put out today…. That is almost as good a feeling as winning a lottery ticket, so I’m going to content myself with that for the time being. Especially as it doesn’t cost me a dollar. Let’s all hope that Social Security soon comes to their senses, and that the new battalion of flying pigs will finish training soon, to begin their scheduled flights, an event that is beginning to seem more likely than seeing a communique from SS in the near future…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.