I’ve managed to make a decision, in spite of the massive cloud of confusion that descends upon me when I try to think about this issue…. I’m going to use the pieces of the Pearl from the 13th, which still refuses to post (another tale….), to fill in other Pearls, until all three sections have been published. Today, I’ll publish the poem, which I think is a good one, and use the rest tomorrow or Tuesday. It all sounds very logical and sensible, so, no doubt, Murphy will have something to say about it beforehand…. I’ll just be on the lookout for that, and hopefully it won’t get any on you…..
Spending more time lamenting my financial state would be both uncomfortable and tactless, as well as just too self-serving; nothing will happen on Sunday anyway. I could try to do laundry, but those pesky finances say not this month. It’s a good thing I have a lot of underwear and socks….. Hmm…. No buses today, either, except for a limited period, limited to two routes. It’s a good thing I checked out a couple of books yesterday when I posted the Pearl, as today is looking like a stay-at-home holiday for us seniors on a budget…..
On days such as today, I always enjoy the process of pearling, because it can take me out of my head, and into the universe, with all its strangeness and beauty. That is, provided Murphy leaves me alone, and Smart Bee doesn’t get smarmy…. either of those events can lead to problematic issues, such as boredom, which I detest and refuse to acknowledge in any form, or worse, angst, which can build up in short order if I get to thinking about stuff like politics, or religion, the beloved ruling class, human nature, or my own personal failures of courage (we’ve all got ’em….). Generally, though, the trips to find pearls are fun, and provide me with countless hours of entertainment (I’m pretty easy to please in that respect, since almost everything is interesting to me…..).
Once again, I’ve also managed to meander through four paragraphs of not very much, to provide a suitable intro…. Of course, given the nature of what I usually produce, I’m not certain at all that the word “suitable” ever applies, so….. Shall we Pearl?…..
“It’s getting harder and harder to act weird.” — Zippy the Pinhead
“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)
This statement strikes a deep chord within me…. It comes to me upon reflection that there are basically two kinds of people in the world; there are those who will see a statement such as this, read it, think about it, and either accept it, or reject it, though it hardly seems possible to do the latter, given its degree of demonstrable truth.
The other kind of person will start to read this, then give up after a few words, because the words have no meaning for them, beyond the word ‘treasure’. Once these folks discover that the ‘treasure’ isn’t jewels or gold, they stop all thought on the subject, and turn to anything else that will serve their self-interest.
In one sense, this dichotomy of nature is indicative of what is happening in the world at large today. On one hand we observe the people who reject the above statement, and live according to rules that are pathologically oriented to themselves, those who also believe in “do unto others before they can do unto you….”.
Sadly, this group is the same one that the major percentage of elected officials and members of our beloved ruling class come from, along with all of those who spend their lives playing with money, i.e., the bankers. All of these folks refuse to acknowledge the veracity of any of the sentiments expressed by the Buddha above, and in many cases, do so with pride and arrogance…
Another group of folks lend their support to those in power, though they spend a lot of time trying to convince everyone that they are acting out of altruistic motivation rather than monetary. I call these folks preachers, for lack of a better word, and the group, in my mind, includes priests, pastors, vicars, sadhu, imams, Elders, or anyone else who considers themselves a holy man, with the right to interpret the words of gods for the rest of us.
They want us to believe they are acting according to what Buddha has expressed above, but in reality, what they do bears no resemblance at all to virtue. They merely use the words to assume the authority by proxy. In fact, their very insistence that they are acting in the interests of others, or are at all inspired to virtue, to me, is a foul lie, and worthy of their own judgment…..
I could rant for a long time on this subject, as I regard it as the most critical problem in human nature, the root cause of our current dangerous position as a species threatened with extinction. The callousness and self-aggrandizement that characterizes those among us who wish power over others will, in the long run, kill us all, if we don’t put a stop to it. Unfortunately, that would, and will, require making decisions, and taking actions, that challenge our own virtue, and place us at risk of becoming that which we are trying to destroy…. a conundrum, for certain. Time will give us the answer, and I, for one, fear to hear it…..
“It’s too bad ignorance isn’t painful.” — Smart Bee
Calliope! Muse to all mad poets! This poem is…. it was…. it’s…. well, I don’t know what it is. It’s been percolating a couple of days, and leaked out this morning when I paused over it to gauge its readiness… which means I guess it was ready, even if I wasn’t, completely…. It seems to work, though, so I’ll let y’all figure out if it was worth the effort…. enjoy!
Dreaming of Calliope
La dame sans merci speaks aloud through endless night,
torturing dreams, with powerful words and stentorian phrases.
Manifest visions bathed in unbearable grace and light,
destroying all direction, standing lost, in unfathomable mazes.
Fate plays a part, one that will never face denial,
as fear and courage eternally vie to gain ascendancy.
Conflict becomes valid, gifting strength in open trial,
but honest emotion wears no costume so fancy.
Blood, sweat, and tears stroll on avenues of gold,
unlikely heroines heralding as in ancient lore;
Sharp, competent knives cut through tales untold,
eternally shifting reality past the naked shore.
Drifting toward origin, bereft of mandate or cause,
finished, nay, abandoned, tied with a figurative bow.
No simple gift from muses to give comfort or pause,
save that all we need to know, we already know…..
Hmmm….. well, it’s done. I’ll leave any critical analysis to y’all…. I’m too close to it yet….
I had originally intended to write a rant, or at least a discussion of one of the pearls below…. However, the other entries herein kept popping up while I was still composing it in my head, and just seemed to point the way to where I was trying to reach better than what was percolating in my mind…. That happens a lot, since most everything important has already been said at least once…. or so I’ve been told more than once…. Any who, this pearl will lead the Gentle Reader to a very profound concept, IF that reader is sufficiently attentive, and is capable of moderate levels of comprehension and deduction…. and if not, well, they’re all good reading, and one should still walk away with a sense of having gotten SOMETHING from the experience beyond a bit of eyestrain…..
“To be truly conscious of your stupidity is one of the greatest steps you can make toward wisdom. If you know others, you are learned. If you know yourself, you are indeed wise. It isn’t the things that you don’t know that get you into trouble. What gets you into trouble are those things you know for sure that ain’t so.” — Artemus Ward (1834-1867), aka Charles Farrar Brown
“It is a misconception that spirituality brings everlasting happiness. There is no such thing. Sadness still comes to the wise, but, unlike most people, their clarity of mind allows them to see beyond the temporal emotionalism of the moment. They are farseeing, and so happiness and sorrow become the same to them.” — Deng Ming-Dao
“Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant? Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh?We are a company of ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only be incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures to declare that we don’t know the map of the universe as well as the map of our infinitesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness…” — Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), “An agnostic’s Apology”, — Fortnightly Review, 1876
THEOSOPHY, n. An ancient faith having all the certitude of religion and all the mystery of science. The modern Theosophist holds, with the Buddhists, that we live an incalculable number of times on this earth, in as many several bodies, because one life is not long enough for our complete spiritual development; that is, a single lifetime does not suffice for us to become as wise and good as we choose to wish to become. To be absolutely wise and good — that is perfection; and the Theosophist is so keen-sighted as to have observed that everything desirous of improvement eventually attains perfection. Less competent observers are disposed to except cats, which seem neither wiser nor better than they were last year. The greatest and fattest of recent Theosophists was the late Madame Blavatsky, who had no cat. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
“A person is not given integrity. It results from the relentless pursuit of honesty at all times.” — Smart Bee
“All things come round to him who will but wait.” — Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Student’s Tale
Even the end of a pearl….. This one is an easy one, and I could keep adding evidence to the pile for the rest of the day, if I wished. But, the following note from Jubal Harshaw (the name of the character who said it…) gives me ample reason to stop here, at a point where the entire thing can still be saved from complete chaos, and certain oblivion….
“Read it? Good God, no! It’s bad enough to write such a thing.” — Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
“The moving finger, having writ, moves on….” And aren’t you all thankful for that? Another day’s effort come to fruition, or an approximation thereof, with style and, well, I won’t claim elegance, but, a bit of charm wouldn’t be so far off the mark….
For the record, the poem, should today’s post get online without any glitches, is the one I intended to put up the other day, when WordPress refused to accept my input…. (which it still won’t, for some reason… I attempted, yesterday, to edit the material into the page, but that one date’s page WILL NOT accept the material, but will only post the title. Ah well, software is, after all, written by humans…. I’m off to the Big Blue Room to try to get this posted…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.