Herein lies the last reference to the rigmarole that plagued this site last week, causing me to miss two posts, and creating massive confusion regarding the shape of reality. I have assumed control once more, and there should be no more problems of that nature again. (Until, and unless, Murphy decides to take a hand….. which means it is a matter of when, not whether….)
You may be interested to note that I was able to accomplish my task without loss of life, or reputation, on anyone’s part, which may be a new record. This Pearl, to be posted on 12/28/12, is actually to be written on that date, mostly, and from this point on, the Pearls will be correctly aligned according to real time once more. It’s been a struggle, but it’s done, and I am glad…. I hope y’all suffered no inconveniences during the restructuring process, and no lapses of dignity took place in your absence…..
I only say that because dignity is often in short supply around here…. when we can find any at all. That’s okay, though, because I pretty much gave up on dignity when I hit 62; it’s too much effort, for no tangible reward. I know, that’s awfully American of me, but I’ll have you know that I too can be lazy and ignorant, if I so choose. In the case of dignity, I’ll take the cash, thank you….. Nobody wears dignity anymore, anyway; you won’t find it anywhere in the public arena, or pinned to suits, or worn by statesmen, because there aren’t any. The politicos are all busy trying to out-macho each other, with the public in the middle of the battleground, taking all the hits…. and they’re not worried about their dignity, when they have to worry about whether or not they can eat…..
Perhaps the intro section isn’t the best place for these political mini-rants…. I should expand and develop them into full fledged rants, and I believe from now on I shall do so. Since the election, little has gone on in the political arena, beyond the tax vote that has everyone up in arms, so I’ve not taken the time to put into politics, but, enough is brewing that it needs to be brought out into the light, so people can have the opportunity to throw stuff at it…..
So, look for a few political rants in the coming days of the new year, as I find stuff to discuss; I doubt it will take long to find something sneaky and underhanded that is going on in Washington, since those words tend to define the nature of most of Congress, and everyone in the White House….. Well, Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog belonging to the Obamas probably isn’t TOO sneaky….. But…. he IS a dog, so…. it’s in his nature to bury a bone or two, in a hidden spot….
For today, I am happy to return to fresh material, that I search for, and find, this morning, then write my reaction to what I find. Too much keeps building up in my head when I get too much written ahead of time; it’s uncomfortable and confusing. Maybe now, that poem that has been lurking in the back of my head will be able to find its way out soon. Maybe today, maybe later……. don’t know, don’t care, because I don’t put ANY type of pressure on my poetry, such as a deadline; I’m too afraid it will stop happening altogether. Ah well, c’est la vie…. Shall we Pearl?…..
“A desire not to butt into other people’s business is at least eighty percent of all human wisdom… and the other twenty percent isn’t very important.” “You butt into other people’s business. All the time.” “Who said I was wise? I’m a professional bad example. You can learn a lot by watching me.” — Jubal Harshaw, in Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein
I would guesstimate that more than 90% of everything I believe about life and the world has its roots in this book by Robert Heinlein, based on the comments of Jubal Harshaw, one of the book’s main characters. Jubal managed to have something to say about just about everything in human culture, and had his own distinct opinion on all of it. Of course, these reflected Heinlein’s own beliefs, but we weren’t supposed to think about that at the time, and had no real effect on anything other than Bob and his friends. The rest of us just appreciated his ironic sense of humor, and the common sense he displayed in such an entertaining fashion.
Medicine, psychology, memory, society, culture, custom, religion and theosophy, politics and political theory, philosophy, military history and structure, strategy, tactics, literature, writing, circuses, carnivals, astronomy, space travel, telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, weaponry, and a host of other subjects…… Every one of these subjects is part of the story Heinlein weaves, as he creates a figure who embraces the entirety of human culture and history, and attempts to change mankind in a way that can help us to overcome those parts of our nature that are giving us problems, and eventually will lead to our demise as a species. This book, Heinlein’s magnus opus, is his attempt to show humanity the way to save ourselves from our own stupidity and ignorance…..
Sadly, Heinlein is aware also that our fatal flaw is just that…. fatal. His protagonist, Michael Valentine Smith, who offers humanity the salvation of personal revelation, and of personal responsibility, is, in the end, killed by a mob of unbelievers, becoming the same sort of religious martyr as Jesus Christ, with, as Heinlein so aptly shows, the same probable chances of success, i.e., none…. Nothing of what Jesus taught humanity has been incorporated into society; anyone who says it has is delusional. Humanity not only has NOT adopted the philosophy of that great Jewish reformist, but has utterly rejected it, and belittled it, by perverting its precepts, twisting them to suit their own agenda, and acting in ways that are diametrically opposite to what Jesus was teaching.
I defy anyone to provide evidence that what I just said is not true, and invite them to present it here, so it can be discussed. The teachings of Jesus Christ have been corrupted by preachers and priests, politicians, corporate masters, and every other human who desires power over others. The rules of flexibility and love for fellow men that he taught have been turned into obedience to authority, and submission to temporal rulers, as those who wish to control society twist the words, and mangle the concepts that were intended to help in another way.
“Jesus only told half the story. The truth *will* set you free. But, first it’s going to piss you off.” — Solomon Short
I don’t know about y’all, but I think, even if it does piss me off, I’ll take the truth…..
The poem I feel percolating in my head apparently isn’t ready, so you’ll have to settle for one of the classics today….. I say ‘settle’ though I know there is no ‘settle’ necessary, or indicated….. Whatever…. enjoy!
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.
“I was making donuts and now I’m on a bus!” — Zippy the Pinhead
In most cases, I find that Zippy’s pronouncements fit for the closing comment in many pearls; it is rare that I use one as the springboard for discussion. In this case, I’m making an exception…..
Everything that comes out of Zippy’s mouth is, of course, a metaphor for some part of reality; his brain exists on a separate plane from that which is occupied by the rest of us. From that viewpoint, the above makes perfect sense, and describes a typical realization that comes to us on those occasions when we are in the process of changing….. something. Anything…. The question for us to try to answer is, “Did you remember to bring the donuts on the bus?”…..
Yes, of course I know I’m spewing nonsense….. but, like with Zippy, much of the time, it is nonsense for the ages, for it hides some pretty powerful truth. Zippy tells us here, in his inimitable way, that we are all subject to change, and can only cope with those made by the universe around us by learning to accept what happens without becoming unhinged. When one finds oneself on a bus, one must either forget the donuts, or bag ’em up and bring them along….. As Epictetus said so well, “Freedom and happiness begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.”
What Epictetus forgot to include is the admonition to learn which things are within our control, and which are not. I find it helpful in this case to remember the three most basic rules of magic, to wit: “1) and 3) are the same: Do what is necessary, and no more; the key to successful magic, then, is lesson number 2), Learn what is necessary” Simple, logical, powerful, these rules are valuable not only for practicing magic, but for normal life, as well. Not all of us have Zippy’s naturally insane outlook, so dealing with an insane world can be, in a word, stressful, and rules such as these are very handy in coping with whatever is thrown at us by life…..
“Here is the world, sound as a nut, perfect, not the smallest piece of chaos left, never a stitch nor an end, not a mark of haste, or botching, or second thought; but the theory of the world is a thing of shreds and patches.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1845)
Well, it’s a bit clunky, and hard to steer, but it seems stable in the water, and it floats, which is the primary requirement, so it will have to do, as I can’t delay getting this out any longer. Still a week or so to go until I can get internet service here at home. Fortunately, I was gifted at Christmas by one of my treasured friends; I’m flush enough today to go to the coffee shop, so those of y’all on the email list will finally get a Pearl in the mail. In terms of having good people as friends, I am indeed a rich man…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.