Among them, but not of them; in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iii, Stanza 113
This excerpt is one I’ve used previously, in a Pearl from long ago… Other than not knowing the title of that particular Pearl, or what was in the pearl in which this was used, I remember it very well, in that, the verse held the same meaning for me then, as it does now. In essence, this expresses how I feel a lot of the time, when I consider myself in relation to my fellow man….
Often, I feel as if I am seeing something in the what the world presents for our perception that they don’t, that I am perceiving more details than most people….These perceptions, because they are different, and more extensive in many cases, cause me to entertain thoughts and ideas that always seem to shock or surprise others, because of their dubiously exotic, yet obviously valid nature, which is, all to often, in direct contrast to their own perceptions and thoughts.
The most common reaction I get from folks when I offer an insight into an issue out in the BBR somewhere (in line in a store, in a restaurant, etc….) is a puzzled expression, and/or a question about either “why” or “how” I came to the conclusions I’ve offered…. In many cases, I’ve learned to just stay out of situations where I could possibly help, because people get upset when it is offered; I guess they think that accepting the offer of help is tantamount to giving up, or seeming incompetent, so they get all grumpy and sober, insisting on fixing whatever the problems without assistance.
This little behavioral fillip is one that most humans have, to one degree or another, when their own mental acuity is put into question, either by circumstance, by someone’s tactlessness or cruelty, or by the bozoid nature of their own efforts….
Me, I just keep tumbling along the road to freedom, wherever it may lead me, keeping my thoughts mostly to myself, as I’ve found the public doesn’t want to hear it, unless you’re wearing a power suit, a red tie, (with stripes is good…. blue, if you can get ’em….), and a flag pin, while talking on TV…. Now, dress up like that, get on TV, speak nicely to them in small words, and they’ll believe just about anything they’re told….
Tell them face to face, in words of more than two syllables, and they will slam shut the doors to their minds like the closing of a bank vault; at that point there is no reason, and no rhyme, they will ever allow in…. Change can be scary, you know; people are well aware that when they allow themselves to learn something, something always changes on them…. and they don’t like it….
Perhaps this is why I find this blogging experience to be cathartic…. It allows me to say what I have to say, that would otherwise sit inside me and cause trouble, without it getting to the point of being burdensome, while at the same time, offering to the world some of the diligently imprudent, yet occasionally wise thoughts that have passed through my head over the years…..
Some of it is pretty good stuff, very helpful in living a life well lived… Other parts of it may not be quite as useful, or particularly attractive to those who don’t enjoy using their minds for anything other than finding food and companionship, but, hopefully, what I create will entertain and/or amuse y’all as much to read as it does me to share….
And, if not, well, there’s always the pearls to get you through the day…. They’re pretty infallible in their wisdom, you see, having been around long enough to have withstood the test of time, having long since proved their worth, as good advice, or solid logic…. or, merely as beautiful…. Whichever it may be, these pearls, and the Pearls that they form, will be here long after I am, and I hope they give someone pleasure to read, as they do me to write…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
“All I kin say is when you finds yo’self wanderin’ in a peach orchard, ya don’t go lookin’ for rutabagas. — Kingfish
A year ago, in January of 2013, my life was much different, in several ways, too numerous to mention now, obviously, or we’d never get anywhere…. However, if we use the following old pearl from a Pearl I posted early in that month as an indicator, one can see my thoughts haven’t traveled far in a different direction at all…. This sortofarant is one I wrote the second day of the month…. I was pleased with it back then, and am even more so now, for it saves me a shitload of work this morning, and my back, in its current state, thanks me…. I hope you enjoy it, too….
“Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.” — Oscar Wilde
One can always trust Oscar Wilde to display both elegant wit and intelligent insight, though, to be sure, many of his most closely held views were somewhat divergent with what was commonly held to be true, philosophically, by many in the mainstream of society. This divergence was, I believe, mostly deliberate on his part, as he tended to mock that which he did not respect, and he never had much respect for…. well, anything to do with human nature vs. reason and rationality. He mistrusted most people to act morally, and was unafraid to say so; this, of course, made him both famous, and infamous….. His infamy, I’m sure, ultimately was his undoing, much to society’s loss; as is said so often about our brightest minds, “only the good die young….”
I often wonder, (well, maybe not so often, so much as I’m wondering now…) what the world today would be like, if somehow, some of those bright stars in history had lived to an age where their accomplishments, in relation to the advancement of human thought, and the betterment of the human condition, had a broader, and more lasting effect than their absence has left us.
What if Keats had written poetry until he was 85? How many more inventions would have come to us from Nicolas Tesla, had he lived long enough for the rest of the scientific world to catch up to him, instead of hounding him to an early grave? How much more good music, and art, and literature would be available to all of us, if not for this tendency for the best of us to live as a burning meteor, flaming brightly through the sky, until burned out and lifeless?
It is a sad commentary for society to know that it is often the very brilliance of these people that brings about their downfall, at the hands of the ignorant, and the avaricious…. What is even sadder, to me, is that this demonstrates another part of human nature that is responsible for almost every painful issue in human history, and current society, the issues that cause people to suffer pain, oppression, perpetual struggle, and will most certainly ultimately lead to the extinction of our species, on this planet, at minimum….. I’m pretty sure we don’t have time to mount any significant exodus to another planet, to save at least some of the species, before our own stupidity catches up to us, in a fatal sense….
That piece of our nature is the unfortunate characteristic, in a number of humans, to be able to put aside all conscience, to act solely in their own self interest. All of us, of course, possess this quality to some degree; it is an outgrowth of having a will to survive. To these few others, it is their primary modus operandi; they simply do not take other people, or their concerns, into account when deciding what they are going to do, and are not hampered by the consideration of any suffering they may cause other people, animals, or things.
As is patently obvious, to my mind, every elected official, every high level preacher, every corporate magnate, and a great many lawyers, are all of this ilk, and have, for nearly 230 years now, been quietly and efficiently plundering the pockets and rights of the American people (and those of every other country in the world, for that matter…. it is a HUMAN condition, not just American…. Ours are just some of the most obvious about it….), while simultaneously lying, cheating, and otherwise acting to secure their stranglehold on society.
(Note from 2014: In fairness, let’s add those criminals in the world who prey on the weak and poor, like the mafia, the drug cartels, etc…. We’ll include anyone who involves themselves in prostitution or the sex trade in any way, or otherwise abuses women and/or children out of their own misogyny and greed…. A lot of the poor, who are resentful at the treatment at the hands of those in the same category, who disguise their evil behind the public face of politics or religion, become of the same nature, losing the connection to their own humanity, using violence, and physical power over others to survive in the world created by the corporate masters, and their dupes and myrmidons, in the established powers that be….)
Anyone who disagrees with this assessment, quite simply, isn’t paying enough attention to the world around them….. Sorry to be so blunt, but the facts are all laid out, right there, almost every day in the news media, if one knows how to look at the larger picture it presents, rather than the individual facets of that picture. Focusing on the little shit is just what those in power wish for people to do…. It keeps them busy not noticing other, more incriminating stuff they are carrying out, in the darkness where they mostly live….
“… change depends on individual acts of courage and commitment. Most such acts are private, invisible, and uncelebrated. But some find a place in the public spotlight; and their influence goes far beyond mere example.” — Arthur C. Clarke & Michael Kube-McDowell, The Trigger, 1999
Each and every one of us, in the face of what we know about reality, is responsible in some way, and to some degree, for both the way things are, and the way they will be in the future. If you don’t believe that, well, discussion is, for you, probably useless, and little hope remains. For anyone with moderate insight, however, this is plain, clear truth, and we all need to accept it before any significant progress can be expected against those who are sociopathic, which I define, and hereby name, as homo suicidus, those who would kill us all…. But, it is imperative that we act soon, for the damage we have done, and continue to do to our world, is at a point where the effects are nearly irreversible, and even if we manage to wrest control from the beloved ruling class, we may find it is too late to save our lives….
“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence
It is my hope, small and pale though it be, that we WILL speak up, that the rational among us will rise up, and take back the control of our destiny from the hands of those who would see us all die, rather than give up their own control. It will only happen when men of courage, as defined by Mr. Emerson, stand up to those who would render us all impotent, for their own benefit. The only hope that exists for the rest of us lies in enough of us showing this kind of courage, and overcoming the fear that keeps us in thrall…..
“I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.” — John Milton (1608-1674) — Areopagitica
Myself, I don’t want to die ignominiously, gasping for breath, because I didn’t have the courage to speak up, and to fight back against the immoral, avaricious assholes who dominate society….. Instead, let’s create a whole new world, without a beloved ruling class, at all….. Who knows? We might just find out that anarchy works!….. Worth a try, I think…..
And, if it doesn’t work, well, we can always try a technocracy, which we have yet to do in history….. With a bit of foresight and planning, it might just be what we need to survive our own foolishness… Maybe, Richard Brautigan had the truest prophetic vision, when he wrote “All watched over, by machines of loving grace….”
“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” — Pablo Picasso
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
— Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning”
Again, to maintain integrity, rather than shuffle off any of the blame for today on anyone else, here’s another of my old poems, one that talks about the chronic pain, and the emotional lability that PTSD brings, that I live with…. a poem which, in its own sardonic way, expresses the joy those bring….. NOT… I’m pretty sure I wrote this when I’d forgotten to take any meds for too long, and was feeling the result of that….Or, it could have been a day when the meds weren’t working very well, or the pain was too much for it…. Either way, it’s real….. or, rather, it was real when written, a reality that remains, as it always will, a threatening potentiality….
Deep within the inner abyss, tears lay in wait
Ever on the verge, tending to infuriate.
Real moments of sadness cracking our need
Swift, deadly waves of appalling terror freed.
Memory hurts badly when visiting now
Leaving me alone, forgetting even how
Killing the sunshine still pouring over all
Darkening all spirit, holding it in thrall.
Knowing no blame seems almost to heal
Yet healing is blunted, plainly not real.
Innocence is pointless compared with pain
On the soul it tattoos an indelible stain.
Hours become days, days turn to a year
Serving up only a compendium of fear.
Blind groping for light finds only dark
In caverns of terror, angry and stark.
Trails of endless sorrow fill up the nights
Confounded at last by unfathomable sights.
No hope can find its way to the fore
Never to sail safely, lost forever more.
~~ gigoid ~~
For some unknown reason, today, my mind keeps finding reasons NOT to compose…. I suppose it might have something to do with the fact it’s Sunday…. Nah, that doesn’t make sense, as I often don’t know what day it is until after noon, when I look at my calendar, or happen to notice when I look at my phone…. Ah, I know, more coffee…. Hold on….
Okay, well, better, but still no burst of creative urges billowing up from my subconscious mind…. I guess we’ll have to settle here for an old-school pearl, or we’ll never get done…. (You KNEW that was coming, didn’t you?….) Let’s see what Smart Bee has for us today, shall we?…. Hey, cut the complaints! It’s this, or you’ll be sitting through a half-baked, ill-considered, badly written rant, to no particular purpose, which I will make sure to take AT LEAST two more hours to write…. So, settle down, or I won’t distribute the Valium until we’re in the air…
“It is ridiculous to suppose that the great head of things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book ii, Sect. 20
“I don’t pretend to understand the universe–it’s much bigger than I am.” — Einstein
“If Shaw and Einstein couldn’t beat death, what chance have I got? Practically none.” — Mel Brooks
“Nobody ever complains that you are treating them like a child when you listen to their stories, encourage their dreams, and tell them how special they are.” — Callan Williams
“To certain individuals of small minds and overweening ambition, there is no greater insult than to be proved wrong.” — Thomas H Dyer 1984
“The most virtuous of all men is he that contents himself with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.” — Plato (B.C. 427?-347?)
The melancholy joy of evils past:
For he who much has suffer’d, much will know.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xv, Line 434
Well, who knew? A comment on Life at Large, its ever-present counterpart, Death, and, how to cope with both… Not bad for off the cuff…
In spite of factors that have precluded much fresh material today, I think this is probably done, anyway. Oh, right, we’re here at the ass-end of section three, so it HAS to be done…. because I’m not going back to do it over now…. With that little piece of deliberately factoidal wordplay as my excuse, I’ll just slip out this door over here… See ya…..
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.