For we grieve only for what has happened,
but we fear all that possibly may happen.”
~~ Pliny the Younger ~~
Today’s picture was found via my news reader, RSS Owl; it was originally the Astronomy Picture of the Day on the NASA website, a day or so before Halloween. On the NASA site where it is located, links are available to point out the Halloween-oriented objects in the sky, such as the Ghost Nebula, the Skeleton Nebula, etc…. It’s pretty cool, but, not as cool as the picture itself, showing the Devil’s Tower (from the movie re: first contact, Close Encounters of the Third Kind…), with the entire Milky Way spreading across the sky above…. Simply gorgeous, and inspiring to one who has always believed the stars to be our destiny….
At this point, usually, I’d make some comment about how we humans are denying ourselves our own destiny, by the acts we allow the predators among us to pursue in their mad quest for power over everyone else…. Today, however, I’m going to ignore the impulse to rant that I display so often, and get on with this Pearl, difficult though it is to bite my lip, or in this case, allow my hands to stop typing…. I even have the built-in excuse of pain to justify such a procedure, as it is still raining here in NorCal…. Hell, just getting these few paragraphs done will be an ordeal; I’m already just about ready to quit, or to take a break to spray on some magic rub…. good idea….
Ah, much better…. The problem now becomes obvious; where do I go from here? Oh, wait, there’s an idea…. Hold on while I try to pin it down long enough to see what it is….. Nope, that won’t do; it’s too specific; we need something a bit more general to play with…. How about…. no, that won’t work, either; too obvious…. Well, shoot, this is embarrassing, isn’t it? I feel like a computer with a loop of 404 messages, for sure. Hmm…. I know, I’ll cheat, just as if I were an elected official…
Hah! Fooled ya! No cheating going on here, boss. We don’t do cheating here; hell, I wouldn’t know where to begin, having not indulged in it in a very long time… Well, there was that time at Kaiser, but, they pissed me off, and deserved what they got…. I suppose it wouldn’t be too hard to find a way to do so, but, I just noticed we are far enough down the page to legally end this…. which, as may be surmised, comes at a perfect time, right before we gave up entirely, and slipped into our old standby, nonsense and blather….
This intro section, I would guess, is also an example of blather, but, relatively well disguised as an intelligent discussion of current events here on ECR…. What? Oh, I guess it isn’t so well disguised, is it? Oh, well…. The hell with it, I’m outta here…. See y’all down below, ffolkes, I’m done with this….
Shall we Pearl?
“Honor is the reward of virtue.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)
“Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?” — Friedrich Nietzsche
I may be pulling my covers, but, I love these cat videos…. I can watch cats for a long time without becoming tired of it; they have more personality than most humans I’ve met, for sure…. Plus, this allows anyone who is jonesing for some quality laughter to indulge themselves fully…. Anyone who doesn’t at least smile or chuckle at the first video, shows proof they have NO sense of humor at all…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. and try not to waste the ENTIRE day on this….
“What comes from this quarter, set it down as so much gain.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Adelphoe, Act v, Sc. 3, 30, (816.)
Once more, I’m resorting to the archives, since I can’t type worth shit today…. It ain’t Sartre, or Ibsen, but it ain’t bad….
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain
As I sit here, I can almost feel myself getting older…. It seems to be a predilection of being this age, that one becomes somewhat introspective, looking back over our time here on Earth, and making judgments about what we’ve done, or are guilty of leaving undone, in our lives. This preoccupation seems to be innate, but, I don’t necessarily see a lot of it in others my age, in my experiences out in society at large.
Here, on WordPress, the normal demographics of population diversity seems to run a bit higher, in that respect, than it does out in the Big Blue Room…. probably something to do with the fact that those here on this site are, if nothing else, highly educated enough, and/or affluent enough, to partake in the Internet’s community dialogue…. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that there are still millions of folks out there who have never, and never will, see any of what transpires here, for whatever reason, educational, financial, or merely indifference…. In that group of people, those my age are concerned much of the time with survival, and tend to be directed outward, to deal with the mechanics of that critical issue.
To that group, introspection is a luxury they cannot afford to indulge in themselves, as it takes time away from activities and mental attitudes necessary for surviving. I have been living on the edge of that group for a couple of years now, and can only be thankful that I am close enough to the edge to be able to afford this luxury; I do have to make sacrifices to have it, so I appreciate it a lot. It was a pain in the derrière, literally, to have to leave home to find internet access, so, not having to do so is a big plus for me.
In my time of introspection, I’ve spent a lot of it fighting off guilt, for the things I’ve done in my life that don’t meet with my own approval, as so aptly referred to by Mr. Twain. We all have those things hidden in our memories, those failures of ethical or moral standards we set for ourselves, and looking back on them is hard, as there is nothing we can do to change it. We have to learn to forgive ourselves for such transgressions, because no one else, not even God, if ones choose to believe in the traditional dogma, can change the past. (Query: Can God build a wall so strong He can’t knock it down, or a rock so heavy He can’t pick it up?…. Just wondered; sorry, little side trip….)
Since we cannot change the past, nor go back and try to make things better, if nothing else, we must learn to hold those little kernels of painful memory inside us, and find a way to deal with the little nugget of discomfort that will always accompany such memories. It is a delicate procedure, as we must deal with chastising and scolding our own selves, while still maintaining our self-love, without which we can never be comfortable, or comforted. One cannot accept love from another unless they feel it is deserved; it will sour and spoil all the flavor of the interaction, dooming it to failure, and pain.
How do we maintain this self-image of someone who is worthy of being loved by others? Well, that, my friends, is a very long story, indeed, and one I’m not going to start here and now, as it could be days before I surfaced again, and we’re already at the point where most folk’s minds, as well as those of regular ffolkes, will be losing interest, unless I pull some literary magic, or set off some figurative fireworks. Currently, my supply of fireworks is low, so we’ll leave a deeper discussion of this subject for another time. For now, let me say this….
We are all creatures of a Universe that puts a premium on flexibility, especially of mind. This flexibility is enhanced when we spend time on ourselves, in introspection, and inner dialogue, and is ultimately part of what is the only way to ever really achieve any balance or stability in life. It gives us the proper perspective on how we fit into the rest of the picture, and points the way to the greatest degree of successful interaction with the other parts of that universe. It is the best way to stay in touch with what we are, and what we need to be, to survive, and to make our lives meaningful in some way.
“We are injured and hurt emotionally – not so much by other people or what they say or don’t say – but by our own attitude and our own response.” — Maxwell Maltz, “Psycho-Cybernetics”
Well worth a dollar, or a moment or two of your time, I’d say…. Try something new and different, spend some time in your own head…. Of course, one should (careful, there’s that word!….) be cautious in this, as with any potentially mind-altering activity like mindful introspection…. You never know when a preconceived notion will jump up and bite you….. and those ingrained prejudices can be hard to spot, as they tend to hide behind walls of ignorance and fear….. Remember yesterday’s pearl…. The Snark might actually be a Boojum…. Catch it, cook it, eat it with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, and then get on with your life….
Note from 2014: To end such a discussion properly, a pearl of appropriate measure should be included, to wit:
“Has the world always been like this, or have I been too wrapped up in myself to notice?” — The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Here is a three-fer of my own works; don’t worry, they’re all short, and to the point….
I’ll leave history to say if it’s a crime,
as it will always do….
Who may challenge the prerogative of Time?….
Nobody, that’s who….
~~ gigoid ~~
Madness comes and goes, it’s true,
whenever it chooses to do so.
Living’s much like wearing a shoe,
when all you are is a toe.
~~ gigoid ~~
Beauty must define, as augment to existence,
as life must be more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
~~ gigoid ~~
Today’s final pearl came together in spurts yesterday, with only the last two entries found, at last, this morning…. It’s getting hard to put this together, ffolkes, having to come back to it so often, due to necessary breaks in the action to go somewhere to moan piteously…. Ah well, it came out well, for all that, as a group of pearls to provide us with some of the better ideas we humans have stumbled across in our search for wisdom…. It’s a seven-star pearl, with a final, extra pearl to help point the way to the point…. All the great advice in the pearl can be absorbed by observing the truth in the last line….
“How did the great rivers and seas gain dominion over the hundred lesser streams? By being lower than they.” — Lao Tzu
“Doing it the hard way is always easier.”– Murphy’s Paradox
“When washing your face, can you see your true self? When walking, can you feel the rotation of heaven? When speaking are your words without guile? When you shop are you aware of your needs? When you meet the suffering, do you help? When you meet conflict, do you work toward harmony?” — Deng Ming-Dao
“Beware of the “Black Swan” fallacy. Deductive logic is tautological; there is no way to get a new truth out of it, and it manipulates false statements as readily as true ones. If you fail to remember this, it can trip you – with perfect logic. The designers of the earliest computers called this the “Gigo Law”, i.e. “garbage in, garbage out”. Inductive logic is MUCH more difficult – but can produce new truths.” — Lazarus Long
“The best plan is, as the common proverb has it, to profit by the folly of others.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book xviii, Sect. 31
“The supreme triumph of reason is to cast doubt upon its own validity:” — Miguel de Unamuno
“Give, expecting nothing thereof” — St. Thomas Aquinas
Remember, ffolkes, all the above starts with this:
“Doubt is the key to knowledge.” — Persian Proverb
“It was a big one, Pa, but, I beat it!”
Well, that’s the way it feels, anyway…. All in all, it’s not too shabby; it’s definitely done, which makes it perfect for our purposes…. Funny how that works, isn’t it? See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
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.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
À bientôt, mon cherí….