“…life is long enough if it is well-spent.”
~~ Erasmus ~~
How to relax….
Hajime…. Today, along with the rest of this week, (and, the rest of the month, the way it is developing), is busy, with events taking place out in the BBR. It will take up most of the day, so, I have worked hard to complete this Pearl, as I am unsure when I’ll be able to get another fresh one done. The good news, for me, is, I finished the discussion/rant on which I’ve spent a week or more. It isn’t quite as planned, but, it’s definitely a feast for the mind, so, it will do. The rest is pretty much a throw-together, with another of my old poems, and an archived pearl of pearls for the last section. Since it all flowed together smoothly, I’ll take it, and be content. So, then, must you…. I mean, that’s what blogging is, right? Right….
All that being said, to our regular lack of defined purpose, I’ll make this intro a short one; they seem to work best for days such as the one in which we currently find ourselves. I shan’t apologize; I shall, however, issue a warning. To make it through this one, you’ll need to put on your thinking caps, if you have one; the following is NOT for the weak-minded, or, anyone who is afraid to challenge their own beliefs. It’s all about doubt, which remains our most relevant tool for finding our way in life…. a statement we’ll defend another time, if necessary. Today, we’re going elsewhere, with gusto….
That’ enough; we/I have a lot to do today. Let’s begin, while we are still fresh….
Shall we Pearl?
There is nothing like death. To it, everything is a metaphor.
~~ Subtle Bee ~~
“You’re not ready for what I think.”
~~ Fox Mulder ~~
“History does not record anywhere at any time
a religion that has any rational basis.
Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough
to stand up to the unknown without help.
But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion
and spend time and money on it
and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.”
~~ Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972) ~~
The above passage from Mr. Heinlein happens to be one of my favorites, in all I have read, in more than 60 years of pursuing the truth in books. In that sixty years, I’ve read an average of a book every other day; I no longer claim one per day, though I managed that average for the first 45 years or so; I’ve slowed some, trading quality for quantity in these latter years. In all that time, I have found this to be the most tactful, sardonic, and accurate statement summarizing my own thoughts, and my own opinion on the matter of religion.
I know such a statement meets with knitted brow, (I can hear the needles clacking together…), showing obvious disapproval from the majority of humankind; I noticed that at age four, the first time I asked my Sunday School teacher to explain the nonsense I was hearing there. I have noted no lesser degree of disbelief from almost everyone in the ensuing years, though not so frequently as if I had not learned to avoid discussions of religion, at least without some observable indications of an open mind. Since turning 60, or so, I’ve given up caring if people get offended, as I simply no longer care what they think about it, and am prepared to discuss it with anyone who cares to risk it.
Moreover, I’m not alone in my distrust of religions, especially the one in which I was made the subject of attempted indoctrination, almost from birth. Quite a number of the men who led the struggle to formulate this country, whom we were raised to call our “Founding Fathers”, also shared this mistrust. For example, here are some of their thoughts on the matter, followed by a closing thought from a modern poet….
“But a short time elapsed after the death
of the great reformer of the Jewish religion,
before his principles were departed
from by those who professed to be his special servants,
and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind,
and aggrandizing t heir oppressors in Church and State.”
~~ Thomas Jefferson, [letter?] To S. Kercheval, 1810 ~~
“What is it the Bible teaches us? – rapine, cruelty, and murder.
What is it the Testament teaches us?
– to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery
with a woman engaged to be married,
and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.”
~~ Thomas Paine — The Age of Reason ~~
“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish,
appear to me no other than human inventions,
set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
~~ Thomas Paine ~~
“The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept
for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines,
and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery
that we find in Christianity.”
~~ John Adams ~~
“…this would be the best of all possible worlds,
if there were no religion in it.”
~~ John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1816 ~~
For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered.
But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula,
the big answers don’t remain stone-written.
We adjust to new conditions and discoveries.
We are pliable.
Love need not be a command or faith a dictum.
I am my own God.
We are here to unlearn the teachings
of the church, state, and our educational system.
We are here to drink beer.
We are here to kill war.
We are here to laugh at the odds
and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
~~ Charles Bukowski ~~
Let’s finish this part…. For just a moment, wrap your head around the following statement, without attaching any emotional or even intellectual importance to whether it is true, or, not: “There is no God, or gods. No Allah, no Jehovah/Yahweh, no Jesus, no Krishna, nor any supernatural force which created/controls the universe.”
Got that idea? Is it comprehensible, simply as a statement of alternative possibility? I contend this statement is the Truth of Reality; in fact, I contend there is no rational reason to suspect otherwise.
Further, the belief there is such an entity has caused more harm to our species than any other single idea. It has caused people to be divided from each other, over something that merely plays upon their fears of the unknown to manipulate them into serving purposes that have no benefit for them, beyond an ignoble death, at the hands of another person suffering from the same manipulation, by another name.
Even worse, this ‘belief’ predisposes humans to then transfer their ‘belief’ to other ideas that are not in their self-interest, such as believing one is better, or worse than any other human, simply because of where they were born, or the amount of pigment in their skin, or that money implies worth. Humans are not naturally hierarchal; we all die, so what is to make one ‘better’ than another? Yet we find it easy to believe in such hierarchal fantasies, to the point of offering up our lives for an idea we never thought ourselves, but, had planted in our head before we knew enough to be able to tell for ourselves….
You see, the idea that humans NEED a government to solve their issues between each other is yet another silly notion, not supported by reality. The concept of money as a part of reality necessary to our success is also a false idea; there is nothing hierarchal about Nature, of which money is NOT a part. Yet, because humans are easily convinced, by their training to believe ideas are real, people set themselves up to fail, to be manipulated to expend their efforts and their attention on matters which serve no useful (to them) purpose….
“Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.”
~~ Bertrand Russell ~~
“Some writers have so confounded society with government,
as to leave little or no distinction between them;
whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.
Society is produced by our wants,
and government by our wickedness;
the former promotes our happiness *positively*,
by uniting our affections,
the latter *negatively*, by restraining our vices.
The one encourages intercourse,
the other creates distinctions.
The first is a patron, the last is a punisher.
Society in every state is a blessing,
but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil;
in its worst state an intolerable one….”
~~ Thomas Paine, opening lines of _Common Sense_ 1776 ~
~~ *asterisks denote Paine’s use of italics* ~~
“Money made a vow to itself, that no one who didn’t love it, would ever have it.”
As can be easily seen, merely by reading the history of our species, this trio of delusions, i.e., religion, government, and money, has caused more strife, conflict, and needless death, than any other single idea, for all the time since we began to gather in cities. It has been shown that humans lose their ability to function as a truly human animal when there are more than 200 or so sets of eyes; as we gather in towns, & cities, this number grows beyond our personal need for community, and the rules of engagement between people begin to fray, and those who have the need to control others, due to their own inner fears & perversions of spirit, begin manipulating the weak minded, and we see the development of rules and hierarchies to manipulate people into losing their own self-control of what serves their interests, in the mistaken belief it is necessary, when, in truth, what is necessary is increased personal responsibility, and self-reliance.
“The races of the Galaxy look towards mankind as the essential lunatic element.”
~~ Terry Pratchett, “Strata”, pg. 60 ~~
In sixty years of observing and studying human history, and humanity itself, both individually, and, as a species, I’ve come to two conclusions. First, our most compelling talent, as proven by any historical tome anyone has written, or read, is the ability to think of endless, inventive ways to kill each other, or anything else we come across in our wandering about the face of the earth. Second, almost everything we have invented, as weapons, is simply a more complicated method of throwing rocks, both sharp, and dull; most everything we have created as tools & systems/skills for use as non-weapons, is a response to this talent, in that it is designed to keep ourselves, in one way or another, from getting killed, mostly by each other….
Both sides of this talent, of course, stem from our imagination, which, in the most pure analysis, has been shown to be little more than an anomaly of our consciousness; neither can be quantified, or touched, or in any way seen to be a part of the reality we perceive through our physical senses. In short, it may be, as some speculate, merely a local phenomenon, in this small corner of the universe we perceive elsewhere, all around us, but too far to reach physically. This paradoxical sense, I think, is what gives most humans the tendency to ‘imagine’ themselves to be more than they actually are, denying completely the simple truth of reality as it exists, to assume that reality is what we imagine it to be. In short, we are able to deny our own nature….
Perhaps this is why so many are willing to believe in the lies and untruths on which our entire culture has been based for so long. In truth, we may never know; I probably won’t; if I haven’t been able to figure it out by now, I don’t think I have enough time left on this particular plane of existence to do so. Perhaps, after I have gone on to the next great adventure, the answers will be made clear; then again, anything, at all, can be no more than speculation, thus, exercising again that imagination… I’ve figured out enough to not believe anything that comes from that source; it tends to be less than real, at least as often as it is more so….
Enough, he cried, enough…. ‘Tis a feast, no more is needed.
Finishing the rant/discussion above took up all the spare time I had, so, we go with default, as is our wont. This is the original video, which started the whole idea of the organization. All of it is great music, by street musicians, along with the occasional music star to add their talent to the mix. I hope you enjoy it, and take the time to support the organization, which spreads love, and joy, and human kindness in all its branches, now located around the world at their music schools… Check our their website, it’s worth the time….
Playing For Change
In case it isn’t clear, this poem, written over four years ago, is a rather complex version of the rant/discussion above, though, at the time, I didn’t know that…. *grin*…. I hope you enjoy it anyway….
But what becomes of our deepest dangerous dreams?
Does fantasy rescue any part of life’s imperiled favor?
Reality becomes but silvery pairs of mismatched teams,
Dining with affable elegance, such diffident waste to savor.
Who decides what sorrows to carry bravely to term?
Will fragrant moments of sanity make hasty manifestation?
Only Time’s patient mutability sends messages so firm,
Yet salient impersonal vexation lends credence to ripe imagination.
Can folly bring out sadness and rampant visions of beauty?
What kindness can be found in distant open relations?
With countless faces the dead disturb with dire impunity,
From separate caches of wisdom come simple stylish privations.
Shall shallow emotion serve to provide such explanations?
When does avaricious intensity assume primary focus?
Plain answers slide softly through with multiple mitigations,
While conceptually indignant concepts engage a fatally personal locus.
~~ gigoid ~~
I’m in a bit of a hurry, for reasons I explained above, so, we’re filling in the final section with a group of pearls from an archived Pearl, which, oddly enough, fits right in with today’s post…. Go figure, eh? At any rate, it’s a good way to finish this off with some aplomb, if not complete dignity…. Enjoy!….
Having just spent three hours (okay, I exaggerated…. only two….) searching in vain for a pearl to finish with, I became incensed with frustration, and rather than scare my new neighbors with a verbal outburst, I calmly set a parameter, and collected the following pearls on one subject, to wit: human nature…. As far as I can tell, all of them rate a solid 10 on the truth scale….. As always, just follow the bouncing thought as it explores your own inner self….
“The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth–that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.” — H. L. Mencken
“The ultimate evil is the weakness, cowardice, that is one of the constituents of so much human nature. When, rarely, unalloyed nobility does occur, its chances of prevailing are slim. Yet it exists, and its mere existence is reason enough for not wiping the name of mankind off the slate.” — John Simon
“We are all terrible little creatures.” — Martin Amis
“The tragedy and the magnificence of Homo sapiens together rise from the same smoky truth that we alone among the animal species refuse to acknowledge natural law.” — Robert Ardrey, _The Social Contract_
“Man, were he not corrupted by Governments, is naturally the friend of Man, and that human nature is not of itself vicious.” — Thomas Paine
“I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!” — Firesign Theater
Now I feel better….. and I hope you do, as well….
Okay!…. That went well, for a change. This is one I put a lot into; in a certain sense, it might be considered an iconic Pearl, a representative of all Pearls, with an example of all of what I do. Of course, I don’t see it addressing any of the ‘why’ I do it, but, hey, we can’t have everything. At least, not all at once; that’s a bit much to expect…. At this point, you may expect your day to continue, and, in that, you’d be right. You see, this one is at an end; at least, as far as I can make it so. Since I can feel it slipping away from me, I’ll just say this…. See ya, ffolkes. I’ll be back, in a day, or possibly two, depending on how efficiently I can deal with the demands upon me set by what is happening out in the Big Blue Room. Should be an interesting week; lets get started on it, ‘kay? ‘Kay! Be cool, be strange, be alert, and most of all, keep those thinking caps close at hand….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….