Sometimes, we are compelled to celebrate days that pass that have some kind of significance, even if we have no real reason for celebrating…. Take today, for example. Seventy-one years ago on this date, this country was attacked at Pearl Harbor, and our involvement in WWII began. Also of note today, if I pull it together enough to get this done, I will post my 550th Pearl of Virtual Wisdom here on WordPress…. Two events on opposite ends of the scale of importance to the world, yet both of equal weight in my mind, due to their relationship to me, i.e., they’re in MY head today…. Self-interest is powerful, neh? It gives a small clue as to how that little quirk of humanity’s can cause so much trouble in the world…..
Don’t worry, I’m not going to start ranting so soon…. This isn’t a lead-in to a rant, it’s an intro, and I couldn’t, for the life of me, find anything else in my early morning brain that would suit. This really doesn’t do it, either, but, it is at least flowing out, rather than sitting there like a lump, saying, “Gee, boss, I thought this would work…”
I’m telling you, the crap one has to put up with from one’s own brain can be really frustrating at times…. I mean, here I am, awake, and ready to write, and all it can come up with is Pearl Harbor Day, and 550 posts. Whoopee…. Besides, given the state of things around here just now, I wouldn’t trust myself to rant…. it might turn on me, and I’d start confessing to all sorts of weird stuff….. Such as admitting to preferring the music of Abba to most anything written by Wagner…..
No, I’m not going there…. Abba is scary enough to keep me out of that. I’m hoping that Smart Bee will have a lot of good material for me, which means, given the ubiquitous attentions of Murphy on which we may count, that there won’t be much of anything to use. Bah! Now I’m getting grumpy, flinching from the blows before they’re even thrown…. I haven’t even seen Murphy yet, but my shoulders are already hunched in preparation…. Oh, wait, there he is…. I just discovered that the heating unit in my room has stopped giving out heat, and is cheerfully blowing out cool air for my comfort, even though it’s cold in here…. SIGH…..
Now I have to call the landlord, and allow someone in my room to fix it…. what a pain. I’ll have to make the bed, and cover up all the burn holes in the carpet (just kidding….no holes, just normal bachelor dirt….)…. It is simply more proof that Murphy hates me, for whatever reason he may have decided on years ago, and will continue to make my life miserable as long as he is around. Since he is an immortal, existing merely as a Natural Law, or Principle of Existence, that promises to be a long time…. Ah well, at least he is something to write about that is always present, and always providing me with new examples of his imaginative creativity in causing chaos for people….
Well, this intro has gotten completely out of hand. It started off weakly, got worse, and proceeded to wander all over the landscape. I’d best start today’s dive soon, as this is looking as if it could spend the whole day just spewing out irrelevant nonsense, about nothing much at all. Of course, that phrase might conceivably apply to all that I write, but I won’t tell anybody if you won’t. Six paragraphs, I think, is quite enough torture for one day, so I’ll now attempt to get on with the rest of this post…. Shall we Pearl?…..
“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” — Mark Twain
As is his stock in trade, Mr. Twain once again gives humanity a solid poke in the ribs, in a humorous, even comfortable way that makes us want to laugh about our all-too-human foibles, instead of crying, which would really be more appropriate. In his assessment of both the character of most men, and most dogs, he is absolutely correct, and shows in one simple, sardonic phrase, just how ugly people can be. In fact, I can honestly say that, in my life, I have met many more dogs who deserve to go to Heaven, than I have men or women. Of course, I wouldn’t wish that on any dog, but, you know what I mean. Dogs are better ffolkes than most folks, in the world I see around me….
And this leads me into a perfect ranting jump-off point…. “Heaven goes by favor” This is all too accurate; in order to get into the club, one has to meet a certain standard, that of faith. Of course that standard is pretty easy to meet, as all it requires is a verbal commitment ( accompanied, I suppose by a heart-felt commitment….) that one believes in JC, or Mohammed, or Buddha, or whomever, and will try to follow their teachings. No pressure to actually do so, just commit to it, and you’re in. Or, go ahead and live your life walking the path of evil, then convert on the deathbed, and you’re in…. according to their rules…. Or, in other words, it’s all who you know…..
“An ancient buddha said, Mountains are mountains; waters are waters. These words do not mean mountains are mountains; they mean mountains are mountains.” — Dogen
I’ve recently been reading an author whose work I had read in my youth, when I was devouring science fiction on a daily basis. Samuel R. Delany has written some powerful novels, as well as shorter works. The most recent I read, Babel-17, uses the structure and meaning of words in language as the basis for the plot. In the book, he relates how important perception is to meaning, and how the way we use language can actually work to program the brain, just like the organic computer it is. What struck me is how the process he describes, which is what can be observed in people, if you look closely, shows just how powerful a tool language can be, when used in full consciousness of what it means, and what it CAN do…..
People base their entire existence on a few words, and what those words mean to them. If someone else (say, a preacher?) is able to influence the person’s choice of the words that have that power, then that person becomes the willing slave of whomever supplies him with the words. This is a subtle process, that operates below the level of consciousness that most folks are aware of; they don’t realize how they are being manipulated by the very words they use, into thinking along certain lines, and in certain ways, all of which benefit the manipulator in some way, much more than they do the one whose thoughts are being channeled.
“This is Daddy’s bedtime secret for today: Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.” — Eugene O’Neill
Mr. O’Neill was a decent playwright, but as a philosopher, he sucked, plain and simple. This is merely the parroting of basic Christian dogma, and as such stands as a perfect example of how religious institutions tend to lie to their constituents….. I can say this because I have my own secret for today: Man is NOT born broken; he is born as a blank slate, and what is written upon it is only what they are taught to write. Since the first premise is false, the rest of the train of thought becomes irrelevant, and you can easily see where it is just an attempt to get people to accept the untruths, and keep their patterns of thought within the boundaries drawn by dogma….
Sorry if such an idea is offensive, but, I don’t need to be “born again”, I did just fine the first time. I’m not broken. I’m not guilty of original sin, any more than is anyone else. That single concept, original sin, has been the most destructive idea that Man has come up with in all of our long history, and is responsible for much of the torture, warfare, and egregiously evil events of the last 3000 years. I kid you not…. That simple lie, that we are all somehow born inherently sinful, and guilty of something, is pure hogwash; it is the most blatant falsehood to have been thought up, and perpetrated upon the rest of mankind, EVER!
What a ridiculous idea! To think that a newborn, of any species, should bear the guilt for an action performed before their birth, is just plain stupid, and self-serving. Not to mention that the act we are supposedly guilty of is the acquisition of knowledge, which is, to me, NOT something for which we should be punished, but rather deserve to be rewarded. Of course, knowledge is its own reward, so that really doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t.
But, in order to gain control over others, preachers have, since the beginning of history, tried to convince the rest of us that they are the only ones who have the right answer, all based on a bald-faced lie, and a false assumption….. And, since a large percentage of mankind is too lazy to think for themselves, or to risk thinking independently of others, THEY FALL FOR IT! It almost makes me ashamed to be human, to be truthful….
But, we have dogs as our companions, and they love us, so we must not be ALL bad…. right? Right…. so, just follow your dog’s example, and just BE moral, don’t try to follow what others may tell you is moral. You’ll do a lot better, in life, and when it counts, after life…..
“#8 Go back. Everything you need to know is in the first seven axioms.” ~~ Peruaosophy, Axiom #8, by gigoid
Of late, say, in the last two months, my pain level has gone up near the top of the scale more than once. I try not to complain too much about it, as I’m not the only one in the world who lives with pain, and I know it could be worse than it is (because it often is worse than it is…. Also, I see others with worse conditions to deal with, and it brings mine into perspective….).
Earlier, I was perusing the book of poems I took from the library with Emily D’s collected works, and found one of hers that I have loved for a long time, since way before I really understood pain. She certainly had some deep insight into its nature, which leads me to surmise she had some experience with it in some way…. Hard to achieve this kind of insight without some direct exposure. Whether that is true or not, this poem is a very accurate take on pain, and tends to soothe my soul, whenever I come across it again…..
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain
One of the reasons I love Emily’s work is its breadth of expression, of all the human emotions on which it touches. After seeing the above poem, on the very next page I found the following, and knew again the sheer genius of her spirit…..
I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.
Nor had I time to love; but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought
Was large enough for me.
~~ Emily Dickinson
It is now two plus hours since starting this morning’s effort, and I’m beat. I’m afraid I’ll have to go to my default position when feeling thus; old school pearls are that default. Here are a series of pearls, pointing in an obvious direction today. It’s all about how to live life in such a way that you can get up in the morning, and be able to look yourself in the eye in the mirror…..
“What is left when honour is lost?” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 265
“Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.” — H. L. Mencken
“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige
“If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it if you have love, compassion, and tolerance. The clear truth of a person’s love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.” — Dalai Lama
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” — Albert Einstein
“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” — Old Indian saying
“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.” — George Eliot (1819-1880) — Impressions on Theophrastus Such (1879)
On that note, I’m outta here…. to refrain from giving any further evidence….
SIGH…. One of these days, I’ll find out where the rest of my mind went…. Hope springs eternal, eh what? I’m again uncertain of how to look at today’s effort, but, since that is not anything unusual, we’ll just go with the flow, and let it fly. I’ve seen, and done, worse…… Pontius rhea, as they say in Piraeus, meaning, “it all flows”, sort of….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.