I’m thinking it might be easier to accept the aging process if it would just leave us with a bit of our dignity…. The passage of time, and the subsequent erosion of our physical well-being over that time, seems, all too frequently, to affect us in ways that demean our ability to maintain any kind of calm, confident manner, disabling any kind of chance to live our life in a way that displays some degree of aplomb; in short, it destroys our dignity. I believe I’ll leave it at that, as going any further down this line of thought could lead us into areas none of us wish to explore, especially so early in the day….
Besides, whining is SO unattractive, and what with the eruption of moles and warts, the swelling of various body parts which previously displayed a svelte, if not lissome, visual aspect, the ongoing loss of hair, and the general sagging of flesh that occurs on a daily basis, it becomes far too simple for us to just give in, and join the ranks of old farts wandering around in a ratty old robe and fuzzy slippers, a bit ripe, scratching whatever itches at the moment…. Not that there is anything WRONG with that, it just doesn’t fit my self-image, as I’ve tried to develop it over the years….
It gets hard, though, and only through the most diligent efforts, at fighting against the apathy and discouragement that naturally happens under the assault of Time, have I been able to hang on to any shred of what I consider a touch of savoir faire…. and that’s getting harder to find every day…. Some folks tell me that I should be more graceful about accepting this aging business, and perhaps I should…. but, I’m thinking that, more likely, it must be the shoes….. Well, that, plus, I’ve always, always had a very hard time doing what everyone tells me I SHOULD be doing….. just goes against the grain, y’know…
Spike Lee-isms aside, what I tend to forget when I’m in the throes of one of these episodes, where dealing with the effects of aging takes precedence over all else in one’s consciousness, is that it will pass…. By that, I don’t mean that the aging will pass, though that is what it is actually doing… No, I mean that the discomfort that is brought to us at these times will always pass…. It just takes longer these days, as everything seems to do…. But, with some patience, and the only kind of faith I allow myself, it always passes into memory, and we feel as normal as we ever do, even if somewhat less energetic than we were formerly able to feel…
All this being said, I think I’d best stop just rambling, as I’ve now spent almost five paragraphs dancing around a delicate subject, and still not nailed down what I’m trying to say…. In fact, I’m not sure at this point just what it was I WAS trying to say, and it’s certainly gone now…. Oh well, I guess EOA struck again…. That’s Early Onset Alzheimer’s, for those who don’t get the acronym, a condition to which I am frequently subjected, especially when dealing with delicate ideas requiring some tact and eloquence to discuss…. In short, I forgot what I wanted to say, so, fuck it….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Because, while I do not know who the enemy is any longer, I do know who my friends are, and that I have not done as well by them as I should. I hope to change that. I hope to do better.” — Londo Mollari, Babylon 5
One advantage of having written so much in the last few years is that I am always coming across pieces that fit in with what I’m doing on any particular day…. This is a discussion I found from earlier this year, prior to all my travels and travails, when I was still in full waiting mode, anxiously biding the time until my SS benefits were awarded…. Actually, that sounds like I won a prize, when all I did was claim what I’d been saving all those years….. which goes to show how well we can be programmed and brainwashed, to use the terms the BRC wants us to use, which shape the way we think….
Any who, that’s a different rant…. Here are some words on the Mind, Reality, and the interaction between the two…..
“….it is now some years since I detected how many were the false beliefs that I had believed to be true since my earliest youth. And since that time, I have been convinced that I must once and for all seriously try to rid myself of all the opinions which I had formerly accepted, and begin to build anew, if I wanted to establish any firm and permanent structure for my beliefs.” — Rene Descartes, Meditations
After due consideration, he came up with, “I think, therefore I am.” That’s it…. After all his steady cogitation, all his heavy thought, he comes up with six words…. Seems like he might have gone a bit further with it, since he was already thinking, but, hey, that’s just me…. He probably got distracted solving a quadratic equation in his head, or something equally fascinating, and just wrote down the first thing that came to him…. I suspect a lot of philosophies start that way, if what is in them is any indication…. Many of the ancient philosophies seem to me to have been put together during a drunken night around a campfire, and copied down the next day while hung over….
Actually, Descartes “I think” statement is one of the more consistent and logical of the statements that speak to belief, and its origins. I cannot say it is logically unassailable, for it is not, but, it is consistent within its own paradigm. This logical flaw is one reason I modified the idea when I came to make my own set of philosophical assertions, Peruaosophy…. where I said, in Axiom #1, “I think I am…. that’s close enough.”….. Much more tautological, I would say, and not subject to the same sort of picking apart, as it has no holes in it. Well, actually, it’s so holey it doesn’t need air-conditioning, but that is what supplies that logical strength, as it is a flexible enough proposition to fit any size mind….
It is not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong,
It is not what we read but what we remember that makes us wise,
It is not what we earn but what we save that makes us rich,
It is not what beliefs we hold but what we do with those beliefs that make us what we are.
– Old Chinese misquotation.
You gotta love honesty…. I love that this is so aptly named as a misquotation; that kind of honesty just tickles my fancy, and makes for some good mental exercise…. In this case, it means trying to figure out WHICH part is misquoted, a process by which one can learn a lot, both about what is said in the quote, or misquote, and about themselves, and how their mind works. If it works, that is….
I am not sure exactly where this pearl is going…. it started out okay, but seems to be wandering a bit now, and I can’t seem to figure out how to find the way back to my original intent…. must be time for fresh coffee…. be right back….
“We begin life with a seemingly blank slate, and, though the writing that gradually appears on that slate is not our own, our judgment of the things written thereon determines what we are and what we will become. In much the same way, our work will be judged by the use to which other people put it…” — Marion Zimmer Bradley, _The Codex of Riveda_
What, then, is the mind? What is consciousness? We know they exist, for we perceive ourselves as a separate entity from the rest of what we perceive. Encountering other minds serves as corroboration of our perceptions, while at the same time offering solace for our separation from the universe, trapped alone in the confines of our minds, with only our own thoughts as company. I don’t know about anyone else, but just knowing there are others who are in the same boat is a comforting thought…. It’s a big universe, full of dark and dangerous energy, as well as beauty, and opportunities for joy, and it would be a shame to have no one with whom to share it all….
“The mind of man is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence.” — Sir Francis Bacon
I suppose I’m just wandering now, rambling around in my own mind, without a clue as to how to bring this to a close…. but, here goes….
“I think I am…. that’s close enough.” This is MY philosophy of life, and my take on consciousness…. As I see it, I know I’m here, and I know what I can do in my own mind….. and no matter what the rest of the universe is up to, or believes, that’s enough for me. I don’t need confirmation of my existence, or permission from a supernatural entity, or anyone else, to live my life the way I choose.
Mssr. Descartes statement is, to my mind, too stiff, too formal, and doesn’t meet the test of illogic…. We all interpret Reality in our own way, according to our own perceptions of that Reality, and our own set of decisions about how we will approach life…. our attitudes, as it were. We can make those attitudes whatever we choose, regardless of how clear are our motives to others; in my mind, all living creatures have that right…. with, of course, the caveat that whatever attitudes we choose must be able to merge with the attitudes of others, or, at least, not step on the other person’s right to the same freedom of choice….
In short…. You were issued a mind when you came into this universe…. It would be a good thing, for you, and for the universe, to learn to use it….
Just a suggestion…. The reason I urge each and every one to make this effort is my strong belief in Axiom #2 of Peruaosophy, perhaps the most accurate, and powerfully influential, of all the axioms therein…. to wit:
Axiom #2: “The Nature of the Universe is Change. Unpredictable, innovative Transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a problem with this, you are in for a Rough Ride.”
Serendipity strikes in unusual fashion, which, I suppose, accounts for much of the surprise that seems to come with it each time it shows up…. In this case, it brought this little gem from a classical master, with just the right message to go with the events of the day…. Well, it does it for me, anyway… I hope you enjoy it as well…. It may be small, but it’s mighty….
MUCH did I rage when young,
Being by the world oppressed,
But now with flattering tongue
It speeds the parting guest.
~~ William Butler Yeats ~~
Originally, this morning, I had intended to put a rant in this section, using a great quote about “a well-regulated militia” to define the parameters of the discussion…. but, I just don’t feel that sober, or outraged, to give it the thought and effort it deserves as an important subject…. So, I’m saving that for another day in the near future, and will proceed to share with y’all the few pictures I was able to take during my recent journey into hell…. or, more accurately, on my journey to Ensenada, Mexico on a ship from hell…. As usual, I had a good time in the town, and at the site we visited, La Bufadora, a tidal blow hole about thirty or forty miles away, south, down the coast from town….
Though I made heavy work of it, I managed to walk quite a ways, all the way through the now extensive market that leads to the blow hole’s overlook point, and got a few good pictures…. The highlight of the day, and the trip in some ways, was the little jaguar cub I saw in one of the restaurant/shops at the market…
It was a female cub, rescued and supported by a local wildlife foundation, and was playing out on the floor of the shop when we walked through… It was cute, even when I clucked my tongue at it, and it playfully attacked my shoe, giving me a moment’s thrill of slight fear, that it would use it’s claws…. Fortunately, it was playing, and didn’t go into full wild cat mode…. I hope you enjoy the pix; they took a lot of effort to acquire….
I was not sure, when I arose, how this would go today, but, it all came out better than I’d hoped…. or seemed to as I wrote it, anyway…. Let’s see now what really happened…..
Okay, well, that’s not too bad at all… with the distinct advantage of not being overly long, as can be the tendency around here….. It always helps to have some graphic art to throw into the mix…. I guess, since I’ve done the damage I came to do, I’ll leave y’all to your own devices for the remains of the day…. 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.