In retrospect, life tends to disappoint, at least for most people, much of the time…. This, I think, is why most people are reluctant to engage in any sort of introspection of their past actions, since humans, as a species, don’t show a lot of courage when it comes to changing the only thing in the universe that is actually under our personal control, to wit: ourselves…. For whatever reason that people decide is real for them, they refuse to look at their own past acts in the light of any critical examination of virtue, or even mere accountability…. Most folks would prefer to wear their blinders all the time, so they don’t have to look at anything that might conceivably persuade them use their brain, or act in any way that is other than self-serving…..
Now, some might say that’s a bit harsh for the first paragraph of the day, but, I believe in calling a spade a club, er, a spade…. For that matter, I should make clear that I don’t dis-include myself in this category, because I am no better and no worse than anyone else…. Maybe, part of the time, I’m a bit more on the ball between the ears than the general run of bozos on this bus, but, my vaunted intelligence hasn’t made me rich, or exempted me from having to struggle in life, just like anyone else….
Well, I think so, anyway…. others might disagree with that assessment, but, my point is that my being smarter than others doesn’t make me better, or better off… In fact, it could be considered a curse, as I am more aware than your average bear of all the stuff in our world that needs fixing, but, can do no more about it than those who cannot see…. Our species has, for that matter, made the world such that intelligence is no longer of much value as a tool for survival…. It’s a lot more comfortable to be stupid, to not realize what we are in for over the coming years….
It’s a frustrating place to exist, if you want to know…. I can see what is wrong in society, and even point it out to those who do not; what I can’t do is make anyone DO anything about it, as I just don’t have it in me to manipulate others, not like the Asininnies do as a matter of course, in achieving their goals, and meeting their agendas…. Sometimes it seems as if the world deserves what is coming, because the degree of sheer stupidity that has been displayed by our species is so massively egregious, it makes me sick…. This is usually right before I realize how unjust it is that the rest of us, who didn’t have anything to do with getting to this point in time, will suffer the same ugly end as those who are responsible…. Then, of course, I realize my own culpability, and the tears begin to flow….
Of course, I don’t HAVE to feel bad, about this, or about anything, for that matter….. I can feel any way I wish to feel, and that would be my reality, but, I’ve never been able to keep out of Consensual Reality for long…. One of my favorite columnists at SFGATE is Mark Morford, about whom I’ve previously written…. His column from yesterday is a really, really good one, with just the right viewpoint, of a part of reality we often ignore, or just forget about, to take my mind away from its usual haunts, taking it to that place he describes so well with his exquisite command of the English language, a place where everything makes sense again, and all is right with the world….
This time, he touches on one of my deepest beliefs, which, ultimately, may become the very thing we need to save ourselves from our own stupidity…. Read the post, it will open your eyes… If not, well, I’d suggest you just crawl back into your hole, and try your best to ignore what’s happening outside, because it will just frighten you….. Read, think, and be happy…. or not, up to you, as always….
Meanwhile, it’s time for me to get on with the reason for my being here….. Without any further blather, dross, drivel, or nonsense, let’s get on with it….
Shall we Pearl?…..
PANDEMONIUM, n. Literally, the Place of All the Demons. Most of them have escaped into politics and finance, and the place is now used as a lecture hall by the Audible Reformer. When disturbed by his voice the ancient echoes clamor appropriate responses most gratifying to his pride of distinction. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
I’m up a bit early today, having again slept hard for longer than usual…. I guess getting some good sleep is now the usual, which is, I suppose, a good thing…. but, the changes are such that it’s getting hard to figure out which reality I’m in at any given moment…. Oh well, I’ve had that particular conundrum to deal with ever since I first started experimenting with altering it…. Reality, that is…. We all do it, to some degree, but, I think, in toto, I’ve been just a bit more enthusiastic about it than your average bear…. a fact which is, mostly, fine by me, but, as I said, it can be confusing at times, to know exactly which reality is one’s current place of residence, thus making it problematic knowing how to act appropriately….
Fortunately for me, I’ve NEVER worried overmuch about being appropriate…. In fact, I often seek out the opposite standard, just for fun, and the profit supplied by amusement…. So, never fear for me, ffolkes, I’m an old hand at switching realities in mid-metaphor…. Y’all don’t need to worry a bit about anything other than paying your fare…. and, since this ride always has been, is, and always will be free of monetary charge, you’re in like Flynn…. This is a good thing, because it’s now time to go old-school, and I can’t do it without you…. I mean, what would be the point, if there was no one to read what I write? Right? Right…. Enjoy yourselves, ffolkes, I intend to…. Let’s go see what SB has for us today….
According to the Theory of Dubious Theories: All of the following are true and complete to the best of my knowledge….. certified, 2/12/14, by gigoid the dubious…..
he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!
“It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire when you live next door.” — Publius Syrus
“I would far rather be ignorant than wise in the foreboding of evil.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Suppliants, 453
“There is no evil in the universe which is not the result of ignorance, and which would not, if we were ready and willing to learn its lesson, lead us to a higher wisdom, and then vanish away.” — James Allan
“The most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Alexander
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung
“Don’t worry, nobody really LISTENS to lectures in MOSCOW, either! .. FRENCH, HISTORY, ADVANCED CALCULUS, COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, BLACK STUDIES, SOCIOBIOLOGY!.. Are there any QUESTIONS?? — Zippy the Pinhead
Ffolkes…. sometimes, it just happens this way…. I put together a pearl, with nothing really guiding my hand to indicate which pearls to choose for inclusion, and no conscious direction in mind…. Occasionally, on days such as this, a group of pearls is gathered that far outshines any chosen purpose I could have given it…. This pearl, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 set as ‘excellent’….. well, this one scores about a 13…. The inclusion of three pearls of ancient age may have contributed, but, the balance, and the imagery, is such that mere age is only an enhancement…. Let these sit in your mind, mix together for a while, and you’ll have something you can feel pretty good about…. guaranteed….
I recently subscribed to an email service from a poetry web site, which is a good way to discover new poets (new to me)….. This is one whose name I’d seen, and heard, without ever seeing any of her actual work…. If this one is any indication, my exploration of her body of poems will be a delightful new experience…. This is a lovely poem, short, and powerful in imagery…. I like it, and so should you….. Enjoy!…..
It Is Not a Word
It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,
But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.
~~ Sara Teasdale ~~
In looking around some old folders the other day, I came across a folder of articles I’ve posted on Triond.com, a publishing hub site that solicits work from online writers, which they submit to various web sites pertaining to the subject matter of the article…. Mine usually end up on Socyberty.com, a social commentary site that covers a lot of the political subjects I write about in my Pearls…. This one is a religirant I edited to fit into essay format, and sent to Triond…. It has apparently been taken down, as I don’t find it when I search, but, honest, it was there….
Posted on Triond, original written 5/27/2012….
Searching for God~Dog among the Sillistines
“…it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.” — Sidney Hook
Mr. Hook gives us here quite a long-winded, Shakespearean statement about the existence of God…. one that probably would better have been left at “Not bloody likely!”…. Both get the same point across, but the latter has more punch, as the listener doesn’t have to spend all that time trying to, first, figure out what the hell he said….
It’s a very good statement, in its way; accurate, logical, and with a proper reservation of judgment, proclaiming the idiocy of buying into such an implausible story without being snide about it. (It also has the advantage of being substantially true in reality….) But, as mentioned, it reminds me of a certain author, who shall now remain unnamed, who had the same habit when he wrote, to wit: “HEY! Lets cover up what this means with a bunch of extra words that will make the reader’s head spin with admiration….”.
Now, as one who writes (or types, anyway…. who’s to say whether it is writing?….), I tend to agree with Twain’s method of prose, which tends to be, by his own admission, somewhat spare, because he was determined to pare down what he wrote to its barest bones, leaving nothing but meaning and style; as with golf, one is trying for the lowest score. Twain, Hemingway, Steinbeck, all believed that good writing should be accessible, and clear, without having to be translated, or put into simpler terms, and Mr. Hook would have done better, I think, to keep that in mind. The idea he is promulgating is one that does need to be spread around, and should stimulate discussion. In its present form, it will only do that amongst the few readers and folks who can easily make out what he is talking about in his overly obese statement….
The idea he expresses here is one that is generally discouraged by those in leadership positions in modern religions. Discussing the veracity of the claims that religion makes is not encouraged by any of the sects I know of; in fact, doing so tends to produce some rather volatile reactions, to put it mildly. Most folks have a hard time maintaining their cool when their religious beliefs are challenged, due, I think, to the strong emotional connection they add to those beliefs. Their feelings are so tied into those beliefs that, in their minds, questioning one is the same as attacking the other….. Not logical, but true nonetheless, and not a good thing to leave out of one’s calculations; I try never to discuss religion without being rather heavily armed…. and not only with knowledge….
Here’s the thing that bothers me about the whole concept of an omnipotent entity…. How can we, who are not omnipotent, claim to understand either the actual form of a God, or the motivation of such a being? How can we claim to be certain that this omnipotent entity, capable of creating an entire universe, not only looks just like us, but actually wants us to bow down and worship Him, or Her, or It? Even when I was five years old, nobody could, or would, answer that question, other than to say, “because it’s in the Bible.” Even then, I recognized when I was being put off, and it just made me wonder more….
“Certainty is only a symptom of lack of imagination.” — Anonymous
Over time, as my knowledge of the world grew, I came to realize that religion, like government, is just another man-made institution, with the sole purpose of taking advantage of, and controlling, the general run of folks who are just trying to get by in life. I learned that the louder a person proclaims himself to be a Christian, the less like Christ they act. Being “safe in the arms of Jesus” is the perfect excuse to deny any responsibility for one’s own acts of immorality; Jesus forgives everything, right? Well, he does…. it says so right here in the New Testament, so it must be true….
“Our father who art in heaven.. I sincerely pray that SOMEBODY at this table will PAY for my SHREDDED WHEAT and ENGLISH MUFFIN.. and also leave a GENEROUS TIP…” — Zippy the Pinhead
I don’t claim to know God. I don’t know how God looks. I don’t know what God thinks, or even if what that entity does can be called thinking at all. I’m not omnipotent, so I have no frame of reference from which to approach such a question. I do know this, though…. whatever anyone says about God is bound to be wrong. It has to be; there is no way for us to understand anything about such a creature, not if we are to assume they are truly gods. If they are gods, or God, then I refuse to believe that what is important to me as a human is important to them; it just doesn’t make any logical sense. None….
ZEUS, n. The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog. Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frump insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
Looking at a Universe without God doesn’t scare me…. I think it is quite beautiful, no matter how it came to exist. Knowing one way or another how it was created, or happened, or evolved, or whatever, isn’t important to me, in either the short, or the long run. Learning about it, experiencing its joys and trials, appreciating both its gifts and its burdens, these are much more important. Do your Duty. Honor the Truth. Respect Life. Share your Love. Do these, and the rest will take care of itself. I don’t think that God needs my approval, nor my worship, in order for the universe to carry on…. it’s just fine the way it is…..
“There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a hottest part implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible.” — Richard Davidson
Having cheated shamelessly today, I am now about to enjoy the fruits of my lack of labor, which, as it turns out, is more of a curse than a blessing…. You see, it’s now only 0605, and I’m done writing for the day, unless some news article jumps up and pokes my outrage button, while my text editor is still open…. This means I have over three hours until the remainder of the world gets up and gets going, to the point where I can get anything done of a business nature…. SIGH…. I’m so damn smart, I’m stupid…. See you tomorrow, should my brain cells condescend to operate well enough to allow me to survive until then….
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.