Filtered through a veil of ignorant prejudice….

Ffolkes,

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the weaponry to make the difference.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

odd group 008

    Master of all I survey (a vision of my domain, which, at the moment, consists of empty pizza boxes), I am pleased to find myself undaunted by the terrifying depths of fear, instinctively  engendered by my undeniably complicated and increasingly problematic existence, or by the number of empty boxes, each of which indicates a breakdown of the will, in the ongoing battle between the lifestyle changes demanded by my new physical issues, and the strength of my lifelong tendency toward hedonism….

I suppose it is only natural, at this point in my life, to become a touch maudlin at certain times, when the realization of my own mortality happens to come to the forefront of consciousness. Each stab of pain, each achy joint, every systemic glitch we experience has the extra pleasure of reminding us we are coming to the aft end of our years; the winding down process isn’t what could be called comfortable, or comforting at all. Oh, there are perks, and a few advantages, connected to aging, but, those don’t alter the debilitating  physical issues with which the years weigh us down… all of which make maintaining hedonism problematic, to say the least….

Rather than turn this directly into a whine, however, I think I’ll point out to myself the balance factor, and let it go…. That always does the trick, as it’s hard to argue with reality, or how it works…. See, all the physical issues with which we end up dealing in our waning years are a direct result of how we used our bodies when younger…. In short, it’s our own damn fault, for not paying attention to the manual… which we never receive, anyway….

All of my conditions, it turns out, are due to the extremely active lifestyle I pursued for the first 40 years of this trip to Earth; starting with baseball at about age 7, I ran, jumped, fought, played, ran into things and people, and generally used my human body as a Tonka Toy, not caring, because of not knowing, that I would pay a huge price in my declining years as a result….

In a way, my experience can be seen as a metaphor for the experience of the entire species; all of us tend to ignore the future to live in the present, as best we may, doing those things that make us feel good, without any understanding of how our actions, in that present, will determine much of what happens to us in the future…. One thing that happened during my teen years is a perfect example of this…

At age 13/14 (right around my birthday), while playing football in High School, I apparently broke my back, though without knowing it at the time…. One play in the season’s second game saw me tackling someone in such a manner that my whole spinal column was compressed, cracking a couple of vertebrae…. but, in the culture of American football, I was never really examined by a doctor, until AFTER the game was over; by then, I only showed minor concussive symptoms, so they never looked for any fractures…

Later in life, at the age of 35 or so, I went to a chiropractor about back pain from working as a chef/nurse (I had small children, and commonly worked two jobs, to keep them fed, clothed, and housed….). He took a full spinal X-ray, which he then showed to me to discuss treatment…. He pointed out on the film where my back had been broken, and mentioned that I would probably have been at least 2, or 3, inches taller, had it not been fractured, as it had, from that point, grown crookedly, or, as is the medical term, exhibited scoliosis…. So, now, at the age of 64, my spine, shoulders, neck, and skeleton at large are giving me fits, in reaction to a lifetime of overuse….

All because the human race is so ignorant, they don’t even understand very much about themselves, or their bodies, and how they work, not just in the now, but, over time, something we hairless apes tend to ignore…. There is little for me to do at this point; there is no turning around and going back to start over with all the things we’ve learned to guide us…. and, apparently, nobody is passing this knowledge down, because none of it is anywhere in any book I’ve ever seen…. What there is, is considered to be fringe-of-society nonsense, old wive’s tales, not commonly understood knowledge shared by the species for all our benefit…

Oh well, too late now, isn’t it? I suppose that means I’ll have to shut up about it, because, as with anything difficult to face, people would rather just ignore it…. We’re good at ignorance….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.” — William Wordsworth

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Not being a big TV watcher for many years, I missed this…. I’m glad I found it, because listening to it produced two epiphanies for me…. One, I miss my music, and will try to play more guitar, and re-immerse myself in one of mankind’s most important fields of endeavor, as I did for much of my life. Second, I am tired of sitting around, and will now proceed to work on traveling…. somewhere…. For now, listening to this GREAT crossover music will do…..

CMT Crossroads – “James Taylor & The Dixie Chicks” Complete Session

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“If I were a girl, I’d despair. The supply of good women far exceeds that of the men who deserve them.” — Robert Graves

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/22/discussion-of-reeva-steenkamp-killing-has-sidelined-male-violence

“Women also murder and abuse, but 94% of murders in this country are carried out by men and a third of the victims are women. This familiar violence is called domestic violence. Occasionally when the man also kills the children this will make the headlines and is called family annihilation.”

“If the killing of Reeva Steenkamp can be used to extrapolate the political progress of an entire country, what does the regular murder of ordinary women tell us about ours? It is not every day, it is every couple of days and not newsworthy.”

I chose the quote to begin because it gives me the chance to start off by saying, “No shit?”….. But, then, I’m a man…. So, vulgarity and sarcasm come naturally to me…

I think, though, I’m a little different from most men, in that, I fully agree with the woman who wrote this article, and can only say to Mr. Graves that he is, though a day late, and not altogether on the wagon he needs to be on, nonetheless, absolutely correct, in a mild, no, make that bland, sort of way… I think I’d put the same idea thus; “If I were a woman in today’s world, I would either shoot myself, or someone else, because the number of men who DESERVE a good woman can be counted on two or three hands, world-wide.”

I see now that is a little too obscure, and makes the reader try to do too much math: suffice it to say, the number of men who can honestly say they understand the violence within themselves, and have learned how to control it, for the right reasons, are extremely rare, say, on the level of the color blue among lobsters…. That’s a bit obscure, too, isn’t it? Hmm…

Sorry, I guess I’m too agitated in my head to settle down over this issue, of how men abuse women out of fear and ignorance of their own nature; it’s a subject which brings out strong emotions in me, well enough to visualize and compose a good insulting, yet accurate word or phrase, to describe how few are the men who are aware of this issue, much less give it any credence in their lives…. Which lack may ultimately be a large part of the reason we humans are fairly certain to end up as a failed species, just one more among those that have existed, then disappeared, leaving only fossilized remains, in the course of Earth’s four billion years of history…. like the Dodo Bird we so closely resemble, I’d say….

(Well, we DO resemble them closely, to anyone from another planet…. A Martian, or Venusian would look at a Man, and a picture of a Dodo, and would remark the similarities, which are more common than the differences; both are flightless bipeds, basically symmetrical, and subsisting on many of the same nutrients…. We are more similar than different, though not many Men will admit to it; their incredibly ignorant pride gets in the way of seeing clearly….)

We men, as opposed to the other half of our species, are far too casual about violence altogether; women happen to be one of the three absolute worst targets we could possibly choose for that violence, from a moral/ethical/evolutionary standpoint, and, sadly, is a group which includes children, (or any weaker human…), and our companions in this life, animals of all descriptions, whom most men treat as our chattels….

Other targets, too, exist for us men, which are also less than perfectly, or even minimally justifiable, but, those three all are not merely unjustifiable, they are actually as damaging to OURSELVES as they are to those we damage…. But, then, the damage is to our spirit, and to our future, which most men are not inclined to concern themselves with overmuch, having far better things to do with their mental energies, such as deciding which of their hedonistic impulses they will indulge next, and whom they can take advantage of to do so…..

If it sounds as if I am less than impressed by my fellow gender-mates, you would be correct, mostly…. I do have men friends, and even some of them don’t always know what they are capable of, or how they show their prejudices. They all, however, being honorable men, do their best not to allow that to affect anyone adversely, and would never harm anyone intentionally…. But, the point I am making by mentioning them at all is that even the best men often are not even aware of their misogynistic tendencies….

Hell, most women are not aware, not in any expressible fashion, other than knowing they possess a visceral fear and mistrust of the males in their life, simply due to being smaller, and physically vulnerable, unless trained to be otherwise…. Knowledge is the key to reducing our fear of the unknown, and knowing one can protect oneself, under ANY circumstances imaginable, is incredibly liberating, in that we lose the unreasoning fear most people react with when confronted with violence…. A woman who can protect herself is more free than one who must keep that fear alive, in order to survive….

Everything the author of the article said is correct…. This is the subject that SHOULD be in the news headlines, along with the actions of our leaders, when caught out as liars and cheats, and who are, for the most part, all misogynists themselves….

Hey, I have an idea! How about, instead of the obituaries of famous celebrities being published, we declare open season on abusers of women, children, or dogs & cats, then, when they’ve been put down like the bad dogs they are, publish the same info on those pimps, traffickers, pedophiles, and convicted politicians and/or priest/preachers who get legally, justifiably wasted by a citizen in every day’s news….

See, we’ll make that open season on all of them, for all of their repeated displays of vulgar ignorance, by using the threat, or act, of violence to manipulate, control, and oppress any woman, child, weaker man, or animal,  with no charges ever to be filed on any woman, or any man who supported them…. Any time they had a viable reason, by virtue of being a victim, they’d be allowed, and encouraged, to walk up to one of their oppressors, and put a bullet right between the eyes…. If I had my way, each time that occurred, it would be celebrated publicly, maybe with a monthly work holiday as reward, for any successful hunts the month before….

Hey, if you ladies don’t want to do it, I’ll be glad to off the assholes for you, free of charge….. I know, it’s a violent solution, but, hey, whattya want? I’m a man…. Having dealt with violence all my life, in myself, in others, in life, I know I am violent; I like to think I’ve learned to accept it, channel it, and control it. Even I have forgotten, or lost that control at times, (though not for many years….), but, never to the extent of losing that control to the point of physical harm…. Such actions ALWAYS cause emotional, spiritual, and mental harm…. to both the victim, and the perpetrator….

That is why I believe what this woman, Suzanne Moore, says in the above analysis. That belief has nothing at all to do with having the same surname, or that my own sister’s name is Susan…. But, those two facts do serve to remind me why I do believe her, which is, simply put, everything she says is the truth…. My own sister had her problems with the men in her life, not all violence of the physical sort, but, there was some; I also know the times I have lost control, or not been aware of my own failings in this…. so, I have an understanding of from where Ms. Moore, the author, is coming…. as far as any male can.

I don’t know an ultimately permanent solution; as is apparent, my solution is somewhat personally satisfying, but, won’t serve to deal with the core issue. I wish I did. But, I don’t…. But, the least I can do is promote awareness of the issue by writing about it, and to encourage self-examination for all men whenever I can, to try to stimulate thought, or outrage, or compassion for the victims of male violence and stupidity….

Oh, didn’t I mention the other side of the coin? Men are not just ignorant, they are often stupid, especially when it comes to sex….. Sorry, but, something about having a penis seems to cause many men to lose the ability to think when aroused in any way…. and, a lot of men can get aroused at almost nothing visible; the mere glance at a female figure sends their brain into a state where they seem to be incapable of cognition…. I’m guessing it’s because there isn’t enough blood to nourish both the brain and the penis at once…. Just a guess, but, it seems to fit the visible evidence I’ve seen all my life….. I do that, TRY to get men to think, whenever I remember to do so, as well as making it known I am available for assassination duties, gratis, to any woman, child, or animal victim who wishes my help….

Revenge may be a meal best served cold, but, it seems to me, it is better than no meal at all….

No shit….

So be it.

gigoid has spoken.

Probably far too much, but, oh, well…..

Man, n.:
An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.  His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.  — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

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Tomorrow, I’m reproducing some old material; the old Pearl from which it came had a poem that I wrote at the time, a poem in response to the 2012 election process; given the way the political scenario in this country is proceeding, it still feels fresh….

A Failure to Germinate

Marking the days in elements of sad disarray
only holds me thrall, as I laugh while I may.
With cold, hard hands so impatient and cruel
pulling me to this vale of tears, a pathetic old fool.

Feelings sit silent, cast in shadows and light
breaking forth to implicate such vengeful might.
Just below the surface they patiently hide
to sally forth bravely, colors bright as they ride.

Tears and pain transform valued assets in hand
while comfort and serenity retreat to a far land.
Bold, bright patterns of hope garnish my ruinous state
until reality enters, full of disdainful portions of hate.

I sort out the illustrious measures of vision gone mild
only to find them transformed, now vicious and wild.
In my deepest desires I find myself calloused and cold
with faithless advocates whose souls have been sold.

My search finds little to support any hope of relief
far too much time has passed to bolster such belief.
The sad becomes real, and real becomes unfounded
until flights of such fancy are all dead, and grounded.

Nature has informed me of the newly hatched crime
that reality has boasted of proudly, time after time.
The last answer we think of is always the best
as we come to terms with fate, our hope at rest.

~~ gigoid ~~


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Today’s final pearl is a little odd; not so odd it’s intense, but, enough to make the thoughts it may engender rather uncomfortable. Some questions are asked that will challenge one’s flexibility and insight, and some statements about our nature that can either support or weaken those thoughts…. The final pearl, though, will bring it all into perspective, I believe, so, enjoy!….

I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life spell,
And by and by my Soul returned to me,
And answered “I Myself am Heaven and Hell.”

~~ Omar Khayyam (fl. 1100) ~~


“What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneness, and say, “This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned– and you with it, dust of the dust!” Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, “Never have I heard anything more divine?” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Cuando sabes a donde vas, el mundo entero se aparta para abrirte paso.” – When you know where you’re going, the whole world turns away before you. — Smart Bee (Google couldn’t, or wouldn’t say….)

“There comes a time in the life of us all when we must lay aside our books or put down our tools and leave our place of work and walk forth on the road to meet the enemy face-to-face. Once and for all and at last.” — Edward Abbey

“How could the drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved” — Mark Twain

“The higher you climb, the more you show your ass.”

~~ Alexander Pope, “The Dunciad” ~~


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Well…. It’s so long, it took me an hour to edit and proof, so now I must rush to post, before I lose all the time I gained by getting up on time…. SIGH…. HONK, HONK!…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Being alone can be a gift….

Ffolkes,

“Being intelligent is not a felony.  But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Lazarus Long

cats_14

  Deipnosophist: a person adept at conversation at table. From Greek, deipnosophistai,  title of a Greek work by Athenaeus (3rd century), describing learned discussions at a banquet, from deipnon  meal + sophistai  wise men (from Dictionary.com)

Yesterday’s post began with a quote from Athenaeus, the author of the book described in the above definition; at the time, I didn’t know what the word deipnosophist meant, which is why I looked it up…. Being one who considers himself a deipnosophist, it was the only thing to do…. Besides, I always enjoy learning new words, ideas, or just about any old thing at all, so, it was a no-brainer for me to seek out the meaning…. I can’t help it, it’s the way I am; if I don’t know, I want to find out….

This morning, I find myself very, very late, having indulged myself in an extra hour and a half of sleep…. In order to soothe my guilt, and the slight emotional edginess I get when my reality refuses to respect my plans, I’m going to have to go old school a lot, and will dip into the archives heavily to fill out the three sections below…. The first section should be okay; it’s a short mini-rant, or two, I started on yesterday, so I can just finish them with an old school target practice session…. I’ll pick from the archives for two and three, so, be prepared, if you please, and don’t forget to update your log sheets….

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got today…. Just some minor housekeeping, a short bit of self-aggrandizement, disguised as self-deprecation, and a touch of honesty; it’s not Ibsen, but it’s Art…. or, at least, it’s imitating Art…. Oh, that’s right, I’m trying to work on Art’s fraternal twin, Rufus, so, maybe today’s material will resemble him, in the eyes, or maybe the chin…. Ah, the hell with it, I’m jumping in, ffolkes; y’all can come along if you like….

Oh, almost forgot…. the picture again came from a feature on the London Daily Telegraph, but, I forget when…. just google the picture itself, if you really want to know who took it….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Again, our observations of the stars make it evident, not only that the earth is circular, but also that it is a circle of no great size.  For quite a small change of position to south or north causes a manifest alteration of the horizon.  There is much change, I mean, in the stars which are overhead, and the stars seen are different, as one moves northward or southward.  …All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but that it is a sphere of no great size:  for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be so quickly apparent.  Hence, one should not be too sure of the incredibility of the view of those who conceive that there is a continuity between the parts about the pillars of Hercules [the strait of Gibraltar] and the parts about India, and that in this way the ocean is one.” — Aristotle, De Caelo, Fourth Century B.C.

In case there are any among you who do not understand why this quote is here, I refer you to the opening quote from Bob Heinlein. Together, the two make the statement I’m hoping to share with you…. Remember what they did to Galileo, when he told the exact same argument that Aristotle gives here, to the prelates of the church, a thousand years later, and was found to be a heretic….

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Okay, so, here are two short mini-rants, whose point lies in the articles to which the link will take you. Please read, and then call your congressional delegates to tell them to stop giving in to the corporate interests, and give people the right to their own property….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Law-changed-to-allow-unlocking-cellphones-5663147.php

“CTIA-The Wireless Association, which represents major wireless providers including AT&T, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless, said in a statement: “Even though the vast majority of Americans enjoy upgrading to new devices once their contract terms are fulfilled, we recognize that some consumers may want to unlock their devices to move to another carrier.” It noted, however, that even though the phone is unlocked it might not work on other carriers because platforms and spectrum holdings vary,”

    “….which is quite deliberate,to ensure we make a massive profit on those millions of useless pieces of toxic waste, as well as to ensure nobody else can make anything from them, once they are no longer on our network.”   …. as the statement didn’t continue, even though it is true….

Point made, I think, so, onward, to a discussion of the Plague of Evil that continues to shame our culture…. Read the article, and think about all the other ways our culture brainwashes its citizens into keeping women in the unenviable position of subjugation…. It’s not just prejudice ffolkes, it’s oppression in its worst incarnation….

This issue, by the way, is one I’ve been harping on for years; to begin this segment of the rant, here is a short diatribe on the same subject from the archives…..

From 3/31/2012:

“When you slithered out of your hole that day, and you spewed your venom all over this defenseless 12-year-old girl, you made this court’s top 10 hit list. In a way, the best sentence this court could give would be no sentence at all, because if you left this courtroom I don’t think you would be alive 10 minutes. You are nothing but a weed, a weed among wheat…. And when we have a weed, it’s my job to eradicate the weed, because if you don’t you will choke the wheat. Therefore, I’m going to take you off the streets for just as long as I possibly can. It means you aren’t even eligible for parole until you’re 92. That leaves only one more count, aggravated robbery…. You stole this little girl’s bra as a souvenir, probably to brag about it to your friends later on. Well, I’m going to give you a souvenir of Trumbull County justice. And that is, you will receive a maximum sentence of 10 to 25 on the aggravated robbery for the stealing of that bra. And I hope that if you last 25 years in prison that you remember that souvenir.  Get this scum out of here!” — A sentence passed by Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County, Ohio

One down, several million to go…. I wonder if this judge is still sitting on the bench; we could refer all the cases of human traffickers, rapists, abusers of women or children, and others of that ilk to his courtroom, and trust they will receive the maximum legal punishment of which the law is capable…. then, once they are inside, we just leak to the other prisoners what they are in for; I imagine they’ll take care of the rest….

A fella has to have his dreams…. and in my dreams, I can hear them, sisters, daughters, children, all crying out for help, waiting in anguish for someone to care…. who else, then, will stand up with me?….. During the 1960’s, in times of social changes gone ‘viral’, there was a poster I saw all over Berkeley…. It pictured men and women marching together, united in purpose…. the only caption said, “Free our sisters, free ourselves!”  This is a sentiment we all need to embrace, as valid now as it was over 40 years ago; if not now, when?…

Now, here is proof the problem not only still exists, but has worsened, if possible….

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/Whaddya-gonna-do-These-things-just-happen-5660879.php

“But wait: Here’s what the NFL did. It suspended Rice for two games. Two games! Most first-time drug users get suspended for four games; as we have seen, the penalty for the third time is one year. The NFL sent a clear message: Domestic violence is not that big a deal. It’s just, you know, women. They were probably asking for it….”

This one disgusts me, for it is all-too-typical in this society for women to be placed in this kind of situation, then, having nothing happen to the asshole who punched her out…. For me, the worst part is how the whole issue was played down by every level of reporting….. None of the men involved took any real responsibility, and that lack of integrity was echoed by the police, the hotel, the team he plays for, the press who covered it, and every other male individual who had any connection to the incident…. They all made it seem like the man had done nothing particularly bad, and, if he did, he was probably provoked into it by the woman

What a crock of shit!…. It’s probably a good thing I’m not going to rant on this any further, as my blood pressure is already spiking, from writing the above paragraph…. I swear, I am going to buy a gun, and I’m going to start using it on people in society who prey on the weak, the innocent, and the oppressed…. because society itself refuses to even acknowledge there is any problem. Fuck that, I’m sick of these assholes getting away with it, and never having to pay for their insanity and ignorance….

Fuck it, I’m gonna pearl now….

“Rumor has it that former Senator John Tower cheats at solitaire. Lengthy congressional investigation to discover source of dishonesty to follow.” — Smart Bee

“Although war is cruel and brutal, it is also dangerous and stupid.” — Yakko Warner

“Bury me on my face,” said Diogenes; and when he was asked why, he replied, “Because in a little while everything will be turned upside down.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Diogenes, vi

“I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Victorian Age in Literature

(Note: It is little prejudices like this that perpetuate the lies and misconceptions that so litter the battle fields of the war between the sexes…. Plus, did you ever notice that it is only MEN who think of the issue as a war?…. The whole problem lies in the FACT that men are afraid of women; this fear causes them to react by making sure that women fear them, by using their physical attributes to oppress them…. thus, unknowingly, forsaking all honor….)

“I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to tell such LIES, LIES!  ALL LIES!” — Voltaire’s Evil Twin

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

” — How many NBC news producers does it take to change a light bulb? Three, one to drill a hole in the light bulb so it blows up when he turns it on, one to film it, and one to insist on the truth of the report despite the manipulation.” — Smart Bee

There…. I think I managed to find one shot for just about every one of the Asininnies in that pearl; not bad for someone not working very hard at it…. But, I think you can count on it to be effective; Smart Bee is bracketing the other quotes, which legitimizes and enhances each one…. I hope you enjoyed it, at least as much as the mini-rants….

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This needs no introduction; it does, however, demand your attention, as is its due, as a classical piece of our history…. and, an example of one of the few saving graces displayed by our species….

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal–yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

~~ John Keats ~~

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Okay, so here’s the deal…. Below is another diatribe/discussion, but, not really a rant; it’s a bit more eclectic than the usual choice of subject matter…. I enjoyed it, both writing it, and re-reading it; I hope you enjoy it as well… It does make today’s Pearl a bit hefty, but, hey, I’m a hefty guy….

From 3/3/2013:

“As a draft-animal is yoked in a wagon, even so the spirit is yoked in this body.” — Upanishads (c. B.C. 800)

Each of us is faced at times with the consciousness of our own approaching encounter with Death, the moment in time when our yoke is removed, and our spirit is freed, to once more join the rest of the conscious minds in the universe in roaming through realms of Reality we cannot see in this form. This Reality we cannot see is much larger, in one sense, than the one we can now perceive; it has to be, to be able to accommodate all the souls that have gone before, and all that are now present on Earth, that will someday join the rest of them, when they die…..

Every human being alive must face their own Death (I am capitalizing the word to give it the proper respect as one of the most important concepts we have as humans….); this is a truism no one can deny, or refute. Many people have banded together, to assume the belief that our universe was created this way by a supernatural being, who, for some unknown, and unknowable (self-explanatory, I think….) reason, decided that we are “special”, and gave us, and only us, the knowledge we have, and our very lives. This, of course, is rather hard to believe, as it doesn’t really account for much of what is observable truth in Reality, being, as it is, complete speculation, devoid of any concrete evidence to support it…..

“There is no conclusive evidence that there is life after death. There is also no real evidence to the contrary. Soon enough, you will know. So, why fret about it?” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein

I first read this aphorism when I was in my early teens; it codified, and made succinct, what I had already concluded about the major religions of the world, i.e., they’re a collection of unwarranted, and unproven, assumptions. What’s more, they are all highly unlikely, given the observable parameters of the real world. It became obvious to me, as it is to many, that what the religious folks were trying to get me to believe was intended merely to soften my mind, making it more amenable to suggestion, of which they have an endless supply. Preachers, priests, imams, nuns, all are quite willing to give other people advice and suggestions on how they should live, in exhaustive detail, for as long as they are allowed to do so….

Since I had very little desire to have other people decide for me how I should think, or live my life, I rejected the dogma they tried to force into my head, turning instead to other sources of thought about Life, Death, and Reality. I found an endless supply of folks who had thought long and deeply about all of these ideas, and gladly did I read all I could of everything I could find on the subject. In addition, I read science fiction, during the years when its popularity had just begun to climb to the heights it now occupies; sci-fi has always been literature that explored, and continues to explore, the very limits of thought, both in the real world, and the world of the mind.

As is seen by the first pearl above, these thoughts and ideas are not new with me; mankind has been thinking about these concepts since we first sat around the campfires, wondering at the beauty of the heavens we saw above our heads, and all around us. In all that time, no conclusions have been reached that seem to cover ALL of the questions we have about the universe. We still don’t have a clue as to “what is the mind”, or “what is thought”…. and if we cannot understand ourselves, what chance do we have of unraveling the secrets of the universe around us? Not much, would be my guess…

That, fortunately, does not mean it is impossible to know the truth, nor does it mean we are condemned to die in ignorance and fear…. I know this because I have learned in my time that our fear is a direct outgrowth of our ignorance; we fear what we do not understand. Now, if I were a God, why would I make people that way, unless for some ulterior motive, having to do with motivations that are human, not divine? No, it just doesn’t make sense to me to assume that we were put here with a deliberate handicap, just to see how we dealt with it; that seems more like an evil scientist at work than a compassionate deity.

“One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas.  That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life.” — Etty Hilsum

Since I believe firmly in the Law of Conservation of Energy (proven true in this universe, to all our knowledge), and, I believe that our minds/souls are a form of energy we currently don’t fully understand, and cannot perceive directly, then the concept of Death is nothing to fear, as it merely means that my current state of energy will be replaced with another state, one I don’t currently have the ability to perceive. What that state may be like may be unknown, but that doesn’t mean it is something of which I should be afraid…. I prefer to look at it as the next great adventure….

So, when my father died, I asked him to leave me some trail-sign, to let me know how to find him in the next reality; he smiled at me, and said he would do that… and I was much comforted by that, knowing that our connection as family can never be severed, and that, someday, I would once more have the pleasure, and comfort, of his presence…. Now that’s something to look forward to, don’t you think?…. Much better than worrying that what I do now is going to determine what happens to me after I die, a silly proposition, at best……

“Do not think that man is but flesh, skin, bones and veins; far from it! What really makes man is his soul; and the things we call skin, flesh, bones and veins are but a garment, a cloak; they do not constitute man. When man departs this earth, he divests himself of all the veils that conceal him.” — Zohar

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I’d feel a bit of guilt, but, I gave it up years and years ago, and really wouldn’t know where to start looking for it… Besides, I told you up front there would be a lot from the archives…. I just wasn’t aware as to HOW MUCH there would ultimately be…. Oh well, it’s not like I’m charging extra, right? I’m outta here, ffolkes, and not all that late, either…. See y’all tomorrow….

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,
and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid the dubious

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