Bathing in a babbling brook….

Ffolkes,

There were the Scots
Who kept the Sabbath
And everything else they could lay their hands on.
Then there were the Welsh
Who prayed on their knees and their neighbors.
Thirdly there were the Irish
Who never knew what they wanted
But were willing to fight for it anyway.
Lastly there were the English
Who considered themselves a self-made nation
Thus relieving the Almighty of a dreadful responsibility.

~~ Unix file, /usr/local/bin/fortune ~~

syf 3
Steal Your Face, Grateful Dead logo


I don’t care what anyone else may tell you, but, I am here to testify, there is little in this world more frustrating to a writer than a mind emptier than the page at which we are blankly staring. Especially when it tells us it has this great idea, then, when the time comes to begin typing, it’s nowhere to be found; moreover, there is no evidence at all it ever actually existed. In short, it lied to me… My own mind, lying to me, just so I would leave it be…. It occurs to me to bite myself.

Rather than do so, I’ll just mention what also just occurred to me, to wit: Y’know, ffolkes, in today’s world, we are now in the unenviable position, historically speaking, of having placed ourselves right in front of the fan, and the shit is about to hit it, if it hasn’t already started flying through the air, along with all the OTHER CRAP we have poured into it in the last 150 years…. and, we don’t have a change of clothing to put on, even IF we can clean it off after it’s done filling our eyes, ears, and random orifices….

Ah well, at least it got us this far down the page, without the obviously superfluous concept of having something intelligent, or even amusing, to say to y’all about today’s Pearl. I suppose I could give y’all a few hints, but, then there’d be no surprises, and the surprises may be ALL we have to offer today. Hard to tell at this point, when I haven’t even looked to see what is done, and what isn’t. I had already decided, before sitting down, not to worry about that part until done with this. Of course, that was before I knew I wouldn’t have a bloody thing worth saying in my head, probably until after eating something, so there is at least some material inside me from which to create a bit of energy…. Or, not. At this point, who cares?

Okay, so, I’ll use this tool here to fix this. It’s our only hope, I think, of getting out of here without my having to resort to some rather drastic measures, which the insurance company has warned me to stop using, as they cause us to use up the deductibles too fast. Today, sadly, I don’t think I’m going to have much of a choice, not if we intend to get anywhere close to finishing this before lunch. I shall reluctantly use the most efficacious of the emergency methods, #4, which is the fastest, and most popular, of all our methods of extrication…. Here’s how it works….

Shall we Pearl?

“Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. (He is also a fool.)” — Lazarus Long

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After having studied Judo, some Karate, both Korean and Japanese styles, some Jujitsu, a bit of Aikido, and Tai Chi, I moved on to the oldest and most complete of the Arts, Kung Fu, finally settling in a school whose sifu taught the Praying Mantis style of Shaolin Kung Fu, as practiced by the monks of the Taoist temple in Shaolin. When my kids were 12, and 10, I enrolled them in the classes, to give them the discipline and knowledge that give the gift of removing one’s fear of violence from life, a gift of nearly incalculable value. Both of them have benefited enormously for gaining the skills which bring us confidence, and the ability to think when others are frozen in fear….

Today’s video is one of the more advanced forms to be learned; there are a great many of them. Master Wu Nanfang, one of the two fourth generation Shaolin Chan Wu Yi Kung Fu Masters from the Wugulun lineage, does a Dragon Form in the grounds of the famous Shaolin temple in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, China.

Dragon Form

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everywarrior-coelho

“A faith-holder puts himself below his faith and lets it guide his actions. The fanatic puts himself above it and uses it as an excuse for his actions.” — Gordon Dickson, Chantry Guild

At long last! I’ve finally found the pearl which gives me the springboard to present an EXACT explanation of the fatal flaw in human nature, responsible for so much of the misery and pain in this sad old world we inhabit. Here is the perfect pearl for it; it shows the exact relationship which turns every human endeavor from whatever good intent it followed, to take it on a path which has no other end but self-destruction. I know, elegantly obscure, is it not? Lovely use of logic to cloud the issue….

Still, with the proper treatment, this will do just fine, to give me the metaphoric example I’ve looked for, which can be used as a benchmark to measure a related, but, separate issue, with similar parameters. Both of these methods attempting to discern WHY many of the more egregiously insane events we have seen all throughout our crazy, violent history take place; to explain, as it were, why so many people die for no good reason…. Easy, and quite obvious to me.

Part of being human is to have a choice, at birth, with our first perception of reality in this state of consciousness, of whether to approach the universe with open eyes and hearts, admitting our willingness to learn, or to react to what we feel and see with fear, turning away from that which frightens us, learning to accept a consensus given by others, perverting imagination into cunning, and the tendency to ignore the urgings of the heart, and the mind….

Those who choose a path of knowledge and reason, versus one of fear, faith, and ignorance, by opening their minds and hearts, learn to use the power of imagination to create beauty and harmony in a universe of wonderful complexity, with the very entertaining characteristic of Entropy, and Chaos, as equal parts of what is here to be perceived, right alongside their opposite, yet complementary qualities of Order, and Will.

Destruction is a part of Reality, to balance Creativity; Compassion is balanced by Indifference; all the universe exists in duality, explaining the reason our senses operate as they do…. by registering and decoding the sensory perceptions present in reality with eyes which see by the presence or absence of light, ears which hear the silence between the notes, and other senses which offer their own interpretation of energy manifesting in other forms, yet still, in duality….

“Either God exists or He doesn’t.  Either I believe in God or I don’t. Of the four possibilities, only one is to my disadvantage. To avoid that possibility, I believe in god.” — Pascal

In these blog posts, I often sound, no doubt, as if I have no doubt, particularly when speaking of those who rely on faith-based reasoning to decide how to live their lives. I cannot respect such a decision, as it is the kind that cannot possibly be made if using the most simple standards of truth, and reason. No person willing to look at the evidence with an open mind could make such a decision, for it is possibly the most unbelievable set of delusions one could come up with; yet, for thousands of years, the modern version of snake-oil salesmen have passed off this unreasonable story as if it was truth, insisting each and every individual who believes otherwise to be wrong, no matter how compelling the evidence of their arguments.

Now, I can’t claim to be the most ethical, or moral, or most virtuous of men; I am much more accurately described as the above Warrior of Light, full of self-doubts, unsure, in my darker moments, of my own worth. Yet, I am able to say with some objectivity, I find myself also to be much more honest, and truthful, than perhaps 75% of the people in the world. (I would add, of the remaining 25%, approximately 98% of them are wrong; in effect, lying to themselves, through ignorance or innocence, most of the time, thus, not always their fault, or choice…. Very few of the people I’ve met in the world are very concerned with truth at all, other than as a vague concept they have heard about, but seldom consider either objectively, or, as regards themselves….)

My own claim to virtue, partial as it may be, is based on an advantage I enjoy over most people I have known, (aside from my siblings, of course), of having Master Sgt. Robert H. Moore always standing behind me, monitoring all such issues as they occur in my life…. Since I was a teenager, and before, whenever I couldn’t figure out, or didn’t know what was the RIGHT thing to do in a difficult situation, I would simply imagine my dad, standing nearby, watching.

Somehow, I’d usually be able to find the correct, most ethical, most honest way to deal with whatever it may have been; it wasn’t always the easiest, or most efficient way, (in fact, easy seldom entered the picture…), but, it always seems to work out best, for ALL the concerned parties…. Perhaps it’s merely a fantasy of my own making, but, it has always worked for me….

In fact, my dad was pretty good at teaching me, and my siblings, the most important lessons I learned, without needing to actually speak directly about them very often at all. Not that he was taciturn, or silent; just not very voluble, unless stimulated by intense emotion. Instead, he just lived his own way, so that as we watched, the right way to do things was perfectly clear. This meant that, with merely a look, he could tell us whether our behavior met his approval; if you did well, he said so. If you didn’t, he didn’t need to speak at all.

To me, that’s a very big advantage over whatever other people’s families may have done for them in this respect; I can use my own mind to make decisions, as long as I do that in a way that my dad would approve of; otherwise, I find, nothing comes out as well as when I live according to the following list of rules, which could easily have been dictated by my father, the aforementioned Sgt. Moore…..

A Gentleman Is

    So, though I am not perfect, or holy, or Superman, or in any other way more special than anyone else, other than, perhaps, in my unique mindset, I feel confident that my opinions on human nature are valid, based on evidence, not faith. This, if nothing else, satisfies me, in terms of having lived up to my chosen duty, and have not added to the weight of oppression and darkness that so afflicts our world, because of that oh-so-human nature, and its incredibly powerful negative effects on our planet, and other forms of life, including, sadly, our fellow men…. Ah well, karma exists, if only as a metaphor for reality, so, time will tell the final story….

“All you can do, is all you can do.”

~~ gigoid ~~

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Here is another great poem from my poetess/friend, Maggie Mae, a still-young artist I believe will one day be known to the entire English speaking world…. Seriously, you will see what I mean when you’ve seen some of her work. I often get a feeling of dejá vu after reading her poems, similar to the reaction I get at times to Miss Emily Dickinson, though their styles are, if not worlds apart, are in different rooms in the same palace of Art….

I suppose it may have something to do with both women seeming to find the concept of overt rhyming to be superfluous to their poetry; when a rhyme is needed, it is there. Most of the time, the content, rhythm, and imagery they use is sufficient to create the intended message, without requiring them to stay within the boundaries of convention.

Maggie Mae sees the world with the same KIND of vision as did Emily, but, with her own eyes and mind to interpret what she sees, in striking images of great metaphorical power, images which go straight to the inner brain, swirling there, bringing a message from the universe for us to learn…. Enjoy, ffolkes… I’ve included a link to her site after the poem, so you may see exactly what I mean….

A Theory of Rubies

because we find them in solids
gripping to thousands of pasts

because we find them under ground,
where muscles swell
for obligation rather than
inclination

because there is this one girl
who carries them in her eyes,
who can make every drop of rain
fall at once
and, in the desert, naked on
black tar, can
bring the cool moon breeze
home

because if I follow her
behind echo’s and become her reverse,
I will go way of all flesh,
dive back into my former
rutile inclusions

because she seems like a solid

because we are the color of wine

because the theory of rubies is
they are imperfect,
impure,
naturally-occurring
stars

https://maggiemaeijustsaythis.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/a-theory-of-rubies/


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Ffolkes…. The following pearl showed up on SB, in virtually the order you see, with only minor shifts needed to finalize the process. I can’t explain it, nor will I try. I suggest you just allow your mind to follow along, to wherever it may lead you…..

There is an enormous oyster here with its shell tightly closed.

Interesting. Interesting.

There seems to be something written on the underside of the oyster.

another from LouPicture and text stolen from Lou

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For ’twas not into my ear you whispered but into my heart.

‘Twas not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

~~ Judy Garland ~~


“Diligence increaseth the fruit of toil. A dilatory man wrestles with losses.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 412

“If fear alters behavior, you’re already defeated.” — Brenda Hammond

“He had that rare weird electricity about him — that extremely wild and heavy presence that you only see in a person who has abandoned all hope of ever behaving “normally.” — Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1939), journalist — Fear and Loathing ’72

“Discussions of morality must inevitably lead to immoral statements.” — Bradshaw

“Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, “Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good…” At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down.  All the people make a rush for the lamp post, the lamp post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmedieval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have puled the lamp post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, today, tomorrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light.  Only what we might have discussed under the gas lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.” — G. K. Chesterton, _Heretics_, 1905

“Diogenes struck the father when the son swore.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part iii, Sect. 2, Memb. 2, Subsect. 5

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” — Rafael Sabatini

“Gone, glimmering through the dream of things that were.”

~~ Lord Byron (1788-1824) ~~

~~ Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto ii, Stanza 2 ~~


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Fortunately for me, I had a lot of this Pearl done before starting today; I’m up pretty late, having again slept better than has been my habit of late…. Not that it seems to be of great value as yet; I still feel tired, from the constant stress I’ve been under, thanks to my HMO. Ah well, getting one of these done, in spite of that, is quite satisfying, and, since that feeling is rather rare these days, I’ll take it, and be on my way into the day. See y’all on the rebound, ffolkes….

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

We’ve got two words for you, mister…. Puff Paste….

Ffolkes,

I find myself immediately in White Rabbit mode this morning, having slept over eight hours again, not arising until AFTER the coffee machine had gone off at its pre-set time, a time I generally beat by a good hour each day. This morning, I find myself just beginning this process after 5 AM, which is VERY late, for me….

Ah well, such is life, at least, as we know it…. consistency is only present in Nature in predictable ways. The sun comes up pretty consistently, and there are a few other universal factors of existence, (Death, taxes, etc.), we can count on to happen on a regular basis like that. Otherwise, it’s a crap shoot, ffolkes, so most of us get used to not finding things exactly as we left them the last time we dealt with them….

We humans even have a word for that, to wit: entropy, which, loosely defined tells us, “Things fall apart”…. which phrase, by the way, is the title of a very good little book, by a young African author, named Chinua Achebe…. It is considered one of the best English language books about Africa, used in many colleges to exemplify the genre…

The story, about an Igbo tribesman in central Africa, is one that gives us a very good understanding of this principle, (entropy), and how it affects our lives, and our relationships with others in society, as we all try to cope with this basic flaw in the design of our universe…

Of course, it is only a flaw to our way of thinking…. None of the other inhabitants of this plane of existence seem to have a lot of trouble dealing with this particular aspect of reality; they just shrug their equivalent of shoulders, and soldier on, going on to whatever the next thing the universe presents to them for their perception, and their experience….

Not that the universe cares or anything, but, it does make it pretty well impossible to avoid dealing with the iconic forces of chaos, with glaring examples at every turn to remind us of how fragile is our perceptive model, and how often it must be amended with codicils or changes to our attitudes.

All of which, of course, has nothing at all to do with this Pearl…. it’s simply another attempt to draw your attention away from what we are doing here behind the curtain, and to give y’all good reason to come on in, settle down in one of our comfortable seats, order up an adult beverage, and say goodbye to irrationality, as we take off on another exploration of this planet and all its wonders…. I don’t think it would be wise to tell you how the plane runs, or where, exactly, it will take us…. all of that is subject to change at an instant’s notice, anyway…. This is CONSENSUAL REALITY, you know, not some cheap imitation…

That having been said, for what is is worth, (and no snickering from the back rows….), we’ll get on with this, to settle down the nerves of our White Rabbit, so he, too, may enjoy the ride….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Assess the advantages of taking advice, then structure your forces accordingly, to supplement extraordinary tactics. Forces are to be structured strategically, based on what is advantageous.” — Sun Tzu

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Following this instructive, ethically stimulating quote by Lazarus, which immediately follows this paragraph, you will find a discussion of ethics and/or morality, with a short little foray into religious philosophy, from the standpoint of my own personal philosophy, much of which is based on the concept(s) involved in understanding, and, equally importantly, accepting the principle whereof Lazarus speaks, to wit: “duty”. 

Making one’s chosen “duty” a part of one’s life demands a certain degree of honesty, as well as the courage to apply that honesty to one’s own actions, thereby accepting responsibility for them; this attitude is not one I have found to be common to the philosophies of any the religions I have studied….. When the discussion was first posted, no pearls were associated, until the end, but, this one is the perfect lead to what follows….

“Do not confuse ‘duty’ with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.” — Lazarus Long

From 2/12/13:

I am an asshole. A jerk. A prick. A foul-mouthed, misbegotten excuse for a human being…. I, as is true of virtually all seven billion of my peers on this planet, am nothing more than a hypocrite, deserving of eternal residence in the lowest pits of hell for my perfidy….. What, you might ask, prompted this viciously personal outburst of self-denigration? Well, let me tell you….

Most of us, at some point or another, sit down from time to time to think about our actions, those we are considering, and those we have acted out in the past, to get some perspective on how those actions have conformed to our ethical and moral beliefs. In other words, we sit in self-judgment; whether we do so to praise or to chastise doesn’t matter, ultimately, as long as it is an honest appraisal, and we do not flinch from owning up to our baseness where it is found…..

This is why I am forced to curse myself…. Because I’m not a Catholic,  or any other faith that espouses such mummery, (I don’t mean to pick on Catholics…. some of my best friends, etc…..  😆  ….. They’re just an example everyone recognizes, and can relate to as similar to their own….)….  Any who, because I’m not of that Tribe, I don’t have the luxury of confessing to a priest, who would then reassure me that I am still one of the Chosen Ones, and send me on my way having learned nothing but a false sense of entitlement.

I can’t just pass off what I may have done in my life to some faceless butthead in a dress, who, no doubt, has a great laugh at the expense of the penitent, when he and the other priests get together in the rectory for a few drinks, passing around all the latest tall tales and outtakes from the confessional booth…..

I consider myself to be a morally upright person, and hope that my actions reflect that. But, I know for certain that, like every other human being who ever lived, I don’t always live up to those moral beliefs, and fall from grace on occasion…. If I were a less honest man, I’d say that there were mitigating, or at least explanatory reasons for my failures to hold to my own standards, but, if I tried that, my Dad would kick my ass from now until Thursday the next time I see him, so I’m not going to take that chance…. I take full responsibility for my actions, base and cruel as they were, and no one can hold me in lower regard than I do….

I had considered using this venue as a confessional, to air out my transgressions on the stage of reality, but, I don’t think that would be any more ethical than confessing to a priest…. Confession may make a difference to the penitent, by absolving him/her from any lingering guilt that could adversely affect them (i.e., they feel better about themselves after receiving absolution…), but, in truth, it doesn’t mean a damn thing, as nothing is done to balance the scale, in a karmic sense, especially for whatever creature or person that was the victim of the cruelty. The only act that would mean anything would be for the perpetrator to use the experience to motivate them to two things….

One, to try to repair whatever hurt or pain they have caused another creature…. man, animal, doesn’t matter…. They don’t deserve to be victimized, no matter their form, and ALL one can do, to fix any harm they have caused, is the least they should do….

Second, use the experience as motivation to make a change in themselves, to act with greater understanding, greater compassion, and greater control over themselves and their feelings…. which is what guilt is all about, right?….

The difference is that, when one confesses to a priest, and receives absolution, there is no motivation to make any changes in their actions…. They know none is necessary, since they can relieve themselves of any guilt they may feel by confessing…. so, why bother?

On the other hand, when one assumes the responsibility for their own actions, the guilt doesn’t go away…. I will never forgive myself for some of the things that I’ve done in my life (nor will I share them in any attempt to gain forgiveness from anyone else…. it’s none of their fucking business….)

(Besides, that whole confessional thing just sounds too much like a blackmail scheme…. the people who confess are sure putting their fate trustingly into the hands of those priests, aren’t they?). That simple fact is what keeps me from falling into the same ethical trap I did when I lost my cool, and acted without thinking,  or took my feelings out on innocent bystanders….. Not going to happen again, a sentiment which, I’m sure, is NOT what you can expect from any religicos after confession….

You will note that there are no pearls associated with this discussion…. That’s because I am such an asshole, none were needed to stimulate me into spilling my guts, so to speak…. Besides, I couldn’t find a proper pearl for the beginning of such a somber subject by the time I was ready to write about it…. But, Murphy must have liked the way I dissed myself, because, hunting for an appropriate closer, afterward, I found these two, which, together, make a grand finishing touch for this subject…. Think of them as bookends….

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” — J. C. Watts

Boy, that hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it?…..    I’ve got these two quotes reversed in the order in which they make the most sense, but, given the state of things here, that isn’t surprising, is it?…. This is the one that probably should go at the front of this piece, so, just put it there in your mind, okay? Thanks….. (Note from 2014: Actually, you may, or even should, ignore all of these final comments on the care and placement of pearls, as they are currently out of context, all because the pearl that now graces the front of this discussion is so perfectly suitable….)

“We tell lies when we are afraid, . . . afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” — Tad Williams, Spoken by Dr. Morgenes, To Green Angel Tower (part of — Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)

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Again, to save others from embarrassment or guilt by association, here is another of my old poems, which, sort of, fits in with today’s elusive theme….

Fine and Good, Good and Fine

A pig in a poke’s got nothing on me,
cuz I’m as confused as a man can be.
This ol’ world’s got me spinnin’ around
cussin’ and spittin’, a penny for a pound.

Forty ‘leven times since I was a kid, well,
I’ve fallen in love, ‘least too close to tell.
Every damn time, it all went to crap,
Forty ‘leven times I’ve felt like a sap.

‘Course, each time it happens, I forget the last;
why not? I’m havin’ such a blast….
Livin’ in each moment, filled with joie de vivre,
’til it’s all gone away again, nothin’ left up my sleeve.

Don’t want y’all to think I’m sad or blue,
life’s full of sorrow, lots for me, and/or you..
T’other side of that coin, we can be glad,
is joyful love, and that ain’t at all bad.

My road’s been littered with parts o’my heart,
each one colored with trust, which ain’t always smart.
Yet, long as I don’t lose my connection to joy,
I’ll find my own true love, and be a happy boy.

It’s been some kinda fun, even when I’d take a fall,
and doin’ it over makes no sense at all, at all
Day after day, I keep on keepin’ on, as it’s said;
Guess I’ll keep on doin’ that ’til I’m dead.

‘Nuff said….

~~ gigoid ~~

….with tongue lodged firmly in cheek….


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Most days, even if running this late, I would put an old-school pearl here, just to maintain the structure for these Pearls that I think works the best…. Today, though, I just happen to have an archived pearl, somewhat old school, lifted from a Pearl posted back in ‘Aught Twelve’…. I think it’s pretty good, and so do you….

From 10/21/12:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

— Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) — Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child”

I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint.

The above little ditty, from our old friend Rudyard, is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”

“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke

I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….)

It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!”  You can’t say fairer than that….

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha

One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive.

At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive, to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan

Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long…..

So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..

I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.

The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….

In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity.

This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….

“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi

There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….

🙂

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I have no excuses, nor apologies, at all…. I have succumbed to the dictates of chosen duty, and done the best I can do to make this an acceptable member of a long line of decently written outbursts of personal angst.

Personally, I think it’s not bad, but, I’m probably not the most appropriate judge of that…. and since nobody has suggested I cease and desist, I’ll keep on keepin’ on, for as long as the impulse to write remains strong and fresh….

Y’all can take that any way you like, as either a promise, or a threat…. either way, it’s true, and I’m outta here for another day…. See ya, 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

dozer3

Bath water? What baby?……

Ffolkes,
I am forced to confess that I’ve become an internet addict…. I can’t conceive of going back to the days before the entire repository of human knowledge, minus the traditional confidential security material, was available at request, in the blink of an eye. One can feed the elephant’s child for as long as they wish, in any field or subject, and never run out of material to learn. I miss what I now feel to be a necessity, a connection to the net at home, where I can fulfill any question or impulse to find out something at my whim. Being reduced to a limited time per day is somehow diminishing, and emotionally stressful…. hmm, maybe I could plead that to the cable company, to get my hook-up for a discount…. might be worth a try….

Meantime, I am reduced to creating my Pearls ahead of time, so that I can post them quickly…. this gives me a little time to catch up to email, check in with Facebook and Twitter, check the time for the ball game at the news site I frequent, and then do any online research I’ve remembered from when at home…. all of which adds up to a routine I’m still evolving into some sort of efficiency, reluctantly. It’s still annoying to have to develop a whole new routine, just because I had to move, but I suppose I can’t complain too much…. I’m still living indoors, and have enough to eat, which is a damn site better than a lot of the world’s population can say…. Can’t forget that, even when it gets better, or worse, there are always people in a tougher spot…..

What this all boils down to is that today’s effort was actually created yesterday, almost completely…. it was necessary to fill in around the edges, as you will see after reading today’s poetry effort in the second section of pearls. That effort drained me pretty thoroughly, and I retreated into the past a bit…. sections one, three, and the closing section are all pearls created years ago…… a mild form of hebephrenia, as is were…. and, sorry, no, you’ll have to look it up….. 🙂   Try a Dictionary of Psychiatric Disorders…. which is appropriate for use in this blog….

I’m now ensconced comfortably with a cuppa coffee at the local Wi-Fi & java spot, ready to cram a day’s worth of internet into an hour and a half. The Pearl is ready, so I’m going to begin the process of moving it from my laptop to the blog site, with a short stop to send out the email Pearl, which continues a tradition founded over 10 years ago, in the dawn of the personal computer age…… and has been my primary source of defense against insanity for all that time…. Shall we Pearl?……
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There are times when getting bogged down is unavoidable; the nature of the Universe demands this, in order to maintain the proper degree of entropy. I think it is one of God’s greatest jokes, one that begs for understanding. I mean, just look at the way things are set up; is this not prat-fall funny, having a well-ordered Nature, and then tossing in entropy to keep things interesting? Things fall apart, and that’s just the way it is…..

proof by forward reference:
Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author, which is often not as forthcoming as at first.

proof by semantic shift:
Some of the standard but inconvenient definitions are changed for the statement of the result.

proof by appeal to intuition:
Cloud-shaped drawings frequently help here.

— How to Prove It, Part 7

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” — Francis Bacon, English philosopher (1561-1626)

As always, the lesson is left as an exercise for the gentle reader…..
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Playing by the Rules

All my days I looked for love,
And found it everywhere I looked.
The years were joyous and fully booked
Seemingly by command from Above.

In return for all of the beauty in Life I found
I played life by the Rules that we all know,
It was from my father I learned the how,
Honest love, given freely, hand-fasted, gladly bound.

It seemed a while as if it were all real,
that fulfillment and contentment could be
as real as the children given us to oversee,
to teach them of Life and Love, and how to feel.

Then storm clouds of grievous change arrived, unbidden
Insidious, deceitful, three steps forward, then one back.
Tearing holes in our beautiful cloth, a heart heard to crack,
Gleeful demons eating life’s bounty, fangs dirty, and hidden.

Pain and sorrow grew, in defiance of all I tried,
Sanctuary turned into a reluctant scene of ritual battle,
Love still lives, but herded like doomed and pitiful cattle,
While the keening of my soul sounds as if I’d cried.

Betrayal in love is, allow me to assure, no small pain to take.
Time has no power to reduce its place in my heart or soul.
My truest love became a stranger, a powerfully sharp toll,
Solitude has become my lot, no killing time for necessity’s sake.

Love yet surrounds me, everywhere; I’m not one of those fools…
Children are forgiving, I’m glad to be able to say,
They show me life’s solid purpose, the old, right way,
I guess  don’t know any other way, than to Play it by the Rules.

~~ gigoid

Okay, ffolkes, this one hurt, a lot, but it had to come out…. I’ve been in tears for an hour now, first drowning in feeling that arose from inside, unasked, then letting those feelings out onto the screen, and they’re not going to stop anytime soon, I can tell. This is an old, old pain, and apparently has been hiding for a while, buried much deeper than I had previously given credence to; it fucking HURTS!….. It’s a damn  good thing that I’m an optimist, and too bloody stubborn to give up believing in Life, and all that is good and beautiful in it…. that’s all I can say…. otherwise, I’d be damned depressed right now….. I  gotta go…..
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As a firm believer in taking responsibility for our own karma, I often allow instinct to guide my behavior. This is not to say that it is my sole guide, but evolution gave us certain advantageous traits, and allowing them free rein can be, and often is, a very comfortable path to success. (Success = survival)  Reason, and perception, and those other parts of us arising out of our intelligence that can be valuable as survival tools can fail us at the test, and instinct provides options. Thus this morning’s offering…. many of you are, ostensibly, therapists. These are good tools in being effective as one who serves others in the fertile fields of the human mind…..

“A bitter jest, when the satire comes too near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind.” — Tacitus

“If rejection destroys your self-esteem, you’re letting others hold you as an emotional hostage.” — Brian Tracy

“You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.” — Kahlil Gibran

Thoughtfully kind, self-confident, and compassionate. Valuable traits indeed……
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The following pearl, also a former Pearl, is from the summer of 2008, as are the first section, and the third section of today’s Pearl. I know it’s a bit lazy, and possibly a bit confusing, but, bear with me, as I go through these difficult times, bereft of my usual resources, such as Smart Bee, and an ISP at home…. I’ve been around writing these Pearls for a long time now, all in all, and there are a lot of them I don’t even remember…. it’s kind of fun, like finding a long lost stash of comic books…. any who, enjoy….. even if it isn’t Monday…. please?….

First Impressions…

Ffolkes,
…..can last a long time, even when the secondary & tertiary experience is contrary. Which is why I try to be particularly lucid on Mondays. But then, nobody’s perfect……

“Be able to be alone.  Lose not the advantage of solitude, and the society of thyself.”–unknown smart guy

Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom. — Theodore Isaac Rubin

It is good to be alone sometimes. And wisdom is its’ own reward. But this next one, this is powerful truth!

“Fifty bucks, same as downtown!” — The Philadelphia Kid

See, it’s all in the wrist….. And don’t worry about the lesson today; it isn’t there…..unless you wish it to be……

This is the oddest Pearl I’ve created in a while; if you are familiar with what goes on around here, you’ll know that is saying a lot…. which is, no doubt, enough said…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

A graduated scale of benevolence….

Ffolkes,
When I can, I do. When I can’t, I don’t. If I’m ordered, I refuse. If I’m asked, I consider. And if I’m bitten, I bite back. That’s my bottom line, and if anyone doesn’t care for it, well, that’s just too damn bad, so sad for you, maybe you’d like a little cheese with that whine? Or shall I just forcibly insert a sharp object into your most accessible orifice?

What prompted this? I’m not certain, as it just took over when I sat down to compose the opening for today’s missive. It sounds as if my subconscious is reacting to a perceived threat, but the only threat I know of right now is the threat of bad poetry, or the heartbreak of diverticulitis, and neither is particularly imminent. I suppose it’s just feeling nervous about how the political scene in this country is shaping up; it gets more bizarre every day, as the candidates jockey for position for Tuesday’s dustup primaries, and continue to make their outrageous claims and wild accusations of conspiracy by the White House. I’ll sit down and have a talk with it, give it some soothing words…. it should be okay in a little while.

My subconscious tends to a fairly high degree of paranoia, but I don’t want to blunt the edge of its perceptions, even if a bit extreme. It’s better to be prepared for the worst it can imagine, then whatever does happen is easily handled, as it generally is not as bad as what my subconscious mind has prepared to deal with. That’s the whole point of a successful defensive strategy, to be ready for the worst; anything short of that is a piece of cake….
___________________________________

“There is in us a tendency to locate the shaping forces of our existence outside ourselves. Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us. Hence it is that people with a sense of fulfillment think it is a good world and would like to preserve it as it is, while the frustrated favor radical change. The tendency to look for all causes outside ourselves persists even when it is clear that our state of being is the product of personal qualities such as ability, character, appearance, health and so on.” — Eric Hoffer

Mr. Hoffer makes a good point here, a point that has fallen into disfavor in today’s society. I speak, of course, of the concept of personal responsibility. By always looking for external factors to explain what is wrong with our world, the personal responsibility that each person holds is nullified, or at least ignored. It has become fashionable instead to find a scapegoat for our problems; we blame our upbringing, our parents, our struggling schools, the President, the economy, or anybody or anything else we can come up with that might have contributed to our discomfort.

There are very few people left today who will admit to having any part in their difficulties; it’s much easier on the self-image to blame it on one’s parents, who are not there to defend themselves, or on some diffuse entity like society, to which all may point as the perpetrator of whatever problem they have encountered. I’d guesstimate that 95% of the members of society today fall into this category; real integrity and honesty is virtually extinct. Just another in a litany of human folly, one which will not only support our extinction as a species, but will hurry it along like a manic sheepdog worries its flock. And when we’re all dead and gone, the planet isn’t going to care one little bit about whose fault it was……

“There is a perfectly satisfactory explanation for everything, but security prevents its disclosure.” — The Anthony Blunt Excuse
___________________________________

“Already the spirit of our schooling is permeated with the feeling that every subject, every topic, every fact, every professed truth must be submitted to a certain publicity and impartiality.  All proffered samples of learning must go to the same assay-room and be subjected to common tests.  It is the essence of all dogmatic faiths to hold that any such “show-down” is sacrilegious and perverse.  The  characteristic of religion, from their point of view, is that it is intellectually secret, not public; peculiarly revealed, not generally known; authoritatively declared, not communicated and tested in ordinary ways…It is pertinent to point out that, as long as religion is conceived as it is now by the great majority of professed religionists, there is something self-contradictory in speaking of education in religion in the same sense in which we speak of education in topics where the method of free inquiry has made its way.  The “religious” would be the last to be willing that either the history of the content of religion should be taught in this spirit; while those to whom the scientific standpoint is not merely a technical device, but is the embodiment of the integrity of mind, must protest against its being taught in any other spirit.” — John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher, — from “Democracy in the Schools”, 1908

This is long enough, and clear enough, that it needs no more added, by me or anyone else. It’s a well-thought out, and clearly stated premise, and a perfect description of a problem that society has obviously not solved, as this sentiment from 1908 remains as valid today as when it was first uttered. I guess it just goes to show that not only are we bozoid creatures, but stubborn as well, unwilling to give up our prejudices and delusions without a struggle. It’s the old “devil you know” outlook carried to its logical extreme; it doesn’t seem to matter that it will kill us just as dead as a new devil….. as long as we don’t have to think about it…..
___________________________________

The human body produces far more energy than the sun (per unit weight)

It’s simple, really. A human body is an energy conversion tool, or machine, whereas the sun is a source of electromagnetic energy. The body consumes energy in the form of food and converts it first to neurochemical energy by the digestive system, then to kinetic energy by the neuromuscular system. The processes they employ to create and convert one form of energy to another are very complex biochemical transformations, involving a number of steps. Electromagnetic energy is produced by the sun by the process of nuclear fission, in subtle and complex processes not fully understood by mankind, as we are not yet able to look inside a star to gather any evidence of how it functions; at least, not to any important degree.

Nonetheless, we can measure and compare the relative levels of each type of energy produced by the human body and the sun; from there it is merely an arithmetic problem, with a solution provided by addition, multiplication, and long division of the defined numbers representing the energy produced. Both processes are beautiful examples of how understanding the underlying mathematics of the universe lends itself to harmonious functioning between the various manifestations of which it is comprised, to wit: energy, biology, chemistry, and all of the other branches of physics that make up our mathematical model of reality.

From any direction it is viewed, the existence of Life, Consciousness, and the Universe at large is pretty miraculous, exceedingly, almost painfully beautiful in its grandeur and scope. Tossing in the concept of Entropy (you know… Chance, randomness, chaos, Satan, free will, statistics, human nature, the power of PMS, etc.) makes Life all the more intriguing…. besides which, as far as I can tell so far, it’s the only game in town….

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them.- that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.” — Lao-Tzu
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“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper.  Half never voted for President.  One hopes it is the same half.” — Gore Vidal

Hope springs eternal, does it not? This particular hope is, I’m afraid, never going to pan out. Besides, of the half who actually read a newspaper, only half of them are reading the articles on the front page; the rest only take it for the comics, the sports page, and the astrological forecast…..

But Hope, the charmer, linger’d still behind. — Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) — Pleasures of Hope, Part i, Line 40
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“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms!” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Letter to Colonel W. S. Smith, 1787

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the _real_ object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” — Patrick Henry

I have nothing to add to this, it’s perfectly clear……
___________________________________

So ends another episode of temporary sanity, sent out with love from my little corner of the universe. It’s not Ibsen, but it’s still Art…. y’all take care out there…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!