Assemble the marigolds for debarkation….

Ffolkes,

“Become who you are.”

~~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~~

More Galway 021

Dusk over Galway Bay


He sat in a squalid, empty room, engaged in passive questing through the reaches of time, searching for truth. Finding none, he turned away, saddened by the defunct nature implied in such a loss. “Still,” he thought to himself, with an ironic smile touching the corners of his mouth, “it could be worse. It could be raining.” With a poignant shake of the head, he slipped into a dream….

Rain poured down, filling the streets with rushing feet and pounding hearts. Beside the lamp post on the corner, he stood, dripping, with a small shadow of reality sticking to his shoe. Wiping it on the nearest centurion, as directed, he began to bail with the rest of the crowd, stopping periodically to clap his hand to his head, moaning, “Oh, for the boon of sanity!”, in stentorian tones, dulcet over the roar of water on the roofs.

Then, of course, he woke up, only to realize he was deep into the intro section already, without a plan, only a sadly over-rated trick of the trade, or two, to get him to the proper stance, where there exists a small chance of saving this from an early death, well before ever beginning to live. “What the hell is going on?”, he cried in dismay….

Strange, isn’t it, what will happen late at night, with nothing better to do than sit around making shit up in your head? I thought so, but, then, I’m the one who’s trying to find a way back to something resembling reality even slightly…. I think, perhaps, I’d best give up, and get on with the rest of today’s mess…. Whew, made it…. Not only made it, but, made it with room to spare…. Go figure….

Shall we Pearl?….

“What are the facts? Again and again and again–what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what ‘the stars foretell,’ avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable ‘verdict of history,’ –what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your only clue. Get the facts!”  — Lazarus Long — Robert A. Heinlein

********************************

LittleFeatOrigWEB

Image from photoalbum.bloguez.com via Google Images


Today’s music choice is a nod to two friends, who both expressed their appreciation of this band’s music…. Enjoy, ffolkes, these guys rock!…..


********************************

Little Feat
Dixie Chicken

********************************

********************************

********************************


********************************

Sandclock .jpg

    The discussion I’m working on is not ready, so here is a little discussion from the archives, with a message of hope, once you work your way to the end…. Enjoy!….

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

********************************

POETRY, n.  A form of expression peculiar to the Land beyond the Magazines.

~~ Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary” ~~

Comedy_Tragedy

    Today’s poem is from T.S. Eliot. It’s a rather long poem, but, well worth reading; it is regarded as one of the most important poems of the twentieth century, with a marked influence on the poetry of the time, an influence which continues today…. I give you….

The Waste Land

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory out of desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in a forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

~~ T. S. Eliot ~~

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176735


********************************

pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Observations on Life at Large

*********
   
Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.

~~ John Dryden, “All for Love, Prologue” ~~

*********

“Forget what you know and learn.”

— Roger von Oech

*********

“Irony is the hygiene of the mind.”

— Insightful Bee

*********

“Action should culminate in wisdom.”

~~ Bhagavad Gita ~~

*********

“The discipline of desire is the background of character.”

~~ John Locke ~~

*********

“As the tempest and the thunder affect not the sun or the stars,
but spend their fury on stones and trees below;
so injuries ascend not to the Soul of the great,
but waste themselves on such as are those who offer them.”

~~ Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375) ~~

*********

“The moment in which you confront your own death
is the moment in which you are most totally alive.”

~~ Solomon Short ~~

*********

“Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me,
why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?”

~~ Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass ~~

*********


********************************

I’m not really sure what took place here today. That’s okay, though; we’ve been here before, haven’t we? Yep. Moreover, we were done, then, too, weren’t we? Yep again. So, what do we do now? We go away, like this, with nary an explanation, nor a clue…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes; count on it, one way or another…. or, not. Choice is all we have, in the end, which this is….

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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Betting on a busted flush….

Ffolkes,

“Speech is a mirror of the soul: as a man speaks, so is he.”

~~ Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1073 ~~

all better

~~ A perfect picture of the relationship between Dogs and Man ~~

(Not to mention the power of Love, and the power of Cute….)

Picture stolen from Facebook, ages ago….


Good morrow, ffolkes….

If today’s Pearl gets done anywhere near the usual time, it will be a major victory for the forces of good…. Without getting into details which would indubitably sound like whining, I’ll just say it’s not a good morning here at ECR, and let it go at that. Should you, and/or I, get to the end, well, I’ll have earned the title of “tough old fart”…..

Shall we Pearl?

“I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.” — Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order

Ouch! Boy, if THAT isn’t the truth, I don’t know truth. And, believe me, I know truth, especially when it hits me in the face as hard as that does. If it doesn’t hit you as hard, well, all I can say is, read a bit of history, and think about it again…. End of mini-rant, on with the slow…. no typos allowed, ffolkes….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


the who

Image from rollingstone.com via Google Images


C’mon, ffolkes… If you know me at all, you’d have known today’s video would be this band, after the last two days…. Sheesh….  Enjoy!

***********************

The Who

Live at the Isle of Wight Festival, 1970

***********************

***********************

***********************


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

le penseur-rodin

    I’m pretty late, but, if I use an old rant from the archives, I can make up most of the time…. Here is a pretty decent little discussion from the occasion of my son’s last birthday…. Apparently, I found an even older piece, from 2013, a reflection on a reasonably esoteric subject, to wit: Life and Death, or Mortality… Enjoy!…

Last posted 12/17/2014; written 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, that moment in time when our yoke is removed, and our spirit is freed, once more joining 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”, giving 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…. In truth, it is, patently, 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), I must, logically, also believe that our minds/souls are a form of energy we currently don’t fully understand, and cannot perceive directly. Thus, we see 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….

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comedy_Tragedy

    While I’m still waiting for the poem in my head to leak out, here is one of my latest poems, from last year….

A dream, weeping….

“Never a dull moment to spare”, he said
with a crooked grin, and a broad wink.
“Can’t keep Reality hanging by a thread….
what would Chaos, or Entropy think?”

So, we plucked up our dreams of old,
to carry us on, in dutiful, strong arms,
stuffed a candle in the remaining fold,
for luck, and perfect proof against charms.

Storms follow the sun,  but, never stay;
lessons round every corner, all free.
Past fleeting doubts, in a sad disarray,
the journey becomes the reason to be.

Simple kindness manifests untold riches,
in defiance of common cause’s demise.
Bold courage, hanging in stitches,
mends wounds that come as no surprise.

Still, waters run deep, ’tis said by many.
Too much pain cannot apprehend
the salient, sharp points of epiphany,
nor, plainly, to wisdom aspire to pretend.

Folly dogs even the simplest truth,
fumes of toxic ignorance and bile,
alienated as a loose rotten tooth;
it often hides itself, for a long while.

Sought after eons ago, we cried out,
to believe, to suffer no more doubt.
But found instead good reason,
for love, and truth, from season, to season.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 8/30/2014.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

buddhacat

    Yep…. It’s an old-school pearl. I let the cat pick them…. It’s a cat; I’m not even going to try to guess what it means….

If of all words of tongue and pen,
 The saddest are, `It might have been,’
 More sad are these we daily see:
 `It is, but hadn’t ought to be.’

~~ Francis Brett Harte ~~


“A cock has great influence on his own dunghill.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 357

“Simplicity is always a virtue. One kid on a riverbank working out a Stephen Foster tune on his new harmonica heard from the correct aesthetic distance projects more magic and power than the entire Vienna Philharmonic and Chorus laboring (once again) through the Mozart Requiem or Bach’s B Minor Mass.” — Edward Abbey

“It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.” — Goethe

“The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.” — Henry David Thoreau

“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Wisdom of the Sands”

“Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 633

“Let us treat men and women well;
Treat them as if they were real;
Perhaps they are.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

Hmm…. Not too shabby at all…. I think the only thing to add at this point is, “meow….” Or, maybe, “Brrrt?”….. You tell me….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s a wrap, thank goodness…. You may officially consider me a tough old fart. On that elegant note, I’ll take my leave, while I’m still able to remain at large…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I can get a grip….

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

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


The princess is real, but, her jewelry is fake…

Ffolkes,

“Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.”

~~ Edward Gibbon ~~

Belfast 005

    Thirty-five years ago today, I began the fulfillment of what I view as my primary duty in this life. At approximately 8 PM on this date in 1979, my son was born…. The legacy my father gave to me was thus passed on to a new generation, in the ages-old traditional way, by the birth of its next legatee. It has been the most fulfilling duty I have assumed, as well as the most challenging. It also is one that will not end until the day I pass on to the next adventure, escorted by Death, who awaits us all on the other side of life…

I now have the great pleasure, and poignant appreciation, of watching my son pass this legacy on to his own children; his own son is now four years old, and his lady is expecting a daughter this coming February. Since she also has two girls from a previous relationship, I am now the proud, if bemused, grandfather of four, with a Christmas budget blown out of the water by the news…. Good news, to be sure, but, a bit of a surprise, financially…. a point my son is, no doubt, experiencing for himself….

Life goes on, doesn’t it? Even if we are not paying close attention, the universe keeps trundling along, willy-nilly, playing havoc with any plans we might make, by the simple expedient of altering misconceptions to match the vagaries of reality…. In short, we may as well just sit back, and watch events with an attitude of amused appreciation, rather than one of frustrated angst; it saves a lot of wear and tear on the old emotions, and, in the long run, is a much more comfortable method of dealing with the alterations than trying to make reality fit our misguided expectations…

I suppose it’s easy to philosophize on such a day; births, deaths, and the legacy we leave are easy subjects when one casts one’s mind back in time to a specific event, especially a birth…. In addition, if I am not mistaken, (and, I almost never am….), talking about this has given us a clear path to the rest of today’s Pearl…. See it? Right over there, next to that field of rutabagas, the one with the feathered turnstile…. Yes, it does look a bit small, but, we’ve got a good pilot, and should make it through without a hitch…. Fasten your belts, anyway, ffolkes, it looks like there might be some turbulence…

Shall we Pearl?

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” — Buddha

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Day 3 and 4 008
Gee, guess what today’s video selection might be? Yep…. In this episode, the ending scene is once again the best part of the whole story…. Enjoy!

Sherlock Holmes – Season 5 episode 3 – Shoscombe Old Place

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Below you will find a discussion of mortality, which I first posted in 2013. I’ve gone over it, correcting where necessary, and polishing up the ideas and language to add clarity…. It’s been ‘punched up’, as we authors like to say…. when we’re feeling all smug and smarmy about our profession…. It’s still a good discussion, though…. Feel free to comment, should any of it strike you as questionable, or worthy of note….

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, that moment in time when our yoke is removed, and our spirit is freed, once more joining 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”, giving 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…. In truth, it is, patently, 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), I must, logically, also believe that our minds/souls are a form of energy we currently don’t fully understand, and cannot perceive directly. Thus, we see 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….

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been inundating y’all with my old poems, so, as a reward for your patience, here is a fairly appropriate choice to go with today’s apparent theme…. Metaphor is always nice and stretchable, y’know?…. Gotta love that…. Enjoy, ffolkes….

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks lustre, brightly shines; is al, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

~~ Su Tung-p’o ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s final section will be the freshest of the lot; picked from the deepest levels of Smart Bee’s nearly unlimited database, these quotes form a picture in the mind, which leads to a point of living we all need to acknowledge now and again…. What that point may be was left entirely up to Smart Bee, so, your guess is as good as mine as to what it might be…. I’d advise y’all to keep your minds well lubricated from this point onward…. The relative potency of your lubrication is entirely up to you; adult beverages may be purchased in the lounge….

          But what am I?
  An infant crying in the night:
  An infant crying for the light,
And with no language but a cry.

~~ Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) ~~

~~ In Memoriam, liv, Stanza 5 ~~


“Have you clubbed an ignorant human today?” — Smart Bee

“He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.” — Kahlil Gibran

“Freedom begins between the ears.’ — Edward Abbey

“What awful irony is this? We are as gods, but know it not.” — Smart Bee

“Didn’t I buy a 1951 Packard from you last March in Cairo?” — Zippy the Pinhead

The fear o’ hell ‘s a hangman’s whip
  To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,
  Let that aye be your border.

~~ Robert Burns (1759-1796) ~~

~~ Epistle to a Young Friend ~~


Hmm…. Don’t ask…. I couldn’t tell you, even if I could….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m up later than usual, at least, the usual of late…. and, if you got that, you’re Gunga Din. That’s okay, though, because, I’m outta here…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I can’t think of a reason to blow it off…

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….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Featured Image -- 2780

Several of the anchovies have objected….

Ffolkes,
Damn it! I knew this would happen! If I had listened to my own advice, I would have put it away somewhere safe…. But, nooooo….. I had to carry it around in my pocket like a book of matches or something, and now, it’s gone. Poof! Disappeared from my front left pocket, sometime between the time I put the pants on in the morning, to when I wanted to use it later that afternoon. My Dad always told me, if you want it safe, put it in your pocket; he forgot about holes, obviously, because that’s what happened here. Or, that’s what I assume, anyway, as it certainly wouldn’t have jumped out of the pocket, and there happens to be a medium sized hole, right at the bottom. Well, the size wouldn’t matter anyway, since it can assume almost any shape, and adjust its size as needed…..

Okay, you tell me….. what did I lose? I tried to write the above without a clue as to what it might be, and it looks as if I’ve succeeded at that quite well, thank you….. It’s all quite true, and there is actually an object, or rather a thing (yes, such a flexible noun is necessary….), that I seem to have lost…. well, that is, if one may assume that it was ever truly mine…. I’ll not keep you in suspense any longer, as I see there really isn’t any way to guess, unless you’re able to read my mind….. Have yet to find anyone who can do so, not with any success…. Besides, I know for a fact that anyone reading my mind would quickly go mad, from trying to decipher, or keep up with what is going on in there at any random moment….

Sang-froid…. that’s what I lost…. Since it’s rather an uncommon word as used in English, and is in French to boot, I’ll tell you that it means, essentially, composure under duress, a sort of unflappable calm that one carries with them as a defense against the massively emotional, chaotic happenings that take place regularly in Reality. These days, people would say I had lost my “cool”, or my “chill”….. and they would be accurate, mostly. It is a quality common to those who are true leaders, or to any competent philosopher; one that is not common to anyone who allows Reality to determine their feelings for them, as reactions to stress or trouble.

As a personal quality, it is extremely useful, as it provides one with a state of mind that is impervious to the depredations of Reality upon our senses, allowing one the mental space to think clearly, and to avoid the indignity of being forced to react in a manner controlled by the events we encounter. It inspires others who witness its presence to emulate its serenity, thereby being as useful to others as to ourselves. In my own case, I have not yet reached a point in my personal voyage where I can wear the cloak of invulnerability it supplies at all times; it isn’t yet that large or stable…. so, I’ve kept it in my pocket, and put it on when I can, to try to stretch it out into a larger garment that I can wear always…..

Well, there you go…. four reasonably concise paragraphs on one subject, and no sign of a pearl. I suppose the little meander we just took through that corridor in my mind was interesting enough…. if you’re a psychologist of sorts, or someone interested in self-improvement as a way of life. Otherwise, I’m hopeful it didn’t put anyone to sleep….. No matter, it filled up another intro section, and this time it’s not necessarily nonsense, as it it real, and all of what I’ve written is, in my mind, gospel…. or, what I hold in that regard…..

Now that it’s out of the way, it would be well to keep it moving, so you don’t have time to stop and think about what I’m doing…. (pay no attention to the man behind the curtain….). In hopes of maintaining the illusion of sanity I’ve created thus far today, we’ll go on now, to the area where Smart Bee is waiting for me to start today’s dive…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“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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The last week or so has been rather a struggle, pain-wise; one of my hips is annoyed at the chair I use, and is showing its displeasure in the most obvious way. This, while understandable, given my age and degree of arthritic decline, is not particularly comfortable. (As you can see, I’m trying not to whine…. not very successfully, I’m afraid….) Any who, to cut a long story down to size, and to alleviate some of my pain by sitting for less time, I’m including here a poem I wrote, from last October, that touches on the subject of pain….. actually, it’s more of a solid punch than a mere touch….

Denial of Comfort

Baleful chairs become the enemy, heralded in red
seemingly welcome softness beckons with a smile,
waiting, content with slaughter, they are finally led
screaming in agony, deluged in venom all the while.

Desperate distraction becomes such a friendless fire
for all the patterns of autumn’s pale dismay,
leaving sincerely latent trails in spirals of twisted wire,
while memory insists, again, upon failure, palpably evil, and fey.

Fat, jaded tears would have fallen in good time,
if only the suitable suitor had scaled the garden’s wall.
Credence for discounted prices luckily in their prime
bring only fascinated eyes into such a hallowed hall.

Searching for answers is ever a clever portrayal
with studious accouterments to fulfill each common rule.
Arguably patient pictures of science and honest betrayal
shall evermore languish, in light of passion so elegantly cruel.

~~ gigoid
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Once again, Smart Bee has usurped my prerogatives, herding me to the place where I can do naught but allow him/her/it to pick out a group of pearls for this section. I guess what I wrote above could be considered a religirant, so a seven-star pearl is quite appropriate for our purposes today. This, upon looking at its final shape, is what I’d call a harlequin pearl, addressing several different categories of reality, each with its own importance to itself, and to the whole…. and if you think I know what that means, you haven’t been paying close attention…. Any who, here are seven pearls for your perusal, and edification…. Enjoy!….

“Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.” — John Milton (1608-1674)

“An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.” — Samuel Johnson

“In regards to Oral Roberts’ claim that God told him that he would die unless he received $20 million by March, God’s lawyers have stated that their client has not spoken with Roberts for several years. Off the record, God has stated that “If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago.” — Dennis Miller, SNL News
(…  🙂  …)

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison

“* I’d say it’s an element of any post-allegorical discussive climax of the positionist stance. Either that or a load of bollocks.” — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish.” — Lao Tzu

“I’ve got to get back to Reality.  Where IS that silly Blue Dragon?” — Smart Bee
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Thus, we see, as time majestically passes by, ignoring our pleas to slow, how easy it is to be insane…. It’s fun, too!  Before anyone can take it upon themselves to call for the men in white suits, I’m going to escape back into my own little head, and let stuff percolate until tomorrow, when once more, I will take up the standards of Truth, and smite mightily the foes of Reason…. or, maybe not. Sounds good, though, doesn’t it?….. I’ll stop torturing y’all now….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3