Infinitely sad portraits of wounded ballerinas…..

Inspiration has decided it needs a break, I guess; can’t seem to find it anywhere. There are a number of ways I can deal with this lack of anything coherent to write; it’s happened before, and I’ve been compelled to find several workarounds that can fill the gap if needed. I keep them in the big freezer out in the garage, so they are always nice and fresh, once I thaw them out in the Nuclear Oven. And they are quite tasty, too!…..

I’m surprised there aren’t more solipsists!

I feel pretty stupid right now…..I know what the word ‘solipsism’ means, but when I came across this little gem I must have stared at it in complete bafflement for a full minute. It wasn’t funny, that I could see, because according to the definition, there can only be one solipsist; any others are a figment of their imagination. If we attempt to consider the concept of how figments of my imagination could in turn make me a figment of their own, well, all I can say is don’t try this alone. I almost fell into an infinite deductive loop, and could have been stuck there for millenia. But as I came out of the fog that trying to make sense of this concept had put me in, I started laughing, as it made perfect sense. If you don’t see it, I can’t help you; the humor lies in a part of us that isn’t shared with others. You must see it yourself, or it will never be funny, merely an unsolvable paradox……good hunting!

“Where principle is involved, be deaf to expediency.” — James Webb

I read this, considered it, and decided that it is excellent advice. But I also see that there are many, many people who will, for whatever reason, give up their principles at the drop of a cliche, if that choice benefits them in the short term. What is even more depressing, though, is that a very large number of people like this are what we call “elected officials”, and every time one of them compromises their principles for the sake of expediency, more money flies out of our pockets and into theirs.

I have come to the (relatively) obvious conclusion, that this lack of principle is so common, that it could be accurately stated that our government operates on no principles whatsoever, other than those that promote avarice, ambition, and indifference to the effect of their actions on others. In short, we have elected an entire army of sociopaths, who love nothing better than laughing while exerting their power over those who elected them, while calmly stealing with both hands from the public treasury. But then, we listen to their lies, and keep electing them……why is that? Are we a nation of masochists? I just don’t get it……

If all the good people were clever;
And all clever people were good,
The world would be nicer than ever
We thought that it possibly could.
— Elizabeth Wordsworth — Good and Clever

Why are we all put here to suffer and die?

Such a plaintive little lament! Whoever wrote this had lost his way, for sure and for certain, and I hope they find their way back to the more traveled roads soon. See, he (I use ‘he’ merely for the sake of convention; it could just as easily be a ‘she’) is only considering half of the real situation. Yes, we suffer, and we die; we also live, and know joy. This person has lost his touch because he is not considering both sides of how people perceive Reality.

How would he know he is alive, if he had not once been dead? How would he know he suffers, if he has not experienced joy? How do we perceive? In duality, of course. All five of our perceptive senses utilize this duality to accomplish their purpose, which is to make us aware of the world around us. Touch registers hard/soft, cool/hot, dry/wet, etc. We smell according to the absence or presence of molecules in what we breathe in. We hear by discriminating the absence and/or presence of waves of vibrations in the air. We taste by registering the character of molecules of substances enter the mouth; savory/sour, sweet/salty, soft/hard, hot/cold (seem familiar? you’ll learn why just ahead). And we see by noting and interpreting the absence/presence, structure/formlessness of light waves, a form of electromagnetic energy.

Thus we see that all of our perceptive routes are extensions of the sense of touch. Some part of the outside world must encounter one of our receptive orifices in order for us to identify it, and determine our response to the stimulus. It becomes clear that in order for us to know suffering, we must also know how to be joyous. In order for us to live, and live well, we must eventually die. By focusing more on the joyful experiences, and less on the painful, we can know a much more serene way of life……

“Clay is molded to make a vessel, but the utility of the vessel lies in the space where there is nothing. … Thus, taking advantage of what is, we recognize the utility of what is not.” — Lao Tze

“Now I’ll give YOU something to believe.  I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.” “I can’t believe THAT!” said Alice. “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.” Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one CAN’T believe in impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.  “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.  Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking-Glass”

I’ve heard it said, and happen to agree, that the brain is like a muscle; in order for it to function at peak capacity, it must be regularly exercised in a vigorous manner. If it is not thus maintained, it becomes slow, soft, and actually a danger to its composite self; slow reactions and lack of speed makes for easy roadkill in this day & age. No way a couch potato is going to outrun a Camaro….. more often you end up as mashed potatoes. (BTW, for the former VP under Bush; the rule for this word is actually quite easy to learn and remember.  If there is only one, it’s a potato. If there are two or more, they are potatoes. Easy, eh?)

Where was I? Oh, yeah, brain is like muscles….all I really wanted to say on this subject is that what the Queen suggests is a good thing. Believing six impossible things before breakfast could be likened to the creation of this Pearl every morning; it is what I do in lieu of jumping jacks and crunchies. And the coolest part is, I don’t get all sweaty and winded (well, except when I start ranting…..).

My point here is merely this….. Use your mind. It was designed for hard use, and though there are limits; it is pretty much unbreakable when used properly, no mater how hard the subject matter. Not using it is real and present danger, to yourself, and all of those around you. Especially small children, who may inadvertently learn the bad habit of not exercising their minds.

This doesn’t even get into speaking of the very dangerous effect this lack of will and imagination is having on Society; it is precisely this problem that leads folks to deny global warming, to ignore air pollution, even while they are coughing and rubbing their eyes from the smog. It is this attitude that allows the beloved ruling class to manipulate and make fools of the great unwashed masses, who sit and watch their giant-screen satellite TV to see and hear the latest version of what they should be thinking, packaged in bright colors, with shiny ribbons and balloons. Balloons are always good; who wouldn’t believe what they were told by someone who gives them balloons?…….

After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years look it over carefully. After five years look at it with suspicion and after ten years throw it away and start all over again. — unknown

The two quotes included here were both found to be without attribution, so I don’t know who to thank for them. The conceptual area between the two ideas is a perfect description of the evolutionary history of these Pearls of Virtual Wisdom.

When I first started sending out these emails many moons ago, they consisted of only a few lines of introductory material, followed by a quote from a historical figure, and that was it. After a couple of years, my need to write grew, and with it the Pearls grew as well. They kept growing until sometimes, including two or three paragraphs was standard for the intro, followed by four to six Pearls, with the Pearls often telling a story to punctuate what was discussed (or ranted) in the introductory remarks.

This format is how they existed up to a month or so ago. At that time, having run very nearly out of material already present in my head to put into the intro, I instead began commenting on each Pearl individually. This has been, for me, a wonderful change, and I hope y’all are enjoying it as well. I get a much wider opportunity to explore whatever interests me (which can be just about anything), but have to learn to keep the writing spare enough for a morning read. A lot of folks may not want to take in this much stuff over breakfast, so I’m trying to keep it short enough to meet that criterion. In looking back over today’s work, it seems to have gotten away from me a tad…..SIGH. I just can’t please everybody, which is okay, ‘cuz I wouldn’t want to be thought of as such a wimp. I write it, you read it, and we’ll call it square, eh?…….and please feel free to comment at any time. All emails get answered; sometimes it can take a day or two, but never very long…….

I haven’t a clue as to how my story will end.  But that’s all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, you don’t conclude that the road has vanished. And how else could we discover the stars? — unknown

Otay, that’s it…..a bit over the top this morning, but hey, change is good, right?  Y’all take care out there…..

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