“In the bigger scheme of things,
the universe is not asking us to do something,
the universe is asking us to be something.
And that’s a whole different thing.”
~~ Lucille Clifton ~~
George Orwell’s House ~ London
Hajime…. In at least one respect, it is heartening to realize one still has things to learn, even at age 65. Today’s lesson was one of patience and mindfulness when the demands of reality become insistent, at what have been accurately termed ‘ungodly’ hours of the night. I have been reminded today of the difficulty in maintaining one’s cool in the face of a Siamese cat in the throes of severe lust, who is demanding attention prior to 3 AM, yowling, scratching to be let out, and generally pitching a fit in the wee hours of the morning, until losing it completely & chasing her out of the bedroom. Then, of course, my own sense of guilt kicked in, so, Leelu & I are getting an early start to the day…
Good morrow, I think…. I’ve calmed down, & the cat’s bloodlust is passing off for a while, so we’re trying to settle into a more normal routine. It’s a bit hard as Leelu wants to be petted every few minutes, wandering around otherwise to the open windows to call into the darkness for any random boy cats who might be within hearing. I hear her in the kitchen now, playing with some of her toys, so, maybe the lust is going to calm down for a bit. That would be good, & give us both a chance to mellow out. This passion business is tough on us old farts….
Ah, well, so be it. Being up so early will give me time to get this Pearl finished, as I keep falling out way early these days, which, all in all, is a good thing, as long as it doesn’t take me four hours to get to sleep. Not being awakened at 3 AM helps, too, but, I’m hoping this is an anomaly. Since further chatty blather is probably not the best idea today, (too much chance of turning weird at this hour….), I’ll employ yet another little device I found in the Tardis to get us where we need to go. It’s a new one, so, I’m unsure of exactly what it does. Perhaps y’all should put your adult beverages down until we see what happens, when I push this button right here….
Shall we Pearl?….
To never see a fool, you lock yourself in an empty room and break all the mirrors.”
~~ Wise Old Bee ~~
Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin
Image from sam-muscilovers.blogspot.com via Google Images
Today, we’re going a bit esoteric, with two of the world’s finest guitarists, who have collaborated for many years. This is a live concert from the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2015, to which I have not listened yet. It promises to be pretty damn hot, I’d say…. Enjoy!….
Montreux Jazz Festival
I reflected how soon in the cup of desire
The pearl of the soul may be melted away;
How quickly, alas, the pure sparkle of fire
We inherit from heaven, may be quenched in the clay.
~~ Thomas Moore (1779-1852) ~~
I rather like this verse from Tom Moore (obviously a relative, many generations removed…), because he doesn’t make the automatic assumption the gift of life/intelligence with which we are imbued was the gift of any particular entity, but, more, our legacy as humans, a part of a universe whose basic nature is to always be in flux, to never stay just the same from one moment to the next. The key to maintaining the connection to that universe in which we exist, according to almost every philosopher produced by our kind, agrees that desire, driven by the emotions with which we become attached to them, distracts us from realizing the connection, thus losing sight of what is true, and real.
How then does one separate one’s self from desire? How is it possible to not give in to our judgmental nature, but, learn to accept reality as it is, as it occurs, without needlessly applying our feelings about that to affect our response to it? This single question is, perhaps, the most important for any human to answer, for it is the key that opens the lock of freedom, and happiness in life.
The answer, it has long been known, exists already, inside each one of us, pure and unadulterated by outside influences…. but, where? How does one find this inner place of serenity, where good and evil are merely two sides of a balancing act performed by the universe, and not cause for us to either become fearful and angry, or, ecstatic and giddy, but, viewed as a whole, to understand the bigger picture we are perceiving?
I can testify, from personal experience, it is both hard, and easy to do so. Hard, because we are continually distracted by reality from the introspective state of mind needed to find it within ourselves. Easy, because, if approached with an open mind, and heart, it’s right there, in plain view, where we hold those things we know without knowing how we know; our connective tissue to reality as it exists, so to speak.
Finding that space inside us can be a task for a lifetime, but, to understand only takes an instant. The path, I have found, is more easily accessed if one’s own spiritual state (the combination of intelligence and heart which can guide us, when we learn to hear its voice…) is trained to virtue. The discipline one needs to maintain virtue in a world unbalanced is necessary to direct the inner journey with any degree of success.
“Food, sleep, fear, propagation; each is the common property of men with brutes. Virtue is really their additional distinction; devoid of virtue, they are equal with brutes.” — The Hitopadesa (600?-1100? A.D.)
To me, this seems obvious, but, for many, it remains a subject most often ignored completely. Moreover, I have, to some extent, lost the way to my final point, as it appears to need to be made. This means we go epic…. I found the following three pearls from an old Pearl, created & posted in March of 2012, which seems to adequately get close to where we are headed…. So, to finish today’s epic discussion, here are some thoughts on all this from the archives, to move us along to the poem for today….
“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, 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) — Random factoid
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 neuro-chemical 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 a problem with a solution provided by addition, multiplication, and long division of the defined numbers representing 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, and 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
Puzzled anew by anomalous blocks of pain
caught, bemused, chained to routine, insane.
Stilled within breathless beauty
Engaging epiphany, insistent, called to duty.
Knees bent in lieu of a faithful rendition
suffuses, confuses, locked into stale perdition.
Clearing corrosion with hands encased in stone
Singular frozen follicles, masked by bone.
Partial focus brings unfiltered flavors to light
coloring each particle in simple delight.
Forlorn, novel conceptual artists singing in tune
nine notes in harmony, soft as the moon.
Honed blades of carbon steel flash in rhyme,
filling sensual receptors well past closing time.
Borrowed from neighbors in a week-old game
still bloody, without a proper name.
No flooded memories can justify such cost
no simple stationery, bilious, afraid, lost.
Ten times ten will never be enough
To fill so empty a stolen trough.
Bartering simplicity takes well into the night
solidly temporary pillars turned bright.
Unknown to all the pretty children who came
none were called, none had any remaining flame.
~~ gigoid ~~
“Though leaves are many, the root is one ;
Through all the lying days of my youth,
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun.
Now I may wither into the truth.”
~~ W B Yeats ~~
“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength
which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.”
~~ Marcus Aurelius ~~
“It is not necessary to change.
Survival is not mandatory.”
~~ W. Edwards Deming ~~
“The fear of death is the beginning of slavery.”
~~ Robert Anton Wilson ~~
“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.”
~~ Anais Nin ~~
“He is the freeman whom the truth makes free.”
— William Cowper, The Task, Book v, The Winter Morning Walk, Line 733 ~~
“It is an interesting question
how far men would retain their relative rank
if they were divested of their clothes.”
~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
~~ African proverb ~~
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
~~ The Buddha ~~
Well, it’s done, again, in spite of, or, maybe, because of the hour at which it was created. I think we’ll just post it, without even thinking of how it turned out, much less how it got done. It does, after all, fulfill our most important requirement, in that there is something in every section that is appropriate to that space; the content is judged not as to quantity, or quality, other than as it relates to available space. On that obscure note, I think we’ll call it a day. I will also issue the standard disclaimer and fair warning, of our imminent return tomorrow, sans shame or guilt, yet, somehow, blushing prettily for the camera. Of course, the camera’s lens will likely shatter, but, one can’t have everything. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. No, no, I insist….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….