Mmm, coffee…… coffee good. Want more….. there, that’s better. Focus now achieved, thanks to the life giver….. There are a lot of folks who don’t drink coffee. So they say….. I myself don’t believe it; they may hide it from everyone else, but I don’t believe that anyone in their right mind would deny themselves that morning shot, that moment of truth.
There is an instant every morning, right before I take the first sip, when I hate everything in the universe passionately; that hatred is immediately dismissed, eliminated completely and efficiently, as the benign jolt of divine caffeine strikes my bloodstream, and all is suddenly well with the world. That moment is highly addictive, leading as it does to a happier, more stable frame of mind, and I flat out disbelieve anyone who says they don’t like it, or can do without it once tried….
But, that’s okay, we’re all allowed a delusion or two, and if they want to insist on perpetuating such a lie, even such a white one, well, hey, it’s their karma, neh? As long as they don’t proselytize to me about it, or make any attempt to sell me something better, they can live…. Awfully big of me, I know, but I’m a nice guy most of the time, as long as I’m not crossed….. and even then, I’m very neat about my mayhem, and try to be accommodating by offering folks their preference as to landing spots, i.e. “Which wall would you prefer to fetch up against?”……
It is interesting to note that J.S. Bach wrote a Cantata to Coffee, complete with poetic text by a collaborator, in the early 1700’s, when Europe was first discovering the magical beans, and assimilating them into European culture, especially in Vienna, where some of the world’s finest coffees are brewed…. A noble bean indeed……
Now that we are completely off the track, let’s try to get back into Pearling mode, shall we? Without further distraction, we will now enter the world of deep knowledge known as the WWW; watch for the oysters, and try to spot the ones with pearls….
If you lie, you’ll cheat. And if you cheat, you’ll steal. — Smart Bee
Though there is no attribution for this statement, I regard it as a truism, having been demonstrated in reality uncountable times. Not only is it true, but has been adopted as the cultural definition of a required skill for politicians. If one can assume that the latter sentence is as true as the first, then both of the major political parties in this country are guilty of acting this out on the public stage.
Democrats, thanks to the President who had the unforgivable temerity to get caught lying, are generally regarded as being subject to this “stretching” of truth, but Republicans have the unique skill of uttering lies, with a completely straight face, then denying not only the lie, but the utterance itself. (Hence, G. Bush denying a statement from two years earlier, a statement that had been recorded…..)
It’s hard to say whether the other parties out there, the ones who never get elected (Libertarian, Independent, Socialist, etc.) are as devoted to this principle as are the major parties, but, if they wish to ever get elected, they’ll have to buy into it…. it seems the public demands that our politicians lie to us.
There certainly hasn’t been any evidence forthcoming that might indicate that the public WANTS to hear the truth…. no one is ever rewarded for telling it. Usually, a person who stands up to tell the truth is shouted down by the liars, who use all sorts of tried-and-true techniques to draw attention away from, or to de-legitimize, anyone who dares wax eloquently for the truth of any matter.
“Things true and evident must of necessity be recognized by those who would contradict them.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD)
This is the worst part of the process of lying; those who do so in public CHOOSE to lie, deliberately. As well, it sometimes it seems as if the whole idea of truth is one that the common man ignores completely. It doesn’t seem to matter to him whether or not some talking head is telling him the truth…. all he cares about is that what is being said feeds into his own desire to be left alone, and doesn’t cost him any money, or thought, or extra work. If it meets those requirements, it is acceptable, and anything that doesn’t, anything that makes him think or sweat, becomes an object of dislike, and even hatred….
How many of the men who went after Clinton for his Oval Office BJ’s were doing so because they wished it could have been them? A lot, I’d say…. Many more than the number who actually cared at all (most of the entire European continent still remains confused about why that whole thing happened, as in their cultures, sexual affairs are not considered inappropriate behavior for public figures….) , and far, far more than those who actually cared about the truth of the matter…. Ah well, all one can do is SIGH……
“We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme. It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are more concerned with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent, nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today. Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive. We are sorry if this impression has come across.” — Monty Python
In truth, I have to say, sorry, I’m not sorry, and this is exactly the impression I’m trying to give you….. I wouldn’t want to lie to you, now would I?…..
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” — Alan Watts
One of the less comfortable aspects of having a lot of time to think is just that…. having a lot of time to think. Since there is a lot more past to remember than there is present to think of, our minds linger in that unforgotten but never recoverable time. It is all there, the good, the bad, the ugly, and it can be a tricky task to keep from becoming maudlin when one lingers too long in the past, too easily turning to regret, and that is as useless as it is painful, in the long run.
At my age, the future is, of course, an uncertain, yet delightful unknown, so the present becomes, as Alan observed, all there is. And regret in the present is foolish, for there is no solution to it, other than resolve to change whatever produced it in the first place.
This was driven home to me this morning (whatever morning it is…. they’re all sort of blurred together….) when I opened the door outside for the first time. I was a bit under the weather, and full of the angst the above serious inner debate had brought. The sheer beauty of the sky, and the light, and the colors of the grass and buildings, all overwhelmed and made insignificant whatever burdens I had been carrying. I took a deep breath of air, stretched a bit in the sunshine, and felt a new man emerging….
Why you look so sad when the sky is perfect blue? — Smart Bee
When this popped up before me, after experiencing the jolt of universal connection I just described, I realized that the entire experience felt even better when I look at it as a lesson…. When I had opened the door, the Universe had seized my perceptions, and forced me to exist only in that moment, absorbing the visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli, and the feelings those produced in me, creating a form of experiential gestalt of Now that I would never forget, no matter how far from Now I may find myself…… I have no doubt it will come in handy at some point…. 🙂
But I’ll settle for what I have Now….. for Now….
“I cannot here avoid giving my most decided suffrage in favour of the moral qualities of maniacs. I have no where met, excepting in romances, with fonder husbands, more affectionate parents, more impassioned … than in the lunatic asylum, during their intervals of calmness and reason.” — Philippe Pinel, ‘Treatise on Insanity’ 1801
Mssr. Pinel relates an interesting observation here, one that parallels my own experience with those who struggle with mental illnesses. The only difference between us is that he is surprised by this observation, while I am not. I observed mentally ill folks for many years, and have come to the conclusion that those who suffer from long periods of insanity have an intense, strong attachment to those types of feelings that give them relief from that mind-storm, much more so than the “sane”, and love of family certainly tops the list of effective sources for those feelings.
Those who have only periodic forays into the world of sanity tend to appreciate those times most avidly, as they are often few and far between, and offer them the only moments of peace that can be found in their all-too-active inner lives. I believe it is this appreciation that drives them to love so strongly, to give so much to those they love when they are feeling well. They are aware, if only peripherally, that their time with those they love is limited, and they make their best efforts to show what they truly feel.
Those who are considered sane, I have found, tend to take such feelings for granted; this is one reason that there are so many divorces in modern life, as people don’t seem to want to do the work that is necessary to maintain a relationship. In this sense, their feelings are less important to them, or at least less in their attention, and they suffer the consequences that follow as certainly as a sunrise.
In fact, relationships are not the only area that so-called sane people could learn valuable lessons by copying what insane folks do. I’ve found that a lot of folks who can’t handle reality very well are very good artists, and studying their techniques and mind-sets can be a tool of some value for other artists, who don’t necessarily suffer from insanity. This is true even though a lot of artists are accused of it because of their art, and what it makes them do….. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “he’s not insane, he’s an artist….” That’s me all over….. 🙂
“Insanity — a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” — R. D. Lang ( R.D. Lang was a psychiatrist who lived in the twentieth century, and wrote a lot of material on mental health, in individuals and society. I like this statement, as it is a perfect representation of reality.)
A Lecture Upon The Shadow
Stand still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, love, in love’s philosophy.
These three hours that we have spent,
Walking here, two shadows went
Along with us, which we ourselves produc’d.
But, now the sun is just above our head,
We do those shadows tread,
And to brave clearness all things are reduc’d.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadows, flow
From us, and our cares; but now ’tis not so.
That love has not attain’d the high’st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.
Except our loves at this noon stay,
We shall new shadows make the other way.
As the first were made to blind
Others, these which come behind
Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,
To me thou, falsely, thine,
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,
But these grow longer all the day;
But oh, love’s day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing, or full constant light,
And his first minute, after noon, is night.
No worries…. morning poetry break…. enjoy!….
We all do some of our best thinking in places that otherwise might not be considered particularly conducive to deep, complex subjects; serendipity comes where it may, though…. and it just occurred to me, in another room that shall be nameless for the sake of delicacy, why I’ve been struggling so hard of late to produce these Pearls.
Over the last few weeks, it seems as if quotes/pearls are hiding from me. It’s been taking me up to three hours a day just to find five pearls worthy of being explored in writing. Very frustrating, even though I read so fast I can cover literally thousands of quotes in an hour…..
What occurred to me is that one of the things that makes me what/who I am is reading books. At the age of 10, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was put in a situation where reading was just about the only form of entertainment available. So, I read, and practice, practice, practice pushed my reading speed up to a point where I could actually read as fast as my mind could absorb the material.
This works out to about 1200 words/minute, basic speed. Deeply complex material, of course, slows it down, and light material allows it to run free, but on average, that number is about right. It works out that it is a perfect speed for consuming one 250-300 page book in one day.
So, I did. I started reading a book a day, and the habit became not merely fixed, but unbreakable. If I go too long without reading, I get physically ill, seriously. Headaches, malaise, distraction, all are caused by not reading enough, and are cured by just a few minutes spent in a novel I’m currently absorbing.
Just letting my eyes work their way over the “words in a line” is soothing; any words will do… cereal boxes, magazines, comics, anything, but a book is best. My mind NEEDS the stimulation that taking in the concepts, ideas, and stories that a book supplies; it’s like breathing to me, I don’t feel right when its smooth functioning is interrupted, and I’ll do almost anything to put it back to rights…..
Thanks, however, to the lasting effects of PTSD, I’ve been unable to concentrate long enough to sit and read. It has been hard, as well, to sublimate by visiting my co-blogger’s sites to read what they are thinking about. And this inability to read sufficiently is what is behind all my difficulties here…. For me, this is an epiphany, for it is a problem with a simple, sustainable solution, easily and immediately applicable.
All I have to do is set aside more time to read, and use a bit of tough-self-love…. I’ll tell myself whatever I need to in order to sit and finish a few books (which, of course, I’ve already got lined up…. it’s not like I haven’t thought of reading, just haven’t dug in to do it….), and all dysfunctional habits, or at least the underlying cause, will disappear like the illusions they really are….
This also, in short order, should act as a spur toward being able to read more blogs, which will be good, too. I’ve been feeling some guilt, something I almost never give in to, because I’ve been unable to get to a lot of sites where I’ve become attached to the authors and their work…. But, I’ve been instructed by at least one of them that I am not to feel guilty, so I won’t. I’ll just be glad I can get back to reading some of them…. and back to eating, er, reading, a book a day….
There is something to be said, I guess, for falling asleep at 6 PM and sleeping straight through to 4 AM. This process went much more smoothly this morning, after a couple of rough starts. More proof that “sleep is a weapon”, no doubt…..
As usual, after a good effort, I’m a bit let down, not yet having finished the technical aspects of publishing, but done with the creative part. Good practice for learning to enjoy even the negative experiences in life, if only for being the precursors to all the good…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.