I had forgotten the Rule of Relative Value Over Time, which isn’t surprising, since I just made it up. The Rule states that, when one has not experienced good feelings for some time, their renewed presence can cause actual giddiness, or an alteration of the perceptions of reality to which you, or I, may have been accustomed. Maybe…. If that isn’t clear, well, sorry, but it’s the best I can do mere moments after arising….. Perhaps it might be best to begin again….
Hello. It seems that hearing good news can have surprising effects on us, especially if it is both long-awaited, and greatly advantageous. (I know, both are highly personal values, unique to each individual…. hush, now, you’re distracting me….) It reminds me of an old rule my Dad used to say to me when I was a kid, the Rule of Relative Value Over Time, which covers instances such as this one. The rule tells us: Good news can make you feel lightheaded….. Hmm…. That’s not particularly clear either, is it? Okay one more try….
Nah, the hell with it….. Last night, I got some very good news…. Within 10 days, I will be hooked up with internet service here at home, after having been without what I now classify as a necessary luxury since July 1 of last year. I am unable, as indicated by two failed paragraphs above, to describe just how excellent that makes me feel. I had not realized the effort to get posted every day was so much of a bother to my psyche, but the sense of relief it engenders is immense, much more than I had realized, or expected. I was trying to show how much by the Rule of Relative Value, etc., but just couldn’t make it work in my semi-asleep state…. What do you expect at 0611 in the morning?…. Rather more appropriately, what did I expect? Poetry?…..
Well, whatever I expected, it didn’t work, so this chopped up intro section will have to do….. The best part of the news is that, once I’m set for service here, I’ll finally have the time to get back fully into the blog scene. I’ll be able to go spend time actually reading other people’s blogs, rather than just cruising through them quickly via the WordPress Reader. I know, by perusing the Reader, what ffolkes have been up to, but I’m not getting the full effect of their sites, and I miss that. I also miss making comments on what they’ve written, as I find that almost as fulfilling as hearing the comments others make on my work…..
Knowing there is a finite number of days left until I no longer have to go out in search of the wild Wi-Fi is a great comfort. I hope Murphy, whose presence, and influence in this transaction has already been acknowledged, discussed in depth, and, hopefully, prepared for adequately, keeps his nose in his own business for once. I’m certain he’ll show up, but, I’m hoping to distract him with…. well, that’s for me to know, and him to find out…. In the meantime, I’ve got about 10 Pearls to create before it becomes an issue, so, I’d best get on with it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
“Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically–for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking to a moralist — but then what isn’t?” — Quentin Crisp, 1984
An interesting statement, certainly more honest than most people would dare to express. I like it, if only for that honesty. As well, if one stops to actually consider the question, it really is the truth, isn’t it? At least, the part about lying being a basic part of good manners. I don’t think it is the only basic stone in that edifice, but I certainly appreciate its presence when I ask someone how they are, and they say “Fine!”, rather than treating me to even the short version of their latest bout in the bathroom, worshiping the porcelain god. In such cases, give me a simple, clean lie, any day….
Of course, it goes further, too. One should always be careful about being completely truthful when confronted with the new baby of a young friend, and the question is voiced, “Isn’t she/he adorable?” I have found, in general, new babies actually have the general appearance of a large, noisy, odoriferous raisin, at least until they start moving about, trying to talk and drooling on everything. I’ve noted over the years that some young mothers and fathers to object to such observations….. so I’ve learned to lie, shamelessly, on such occasions….
If one really cares about others, and their feelings, then lying in this manner becomes one of our most frequently used skills, if not our most morally defensible. For example, it’s hard to justify telling the truth about the food one has just been served by one’s 10 year-old daughter, the first time she tries to please you by making your breakfast. I don’t know about y’all, but my French Toast was perfectly cooked, my eggs were not too runny, and the bacon was just the right crispness…. as far as she was told. I also ate every bite in front of her, with a big smile….. It didn’t, and doesn’t, bother me at all that, in reality, the French Toast was soggy and cold, the eggs were so runny they broke the record for the 100 yard dash, and the bacon was so crispy, the only chemical left in it was carbon…. And if anyone says so in front of my daughter, they’re dead….
Life also presents us with more public events that can cause us to lower our usual standards about speaking only the truth. I know I didn’t hesitate at all in telling a small, white lie to that officer who pulled me over for speeding when I was in my twenties. It didn’t hurt him, or put the public in danger, when I managed to convince him that I was only speeding because I was on my way to a friend’s house who was feeling suicidal, and I didn’t want to get there too late. I must have sounded sincere, because he didn’t even follow me to check my story, he just told me to drive carefully…. And I, as a result, was able to get to my girlfriend’s house before she got miffed because I was late… A small victory for me in the ongoing battle with Murphy, is how I look at it….
There is some danger involved in using this manner of manipulation of the truth, however, and one should always be clear about that danger. It becomes far too easy to never tell the truth, to try to make oneself look better than they are by shading the truth with lies in different colors. At this point, it stops being a moral act, one designed and intended to benefit others, and becomes selfish, meant only to benefit the individual who lies.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks who get the two types of behavior confused, or feel, for their own weak or foolish reasons, that they have to continue lying, rather than dealing with the reality of the truth. These are sad people, who have lost their way, and have a hard time getting others to relate to them, because what they say cannot be trusted….. It is sad because, mostly, they don’t even realize what they do, and cannot understand why the world is so hostile….
Then, of course, there is another face to the issue of truth vs. lies. That is the face of the beloved ruling class, who lies as a matter of course, not for anyone else’s benefit, but solely for their own, just because they can. (Don’t act so surprised…. you should have known that somehow, some time, you’d be treated to another rant about the beloved ruling class, as I so fondly refer to those at the top of the scrap heap we call society….. It’s what we do here, remember?…..)
The morality of what they do with their lies has already been clearly established, I think, and does not need me to belabor the point here and now. Let it suffice for today to say that altruism doesn’t enter into any of the lies told by those in power; their lies are not intended to be mutually beneficial, but are, quite simply, another way to screw everyone else out of everything they can steal for themselves. Period.
I don’t want to spoil any of the lightheartedness that may have been engendered by the more humorous paragraphs above, so I’ll not carry on any further about the BRC (Beloved Ruling Classes). I will confine my accusations to merely identifying the culprits to whom I refer by the initials, BRC…. Politicians, (whether elected officials of a democracy, or royals in a monarchy, or despots in a tyrannical dictatorship…. anyone who feels, and acts on, the urge to acquire power over others in society), preachers/priests/imams/sadhu/ministers, or any other proponent of supernatural delusional systems (churches, to the uninitiated….), bankers, lawyers, doctors, and other members of the cultural elite, who believe their money, and power over others, is more important than life itself. All of these people lie to us, on a very regular basis, for their own benefit, and don’t suffer a moment’s qualm about doing so…..
Now I’ve done it, for sure…. I don’t know now how to finish this one. That’s what I get for starting a rant with too much (attempted) humor, I suppose. It takes the edge off the indictment that comes afterward, and weakens the argument, sort of casting it adrift from its roots, or moorings, if we are to stay with the correct metaphorical stream. I’ll have to resort to a default……
“Did I say I was a sardine? Or a bus???” — Zippy the Pinhead
Here is a poem from the Romantic era, a paean to the nature of dogs, known for their love and loyalty, even in Ulysses’s day…
When wise Ulysses, from his native coast
Long kept by wars, and long by tempests toss’d,
Arrived at last, poor, old, disguised, alone,
To all his friends, and ev’n his Queen unknown,
Changed as he was, with age, and toils, and cares,
Furrow’d his rev’rend face, and white his hairs,
In his own palace forc’d to ask his bread,
Scorn’d by those slaves his former bounty fed,
Forgot of all his own domestic crew,
The faithful Dog alone his rightful master knew!
Unfed, unhous’d, neglected, on the clay
Like an old servant now cashier’d, he lay;
Touch’d with resentment of ungrateful man,
And longing to behold his ancient lord again.
Him when he saw he rose, and crawl’d to meet,
(‘Twas all he could) and fawn’d and kiss’d his feet,
Seiz’d with dumb joy; then falling by his side,
Own’d his returning lord, look’d up, and died!
“Has a dog a Buddha-nature? This is the most serious question of all. If you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ you lose your own Buddha-nature.” — Gautama Smart Bee
This looks like a trap. It smells like a trap. I suspect, given my sensitivity to both irony and bullshit, this IS a trap, philosophically speaking. If not, it claims to know something the rest of us do not, and could conceivably warrant a serious discussion. On the other hand, if it is a trap, then spending any time at all in contemplation of its implications is a severe waste of time…. unless one factors in the calories used. In that sense, one might lose an ounce or two off their collection of trans-fat cells; otherwise it would seem to me to be a wash….
I’m going to perform a dangerous act, in order to make a final determination as to the dangerousness of this thought, and its suitability for our dissection, er, discussion. I’m going to meditate upon this, and try to follow it’s directions to whatever final concept it implies, over and above the simple truth of what it attempts to assert. I have a feeling it may lead to ideas that, if nothing else, could cause irremovable stains on my character….. so, wish me luck. I’ll be back, as that Austrian movie-bozo said, far too often…..
There, that didn’t take long, did it? I am back, having spent the last two weeks in the Himalayas, in both Tibet and India, consulting with a number of Buddhist sages, and a couple of New Delhi’s most experienced and knowledgeable reincarnation experts. You may ask yourself, and me, “How did he do that?” Simple…. I am partnered with one of the Dragons of Pern, who are capable of traveling, via a modified form of teleportation, through both Space and Time, to whatever time and place one can visualize, in the space of a few breaths. It’s quite handy, actually….
(Many thanks to Anne McCaffrey, for the gift of the invitation to the Hatching at Benden Weyr in 2004, when I was fortunate to be chosen by, and bonded to, my dragon, Moordath, a compact, but solid, Bronze dragon with a wicked sense of humor, and the best flier in the sky. We get to a lot of places that most ffolkes never see, and I consider myself very fortunate….)
Any who, after thinking about it, long and hard, and consulting with some experts in the field under question, the consensus on the above meditation koan is this: It’s bullshit. Oh, there was a moment or two it seemed to be valid, when Ms. Marindalini pointed out the consistency in the logic, but, one of the nameless sadhu’s reminded her of the inadvisability of basing decisions on logic, when one KNOWS that Murphy truly exists. Besides, everyone agreed, to even ask the first question implies that one knows more than both a dog, and the Buddha. Perhaps, in an obscure way, that is what the final assertion means, that to acknowledge the question, one must enter a state where the grace of the Buddha does NOT extend, because it is, in the final analysis, a really, really stupid bunch of stuff to think about…..
So, in this particular case, our prospective koan is NOT one that should be recommended, especially to anyone new to the philosophy game. Impressionable newbies will easily fall prey to such enticing, attractive, seemingly wise little aphorisms such as this one purports to be, duping themselves into believing that such nonsense is Truth, when in Reality, Murphy is just having them on, as the Brits would say…..
If I pull this SWITCH I’ll be RITA HAYWORTH!! Or a SCIENTOLOGIST! — Zippy the Pinhead
I hesitate to sound enthusiastic so early in the year, but I’m content, if naught else, with the flow so far. If nothing else, I’ve apparently, in an unconscious decision, adopted a new policy this year, to start the day at 0611 in the AM, when the coffee machine is set to brew the first pot of the day; today is the third consecutive day I’ve popped awake at that same time. I can’t say it is extremely comfortable, but it is, as always, efficient to get up this early. It is now only 0856, and the Pearl is done for today, minus a poem, which Google will provide in a flash, once it is engaged.
So efficient have I been, I’m going to take a chance, and go catch a bus…. I’ll be back…. Ouch, sorry, didn’t mean to use it again…..
Not too shabby…. 1115, still in the AM, and I’m done with my chore, having done battle with buses and pharmacy, and emerged victorious. We must take our wins where and when we find them, c’est vrai? As far as I’m concerned, it’s a done deal, and good on me….. All that remains is to hie off to the library, and post….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.