The only quest I know….

Ffolkes,
There is always a lot of stuff going on in my head, and, in spite of how it should, or could be otherwise, I’m pretty sure that not all of it is completely under my control. This, as might be deduced, is both blessing and curse, and causes me no end of moments of temporary confusion, moments that can stretch to what seems like eons….. Hell, sometimes, it seems like confusion is my most natural state, especially when reality is going through its contortions right in front of me like it does; reality does not always conform to what I think of it, either regarding expectations, or expedience. Hard to say which is more annoying, having my expectations dashed by reality, or having my time killed by it, used up dealing with mundane details rather than exotic dreams, or even hopeful ones….. (Whew! A four line sentence, desperately trying not to run on, and failing spectacularly!…. Oh well…. I just got up, give me a little slack, here, ‘kay?….Or, just call me Balzac….)

If this all sounds a bit vague, you are paying attention, as it is deliberately so. I’m trying to discuss a point that can easily slip over into whining about how Murphy always f___s with me, without crossing the line of demarcation for that state of asininity. Whining feels good, right up until it leaves the mouth, then it is just pathetic, and the shame and guilt set in…. I really don’t know why we even bother with it, as it has no effect at all on reality, and only makes us look and feel bad. Another of those delightful human characteristics that we are constantly working to eradicate from our personalities, if we have any sense. Of course, the possession of sense is another discussion entirely, and would take up far too much space right now, so let’s not go there, eh?

To get back to our original point of discussion, not being entirely in control of what is happening in my head is a deliberate state on my part. I’ve found that a lot of my artistic impetus comes from that area of my experience, so I’ve developed the habit of allowing part of my consciousness free rein to go wherever it may wish, without any oversight by the tapes and rules that govern most of the rest of my persona. This is my version of allowing my imagination to soar, and it seems to work for me, so I don’t fuss with it, or think about it much, as I don’t want to disturb whatever balance and tension that keeps it running smoothly.

Below you’ll find a poem, an original I composed last night, under non-normal circumstances. It’s okay…. not the best I’ve ever done, but honest, and real in its intent and style. Oh, and, of course, it rhymes…. to me, that is important in one of my own poems these days. I spent a lot of effort in my youth writing free verse, with no structure, and no deliberate rhyming. Most of what I wrote back then was pretty sappy…. emotional, at times powerfully so, but lacking in direction, or a whole lot of style.

S’okay, I’m good with it, because nobody will ever see it again but me, and maybe my kids, when they go through my things after I pass (Oh for goodness sake, I hope they don’t try to publish any of it posthumously, I’d die of shame….   🙂   ….) Any who, this poem was written on the edge, as I was about two sheets to the wind, an unusual state these days, especially on a mere half-pint over the course of an hour and a half…. not exactly the consumption of a lumberjack, or even myself three years ago….. But, it was enough for my payday splurge for the month, and gave me a full three hours of wonderful relief from back pain (I’d forgotten how alcohol can do that…. it’s just not something one can use regularly, for a lot of reasons, but, occasionally, it sure provides a kind, and depth, of relief that is very rare for those of us who suffer constant pain….)

Any who, let’s see what else we can come up with here on an early Sunday morning, with the rain and wind blowing and blustering outside, making me glad to have a warm, dry place to stay, with food, and things to occupy my mind, and time. I am indeed a rich man, for all that I don’t have, that is to say, the worry of those who have no such advantages as these. It’s almost enough to make me rant, but I’ll wait until I find a pearl to base it on…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“There is one God, but which one is He?”– Smart Bee

Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain old God to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids and Wiccans follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination….. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….)

As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head, and neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit, and unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that…. imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency more often than not to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, then our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise…..

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!” — Smart Bee
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“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert
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If birth is a miracle, is not death also a miracle? — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is living up to its name today…. Here is a question that most will avoid asking…. Well, perhaps not so much avoid as ignore, by preference. Which amounts to the same, little as they’d like to admit it. It’s okay, though, nobody is blaming them, or suggesting they do anything other than what is comfortable…. Karma exists, like it or not, as the proper and logical counterbalance to entropy, giving it meaning, and everyone gets out of life exactly what they deserve. This is not an arguable conclusion, it is mere fact of reality, and fighting against it is pointless, as well as tiring…..

“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is, what he is doing, or where he is going.”– Smart Bee

Everyone gets what they deserve….. what a novel concept! Of course, many folks, of the sort who don’t like to accept merely what they deserve, try to manipulate reality, and end up accumulating much more than they deserve. What they don’t understand is that time is not on their side, and karma will eventually come to them for an accounting, and all will be brought into balance, at their expense. It’s not a pretty sight when it happens, and it is so unnecessary, considering the consequences that can be avoided by simple acts of honor and integrity. Sometimes, living is a worse punishment than dying, in such cases….

Another lesser-known part of karma is one that most folks have a hard time both understanding, and, once they do, accepting. This principle is stated simply as: Not only are you 100% responsible for what you DO, you are 100% responsible for what happens TO you. Yep…. completely. If the world has punched you in the face, well, all I can ask is, what was your face doing in front of that fist? There are no excuses in the eyes of karma, and we become truly ourselves when we learn to understand this, and to make it a part of how we make decisions in life, including those leading up to the second miracle of our existence, dying.

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

In the ultimate sense, this goes back to the discussion in section one above, tying all of it together in this way: “the ten thousand things” is the Chinese literary euphemism for reality, or Heaven, or the universe at large, depending on who one asks at what time of day….. By this statement, Ts’un shows his knowledge, and acceptance of his own divinity, and connection, according to the principles of karma and how we interact with reality, to everything that exists in the universe, including all gods, or ideas about gods, or God. Take your pick, they are ALL correct, in their own little way, or according their own little piece of the Truth. What is actually TRUE for everyone always makes itself obvious…. because that is what happens. What is, is….

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus
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I have to say, this one isn’t bad…. I’m not going to even question why it came out as well as it did, but will go with the flow of karma, and accept what is….. Unless I wish to wait until late this afternoon to post this, I will have to hike through the rain for a few blocks to get to the Wi-Fi spot at the coffee shop, which I believe will be the best way to go. I’m no tireless, invulnerable warrior like I used to be, but I think I can make it three blocks in the rain for this without suffering the tortures of hell. Unless, of course, pneumonia sets in…. Well, no point in tempting Murphy any more than that, so I’ll close this here, and hope for the best…. All I need is twenty minutes of cooperation from the rain gods, and all will be well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

We’ll take the pomp; no circumstance, please….

Ffolkes,
Can you say pusillanimous? No? Nor can I….. pity…..

Now that the facts in the matter have been established beyond all doubt, we may turn to more important questions, such as why is he talking like that? Or perhaps, why DOES Murphy have to stick his big nose into my business every damn day? Now, these are meaty subjects, and well worth our undivided attention. Of course, should we provide that, I’m afraid that it may send the entire Roman and Greek pantheons into hysterics. They’re SO prudish since being de-deified….. I suppose conservatism is a natural reaction to bad news and cowardice combined; it certainly seems to be the case in this country amongst the, shall we say, non-cognoscenti…..

There, that’s out…. better out than in, I always say (just ask anybody…). I’m not going to apologize for that bit of phantasm; ’twas necessary to my health for it to come out. I will say that I hope I didn’t startle the horses, or make the babies cry; such was not, I assure you, my intent. No, sheer unbridled relief was the intent, and that has been achieved, so, what say we NOT press our luck, and go straight on into today’s dive, hmm? I think that would be best, for all concerned….. let us Pearl…
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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. — Matthew 7:15  😉  Why look! There’s one of them now!….. Gosh, if it wasn’t for Matthew, we’d have never even noticed him…… thank God! No telling how much he traumatized those sheep…. c’mon grab your rifle, we’ll take him out before he goes rabid or something….

The above short piece of conversation was not me…. would I be that sarcastic? What? Well, I resemble that remark!….. Shame on you! Pulling covers like that! How will these folks who wear blinders all the damn time ever save themselves, if they can’t even see through what a preacher tells them? I’m afraid there isn’t much hope for them…. they’re doomed to a lifetime of ignorance, and its just rewards…..

Ah, well, such a pity…. The rest of mankind was hoping they’d get a clue, and try to come with us down the road of reason, and on toward survival, but, I suppose that folks are entitled to their own opinions, no matter how grossly ignorant, and bigoted. Well, as long as they don’t try to drag anyone else along with them to perdition; that would be a real shame…..

“Being intelligent is not a felony.  But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Robert Heinlein
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“If you are out of trouble, watch for danger.” — Sophocles

Sophocles states here one of mankind’s earliest attempts to make people aware of Murphy’s law, to prepare them, as it were, to deal with its unpredictable tendency to manifest at the most inopportune times. I can personally attest to the continuing relevance of this statement to reality, having encountered such danger on numerous occasions, and always when distracted by the absence of any other problems. It’s kind of like figuring out your taxes, finding out you will get a big refund, then having the car eat a piston on the way to mail the tax return forms….

“If you rely on Murphy’s law, everything will go as planned (but don’t count on it.)” — Sullivan’s Observation

I just have to say, if you will pardon my French, Murphy is an asshole. Of course, my no doubt bad habit of calling a spade a spade (even if it is obviously a shovel) is probably the main reason he bothers me so much. But, knowing that doesn’t alter his stink, nor does it give him the right to fuck with people who haven’t done a damn thing to deserve it. I think that is what annoys me so much about him; he is so damnably inefficient in his application of his power over reality. No sense to his choices at all, at times.

Oh sure, occasionally, he’ll get one right, and one of the beloved ruling class, or one of humanity’s ever-present number of true assholes will get what they so justly deserve at his hands. But, more often, it is the little guy just struggling along, trying to make his way through a life that offers no breaks, and no bonuses, who is the butt of his adolescent humor. It’s really a pain in the arse, if you know what I mean….

This isn’t hell.  This is where you get sent when you’ve been bad in hell. — Smart Bee
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What thou lovest well remains, the rest is dross
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
Elysium, though it were in the halls of Hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage.
— Ezra Pound, Pisan Cantos, LXXXI

Mr. Pound presents here a strong argument for self-expression and staying true to what one’s nature compels of them. Our society in general does not reward such integrity of purpose, at least not materially, though I should imagine that those who adhere to this are much happier than those who do not. Remaining true to one’s own nature can only benefit one’s overall condition, and increase competence along with confidence.

In addition this has the added benefit of not having to perform actions that cause them to feel degraded, or at minimum, vaguely dissatisfied with themselves, and with what they accomplish. A poor ending to a sparse meal, to be sure…. Better, it seems, to stick with what we know is ours, regardless of what others may think of it….

Besides, it’s a very nice poem…..
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BRAIN, n. An apparatus with which we think what we think.  That which distinguishes the man who is content to _be_ something from the man who wishes to _do_ something.  A man of great wealth, or one who has been pitchforked into high station, has commonly such a head full of brain that his neighbors cannot keep their hats on.  In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, brain is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Once I stopped chuckling over the wit, and then got over the sadness engendered by its truth, this little gem came directly to today’s lineup. Not because it will cause a good discussion, or even that it is either egregiously wrong, or demonstrably correct, though it is certainly the latter. No, I am impressed more by the fact that this was included in the original version of The Dictionary by Mr. Bierce, which was published sometime in the mid-nineteenth century, over 150 years ago. Truly a vision of the future, as well as a stunningly life-like representation of the present….. and well worth including here, all by its lonesome…..
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“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition… If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be the bearers of an objective, immortal truth…  then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity… From the fact than all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody have the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.” — Benito Mussolini, _Diuturna_

As I read through this, I at first thought it was a parody, that someone was having us on, as it were. But then I realized that this person was perfectly serious, and was astonished at the arrogance, the narcissism, and the sheer unbridled effrontery of the author, if such he may be called.

Then I saw the author’s name, and my mind went, “Aha! That explains it….”  It is hard to know where to begin to perform a logical critique of so much nonsense, but once begun, it practically tears itself apart, displaying the inconsistencies that are inherent in any such ambition and greed thinly disguised as logical justification.

Benito starts off by using words which, according to their definitions, do not apply to the subject at hand; he gets around this little fillip by redefining the meaning of the words, in this context, thus allowing him to use them as assumptions that justify the pseudo-logical arguments that follow. He then finishes off with a conclusion that is a complete 180 degrees from the actual truth of his assertions, thus turning an apparent discussion of ideologies and philosophy into a stand-up comedy routine, one that isn’t funny in the slightest…… And we all know where he ended up…. swinging slowly from a rope around his obese neck (at least figuratively, if not literally), applied by his fellow countrymen in just compensation for his evil…. and regardless of his obviously insane state of mind…..
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I have to say, this turned out rather well for something that seemed to be a struggle to get out. None of today’s discussions tipped over into a rant, nor any lengthy arguments or comments. So, compared to many of the entries on this blog, this one is rather short, but I don’t think anyone will mind, as I know I tend to ramble on…  So, we’ll let ‘er fly as she is, and hope for the best….

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!