“A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.”
~~ Lord Peter Wimsey ~~
~~ Dorothy L. Sayers, “Gaudy Night” ~~
Mars Rover Curiosity ~~ May, 2015
Image from Space.com, via NASA Images
Today’s opening quote is a jab of irony at myself; quotations are lifeblood to me, and my mind…. For some reason, using quotations seems to make the wisdom they impart more personal, and more understandable to me, and, hopefully, to others…. It’s also damned entertaining, and a memory workout, to come up with the appropriate quote to cover any situation in real life…. In fact. that is where the irony exists…. Socrates, Aristotle, etc., all were noted for proclaiming their own ignorance, in order to deliver the lesson that only then can one be open to learning….
In the book, and in the movie, Gaudy Night, when Lord Peter makes the statement you see re: quotations, he is speaking at dinner, to the Warden and Fellows of Shrewsbury College, a fictional women’s College of Oxford University, during the investigation of a mystery there. The Warden, one Dr. Baring, says in reply to his statement, “I think you are excessively modest, Lord Peter. The apt quotation is no mere intellectual sleight-of-hand. It’s a form of wisdom.”
I like that sentiment, for it confirms my own thoughts, in a way which helps me justify this entire process… if only to myself. Lord Peter, bless him, added another reason, for reason, to wit: “The only kind of wisdom that has any social use, Warden, is the knowledge of one’s own limitations.”, thus paraphrasing Socrates, Aristotle, and other ancient and modern sages.
It also tells me, though I won’t go into it now, WHY doing this helps me stay sane…. which I am quite thankful for, to be sure…. For now, we will leave this little introspective discussion, for two reasons. One, I’ve no doubt bored some of y’all to tears, prompting the second, to get on with the business of the day, i.e., pearling our little hearts out….
Luigi, my good fellow!…. Would you be so kind as to hit it!…. Follow me, ffolkes….
Shall we Pearl?
“A zygote is a gamete’s way of producing more gametes. This may be the purpose of the universe.” — — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”
Best Friends Forever
While looking at a story on this blog, https://makingsenseofcrazy.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/worlds-first-phodographer-dog-wears-heart-rate-monitor-with-camera-that-takes-pics-when-he-gets-excited/ , I found the video below, as one of the choices after the video in the article. The picture you see of the BFF’s is one I found several years ago on sfgate.com, but, could never find out anything about the two animals involved in the picture. Finally, I found them, and the story of their friendship is one that can melt the hardest of hearts…. Enjoy, ffolkes, these two show us all what life is all about….
“Nature does nothing uselessly.”
~~ Aristotle ~~
Today’s idea for discussion seems, at first glance, to be either too vague, or, too simple. However, a bit more consideration provides the meaning a bit more clearly, when one realizes he is speaking only the simplest of truths; everything that happens does so, for, and with, a purpose, whether known to us, or not…. Our own understanding of what that purpose might be doesn’t seem to have any real effect on the ultimate truth of the assertion; when we act as if we believe it, bending our efforts to make it true, or, act as if we don’t believe it, working against it, the end result is the same, to wit:
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.
~~ Alexander Pope ~~
~~Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 289 ~~
Unfortunately, a large number of people can’t deal with such ambiguity; it makes them uncomfortable, as it requires effort, especially in the direction of learning, to use the mind, and to understand as much of what we perceive as we can…. For many, that is as frightening as any other fear they have, for it means they must always be dealing with the unknown. In short, they find using their own mind tedious, difficult, and uncomfortable….
The resultant vulnerability arises from one simple fact; the Universe, and Life at Large, are ambiguous, by their very nature. As you see, a conflict at the most elemental level is generated, compromising their intelligence, and their ability to be anything other than what they are told to be…. Freud, who tended to think in terms of diseases of the mind, identified it this way….
“Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.” — Sigmund Freud
These unfortunates, clueless to understand themselves. or the world around them, thus, without ever realizing it, become vulnerable, to anyone with the boldness to assert their own ability to mitigate those fears, if only the fearful ones will accept what they say as the truth…. This willingness to trust, to believe what is told to them, fearfully driving them to act against their own self-interest, firmly fastens a slave collar on every person alive who gives in to gives in to their fear, without ever realizing they are fully capable of learning to cope with life themselves…
One of the ways those with no ethics, or compassion, who ignore any such niceties as justice, or equality, sublimate their fears into bending all their efforts to control others, to get them to believe in what THEY tell them… To accomplish their ends, they form rigid systems of belief, often offering supernatural protections, or rewards of immortality in exchange for implicit trust, and the surrender of will… These systems reflect the fears of their creators, in their own inability to tolerate ambiguity, i.e, the REAL nature of reality… Another author noted this most succinctly this way….
“Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality.” — Theodor W. Adorno
Then, of course, we may find classic social commentary, cleverly disguised as whimsical fairy tales/children’s stories, such as The Wind in The Willows, a short animated film from the early twentieth century, produced by one Kenneth Grahame, in which one of the story’s characters, quite famous in his own right, observes….
“To the small of brain, Ambiguity is pain.” — Mr. Toad
The only hope many people have of ever breaking their collars, to learn to learn, as it were, to use their own minds to find their own truths, is with the help of a teacher, or, at minimum, some sort of personal epiphany, either of which may convince them they CAN learn, and, more importantly, they CAN control their own lives…. Though hard to find, such teachers still exist, not only in books, but, as hidden gems, often not in schools, though one may find more of them there; at least those in that field are people committed to learning, even if their own beliefs may hinder the complete liberation of their minds…. There are even those who try to teach other teachers how to help, as demonstrated by this:
“Part of teaching is helping students learn how to tolerate ambiguity, consider possibilities, and ask questions that are unanswerable.” — Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, “In a World of Ideas,” 1992
Staying free isn’t as simple as it may sound by our discussion; I’m not implying people can be free just by wishing it, or by suddenly becoming more aware…. A certain degree of courage, and will, is also required, which many people never find within themselves, though it it there, in all of us. Sadly, a great number of people never do find any sort of freedom, not the sort they have never known, as there are a number of people in the world who actively work to prevent the masses from ever realizing their own slavery….
Bankers, preachers, politicians, even many educators, all victims of the same asinine beliefs in supernatural entities who will protect them, all are controlled by a few, insane, sociopathic oligarchs, masters of deceit, who, for millennia, have hidden behind the scenes, manipulating others for the sole purpose of fulfilling their own personal agendas, all of which are based SOLELY on their own wishes and desires, with absolutely no connection to their shared humanity.
Of the wisdom that is the legacy of all mankind, these assholes (no better word to describe their true nature…) pick and choose from the highest sounding, to justify their own selfishness, using their own expertise at psychological manipulation, and lying with a straight face, to achieve their own, perverted ends…. For example…. the following piece of wisdom, though perfectly innocent in its intent (to share knowledge of how to make oneself safer), provides them with the perfect excuse for their behavior, based on lies….
“All warfare is based on deception.” — Sun Tzu (ca. 500 BC)
What is really a shame is that far too many Westerners, especially those of a financial or political persuasion, seem to have read a mistranslated copy of the Art of War, wherein this line was translated as, “All life is based on deception.” It’s the only explanation for how a perfectly good concept, an essential truth, can be perverted and taken to its logical extreme, all for the loss of meaning in one word…. In this case, here on Earth, which we see around us today, nothing seen, heard, or read can be trusted; the truth is considered a weapon of last resort, only to be used as a distraction from the ‘true lies’….
“There are some remedies worse than the disease.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 301
SIGH…. I’m getting tired, and I need to finish this off before it gets away from me, so, we come to this final idea…. To get rid of the oligarchs who have been oppressing the majority of humanity for centuries, the most obvious, and quickest method, is to become like them, showing no compassion or concern for the rights of anyone but themselves. The numbers would be, patently, on the side of humanity in such a conflict, but, to use their own methods of violence to usurp their power can only mean, ultimately, we will become the same as them, thus, turning any attempts at achieving liberty into a mere transformation of power. from one sociopathic entity to another….
So, what is the solution? Well, at this point, at (unfortunately) 2:23 AM, on an unseasonably cold night in California, after hours of sleepless tossing and turning, I can’t say I have one, other than, possibly, my own, which involves me, a large supply of arrows, and a map to the oligarch’s houses. I’d be willing to sacrifice my own honor, in that way, to save humanity, and wouldn’t even mind dying afterward…. It’s the stain on my soul I don’t think I’d care for….
I’m working on it, though. It’s a tough problem, to figure out how to get rid of the assholes without becoming one…. I guess I could spend my time watching reality TV….. But, since I don’t much care for TV, I guess I’ll figure out something else…. When I’ve got something workable, I’ll get back to you…. Until then, let me leave you with one final thought, one which points up the ultimate solution for our difficulties, provided for us by Reality. It is also one which everyone, masters, slaves, and rebels, must eventually come to know….
There is a reaper whose name is Death,
And with his sickle keen
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.
~~ Henry W. Longfellow ~~
~~ The Reaper and the Flowers ~~
What is there left to say in admiration of this man. One of the Great Souls, Walt Whitman was an example of the best of mankind. If a solution to our problems can be found, it could well start by beginning with this man’s views on how to live…. We could do worse….
Dismiss Whatever Insults Your Own Soul
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others,
Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people.
Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
or to any man or number of men,
Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
And with the young, and with the mothers or families.
Re-examine all you have been told
in school or church or in any book,
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul;
And your very flesh shall be a great poem…
And have the richest fluency, not only in its words,
But in the silent lines of its lips and face,
And between the lashes of your eyes,
and In every motion and joint of your body.
~~ Walt Whitman ~~
~~ Preface to Leaves of Grass, 1855 edition ~~
Okay, so here’s the deal…. Today’s final old-school pearl is kind of silly, but, it’s still a good pearl…. Moreover, at the end, you’ll find a method whereby you, and only you, can make it the perfect pearl for YOU…. Enjoy, ffolkes, whether it seems so, or not, it’s a pretty good set of ideas about Life at Large to consider, even if they’re without the usual degree of sobriety…..
“There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it.” — Cicero
“Half of the people in the world are below average.” — Smart Bee
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is no difference between theory and practice in theory, but there is often a great deal of difference between theory and practice in practice.” — Chuck Rei
“These days, the wages of sin depend on what kind of deal you make with the devil.” — Kara Vichko
“There are worse things than dying.” — Kalas
“Most of all, I’ve learned that a good time to laugh is anytime you can.” — Linda Ellerbee
“Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves.” — Rudyard Kipling
As a bonus, for today’s final pearl, YOU, the Gentle Reader, get to choose the final entry for this section… Choose one of the following; all have been cleared as perfectly appropriate finishing pearls for this pearl…. If you’re so inclined, tell us in the comments why you made the choice you picked…. Choose wisely, young paduans….
Z #1) “GOOD-NIGHT, everybody.. Now I have to go administer FIRST-AID to my pet LEISURE SUIT!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
Z #2) “Hold the MAYO & pass the COSMIC AWARENESS…” — Zippy the Pinhead
Z #3) “I feel better about world problems now!” — Zippy the Pinhead
Et Voilà…. I keep telling you, and telling you, and telling you…. It’s all in the wrist….
It’s hard to tell at this point, but, I’m pretty sure this one turned out pretty well. Or not. Since it’s still shy of 3 AM, and, I’ve been in misery for hours, frankly, I could care less, because it’s done, and, now I can try to get some sleep. Y’all have a good day, I’m gonna be busy sawing logs, I hope. Until tomorrow, then, I bid thee a fond, if somewhat sappy, adieu! Or, as we used to say on the streets…. well, no, I’d better not. I will, however, be back tomorrow to try this again….
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….