The unconscious mind is a powerful thing, especially when its function spills over into the world of our conscious perceptions…. Today’s title enters that twilight zone for certain…. Beyond that, this deponent sayeth naught, lest the quest to understand bring me to the brink of insanity. Let it suffice to know that, as far as the title of today’s Pearl goes, I wrought better than I knew, and leave it at that…. I think all of us will be happier in the long run….
Thus it begins…. the slow, inevitable corruption of morality always begins with a single manipulation, performed “in their best interests”…. In this particular case, we are only speaking of our philosophical intentions, rather than any connected to actual manipulation of events, or reality. But, that really doesn’t matter at all, because the corruption doesn’t know that, or care. The weather change whereof I speak happens in the heart of the manipulator, at the moment the decision is made to alter the truth in order to achieve a certain result. Once that decision is made, it is irrevocable, and further manipulations will follow, as certainly as it follows the air will be clearer after it rains….
In light of the simple fact that I’ve only consumed about four ounces of coffee so far, it might be a bit dangerous to start such a discussion, one with the apparent depth of this one. In fact, the subtle and complex arrangement of thoughts that brought this on seems to be fading from my mind as I sit here and type…. It seemed like a good idea when I started, but, somehow, it’s just a little too deep to dive into first off. I know what it is I was trying to say, but, I’m not sure, at this point, I have the wherewithal to say it with the right degree of clarity…. I’m thinking we’ll shift focus here, and go on to more appropriate material for an intro….
Not that philosophy, or, in this case, epistemology, a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge, is an inappropriate subject for that…. it’s merely a bit too deep for my current state of intellectual comprehension to cope with efficiently, or more importantly, accurately…. I slept like a log last night, after a night of no sleep at all, and I’m a bit fuzzy thus far this morning; in this state, I’ll be lucky to be able to discuss the relevance of the wisdom of Daffy Duck, so, I think we’ll let the study of the meanings of human knowledge wait a bit longer before we try to take it on…. and, in the process, we’ll keep from making judgments about the morality of manipulation of that knowledge….
It’s too bad, really, as it would have made a great beginning for an epic rant about the mess in Washington D.C…… especially the current budget crisis, brought on by the immoral, not to mention ill-advised, manipulation of events, by a small group of fanatics who found themselves in a unique position, one of having more influence than their actual degree of relevance would normally command…. They took their opportunity in hand, and, being the truly ignorant bastards they are, used it for their own purposes, with complete disregard for the actual dictates of reality, or for the wishes and desires of their own constituents…. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a single point of view one can take in this that doesn’t end up exposing them to as immoral, and, in the final analysis, ignorant and selfish, with marked tendencies toward assholiness….
However, as it sits now, what has happened is that we’ve blathered enough to call this an intro, even though it didn’t introduce anything other than a state of confusion…. but, around here, that can be considered as the status quo for this time of day…. Okay, so this is where I stamp your papers, and say….
Shall we Pearl?…. In fact, let’s do it times three….
“The world is so constructed, that if you wish to enjoy its pleasures, you must also endure its pains. Whether you like it or not, you cannot have one without the other.” — Swami Brahmananda
“Life is not the way it is supposed to be. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” — Virginia Satir
“A good friend, who points out mistakes and imperfections, and rebukes evil, is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.” — Buddha
First, a word from the Founding Fathers….
“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” — Thomas Jefferson
Now, a bit of insanity, on the identical subject, from a more modern source….
“By all accounts, though, an end seems near for the impasse that has once again exposed a government so divided that it sometimes borders on dysfunction. Though the House failed to muster sufficient support for a conservatives-only bill in the GOP-majority chamber on Tuesday, enough Republicans there seem likely to join House Democrats to approve a bipartisan version if it can be approved by the Senate and sent to them. ”
I was reading the news last night, online, and the latest reports from the capitol say that a deal will get done prior to today’s deadline…. as it always does…. The difference in the deals that get done and those that don’t get done are relatively insignificant, in terms of real life; they only make a difference to those involved in whatever struggle is current. Nobody really understands any of it anyway… not the politicians who spout all the platitudes and figures, not the experts who supply the detailed analysis of those figures, and certainly not the public, who don’t even WANT to understand the complexities…. which is something the pundits know well, and, in fact, depend on to assist them in their endeavors…
“Morality is a private and costly luxury.” — Smart Bee
Sadly, this statement, though found without attribution, was made by an observer who knows human nature well, one who has obviously observed our history closely, drawing from those observations the only possible conclusion…. Society, as exemplified by its leaders, in both the secular and clerical arenas, loudly and boldly tout the twin concepts of morality and ethics, laying claim to them as if they were a coat left lying about. The noise they make in making these claims is generally quite noisome, to my ears, but, serves to cover their asses when later accused of impropriety; they can point to their strident statements as being proof of sincerity, though, logically, sincerity and morality have no real connection.
However, sad as the statement is, it is accurate, and never more so when looking at the budget crisis that we are witnessing today. The assholes who inhabit Congress, especially the conservatives in the House of Representatives, ( an oxymoron, if I’ve ever heard one…. ), DO NOT represent the people who elected them, not even close…. They lie to them, they steal from them, they follow their own agendas, but, they DON’T represent them…
How can they? They are not even in the same economic class as most of them, and never have been…. and, please, DON’T try to tell me you don’t think we have economic classes in this society…. Sorry, ffolkes, but American society is NOT classless, and never has been…. It has ALWAYS been separated into classes, based primarily on economic factors, with those who have more money having more influence and, more importantly, more rights, than those with less money…. The most cursory examination of history, of the world, and of this country, will show this as a fact of little possibility of dispute.
The average US income (which doesn’t give a completely accurate picture, but is useful to make the point….) is somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars ($10,001 to $99,999, somewhere between the two….). This translates into a basic demographic breakdown of being a very few people making more than they can possibly use, as contrasted by a moderate number of folks comfortably content, though unsure of their stability, and a very large number of people who are struggling to even eat on a daily basis…. This accounts for 99% of the population, and about 1% of the actual money available to that 99%….
On the other side of that coin, we have a few thousand people, the remaining 1%, who have 99% of the money, all making more than a million dollars a year, on average…. Of this tiny percentage, we find that ALL of the Senators, about half of the House members, and the President, of course, are all part of that 1% of the population, a part that has never had to worry about where their next meal came from…. I wish that this were not true, but, these are facts, with the supporting evidence available to anyone with a library card, which they can use to find these numbers….
Of course, the fact that they are “more successful” in economic terms is only proof, in their minds, of their inherent right to make the decisions for everyone else in the country, even though they have no real grasp of the needs of those people. The fact of their disconnection from reality cannot penetrate their sense of entitlement, and they fully BELIEVE in their own mandate…. “Somehow, it never hurts to step back occasionally and ask yourself “Am I contributing to the solution of the problem or aiding in making a bigger problem?”…. this is a process, and a question, that never occurs to them…
This is why I call them delusional, and can honestly claim that I believe them to be clinically insane; a person so disconnected to what is real cannot be considered sane…. except, perhaps, in an insane society. Making assumptions about having the right to decide about the wants and needs of others is a sure sign that one has an unreasonable belief in their own importance to the universe, an assumption that can only be termed as a delusion. This kind of behavior is one society cannot afford to allow, because, if nothing else, these types of delusions are dangerous to the rest of us. Allowing these “crazies”, for wont of a more accurate term, to act out their fantasies in the real world tends to lead to trouble for more than just themselves…..
“Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying! I grant you I was down and out of breath; and so was he. But we rose both at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV — Act v, Sc. 4
I’m down, and out of breath, from shouting into the wind, at the mountain… A futile task, at best, I know, but, what else can one do at 5 AM? Mountain moving is my specialty, after all…. The truth of the matter is, after two hours by Shrewsbury clock, I’m tired of shouting at the mountain; it’s hard work, to little effect. I suppose it’s all I can do, and that is why I do it…. It’s cheaper, and, in the long run, less troublesome to my spirit and karma, than going out, buying a gun, and making a list of targets…. Less chance of getting shot back at, too…
There comes a time, however, when even I must admit to the futility of this particular task, and grow a bit discouraged…. I’m just not the kind of person who can give up completely, though, so, I’ll be back to rant on this subject another time…. “They” are always out there doing something on which I can comment. For the time being, I’ll leave you with this final lament…
“The world has taken on a thickness of vulgarity that raises a spiritual man’s contempt to the violence of a passion.” — Charles Baudelaire
No words of mine can add to this….
This was the land’s end: the last fingers, knuckled and rheumatic,
Cramped on nothing. Black
Admonitory cliffs, and the sea exploding
With no bottom, or anything on the other side of it,
Whitened by the faces of the drowned.
Now it is only gloomy, a dump of rocks —-
Leftover soldiers from old, messy wars.
The sea cannons into their ear, but they don’t budge.
Other rocks hide their grudges under the water.The cliffs are edged with trefoils, stars and bells
Such as fingers might embroider, close to death,
Almost too small for the mists to bother with.
The mists are part of the ancient paraphernalia —-
Souls, rolled in the doom-noise of the sea.
They bruise the rocks out of existence, then resurrect them.
They go up without hope, like sighs.
I walk among them, and they stuff my mouth with cotton.
When they free me, I am beaded with tears.Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is striding toward the horizon,
Her marble skirts blown back in two pink wings.
A marble sailor kneels at her foot distractedly, and at his foot
A peasant woman in black
Is praying to the monument of the sailor praying.
Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is three times life size,
Her lips sweet with divinity.
She does not hear what the sailor or the peasant is saying —-
She is in love with the beautiful formlessness of the sea.
Gull-colored laces flap in the sea drafts
Beside the postcard stalls.
The peasants anchor them with conchs. One is told:
“These are the pretty trinkets the sea hides,
Little shells made up into necklaces and toy ladies.
They do not come from the Bay of the Dead down there,
But from another place, tropical and blue,
We have never been to.
These are our crêpes. Eat them before they blow cold.”
~~ Sylvia Plath ~~
This pearl is of a type I don’t often use; I chose the pearls first, with an eye to randomness, but also a focus, on gathering quotes that had something to say about Life At Large, so to speak… I think it came out pretty well, but, then, I’m pretty easy…. Y’all may feel differently; if so, feel free to let me know….. though that won’t change any of them, at least I’ll know they’ve been perused….. 🙂 Sneaky, eh?….
“Duty is heavier than a mountain, death lighter than a feather.” — Robert Jordan
“Take Idaho’s license plates – they say ‘Famous Potatoes.’ Then there’s New Hampshire – their license plates say ‘Live Free … or DIE!!’ I don’t know, I think that somewhere between ‘Famous Potatoes’ and ‘Live Free or Die’ the truth lies. And I think it’s closer to ‘Famous Potatoes.'” — George Carlin
“We think that if we can label a thing we have understood it.” — Sangharakshita
“I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.” — Thomas Jefferson
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.
“We are more sensible of what is done against custom than against Nature.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Eating of Flesh, Tract 1
“For it is the doom of men that they forget.” — Merlin
Once again, I’ve come to the end of a day’s Pearl, without realizing just how close it was to being done….. I suppose that’s a good thing, indicating that I’m well focused on the task at hand…. or, it could just mean I’m oblivious…. Who cares? Not me…. Any who, let’s see how typo-free it is….. or isn’t….
Okay, so much for that…. Several tweaks, adds, and contortions later, it’s done, and just in time, as the street repair trucks just pulled up, and the jackhammers are starting to sing their repulsive tune…. I think I’ll go somewhere, and get some breakfast…. See ya….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
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.