The day begins…. a very poignant phrase, full of potentiality and promise. Too bad we’re prepared to ignore any and all such GOOD ideas in favor of the usual shit we do here. I can’t say it isn’t a nice phrase, it just doesn’t stand up very well to the ministrations of the iconic forces of nature who hold sway over the events transpiring in this locus. I didn’t ask for it, but, wherever I seem to be ends up as a nexus of universal forces of entropy; chaos not only hangs out here, he’s left this address with all his buddies, (fear, misery, and depression, to name a couple….), who keep knocking at the door, asking to come in….
But, I don’t mind. I just herd them right into the back yard, where they can shuffle around & play with the snakes. It’s all quite civilized; I found it to be a better solution than just firing off a few rounds at them when they crossed the boundary lines. Fewer complaints from the neighbors…. Plus, it saves on ammunition, and if their oldest friend, Trouble, shows up, well, I have them all in one area, where he can join them, and they’re easier to gas….
Okay, I’m done. Fantasy bullshit can be put back in the drawer now. Luigi, we’re all buttoned up here, and I’ve kept everyone distracted while you warmed up the engines…. Let’s take it away, and do this in record time; I’ve got an appointment with my mom’s lawyers in an hour, to strategize for our upcoming case against the PTB. Ffolkes, now you’re completely off track, we’re going in, and going in hot! Hang on….
Shall we Pearl?
“If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture – that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.” — Edward Abbey
It’s been a tough week, in a lot of ways, though productive in the final sense. I’ve needed a lot of soothing for my spirit, for which, as some of you know, I turn to classical music. I’ve used this one before, but, then, it IS, I think, my favorite piece of all…. Enjoy, please…
~~ The Four Seasons ~~
~~ Antonio Vivaldi ~~
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
— Rudyard Kipling ~~
~~ Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child” ~~
I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”
“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke
I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!” You can’t say fairer than that….
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha
One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan
Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..
I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.
The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….
In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….
“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi
There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….
dimly into memory, bit by combative bit,
ever mournful, yet loud with life and sass,
only in dream do we meet, and dance, and flit.
Souls, spinning ’round in gleeful wonder, comply
as they must, never given a reason,
somberly proper, yet limber and quite spry,
dancing on to greet each bright new season.
Storms, angered by apathetic care, rage
proceeding into ministerial glare, unknown,
clothed in colors, purified solely with sage,
past an infinite future, already flown.
Life, plumbed to its depths and secrets, keeps
flowing with currents, strong and fairly found,
love stands, asking release, as it slowly weeps,
seeking refuge unasked, to stay honor bound.
~~ gigoid ~~
We start today’s old-school pearl with what I consider the finest, most accurate metaphor I’ve seen for the state of religion in America today…. The rest of the pearl gives my own take on religion, sort of…. Like all such philosophical representations of what is essentially a matter of deciding whether or not a delusion is connected to reality in any way, it’s a bit amorphous, but, I think you’ll catch the drift….
“Do you think God lets you plea bargain?” — Calvin ‘n Hobbes
“I count religion but a childish toy … there is no sin but ignorance.” — Thomas Jefferson
“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.” — George Santayana
“Faith does not offer the least support for proof of truth.” — Nietzsche
“They talk of me going around and buying souls, like a fishwife come market day, never stopping to ask themselves why. I need no souls. And how can anyone own a soul? No. They belong to themselves…They just hate to have to face up to it.” — Lucifer Morningstar
“In his private heart no man much respects himself.” — Mark Twain
“Cease to be ruled by dogmas and authorities; look at the world!” — H.G. Wells paraphrase of Roger Bacon’s works
Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)
“All cats are NOT gray after midnight. Endless variety ….” — Lazarus Long
Okay… I know the last one is not speaking about religions; it works just as well, for this subject, though, as it does when applied to its original subject matter, the exact nature of which I will leave as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…. of course….
Odd moods are nothing new for me; I encourage them. They can, however, complicate life to a certain degree; fortunately, for me, that’s a good thing, as it keeps me occupied NOT killing mundanes…. With that cheery thought to keep us inspired for another day, I’m off. (Duh…) See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, unless my diagnosis gets changed again….
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
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….