Are you sure? Forever and a day is a long time….

Ffolkes,

“The velocity with which time flies is infinite, as is most apparent to those who look back.”

~~ Seneca ~~

 (B.C. 3-65 A.D.)

potd-starry-night_3005698k

    Today is a day pregnant with possibilities…. I have high hopes that when I return from my outing today, my life will have undergone some significant alterations, at least in one or two respects, and, all I can say is, it’s about damn time….. I feel as if I’ve been stuck in a rut for months, and have an opportunity to break free of whatever it is that has been keeping me from LIFE….

Hence, the quote from Seneca seems to me to be most appropriate, encouraging us, as it does, to look forward, to see what there is to see, and to learn, rather than wasting precious time trying to hold on to something in the past, expressing the advantage of keeping our eyes on the road ahead…. The most excellent photo doesn’t hurt, either, if only to please the senses with its incredible scope…. thus highlighting the quote by showing us a view of infinity, stretching through time and space, from the ancient stone dance, to the endless array of galaxies and stars….

Besides, who knows when I’ll actually find another pair of pearls, of different media, to fit together so well…. I’ve been putting these together now for a few weeks like this, and it works really well for its purpose, which is, essentially, to save my sorry ass from having to come up with something new to start with each day…. My brain informed me some time ago it was very close to becoming a completely dry hole, no oil, no water, and no more creative images or words…. I had wracked my brain too many times, and it was about to revolt….

That’s when I started adding the pictures up top, which had a dual purpose, of eliminating the need to find and/or include attribution for those pictures that I didn’t take, and to get me out and about to practice my photography skills, with the intent, naturally, to get better at it, as well as to increase my ability to walk around for greater distances…. A win-win-win situation the way I see it….

Hell, it even works on a day like today, when I just needed the intro to complete the Pearl, which I have worked on ahead of time, in order to be sure I don’t get held up today, heading out to my day full of potentially wonderful events….. I mean, there is always the chance the day won’t live up to my hopes (which I’ve been pretty successful at not allowing to become expectations….), but, I’m thinking that my odds are good enough, it’s well worth whatever risk of that there may be…. Murphy can’t be everywhere at once, can he?

Regardless, the new method has also allowed me the space and time today to sort of wander around like this without ever really getting into anything…. That’s okay, I got into plenty down below, believe me…. All good, of course, but, if not, well, I’ll refund every penny you paid, okay? Can’t say fairer than that…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable.” — Aristotle (B.C. 384-322)

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In keeping with the promise made, in the pearl that is now in section three, below, this section, and the second section, for poetry, will be kept to a minimum, to balance the weight of the last pearl…. I hate breaking my word, so, I’ve chosen to include only the two links, to different articles, below in this section, without adding any ranting, or any discussion beyond this introduction…

The first one is an EXCELLENT discussion of the events now taking place in the Middle East, concerning the war being fought, on several fronts, as the radical Muslim group, known as ISIS, attempts to form a caliphate, with their own interpretation of the Quran (Koran) as the basis of their laws, and directing their political identity…. Mr. Carroll gives us some intelligent perspective, and even more intelligent analysis….. It’s a fine read, with some very good points that often are overlooked in much of the coverage in the media…. I think you will enjoy it….

You won’t enjoy the second, I guarantee, though it is what I would consider to be essential reading; it’s a report, about a report from the UN, on a subject about which I’ve been ranting for a couple of years now, climate change and global warming, a report that demonstrates how nothing is happening at all to make any needed changes…. It’s a report that I am certain will achieve the self-same results as all my rants, in terms of what it may cause to change out in the real world, i.e., none… Nothing has changed, and this article makes it abundantly clear, it is most likely too late to do anything about it… Well, not this article, the second one….

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/Upon-further-re-reconsideration-5711550.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/UN-panel-Global-warming-human-caused-dangerous-5713478.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

 In the beginning, God created the Earth and he said, “Let there be mud.”
 And there was mud.
 And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what we have done.”
 And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. 
Mud-as-man alone could speak.
 “What is the purpose of all this?” man asked politely.
 “Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.
 “Certainly,” said man.
 “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all of this,” said God.
 And He went away.

~~ Kurt Vonnegut ~~

Between Time and Timbuktu


Uh, oh…. too late…..

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“Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross an infinite sea and so make it finite… The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” — G. K. Chesterton “Orthodoxy”

Each life converges to some centre
Expressed or still;
Exists in every human nature
A goal,

Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
Too fair
For credibility’s temerity
To dare.

Adored with caution, as a brittle heaven,
To reach
Were hopeless as the rainbow’s raiment
To touch,

Yet persevered toward, surer for the distance;
How high
Unto the saints’ slow diligence
The sky!

Ungained, it may be, by a life’s low venture,
But then,
Eternity enables the endeavoring
Again.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


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Today, I’m extending the scope of the recent additions to section 3 with some old pearls from 2011, when each pearls is what we now call an old school style pearl… After that format got old, I changed to accommodate my desire to produce more, and practice different styles and techniques of writing…. so, I changed the look of each day’s Pearl, to include five sections, each with its own short pearl, and discussion based on that pearl… It’s an example of what I went through to evolve what now become my rants…

Each of these sections, as you see them below, in today’s format, would be treated with a more thorough discussion, but, for today, since together the five pearls make it long enough to stifle anyone’s enthusiasm for reading, we’ll just put it here in section one, then pick a short poem, and a short pearl for section 3, to save y’all some time & energy…. It’s the least I can do, considering I’m subjecting y’all to such a long foray into my my mind’s indubitably odd twists and turns…..

Obviously, we’ve had a change of plans…. it’s okay, though, as I managed to do so without adding any extra ranting, or long, involved discussions to the mix… As promised in the paragraph above, written BEFORE the change, unlike this one, I kept sections one and two to a minimum of material, though both of excellent quality… All of that notwithstanding, here you are, about to finish up for today, and didn’t even know it…. Funny how that works, isn’t it?…..

From 12/27/11:

Ffolkes,

In my wildest, most disturbing dreams, I never thought the world would come to this juncture. We stand once again at a fork in the road ahead. Down one road lies extinction; it’s actually the road we are on now, but we have come to the last possible exit, onto a road that continues on into the future, bright with promise. On this road, humanity has new forms of transport, sustainable and clean. The air is clear, the ocean is blue, and all the creatures who share this planet have been welcomed into the circle of Life, wherein we now reside. Everyone is treated the same, and there are no more distinctions drawn between one man and the next. Resources are husbanded and shared equally, and economic manipulation is a dim memory.

Sounds pretty nice, eh? I think so too. I’m just not terribly convinced that the rest of humanity is going to come down that road with those of us who take it. I’d much rather we all went together, but I refuse to choose to continue on the road we have been traveling, just as I refuse to consider killing myself.    It’s all so clear to me, I have a hard time understanding why others cannot see what I am seeing. If we don’t stop what we’re doing, we’re going to pay the consequences; that’s not a guess, not a theory. It’s truth. I hope y’all can deal with it….

I think I lost my mind.  Please watch where you step.

(Note from 2014: Note the last line in the second paragraph…. then, remember what I said above, about having ranted for two or more years on that subject…. It seems it’s been even longer than that….. gigoid…)
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You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come;
Knock as you please, there ‘s nobody at home.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Epigram

A gen’rous heart repairs a sland’rous tongue.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book viii, Line 432

Pope, living and writing in the 17th &  18th centuries, is apparently channeling Homer Simpson, 300 years in the future….. Doh!  Even wonderful poetry can be turned into low humor; here is solid proof. These two short pieces of pieces were just irresistible, as they immediately brought to mind a clear image of Homer slapping his head. See, I can be whimsical!…..
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“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.” — Josh Billings

“I’m a man of my word. In the end, that’s all there is really….” — Avon

Tough to argue with these; they both are basic elements of my own philosophy. It’s a shame, really, that society in general doesn’t buy into this more. Strong, silent men are in short supply in today’s world, and the twin pillars that hold up our culture, Duty and Honor, have fallen into sporadic use at best. Not enough children are being raised under the moral aegis these concepts provide, and the results are as predictable as they are ugly. Too many young men and women are reaching the age of reason with no inner strength, no strong morals to guide their way; rather than cloaking themselves in honor and duty, they are approaching life armed only with an imagination whose scope has been severely limited by their moral shortcomings. It can be a tough world out there, and it’s only going to get tougher at time goes on, unless society can find a way to shore up the shaky underpinnings of our culture, before it’s too late to try…..

“Cowardice” and “self-respect” have largely disappeared from public discourse. In their place we are offered “self-esteem” as the bellwether of success and a proxy for dignity. “Self-respect” implies that one recognizes standards, and judges oneself worthy by the degree to which one lives up to them. “Self-esteem” simply means that one feels good about oneself. “Dignity” used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life’s vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality (sic) of our character, proclaiming the hollowness of our souls.” — Jeffrey R. Snyder, Fall 1993 _The Public Interest
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A crucifix?  Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire! — Smart Bee

In my diving for pearls, over the years I’ve gone past this one several times (sometimes the randomness generator doesn’t quite live up to its’ name), and have just smiled and gone on. But today, for some reason, I finally got it…….and it’s fucking hilarious! What I wouldn’t do to see this character in an episode of Twilight (though I have to confess I’ve never watched it), or Buffy, the Vampire Slayer! They could call him Simon, pretender to the throne of Satan, master of Guilt, who bores his victims into a stupor, leaving them at mercy to his dark secret, a fetish for the blood of sons and daughters of mothers of the Tribe. If nothing else, the media frenzy  in the religious world would be fun to watch….. You may be asking yourself, is nothing sacred? All I can answer is, “Nope.”………
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“The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.” — Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Siggy had his moments of clarity amid the nonsense of a lot of his assertions exhibit. This is one of them. Part of what makes a man civilized is to be able to accept this part of his nature, and deal with it in the only honorable fashion; each morning a man must awake and make a conscious decision that, “Today, I will not kill.”, and then abide by it as best he can. Nothing else will work as well, and though it takes no small amount of courage to keep his word, a man of honor will do so, no matter the cost.

I think one of the most disheartening aspects of today’s culture is the lack of honor most people exhibit. When I was brought up, in the 1950’s, it seems like everyone believed in the concept of Honor, and it was just assumed that one could expect others to behave in light of that. As time has passed, I have seen the concept fall further and further out of the public consciousness with each passing year, and selfishness and avarice have assumed the central position in most folk’s attitudes. SIGH……I really do miss it……
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“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” — Bertrand Russell, Autobiography

These are wonderful sentiments, and I can only hope that when I die, I can have put on my headstone some indication that I had fulfilled all three of these passions. The ability to share love, the passion for learning, and compassion for the weak and troubled are the highest expressions of the human spirit, and pursuit of them is an honorable task to take up as one’s Duty. No man could ever hope for a more fulfilling existence, acting in service to those he loves, which includes all living creatures. One can only wish that this attitude was more prevalent in society at large; we might have avoided some of the troubles we’re having. No sense crying over spilled dairy products though…..you just have to hang on to your hope…..
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Now I understand how the little piece I found yesterday fits in to the puzzle. Not to replace the sig, but rather to join it……..yay, me….y’all take care out there….

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid


(Note from 2014:  See? We can learn something new every day…. Apparently, this is the Pearl in which I first used this particular part of the closing signature (sig) lines…. I did not remember that…. Huh….)

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Incredibly, it’s done…. not only done, but, done early, using the famous, or infamous, powers of a Time Lord, which we managed to steal acquire some weeks ago, through some rather subtle, clandestine wand work…. For now, suffice it to say, damn, we almost pulled it off! See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, possibly in a completely new/old state of mind…. I know, that’s a bit unfair, but, hey, if the big studios can hand out teasers, so can I…..

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

(Today’s picture, of the stone dance under the stars, came from, I believe, Space.com, from a group of award winning astronomy photos…. a group I also saw at another site…. so, it’s probably not a copyrighted piece….  If you wish any further information, copy the picture, then paste that into the search box on the Google images page, so it can find it for you…. it will…. & I’m too lazy….)

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!

 

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

That’s not a real basilisk, is it?….

Ffolkes,
It’s morning, and I mean that in a good way…..of course, I could be lying. Or, alternately, I could be telling the truth. There’s no way to really know, is there? All human communication revolves around that one little question, to wit: Is this idiot telling the truth, or is he living up to the poor expectations of the world around him, and lying his little butt off?  I never thought about it before, but it turns out that when we sit down to read something, we are expecting the truth.

We just naturally assume (or perhaps not so naturally at all….) that the person of whom we have requested information, or are merely conversing with, is going to deal fairly, and tell the truth. But, you know something? The person to whom we are speaking has given no guarantees of the that, not usually. We don’t walk up and begin by saying, “Where is the men’s room, and please don’t lie to me….?”, now, do we? No we don’t. We just assume we’re getting the real deal, when in fact, we could be wandering around in a daze, looking as confused as we really are….
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“Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.” — G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, 9/11/09

Here is a line you probably won’t see in the letters to the editor section these days, though I see it did at least get published. It’s a pretty good example of how the beloved ruling class runs things; they tell the public what they should be afraid of, and shroud their lies in partial truths. They make demons out of the regular folks who live in another country, telling the public how they want to kill us and take away our freedoms, of which they are supposedly jealous.

I’ll tell you what, I don’t think they’re jealous any more; I think they’re afraid of us, because we keep coming over and dropping bombs on them when they won’t sell us enough oil, or try to jack up the price too much. I think this country has no moral justification for the way we treat other nations; there can be none when the primary motivating factor is so obviously the money. Where’s the money? Just ask that question and watch them scurry around like the little parasites that they are…..
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As I learn to trust the Universe, I no longer need to carry a big stick, semiautomatic pistol, and bowie knife.

This process is running backward for me. The more I experience, and the more I observe in the world around me, the stronger becomes my urge to arm myself in more than merely a figurative sense. And if one intends to obtain arms for use, there’s no sense in them being of second rate or smaller caliber.

I figure a 16 gauge pump action over & under, a good rifle or two, two or three different range handguns, and assorted peripheral weapons of a sharp nature, for both hand-to-hand (daggers, stilettos, bayonets, swords) and at-a-distance fighting (shuriken, throwing knives, blowguns; maybe a slingshot with explosive pellets, or a crossbow with explosive bolts, just in case). That list ought to allow the flexibility for me deal with most situations. If not, well, it won’t be for lack of planning, or fire power, on my part…..
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“Virtue is its own reward.  There’s a pleasure in doing good which sufficiently pays itself.” — Sir John Vanbrugh, The Relapse

….A few days ago, we (that’s the royal ‘we’, meaning me, or I, or both of us in here…) discussed the reverse of this proposition, to wit: “Stupidity, like Virtue, is its own reward.”–David E. Williamson. It was the contemplation of this subject from which the inspiration for axiom #4 of Peruaosophy sprang. That axiom reads, “Excellence is its own reward”, and remains as one of the lynch-pins of my personal beliefs.

I discovered the truth of this proposition at a young age, and the attitude served me well enough over the years that I was adjudged as valedictorian of my high school graduating class. Mind you, that’s not a guarantor of success in life; there aren’t any guarantees issued to any of us for that. But, it sure is a good way to give what one actually does the greatest possibility of succeeding. It is certainly more effective than just doing the minimum required, with the bonus of feeling a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that never accompanies a half-hearted effort……
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“The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it – once you can honestly say, “I don’t know,” then it becomes possible to get at the truth.” — Robert A. Heinlein

Bob obviously sees this in a clear light. But the way he said this seems to imply that emptying out a false belief is not extremely difficult to do, and can even be useful in assisting others to see the light. That just isn’t so. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more difficult than getting someone to give up on a false belief, especially if it has been held since childhood. People treat these types of beliefs as if they were carved into stone, sent down from heaven on a tablet carved by the hand of God, because they were led to believe in its truth at an age when they had no preconceptions, or any defense against them, and accepted everything they were told by their parents as valid information, with no need for verification.

As social creatures, we need to be able to make that assumption, that what others tell us is true. But reality often differs from our assumptions, because a lot of humans don’t abide by the same rules as everyone else does. A significant proportion of people, knowing that others tend to believe what they’re told, will use that characteristic to take advantage, lying their little hearts out to achieve the goals on their agenda, not caring at all whether they have used the other person selfishly.

It is therefore in our best interests to submit any information from others to our own personal crap detector, to determine whether the data can be trusted…. everyone has one, everyone is issued one at birth. Most folks tend to forget it is there, so it gets rusty from disuse; it’s there, though. One merely needs to learn to use it on a daily, or even hourly basis….. and don’t be afraid to use the delete button with joyful abandon……
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A rabbi spoke with God about heaven and hell. “I will show you hell,” God said, and they went into a room which had a large pot of stew in the middle. The smell was delicious, but around the pot sat people who were famished and desperate. All were holding spoons with very long handles which reached to the pot, but, because the handles were longer than their arms, it was impossible to get the stew back into their mouths.

“Now I will show you heaven”, God said, and they went into an identical room. There was a similar pot of stew, the smell was delicious, and the people had identical spoons, but they were well-nourished and happy. “It’s simple,’ God said. “You see, they have learned to feed one another”. — Medieval Jewish story

Now, see, isn’t that a fine little parable? Another piece of evidence, in my mind, that all of the major forms of religious belief have their roots in the truth, even if the reality of life they observe and pursue is based on unjustifiable faith. When one stops to think about it, that is actually a pretty good description of how most, if not all, of the major religions operate. The basic truths they espouse are the same, for the most part, (humility, honor, compassion, justice, charity), but the method of expressing those virtues varies widely, according to cultural habits that dictate the specific form it takes.

In simpler terms, people invariably distort the basic premises upon which religions were founded, turning the articles of faith into a tool for manipulating other people, for their own personal gain. It has happened time after time throughout mankind’s short but eventful history, and continues to this very day. It’s also the primary reason that I avoid most churches and religions as I go about my business; the interactions invariably turn into dangerous neighborhoods of discussion, often ending in clashes of discordant argument, and mutual resentment. Better all around that I just leave them to their own devices…..which I tend to do, religiously….
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Not a bad morning’s work, if I do say so…. it’s certainly more than good enough for government work, a beast with which I am all-too-familiar. Brr, makes me shiver, just remembering….. well, another day out there to explore. Let’s see what trouble we can stir up today….. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!