Showing posts with label philosophy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label philosophy. Show all posts

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Treatment of Animals is the Ultimate Moral Litmus Test


When one reads about the needless torture of lower life forms, such as pigs--a grave sin committed in an effort to maximize profit--and probably ineffective--and the alarming footnote, that this torture is now defended with all of the vast resources of our Federal Government, by directive of the Trump Administration, it is a shock indeed; and one wonders whether the moral divide between the U.S. and other countries, such as N. Korea, has diminished from a mighty chasm, to a hop, skip and a jump. Our enemy tortures humans for no good reason, for sport; we torture pigs for no good reason--and persecute those who would show any consideration at all to the animals. We are better, still, but there is a stain.

How can it be that the "Conservative Christians" that are all for Trump can turn a blind eye to the needless suffering of animals, committed out of pure callousness? The question must be posed: if their god would approve callous cruelty against animals, then what sort of god is it?

We may one day by judged, if not by God, than by an alien race, based upon how we treat other life forms on the planet, and if that day comes any time soon, then I certainly hope we are judged individually, rather than collectively.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sobriety


One reads, everywhere, that alcohol in moderation is good for you, or your heart, or your general state of mind, or your immune system, or something. A glass of wine with dinner, say, or a beer with your buddies, is supposed to enhance well-being. It helps the heart, well, they don't know how, but they think it may, due to statistics, or something.

On the one hand, we have trillions of dollars made through the global marketing of alcohol-based products. Of course, with so much money at stake, funding will be readily available to any scientist that wants to find virtue in a shot-glass.

On the other hand, we have zero dollars to be made, by the business-criminal class, from healthy, happy, high-functioning human beings.

It is clear to me where the truth lies. For the business criminal, the suffering and death of billions is of small concern, whereas their corporate stock price, and the luxuries afforded by their trade, is everything.

In the beginning, after I cut alcohol from my diet, my thinking was actually impaired, as my body chemistry took time to adjust. But after time, I see that I am stronger and in fuller possession of my powers. I sleep well, long, and deeply, awakening each morning refreshed, renewed, eager to begin the working day. My emotions are calmer, held in a tighter rein by the higher reason, which is of vast benefit. Money that was spent on expensive piss instead remains in my pocket. In addition, I lose weight.

There is a pleasure to be had from alcohol, but many paths lead to pleasure, and alcohol is neither the best nor the only way.

The trouble with a glass of wine at dinner is this. Those with ambition want more. If one glass is good, two must be better, after all.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Pledge


The Pledge of Allegiance, like praying, should be voluntary. Observe that praying is compulsory in barbarian territories, so-called Islamic "countries" ruled by despots, where "morality police" punish those caught skipping prayers.

Teachers shouldn't assault kids over prayer or the Pledge. That is a foolish thing to do. In the first place, it won't make a kid patriotic; quite the opposite. In the second place, it is a poor excuse for an assault. Teachers that do that probably should not be in the profession.

The reason people pledge, or don't pledge, is a feeling of belonging to a nation and its system.

I remember back in the day, when I skipped the Pledge, as a fourteen year-old high school freshman. The reason had to do with complete alienation from the school and the country. It seemed like the school was run by the bullies, that is, the mean teachers and the tough kids, who seemed to recognize one another on some level and work hand-in-glove in many ways. The teachers turned a blind eye to bullying, and the mean kids just had a field day and ran the school. It was like prison--no different, really. There was violence, a good deal of it, and a lot of ugliness. Under the circumstances, I did not feel motivated to do the Pledge.

One day, one of the mean teachers, the Phys. Ed. instructor, who hated my guts anyway for being queer and was always working with the bullies to tear me down, yanked me up out of my seat, just like in this media story. I returned his hatred. "Big Red" can thank his lucky star nothing came of it--at least, that is, in my case. With an eye to the future, I absorbed, rather than reflected. Of course, violence begets violence, which is a basic lesson that people forget, and so the cycle continues, from prehistoric times to the present. I concluded that it is better to look toward the future than to dwell in either the past or the present. There is nothing about the high school years worth remembering. It was all wasted time.

Today, I pledge without a second's thought, and the reason is, I feel a part of the system, and a devotion to the country that is genuine, based on my good life, and a comparison of other countries around the world. Other countries, generally, stink. The U.S. is far superior in many ways, until you start comparing the most enlightened, such as Finland, Norway, Sweden, or Canada, for example. Canada, of course, has the better health system and many other things, but even so, the U.S. is definitely worth the pledge. And, I think for a black person, the U.S. is worth the pledge, because black people have it far worse in any given African nation. Yes, even with a certain level of background racism, even with the occasional police shooting, black people generally have it pretty good in the U.S., as demonstrated by the sizeable black middle class. If I were black, I'd certainly prefer the U.S. over any African nation, and I'd try to prove the racists wrong, by living a decent life.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Four Things About Me


1. I believe that sex is O.K. and also "no big deal," which means, we should not make a big deal out of it. Homosexuality, heterosexuality--neither is very important in the grand scheme of things, and the gods do not care. We can take it or leave it. In the future, it is likely that the human species, barring some catastrophe, if Progress continues and the Zombie Apocalypse is averted, will procreate in the laboratory rather than the womb. Romantics shudder, but realists rejoice. Sex is rather inefficient and problematic, if one is honest.

2. I believe that it is possible to love and understand most, if not all, human beings, and to pity those that one does not understand nor wish to understand.

3. I believe that kindness is a better policy than cruelty, even for pragmatic reasons, let alone ethics.

4. I believe in the System, but realize that it goes berserk sometimes, like any machine. It is berserk against marijuana and prostitution. It is berserk against the Middle East. We have no truck with the Middle East. We have truck with North America and, to a much lesser extent, South America. Our interests are in the New World. Our leaders need to glue their eyeballs to a globe and ponder the wisdom therein. This is the United States of America, not of Afghanistan, thank you not at all. So why did we blow a trillion dollars in that dump?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Failure of the Establishment


Putin-aligned governments arise in the West due to two key failures of asinine establishment governments. In a spasm of Kumbaya loving-thy-neighbor myopia, they opened up their national borders to hostile outsiders from alien cultures, inviting trouble, and neglected to take meaningful action on jobs. They had to do only two things. Close the borders and expel the Islamists by any means necessary. Stop importing cheap stuff from Asia, and start employing your own workers. It really is as simple as that. Due to the failure of the establishment to grasp these political necessities, Putin's dark star ascends.

In the final analysis, evil intelligence will triumph over good incompetence, ten times out of ten. The only reason good prevails is that is the only way that does not lead to self-destruction. Evil vanquishes itself--intelligent or not. The very nature of evil works against it.

If mankind is, on balance, evil, then the next conclusion is self-evident.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Low Expectations


The way to never be disappointed is to never expect much out of other people. That way, they can never let you down, because you're already there.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Goodness and Strength


Goodness alone is insufficient in this wicked world. A middle ground lies between Goodness and Strength, their Union being superior to either. This world needs Silver Dragons, sons of Light that breathe fire and have armor to withstand the swords and arrows of wicked men.

Who can define a dragon? I know one when I see one.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Amicability


It is true that I do--at this juncture in my life, although it was not true in my younger years--find myself capable of liking everyone, every living human being, in some form or fashion, even if only by virtue of their being in the same world that I am in and observing the same things. I find that they don't resent my promiscuity in liking everyone, but are rather relieved to discover that I am not one of the many hostiles, for this world can be such a hostile place. I wish people would place greater value upon cooperation, because it is only through teamwork that we can resolve the problems of today and tomorrow. Do I sound like a politician? Nay, I am a corpse, a skull snapping its jaws for anyone that will listen. And if no one listens, so be it. All threads are equal in length and lead to the same result.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Unleash the Stereotypes


In the fashion of Trump, here are my stereotypes:

The problem with gays is alcohol. Drinking stops thinking.

The problem with blacks is crime. Solve crime, and the blacks will be better off.

The problem with whites is war. An obsession with war between nations has reduced the white race more than anything else.

The problem with the Middle East is religion. Atheism, which is shunned, offers an antidote for the muttering puppets of dark powers.

The problem with Chinese is corruption. Everything gets sacrificed for money: environment, aesthetics, freedom.

The problem with racists is group-think. Your group doesn't even like you that much, and wishes you were in another group.

The problem with homophobes is they are homosexual. Straight men really don't think about gays and appreciate not having to compete with gays for women.

The problem with Jews is fear. They are afraid of being the last Jew standing and of Judaism disappearing from the world.

The problem with atheists is boredom. They are missing out on a lot of fun that the believers are in on.

The problem with Christians is they owe everything to a Jew, and the Muslims believe similar things they do.

The problem with women is men. Men are horrible.

The problem with men is other men.

The problem with Republicans is they have to operate in the real world of today, not their fantasy world of 1950 television sit-com.

The problem with Democrats is business as usual. The party bosses think they can just arrange everything without taking into account the voters.

The problem with the Greens and other minority parties is they don't understand winner-takes-all and what it means.

The problem with people that don't vote is they want to complain, but not do anything about it.

The problem with North Korea is Kim Jong-Un.

The problem with Trump is Twitter can't solve every problem in the world.

The problem with religious people is gullibility.

The problem with people that believe in magic is gullibility.

Is that enough problems for you?

The problem with human beings is that they are human beings!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Skull Sweat


If something is not thought through ten times ten times, then it is not right.

Not just sometimes, but all the time.

This is the law of Creation and cannot be repealed.

The only reason we have electricity is men burning the midnight oil with sweat pouring down their forehead worrying the details through to completion.

Genius is ninety-nine per cent perspiration and only one per cent inspiration.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Abandon Self


I like to imagine my death, because I have no regrets. There are no things left undone. There are no grave errors. I was good. A crime would be a torment to me. I prefer to fade into nothingness without a stain. This preference has been with me since the earliest age that I can remember. I don't know why. Perhaps there is good news beyond comprehension. I think that the Universe is One, and that all beings are one, although few of them accept it. The illusion is strong. Really, there is not separation, not of any significance. Separation is an illusion. We were one. We will become one again. So it was, and so it will be. Time distorts reality. All that separates a man from the truth is Time. Were he to live long enough, he would see all in fullness and understand.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Love


I love to love and hate to hate. It is easy to dislike a group of people in the abstract--fanatic Muslims, say, although I'd love to see a liberal Muslim--or fascist right-wingers--or fascist left-wingers, for that matter, come to think of it--anyone fascist, either side. There is not much difference between a fascist left-winger and a fascist right-winger. But I love to love and that is how I flourish and reach full potential. To allow oneself to love is not an easy feat to achieve for most people. They imagine a thousand reasons they cannot love the others. In reality, the only obstacle is the selfish self. Be brave. Love everyone. When people don't want you to love them, love them anyway. There is no need to tell them. There is no need to do or say anything. The magic and the power generates within, a vast reward beyond comprehension, for love is a means to power, real power.

It is as simple as this.

In the doing, in the chaos of everyday, be aware that you witness the very soul of the other in their deeds and their words. Be aware of the moment. The other is here now, for a brief time, like thyself, never to be again, a flower that blooms and withers and dies so quickly, in the blink of the eye of the Buddha. You, even your humble self, are witness, and perhaps your entire purpose is to be so. We are all witnesses of each other. For that is the way that the world was made. We are witnesses to each other and to the whole world as it is.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Nothing Matters


To know that nothing matters is a liberation. To think that things matter betrays attachment to things. Non-attachment is the way. If one lives in a world of constant change, then a simple path presents itself, to embrace the change and flow with it.

We think things matter because it is a prerequisite of living as an animal. Breathing matters. Feeding matters. To think that these things matter is very useful to an animal. The habit of mind can become all-encompassing, leading one to believe that even little things matter, such as a parking space that one has grown accustomed to or a brand of candy carried by the grocery store. We forget the ultimate reality, which is that nothing matters.

On this planet, there are people now. They were not there in the past. They will not be there in the future. No record will be preserved of their existence. This is a simple concept, but difficult to accept. The Universe does not play favorites.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Out-Christian the Christians


There are many who profess to be Christians and proclaim loudly their religiosity. I am amused by their designs to make others think they are good. They sometimes succeed through strenuous efforts at self-promotion and frequent, very public attestations of faith. They gain leverage among others of like mind in order to advance in their careers and in the world. That is their goal and their machinery is transparent to those who watch and listen.

When possible, I like to out-Christian the Christians, not in words but in deeds, and to operate, not necessarily seen or recognized, as a force for good in the world, by helping and assisting others who are good. I do not mind being anonymous. I like doing good just because. Not because I believe some invisible man is watching, a godling or some such, though perhaps that is so. My opinion is unsettled on that matter. How would I know other than how I feel? Feelings are not infallible. I could well be mistaken.

But if there were a god, she is rather a goddess, because I cannot conceive of a masculine god. The power of generation is feminine. The male can only subtract, not add. We subtract rather too often in my opinion. It is regrettable.

As for Tacita, she is not the primary goddess, but a relation. Distant, I think.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Knock Idols Off Their Pedestal


Whenever one creates idols, it is wise to knock them off their pedestals whenever possible. Idols beget idolatry, which is supposed to be naughty. I do not believe a human being qualifies as a deity. Such an elevation oversteps a boundary. Some human beings do approach the divine, but not quite there, surely.

I like to gather knowledge about my idols, using tools that are familiar to me, and that serves to humanize and demythologize them. Then I can incorporate my former idols into my understanding of reality and human existence.

Best of all is to have a belly-laugh over a former idol. Thanks for that, Donald.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Silence


I admire those that have learned to be, or who always were, quiet watchers and listeners. Silence is really underrated. People, politicians and socialites, talk and talk, out of nervousness, anxiety, or boredom, not realizing that in many cases, they help themselves not at all. It best to talk when one has something to say. When one has nothing to say, silence is best. Talkers help their listeners in forming opinions and gathering information. One conserves energy and prestige by saying as little as possible. To observe, retain, and use knowledge is really the way. Except when there is something useful to say, silence is best. Silence has the tacit approval of Tacita.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Model vs. the Ideal


I compare myself to the ideal, as conceived by me, and come up short. I know there is room for improvement, in areas such as memory and intelligence, and suspect that improvements are the name of the eugenics game being played by modern scientists around the globe. Indeed, who cares about workers and their rights, because the future won't need workers, or at least not as many of them. If H. Sapiens improves (evolves), becoming stronger, more robust, more agile, smarter, and longer-lived, then the world could get by quite well with a tiny fraction of the existing population of workers. How many living people are really required to run a society? That is open to debate, given the emergence of automation and robotics, as well as the possibility of improving human DNA. If future people become capable of living thousands of years or forever, then that is a huge advantage over current models of people. If future people will be ten times smarter than me, then I suppose that people like me can be dispensed with. Of course, that is what has always happened on this planet. H. Sapiens is only the latest iteration of many different models of the walking ape. Maybe there will be a successor created not by evolution but by the laboratory and market forces.

This seems to be the thinking, or rather the deeper, unspoken, secret thinking, behind trends in the world. Technology, philosophy, and economic forces point in the direction I have described. It is not necessarily wrong, even if it is unpleasant and frightening. If the end result is a better H. Sapiens, then perhaps sacrifices need to be made, in terms of quality of life or even life itself. I don't like it, but that seems to be the way that the world is headed, whether I like it or not. I would hope for a gentler transition, but I think that may not be part of the program. One can't count on stability. Stability is a bonus, a prize denied to many of our ancestors.

If I am fortunate, I will survive to an appropriate old age, such as eighty or so, and then cash in my chips, well-liked and well-remembered by those who know me. I hope the economy does not crash, or war break out, or something foolish like that, but one never knows, with Trumps and Putins and Khameinis and Kim Il-Jongs running around in the world stirring up trouble with their nuclear bombs, missiles and tanks, and nasty threats and disregard for others. Many people seem to think that hatred and warfare is the way, and that peace is for sissies, and morality is for losers. The warrior ethos still holds great appeal for wannabe candidates to Valhalla. This may be a fatal flaw in H. Sapiens, given the capabilities of our weapons. Hatred and warfare, so much of it, reinforced over generations. To recover from traumatic violence may require more than one lifetime, and cycles tend to repeat and reinforce.

If I am not fortunate, then that is okay too. I think the world will go on turning.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Veneration for Things Ancient


I'm dismayed by a certain writer's reverence for the ancientry, their practices and beliefs. We moderns have, most of us, concluded that our ancestors were wrong about a great many things. And in any event, whether they were correct in any specific instance, there is no question but that modern, Western societies are nicer places to live than ancient kingdoms. I would not want to go back two thousand years. Ancient people hurt others for little or no reason and waged war as a regular profession. Cruelty was commonplace. Everything was the fault of invisible demons or gods or spirits, and people were afraid of the dark and did not understand anything about science. Ignorance was rampant, reason in short supply, and people died for stupid reasons.

Also, our ancients were not that old, in the cosmic sense. Ten thousand years is not really all that much compared to the age of the planet we live on. What reason have we to suppose that there was anything the ancients knew that we do not? What sort of advantage accrued to the practitioners of magic? We do not today see any on the public stage. Why should they hide, and why should they be in the minority, if their practices work, even in some small way? These questions should occur to anyone that reads about magic. If magic were a really useful thing, would we not learn about in school?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Donald Tyson's Sexual Alchemy


I suspect people dabble in magic to horrify the orthodoxy. Christians seem upset by mentions of witchcraft, fearing it comes from the Devil. The Islamists behead people for witchery, along with a thousand other supposed crimes. The Jews, who knows? They invented the Kaballah back in the day. But most modern Jews are probably amused by witchcraft and don't take it seriously. There really is not a clear Jewish position on magic.

I think witchcraft comes from foolishness, not the Devil. I don't believe in the Devil, but if he does exist, then he is a rather weak and unimpressive bogey. I quit believing in the Devil around the age of thirteen. It is an easy matter to establish whether the Devil or any other entity has real power and authority in the world. Invoke the thing by name, and if it does not appear, insult it. Nothing happen? Fine, then you know the thing is the fantasy of shaman from long ago.

I've been browsing Donald Tyson's book on sexual alchemy, in which he discusses how to attract and recruit a spirit lover, presumably, one that has no material existence in the world as we know it. One never really knows what is meant by the word "spirit" or "spiritual" when it is bandied about by those who really believe. I am not sure Tyson knows what is meant by the word "spirit," either. He seems unperturbed by pesky logic.

Tyson lays out an intricate system for harnessing magic. He is rather vague on material results, but who cares about the material world, anyway? He does not promise material results--a wise and prudent move on his part as a writer, because in my opinion, there will be none. Instead, he talks about communing with spiritual entities and traveling through the astral plane, which is a more achievable goal for the self-deluded. For me, airplanes are more effective than the astral plane. Magic seems like a mind-trip people indulge for pleasure and amusement. If it were effective, then we would all use it, not only lonely dabblers in the dark. It is not prejudice or close-mindedness that keeps us from magic. Magic does not work. Even if magic worked a little bit, people would use it. People use software all the time that doesn't work that great. We don't expect miracles, but need to see a little bit of benefit in this world, not the imaginary world.

As for Tyson, I can't help but feel like he is in magic for profit. People want to achieve power beyond the human capability, so they buy his books, because he promises that the process is easy and just requires certain rituals and a lot of patience, I assume a lifetime of patience, because nothing will happen in a whole lifetime spent dabbling in magic. He explains a complicated system, which fills up hundreds of pages to the end of his book, and then counsels patience. Clever, no? He regurgitates a mixed salad of superstition from the ages: astrology, mythology, the Kaballah, and who knows what else, flaunting his knowledge to establish himself as an authority on magic. I suppose this is pointed at other magicians, who might dismiss Tyson if he didn't know all of the lore they knew, but might accept him if he reveals things they did not know. If someone believes all of that and takes it seriously, then by the time they reach his book's end, they will have invested a lot of time learning and constructing their own reality with his ideas. I think magic only works when people believe in it. Thus, it is the same as any other delusion, such as religion. I do not think that Tyson can achieve power or knowledge over me or anyone else by using only magic. If only the world were that simple, then life would be easy indeed. The Tysons of the world are these romantics that hope human beings are more powerful, and human life more meaningful, than it really is. In reality, we are numbers generated by other numbers, and math is at the heart of the cosmos and explains everything. Magic appeals to those befuddled by arid, difficult math, like Tyson, because it is easier and more accessible.

Magical practice can transform the self, like any other exercise that people do, but whether for good or ill depends upon the nature of the practice. I do think there are odd things in life that beg explanation. We do not understand them yet, but magic is not an optimal hypothesis. Old gods and demons are not the answer. The lore of the ancients can be discarded. Direct experience and experimentation is the way. That which is called a goddess, what is it really but a facet of ourselves, and why should we not call it by another name?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Vampires

Some are vampires, requiring the proximity of others to replenish their ever-diminishing supply of vitality. They drain. It is well to avoid them, when possible.

Others are independent, drawing energy from the earth and the air. These I count among my friends.
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