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

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.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reality Is What We Make of It


Reality is what we make of it. I feel this is true about everything. My opinions seem like the simple truth to me. Others have contrary opinions and seem to have great conviction that they, instead of me, are right. I am impressed by those with conviction, but also suspicious, because I wonder how quickly they arrived at their opinions, and whether they considered the other sides much at all. Perhaps their opinion was formed long ago on the basis of information that has since been discredited.

Marijuana has had reams of misinformation broadcast about it. So many lies have been cultivated about marijuana, it is a strange wonder that anyone at all likes it. Based upon the lies, you would think every human being on the planet would be actively engaged in eradicating the demon seed. Yet that is not the case. Instead, hundreds of millions of people adore marijuana, and great numbers have done so since ancient times. Why? Who is right? Is marijuana good or bad?

I like to call marijuana "weed," because it is, in fact, a weed, particularly in areas where it is illegal. It grows quickly and spreads on its own in the wild, and humans have declared war on it, for better or worse, ever since the 1930s, although before that time, Americans found marijuana useful. Abe Lincoln liked to smoke it.

Some have the modest and humble opinion that weed is, at the very least, better than alcohol. They are not saying it is good, but only that it is better than alcohol, which is not saying very much at all, because we know alcohol is bad. I have this opinion, and I think it is self-evident, requiring very little in the way of debate, that is, if both sides are being honest and objective. Many believe this based upon direct experimentation with both substances, individually and in combination. Their opinion is, therefore, grounded in direct experience, which is the best manner to form an opinion. Their reality is evidence-based. Bolstering their position is a pretty vast amount of scientific literature. To ignore the science surrounding marijuana is not dishonest, but it is lazy. In summary, alcohol is toxic to the human body, while weed is not. Twenty years of drinking will devastate the body and mind more surely than an entire lifetime of vaporizing. Emphasis must be placed on the verb, vaporizing. One does not smoke in 2016. Smoking is a relic of the past, and anyone who believes that weed is smoked is not living in the modern age. All of the arguments about the negative effects of smoking must be revisited to come to terms with modern methods and to come to terms with legal weed, a product that is pure, unadulterated, unsullied by crime and by criminals, and sold in well-lit and state-sanctioned retail stores.

A diminishing minority of Americans, less than fifty per cent, believe weed is worse than alcohol, and therefore should remain illegal. Within this group, some have never tried it. Their reality is based upon what others have told them. Other people have constructed reality for them, and they have accepted that version of reality, often without question, much as religious zealots do. Others within the group have tried weed, and for whatever reason, have concluded weed is worse. I heard from a man today who once smoked marijuana, but quit. He told me "Dope is wrong," and his reasoning was that weed makes people stupid. Well, it so happens that I agree. Inebriates tend to make people stupid. No one is arguing that weed makes anyone smarter. The effect, however, is short-lived and does not persist. He also said that when he used weed, it gave him the munchies, and he overate, resulting in his obesity. Well, weed varies. Some weed does trigger appetite. This is extremely useful in those suffering from nausea. For an obese person, abstinence may be best. But to conclude from all of that that people should go to jail for possessing weed is ridiculous. Nevertheless, he seemed to think that there is nothing wrong with locking people up for weed. I think that he simply likes the idea of locking people up, and it pleases him so, he does not stop to think about the rightness or wrongness of the law. What profit is there, after all, in debating the merit of things? Why not just accept everything as it is, however bad?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Looking for Problems Where There Are None


There are two types of troublemakers in the world.

The first are obvious, the ones that start trouble because they delight in it. They are also known as criminals, terrorists or nitwits.

The second are the ones that invent imaginary problems and then go make trouble to try to solve the imaginary problems. These folks don't like trouble and are trying to prevent trouble, and in so doing are targeting what they think is a source of trouble. The trouble with that is, it is just imaginary trouble.

Many problems are imaginary, rather than real. If a problem has not been analyzed exhaustively from every angle, in cold blood, without passion, then it may not be a problem at all, but just a symptom of one of H. Sapien's finer attributes, creativity. We love to create things, and one of the things we create is imaginary problems. Much of what is perceived as reality is in fact imagined, distorted, or misinterpreted. For the same reason, humans have difficulty beating computers at chess. Computers analyze exhaustively, from every angle, in cold blood, without passion. Should we wish to improve ourselves, we should emulate our wondrous machines, without abandoning our good quality of love.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Regets of an Older Person

I have grown old enough to remember times past. Now I regret several trends in the modern world.

First and foremost, I dislike that cold hard cash is going away. I think money is a good thing. It is hard to trace, which is both good and bad, depending on the situation. I like less information in the hands of governments, because I do not trust governments. The American government is one of the better ones, but I still do not trust it completely. That which is mortal is prone to failure--and to corruption. Money is good for human beings, because we evolved along with it for thousands of years, and it has a long history with us. When money is invisible, as in the case of a credit card, then it is hard to fathom. I see young people getting into debt all the time, and not idiots either, but extremely intelligent young people, who should know better, but they have been seduced by the siren call of easy credit and getting things now as opposed to saving up for them. Where is wisdom, forbearance, and delayed gratification? Young people are the ones that will suffer most, because they have been unschooled by money.

And money is a school. I know exactly how much I can spend at any given time, because of the money in my wallet. I can see it. I can feel it. It has a texture. It even has a smell. If it takes a little bit longer to make change at a cash register, then that delay allows time for reflection over my purchase. The easier and the faster that a purchase is, the more likely it will be made upon impulse and not grounded in reason. Credit cards are horrible tools devised by clever marketing specialists. They use psychology, mathematics, and statistics, just like casino owners, to overwhelm the feeble human defences against overspending and impulse purchases. Remember, it was not long ago that there existed no money, no market, no economy. We were hunter-gatherers. Money in itself is a recent and radical innovation. Before money, there was bartering. Credit cards have arisen just within the last hundred years, and the human race is far from ready for them.

I regret that America is less than what it once was, and that no-one seems capable of reversing its decline, while China rises. China will cause many problems in the world, because their leadership is ruthless. America appears to be ruled by crony capitalists who seem only interested in their own affairs rather than those of their country. There is too much corruption and too little efficiency. Much money and time is wasted upon pointless exercises, such as adventures in the Middle East. It would be better to attend to domestic problems than to meddle overseas. Improve infrastructure and invest in scientific research and education is the simple answer and the correct one. But people want to stretch for bloody glory against weak enemies, foes that die easily but reproduce their numbers continually, so that a never-ending quagmire of money-draining goes on. Meanwhile, China improves infrastructure and invests in scientific research. Can anyone read the writing on the wall? Perhaps I will be gone before the fate I see comes to pass.

I am neutral, rather than partisan, on the issue of books and newspapers. They were good and bad. There was a lot of bad. Some people don't remember. They think of Shakespeare when they think of books. I remember bad books, bad newspapers, bad magazines. So now the world derives information online. I do not think that is necessarily a bad thing. I think it may be good, but I reserve judgment. I do like books, too. But most books are probably bad. There are some authors that I really like to escape with and join them in their mental space for hours and days and months at a time. Their books are good. They can be formative, even life-changing. I think books will always be with us. Videos can be tedious, and they are hard to produce, but not only that, some people express themselves best through thought, rather than theatrics, and books are the most efficient medium for thought.

Health care is a big PITA in the U.S.A., and is only getting worse. Nurses and doctors are now expected to be accountants and programmers. Instead of studying medicine, they must study computer programs and insurance plans. Instead of paying attention to the patient, they pay attention to the computer. So health care is terrible. When you go to see a nurse, she has to stare at the computer screen instead of listening to you. Meanwhile, other countries like Canada have health care figured out. Unfortunately, in the USA we have something called the Republican party that opposes anything that might potentially improve the lot of the poor or minorities. If you have insurance, then you have to navigate a maze of different insurance companies, different insurance policies, updates to said policies, HSA debit cards, insurance cards, toll-free numbers with wait times in excess of one hour, and so on, ad nauseum. I am sick to death of insurance companies. I have four different insurance companies for different facets of my health care, four different usernames and passwords, four different phone numbers I need to call, and I had no choice in the matter but was given this by my employer. The Democrats are stupid because they want to make health care more complicated, rather than less. The Republicans are stupid because they don't even want people to have health care in the first place. Both of the stupidities intermingle and combine to create an ever bigger stupidity. And what we are left with is health care in the U.S., which is boneheaded stupid.

I will have to continue this post another time.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Goals

My goals are simple and, I think, humble. I want to live the good life, with a minimum of drama. I had enough drama as a youngster. And when I reach the dregs of the cup of life, and this world please me no more, I wish to fade from it, or rather vanish from it, with silence and dignity, leaving no loose ends, nothing other than this mortal shell. Maybe I will find a way to dispose of that as well with dignity and decorum.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Drop Everything

A good life is one where you could drop everything--die--and not leave too much undone, when you feel you're in the bonus round anyway.

Friday, January 2, 2015

God & Sex

How can anyone believe that the architect of the Cosmos concerns himself with a primate's gonadal impulses, whether hetero- or homo- sexuality? The idea tickles my funny bone. Those who believe it earnestly in the modern age must be subnormal in intelligence. Or perhaps they are obsessed with sex.
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