Dallas in February, depressing in a truly urban fashion, traffic slowed to a crawl by a persistent two day old drizzle. Everything is wet. I’m late for a job I daily dread. Sitting in traffic, hated habit, out my car window I can see a huge mass of birds infesting bushes, trees and drooping power lines. They make the concrete and glass look pale and sick. In a commuter’s daze, blank eyed, consciousness condensed to driving, I’m fascinated by their numbers, content to think about anything that does not involve my progress or my destination, I wonder how so many survive. The birds, in a twisting cloud of black, lift from their wet urban perches almost as one. My commuter eyes track their movement. In detail they have no organization, pure chaos, every bird moving independently, but in mass they are a fluid cloud, like the exhale of some thick tobacco filled lung. I watched them go, watched them dwindle out of sight, before hunting for a way into the right lane.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
(Follow-Up to Reality Mine)
Most people are tired. They want to be liked and accepted and have little strength left to figure out who they are or what they “really” want out of life. Where is the pay back? They’re too often struggling to not fail, and in the mean time to not feel.
If you reject the world view you are socially expected to hold, you will be rejected. In a world moving past religious, ethnic, and national separations it is your world view that defines “us” and “them”. Otherness has been stripped down to its pure and potent core. Strong individuals will take advantage of the uncertainty caused by this shift, and they will promote world views of their own, gathering up the fearful masses; one vision for the future, one understanding of the “good life”. How long until several of these Reality-Dictator’s clash and we fight fresh wars over nothing, so much as corporate realities. This will signal the fall of nations as the major divisions of mankind. They will have been dead long before but no one will admit it until we join the armies of our human kind’s new dictators.
There will be men who choose their own realities or share reusable pieces from ancient and modern times and synthesize a world-view that suits their nature. Yes, there will still be these men, just as there are now. They will be lonely and few. They will be the small strain of hope that will remain after the Reality Dictators have spent themselves on destructions and vain attempts to control the minds of other men. These individuals will remain, and they alone will still enjoy their lives and have hope within reach. These men of free mind will pick up the pieces and put it back together, and if we are lucky we will all be free to be ourselves; finally.
The difference between a good life and a bad one is usually expectation and perspective.
Each of us chooses how our expectations are set.
Each of us chooses how our expectations are set.
I’ve too often allowed popular culture, the media, an administration or other people to define my reality. Real personal freedom must include reclamation of individual authority to author reality. Personal enlightenment, freedom from psychological oppression, includes by necessity a personal redefinition of expectations, and actively reshaping the lens of perspective.
My recent frustrations and musings lead me to this conclusion, I am not free until I free myself from the worldview I’m being sold. There is an experiment in front of me now, trial and error; this is my new threshold.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 09:43
"Good and evil composes each of our lives, none of us is perfect or constant. We often act wrongly and this builds up, like a layer of ash. When we die, the lifeless ash covering us dissipates into the void. The good in us, which we are born with, that had not been turned to ash and that which built up when we would often act rightly, is pulled back towards the earth. Pulled by a spiritual gravity, drawing us down once again into the ancient home of humanity. Earth herself gives you a new body as you meet her again. She gives you a life that fits you. We are humans because we had enough goodness in us to fit this form and these lives. We are on our way, and this is an advanced leg our race. We are close. Some of our faith believes that there is a great sun of purity and peace burning in the heart of the earth and that is what draws us back from the void and into the embrace of life over and over. Others believe that it is the collective weight of the teaming body of life that makes this world pulse that draws us back and gives us form once again."
"What is your opinion teacher, what draws us back?"
"Either way we are drawn back, and that to me seems the superior understanding. As to what draws us back, I believe that the fire in the heart of the earth is simply chemical reactions and that we are life drawn back to life; clinging to each other. How would another planet have enough life in its belly to draw us back? No we are life, and ash covered as we are it is this life that draws us back and gives us form. We take life with us into space, and it is this belief that will give us the courage and faith to settle our new homes."
"When will we reach out, and add life to new planets?"
"When is in the hands of the technologists, we must put our faith in them. Who will go, is another matter. We must send our greatest souls, so that if they meet an alien form of life they will act with wisdom and consideration. Also, they must have enough goodness in them to draw back those of their numbers who will surely die in the harsh new worlds."
"Those of you who train to be an astronaut remain, all the rest are dismissed."
Friday, March 17, 2006
"Those who propose to take charge of the affairs of government should not fail to remember two of Plato's rules: first, to keep the good of the people so clearly in view that regardless of their own interests they will make their every action conform to that; second, to care for the welfare of the whole body politic and not in serving the interests of some one party to betray the rest. For the administration of the government, like the office of a trustee, must be conducted for the benefit of those entrusted to one's care, not of those to whom it is entrusted. Now, those who care for the interests of a part of the citizens and neglect another part, introduce into the civil service a dangerous element - dissension and party strife. The result is that some are found to be loyal supporters of the democratic, others of the aristocratic party, and few of the nation as a whole."
Cicero, On Duties, Book 1, XXV
Posted by Extra Gravy at 14:50
Monday, March 13, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
A lens of perspective does not limit input
A lens of perspective does not preclude actions
Any lens of perspective can bring change
Any lens of perspective can be critical or affirming
Optimistic lens are constructively critical
Pessimistic lens are deconstructive critical
Optimistic lens are affirming in comparison to a positive
Pessimistic lens are affirming in comparison to a negative
Optimism generally encourages topical increase or continuation
Pessimism generally encourages topical restriction or cessation
Aspects of our reality can be rationally neutral
These experiences make up a majority of our personal experience
Rationally neutral experiences can be viewed optimistically
Optimistic viewings can render neutral experiences positive
Positive experience contributes to satisfaction with reality
Definition: Rationally Neutral Experiences
Numerous events can be viewed optimistically or pessimistically without changing our ability to react or rationally deal with an event. These are usually due to an inability to rationally determine the accurate nature of an event in or aspect of our environment. I refer to these experiences as "rationally neutral" experiences: Meaning simply, that viewing them positively or negatively does not make a substantive difference.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 15:31
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Yesterday's post, disliked by everyone who read it, I'm sure, represented my expression of several personal changes I'm determined to make. I'm making a concetrated effort to change my world view and outlook.
- I choose to be optimistic to the fullest rational extent
- I choose to formulate on hopeful visions of the future
- I will resist the desire to withdraw, and begin to engage
- I will not look to governement to lead but to represent
- I will not support the partisan political establishment
- I will remember that the people are the state
- I will remember that the majority of reality is internal perspective
- I will remember that reality is mine to create