Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am finally me (#851)

It has taken most of my life to get here but here I am. I am talking about being me. I no longer care what I look like or sound like to you, all I care about is how I am to me. My instincts, my principles and my constantly learning knowledge is what matters. I admit I was less than courageous and more cowardly in not allowing myself to be equal to everyone else. I thought I had to do what you and others did to be acceptable. I no longer cling to that mindset, instead I am full throttle into being the best me that I can be. I get to elevate my desire to express truth to power without fear of recrimination. Even if fear were to enter into it I would still drive forward since fear is just another obstacle to overcome. I have never been more free and happy about being myself. I am not some rotten evil person who is not worthy of showing himself. I am the opposite of that, I am a good happy man who wants the best for you and myself. I hope we all could grab the reins of our own lives with the concept that what others think does not matter. What does matter is what we think of our own thoughts and actions. It is how it should be and is the best example to the world we live in that we are doing what is right and not doing what we think you think is right. What I am trying to point out is that when we are being the better or best of who we are others will think highly of us if they are of the same mindset or they won't and that is their opinion on life. We are not here to please or accommodate what we think others expect of us or what they think is right, we are here to stand for who we are without being afraid of who that is. Grounding ourselves in the discovery of our own individual natures is the beginning and then applying right principles of virtue to that will then allow us to show who we are without the illusion of pretending to be something we are not.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I am not God but I am a human being (#850)

Basic simple statement we all should know about ourselves. What does it mean though and what are the differences? I am not the creator nor am I the master of destiny. I can create scenarios that shape and effect who I am and what happens around me. This is no small ability in the realm of human interaction. I did not create existence but I have a say in how existence operates. As a human I am taught that we all have this ability to be engaged in our reality. It is a learned experience not without it's struggles. Often, we as individuals, are led to delude ourselves in visions of grandeur and self-worth. In doing so we cross the line between God-like status and human status. It is a struggle we all go through on a continuing basis, that is, finding our middle ground between who and what we are and who and what we are not. I know that I am not the shaper of destiny for others but I am the shaper of my own destiny, if I choose to do so. There are only a couple of default positions we can just expect because we are human, although it is a travesty that we have not evolved far enough into our civilization to have permanent guarantees to natural human rights. However the case on what stage in evolution we are, it is fact that to continue to broaden our understanding of ourselves we need to also define who we are not. Whenever I see the effects of ego I am saddened because ego represents an arrogance toward existence that is an illusion. We, as humans will always be the children here and not the adult(s) who actually created our human being(ness). Like all children who think they are too special for their own species, there is a reckoning that eventually falls on those who surround and are effected by the egoist. Humility and appreciation are never overstated when they are used in abundance by humanity.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where does the hate come from? (#849)

I know what hate is. I have felt it many times, mostly inappropriately but nonetheless I have felt it. I was sitting here trying to decide how to explain hate and when it is justifiable but that seems to always be an individual choice by us and not contained within specific boundaries. The most justifiable form of hate, that I feel, is when pain and suffering is being inflicted upon myself or to someone in my awareness. My hate stems from anger. In the past I would see a wrong being perpetrated and I would get angry, then the continued act combined with the psychology of enjoyment by the actor would allow the hate to begin to seethe within me to the point of blind fury. That is the extent of my experience with hate. I do not transfer hate in the place of fear since fear has it's own set of dynamics apart from hate. I see so much of fear in our discourse of thoughts and actions that it reminds me of how easily fear can be turned into hate. There are ways of looking at civilization that actually promote fear to the point of hate. Sadly, it is based on our own assumptions of how life should be lived and the expectations that come with that mindset. Instead of living with our own expectations for ourselves we in society have become accustomed to projecting our expectations on others as a way to deflect from our own fears. I do believe wholeheartedly that our fears are normal, but what we often do with our fears is abnormal. The correct course is to face our fears, apply them to our life and adjust ourselves and our thoughts accordingly and then move on to the next fear. When we decide how others should live based upon our not facing our own fears is when hatred can come into play. To carry hatred around, lashing out at others because we cannot face our own fears is cowardly and less than who we should be.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Defending the honorable and the weak (#848)

It used to be a given that heroic acts and deeds were obvious when they were necessary. Like pulling someone out of danger or helping improve some social inequality. Now it seems that many have no longer the ideal that represents giving of oneself for the benefit of another. A new strain of thought has been accepted in many circles that heroism is defined by what we don't do as opposed to what we do. In essence, in some minds it is heroic to leave those who need help to help themselves, regardless of the circumstance. A sort of tough love doctrine but associated with most all paradigms of life. There are those who think that we as individuals are better served with enabling ourselves in most all situations. Although those who do advocate for us to be almost completely self-sufficient already have what it takes to do so. There are few if any who have little to nothing who prescribe to this mindset. For me a message is lost in the translation of such a doctrine, self-sufficiency. It is true that we need to be self-sufficient but the inequality of starting points is an enormous divide. Certainly, in a perfect world where all are starting from an equal vantage point, self-sufficiency is a good rule of thumb. However in our present society, Most humans have little resource or opportunity to excel on the same level as those who enjoy privilege and wealth. This self-sufficiency standard, which again in principle is forthright, when applied in an equal setting, is at present just another wedge to keep our humanity segregated. I prefer to see the world as it is, in a state of unequal possibilities that clearly benefit one small part of humanity while lessening a greater portion of beings. I take the reasonable stance that I will defend equality until I am no longer or equality has become reality.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The expansion of my mind (#847)

Yesterday's post dealt with how my emotions shape my mind. Today's post will be about how my mind shapes my emotions. I need to have a clarity of thought to be able to expand the parameters of my mind. I cannot be bogged down by limiters or obstacles that prevent me from exploring all avenues of reasoning. I get to govern my courage as to being bold about what I think about and how I process my thoughts. My life is no different than anyone else's, I have the natural right to experience my existence on my own terms within acceptable structures. The freedom to think and the liberty to act are choices I get to make. What do I do with these gifts and rights? I know that I must value them and treat them with the same sanctity I do to necessities of survival, eating, breathing, drinking etc... I am my own enabler to grow my knowledge through logic, reason and analysis, at whatever limits I subscribe to myself. Life has very few options to purpose overall; there is existing and there is understanding. Somewhere, between these two we all fall in place. I know many who have hit upon a place of comfort that is less fearful. They have staked out some ground there and have firmly planted themselves for reasons of security. Others, who wish no such comfort continue to expand their knowledge base, ever questioning premises and conclusions when the logic of there foundation is imperfect. I find I am one of the middle grounders who have both types of attributes. However, I am further into the camp where logic is my tool for discovery despite the fear that may accompany that exploration. I have only limited time here in existence and as such I value the knowledge yet learned that curiosity has required of me to strive toward. I am less satisfied with just existing I am more satisfied with knowing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The way a man loves a woman (#846)

When the feeling of love strikes this man it is with an overwhelming awe and a little caution. To have a love that singles out just one other human being that has been the dream of a childhood hope, but also is a finality to that hope, is what brings out my caution. By finality I mean, how will I screw this up, that which I have been waiting my whole life for to happen? I know myself and screwing things up has been a common theme when dealing with my ability to express myself in a new and wondrous way. lol. Let me be clear also about how I think as a guy about love. It is my great fortune to believe and trust that somewhere in life is a woman who has as much love for me as I do for her. I am a romanticist, clear through. It is one of my most redeeming qualities and explains much about who I am and how I react to things. This man has the sensitivity to know that denying how I feel is absurd and not embracing my reality is even worse. Even in my advancing age I still think like the innocent child about matters of the heart. Until that day that a fruition of my hope occurs, or I am no longer in existence, I will always consider a "true love" as a real state of being. It is also my conclusion that, for me, if a true love is not able to be experienced, then nothing lesser should be entertained as an option. In other words, a coming together for purposes less than true love are, in essence, robbing both of the compromisers of the opportunity to find their own true love. I know this is just my opinion and others out there do not hold to a true love and therefore marry for other worthy reasons in their own eyes. I know this and have seen it all around me. I can only live within my own perceptions of how I understand love and that is with the magic of true love. That is the way this man will love a woman.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When will the rock drop? (#845)

A bunch of like-minded friends of mine use a variation of this term to describe how it is that the mind must eventually come to the heart for guidance. When the things we learn actually become felt experiences by us then we can better use that perspective to rationalize our present and future actions. It is an act of finding meaning in the logic and illogic of the world. My focus has been from the beginning on how we are of two instincts, plus one. Compassion, which for me encompasses all worthy emotion, and curiosity which encompasses all knowledge and reason. The "plus one" is our survival instinct, which is a solely our will to stay alive. The curiosity I experience is my driving force for me to understand the existence here in which I am a part. In all the logic that can be found and the promise of more in the yet still unknown, I can think out how things can or should be. It is the flaw of character that I seem to fall for in my own advancement of my ego. I tend to think that what I think is greater than what is and that in itself explains a lot about my struggles to be a better man. What I try so desperately to do now is not let my thinking define my thoughts, Instead I allow myself the grace of patience and allow my emotions to filter my thoughts as well. I am in no such great hurry that I cannot take a few moments or longer to get a better perspective on what I rationalize. In fact, the more I wait on reacting to thoughts the better the outcome is for me on all levels. I may appear to be slow or quiet on subjects that have an initial irresistible temptation to be spoken about. It is in fact a strategy I am employing to allow myself the most and/or best opportunities to "feel" a response after I have thought a thought. I hope to never forget that what seems simple to some or most rarely is and I must always respect that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My animal me (#844)

A purpose in being logical in thought and action is to maintain our life here in existence. Yes, logic is a means for survival. A tool to use when order wants to change to disorder, or disorder wishes to change to anarchy. We keep our civilization together through common agreements and through a structure that allows us all a foundation from which to communicate and interact. My mind plays the role of logician while my heart plays the role of emotion. If I allowed my heart to dominate my experiences and destiny, my instinct toward pleasure and passion would be my only motive. With my mind in the mix in an equal way with my heart, I am afforded less pleasure and passion but more order and security. I am of the animal kingdom and as such have animal instincts that generate self-seeking-satisfaction. However, the logical aspect of my evolution has just as much at stake in my life as does my emotion. It sets boundaries for my emotion while not diluting it. I am a creature now who has both, logic and emotion, working in tandem to not only enjoy life as the animal I still am but to have a longer experience in life because of what logic does for my individual and our collective security. I am at the fundamental level with my life and of course the complications attached to both logic and emotion are always straining my intellect. But at the fundamental basic level I have but two driving forces that make up the whole of who I am. Again, I reiterate that it is my contention that we have two forces within us that are our true natures, compassion and curiosity, with a side dose of survival in the mix. It is when I rationalize it out like this that I see I have hit upon the essence of my contention. My mind and my heart, the greatest sources of impetus which define my ability to create who I am.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The power of emotion (#843)

My thoughts are in line with how difficult life can be when the emotion of love, in whatever form that takes, has been violated by some circumstance or choice. That does not mean that the positive side of emotion will not get some attention here from me but for the most part is will be about heartbreak. I admit to having had my heart broken. Never before had I felt a kick in the stomach, metaphorically, like I did when I first was in love and then lost that love. The reality overwhelmed me for about a year and although I continued to function, barely, over time I got back to being normal again. It is one of the truely mystical events that happens to us when we can experience being in love with another. Profoundly under-appreciated by me when I was young and now in hindsight, I wish I could have known how wonderfully special being in love with someone who reciprocated could be. Dealing with the remnants of a broken heart is life altering in the sense that the loss is such a physical upheaval. My experience has been to simplify my actions, like just breathe, eat, sleep, walk, sit, etc...until the ability to do more eventually comes. Being logical about emotional experiences does little good since the heart of emotion has no connection to logic. But the idea of logic applied to an event like heartbreak, possibly can be helpful. I have found that thinking of better days ahead helps somewhat and keeping myself busy helps some more, but mostly it is thinking of the little time I spent with the love as a gift and for a moment in time it was mine to experience. I have since felt love and although it has not been requited, I have learned to be mature in the fact that I can't always have what I want or need, but I can still be me in the sense that life has no deserves or guarantees, it just is and be happy about that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maturity and fun (#842)

Maturity and fun are best employed in conjunction with each other. It is okay to be serious and express conviction while also smiling inside with the knowledge that life is not that hard if we would all just help each other. Better yet, life is actually fun to live when we know we each have each other's back. The humor that we allow can be the great disarming feature we need to get through tough times. A very wise outlook is enjoying life while trying to make it better. I am of course talking about fun that is inclusive and not exclusive. It is a way to show that even when serious and mature solutions are needed, implementing them should have the enticement of enjoyment. It is hardly likely we should implement any solution that is evil or wrong so why not enjoy the good and smart decisions we can make. A rule of thumb, if it is does not have a fun nature to it then it is not a good idea! Being browbeaten into a mindset that establishes punishment or angst as it's vehicle to solution is not right and should be discarded as a strategy. I cannot say this enough, we make of this existence what we can and it is up to us to define it. We cannot control most of what nature and the universe provide, however our actions within nature and the universe can be dictated by us. We have that power, yet we have not reached the consciousness as a whole to prove it. Not that we are unable, we are just mostly all unwilling to think in our best ways as a unit. Someday some cataclysm will unite us or we will all come to the same conclusion at about the same time in some other fashion, however it is done, hopefully it will get us to thinking about being wise in our processes and fun in our application of them.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Our personal parameters (#841)

At times I have been courageous and at times I have been cowardly. I have also been as dumb as a rock and as well unbelievably brilliant. I have been to the edges of the best of who I am and the worst of who I am. Most every time I have, it is because of a choice I have made. Within all of us is the same formula of opportunity to be what we truthfully become. I know this about myself and I also know this about you. We have the same opportunities to be our best or our worst. It is up to us. I am now in the process of eliminating the worst of who I am in order to enjoy more of the best of who I can become. Again it is a choice. Who I am and what I do in life is my new life project. I know the path to being me and it has always been there for me. It, staying in the present moment with my thoughts and actions, always seemed boring. In the past I chose not to stay in the present because I had more fun thinking about how to plan my exciting future, or I stayed in the past blaming everyone for my choices. I have to admit here and now that it is embarrassing to have to say that it took me until I had already turned 50 years old before it dawned on me that staying in the present moment without letting my mind wander was the solution to every problem I ever had. My flawed reasoning was fear, I didn't trust my nature to be great and right at all times. I had not yet decided to trust the honorable and noble principles I felt inside me. I was afraid that somehow my being would be taken advantage of by others. What I have come to realize is that those pure principles I felt that were great and right in my heart and mind were far more worthy than me, and in such learning that lesson I began to see that my actions defined who I am not anyone's reaction to my actions. I am at home now with who I am becoming and it is because it is the real me now living in my skin.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Good will and a helping hand (#840)

In this day and age it is not easy being benevolent when we are all struggling to maintain a level of existence that is hardly comfortable. yet we need to try where we can so that a comfortableness within our souls can be maintained. We need to help each other where possible, more than as a sense of duty, but as a sense of doing what is right. Our egalitarian society is still an ideal, not a reality, prevalent forces still force us to compete with each other over very limited resources. It can be combative and competitive as the survival instinct kicks in. That is part of the animal we used to be in our early history, destroy to keep from being destroyed. Civilization has rounded those sharp edges of our history and today in society we can feel a connectivity that previously was not possible. As these hard times have shown those of us who have little of the resources, we need to acclimate our mindsets to doing without and with less so that others may have what they need to survive. It is a simple logical understanding, share what we have when we can and our security becomes that much more possible. That is the logical understanding but within us we need to come to grips with our ethical and moral principles. The reality of our existence tells us that we are born onto this planet and we will, most of us anyway, surely die here. We are only visitors, and as such we need to think of ourselves as not owners of this existence but guests. None of us can change that and in accepting that premise we can then justify that none of us has any greater right to life than any other. Therefore taking care of each other when needed is an example of our humanness and a qualifier to our ability to exist as an intelligent and enlightened species.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

All must stand and be accountable (#839)

No one should get a free ride! However, there are those who do just that. It is so much harder, by far to let a few do all the work. The problem arises because there are those who wish to stay in the background and not commit to help with whatever cause needs being done. The reasons vary but the genesis is fear. Fear of being labeled, fear of being wrong, etcetera, it is all about being afraid to do something that is otherwise difficult or uncomfortable. Most of us have had to battle, scratch and claw, metaphorically, lol., to get what we have and jeopardizing those things is a tough call. Especially when we are trained by culture not to create antagonism, even when it is obviously needed. You know the old saying "the devil we know is better than the devil we don't know". The problem with this type of conclusion is that in most every case the devil we know is telling us this. What the true reality is, is that the devil we know is clinging on to what leverage it currently exists within and change from that most assuredly would deplete it's stranglehold. When we as a people set out to back a cause or way of thinking that logically expresses a positive step toward justice or equality, the fear in doing it should not be so great that all of us cannot stand up to it and make the change happen. We humans are greater thinkers for ourselves than we are given credit for. Many who would think for us do not believe we are capable of deciding our own futures without their guidance. Inherently, they would be wrong. The problem we have is to mount the courage to believe in ourselves and not the myths that have been perpetrated on us by our wannabe "deciders". There should never be fear when conviction to honorable and noble principle is the guiding force pushing us to action.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On the subject of personal growth as opposed to personal wealth (#838)

Here I go again on my title being similar to John Stuart Mill's titles. lol. I do love how Mr. Mill began his essays. Anyway, the subject of personal growth versus personal wealth is a bit confusing. It isn't a contest since both can be had together without having to discount either one. However it seems as if one has gained much popularity whereas the other is regarded less so. I am of course talking about the popularity of personal wealth. It seems that a notion has been widely accepted that wealth is a greater indicator of knowledge and intellect than the actual attaining of knowledge and intellect. As if by acquiring wealth we have risen to an illusionary status of wisdom about most all things. This false sense of one's abilities as to reason and analysis is buffeted by the awe that is given to the wealthy regardless of how easily or nefariously one has attained their wealth. This in itself is an indicator in the premise that the differences wealth provides as opposed to what non-wealth begets is monumental to a consuming society. Digging deeper, we find that the consumerism we employ as a society has achieved idolization standards. Even to the point of worshiping those who have wealth and disdaining those who don't. Even those with little wealth but with great expertise in areas of knowledge and intellect, ie...wisdom, are not looked upon with as much respect as those who flaunt a lifestyle of wealth and indulgence. My ego would tell me that it is because I deserve wealth just for being alive and not having it makes me want to be near those who do. I am not a big believer in my ego, which has let me down many times, but instead I follow my instincts of curiosity and caring and apply myself towards the rewards knowledge and intellect bring me. One has a great following and little self lasting satisfaction and the other has discovery. With me I am content and filled with awe when I can discover a solution to an otherwise previous mystery.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This planet belongs to all of us (#837)

It is time to get off the stage of nation and onto the stage of planet. This is why. Never before have we been so inter-connected with each other through technology and media. What happens in Syria is within moments available for anyone on the planet to see or hear through video or radio. My Internet service allows me to know bloggers and reporters from every spot on the planet so that if news is being made I can instantly access it. That being said the reason for this post is to reaffirm that we all are struggling for the same basic human rights. Yes, even here in America! In that we have shared common concerns and aspirations. We want to be self-ruled and given equal opportunity to attain without the influence of privilege and nepotism. Most of all we want to be recognized with respect and dignity. We are not just beings who are incapable of understanding that life is precious, regardless of color, beliefs or gender. We are all capable of interacting in the maintenance of our society. Although some societies may have rule that is different than conventional self-rule, it nonetheless can be acceptable if those who are governed by it agree to it's implementation or continuation. Personally I find that a democratically elected government that has had special interests purged from it, can be the most efficient form of society in guaranteeing the individual respect and dignity of it's citizens. However the rule of society is achieved, we all need to have the same basic human rights. It is when all humans on this planet can have an equal opportunity to live and achieve that I can at least begin to have hope that we are a magnificent species, worthy of the rest of the Universe, not in just how we are physically capable but in how we, through analysis and reason, are able to form the logic necessary to continue in a way that exemplifies the best qualities of the human race.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Courtesy as a regarded principle (#836)

I sat here for several hours trying to summon up a subject for today. this is what has come to me. I cannot tell you how many times I have been taken for granted. Apparently it is that "what goes around comes around" thing. lol. I have had many episodes of taking advantage of others or just being down right rude in my behavior. So naturally, it should come back to me in a way that reminds me of my own failings. Regardless of that, here is what I think about those who expect something for reasons of less than honorable intent. In other words, those who play on sympathy or kindness to manipulate situations and events. I can tell the difference between someone wanting real help and those who are in it to gain an edge. It is a grifter's mentality to spend someone else's resource before having to spend their own. I understand this and I have been guilty myself. That is to my shame! I also understand true need and how it is to be shown by those who have it. A respectful showing of asking for help is one. I was recently given an arrogant request to help a person and when I told the person that I had somewhat of a way to help they brushed past me without a kind response of any kind. It was if I didn't offer to all that was demanded of me I was not worthy of further discussion. Those are the simple ones to understand as not a true need. When I am in a bind it is the only time I even consider asking for help, and still rarely do, but when I do I am humble and respectful of whatever answer I am given. Thankful for just the other person even listening to my request. I know that asking for help is necessary at times and is not required by anyone to give. It is an honor just to be able to ask. I will always cherish that knowledge and when I run across less than that it reminds me that courtesy is the first action of respect I must endow upon whomever I ask a favor.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fear and it's many manifestations (#835)

I do believe that fear is passed along from generation to generation through learned cultural activities and allowed social paradigms. In other words, we do this to ourselves. We pass along myths and stories designed to scare us when we are young and it gets embedded within us as we mature. Most of us do not see how we do this but it is obvious when looked at from an outside perspective. Instead of using discipline as a neutral adjustment for behavior we instead use it as a negative reinforcement, something to fear instead of as a tool needed to improve or fix behavior. Fear is instilled in our rituals, such as Halloween, when to be scared or to scare someone else is considered appropriate. Our basis for governing, laws, are also used to scare or punish, while disregarding the inverse necessity of having laws that reward behavior and positive actions. It is as if somehow we decided that scaring ourselves is a better control of our natures, thoughts and actions. Are we so depleted as a species that we cannot see the better natures we have and reinforce those? I ask because it seems to me that our species is being wasted. We treat each other with skepticism and worse, with bigotry and bias. These are taught dynamics. When we are born we are as innocent as a clear slate. What we become from those first moments on into our lives is derived by allowed and non-allowed cultural experiences. It is difficult to break the chain of fear as it has permeated our society at every level, but that the chain must be broken and a society based upon egalitarian respect and lifelong nurture is the only real hope we, as a species, have of surviving ourselves and the unknown which is still bountiful.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My best friend my worst enemy (#834)

My mind. Yes that thing between my ears is my best friend and worst enemy. It allows me to see and feel freedom from many things but it also keeps me in bondage in many other things. If only I could reach that harmonic plane where all things are equally experienced with a confident nature of wisdom. Not with me, although I am hoping I can attain such an enlightened rationalization. In the meantime I am left with advancing my character and personality toward that which is most desirable, a virtuous life. Not saintly, but respectably honorable. There are within me certain ideals that conflict with existing emotional expressions within me that have me spinning in the wind. When an ideal butts against another ideal what should the outcome be? Still working on that. lol. This much I do know, I can sense the conflict and understand it's foundations, but the actual processing of the two that are in conflict is my present dilemma. Deep down within me I know where more truth exists over less truth and ultimately that will determine the outcome of my conflict. My own ego is another factor. It is true that despite the humility I have come to know I still have within me a rebellious character flaw that wishes never to be extinguished. If I truly believe that I am not the source of any expectation on my part, then I must first eliminate the ego that is trysting me up in knots and then let the rest of my turmoil expose itself to the light of day. See, I know what I have to do but am I ready to face the solution that is patiently waiting for me to employ? My hesitancy to this point would be a resounding no. But face it I must, then move on to what is greater than conflict and unsettledness toward new beginning with a clean slate. Even if one hope is replaced by another, yes, even then.

Friday, May 13, 2011

What is my motive for everything? (#833)

I am in a battle with myself. I sometimes catch myself wanting to do something or obtain something for purely selfish reasons. I am amazed at this! It is as if I have some dual personality working within me. lol. Actually, I know it isn't, instead it is me losing focus on my priorities. Yes, I lose focus and think some really selfish thoughts. There is a lack of discipline within my mind that allows me to daydream when I should be busy examining things in my purview with more scrutiny. It is a function of my previous lack of principled living coming back to visit me from time to time. That I don't catch it immediately is my greatest disappointment. Regardless of my occasional failings, what is most important is for me to have at the ready the motive for my thoughts and actions. Everything I do must be purposeful. Those previous behaviors of whimsical generation that I allowed as acceptable are no longer welcome. The cost to my soul is too high. Certainly, organizing my motives as to priority and acceptability remain a constant task but the idea that I would put to motion a thought process or action without having my motive known to me is absurd in principle. When I look around me and discover experience and knowledge, I then realize a sense of purpose which relates directly to any honorable motive I conceptualize. I am an idealist, who lives in a less great real world. It is not hard to see where my motivations tend to ascribe themselves within me. I want better for not just me and mine but for you and yours. I found out long ago when I was just a young child that the best of who we are and the good of that is worthy of my best and any efforts I apply toward it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On the subject of fun (#832)

Quickly, about the title. If it looks familiar "On the subject of...", it is because I am a big John Stuart Mill fan and he started his treatises out that way. See, I am having fun. lol. The playful jester in me needs to be unleashed from his dungeon and loosed on the world occasionally. Why, you may ask? Simply because there is so much to be serious about that the seriousness would consume me and detract from the reasons I fight to make our world better for all. A major point of being serious is to make time for having fun. It would be very easy for me to sit back and not engage in life where fun can be found. I know this about myself. I would rather read a book nowadays then to get out in some activity that allowed for spontaneous interchanges that create an atmosphere of fun. However, I do not allow myself to go that route. Experience has taught me that when I do have fun, there is nothing like it, not even reading a book. lol. Another very strong side effect of getting involved in fun activities with others is that I get a chance to reinforce within myself how similar we all are. I will never discount what the effect of having fun does on my overall outlook and my motivation to re-energize. Fun is an important component of a life of quality. A well rounded life that has wide ranging emotional experiences. Fun puts a smile on my face where otherwise the stone face lives. lol. I am so very grateful for the opportunities I get that allow me to share real fun because I know of living life differently with just the illusions of fun. Having fun is one of the common threads we can all participate in for the entirety of our lives. Loosing that inner jester for the sake of shared smiles is priceless when the cost is just so minimal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Enlightenment and tradition can work in harmony (#831)

A never ending fire to know more can be melded with a consistency of behavior. We have, as a species, lived long enough to know where our limitations and boundaries exist. Certainly there is a little room one way or the other but for the most part we can feel secure in the facts of our limitations. This understanding of boundaries helps us to structure efficient patterns for our behaviors and actions. It does not however limit our thoughts and how we can increase and expand our knowledge. The great and realistic challenge of society is to keep us from harming ourselves and others while giving us things to be busy and productive about. When civilization first banded together it was out of concerns for family and survival. We have since come to refine our societies to include common goals beyond just family and survival. Our comfort in society has expanded to greater realizations of our potential. It is in a society, that advances it's knowledge base into application, where our better potentials can be realized. Enlightenment is a by-product of a nurturing mindset dedicated to allowing all of it's citizens to be participants in it's evolution. The constant mindfulness of some is that the boundaries of our behaviors will somehow lose their identity through advancing progress. As our possibilities increase so therefore should our potential. These are constants about existence. Change is inevitable however change must follow an orderly path. This is where tradition has it's greatest value. I see tradition as a vessel for change not an obstacle. A pathway if you will allow me to describe it as such. Remaining grounded in a sense of duty to family and survival, we allow ourselves the calmness needed to face change. Tradition is not a stop sign for progress but a guidepost to help us stand firm while staring out into the possible.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The two sides of Carl (#830)

I am sooooo human! I come to this blog page and try to write something positive about our natures and how they should appear to each of us. I then go to some political page and get on a topic and rant and rave, cussing included, about the illogical happenings surrounding the topic of the day. I am an enigma to myself and a hypocrite to others. Such is my life. My passion comes oozing out of me most of the time in the form of understanding and patience. But some of the time I can be bellicose and emotionally stunted. I have lots of work to do on me. It is difficult as well to stay upbeat about what I know to be the best path for me, such as caring about others and myself. I get caught up in the chaos surrounding the details of how our society should work and at times lose my focus on what I should be thinking as to my actions. It is a detrimental flaw in my personal progress and I do know it. It is as if a duality of myself is struggling to co-exist. I know that I must be of a single purpose and I must continue to ameliorate the anger that assuredly follows my passion about illogical policies. (based on my opinion of course) Somehow in my past I inculcated a "righteous anger" as a positive tool. This is fallacious of me and in no way should I allow any type of anger to facilitate responses from me. I may be disgusted or disappointed but not angry. It does seem rational to get angry at bullies but even that is not correct. I must just be calm and strong in the face of such events and allow my better instincts to create the responses that are appropriate. It is a lot like the old saying for me "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.-Corinthians 13:11. It is no different for me and I am still working on doing things the right way instead of my way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What does spirituality mean to me? (#829)

I have been asked, even in a sarcastic way, what I mean by describing myself as spiritual. It is evidence of my spirituality that I did not tear into the sarcastic one for his condescension. lol. Spirituality for me is connectedness. The elements and molecules that make up my entity are found in this existence in many other forms. I am a different shape and form of what our existence supplies. There is also a logical and rational concept about how I view our existence that makes me feel included with it, an acceptance that this is mine and our Universe to live within. So not only on a physical plane am I connected but on a mental plane as well. I am not different than any other organism in a petri dish, moving about as a way of showing others I am alive. I may be insignificant in the big picture but that is still connected and a part of reality. I do not subscribe to a religious point of view, although I do not discount those who do. It is tough not knowing, but tough or not my objectivity will not allow me to draw a conclusion based upon insufficient knowledge. How spirituality manifests itself within me is through meditation and prayer in the form of quiet conversation with the unknown. I am happy with this in that it truly reflects the overall existence of everything to me in one form. I do not have an icon of diety, instead I have a blank image of the unknown. This must satisfy me in that I can not change or bend the laws of time or space to suit my enormous curiosity. I am settled into the knowledge that I have limited time here in existence and cannot know the full depth and breadth of all that has happened or will happen. Believe this about me, that was a disappointing realization for me. However, the boundaries I do have are sufficient for me to enjoy this life within the context of the time span I live within and the knowledge I will never know. Somehow that in itself is spiritual.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Understanding the life cycle (#828)

When I was young I was full of idealism. I knew that the only thing holding us back from having a near perfect life existence was ourselves and us agreeing to make it happen. As I got older I saw that it would take more than just a vision for a better future, it was to take convincing some that bettering our future was more important than personal selfish satisfaction. The tide of apathy toward our fellow citizens and greed was overwhelmingly unbearable and brought true discouragement to my soul. I have moved beyond the discouragement and I am in a place where hope is my guide and taking the time to explain my rationale for a better future for all of us is my agenda. I am not the naive individual who thought all we had to do was agree to change our society for the better so many years ago. I am now an advocate for explaining the necessity for society, to not only keep us busy and safe, but to also allow us to enjoy the fruits of this world we inhabit. We are here by whatever genesis and the fact of the genesis has always been left to belief or newly emerging science. Regardless of the reason we are here, the actual living here can be developed with understanding how we change over our lifetimes and by having a vision of togetherness. We are all we have! For us to not take advantage of our individual specialness is to arrogantly say we are somehow greater than this reality we were all born into. Someday I will write on the arrogance of humanity since it does have it's claws in our lives. But today I want us to see that our lives change and the people we are today are not the people we will be 20 years from now. Our society must reflect the sanctity given to us as individuals in an existence not of our own making. Our duty is to improve our general welfare from generation to generation. This requires at minimum respect for all life and the happy realization that life is a gift and should reflect that.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The consistency of my being reinvigorated (#827)

The reason I know I am reinvigorating is because I have hit a flat spot in my life and re-energizing it is the solution. It is somewhat humorous that I do sense, once in a while, that I am in a funk. How I get there seems to be emotional in nature and the reason for staying there is my being unaware of it. Eventually though I start to feel a weight about me that opens my eyes to a varied, depressed state. That I can chuckle at it tells you the depth of it is mostly superficial. I have come to realize that my funky periods come from some unrealized expectation of some emotional sort. I can easily recognize the expectations I shouldn't have that have to do with economics and politics but the emotional ones are the type of funks that are harder for me to uncover. I guess at some level I realize an expectation of an emotional nature has some influence over me but I do not correlate it with my overall outlook right away. However, although of a longer duration, my depressed state does reveal itself and I can take counter measures to abate it. How? By looking at what I have and not at what I haven't. The sunny side of life if you will allow me to describe it as such. Expectations are absolute stealthy inhibitors to my wellness. They are easily jettisoned if I am able to recognize them. But for the times when I do not I begin to feel so unappreciative of my life and lives around me. As logical as I can be about most other things in my life I do seem to have less success with my emotions. I am human, Yay! But in being human I must also be victimized by it's idiosyncrasies at times. Knowing that I will fall prey to my emotions I must get a better handle on how I detect the attachment of an emotional expectation that has me (funkifized). lol.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Where does the good within me come from? (#826)

I am a man who likes to meditate and even pray to the universe for guidance and direction. Some call this religion and some call it spiritualism. I tend to think of it as all things. That aside, I have come upon the question of where do the good things within me come from. I know that I care about people as an instinctual process, so maybe that is the genesis of my better nature or goodness. More likely that is part of it and the other part(s) come from my connection to existence. Simply, that I do feel a connection to existence leads me to wanting to open a line of communication in some way that makes sense, hence the meditation and prayer. I know that the practice of things makes me more likely to respond in the practiced way. In other words, conditioning my responses helps me to an outcome I hope to achieve. I am molding my life toward thoughts and actions that line up with principles for living I have come to respect and admire. Virtues are the basis for my principles for living and exemplifying them is my goal. But I am still left with that nagging unknown of where does the goodness within me emanate from. At my core is it hardwired into my DNA? Is it just something that comes about through logic, emotion and cultural experiences? Does any of this really matter? I suppose it does since I want to know how I tick. What is it about me that defines my particular brand of goodness and how is that different from anyone else? I have more questions than answers for now but at least I am questioning my essence. If I find answers to my questions I hope to be better able to describe my place within existence and understand human nature to a deeper degree.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

On the subjects of dignity and natural rights (#825)

"Dignity is a term used in moral, ethical, and political discussions to signify that a being has an innate right to respect and ethical treatment. It is an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights.-Wikipedia." "Natural rights, also called inalienable rights, are considered to be self-evident and universal. They are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government."-Wikipedia. I do not normally use definitions as a rule but let's be clear here about what these two terms mean. Dignity and inalienable rights are what all of us should have as a given. These two laws of life shall govern all of us equally. It does not matter what race, religion, creed, gender or otherwise differences we exhibit on the outside, inside we are all human beings and afforded these two fundamental paradigms. For anyone to make a distinction toward nullification of these fundamental rights to any living human, without consent of those who live under the rules of law by default of living in a society that regulates rules for behaviour, is guilty of illogic and chaos within civilized society. What should the penalty be for one whose prejudice and/or bias toward another is based upon fear and difference? The penalty should be heavy and without empathy. To eclipse fear and privilege, a new paradigm of thought must be formed and instituted. No longer can the mindless thoughts and actions toward derision and divisiveness be allowed to flourish or to be allowed to sit quietly in the dark waiting for an opportunity to display itself. A clean sweep from the ways of the past that did more to divide us than to unite us must be developed if only to save us from ourselves. The better nature of ourselves is screaming to come to the fore and all we all have to do is allow it to happen. Are you in?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the subject of faith (#824)

Faith can be found everywhere. I have faith that my body will move when I get up without even thinking about it because it does every time I have tried in the past. I have faith that the sun will rise when it does even though I know the science behind it dictates it will, regardless of whether I have the faith that it will. I do not need a religion to know that faith in something will give me hope. Let us be sure not to confuse faith with expectation. Faith is my understanding that a possibility exists that something may happen. Expectation is my hope that something will happen and I have conditions on it doing so. Sometimes I push my faith to the outer edges by using a belief that it will occur but that is excessive hopefulness on my part. Now and again I do realize some great hope achieved and have given my faith, that it would occur, more credit than I should have since other actions beyond my control had to come into play for the achievement of a hope to happen. Here is the crossroads I was hoping to get at with this post. Religion relies on faith, as a crucial ingredient of it's sustainability. My point is that faith can also exist outside the doctrines of religion. It can manifest itself in almost any daily circumstance dependent upon it's user's purpose. I do not spend all my time precisely in the present moment of time and as such I use faith to allow me to move out a bit ahead into the future as to planning and otherwise thinking thoughts. The faith I naturally exhibit is that I can come back into the perfect present moment without any fear that it would not be there for me when I did. Faith in the unknown and it's eventual knowing is another fine example of how I use faith outside the contours of a belief system. I am not condoning religion for anyone one way or the other but what I am condoning is the right and proper thought that faith on it's own, is a tool for anyone to use despite it's historical relation to religion.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The allure of the unknown (#823)

Everything within me wants to know more. Just because it is unknown by me does not mean it isn't known by someone else. I could spend well beyond a lifetime just trying to know what has been put away on a shelf somewhere waiting to be discovered. The greatest knowns that I would like to know are the ones that have been hidden from us under the guise of protecting us from ourselves. As if evidence of what we do to each other everyday has not prepared us to know even more of what we do to each other everyday. The secrets that are deemed to be too unsettling, too corruptible or too fantastical should be shown to us. Apparently we think we must be our brothers keeper instead of our brothers helper. My point is this; if ever we are to move beyond the fallacies of assumptions and expectations we will never reach our common goal of enlightenment. The more secrets we keep from each other the more we stay entrenched in the ideal that most of us are not able to think for ourselves. In that scenario the status quo gets to remain basically the same and those who have the power to think for others maintain an advantage that only greed will satisfy. We are better than that but the proof will come when we can show it. To do that we need to be informed about the things that effect us and our personal and societal growth. We have voting age requirements because we tell ourselves that some age is required to have a thought out opinion. Yet the thought out part is left lacking when we only give out less than all the information. Let me be clear here, we are all in this together and our form of government allows us to present our point of view through common agreement by all of us. To do that we all must be made available to the truth of what our world and society is hiding from us. Living in an artificial information world is not the truth of our reality. We can handle the truth, allow us that courtesy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

On the instinct to survive (#822)

Lately I have been confronted with the question of killing in order to survive. This is the most fundamental moral dilemma at the core of all of our lives. Logic has a say in this since we are required to understand for ourselves what we must do when a situation of this kind presents itself. The individual dilemma for all of us is, do we kill, to not be killed? The short answer is yes. We have an instinct to survive. All of us. When confronted with imminent death we will fight back to not die. It is natural and right to do so. But what of other circumstances that are not directly related to our own life? Such as the conflict in Libya? Our country and other countries, through the United Nations, have concluded that surgical strikes against a tyrannical regime is appropriate and necessary to prevent wholesale slaughter of it's citizens by it's leader. Is this the right thing to do? Here the question of yes or no is a little bit more complicated. An assessment has been made that yes it is the appropriate thing to do. The exchange of doing this or more, instead of doing nothing is based upon a cost/benefit analysis. If we allow the tyrant to murder his citizens while we stand by doing nothing we would be invalidating ourselves as a freedom loving society. It also would embolden others to take similar paths to dissent suppression since they would see no obstacle to them doing so. The greatest reason for me though is trying to stop any more needless deaths right now. The right to life by those living should never be allowed to occur without consent or recognized obligation by those who would sacrifice their lives. We must stand upon principles that honor life and crush those actions that would violate that very same honor. We are not yet into an enlightened age where all of this has been settled so in the meantime to create a better future for our children we must make the necessary sacrifices to stop the means that would violate even one persons right to life.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our harsh realities (#821)

I cannot save the world from all of it's problems. What I can do though is recognize them and save the world where I can. That is what I can do, but what is it that I really do? Much less unfortunately. I am getting better at being accountable to myself but my harsh reality is that I know I can do so much more. I am not alone in this and that is of little comfort. I am doing a self-examination of myself as I am writing this post and I do not like what I see about myself. It is depressing in my soul. The truth of things are not often comfortable and I suppose I am like most who would rather not feel depressed about the harsh reality of truth around me. It, the turning away from harsh realities, is a mechanism of self-survival but it serves to feed the uncomfortable status quo I feel if all I do is turn to something that makes me feel less depressed about truth. Deep down inside me though is a fire that wants more from me. Deep down inside me knows that with a deep breath and a determined resolve, I can change how the truth affects me and not be depressed about it but instead be angered and motivated to changing the harsh truth that is changeable. Since I have a bit of arrogance about what I can change, for me, nothing is unchangeable. I know how I am so it is easier for me to fortify my wall of conviction toward keeping out doubt or the possible letdowns. I am working on changing how I feel about the harsh realities of life and I sense I will be a stronger more advocating person because of the change. I am convinced that my happiness is contingent upon all of our ability to be happy. As it stands now most of us in this world are being denied happiness through the misguided approach to life and living, many who control such things currently have. The power of my resolve will only grow more strongly and hopefully others out there will be experiencing the same intuitive recognition to do the same.