I Wish I Had Not Been Inspired To Write This

Since the mean-spirited, the fantasists, the intolerant and the selfish are not letting up this season it seemed like a reasonable idea to take a swipe at them…

These are a collection of thoughts which are available to be used as quotes, no copyright laws were invoked. As an alternative you may wish to shake your head sadly and say ‘Poor guy. How did he get that way?’; to this there is an easy answer….. I’ve been around for 70 years. …..

Anyway…..

Apparently only other people are gullible.

Conspiracy Theories are for folk who can’t cope with the concepts that Human Folly and Natural Planetary Activity are two of the biggest influences on Societies.  

It’s not Politics, it’s not Religion, it’s not Economics which are the problem. It’s People.

Two ways of avoiding responsibility, not caring about others and being selfish, would be either to going out to a pub and getting hammered, or embracing Libertarianism.

Simplifying a Tax System is process by which The Rich Keep it and the Poor pay for that.

The Market Economy is a great idea on paper. A Planned Centralised Economy is a great idea on paper. The trouble is The Paper doesn’t have a say in the running of either operation.

The Irregular Verb of Politics. I have firm, resolute beliefs. You have been misled. They have dangerous ideas.

Of course there will be a very special place in Hell for the very wicked. It’s next door to the larger room for the Apathetic.

Misogyny is the first resort of the male inadequate.

On encountering opinions described as ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ check which orifice they originated from.

The Enlightenment was fine but Intolerance, Greed and Cruelty are still around.

Who the heck would want to travel all that distance, using all those resources to reach this world? And why would they set up home in a chunk of American desert. OR if they are so clever in getting here how come they allowed themselves to be hijacked to a chunk of American Desert?

I might be impressed by Hunters if they went out barefooted, dressed in nothing but hide skins, armed only with pointed sticks or bows fashioned yesterday from branches and twine and were hungry. 

In this 14 (more of less) billion year old and maybe 60 billion light years in diameter Universe, can anyone take me to the vacant place and say ‘Look this is where Your God should be,’??…. Thought not.

Democracy is a process whereby you vote and hope you got it right. Then sometimes get to be disappointed. Then you vote again and hope a lot of people agree with you…

Elections are usually lost and the other folk benefit.

Not voting helps those you least want to be governing you.

There’s nothing wrong with being joyful and having a good time, just don’t try and shove it down my throat.

Denying Climate Change is assuming there are set of controls somewhere on the planet just like your central heating, air conditioning, lighting or plumbing.

Did Trump becoming a political item make you wonder if it was God’s way of saying ‘Yep. The Russian Orthodox Church were the ones who got the message right,’ ?

History is a wonderful teacher. It is also a remorseless shredder of romantically held views.

Intolerance, Bigotry and Ignorance are held in equal measure on The Right and The Left. The difference being, those on The Right tend to bawl out their views, whereas those on The Left tend to add a layer of self-righteousness.   

Whether Racism is a result of or will cause chronic inbreeding has yet to be clarified.

Claiming to know what your Rights are does not necessarily tie in with knowing what your Responsibilities are.

In the Western World one of the more unnecessary professions is that of the film critic whose affected opinions have done as much damage to the film industry as any censorship board.

Restless

Sailing Ship

I must go back to a narrative again, to follow the Muse’s eternal cry

And all I ask is my laptop and an idea to guide me by

(Thank you John Masefield for Sea Fever)

You finish one project, it’s taken you quite a while, you’ve experienced all the varying emotions, you’ve fought through the ‘Why Am I Bothering’  fug, you’ve edited or negotiated editing, all typos etc have been sought out, a book cover was navigated you have striven with marketing  and finally the work is ‘Out There’ . Then you might think to yourself ‘ I deserve a rest,’

Of course you do

And yet to visit another nautical bit of plagiarism from a jolly yarn.

‘Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November* in my soul [a few more ‘whenevers’ have been omitted Melville being Melville ] …….. then, I account it high time to get to my paper and laptop as soon as I can’  

In short. Do writers ever rest? Did not one plot have away in its unused corners threads and motes which begged examination? Was there not a minor character whose shadow would dog your heels and whisper possibilities? On some journey, be it physical, of the imagination, or amongst the other tangles of human consciousness was there not a murmuring of creativity beginning to coalesce?  Or did something just come into a writer’s head, a modest literary version of The Big Bang?

Ever wonderous, and tortuous is Creativity, calling you on. Embrace the Restlessness, it requires you to fulfil.

Would we have these feelings any other way?   

*Actually those are qualities which make November my favourite month. It marks the finality of the Summer’s assault on my senses – I know, singular. Anyway it has set loose my own restlessness- two projects are beckoning. One SF which requires a dip in Quantum Physics and Mechanics and might take some time (Quantum and Time, now there’s a paradox in the making). The other, that’s a follow on from my previous work, a generation later, and I have not the faintest idea what the plot might be, but one of the Muses is insisting I get writing. Ah good ol’ stream of consciousness, what little nuggets might there be amongst all the silt which will come forth from the dredging. 

  

 

WOMEN AND HEART ATTACKS: Things Every Woman Should Know, and So Should the Men Who Share Their Worlds — A New Spirituality

This post originates from rawgod. 
The symptoms of Heart Attacks for men and women are different, naturally the symptoms for a Man are better known. This post is therefore an important read for all. 

Do you know, when women have heart attacks, they seldom experience the same symptoms as men experience. Yet men’s symptoms are well and widely known. We men are told what to watch for early in life. So why are women not told what symptoms and signs they should watch for! Heart attacks are the number […]

WOMEN AND HEART ATTACKS: Things Every Woman Should Know, and So Should the Men Who Share Their Worlds — A New Spirituality

Thinking about and hoping for Jill Dennison -Filosofa’s Word

As many of you may know Jill has not been in the best of health in recent times. I e-mailed our battling girl the other day, and sadly she is still in hospital suffering with serious heart and kidney issues.

She gave me permission to post this up-date so in her words  “as many of our mutual blogging buddies know what is happening”

As I’ve outlined she is quite unwell and can only manage short messages, but I am guessing will appreciate messages of support and concern.

We all know Jill for her ceaseless battles against political irresponsibility, sheer opportunism and downright hate.

I think I speak for us all, when I write how much we already miss those delightful Monday morning compilations of cartoons, captions, photos and cute videos; along with the adventures of Jolly and Joyful which start the week so well.

And although always ready with a well-aimed tirade against some deserving target or another, Jill has also been there to remind us there are folk who are working so hard to make the world a better place with her Wednesday slot of Good People Doing Good Things.

Let us all give some time in the day to turn our thoughts to Jill Dennison, her family and ‘moggies’, and for those of you in the USA, for her sake don’t give up the fight, the rest of us around the world have got your backs.

Let’s hear it for Jill then and put your own posts up in support of her 

Keep on keeping on kid, you’re a true American patriot 

Musings on Writing (Another series). A Few Words About Sales.

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It has to be said. There is one great benefit in non-existent sales on your self-published Kindle Volume; when one pops up out of the blue.

That little buzz makes are the effort worthwhile.

 

Sailing Ship

Keep on keeping on people.

Another Launch (Persistence Doesn’t Always Pay, But It’s Satisfying)

A Case for The Christian Easter Actually Happening

Foreword (And Long Post warning….)

Looking at any subject from one point of view is a natural way. After all we have our views, our driving forces, our beliefs and those are the starting points for most of our reactions. However it should always be borne in mind this is a multi-dimensional world  (at least 11 if you want to go down the quantum road). Taking just one of those as your basis does not truly carry the day with the opposition in a general and genuine debate (as opposed to the screaming, shouting and sweeping generalisation style)

Easter: Like every other well-known festival in the Christian Calendar when it arrives. (1) Somebody will tell you-like they are the first to discover it- that whatever it is didn’t happen on that date & anyway it’s the same date as an older pagan festival- like most Christians didn’t know that already- ‘Symbolism’ people  (2) There’s no point because ‘no one’ believes anymore- which is a very Caucasian euro-centric and in a world perspective minority view (3) And there are the more intelligent and thoughtful arguments on the details, which are the ones worth responding to. So here we go.

Why Easter Is An Event It Is Plausible To Accept That People Believe Took Place (and that’s about as inclusive a statement as you can possible get as opposed to say…. ‘Why Some Folk Accept it. And Just Deal With It People’… That just is not dignified.

 

Historical Overview Palestina/Judea

Irrespective as to whether you accept or deny the events celebrated as Easter it is wise to have some historical perspective  

As far as Rome was concerned this piece of the Syrian Province was important as it was part of the buffer which kept the main regional rivals The Parthians from getting hold of Egypt from where Rome was getting most of its grain a vital import. Back in 6AD unhappy with local rule they had changed it from client state to direct rule with Herod Antipas as client king and a roman official to keep an eye on him. It was a bothersome place for a roman official for these folk insisted their god was The God and to make things even more difficult they had divided themselves up into four mutually suspicious groups. Being: (A) The Sadducees most common in the upper classes and wanted society to bit a bit more greekish, (B) The Pharisees, more amongst the common folk and the what we might see as a conservative outlook and could raise a mob, no problem.  (C) The Esseenes being the aesthetics and these days linked with The Dead Sea Scrolls (D) The Zealots who were revolutionaries and were quite capable of attacking not just Romans but anyone else; this is before you get around to the Samaritans who no one wanted to associate with.

Then you add the layers of government. Rome at the top, Herod as the local ruler and The Sanhedrin, the Council of the Elders and as far as the other two were concerned those most likely to start really big scale trouble if their put their minds to it, which they were to during the later era of the Jewish-Roman wars. What none of them wanted were ragged road preachers turning up from some backwater like Galilee saying the Romans were not permanent and the other two sets were corrupt and hypocrites. They’d done away with John and now there was another called Jesus, getting bigger crowds, alleged to be performing miracles and what was worse when they tried to pin him down on points of law showed he knew more about the spirit of it than anyone. AND what was worse he was heading for Jerusalem during of all times The Passover. He was going to have to go.

At this stage, if you look from the perspective of Christ being set upon Earth to fulfil God’s plan by dying as The Sacrifice for Humanity’s Sins then this turbulent political time and place in Jewish History was the correct one to choose.       

Accuracy of the Gospels and What Some Call Discrepancies 

There is this argument about the discrepancies in the Gospels which means the whole account is invalid. This has always puzzled me because in vast swathes of history you are likely to find a statement along the lines of ‘Historians disagree on whether ‘A did B at C during D’ or was it ‘At E during F’ . Even if they can agree on A-B-C-D, there are likely to be differences on B / B.1 / B.2 and so forth. If you have a favourite era of history you read, do all the accounts agree on every detail or if they do, do they agree on the interpretations of the participants?  If they manage that do they have exactly the same methodology with exactly the same emphasis on each event and participant?  The fact that the four gospels tell things differently leaves out the rather obvious observation that they are FOUR different accounts. As Wellington (Duke of- Waterloo etc) said “The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball. Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost, but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance.” . Against the backdrop of that turbulent time, no, there would not be one definite accurate account written down with all the precision of a court record.   In short differences are not discrepancies, and then we have to consider that the gospels were not accounts written then, but at a later stage and written for different readerships. Thus to suggest the differences invalidates the events is not a strong argument, if this reasoning is used to its fullest extent we can doubt whether anything ever happened, which actually is a pretty prominent Human tendency when it suits a certain mindset.  

The Four Gospels of The New Testament arose as written records between 70AD & 110AD with revisions in later decades. Whether they were the first attempts to make a clerical record of previous oral accounts or based on pieces of now lost accounts I leave to the historians of that era. Mark, Matthew & Luke have similarities to the extent that scholars can set them side by side in parallel columns. And there is debate or hypotheses concerning their relationships which comes under the Synoptic Problem. The generally accepted opinion being that Mark came first then Matthew and Luke used this as source material. It is at this stage it is important to remember we are looking at a translation in English, from a translation into Latin AND we are always instinctively seeing these through the perspectives of modern day perceptions.  Wrong approach. So let’s look at a summary of the context of each, assuming Mark comes first. 

Most scholars date Mark to around AD 70. It is sparse on the details you’ll find in Matthew or Luke, this it can be argued is because it was a bare account of facts for the early Christian Communities. Who when you consider the climate in Palestina/Judea and other parts of the roman empire were being viewed with at best suspicion  AND that as with all organisations they were already fragmenting this gospel would have been that basic set of important facts and guidelines.

Matthew Somewhere around AD 80 and 90, but could go back to 70AD and forward to 110 AD. This account was essentially for the basic Jewish-Christian community with roots in the original converts thus has a stronger emphasis on Jewish elements. 

Luke Could be later around AD 80–110 and is the more cosmopolitan account. It would seem produced to be read to a wider spectrum of new followers in communities around the eastern Mediterranean; hence it’s stronger Greek style and a bit more ‘colour’. An example being the one thief on the cross next to Jesus asking to be remembered by Him.  

John is the different one, which might be evolving for some time and finally ‘surfacing around 100AD. There is more of the mystic in this gospel. Although for another Jewish community their devotion to Jesus as a revelation from God takes on a resonance of the mystical rather than the basic ‘I believe’ and arguably is where the concept of ‘The Holy Spirit’  originates.  

So basically it does not matter who was standing where. how many there were at a given time. As any lawyer will tell you, getting witnesses to agree on the details is a nightmare. However these events are agreed on. 1. Jesus Christ was born at God’s Instigation. 2. Jesus Christ preached through a tenure and gathered a following. 3 Jesus Christ was crucified, died, buried and rose again. Since there is an historical consensus as to the Historicity of Jesus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus and a great deal of energy devoted to varying concepts of the Historical Jesus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus   there is sufficient evidence for me to believe what was recorded took place, as for the smaller details. Well? And I leave it at that.

The Important Point  

There are varying critical appraisals of the role of ‘the women’ at the tomb of Christ. (A) That these women mistook a gardener for an angel, (B) that someone took the body and they were hysterical, (C) that they were hysterical anyway, that it never happened. The interesting thing is, the critics are men from later ages…seeming to suggest women as hysterics who believe anything…that sounds familiar. So let’s look at this from the perspective of those times. Judaism at that time was a patriarchal society. Women were considered the property of men they had no rights or education and certainly their witness was not valid in any court. Thus for any person placing women as major characters in part of a narrative had to have a strong belief in their relevance there. The documents were being written as cornerstones to a Belief, you do not take risks with such works, just on the basis of ‘well, maybe, perhaps’ . The message would have been quite clear Christ was for All and this important news of the Resurrection was delivered by the most obvious persons, for in that era no one in authority would have paid attention to ‘weeping women’ as opposed to being on the look out for those disciples . And the Women were the ones who went to shake loose the disciples out of their collective despair. No writer of those times would have dared use that imagery without having some measure of belief it had happened.

Rising From The Dead After Public Execution….Seriously?   

I’m going to start off with Shakespeare here: ‘There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio  than are dreamt of in your philosophy’ (bear in mind in that era ‘philosophy’ also had a scientific connotation).

Going back to something said earlier about ‘quantum’ A brief examination of any of the scientific disciplines will reveal that amongst the responsible and intelligent part, ie the overwhelming majority of the scientific community there is a basic theme  of ‘We don’t know that bit yet’ which is not an admission of failure but an excitement which signifies there is more to learn. Here’s an example: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/56643677 .

Now if you take this one step further, and embrace the idea of a Supreme Being and a theistic viewpoint, then it is plausible to accept that events could take place which are in seeming defiance of our perceived understanding IF  these were of a particularly spiritual significance. You can ditch the argument  that I am masking superstition under the veil of pseudo-science because that argument assumes that Humanity knows everything about anything and that is Superstition. In this Cosmos and its Physics we have only just begun to begin. Thus the whole of the Passion of Christ and the Resurrection can have happened because of an unknown element. And no one can deny an unknown element when it comes to matters outside of our current perception of Physics, Chemistry and any branch of Science. To summarise, no one can take me to a place in The Universe and say to me ‘There, this proves there is no Supreme Being’. 14, billion years old possibly 93 billion light years in span?…Yeah good luck with that notion. I’ll stick with my Faith thank you.          

Conclusion

We all have our beliefs. We all have our motivations. We all have our perceptions. I have stated the case for mine. You can adhere to yours if you wish, state why you believe what you believe. Just don’t try and tell me, I am wrong in mine. You just do not have the evidence. You only have your beliefs. As do I.

To All of You

Easter Day

This the message which I personally embrace. This is the way I see. But it is not for me to pass judgement on other paths.

If you are on a journey which beckons you with Compassion, Respect and Tolerance then who am I to seek fault. That is arrogance.

Whoever you are, wherever you are and if you are striving to work with and for those three you are as worthy of praise and blessings as any. 

May you be rewarded in kind for your efforts.

Best wishes

Beware…There’s Hubris in this Question

“If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?”

This is a very old question, comes in several forms and people go into all sorts of philosophical arguments on the subject while there are branch ‘ofs’ explaining the processes which cause sound and how the Human senses process these.

There’s the warning word ‘Human’

Y’see we, in our indoctrinated and quiet, paradoxically modest arrogance, assume that the only important point to this question is whether a Human hears the action or not. We in our perceived positioning upon this planet have taught ourselves to believe only our perceptions truly matter. We may in our patronising or caring ways acknowledge that our creatures have senses and feelings but at the end of the day, only our perceptions count on the higher level, ie our level.

Yet when you place this question in the context the entirety of all Life upon this world then the question becomes a small piece of introversion and of no consequence to any dweller in any arboreal landscape.

Of course the falling tree makes a noise, every animal within the area will hear that sound and will react as its nature, perception, physical well-being, skills and experience will enable it to. As far as I know every other form of life will respond. And thus the sound will have a relevance. Maybe a creature down the food chain will be alerted to a surprise sound.

Maybe a tree dweller will appreciate this means a change in the dwelling spaces and availability. Just two in a myriad of possibilities. Thus you can be certain when that tree falls over the whole neighbourhood will know about it. Yes there was a sound.

Now some folk might say I am getting environmentalist panties in a bunch and the whole thing is allegorical anyway as it relates to the Human Condition only. To which I say, The Human Condition is only conditional depending on the rest of the planet. Ask anyone in the path of a hurricane as to whether if they were not there would there be a sound and they would give you a rather salty reply about asking such a damn fool question.

We cannot by intellect, philosophical arguments, pleas to rhetoric or applications of logic separate ourselves from the workings of this planet; Ip So Facto; Quid Pro Quo (and any other Latin phrase you care to use in and out of context but only wish to employ to impress or distract.).

Thus the tree falls and there is a noise whether there were any humans around is quite irrelevant to the fact, everyone else in the vicinity heard the event in one form or another and couldn’t care less whether a human was within sensory range or not.

So, the danger is to Us, Humanity assuming our Supremacy in the Overall Scheme of ‘Things’. In this case, there is only ‘Sound’ if a Human can testify to it. Instead of realising we are but part of the entire Life Cycle of this world, we have set ourselves up as Sole Arbiters of the Validity of Events. We have decided the world is ours to preside over. (Now if only we can do something about those inconvenient Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Extreme Metrological Events, Wildfires, Tsunamis etc which do tend to spoil this view).

If we continue on our profligate path, we fail to evolve beyond simple consumption then we will go the way of many life forms before us, and take down a number of others with us. Yet Life will go on, in one form or another. Trees or their equivalents will fall and the sound of their falling will be noticed and recorded by other creatures.

And that question will have vanished, along with its originators.

Beware this question, therefore, as shown, it is loaded with dangerous assumptions, turn your minds away from these vanities.

Post-Script:

This question of falling trees and sounds always niggled me but I could never quite formulate the exact detail of my annoyance much less put it into words. It was only when I recently listened to this book :

Other Minds: The Octopus and The Evolution of Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith

That the words I had been searching for began to fall into place. The author is a philosopher with an practical and deep interest in marine life thus approaches the subject from the perspective of two disciplines. This is a work which gives a very interesting view of Life in general and our place.