Random Thoughts 8-31-2014

A lot of people are arguing that no laws were broken in the case of the nine-year-old girl getting trained to shoot an uzi automatic (Why? Are her parents hoping she will grow up to be a mercenary?) who lost control of the gun and shot the instructor. It may be true that no laws were broken, but that does not mean it is OK to give a rather frail little girl an automatic gun to play with. Too many people forget that just because it is legal to do something does not mean it is right to do it.


There is a lesson in the unfortunate death of Robin Williams that I haven’t heard anyone mention yet. A good lesson for the many young people who seem to have developed the attitude that life is all about fame and celebrity and we should do anything we can to make that happen. Williams had celebrity and fame, he was one of the most famous and most liked people in the world. Yet, all that fame and celebrity and millions of fans didn’t prevent him from becoming depressed. Fame and fortune may be nice, but they are not the answer to all our problems. Continue reading “Random Thoughts 8-31-2014”

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Perception and Reality

“There is a part of your consciousness that causes you to notice what you notice, and it exists only in the here and now. … I call it the Inner Perceiver. Perhaps it lives on the bridge between you right brain and left brain. This function of consciousness relays the soul’s intent, direction, and plan to the personality—in effect, it doles out perceptions in a perfect sequence so a message or a lesson can be made conscious, learned, and integrated.

“You and a friend could walk the same path through the woods and you’d each notice different things, in a different sequence, making the walk meaningful to yourselves in your own way—and you would each receive what you needed from the experience. So, in any given moment, you might ask yourself, ‘What is my Inner Perceiver teaching me?…’” ~Penney Peirce

Perception1I’m not sure this really happens the way Ms. Peirce describes it, but there is no doubt that different people perceive the same thing differently and this is because all of us have built in filters that are based on our beliefs, teachings, fears and opinions. Show a picture of a nude to three individuals and one sees beautiful art, another sees a sex object and the third sees obscenity. The farmer sees insects in his fields as a threat to his crops, the engineer designs a new type of crane based on the legs of the praying mantis. The suburban dweller sees dandelions in his carefully groomed lawn as weeds, the health nut as a much maligned vegetable with great nutrition. Continue reading “Perception and Reality”

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Happiness for All

“It may be a distasteful notion, this bringing down of happiness so low as to the animal world—making it over, as then we must, even to the vilest of them and not withholding it even from the plants, living they too and having a life unfolding to a term.

“But to begin with, it is surely unsound to deny that good of life to animals only because they do not appear to man to be of great account. And as for plants, we need not necessarily allow to them what we accord to the other forms of life, since they have no feeling. It is true people might be found to declare prosperity possibly to the very plants; they have life, and life may bring good or evil; …

“Those that deny the happy life to the plants on the ground that they lack sensation are really denying it to all living things.” ~Plotinus

Plant1Plotinus wrote this around 1,800 years ago so he was not familiar with recent research which indicates that plants react when they are injured, or other plants or animals are killed or injured. Although some more recent research came to a different conclusion, one experiment doesn’t necessarily cancel out the other one, especially when the latter ones were conducted by a TV show with an obvious prejudice as they are called Myth Busters. More experiments are needed that are done by neutral parties. I do know that some wine producers play music for the vines to get better tasting wine and a Tequila maker I visited this spring in Mexico plays music to mellow the aging mix while it is in a tank. Continue reading “Happiness for All”

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Divine Love

“We know that some of the greatest movements of history, veritable transformations of the group-mind, can be traced back to a tiny beginning in the faithful spiritual experience and response of some one man, his contact with the center which started the ripples of creative love. If then, we could elevate such universal individuals into the position of herd-leaders, spread their secret, persuade society first to imitate them, and then to share their point of view, the real and sane, because love-impelled social revolution begin. It will begin when more and even more people find themselves unable to participate in, or reap advantage from, the things which conflict with love … There are already for each of us some things in which we cannot participate, because they conflict too flagrantly with some aspect of our love.” ~Evelyn Underhill

divineLoveJIt is certainly true that most of the problems of the world would be solved if we simply learned to love each other. But I don’t think the problem is that people don’t love, but that they love the wrong things and love the wrong way. They love with a kind of greedy love, a possessive love.

There are those who love power and will do just about anything to get it. We find this type in politics, as corporate CEOs, or as dictators (which isn’t quite the same thing as a politician). They feel they have a right to decide for everyone what they should or should not do. This also includes self-elected protectors like Edward Snowden who claim they are just out to protect people while they manage to get their huge egos on the front page at least once a month. Continue reading “Divine Love”

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