Tuesday, June 1, 2021

what time is for........................

 On the other hand, when you have enough confidence to take your own time, to take your time to be present, to do the work, to engage with what’s in front of you right now, it’s a gift.

-Seth Godin, from this post

Be careful what you wish for................

       We have seen the consequences of the totalitarian alternatives in which the collective is supposed to bear the burdens of life, lay out the proper pathway, and transform the terrible world into the promised utopia.  The communists produced a worldview that was attractive to fair-minded people, as well as those who were envious and cruel.  Perhaps communism may even have been a viable solution to the problems of the unequal distribution of wealth that characterized the industrial age, if all of the hypothetically oppressed were good people and all the evil was to be found, as hypothesized, in their bourgeoisie overlords.  Unfortunately for the communists, a substantial portion of the oppressed were incapable, unconscientious, unintelligent, licentious, power mad, violent, resentful, and jealous, while a substantial proportion of the oppressors were educated, able, creative, intelligent, honest, and caring.  When the dekulakization swept through the newly established Soviet Union, it was vengeful and jealous murderers who were redistributing property, while it was the competent and reliable farmers, for the most part, from whom it was violently taken.  One unintended consequence of that "redistribution" of good fortune was the starvation of six million Ukrainians in the 1930s, in the midst of some of the most fertile land in the world.

-Jordan B. Peterson, Beyond Order:  12 More Rules For Life

Two gifts............................

 In this universe we are given two gifts:  the ability to love, and the ability to ask questions.  Which are, at the same time, the fires that warm us and the fires that scorch us.

-Mary Oliver, from her essay on Poe in Upstream

From the mind of Poe.......................................

 I AM come of a race noted for vigor of fancy and ardor of passion. Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence -- whether much that is glorious- whether all that is profound -- does not spring from disease of thought -- from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in awakening, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil. They penetrate, however, rudderless or compassless into the vast ocean of the "light ineffable," and again, like the adventures of the Nubian geographer, "agressi sunt mare tenebrarum, quid in eo esset exploraturi."*

-Edgar Allan Poe, this being the opening paragraph to Eleonora

* [they ventured out against the sea of darkness to see what they would find]."

Saturday, May 29, 2021


 What the hell?  Kelly frowned in frustration at the traffic because he didn't know the answer, but then there were a lot of questions to which he hadn't known the answers in the last six months.  He told his mind to be quiet and watched the traffic, even though it kept up its inquiries in a nagging sort of background noise.  One's mind, after all, rarely obeys its own commands.

-Tom Clancy,  Without Remorse

On orienting the world properly...............


As it is said, "Man shall not live by bread alone" (Matthew 4:4).  That is exactly right.  We live by beauty.  We live by literature.  We live by art.  We cannot live without some connection to the divine—and beauty is divine—because in its absence life is too short, too dismal, and too tragic.  And we must be sharp and awake and prepared so that we can survive properly, and orient the world properly, and not destroy things, including ourselves—and beauty can help us appreciate the wonder of Being and motivate us to seek gratitude when we might otherwise be prone to destructive resentment.

-Jordan B. Peterson, Beyond Order:  12 More Rules For Life

Actually, he did..........................


Life its ownself...........................

 Take a risk. If there is no risk, there is no change. No one ever got anything different by doing the same thing. Write a new destination for your life and take a step toward it.

The greatest stories ever written and the greatest battles ever fought are those between our ears. Check your perspective and perception. Leave low living at the door. Strive to live with integrity and honor.

Life can be very hard. Life can be scary. But there are no champions without challenges and no victories without battles.

-Beth Bline, as culled from this column in the Newark Advocate

Friday, May 28, 2021

Checking in with Martin Gurri......................

At bottom, all discussion of freedom is really about its restraint.  Once we move beyond the Protean cult of personality, human life becomes a balancing act between consciousness and desire, private goals and public demands, the individual and his family, his profession, his country, his culture, his God.  In this matrix of possibilities, freedom means having the opportunity to choose when to surrender freedom.  Thus the husband chooses his wife while giving up the freedom to bed others.  Similarly, the athlete chooses a tyrannical training regime to achieve automatic (but consciously learned) behaviors like the overhead smash in tennis.