Sunday, August 13, 2023

Fifty years ago.................................

Gato Barbieri.....................Chapter One: Latin America


practice self-compassion.........

 People who practice self-compassion experience lower levels of depression and anxiety. When we know it’s normal to experience problems, they don’t overwhelm us. Everything gets easier when you remember we all have bad days, and we all occasionally screw up when trying to make them better. You’re a “work in progress.” We all are.

-as excerpted from this Barking Up The Wrong Tree post


      It was then that Gnanmuni had his awakening.  He gave up his business career, renounced his possessions, traveled to India, and enrolled in a Hindu seminary.  Six years later, he emerged a monk.  From that time on, the sum total of his worldly possessions has been two robes, some prayer beads, and a wooden bowl.  He is prohibited from even touching money.

      What would this rebel who had left the capitalist world behind have to say about free enterprise?  I took a deep breath, and posed my query nonetheless.  "Swami, is free enterprise good or bad for the soul?

     His response was rapid.  "It's a good thing!  It has saved millions of people in my country from starvation."  This was not quite what I expected.  "But you own almost nothing," I pressed.  "I was sure you'd say money is corrupting."

     He laughed at my naivete.  "There is nothing wrong with money, dude.  The problem in life is attachment to money."

     The formula for the best life, as he told it, was this:

     Abundance without attachment.

-Arthur C. Brooks, The Conservative Heart: How To Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America

On the importance of literacy...................

     Not surprisingly, given Jefferson's years of being taught by Douglas and Small, two Scots, his views would come to reflect Scottish thinkers of the time. . . .

 Scotland's influence on American history was profound and remains underappreciated.  The story of this development is fascinating.  In the early eighteenth century, Scotland was a poor country, isolated in the northwestern corner of Europe.  Yet in the subsequent decades it achieved a high literacy rate and enjoyed an intellectual explosion, with a noted above, Scots more or less inventing the fields of modern economics and geology, as well as eventually setting off the Industrial Revolution with the steam engine.

     The Scottish divergence from English thinking had its roots in changes that began two hundred years earlier, when the Scottish church, long independent of the English one, underwent a Calvinist reformation from which the Presbyterian Church emerged.  This new church placed a strong emphasis on literacy, because it believed the people should be able to read their Bibles.  In 1661, it became church policy that every Scottish town should have a schoolmaster educated in Latin, while rural parishes should have a minister capable of giving basic instruction to country youth.

     Within a few generations, the effect of this policy could be seen across Scotland.  By 1750, according to some estimates, 75 percent of Scots could read, compared to 53 percent in England.

-Thomas E. Ricks, First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country

go home.......................

 Some philosophers merely argue their philosophies.  When they finish their disputation, they hang up the tools of their trade, go home, and indulge in the well-earned pleasure of private life.  Other philosophers live their philosophies.  They treat as useless any philosophy that does not determine the manner in which they spend their days, and they consider pointless any part of life that has no philosophy in it.  They never go home.

     Spinoza belonged unambiguously to the latter group.

-Matthew Stewart, Courtier and the Heretic:  Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World

I tried that strategy......................

..........................but got different results:

Late in life, Churchill would claim that "I gained a lot by not overworking my brain when I was young."  Typically, he tried to make a plus out of a minus, arguing in 1921 that "it is a mistake to read too many good books when quite young. . . . Young people should be careful in reading, as old people in eating their food.  They should not eat too much.  They should chew it well." 

-Thomas E. Ricks:  Churchill & Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

Well, that explains a lot..................

 That which we want, desire, and insist upon from another person is felt by them as pressure.  They will, therefore, unconsciously resist.

-David R. Hawkins, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender