Abuse, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Human Nature, Life, Living, Oppression, Parental Love, Religion, Religious Ideologies

Rising Above Human Nature

“Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we were put in this world to rise above.” — Katherine Hepburn, African Queen.

SUMMARY:  Our cultures need to be doing more to ameliorate the effects of our negative human instincts.

(About a 4 minute read)

It’s my impression that most of us these days are at least dimly aware that human nature can be out of joint with human happiness.  That is, we can have a disposition or inclination to certain feelings and behaviors that more or less inevitably lead us into unhappy situations, and even misery.

Warfare is an example of that.  While humans apparently do not have an actual instinct to war upon each other, we do indeed have a full set of instincts that mean war is all but directly hardwired into our DNA.

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Human Nature, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Learning, Life, Living, Memory, Quality of Life, Resilience, Self, Spirituality

Memory and Resilience

“There’s no such thing as ruining your life. Life’s a pretty resilient thing, it turns out.” ― Sophie Kinsella

SUMMARY:  How memories might make us less emotionally and psychologically resilient.

(About a 5 minute read)

I admire the grasses.  That family is trod upon, eaten, mowed, and even at times burnt, and yet it usually springs back.  It even sometimes comes up through the cracks in concrete and asphalt.  Grass seems to me almost indestructible, but not because it cannot be destroyed — because it is resilient.

We in America encourage our children to be all sorts of things.  Strong, confident, willful, intelligent, compassionate, kind… but unless “strong” is taken as including resilient, we do not so often encourage them to be that.

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Art, Cultural Change, Culture, Dance, Drawings, Human Nature, Literature, Movies and Film, Music, Paintings, Performance Arts, Photography, Poetry, Quality of Life, Sculpture, Society, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing

Will They Bring With Them the Poets?

SUMMARY: Reflections on the future of humanity.

(About a 7 minute read)

I read a post yesterday on Bojana’s blog that got me thinking about the future of humanity.  That’s a topic that is more or less always in the back of my mind, but which I seldom write about.

I seldom write about it largely because it’s such a complex topic that I’m not sure what can be said about it that might someday more or less pan out as true.  Bojana’s approach to the topic was a pretty sound one — she mulled over her observations of her toddler and his friends as they were playing together.  The future, of course, begins with how we raise our kids.

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Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Oppression, Self, Self-determination, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, Talents and Skills, Values

Love and Authenticity

SUMMARY: Mutual love with another person typically provides inspiration and encouragement to be true to ourselves.

(About a 4 minute read)

When I was nineteen, I met the first great love of my life.  A woman I believed to be so remarkable that I arranged for us to have a heart-to-heart discussion about what I could do to become more like her.

Unfortunately, life’s currents soon enough separated us when I had to move out of town.  But about a year after I’d met her, something quite strange happened.  I was thinking over my life one evening when I recalled a traumatic event of my childhood. That in itself was strange because the event had so traumatized me that I had no other way to deal with it than — for years — simply refusing to think about it for more than a second or two at a time.  Yet, here I was actually recalling it as fully as I could for the first time since the event had happened.

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Advice, Happiness, Human Nature, Life, Living, Quality of Life, Self-determination, Talents and Skills, Teresums, Work

What Does it Mean to “Live Fully”?

SUMMARY:  An attempt to offer sage advice on how to live a fuller more fulfilling life.

(About an 8 minute read)

Like most sensible Americans these days, I do not often wonder if there’s more to life than quality Balinese Donkey Porn if there’s more to life than sex, shopping, and sports.  “What possible fun could there be in doing so?”, I ask myself, “Does thinking more deeply about the subject come with any coupons?”

Those are admittedly powerful reasons not to go down the rabbit hole of unnecessary inquiry.  Unfortunately, the ever annoying Teresums has once again proven herself insufferable by asking me what it means to “live fully”.

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Fun, Human Nature, Play, Sex, Sexuality

Bonobo Handshakes

(About a 5 minute read)

Back around the turn of the 20th Century, there was in both North America and Europe a scandalous free love movement.  At one time or another, it seems nearly everyone on the political left either condoned or espoused it, just as nearly everyone on the political right secretly envied it and dreamed of someday encountering it.

Of course free love meant different things to different people.  For some folks — perhaps a majority of those who endorsed it — it meant little more than people ought to have a right to shack up without getting married.  For others, I’m sure it meant sex should be just as available and casual as quarters in the sweaty hands of incognito fundamentalist elders attending dimly lit peep shows on a Saturday night.

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Belief, Consciousness, Human Nature, Knowledge, Life, Living, Religion, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, Transformative Experience

What is a Mystical Experience Like?

“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”  ― Zhuangzi, 

SUMMARY: While it is nearly impossible to adequately communicate the content of a mystical experience to a non-mystic who has never had one, somethings perhaps can be said about the experience that might shed some light on it.

(About a 9 minute read)

Suppose you came across a community of people living in the Amazon rain forest who had never before seen — or even heard more than a rumor or two — of people like you or of your culture and civilization.

Further suppose, upon learning their language, you discover it is beautifully suited to expressing the interrelatedness of all things, but there is neither any word for “god” nor any words that can be used to express the concept of god.  In short, the people have no concept of metaphysics at all.

The world, to them, is not much more than what it appears to be, and the closest you can come to telling them about god more or less translates into “Big Hidden Man/Woman”, which makes them wonder whether you’re talking about a transgendered human of inordinate size who hides behind bushes and trees.

Continue reading “What is a Mystical Experience Like?”