Abuse, Belief, Community, Cultural Traits, Culture, Ethics, Free Spirit, Hate, Human Nature, Late Night Thoughts, Life, Living, Logic, Love, Morality, Morals, Mysticism, News and Current Events, Observation, Oppression, Passion, Poetry, Reason, Self-Knowledge, Skeptical Thinking, Spirituality, Thinking, Truth, Unconditional Love

Late Night Thoughts: Belief, Love, Mysticism, Blaming, and More (September 4, 2018)

(About a 7 minute read)

Almost immediately following World War II, and American firm was hired to poll the Japanese public on several issues, mostly — as I recall now — regarding the occupation and new constitution.  It was the first time the Japanese public had ever been polled.

The firm soon discovered an unexpected problem.  The Japanese people didn’t know how to answer questions about what they personally believed.

Continue reading “Late Night Thoughts: Belief, Love, Mysticism, Blaming, and More (September 4, 2018)”

Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Community, Creativity, Culture, Environment, Ethics, Freedom, Goals, Happiness, Human Nature, Idealism, Ideas, Ideologies, Intelligence, Life, Living, Meaning, Morality, Morals, Obligations to Society, Political Ideologies, Purpose, Quality of Life, Reason, Self, Self-determination, Self-Integration, Self-Realization, Society, Spirituality, Talents and Skills, Values

My Ideal Adult Human

(About a 9 minute read)

Now and then, I ask people on the internet what their ideal adult human is.  Almost inevitably, at least one or two people respond by asking me why there should be an ideal adult human.  It’s a good question.

There seem to be three major reasons — and possibly a fourth — for thinking about what one’s ideal adult human would be.  The first is to get a clearer and perhaps more insightful view of what one thinks would by the best possible society to live in — the good society, so to speak.

For instance, it would be inconsistent to hold optimizing personal freedoms as the hallmark of a good society if you also thought the ideal adult human was a mindless cog slaving away to support and grow the economy.  One of those would not lead to the other in any practical scheme of things.

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Bad Ideas, Community, Cultural Traits, Culture, Death, Dying, Ethics, Human Nature, Ideas, John McCain, Life, Meaning, Morality, Morals, News and Current Events, Obligations to Society, Politics, Society, Values

“Speak No Ill of the Dead”

(About a 3 minute read)

The recent death and funeral of John McCain has once again raised a debate about the propriety of speaking ill of the dead.  Naturally, the loudest voices have belonged to partisan pundits who can be expected to flip their opinions — pro and con — when the next prominent Democrat dies.

But I think a lot of common people are concerned with the issue too.  How fair is it to criticize the dead?  If it’s fair at all, then does our criticism have limits?  And if so, what should those limits be?

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Abuse, Bad Ideas, Ethics, Human Nature, Ideas, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Morality, Morals, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, Values

All’s Fair in Love and in War?

(About a 5 minute read)

Few problems are more apt to distress us than sexual ones.  STDs, unwanted pregnancies, break-ups, frozen zippers on prom night — all can be life-altering challenges.  Some scientists have concluded that even seemingly wholly positive events, such as a marriage or birth of a welcomed child, can be major stressors capable of leading to a breakdown under the wrong circumstances.

In a sense, then, it should not surprise us that so many of us think how we ought to conduct ourselves in a sexual relationship varies considerably from how we should conduct ourselves in a non-sexual relationship.

“All’s fair in love and war”, ought never to be regarded as more than a joke in my opinion, and yet, I have known numerous people who thought it was a truism, a maxim to live by.

Continue reading “All’s Fair in Love and in War?”

Abuse, Bad Ideas, Competence, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Equality, Equality of Opportunity, Ethics, Fairness, Fantasy Based Community, Freedom and Liberty, Guilt, Honesty, Human Nature, Idealism, Ideas, Ideologies, Intellectual Honesty, Justice, Liars Lies and Lying, Morality, Morals, News and Current Events, Obligations to Society, Oppression, Political Ideologies, Political Issues, Politics, Privilege, Quality of Life, Racism, Reality Based Community, Reason, Shame, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Thinking, Truth, Values, Village Idiots, Work

Who is Privileged and Who Is Not?

(About  5 minute read)

Growing up, I had a keen sense that I could get away with a good amount of rule-breaking.  Not just little things, but some fairly sizeable offenses too.  I didn’t usually push things as far as I sensed I could, but I did have the perception I could get away with a whole lot of things — if only I wanted to.

The sense stayed with me when I got older, although it became a little vaguer.  When I was in my late teens, early twenties, majoring in philosophy I was aware that I wouldn’t have much trouble getting a good job upon graduation — despite some warnings that my major was impractical.

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Abuse, Butch, Ethics, Family, Friends, Goals, Happiness, Human Nature, Judgementalism, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mature Love, Meaning, Morality, Morals, Parental Love, People, Purpose, Quality of Life, Rae, Relationships, Romantic Love, Sex, Sexuality, Shannon, Society, Tara Lynn, Tomoko, Values

Butch and Rae: An Unlikely Love Story

(About a 16 minute read)

Butch was such a nondescript man that he surely did not need a crowd to be overlooked by most anyone of us.  He was of average build, and just under average in height.  There was nothing either ugly or handsome about his face.   Blue eyes, a bit narrow.  Sandy hair.  Pale complexion.  Not only was he easily overlooked, he was even more easily underestimated.

Had you seen him during the time we knew each other, you most likely would have thought, “janitor”.  Arms too thin for construction, looks too unpolished to be a professional or even a store clerk.   And you would have been right.  At that time in his life, Butch was a janitor.

He was also one of those curious sort of people you sometimes come across in small towns and rural areas.  An honest genius with no more than a high school education, and no ambitions for himself.

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Abuse, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Ethics, Kindness, Life, Love, Lovers, Morals, Obligations to Society, Poetry, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sexuality, Spirituality, Tomoko, Values

A Life Littered With Kindnesses

(About a 3 minute read)

For a while I thought you loved me
As much as I loved you.
By when I figured out the truth,
I’d been carried along by currents
Stronger than the both of us
Fifteen hundred miles to the West,
And I could no longer resent
Your lack of love, nor wish for it.

You wrote 54 letters to me that year
Begging me to return to our home,
And each one a bit crazier than the last.

But by then I was free of the cages
You had once made for me
And I was littering my life with kindnesses
While at the same time trying to efface
All other tracks of my passing.

I wanted to get a small cottage
Up in Manitou among mountains with rooms
That were not trued to a square,
With a garden to tend out back,
And then become a ghost to everyone,
Invisible in broad daylight,
Harming no one, you see.

When I was young the girls bored me,
Except for their beautiful bodies,
They bored me — I foolishly compared
Them to Einstein and Locke,
To Nietzsche and Feynman,
Found them wanting in their appreciation
For a good first order propositional calculus.
Then wondered why I felt lonely at nights,
And even lonelier in their presence during the day.
I’m not like that now.

The young women take me aside these days,
Ask me what the boys want,
Saying they’ll do anything to please the boys —
“Just tell me what I must become to them.”

Then I tell them in six ways
And repeat it twelve times:
“Be true to yourself”,
“Be true to yourself”,
“Be true to yourself”,
And if you can, if it’s “you”,
Litter the boys with kindnesses
That you toss out, throw away,
Expecting nothing in return.

They don’t know and I don’t tell them,
I learned that from you.
But by subtraction, so to speak.
Kindness was the last thing
You ever showed
Without soon sending along a bill for it
That you never thought was paid gracefully
Or on time.

If I could I’d take the young women and men
Into my care, teach them the arts of love.
How to treat each other with dignity and respect,
How to encourage each other to be authentic,
How to give each other room to grow,
And how not to cling, not to possess,
Not to own.

I didn’t make it to Manitou
But I have my cottage now,
And I’m not quite invisible,
But I don’t harm many these days.

You don’t write to me now,
And I suspect you’re dead
Having killed yourself
Like you promised you would
In your last letter to me
If I did not return on time.

You who despite it all
Were a true love of mine.