All Posts Tagged ‘philosophy

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Conditioned Responses and You

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To be one series of conditioned responses after another, each and every day — and please excuse me for saying so — is a rather lackadaisical way to be.  It merely entails letting what was poured into you (over time, by society) internally flutter around to emerge out again (externally) slightly modified, slightly altered (but essentially being the same-old-thing).  It is the way most people are, and it is the way the bureaucrats want you to remain.   They want you to emit what was injected into you.  The powers-that-be don’t want any Walt Whitmans, John Lennons, or Rosa Parks questioning things.  No way!  The powers-that-be want to everyone to robotically conform and nicely fit into their prearranged patterns.  Period.  They want everyone to remain being the cogs in the nice prearranged machine.   The powers-that-be are themselves part of that humongous machine and they will use domination, force, and will blindly do anything to preserve it.  Reacting, day in and day out, only like you were programmed (or miseducated) to react… is a very mechanistic/machine-like way of being.  Most people do not question enough.  Most people do not perceive enough.

Real freedom exists beyond mere conditioned responses.  To dwell in (and “as”) real freedom may be an arduous task that may not (at all) be possible for the halfhearted.  Real freedom may involve getting laughed at, ridiculed, hated, spit on, and ostracized.  Real freedom may involve going beyond a fallacious essence that was given to you to exist as.  Real freedom is a precious jewel that no money can buy, that no amount of bartering can acquire. 

 

 

 

Spider Web Sugar Candy … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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My Visit with T.S.Eliot

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Let us go then, you and I,
Eliot said, and so we went,
After the cups, the marmalade, and tea,
Beyond the porcelain, beyond the talk of you and me,
When the evening was spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;
We went, we went through certain half-deserted streets.
We went to the bright retreats that muttered endlessly.

Some overwhelming question always had to ask,
Though it didn’t have to ask, “What is it?”
We went along and made our visit.

And at the first turning of the second stair
We turned and saw below, not far from the rose garden,
A familiar shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapor in the fetid air
Struggling with the business fool of the stairs who ascends
The deceitful steps of hope and despair.

At the second turning of the second stair,
We left them twisting, turning below;
At the third turning of the third stair
We finally went past all of the melodious distraction,
Music of the flute, stops and steps
Of the mind over the third stair,
Fading, fading; wisdom beyond hope and despair
Climbing and being the third stair.

We were the stairs,
We were the shapes and distractions,
And at half-past one,
The street-lamp sputtered
The street-lamp muttered,
The street-lamp said, “Regard that woman
Who hesitates toward you in the light of the door
Which opens on her like a grin.”
My visit with Tom in the rose garden never came to an end.

 

 

Jumping Spider in the rose garden, near the door we never opened. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

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Free Will

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No doubt, a large number of people will dismiss this or merely become irritated by it.  Very many of us — most all of us, really — assume that we have a free will that freely does whatever it “wants” to.  Suggesting otherwise tends to offend people, annoy people, and ruffle their feathers.  However, the decisions we are involved in are all largely governed by the chemical processes in the brain, the physiological/biological/neurological networks and systems.  Conditioning — by past sociological structures, such as education, religion, and other social networks — also, of course, plays a big part in this.  It may be that your decision to read this blog up to this point was as inevitable as hydrogen and oxygen combining at a certain point to form water.  Billions think and feel that they have free will.

It may be that any thought or any manifestation of thinking that one exists as, no matter what it is, is inevitably involved with conditioning.  So, where is freedom in all of this and is there any chance for true freedom?   Real freedom, perceptually, may come when the mind is of a stillness, a wholeness, that (at times) is beyond the sequential patterns and frameworks of thought/thinking.  It involves awareness beyond what was merely taught or absorbed.  It is of a newness that shatters all conceived and preconceived patterns.  When it occurs, there is an intelligent cessation of thought/thinking; without inevitable, conditioned thinking, there is no learned, false center as the “me” or “I” being projected.  Regarding true freedom, one cannot merely “know” that one is involved with it.  Only a healthy brain can allow it to manifest but it is not what depends upon a healthy brain.  It is not yours or mine; it is of a vastness that transcends all borders.  

 

 

Royal Catchfly (Silene regia)  This red blossomed plant is a very rare wild plant of the United States Midwest; it is very endangered in Illinois, for example. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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What is a New Year? (and note about my wife Marla’s surgery…)

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[Note:   My wife Marla’s shoulder replacement surgery went well (so far, it seems) but she still has a long way to full recovery.  She must have strong PICC Line antibiotics given to her intravenously via syringes multiple times per day for 6 weeks (and i am the one giving her these).  Additionally, i am helping her with her enteral feedings (via tube feedings to her stomach) multiple times per day (because, at the current time, she is unable to do them herself, with only one functional arm.)  The shoulder replacement that they put in is a special antibiotic-emitting kind and she will likely need a whole other “regular” shoulder replacement done (in the same shoulder), with a steel replacement, once this temporary antibiotic replacement fully heals and is bacteria-free.  Apparently, the infectious bacteria that caused trouble in the first place — and that is hard to eradicate (since it lodges deep within the joint) — is a type of acne bacteria (which baffles us as to how she got it).  Since i will be busy taking care of Marla for the next few weeks,  i will likely not do postings after my already scheduled 01/02/2019 blog/posting; i will not have time to read others’ blogs or correspond with others re their blogs or my blogs.  Hopefully, i can soon get back into blogging again once things settle down and i find more time to do so.  Peace!]

 


 

 

What is a New Year?… and is it really new?   We humans, most of us anyway, have a very superficial sense of time, a very linear, rudimentary perspective regarding time.  Many of us, even when we think that we are dwelling in (and “as”) the present, are, in reality, conceiving of (or recognizing) that “present” via past images, old, learned perspectives.   So, it really isn’t “the present” at all (due to recognition via old, stored mental images).  If one really often lived timelessly in the present, there would not be any concrete recognition of the present as the present (as something separate from the past and the future).  

So many of us live almost exclusively in (and “as”) the past.  Our recognition of things, our labeling of things, our habitual (repetitive) chattering of thoughts and mental images, are all fundamentally protrusions from the learned past.  We have allowed our minds to become reacting mechanisms; reactions are essentially secondhand and mechanical (being part of a cause/effect continuum).  If we have reduced ourselves to that — which, unfortunately, so many have — then we will remain as parts of a rather mechanical, sequential process (which is rather limited). 

Can one look without the past dictating?  Can one perceive, not fragmentarily, but wholly, beyond mere limited, learned reactions?   One says that it is possible.  Will a step by step method, that you absorb from others, get you there?  Of course not!  A radical revolution in consciousness has to take place.  Will it take time to (eventually) get there.  No.

Happy New Year! (ahead of time)!  (… though, for decades one has realized that there is really nothing new about it.)

 

 

 

 

Lichen at the end of the “New Year” … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

 

 

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When everything without feeling happened (… and further note about my wife Marla’s surgery…)

27 comments

 

[Note:   My wife Marla’s shoulder replacement surgery went well (so far, it seems) but she still has a long way to full recovery.  She must have strong PICC Line antibiotics given to her intravenously via syringes multiple times per day for 6 weeks (and i am the one giving her these).  Additionally, i am helping her with her enteral feedings (via tube feedings to her stomach) multiple times per day (because, at the current time, she is unable to do them herself, with only one functional arm.)  The shoulder replacement that they put in is a special antibiotic-emitting kind and she will likely need a whole other “regular” shoulder replacement done (in the same shoulder), with a steel replacement, once this temporary antibiotic replacement fully heals and is bacteria-free.  Apparently, the infectious bacteria that caused trouble in the first place — and that is hard to eradicate (since it lodges deep within the joint) — is a type of acne bacteria (which baffles us as to how she got it).  Since i will be busy taking care of Marla for the next few weeks,  i will likely not do postings after my already scheduled 01/02/2019 blog/posting; i will not have time to read others’ blogs or correspond with others re their blogs or my blogs.  Hopefully, i can soon get back into blogging again once things settle down and i find more time to do so.  Peace!]

 

 

The following poem has nothing to do with Marla’s shoulder surgery, by the way…


 

 

When everything without feeling happened for quite some time,
feeling came along and tried to make a difference,

but it wasn’t easy.

 

 

 

On the Forest Floor … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Mountains (Another short Lo Zu tale)…

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An inquisitive, young woman approached Lo Zu and asked him, “Why do you leave our village every day and go wandering off into the mountains?”

Lo Zu, the great sage, answered, “I have talked to all of you many times about ‘no mind’ and that, in essence, I do not really exist as anything concrete internally.  Yet, you all continue to see me as just another man.”

The inquisitive, young woman then pensively exclaimed, “I do not understand!”

Lo Zu then stated, “When this body is in the village, you say ‘Lo Zu is here.’  When this body is in the mountains, you say, ‘Lo Zu is not here.’  At least when one is in the mountains, you (in the village) speak the truth.”

 

 

 

Lichen … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018