In sensation and sex

Plutarch argues only three things are eternal

  • Atoms
  • Empty space- it remains untouched and unaffected by any impact
  • The universe- no available place surrounding it into which its matter can disperse and disintegrate

He the continues to argue against the idea of an eternal spirit since it, among others, may fall prey to the mind’s own specific afflictions, madness, amnesia and plunge into the black of waters of oblivion.

Following this argument, then, he concludes that death is nothing to us and no concern of ours since our tenure of the mind is mortal.

And in a formulation of the argument that we were dead for eternity and it didn’t bother us, he writes

If the light of life were given to us anew, even that contingency would still be no concern of ours once the chain of our identity has been snapped. We who are now are not concerned with ourselves in any previous existence: the sufferings of those selves do not touch us.

So my friends, fear not death, it is nothing to us the living. It awaits us at the end of life. Harbour no fear for torments after death. All your torments are this side of the grave. Don’t multiply them needlessly.

were you there before you were born?

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

Mark Twain

I know that title is a mouthful, but you will have to bear with it. But before we get into the meat of today’s topic, is it really the case, as implied in the quote from Mark Twain that we were dead for billions of years before we were born? Is to not exist and to be dead the same thing? To die, I think is only possible if we have lived. And therefore Mark Twain is only half right. And for this reason, there is some reason why many if not all of us fear death or is it dying. The thought of ceasing to be goes with all our hopes, desires, anxieties and even troubles.

How many of you remember what you ate for lunch last Monday. I will wait. Rebecca remembers life from when she was inside the womb. That is as close as it gets to before one was born. I don’t remember much of anything from the past anyway.And maybe it is a good thing. No, I didn’t have a bad childhood. It was just ordinary. School. Home. School. Just like it is for most people.

Do you know anyone with such memory or are you one of the 59 others with such memory and would you weigh in and tell us about it.

On happiness

Seasons Greetings everyone.

I hope you all are keeping well and that you have had a break from work, boring colleagues or for that matter away from annoying relatives.

While scouring the net, I saw a post about unwritten rules on happiness and what struck me as odd was that the poster reduced happiness to the little question of money writing things such as a 50 and 5000 shillings watch both tell time but can’t buy you more hours, which while being generally true is not what we think about when we buy stuff. He writes, for example

1. A $50 watch and a $5000 watch both can tell you the time. But neither can buy you more time. So focus on living each day and each moment fully. And that buys you time and happiness.

2. A $20,000 car and a $200,000 car can both take you to your destination. But neither can take you to your dream. So focus each day on getting a closer to that. And one day you’ll reach it.

Which all sound interesting but only on the surface. The day I meet a person buying an expensive watch because they hope to buy an additional 2 hours in a day, I will report. Until then, this advice while almost looking really deep is nonsense.

I read somewhere, I think it was in Courage to be disliked, that we are happy generally when we feel useful to others. Happiness is fleeting. And as such buying things cannot really solve the problem. We will just need the next big thing: we become like the city of Dubai always coming up with the next big thing to build.

Between contentment and happiness what should we pursue?

Happiness, like all gifts of Fortuna, are never constant. Today one is happy, tomorrow they are miserable. Maybe detachment is what we should seek and say with Arjuna or is it Krishna, that we should look with the same eye a mound of gold and a mound of Ash, a dog and the man who eats the dog.

Be happy. Seek detachment.

here is something I like

even if you don’t read the whole blog, this alone I find is quite good

In conversation with a believer

To be clear, I do respect anyone who does believe with integrity. Who does treat others with respect, those who do not share into the same belief. Or those who do not want to believe at all in any form of a higher being. Because, without that principle in place, the believer will not receive the respect he or she is craving.

I do not believe in any higher being or deity, nor do I adhere to any mystical belief system.

For me, the adherence to a “believe” is an absolute private matter! And in my opinion, has nothing to do with any religious affiliations. As I understand if a person needs the embrace of a religious group, there must be doubts about the validity of the held beliefs. If one is convinced that there is a deity in existence, then there is no need for spiritual support of that conviction. One is free to worship on one’s terms!

To me, a belief is personal, and like our imagination, are emotional responses of the individual. As far as I can count, there are currently around eight billion individual emotional responses possible on this planet.

As an atheist, I take responsibility for my entire existence!(Here is where we say AMEN-my own) I alone must account for my actions and my thoughts, including my demise into nothingness. For me, life is a one-off experience, and I feel lucky to have that experience. There is no one to blame for my bad choices, but myself. I am aware and respectful to the fact that I am part of a universal cycle; consequently, I treat my life with the utmost reverence. Of course, we all make mistakes and fail in our quest on occasion. There may be one religion I would call myself an adherent to, and that is the religion of universal love!

I am suspicious of people who are in need to convince others of the righteousness of their beliefs. To me, it proves they lack convictions!

On a more general note, if we human beings had decided a long time ago to adhere only to one single belief system, we would have died out by now! Because only through the challenges and variety of conflicting ideas has the human mind progressed to this day.

I miss my mother

This morning I caught myself shedding a tear for my mama. I miss her. It’s been 13 years since she became an ancestor and not a single day goes by when i don’t ask myself what would life be with her around here.

What would she think of my crazy cycling? Would I be cycling?

What would she think of the relationships we have all built? What we have become? Would she be proud of her grand kids? Daughters in law?

Would she have aged gracefully? She left us too soon. We were still children.

And this reminds me of Narcissus and Goldmund-

“But how will you die when your time comes, Narcissus, since you have no mother? Without a mother, one cannot love. Without a mother, one cannot die.”

Maybe when our time comes, we will not suffer a similar fate for we had a mother and we have loved.

I miss her, my mother, my teacher, my friend. She was such a giant in our lives and that space remains unfilled.