Posts Tagged ‘Voltaire’
Seeking solace in these times of insanity.
Not sure what it is about Tuesdays because exactly a week ago I wallowed in introspection with an essay Finding one’s true self and here we are again with another wallow!
The pain came about when good friend, Chris Snuggs, included a picture link that is on Facebook in an email exchange we were having. Here’s that picture.
Here are a couple of comments left on that Facebook page.
Oh Dear God in Heaven. This is just so so so so so wrong. I am so ashamed of my species.
Armina,you have said it right. Animals never sin,they never commit crime, they don’t go to war against each other. Humans do all these and they face the negative results of it. Who will save them? Who will protect them? The very humans that are to protect and save them, are the very heartless wicked people killing them … Sometimes I cry when I see animals being treated badly …. the world is a wicked place and they should not have been here among humans …. I wish there could be a place where there are no humans and no human can be able to go there no matter how hard they may try. So that all animals may go and live there ever safe.
In his email Chris wrote, “Difficult to comprehend. And all in this bizarre quest to improve themselves, increase their sexual potency or some such tosh. Why do many humans not accept themselves for what they are, warts and all, and just try to do the best with what they can bring to the world?“
To which I replied, “That is so disgusting a picture. Sometimes, in fact too often these days, I seem to want to pull up the drawbridge and just forget this mad, insane world so many seem to ‘enjoy’.“
Then yesterday, over on the Wibble blog, there was a post with the title of Schrödinger’s Leopard that generated a comment from Mikestasse, “Yes, we humans think we own everything. Copyright the planet, patent its contents, run amok, screw it all. I’m often ashamed to be human ……. “
So all of this was reinforcing the pain I was feeling.
I then turned to my email and there was a further reply in from Chris.
Yes, it is a terrible photo, but no doubt there are far worse somewhere. One of the worst things about rhinos (and other large creatures) is that they clearly have largish brains and probably a lot more “consciousness” and/or “understanding” than we appreciate. And therefore are very much aware of what is going on, have pain and other “emotional” sufferings we can’t fully comprehend but which undoubtedly exist. I mean, they are not like fish I guess (though some maintain that even fish feel pain) or even more clearly insects.
Was it Voltaire who said in response to the world’s evils: “Il faut cultiver son jardin.“? [We must cultivate our garden.]
He had a point – sometimes one has to shut oneself off, but on the other hand and at other times if we all do that then the bastards can get on with their evil unchecked – or even uncommented. At least you in particular are spreading good vibrations and a moral view of the world. I feel the same about my political rants and blog entries. It may not do much to change the world but it could perhaps confirm to others that they are not alone in their protests about whatever. I would like to get engaged more actively in a particular “charity” or movement. One, since one cannot do everything. I might go for tigers and rhinos, etc. The last three years have been horrendous for me but I hope things will settle down a bit in coming months so I can do something more positive.
I would just say to you that you SHOULD completely detach sometimes and WHEN you do you should relax TOTALLY and clear your mind of negative thoughts in order to return fully charged to the fray at a later stage!!!
NO, you DON’T need a shrink for this but I understand that the US is well-equipped in this department if needs be!!!
Now because of the time difference between here and Europe it was too late for me to check if Chris was comfortable about me sharing his personal email. But I took a gamble that it would be OK because of the power of Chris’ advice; the plain common-sense of that penultimate paragraph.
Because if we end up consumed by the pain then, not to put too finer a point on it, the bastards have won! If we can feel the pain but stay grounded, remaining at peace, then that poor rhino did not die in vain.
So please go now and sign the petition Save the Rhinos!
Further to the guest post from Patrice Ayme, an introduction to John Hurlburt.
I wrote on the 2nd May that an unintended consequence of my beautiful minds articles about Hugh Everett and Stephen Hawking was a recognition that the need for ‘beautiful’ thinking is more important than ever before. I wrote,
The French philosopher Voltaire was reputed to have said, “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.” In these days where ‘spin’ and ‘counter-spin’, to put it kindly, are so widely used, and millions live in a culture where our societies’ communication outlets compete for the maximum provocation (sorry audience!) it is challenging, to say the least, to think independently.
But of course as you, dear reader, will instantly acknowledge, these are just THE times when independent thinking is so, so important. Thus I want to acknowledge two completely different and totally disconnected people who set such wonderful examples of the power of a beautiful mind.
Unlike Patrice Ayme whom neither do I know nor have I met (Patrice Ayme is a pseudonym), today’s guest post is from someone that lives here in Payson and whom I have met on numerous occasions. What John writes about couldn’t be more different to Patrice’s article but that isn’t the point. Well, to be honest, that is the point! It goes towards underlining my proposition that these are times where we need a huge variety of thinkers who can be honest about their approach to life, and not hostage to any particular ‘group think’.
John’s essay is entitled, What’s for Dinner?
What’s for Dinner?
Ancient man had a legitimate fear about being gobbled up for dinner by a ravenous beast. The vestigial fear remains in spite of the reality that mankind has become a ravenous beast which is gobbling up nature for dinner. It’s interesting to note that although God and Nature can get along without earth or man, man and earth could not and would not exist without God and Nature. After all, God is Nature.
We get careless when we don’t stop to think about what we are, where we are and who we are. We don’t have to make a choice between God and money. We can invest in the business of God which includes education, formation, transformation and the well being of the earth which sustain us all.
Walking the way we talk means having the courage of our convictions. What can we do that is possible, plausible, practical and probable to protect ourselves and our descendents from the results of ravaging mother earth for personal profit?
Wisdom is neither an individual conclusion nor an opinion. We live in a world that is financially dominated by economic interests which are gambling with humanity’s future. It’s time to end the game. We grow best when we live and learn together in harmony with God, nature and each other. Saving the Earth from which we come and which sustains all planetary life is called conservation. That’s as conservative as life gets.
There is a fraction of our population which prefers fear, hate and ignorance to faith, love and our common well-being; both as a nation and as a world. What does this say about the United States of America? Well, for one thing, it says that we’re hell bent toward our own destruction and can’t get our act together because of the influences of money, power and tribalism.
The facts of nature can not be ignored indefinitely. While our nation becomes divided and we continue to face economic collapse four years after a journey to the brink of a world economic abyss, the environment which is our source, our natural birthright and our home continues to be stolen from us by those who seek personal gain and aggrandizement.
Let’s go back to the beginning and keep it simple. We hold these truths to be self evident.
1. The bible tells us the same thing as all sacred scriptures; love God and each other.
2. We are a country that is chartered as one nation under God. The powers of our government come from “We the people”.
3. Economics: a pump won’t work when the well runs dry.
These fundamental truths of faith, humanity, economics and the American vision transcend petty bickering and are ignored at our common peril. Considering recent world events, it would seem that we have a window of opportunity to refocus our priorities. We pray for God’s guidance.
An old lamplighter
Amen to that!
So two wonderful examples that illustrate the power of beautiful minds and how, in my opinion, we need the minds of Ayme, Hurlburt and countless others to pick our way out of this self-defeating mess that we are all in and lead us to a true long-term sustainable future for the Planet Earth and all of God’s creatures for whom this is the only home we will ever have.
I wrote on the 2nd May of the French philosopher Voltaire who was reputed to have said, “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.” Let me end with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln, “All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.“