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Tag Archives: choice

it’s not the cards one gets dealt
it’s the way you play your hand
*
everything is relative …especially immediate family
time and chance happens to all
*
circumstance is defined through observation
to adapt and survive is the most noble of achievements
everything else is vanity
a pursuing of shadows
frantically grasping for the wind
chasing handfuls of emptiness
living dreams without substance
never able to be truly shared
and no real story to tell
*
better a skillful dodge
than a boastful wish

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if we could only imagine reality
the possibilities might be endless
…or maybe not
what if the dam needed to imagine a plunging waterfall simply in order not to be a swamp
and a swamp in order to avoid being a perfectly endless dam
what if reality desperately needed an imagination to be truly free from the tedium of the predictable
and slavery the urgent, forbidden desire of freedom
an escape from the trap of endless perfection
the invention of mathematical science no more than the vain measure of desperate, faithful belief
what if imagination needed a reality to exist in the first place
…or maybe not

superficial depth

“So, what do you do?”

This seems to be the most common way we make the first step of exploration when meeting someone for the first time.

I know it is mostly very innocent and a customary socially appropriate exchange to boot but I can’t help thinking that it subtly and perhaps even bewitchingly encourages us to define ourselves not by who we are but by what we do.

With each and every one of us there are a multitude of things we “do” and none of these things defines us completely.  In fact, even what we do as a primary activity in our daily lives is for the most of us not what we would choose to do.  Most often what we “do” is a functional necessity usually linked directly to the most primitive of drives – that of survival rather than something that is a full and free-flowing manifestation of who we really are.

Apparently they say it has been proved that real job satisfaction is very rare in our times.

To add more to this suggestion our apparent obsession with desperately making it to each weekend (TGIF) is perhaps powerful evidence of this sad state of affairs.

Now this dominance of defining ourselves almost exclusively by what we do rather than by who we are may well be as a result of a gradual shift away from the entitlement of the aristocracy in history where worth and status in society was granted not by individual functionality or competence but by peerage.

Or perhaps it could also be a spin-off from the beginnings of the industrial revolution where focus on the worth of the individual was suddenly shifted and extended in terms of the specific function played in the production line of  life in the modern age of mass production and consumerism?

Either way I would think it’s perhaps more than just an interesting thought to entertain.

A fruit tree at the very earliest stage in its life may well be confused with any number of other sapling species to all but the expert botanist …but come maturity it will be defined by its fruit and all debate will then cease.

It is written in the ancient spiritual texts that a tree will be recognised by its fruit – however, it was the fruit tree well before it bore the convincing fruit declared it as such.

In these deceptive times perhaps our marketing saturated and superficially obsessed, materialistic society has succeeded in convincing us otherwise though?

So, how would you define yourself?

we choose to believe

and what we believe in is one of those choices

we also choose to doubt

although we may doubt this as a choice

so what we doubt is equally one of those choices

 

we choose to doubt our doubts

maybe we have to?

and perhaps we have no choice in this?

for we cannot believe in our doubts

for then we may well begin to doubt what we believe

 

but nevertheless we do seem to doubt our beliefs

for if we never doubted we would know

and belief would then no longer be relevant

but can we ever really know…?

 

so we choose to shout a little louder

and speak a little quicker

so as to leave no gaps for the doubts to take their place

no gap for the adversary to establish ground

 

these constant companions: doubt and belief

together they walk, almost as one

 

inseparable foes

…or maybe not?

 

maybe they are one and the same?

 

…for clearly both are what we believe in

 

…and clearly we need both to be able to choose

 

Reason –  the basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reason)

 

There’s this much cherished passage in the ancient texts that has God recorded as saying to a deviant and fallen mankind, “come, let us reason together…”

 

What was God asking here?

Can we reason?

And if so is the reason we apply really objective at all?… and if it is, can we really make a rational decision one way or another?

 

Whatever we do, whether good or bad will have a basis or motive for that action.  To my mind this is not in question.  However, whether the basis or motive we apply in any given situation is conscious or subconscious, intentional or ‘instinctual’ is for me a most interesting challenge.

Can we reasonably believe that we are in control of our thoughts and actions cognitively?  Or does basic reason suggest that we are driven by other things … even things we are not even aware of? …perhaps deep things from many diverse, possibly even unfathomable sources?

 

There is a basis and a motive every time when we act as well as when we react … but what is it?  Perhaps we would go mad if we even tried to understand what these are?

 

Clearly we spend a lot of time trying to persuade others of our point of view

 

Maybe all we are doing is trying to persuade ourselves?

 

Anti-gay pastor arrested for public masturbation asks gay community for forgiveness | The Lookout – Yahoo! News.

Every time I hear someone (including myself) getting really passionate about an issue I get these warning bells in my head…

…and the persistent ringing in my ears seems to be telling me that nothing happens independently or in a vacuum.

It tells me that whatever it is, it’s all coming from ‘somewhere’ … and that ‘somewhere’ is mostly out of control and not really often all that conscious…

… to us.

It also warns me that very possibly the so-called “impassioned” person is merely trying to make sense of it in his/her own life one way or the other.
I am never surprised by these things when they come out publicly…  in fact, I am almost expectant.
It’s almost as if it’s something we can only wait for to happen.

The expectant, faithful skeptic – that’s me.

The only ‘surprise’ I tend to have is how some manage to ‘conceal’ it better and longer than others?
… and just maybe … could this be an indicator of exceptional ‘deviance’ and the real ‘intentional sin’? – now there’s perhaps a thought worth getting some feedback on don’t you think?

(and for those fundamentalists amongst us…  have a good little look at Romans 2:1 ~ … what we judge and condemn in others is in us and we do the same things …. etc.)

and god created the heavens

and the hells…

did he?

really?

maybe there is no hell prepared by god at all?

… that sounds good!

maybe too good to be true?

perhaps?

perhaps that may well be

but maybe we prepare one for ourselves

 

we are made like the creator

so we create

for ourselves…

 

all god prepares is a table

and the enemy present is choice

the choice between

the one, or the other

the other, or the one

and in our frantic wrath we store up more wrath

for ourselves

in ourselves

of ourselves

and when the plumb bob is dropped

on whom will it fall?

or as it swings to its place of rest

who will it strike?

 

could it be that because of our stubbornness

our unwillingness to yield and turn

away from us

away to the greater

that which surrounds all

which holds all

balances all

and which will not remain unbalanced

the great audit

to reconcile

to balance the books,

to see how these deeds weigh up against each other….

we are weighed in the balances,

according to what we have done

with the gift we have received

on our one hand?

our hand on the one?

 

so,

maybe god isn’t even really actively involved at all?

perhaps he sits

watching

waiting

resting

cappuccino, deckchair,

the vast seas lapping softly at his feet

watching as the sun sets

and the sun rises

at the same time

 

he has set in motion all things,

even motion itself.

 

and we?

… and we have seized the responsibility for ourselves

wrested from the hand of the great gardener

whilst the saplings were still fresh and the first fruits had barely ripened

it was done

we did it

the first fruits were offered

… to ourselves

…… by ourselves

…. for ourselves

for us

and all hell breaks loose

 

flick the switch

light will reveal all

but light is not our friend

light always says too much

we can’t hide our motives

in the light

even dark is lit up

light the exposer

who is this enemy of ours?

we still choose

to snatch the responsibility

of distinguishing between the good and the bad

 

we eat freely from the tree of bitterness

it is good and tasty,

sweet to the eyes

fresh to the tongue

but bitter in the gut

 

we give ourselves the choice

the heart of democracy

democracy of the heart

and like every seed reproduces

and multiplies after its own kind

each choice divides itself again and again, and again, and again ….

and multiplies until we are divided

and each choice

each thought

each attitude of heart

each intent

each action

hidden or not

will finally be divided.

on the one side – what could have been –

and on the other, what was, what is …

and as a result, what is to come.

and the distinguishing between

will finally be extinguished

as all merges as our internal globe warms

and our ice caps melt

slipping formlessly into the seas

 

and like the gods we desire to be

we have decided the end from the beginning

for ourselves

god is innocent

we ourselves have drawn a line in the sands of time …

for all eternity

when time itself will be only a faint memory

and we have decided for ourselves

 

we have drawn the line

it is no other who draws it for us

with our great pen

the sword of our own symbolism

the symbolism of our own sword

in great calligraphic flair we have built our tower

we have signed our name

it is all in the book

and we are in the books

we each have our own chapter

and of the credits, who can speak?

This Christmas thing is upon us again. Every year I seem to be one of those who participate in a pitched battle over the pro’s and cons of the whole thing. On Facebook it can get quite passionate and messy, but the views are not really conclusive at all and there are opinions expressed from many angles. I am always most amazed at how some very intelligent, educated people seem to dig their heels in and do what they do simply because they do it.

I know, I know, we all have our rights … yada, yada, yada, – all I am suggesting is if we believe we are rational let’s be rational.

I mean, who really makes the decisions we make? When is the real you or me speaking? Does the real me speak at all? Is he allowed to? Do I permit the real me to speak?

Sometimes I think we’re almost like that joke: “I went out and bought myself a camouflage outfit the other day and now I can’t seem to find it anymore.”

….. Hmmmmm, now when last did I see myself?

Come to think of it, who really am I? what do I think?

It really seems like there is so much pressure to be in tune with those around us. To merge in and not be seen as different. On small things this is perhaps not really an issue, but on major decisions …. ? and when do the small things suddenly become major?

Ok, so I have heard that I am known as a bit of a non-conformist …. er, sorry, what’s that my dear? …. oh, ok … rebel, … now where was I? ..  oh,yes, …. apparently I am known as being somewhat of a rebel, but is it only me, or is there really that pressure I feel all around to be so inappropriately socially ‘appropriate’. Where does it come from?

One of the most fascinating bits of recent research on personal choice in our modern age is by Sheena Iyengar (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing.html) – please, have a listen, Id be really interested to hear your take on her discoveries.

In other research it is suggested that the tribal instinct is very strong in us humans and that it’s universal. Apparently tribalism is clearly not confined to those “primitive” cultures in Africa and isolated jungle regions in other parts of the ‘uncivilized’ world. And here we “cultured westerners” are, all the while thinking, “those uncultured savages!”

However, culture itself is the patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population. Culture is the acceptable ways, values, beliefs, of a group of people that is passed down from person to person, from generation to generation.

We all live by faith. We don’t have to belief in God or a religion to live by faith. There are just too many wonderful questions out there and they far outnumber the answers. Maybe this is the way it’s meant to be? But we all have the ability to think. Not only that, we also all have the ability to think about our thinking. We have the ability to live by faith and to think about that faith, to accept it and to challenge it. To engage and interact with it.

Maybe the most honourable, worshipful, creative, noble, thing we can do is to actively and intelligently engage with the almost infinite faculties we have been blessed with (and here I include all the wonderful people we are surrounded by) rather than disengage by unwittingly switching ourselves and others off by remaining addicted to mediocrity?

We are by nature unique. Why spend so much time and energy trying to be like someone else?

(PS – I bet most of you can only see 2 Beatles in the picture posted above?)

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Of late I have been foraging for input around our freedom. I am still turning every stone I come across but up till now I seem to have only come up with some unexpectedly strange stuff lurking in the dark, shady cracks. Freedom of speech, freedom of choice and other related issues like self-determination, independence, autonomy and others are such key issues to many in these times we live. Wars have been fought over such and much blood has been spilled. Maybe I’m searching under the wrong rocks but I seem to be starting to think that perhaps we have not really been seeing the whole picture at all. It has surprised me as I have become aware of just how much emphasis I have placed on the ability, even the right and responsibility to make correct decisions. We live in a very cerebral age where control and accuracy is so important to us. Perhaps as a resistance to the impersonal, dehumanising age of the industrial revolution we have reacted and have somehow missed the plot? Do we really have the ability to think independently? Are we actually as autonomous as we would like to believe? Do we make our own decisions? Can we decide for ourselves? What do you think? or perhaps more to the point, what does your mother think? ·  ·  http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing.html