14th May 2021

Life, with its many convoluted twists and turns can quite graphically be described as a lottery, sometimes winning well, occasionally losing heavily, but on the whole a sort of continuing litany of odd or even bets in the game of chance roulette. Nothing is more typical than the wholly unpredictable illustration of relationships, a contest without specific rules or agreements, resulting in violent swings between satisfaction and disappointment at momentary notice.

The success or failure of relationships is generally based on the premise of give and take, being able to steer a mutually agreeable path through a sea often filled with storm and adverse tide. That ocean can of course be supremely calm, pleasurable, full of joyous days and nights, but tempestuousness is forever just beyond the horizon awaiting an opportunity to bring uncomfortably high waves and capsizing troughs.

‘Give and take’ necessarily suggests the prospect of the exchange of gifts, quite easily divisible into two distinct and seperate heaps, the emotional and the commercial, one a matter of personal effort and sacrifice, the other, with the exception of some mild consideration, simply largesse.

A most useful exercise to help facilitate an understanding of the differences between the two forms is to simply make for yourself a listing of the most significant presentations you have received from a partner, specifically those that caried deep emotional weight and then consider the cost they brought to the doner. Was it a gift involving time, kindness, sacrifice, or simple of exceptional material value? The former is quite obviously the more personal, precious, emotional costly, the latter but a financial repurposing.

I myself indulged in this exercise quite recently and noted to my astonishment and some inner turmoil that my top ten or so items were all particularly well-chosen inarticulate objects, my first purely emotional gifting appearing some way down the chain. This circumstance points to a fault in me, not the gifter, my apparent susceptibility to being impressed by monetary value is supremely embarrassing and telling.

The opposing relevant question is of course what benefit do the doner get from any gift, whether emotional or materialistic, and perhaps more importantly what personal risk do they take by extending such generosity?

Gifts, presents, rewards, of intrinsic value are naturally the easier matter to judge. Financial costs are readily accountable, reducing the cash flow of the giver momentary or for some considerable period, dependent on the sum involved. Short term impoverishment or without is of no great consequence, and we all have at some time spent monies upon something not of immediate personal value, and of course a donation to another does have a definable value, in kudos, gratefulness, possible reciprocation, feelings of power, accomplishment, import and of course charity, the most basic of spiritual self-empowering tools.

Non materialistic presents, those presenting emotional and supportive elements carry a cost including the risk of personal spiritual loss and sacrifice, an inherent danger of losing something of your own wholeness, mental wellbeing, as opposed to a simple monetary transaction.

Such donations of time, support, consideration, kindness, assistance, are of course much more the true definition of charity as promulgated in multiple philosophical and religious texts, a clarion call for dedication to enhanced spiritual awareness and availability, as opposed to the far easier and less demanding shedding of gelt.

Always question your impulses towards generosity, whether you are truly serving the recipient or in a circuitous manner advancing an agenda to your own advantage. Is the course you envisage the best use of resources, could your need for bestowal, to implement some form of gratuity, be better served in another less materialistic manner that still rewards recipient and gifter equally well, without necessarily creating a financial transaction that probably does not signify the depth of feeling you wish to illustrate.

I hate to be appear really old fashioned, but do you recall the joy of writing and receiving anniversary, greeting, and thank you cards?

13th May 2021

Is it possible or ever likely for an instigator to present themselves as a victim? Does the seeming recipient of what might be considered anti-social behavior ever manipulate circumstances to result in such a situation manifesting? The answer to such seeming contrary and unsavory questions must delve into the deep-seated psychological needs of the perpetrator, malefactor, and whether the effects manufactured service their needs and desires.

The contrivance of any outcome through the careful and cunning exploitation of others is a surprisingly common circumstances in any advanced society, where individuals are inclined, or feel obliged, to react with support, solace, and fortification towards the perceived sufferer, without a particular careful diagnosis, back check, into the background or mitigating   happenstances.

The Aesop idiom about crying wolf has lost its pertinence, due to the circumstances having passed relevance. There are very few wolves and per se no legitimate claimants.

12th May 2021

Today marked a further celebratory day upon the calendar, based largely, indeed probably solely, upon early Roman Catholic iconography. I find this relationship not the slightest disturbing, all periodic events have definable origins, whether that remembrance is real of illusory is of no particular import.

Humankind once interpreted the passing of time purely through cosmological connections, measuring periods by phases of sun, moon, or planets, paid more intellectual attention to the heavens than to the earth beneath their feet. This fascination with ephemeris had no more relevant significance than do the liturgical listing of festivals and feast days, indeed both simply allow for a correlation between events and consequences, maybe positive or negative.

Celestial interpretation donated astrology to our species, a supposed mystical alignment between an individual and the exact date, time, and location of their birth. Liturgy allows similar predictivity, but by rote rather than by abstract chance. Both satisfy the human need for purpose, direction, hope.

11th May 2021

Bad behavior in children is passably acceptable, assuming that lessons are learned, apologies given and accepted, and suitable adjustments made for future reference, the principle that good education and example improve conduct being wholly justifiable. Unfortunately, poor deportment in adults is rarely correctable, the bad seed already having been sown and fostered to fruition. Correction is a matter of some difficulty, repetition a far more likely scenario, hence the large number of multiple offenders.  

Society has become quite adapt at the correction of practices bordering on the criminal, creating a whole network of administrative tools to deal with the problem, security forces, courts, prisons, even in extreme cases the possibility of state administered execution. Non-criminal exploits are far less easily resolved, having little recourse through official channels, relying more on the advisory guidance, interference, of peers and family.

Criminality is quite possibly at its lowest level in recorded history, but societal insurrection has in direct opposition reached quite staggering levels. A down side of increasing personal freedom is the ability to be an extremely nonconformist, such practices strain societies foundations, causing eruptions of division and animosity in the belly of the beast that is community. Philosophers and artists do not covet a race of lemmings, but politicians and social scientists most certainly do, for absolute control, predictability, increases productivity, malleability, the efficiency of the unit, keeping the troops in step as they march towards the new horizon envisioned for them.

A world without differences would be so much easier, no need for left-handed scissors, special arrangements for the non-conforming, an ideal laboratory production system turning out identical petri dish propagated souls ad Infinium. No complaints, variables, social disorders, divorces, unmarried pregnancies, unemployment, homelessness, a complete dismissal of all the ills of modern society in one scientific sweep of the fascistic scalpel.

10th May 2021

Small and commonplace pleasures become important accomplishments when minutes, days, and weeks merge into a constant repetitious blur. Time, organization, and habit have the effect of tranquilizing the senses against such minor joys, the palate losing its appreciation for indistinct flavors difficult to fully appreciate. As with unsalted or unsweetened consumables blandness can soon accomplish an outright and irreparable oppression of the taste buds.

Gratification is an unfaithful spouse, inclined to become a dilettante in their momentary desires, changing preferences midcourse, perhaps even before settling upon a primary focus, variable as the degree of salivation caused by identical relish on similar but separate occasions. Attraction can ever be equally vague, transitory, the beauty of terror can being strangely as intense as that of extasy.

If there is a lesson to be taken it is to graze endlessly, consider everything, refuse nothing outright, for today’s bane can easily become tomorrow’s irrefusable delicacy.

9th May 2021

I once prided myself on being exceeding gullible, swallowing the most improbable of tales easily and without any real desire to question the validity of the circumstances described. In my heartfelt opinion, this meant I had a deep capacity to accept as true the considerations of others, without need to diagnose, dissect, validate, or unnecessarily ponder. Such innocence is in many ways the easier road, for being untrusting, suspicious of words and motives is not a pleasant or rewarding stat. Having a lack of trust in ones fellow human beings makes for a sure route to sadness and rolling disappointment.

My eventual recovery to a balanced equilibrium came about simply through the need for self-preservation, a realization that mine own wellbeing and mental health was suffering through the constant dispiritedness, my serial disillusionment at the capacity of others to adapt, nay manipulate events, situation, occurrences, to their own benefit and best advantage.

I was perhaps fifty years of age before I realized that the foremost motive in human interaction is sadly that of selfishness, egocentrism, a truth that is in no way a critique, for indeed ‘tis that very trait that has empowered human kind to the very pinnacle of success and existence they have so satisfactorily accomplished. That so much time and effort is spent by our species in the moral and ethical determination to empower and enhancing charity in the hope of arousing parity, is simply but the opposing weight upon the so delicate scale of homo sapiens desperate need to facilitate some notion of egalitarianism.

Use and usury are the basic building block of civilization, whether we like the idea of not such mechanisms have detailed society from the outset. That the shadow of such oppression haunts to this day but proves the degree by which the logic is painstakingly engraved into our skeleton. Each deceit for gain, every exploitation echoes the same despotism, the exchange of anguish and wretchedness for affluence and fortune, the acquisition of milk and honey through the consumption of another’s vitality.

8th May 2021

‘Peer’ is one of the words that my now permanent residence in these United States has required me to adapt in meaning unequivocally. In Europe, the sense is quite clear, pointing to an individual of some social position, good breeding, having a status equivalent if not superior to oneself, someone to be admires simply for existing, to be followed and obeyed as if decreed by holy writ. Being the only truly universal measurement of status within this continent in wealth and remembering that success and usury are the least appropriate of reasons for perceiving superiority, a sea change of definition was wholly appropriate.

I am now happy to accept ‘peer’ as an individual of similar age, within say a span of ten years, social standing, like abilities, a co-worker, as near a duplicate of myself as is imaginable. The age qualification is interesting, ten years, a decade, equating to one historic age of man, a measure much banded about in many similar circumstances, a magical length of time somehow capable of enclosing a whole litany of moments, experiences, that foreshadow, empower, a major shift to a new and potentially completely unrelated period, another age.

Personally, I have somehow successfully managed, probably quite undeservedly, to reach with some comfort that once most sought of epochs, the septuplet, and must foresee and accept my ultimate peer group expanding boundlessly till ‘tis pronounced with some finality and fatality, minus one. The aged have somewhat significantly become the largest growing class, causing a strange disparity in economic, political, and social structures.  Was a time retirement was seen as a mighty bonus, a treat earned by a few as a reward for duties performed. Today that onetime unusual accomplishment has become assured, requiring a panoply of social, medical, and entertainment personnel to deal with the ever-increasing plethora.

Retirement does not even indicate withdrawal as once did, elders deciding that they are far too significant to quietly slip into deserved and suited secluded obscurity. For proof but cast an eye across the ages of our figureheads,  nay presidents even.

7th May 2021

I cannot be doing with human imaginings of resurrection; such matters smack a little too squarely of infamy and rather unnecessarily belittle some individuals comparative concept of divinity. Reinvention is a quite sufficient form of human metamorphosis to fulfill any need for reimagining or redemption, seeking some closer parity to restoration is neither practical or convincing, but reflecting blatant theater at its very outlandish and vulgar.

Impassioned semi-believing playacting most certainly has its purpose, sine the first two adults playfully tussled together in the flickering light surrounding a familial camp fire, a pictorial nowadays spectacularly presented in the form of professional wrestling, representations of illusory conflict, the personas of heroes and villains, have captured, amused, and harmlessly aroused the hearts, emotions, and minds of the populus. Cockfights, bear baiting, even true gladiatorial combats somewhat fitted the bill temporarily, but somehow the patently obvious false image of farce, clear deception, cunningly orchestrated pantomime far better feeds the collective hunger for visual amusement and readable trickery. Tomfoolery is often far more acceptable as a method of casual education than the kindest and most caring of oratory, the latter smacking of condescension and hieratical stipulation. We enjoy being controlled, directed, being cajoled to do the man’s bidding but with a degree of subtlety that makes the instruction seem intuitive.

The true theatrical transformation scene, as witnessed in the nineteenth century through the seemingly improbable magic of multi stage mechanisms, was a thing of mystery, wonder, a vision beyond disbelief, yet unquestioningly manufactured, performed, false, requiring a degree of gullibility that can only erupt in the willing mind. The same applies to the transformation of bread and wine into blood and flesh in the Eucharist, a celebratory expression of the divine resurrection. Medical science can never bring the reality of resurrection closer; corruption will remain inanimate. Advancing skill will rather simply facilitate the viability of superlative life extension.

6th May 2021

There is a point beyond which purposeful chicanery becomes intolerable. Willful deceitfulness is acceptable under human ethical standards for many a reason, self-protection being the most obvious, no one should condemn a lie, a falsehood, when the sole purpose is continued existence, or purposefulness, preservation being a fixed prime directive in the human psyche. Unnecessary mendacity for gain, whether financial, social, emotional, or hieratical, is entirely indefensible, and holds the perpetrator up for evisceration, dissection, disgrace, and contempt from all unfortunate and innocent casualties of such heinous fault.

It is important to differentiate betwixt the Baron von Munchhausen school of invention, tall stories, unlikely tales, wholly impossible anecdotes, and those diabolically inclined, told for improper purposes beyond amusement and the collection of awe. The devilish narrative is but additional grease upon the already trepidus slope to hades, a fatal descent undeserved and without benefit to any but the already preening fabricator.

5th May 2021

I enjoyed a most entertaining conversation yesterday about the side effects of medical treatments, how they more than not seem to affect the young more insidiously   the elderly. After the interaction was completed the subject continued to rattle around my brain for some time, looking for rhyme or reason for the truth of it, when suddenly a thought occurred to me that made perfect sense of disparity.

The one symptom that younger folks find uncannily disturbing but elder individuals simply accept as de rigour is of course the feeling of aging, for we olders do such involuntarily, invariably, in manageable daily increments, a little extra on a specific occasion is unlikely to make an overwhelming impression.  The young fear growing old more than the bowels of hell itself, something to be avoided for as long as practical, not even to be considered as possibility in the foreseeable future.

The elderly are inclined to find the past more disturbing than the future, missteps being much harder to accept than inevitability.