Friday, October 19, 2018

MY WAY THROUGH THE DAY (Poem)



A cactus sits on my windowsill
beyond my understanding—green, thorny
and simple to see.  Today I am not a victim
of knee-jerk realism.  The sound
of children playing outside helps me hear
my way through sunlight.  Dogs bark
in the distance.  All the light that breaks
through the clouds tethers to the trees
in my upcast eyes.  When I step outside
barefoot there is no one to remember
or know, no concern to match my leisurely 
stroll down the sidewalk.  I am not an object.
I am a pattern of laughter woven into spring
and summer, born of the wind and the passing
song of a car stereo.  Everyone comes
and goes this way, rippling out from a spiny
center.  I bend the limbs of the crepe myrtle,
slipping bark between my fingers.
My neighbors make their regular stops, 

eat dinner, while mountains wear down to sand.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Reincarnation Argument



Universal awareness: a basic kind of awareness most everyone shares. Example: Two piles of wood—one big and one small—are in front of me. I notice the inequality immediately. This indicates a type of universal awareness. Also, all babies suckle. 

Baseline awareness: the calm state I return to after anger, sadness or excitement.

These programs of awareness recur in each generation after the time of my death.

Argument

Universal awareness and baseline awareness are the seeds for my greater awareness.

They recur in each generation after the time of my death.

Therefore the seeds of my awareness recur in each generation after the time of my death.

Since my awareness arises out of these basic programs of awareness I am likely to recur or reincarnate in future generations after the time of my death.

Evidence for commonness of baseline awareness: This is a very simple, non-dimensional form of awareness. Since humans are so closely related genetically it is probable that it recurs in each generation.

We do not share the same awareness. We share the same program for awareness. If I have four computers that have four different sets of hardware I can still run the same version of windows on all four computers. By analogy, everyone shares the same programs for awareness, but each person has a different perspective. That perspective must occur to awareness just as thoughts occur to awareness. I.E. It occurs to me it is Sunday. Thoughts, sensations and perspective occur to awareness. Therefore awareness exists prior to those thoughts, sensations, etc. Awareness can exists without thoughts and sensations. But thoughts and sensations cannot exists without awareness. Therefore I am my awareness, and I am not my perspective. Perspective arises after awareness arises. Therefore awareness, not perspective, is what I am.

Since millions of babies are born each year it is probable that I will reincarnate.

I am a different person than I was 10 years ago. Therefore, I could reincarnate as anyone, and the uniqueness of babies does not limit my incarnation.

We should make the world a better place, because we have to come back and live in it again. And if we destroy this world we will have to live in another.


Joel Fry

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

What White Culture Can Learn From Black Culture



Please let me say something first of all. There is white culture. You can hear it in Bluegrass music, see it in buck dancing, but it extends to the music of Radiohead and Segur Ros, and in the nether reaches to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. Even one of Eminem’s latest songs includes mandolin music. So let’s please don’t assume an entire people are bereft of culture.

That being said, most of the school / mass shooters are white. This is heart rending. Statistically, we are more likely to be anxiety prone. White people are at least three times as likely to suffer from anxiety than Asian Americans. And we wonder why we are getting so fat.

I’m in favor of reasonable measures to control guns. Things can be done, like eliminating bump stocks and automatic weapons. But after seeing Trump in action, we may need our guns after all to at least let him know we are here. I have gone back and forth on this issue, but Trump is a tyrant and tyrants have to know the people are armed.

But isn’t gun control like taking Twinkies off the market? How much must we cut out our eyes because they offend us? Won’t people also kill with knives or run people down with cars like terrorists do in Europe? But some measures must be taken on the utilitarian end. 

It will not save us though. We must learn to have sense—to have the warmth of common intelligence that limits wrong actions. Ask people whether they currently have any sense when they act in wrong ways, when they act coldly. Then help the person, for God’s sake. Maybe he needs medication like Ativan. Maybe he’s being bullied. We have to develop the kind of culture black people have—a culture that let’s you vent—a culture that doesn’t cut you up coldly for the hell of it. The Ice Age is over. The earth has warmed. A thick skin may not always be necessary. 

Part of having sense is not talking when an old person is talking. This is just an example. In white culture there are all kinds of limits on what people can and should do—stifling rules—but children talk over adults and old people all the time. When I worked at Partlow Developmental Center in Tuscaloosa, we would always greet everyone at the beginning of the shift. All my coworkers were black, and this was considered common courtesy. When I transferred to another facility, which had mostly white workers we didn’t so much as grunt when we came onto a new shift. The change in morale was marked.

That’s it. We have to be kinder, especially to each other. As white people we are kind to animals, being the first race to keep dogs and cats in our houses as pets. This may even be part of the reason we were the first to develop lazer-sharp spear points so long ago—to give animals an easier and quicker death. It may be why we painted the animals on our cave walls. But we have to extend some compassion to each other. Otherwise we will keep killing each other in droves. Think of the history of Europe then localize that to a high school and you see why all the shooters are white. It’s our fucked up culture.


Joel Fry

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Fundamental Nature of Reality

Heraclitus said you cannot step into the same river twice, but the same process that carried my horse downstream ten minutes ago will now carry me downstream. The fundamental nature of reality is not change but the process by which change occurs. This is what the fixed constants indicate.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Analogy of Windows

If you have four different computers which each have different hardware configurations you may still be able to run windows on all four computers. Baseline awareness is probably like that--the same program running on different minds.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Settling as a Hypothesis of Mind

Thinking and Imagining

There are two types of thinking: thinking according to routes and thinking according to labels. Thinking according to routes requires an order of operations to reach completion before a realization occurs. A realization is a kind of balanced equation in which the sum of the thoughts reaches a satisfaction or resolution in which no more knowledge is needed for the seeking mind to settle. An example of this would be getting directions then realizing that no more details are needed for the directions to be completed.

Thinking according to labels occurs when the mind settles on the proper label for each subjective experience. If my mind is searching for the verb “hitches” as in “The farmer hitches his mule to a plow” my mind will not settle until I have reached the right verb to complete the sentence. It is possible in both cases for the mind to mis-settle on a wrong route or a wrong label.

Imagining also requires that the mind settle on an appropriate image that satisfies the pictorial demands of a scene.

Since the mind wants to settle it is always seeking out these resolutions.

An alternate interpretation might be that the mind simply seeks stimulation. But this is too simple. The mind seeks stimulation first, then gets pulled into activity, from which point it seeks resolution or settling. If the mind only seeks stimulation it would never develop. Primitive man had to understand his surroundings before he could feel at ease in them. In this case the goal was to feel at ease so work could be done. Our own seeking of settlement is merely a pantomime of those earlier times because in many cases our lives no longer depend on thinking.

The goal of freedom--both freedom from want and freedom to do what you want--is to acquire earned comfort, which takes the form of release either in sex or eating or drug use or whatever. Settlement is reached in each of these activities. The ascent to settlement is pleasurable.

So if the ascent to settlement is pleasurable (as in orgasm) that is called pleasure. Whereas a general sense of proper settlement is called satisfaction. Love is a pleasure that remains a wish. As the longing for love is satisfied the wish for love increases.

As Hegel notes, thoughts are brought about by an unhappy thirst. The act of imagining is pleasurable, but thinking, on a hard analytical level is not and merely offers the possible promise of settlement. The maker of the spearpoint cannot celebrate until the spearpoint is finished.



Joel Fry

Monday, June 4, 2018

Poem

Ginsburg’s Sailor Talks About Why We Need Prostitution 
We want pussy, big-hipped pussy
that likes to be tickled, white pussy
for big black dicks come home on furlough 
from them far away places, pussy
for ex-cons, pussy that licks a dinner plate
clean. We need pussy to grease the wheels
of commerce, pussy for white-collar criminals,
little white assholes for Chinamen who like
to talk shit in bars, pussy for warriors
and sympathy pussy for the changing
of the seasons, mouths with teeth in them
to seal the deal, pussy for small-headed
snake penis and mushroom-head stubby.
Gives us pussy for Christmas. We want
Romanian pussy.
Joel Fry