Friday, July 29, 2016

Metaphysics

It cannot be the case that a particle is completely and solely dependant on an infinite regress of smaller component parts. If A is completely dependant on B and B is completely dependant on C, etc. there must be an ultimate bottom to the component layers, otherwise the chain of complete dependence would have no beginning. A hydrogen atom is completely dependant on the existence of protons and electrons.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What We Believe

Our contradictory nature is endlessly interesting. Most people have an innate fear of the numinous. Most would be afraid to spend the night alone in an abandoned mental hospital even though they know there are no big animals or other humans to prey upon them. They fear something beyond the reach of the material. At the same time we grieve for lost loved ones as if they'd been annihilated. So our fear and grief tell us that we simultaneously fear the possibility of ghosts, spirits, etc., and we believe our deceased loved ones have been wiped out of existence, because if we believed they were only in heaven waiting for us we would not be as sad.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Christopher Hitchens

Listening to Hitchens one hears his own worked-out thinking returning to him in lesser language and with a thorough shellacking of permanence.

Monday, July 11, 2016

How I Fixed a Delusion

I was able to think my way out of a fixed delusion recently. I started by saying, "My problem is thinking. I think I am a kind of messiah." Then I said, "Seeing is a deeper problem, because I perceive cues in the world that reinforce my delusion." But finally I said, "The ultimate root problem I have is in looking. When I look at the world I look for things that will reinforce my notion that I am a kind of messiah. If I look for something that isn't there, I will be disappointed. But if I only look for the sake of seeing whatever actually happens to be in the world I can never be dissatisfied." The Buddha said, "All of life is unsatisfactory," and while I don't believe that is true, I do believe that dissatisfaction often comes by looking for something in the world that is not there, not that one should not look for things in the world, but that he should practice great care when looking.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Naievity, etc.

Once again I am reminded that I'm wearing rose glasses.  The murders by the police, then the murders of five police officers, has struck me.  I didn't think that such a thing was impossible, but recently I asked a question of Quora which said, basically, "Doesn't every healthy person want to be good?"  Here I am thinking everyone is like me.  Yet, I am a chain smoker, and this after having quit smoking for eight years.

When I lit back up a couple of years ago I thought I would be able to smoke just one without going back to the habit.  Wrong.  I was soon an addict again.  But when I think of "good" I think of altruism, not the caretaking of the body.  And I'm naive enough to think everyone wants to be altruistic.

But I'm not just naive.  I'm also gullible.  I have the natural propensity to believe what people tell me.  I have the tendency to take things at face value.  So naivety and gullibility are closely related.  Oddly, I think this makes me a good poet.  When reality crashes in it hurts, but it makes for great writing.

Joel

Saturday, July 2, 2016

By Understanding

By Understanding

I am not the one who controls what’s happening.
I am the one who understands what’s happening.
And by understanding I live.  My eyes pursue
my shadow.  I bewilder myself.  The city flattens 
its tone of voice, the fury of its traffic, 
the never-ending breath of commerce.  I feel
the day unhinge me and play me like my own
familiar misery.  Piece by piece trees shelter
my yard from the sunlight I interpret with a glance.
Something reads me.  Something in me 
comprehends the light dying low like a simmering
pot.  I hear this world roam.  I witness the delight
of my trembling hands.  The houses, muted in fog, 
silence the breeze.  No one else needs to know 
how the neighborhood ends in a rocky ditch, 
where sparrows come to flit and keep the woods 
alive.


Joel Fry