The Pet Theory of God

My friend had a few martinis and shared with me her “drunk God talk” about how she was like her cat, and God was like her.

“I have to give my cat ear drops,” she related, “and he hates it. There’s no way I can explain it to him, because he’s a cat. He just doesn’t have the ability to understand that I’m doing it because I love him and it will make him feel better.” Continue reading “The Pet Theory of God”

Mysticism: The Perennial Philosophy

I found today a book called The Perennial Philosophy, published in 1946 by Aldous Huxley (who in 1932 wrote Brave New World). It is a survey of mystical wisdom from many traditions throughout history, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and the mystic traditions of Christianity and Islam.

I’m pleased to say that this wide-ranging, wise, and scholarly work confirms my intuitions. Indeed, it’s slightly embarrassing to learn that my deep insights are in fact common knowledge, if you talk to the right people! Continue reading “Mysticism: The Perennial Philosophy”

In the Beginning Was The Word

 

In one of the collapse groups this morning, someone was lamenting the loss of human culture. They speculated that literature, music, painting, and architecture would all be lost in the climate apocalypse. They recommended appreciating our “creative endeavor” as long as we are still here.

But it’s worse than that, if you accept the premise. Not only high-level cultural expressions will be lost, but fundamental aspects of human existence in the Universe, like speech, language, and art. The concept of love. Cognition, ideas – the very concept of “ideas.” “Thinking” as a phenomenon or process. All the products of the human mind will vanish with the ending of the biological and physical systems that support them.
Continue reading “In the Beginning Was The Word”

Supermarket Paranoia

As I went to the market tonight, my paranoia blossomed.

It’s chilly in the evenings now, and it was raining, so I thought of my homeless buddies who, if they were caught without shelter, would be uncomfortable and at risk. It will only get worse as the season goes on.

Driving into the parking lot, I felt that my car was much too big. How could such a gigantic machine – so heavy, so well engineered, and consuming so much fuel – be needed to move one person around?

Then, when I approached the soup bar, I found myself in a confrontation with a stranger (a young woman) about who was going to ladle soup first, from the cauldron into a cardboard cup. I put my hand on the ladle, so I went first. I reassured her: “It looks like there’s plenty for both of us,” and there was.

But I found myself wondering: “Would I share soup with a stranger, if there was not enough for both of us? How would I decide who to share with and who not to? How would I act if I were not surrounded by incredible plenty, the luxury of empire, constantly replenished by the work of others whom I never see?”

And I don’t know. ⭐️

Thich Nhat Hanh – Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm

One image stays with me from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm.

Thay, as the Buddhist monk is known, likens a person who is experiencing fear to a tree in a strong wind. The upper branches blow around wildly; we feel the tree must be destroyed by the violent agitation. If we look further down, however, we see that the trunk of the tree is solidly rooted in the ground, unmoving and secure. Continue reading “Thich Nhat Hanh – Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm”