Archive for September 2011


September 30, 2011

The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent–Holmes

This comes from a perspective of pure logos. From that perspective it is hard to beat, by which I mean it is clear as well as highly realistic. On the other hand there are mythos worldviews that may well be superior in terms of helping us to grow and develop. One such wordview is this:

    The universe is built on the principle of tough love. The events in our lives and the lives of those around us have a purpose, they are meant to teach us something.

This world view treats every situation as an opportunity to learn. It fosters both personal responsibility and growth.


September 29, 2011

Hold each moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment–Mann

Most of the suffering in life comes from remembering past pain or predicting future pain. Living fully in the present is the best way to minimize suffering. To put this in a religious context the Kingdom of Heaven lies within at this very instant.


September 28, 2011

If there is no wind, row.–Latin Proverb

Often the universe fails to provide support for efforts to achieve our goals, even our most noble goals. Whether you believe that the universe is testing our resolve or merely indifferent is irrelevant. The question is will you continue pursuing them or give up.

Karma yoga, the path of selfless action, suggests that we act without thought of success. In other words, it suggests that we continue to act whether or not our actions are rewarded by the results we desire.


September 27, 2011

I was playing chess with my friend and he said, ‘Let’s make this interesting’. So we stopped playing chess.–Matt Kirshen

We have this myth that think is hard, and most definitely not fun. Not sure why we’d have such a myth unless we’re trying to avoid thinking about why we believe what we believe and do what we do. Part of the reason I write this stuff every day is to force myself to do just that if only for a few minutes in the morning.


September 26, 2011

Goals are dreams with deadlines.–Hal Urban

A vision is a picture of who we want to be or how we want things to be sometime in the future. The purpose of a vision is to challenge us to change, to transform ourselves or our world. The key here is in the challenge. If every step on the way to our vision is clear, then there is no challenge. That vision is not worth having. The path to a worthwhile vision is necessarily unclear. Unfortunately that means it can be difficult to know if you are making progress.

Goals are one way to address this problem. Ideally goals are signposts on the way to our long term vision of who we want to be. The let us know if we are heading toward our goal at a reasonable pace.


September 25, 2011

Ideals are like stars, you will not succeed in touching them with your hands–Schurz

Ideals are mythos. They need not, and perhaps should not, be realistic. The important thing is that they help you be/become the person you want to be.


September 24, 2011

The bomb that fell on Hiroshima fell on America too–Hagedorn

From a pragmatic perspective, it’s quite possible to argue that dropping that bomb was the right thing to do because it saved lives on both sides of the conflict. The spiritual viewpoint is quite another matter; there, intent is key. Had the act been performed out of love and compassion, the damage would have been less, at least to the US. It was not. Therefore two key laws of the spirit came into play:

  1. We invariably love others exactly and precisely as we love ourselves.
  2. In matters of spirit, sowing and reaping are simultaneous.

The results were immediate and inevitable.


September 23, 2011

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.–A. Einstein

Speaking in the language of Mythos, the Hindu’s call this illusion maya. Indeed, one of the goals of Hinduism is to see through the web of maya. I don’t believe it is the highest goal however. The highest goal involves serving all beings so that they might find their way through the web of illusion. Buddhists call one who serves in this way a Bhodisattva. And I’m inclined to agree that it is the highest state to which a human or any other being might aspire.

They have a vow that begins:

All beings without number I vow to liberate, endless blind passions I vow to uproot…..

And I do. It’s perhaps my favorite personal myth.

In the language of Logos, Einstein is talking about how strange reality becomes when you look at it closely enough. Strange enough that physicists need to speak in metaphors to hint at what it is like. This is because, at the level of quantum physics, and also at the level of cosmology things are not at all like our day to day experience of reality.


September 22, 2011

If we ask, for instance whether the electron’s position remains the same, we must say no; if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say no; if we ask whether the electron is at rest we must say no; if we ask whether the electron is in motion, we must say no–Oppenheimer

On a superficial level, science seems rather simple and straightforward. But it seems to me, that the closer we look at things the weirder they get. Electrons aren’t the only thing like that, just take a look at M-theory, or dark matter and dark energy. Sometimes when I look at these theories they remind me a bit of the Ptolemaic models of the universe continuing to add complexity to explain ever more detailed measurements. Is it because reality doesn’t actually exist unless/until it is observed as some suggest? And how weird is that…


September 21, 2011

If you’re going through hell, keep going.–Winston Churchill

Evolution teaches that if something big is after you, hide if you can and otherwise freeze. Maybe it won’t see you, that’s the hope anyway. Of course it doesn’t work so well if the something big already knows where you are, or if it just mows down everything in it’s path. In that case stopping is the worst possible strategy. You need to get out of the way as best you can and keep on moving.