Assortments of Thought

Posts Tagged ‘Living

To become romantically involved with another person–to go through the highs of being attracted to someone and spending time with them, but then again the lows of relationships not quite working out or otherwise ending–is among the very core of human experience. Poets, songwriters, and other creative people have thus made it a subject of their works for ages, for this very reason. And indeed it isn’t always easy or straightforward, but most especially so for people seeking “true love”–or, that is, genuinely caring, enduring, monogamous relationships–if only because then, the stakes are even so very much higher. Yet perhaps early experiences with dating and various cultural pressures make the whole journey to finding a lifelong companion even harder than is should be, by encouraging patterns and approaches that are at best ill-advised. Indeed, maybe the key is to simply realize that what one is seeking is a dearest friend before anything else; that finding such a companion oughtn’t to be rushed; and that if it never happens, well, being alone isn’t exactly a bad fate either, particularly if the only alternative was to have been with someone who wasn’t that dear, true companion one had always sought. While the process of finding a lifelong companion is certainly much more complicated than this even–involving the entirety of one’s motivations for seeking a true love relationship and one’s suitability and preparedness for it, and an acknowledgement that there simply aren’t any guarantees ultimately–nonetheless, perhaps the journey doesn’t have to be quite as difficult as it so often is. And so just maybe, the aim of finding true love is one we might all more successfully chance just from recognizing a few basic things about it, and perhaps seeking it with such a good approach we should, for the freedom to seek it at all, is, after all, really quite special.

Continue reading “When Seeking True Love” …

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As the days grow cold and the nights grow long, it’s that time of year again. Families and individuals across the nation–and much of the world–are gearing up to celebrate, or else already have. It’s a time of joy and yet stress, of frantic paces and yet quite moments, and a time of remembrance, indeed, and yet of looking forward as well. Yet it’s also a time of some controversy, over the usual squabbles; whether the proper greeting is “Merry Christmas” or not–whether “Happy Holidays” is offensive or not–and how much or how little governments, businesses, and schools should adhere to given traditions. Such may colorfully be referred to as the “War on Christmas”; but despite the strong feelings often involved, perhaps there’s really very little we have to fret about. Such diverse holidays as Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr, and Kwanzaa do indeed represent divergent traditions, traditions that can’t be entirely reconciled. Perhaps there’s nonetheless a common thread throughout all our “winter” holidays though–a spirit of togetherness, love, and hope for the future–that’s really all that need matter to all of us outside of most traditions. The issue with public institutions is a bit more complicated, involving separation of church and state; private rights in public but privately-owned businesses; and cultural or secular traditions versus religious ones; but, even there, just accepting each others’ traditions needn’t be so hard. We need only to think of each other in the spirit of the season, and then whatever our own traditions or choices of greeting may be, speaking and listening with our hearts, we’ll surely have happy holidays for all.

Continue reading “Happy Holidays to All” …

The end of the world was upon us, or so the notion went. Most of us knew it wouldn’t be so, but the ideas were certainly out there, and talked about, with a strange appeal born both of the stories, but also of our desires, perhaps, for a release from it all. But December 21st, 2012 came and went, and the world didn’t end; no cataclysms devastated it, or us; and in the end, the end of the Mayan calendar was just that, the ending of a calendar. Instead, we have since found ourselves in the same positions that we’ve always been in, journeying into an increasingly uncertain tomorrow, with the same old situations continuing to play out. And, while the world may never end as it was famously said it would on December 21st, 2012, we nonetheless face many problems that remain threatening to a brighter future. Perhaps the core issue is that we just don’t care sometimes, about our fellow human beings, about animals and other life, and about our future, the future of our world. Between different groups of people, we maintain divisions that aren’t truly there, and we sometimes even look down upon or turn away from others for no good reason, to all our detriments. And, perhaps we seek everything from others all too often, yet not so often give of ourselves in the many ways we can, a pattern currently playing out in and dominating political thought even. Yet in spite of all these things, there exists a way out, and an awesomely simple one at that. For if we can only learn to care more about the world than the world ever cared about us, acting under the auspices of our religious beliefs and psychologies alike, then, we will do what only living, conscious beings such as us can do in this universe: make it a better place in which to live. And it is accomplishing this aim, one step at a time, that we each ought to be focusing on, for there’s still time to make things right, even as greater challenges yet loom ahead.

Continue reading “Continuations and Journeys” …

As we continue living our lives, we all struggle, it seems, to discern a purpose behind it all … to find a meaning in it all. It’s an unavoidable struggle for such as us–sentient beings who perceive so much–not least of all because definitive answers are not to be found. So in our increasingly complex, modern world, we each find something to believe in. Our beliefs are indeed myriad though, and so are often, unfortunately, too specific and personal for all of us to agree on. Yet all of us share the experience of living a life–and we certainly all know sorrow and pain–so alleviating or preventing the suffering of others is, in fact, a purpose that we can all believe in. Not, of course, that we should all feel a need to make doing good are whole lives’ work, for such a goal entails many shades of grey, and is not even achievable or uniquely definable. No, the idea, rather, is simply that we can all act thoughtfully and non-begrudgingly toward others during everyday life … exercising our capacities for sympathy and empathy, and desiring neither rewards for us, nor punishments for others. For then we’ll help others because we genuinely feel like doing so–knowing how we would feel in similar situations–thus sharing a universal purpose that can make all our lives that much more meaningful.

Continue reading “Meaning in the Everyday” …

Of all the “big” questions humanity has always faced, perhaps none is bigger than the mystery surrounding death. Indeed, the question of what happens to people when they die, if anything at all, has been speculated on quite persistently and earnestly throughout history. Even today, beliefs in some form of afterlife are prevalent, as are beliefs in a whole range of paranormal phenomena from ghosts and spirit communications, to past life memories, out-of-body experiences, and extrasensory perceptions. And some people even go so far as to live their lives in accordance with what they believe awaits them on the other side. Yet as understandable as this is, for a whole host of reasons based on the personal possibilities of a greater reality, the fact remains that we don’t know if one exists, and much less what it’s like if one does. In fact with a fairly simple analysis, I believe, we can be certain that such knowledge is extremely difficult for us to obtain, which only highlights that what we can definitely learn about are our lives, and not are deaths. Thus it would seem while we may be able to make some reasonable speculations about an afterlife, we should nonetheless avoid worrying about it too much, for we should focus on and live our lives for what we see they are, not by the largely speculative possibilities of what might lie beyond.

Continue reading “The Unknowability of Death” …

A belief closely linked to belief in God is that He requires your obedience and conformance to His wishes, lest you be eternally condemned. Of course, these wishes are commonly believed to be in books such as the Bible and the Qur’an, and they’re amply supplemented with teachings either laid down very early on, or else articulated over the centuries by religious authority. Yet if the universe was created by God, then all its many wonders are obviously of His creation, and this includes the awesome potential of the human mind, and what human beings could conceivably accomplish, intellectually or otherwise. Simply put then, if God exists and is really God, the only embodiment of pure goodness and wisdom, He would never ask for so much of the potential He gave us to be wasted, as by asking us to limit our beliefs and actions to accord with specific wishes of His. Rather, He would desire to see us develop our potential to its fullest, in the process developing a myriad of views beyond accepted religious dogma, for only then could He see His Creation truly enacted.

Continue reading “What God Would Never Ask” …

There seems to be a general sense that emotion is inferior to logic, that the results of being emotional are never any better than okay while those of being logical are never any worse. The thinking, presumably, is that logic can always be used to find good, reasonable courses of action, yet the best emotion can do is not derail them, or in other words, not prevent someone from thinking logically. In the end, it’s thought, being emotional just means being too irrational and impulsive for it to be as good and helpful as being logical. Yet logic is far from being infallible, and emotion serves positive functions that logic simply doesn’t and never will. So while being too emotional can indeed be problematic, so can being logical without being emotional enough. In short, without emotion, logic doesn’t enable true enjoyment of things; it doesn’t always lead to good moral decisions; and it can’t give full conclusions. Hence, far from being inferior to logic, emotion is its necessary counterpart, adding meaning and morality to life that otherwise wouldn’t exist even while making logic itself possible.

Continue reading “Emotion and Logic” …


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