Monday, August 19, 2013

My Mamma Told Me...

You'd better shop around!  For some time, I've been looking for a very specific item to wear to a very special family wedding.  The wedding will be in an unfamiliar geography in an unfamiliar venue, so the jacket and dress need to span a range of 'formal attire' definitions and cultural interpretations. Yes, I want a black, heavy Venetian lace bolero jacket, unlined, to go over a deep jade green evening gown.  No problem. Because it will double for some other duties, including summer travel (stuff in a shoulder bag to slip on before touring churches or cathedrals if wearing sleeveless shirts) it also needs to be mostly synthetic without looking like it,  so it will dry quickly if washed in a sink along the way. Oh, and it needs to be around $100, but look like a designer item.  No sweat.

Finally, through the magic of the Internet, I found one!  So what's the big deal?  Here's the designer item that came closest before I found the one. On eBay, it was $1700, used. Welllllll, I don't need an extra $1600-worth of name (Prada), ever. Drat, keep looking.

Thanks to eBay, I've ordered one that I like even better (nicer neckline and beautiful medallion back), though I took an unusual risk, at least for me.  I made an international purchase from...Malta!  Thoughts of Knights Templar fill my head. Once it arrives, I'll let you know whether it is a good thing to engage in commerce directly with the Maltese. 

Sounds like my own Bogart movie in the making,
just a few  decades too late!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What is "Being Awake?"

Not talking about the blog, but the state of mind.  Lots of people sleep walk through life. They blindly ingest advertising, instruction and robotically do what is expected. They want the big car or house  ... because.  Women wear fake fingernails and this year's hideous fashion... because.  They are democrats or republicans... because.

Remember The Matrix? You can choose the path to a clearer understanding and involvement in the world, but there is no pill. Consciousness, in the truest sense, takes work and discipline. It may not make you happy, but neither will keeping up with the Jones family, or even being the Jones family.

It takes baby steps.  Studying a bit of logic helps.  Lewis Carroll (mathematician Charles Dodgson)syllogisms were my first logic puzzles.  Logic helps clarify thinking and identify inconsistencies we may hold in our thinking.  I'll start with an example of a controversial inconsistency.  A large group of Americans are in favor of liberal abortion but eschew capital punishment. Actions include protesting in favor of the former and against the latter. Sorry, but that seems almost insane to me, from a perspective of LOGICAL THINKING.  Favoring the killing of innocents but not killing those who are guilty of heinous crimes is illogical. Either be pro-life or pro-death. That is basic logical thinking.

Thinking that some action is OK if done by group A but not if it's done by group B is also illogical and inconsistent. The news is rife with examples, so I won't elaborate. It's an area of discovery!

Sure, it's not all black and white, but learning to question logically is the basis of forming awareness of being manipulated, and understanding of what you believe and why.  It also leads to better decisions and actions.  Our actions stem from our beliefs.  When our actions violate what we espouse, then we must have a belief somewhere that drives the action.  We see happily married people throw it away for a brief fling.  What was that belief? Possibly "I'm getting old and unattractive" or "I believe my life is too boring" seem to trump "I am committed to my wonderful wife."

Your brain is a complex and powerful thing.  Learn to be aware of what's going on in there and to take charge. Learn to Be Awake!