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To Group or Not To Group

Here we are, isolated consciousnesses feeling alone and lost. This creates a natural need to be connected – with anything. Spiritual folk want to make a connection with God, or spirit, or anything else that might make them feel as though they belong. For most people this sense of belonging might come from family, supported football team, political affiliation, a group of friends. Of course...

No Systems, No Laws and No Truth

The Great Way is without limit, fathomless and subtle, beyond comprehension, beyond words. – The Ceasing of Notions To imagine that the world can be contained by a system is a fairly quick route to the madhouse. Even so, the temptation to encapsulate the world by a system of thought has proved irresistible for western minds particularly. Physics might make the boldest claim in this regard...

Self-Hatred

We hate the things that diminish our power for existence, and our anger is an attempt to destroy a thing that is diminishing our power. As we journey through life so we adopt ideas that seem to confer power. These ideas are highly conditioned by circumstances. For example, if we learn that mummy takes on a better mood if we flatter her (and kids are always looking for approval) so we will learn...

Life – A Dull Affair

The basic dynamics of life are very easy to understand. It is a self optimizing machine that churns out species that are stronger, more deceitful, and those best suited to a particular environment. That’s it. The implications that follow are also easy to understand. The strong devour and/or exploit the weak. The skillful liar will deceive and take from the honest individual. Changing...

The Grim Reaper Says “Hi”

I saw a letter from an Italian doctor, published in a UK newspaper, explaining what was coming to the UK – Coronavirus specifically. One of the things he mentioned was a stronger than usual awareness of mortality, and with it a pressing need to understand the meaning of it all. And this is how it is for most people. While life presents no existential threats we walk around in a daydream and...

Aphorisms to Entertain – Until They Don’t

Ambition is always dangerous territory, but spiritual ambition – enlightenment, moksha, salvation, nirvana – is the most dangerous of all. As far as emotional states are concerned, don’t fix – feel. As long as we strive we will suffer. Be silent you know nothing. Because you believe that you know, you cannot experience the wonder and mystery of existence. By craving freedom, you...

The Particular

The world is comprised of particular things – lots of them, and this is where the richness of existence is – in the particular. But since we possess the ability to form concepts so we categorize things such that they can be grouped. As a result, we speak of “people” – a category that enables us to consider billions of individual human beings in a single word, but at...

Phony

We all know those cheap t-shirts and jeans are produced in sweatshops where people might work 15 hours a day for just a few dollars. And we are also aware that the “people” might be kids. But we conveniently push this to the back of our minds as we grab a handful of clothes we don’t need and buy just because they are cheap – feeding the abuse of millions of workers. Such...

Action Reveals Character

It is Schopenhauer’s assertion that we are manifestations of will. Spinoza said the same thing in different words – the essence of man is desire. The will-to-life that manifests in all living creatures is a force in the same way that gravity is a force. It is impersonal, unconscionable and unconscious. So the massive suffering it causes through the generation of billions of competing creatures is...

Hollowness and Futility

For any Spinoza fans out there I’ve decided to have a Spinoza only Patreon channel. Here, as a giveaway, is the first article and podcast. The very first sentence, in the very first of Spinoza’s published works, “Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect”, goes as follows: After experience had taught me the hollowness and futility of everything that is ordinarily encountered in daily life...

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A sense of responsibility comes from ignorance of the fact that we have no control over anything.

There is nothing precious about the here and now, it’s simply that the past and future are unworthy of your attention.

The secret of a tolerable life is to reduce striving to a minimum. Drop the “trying”. Don’t be concerned about wasting time - time is meant to be wasted. Abandon ambitions and seek a situation where only the minimum of effort is needed.

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