That sounds along the lines of "may the fleas of 10,000 camels infest your _____ "
I think that applies to spammers.
Now, it was bad enough, when they infected the NNTP world, but now with the forums, I am tiring mightily of their antics in the HTTP world. When they interfered with my downloading of porn, that was one thing. NOW, they are ruining my Adobe forum experience. Is there no class amongst spammers? Is there no "spammer's credo?" I mean, get real here.
I remember Black Thursday, when AOL offered unlimited Internet access, and the world changed forever. Most of us had gotten by nicely with CompuServe, and our Wang start terminals, and the ARPANET (later NNTP) was fine with our 900 baud modems. We all knew of AOL, but never looked into it, as it was "for the unwashed." Then, in the blink of an eye, the world changed.
Yeah, death by 10,000,000 fleas (think that each camel hosts about 1,000 fleas?) , and in a private area!
I'm certain he knew that and probably took delight in it! By speaking it, he affirms oness with all humanity.
At any rate, the opposite side of the coin:
“We are going to die and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they’re never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. In the face of this stupefying odds it is you and I in our ordinariness that are here.
Here’s another respect in which we are lucky: the universe is older than a hundred million centuries. Within a comparable time, the sun will swell to a red giant and engulf the earth. Every century of hundreds of millions has been in its time, or will be when its time comes, the present century. The present moves from the past to the future like a tiny spotlight inching its way along a gigantic ruler of time. Everything behind the spotlight is in darkness, the darkness of the dead past. Everything ahead of the spotlight is in the darkness of the unknown future. The odds of your century being the one in the spotlight, are the same as the odds that a penny tossed down at random will land on a particular ant crawling somewhere on the road from New York to San Francisco.
You are lucky to be alive and so am I. We are lucky to be alive and therefore we should value life. Life is precious, we’re never going to get another one, this is it, don’t waste it, open your eyes, open your ears, treasure the experiences that you have and don’t waste your time fussing about a non existent future life after you’re dead. Try to do as much good as you can now to others; try to live life as richly as possible during the time that you have left available to you.”
Richard Dawkins? Really?
Michael, you are right. Lao Tzu violates the law of non-contradiction in his statement. Opposites cannot both be true, and so his statement invalidates his statement. However, there is another conclusion to be drawn here. Since he spoke it, he testifies that he does not know.
Regarding Dawkins, he is the unlucky one. He posits an utterly dismal and hopeless existence, one without any prospect for life after death, and advocates that we should rejoice in it. Now exactly how does that work? He who dies without faith never rejoices on his death bed.
Paul R Stark wrote:
He who dies without faith never rejoices on his death bed.
Your agreement with Dawkins' thought is nicely summed up in that one last sentence... We cannot even begin to imagine what lies beyond our own lives, and so we try to put things in the perspective of the life we do know of.
I may not believe what you do, yet I can easily envision rejoicing on my death bed if for no other reason than for the anticipation of relief of the toil of this miserable biological existence.
So if you are without pain or trouble (or even if not), carpe diem! Seize the day!
Your agreement with Dawkins' thought is nicely summed up in that one last sentence.
I do not agree with any of Dawkins' thoughts.
We cannot even begin to imagine what lies beyond our own lives, and so we try to put things in the perspective of the life we do know of.
The use of the pronoun "we" is not appropriate. I'm sure what you meant to say was, "I cannot even begin to imagine. . . ." Many do not share that view. Hence, you speak only for yourself in this regard.
I can easily envision rejoicing on my death bed if for no other reason than for the anticipation of relief of the toil of this miserable biological existence.
I am truly saddened, Noel, that you see your life as miserable--truly. I wish for relief from this for you, something I know (experientially, not merely intellectually) is possible before death.
Thank you for your comments.
Seeing how's there's no fool like and old fool, let me jump right in!
I cannot agree with either point of view, Paul's or Noel's. That's perfectly fine that you both possess your perspective on the subject, but let me add mine.
"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness", considered on of the best statements in the English language by some. The part about happiness is wrong. There is nothing to pursue, because you already have it. It's already part of who you are. What that statement really should be saying is the avoidance of interference with my happiness. But that, along with the original form, the pursuit of happiness, is still incorrect. Because it gives over the power you have to another, entity, another event. "I won't be happy unless I get....."
Now think about that carefully. Does that really make sense?
The fact of the matter is that it is entirely within the human being to be happy no matter the circumstances. It's up yo you, not the outside world. Not anyone else. The trick is to recognize one is intrinsically happy, but one allows circumstances to hold sway with respect to attitude about circumstances.
The largest part of that is the misconceptions about true happiness. It isn't thrill, it isn't excitement, it isn't comfort. It takes time to find the seed inside oneself but here is a clue.
Have you ever observed a situation where several people are experiencing the same negative event, and that the responses vary widely? (Go to any political event to see that in action!) Same event, some are angry, some are blue, some are unaffected. So where's the trigger? It obviously isn't the event. It's the response. You can let it overpower your happiness or not. You can take steps to right the wrong, even express anger over the event, and still connect to your happiness.If you do both, stay connected and take action, the action then becomes impersonal, as it has nothing to do with your own state of being.
But then, all this is easier said than done!
Let me end this with a slight shift in perspective from Lao Tzu, attributed to Abraham Lincoln:
"It's better to remain silent and appear the fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"....which I just did!
Hmmmm... this talk of violating laws of non-contradiction makes me think of
a <sigh, this forum software..... words fail me....> quote of Anne Landers:
"No generalization is worth a damn - including this one."
I quite like a quote someone attributed to Bhudda:
"Everything in moderation - including abstinence and excess."
Paul R Stark wrote:
I do not agree with any of Dawkins' thoughts.
I gathered that, yet your comment put things in perspective of a living being. It just illustrates the difficulty.
And I'm not unhappy. I may be miserable, as most creatures are, but that doesn't stop happiness. My wife, on the other hand, has some pretty good tricks up her sleeves...
Anyone who does not cringe at the pain and suffering of life may be ignoring reality and avoiding empathy. To put it in the real terms of an example, a mother duck around our back yard lake had over a dozen ducklings. By the second or third day of their little lives only a few were left. Then a few days later none were left. Anyone could see she was devastated; I swear she was crying. It's hard to be happy in a world where young, innocent beings suffer and die horribly all around us. Yet it it is the way of things, and - as it turns out - it is necessary for long-term survival.
The odds of your century being the one in the spotlight, are the same as the odds that a penny tossed down at random will land on a particular ant crawling somewhere on the road from New York to San Francisco.
no. the odds of perciving you live in a spotlight simply because you ARE living in a spotlight are near 100%!
the odds of you living at any other time are pratically nil.
I'm thankful for being alive in the current spotlight, where we are comfortable, barely have to worry about survival, have antibiotics that still work, and haven't yet polluted the planet to where it's deadly. I'd hate to be here in a few hundred years, or a few hundred years ago.
"Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave."
from 'A Psalm of Life' by Lognfellow
"That which does not kill us, will probably try harder next time." -- Somebody
Anyone who does not cringe at the pain and suffering of life may be ignoring reality and avoiding empathy. To put it in the real terms of an example, a mother duck around our back yard lake had over a dozen ducklings. By the second or third day of their little lives only a few were left. Then a few days later none were left. Anyone could see she was devastated; I swear she was crying. It's hard to be happy in a world where young, innocent beings suffer and die horribly all around us. Yet it it is the way of things.
To use a much less sad example, I am constantly weeding out optimistic little elm and maple seedlings from my yard. Each of them (I anthropomorphize!) would love to become a tree, yet of the millions of tiny little lives that spring up every year, most perish. How sad that there cannot be room for each of them.
but one allows circumstances to hold sway with respect to attitude about circumstances.
This is a true statement. But let's recognize that in discussing happiness or optimism or being miserable, we are discussing emotions (feelings). Many do not realize that emotions are uncontrollable. They are determined by one's thoughts and beliefs. And as it turns out, you can control your thoughts and beliefs.
It's the Think-->Feel-->Act Progression. What you think (or believe) determines how you feel. How you feel determines what you do. That's how two people can react differently to the same experience. As Lawrence correctly observes, it's a matter of attitude or perspective.
That said, the notion that all experiences can be met with happiness is utopian, for it denies the existence of sadness, frustration, hopelessness, anxiety, depression, etc. and concludes they are unnecessary emotions. Death of a loved one is not a happy experience. Those who endured the Holocaust did not and could not experience happiness, nor should they have. Sadness is appropriate for certain situations (even for dead ducks, apparently) as much as gladness is for others. If my wife were to be murdered before my eyes, the statment "it is entirely within the human being to be happy no matter the circumstances" is clearly wrong. What would be entirely within me would be unspeakable horror and grief, and that would be appropriate.
Were there no negative expereiences in life, there would also be no experiences of relief, salvation, rescue, safety, acceptance, security, significance, etc. Many of the blessings in life are contingent upon relief from pain and suffering, both of which are real and appropriate.
It is now clear to me why this forum has no "Correct Answer" option.
First of all, feelings and emotions are not the same...we feel things, like premonitions, that are not emotions. We might get emotional over the premonition, but that's different.
Second, it isn't utopian concerning happiness. It's an inborn state, one that, like love, can be overrun by other factors, but,like love, is consistently present. All one needs to do is remove the block.
I guess what I am saying is that neither happiness or love exist in duality mode. They are like rivers, you can dam the river, but once the dam is removed, the rush of either can sometimes be overwhelming. And, of course, emotions play their part.
The lack of this sort of recognition in Western thought is a huge Achilles heel in western living. We search for happiness rather than research the block. Hey! Good for business! Unhappy? Go shopping!
So, what's the problem? Why doesn't it work? Why do we always have to go shopping or some such manipulative effort? Why doesn't the "happiness" (which isn't really happiness, it's excitement, thrills) last. One reason I included in parentheses. But the big one is expectations.
In matters of love, for instance, expectations run rampant. You meet someone. She is dressed and made up to be attractive. It worked. Now what? OMG! she thinks. I gotta look good for him! I can't let him see me like this! and so on. You, the man, run similar thoughts. I have to live up to certain expectations generated by____(fill in the blanks). What a mess!
What to do? If I may suggest, begin by organizing things into two categories; Needs and Wants. Food, shelter, water etc are needs. All the rest are wants. Now, reclassify the Wants into Preferences. Bingo!
I need a new car gets to be I prefer anew car. I need to go shopping changes to I prefer to go shopping. And so on.
It really, really works. Every time I get into a tizzy over some event or another, the resolution lies in making that determination. I am pissed and agitated because I perceive an event as a need.
The license plate holder that illustrates this profoundly is the one that says "I'd rather be ....). No, not really. If true you would rather be fishing, you would be fishing. But to say I prefer to be fishing, well, now I can be at peace with going to work instead, and fishing will happen. The glow of happiness is freed up once more.
So, don't pursue happiness. You already have it. Rather, examine your blocks and drop them, stating with expectations.
So how does preferences clear up the love mess mentioned above? Simply by seeing that while having a person in one's life may rise to the level of a need (Maybe!) it doesn't have to be that particular one. A bit callous, maybe, but reasonable. And if both people can go there, the connection may well be strengthened rather than defeated. The real person shows up fully. For better or for worse, as the vows proclaim.
But then, what do I know?
Were there no negative experiences in life, there would also be no experiences of relief, salvation, rescue, safety, acceptance, security, significance, etc. Many of the blessings in life are contingent upon relief from pain and suffering, both of which are real and appropriate.
Or, as Beavis & Butthead apparently put it "If things didn't suck, then things couldn't be cool!"
(I've never watched, but a friend quoted.)
Blessings are the expectation element, writ large by kicking the blessings and rewards into the afterlife, which is neither provable or falsifieable by human methods.
That is such a non-starter for me.
Restating "If things didn't suck, then things couldn't be cool!":
Q: Why are you beating your head against the wall?
A: Because it feels so good when I stop!
He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.
- Lao Tzu
You don't say!
Lao Tzu's statement has a zen-like quality. You can only speak in the present, but knowledge has it's roots in the past and projects into the future. As you speak, the spoken words fade into the past,and the unspoken ones are in the future.
Words name things. The mind is capable of experiencing fully without naming anything. But then we cannot communicate those experiences verbally without words. Since words lead to definitions, and we define by both inclusion and exclusion, (this and not that) can speaking ever communicate the entirety of an experience?
We are back to Lao Tzu.
Now, if we only had some crepuscular rays...
They also "rain and snow on everyone... "
So THAT's the technical name for that special effect. Beats "inspiratinal light beams coming from above". Another obscure word I can use to annoy/delight people with.
(I have a friend who, like me, just likes words for their sound, obscurity or just general cromulence. )
" If I reprehend any thing in this world, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs!"
Learn from mistakes of others, because you will not live that much to make it all yourself - unknown.
I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup? - Jerry Seinfield quotes
Europe, Middle East and Africa