Monday, October 31, 2016

is the question real or imaginary?

warning - mental wandering, without purpose.

Is the question real or imaginary? That might be more exactingly way to put the question than physical or has to do with the physical world, real processes vs does the question have to do with the conceptual world where real and imaginary merge into one continuum?

What am I on about? Well, this come back to our purpose in life, philosophy, theology, meaning of life and the like. Does the issue deal with the real world or what drives humans? There is no real instinctual purpose of human life beyond reproduction and support of our genes. We can apply on the real background any number of beliefs, that if locked in our mind, can drive we humans to do all sorts of wonderful things. What human, since there is nothing else, came up with the idea that humans should use there highest skill, reason, to extend our influence over everything anyway? It may be a concept that I have subscribed to, and I have come from a long line of such driven people, but does that drive to do things make any sense? We humans are driven by our individual ideology. We can choose that ideology. We are therefore self directed if we can install that suitable ideology into ourselves.

It makes no sense until we realize that the selfish gene wants to prosper it's line first, associated lines second, and the human line third because this line will needed for mates. It is not concerned with far distant humans, other than to be able to beat then back if they should prosper more and decide to invade. Is that the answer to what would the gene want it the gene could want. So man created concepts, took ideas of others, and ran with that, until we find ourselves at this state. Some of the ideas prosper a few at the top, only. Others have benefits and drawbacks which must be balanced. The only constant is change, but soon it will be the next generations issue. So what is the proper criteria for selection of our ideology?

We older people have the time to sit back and reflect, and project forward in time. We fight over which concept is better, which direction to go, and in the end who knows. Any direction will get us to some future point in time. Who is to judge what is best. When we venture into the non-warring regions of the third world, the people are generally happy, and I would guess from facial expression, more happy than the industrial world. More of their days are spent in a happy state of mind... I would guess. In the end, we live our life and expire. What we believed has no physical impact, but may have influenced what we do. So our thinking influences our behaviors, not the conditions. Our ideology governs our choices, our attitudes, our opinions, our behaviors.

So there are many people who would like to tell us how to think or provide us with there ideology. We can explore, and lay out methods, concepts, and decide for ourselves which to pick up and which to leave. We can compare and upgrade, degrade or just lateral at any time. We can implement,  stop, change at any time we choose. It is our choice. But then we need to build it into the mind and body to react to all the crap and ignorance. We need to deal with the young and unlearned, of even the most basics of issues of life, to the young which have mastered one skill, but sadly lack in others, like the talker who has nothing well thought out to say on many subject anyway. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.

Humans are ultimately driven by any idea that happens to stick in there head. It is that simple. The ideas of some are fixed over a lifetime, and other less so. Some of us struggle with skill deficits, and other with other personality issues, memory, or other mental issues. Some of us are just not driven, and would like to be. Oh well. Some of us are troubled with the why, what next, and how of things like relationships, dealing with other people, and similar abstract issues. Others are just so busy doing. So there is no purpose or meaning until we paint one on and apply it.

The religious like to talk to there imaginary friend(s) for advise, and think about eternal life, while some of us are content with the here and now, and life the way it is. If we want life or something strongly enough we may get it, and we may get it if we do not really even want it much. It is just a serious of random like events, not all random but we are unable to see the cause often. When we are dealing with other people, there may be no cause, but just whatever thoughts come into the minds of other, past or present. We live it a strange over populated world for sures, just for the grammar police.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Is Family still important?

Over the years we all have heard how important family is, how family should come first, etc.

Is that still true, or was it ever true?

Confucianism proclaims that family is one of the five founding virtues, although that are not the words they use. When the primary occupations were farming or agriculture, warring and collecting taxes, with a few civil works like canals, bridges, dikes, roads, and land passed from father to eldest son, perhaps family was more important. Land was the primary resource, and it need to protected, cared for, worked, and look after. The youth were the parents retirement plan so to speak.

Now it is often each man for himself. Half the North American population grow up in blended families, single parent, or in conflicted homes. One hundred and fifty years ago, a youth would at birth know to about 80% certainty, his occupation, and where he would die. About 20% would not follow tradition. He would likely marry a neighbor or his second cousin, within his religion. He would arrive at middle age having never made a major decision, but rather just doing the next right thing. He would not question his beliefs, for everyone he knew would believe about the same thing.

Many of us grew up in a traditional situation, but could see no future in those occupations for the numbers required were in decline. We grew up in a changing world. I say both sides of farming, the hangers on to the traditional, working horses and oxen, and the younger industrialized farming starting. We were in between. I also say the money from other occupations, and they were doing far better. I chose to seek my fortunes off the farm in the industrial world. Family was a drawback as moving was required, far and often. I was raised in a home where my father felt he was screwed by his family, one brother for sure, and he had a lot of resentment to them. My mother, was the other extreme, enmeshed would be the modern term. We grew up physically close to mothers extended family; we never shared a fence line, but when mother looked out the bedroom window, she could see here uncles house and her fathers barn. There was a patch of bush between her and the house location where she had been born in. Progress occurred. My family moved a mile closer, but below a ridge of hills, where the sight line was blocked.

Now with modern transportation and good roads, to get anywhere, all is required is time. Work, career development, and the like also require time; so we make choices, family connections suffer. And then there are personality conflicts; it is not necessary to visit people who are negative, abusive, degenerates, heavy drinkers, or live in other undesirable environments, like being married to a vicious shrew. (aka "a personality like a rusty chainsaw") Oh well.

So how important is family? Well it was important, but now we can chose to leave and forget the bad ones. Family is of equal values to friends, in my priority list. Phones work both ways. We know they are out there, but contact... not so much. The idea of building something (farms) to pass on to the next generation is gone.

The idea of building a business to pass on seldom works. Junior is just not interested, does not have the temperament, or is to lazy, into drugs, or just does not have the maturity at the time. Junior usually does not do well after the take over, but there are cases where it does work. I do know of a few cases were senior help junior start and build business. In all these cases, junior and senior were compatible. My father was so negative, few could get along with him and I could not. I became that way also with age and arthritis pain, and with people who know so little that I am at a loss for words to describe. I do not like to teach basic stuff repeatedly because they are unable to retain the knowledge.

So is it family or relationships in general that give us problems? I think in my case it is relationships. Oh well, itewajda.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Silly Church

The catholic church just got even more silly.

Once we realize that religion in general is just a outdated hypothesis group in the form of a story, all of the churches rules just start to look silly.

That is not to say that the church does not do some good. It provides meaning to many people, avoiding the empty existence of existential vacuum, to use the descriptive words of Frankl. As an organization, the churches do(did) some good in running hospitals and other massive organizations like schools, but they limit there services to what they believe in, and as a result fall short in science. The Catholic church and hospitals are not providing birth control services, and this is a violation of Canadian Health rules. Oh well, I guess what they do provide is better than nothing.    

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Logotherpy; a reboot back to our purpose

Logotherpy is Frankl's brain child; yet the more I read about it, it appears to be Stoicism rebranded to modern terms, well 1945 terms. In severe cases we have only control of our thoughts, choices, attitudes, beliefs, values, ideals, principals, etc. In Epictetus terms, our ability to assent, desires, aversions, motives... so what is the difference? One was a slave, the other a POW. At that point, what is the difference? "Desire", as translated from old Greek vs "attitudes" of today. Motives of translations to "why's" of our lives. Man is still willing to live or die for there ideals, and values, or to abandon them if necessary to live.

Once we know our purpose in life, or purpose of life, we can go forward. It that propose is frustrated, removed, destroyed, we had better reestablish a new purpose quickly, before we find ourselves in the same situation that teen native girls in Northern Saskatchewan face: a culture that is holding them in a desperate situation. In the last four days, there have been four suicides. It is understandable. No future at that location, and parents that are holding them there, in a desperate conditions. Hope is not sufficient for long term, there must be action. Education is the route out of there, but they must choose education and lots of it and not let there culture hold them back. In fact, they will need to go against their culture to achieve what we consider success.

There are things that we can aim for, and if we desire them enough, we can achieve. Work, people, love, or purpose, meaning can drive us. All we need is a purpose to start with, and then we can develop a logical plan to make that possible. Education is one such ideal that can provide drive. To be able to understand the human motivational system at a fundamental level is crucial for recovery. To be able to see collective neurosis of some cultures; of our own culture: or things that have become collective neuroses of the culture lost in traditions of time gone by. Some of us must separate ourselves from our culture to get ahead, be it North American native or European native which was brought from the father lands. They are not so different.

We need to do what is right for us, as people of this time and place. Culture, tradition must change in a rapid changing world. I grew up learning to work horses, grow spuds, pigs and vegetables, along with tractors, grain, chemical fertilizers, and chemicals. I saw declining prices, growing farm sizes, hours of work with few returns, and the money of some jobs. The rural vs city, poor vs wealthy, and saw the opportunities. A plan was necessary. I made choices, some of them hard to make. It sort of worked out, but the economy had hiccups, and some promises were just promises. In the end of all the work, it was ok, but not great. Some was just luck, decisions with wrong criteria weighting, and some failure due to adherence to collective neurosis, aka tradition and traditional culture, genes, characteristics and the like.

Mental reboots are possible with things like logotherpy. Learn the logos and away we go, with as much energy as we can muster.

Man is meant to live hungry. That is a fact of modern life, as is surplus of food. In the culture that I was raised in, being satisfied was the desired state; today I know that that is false; that is an unmotivated state; and is a tradition that is just wrong; just as wrong as a belief in the existence of a god. One more collective neurosis down.  Oh well, itewajda. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Frankl in time of excess

Frankl wrote in search of meaning in 9 days after he achieving freedom. He wrote from a state of nothing, had nothing left, and was only days from expiring. We search for meaning from the other end; we have excess of most everything, including food. Does this background change the situation?

We can still use people, places, things, or philosophies as a source of motivation. We can use pleasure, the good life virtues, purpose, meaning, people, career, family, experience, or some hypothesis as motivation. But how, when we have many choices, do we narrow down to just one primary? Perhaps we have a issue of not lack of possible purposes, but rather to many good choices with all this freedom and opportunity. We eliminate one at a time until we are left with... well that is the problem. 

When we have all we need, we may find ourselves satisfied. Replete. All our needs satisfied. Now what is there to motivate us at a personnel level? Now we need to find another need to motivate ourselves. Such is the issue when retirement and the loss of need to work arrives. I expect that one on welfare, with a meager income might experience the same loss of motivation, not enough to do much, too much free time and nothing that they can do... or want to do. This would take meaning from me. Oh well. So were am I going with this...Well it is just a thought, that needs to be noted and understood. That may explain the difficulty in getting off welfare. Just enough to keep one from getting hungry, but not enough to live on.

You can live with any "how" if you have a "why." or so repeats Frankl. That why is important to keep in front of our minds to keep us motivated. Growing up and being motivated away, avoidance, and the like were suitable then, but avoidance of people is not good. I was harassed so much as a child that I would not go back without reason, and certainly not to my high-school 50th reunion. I did not want to see any of those assholes that drove me out. That happened this last summer. Oh well.       

Now motivation and purpose or meaning become important to keep at the forefront of the mind. Seniors die off frequently. Senior suicide is alarmingly high, but I do not have an issue with that. That door is always open, unless we become incapacitated. Keeping a active reason to live is important, but other people is not a good reason for some of us who are oversensitive to harassment or aggravation. Some of us consider other people to be hell. Oh well, itewajda. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Where do we go after we adopt Atheism? It is just one more invisible characteristic.  Some suggest Atheism Plus.

So what comes after we have inwardly digested that there is no god to believe in? Atheism has degrees, when we stop believing in a god is the first step, when we stop believing there is a god is a more true statement. Along with that is the removal of any afterlife, and that death is final. This creates urgency in life, if we want to leave anything behind, or is this just one more religions concept that we adopted from our collective neurosis?

Do we have a true desire to leave something behind, or is this just a societal/religion of our youth concept that we/I have not let go of?

Throughout life we collect concepts from our community and adopt some of those concepts as our own, without much serious thought. This is part of growing up in a society, we adopt some of that society's values. But is this part of our assumed religion of our society/culture? That is the central issue of what comes after atheism, what do we adopt as our values?

When we look around, much of the difficulty is caused be identify with a definable group that have one or two specific characteristics. Sex, sex preference, nationality, religion, language, skin color, philosophy, where we live, what we do are all things that can serve as a purpose to group together. This sets up a us-vs-them thinking and provides the basis of prejudice, separation, segregation. We are humans, and that must become the grouping for serious issues.

So as I see atheism, it is just one more way of creating divisions for sorting of people into groups. Now what else are we going to attach to atheism? Rational though? logical behavior? Emotional based behavior? Social Justice? Individualism? Franklian philosophy? Stoic philosophy? Confucian values? Social Engineering? Development of a god free society? A tax revolt? A political movement toward a "taxing the religious property's"?  Atheism is essentially a hypothesis that god's cannot exist in a natural world, and little more. How can something so simplistic be the foundation for movement? It could be necessary for a bigger cause, a new belief in something system like social science or social engineering.

But what do I know. Oh well, itewajda.   

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The replacement for a god hypothesis

After abandoning a god hypothesis, is there a need for a new improved hypothesis to answer the questions? I personally thing there are some need that must be filled. Which are the most pressing at this time? We certainly do not abandon everything associated with religion when we abandon religion. Most (all?) religions describe a method of life, rules of life that they consider acceptable. When we filter for the common values, they are surprisingly similar. But most "holy books" are compilations, and have conflicting statements, and are more about building the religion then how to live a good life. When we abandon the religion, and all that is use for building the religion, and keeping it pure, there is little left. Perhaps six out of ten commandments. One could go either way. Of Islam's five pillars, perhaps two pertain to life, or to test loyalty to the belief system, I am just not sure.

The Stoics, Confucianism and Buddhists tell us far more about how to live a good life, but even those need to be thinned by there obviously false hypothesis, and replaced with the current hypothesis. That is relatively easy to do, and soon we have a personal belief system built up that has been vetted by our own life. Adler, Maslow, fix up the past deficiencies, Frankl points the way forward, PP define the process, and we are off to the races in this rat driven world. There is much to be learned, and what is up to us. There is much that should be done, people to be convinced of what is right and what is wrong, but also some will never accept what is right and true for they depend on it not being true to make a living or to fulfill there greed.  Oh well.

CFC are destroying the environment, and all the governments have banned there production, yet these are still available. Governments do not have control in the poorer countries; wrong--- all countries. People are governed... manipulated... influenced by taxes and regulation, but follow laws out of respect for the purpose of the law and possibly the government.

No respect for the law or the government, no motivation to follow the laws. Fear only as a motivation is not good. Most people who follow laws do so out of respect for the laws, and reasonable laws. Slow speed limits just create resentments, not increased safety. They satisfy the control freak, not the safety concerns. Having said that, there are areas that need tight control, schools, and perhaps safety arms, similar to rail crossings or stock control gates. We follow laws out of respect for a reasonable law, not the government. That must be understood by the law makers. So we need respect for the correct solutions.

We need police that are not placed in conflict with the ordinary citizens. Traffic should be a totally separate group of revenuers from the criminal enforcement group, separate enough that there is no confusion.

Respect must be earned, and is not given. We each are free humans, we start out wild and must be trained to society. There will always be those who will not voluntarily follow the good life, and as the economic spread widens, there will be more that take the easy way for money. Oh well. We, in a society need to be seen as all near equal is essential to prevent jealousy and/or resentment. When the rich flaunt there wealth, it will be taken. There is no point robbing a empty bank. Reality takes over from what rich people would like to see.      

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Currently, I am reading Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

 While he does not answer the question, he does point out the importance of painting on a meaning onto life. We just need anything we like, and away we go. Transcendence is just one of many possible choices. 

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”  

“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?

No, thank you,' he will think. 'Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.” 

“By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic "the self-transcendence of human existence." It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself--be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself--by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love--the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.”

“A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how".” 

Makes one think for sure.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Finding our own "Tribe"

By "tribe" I mean a group of people who have similar views, beliefs, values.

In AA it is a group who do not drink, even though some were once heavy drinkers. It is often used a surrogate family, a social group, a sober environment, a safe environment where alcohol will not be pushed. It has a down side, the dark underbelly of the beast... a belief in a god hypothesis that, if you believe, you can use to level more pressure on ourselves to not drink.

Where do those who do not believe in a god hypothesis go for a tribe? We could start one more, or try to change one of the existing "alternatives". Those are all fixed in time. Alcoholism is not much like overeating. Even Sharma has come around Now where do we go from here, in addressing the many causes of overeating?

Many of us realize that overeating is partly a social issue. Some of us have no social skills, and as a result are not likable people. Oh well. Yet we have some social needs, but will not put up with sarcasm, or continual debasing of my beliefs by society. There is no god is the hypothesis that I subscribe to; ongoing religion has a more bullshit hypothesis. If there was a god, we would not have choices of evil, bad, therefore there is no god with power. I have the same power as god, none.

I tried the humanist group for a while. While there were some interesting people in the group, there were two who wanted to hi-jack the group for there own purposes, and get off topic to far to be of interest. I am not concerned with gays, US politics, or possible future genetic research. Police have a job to do, and to do and be successful, they must receive cooperation. They must think they are in-control of the situation. Government goons with guns will destroy life with immunity. Oh well, itewajda. 


Sunday, October 2, 2016

The unknown vs a story

Why do we humans prefer a story which is likely false to an unknown? Religion is full of "stories" that are false, and the true answer is unknown. Creation of earth, and man for example. We now "know" bits and pieces of the process that occurred over the last 14 billion years of earth, and the last 2 million of sapiens existence. There are many theories, and bits of evidence. Somehow all the evidence must fit into our history. There is linguistic evidence and DMA, mitochondrial DNA, and geological evidence, all of which may require a bit of interpretation. So now we know that all creation stories have a bit of fiction and trace of truth in them. We all evolved in Africa, and have come out in waves. Evolution has continued, and mixing of the various waves have occurred. Evolution continues today.

So back to the dealing with unknown vs story. How is evolution, natural weather and geological events, cosmological events, and bits of history all strung together to create stories much different beyond the length of the story and what parts we know to be facts. Time is one thing that is lost in story. When the earth was young has little meaning until we put years or some measure of time on it. Until religion started to measure time, 2000 years ago in the middle east, 5400 year ago in the MetsoAmerica region, life went on, year after year, with no record, no consideration that we should count the years. Which year was not important until writing, record keeping, and history became valued. It just was not important enough to do in a big way. That is not to say that it was not done, as years of reign of each dynasty in China, but this was not universal. The week is older than the year, four cycles of 7, and then some correction days at the dark of the moon until it all started over at the new moon. Then came the study of the year, marking the equinox, longest and shortest days, which do not match with weeks, they are different processes, as are the days. Each system is learned, and replaces a story with a more real story, yet the human mind needs a story of some kind.

We humans are born with fear and anxiety. We need chemical stimulus to overcome these in the form of opioids, dopamine, serotonin, and other feel good chemicals. We have difficulty with unknown; they just raise fear and anxiety, until we get trained to unknowns. This all fits with the triune brain, genetic reptile, emotional instinctive, and rational developed brain parts. So story vs unknown, story is the first reaction, with story correction until something representing reality emerges. But there is still no god to be found with all we know. That hypothesis just finds less and less to be applied to.

That is likely the best way to describe a god anyway, as a hypothesis of the unknown. As information and understanding or nature occurs, that which depends on god reduces, and we now see that contributed to god as the natural progression toward the limit of no god, period. As a wild human with no knowledge, the hypothesis of a god is rational, and as we learn and carry that knowledge to the next generation, we approach the realization that a god hypothesis is just not necessary or possible any more. Oh well, itewajda.

So what does this indicate? Story was the hypothesis of the time. We state it, and look for evidence to support it or refute it. As it is impossible to disprove something supernatural, yet we know there is only natural, we need to accept the something that approach value asymptotically has a limit in that value. in other words, single absence of proof of existence is not proof of non existence, but many are like a value of a diminishing sequence, and the limit of zero can be safely assumed.

This is one logos statement, that the supernatural cannot exist in a natural world. I do not require the god hypothesis; aka there is no god, and no supernatural after death events.