Posts Tagged ‘ontology’


Philosophy Tuesday

July 18, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.  Tonight, a quote:


The majority of what exists is arbitrary…

Neither inevitable nor right…

Simply the result of muddle and happenstance.


The School of Life


Philosophy Tuesday

June 20, 2017

This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Tonight in comic form:


Philosophy Tuesday

June 6, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

“Breakdowns can lead to breakthroughs, if you let them.  You look back on the worst thing that ever happened in your life, your worst day, you look back now, and your whole life actually gained something from that.  You grew somehow.  In fact, you might now almost half-way be glad that whatever it was happened because you look at what you learned when you lost that job your you didn’t get into that school or you came home to early … you almost with enough time can look back and almost be thankful for the breakdown because if you use them right they can become breakthroughs, and what I am passionate about is that we come through this better, and not bitter.  That’s your challenge.”

— Van Jones (emphasis mine)

Wow.  That last bit especially really hits me.  “Better, not bitter.  That’s your challenge.”  That’s the challenge… because it is so easy, isn’t it?  To get all wrapped up in something and carry it with us like festering garbage?  Walking around with this sense of upset and resentment in ways that really, when we step back and look at it, isn’t doing us any good?  And even quite diminishing our lives?  Even when we do the better part, when we do learn something, adjust something, grow from it… it’s all too easy to “might as well do the bitter part too!”  Only – and this is so easy to see in our friends and colleagues and strangers – bitterness doesn’t really do us any good.  It’s like the definition of resentment:  drinking poison in hopes the other person dies.  It lines the everyday experience of life with poopiness.

Better, not bitter.  That’s our challenge.  To grow, to grow more, to grow yet again, always with freedom and peace of mind, to take our past(s) and tell our story(ies) in ways that empower and enable us all in that which we really want.  To not get hobbled by our past, or more so to not, mostly accidentally, plant a bitter pill and water it and carry it around and show it off and wrap it around ourselves such that it begins to restrict and strangle us and we are so used to it that it all feels normal.

It is an active thing.  To not be bitter.  Or to give the bitterness an expiration date.  We can see, we can prune, and we can very much drop the bitter plant and leave it back in our past, and waltz into the future eager and unbound.


The whole interview on City Arts and Lectures was marvelous, a great invitation to compassion and engagement, and to remind us that at our core, we are all very much the same.


Philosophy Tuesday

May 30, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Do you realize we’re all not pooping and peeing in our pants?

This may not seem like much of a strange revelation… or a great insight… but consider it for a moment.

One of the most natural things in the world to do is to poo and pee whenever you feel the need.  I mean, why not.  Especially when it becomes really darn uncomfortable if we don’t!

Yet here we sit, not doing that (unless maybe if you’re on the toilet right now…).

We’ve learned to give up the immediate, hold it, live with some discomfort, and behave in a way that makes it better for us.

We gave up something to create something.

“I could never do that,” we sometimes say, when someone suggests to us a different course of action.  Or, perhaps, suggests a different way of living.

“Oh, I’m just that way, it’s how I operate,” is another phrase we may use.

“That’s not in my nature…”

Yet our nature is to go when we gotta go.

And now we’ll wait a whole heck of a long time at times when we gotta go.

We’ve got a lot more capacity for both uncomfortableness,

as well as to change and transform

than we give ourselves credit for.

It may be tough.  It may uncomfortable.  And it may take a while to learn and get it ingrained into who we are.

But if we can give up the joy and ease of unrestricted poo, what can’t we transform?


Philosophy Tuesday

May 9, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

A few years ago*, I wrote about what I termed “The Tyranny of Talent.”  A good (re)-read, and it still rings true for me.  Perhaps even more so now, in that I think it dovetails nicely into my more recently created “Olympic Distinction,” specifically in the area of the arts, hobbies, or other areas of self-expression.  Even more specifically, in the ways that we shut ourselves down from playing in those fields of self-expression.

Briefly, the Tyranny of Talent (ToT) noted that our wonton use of the word talent is problematic on two fronts, the second of which is of import here:  that because talent has the association with innate ability or aptitude, when we see someone performing something with great skill we all too easy can fall into the pitfall of “I wasn’t born with it like you were, so I’ll never get there.”

The thing is, where is “there?”  Is there an Olympic level of performance?  If so… why do we need to be in the Olympics?   Or on stage performing to millions of people?  Or in a prestigious gallery?  Or in a stadium chasing down a championship?  Or a bestseller?

It’s a double whammy we give ourselves.  “I wasn’t gifted with talent, so I’ll never be all that good,” and “I’ve got to be good, because this example here is what people expect/is right/is what it takes to look good/is the only endgame.”

Self-expression is self-expression.  It’s not about making a living (or just making money), it’s not about fame, it’s not about accolades**, it’s not about winning that prize.  It might be about putting something out into the world that you want heard, but it also might not.  At its core, self-expression means something that arises from your authentic self and manifests into the world in a way that lights you up.  It is a way of being and acting that calls to you and you put forth into the world.  An audience may be nice, but it isn’t always necessary.  Dancing alone in your apartment could totally be a self-expression.

I do get there is a dilemma if the self-expression does include sharing with or involve others, especially in this day of the internet.  For that is the most readily available and easy place to share, and many have gotten so used to sharing what they had for lunch that it’s automatic to post that which we want to self-express.  And certain folk on the internet are not always kind to beginners, to non-Olympians.  And it readily bleeds into daily life too.  Take up soccer late in life with little experience, and depending who you play with you may not be treated all that well. ***

Insults, harshness, recriminations, they all can all to easily push us back into the dual contexts of “I’m not talented (and I never will)”**** and “You gotta be an Olympian to do this “right” and/or to show your face” leading to the very logical “Since I’m not talented, I’ll never be an Olympian, and so should never show my face/work.”

There is mindfulness to cultivate here.  To remind ourselves that our self-expression is for us.  We paint because we enjoy painting, we practice kung fu because we enjoy practicing kung fu, we jam out beat poetry and elsewhere because we enjoy jamming.

There doesn’t have to be an end game beyond that. We can share our work within a small circle, we can practice and play only with those who share our unhindered fun, we can send work out into the world anonymously, we can dance in the dark.  We can practice, play, grow, learn, learn some more, and just enjoy the pure joy of the activity.

Does it make us feel alive and fulfilled?

If so, then we’re doing it right.


* Already??

** And boy, is the number of likes or accolades or comments ever seductive in its own right.  This too is a whole other inquiry, how we’ve collapsed likes/accolades with “I am loved and worthy of love and belonging.”

*** Why people are this nasty is a whole other interesting inquiry in of itself.  For here, though, it’s quite interesting to consider that the same tyranny and Olympic ennui can manifest itself as harshness to assuage the pain of repressing one’s self-expression…

**** More rightfully put as “I misunderstand how skill and aptitude is developed, and I fear it is magically assigned at birth and I got skipped over so I’m screwed.” ******

****** That’s not to say it will be quick or easy to develop the skill, of course.  We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, and there tends to be a lot more to do in a day now…


Philosophy Tuesday

May 2, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Our lives are full of inflection points.

Life happens.  Things happen.

When something happens to us, or around us, we get very active.

We make decisions about things.

We make decisions about ourselves, about others, and/or about the world.

These are powerful decisions.

They form statements, certainties,  declarations.

They shape our view of the world and of reality.

In effect, they are reality.

We have little distinction otherwise.  They are the truth.

We therefore act and behave in a way that is fully consistent with that reality.

We touched a hot stove and we got burned: hot stoves are bad to touch.

Now we no longer touch a hot stove, and we’re even cautious around something that looks hot.

That’s pretty clear.  That makes sense.

We made a mistake on an art project as a kid and we didn’t do it right and kids laughed:  we are not good at art.

Now we no longer try to do art, and we avoid being creative.

Hmm.  Less clear.

“I suck at art.”  That’s one possible interpretation.

So we stopped practicing art, we avoided art, we never practiced, we don’t do it.

Today, if we try to create some art, sure enough, we continue to suck at it!

So much proof now…

Blam.  An inflection point that set our course of life.


What happened was that we made a mistake.  That happened.  Plain and simple.

Nothing more.  Nothing less.*

That inflection point, however…

That was us.  All us.

Not the mistake.  The inflection was us.

We made the decision.

A decision that influenced our view, our experience, our capabilities, and reality.

“I suck at art.”  That’s one possible interpretation.  But only one of a million possible interpretations.

And for all these years, we’ve been living the decision we ourselves made.

How fascinating!

We can return to that moment and re-evaluate things.  Choose a different interpretation.

We can re-inflect.

We can refresh ourselves back to that point, clear the canvas, and start anew.

We gain freedom.  We can create.

We can transform, build forward, develop abilities, and become who we want to be. **

Let’s play.


* And what is a mistake anyway?  Who defined the failure?  In the arts (including life, which is an art), what is really a mistake?  Or error?  Or failure?  Or good?  Or bad?  Who sa(ys)(aid)?

** This does not mean new skills and abilities will miraculously appear***.  It will not wipe out 40 years of not practicing, developing, learning… the work still needs to be done.  But it’s work that now can be done.  The barriers have been removed, the road is now clear.  And, inside of that clarity, the speed at which the skill develops can be fast indeed.

*** And sometimes it will feel as though new abilities have miraculously appeared.  Freed of the constraints the decision and the resulting inflection imposed on your life, inside of that new freedom, new capacities of performance for existing skills get blown wide open.****  The true extent of your skill can fully be expressed.

**** This includes interactions, conflicts, relationships, courage, conversation, perseverance, productivity, excitement, wonder, compassion, empathy, creativity, joy, peace of mind…



Philosophy Tuesday

April 18, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Reality is what we take to be true.

What we take to be true is what we believe.

What we believe is based upon our perceptions.

What we perceive depends on what we look for.

What we look for depends on what we think.

What we think depends on what we perceive.

What we perceive determines what we believe.

What we believe determines what we take to be true.

What we take to be true is our reality.

Quantum Physicist David Bohm