No Self, No Problem

I've been reading "No Self, No Problem: How Neuropsychology Is Catching Up to Buddhism by Chris Niebauer Ph.D" and it is really in line with with my thinking of the last few years. I am still not exactly sure what I am, but this may help.

A few quotes for a preview

Sure, the physical entity of my body and my brain is there, but the “I” attached to it only exists as a thought—and only when I think it.

Seen in this light, “I” is simply a useful, categorical fiction, expressed through language.


The Only Certainty is UN-certainty

I am still mulling over my Grand Theory of Everything. Very slowly but it is still there.

Anyway given recent political events and beliefs driving those events, that brought my thinking back to humans and their love for certainty, AND the vehemence people maintain their certainty. Following a link to another link I found this article .

That science can fail, however, shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's a human construct, after all. And if we simply accepted that science often works imperfectly, we'd be better off. We'd stop considering science a collection of immutable facts. We'd stop assuming every single study has definitive answers that should be trumpeted in over-the-top headlines. Instead, we'd start to appreciate science for what it is: a long and grinding process carried out by fallible humans, involving false starts, dead ends, and, along the way, incorrect and unimportant studies that only grope at the truth, slowly and incrementally.

Acknowledging that fact is the first step toward making science work better for us all.

And the point is people in general think their views have the certainty of established sience, but actually established science isn't all that "established"



The Episode Where We Escape From Freedom

I have been reading Erich Fromm's Escape from Freedom recently, and to fill in some blanks I went looking for some background on Fromm on the Internet.

Nice Quote

Fromm identified deep feelings of anxiety and powerlessness upon which Hitler had been able to capitalize. His sadomasochistic message of love for the strong and hatred for the weak — not to mention a racial program that raised “true-born” Germans to the pinnacle of the evolutionary ladder — provided a means of escape from intolerable psychological burdens experienced on a mass basis.

Escape From Freedom was not merely an analysis of Nazism. At the heart of its thesis was the notion that capitalism — particularly in its monopolistic phase — fostered “the development of a personality which feels powerless and alone, anxious and insecure,” and which is therefore tempted to surrender its freedom to strongman leaders.




Where fiction affects facts

In the conversation with my self my self points out that money and race and nations are quite real to most people. In the horror show of a year it is alarmingly clear that race and money affect people’s lives and sometimes with deadly consequences.

Good point!

In fact I am glad you brought that up. (what a helpful fellow that sell guy is)

I may or may not have demonstrated the fiction of money by holding up a $100 dollar and a $1 dollar bill and asked why one is much more desired than the other. If I have not done that bit then the gist is they are both on the same kind of paper of the same quality of design and such stuff. Obvious we all just agree that when we see $100 we will give and get more stuff than the $1. In the part of my act I go deeper to say even IF there was a pure gold standard where the 100 meant there where 100 units of gold for each dollar the $100 bill represents, it is STILL just “belief” that those gold pieces mean anything. Why do thing gold is the “gold standard” or money? What the hell is gold to a human, it is a crappy metal for building plows or steamships. It has “value” only because we humans declare it has value.

The point is it is just a piece of paper in front of you and even it was a chest of gold on your door step it is only valuable for the same reason paper currency is...because we believe it has value

HOWEVER, if you don’t have money it sure makes paying your bills REALLY difficult. And while you are explaining to some racist that biologically there is such thing as a “race” culture is even less tied to DNA...if you are explaining this while a some A-hole racist is threatening you the consequences of these fictions are quite

. And that makes it all the more absurd. People and groups define themselves by these fictions and because of it people die. People are tortured. People suffer. Dying and suffering are for sure real and all driven by a lie.

Ain’t that a kick in the pants?


We Are at the Place We Find Ourselves - Finally

Our story so far…(a work in progress)

There is only now
There is no past there is no future
Just now

To uselessly elaborate a little, when you think of past sorrows, embarrassments, joys or victories, as well as future fears or plans… you are doing all that NOW.

Existence is not a VHS tape where if we could only learn to rewind or fast forward the tape of time THEN we could visit that solid event in the past or the solidified future experience. Whatever you are planning or remembering it is all in your head and everything is happening NOW.

And even more astonishingly it is all the same for ALL of us, for ALL sentient beings, for ALL inanimate objects. ALL existence is connected NOW.

WE are ALL in this together, whether we know it or not.
Tell me a story.
In this century, and moment, of mania,
Tell me a story.
Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.
The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.
Tell me a story of deep delight.
- Robert Penn Warren
The bit from Robert Penn Warren’s poem may speak to this, and this is just my interpretation, but when you are captured but a story you experience it right THEN. And yes we frame our outlook on the world through the conceptual lens of Time. But that is not how we experience life.

Assign value, to assign blame and glory

And so ends today’s sermon

Another Marker is Passed

Birthday yesterday

Now 63
Wow 63
Take stock? Maybe sell stock?

I will try to throw out my half-assed world view in posts to come. If anybody makes a virtual stumble and lands here, these thoughts are only worth the virtual paper they are written on.

To everybody, Be Well



A poem from and old friend TO B. -RESCUE DOG

When I learned the true extent
Of misfortune in your tale,
I knew then I must consent,
And that mercy must prevail.
Consent to bring you home at last,
Your family finally found,
Never more to be out cast
Your anguish run to ground.
I hear you snuffle in your sleep
And I wonder what you dream
I trust you know I’ll always keep
The promise I made to you.
Peculiar tastes, this little guy
Like french fries off the street
Or nasty bones we might pass by
Not slowed by missing teeth.
Yes, I know, you are a little fat-
They say I spoil you rotten-
But for everything I do for you-
So much more have I gotten.
Those cloudy eyes, you’re older now
But the gaze still love-driven
You’ve taught me well, the why and how
Of devotion freely given.
And devoted will I stay to you-
Companions till the end
Daily rites of mutual need
God, to me, did you send.

W.S.H. -3/1/2020