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Just In Time For Christmas

What To Do With the Surplus

The industrial world needs a place for the surplus garbage.

The developing world needs a place for the surplus population.

The greedy world continues to extract raw materials at an alarming rate.

The sane world knows you cannot have infinite growth in a finite universe.

The stupid world displays bumper stickers that proclaim “My Canada Includes Everybody” by pretending that the 5 billion destitute of the world should settle in Toronto. It is lived density that determines the quality of life.

The thinking world would like immigration policies to be tied to economic realities, not political ideologies.

A responsible world would limit their population, thus limiting the garbage, thus limiting the extraction. But that is not the case, so the oceans fill up with garbage and the cities fill up with people, and no one knows how to slow it down.

The Matrix and Philosophy

Some highlights from the book of the same name: Spoiler alert: I liked the movie.

“Postmodernity, which is the immense process of the destruction of meaning.”

“Most of us spend almost all of our time in highly artificial environments, far removed from nature.”

“As Baudrillard puts it “[W]e live in a world where there is more and more information and less and less meaning.”

“Authenticity is a value worth fighting for.”

“Man’s grovelling preference for his material over his spiritual interests.”

“Neo has to choose between the red and blue pill – either the traumatic awakening into the Real or persisting in the illusion regulated by the Matrix.”

It’s a choice we all make.

I took the red pill, and I read somewhere that it’s a waste of time talking about red pill topics to blue pill people, precisely because:

“We prefer comforting illusions to harsh realities.”

The War on Truth

Is really a war supported by attacks on our perception, which then installs cognitive dissonance, which reprograms our precious grey matter.

This makes sense to me. How about you?

Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person

A friend sent this along. I had read the article but had never seen the video. Well worth the twenty minutes to understand relationships in a fresh and humourous way.

Nature Deficit Disorder

“In an age when climate crisis is only growing in urgency, Terry Tempest Williams offers some explanation for how we might have ended up here. She says we’re losing a heightened curiosity about — and awareness of our interconnectivity with — the natural world. And, in turn, “we’re losing an ecological literacy,” she says, for the flora and fauna around our homes — from the migratory behaviors of birds to the life cycle of coyotes.”

“But the loss of this ecological literacy is not just a loss of our knowledge about the natural world — it’s also potentially a severance of our ability to learn from itBiologist Robin Wall Kimmerer models the richness that comes from examining the natural world as we might examine ourselves. “Thinking about plants as persons, indeed, thinking about rocks as persons, forces us to shed our idea [that] the only pace that we live in is the human pace,” she says. “It’s very, very exciting to think about these ways of being which happen on completely different scales and so exciting to think about what we might learn from them,” she says. Kimmerer models this in her studies and writing about moss, which she calls “good storytellers” and “superb teachers about living within your means” for their ancient history here on earth.”

“Thinking at various scales, as Kimmerer does, can lead to fascinating discoveries. On this week’s show, acoustic biologist Katy Payne shares how her research into how whales and elephants communicate required her to examine sounds that humans are not capable of hearing on their own. And the experience of listening attentively to these giant animals over decades has taught her something about being human. “We are not at the pinnacle of human knowledge,” she says. “We are just beginning.”

“There’s a humility about humanity that surfaces in all three of these conversations. I wonder if it’s the same kind we may need to hold closer as we’re faced with the climate crisis — a reminder that we are not the only ones who inhabit this earth.”

Kristin Lin
Editor, The On Being Project:”

I subscribe to a website called The Pause. You can check it out here.

Read Seneca

Just saw the fabulous play ‘Art’ by Yasmina Reza at Soulpepper. A line in the play is ‘Read Seneca’, which I have.

Seneca was born around 4 B.C. but his insights are still worth thinking about:

“Let our aim be a way of life not diametrically opposed to, but better than that of the mob.”

“There is no enjoying the possession of anything valuable unless one has someone to share it with.”

“Associate with people who are likely to improve you.”

“Only the wise man is content with what is his. All foolishness suffers the burden of dissatisfaction with itself.”

“…isn’t it the height of folly to learn inessential things when time’s so desperately short!…every life without exception is a short one.”

“With afflictions of the spirit, though, the opposite is the case: the worse a person is, the less he feels it…acknowledging one’s failings is a sign of health.”

“A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself he is…everything hangs on one’s thinking…What’s the good of dragging up sufferings which are over, of being unhappy now just because you were then?…when some trouble or other comes to an end the natural thing is to be glad.”

“the feeling that one is tired of being, of existing, is usually the result of an idle and inactive leisure…Let us expand our life: action is its theme and duty.”

“drunkenness is nothing but a state of self-induced insanity.”

“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are.”

“To govern was to serve, not to rule.”

“To be really respected is to be loved: and love and fear will not mix.”

“Every day, every hour sees a change in you, although the ravages of time are easier to see in others.”

“And what madness it is to deny ourself everything and so build up a fortune for your heir…for the more he’s going to get the more gleeful he’s going to be at your death.”

Christmas Follows Labour Day

In my world, that seems to be the case. Time speeds up – Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, then Christmas, in what feels like 3 weeks.

And you know what that means – the cold and flu season will soon be upon us, and I think we need to call for a ban on patterned Kleenex.

Not all of them of course. The Sniff brand have very delightful illustrations, and an unexpected funny image on a tissue can make a sad person smile.

But save us from the shock and worry of the multiple nosebleeds we didn’t have – it was just the damn red pattern on the Kleenex from an innocent nose blowing episode.

If you do happen to get a real nose bleed, here is a cure from Spring Forest Qigong. Open your fingers and hold your hands above your head, making sure your elbows are above your shoulders. If blood is coming out from our right nostril, raise your left hand. If blood is coming out from your left nostril, raise your right hand. If blood is coming out from both nostrils, raise both hands. A good thing to teach kids too.

All The Light We Cannot See

A few years ago, I was in a lovely book shop in Cobourg. I always like to ask book store owners about their favourite books. The owner took one from the shelf and pressed it into my hands. One look at the thickness, and I knew it wasn’t for me.

I like thin books, and that one was about 500 pages long. When I resisted she grabbed my arm and implored me to read it. “You must.” she said.

I still refused.

At the cabin this year, I had long stretches of time while the builders fixed the foundation piers and stairs. So I took a chance and got the book from the library.

Unbelievably brilliant. I couldn’t put it down. My royal consort loved it too.

Have you heard of the Georgia Guidestones

Some have referred to them as the satanic ten commandments.

Have a look. If you dare.

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