Magic words: US Constitution, 1787

Happy 230th year to you!  Pleased to be introduced to Schoolhouse Rock educational videos from the 1970s, and was again stirred by the words of the Constitution’s preamble:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The language is old, but it perfectly captures why and how we need government.  Similarly, the  4 July 1776 Declaration of Independence starts with ‘self-evident’ truths that we were all born equal, with a right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’, and that the purpose of government is to secure these rights.  Both documents reflect Enlightenment thinking, in contrast to the traditional ideas like divine right of kings.

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“M&N have gone”

Don’t worry, it’s just the keys on a keyboard.  The loss of these letters are enough to stop all the others being a functional keyboard. So we need a new keyboard.

Because we stepped on it.  Now it’s gone.  We mourn its loss, and move on.  No point to point the blaming finger, or to punish.  Just move on.

Life is a story of losses,  and learning to accept reality, as it is.  Not how we wish it to be, or think it should be. It is.

I might want to shout and curse at my loss, find someone to blame, punish them..But does that help? Especially when we are not fully aware of causes.

 

Is Trump the Trumpet?

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Here-now is the space-time to speak out.

It’s hard to get my mind around: space-time.  The hyphen shows a single concept, but our minds treat space and time as distinct and essentially unrelated elements.  Not so.  Let me explain, before I get back to President Trump.  And why we need to do speak out, here-now!

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Captivating Jane Eyre (and St.John?)

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I knew the story. I must have seen several BBC adaptations and movies of the story, growing up in London. And I knew of her; refreshed by a recent visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London.  The short lives of all three Bronte sisters. (At medical school, we learnt that Charlotte died of hyperemesis gravidarum: dehydration from vomiting of pregnancy.)

But I had not read Jane Eyre until now.  How is it not possible to fall in love with Jane?   I feel compelled to share her. Published in 1847, Charlotte Bronte’s novel gives us her inner life, a remarkable window into a beautiful soul.  Jane is born triply orphaned.  Despite her sad life and lack of physical beauty, she has inner beauty, vitality and strength.  Jane kept me entranced, through her journey to union with her soul mate.  A role model of how I would like to react to adversity and immorality; and achieve harmony.

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How do I feel, when my soul is torn?

I had another idea I was trying to sell.  It’s gone now,  but the point is not the deep sad of existence when not connected with at least one special other.  My soul mate, life partner and co-parent all ideally wrapped up in the same perfect package of spouse. {note to self, what is etymology of spouse, and why is it so rarely used today?}

I would look it up, but I have committed to doing this in 10 minutes, and I do get so easily distracted.  A feature or a flaw?  I often ponder on human origins, and the far more awesome story that science tells me than a simple Creator God.  I can’t have been much older than seven when it struck me that God is the Laws of Physics.

To have an understanding go God and science at this young age reflects on my winning the genetic and environmental ‘roulette’ that gave me highly gifted parents on both sides, and an extremely privileged up bring by a Bridge World Champion, and always delicately cared for by the Universe.  Including in my trials.

I feel trapped in one now.  My soul is torn.  It hurts.  Why is this you ask, I hope.

Expectations.  Life is not quite meeting my expectations.  So, instead of changing my expectations, I pack a sad.  I know this, and still it hurts.  An optical illusion can remain, even when we know it.  Do you know about your cognitive illusions?

 

 

Mythos: Free Will, free choice?

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Humanity has long pondered the question of free will; and whether  chicken or egg came first. Like Xeno’s paradoxes the questions identify flaws in both language and logic.  What does Free Will (FW) really mean?

Mythos is the ancient Greek counterpart to logos (reason). The two sides of mind. Myths help us understand and live in this world. They carry a deep truth, even if the events are not factual.  This Atlantic article‘s title was “There’s No Such Thing as Free Will –
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.” A mythos.  It was “one of the most read and hotly debated Atlantic pieces this month. The galaxy of philosophical issues called “free will and determinism” is where morals and physics come together. In other words, it’s a subject that genuinely matters, and one that’s a hell of a lot of fun to argue about.”  Want to try?

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Why vegetarian? A cultural journey.

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He asked me, “why are you vegetarian?”  He wanted me to write an article to explain why.  He thought his magazine readers would  be intrigued by the combination of muslim name with vegetarianism. The latter is more associated with Hindu and Buddhist names in the subcontinent.

My vegetarian journey is all about belief.   Science tells me that, cognitively, the most important reason is because of my belief about myself.  I chose to think of myself as being vegetarian. Therefore, I mostly eat vegetarian.

Hang on, he objected, “Are you truly vegetarian, if you don’t eat only vegetables?”.  So, what is a vegetarian and how did I become  one?

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