Category Archives: Philosophy

Let Us Prey

Give me a minute. I’ll get to my point before long, but I have to set it up, first. According to the app on my smartphone, it took me only a minute to fall asleep just over half an hour … Continue reading

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Future Present Imperfect

At some point in the future, I hope a significant majority of humankind simultaneously will come to realize the futility of conquest. They will once again understand, as our ancient ancestors probably did, that serenity depends in part on leaving … Continue reading

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Night Walker

Earlier this year, in one of my stream-of-consciousness blathers, I mentioned the idea of mounting a television to a treadmill, enabling me to watch an odd mix of television series and made-for-Netflix movies while getting some exercise. If I did … Continue reading

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Where Decency Thrives and Compassion Flourishes

A friend left a comment here recently, suggesting that some countries’ cultures have a gentler view of the world than ours. That is so true. Our culture evolved from hard-nosed individualism, shedding compassion along the way as if the desire … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Health, Kindness, Philosophy, Selfishness | 1 Comment

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Back to my old habits. Up before 4:00 a.m., ready to face the day. The tune and lyrics to an old song were among my first thoughts this morning: Well everybody’s heart needs a holiday, some time And everyone of … Continue reading

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I said recently my writing is, for me, escapism. Escape from what, though? Specifically, from what does writing allow me to escape? When I insist on an answer, I feel like I’m taking on the identity of an unwilling patient, … Continue reading

Posted in Patriotism, Philosophy | 2 Comments

The World Around Me

When I walked out onto the deck this morning, the air felt like cracked, bone dry leather and heavily used, fine-grit sandpaper. Yet the density of extremely high humidity was unmistakable, a set of oddly conflicting sensations that felt natural. … Continue reading

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A Course in Calamities

Before I begin, I note that my Google calendar tells me I have a pre-procedure check-in at CHI St. Vincent tomorrow morning. The procedure, a cystoscopy and biopsy of the lining of the bladder, under general anesthesia, takes place next … Continue reading

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Looking up into the canopy of the forest, I find it hard to distinguish between individual leaves. There are too many overlapping shades of green between shadows and sunlight for me to clearly differentiate one leaf from another. I look … Continue reading

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The Way Forward

I wrote just yesterday that I recognized the need to steer clear of social media and engagements that trigger my unpleasant reactions to deeply offensive humans. But part of my day yesterday was devoted to fruitless efforts to educate the … Continue reading

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Attractive Definitions

A dictionary’s second definition of metaphysics is the one that pleases me most: Philosophy, especially in its more abstruse branches. The corresponding definition of the primary adjectival form, metaphysical, pleases me just as much: Concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Time | Leave a comment

Self-Care in Isolation

I had to search a while for the source of the list that prompted the modified version below.  A friend posted it on her Facebook feed; it took me some time even to find that post. Then, it was not … Continue reading

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Testosterone Poisoning

A friend, when describing the affliction whose symptoms are characterized by machismo, also known as extreme masculine hyper-sensitivity, uses the sobriquet “testosterone poisoning.” I think the term describes the infirmity quite nicely. Until I heard the phrase, I did not … Continue reading

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Big Dreams and Facing Facts

Facts often block the way for wishes, desires, and dreams. Facts dig wide trenches between here and there…between now and then…filling the channels with acid and alligators and creatures hungry to tear hopes into lifeless memories. Those damn facts! Why … Continue reading

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December 29, 2019

I’ve decided to post some of my unposted items from months gone by. Sometimes, reading my words from times gone by helps me understand how I think; if that’s what it is. I will use my writing time today to … Continue reading

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Ethereal Normal

The concept of “normal” is fiction. There is no steady state that conveys a sense of normalcy. Normalcy can be understood only in a context of unending change. Chaos, in other words. The moment we think we have entered a … Continue reading

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Love Letters

I tend to keep personal letters I receive in the mail, whether handwritten or typewritten. Maybe my practice is driven by their rarity. Or perhaps they offer evidence someone thought I was worth the time and energy required to write … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Just Thinking, Philosophy | 2 Comments


I tell myself I am not superstitious. I say I dismiss the concept that coincidences have “meaning.” There is absolutely no reason to believe that, when I think about a person with enough focus, enough intensity, that person will reciprocate … Continue reading

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What I am Learning, Even Today, from Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath. I remember (though indistinctly, as if through a heavy fog) reading Steinbeck’s classic novel depicting the struggles of Depression-era Dust Bowl migrations. What I remember clearly about the story, though, is the intensity of Jim Casy’s … Continue reading

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Confronting Two Enemies

In the wake of a growing concern about a mysterious disease, when will a gnawing worry evolve into fear? What incident will cause fear to mushroom into terror, breeding deep suspicion of anyone outside our immediate circle? At what point … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19, Depression, Health, Hope, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Musings on Politics, People, Society, and the Almost Certainly Impossible

I do not worry that electing a left-leaning candidate like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren would lead to economic catastrophe. Nor do I worry that electing a centrist like Biden would embed a Republican-light approach to government for the foreseeable … Continue reading

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Perils of Finding Solace in Food

When my concerns are too personal and too emotional to share with those closest to me—even with myself—I tend to turn my thoughts to food. It’s no mistake that the word “comfort” is so often associated with food. Whether a … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Food, Pain, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Here and Now

Time and distance no longer matter when the only moment is now and the only place is here. Memories lose their grip on the soul at that juncture. All existence takes place in the present; neither the past nor the … Continue reading

Posted in Peace, Philosophy, Serenity | Leave a comment

A Fleeting Period of Perpetual Rain

Endless sunshine always is interrupted by fleeting periods of perpetual rain. The weather has always been this way. The everlasting pattern of dark and wet, then bright and dry, will continue forever, until it ends. Everything is impermanent and has … Continue reading

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The Question is a Serpent

Dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life I ask myself the question over and over and over and over, hoping to one day find an answer: “Who am I, under the veneer?” It hasn’t even been a … Continue reading

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Along the Bloody Spectrum

I am an old infidel. A practicing heathen. A believer in knowledge and a follower of facts. Those truths notwithstanding, I am no longer the active antagonist toward religion I once was. There was a time I would have called … Continue reading

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A Course in Catching Fish

My blog has long since become too voluminous for me to be able to determine whether I have already written about any given topic. In all probability, whatever the topic, I have. But my memory of having written about a … Continue reading

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Mediterranean Course Correction

I inquired of Google this morning: “What is the Mediterranean lifestyle?” The first answer I found—and the one I intend on adapting as my own—was this, from a blog entitled, The Mediterranean Dish in a post labeled Live the Mediterranean … Continue reading

Posted in Change, Compassion, Doing Without, Empathy, Essay, Generosity, Philosophy, Ruminations, Self-discipline, Selfishness | Leave a comment

Through the Mist

I feel slightly more human this morning than I’ve felt the last few days. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, though. Feeling human means something different for me than it once did. No longer is it a matter of … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Philosophy, Religion | 2 Comments

Modesty or Something Like It

Am I being modest when I insist on wearing a shirt to the door when I answer a knock? Or is the issue really embarrassment at my physical appearance? I suppose I could try to imagine that I inhabit a … Continue reading

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Transformative Places

Wherever we go, when we settle in we take on attributes caused by the place. We change, at least a little, to reflect the way a place we live changes us. And often, maybe usually, we don’t recognize the change … Continue reading

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A July 23, 2003 article in The Telegraph touches on the scope of what we see through telescopes in a clear, dark night sky: There are 10 times more stars in the night sky than grains of sand in the … Continue reading

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Keepers of Private Notebooks

Yesterday, I read parts of something Joan Didion wrote in 1968, entitled, “On Keeping a Notebook.”  One excerpt in particular struck a chord with me: Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, … Continue reading

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On Time

Days race by, behaving as if the clock hurries to complete its tasks quickly, lest time render the hands of the clock unable to accurately measure the duration of the unfolding of experience. There will come a moment, or perhaps it … Continue reading

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Adequately Altruistic or Acquisitive

Among other difficulties with wealth redistribution programs is the problem that involves reaching agreement on the definitions of two adjectives: “enough” and “too much.” If we could achieve collective accord on what constitutes enough and how much is too much, … Continue reading

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Exploring an Empty Barrel

I spent part of the last hour of this morning reading bits and pieces of about six months’ worth of newsletters from the Lake Chapala Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. I’m not sure just why I found my way there. I started … Continue reading

Posted in Friendship, Philosophy, Religion, Stream of Consciousness | Leave a comment

Learning Something Every Day

I spent much of the day yesterday in tourist-host mode, first accompanying a visiting friend to bathhouse row in Hot Springs, followed by a short stroll along Central Avenue, popping into a few shops and otherwise behaving as a tourist … Continue reading

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Compensatory Existence

I compensate for my shortcomings. If I can. And it’s not always possible. Sometimes, my shortcomings are so extensive, so overwhelming, that it’s simply impossible to overcome them. It feels like I’m trying to perform an appendectomy on an uncooperative … Continue reading

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My Children

Until last night, I’d never thought of what my child might have been like, had I fathered children. I’d never even thought about the “what if” before. Whether a daughter or a son, I’d never considered another human being carrying … Continue reading

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Intellectual Refraction

My college sociology classes exposed me to concepts of social deviance I had never encountered in the “real world.” Once exposed to those concepts, I looked at the world through a different set of eyes. No longer could behaviors be … Continue reading

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When Is It Wrong to Ask Questions and Express Opinions?

A dust-up occurred earlier this year among certain people of influence in the loosely-woven halls of power of a minor religious denomination that I choose not to name. The brouhaha erupted over publication of an essay that recounted a woman’s … Continue reading

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Once a mind is made up, irrevocably, it becomes unbending and brittle. It becomes subject to irreversible rupture when irrefutable, contrary facts present themselves. When evidence—that an immutable decision was based on fallacy—is impossible to ignore, the mind shatters into  … Continue reading

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Incompatible with Life

Thinking deeply about matters thought cannot change constitutes either wasted energy or vital mental exercise or both. Yet even the assertion that thought cannot bring about change induces change. The contention that any thought is wasted spurs the mind to … Continue reading

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State of Flux

You know who I was, not who I am. I am in a state of flux, a man engaged in constant mutation from one form to another. Every breath I take in leaves a different person’s mouth. The change takes … Continue reading

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Last night’s dinner consisted of ćevapčići (pronounced, as best as I can determine, “chevopcheche”), sliced purple onion, and sliced tomatoes. I made the ćevapčići from a pound of 80/20 ground beef, one-third of a cup of lukewarm water, and a … Continue reading

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Compassion for Monsters

Feeling compassion for people whose ill will and animosity shine like beacons of hate is not easy. But it may be necessary. If we are to have any hope of healing the divisions that have brought the world to the … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | 4 Comments

Time is Money

Time is money. That apothegm means, to most of us, that time is a valuable resource and, as such, it is better to do things as quickly as possible. But I also see it from another perspective. That is, one … Continue reading

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The Appeal of Doubt and Uncertainty

Yesterday morning, after the regular church service, I watched and listened to a TED Talk entitled “The Gospel of Doubt,” delivered by Casey Gerald. Hearing Gerald’s words was like listening in on my own thoughts. But I have nothing in … Continue reading

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Someone Else

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? I came upon this pithy aphorism-in-the-form-of-a-question while I was searching for the words of a common platitude that admonishes us to refrain from comparing ourselves … Continue reading

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Drenched in Thought

In mid-November 2012 (and many other times, before and after) I wrote a little about why I find Buddhism refreshing. Among my thoughts seven years ago was this one: It (Buddhism) is a refreshing perspective,  far more appealing to me … Continue reading

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