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What’s Not Here

Good Writing.

This is my third or fourth attempt at blogging. I never learned to write well, but I used to read alot. I’ve read enough good and great writing to know that I am not qualified to produce good writing in the way that most people do it. I violate the rules consistently and intentially.

Example:

Good writers produce a lot of words. They use a lot of words that cause me to have to keep Wikipedia open at all times because I can’t tell what they are trying to say without knowing what the word means in the context used. I use the most common words I can find so it will be accessible to even those with as limited a vocabulary as mine.

Arguments

All I intend to do with this iteration of blogging is to write about experiences I have had and what I learned from those experiences. I will try to explain what relevance they have to todays world. I have no intention of trying to convince anyone of anything. Whenever I write something that might seem argumentative I mean only to present my perspective in the hope that it might help someone see things that may be beneficial to them.

Dishonesty

Human discourse where either party is not telling the truth is pointless. I have a perspective that is rarely accepted by people and is questionable because some events in my life don’t make sense. I wish I could say every thing here will be the truth, but I know from life experiences that what’s true today might be tomorrows lie. My best effort will be to just present what I experienced and explain my perspective and hope someone can see the value in it that I do.

About me:

I hate this part. Knowing about an author has no value to me. I guess that’s part of the reason I don’t write so well. When I read, my focus is on the writing alone. I care about what they say and what they mean. Of course, that perspective isn’t very popular and so I have to have something about me or people won’t read anything. I’ve been surprised so many times by the wisdom and intelligence of some people, especially those kind of people that most others will judge irrelevant and won’t even listen to. So if I have to do this I present to you facts about me designed to provide a quick judgement so you can move on to judge someone else. I’m old (turned 67 this month April,2020). I’m a Boomer. I don’t understand why this an issue but I’ve seen it used alot in a negative way so it must be of value to some people. My middle name is Roy, so I write under the name EdgyRoy, which is the only nickname anyone ever gave me. Finally, ( surely this will be enough), I was diagnosed as having Depression with a bipolar disorder and I’ve been on medication for nearly 30 years. Oh, almost forgot, I’m white.

Final thoughts

This post should be at the top of my blog until my WordPress agreement ends in 2021. My hope is that most people will read it and leave. I may never get a positive comment from anyone and I don’t mind that. My previous posts never yielded any comments, so why would this one? What really bothers me is people passing judgement on others based on opinions or hearsay or whatever the popular prejudices of the day might be. If there are postive things to say about me, I will rarely mention them and for good reasons which, if I do, I will explain as best I can. My hope is that I may encounter people who are just plain good people in their heart and mind. The world can’t get enough of those, and in America, at least, the supply seems to be diminishing daily.

If you read all of this post:

Thank You. I mean that sincerely. In case you never come back, know that you have value that you are not aware of today, and you are greater than anyone who says otherwise. Those who try to reduce you are beneath you by virtue of their actions. Please remember, if you encounter someone beneath you, reach down and help them up, if you can.

Live long and prosper.

Scales of Belief and Reality

Belief is what our consciousness uses to deal with reality. Reality is used here to describe Truth in its’ absolute sense, in that it is that which cannot be contradicted by any means human consciousness has at its’ disposal. Reality is also referred to as ‘existence’ but this term is a product of consciousness whereas Reality is used here to refer to anything in or out of consciousness. Reality as we use it here is identified as having three universal characteristics. These are Multiplicity, Variation and Time. Time is essential because it cannot be stopped by any known means. But because Time passes and is subject to Multiplicity and Variation everything increases and everything is different. There are no duplicates of anything. We refer to Knowing as the state of reality we have in our consciousness, and each individual usually refers to what they know as ‘truth’, even though Reality alone defines truth. This leads to conflict between ‘I’ and the ‘other’ because Reality isn’t subject to knowing.

Change occurs in every tick of the clock no matter how short a measure of a unit anyone uses. Change is mandated by Multiplicity and Variation and so Reality is ever increasing so consciousness can never catch up to Reality, unless of course Time could be stopped. Then we could not know anything because we need time to think or sense so if time stops we could do neither. What we can know is only what we believe we know and only that exists in our consciousness. So basically, truth is relative to the consciousness under question until Reality verifies it for the consciousness. This leaves us with only the spectrum of belief until such verification occurs for each consciousness.

The range of belief runs through a number of stages from suspected to confirmed and is verified using scientific methods as our best tool to arrive at an ‘objective’ conclusion on a particular truth. This is actually a ‘shared belief’ among those who have decided that ‘objectivity’ is a standard for knowing. Only a consciousness can be capable of knowing but most seem to accept believing as a substitute for truth more often than not. Our beliefs can start with sensed evidence or occur through thinking alone. In the case of senses we generally will accept our own sensory data before any others. I may be cold but you may not is a simple example. Our sensed data is often an ‘established’ belief, which means the individual has confirmed the truth of it for themselves and will carry the belief until or unless they encounter a contradiction of it. If the ‘established’ belief is not contradicted it can become an ’embedded’ established belief and these kind of beliefs are hardest for an individual to correct. An embedded belief drives the individual consciousness in its conduct of life, and modifies much of a persons behavior. Religious beliefs are usually embedded and a consciousness is loath to accept contradictions to such beliefs.

To try and clarify, we all have a range that goes from casual beliefs (we accept a belief as conditionally true but may have doubts) to established beliefs (we have validated the belief based on supporting data in favor of the belief). Established belief is the first evidence of truth that a consciousness allows. It would seem that knowing is generally made up of established beliefs and some would even count their established beliefs as knowledge. Each consciousness can be described as common, average, intelligent or genius by another consciousness, depending on shared beliefs and the degree of self-examination. By self-examination I mean the process of questioning the truth of what ‘I’ know from what I have heard or sensed or learned by any method. We usually do self-examination through thinking as a form of self-evaluation if truth is a serious subject for the individual consciousness. People are considered ‘close-minded’ or ‘open-minded’ depending on the number of embedded established beliefs they have. An embedded belief is the toughest ‘nut to crack’ within any consciousness. An embedded established belief is ‘the absolute truth’ for the individual and is the most difficult for the consciousness of an individual to ‘let go’ of. I suspect this might be because humans have a great desire for truth but have such difficulty defining it that they accept beliefs as true because most can’t deal with the details of reality otherwise. I have an embedded established belief that reality is different from existence because existence is a perceived view of reality of the consciousness under consideration while reality possess all truth. For all of humanity it has been clear that truth is relative to the individual consciousness and subject to change like everything else. The only truths that do not appear to change are Multiplicity, Variation and Time. These are the axioms of reality and the determiners of change. Because knowing is not possible for many unless they get validation from an outside (other) source, many seek the input of others to verify a truth for them. But what if I happen to possess a truth that was not validated by an ‘other’ and separate from any knowledge I had. Where does one ‘acquire’ such knowledge, especially when reality confirms it’s truth? We would normally call such things an experience since it occurred in our consciousness and shapes our perception of reality and thus our existence.

I may have rambled a bit, but the point of all this comes from a question about the boundary between ‘you/I’ and ‘other’. I am fairly certain that there is only ‘I’ and ‘other’ as far as conscious beings go. A ‘you’ is just a particular example of ‘other’ and as far as consciousness is concerned the only barrier between ‘I’ and ‘other’ is the difference between the two consciousnesses that are mandated by the three axioms of reality.

I’ll write more on this topic at another time, in case anyone is interested. For now, don’t give up on knowing just because of the infinity of knowledge, just enjoy the search for truth and rejoice when you find some.

Live long and prosper.

EdgyRoy

The Sixties Rise Again

I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the sixties. Not because of any knowledge of social or political or historical perspective, but because I was seven years old in 1960 and grew up watching it unfold. What’s even more significant is that I lived in the center of the biggest civil rights mess one could hope for (or dread). I spent the sixties in the south, and even worse, Alabama. Our Governor was a man named George Wallace.

This post was motivated by recent headlines and various references to similarities today’s events have to the sixties. I thought it might be useful to write about the effects certain events had on one young man growing up in that time and what lessons that young man (me) learned in that time period.

I was not a native Alabamian. I was born in Arkansas. At the age of six months I was taken by my parents, along with my two older sisters, to London, because our Army father was stationed there. After two years (and with two new siblings) we returned to the US and bought a home in Georgia, next to Fort Benning ,my father’s new duty station. At some point dad decided to divorce mom and he was gone. I remember nothing about that time except that when he left, my beatings stopped. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” was a popular saying back then. My father made a special effort in assuring I would not be spoiled. I was in the second grade when we moved from Georgia to Alabama. A single mother with five children had none of the options available to single moms today. She ended up in a cotton mill and we all got to see what poverty was really like.

With my father gone, and mother working so many double shifts she was rarely available, I was pretty much free to learn about life without any guidance. My two older sisters left me alone to watch over my little brother and sister, so my after school hours were spent mostly in front of our 10 inch B/W TV. Before the sixties started looking like today’s headlines, there were certain things I saw on that TV that created permanent memories in my young mind. Some of these follow.

Russia had launched Sputnik into orbit. The Russian Premier, Nikita Khrushchev went on TV to announce to America “We will bury you.”. Russia put a man in orbit. JFK gave a speech where he said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Although I don’t remember the words exactly used, he also said “Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream of things that have never been and ask why not?” The last thing I remember him saying was when he proposed that America would send a man to the moon and return him safely to the Earth, before the decade was up. The next JFK moment I saw on that little TV was his funeral procession. And then, of course, came the Zapruder film, where we all got to see the top of his head taken off by a rifle shot.

With no one around to tell me what to think about it all, JFK made me believe in America in a way I can’t explain. I just know that I loved my country almost as much as I loved my mother, and God and country were the only other things that mattered.

But the sixties were just beginning. The Vietnam war was now on TV. At first, it seemed right to support the war. But something new was happening to America. A counter-culture was growing. California kids were growing their hair long, and they protested against the war. As I got older, I started seeing things that didn’t make sense. Hearing things that confused me. I sought out adults to try to get guidance, mostly just by listening. I heard a lot of things being said about blacks by people who called themselves Christians. I heard that things were written in the bible that made me open a bible to look for myself. I never found those things.

Our little TV had introduced me to God via the movie “The Ten Commandments”. With Charlton Heston as Moses I was riveted by the story and amazed by what he did with God’s power. In my loneliest nights I would talk to this God, usually through tears, asking for an explanation about what was happening. Why were we so poor, why were people saying the things they were saying. Of course, I never got an answer, but that didn’t stop me from talking to him. In fact, I began to talk to him all the time. Not out loud, but in my mind. It just felt right. Like I had a mute friend who knew more about me than any other person. The presence of him was so real to me that I never felt lonely again.

God became my armor that prevented me from being affected by the events around me. While the so-called Christians and the evangelicals spewed the lies about blacks and non-believers and condemned those who were ‘different’, I only saw more amazing examples of God’s creations. God had made them all. He did not put other people here for us to abuse. He put them here for us to love. So when I saw legions of white cops beating on unarmed black men, I saw clearly who was in the wrong.

I admit, at my young age I wondered about Black people. Why would God make some races inferior to others? Why was the n-word so common in the south? Then one day all those questions went away when I saw one person on that little TV. Martin Luther King settled the matter of race for me. He was as smart a man as I had ever heard. He spoke about God in a way that was closer to the God I knew than any white person ever had. He had a dream. Just like JFK. He was an American, a fellow American. And just like JFK he was gunned down before his dream could be realized.

So, are the events that have sparked today’s unrest worse than the sixties? Has all of America become like Alabama of the sixties? The media has made reference to the sixties but they have yet to mention how they compare. I can make some comparisons myself. For example, today we have Donald Trump, back then we had George Wallace, the Governor who tried to block a little black girl from going to a white school.

Today’s unrest has been the result of a single black mans death. Back then, the police and the National Guard with their German Shepherds openly attacked scores of black people in front of news cameras.

In the sixties only the well-off went to college. In the 21st Century higher education is held up as a right we all deserve. The overall population is far more educated and has seen more things than were dreamed of in the sixties. We had two TV stations back then, and no Home PC’s, much less the internet.

Is today better than back then? George Wallace was constrained back then. He could only do those things allowed by the State and people of Alabama. Donald Trump has threatened to call up the U.S. Military,to enter any state he so chooses.

At 67 years of age, I am still that unguided child I was back then. I didn’t see things the way the majority of those around me saw them. That is as true today as ever. I talk to the same God all the time, and I seek not the counsel of others. So, is today really any different? Is it better, or worse? I say it is worse. I’ll close with what I see has gone wrong.

Ignorance is just as prevalent as it was back then. Just as many people as then claim to know the truth when they do not know of whence they speak. Experts are ignored by the ignorant because their leaders are ignorant and their leaders speak for them. In the sixties the prejudices were on open display. The hypocrisy was on open display. The KKK wore their hoods in public. The difference today is that no one claims to be racist, they all deny it. All the new knowledge gained since the sixties has taught people nothing but new ways to profit, to deceive, to get the most while giving the least.

To sum up: Things were much better in the sixties. As a Boomer, I am proud of the things my generation has accomplished. As far as I’m concerned the bad conduct displayed by so many was a nation going through a growth spurt. Every generation since ours was less and less real American, and more and more just a population feeding on the great fruits American had produced. We may have been ignorant, but we cared about our country. I went into the Navy in 1971. Not because I had to, but because of JFK. I asked what I could do for my country. With young men burning their draft cards and with the draft ended, no one wanted to serve. It was unpopular, it was not cool. Who then was going to defend the nation while the majority decided to gorge themselves on the fruits it had created. So I went, and those who went with me saw the problem first hand. We were always undermanned. We stood many extra watches and filled in for the men who were not there.

Since our generation it has only gotten worse. Each new generation decided that enjoying America’s great wealth and prosperity was more important than protecting America itself. People today think that voting is the only responsibility that they have to the country. They use that vote to elect whoever promises them what they want. Not to make a better America, but to get more for themselves. Donald Trump, as bad as he is, is not the problem. That the people of America allowed him to become the President is the problem. So, as social media has become the new substitute for what people call living, I leave you with this: what’s trending. America has been trending toward today’s world for many years. Faster and faster with each new generation. The ‘woke’ generation may be the worst off and maybe the last. If I could give any worthwhile advice to this generation it would have be the same my Father gave to me when he saw me heading in the wrong direction:

Take your right hand and grab your left ear. Take your left hand and grab your right ear. Now jerk your head out of your ass so you can see where you’re going.

God bless America. Have a great day.