Tag Archives: thinking

What did Arendt mean by thinking?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/hannah-arendt-adolf-eichmann-banality-of-evil

 

This is an exceptionally interesting article not to be missed

1 Comment

Filed under books

When thinking hurts us

descartes

My title has two meanings.One is that sometimes we have to think about a painful event or a person who has hurt us.Or even some past events…I recall pain when  I was told about Hitler and Stalin

On the other hand some of us  use thinking in words as a way of blocking painful emotions.whilst this  may work for a time,it may give  a lot of trouble when we need to deal with pain.Essentially we do not wish to “know” the truth in the full sense… we deceive ourselves and maybe others too

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201110/the-essential-guide-defense-mechanisms

William Blake wrote this poem

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.

IM000484.JPG

I’ve been reading Sylvia Plath recently.I see that after her husband left her she went into a frenzy of activity.She had two very young children.was often i ll with flu but she wrote all her most famous poems at this time;then she moved to London antd socialised a lot to prove she was not just a deserted wife.After this she became more, ill,there was a severe winter….then she crashed into the depths…I feel that  her frenzied writing was a way of not admitting her grief… and she got worn out and decided death was better.

Some of us who are quite cerebral are not in touch with  our bodies.We don’t feel that knife in the heart,the tears unshed,the anger that threatens… and eventually this cam lead to problems.,sometimes flu sometimes a breakdown,sometimes a broken marriage.

and also the thinking can take on a life of its own so  it keeps us awake at night… and the feelings can come out in nightmares.

So thinking can  be a curse.We all need defences at times but too much cuts us of from our own lives.

And brooding and ruminating are very damaging to the mind and soul.Thinking is not wisdom

.11257109-old-mosaic

A lovely poem that i am fond of

O sweet spontaneous

by: e.e. cummings (1894-1962)

sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked

thee
, has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

beauty, how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true

to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover

thou answerest

them only with

spring)

3 Comments

Filed under thoughtfulness, truthfulness

Book review:The society of timid souls by Polly Morland

shades of grey

The book I am reading now is called”, The Society of Timid Souls”  written by Polly Morland.

Here is a very good in depth review of it and a photo of a bull fight

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/19/timid-souls-polly-morland-review

She is a good writer,mainly in journalism and also she works  making documentaries.The title comes from a Society that existed in New York starting around the time of Pear Harbour.It was for musiciand too timid ti play in public.From that which ended in 1946 she goe on to look at many situations which need courage such as bravery in war,in giving birth,in bull fighting.She is well read and has studied Aristotle,read Beowulf and many other serious  books and writings.Yet it is not a very difficult read.[I like hard books because I read them several times so they last longer.]The  intriguing part so far is about animals and birds which won awards for bravery.. such as pigeons in WW2 and whether an animal can be brave in the true sense.I have read half this book and strongly recommend it as suitable to a wide range of readers and also because it makes reading Aristotle seem normal,not just for scholars and academics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotelian_ethics

You can get Ethics by Aristotle as a free kindle book

You have to pay a little for Nichomacean Ethics and there is more than one translation so look inside before you buy it.I feel amazed by his thinking and wonder  if we’ve gone backwards

2 Comments

Filed under books

We need to trust the world before we can see

tWeeds or flowers I have become interested in virtue and perception.It began when I read  a little Aristotle about virtue being a habit.That was quite recent.Before that for many years I believed virtuous acts would follow from being able to perceive well.But when we are fraught our minds and eyes tighten up and so we perceive only what may be a danger to us.To perceive others well we need to be in a position to trust others and we need to feel secure.How is this possible?From my studies I read that our ability to trust begins with a trusted caregiver in infancy,[See” atttachment and loss “by John Bowlby reference to come] We may be able to become more secure later by good fortune,friendship and love.If not,I seem to get the idea that if we are insecure and nervous we cannot truly perceive others and they may be in the same position.If we are very afraid then virtuous acts may be hard to accomplish. The reason is obvious… when. we are concerned with  mere survival as a person , in that state what we do to others  may be impossible for us to consider.We cannot truly see them and so we cannot act well towards them except by good luck.Or if we are able to tolerate great anxiety,we may see better…. if not we are incapable…. Those whom we cannot see properly we cannot truly consider with feeling  and act on this feeling.We see them partly or mainly in terms of the fearful fantasies in our minds and cannot see them as  other and interesting.When we make a friend online we may feel safer but in fact we are more likely to misperceive them. When we are from a sad a or difficut background it may help greatly if we have some friends who might point out our errors if we trust enough to tell them.Or we may pretend to be hard and tough.Neither leads to virtue.If we trust God it may help but I believe we see God through the lens of our parents.. which is not good…depending on the parents. When we live in fear,we cannot see what is there before us.We cannot let go.We cannot accept grace and love nor give it.We will try to live by will power.Ironically people who are fearful inside can develop a shell of toughness and pride and so are not seen as vulnerable  and/or lovable.Tbey may seem frightening to others. This account may help to explain why politics is the way it is and also  we see that arguing is not persuasive when the other is not able to open up and see things more broadly.Arguing makes us tighten up and see less well.And it can be frightening too though some cultures find it more acceptable than others.

Here are some relevant blogs and articles

This author had a lot to say about perception… http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-marion-milner-1163951.html   http://susannanelson.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/happy-go-lucky/

http://glimpsejournal.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/the-real-bees-knees-stunning-micro-view-of-the-workers-behind-your-mothers-day-flowers/

Leave a comment

Filed under beautiful thoughts, books

Politics and fairness

Politics and fairness.

Leave a comment

Filed under ethics

Whatever is true

The students said  I was too warm to be British,so turn off your heating now or face  execution as a  traitor.What people forget is we Brits are a mixed race… then we have the nerve to call people,wogs,dagos and foreigners.we are all foreigners here apart from the Welsh.

Some students told me their dreams;s,anything to avoid studying Lacan

I  personally found quantum theory helps to avoid emotions

and topology  is useful for dressmakers and knitters

Dreams and love are all very well… if you are a millionaire.Till then keep on with figures,asymmetry and words.And courtesy.Obscenity is for dummies or the fragile

Friends are no use unless you are a real person.Whatever she is.

Schizophrenia is to some extent cowardliness………….keep your feet on the ground and say straight out what you mean without entering into wordplay,fey ways,being a seer and seeing how life veers.Be plain.You have a right to your views but speak kindly

Some bulls are only  e-male.

Depression is mainly the result of being driven.So give up the chauffeur and take your time.

Find your own rhythm and stick to it.

Some loose women are fast  and vice versa.Isn’t logic trying?

I was so thin  when I began lecturing I got half fare on the bus and I was 25.So studying keeps you young.Never say Schoenberg aagain.

I was so thin then I bought children’s clothes but now I am  twice the size.Then they said I might have TB,now they say I could get diabetes.Take your pick……there’s something in me that will never take the middle way.My middle gets in the way.

We all eat too much considering how little we do.Bring back the scrubbing  board,brush and hard green soap.But if I eat less I faint…. what an ‘orrible feeling as your vision shrinks to a pinpoint and you sweat all over but more on the top of the head…. and you throw yourself onto the floor… or the ceiling.

Once we were having a meal with another couple…with one of those heated plate things on the table.I passed out and for years they talked about it.They divorced later and blamed me!Still,I gave them something to talk about so maybe I helped.Take the rough and smooth it

If you get disturbed stop introspecting and sweep the floor or the pavement.Do useful things with your hands and help others.Be polite even if you think they are the Devil,.Even if it really is be nice…He is only  human,after all.

God is Love and  plain as plain.

Related articles

Leave a comment

November 3, 2013 · 10:37 pm

Philosophy blogs

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/

A little hard but good and worth noting

Leave a comment

Filed under books