November 23rd, 2021

Simple Solutions

For two evenings running I have gone out and seen a huge light beaming at me from beside the garden gate. The first evening it was white, the second evening it was yellow. On both occasions I spent a moment wondering what the hell it could be before recognizing that I was looking at the Moon.

We put a heavy winter quilt on the bed last night and, apart from the customary toilet breaks, I slept right through. So maybe its just the cold weather that's been messing with my sleep patterns. It would be nice if were so- because it's so easily remedied...

Same Truth, Whether It's Wearing The Imperial Purple Or Granny Glasses

"Become the change you seek"

Or even better

"Be the change you seek"

That came into my head because I'd been listening to Russell Brand handing out tit-bits from the stoic philosophers. There was one from Marcus Aurelius which went something like (and since it's a translation the exact wording hardly matters) "Don't waste time talking about what constitutes goodness, just live it..."

Same thought, different formulation I don't know who first wrote or spoke the version at the top of the page because the thought itself is as old as the hills. It's one of the core truths. Everything starts with the self. You want a kinder world? Then be kind. You want a fairer world? Then be fair. You don't need to preach kindness and fairness, just embody them- and the kindness and the fairness will radiate out and people will align with it because it's attractive.

"You say you'll change the Constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You'd better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don't you know know it's gonna be
Alright"

That's John Lennon's version.

In the same podcast Brand was recommending we read Ivan Illich. I'd heard the name, but I had a mental image of a granite-faced ideologue, possibly heavily bearded like Marx and Engels, who threw bombs when he wasn't pontificating. I looked him up. Turns out he was a gentle, ascetic Austrian priest. His book Deschooling Society sounds like something we all ought to be aware of.

Like it's the fountainhead of much that I currently believe.

So we've ordered a copy

Stoics, alternative comedians, rock gods, Catholic thinkers- they're all saying the same thing....