Archive for January, 2012

I like what I am reading from Jeff Schweitzer

“The evolution of large brains confers no exalted status on the human race.

But unlike cheetahs or bacteria, our particularly notable evolutionary achievement enables us to reason and communicate, and we therefore have a monopoly on making any claims about our status in the world. This monopoly has led to the self-serving and comforting conclusion that humans are somehow separate from, and superior to, the rest of the animal kingdom. The long-term survival of our species may require that we change this perspective.”

“Just because I do not accept as true my colleague’s claim there is an invisible pink elephant in the room does not make me as equally dogmatic as the person making the claim. That idea creates a false equivalency. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof (from Carl Sagan); the burden of proof is not on me to disprove the existence of the pink elephant. Rejecting the claim in the absence of any corroborative evidence does not make me a zealot.”

“The author calls for a nimbleness of mind and open-mindedness to solve contemporary crises. I agree, but these can only be attained when our brains are free of religious clutter. Faith in the absence of evidence is the ultimate form of closed-mindedness, and remains an obstacle to finding good solutions to the problems we face today.”

Jeff Schweitzer

Is there ever something that is Unacceptable?

I saw the following quote the other day that got me to thinking. “You Americans, you’ve mastered the art of living with the unacceptable.”

Breyten Breytenbach

I‘m a believer in positive thinking.  Our thoughts largely determine how we are and how we will react towards our being in the world.  Lately, I’ve received lessons in how I tend to see what I know is there.  Perhaps I experience what I know is out there instead of what really is out there.

We allow our materialism, pragmatic outlook on how to live, and science to diminish spirit to our peril.  Whether spirit emerges from within or has been around forever matters little because spirit is both within and without regardless of how we reckon it. 

The ability of spirit to enrich our lives is diminished by excessive noise, pollution, emotional conflicts and our propensity to need yet never have enough.  What also limits the power of spirit is our despair; despair cause by our realisation that we have been betrayed not by “the devil,” but by those persons and institutions that wield economic power un-paralled since the melting of the ice sheets which started 18,000 years ago and the cradle of civilisation that began in Mesopotamia. Be reminded that there are

24.2 million millionaires on the planet – about 0.5% of the world’s adult population, or more than the entire population ofAustralia. 41% of them live in theU.S., 10% inJapanand 3% inChina. Of these are 1,210 billionaires.  We have recently been betrayed by our self-serving governments that no longer represent their citizens, we are betrayed by the members of the boards of multinational corporations and banks who place their quest for endless growth of revenue before the needs of the electorate.

I tend to forget that most people actually are aware of this but feel powerless to do much about it.  Perhaps it is this underlying current of knowing that we are being exploited but not knowing what to do about it feeds the ill- at-easeness that many often feel. 

I reduce it and try to simplify:  We are simply on the downhill side of the disintegration of western culture.  Our institutions are so self-serving that they are caving inward or collapsing in on themselves much like what happens to a house when caught in a tornado.


Recently, I read where a prominent climate change scientist admitted that it is already too to avoid much of the predicted destruction caused by the greenhouse effect.  The scientist doesn’t mention this in her talks because people might quit trying to resist it and just grab all they can get away with while the getting is still good. 


I would like to have an answer to the question of how to avoid despair when we read so  much bad news.  Stop reading the bad news?  I’m not sure that’s the answer.  Perhaps just “Be the change you want to see.” Perhaps it is to quit worrying about the world’s problems and work on yourself. 


Then on the other hand, I would hope that our society would finally agree on what is and what is not acceptable.  Agree on it and act on it.  But there are only so many Bravehearts – certainly not enough in our time of need.