The Importance of What We Do With Our Time

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09 Jan 2020 00:06 - 09 Jan 2020 00:06 #348199 by Adder
Master Perris once here asked if time was an illusion. A logical position to take, that there really is only now. Everything else a construct of ideas representing past, future or imaginary things. Don't stop dreaming, or live in a dream, but learn how to dream that works best for you and your worldview?

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 09 Jan 2020 00:06 by Adder.
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09 Jan 2020 00:25 - 09 Jan 2020 00:28 #348204 by Fyxe
Pffft, time may be an illusion but that has nothing to do with the fact we still have to deal with it and if we dont deal with it then it will kill us. When we live in the constant now, say a state when we are not hungry, we never arrive at a state when we are hungry and if we never arrive at that state we never eat and then we die. Because of this I always think ahead and plan to eat! Not a dream, that's reality my friend! Lol

Where ever you go, there you are. Make the best of it.
Last edit: 09 Jan 2020 00:28 by Fyxe.

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09 Jan 2020 00:31 #348206 by Adder

Fyxe wrote: Pffft, time may be an illusion but that has nothing to do with the fact we still have to deal with it and if we dont deal with it then it will kill us. When we live in the constant now, say a state when we are not hungry, we never arrive at a state when we are hungry and if we never arrive at that state we never eat and then we die. Because of this I always think ahead and plan to eat! Not a dream, that's reality my friend! Lol


Do you think your disagreeing with me?

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu

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09 Jan 2020 00:50 #348209 by elizabeth

Manu wrote:

elizabeth wrote: I regret nothing :)
And would change nothing.
I am not very social and so if I talk with you then you mean something in my journey. But should you disapear my journey continues, better or worse for that contribution.
My time here is in my eyes never wasted wether I interact or not.
In life I have no regrets about decisions I make and I do what is important to me and mine.
I would do nothing different here or anywhere.


How do you learn to steer directions without the feedback that mistakes bring?



I never said I didnt learn but that I have no regrets.

No one is coming to save you
Save yourself
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09 Jan 2020 06:57 #348216 by Erinis

Manu wrote:

elizabeth wrote: I regret nothing :)
And would change nothing.
I am not very social and so if I talk with you then you mean something in my journey. But should you disapear my journey continues, better or worse for that contribution.
My time here is in my eyes never wasted wether I interact or not.
In life I have no regrets about decisions I make and I do what is important to me and mine.
I would do nothing different here or anywhere.


How do you learn to steer directions without the feedback that mistakes bring?

elizbeth wrote: I never said I didnt learn but that I have no regrets.


precisely, what is more beautiful things then when one is balanced with past. She larned from all mistakes and lessons from the past
and then she appraciated them and let go and allowed the energy Force flow. That´s awesome.

- Be pheonix, who rise from ashes -


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09 Jan 2020 19:51 #348249 by Manu

elizabeth wrote:

Manu wrote:

elizabeth wrote: I regret nothing :)
And would change nothing.
I am not very social and so if I talk with you then you mean something in my journey. But should you disapear my journey continues, better or worse for that contribution.
My time here is in my eyes never wasted wether I interact or not.
In life I have no regrets about decisions I make and I do what is important to me and mine.
I would do nothing different here or anywhere.


How do you learn to steer directions without the feedback that mistakes bring?



I never said I didnt learn but that I have no regrets.


Interesting. I find that my regrets light the fire and keeps me moving forwards and trying to improve.

I have a hard time figuring out what kind of box to put me in, too, because I don't know exactly what's going on around me or why. But I need to stay outside of boxes because then I can look at what's inside of them without being part of them.
- Jordan Peterson
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09 Jan 2020 19:58 #348250 by elizabeth

Manu wrote:

elizabeth wrote:

Manu wrote:

elizabeth wrote: I regret nothing :)
And would change nothing.
I am not very social and so if I talk with you then you mean something in my journey. But should you disapear my journey continues, better or worse for that contribution.
My time here is in my eyes never wasted wether I interact or not.
In life I have no regrets about decisions I make and I do what is important to me and mine.
I would do nothing different here or anywhere.


How do you learn to steer directions without the feedback that mistakes bring?



I never said I didnt learn but that I have no regrets.


Interesting. I find that my regrets light the fire and keeps me moving forwards and trying to improve.



We are all different
Everything up to this moment has made me who I am.
Other things light my fire :)

No one is coming to save you
Save yourself
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09 Jan 2020 20:34 #348251 by Manu

elizabeth wrote: Other things light my fire :)


Oh! you! :blush: :P :laugh:

I have a hard time figuring out what kind of box to put me in, too, because I don't know exactly what's going on around me or why. But I need to stay outside of boxes because then I can look at what's inside of them without being part of them.
- Jordan Peterson
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10 Jan 2020 00:22 #348259 by Alexandre Orion
We already have a lesson on this topic developed by one of our best Senior Knights. I'm putting it here so that any one of you can have a go with it. It is an amazing revelation - and actually goes pretty well with the Heidegger topic of another recent thread that I'll get to tomorrow (it's 1h08 in the morning here and I'm going to bed).

Julia Morgan, Architect wrote: My buildings will be my legacy... they will speak for me long after I'm gone.



1. Visit a local graveyard or cemetary. Sit for a while (at least an hour), observing what happens, considering the many dead people buried beneath the stones. Consider that each of them had lives, much like yours. Each had friends, relatives, an occupation. Each had hopes, dreams, unfulfilled desires and deep wishes about the future.

Describe the experience of visiting the dead. How you feel when you think about the people buried at the cemetery? What does death mean to you, in life?


2. One day you too shall die, the stream of your life passing on into the wider river of the Force.

- What do you feel your legacy will be?
- What will you leave behind, when you are gone?
- Who will visit your grave, and why?
- What will you be remembered for?

***

I've done this twice and shall probably do again in the near future. It is a powerful experience when one can maintain the "presence" for it.

These are my responses :

Alexandre Orion wrote:

Le livre de la vie
est le vivre suprême
qu'on ne peut ni fermer
ni rouvrir à son choix.
On voudrait revenir
à la page où l'on aime
et la page où l'on meurt
est déjà sous nos doigts.*
The book of life
is the supreme book
that one cannot close
nor reopen by choice.
One would like to return
to the page where we love
and the page where we die
is already beneath our fingers.
* inscription on a tomb, Cimetière des Péjoces, Dijon


Legacy

Julia Morgan, Architect wrote:
My buildings will be my legacy... they will speak for me long after I'm gone.



1. Visit a local graveyard or cemetery. Sit for a while (at least an hour), observing what happens, considering the many dead people buried beneath the stones. Consider that each of them had lives, much like yours. Each had friends, relatives, an occupation. Each had hopes, dreams, unfulfilled desires and deep wishes about the future.

Describe the experience of visiting the dead. How you feel when you think about the people buried at the cemetery? What does death mean to you, in life?



My thoughts were already turning 'round and about the notion of death and dying as I made my way down to the Cimetière des Péjoces this afternoon. Doing my best to stay centred, posing the question, “am I awake ?” from time to time as an effective anchor for that, my thoughts went through their usual repertoire of scales : the “I” I 'think' “I am” is but another thought, that there is 'thought' but only a portion of those thoughts are the “I” that thinks itself a thinking thing …

The walk was pleasant, and all the while I was just letting the thoughts go wherever they would. And they went where they would ; whistling across my consciousness with the slight chill breeze that refreshed the pre-springtime weather, which was, in effect, just another of those flighty thoughts. When I entered the gates of the cemetery, I 'thought' to look at my watch. There was the legend of the park's layout right up front, but I took little notice of it ; I didn't want to know where I was really in relation to the geography. I took the broad direct alley and continued my adventure.

The monuments are not that old (or at least not what I consider “old”) for this cemetery was designated in the late 19th century. From the very beginning of my wandering, I was noticing names – Simonin, Guyot, Meunier –, names I know of persons I did not. That is, I did not know them as individuals, most of them having lived and died long before I came to live in Dijon (most of them before I came to “live” at all). I could know them though almost as I can meet with empathy anyone living that I could meet in any place. They had names, as most of us do, and those names correspond to a relatively limited identity . Even more generally, they were all former instances of the experience of being an “I”. Or an experience we refer to as “I”, however one prefers.

My communion wasn't merely imaginary, but it was far from rational. I looked at the names, but names … I was really more invested in the feelings of beings, that these were human beings who had childhoods, who had experiences in childhood which shaped their development (psycho-social, emotional, intellectual &c.) adolescence and adulthood. Many of the markers referred to “époux/épouse”, “mère/père”, “tante/oncle” and sometimes “fille/fils”, (husband/wife, mother/father, aunt/uncle, daughter/son) relationships which character and frame particularities of those identities. Some listed the profession of the person. In the military polygon, their division and rank were inscribed with their names as well as where they died. Resistance martyrs graves were often marked “mort fusillé” with the date and age. Those were the rational considerations. What was cajoling me throughout the whole visit was more an emotional survey : how did this person or that love, what were her/his moments of joy ? Of sorrow ? What were their fond memories ? What were their unfulfilled desires ? Their fulfilled ones ? What was their shame and how did they hide in/from it ? Their fears ? What made them angry ? How and to what degree where they mad ?


The most ponderous question was : did this person really “live” ?

I talked a lot too, letting some of those thoughts vocalise. Still the anchor held : “Am I awake ?” It really needed to, for I could have been quite carried away in all that. It struck me as peculiar that there, in a park filled with around 135 000 'remains', I didn't think so very much about Death or dying itself, but was very much taken with Life and living. Here were human lives come to totality, completed … and all the details of their existential, phenomenological being in a moment transformed into mostly forgotten “been”.

That one reads a name 50 years after one passes from life, is that a memory ? Or, that a relative may come to stand and look on a standard decoration in a park, thinking back to family events of one sort or another, is that 'being remembered' ? What may remain in some vague way in one or many forms the echoes of their longing, or that feeling of profound love for another that tingles (or shreds) the entrails, or of that hope that 'everything will work out' ? Are there vestiges of their desperation ? Fragments of frustrations ? What may I know of his Joy ? What may have been the last (or even the first) thing they enjoyed ? The last irony or absurdity that let them laugh – and what did that laughter sound like ?

In what manner were the people under these names fulfilled or invalidated ? In the lives of human beings, so much goes by unnoticed, un-savoured, effectively un-lived. How many times was the personality of this human life actually present and aware for those moments of making love to another where the emotional and spiritual connection to another accompanies and amplifies the escalation to sexual ecstasy ? Were they ever aware that the people in their life experience were other life-experiences also and not objects or possessions to be experienced and/or used ? How many times were they accepting and authentic for those occasions wherein their sorrow was such that their tears soaked the whole World ? Did they ever consider whether their fears were of event-things that actually menaced them (or their loved ones) were real or mainly imagined ?

And I conjectured that with some degree of confidence that all of the human lives connected to these names had instances of all of these sorts of moments – and all of these sorts of moments were, though typified, the most real moments of Life. That is because these moments are those in which a human being “feels” that one is not dropped into the World, but comes out of it and that everything in and of a human experience of feeling alive is what the Universe doing.

“The shape of the Universe is the shape of Man.” ~ Alan Watts


I can't help feeling that all of the things I feel through the moments in the passage of my own experience of living were homologous with those of all of the names on these marbled markers. All of the various experiences of being an “I” melded by the ultimate passage into the integral “I” experience to which this very park and all like it, is dedicated. I can know with various levels of understanding (without ever having 'understood', to be sure) that all these people who were lived and loved and felt and thought, in one way or many others, just like “me”.

Yet, that “I” is dependent on that relationship to “Thou” which is also integral to the foundational idea of parks like these, though that foundation is pretty deep under the construct(ion). Once one has passed beyond the veil, the objectification ceases with the stoppage of the possibilities of “becoming”. All those names, distinctions (mère, époux &c.) become abstractions. But, all things considered, those abstractions are no more abstract than these same abstractions were in Life, or in mine … Abstracting the already abstract comes 'round back again to the 'Real' eventually. Then one stays as a name on a marker in a park steadfastly outside of the influence of sunrises and sunsets, changing seasons and clock & calendar Time. No matter how – or if – one has lived, one passes into the “once upon a time” (in illo tempore) and the ever-ness of the “ever after.”

21

A Master stays focused on Tao.
Nothing else, just Tao.

But you can't pin Tao down--
you can't even see it!
How are you supposed to focus on something like that?

Like this:
First, there's nothing.
Then, the void is filled with images.
Images lead to the creation of objects.
And every object has Tao at its core.

That's the way it's been, ever since the world began.
How can I be so sure?
I just know.

*

50.

People who look
for the secret of long life
wind up dead.

Their bodies are the focus of their lives
and the source of their death,
because they think a healthy body
is all there is to life.

Lao Tzu used to say
a man who truly understood life
could walk through the jungle
without fear
or across a battlefield
without armor, totally unarmed.
Wild animals and weapons couldn't kill him.

I know, I know:
what the hell does that mean?
"Well, he couldn't be killed,"
Lao Tzu said,
"because his body
wasn't where he kept his death."



2. One day you too shall die, the stream of your life passing on into the wider river of the Force.

- What do you feel your legacy will be?
- What will you leave behind, when you are gone?
- Who will visit your grave, and why?
- What will you be remembered for?




What should my 'legacy' be ? What sort of heritage I leave behind me for the living when I no longer am would be according to what one remembers of the subjective nature of the relationship we had shared. I cannot even effectively bear witness to my own moments of grace where “I – Thou” was spoken with my whole being. Naturally, I like to hope that my time as a living being was of some slight importance to another, yet I cannot be the sole arbiter of that significance. Monuments in stone, as it were, are much more flimsy things than we tend to think. Consider the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. It should turn out that the most monumental characteristics of my 'legacy' would be immaterial : who I really was, how I lived, whose lives I touched – by one relationship or another – have in some insignificant way influenced the relationships of another to another to another … and so forth. Monuments are erected to remind, but how much of that remembering is of the living being one was, and how much of it is what those remembering only hoped it had been (or wished it hadn't) ? It is curiously ironic, when pivoting between two language-cultures, that in remarking the word “regrets” that appeared on many of the grave markers I saw, I considered briefly the ambivalence of the word. In French “regretter quelqu'un” is to miss them ; in English it would mean “to regret their passing”. Yet, it could be taken to mean “to regret someone”, “to regret this or that occurrence” and so forth … Whereas, I don't have too many feelings about any eventual monument to my having been, I can hope that the “regrets” one may have occasioned by a fleeting memory of some relationship to who I was, they may regret that I am no longer there than the very fact that I was …

What I shall leave behind is the World I was and was a part of. I have not built any Empires, nor fortunes, nor institutions, have not led any revolutions nor created any landmark contributions to the World Heritage. I doubt very much that I shall do before my time as a living being is at an end. I may leave behind a cadavre, a mess and some debt. Most of all, I will leave behind everyone who is still living. There will be a room full of books and a couple of kilobytes of bad poetry that someone will have to clean up. The rest – the most, really – of what makes me “me”, that will be gone. I was born in mediocrity, lived in mediocrity and shall die in it too. And that is perhaps the most noble of my aspirations as much as it is my most persuasive consolations. I'll leave behind me all the shame that I hid from, all the fear that I ran from, all the anger that I may have struck out at, all the sorrow that made me shut down or isolate myself … and the rare moments of Joy that made it all worthwhile. In essence, all that will be truly left behind at my passing will be as much of what is common to us all – what made me “me” (the objective “I”). This stands to reason, for as I already pointed out, at Death, objectification becomes impossible.

It isn't clear that I'll have a grave to visit. Graves are made and paid for by families, perhaps out of love, perhaps out of a notion of propriety, but they are maintained by others. I have never had that and it is an ever increasing probability that I shall not have. This is one of the 'regrets' that I cannot seem to shake off, only diminish the influence that it has on my behaviour. The men I love or have loved have not been those who could love me. I wondered how many or those names in the cemetery were married to someone because of hegemonic factors (sex or social class) with whom they were really in love, endured lives of little joy and how many just “performed their part” for a few years until Death finally liberated them ? Love is not an emotion, it is a meta-sentiment that arises from the recurrent moments of Joy that is felt with a specific other person (or event-thing, but that is another topic). It is also our most sensitive area for the occurrence of the other four basic emotions. Joy mitigates ; the omission of it destroys. And graves are remnants of destroyed lives. I don't know who would visit an eventual grave my life-less remains might be placed in, but I would hope that someone would remember me as someone who loved him. Whether he cared about it during my life or not. I still resist that terror that my being cannot bring someone else Joy – and that, someone who brings me Joy –, but imminent Death will absolve even that. Tragedies do have happy endings – that ending being in effect 'the end'. As it were, the most tragic life is one that was never really lived authentically at all …

I would never know what I shall be remembered for, as only the one doing the remembering will know, maybe, what it is “for”. As I alluded to in the preceding paragraph, I hope that someone will remember me as someone who loved him. I would prefer that a million times more than to be remembered for having been an amazing Jedi Knight who brought about World Peace (World Peace would probably turn out to be a totalitarian dictatorship, after all – and I would not want to be remembered for that !). The memories though, are entirely outside of my control, being in the domain of that inaccessible alterity that lets relationships come about to begin with. I hope to be known for who I was, someone with an inclination to ethics, compassion and other aspects of character that we like to consider “nice” but also with the propensity to “human-heartedness” and the “irreducible rascality” that let's us be recognisable as human beings and thus “loveable” at all.

In place of a conclusion, what I would bring away from this lesson is that Life has to be lived, it is not sufficient to be “remembered” for whatever. The essential quality of being is to really feel alive as one lives, not to be so intent on what one leaves behind that the “now” gets lost in pursuit of what “may be”.

[/quote]

Alexandre Orion wrote:

Legacy II



Today, after the some physical activity, I felt it an apt afternoon for returning to the Cimetière des Péjoces. It was a little different this time than the last, about six months ago now. Of course, I still had wandering thoughts that I let wander ; they usually don't wander off too far. Actually, these days, they are staying pretty close to home. And that is one of the reasons why I went back to the cemetery, “home” seems such an alien concept...

1. Visit a local graveyard or cemetery. Sit for a while (at least an hour), observing what happens, considering the many dead people buried beneath the stones. Consider that each of them had lives, much like yours. Each had friends, relatives, an occupation. Each had hopes, dreams, unfulfilled desires and deep wishes about the future.

Describe the experience of visiting the dead. How you feel when you think about the people buried at the cemetery? What does death mean to you, in life?


Needless to say, though I was honest enough about what I was thinking and feeling in the last one, I let myself get off into Phenomenology-land, where, as I am prone to do, I got all carried away Dasein-ing and Mitsein-ing up a good almost-existential fantasy like I can do just about anywhere else. Then again, I can only imagine that just about everyone – including all these once-upon-a-time people here – do (or 'did', in their cases) that too, just perhaps without the help of Heidegger to put labels on it.

It is pretty hard to talk about how I feel honestly. That has never really been acceptable to others, beginning of course with my family and then in the extended environment. The idea that there are no “wrong” feelings is a pretty counter-intuitive proposition to people – and educated people at that. It only seems to get more categorical and de-ontological the more one goes down the erudition scale. Thus, I am really quite skilled at hiding my feelings, especially when those feelings are disturbing to others (whether they are 'wrong' or not). This was one of the things that got me thinking that I really need to call my mother... But as I was out for a walk in the cemetery, I didn't (and still haven't).

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Again, here are names upon names upon marble. Again, names I know of people I didn't : Rousseaux, Chevellier, Germain, Philipot... Yet, even though I didn't know these people, I do know something about what it is like to be a 'person'. And that their lives couldn't have been too much different on the level of experiencing self-ness. Then again, that is merely an arrogant assumption on my part, for the world has been changing quite a lot throughout the 20th and early 21st Centuries. Our basic sentiments and thought processes may not have been altered too terribly much by what we would call evolution, but our approach to 'what life is supposed to be like' – our world-view – that could effectively be quite radically unlike many of theirs. So, today, even though I was trying to keep myself from going off into too much philosophical thought, I did try to imagine what would have been similar and dissimilar across the generations.

I'm not entirely sure that I'm capable of doing that.

I followed a different path into the park this time ; instead of taking the grand allée direct from the gate, I went down a side one toward the military section. Here were rows upon rows of simple cross markers, as uniformed and in rank and file as the soldiers whose graves they mark. On one side of the allée, under white crosses, were those fallen for France, and on the other, the crosses were grey, marking the young Germans who didn't make it back to the other side of the Rhine. These, in this section were those lads fallen in the Grande Guerre (1914 -1918), and they were all fairly young when they died. There would probably not be so much of a great difference in the fear of dying between then and now. Mortal terror has quite likely been the same instinct for self-preservation since all time. There may have been more of a sense of purpose, of true self-sacrificing heroism to the selves of these young men now dead a century than I would have under similar conditions today, but just imagining (and trying to keep out the celluloid simulacra that have been making it 'more-real-than-real' for us ever since then) having to advance a position against a steady rain of artillery fire gives me shivers. It undoubtedly did for them too, 'til they shopped shivering and were brought here.

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How many of them had wives, children, girlfriends (or, perhaps very confidentially boyfriends – illegal at that time) ? What were their expectations for the next few years? Their hopes? Their concerns apart from the war? Their plans for “when the war is over” ? And how many of them had really nothing to hope for? For those who had ample Joy in their lives to fight for, dream for, try to survive for, was the experience of war different from those who were not so fortunate? How many of them were thus spared a life of oppressive solitude ? Or, surely worse, of doing the right thing, settling down with just someone they settled for living a life of law-abiding (or not) group-think ?

There are so many tales that tombstones don't tell : the abusive husband, the shrewish wife, the alcoholic, the drug addict... There is nothing in the grave that bears witness to the gravity of one's desperation, the longed for Joy, the hope delicately balanced with the agony of the fear that hoped for Joy would never come. Or, that the Joy had been and was no more... They do not tell either of the devotion, of the complicity, the little white lies, an occasional infidelity, of rafter-raising rows, sulking and making up again. Of all the scars, big and small, where the heart had to heal after a sound breaking – nor of the occasions where it burst from fulfilment. These, and the whole spectrum of feeling in the human condition, all have come to rest here under these solemn markers.

Graves give no glimpse of what the living human being felt, moment by moment, event through subsequent event (experienced through the perceptual lens of various apertures) or the churning nebula of thought. Graves make no judgements.

At the end of the military allée, I crossed into a more recently laid polygons. These were smaller, circular groupings of graves with much newer monuments, There was a certain modesty to the ones over here, none of them being quite as elaborate as the ones found in the main allées of the older part of the park. Yet, the same types of epitaphs graced the stones : relationships (husband/wife), professions, associations, the dates of birth and death and, naturally, a name. I found myself thinking that these here were no more “alive” for having died more recently than those of the preceding century or the one before that. It could be just me – or perhaps it is most of us – fitting conditions of human life (including death) into a temporal framework : as though these cemetery plots were merely where people were “waiting” for something.

Here again, I returned to my musing on the 'hope for Joy'. That “waiting” shows up as the anticipation between occurrences of Joy, and the sincere motivation to put up with the rest of life in between. I feel that we all might wish earnestly for abundant moments of Joy : we learn to accept the pleasures of simple things, for example a cup of tea or an amazingly coloured sunset, the sound of a particular voice, a touching poem or song. Even many of our daydreams and fantasies can bring moments of Joy. According to the way the world is going, some have more abundant moments of Joy than others...

...but, whether more abundant – more frequent – or not, they are limited by this end. In a park like this one is where the “wait” is over, where all the suffering and where all the privilege come together and are equal. Here, there is no disappointment, there are no tears ; neither is there laughter, but no heart-break. There is no competition amongst the defunct : the one who, having lived 88 years until 1839 is not an “old man” to the 23 year-old killed in combat in 1939 : neither the statesman, nor the artist, nor the academician are dead “better” than the labourer or the infantryman. The living may say better things about the former than the latter, but, it is my unenlightened conjecture that – given our own pursuit of Joy that is common to us all and the rigours (austerities) which living demands – most of the time we don't remember – or say – anything about them at all. All things considered, that is not so entirely a very bleak of an outcome.

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What seems even more tragic than to pass into Eternity, is to be just about as dead whilst yet living. To somehow or another lose that hope for moments of Joy to arise would amount also to “waiting,” but that waiting would not be in the same in-temporal framework as those here in this park (who are certainly not “waiting” for anything) but just going through days “waiting” to be here. We tend to expect the future to be like the past, associating phenomena with those phenomena we've already participated in : everything in life gets to be analogue.

Part of the way around that puddle is to shift the focus in that perspective bounce from how were their lives “like” mine, to how were their lives dissimilar, and through what analogies (or, here I could bang on again about a hermeneutic scheme – but I said I wouldn't do that) did they anticipate or reprove whatever they expected their futures to be like? That would include the anticipation of eventually being (or not-being) here where what remains of their remains remains.

What would it have been like to know them ? It is said that one only sees another for how they truly are when one is in love with them (or, on LSD or mescaline) when everything becomes intensely meaningful, so that comes under an imaginative lens as well – what would it have been like to have loved this person, here re-re-presented by merely a name and a epitaph and frail, fading human memory? In times that I moan about the un-fairness of life, according to what I feel deprived of, I never quite get around to thinking about other things that I'm relatively fortunate to have been spared : I may not have had the most rewarding love-life, but then I also have not had to deal with extreme poverty, illiteracy, never had to struggle with cancer or diabetes or any truly burdensome chronic illness, nor have I ever had to face combat in a war. How do these things, these considerations, enter in to the inventory of moments of Joy? But loneliness has been proven deadly – more than obesity or excessive alcohol. How many of these got here because of that (irrespective of whether they were married with children or not) ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVgzOyHVcj4

All other things considered, it was a lovely afternoon to ponder all this : a partly cloudy day, with grey clouds and some fluffy white ones. It was very green on that afternoon, a fresh, cool, summer breeze rustling the tree-leaves and making dance the several variety of live and potted flowers …

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2. One day you too shall die, the stream of your life passing on into the wider river of the Force.

- What do you feel your legacy will be?
- What will you leave behind, when you are gone?
- Who will visit your grave, and why?
- What will you be remembered for?



The first time I answered this, I was kind of evasive about it. It may be that the legacy I would leave behind may be very rich indeed – not in the sense of leaving enough wealth with which to set up a foundation – but perhaps in the inspiration that the ones who would set up a charitable foundation would have for doing so. And that would only be if I were to drop dead tomorrow. I still have time (imagine here the joy of Ebenezer Scrooge, waking up on Christmas morning) to do much more. Not that I've been a cold-hearted, guinea-grabbing miser all this time, but just for that I haven't been. Here in the Temple community, I have quite a number of lovely apprentices with whom I've shared much and had as much shared with me. My legacy is also the adventures I've been led into, the ordeals I've learnt from (including the ones I've failed), the discovery of kindness, the unveiling of vulnerability, the revelation of our common humanity... These things are all part of my legacy, not only here in the Temple, but among those with whom I've had the privilege of exchange person-to-person all over the planet. The tears in the eyes of a young Chinese trumpet player, Long, when he realised that in 20 years, he wanted to be able to talk openly and non-judgementally about existential events with some young man as I had him. There have been a few of those, over counties and over continents. Now, that is a “legacy” I only hope I can live up to, but am not ashamed to die up to.

The way I would respond this time to “what shall I leave behind me?” may in many ways be like the last time. I still haven't built any Empires, and that isn't on my bucket list. Conversely, in light of what I was just thinking/talking about, the mess might not be so very great indeed. In fact, leaving behind a room full of books will undoubtedly be an inspiration to someone (Joshua, for instance, liked looking at my margin notes in various books). There are those like Long, who wants to be able to help others with a generous ear and a kind presence. All things considered, one might wonder if “what made me 'me' will be gone” is actually true. As pointed out before, at Death, objectification becomes impossible ; that leaves the subjective, or 'inherited', experience of the one who is absent. Another bit of where I was wrong in the last go with this exercise is when I said that the mediocrity was the most noble of my aspirations. My life is really much more noble than the mediocrity into which I was born, and the aspirations are redefined and refined all the time (remember Scrooge on Christmas morning?) So, what I'll leave behind is much of the richness of the heritage that is already behind. Should I continue my journey, there is a very high likelihood that this sort of richness will continue to accrue.

Who will visit my grave is another area where I may have been a bit too pessimistic ; I may very well have a grave to visit, but it may not be in a green public park. Graves, as such, are more than repositories for human remains : they are memorials. Given the heritage I was just going on about in the preceding paragraphs, it is quite probable that many people will remember me after I'm dead. This memory may not be perfect nor comprehensive, but it will be something of me that lives on in them. Of course, this will be only a momentary 'living on' but that is all it is even now. And, if I'm being mindful about it, that is all my life is to me even now – just a momentary 'living on' – albeit for now, I'm here for the 'moment'. As such, remembering me as what made me 'me' (for the rememberer), is effectively 'visiting my grave', and a lot more convenient when one is thousands of miles away. It is probably more truly heart-felt than one who would actually go to the cemetery to put down a flower and then go home.

During the walk in the cemetery, as mentioned above, I wondered what it would have been like to be in love with any of those long dead, in the interest of seeing them as they truly were (better than taking LSD so far from home and not illegal besides). As one may have expected, I failed to make the empathic leap quite that far. I remembered the hope and the fear of not bringing Joy to those (there really have only been two I've felt that way about – not multitudes) I want to the most, but, despite anything else, it isn't because I kept it to myself. It has been offered. The real tragedy is not being rejected, but going to the grave not giving those one loves the opportunity to reject it or accept it. And either way, they still know that someone who loved them is gone. Life is complex, the combinations that make relationships are not entirely understood (and probably will never be). In some respects, that is really about as clear as it gets...


As far as what I may be remembered for, those things are more or less all at least implied by everything that has come throughout the course of this piece, from the beginning. I shall be remembered as someone who would think about these things. I shall be remembered by one or two as someone who loved him. I shall be remembered by everyone who has shared that rich heritage of exchange, learning and humour. Naturally, as with before, nearly all of that “for” for which I'm remembered will be in the experience of the rememberer – that “inaccessible alterity.” Yet, as always, I hope that I'm remembered for :

... for who I was, someone with an inclination to ethics, compassion and other aspects of character that we like to consider “nice” but also with the propensity to “human-heartedness” and the “irreducible rascality” that let's us be recognisable as human beings and thus “loveable” at all.


Living is an exhilarating event. It isn't always pleasant; it is fragile, it is full of struggle, pain, hunger, stresses of all sorts – and some Joy. Sometimes things do indeed suck and we need to let them suck. But throughout it all, and before one is but a memory in an indeterminate collective, a good measure of honesty, a genuine empathy-grown compassion for others, patience for the rough spots and simplicity in one's expectations of life fosters the stuff that memories are made of. 'Tis how are made the memories that become Legacy, at any rate ...

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Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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10 Jan 2020 02:07 #348264 by Malicious
On this subject , what I would say is if you see anyone who needs help throughout your day then help them . If one person helps another and so on the world would be just a little better than what it is . These actions are usually little like opening a door , picking up something that someone dropped and giving it to them , or simply giving directions . These may seem small but they are greater than what you think .

=_= Malicious (+_+)
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