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Odd Lots


  1. great unknown says:

    Re your quibble with #34. You’re lucky. I’ve read some of the your relevant articles and posts over the decades…and you are indeed lucky. For the average relationship, he’s right.

    As far as #2, it might be expanded by introducing an aphorism from the Chassidic Rabbi and Philosopher Rabbi Bunim of Peshischa [1765-1827]: Every person needs two pockets. In one should be a note “The world was created for my sake” [which is a statement of responsibility, not arrogance]. In the other, a note “I am but dust and ashes.” The trick is, when to take out which note. The seems to be the paradox referred to in item #3.

    1. I can see that, though I might have a different interpretation. “The world was created for my sake” is always true, for every human being ever born. It’s a warning against despair. On the flipside, “I am but dust and ashes” is also true, and might well mean, “Don’t get cocky!” Me, I would rephrase it slightly, as “I am but stardust and ashes,” meaning that we are mortal, but that there is always a little touch of the infinite in us.

      From a height, I think Mike understands that a lot of us swing between arrogance and despair. I’ve been lucky in that I’m wedged a little south of arrogance, which is pretty much where I want to be. My mother, on the other hand, basically died of despair, for personal reasons that I will not relate here. It was in her genes, and it’s the part of her that I most fear in my own. (I am like her in a great many other ways.)

      All that said, a few quibbles do not invalidate a fine meditation on life in our modern world. Mike’s on to something, and his book Gorilla Mindset reminded me of the work of psychologist Albert Ellis, whom Carol saw speak at a convention in the early 70s. He says that a great deal depends on your internal narrative; i.e., what you tell yourself inside your head can become true, whether you want it to or not. I have to reread his books, and when I do I’ll have something to say about them here.

  2. Rich Rostrom says:

    Seen this?Science Confirms the ‘Sugar Coma’: Non-Fruit Sugar Slows Brain Activity

    Sugar: is there anything it can’t do to us?

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