stevie ray vaughan

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


"When the willingness of a person to understand meets the unreasnableness of the world that is the absurd." Lately I have been learning about the absurd and existentialism. Two corresponding views on life. The absurd is really a category within existentialism. Existentialism mainly deals with the idea of what life is. Life for the existentialist is the most simply complex thing. We live, we enjoy the life we live and we die. The meaning is our experiences throughout that life, and no one and nothing defines who we are. We define who we are and what our soul looks like. Ultimatley the environment we grow up in and what we are surrounded by affects certain parts of who we become, but only if we let it. We are brought into this world as a blank canvas that we paint everyday. In other words existence preceeds essence. There is no god, but that does not make life meaningless just because there is no strive for anything more then the life we are given. We enjoy it while it lasts so to speak and it is truly what we make of it. A gift.

So after about a month of classes that is what I have learned about existentialism. This perplexing body of thought inspired me to write this post and see what your thoughts are on this body of thought. I know that I personally feel like an existentialist aside from the fact that i do look into the future when I make decisons. For teh existentialist there is only the present, they do not live in the past or the future. I certainly do not try to live in the past but I do take into acount what has happened in the past to help me make better wiser choices. I do consider myself to be moderatly religious, but I find my self thinking like an existentialist. This causes me to question my religion occasionally. Can anyone relate?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Natural State of Being

"If I had to simplify it I would say that the natural state of human nature is conflict"

After getting into a heated conversation about the natural state of human beings and the negative impact the evolution of technology and warfare has had on society, that is the statement my father made.

My agruement was that the way we live our lives in this day and age is so complex with its technologies that are slowly destroying the planet and cutting out human contact. Not that I will make much of a difference or change the way I was destined to go about living in society, but there are some things to take into consideration when looking at the impact of modern evolution.
His arguement was that my arguement was a bunch of bullshit for lack of a bette term. He beleives that as long as you do the little things for the environement that are expected of you like; using flourescent ligt bulbs, car pooling, shuting off lights when you arent in the room, unplugging things when they are not in use, and conserving water by taking shorter showers etc. is all that really needs to be done as far as helping the planet. And well there is no real proof of global warming, but we should take steps in reducing our carbon foot print. And as far as technology goes, well that is what gave us the hybrid and electronic cars, it gave us solar powered panels for energy conservation and much more, which is a benifit to our planet. He beleives that as long as we are aware and do our part that is all that is neccisary and would being closer to nature and pumping our water and living off the land really make us better human beings.

Basically his arguements always trumps mine, and he makes a good point. Later on in the discussion we got into the advance in warfare technology. I say if we didnt have it there would be less destruction. He says we need it for self defence and protection and that there would be destruction either way, because "the natural state of a human being is in conflict" and just because we dont live as close to nature as people from other parts of the world does not mean that we are doing anything wrong and it doesnt mean we arent good people. The more I thought about this concept the more I agreed with it.

Becuase there are tribes in africa and small societies in mongolia and indonesia that are close to nature and dont have the technology we do who simply live off the land, but lets just look at the facts. The slums of Nigeria and Kenya are where some of the most brutal violence takes place, large amounts of killing and rape take place everyday. But their government system and police force are so poor and uninvolved that litte is done to stop it. Yet they are "closer to nature".
So I may live a fortunate life with cell phones and facebook (which i dont have) and cars and running water and electricity etc. that is not as close to nature as more secluded tribes and peoples, but I dont lead a life of violence and I dont have to see it take place around me.

And as far as conflict goes, I think that this concept could not be more true. Just looking at the world around me I see people who find flaw in others, I see irritated people who are frustrated with their lives and the people around them, and I see hate. And the most ironic thing about it all is that if we all just took a second to think about how this applies to us and how if we just all stop being negative and find the good in situations and in others we may feel less irritated, we might accept the flaws in others and there would be no hate.

Today is 9/11 and today we remember those who lost their lives due to hate, violence, and distruction. Today we should think about the same negativity that we have in our own lives and come one step closer in changing and making a difference in the world around us. After all we dont need another reminder of what negativity can do not just to a single person but a nation of people.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Power of Suggestion & The Power of Self Deception

I was planning on discussing in this post the idea or reality of "the power of suggestion", but somewhere along the lines of my research I came across a very enlightening Psych wedsite that I think a lot of people would find very interesting and very familiar.

First "the power of suggestion":
I find this topic like many other things I learn about in life to be very intersesting yet confusing in the sense that I question alot of its content. The power of suggestion is inevidable and starts to occur at birth. It's the fact that we are given our opinions and ideas. For instence my parents never took my sister or I to church or even discussed religion when we were growing up. After they got a divorce my step mother started to introduce religion into our family and we started going to a bapitist church, my grandparents were also religious and went to a methidost church regularly. So I started to learn about god and the bible and now I consider myslef to be methodist. Even though I attend a baptist church, I feel that the way they preach is a little to heavy or intense for my liking. Now had my step mom never entered the picture I would probably not have found my religion, but I did by the power of suggestion. All of the opinions and beleifs we have stem from the way we are brought up and what is introduced to us. My mother would always comment on how baptists are "bible thumpers" and what not, which got me to look at the way they preach in a certain way and I ended up agreeing with her in a sense, and that is why I prefer the methodist religion. We are given insight into different ways of thinking every day and that is where our way of beleif eventually stems from. You see I do think that if I had grown up going to a catholic church my whole life and my parents both agreed with and felt strongly about the religion my beleifes would be totally different then they are today. So in essance our beleifs, the way we think, our opinions and ideas are all just a roll of the dice, it's all a game of chance.

Second "the power of self deception":
Within this website I found a link that talked specifically about the power of self deception. After reading it I felt very ordinary and very figured out. I think what hit home the most is the "how we see ourselves" paragraph. The site describes this much better then I can, but I want to make one key point. It's hard to think about, but just hte fact that we all think we are different really does make us all the same. Everyone thinks that they are special and different in someway which just makes them another person that wants to be special and different. We all think highly of ourselves in some aspect and that's what makes it so easy to generalize human behavior. Think about it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Human Nature

When looking at the concept of human nature I like to turn to a man who seemed to have this figured out entirly. Socrates:

True to his teaching that "an unexamined life is not worth living", Socrates spent most of his days examining the real reasons, or motivation, behind his human acts . His final act, in fact, epitomized what he was all about: Falsely sentenced to death for corrupting the youth and not believing in the ancestral gods, Socrates, rather than suffer exile from the Athens he loved so much, willingly and with his own hand ended his life with a drink of deadly hemlock. Plato and Xenophon, Socrates' main biographers, paint his vocation, or calling in life, as an ardent desire to help people to live life to the fullest; that is, to live in conformity with their human nature.

In an ancient account of philosophy there are three parts; ethics, physics, and dialectic or logic. Everyday Socrates examined his life and the life around him... Socrates used to say that we should never lead a life not subjected to examination.

The "unexamined life" i.e. the life lived in disobedience to the exhortation "know thy self", is the opposite of the life Socrates tried to live, and in that sense 'I know' = 'I have learned' or 'I have discovered' that I am without wisdom. Socrates knew that he was without wisdom because he had questioned [examined] himself and questioned [examined] all others he could find who were said to be wise, and nowhere did he find the wisdom that he has sought, 'wisdom' meaning here: knowledge of the correct way for a human being to live, knowledge of the particular excellence that is appropriate to human nature.

Thus Socrates introduced the ethics part of philosophy and this makes me wonder that if we as people do not question our selves and live the life of human excellence that we beleive to be exceptable after questioning ones self, are we living a "fullfilled life"? If we do not examine our lives and better them, then are our lives worth living?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish useful ideas from the worthless ones. (1987 lecture "The Burden of Skepticism")

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind." -Aristotle

If intellect is just the knowing of life and wisdom is the apllication of this knowledge to life, then can we have wisdom without intellegence? Intellgence without wisdom?
I've known poorly educated wise men. I've also known very well educated men with no wisdom at all. I believe to a degree its all about how you apply what you know. Be it very small amount of knowledge or a very large amount. Wisdom is the deeper take on life the search for what is and what is not. Without expirience you will gain little wisdom. Intelligence is the theory, the ability to grasp or develop concepts in your head, whether they work, however, you can only find out through experience, and what follows is wisdom.

"All men by nature desire knowledge. " -Aristotle

Friday, July 17, 2009

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt." -my step dad (wise man)

All my life since I was about six years old my father would always say "perception is reality". This got me to thinking, is how you are percieved really reality? Who's reality?
I think that we all live within our own realities, so who you believe yourself to be is your own reality, but who others think you are is part of their reality. I think too often people care to deeply about the reality of others, and how others perceive them. Which poses the question...By applying the perception of others to your own reality, is perception then reality?

Some live in their own reality, while others feed off the reality of the people around them.
"the answer is different for everyone"