Saturday, 11 October 2014

Earth in True Perspective - We need to make the most of this beautiful moment in time

Earth in True Perspective

This taken from baba mail page

Everything is relative. You don't need to be Einstein to understand that. A human is as big to an ant as a building may be to him. However, the world always seems such a huge place; so many countries, cities, forests, oceans, lakes, icebergs. So many animals and species. So much history.

But ever since we developed the ability to look beyond our atmosphere, it became more and more apparent that our blue marble is tiny. Too tiny to even comprehend, when compared to other planets, stars, galaxies and the universe itself. So just to give you an idea of how tiny we really are here on planet earth, here are some visual aids.

Given that there is an infinite (or near infinite) number of galaxies, stars, planets, it is impossible to comprehend that intelligent life, in some form or other doesn't exist, or has never existed or will never exist. Only religion can be true, for that to be a fact, which is something of a contradiction in terms really.

So assuming intelligent life does exist or has existed or will exist on other planets (if religion is not a fact) this means to the vast majority of the universe, I do not exist yet, or have existed and I'm now dead.

We need to make the most of this wonderful coincidence that we all happened to be living here on this single planet, in this single beautiful moment in time, and pool our resources including love, especially love, to make wonderful things happen, even if they are gone in a universal blink of an eye.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

To be Sartrean is to have courage, and the anxiety he talks of comes from knowing you do not have the option to just blame someone else. Every decision you make is something to judge yourself by.

I am a Sartrean, to a large extent, but I think most people struggle with the concept that we are free to make any choice we like, but we have to live with the consequences of our actions and take full responsibility for everything we choose to do (and this is the ultimate autonomy I have often talked of.)

In my experience, most of the people I have known, certainly known romantically, struggle to find the courage to accept full responsibility for the things they do in life. They prefer to blame external factors or blame others or say they were pressurised into things, and therefore they have a lifetime of regrets. I don't think a Sartrean can ever really have regrets. You do what feels right at the time, and have to come to terms with those decisions you made along the way.

To be Sartrean is to have courage, and the anxiety he talks of comes from knowing you do not have the option to just blame someone else. Every decision you make is something to judge yourself by. So being Sartrean requires, I would say, immense personal integrity, to have good judgement in your decision making because your whole sense of self is coloured by what you decide to do.

And that's why most people don't seem to like him, but I absolutely love him. That learning to accept who you are, your limitations, maybe, leads to healthy self-love - and this where JAMism takes over from Sartre's version of existential philosophy.

Obviously I share his leanings towards Marxism, or my own take on Marxism (not Marx's version or Sartre's version of Marxism, mine can only ever be my reality of Marxist philosophy) and increasingly I find I share his view on the pointlessness of marriage, and a desire to find something which is less about owning another person, and more a cerebral coming together which then manifests itself in physical ways, and is never about feeling obliged to stay, which ultimately most marriages seem to end up being, as far as I can see. 

There is lot of insecurity in most marriages and although Sartre talks a lot of anxiety and despair, ultimately you would not feel insecure or any need to coerce or possess another person, not even your own children. They have to be free in their own right, and you have to be free of them on some level, though of course we have a moral responsibility to them when they are young. But I know so many parents who are hoping their children will grow up to have the parents' values and this is completely contrary to Sartrean thinking. You have no ethical right to want to control what your children might or might not be.

Again, one has to have enormous personal integrity not to need to actively influence one's own children. But it can be done. I think I've achieved a version of this, and people often think I'm a very odd parent. I totally accept my sons' own right to be their own person, I have never once said or even thought they should have one set of values or another set of values. They are completely free, or as free as it is possible to be,to be their own person and to make their own life choices. It has never been my place to pass judgement on them, or them on me...

I can also come across as incredibly pious... but my values are just for me, I don't expect anyone else to have my values.