OK – so going to parties is not a ‘hazard’ for most people. But, I am not ‘most people’…. and, being on meds that seriously suppress the immune system, going to any gathering of people has serious risks for me that do not exist for other people. And, having gone to a political ‘meet&greet’ last week had left me…well…a little ‘under the weather’ – no fault of the organizers of the event!!!
The truth is, I started to write a post a week ago – a post I actually went ‘into the field’ and met people and talked to them and took pictures and all that – and then got feverish before I managed to post it….and have not even booted up my computer since!
Still… during my absence, I have been ‘tagged’: now, I am supposed to list the 7 things I like! And, since this is something I can do without the ability to apply higher reasoning (like, say, writhing a ‘real’ post would require….something my fever-ridden brain is not quite ready for…), I will be happy to oblige and list 7 things I do like:
1. Freedom of speech!
‘Freedom’ is NOT something I take for granted: I was born in a totalitarian country where ‘freedom’ was not a concept that was valued at all! Freedom of speech is the most important of all the freedoms, because it is the means of opposing oppression and the only way of ensuring all the other freedoms are indeed ‘applied’/’allowed’!!!
Without freedom of speech, there will never be freedom of thought or freedom of religion: one only has to follow the most basic of logic deductions for that…or to look at history: both are in agreement! Without freedom of speech, there is no freedom of thought, no freedom of religion and, to a great degree, no freedom of association!
Personally, I think freedom of speech is essential for humans to truly be ‘human’!!!
2. My family
My children and my spouse are the most important influences in my life! Short of breaking the law, I would do anything to protect them and to ensure they succeed in their chosen fields.
While my nuclear family is my utmost priority, my extended family (nieces and nephews in particular) are also extensions of my ‘self’ (whether blood or marriage related – they carry some of the same DNA as my offspring do, and that makes them important to me) and I will go to great lengths to help them succeed in whatever they choose to do.
And this is an important ‘but’: I would NEVER wish to put my opinions and my priorities above those of the next generation – my kids, or my nieces and nephews! Their own free will is more important than anything else and I WILL always do my best to allow them to achieve according to THEIR standards!
After all – it is Free Will which makes us who we are! And, helping my family members (my kids first) to fulfill their Free Will is the most beautiful and important goal ever! Without it, I would never be able to know who these people truly are: and to appreciate them for it, and learn from them!!!
3. Mammalian ‘babies’/fellow ‘living beings’
OK – this is strictly ‘biological programming’!!!
I cannot help it: even though it’s been almost a decade since I have had my last surviving offspring, when I smell a ‘mammalian baby’ (human, canine, feline, rabbit…it really does not matter), my body immediately triggers lactation!
It fascinates me just how deeply this instinct has to be programmed!
And it fascinates me just how similar the facial proportions of most mammalian infants truly are!!! It’s almost as if…. Nah! I’m just a freak!!!
But… this ‘love’ extends to all types of living beings: life is just ‘the universe’ learning about herself…one person once told me. Perhaps. Or not. It does not really matter, in the grand scheme of things…
Either way, I love all forms of life and wish them no ill and the minimum of suffering, even as I must kill some in order to survive: but, survival is the name of the game, so no guilt comes of it. ‘Killing some’, as long as the killing is as ‘cruelty-free’ as possible, is necessary for life to go on – ant therefore it is not a bad thing. After all, even ‘breathing’ kills some microbes… and I am not about to feel guilty about being alive and breathing!
Some peole might consider these to be two separate things: language is a ‘means of communicating‘ while mythology is a ‘belief system‘.
The language used is a result of the same environmental conditions which shape mythology…. and the points a mythology makes affect the ‘secondary +’ meanings of words in any language!
Example: my native tongue does not have ANY words designating a female dog which have seriously negative meaning: at worst, the word ‘bitching’ means ‘having a fun time within bounds 0f politeness’… The phrase ‘son-of-a-bitch’ had always puzzled me; even though an artificial ‘negative’ word for ‘bitch’ had been crafted, I never quite grasped the negative meaning of that phrase until I learned a few ‘foreign languages’!
In other words, this is a bit of a self-enforcing ‘circle’: what is valued in the culture coloures the language; what is valued in the language colours the mythology; what is valued in the mythology colours the culture… or something like that! I am sure better people than I have articulated this better!
Still – it is highly educational to study various ‘mythologies/languages’! I do not think it possible to separate the two and effectively master one ‘foreign one’ of them!
Yet, studying them gives one an insight into what it means to be human….something we ought to value more than we do…
In other words, language/mythology are essential to our perception of ‘the world’ – even as they differ from one human to another. I find that fascinating – and elucidating!!! I love it!!!
Note: Mathematics IS the language of science. It must NOT be left out of this section: it is beautiful in itself and it contains a most wonderous mythology of its own. As such, ‘Mathematics’ is both a language and a mythology…plus something more….a means of expressing a ‘universal awareness’…the most ‘perfect’ of all mythologies!!! (In the true sense of the word ‘perfect’, of course!)
OK – this is a ‘thing’ of mine…. I LOVE BOOKS!
Perhaps this is a redundant thing: books only record the ‘language/mythology’ of a particular culture at a particular point in time. Still, this gives us an important insight into the psyche of ;’living beings’ – mostly, but not exclusively, human ones (this depends on the intelligence and interest of the writer).
There is something uniquely sensual about touching dead plant matter which transmits coded messages about living matter…
(And, yes, I DO collect books…and have several thousand in just my house… many of them are over a century old…and only very few of them will I ever loan out again… And, aside from reading them and learning from them, I do derive a physical pleasure from touching them….yeah, I know, I am a freak…)
As in, GOOD science – NOT bad science!
It is the bane of our culture that bad science has overtaken good science in public opinion. It has become so entrenched in our culture that most of us are unable to tell the difference between ‘good science’ and ‘bad science’.
It troubles me greatly when people in positions of power use ‘science’ (well, actually, abuse science) to increase their power over people! The examples of this are so numerous, it is difficult to pick just one….from legislated vaccination to the latest statistics, science is being misused to engineer the behaviour of our society. And that is wrong!!!
Science – pure science, it its true form and without all the ‘political spin’, has improved our standard of living to an unprecedented degree!!! That is a GOOD THING!
Yet, because it is so powerful – and because so many people mistakenly believe science is beyond their grasp (something our ‘approved’ teaching methods in high-schools and grade-schools perpetuate) – it is easily used by few to manipulate the many, just as religion was once used!
That is bad!!!
But, the underlying science: understanding that ‘science’ is not a ‘collection of facts’, but rather a ‘method of enquiry’ which will separate one’s prejudices and politics from the data….that will (given freedom of speech and thought) set us (humans) free of the superstitions which the ‘ruling class’ have always used us into submission…
In other words, ‘science’ will set humans free from manipulative control by opportunistic oppressors!
Last, but not least…
This may not seem to be ‘obvious’…
I truly admire all the artisans and craftsmen who have become masters in their field! It is THESE people who have advanced the ‘development’ of human culture!
Without people who figured out how to build stuff out of wood, or rock, or how to make bricks and build stuff out of them… Without people who figured out how to make usable fibers from the refuse of ‘food stuff’…and how to spin it into threads and weave it into fabrics….both for clothing and for blankets/tapestries…
The ancient Greeks separated ‘art’ into two major classes: Apollonian and Athenian…. The art ‘ruled’ by Apollo was just ‘art for art’s sake’: art which fails to have a function beyond being decorative. In contrast, art ruled by Athena was ‘usable art’: art which has a secondary purpose, from ‘clothing’ to decorative baskets that held ‘stuff’ to anything else that was both beautiful AND useful!!!
As such, I have followed some of the paths of ‘crafts’: the very first commercial business I started was in the field of clothing design….I made the pattern and had immigrant women (who spoke little or no English, and who were not allowed by their husbands to have a j0b outside the home) make it come to life in their homes… We were good enough to get the attention of at least one the ‘big guys’ in the field…
Still, clothing design is just one of these crafts: I love and admire anyone who can actually use their own hands to crate ‘stuff’ – especially awesome, beautiful AND awesome-looking stuff!!! From cooking to carpentry to painting (yes, I see it as a ‘craft’ more than as an ‘art’ – and that is a compliment to ‘painting’) to clothing and furniture and home design…all are beautiful crafts that fascinate me and which I wish I could master – one at a time!
Of course, all the 7 things I have listed are connected to each other, very very closely… They are all means of observing the pattern ‘humanity’ leaves on the face of this planet…. which makes them beautiful! And, worthy of study…
Sorry if I sound all stuffy and all that…but, these are the things I truly like and love!