Looking for Courage

All right, maybe I off to a bad start here and courage isn’t exactly the right word for what it is I am looking for.

It’s a particularly cold and wickedly windy morning here at the foot of the eastern shoulder of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  The rhododendron leaves are rolled up tighter than Cuban cigars.  The sun is bright and that, as they are fond of saying here in Southern Baptist Land, is a blessing.  But the wind seems like a curse to me, so I’m right back to zero.

I went to bed last night thinking about a young Congresswoman, shot through the brain by a 22 year old who doesn’t trust the government.  Six others are dead including a Federal Judge and a beautiful little girl.  Yesterday morning was all about the tree of liberty needing to be watered periodically with blood.  Today, it seems the patriots were only speaking metaphorically.

After a particularly uncomfortable night of being pinned to the mattress by a cat who insisted upon sleeping between my legs I checked out some of my favorite blogs.   Robert Redus…..noise from the high desert…and… More Art than you can Stomach is one I enjoy.  I don’t know Robert, but, he is an artist and I have always felt very comfortable among artists.  I trust artists somehow in a way I can’t bring myself to trust people who aren’t artists.  For one thing, an artist will never look at something you have done and ask… “What’s that supposed to mean”.  Artists seem to have grasped, or know innately that reality is an “in here” rather than an “out there” kind of a thing.

Another thing I like about Robert’s Blog is he always has nice quotes to go along with his musing.  Yesterday he wrote a nice piece about “Signs”.  He began it with a quote from Victor Frankl:  ..“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” … I would add… and what we see, believe and think.  He ended his piece with a quote from Georg Trakl:  ..“Black frost.  The ground is hard, the air tastes bitter.  Your stars cluster in evil signs.” That one I will leave alone for it seems strangely appropriate today.

I just heard on the news that the beautiful little girl killed yesterday was born on 9/11.  If that is not an example of America’s signs clustering evil I don’t know what is.

William Shakespeare wrote:  “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”…

But what is this creature we call human?  I wrote a little comment at the end of Robert’s piece about “Signs” this morning.  Somehow, at least in my mind, there is a connection… so, I will close with it here.

…[Is it not intensely interesting that human beings have an insatiable appetite to believe the unbelievable? Illusion and self deception lift us like wings above all the other earthbound experiments of life “in” matter. Only humans do things, “Naturally”, that do not make sense.

Did evolution save us from an early prototype of intelligence by giving us the ability to be suggestible and hypnotizable? Today, is that ability part of what Carl Sagan called “excess evolutionary baggage”? Equipment we must carry around despite it’s counterproductive effects on us in modern times.

Is that the rub? To be the most intelligent MUST we simultaneously be also the most stupid?]…



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6 responses to “Looking for Courage

  1. the word of me

    Hello Mrs Neutron,
    Really liked your blog post about looking for courage.

    You write:
    “Is that the rub? To be the most intelligent MUST we simultaneously be also the most stupid?]…

    A most intelligent observation that I fear is true.

  2. freeze43

    I don’t think it is a necessity to be that ‘stupid’. I mean, even in that case we’re head and shoulders above other species in our thought capacity, even if we do waste it on making elaborate fantasies or finding jesus on toast.

    [I’m not so sure freeze43. What good is “thought capacity” if we do things “naturally” that don’t make sense….. If we are capable of convincing ourselves of absurdities and then acting upon them? (Mrs. N)]

    • freeze43

      well for the majority of the time in civilization, I think it is fair to say that there must be at least some advantage in doing so, otherwise from a cultural and probably flat out evolutionary model, religion would have died out long ago. I don’t know what that is, and I don’t think it’s around anymore, but its worth a think about 🙂

      [The advantage freeze43 is shelter from the existential storm. Convincing yourself (with the help of “culture”) that your children are in a “better place” and that you will see them again, one day, is MUCH easier to psychically swallow than…. “Your kids? Oh yeah I saw them. The lion ate them, didn’t you know?”
      Trust me, paranormal belief ain’t going nowhere.] (Mrs. N)

  3. But then, as you have said before, there are us freaks. Why why why? Are we here for balance, meager as it is?

    “Did evolution save us from an early prototype of intelligence by giving us the ability to be suggestible and hypnotizable?”

    Hypnotizable, good term to describe millions. Hypnotized already, to be accurate. But what does evolution saving us from an early prototype of intelligence mean? Do you think homo sapiens had a chance at rationality at some point in our evolution?


    • We can be rational Debra. But, it almost seems that to prevent madness we must be more than rational.
      Why do you care for animals? Why does every culture have a religion and every religion have a scheme that denies humans really die?

      In various mythologies there are places man can never go and faces man can never look upon without instantaneous death. Could that be metaphorical for “cold reality”? Must we alloy our rationalism with irrational beliefs to make our minds strong enough to survive “reality”?

      It appears that a visible means of support must be accompanied by an invisible means of support… to keep an even keel.

      • C.R.

        Mrs. N

        Sanity, as reality itself, is defined by the social group in which it occurs. Why else does one group declare someone insane, another that they are overtaken by demons, and yet a third bless them as holy?

        Nothing is a given, other than man is insane as a species, its just different groups judge insanity by different weights and measures.

        Always remember the greatest maxim of history, “The nation who wins the war, writes the history.”

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