Building Cardboard Castles

Growth? Just what is it?

Everyone’s saying “growth this” and “growth that” and “the nation’s growthhas stalled” and “we’ve got to encourage more growth”. Growth in  what? Growth towards what? Growth guided by what? Growth for the sake of what?

Apparently it’s that thing that all “civilised” nations are working towards, but I just get the feeling that it’s all just building cardboard castles and that all this “economic growth” and “the growth of industries” is something people invent in order to make it seem that we’re heading towards a “better world”, that the only thing that is growing is the appearance of growth.

If this is the case then the economy is built on peoples dreams and fantasies and not the reality of what the world is. And if this is the case then we should strive to bring our economy “down to earth” before the earth brings it down for us.

Here’s something that I think should “grow” more than industries: appreciation and value for the simple things in life and not for the next expensive gadget, lol. 😉

Dogs, Doggesses and Collapsing Quantum Waves

Is reality real? Do I have a free will? Do I exist? Does existence exist? What’s the meaning of life?

Do you have problems with these questions? Are they keeping you up at night? Well I have the solution free of charge (but it’ll cost you).

Okay, I don’t have THE solution, but I have what works for me.

Pragmatism (a la William James) says that truth is what works. The Zen part of me likes that because it’s fairly Zen. I find more meaning in feeding my dogs than wondering whether there is one Dog, one Doggess or many dogs and doggesses. There are three doggesses and they are hungry! The One True Dog that I can’t see nor touch will just have to wait its turn.

I read a book called the Physics of Consciousness that talked about making decisicions being “collapsing quantum waves”. I didn’t understand all of it but basically I took it as a metaphor saying that when you apply will to make a decision then any state of doubt, uncertainty and generally “neither this nor that” sort of feelings (quantum wave states) collapse like those quantum waves. And that’s pretty Zen too.

So instead of uselessly chasing my tail in endless speculations about stuff that doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t do anything, I just go round collapsing quantum waves, saying things like “the gods are imaginary”, “the meaning of life is what I make of it” and “yes, I do exist, even if I turn out to be an illusion”.

If I’m wrong I trust reality will come along and set me straight (hopefully not painfully). In the meanwhile I still can’t make out the difference between an illusory slap in the face and a real slap in the face; they are equally painful as each other, so I’d prefer to believe that any and all slaps in the face are real. Pain works, whether it’s real or not.

Scientific Fantasies

Now, I love to speculate (that’s fantasising but with a lab coat) and consider new ideas and theories and “what ifs”, and there is a part of me that has an insatiable, carnivorous appetite for information but…

… how much of this speculation will put food on my table/clothe me/put a roof over my head/ create world peace/ end famine, drought,  disease, ecological disasters  etc./give me a sense that today has been a good and productive day? How much is a “what if…” worth?

Oh, never mind all of that; just speculate all you want because I’m sure one day, with all that thinking, we’ll eventually figure out time travel, and then all that time we’ve “wasted” speculating we can win back through time travel (tongue in cheek). So there might not be such a thing as a “waste of time”, perhaps, if we just invest enough money in it for the research…

“Best Possible So Far” and Other Provisional Explanations

I’m into a small series of scientific blogs…

Science and art have this in common: they both need an imagination to work. Without imagination science wouldn’t have any new hypotheses or theories to measure, so contrary to popular opinion scientists do have an imagination. Where the artists’ imagination embellishes and transforms reality the scientists’ imagination creates abstract models which they then measure against reality thus testing whether their ideas conform to reality. Next, someone else replicates their methods to double check whether the results are replicable or not. In a way scientists actually look to have their dreams dashed to the ground! They seem to enjoy it…

Now they call this “objective”, but all it does is measure up various people’s subjective imaginary theories to nature, making it an “intersubjective” reflection of objective reality. And it’s just a way to accurately describe and explain nature, not to tell us what is true or not. So also contrary to popular opinion, what science says isn’t true; it’s just the best explanation so far! It’s provisional and subject to change and refinement. It’s falsifiable (i.e. all scientific statements leave room to be disproven). All scientific theories carry the implicit warning: “This is the best way we’ve found of explaining reality until further notice.” That “until further notice” is very important.

Anyway, what that means is we’re under no obligation to take science seriously because it’s as subject to subjective fantasy as art or religions are (although a bit more rigorous in testing its ideas).

I’m a Timetraveller

There’s a thing going on at CERN where they have apparently measured a particle going faster than the speed of light, something thought almost impossible (or something…). From what little I understand the faster you go the more time slows down; at the speed of light there is no time; any faster than the speed of light time goes backwards.  So not only does this particle go faster than the speed of light but also it is going backwards through time. Simple.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

But this isn’t proven. They have to run through the test a few times just to make sure they were “seeing things”, or that their equipment wasn’t faulty, or both. Or that someone wasn’t biasing the results by watching Formula 1 racing and mixed up one screen for another (“Wow, that’s the fastest I’ve ever seen.” “So, shall we put that result down as faster than the speed of light?” “Yeah, whatever…”).

Whilst they’re figuring out how to travel through time I’m doing my own time travelling (I’m WAY ahead of them). Yes, that’s right, I’m travelling one second per second, and I’m doing that without a PhD.

But… Aren’t the Druids Extinct?

Ah, yes, good question. Well yes, basically; the pre-Christian tradition/institution/s that was/were found in Ireland, Britain, Gaul and possibly further afield. Not only were they a sacerdotal class of their culture but also the intellectual and political elite of their time! But they were all slaughtered by Romans and/or converted to Christianity, and whatever traditions they had remained in folklore, Bardic colleges and not a lot else.

But as you can see I am not extinct. I’m not part of any sacerdotal-political-intellectual class of my society, and I’ve never met a Roman from 2000 years ago.  I ‘ve never seen a pre-Christian tradition/institution because I was born into a Christian background in a world that is becoming more and more post-Christian. How far away from the original Druids can you get?

I’m a decidedly Modern Druid (in training) not an Ancient Druid (I’m using a computer if you haven’t noticed). Now what is a Modern Druid? That’ll have to wait for another blog…

Jake Fish

Just finished and published another story for Jake Fish: The Day of the Missing Paperclip. It’s soon time to wrap things up. Last year I started my TAG journey, which included a story on Jake Fish being propelled out of his nice, safe life into Imagi-nation. It’s been a transformative experience for him, either that or he’s gone mad, and a good opportunity for me to express myself through art and story.

You can check out Jake Fish’s story here: Fish Out of Water and to see my fellow artists own work through their own journeys just go here: The Travelling Artists Guild. It’ll soon be ended but you can still go back to these blogs and see the work that has been done.

Jung and the Hobbits

I’ve just read Where the Shadows Lie by Pia Skogemann, which I’d recommend for anyone interested in Lord of the Rings and Jungian psychology. Just before that I read The Individuated Hobbit by Timothy R. O’Neill. The latter is good to get an idea of some of Jung’s ideas and of how Jungian analisis can apply to LOTR, but I think the former is bit more professional and a much better insight into LOTR as an example of Jungian psychology. If you have an interest in either Jung, Tolkien, or both then I recommend these books! I’ve always appreciated the depth of Tolkien’s work but these have just lent that extra little bit to let me appreciate it more, and how it expresses universal truths relevant to know.

Well, I’ve got so much into the mood that I started reading The Hobbit. At the moment I am crossing the enchated stream in Murkwood! Should I start on LOTR again? Just as soon as I have finished the other ten or so books I have on the go…

Training Starts Here

Well, a new blog. Another blog.

In The Grove of Quotes my writing is more long articles, The Blackbirds Perch is all about my poetry and Jake Fish Out of Water is specifically for stories about Jake (soon to be finished), but none of them are for more informal thoughts, so I thought I should make another blog for that, just for writing about subjects that come to mind.

This parallels my work in OBOD’s Druid grade. I’m not going to reflect on the course itself as I go through it, but I thought I should do this blog in parallel to it, using the course sometimes as seedthoughts for blogs here, or else I can just write anything that’s on my mind.