Friday, May 10, 2013

Are we happy now?

It's been nearly four and a half years since I last posted anything here ..... does that mean I have attained happiness? Or perhaps I have just given up looking for it!
Maybe we get less hungry with age ...
I told someone the other day that I was not scared to die, more scared to live on and on and on ....
I had a medical examination not long ago and had to go under a general anaesthetic ... completely knocked me out for an hour. Completely! For an hour! No more, no less ... precisely an hour.
The anaesthetist (or more precisely a nurse) weighed me and then administered the drug through the drip feeding into my arm. I was unconscious in a few seconds even as I looked at the clock noting that it had been an hour since I checked into the hospital.
And as I came to it was a clock on the wall that I first saw. An hour again ... these guys had a system. And in that hour I had been probed and prodded but had no recollection.
If only we could be put to sleep like that ... no dramas, no pain.
Just good night!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blog for Blog Sake

It's the day after Christmas and I'm staring blankly at the screen ... trying to motivate myself to write something.

I have found that it takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes to write a decent blog entry .... from idea to execution .... maybe not including the spell check. So why is it so hard to write something somedays?

Obviously the idea/topic is the issue .... I have lots of them of course .... most forgotten before I sit in front of the computer. So sometimes it can be a pain.

Writing is a muscle that needs exercise ..... and I need the exercise. Especially when I have promised my editor that I will have a completed draft of my book for review in early Jan09. How likely is that to happen. Note - that was not a question.

Anyway .... hope everyone had a good Christmas and was distracted from the deep and meaningfuls for a day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Insights into Happiness as a Product

Here is an insightful passage I found in an article in the SMH's Good Weekend magazine this weekend. It is written by Kathryn Heyman, who I will be following closely from now on.

Our obsession with happiness - as though it were yet another purchasable product - is relatively recent. As a child I once tried to stand in the end of a rainbow, to feel the colours on me, running back and forth across a wet field with friends shouting directions across the cowpats. But rainbows can't be seen from close up. And the irony of happiness as a "product" is that it disappears when we look directly at it, as ephemeral as that rainbow.

From Katheryn Heyman essay entitled Joy to the World.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Competing to the Death

An unsettling observation is that for some of us death is shameful because we see it as the ultimate failure.

John Lennon said something about this .... he was a really honest guy about his feelings. He said that when he heard someone he had know had died, the first thing he felt was happy .... happy that he had outlived the departed.

So too I see for some a shame in death .... a weakening of a family's position. This is especially true of an early and unexpected death .... when one's "enemies" get a boost from your sorrow and loss.

I wish I was wrong about the above .... but I fear I am not.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flow and Death

Death has been in my face lately ..... partly, it is because I have been reading Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, which describes how the Holocaust survivors found the strength to survive. A small book but a tough read .....

As well as that we have had a reminder of the mortality of some loved-ones ..... never a pleasant experience. I took, what was quite a harrowing call from a friend, giving me the latest on his father's cancer - right in the middle of an electronics store that had Christmas carols playing merrily in the background. The absurdity of it was quite disturbing .... I felt guilty for this apparent lack of empathy but was unable to escape to a quieter area because I really was caught paying for some Christmas presents when he called on my mobile.

Christmas is not a good time to be diagnosed with incurable cancer ..... if there every is a good time for that.

But there it is ..... death and finality making itself be known to us in the holiday season. But death is more than the ultimate flow-buster!

It makes me think that the happiness that people attribute to being in flow must have something to do with losing all sense of time that we experience when in flow. If you are sufficiently absorbed in what you are doing to forget time, then you are also forgetting about the inevitability of death.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Hunger Derives from Darwinism?

Saw this interesting documentary on Charles Darwin (ref. to come).

At the heart of evolution is the simple concept of Natural Selection ..... the drive for species (and so individual members of that group) to stay alive.

As we all live in an ecosystem Natural Selection was described as an Arms Race where we are constantly in competition. The example used was that as the Lion gets better at the hunt, so its prey is also getting better at evading the Lion.

So I guess it is little wonder that deep in the human soul there is a Hunger ..... a survival instinct ..... that we are not in control off and cannot simply switch-off.

For all our civilization's pomp and circumstance, Darwin would suggest we are just animals battling for survival - both with each other, and at a more fundamental level with all other creatures in creation.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Flowing Hair - Samson Loses His Mojo

Apparently Samson, the Herculean hero from the bible, lost his mojo when Delilah gave him a bad hair cut .... but I'm being glib. Of course, it was really his strength that he lost and there was more to the story than just the length of Samson's hair.

No, for him it was about the fall from God's grace .... his strength and mojo was a blessing that could easily be taken away.

Maybe these things always are a blessing ........ and it is we who have to find a way to understand that and not allow it to be perverted like most things in this world.