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Reasons to be cheerful ?

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Greta
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Greta » November 5th, 2018, 7:51 pm

Might as well. Much as I try to be cheerful, and my life is good enough that I jolly well should be cheerful, but behind the façade I am gutted at the trends in the world's politics. I had so much hope that society would continue to develop more knowingly and wisely, but I see that was naive. Progress is almost never smooth. I guess it's the way obvious lessons from history are casually thrown aside that disturbs me. Expert opinion, gained over decades of dedication, is airily dismissed by the powerful ignorant.

I am aware that acceptance of that which I can't change is wise, but this global push towards fascism and callous environmental degradation has hurt, and the impossibility of stemming the constant atrocities to humans and other species.

Sorry, I haven't been helpful. On the plus side, we have not yet mindlessly destroyed all of nature, and there are still pockets to enjoy. I don't know about you lot but, while I like humans, I don't like them more than many other organisms. I do not think the universe is merely a trivial and ignorable stage for the important business of human affairs.

I think we are, as with other species, a phase, and that we are on the way out. It's pretty clear that a small portion of enhanced humans will supersede the masses in much the same way as humans eclipsed the other apes. That, to a fair extent, is the source of the sadness that brings a wish to look on the bright side. Despite all our corruption - and we have always been corrupt as hell - we have progressed from sacrifices, burnings, extreme torture (as practiced by the ancients) and public executions. If we measure progress by centuries or millennia rather than decades the situation becomes more clear, and optimistic.

Rather than an angry, dying race we are part of a much greater journey yet to come. It could be that we humans will be subjects of wonder and fascination for future evolved entities, just as trilobites and dinosaurs capture our imaginations. The species who created the machines that ultimately allowed life to escape Earth and persist elsewhere in the cosmos!

It could also be argued that humans will more likely just be the reason why complex life stopped on the planet - a tragedy that will remain unknown, lost in the ether. That too, is possible, but it seems to me that today's situation is inevitable. Even if everyone was wise and educated and cared for, and if we embraced sensible and responsible environmental practices, eventually the population would reach a point where it would seriously stress and diminish the rest of the biosphere. Even with the best practices, there are physical limits to crush loading - of humans or of anything, really.

So today's scenario was pretty well a foregone conclusion once humans significantly occupied all continents. We are simply too successful, too dominant. Our capacity to perceive the flow of time is too great an advantage for most other species to compete with, so we become agents of change. It won't be pretty, but interesting times never are. At the moment we appear to be at the tail end of what will be seen in history as halcyon days where people enjoyed better lifestyles than in all of history. While in fairly rapid decline, we still live in days of plenty. Make hay while the sun shines ...

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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Alias » November 6th, 2018, 12:25 am

Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity?

Georgeanna
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 6th, 2018, 5:48 am

Exploring meaning, feeling and sense.

'To be cheerful'. Some might see this as being pollyannish and roll their eyes. They might imagine a jolly Santa Claus type with rosy cheeks and a hearty laugh. Well, it's a bit more than that, I think. It's not holding a permanent grin or even being temperamentally optimistic.

To me it means that, even when feeling sad about personal or global circumstances -the spewing of hatred, the incitement to violence, there must be a place we can go where there is a sense of peace, hope and acceptance. It is making a determined effort to lift spirits by appreciating the good and the beautiful. A warmth of being.
And when the counterbalance is put into effect, then we may just reach a point of equanimity.
Until the next time...
The sound of the mandolin is a very curious sound because it's cheerful and melancholy at the same time, and I think it comes from that shadow string, the double strings. Rita Dove

Georgeanna
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 6th, 2018, 5:57 am

Greta wrote:
Sorry, I haven't been helpful...
On the contrary, it is helpful to listen to another point of view. And of course, even if your life is good enough it doesn't mean that you 'should be' necessarily cheerful, in the sense of happy.
Therein lies the way to guilt - what have I to be sad or miserable about when there are people out there who have nothing...?
Well, it's not about that, is it ?

The world will always have its have and have-nots. The relative goods. Even on the point of self-destruction.
It's good to be able to talk it through...

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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 6th, 2018, 6:16 am

Alias wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 12:25 am
Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity?
He was old ?

Belindi
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Belindi » November 6th, 2018, 9:04 am

To thank the gods for a cure for disease includes the only cure for the disease of being alive. Most of us, unlike Socrates, can choose life or death.

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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Alias » November 6th, 2018, 11:31 am

Georgeanna wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 6:16 am
[Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity?
was a response to Greta's post, if an indirect one]

He was old ?
I am old, and not yet ready to die of it.
I have also been disillusioned, relieved of all optimism regarding my species; I despair of the world, and that may be sufficient reason to seek a graceful exit.

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Greta
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Greta » November 6th, 2018, 6:52 pm

Alias wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 11:31 am
Georgeanna wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 6:16 am
[Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity?
was a response to Greta's post, if an indirect one]

He was old ?
I am old, and not yet ready to die of it.
I have also been disillusioned, relieved of all optimism regarding my species; I despair of the world, and that may be sufficient reason to seek a graceful exit.
Not for me because, as I said above, we humans seem to be a phase and part of something that will be much greater. I do not see humans as the end of the story, not by a long shot. While there is still space for bushwalking, gardening, music, bad movies and learning about the cosmos, I'm okay.

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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 7th, 2018, 6:37 am

America’s political landscape has undergone a transformation, after a new crop of politicians - more diverse, more female and more progressive — helped Democrats seize control of the House of Representatives and place Donald Trump under unprecedented scrutiny.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 21276.html

Georgeanna
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 7th, 2018, 6:39 am

Belindi wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 9:04 am
To thank the gods for a cure for disease includes the only cure for the disease of being alive. Most of us, unlike Socrates, can choose life or death.
I don't understand this. Can you help me out, please ?

Belindi
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Belindi » November 7th, 2018, 6:41 am

Alias wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 11:31 am
Georgeanna wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 6:16 am
[Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity?
was a response to Greta's post, if an indirect one]

He was old ?
I am old, and not yet ready to die of it.
I have also been disillusioned, relieved of all optimism regarding my species; I despair of the world, and that may be sufficient reason to seek a graceful exit.
It may be sufficient reason. Should I feel guilty for enjoying life?

Georgeanna
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 7th, 2018, 6:42 am

Alias wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 11:31 am
Georgeanna wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 6:16 am
[Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity?
was a response to Greta's post, if an indirect one]

He was old ?
I am old, and not yet ready to die of it.
I have also been disillusioned, relieved of all optimism regarding my species; I despair of the world, and that may be sufficient reason to seek a graceful exit.
Do you think that Socrates would have died with such equanimity in his early youth ?
Do you think that Socrates might have seized the chance to die so as to become a martyr ?

Belindi
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Belindi » November 7th, 2018, 6:50 am

Georgeanna, I referred to people did sacrifice to a particular god when their disease was cured. Socrates when about to die asked his friend to sacrifice a cock to thank the god for his cure for life.

Alias, youthfulness often includes optimistic confidence in the future. Maybe Jung was right when he claimed that the second half of life is when we start to think more. I don't know about Socrates' youth. He was a foot soldier and had a nagging wife is all I know.

If Socrates did seize the chance to die as a martyr then his death would resemble a version of Christ's death.

Georgeanna
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 7th, 2018, 6:51 am

Alias original question:
Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity?
was a response to Greta's post, if an indirect one]
Me:
Sorry Greta, regarding your edit, didn't realise it was addressed to you and answered a bit facetiously:
'He was old ? '
Alias response to me :
I am old, and not yet ready to die of it.
I have also been disillusioned, relieved of all optimism regarding my species; I despair of the world, and that may be sufficient reason to seek a graceful exit.
Greta:
Not for me because, as I said above, we humans seem to be a phase and part of something that will be much greater. I do not see humans as the end of the story, not by a long shot. While there is still space for bushwalking, gardening, music, bad movies and learning about the cosmos, I'm okay.
As a matter of interest, Greta, how would you answer the original question:
Do you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock with such equanimity ?

Georgeanna
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Re: Reasons to be cheerful ?

Post by Georgeanna » November 7th, 2018, 7:04 am

Belindi wrote:
November 7th, 2018, 6:50 am
Georgeanna, I referred to people did sacrifice to a particular god when their disease was cured. Socrates when about to die asked his friend to sacrifice a cock to thank the god for his cure for life.

Alias, youthfulness often includes optimistic confidence in the future. Maybe Jung was right when he claimed that the second half of life is when we start to think more. I don't know about Socrates' youth. He was a foot soldier and had a nagging wife is all I know.

If Socrates did seize the chance to die as a martyr then his death would resemble a version of Christ's death.
OK. I can't recall that that was the reason for the sacrifice of the cock. I'll look again.

Re having a nagging wife. That little known 'fact' wouldn't have been written by a man, would it by any chance? I think she may well have had good reason to have words with him. Little reason to be cheerful when your husband stays out all night drinking and talking with male companions. Also, he didn't do much in the way of paid work, did he ? Talk about injustice - did he not realise that 'charity' begins at home ?

What do you mean by 'his death would resemble a version of Christ's death' ?

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