kerravonsen: Miles: The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart. (Miles)
Those who are suffering greatly may win through to a kind of serenity, not because things have gotten better, but because their survival depends on it. They must consciously reject the voice of despair, because the destruction that Despair will wreak is more than they can recover from. On the left, a precipice. On the right, a fog. There are no other choices left.
kerravonsen: 7th Doctor with an open umbrella: foresight (Doc7)
Pondering on this:
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

---- Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)

Thing is... it isn't as if I don't want to do the things that I do, or I wouldn't do them. I want to do them at that moment. But... the problem seems to me, that I have contradictory wants that are incompatible with each other. I don't mean "the battle between good and evil in my soul". It isn't that straightforward. If it were, it would be easier to choose between them.

Take this example: I want to go to bed at a reasonable time, so I get adequate rest. I also want to keep working on the project I am working on. It's not like one of these is evil, but they are incompatible with each other when it's after 11PM at night. Why is it that I keep working on the project when I also know that working on the project will prevent me from sleeping?

Want #1: keep working
Want #2: stop working

I can't do both.

I'm wondering if this is a combination of inertia (keep doing what you are currently doing) and inability to grasp delayed gratification -- that is, the project is here now in front of me, the good sleep is more ephemeral, because it isn't like I will fall asleep as soon as I want to. The Superego knows that I ought to stop, while the Id just wants to keep working.

And in the meantime, I get tired.
kerravonsen: from "The Passion", Christ's head with crown of thorns: "Love" (Christ)
I was pondering bible-studies I had participated in, and I realised something. Many Christians just sit around in bible-studies and wait to be told what to think. How totally bizarre! What do they think bible-studies are for? A place where someone in authority (the leader) spoon-feeds them pre-digested doctrine, and then they have a cup of tea and a gossip?

Don't they want to find out for themselves? Do they think themselves incapable of finding out for themselves? Or not qualified? Or not authorised? Or is it just like too much hard work? It's a text. Read it. Think about what it says. Figure out what it means. Like we did in English at school.

What do they teach them at these schools?

Yeah, I know. They teach them to hate learning.

Thank God for fandom, where people analyse texts in minute detail, for fun.
kerravonsen: a rose bud: "Beauty is mysterious" (beauty)
"The secret of success is this: there is no secret of success." -- Elbert Hubbard

I'm tempted to say something similar: the secret of happiness is this: there is no secret of happiness. But that isn't quite it, though it is similarly paradoxical. Happiness is like a wild bird: if you pursue it, it will flee from you, but if you sit still, it may creep up on you while you're not looking. Why do I say that? Because pursuing happiness as a goal means you have to decide beforehand what will make you happy, and pursue that thing; if you fail to get that thing, you will be unhappy; if you succeed in getting that thing, it may still not make you happy, so you chase some other thing which may or may not make you happy - it's like chasing a mirage. If you don't predefine what will make you happy, you give life an opportunity to pleasantly surprise you.

But if you can't pursue happiness, how can you find it? It is frustrating to me when people speak in generalities like "think positive" without saying how to do so, when life is full of negatives that get you down. It's like saying "you can be happy by being happy" - circular logic is not helpful.

So I figured I'd try to be helpful by noting some things for the stealth-ninja method of allowing happiness to creep up on you.

Read more... )
kerravonsen: Church steeple silhuetted against clouds: "How can I keep from singing?" (singing)
Things would be a lot simpler if God were not merciful.

Justice would be swift, vengeance would be complete. People would get exactly what they deserve; instant Karma for everyone. One could use someone's status in the world to determine their status with God. All misfortunes would be judgements, and all good fortune would be an indication of merit.

This is the God that many people seem to want. Especially the self-righteous. This is the God that they have created in their own image: swift to anger, slow to forgive.

If God were not merciful, things would be simpler. They would not be better.

For one thing, humanity would have been wiped out a long time ago.
kerravonsen: Severus Snape silhuetted inside the image of Hermione Granger: secrets (secrets)
You know the saying "those who trade Liberty for Security deserve neither"?
I have another one to add to it: those who trade Privacy for Convenience deserve neither.
kerravonsen: Miles: The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart. (trade-heart)
I would rather be thought of as naive and gullible, than to treat innocent people with suspicion and fear.
kerravonsen: The words of Martin Niemoller, about Nazi Germany. (first-they-came)
One does not truly believe in freedom of speech until one defends the right of someone else to be Wrong In Public.

It's easy to defend the rights of someone you agree with. It's not so easy to defend the rights of someone who is "mistaken at the top of their voice".

(This post brought to you courtesy of an argument I had with someone on a completely different topic.)
kerravonsen: Edmund + Aslan: "Ransomed Soul" (Edmund)
The difference between envy and jealousy is this: with envy, you see something that someone else has, and you want to have it as well; with jealousy, you see something that someone else has, and you want to take it away from them.

I remember being jealous of someone's attention once; it was an ugly feeling. I did not like the me that I was when I was feeling it.

I suspect/speculate that the Fall was caused by Lucifer being jealous of God's attention to these puny beings called mankind.

Though the problem with using jealousy as an explanation is that it is often used as an excuse; that is, "You're just jealous" is a counter-accusation used by party B when party A has a grievance with party B, and party B does not want to acknowledge that party A has any right to this grievance. This is used for anything from terrorism (Isama Bin Laden was apparently jealous of America) to negative fanfic reviews (yes, I was accused of jealousy by someone whom I gave a negative review to, which was completely illogical, because by that logic, I would give negative reviews to any story that was good).
kerravonsen: Miles: The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart. (trade-heart)
Y'know, I don't want to teach kids the worth of money.
I'd rather teach them the worthlessness of money.
kerravonsen: Jack O'Neill holding a gun: "security blanket" (gun)
Buying a gun to protect yourself from guns is like buying a butane torch to protect yourself from arsonists. If you want protection, wear kevlar.
kerravonsen: Martha: "made of awesome" (Martha-awesome)
Proposition: racism is a form of classism. Why? Because in Europe, Spaniards are considered to be "white", while in America, they are considered to be "coloured". Therefore it has nothing really to do with skin colour; rather the skin colour is a "class marker". Class markers are superficial characteristics which mark someone as being in a particular class, a way of lumping all those people together very quickly and with little effort. Other class markers are things like accent and clothing -- things that can be taken in at a glance, or as soon as someone opens their mouth. And they are often things which are difficult or impossible to change.

The thing about classism is that it isn't just lumping people together in a group, and it isn't just lumping people together in a group and being prejudiced against that group. The added thing with classism is that it is a hierarchy where the people lower on the totem pole are a threat, and they must be pushed down and "kept in their place", because otherwise they threaten the pecking order.

There is NOTHING inherently superior or inferior about any class. There is merely power, and the lack of it. Those with power use it to their advantage, and tell themselves that they are "naturally superior". We all know that's rubbish.

There is classism, which is a superior/inferior divide, but that isn't the only type of group-prejudice around. I'm thinking of the ally/enemy dichotomy too. That's where we get things like the "evil Hun" stereotype, and the "all Muslims are extremists" stereotype etc. I class this one differently because the threat is more explicit, and it isn't necessarily a superior/inferior thing... I'm not sure whether, in demonizing enemies, whether they are considered to be equals or not, or whether it is an attempt to make them seem inferior as well. But no, because the demonized enemies are not considered to be stupid or lazy, they are considered to be evil: equal in cunning, but inferior in morality. Enemies, after all, have equal power, or you wouldn't be fighting them, you'd be crushing them under your heel (or being crushed under their heel, depending). Less powerful enemies are either rebels (if they are within your sphere) or barbarians (if they are not).

Immigrants (as distinct from conquerors) tend to have less power, and are often seen as a threat, especially when they come in large numbers in a short time. A threat to the prosperity of their equals because they are rivals for the same resources, and a resource for the most powerful, if they can be oppressed and exploited from the get-go. (Gee, I'm being really cynical here, aren't I?) Because they are new-come, they are seen as "not-we", and therefore threatening in that way also. If said immigrants have some clear marker which distinguishes them from the locals, then there you have a recipe for racism in the making - with a socio-economic basis.

All that being said, I'm probably talking through my hat, because IANAS (I Am Not A Sociologist).
kerravonsen: Rose in a patchwork of styles: Time Traveller (Rose-time-traveller)
Normal person: It washes mouths.

Marketroid:cut for your own protection )
Brought to you by a bottle of mouthwash and my thesaurus.
kerravonsen: Dayna pointing a gun: "I don't NEED to kill you with my brain" (Dayna)
Douglas Adams had this to say about war:

Three stages in the history of warfare:
RETRIBUTION: I'm going to kill you because you killed my brother.

ANTICIPATION: I'm going to kill you because I killed your brother.

DIPLOMACY: I'm going to kill my brother and then kill you, on the pretext that your brother did it.


(The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

If he'd been alive today, he might have added another one.

TERRORISM: My brother will martyr himself killing your sister, so that you will martyr his family, so that my cousins will kill you and I'll run away laughing.
kerravonsen: Draco Malfoy: Turn back (Draco)
"Russians" by Sting came up on my randomplay.

Thinking about nuclear bombs (and I followed a few other links which gave me more information on the scale of destruction they are capable of)... it's a bit like Avada Kedavra, isn't it? Not the scale, obviously, but the feeling of a death that there is no defence against. Or like the Deplorable Word - the weapon that is too horrible to use. Too horrible for any sane person to use. Unfortunately, I am certain that there exist human beings on this Earth who would not hesitate to use them if they had them. People who are not interested in their own survival.

There's no such thing as a winnable war
It's a lie we don't believe any more.


War only benefits vultures.

Maybe I should start wearing a Peace Sign. It originated with the Nuclear Disarmament movement.
kerravonsen: Joe peering around a corner: Just watching (Joe-watching)
After looking at the "Design" category on Pinterest...

* Clothes design: the more avante-garde, the uglier and more uncomfortable it is
* Interior design: everyone has enormous rooms with no sign that anyone lives there
* Furniture design: I wonder how these pieces even stay up, or why anyone would want to sit on them
kerravonsen: Four images of Avon: INTJ (Avon-INTJ)
So... INTJs are apparently scary and sinister. I've pondered this on and off for a while, since I am an INTJ and absolutely not scary or sinister (though I can produce a rather good Evil Laugh). I was prompted to get back to this subject by this article, which points out, among other things, that in fiction, INTJs are usually cast as villains... because INTJs make very good villains on the surface: cold, rational, solitary, brilliant... masterminds. Of course, calling the INTJ type "The Mastermind" reinforces this impression.

But the impression is WRONG. In real life, INTJs are no more likely to be villainous than anyone else. No less, but also no more. As the article says, "In real life, do-gooders like Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton were INTJs. Jane Austen and CS Lewis were also INTJs."

So why do people get it so wrong?
Read more... )
kerravonsen: Cally: Silent but sure (Cally-silent-but-sure)
So, the US Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is legal. Many people are celebrating. Others are gnashing their teeth. Me, I am doing neither.

I haven't posted on this issue before, because it would have just been asking for trouble. There have been things I've said repeatedly in person, but I haven't discussed this in depth with anyone; sometimes because I couldn't get that far, sometimes because the person made assumptions they couldn't get past (either that I agreed with them, or that I disagreed with them), or because there were things I just couldn't unpack fully. I'm not sure that I can untangle it all in a well-ordered way, so I'll just touch on points, bit by bit, in no particular sequence, and hope that some sort of order will emerge.

Read more... )
(Note, because this is a contentious issue, I am screening comments except those on my flist. I trust y'all to be nice to each other.)
kerravonsen: a green leaf: Hope (hope)
How do we change the world?
Change the culture.

How do we change the culture?
Change the stories we tell ourselves.

How do we change the stories?
Tell better ones.
kerravonsen: Ninth Doctor: "thinking" (thinking)
Stumbled across this in my websurfing: "I'm not telling you it's going to be easy. I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."

My first thought was "if it was easy, it would eventually be boring". We actually do like challenges. When we have enough energy and have rested enough from our stress, we do stuff. Human beings are kind of crazy when you think about it: we do difficult things for fun! We are so needy for mental stimulation that we invented these things called "games" which make us think hard when we don't have to!

Weird.

March 2017

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